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The regular season came to a close for four of the affiliates and three of them won. The losing team has a big playoff game tonight.

Buffalo 4 Syracuse 2

Syracuse, NY Luis Jimenez and Jack Murphy had a hand in the Bisons first three runs against the Nationals affiliate. Jimenez started the scoring with an RBI single to cash in a Murphy double in the first inning. Murphy's infield single and an error by the shortstop scored Mike McCoy, who singled and stole second in the third inning. Jimenez would score Murphy again with a sacrifice fly. Brad Glenn scored the Herd's final run with a home run in the fourth, his fifth of the season. Murphy, Jimenez and Ricardo Nanita had two-hit games. The Bisons drew no walks in this one, which is quite a surprise seeing it's the final game of the season.

Thad Weber (8-5) wrapped up a nice season with the Bisons, pitching seven strong innings and giving up two runs (one earned) on eight hits. He walked nobody, struck out three and racked up eight outs on the ground to lower his earned run average to 2.61. Scott Gracey got two outs, including a strikeout, but allowed a hit and a walk. John Stilson stranded those runners as he picked up the final four outs for his fourth save. He yielded just one hit and struck out a pair to bring his ERA down to 2.09. He should be in the big club's bullpen picture at some point in 2014.

New Hampshire 8 Binghamton 1

Binghamton, NY
Marcus Stroman (9-5) ended his 2013 minor league campaign with a bang! He pitched a two-hitter over eight innings, allowing just one run and striking out 11 while walking nobody. Eight of his 12 outs in play were on the ground and he threw 63 of 105 pitches for strikes. Stroman's ERA was brought down to 3.30. Alan Farina allowed a hit but struck out two in a scoreless ninth.

The RBI single was the weapon of choice for the Fisher Cats offence. Jonathan Jones knocked home the first run in the third and Ryan Schimipf followed with a run-scoring single in the fourth. Kevin Nolan singled another run home in the sixth to go along with a Schimpf sacrifice fly. The F-Cats added three more in the seventh on an Andy Burns RBI single and a two-run knock from Nolan. Burns and Nolan had three hits apiece while Jones had two walks to go with his base hit.

Lansing 9 West Michigan 4

Lansing, MI
The Lugnuts scored a touchdown and added a two-point convert in the sixth inning to erase a 4-0 deficit against the Tigers affiliate. Kevin Patterson started the rally with an RBI single, an error scored the second run while an RBI double by Daniel Klein and a run-scoring single by Jason Leblebijian tied the game at 4-4. Another Whitecaps error put the Lugnuts ahead before an RBI single by Carlos Ramirez and a two-run single by Chris Hawkins capped off the inning. Klein would double home the final Lansing run of the season. Klein had a three-hit afternoon and Patterson had a pair. Jordan Leyland was 0-for-2 but drew three walks while Christian Lopes earned two free passes. Santiago Nessy doubled once in five trips to the plate. Ramirez and Hawkins both stole a base.

Kendall Graveman
was not scored upon in his first four innings but he will want to forget his last inning of the season as four runs crossed the plate in the fifth. The four runs came on seven hits, two walks and a hit by pitch. He struck out four and eight of his 11 outs in play remained in the infield. Ian Kadish (5-4) finished up strong with three innings of two-hit ball with five strikeouts. Arik Sikula struck out the side to end his season on an up note.

Tri-City 11 Vancouver 1

Pasco, WA The Canadians already clinched a playoff berth so this game meant squat to them. The only thing they had to play for was trying for their 40th victory of the season. Justin James (1-7) got the start in this one instead of Jeremy Gabryszwski and gave up three runs in 3 2/3 innings. Sidearmer Brandon Dorsett gave up five more in just 1/3 of an inning.  Lefty Joe Spano was nicked for two runs in one frame and Alvido Jimenez surrendered one more in two frames. Only Matt Johnson worked a shutout inning.

David Harris
had four hits to lift his average to .263 and stole his 6th base of the season.

