It hasn’t gotten any attention because of Billy Hamilton’s record-breaking stolen base numbers, but a second prospect cracked triple-digit steals in the minors this season.
Delino DeShields Jr., whose father played 13 seasons in the majors and was once traded straight-up for Pedro Martinez, stole 101 bases in 135 games between two levels of Single-A in the Astros’ farm system.
Like his dad, DeShields Jr. is a second baseman with very good on-base skills and amazing speed, and in addition to all the running the No. 8 overall pick in the 2010 draft hit .287 with a .387 on-base percentage at age 19.
Hamilton broke the all-time minor league record by stealing 155 bases in 132 games and was thrown out 37 times for a success rate of 80.7 percent. By comparison DeShields stole 101 bases and was thrown out 19 times for a success rate of 84.2 percent.
Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.
In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.
The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.
The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.