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25 Short Season A-Ball

About Dale

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  • Birthday 7/23/1962

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  1. I've never played organized baseball but have played many games of slow-pitch softball and a half-game of fast pitch softball. I do recall my brother facing Cal Eldred in a HS playoff game. Didn't go well. My fastpitch SB story: I played on a dorm floor team at Iowa State. Our first game was snowed out, our second game was rained out and our third game was snowed out so we began in the playoffs. Our first batter got a single and then was ruled out for taking a lead - not permitted. We were then held hitless by a female pitcher who had clearly pitched in HS until I came in half way through the game and ripped a double that rolled to the fence on the first pitch I saw. My only at bat. We lost the game and so ended my fast pitch SB career.
  2. According to Baseball America a few teams are holding out hope that the 2020 draft could be 10 rounds. I don't think a 40 round draft makes sense, but 5 rounds is draconian and only makes sense if your goal is to eliminate SS-A and perhaps full-season slow-A. Teams would still have rookie ball and more time for pitching/hitting labs. I doubt this will lead to more HS players going to college. Under the past guidelines, most top HS players chose the college route unless they were offered a bonus in excess of $500K. With the new guidelines $500 K offers will become less common for HS kids but their chances of earning more by going to college will decrease by a larger amount. Also, DI colleges only have 11+scholarships to give and often divide those among 15-20 players. Another stunning change to me is that no undrafted player can be offered more than a $20 K signing bonus. In the past, many mid-level prospects signed for $100-125K. Economically, this would lessen racial and economic diversity in the low minors. With respect to the missed spring season, I'm hoping the NCAA will support nascent plans for a fall season this year that would include spring 2020 graduates. One idea is to play 3 conference games a week (Sat DH, Sun) from late August to late October. Of course, the hurdles to make this happen are formidable. I am not in favor of granting an extra year to seniors next spring. That would only hurt next year's crop of freshman. Gong forward, I wouldn't be surprised if MLB encourages independent leagues to play an August-October schedule to give undrafted players a second chance to get noticed and more importantly to them serve as a cheap scouting venue. Would be impossible for these leagues to succeed economically; however, without some assistance from MLB.
  3. J.J. Cooper Baseball America The changes to the international amateur market are also somewhat up in the air. MLB has the flexibility to move the start of the signing period to any point from its current July 2 opening to as far back as Jan. 15, 2021. Similarly, MLB has flexibility to move the following signing period’s start date and end date as well. In the case of international signees, their bonus payment timetable remains as it has been in past years, without the set deferment dates as have been set for the MLB draft. Perhaps just as important, MLB teams will not be allowed to trade bonus pool allotments in either of the next two international signing periods. In past years, teams could acquire up to 50 percent on top of their pool allotment through trades with other teams. That could create headaches for some teams who were planning on exceeding their pool allotment and will likely reduce overall spending to some modest extent, since teams who decide not to spend all of their international bonus pool cannot trade that money to other teams. If the international signing period is pushed back, player signings will still be treated as if they occurred during the 2020 season, which will be important for Rule 5 eligibility and 40-man roster eligibility in future years.
  4. Dale

