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Minor Leagues Newsbeat

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Minor Leagues Seek Distressed Oaktree Loans to Meet New MLB Terms

For the first time, there are numbers attached to the amount of money lost in 2020 by minor league baseball, and it’s going to take a lot of ticket and hot dog sales to close the gap.

“I think the average team, revenue-wise, will have lost $5 million,” Larry Botel, a New York real estate mogul who owns three teams with partner Gary Green, said in an interview.

That’s $800 million total for the 160 teams that were still in business last season. Now, 40 of those teams are out of business, having not been given a Player Development License (PDL) by Major League Baseball this year to remain an affiliated franchise.

The remaining 120 teams now are faced with the issue of how to cope with those lost revenues, which according to Botel, were offset somewhat by a pair of federal PPP loans, staffing furloughs, and creative use of various ballparks this past summer for socially-distanced events.

In those cases, he added, the average operating loss for each club was between $2 million to $3 million last year.

“But $2 million to $3 million in minor league baseball is a lot of money,” said Botel, who has one team each in Triple-A, Double-A and Single-A.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 17, 2021 at 02:14 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Rule changes to be tested in Minors this year

The changes—and the leagues in which they will apply—are as follows (more detail on each can be found below):

• Slightly larger bases with a less-slippery surface (all Triple-A leagues)

• A requirement that all four infielders have their cleats within the outer boundary of the infield dirt when the pitch is delivered (all Double-A)

• A requirement that pitchers must step off the rubber to attempt a pickoff (all High-A)

• A limit of two pickoff attempts per plate appearance (all Low-A)

• A 15-second pitch clock (Low-A West only)

• An automatic ball-strike system (Low-A Southeast only)

The rules are scattered through the various levels and leagues in order to help clarify the effects of each one. MLB has previously partnered with the independent Atlantic League on some experimental rules, but the sport’s new Minor League structure allows for analysis within games that more closely align with the Major League product.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 11, 2021 at 04:49 PM | 98 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, rule changes

Thursday, March 04, 2021

The SF Giants ghosted this minor league club. Now its 23-year-old CEO is starting a new league.

The Volcanoes’ beef isn’t with O’Conner, though. Mickey Walker says they secured one conversation with the Giants, with whom they previously had a “very communicative” relationship. During that conversation, he says the Giants’ brass, including Larry Baer and Farhan Zaidi, told them the proposed minor league cuts were up to the MLB. After that, the Giants ghosted their Single-A affiliate.

“We had no idea if we were still on this list because we were told that the list was fluid and changing and not final,” Walker says. “We were sitting there with our hands tied waiting for other people to decide our fate for us.”

The ominous news was public in early 2020, so the Volcanoes planned to rally their fans for the upcoming summer if this was indeed to be their last Single-A season. That obviously didn’t happen either. Walker says he has no idea who would’ve even been on the Volcanoes roster in 2020, since the season was canned and the Giants were MIA.

The Volcanoes did get creative over the summer — they ran a couple high school baseball tournaments and turned the stadium into an Airbnb for small groups. The Airbnb helped more than they expected, and they were able to bring back and pay some of their workers again (though it goes without saying they didn’t have a profitable offseason).

On Dec. 9, 2020, Walker was eating breakfast with his family when he saw a tweet from the Giants announcing the four teams who’d been invited to “join our player development program.” The Volcanoes weren’t on the list.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 04, 2021 at 09:11 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, minor leagues

Wednesday, March 03, 2021


Tuesday, March 02, 2021

Alternate, developmental sites to return for MLB teams in 2021, as Triple-A season gets delayed by at least one month, league says

Major League Baseball teams will operate alternate sites similar to those used during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, a long-expected move that will delay the beginning of the Triple-A season by at least a month, the league confirmed Tuesday.

“This is a prudent step to complete the major league and minor league seasons as safely as possible, and we look forward to having fans back in ballparks across the country very soon,” Morgan Sword, MLB’s executive VP of baseball operations, said in a statement.

