Another left-handed reliever got paid on Thursday when Tom Gorzelanny, who has a career 4.41 ERA in 735 career big league innings (2.88 ERA in 45 relief appearances with the Nationals in 2012), agreed to a two-year deal with the Brewers for an estimated $6 million. If you throw left-handed and are halfway decent at pitching, chances are you can get a nice fat paycheck in the major leagues.
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Notes from around the Arizona Fall League and Caribbean Winter Leagues.
It was just another ordinary Tuesday until the Blue Jays and Marlins decided to make things a little more interesting with a 12-player blockbuster trade that totally revamped each team's roster (see Blue Jays offseason page HERE and Marlins offseason page HERE). Amongst all the excitement was a bevy of baseball games featuring some very interesting prospects ...
Which NL starters are off to a worse start than the Angels' not-yet-sluggy first baseman?
On Wednesday, I examined a half-dozen American League hitters who are off to chillier starts than even Albert Pujols in an attempt to shine a light on a handful of developing stories centered around underperforming players. Of course, none of those hitters has the track record or the job security of the Angels' newest marquee attraction; neither do seven billion other people on Earth. In other words, they're a wee bit more likely to find themselves riding the pine or worse if they continue to flounder, and at the very least, their small-sample struggles—and for this the threshold is 70 plate appearances, not long enough for any key hitter statistic to stabilize—are worth your attention.
Why the Royals and Padres will win their divisions, and four questions with Dustin Ackley.
The emails and tweets have been most interesting in the days since our staff predictions were posted on the website. Most people think I am nuts for picking the Royals to win the American League Central and the Padres to win the National League West. Perhaps they will be proven right. After all, I was the only one of 27 staff members to pick either team to win its division. Remember, though, that 29 of the 30 people who were on the staff at this time last season picked the Red Sox to win the AL East. The one person who predicted the Red Sox not only wouldn't win the division but also fail to qualify for the postseason? Well, I was a taught at an early age that it's impolite to brag.
Who tops the tool charts? Who was the big story down on the farm in 2011?
Best Tools (Present Utility y Projection) Speed: Billy Hamilton (Reds) TCF: Well, he’s fast. Really fast. He’s 100 on the 20/80 scale fast. His speed inflates his prospect status, as I question how effective he will be against superior pitching. But Hamilton’s speed tool is elite, and it makes him a catalytic player, at least at this stage of his career. He stole 103 bases this season, which is an impressive accomplishment, regardless of his offensive projections (which I question and others champion). Hamilton should put up better [read: more impressive] numbers in the hitter-friendly California League in 2012, which should enhance the shine on his prospect star. I’ll remind people to be cautious despite the numbers, then Hamilton will probably develop into a top-tier talent at a premium position and I’ll look like a fool. Thanks, Hamilton.
Arm: Christian Bethancourt (Braves) TCF: With a handful of legit 80 arms in the minors, I decided to go with the catcher, because I like catchers, especially 20-year-old catchers that can pop in the 1.7 range. That’s just ridiculous, by the way. 1.7? I had a scout tell me he clocked him at 1.65. I just assumed the scout was on mescaline. Regardless, Bethancourt has an elite arm, and the utility of that arm is slowly gaining on the raw strength; his release is Usain Bolt quick, with clean throwing mechanics and improving accuracy. Bethancourt’s bat is his ticket to first-division status, but his defensive skills behind the plate will carry him a very long way. 1.7? Not even #TheLegend can hang with that.