Who are the franchise cornerstones at Lloyd Banks' favorite position? Prospect team members and industry sources weigh in.
A friendly reminder on how this works. I asked three scouts and two front-office members the following question: If you could start your franchise with one player at each position, what player would you take? I then asked those scouts/front-office members to submit an MVP-style ballot at each position, with the first place vote counting for five points, second place for four, etc.
Next up: First baseman. Because dingers, that’s why.
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Do any hitters show a consistent ability to fight off degradation of skills as the year goes on?
I know, you all just want to talk about the trade deadline. It's fun because you get to see general managers pretend they aren't sweating over the fact that they just mortgaged two really good prospects to pick up a guy who may or may not even get them into October this year. Of course to get to October, the GM—and all of the other 24 players who weren't picked up in a trade at the end of July—have to get through August and September. The dreaded dog days of summer. By Friday, we'll know where almost everyone is going to land for the stretch drive. After Friday, teams actually have to go play the games.
Who among A.J. Preller's many suitors will offer the package that wins his affection?
It's that time again, when Prospectus staffers assume the role of general managers for the sake of entertainment (and embarrassment). This time around, 10 writers made their best pitches to secure the services of Padres outfielder Justin Upton. Here are the actors and their characters:
Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including A's first baseman Matt Olson and Braves righty Tyrell Jenkins.
Hitter of the Day: Matt Olson, 1B, Athletics (Midland, AA): 2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, BB.
I touched yesterday on the importance of Olson’s power and its absence this season up until the past few days. Following up a few home runs this week with a multi-homer game is an extremely positive sign (could it be anything else?) for a player in desperate need of one. The raw power has never really been questioned, though its utility at the upper levels has been in doubt thanks to average bat speed and holes in Olson’s long swing. The adjustment from Stockton to Midland has taken players more talented than Olson longer than four months to make, but Olson could be turning a corner just in time to salvage his season.
Surveying the ninth-inning situations around the league.
Clippard Traded to the Mets
In what has been inevitable for a while, Tyler Clippard has finally been traded, landing with the Mets. As I mentioned last week, the picture behind Clippard in Oakland is less than clear. I speculated that Drew Pomeranz could get some save chances, but it appears they’ll be looking at him as a starter again. I still believe Fernando Rodriguez is the best option. He’s been phenomenal this year, striking out more than 11 batters per nine innings while walking fewer than three. At 31 years old, this is a good time for the A’s to give him a spotlight and flip him in the offseason. With that being said, Edward Mujica and Eric O’Flaherty could be getting the first crack. If I had to pick someone for immediate saves, I’d choose Mujica. Rodriguez should get the most saves over the rest of the season, though.
Weaving through weak arms to find a cornucopia of hitting gems in today's slate
Yesterday had a bounty of high-end performances that raised the profit bar, with four players having multi-homer games and 40-plus points in Draft Kings, bats that ranged in cost from the $3100 of Ben Paulsen to the $5000 of Mike Trout. The surge was helped by a day game in Colorado (note to self: stack Rox whenever they play at home on Sundays), a contest that featured 24 combined runs and two of the four lineup-defining performances. The extra padding thrown into player prices to account for the thin-air of Denver has been minimally discouraging, as players have learned that the Coors effect is strong enough to outpace the price adjustment.
All the same greats, the same mistakes. It doesn't have to be like this.
Jose Bautista’s overnight transformation from fifth outfielder to superstar stemmed from a small timing change, a modest tweak that jumpstarted his career and put a face on the potential of making an adjustment. For better or worse, his wild and unexpected success has inspired fans around the league to hope that their flawed but talented slugger is just one mechanical tweak from pulling a Bautista. Quick-fixes are rare, however. Even when a slumping hitter has unusual mechanics — a hitch, an awkward stance, etc. — the irregularity isn’t necessarily related to the player’s struggles, and might actually function as a vital part of what made him so successful in the past.