Archive for the ‘Opening Day’ Category

Unless your name is John Orelud, each baseball player has to go down to the minor leagues, and work his way up the food chain.   It is not an easy journey for a player trying to force his way onto a major league roster.  Every step along the way, the minor league players performance  is analyzed and scrutinized. The players  results are compared to the their peers in the current season, and historically to any player who has come through a similar path.

The game of projecting a player’s career based on minor league numbers is not an easy one. For every success case such as an Evan Longoria, there is another player on the other side of the spectrum that fools the critics. Anyone remember when third baseman Andy Marte was rated as a better prospect than David Wright? There are tons of examples out their of players who lived up to the hype, and those who were utter failures:

Jesse Foppert, Joel Guzman, Andy Marte, Sean Burroughs, Greg Miller

Todd Van Poppel, Brien Taylor, Darren Driefort

However, each year we pay attention to these players known as a prospects, phenom, young talent, the future, what ever name you want to give these guys.    Some of these players make it, some do not. Another factor in all of this is opportunity.  There are some players who did not shows up on the big time prospect lists and go on to have wonderful careers as late bloomers. Matt Holiday is one guy in this mold.  Jason Bay is another. How can we forget Big Papi started his career out as with Twins? Johan Santana certainly didn’t start with the Twins organization either.

Now, one last thing that you can’t put a number to (at least yet) is a player make up.  The player who has a good head on his shoulders and can get over the failures from previous day, and move on and get past the bad day is better equipped to be successful.  The game of baseball is one of always making adjustments and dealing with failure.

With this mind, when you think prospects, think about the combination of talent, opportunity, and makeup.  These three together give you an indication of what kind a player you have.

CBS Sports Top 100

BP Future Shock 2011

Baseball Digest Prospect Sandwich

Call To Pen

Braves Top

MLB Prospects

Prospect Watch Starters

Top Prospect Alert (by team)

Baseball America

Rays Prospect Guide

Jim Bowden Top 50

Project Prospect

Keith Law’s rankings

MLB Prospects

Prospect Junkies

Scoutingbook.com Prospect Matrix

Prospect Portal

Top NL Only Prospects


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It was opening day for the 2010 season for a handful of teams. Let’s not get carried away with success with one day of statistics, as we all remember the “Emilio Bonifacio” on the highlight reel last opening day. He brought back memories of Tuffy Rhodes with his offensive outburst, only to be a footnote as the year progressed.

Here is a look at how some of my fantasy players performed on opening day. Lets start with the Cheers.These players started the season off on a high note:

  • Carlos Gonzalez 4-5
  • Brian McCann 2-3 HR  3R
  • Todd Helton 2-5
  • Brandon Phillips 1-4 2RBI SB
  • Hanley Ramirez 2-4 SB
  • Johnny Damon 2-4 2R 2RBI
  • Mark DeRosa 1-3 HR
  • Ubaldo Jimenez 6IP 6K W 1.5 ERA
  • David Wright 1-3 HR 2RBI
  • Placido Polanco 3-5 HR 6 RBI
  • Juan Fransisco 1-1 RBI (MLB debut)


  • Jacob Ellsbury 0-5
  • Josh Johnson 5IP 7.2 ERA
  • Derek Lee 0-3 R
  • Aki Awamura 0-4
  • Mike Jacobs 0-4
  • Wil Venable 0-4
  • Dan Uggla 0-3
  • Ian Desmond 0-2
  • Ryan Franklin 1IP, 2ER
  • Clay Hensley .1IP  2HA 1ER
  • John Garland 6R, 2ER
  • Evereth Cabrera 0-3
  • Adam LaRoche  0-5
  • Melky Cabrera 0-5

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The final rosters do not have to be finalized until Sunday afternoon, but looking at what we know today, here’s how I see it in the NL East:

Pos Mets Marlins Braves Nats Phils
C Barajas Baker McCann Rodriguez Ruiz
1B Jacobs Sanchez Glaus Dunn Howard
2B Castillo Uggla Prado Kennedy Utley
SS Cora Ramirez Escobar Desmond Rollins
3B Wright Cantu Jones Zimmerman Polanco
LF Bay Coughlin Cabrera Willingham Ibanez
CF Pagan Maybin McLouth Morgan Victorino
RF Francoeur Ross Heyward Harris Werth
OF Catalanotto Carroll Diaz Bernadina Fransisco
OF Matthews Jr.
Bonofacio Hinske Morse Gload
IF Carter Helms Infante Gonzalez Dobbs
IF Tatis Lamb Thurston Guzman Castro
C Blanco Paulino Ross Nieves Schneider
SP Santana Johnson Hudson Lannan Halladay
SP Pelfrey Nolasco Lowe Marquis Hamels
SP Maine Sanchez Jurrjens Stammen Happ
SP Perez Volstad Hanson
Hernandez Kendrick
SP Niese Robertson Kawakami Mock Moyer
RP Rodriguez Nunez Wagner Capps Madson
RP Igarashi Sanchez Moylan Olsen Baez
RP Feliciano Meyer Saito Bruney Zagurski
RP Mejia Veres Medlin Clippard Durbin
RP Calero Hensley Reyes Burnett Bastardo
RP Figueroa Pinto Chavez
Bergmann Lopez
25th Adams Barden Conrad Batista Ransom
  • Mets: Beltran, Reyes, Takahashi, Nieve, Tejada, Santos, Escobar, Murphy, Parnell, Green, Dessens, Muniz
  • Braves: Freeman, Hicks, Sammons, Boscan, Schafer, Young, Proctor, Venters, O’Flaherty
  • Marlins: Badenhop, Richar, Davis, Luna, Murphy
  • Nats: English, Martis, James, Walker, Spier, Orr, Coste, Taveras, Maxwell, McDougal, Wang, Detwiller, Duncan, Bruntlett, Flores
  • Phillies: Blanton, Lidge, Romero, Valdez, Guzman, Hoover, Brown, Wise

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Each year, USA Today comes out with their 100 names you need to know for the upcoming season.  The list is different from typical prospect lists. Its typically a good resource for fantasy leagues, as these are players who have a good chance to make contributions for the upcoming season:

These aren’t necessarily baseball’s 100 best prospects because many top prospects are too far down in the minor leagues to contribute in the majors this season. Others are stuck behind established major leaguers.

