While scrolling through my twitter feed the other day, a tweet about a specific topic caught my attention. The topic, which I will reveal in the following paragraphs, has been a major point of contention for much of the MLB season, and I personally have been adamantly on one side of the debate. Others, such as the author of the tweet, have found ways to talk around negative storylines, becoming apologists for the team(s) that they cover. Whether or not you believe that team reporters should have the backs of the teams they cover is irrelevant; they should still be reporting the truth. In extreme situations such as this, writers will find ways to twist the truth and then follow that up by responding to fans’ comments with a snarky, condescending attitude. Having been on the receiving end of a reporter’s frustrations about being questioned, I am here to set the record straight on a recent topic of debate in the world of the MLB.
I am a Red Sox fan. If you follow me on twitter via @AV_MLBSweetSpot, then I am sure you have been aware of this for awhile now. The reason I have decided to state my team preference at the beginning of this article is because of the delicate topic that I am about to discuss. The current talk around the game is Giancarlo Stanton and his potentially record-breaking homerun pace. He has 44 through Wednesday and is on a pace that could bring him in the range of Roger Maris’s non-steroid record of 61. Stanton is a slugger for sure, and reaching the 60 homerun plateau would be an amazing accomplishment, but fans around the game need to pump the breaks. The level of hype and the “willing to trade anybody for Stanton” talks have become unreasonable, at least in Boston. That being said, I am not here to discuss the merits of Stanton’s recent surge. Instead, I want to talk about another player who, two months ago, was in the position that Stanton is currently in: Aaron Judge.
With the MLB Non-Waiver Trade Deadline fast approaching (Monday, July 31st at 4:00 pm Eastern time), there are numerous rumors and predictions being tossed around. Baseball fans love rumors; they provide something to talk about. I, however, prefer to re-evaluate trades that have happened in the recent past, using hindsight to provide clarity on how well each team truly made out in the deal. Since prospects are such a major part of trades in the MLB, it often takes a few years to really determine if a trade was worthwhile. Therefore, I have gone back to the 2012 and 2013 trade deadlines and have handpicked three deals that I believe are worth revisiting.
Late Tuesday night, the New York Yankees completed a trade with the Chicago White Sox that brought third baseman Todd Frazier, as well as righties David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle, to the Bronx. In exchange, Chicago received former first round pick Blake Rutherford (36th on Baseball America Top 100 Prospects), lefty Ian Clarkin (also a former 1st rounder), outfielder Tito Polo, and right-hander Tyler Clippard.
Welcome to the 2017 Season on MLB Sweet Spot! Opening Day is less than 2 weeks away, which means it is time to follow up my Bold Predictions from earlier in the off-season with a more statistical and factual based look at some names around the majors and how they stack up in 2017. As such, I have provided some of my sleepers and busts for this year. As always, feel free to comment with any thoughts, good or bad. That way, at the end of the season when I am correct (or incorrect), I (or you) can look back at this and taunt you (or me). Just a few notes before we begin:
Early Saturday morning (or late Friday night depending on where you live) the Boston Red Sox acquired closer Brad Ziegler from the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ziegler, who make no mistake is a very good addition, was not necessarily the name I expected the Sox to get back in June when I explained the team’s possible relief pitching trade targets. Nonetheless, Executive of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski’s focus will now shift to the starting pitching market.
Every year, Baseball America publishes a Top 100 Prospects list before the season begins. MLB.com and Baseball Prospectus come up with their own lists as well, and baseball fans around the country think they know the whole prospect story. But there’s a lot more to The Farm than a top 100 can cover, and many impact players remain anonymous until they reach the majors. In this article, we’ll look at five hitting prospects producing at higher levels than their notoriety would suggest. (We’ll do pitchers next week.)