Monday, February 12, 2018

Podcast: Previewing the College Baseball Season with Aaron Fitt

If you are going through serious baseball withdrawals, help is on the way as the college baseball season starts this Friday. My podcast partner from the Rob and Comrade Show interviewed D1 Baseball's writer Aaron Fitt on the upcoming season.

 Listen to our podcast here or download it on iTunes


Friday, January 26, 2018

Podcast: Praising Chipper, Bashing Jeter and Why Trevor Hoffman Should Not Be in the Hall of Fame

Chipper Jones wasn't just a great player he was also a great team leader and never seems to get credit for it. Derek Jeter gets a ton of credit for being a team leader and we explain why that is not very accurate.

Trevor Hoffman is officially a Hall of Famer but we explain why he shouldn't be. Tim Tebow is in the news again and we explain what is was like covering him last year as he played his first season as a professional baseball.

Listen to our podcast here or download it on iTunes


Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The Next Mike Trout?

There is nothing like covering minor league baseball and watching guys who might someday be the next big superstar. The one name that dominated minor league baseball last year,  besides Tim Tebow was teenager Ronald Acuna of the Braves organization.

He is projected as the future face of the Braves franchise and already being compared to Mike Trout. The future isn't that far away either. Acuna is now 20 years old and should be starting in the Braves outfield on Opening Day. Of course what should happen isn't what will happen. Look for the Braves to wait until a couple of months into the season before bringing Acuna up which will  delay his free agency clock. 

Keith Law came out with his Top 50 prospects in professional baseball today and he has Acuna sitting at #1. Here is Law's write up on Acuna:

 Acuna got off to a slow start in high-A in 2017 and didn't seem to be playing at full effort until Atlanta promoted him to Double-A in early May, after which he exploded, hitting .335/.384/.534 in 486 plate appearances for Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett. He even led the Arizona Fall League in homers with seven. And he did all of this at age 19, turning 20 well after the season ended.

Acuna's bat is electric. He's short and quick to the ball with exceptional hand strength providing average power already even though he's not particularly big. He's also a plus runner whose speed helps cover plenty of ground in center, although he's only the third-best defensive center fielder in Atlanta's system (counting Ender Inciarte). What sets Acuna apart from most other prospects in the minors, beyond his youth, is his approach at the plate, including outstanding plate coverage and very good ball-strike recognition. He was the only teenage position player to play in Triple-A in 2017, and his average, OBP and slugging all ranked in the top five in the International League (minimum 141 at-bats).

If Acuna stays in center and maxes out his power, he's going to be among the best players in baseball, with a Mike Trout-ish profile. Even if Acuna hits "only" about 20 homers a year, it'll come with 40-50 doubles, huge contact rates and solid OBPs. The presence of Inciarte and Cristian Pache may push Acuna to a corner for Atlanta, but he could play center field for many clubs, and it's reasonable to think he'll be a plus defender in right field anyway. There's still a little variance in how the bat projects, but there's a higher probability of Acuna being an above-average regular for a long time than any other player in the minors.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Did Andrew Benintendi Get Filmed Taking a Shower?

Disturbing news coming out of Major League Baseball as agent Jason Wood has been accused of filming his clients taking showers at his home. This was first reported by FanRag Sports.

 According to the report, one player found the camera after taking a shower and confronted Wood and then fired him. The player did not want to be identified though.

 Wood was fired from his agency and has been suspended by the MLBPA. One of Wood's clients was Andrew Benintendi.

Wood also represented Jake Odorizzi, David Phelps, Ryne Stanek and Cody Asche. Benintendi has yet to comment but it is believed that several of Wood's clients were filmed over a period of time.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Will The Braves Steal J.D. Martinez from the Red Sox?

The J.D. Martinez situation continues to get worse for the Red Sox. The Giancarlo Stanton trade by the Yankees has made the acquisition of Martinez a must. The problem is the Sox will be getting a guy over the age of 30 who is a defensive liability. The other problem is his new contract might end up being more expensive than Stanton's contract. Not good

A new problem has popped up, the Red Sox might not get him after all. Dave Schoenfield wrote a column today and floated the idea that the Braves could swoop in and sign Martinez. Here is what he wrote:

How about the Braves? They need a hitter, they’ve cleared Matt Kemp off the roster, and they have a young roster that has room to add a big salary.

Can the Red Sox afford to sign Martinez? Can they afford not to sign Martinez? The offseason from hell continues.

Friday, December 15, 2017

The Last Days of Jackie Bradley in Boston?

Has Jackie Bradley played his last game in a Red Sox uniform? I made this prediction a month ago on AVID Boston's podcast and now it looks even more likely.

I am a little biased when it comes to JBJ. I remember watching him as an 18 year old in college playing for my beloved alma mater. I don't want him to go but at this point it looks to be the the best move to make and the most likely move to make.

 Let's get one thing straight, Hanley Ramirez is not going to play first base on a regular basis in 2018. If that is the Red Sox plan then trouble awaits. I do think Hanley could have a big year as the everyday DH. The Sox will need him to have one if they have any plans to win the AL East. Counting on him to stay healthy and to be productive while playing first base is just not going to work.

Carlos Santana signed with the Phillies for 3 years and $60 million. The Sox were rumored to be in the mix but did not want to go that high. The Sox need a first baseman that can provide some power. Eric Hosmer is out there but is he really worth the money? He will get more than Santana and for more years and he really isn't that much of an upgrade over Mitch Moreland

 The Sox need to move fast and sign J.D. Martinez. They will have to overpay him and I am sure at the end of his contract he will be a shell of himself but at this point the Sox don't have a lot of options. Look for the Sox to make him the everyday left fielder and move Andrew Benintendi to CF. So where does JBJ go?

Look for the Sox to package him in a deal to the White Sox for Jose Abreu. The Yankees may have added Giancarlo Stanton but the Red Sox can still hold their own this offseason with these moves. I think this has to be the plan at this point. Here is what the lineup might look like on Opening Day:

 RF Mookie Betts
 CF Andrew Benintendi
 LF J.D Martinez
 1B Jose Abreu
 SS Xander Bogaerts
 3B Rafael Devers
 DH Hanley Ramirez
 2B Brock Holt
 C Christian Vazquez

Friday, November 17, 2017

The Love and the Hate for Eduardo Nunez

Eduardo Nunez played just 38 games for the Red Sox but he made a great impression. Nunez hit .321 with 8 homers 27 RBI and 6 stolen bases.

Many Red Sox fans want Nunez back to fill the void left by the Dustin Pedroia injury and to serve as the super utility guy once Pedroia comes back. This was a role held for the last few seasons by Brock Holt.

 At least one person thinks that Nunez is a bit overrated. Keith Law listed his Top 50 Free Agents and he had Nunez ranked at #34. If that wasn't bad enough here was Law's evaluation of Nunez:

Nunez hits like an infielder but can't play even average defense at second or third, and let's not even talk about his defense at short. He has one skill -- he puts the ball in play a lot -- and that has to carry him. So when he hits .300-plus, like he did in 2017, he's a useful player, a good bench guy who won't kill you if he ends up with 500 plate appearances filling in around the diamond. He walks once per solstice, he has no power, and his instincts are generally poor, so when he doesn't hit .300, you're not getting much value. The fact that he has been traded to contenders twice at the July deadline befuddles me.