Brace yourselves for another revision of the prospect power rankings, this time with more turnover! There’s been plenty of movement in the past few weeks, both upward and downward, making room for five fresh faces in the top ten/next five. Nolan Arenado and Dan Straily, both top ten guys last time through, have surfaced in the bigs, while three guys fall from the ranks. Danny Hultzen drops out thanks to a shoulder injury, which has been deemed mild, but it’s concerning nonetheless. Nick Castellanos and Mike Zunino also slip out of the rankings, as both prospects are slumping severely at the dish. We also have a new #1, which is quite exciting — do try to contain your enthusiasm. Let’s get started.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Almost exactly a year after Aroldis Chapman was pulled over and arrested for driving well over 90 MPH in Ohio, Yasiel Puig, Champan’s Cuban countryman, was arrested for essentially the same thing. Puig was pulled over early last week for reckless driving after being clocked at 97 MPH in 50 MPH zone. The incident came at the tail end of a short stint on the DL, and the 22-year-old’s promising start to 2013 appeared to be unraveling thanks to injury and matters off the field. But Puig was unfazed by the arrest, cracking a homer the very next day, and another a few days later. His line on the year is .311/.364/.639 with 9 XBH (5 HR) in 66 PA. Promotion to Triple-A Albuquerque should take place before long, and arrival in LA shortly after.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Here’s Chris Davis‘s ceiling. And here’s where he’s playing right now: take your jigsaw, saw out a hole in your ceiling, put a ladder through the hole, climb to the roof, grab onto the tree branch to your right, monkey-climb up to the top and wait twenty seconds. Okay, now grab onto that passing stork and sit in his mouth for five minutes. Go ahead, you can check your phone while you’re in there, it won’t bother Storkie. Now if Storkie has closed his mouth, open it. Otherwise, just look up… See that basket with Bill James waving down? In that basket, just offscreen is Chris Davis. That’s how far he’s playing above his head. Right now, everything he’s hitting is falling in or going out of the park. A .330-average, 50+ homers is obviously not a sustainable pace, but to give you an idea of how bad it could get — he hit around .216 in 167 ABs in June and July of last year. If his strikeout rate goes up to his norm, that’s not far from where it could sit for a few months. Don’t sell him for a pot of pasta sauce from your neighbor, Buddy Biancalana, but I’d explore offers. For our four lady readers, Chris(ten) Davis is a Sell in the City. To reach a better advertising demo, UC Davis, U sell Davis.Please, blog, may I have some more?
First off, Rudy is safe. We have him in a padded room with only marshmallows to eat. He’s a bit overcome by the absence of color, but it will be a good distraction while Bryce Harper is touch and go. Before we put Rudy where he wouldn’t hurt himself, Rudy said to me, “If Bryce Harper is hurt, will they cancel the rest of the season?” That’s a frown question, bro. Lie down, Rudy. It’ll be okay. Actually, could you lie down with your head hanging off the couch? You’re gonna leave a Soul Glo stain. I’m sure Rudy isn’t the only one feeling a bit woozy hearing Harper hurt himself last night. The entire eye black industry hangs in the balance. He left yesterday’s game with an apparent injury and that turned into an apparent diagnosis of an apparent bad bruise in his apparent side. Thanks for the apparency. This sounds like a day-to-day thing rather than a 15-day DL thing. So the worst thing that may come of this is for the next few days you won’t get as drunk if you take a tequila shot every time someone on Baseball Tonight mentions Harper. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Jorge Soler was off to a great start at High-A Daytona, batting .435/.519/.739 with 2 homers through his first six games. The was promising news for the Cubs, who inked him to a nine-year, $30 million contract last summer. The 21-year-old Cuban is not a cost-controlled prospect — there’s an opt-out clause that would make him eligible for arbitration after three years service time, but both sides would be thrilled if it came to that. In any case, there’s incentive for the Cubs to develop him quickly in order to make sure the bulk of those nine years are spent at the highest level. Chicago was smart to make such a long-term investment in Soler — it gives them a little developmental cushion — but they’re still trying to avoid unnecessary setbacks. Things were going well in that department up until Wednesday, when Soler decided to brandish a baseball bat as he sprinted toward the opponent’s dugout following a benches-clearing incident. The league suspended him five games, which isn’t a huge setback, but the Cubs are reportedly investigating the matter further and could tack on more time. I doubt it’ll come to that, but the ordeal still raises some major character concerns. Let’s hope this was an isolated incident and that the new regime in Chicago doesn’t enable such behavior as the old group did with headcases like Carlos Zambrano.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2012 (20) | 2011 (21) | 2010 (8) | 2009 (9) | 2008 (14)
2012 Affiliate Records
MLB: [93-69] AL East
AAA: [74-70] International League – Norfolk
AA: [78-64] Eastern League – Bowie
A+: [62-77] Carolina League – Frederick
A: [52-86] South Atlantic League – Delmarva
A(ss): [18-48] New York-Penn League — Aberdeen
Arizona Fall League Players — Mesa Solar Sox
Mike Belfiore (LHP); Chris Petrini (LHP); Clay Schrader (RHP); Mike Wright (RHP); Brian Ward (C); Jonathan Schoop (INF); L.J. Hoes (OF)
Manny Machado (SS/3B); Ryan Flaherty (Util); Wei-Yin Chen (LHP)
The Run Down
The Orioles earned a spot in the postseason last year, establishing themselves as one of baseball’s most surprising teams. Given the recent upgrades to their competition in the AL East, however, as well as the perennial awesomeness of certain teams in that division, it seems unlikely that they will be playing ball in Baltimore next October. In fact, oddsmakers have the O’s at 10/1 odds to win the East — lowest in the division. Seems like an unfair outlook for a team that won 93 games a year ago, but I can’t argue against it — the Orioles outperformed every win/loss model there was, and few would disagree that their season was one blessed by luck. What’s left in Baltimore, though, is a team that’s now accustomed to winning. They have a solid lineup that includes a blossoming superstar in Manny Machado, and a staff ace on the way in Dylan Bundy. And while the rest of the system isn’t quite spectacular, there should be enough talent pushing through to keep the O’s competitive on the field and in the trade market. They might be long-shots, but certainly don’t count this club out in coming years.
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?