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Hello again fans and foes, and welcome to the second installment of Panning For Gold – Finding The Prospect Hidden Gems. Here’s where we try to shine the spotlight on some of those young up-and-comers who may not have generated quite the buzz the players mentioned in Baseball America or MLB’s Top 100 lists YET, but someone I’m keeping an eye on as someone that may be about to turn into one of those guys often mentioned as “having helium”. Think of these guys as players you may not necessarily have at the top of your lists in shallow keeper leagues, but names you’ll definitely want to keep an eye on as you begin to participate in deeper leagues – the types of player you can wind up scooping your mates with in your quest to become another fantasy baseball “guru”…respected and adored whenever draft time rolls around (not to mention mumbled about under your opponents’ breath) for years to come.

This week we’re going to take a look at a prospect that’s already making a bit of a name for himself at the MLB level, even before most of his biggest supporters would’ve expected him to – San Diego Padres’ RHSP Jesse Hahn. Jesse has had a very impressive start to his MLB career (now 3-1, 2.38 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, .190 BAA, 27/8 K/BB Ratio in 22.2 IP covering 4 starts following his impressive win over Tim Hudson and the division-leading Giants last night), becoming the first Pitcher in Padres’ history (and only the 41st in MLB since 1914) to go at least six innings without allowing an earned run in two of his first three career starts. Undrafted out of Fitch Senior High School in Groton, Connecticut, he’s come a long way already – and I expect him to keep climbing.

 

Seattle Mariners v San Diego Padres

 

Hahn was originally drafted by Tampa Bay in the 6th Round of the 2010 draft out of Virginia Tech, and was traded along with Alex Torres for a package that included Logan Forsythe and Brad Boxberger, in what is one of the scant few deals that Andrew Friedman likely regrets. While at VT, Jesse was used primarily as a reliever until his Junior season, when he posted a 5-4 record in 13 starts covering 73 IP with a 3.70 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, .257 BAA, and a 76/20 K/BB Ratio.  After signing with Tampa he missed the 2011 season following Tommy John surgery (the main reason he slipped from First Round consideration), returning to compile  (including 11 appearances – 8 starts – with the Padres’ AA San Antonio affiliate this season) a 2.32 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 155/47 K/BB Ratio (3.3 K/BB) over 159.1 IP.

Hahn works off of a 92-94 MPH fastball that can touch 97 with late life, mixing in a heavy low 90’s two-seamer with an overhand curveball and a change that flashes plus at times – the ideal arsenal for success in cavernous Petco Park. He has the upside of a #2 starter even though he never appeared on BA’s Rays’ Top 10 list at any point. We’ll insert a hat-tip to John Sickels and Yossi Feins at DRays Bay here for mentioning Jesse as a Sleeper/Breakout candidate prior to last season after he posted a 2.77 ERA with a 55/15 K/BB Ratio for Hudson Valley in the New York-Penn League in 2012. Hahn topped out on Sickels 2013 list of Rays’ prospects at #18, and did crack his 2014 Padres’ list at #9.

(Note From Denny Crane: If you wind up in a league with me sometime and are looking for Hahn, don’t bother – I scooped him up in most leagues I’m in when he was drafted!!!)

 

Remember, you can always hit me up on Twitter @clvclv, as well as in the comments section here.

 

From Around The Web

  1. CL says:
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    Am I being too cocky rolling out Marco Gonzalez tonight? I am, aren’t I?

    You like Beckett at home vs. STL tomorrow, or should I just drop him for Hahn? I’ve got two slots streaming right now anyway…

    It’s a Dynasty league by the way.

    • Chris

      Chris says:
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      @CL:

      Like in most dynasty/keeper leagues, I think those answers are tied pretty closely to your place in the current standings. If you’re in contention, it’s awfully tough to cut bait on Beckett at this point – he’s pitching as well as he ever has WITHOUT the big fastball, and appears to have finally “learned to pitch” rather than throw. I’m high on Hahn, but not sure he’s a good bet to outperform Beckett over the second half of this season if you’re sniffing around the top of your league. If you’re far enough back that it’s time to consider looking towards next season, I wouldn’t hesitate to see what kind of offers I might get for Josh and start looking to stash guys like Jesse though.

