There were some fanTASTIC names in the 2012 draft

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I saw that guys named Skye Bolt and Storm Throne were selected in the Rule 4 draft earlier this week.  When I saw them my first thought was “Storm Throne rolls saving throw for curve balls …”  But there were more ridiculous names than that! And Dayn Perry of CBS Sports.com catalogs them for us today:

5. Evan Van Hoosier, Phillies (818th overall)
Sounds like: Monarchical heir to the throne of Indiana …

8. Damien Magnifico, Brewers (185th overall)
Sounds like: Up-and-coming celebrity illusionist.

And there are 23 more fabulous ones. But I disagree with Dayn on one of them. “Correlle Prime” does not sound like a software upgrade. It sounds like a planet where Galactica mined for tylium or the crew of the Enterprise encountered a race of aliens who had problems that were, amazingly, allegorical to some 1960s social problem or something.

MLB’s juiced baseball is juicing Triple-A home run totals too

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There has been considerable evidence amassed over the past year or two that the baseball used by Major League Baseball has a lower aerodynamic profile, leading to less drag, which leads directly to more home runs. If you doubted that at all, get a load of what is happening in Triple-A right now.

The minors have always had different balls than the majors. The MLB ball is made in Costa Rica at a Rawlings facility. The minor league balls are made in China. They use slightly different materials and, by all accounts, the minor league balls do not have the same sort of action and do not travel as far as the big league balls. Before the season, as Baseball America reported, Major League Baseball requested that Triple-A baseball switch to using MLB balls. The reason: uniformity and, one presumes, more accurate analysis of performance at the top level of the minor leagues.

The result, as Baseball America reports today, is a massive uptick in homers in the early going to the Triple-A season:

Last April, Triple-A hitters homered once every 47 plate appearances. As the weather warmed up, so did the home run rate. Over the course of the entire 2018 season, Triple-A hitters homered every 43 plate appearances. So far this year, they are homering every 32 plate appearances. Triple-A hitters are hitting home runs at a rate of 135 percent of last year’s rate.

Again, that’s in the coldest, least-homer friendly month of the season. It’s gonna just get worse. Or better, I guess, if you’re all about the long ball.

Which you had better be, because if they did something to deaden the balls and reduce homers, we’d have the same historically-high strikeout and walk rates but with no homers to provide offense to compensate. At least unless or until hitters changed their approach to become slap hitters or something, but that could take a good while. And may still not be effective given the advances in defense since the last time slap hitting was an important part of the game.

In the meantime, enjoy the dingers, Triple-A fans.