Blog Archives

Injuries In The MLB: Hamilton, Garcia + Moore Out Could Change Outlook For Clubs In 2014

Josh Hamilton had his worst year as a Major Leaguer in 2013 with a 3 slash of .250/.307/.432 - with 21 HRs and 79 RBI last year.  This campaign looked to have been better, with the OF hitting .444/.545/.741 through 27 AB.  Injuries just seem to happen for the man.  He underwent thumb surgery two days ago after jamming his hand trying to slide into 1st base.  His loss will be felt big by Los Angeles, and they may not be in position to contend by the time he comes back.  The Angels are at home for 6 games before a killer 9 game road trip at Detroit, Washington and New York.

Josh Hamilton had his worst year as a Major Leaguer in 2013 with a 3 slash of .250/.307/.432 – with 21 HRs and 79 RBI last year. This campaign looked to have been better, with the OF hitting .444/.545/.741 through 27 AB. Injuries just seem to happen for the man. He underwent thumb surgery two days ago after jamming his hand trying to slide into 1st base. His loss will be felt big by Los Angeles, and they may not be in position to contend by the time he comes back. The Angels are at home for 6 games before a killer 9 game road trip at Detroit, Washington and New York.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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The Angels Josh Hamilton is out for 6 – 8 weeks after sliding in head down to first base at Safeco Field on Apr.8.

I would never accuse the guy of being a slacker, but this was not a bright move at all.

Doesn’t he remember suffering a major injury when the Rangers had him barrel down on home plate a few years back.

It came on the heels of the man having a great start.  Nothing seems to go right for Hamilton to play a full healthy season.

The Angels needed this player, with Albert Pujols and Mike Trout hitting on all cylinders to put forth a competitive year.

This curbs the process down badly.

Josh Hamilton’s Injury – 2 Minute Mark

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The Homer Bailey Extension Is Good For The Short Term In Cincy: Not Sure About The Long – Term Though

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Homer Bailey may be the 3rd Starting Pitcher on the depth chart, but he happened to be the 1st guy up on Free Agency out of Mat Latos (2016 FA) and Johnny Cueto (2016 FA).

For this reason alone, I like the team extending the 27 Year Old to a 6 YR deal worth a minimum of $105 MIL, and with a Mutual Option for $25 MIL for the 2020 campaign – that could make it a 7 YRs/$125 MIL pact.

The deal starts off pretty good for dollar sense in the first two years, with Bailey making $8 MIL in 2014, and $9 MIL in 2015.

From there if I can borrow a line from Anchorman “That escalated quickly”, the next few years go like this, $18 MIL, $19 MIL, $21 MIL and $23 MIL for the years starting in 2016 – and finishing in 2019. Read the rest of this entry

The Top 50 Contracts Of ALL – Time IN MLB: Freddie Freeman Is 29th With His New Deal – But It Makes Sense

Freddie Freeman Highlights 2013 – Mature Content – Parental Guidance is Advised

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Freddie Freeman is worth the money he just signed for when it comes to his talent level, age and production thus far.

Yesterday, the 24 Year Old First Baseman inked a 8 YR deal worth $135 MIL with the Tomahawk Choppers.  As someone who was just entering the 1st year of Arbitration Eligibility, he was bought out of that negotiation.

The Braves will pay more money in the short – term, but will make up for it in the long run – by not having to dole out 200+ MIL bucks for the guy once he could have hit Free Agency. Read the rest of this entry

The Top 50 Contracts Of ALL – Time IN MLB: Masahiro Tanaka Is 18th

Darvish has provided Texas with ace-like material ever since coming over from Japan.  At his current $10 MIL a year salary, he is a complete bargain compared to what Tanaka received from the Yankees.  It was because of the record posting fee the Rangers doled out - to have the exclusive rights to talk to Darvish.  You have to wonder what he must be thinking of the Tanaka deal.  bunch of financial freedom to sign other long term deals.  Darvish finished 2nd in AL CY Young Voting with a 13 - 9 record, a 2.83 ERA and a league leading 277 SO in his 209.2 IP worth of work in 2013.  Darvish's high posting bid was not part of his salary, or converted towards the total team payroll.

Darvish has provided Texas with ace-like material ever since coming over from Japan. At his current $10 MIL a year salary, he is a complete bargain compared to what Tanaka received from the Yankees. It was because of the record posting fee the Rangers doled out – to have the exclusive rights to talk to Darvish. You have to wonder what he must be thinking of the Tanaka deal. Texas reaped the benefits of financial freedom to sign other long term deals like Choo, and acquire Fielder based on this move. Darvish finished 2nd in AL CY Young Voting with a 13 – 9 record, a 2.83 ERA and a league leading 277 SO in his 209.2 IP worth of work in 2013. His high posting bid was not part of his salary, or converted towards the total team payroll.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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With Masahiro Tanaka’s new deal – for the 1st time all of the MLB’s ALL-Time top 50 contracts are $100 MIL or more.

Adam Wainwright was effectively bumped out of the #50 slot, leaving 4 guys tied for 47th, all registering deals of $100 MIL (Carlos Lee, Ryan Zimmerman, Albert Pujols (2004 – 2010) and Evan Longoria.

Masahiro Tanaka also joins Robinson CanoClayton KershawShin-Soo Choo and new teammate Jacoby Ellsbury, as players that have made it to the list this offseason.

Masahiro Tanaka’s Japan Highlights

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“The Record” Clayton Kershaw Contract By The Numbers: How It All Stacks Up

Clayton Kershaw has agreed to a 7 YRs/$215 MIL extension t- that will run through the years of 2014 - 2020 with the LA Dodgers.   The deal is slated for an opt out clause after the 2018 season by Kershaw, when he will be only 30 years old.

