Baseball

#22 yet another ace in DC

How could I not write about Lucas Giolito finally getting called up? Granted it’s probably going to be a short lived call up because he’s mainly up because of the Stephan Strasburg injury. Now before I get into it I have to say that I will be taking Thursday off but I promise I’ll be back next Tuesday.

The number 1 prospect in baseball just happens to be a National and just happens to be facing the Mets tonight. Lucas Giolito is the number 1 prospect in baseball for good reason, at 6’6″ 255 pounds he’s a tall drink of water out there. He’s debut tonight is being talked about in a wide circle so I assume people already know about it by now. So I’ll just give my two cents I’ll try not to ramble on. Lucas Giolito could be an even better version of Noah Syndergaard, has an elite fastball (80/80 on the 20-80 scale) like Syndergaard but Giolito has a way better curveball. Giolito even has a plus change up Syndergaard doesn’t really possess a change up. Upper 90’s with a great curveball who does that remind you of? That’s right Stephen Strasburg. Now over the years Stras has taken a couple mph off his fastball to improve his change up. Now Strasburg has 3 elite pitches so can we expect the same from Giolito? We’ll see but I should mention Strasburg has better control at this point in his career. So can we expect a 14 strikeout Strasburg type debut from Giolito? It’s possible but I see him going 6 innings striking out 8 while walking 3.

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Baseball

#21 the NL east

Today I just want to write about the Mets and the stupid people who picked them to win the east. In case you didn’t know I am a Nats fan so I’m a little biased, I admit it.

It goes without saying that I didn’t think the Mets were going to win the NL east. I’ve been right about the majority of the Met players except Matt Harvey’s slow start, he looks like he’s turned around the last couple weeks though. Jacob DeGrom just has a nice fastball I knew eventually the league was going to figure how to beat him, I saw his struggles coming from a mile away. You don’t just come through a system as shortstop then switch to pitcher and all of a sudden you’re a top 10 pitcher in the majors that’s not how it works. The league will adjust to you and figure you out I wouldn’t say DeGrom was getting “lucky” for his first year and a half but it was like they didn’t have a legitimate book on him yet. The good ones can adjust back and that’s yet to be seen from DeGrom. Noah Syndergaard is the polar opposite of DeGrom, he’s a big guy and was a top prospect that just looks like a major league pitcher. What I like about Syndergaard, again the opposite of DeGrom, is that he made an adjustment before the batters did. Well not really an adjustment but he added a little slider/cutter to keep people off his 99 mph fastball. And now he’s probably injured and heading for Tommy John surgery, not surprised. The Nationals fell apart during the last couple months of the season last year and the Mets took advantage, I already forgot about it. I know they have Yoeninis Cespedes again this year but I don’t see them climbing back any time soon. They got swept by the Braves…

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Baseball

#20 Chicago has a new backstop

First and foremost I’m sorry I didn’t post on Thursday I decided to take a last minute road trip to see my brother play ball. Today I want to write about the new catcher for the Cubs, Willson Contreras. He’s an intriguing prospect and I know a lot of Cub fans so I planned on writing about him when he finally got the call anyway.

If you watched Sunday night baseball on ESPN then you saw the standing ovation Willson Contreras got going to the plate for his first career at bat. I personally was wondering why they were cheering so loud for a 50th ranked prospect, he’s not a Kris Bryant or anything, but I didn’t care too much. And after the applause ended first pitch homer. You can’t dream it up any better than that. I mean just wow. Anyway I found out that Contreras is now the “starter”. It’s in quotations because it’s still the Cubs and Joe Maddon so him being the starter means he’ll maybe catch 3 or 4 times a week. He just turned 24 so he’s still young and considered the catcher of the future I thought Schwarber was still trying to be the future catcher but if this kid can prove he can handle the pitching staff then Schwarber is SOL. Contreras is a converted infielder so he’s just average defensively but that’s actually a tick better than Schwarber. The power is the key tool for Schwarber while hitting for average is where Willson Contreras will shine. He hit .333 in AA in 2015 then he hit .350 in AAA before his call up. Just imagine next year the catching combo of Willson Contreras and Kyle Schwarber. Need I say more?

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Baseball

#19 MLB draft

As promised this post will be my review of the MLB draft. I’m exited about this because talking about prospects is right up my alley. So I’ll just talk about some of the kids that caught my eye during the draft.

You can’t write about the draft and not mention the first overall pick. The Philadelphia Phillies took a high school outfielder from California, Mickey Moniak. Moniak, 18, is a really good looking kid, right now he can spray line drives all over the field and at 6’2″ 190 he has some room to grow so those line drives could eventually turn into homers. He wasn’t taken number 1 overall just because he has a nice swing he also possesses above average speed which could keep him in center field for the long term. If I had to throw a player comp out there right now it’d probably be Christian Yelich. I personally don’t believe Mickey Moniak was the best player out there but put yourself in the Phillies shoes, you have the first pick in the country you have to at least get an all star out of it, Moniak was the safe pick in my opinion.

Now my favorite prospect throughout the draft was easily Mercer outfielder Kyle Lewis. The Seattle Mariners got an absolute steal by getting the 20 year old Lewis at number 11. At 6’4″ 195 Lewis has easy power to all fields, not just a power hitter he has an above average hit tool as well. Now I wouldn’t call him slow at all but the scouts have him listed as an average runner (that’s what they said about Carlos Correa too) he looks like an above average runner to me. Some scouts say he can stay in center but if he can’t switch him to a corner where his bat plays better. Now for his player comp I have to take you back a couple years, Kyle Lewis reminds me of a young Andruw Jones.

