Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Rays sign two-way standout McKay

Image result for brendan mckay
"Our scouting staff believes that Brendan has the ability to impact a Major League roster on the mound, in the batter's box and defensively at first base," said Rays Director of Amateur Scouting Rob Metzler. "We are excited to provide Brendan the unique opportunity to further develop as a two-way prospect."

This is a pretty bold step for the Rays in terms of the bonus amount spent and giving him a chance to be a two-way player.

The kid now becomes the face and the future of the franchise. If he pulls off the two-way gig, he becomes the face and the future of major league baseball. It will be an interesting development to follow.

At the youth level, "doing both" is kind of taken for granted. To do it at the professional level is still very unique. Very much like the two-sport athletes like Bo Jackson and Deon Sanders, it will be very interesting and exciting for major league baseball if somebody could do it. If not McKay, perhaps the kid from Japan if he is ever released to MLB.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Perils of Single-Sport Participation | Changing the Game Project

Patience is a good word. Easy to say, hard to do. You are talking about parents and their children and you can't false them for being passionate about their kids. They just can't allow themselves to be blinded by that passion. It lead to bad relationships.

from the article:

To be an elite level player at a college or professional sport, you need a degree of exceptional athleticism. And the best medically, scientifically and psychologically recommended way to develop such all around athleticism is ample free play and multiple sport participation as a child.
The Perils of Single-Sport Participation
 For the last few days, my email and social media accounts have been lit up by a simple image first shared with me on Twitter by @ohiovarsity. It is amazing because the image portrays something that is widely known among experts, widely discussed in coaching circles, and has certainly been written about by me and others many times. Yet this excellent blog article on a high school sports site got over half a million shares in the first 3 days it was out because this image touched a nerve
Why? Well, here is the image:

Ohio St recruits

The question I was asked over and over this week was "What do you think of this?"

My answer, over and over was, "Amen, agreed, hopefully now people will start paying attention."

If it takes an infographic of Urban Meyer's football recruits at Ohio State to shift the paradigm in youth sports, then so be it. The image above, which clearly demonstrates that the overwhelming majority of his recruits are multi-sport kids, is not new information, but it has caused quite a stir. Here is what it says in a nutshell:

To be an elite level player at a college or professional sport, you need a degree of exceptional athleticism. And the best medically, scientifically and psychologically recommended way to develop such all around athleticism is ample free play and multiple sport participation as a child.

Why? Well let's see what the experts say:

Coaches and Elite Athletes:

Pete Carroll, former USC and now Seattle Seahawks Football coach, says here "The first questions I'll ask about a kid are, 'What other sports does he play? What does he do? What are his positions? Is he a big hitter in baseball? Is he a pitcher? Does he play hoops?' All of those things are important to me. I hate that kids don't play three sports in high school. I think that they should play year-round and get every bit of it that they can through that experience. I really, really don't favor kids having to specialize in one sport. Even [at USC], I want to be the biggest proponent for two-sport athletes on the college level. I want guys that are so special athletically, and so competitive, that they can compete in more than one sport."

Dom Starsia, University of Virginia men's lacrosse: "My trick question to young campers is always, 'How do you learn the concepts of team offense in lacrosse or team defense in lacrosse in the off-season, when you're not playing with your team?' The answer is by playing basketball, by playing hockey and by playing soccer and those other team games, because many of those principles are exactly the same. Probably 95 percent [of our players] are multi-sport athletes. It's always a bit strange to me if somebody is not playing other sports in high school."

Or in this interview with Tim Corbin, coach of NCAA Champion Vanderbilt

Baseball, on why he chooses multi-sport athletes over single sport kids.

Or Ashton Eaton, world record holder and gold medalist in the decathlon, who never participated in 6 of the 10 required decathlon events until he got to the University of Oregon.

Or Steve Nash, who got his first basketball at age 13 and credits his soccer background for making him a great basketball player, a similar story to the 100 professional athletes interviewed in Ethan Skolnick and Dr. Andrea Korn's Raising

Your Game .
The list goes on and on.

What about the medical experts? 