      I like Gonzalez as much as most do, but do wonder if he’s not being pushed just a little too quickly. It’s obvious the Cardinals’ brass rarely misses when making these calls, but I still cringe when ANYBODY goes to Denver (much less being subjected to that yard combined with the complications that come with handling your nerves during your first start). His K/BB Ratio (4.33/1) does show what you’re looking for if you’re going to start someone pitching in that thin air though – the only way he should get seriously lit up is if he starts tipping pitches or tries to be “too fine” since he’s not likely to put guys on on his own.

      • CL says:
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        @Chris: Oh, I’m certain I’m out of contention.

        It’s a 10 team dynasty (Year 7), so Beckett has mostly been waiver fodder until I grabbed him recently. I’ve got:

        Shields
        Cobb
        Arietta
        Stroman
        Beckett (streamer?)
        Burnett (streamer)

        G.Cole (DL)
        Pineda (DL)
        Paxton (DL)
        Montero (NA)

        I’d prefer 6 SPs, but injuries have killed me.

        My relievers are (saves & holds):

        Janssen
        Betances
        Broxton
        Joe Smith
        Qualls
        Bastardo may get dropped when I trade Starling Marte away for Lindor / Wacha.

        So, a guy like Beckett, and actual a number of my streamers as of late have helped. I guess I could hold on Hahn…?

        • Chris

          Chris says:
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          @CL:

          I’m not personally as high on Rafael Montero as some guys are – I think his upside is as a #3 at best if everything falls right. When you consider the “Petco Factor”, I might poke around to see if you could find a Mets fan to spin him to and pick up Hahn in his spot.

          • CL says:
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            @Chris: I’m on the fence with montero too. I almost feel forced holding him. We’re all using a lot of bench slots for farm guys along with NA slots.

            I’ve got a Met homer in my league….!

            -signed,
            Phils Homer

            • Chris

              Chris says:
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              @CL:

              In that case, I’d definitely be willing to swap Montero out for a a higher draft pick next season or extra keeper slot if Hahn doesn’t exceed your keeper minimums.

              • james says:
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                @Chris:

                Montero looks like one of those #3 guys with a good amount of fantasy luster in h2h where you can take a guy with mediocre k/9 rates and still be good.

                • Chris

                  Chris says:
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                  @james:

                  I wouldn’t necessarily disagree with you on Montero, but given CL’s current long-term depth in front of Rafael – Shields, Cobb, Cole, Arrieta, Stroman, Paxton, and Pineda if you believe he’s ever going to be healthy – I’d prefer to pick up a higher draft pick since I think you’d get at least similar production from Hahn.

  2. Peter Nincompoop says:
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    Good stuff. The back end of my starting pitching staff is comprised of Garza, Stroman, Gausman Eovaldi and Ross. Jesse Hahn worthy of taking any/all of their spots?

    • Chris

      Chris says:
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      @Peter Nincompoop:

      Any reason you can’t alternate rotating between Ross and Hahn in your last rotation slot? I’m definitely a believer in getting as many starts from Pitchers in Petco as is humanly possible.

  3. L'ville Jim says:
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    Somehow Hahn was still out there in my 13 team dynasty all keeper no cash values league. Scooped him up for the start vs SF, hoping he can continue to pitch well.

  4. Mike says:
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    Melky or Puig ROS??

    • Chris

      Chris says:
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      @Mike:

      Jason Heyward, of course.

      • Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
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        @Chris: are you serious here. puig.

  5. Jay

    Jay says:
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    Denny Crane.

    • Chris

      Chris says:
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      @Jay:

      My Hero!!!

    • james says:
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      @Jay:
      Denny Crane…. Just like the sound of it… Denny Crane.

      Sadly, he is part of the reason I am in Law School….

      • Jay

        Jay says:
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        @james: I think you mean proudly.

        • Chris

          Chris says:
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          @Jay:

          No doubt!!! Crane for President!!!

  6. Good stuff Chris; thanks. Do you prefer Hahn over Stroman?

    • Chris

      Chris says:
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      @zombie:

      Stroman is someone who’ll make a great case study – my best comp for Stroman is the guy that Jesse just beat…Hudson.

      Undersized guys that just “know how to win” without top of the rotation stuff tend to be those guys that not only make or break your fantasy team – they typically tend to be guys that the experts tend to discount or let fall further down their lists simply because of their frame and/or K/IP Ratio.

