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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Morosi - Effects of US Shift on Cuba Policy

Don’t make me wish I’d chosen an “off-topic politics” tag for this thread!!

“The near (term) future baseball relationships will be with Japan. I don’t think Cuba is ready to hand over its baseball to MLB.”

Even if the Cuban government allowed U.S. sports franchises that level of autonomy, MLB clubs would want to see if an international draft is instituted under the next collective bargaining agreement before making infrastructure investments. The notion of a MLB-affiliated franchise in Cuba, which last occurred in 1960 with the Havana Sugar Kings of the Triple-A International League, is undoubtedly many years and political concessions away . . . but suddenly plausible, on a momentous day for the nation and national pastime.

boteman Posted: December 17, 2014 at 03:37 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: cuba, politics, prospects

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

New York Mets Top 20 Prospects for 2015

We’ve had a run of good farm systems here: the Cubs, then the Rangers, and now the Mets. This farm system is in very good condition and continues to steadily improve.

One sign of a farm system with healthy depth: after the obvious top guys, it becomes very difficult to rank the huge amount of Grade C+ talent.

The big strength is pitching. Noah Syndergaard is one of the top pitching prospects in the game. Steven Matz is another Top 50 pitching prospect and his success is a testament to the efforts of the rehab staff, coaches, and his own work ethic in coming back from a difficult Tommy John recovery. Rafael Montero still looks like a solid prospect to me, and there is a large group of Grade C+ types who could be fourth/fifth starters or sound relief options. The Mets have done a particularly good job discovering solid arms for reasonable bonuses in Latin America, but they’ve found talent at the college and high school levels as well.

Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 16, 2014 at 09:58 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, prospects

Thursday, December 11, 2014

2014 AFL All-Star Team - BaseballAmerica.com

It was nice seeing most of these guys for the first time this fall. I wish MLB televised more games online, though.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 11, 2014 at 08:52 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: afl, prospects

Rule 5 Draft: Who Could Go And Why - BaseballAmerica.com

Baseball America runs down potential Rule 5 picks.

Multiple sources outside of the Diamondbacks organization believe that Arizona will take Rays catcher Oscar Hernandez with the first pick. The Twins are expected to take Braves righthander J.R. Graham with the fifth pick if Graham makes it that far.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 11, 2014 at 08:45 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects, rule 5 draft

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Chicago Cubs Top 20 Prospects for 2015 - John Sickels/MiLB.com

In Kris Bryant, Jorge Soler, and Addison Russell, the Cubs have three of the top ten prospects in all of baseball. Kyle Schwarber isn’t far behind, and the system boasts rapidly improving depth behind the top group, including on the mound.

* * *

The Cubs probably have the best farm system in baseball. I’m only saying “probably” because I haven’t studied every organization in detail yet, but if they aren’t number one they’d be number two.

zonk Posted: December 09, 2014 at 10:59 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, prospects

Monday, December 08, 2014

Baseball America: Cuban Outfielder Dian Toscano Agrees To Sign With Braves

Playing for Villa Clara in Serie Nacional, Toscano batted .356/.400/.452 in 86 plate appearances with eight walks and eight strikeouts in 2012-13, his last season in Cuba. The year before, Toscano hit .287/.438/.380 with 35 walks and 16 strikeouts. He hit just three home runs that year and never showed much power in Cuba, though he’s in significantly better shape and has increased his strength since leaving Cuba.

He was a left fielder for Villa Clara, and he’s expected to stay there in pro ball because of his lack of arm strength, though he runs well enough that he could see some time in center field.

Anybody want to take a swipe at what this guy might become?

Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 08, 2014 at 06:18 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, cuban free agents, prospects

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Belgian Outfielder Sam Buelens signs with Toronto Blue Jays

After Thomas de Wolf signed with the New York Mets in 2008 to become the first player born and raised in Belgium in the Minor Leagues, Belgian Baseball has a second prospect. 18-year-old outfielder Sam Buelens, who becomes 19 on December 27, signed with the Toronto Blue Jays.

In 2014 Buelens played for the Borgerhout Squirrels and won the championship in the Belgian Division I. He appeared in 34 games and batted .348 (OBP .448/SLG .430) with six extra base hits, 50 runs, 23 RBI and 31 stolen bases (in as many attempts).

