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Saturday, March 21, 2015


Thursday, March 05, 2015

Pictures of New Ballpark Food Items « Ben’s Biz Blog

I’m not a health food nut but this stuff doesn’t look appealing. (OK, maybe I’d try the bacon on a stick. Who doesn’t like bacon?)

Jim Furtado Posted: March 05, 2015 at 10:47 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: food, minor leagues

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Baseball America Top 100 Prospect List

Top 5;

Kris Bryant
Byron Buxton
Addison Russell
Carlos Correia
Corey Seager

Red Sox and Mets tied with seven players each

Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: February 19, 2015 at 11:00 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues

‘Better Call Saul’ starts turf war between Albuquerque Isotopes and Omaha Storm Chasers | MLB.com

The Omaha Storm Chasers and the Albuquerque Isotopes appreciate Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 19, 2015 at 08:48 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: minor league promotions, minor leagues

Friday, January 30, 2015

Minor League Legend Rocky Bridges Dies at 87

There are minor league legends, and then there was Rocky Bridges. Jim Bouton called Bridges his favorite manager, even though he never played for him. Why? Because Bridges made the game fun for his players.

Bridges was also the man who dubbed Mike Epstein “Superjew” and Greg Minton “Moon Man.”

Bruce Markusen Posted: January 30, 2015 at 08:47 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: colorful characters, deaths, managers, minor leagues

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-30-2015

A followup on yesterday’s Link of the Day, from the Pittsburgh Press, January 30, 1915:

Two major leagues only will be recognized by the powers of organized baseball so long as the civic laws of the land permit the operation of the national pastime under existing circumstances.
...
A number of promoters of fast minor league clubs evidently have fooled themselves into the idea that their circuit will be granted classification equal to the big two. It is a foolish hope.
...
According to stories from the west the American association has taken for granted that it is to be raised to major classification because the National and American leagues have expressed a willingness to lift the draft on it. Such an absurd conclusion scarcely can be imagined.

So I guess that’s a “no”.


Monday, January 12, 2015

Dodgers finalize Minor League coaching staffs

We wondered how Guggenheim’s money combined with Friedman’s forward thinking would manifest itself in the organization. Maybe healthier training tables for minor-league players?

After radically reshaping the front office, the Dodgers announced their Minor League staff for 2015 with only a handful of personnel changes, including the addition of a third coach at all levels.

The Dodgers coaching staff runs almost a dozen deep, so why skimp out in the minors? I guarantee this is common practice throughout baseball within five years.
What else?

New director of player personnel Gabe Kapler said the added coach helps ensure at least one Spanish-speaking staff member on every affiliate.

This, too, is a move that seems so obvious - yet it’s 2015 and the Dodgers are making news by doing it.


Saturday, December 27, 2014

2014 Organization All-Stars | MiLB.com

Since this is such a slow baseball news period, here’s a link to MiLB’s organizational reports.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 27, 2014 at 12:19 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues

Friday, December 12, 2014

MiLB Opposes Players, Supports MLB In Lawsuit

Brand announced that beginning next year, he will petition Congress to add minor league baseball players to the list of 35 occupations not required to receive minimum wage or overtime pay as dictated in the Federal Labor Standards Act. If successful, minor leaguers would fall into a group that includes seasonal workers, trainees and babysitters—likely dooming the lawsuit.

JJ1986 Posted: December 12, 2014 at 01:10 PM | 97 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues

Monday, December 08, 2014

Minor League Salaries Challenged in New Antitrust Lawsuit

But exempted monopolistic trusts are the best kind of monopolistic trusts!

The Miranda suit alleges that MLB unlawfully suppresses minor league players’ salaries in a variety of ways. By subjecting North American amateur players to the first-year player draft each June, Major League Baseball prevents draftees from selling their services to the highest bidder — instead forcing them to negotiate with only a single team. MLB then artificially reduces the size of the signing bonuses that entry level players receive through its domestic and international signing bonus pool restrictions.