Wise to Specialize eBook cover web

As I have outlined in my ebook "Is it Wise to Specialize?" and echoed in world renowned orthopedic surgeon James Andrew's book Any Given Monday, there are strong medical reasons for not specializing at a young age:
  1. Children who specialize in a single sport account for 50% of overuse injuries in young athletes according to pediatric orthopedic specialists.
  2. A study by Ohio State University found that children who specialized early in a single sport led to higher rates of adult physical inactivity. Those who commit to one sport at a young age are often the first to quit, and suffer a lifetime of consequences.
  3. In a study of 1200 youth athletes, Dr Neeru Jayanthi of Loyola University found that early specialization in a single sport is one of the strongest predictors of injury. Athletes in the study who specialized were 70% to 93% more likely to be injured than children who played multiple sports!
  4. Children who specialize early are at a far greater risk for burnout due to stress, decreased motivation and lack of enjoyment
  5. Early sport specialization in female adolescents is associated with increased risk of anterior knee pain disorders including PFP, Osgood Schlatter and Sinding Larsen-Johansson compared to multi-sport athletes, and may lead to higher rates of future ACL tears.

And the sport scientists?

In January 2015, I had the honor of sitting in a lecture with Manchester United Performance Coach Tony Strudwick, winner of 13 titles as the fitness coach for Manchester United's first team. His advice was that a multi-sport background prior to the age of 12 set up soccer players for long-term success by lowering the rates of injuries and making them more adaptable to the demands of elite level play. "More often than not," he stated in a recent interview with, "the best athletes in the world are able to distinguish themselves from the pack thanks to a range of motor skills beyond what is typically expected in a given sport." He recommended tumbling and gymnastic movements, as well as martial arts, basketball, and lacrosse as great crossover sports for soccer.
Here are some other advantages I have previously written about:
  1. Better Overall Skills and Ability:Research shows that early participation in multiple sports leads to better overall motor and athletic development, longer playing careers, increased ability to transfer sports skills other sports and increased motivation, ownership of the sports experience, and confidence.
  1. Smarter, More Creative Players: Multi-sport participation at the youngest ages yields better decision making and pattern recognition, as well as increased creativity. These are all qualities that coaches of high-level teams look for.
  1. Most College Athletes Come From a Multi-Sport Background: A 2013 American Medical Society for Sports Medicine survey found that 88% of college athletes surveyed participated in more than one sport as a child
  1. 10,000 Hours is not a Rule: In his survey of the scientific literature regarding sport specific practice in The Sports Gene, author David Epstein finds that most elite competitors require far less than 10,000 hours of deliberate practice. Specifically, studies have shown that basketball (4000), field hockey (4000) and wrestling (6000) all require far less than 10,000 hours.
  1. There are Many Paths to Mastery: A 2003 study on professional ice hockey players found that while most pros had spent 10,000 hours or more involved in sports prior to age 20, only 3000 of those hours were involved in hockey specific deliberate practice (and only 450 of those hours were prior to age 12).

Are all sports the same?

No, they are not. They each require specific athletic, technical, and tactical skill sets. Some sports, in order to be elite, require early specialization, such as gymnastics and figure skating.

Other sports are so dependent upon physical prowess (American football, basketball, volleyball, rugby and others) that the technical skills and tactical know how can be developed later. There are many stories of athletes taking up these sports in their teens, even 20's, and playing at a very high level because of the ability to transfer skills learned in one sport to another.

And then there are sports like hockey and soccer, which without a doubt require an early introduction to the sport. There are technical movements and skills that are most sensitive to improvement prior to a child's growth spurt, and it is unlikely that a post-pubescent child is able to catch up if that is their first introduction to the sport.

HOWEVER, there is no evidence that pre-teen athletes in these sports should only play a single sport. As both the hockey evidence and the interview with Tony Strudwick mentioned above demonstrate, playing multiple sports early on sets these athletes up for longer-term success. They can better meet the demands of elite level play. They are less likely to get injured or burnout, and more likely to persist through the struggles needed to become a high-level performer.

If you want your child to play at a high-level, then the best thing you can do is help them find a sport that best suits their abilities, and help create an environment that gives them the best chance of success. 

That environment is a multi-sport one. The evidence is in. It is pretty conclusive.
It is time for our youth sports organizations to not only allow but encourage multi-sport participation. Yes, it is tough on the bottom line. But ask yourself this:

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Hitting and the Power of Suggestion | FanGraphs Baseball

Hitting and the Power of Suggestion | FanGraphs Baseball

Good stuff from Fan Graphs. It illustrates why whether it's hitting (as in this article)  or. pitching verbal cues results may vary from player to player. So say good bye to the cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all approach and maybe soon the perfect pitching/hitting mechanics model. You'll have success with some players, but lose others but for want of a better verbal cue.

from the article: 
This fact, that there's no universal instruction for baseball development may be frustrating, but if you think about the difference from body to body, it makes sense. 

