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Toolshed: Madrigal itching for second Sox shot

No. 40 prospect could get new opportunity when play resumes
@SamDykstraMiLB
May 29, 2020

Nick Madrigal found out about baseball's coronavirus-related pause the same way most did around the sport. First, there were the smattering of push notifications and other news alerts coming through phones around the White Sox complex in Glendale, Arizona, on March 12. Then there was confirmation from club and league

Toolshed: 2017 Draft retrospective

High-school trio at top, Pearson's move up north still stand out
@SamDykstraMiLB
May 26, 2020

The 2020 First-Year Player Draft is coming, and without regular-season baseball being played yet due to the coronavirus pandemic, it could be the first big Major League Baseball event of the summer. The 2020 edition is likely to take place on June 10 and be as little as five rounds,

Toolshed: Yanks' King recalls MLB's last debut

Right-hander could be last to make bow in front of fans for a while
@SamDykstraMiLB
May 22, 2020

There have been 19,683 human beings who have played Major League Baseball in the sport's history. If every one of them went through the turnstiles at the new Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, the stadium still would only be half full. It's an elite club with members from three

Toolshed: 2016 Draft retrospective

Uncertainty at top, deep Dodgers haul defines class four years later
May 19, 2020

The 2020 First-Year Player Draft is coming, and without regular-season baseball being played yet due to the coronavirus pandemic, it could be the first big Major League Baseball event of the summer. The 2020 edition is likely to be held on June 10 and be as little as five rounds,

Toolshed: Cron could be powerful D-backs DH

No. 26 prospect has chance at new life under potential MLB rules
May 15, 2020

Kevin Cron was in the same boat as many players in Major League camps on March 12. He saw the news that Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert had tested positive for the coronavirus, causing the NBA to suspend its season, and knew MLB soon would follow. The league canceled Spring

Toolshed: 2015 Draft retrospective

Astros class, Dodgers' pick of Buehler stand out five years later
May 12, 2020

The 2020 First-Year Player Draft is coming, and without regular-season baseball being played yet due to the coronavirus pandemic, it could be the first big Major League Baseball event of the summer. The 2020 edition is likely to be held on June 10 and be as little as five rounds,

Toolshed: Braves' Ball caught right Draft

No. 21 Atlanta prospect broke out after 24th-round selection in '19
May 8, 2020

Bryce Ball wasn't even thinking of himself at first. As news was breaking first that college baseball was suspended and later that it was canceled for the entire spring due to the coronavirus pandemic, his mind wandered to his former teammates at Dallas Baptist University. After only 16 games, the

Toolshed: Lessons of dream lineups

Takeaways from grouping game's best prospects by their ages
May 5, 2020

The scientific method ends with a conclusion. Consider this that conclusion. Toolshed spent the previous six Tuesdays formulating and dissecting the perfect lineup of prospects for each major age group. Eligibility for each set was determined by a player's age coming up on June 30, roughly the midpoint of a regular

Toolshed: Gonzales a reminder of Cape effect

New Mexico State star stood out for Cotuit, solidified Draft status
May 1, 2020

Last Friday, the Cape Cod Baseball League announced it was canceling the 2020 season as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. No picnic blankets sprawled on the hills of Eldredge Park in Orleans. No folding chairs set up in front of the scouts behind home plate in Chatham's Veterans Park.

Toolshed dream lineup: Ages 24 and up

Murphy, McKay, Kopech bring star power to older prospect group
April 28, 2020

There may be no Minor League Baseball games yet, but that's not going to stop us from dreaming about lineups.Toolshed has crafted the best possible prospect lineups, sorted by age. To date, the series has focused on teenagers, 20-year-olds, 21-year-olds, 22-year-olds and 23-year-olds. This time, we turn our attention to prospects who will be 24

Toolshed: Jeffers trying to become Twin threat

Minnesota catching prospect on verge of breakout before pause
April 24, 2020

Ryan Jeffers considers himself lucky, all things considered.He's back in Wilmington, North Carolina, with his wife, Lexi -- they got married in December -- and an 8-month-old Labradoodle named Yogi. And he's soaking up quality time he wouldn't normally have this time of year, when he would have been on

Toolshed dream lineup: The 23-year-olds

Jays' Pearson, Giants' Bart among those closing in on Majors
April 21, 2020

There may be no Minor League Baseball games yet, but that's not going to stop us from dreaming about lineups.In the coming weeks, Toolshed will craft the best possible prospect lineups, sorted by age. So far, the series has focused on teenagers, 20-year-olds, 21-year-olds and 22-year-olds. This time, we turn our attention to

Toolshed: Wilson standing by for Giant intro

Already having been traded, 2019 first-rounder awaits his SF debut
April 17, 2020

