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.