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April 6, 2012

Future Shock

Opening Day Notebook

by Kevin Goldstein

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Bryce Harper, OF, Nationals (Triple-A Syracuse): 2-for-4, 2B, SB, K

Let the countdown begin. For much of yesterday's Triple-A opener, Harper had the only two hits for Syracuse. Considering the center field situation in Washington, Harper's moved from the 'if' period of his development to 'when.' His outfield play is still a bit rough, and he can handle center only in a pinch, but that should be enough for Washington, who at this point might be focusing more on his service time calculations than his statistics.

Tyler Matzek, RHP, Rockies (High-A Modesto): 4.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R (0 ER), 3 BB, 7 K

Matzek provided plenty of encouraging signs at the end of the 2011 season when he returned from working with his high school coach to find his velocity. There's still plenty of work to be done in terms of command and control, but Matzek is missing bats and got up to 95 mph on opening day. He's definitely worth watching.

Austin Wood, RHP, Angels (Low-A Cedar Rapids): 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 10 K

When Wood enrolled at Florida State in 2008, many scouts thought he could turn into a first-round pick in 2011. Three years, three schools and plenty of inconsistent showings later, he landed in the sixth round to the Angels, earning a $180,000 bonus. Named the sleeper in this year's Angels top 11, the 21-year-old whiffed 10 of the 21 batters he faced in his first professional start while touching 97 mph with his fastball. His other pitches lag well behind, and many see him as a future reliever.

Other Things That Caught My Eye

Matt Adams, 1B, Cardinals (Triple-A Memphis): 1-for-4, HR (1), R, RBI, 2 K. Turned more scouts into believers this spring.

Nolan Arenado, 3B, Rockies (Double-A Tulsa): 4-for-5, 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI. Getting to Colorado just might not take very long; the kid can rake.

Trevor Bauer, RHP, Diamondbacks (Double-A Mobile): 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 7 K. Obviously dominant, but it took 86 pitches, and pitch efficiency is one of the few concerns about his game.

Josh Bell, OF, Pirates (Low-A West Virginia): 1-for-5, 2B, R, RBI, 3 K. Pro debut.

Archie Bradley, RHP, Diamondbacks (Low-A South Bend): 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 7 K. One could argue that no prospect in the game created more buzz this spring.

Chris Carter, DH, Athletics (Triple-A Sacramento): 3-for-5, 2B, 2 R, RBI, BB, K. Might end up a better player without having to worry about defense.

Garin Cecchini, 3B, Red Sox (Low-A Greenville): 2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 SB. Was having breakout year in New York-Penn League in 2011 before wrist injury; don't be fooled by the two swipes, as he's a hitter, not a runner.

Tyler Cloyd, RHP, Phillies (Triple-A Lehigh Valley): 6 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K. Your pitching line of the night; far more of a finesse guy than a stuff guy.

Jared Cosart: RHP, Astros (Double-A Corpus Christi): 4.1 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 5 K. And it took 90 pitches. That's the most Jarred Cosart line ever.

Kaleb Cowart, 3B, Angels (Low-A Cedar Rapids): 4-for-5, 2B, 3B, 2 R, 2 RBI, K, CS. 2010 first-round pick has impressive bat and the tools to stay at third base.

Derek Dietrich, SS, Rays (High-A Charlotte): 2-for-5, 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI. Probably belonged at this level last year and might not be here for long; too bad scouts don't think he's a shortstop.

Sean Doolittle, LHP, Athletics (High-A Stockton): 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K. 2007 supplemental first-round pick has converted from first baseman to reliever. At 25 and in High-A, he remains a longshot.

Brian Goodwin, OF, Nationals (Low-A Hagerstown): 2-for-4, HR (1), 2 R, 4 RBI, BB. Pro debut for big-money 2011 draftee; tools are tremendous and he might not last long in the Sally League.

Grant Green, OF, Athletics (Triple-A Sacramento): 2-for-6, HR (1), 2 R, RBI. It's good to start the year in Las Vegas.

Justin Grimm, RHP, Rangers (Double-A Frisco): 5.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 10 K. Overlooked in system full of high-ceiling talent, but has very good fastball/curve combination.

Robbie Grossman, OF, Pirates (Double-A Altoona): 2-for-5, HR (1), 2 R, 2 RBI, K. If he can handle the leap to Double-A, concerns about his big 2011 numbers coming in a level repeating performance go away.

Jedd Gyorko, 3B, Padres (Double-A San Antonio): 2-for-4, HR (1), R, RBI. He's short, stumpy, and nothing about him is pretty, but he sure can hit.

Jake Hager, SS, Rays (Low-A Bowling Green): 3-for-3, 2B, R. 32nd overall pick in 2011 did this against Archie Bradley; outstanding fundamental hitter and fielder.

