Tuesday, February 7, 2006
Molina to the Jays
Twins Top Prospect Lists
The Name Game
THIS AND THAT
Good morning everyone!
Well, today, I am just going to post on three or four different topics. I am also working on my NL Central preview and projections. Since that is the biggest division, with six teams, it is taking a little bit longer. I do hope to post that tomorrow, so be sure to check back then, and tell all of your friends in those markets to check it out too! As always, feel free to e-mail me on anything you read here, or leave some Comments down below. I'd love to hear your thoughts.
MOLINA TO THE JAYS
Apparently, Bengie Molina is about to sign a one year, $5 million deal with the Toronto Blue Jays. The deal supposedly includes an option for 2007 at $7.5 million. The deal is very strange to me for a few reasons. First, I should point out that I am far from a Bengie Molina fan. If I were a GM, I would have no interest in signing him because he may be decent defensively, he is not an impact hitter by any stretch, he is slow a catcher who is already 31 years old. I am very confused by why the Jays had to give him $5 million. I just can't imagine that there was much of a market for his services at this stage. Maybe the Dodgers had some interest, but certainly were not willing to pay up. So, why not offer him $3 million? Even $4 million? Why $5 million, and why the option year? (I know, part of that is probably because that is something Mike Piazza got) Also, are the Jays going to be any better, or win any more games, with Molina as their catcher instead of Gregg Zaun? I certainly don't think so.
TWINS TOP PROSPECT LISTS
Yesterday, John Sickels' posted his Top 20 Twins prospect list over at his site. I thought it would be interesting to compare Twins Prospect Lists. Here, we will look at my Top 50, John's Top 20 and Baseball America's Top 30 Twins prospects. I really will only make a couple of comments afterward, but I think that it is interesting to see some of the differences. (Note - When I ran my report in September, I included Scott Baker, Travis Bowyer and Scott Tyler. Baker is no longer eligible for a prospect list, but I will include him because John did. However, Bowyer and Tyler were sent to Florida for Luis Castillo, so they have been removed from the list, and I have added two more in the final two spots.)
SethSpeaks John Sickels BB America 1 Francisco Liriano F. Liriano F. Liriano 2 Scott Baker Scott Baker Jason Kubel 3 Jason Kubel Anthony Swarzak Matt Moses 4 Anthony Swarzak Matt Garza Glen Perkins 5 Matt Moses Matt Moses Anthony Swarzak 6 Jay Rainville Jason Kubel Denard Span 7 Alex Romero Jay Rainville Matt Garza 8 Denard Span Kevin Slowey Jay Rainville 9 Kevin Slowey Adam Harben Trevor Plouffe 10 Adam Harben Boof Bonser Kyle Waldrop 11 Nick Blackburn Jose Mijares Paul Kelly 12 Trevor Plouffe Alex Romero Adam Harben 13 Glen Perkins Glen Perkins Kevin Slowey 14 Justin Jones Trevor Plouffe JD Durbin 15 Kyle Waldrop Kyle Waldrop Eduardo Morlan 16 Boof Bonser Denard Span Jose Mijares 17 Matt Garza Brian Duensing David Winfree 18 Juan Portes JD Durbin Juan Portes 19 David Winfree Ryan Mullins Drew Thompson 20 Eduardo Morlan Juan Portes Henry Sanchez 21 JD Durbin Justin Jones 22 Ryan Mullins Alex Romero 23 Doug Deeds Alexi Casilla 24 Garrett Jones Jason Pridie 25 Pat Neshek Boof Bonser 26 Trent Oeltjen D. Santiesteban 27 Errol Simonitsch Kyle Edlich 28 Luis Maza Adam Hawes 29 Jose Mijares Tim Lahey 30 Paul Kelly Alexander Smit 31 Alexander Smit 32 Henry Sanchez 33 Kyle Aselton 34 Brian Duensing 35 Danny Matienzo 36 Drew Thompson 37 Jason Miller 38 Deacon Burns 39 Kevin West 40 Johnny Woodard 41 Colby Miller 42 Adam Hawes 43 Ricky Barrett 44 Erik Lis 45 Brock Peterson 46 Justin Olson 47 JR Taylor 48 Josh Rabe 49 Willie Eyre 50 Danny Santiesteban
As you can see, there are a lot of similarities in all of our lists. Because Baseball America's comes out so much later, they added Jason Pridie and Alexi Casilla to their list. I would probably not have ranked Pridie in my Top 50. But I would likely rank Casilla somewhere between 21 and 30. I know, that's not very exact, but I haven't really given it much thought. I ranked Matt Garza far lower than Baseball America and John Sickels did, but I clearly think far more highly of Alex Romero than either of them do. I guess we'll see, huh? I am intrigued by BA's inclusion of Tim Lahey. As good as he was in Elizabethton, he was also already 24. So, for him to really be a good prospect, he needs to move up a few levels next year. I figured that Nick Blackburn wouldn't show up on either other list. I know having him at #11 is way too high, but that's a chance I'm willing to take. But I will just leave the lists here, so please feel free to discuss not only the lists, but how they relate and what they really mean. Either e-mail me, or feel free to leave some Comments.
