Good afternoon everyone and welcome to the Saturday, April 16th edition of Minor League Ball daily notes. Here are some baseball links and news items for your edification and amusement.
****Don't forget the Friday night Minor League Ball Gameday thread.
****Nicholas Stellini at Beyond the Boxscore has an Ode to Dellin Betances, New York Yankees reliever.
****Minnesota Twins pitching prospect Alex Meyer hit 99 MPH last night for Triple-A Rochester, throwing 6.2 scoreless innings. Here's a thought: if Meyer doesn't make it as a starter, could he turn into a Betances-like dominant reliever?
****Michael Schwarz at FakeTeams has a farm tracker.
****Ray Guilfoyle at FakeTeams decides to re-build his farm system in an NL 12-team keeper league. His first draft choices include Phillies outfield prospect Nick Williams, Brewers outfield prospect Brett Phillips, and Braves infield prospect Ozhaino Albies.
****Is manager Fredi Gonzalez doomed in Atlanta?
****Fangraphs Chris Mitchell looks at Baltimore Orioles outfielder Joey Rickard and runs his KATOH projection numbers. He concludes:
It’s far too early to say that Rickard will be an everyday outfielder long-term, or even a quality fourth outfielder in the near term. But it’s looking more and more like he belongs in the big leagues. Prior to hitting up a storm in his first week-plus in the majors, he hit .397/.472/.571 in spring training. Before that, he hit .321/.427/.447 in the minors last year. The most recent data on Rickard suggest his excellent control of the strike zone and high OBPs are for real, and those data are mounting. Regardless of what Rickard does from here on out, the Orioles have already gotten a very good return from the eighth pick in the Rule 5 draft. And they just might have found their everyday left fielder.
Hard to argue with that.
****The Red Sox demoted catcher Blake Swihart to Triple-A Pawtucket. My first-glance opinion is that this seems like an over-reaction given how early it is in the season. What do you guys think?