As you know, if you’ve been reading not just my GotMilb blog but also Jonathan’s B3 blog and Kevin’s Major Thoughts, Minor Matters (do I have that right?) that each of us were assigned 10 organizations to write season-ending reviews of their systems. For the most part we look at the top prospects and up-and-comers we’d written about in the preview and assess what they’d done. When relevant we add in players who have emerged who may not have been there originally. It’s complicated and fun and challenging and we always find guys who fell through the cracks.
So this little blog project idea of Jonathan’s (a bloject?) is for each of us to add “ONE MORE THING” about each org we write … maybe one player, maybe a pair of players who are connected in some way, well, you get the idea …
And I have been falling behind with some reason … I had the first part of the fall ball travel assignment and spent more than two weeks there working — and no, I am not exaggerating, I only wish I was — 12-16-hour days there without a day off. I wrote and wrote and wrote. I did interviews for the players who are being featured in the great multimedia package that started running this week. And did I mention I wrote? League notebooks overviews, organization notebooks focusing on guys who were there, and the overall organization review packages were being churned out of Room 303 in the Towne Place Suites like it was an old-fashioned sweat shop (and the thermostat was on the fritz so it felt like it too).
Couple with that an ulcer that has just been diagnosed so let’s say I’ve felt better in my life than I did in that trip PLUS watching the playoffs? LOOOOOOOOOONG days boys and girls.
So here is a teeny bit of catch up for you and I’ll try to add some more each of the next few days. After all my only other option tomorrow is to sit and angst while taking care of my poor sick doggie and watching election returns starting at 8 p.m.
SO with no further ado … ONE MORE THING ABOUT ARIZONA
I’m going really off the board and out of the box on this one since, although I have not seen the paperwork, it wouldn’t surprise me if my pick isn’t even an Arizona Diamondback anymore. OF Tim Raines Jr. moved to the top of the list among active Minor League stolen base leaders when he swiped 28 at Triple-A Tucson. It wasn’t even that high a total for him, a guy who has stolen way more than 20 each of his pro seasons since 1998, and this year he had his best season as he batted .311 with 18 homers and 78 RBIs.
Originally drafted by the Baltimore Orioles, and a speedster who also played for the Nationals and Astros, he joined the Dbacks and really kicked butt at age 29. He’s clearly inherited much talent from his dad who SHOULD be a future Hall of Famer.
This year his 28 steals edged him past the reigning leader, second baseman Bernie Castro, by four with 438 (Castro is at 434). Wayne Lydon, an OF with Toronto, stole 43 and moves into third place with 427.
Sure, Raines is a journeyman and a six-year free agent. But in this economy and after seeing what the Rays could do with a guy off the bench who can steal a key base and swing the bat well too, I can’t imagine someone can’t take a chance of Tim Raines Jr. somewhere.
ONE … NO, MAKE THAT TWO MORE THINGS ABOUT MINNESOTA:
These guys at Fort Myers sound like they should be costarring on a regular network series. Tune in to “Miracle Season” starring Cole Devries and Matthew Fox right here on NBC. Brought to you by Miracle WHIP.
The pair of hurlers were two of the very few stalwart members of that Miracle team which made it to the Florida State League finals that had been there from start to finish. At the All-Star break the Twins, like most organizations, made moves, they made promotions, they made demotions and soon it was time to play “getting to know you” again in the clubhouse in Lee County.
But Devries and Fox were money. They kept things smooth. Off the mound and on it. Devries, a local boy non-drafted free agent in 2006 out of Minnesota, went 10-9 with a 2.93 ERA and struck out 105 in 135 1/3 innings. Fox, the club’s supplemental first-round pick in 2004, had a 2.93 ERA as a starter after moving into the rotation there when Jeff Manship was promoted to New Britain.
The Miracle ended up losing in the finals to the Daytona Cubbies but with all the key players they lost to the next level, without Devries and Fox, this team would have been home kicking back, watching Sunday football and warming their fuzzy socks by the hot stove.
I’m going to take a break for now to go see to my poor puppy who had surgery today and is really not feeling well (and would be feeling even worse if she had an inkling of how her quality of life from here on has changed … *sigh*)
I promise to be back tomorrow with the Yankees (talking about a big boy with a big heart but a history of trouble with that nagging elbow), as well as the Blue Jays (where I am looking at a pocket-sized pitcher from Cuba who had a sweet season as well as doing some homework for a fan about a non-drafted free agent sign who really put up terrific numbers this year).
So tune in for info on these gentlemen, to be followed soon after by White Sox, Phillies and Rays names of note who don’t make the cut in the packages themselves, as well as other notes of interest from around the Minors and from around my life …
OK on that note … time to pet the puppela.