Billy Hamilton, SS, Reds (High-A Bakersfield): 1-for-3, HR (1), 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, K, SB. Billy Hamilton plus the California League will assuredly equal loads of fun.

Brett Jackson, OF, Cubs (Triple-A Iowa): 2-for-4, R, 2 RBI, BB, 2 K, SB. When it comes to the Cubs deciding to call him up, that strikeout total will be the one they focus on.

Matt Harvey, RHP, Mets (Triple-A Buffalo): 4.1 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 BB, 3 K. Ugly Triple-A debut; struggled in final spring outing as well.

Adeiny Hechavarria, SS, Blue Jays (Triple-A Las Vegas): 2-for-5, 2 2B, 2 R, K. Finished 2011 season on a tear at Las Vegas; just might turn into plus-plus glove who can play every day and hit ninth.

J.J. Hoover, RHP, Reds (Triple-A Louisville): 1 IP, 0 R, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K. Gets the save in Reds system debut; scouts loved him out of the bullpen at the end of the 2011 season and he should pitch in the big leagues this year.

Paul Janish, SS, Reds (Triple-A Louisville): 2-for-4, 2 HR (2), 2 R, 2 RBI, K. Did not hit a single home run in 114 games for the Reds in 2011.

Tyrell Jenkins, RHP, Cardinals (Low-A Quad Cities): 1.1 IP, 2 H, 5 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 0 K. Ugly full-season debut for high-ceiling righty; coming off of spring training in which scouts' reports were below expectations.

Taylor Jungmann, RHP, Brewers (High-A Brevard County): 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 3 K. Pro debut for 2011 first-round pick.

Zach Lee, RHP, Dodgers (High-A Rancho Cucamonga): 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K. Good reports this spring in his transitioning from thrower to pitcher.

Manny Machado, SS, Orioles (Double-A Bowie): 2-for-4, HR (1), R, RBI, K. After scuffling in the Carolina League last year, the question was how the 19-year-old would be able to handle Double-A. So far, so good.

Mikie Mahtook, OF, Rays (High-A Charlotte): 2-for-2, 2B, 2 BB, SB. Perfect pro debut for 2011 first-round pick; Some see no star tools, but it's hard to find a single weakness in his game.

Fernando Martinez, OF, Astros (Triple-A Oklahoma City): 3-for-4, 2B, RBI, BB. Astros system debut; nobody knows what he can do if he stays healthy because he's never stayed healthy.

Cory Mazzoni, RHP, Mets (High-A St. Lucie): 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 5 K. 2011 second-round pick is seen as future reliever by some, but might have back-end rotation potential.

Will Middlebrooks, 3B, Red Sox (Triple-A Pawtucket): 3-for-4, 2 2B, R. Will be interesting to see what happens if he hits well enough to force a decision before September.

Brad Miller, SS, Mariners (High-A High Desert): 2-for-5, 3B, HR (1), 3 R, 3 RBI. Second-round pick isn't really a shortstop and isn't especially toolsy, but he can hit.

Gift Ngoepe, SS, Pirates (High-A Bradenton): 3-for-5, 2 R. South African native missed most of 2011 season with injuries, but his hit tool earns some praise.

Derek Norris, C, Athletics (Triple-A Sacramento): 2-for-6, 2B, HR (1), R, 3 RBI, 2 K. A big season could make the A's more comfortable in dealing Kurt Suzuki.

Wily Peralta, RHP, Brewers (Triple-A Nashville): 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 K. Continuing from late-season run to end 2011 season. If the need arises in Milwaukee, he could be the guy.

Garrett Richards, RHP, Angels (Triple-A Salt Lake): 7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 7 K. Still battling for the fifth starter role, which he should earn at some point in the season, if not right away.

Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Cubs (Triple-A Iowa): 2-for-4, RBI, K. Cubs debut.

George Springer, OF, Astros (High-A Lancaster): 2-for-4, HR (1), R, 5 RBI, K. Grand slam in full-season debut.

Michael Taylor, OF, Athletics (Triple-A Sacramento): 3-for-5, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, K. Time will tell if he's figuring things out or if it's another annual tease.

Mike Trout, OF, Angels (Triple-A Salt Lake): 3-for-5, 2 R, K, CS. Your move, Vernon Wells.

Sebastian Valle, C, Phillies (Double-A Reading): 2-for-3, HR (1), 2 R, RBI, BB. In some ways, the walk is as encouraging as the home run.

Kevin Goldstein is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Kevin's other articles. You can contact Kevin by clicking here

51 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links


I'm not sure what to say about getting hit over the head with this New Era advertisement overwhelming my screen around this article......it's different I suppose. I'm not offended....just not sure I like it. Will this be the "new normal" here? Or just an occasional deal?

