- What’s an installment of Prospect Buzz without a little Bryce Harper speculation? After speaking with Nationals’ Manager Jim Riggleman on Friday morning, John Heyman tweeted that Bryce Harper could reach the big leagues in 2011 if he were to dominate “at every level.” Although I still doubt that it will actually happen, the fact that Riggleman, and presumably Mike Rizzo, have entertained the idea is exciting. Jeff Sullivan over at SBNation contemplates the type of numbers Harper must put up at each stop to make his debut in 2011, and believes they might have to be similar to Ken Griffey, Jr.’s during his brief, minor league career. At least we know that he’ll be documenting his entire ascent to stardom…
- Apparently Carlos Santana will take some reps at first base during Spring Training, and undoubtedly increase his fantasy value with each one. After sustaining a gruesome, season-ending knee injury in 2010, Santana is finally healthy…and the Tribe obviously wants to keep it that way. With the possibility of playing first base, he becomes an even more intriguing fantasy option behind the plate; he might be able to avoid further knee or leg injuries and will likely play more games than originally anticipated.
- Amidst the absurdity that is the NBA All-Star Weekend, ESPN actually did a respectable job tracking Garrett Wittels’ at bats during Florida International University’s opening night game. Wittels, who entered the season with a 56-game hit streak, came up empty on Friday night in four at bats against Southeastern Louisiana. He came close to picking up a knock in his final at bat, ripping a hard grounder that was corralled by a diving SE Louisiana third baseman and taken to the bag for a force out. Of course ESPN had to compare Wittels’ stats with Joe DiMaggio’s during their respective 56-game hit streaks, which makes me already regret complimenting their coverage. I’m happy that his streak ended, primarily because Robin Ventura’s (my favorite all-time player) record of 58-games will stand for a long, long time.
- With Jeremy Hellickson expected to round out the Tampa Bay Rays starting rotation, Joe Maddon recently stated that Jake McGee would vie for a spot in the team’s bullpen. After starting for his entire minor league career, McGee made a late-season transition to the bullpen at Triple-A Durham, and was subsequently called up in September. The 6-foot-3 left-hander posted a 1.80 ERA with six strikeouts in his five appearances with the Rays, and showcased a mid-90s fastball and hard slider. Even though he’s primarily worked as a starter, McGee still averaged more than 10 strikeouts and less than one home run per nine innings, both of which lead me to believe that he may have some success in the back end of Rays’ bullpen.
- That Ball’s Outta Here takes a look at the Phillies’ decision to DFA Andrew Carpenter and replace him with Brian Schlitter on the 40-man roster. Schlitter, who was drafted by Phillies in the 16th round of the 2007 draft, posted a 12.38 ERA in eight innings of work out of the Cubs’ bullpen in 2010. I actually played in the same high school conference as Schlitter, and even played on his team a few times during some summer showcases. He was a high-80s guy his senior year, but nothing overly impressive. I had completely forgotten about the guy until I saw his name in a Cubs’ box score last year, which naturally provoked sheer disbelief and a “no f’in way!”
- The prospect lists just keep on coming, and really never get old. The latest is Baseball America’s Top 100 Prospects, and without spoiling too much, here is their top 10: 1. Bryce Harper 2. Mike Trout 3. Jesus Montero 4. Dominic Brown 5. Julio Teheran 6. Jeremy Hellickson 7. Aroldis Chapman 8. Eric Hosmer 9. Mike Moustakas 10. Wil Myers … Overall, there are nine – yes, nine! – Royals’ prospects in the Top 100, a new record. For those following our Top 50 countdown, we are edging closer to unveiling our Top 10, and after seeing Baseball America’s choices, I think we did well with our first prospect-ranking endeavor.
- While you’re at it, be sure to check out Splashing Pumpkins’ list of the Top 10 San Francisco Giants’ prospects, as well as Kings of Kauffman’s countdown of the Top 25 prospects within the Royals’ organization. If I could find a place willing to take my bet, I would put early money on the Royals’ system housing the Minor League Player (or Pitcher) of the Year.
Prospect Buzz is the new, prospect-related link drop of The Golden Sombrero. As you may already know, we love prospects here at the Sombrero. So if you have an article or link that you would like us consider for this segment, feel free to either email us or send it our way on Twitter.