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February 27, 2014

Minor League Update

Spring Training Games of February 26

by Jeff Moore

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I live in south Florida. Nothing here dies.

So instead, I bring you the return of the Minor League Update. In case you missed it, I was lucky enough to be chosen to take over the MLU last October just in time for the start of the Arizona Fall League. It was a good chance to get my feet wet and figure out just how to bring you the best and most important prospect happenings each night in this space (although you read it the following morning). The result is a cacophony of prospect information intended to keep you informed and entertained throughout the season.

This segment will be here five days a week for the next six-plus months. Sometimes you’ll get a box score. Sometimes you’ll get a scouting report. You’ll always get commentary because that’s just who I am. Sorry, you get the good with the bad. But what you will always get is pure, unbridled prospect love and information.

So sit back, relax and dig in. This is the start of a long trek through the prospect minefield. These games may not count, but who cares. It’s officially baseball season.

The Good

  • Nick Castellanos, 3B, Tigers: 1-3. Perhaps no prospect in a camp this spring will be more closely scrutinized than Castellanos, for no other reason than his predetermined starting spot on a contending team. All that may be for naught, however, as he’d have to be pretty bad this spring not to make the Tigers’ Opening Day roster.
  • Tony Sanchez, C, Pirates: 2-2, R, HR. What, backup catcher position battles aren’t sexy? With Chris Stewart in the fold, Sanchez will probably end up back in Triple-A, which isn’t the worst thing in the world for him, but Stewart hasn’t set the bar real high offensively, so a little pop from Sanchez could tip the scales.
  • Alen Hanson, SS, Pirates: 1-2, R, SB. Given that the Pirates already have two major-league shortstops among whom spring training at-bats will be split, it will be interesting to see of Hanson plays exclusively short stop this spring, as he did on Wednesday, or if he sees some time at second base, where many scouts believe he could end up anyway.
  • Billy Hamilton, CF, Reds: 0-2, BB, SB. If Hamilton does this every game, the Reds will be thrilled.
  • Addison Russell, SS, Athletics: 1-3, K. Russell just turned 20 last month, but he’s shown no indication that he will be tentative or fearful in anything he does on a baseball diamond. Don’t expect spring training to be any different.

The Bad

  • Christian Bethancourt, C, Braves: 0-2. Bethancourt isn’t going to make the Braves roster this spring because they have too much depth in camp. Between Evan Gattis, Gerald Laird, and Ryan Doumit, they ought to be able to piece together a catcher or two. But Bethancourt will be up at some point this season, and may have already thrown somebody out trying to steal their way into Cobb County.
  • Gregory Polanco, OF, Pirates: 0-2. Relax, he’s not getting called up until June anyway.
  • Trevor Bauer, RHP, Indians: 1 IP, 0 H, 2 BB, K. New mechanics, same old Trevor Bauer. At some point, he has to attack the strike zone, right?
  • Francisco Lindor, DH, Indians: 0-1, K. Yes, you read that correctly. Lindor entered the game as a pinch-hitter for the DH, which goes against everything that is holy and good.

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

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