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Minor Leagues Newsbeat

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

SABR CEO Scott Bush on the Business of Minor League Contraction

David Laurila: What are your general impressions of the proposed contraction — good for baseball, or bad for baseball?

Scott Bush: “I think it’s going to be difficult to measure the impact of this for several years. With the focus on geographic proximity and the ability for teams
to have more access to players, there’s going to be the potential for improved player development. There’s also going to be, from a minor league perspective, the potential for improved relations with the parent clubs. And if there is an emphasis on geographic proximity, one could assume more meaningful regional ties between the minor league teams and their parent clubs.

“But there’s certainly going to be, at minimum, a short-term loss in terms of interest in baseball. We’re going to see communities lose access to baseball, and that can’t be a good thing. So the unknown — and one of the things that everyone is waiting for — is: Will there be a meaningful replacement? What does that look like? How long will it last? For me, that becomes the crux of starting to answer whether this will be good or bad for baseball overall.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 15, 2020 at 03:14 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues

Friday, September 11, 2020

Subscriber Exclusive Somerset Patriots in, Trenton Thunder out? Yankees considering Class AA affiliation change

...the Somerset Patriots of the independent Atlantic League could become a Yankees farm club.  If that occurs, the Thunder could be squeezed out, too.  Minor-league officials spoke to NJ Advance Media about the possible changes, and requested anonymity because they aren’t authorized to speak publicly about the plans. 
“The Yankees aren’t going to have two minor-league teams in New Jersey,” a Thunder official told NJ Advance Media…

NattyBoh Posted: September 11, 2020 at 04:36 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: contraction, minor leagues, somerset patriots, trenton thunder, yankees

Thursday, September 03, 2020

Why MLB’s minor leagues as you know them will end Sept. 30

“I don’t think there’s anything that could be said on behalf of Minor League Baseball that could make this change not occur,” said Mahlon Luttrell, president and general manager of the Bristol Pirates in Virginia. “And we’ve come to realize that.”

Talks continued Wednesday on a new Professional Baseball Agreement, but under MLB’s proposal, first reported by Baseball America:

There will be only 120 affiliated teams, four per major league team. At least 42 teams will lose their affiliations, while some independent teams could become affiliates. Minor league owners don’t know which teams are on the cut list.

There will no longer be rookie and short-season Class A levels. Lower-level players will train in their major league club’s spring training facilities in Arizona or Florida, but scores of paying jobs in the game will be lost.

MLB will take over merchandising, broadcast and sponsorship rights, splitting revenues 50-50 with the minor league clubs.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 03, 2020 at 09:33 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues

Friday, August 07, 2020

BA: Sources: MLB Views Newest Minor League Proposal As ‘Major Step Backwards’

Sub required.

While the full details of the proposal are not yet clear, the proposal included preservation of Minor League Baseball’s independence with a slimmed-down version of the current league offices in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Supporters of the switch in negotiating teams saw the new proposal as a way to potentially shake loose what have been slow-moving talks. Instead, the move is more likely to slow any progress that had been made.

According to sources close to the negotiations, the new proposal is viewed by Major League Baseball as a major step backward in attempts to complete a deal, as it harkens back to concepts that had been fleshed out a year ago.

MLB has communicated to MiLB that switching negotiating teams just 56 days before the current Professional Baseball Agreement expires on Sept. 30 is seen as adding significant complications to efforts to get a deal done.

Adding to the complications, a number of MiLB owners have directly told MLB that the new negotiating team does not represent their interests.

The two sides have not held any formal, face-to-face talks since April 22, but there have been a number of informal discussions since. Before the switch in negotiating committees, progress appeared to be made on the conceptual framework of a deal. While many details needed to be put to paper, which can always cause issues in negotiations, MLB and MiLB’s negotiating teams appeared to have reached understandings on the needs and desires of both sides.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 07, 2020 at 10:33 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues

Thursday, June 25, 2020

MLB’s Proposed 120 MiLB Teams For 2021 May Include Some Surprises

Sources confirmed that multiple independent league teams in addition to St. Paul and Sugar Land (which were mentioned in MLB’s initial proposal) have been approached by MLB teams as possible affiliates for 2021 and beyond, with the Atlantic League’s Somerset being the team most likely to be brought into affiliated ball.

