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Mike Zunino Catching on Quickly in Mariners’ system

Zunio is Seattle’s fourth-best prospect and No. 50 on its top 100 list Anchored by uber ace Felix Hernandez, the Seattle Mariners’ rotation could be joined by three of the game’s top starting pitching prospects – Taijaun Walker, Danny Hultzen and James Paxton – as early as next season. That might coincide with the Major League debut of one of baseball’s top catching prospects, Mike Zunino. A third overall pick by the Mariners in the 2012 draft out of the University of Florida and the 2012 Golden Spikes Award... 
 

MLB’s Top Prospects Seeing Action in the Show

Summoned from Double-A Frisco on Saturday, 19-year-old Jurickson Profar launched a home run in his first Major League at-bat Sunday afternoon for the Texas Rangers, which have the best record in the American League at 79-54 and sit atop the American League West. Manny Machado, a 20-year-old infielder who was called up to Baltimore from Double-A Bowie last month, was 6-for-12 this weekend against the Yankees to help the Orioles climb within two games of New York in the American League East. Shelby Miller, a 21-year-old right-hander who was a first... 
 

Toronto Blue Jays – Top 10 Prospects List

Travis d’Arnaud, Anthony Gose Lead Blue Jays Top 10 Prospects Expected to contend in the American League East this season, the Toronto Blue Jays have been decimated by injuries. Long before the team learned on Tuesday that right fielder Jose Bautista would have season-ending surgery to stabilize a tendon in his left wrist, the Blue Jays disabled list was packed with talented names, many of whom rose through the organization’s farm system. Kyle Drabek, who was one of the top prospects in baseball before he lost his rookie status last season,... 
 

Tampa Bay Rays’ Top 10 Prospects – Lee, Archer, Guerrieri…

Hak-Ju-Lee Heads Rays Prospects List Everywhere you look on the Tampa Bay Rays roster, there are homegrown players contributing. All five members of their American League-leading starting rotation (with a 3.26 ERA) are former Rays prospects. If you count the current rotation (David Price, James Shields, Jeremy Hellickson, Matt Moore and Alex Cobb) along with injured starter Jeff Niemann and starter turned reliever Wade Davis, then you have seven starters developed in the Tampa Bay system. Starting infielders, Elliot Johnson and Evan Longoria ascended... 
 

Baltimore Orioles – Top 10 Prospects – Machado, Bundy …

Machado and Bundy Top Orioles Prospects Striving for their first post-season appearance since 1997, the Baltimore Orioles have an enviable roster of under-30 core players like right fielder Nick Markakis, center fielder Adam Jones and catcher Matt Wieters. The Orioles are getting help in the stretch run from one of the best prospects in baseball, 20-year-old Manny Machado. The third overall pick in the 2010 draft and the top prospect in the Baltimore Orioles organization according to MLB.com, Machado has cooled off after a blistering start to his... 
 

Red Sox Top 10 Prospects – System Restocked After Blockbuster Trade

Desperately wanting to upgrade their lineup with Adrian Gonzalez, the Los Angeles Dodgers showed just how much they coveted the left-handed hitting first baseman by taking on the bulky contracts of Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford, and dealing two high ceiling pitching prospects to the Red Sox. Boston’s farm system is stocked with promising names like shortstop Xander Bogaerts, right fielder Bryce Brentz, center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. and catcher Blake Swihart, but the organization has struggled to develop impactful starting pitchers since... 
 

Los Angeles Dodgers – Top Five Prospects

With the news that the Red Sox and Dodgers are nearing a blockbuster deal that would send Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto to Los Angeles for a package of prospects that could feature pitchers Zach Lee, Allen Webster, Rubby De La Rosa, and first baseman Jerry Sands, the landscape of the Dodgers’ farm system might dramatically change soon. Earlier this afternoon, Baseball News Source cited media reports indicating that the Dodgers were awarded claims on Gonzalez and Beckett, who were placed on revocable waivers this... 
 

