The Situation: Jorge Soler still isn’t healthy, and Paulo Orlando has a .333 OPS. Yes, OPS. So the Royals will turn to one of their best position player prospects—and apple of our minor league editor’s eye—Jorge Bonifacio to try and help jumpstart an offense averaging just a tick over three runs a game.
The Background: Bonifacio was signed for $135,000 out of the Dominican Republic in 2009, and has been kicking around as a prospect for so long that he first showed up on a Royals team list during the Kevin Goldstein era. A strong 2013 campaign in which he hit .298/.372/.429 between the Carolina and Texas leagues brought him to national attention and he snuck onto the back of the 2014 BP 101. Bonifacio’s bat stagnated in Double-A however, and he would spend all of 2014 and 2015 at that level. He did slowly start to get more of his plus raw power into games—a hamate injury cost him some of 2013—and at the end of 2016 got some post-hype chatter after he set a career high in home runs with 19 for the Storm Chasers. Although he’s been around forever in prospect terms, he is still only 23, and the power is major-league-ready. We are about to find out about the rest of the profile.
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If Franklin Barreto and Francisco Mejia blossom, Scooter will score big-time.
This past week, I went through my fantasy investment portfolio for major leaguers across my seven leagues. This week, I’m going to walk through the minor-league side of my fantasy investment portfolio across my five leagues that allow minor leaguers.
Here’s a high-level rundown of the configuration of those five leagues:
The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport's annual report card shows that MLB continues to struggle with racial and gender diversity.
This week, The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) released their 2017 report card for Major League Baseball’s hiring and employment practices regarding racial and gender diversity. When grading MLB, TIDES looks at a variety of positions at the league level, the team level, and the organization itself, including the makeup of on-field or field-related staff as well as executives.
Their findings were not surprising to anyone who has been following the recent news cycles around hiring within Major League Baseball. While the league itself (specifically, the commissioner’s office, MLB Advanced Mecia, and MLB Network) scored the highest in both racial and gender diversity, the gender diversity number specifically dropped from 2016. On a team level, the gender diversity situation was even worse, with senior team administration receiving a D+ and professional administration a C-.
If we break these numbers down further, and look at how many of the women filling 27 percent of the “team senior administration” and 28.1 percent of the “team professional administration” roles are in positions that are—while incredibly important to the health of the team as a business—not related to the product on the field, the world is even bleaker. TIDES provides a breakdown of every woman and person of color in these senior roles, and the list of women only has six out of 82 women in roles that could be considered to have an impact on-field (athletic trainers, coaches, or scouts), and two of these are general “vice president” positions, with two others being “general partner” roles.
When we look at the 28 percent of women employed in “professional administration roles,” we have to take into account that TIDES includes specialists, technicians, analysts, engineers, and programmers alongside “assistant managers, coordinators, supervisors, and administrators in business operations such as marketing, promotions, publications, and various other departments.” When restricted to, again, roles that directly impact the product on the field, that 28 percent is almost certainly much lower.
While MLB overall scored a B for racially diverse hiring practices in 2017, this again represented a falling off from their score in 2016—somehow, in a single year, the league lost 8.5 points off their TIDES-given score. People of color fill 44.3 percent of coaching roles, but as we know, only three current MLB managers are men of color. The league office employs the next-highest level of people of color in all positions, at 28.1 percent, with the teams falling off steeply from that—only 11.7 percent of vice president or equivalent positions.
Notes on Yoan Moncada, Austin Meadows, Yency Almonte, Franklin Barreto, and dank Herb.
Hitter of the Day:
Yoan Moncada, 2B, Chicago White Sox (Triple-A Charlotte): 2-3, BB, 3 R, HR, RBI, 2 SB, K
On a night when Chris Sale punched out 13 for Boston, Moncada reminded everybody in Chicago that he can fill up a stat sheet just fine his own damn self, thank you very much. He continues to strike out at a semi-alarming rate, but the power/speed combination is as elite as they get in the minor leagues. Pour one out for this poor Henry Owens fastball, y’all.
Amir Garrett steps forward, Matt Cain moves back on the radar, and welcome back, Dallas Keuchel! (And maybe King Felix, too.)
Every Friday I’ll be previewing the hurlers scheduled for two starts in the upcoming week. Hopefully that will give enough insight to make educated lineup moves and FAAB decisions over the weekend. As the old wrestling promoters would always say “Card Subject to Change," because lots can happen between the time this goes up and first pitch. Unfortunately, weather, injuries, and tinkering managers make this less than a science. I’ll do my best, though, and should new information present itself after this posts, we can go over it in the comments. We’ll crowdsource this as well, so if you hear anything, feel free to comment and we all can offer our takes, hot or not.
Here’s how this works. The pitchers will be split by league using these categories: