Ryan Westmoreland – Where are you now?

Last week Baseball America released their top 10 prospect list for the Boston Red Sox system. Although the list itself piques the most interest, the breakdowns in column on the right side of the page are also of interest. Something always catches my eye, this time around it was the organization’s top prospects of the past decade. Back in 2009 the Red Sox had a young outfielder at the top of their list that doesn’t even show up in their top 20 anymore.

That outfielder, a 19-year-old by the name of Ryan Westmoreland burst onto the scene for the Boston Red Sox. In his first professional season Ryan hit .296/.401/.484, slugging seven home runs and stealing 19 bases without getting caught once. He even displayed a great eye at the plate with a 14.2 BB%. He shot up prospect lists and ranked #1 on quite a few of them. He was listed above players like Casey Kelly, Ryan Kalish, Josh Reddick, Anthony Rizzo, and Jose Iglesias. John Sickels of Minor League Ball raved about him, stating:

1) Ryan Westmoreland, OF, Grade B+: I love this guy: Five Tool/Seven Skill player who can do everything. I expect more power will come. Just needs to stay healthy.

But the last sentence spoke volumes. Unknowingly, Sickels put in that disclaimer as he does on many of his reviews as several top prospects get injured on the field and never achieve the level of impact that scouts and analysts believe they can reach. In his December 2009 post Sickels wasn’t referring to a March 2010 diagnosis that Ryan had a “cavernous malformation” in his brain stem. Something that would have a life-changing impact on anyone, not just the top prospect in the Red Sox organization.

Now, after successful surgery to correct the issue, Ryan is back with the Red Sox and is working his way back into baseball activities. The Bleacher Report had a recent posting on Ryan and his first stop on the way back, a few at-bats in a Dominican instructional league.

More on his first action back in baseball can be read in Brian MacPherson’s article on ProvidenceJournal.com. It has some quotes directly from Ryan and is a good read.

Good luck on your way back Ryan!

 

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The Kila Ka’aihue Award – December 2011: Brandon Dickson

Each month TBO provides the Kila Ka’aihue Award to one ball player who’s path to the majors has been blocked by an existing player in his position, or just by the sheer…..general discretion of the front office staff. Sure, the player may never result in a regular in the majors, but they should at least get their chance somewhere.

Starting pitching is a relatively tough area to award a Kila Ka’aihue Award to. If you pitch well enough, you are more than likely good enough to replace the major league team’s fifth starter, become an injury replacement, or will fit into the bullpen. Pitching is always needed and a decent starting pitcher is rarely blocked. But perusing through the PCL statistics I found one starter that should get an extended chance in the majors, Brandon Dickson of the Memphis Cardinals.

Amongst qualifying starting pitchers in the PCL, ”Cotton” was third in the league in WHIP (1.28) and 5th overall in ERA (3.95). Although those stats are decent, but not mind-boggling good, they have to be taken in context, the PCL is a hitter-friendly league.

FutureRedbirds.net has a very good write-up on Dickson from 2010 and he seems to have improved since then. With a low-90s sinking fastball, a curve, and an “improving changeup”, Dickson has a three pitch mix that has gotten him to Triple-A and a cup-of-coffee in St. Louis. His strikeout rate has increased each season since 2008 and his walk rate has each season since then as well.

In a recent post on Minor League Ball, John Sickels provided a preliminary ranking of the Cardinals prospects for 2012. Dickson came in 18th on the list. Sickels noted:

18) Brandon Dickson, RHP, Grade C+: You probably won’t see him this high on other lists, as an older prospect without first-class stuff. But he throws strikes, and could surprise us with a surprising run of success if given a little luck and defensive support. There are many guys with higher upside in the system that you could list here instead, but I wanted to draw notice to Dickson.

All that said, would Dickson survive as a 5th starter? It’s possible, on a poor team, but more likely he would fit in a big league team as a relief pitcher. With a move to the pen it is possible that Brandon could add a couple mph to his fastball. When combined with his already very good ground ball tendencies, Dickson may be a decent middle-relief arm in the pen down the road. He just needs an extended chance.

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Trade Bait: Jackson Traded to Blue Jays

Seems like Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos loves at the center of big trades, even if his team is out of contention. With his team in fourth place in the AL East, Alex still pulled a trade that you wouldn’t consider white flag -esque, but improved his team for as soon as next season.

