When the Royals drafted Wil Myers in 2009, they did so largely on the basis of his bat. But even they didn’t realize he’d be this good this quickly.
The expectation was that Myers would move up to low Class A Burlington in 2010 and probably hit pretty well while learning the difficult task of handling a minor league pitching staff in his first full season as a catcher.
Myers pretty much tore that timetable to shreds. By midseason, the Royals realized that the 19-year-old had learned everything he needed to learn at the plate in the Midwest League. So they promoted him to high Class A Wilmington. The jump may have given Myers a bigger challenge, but he responded by hitting .346/.453/.512 in 205 at-bats.
And that, in a nutshell, explains why Myers will be moving to the outfield for the Royals in 2011. His bat simply proved too advanced for Kansas City to keep him behind the plate. [...] Continue Reading »
A pair of former top players from the Cuban junior national team have signed with the Cubs, who have agreed to terms with outfielder Rubi Silva and catcher Yaniel Cabeza, according to international sources.
Silva, a 21-year-old lefthanded hitter, signed for a $1 million bonus. At around 5-foot-11, 180 pounds, Silva is a good athlete who has played both center and right field with above-average speed and a strong arm. An aggressive hitter, Silva has a line-drive swing and gap power. Silva played for La Habana in Cuba's Serie Nacional in 2008-09 and hit .276/.305/.428 in 283 at-bats with 10 triples, four home runs, 12 walks and 44 strikeouts.
Some scouts believe Silva has enough versatility to possibly even move to the infield, an option that wasn't available to him on the Cuban junior national team, which featured Red Sox shortstop Jose Iglesias and Blue Jays shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria up the middle.
Cabeza, also 21, signed for $500,000. Cabeza stands out for his work behind the plate, earning praise from international scouts for his receiving, throwing and game-calling. His defense is ahead of his bat, but one Latin American director said Cabeza has solid bat control and is a good situational hitter. A teammate of Silva's for La Habana in 2008-09, Cabeza hit .195 with four walks and 14 strikeouts in 82 at-bats in 2008-09.
Agent Jaime Torres represented both Silva and Cabeza. Silva is the fifth Cuban defector since 2010 to receive a bonus of at least $1 million, joining Reds lefthander Aroldis Chapman, Hechavarria, Royals lefty Noel Arguelles and Nationals righthander Yunesky Maya.
Signed: OF Ryan Patterson (Wichita (American Association))
Traded: RHP Kevin Eichhorn and LHP Ryan Robowski to Tigers for RHP Armando Galarraga
Arizona appears set at the top of its rotation with Joe Saunders, Daniel Hudson and Ian Kennedy, but general manager Kevin Towers has searched high and low to bring in reinforcements for the last two spots. He's had particular luck swapping out prospect depth for veteran starters who had been designated for assignment by their previous clubs. Earlier in the offseason, Towers dealt 26-year-old Cesar Valdez to the Pirates for lefty Zach Duke, who went 8-15, 5.72 in 29 starts for Pittsburgh. What's more, he narrowly missed finishing with the worst ERA in the National League—but he fell short of qualifying by three innings.
For his most recent DFA trade target, Towers set his sights on the Tigers' Armando Galarraga, he of the almost-perfect game last June. He's coming off a 4-9, 4.49 campaign with Detroit that included a pedestrian 74-to-51 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Interestingly, the 29-year-old Galarraga has twice been DFA'd (previously by Rangers in February ’08), despite having (essentially) thrown a perfect game and also finishing fourth in American League rookie of the year balloting in ’08. (For more on the prospects surrendered by the Diamondbacks, see the Tigers below.) [...] Continue Reading »
Major League Baseball announced 50-game suspensions for Athletics righthander Joselito Adames and Phillies righthander San Lazaro Solano after both players tested positive for anabolic steroids.
Adames, 22, tested positive for Stanozolol. Last year Adames had a 5.62 ERA in the Rookie-level Arizona League and struck out 59 batters in 53 innings.
Solano, 20, tested positive for Boldenone. He pitched 49 innings last year in the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League, where he had a 2.57 ERA.
The Blue Jays have agreed to terms with 16-year-old Dominican lefthander Jairo Labour for $350,000.
