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Welcome to Toronto, Aaron Hill. Syracuse's loss is our gain. Speaking of which, Syracuse and Dunedin lost games late yesterday, while the Fisher Cats behind Shaun Marcum cruised to victory.

Syracuse 5 Toledo 6

It was a tough game for the Sky Chiefs to lose. The Chiefs fell behind 4-1, with the Mud Hens big hit being a 2 run 2 out bases loaded double, following a dropped foul pop-up (replayed several times in all its gory detail on Toledo internet television) by Julius Matos. The Chiefs rallied for 4 runs in the 7th on a 2 run homer by Bryant Nelson and a 2 run double by Chad Mottola to take a 5-4 lead, but the Mud Hens responded with 2 runs off Jesse Carlson and Spike Lundberg in the bottom of the inning to send the Chiefs to defeat. Aaron Hill also homered, and took a ball to the body for the team. Josue Matos started and went 4 innings, allowing 2 unearned runs on 6 hits and 0 walks with 4 strikeouts.

Syracuse Post-Standard game story

New Hampshire 6 Trenton 2

Shaun Marcum threw 6 innings of 1-hit ball to move to 6-1 on the season with a 2.42 ERA, as the Fisher Cats coasted to victory over the Thunder. The Cats have begun to muscle up, with the power yesterday being supplied by Mikael Jova and Erik Kratz, each of whom belted "un circuit". Jova's 3 run 1st inning homer was the key blow of the game. Marcum gave up a run on a solo homer and 2 walks, while striking out 6. Steve Andrade and Lee Gronkiewicz finished the game capably.

New Hampshire Union Leader story on Zaun's rehab assignment

Dunedin 1 St. Lucie 4

It was a pitcher's duel through 6 innings as the D-Jays behind Casey Janssen and the SL-Mets behind Chuck Smith were tied at 1, but the Mets rallied for a run in the seventh and two in the eighth off Justin James for the victory. Janssen allowed 1 earned run on 7 hits and 1 walk with 3 strikeouts. Adam Lind and John Hattig had 2 hits each for the D-Jays, who could manage only 1 extra-base hit, a double by Clint Johnson. The D-Jays also hit into 3 double plays. Met prospect young Lastings Milledge had an interesting day- he went 2-4, was picked off by Janssen, thrown out trying to steal by Robinson Diaz and in turn threw out Hattig at the plate.

Lansing@Southwest Michigan,ppd.,rain

3-star selection

3rd star-Chad Mottola, 3 hits for 'Cuse
2nd star-Mikael Jova, the big hit for the Cats
1st star-Shaun Marcum quieted the Thunder

The very thing that makes you rich | 29 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mick Doherty - Friday, May 20 2005 @ 10:10 AM EDT (#117182) #
Your daily check from the Toledo Blade:
Hens answer Chiefs' rally with their own
Mike Green - Friday, May 20 2005 @ 11:17 AM EDT (#117189) #
The 2nd half of the title to the song is "...makes me poor". I know the song from a fine Ry Cooder record of the late 1970s, Bop til you drop.

Anyways, there are obvious adjustments that will have to take place in Syracuse with Hill's departure. Losing your shortstop and sometime #3 hitter is never easy. The situation is made more difficult by the Sky Chiefs' lack of success in recent years; Syracuse fans and ownership are not at their most patient right now.
Jonny German - Friday, May 20 2005 @ 11:30 AM EDT (#117194) #
It might not be so bad - Alfaro can play shortstop, and Hattig will be back shortly to take over at third.
Mike Green - Friday, May 20 2005 @ 11:33 AM EDT (#117195) #
It's true. I don't know about Alfaro's defence at shortstop. He might be stretched there.
Lugnut Fan - Friday, May 20 2005 @ 12:51 PM EDT (#117205) #
Alfaro should be able to handle short. He handled those duties on his tour through the Midwest League and was even an all star that year. He has a very strong arm. I remember watching him in a rain delay one time taking a bag full of balls, standing at the back stop, crow hopping and seeing how many he could throw over the wall. Made no sense at the time, but his arm used to be very strong.
Marc Hulet - Friday, May 20 2005 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#117211) #
Alfaro is actually more on a natural shortstop than a third baseman.
Stellers Jay - Friday, May 20 2005 @ 03:29 PM EDT (#117247) #
BA is doing a draft chat right now and they have 1st round projections up for subscribers. They have the top 5 going Upton, Gordon, Tulowitzki, Zimmerman, Maybin. I'm not a subscriber so I don't know who they have the Jays picking in the 6th hole.
kpataky - Friday, May 20 2005 @ 03:29 PM EDT (#117248) #
Danny Solano should be ready to come off the DL and play short.
kpataky - Friday, May 20 2005 @ 03:31 PM EDT (#117249) #
Jays PROJECTED PICK: Ricky Romero.
kpataky - Friday, May 20 2005 @ 03:33 PM EDT (#117250) #
Romero is a left handed starting pitcher from Cal State Fullerton.
HippyGilmore - Friday, May 20 2005 @ 03:39 PM EDT (#117252) #
If that comes true, then we know that when J.P. addresses a shortcoming (i.e. left handed pitching), he addresses the hell out of it.
kpataky - Friday, May 20 2005 @ 03:46 PM EDT (#117253) #
always grab the best available player on the board - if its left handed pitching, hell you can deal from strenth
Mike Green - Friday, May 20 2005 @ 04:02 PM EDT (#117256) #
It's not quite that. I haven't read anywhere that anyone considers Romero the best pitcher available this year, but perhaps the home team does. Assumptions (that may prove to be correct) are being made about signability.

