The Padres have signed Dominican outfielder Edwin Moreno for $500,000.
Moreno, who turned 17 yesterday, was one of the top prospects on the international market with several above-average tools at the plate and in the field. A lefthanded batter and thrower from Santiago listed at 6-foot-1, 183 pounds, Moreno didn't sign when the international signing period opened on July 2 after he tested positive for stanozolol, an anabolic steroid more commonly known as Winstrol. Moreno's trainer, Victor Baez, said Moreno's positive test resulted from the use of an over-the-counter supplement.
Moreno was one of 40 Dominican prospects who had to register with Major League Baseball in May, a process that included submitting to a drug test. However, since the positive test result came before Moreno signed a contract, he will not be suspended for 50 games, according to industry sources.
Elvis Sanchez, a power-hitting third baseman from the Dominican Republic, has signed with the Mets.
Sanchez, 16, is a 6-foot-2, 195-pound righthanded hitter from La Romana who stands out for his power and arm strength. Baseball America subscribers can read a complete scouting report on Sanchez and more than 30 of the other top prospects on this year's international market.
Released: SS Adonys Canelo
Removed from 40-man roster: C J.C. Boscan
Assigned to Arizona Fall League: RHP Oliver Drake, RHP Pat Egan, RHP Wynn Pelzer, C Caleb Joseph, 1B Tyler Townsend, 2B Ryan Adams, SS Greg Miclat, OF Xavier Avery
Signed: SS Jonathan Mota (re-signed)
Released: 3B George Matheus [...] Continue Reading »
The Yankees have signed Wilmer Romero, a top 16-year-old outfielder from the Dominican Republic.
Romero, who is 6-foot-3, 185 pounds, is a righthanded hitter from Santo Domingo who stands out for his athleticism and broad tool set. Melissa Segura of Sports Illustrated first reported the signing on Twitter. Romero is considered this year's top Latin American signing for the Yankees, who also landed 16-year-old Dominican shortstop Christopher Tamarez for $650,000 in August.
This time: Oct. 10-17
Signed: RHP Raul Rivero (re-signed)
Boston Red Sox
Released: RHP Felix Ventura
Granted free agency: RHP Robert Manuel, C Kevin Cash, SS Niuman Romero
Assigned to Arizona Fall League: OF Juan Carlos Linares
Granted free agency: 3B Bobby Scales
Removed from 40-man roster: RHP Blake Parker (Triple-A), 3B Bobby Scales (Triple-A) [...] Continue Reading »
The times keep changing for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Kevin Towers is the new general manager; former interim GM Jerry DiPoto is now in charge of both scouting and player development.
DiPoto, the club's senior vice president for scouting and player development, told Baseball America this week that he was seeking a replacement for amateur scouting director Tom Allison, who has been offered a new position in the organization but had yet to accept. Friday, the D-backs announced Rico Brogna, who managed the organization's Double-A Mobile affiliate this year, will become the farm director, replacing Mike Berger, who had been on the job since June 2009. That's when A.J. Hinch was moved from farm director to major league manager.
Berger has spent more than 30 years in the game and was reassigned to a scouting role in the organization, according to a press release.
For the second year in a row, the Nationals will have the most highly touted prospect in the Arizona Fall League.
After sending 2009 No. 1 overall pick Stephen Strasburg to the AFL a year ago, the Nationals will send 2010 top pick Bryce Harper to the circuit this year.
Harper will join Scottsdale as a member of the taxi squad, meaning he will be able to play two games per week for the Scorpions, who are managed by Washington's Randy Knorr. Harper turns 18 on Saturday.
Harper, who did not play in the minors this season after signing at the Aug. 17 signing deadline, has been getting acclimated to pro ball with the Nationals at the club's instructional league. After spending most of his time this year with JC of Southern Nevada at catcher, Harper will make the full-time transition to right field.
The Dominican Republic doesn't traditionally do well in international baseball competition, for many reasons—from its top players leaving the island at the ages of 16 or 17, to the lack of organization by its governing body, to its big leaguers not playing hard enough during World Baseball Classic losses to the Netherlands in 2009.
But none of that was in evidence Tuesday as the Dominican Republic ended the United States' undefeated run through the 2011 Pan Am Qualifier. The Dominican banged out 14 hits against four American pitchers and beat Team USA 7-2 to move into the gold-medal game against Cuba, which edged Venezuela 3-2.
The U.S. plays a third-place game Wednesday afternoon against Venezuela but already has qualified for two tournaments in 2011, the Pan Am Games and the World Cup. Those were the primary objectives for the team in this event, but after Monday's win against Cuba to move to 9-0, anything short of a gold medal is probably a disappointment. [...] Continue Reading »
This time: Oct. 3-9
The first wave of minor league free agents is upon us. If you're so inclined, follow @eddymk on Twitter for complementary free agent info.