      Tim Hudson spent the last three years of his Braves tenure outpitching the likes of Stephen Strasburg, Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, Gio Gonzalez, etc. even though his stuff wasn’t considered “Ace” level like those guys were.

      I only “prefer” Hahn over Stroman because where they each pitch – Petco vs. Rogers Centre makes the two of them a draw for me. Stroman will be the sexier name, and will likely bring you more in return if you trade him, but I personally don’t think I’d pony up more value for him if you had both guys.

      • @Chris: much appreciated Chris!!!

      • james says:
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        @Chris:

        i am not the same beleiver in Hahn… Personally, i would rather have the guy i would be playing 75-100% of their starts at some point. How many Padres are you piching away…. So Stroman would win it for me, even if they would likely arrive at similar stats at the end of the year.

        BTW, in dynaties, i am the guy who builds super teams by being really good with prospects… and then having a team of all guys ranked by yahoo in the top 100, still manages to spend the year in 4th place. So do not listen to me. (this is pretty close but not entirely true… only had 17 guys in the top 100 in my 14 team league this year, but 6 were considered to be first rounders… to bad they were the wrong first rounders… Prince, Harper, Hanley, Kershaw, Braun, and Cutch)

        • Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
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          @james: stroman doesn’t really compare to hudson in the respect you say, since his stuff IS in fact top notch. that’s why he was a really high ranked prospect.
          Chris: why are kershaw/braun/mccutch “wrong” 1st rounders?

  7. G says:
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    Whats your thoughts on trading my ozuna and eovaldo for Hahn and Belt?? non-keeper league

    • Chris

      Chris says:
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      @G:

      Tough to answer without knowing more about your lineup construction, but if I were grading simply on pure upside, I’d be willing to make that deal – Brandon Belt’s on the verge of becoming the only guy NOT named Barry Bonds that can actually be counted on to hit 30+ bombs in that yard on a regular basis.

      Considering the fact that you’re in a non-keeper league, Belt’s the best player involved, and for my money Hahn is actually the second best.

  8. Mike says:
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    Just traded Uehara and Beckett for Charlie Blackmon..
    I replaced Beckett with Alex wood
    U agree?

    • Chris

      Chris says:
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      @Mike:

      I love Wood long term, but I’m a Braves’ homer at heart. I probably wouldn’t have given up Uehara in a deal for Blackmon, but wouldn’t have thought twice if I could’ve gotten an offensive upgrade for Beckett when I could replace him with Wood. Tough to stomach both Uehara AND Beckett without getting an “elite” OF in return – I’m not sold on ANY Rockies’ hitter as “elite” (including Tulo)…their splits tell the story whether pointing it out to them upsets them or not.

      • Good Will Hunting 2: Hunting Season says:
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        @Chris: while i completely agree blackmon wasn’t worth those guys, you may want to think about using elite to refer to Tulo, or at least not confuse your definition of “elite” with being any type of synonymous with the idea of being one of the better hitters in baseball.

        • Chris

          Chris says:
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          @Good Will Hunting 2: Hunting Season:

          I stand by not calling any Rockies’ hitter “elite” when you take their home vs. road splits into account. While you’re right in considering Tulo as otherworldly in the thin air (.447/.529/.780/1.309 this season, .324/.398/.564/.962 career) his road numbers (.252/.355/..465/.820 so far in 2014, .274/.348/.471/.819 career) don’t exactly dispel the notion that playing 81 games every year in Denver is a HUGE boost when you consider his BABIP numbers are typically almost .60 points higher at home (.340 at home vs. .298 everywhere else) and .199 higher this season.

          Don’t get me wrong, I’ll take him when I can get him – I just don’t look to draft him as early as many others do.

          • Good Will Hunting 2: Hunting Season says:
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            @Chris: i’ll never draft him at the prices he goes at, never have either (never owned him anywhere). Problem for your case is that he DOES get to play half his games at Coors, so until he gets traded he’ll be elite. A guy who always (over many years) produces top 30 stats in fantasy should be called elite, or maybe stop using the word elite to mean best fantasy hitters (of course maybe you meant for elite to mean something else)

            • Good Will Hunting 2: Hunting Season says:
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              @Good Will Hunting 2: Hunting Season: i’m not saying Coors isn’t to blame here. it’s like if i kept having gorgeous children because i just happened to only impregnate the most beautiful women in the world, they’re still my children (and likely pretty good looking children); and unless and until i start impregnating normal looking women my kids will keep being attractive.

