Prospect of the Day: Zack Cozart, SS, Cincinnati Reds - Taking over at shortstop this year for the Cincinnati Reds is rookie Zack Cozart. Rob Neyer pointed Cozart out as a potential National League Rookie of the Year candidate last week, and I agree with Rob. Cozart hasn't received as much attention as he deserves, so let's fix that. Cozart was drafted in the second round in 2007 from the University of Mississippi. He was an All-American in college and well-regarded for his defensive skills, but scouts weren't sure he would hit. Many predicted that his pull-oriented swing would not work against pro pitching, and he hit just .237/.288/.332 in 53 games in the Low-A Midwest League after signing. He improved to .280/.330/.457 with 14 homers in a repeat engagement at Dayton in 2008. link
Kevin Goldstein @Kevin_Goldstein - I ranked Dylan Bundy as the No. 6 prospect in baseball, higher than anyone, and I still think people are getting too crazy about 6 innings
Current prices at Coors Field - $5 program, $4 peanuts, $3.50 bottle of water, $4.75 hot dog, $5.75 popcorn, and $7.25 beer.
The first catcher’s mask was used today in 1877
RHP Cody Buckel 2-game totals at A+: 10.0-IP, 16-K, 0-R
This would be a good time to put the finishing touches on that Vince Scully tribute peace you have planned on…
35-year-old Jason Lane, who hit 26 home runs for the Astros in 2005, is now pitching for Triple-A Reno.
Buster Olney @Buster_ESPN - Keep in mind, it's early: Tim Lincecum's average fastball down from 92.2 mph last year to 90.3 in his first two starts this year.
David Phelps had a poor freshman year for Notre Dame in 2006. In contrast, his 2007 season was brilliant: a 1.88 ERA with a 102/30 K/BB in 110 innings for the Fighting Irish. He was positioned as a potential early pick for 2008, but an erratic junior season (4.65 ERA, 75/28 K/BB with 102 hits in 93 innings) depressed his stock. Scouts reported slippage of his secondary pitches and a slight loss of velocity. The Yankees drafted him anyway in the 14th round, then signed him for a $150,000 bonus. His pro debut was quite good (2.72 ERA with a 52/18 K/BB in 73 innings in the New York-Penn League), and he looked like a nice sleeper prospect heading into 2009 link
Lewis “Hack” Wilson enjoyed one of the most inspired seasons in baseball history in 1930. Playing outfield for the Chicago Cubs, he hit .356 with 56 home runs and a major league record 191 RBI. He had set the National League RBI record the year before with 159, but shattered that with his inspired play in 1930. It is still remembered as one of the single greatest statistical seasons by any player, but few know that because of a controversial off-season the previous winter, it came close to playing out much differently. link
Johnny Damon receives full no-trade protection and the ability to opt out once Grady Sizemore returns from the disabled list. This is no ordinary one-year deal. Damon holds all the cards; or so it appears. Think of this from the Indians’ perspective: they want Damon in the lineup for the next few weeks, but know that they can’t offer the consistent playing time he wants throughout the rest of the season. One way to get Damon now and avoid the mess later is to trade him, but it is unlikely that Damon holds much value, and he could not be traded until June without his consent. The other way is to give him a greener-grass clause, essentially telling him to pursue a better opportunity if one presents itself. Perhaps that’s overly presumptuous. Less speculative is what Damon did for the Rays last season. He batted .261/.326/.418, good for a .284 True Average, as Tampa Bay’s primary designated hitter; among designated hitters with 200-plus plate appearances, Damon’s TAv ranks seventh of 14. That positioning sounds better than it is because four of the seven players who finished below Damon are no longer in the majors (Hideki Matsui, Vladimir Guerrero, Jack Cust, and Jorge Posada). In other words, Damon’s stay on the unemployment line shouldn’t have been surprising given his company. link