MLB.com names Mike Trout baseball’s number one prospect

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There are a lot of competing prospect rankings out there — I’m personally partial to Keith Law’s, which will come out today, I gather — but MLB.com puts a good one out every year too.  They did yesterday, and they rank the Angels’ 19-year-old outfield prospect Mike Trout as the toppermost of the poppermost:

Trout, one of two Angels first-round choices in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, turned 19 on Aug. 7 in the midst of an eye-popping 2010 season. After hitting .362 with 45 steals and a .526 slugging mark at Class A Cedar Rapids, where he would be named the Midwest League MVP, he appeared in the All-Star Futures Game preceding the MLB All-Star Game at Angel Stadium …

… Moving up to advanced A Rancho Cucamonga after the break, he batted .306 and slugged .434, hitting .367 with three homers in the California League playoffs. Trout will experience big league camp for the first time in Arizona this spring. He was an instant hit last spring in Cactus League play, slashing a double and triple to each gap in his first three at-bats, showcasing his blazing speed.

Of course, since he’s an Angels property, I presume that he’ll soon be traded to the Indians along with Kendry Morales for Lance Travis Hafner.*

*Sorry! Had old school sim-baseball on the brain!

MRI reveals rib inflammation for Anthony Rizzo

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Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo underwent an MRI on Tuesday that revealed rib inflammation on his left side, Maddie Lee of NBC Sports Chicago reports. Rizzo has been dealing with back soreness for the last week and has missed several intrasquad games as a result.

Rizzo is unsure if he can avoid opening the regular season on the injured list. He said, “I’ll do everything I can to stay off of it, obviously. … Every game’s important. So, we’ve got to get off to a good start and hopefully I’m out there with the guys. I plan on it, but you can’t control it and you’ve got to be smart.”

Rizzo, who turns 31 years old next month, is coming off of another highly productive season in which he hit .293/.405/.520 with 27 home runs, 94 RBI, and 89 runs scored over 613 plate appearances. In the event he needs to open the season on the IL, Victor Caratini figures to get the first crack at handling first base.

The Cubs missed the playoffs last year for the first time since 2014, finishing in third place with a 84-78 record. Rizzo, no doubt, will play a big role if the Cubs are to find themselves back in the postseason.