We learned yesterday that Byron Buxton, baseball’s top overall prospect according to MLB.com, will play in the Arizona Fall League. Yesterday Minor League Baseball announced that 21 more of baseball’s top-100 prospects will join him.
Among them: Addison Russell of the Cubs, Corey Seager of the Dodgers, Josh Bell of the Pirates, Raul Mondesi of the Royals, Mark Appel of the Astros and Jesse Winker of the Reds. A list of other top prospects in the Fall League can be seen here.
The Arizona Fall League is one of baseball’s annual hidden gems. A far greater density of top prospects than you’ll see anywhere in gorgeous Arizona October and November weather with none of the crowds you usually see in spring training. I’m told it’s one of the best experiences for a baseball fan. I have yet to make it — and circumstances are likely to prevent me from doing so this year — but one of these years I’m gonna fire up the virtual bloggy RV and spend a week or two out there for it.
Maybe we just catch more on video now. I dunno. All I know is that it used to be years in between seeing truly terrible first pitches on nightly highlights shows. Now we get a doozy multiple times a year.
Does no one practice these things? If I was ever asked to throw out the first pitch, I’d like to think I’d practice.
Andrew McCutchen suffered an avulsion fracture in his left rib cage and missed two weeks. He came back and hit three home runs in six games after being activated, but he aggravated the injury on a catch against the outfield wall in the third inning Tuesday against the Cardinals. Losing the reigning MVP for long while the Bucs are in the wild card race would be disastrous. But it appears as though disaster is being averted:
McCutchen said he expects to play Wednesday when the Pirates and Cardinals wrap up their three-game series at PNC Park.
McCutchen is hitting .307/.403/.539 on the year and is playing his usual stellar brand of defense. If he can stay healthy and the Pirates make the playoffs, he’s likely a back-to-back MVP. If he goes down and the Pirates don’t, well, it sorta tells you why he’s the current MVP.
Daniel Hudson has had rotten luck. His once-promising career was derailed by two Tommy John surgeries, with the second one required after tearing a ligament while rehabbing the first. But he’s almost back again.
Hudson made a rehab appearance at Triple-A Reno last night and tossed a scoreless inning. He’s thrown five overall rehab innings and has allowed only one run. Kirk Gibson said he’ll do it again on Friday before joining the big club. During his time in Arizona he’ll probably be used as a reliever, though he could be back starting next season.
Gotta wish this guy luck. Not only has his young career been screwed up with injuries, but one time his injury actually made it onto a baseball card. Which, man, that’s cold.