Last year, the Mets were aggressive and sent not one but two 17-year-old prospects to make their pro debuts at low Class A Hagerstown. Outfielder Fernando Martinez and righthander Deolis Guerra didn’t just survive–they thrived.
Now the Mets may send two more youngsters to the South Atlantic League in 2007, this time to their new Savannah affiliate. [...] Continue Reading »
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.â€”OK, so weâ€™re five days into this spring training stint, so itâ€™s time to deliver. What follows is a full extravaganza of notes from a myriad of camps across Florida (so far):
FAR FROM FINISHED: When the Red Sox traded David Wells away last August, they expected to receive a nice bat from the left side and a catcher with average skills for the Double-A level in the Padres’ George Kottaras.
And while the bat has been thereâ€”Kottaras was one of the postseason heroes on Double-A Portlandâ€™s roster as they went on to win the Eastern League titleâ€”his defense didnâ€™t exactly wow anybody. [...] Continue Reading »
As Opening Day nears, we’re going to take a tour around the leagues to take a look at which prospects have a shot of making major league Opening Day rosters. Think of it as commentary on our Baseball America Prospect Report. Since we usually release the Top 10 Prospects from East to West, we’re going to reverse that for these updates, moving from West to East to give our left coasters a shot at being first. We’ll start with the Seattle Mariners, where last year’s first rounder is on the fast track. [...] Continue Reading »
Consider this your Cliff’s Notes for catching up with what is happing in big league camps around Florida and Arizona. We’ll let other guys write about the established big leaguers, while we focus on which prospects are on their way to making the big league club, and which ones would like spring to be over. The Rangers don’t have a whole lot of prospects in big league camp, so Rangers fans you have my apologies for sometimes leaving them out of Baseball America Prospect Report, but on some days it’s hard to find anyone to include in the BAPR. [...] Continue Reading »
WINTER HAVEN, Fla.â€”It was a camp day across the majority of Florida, and at Chain Oâ€™Lakes Park, the intrasquad games and side sessions were a literal whoâ€™s who of arms in the Indians organization. [...] Continue Reading »
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.–Our quote of the day comes from Devil Rays third baseman Evan Longoria, on playing for the Devil Rays:
“Iâ€™m sure this is what everybody on the team says, but for me the goal just has to be to just do something better every year. If we can put together quality year after quality year I think weâ€™re going to be OK. [...] Continue Reading »
St. Petersburg/Kissimmee/Winter Haven, Fla.–Call me crazy. Please.
Three camps in a day is enough to make one . . . well, a little off. It all started at 7 a.m. with a trip to the Devil Rays minor league complex (right down the street from the Tyrone Mall–solid shopping option, by the way) to see a little Reid Brignac early work action. [...] Continue Reading »
FORT MYERS, Fla.â€”The Red Sox havenâ€™t had much time to get to know Daniel Bard, but theyâ€™ve apparently seen enough to send the 28th overall pick in 2006 straight to high Class A.
Bard, who didnâ€™t sign until September, is still working with tinkering his delivery some, specifically with the height and angle of his leg kick and his speed to the plate from the windup. But his loose, easy arm actionâ€”not to mention the fact that heâ€™s an advanced college pitcher–can make up for a lot in a hurry. [...] Continue Reading »
CLEARWATER, Fla.â€”Phillies righthander Scott Mathieson started long-tossing from 150 feet for the first time this spring, now five months removed from the Tommy John surgery he had late last September.
Mathieson and righthander Scott Mitchinson (who had shoulder surgery the same week as Mathiesonâ€™s) should be back by July, barring any setbacks. [...] Continue Reading »
CLEARWATER, Fla.â€”The Philliesâ€™ brass traveled across town to Dunedin on Saturday to see 2006 first-round pick Kyle Drabek pitch in the low Class A game.
Assistant general manager Mike Arbuckle and farm director Steve Noworyta, as well as several Phillies scoutsâ€”including assistant scouting director Rob Holidayâ€”made the short trip to see their enigmatic righthander. [...] Continue Reading »
FORT MYERS, Fla.–Boston GM Theo Epstein on bringing in former Indians farm director John Farrell as the club’s pitching coach at the major league level:
“We were very intrigued by his communication skills, his integrity and his ability to connect with his players on a number of different levels and obviously a lot of the skills necessary to be an effective farm director translate to being a pitching coach and being a pitching coach in Boston. [...] Continue Reading »
CLEARWATER, Fla.–In 2002, I rode the bus with Jim Ed Warden at high Class A Kinston. A sixth-round pick of the Indians in 2001, Warden made seven starts that year and had several trips to the phantom disabled list.
From my perspective, I knew more about Warden the movie critic or Warden the music freak and not Warden the pitcher. No one else seemed to care, so why should I?
And it’s not that I was so prospects-oriented that it didn’t matter–I’ve met WAY too many people in this game that I respect and have become good friends with who were never even considered “prospects.” [...] Continue Reading »
FORT MYERS, Fla.–The bonus in Red Sox minor league camp on Sunday was getting to see a showdown you’d only think could happen in bizarro world–Curt Schilling vs. Reds lefthander Phil Dumatrait.
“Definitely an adrenaline rush,” Dumatrait said.
An adrenaline rush that had an obvious affect on the 25-year-old (and Red Sox 2000 first-rounder). [...] Continue Reading »
CLEARWATER, Fla.–The Phillies returned righthander Alfredo Simon to the Rangers on Saturday, after the Rule 5 pick allowed six earned runs over 4 1/3 innings this spring.
The Phillies, who originally signed Simon out of the Dominican Republic in 1999, have yet to reach a decision on the other arm the club took in the major league phase of the Rule 5 draft last September–righthander Jim Ed Warden. [...] Continue Reading »
DUNEDIN, Fla.â€”Blue Jays third baseman Balbino Fuenmayor is currently on the hot corner with the rest of the players ticketed for low Class A Lansing this spring, but he isnâ€™t likely to break camp with a full-season club. [...] Continue Reading »
Marlins lefthander Sean West’s season ended before it began, as labrum surgery this week effectively shut him down until at least August.
West, the Marlins’ 2005 first-round supplemental pick, went 8-5, 3.74 in 120 innings at low Class A Greensboro last season. The 20-year-old lefty was ticketed for high Class A Jupiter this year. [...] Continue Reading »
TUCSONâ€”With a big league roster teeming with homegrown position player talent, the Diamondbacks appear set pretty much everywhere on the diamond. Like most clubs, however, developing pitching has proven a bit tougher. [...] Continue Reading »
Though he provided the club with 45 occasionally-acceptable big league innings last season–including a two-hit shutout of Arizona in June–the Mets have released burly Cuban righthander Alay Soler after three spring outings, according to Adam Rubin of the New York Daily News. [...] Continue Reading »
TUCSONâ€”No team has increased their presence in Latin America over the last few years more than the Colorado Rockies. General manager Dan Oâ€™Dowd has given Rolando Fernandez and his international scouting department more discretion on the Latin American market, and the Rockies system is seeing the results. [...] Continue Reading »
Tigers lefthander Andrew Miller was among the roster cuts from major league camp yesterday, as the club optioned him to high Class A Lakeland.
Detroit manager Jim Leyland told BA correspondent Jon Paul Morosi (Detroit Free Press) that Miller was “definitely not going to be on the team,” but there was “a strong possibility the lefthander would join the club at some point during the season. [...] Continue Reading »
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