Carlos Ruiz was placed on the disabled list on Monday with a Grade 2 hamstring strain, and he's expected to be out three to four weeks. While he is on the DL, Kratz will handle the starting catcher duties with Humberto Quintero serving as his backup. The 33-year-old backstop didn't do much with Ruiz serving a 25-game suspension to open the season, but he did hit three homers in just 92 plate appearances. He hits the ball in the air regularly (34.8 percent outfield fly-ball rate), and that will help his home-run power play up. He's not a catcher that should be rostered in most mixed leagues, even those in which teams start two catchers, but his steady playing time for the next month or so coupled with enough power to reach the seats a few times is reason enough to own him in larger NL-only formats.
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A look at the roller-coaster careers of two former first-rounders.
Being drafted high comes with high expectations. Over the past several drafts, a number of top picks have failed to materialize into top prospects. Chief among those players are Josh Vitters and Tim Beckham. Vitters was the third player selected in the 2007 draft, and Beckham was the first player taken in the 2008 draft. Hindsight is 20/20, and it’s crazy to think what the Cubs and the Rays could have had instead of these two, but today we’re going to focus on these two players outside of the expectations that come with their draft status.
One of the coolest features of Baseball Prospectus’s player cards is the BP Articles section, which shows you wherever a player was mentioned in an article at BP. This is going to be really cool in a decade, when we’ll be able to go back and look at every prospect evaluation and compare it to how those players’ careers turned out, but it’s also useful for tracking a prospect’s stock.
In an organization that has been down on its luck for the last 100-plus years, there may be some hope down on the farm.
According to baseball mythology, the Cubs are a tortured team, hexed by goats and cats, by the selfish hands of fans, and by Mark Prior’s flawless mechanics. For all the “torture”—and trust me, Cubs fans will always remind you of the torture—Chicago can still boast about playing in the third-greatest city in the United States (behind NYC and San Fran; deal with it, Chicago), plus-plus uniform aesthetics, Bill Murray, and Starlin Castro’s hit tool. See? That’s a lot to live for.
Nietzsche said, “The miserable have no other medicine but hope,” and because I took a shot at the city of Chicago right out of the gate, and because I’m basically suggesting that fans of the team are miserable (which they are), I want to bottle some of that hope and deliver it you, the aforementioned tortured fan.
The senior circuit's collection of talent on the rise, and the chances of each prospect to become his organization's best.
Prospecting is all about the future, so let's look deep into the coming year and try to figure out who might be topping next year's prospect lists in their respective organizations, as well as who could be moving up, down, or even out, beginning today with the National League. The American League version is here.
The early returns on PECOTA's projecting last season's big-bonus draft choices.
This was the first year that we attempted to run PECOTA forecasts for players with no professional playing time whatsoever. It was a decision born out of necessity: because of all the brinkmanship in the signing bonus negotiation period last year, a large number of elite draft picks either did not start their seasons until August, or didn't play professionally at all.