David Harris
had a 4-for-5 night at the plate and stole a base while Melvin Garcia had two hits. Dan Arcila, Christian Vazquez, Ian Parmley and Seth Conner had the other base hits as Vancouver outhit the Rockies affiliate 10-9. Shaun Valeriote drew a walk but Matt Hitt came up empty, whiffing three times in five plate appearances. He finished the season 1-for-30 to give him a batting average of .033.


*** 3 Stars!!! ***

3. David Harris, Vancouver

2. Thad Weber, Buffalo

1. Marcus Stroman, New Hampshire


Ladner, BC's Tom Robson gets the ball tonight for Vancouver as they host Everett in Game 1 of their playoff series.

Tuesday's Probable Starters...

Dunedin Austin Bibens-Dirkx (9-5, 2.85) @ Dayton, 7:05 pm ET.
Vancouver Tom Robson (3-0, 0.94) vs. Everett, 10:05 pm ET.
Stroman Puts On A Show, Man! | 30 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
jayBlue - Tuesday, September 03 2013 @ 10:24 AM EDT (#278657) #
I noticed that Dwight Smith and Dalton Pompay wer not in the Lansing finale. Anyone know if they were moved up to Dunedin for playoffs?
john boccabella - Tuesday, September 03 2013 @ 10:27 AM EDT (#278660) #
Canadians.  Is it confirmed that Robson gets the start tonight over Gabby?  i hope so.  and then use Chase DeJong in relief.

jayBlue - Tuesday, September 03 2013 @ 10:44 AM EDT (#278663) #
Smith and Pompey were Demoted?
ayjackson - Tuesday, September 03 2013 @ 11:28 AM EDT (#278664) #
I wouldn't think that Smith and Pompey are eligible for Canadians.
tercet - Tuesday, September 03 2013 @ 12:02 PM EDT (#278666) #
DeJong was promoted to Vancouver, possibly more..
ramone - Tuesday, September 03 2013 @ 01:22 PM EDT (#278671) #
@tercet Nay has been as well.
Beyonder - Tuesday, September 03 2013 @ 04:32 PM EDT (#278677) #
...and Labourt and Dragmire.
uglyone - Tuesday, September 03 2013 @ 05:04 PM EDT (#278680) #
Quick initial stab at a top-20 list:

1. RH R.Osuna
2. RH A.Sanchez
3. RH M.Stroman
4. LH S.Nolin
5. RH J.Stilson
6. 3B A.Burns
7. C A.Jimenez
8. LH D.Norris
9. CF K.Pillar
10. RH D.McGuire
11. SS D.Lugo
12. SS F.Barreta
13. SS R.Urena
14. CF D.Davis
15. LH S.Dawson
16. RH M.Castro
17. CF D.Smith
18. RH A.Tirado
19. 3B M.Nay
20. RH C.Hollon

21. CF A.Alford
22. 1B R.Tellez
23. RH C.Dejong
24. RH A.Cardona
25. 3B M.Dean

First glance i'm probably underrated the guys in rookie ball. Damn tough to mash up the high upside rookie ball kids and the solid performning AA/AAA kids.

First correction would probably be to drop Pillar and McGuire way down the list, but I'm not sure about that.
raptorsaddict - Tuesday, September 03 2013 @ 05:36 PM EDT (#278681) #
Based solely on this one picture, I'm now convinced Tom Robson's delivery is a carbon copy of Greg Maddux's. Seriously, he looks like a clone. For anyone who has ever seen him pitch, please don't correct me - based on this season, I need to have something to cling to. Although, after reading uglyone's top 25, perhaps I shouldn't be so depressed.

It seems like there is more depth now than there was at the start of the season. Not as many high-ceiling guys as before, but more overlap in the guys in the 15-40 range. It will be interesting to see if the rankings reflect this diversity. 

