Saturday, November 15, 2008

Saturday Reading

Tampa Bay RaysThe Professor ranks the value of the top 50 players in the Rays organization: The TVI ranks every player on the 40-man roster and the top prospects in the organization. Our goal is to determine which players in the organization are the most valuable to the team. The rankings consider a number factors in addition to talent and good looks, such as potential, age, contract and depth of position in organization. This last factor comes into play if one player is stuck behind another player with more ability.

R.J. Anderson announces some changes to DRaysBay: Patrick L. Kennedy, who served as "owner" this season, has to take an extended leave of absence due to academic work. I'm also feeling the strains of academia, but I will remain on board, however, not as the owner. Instead I would like to introduce to the reader base and welcome a good friend of mine, Tommy Rancel, as the new owner of DRaysBay. I've known Tommy for quite a while now, and he's easily been the most underappreciated Rays blogger around. Not only will his content and personality mesh well with what we all ready have going, but for the first time in a long time DRB is going to have a sense of reliability from the ownership position that's been missing for most of its life. Joining myself as a senior editor will be Erik Hahmann.

Dan Hirsch announces some upcoming changes to RaysBB: I have been thinking about this for a few months now and I plan on handing over the forum to someone who would be much more active b/c I think that the members here deserve that. I have too many interests that take me away from the site, as I spend a lot of time with SABR-type stuff. I'd like to know who is interested in taking over. I'd prefer it is someone who is extremely active and that has been around for a good amount of time. I still plan on keeping up with the "rays database" portion of the site and updating it once a year.

The Bowling Green Hot Rods continue to make progress with stadium construction: Alliance Corp. has begun pouring concrete risers that will serve as the base for seating rows in the lower bowl. More than a dozen risers will be needed in different sections of the ballpark to accommodate seating. In addition to the risers, plumbing is being installed throughout the ballpark, beginning in the dugouts. Plus, our grounds crew continues to look after the newly-installed sod, helping it strengthen itself before winter arrives.

Aaron Sharockman takes a look at whether the Rays have a future in the bay area: Despite two relatively large population centers and a history of spring training, the Tampa Bay area remains one of the poorest, oldest and most fractured communities with a Major League Baseball team, according to a St. Petersburg Times analysis of the 25 U.S. baseball markets. Yes, attendance increased dramatically this year, but it remains near the bottom of either league. And season ticket sales rank next to last, the team says.

Tyler Hissey gives his thoughts on BA's Rays Top 10 list: 8. Jeremy Hellickson--Should be ranked higher, in my opinion. Does not have a protypical starters' body, but he has been solid at every stop along the way. Was brilliant in the FSL before allowing 15 home runs at Double-A Montgomery. Still, he has above-average stuff and excellent command.

John Sickels gives us a peek inside his 2009 Baseball Prospects Book with a look at RHSP Joseph Cruz: He is an under-the-radar guy, but has sleeper potential, being tall and projectable and already effective in pro ball. He flashes an above average fastball at times, hitting 93 MPH, but is still putting his secondary pitches together. He does throw strikes, and his K/BB and K/IP marks have been above average in the Appalachian League. We need to see what Cruz does against better hitters, but the Rays have had good success with similar pitchers, and I think he could take a step forward in 2009. Grade C but interesting.

Mike Wlodarczyk updates his AFL blog: Coming out here as a pitcher with little experience as a reliever, I didn't want to try to do too much and overwhelm myself. Instead, I focused mainly on two or three things which I thought would be influential going into next season. I am happy to say that I feel like I have met my goals of improving slider command as well as controlling the running game, among other things. However, that doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement in the coming months. As we all know from experience, if you sit idle for too long you will be passed by before you know it.

And finally, the Javelinas AFL season ends Thursday, November 20th. With only 5 games left the Javelinas are 5 games behind the Phoenix Desert Dogs in the AFL National Division. Rhyne Hughes and Desmond Jennings are in today's starting lineup.

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