Michael Brantley Confirmed for Tribe Fest 2017

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photo courtesy of @Indians on twitter

Happy 2017, Brantley fans! i am back with some exciting news for you all! today, on January 13, the Indians posted that Michael Brantley has confirmed to attend the 5th annual Tribe Fest, presented by KeyBank.

like last year, Tribe Fest will not be held at Progressive Field due to ongoing construction on the service level. instead, the one-day event will be on Saturday, January 28, at the InterContinental Hotel.

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MLB Teams Taking A Powder In 2017 So Far

MLB Reports

Some MLB Teams have had a tough winter so far, and we take a look at why this is. We understand that not all clubs have to be in win mode, and some mabe rebuilding, however the process and mindset is what we are questioning here Some MLB Teams have had a tough winter so far, and we take a look at why this is. We understand that not all clubs have to be in win mode, and some maybe rebuilding, however the process and mindset is what we are questioning here.  For a team that is not going all in and should be based on their limited window of winning opportunity, we also call them to the carpet.  Stop taking a powder in 2017 and give your head a shake!

MLB Teams Taking A Powder In 2017 So Far

There are certain clubs who have done a nice job improving their clubs year over year, some that have done nicely in maintaining, well, and there are teams that are not looking so hot in 2017.

Let me also qualify this in saying that the Toronto Blue Jays are dangerously close to falling into this pegging…

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The Greatest Detroit Tiger By Position: Left Field

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Pushing forward, we move out to the outfield where I believe there will be some challenging calls at each position.  To recap however, we had an easy decision at shortstop, an ugly decision at third, and some very intriguing calls at second, first, and catcher.

If you’re reading one of these entries for the first time, the only stipulation that I look at is that the player be in a Tiger uniform for a minimum of 5 years and play a majority of his games at that position during that timeframe.  I will make a slight change however and evaluate all of a players outfield stats, as they are a little more likely to move to another position to cover an injury, etc.  Qualifying for consideration in left is Willie Horton, Bobby Veach, Matty McIntyre, Charlie Maxwell, Larry Herndon, Bobby Higginson, Steve Kemp, and Dick Wakefield.  To keep this readable, I am going to cut Dick Wakefield, Steve Kemp, Larry Herndon, and Matty McIntyre.

Moving on…

Continue reading at Sons of ’84

The 25 Top Porspects For The Toronto Blue Jays

The major league’s biggest strength changed and so did the farm system after the Alex Anthopoulos era concluded. Before Alex left, he jettisoned many key pieces of the farm system in the David Price, Troy Tulowitzki trades. Many of these were pitchers like Daniel Norris. Now the position player crop leads the new emergence of the system. In 2016, a few minor leaguers took a step forward. Because of the significant leap in progress, the Blue Jays will be evaluating these players to see if they can help supplement the likely loss of Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion at the major league level. Expect names like Anthony Alford, Harold Ramirez, Rowdy Tellez, and Conner Greene to mean something as a Blue Jays fan next year. As for some under-the-radar prospects, you may see in 2017, Dwight Smith Jr., Carlos Ramirez, and Tim Lopes could play some role.

Toronto Blue Jays Top 25 Prospects 2017

Ranking the 2017 American League Managers

As usual with my mid-winter grades, I won’t offer any score for first time managers, but if a guy has managed elsewhere in the majors he’s fair game, even if this will be the first season with his current team.

Let’s get to it!

American League East

John Farrell, Boston Red Sox: First to worst and back again. And again. And again. Farrell’s Boston teams seem to be either really good or really bad, and that doesn’t reflect too well on the manger. Seems to me, a well run team filled with talented veterans should be able to do a better job of consistently competing. 2017 will be a big challenge for Farrell for many reasons. First, he’ll be trying to string together back to back good seasons, but beyond that, the Red Sox are now so loaded with talent that expectations are going to be sky high. As we’ve seen in baseball many times before (e.g. 2012 Miami Marlins) super teams on paper don’t always pan out. Let’s see if Farrell can get all the parts to mesh. Grade: B

To continue reading the definitive rankings of 2017 American League Managers, click on over to our mostly baseball blog at Off The Bench.

Carlos Correa Is the Most Important Part of the Houston Astros Offense in 2017

After ending their excruciating rebuilding process a year earlier than many expected with a playoff appearance in 2015, the Houston Astros were supposed to take another step forward in 2016, but it didn’t happen.

Jose Altuve put together an MVP-caliber performance, but Houston experienced regression from some of its young core and ultimately couldn’t overcome a 7-17 start. Their 4-15 record against the Texas Rangers didn’t help, either.

One of those young players who experienced a bumpy year was shortstop Carlos Correa.

Now, it’s tough to say a player who posted a 122 wRC+ and a 4.9 fWAR had a bad year, and Correa didn’t have a bad year – it just wasn’t what the organization was likely hoping for.

After an active offseason (which still may not be finished), expectations are high for the Astros to return to October. There are plenty of important offensive contributors on the roster, but Correa just may be the most important of all.

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Manny Ramirez goes independent in Japan

There are players who simply don’t want to quit on the game. Rickey Henderson was one of them and also Julio Franco could not say goodbye to the game. Another one in this little list of players who wants to keep playing is Manny Ramirez. The 12-time MLB All Star has signed a contract with the Kochi Fighting Dogs of the Shikoku Island-Plus league, an independent league in Japan.

Despite Manny being Manny and his PED-tainted career, Ramirez cannot be denied some love of the game. The 44-year old Ramirez claims to be concerned about Japan’s declining baseball population.Also in Japan, baseball seems to lose ground to soccer, a sport with a growing popularity.

Read more here.

Minor League history: Illinois State League

The Illinois State League saw the light in 1947 and lasted two years before it changed its name in the Mississippi-Ohio Valley League in 1947. Eventually, the league became the current Midwest League. 

In its two years of existence, the Illinois State League operated as a class D league.
The league was created with completely new franchises and operated in Southern Illinois.
The charter franchises were in the Illinois cities of Belleville, Centralia, Marion, Mattoon, Mount Vernon and West Frankfort.After the Marion Indians moved to the State of Kentucky to become the Paducah Chiefs, the league changed its name into Mississippi-Ohio Valley League. Subsequently, the Mississippi-Ohio Valley League operated through 1955 and in 1956 changed names to become the Midwest League.

More to read here.

Top 25 Tampa Rays MiLB Players

The defining characteristic of the system are that there are many players with emerging potential over the next couple of years. The Rays are not an organization who have an elite talent ready to step into a bug role this season, but they have some names that could make an impact.  The system has a variety of talent in its top prospects. None aged higher than 21, the top 5 prospects all play different positions. The value is scattered through the middle ranks of this list, while the back-end is highlighted by right-handed pitchers limited to a select role in the future.

TAMPA BAY RAYS TOP 25 PROSPECTS IN 2017

Twitter List For Major Leaguers & More…

twitter-mlbEver want a comprehensive list for Major Leaguers, former players, minor leagues, media sites, teams, etc?  Well, here you go.  It will be something I continue to update, but to start, I’ve listed close to 900 different Twitter handles for you to peruse.  Enjoy!!

See list at Sons of ’84

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