Thursday, November 07, 2013
And Twins’ fans everywhere (hello Aaron Gleeman) cringe!
On the heels of a dispiriting 96-loss season in the American League, the Twins now feel the sting of injuries to two of the game’s premier prospects. The organization believes neither injury is serious, however.
Third baseman Miguel Sano won’t play the remainder of the Dominican League season because of a strained collateral ligament in his right elbow. He appeared in two games for the Estrellas and went 1-for-5 with four walks and two strikeouts. Sano stands as the top power-hitting prospect in the minors and ranked No. 3 on our midseason Top 50 update.
Meanwhile, center fielder Byron Buxton likely will miss the rest of the Arizona Fall League season after straining his left, non-throwing shoulder, Twins director of minor league operations Brad Steil told Berardino. The BA Minor League Player of the Year and consensus top talent in the minors, Buxton hit .212/.288/.404 in 52 at-bats for Glendale.
Posted: November 07, 2013 at 03:24 PM | 11 comment(s)
Monday, November 04, 2013
The future is highly uncertain for outfielder Gustavo Cabrera, the Giants’ prized signee from last year’s international free-agent class, after he sustained a horrific right wrist injury in the Dominican Republic.
Baseball America’s Ben Badler broke the story and saw pictures of the injury, which he described as “gruesome” and “graphic.”
“Cabrera appeared to nearly lose his right hand,” Badler wrote.
Sunday, November 03, 2013
I’m only in the seventh inning on the DVR but I’ve seen a lot of impressive looking players already. I can’t find a replay on the schedule but I would hope they will show it again.
Edit: Link fixed. Sorry. Jim
Posted: November 03, 2013 at 11:46 AM | 3 comment(s)
Friday, November 01, 2013
1. Noah Syndergaard, rhp
2. Travis d’Arnaud, c
3. Rafael Montero, rhp
4. Dominic Smith, 1b
5. Kevin Plawecki, c/1b
6. Wilmer Flores, 2b/1b
7. Amed Rosario, ss
8. Brandon Nimmo, of
9. Gavin Cecchini, ss
10. Jake deGrom, rhp
The Mets believe they have as much pitching depth as anybody. For proof, they can point to the fact that their pitchers at the full-season levels finished with a collective 2.79 K-BB ratio, better than any of the other 29 organizations. They handed out the second-fewest unintentional walks (7.6 percent of batters) and struck out the third-most (21.3 percent).
Outside of Travis d’Arnaud and Wilmer Flores, who made their big league debuts in 2013, all the Mets’ brightest position-player prospects spent the season in the low minors. That list includes catcher Kevin Plawecki, shortstop Amed Rosario and the club’s three successive high school first-rounders from 2011-13: outfielder Brandon Nimmo, shortstop Gavin Cecchini and first baseman Dominic Smith.
d’Arnaud just hit the majors at 24 (yeah, I know). Plawecki’s 22 and has played half a season at high-A. Nimmo’s 20 at low-A. Cecchini’s turning 20 and hasn’t played above short-season yet. None had particularly strong seasons, although all showed signs of progress. None of these guys are particularly young for their levels, and none have stood out to the point where they force you to pay attention (Las Vegas skews context a lot). I like Smith but he’s already 19 and a long way away. I just don’t see stars here, just good, solid major leaguers at best. Nothing wrong with that, but the Mets need some stars.
Posted: November 01, 2013 at 04:29 PM | 7 comment(s)
Wednesday, October 02, 2013
Kevin Kiermaier is fun to watch. For me he fits the definition of what John Manuel calls a “personal cheeseball”, a player who isn’t the most talented prospect and who’s a real longshot to have a major league career of any value, but who you’d just like to see make it.
Scouts noticed, and in a Baseball Prospectus piece from August ($), one noted that he “displays a Brett Gardner-like toolset” and “shows top-shelf speed and instincts in tracking down balls in center field.” The same scout believes he could be an everyday player in center field.
Probably everyone would’ve been surprised by that assessment a couple seasons ago. Kevin Kiermaier, starting center fielder for the Rays? With Desmond Jennings in the majors and (Mikie) Mahtook expected to be a potential option, a 31st rounder could be an everyday guy for the Rays. The tools are certainly appealing; legitimate center field defense isn’t easy to come by, his arm is solid, and he has the speed to steal some bases too. He can put bat on ball and has gap-to-gap power. He’s a left-handed bat, but he hasn’t shown any consistent splits throughout his career.