After ESPN reported the imminent delay Tuesday, the league sent out a memo confirming the move to teams. While Triple-A, the highest level of minor league baseball, was scheduled to begin April 6, games will be pushed back, sources said, to around the same time as Double-A and Class A are expected to start—the first week of May. MLB’s Opening Day is not affected by the move and remains on pace for 15 games—most at stadiums with fans—on April 1.

Some executives told ESPN they believe the alternate site could last longer into the season. The reason for rekindling sites—which serve as training facilities for players who are likeliest to be called up to the major leagues—is the proximity to teams’ home stadiums and easier oversight of testing and coronavirus protocols, according to sources. Further, Triple-A teams travel via commercial airline, whereas major league teams can go from hotel to stadium to private flights on getaway days.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 02, 2021 at 08:53 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

The more things change: Enduring affiliations

Minor League Baseball has always been defined by change, of course, as shifting affiliations, locations and names are commonplace. But even by these well-established standards of constant flux, the 2021 season is one of historic transition. Nonetheless, hallmarks of consistency can still be found. This article, an update of a similar piece from 2014, highlights the 10 longest affiliations between a Minor League team and its parent Major League club. To be included on this list, the team in question must have remained in the same city throughout the entirety of the affiliation.

These relationships are all poised to continue well into the future, as every Minor League team has entered into a 10-year professional development license with its parent club that begins in 2021.

Reading Fightin Phils (Double-A Northeast), Double-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies since 1967
Stadium: FirstEnergy Stadium, built in 1951
Three Notable Alumni: Mike Schmidt, Ryne Sandberg, Ryan Howard
Eleven of the 12 teams in the Double-A Northeast previously competed in the Double-A Eastern League; the lone new club is the Somerset Patriots (previously independent), who have replaced the Trenton Thunder (now in the MLB Draft League) as a New York Yankees affiliate. All 11 of these pre-existing clubs have retained their prior affiliate, and several of these relationships date back 25 years or more. Leading the pack are the Reading Fightin Phils, who have aligned themselves with the Philadelphia Phillies since 1967. The Phillies bought the Reading franchise in 2008, so this relationship is likely to remain intact for many years—perhaps many decades—to come.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 16, 2021 at 11:39 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues

Friday, February 12, 2021

MLB announces changes to Minor League structure featuring 120-team regional alignment

Major League Baseball has reorganized its minor leagues in a 120-team regional alignment.

MLB released a plan Friday for two Triple-A divisions, and three divisions each for Double-A, High-A and Low-A. Forty affiliates were dropped from 2019, the last season under the old minor league system, and the remaining teams were offered the 10-year licenses in December. All 120 accepted by Wednesday’s deadline

The leagues have not yet been named. Major league owners, Commissioner Rob Manfred and his staff have not decided whether to retain the traditional names of the leagues, such as the International and Pacific Coast at Triple-A, the Eastern, Southern and Texas at Double-A and the California, Florida State and South Atlantic, which had been at Class A.

For now, MLB is calling the minor league groupings Triple-A East and West, Double-A Central, Northeast and South, High-A Central, East and West, and Low-A East, Southeast and West. There are geographic subdivisions within each league.

I’m guessing they get naming rights eventually. “John Smith has been reassigned from Jackson in the Camping World League to Salt Lake City in the Bud Light Seltzer League presented by DraftKings.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 12, 2021 at 12:15 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

The youngest ballplayer ever was HOW old?

Really a remarkable story.

And then, on July 19, 1952, the impossible happened.

Joe Louis Reliford, a 12-year-old Black kid, played in a professional baseball game. The youngest to do so in organized baseball history.

The Pioneers were playing an away game in Statesboro, Ga., and getting blown out 13-0 in the eighth inning. They were also in the midst of a terrible season, 14 games under .500 and 20 games out of first place. The crowd, large and boisterous because of an Elks Club promotional night, wanted something different. Something fun.