Clayton Kershaw has agreed to a 7 YRs/$215 MIL extension – that will run through the years of 2014 – 2020 with the LA Dodgers. The deal is slated for an opt out clause after the 2018 season by Kershaw, when he will be only 30 years old.  The terms go like this for years.  2014:  $22 MIL ( $18 MIL signing bonus is part of that), 2015: $30 MIL, 2016: $32 MIL, 2017 and 2018 he will earn $33 MIL).  From here that will have been $150 MIL for the 1st 5 years of the contract.  If Kershaw remains past this, the deal pays $32 MIL in 2019 – and finally $33 MIL in 2020.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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The verdict is in.  Clayton Kershaw has agreed to a 7 YR Extension for $215 Million.

It is the highest Annual Average Contract ($30.7 MIL) in the history of Major League Baseball, topping A-Rod’s previously set deal worth $27.5 MIL.

The deal is also the richest contract ever in Pitching history – surpassing Justin Verlander’s 7 YRs/$180 MIL extension from 2013 – 2019.

It is the 6th highest deal ever in the MLB, and Kershaw becomes the 7th player ever to receive a contract north of $200 MIL.

Clayton Kershaw Highlights 2013

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – January 8, 2014

Marc Serota, Jamie Squire and  Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Marc Serota, Jamie Squire and
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

It is the Hall of Fame election episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas and Tom Glavine are all in (seen here in some of their more obscure uniforms.)

Biggio was left off and some people left Benitez on.

The Morris debate is over but the need for a unanimous entry remains.

To subscribe to The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast on iTunes, click HERE.

To subscribe on SoundCloud, click HERE.

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – January 8, 2014

MLB Reports Hall Of Fame Predictions: Class Of 2014 Players

The deadline of December 31st has come and gone for The Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). Members were asked to submit no more than 10 names of players they "deem" worthy of induction towards this year's National Baseball Hall of Fame ceremony set for July.

The deadline of December 31st has come and gone for The Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). Members were asked to submit no more than 10 names of players they “deem” worthy of induction towards this year’s National Baseball Hall of Fame ceremony set for July.

By Patrick Languzzi (Cooperstown Correspondent)

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Results are scheduled to be announced on January 8th.

Players must receive at least 75 percent of the votes in order to be inducted by a voting body of roughly over 500 eligible writers.

There are many player names worthy of discussion, however, few will see enshrinement, now or ever.

Greg Maddux Tribute:

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Ortiz Is Almost Done Playing: Who Will Be The Next Great DH Among The AL Clubs??

David Ortiz has been the quintessential DH in the AL over the last 11 years.  Boston is in contention perennially because he put up great #s compared to his competition.  With all of the teams imploring several employees to scouting staffs - trying to find advantages to bring to Major League Lineups - why aren't teams focusing on the DH position more.  Ortiz has been a full time DH since joining the Red Sox, and has been instrumental in the club bringing home 3 World Series Titles.  In fact, the only time the team has struggled in the last decade, was if "Big Papi" is hurt or struggling.

David Ortiz has been the quintessential DH in the AL over the last 11 years. Boston is in contention perennially because he put up great #s compared to his competition. With all of the teams imploring several employees to scouting staffs – trying to find advantages to bring to Major League Lineups – why aren’t teams focusing on the DH position more. Ortiz has been a full time DH since joining the Red Sox, and has been instrumental in the club bringing home 3 World Series Titles. In fact, the only time the team has struggled in the last decade, was if “Big Papi” is hurt or struggling.

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

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There is no doubt in my mind that the Red Sox has won 3 World Series Titles in the last 10 years because they have had the quintessential DH in the American League.

While other teams have used the position as a rest stop for aging players, or stop-gap measure for players with defensive faulty, clubs have not seemed to have stressed emphasis on the slot in the lineup.

My question is why?  With everyone always searching for an edge in today’s game, you have one sitting right in front of you, that equates to over 600 AB a year.

David Ortiz (Post Season Heroics 2013)

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The Top 50 Contracts Of All – Time In The MLB

Technically A-Rod has received the two top contracts in baseball history, however he opted out after the 2007 year for the 1st one, so really it was a 7 Year Deal worth approximately $158 MIL that was paid out to him between 2000 and the end of the year in 2007.  Rodriguez contract from 2008 - 2017 also includes $30 MIL worth of player performances for passing milestones.

Technically A-Rod has received the two top contracts in baseball history, however he opted out after the 2007 year for the 1st one, so really it was a 7 Year Deal worth approximately $158 MIL that was paid out to him between 2000 and the end of the year in 2007. Rodriguez contract from 2008 – 2017 also includes $30 MIL worth of player performances for passing milestones.

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

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I start this paragraph saying that it blows my mind away that Alex Rodriguez has the #1 and #2 best contracts of ALL-Time.  This is sick.

At least he might forfeit up to $21 MIL of his salary in 2014, and another $5 – $7 MIL in 2015 – if the 211 game ban sticks. 

Therefore can we really say that he would have the top 2 earnings leaders for any given contract?  He would have to give up $27.51 MIL of it for that to happen.

Pujols would take over the reigns as the #2 contract with his 10 YRs/$250 MIL deal then.

Some of them are classic overpays, and others actually have netted the franchise their true value back and then more.  You can be your own judge.

Albert Pujols 2012 Highlight Mix – Mature Lyrics So Parental Guidance is Advised

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Passing The Torch From Greatest MLB Player To Player During The Years 1979 – 2013: From Brett To Cabrera

Cabrera has had back to back AL MVP seasons in 2012 and 2013.  He has also won 3 straight AL Batting Titles.  Cabrera is the best player offensively in the universe.  He has put up 10 straight 100+ RBI campaigns, but he has racked in 276 RBI, and also 88 HRs.  The 11 Year Veterans totals would have even been higher in 2013, but he fought a torn groin for the last half of the year.

