Chris Archer Deal Thoughts

S.Samek

So, a couple weeks ago the Pittsburgh Pirates made a trade for Chris Archer. They gave the Rays Austin Meadows, Tyler Glasnow and a player to be named for him.

Well the player to be named is Shane Baz, formerly the Pirates number three ranked prospect.
Wow is Tampa getting a steal. You got three first round picks for a decent starter. Is Archer good, I would say yes, but Glasnow and Meadows should have been enough. I mean if it wasn’t ok throw in another prospect, but a former number one, a constant number two and now a number three is a bit high.
Yet I do like how they added Archer. He’s a decent pitcher that might benefit from a change of location. Plus, with Ray Serrage working with him maybe the spark can turn him back to an ace.
Losing Meadows hurts a little as he was a part of the Pirates future as the replacement for Andrew McCutchen that was traded away this off-season. Glasnow struggled in the bullpen, but still was working on being in the majors for just about a full season.
I wouldn’t give up on Glasnow and he could really be a contributor for the Rays in the future. Meadows should be a good player to as he rose up the system pretty quick and was doing pretty well in his first taste of major league action.
Baz is now the sixth ranked prospect in the Rays organization. A bit of a fall, but still top ten. He could be someone to watch for if he continues to develop. Even though it’s still early with him as he is in low a/short season ball.

Should be interesting to see who wins this trade. Yet so far, I think it’s the Rays. They got three players with a good amount of potential for one good, if disappointing player.

 

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Tim Tebow an All-Star

S.Samek

Here at Hammer Down we have talked a lot about Tim Tebow. Mostly saying how we feel he shouldn’t try and make a professional baseball career.

Well after a year in single a baseball Tebow was set to double a Binghamton this season. Which was surprising as he struggled last year at both levels of low a.

Yet this year he played well enough to earn an all –star selection. During the game he went 1-4 with a double.

For the season he is hitting .273 with six homers and 36 RBI. The average is up quite a bit from last year which is good. The 6 home runs in 84 games puts Tebow at a better pace to beat the eight home runs he hit in 126 games last year. He should also be able to best his 52 RBI’s from 2017 during the season as well.

It’s good to see Tebow improve. I still don’t think it’s enough to get him to the MLB though. He still sits outside the Met’s top 30 prospects list and still remain unproven at the upper levels of the minor leagues.

Yet keep watching and I’m sure he will do something next that might surprise me.

Sadly , Tebow broke his right hand and is out for the rest of the year. This happened the same day the post was originally published. A rough break for a player having an improved season.

 

Pirates and Diamondbacks Bean balls 2018

S.Samek

 

It’s just funny begin a Pittsburgh Pirate’s fan.

Just when you think your team isn’t bad, they go on a slide and prove that thought wrong.

In the middle of this chaos was blowing a five run led to Arizona in humorous fashion.

Of course when the Pirates and Diamondbacks square off it included someone getting hit by a pitch. You all know of the Andrew McCutchen and Paul Goldschmidt beanings that started all this mess.

Now it escalated after Josh Harrison took a pitch and left the game. Joe Musgrove the Pirates starter then hit Chris Owings in retaliation, intentionally.

Yes protect your teammate, but then move on and focus on the game.

Yet it didn’t happen, Sean Rodriguez was hit in the ninth inning.

The umpires just let them play on all of these beanballs. Which is fine, handle it how you want it is the umpires game.

I just want to see an end to this. Its school yard crap. If you hit someone by accident ok, take first and move on. Don’t try to pitch way inside and hit someone so they get hurt.

If you must protect a teammate fine as well. Hit one batter and move on. It needs to go no further than that. Having these beanball wars that go on series after series is stupid.

These beanballs don’t accomplish much anyway. Why do people think giving up a free walk at the expense of honor helps? You get no separate stat for honor beanings, it’s one more hit by pitch for you and the hitter. The hitter makes out better than you do.

I just think the beanings need to stop for any reason. Hit the ball and score some runs that way if you want to be old school. Ban the DH and the save if you really want to go old school.

 

Pittsburgh Pirates Draft 2018

S.Samek

Tis the time of the year where each team tests their skills at predicting the future. By this I mean another draft is upon us. This time it’s the 2018 MLB draft.

I’m taking a look at my favorite team, the Pittsburgh Pirates and their 2018 draft.

In the first round the Pirates selected 10th. They used the pick on outfielder Travis Swaggerty out of Southern Alabama. The pick wasn’t a stretch as Swaggerty was rated as the 11th best draft prospect.

I didn’t like the pick initially. I figured the outfield was a position of strength for the Pirates. Yet it doesn’t hurt to have depth. Though I also think the Pirates have some outfield prospects in the top 10 such as Bryan Reynolds and Lolo Sanchez, yet it is good to see more depth.

I think this was a take the best player available pick and I hope it works.

They then added a couple of high school pitchers getting Gunnar Hoglund and Braxton Ashcroft at 36th and 51st picks. Ashcroft is a two-sport star so, this could be an athletic type player pick.

Hoglund had a dominate year during his senior season.

