Notes from around the AFL and Caribbean Winter Leagues.
There was a full slate of action in the Dominican Winter League, although not one player did anything interesting enough to make my list. Not that there wasn't anything interesting going on. For instance, thirty-seven year-old Vladimir Guerrero, a career .318 hitter with 449 HR in 16 big league seasons, went 2-for-4 for the Tigres del Licey. And then there was Manny being Manny, playing for Aguilas Cibaenas. The 40 year-old, who is stuck at 555 career HR, homered in his DWL debut off the first pitch he saw from former big leaguer Daniel Cabrera, who ended up pitching seven strong innings and only allowing a pair of solo homers to Ramirez and former NL Rookie of the Year Chris Coghlan, who was celebrating after I recently moved him into my Marlins' projected lineup after a certain blockbuster trade. See, I told you there were some good times being had in the Dominican Republic on Wednesday.
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Jason Martinez of MLBDepthCharts makes his Minor League Update debut ...
I'm new here, so let me introduce myself. My name is Jason, and I'm kind of obsessed with baseball, especially when it comes to prospects and how they fit into an organization's depth chart. If you're familiar with MLBDepthCharts.com, you know what I mean. I'll be doing these updates regularly, so you're stuck with me for awhile. Be sure to leave feedback in the comments section and let me know your preferences for this feature. You can also find me on Twitter @mlbdepthcharts.
Hey, Kevin, when is so-and-so going to get called up? Huh? Huh?
We still don't know when Player X is going to get called up, as injuries and ineffectiveness at the big league level, as well as the constant spectre of service time calculations, can play a far larger role than simply looking at minor league performance. We can, however, get some clues from the flurry of minor league promotions that come at mid-season. Here are ten recently promoted players, and what we can learn from them.
Mitchell is not the best prospect on the Yankees Triple-A staff, but don't be surprised if he's the first to the majors. Scouts think he could be effective as either a back-end starter or middle reliever, as while he's on the small side, he's ultra-athletic and features a fastball that has slightly above-average velocity and plenty of movement. He's not going to be a star, but he should have big league value, even on a championship-level roster.
Everyone is preparing for the celebration of Strasmus, while a first-round pick from 2010 shows he's more than just a California League mirage.
Xander Bogaerts, SS, Red Sox (Low-A Greenville) With his late-season run, Bogaerts has gone from good story to one of the biggest in the Sally League. He generated plenty of buzz in the Dominican Summer League last year, and was expected to follow a more standard developmental path this year with a Gulf Coast Least assignment. Instead, he was placed in the South Atlantic League on June 9, and with home runs on Friday and Saturday, he's now hitting .253/.321/.515 with 15 bombs in 66 games. Bogaerts, who is only 18 years old, might not be hitting for much average, and there is no way he's a shortstop down the road, but he's also hit more home runs in fewer at-bats then Bryce Harper did at the same level at the same age, and that alone deserves note.
The Brewers' stars stayed on the field in 2010, but will their luck hold after they upped the ante in the NL Central this winter?
The Team Injury Projections are here, driven by our brand new injury forecasting system, the Comprehensive Health Index [of] Pitchers [and] Players [with] Evaluative Results—or, more succinctly, CHIPPER. Thanks to work by Colin Wyers and Dan Turkenkopf and a database loaded with injuries dating back to the 2002 season—that's nearly 4,600 players and well over 400,000 days lost to injury—we now have a system that produces injury-risk assessments to three different degrees. CHIPPER projects ratings for players based on their injury history—these ratings measure the probability of a player missing one or more games, 15 or more games, or 30 or more games. CHIPPER will have additional features added to it throughout the spring and early season that will enhance the accuracy of our injury coverage.
These ratings are also available in the Player Forecast Manager (pfm.baseballprospectus.com), where they'll be sortable by league or position—you won’t have to wait for us to finish writing this series in order to see the health ratings for all of the players.
Rob happily graduates a couple longstanding Value Picks, lets Logan run, and is able to add Cain - with analysis of why and what to expect from all the value picks.
Pomp and Circumstance: The list was overloaded last week, with the expectation that several names would be removed this time around. With that in mind, two of these outfielders have enough credits for graduation: Jose Tabata and Tyler Colvin. Tabata is hitting .310 with 12 SB, and people are slowly realizing that he can help a fantasy team. Tyler Colvin had a terrible week, yet his continued power assault makes him quite valuable. He may knock an odd home run against Manny Parra here and there, but fantasy owners will be happier if they just bench him against lefty pitching in daily-move leagues.
Bonus coverage: Recent alumnus Drew Stubbs may be losing playing time, but he has hit the Cubs well this year, going .311/.326/.733 with five (5) home runs and three (3) stolen bases in the ten games he's started. For owners who like to make a lot of moves, it's something to consider August 27-29, when the Reds face the Cubs again