Once players have entered the minor leagues, their annual salaries are then largely dictated on a take-it-or-leave-it basis by their teams in accordance with MLB-imposed, minor league salary “guidelines.” And because MLB teams retain the exclusive rights to their minor league players’ services for seven years, many players go their entire careers without ever being able to sell their services in a competitive market. As a result, the suit asserts that most minor league players earn as little as $3,000 to $7,500 per year.

The Miranda suit challenges the legality of each of these restraints, effectively launching a full-frontal attack on the contractual underpinnings of baseball’s player development system. Specifically, the suit contends that by agreeing to these practices collectively, the 30 MLB teams have illegally conspired to restrain trade and monopolize the industry, in violation of the Sherman Act.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 08, 2014 at 05:30 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: anti-trust, litigation, minor leagues, players salaries

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Running list of 2014 40-man roster additions | MiLB.com News | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball

On the surface, getting added to a 40-man roster may feel like a small move. It doesn’t guarantee a Major League spot. In fact by rule (and math), 15 of the players on said roster aren’t with the big club at any given time until September when rosters are allowed to expand.

But it does provide two things for the players involved. The first is protection. To be more specific, that’s protection from the Rule 5 Draft, coming up Dec. 11. Players who were 18 or younger when they signed their first pro contract are eligible to be selected in the Rule 5 Draft five years after putting pen to paper. Players who were 19 or older can be taken four years afterwards. Unless of course, they are added to the 40-man roster. Players on the 40-man as of Thursday at midnight ET, however, are not eligible to be taken and are therefore protected from moving to another organization.

The second is respect. Talk to a player or two that’s been added to a 40-man roster for the first time, and they’ll tell you how important it is to officially see that their organization thinks highly enough of them to give them that spot.

“It was pretty humbling, I’d say,” said Red Sox right-hander Anthony Ranaudo after being added last offseason. “It’s great to be officially on the roster now. It feels good knowing that I had a good year, and they had enough confidence in me after what they saw last year.”

With that in mind, here’s a breakdown of prospects (to be updated all day Thursday) who are ranked in the Top 20 in their respective organizations by MLB.com and were added to 40-man rosters before Thursday’s deadline:

Edit: Link fixed. Sorry, Jim.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 20, 2014 at 06:43 PM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, rule 5 draft

Friday, November 07, 2014

Minor League Free Agents 2014

Twelve players selected in the first three rounds of the 2008 draft are free for the first time to seek an opportunity with a new organization, including first-rounder Kyle Skipworth (Marlins), supplemental picks Zach Collier (Phillies) and Jeremy Bleich (Yankees), second-rounders Xavier Avery (Orioles), Destin Hood (Nationals), Kenny Wilson (Blue Jays) and Derrik Gibson (Red Sox); and third-rounders Zach Stewart (Reds), Stephen Fife (Red Sox), Kevin Eichhorn (Diamondbacks), Ryan Chaffee (Angels) and Ross Seaton (Astros).

Among those available:

RHP/LHP: Pat Venditte (AAA)

JJ1986 Posted: November 07, 2014 at 08:24 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, transactions

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Addison Russell, Peter O’Brien, Jason Adam, Blake Taylor talk about their experience being traded | MiLB.com News | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball

While new teammates are nice, there’s one aspect of being traded that can prove particularly tough: what to wear.

“That was a little bit of a process, because we had flown to Colorado Springs, so my truck was at the airport in Omaha,” Adam said. “I left it there for the rest of the season, and I flew straight into New Britain. I got in and watched the rest of the game and was just a normal guy on the team the next day.

“We had been on a five-day road trip and I had in my suitcase just enough clothes for five days. I lived on that for the rest of the year. I actually still am living on it out here in Arizona. I think the people around me might be getting sick of seeing me in the same stuff.”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 05, 2014 at 12:44 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: addison russell, blake taylor, jason adam, minor leagues, peter o'brien, trades

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Beasley: Bryce Harper “can handle” starting season with Nationals

Beasley: Bryceslist: Killer job.

