March 6th, 2014
So here I am in Florida for Spring Training.
Last Saturday when I arrived I asked for a rental car with low mileage and XM radio. I got a car with 2,000 miles, but no XM. So every 20 minutes as I leave an area, I have to find a different sports station.
When I return the car the odometer will have no resemblance to the one I picked up. It seems all I do is drive, watch games and sleep. There are no parks close to each other. I remember that from my past trips here, but this year is different. I have teams I want to see for their prospects so I’m criss-crossing the state. And my eyes.
So who has impressed me so far? You may want to remember these names:
Mike Foltynewicz who’s name I can’t pronounce pitches for the Astros. Let’s just call him Mike. Mike threw strikes in the game I saw. Yes, his Minor League history shows a lack of command and control. I saw a huge, 6-foot-4 guy with a gun for an arm. I think he can probably hit 100 with ease. He’s on my futures list. I think he’ll be a star if he continues to progress.
Steve Matz is a Mets lefty with great promise. He threw at about 92-94 when I saw him. Nothing was hit hard. And he consistently repeated his delivery. I think the Mets have a left-handed gem a couple years away. Maybe he’ll change his name to Steve Mets.
Then there’s Tim Cooney of the Cardinals. It’s not as if they don’t have enough pitching to stock two full rotations, here comes an amazing lefty in Cooney. All he did was throw strikes and make hitters miss. And he’s only their 5th or 6th or 7th best pitching prospect. It really is amazing.
So there are so many people visiting in Florida at this time of year that the hotel internet band width can’t keep up. So how’d ya like that? Don’t ever tell me I’m not technologically savvy. I can drop a “band width” with the best of em. So anyway, my connections have dropped every night in every hotel I’ve been in. Maybe they need a new ISP (internet service provider) how’d ya like that one?
The trio of Carlos Correa, George Springer and Jon Singleton showed why they are good prospects. BUT-and here’s the but. Each is still raw. Each has a part of his game that needs refinement before being exposed day in and day out to Major League pitching. But I’m way out on a limb with Correa. He’ll be outstanding. And he’s a huge 6-foot-4 at age 19.
I saw the Twins. I feel sorry for my Twins fan friends. The team is empty. There is little to no depth. And the loss of Miguel Sano is a crushing blow.
Lou Brock took the lineups to home plate before the Cardinals game I saw. Way cool.
The water in Phoenix tastes much better than Florida’s water. But the best water anywhere? Chicago. By far. Love Chicago water.
Tigers don’t look as solid and as complete to me this year. Their fine at the top of the order, but it goes sour very quickly thereafter. And I have concern about their top prospect-Nick Castellanos. Will he hit Major League breaking balls? I’m just askin.
I think the Tigers will really miss Doug Fister. And Jhonny Peralta. And Price Fielder.
Look for Brad Ausmus to attempt more stolen bases, put on the hit and run and be more aggressive than Jim Leyland. He’s going to make things happen.
Who plays left field for the Tigers now that Andy Dirks is having back surgery? I look for a platoon of Rajai Davis and Don Kelly. And by the way, Jose Iglesias has not played yet. There are concerns he may not be available for opening day. Hernan Perez? Ramon Santiago is gone. There are some holes Tigers fans. Some holes.
Jhonny Peralta hit two home runs against the Tigers. In a Cards uniform.
Someone with the Yankees told me there are times they have nearly 100 Japanese media following Masahiro Tanaka. And when I saw Daisuke Matsuzaka pitch for the Mets, there were about 30 Japanese media at that game. It’s fabulous that they love their players so much and their fans have such a thirst for the progress of their guys.
I’m not eating well. Either is Rafael Furcal. Looks like he’s put on a few lbs. Well actually, more than a few. But he’s the Marlins second baseman. For now.
The Tigers and Marlins could use Stephen Drew. And that’s just among the teams I’ve seen so far. How does he not have a job yet?
We have a 90% chance of rain today in Orlando. That means there’s a 10% chance it won’t rain. And you thought I couldn’t do math. So today you learned I’m a computer wizard (remember band width from above) and a math genius.
Oh, by the way. Some of you have asked if I’ll have my fantasy selections on BERNIE’S BASEBALL WORLD. The answer is….yes. As soon as this weekend. I’ll talk about guys I want and guys I’ll avoid.
OMG, IMO I can LOL at my limited computer skills. How’s that for knowing computer talk? Bet you didn’t know I could do that. I can sling it with the best of you. Or, not.
And listen, thanks for reading my work at MLBPipeline.com and for following me on Twitter @BerniePleskoff.
That’s it. I’m done.