In the first part of an essentially a three-way trade, Alex picked up starter Edwin Jackson for Mark Teahen, Jason Frasor, and prospect Zach Stewart. Edwin would then be flipped to St. Louis, the sixth trade he’s been involved in, but that’s for another blog post. Edwin brings in decent ground ball and strikeout rates and provides enough value in a thin starting pitching market to land the talent he wanted.

Like Jackson, this isn’t Teahen’s first time on the trade block. Interestingly, he was first traded in three-team deal with Carlos Beltran as the centerpiece, Beltran coincidentally would be traded as well on the day of this trade. After going from Oakland to Kansas City, the Royals traded him to the Chicago White Sox. The White Sox promptly signed him to an extension that has been panned by many since it was signed. Due to his offensive performance this season (or lack thereof), many regarded Teahen’s inclusion in this deal as a salary dump, but to his detractors I say “not so fast”. Jayson Nix has played most of the innings at the hot corner for the Jays this season. But he’s actually hitting worse than Teahen. Edwin Encarnacion has next most innings at the position so far, but he’s a defensive butcher.

Frasor, an Illinois native, strengthens an already strong bullpen. He has an option in his contract that will likely be picked up, the way he is pitching. But the more intriguing aspect of his acquisition is the fact that the Sox have a little more depth in the pen to trade from. With so many contending teams looking for relief pitching, Sox GM Kenny Williams may be enticed to trade an arm or two.

Zach Stewart may be the prize of this trade for Williams though. JaysProspects.com has a scouting report on Stewart, noting his four-pitch repertoire and the sink to his fastball. Some consider him as having the potential to be a future #2 starter. Others believe he could end up in the bullpen. He seems to be more of a #4 in my eyes right now, with potential to eat a good number of innings as a #3 starter in his peak.

With the lack of starting pitching on the trade market, I would have liked to see Williams pick up more talent for Jackson. But clearing off Teahen’s contract brought his overall return in this trade down. I like this trade more for Anthopoulos and the Jays than I do the White Sox.

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Trade Bait: Beltran to the Bay

The Carlos Beltran sweepstakes have ended….again. Once involved as the centerpiece of a major trade from the Royals to the Astros, Beltran is now heading from the Mets to the Giants. In return for Beltran and supposedly $4 million, the Mets will receive pitching prospect Zack Wheeler.

Beltran was the best offensive option on a relatively weak trade market. The Braves, Phillies, Red Sox, Pirates, Rangers, and Indians were all rumored to be interested in him. 

The Giants were the worst offensive team of all the NL teams in the playoff hunt. Beltran brings a potent bat to help overcome down years from Aubrey Huff and Cody Ross, as well as to help counter the major blow of Buster Posey being laid up for the rest of the season. Although he’s a few steps slower than he used to be, the former centerfielder should provide plus defense in right field for the defending champions as well.

Sandy Alderson leveraged his position of having the best available bat on the market well. He held a bidding war and was willing to pay much of Beltran’s remaining salary to obtain the best prospect offered. Although each of the teams previously mentioned had upper-tier prospects available, the Giants were the most open to giving up the talent needed to land the deal.

Zack Wheeler is considered a consensus top 40 prospect in all of baseball by the major prospect mavens. He has an above average fastball that sits in the low-90s, but can climb to 95 at times. But Wheeler’s best pitch is a curve that is already above average and could turn into a plus pitch in the majors. He also has a somewhat below average fastball. Like the other analysts, Project Prospect believes he could be a #2 pitcher with flashes of ace ability. The site’s scouting report on Wheeler is a good read.

This is a decent trade for both sides. Alderson picks up a very good pitcher in return for an outfielder that wasn’t going to be with the team when it returned to contention again. As for Giants GM Brian Sabean, he showed last year that he has the knack for adding the right players to put his team over the top. Beltran is just that. He gave up a pitcher that has the ability to burn him for several seasons down the road, but Wheeler’s mechanics are also questionable. Zach could spend a significant time in the trainer’s room and never really fulfill the destiny laid upon him by baseball analysts. Also Sabean still has a few good prospects in the minors between Brandon Belt, Gary Brown, and Eric Surkamp. So his system isn’t completely barren, unlike a certain NL Central team after recent trades.