New Triple-A Syracuse manager Tony Beasley believes Harper could use some more seasoning but has also demonstrated hints of the complete package
.
“I would hate to see him come all the way through the system quickly, skip levels and then get the major league level and really skid,” Beasley said. “The thing he has that is special, and I have talked to him about it, is his mindset - the way he believes and the level of confidence he has and his ability to play the game of baseball. I don’t think you want to shake that, especially at this age. I don’t think you want to take the chance of shaking that.”

...But all you can go on is what you have seen and Beasley believes in what Harper has produced in one season. He believes it is a very positive sign for what lies ahead for the Nationals and their top prospect.

“I think so far he has done outstanding. That is the tough call for general manager Mike Rizzo and manager Davey Johnson (to make). All we can do as a minor league field staff is to prepare him as best we can for on and off field situations. I think so far he is way, way ahead of his years and he gets it. I think (Harper) really understands it,” Beasley said.

So, is Harper ready?

“If he gets the call out of spring training this year,” Beasley said, “I have a feeling that he can handle it.”

Repoz Posted: January 21, 2012 at 11:03 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, nationals, prospect reports, scouting

SI.com: Economic considerations at heart of Carmona’s decision

An interesting analysis of signing ages, signing bonuses, and success rates in the Dominican Republic, by Melissa Segura of Sports Illustrated ...

Teams pay premiums for 16-year-olds for two primary reasons: One, because teams often want to be the first to sign a promising player and, thus, avoid bidding wars with other teams; and two, clubs prefer to develop their players’ skills under the watchful eyes of their own club personnel rather than under those of unqualified and unaffiliated coaches or trainers.

But are 18-year-old Latin American players really worth 70 percent less than their 16-year-old counterparts? Here’s another data analysis that calls into question the industry practice of placing a premium on youth. Let’s assume the most basic marker of a successful signing is making it to the majors. We’ll make it simple and look at the 79 players who have made their major league debuts from 2008-2011 from Carmona’s Dominican Republic. Of those 79, only six were signed as 16-year-olds. The debuts suggest older players were more likely to advance to the majors. ...

[...]

What’s more, SI tracked down the bonus data for 60 of the 79 players. Fernando Martinez, signed by the Mets in 2005 for $1.3 million, was the only one to receive a seven-figure bonus. Only nine others signed for six figures and one — the Rockies’ Juan Nicasio — received nada to sign, according to the data obtained by SI. The median signing bonus among them tallied a paltry $35,000.

Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 21, 2012 at 04:09 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, international, mets, miami, minor leagues, rockies, scouting

Friday, January 20, 2012

THT: Jackson: Thinking big in Big D in 1950

During the late 1940s, the Cotton Bowl, located in Dallas’ Fair Park, had been expanded to more than 75,000 seats, largely because of ticket demand for SMU football games during the Doak Walker era. Some Dallas people were boasting that the Cotton Bowl now held more people than Yankee Stadium. Perhaps that was what put the idea in Dick Burnett’s head to stage a baseball game there.

Great article, both for its richness of detail and the sheer novelty of what it describes.  With all the staging of football and hockey games and what-not at baseball parks in recent years, I think it’s time that baseball was reciprocated.  Time for a Rangers series in the Cotton Bowl!

BDC Posted: January 20, 2012 at 12:57 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: history, minor leagues

Kevin Goldstein: Indians Top 11 Prospects

System in 20 Words or Less: This is the youngest, riskiest, most volatile Top 11 I’ve ever done.

