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2014′s Top Home Run Hitters (MLB): HR Streaks (3 Active) (Puig, Dozier, Crawford) + Goldy’s Big Night)

Paul Goldschmidt was the best hitter in the line up for Arizona. He carried the offense for the whole season and also played stellar defense at first base for the team. There were numerous occasions during the season where Arizona needed a clutch hit and Goldschmidt came through when it mattered most. He had a .302/.401/.952 triple-slash with 36 HRs and 125 RBIs and this also included him having 332 Total Bases. He also led the National League in Extra-Base hits with 75 and was third in runs scored at 103. He gave opposing pitchers nightmares when runners were in scoring position, where he had a .338 average with 12 HRs 84 RBIs. He proved to be a very good clutch hitter where he hit 13 HRs from the seventh inning on.  In 2014, he has continued his assault on NL pitching, despite the club not faring as well.  Heading into Sunday, he has a slash line of .324/.375/.571 - and leads the NL in GP (45) PA (202) AB (182) H (59) 2B (18) XBH (27) and TB (104) and is tied for 4th in HRs with 9.

Paul Goldschmidt  carried the offense for the whole season in 2013 and also played stellar defense at first base for the DBacks. . He had a .302/.401/.952 triple-slash with 36 HRs and 125 RBIs – and this also included him having 332 Total Bases. He also led the National League in Extra-Base hits with 75 and was third in runs scored at 103. He finished 2nd in NL MVP Voting for his efforts. . In 2014, he has continued his assault on NL pitching, despite the club not faring as well. Heading into Sunday, he has a slash line of .324/.375/.571 – and leads the NL in GP (45) PA (202) AB (182) H (59) 2B (18) XBH (27) and TB (104) and is tied for 4th in HRs with 9.

Paul Goldschmidt absolutely obliterated Dodgers Pitching on Saturday night, touching them up for 2 HRs, 2 – 2B, 6 RBI 5 Runs, Added 12 Total Bases, and even walked once for good measure.

Goldschmidt also was the only MLB’er to smack 2 big flies yesterday.  Furthermore he entered a logjam of players that are now tied for 4th place in the NL with Charlie Blackmon, Carlos Gomez, Brandon Belt, Justin Upton Adrian Gonzalez and Yasiel Puig.

Speaking of Puig, he hit a HR for a 2nd straight game, and his 4th smash over the fence of the week.  He finds himself back in the top 5 in several offensive categories.

Troy Tulowitzki enjoyed home cooking again, with his 3 – 4 night, with his 12th HR to stay tied with other NL Leader Giancarlo Stanton.

Both Jose Bautista and Brian Dozier did yard work yesterday, to draw themselves in a tie for 3rd place each with Nelson Cruz of the Baltimore Orioles.

Current HR streaks that ended yesterday were Derek Dietrich at 2, and Josh Donaldson at 3 games straight, although the A’s 3B hit a Triple and added 3 RBI in the win versus the Indians in Cleveland Saturday. Read the rest of this entry

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2014′s Top Home Run Hitters (MLB): HR Streaks (2 Active) (Donaldson-3,Dietrich-2) + Reddick WHAMS 2 Dingers FRI

Last year the RF was struggling mightily early in the year before he crushed a 3 HR game and a 2 HR game versus the Toronto Blue Jays at SkyDome. The LHB is a streaky hitter, but he has yet to duplicate his sustained success in the 2012 year, where he mashed 32 HRs for the year. If you look at his 2014 Slash Line, it looks a lot alike last campaign.  2013 - .226/.307/.379 - with 12 HRs and 56 RBI in 385 AB. 2014 #s now are .236/.297/.386  - with 4 HRs and 18 RBI, which is just about a 1/3rd of the totals pace from last year.

Last year Josh Reddick was struggling mightily early in the year before he crushed a 3 HR game and a 2 HR game versus the Toronto Blue Jays at SkyDome in 2 straight days.  .The LHB is a streaky hitter, but he has yet to duplicate his sustained success in the 2012 year, where he mashed 32 HRs for the whole season. If you look at his 2014 Slash Line, it looks a lot alike last campaign. 2013 – .226/.307/.379 – with 12 HRs and 56 RBI in 385 AB.  HIs 2014 #s now are .236/.297/.386 – with 4 HRs and 18 RBI, which is just about a 1/3rd of the totals pace from last year in a 1/3rd of the Games Played..