Cabrera has had back to back AL MVP seasons in 2012 and 2013. He has also won 3 straight AL Batting Titles. Cabrera is the best player offensively in the universe. He has put up 10 straight 100+ RBI campaigns, but he has racked in 276 RBI, and also 88 HRs – while featuring an OPS well north of 1.000. The 11 Year Veterans totals would have even been higher in 2013, but he fought a torn groin for the last half of the year.  The 8 time ALL – Star and 5 time Silver Slugger Award Winner has improved even greater on his totals over the last decade.  Cabrera has a Career 3 Slash Line of .321/.399/.967 – with 365 HRs and 1260 RBI in just 1660 Games Played.

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

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While watching Miguel Cabrera this year, I started thinking about the best players in the MLB over the last 33 years.  I am talking the best player of the game at any point of time. 

I tracked back to 1979 for this article.  I may expand further back in follow-up articles.  I didn’t rank defense as  highly as offense when I came up with the players. 

I agonized over players like Mike SchmidtJim Rice, Wade Boggs and Cal Ripken for some of the years given in specific time frames.  These gentlemen were given every consideration. 

In the end, we are talking about the best player in the game though and it is always subject to debate and personal opinion. 

The criteria had to involve leading the league in several different offensive and/or defensive categories, followed by routinely being in the top 7 in MVP balloting (if not taking home the honor), All-Star Appearances for every year I listed them for and most of them won silver sluggers and/or Gold Gloves as well.

Cabrera’s 3 HR Game – 2013

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“Hard Cheddar” With Steve Cheeseman – My BBHOF Ballot

The members of the BBWAA will vote on the BBHOF ballot in January of 2014,

The members of the BBWAA will vote on the BBHOF ballot in January of 2014,  A player that is still on the ballot, needs to receive 75% of the vote in order to make in the Hall.  A player needs receive 5% of the votes in order to remain on the list of players eligible for the next  year.

“Hard Cheddar” – with ‘Special Guest Writer’ Steve Cheeseman 

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Hello baseball fans.  I apologize for being away so long, as my career outside of sports writing has kept me busy these last few weeks.

With that being said, let’s get going.  Since the end of the 2013 season, there are many things that crossed my mind.

However, for whatever reason, one of the things that has me extremely interested if the hall of fame ballot.

New names on this year’s ballot include Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, and Frank Thomas.  In my mind these guys deserve to be in the hall of fame.

Big Hurt Highlights

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Wishful Thinking Part 2: Chicago White Sox Style: They Sign Jose Abreu

"Rick Hahn made his first major move as White Sox GM yesterday when he signed 26 year old Cuban defector Jose Abreu to a 6 year $68 million contract. While most are surprised that the White Sox were able to sign Abreu, most are also happy with the signing. So fans are hoping that, along with Avisail Garcia, Abreu can be one of the Sox cornerstones for years to come.

“Rick Hahn made his first major move as White Sox GM yesterday when he signed 26 year old Cuban defector Jose Abreu to a 6 year $68 million contract. While most are surprised that the White Sox were able to sign him, most are also happy with the signing. So fans are hoping that, along with Avisail Garcia, Abreu can be one of the Sox cornerstones for years to come.  Chicago had their worst year in a long time this 2013 season, and this move is good in that it did not cost the franchise anything but money on the payroll.

By ‘White Sox Correspondent’ Brian Madsen  

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I love Paul Konerko. I love Frank Thomas. These two White Sox first basemen are whom we as fans will compare the recently signed Jose Abreu to, as we should.

Don’t compare him to Yoenis Cespedes, or Yasiel Puig, just because they are also from Cuba. He’s the direct replacement for Paul Konerko, just as the longest reigning White Sox player was the replacement for Frank Thomas.

I assumed Rick Hahn would wait until after the postseason was completed to begin the White Sox revamp going into the 2014 season.

Well, the World Series hasn’t even begun, and Hahn managed to sign the biggest free agent hitter available to a 6 year, $68 million contract. This is also the biggest contract given to an international free agent in the history of MLB.

Good start? Some say no, but many say yes. Abreu was very sought after, desired by many MLB clubs. We, as Sox fans, knew of the White Sox interest in him once it was announced that he was soon going to be made available as a free agent.

But, I don’t think many of us thought he would sign here. Boston maybe. Yankees? Rangers? All distinct possibilities. No way the White Sox get him.

Then, you started hearing rumblings that White Sox left fielder Dayan Viciedo, also a native of Cuba, knows Jose Abreu, and even played with him on a couple Cuban teams.

Could he be whispering in the Cuban players ear about coming to Chicago? Maybe. Was the $ the main contributing factor in Abreu signing with the White Sox? More than likely.

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Having A Great DH Can Mean Winning The AL Pennant: For Other Teams – The Position Is A Waste!

David Ortiz has been the quintessential DH in the AL over the last 11 years.  Boston is in contention perenially because he put up great #s compared to his competition.

David Ortiz has been the quintessential DH in the AL over the last 11 years. Boston are perennial contenders because he put up great #s compared to his competition.  Ortiz had a great 2013 campaign – where he 3 Slashed .309/.395./.959 – with 30 HRs and 103 RBI in just 137 Games Played.  Ortiz is .292/.390/.962 in 11 Years with Boston, with 373 HRs and 1191 RBI.  The Red Sox won the World Series in 2004 and 2007 with him at DH, and are looking to win again this year.

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

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Watching the 2013 season, something really resonated with me while watching the American League:  ‘Where have all the great designated hitters in MLB gone?’  

It is surprising to me that teams haven’t figured out that having a dominant DH in the league could mean the difference in winning the AL pennant or not.

I also believe that players should be moved their earlier than in their mid 30′s.  If they can’t play the field at all, or are not superior at offense, they should be made to Pinch-hit in the NL. 

It seemed only a few years ago that every team had a bopper capable of hitting .300 with 30 HR’S and 100 RBI’s.  Upon further investigation, I found out some interesting facts.

