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Toolshed: Now arriving, international signings

Previewing which players, systems to follow from Jan. 15 forward
@SamDykstraMiLB
January 15, 2021

Jan. 15 isn't typically a big day on the baseball calendar. It's another step toward Spring Training, sure. Another number to rip off of the daily countdown to the arrival of pitchers and catchers, but often little more. The big headlines last Jan. 15 were the free-agent signings of Alex

2021 Prospect Projections: AL East rookies

How Steamer600 views O's, Sox, Yanks, Rays, Jays rookies
@SamDykstraMiLB
January 13, 2021

This is the first in a six-part Toolshed series that uses FanGraphs' Steamer600 projections to look at how prospects would fare over a full Major League season in 2021. The system bases its forecast on 600 plate appearances for position players, 450 plate appearances for catchers, 200 innings for starting

Toolshed: 2021 NL farm system resolutions

Prospect goals, aspirations for senior-circuit pipelines in new year
@SamDykstraMiLB
January 8, 2021

Be healthy. That is the biggest resolution for everyone, in and out of Minor League Baseball, as the coronavirus pandemic rages on. But we can't write that 30 times. Instead, Toolshed is taking this first full week of 2021 to lay out New Year's resolutions for all 30 farm systems.

Toolshed: 2021 AL farm system resolutions

Junior-circuit clubs' goals, desires for prospects in new year
@SamDykstraMiLB
January 6, 2021

Be healthy. That is the biggest resolution for everyone, in and out of Minor League Baseball, as the coronavirus pandemic rages on. But we can't write that 30 times. Instead, Toolshed is taking this first full week of 2021 to lay out New Year's resolutions for all 30 farm systems,

Toolshed: Judging stickiness of Rule 5 picks

On scale of one to five, assessing selections most likely to last
@SamDykstraMiLB
December 11, 2020

First, there were the picks. Next comes figuring out who sticks. On Thursday, 18 players were selected in the Major League phase of the annual Rule 5 Draft. With their selections, each of the 18 took another step toward their goal of playing in The Show (or in one case,

Toolshed: 2020 Rule 5 Draft preview

Establishing basics, previewing picks before Thursday's event
@SamDykstraMiLB
December 8, 2020

Readers might note this edition of Toolshed does not come with a Dallas dateline. Like so many events in 2020, baseball's Winter Meetings are being held virtually this year rather than from deep in the heart of Texas. That, of course, includes the Rule 5 Draft. The annual event typically

Toolshed: Dunand making most of LIDOM return

Marlins infielder off to strong start after missing camps in 2020
@SamDykstraMiLB
December 4, 2020

Joe Dunand played 11 games for Leones del Escogido in the Dominican Winter League (Liga de Beisbol Dominicano) last offseason. As of Thursday, he had once again played in exactly 11 games in LIDOM's 2020 iteration. In 2019, he went 4-for-26 (.154) with no homers. This time around, he leads

Toolshed's best of the decade: Teams

Ranking the top award-winning Minor League clubs of the 2010s
@SamDykstraMiLB
December 1, 2020

There was no Minor League season in 2020 and, unfortunately, that means there will be no MiLBY Awards this year either. In their stead, Toolshed is taking the next couple weeks to look back at MiLBY winners from the major categories in the 2010s. The series will rank all the

Toolshed: Reasons for NL systems to give thanks

Steps forward taken for farms' top tiers; more coming in 2021
@SamDykstraMiLB
November 24, 2020

Thanksgiving comes to the United States on Thursday. While there was no Minor League season in 2020, there are still plenty of reasons prospect fans can give thanks over the coming week. This concludes a two-part series in which Toolshed explains what fans of each of the 30 farm systems

Toolshed: Reasons for AL systems to give thanks

Well-rounded systems, new faces in new places worth celebrating
@SamDykstraMiLB
November 20, 2020

Thanksgiving comes to the United States next Thursday. While there was no Minor League season in 2020, there are still plenty of reasons prospect fans can give thanks over the coming week. This begins a two-part series in which Toolshed explains what fans of each of the 30 farm systems

Toolshed: Rule 5 Draft protection preview

Evaluating which top prospects will be added to 40-man rosters
@SamDykstraMiLB
November 17, 2020

The 40-man roster additions are coming. The 40-man roster additions are coming! As discussed in the last Toolshed, Nov. 20 is a big day on the baseball calendar. It's the deadline at which eligible players must be added to their respective 40-man rosters or they'll be left vulnerable to the

Toolshed: Top 2016 picks meet Rule 5 protection

Gauging which prep selections will be added to 40-man rosters
@SamDykstraMiLB
November 13, 2020

Next Friday will be an important day on any prospect lover's calendar. Nov. 20 is the date by which Major League clubs have to add eligible players to their 40-man rosters or leave them unprotected for this year's Rule 5 Draft, which will take place on Dec. 10. Rule 5-eligible

Toolshed's best of the decade: Relievers

Bullpen arms boasted impressive statlines on way to MiLBYs
@SamDykstraMiLB
November 10, 2020

