Righthander Luther Hackman, who is a free agent, will sit out 50 games for failing a test for performance-enhancing drugs.
The suspension will take effect if and when Hackman signs. He’s been pitching professionally since 1994, when the Rockies made him a sixth-round pick, but he’s pitched exclusively in the minors since 2004. Last season Hackman went 1-3, 3.50 with 39 strikeouts and 25 walks in 46 1/3 innings for two Triple-A teams, Nashville and Oklahoma.
This week’s installment considers all transactions reported between Oct. 20-26. Last week’s transactions available here.
Assigned to Arizona Fall League: RHP Max Scherzer, RHP Esmerling Vasquez, LHP Mark Rosen, LHP Greg Smith, C Wilkin Castillo, C Josh Ford, OF Aaron Cunningham
Reinstated from inactive list: LHP Rheal Cormier
Signed: OF Luis Mateo
Selected to 40-man roster: RHP Fredy Deza, RHP Bob McCrory
The Orioles moved to protect two hard-throwing relievers who spent time with Double-A Bowie by adding them to their major league roster. McCrory, 25, was hitting 97 mph consistently in the Arizona Fall League and showing a very good slider, helping him to six strikeouts in his first 5 2/3 innings. The 24-year-old Deza, who signed from the Dominican in 1999, can touch 94-95. He’s pitching in the Dominican League. [...] Continue Reading »
After years of rejection, Daniel Nava is finally getting his shot at the affiliated minors, and he has a new team to root for during the World Series.
Daniel Nava, Baseball America’s No. 1 independent leagues prospect, has signed a contract with the Red Sox. He will report to the Red Sox spring training next March. The rookie outfielder was named the Golden Baseball League’s Most Valuable Player after leading the league in batting (.371) and on-base percentage (.475) while also ranking among the top 10 in virtually every other league offensive category. He helped lead the Chico Outlaws to the league title. [...] Continue Reading »
PHOENIX–This will be the second Arizona Fall League all-star game in the 16-year history of the league, and like 2006, there will be a lot of rising stars in Surprise, Ariz.–the same venue that also hosted the inaugural event.
And so here are the rosters for 2007: [...] Continue Reading »
MESA, Ariz.–Astros’ righthander Brad James cruised through the high Class A Carolina League at Salem with nary a problem in 2007.
James, a 2004 29th-round pick out of North Central (Texas) Junior College–the same school as Astros’ catcher J.R. Towles–often relied on nothing but his sinker during his stint with the Avalanche and rarely focused on his secondary stuff.
For James, there was no reason to. [...] Continue Reading »
PHOENIX–Over 70 scouts headed over to Phoenix Municipal Stadium on Tuesday afternoon, expecting to get a look at Indians’ lefthander David Huff.
But they were greeted with a pleasant surprise.
Not only did they get to see the Tribe’s 2006 supplemental first-rounder, but they also were treated to a start by the Indians’ No. 1 prospect Adam Miller. [...] Continue Reading »
SURPRISE, Ariz.–Right after Elvis Andrus showed up for instructional league at Rangers’ camp before heading to the Arizona Fall League, Texas farm director Scott Servais and director of professional and international scouting A.J. Preller took the Venezuelan teenager to dinner.
One of the major pieces the Rangers received back in the Mark Teixeira deal at the trade deadline, Servais wanted the opportunity to get to know what to expect from the 19-year-old prospect.
One of the first questions Servais asked Andrus was who his favorite shortstop was, figuring it would be any one of a litany of Venezuelan players who make their living at the premium position.
To put it bluntly, Servais was dead wrong. [...] Continue Reading »
This week’s installment considers all transactions reported between Oct. 16-19. Last week’s transactions available here.
Reinstated from inactive list: RHP Gonzalo Lopez
Outrighted off 40-man roster: SS Eider Torres, OF Val Majewski, OF Adam Stern
Boston Red Sox
Outrighted off 40-man roster: LHP Daniel Haigwood
Chicago White Sox
Released: C Brian Hickman [...] Continue Reading »
A long list of the game’s brightest young stars—including Justin Verlander, Ryan Howard, Hanley Ramirez, Ryan Zimmerman, Scott Kazmir, Jonathan Papelbon, Matt Cain, Prince Fielder and Russell Martin—made both 2005 and 2006 the Years of the Rookies.
