Jeremy Hellickson named Baseball America's minor league player of the year

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Rays prospect Jeremy Hellickson has been named Baseball America‘s minor league player of the year after the 22-year-old right-hander went 12-3 with a 2.45 ERA, .238 opponents’ batting average, and 123/35 K/BB ratio in 117.2 innings at Triple-A.
BA doesn’t list the other finalists for the award, but Mike Moustakas and Wil Myers of the Royals, Mike Trout of the Angels, and Domonic Brown of the Phillies were other prominent candidates.
Hellickson is the third Rays prospect to win the award in the franchise’s 13-year history, following the footsteps of Delmon Young in 2005 and Rocco Baldelli in 2002. He’s also the first pitcher to win the award since Rockies left-hander Jeff Francis in 2004, as Young, Alex Gordon, Jay Bruce, Matt Wieters, and Jason Heyward marked five straight position player recipients.
In addition to dominating Triple-A hitters Hellickson has also thrived in his first taste of the majors, going 3-0 with a 2.57 ERA, .212 opponents’ batting average, and 26/5 K/BB ratio through 28 innings for the Rays.
He’s been so good and Jeff Niemann has struggled so much since returning from the disabled list that Hellickson could be in line for a spot in the postseason rotation.

Javier Baez, D.J. LeMahieu have disagreement about sign-stealing

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Fellow second basemen Javier Baez of the Cubs and D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies got into a disagreement in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game at Coors Field over sign-stealing.

LeMahieu reached on a fielder’s choice ground out, then advanced to second base on Charlie Blackmon‘s single. While Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story were batting, Baez was concerned that LeMahieu was relaying the Cubs’ signs to his teammates. Baez decided to stand in front of LeMahieu to block any information he might have been giving to Arenado and Story. LeMahieu got irritated and the two jawed at each other for a bit. Umpires Vic Carapazza and Greg Gibson had to intervene to tell Baez to knock it off.

There has always been a back-and-forth with alleged sign-stealing. As long as teams aren’t using technology to steal signs, it’s fair game for players to relay information to their teammates about the opposing team’s signs. Last year, MLB determined the Red Sox went against the rules and used technology — an Apple watch in this case — to steal signs from the Yankees. Other teams in the past have been accused of using binoculars from the bullpen to steal signs. In this particular case with Baez and LeMahieu, there was no foul play going on, just Baez trying to make the Rockies cede what he perceived to be their slight competitive advantage.

The Cubs went on to beat the Rockies 9-7 on Sunday.