The makeover of the Mets continues as the club dismissed amateur scouting director Rudy Terrasas on Saturday.
New general manager Sandy Alderson has hired Paul DePodesta as vice president for scouting and player development. DePodesta is closely associated by most with the Athletics organization, but when he was GM of the Dodgers, DePodesta inherited Logan White as his scouting director and kept him in that post, rather than making a change.
In New York, though, DePodesta will be hiring a new top amateur scout. Terrasas had served in that post since 2006. In that time, the Mets picked up such players as 2008 first-rounder Ike Davis and 2006 15th-rounder Daniel Murphy, while rarely going above-slot for top talent. Terrasas was pleased with the team's pitching haul in the 2010 draft, most notably first-rounder Matt Harvey and 24th-rounder Erik Goeddel, both of whom the Mets went over slot to sign.
In 2009, the Rangers failed to sign their first-round pick, Matt Purke. In 2010, the Rangers wound up signing an extra first-rounder. The club announced it has agreed to terms with righthander Barret Loux, a free agent who was Arizona's first-round pick this year out of Texas A&M, and ESPN is reporting a $312,000 bonus, which Baseball America has confirmed.
That's considerably less than Loux would have gotten if he'd come to terms with Arizona; slot for the sixth pick, Arizona's spot, was $2.178 million. The Diamondbacks drafted the first-team All-American there, in part, because he had agreed to a below-slot bonus of $2 million, but Loux failed a post-draft physical. He had elbow surgery during his Texas A&M career, and there were rumblings of other physical concerns from area scouts prior to the draft. Major League Baseball declared Loux a free agent, while Arizona receives a compensation pick after the sixth selection in 2011. [...] Continue Reading »
LOS ANGELES—The fourth annual Jesse Flores Memorial All Star Game was played on Sunday, Nov. 7, at Mt. San Antonio CC in Walnut, California.
In a brisk contest, the South squad defeated the North squad, 2-1. Players are selected by a vote conducted by members of the Professional Baseball Scouts of Southern California (PBSSC). All participants hail from Southern California area high schools and have played this fall for scout ball teams.
The yearly contest is played in tribute to the late Jesse Flores, a long time Southern California scout who was the first Mexican national to play in the major leagues. In his remarkable career, working mainly for the Twins, Flores signed many big league stars, including Bert Blyleven, Lyman Bostock, Reggie Smith, Rick Dempsey, Craig Nettles and Jesse Orosco. [...] Continue Reading »
Baseball America recently posted YouTube videos of three of the top high school hitters in the 2011 class. In this post, Baseball America bird dog scout Dave Perkin breaks down the hitting mechanics of those hitters, outfielder Bubba Starling from Gardner-Edgerton High in Gardner, Kan., catcher Blake Swihart from Cleveland High in Rio Rancho, N.M. and outfielder Josh Bell from Dallas Jesuit High . . .
To obtain a clear picture of proper major league hitting mechanics, view the YouTube video entitled “Manny Ramirez BIG SWING” posted by gdaBASEBALL. It has a running time of 1:45. Pause the clip at 0:21.
As his front toe touches the dirt, Ramirez has reached a pre-swing launch posture. Note that his chin is touching his front shoulder, his back elbow is pointed and he holds the bat in an angled position with his wrists cocked. Manny’s arms have achieved “separation” from his body, allowing them to work independently of his body and clear freely as he swings.
As Ramirez’s front foot lands, it is angled open slightly—to about 45 degrees. His knees are positioned inside of his feet. In his lower half, Manny’s weight is distributed equally on the inside of his thighs, not the outside. All of these fundamentals enable Ramirez to drive the force of his body at the ball (not back or away from it) and generate bat speed. This also keeps his swing on the same plane as the incoming pitch, giving him a much larger area to make contact with the ball.
None of these concepts are new or revolutionary. For proof, enter “Mickey Mantle batting” on YouTube and click on the 24 second clip posted by mrbaseball7. Pause the clip at 0:11 seconds.
Mantle is not as straight up and down in his posture as Ramirez, but all of the other important basics are identical. Note the angled front foot, chin touching shoulder, and, most importantly, Mantle’s cocked wrists, angled bat position and separation. The latter permits Mantle the ability to use a rubber band or slingshot effect in his swing—drawing back and then releasing stored energy.
Now, let’s take a look at the swings of Blake Swihart, Bubba Starling and Josh Bell, three of the most prominent high school prospects in the nation for the 2011 draft. We’ll compare their hitting mechanics to the big league model. [...] Continue Reading »
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