Friday, February 2, 2018

Friday Morning Hot Links

I turn 38 years old today. I currently have a sinus infection and an upper respiratory infection. Gray hair is slowly taking over my head. There's a muscle in my hip that I tore about 12 years ago that still gives me problems. I think about that while I click a couple of links and see that, in their Age 38 seasons...

Barry Bonds (2003) hit .341/.529/.749 with 58K:148BB and 45 HR.
Ted Williams (1957) hit .388/.526/.731 with 43K:118BB and 38 HR.
Cy Young (1905) threw 302.1IP with a 1.82 ERA/0.87 WHIP, 210K:30BB and still went 18-19.
Randy Johnson (2002) threw 260IP with a 2.32 ERA/1.03 WHIP, 334K:71BB and went 24-5.

Whatever, I'll just take a couple Bayer Back & Body and make another cup of coffee.

*Bleacher Report's Joon Lee has a fascinating article - if you haven't read it already - on 2013 1-1 pick Mark Appel's semi-permanent retirement. It's too good to pull too much from, but here's one quote, on Appel wondering if things would have been different had the Astros selected Kris Bryant:
Things are absolutely different. I don't know if I'm four-and-a-half years later wanting to step away from the game, but I'm sure it has to be different. I never go to Lancaster, and that was an introduction to pro ball in the worst way possible...If they choose me over Correa, do the Astros win a World Series? 

You can always play What-Ifs with the draft. In almost every round you can look and say, "Man, if they had just chosen that guy..." But the fact is that Appel was as close to a sure-thing as you could get - two years in a row - in a prospect. Joon Lee's article references Harold Reynolds, on draft night 2013, saying Appel could be in Houston by, two months later. We all collectively laughed because that was ridiculous, but certainly by 2015 Appel would be ready.

Appel joins just two other 1-1s to never make it to the Majors (Brien Taylor - 1991; Steve Chilcott - 1966). From the article Appel has decided that it's going to be a part of his legacy, but he's at peace with that. Good for him for reaching that point.

*Check McTaggart's interview with Appel from yesterday for more insight.

*Baseball America's JJ Cooper says Appel highlights the challenges of scouting. Cooper:
Even someone who was analyzed, dissected and probed as deeply as a player can be proved almost immediately to be less than expected when he became a pro. This is not an indictment of amateur scouting. Instead it's a reminder scouting is extremely difficult and an ever-evolving art.

*Quad City Times reporter Steve Batterson looked back at Appel's time with the River Bandits and the first time in draft-era baseball history that two #1 picks from consecutive years played on the same minor-league team.

*Missed this from a couple of days ago: Baseball America ranked the Astros' farm system 10th. Here's how the AL West shakes out:
Anaheim: 14
Oakland: 18
Arlington: 23
Seattle: 30

It's worth noting that in 2013 the Mariners had the 2nd-best and Arlington the 3rd-best ranked farm system in baseball.

*Rob Manfred said that if the average game drops below 2:55, he'll pull the pitch-clock idea off the table for 2019. And that whole "starting extra-innings with a runner on 2nd" thing? Not going to happen in the regular season or playoffs.

*Geoff Cameron: Bruce Arena made decisions that cost us going to the World Cup.


Darren Stout said...

Happy Birthday James.

Teddy said...

Just remember James...

Hall of Fame Class of 2017 Inductee, Jeffrey Robert Bagwell's was 37 during his last year of baseball and he looked horrible from all of his aging problems. So even if you aren't one of the 4 most dominant players ever to play the game, you're still a hall of famer to me.

FYI...I'll be turning 38 in 8 days, I also currently have a sinus infection with a sore throat creeping in, have been balding for years with the impending horseshoe hair with a comb-over in my near future that I plan on sporting with pride, and I'm reminded of a knee injury a few times a year which I suffered in the mosh pit of a Metallica concert over 10 years ago. So I'm right there with you.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday. I'm 64 and have been through cancer and life threatening pneumonia in recent years. Take life one day at a time and try to keep a smile on your face.

JKA said...

Saw Appel pitch for Lancaster versus Inland Empire in the Cal League, and it was truly strange. They have a speed gun readout at he scoreboard at IE, and Appel rarely registered over the low nineties. IE was mostly organization guys - this being a barren LAA farm team - yet they seemed to square up Appel pretty consistently. The one thing that did work was the slider - he got several awkward swings and misses on that pitch....but little else worked, and he was gone by the third inning.....turned out to be his last Lancaster outing, as the team essentially sent him to the equivalent of extended spring training, and when he came back they sent him up to AA Corpus Christi, which definitely upset a lot of other Astro minor leaguers. Jeff Luhnow was in the park that night as well.....remember him talking to some of the players families, but you knew he had to be pretty unsettled by what he saw.

Good luck to Mark in his future pursuits.