One of the prospect team's most recent hires examines what he has learned.
A long time ago, my father told me, “Son, be the dumbest guy in the room, maybe you’ll learn something.” That message has always stuck with me, and I try to apply it to baseball as often as possible. Whether I’m sitting next to scouts at a minor-league game, or working with the rest of the prospect team here at Baseball Prospectus, I’m always learning and adapting.
Putting the focus on the focus on Jeter, and other All-Star observations.
One of our writers, Craig Goldstein, had an idea for the All-Star game that we didn’t get to, though I thought it had some merit: Which All-Star games have “belonged” to which players? Last year’s “belonged” to Mariano Rivera, for instance. Cal Ripken’s final game “belonged” to Cal Ripken, and so on. This year’s belonged to Derek Jeter like nothing in baseball has ever belonged to anything else. Bud Selig’s retirement was limited to a two-question commercial-break interruption. Tony Gwynn’s death was not even mentioned, not once. Neither was the death of Ralph Kiner. There was no aside noting that Tim McCarver was enjoying retirement after calling more All-Star games with Joe Buck than any broadcast duo in history. This was all Jeter’s.
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Today sucks. Do something about it. Somebody do something about it.
It used to be that there was a day of inactivity after the All-Star break. We complained and we moaned, but we understood that a day, one day, is tolerable. Now there are two days, which is great if you're an All-Star traveling to your next road trip but more silence than most of us are into. We, as a staff, discussed some possibilities to distract us on the Wednesday after the All-Star game.
1. Play the Futures Game.
Why/How: It was late afternoon this year, but some years, it overlaps with up to 14 different games, which means that an audience of 420,000ish fans who presumably watch baseball (because they're at a baseball game) can't watch. Also, it's competing against those teams' television audiences, which is very dumb. Making it the Sunday night game would be okay, but I like moving it to one of the blank nights so it can get the evening to itself. Bonus benefit: The marquee players would be able to remain with their minor-league teams for the weekend games, which in a lot of cities are the only games people attend.
The eternal spectacle of a farewell All-Star appearance.
While looking toward the future with our comprehensive slate of current content, we'd also like to recognize our rich past by drawing upon our extensive (and mostly free) online archive of work dating back to 1997. In an effort to highlight the best of what's gone before, we'll be bringing you a weekly blast from BP's past, introducing or re-introducing you to some of the most informative and entertaining authors who have passed through our virtual halls. If you have fond recollections of a BP piece that you'd like to nominate for re-exposure to a wider audience, send us your suggestion.
On July 15, 2001, Baseball Prospectus published the following feature on the 2001 All-Star game. Derek Zumsteg wrote from the stands, where he saw another legendary, Hall of Fame-bound shortstop take a bow, doff his cap, and get a big hit against a suspiciously poorly located fastball from the opposing pitcher. Here's his account of Cal Ripken Jr.'s final All-Star game.
So you want to bet on the Home Run Derby. Some people would judge you for that. I’m one of those people. Totally judging over here. But I do plenty of things that I could be judged for, so I won’t judge you for being judged. We’re all a little judgeable.
The U.S. Team includes power arms, toolsy outfielders and a dazzling collection of infielders.
Welcome to part two of a two-part series on scouting the players involved in this Sunday's Futures Game showcase of prospect talent. The International roster preview ran on Thursday.
Christian Binford, RHP, Royals (High-A Wilmington)
Scouting Report (most recent) Link
Binford entered 2014 as a prospect on the rise in the Royals system, and his performance so far has earned him the chance to represent Kansas City in Minnesota for the Futures Game. Binford is more polish than projection, as neither the fastball nor slider projects to be a plus or better offering. Meanwhile, the changeup is lagging behind and will need to jump an entire grade before he can realistically profile in a rotation. Regardless, it appears Binford will provide the Royals with more than the expected value of a typical 30th round selection.
Carlos Correa will not play, shifting the spotlight to Julio Urias, Javier Baez, Francisco Lindor and the rest of a talented, if somewhat raw, squad.
Welcome to part one of a two-part series on scouting the players involved in this Sunday's Futures Game showcase of prospect talent. The US roster preview will follow on Friday.
Alfonso Alcantara, RHP, Angels (Low-A Burlington)
Alcantara shows a three-pitch mix, with his bread and butter a mid-90s fastball that possesses movement anywhere from 93 to 96 mph. The slider and changeup are both well behind in development, with the slider showing some promise but the changeup looking unplayable too often.
Even the All-Star Game gets collectively bargained.
We’re six days from the All-Star Game, an event that despite Major League Baseball’s best marketing efforts, you might think is kind of meaningless. We’re five days away from the Home Run Derby, an event that even when put next to the All-Star Game takes on the air of a sideshow, and rarely in a good way.