Omar Minaya and Theo Epstein spoke at a round table
discussion over the weekend and the subject of Latin American player development came up. This was fun:
While many big-name players have emerged from the Dominican Republic,
the highly touted athletes often are kept out of baseball games and
kept in training facilities, thus explaining the tendency of Dominican
prospects to be more raw than most minor-leaguers. Buscones, which are
similar to agents in the Dominican Republic, take the talented children
(as young as 10 years old, according to Minaya and Epstein) and have
them fine-tune their stills through drills. This hinders their baseball
thinking so much that Epstein recalled a player that the Red Sox had
given $500,000 to that they soon realized did not understand what a
force out was.
Of course, given the fact that the Red Sox haven’t produced a single Latin American prospect of note under Theo Epstein maybe this anecdote says more about the Sox’ Latin American scouts than it says about the habits of Dominican kids and the buscones who find them.
The Braves have signed former football player and current outfielder Sanders Commings, an Augusta, Georgia native, to a minor league contract, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
Commings, 26, was a defensive back who played for the University of Georgia before being selected by the Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2013 draft. He appeared in two games in the 2013 season.
Commings also played baseball for Westside High School and was selected by the Diamondbacks in the 37th round of the 2008 draft. He chose to attend the University of Georgia instead. When football didn’t pan out, Commings started training with Jerry Hairston, Jr. Hairston said he was “blown away” when he saw Commings hit for the first time.
Obviously, Commings’ path to success as a professional baseball player will be long, but it’s a no-risk flier for the Braves. The club has past experience with football players, including Deion Sanders and Brian Jordan.
The next task for the Braves will be to acquire Ryan Goins from the Blue Jays. That way, players will look at the lineup card each day to see if it’s Commings or Goins.
On Thursday afternoon, Rays pitcher Chris Archer asked his Twitter followers, “Lots swirling around what needs to be changed about the game of baseball. What do y’all want to see changed, if anything, & why?”
Tigers ace Justin Verlander responded:
To that, Archer said:
For what it’s worth, Verlander hasn’t been much of a hitter. In 47 career plate appearances, he has three singles and no extra-base hits. And if the AL did get rid of the DH rule, the Tigers would have nowhere to put Victor Martinez. Verlander, though, would have an easier time pitching to opposing pitchers rather than their DH’s.