Onto the interesting case of Delvin Perez. The Puerto Rican shortstop stands 6’3″ and was considered a top 10 prospect pre draft and could even go number 1. Days before the draft he failed a drug test. What kind of 17 year old tests positive for steroids? Well it really hurt him, he went from a potential number 1 overall to falling all the way down to number 23. The St. Louis Cardinals felt like at 23 Perez was a risk worth taking. Don’t really have a comp for him because I didn’t pay too much attention to him. His bat isn’t much to brag about but he has the arm, glove, and speed to stay at shortstop but he’s a wildcard.

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Baseball

#18 the Philadelphia Phillies are on the clock

The title is pretty self explanatory but for those that don’t know, the MLB first year player draft is tonight and Philadelphia has the first pick. Now I plan on writing in depth about the draft on Tuesday so today will just be a quick look at the draft. Who I think we’ll be number one and stuff. And just to make sure I get a full post I’ll mention a couple of stories going around the majors.

The Philadelphia Phillies have the first pick and in my opinion they already have a pretty good farm system. So I doubt they’re legitimately hunting down the first pick saying “if we don’t get this kid our future is shot.” Now in my opinion I think they’ll take the college OF Kyle Lewis from Mercer. I had no idea where Mercer was but apparently it’s a small college in Georgia. Not really a big baseball school but that’s the beauty of baseball, it doesn’t matter if you’re D1 or D2 or some random high school, if you can play you can play period. I’ll talk more about Lewis on Tuesday.

The Nationals have scored 10+ runs in the last 3 games. Surprisingly Bryce Harper 7 hits in those 3 games. Did I say surprisingly? I meant to say no duh. It’s pretty obvious that when Bryce Harper hits the Nats could score a boat load of runs. It’s no surprise that Harper is struggling as of late and its mainly because his chasing pitches outside of the zone because he doesn’t know how many pitches he’ll actually see that game. So trust me when Bryce Harper figures it out (when not if) the Nats are going to be a powerhouse offense.

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#17 prospect time

About an hour before I’m about to write I jump on Twitter to find that two big prospects are getting the call to the majors. I was all set to write about a subject (I might save it for my next post) then I find out both Jameson Taillon (Pirates) and Albert Almora (Cubs) are getting the call. So, of course, I have to talk about them.

Six years after being the second overall pick in the 2010 draft, Jameson Taillon is finally set to make his MLB debut. If you’re thinking the 2010 draft sounds familiar, there’s a reason for that. The number one pick in 2010 was Bryce Harper and then the number three pick was Manny Machado. Both are clearly superstars and sandwiched between them was the 6’6″ 240 lb right hander, Jameson Taillon. That in itself should speak to his talent and potential, the 24 year old was slowed by injuries or he would’ve been here a lot sooner. 3 years ago he was already in AAA but then he had Tommy John surgery and that’s a year off at least so there goes him making it in ’13-’14. During his comeback last year he has to have hernia surgery so there goes 2015 as well. He’s finally healthy again and ready to contribute to the major league team. He sits in the mid 90’s and has a sharp breaking ball, can strikeout a bunch, doesn’t walk many, looks like an ace at the front of the rotation for years to come. My prediction for his first start tomorrow against the Mets is 5 innings gives up 2 runs walks 1 and strikes out 5.

Because Jorge Soler was running the bases yesterday and he pulled up grabbing his hamstring, the Cubs assume he’s injured so they are calling up Albert Almora. Unless Soler ate a banana this morning and all of a sudden his hamstring was just cramping up yesterday Almora will probably get the call. Unfortunately Almora is more of a center fielder not really a corner outfielder like Soler that’s why I’m not excited as I would be if he was coming up to replace Fowler. But hey Joe Maddon is nuts so he might plan on moving Fowler over to let Almora play center. Almora has gold glove potential in center so I personally think he should play center. I think now is the time to trade Dexter Fowler, they re-signed him because Almora just started hitting to his potential in AA last year. They wanted Almora to have a few months in AAA to make sure he can really hit before calling him up, they didn’t plan on signing Fowler but no one signed him so the Cubs signed him to a one year deal to bridge the gap to Almora. Almora is here Fowler is hot so trade him while you can.

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Baseball

#16 who’s playing second in Chicago?

First off I have to apologize for not writing on Tuesday I didn’t feel 100%. Today I want to talk about the Cubs new second baseman, Ben Zobrist. I don’t think it was a great signing for the Cubs but I’ll admit he’s playing good right now.

As of right now he’s hitting .339 with 7 homers and 35 rbis. Those of course are very good numbers for a second baseman like Zobrist. Right now he’s also the starting second baseman for the NL all star team this year now I don’t know why he’s getting more votes than the .400 hitter in DC (Daniel Murphy) but it doesn’t matter they’ll both probably make the all star team. Now I’m sure Cubs fans won’t appreciate me bagging on one of their better players right now that’s why I started by saying how he’s playing good. He’s over-performing by a lot. The power is just a little over what he usually does on average I believe he hits somewhere between 15-20 homers per season. Now he’s average is way up from the usual I honestly don’t think he’s ever even hit over .300 in a season, I don’t know that for sure haven’t looked up his career numbers just basing it off what I’ve seen in the past. Let me say this he’s an all star, I love Ben Zobrist he’s just average across the board nothing too special but when you can do every single thing at an average level that makes you a very good player. He’s not going to to win a MVP or a gold glove but he’s going to nickel and dime the opposition all day and give you a good at bat every time he’s up there.

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