Darren Oliver has been contemplating retirement, but the 41-year-old reliever’s wife has given him permission to play in 2012.
“Darren’s wife has given him her blessing to go wherever he thinks he has the best opportunity to win a ring,” agent Jeff Frye told Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com. “She wants him to have a chance to go out on top.”
I’d normally make a “that’s what she said” joke now, but it doesn’t really work when that’s actually what she said.
Oliver earned $3.25 million this season and was very effective for the Rangers, tossing 51 innings with a 2.29 ERA and 44/11 K/BB ratio. And since moving to the bullpen full time in 2006 he’s posted ERAs of 3.44, 3.78, 2.88, 2.71, 2.48, and 2.29.
ESPN’s Keith Law has released his annual top-100 prospects list. According to Law, Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna is the number one prospect in baseball.
After blazing through High-A and Double-A ball last season, Acuna was the youngest player in Triple-A in 2017. He was 19 years-old all season long and put up a fantastic line of .335/.384/.534 in 486 plate appearances at Double and Triple-A. He then went on to star in the Arizona Fall League, leading that circuit in homers. Law, who is not one to throw hyperbolic comps around, says, “if Acuna stays in center and maxes out his power, he’s going to be among the best players in baseball, with a Mike Trout-ish profile.”
Acuna, who is 20 now, is likely play the bulk of the season in Atlanta, even if he’s kept down at Triple-A for the first couple of weeks of the season to manipulate his service time, er, I mean to allow him to develop his skills more fully. Or something. Given the presence of reigning Gold Glove center fielder Ender Inciarte, Acuna is not likely to man center for the Braves this year, but Law says he’d be a plus right field defender, which could make the Braves outfield Death to Flying Things in 2018. At least when Nick Markakis is not playing.
Number two on the list: Blue Jays third base prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. As law notes, the name may be familiar but he’s not very much like his old man. Mostly because young Vlad can take a walk. Which is better, even if it’s nowhere near as fun as swinging at balls that bounce in the dirt first.
For the other 98, you’ll have to click through.