It would also be interesting to see some analysis on guys who are no longer prospects but who will play a crucial role in the organization, either via playing or trade. I"m thinking Hutchison, Drabek, Gose, Goins, etc. Really, any guys who are in the early days of arb eligibility, to get some idea of where we could potentially save a bundle of money. I wouldn't be surprised if baseball starts to mirror basketball in that the cost-controlled, extremely-underpaid young player becomes key in allowing the ginormous expenditures required elsewhere.

As always, thanks to the MLU crew for all their amazing hard work. Can't wait for the rankings!

raptorsaddict - Tuesday, September 03 2013 @ 05:44 PM EDT (#278682) #
I should have also added my final two cents on the prospects, namely my irrational love of Kenny Wilson. He seems to really be blooming (or at least not crapping the bed when facing better competition this year).

His regression as a 20 year old 3rd year player now appears to be the outlier on what has been an otherwise steadily upward trend in OPS to his respectable .708  this year in AA.  Could he be that rare, magical athlete who learns how to play baseball? I sure hope so!
ayjackson - Tuesday, September 03 2013 @ 08:01 PM EDT (#278689) #
I'll post a list later this week, but there are a few glaring differences for me. Switch DeJong and McGuire would be one. Barreto as #2 overall for another.

BA had a top 50 list recently and Barreto was in the next 10.
uglyone - Tuesday, September 03 2013 @ 08:17 PM EDT (#278690) #
yeah, McGuire looks like a boner pick on second glance.

and the Lugo/Barreto/Urena trio was dang hard to rate. When I squinted just right all three of them looked like top-5 guys. I wouldn't argue with anyone who shot any of them up near the top.
finch - Tuesday, September 03 2013 @ 10:24 PM EDT (#278694) #
Off the top of my head, my top 25 would be:

1. Marcus Stroman
2. Franklin Barreto
3. Aaron Sanchez
4. Daniel Norris
5. Roberto Osuna
6. Mitch Nay
7. Dewal Lugo
8. Sean Nolin
9. DJ Davis
10. Alberto Tirado
11. Kevin Pillar
12. Clinton Hollon
13. Matthew Dean
14. Miguel Castro
15. Anthony Alford
16. Roberto Urena
17. Tom Robson
18. Ardonys Cardona
19. Andy Burns
20. Dwight Smith Jr.
21. Rowdy Tellez
22. Chase De Jong
23. Jacob Anderson
24. J. Labourt
25. Deck McGuire
ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, September 04 2013 @ 08:19 AM EDT (#278699) #
As the minor league season comes to a close, I would like to thank everyone who has provided game reports through the year.I appreciate all the work that goes into them and the knowledge of the posters. I have read them every day for the past several years and it's always fun to match the names to faces( like Kevin Pillar and Ryan Goins ) when the prospects finally reach the big club. In regards to Goins, I always thought his name rhymed with loins until I heard his name on t.v.
I have a question in regard to the prospect list. How much is the talent or upside of the prospect regarded in comparison to actual performance ? I see Anthony Alford rated in the top 25, yet he has played very little as he tries to figure out what sport he wants to play. At the same time, a guy like L.B. Dantzler seems to have been hitting well all season and is not rated as high. This is not a criticism of these lists, just wondering how prospects are rated, especially when you go beyond the obvious top 5 or 10.
finch - Wednesday, September 04 2013 @ 08:58 AM EDT (#278704) #

When I look at prospects, I'm more in the mentality of upside and likelihood of reaching that upside rather than current results. I'll put more stock into the potential. You have to take into account age vs. level as well. If a player is 23 and playing in short season, putting up great numbers, I wouldn't rate him too highly given the average age of the league. However, if you have a player 22 in AAA putting up decent numbers, I'll put more stock into that.

Anthony Alford is all potential. Yes, he's barely done anything as a baseball prospect but he oozes potential. If he ever gives up football, he could be a nice 5 tool player.  

ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, September 04 2013 @ 09:54 AM EDT (#278709) #
Thanks,finch, for the information.Despite taking all of these things into consideration, I would say rating propects is a real crapshoot. Obviously, until Anthony Alford forgets about football and dedicates himself to baseball, he will never realize his potential. Also there always seems to be prospects who get the most out of their talent and make it over more highly touted players. The one guy I think of is Jesse Litsch who was called up from AA , did not seem to have outstanding numbers at the time, and had an unathletic-looking body yet he pitched well-for a while anyway. I don't know where he was rated as a prospect at the time but it surely wasn't top 10. I do know that the highly rated prospects are more likely to be stars, but still, there only 25 openings on a big league roster and if a player can make it for any length of time and contribute, ( like Ryan Goins ) then that's an accomplishment , no matter where you're rated !
Gerry - Wednesday, September 04 2013 @ 10:15 AM EDT (#278710) #

Prospecting is an inexact science.  There are so many things that go into a major league baseball player, a break, getting hot at the right time, confidence, adaptability, maturity.  Look at Andy Burns, he has gone from a guy to watch to a solid prospect in less than a year.

Anthony Alford has great potential due to his athletic ability.  However every year that goes by without him getting a lot of at-bats reduces his potential.  I haven't put together a prospect list for this year yet but I could see him either dropping off top 30 lists or being in the 20's due to his lack of playing time and his desire to continue to play football.

In regard to Dantzler he is a first baseman.  Most major league first baseman played another position on the way through the minors.  The expected offense from a first baseman is high.  Dantzler could be a better hitter than anyone on the Canadians but because he is a first baseman he might not rate as a prospect.  Also as mentioned, the first thing you look at with prospects is age.  How does their age compare to the league average.  Dantzler is not old for the Northwest League.  But look ahead to 2014, and consider KC Hobson, Kevin Patterson, Jordan Leyland and Dantzler.  Who would you put on the Dunedin roster and who would you put on the Lansing roster?  That's what the Jays ML staff will have to decide by spring, is Dantzler better than those other three?

Mike Green - Wednesday, September 04 2013 @ 10:25 AM EDT (#278711) #
Prospecting is an inexact science.  There are so many things that go into a major league baseball player, a break, getting hot at the right time, confidence, adaptability, maturity. 

Bingo.  It's a long list- talent, confidence, adaptability, maturity, intelligence, durability and fitness...A minor league player doesn't need to have all of them- a durable mature confident intelligent talented power hitter can make it even if not adaptable (that would be Frank Thomas).  And if you compare the career paths of Alex Rios and Delmon Young, you can get an idea of how much of an art is involved. 
Beyonder - Wednesday, September 04 2013 @ 11:17 AM EDT (#278712) #
"However every year that goes by without him getting a lot of at-bats reduces his potential. I haven't put together a prospect list for this year yet but I could see him either dropping off top 30 lists or being in the 20's due to his lack of playing time and his desire to continue to play football."

I've heard this from a number of places, but I can't see why taking a break from baseball would reduce his potential. Unless you are referring to the possibilty that he may never play baseball at all.

I guess there is the possibility that his present skills might atrophy, but I don't see why Alford, (if his football career doesn't materialize), couldn't pick up where he left off at age 23. It's not as if learning to play baseball in your early 20s is akin to language-learning (i.e. where there is a limited window of elasticity very early on in life).

Anyhow, I'm not necessarily disagreeing -- just saying that it is not obvious to me why it would be the case that taking a break from baseball will reduce a player's potential.

The one thing I expect it does do, however, is reduce the amount of buzz surrounding a prospect, which is the likely explanation for his move down various draft boards.
Mike Green - Wednesday, September 04 2013 @ 11:56 AM EDT (#278713) #
Taking significant time off from baseball in the late teens/early 20s definitely reduces a prospect's potential.  Speed deteriorates from the early 20s significantly.  Hand-eye coordination deteriorates but at a somewhat slower rate.  Meanwhile, strength increases into the mid-to-late 20s and learning can result in productivity improvements sometimes into the early 30s.  On average, this means that a player who is in baseball peaks at about 27.  Later entrance into full-time baseball diminishes the chance that a player will reach his theoretical baseball peak as there is greater likelihood that productivity deterioration from skill regression will occur faster than productivity improvements from learning.  In two-sport players, such as Alford/Bo Jackson/Deion Sanders, there is the additional factor that playing football has additional injury risk which may impede development. 