Josh Reddick has broken out of his slump and pasted the ball over the last 3 games.  His Grand Slam and 2 run HR effort last night, coupled with his HR a few nights ago, now give him 3 HRs on the year.

Reddick must continue his assault on pitching, as the team just picked up Kyle Blanks, and they are already armed with Coco Crisp, Yoenis Cespedes, Craig Gentry and Brandon Moss, all rotating through OF/DH/1B.

While Moss will see more action at the First Base Position, likely in a platoon with Blanks, both have capable ability to play RF like him.

Still for one night, it was good to see him rake the ball again, and all the Oakland fans are now bringing back the song ” Careless Whisper” by Wham, as it is the slugger’s walkup song.

Yeah, baseball players are not very superstitious are they? Read the rest of this entry

2014′s Top Home Run Hitters In The MLB: HR Streaks (3 Active): (Donaldson, Cruz, Morse) + EE IS Mashing!

Encarnacion has put together back to back great seasons in the middle of the Jays lineup, bashing out 42 HRs in 2012, and then knocking out another 36 in 2013.  At just a contract extension of 3 YRs/$29 MIL for 2014 - 2016, the Jays MGMT can be happy with the sluggers value. EE started off slow in April with just one HR, although he has exploded for 7 in May already, and he has vaulted into the RBI race with 30 knocked in as well.  Encarnacion is third in the Majors In HRs since the start of the 2012 season

Encarnacion has put together back to back great seasons in the middle of the Jays lineup, bashing out 42 HRs in 2012, and then knocking out another 36 in 2013. At just a contract extension of 3 YRs/$29 MIL for 2014 – 2016, the Jays MGMT can be happy with the sluggers value. EE started off slow in April with just one HR, although he has exploded for 7 in May already, and he has vaulted into the RBI race with 30 knocked in as well. Encarnacion is third in the Majors In HRs since the start of the 2012 season.  Last night, he had his 2nd 2 HR game in 8 days.  EE also has a 3 game HR streak this month as well.

Edwin Encarnacion had his 2nd Multi HR game of May already, and now after a slow start, has clubbed 8 HRs and added 30 RBI for the year.

Double EE has been one of the most consistent HR hitters in the MLB from the start of the 2012 campaign, as he trails only Miguel Cabrera (94 HRs) and Chris Davis (88 HRs) – with hit total tally of 86 Homers in that time frame.

Encarnacion hit 42 HRs in 2012, and nailed 36 of them last season.

In addition to his 2 Multi HR games, he also had HRs in 3 straight games earlier in this month.

Juan Francisco and he are carrying the club, with teams seemingly pitching around Jose Bautista.

Francisco himself as done yard work 7 times in just 82 AB this year.  The new Blue Jays 3B has given them an infusion of offense.

It is kind of weird that the Brewers gave up on him – after this 27 Year Old, (who can play 1B/3B and PH) cracked 13 HRs and 32 RBI in his 240 AB for the 2013 Year.

The Brew Crew opted for Mark Reynolds, who was more expensive, but could potentially draw more walks.  Both of them strike out a ton.

Anyways, Francisco had hit 20 HRs and added 50 RBI in his last 322 AB in the big leagues.  This will suit the Canadian franchise just fine, even if his whiff rate his high.

It is funny how names continue to pop out within this organization.  There was Juan Encarnacion, then Edwin Encarnacion.

Then you have Frank Francisco, Ben Francisco – and now Juan Francisco, which is a mix for Ben Francisco and Juan Encarnacion.

Of course they already have two Jose’s in Bautista and Reyes, and they also had  Perez’s last year.

And I digress. Read the rest of this entry

Houston Astros Roster In 2014 Part 1: How All Of The Hitters Were Acquired

The Astros decided to rebuild a few years ago  In doing so they traded away Lance Berkman, Roy Oswalt, Hunter Pence, Carlos Lee, at first, and then have since also traded Bud Norris, Jed Lowrie, Jordan Lyles and Brandon Barnes.  Many of the transactions have given the team many of its current roster today, with many of the players also with the organization - while hardly any of the departing guys are with the team that dealt for them.  Today is the 1st part of a 2 parter seeing how the current club was assembled by the Astros.

