Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Where Will Reddick Be Next Year?

This is Josh Reddick. Josh Reddick likes to do shampoo commercials.

He was standing on third and clearly had the urge to Herbal, so he lathered up and took care of his luxurious locks.

Okay, not really. Anyhow, Reddick is having an excellent year, but one makes me wonder what's going to happen in right field for the Sox in the coming months. Are we going to re-sign J.D. Drew, or is he going to retire or opt for free agency? How about Kalish - what's going on there? Who's going to play right field for the Sox next year?

I really do like Reddick and I'd love to see it be him. The kid has a good attitude, works hard, and doesn't let repeatedly being optioned down to Pawtucket get him down. I'd love to see him stick with the team, but I'm not sure if they're higher on him or Kalish - or someone else, for that matter. I'm not sure I would like that very much, because I don't want to see him leave, but I do have fears that he might leave the team.

But I want him to stay. I think he's at the very least earned a start somewhere at this rate, and although I'd prefer it with us, I'm worried that it won't be. At the very least, though, he needs to be starting in the bigs. He's figured it out.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Slade Heathcott Likes To Punch People

In an imitation of the A-Rod vs Varitek fight back in '04, Yankees prospect Slade Heathcott started a battle, too.

So Charleston and Greenville are playing right now. Greenville's starter accidentally hit Heathcott with the second pitch of the game. For whatever reason, Heathcott decided this meant he had to turn around and punch the catcher, which he did.

I don't have any other details besides this so far, but boy, does this make Bryce Harper seem like a grown-up all of a sudden.

Heathcott is currently rated as the ninth best prospect in the Yankees' farm system by Baseball America.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Magical Minor League Mystery Tour, 5/6/11 - 5/9/11

Three cities, four games, four days. Probably somewhere like 500-600 miles.

I scouted prospects at three different levels of the game. During the trip, one, Jose Iglesias, was called up and made his Major League debut. I saw a walk-off in Frederick, heard things I wished I hadn't yelled at players, and saw a bunch of kids playing the game that they loved, regardless of their skill level.

The one pictured here, Tyler Townsend, is rebounding after a benign tumor was removed from a blood vessel in his hand. Really scary, but the kid's swing looked great on Friday - he's recovering nicely. I was excited to see him play finally - I'm so proud when prospects come back from injuries, especially terrifying ones like that.

Brian Ward ended up walking off for the Keys that night.

Saturday and Sunday were a birthday present from my best friend - we went up to Moosic to see my PawSox play the SWB Yankees. I have quite a few notes from these games, in fact, so let's bullet-point these.
  • The SWB Yankees really struggle on the double play. There were several opportunities in both games for them to turn them, and they were too slow on nearly all of them. The runner moving to first repeatedly beat out the throw. Got me wondering how effective the middle infield's really been for them.
  • Jose Iglesias is the real deal. I also think he's not quite ready yet, though, because he was rushing on some plays and he made a couple of errors. Although he's definitely offensively ready to go, he's got a long ways to go defensively still. He just needs to stop rushing and relax - he doesn't need to prove anything, since we know he's good!
  • Josh Reddick (above, right) looks like Jayson Werth right now. In the above image of him on third base, he is clearly pretending to be in a shampoo commercial.
  • Lars Anderson (left) has the greatest mullet of all time right now. I have nicknamed him Thor in addition to already referring to him as Tycho Celchu.
  • The SWB Yankees are getting a stadium makeover soon. This is highly needed, since nobody seems to go to the stadium anymore, the screens have spots on them where the lights are out, there are no highlights whatsoever because the screens are still in black and white, and the fans just don't seem very engaged with the game or the filler contests in-between innings. I'm excited to see the stadium redux, because going to games in Moosic is really sad - it's depressing to see a franchise as storied and popular as the Yankees not being able to draw fans in.
Three of us scooted up to Binghamton the day after. Robert Carson definitely didn't bring his A-game for us - or rather, he brought his A-game, but not his AA-game. New Britain actually won 8-5 (although there may have been a scoring error, since my two friends with me say the score should have been 9-5). The best part of the game was the discounted prices - on Markdown Mondays, the B-Mets sell everything at the price it was at in their inaugural season, 1992. This meant we got lots of good food (I got a big tub of popcorn and a souvenir cup for $6). We also got some bad food, as you can see from my friends' reactions to the banana-flavored cotton candy (my best friend and roommate, Mary, is on the left and our other amazing friend, Nick, is on the right). I also bought a bat that had been used by Sean Ratliff. Oops, me.