So, you've got both "will he play baseball in the long run?" and "if so, how good is he likely to be?" concerns. 

ayjackson - Wednesday, September 04 2013 @ 12:53 PM EDT (#278716) #
My take at a Top 15:

1. Aaron Sanchez, RHP
2. Franklin Barreto, SS
3. Marcus Stroman, RHP
4. Daniel Norris, LHP
5. Sean Nolin, LHP
6. Mitch Nay, 3B
7. Roberto Osuna, RHP
8. DJ Davis, CF
9. Chase DeJong, RHP
10. Jairo Labourt, LHP
11. Alberto Tirado, RHP
12. Kevin Pillar, OF
13. AJ Jimenez, C
14. Andy Burns, 3B
15. Matt Dean, 1B

tough omissions: Robson, Dawson, Lugo, Smoral, Hollon

I would say there's little to separate #6-15 or even to #20, put them in any order you like.

I'm very encouraged by the progress of the teenagers this year.
uglyone - Wednesday, September 04 2013 @ 12:57 PM EDT (#278717) #
ISLAND BOY - my only answer is that it's really really tough to balance between upside and floor. And it's especially tough with our current group of prospects, where you see such an extreme divide between high-upside guys with very, very little pro experience (i.e. Alford/Barreto/Lugo/Urena/Davis) and guys without a lot of upside but who seem pretty close to being serviceable major leaguers already (i.e. pillar/goins/etc.).

I mean we look at Franklin Barreto, who at 17 just had a huge year in the GCL, and you could easily consider him our best position prospect. But then you take a step back and realize he's a 17 year old with one pro season under his belt at the lowest possible level, and you realize the odds of him turning into an impact player are still quite low.

Our system right now is a damn hard one to rank, that's for sure. I wouldn't expect to see much consensus, even amongst the "pro" lists. But I think the bottom line is that the depth in the system is legit - those lists of 20-25 there are made up entirely of guys who are legit prospects, imo....and the lists don't even include other interesting prospects like Pompey, Wilson, Optiz, Crouse, etc.
Beyonder - Wednesday, September 04 2013 @ 01:01 PM EDT (#278718) #
This all seems very speculative Mike. First, it doesn't seem right to me that speed deteriorates from the early 20s "significantly", nor that hand-eye co-ordination deteriorates beginning in the early 20s. I would be happy to be corrected on either point though if you have any observable data. I agree with you about injury risk, although there is injury risk inherent in playing baseball also.

But accepting for the sake of argument that a baseball player's peak is 27 (although the paper I found suggests it is closer to 28), under what circumstances is Alford going to run out of runway before his deterioration? I note that many of the things Gerry listed as important (confidence, adaptability, maturity) to a prospect's success should improve with age.
uglyone - Wednesday, September 04 2013 @ 01:05 PM EDT (#278719) #
As for Alford, the thing is he's so young that he literally has not fallen "behind" in any sense of the word. He's got 50 milb PA, and he just turned 19. He could start next year back in the GCL and still wouldn't be old for the league.

Secondly, in his tiny sample size the guy has shown an instant ability to perform. He's shown good patience (8bb), without striking out too much (10k), he's shown plenty of power (.175iso) and speed (6/6sb). And apparently he's made some nice plays in the OF too. So the talent is there.

Lastly, I'm still assuming the guy will play baseball full time, as soon as next year.....simply because he's not that good at football.
Gerry - Wednesday, September 04 2013 @ 01:18 PM EDT (#278721) #

Taylor Cole went on a mission for two years and he is still trying to get back to who he was.  I know Alford is not a pitcher but there is some relevance.  Baseball position players generally "prove" whether they are prospects or not in the years from 20-22.  If you are playing football from 20-22 then you are missing on those prime development years.

