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Theo Epstein surveys the outfield
Theo Epstein surveys the outfield
Jonathan Daniel

Good morning prospect watchers. Trade rumors are flying, particularly the rumored Matt Garza transaction between the Cubs and the Rangers, and we'll have prospect analysis for any transactions that occur.

***Yesterday's Minor League Ball Gameday thread.

***The Chicago Cubs promoted infielder/enigma Junior Lake to the major league roster, replacing the injured Brian Bogusevic. Lake was hitting .295/.341/.462 for Triple-A Iowa. Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2007, Lake is a chiseled 6-3, 215 pound right-handed hitter with an amazing throwing arm (we are talking Shawon Dunston-quality arm here) and considerable power in his bat. He is also extremely erratic: he'll look like a superstar one day, then like a rookie ball washout the next. We'll do a full profile on him soon.

***San Francisco Giants right-hander Joan Gregorio had an outstanding start yesterday for Low-A Augusta, fanning 10 in seven hitless innings against Lakewood, walking one. On the season, he has a 3.12 ERA with a 73/13 K/BB ratio in 60.2 innings with 50 hits allowed. He attributes his strong performance this year to better command of his secondary pitches. Ultra-projectable at 6-7, 190, the 21 year old from the Dominican Republic already has a 90+ fastball, so improving his slider and changeup has made him a more complete pitcher. Keep a close eye on him.

***Minnesota Twins second base prospect Eddie Rosario went 2-for-4 yesterday for Double-A New Britain and is now 11-for-22 (.500) in his last five games. This drives his numbers up to .312/.372/.464 in 32 games since being promoted from High-A.

***New York Yankees outfield prospect Mason Williams went 1-for-3 yesterday and is hitting .400 in his last 10 games for High-A Tampa. He's been hitting well for about a month now and has pushed his season line up to .275/.349/.376, not great but certainly a considerable improvement after his slow start.

***Meanwhile, a wrist injury sidelined fellow outfield prospect Tyler Austin, who is now on the DL for Double-A Trenton. Austin was hitting .244/.344/.367 on the season, maintaining his plate discipline but not replicating the big power numbers he posted in '12 and '11. The injury is diagnosed as a bone bruise. Austin says he first hurt the wrist in early July; he's hitting .188/.278/.281 this month, so it does show up in the numbers.

***Ken Wolums at Beyond the Boxscore points out flaws in the competitive balance draft lottery and proposes changes. Ken's conclusion:

The current Competitive Balance Lottery doesn't make much sense. It uses ineffective variables such as market size and the random nature of a lottery to award picks to teams. By the current system, teams like the Cardinals are awarded extra picks and teams like the Athletics are left without compensation for their current financial situation. Fixing the system is rather easy, too.

The league needs to ditch the random nature of the lottery and use more efficient variables such as team value. In addition to this, picks need to be moved higher up into the draft in order to create additional value and actually work towards fair compensation. If and when this is accomplished, the league can call the picks true "Competitive Balance" compensation.

I agree with most of this. The whole "Lottery" thing smacks of NBA and I hate the NBA. I don't want that in MLB. Get rid of the lottery part. I also agree with Ken's idea to rework the team value/market size/revenue issue. On the other hand, I don't have a problem with the current location of the picks within the draft framework and I wouldn't change where they currently slot.

***Jon Johnston at CornNation, SB Nation's Nebraska Cornhuskers community, believes that college football will be dead within 20 years, or at least radically changed from its current form. He links this to upheavals in the way universities will conduct themselves due to economic and technological changes that will dismantle most classroom education in favor of a cyberpunk dystopia....err, people getting their degrees on line.

This could happen, although I think 20 years is too soon. I don't expect that the world will completely resemble a Bruce Sterling or William Gibson novel until after I'm dead, thank Goddess.

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