The Astros decided to rebuild a few years ago In doing so they traded away Lance Berkman, Roy Oswalt, Hunter Pence, Carlos Lee, at first, and then have since also traded Bud Norris, Jed Lowrie, Jordan Lyles and Brandon Barnes. Many of the transactions have given the team many of its current roster today, with many of the players also with the organization – while hardly any of the departing guys are with the team that dealt for them. Today is the 1st part of a 2 parter seeing how the current club was assembled by the Astros.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

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At the MLB Reports, we intend to show you the Roster Tree for the Houston Astros – and how they assembled their current roster for hitting and Pitching. 

It will work in a six degrees of separation like format.

Once we figure out the origin of how many trades going back in time it takes to see where the tree started, it will be time to dissect how the team fared on the deals.

If a player has never left the organization at all, the tree will be easy – as it will just be the year they were drafted or signed.

Sometimes pitchers will be in the hitters part of the write-up and vice versa.  This is simply done when one side of hitter or pitcher is dealt for each other.  Read the rest of this entry

The New York Yankees Organizational Depth Charts (All Affiliates) – Spring 2014 (Majors and Minors)

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): & Jeff Kleiner (Org Depth Chart + Payroll Expert – find his website here)

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Brian Cashman has signed 10 new Free Agents this winter, and also made a mockery of the waiver wire list, with his 2013 pluckings last campaign to aid an injury riddled squad of veterans.

Simply put, this franchise has done a brutal job of drafting over the course of the last decade or so. Cashman has to take his share of the blame for that.

Luckily for the big market club, these can be overlooked when you feature a payroll in the $235 MIL range.

Having said this, the cupboard is not bare in the Minor Leagues. Read the rest of this entry

Tampa Bay Rays In Payroll 2014 + Contracts Going Forward: They Should Also Trade David Price To St. Louis For Matt Adams

David Price became a 20 game winner for the first time last season, and it won him the American League Cy Young Award. That is really hard to match, but early struggles and injuries held him back in 2013.  He was 9 - 8, with a 3.39 ERA.  Since he is due a payraise - to the $13 - $15 MIL range, it is my feeling the team should trade him for a slugging 1B.  How about Matt Adams of the Cardinals anyone?  The St. Louis team will need an ace to replace Chris Carpenter - and could bridge the gap for his few years of eligibility.

David Price became a 20 game winner for the first time last season, and it won him the American League Cy Young Award. That is really hard to match, but early struggles and injuries held him back in 2013. He was  still 9 – 8, with a 3.39 ERA. Since he is due a payraise – to the $13 – $15 MIL range in Arbitration, it is my feeling the team should trade him for a slugging 1B. How about Matt Adams of the Cardinals anyone? The St. Louis team will need an ace to replace Chris Carpenter – and could bridge the gap for the team before Free Agency eligibility in 2016.  It was too bad Hak-Ju Lee was hurt for some of 2013, as that would have been a perfect package to help bringing back another Starter.  Perhaps the Rays should use Matt Joyce also as bait?  Maybe they could a prospect Starter after all.  The team figures to be around $55 – 57 MIL before Price.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

I am of the belief that the Andrew Friedman and Stu Sternberg have been the ‘model franchise’ in the AL over the last 6 years. 

Not only do they compete in the vaunted AL East versus the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, but they have made the playoffs 4 times in that span, including a World Series Loss to the Philadelphia in the 2008 year. 

Had Evan Longoria not been hurt for the majority of the 2012 season, one could argue that the club was poised to make another playoff appearance to make it 6. 

So how are they doing this?  Their team payroll is roughly one-third of the Yankees and the 40 % of the Red Sox total Payroll. 

The Rays are smart enough to let their higher priced Free Agents walk, or even trading them before they are due significant pay raises. 