But in the end, unless the Giants win the World Series this season, I give the edge to Alderson. Even if he turns into only a #3 starter, Wheeler should provide more value than 60 games of Beltran. Then again value is head in the eyes of the beholder. I believe baseball economist Andrew Zimbalist has been able to assign a dollar value to the number of wins a team achieves over the norm. By looking back at Wheeler’s WAR during his time in New York a few years from now, you may possibly ascertain that Wheeler may have provided more value to the Mets than the short stint that Beltran will play in San Francisco. But can you truly put a value on the ring?

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Rookies to Look For: Julio Teheran

Recently the Atlanta Braves debuted yet another pitcher from their seemingly always pitching-deep farm system.  Julio Teheran took the mound against the vaunted Philadelphia Phillies offense on May 7th and allowed three runs in 4-2/3 innings.  It wasn’t an eye-popping Strasburg-like debut, but he got a feeling of what it would be like to pitch against a tough lineup of MLB-level hitters.

The 20-year-old Columbian right hander has been on the radar of prospect analysts since he was signed in 2007. At that time, when only 16, many scouts compared him to Pedro Martinezfor having very good stuff, despite a less than imposing stature.  Teheran boasts an 89-94 mph fastball, a curve, and a change-up.  His command and control of that repertoire has propelled him to the front of many prospect lists.  Various analysts listed him as the second best right-handed pitching prospect in the game, behind Jeremy Hellickson.

His stats throughout his 50-start minor league career back back up that ranking.  Overall, he has held a 3.03 ERA with 1.11 WHIP, 7.5 H/9 and 8.9 K/9.  All but six of those starts were as a teen, against older competition at each level he played at.

MLB.com has a little more on Teheran here:

Highly touted Teheran set for Braves camp

Below is a YouTube video from ProjectProspect.com of Teheran taken during spring training.  It shows the movement on his pitches pretty well.  You can tell the catcher had some problems with the movement on the curve occasionally.  It also shows his delivery in slow motion from the side.

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

There’s little doubt that Teheran will be a very good major league pitcher.  The only question is if he can avoid the injury bug enough to be considered an “ace”.  But first, let’s see how he adjusts after his first start in the majors and how he comes out today in his second start.  With his ability and the less imposing lineup he’s facing, we should see a nice turn around in his statistics from his first start.

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Rainy Day Reading: “What the Scouts are Saying”

A little while ago I came across a blog post at Inside the Padres that gathered quotes from various unnamed scouts about players on the San Diego Padres, or have links back to the Padres.  It’s an interesting read on a few players during spring training, actually to me it’s a must read.  Check it out here:

What the Scouts are Saying

Comments centered on Cameron Maybin, Anthony Rizzo, Mat Latos, Mike Adams and others.  The praise for Rizzo was interesting, some of it was good, some of it mixed like this one:

 ”I’m not sold on Rizzo. I think he’s going to be a decent big leaguer. His swing is kind of long, kind of reminds me of Adam LaRoche‘s swing. He’s got a good eye, which helps him. He’ll be able to hit them out at Petco. Right now, I don’t see a short or consistent swing.”

There was also concern for Latos that turned out to be a precursor to the troubles he’s going through now:

“….I saw Mat Latos twice. I’d be concerned, man.”

It also goes on provide comments on a number of players from other teams.  Overall, it is a very interesting read and something that I hope Tom Krasovic does again next spring.

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Rainy Day Reading: Rule 5 Draft

In the past I have given a brief pre or post-draft review of the Rule 5 draft that happens at the end of the winter meetings each year.  This year I thought I would open it up and link to other blogs with more knowledge of each player selected.  For the 2010 Rule 5 Draft, here are the results: 

PIT: Josh Rodriguez, SS, Columbus (CLE)

Bucs Prospects gives a brief breakdown of Josh Rodriguez and characterizes him as an offensive-minded utility infielder.  He “doesn’t have shortstop quickness or arm strength” needed to play the position regularly.  In my eyes he could become a late-game offensive replacement for Ronny Cedeno or defensive replacement for Pedro Alvarez or Neil Walker.

SEA: Jose Flores, RHP, Columbus (CLE)

Indians Prospect Insider discusses righty Jose Flores.  Like many blogs, Tony at the Insider is scratching his head over the Mariners’ selection of a High-A ball pitcher with a low-90s fastball and secondary offerings that “are considered anything more than average pitches now and in the future”.

ARI: Joe Paterson, LHP, Fresno (SF)

Call to the Pen looks at Joe Paterson‘s profile.  The side arming lefty looks like a specialist out of the pen.  According to Nathaniel, Joe has “a better chance than most of sticking and contributing right away, particularly in an Arizona bullpen that was terrible in 2010.”

