The tater trots for July 29: a walkoff from Anthony Rizzo and Carlos Gomez continues to fly around the bases.
It may have been a fun weekend for some baseball fans out there - Hanley Ramirez's go-ahead blast for the Dodgers, Ike Davis's three home runs on Saturday, another blast from Adam Dunn - but I can't help but focus on the horrific Nationals/Brewers game I was at yesterday. Francisco Rodriguez ruins an eighth-inning four run lead, John Axford blows two different leads, back-to-back home runs from Norichika Aoki and Carlos Gomez are wasted... and the worst thing is, this is routine these days for the Brewers. Not a lot of fun to be at a game like that.
The tater trots for June 26: Melk Man, Lopez and A-Rod tie it up, and Bourn's quick trot.
The Tater Trot Tracker has been out of a commission these last couple of days, as I enter this strange combination of preparing for a move and going on vacation. That means trot updates might be spotty over the next week or so. No need to worry, though. I am still tracking the times when I have a chance, so I'm mostly caught up. For example, I haven't tracked any times slower than Paul Maholm's 26.39 second trot on Saturday, or anything faster than today's speediest trot from Michael Bourn (though the 19.42 second trot from Peter Bourjos that was hampered by the runner in front of him was pretty impressive).
Aroldis Chapman allowed an earned run, but it didn't happen the way we expected it would.
Last night, Aroldis Chapman allowed an earned run, after 29 innings of allowing no earned runs and striking out almost every other batter he faced. This was a stimulus that caused at least three responses. First, and maybe most obviously, it made the Reds lose to a team only two games behind them.*
A review of the call at home plate by Jerry Meals to end the Pirates-Braves game.
Last night the Braves and Pirates played 19 innings. The game ended on a ground ball by Scott Proctor to Pedro Alvarez at third base. Julio Lugo broke from third base in attempt to score, and the throw from Alvarez to catcher Michael McKenry easily beat Lugo to home plate. McKenry attempted a swipe tag of Lugo's leg as he slid toward the plate. Home plate umpire Jerry Meals called Lugo safe with the winning run for the Braves, at which point Lugo quickly made a second effort to touch the plate. The Pirates and a great portion of baseball fans still awake at that hour were incensed with Meals' call, and the Braves celebrated.
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 top 15 organizations of prospectdom, with the reasons why they are where they are, and why they might move down.
1. Oakland Athletics
Last Year's Ranking: 2
Why They Might Be Better Than This: Their Triple-A rotation, led by Trevor Cahill and Brett Anderson, could be better than some big-league rotations; Michael Ynoa is the best Latin American prospect of the decade; 2008 draftees Jemile Weeks and Rashun Dixon bring much-needed tools to an advanced group of hitters.
Why They Might Be Worse: Ynoa has yet to pitch in a pro game; expected to be the fifth starter, lefty Gio Gonzalez might fit better in the bullpen; there is plenty of debate among scouts concerning the ceilings of hitters like Aaron Cunningham and Sean Doolittle.
Outlook For 2010: Could depend as much on how well the big-league team does during the first half of the season as anything else, as the second half is either spent gunning for a post-season spot or the beginning of a rebuilding mode, which could mean that a number of players will lose their prospect status going into 2010.
With prospects from both sides of the Pacific, there's more than just location that makes this league a baseball paradise.
Hawaii Winter Baseball returns for its second season since a near decade-long slumber. The league is doing an excellent job in filling a massive hole in the player development process, being the only offseason league to offer playing time to those not quite advanced enough for the Arizona Fall League or various Latin American winter circuits. Last year's season was a big hit, with plenty of participants already making contributions in the big leagues, notably pitchers Joba Chamberlain of the Yankees, and Marlins right-hander