They are also using the philosophy of the ‘John Hart‘ Indians of the Pre-Milennium Cleveland Indians.  Once it was established that Evan Longoria could play at the MLB Level, they signed him to an 8 year contract. 

They did the same thing with Starting Pitching Matt Moore last year with a 5 year deal for the rookie based on one playoffs of decent pitching. 

It is a risk sometimes to do this, yet the rewards can save you Millions in future payroll if the new player (s) outperforms his/their contract (s).

Rays Highlights 2013:

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The Players In All Of The San Diego Padres Organization: Affiliates, Prospects + Depth Charts (MLB + MiLB) Fall 2013

The Padres have not made the playoffs since 2006, and have only authored 2 winning seasons in the last 7 years.  It is not from a lack of the coach, rather the NL West has far superior talent, while the San Diego franchise has been trying to replenish the farm, went through an ownership change, and now the team needs to make some decisions this offseason, that will shape the fortunes of the club for the next several years.

The Padres have not made the playoffs since 2006, and have only authored 2 winning seasons in the last 7 years. It is not from a lack of a good coach, rather the NL West has far superior talent, while the San Diego franchise has been trying to replenish the farm, went through an ownership change, and now the team needs to make some decisions this offseason, that will shape the fortunes of the club for the next several years.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): and welcome Jeff Kleiner (Salary, Roster and Depth Chart Expert for the MLB) – visit his website  here  

The Padres didn’t have very much go right for them in terms of organizational prospects panning out at the Major League Level.

Although, the franchise must be stoked about the development of Andrew Cashner.

Trading away Adrian Gonzalez was tough enough, and right after that, the club flipped Anthony Rizzo to the Cubs, after a sub – par rookie campaign.

The Padres have a tough hoe ahead of them – competing with mega spending Los Angeles will prove very tough considering that team has a payroll in the $230 MIL range, while the ‘Pods’ are not in the $100 MIL range.

Having said that, the team still competed all year, and put up 76 Wins on the board.

They have one of the better skippers in the game with Bud Black.

The key will be the youth of the franchise, as that is how they can keep their payroll down, is to have their top prospects work out, be under team control – much like the way of the Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays models.

For the Up to Date Roster for the Padres all year around, please visit Jeff’s Website right here

For the Entire Page of teams links we have dedicated to Payroll, Rosters, Depth Chart, State Of the Unions and Roster Trees, please click right here. Please bookmark this page and check back, as we are busy on the analysis at MLB Reports always.

Andrew Cashner uses his bat and arm

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New York Yankees Organizational Rosters + Salaries + Depth Charts – (MLB + MiLB)

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Sunday, June.09/2013

Scranton Logo

RailRiders

The Yankees do have some decent prospects coming along the way like Mason Willians, Tyler Austin, Slade Heathcott, Gary Sanders and etc.. Will the club stay true to their word and go under the 189 Million Dollar Luxury Tax Threshold next year?  If yes, the club could struggle for a few years like it hasn't for two decades.

The Yankees do have some decent prospects coming along the way like Mason Willians, Tyler Austin, Slade Heathcott, Gary Sanders and etc.. Will the club stay true to their word and go under the 189 Million Dollar Luxury Tax Threshold next year? If yes, the club could struggle for a few years like it hasn’t for two decades. These prospects could go  a long way in forecasting their recovery time to contention.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): and welcome Jeff Kleiner (Salary, Roster and Depth Chart Expert for the MLB) – visit his website  here  

You guys are all in for a treat.  Jeff Kleiner recently contacted me about a partnership merge for the website.  He has developed a site (prosportsrosters.com) that covers all organizational affiliates in the Minors for all of the Major League Baseball Clubs.  We are going to combine efforts to bring you the best look at salaries, current 25 Man Player Rosters and Depth Charts for all 30 teams. 

Jeff is going to provide the documents in form of spreadsheets and I am going to accompany the posts with deep analysis of what the numbers tell us from my perspective.  If you can’t wait for all of my assessments for each club, go and visit Jeff’s website over at http://www.prosportsrosters.com.

In Speaking with Jeff, he is one of the more passionate fans I have come across towards the game of baseball.  He spends enough time in updating his MLB Facts for it to be a Full-Time Job.  So after the usual Video Clip and READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY button, you will find some serious &*!@?!#!

