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.