Monday, November 18, 2013
As just about everyone who reads this website knows, I suffered a concussion in October due to a home accident: I was hit in the head with a metal sculpture. It did not seem like a big deal at first, but let me tell you, it turned out to be damned serious. I’m not just talking about having problems working at my writing job. It has impacted every phase of my life in a negative way.
So I’ve decided to write about it while it happens. Part of this is selfish: I need to prove to myself that I still can write, plus I want a chronicle of this experience for my own reasons. Part of it is practical: concussions and brain injuries are an ongoing story in the sports world, and I hope that my story will illustrate exactly how much of a problem these injuries are.
Posted: November 18, 2013 at 10:49 PM | 65 comment(s)
Friday, November 08, 2013
This is the bit in the article that led me to post it:
Johnny Rodriguez, the Cardinals’ High-A Palm Beach manager this past season, will move to rookie-level Johnson City. His pitching coach there will be Paul Davis, who will also assist Leveque as the team’s “Minor League Pitching Coach and Coordinator of Pitching Analytics.”
Davis has an interesting background. He was a college pitcher at Creighton in the mid-80s, later a successful HS and college coach, but he’s also been an adjunct professor at Nebraska and a PhD candidate in leadership studies there. Johnson City is a short-season team, and it’s not unusual for someone who acts as a coach at that level to perform other duties in the organization, but I don’t think this particular combination of roles has ever been tried before. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.
Posted: November 08, 2013 at 01:03 PM | 0 comment(s)
Tuesday, September 03, 2013
With the minor league regular season wrapping up, we polled scouts and executives to pick Yahoo Sports’ all-minor league team. Boston and Texas lead the way with five players, followed by Houston, Minnesota, the Chicago Cubs and the New York Mets with four apiece.
The team leans prospect heavy, with a few veterans who put up massive numbers in Triple-A mixed in. Weight was given to age and performance, as a 23-year-old tearing up recent college players in Class A isn’t nearly as impressive as a teenager holding his own in Double-A.
Prospect of the Year: Byron Buxton – A .334/.424/.520 slash line with 55 stolen bases and Gold Glove-caliber defense? Watch out, Trout.
Destroyer of the Universe: Joey Gallo, 3B (A, Texas) – Remember the power co-champ with Sano? Meet Gallo, a 6-foot-5, 220-pound monster whose 40 home runs lead the minor leagues. His absurd 42.1 percent of at-bats ending in strikeouts also is top among all minor leaguers. Not only is Gallo the rightful heir to Adam Dunn, he’s only 19 years old, which means we can watch the entirety of his fascinating future unfold.
Next Teenage Star: Julio Urias, LHP (A, Los Angeles Dodgers) – Until his birthday three weeks ago, Urias had spent his year in the full-season Midwest League as a 16-year-old. The next-youngest player, Roberto Osuna, was a full year and a half older. Were he American, Urias would’ve been a junior in high school. And over 18 starts and 54 1/3 innings, he struck out 67 and put up a 2.48 ERA. From Mexico, playing for the Dodgers, he is going to be an absolute sensation – and people within the organization aren’t dismissing the idea that he could arrive in the major leagues as an 18-year-old.
Most Awesome Fat Guy: Japhet Amador, XL (Mexican League/AAA, Houston) – Amador is listed at 315 pounds. The scale cries otherwise in between gasps of, “No mas, por favor, no mas!” There may be nothing more entertaining than a fat guy hitting, and the 26-year-old first baseman is the biggest ballplayer multiple scouts say they’ve ever seen. After destroying the Mexican League for years, including 36 home runs this season, he signed with the Astros in mid-August and has managed 13 hits in 43 at-bats. All singles, of course.
Fat Guy? Really?
Posted: September 03, 2013 at 06:57 AM | 29 comment(s)
Sunday, August 18, 2013
Back in 1996, Mariners Ken Griffey Jr. (probably the best player in baseball at the time) and Alex Rodriguez (the best young talent in the game) staged an impromptu Home Run Derby at a minor-league ballpark. And they were incredibly impressed with a player for Class A Wisconsin by the name of David Ortiz.
Saturday, July 06, 2013
Interviews over the last year with more than half of the players drafted by the Mets in 2008 depict a side of America’s pastime that is hardly as romantic as some fans might like to believe. Of the 52 players drafted by the Mets in 2008, 42 signed contracts. All but 12 of them had washed out of organized baseball by the start of the 2013 season.
That put the Mets at the bottom of the list for 2008, tied with the Seattle Mariners, who also had only 12 players still playing baseball when this season got under way. But the figures for most of the 28 other clubs weren’t that much better. Three teams had 13 players left from 2008, one had 14, another had 15, and three more had 16. Only four teams still had more than 20 players in organized ball, with the Boston Red Sox topping the list with 28.
Taken together, the numbers are a boldfaced warning to anyone dreaming of a major league career, including the crop of players taken in this year’s amateur draft a month ago and have just begun their professional careers.
Posted: July 06, 2013 at 12:20 PM | 6 comment(s)
Wednesday, July 03, 2013
Monday, June 10, 2013
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