Not all of the players on our list have rookie status, either, but our standard for inclusion is that a player must have had more innings (for pitchers) or at-bats (for hitters) in the minor leagues in 2009 than he has had during all of his major league time.

Conversely, Baseball  America released their top 100 prospect list for 2010 .

The Top 100 Prospects list is the culmination of our offseason prospect coverage, which begins with our reviews of the top talent in each minor league and proceeds with ranking the talent in each major league farm system.

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murphyFor the last few years, all we have been hearing out of the Mets farm system is about Fernando Martinez as the next big thing. Somewhere along the way last season, the Mets untouchable prospect Martinez (in the Santana trade  negotiations) got passed by a pair of lower level minor league outfielders, who did not show up at the top of all the prospect lists.

In 2008, Danniel Murphy and Nick Evans, shot through the minor leagues and made their Mets debut. Out of the two, Daniel Murphy made the most of the opportunity. Here are Daniel Murphy’s numbers over the past two minor league seasons along with his 49 games with the Mets:

135 11 0.285 0.338 0.430 0.768 42 61
99 13 0.315 0.379 0.493 0.872 40 48
49 2 0.313 0.397 0.473 0.870 18 28

Daniel Murphy , was a 13th round draft pick out of Jacksonville Univerity (JU) in Florida, where he was the Atlantic Sun conference player of the year in 2006.   Murphy’s claim to fame is his hitting. His bat is what got him to the show as his defense has still a ways to go. Murphy’s natural position is third base, but played in the outfield some in college.

“He’s got basically one tool, hitting, and everything else is average,” said his father,
Tom Murphy. “The way he runs, throws, plays defense – average. His glove was always a little shaky, but that bat worked.”

Murphy was selected as the everyday left fielder early in spring training and his bat has been on fire ever since. One developemnt was the story about how Murphy keeps track of each at bat in a little binder. Something he began after witnessing Carlos Delgado’s ritual a few springs ago.

If you want to know how hard of a worker Murphy is, see some of the feedback from his former teammates:

“My name is James Murdock and I also played with Daniel Murphy at JU. I was a senior last year and got the priveledge to play with Daniel for 3 years. I can honestly say it was a honor to play with him on and off the field. On the field, you won’t find a harder worker at all aspects of the game. In the club house, he was the most respected for how he acted on and off the field. I was 2 years older than Daniel but I looked up to him for how he respected the game and how he went about his business. I got hurt my junior year and thought about not coming back for my senior season but I can say Daniel Murphy was one of the main reasons I came back and he contributed to the most exciting season of my life. He will have success at every level he plays and I am looking forward to following him throughout his career. He is a great baseball player, friend, and role model.”

This season Murphy is off to a great start batting .348/.400/.522 with an opening day home run which helped Santana go on to an opening day win. It looks as if Manuel made a great decision in making Murphy a starter in spring training. He is providing a good #2 bat following Jose Reyes in the lineup. His numbers he has shown the past few years in something he will definitely be capable of.  With Carlos Beltran a fixture in center field, and Sheffield now with Mets, and Ryan Church playing well, I am not sure where Martinez fits with the Mets.  Certainly, after a good spring by Nick Evans, he gets a shot in the big leagues again before Fernando Martinez does.

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The Baseball Insights site has unveiled their 2009 player projection functionality. For example , I did I lookup on John Bowker, and Daniel Murphy.

Over at Fantasy Phenoms, they have their prospect outlook by position .

The MLB Jerk has a look at NL East prospects.

The Grand Finale link of the day is Keith Law’s Top 100.

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koufax.jpgLet’s just forget that the Red Sox and A’s game in Japan, and the Braves and the Nats game in Natiion’s Capital never happened. Monday is what we will consider the true opening day as we had the full slate of games throughout major league baseball.

The day started off with the Yankees season opener in the Bronx rained out. The Yankees begin play in their new cathedral next season. It must of been a real downer for the fans who held the final opening day tickets in Yankee Stadium. Instead, we were treated to the Tigers take on the Royals on ESPN. The game started out with the Tigers taking the early lead, but the Royals came back and the game went into extra innings with the Tigers bullpen giving way to the Royals first win.

If the name Jamie Shields is not a household name yet, may be some day it will be. As Shields, in his first opening day start, pitched the Rays to an opening day win in Baltimore.

The opening day for the Reds and the Brewers were delayed by rain. The Reds honored long time announcer Joe Nuxhall by wearing #41 on the back of all their jerseys.

It did not take that long for Eric Gagne to have his role as closer with the Brewers to be on the line. David Riske had to nail down the save in extra innings over the Cubs, as Gagne gave up 3 runs in ninth. The Cubs offense was anemic, except for Japan import Fukodome who had three RBIs on the day. Cubs got a nice outing by Zambrano who ended up having to leave with an arm cramp.

Brandon Webb of the D-Backs notched an opening day win over the Reds. Jeff Salazar launched the pinch hit home run to add some extra insurance, and Lyons surprisingly had an easy ninth collecting the save on 11 picthes.

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