South Atlantic League Prospects – Stealing Bases Making Comeback

Billy Hamilton is a source of excitement for baseball purists who covet the stolen base as an instrumental part of the game. If they are ecstatic about Hamilton’s recent feat, they will also be exhilarated when they look at the leading hitters in the South Atlantic League. Hamilton has made the stolen base fashionable again in baseball. A top prospect of the Cincinnati Reds who is currently at Double-A Pensacola, the 21-year-old Hamilton broke Vince Coleman’s single-season minor league record of 145 steals on Tuesday and now has 148... 
 

Jacob Turner, Tyler Skaggs – Show Future of Marlins, D-backs

Miami’s Jacob Turner and Arizona’s Tyler Skaggs are two of the most highly regarded starting pitching prospects in baseball. On Tuesday, they opposed one another as Skaggs made his Major League debut and Turner stepped on the mound for the first time with the Marlins. Turner, a 21-year-old right-hander, is currently ranked as the 10th-best prospect in baseball by MLB.com. Skaggs was ranked No. 7 on Baseball America’s 2012 Mid-Season Top 50 Prospects List. In their first meeting at the Major League level,  Skaggs outdueled Turner,... 
 

Reds Prospect Hamilton – New Minor League Stolen Base King

Lacing a base hit in his only at-bat, Wednesday’s performance on the basepaths was middling for Cincinnati Reds shortstop prospect Billy Hamilton. The 21-year-old speedster managed just one stolen base. Hamilton has created dramatically high expectations every night after what he accomplished on Tuesday. Hamilton broke Vince Coleman’s minor league single-season record of 145 stolen bases During the third inning in the opener of a doubleheader between Hamilton’s Double-A Pensacola Blue Wahoos and the Montgomery Biscuits, the Mississippi... 
 

Top Five Right-Handed Pitching Prospects In Baseball

Though he is still a bit raw and does not have the same dominant numbers at Double-A Bowie as he did at low Single-A Delmarva, 19-year-old Dylan Bundy could find himself in the midst of a Major League pennant race when rosters are expanded in September. The Baltimore Orioles already showed they are not afraid to throw a top prospect into the pennant race heat when they summoned phenom Manny Machado from Bowie earlier in August. Bundy, who is the seventh-best prospect in baseball according to MLB.com and was No. 1 overall on Baseball America’s... 
 

Top Five Left-Handed Starting Pitching Prospects in Baseball

Though they appear headed for another sub-.500 season, the Seattle Mariners feel good about the future because of a trio of highly regarded starting pitching prospects that includes left-handers Danny Hultzen and James Paxton, and right-hander Taijuan Walker. The first one to join Felix Hernandez in the Mariners rotation could be Hultzen, who was ranked fifth on Baseball America’s 2012 Mid-Season Top 50 Prospects List. A 22-year-old left-hander who was the second overall pick in the 2011 draft out of the University of Virginia, Hultzen was a 2012... 
 

Top Five Outfield Prospects In Baseball

Kansas City Royals general manager Dayton Moore has a peculiar allegiance to 28-year-old right fielder Jeff Francoeur. Though the perennially rebuilding ballclub is 54-67 and Francouer is hitting .240 with a .661 OPS, Moore refuses to promote 21-year-old super prospect Wil Myers. A third round pick out of high school in 2009, the right-handed hitting Myers was rated the No. 3 on Baseball America’s 2012 Mid-Season Top 50 Prospects List and is considered the game’s 14th-best prospect by MLB.com. At Triple-A Omaha, he is batting .297 with... 
 

Top Five Third Base Prospects In Baseball

Though he has not remotely made the same impact on his team as Manny Machado has with the Baltimore Orioles, Mike Olt provides the Texas Rangers with a defensively sound corner infielder with power who is getting his Major League indoctrination in the midst of a pennant race. A supplemental first round selection (49th overall) out of the University of Connecticut in 2010, Olt is most comfortable at third base, but he also proficiently plays first base and is working with Rangers outfield instructor Gary Pettis in right field. With Adrian Beltre,... 
 

Top Five Shortstop Prospects In Baseball

Veteran general manager Dan Duquette, who is in his first year with the surprising Baltimore Orioles, made a bold decision when he called up top prospect Manny Machado from Double-A Bowie and skipper Buck Showalter inserted the 20-year-old infielder into the starting lineup. Sure, Machado has drawn a lot of attention. Rated No. 9 on Baseball America’s 2012 Mid-Season Top 100 Prospects List and regarded the third best prospect in the majors by MLB.com, he has drawn comparisons to a young Alex Rodriguez, who he works out with in the off-season.... 
 