Good cripple hitter Posted: December 07, 2014 at 01:39 PM | 60 comment(s)
  Beats: belgium, blue jays, double christmas, prospects

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Franklin Barreto: The Key to the Josh Donaldson Trade | FanGraphs Baseball

Prospect reports on the three minor leaguers the A’s picked up in the Donaldson deal.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 30, 2014 at 08:52 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: franklin barreto, kendall graveman, prospects, sean nolin, trades

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Four teams interested in Cuban pitcher Yoan Lopez « OutsidePitchMLB LLC

The San Diego Padres, New York Yankees, San Francisco Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks are all in the running for Cuban right-hander Yoan Lopez, according to MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez.

Sanchez reports:

“Because he is under 23 and has not played in a Cuban professional league for at least five seasons, Lopez is subject to the international signing guidelines. In accordance with the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each team is allotted a $700,000 base and a bonus pool based on the team’s record in 2013 for the international signing period, which started on July 2.”

The 21-year-old is a flamethrower who can hit triple digits on the radar gun. He fashioned a 3.12 ERA with 28 strikeouts and 11 walks over 49 innings for Isla de la Juventud in Cuba’s Serie Nacional. That was his last season before he defected from Cuba.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 29, 2014 at 09:01 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: cuban free agents, free agents, prospects

Friday, November 28, 2014

Investigation will keep Rangers prospect Ronald Guzman in Dominican Republic

A court in the Dominican Republic has ordered Ronald Guzman, a first baseman and top prospect in the Texas Rangers’ organization, to remain in the country while his role in a fatal auto accident is investigated.

Guzman’s sports utility vehicle collided with a motorcycle at 1a.m. on Tuesday in his hometown of La Vega. The motorcyclist was killed.

Guzman, 20, was held for questioning and released after posting a $13,500 deposit. Guzman’s legal representative said he had not been drinking on the night if the accident and the motorcyclist ignored traffic signs.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 28, 2014 at 10:33 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: car accidents, fatalities, prospects, rangers, ronald guzman

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Notable Players Available In The Rule 5 Draft - BaseballAmerica.com

he Rule 5 draft is fascinating because of its timing and its format. Positioned right in the middle of the baseball offseason, it gives everyone a chance to scour rosters and dream on talented players with flaws.

In reality, the change of eligibility rules in 2007 that gave teams an extra year of protection before players become eligible for the Rule 5 draft reduced the importance of the Rule 5 draft significantly. That extra year has made it easier for teams to make decisions on players, and since then, fewer impact players have been nabbed.

But teams will continue to scour rosters in hopes of finding another Joakim Soria, Dan Uggla or Josh Hamilton. Or at least another Ryan Flaherty or T.J. McFarland.

With that in mind, here’s an initial list of 10 of the top names to keep in mind for the Dec. 11 Rule 5 draft.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 26, 2014 at 07:20 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects, rule 5 draft

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Top prospects show offensive prowess in AFL | MLB.com

It was fun seeing these players.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 23, 2014 at 06:28 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: afl, prospects

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Ranking the top 25 prospects from the Arizona Fall League | MLB.com

Byron Buxton is first in ability and brittleness.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 20, 2014 at 03:33 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: afl, prospects

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Switch-pitcher Pat Venditte is ready to take a major step. | SportsonEarth.com : Howard Megdal Article

If he makes it to the majors, computer game designers will have to make some coding changes.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 19, 2014 at 06:16 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Top prospects face off in Arizona Fall League title game | MLB.com

Set your DVRs.

he Peoria Javelinas face the Salt River Rafters at Scottsdale Stadium live on MLB Network and MLB.com at 3 p.m. ET.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 15, 2014 at 08:37 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: afl, prospects

Friday, November 14, 2014

Breaking down the best tools in the Arizona Fall League | MLB.com

Although I didn’t get to watch as many games as I hoped, I saw enough to change my opinion on a few players. Now I just need some of the winter league games to make it onto my TV and I’ll be good.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 14, 2014 at 02:35 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Pipeline Inbox: How do Moncada, Tomas rank? | MLB.com

Q/A with Jim Callis.

Yankees prospects Greg Bird and Aaron Judge have performed well in the Arizona Fall League. How much stock do you put in AFL stats?
—Ben E., Conway, Ark.
Bird and Judge were two of the most impressive hitters in the AFL this season. A leading AFL MVP Award candidate, Bird batted .313/.391/.556 and topped the league with six homers and 21 runs while ranking second with 31 hits, 55 total bases and 21 RBIs. Judge hit .278/.377/.467 and recorded an AFL-high four outfield assists.

I put very little stock in Fall League stats, because the 32-game season is a relatively small sample size and the quality of the hitters is usually quite better than the quality of the pitchers. But I have spent two weeks watching AFL games, and Bird and Judge were two of the best position players I have seen. I really like the way they manage their at-bats, working counts and letting their considerable power come naturally rather than swinging for the fences.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 14, 2014 at 02:23 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Baseball Prospectus | 2015 Prospects: Chicago Cubs Top 10 Prospects (PAY)

I don’t typically link to pay content but I found the BP Top 10 interesting. (After not subscribing to BP for years, I signed up last season. Their daily content, especially the scouting stuff, has really improved. It’s well worth the subscription fee.)

