Newsy Pre-Season Names: Corey Seager, generic capsule Byron Buxton, generic Trea Turner, Joey Gallo. Those are just four in the first 10 of 100 prospects listed in Baseball America’s early team talent ratings. (Seager and Turner, we know, are shortstops, with the Dodgers and Nationals, respectively; Buxton, a budding Twins outfielder, Gallo, a Rangers third baseman.) The Dodgers and Astros, listed one-two as having most overall prospective talent, each placed seven prospects among the top 100.
More noteworthy, however, are two perennial powers that barely made the list: the Cardinals and Giants; each placed only one prospect – Alex Reyes, a number-7-rated Cardinal righthander, and Christian Arroyo, a 62-slotted SF shortstop. Could it be that there’s an over-emphasis on prime prospects a team controls, rather than the overall number of its minor league players? One thing’s sure: the great majority of minor leaguers who reach the majors don’t last there. Looking at the Yankees’ season-long 2015 roster, illustrates the fact: Cole Figueroa, Ramon Flores, Rico Noel, Gregorio Petit, Danny Burawa, Caleb Cotham, Nick Goody, Jacob Lindgren, are just a few Pinstripers who came and went, possibly never to be heard from again.
Ah, Youth: New, young faces bring excitement to Baseball this time of year, but, as the above indicates, few stick around to make a difference. That’s certainly true in politics. Young enthusiasts for Bernie Sanders rallied around his campaign this month, but failed to vote in needed numbers in the key Nevada caucuses. There was a precedent for such a performance in 2008: Pew Research noted that, despite the campaign impact they made, young supporters of Barack Obama “were not crucial” to his election. We learned a similar lesson some years ago, working for a U.S. Senate candidate in NY. Making campaign stops at upstate college campuses, we were buoyed by the noisy support of students. But, when asked how canvassing for votes was going, they were evasive.. They assured us, however, they’d be a lively presence at an upcoming rally at Madison Square Garden, where partying would abound.
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Flummoxed: “We were stunned,” said Orioles beat writers to Buck Showalter when they heard about Dexter Fowler declining to complete a three-year Baltimore deal and returning to the Cubs. “I’d like to say I wasn’t,” said an equally bewildered Showalter. Fowler reportedly pulled out because the O’s wouldn’t include an opt-out clause in the contract. He was considered a valuable gap-filler to Baltimore’s spotty roster. Now he – and latest addition Shane Victorino – give the already division-favored Cubs an even stronger, top-heavy lineup.
Some other Baseball America talent-based pre-season slots: Atlanta #3, Red Sox 4, Mets 15, Yankees 17, Cubs 20 (before Fowler returned).
Indispensables? On MLB Now the other day, the panel discussed players on whose health the success of their teams would depend:. Two who received most prominent mention: Hunter Pence of the Giants, David Wright of the Mets.
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(The Nub is a team effort skippered by Dick Starkey. Comments about blog issues are welcome. Previous Nubs may be found by scrolling below.)