All Quiet On The Minor-League Front

As Spike used to say... mehOK, so it’s less than a month until pitchers and catchers report… and it’s about 40 degrees warmer than it was a week ago… but this is the nadir of the offseason: holidays have come and gone, first pass at the player reports written, but the prospect books are still a couple weeks away from hitting the street/inbox.

In the spirit of keeping the site fresh and discussion going, a couple of news items…

• The death march in Western Maryland continues as the folks in Fredericksburg announce a spring groundbreaking while Ballparkdigest is reporting that another affiliated league is interested in moving into the vacated market. Given the NYPL’s intention to set up shop in Morgantown, WV (where ground has been broken and the stadium will be built regardless of housing a professional team), that could mean the league is looking for a travel partner. Batavia and Jamestown are generally considered the most likely candidates for relocation due to their attendance and/or financial woes as well as aging (pre-WW2) facilities.

• Meanwhile, the Doubledays announced yesterday that former Syracuse Chiefs assistant GM Michael Voutsinas will be the new Auburn GM — the fifth since 2010. Not coincidentally, attendance has fallen three times over that timeframe, perhaps making Auburn a third relocation candidate in either scenario listed above.

Author: Luke Erickson

Since 2009, Luke Erickson has been chief writer, editor, and bottle-washer of NationalsProspects.com. Potomac is his home base as a season-ticket holder, but he has visited every affiliate north of Florida at least once, with multiple trips to Hagerstown and Harrisburg.

11 thoughts on “All Quiet On The Minor-League Front”

    1. Pretty fair choices. But Pittsburgh wins the title of best farm for 2014 according to BA. Still need to hear from Sickels. They again mention how the Nats lost that title with the Gio trade with Oakland in 2012.

      According to BA its not just talent but major-league ready talent? If Giolito pitches a full 2013 would the Nats be in the top 3 – 5? If he gets added to Jordan, Karns, Cole, et al? Of course they just traded Ray … still …

      1. Doubtful. The Nats were #16 last year with Anthony Rendon on the cusp. A healthy Giolito, at age 19, is prolly not gonna move them up 11 spots. I’m hopeful that the system is top-heavy enough to offset the lack of dept and stay somewhere in the teens, but it wouldn’t surprise me either if the graduations of Rendon and Jordan (who this time last year had yet to throw an inning above Low-A) coupled with the trading away of Ray and Burns knocks them in the the 20s.

        System rankings are nice fodder for offseason discussion, but should be taken with a dump truck of salt (or tanker of brine, if your local jurisdiction is more environmentally friendly). The Nats, after all, were ranked #9 in 2007 after the 2006 draft, and everybody knows that was a weeee bit off.

        1. The promotion of Taylor Jordan isn’t going to have any effect on the ranking of the Nats’ farm system, because going into 2013 Jordan was barely on the radar. On Sickels’s site, for example, Jordan only rated “honorable mention” status. I think that having Giolito will move the team up more than the loss of Rendon will dock it – Rendon had injury concerns that held back his ranking a bit last year. And the overall success of the team’s pitching prospects should help. The advances by Cole, Solis, Karns, Hill, Johansen, Voth (etc) should more than offset the loss of Robbie Ray – certainly the loss of Robbie Ray as he was ranked going into 2013.

          Not that the Nats are suddenly going to be a top ten system – I’d still expect them to be somewhere in the 16-20 range. But that’s not bad for a system that has lost so much talent due to promotion and trades the last couple of years.

  1. Was in Kinston the other day, and got to stop by the stadium there. Oh how sad….yet I keep thinking that maybe someone, someday will move back there. The Indians banners are still hanging outside, giving a “ran out in the middle of the night” feeling like the old Colts from Baltimore.

    The stadium, although small, is really the essence of minor league baseball. I can only hope and dream for baseball only a few miles away from me….. 🙁

      1. Can’t see what it is, but if they were a Cleveland affiliate, have a pretty good idea.
        A covered grandstand is a big time plus in Low A ball.

      2. The pics I got were only of the front. The next time I drive through there i’ll take some good pics and link them here. I often think “if I won the lottery….” i’d buy that place and put whatever team there so I could just go enjoy a game. 🙂

        Honestly, the place looks like it could open up tomorrow. No weeds, no torn, broken stuff that was obvious. Just sad.

        1. This kind of talk (Carolina League expansion from 10 to 8) has been heard for years. The stumbling block is, was, and will always be how to get two (never mind one) facilities ready in short order. There’s chatter for a new ballpark in Columbia, SC but the CW is that if that were to happen, Savannah would be the team to move there since the owner that’s spearheading the initiative already owns them.

  2. Rizzo plan B could now be in house for catching
    Spring training demands 15 catchers to bullpen
    Arms .
    Did rizzo hit left handed cause he lives to add
    Lefty swinging catchers
    Who else is in AZ chain who knew Matt ?

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