A game that had been chippy got ugly in the ninth inning as the Canada-Mexico game was delayed by a benches-clearing brawl. And unlike most baseball brawls that involve just a little pushing and shoving, this one degenerated into several significant fights.
There had been several physical plays through the course of the game. Chris Robinson went out of his way to upend second baseman Ramiro Pena on a double play ball in the first. Karim Garcia repaid the favor by trucking Robinson in a play at the plate in the fourth, although it was Garcia who left the game.
None of that seemed to really matter until the ninth. Robinson, part of the first two incidents, laid down a bunt for a single to start the inning. With the game already largely decided (it was 9-3) Mexico took offense, although with the run differential tiebreakers, it's fair to argue that each and every run can be important. [...] Continue Reading »
Stetson Allie, the Pirates' second-round pick in 2010, is being converted to a position player, former Baseball America correspondent Dejan Kovacevic reported in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review today.
The move is a stunning one, as Allie was one of the most significant signings of the 2010 draft–his $2.2 million signing bonus was the ninth-highest in that draft. Now after just 27 pro innings, Allie is becoming a hitter. He was a legitimate two-way prospect coming out of high school, but he was a significantly better prospect as a pitcher. He was considered a top 100 prospect as a hitter; a first-round talent as a pitcher. [...] Continue Reading »
Remember the Diamondbacks' Double-A Mobile team that won the Southern League last year and was our Minor League Team of the Year? Well, the core of that team returns, at least to start the season, and will have one of the best rotations in the minor leagues. Rightander Trevor Bauer is the headliner, but lefthanders Tyler Skaggs and Patrick Corbin and righthander Charles Brewer are premium guys as well. Skaggs and Corbin stuck in major league spring training right to the end of camp, and Corbin very nearly made the team. He finished his spring with five no-hit innings against the Rockies, even going 2-for-2 at the plate with a triple. The BayBears will have prospects in the field as well, with A.J. Pollock returning in center field and Matt Davidson moving up from high Class A Visalia and slotted at first base.
Leap Of Faith
As the Mobile roster shows, the stability of Arizona's major league roster has hurt the upward mobility of some of the Diamondbacks' prospects. But two premium college draft picks from last year, lefthander Andrew Chafin (supplemental first round) and righthander Anthony Meo (second round), head straight to the Visalia rotation. That rotation will be fronted by lefthander David Holmberg, who finished last season with the Rawhide after a midseason promotion. Righthander Archie Bradley, the seventh overall pick last year after Bauer went third, will open at low Class A South Bend, though placing him there is hardly a leap of faith.
Where Is That Guy?
Two prep selections from the first five rounds of last year's draft class did not make full-season rosters. Outfielder Justin Blanco and catcher Michael Perez will work in extended spring before getting short-season assignments. Don't forget about righthander Kyle Winkler on the Visalia roster. He was in first-round consideration for last year's draft at Texas Christian before developing a stress fracture in his elbow. He's healthy now and will probably work in a tandem arrangement at the back of Visalia's rotation to work himself back into form.
Time Is Running Out
The Diamondbacks system is well stocked right now, so that means prospects who falter could get left behind. Among the organization's top guys, outfielder Bobby Borchering probably did not expect to return to Visalia after spending all season there in 2011 and hitting 24 home runs. Borchering will be in left field and Keon Broxton will be in center, also returning to Visalia after spending all but 20 games there last season. Both need to show more with the bat to continue moving up. Among lower-level players, outfielder Ty Linton still has not made a full-season roster after getting drafted out of high school in 2010 and signing for $1.25 million. Linton was a football player first in high school, so Arizona knew his development would be a project.
Many of the major league Rule 5 players were profiled in our previews, both the subscriber link and the blog update Wednesday. This file, meanwhile, sat in the Drafts folder for a couple of hours; I merged it with a comments post that pointed out that we'd left stuff out.
Speedy outfielder Brad Chalk, the former Clemson player, was the first Triple-A phase pick out of the Padres system, going to the Pirates. [...] Continue Reading »
We're close to announcing our Minor League Player of the Year award. To help get you ready, John Manuel and Matt Eddy analyzed the pluses and minuses of the top candidates
What was already a good start to the 2010 season for the Royals' farm system just got better.
Lefthander Danny Duffy, who had left the team and returned home during spring training, has decided to return to pro baseball. He has reported to the Royals' facilities in Arizona where the team is currently holding extended spring games.
Duffy is 19-10, 2.49 in three pro seasons and was rated as the organization's No. 8 prospect before the season began. While Duffy does not have the pure velocity to match fellow Royals' lefthanders Chris Dwyer and Mike Montgomery, his feel for pitching and solid stuff has been successful everywhere he's pitched. He was projected to go to Double-A Northwest Arkansas to start the season, but for now he'll be working out in extended spring training as he rounds back into pitching shape.
By Cory Giger, Altoona Mirror
ALTOONA, Pa.—Stephen Strasburg's minor league debut turned into a major spectacle for both the 21-year-old phenom and the Altoona Curve franchise.
More than 70 media members showed up Sunday afternoon at Blair County Ballpark to see Strasburg start for Double-A Harrisburg. The rest of the nation, meanwhile, got a chance to watch his performance live on ESPNews, making it one of the biggest events in Altoona sports history.
"Great atmosphere," Strasburg said of the experience. "It's just an amazing feeling to have your first outing in front of a sellout crowd and all the attention and everything.
"It made it seem like this was one of the biggest games of my life, when it was actually the fourth game of the season." [...] Continue Reading »
Rockies lefthander Christian Friedrich, who was recently promoted to high Class A Modesto, has not pitched since June 10. Rockies farm director Marc Gustafson said Friedrich has been sidelined with irritation in the back of his left triceps—something that occurred during a bullpen session after his last start.
"We’re going day-to-day and we’re probably being a little conservative, but obviously we need to be," Gustafson said. "We’ll give him the time he needs to make sure he’s pain-free and has a full bullpen session before he throws again."
On the season, Friedrich is 4-3, 2.34 with 86 strikeouts and 20 walks over 65 innings.
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