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The last twenty comments in true blog fasion, with the links to their authors and the player commented upon.

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Hank Aaron Milwaukee Brewers

A great essay that a friend reminded me of. This is my favorite paragraph:

Jackie Robinson was about leadership. When I was a rookie with the Braves and we came north with the Dodgers after spring training, I sat in the corner of Jackie's hotel room, thumbing through magazines, as he and his black teammates -- Roy Campanella, Don Newcombe, Junior Gilliam and Joe Black -- played cards and went over strategy: what to do if a fight broke out on the field; if a pitcher threw at them; if somebody called one of them ''nigger.''

https://www.nytimes.com/1997/04/13/opinion/when-baseball-mattered.html

Alex Patton Alex
Julio Rodriguez Seattle Mariners

BP rolled out its top 10 prospects on the Mariners this afternoon.


  • 1.
  • Julio Y. Rodríguez
  • OF
  • Born: 2000-12-29
  • B: Right
  • T: Right
  • H: 6′ 3″
  • W: 180 lbs.
  • Signed July 2017 by Seattle out of the Dominican Republic for $1.75 million.


YearTeamLevelAgePAR2B3BHRRBIBBKSBCSAVGOBPSLGDRC+BABIP
2019WVLo-A18295502011050206613.293.359.490159.353
2019MODHi-A1872136321951000.462.514.738254.528
2019WIN186374001081041.288.397.365.349

The Report: Here’s the one sentence version of this report: Rodríguez hits the ball harder than any other prospect in any system.

The longer version adds some more feats of strength. Rodríguez played the entire 2019 season at age 18. He was one of the best hitters in the Low-A South Atlantic League for the bulk of the season, then went up and torched High-A for a few weeks at the end, then shined in the Arizona Fall League. His swing is compact and quick, and he’s starting to lift the ball more in a way that belies future high-end power. He manages the strike zone very well, with an extremely advanced approach for his age. He’s an above-average runner, and though we think his defensive profile will play best in right given his excellent arm, he has some chance to play center too.

Development Track: The only downside we can find is that he’s missed a good deal of time with injuries. Rodríguez was out for a couple months in 2019 with a hand injury from a hit-by-pitch, and he missed some time this summer from a wrist injury from base-running practice. What we heard and saw of his 2020 developmental time was loud enough that we’re still bumping him up.

OFP: 70 / All-Star outfielder 

Variance: Medium. The injuries and lack of pro experience are, I guess, slight concerns. But you can make a cogent argument that Rodríguez is the best prospect in baseball right now. —Jarrett Seidler

Major league ETA: Late 2021/Early 2022

Mark Barry’s Fantasy Take: Do you like really good baseball players that are really good at hitting baseballs? I don’t know that he’ll run for very much longer (or with a ton of volume), but it wouldn’t shock me to see future seasons of .300/35 homers, perhaps even in the near future. Do whatever you can to get Julio Rodríguez on your fantasy team.

Alex Patton Alex
Anthony Bass Miami Marlins

Signs with the Marlins. Possible closer or setup guy.

Kent Ostby Seadogs
Hank Aaron Milwaukee Brewers

Aaron and Bench ... a classic moment! :-)

Howard Lynch LynchMob

And an amazing mother ... a favorite photo ... and now I want to rewatch the Ken Burns doc and refresh on Aaron's quote about this hug ... something along the lines of "I never knew my mother could hug so hard" :-)

Howard Lynch LynchMob
Jurickson Profar San Diego Padres

From the beginning of 2019, through late August 2020, Profar posted a .213/.282/.394 stat line with 24 HR and 12 SB in 555 AB. (81 runs scored, 79 RBI)

He closed out 2020 with 25 games, 84 AB, hitting .381/.404/.548 with 3 HR and 4 SB.

So if you combine September 2020 with 2018 - you have a guy with 608 ABs hitting .271/.325/.470 with 23 HR and 14 SB.  (94 runs scored, 90 RBI)

Lessons?

If he gets the PT, his counting stats are fixed quantities.  Pencil him as a 20/10 performer with 80 run/80 RBI.

But the Pads are going for it ... and there's a lot of depth ... and if he has his typical slow April (career April OPS is 170 points below his career average) does he get enough of a chance the rest of the way?

Phil Ponebshek Texpope
Hank Aaron Milwaukee Brewers

So sad.

