Odds and Ends: Draft Signings, Prospect Promotions, Cheating
What I’m reading before the M’s attempt to avoid another sweep:
1: The M’s signed Carter Capps, their supplemental 3rd rounder, who pitched for Mount Olive College. The DII pitcher of the year was 14-1 with an ERA under 2 and 129 Ks in 118 IP for the Trojans who went 47-10 and had a TEAM ERA of 2.78. He’d been pitching in the Cape Cod League to help his bonus negotiations, and was named the team’s (the Harwich Mariners) best pitcher. In the Cape league, Capps worked predominantly out of the bullpen and dominated with a mid- to high-90s FB, striking out 34 in 30 innings and walking just one. Not sure if the M’s want to stretch him out as a starter or keep in the ‘pen (where he could move quite fast) – but he’ll report to Clinton in the Midwest League. His success on the Cape helped him, as he apparently signed a deal for well over slot.
2: It’s not just the M’s who’ve called up some of their top prospects recently. The Blue Jays Brett Lawrie and the Royals Johnny Giavotella have done well in their first big league week, and the Royals have now brought up their “catcher of the future,” Salvador Perez. Lawrie, Giavotella and Dustin Ackley were three second basemen vying for the PCL hitting lead (or a promotion); Lawrie and Ackley often drew comparisons (especially before Lawrie moved to 3B a few months ago), with Ackley winning on polish and contact and Lawrie getting the edge on MiLB performance and power projection. Of course, Ackley’s far exceeded his minor league line so far and his hit for more power than many of his fans would’ve guessed. In this case, I’m quite happy that the scouts won out against the number-crunchers.
I’ve been curious about Salvador Perez since Royals manager Clint Hurdle declared that he had the best arm of any catcher he’d ever seen. A great defender whose bat has developed enough to make him viable, Perez seems like what we dreamed Steven Baron would be.
In addition, the Braves called up one of their untouchable prospects, Arodys Vizcaino, to shore up their bullpen for their playoff push, and the Angels called up AA RHP Garrett Richards to start tonight against the Yankees. Sam Miller of the Orange County Register says that he’s got good 2- and 4-seam fastballs, gets some ground balls and works quickly. You could do worse. I think people are making a bit too much out of the fact that he’s making his debut in (brand-new) Yankee stadium, but it’s still a gutsy move considering the importance of each game to the Angels, who trail the Rangers by 1.5 games.
3: Lots of talk today about the Blue Jays stealing signs at their home park. There was talk of this a while back after the Yankees strongly implied that the Jays had been up to no good, but we got new, awesome details in this story from Amy Nelson of
SI ESPN the Magazine. The Man in White! Bullpen pitchers tracking suspicious movement, screaming at Jose Bautista! Colin Wyers providing some statistical support for the claims of a suspicious home-field advantage! This sort of sounds like a bad episode of the X files, and I love it. I’d guess noted baseball-cheating expert DMZ does too.