  9. Andre says:
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    Great work Chris…..Question for you regarding a potential trade:

    I’m in a 10 team, Head to Head, 6×6 Keeper league….with 5 keepers per franchise and limited to 50 moves for the season. The counting stats are…. Hits, HR, Avg., Stolen bases, RBI, and Runs……Wins, Saves, K, ERA, WHIP, and QS. I am currently in 1st place and after a flurry of trades my franchise as currently constructed is:

    C- Posey (K)
    1b- M. Adams
    2b.-Rendon
    3b- Bogaerts
    SS- D. Gordon
    Inf- Morse
    OF- A. Gordon; McCutchen (K); Stanton (K)
    Utl-K. Davis; C. Granderson

    Bench-Hosmer

    Sp- Darvish (K), Bailey, Roark, A. Wood, Cashner, Keuchel, Hammel, Weaver, Alvarez
    Rp- Soria, Robertson, Soriano

    DL- Arenado; J. Fernandez (K)

    I’m currently sitting at 20 moves used. I have the ability to get Cliff Lee from another franchise for Adams and Fernandez. I’m hesitant to do the deal because of how well Adams has been so far. Currently on the waiver wire are guys such as Kyle Seager, CJ Cron, Garrett Jones, Marlon Byrd, and Derrick Norris that could be used to replace Adams. Should I make this deal and pick up one of the guys from the wire or stand pat with what I have?

    • Chris

      Chris says:
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      @Andre:

      Pretty tough question – for me, it would likely come down to the long-term league structure. Gordon, Rendon, and Bogaerts have (and deservedly so) huge current value given their positional flexibility. The question of value for each would likely be entirely based on your league rules – Gordon WILL NOT maintain SS eligibility in most leagues – he’s yet to see time there. If I’m calling the shots in Tinseltown, Hanley’s a 3B for life if he wants to remain a Dodger, and I’m leaving Gordon where he is and moving Alexander Guerrero back to SS as quickly as possible – those three in a lineup with Puig, Kemp, and Adrian Gonzalez would be absolutely scary. That said, all three are likely to lose their multi-positional eligibility following the 2014 or 2015 season – you should still be able to use Rendon as a 2B in 2015, but Gordon’s likely going to lose his SS eligibility in most leagues.

      I completely understand being a bit edgy when it comes to Jose Fernandez, but I made the mistake of making him available in a league where I had King Felix, Johnny Cueto, Trout, Puig, and Bryce Harper that I kept. If you make the same mistake, you’re likely going to regret it.

      I might make the deal if I felt I could win the league, but you’re already sitting on McCutchen, Stanton, Darvish, Gordon, and Posey as 2015 keepers. Do you really want to gamble on Lee returning to health more than Fernandez at this point?

      It’s always tough to stomach, but discretion really is sometimes the better part of valor.

      • Andre says:
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        @Chris:

        That is true…and I do believe there are times you can trade yourself OUT of first place/contention. That being said, I am fully invested in winning this year. I took over a team 3yrs ago that had aging vets and some “upside” guys (Im looking at you Eric Hosmer) that seemed to have topped out. I sold off everything but the walls, acquired Cutch, Braun, and Price ….stood with them…and flipped Braun and Price for Darvish, Stanton, Bogaerts, Wood, and Cashner.

        My gut says to stand pat, given that prior to the flexor strain Lee wasn’t exactly the Lee of old, and if my math is correct….should he return around the All-Star Break or directly after and he stayed healthy and pitched every 5th day….I’d only get about 19 starts from him, as opposed to exponentially more from Adams. Say that I can pry a 1st or 2nd round draft pick from my trade partner, to me the most logical pick-up would be Cron to replace Adams, given that Ibanez is no longer taking away at bats. Where do you see each ROS? Of the names listed, assuming that the deal stands as Adams/Fernandez for Lee and draft pick…..which player would you scoop up given that I do have some roster flexibility with my position players?

        P.S. Completely agree with your analysis on Hanley…and Im sure the Dodgers (even with the fact they seem to print money) aren’t paying Guerrero 60 plus million to sit in AAA, Plus Han-Ram is absolutely terrible defensively. Having a guy in Gordon as your everyday 2b wouldn’t be too bad in fantasy if he keeps this hitting up. A guy who hits .280 with 50+ steals at the keystone is a game changer.