Five-Star Prospects
1. Francisco Lindor, SS
Three-Star Prospects
2. Dillon Howard, RHP
3. Ronny Rodriguez, SS
4. Austin Adams, RHP
5. Tony Wolters, SS
6. Nick Hagadone, LHP
7. Dorssys Paulino, SS
8. Luigi Rodriguez, OF
Two-Star Prospects
9. Scott Barnes, LHP
10. Robel Garcia, INF
11. Elvis Araujo, LHP

Nine More
12. Jake Cisco, RHP: This 2011 third-round pick has size and stuff, but he’s raw.
13. Zach McAllister, RHP: He has command and fastball movement, but little else. His ceiling is a fifth starter.
14. Felix Sterling, RHP: This young righty has a power arm and big potential, but he needs refinement.
15. Jorge Martinez, SS: He’s yet another teenage Dominican with loud tools. He profiles as a third baseman with power.
16. Chen Lee, RHP: This undersized righty has an electric fastball. He should pitch in big leagues this year, and has a seventh- or eighth-inning ceiling.
17. Levon Washington, OF: He’s still a great athlete, but his swing fell apart in 2011.
18. Jesus Aguilar, 1B: This massive first baseman is a bat-only prospect, but there are questions about what he can do other than hit for power.
19. Chun-Hsui Chen, C: He has impressive offensive skills, but he’s well below average behind the plate.
20. Zack Putnam, RHP: Like Lee, Putnam should reach the big leagues this year, but he profiles as a solid reliever, not an impact one.

 

Tripon Posted: January 20, 2012 at 12:33 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, minor leagues, prospect reports, scouting

Thursday, January 19, 2012

IIATMS: Jim Callis of Baseball America Talks Yankees Prospects

(checks fine print for Calvin Riggar update)

CB:  Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances are two of the brightest and most highly sought after pitching prospects in the Yankee system.  While they each miss a lot of bats and generate big strikeout numbers; both have exhibited difficulties in limiting walks.  After watching each struggle with their command in 2011, are you still projecting both pitchers to be top of the rotation starters?

JC:  I don’t think I’ve ever projected Betances as a frontline starter. That may be his ceiling, but given his slow development path and still less-than-stellar command, I’ve suspected for a while that he’s going to end up as a reliever. I still see Banuelos as a starter, however, but again, I don’t think I’ve ever called him a No. 1 starter. He’s a No. 2 or 3 if everything comes together.

CB:  After being listed as Baseball America ’s 108th best prospect prior to the 2011 amateur draft, the Yankees selected Dante Bichette, Jr. with the 51st pick.  He signed quickly and promptly set the Gulf Coast League afire hitting .342/.446/.505 and winning league MVP honors.  Looking back, do you think your initial evaluation was accurate?  If not, what has changed?

JC:  Our initial evaluation was based in part about suspicions that he’ll eventually wind up in the outfield. If he can stay at third base, and the Yankees think he can, then he’ll have more value. Bichette has boosted his stock since the draft with his strong debut and his initial play at third base.

Repoz Posted: January 19, 2012 at 05:13 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, prospect reports, scouting, yankees

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Kiwi teen signs with Orioles

Makes sense, the O’s can’t fly either.

Walt Davis Posted: January 18, 2012 at 06:22 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, orioles

Baseball America’s Top 10 Prospects: Chicago White Sox

Leapin’ Lukevics! What a mess!

1. Addison Reed, rhp
2. Nestor Molina, rhp
3. Simon Castro, rhp
4. Trayce Thompson, of
5. Jake Petricka, rhp
6. Keenyn Walker, of
7. Jhan Marinez, rhp
8. Tyler Saladino, ss
9. Juan Silverio, 3b
10. Ozzie Martinez, ss

With his farm system failing to supply impact players, GM Ken Williams constantly has had to be on the lookout for OPT—other people’s talent. He has chosen poorly in recent years, hamstringing Chicago with bad contracts for Adam Dunn, Jake Peavy and Alex Rios.

...The club could struggle to contend in the immediate future because it has done a poor job of signing and developing its own talent. Chicago has the worst farm system in baseball, and it’s no coincidence that it ranks last in draft spending in the last five years ($18.3 million) and has had little presence on the international amateur market in that time.