BAL: Adrian Rosario, RHP, Nashville (MIL)

Call to the Pen also recently reviewed Baltimore’s pick of Adrian Rosario saying that he “falls into the ‘good arm, zero experience’ category”.

KC: Nathan Adcock, RHP, Indianapolis (PIT)

Adcock is a 6′-5″ righty who hasn’t passed High-A ball in the five seasons he has been pitching professionally.  Will McDonald of Royals Review give his own introductory glimpse at Adcock.  There are also links to other posts about Adcock at the end of the post.

WAS: Elvin Ramirez, RHP, Buffalo (NYM)

Matthew Cerrone discusses Ramirez prior to the Rule 5 draft in his MetsBlog.  Ramirez was considered by some to be the first overall pick in the draft this year.  He has a fastball that’s been “clocked [at] 94-98 mph this winter”, but his off-speed stuff is “extremely suspect”.  The bullpen has been Ramirez’ destination for a while due to his high walk rate, but the Nationals will put him there sooner than later.

CHC: Mason Tobin, RHP, Salt Lake (LAA)

After Tobin was selected by the Cubs, he was promptly traded to the Texas Rangers for cash. Mason sat out all of 2010 following Tommy John surgery, but the Rangers like his stuff and are willing to roll the dice to see if he can stick in the pen with his mid-90s heater and nice slurve.  Harry Pavlidis of Beyond the Box Score created a thorough break down of Tobin in an April 2009 post, before his injury.

HOU: Aneury Rodriguez, RHP, Durham (TB)

Aneury Rodriguez was acquired by the Rays from the Colorado Rockies in the Jason Hammel deal in April 2009.  He’s still only 22 years old and has decent stuff.  The Crawfish Boxes takes a quick look at him, saying “I can see the Astros gambling on the possibility that he competes for a rotation spot.  If he shows well but can’t beat out the competition, perhaps he becomes a bullpen option”.  Other sources are saying that Aneury is one of the top three players taken in overall prospect value.  RaysProspects takes a deeper look at Rodriguez in a January posting.

MIL: Pat Egan, RHP, Norfolk (BAL)

The Brewers Bar reviews the Brewers’ 6′-8″ haul in the draft.  He says, “With his height, stuff, and ground ball tendencies, he’ll obviously remind a lot of people of Kameron Loe.”  But updates it with a Tweet from Jim Callis of Baseball America calling Egan a “sinker/slider reliever,” but says he doesn’t have a “true go-to pitch.”

NYM: Brad Emaus, 2B, Las Vegas (TOR)

Although Dan Uggla put up more power in the minors, compare his statistics from 2005 in the minors to Emaus‘ this past season at Triple-A.  Las Vegas is a good hitter’s environment, but it’s still an interesting exercise.  Amazin’ Avenue has a further breakdown of the Mets acquisition.  He could have a good chance to stick around.

SD: George Kontos, RHP, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (NYY)

Righty Kontos was selected away from the Yankees’ Triple-A team.  Yankees Daily has a detailed scouting report on the pitcher from this past January.  San Diego has always had success developing relief pitching in PETCO, Kontos may be next.

MIN: Scott Diamond, LHP, Gwinnett (ATL)

Aaron Gleeman discusses lefty Diamond in a recent blog post.  Aaron praises his ability to induce ground balls and says that, “Diamond has a chance to stick, in part because he projects as a potentially useful pitcher and in part because the Twins have plenty of spots to settle in the bullpen.”

NYY: Robert Fish, LHP, Salt Lake (LAA)

Halos Heaven has a write-up on Fish that includes a video of him pitching a bullpen session.  According to the site, he has some mechanics issues.  This may limit his long-term ability to become a good LOOGY for a major league team.  It’s doubtful that the Yankees will keep him around.

TB: Cesar Cabral, LHP, Pawtucket (BOS)

Cabral is a lefty reliever that, according to Sox Prospects, “Gets a lot of swings and misses with his changeup, which has nice downward movement.”  He also has a fastball that can occationally reach the mid-90s.  But he’s also struggled in A-ball and has little chance to stick on the Rays roster.

PHI: Michael Martinez, IF, Syracuse (WAS)

Martinez is a light hitting infielder with experience at second, short, and in the outfield.  The Good Phight has a write-up on Martinez, saying that he could possibly fill an Eric Bruntlett-like role.