“[The Pioneers] were so far behind, the score was terrible,” Gwendolyn says. “The fans wanted some fun and when they saw [Joe] out there, they thought, ‘Well, the batboy couldn’t be worse than the players, how could he be?’ So they kept yelling, ‘Put in the batboy!’”

With his team down so many runs, the crowd not letting up and knowing that Joe could hold his own with the pros—Ridgeway gave in: he told Joe to “grab a bat.” Even though it was against the rules to play your batboy, Ridgeway thought Joe had earned a chance.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 10, 2021 at 10:54 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues

Saturday, January 16, 2021

ValleyCats sue Major League Baseball, Houston Astros for $15M

The Tri-City ValleyCats have sued Major League Baseball and the Houston Astros for their unilateral decision to end their affiliation with the minor league organization. The suit seeks in excess of $15 million, ValleyCats chairman Doug Gladstone said Friday morning.

The team took the action after MLB decided to sever ties with the minor league team and a number of other affiliates around the U.S….

The ValleyCats filed suit Thursday night in the state Supreme Court’s commercial division for breach of fiduciary duty and tortious interference. Gladstone said the value of the franchise has been greatly reduced by losing affiliation.

The sharply worded 33-page complaint accuses Major League Baseball of using “bullying” tactics to pit minor league operations against one another for survival. It notes that the Houston team announced it was continuing its affiliations with “three teams owned by the Astros and one owned by a former U.S. Senator and current Governor, likely in efforts to quell the political discord that has occurred regarding MLB’s contraction efforts” — an apparent reference to the Asheville, N.C., Tourists, a team owned by the family of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 16, 2021 at 12:57 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues

Tuesday, January 05, 2021

BA: Start of Minor League Season At Double-A And Class A To Be Delayed [$]

Major League Baseball sent a memo to minor league teams on Monday informing them that the 2021 minor league season at Double-A and the Class A levels will be delayed.

MLB told minor league teams that spring training for Double-A and Class A players will not begin until MLB and Triple-A players have departed from spring training. The delay will allow for more social distancing during a time when the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect the world.

Even if MLB spring training begins on time, many minor leaguers would not report to spring training until late March or early April.

Because minor league players usually spend three or four weeks at spring training, the delay would push the start of those leagues to May if MLB spring training operates on its regular schedule.

Additionally, the memo told minor league teams to expect their schedules to run until as late as Oct. 3, a full month after regular season games normally end in early September. It is also expected there will be no minor league playoffs in 2021. With a delayed start, those playoff dates will be exchanged for more dates for all teams.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 05, 2021 at 06:16 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Why MLB Declared War On The Minor Leagues

Give or take some changes in nomenclature—what had been Double-A leagues got an extra A in 1946; designations B and beyond were deprecated after 1963— that’s more or less where things still stood last fall, when the first rumblings of disruption emerged from the Houston Astros’ front office, the seedbed of all things designed to gain a competitive leg up even if it means breaking the rules. Astros then-GM Jeff Luhnow’s brainstorm: What if all 30 major-league teams agreed to pare down their five or six farm teams to a nimble four apiece, no exceptions? After selling the idea to his former acolytes running the show in Milwaukee and Baltimore, Luhnow eventually convinced the whole league to vote unanimously to approve the plan.

It’s easy to envision Luhnow’s pitch to his fellow execs:

Look, guys. We’re paying salaries to more than 7,000 minor leaguers to, in effect, engage in tryouts for our big-league teams. We could save a bundle if we just paid the few players who are legit prospects—the kind who throw no-hitters in college or show quick swings as determined by sensors placed on their bats—and made everyone else fight to even get in the door. Why, we could save—Rob, you have a calculator?—let’s see, 1,200 players at about $7,500 a year, that’s $9 million! We could all chip in and buy a used yacht!