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
More than 250 players in the full-season minors out-homered Byron Buxton this season. Yet that didn’t prevent the 19-year-old center fielder from ranking as the No. 1 prospect in baseball at midseason or from winning the Midwest League MVP award or from—spoiler alert—ranking as the top prospect in both Class A leagues in which he played this season.
Sunday, August 18, 2013
Back in the 90s, the Pirates had an arrangement with the Diablos Rojos, which led to the Bucs getting Esteban Loaiza, Ricardo Rincon, Elmer Dessens, and Francisco Cordova. The arrangement wasn’t sustained for more than a few years (it went away after Kevin McClatchy took over the team), but that wasn’t a bad haul; all had varying degrees of success for the Pirates, and all but Cordova had decent careers elsewhere (Cordova got hurt, but
Since then, Mexico’s been pretty much an ignored source of potential talent, perhaps for good reasons. There are just 14 players who have played in the majors in 2013 who were born in Mexico, and while some have had success (Yovani Gallardo, Oliver Perez, Joakim Soria), most have operated on the fringes. And there have been very few Mexican-born hitters who have seen success in the majors - Vinny Castilla, Erubiel Durazo, Karim Garcia. Not since Fernando Valenzuela has there been a Mexican-born player who has been what I would call a true impact player.
The Astros are trying to change that:
The Astros have agreed to terms with the Diablos Rojos (Mexico City Red Devils) of the Mexican League to acquire first baseman Japhet Amador and outfielder Leo Heras. Amador will be assigned to Triple A-Oklahoma City, while Heras will report to Double-A Corpus Christi.
“Finding and acquiring the best Mexican talent is a priority for us,” Luhnow said. “We have increased our scouting of the Mexican baseball leagues and believe there are many players that can help the Houston Astros in the future.”
Houston has nothing to lose by opening the doors to Mexico, just as the Pirates didn’t. And if Amador and Heras can contribute as the Pirates’ group of pitchers did, the Astros will come out ahead on the deal, and perhaps we’ll see more players moving from the Mexican League to MLB.
Saturday, August 17, 2013
The 38th overall pick in the 2010 Draft has been a nightmare for Eastern League opponents lately, working at least five scoreless innings in each of his last three starts. Before that, he held Trenton to one run on one hit over six innings on July 13. And in his 10 starts with Binghamton, Syndergaard has given up two earned runs or fewer nine times.
Friday also was the fifth straight start in which the Texas native has issued one walk or fewer. Since his promotion, he’s 6-0 with 1.59 ERA and 64 strikeouts over 51 innings.
Syndergaard recently added two things: a changeup that he’s selectively been working into his starts and his status as the Mets top prospect.
Monday, August 12, 2013
Chicago Cubs 2013 first-round pick Kris Bryant is headed to Single-A Daytona after being promoted from Short Season-A ball, the Cubs announced on Monday.
Bryant, 21, hit .354 with four home runs for the Boise Hawks in 18 games after leading all collegiate players with 31 home runs for the University of San Diego this past season.
His first game in Boise he went 0/5 with five strikeouts. His performance has improved since then.
Posted: August 12, 2013 at 06:34 PM | 2 comment(s)
Monday, July 29, 2013
How to protect a young arm, from two different perspectives:
Ball, whom the Red Sox picked No. 7 overall out of New Castle (Ind.) High School, has yet to pitch in a game this season. He had his first live bullpen session Tuesday. He threw 24 pitches and described the experience as “awesome” after spending the previous month riding buses across Southwest Florida, spending time in the weight room and doing everything with his teammates except pitch.
Stewart, whom the Twins chose No. 4 overall out of St. Pius X High School in Houston, has started three Gulf Coast League games and relieved in two others. He pitched three or fewer innings in each of those five appearances.
“Each guy is different,” Minnesota Twins director of minor leagues Brad Steil said. “Everybody has different circumstances. There are a lot of different factors that go into it. We talk to our scouts. We talk to Kohl, to see what kind of shape he’s in. We talk about it and come up with a plan, our pitching coordinator and our field coordinator and myself. There’s all kinds of information out there as to what has been done with innings increases and year-to-year. There’s all sorts of research about arm injuries. There’s no right or wrong answers. A lot of it is subjective. We just take all of the information into account and make the best decision that we can.
