Spring training is upon us, but more importantly, college baseball has begun. While it is easy to keep up with the top high school prospects and Division I talents ready for June’s MLB Draft, there are often a few under the radar guys lurking in DII and DIII baseball just itching to make an impact.
While it appeared that the New York Yankees offseason was done, they made one last move before spring training started.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 7, 2017
Despite some backlash on the ol’ intra web, it’s an absolutely brilliant move, with not a thing to lose.
I really don’t need to say anything. If you like Bartolo Colon
— and who doesn’t — this is a must watch (and thank you MLB.com for this brilliant idea. And you know what? Thank you Bartolo, for being you).
WELCOME TO BARTLANTA
— Big League Stew (@bigleaguestew) February 10, 2017
Click below for full video on MLB.com.
I need to apologize, dear Wayniacs. No need for excuses. I have been busy and have neglected you. I wasn’t even able to throw together a Super Bowl reaction piece, and for that I am sorry.
As always, I am still writing, just elsewhere across the world wide web. Curious as to what I’ve been writing? Take a peek.
Yesterday was Ernie Banks birthday. Mr. Cub would have been 86 years old. It got me thinking. Banks of course played one of the toughest careers in the game, playing 19 years with the Chicago Cubs and never once seeing the post season.
So which other superstars ended historic careers without winning a World Series?
While the New York Yankees went out and made some big trades at the deadline to turn around their farm system, they have some nice pieces in the lower minors they have acquired through the draft. One of those players is Donny Sands.
Looking at the stats, Sands doesn’t jump off the page as a top prospect, and quite frankly, he isn’t that just now. But what he has exhibited through his year and a half as a pro baseball player is that he has the athleticism, makeup and desire to succeed.
As we all know by now, the 2017 MLB Hall of Fame inductees have been announced. I don’t take issues with a single one of them. I was always a fan of Jeff Bagwell, it was nearly impossible not to love Tim Raines, and despite the fact that Ivan Rodriguez had huge question marks surrounding him, his defense since he was a 17 year old minor leaguer was undeniable.
So, what about the rest of the ballot? That’s really where there are some question marks.
This is the time of year that it is fun to take a look that prospects who may make a big jump in the coming season. It’s not so much a time to question whether or not Eloy Jimenez will be baseball’s best prospect by the years end (which he will), nor is it a time to wonder if Brent Honeywell is actually the most exciting pitching prospect (which he is).
No, this is the time to look a little deeper in the farm systems at several guys who had a big 2016 and wonder if in fact they are for real, ready to make their presence known in the Top 100. Guys like those who I have looked at in the past, like Carson Kelly and Joe Jimenez who seem ready for the big break, and other guys like Cornelius Randolph who are still climbing the ladder.
So, who is the first in the 2017 Prospect Watch?
Mallex Smith was once the Atlanta Braves prized centerfielder of the future. The speedy centerfielder became expendable with the Gold Glove season of Ender Inciarte and the emergence of Ronald Acuna and Ray-Patrick Didder in the lower minors. The Braves would send him to Seattle for more pitching — as the Braves have become accustomed to doing — only to see Seattle send him to Tampa for pitching and prospects an hour later.
Every year, as the Hall of Fame inductions roll around, the Chipper Jones debate begins. Perhaps it is heightened living in the Atlanta area as I do, but each and every year as Larry Wayne Jones inches closer to possible enshrinement, the debate arises.
Is Chipper Jones a Hall of Famer?