In terms of prospect development, the San Francisco Giants are one of the most underrated teams in baseball. After winning the World Series last season with several home grown players, that may begin to change. And it should. Many of the players on their World Series roster were developed by the Giants farm system. Based on their current line-up of prospects, the team looks to get better with time. A new drafting philosophy over the past several seasons has found success and is the reason their system is as deep as it is. After a season which saw Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey graduate to the majors, it is safe to say the Giants farm system is close to as strong as it was before last season.
by Eric Somsel on December 22, 2010 No Comments
It would seem that the New York Yankees are unable to develop a farm system. At least the way they make trades and sign free-agents would make it seem that way. However, a closer look would show that they are just as aggressive when it comes to acquiring minor league talent as they are with major league talent. After all, they would need a lot of talent to pull off as many trades for high profile players as they do. It is also no secret that in order to dominate for as long as they have, developing talent is a must. Several of the current Yankees came up through their farm system as well as many other successful players around the league. The current class of Yankees prospects should prove to be no different.
by Eric Somsel on December 18, 2010 3 Comments
Notorious for being one of the worst teams in Major League Baseball since moving to Washington, the Nationals have had several top draft picks to build their system from the ground up. They have a deep, talented system; though their top ten may be deceiving due to Stephen Strasburg, Drew Storen, and Ian Desmond loosing prospect status last season. Although this list is far from the most impressive prospect list this season, the Nationals likely have the most exciting stock of players under 25. Additionally, Bryce Harper picks up any and all hype that Strasburg left behind. There are several top talents in this system that tend to get lost in the excitement surrounding Strasburg and Harper.
by Andy Weiler on December 15, 2010 No Comments
Last season some of the tigers starting pitchers struggled, but by the end of the season the rotation was starting to look like the strength of the team. Justin Verlander at just 28 will be anchoring a younger staff with Scherzer and Porcello as the 2nd and 3rd starters. Phil Coke is supposed to be the 4th starter despite only starting one game in his career. He will be the oldest pitcher on the staff unless Galarraga wins the 5th spot. Galarraga will be 29 by the time the season starts and Coke will turn 29 during the season. The final spot is open for competition where the inconsistent Galarraga will have to win the spot from rookie Andy Oliver among other competition.
The tigers bullpen was a weakness of the team and will need to improve if the tigers have any hope of competing for the playoffs. They have added Joaquin Benoit to help their bullpen but will rely heavily on 2010 rookies Robbie Weinhardt and Daniel Schlereth.
by Aimee Connors on December 6, 2010 No Comments
The San Diego Padres have made it official – Adrian Gonzalez will move East to play for the Red Sox next season. Most in baseball point to this deal as another glaring reason why salary reform needs to done, and I’m not in opposition, however, don’t be too fast to cry for San Diego. They might have given up a premier Major League first-basemen, but they got three of the top minor league prospects in all of Minor League Baseball in return in 1B Anthony Rizzo (pictured), RHP Casey Kelly, and CF Reymond Fuentes.
by Josh Brown on November 15, 2010 No Comments
I am a huge fan of downtown Minor League parks. Portland, Montgomery, Memphis, Chattanooga have all done great jobs with their parks, and they seem to have all reaped some benefits of having them downtown. There’s something incredibly picturesque about a downtown park, plus it brings tourists and money into the downtown area.
by Aimee Connors on April 22, 2010 No Comments
The movie Sugar came out on limited release in April of last year and it took me a year to get it via NetFlix, but all the hype was worth the wait – and I wasn’t disapointed. Sugar is the account of a teenage Dominican, signed at 16 and playing at a Major League Academy in the Dominican, getting the call at age 18 to play in the Low-A Midwest League in the United States with the Swing of the Quad Cities (now the Quad City River Bandits).
by Josh Brown on April 8, 2010 4 Comments
Just last week, I was having dinner at the Big River Grille in downtown Chattanooga when a high school baseball team walked by. Not one player had a bent bill. With the help of some alcohol and the presence of my friend Keith (who can fight better than I can), I let out some of my pent up frustrations. As they passed, I hollered, “Bend your bills! Bend them! Bring back the bend!!” Most of the impressionable youngsters didn’t respond, except for one. He looked at me as he passed by, and with a cold Clint Eastwood sort of look in his eyes, he simply said, “No.” It was then I knew that we have a serious problem on our hands.
by Aimee Connors on March 18, 2010 No Comments
People in the game of baseball have a slightly different view of spring training than most fans, who glow with excitement at the words, “Pitchers and catchers report,” and drool over the opportunity to see the game’s biggest stars in the quaint Grapefruit or Cactus League ballparks.
The reality for most who have played the game is that while highly touted prospects battle on the big field for a chance to head north with the Major League club, the real battles are held on the back fields. These minor leaguers, most of whom are anonymous to media and fan base alike, take the field every morning and leave the field every night with their ears perked, waiting for the doomsday-like call into an office where a group of people let them know their dream is over.
by Aimee Connors on March 3, 2010 No Comments
I was recently asked to be a guest blogger on www.doublegsports.com to give my argument on why Phil Hughes should be the 5th starter over Joba Chamberlain. Here is the article:
The New York Yankees have more money than they know what to do with – if you walked into their locker room, closed your eyes, spun around and pointed your finger, you’d have a 40% chance of landing on a $9+ million dollar salary.
However, in 2010, the Steinbrenner family via GM Brian Cashman pulled some money back from the large pile usually set aside for free agents, opting to fill their holes with “bargin” players in trades for 4th starter Javier Vasquez and center fielder Curtis Granderson, and downgrading at DH from Hidecki Matsui ($13mm) to Nick Johnson ($5.5mm) and in left field from Johnny Damon ($13mm) to Randy Winn ($2mm).
In order to fills the holes left by the Yankees recent (relative) stinginess, they face the decision of continuing to run with either Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain as their 5th starter, both of whom have been effective relievers with spotty records as big league starters. Hughes, who was hampered by injuries in his first two Major League seasons, finally looks ready to be a productive starter for the Yanks and return Joba to where he belongs – the bullpen.