There's not much room at the moment for the Dodgers' top outfield prospect, but he's up and exciting anyway.
The Situation: The Dodgers, just 15-14 since the beginning of August, look for a spark from a much-hyped outfield prospect. It’s happened before.
Background: Pederson, a former 11th round pick, has been one of the most dynamic players in the minor leagues all season, going 30/30 and winning his league’s MVP award. While he might not have that ceiling in the major leagues, Pederson can hit the baseball with authority and, after starting the season as the Dodgers’ no. 3 prospect, moved up to no. 2 (behind Julio Urias) and no. 17 overall in our midseason top 50.
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The Blue Jays call up a top pitching prospect for the third time this season.
The Situation: With the postseason all but out of reach, the Blue Jays are promoting yet another of their top pitching prospects. Following the promotion of Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez earlier this year, left-hander Daniel Norris will cap off his season in the big leagues.
A look at the upcoming AL-vs-NL and NL-vs-AL matchups, and how they might affect teams' lineups.
Please note that in the “DH” column, the player listed is the player that has been added or removed from the lineup, not necessarily the player in the DH slot. For example, if the Phillies move Domonic Brown to DH and put Tony Gwynn Jr. in the OF, then I will list Gwynn Jr. in the “DH” column because he is the player who is gaining at-bats.
Reports on multiple Cubs third basemen, Reynaldo Lopez, Byron Buxton, Dante Bichette Jr., and more.
Reynaldo Lopez, RHP, Nationals (Low-A Hagerstown) Two weeks of "you need to go see Reynaldo Lopez pitch" texts finally sent me on a journey to Hagerstown. Surprisingly, Lopez displayed one of the most exuberant pitching performances I have witnessed all season, sitting 94 to 98 mph with life, a biting curveball, and developing changeup. In fact, it is quite interesting how a player of this caliber can be so hidden from the public eye. I wrote a scouting report on him, but wanted to shed some light on the backstory.
Lopez was signed out of the Dominican Republic for $17,000, nothing relative to many international bonuses. From all reports I've received, Lopez routinely sat 88 to 91 mph when he first signed. The Nationals began to make mechanical changes, specifically with how he held his glove on delivery. Lopez dealt with an injury that shut him down in Short-Season Auburn, so he did not have much time to audition for the state-side crowds. Now, fully healthy, he has taken off. He is the definition of a "pop-up" prospect and everyone should remember his name moving forward. This is one of the best pitchers no one is talking about. The journey is still long, but the raw talent is undeniable. —Tucker Blair
With Jason Parks leaving, the prospect team is rearranging, but remains more ambitious than ever.
Sometimes I forget how truly fortunate I am to work in baseball. I quit hearing the sound of the crack of the bat or the pop of the glove. I become numb to the smell of the freshly cut grass, the sound of the organ, and the roar of the crowd as the home team walks off with a win. Because, you see, not unlike many of you, my primary responsibility is to look ahead. My job is create the vision for a company and try to improve on what we have, build on what’s been developed, and help bring new and innovative content to an audience that demands it every day. So, yes, while I still get to a few dozen games a year, enjoy the warmth of Arizona after a long winter in New York, and watch countless games on MLB.TV, there are times when the game right now, at this instant, is not at the forefront of my mind.
But what I never, ever forget are the people I get to work with…the readers, the fans, the players, scouts, front offices, media colleagues, and of course, the staff here at Baseball Prospectus. When I first sat down to write this piece, my intention was to thank Jason Parks and introduce our transition plan for the BP prospect team. I will cover those topics shortly, but forgive me for a moment if I stray.
The Phillies call up the slugging corner infielder, who has recovered from a terrible start to his season.
The Situation: Despite the shine of a Labor Day no-hitter, the Phillies season has quickly slipped away, so as a result it is time to see what the kids can do. Ranked as the Phillies top prospect entering the season, Franco has overcome a miserable start to the season and is now hitting .257 with 16 home runs and 32 doubles.
The A's free-fall continued apace, the Phillies threw a no-hitter, and all the rest of the long weekend's action.
The Labor Day Weekend Takeaway
“Embarrassing” and “pathetic” were just two of the words that Oakland skipper Bob Melvinused to describe his team’s play during the weekend’s critical showdown against the division-rival Angels. The A’s began the four-game series just one game behind the Halos in the American League West, but Oakland’s bats went into hibernation during the weekend series as their chances of claiming a third straight division crown are rapidly slipping away.
Notes on prospects who stood out during the long weekend.
Friday, August 29th
Dan Vogelbach, 1B, Cubs (Daytona, A+): 2-4, R, HR, 2 K. The Florida State League is a tough place to develop as a power hitter, so it shouldn’t be too much of a concern that his home run total actually dropped from 19 last year to 16 this year. In fact, Vogelbach’s total tied for the league lead. Vogelbach’s raw power is very real, and he’s a good enough hitter to allow it to play in game action. He could explode next year, and that’s a comment on his power potential and not his waistline.