Reinstated from inactive list: RHP Wes Roemer
Signed: RHP Wes Alsup (Joliet (Northern)), LHP Nick Lobanov
A Tennessee-Martin product, Wes Alsup signed on with Joliet of the independent Northern League after finishing school. He struck out 21 and walked 19 over 26 1/3 innings for the JackHammers, finishing with a 2.05 ERA in 22 relief appearances. [...] Continue Reading »
Far from the glare of Major League Baseball's postseason, Chris Archer (Cubs) pulled off a signature performance Monday night. The righthander struck out 10 Cubans in six two-hit, scoreless innings and didn't walk a batter, helping USA Baseball's Pan Am Qualifier team to a 4-1 victory. USA Baseball's professional teams have won four of their last five matchups against Cuba.
The Americans improved to 9-0 in the tournament and pulled off a second straight win against Cuba, which it also beat in the 2009 World Cup gold-medal game. Cuba's last win against American pros came in the 2008 Olympics, beating then-collegian Stephen Strasburg, who was the lone amateur on the bronze-medal Team USA.
Brian Barden (Marlins), a member of that Olympic roster, played shortstop for Team USA on Monday and had a hit that helped start the two-run rally in the third, giving Archer a lead he never relinquished. Mike Moustakas (Royals)—who faced Cuban starter Vladimir Garcia four years ago in an 18U tournament—had a two-out, two-run double down the left-field line that scored Barden and Mike Trout (Angels), who had followed Barden's hit with a single of his own. [...] Continue Reading »
SURPRISE, Ariz. — Jason Adam grew up rooting for the Royals, going to games at Kauffman Stadium and even spending a couple spring breaks in Surprise, Ariz., watching the Royals in spring training.
The 6-foot-4, 225-pound righthander from Blue Valley Northwest High in Overland Park, Kan. was a fifth-round draft pick by his hometown Royals this spring, signing for $800,000 to keep him away from his commitment to Missouri.
Adam did not play this summer after signing, instead making his pro debut in the instructional league. On Oct. 11, he threw three impressive innings against the Indians.
"I felt pretty good," Adam said. "I've had better outings, but it definitely felt like I had decent command of the ball and I was able to get most of my pitches over for strikes, so I was happy."
This was Adam's fourth outing in the instructional league, including one intersquad appearance.
"I like to get ahead with my fastball, it's one of my best pitches," Adam said. "And then, if my curveball is on—which it has been for me lately, which I'm liking—then I like to use that with two strikes to kind of put guys away. It's something they aren't able to hit, but it's close enough to a strike that they have to swing."
[...] Continue Reading »
The United States improved to 8-0 with three more victories over the weekend in the Pan Am Qualifying tournament in Puerto Rico, heading into Monday's second-round finale with Cuba.
USA Baseball's professional national teams have now won 21 games in a row, dating back to last September's World Cup in Europe. The U.S. lost its first game there last year against Venezuela but won out to win the World Cup and start its current streak.
The Americans beat Canada 4-0 on Sunday after wins Friday against Venezuela (6-3 in 12 innings) and Nicaragua (5-0). Team USA has allowed just 18 runs in eight games and has three shutouts, with Todd Redmond (Braves) and Mike Montgomery (Royals) starting the two shutouts over the weekend. [...] Continue Reading »
The offseason free agent market just landed another pitcher to watch now that the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles have announced that they will post Hisashi Iwakuma, making him available to U.S. teams if they offer the Golden Eagles a sufficient posting fee.
Iwakuma has been one of the best pitches in Japan for several years. Here's our scouting report on Iwakuma from our World Baseball Classic Top 10 Prospects list compiled in early 2009. [...] Continue Reading »
Tim Lincecum was the story last night, but his oldest scouting report is only five years old. So, here is a scouting report David Rawnsley wrote on Lance Berkman from the Feb. 28, 1999 issue, when Berkman was the Astros No. 1 prospect. . .
Background: After not being drafted out of high school, Lance Berkman rose to prominence at Rice, where he led the NCAA with 41 home runs and 134 RBIs as a junior before joining his hometown organization. He has dominated minor league pitching the same way he dominated college pitching. Barely a year after signing, Berkman was promoted to Triple-A and in his third game at New Orleans, he hit three home runs. He turned the same trick again in the clinching game of the inaugural Triple-A World Series, a feat that carried him to the series MVP award.
Strengths: Berkman has shown just about every offensive skill you would want to find in a run producer. He is a switch-hitter with well-above-average raw power from both sides of the plate. His swing is still quick and compact, enabling him to make consistent contact and maintain a high batting average. Berkman's patience at the palte is extraordinary for a young hitter, and in his first full year he finished fifth in the minor leagues with 97 walks. Defensively, Berkman's conversion to left field from first base has been successful. He gets good jumps on fly balls, has an average left-field arm and is surprisingly sure-handed.