Ochart himself had some thoughts along these lines. "Coaching, in many aspects, is approached as an art more than a science because the same verbal cue to a group of athletes can cause unique movement adaptations within the group," he told me in an email. "Learning what an athlete feels has always been a critical part of coaching movement, and technology is helping us figure out exactly what's happening and bridging the critical gap between 'feel' and 'do.'"


Hitting and the Power of Suggestion

I was drinking a beer with Kevin Youkilis — or rather, I was drinking one of his new brewery's beers, and he was drinking water — and we were talking about the state of the game. I think I mentioned something about chopping wood — how young players are coached (badly?) to hit down on the ball, and how that leads to a lot of swing and miss as players have to try to swing to a point in space — and he stopped me. "Nobody ever swings out to a specific point in space when they're told to chop wood or swing down on the ball," Youkilis said. "What actually happens is that they end up quicker to the ball." My mind was blown.

Youkilis pointed out that he spent his whole career with that philosophy, and though one player's strikeout rate (18.7%) and power (.197 isolated slugging percentage) don't prove anything, it was an eye opener for me. He basically was saying that the power of suggestion might actually have some value, even if the content of that suggestion was technically wrong. And once I thought about it, I realized I'd heard a few smart hitters — including Mark Trumbo — tell me something similar before, but I hadn't been listening right.

In any case, this is one of those testable situations with today's tools of the trade. I asked Jason Ochart of Driveline Baseball if he could create two situations and chart the outcomes using the data collection devices for which Driveline is famous on the pitching end.

In the first situation, Ochart told his hitter to be "quick to the ball." This is maybe not exactly the same thing as telling them to chop wood, but I didn't complain. I don't want him to tell his hitters something he doesn't want to tell them, and what he did tell them still permits us to (attempt to) answer our question: is it possible to change a hitter's swing metrics just by changing what you say to him?

In the second situation, Ochart gave his hitter the advice followed enthusiastically by modern hitters: "Get your hands to the slot first, and then swing." A fundamentally different coaching statement.

The results were different, too. In very interesting ways.

First, a table. Ochart used his Diamond Kinetics app to measure the player's swing by hand speed and distance in the zone. This player is a major-league baseball player.

Swing Stats for One Hitter, Two Conditions

Condition Hand Speed Distance in Zone
Quick to Ball 24 mph 23 inches
Hands to Slot 21 mph 28 inches

SOURCE: Diamond Kinetics / Driveline Baseball

Major league hitter told to be "quick to the ball' or "get hands to slot first" in two conditions.

For this hitter, the cue had an interesting result. Being quick to the ball was better for his bat speed, and bat speed begets power. However, he was in the zone for a shorter period, meaning that his swing was steeper and he was more likely to miss the ball. He wasn't giving his hands as much chance to get to the ball.

Here's what the two swings looked like, mapped by that Diamond Kinetics app. "Quick to the ball" is the green swing and "hands to slot" is in orange.

It looks like the "quick to the ball" cue compelled the batter to get his hands down to the slot faster! That might have cost him some time in the zone, though. And that missing time comes early on in the swing, when the brain may still have time to alter the path of the bat some.

The orange swing looks like it's better for a steeper launch angle, though, and that's something that the league's hitters have been seeking to do more over the last year-plus. Thanks to Bill Petti, we can see that baseball's hitter are hitting fewer balls in the 0 to -20 degree angles that produce poor outcomes. Maybe this is from more "hands to slot" coaching happening around the league, and maybe that coaching is due to analysis based on these Statcast stats.


Now it's time for a step back. We can't universalize this small finding to all players, not in a direct manner. What we can probably take from this is that coaching matters, and that each of these conditions is probably better for a specific swing. In other words, there are maybe powerful guys with good launch angle who could benefit from being told to be "quick to the ball." And maybe there other are guys with decent power but who need to lift the ball more; perhaps they'd benefit from being told to get the "hands to the slot" first.

This fact, that there's no universal instruction for baseball development may be frustrating, but if you think about the difference from body to body, it makes sense.
Ochart himself had some thoughts along these lines. "Coaching, in many aspects, is approached as an art more than a science because the same verbal cue to a group of athletes can cause unique movement adaptations within the group," he told me in an email. "Learning what an athlete feels has always been a critical part of coaching movement, and technology is helping us figure out exactly what's happening and bridging the critical gap between 'feel' and 'do.'"

