October 27, 2008

Kentucky Thoroughbreds and Omaha Cyclones

March 17th, 2009

Kentucky receives:
LF Ron Benson (28, ML) - $0.405
Omaha's 6th round 2009 draft pick (2B Aaron Stokes - 3rd pick)

Omaha receives:
SP Jorge Sánchez (32, ML) - $1.0
$600,000 cash

Since Then:
Benson had a serviceable '09 season. In 154 games, he batted .245 with 17 homeruns and 72 RBIs. Overall, Benson is an average ballplayer all-around. He is best suited as a role bench player such as a platoon outfielder.
Stokes, who is in his first minor league season, had a solid SS-A campaign in '09 for Kentucky. He is an average talent who has the potential to grow into a future big league bench player.

Sánchez continued his downward trend in '09. He pitched to a dismal 7-18 record with a 5.24 ERA. His lack of velocity and big league stuff makes him vulnerable as a starter. At best, Sánchez is a mop-up or long reliever.

October 7, 2008

Manchester Maulers and the Connecticut Nutmeggers

December 29th, 2008

Connecticut receives:
RF José Cortéz (26, ML)

Manchester receives:
Connecticut's 2nd round 2009 draft pick (compensated to Reno for Lorenzo Álvarez signing)
Connecticut's 3rd round 2009 draft pick (traded to Omaha in Jacques Fillion deal)

Since Then:
Cortéz was traded to New Orleans midway through the season (7/12/09). Prior to the trade, he hit .267 with 11 homeruns and 34 RBIs with Connecticut in 65 games. A former All-Star, Cortéz is a good RBI man. His numbers have slightly declined since '07 but he still remains a productive force in any batting lineup.

October 6, 2008

New Jersey Hitmen and San Antonio Calzones of Laredo

December 19th, 2008

San Antonio receives:
C Manuel González (28, ML) - $7.8/$8.7/$9.7/$8.7
SP Luis Peña (32, ML) - $11.6
SP Keith Bandelow (25, A) -minor league contract

New Jersey receives:
CF Yoshino Miyata (27, ML) -$19.2
SP Norris Moncrieff (28, ML) -$4.0
3B Lee Kohler (18, A) - minor league contract
LF John Knapp (22, A) - minor league contract
CF Jason Davis (21, SS-A) - minor league contract

Since Then:
González appeared in 60 games with San Antonio before being traded to Reno (6/14/09). With San Antonio, he batted .260 with 5 homeruns and 30 RBIs. Slightly above average defensively, González earns his paycheck with his bat. He is a great run producer and one of best overall hitting catchers in the league.
Peña was traded back to New Jersey midway through the '09 season (6/07/09). The former '08 All-Star went 6-6 with a 3.76 ERA in 12 starts with San Antonio prior to the trade. In his early 30's, Peña might be showing signs of slowing down. Overall, he still a solid number 3 caliber pitcher.
Bandelow spent the '09 season at both the minor league and big league levels. In 14 games with San Antonio, he went 4-6 with a 5.90 ERA. Overall, he is a below average talent who is best suited to be a career minor league pitcher.

Miyata had a stellar '09 season with New Jersey. He batted .306 with 4 homeruns and 52 RBIs. More impressively, he punished opposing teams with a .482 on base percentage while lacing out 37 doubles. A former All-Star and All-Leather winner, Miyata is one the league's greats. He is a future hall of famer.
Moncrieff went 5-7 with a 5.03 ERA in '09 in both starting and relief roles for New Jersey. Overall he is a serviceable pitcher if expectations are kept low. He makes for a decent 5th starter or long reliever.
Kohler had a subpar '09 season while playing primarily for New Jersey's AAA affiliate. He was named the #81 prospect in PEBA (4/06/09). Defensively, he has an excellent arm and infield range. Offensively, he is raw but has tools to develop into a potential solid hitter. He should be a starting caliber infielder in the future if he continues to develop accordingly.
Knapp split the '09 season at New Jersey's AA and AAA affiliates. Not possessing any plus skills, Knapp is a borderline big league talent.
Davis appeared in 23 games with New Jersey's AAA affiliate before suffering torn ankle ligaments (5/17/09). He was released shortly after (6/07/09). Aside from good speed and above average defensive skills, Davis grades out poorly in many areas. He does not project to be a big leaguer and it is arguable that he may not even be a worthy minor league talent.