Hoglund had a dominate year during his senior season.

I think keeping lots of pitching talent in the system is important and these two picks help here.

In round three they went with shortstop Connor Kaiser. I hate this pick. Shortstop/second base is a tremendous log jam in the Pirates system. With Kaiser being a college bat he maybe closer to the majors than a high school pick.

Yet it just seems like a worthless pick with the likes of Kevin Newman and Cole Tucker fighting to replace Jordy Mercer sooner rather than later and Stephen Alemamais, Kevin Kramer and Oneil Cruz all on the top 30 prospects list.

Aaron Shortage, a right- handed pitcher was selected in round four.

In round five the selection was catcher Grant Koch out of Arkansas. Good to see the position of most need finally be addressed.

Michael Flynn is another pitcher added in round six.

In round seven they took leftfielder Brett Kinneman.

Rounds eight and nine they picked up a couple more pitchers.

Then in round 10 they selected Mike Gretler, Oregon States third baseman.

They then picked up 11 more pitchers, three more catchers, five more shortstops, seven more outfielders and a couple more infielders to round out the draft. I think this was good for restocking the farm as you can never have enough pitching, as the cliché goes.

Though I do think they went a little too shortstop heavy, taking six of them in total.

Overall, an ok draft and let’s see how it pans out years down the road.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Return of Kang

S.Samek

Surprise. Looks like Pittsburgh Pirate fans have something to cheer about after a gloomy off season.

 
Former starting third baseman Jung Ho Kang is coming back to the team. Kang faced visa issues from DUI charges, as well as injuries. He didn’t see action with the Pirates last year.

 
At the time of his departure Kang was hitting .273 with 36 homers and 120 rbi in 229 games over two seasons.

 

 

This is definitely a boost for the Pirates lineup. Anytime you get a starter back it’s a positive addition.

 
The only problem is where does Kang go? Third base is taken by David Freese and Collin Moran. Shortstop has Jordy Mercer and second base is all Josh Harrison’s. Those are Kang’s main three positions.

 
Yet I don’t really think you need three people at third base. Yes, Kang is good and proved himself in the past, while Moran is not really tested, but does that just mean you give up on Moran?

 
I don’t think that would be fair to him, especially after trading away your ace pitcher in an unpopular move to get him. Kang is an improvement over Freese, but Freese is still a solid bench guy. I don’t really think Kang is a bench guy at the moment.

 
What also happens to the likes of Jose Osuna who has been getting looks at third base, or Max Moroff. Guys that have done well in the minor leagues and are starting to show skills at the big-league level. Yet again prospect getting shafted for a player that many never expected to come back.

 
So why not trade Kang? Though what would he be worth if traded? I don’t see this happening though with the way off-season trades went and how furious the fan base would be if yet another star gets traded away.

 
I’m surprised to see Kang back. I do acknowledge this could be a boost for the Pirates lineup. I just don’t know where you play him at. Hoping he gets back to form and surprise people. That and he behaves himself and just worries about the game.

 

 

 

Tebow Update

S.Samek

Last year we talked about Tim Tebow trying to become a professional baseball player.

Tebow’s quest is still going on. This season he is with the double-a Binghamton Rumble Ponies.

 

This is even after a season in which he did not fare well statistically. He hit .26 overall at two levels of a ball last year. He hit .220 at the low a level. He did hit eight home runs and drove in 52 runs during the year though, but still the numbers don’t really stand out.

 

Tebow isn’t listed in the Mets top 30 prospect list. Now while this may not mean much, it does mean that he isn’t someone to watch for preforming well. He isn’t even among the top 30 in a system with a couple hundred prospects. Making Tebow at best number 31. That wouldn’t get him a roster spot on the standard 25 man roster.

 

He maybe at best a slot on the extended 40-man roster. Yet he remains absent on the current edition of that.

 

Age isn’t on Tebow’s side either. He’s 30, which is old for double –a. It’s old to be still considered a prospect. Maybe not if he was being stored at triple-a for depth as a veteran player, but Tebow’s never even reached the majors. Making it just another waste of roster space the Mets are using with Tebow.

 
It is about attendance numbers though. Tebow had teams marking their calendars for his appearances. Fans flocked to the gates to see him. This trend should continue this season.

 

 
I still think Tebow needs to quit. Go be an analyst or something. Give another hard working young kid a chance to make it to the majors.

 

 

Chief Wahoo Two

S.Samek

During the Cleveland Indians run to the world series the chief wahoo controversy came up.

 

I was on the side of the coin that wanted to see the logo removed.

 
The time has finally come. Recently it was announced that after 2018 Chief Wahoo will no longer see time on uniforms.

 

 

I fully agree with this. Though sources say this may only come because of intense pressure from MLB, or the fact that the Indians will host the 2019 all-star game.
Either way its good to see the logo go. Put the uniform drama away and focus on the on the field product.

 
Would be interesting to see what replaces it, if anything. I think the red C should be sufficient though if not a bit boring.

 
Should be interesting to see if this triggers another wave of logo changes. I don’t see that being the case ,but it may happen.