Looks at Jesse Biddle, Kyle Crick, Angel Villalona and many others.
Extra Explanation:Jesse Biddle (Phillies): It’s been a while since I’ve seen Biddle look the part of a frontline arm, and it’s likely he has already peaked as a prospect, at least as far as status is concerned. The body is good, and I actually like the delivery even though his command is well below average; at times, he’s almost too smooth and easy, with his struggles coming with his finish, as he doesn’t get over his frontside and can’t work low in the zone. The fastball is pedestrian, working mostly in the 90 mph range, and the curveball is too long and soft, and without a setup fastball that will force bats to move, upper levels hitters can keep their weight back and track the offering. It’s not a major-league out pitch on any level, and I’m not sold it will play as anything more than a steal-a-strike offering in the majors. The changeup wasn’t a featured player in this start, but I feel it to be the most promising of his secondary arsenal and a future average pitch.
Have the Marlins figured out how to beat the Giants at their own ballpark?
Buster Posey represented the tying run when he batted in the ninth inning against Miami on Friday night. He got a 1-1 slider in the middle of the plate and drove it into deep right-center, toward triples alley. As soon as the crowd could raise its voice, though, it went quiet: Giancarlo Stanton was standing right there.
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Walt Weiss' bunts, Tim Hudson's longevity, Robbie Erlin's future and Trevor Cahill's present are on R.J.'s mind.
A lot happens in baseball every night, and neither man nor Daniel Rathman can keep up with it all. So every few weeks we'll look at some stories within a division that would have otherwise slipped through the cracks. Let's start with the National League West.
Tim Hudson is back from his injury and better than ever. Surprise!
Everybody knows that breaking one's ankle in a gruesome accident, then pitching at age 38 with lingering pain from said injury, is bad for a pitcher. What Tim Hudson's season presupposes is: Maybe it's not?*
Hunter Pence has a swing unlike any other--but, in its component parts, like many others.
When I’m not watching baseball I spend my days teaching everyone from 8-year-olds to All-Americans how to improve their swings. A batting cage at East Coast Baseball Academy is my laboratory. Between the mechanical tweaks and endless batting practice there comes a time for young hitters to look at video of major leaguers and learn how the best at the game move their bodies. My favorite swings to use as examples are smooth and athletic. We look at Pujols, Cabera, Posey, etc. We don’t look at Hunter Pence. Maybe we should.
Pence is a career .280 hitter who hits 25 bombs a year. If his job was to have a pretty swing then he would be out of luck. Fortunately for him, his job is to hit baseballs and he has found a way to be extremely successful at his job. It’s time to put Pence under microscope and examine what mechanical features have allowed him to be such a productive ball player.
A look at prospects in the California and Eastern leagues, including Corey Seager and Julio Urias.
California League RHP Chris Anderson (Dodgers): Tall, athletic build, shoulders a touch on the narrow side, very well proportioned build, big hips, muscular ass. Over-the-top slot, arm comes through fast and loose. On-line delivery but shaky with side to side looseness to it, medium depth cutting action on the fastball, sat 91-93, touched some 94s late in the struggle as he was trying to escape. Simply no command at all in this outing, missing in every direction. Average CB at 79-81 with good depth, 11-to-5 direction, should be able to keep break much more vertical from that slot but frequently fighting front side through delivery; around the zone with it but often in a dangerous way. Flashed a change at 83; looked to have some potential but didn't get a good look at it. Cutter at 85-88 short and sudden; good-looking offering, frequently up in zone with it. Body and stuff are promising and there's a lot to like but it was a very bad first outing; got yanked with bases loaded and two outs in the first inning, three runs already in. –Todd Gold
A division can't be won or lost in the first week, but these teams did have relatively hefty playoff-odds swings already.
Last year, the Patriot-News of Harrisburg, PA issued a correction for a piece it had written on the Gettysburg Address, 150 years earlier. “We pass over the silly remarks of the President,” they had written in 1863. “For the credit of the nation we are willing that the veil of oblivion shall be dropped over them and that they shall be no more repeated or thought of." It took some time, yes, but Patriot-News staff eventually did check themselves before they wrecked themselves.
Having a healthy Angel Pagan helps San Francisco, plus highlights from Thursday and what to watch for this weekend.
The Thursday Takeaway
When Angel Pagan walked the Giants off with a two-run, inside-the-park home run on May 25, 2013, the then-defending champions were 27-22. On that play, Pagan suffered a serious hamstring injury that required surgery and kept him out until August 30. When he returned, the Giants were 59-74.