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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

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