Saturday, July 16, 2011

Touch 'Em All Time

Sorry Alyssa, but since you haven't written anything since March of 2010, I'm borrowing the title. I will not however be coming out with a Spring 2012 Touch Collection.

Over at BP Kevin Goldstein posted his Midseason Top 50 Prospects list:
2. Matt Moore, LHP, Rays
Moore has led the minor leagues in strikeouts over the last two years, yet has somehow gotten better, adding 1-2 mph on his fastball and throwing far more strikes. The new best pitching prospect in baseball.

In yesterday's Prospect Hot Sheet Chat Ben Badler answered questions involving Montgomery's Chris Archer and Charlotte's Hak-Ju Lee:
Will T. (Cary, N.C.): Which of these pitchers that have struggled so far this year is most likely to bounce back the second half of this season and into next year. Matzek, Dwyer, Archer, Castro?

Ben Badler: Archer, although if you read John Manuel's story on Matzek, you know he's a bit of a wild card. Archer's stuff hasn't been quite as good as last year, but he's still got a plus fastball an a plus to plus-plus slider, but he might be a guy like Edwin Jackson who needed to get into his mid-20s to finally figure everything out, even with a good amount of year-to-year fluctuation after that.
Daryl (New York): Thanks for the chat Ben. What do you think of Hak-Ju Lee offensively? Will he develop into a future star at SS?

Ben Badler: Above-average regular. He's a spray hitter but he makes a ton of contact, will hit for a high average, get on base, 70 speed and the defensive tools to be a quality defender with more polish.

Brian Moynahan profiled the Rays 2011 9th rounder, Hudson Valley's Matt Rice:
The 6-foot-3, 195-pound catcher out of Western Kentucky was's "Mr. Don't Count Him Out," selected by the New York Yankees in the 50th round with the 1,525th and final pick.

In addition to being a star on the baseball field -- he hit .369 with 10 home runs and 72 RBIs as a junior -- he was a top performer in the classroom with a 4.0 grade point average as a Mechanical Engineering major. He fell so far in the Draft, he says, as teams figured a student of his caliber would prefer to finish school and get his degree.

Jonathan Greene took a look at another 2011 pick who was previously drafted, supplemental 1st rounder Jeff Ames of the Princeton Rays:
“It’s kind of a small world,” Ames said, with a laugh. “I know Sale and Vettleson and I know of Ryan Brett. It’s kind of surreal to be on a team with guys I know.”

After being selected in the 2009 draft by Philadelphia and the 30th round in 2010 by Colorado, Ames opted for another season at Lower Columbia College.
The ceiling is high for the fastball pitcher who has the ability to reach triple digits. But as Ames said, “I probably pitch best with my fastball. I just have to work down in the zone a little bit better.”

Away from his usual gig at, Jonathan Mayo wrote a story about Hudson Valley's Lenny Linsky:
Never heard of him, you say? Well, get to know him because he was the top Jewish player selected, taken in the second round, just 88 picks after Cole at No. 89 overall. According to the site, a total of nine Jews were taken in the 50-round Draft.
College relief pitchers often move quickly and Linsky’s got the kind of stuff that could get the game’s best hitters out in the very near future. He throws from a slightly unorthodox low three-quarters angle, which makes it even tougher to hit his sinking fastball that has touched 96 miles per hour. He has a really good slider to go with it, all a guy who will pitch in the eighth or ninth inning will need.

Moves: SS Norly Suarez assigned to VSL; RHP Emanuel Ramirez assigned to DSL. Suarez, 17, was one of the nine July 2nd international signings by the Rays.

Oscar Hernandez: His average fell a point to .404 after he went 2 for 5 on Friday. Both hits were singles. He drove in 2 and scored once as the VSL Rays beat the Pirates 9-1.

Stat 'O The Day: Most strikeouts.
Pitcher             Team  ERA  G GS   IP   H HR BB  SO
Matthew Moore*       MTG 2.14 17 17 96.2  61  8 26 125
Alexander Torres*    DHM 3.23 18 18 94.2  95  3 51  99
C.J. Riefenhauser*   BWG 2.43 17 17 96.1  76  7 25  94
Enny Romero*         BWG 4.93 17 17 76.2  79  9 42  92
Christopher Archer   MTG 4.93 18 18 95.0 108  7 50  88
Alexander Colome     CHA 3.79 18 18 99.2  75  8 41  88
Marquis Fleming      MTG 2.57 28  0 56.0  36  3 27  84
Victor Mateo         BWG 4.55 17 16 87.0  98 11 25  77
Alex Koronis         CHA 4.24 18 16 91.1  94  8 27  76
Braulio Lara*        BWG 4.59 17 17 80.1  74  5 42  73
Trivia: Besides Linsky, name the only other Jewish player currently in the Rays organization.


  1. anybody have a "stuff" report on Riefenhauser, outside of Hernandez I think he has been the biggest riser as far as Rays prospects are concerned this year. The K/BB is amazing.

  2. According to you are correct! Sam Fuld.

    I like their bumper stickers page, funny.

  3. So Torres and Cobb have each had their starts shortened and Moore hasn't pitched in almost 2 weeks (besides his 1 innings stint in the futures game). Smells like something is cooking inside Andrew Friedman's office.

  4. FreeZo (Heath Baywood)July 16, 2011 at 1:12 PM

    Love this new feature Doug. One of my favorite daily readings. Hope you can keep it up!

  5. Totally agree with Freezo. You may have hit upon the winning format here Doug.

    I was going to guess Lobstein as the other Jewish player but perhaps I am wrong about that.

    FWIW, our last name (Bortnick) is an unusual name and from Russia. Almost all Bortnick's I am aware of are of Jewish heritage and perhaps Tyler has that somewhere in his background. Although our family does not practice the Jewish religion, I think one reason they may have left Russia was they were persecuted because of it.

  6. Torres/Cobb/Moore: Assuming Davis comes back soon I would think Torres and/or Cobb only make one start. After that barring injury I don't see them staying in Tampa unless Shields is traded. Cobb should get the next opening in the rotation, whenever a permanent one opens up. I don't see Torres in the MLB rotation other than maybe a few spot starts, but I think he'll be a valuable reliever. And I do think Moore will be promoted to Durham, soon. Really like the future staff of lefties, Price and Moore in the rotation and Torres and McGee in the pen.

    Thanks Heath. Figured I was reading all of this stuff anyway, might as well share. Make sure to let us know where you start writing next, really enjoy your work. You're always welcome here!

    Already have two items for Sunday's TEAT, a draft pick who says he will NOT sign and some collusion-y talk involving the Rays, nothing major, but interesting.

    As always, if you spot anything TEAT-worthy, drop me an email at

  7. Glad you like it Daniel. Lobstein makes sense, I'm just going by what that web site says, and it seems pretty complete and up to date. I just kind of wonder how the site knows if someone is Jewish, lots of players listed are fairly new to the pros so they find out pretty quickly.

    I always wondered about the Bortnick name, don't think I would have ever guessed Russian/Jewish. Didn't the Jewish persecution in Russia happen in the last 100 years or so? Might be able to trace it back, if records still exist.

  8. Doug, this new format is jsut amazing. I can't explain how much I appreciate it.

  9. Mickey Jannis of HV? Kyle Lobstein is German and Mexican- not Jewish.