Top Five Second Base Prospects in Baseball

At 5-foot-9, Kolten Wong has an edge about him that is reminiscent of diminutive Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia. The 22-year-old Wong does not look like the prototypical pure athlete that scouts look for, but all he does is produce at the plate and provide solid defense in the field. A first round pick (22nd overall) of the St. Louis Cardinals out of the University of Hawaii in 2011 and a Futures Game participant earlier this summer, Wong tops the list of second base prospects in the Major Leagues. The Cardinals hope that he will end their... 
 

Top Five First Base Prospects in Baseball

A year before they acquired him from Philadelphia in the Hunter Pence deal at the non-waiver trade deadline in 2011, the Houston Astros coveted sweet-swinging first baseman Jonathan Singleton. In July 2010, the Phillies were in talks with Houston about starting pitcher Roy Oswalt. Singleton was prominent in those discussions, but Philadelphia refused to part with him. Instead, the Astros landed shortstop Jonathan Villar, outfielder Anthony Gose (who was later shipped to Toronto for corner infielder Brett Wallace) and J.A. Happ (who was dealt to... 
 

Top Five Catching Prospects in Baseball

Starting pitching, it is said, is the key to building a contender in Major League Baseball. That is true, but equally important is a catcher who has proficient defensive abilities and savvy game-calling skills. Many Major League teams are scrambling to find one reliable backstop. The fortunate ballclubs – like San Francisco (Buster Posey), Baltimore (with Matt Wieters), St. Louis (Yadier Molina), Philadelphia (Carlos Ruiz) and the Chicago White Sox (A.J. Pierzynski) – have seen consistent production at the plate and behind the plate... 
 

Tigers Prospect Nick Castellanos Learning from Al Kaline

Blocked by the slugging Miguel Cabrera at the Major League level, Detroit Tigers prospect Nick Castellanos is trying to make the transition from third base to the outfield. He was recently given assistance from a legend in Al Kaline, a Hall of Famer who is regarded as one of the best defensive right fielders in baseball history. A supplemental first rounder (44th overall) out of high school in 2010, the 20-year-old Castellanos spent three days absorbing instruction from the Tigers great on the nuances of playing the position. He is also working... 
 

Astros Depth at 2B – Jose Altuve and Delino DeShields Jr

In the midst of an extensive rebuilding project, first-year Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow is upgrading the team’s organizational depth at every position, which he hopes will lead to difficult decisions down the road. One potential choice Houston might have to make around 2014 is whether to keep Jose Altuve or Delino DeShields Jr. at second base. Jose Altuve The Astros’ lone All-Star this season, Altuve is having a breakout performance with a .300 average, five home runs, 31 RBI, 25 stolen bases and a .774 OPS in 479 plate appearances.... 
 

Brett Wallace Hopes Trade Odyssey Stops in Houston

Oklahoma City is the fourth PCL team for which he has played, and this year he batted .300 with 16 home runs, 57 RBI and an .885 OPS over 310 at-bats. For a first round pick (selected 13th overall by St. Louis in 2008) and a former top 30 prospect, soon-to-be 26-year-old Brett Wallace has experienced quite the odyssey over his five-year professional career. A corner infielder for the Astros, the burly left-handed hitter tallied a .337 average with a .957 OPS between Single-A and Double-A in the Cardinals organization in his 2008 debut season. Wallace... 
 

Diamondbacks – Loaded with Starting Pitching Prospects

Since rejoining the Diamondbacks on August 1, Corbin is 2-0 with a 1.89 ERA in three starts. Though they are just 58-57, the Arizona Diamondbacks find themselves 4.5 games behind the deadlocked Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants in the National League West standings. The post-season remains a possibility for the Snakes, but the organization is especially excited about its long-term future because of a precious commodity that few teams have – starting pitching. Young arms like Ian Kennedy and Trevor Cahill anchor the current Diamondbacks... 
 

Yankees sign Corby Mccoy and Luis Garcia from Nicaragua

Brian Cashman ate up the rest of his international signing cap on Monday, signing lefties Corby Mccoy and Luis Garcia out of Nicaragua. Mccoy is just 16 years old but has impressive velocity for his age, topping out at 91 miles per hour and checking in at 6’3″, 170 lbs. With a favorable stature and life on his fastball, Mccoy appears to be the bigger catch, getting signed to a $150,000 signing bonus and is considered in some circles, a top arm in Nicaragua. Garcia, the other lefty, was signed to a $50,000 bonus and sits comfortably in... 
 

Rangers Jurickson Profar Could Get Call Sooner than Later

Profar was No. 2 on Baseball America’s Mid-Season Top 50 Prospects At the trade deadline the Texas Rangers were reluctant to include infielder Jurickson Profar as a part of any deal and with good reason. Profar is the No. 1 ranked prospect in the Rangers organization and ranked No. 4 overall by MLB.Com. Profar is hitting .283 with 13 home runs, 69 runs scored and 60 RBI in 110 games for Frisco. He has a .362 on-base percentage and a .463 slugging percentage. According T.R. Sullivan,  Profar could be called up to the Rangers as early as next... 
 

Mets Prospects Zack Wheeler, Matt Harvey – Reasons for Optimism

Middling through a 54-60 season – good for third place in the National League East, 16.5 games behind the Washington Nationals – the Mets are brimming with optimism. The reasons were on display this weekend – in Queens on Friday and Buffalo on Saturday. Matt Harvey struck out 11 and walked three in his Major League debut. Matt Harvey, a 23-year-old right-hander who was the seventh overall pick of the 2010 draft from the University of North Carolina, allowed two runs and two hits over six innings in a loss against Atlanta. Called... 
 

Which Top Prospects will Join Machado, Olt in the Majors?

In four games, Machado is 6-for-16 (.375( with three home runs, seven RBI, a 1.125 slugging percentage and a 1.500 OPS. (Photo by nflravens flickr) His team in the midst of a pennant race and desperately needing more production out of the third base spot, Orioles general manager Dan Duquette made a bold decision last week and called up highly regarded prospect Manny Machado from Double-A Bowie. Drafted as a shortstop, a position he has played in the minors, Machado has the athleticism to occupy the hot corner, thus the reason he was summoned to... 
 

Reds Prospect Billy Hamilton Chasing Stolen Base Record

On Friday, 21-year-old Billy Hamilton swiped two bags for Double-A Pensacola (Fla.) giving him 135 on the season. Gradually, the art of the stolen base has seemed to fade from baseball. Cincinnati Reds shortstop prospect Billy Hamilton appears intent on making it commonplace, at least when he is on the basepaths. On Friday, the 21-year-old switch-hitter swiped two bags for Double-A Pensacola (Fla.) giving him 135 on the season. Hamilton now has 13 stolen bases in his last six games. The single-season minor league record is 145, established by Vince... 
 

Where are Baseball’s Pre-Season Top 10 Prospects Today?

Ranking Major League prospects is an inexact science, much like filling out an NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament bracket for your office pool. Sometimes, a sure thing is a sure thing. And other times, the can’t miss choice is a bust. Baseball America is a well-respected resource for prospect forecasts. To get a varied perspective on predictions and projections, let’s take a look at the top 10 players on Baseball America’s 2012 Top 100 Prospects List before the season and see how they are currently faring. Last February, Baseball... 
 

Betances, Banuelos – Yankees’ Prospects Take Step Backwards

The mark of a great franchise is building for the present and the future. The New York Yankees have the present taken care of as perennial contenders, but arguably their five biggest impact players for the future have all been derailed one way or another in 2012. Let’s start with the pitching. As recently as Spring Training: Dellin Betances, Manny Banuelos and Michael Pineda were believed to be the future of the Major League rotation joining: CC Sabathia and some combination of Ivan Nova, Phil Hughes, David Phelps, and/or a random unknown... 
 

