James Wagner of the Washington Post has a story up about what players are talking about out there, even if they’re not supposed to be talking to each other in the first place due to those archaic fraternization rules:
“You’re talking to a guy that’s been around so I pretty much know everybody,” [Chiper] Jones said. “I can strike up a conversation with just about anybody out there.”
Except they don’t know what the hell he’s talking about, what with all of those Yicketties and Mammos.
Seriously, though, fun stuff. It reminds you that, even though these guys compete hard, they all have more in common with each other than they do with people not in the game.
This morning Major League Baseball announced a new elite league for high school baseball players who are likely to be drafted. It’s called the Prospect Development Pipeline League. It’ll start next summer and it’ll invite 80 of the best current high school juniors to play in a league in Florida from June through early July, culminating in an All-Star Game during MLB’s All-Star week.
The idea behind the league: to combat the current system in which a couple of pay-to-play, for-profit showcase leagues dominate the pre-draft season. Major League Baseball, schools and a lot of players’ parents have criticized this system because it favors rich kids who can afford to play in them. Major League Baseball is also likely quite keen on having greater control over the training, health and physical monitoring of prospects.
As Jeff Passan notes in his report about this, there will be a component of the program which involves live data-tracking of players during games and drills. Major League Baseball has become increasingly interested in such things but is limited in how much it can do in this regard due to labor agreements. There is no such impediment with high schoolers. Your mileage will vary when it comes to how you feel about that, I presume.