At this point I might be getting sick of writing these “Byron Buxton named No. 1 prospect by X” posts, except I’m a Twins fan and it’s negative-10 degrees here in Minnesota and it’s basically all I’ve got.
Anyway, the latest to pick Buxton as the best prospect in the world is Keith Law of ESPN.com, who released his annual top-100 rankings today.
Buxton–who was previously ranked No. 1 by Baseball Prospectus and MLB.com, along with my heart–is followed on Law’s list by Xander Bogaerts of the Red Sox, Addison Russell of the A’s, Carlos Correa of the Astros, and Oscar Taveras of the Cardinals.
Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.
When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.
Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.