R Billie - Friday, May 20 2005 @ 04:16 PM EDT (#117261) #
Hochever and Pelfrey (who should both be available when the Jays pick) are generally considered the best college pitchers available. The difference being they throw with their right hand instead of their left which should never be a consideration for choosing starting pitchers. I would hope that if they choose Romero over these guys that it's because of perceived talent and/or signability issues and not just because he's a lefty.

Craig Hansen is also considered a potential high pick as a reliever who could make a very fast impact in the big leagues. Though I would hesitate to choose a reliever that high if this is a guy who is dominant (e.g. Ryan Wagner or Chad Cordero) then maybe you consider it. I'd rather choose Romero though and get the potential starter.

I think the Jays have their eye on every hitter projected to go ahead of them except Maybin. If any of them fall that may be their pick.
Pistol - Friday, May 20 2005 @ 04:18 PM EDT (#117262) #
Romero rated quite high in Craig's adjusted stats last year and has pitched better this year. I think it's very possible that the Jays simply prefer Romero to any other pitchers, although that certainly isn't the majority opinion (which has him behind Hochevar & Pelfrey).
Jordan - Friday, May 20 2005 @ 04:29 PM EDT (#117264) #
JP's been saying that no matter who they pick, it's going to be someone who can help them very soon. Unless they draft a Ryan Wagner or Chad Cordero type who can be in the big-league bullpen by next September, I have to think it's going to be a hitter.
Mike Green - Friday, May 20 2005 @ 04:39 PM EDT (#117265) #
Maybe. Clemens had 18 minor league starts, Zito 23 and Mulder 24. Romero is perceived to be a finished pitcher, and it may very well be that the Jays believe that he is of Zito/Mulder quality.
Pistol - Friday, May 20 2005 @ 04:39 PM EDT (#117266) #
I imagine that Townsend would be someone that would help the Jays soon (relative to others in the draft). If the Jays took him it wouldn't shock me if the schedule was to see him head straight to Dunedin this year, split between AA & AAA in 2006 and be in Toronto by 2007.
mathesond - Friday, May 20 2005 @ 04:56 PM EDT (#117268) #
I would be interested in finding out Craig's opinion on Miami 3B Ryan Braun - does he think Braun is worthy of the 6th overall pick, and is he a player that can help the big league squad fairly soon. I was about add, any chance he falls to the Jays in round 2, but they have no second-round pick this year, I don't think.

Baseball Analysts have a 2-person discussion on the run-up to the CWS, with several top picks for both this and next year's drafts. Ricky Romero is mentioned as a player Toronto has been following for some time.
Stellers Jay - Friday, May 20 2005 @ 04:56 PM EDT (#117269) #
BA has been down on Townsend in the last week or so. He had a work out in front of scouts recently where his velocity was down in the mid 80's. He hasn't pitched competitively in a year. He sounds like a bit of a stretch at 6. If the Jays do go for pitching, I hope they take Romero and get him signed and started early, which would be much preferable to playing games with Boras for 6 months on Pelfrey or Hochevar.

Right now it looks like the Jays are going to have their pick of the first pitcher they want in the draft. The wildcard is KC, because if they go cheap at #2, one of the premium hitters will slide in to JP's hands.

How much better is Weaver than Romero, Pelfrey, or Hochevar? If Weaver doesn't sign, does he even cross the minds of the JP and his executive team in the 6 hole?
mendocino - Friday, May 20 2005 @ 05:02 PM EDT (#117270) # article on available pitchers (sorry don't know how to shorten link)

thing to remember hochevar, pelfrey & hanson are boras clients.
Chris H - Saturday, May 21 2005 @ 08:56 PM EDT (#117363) #
BA seems to think the Jays are focused on Upton, Gordon, Tulowitzki, Zimmerman, Romero and Townsend. Gammons, over a month ago, had mentioned Romero going to the Jays. And, either the Sun or Star mentioned JP scouting Romero and Tulowitzki in a game...BA has Romero ranked around the 16th best college player.

Curious if JP is being coy again and we will be surprised by his pick. I am also fond of picking Randy Braun. Curious where his numbers line up with the likes of Tulowitzki, Zimmerman, Clement...(based on park factors, strenght of schedule, etc...).
Tom L - Saturday, May 21 2005 @ 09:18 PM EDT (#117366) #
I found an interesting tidbit in today's Globe. Jeff Blair mentioned that JP has some interest in Steven Drew, depending on signability issues. He mentioned that JP is insterested due to the fact that he beleives that Drew could be fast tracked to the big leagues. This is the first I have heard of any interest in Drew on the Jays part. Draft day should be pretty interesting.
Craig B - Saturday, May 21 2005 @ 10:05 PM EDT (#117370) #
Drew is definitely a fit with J.P.'s strategy in the past for first-rounders, which as you say is to get them to the bigs quick. He loves guys who can be promoted aggressively - like Adams and Hill.