The Astros had already trimmed their own minor-league system, but doing so league-wide would reduce the risk that, say, Hal Steinbrenner would decide to undermine the whole enterprise by going full Rickey and hoarding prospects in hopes of finding players that others had missed. Plus, it was a perfect time for Luhnow to float his downsizing plan, as MLB was about to renew its Professional Baseball Agreement with the minors for the first time in a decade.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 22, 2020 at 12:17 PM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Minor League Clubs Pushing Back on MLB’s Blanket Franchise Agreement

Major League Baseball and some of its 120 chosen minor league affiliates may be heading toward confrontation over a pending new franchise agreement called a Player Development License (PDL) that each club must sign by Friday.

There’s a movement among a majority of the affiliates to refrain from signing, thus forcing negotiations with MLB, which is trying to dictate what some are calling “onerous terms in the one-sided agreement.” Sportico has not seen the agreement but has had key clauses relayed by phone.

“There’s a lot of discussion about this within the leagues,” said an MiLB source with knowledge of the situation who asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal from MLB. “It comes down as heavy-handed: ‘Here are the terms.’ Some clubs don’t want to sign this without even a discussion. That’s what some people are upset about.”

The chief point of contention is the PDL’s opening clause, a six-page release of liability called the “Confidentiality, Non-Disclosure, and Release Agreement” that must be signed before the rest of the 60 pages is even contemplated. But when that portion of the agreement is signed, it essentially locks a franchise owner into the entire vehicle.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 16, 2020 at 03:30 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues

Sunday, December 13, 2020

What’s lost when minor league baseball leaves

For 25 summers from a perch in the press box high above Dunn Field, Marty Chalk served as the public address announcer and official scorer for his hometown Elmira Pioneers. They were a short-season Class A team in the New York-Penn League — which, as of this week, we should call the defunct New York-Penn League. Wade Boggs and Curt Schilling played their first professional seasons there. Earl Weaver managed four summers there. Don Zimmer was married at home plate there. There’s baseball history there.

Elmira, N.Y., is an old manufacturing town by the Chemung River, where Dunn Field sits on its banks. What does minor league baseball mean to a town like that?

“Quite frankly, it means everything,” Chalk said. “When a team leaves, you lose some of your identity as a community, and you never get it back.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 13, 2020 at 09:53 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues

Wednesday, December 09, 2020

MLB Invites 119 Teams To Join Minor Leagues In 2021

There are 11 full season affiliated teams that did not receive invites.

Double-A: Jackson Generals (Southern), Trenton Thunder (Eastern)

High Class A: Charlotte Stone Crabs (Florida State), Florida Fire Frogs (Florida State), Frederick Keys (Carolina)

Low Class A: Burlington Bees (Midwest), Clinton LumberKings (Midwest), Hagerstown Suns (South Atlantic), Lexington Legends (South Atlantic), Kane County Cougars (Midwest), West Virginia Power (South Atlantic)

In addition the impasse over the fate of the Rockies affiliate in the California League appears to be unresolved. Major League Baseball has told Fresno that it will not be offered a Triple-A affiliation but that it is open to offering a low Class A California League club (which would be the Rockies affiliate). That issue remains unresolved, which means MLB sent out 119 invitations today, not 120. Lancaster and Fresno have not received invitations.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 09, 2020 at 12:28 PM | 60 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues

Thursday, December 03, 2020

Staten Island Yankees cease operations, sue New York Yankees, MLB

“The New York Yankees announced on November 7, 2020 that the Staten Island Yankees were no longer part of the Yankees minor league affiliation structure, even though the Yankees had made repeated assurances we would always be a minor league partner.

“Although we still have not heard this from the Yankees directly, it would appear from their press release that they would like us to go from the past arrangement in which the Staten Island Yankees were an affiliated minor league team of the New York Yankees — where we facilitated player development and brand exposure, among other benefits to the New York Yankees — to one in which we play unaffiliated baseball with no relationship to the Yankees whatsoever.

This would force Staten Island to field a subpar team with players that have no connection to the Yankees farm system. Additionally, this would require additional expenses including payroll for players, coaches and staff. Unfortunately, that additional expense and the loss of the connection to the Yankees in our shared city makes it impossible for the Staten Island Yankees to pursue this business model.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 03, 2020 at 05:12 PM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, yankees

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

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