Jeff updates this page below on a daily basis.  After you click on it….Bookmark it.  There is a 3 year salary forecast and stats not listed here on this page.  Jeff updates these pages daily and these changes include any Roster moves!

For a Full 3 year Salary Outlook plus last years Stats for every player in the Yankees Organization click here

Read the rest of this entry

The Yankees Prospects Going Into 2013

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Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Tampa Yankees are the High-A affliate for the Yankees and served as the home for Gary Sanchez, Mason Williams, Tyler Austion and Slade Heathcott during the 2012 season.

The Tampa Yankees are the High-A affiliate for the Yankees and served as the home for Gary Sanchez, Mason Williams, Tyler Austin and Slade Heathcott during the 2012 season.

By Nicholas Rossoletti  (Yankees Correspondent/Trade Correspondent): 

Heading into the 2013 season, few things in the Yankee universe have been more controversial than the organizations goals to get under the $189 million salary mark after the season.  It has been largely debated as to whether such a goal is realistic for an organization known for spending wildly in its never-ending pursuit of championships.  

It is also hotly debated whether the goal will have the desired effect of taking some of the Yankee millions out of the revenue sharing arena and placing them back into the Steinbrenner family pockets.  I won’t spend much time discussing the benefits or negatives of a team sticking to a 189 million payroll, but I will say that it is very possible to build a world champion well within that budget.

The first step to building a future champion regardless of how much money the Yankees spend is to follow the formula that brought the Yankees success over the past two decades: build a base around young talent.  So with this article we will take a look at the prospects that Yankees fans have to hope pan out and begin heading for the Bronx.

Slade Heathcott showing off how to slide in the AFL:

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Tampa Bay Rays Player Roster In 2013 Part 1 – The Hitters: State Of The Union

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Sunday, Mar.03/2013

Ben Zobrist has quietly tuned into one of the best all around players in the game.  He has finished in the top for WAR in 3 of the 4 years - including 1st in 2011 and 2nd in 2009.  At Age 31, Zobrist goes into a contract year.

Ben Zobrist has quietly turned into one of the best all around players in the game. He has finished in the top 10 for WAR in 3 of the last 4 years – including 1st in 2011 and 2nd in 2009. At Age 31, Zobrist goes into a contract year in 2013.  It may be his last season with TB.

By Jake Bullington (Rays Correspondent)

Part 1: The hitters:

2012 saw the Tampa Bay Rays miss the playoffs for the first time since 2009. They would finish a very respectable 90-win season and finish third in the AL Wild card. The offseason saw much of what Rays fans are used to from this small market club. Impact players such as B.J. Upton (ATL), Jeff Keppinger (CHW),  and Carlos Pena (HOU),  would move on to greener pastures and sign elsewhere. That meant GM Andrew Friedman and his team would get to work. They would pick up options on SP James Shields, CL Fernando Rodney, and C Jose Molina. They would decline the option on DH Luke Scott and later sign him back.

The offseason would also see the reworking of a long-term deal to keep the Rays 3B Evan Longoria in a Rays uniform at least through the 2022 season. But with Free Agency looming for “Big Game” James the Rays would do what they do best and send Shields, Wade Davis, and a PTBNL (Elliot Johnson) to the Royals for a prospect package that included future rotation regulars Mike Montgomery and Jake Odorizzi and MLB.com 2nd best prospect OF Wil Myers. The Rays would shore up the middle of the infield by Signing and trading for the Blue Jays previous middle infield of Yunel Escobar (MIA) and Kelly Johnson (FA). To replace Carlos Pena, the Rays would sign Free Agent James Loney.   The organization also brought back Joel Peralta on a deal that included a record three Club Options.

