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Toolshed: Recent noteworthy Appy League seasons

Elizabethton, teenage hitters dominated Rookie Advanced circuit
@SamDykstraMiLB
July 3, 2020

Short-season campaigns across the Minor Leagues were scheduled to begin last month. Like all other leagues in the Minors, those seasons were officially canceled earlier this week. But that doesn't mean we can't celebrate the short-season leagues right now anyway. The New York-Penn, Northwest, Appalachian and Pioneer leagues represent the

Toolshed: 60-man player pools worth following

Padres, Tigers, Rays boast talented prospects on new-look rosters
@SamDykstraMiLB
June 30, 2020

Swimming pools. Draft bonus pools. Billiards even. Normally we talk about a number of different of pools as the calendar flips from June to July, but 60-man player pools are wholly new things. Major League Baseball Summer Camps are set to open for pitchers and catchers this Wednesday with full

Toolshed: What MLB's return means for prospects

How 60-man player pools, early expanded rosters will affect youth
@SamDykstraMiLB
June 26, 2020

We have at least some answers about Major League Baseball's planned return after the league announced this week it will adhere to the March 26 agreement and pay players prorated salaries for a 60-game schedule set by Commissioner Rob Manfred. We have the when. July 1 for pitchers and catchers.

Toolshed: Recent noteworthy NWL seasons

Recalling Class A Short Season circuit's memorable performances
@SamDykstraMiLB
June 23, 2020

Short-season campaigns across the Minor Leagues were scheduled to begin last week. Like everything else in affiliated ball, those seasons have been put on indefinite hold due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. But that doesn't mean we can't celebrate the short-season leagues right now anyway. The New York-Penn, Northwest, Appalachian

Toolshed: Nothing irrelevant about Whitcomb

Last pick in 2020 Draft has solid bat to make it in Houston system
@SamDykstraMiLB
June 19, 2020

In normal times, Shay Whitcomb's move to the Astros wouldn't make many waves. The UC San Diego infielder was selected with the 160th overall pick in the 2020 First-Year Player Draft. In 2019, there were 1,057 selections made after that one. In 2020, there were none. In a five-round Draft

Toolshed: 2019 Draft retrospective

O's rush for Rutschman, hitter-heavy first round still stand out
@SamDykstraMiLB
June 5, 2020

The 2020 First-Year Player Draft is coming, and without regular-season baseball being played yet due to the coronavirus pandemic, it will be the first big Major League Baseball event of the summer. The 2020 edition will take place June 10-11 and be limited to five rounds this year, but it

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.