A Look Back at our Preseason Prospect Rankings
Prospect writer Jason Hunt is in the middle of analyzing our consensus preseason prospect rankings, and here are some links to the positions he has covered to date:
A.J. Burnett: Why the retirement talk?
On Friday morning, we learned that Pirates starter A.J. Burnett was considering retiring, saying that there was a "50-50" chance he retires. He did say if he decides to forego the retirement, he wants to stay in Pittsburgh. Later that night, Burnett went out and pitched a gem, dominating the Reds in a crucial game with wild card implications.
Burnett limited the Reds to two runs on 4 hits, 3 walks and struck out 12 to win his 9th game of the season. Burnett moved his record to 9-11, but his record does not reflect how well he has pitched this season. Burnett owns an ERA of 3.46, a 2.77 FIP, a 2.92 xFIP, a 1.23 WHIP and a 203-66 strikeout to walk rate in 183 innings. His 9.98 K/9 is a career high, and he doesn't just whiff batters. He also keeps the ball on the ground at a near 57% clip. If he stays in Pittsburgh, he should be a top 30 starter in mixed leagues in 2014, as PNC Park was the best pitchers park in baseball this season.
I was surprised with the retirement news on Friday, especially since he is having his best season ever.
For more on Burnett and the Pirates, make sure you check out Bucs Dugout, SB Nation's Pirates fan site.
Oswaldo Arcia drives in six runs
There is no question the Twins are in rebuilding mode, and their future is bright with two of the best prospects in the game, Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano, on their minor league rosters. One of their current big leaguers, Oswaldo Arcia, is also part of the Twins rebuilding effort, except he has arrived a year or so before the next set of prospects begin calling Target Field home.
Yesterday, Arcia went 3-4 with a HR and 6 RBI in the Twins 11-7 loss to the A's. Arcia raised his triple slash line to .254-.308-.436 with 14 HRs, 34 runs, 43 RBI and a 111-23 strikeout to walk rate in 346 at bats. Arcia showed much better plate discipline in the minors, so I see the 30% strikeout rate dropping as he becomes more comfortable at the big league level.
Heading into next season, I see him improving the triple slash line, as he is a better hitter than he has shown, with 20 home run potential, and playing every day.
For more on Arcia and the Twins, check out Twinkie Town, SB Nation's Twins fan site.
Charlie Blackmon: Rockies starting outfielder in 2014?
Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon has been making the most of his increased playing time due to season ending injuries to Carlos Gonzalez and Dexter Fowler. On Sunday, Blackmon went 3-6 with a run and an RBI in the Rockies loss to the DBacks. Fowler has been the subject of trade rumors this season and last offseason, so Blackmon could see plenty more at bats in Colorado in 2014, especially due to the fact that he can play all three outfield positions and can lead off. He is now hitting .311-.335-.471 with 5 HRs, 17 doubles, 2 triples, 31 runs, 20 RBI and 6 stolen bases in 225 at bats this season. His 45-5 strikeout to walk rate certainly needs improvement if the Rockies plan to bat him in the leadoff spot.
Blackmon has hit better than his overall season stats indicate. Here is a look at his August and September stats, which represent the majority of his at bats this season:
August: .316-.350-.500, 3 HRs, 13 runs, 8 RBI
September: .356-.371-.525, 2 HRs, 12 runs, 8 RBI
It will be interesting to see if the Rockies shake up their roster a bit this offseason.
For more on Blackmon and the Rockies, make sure you check out Purple Row, SB Nation's Rockies fan site.
Within the past few weeks, once the Diamondbacks fate in the NL West was just a matter of the Dodgers winning a few more games, we heard from DBacks GM Kevin Towers. Towers stated that the team would be in the market for a power bat in the offseason. Well, maybe they should look internally, specifically at third base prospect Matt Davidson. On Sunday, Davidson went 2-4 with a double, HR and 4 RBI in the DBacks 13-9 slugfest win over the Rockies. The performance raised his slash line to .250-.357-.467 with 3 HRs, 7 runs, 11 RBI and a solid 17-9 strikeout to walk rate in 60 at bats since his call up.
Another young Diamondback could see more playing time in Arizona in 2014. I am talking about shortstop Chris Owings. Owings was the Pacific Coast League MVP this season, and he is currently attempting to show the Diamondbacks front office that he can be an every day shortstop in 2014. On Sunday, Owings went 2-5 with 2 doubles, 2 runs and 2 RBI, raising his slash line to .316-.409-.395 with 4 runs, 5 RBI, 2 stolen bases and a solid 7-6 strikeout to walk rate in his 38 cup of coffee at bats thus far. He will have to impress in spring training to push current favorite Didi Gregorius out of the starting shortstop job in 2014, but Owings has the better bat between the two, and can stick at shortstop as well.
Tigers DH Victor Martinez struggled mightily at the plate to start the season, but as he usually does, he end the season hitting in the .300 range. Martinez began the year hitting just .221 in April, .235 in May and .240 in June, but caught fire in the last three months. Here are his triple slash lines for the last three months:
July: .390-.429-.581, 3 HRs, 20 RBI
August: .386-.449-.491, 2 HRs, 13 RBI
September: .338-.392-.493, 2 HRs, 7 RBI
For the season, he is hitting his normal .303-.357-.428 with 13 HRs, 67 runs, and 81 RBI. He loses catcher eligibility next season, so plan accordingly this offseason.
The Brewers have two second baseman for one position heading into the 2014 season: Rickie Weeks and Scooter Gennett. Gennett seems to be the better hitter of the two, judging by his performance since his call up, while Weeks has the better power bat and more experience. Gennett went 2-4 with a double, a run and an RBI in the Brewers win over the Cardinals on Sunday night baseball. Gennett is now hitting .323-.358-.497 with 6 HRs, 26 runs, 19 RBI and 2 stolen bases in 189 at bats this season.
Brew Crew Ball interviewed ESPN's Buster Olney before last night's game, and he indicated the Brewers could cut ties with Weeks this offseason and make him available in a deal.
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- Two-Start Pitchers: Week 25 (Sept. 23-29)
- Roto Roundup: Clayton Kershaw, Yoenis Cespedes, Desmond Jennings and others
- Roto Roundup: Billy Hamilton, Hanley Ramirez, Jordan Zimmerman and others
- Fake Teams Podcast Episode 32: It's My Process
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- EPL Week 5: Midfielders and Forwards
- MLB Prospect Rankings Review: A Look Back At Our Preseason Consensus Outfield Rankings