And that's probably the perfect way to sum this up. Yes, it's probably not great to tell people to swing down on the ball. But if you take the kernel from that coaching, and tell them to be quick to the ball, you'll probably be saying the right thing to at least one type of hitter. Figuring out which type of hitter needs to hear which coaching is the next step.

Sent from my iPhone

Giants Farm System Results

The futures so bright.......hopefully winning is not so important at the minor league level. Maybe player development is more important.

Then again, if you;re doing a good job on the player development side, shouldn't that translate into WINS every now and again. 

~;::::::;( )">  ¯\_( )_/¯   

Which Conference, Which Schools Have The Most Big Leaguers? -

Image result for WHICH CONFERENCE, WHICH SCHOOLS HAVE THE MOST BIG LEAGUERS?Image result for pareto power law

Power conferences and power teams. Power law by Pareto. Article by Baseball America. 

Which Conference, Which Schools Have The Most Big Leaguers? -


When it comes to current big leaguers, the Southeastern Conference stands significantly ahead of its peers. Nearly 60 current big leaguers on an active roster or the major league disabled list signed out of SEC schools. The Atlantic Coast Conference was second with 43 current big leaguers and the Pac-12 was third with 42.

There was no one school that carried the SEC to the top of this list. It was the conference's depth. No school in the SEC had more than six current big leaguers, but four schools had six big leaguers, another two had five and another three had four.

One caveat to these statistics: They are based on where the player was playing when he signed coming out of the draft. So transfers are only credited to the school they were playing for at the time they were drafted. Also if a player did not sign out of the school, but moved on to independent leagues, the league doesn't get credit for that signing (for example, Luke Hochevar doesn't count for Tennessee and Aaron Crow doesn't count for Missouri). And conferences get credit for their current member schools. So the University of Houston's big leaguers count for the brand-new American Athletic Conference, not Conference USA, for example.

Conference Major Leaguers
SEC 59
ACC 43
Pac-12 42
Big West 26
Big 12 24
Big Ten 15
Mountain West 15
American 13
MVC 12
Sun Belt 9
A-Sun 8
Ivy 6
Big East 5
Big South 4
A-10 3
Southern 3
Horizon 2
Southland 1
Summit 1

When it comes to which school has the most current big leagues, Arizona State holds the crown with 11 thanks to Dustin Pedroia, Jason Kipnis, Ike Davis, Kole Calhoun and a number of utility infielders. Long Beach State is second with a very impressive list of 10 that includes Jered Weaver, Evan Longoria, Troy Tulowitzki, Danny Espinosa and Jason Vargas. North Carolina was third with nine (Kyle Seager, Matt Harvey, Dustin Ackley and Andrew Miller were the most notable names).

School Major Leaguers School Major Leaguers
Arizona State 11 Minnesota 3
Long Beach State 10 Missouri 3
North Carolina 9 Missouri State 3
California 8 Nevada 3
Miami 8 Oklahoma 3
Nebraska 8 Oregon State 3
Stanford 8 Riverside (Calif.) CC 3
Texas 7 St. Petersburg (Fla.) CC 3
Florida 6 Tennessee 3
Louisiana State 6 Wichita State 3
Mississippi 6 Arizona 2
Vanderbilt 6 Auburn 2
Arkansas 5 Baylor 2
Cal Poly 5 Charleston Southern 2
Chipola (Fla.) JC 5 Cincinnati 2
Georgia 5 Dallas Baptist 2
Georgia Tech 5 Dayton 2
San Diego State 5 Hawaii 2
Texas Christian 5 Indiana State 2
UCLA 5 Kentucky 2
Virginia 5 Louisiana-Lafayette 2
Cal State Fullerton 4 Maryland 2
Fresno State 4 Ohio State 2
Houston 4 Rice 2
Mississippi State 4 Rutgers 2
Notre Dame 4 San Diego 2
Princeton 4 Seminole (Fla.) CC 2
South Carolina 4 South Alabama 2
Southern California 4 Stetson 2
Texas A&M 4 Texas Tech 2
Texas-Arlington 4 Tulane 2
Alabama 3 UC Riverside 2
Austin Peay 3 UC Santa Barbara 2
Clemson 3 Wallace State (Ala.) CC 2
College of Charleston 3 West Virginia 2
Florida State 3 Western Carolina 2
Southern Nevada JC 3 Western Okla. State JC 2

Sent from my iPhone

Giants use analytics to aid Draft picks |

Giants use analytics to aid Draft picks |

At this point, I don't care if they use a dart board, a OUIJA board, whatever!! Get some guys that can play!!


