Plus: Updates on Luis Robert, Zack Collins and 94 other White Sox prospects, hitting coaches, and more
Man, the Mets and Mariners are going through a lot of work to move Anthony Swarzak.
A megadeal is lumbering toward a finish line, although I suppose there are enough variables to where it could fall apart or melt into a smaller form. But as far as I can tell, here’s the most recent version:
- Robinson Cano
- Edwin Diaz
- An undetermined amount of money
- Anthony Swarzak
- Jay Bruce
- Jarred Kelenic
- Justin Dunn
- Maybe one more prospect
I kinda like the deal for both teams on its face, although for the Mets’ side to work, they can’t acquire Cano and let him hamstring their plans to add. They actually have to act like they’re a New York team and can afford to spend around aging-but-productive baseball celebrities, rather than turning around and trading Noah Syndergaard to replace their prospects. The Wilpons are doubted for many, many reasons.
Kelenic and Dunn are maybe a light — or at least far away — return for a valuable closer in Diaz, but the original Cano deal means they have the means to splurge, and it’ll be easier without a second baseman under contract at $24 million through his age-40 season.
At any rate, this deal, and not today’s no-tender deadline, will probably take up most of the baseball brain space today.
At six years, Todd Steverson is the second-most tenured hitting coach, one year behind Cleveland’s Ty Van Burkleo. He probably should’ve been fired given the normal shelf life and the White Sox’ lack of success, but having written about three hitting coaches over my time covering the White Sox and seeing no detectable difference between them, the topic no longer generates strong feelings in me, unless he’s doing something demonstrably wrong to derail a prospect. Seeing Chili Davis come and go with the Cubs in a year suggests the smart teams don’t really have a firm idea what they’re doing in this realm, either.
Anyway, Tom Verducci says that might be changing as technology and data on the hitting side starts to catch up to the advantages pitchers have in this strikeout-heavy era. Launch angle was a start, in that it better maximized the contact made, but now the swinging and missing needs to be rectified. In order to combat both, teams are turning to younger guys who more resemble swing coaches in golf.
- Checking in on the White Sox farm system, from Eloy Jimenez to Luis Robert to Casey Gillaspie — The Athletic
Indeed, James Fegan does take a White Sox prospect list all the way to Casey Gillaspie. Technically, the last name listed is Josue Guerrero. If you’re wondering what kind of list it takes to include both, it’s a Top 96.
Zack Greinke has a 15-team no-trade list, but the White Sox aren’t on it, in case you were wondering.
The talking points about Zack Collins’ hit tool and strikeouts remain the same:
“Offensively, it’s kind of what we knew: He’s going to take a bunch of walks, he’s going to get on base, he’s going to have some power,” White Sox director of amateur scouting Nick Hostetler said of Collins, who added 15 home runs and 68 RBIs to his 2018 resume. “He makes contact, good hard contact, and he’s a guy that I still believe from a scouting point of view, he’s a guy that as he goes to a higher level when the strike zone tightens up, he’s going to be better.
“You don’t want a guy in the lower level that shows patience and the ability to judge the strike zone well — you don’t want him to compromise that because of umpires or bad calls at the Double-A level. As he goes through the system, I think you are going to see, as he gets to Triple-A and the Major Leagues as the strike zone shrinks, he’s going to be better off offensively.”
2080 Baseball released a bunch of refreshed scouting reports from the Arizona Fall League, including one for Luis Robert. The summary:
Raw and extremely athletic player w/ high ceiling. Could be a top regular and occasional all-star in the best-case scenario, able to contribute with all five tools. Rawness of approach and questions about how much he’ll hit create extreme risk. Will bring defensive value in CF; has the athleticism, batspeed, and hand-looseness to make swing adjustments and unlock impact offensive production.
And speaking of prospects …
I have just been informed that Vox Media is discontinuing Minor League Ball. I want to thank all the readers we've cultivated over the last 13 years.
— John Sickels (@MinorLeagueBall) November 29, 2018
Vox Media made a number of cuts to SB Nation’s baseball operation, including John Sickels at Minor League Ball. He’s probably a lot of people’s gateway to prospect coverage, considering Baseball America required a print subscription during his ESPN days.
At any rate, thank you for your support of Sox Machine.