Drew may be the position player in this draft who is closest to the majors (there's a pitcher or two who's closer). He's an infielder with a real good stick for average and power, played at a very high level, and is playing really well right now.

Drew is currently hitting .386/.435/.684 playing shortstop for the Camden Riversharks in the Atlantic League, which when you do the math is basically a big-league stat line for a shortstop. I wouldn't say he's ready right now, but a team signing Drew this summer would probably find him blowing through high-A in about four weeks, and maybe sniffing AAA by the time the minor league season ends. The best way I have to put this is that his former teammate, Eddy Martinez-Esteve (who didn't hit quite as well as Drew while at Florida State) burned through the four lowest levels last year in about seven weeks and is currently murdering high-A pitching in San Jose, to the point where I wonder why the Giants aren't promoting him unless he's much more of an OF butcher than I have heard.

I'm not a raving fanatic of a Stephen Drew fan because all through his career it's been questioned whether he has the stuff to stay at shortstop and those are being ignored now - I don't know why.

But he can hit. I think he's noticeably ahead of Russ Adams and Aaron Hill as hitters at comparable times - so I don't think defense needs to be an issue. Even if you think he'll be a rightfielder, Drew's worth a high pick and a big bonus. The question is, how big the bonus? If he still wants a major league deal and $7,000,000 (which was what he asked from the Diamondbacks) then I'm inclined to forget it, you're going to get a better value (if maybe not a better player?) with slot money picking at #6.

While I'm on the subject of the draft, I wanted to pass along a piece of idiotic hyperbole that illustrates why we should always be careful and think about what scouts are saying about a player. On Friday, Jim Callis at Baseball America wrote that "Several scouts say Upton could reach the majors quickly as a center fielder, projecting him as a righthanded power hitter with top-of-the-line speed and Andruw Jones-caliber defense."

Now I don't blame Jim Callis for this, because God knows he's only passing on what others say about him. But how the hell would anyone be able to know that a prep shortstop will play "Andruw Jones-caliber defense" in center field? That is one of the most idiotic things I have ever read in my entire life. None of these guys, to my knowledge, has even seen Justin Upton play the outfield. He is a terrific athlete, but Andruw Jones didn't become a great centerfielder because of his athleticism. He's a great centerfielder because of his great reactions and understanding, and he's still a real good centerfielder despite having a butt full of molasses now.

No one, and I mean no one, has any clear idea about how good an outfielder Justin Upton would be, not now, and certainly not in the future. Scouts are rarely able to predict with any accuracy whether current major leaguers will be able to switch from the infield to the outfield. For a high school player? Forget it. To say that Upton has the athletic tools to play a good CF in the majors, I can go along with that. To say more is fairy stories.
Mike Green - Saturday, May 21 2005 @ 10:33 PM EDT (#117375) #
Thank you, Craig. I thought precisely that when I read the comment about Upton's potential defensive ability in centerfield, but I didn't have the stones to put it as plainly as you have. Scouts sometimes blow smoke.
Brent S - Saturday, May 21 2005 @ 10:49 PM EDT (#117376) #
Craig! Another fine post. I'm looking forward to your rankings.

And just when I thought that the Jays choices were being narrowed down, this happens. Considering the fact that Drew is so close to the majors and that he plays a position that is quite jammed at the big league level at the moment, where would he play? The Jays could keep him at shortstop and find a place for Adams, or they could shift him. It seems the most logical place would be left field. Let's suppose that he's about a year or a year and a half away, that would give him enough time to adjust to a new position, plus give the Jays enough time to get their house in order (ie. make a somewhat final decision on the fates of Gross and JFG).

If this is indeed the thoughts of the Jays (I don't claim that this is true), a major obstacle preventing this would be if Drew signs with Arizona before the deadline. In my opinion, this is exactly what will happen.

Craig B - Saturday, May 21 2005 @ 11:28 PM EDT (#117380) #
It could happen, but honestly they were so far apart, and when the new Arizona management came in they basically said there's no way they were ponying up the bucks to sign Drew.

Drew may cave, but even if he does, my understanding is that their old offer isn't even on the table anymore. I could be wrong.
Craig B - Saturday, May 21 2005 @ 11:32 PM EDT (#117382) #
None of that should be taken as a slight against Justin Upton. If Upton by some miracle were available at #6 and the Jays got him, I would be singing hosannas. By everyone's accounts, he's a legit #1 overall pick.
Brent S - Sunday, May 22 2005 @ 12:15 AM EDT (#117385) #
Drew may cave, but even if he does, my understanding is that their old offer isn't even on the table anymore. I could be wrong.

It could be all posturing. Boras is doing it, and so is management. It's all a big dance and we'll know basically nothing until the final moment before the deadline.

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