WAS: Brian Broderick, RHP, Memphis (STL)

Future Redbirds gave a brief breakdown of Broderick after the pitcher was lost to the Nationals in the draft; “Broderick performed well in 2010 splitting his time between Palm Beach and Springfield.  He pitched with well above average command of a sinking fastball generating lots of ground balls and limiting his walks. At 6’6″, Broderick can make full use of his height to drive the ball down in the zone.”

 HOU: Lance Pendleton, RHP, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (NYY)

Pendleton grew up on the northeast side of Houston and will return there as the Astros continue their search for additional pitching options.  Stephen Goff of examiner.com posted a detailed article about Pendleton on December 14th.  Although Pendleton will have a spot in the competition for the 5th starter job, the Astros may also try to keep him around in a relief role if he doesn’t join the rotation.

NYM: Pedro Beato, RHP, Norfolk (BAL)

MetsMerizedOnline discusses Beato in a recent posting.  Jim Mancari characterized him as a, “two-pitch reliever with a fastball in the low-to-mid 90s”.  Jim goes on to say that he “could play a role in the 2011 Mets bullpen.”

NYY: Daniel Turpen, RHP, Pawtucket (BOS)

Turpen was acquired in the Ramon Ramirez trade with the San Francisco Giants this past season.  As Sox Prospects states, he is a “Big sidearm reliever with a 93-94 mph fastball, complemented by an above-average changeup and an above-average slider. Induces a lot of ground balls.”

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And The Award Goes To – 2010

Every year the Major League Baseball awards come out and I typically have a problem with at least one of the awards.  Hence I am starting the inaugural Baseball Opinion Awards.  After each season I will review the candidates and hand out various awards including, but not limited to; Player of the Year, Pitcher of the Year, Rookie of the Year, and Minor League Player of the Year.

This year’s award winners are:

NL Player of the Year

Joey Votto – Amongst qualified hitters, Votto held the second highest batting average (below Carlos Gonzalez) in the National League, the top on-base percentage and the highest slugging percentage.  He was third the NL in home runs and RBIs as well.  Finally, Votto led his team to the playoffs for the first time in 15 years.  Honorable mention to Carlos Gonzalez, this was closer to me than what other analysts are saying.

AL Player of the Year

Josh Hamilton On top of winning the batting title by 14 points over Justin Morneau, his slugging percentage was at the top of the American League.  Justin was also amongst the lead leaders in home runs, doubles, and RBIs, even after sitting out a month during the season.  Like Votto, he also was a major factor in the team’s return to the playoffs after 11 years.  Honorable mention to Miguel Cabrera.

NL Pitcher of the Year

Roy Halladay – Halladay lead the National League in wins, complete games, shut-outs and innings pitched.  But here’s a fact that probably won’t be mentioned much; his 30 walks were at least 25 walks lower than any other pitcher with 200+ innings.  Honorable mention to Adam Wainwright.

AL Pitcher of the Year

Felix Hernandez Like Halladay, Felix led the league in innings pitched.  He also held the lowest ERA of any starting pitcher in the American League.  In fact it was 45 points lower than the next closest starter with 200+ innings pitched.  If his team’s offense wasn’t so pathetic, he would’ve won closer to 20 games this season.  Honorable mention to David Price.

NL Rookie of the Year

Jason Heyward – This was one of the tougher ones.  Buster Posey came up and had a similar statistical season to Heyward in less at-bats.  However, Heyward won more games for his team than Posey did.  There should be no denying that, Heyward was clutch when it was needed the most.  Honorable mention Buster Posey.

AL Rookie of the Year

Austin Jackson – This is also a tough one to consider.  As Pure Michigan Sports notes: “He has added his name to this list of MLB rookies since 1960 who have had 160+hits, 90+runs, 30+2B, and 20+SB: Austin Jackson, Hanley Ramirez, Ichiro Suzuki, Normar Garciaparra, Devon White, Juan Samuel, and Ryne Sandberg.”  Pretty good company I’d say.  Honorable mention to Neftali Feliz. 

Minor League Player of the Year

Jeremy Hellickson – Hellickson was absolutely dominant in the minors and in a brief stint in Tampa.  His detractors complain about his lack of a power fastball, but that doesn’t stop Cliff Lee does it?  Along with his array of pitches, he’s developing a cutter that has helped make Lee and others without a power fastball stand out.  Honorable mentions to Domonic Brown and Mike Moustakas.

