Daily Notes: Ft. Action Footage of the Venezuelan Playoffs

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of the Daily Notes.

1. Assorted Headlines
2. GIFs: College Prospect Ryne Stanek’s Lusty Slider
3. Status Update: Venezuelan Winter League Championship Series

Assorted Headlines
Baseball America Publishes Excellent College Baseball Preview
“Published last Thursday” would be the more appropriate phrasing, but would also reveal that the author, who is hypothetically paid to do just such a thing, neglected to see Aaron Fitt’s excellent annual piece when it was released. In any case, Fitt has released his preview-cum-scouting-report of the top-25 college teams. First overall: North Carolina, which team features three starters who posted an 8.1 K/9 or better last season. Noted, and draft-eligible, pitching prospect Ryne Stanek — whose repertoire includes a mid-90s fastball and plus slider — heads third-ranked Arkansas.

San Diego Signs Stauffer
The San Diego Padres have signed right-hander Tim Stauffer to a minor-league deal, reports MLB.com’s Corey Brock. Stauffer, the fourth-overall pick by San Diego in the 2003 draft, was effective between 2010 and -11, posting a 95 xFIP- in 268.1 innings. He was injured for most of 2012, however, and had surgery in late August on the flexor tendon in his right elbow. Stauffer is perhaps most recognizable — for a certain sort of fan, at least — as one of the protagonists of Jim Collins’ The Last Best League, a chronicle of one season in the Cape Cod League.

Gonzalez Will Back Up Segura
The Milwaukee Brewers and Alex Gonzalez have agreed on a one-year deal worth $1.5 million, with $1 million more available in incentives, writes MLB.com Adam McCalvy. Of note to at least probably one person is this: indications are that Gonzalez would back up Jean Segura, the shortstop acquired last summer in the deal that sent Zack Greinke to the Angels. Segura was worth exactly zero wins last season in 166 major-league plate appearances, but is projected by ZiPS to post something like a league-average season in 2013.

GIFs: College Prospect Ryne Stanek’s Lusty Slider
Draft-eligible right-hander Ryne Stanek is the top starter for third-ranked Arkansas entering the college season. Here are three GIFs of his slider from a victory over South Carolina during last season’s College World Series

From the third inning of that game, versus catcher Dante Rosenberg:

From the fourth inning, against left fielder Tanner English:

And from the sixth inning, also against English:

Status Update: Venezuelan Winter League Championship Series
The Caribbean Series — featuring the champion from each of the Dominican Winter, Mexican Pacific, Puerto Rican, and Venezuelan Winter Leagues — begins on February 1st. As noted here recently, three of the four leagues have finished their respective playoffs.

Meanwhile, the Venezuelan championship series continues — and saw home team Magallanes, down 3-2 in the series, defeat Lara by a score of 7-3 (box) on the strength of home runs by Kansas City minor leaguer Mario Lisson and Pablo Sandoval.

Here is an excellent pitch from that game — a back-foot slider from Lara’s (and Frontier League pitcher) Jhonny Montoya to Endy Chavez:


And here is Montoya, later on, throwing a ball very much in the direction of Eliezer Alfonzo‘s head — which maneuver earned him (i.e. Montoya) an ejection:

Bean Ball

And here, finally, is an example of targeted advertising:


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Dan Rozenson
Dan Rozenson