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What Scouts Are Saying

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Even though I give the appearance of following every player on every team in every game during the Spring, I am not.  Because I know I can't do that, I enjoy reading pieces by the MSM about which players scouts/anonymous baseball executives/people in the game say are making heads turn.

ESPN's Jayson Stark has a non-Insider Rumblings & Grumblings column up, and it didn't disappoint.  (And how could it when it is available to everyone again?  When a portion of it was behind the Insider wall, I was very disappointed.)

We've been asking scouts this spring to pick players they think might be ready to explode to a whole new level. Among the names they've tossed out there: Erik Bedard, Adam Loewen, Brian McCann, Dan Haren, Jamie Shields, Ian Snell, Cole Hamels, Felix Hernandez, Matt Cain, Howie Kendrick, Brad Hawpe, Garrett Atkins. ... "

By now many of those shouldn't be surprises.  The one name that does surprise me is Devil Rays starter James "Don't Call Me Jamie Anymore.  I'm a Big Leaguer Now" Shields.  He wasn't horrible last season - 4.88 ERA and 1.44 WHIP, but he is a Devil Ray and is subjected to the rampent discrimation fantasy players exhibit towards starting pitchers on losing teams with mediocre ratios.  With 104 Ks in 121.1 nnings, there does appear to be a glimmer of hope.  And BP's Kevin Goldstein did predict almost 80 Ws for the DRays this season.  That couldn't happen without a good year from Shields.