So it surprised us when the rookie class of 2007 was on par with, and perhaps superior to, the two that had come before. What makes this year’s group especially noteworthy is . . . well, read on to find out.
As always, * denotes a lefthanded batter or pitcher, while # denotes a switch-hitter.
POWERFUL AND SWIFT
|20 HOMER-20 STEAL ROOKIES
|Chris Young, Diamondbacks||2007||23||32||27|
|Carlos Beltran, Royals#||1999||22||22||27|
|Nomar Garciaparra, Red Sox||1997||23||30||20|
|Marty Cordova, Twins||1995||25||24||20|
|Devon White, Angels#||1987||24||24||32|
|Ellis Burks, Red Sox||1987||22||20||27|
|Mitchell Page, Athletics*||1977||25||21||42|
|Tommie Agee, White Sox||1966||23||22||44|
TEMPE, Ariz.–Sunday is an off day in the Arizona Fall League, but we really don’t believe in off days here at Baseball America.
An off day for the league is the perfect day to catch up on random notes and especially one of the best parts of breaking down players in the AFL: identifying sleepers. [...] Continue Reading »
SURPRISE, Ariz.–Mesa Solar Sox hitting coach Sandy Guerrero stood around the cage and waited for Matt LaPorta to begin his batting practice in the final group of hitters before Saturday’s game against the Surprise Rafters.
Except that wasn’t a fungo Guerrero was holding–he was waiting to get his licks in Group Four against Chad Epperson as well.
This was all part of Guerrero’s plan–challenge LaPorta to a BP home run duel. The only catch? The righthanded-hitting LaPorta, the Brewers’ 2007 first-round pick out of Florida, had to drive the ball out to right field while the lefthanded-hitting Guerrero, who last played at the Triple-A level in 1992, could poke balls over the right field wall.
That’s the game within the game for LaPorta these days in the Arizona Fall League–hit the ball to the right side of the field with power. [...] Continue Reading »
PHOENIX–Rangers outfielder John Mayberry Jr. was the talk of the town today . . . and not just among scouts at Phoenix Municipal Stadium watching the Surprise Rafters take on the Desert Dogs.
Every scout and front office person hanging around the Brewers’ final instructional league game against the Dodgers in Maryvale wanted to discuss Mayberry as one of the Arizona Fall League’s top prospects. [...] Continue Reading »
Devil Rays outfielder Justin Ruggiano will take Bruce’s spot on the team. The 25-year-old Ruggiano hit .309/.386/.502 for Triple-A Durham with 20 homers and 26 stolen bases in 2007.
The Americans made a couple of other roster changes as well. The team added 25-year-old righthander Matt Wright, who pitched for Triple-A Omaha (Royals) this season. Wright went 10-5, 4.06 in the Pacific Coast League, walking only 40 batters in 137 1/3 innings. Wright replaces lefthander Heath Phillips (White Sox) on the roster.
Lefthander Neal Musser, a reliever who split time between Omaha and Kansas City in 2007, will also join the USA team. In 55 1/3 Triple-A innings, Musser held down a 0.49 ERA, including a stretch of 42 2/3 innings without surrendering an earned run. He appeared in 24 2/3 innings for Kansas City, posting a 4.38 ERA.
“Due to unanticipated scheduling conflicts for both Heath Phillips and Jay Bruce they will be unable to participate on the 2007 USA Baseball World Cup Team" USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO Paul Seiler said in an e-mail. "Justin Ruggiano and Matt Wright have been added to fill the roster spots, and we are fortunate to have two such quality individuals available to join our team.”
Baseball Canada also released its 2007 World Cup roster, which features several younger talents, including six players who are 21 years old or younger. [...] Continue Reading »
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.–Most mornings, the future of the left side of the infield in Tampa can be found at a little breakfast spot in Old Town Scottsdale, just around the corner from the string of shops where you can buy anything from homemade salsas to snake oil.