Repoz Posted: January 18, 2012 at 06:20 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, prospect reports, scouting, white sox

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Kevin Goldstein: Cincinnati Reds Top 11 Prospects

System In 20 Words Or Less: Considering the trades made for a 2012 run at the National Leaugue Central, there is still some strength in the system.

Five-Star Prospects
1. Billy Hamilton, SS
2. Devin Mesoraco, C
Three-Star Prospects
3. Zack Cozart, SS
4. Robert Stephenson, RHP
5. Daniel Corcino, RHP
6. J.C. Sulbaran, RHP
7. Didi Gregorius, SS
8. Todd Frazier, UT
9. Neftali Soto, 1B
10. Henry Rodriguez, 2B
Two-Star Prospects
11. Yorman Rodriguez, OF

Nine More:
12. Kyle Lotzkar, RHP: Can’t stay healthy, but continues to tease with some of the best stuff in the system.
13. Kyle Waldrop, OF: Athletic outfielder impressed Pioneer League scouts in 2011, has excellent chance to move up.
14. Donnie Joseph, LHP: Lefty reliever has bat-missing arsenal; could reach big leagues in 2012 with more strikes.
15. Gabriel Rosa, 3B: 2011 second-round pick is raw, but has the potential for plus power and defense.
16. Tony Cingrani, LHP: 2011 third-rounder has crazy number in pro debut, but projects for many as reliever.
17. Ryan LaMarre, OF: 2010 second-rounder has speed and contact ability, but leaves scouts underwhelmed with overall hitting.
18. Tucker Barnhart, C: Will get to the big leagues on defensive chops alone, but backup bat.
19. Juan Duran, OF: Finally began to untap the power in 2011, but is still uncoordinated after growing to six-foot-seven.
20. Ryan Wright, 2B: Overachiever with more skills than tools, but hard not to like.

Tripon Posted: January 17, 2012 at 06:26 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, prospect reports, reds, scouting

Monday, January 16, 2012

Kevin Goldstein: White Sox Top 11 Prospects

System in 20 Words or Less: Two words: Not good.

Four-Star Prospects
1. Addison Reed, RHP
Three-Star Prospects
2. Nestor Molina, RHP
3. Trayce Thompson, OF
4. Jake Petricka, RHP
5. Simon Castro, RHP
6. Keenyn Walker, OF
Two-Star Prospects
7. Eduardo Escobar, SS
8. Jhan Marinez, RHP
9. Myles Jaye, RHP
10. Tyler Saladino, SS
11. Andre Rienzo, RHP

Nine More
12. Juan Silverio, 3B: He’s a third baseman who has the ability to hit, and could move forward in 2012.
13. Jared Mitchell, OF: This former first-rounder still has tools, but the results have been disastrous.
14. Brandon Short, OF: His plus hit tool is matched with a poor approach and a lack of corner-outfield power.
15. Pedro Hernandez, LHP: He was acquired from the Padres in the Carlos Quentin deal. Martinez could pitch in the big leagues this year, but he has a seventh-inning ceiling.
16. Gregory Infante, RHP: Infante is another potential 2012 bullpen piece. He has a power arm, but does not have much to go with in.
17. Erik Johnson, RHP: This 2012 second-round pick has a plus fastball and slider, but he needs to refine his changeup and command.
18. Michael Blanke, C: He has raw power and a good arm, but there are big questions about his bat.
19. Dylan Axelrod, RHP: His ceiling is a fifth starter, but he might already be there.
20. Ozzie Martinez, SS: Martinez arrived from Florida in the Ozzie Guillen deal. He’s a future utility player.

Tripon Posted: January 16, 2012 at 02:15 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, prospect reports, scouting, white sox

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-16-2012

Mansfield Daily Shield, January 16, 1912:

Edmund Lamy, who played right field and who will occupy the same position on the Mansfield club in the Ohio State league this season, may become the world’s champion skater this winter. He must win from Morris Wood in a series of matches which has been arranged between the two, to be held at Saranac Lake, N.Y., January 30 and 31. Wood is the present holder of the championship.
...