October 5, 2008

San Antonio Calzones of Laredo and Duluth Warriors

December 19th, 2008

San Antonio receives:
CF Yoshino Miyata (27, ML) - $19.2

Duluth receives:
SP Kirby Gibson (35, ML) - $13.2/$14.1
1B Arron Campbell (27, ML) - $2.4/$2.4

Since Then:
Miyata was traded on the same day to New Jersey (12/19/08). He had an excellent year for New Jersey hitting .306 with 37 doubles and an impressive .482 on base percentage. A former All-Star and All-Leather winner, the 1st overall pick in the '07 inaugural draft is simply one of the best players in the league. He possesses an incredible eye along with a smooth swing and excellent gap power. His defense is exceptional. A future hall of famer.

Gibson had a disappointing '09 season with Duluth. In 30 starts, he went 8-11 with a 4.04 ERA. An '08 All-Star, the aging Gibson may be showing signs of decline. It remains to be seein in '10 if Gibson will be the Gibson of '08 or '09.
Campbell struggled for Duluth in '09. In 152 games, he batted .229 with 13 homers and 56 RBIs. Primarily a DH and 1B, Campbell needs to improve on those offensive numbers if he plans to stick at those positions. Prone to the strikeout, Campbell would be better served as a bench player rather than starter.

Commentary: Who says all the blockbusters have to happen during the Winter Meetings? You're not likely to see bigger names than Gibson and Miyata changing hands this year. The Warriors really needed to bring in a pitcher like Gibson to bolster their staff. They have bats to spare; what they need now are quality arms. Gibson fits that to a "T". And great strategy on Matt's part regarding the timing of the Miyata acquisition. Like Bill, I appreciate an owner who does his homework before making a move. Well done to both teams. - Commissioner John

October 4, 2008

San Antonio Calzones of Laredo and Tempe Knights

December 18th, 2008

San Antonio receives:
SP Bill Taylor (25, ML) - $0.39/arbitration/arbitration/arbitration
C Bob Keller (22, AA) - minor league contract

Tempe receives:
SP Gary Fisher (29, ML) - $2.2
2B Terry Thornton (22. AAA) - minor league contract

Since Then:
Taylor was traded to Florida by midseason (7/12/09). Prior to the trade, he went 6-9 with a 3.71 ERA in 17 starts with San Antonio. Overall, he grades out as an all-around average starting pitcher who is serviceable in number 4 or number 5 spot in the rotation.
Keller played well at San Antonio's AA affiliate in '09. Outstanding defensively, Keller has some pop in his bat. He could very well be a respectable starting caliber catcher in the big leagues one day.

Fisher was traded to Kentucky by the trading deadline (7/31/09). Prior to the trade, he went 3-9 with a 5.19 ERA in 20 starts with Tempe. For his career, he is a below average pitcher who is best suited in a spot starting and long reliever roles.
Thornton's rookie '09 season was shortened by a dislocated shoulder (7/08/09). Prior to the injury, he batted .233 with 3 homeruns and 21 RBIs in 81 games. He possesses tremendous speed and defensive skills. His bat is average at best. A rookie, Thornton is a big league bench player at the moment who down the line may grow into a consistent starting infielder.

San Antonio Calzones of Laredo and Canton Longshoremen

December 18th, 2008

San Antonio receives:
CL Will Guffin (26, AA) - minor league contract
Canton's 7th round 2009 draft pick (C Felipe Oliva - 10th pick)

Canton receives:
MR Shigeaki Otani (25, ML) - $1.2/arbitration

Since Then:
Guffin was released by San Antonio a few months later (5/24/09). He signed a 1-year minor league deal with San Luis Potosí of the Alianza Béisbol Al Sur de la Frontera. Overall, Guffin is not much of a pitching talent. Expect him to bounce around various leagues as he tries to cling onto his baseball career.
Oliva, who was drafted out of high school, had a mediocre season with San Antonio's SS-A affiliate. He has shown the ability to hit high school pitching well so it remains to be seen if it will translate at the minor and big league level. Defensively, he has solid catching abilities that will mature with time. He could develop into a big league backup catcher one day.