Among other things, a great voice. Click on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution link.

Alex Patton Alex

RIP :-(

SABR Bio ... what a man!

715

Howard Lynch LynchMob
Jurickson Profar San Diego Padres
Cody Bolton Pittsburgh Pirates
  • 9.
  • Cody Bolton
  • P
  • Born: 1998-06-19
  • B: Right
  • T: Right
  • H: 6′ 3″
  • W: 185 lbs.
  • Drafted in the sixth round of the 2017 draft, Tracy HS (Tracy, CA); signed for $300,000.
YearTeamLevelAgeWLSVGGSIPHHRBB%K%KGB%BABIPWHIPERADRA
2019BRDHi-A21630121261.23915.9%28.9%6948.1%.2450.861.612.73
2019ALTAA212309940.03769.6%19.8%3334.7%.2771.335.854.31

The Report: Bolton began 2019 with High-A Bradenton and absolutely shoved there, compiling a 1.61 ERA with 69 strikeouts over 61 2/3 innings, which led to a midseason promotion to Double-A Altoona. While there, however, Bolton struggled mightily in his nine starts, getting victimized by the long ball. To bounce back from the rough stretch, Bolton needs to improve pitch execution for all three offerings, especially working on his changeup development, as that pitch lagged behind the fastball and slider in 2019. Bolton’s fastball sits in the low-to-mid-90s showing some cut and life to it, while the slider is a power breaker in the high 80s with average command that he pairs with the fastball well. He made some strides with his changeup at the alternate site, but needs to continue to work on starting it in the zone and getting it to consistently turn over to make it the necessary third pitch in the arsenal.

Development Track: Given Bolton’s struggles in his first Altoona stint there’s a chance he returns to the Eastern League in 2021. He will only turn 23 next season, so there isn’t a need to rush him to the bullpen yet, but to stay a starter long term, he will need to keep developing the changeup and add more innings to his ledger.

OFP: 55 / No. 3/4 starter or late inning reliever

Variance: Medium. As mentioned above, the fastball and slider will play at the highest level and should earn Bolton a late-inning role in the bigs. Although, a mid-rotation starter projection is still in play for now.—Forest Stulting

Major league ETA: Late 2021/Early 2022

Mark Barry’s Fantasy Take: I think Bolton is probably a reliever, so he doesn’t need to be on your radar until he lands a ninth-inning job.

Alex Patton Alex
Brennen Davis Chicago Cubs
72
Headshot 2021 Brennen Davis 98606 Milb
Notes:

Final 2020 Ranking: 90 
Tools: Hit: 50 | Power: 60 | Run: 60 | Fielding: 50 | Arm: 60 
Skinny: Davis is extremely tooled-up and, after playing basketball in high school, might be just beginning to tap into his abilities on the diamond. 


CLICK HERE TO READ HIS FULL SCOUTING REPORT

Alex Patton Alex
Jeter Downs Boston Red Sox
71
Headshot 2021 Jeter Downs 99348 Mlb

Jeter Downs

Red Sox2B/SS
Notes:

Final 2020 Ranking: 82 
Tools: Hit: 55 | Power: 55 | Run: 50 | Fielding: 50 | Arm: 50 
Skinny: One of the prizes in the Mookie Betts trade, Downs could provide offensive thump at a middle-infield position. 


CLICK HERE TO READ HIS FULL SCOUTING REPORT

Alex Patton Alex
Alejandro Kirk Toronto Blue Jays

Without the myriad prospect lists, what would I be cut and pasting?

70
Headshot 2021 Alejandro Kirk 97027 Mlb

Alejandro Kirk

Blue JaysC
Notes:

Final 2020 Ranking: 98 
Tools: Hit: 70 | Power: 50 | Run: 20 | Fielding: 45 | Arm: 50 
Skinny: Evaluators are split on whether Kirk can stay behind the plate, but he should hit for average and power. 


CLICK HERE TO READ HIS FULL SCOUTING REPORT

Alex Patton Alex
Trevor Bauer Cincinnati Reds

Without Steve Cohen, what would Joel Sherman be writing about this winter?

Or does Cohen see this: Jacob deGrom, Bauer, Carlos Carrasco, Marcus Stroman and David Peterson with Noah Syndergaard in the wings? The Nationals won the World Series in 2019 with a rotation that looked like this, and arguably less offense and bullpen than the Mets currently possess.

