Results tagged ‘ Jake Marisnick ’
Fifteen MiLB Prospects Answer This Question: What Jersey Number Do You Hope to Wear When You Reach the Majors?
The Royals’ Yordano Ventura: ”Because Pedro [Martinez] was 45, and I want to be the first one after Pedro.”
The Tigers’ Bruce Rondon: “My dad’s favorite number — his dream was to watch me pitch with Detroit wearing number 44. Unfortunately I didn’t get that number, but I have the one right before, number 43. Honestly, he has never told me why [he liked that number]. I always ask him why and he never wants to tell me, but that’s his favorite number. I told him that one day he has to tell me what the number means to him.”
The Rays’ Jake Odorizzi: “My jersey here is that. If I don’t make it out of Spring [Training] or do, I’ll be wearing that. I’ve always had that number growing up. My friends and I just wanted to be in the 20s, and that was the one I settled on. This is the first time I’ve been able to wear it at the Major League level, which I’m excited about.
The Yankees’ Tyler Austin: “I would love to wear it. That is my favorite number. My brother wore 21. I wore 21 growing up, so it was like an always-21 deal. I wore it all throughout high school and travel ball, so I would love to wear 21 if the opportunity presented itself for me to wear that number. Guys usually pick it before I do [on Minor League clubs]. They usually get in there and pick their numbers before I have a chance to get in there.”
The Rockies’ David Dahl (to MiLB.com colleague Ashley Marshall): “I haven’t really thought about it. I’m just trying to get there. When I was a freshman in high school, I got the last pick out of all the numbers; 21 was available, so I used that all the way through high school and then I used it my first year in [Class A Short-Season] Grand Junction, so now I like it a lot.”
I am more than halfway through with our Defensive Gems series on MiLB.com. In case you are unfamiliar with it, here is the stock copy we print at the beginning of every edition:
As documentarian Ken Burns noted, baseball is the one game in which the defense — not the offense — possesses the ball. With this in mind, MiLB.com continues its “Defensive Gems” series. Over the next nine weeks, we will feature a top prospect at each position who also happens to be an elite defender. In deciding which players to focus on, six scouting directors were polled and extensive research was conducted…
Here are the five stories of the nine total that are completed: Click on the player’s name to be taken to the story:
|POS||Subjects with story links|
|C||Austin Hedges (SD: A pupil of Brad Ausmus)|
|2B||Carlos Sanchez (CWS: A good defender at three positions)|
|3B||Mike Olt (TEX: A slow-roller expert with soft hands)|
|SS||Francisco Lindor (CLE: A natural ballplayer that is “Cano-ish”)|
|CF||Mason Williams (NYY: A gifted athlete making acrobatic plays)|
Prospect Q&A: Marlins LHP Justin Nicolino on Being Traded, Turning Down WBC Team Italy, Hitting off Noah Syndergaard
Justin Nicolino completed his first bullpen session this morning. Excellent news, right Marlins fans?
Ready for even better news? Nicolino’s month-old throwing program is to get ready for the 2013 Minor League season, not the World Baseball Classic. More on that later. First, some background: Nicolino (@J_Nicolino22) was the best prospect in that 10-player, mid-November trade that sent All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes from Miami to Toronto. (I wrote here why I thought the Jays won the deal, despite Nicolino’s inclusion.) Now the Marlins’ No. 4 prospect (and baseball’s No. 86 overall), the 21-year-old left-hander will likely begin April at Class A Advanced Jupiter.
I caught up with Nicolino, who started throwing Dec. 16 and is working out with Cardinals farmhand Joe Cuda, this afternoon from his home in Palm Harbor. (He moved from Orlando to the Clearwater-Dunedin area when he was still in Toronto’s system but has relocated again.). Enjoy our chat.
Me: Let’s start with the newsiest item. You were asked to pitch for Team Italy in the WBC but declined?
Nicolino: Yeah, I got that phone call this past Sunday. I got a call from the pitching coach and he asked me if I would want to pitch for Team Italy in the World Baseball Classic. They asked me if I wanted come out and do that. For me, it was an honor. To get called and be given an opportunity to pitch, I think for anyone, it’s an honor. When I talked to ‘em, I just said that with the trade and everything that’s happened this offseason, I wanted to get down [to Florida] and get used to the way the Marlins did everything. That way, I can go into Spring Training knowing [how the Marlins do things]. I didn’t want to go play for Team Italy and not know anything about the Marlins, or the Marlins not knowing anything about me firsthand. I told [Team Italy], ‘Maybe down the road, call back and it might be different.’
