Bartolo Colon isn’t ready to retire just yet. Last month, reports surfaced that the 44-year-old right-hander was planning to continue his career in 2018, and now it appears he’d be willing to return on a minor-league deal. Mike Puma of the New York Post adds that Colon is only open to a minors contract with the Mets, however, and the club reportedly has “minimal interest” at the moment.
Colon rounded out his second decade in the majors in 2017, splitting his 20th season between the Braves and Twins and pitching to a combined 7-14 record in 28 starts. He finished the season with a 6.48 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 5.6 SO/9 in 143 innings, a far cry from the All-Star numbers he put up in recent years. According to FanGraphs, the right-hander’s value dipped from 2.8 fWAR in 2016 to a paltry 0.6 in 2017, the worst mark he’d seen since an injury-shortened stint with the White Sox in 2009.
A major league gig likely isn’t in the cards for the veteran righty, but it makes sense that he’d want to return to the team with whom he spent some of the most fruitful years of his career. In three seasons with the Mets, Colon went 44-34 in 95 starts, decorating his efforts with a 3.90 ERA, 1.3 BB/9, 6.3 SO/9 and his 36th complete game.
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.