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NL East Prospect Blast

Last week Jim Callis of Baseball America went through his mail bag and answered a few questions in his regular Ask BA segment.  One of the questions that he answered was:

"With the recent promotion of Domonic Brown to the Phillies, is the group of Brown, Jason Heyward, Mike Stanton and Stephen Strasburg the best group of prospects ever to debut in one season for four different teams in a division?"

Callis did his regularly great research and discussed other seasons that saw a number of great prospects debut in one division in a year.  But I couldn’t stop from thinking about the other prospects debuting in the NL East this season that should be impact makers along with the aforementioned quartet.

Although Mike Stanton is the name that shines in Florida, it’s hard to overlook Logan Morrison when talking prospects.  Baseball America ranked him #20 amongst the top 100 prospects in MLB for 2010. This slugging first baseman has been hitting so well in the minors, the Marlins have plugged him into left field just to get his bat into the lineup.  This time a year from now, if they keep Dan Uggla and Hanley Ramirez around, the Marlins’ lineup will be something that will make an opposing pitcher cringe.

Much like the Marlins, the Atlanta Braves have a phenom hitter in right field and a first baseman ready for a call-up.  Freddie Freeman is impressing scouts in the minors with his general hitting ability and growing power stroke.  He was ranked #32 in Baseball America’s top 100 prospects in MLB for 2010.  Once Troy Glaus is gone at the end of the season, first base is Freeman’s to lose.  It may even be earlier with Glaus’ recent struggles.

Although Mike Rizzo is going through a lengthy process in redeveloping the Washington Nationals’ farm system, the team is already reaping the rewards of his work.  Acquired in the same draft as Strasburg, reliever Drew Storen is also already in the majors and has impressed the team enough to be given a shot at closing.  Baseball America ranked him #92 amongst the top 100 prospects in MLB for 2010.

Even with Ruben Amaro trading away much of the farm system for top-end pitchers, he’s been able to ascertain what talent he should keep and obviously made a good decision on Domonic Brown.

The Mets and their regularly mediocre farm system cannot be counted out either.  First baseman Ike Davis was initially thought of as a bust as he didn’t hit for power in his abbreviated first professional season.  Now he’s amongst the NL rookie leaders in home runs, even though he didn’t even break camp with the Mets out of Spring Training.  Davis was also on Baseball America’s list, ranked at #62 going into 2010.

If Fernando Martinez rebounds from a lackluster season, the NL East should have three teams with young impact players at first and right field.  If you include first baseman Ryan Howard in the fold, even though he’s already 31, then four of the five teams would have an impact tandem along the right field foul line.

The future’s looking nice for the teams in the NL East with these young players.

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Rookies to Look For: Josh Bell

Last season the Baltimore Orioles traded closer George Sherrill to the L.A. Dodgers for third baseman Josh Bell and righty Steve Johnson.  The two were a decent haul for a reliever, one that fell apart this season, but that’s what the desperation of the trade deadline will do to you.  Today, we’ll profile Josh Bell.

Entering the 2009 season, Josh was ranked as the Dodgers’ 10th best prospect by Minor League Ball.  John Sickels had issues about the Bell’s weight and rated him as a C+ in his initial grade.  But Bell kept hitting.  After carrying a .833 OPS at Double-A for the Dodgers, Bell hit .296/.386/.497 in 334 at-bats after coming over from LA.  He recently took the #4 Orioles prospect position in Sickels’ rankings and his preliminary grade jumped to a B.  (John’s book is still available, BTW)

After a slow start in April this season (.661 OPS), Bell gradually rebounded with OPS’s of .780, .832, and 1.157 the following three months.  With Miguel Tejada shipped out to the San Diego Padres, the time had come for Bell to be called up for good to the majors.

Right Off Russell has an audio interview of Bell after his trade to the Orioles.  It’s a pretty good interview to listen to if you have the time.

Here’s a YouTube video of him hitting:

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

Although Bell is a decent prospect, it doesn’t look like he’ll hit like he did in Double-A while in the majors.  His struggles against left-handed pitching may force a platoon situation early on.  An overall .265/.360/.480 line may be something typical of his abilities.  He should be a solid regular third baseman.  Nothing flashy, no regular All-Star appearances, just a solid hitter.

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