Good afternoon baseball fans and prospect followers. Here is your daily discussion thread. Items on the discussion agenda:
****The dark news today is the death of Seattle Mariners prospect Victor Sanchez at the age of 20, following injuries suffered during a swimming accident in February. All we can do at this point is hope that his family and friends and the Mariners organization find ways to keep going following something so seemingly senseless.
Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik released this statement: "The Seattle Mariners are saddened to learn of the passing of Victor Sanchez. Victor was a tremendous young man and a wonderful teammate. He was a very talented player who was close to fulfilling his promise as a Major Leaguer. He will be missed by his teammates, and the coaches and staff at the Mariners."
The Royals signed Baez as a free agent from the Dominican Republic back in 2008. He has yet to get past A-ball but you will see his name on rosters for some time to come, thanks to a 93-98 MPH fastball. He has a decent changeup, but his slider is erratic and he’s got significant control problems which have kept him off most prospect lists. He’s just an arm at this point but small improvements can go a long way with guys like this, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him turn things around within the next year or two. Grade C.
That didn’t happen. Baez was mediocre at Northwest Arkansas despite a logical switch to the bullpen. However, note the strong K/IP ratio: the stuff is still here. One oddity: he has a strong reverse platoon split, holding lefties to a .207 average but struggling against right-handers at .300. Whether that’s bad luck or a fluke remains to be seen, but if that equalizes in a positive direction he could still take that step forward. Grade C.
****The Astros sent shortstop prospect Carlos Correa down to Double-A. He was excellent this spring, hitting .341/.372/.512 in 41 at-bats in big league camp.
****The San Francisco Giants sent catcher Andrew Susac down to Triple-A. He hit .227/.320/.500 in 22 at-bats this spring.
****Items in the Minor League Ball work queue this week: Prospect Retrospectives for Starling Marte, Todd Frazier, Yovani Gallardo, and Lance Lynn. Feel free to suggest others. We will also look at Delino DeShields, Adam Warren, and anything else newsworthy. The main large project is a ranking of all 30 farm systems by Opening Day.