Labour, who is 6-foot-4, 185 pounds, became eligible to sign when the 2010 international signing period opened on July 2, but he developed into a better prospect later and has run his fastball up to 92 mph. Labour, who is from Azua, is a good athlete with a solid delivery and feel for spinning a breaking ball.
Signed: C Robby Hammock
Released: 2B Evan Button
Signed: 2B Mike Folli
Signed: RHP Armando Gabino (re-signed)
Boston Red Sox
Signed: SS Brent Dlugach (re-signed)
Released: 1B Jon Still
Jon Still spent all of last season on the inactive list. A fourth-round pick in ’06, he batted .233/.301/.416 for Double-A Portland in ’09. [...] Continue Reading »
Delino DeShields Jr., the Astros' first-round pick in the 2010 draft, was arrested in Georgia this morning and charged with driving under the influence, Baseball America correspondent Zachary Levine reports.
DeShields, 18, was booked at 1:06 a.m. by the Athens-Clarke County police department, then released two hours later on $2,500 bond. DeShields was also charged with underage possession of alcohol and a traffic violation.
The eighth overall pick in last year's draft, DeShields signed for $2.15 million, then hit .313/.356/.433 in 16 games in the Rookie-level Appalachian League, where he played center field. DeShields, who is from Georgia and ranks as Houston's No. 2 prospect, is the son of former major leaguer Delino DeShields, who turned 42 yesterday.
Released: RHP Andrew Huebner, RHP Thomas Phelps, 3B Matt Tucker
Boston Red Sox
Released: RHP Randy Consuegra, RHP Wilson Matos
Traded: RHP Chris Archer, C Robinson Chirinos, SS Hak-Ju Lee, OF Sam Fuld and OF Brandon Guyer to Rays for RHP Matt Garza, LHP Zach Rosscup and OF Fernando Perez
Chicago White Sox
Signed: C Alexis Fonseca [...] Continue Reading »
With the news that Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven were inducted into the Hall of Fame, we thought it would be prudent to look back at one of Alomar's minor league scouting reports. This one is from Oct. 10, 1987 when Alomar ranked as the Texas League's No. 8 prospect. The report was written by Mike Knobler. . .
Roberto Alomar, ss, Wichita
One manager said Alomar may not get to the majors until 1991, "but he's just going to get better and better."
Alomar converted from second base to shortstop this year. The consensus: He's not there yet, but he'll be great in a few years.
"If he was a second baseman I could see him play in the big leagues next year," Wichita manager Steve Smith said. "In one year he's really developed into a shortstop. It seems like the tougher the pitcher the better he hits him."
Alomar hits well, bunts well and has good defensive instincts. But he's still erratic at short.
In this installment we cover the last week week and a half of December, closing the book on 2010. At this point, teams have identified and signed most of the prime minor league free agents they had targeted, so now we begin to see more re-signings. Also, we see a few players coming back from time abroad (Tim Redding, Kevin Barker) as well as time away from the game (Xavier Cedeno, Seth McClung).
Signed: LHP Clay Zavada (re-signed)
Signed: LHP Yohan Flande
The Phillies released two players from their 40-man roster just prior to the Rule 5 draft. Lefty Yohan Flande settled with the Braves, while righthander Jesus Sanchez, a converted catcher, landed with the Brewers (see below). His performance in ’10 may not show it, but the 24-year-old Flande has some promise as an athletic lefty with a quality sinker/slider mix. For Double-A Reading, he went 10-8, 4.38 with 4.8 strikeouts and 2.5 walks per nine innings. Flande pitched for Toros del Este in the Dominican League this winter, where he had run up a 4.43 ERA over 20 1/3 innings, striking out 13. [...] Continue Reading »
Venezuelan shortstop Rougned Odor has agreed to terms with the Rangers for $425,000.
Odor, 16, is a 5-foot-10 lefthanded hitter who stands out for his simple, compact stroke and advanced feel for hitting, though many scouts believe he will move to second base. According to some who have seen Odor recently, he has also increased his speed, running as fast as 6.62 seconds in the 60-yard dash and showing similar times for multiple teams.
Odor, who has played on several Venezuelan youth national teams, is the nephew of Indians Double-A hitting coach Rouglas Odor. Baseball America subscribers can read a complete scouting report on Odor.
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