Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Prospects Fighting For a Roster Spot

Nice article over at MiLB.com (link here), highlighting a couple prospects still battling for a roster spot.

Archie Bradley (Arizona, #5 Starter Spot)

It looks like Archie is bound for the bigs due to Patrick Corbin's injury.  I'm going against the grain and saying this guy is not the top pitching prospect in baseball.  This is a classic case of over hype and I'd bet it's due to the deceiving sub-2.00 ERA last year.  Archie's FIP was a much more modest 3.33 in AA last year, his K:BB was only 2:1 (walked 4.3 per 9 IP, K'd less than 9 per 9 IP), and in 2012, he walked 5.6 per 9 IP.  Has he gained control?  Well, so far this Spring, he's walked 6 and hit a batter in 8.1 IP.  Someone please tell me why no one ever mentions this.  Every now and then, hyped prospects just give me a bad feeling.  I had it last year with Taijuan Walker and Archie is my goat for 2014.

Jonathan Schoop (Baltimore, 2B)


Schoop is going to win this battle over Jemile Weeks, but it doesn't really matter.  Schoop is a mediocre second baseman with little pop.  No big deal in the Bowman Chrome prospecting world.
UPDATE 3/25: Orioles landed Steve Lombardozzi, which should send Schoop down to minors for more seasoning. 

Jackie Bradley, Jr. (Boston, CF)


I have to disagree with their prediction on this one that JBJ wins the Center Field job.  I think it's Grady Sizemore's, the former All Star and two time Gold Glover.  He looks great this Spring and no one ever questioned his skills when he's healthy.  Now he's healthy, so why not take a chance?
UPDATE 3/25: Boston manager John Farrell says team will not roster both Sizemore and Bradley. Great position battle continues... 

Wilmer Flores (Mets, SS)


I mentioned Flores' thrust into the mix in New York here and unfortunately I have to agree with MiLB on this one, and say he doesn't get the job.  MiLB claims it's Ruben Tejada's, but it could also be Omar Quintanilla.  Either way, I'd prefer Flores.  In his SS debut yesterday in Spring, he may have proven skeptics wrongs with a nice play to his right in the hole, where he gunned down the runner at first... but he also muffed a tailor made double play due to poor footwork.  It was awkward looking.
UPDATE 3/24: Flores was sent back to the minors.

Jake Odorizzi (Rays, #5 Starter Spot)


With Hellickson out, Odorizzi is the clear favorite over Erik Bedard to round out Tampa Bay's rotation.
UPDATE 3/23: Odorizzi made the MLB rotation. 

Javier Baez (Cubs, 2B)


Yes, another Baez post.  Sorry guys.  But you can't ignore it when the Cubbies trotted him out at second base this week.  It's pretty obvious the Cubs are smart enough to do whatever it takes to get the best hitting prospect into their lineup.  I predict he breaks with the club, as he has proven he is even more ready than the Cubs had anticipated at the start of Spring.
UPDATE 3/22: Baez was sent back down to minors.

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