Apr 06, 2012 05:28 AM
rating: 0

I agree, I have to pay AND deal with ads that take up half of the screen ? No thanks.

Apr 06, 2012 07:31 AM
rating: 1

I don't know. The screen was blank anyway, right? I love this content, and if putting an ad on the screen means it continues and/or we get more of it, I'm fucking ecstatic. And I'm happy for BP that they can continue to provide this badass writing from all of these contributors.

Apr 06, 2012 07:44 AM
rating: 13

It's incredibly distracting to me. That's my only issue with this. I find my eyes darting to the sides while I'm reading.

I think it's the massive switch from blank space to almost now half the page is an ad.

Apr 06, 2012 08:07 AM
rating: 1

I think it would be less offensive if they took the Cubs portion down.

Apr 06, 2012 08:14 AM
rating: 13

This is my first post ever after subscribing for like 9 years. Using those ads may have been the single worst choice BP has made in that time, IMO. Incredibly annoying. I actually reduce window size every time I open BP now b/c it's so obnoxious. Please, stop it.

Apr 06, 2012 09:53 AM
rating: 2

Ad revenues dampen the need to bump up subscription rates. I've seen complaints about writers leaving with accompanying concerns of a brain drain. If the business has to bring in more revenues in order to compete in today's ├╝ber competitive information world, so be it.

Apr 06, 2012 10:23 AM
rating: 11

Count me in the camp of "this is my last subscription ever" if I have to deal with this - it's offensive and harsh to my eyes.

Lost subs strengthen the need to bump up subscription rates, no?

Apr 06, 2012 10:38 AM
rating: 0
John Douglass

Count me in the "the people complaining about tj

Apr 06, 2012 15:23 PM
rating: 0
John Douglass


Count me in the "the people complaining about this probably wonder why the newspaper is so expensive and why their favorite writers don't write for the newspaper anymore even though the newspaper is better without all those bulky classified ads" crowd.

Also if you're distracted by Ron F--- Swanson in an ad for something baseball related, it's understandable. But if you're distracted to the point of being offended by Ron F---- Swanson in a baseball related ad, you're doing it wrong.

Apr 06, 2012 15:34 PM
rating: 3

I'm sure decisions like this are made with the knowledge that a few shrinking violets will drop their accounts. It's a risk-reward scenario, and since BP provides exclusive content that can't be obtained anyplace else, the decisions are made knowing that this gives them a little more leeway with ads. If the local metro newspaper provides grossly offensive advertising that is debilitating to the reader experience, there are other places people can go, but where are you going to go from here? Bleacher Report? Good luck with that.

So don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

Apr 08, 2012 09:42 AM
rating: 1

Actually the guy with the mustache in the Cubs hat looks more like a Sox fan.

Apr 06, 2012 11:35 AM
rating: 1

Is the guy in the Sox hat Darrell from the Office? (Obviously he's from many other things as well)

Apr 06, 2012 12:36 PM
rating: 0

That's Ron "effin" Swanson (Nick Offerman) from Parks and Recreation, facing off against Darryl Philbin (Craig Robinson) from "The Office".

Hopefully this is just an Opening Day* advertisement.

* - which now has stretched into its 10th day of "Opening Day"-ness.

By that rationale, it should be down by tax day.

Apr 06, 2012 13:39 PM
rating: 1
John Carter

Well, it is a slightly interesting/amusing picture. I don't mind such ads, if they have some artistic merit, do not make noise, do not slow down the computer, do not flash or twirl or otherwise obnoxiously distract us, and are not repeated too often.

Apr 06, 2012 08:27 AM
rating: 0
John Carter

Now it is showing up all the time including the Home page. I'm sick of it already. Thumbs down.

Apr 06, 2012 08:53 AM
rating: 2

Everyone wants lots of content at the most minimal cost. Sorry, you can't have it both ways. That ad is a small price to pay -- you didn't pay anything additional outside your subscription fee, in fact -- to read this story.

Content is free to consume but extremely expensive to produce -- at least, if you want decent, insightful copy that's more than what the content farms like Bleacher Report churn out.

I share reader complaints about noisy ads, about ads that obscure the type, about ads that move and jump around and flash. This does none of those, and frankly I have zero empathy for those who cry, "My poor eyes!" This is pretty mild as far as ads go, and if this bothers you I hesitate to ask where you do actually get your real news.

Apr 06, 2012 12:20 PM
rating: 4

Who put you in charge of what offends and what does not? Please.

Apr 06, 2012 15:17 PM
rating: -2

Toughen up a little, Jane.

Apr 07, 2012 08:11 AM
rating: -1
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

You're a baseball geek. Please.

