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By Ryan Ritchey ( MLB Reports Writer) Follow @baseballaddicts
In 2012 Billy Hamilton was one of the most well known Minor Leaguers in all of baseball. Starting out in A+ ball with the Bakersfield Blaze, Hamilton was looking to be on the fast track to the big leagues by September. He played in 82 games with the Blaze and hit .326 with 104 stolen bases.
Hamilton got the call up to Pensacola (which is the AA affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds) and played in 50 games, Stealing 51 Bases. Things didn’t go as planned for him at the plate in Pensacola and he didn’t make it on the 40 man September roster for the Reds.
Billy Hamilton’s Inside the Park HR:
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Saturday, March 16, 2013
In December, we took a look at Miami moving forward after the now infamous salary dump of the Winter of ’12. Living in South Florida, its been an interesting off-season to discuss baseball with those who care about the sport. Some believe that the trade was a positive baseball move, others think it was another in a long line of for profit motivated transactions by a team whose reputation is for that type of maneuver.
In either case, with opening day approximately three (3) weeks ahead of us, it is now time to move on from the trade and examine to a greater degree what the 2013 season holds for the Miami franchise.
As with the past article, we will start with Giancarlo Stanton. Statistically, we have spent a large portion of time discussing Stanton’s strengths. He is an elite power presence in the middle of the Marlins lineup. I won’t spend time re-hashing the statistics that we have already went over. I do think its important to point out a few things that may effect Stanton’s output this year.
For Part 1 of the Marlins State Of The Union Piece in December – The Hitters: click here
For Part 2 of the Marlins State Of The Union Piece in December – The Pitchers: click here
More Giancarlo Stanton Highlights – Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is advised:
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Tuesday February.12, 2013
By Jordan Gluck (Prospects/Baseball Operations Correspondent) Follow @JGluck777
Before I show you my top 100 prospects – I want to get you familiar with my grading tactics and styles and what I value most. All prospects have ceilings and very few players reach that ceiling. First lets go through the tools of what I personally value most and where.
Those are the 5(6) tools that scouts use and the scale goes from 20-80. 80 being HOF rare like Giancarlo Stanton Power and 20 being absolutely terrible like Bengie Molina has 20 speed. Most people reading this will probably have more than 20 speed so that’s how pathetic it is.
Jurickson Profar Prospect Highlights:
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By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Intern): Follow @ryandana1
Seattle Mariners fans must be pretty amazing, Felix Hernandez sticking with their team through recent times. The Mariners were established in 1977 and have made the playoffs just 4 times in their history. They were the AL West champs 3 times (’95, ’97, ’01) and winners of the Wild Card once (’00). They have never won a World Series, or even an AL Pennant, and in 2012 they shipped off a fan favorite, Ichiro Suzuki, to the Yankees. The AL West is a tough division. The Rangers and Athletics made the playoffs last year, and the Angels just landed the prize of the off-season in slugger Josh Hamilton. I guess one bright spot is the Astros are moving to the AL West, so the Mariners won’t be rebuilding within the brutal division alone.
The Seattle Mariners hopes and dreams start where they have for years now, on the shoulders of King Felix. Felix Hernandez is no doubt an Ace. He has pitched 200+ innings every year since ’08, and had a sub 4.00 ERA every year since ’07. Hernandez won the AL Cy Young in 2010, and is a perennial contender for the award. Last year the Seattle fireballer threw his first Perfect Game. Hernandez will once again be atop the Mariners rotation, which as of now figures to include Hisashi Iwakuma, Blake Beavan, Erasmo Ramirez, and Hector Noesi.
Hisashi Iwakuma was a pleasant surprise for the Mariners in 2012. He wasn’t a greatly sought after oversees free agent last year, overshadowed greatly by fellow Japanese hurler Yu Darvish, but proved to be a great signing. Iwakuma started 2012 in the bullpen until he later earned a spot in the team’s rotation. Iwakuma managed a very respectable 3.16 ERA in the 125.1 innings he split between the rotation and the pen. This success is part of the reason the Mariners resigned the pitcher to a 2YR/14 Million Dollar deal this past November. He figures to hold down the 2nd spot in the rotation and should do just fine if 2012 was a sign of things to come.
Blake Beavan is still just 23 Years Old, but he already has 41 Major League Starts under his belt which gives the club hope he can hold down the 3rd or 4th slot in the rotation. Beavan clearly has the talent which is what made him a 1st Round draft pick out of high school for the Rangers, and the reason the Mariners made sure he was a part of the package they received in return for Cliff Lee in 2010. Beavan’s 2012 stats won’t impress a lot of people, but they were a good start for a young player like himself to build and improve upon.
Felix Hernandez Highlights: Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is advised
Thursday, December.6, 2012
Nicholas Rossoletti (Guest Baseball Writer and Marlins Correspondent): Follow @NRoss56
Coming into the 2012 season, the Miami Marlins were entering a new stage in their franchise history. The City of Miami had graciously (and according to some residents, foolishly) provided the organization with a new 600 million dollar home in the New Marlins Ball Park. The franchise changed its name to Miami instead of Florida, its colors and albeit briefly, its spending habits in the free agent market. The Marlins decided to build on the foundation of Hanley Ramirez, Josh Johnson, Anibal Sanchez, Ricky Nolasco, Omar Infante, Gaby Sanchez and Giancarlo Stanton. As most know, when building a championship contender it is of crucial importance that the foundation is solid. This foundation was anything but. Despite the numerous question marks surrounding a Marlins team that won 72 games in 2011, the Marlins went out and spent money in the Free Agent market in a way that had not been seen in South Florida since 1997.