There are many prospects who go off to do Army or Navy duty.  Do you know of any major leaguers who took a couple of years off for military duty and then returned to prosper in baseball?

Bo Jackson and Deon Sanders missed the development years but they are anomolies.  Even Michael Jordan couldn't do it. 

My summary is possible for Alford to play baseball full time starting in 2015 and become a major leaguer but his chances are much worse than someone who plays baseball every year.

Beyonder - Wednesday, September 04 2013 @ 01:58 PM EDT (#278722) #
"Do you know of any major leaguers who took a couple of years off for military duty and then returned to prosper in baseball?"

That's the problem. Taking a three-year break from baseball is rare. There appears to be only a handful of prospects (and very few top prospects) to compare Alford to. Given the small number of player, and the chances of a prospect succeeding at all, I wouldn't necessarily label Jackson and Sanders as anomalies.

I understand that most players prove they are major leaguers between the ages of 22-25, but that could be an artifact of the average age of minor league prospects -- not because there is anything magical about that age.

With Cole, I don't know if it is a case of him not being able to get back to where he was (remember, he pitched exceptionally well last year), or more of a case of him hitting the limits of his abilities.
Beyonder - Wednesday, September 04 2013 @ 02:00 PM EDT (#278723) #
Sorry. I meant to say: "I understand that most players prove they are major leaguers between the ages of 20-22"
Ryan Day - Wednesday, September 04 2013 @ 02:24 PM EDT (#278725) #
I'm still assuming the guy will play baseball full time, as soon as next year.....simply because he's not that good at football.

Many people thought that last fall, when he was arrested & suspended and lost his scholarship; surely, one would think, that is a sign from above that says "Play baseball instead." But no. He sat out the entire 2013 season just so he could play in 2014.

I'd also suggest that every day he spends as a football player increases the chances of suffering an injury that limits or derails his baseball career.

I suspect that if Alford were to announce a full-time dedication to baseball, most people would reassess him as a prospect. But right now, he's treating baseball as a hobby, which doesn't make him a prospect at all. He's an interesting possibility, but that's all.
Mike Green - Wednesday, September 04 2013 @ 02:55 PM EDT (#278726) #
It is certainly possible that Alford will end up playing baseball and have as good a career as Deion Sanders.  That isn't saying much as an upside. 

Placing Franklin Barretto on prospect lists is well nigh impossible.  You've got a 17 year old, 5'9" tall, with pretty good speed, significant power for his age and height, passable but not very good plate control and some defensive skill but apparently not enough to stay at shortstop.  The odds are pretty good that he will be ahead of (say) Chipper Jones as of age 19 when Chipper had his first big year in the Sally League, and that's saying something. 

He poses an interesting development challenge for the club.  For how long do you keep him at shortstop?  Where do you move him when the time comes? Is he a third baseman?  A second baseman?  A centerfielder?  A corner OF?  Any of these is a plausible answer. 

ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, September 04 2013 @ 05:03 PM EDT (#278735) #

Thanks to everybody for their insights on evaluating prospects. I heard a commentator say recently that Brett Lawrie was as good defensively now as he ever will be. ie. A player's defense peaks earlier than the rest of their game. Has anyone  heard that before, and is it another factor to take into effect regarding rating a prospect ?

 Also in reply to Beyonder about players taking tme off for military service and returning to baseball, Ted Williams served in the military from age 24-26, and Joe Dimaggio served from age 28-30. Both returned and did very well which was especially impressive for Dimaggio since he missed his prime years and was older than Williams when he  reentered baseball.  Maybe their sheer talent enabled them to continue their careers at a high level, and there are probably quite a few others at that time who returned to have solid careers. Maybe Beyonder just meant prospects that took time off for the military and, if so, my answer is completely irrelevant.

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