Baseball’s purest prospect has been called up. Jurickson Profar has surfaced in Texas, and if you’re just learning this now, you’re far too late. Don’t sweat it too much if you didn’t get your hands on Profar — I don’t see much room for him in the Rangers lineup once Kinsler returns. If you did happen to scoop him, though, he’s a wonderful lotto ticket with an even bigger potential payout given 2B eligibility. In other close-to-the bigs news, Houston prospect, Jonathan Singleton, will debut at Low-A next week after serving a 50-game suspension. He’ll join MiLB home run leader, George Springer, at Double-A before long, and proceed to Triple-A where he’ll likely stay for most of the year. In a different organization, Singleton and Springer would find themselves on the cusp of breaking through, but I don’t see the Astros starting their clocks while the team is in rebuilding mode. Until further notice, those two remain outside the scope of these power rankings.Please, blog, may I have some more?
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?
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?
We’re back for our first revision of the prospect power rankings. For those who are new, or just kinda slow, this is where we’ll take a biweekly look at the best fantasy stashes in Minor League Baseball. To see the inaugural list, click that link. While there’s no change in the top two spots, there was quite a bit of shuffling around the rest of the way through. One notable guy dropping off the list is Travis D’Anaud, who suffered a broken foot. The injury will set him back a couple months — terrible news for the 24-year-old who missed most of last season to a knee injury.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?
Ranking prospects for fantasy purposes is a tricky exercise. Back in February, I rolled out my Top 50 Fantasy Prospects for 2013 (part 1, part 2), and those are already garbage. The variables involved are constantly in flux — talent emerges, talent regresses… opportunity comes, opportunity goes… clubs get cold feet because of service time, clubs don’t give a shizz about service time. So, given the fluid nature of this prospect business, I thought it might be helpful to keep a running ranking throughout the season. This post will run every other Wednesday, providing a biweekly glimpse of the soon-to-arrive impact talent. Let’s get started.Please, blog, may I have some more?
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?
Before you read this, I want you to go outside and look at the birds chirping. Smell the freshly-cut grass. Look up at the sun that your deity of choice made from a very large matchstick. Pat your kid on the head and tell them, “I don’t love you any more today than I did yesterday, but let’s act like I do because I won’t see you for a good six months because baseball’s back.” One more time with caps lock bringing the enthusiasm, BASEBALL IS BACK. As frequent commenter, Eric W. said, “I keep getting excited for opening night Sunday, then have to remind myself it is the Astros vs the Rangers. It’s kinda like getting to open one present on Xmas Eve and getting socks.” Yay — baseball! It’s the Astros vs. the Rangers. Okay, lowercase yay. But it’s a rivalry that dates back to Sam Houston! Don’t remember that? You should’ve rented a car at Alamo last night. Am I mixing up commercials? Eh, who cares? I’m excited! Texas is the largest state in the 48 contiguous states, it’s just too bad baseball is its third most popular sport behind football and “shootin’ empty Shiner cans.” Whatever. Baseball is back and even Selig’s badly-shorn toupee can’t change that. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (1) | 2012 (12) | 2011 (24) | 2010 (29) | 2009 (8)
2012 Affiliate Records
MLB: [88-74] NL Central
AAA: [57-87] Pacific Coast League – Memphis
AA: [77-61] Texas League – Springfield
A+: [64-72] Florida State League – Palm Beach
A: [68-71] Midwest League – Quad Cities (Peoria beginning 2013)
A(ss): [44-32] New York-Penn League — Batavia (State College beginning 2013)
Arizona Fall League Players — Surprise Saguaros
Seth Blair (RHP); Kevin Siegrist (LHP); Boone Whiting (RHP); Mike O’Neill (OF); Colin Walsh (OF)
Matt Carpenter (UTIL); Tony Cruz (C); Lance Lynn (RHP); Joe Kelly (RHP)
The Run Down
This is baseball’s best system, and it’s really not that close. The amount of high-impact talent concentrated at the upper levels of this farm system is nothing short of remarkable — I ranked seven Cardinals prospects in my Top 50 Fantasy Baseball Prospects for 2013. Much of the credit here needs to go toward Jeff Luhnow, former VP of Player Procurement in St. Louis, current GM in Houston. But the impact of General Manager John Mozeliak cannot be denied — since he took over in 2007, he’s brought tremendous balance to this mid-market club, which is primed for big league success for the foreseeable future. Mozeliak signed a well-deserved three-year extension just a few days ago. The Cardinals are World Series contenders at Major League level, they possess the best farm in the game, and their fantasy contributions are plentiful, as usual. Swoon.