Giants use more modern approach in Draft

Giants use more modern approach in Draft
SAN FRANCISCO -- John Barr cited spin rates. He mentioned exit velocity. That's right: The scouting director of the San Francisco Giants, an organization widely considered to remain rooted in bygone forms of player evaluation, spoke with casual familiarity about modern metrics.
"Just because I have white hair doesn't mean I'm old-school," Barr jokingly said Wednesday after the MLB Draft concluded.

Complete Draft coverage

San Francisco selected 18 right-handed pitchers, six left-handed pitchers, three catchers, six infielders and seven outfielders during the three-day talent grab.
And the Giants did so while employing every tool available to them -- including metrics.
"It came down to using more and more information, because you have more information that is available to you now, and we did it well," Barr said. "We digested it well. There were a lot of people involved, from the IT department to our scouts. It was definitely an organizational Draft."
The truth is, the Giants have increasingly relied on contemporary methods of player evaluation for years. And with this Draft, they maintained a different reputation: Being willing to take a risk.
San Francisco selected high schoolers, whose futures usually are more volatile than collegians, with its first three picks: outfielder Heliot Ramos, the highest-drafted player out of Puerto Rico (19th overall) since Carlos Correa was taken first overall by Houston in 2012; third baseman Jacob Gonzalez, who's bigger than his father, former All-Star outfielder Luis Gonzalez; and left-hander Seth Corry, Gatorade's Player of the Year in Utah.
The last time the Giants chose high schoolers with their first three picks was 2007, when they took left-hander Madison Bumgarner, right-hander Tim Alderson, outfielder Wendell Fairley and infielder Nick Noonan with their top four selections.
Barr said that drafting prospects "who were young, athletic and projectable was a key for us."
That trio of Ramos, Gonzalez and Corry comprised half of the six high schoolers the Giants drafted. They spent their other 34 selections on college players, including fourth-round pick Garrett Cave and fifth-rounder Jason Bahr, right-handers who the Giants believe can ultimately supplement the Major League starting rotation.
At times, the Giants appeared as if they were trying to live up to their nickname in replenishing their pitching. Cave and Bahr are both listed as 6-foot-4. Other pitchers they drafted in the top 10 rounds included 6-foot-7 Logan Harasta, 6-foot-6 John Gavin and 6-foot-5 Aaron Phillips.
From their 13th choice, 6-foot-4 right-hander Tyler Schimpf, to their last of 40 selections, 6-foot-8 right-hander Liam Jenkins, the Giants drafted 10 pitchers standing 6-foot-4 or taller.
"It just so happened those were the ones that were there," Barr said.
Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sent from my iPhone

Giants drop close one to Braves, 9-0 | McCovey Chronicles

 Image result for luck evens out

I am growing a bit weary of the mantra that the Giants -- individually or in aggregate -- are the "unluckiest" team on the face of the earth.

Let's review the facts:
  • They ended the last half of the 2016 with the worst record in baseball.
  • They have started the first half of this season with the worst record in baseball, except for the pesky Phillies who at least had the decency to finish strong last season.
  • Combined, this gives us the worst record in baseball for almost a full season worth of games.
Luck shows up in the short-term or in a short series. That's why the playoffs are such a crap shoot and the "best team" on paper doesn't always win.

Skill demonstrates itself over the long-term. Small sample sizes go bye bye and conclusions can be drawn. 

My conclusion: This team sucks. They are not unlucky, the are lesser skilled than their opponents.

Some in the blog-osphere are coming around to this conclusion. Like Grant over at McCovey Chronicles. 

from McCovey Chronicles:

The thing about bad teams is that they can keep it close. It's not like every 100-loss team is down 9-0 before the fifth inning of every game. That's not how baseball works. Most wins and losses are built incrementally. A misplay here. A missed location here. A double play with the bases loaded there. They build and build and build, and you wonder, hey, maybe this is just bad luck! 

No. You have watched bad baseball before. You have watched good baseball before. This is the former. I will admit to being someone hoping for bad luck in the second half of last season, but it's been almost a full calendar year. This team is abysmal.