“We are very proud of our over two decades as a founding member of the Atlantic League. The Somerset Patriots strive for excellence in everything that we do,” Somerset Patriots Chairman Emeritus Steve Kalafer said in a statement to Baseball America. “Our staff, partners, fans and community as a whole have enhanced our reputation that has been recognized throughout professional baseball. To hear our name even mentioned in any of these MLB discussions is certainly an honor.”

If multiple independent teams join affiliated ball, then the list of teams losing their affiliation could be even larger than the original estimate of 42.

In addition to all the other changes that could be coming, the numbers of leagues and divisions might also look markedly different.

There have been discussions of Triple-A splitting into three leagues, like it was before the American Association was absorbed into the International League and Pacific Coast League for the 1998 season. If Triple-A remained divided into two leagues, it is likely that the leagues would play some interleague series to reduce the length of travel.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 25, 2020 at 10:56 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

U.S. minor league baseball teams sue insurers for pandemic business losses

Fifteen U.S. minor league baseball teams on Tuesday sued several insurers, including a Tokio Marine Holdings Inc unit, for not paying out claims for business interruption losses after the cancellation of “much or all” of the league’s season as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a lawsuit.

The cancellation is a “catastrophic loss” for the teams, which include the Chattanooga Lookouts in Tennessee, the Fort Wayne TinCaps in Indiana and the Amarillo Sod Poodles in Texas, the teams said in a lawsuit filed in a Pennsylvania federal court.

They dispute insurers’ claims that their losses are not covered by their policies.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 23, 2020 at 03:04 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Royals won’t lay off or furlough baseball operations employees despite MLB uncertainty

With unemployment nationwide reaching historic levels and the professional sports landscape at a relative standstill, Kansas City Royals ownership and management have taken steps to avoid layoffs and furloughs amid Major League Baseball’s uncertain future.

Royals general manager Dayton Moore confirmed an ESPN report Friday afternoon that the club has opted to institute tiered pay cuts at the upper levels of executive pay, including Moore’s salary, to avoid cutting employees.

Zach Posted: June 02, 2020 at 03:07 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: furloughs, general, minor leagues, pay cuts, royals

Thursday, May 28, 2020

MLB teams release hundreds of minor league players, per report

With the sport paused indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MLB owners are searching for any possible way to keep their profit margins relatively stable and avoid taking losses this season. We’ve already heard plenty of news about organizations furloughing and laying off front office employees, and now some organizations are apparently resorting to sacrificing the future of the sport in order to cut marginal costs in the present.

As ESPN’s Jeff Passan and plenty of others reported Thursday, major league organizations are making mass minor league cuts, with more than 1,000 players in jeopardy of losing their jobs by the end of the cycle.\

Per The Score’s Robert Murray, the Mariners, Brewers, Reds, Mets, Nationals, Orioles, Rockies, Braves, Diamondbacks, and Rays will be among the teams to part ways with minor leaguers. The Mariners’ cuts appear to be the most alarming, as more than 50 players will be let go.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 28, 2020 at 05:31 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues

Friday, May 08, 2020

Sources: MLB shortens 2020 draft from 40 rounds to 5

Major League Baseball will cut its 2020 draft to five rounds, as owners looking to save costs in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic pushed for fewer rounds over the objection of front-office officials, sources told ESPN.

Mayor Blomberg Posted: May 08, 2020 at 07:57 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: draft, minor leagues

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

A lost season? Minor league teams, players face bleak future

CHICAGO (AP) — Mike Nutter is surrounded by questions everywhere he goes these days. So the longtime president of the Fort Wayne TinCaps is planning for each scenario he can imagine, one at a time.

What does minor league baseball look like in the COVID-19 age? What happens if his Class A team plays only half a season?

And the big one: What if there are no games at all?

While Major League Baseball tries to figure out a way to play this summer, the prospects for anything resembling a normal minor league season are increasingly bleak.

An article to read in parallel with another I uploaded today- I suspect this will serve as useful background that will explain elements of the other article.