And oh, I don't get "real news" from baseball sites at all, sweetie.

Apr 07, 2012 16:03 PM
rating: -6

I'm not the one whining here.

Apr 07, 2012 23:51 PM
rating: 0
Andrew G.

Agree completely. To the extent that anyone on here subscribes to cable, a newspaper, a magazine, or basically any other entity that delivers information, you'll see ads. Why is the standard different for here?

Apr 08, 2012 09:47 AM
rating: 1

Harvey's arm.... something wrong? It's making me feel a little rabbity.

Apr 06, 2012 06:15 AM
rating: 2

thanks for the excellent summary opening day highlights!

Apr 06, 2012 06:18 AM
rating: 8

Billy Hamilton's first game in High A: 1-3, HR, 2 RBIs, 1 BB, 1 K and 1 SB...

Apr 06, 2012 06:38 AM
rating: -3
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

I'm confused by this. He's listed up there.

Apr 06, 2012 09:10 AM

The PhuturePhillies board is much more excited about the walk then the homerun for Valle.

Apr 06, 2012 07:21 AM
rating: 0
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

That makes me happy.

Apr 06, 2012 09:11 AM

Hard to find a report on Cloyd, anything beyond a pitchability guy? I've read 88-92 mph with average secondary pitches, is that about right?

Apr 06, 2012 08:04 AM
rating: 0
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

That's about right. He's average velo but with some wiggle and great control. The changeup is good. He's all about hitting his spots and changing speeds.

Apr 06, 2012 09:11 AM

Tyrell Jenkins did all that in 16 pitches too. Pretty scary. Everything about that game was ugly on both sides.

Apr 06, 2012 08:37 AM
rating: 0
Ian Miller

Gah, I really should've gone to the Nuts home opener. But that yard... it's just so depressing. Maybe the worst in the Cal League, and that's really saying something.

Apr 06, 2012 09:02 AM
rating: 0
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

You should have went. Here in the Midwest League I get one stadium next to a pet food factory, and another next to the Hormel chili plant. Suck it up. For baseball.

Apr 06, 2012 09:12 AM
Ian Miller

should of gone. :(

Apr 06, 2012 09:54 AM
rating: -1
Jim ONeill

actually its "should HAVE gone"

Apr 07, 2012 13:35 PM
rating: 1

Love the detailed update

Apr 06, 2012 09:47 AM
rating: 2

Second that... great work as usual from KG!

Apr 06, 2012 10:17 AM
rating: 2

Well, if we're going to do grammar police...should HAVE gone. NOT "should of." Never "should of."

Apr 06, 2012 11:18 AM
rating: 0

I think kowloon was being sarcastic.

Apr 06, 2012 12:14 PM
rating: 1

I'm not wishing anything on anyone but if Youk is out for any length of time does Middlebrooks get a call-up? He's on their 40 man roster already. Would they go with Aviles?

Apr 06, 2012 12:51 PM
rating: 1

The ads, for me, as long as there's no dancing, blinking, obsructing or really distracting stuff, are fine. I would rather BP be able to pay its contributors decently, and keep them around, than the reverse. Another exemplary performance from the indefatigable, insightful, comprehensive and really persistent Pork Pie Hat. Love it. Thanks.

Apr 06, 2012 14:26 PM
rating: 5
Brian Kopec

With this ad, there is no way I can even pretend to be reading something work related at work.

Apr 06, 2012 16:45 PM
rating: 1

You can always switch to printer-friendly, or copy the text onto a word document/text pad. Totally innocuous.

Apr 07, 2012 07:55 AM
rating: 1

There are likely add-ins to your browser that would block the ads, if it bothers you that much.

Apr 07, 2012 08:57 AM
rating: 1

http://adblockplus.org/en/ can work wonders in taming aggressive ads.

Apr 07, 2012 17:41 PM
rating: 1

Exactly! What's this guy reading? Just plain text. Oh, it must be important.

Apr 10, 2012 13:00 PM
rating: 0

If Tyler Matzek was pitching right-handed, that would probably be a pretty good tipoff as to where his velocity went, as he's a lefty.

Apr 07, 2012 10:30 AM
rating: 3

Now that's funny.

Apr 08, 2012 09:27 AM
rating: 0
John Geer

Dylan Bundy? 3 perfect, 6 K.

Apr 07, 2012 10:58 AM
rating: 0
John Geer

Never mind...I now realize this is a recap of Thursday's performances.

Apr 07, 2012 11:11 AM
rating: 0
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Wow. BP does turn down many advertisers. We have nothing that pops up or goes over the content or creates interstitials thank make you click again to go to the actual page you want. The content is always right there for you. The New ERA ads were fine with us. I actually liked them.

Apr 08, 2012 10:27 AM
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