Jeremy Hellickson named Baseball America's minor league player of the year

2 Comments

Rays prospect Jeremy Hellickson has been named Baseball America‘s minor league player of the year after the 22-year-old right-hander went 12-3 with a 2.45 ERA, .238 opponents’ batting average, and 123/35 K/BB ratio in 117.2 innings at Triple-A.
BA doesn’t list the other finalists for the award, but Mike Moustakas and Wil Myers of the Royals, Mike Trout of the Angels, and Domonic Brown of the Phillies were other prominent candidates.
Hellickson is the third Rays prospect to win the award in the franchise’s 13-year history, following the footsteps of Delmon Young in 2005 and Rocco Baldelli in 2002. He’s also the first pitcher to win the award since Rockies left-hander Jeff Francis in 2004, as Young, Alex Gordon, Jay Bruce, Matt Wieters, and Jason Heyward marked five straight position player recipients.
In addition to dominating Triple-A hitters Hellickson has also thrived in his first taste of the majors, going 3-0 with a 2.57 ERA, .212 opponents’ batting average, and 26/5 K/BB ratio through 28 innings for the Rays.
He’s been so good and Jeff Niemann has struggled so much since returning from the disabled list that Hellickson could be in line for a spot in the postseason rotation.

MLBPA proposes 114-game season, playoff expansion to MLB

LG Patterson/MLB via Getty Images
2 Comments

ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Major League Baseball Players Association has submitted a proposal to the league concerning the 2020 season. The proposal includes a 114-game season with an end date on October 31, playoff expansion for two years, the right for players to opt out of the season, and a potential deferral of 2020 salaries if the postseason were to be canceled.

Passan clarifies that among the players who choose to opt out, only those that are considered “high risk” would still receive their salaries. The others would simply receive service time. The union also proposed that the players receive a non-refundable $100 million sum advance during what would essentially be Spring Training 2.

If the regular season were to begin in early July, as has often been mentioned as the target, that would give the league four months to cram in 114 games. There would have to be occasional double-headers, or the players would have to be okay with few off-days. Nothing has been mentioned about division realignment or a geographically-oriented schedule, but those could potentially ease some of the burden.

Last week, the owners made their proposal to the union, suggesting a “sliding scale” salary structure. The union did not like that suggestion. Players were very vocal about it, including on social media as Max Scherzer — one of eight players on the union’s executive subcommittee — made a public statement. The owners will soon respond to the union’s proposal. They almost certainly won’t be happy with many of the details, but the two sides can perhaps find a starting point and bridge the gap. As the calendar turns to June, time is running out for the two sides to hammer out an agreement on what a 2020 season will look like.