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Steven Souza, Jr. sends some shade to the Rays


The Rays surprised the baseball world in February when the club designated outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment. Dickerson was coming off an All-Star season in which he hit .282/.325/.490 with 27 home runs and 62 RBI in 629 plate appearances. He and the Rays had avoided arbitration in January, agreeing on a $5.95 million salary, but apparently that was too expensive for the Rays, who ended up trading him to the Pirates shortly after DFAing him. The Rays also traded outfielder Steven Souza, Jr. to the Diamondbacks around the same time as the club continued to shed payroll.

Dickerson went 3-for-5 with a two-run double in Tuesday’s 8-5 win over the Cubs for the Pirates. During the game, Souza tweeted about Dickerson:

That seems like a bit of shade to their former club. After Tuesday’s action, Dickerson is batting .342/.359/.605 with a home run, nine RBI, and eight runs scored in 39 plate appearances for the Buccos.

Souza is still on the mend after straining his right pectoral muscle late in spring training, so he has yet to debut as a Diamondback.

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.