Professor Parks takes on his most difficult journalistic assignment yet: Interviewing Professor Parks.
Having just returned from the strange planet known as Mexico City, I finally nailed down the Professor—who isn’t actually a professor—for a little one-on-one. It was a pointed conversation between two men with similar names and different approaches. I took a casual stroll over to his Brooklyn location, a place that could be the billboard that advertises all the reasons people with seemingly useless liberal arts degrees have damaged the earth. Earlier that day, the Professor seemed excited to inform me that he has the technology to open the first of two entryway doors from the interior of his own apartment, placing the burden on my fingers to press the appropriate button to set in motion the technological advances he seems so smitten with. Apparently having such technology is how hipsters with crappy apartments judge themselves against other hipsters with crappy apartments. It’s like people with doormen or great smiles: Once you live with that luxury, you can’t really feel any pain.
After I press the appropriate button, I can hear his ego over the intercom as he once again makes me aware that he has the power to open the door with the touch of a button. He’s like a child who just discovered that the moon and sun are different objects in the sky, and passionately points out that distinction when applicable. I allow him the time to relish in his newly-discovered modern age and wait for the door to unsecure. A man with a curious smirk and a familiar face meets me at the top of the third-floor stairs; it’s a face I’ve seen my entire life in some form or the other. He invites me in and immediately offers me a glass of chilled gin. I decline because it’s hours before the day hits noon, and I’m uneasy that such an offer was made in the first place. He’s wearing an oversized sombrero that makes him look like a bad gringo cartoon and a sweater that is not only incongruent to the aesthetic he is putting forth, but looks like something an elderly Peruvian woman would wear on the journey to her deathbed. I expected a more established presence; for all the pomp and talk of handsome style, the Professor wasn’t showing me either. From the jump, he was letting the name we conveniently share go to spoil.
The Rangers have a burgeoning farm system, but what could be some stumbling blocks for their top prospects?
Prospect #1: SS JuricksonProfar Background with Player: My eyes Who: This highly-touted prospect comes from Curacao. Many saw the former Little League World Series star as a pitcher because of his already promising fastball and ability to spin what projected to be a quality breaking ball. Signed as a position player for a bonus of $1.55 million in 2009, Profar exploded in his full-season debut in 2011, showing an advanced feel for all aspects of the game and emerging as a premier prospect in all of baseball.
What Could Go Wrong in 2012: Not that Profar is all polish and no projection, but unlike most teenaged prospects, the gap between his representational present and his abstract future isn’t as wide. As such, Profar isn’t going to continue his physical tool-based ascent at the same accelerated pace. That isn’t to say his status isn’t legit; in fact, it’s quite the opposite. Profar is a rare breed of prospect, one that combines all the physical characteristics of a future first-division major-league starter, with the intense desire to not only reach those heights, but to ultimately eclipse them. This might seem like an odd thing to criticize, but the intense desire to be the best might end up being a hindrance in the short term, even if the #want makes him a better player in the long term.
Kevin's official Mock Draft will come Monday, but here is the ashcan version, complete with raw notes so you can see how the pieces come together.
What you see below is my current mock draft. Instead of big write-ups, which I’m saving for my final mock draft on Monday, these are the notes from calls and texts in my latest mock worksheet with source names removed. I hope it's a fun look at how the sausage is made.
BP's in-house guru takes his shot at projecting how team's top picks go next week.
1. Washington Nationals: This is now a no-brainer. Over the course of the spring, we've slowly gone from "Will they take Harper?" to "Will they sign Haper?" to "How much will they pay Harper?" He's going No. 1, and you could even end up seeing a creative deal that, on paper, gets him more than Stephen Strasburg received.
The Brewers manager discusses his style, his reliance on his coaching staff, and what he expects from his players.
Ned Yost led the Brewers to their first winning record in nearly two decades last season, but that hasn't kept him off the hot seat. Yost has seen his talented but young team get off to a lackluster 22-25 start this year, eliciting cries for his head from an impatient fan base anxious to relive the glory days of the 1980s when Yost was the team's backup catcher. Now 53 years old, Yost has been at the helm in Milwaukee since October 2002.