        • Chris

          Chris says:
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          @Andre:

          I can see Cron and Adams as ultimately being pretty comparable – both may wind up leaving you a little short of the power most owners look for in a 1B – but Stanton will always help with that, Rendon’s on pace to become a 30 HR/year guy in only his second season (and likely gets stronger once he’s left alone as the everyday 3B), and Bogaerts’ power will come. In leagues that use AVG rather than OBP, either player will help there.

          I just hesitate to give up Fernandez for Lee and a draft pick My thoughts on Lee are pretty much in line with what yours are – I don’t think he was the same Cliff Lee most thought they were getting when drafting him high (or holding onto him from last season) before his injury, and I don’t expect him to be much better if he manages to stay healthy the rest of the way.

          If you really think that one more top of the rotation arm will get you over the top this year and are willing to swap Fernandez and Adams for ??? and a draft pick to get it, I’d float them both as “available” to everyone and see if you couldn’t pry away a healthier alternative.

  10. Mike says:
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    Please rank Gausman,T walker,Arrieta,Cobb,H Alvarez ROS??
    Thx

    • Chris

      Chris says:
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      @Mike:

      For me if all are healthy, it’s…

      1.) Walker
      2.) Gausman
      3.) Cobb
      4.) Arrieta
      5.) Alvarez

      I personally think Cobb rushed back and his injury is still bothering him – he’s consistently shown he’s much better than he’s pitched since he came back.

  11. DancinHomer says:
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    Great stuff; thanks!

    In a redraft league, so looking for ROS. How would you rank the following:

    Hahn
    Bauer
    Heaney

    Thanks in advance

    • Chris

      Chris says:
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      @DancinHomer:

      1.) Heaney
      2.) Bauer
      3.) Hahn

      But I’m torn on the last two. Count me as being in the camp that just doesn’t think Bauer’s ever going to quite “get it”. I’m afraid he’ll ultimately wind up being one of those guys that teases you with his stuff only to wind up disappointing you when you rely on him, much like Ian Kennedy always does me.

  12. Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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    12 team dynasty with slug/obp BB/k’s for hitters as cats. 5 NA slots. i have
    meyer (SP)/mondesi/alcantara/soler/micah johnson. clearly meyer/mondesi (with only reyes at SS)/soler are keepers here. but micah johnson seems to be a sagnof guy. drop any of johnson/alcantara (also have pedroia/odor, so 2B doesn’t seem to be a need) for
    g.sanchez (C)/frazier/n.williams/d.j.peterson/meadows/wisler/owens/moran/crick/fried. or any others worth more that you can think of. Lamb maybe.(i’m going off preseason lists here since Scott never got to his midseason top 50 or 100). 2.are you going to have any of
    1. midseason top 50 or 100?
    2. end of season team by team top 10 like Scott used to have?
    thanks.

    • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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      @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow: BA has crick ranked higher than meyer also, so maybe i’d rather have Crick.

    • Chris

      Chris says:
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      @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow:

      Forgive me for the answers coming out of order, but I’ll answer the easy ones first…

      1.) Yes, there will be a Midseason Top 50 Prospect List – look for it in place of my “Sunday Six-Pack” on Sunday, July 13th. Hopefully everyone will be able to look it over and discuss it while enjoying the Futures Game.

      2.) There will be a late season year-end list as well, although I’m not sure it will necessarily be a Top 10 List for every team or possibly an overall Top 200 Prospect List – I’d like to hear as many opinions as possible by the first part of August to try to mold the season-ending list to reflect what the majority would prefer to see.

      3.) I’m not particularly personally higher on one of the Sanchez/Frazier/Williams/Peterson/Meadows/Wisler/Owens/Moran (even though I’m a Tar Heel homer)/Crick/Fried crowd in particular – I’d prefer Peterson over Moran since I’m with the many that question whether Brian will ever develop much power.

      I do think Sanchez and Owens tend to receive a little more buzz than they deserve at times (simply because of the Yankee/Sox hype machines), but do like Blake Swihart a bit if you’re looking for a Catcher that could be ready late next season – he reminds me a bit of Boston’s last offensive-minded switch-hitting GOOD Catcher, former GT alum Jason Varitek (sorry A. J. fans).

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