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.
Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.
Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.
Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.
The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.
Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.
Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.