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Monday 18th Dec 2017

Yet another week passes, and yet again several big name prospects were advanced to the major leagues, while some other names surfaced through the box scores and transactions, but none of the newbies this week have been anticipated like the Jays new third sacker Brett Lawrie. Plucked by the Brewers in the first round in 2008 (#16 overall), Lawrie was traded during the off-season for Shaun Marcum.

As a minor leaguer Lawrie's arrival was anticipated due to his .296-39-190, with 78 doubles, 28 triples, and 62 steals over 390 games, and that includes a gaudy .353-18-61 at Las Vegas this year. Lawrie hit his first homer on Sunday, and if you can get him, it seems he will bang more than a few long balls for you.

I wrote a brief Mastersblog piece on Paul Goldschmidt, whose first major league homer--hit off Tim Lincecum--I witnessed earlier in the week. As a high schooler, Goldschmidt was picked by the Dodgers in 2006 (49th round) and then the eighth round of the 2009 draft by the Diamondbacks. The owner of a .317-83-264 line in the minors the 23-year was hitting .306-30-94 at Double-A Erie, and does not seem likely to go back.

The Royals keep slowly adding to their store of fine young player, now having promoted second sacker Johnny Giavotella from Triple-A Omaha (.338-9-72 with 34 doubles). A second round selection in 2008, Giavotella has advanced a level each year since being selected, and has aggregate totals of .305-28-215 with 111 two-basers and a solid .375 OBP (192 walks to 212 whiffs). With Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer, this could be quite an infield in a couple of years.

The Reds seen to have a endless store of good outfield players of late, with Jay Bruce, Drew Stubbs, and Chris Heisey, but the injury to the latter has forced the promotion of another in Dave Sappelt. A ninth round selection in 2008, Sappelt was hitting .313-7-29 over 75 games this season at Louisville. Last year Sappelt finished the season at Triple-A (.324-1-8) after being promoted from Carolina where he hit .361-9-62. Sappelt could be alright as a fifth outfielder in an NL only situation.

Much like the Royals will be a lot of fun to watch develop over the next few years, the Mariners are doing some very interesting things including promoting new spoils in outfielder Trayvon Robinson, culled from the Dodgers and Red Sox last week in an odd three-way deal that sent Erik Bedard to the Red Sox and bounced prospects (Tim Federowicz, RHP Juan Rodriguez, RHP Stephen Fife and Chih-Hsien Chiang) and wannabe Josh Fields. Hitting a solid .293-26-71 at Albuquerque when the Dodgers swapped the outfielder for what doesn't seem to be much of a reason. Robinson does have strikeout questions (220 walks to 701 punch outs) and he belted his first major league big fly Saturday. I like the future Mariners a lot!

The thing about the Dodgers trading Robinson is though they seem in disarray, they are really not that far from having a contending team if they exercised some discipline. Surely they have a star in Matt Kemp with support from Andre Ethier, and a stopper arm in Clayton Kershaw with Chad Billingsley as a fine No. 2 in a rotation. The Bums brought a potentially good third young arm along with Nathan Eovaldi who tossed five strong innings Saturday, beating Arizona for a first win (two runs, four hits, seven strikeouts and a pair of walks). An 11th-round pick in 2008, the 21-year old right-hander was 13-17, 3.30 over 73 games and 53 starts as a minor leaguer. He whiffed 253 over 308 innings, and though Eovaldi has allowed 286 hits and 127 walks, he has surrendered just eight homers over that span. That is very good.

I have always been a Kyle Blanks fan and am happy the big outfielder/first baseman. I confess to having given up on him in several leagues, but, still just 24, if Blanks is finally healthy, and with his big day Saturday, where he drove in five including a grand slam. Because his numbers are so low (.167-2-8 over 42 at-bats) Blanks is likely to be floating in the free agent pool in just about every format. If you have the room or need, bag him.

Finally, the Pale Hose have another good looking young arm in Zach Stewart, acquired as part of the Edwin Jackson trade culminated at the deadline. Stewart had made three starts for the Jays (0-1, 4.86), but he handled the Twins Saturday and figures to get a few more starts now that his record stands at 1-1, 3.86. Originally selected in the third round of the 2008 draft by Cincinnati, then shipped to Toronto with Edwin Encarnacion for Scott Rolen, Stewart was 18-14, 3.07 as a minor leaguer with 314 strikeouts over 385 innings (378 hits and 127 walks) .

That will be it for this time. And, I will be off next week, taking the time to go to Music Camp. But I will be back August 22 and we can catch up. Hope your teams rock in the interim.


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