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?
For the past few weeks I’ve been super pumped for Dan Straily‘s arrival — like, Brett Lawrie-on-a-shizzload-of-RedBull pumped. I first wrote about him here, providing a little background and a brief scouting report. Then, earlier this week, I rolled out my Top Ten Prospects for the Stretch Run, and Straily topped the list. He debuted on Friday night. I watched. And what I saw was pretty much what we expected: Straily worked his fastball at 91-92, touching 93 a handfull of times, commanding it all over the zone, and drawing variable contact. He countered with his sharp slider and his fading change often. Both offerings looked like plus pitches, generating whiff-rates right around 25%. He also threw a few curveballs, but he used the pitch sparingly, and it looked like nothing more than a get-me-over type. When he needed to throw strikes, he threw strikes. And as his pitch count reached toward triple-digits, his velocity didn’t dip, and his pitch movement remained steady. There was one glaring mistake, however: the run he allowed in the fourth inning on a sac fly from Rajai Davis. Straily flat out hung that slider — zero movement, 82 mph, fat part of the plate. Davis should’ve blasted that pitch. Check it out the Brooks Baseball charts from that at bat and see what I mean. And check out the rest of Straily’s Brooks charts here — the site is off-the-chain cool. In all, though, I was impressed. The A’s ‘pen squandered his W, but Straily looks like he’ll handle himself very well going forward. Go ahead and blow out your FAAB.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Many saw Mark Appel as the odds-on No. 1 overall pick in last month’s First Year Player Draft. Signability concerns, however, caused his stock to slip, and the tall, athletic RHP out of Stanford fell to Pittsburgh at No. 8 overall. In retrospect, he should’ve fallen further, as Appel refused a signing bonus worth $3.8 million, opting to return to Stanford for his senior season. Must be frustrating for Pirates fans. A larger offer from the club would’ve forfeited their 1st-round pick for 2013 under the new CBA terms. Instead, their first selection for 2012 was for naught. With arms like Jameson Taillon and Gerrit Cole already in their minor league ranks, the addition of Appel would’ve given Pittsburgh one of the most impressive collection of starting pitching prospects in the game. Certainly much of the frustration here needs to be directed toward MLB’s new draft slotting system. After paying above-slot bonuses to several later-round picks, the Pirates were handcuffed when it came time to negotiate with Appel and his agent Scott Boras. Still, better foresight from Pittsburgh a month ago could’ve avoided this unfortunate situation. Appel should be near the top of next year’s class once again. For more on him, here’s a brief scouting report I wrote pre-draft.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Billy Hamilton is the fastest player in the game. There’s really no disputing it, at this point. In his first 51 games at High-A, Hamilton has 60 steals. Over his last ten games, he’s been on a bit of a rampage, swiping 20 bags (!!!) and putting himself in position to surpass 100 steals before July. Now that’s just plain silly. Hamilton tallied 103 in a full season at Low-A Dayton in 2011, and people thought that was ridiculous. And while there’s no denying the truly remarkable nature of what he’s accomplishing this year, it’s important to keep in mind the other end of this equation: the opposing defenses. I absolutely believe that Hamilton is the fastest dude in baseball, at any level. That speed, however, is only being tested by A-Ball defenses. Pitchers are slower to the plate, catchers misfire to second, infielders are sloppy with tags. Watch any highlight reel of his, and you’ll see what I mean. Not to suggest that his wheels won’t translate as he climbs the ladder — he’ll be stealing plenty of bags when he arrives in the bigs with the Reds. But, don’t expect this kind of absurdity on the basepaths.Please, blog, may I have some more?
A week ago, I updated Jurickson Profar with news that his hitting streak had reached 21 games. Well, Profar’s streak has now swelled to 29, the longest in pro ball this year. With the graduations of Bryce Harper, Mike Trout and Matt Moore, Profar takes over as the game’s top prospect and it’s not too soon to start considering how and when he fits in with the Rangers. With Ian Kinsler signed through 2018, and Adrian Beltre through 2016, it seems Profar won’t have a clear path to Arlington ’til Elvis Andrus hits free agency after the 2014 season. I have to assume he’ll be ready before then, however, which leads me to speculate about a transition to outfield or a trade, perhaps. I suppose this is a good problem to have from the Rangers’ vantage point. It’ll be interesting to watch how the situation plays out.Please, blog, may I have some more?
San Francisco Giants 2010 Minor League Review
Overall farm rankings via Baseball America (2010)
2010 (4) | 2009 (5) | 2008 (23) | 2007 (20) | 2006 (18) | 2005 (17) | 2004 (24)
Record of Major and Minor League Teams
MLB: [92– 70] NL West – World Series Champions
AAA: [75 – 69] Pacific Coast League – Fresno
AA: [68 – 73] Eastern League – Richmond
A+: [76– 64] California League – San Jose
A: [79 – 59] South Atlantic League (Sally League) – Augusta
A(ss): [31 – 45] Northwest League – Salem-Keizer
R: [34 – 20] Arizona Rookie League
The Run Down
With the season up and running, these articles will be a bit more succinct.