Rounding out a list of the top 20 international talents, with video and reports straight from south of the border.
I've got a lot of ground to cover today, so we'll skip any long-winded introductions and just get right into the good stuff. As with last week's piece, non-subscribers who would like to take a look at the videos embedded below can check out my Vimeo page.
While I was in the Dominican last month, the biggest showcase of the year featured various top July 2nd prospects facing off against the Canadian junior national team. Left-hander Jake Eliopoulos, the top Canadian prospect in tomorrow's draft, toed the rubber for three innings. Here's a bonus video and scouting report on him, as you'll want to know something about him, as he should be drafted tomorrow:
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Straight from one man's scouting mission to the island, video, scouting reports, and rumors from the Dominican.
I'm back from the Dominican and I come bearing gifts: full scouting reports, on-the-ground buzz, first-hand accounts of top prospects, and the videos to prove it. I've got way more than I can fit in one article, but I'll try to cram as much as I can into this space. For non-subscribers who can't read much further, the embedded videos below can all be found here.
Before we jump into things, I wanted to revisit a topic that I covered last week. Teams seem to be even more open to a give-and-take between their draft and international budgets when it comes to a weak draft class, a struggling economy, and increasing bonuses being paid out in Latin America. One club official noted that it has always been common for teams that didn't plan to spend their entire draft budget to roll the excess into their international budget once they know what players they selected. It has also been circulating that a few teams may be trying to dump big-league salaries to free up more money for international purposes, with the most frequently mentioned team being San Diego, and their most mentioned contract being Jake Peavy's. The fact that Peavy blocked a trade to the White Sox recently didn't do much to quell this talk.
Schilling's latest hurt, is Manny being a new Manny, plus some sense and sensibility in Steel City.
There's an NFL commercial that talks about the season lasting 13 months a year. In baseball, that's also true. Spring training, the six-month season, October action, and winter ball combine to make it seem as if it never ends. That's great for die-hard fans like you and me, but not always so great for the players. (It's really bad for younger players, but that's a discussion for another day.) The offseason can be just as dangerous for some players as the regular season. The rehab work, the "pre-hab" routines, and the functional conditioning are fraught with problems as much as they are opportunities for rebuilding. A player can show up lighter, but lose his power. A player can bulk up, only to lose flexibility. A pitcher can be hard at work on his mechanics, only to find that the changes actually tax his muscles, tendons and ligaments in new ways, leading to an injury.
The Cubs shuffle through pitching options, the Brewers have one of the most interesting rosters in the game, and the Dodgers fight through injuries as they try to stay in the race. This and much more in Transaction Analysis.