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The White Sox Post Non Waiver Trade Deadline + Possible Aug/Offseason Trade Candidates

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Thursday, August.08, 2013

You almost have to be bitter about the Sox recently sweeping the New York Yankees.  While it was fun to do, and booing A - Rod was right up the Southsiders alley, this team just put itself too many wins away from the Astros from the 1st overall pick in 2014.  They should extremely active in the August Trade Market - and perhaps the offseason.  It is time for the rebuild to commence!

You almost have to be bitter about the Sox recently sweeping the New York Yankees. While it was fun to do, and booing A – Rod was right up the Southsiders alley, this team just put itself too many wins away from the Astros from the 1st overall pick in 2014. They should extremely active in the August Trade Market – and perhaps the offseason. It is time for the rebuild to commence!  Chicago enters play today at 43 – 69, tied with the Marlins for the 2nd worst record in the MLB.  This was a team that was within a week of playing in the Post Season in 2012.  A major shakeup is needed in going forward.

1st part by Brian Madsen (MLB Reports White Sox Correspondent

It was all but certain that the White Sox were going to be sellers come the trade deadline in 2013.

The question was, were they selling everybody? Well, they didn’t trade everybody, but they still traded more players than they have during a season in recent memory.

And, there could be more to come during the August waiver period.

Matt Thornton was the first to go, traded to the Boston Red Sox for the young Brandon Jacobs. A staple in the White Sox bullpen since 2006, Thornton was a quality reliever for quite a while.

And he has fit in just fine in the Boston bullpen, accumulating a 2.70 ERA since his acquisition.

The second chip to fall was the still-DLed Jesse Crain. Crain was sent to the Tampa Bay Rays in a very unique “player-to-be-named” scenario.

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Triple Play Podcast Ep #17: Interview With Former Closer Gregg Olson + Bucs + Pale Hose Chat!

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Monday, July.22, 2013

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month.  Each show will be about 1 hour

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month. Each show will be about 1 hour. Chuck Booth will guest once a month for MLB Power Rankings,

By The Big Ticket Show ( AKA Triple Play Podcast on http://www.mlbreports.com)

Guest in this Podcast – Gregg Olson:

Brian Madsen

Brad Cuprik

The weather is hot and this week’s show is even hotter! Former big league fireballer Gregg Olson stops by to talk some Oriole baseball as well as sharing his stories of major league life and what it was like being Cal Ripken’s teammate.

If that wasn’t enough Brad Cuprik and Brian Madsen of mlbreports.com give us the lowdown on the Pirates and White Sox heading toward the trade deadline. All that and our bethubb.com best bets! Read the rest of this entry

The Billy Beane Way Of Contracts + His Trade History Since MoneyBall!

Wednesday July.03, 2013

Updated January.05, 2014

Updated July.05, 2014 for Samardzija deal link

Beane Spins Magic Again In World Series Quest: Picks Up Samardzija + Hammel For Straily + Prospects

Beane does his transactions throughout the entire year - and very little at the deadline.  He is never finished with re-arranging his franchise.  Perhaps his best Trade Deadline deal was to acquire Jermaine Dye in 2001.  Conversely, he had to pay Dye a big FA contract afterwards.  Between he and Eric Chavez's deal, Beane learned not to be burned on long term deals.  He is a big fan of 1 to 2 Year Deals with Veterans.

Beane does his transactions throughout the entire year – and very little at the deadline. He is never finished with re-arranging his franchise. Perhaps his best Trade Deadline deal was to acquire Jermaine Dye in 2001. Conversely, he had to pay Dye a big FA contract afterwards (3 YRs/$30 MIL). Between he and Eric Chavez’s deal, (6 YR/$66 MIL deal) Beane learned not to be burned on long term contracts. He is a big fan of 1 – 2 Year Deals with Veterans.  A lot of his players have not fared as well when they have left the organization.  Even the guys that have, simply cost too much money for the A’s liking.  The Oakland team received the same kind of production from them for a small percentage of the salary paid out.

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

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We have talked a ton about Billy Beane‘s genius way on the website.  The Website founder ‘Jonathan Hacohen’ was one of the first baseball writers to uncover the new Beane strategy last year.

I further studied some of his brilliant work  – by figuring out the current roster tree for all of the current team last November.  I was able to pick up a lot more patterns from his work as a GM.

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Paul Konerko Has Asserted Himself As An ALL-Time South Sider

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Sunday, January.13/2013

Paul Konerko heads into the last year of a contract.  At 37, Konerko has hit 415 HRs as a White Sox Players and is 33 Round-Trippers short of Frank Thomas for the ALL-Time Franchise Lead.  Will he reach the 'BIG HURT' in 2013?

Paul Konerko heads into the last year of a contract. At 37, Konerko has hit 415 HRs as a White Sox Player – and is 33 Round-Trippers short of Frank Thomas (448) for the ALL-Time Franchise Lead. Will he reach the ‘BIG HURT’ in 2013? Better yet, if he re-signs with the team past 2013, he may enter the top 10 of ALL-Time HRs for one team.  Currently Lou Gehrig and Eddie Matthews sit tied in 9th with 493 HRs each for one club.

By Brian Madsen (White Sox Correspondent):  

The South Side of Chicago. U.S. Cellular Field. You’re likely to have heard chants of “Let’s go White Sox!!”, “Ozzie!! Ozzie!!, and maybe even “Oh-E-Oh, Magglio!!”, over the years at this beautiful, yet underrated ball park. But, for the last 14 seasons, you probably would have heard “Paulie!! Paulie!!”, more than any other. No, not Paulie from Rocky fame. Paul Konerko, the 6 time ALL-Star and 2005 World Series Champion First Baseman of the Chicago White Sox. Some would say he’s underrated, much like the stadium he’s called home since 1999. Acquired via trade from the Cincinnati Reds in late 1998 by the White Sox for Mike Cameron, Konerko has been a consistent producer for them for 14 seasons.

