Frank Robinson was at Orioles camp in Sarasota yesterday to address the team. An Orioles prospect didn’t know who he was. Some people call this sort of thing a teachable moment:
I mean, sure, Robinson had been retired for 20 years by the time the 19-year-old Hart had even been born, but we’re not talking about some borderline major leaguer with Robinson here. No matter how old you are, you can’t call yourself a professional baseball player without knowing the man who hit 586 homers, was the first black manager in baseball history, is one of your own team’s immortals and former managers and who has spent the past couple of decades as a high-ranking executive in the league where you ply your trade.
If Hart doesn’t know who Curt Blefary is, fine, let that slide. But you do not play in the Orioles organization — or really any organization — and not know who Frank Robinson is. Hell, if anything, that paper should be five pages long, not one. And an oral report should be given to the rest of the team during the morning meeting.
(link via Larry Brown Sports)
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.