Brewers Recall Jean Segura to Replace Izturis

Earlier today the Milwaukee Brewers traded veteran infielder Cesar Izturis to the Washington Nationals and now we know at least part of the motivation behind the trade. Jean Segura has been recalled from Double-A Huntsville to take the place of Izturis at shortstop for the Brewers. Segura was a key component in the trade that sent RHP Zack Greinke to the Los Angeles Angels at the deadline. Segura hit .294/.346/.404 for double-A Arkansas in the Angel system over 94 games. Segura hit seven home runs and had 40 RBI, and stole 33 bases. In eight games... 
 

Cubs Call-Up Prospects Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters

Chicago Cubs prospects Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters were expected to be called up in September. The Cubs made the move early and called up both Jackson and Vitters today. Both Jackson in Vitters will be in Los Angeles where the Cubs are playing the Dodgers. Jackson was a first round pick (23rd overall) in 2009 and is batting .256 with 15 home runs, 47 RBI and 25 stolen bases at Triple-A Iowa. Jackson is the Cubs number one prospect overall and is playing center field and batting second Sunday against the Dodgers. A first round pick in 2007 (third... 
 

Red Sox Hope Shortstop Carousel Stops with Iglesias or Bogaerts

Since general manager Theo Epstein boldly traded Nomar Garciaparra at the deadline in 2004, the Red Sox have seen a revolving door at shortstop. Epstein has since departed, but it appears that there will be stability at the position in the near future because of prospects on the rise. Considering the plethora of shortstops Boston has fielded since Garciaparra – including Orlando Cabrera, Alex Gonzalez, Julio Lugo, Jed Lowrie and the current occupant, Mike Aviles – it is fitting that there is no clear-cut shortstop of the future. That... 
 

Daniel Straily – A’s Call Up Baseball’s Strikeout Leader

You will not find the player who leads the minors and the majors in strikeouts this year on any top prospect lists. By his own admission, Daniel Straily was a below-average pitcher until 2010, when he incorporated a slider into his mix. A year later, his change-up became baffling, and now he has three solid pitches. The 23-year-old right-hander who was a target of many Major League teams at the trade deadline was called up by the A’s on Thursday, according to multiple media reports. A 24th round pick out of Marshall University in 2009, Straily... 
 

Mike Olt Gets Called Up by Rangers from AA Frisco

Mike Olt gets a call to the show and should see regular playing time for the Rangers ( Photo by PINSPROSHO) When the Texas Rangers were looking to add starting pitchers at the trade deadline, they made it clear that Rangers top-tier prospects would not be included in any deal. In fact, the Rangers weren’t interested in dealing top prospects,  Mike Olt or  Jurickson Profar . The Rangers would eventually landed Ryan Dempster to trade with the Cubs Now, in Olt’s case we find out why. Olt is being recalled from AA Frisco, Texas. Olt... 
 

MLB Trade Deadline Analysis: Grading the NL Central Moves

Dempster, after turning down a move to the Braves, accepted an eleventh-hour trade to the Texas Rangers Tuesday (andysternberg / flickr) The NL Central has become a three-horse race with gap ever-widening between the Reds, Pirates and Cardinals and the trio of sub-.500 clubs at the bottom of the standings. Cincinnati has run out to a three-game lead over the second-place Pirates on the strength of a recent 10-game winning streak, while Pittsburgh continues to hold onto a Wild Card berth and St. Louis pushes to make up ground in spite of injuries. Before... 
 

Dodgers Pitching Prospects – Zach Lee, Allen Webster, Chris Reed and More

At first glance, 20-year-old right-hander Zach Lee‘s 2012 minor league numbers are not impressive. In fact, they don’t appear to befit a player who was No. 49 on Baseball America’s 2012 Mid-Season Top 50 Prospects List. Yet the 2010 first round pick (28th overall) of the Los Angeles Dodgers is coveted by other teams as Tuesday’s non-waiver trade deadline hours away. The Marlins requested Lee be included in the deal for Hanley Ramirez, but instead the Dodgers sent 22-year-old right-hander Nate Eovaldi and a minor league pitcher.... 
 