He’s averaged more than 32 HRs and 101 RBI in that time frame for the Sox – and has combined for a few quality 1-2 punches over the years with some big hitters. Frank Thomas, Carlos Lee, Magglio Ordonez, and now Adam Dunn, to name a few. He is said to be one of White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf’s favorite players of ALL-time. He should be, as he helped guide the White Sox to their first World Series Championship in 88 years back in 2005. Konerko even presented the “3rd and final out ball” to Reinsdorf at the victory parade, bringing the owner to tears in front of thousands of screaming Sox fans.

Paul Konerko 2012 Highlights:  Mature Lyrics – Parental Guidance is Advised:

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The Best DH of All-Time

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Saturday, January 5th, 2013

Martinez had a 3 Slash line of .312/.418/.933. He smacked 309 HRs. 514 Doubles and had 1261 RBI Will he be the 1st ever Primary DH to be inducted into the Hall? Or will 2247 Career Hits or suspicions of PED Use prevent him from being elected?

Martinez had a 3 Slash line of .312/.418/.933. He smacked 309 HRs. 514 Doubles and had 1261 RBI. Will he be the 1st ever Primary DH to be inducted into the Hall? Or will 2247 Career Hits and suspicions of PED Use prevent him from being elected?

Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Intern): 

In my previous article examining the decline of the DH position in the AL, I briefly touched on a few great DH’s. Now I will exert my focus on examining who the best DH of all time was. While the DH position may be in a decline, it has experienced good times. To be truly great at one of the hardest things to do in sports, (hit a baseball) is quite an accomplishment whether you play in the field or not. The Top 4 DH’s off all time have to be Harold Baines, Edgar Martinez, Frank Thomas, and David Ortiz. (The ordering just goes from 1st to enter the MLB to last, not who was the best. I will order them in that way later in the article.)

Harold Baines was somewhat of a pioneer of the DH position, as he was one of the early greats. His 22 Year Career started in 1980 with the Chicago White Sox, and ended for the same team in 2001, although he had stints with the Rangers, Athletics, Orioles, and Indians in between. Baines was a regular Outfielder for the White Sox until the ’86 season – where knee problems all but ended his fielding career. With Baines well-rounded, Left-hHanded stroke at the plate, he etched out a place in baseball history that will leave him remembered by many.

Frank Thomas Highlights:

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An Interview With Baseball Superfan And Photographer Jill Marie Workman

Thursday, December.13/2012

a  a jm 3

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner):

I recently had the privilege to meet Jill Workman on Twitter through a mutual friend.  We started talking about love for the game of baseball and sharing war stories of fandom.  I was extremely impressed with Jill’s devotion to baseball photography.  I think the MLB Fans have a certain rabidness towards the game that is both encompassing and inspirational.  That Jill will spend countless hours, at great individual cost, in order to ply her hobby as a photographer, represents the aforementioned qualities I just spoke of.  After filtering through thousands of her pictures, I wanted the whole baseball community (including our readers) to see her fine work.  I am glad that Jill agreed to do this interview.  There is always a place on this website to express the passionate people who make the MLB the best fans in the World! Read the rest of this entry

The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise 1994-2012: Part 2 of a 7 Part Series

Wednesday, Nov.28th, 2012

Note from Chuck Booth:  I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5-7 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history.  2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4. The Teams Payroll going into 2013 and 5.The Ball Park that they play in. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.)  Be sure to check my author page with a list of all of  my archived articles section here.

Today’s Part 2 Feature of the Blue Jays Franchise will be written by our Baseball Writer Alex Mednick.  To do this franchise series service, Alex has studied this club a lot more than I have in the last 20 years and will do this article better justice for you the reader!

Alex Mednick (Baseball Writer and Analyst):

Note from Alex Mednick:  Chuck Booth offered to me the opportunity to step in to his Franchise Series and cover the Blue Jays history from 1994-Present. I gladly accepted the honor.

In Part 1 of this series, Chuck covered the Blue Jays history from their humble beginnings at Exhibition Stadium in 1977, through the glory years in the late 80s and early 90s.  The story dropped off right after the Blue Jays won back-to-back World Championships in 1992 and 1993.  We closed the books with the walk-off winning home run by Joe Carter to win the World Series, and the parties and celebrations that were to follow across Ontario, Canada.  I will pick it back up at the beginning of the 1994 season, when the Blue Jays had high hopes to win a third consecutive world championship.

(Scroll Down Past the Links or Click the READ MORE OF THIS ENTRY ICON.)

Franchise Series Links:

Franchise History Part 1 1977-1993:  http://mlbreports.com/2012/11/09/jays1/

The Hitters:  The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise Hitters: Part 3 Of A 7 Part Article Series: 

The Pitchers:  The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise Pitchers Part 4 Of A 7 Part Series

Skydome:  An Interview with ‘Rogers Centre Expert’ and “MLB reports Founder” Jonathan Hacohen Part 5 of 7

2013 Team Payroll:  http://mlbreports.com/2012/09/10/tor/

Special Bonus Fan Blog Of 2013 Team Payroll:   http://mlbreports.com/2012/09/12/torfanalex/

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Part 1 of a Series: All-Time All-Star Teams By Regionality

 

Friday November 23th, 2012

Note from Alex Mednick:  I am going to be putting together a small project that accumulates all the best players of all time, and puts them together on teams according to their birthplace.  For example, in this first edition I will be breaking down players from the United States of America into teams from the 1) Northeast, 2) Southeast, 3) Midwest, and 4) Southwest…(sorry, there really is not enough quality coming out of the northwest to compete with these teams…maybe I will put a Northwestern United States team in a later edition with less competitive teams).  Later on I will bring you teams assembled from the all-time greats out Central and South American (Mexico, Venezuela, Panama, Panama Canal Zone, etc.) and the All-Caribbean Team (Dominican Republic, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Curacao, etc).  Also look forward to teams from Japan, Canada and the EU.  Should be fun to sort of assemble an “Olympics” of Baseball.  I love watching the World Baseball Classic and seeing players fight for their nations pride…but by grouping the teams by region, it might make the teams more competitive.  Of course, this is all for the sake of speculation; Babe Ruth was a great player, but I don’t think he will be taking any at-bat’s soon. (Also, please note that I do not lend consideration to relief pitchers in this analysis). Read the rest of this entry

Us Cellular Field: Book Excerpt from ‘The Fastest 30 Ball Games.’

