The Florida Marlins have been in the news quite a bit lately. Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera have arrived in Miami with great fanfare, with Willis' performance being one of the reasons the Marlins can still consider themselves in the playoff hunt. More recently, Florida parted with three prospects, including former number one overall pick Adrian Gonzalez, to acquire Ugueth Urbina. The Marlins were willing to part with Gonzalez because of the presence of Jason Stokes, also a first baseman whom the Marlins view in a more positive light. However, one name who has been kept out of the spotlight is Jeremy Hermida, who just may be the Marlins best hitting prospect, and one of the more unheralded young players in the game.
Hermida put himself on the map in the spring of 2002 with a tremendous performance during his senior year of high school. He emerged from an interesting follow for area scouts into a must-see for cross-checkers before finally settling in as the premier high school bat in the country. His stock got high enough before the draft to have him in the mix for the number two pick, but he was eventually selected 11th overall by the Marlins. He signed for just over $2 million and made his professional debut in the rookie level Gulf Coast League. Despite hitting just .224/.316/.321 in 134 at-bats there, he received a promotion to short-season Jamestown to end the year, and his bat caught fire. His final 47 at-bats showed the swing that got him drafted, as he hit .319/.407/.404 against college-level pitching at just 18 years of age.
The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.
Not a subscriber?
Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.
The Cleveland Indians farm system received a large amount of recognition during the past year. Cleveland's pool of developing talent went from barren to overflowing with a few wise trades, compensation draft picks for free agent losses, and emerging prospects all coinciding last summer. Their major league roster contains 11 rookies, and an influx of talent like that will almost certainly result in a depleted minor league stable. The Indians' young talent base doesn't end in Cleveland, however...
The Indians' young talent base doesn't end in Cleveland, however. For instance...
This Sunday at 5:30 p.m. EST, Major League Baseball will present the fifth annual showcase of the premier minor league talents in the game. It receives an ESPN2 time slot usually reserved for reruns of the 1976 World Strongest Man competition and gets about the same amount of national attention, but you'd be hard pressed to find a better place to watch talent assemble. There are eight major league All-Stars this year who have participated in one of the four Futures Game contests, and that number will only rise as improving players like Lance Berkman, Joel Pineiro, and Brett Myers find their way to the big stage in the coming years. However, since the game doesn't receive much in the way of promotion (shocking, I know), people still ask questions. So, here are some answers.
Despite a nearly universal bias against them, short pitchers have found a willing taker in Houston. David Cameron reports on the Astros' stable of diminutive pitchers and the success teams can have by ignoring an old truism, in this edition of Prospecting.
I am not here to pick on Lou Piniella, however. He is just continuing to echo the sentiments of baseball men throughout history. Large pitchers last longer than small ones, or so the theory goes. There is validity to the belief that shorter pitchers have a smaller margin for error. In order to generate the same power as a pitcher with more natural strength, they can tend to put more pressure on their arms, thus leading to poor mechanics and eventual injuries. The prevailing thought is not that short pitchers cannot be effective, but rather than they cannot withstand a large enough workload to be valuable investments.
David Cameron kicks off his weekly look at the minor leagues with a player profile of White Sox prospect Jeremy Reed.
Odds are, if you are reading Baseball Prospectus, you have probably heard of Kevin Youkilis. The portly Boston Red Sox minor league third baseman has made a name for himself with a remarkable penchant for drawing the base on balls. His gift of patience even drew him the nickname "Euclis; The Greek God of Walks," popularized in Michael Lewis' Moneyball. Over the past year, Youkilis has become the poster boy prospect for performance analysts who are unconcerned with athletic abilities or traditional "tools scouting." He has continued his walking ways this year, drawing the free pass 55 times in 210 at-bats while only striking out on 31 occasions.