Just call them Casey Kasem
“And now… on with the countdown.”
Right around noon yesterday, Baseball America released their Top 100 prospect list for 2011. I didn’t really get time to look at it all that closely until this morning, so here are initial thoughts:
- The only former TinCap on the list is RHP Simon Castro at No. 58. He was 57th last year. BA says he’ll get to the big leagues this year. From a selfish standpoint, hopefully he doesn’t get there before mid-July when the Tucson Padres come to Fort Wayne. Simon was one of my favorite pitchers I’ve covered. The others, if you’re wondering, were Matt Lollis and Nationals RHP Jordan Zimmermann.
- Any list like this is really more about generalities than “Player X is one spot higher than Player Y, so Player X is going to be the better player.” Historically, if you’re in the top five, you’re probably going to have a good-to-great major-league career. Beyond that, it’s a mix of guys who have shown some kind of weakness, some bigger than others. The ones who make it big are the ones who shore up the weaknesses and turn themselves into elite players. That’s why it’s an educated guess after you get past the first handful of players.
- Royals fans have to be happy with three prospects in the top 10.
- Just because a player isn’t ranked high, don’t write him off. Anybody considered to be in the top 100 of what they do is pretty good. Examples: Mike Trout went from No. 85 last year to No. 2 this year, Rockies RHP Jhoulys Chacin was No. 71 last year and he had a really nice MLB debut last year. So did Mets 1B Ike Davis (62).
- These are all just for fun. Everything figures itself out once the games start. Which is not far off, by the way.
Secondly, another story I didn’t get to expand on yesterday… the Padres are holding a prospect minicamp in Peoria to give some of their top minor-leaguers an early start. The list of players is here. If they haven’t played in Fort Wayne yet, I’d say chances are good they’ll be here soon. But then again, speculating on an Opening Day roster before minor-league spring training even starts is a good way to guess wrong.
- If you haven’t been keeping up with the Facebook, you can check out the TinCaps’ lineup of theme nights for 2011 at TinCaps.com. The photo attached to the story might be my favorite article photo in our site’s history.
- You can audition to sing the national anthem before a TinCaps game. But I’m warning you now: if you drag the song out and make it too long, I will zipline down from the press box to the field and sweep you out of here like it’s amateur night at the Apollo.
- Fort Wayne alum LHP Cory Luebke will pitch in the Padres’ Spring Training opener Sunday(!) against the Mariners. Also in that article: Heath Bell won’t be available for the weekend and former TinCaps LHP Juan Oramas strained his throwing shoulder last week and hasn’t thrown since.
- SPRING TRAINING GAMES START ON SUNDAY!
- Padres SS Jason Bartlett and 2B Orlando Hudson are learning to play together.
- This isn’t the first story like this I’ve seen about Hudson having a Type-A personality (I also saw an MLB Productions piece about him last year). He has to be the early favorite for 2011 clubhouse leader.
- The Padres think they got lucky with their catchers last year and are hoping for better depth this year.
- Fort Wayne alum RHP Jake Peavy threw live batting practice yesterday. So far, so good in his rehab from a freak injury.
- Yankees C Russell Martin’s knee still isn’t quite right. As a fantasy baseball owner of Jesus Montero, I hope Martin sits long enough to let Montero play his way into the starting job.
- Rays GM Andrew Friedman looks kind of like a certain mid-major basketball star. Friedman may play better defense than Jimmer, and I’m only half-kidding.
- Brewers RHP Zack Grienke doesn’t really do
the whole cliche thing. Example: “…every day I come to the park and
want to get focused on my start, and then random people come and waste
my time talking every day. It takes eight minutes to get a real question because they’re, like, buttering me up. Then they get to the question and it’s a stupid question. So it’s a waste of ten minutes, and in that ten minute time, I don’t get to do what I needed to do.” If reporters are allowed to critique a player’s performance, it’s only fair that the player can return the favor.
- From Buster Olney: The three pitchers who used their curveball the most last season were Brett Myers, Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright. Carpenter already had Tommy John surgery and it looks like Wainwright is on his way there.
- The Mariners have a lot of tall pitchers. Same goes for their minor-league system.
- Indians closer (and former MWLer) Chris Perez is adding a changeup. He was pretty good without one last year.
- The Rockies think Vegas is underestimating them this year. But, as Padres GM Jed Hoyer told me last year when we talked about San Diego beating expectations, they don’t build those casinos by losing money. Meaning the handicappers are usually right.
- Three MLB umpires are retiring. Maybe MLB already had replacements lined up, but it seems like four days before Spring Training is awfully late to announce something like this.
- Which is better: preventing runs or scoring runs? Research shows preventing runs has the slight edge. Key word: slight.
- What does a college that produced 31 Nobel Prize winners lack? A basketball win… until the other night.
- The NBA is no longer fan-tastic. In other news, we landed on the moon.
- Our rec league volleyball team played like champions last night. Last time I saw volleyball that good, it was at the Malibu Sands Beach Club.
- If you’re looking to adopt a pet, PLEASE go to Animal Care & Control. It’s your tax dollars at work anyway, so make them count. I hung out with three dogs there yesterday and they were awesome. But I’m still partial to this one.
Musical guest… the group that sang the first No. 1 Casey Kasem ever counted to… Three Dog Night!
Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars!