Bear with me for a moment while I venture outside stateside baseball for a look at a marvelous moment in Korean pro ball. The always great Ben Badler of Baseball America brought this clip to my attention this past Wednesday, and you really gotta give this one a look. Outfielder Jun-Woo Jeon is the batter. His team is down two runs with a runner on first and one out in the bottom of the ninth. He recognizes the fat breaker, turns on it, and lifts it to left field. He thinks it’s gone and the game tied, so he flips his bat triumphantly and does one of those cool jogging finger points toward his dugout. It’s not gone. No, the ball dies at the track, and not long after, the opposition dies of laughter. This is why you never bat flip. #Scouting.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?
George Springer | OF, Astros | Born: 9/19/1989
Drafted 11th overall a year ago out of UConn, George Springer wasn’t the typical, well-polished collegiate product we’re used to seeing go in the first couple rounds. No, Springer’s skill set more closely resembled that of a high-ceiling high school prospect — strong, athletic, toolsy, but still raw. Houston’s previous baseball ops regime drafted him with the understanding that his development would require more patience than most guys his age. It was one of a handful of moves from the lame duck front office that current GM, Jeff Luhnow, would be thankful for. Maybe this all suggests that Ed Wade and his crew made their best moves after they’d stopped caring. Or maybe they’d finally figured out what they were doing, but too late to keep their jobs. Either way, Luhnow was gifted with a head start on his rebuilding process. And George Springer is hugely important to that process, indeed.Please, blog, may I have some more?
The draft was being hyped as the deepest in years, and was littered with lots of starting pitching prospects. It also makes anyone who has been around fantasy baseball awhile feel old. With the offspring of Dante Bichette, Dwight Smith and Bobby Bonilla being some of the names eligible to be drafted.Please, blog, may I have some more?