Lamy has always been prominent as a skater. He was holder of the amateur championship until he entered professional ball and played in this city.

Lamy won. He was a pretty good ballplayer - hit .320 with doubles power in Class B ball as a 23-year-old, but his baseball career ended with a broken collarbone.

After his baseball career and a stint in the military during World War I, Lamy went on to become a legendary speed skater and barrel jumper.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Kevin Goldstein: New York Mets Top 11 Prospects

Five-Star Prospects
1. Matt Harvey, RHP
2. Zack Wheeler, RHP
Four-Star Prospects
3. Jeurys Familia, RHP
Three-Star Prospects
4. Brandon Nimmo, OF
5. Juan Lagares, OF
6. Jordany Valdespin, 2B
7. Jenrry Mejia, RHP
8. Reese Havens, 2B
9. Cesar Puello, OF
10. Michael Fulmer, RHP
11. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, OF

Nine More:
12. Cory Mazzoni, RHP: 2011 second-rounder was great in brief debut; will move to rotation in 2012.
13. Akeel Morris, RHP: 20-year-old Virgin Islands native has big, but unrefined, power arm.
14. Darin Gorski, LHP: Had arguably the best stats of any pitcher in the system, but he’s older and has more finesse than stuff.
15. Phillip Evans, SS: Over slot 15th-rounder profiles as offense-oriented second baseman
16. Wilmer Flores, INF: Bat has never taken expected move forward while scouts see big moves down defensive spectrum.
17. Jefry Marte, 3B: Age and strong showing in Arizona Fall League saves him; some scouts still believe in the bat.
18. Juan Urbina, LHP: Shows flashes of high-ceiling potential, but not enough of them.
19. Chris Schwinden, RHP: Reached the big leagues, but what you see is what you get with potential to be a number-five starter.
20. Darrell Ceciliani, OF: Plus speed and a leadoff man’s approach, but never got going with the bat in full-season debut.

Tripon Posted: January 14, 2012 at 03:28 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, minor leagues, prospect reports, scouting

Kevin Goldstein: Athletics Top 11 Prospects

Five-Star Prospects
1. Michael Choice, OF
Four-Star Prospects
2. Jarrod Parker, RHP
3. A.J. Cole, RHP
4. Brad Peacock, RHP
5. Sonny Gray, RHP
6. Derek Norris, C
7. Grant Green, OF
Three-Star Prospects
8. Chris Carter, 1B
9. Collin Cowgill, OF
10. Raul Alcantara, RHP
11. Max Stassi, C

Nine More
12. Michael Taylor, OF: He made some improvements in 2011, but the A’s showed “confidence” in Taylor by acquiring Reddick and re-signing Crisp.
13. Josh Donaldson, C: He doesn’t have any star-level tools, but he has improved defensively and has always had solid power.
14. Yordy Cabrera, SS: He had an ugly full-season debut in 2011, but the seven-figure tools are still there.
15. Bobby Crocker, OF: This 2011 fourth-round pick is a big-time athlete with speed and power potential.
16. Aaron Shipman, OF: He could explode with some hitting refinements due to his speed and advanced approach.
17. Vicmal De La Cruz, OF: De La Cruz was beat up in the Dominican Summer League. His speed and bat are his best tools.
18. Ian Krol, LHP: He lost 2011 due to injury, but his instructional league showing has officials optimistic for a bounceback.
19. Miles Head, 1B/3B: Head came over in the Andrew Bailey trade. There is nothing pretty about what he does, but his power is significant.
20. Jermaine Mitchell, OF: He finally had his breakout season, but he is also 27 now.

Tripon Posted: January 14, 2012 at 03:26 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, minor leagues, prospect reports, scouting

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