Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the St. Louis Cardinals are making a change to Busch Stadium.
The change: removing some seats in right field to create a party deck kind of area with bars and open spaces for fans to gather. Goold compares it to the open areas in Coors Field and Petco Park. The Tigers did this several years ago at Comerica Park too, with a large bar on an existing right field patio too.
These sorts of areas are pretty great in my experience, at least as long as they’re open to everyone and don’t serve as yet another VIP area. Which, Goold notes, is happily the case in St. Louis. These spaces are nice places to hang out and stretch your legs. It’s a good meetup place for friends who may have seats in different parts of the ballpark and want to connect. From the team’s perspective, yeah, it allows them to sell more standing room tickets, but for high demand games people want that option.
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.