Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter went 2-for-5 against the Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon, but his third- and fourth-inning singles against starter Drew Hutchison carried a bit more significance than they initially appeared. Jeter logged hits 3,319 and 3,320 to pass Hall of Famer Paul Molitor and move into eighth on baseball’s all-time hit list. (Ninth, if you count Cap Anson’s five seasons in the National Association between 1871-75.) Next up on the list: Carl Yastrzemski at 3,419, Honus Wagner at 3,420, and Anson at 3,435.
Jeter announced in February that he will be retiring at season’s end. He is already a lock for the Hall of Fame, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to tie up as many loose ends in the record book as possible.
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.