AZ Diamondbacks Catching Needs

The Arizona Diamondbacks still need to address their need for catching as they continue to make trades during the MLB Hot Stove season. After trading Miguel Montero to the Chicago Cubs, the Diamondbacks are left with Tuffy Gosewich as their lone catcher from last season. They will need to get additional catching help through trades or free agency, but there are not many choices left out there. As far as available free agents, J.P. Arencibia, John Buck, Chris Gimenez and Nick Hundley are not considered everyday catchers. A. J. Pierzynski could be available, but he will be 38 when the season starts and if they are interested in him, they would have to decide his value because he is considered high-maintenance.

The Diamondbacks do have several other catchers in the organization, with Matt Pagnozzi and Blake Lalli at AAA Reno, but they are both considered career minor league players. Mark Thomas who was signed in 2013 from the Rays is currently in AA, but he is also seen as a career minor league player or a backup MLB catcher.

The Diamondbacks do believe that Peter O’Brien, who they obtained from the Yankees, will be their starting catcher in 2016 and he might see some action with the Diamondbacks during the 2015 season. The Diamondbacks might overlook O’Brien’s poor defensive skills, especially his throwing, and be willing to live with some of his defensive struggles, in order to get his power into the lineup. He did hit 34 homers between High- and Double-A in 2014 and showed some “POP” in the Arizona Fall League. Continue reading AZ Diamondbacks Catching Needs

Watch out MLB, Here Come the Padres!

Did anyone think that the San Diego Padres would be the big movers and shakers this off-season? I think it’s caught the whole baseball world by surprise and quite frankly it’s good for the sport. AJ Preller the new Padres GM has made a ton of moves and on paper I am a fan of them all. I might be a little bias as Preller is from Long Island, New York as well as myself. But this has to wake up the fan base of the Padres as the Friars not have a legitimate playoff contending team at the minimum. The Padres have only been above .500 once in the last seven seasons. San Diego has been a team that try to have a window of a good 2-3 years and then it was back to rebuild mode due to financial constraints. When the Padres did find a top player most likely through their farm system it was only a matter of time before they traded him away. We saw that with Adrian Gonzalez to the Red Sox and Matt Latos to the Reds. It did not help the Padres that looking at the number of young players they received in those deals none of them made an impact. But 2015 is a new season and a new start for the Friars.

The Padres last year were beyond inept offensively. This off season the Padres added Matt Kemp, Wil Myers, Justin Upton, Derek Norris, Will Middlebrooks and Clint Barmes. On top of adding this kind of talent, what I also like about all these additions is Padres GM AJ Preller did not sell the farm. Going into this off season of the Padres top 5 Prospects Preller traded away his number 3 prospect in Max Fried (SP, #68 on Jonathan Mayo Top 100 Summer Prospect Listing) & Trea Turner the Padres 5th best prospect (SS, Player to be named later going to the Nationals in the Wil Myers trade. #96 on Mayo’s Top 100). Preller was able to keep Austin Hedges (C, ranked #22 according to Mayo), Matthew Wisler (SP, ranked #61) and Hunter Renfroe (OF, ranked #71). Continue reading Watch out MLB, Here Come the Padres!

Carlos Martinez, Future Wunderkid Ace

Carlos Martinez is a beast. He is a phenomenal pitching talent. Carlos signed to the Red Sox in 2009, but the deal was voided after it was revealed his actual surname was not Martias, but Martinez. This led to some questioning on behalf of the aging department of Major League Worriers. The Red Sox decided to pass. The Cardinals picked him up for $1.5 million in 2010, and here we are today. Miller was traded to the Braves to fill another need and let the Cardinals go with him in the rotation. This was an absolutely brilliant plan by John Mozeliak. The Cardinals get one of the best right fielders in baseball by WAR, and they get an upgrade in the rotation in Martinez. Before we take a look at Martinez’s shot to shine on the Major League level, we have to see where he really shined in the Minor League level.

At age 18 in 2010 in the Dominican Summer League, he was dominant, despite being a year younger than the average player in the league. He had a .76 ERA in 12 starts! Read that again please. He had a .76 ERA in 12 starts! That is how you put yourself on the prospect radar. The next year, he rightfully moved up the ladder to the Class A Midwest League. He was three years younger than the average player this time at age 19. He outclassed just about everyone with a 2.33 ERA in just 8 starts. Later that year, he got promoted. He hit his first rough patch in the Florida State League. That is a hard place to pitch because of the weather. Carlos was a failure for failing in a league whose average player is four years older, right? Wrong. He got a Prospect Ranking from that point on, and Baseball America put him at number 27. His electric fastball in the upper nineties got scouts demanding their GM’s trade for the guy. Continue reading Carlos Martinez, Future Wunderkid Ace