The Top Ten

1. SS Addison Russell
2. 3B Kris Bryant
3. OF Jorge Soler
4. OF Albert Almora
5. C Kyle Schwarber
6. OF Billy McKinney
7. RHP Pierce Johnson
8. SS Gleyber Torres
9. 1B Dan Vogelbach
10. LHP Carson Sands

Jim Furtado Posted: November 14, 2014 at 12:40 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, prospects, scouting reports

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Cubs’ Edwards works on offerings in Fall ball | cubs.com

Will Edwards really be more than a back-ender of a rotation?

The Cubs’ best hope for a front-line starter from their farm system is right-hander C.J. Edwards, whose prospect status has surged dramatically since the Rangers signed him as a 48th-round Draft pick from a South Carolina high school in 2011. Edwards came to Chicago in the Matt Garza trade during a 2013 season in which he led the Minors by averaging 12 strikeouts per nine innings.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 06, 2014 at 07:06 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, prospects

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Ask BA: How Should The Red Sox Handle Their Catcher Logjam? - BaseballAmerica.com

Excellent analysis about the Red Sox catching situation.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 05, 2014 at 08:45 AM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects, red sox

Monday, November 03, 2014

Cuban Notebook: Latest Buzz On Cuban Players - BaseballAmerica.com

So, if the Red Sox sign someone like Yoan Moncada, it’s impacts his cost, but it doesn’t impact who they can sign in the future?

The Red Sox could also have interest in Cuban players who fall under the international bonus pools, where they would have somewhat of an advantage over other teams. Like the Yankees and Rays, the Red Sox have already blown well beyond their bonus pool into the maximum penalty range, which means they can’t sign anyone subject to the pools for more than $300,000 the next two signing periods, beginning July 2, 2015, and they’re subject to a 100 percent tax on their 2014-15 pool overage. Since they’re already in the max penalty range, they don’t have to make the decision that most other clubs face over whether it’s worth it to go over their pool sit out on players for more than $300,000 for the next two years.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 03, 2014 at 11:17 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: cuban free agents, prospects

Showcase planned for Cuban prospect Yoan Moncada « Jesse Sanchez at the Park

There is a lot of info in the article about his signing status.

Scouts believe Yoan Moncada could be the best teenage prospect to come from Cuba in years.
...
Scouts have called Moncada the next Jorge Soler and his skills have been matched up against Yasiel Puig’s at the same age. He once beat new Red Sox outfielder Rusney Castillo in a base running competition during the Serie Nacional all-star festivities in Cuba and his power has been compared to Cuban slugger Yasmany Tomas.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 03, 2014 at 08:40 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: cuban free agents, prospects

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Yankees’ Bird leads East to Fall Stars victory | MLB.com

The Arizona Fall League’s most dangerous hitter this season continued to pound pitchers in the prospect circuit’s Fall Stars Game at Salt River Fields on Saturday evening. Yankees first baseman Greg Bird opened the scoring with the longest home run in the game’s nine-year history, triggering a four-run second inning that held up for a 6-2 Eastern Division victory.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 02, 2014 at 09:16 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: afl, prospects

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Fall Stars Game filled to brim with talent | MLB.com

One of favorite things to watch. If we could get the other AFL games on demand at MILB.com, I would be even happier.

The game, which starts at 5 p.m. MST/8 p.m. ET, will be broadcast on MLB Network and streamed live on MLB.com.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 01, 2014 at 08:54 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: afl, prospects

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Cubs prospect C.J. Edwards dazzles early; Twins prospect Byron Buxton hurt late | MiLB.com

Buxton is hurt again.

Two notable players who fit that profile appeared in Monday’s 3-3 tie between Mesa and Salt River, with each experiencing starkly different outcomes. C.J. Edwards—the Cubs’ No. 5 prospect and No. 51 overall prospect—fired three perfect innings for Solar Sox, while the Rafters’ Byron Buxton—a Twins prospect ranked the best in baseball—sustained yet another injury.

Buxton was taken to a hospital after the game for X-rays on his left middle finger, which he hurt while diving for a ball in center field during the ninth inning. He was limited to 31 regular-season games in 2014 because of recurring wrist problems and a concussion resulting from an outfield collision.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 28, 2014 at 10:42 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: byron buxton, prospects

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