Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Offseason Notes.
Colorado Signs Third Baseman Blake
The Colorado Rockies have signed 38-year-old third baseman Casey Blake to a one-year, $2 million contract, reports MLB.com’s Thomas Harding. Provided he can stay healthy — and, really, even if he can’t — Blake is likely to be worth the money pretty quickly: he hasn’t been worth less than a win since 2002, in which season he tallied only 22 plate appearances. He compiled a 1.1 WAR in just 239 plate appearances last season with the Dodgers.
For Budget-Friendly Winter Getaways, Try State Parks
The Athens Banner-Herald — as always, quite liberal with their assignation of the “baseball” tag in their RSS feed — has some advice for how you might spend your winter leisure time.
Here are some notes on same:
• Sickels ranks Mike Newman-favorite Xander Bogaerts first overall in the system. As an 18-year-old this year in the Class A South Atlantic (Sally) League, Bogaerts hit 16 home runs in 296 plate appearances, leading all teenagers in that league in home runs on contact, at 8.1%. Both Sickels and the editors at Baseball America — which publication recently released its top-10 organizational prospect lists for the AL East — note that Bogaerts might end up at third, and that he’ll still likely be an above-average hitter at that position. A point of concern for the nerd? Bogaerts’ 24.0% strikeout rate.
• I’ve celebrated Chris Balcom-Miller — who appears in Sickels’ “Others” category — previously in these pages, and will likely continue to do so. Balcom-Miller, who turns 23 in March, did at High- and Double-A in 2011 largely what he’d done in the Sally League in 2010 — namely, induce strikeouts and ground balls while limiting walks. ZiPS projects Balcom-Miller for a 92 ERA+ in 2012 — slightly below the league-average for starters of 96 ERA+.
• Sickels ranks outfielder 2011 sandwich pick Jackie Bradley 13th on the organizational list with the caveat that Bradley “could rank much higher, or much lower, a year from now.” Likely a plus defender in center field, Bradley’s offensive production declined pretty seriously in his last season at South Carolina. If nothing else, he’s a thoughtful interviewee.
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