Good afternoon prospect watchers. I went to see Star Trek Into Darkness last night.
I won't do a full review because I can't properly explain the film without ruining the spoilers, but overall I really disliked it, not just as a Trek fan but as a moviegoer. It was filled with terrific visuals and pretty explosions, but I felt it was soulless and had plotholes you can drive a starship through, writing problems serious enough that it insulted the intelligence of the audience.
I'm not talking about "violations" of Trek canon or anything like that. As a story, it is simply poor, with shallow characterizations and a nonsensical plot. I've read comic books that had greater depth to them and stronger characters. About 2/3 of the way through the movie, I thought to myself "J.J. Abrams has contempt for the audience."
Apparently most people disagree and are giving it good reviews, but I hated it and would put it on a par with the typical ridiculously written summer blockbuster action films that I usually avoid. I won't see it again. I guess I'll have to stick with Star Fleet Battles.
J.J. Abrams will probably destroy Star Wars too, at least if he uses the same scriptwriters who produced this abomination.
So with that out of the way, let's turn to baseball.
***Yesterday's Minor League Ball Gameday Thread
***Texas Rangers outfield prospect Lewis Brinson hit his ninth homer for Low-A Hickory last night. Overall his season line stands at .238/.299/.456 with 12 walks and 66 strikeouts in 160 at-bats. I know we are all supposed to drool over his tools and indeed they do stand out, but that strikeout rate is unacceptably high and a big red flag for his chances at higher levels. This is mitigated to some extent by his youth at age 19. . .keep in mind he's essentially a college freshman. . .and he has plenty of time to work out the contact issues. My point is that the contact problem IS an issue, and the strikeout rate isn't just annoying or a minor thing; it is bad enough to be threatening. I will be trying to track down some scouting reports to discover what kind of pitches the whiffs are coming on.
***Are you guys tired of reading about Byron Buxton yet? Here is his walk-off home run from last night.
***Ten strikeouts and no walks yesterday for New York Mets prospect Noah Syndergaard. All systems look go to me. He had one bad start back in April but has otherwise been outstanding all season. It will be interesting to see how long the Mets leave him at High-A St. Lucie.
***Another Mets prospect, right-hander Rainy Lara, fanned nine in eight shutout innings for Low-A Savannah and now has a 1.17 ERA with a 47/5 K/BB in 45 innings with just 32 hits allowed. Age 22, he was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2009 and has a 90+ fastball with a good changeup. He didn't get much attention pre-season, though I did give him a Grade C+ and discussed him as a sleeper type in the 2013 Baseball Prospect Book.
***Speaking of the book, I still have some for sale. Support small business! Made in America!
***JD Sussman has a prospects chat going at Fangraphs.
***Rob Neyer asks if Phil Hughes' slider has really made all the difference. Rob is getting at a larger point about causality there.
***Searching for the next major league city.
***Even more about Byron Buxton!