It is interesting to follow the career paths of people. Just think, the friends you had in high school, what did you think they would be doing today? Are they? I know that when I was in college, I changed majors four or five times. But there are some very interesting career changes that have happened to current and former Major League Baseball. See what I mean below:
Chris Burke became a hero to Houston Astros fans last fall when he hit his game-winning home run off Joey Devine in the bottom of the 17th inning of Game 4 of their NLDS series. The homer ended the series and sent the Astros to the NLCS where they beat the Cardinals before advancing to the World Series. Anyway, Burke was the Astros first round pick, 10th overall, in 2001 out of the University of Tennessee. The 25 year old got 17 at bats with the big club in 2004. He then spent most of 2005 with the Astros, playing in 108 games and hitting .248/.309/.368 with 19 doubles, five homers and 26 RBI. He stole a few bases. He played three different positions and as we remember, he really played well in the playoffs.
It is really most impressive considering that his first career was in the movie industry. Chris Burke was one of the stars of the '80s/early '90s hit TV show Life Goes On. More recently, he was on a great episode of ER and played a janitor in the excellent movie Mona Lisa Smile.
Ray Liotta was early in his acting career in 1989 when he appeared as Shoeless Joe Jackson in Field of Dreams. Since then, he has appeared in movies such as Goodfellas, Hannibal and Heartbreakers, as well as plenty of guest appearances on TV.
In June of 2004, the White Sox made Ray Liotta their 2nd round pick out of Tulane University He signed quickly and then went 5-1 with a 2.54 ERA with their rookie league team in Great Falls. He started this season with Low A Winston-Salem where he went 6-2 with a 1.45 ERA. He moved up to Hi-A ball in Kannapolis where he made 20 more starts. He went 8-3 with a 2.26 ERA. There he struck out almost a hitter an inning. Baseball America ranked the 22 year old lefty as the White Sox #7 prospect.
Twins fans were not thrilled when Bobby Kielty was shipped to the Blue Jays for Shannon Stewart and a player to be named later (David Gassner). Stewart helped the Twins on their way to the playoffs in 2003. He landed a nice three year, $18 million deal that runs out at the end of the 2006 season. He is a career .300/.364/.441 hitter. Injuries have cost him 100 games over the past two seasons, but when healthy, he has shown the ability to hit and get on base. Last year was just a bad season for him.
Shannon Stewart, Miss June 2000 and the 2000 Playmate of the Year. I'll throw a picture down here and comment no further.
So, as you can see, this was just a fun look at some professional baseball players who share their name with another celebrity. Are there other examples, current or former, that you can think of? If so, please send me an e-mail and let me know. Else, leave some comments below.
That is it for today. Again, stop by tomorrow for the NL Central Hitters projections. I'd love to hear from you on any of today's topics, or anything. Please e-mail me or feel free to leave some Comments!
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