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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

Toolshed: Handicapping NL Rookie of the Year race

Cronenworth, Bohm, Williams lead crowded field on senior circuit
@SamDykstraMiLB
September 25, 2020

Sunday brings the end of the 2020 Major League regular season already, meaning potential award contenders have one final weekend to prove themselves to BBWAA voters. Without a Minor League season, most prospect fiends only have had the Rookie of the Year races in the American and National Leagues to

Toolshed: Recent noteworthy SAL seasons

Martinez, Gallo showed slugging ways; Edwards, Corry shoved
@SamDykstraMiLB
September 22, 2020

This space started honoring the short-season leagues after their respective campaigns were delayed in June. Now, following the cancellation of all Minor League Baseball in 2020, we've turned it into an appreciation of the full-season circuits as well. So Toolshed has been revisiting the 10 most notable individual seasons put

Toolshed: Mets' Allan back in Brooklyn

Righty returns to MCU Park one year after playoff perfection
@SamDykstraMiLB
September 18, 2020

Maybe he hasn't been around long enough to settle a debate on whether Di Fara or L&B Spumoni Gardens serves the best pizza. He may not have yet developed his own power ranking on each of the borough's neighborhoods. Heck, because of pandemic-related closures, he hasn't even gotten to ride

Toolshed: Recent noteworthy MWL seasons

Bichette, Tatis, Trout battle for top spot among Midwest standouts
@SamDykstraMiLB
September 15, 2020

This space started honoring the short-season leagues after their respective campaigns were delayed in June. Now, following the cancellation of all Minor League Baseball in 2020, we're turning it into an appreciation of the full-season circuits as well. So Toolshed is revisiting the 10 most notable individual seasons put together

Toolshed: Tribe's Miller talks tools of trade

Infield prospect discusses place in Cleveland-San Diego blockbuster
@SamDykstraMiLB
September 11, 2020

Where do you begin when discussing a prospect trade in "these times?" Maybe start with the fact that the Trade Deadline was Aug. 31, one week before the Minor League season would have traditionally ended on Labor Day. Or maybe with the post-trade transition that consisted of two days of

Toolshed: Recent noteworthy FSL seasons

Isabel's homer record, Moore's big K year stood out in 2010s
@SamDykstraMiLB
September 8, 2020

This space started honoring the short-season leagues after their respective campaigns were delayed in June. Now, following the cancellation of all Minor League Baseball in 2020, we're turning it into an appreciation of the full-season circuits as well. So Toolshed is revisiting the 10 most notable individual seasons put together

Toolshed: Recent noteworthy Carolina seasons

Gallo's power, Hosmer's bat, McKenzie's K's stood out in 2010s
@SamDykstraMiLB
September 4, 2020

This space started honoring the short-season leagues after their respective campaigns were delayed in June. Now following the cancellation of all Minor League Baseball in 2020, we're turning it into an appreciation of the full-season circuits as well. So Toolshed is revisiting the 10 most notable individual seasons put together

Toolshed: Five Trade Deadline takeaways

Padres keep talent on farm, M's take on Trammell before Aug. 31
@SamDykstraMiLB
September 1, 2020

It was certainly eventful. And in a welcome way, normal. In a year in which so much is different about baseball and the world at large, the Trade Deadline felt fairly similar. Sure, it happened on Aug. 31 instead of July. Sure, there were new buyers at the market thanks

Toolshed: Aug. 31 Trade Deadline preview

How new playoffs, player pools, prospect deals could affect market
@SamDykstraMiLB
August 28, 2020

This isn't going to be your usual Trade Deadline. Then again, this isn't your usual Major League season. Start with the date. This year's Deadline comes on Aug. 31 instead of at the end of July. Of course, that change was necessary after coronavirus protocols shortened the season to 60

Toolshed: Recent noteworthy Cal League seasons

Hitter-friendly circuit saw most memorable performance on mound
@SamDykstraMiLB
August 25, 2020

This space started honoring the short-season leagues after their respective campaigns were delayed in June. Now following the cancellation of all Minor League Baseball in 2020, we're turning it into an appreciation of the full-season circuits as well. So Toolshed is revisiting the 10 most notable individual seasons put together

Toolshed: Statcast standouts among top prospects

Three position players, three pitchers putting up remarkable numbers
@SamDykstraMiLB
August 21, 2020

There is no Minor League season, and that means there are no Minor League stats. That's a bummer for those of us who love following the growth of the game's brightest youngest talents through their numbers. The adage goes that you should never scout the stat line, but numbers at

Toolshed: Recent noteworthy Texas League seasons

From Tatis to Trout, Lone Star State didn't lack for talent in 2010s
@SamDykstraMiLB
August 18, 2020

This space started honoring the short-season leagues after their respective campaigns were delayed in June. Now following the cancellation of all Minor League Baseball in 2020, we're turning it into an appreciation of the full-season circuits as well. So Toolshed is revisiting the 10 most notable individual seasons put together

Toolshed: Who will make the next big leap?

Candidates that could climb from Class A Advanced straight to MLB
@SamDykstraMiLB
August 14, 2020

Seth Romero recently became the latest example of a mini-trend taking place during the 2020 Major League season, yet there was still an element of awe involved. The Nationals purchased the contract of their No. 11 prospect/2017 first-rounder Thursday, and he made his MLB debut the same day. But it

Toolshed: Recent noteworthy SL seasons

Goldschmidt's final MiLB season, plenty of Cubs feature on list
@SamDykstraMiLB
August 11, 2020

This space started honoring the short-season leagues after their respective campaigns were delayed in June. Now following the cancellation of all Minor League Baseball in 2020, we're turning it into an appreciation of the full-season circuits as well. So Toolshed is revisiting the 10 most notable individual seasons put together

Toolshed: Davidson keeping up his momentum

Braves lefty staying ready for potential debut with velo, new slider
@SamDykstraMiLB
August 7, 2020

Tucker Davidson has been in this position before. There was Spring Training, when he was mentioned as a sleeper candidate to crack the Atlanta rotation. (He was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett the day before the sport shut down.) There was Summer Camp, when his Major League hopes were given new

Toolshed: Recent noteworthy EL seasons

Guerrero's .400 chase, several Reading sluggers stood out in 2010s
@SamDykstraMiLB
August 4, 2020

This space started honoring the short-season leagues after their respective campaigns were delayed in June. Now following the cancellation of all Minor League Baseball in 2020, we're turning it into an appreciation of the full-season circuits as well. So Toolshed is revisiting the 10 most notable individual seasons put together

Toolshed: What Buffalo move means for bats, arms

Blue Jays' new home could tilt advantage to pitchers, righty hitters
@SamDykstraMiLB
July 31, 2020

Buffalo's Sahlen Field is preparing for its closeup, and in a few ways, that's been some time coming. Last Friday, the Blue Jays announced they would be using Buffalo as its home for the 2020 Major League season, beginning on Aug. 11 with a game against the Marlins. The club

Toolshed: Recent noteworthy PCL seasons

Big-time power, low ERAs, 30-30 season highlight Triple-A list
@SamDykstraMiLB
July 28, 2020

This space started honoring the short-season leagues after their respective campaigns were delayed in June. Now following the cancellation of all Minor League Baseball in 2020, we're turning it into an appreciation of the full-season circuits as well. In the coming weeks, Toolshed is revisiting the 10 most notable individual