However, almost any Bauer deal would soar the Mets beyond the $210 million luxury-tax threshold, and Cohen has indicated...

https://nypost.com/2021/01/21/trevor-bauer-investment-puzzle-mets-are-facing-sherman/

Alex Patton Alex
David Robertson Philadelphia Phillies

David Robertson (P) - Jan. 21

https://www.rotowire.com/baseball/player.php?id=762482

Robertson (elbow) threw a bullpen Thursday, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports.

ROTOWIRE RECOMMENDS: Robertson was shut down at the end of August after a setback in his recovery from Tommy John surgery, and his team option was declined by the Phillies after the end of the 2020 season. The right-hander's bullpen session was his first of the offseason, although he's planning a showcase for teams in early February. Robertson underwent his procedure in August of 2019 and could return to game action early in the 2021 campaign if he's able to find a roster spot during the offseason. 

Alex Patton Alex
Jason Castro Houston Astros

Jason Castro (C) HOU - Jan. 21

https://www.rotowire.com/baseball/player.php?id=762477

Castro agreed Thursday with the Astros on a two-year, $7 million contract, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.

ROTOWIRE RECOMMENDS: After stops with the Twins, Angels and Padres across the last four seasons, Castro will return to the organization that made him a first-round selection in the 2008 first-year player draft. According to Jake Kaplan of The Athletic, Houston is planning to deploy Castro as its No. 2 catcher behind defensive stalwart Martin Maldonado, with Kaplan estimating that the latter will garner about 60 or 65 percent of the starts.

Alex Patton Alex
Franmil Reyes Cleveland Indians
Wander Franco Tampa Bay Rays

BP unveiled its top 101 today:

"Look. Nobody reads the intro. Below are the 101 best prospects in baseball. Enjoy."

1.) Wander Franco, SS, Tampa Bay Rays

2.) Adley Rutschman, C, Baltimore Orioles

3.) Julio Rodríguez, OF, Seattle Mariners

4.) Sixto Sánchez, RHP, Miami Marlins

5.) Ian Anderson, RHP, Atlanta Braves

Alex Patton Alex
Chris Davis Baltimore Orioles

I like how the player with the most toxic contract in baseball is where the COVID thread lands.

Also, Davis managed to post his lowest SO % in years in 2020. So he has that going for him.

GEOFF CRESAP SydThrift
Don Sutton Los Angeles Dodgers

Tyler Kepner asked him a few years ago if Sutton minded that he never won the World Series (he played in four). His answer:

“Mine is an uncommon attitude, and you can trace it back to the fact that it wasn’t an emotional experience for me, it was a job,” said Sutton, who was born in Clio, Ala., and moved as a child to the Florida panhandle. “I grew up in an atmosphere in the rural South where if we didn’t work, if we weren’t all there, if we didn’t put all our efforts into it and if we didn’t take pride in it, we didn’t eat. It was easy to take that approach to life into baseball.

“It made baseball easy, because I saw my dad working 10, 12 hours a day during all kinds of conditions just to get by. So I could certainly put that same effort into an easy job, which major league baseball was. It was an easy job, made easier because my dad taught me how to work. It wasn’t like for the first time in my life I had to do some work. I just transferred that to baseball.

“So it wasn’t like I thought if we won the world’s championship I was going to become an expert on cars and space travel and this kind of stuff. All I was going to do was be an athlete whose team had a little bit higher record.”

... He was 20 years old in spring training 1966, when Koufax and Don Drysdale staged a holdout, an early tremor in the era just before free agency. Years later, Sutton would famously say, “I’m the most loyal player money can buy,” an honest, realistic motto for players ever since.

“The names and the faces and the uniforms could have been different,” Sutton told me. “But I would have taken the same approach if I had been playing in Leningrad or outer Somalia. I didn’t care. I was a major league pitcher; I was not a Dodger, I was a man playing for the Dodgers. It would be like if you went to somebody and said: ‘Are you a U.S. Steel? Are you a General Motors?’ No, I’m not, I’m a person. And that was my approach to it. It wasn’t always the most popular one, but it worked for me.”


https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/20/sports/baseball/don-sutton.html

Alex Patton Alex

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