    MiLB contraction

    Has this scenario been discussed: Maintain 4 full season leagues Replace short-season A league with a complex based short-season league that begins in March and ends in July. Keep rookie ball league as it is as well as the DSL.
  5. The inefficiency of the pitching market gives hope that the Orioles have discovered a viable middle relief option for 2020
  6. Many thanks to Luke-OH for his scouting information. I apologize if this has been posted already. Baseball America had this to say about Rucker (I swear it is more positive than what I saw from that site immediately after the draft). Rucker's stuff drew varying opinions in 2019. Some scouts saw a pitcher with very vanilla stuff, but scouts who saw him in other outings saw arm speed and a quality fastball. He’s a 6-foot-1 righthander who spent most of the year in Double-A. Rucker’s 92-96 mph fastball earns some above-average grades. He has a pair of breaking balls and changeup are all fringe-average to average, so he has to succeed with location and staying a step ahead of hitters. MLB had this part way through 2018 Scouting grades: Fastball: 55 | Curveball: 55 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 55 | Overall: 45 Rucker led the Western Athletic Conference with 11 wins as a redshirt junior at Brigham Young in 2016, when he was one of 16 college pitchers drafted by Chicago in the first 20 rounds. He has exceeded expectations since signing for $180,000 as an 11th-rounder, posting a 2.12 ERA in his first two seasons. The Cubs eased him into pro ball as a reliever and he continued to thrive after they turned him loose as a starter in high Class A last June. Rucker might have the best fastball command in the system, enhancing the effectiveness of a 91-94 mph fastball that reaches 96. He has improved his curveball since turning pro, giving him a solid second pitch. His changeup is more of a work in progress but there are games when it works as well as his curve. After initially looking like he might advance quickly as a bullpen piece, Rucker now is a potential back-of-the-rotation starter. He's not overly physical but keeps his pitch counts down, allowing him to work deep into games. Out of nowhere, he has become one of Chicago's most advanced starting-pitching prospects.
  7. As you are aware, Rob is not on the 40 man roster so he has little chance to break with the ML team. My guess is that he.is a strong candidate for a spot in Norfolk's rotation ... and we'll see where it goes from there. For reference, the team era for OKC was 5.83 in 2019.
  8. Rob Zastryzny has to be in the mix too if Bundy departs. Some notes I have on him in 2017 from his days in the Cubs organization RHSwing Rob Zastryzny 6’3” 205 Lbs. (199203) [2013-02] [2014 Cubs BA 20; 2015 Cubs BA 14; 2017 Cubs BA14] After getting shelled in 2015, 48/28 K/W with 0.310 BAA and 6.23 ERA in 60 AA IP, he rebounded in 2016 improving as the year went on posting a 42/20 K/W in 54 SL IP with 0.245 BAA and a more impressive 77/31 K/W in 81 AAA IP with 0.229 BAA; he finished the year in the majors. Split time between the majors and AAA in 2017 missing two months with an injury. AAA numbers: 40/14 K/W in 47 IP with 0.270 BAA and 5.94 ERA. Ended season in majors getting hit hard; he finished with a 11/7 K/W in 13 IP with a 0.352 BAA and 2 HRA. The following was taken from MLB.com in 2018. MLB.com Scouting grades: Fastball: 55 | Cutter: 50 | Curveball: 40 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 45 | Overall: 45 A starter throughout his career since signing for $1.1 million as a second-rounder in 2013, Zastryzny got summoned to Chicago as a reliever last August. He posted a 1.13 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 16 innings and earned a spot on the National League Championship Series roster, though he was left out of the World Series to make room for Kyle Schwarber. The key to his success in 2016 was coming up with a cutter that kept hitters from sitting on his fastball. Zastryzny lacks a plus pitch, and while his fastball and changeup can be solid offerings, they also lack consistency. He throws both two- and four-seam fastballs, ranging from 87-95 mph and sitting around 90. In the big leagues, he mostly abandoned his changeup in favor of his cutter, which generates groundouts, and his curveball, which lacks depth but had surprising success in a small sample size. Zastryzny's crossfire delivery gives him deception and is tough on left-handers, but it also hurts his control and command. He could wind up as a back-of-the-rotation starter or a middle reliever, filling whatever role the Cubs need a lefty in just like Travis Wood did for five seasons before departing as a free agent. A lat strain cost him most of May and June this year, however.
  9. https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/commissioner-rob-manfred-comments-on-minor-league-reorganization/ Kyle Glaser interviewed Rob Manfred. Nothing really new here but to summarize: MLB has 4 issues with the current set-up 1) More than 40 facilities are inadequate and it is up to minor league teams to upgrade them. A list of the facilities was leaked by MiLB. 2) Teams within each league need to be relatively close to each other to minimize "school bus rides" 3) Minor league players need to be paid more 4) Too many minor league players and teams. Many do not have a realistic chance of making the majors. MLB plans to support 120 minor league teams. Left out towns would be encouraged to have professional teams but they would not be directly affiliated with MLB.
  10. It's premature to say that the MLB draft is moving to August. MLB wants to move it after the College World Series. Some have speculated that August makes sense as a date in August would eliminate the need for short-season A teams. Logically, it makes no sense to mandate which minor league teams will be axed although "leaking" a list may encourage towns on the fence to up their facilities. How up to date are the facilities in Frederick? It location is great. Organizations such as the Orioles/Astros that are big on machine learning, regression models, and neural networks are more likely to be on board with this plan while organizations such as the Cubs/Yankees that have the resources to have a more balanced approach may have misgivings. During the past season the Cubs had 300 players under control. This new plan would lessen that number by at least 100. Youngsters that are unable to make the jump from the DSL or HS to full-season ball may stay at their respective complexes and play unofficial games against other organizations throughout the summer as opposed to until the draft as in past years. One advantage is that it will be easier to evaluate prospects with fewer non-prospects in the mix, although you could argue that 20-year old prospects benefit from playing with 25-year old non-prospects who know the little things but have limited tools. The great statistics put up by top prospects during their first ML seasons in recent years suggests that top prospects may be spending too much time in the minors. More rapid promotion for a select few is likely with a thinner pool of players. It is also possible that AAA will be more like AA is today, i.e., the place for top prospects. Independent leagues comprised of released players could fill the role that AAA has today - although this will depend on the details of the next ML agreement. I've also heard that some teams would prefer a shorter season so that their prospects could spend more time in their respective pitching/hitting labs.
  11. Agreed. If one insists on using the save statistic at least define it as (Holds + Saves) / [Save chances]
  12. Well we need to come up with a way that doesn't suppress salaries to get the player's union on board For spin purposes, any proposal should aid small market teams rather than ...
  13. How about implementing a 3-3-3 rule: The top 3 draft choices shall be given out to the teams with the 3 highest winning percentages in the previous year of teams that have not made the playoffs for 3 years and have not had a top 3 draft choice in the last 3 years. The next group of draft choices will be based on winning percentage from teams that did not make the playoffs in the past year. The next group of teams will be play-in losers sorted by winning percentage, ..., World Series runner-up, and finally World Series winner
  14. World Avoided: Davis has Hyde to thank for his less than horrific OPS this season. If he had faced the same percentage of lefties as Villar his stat line could read: 0.166/0.245/0.290 (0.535 OPS) as opposed to 0.184/0.269/0.323 (0.592 OPS). Note: I assumed Davis would continue hitting 0.096/0.145/0.154 versus lefties and 0.205/0.299/0.364 versus righties and assumed he would face 35.4% lefties (Villar's percentage) as opposed to his current 19.7%.
  15. Sorry should have included the reference. Obviously, the rule change is good news for the Orioles. Happy waiver wire hunting.
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