Rays lefty Blake Snell is beginning to turn heads for Low-A Bowling Green.
Pitching Prospect of the Day: Blake Snell, LHP, Rays (Low-A Bowling Green): 6.0 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 10 K; fastball has easy plus potential; slider and changeup both have plus potential; command is developing; get on board, the stock has two arrows pointing up; 25.2 IP, 23 H, 8 ER, 16 BB, 34 K in six starts.
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Bret explains why the list has featured more pitchers than hitters in its early weeks, and then reveals this week's top 25.
You might have noticed that, since this list has started, there have consistently been more pitchers than position players on it. This week is no different, as there are 15 pitchers and only 10 hitters. The reason for that is pretty simple—while pitching is more plentiful on the waiver wire than position players are, the stars need to align a little more for a bat stashed away on your bench to actively contribute value to any given fantasy team. If you had Anthony Rendon on your bench prior to his initial call-up, and you also had Adrian Beltre entrenched as your third baseman, you’re going to need to pull off a trade to capitalize on Rendon’s value. Of course, the owner with Beltre at the hot corner is less likely to be stashing a fellow third baseman anyway, which only furthers the point.
It’s rare to find an owner who couldn’t use more pitching on his/her roster (or at least an upgrade over the worst active member of their staff). When you’re dealing with individual positions, the barriers to entry for value make deciding whom to stash a different proposition. So while I’m saying that in a vacuum, Mike Zunino has more value than Anthony Rendon for the rest of this season, roster makeup can play a large role in determining who is more valuable to your specific team. And since the liquidity of these rookies can vary widely from league to league and owner to owner, points are docked for the lack of flexibility that may come with housing a hitter.
Background: The Phillies gave Pettibone an aggressive $500,000 signing bonus as a third-round pick in 2008 and assigned the 17-year-old right-hander to the Gulf Coast League for one start in his debut summer. In 2009, Pettibone moved on to the New York-Penn League, where he tossed 35 1/3 innings with a 5.35 ERA as one of the younger players in the league. The Phillies continued to promote him a level at a time as he moved to Low-A in 2010 and put together his first truly successful season, posting a 3.49 ERA in 131 1/3 innings.
Blackburn is having one of the best pitching seasons in the minors, as after another dominant outing on Monday night, he has a 2.55 ERA with a remarkable 137 strikeouts and just 18 walks in 123.1 innings.
A quick trip through the day in the minors, featuring notes on 25 prospects.
Matt Adams, 1B, Cardinals (Triple-A Memphis): 3-for-4, 2B, HR (17), R, RBI. Should at least be September call-up as extra bench bat; .342/.373/.649 in 60 games.
Jesse Biddle, LHP, Phillies (High-A Clearwater): 7 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 9 K. 2010 first-round pick has gotten up to 94 mph with solid secondaries; 3.23 ERA with 116 Ks in 111.1 innings.
Victor Black, RHP, Pirates (Double-A Altoona): 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K. 2009 supplemental first-round pick has found new life in the bullpen; 1.17 ERA with 63 Ks in 46 innings while sitting at 94-97 mph.
This season's most significant corner infield call-up makes this week's Value Picks list, along with an old, dependable, and much-maligned first baseman.
Though fantasy owners always try to anticipate the next big call-up, those decisions often have more to do with immediate roster needs than long-term concerns. As a wise man once said about life, promotion decisions are what happens when a team’s busy making other plans.
For minor-league teams in search of increased attendance, no ballpark promotion is off-limits.
Believe it or not, most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.
Benjamin Hill has been a writer for MiLB.com since 2005, where he quickly became enamored with the lively and oft-bizarre world of minor-league promotions and game operations. He pens all manner of minor-league content for the site, but the purest distillation of his expertise and idiosyncrasies can be found at Ben’s Biz Blog. This massively informative clearinghouse of industry best practices is written in a breezy pun and pop-culture obsessed style that has connected with those in and outside of the sport (or so he says). Hill spends the baseball season participating in regional food-themed mascot races at minor-league ballparks throughout the land. Otherwise, he tweets at @bensbiz and resides in Brooklyn with his three best friends: easy chair, record player, and Irish whisky.
The Athletics' inability to draw a crowd is a reflection of their poor record and awful stadium situation.
On September 4, 2002, the Oakland Athletics crammed a season-high 55,000-plus fans into the then-named Network Associates Coliseum for what is often fondly remembered as the climactic epoch of Moneyball—the night that the Athletics frittered away an early 11-run lead at home against the lowly Royals, followed by a classic incredulity-fueled Billy Beane tantrum, followed by Scott Hatteberg's heartwarming pinch-hit blast in the bottom of the ninth inning to win it. At the outset of the chapter devoted to that particular game, Michael Lewis painted a surreal picture of a "traffic jam extraordinary even by Northern California standards stretched as far as the eye could see" leading up to the sea of concrete surrounding the Coliseum on all sides.
On Wednesday night, the Coliseum played host to the playoff-bound Rangers and a comparatively exciting pitching matchup (Brandon McCarthy vs. C.J. Wilson). The announced crowd of 19,589—a figure that would rank somewhere between subpar and miserable in virtually every other major-league market, but actually constitutes the 27th-best showing in Oakland's first 80 home dates of the season. In case you were wondering what such an announced attendance total actually looks like, here was the scene from what is now named the O.co Coliseum less than five minutes before first pitch on Wednesday:
Extreme power and speed picks join a very exciting VP week for outfielders.
Value Pick outfielders performed like they'd been hit by a hurricane this past week, but the batter Ozzie Gullen calls “The Tank” (Dayan Viciedo) is up, causing belated relief in Chicago as Adam Dunn hasn't been striking out for a few days now. And this author risks becoming “Rocket Man” as yet another Astro gets featured in Value Picks. But really, who outside The 610 Loop has paid any attention to the Astros recently, anyway? And a lack of attention often leads to value.