One of my favorite minor leaguers, Chris Cates, is on the Rock Cats, so I'd love it if you could all show him some love. He's the same height as me, 5'2", so I jokingly refer to him as my Spirit Animal. I'm very much a fan. (Some of the fans in the crowd were yelling horrible things at him. It broke my heart.)

As much as I love seeing the AA Mets, though, the highlights at a B-Mets game are their mascots, particularly Bingo, who comes out of the home bullpen and dances every time a B-Mets run crosses the plate. Every. Single. Time. It's hysterical. Bingo is famous, of course, for falling over the wall after a homer by Lucas Duda, to the point where he'll come up on a Google search for the phrase 'Lucas Duda Bee.' Play him off, Keyboard Cat.

Basically, if you can get out there to Binghamton, you have to go. It's a real experience, trust me.

Over this trip, I definitely got quite a few scouting reports, and I've got a good idea of what the big clubs might be looking for in these kids. It was also fun to hit up three different cities in four days and get a little bit of the culture in each one - that's my favorite part of Minor League Baseball trips, seeing America. If anything, that might just be the best thing about Minor League Baseball in general - you see the country in a whole new light as you actually explore it, and that's an experience you'll absolutely never forget. My I-81 adventure? Totally worth it.

Besides, the Hot Dog Horse posed for me in Binghamton. Made my night.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Is Iglesias Up?

I was watching Jose Iglesias today in Scranton as the PawSox beat the SWB Yankees to the tune of 7-6. His bat looked amazing, but his glove...well, he made two errors today, at least. And he bobbled a ball or two.

He's a future Gold Glover, absolutely - he gets to balls no Red Sox shortstop has even come close to in years. But he still needs some work on his hands. He's just a kid, though, so that will come with time.

Now, I just heard a rumor that Iglesias is being called up (via Melissa Segura of SI). What does this mean for the Red Sox? With Lowrie able to play the entire infield and essentially playing a fill-in role for everyone who goes down, are the Sox shopping Marco Scutaro to other teams in order to make room for the kid? Scutaro's essentially benched since Lowrie's been outplaying him lately, so he's not a bad candidate to move for Iglesias so everybody gets some playing time.

Eh, let's save the speculation for once this is confirmed or not.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Two Quick Oregon State Notes

1. Darwin Barney was named the NL Rookie of the Month! According to this article from OSU, Darwin "played in 191 games, batting .311 with 40 doubles, six triples, seven home runs and 136 RBI. He is currently the program's all-time leader with 765 at bats and 238 hits and his 152 runs scored is second only to current Boston Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury."

2. Josh Osich. Not only did he outduel Trevor Bauer (who I wrote about here earlier today), he did so by throwing a no-hitter, the fourth in Oregon State's history! Check out all the awards he's been receiving as a result.

Let's Talk MLB Draft: Draft Order

So back on April 14th, posted the draft order. It's only one month away, so I'm going to let you read it here and tell me who you want to pick up, who you think is going to be picked up, and all sorts of fun stuff.