Otani went 3-2 with a 3.95 ERA in 39 relief appearances with Canton in '09. An average reliever all-around, Otani is a respectable middle reliever and serviceable complementary bullpen piece.

October 3, 2008

West Virginia Coal Sox and Tempe Knights

December 17th, 2008

West Virginia receives:
MR Whit Andrews (23, ML) - $0.39/$0.39/$0.39/arbitration/arbitration/arbitration
MR Mark Merrill (21, AAA) - minor league contract

Tempe receives:
LF Jorge López (24, AA) - minor league contract
SP José Rivera (24, AAA) - minor league contract

Since Then:
Andrews spent the first half of the '09 season at West Virginia's AAA affiliate. He was called up in June and remained with West Virigina for the rest of the season. With the big ballclub, he went 3-5 with a 4.60 ERA in 34 relief appearances (45 IP). He grades out as a mediocre reliever who is best suited in mop-up situations or non-pressure roles.
Merrill spent the majority of the '09 season down at West Virginia's Class-A affiliate where he pitched below par. Possessing very limited pitching talent, it is expected that Merrill will spend his career in the minors.

López dominated April down at Tempe's AA affiliate and was quickly promoted to AAA. Spending the remainder of the '09 minor league season at AAA, he struggled to duplicate his blistering AA start. Overall, López is considered a mediocre talent. He plays defense well but lacks the corner outfield pop that most teams expect of that position. He is a platoon or bench player at best.
Rivera spent the majority of the season down at Tempe's Class-A affiliate and was promoted to AA by July and finished the minor league season at Tempe's SS-A. He has big league level stuff but lacks the command and movement on his pitches to become a legit big league pitcher. Considering his age, Rivera appears to be destined to be a career minor league pitcher.

San Antonio Calzones of Laredo and West Virginia Coal Sox

December 17th, 2008

San Antonio receives:
MR Hiroya Kobayashi (23, ML) - $1.8/arbitration/arbitration
MR Shigeaki Otani (25, ML) - $1.2/arbitration

West Virginia receives:
SP Alfredo Pinto (34, ML) $3.9/$3.9

Since Then:
Kobayashi pitched terribly for San Antonio in'09. In 38 relief appearances (56.1 IP), hewent 1-3 with a 7.35 ERA. He wa released after the season (10/01/09). A day later, he signed a 1-year minor league deal with La Vega of the Liga Dominicana de Béisbol Invernal. A below average pitcher, expect Kobayashi to bounce around leagues and ballclubs quite a bit.
Otani was traded to Canton a day later (12/18/09). He had a decent season in '09 with Canton and overall grades out as an average pitcher best suited for early to mid-relief innings.

Pinto split time between West Virginia and their AAA affiliate. With West Virginia, he went 3-8 with a 5.97 ERA in 11 starts. Entering his mid-30s, the end very well may be near for Pinto. He's a liability on any big league pitching staff

San Antonio Calzones of Laredo and Omaha Cyclones

December 17th, 2008

San Antonio receives:
SP Norris Moncreiff (28, ML) - $4.0
SP Kisho Ageda (27, ML) - $0.59/$0.59

Omaha receives:
C Lorenzo Vega (32, ML) - $6.8/$6.8/$6.8
3B Will George (19, AAA) - minor league contract

Since Then:
Moncreiff was traded to New Jersey 2 days later (12/19/08). Over his career, he grades out as a respectable bottom of the rotation pitcher.
Ageda went 2-3 with a 5.73 ERA in 10 games with San Antonio in '09. He was waived and claimed by Tempe in the middle of the '09 season (6/22/09). Tempe released him a few weeks later (7/12/09). He signed to a 1-year minor league deal with Niihama-shi of the League of the Rising Sun shortly after (7/13/09). Overall, Ageda is a below average pitcher and should be used in non-crucial situations only.