Future Blue Jays Outfield – Rasmus, Gose and Marisnick

By 2014, opposing hitters might have a challenging time finding holes in the Toronto Blue Jays outfield. Chances are, Colby Rasmus, Anthony Gose and Jake Marisnick will be patrolling the grounds. All three are known for their athleticism and speed. Currently, the 25-year-old Rasmus is Toronto’s starting center fielder, pounding 18 home runs and 64 RBI so far this season. With Jose Bautista on the disabled list, the Blue Jays summoned the 21-year-old Gose, who was No. 38 on Baseball America’s 2012 Mid-Season Top 50 Prospects List. One... 
 

Mariners – High Ceiling Pitching Prospects on the Way

Mired in the American League West basement at 46-57 – and suddenly without their longtime leadoff hitter Ichiro Suzuki, who was recently traded to the Yankees for two fringe pitching prospects – the Seattle Mariners are currently in a rut. There is reason for optimism for the long term, though, because of promising young major leaguers like DH Jesus Montero, second baseman Dustin Ackley; and four prospects who were part of Baseball America’s Mid-Season Top 50 Prospects List. Seattle’s stockpile of top prospects would dramatically... 
 

Rangers Reluctant to Deal Profar or Olt for Starting Pitcher

Knowing that their chief American League West rival, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, significantly improved their rotation with Zack Greinke, the Texas Rangers are hoping to upgrade their own starting pitching. Yet, to get something you gotta give up something, and the Rangers don’t appear to be interested in dealing top prospects Jurickson Profar and Mike Olt. Profar and Olt have received extensive media attention in recent days because of Rangers’ trade speculation. The Angels surrendered blue-chip prospects to land Greinke. Multiple... 
 

Cuban Prospect J.C. Linares – Right-Handed Hitting Option for Red Sox

Juan Carlos – J. C. Linares is not your typical prospect. At 27, he is older than most fellow Red Sox minor leaguers who joined the organization two years ago. That is because he was signed as an international free agent who defected from Cuba. An advanced defensive outfielder whose natural position is center field, Linares has been an offensive force this season at Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket. Linares, who will be 28 in September, was batting .340 with eight home runs, 33 RBI and a .941 OPS for the Sea Dogs when he was promoted... 
 

Top Seven Red Sox Prospects You Should Get to Know

Bogaerts projects as a middle of the order bat in the majors with the potential for 30 home runs a season With the graduation of 23-year-old third baseman Will Middlebrooks to Boston, the Red Sox have a new overall top prospect. The organization is well-stocked with promising prospects, some of whom are drawing interest from other teams as the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline nears. Here are seven Red Sox prospects whose names you should get to know: 1. Xander Bogaerts – An international free agent signed out of Aruba in 2009, Bogaerts is... 
 

Pirates Recall OF Starling Marte from AAA Indianapolis

Pirates fans will finally see the organization’s prized outfield prospect make his debut (RJ Schmidt / flickr) Pittsburgh called up corner outfielder Starling Marte Wednesday afternoon, ending months of speculation as to when the team would address its needs in the outfield and at the leadoff spot and finally make use of its star position prospect. Marte’s recall was first reported by Kristy Robinson of Pirates Prospects. The announcement came as Pittsburgh avoided being swept by the woeful Chicago Cubs in a series in which they scored... 
 

AL East Prospects – Getting Younger and Better

Arguably baseball’s toughest division, the American League East features five teams with varying payrolls but one common trait – each organization has a talented farm system. A prime example of the abundance of promising young talent was showcased Friday night at Fenway Park, where the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays opened a three-game series. For the visiting Blue Jays, 21-year-old Anthony Gose, who made his major league debut on Tuesday against the Yankees, was in the leadoff spot and playing right field. Gose stole 70 bases... 
 

Chicago Cubs Add Jorge Soler for 30 Million

The Chicago Cubs and Jorge Soler have agreed to a nine-year deal worth approximately $30 million dollars.  The New York Yankees were among several teams that made a run at Soler and came up short. reported by Joel Sherman The news was first. Soler defected from Cuba in 2011 to pursue his career in Major League Baseball. Soler played for the Cuban national baseball team in the 2010 World Junior Baseball Championship, where he had a .304 batting average, .500 on-base percentage, and .522 slugging percentage. Soler, according to one report, will... 
 
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