First Round

  • 1. Pittsburgh Pirates
  • 2. Seattle Mariners
  • 3. Arizona Diamondbacks
  • 4. Baltimore Orioles
  • 5. Kansas City Royals
  • 6. Washington Nationals
  • 7. Arizona Diamondbacks (Loux - unsigned)
  • 8. Cleveland Indians
  • 9. Chicago Cubs
  • 10. San Diego Padres (Whitson - unsigned)
  • 11. Houston Astros
  • 12. Milwaukee Brewers
  • 13. New York Mets
  • 14. Florida Marlins
  • 15. Milwaukee Brewers (Covey - unsigned)
  • 16. Los Angeles Dodgers
  • 17. Los Angeles Angels
  • 18. Oakland Athletics
  • 19. Boston Red Sox (V. Martinez - DET)
  • 20. Colorado Rockies
  • 21. Toronto Blue Jays
  • 22. St. Louis Cardinals
  • 23. Washington Nationals (Dunn - CWS)
  • 24. Tampa Bay Rays (Crawford - BOS)
  • 25. San Diego Padres
  • 26. Boston Red Sox (Beltre - TEX)
  • 27. Cincinnati Reds
  • 28. Atlanta Braves
  • 29. San Francisco Giants
  • 30. Minnesota Twins
  • 31. Tampa Bay Rays (R. Soriano - NYY)
  • 32. Tampa Bay Rays
  • 33. Texas Rangers (C. Lee - PHI)

Comp Round A

  • 34. Washington Nationals (Dunn - CWS)
  • 35. Toronto Blue Jays (Downs - LAA)
  • 36. Boston Red Sox (V. Martinez - DET)
  • 37. Texas Rangers (C. Lee - PHI)
  • 38. Tampa Bay Rays (R. Soriano - NYY)
  • 39. Philadelphia Phillies (Werth - WAS)
  • 40. Boston Red Sox (Beltre - TEX)
  • 41. Tampa Bay Rays (Crawford - BOS)
  • 42. Tampa Bay Rays (Balfour - OAK)
  • 43. Arizona Diamondbacks (LaRoche - WAS)
  • 44. New York Mets (Feliciano - NYY)
  • 45. Colorado Rockies (Dotel - TOR)
  • 46. Toronto Blue Jays (Buck - FLA)
  • 47. Chicago White Sox (Putz - ARI)
  • 48. San Diego Padres (Garland - LAD)
  • 49. San Francisco Giants (Uribe - LAD)
  • 50. Minnesota Twins (Hudson - SD)
  • 51. New York Yankees (Vazquez - FLA)
  • 52. Tampa Bay Rays (Hawpe - SD)
  • 53. Toronto Blue Jays (Gregg - BAL)
  • 54. San Diego Padres (Torrealba - TEX)
  • 55. Minnesota Twins (Crain - CWS)
  • 56. Tampa Bay Rays (Benoit - DET)
  • 57. Toronto Blue Jays (Olivo - SEA)
  • 58. San Diego Padres (Correia - PIT)
  • 59. Tampa Bay Rays (Choate - FLA)
  • 60. Tampa Bay Rays (Qualls - SD)

Second Round

  • 61. Pittsburgh Pirates
  • 62. Seattle Mariners
  • 63. Arizona Diamondbacks
  • 64. Baltimore Orioles
  • 65. Kansas City Royals
  • 66. Philadelphia Phillies (Werth - WAS)
  • 67. Cleveland Indians
  • 68. Chicago Cubs
  • 69. Houston Astros
  • 70. Milwaukee Brewers
  • 71. New York Mets
  • 72. Florida Marlins
  • 73. Los Angeles Dodgers
  • 74. Toronto Blue Jays (Downs - LAA)
  • 75. Tampa Bay Rays (Balfour - OAK)
  • 76. Detroit Tigers
  • 77. Colorado Rockies
  • 78. Toronto Blue Jays
  • 79. St. Louis Cardinals
  • 80. Chicago White Sox
  • 81. Tampa Bay Rays
  • 82. San Diego Padres
  • 83. Texas Rangers
  • 84. Cincinnati Reds
  • 85. Atlanta Braves
  • 86. San Francisco Giants
  • 87. Minnesota Twins
  • 88. New York Yankees
  • 89. Tampa Bay Rays
  • 90. Philadelphia Phillies