[...] Continue Reading »
This time: Sept. 26-Oct. 3
If you couldn't get enough of players being reinstated from the disabled list last week, then this transactions installment is for you. In terms of player movement, the Braves, Reds and Indians each re-signed a player to a minor league deal. The Royals released three players and the Cubs one. A few others officially were transferred to the Arizona Fall League.
Perhaps the most notable feature is the flood of recalls, 151 in all. These are the 40-man roster leftovers who, for one reason or another, did not receive September callups. Perhaps their play didn't warrant a promotion. Or maybe they were on the DL all month. Or it's possible the organization didn't want to pay the approximately $66,600 required to call up a minor league player for September. That works out to one-sixth the major league minimum of $400,000.
Recalled: RHP Bryan Augenstein, RHP Roque Mercedes, RHP Kevin Mulvey, RHP Rafael Rodriguez, RHP Daniel Stange, LHP Leyson Septimo, LHP Clay Zavada
Reinstated from DL: LHP Clay Zavada
Signed: 1B Mauro Gomez (re-signed)
Recalled: RHP Kyle Cofield, RHP Stephen Marek, RHP Luis Valdez, LHP Lee Hyde, LHP Jose Ortegano, OF Jordan Schafer
Reinstated from DL: RHP Caleb Brewer, RHP Brett Butts, RHP Evan Danieli, RHP Reidy Escobar, RHP Wei Huang, RHP Daniel Lopez, RHP James Parr, LHP Dimasther Delgado, LHP Brett DeVall, LHP Andy Otero, LHP Carlos Perez, 1B Riaan Spanjer-Furstenburg, 2B Jim Linger, 2B Matt Weaver, 3B Joe Leonard, 3B Donell Linares, OF Juan Flores, OF Adam Milligan, OF David Rohm, OF Brendan Rowland, OF Jordan Schafer
Reinstated from inactive list: RHP Matt Small, RHP Julio Surinach, C Chris Anderson [...] Continue Reading »
More home runs are struck in the two Triple-A leagues than at any lower classification. The high Class A California League enjoyed a razor-thin advantage over the International in terms of extra bases per at-bat—or isolated power—but generally speaking, one can expect to see the most extra-base hits per capita at the Triple-A level.
But bubbling below the surface, we find the continuation of recent trends at Double-A and at both low and high Class A. More detail follow the chart. Brush up on last year's minor league averages here.
League context is crucial to the process of ranking prospects. So as you digest our various league Top 20 Prospects lists, you can consult the chart below to see how players compare with the league averages.
Last night, Roy Halladay became just the second pitcher to throw a no-hitter in the playoffs. Let's take a trip back in time and check out his 1998 scouting report by Tracy Ringolsby, when Halladay ranked as the No. 1 prospect in the Toronto Blue Jays' system. . .
Team USA reached double digits for the third time in five games to remain undefeated in the Pan Am Qualifier tournament in Puerto Rico.
The U.S. won its last three games against Colombia (13-6), the Dominican Republic (8-3) and Panama (10-2), defeating Panama on Wednesday. With Royals general manager Dayton Moore in attendance, lefthander Danny Duffy (Royals) got the victory with five innings of work, giving up four hits and one run.
Angels farmhand Mike Trout went 3-for-6 with a homer, two runs and three RBIs to pace the American offense, continuing his hot tournament. Trout is 9-for-16 (.563) through five games with six runs, four RBIs and that home run. [...] Continue Reading »
Columbus mauled Tacoma 12-6 in this year's Triple-A National Championship Game, bringing the International League its second straight victory in the five-year-old showdown. Similarly, the Clippers blitzed through the IL playoffs with a core of Indians prospects promoted from last year's Double-A Eastern League winners, the Akron Aeros. Does this mean we can pencil the Indians in as American League champs in 2011?
More notable than the upward mobility in the Indians system, this September we saw four minor league clubs repeat as league champions: Double-A Jacksonville (Southern), low Class A Lakewood (South Atlantic), high Class A San Jose (California) and high Class A Tampa (Florida State). Three other teams finished as runners-up this season after winning it all a year ago: Triple-A Durham (International), Triple-A Memphis (Pacific Coast) and Double-A Midland (Texas). View the entire ’09 champions table here. [...] Continue Reading »
Royals lefthander Everett Teaford struck out 10 of the 16 batters he faced in five scoreless innings as Team USA crushed Aruba 14-0 in seven innings in the Pan Am Qualifying tournament in Puerto Rico.
Dodgers outfielder Jamie Hoffman had three hits in three trips to help pace the U.S. offense, while Brian Barden (Marlins) had a two-run home run. Gerwin Thiel held the Americans scoreless in the first two innings before Barden's two-run homer in the third, and Mike Moustakas (Royals) hit a solo homer later in the inning. The U.S. added a run in the fourth, six in the fifth on four hits and two errors, and four more runs in the sixth.
The U.S. plays Colombia on Monday afternoon at 1:35 p.m. local time. [...] Continue Reading »
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