“There’s no magic formula that says if you do X,Y, and Z, that your player is going to develop, and he’s not going to get hurt.”
Saturday, July 27, 2013
Mejia underwent Tommy John surgery in 2011. Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler developed into the franchise’s premier prospects. The hype around Mejia quieted…then dwindled…then vanished altogether.
As for Mejia, he dominated over seven scoreless frames, dazzling the Nationals with a 95 mile-per-hour fastball and a devastating changeup. In the process, Mejia sent a resounding message: Don’t forget about me.
Because Mejia first reached the majors more than three years ago, it is easy to forget just how young he still is. At 23, he’s younger than every player on the Mets’ active roster besides Wheeler. His age suggests that he can still grow into the ace the Mets once envisioned.
This is going to be a relatively rare thING these days: an optimistic Met THREAD. The Mets really do have a lot of interesting arms right now. Harvey, Wheeler, Syndergaard, Montero, and Meija could legitimately be the Mets rotation next year. All of these guys have really good stuff, are young, and are going to be cheap for the next few years. In addition, the Mets have Jonathan Niese, Dillon Gee, and Hefner as well. I hope that Mejia re-establishing himself as a good starting prospect helps them consider making Familia a starter as well.
Friday, July 26, 2013
He threw virtually every pitch for Saibi at Koshien, including a 13-inning complete game in which he threw 232 pitches. But in the awful final, he fell apart, terrifyingly and completely, eventually losing 17-1, pulled only after he’d thrown his 772nd pitch over five games in nine days. His fastball was not nearly so fast; his curveball no longer broke; his slider stayed flat. Every one of his instruments abandoned him, and yet he had continued to throw until his precious right arm hung limp at his side. Don Nomura, the agent who represents Darvish, told Yahoo’s Jeff Passan that Anraku’s treatment was nothing less than child abuse, a sentiment shared by several American scouts. Those strong words traveled over the ocean and upset many in Japan, where if anyone saw Tomohiro Anraku as a victim, he was blessed to be one. In fact, he’s been given the most coveted and celebrated title of all. He is a kaibutsu.
Anraku is a monster. Anraku is a beast.
Posted: July 26, 2013 at 07:16 AM | 26 comment(s)
Saturday, July 13, 2013
Another Cubs farm system product gone AWOL?
Um, do you know where Brett Jackson is? Because the Cubs don’t:
The 24-year-old Cubs prospect landed on the disabled list late last month but has been missing from the Iowa clubhouse since.
Jackson, who was placed on the disabled list with a right calf strain on June 22, is no longer listed on the Iowa team roster.
Iowa manager Marty Pevey wouldn’t shed any light on Jackson’s whereabouts.
“He’s not here,” Pevey said.
Pevey said he didn’t know if Jackson had ventured to the Cubs’ extended spring training facility in Mesa, Ariz.
I’ll admit that I haven’t gotten my hands on a copy of “The Cubs Way” (yet), but I feel like knowing if your players are at the extended Spring Training facility or not should be something that’s covered. Also: THANKS A LOT, IAN STEWART. Your little hiatus from Iowa clearly highlighted the Iowa Cubs’ inability to keep track of their players. Like Achilles’ heel, the rest of the team now knows they’re free to be running, willy nilly, all over Des Moines. Now it’s going to be impossible to round them all up.
Posted: July 13, 2013 at 11:11 AM | 11 comment(s)
Friday, July 12, 2013
The rookie righthander smoothly blasted through 6 1/3 innings before allowing a single base hit Friday during his MLB debut against the Rays at Tropicana Field.
Ben Zobrist lined a single to right field with one out in the seventh, ending Cosart’s potential no-hitter.
But the 23-year-old exited the frame with a double play and eventually collected a brilliant 2-1 victory, allowing just two hits and no runs through 8-plus innings. Cosart walked three and struck out four on 96 pitches (55 strikes).
Posted: July 12, 2013 at 09:24 PM | 9 comment(s)
Monday, July 08, 2013
1 Byron Buxton of Twins
No. 1 talent in last year’s draft is even better than expected with power, speed, defense and an extremely advanced hitting approach.
Posted: July 08, 2013 at 08:18 PM | 36 comment(s)
Tuesday, July 02, 2013
He is the first European to get more than a million for signing. No word on how much of it was a hardship bonus for playing with the Royals.
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
I’m predicting about 30 home runs during the remainder of 2013 and 50 next year.
Monday, June 10, 2013
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