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Minor League Ball Daily Discussion, December 18, 2013

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Jackie Bradley will play regularly in '14 for the Red Sox; other news and discussion items from around baseball.

Jackie Bradley Jr
Jackie Bradley Jr
USA TODAY Sports

Good morning prospect watchers. It is a week before Christmas. Here's a discussion thread for you with some possible topics of conversation to get things started.

***I am working on the San Francisco Giants Top 20 Prospect list. After that will come the Boston Red Sox.

***Speaking of the Red Sox, it seems that Jackie Bradley will be the center fielder on Opening Day 2014, or at least that is the current plan barring injury or an unexpected trade. What do you think about that? How patient do you think the Red Sox will be with Bradley? And how patient do you think they should be, which is a different question. There seems little doubt that he'll do a good job defensively, but what about his bat?

***Over at SBNation, Noah Jarosh runs down the remaining top starting pitchers on the free agent market: Matt Garza, Ervin Santana, A.J. Burnett, Ubaldo Jimenez, and Bronson Arroyo. Would you be comfortable giving any of these guys a four-year contract?

***At Fangraphs, Jeff Zimmerman digs deeper into the data on the apparent change in player aging curves. He concludes : "I think two items are causing the change in the curves. The first in the ban and harsh penalties on PEDs between the 2005 and 2006 seasons. Besides the ban on muscle building drugs, the crack down on amphetamines may have caused players to no longer chemically peak. The second effect is teams being able to better know when a player is able to contribute at their peak MLB level. I think this ability to evaluate talent may have existed before the PED ban, but increase production from PED masked the change."

Jeff is continuing to study the topic and will answer any questions about it. It is fascinating stuff of obvious importance to player development and prospect analysis.