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Minor League Ball daily notes, April 8, 2016

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Joey Rickard hits his first major league homer
Joey Rickard hits his first major league homer
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning everyone and welcome to the Friday, April 7th edition of Minor League Ball daily notes. Here are some readable baseball items for your edification and amusement.

****Yesterday's Opening Day Gameday Thread is right here. All hail Nick Melotte!

****All hail Joey Rickard, Baltimore Orioles Rule 5 pick who hit his first big league homer last night against the Twins.

****The Houston Astros have signed Cuban infielder Anibal Sierra to a minor league contract. Age 22, he is subject to international bonus pool restrictions. According to ESPN the contract is worth $3,500,000 and does not take effect until July 2nd. This will put the Astros over their bonus pool for the 2016-2017 window. Sierra's best skills are defensive; he is considered an excellent gloveman but his bat is questionable. Since they are committed to busting their bonus pool, expect heavy action on the international front by Houston.

****Remember Tyler Kolek and his 100 MPH 2014 high school fastball? Remember Tyler Kolek and his 92 MPH 2015 Low-A fastball? The Marlins prospect just had his 2016 Tommy John surgery.

****Boston Red Sox catching prospect Austin Rei had a strong college career at the University of Washington, earning a spot in the third round in 2015. Alas, his pro debut last year in the New York-Penn League was terrible, both offensively and defensively, quite a surprise considering his college reputation. SoxProspects.com interviewed Rei at the end of March; he discusses his early pro struggles and the steps he's taken to correct them.

****Carson Cistulli at Fangraphs debuts his Fringe Five prospect list for 2016.

****At Beyond the Boxscore, Spencer Bingol looks at potential contract extensions for young pitchers including Sonny Gray of the Athletics and Jake Odorizzi of the Rays.