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David Huff signs with the Yakult Swallows

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We’d normally not write about a signing as minor as this, but after a couple of days of excess and time spent in close quarters with family, you gotta do whatever you can to shake off the carbs and ethanol and forced politeness and stuff. David Huff: palette cleanser.

Anyway, the guy who has been most often mentioned on this site in service of my driven-into-the-ground Groucho Marx “a minute and a Huff” bit during And That Happened recaps apparently had an amazing run in Korea in 2016-17, posting a 2.66 ERA in just under 200 innings of mostly starting work for the LG Twins. That got him a one-year deal with the Yakult Swallows of NPB, where he’ll make $1.55 million in 2018.

Last we saw Huff here, he was pitching a grand total of five games between 2015 and 2016 for the Dodgers and Angels, respectively. He did have an excellent stretch run with the Yankees in 2014 in his second stint with the club. Even with that, though, he seemed like a perpetual non-tender candidate here and, in fact, he didn’t make that more in his entire eight-season MLB run than he’ll make in Japan this coming season. In light of all of that, his decision to head to Korea last year was a wise one.

Good luck, David. And good for you. In the past two seasons your career has covered a lot of ground. In fact you’ve covered a lot of ground yourself. You’d better beat it; I hear they’re gonna tear you down and put up an office building where you’re standing. You can leave in a taxi. If you can’t get a taxi, you can leave in a Huff. If that’s too soon, you can leave in a minute and a Huff. You know, you haven’t stopped talking since I came here. You must have been vaccinated with a phonograph needle.

Ronald Acuna tops Keith Law’s top-100 prospect list

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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.