QLE Posted: April 22, 2020 at 01:03 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: 2020 season, minor leagues

Sources: MiLB Ready To Agree To Significant Reduction In Teams

An update on a long-standing topic:

When Major League Baseball proposed to Minor League Baseball last year its plan to cut the minor leagues from 160 teams to 120 affiliated teams in negotiations for a new Professional Baseball Agreement, such a proposal was greeted by many MiLB teams as unthinkable.

The world has changed dramatically over the past six months, especially now that the coronavirus pandemic has halted sports. When MLB and MiLB negotiators convene on a teleconference on Wednesday, multiple sources with knowledge of the negotiations say MiLB will indicate that it agrees to 120 affiliated teams in a new PBA.

Such a concession by MiLB could be a clear step toward a deal. MiLB has now agreed to find ways to come to agreement on almost all of MLB’s public demands. Now the open question is whether MLB will be willing to accept the concession as a foundation for a potential deal.

According to a source with insight into the thinking of both parties, MLB and MiLB have already found common ground on a number of the major outstanding issues that MLB deputy commissioner Dan Halem laid out publicly in a letter to members of Congress last November.

 

QLE Posted: April 22, 2020 at 12:48 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: contraction, minor leagues

Friday, April 17, 2020

A 2020 Minor League Baseball Season Grows More And More Unlikely

If this were a normal year, the MiLB season would be one week old. But as we all know, there is nothing normal about 2020. And it’s becoming all too easy to imagine the complete 2020 season being cancelled.

While most everyone involved in MiLB is cautiously optimistic publicly, the reality is it is going to be quite difficult for any MiLB team to play at all this year. In off-the-record discussions with people all around the game, there is a near-universal acknowledgement that there are a massive amount of hurdles that have to be overcome to make any MiLB season happen.

Public pronouncements in recent days make the resumption of the season difficult. Multiple governors have said they find it unlikely that mass events, including sporting events, will be allowed in the next several months. In an interview with Snapchat this week, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that sports will only return this summer in very controlled circumstances with no fans.

That’s only the first hurdle. Many MiLB leagues stretch across numerous states. Getting approval from each state, county and city to resume adds several additional logistical hurdles—the South Atlantic League (a league that plays in 14 cities in seven states) or Pacific Coast League (which has 16 teams in 11 states) can’t easily resume if only half of its teams are in areas where mass meetings are allowed.

A consideration of the effects of current conditions on minor league baseball- disappointing for those of us who’d be attending a dozen or so games under normal conditions, but understandable.

 

QLE Posted: April 17, 2020 at 01:02 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: 2020 season, minor leagues

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.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 16, 2012 at 05:37 AM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, minor leagues

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

Seamheads: Produced Before Steroids: Happy Felsch’s Great Clouts in 1914

“the leather almost peels off when he kisses one on the trademark.” Dig it!

In the early part of the 1914 regular season, Felsch put on a long ball display that became legendary at the time. On April 28 the Brewers entertained the Cleveland Spiders at Athletic Park. With darkness setting in, Happy hit a titanic home run in the 10th inning to win the game 3 to 2. The Sentinel humorously reported the clout “cleared the fence by forty feet, traveled clear across Eighth Street, hitting the front porch of one of our best known German citizens. It then bounded through a perfectly good plate of glass and landed in the lap of Mrs. Herman Hassenfeffer, who was sitting near the window sewing a new button on her husband’s Sunday pants. Incidentally it cost [Brewer President] Al Timme three bucks for a new pane of glass, but he should worry. Didn’t it win us the game?” From the newspaper report it was obvious the hometown Felsch had a big following:

  “As soon as Happy hit the ball over the wall the bugs flocked out of the bleachers, and there was a reception committee of over a hundred fans at the plate by the time he had completed the circuit. They nearly shook his hand off, while a flock of kids followed him all the way to the clubhouse, patting him on the back and acting as only baseball bugs can act.”

A direct result of Felsch’s homer was that the Brewer management decided the 56 foot high flag pole in deep left centerfield, which was to fly the 1913 pennant, had to be raised to 75 feet, as not to obstruct Hap’s long hits.

Repoz Posted: January 14, 2012 at 02:44 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: history, minor leagues

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