Desmond Jennings Highlights:

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Tampa Bay Rays Payroll 2013 And Contracts Going Forward: Part 4 Of A 5 Part Rays Series

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Sunday Mar.03/2013

Will ascended onto the PCL scene last year and ripped out 24 HRs in just 99 Games at Omaha.  The Rays will be counting on him for their offensive future

Will Myers ascended onto the PCL scene last year and ripped out 24 HRs in just 99 Games at Omaha. The Rays will be counting on him for their offensive future.  As a Controllable Player for years, he changes the Salary structure of the Team to Lower the committed dollars from what Shields and Davis would have made.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

New Changes to the old article in Purple: 

I am of the belief that the Andrew Friedman and Stu Sternberg have been the ‘model franchise’ in the MLB over the last 5 years.  Not only do they compete in the vaunted AL East versus the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, but they have made the playoffs 3 times in that span, including a World Series Loss to the Philadelphia in the 2008 year.  Had Evan Longoria not been hurt for the majority of the season, one could argue that the club was poised to make another playoff appearance.  So how are they doing this?  Their team payroll is roughly one-third of the Yankees and the 40 % of the Red Sox total Payroll.  The Rays are smart enough to let their higher priced Free Agents walk, or even trading them before they are due significant pay raises. 

They are also using the philosophy of the ‘John Hart‘ Indians of the Pre-Milennium Cleveland Indians.  Once it was established that Evan Longoria could play at the MLB Level, they signed him to an 8 year contract.  They did the same thing with Starting Pitching Matt Moore last year with a 5 year deal for the rookie based on one playoffs of decent pitching.  It is a risk sometimes to do this, yet the rewards can save you Millions in future payroll if they player outperforms his contract.

Rays Highlights 2012 Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance Is advised:

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Cleveland Indians Payroll In 2013: And Contracts Going Forward

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Sunday Feb 24, 2013

The Cleveland Indians have been around since 1901. During the years the Indians have won 8,792 games & have lost 8,573 games. The Indians have won the World Series 2 times & have 31 players in the Hall Of Fame.

The Cleveland Indians have been around since 1901. During the years the Indians have won 8,792 games & have lost 8,573 games. The Indians have won the World Series 2 times & have 31 players in the Hall Of Fame.

By Larry Myers (Indians Correspondent):

The Indians finished the 2012 season as a huge disappointment. The Indians had a strong first half before falling apart in the second half. The Indians the 2013 season with many new faces after a busy winter.

 GM Chris Antonetti and President Mark Shapiro decided to make some major moves to improve the team for the 2013 season. The first move the Indians made was replacing Manny Acta with Terry Francona as manager. The Indians then traded Shin-Soo Choo & Tony Sipp in a 3 team trade to pick up Drew Stubbs, Matt Albers. Bryan Shaw & Trevor Bauer. The Indians signed a few Free Agents with the four biggest names being Nick Swisher, Mark Reynolds, Brett Myers, & Michael Bourn. The Indians showed that with the moves they made they are ready to contend now & in the future.

Cleveland Indians 2012 Season Highlights:

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The Rays Trade And Draft Record Is Impressive: However Most Of The Best Players Are Now Ex-Rays

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Tuesday, January.08/2013

The Rays Management has been a lot better under the tutelage of the these 3 gentleman.  It is too bad that cant secure an MLB Park with the amount of revenue to pay their great players once they become great.

The Rays Management has been a lot better under the tutelage of the these 3 gentleman. It is too bad that cant secure an MLB Park with the amount of revenue to pay their great players once they become great.

By Jake Bullington (Rays Correspondent)

The Tampa Bay Rays have had a great history of producing great MLB talent ever since the current regime of Stu Sternberg, Matt Silverman, Andrew Friedman, and Joe Maddon took over. Their system, is to build talent up in hopes to sign to club friendly long-term deals and have them produce until the price tag becomes just too high and then get the next era in from trades .When it comes to pitching however its a whole new ball game. The Rays have an unmatched system for finding pieces from all over and putting them into a mix that at best could be described as ” an Island of misfit toys” but it works. If you take a look at the Rays bullpen the last couple years you see a couple of guys stand out that really had no place anywhere else. 

In 2008, Grant Balfour became what no body thought he was, a great pitcher. In 2008 Balfour went 6-2 in 51 games with a 1.54 ERA and a staggering .89 WHIP. Balfour was signed that season for just above the league minimum at $500,000. Balfour would go onto to Oakland a few years later and signed for a little over 3 Million Dollars.