Me: Obviously, you’re an American-born Floridian, so would it have been weird to pitch for bella Italia and against Team USA?
Nicolino: Yeah, definitely. Being an American and having Team USA — that was the funny thing that came up in my conversation with my agent. A couple years down the road, whenever I get that phone call back, ‘What would you want to do: Team USA or Team Italy?’ At that point, four years down the road who’s to say what I’d do and who’d I pitch for.
Me: Just out of curiosity, where does your Italian heritage come from?
During my most recent workday here at MiLB.com on Saturday, I wrote about some top prospects that could be traded as we near next month’s Winter Meetings in Nashville. I mentioned about 10 names and … none of them were Blue Jays.
Well, the joke is on me.
If you haven’t already heard, this was our first major offseason trade involving talented Minor Leaguers, which was first broken by Fox Sports’ Morosi/Rosenthal team on Twitter last (Tuesday) night.
Blue Jays get: Veterans Jose Reyes (shortstop), Josh Johnson (righty starter), Mark Buehrle (lefty starter), Emilio Bonifacio (utility man) and John Buck (catcher).
Marlins get: Veteran Yunel Escobar (shortstop), rookie Henderson Alvarez (righty starter) and prospects Jake Marisnick (center fielder), Justin Nicolino (lefty starter), Anthony DeSclafani (righty starter) and Adeiny Hechavarria (shortstop).
Simply put (and not giving much consideration to the Major League veterans exchanged and committed money that changed hands, both of which are beyond my scope): The Blue Jays made out well.
Here is why: Yes, they yielded three of their top seven prospects, but none are what we would call blue-chip or elite-level prospects and Toronto’s system sports the depth to simply replace them. Let’s take these guys one at a time:
Player 1: Marisnick, who hasn’t produced consistent results above low-A, has yet to prove he can be an above-average hitter. The 2009 third-round draftee has quieted some concerns with his .837 OPS through 19 Arizona Fall League games, but he remains very much a work-in-progress in the batter’s box. His defensive and base-running skills were more impressive in 2012.
Player 2: Nicolino, a third of that Lansing trio, was pretty flawless in ’12, posting a 2.46 ERA in 28 games (22 starts) while sporting a 119-21 K-BB ratio. But if we’re looking for flaws, here is one: Unlike former rotation mates Noah Syndergaard and Aaron Sanchez, Nicolino doesn’t have blow-by, dominating stuff, as evidenced by his opponents’ .246 batting average. Nicolino does have very good stuff (fastball, curveball and plus changeup), he strikes me as the kind of guy who will be more limited (than Syndergaard and Sanchez) when he competes against Class A Advanced, Double-A, Triple-A and Major League hitters. Remember, he hasn’t faced any of them yet.
Replacements: In addition to Syndergaard and Sanchez, the Jays have Sean Nolin, Deck McGuire and John Stilson coming along as well as younger hurler-in-training Roberto Osuna. That still leaves ’11- and ’12-drafted lefty starters Daniel Norris and Matthew Smoral, both of whom have a chance to be as good as or better than Nicolino in the future.
Player 3: Hechavarria is among the best fielding shortstops in baseball (and no slouch as a base-stealer), but the Jays weren’t sold enough on his hit tool to install him as the long-term response to Escobar’s inevitable exit.
Replacements: In addition to the former Met Reyes, who may not finish his current contract in Toronto (the guess here is that he won’t), the Jays front office is very high on unranked farmhand Ryan Goins. Despite the fact that Goins has not played above Double-A — he posted a .289/.342/.403 line 136 games there last year — he is now seen as the heir apparent at the position.
I would also add this: The Toronto organization All-Stars piece I filed recently (and which will run the middle of next month) did not include any of the four Jays-turned-Marlins. It just so happens that Gose (outfield, over Marisnick), Nolin (lefty starter, over Nicolino), Goins (shortstop, over Hechavarria) and Syndergaard (right starter, over DeSclafani) all made the list.
That softens the blow of my last, short-sighted blog post. A little bit anyway.