Notes from a night that featured two no-hitters: a solo performance by Mariners righty Victor Sanchez and a combined effort by three Salem Red Sox led by Henry Owens.
Pitching Prospect of the Day: Victor Sanchez, RHP, Mariners (Low-A Clinton): 9.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K. Sanchez is pitching in full-season baseball at the age of 18. He features a plus fastball, a potential easy plus changeup, and a potential plus curveball. Look for Sanchez to keep improving in the second half of 2013, with a chance to move squarely onto the prospect radar next year; 63.2 IP, 57 H, 20 ER, 8 BB, 41 K in 12 starts.
Position Prospect of the Day: Henry Ramos, CF, Red Sox (High-A Salem): 2-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 K. Ramos is a switch-hitter with plus raw power. He currently plays center field, but fits better defensively in right. Ramos will be challenged by upper-minors pitching and most likely will be a very good organizational player; .310/.383/.643 with 2 2B and 4 HR in last 42 at-bats
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Gary Sanchez improves both at and behind the plate, Martin Perez continues to be a mystery, and Shelby Miller goes backwards.
Daniel Corcino, RHP, Reds (at Double-A Pensacola)
Corcino draws too many easy comps to Johnny Cueto, as he's short, thick, Dominican, a Red, and has a big arm. But let's talk about him on his own merits, which include eight no-hit innings on Saturday to lower his ERA to 3.34 in 13 Double-A starts. Corcino's best pitch is a fastball that ranges from 92-95 mph, and both his slider and changeup are at least average pitches. There's considerable effort to his delivery, which leads to some control issues, and when he has problems with his location, he tends to miss up. He's a potential No. 3 starter with some refinements, and the 21-year-old has already made plenty of improvements this year.
Baseball Prospectus radio has a bit role in Ken Burns' latest film, along with a look at injury news from around the major leagues.
Looking back at the things I've done here, there's one where I really wish things had gone different. Brad Wochomurka got the chance to interview Buck O'Neil one day. He was at the studio in Indianapolis and there was a time window where O'Neil was available. I couldn't make it into the studio in time, so Brad did it alone. Joe Posnanski's book The Soul of Baseball is one of my favorite books, baseball or not, and the lessons of O'Neil are just stunning in any context. O'Neil's passion in Ken Burns' Baseball is one of those enduring images. O'Neil should be in the Hall of Fame. In fact, I think we should have a place for people like O'Neil, who spent their lives furthering the game, building the spirit, and showing just what baseball can do. I'd love it if it were the Buck O'Neil Ambassador Award, or something, where others who have given their very souls could be rewarded, where for one afternoon they could hear the roar of a Cooperstown crowd and see their life immortalized on a plaque. I only wish Major League Baseball and the Hall of Fame had seen fit to do so for O'Neil, but I think he understood.
Our fantasy expert kicks off his position-by-position at players around the major leagues.
I asked you, and you told me what you wanted to see, and here it is: the first position in my revamped fantasy rankings. We will kick things off with first base soon enough, but I have some things I want to go over first.
A preview of the Dominican Winter League, taking a look at the teams, stadiums, managers, and players to watch for.
The "National Religion" came back on October 16th, as the Dominican League launched its 56th edition. Reliably praised as having the highest level of talent among the winter leagues, one should expect to watch another mix of highly ranked prospects, mid-level major leaguers, a few recognizable American players, veterans looking for another shot, and some major league stars between now and the end of the Caribbean Series in February. The league format has six teams playing a 50-game regular-season schedule, with the four best records advancing to a long 18-game round-robin playoff, and the two remaining best clubs play a best-of-nine final series to decide the league's champion. Without further ado, here's what this season will bring us:
Tigres del Licey (Licey Tigers)
Home: Santo Domingo
2008-09 record: 26-24, fourth place (tied) regular season; 12-6, first place round-robin; beat the Gigantes in the final series 5-0.
Ballpark: Estadio Quisqueya; strong pitcher's park, with a Park Factor of 92.
Hue and cry in Pittsburgh and Cleveland risks overlooking the gains made to teams that needed change.
Contrary to popular opinion, the Pirates have not been rebuilding forever. It just seems that way. Since Sid Bream beat Barry Bonds' throw home to rally the Braves to a 3-2 victory in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game Seven of the 1992 National League Championship Series, the Pirates has been undergoing one rebuilding program after another.