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Minor League Ball Gameday: Wednesday, April 4th, 2018

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Jack Flaherty and Shohei Ohtani lead Tuesday’s rookie performers

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Milwaukee Brewers
Jack Flaherty
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Good day everyone and welcome to the Minor League Ball Gameday discussion thread for Wednesday, April 4th, 2018. The minor league baseball season begins tomorrow!!

In the meantime, here are some items worthy of discussion.

****St. Louis Cardinals rookie Jack Flaherty made his first start of the season yesterday against the Milwaukee Brewers, allowing one run on six hits and a walk in five innings, fanning nine. The Cardinals eventually lost the game 5-4

****Shohei Ohtani hit his first major league home run yesterday in the Angels’ 13-2 mashing of the Cleveland Indians.

****In other Angels prospect news, Los Angeles is shifting prospect Jahmai Jones from the outfield to second base.

****Eric Longenhagen at Fangraphs did a prospect chat yesterday that’s worth a read. I especially like this exchange:

Mark: Is there an geographic area that you currently see as a market inefficiency in recruiting and scouting?

Eric A Longenhagen: Some teams are aggressive in Mexico due to cost loopholes created by the bonus rules there. Cold-weather areas in the US could be scouted/recruited differently in a way that identifies non-baseball athletes with good baseball traits and attempts to woo them to baseball. The Northeast hasn’t really developed an elite baseball program that scoops up all the kids from PA and northward.

I like his point about cold-weather states being a potentially rich area of development. There’s also this; the italicized part would scare me a lot if I were a Mariners fan:

Concerned Mariners Fan: Heard anything about Sam Carlson? He hasn’t received a minor league assignment from the Mariners yet.

Eric A Longenhagen: No idea. Very concerned about the Mariners minor league situation. Had to cancel some spring minor league games due to lack of pitching.

****Ryan Romano at Beyond the Boxscore looks at Jameson Taillon and his first start of the year for the Pittsburgh Pirates and finds evidence of a breakout in the making.