“I’m excited to be in an organization where they want me.”
— Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, reflecting on his trade from the Texas Rangers.
I know that Saltalamacchia needed a fresh start, but I find this quote rather curious, because I never got any sense that the Rangers didn’t want the guy. Indeed, while Neftali Feliz and Elvis Andrus have become budding stars, at the time Saltalamacchia was seen as the key to the Mark Teixeira trade. The Rangers actually went to great lengths to give him the starting catching job, it seemed, trading away Gerald Laird and naming him starter on multiple occasions.
Injuries happened. Those throwing yips happened. I don’t think it was ever a matter of desire. It was simply a matter of the Rangers needing a catcher who could help them win ballgames and Saltalamacchia was never that guy for any number of reasons. It happens.
Brewers top prospect Keston Hiura has been named the 2018 Arizona Fall League MVP, per an announcement on Saturday. He’s the first Brewers player to receive the distinction since the award was first handed out in 2002.
Hiura, 22, was selected in the first round of the 2017 draft and has remained at the top of the Brewers’ prospect rankings since then. The second baseman was promoted to Double-A for the first time in June and finished the season with an explosive .293/.357/.464 batting line, 13 home runs, and 15 stolen bases (in 26 chances) across 535 PA for High-A and Double-A. During his time in the AFL, he found even greater success after slashing .323/.371/.563 with five homers and a league-best 33 RBI in 96 at-bats.
Following the award announcements — Rockies corner infielder Tyler Nevin won the AFL batting title, while Pirates shortstop Cole Tucker was designated the Dernell Stenson Sportsmanship Award winner — the Arizona Fall League Championship Game kicked off at 3 PM EST with Hiura batting second and playing second base for the Peoria Javelinas, whose roster is comprised of players from the Braves, Brewers, Padres, Mariners, and Rays.