Roy Halladay's scouting report as a 21-year-old prospect

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In honor of Roy Halladay’s no-hitter Conor Glassey of Baseball America went back through the magazine’s archives and found the scouting report published when Halladay was the Blue Jays’ top prospect in 1998.

The whole thing is definitely worth reading, but here are a few of the highlights …

– Halladay became so close with the Blue Jays scout who signed him in 1995 that he bought the scout “a satellite television system” with part of his signing bonus.

– “Hallday has a prototype pitcher’s body. He’s tall, lanky and flexible–and has plenty of stamina.”

– “Halladay just needs a little refinement to be a legitimate big league, front-of-the-rotation pitcher.”

As far as dozen-year-old scouting reports written about then-21-year-old pitchers who go on to become Cy Young winners and throw playoff no-hitters, it’s pretty much right on the money.

Also interesting: Glassey notes that 53 different players on playoff rosters were once Baseball America‘s top-ranked prospect in their respective organization while in the minors.

2017 Preview: The American League Central

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League Central

Do the Indians have a weakness? Do the Tigers and Royals have one more playoff push in them or do they have to start contemplating rebuilds? The White Sox and Twins are rebuilding, but do either of them have a chance to be remotely competitive?

As we sit here in March, the answers are “not really,” “possibly,” and “not a chance.” There are no games that count this March, however, so they’re just guesses. But educated ones! Here are the links to our guesses and our education for all of the clubs of the AL Central:

Cleveland Indians
Detroit Tigers
Kansas City Royals
Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins

2017 Preview: The National League East

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League East

The Washington Nationals crave a playoff run that doesn’t end at the division series. The Mets crave a season in which they don’t have a press conference about an injured pitcher. The Marlins are trying to put the nightmare of the end of the 2016 behind them. The Phillies and Braves are hoping to move on from the “lose tons of games” phase of their rebuilds and move on to the “hey, these kids can play!” phase.

There is a ton of star power in the NL East — Harper, Scherzer, Cespedes, Syndergaard, Stanton, Freeman — some great young talent on ever roster and, in Ichiro and Bartolo, the two oldest players in the game. Maybe the division can’t lay claim to the best team in baseball, but there will certainly be some interesting baseball in the division.

Here’s how each team breaks down:

Washington Nationals
New York Mets
Miami Marlins
Philadelphia Phillies
Atlanta Braves