The months between October and March were supposed to be relatively quiet for Will Wilson. At North Carolina State, that time was reserved for fall ball, early ramp-up and the start of the spring season. There was no real offseason in college, not in the way he anticipated after the

Toolshed dream lineup: The 22-year-olds

Big names like Lux, Robert, Rutschman crowd hypothetical roster
April 14, 2020

There may be no Minor League Baseball games yet, but that's not going to stop us from dreaming about lineups.In the coming weeks, Toolshed will craft the best possible prospect lineups, sorted by age. The opening edition focused on teenagers, the second looked at 20-year-olds and last week's featured 21-year-olds. This time, we

Toolshed: Yanks' Volpe waits to earn pinstripes

2019 first-rounder eager to prove himself after short season, delays
April 10, 2020

Under normal circumstances, Thursday would have marked Opening Night across Minor League Baseball. Anthony Volpe was expected to start off with Class A Charleston. It would have been the Yankees' 2019 first-rounder's first Opening Night, coming after a bout of mononucleosis ended his first Minor League season prematurely last August.Of

Toolshed dream lineup: The 21-year-olds

Padres' Gore, Angels' Adell highlight heading into season at 21
April 7, 2020

There may be no Minor League Baseball games yet, but that's not going to stop us from dreaming about lineups.In the coming weeks, Toolshed will craft the best possible prospect lineups, sorted by age. The opening edition focused on teenagers, and the second looked at 20-year-olds. This time, we turn

Toolshed: Numbers of the decade

Revisiting MiLB leaders in major categories from 2010-19
April 3, 2020

We should be focusing on the baseball meant to be coming next week. Instead, this additional layoff gives us even more time to reflect on that baseball that already came.The 2010s was a fascinating decade for the Minor Leagues and prospects across the baseball landscape. The period began with the

Toolshed dream lineup: The 20-year-olds

Kelenic, Patiño lead strong class of those playing at 20 in '20
March 31, 2020

There may be no Minor League Baseball games yet, but that's not going to stop us from dreaming about lineups.In the coming weeks, Toolshed will craft the best possible prospect lineups, sorted by age. The opening edition focused on teenagers. This time, we turn our attention to prospects entering their age-20

Toolshed: Dreaming of 2020 debuts

Predicting prospect arrivals under normal circumstances
March 27, 2020

Major League Opening Day was meant to be Thursday, and eight more games were originally scheduled for Friday. We should be spending these days -- two weeks out from the original Minor League Opening Day -- talking about players achieving their dreams of reaching The Show for the first time.

Toolshed dream lineup: The teenagers

Picking best young prospects position by position entering 2020
March 24, 2020

There may be no Minor League Baseball right now. That's not going to stop us from dreaming about lineups.In the coming weeks, Toolshed will craft the best possible prospect lineups, sorted by age groups. This opening edition focuses on teenagers, i.e., those who will be playing at age 17, 18

Toolshed: Farms prep for FSL robot umps

Players, organizations going to learn on the go under coming system
March 20, 2020

It's going to be some time before the Florida State League begins play, but when it does, the Sunshine State's Class A Advanced circuit will usher in a whole new era of baseball.During the 2020 season, nine of the FSL's 11 stadiums will use HawkEye technology to call balls and

Toolshed: Spring Training takeaways

Prospect-focused news from shortened Cactus, Grapefruit Leagues
March 17, 2020

By the movement of the actual seasons, spring begins with the coming equinox Thursday. Instead, it's seemingly come to a screeching halt. Spring isn't meant to stop in March. Baseball isn't meant to stop in March either. Yet these are the times in which we find ourselves.The coronavirus pandemic shut

Toolshed: Rays will make most of middle infield

Tampa Bay boasts six middle infielders among its Top 30 prospects
March 13, 2020

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- At some point in the hopefully not-too-distant future when the coronavirus pandemic passes, people are safe, rosters are being set and the season is around the corner, the Tampa Bay organization is going to have some tough decisions to make, specifically in the middle infield of

Toolshed: Phillies' Bohm more than settling in

No. 30 overall prospect's next big jump could be to Philadelphia
March 10, 2020

CLEARWATER, Florida -- Alec Bohm has the process down pat. He should, at least, given how much practice he's had over the past 12 months."Each stop had a one-week transition period, where I'd do OK but not great, and then I'd remind myself, 'All right, I belong here,'" the top

Toolshed: Futures of farm systems

O's, Giants prepared to trend up; White Sox, Astros pointing down
March 6, 2020

Preseason farm system rankings are static. They're snapshots. They're encased in internet amber.Farm systems themselves are the exact opposite. This week, MiLB.com completed its Farm System Rankings series with the Overall groupings. Spoiler: the Rays grabbed the top spot, followed closely by the Padres and Dodgers. But it's worth pointing out