There is another option in play and I hesitate to bring it up because it calls into question the professionalism of the individuals involved. As Micheal Mauboussin describes in his book The Success Equation: Untangling Skill and Luck in Business, Sports and Investing if you can lose on purpose, skill dominates the activity, if you can't lose on purpose then luck likely dominates that activity.

Image result for mauboussin skill when you can lose on purpose
There’s a simple and elegant test of whether there is skill in an activity: ask whether you can lose on purpose. If you can’t lose on purpose, or if it’s really hard, luck likely dominates that activity. If it’s easy to lose on purpose, skill is more important.

Image result for mauboussin skill when you can lose on purpose

Could the Giants be losing on purpose? Not like throwing games on purpose, but is the team chemistry so out of whack from the glory years when this was virtually Team Chemistry to the current version that appears to be a something constructed by the young ladies from Mean Girls

Image result for Mean Girls

I'm just asking. It seems a little more likely than some of the other alternatives. A lot of guys are playing like they have just literally forgotten how to play baseball (Matt Moore, Derek Law, Hunter Pence). They certainly have forgotten how to play at the level they once performed at, so what gives?

In fairness, we do tend to say a winning team has "good chemistry" and the total is greater than the sum of the parts when they out-perform our expectations (some SABR types default to "luck" here).

Is it possible that since the Giants are grossly under-performing even our most modest expectations over the last full season of games that somewhere bad team chemistry is at work?

If that's the case, the Giants front-office needs to tinker with the roster. The bullpen is an absolute shambles right now. Melancon, Law, Osich all have terrible ERA/WHIP whatever your pet stat is. Osich makes me long for Will Smith and he's a big LHP who can't get LH hitters out.

The only guys I have some confidence in are Strickland, Guerrin and Kontos.

The starting pitchers are a mess. Cueto is crumbling under the weight of carrying the staff in Bumgarners absence, Samardzia, even though .he's cleaned it up lately, seems to lose his way just long enough to lose his way. Matt Moore has totally lost his way and Matt Cain is still doing it with smoke and mirrors. It's as if hitters who've been around for a few years are saying "That's Matt Cain? Really dude?" and swinging at the old Matt Cain stuff. Once they adjust, it's game over for Matty, Except that we owe him a lot of money and management seems to want to get at least some ROR on the money. Greedy capitalists!! It;s what Bernie's been telling us all along!!

Anyway, the pitchers should be suing the hitters for non-support. Or is this another example of bad luck run amok? Eight guys all swinging the bats like it was a wet newspaper or a girls purse simultaneously? What are the odds of that happening? No productive outs, no clutch 2 out RBI. Hell, most nights, hardly any RBI at all. What gives?

Maybe it's time for an intervention of some kind. We've tried a good, old-fashioned bench clearing brawl and that didn't turn out too well. Maybe Dr. Phil is available.

Image result for dr phil meme fat

Or Peyton Manning:

Giants Top Minor League Prospects

  • 1. Tyler Beede 6-4, 215 RHP from Vanderbilt projects as top of the rotation starter when he works out his command/control issues. When he misses, he misses by a bunch.
  • 2. Christian Arroyo 6-1, 180 SS very efficient with the bat, good hitting approach, test will be how he handles advanced pitching
  • 3. Bryan Reynolds 6-2, 210 OF Switch hitter with average speed and polished hitting approach. Fits Giants mold of high-floor, low-ceiling prospects. .
  • 4. Chris Shaw 6-3. 230 1B Lefty power bat, limited defensively to 1B, Matt Adams comp?
  • 5. Andrew Suarez 6-2, 185 LHP Miami grad, not over powering, but gets guys out.
  • 6. Sandro Fabian 6-0, 180 OF Dominican signee from 2014, shows some pop in his bat. Below average arm and lack of speed should push him towards LF.
  • 7. Joan Gregorio 6-7, 180 RHP Misses bats, buts also missed the strike zone too much. Twenty five years old and in AAA, may be time to put up or move along.
  • 8. Stephen Duggar 6-1, 170 CF Another toolsy, under-achieving OF in the Gary Brown mold, hoping for better results.
  • 9. Aramis Garcia 6-2, 220 C from Florida INTL projects as a good bat behind the dish with enough defensive skill to play there long-term
  • 10. Heath Quinn 6-2, 190 OF Strong hitter, makes contact with improving approach at the plate. Returns from hamate bone injury.
  • 11. Jordan Johnson 6-3,200 RHP His FB cruises at 93-96 mph and touched 98, while averaging 12.3 K/9, with improved command, he could become a mid-rotation starter
  • 12. Sam Coonrod 6-3, 215 RHP Hard-thrower got off to a good start in rookie ball, impressed with high K/BB ratio. Needs to keep ball in the yard.
  • 13. Matt Krook 6-4, 225 LHP Can be unhittable at times. Has outstanding life on 92-94 MPH FB. CB can be a plus-plus pitch with power and depth, slider shows flashes. If he can't harness his stuff well enough to stay in the rotation, his FB/CB combo could still make him a high-leverage reliever.
  • 14. Austin Slater 6-2, 215 2B well-schooled from Stanford Univ. via The Bolles School in Jacksonville FL good size, speed combo with hit tool playing well through AA. Line drive, gap hitter with 15HR power potential

