Results tagged ‘ Jonathan Singleton ’
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)|
Today is the first day of Major League Spring Training games — we’ll have to wait longer on the Minors — so we are getting our first looks at lineups with prospects: what positions they’re playing, what slot in the order they’re hitting, etc. For example: Avisail Garcia and Nick Castellanos, two of the Tigers’ top three prospects, started in right and left field and batted eighth and ninth, respectively, on Jim Leyland’s first card of the exhibition season.
Anyway, that was enough for me to ponder this question: If you could make a lineup — one through nine, with a DH instead of a pitcher — comprising entirely prospects, what would it look like? Well, after doing some thinking, here is what I came up with:
I’m guessing this will be one of the more divisive blog posts in PROSPECTive’s brief history, so allow me in advance to explain some of my choices:
- Profar (Rangers): He is the Minors’ most dynamic player, not quite the base-stealer that the Reds’ Billy Hamilton is, but a much better hitter for both average and power. He would also play a very good shortstop.
- Yelich (Marlins): Hamilton and the Red Sox’s Jackie Bradley contended for this center field slot, but I couldn’t pass up Yelich, who might be the Minors’ most natural hitter. He also has decent power and smarts on the basepaths. I would trust the him to form a solid atop-the-order combo with Profar — they’d make for a good hit-and-run combo.
- Myers (Rays): Speaking of natural hitters, the Royal-turned-Ray might be a better fit for the lineup’s cleanup spot, but I like to alternate lefties and righties so as to stop the skipper in the other dugout from bringing in a relief specialist that would cross off back-to-back sluggers. Superficial of me, I know.
Squeezed Out … of the Infield: Are Astros, Giants, D-backs and Red Sox Bridging to/Blocking Prospects?
Editor’s note: This is the second part of a three-part offseason series, “Squeezed Out.” Part one can be read here. For more information on the players mentioned below, click on the linked, underlined text.
MLB veterans: 1B Carlos Pena (signed through 2013)
MiLB prospects: 1B Jonathan Singleton (has played AA-ball)
Bridging/Blocking: This is a clear bridging arrangement. Singleton, 21, hit 21 homers in his first Texas League season last year. He should hit for average and power in the Majors while striking out his fair share. He’ll never be as good defensively as stopgap Pena, but an NL Central exec recently told me that he thinks Singleton is an above-average defender and moves well for being a 235-pounder. He is MLB.com’s No. 25 overall prospect.
MLB veterans: 2B Marco Scutaro (signed through 2015)
MiLB prospects: 2B/SS Joe Panik (has played High-A-ball)
Bridging to/Blocking: Depending on how fast Panik moves through Double-A and Triple-A — and I think he’ll move fast — this is a blocking. Forget the fact that the Giants overpaid to keep the 37-year-old Scutaro. Panik, at 22 is very polished and is probably already as good as a defender as Scutaro. He is still playing shortstop in the Minors but will switch to second long-term with Brandon Crawford entrenched there in San Francisco. It would have been wiser to sign a veteran second baseman to a one- or two-year deal.
MLB veterans: 3B Eric Chavez (signed through 2013)
MiLB prospects: 3B Matt Davidson (has played AA-ball)
Bridging to/Blocking: A smart bridging here. The D-backs, who could also acquire young third baseman Mike Olt from the Rangers later this winter, appear set on the hot corner for the next couple seasons. The lefty-hitting Chavez and righty-hitting Chris Johnson, who was acquired last season from the Astros, will split time there until Davidson is ready to go. Davidson excelled at Double-A in 2012, hitting 23 homers, and will begin next spring at Triple-A Reno. He is MLB.com’s No. 41 overall prospect.
MLB veterans: SS Stephen Drew (signed through 2013)
MiLB prospects: SS Jose Iglesias (has played in Majors)
Bridging to/Blocking: This one can be seen two ways. If you think Iglesias can be an everyday shortstop in the Majors, you’ll see this is a clear blocking. If you’re in the Iglesias-needs-more-seasoning-at-Triple-A-camp, this is more of a simple bridging. I am not sure what to make of Iglesias, who has a great glove but suspect bat. But consider that he turns 23 on Saturday. Ostensibly, he has time to develop his swing. Drew gives him that time, so we’ll call it a bridging.
MLB veterans: SS Yunel Escobar (traded for, signed through 2015)
MiLB prospects: SS Hak-Ju Lee (has played AA-ball)
Bridging/Blocking: This is a bridging, and a shrewd one at that. Escobar, acquired from the Blue Jays, gives Tampa Bay a talented cost-effective option (he has club options in ’14 and ’15) until Lee is ready. The 22-year-old South Korean is an exceptional defender but has work to do on his swing. He is MLB.com’s No. 32 overall prospect.
MLB veterans: 3B Michael Young (traded for, signed through 2013)
MiLB prospects: 3B Cody Asche (has played AA-ball)
Bridging/Blocking: This is also a bridging arrangement, though the Phils may need another stopgap to fill the space between Young’s exit next fall and Ashce’s entrance; Asche, featured recently in Lost and Found, is at least a year — and probably two years — from the bigs.
This blog is closing in on its 40-day anniversary — big deal, I know — and I’m ready to try a new experiment. Here goes: If you’re a fan of prospects, you’re probably also a fan of the prospects-topical online chat. Baseball Prospectus does ‘em all the time. Baseball America has its way, too. And, once in a while, Fangraphs.com produces a good one with its readers as well.
So there’s no reason the MiLB.com PROSPECTive brand can’t moderate its own conversation. Here’s my pledge: Send me your prospects-related questions anytime between now, 2 p.m. ET on Saturday (Nov. 3), and 2 p.m. ET next Wednesday (Nov. 7), and I promise to fully answer each and every one of them (even if there is only one or two of them). They will appear in a wrap-up post — the very next blog post on this very page — before 6 p.m. ET next Wednesday.
There are three ways to send in your queries and a piece of identifying info (first name or hometown):
1) Simply post a comment at the bottom of this post
2) Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
3) Tweet at me on @andrewmilb
One last thing: You’re going to want to know that the “A” I provide to your “Q” carries some weight, right? I’d be disappointed if you didn’t. Well, this should put your inquisitive mind at ease: I have been covering Minor League Baseball, with a focus on prospects, since April 2011 and, in that time, have had countless conversations with players, coaches, managers, scouts, farm directors and other front office personnel. I’m also, perhaps like you, a curious and thorough reader of prospects-related news and analysis in publications and on websites beyond the one I work for.
This is the experience that will inform my A. So send along those Qs!