Hey, Hoynsie! is back for another edition. Paul answers questions about Freddie Freeman's deal (he says Freeman hasn't played like a star, which seems like an odd statement to make about a player who just posted a 144 OPS+ with solid defense at the age of 23) and Chris Antonetti's job security (he nails this one), as well as a statement (not a question) from Tim in West Virginia, who considers Joe Smith a bigger loss than Ubaldo Jimenez.
Stephanie Storm of the Akron Beacon profiles Indians prospect Jesus Aguilar, who put up big numbers in the Venezuelan Winter League this offseason. Aguilar, 23, will likely begin the season with Triple-A Columbus, and has as much power as any Tribe prospect has displayed in recent years.
Tyler Kepner of the New York Times imagines what each of MLB's 30 GMs might say to explain how their team was able to capture the 2014 World Series. Imaginary Chris Antonetti says:
"The funny thing about last year is, we made the playoffs even though some of our best hitters had down years. Guys like Michael Bourn, Asdrubal Cabrera and Nick Swisher were bound to bounce back, and we found a legitimate staff ace in Danny Salazar."
Some entries (such as the one for the Astros) require a bit more imagination.
Elsewhere around MLB...
Photographic proof that baseball is back:
Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) February 9, 2014
Diamondbacks and Dodgers pitchers and catchers have reported. Their early start is due to their playing two games (that will count as regular season MLB contests) in Australia the week before the season kicks off stateside. Indians pitchers and catchers report tomorrow (huzzah!), with position players officially joining them on Saturday.
Grant Brisbee examines the deals players from the past would've gotten in today's market. Former Indians star Al Rosen is among those discussed, but my favorite part of the piece is the proposed contract for Willie Mays, which includes a whole lot of money, as well as "Thousands of pages of unreleased Calvin & Hobbes comics, hand-delivered by Bill Watterson." Mike Trout should hold out for that.
MiLB.com has examined the run scoring environment of each level of the Minor Leagues, and of each ballpark within each league. It's not quite OPS+ for prospects, but it does contextualize Minor League numbers more than you may have seen before. The link is to the Triple-A entry in their series, but a sidebar there has links to each of the other levels.
Minor League Ball takes an early look at the top 300 prospects for the 2014 MLB draft, including a high school pitcher from West Chester, Ohio and three members of the OSU Buckeyes. Once again, my Iowa Hawkeyes are snubbed.