The organization placed expensive brick after expensive brick on top of this foundation refusing to see the glaring cracks developing across the surface. The ace, Josh Johnson, was coming off a shoulder injury that cost him all but 60 innings in 2011. The star offensive player, Ramirez, had not produced at “star” level in two seasons. Ramirez had produced back to back seasons of adding 7 wins to the team in 2008 and 2009. In 2010, Ramirez posted a WAR of 4.6 and in 2011 a WAR of 1.3. At best, Hanley was a player with huge question marks. Needless to say, it was a strange decision to spend money to add to this group instead of questioning whether this group should be sold off for spare parts and the foundation re-poured. We all know how this ended. In another excruciating fire sale by the franchise who knows little else. And now we are left, the residents of South Florida with a monstrous stadium, an eyesore of a statute in Centerfield and little hope for the future…. or are we?
Saturday September 15th, 2012
Jake Dal Porto: Pedro Alvarez is starting to turn the corner. Taking the next step. But, early career struggles had insiders, fans, writers, and everything in-between, labeling him as a “bust”. Let’s not forget that he was the second overall pick in the 2008 draft. So pressure and expectations are sky-high for him, and that’s not anything out of the ordinary. That’s a common theme with almost all high MLB draft picks. Alvarez, however, didn’t meet or exceed those expectations when he first broke into the majors, which caused some concern throughout the club.
In an article on Baseball America, one writer called him “the biggest waste of hitting talent in draft history”. That’s a pretty bold statement especially from a respected baseball publication. Sure, if it came from some snobby fan, then a statement like that would simply be shrugged off. That wasn’t the case, however. And believe it or not, that bold statement was pretty precise. Harsh? Yes. True? You bet. Yes Alvarez was young, but there were too many red flags to ignore at this stage of his young career. Read the rest of this entry
Thursday July 5th, 2012
John Burns: On July8th 2012, the 14th annual MLB All-Star Futures Game will be held at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.
For those who do not know about the Futures Game, it is where a team of minor league baseball prospects from the United States and a team of prospects from other countries in the World compete against each other in a 9-inning exhibition game. The rosters for both teams are picked by Baseball America and all 30 teams must have at least one representative.
Here are some highly regarded names of players that will be playing in this year’s Futures Game: Dylan Bundy (BAL), Manny Machado (BAL), Billy Hamilton (CIN), Nick Castellanos (DET), Wil Myers (KC), Zack Wheeler (NYM), Gerrit Cole (PIT), Jameson Taillon (PIT), Danny Hultzen (SEA), Enny Romero (TB), and Anthony Gose (TOR). Read the rest of this entry
Thursday January 12th, 2012
Sam Evans: Over the last couple years, the Royals have finally begun the climb towards respectability in the baseball world. Not especially for their major league team, but more so due to the volume of minor league talent they have recently accumulated. In 2011, both Baseball America and Keith Law ranked the Royals first in their annual organization prospect rankings. Now, with some of their top prospects already having graduated to the majors, it’s time to see what these guys can do.
Royals GM Dayton Moore has made some questionable, and to be fair, inexplicable moves since he took over in 2006. For example, he signed Jose Guillen and Gil Meche to contracts where both players were making over ten million dollars a year. On the positive side, Moore has been valorous enough to outbid teams for young, international talent. Despite his somewhat ineffective grading of major-league talent, Moore has acquired the pieces to assemble a playoff contender in the next coming years through his development of the farm.
Sometimes people think that Moneyball was all about on-base percentage. Actually, it is about the A’s finding a way to compete with teams with larger payrolls by exploiting market inefficiencies. It seems that over the last couple of years, other small-market teams have found a way to beat the system by paying more for talented international players. The Royals have used that, along with numerous other scouting techniques, in order to attain the talent that they otherwise could not ordinarily afford.
The Royals have talent everywhere, but most of it is a couple of good years away from making a difference in the majors. Sure, in 2012, the Royals will have young studs like Eric Hosmer and Lorenzo Cain playing every day. But they are definitely not ready yet to compete with the Tigers. Kansas City has an unexciting rotation heading into spring training, that will be probably be one of the worst in the American League, given that too many inexperienced players will be counted on to play above their heads.
The truth is that the Royals have some of the top talented prospects in the game. The top prospects don’t always pan out, while some of the lesser-known ones turn into superstars. You just have to hope to have the right combination of breakout players on your team to succeed. The Royals have built a bottom-heavy organization that is a few years away from competing. Royals fans have a lot to be excited about… in the future. 2012 will most likely be another sub-.500 year for the Royals, but it will be filled with highlights and the promise of a future playoff contending team. At least there is hope and promise!
**Today’s feature was prepared by our Baseball Writer, Sam Evans. We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers. You can also follow Sam on Twitter***
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