2017 MLB Draft - Top National HS Players

  • 1. Hunter Greene 6-3, 205 RHP Notre Dame HS (CA)
  • 2. Royce Lewis 6-0, 185 SS J Serra HS (CA)
  • 3. MacKenzie Gore 6-1, 170 LHP Whiteville HS (NC)
  • 4. D.L. Hall 6-2, 180 LHP Valdosta HS (GA)
  • 5. Jordan Adell 6-3, 205 OF Ballard HS (KY)
  • 6. Austin Beck 6-1, 190 OF North Davidson HS (NC)
  • 7. Hans Crouse 6-4, 185 RHP Dana Hills HS (CA)
  • 8. Nick Pratto 6-2, 195 LHP Huntington Beach HS (CA)
  • 9. Shane Baz 6-3, 185 RHP Concordia Lutheran HS (TX)
  • 10. Brady McConnell 6-3, 175 SS Merritt Island HS (FL)
  • Others: Bubba Thompson 6-2, 175 OF McGill-Toolen HS (AL) Heliot Ramos 6-2, 185 OF Leadership Christian Academy HS (PR) Blayne Enlow 6-3, 180 RHP St. Amant HS (LA) Matthew Sauer 6-4, 200 RHP Ernest Righetti HS (CA) Sam Carlson 6-4, 200 RHP Burnsville HS (MN)

2017 Top MLB College Draft Prospects

  • 1. Kyle Wright 6-4, 200 RHP Vanderbilt
  • 2. Brendan McKay 6-2, 200 LHP Louisville
  • 3. J.B. Bukauskas 6-0, 190 RHP North Carolina
  • 4. Alex Faedo 6-4, 220 RHP Florida
  • 5. Jeren Kendall 5-11, 190 OF Vanderbilt
  • 6. Pavin Smith 6-2, 210 1B Virginia
  • 7. Adam Haseley 6-1, 195 OF Virginia
  • 8. Alex Lange 6-3, 200 RHP LSU
  • 9. David Peterson 6-6, 240 LHP Oregon
  • 10. Seth Romero 6-3, 240 LHP Houston
  • Others: Brian Miller 6-0, 185 OF North Carolina Jake Burger 6-2, 210 3B Missouri State Keston Hiura 6-0, 185 OF UC Irvine Clarke Schmidt 6-1, 205 RHP South Carolina Griffin Canning 6-1,175 RHP UCLA Tristan Beck 6-4, 165 RHP Stanford Tanner Houck 6-5, 200 RHP Missouri Wil Crowe 6-2, 250 RHP South Carolina Nate Pearson 6-6, 245 RHP Central Florida CC Logan Warmouth 6-0, 190 SS North Carolina Brendon Little 6-2, 215 LHP State JC of Florida

2017 Top MLB HS Draft Prospects in Jacksonville Area

  • 1. Austin Martin SS 6-1-170 Trinity Christian Academy commit to Vanderbilt
  • 2. A.J. Labas RHP 6-3, 220 Trinity Christian Academy commit to University of North Florida

2017 Top MLB HS Draft Prospects in Tampa Bay Area

  • 1. C.J. Van Eyk 6-2, 200 RHP Steinbrenner HS commit to FSU
  • 2. Tim Elko 6-3, 225 1B Hillsborough HS Tone of raw power from the bat, limited defensively
  • 3. Jordan Butler 6-1, 180 LHP Alonso HS (Tampa) Heavy FB and above avg. slider. Florida commit
  • 4. Conor Grady 6-2, 185 RHP Tampa Catholic HS (Tampa) Sinking 88-90 FB, workable CB and change