Friday Lunch Prospect Links
Did you know that there is baseball going on right now? It isn’t important baseball, but it’s setting the stage for more important baseball in the future. One of the things that I enjoy about this kind of baseball is that, where the end of the Cactus League season is mostly about players who will definitely contribute to the team’s success or lack thereof, the beginning is usually spent on fringe contributors and prospects. PROSPECTS! Here are some articles I’ve read over the past few days. It’s not as exhaustive as it could be because my time with news media is somewhat diminished these days.
* The Times had a joint article on Michael Saunders and Steve Delabar. The gist of it is that Delabar is continuing to do the weird thing from before that gave him all that velocity (or Velocity, technically) and that Saunders is trying to tighten up his swing with the aid of rubber bands. No really. At this point, I’m willing to entertain whatever might work.
* There was also a piece on Vinnie Catricala, and his attempts to find balance between his offensive and defensive games. He says he was known for his glove in high school and then got lazy about it in college as he focused more on his hitting. Recent and distant sports history tells me that if he reconciles the two and ends up being good, there will be much talk of Vin-sanity. We are so clever. So clever.
* Baker is wondering if James Paxton is this year’s Pineda, which is rooted in the notion that both were basically two-pitch guys with the ghost of a third entering spring training. I like Paxton plenty, and it’s neat that we were able to snag him, but I suppose I wonder more about his endurance, since he suffered from an assortment of injuries well into his college career and he had very few opportunities to pitch two years ago. Caution might push him back a bit.
* Trayvon Robinson is wearing glasses now. Because he has astigmatism. This isn’t quite Jose Lopez getting braces, but at least it has the chance of being relevant to his performance in games.
* Also at the TNT, a Taijuan Walker piece that discussed learning the curveball, taking advice from Rich Dorman, and assorted personal details. Walker seems to be one of those special types with talent, drive, and a knack for figuring things out.
* This just in: Erasmo Ramirez throws strikes. An abnormal number of them. To such a degree that his pitching coach forced him to throw balls in the bullpen late last year so that he could try to convince hitters to chase pitches out of the zone. He’s not in the same tier as the other three, but heck, I just really like Erasmo.