B.J. Upton Highlights – Parental Guidance is advised

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2012 MLB Trade Deadline Update 7/23: Dempster, Blue Jays, Astros, and More

Monday July 23rd, 2012

Bernie Olshansky: As the trade deadline looms, teams are scrambling to make a final buy or sell in order to push toward the playoffs. Some teams are trying to get value out of their soon-to-be free agents while other teams are rebuilding. Here are some of the big deals that have gone down in the past few days:

Blue Jays and Astros—10 player deal. Big names: J.A. Happ, Brandon Lyon, David Carpenter, Ben Francisco, Francisco Cordero, Carlos Perez

The Astros are obviously in their rebuilding phase. Last year, they gave up Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn, and the year before they gave up Roy Oswalt and Lance Berkman. Earlier this year, Carlos Lee went to the Marlins for top prospect Matt Dominguez and others.  More recently Brett Myers went to the White Sox for minor league pitchers and J.A. Happ went to the Blue Jays along with relievers Brandon Lyon and David Carpenter for Ben Francisco, Francisco Cordero, and other prospects in a ten-player trade. With these deals this year, the Astros have removed virtually all big names from the team. Not to say that J.A. Happ was a big name player, but he was a well-regarded pitcher that the Phillies gave up in the Roy Oswalt trade. Also given up by the Astros is former closer Brandon Lyon. He gave up the closer role to Brett Myers this year, but he does have the capability to serve in the back-end of a bullpen. Read the rest of this entry

ATR: Ask the Reports Answers Your Baseball Questions: Urkel in Baseball, Batting Stance Guy, Beane, Future of Dempster, Hamilton’s Speed, Gathright Released and Rating Prospects

Monday July 16th, 2012



Jonathan Hacohen:  Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to mlbreports@me.com, message us on Twitter, post on our Facebook Wall and leave comments on our website! There are many ways to reach us and we will get to your questions from all social media outlets!

Jonathan Hacohen: Ok, I am going to admit it. I am 110% wiped from last night’s sleepover. The Toronto Blue Jays, like many MLB squads hold yearly sleepovers on the field. The Jays had theirs last night. Second year in a row for me and I will admit, after playing catch on the field till 1:30a.m., I am still not recovered. Call it getting old, but sometime the body just doesn’t bounce back like we want it to. That being said, the show must go on. So with apologies I am a little late this week on ATR, but better late than never!

Before I jump into your weekly baseball questions, here are some of my random baseball thoughts:

I was watching Ben Francisco of the Toronto Blue Jays last night as he was signing autographs for the fans. I wasn’t sure 100% who he was right away. But damn, he looked familiar. I looked and I looked. Then I realized what Chuck Booth (one of our Lead Writers here on MLB reports) had told me earlier in the year. Jaleel White. Steve Urkel. Man Chuck, you were bang on. Take a look at the comparisons:

Ben Francisco:

THEN JALEEL WHITE:

Ben Francisco is not the Steve Urkel type nerd. Rather, he looks like the cool and sauve Stefan. Yes, I did enjoy TGIF’s Family Matters back in the day. Whatever became of Jaleel White? Is he Ben Francisco? Or is this just a baseball urban legend? And whatever became of Laura Winslow? If you locate either one, please let Ben know. Until then, I am fairly certain Jaleel White is playing ball in Toronto. Call him Stefan…see what he says!

If you are not howling with laughter at this point, I want to introduce you to a good friend of MLB reports. If you love baseball, you have seen his work on YouTube and throughout the internet. He is a published author and all-around good guy. To his friends he is Gar Ryness. To the rest of the baseball world, he is the one and only “Batting Stance Guy”. Here is a little clip from some of BSG’s most recent work:

How are you feeling now? I know…your ribs hurt, tears are streaming down your eyes. Yes, that is the magic of Gar. The man has the ability to duplicate any batting stance going. Watching his impressions is a baseball theatrical treat. The fact that he is hilarious is an added bonus. Over the coming weeks, I will bring you more magic Batting Stance Guy clips. If you want to learn more about him in the interim, check out his site: battingstanceguy.com.

Now let’s get to your top questions of the week: Read the rest of this entry

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