LAS VEGAS—Usually, scouts, front-office types and media schmooze and meet informally in the lobbies and bars of hotels during the Winter Meetings. At the Bellagio, though, nothing is routine. Baseball officials are spread out throughout the lobby, the casino, the bars—they all run together here.
If there’s a buzz, it’s almost impossible to hear over the music, the background noise of the casino machines and the buzz of the crowd of gamblers passing through.
Industry types say there isn’t a ton of Rule 5 buzz anyway. The rules changes prior to last year, adding an extra year of protection for teams to keep players. Under the old rules, 2005 high school draft picks and 2006 college picks would have had to be protected (and most international players signed in ’04 as well). Prep pitchers such as Sean West (Marlins), Chaz Roe (Rockies), Brandon Erbe (Orioles) and Will Inman (Padres) would have to be protected but are not on 40-man rosters. That leaves more room to protect fringy players who otherwise might not have made the cut.
Similarly, the Pirates don’t have to make a 40-man call on 2006 first-rounder Brad Lincoln, who has missed a year with Tommy John surgery, and the Indians can wait on corner infielder Wes Hodges, who can hit but hasn’t shown he can handle third base.
That has left a thinner talent pool to choose from. The ’06 Rule 5 yielded stars such as Josh Hamilton and Joakim Soria, but the top talents in the ’07 class were players such as outfielder Brian Barton, who stuck all year with the Cardinals; knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, whom the Mariners swung a trade to keep; and lefthander Wesley Wright, who stuck as a reliever with the Astros.
This week’s installment considers all transactions reported by MLB between Dec. 2 and 5. The previous installment is available here.
Signed: SS Josh Wilson
Signed: RHP Chad Fox [...] Continue Reading »
This week’s installment considers all transactions reported by MLB between Nov. 21 and Dec. 1. The previous installment is available here.
Signed: RHP Seth Etherton
Placed on restricted list: 2B Rafael Hilario
Etherton, the 18th overall pick by the Angels in 1998, started two games for independent Long Beach (Golden) in August. The 32-year-old last played in affiliated ball in June 2007, when he was in the Marlins system. He spent time pitching in Korea that year, as well, but he was waived after six games with a mystery illness.
Signed: RHP Gerardo Casadiego, RHP Scott Chiasson, RHP Andy Mitchell, RHP Ross Wolf, C Adam Donachie, C Guillermo Rodriguez, OF Ambiorix Concepcion, OF Mike Rodriguez [...] Continue Reading »
This week is all about lists, as we’re rolling out three AL West Top 10s as well as our Hawaii and Arizona Fall League Top 20s. Today’s focus is the Arizona Fall League, where Matt Wieters dominated as usual. Subscribers can read scouting reports of all 20 prospects , while Kary Booher will chat about the list at 2 p.m. ET.
Arizona Fall League Top 20 Prospects
1. Matt Wieters, c (Orioles)
2. Tommy Hanson, rhp (Braves)
3. Brian Matusz, rhp (Orioles)
4. Logan Morrison, 1b (Marlins)
5. Carlos Triunfel, ss/2b (Mariners)
6. Bud Norris, rhp (Astros)
7. Gordon Beckham, ss (White Sox)
8. J.P. Arencibia, c (Blue Jays)
9. Justin Smoak, 1b (Rangers)
10. Brett Wallace, 3b (Cardinals)
11. Dan Cortes, rhp (Royals)
12. Sean West, lhp (Marlins)
13. Julio Borbon, of (Rangers)
14. Sean Doolittle, 1b/of (Athletics)
15. Tyler Flowers, c (White Sox)
16. Aaron Poreda, lhp (White Sox)
17. Jason Donald, ss (Phillies)
18. Scott Cousins, of (Marlins)
19. Jeff Manship, rhp (Twins)
20. Eric Young Jr., of/if (Rockies)
Our Oakland Athletics Top 10 Prospects list has now been posted, and subscribers can read scouting reports on all of the Top 10. If you have thoughts about our list, you can post them as a comment here or subscribers can talk to Ben Badler with our 3 p.m. ET. chat .
Oakland Athletics Top 10 Prospects
1. Brett Anderson, lhp
2. Trevor Cahill, rhp
3. Michael Inoa, rhp
4. Aaron Cunningham, of
5. Adrian Cardenas, 2b/ss
6. Chris Carter, 1b/3b/of
7. Gio Gonzalez, lhp
8. Vin Mazzaro, rhp
9. Jemile Weeks, 2b
10. James Simmons, rhp
The Angels Top 10 Prospects list has now been posted, and subscribers can see scouting reports on the Top 10. But for our blog readers, here’s the list. Feel free to comment on the list here, or you can chat with Kary Booher at 3 p.m. ET.
Angels Top 10 Prospects
1. Nick Adenhart, rhp
2. Jordan Walden, rhp
3. Peter Bourjos, of
4. Trevor Reckling, lhp
5. Sean O’Sullivan, rhp
6. Kevin Jepsen, rhp
7. Hank Conger, c
8. Mark Trumbo, 1b
9. Anthony Ortega, rhp
10. Mason Tobin, rhp
Cardinals minor league second baseman Wilfred Vivas received a 50-game suspension after testing positive for metabolites of Methandienone, a performance-enhancing substance. The 19-year-old native of Venezuela, who signed with St. Louis in February 2007, batted .158/.250/.184 in 114 at-bats in the VSL in 2009.
Baseball America subscribers can read full scouting reports on the Top 20 Prospects in the Hawaii Winter Baseball league, but here is the list of the top 20 prospects from the league, as compiled by John Manuel after talking to scouts and HWB managers. Have your own opinions about the list? Leave comments here on the blog.
1. Buster Posey, c, Waikiki BeachBoys (Giants)
2. Andrew Brackman, rhp, Waikiki BeachBoys (Yankees)
3. Yonder Alonso, 1b, Waikiki BeachBoys (Reds)
4. Dominic Brown, of, Honolulu Sharks (Phillies)
5. Kyle Drabek, rhp, Honolulu Sharks (Phillies)
6. Jason Castro, c, North Shore Honu (Astros)
7. Todd Frazier, if/of, Waikiki BeachBoys (Reds)
8. Jeremy Bleich, lhp, Waikiki BeachBoys (Yankees)
9. Michael Taylor, of, Honolulu Sharks (Phillies)
10. Roger Kieschnick, of, Waikiki BeachBoys (Giants)
11. Chris Carter, 1b, North Shore (Athletics).
12. Caleb Gindl, of, West Oahu (Brewers).
13. Brad Emaus, 2b/3b, Honolulu (Blue Jays).
14. Jonny Venters, lhp, Honolulu (Braves).
15. Kyle Martin, ss/3b, North Shore (Royals).
16. Ryan Kalish, of, North Shore (Red Sox).
17. Mark Hallberg, 2b, West Oahu (Diamondbacks).
18. Javy Guerra, rhp, Waikiki (Dodgers).
19. Kyle Bloom, lhp, West Oahu (Pirates).
20. Tony Cruz, c/3b, Honolulu (Cardinals)
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