Vega was unable to reproduce his '08 stellar numbers in '09. In 142 games with Omaha in '09, he hit .234 with 12 homeruns and 55 RBIs. In his early 30's, Vega grades out as an average catcher. It is highly unlikely he will ever come close to his solid '08 numbers.
George rebounded from '07 and '08 to have a stellar '09 season down at Omaha's Class-A affiliate. He has excellent raw tools and big things are projected out of him. Despite a lack of true power, George possesses a high ceiling offensively. Along with outstanding plate discipline, he possesses plus contact skills and gap power. He's regarded as the #27 prospect in PEBA (4/06/09).

San Antonio Calzones of Laredo and Manchester Maulers

December 15th, 2008

San Antonio receives:
CF Alexandre LaRouche (22, SS-A) - minor league contract

Manchester receives:
3B Michael Kelly (28, ML) - $8.6/$8.6/$8.6

Since Then:
LaRouche spent April and May of '09 on San Antonio's big league roster. However after batting .188 with San Antonio, he was demoted back down to the minors where he spent time at Class-A and AA. He has plus speed and fluid mechanics in the outfield. He possesses raw power but needs to work on his contact skills if he wants to progress at the higher level. Overall, LaRouche appears to be a future bench or platoon bat. Some teams may give him a bigger role though.

Kelly had an All-Star '09 season with Manchester while playing at the hot corner. He batted .283 with 17 homeruns and 84 RBIs. The perennial All-Leather winner only commited 4 errors at 3B and displayed a .991 fielding percentage. A multi-time All-Star, he grades out as one of the league's top third baseman.

October 2, 2008

Connecticut Nutmeggers and West Virginia Coal Sox

December 11th, 2008

West Virginia receives:
RF Bernardo Marín (34, ML) - $11.9/$12.7
SP Craig Rogers (23, AAA) - minor league contract
Connecticut's 6th round 2009 draft pick (3B Ernesto Nevárez - 2nd pick)

Connecticut receives:
1B Michizane Kouki (26, ML) - $3.2/$3.5
3B Jorge Ortíz (28, ML) - $1.0
SP Tim Higgins (34, ML) - $9.6/$10.3
RF Rafael López (25, AAA) - minor league contract
West Virginia's 2nd round 2009 draft pick (RF Peter Trent - 15th pick)

Since Then:
Marín was traded back to Connecticut by midseason during West Virginia's fire sale (7/19/09). Prior to the trade, Marín batted .250 with 7 homeruns and 29 RBIs in 90 games with West Virginia. He performed much better after returning to Connecticut. A very solid player in his career, Marín is still productive as the '09 season but it appears age will soon catch up with him.
Rogers was called up to the big leagues in April after 4 impressive starts at AAA. He went 12-5 with a 3.51 ERA in 24 starts in '09. Overall, Rogers grades out as a decent starter and should be expect to fill a middle to bottom of the rotation spot.
Nevárez has performed decently in '09 in his first professional minor league season down at West Virginia's SS-A affiliate. A solid defender with an average stick, Nevárez projects to be a bench or platoon player down the line.

Kouki had an off year in '09. He batted .225 with 8 homeruns and 45 RBIs in 147 games with Connecticut in '09. He is an above average run producer who is capable of starting. However, he plays at an offensive premium position where more production is expected.
Ortíz began the '09 season with Connecticut but was demoted to the minors in July. Prior to his demotion, he struggled mightily with a .159 batting average in 45 games. He possesses above average gap power and a good eye but has shown little ability to make contact consistently at the big league level. His inconsistencies with the bat make him a fringe big league bench player.
Higgins was traded back to West Virginia in the Marín deal (7/19/09). Before the trade, he sported an embarrassing 1-9 record with a 4.71 ERA with Connecticut. He has not pitched much better with West Virginia in '09. Overall, Higgins is on the downside of his career and not much should be expected out of him.
López started the season in Connecticut but struggled. He was demoted to AAA and eventually AA after 43 games and a .169 batting average. Possessing average talent, López projects to be a 4th outfielder at best.
Trent has played tremendously well in his first professional minor league season at Connecticut's SS-A affiliate. He was elected to the 2009 Surf and Snow Amalgamation All-Star Game. Despite his early success, Trent is considered an average talent. With his legs being his best asset, Trent projects to be a big league 4th outfielder with a slight chance of becoming a starter if he exceeds expectations.