Milwaukee will be without Marco Estrada for at least 3-4 starts because a quadriceps strain and he was only in the rotation to begin with as an injury replacement for Chris Narveson, so the Brewers are running short on starters.
Instead of dipping down into the minors for help manager Ron Roenicke indicated that he’ll give Manny Parra a chance by moving him from the bullpen to the rotation, where he spent the first three seasons of his career. And had some really ugly results.
Parra has started 74 career games with a 5.44 ERA, allowing opponents to hit .291 with an .820 OPS while walking 4.7 batters per nine innings. And those numbers include some good work as a rookie way back in 2008, after which Parra really fell apart.
Toss in the fact that Parra’s time in the bullpen means he hasn’t built up the arm strength to pitch deep into games as a starter and Estrada’s injury could prove more costly to the Brewers than it appears as first glance.
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.