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Frobby

Is Lamar Sparks finally showing some potential

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Lamar Sparks was our 5th round selection in 2017.  As I recall, it was rumored that we selected him in part to induce our 4th rounder, Jeck Conlon, a buddy of Sparks’, to forego college and sign with the O’s.   If so, that ploy didn’t work, and Sparks, considered a toolsy but raw prospect, had to justify his 5th round selection on his own.  

After posting a .703 OPS in the GCL the year he was drafted, Sparks missed all of 2018 with an injury.   He returned to the GCL in 2019 and posted a .621 OPS.   Then Covid took away the 2020 season.  So, in four years in our organization, all Sparks had gotten was 301 plate appearances in the GCL.

This year, at age 22, Sparks finally joined Delmarva in late June.  He had a rough first 11 games, hitting just .133/.316/.233.   He was looking like a guy who just never put it together.   

In his last 16 games though, Sparks has, well, shown a spark.   He’s hit .290/.348/.484 in that stretch, raising his overall  line to .239/.336/.402.   

Nothing to get too excited about yet, but maybe Sparks still has time to turn into something.  


 

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I seem to remember that Luke was high on him.  And I didn't get it, but Luke was a lot smarter than me.  Still time for him especially considering the injuries and Covid.

As for Conlon, wasn't that another one where there were some issues with the physical?

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Going to be some semi-tough decisions if Cowser, William's, Trimble and Rhodes are all slated for Delmarva at some point. Janvrin has picked it up a bit these last few games as well.  I see they bumped Craig Lewis all the way to Bowie.  Sparks is a nice story.  Definitely rooting a little harder for him.

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In Sparks last 19 games he's slashing .307/.384/.520/.904 with four home runs, 10 Bb and 20 Ks in 86 PAs. he does however have a .365 BAbip over this span so he's been a little lucky.

Sparks is a 22 years old and has missed a lot of time due to his injuries, but he's s solid defensive outfielder with one of the best outfield arms in the system. Even though he turns 23 this September, he probably needs to just gets ABs this year at Delmarva unless he suddenly starts dominating. 

There are enough tools that makes him interesting enough to keep an eye on for sure. 

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21 minutes ago, waynebug said:

I think Janvarin and Sparks are probably gonna get released.  To old and to late.

I was pulling for Janvarin.  He is reputedly the fastest man in the organization since 2019.  

I would be surprised if Sparks was released as he's playing well of late and has tools to work from. Yes, he's a bit old but he's been slowed by injuries and of course the missed COVID year. There are plenty of outfielders that would be released ahead of him including Tavarez, Janvrin, Kehe, and Cespedes.

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20 minutes ago, waynebug said:

I think Janvarin and Sparks are probably gonna get released.  To old and to late.

I was pulling for Janvarin.  He is reputedly the fastest man in the organization since 2019.  

Agree on Janvrin.   A .200 average at low A isn't going to override the defense and speed.   I disagree on Sparks.   He's barely played at all because of injuries.   He's 22 going on 23 in September.  Sure, he's a hear older than guys like Cowser but Sparks is like getting a talented senior sign in this years draft.   If you had signed a senior with tools and he just put up a .900 OPS in the last month we'd be pretty happy.    You could be right but I would bet against it.    I suspect Janvrin and Cespedes are the first two to go.     Sparks could even get a bump up to Aberdeen just to fast forward him and get the new draftees up to Delmarva.    

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3 hours ago, waynebug said:

I'm pulling for both.  But there are some teenage latins in Florida that will push some of these older guys aside next year.

Acevedo, Josue Cruz, Deshon, Isaac Bellony.

I would hope that all of those guys are in Delmarva next year but it's a huge jump for FCL to Low A.    That should certainly make things interesting.   I suspect Cowser starts in Aberdeen next year but Trimble and Rhodes could very well start at Delmarva.    Add in Donta Williams and Cook and Trendon Craig and it will be interesting to see how things shake out.

Would not be surprised if they try to push the older guys like Williams and Cook to Aberdeen by next spring.

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On 9/13/2021 at 8:36 PM, Frobby said:

You can definitely see the tools with Sparks and although he's not going to end up a top-30 prospect after this season, he's certainly one of those guys you keep giving at bats too because of all the missed time in the past. He struggles with breaking pitches at times, but I think this has been a pretty solid year for him all things considered. I would not be surprised to see him start next season in AA and then see how he does. 

He's basically a bit of a lottery ticket.

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