But for as close as third baseman Evan Longoria and shortstop Reid Brignac are off the field, mornings aren’t usually the best time for conversation. They sit in their booth, waiting for their omelets armed with crossword puzzles, often in complete silence. [...] Continue Reading »
PHOENIX–Double-A Trenton manager Tony Franklin had a lot of success in 2007.
The Thunder had arguably the best pitching staff in the minors despite having a revolving door that led from Trenton through Triple-A to the big leagues, as well as new blood coming in from high Class A Tampa.
Trenton wasn’t exactly an offensive force in the Eastern League–the club finished ninth (out of 12 teams) in batting with a .254 average. The Thunder also scored just 598 runs–which ranked 11th overall in the league.
That didn’t seem to matter very much in the end, as quality pitching wound up knocking off one of the best offensive teams in the EL, with Trenton winning the league championship over Akron in four games. [...] Continue Reading »
This week’s installment considers all transactions reported between Oct. 6-15. Last week’s transactions available here.
Granted free agency: RHP Casey Daigle, SS Donnie Sadler
Granted free agency: RHP Jonathan Johnson
Granted free agency: RHP Rob Bell, OF Jon Knott
Boston Red Sox
Granted free agency: RHP Adam Bernero
Released: RHP Brad Clipp, RHP Donald Walters, 3B Brandon Taylor, OF Andy Lopez
The Cubs acquired Lopez from the Devil Rays in the February trade that sent righthander J.K. Ryu to Tampa Bay. The 20-year-old Lopez made it to high Class A for nine games in 2007, but has spent much of his time in rookie ball and low Class A since being the Rays’ eighth-round pick from high school in 2005. [...] Continue Reading »
PHOENIX–It almost seemed like Pat Overholt’s second inning of work at Phoenix Municipal Stadium would never come to an end.
After battling his way out of a fourth inning that included Overholt’s catcher–the Peoria Saguaros’ Brett Hayes (Marlins)–throwing out speedster Andrew McCutchen (Pirates) after a leadoff walk, the Phillies’ righthander cruised through the remainder of the inning.
The fifth, however, was another story.
Raul Padron (Athletics) led off the frame with a ground-rule double over the head of Saguaros’ right fielder Greg Golson. Overholt then plunked Nolan Reimold (Orioles) with an inside fastball and Drew Butera (Twins) sacrificed both runners up for the first out of the inning. [...] Continue Reading »
Braves outfielder Jordan Schafer was driven off the field in a golf cart Saturday after crashing into the center field wall during the Peoria Javelinas’ 8-5 win against Scottsdale on Saturday.
Schafer’s immediate status was not known, but an announcement was expected Monday afternoon as to the extent of his injuries and his future in the AFL.
Schafer, a 2005 third-round pick who ranked as the No. 1 prospect in the high Class A Carolina League this year, was hitting .412/.444/.706 in 17 at-bats for the Javelinas. He is currently leading the league in runs scored.
The Giants announced the retirement of farm director Jack Hiatt, promoting minor league field coordinator Fred Stanley to the post. Hiatt, 65, has spent 46 years in the game, the last 16 as San Francisco’s farm director, though vice president of player personnel Dick Tidrow has final say over scouting and player development in the current Giants regime. [...] Continue Reading »
This week’s installment considers all transactions reported between Sept. 28-Oct. 5. Last week’s transactions available here.
Recalled: RHP Emiliano Fruto, RHP Leo Rosales, RHP Max Scherzer, OF Carlos Gonzalez, OF Alex Romero
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP Leo Rosales
Granted free agency: LHP Randy Choate
Recalled: RHP Cory Doyne, RHP James Johnson, RHP Hayden Penn, SS Eider Torres, OF Jeff Fiorentino, OF Val Majewski, OF Adam Stern
Outrighted off 40-man roster: RHP Rob Bell, C J.R. House, C Gustavo Molina
Granted free agency: C Alberto Castillo [...] Continue Reading »
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