Wednesday August.01/2012

Baseball Park World Record Chasing All-Started for me at US Cellular Field. I had my first retro-active game if needed) on July.1/2008 of my first ever streak chase. I also finished my 30-29 at the CEL.’ I had gone to 40 Baseball Games in 35 Days overall.

     Game#2 Day#1

US Cellular Field

Chicago, IL

July.02/2008

I had a tip from my brother Trent early on in the planning stages, that the United States airline companies often ‘sand-bag’ their flying times to destinations to take jet-way delays into consideration.  More often than not, the airlines are able to beat the scheduled arrival time by many minutes.  I actually used a tool on the internet called ‘Flight Tracker’ to watch the very flight I was on to see if this was a correct statement.  I watched this exact flight land 4 weeks in a row, all approximately 15 minutes earlier then the 6:32 PM time it was supposed to arrive on that day.  That day I was not as lucky.  It was after all a ‘Chicago Airport.’  Still at a 6:30 PM arrival-I had about 40 minutes to first pitch.  I had called in a sedan service to pick me up from ‘MIDWAY’.

True to their word, there was a young guy in his twenties waiting for me in the arrival gate and he escorted me through to the limo stand at a running pace.  I saw it had started to rain and weather was something I would always keep my eye on during transportation throughout the trip. Read the rest of this entry

Paul Konerko is Playing Like An MVP in 2012

Wednesday June.20/2012

Paul Konerko is having his best season ever so far, can he keep his White Sox in contention all year and challenge for the batting title? Photo courtesy of beyonderstv.com

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)-  Paul Konerko is a professional hitter.  One day he will have his number retired from the Chicago White Sox at US Cellular Field.  Drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers 13th overall in the Amateur 1994 Draft, the 6 foot 2 slugger had lofty expectations by the time he made the Major Leagues.  For the Albuquerque Isotopes in 1997, he hit .323 with 37 HRs and 127 RBI.  The Dodgers ended up trading Konerko to Cincinnati  for Jeff Shaw in 1998.  The Reds then turned around and traded the man from Rhode Island to the Chicago White Sox for Mike Cameron.

Paul Konerko in his early days with the LA Dodgers, the team decided to trade him because they already had Eric Karros. Photo courtesy of bleacherreport.com

There may be no more underrated player in the MLB over the last 14 years.  All that Konerko has done is hit 402 HRs with the Chicago White Sox in that span and plated 1270 RBI.  He currently sits 2nd all time in both categories on the club for the all time list, trailing only Frank Thomas .   At age 36, Konerko seems to become better at the plate each year.  He has hit .300 and clubbed 30 HRs and 100 RBI in both 2010 and 2011.  If he keeps up this years pace, he will do it again, but this time he may challenge for an average title and possibly an AL MVP.

Paul Konerko enters today’s action with an AL Best .357 AVG and a .431 OBP-in leading the team to a 35-33 start, which trails the Cleveland Indians by just a half game.  The team had started off slow before Konerko went absolutely beserk in May and had raised his average to .399 at one point during his torrid streak.  To date this year, he has hit 13 HRs and added 38 RBI.  In my opinion, he will be selected to his 6th all-time ALL-star game in Kansas City next month when they unveil the roster.  Now Konerko still has a chance to catch Prince Fielder with the fan voting with only being a few hundred thousand votes behind the Tigers 1st baseman.

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Passing of the Torch as The Greatest Player in The MLB: From Pujols to Hamilton

Wednesday June.6, 2012

Josh Hamilton is on pace for 64 HRs and 177 RBI in 2012 with a .345 AVG. He has taken over as the best player in MLB from Albert Pujols -Photo Courtesy of http://www.real-fans.com

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- While watching Josh Hamilton this year, I started thinking about the best players in the MLB over the last 33 years.  I am talking the best player of the game at any point of time.  I tracked back to 1979 for this article.  I may expand further back in follow up articles.  I did rank defense highly when I came up with the players.  I did agonize over Mike Schmidt,  Jim Rice, Wade Boggs and Cal Ripken for some of the years given in specific time frames.  These gentlemen were given every consideration.  In the end, we are talking about the best player in the game though and it is always subject to debate and personal opinion.  The criteria had to involve leading the league in several different offensive and/or defensive categories, followed by routinely being in the top 7 in MVP balloting(if not taking home the honor), All-Star Appearances for every year I listed them for and most of them won silver sluggers and/or Gold Gloves as well.

