Sunday, June 15, 2008



A few surprises so far as we near the mid-season point. On the positive side, why not lead-off with the Rays who are playing at a 90-95 win pace? This should be enough to put them in the playoffs for the first time in team history. That qualifies them as the biggest positive surprise in baseball so far.

Next, as strange as this sounds, even though I picked the Cubs to win their division and advance to/win the World Series, their best record in baseball status qualifies them as the next biggest positive surprise.

Not to be outdone, the South side Chicago entrant, the White Sox, leading the AL Central has to put them at or near the top of the positive surprises this season as well. A Chicago vs. Chicago World Series would certainly be a great match up. But, there's a long way to go.

The other positive also-rans so far would have to be the Cardinals, the A's in the AL West, and the Astros.

OK, the Giants too. By using some form of twisted, convoluted logic, since they are not on a 100+ loss pace, are currently in third place in their division, they have some credibility to claim themselves as a positive surprise. This does seem like damning the team with faint praise though, does it not? Also, the fact that they are in third place in their division says more about the fortunes of the Padres and the Rockies this season than the Giants......

Which provides a smooth transition to the negative surprises this season.

The Rockies and the Padres, by virtue of their being behind the Giants in the standings, have got to be the front-runners. You don't see anyone else struggling behind the Royals or the Pirates or the Nationals now, do you? So who else should I pick?

Maybe from amongst the Tigers, the Indians and the Brewers? Fair enough, but only on the basis of their pre-season expectations. And in fairness, all three of these would be contenders have started to show signs of life lately, especially the Tigers.

How about the New Yorkers, with both the Mutts and the Yankees treading water around the .500 mark? Perhaps, but I'm not sure either of these two have or had much more to give then that. They seem to be right about where you would have expected them to be.

Give the salary and the expectation level, how long will it be before either of these two teams start making serious roster moves? My guess is the All-Star break, plus or minus a couple of games.
In fairness, I had the Cubs and D-Backs as Division winners :) along with the Mutts :(, with the Brewers in the Wild Card spot. Hey, two for four so far.

In the AL, we had the Angels and Red Sox as Division winners :), with the Tigers :(, and the Indians as the Wild Card, damn White Sox. Again, two for four.
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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. Chris Shaw 6-3. 230 1B Lefty power bat, limited defensively to 1B, Matt Adams comp?
  • 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. Stephen Duggar 6-1, 170 CF Another toolsy, under-achieving OF in the Gary Brown mold, hoping for better results.
  • 5. 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.
  • 6. 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
  • 7. Heliot Ramos 6-2, 185 OF Potential high-ceiling player the Giants have been looking for. Great bat speed, early returns were impressive.
  • 8. Garrett Williams 6-1, 205 LHP Former Oklahoma standout, Giants prototype, low-ceiling, high-floor prospect.
  • 9. Heath Quinn 6-2, 190 OF Strong hitter, makes contact with improving approach at the plate. Returns from hamate bone injury.
  • 10. Seth Corry 6-2 195 LHP Highly regard HS pick. Was mentioned as possible chip in high profile trades.
  • 11. Jacob Gonzalez 6-3, 190 3B Good pedigree, impressive bat for HS prospect.
  • 12. C.J. Hinojosa 5-10, 175 SS Scrappy IF prospect in the mold of Kelby Tomlinson, just gets it done.
  • 13. Shaun Anderson 6-4, 225 RHP Large frame, 3.36 K/BB rate. Can start or relieve
  • 14. Garett Cave 6-4, 200 RHP He misses a lot of bats and at times, the plate. 13 K/9 an 5 B/9. Wild thing.

2018 MLB Draft - Top National HS Players

  • 1. Ethan Hankins 6-6, 215 RHP Forsyth Central HS (GA) Mi 90's FB tops at 96-98, plus breaking ball. Vanderbilt commit.
  • 2. Kumar Rocker 6-5, 250 RHP North Oconee HS (GA) Heavy 98 FB, sharp mid 90's slider. Vanderbilt commit.
  • 3. Matthew Liberatore 6-5, 200 LHP Mountain Ridge HS (AZ) High 3/4 arm slot, 91-93 FB tops at 95, with good feel for pitching. Arizona commit.
  • 4. Slade Cecconi 6-4, 195 RHP Trinity Prep HS (FL) High 90's FB tops at 97, with mid 80's breaking ball. Miami commit.
  • 5. Carter Stewart 6-6, 200 RHP Eau Galle HS (FL) Highest spin rate breaking ball in draft. Mississippi State commit.
  • 6. Luke Bartnicki 6-3, 210 LHP Walton HS (GA) Low 90's FB with command, workable slider. Georgia Tech commit.

2018 Top MLB College Draft Prospects

  • 1. Brady Singer 6-5, 200 RHP Florida Sergio Romo-esque slider from whippy low 3/4 arm slot. Mid 90's FB, sharp slider and change-up. 3.4 K/BB rate.
  • 2. Casey Mize 6-3, 210 RHP Auburn Forearm issues, 96 FB with split/slider mix, 6.2 K/BB ratio.
  • 3. Logan Gilbert 6-6, 205 RHP Stetson Loose arm action, 3 pitch mix, 93-96 FB 3.2 K/BB.
  • 4. Ryan Rollison 6-3, 200 LHP Mississippi Smooth delivery from 3/4 arm slot, 89-93 FB tops at 94/95. Late 1st, early 2nd rounder. 2.8 K/BB rate.
  • 5. Shane McClanahan 6-1, 175 LHP South Florida Thin build, 3/4 arm slot, tall and fall delivery. 93/96 FB range. 3.0 K/BB rate.

2018 Top MLB HS Draft Prospects in Tampa Bay Area

  • 1. Connor Scott 6-4, 180 OF Plant HS (FL) Florida commit.