Posts Tagged 'baseball'

Rangers Top 2008 Draft According To Baseball America

The Rangers had the best draft in baseball according to a note sent to me by my man Jamey Newberg from his newbergreport.com:

A year after Baseball America tabbed the Rangers’ deep 2007 draft class as the second best in baseball, the publication has just published an article anointing Texas as having had the number one draft in baseball in 2008, ahead of the Royals, Giants, Twins, and Red Sox.   

First baseman Justin Smoak was named the number two power hitter in the draft (behind only Pittsburgh ’s Pedro Alvarez).  Righthander Joe Wieland, the club’s fourth-round pick, was recognized as having the fourth-best pro debut of any high school player drafted in 2008, trailing three players who went in the first round. 

BA will review the Rangers’ draft in detail on Monday. 

Jamey

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I’ll Take The Phillies

I think Philadelphia will win the World Series over Tampa Bay.

I have a rooting interest.  I got to know Charlie Manuel when he was the hitting coach for the Cleveland Indians.  He used to wonder if he would ever get his chance to manage because he was an older guy.

He did well with the Indians as a skipper and now he has taken Philly to the World Series. 

Charlie’s mom past away recently so I know a win would mean so much to him personally.

Is The Red Sox Roster Too White?

I didn’t say, but Ken Rosenthal of foxsports.com writes it.

He wonders if only having one black player in the current Boston roster will hurt them in free agency.

Red Sox fans will not like this column.

Cubs Choke….Right On Time

Come on!   Did you really think the Chicago Cubs would not break their fans hearts…again.

I love the comments on this Cubs message board

The Dodgers swept the Cubs in three games.  The Cubs didn’t pitch well, they had not timely hitting and they are going home.

Bottom line the team with the best record in the National League choked.  Dan McGrath had to write it and say it too.

Why Mark Cuban wants to own two franchises that are known to break their fans hearts is beyond me.

Jen Engel Loves Up Tom Hicks

Jennifer Engel of the Star-Telegram loves up Rangers owner Tom Hicks waaay too much.

She says I’m Cowboys safety Roy Williams publicist…so it’s all good.

BUT…..today’s she was loving up Tom instead of calling him out for being a dreadful baseball owner who hasn’t gotten much right since firing Doug Melvin, who’s Milwaukee Brewers made the playoffs.

Hicks told her while discussing the dreadful John Danks for Brandon McCarthy deal with the White Sox, “We have made some mistakes and that was clearly the biggest one we made,” Hicks said Wednesday during his postseason postmortem with me.

“That wasn’t just JD. Our staff made the judgment that Danks was two years away, and they were absolutely wrong. The comforting thing for me now is we have a new leader, and if Nolan had been there, we never would have done [the Danks deal]. And we will never trade a No. 1 pick, a left-handed pitcher again.”

Whatever.  I just have zero faith in that organization.  None.  It’s a shame because I think they could have something good if Hicks would spend some cash.

Rangers Season Wrap Up

I went to the Ballpark for the Rangers season wrap with GM Jon Daniels and manager Ron  Washington, two guys most in the media thought would not be back.

Wash spent a lot of the presser saying, “I agree with Jon”.

Daniels danced around a lot of things, like who the pitching coach will be, why attendance in Arlington tok a nosedive, and what he will do with his four catchers.  He did admit pitching is the top priority.

Daniels also confirmed what team president Nolan Ryan comments that they will not be in the mix for free agent pitchers C.C. Sabathia or Ben Sheets.

Wash and JD feel like they have a plan and want to keep going forward. 

Will 2009 be the year the Rangers breakthrough?  Daniels danced around that topic as well.

The Texas Rangers Top 20 Prospects

The Texas Rangers have one deep farm system.  So who are there best prospects?   Jamey Newberg tells us:

This week’s Top 20:

1. NEFTALI FELIZ, RHP, AA Frisco (number 1 last week) The 20-year-old finished the regular season with a 10-6, 2.69 mark in 17 Clinton starts and 10 Frisco starts, limiting opponents to a .201 batting average, striking out nearly 11 batters per nine innings — the best starting pitcher rate in all of the minors — inducing more groundouts than flyouts, and surrendering only three home runs all season. He’s going to be on every publication’s list of the top prospects in baseball this off-season . 

2. DEREK HOLLAND, LHP, AA Frisco (2) . . . As will Holland, whose explosion onto the scene may have been as stunning as that of any pitching prospect in the game. His three-level record in his first full season was 13-1, 2.27 — not counting his two-hit, one-run victory in 7.1 innings in last night’s Texas League playoff opener — with more strikeouts than innings pitched, just over two walks per nine innings, three home runs allowed, and a .209 opponents’ average. He was more dominant in Class AA than at his two Class A stops, and he’s only 21. Exciting. 

3. ELVIS ANDRUS, SS, AA Frisco (3) Andrus broke a finger late in May and missed two weeks of action. At that point, he was a .268/.322/.316 hitter. After returning, he went on to hit .312/.367/.401. And he was a teenager until last week. He may not profile as a leadoff hitter, but he has terrific bat control, bunts well, and stole 54 bases in 70 tries this season. Defensively advanced, he could be ready for Arlington sometime in 2009. 

4. MICHAEL MAIN, RHP, Low A Clinton (4) In 13 starts over what amounted to half a season (due to a ribcage issue that cost him the first half), Main never gave up more than three earned runs. The ceiling is high, and there’s no reason the 19-year-old can’t rocket to the top of this list in 2009. 

5. JUSTIN SMOAK, 1B, Clinton (7) The 2008 first-rounder finished with a .304 average and .873 OPS in his 14-game debut and heads into the Midwest League playoffs as one of Clinton’s hottest hitters. Six of his 17 hits went for extra bases. 

6. MAX RAMIREZ, C, AAA Oklahoma (6) His future in this organization is less clear than it might otherwise be because there are crowds at catcher, first base, and possibly DH over the next few years, but Ramirez (.347/.439/.628 in 285 minor league at-bats this season) is an offensive machine. Texas will either make room for him or have a tremendous trade chip in the 23-year-old. 

7. BLAKE BEAVAN, RHP, Low A Clinton (8)

The 19-year-old’s strikeout rate stands to increase as he develops (he was at his best in that respect in the final month of the season), but even if it doesn’t, he still sported a 3.5:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in his debut season, issuing only 20 free passes in 121.2 innings. Great year for the big righthander, who finished the regular season with a 10-6, 2.37 record in 23 starts. Beavan took the loss in last night’s playoff opener but threw a quality start, yielding three runs (two earned) over 6.1 innings.

8. JULIO BORBON, CF, AA Frisco (10) While the decision to give Borbon a major league contract out of college has taken up a spot on the 40-man roster, options aren’t going to be a problem for the 22-year-old. He used the first of four in 2008, and probably won’t exhaust all three that remain. The fleet center fielder was even better in AA than he was in High A, finishing the regular season with a collective .322/.363/.427 line and nearly as many stolen bases (53) as strikeouts (62). 

9. KASEY KIKER, LHP, High A Bakersfield (9) As a result of an organizational effort to keep Kiker’s workload in check, he didn’t exceed five innings in any of his final eight appearances. The 5-5, 4.73 record doesn’t leap off the page, but Kiker struck out three times as many Cal Leaguers as he walked, and had one eight-appearance run late in the year in which he posted a 2.39 ERA. 

The rest are right here.