A year ago, Nolan Arenado was entering the 2012 season with loads of hype. Minor League production expectations were enormous, and most folks around baseball were already penciling the young 3B into the Rockies’ mid-season lineup. But a slow start at Double-A and a concerning lack of over-the-wall power quickly put an end to those 2012 Arenado arrival fantasies. The 21-year-old watched his prospect stock slip this off-season, dropping out of the top 50 on prospect lists from almost every publication. Fast forward to 2013: Arenado put together a terrific spring in big league camp, blasting four homers and posting a .852 OPS in 52 PA. And after reassignment to Triple-A Colorado Springs, he hasn’t slowed down whatsoever, going 7/14 through his first two games, including two long balls. Chris Nelson is not a long-term option for the Rockies at third, and Arenado finally appears to be ready to step into Coors field and entrench himself at the hot corner. He’ll be fantasy-relevant once he’s up, and I imagine that’ll be no later than mid-June.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2012 (17) | 2011 (26) | 2010 (30) | 2009 (30) | 2008 (29)
2012 Affiliate Records
MLB: [55-107] NL Central (AL West beginning 2013)
AAA: [78-65] Pacific Coast League – Oklahoma City
AA: [81-59] Texas League — Corpus Christi
A+: [74-66] California League – Lancaster
A: [69-69] South Atlantic League – Lexington (Quad Cities of MWL beginning 2013)
A(ss): [15-25] New York-Penn League — Tri-City
Arizona Fall League Players — Mesa Solar Sox
Jarred Cosart (RHP); Chia-Jen Lo (RHP); Alex Sogard (LHP); Nick Tropeano (RHP); Jiovanni Mier (3B); Jonathan Singleton (1B); George Springer (OF)
Marwin Gonzalez (SS); Matt Dominguez (3B); Lucas Harrell (RHP); Dallas Keuchel (LHP); Rhiner Cruz (RHP); Fernando Abad (LHP)
The Run Down
Jeff Luhnow is so flippin’ awesome. I cannot stress this enough. In little more than a year at the helm of the Astros, he’s turned the organization into one of the most fascinating franchises in the sport. Obviously, they’re not among the better ball clubs — not at the MLB level, at least — but by surrounding himself with baseball bloggers and NASA engineers, Luhnow has created an environment that celebrates new ideas and is well ahead of the curve in terms of analytics. Houston had a few nice prospects in place when he arrived, but the system as a whole was shallow and weak. Luhnow spent his first year cutting big league payroll, adding depth to the farm via trade, and spending big in the draft. I imagine more of the same is in store for 2013, so expect another sub-60 win season as Houston joins the AL West. It might be a few years before they’re competitive again, the Astros are transforming much more quickly than I thought was possible. They’re building cost-controlled depth, and waves of promising prospects are set to arrive in Houston beginning this year. So even if Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio aren’t voted into the HOF this afternoon, Astros fans can sleep soundly. The future is bright, indeed, for Houston.
In the wake of his promotion to Double-A, I figured now would be a good time to discuss this Xander Bogaerts guy who has Red Sox fans all hot and bothered. Middlebrooks is down, call up BOGAAAHHTS! To be clear: I don’t think that’ll come to pass this year, but Red Sox fans have good reason to be excited about this particular prospect. Bogaerts has huge power potential. That much was clear after he slugged 16 homers in just 296 PA a year ago in the South Atlantic League. In 2012, however, he’s worked hard to squash the one-dimensional projections, batting .302 and getting on base at a .378 clip through 100+ games at High-A. Those figures are up considerably from last year’s, meanwhile, his SLG (.505) hasn’t dipped. The more balanced production from Bogaerts surely contributed to Boston’s aggressive promotion of the 20-year-old. He’s now on track to reach Fenway at some point next year, although they’ll likely need to find a new position for him, as scouts don’t see his defensive tools cutting it in the bigs at shortstop.Please, blog, may I have some more?
In 1992, the last time the Astros had a number one draft pick they skipped over Derek Jeter and drafted Phil Nevin. As they say, the rest is history. Or as an Astro fan says, “The rest never happened because I became a Texas Rangers fan. Go Hamilton!” This year the Astros weren’t letting it happen again. With their number one pick, they selected 17-year-old shortstop, Carlos Correa. To put this in fantasy perspective, the Astros took Ramon Castro 17th overall in 1994.Please, blog, may I have some more?