Third Round

  • 91. Pittsburgh Pirates
  • 92. Seattle Mariners
  • 93. Arizona Diamondbacks
  • 94. Baltimore Orioles
  • 95. Kansas City Royals
  • 96. Washington Nationals
  • 97. Cleveland Indians
  • 98. Chicago Cubs
  • 99. Houston Astros
  • 100. Milwaukee Brewers
  • 101. New York Mets
  • 102. Florida Marlins
  • 103. Los Angeles Dodgers
  • 104. Los Angeles Angels
  • 105. Oakland Athletics
  • 106. Detroit Tigers
  • 107. Colorado Rockies
  • 108. Toronto Blue Jays
  • 109. St. Louis Cardinals
  • 110. Chicago White Sox
  • 111. Boston Red Sox
  • 112. San Diego Padres
  • 113. Texas Rangers
  • 114. Cincinnati Reds
  • 115. Atlanta Braves
  • 116. San Francisco Giants
  • 117. Minnesota Twins
  • 118. New York Yankees
  • 119. Tampa Bay Rays
  • 120. Philadelphia Phillies

Comp Round B

  • 121. Seattle Mariners (Stanek - unsigned)

Rounds 4-50

  • 122. Pittsburgh Pirates
  • 123. Seattle Mariners
  • 124. Arizona Diamondbacks
  • 125. Baltimore Orioles
  • 126. Kansas City Royals
  • 127. Washington Nationals
  • 128. Cleveland Indians
  • 129. Chicago Cubs
  • 130. Houston Astros
  • 131. Milwaukee Brewers
  • 132. New York Mets
  • 133. Florida Marlins
  • 134. Los Angeles Dodgers
  • 135. Los Angeles Angels
  • 136. Oakland Athletics
  • 137. Detroit Tigers
  • 138. Colorado Rockies
  • 139. Toronto Blue Jays
  • 140. St. Louis Cardinals
  • 141. Chicago White Sox
  • 142. Boston Red Sox
  • 143. San Diego Padres
  • 144. Texas Rangers
  • 145. Cincinnati Reds
  • 146. Atlanta Braves
  • 147. San Francisco Giants
  • 148. Minnesota Twins
  • 149. New York Yankees
  • 150. Tampa Bay Rays
  • 151. Philadelphia Phillies

Let's Talk MLB Draft: Trevor Bauer

It's about a month until the draft, and I think it's due time we start looking at some candidates to be drafted. Trevor Bauer, an engineering major out of UCLA, is high on my list if you're looking for a solid arm. This kid is absolutely the real deal.

His delivery is very deceptive - he throws his arms and legs all over, and yet at the same time it's oddly compact. He brings the ball over directly overhand, too, which adds to the confusion. Just looking at him warming up in that video, you get the idea that opposing batters would struggle to hit him. He's very impressive.

Watching him in game action is equally eye-catching. That odd delivery certainly helps, but he's also just plain overpowering. For a team looking for a power arm that could contribute fairly quickly, Bauer might be a good choice in the upcoming draft, considering that he'll likely move through a Minors system pretty fast because he's so talented and intelligent. I wouldn't suggest rushing him, of course, since I'm not fond of rushing anybody (I've seen it go horribly with both Eddie Kunz and Craig Hansen now). However, I do think he would be able to spend less time in the Minors than the average college draftee and would be an asset to any club looking for a starter.

The only problem a team might face would be Bauer deciding to return for his senior season at UCLA. Engineering degrees are in high demand lately, after all, and if anything happened that prevented Bauer from continuing on in baseball it'd be a good thing to have. Stanford has a program that allows its student-athletes regarding their coursework, making it easier for them to come back and finish their degrees during the off-season - and indeed, many of their baseball players do (trust me, I can name way too many). If UCLA has a similar program, Bauer would be able to complete his degree after all, which would be a win-win for everyone involved.

I'm not going to make any huge projections yet, but I could easily see Bauer going in the early rounds in this year's draft. I can't say that he'd be a number one overall pick, but he's definitely going to be taken early now that he's eligible. Keep an eye on this kid.