There was no Minor League season in 2020 and, unfortunately, that means there will be no MiLBY Awards this year either. In their stead, Toolshed is taking the next couple weeks to look back at MiLBY winners from the major categories in the 2010s. The series will rank all the

Toolshed: Pirates' Thomas primed for breakout

Raw right-hander's ascension will have to wait one more season
@SamDykstraMiLB
November 6, 2020

Tahnaj Thomas raised his hand, and that made all the difference. Back in late 2016, the Bahamas native was assigned, through a coach back home, to help a Chicago-area team of fellow teenagers in a tournament that took place in Jupiter, Florida. As the new kid, the shortstop wasn't getting

Toolshed's best of the decade: Starting pitchers

Ranking the MiLBY Award winners who shoved down on the farm
@SamDykstraMiLB
November 4, 2020

There was no Minor League season in 2020 and, unfortunately, that means there will be no MiLBY Awards this year either. In their stead, Toolshed is taking the next couple weeks to look back at MiLBY winners from the major categories in the 2010s. The series will rank all the

Toolshed: Before the Dodgers were champions

Recalling Minor League facts about the World Series winners
@SamDykstraMiLB
October 30, 2020

We knew them when. That's the beauty of the Minor Leagues. Whether you're a writer, fan, team employee or have followed the Minors in any way, you can take some joy in knowing about how World Series champions were made at the lower levels. The Dodgers defeated the Rays, 4-2,

Toolshed's best of the decade: Offensive players

Reviewing, ranking 2010s MiLBY winners for work with the bat
@SamDykstraMiLB
October 27, 2020

There was no Minor League season in 2020, and unfortunately, that means there will be no MiLBY Awards this year either. In their stead, Toolshed is taking the next couple weeks to look back at MiLBY winners from the major categories in the 2010s. The series will rank all the

Toolshed: Prospects with World Series connections

Top-100 talents have ties to Fall Classic, even away from Arlington
@SamDykstraMiLB
October 23, 2020

This is not a World Series for the prospect lover. Then again, not many World Series are. Sure, there are two ranked prospects left -- both from the Rays roster -- and they have their own stories to tell. No. 19 Tampa Bay prospect Randy Arozarena has been one of

Toolshed: MiLB playoff tales for Dodgers, Rays

World Series stars could lean on early postseason experience
@SamDykstraMiLB
October 20, 2020

The Minor League regular season is all about development. The Minor League postseason, well, that's about getting a ring (and, sure, continuing to develop). While MiLB playoffs can serve as a reward at the end of a 140-plus-game slog, they also allow players to gain experience in tense situations in

Toolshed: Rays' Hulsizer finds grass greener

Former Dodgers slugger has spent time in pair of playoff systems
@SamDykstraMiLB
October 16, 2020

Successful teams don't often trade with each other. The market works thusly -- there are buyers and there are sellers. Buyers attempt to strengthen their squads for a lengthy postseason run; sellers lurk near the bottom of the standings and are willing to part with players to stock up their

Toolshed: Most interesting roads to the LCS

Changing positions, beating odds among memorable MiLB routes
@SamDykstraMiLB
October 13, 2020

The specific destinations are all the same for this year's American and National League Championship Series. The roads to get there have been very different. Sure, it's great to see No. 1 overall picks Dansby Swanson and Carlos Correa play prominent roles for successful ballclubs, but that was always expected

Toolshed: Dodgers' Hoese finding way in 2020

No. 3 prospect impressed at alternate site, moving on to instructs
@SamDykstraMiLB
October 9, 2020

A presumed National League Rookie of the Year favorite entering the year, Gavin Lux surprisingly bounced between the Majors and the Dodgers' alternate site at the University of Southern California for much of the first half of the truncated regular season. When he finally settled in with the big club

Toolshed: Nuggets about rookies in the playoffs

Legendary matchups, possible records among postseason fun facts
@SamDykstraMiLB
October 6, 2020

Many Major Leaguers go long stretches, or in some cases their entire careers, without making the postseason. Hall of Famer Ernie Banks, for example, owns the Major League record for most games without a playoff appearance with 2,528. With the Wild Card era and the potential of the expanded 2020

Toolshed: 10 most fun callups of 2020 season

Revisiting quick risers, late bloomers who made way to Majors
@SamDykstraMiLB
October 2, 2020

There were 210 Major League debuts (and perhaps still counting) during the 2020 season. This week, Toolshed looks back at the 10 most fun first callups of the 2020 season, listed in chronological order of debut date. To be clear, this isn't focused on how they did in their first

Toolshed: Rookie facts for each playoff club

From Arozarena to Williams, here are nuggets for all 16 teams
@SamDykstraMiLB
September 29, 2020

More playoff teams, more opportunities for rookies to perform on the game's biggest stage. The 2020 Major League postseason has expanded to include 16 teams. Those include eight from each of the American and National Leagues -- three division winners, three division runners-up and two Wild Card teams. That makes