Todd Frazier is the favorite to win the Home Run Derby

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If you’re betting on the Home Run Derby you probably need to reexamine your life choices. But if you reexamine them and nonetheless decide that you need to bet on the Home Run Derby, here are the current odds being offered:

Todd Frazier: 7/2
Kris Bryant: 5/1
Prince Fielder: 11/2
Albert Pujols: 6/1
Anthony Rizzo: 13/2
Josh Donaldson: 7/1
Joc Pederson: 7/1
Manny Machado: 7/1

I feel like the oddsmakers are selling Joc Pederson short. He may be struggling at the plate now, but he has a crazy big swing and power. Given that people are going to be throwing him 40 m.p.h. meatballs, I feel like he’ll do some damage. And Prince Fielder has won the dang thing a couple of times. I wouldn’t be shocked if he put one in the Ohio River.

Still: I agree, Frazier is the man the beat. His home park and all of his shots are bombs.

Major League Baseball to launch an elite league for high schoolers

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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.