George Brett won batting titles in 3 different decades and flirted with .400 in 1980 while hitting .390 for the year. -Photo courtesy of lanius.wordpress.com

George Brett 1979-1983-George Brett was the best hitter in the game from 1979-1983.  He hit for a .320 average and slugged his way to having the Royals as perennial contenders.  He led the league in triples (20) and hits in 1979.  In 1980, he hit .390 with a .454 OBP, 664 SLG and a 1.118 OBP which led the league.  In 1983, Brett led the league in slugging an OPS once again.  Brett won the MVP in 1980 and was the runner-up in 1979.  In 1985, George Brett would lead the Royals to a World Series.  He later won a batting title at age 37 with a .329 average.  This was the toughest time frame to judge from 1979-1983.  Mike Schmidt was an incredible force at third base with huge power and Jim Rice also put up mammoth numbers, but in the end I chose  George Brett because he was more consistent out of 3. Read the rest of this entry

Cade Kreuter “The Crocodile Hunter” Interview: Miami Hurricanes and 3rd Generation Baseball Prospect

Saturday February 4, 2012

MLB reports – Jonathan Hacohen:  Talk about keeping it in the family. Cade Kreuter certainly knows how to follow in the baseball footsteps of his family.  The 20-year old currently plays infield and outfield for the University of Miami, after spending 2010 as a USC Trojan. Both his grandfather (Mike Gillespie) and father (Chad Kreuter) were head coaches with USC as well. Then to top it all off, all three have worn the #19. Younger brother Cole wears #19 at his high school- so bottom line, if you are a Kreuter: you wear #19. From Chadden (Chad) to sons Cole and Caden (Cade) – the Kreuter family is writing its baseball family legacy. I had the opportunity to watch Cade’s dad on the field and I will tell you, he was as solid as they come. A solid major league catcher for 16 seasons, dad really set the bar high. But Cade is up for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for him.

Cade was drafted by the Diamondbacks in 2009 but opted to go to school instead. Playing the infield and outfield in his career, Cade can also catch if called upon.  Just call him Mr. Versatility in Miami. Coming from a strong baseball family background, Cade is definitely learning the family business.  Being named this past year to the California Coastal League All-Star Game and top prospect in the CCL shows that the accolades are coming. Standing 6’5″ and 205 lbs, Cade is a beast on the field. As he finishes up school- the next step will be to take his tools into pro ball.  Maybe to New York one day? ;)

Today on MLB reports, we introduce a prospect from a different side of the game. If you always wondered what it is like to play university ball for a major institution like Miami- today is your lucky day. Meet the man who helped train the actors you watched in the smash movie Moneyball. Plus after his playing days are done, we could be looking at the next crocodile hunter (trust us, it’s true!) Featured on MLB reports, we bring you our interview with baseball prospect and 3rd generation player, Cade Kreuter: 

MLB reports:  First question:  Favorite team growing up?

Cade Kreuter:  My favorite team growing up was always the team my dad was playing for at the time, but with that said, really my favorite team has always been the Yankees. They are the best and everyone knows it. Many of my favorite players have played on the Yankees at some point in time also. It is a dream to be a big leaguer, but it is an entire different dream to be a Yankee. I see it as one of the highest honors in baseball to have an opportunity to be a Yankee.


MLB reports:  You were drafted by the Dbacks in 2009 but chose to attend the University of Southern California instead. How close were you to signing with the Dbacks, what were the negotiations like?

Cade Kreuter:  Being drafted by the Diamondbacks was a very exciting moment of time in my life, I did not expect to be drafted at all actually. I had missed my entire  season senior year after I dislocated my shoulder the first game of the year. So there really were not any negotiations with the Diamondbacks after I was drafted. I was contacted the morning of the draft by the Diamondbacks, about 15 minutes before I was drafted, and I was told to turn on my computer and listen to the draft and for my name to be called out. After I was drafted it was explained to me that I would be a “draft and follow” and I would now be in their system.


MLB reports:  How have you enjoyed your time in University so far (what has your experience been like)?  Do you feel you made the right choice in picking school over pro ball? (if you could go back in a time machine- would you have still made the same choice?)

Cade Kreuter:  No doubt about it that I made the right choice to go to college for a few years before signing professional. I do always think about what  if I signed out of high school, I could be three years ahead into pro ball and who knows where I could be. But I really do think I made the right choice by going to school. I have matured in so many different ways, as a ballplayer, and as a person. My shoulder injury was able to heal during my time in college, and now I am healthy and throwing again. I have met so many people who I may have missed out on if I had skipped college. On top of all that I have put at least 3 years of education in my pocket, from 2 of the top Universities in the country.


MLB reports:  Number 19- how did you pick that number?  

Cade Kreuter:  Number 19 has become a family number, and my grandfather, Mike Gillespie, started it all when he was playing at the University of Southern California. My grandfather continued to wear the number while he was coaching at USC and still continues to wear it now at UC Irvine. My dad wore it when he could while he was playing. I have always worn the number 19 when it is available, and my little brother, Cole, who is a sophomore at Columbus High School also wears 19. We are both very proud to keep the number in the family, and hope to pass it on. 

MLB reports:  At 6’5″ – did you ever consider other sports instead of baseball?

Cade Kreuter:  Growing up I played baseball, basketball and football. In high school I played both baseball and football. I only played football my freshman and sophomore year, but I really do regret not playing football the rest of the way through high school. I have not ruled out walking on as a quarterback in football for my senior season at The U if I decide to stay for my senior year.


MLB reports:  Did you have a favorite player growing up?

Cade Kreuter:  I have had so many different favorite players from Ken Griffey Jr. to Frank Thomas, and to Mike Sweeney. But really my favorite player growing up was Gary Sheffield. I loved everything about Gary, his batting stance, his swing, his cleats. I could go on. But his locker was right next to my dads when they played on the Dodgers together, and I always looked up to him.


MLB reports:  Which current MLB star do you most admire and why? Any current players that you pattern your game after?

Cade Kreuter:  Right now I look at players in the MLB a little bit differently than I did as a kid growing up. Now I look at guys who have similar size and height to me, and I like to see how they do specific things in their swing and their batting stance. Being so tall it is difficult to keep my swing in tune since I am not fully filled into my body. So I like to look at players like Alex Rodriguez, Josh Hamilton, and Matt Kemp. They’re all such big hitters at the plate I can see how they use their bodies throughout their swing and relate to that.


MLB reports:  What are your goals going into the 2012 season?  

Cade Kreuter:  My biggest goal for this upcoming season is to get to Omaha and win it. There is nothing else on my mind right now, and I know that with a national championship in my sights and putting my team first that my personal statistics will take care of themselves. That is my goal right now.


