Wednesday, March 27, 2013


How often does it happen that an amateur player, a teenager, shows such potential that they become the subject of a Yahoo News! article before the comparable professional league gets underway, months before their respective sport's Draft?    Not too often, and when they do, it's usually basketball after one of the invitational prep tournaments.   In the last five years, only Bryce Harper has merited this kind of attention well ahead of Draft Day....until now.

Did you notice how quickly his teammates gathered at home plate?  The kid hadn't even reached first when they piled out, in what was obviously a no-doubter in a respectable (330 foot down the LF line) park.  Oh, and it was a three-run shot to put his team ahead.  Oh, and in hitting it he essentially "outdueled" the other big-name prospect that over 70 scouts came to see at this game between Louisville and Grayson, Austin Meadows.   Don't believe me?   This is Baseball America's absolutely-GUSHING account of the exploit.  Oh, and in the next six games he hit five more out.  And, entering his senior year, he's already broken the previous career mark for HR at his alma mater,  which was set by a current active major-leaguer (Brandon Moss).

What has brought this young man this sort of attention?  Click on the Yahoo link above, which has many pics and multiple videos.   Suffice to say is that, before the prep season began, he was already either the number-one or number-two ranked prep player in the country.  Now, with his season just seven games old, it might just be that Frazier has a chance of being the number-one ranked prospect, period.

Gentlemen, behold the projectable body and quick hands of 6' 1", 190-pound high school senior Clint Frazier.  So quick, that in the video below he clearly tomahawks what would eventually go out over the LF wall.  In, uh, the Metrodome.

But wait, there's more. This video shows Frazier on a West Coast jaunt. The last minute is shot at Petco Park. I like it when he hits a line drive off the Western Supply Building, and also a big fly ball that goes out to dead-center...and out. Petco, even in the daytime, not too favorable for power hitters. So, yeah, I think the kid can really hit. And I don't think he's going to end up playing OF for Georgia, either:

Saturday, March 16, 2013



St. Francis, looking for outfield depth, has obtained veteran flychaser Carlos Beltran from last year's most improved club, the New England Yankee Stompers.  At age 35, Beltran managed to avoid any extended absences due to injury and hit .284 with 20 HR and 88 RBI for a club that came within one game of winning the league title in 2012.   But, with a big contract and a need to rebuild their club, New England felt it was probably better to move Beltran now while his value was up.

To obtain Beltran, St. Francis parted with defensive whiz Hak-Ju Lee, who draws comparison with (among others) Cesar Izturis and Ozzie Guillen for the way he takes charge on the infield.   Lee could be New England's starting shortstop by 2014 if he continues his development with the bat, but with the Friars having obtained veteran SS J.J. Hardy (still only 30 and with plenty of pop) to back up incumbent Alexei Ramirez, and with free agency still to play out, this move made some sense for the Friars.


So far, not so much.   The parent club has added veterans on the long side of 30 this off-season, and has yet to either trade for or develop the ace starter the rotation needs to move into the upper-tier of BARB clubs.
So far, the vaunted list of phenom pitchers hasn't made a dent in the parent club's decisions.   In the last 48 hours, Danny Hultzen, Casey Crosby and ultra-phenom Dylan Bundy have all been notified they will open the year at AAA.   Shelby Miller still has an outside chance of breaking camp with the Friars, but so far it's been a quiet spring without a lot of battles.

But then there's this kid.   He's got no chance of making the roster barring an unbelievable run of injuries.  But the bat speed, the wrists have people talking about Javier Baez, who has drilled four no-doubt bombs in the last two days: