Because there has to be something positive to talk about, and in part as a lead-in to going through my top 50 prospects heading into the year, there are a number of players of interest to look at instead of looking at Carl Pavano, Jason Marquis, and Nick Blackburn starts. Here are 6 stories at each currently-playing level (and one extra):
1. Ben Revere is hitting well again, and while he is not drawing walks, it is interesting to see that batting average rise above
I waited almost a full month to update the status of my "prospects to watch." I actually wish I could attribute the lag to laziness, but I was waiting for some of these guys to turn it around so that I would look smarter. It didn't really work out that well, but there is some progress:
JD Williams, OF (Age: 21.6, SH): 111 PA, .222/.306/.313 (.619), 7/1/0, 11/34, 8/10. Williams is exciting and he is slowly hitting better as the year goes on. End of Year:
2. Penn State
Well, about three weeks after I called for it, Francisco Liriano is moving to the bullpen. Plenty of people like this move and yet they and others would seem to prefer Liriano be used only in a mop-up role or anything staying away from "high-leverage" situations.
First, there must be some way for the 2012 Presidential candidates to work "high-leverage" into the political overused meme/slogan world like "change" and "family values" and "job
The Twins will start making their second round of minor league moves in the next few weeks leading up to the draft and the beginning of the short season. Here are some moves that should be made sooner than later:
Release: Joe Thurston and Clete Thomas (neither one is worth keeping around, stealing plate appearances from players who are either prospects or who could be fill-ins for the Twins in a pinch). I am tired of keeping around such players for no good reason.
Purdue 14-4, 35-9
Indiana 11-7, 24-24
Michigan State 10-8, 29-16
Minnesota 10-8, 28-22
Penn State 10-8, 24-23
Ohio State 11-10, 27-20
Nebraska 9-9, 29-18
Illinois 7-11, 19-24
Michigan 6-12, 19-28
Northwestern 5-16, 16-29
Kevin Plawecki, C, Purdue
.367/.460./.566, 17/2/4, 20/7, 2/5
Draft projection: 2-3 rounds
Eric Charles, 2B, Purdue
Current Big Ten standings:
(Conference record, overall record)
1. Purdue 12-3, 31-6
2. Michigan State 7-5, 26-13
Minnesota 7-5, 23-19
4. Nebraska 8-7, 26-15
5. Penn State 6-6, 18-21
6. Indiana 6-6, 18-22
7. Ohio State 7-8, 22-18
8. Illinois 5-7, 22-17
Iowa 5-7, 16-19
10. Michigan 4-8, 17-24
11. Northwestern 5-10, 13-23
Standings summary: There are only 4 teams in the conference that could be called good.
This has been a few years in the making, and until now I have been completely against it because his value as a starter seemed so immense when he was on, but now it is time to move Francisco Liriano to the bullpen.
Here are the reasons:
1. Aside from 2010, he has been marginally good to pretty bad as a starter for the past 4+ seasons.
2. Starters who move to the bullpen generally throw harder given that they are amped up for one or two innings as opposed to 6-9.
Earlier this spring I listed 10 mid-lower tier prospects to watch this year as I expected breakout seasons from each of them. This is an update on eight of them (Nate Roberts is on the DL and Angel Mata is in extended spring training) as well as an introduction to two more players off to strong starts this season.
JD Williams, OF (Age: 21.5, SH): Williams is off to a slow start with the bat, but is still getting on base. Stats: 26 AB, .115/.324/.154, 1 2B, 0 3B,
This week I will focus on the in-conference games, discussing each series, and how some draft prospects performed.
Minnesota vs. Northwestern:
The Gophers swept the Wildcats 2-1, 2-1, and 6-0 in the weekend series. Friday's game featured the dominance of pitcher T.J. Oakes, who gave up 1 run in 8 1/3 innings pitched. He struck out 7 without giving up a walk. In the second game of the series, D.J. Snelten picked up where Oakes left off. Snelten went 7 2/3 innings, giving up only
Each week leading up to the MLB draft, I will be providing a roundup of how Big 10 teams fared and how notable players are doing. This player list is by no means exhaustive of all the potential draft candidates and there are likely some listed who will fizzle out, but this is a start.
Purdue (4-0 week, 24-5 overall, 7-2 Big Ten, first place)
Updated players-to-watch season stats:
Kevin Plawecki, R, (C) Jr. :
29 games, .373/.470/.618, EBH: 14/2/3, BB/K: 15/5,
Everyone knows to follow the progress of Miguel Sano, Eddie Rosario, Oswaldo Arcia, Levi Michael, Hudson Boyd, Madison Boer and other top 20-25 prospects in the Twins system. There are many others, however, who with strong seasons could jump up into that top 20 range. Here are 10 of them (and thanks to Seth Stohs for roster information):
JD Williams, OF (Age: 21.4, SH): Williams will start with Beloit this year after a fantastic showing at Elizabethon. Three words: Dude is fast. Last
Is it really too much to ask for?
That is, it seems odd to sign a bunch of older AAAA type players who have some significant MLB experience to keep at Rochester while hoping on prospects and young players who aren't even AAA players yet to play with the Twins at the start of 2012. And with the news that Willingham can't make a simple transition to RF as a veteran professional baseball player, I am lumping in Ben Revere here even though he is no longer a prospect.