Why hello there. This article will look at the position battles in each division. Today’s topic, for the rare reader that ignores the title, is the NL East. By the way, I’m all in on non-Marlins pitchers in the NL East. Do any of those lineups look devastating? Not really. And you’ll probably get a win each time they face the Marlins. Anyway, here’s some of the position battles to keep an eye on in the NL East:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2012 (27) | 2011 (11) | 2010 (18) | 2009 (12) | 2008 (22)
2012 Affiliate Records
MLB: [81-81] NL East
AAA: [75-68] International League — Lehigh Valley
AA: [76-66] Eastern League — Reading
A+: [72-60] Florida State League — Clearwater
A: [62-76] South Atlantic League — Lakewood
A(ss): [30-46] New York-Penn League — Williamsport
Arizona Fall League Players — Peoria Javelinas
Jay Johnson (LHP); Tyler Knigge (RHP); Colby Shreve (RHP); Kyle Simon (RHP); Tommy Joseph (C); Cody Asche (3B); Zach Collier (OF)
Graduated Prospects of Note
Freddy Galvis (SS)
The Run Down
With an aging roster at the Major League level, the Phillies are a club that could really use some youthful talent. Trades during the season opened up room for Domonic Brown in the outfield and added a bit of depth to their system, but their infield is ancient and rarely healthy, and their staff, while quite good, is also on the older side. It’s definitely reasonable to expect that key Phillies will land on the DL in 2012, and it’s unfortunate, then, that their farm isn’t quite awesome. They have some nice pieces and a little more depth than last year, but overall, this is a bottom-half system and it’s lacking in the high-impact department.
Yesterday, James Shields yields 15 Ks, 1 run, but a win ain’t won. Murray Chass just bid a penny on the world’s smallest violin on eBay so he can play it just for Shields. Murray had this to say, “When men were gristled, and ladies were more gristled, we had a name for yellow-bellies like James Shields.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Anibal Sanchez threw a complete game shutout with four baserunners and 10 Ks. I told you to draft him! (Then drop him.) Shut up, Parenthetical, you know-it-all. (That’s kinda harsh.) This is exactly what I expected from Anibal (in the NL).Please, blog, may I have some more?
Okay, it’s more of a blog post than an awards show, but it’s still really effing prestigious. Well, maybe it’s not prestigious either, but no one watches sports award shows anyway, and I think we can all agree that the ESPY’s would be much better if it were simply a short-form blog post. I’ll be digging into team-by-team 2013 previews in the coming weeks, so what we have for you here is one last look around the 2012 Minor League Baseball action. Enjoy.Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Phils promoted power-hitting prospect, Darin Ruf, who hit a minor league-leading 38 homers (with 20 of them coming in August). That was at Double-A and he’s 26 years old. In scout speak, that’s not good. Scouts speak in short sentences so they don’t miss the Early Bird Specials.Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s been 29 years since we’ve had simultaneous 100-steal season in Minor League Baseball, but the wait is over, people. Billy Hamilton swiped his 100th bag, like, back in May or something, and he finished up with 155 on the year. He was joined in triple-digit land earlier this week by Delino DeShields, who ended 2012 with 101 stolen bases. It was an outstanding year for the Astros’ 2010 first-rounder, one that would’ve drawn far more praise had it not been overshadowed by Hamilton’s record-breaking season. The kicker here, though, was Delino’s pop — the 20-year-old hit 12 homers between Low-A and High-A, becoming the first MiLB player in history to collect 10+ homers while stealing 100+ bases. The future is bright for this one.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Back in May, while previewing some draft prospects, I mentioned that Marcus Stroman was well suited to climb the ladder quickly. And then just three weeks ago in my Week 18 MiLB report, I reiterated that sentiment, this time suggesting that Stroman might even be in line for a September call-up. Well, a lot can change in just a few weeks, especially when, during those few weeks, you test positive for something called Methylhexaneamine. That’s what Stroman did. And in case you hadn’t deduced it already, Methylhexaneamine is banned substance in baseball. Hence: Stroman was slapped with a 50 game suspension. The Jays’ first-rounder won’t see a pro ball field ’til late next May, and that’s truly bad news for a guy who should’ve been competing for a spot on the big club in spring training. With big time heat to go with a plus slider, Stroman has immediate high-leverage reliever potential. He certainly could’ve entered 2013 with hype similar to that with which Addison Reed entered 2012. Not anymore.Please, blog, may I have some more?
I don’t often interest myself with indie league baseball, but with this whole 50-year-old Roger Clemens comeback ordeal, I just had to watch. And from what I witnessed, Clemens was good. He allowed just one baserunner (a hit) over 3.1 IP, striking out two, showing good command of a fastball in the mid-upper-80s. After watching the outing, there’s no reason to believe that Clemens couldn’t be as effective as Jaime Moyer was when he pitched with the Rockies this year. A sideshow type return to the bigs seems plausible here — scouts from the Astros and the Royals were reportedly in attendance. Of course, my cynical mind wonders how, after five years away from the game, a 50-year-old man can compete at a major league level. I can’t help but think The Rocket’s return is PED-fueled — and it’s not like there’s no precedent with this guy. Clemens has an enormous ego. That’s no secret. The past five years have been brutal on his legacy, and a “legitimate” return to the majors could go a long way in repairing his image. I’m not familiar with the PED testing policy employed by the independent Atlantic League, or if there is one at all. And obviously this is purely speculative thinking. But, c’mon. Doesn’t it seem a little fishy?Please, blog, may I have some more?