MLB reports:  What has your offseason been like?  What are you up to?  What are you doing to prepare for the season?

Cade Kreuter:  Well I consider my fall semester and winter break my offseason really. Fall semester here at The U consist of a lot of intra-squad games, a lot of weight training, and running. That is all done with the team. During my winter break I go two-a-days with the weight training, once in the morning and once at night. When I was not in the weight room I was in the cages taking as many swings I could. I would long toss 3 times a week and keep my throwing short distance on the other days.


MLB reports:  At what age did you know that you would be a baseball player?  Do you see yourself long-term as an outfielder or infielder?

Cade Kreuter:  I have been playing ball since I can remember. Since I was a little kid I knew that I would be playing baseball as long as it allows me to. Right now I am playing the corners in the outfield and I like it a lot out there, but I can play any position and if somebody moves me back to the infield I would be more than happy and then they can move me back to the outfield if they wanted. As long as I am playing baseball I’m ok. But, long-term I do see myself in the outfield because of my body size, and my tools go well in the outfield. I love to throw people out, so beware.


MLB reports:  Ever consider catching (wink)?

Cade Kreuter:  I use to catch when I was young! But I guess the last time I caught was when I probably 13 years old, before my freshman year in high school. I did some catching drills at USC for a little too and I had a decent pop time. If I was told to get back behind the plate I wouldn’t argue, I think catching is a great position to play. I might have trouble with the signs. I would for sure need to practice that a lot.


MLB reports:  What’s the keys to your game- power, speed, patience- or a combination?

Cade Kreuter:  Right now I am focusing on staying aggressive at the plate and letting my natural power take over. So instead of just looking for my pitch to hit I’m starting to drive anything thrown in the zone. My power is a big part of the game, but it is difficult to not get caught up in my power sometimes. So I just need to stay smooth and quick through the zone instead of trying to jack the ball all the time. When I do that, my power really shows. I can turn the running turbo on too, if I think there can be another bag in there for myself I’ll take it.


MLB reports:  What facets of your game do you most wish to improve upon?

Cade Kreuter:  Right now I strike out a lot, and that is what I want to improve upon the most right now. If you asked me this question a few months ago I would have told you my number thing to do would be get my shoulder healthy and back in game shape. But I know as I continue to learn my body, learn my swing, and become a better hitter mentally at the plate that my strike out numbers will be cut down. That comes with repetition also, I have missed out on a lot of at bats and games  since my senior year in high school because of this injury.


MLB reports:  Who were the strongest baseball influences growing up?  Any particular coaches that had a deep impact on your game?

Cade Kreuter:  I have had so many great coaches and I have had a lot of awful coaches. First major influences that I have had in baseball are my dad and grandfather, Mike Gillespie. They both have so much knowledge about the game and understand that even the tiniest of things can make the biggest difference to a baseball player. That is why they have both been so successful in their careers, and they have taught me in very advanced ways that a lot of other coaches and players I have had or played with can’t even comprehend. I have had coaches that thought  I was an awful baseball player because I was tall and lanky, and I have had teammates tell me that too. A lot of that is just plain jealousy, but you learn to use that negative stuff as fuel after a while.


MLB reports:  Three years of school and then going back to the draft. Is that the plan? Where do you see yourself being drafted the next time around and what do you need to do to get there?

Cade Kreuter:  The plan for me right now is to play as hard and as good as I can play for my team every game. My plan is to go to Omaha and win. Whatever happens with the draft happens. The draft is not going to make me a better or worse player in pro ball because I went high or low in the draft. The situation does need to be right for me to sign and there is a lot of different things that go with that. But I know when I play for my team and not for myself is when I will get the best out of me, so everything will fall into place when the draft comes.


MLB reports:  Tell us about your dad, Chad Kreuter.  What was he like as a dad?  What is your relationship like?

Cade Kreuter:  My dad is everything to me. When he was playing he brought me to the ballpark with him as much as possible, which is something a lot of players  shy away from doing  and worry about having their kid there for different reasons. Looking back it seems I spent every minute with him even while he was doing his work at the park. But he has given me the best life that he could ever give me and I couldn’t ask him for anything more.


MLB reports:  Any pressure to become a ballplayer?  Did you ever consider another career path?  Is having a famous baseball dad any hinderance to you?

Cade Kreuter:  I don’t feel pressure to be a ballplayer ever, it’s just what I have always done. It’s what I have always been good at. I did feel I needed to prove myself as a player to my teammates at USC when I was playing under my dad there.  Really I’ve always wanted to be a Big Leaguer, so I’m just a kid dreaming still. Another career path? No, not really. I guess my backup plan would be something with science and wildlife, which people find shocking and weird. I just know a lot about nature for some reason, probably because I watch more Animal Planet than ESPN.


MLB reports:  Favorite baseball movie of all-time and why?

Cade Kreuter:  My favorite baseball movie has to be “Moneyball” now since I helped Chris Pratt “Scott Hatteberg” and Stephen Bishop  “David Justice” with their hitting and defense for the movie. My dad and grandpa also worked on set while they were filming and they were both actually in the movie. It doesn’t get better than “Sandlot” though.


MLB reports:  Final thoughts?

Cade Kreuter:  Thank you for the interview! Go Canes!   Cade.

***Thank you to Cade Kreuter for taking the time today to speak with us on MLB reports.  You can follow Cade on Twitter (@cadeSWAGGstupid).  Good luck in school Cade, Go Miami Hurricanes! Study hard and we look forward to seeing you playing pro ball very soon!

 

Jonathan Hacohen is the Lead Baseball Columnist & Editor for MLB reports:  You can follow Jonathan on Twitter (@JHacohen)

Please e-mail us at: MLBreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback.  You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook .  To subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox , click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

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