Okay, so this is essentially the beginning of a new set of posts here at MLBDD. One place where our coverage has been somewhat lacking in the past is with prospects and the player development side of the game. No more, though, my friends. Expect to be able to get information and analysis on prospect-related transactions and other happenings throughout the game, as well as tidbits from the game's best prospecting minds, like ESPN's Keith Law, BP's Kevin Goldstein, and of course, SB Nation's own John Sickels. Let's get to it, though, at what seems to be a nice time, as the trade deadline nears and short-season leagues begin play soon.
- The biggest prospect-related news of the day has to be the demotion of Toronto starter Kyle Drabek to Triple-A. After pitching well at the Double-A level last season, the 23-year-old made three solid starts for the Blue Jays near the end of last season and was expected to be a solid part of the Toronto rotation this season. His command has totally left him, though, as he's walked 52 hitters in 72 innings with just 48 strikeouts on the year; among qualified starters, only Javier Vazquez and Fausto Carmona posted worse FIPs than Drabek so far this year. A move to Triple-A should help him, as his velocity was fine this year and it seems like he just needs to get back to throwing strikes and commanding his stuff. He should still be a quality starter in time, although he may need a few weeks in the minors. In a corresponding move, the Jays called up prospect Zach Stewart from Double-A after he posted a 3.67 FIP in his first 12 starts there.
- John Sickels has been doing draft reviews of all 30 organizations over at Minor League Ball, and he's continued today with the Nationals, Phillies, Mets, Marlins and Braves.
- In an insider-only piece for ESPN.com, Kevin Goldstein wonders how "Super Two" status could affect some of the game's elite prospects, including Angels center fielder Mike Trout. Additionally from ESPN.com, Jim Bowden believes that the "Super Two" rule is stifling the promotion of some of the game's most talented prospects, and if you see the kind of names that Goldstein writes about, you'd have to admit that Bowden has some ammo for his claim.
- On ESPN's SweetSpot Blog, David Schoenfield offers a few prospects that could have major impacts in 2011, such as Mariners Triple-A second baseman Dustin Ackley.
- On Project Prospect, Adam Foster offers his top-10 prospects in the game as of today. The top 3? Washington's Bryce Harper, LA's Trout, and Baltimore's Manny Machado, in that order. The most interesting placement is probably Kansas City lefty Danny Duffy at No. 7, though, considering that most evaluators have him lower than that.
- In his weekly "Ask BA" piece for Baseball America, Jim Callis lists a few recently drafted prospects that may be be able to go from recently drafted to No. 1 prospect once they sign.
- In a couple of prospect moves, the Dodgers demoted left fielder Jerry Sands to Triple-A to give him the chance to play every day, while the Red Sox promoted catcher Ryan Lavarnway to Triple-A after his monster start to the season- only Cody Overbeck, a 25-year-old fringe prospect with the Phillies, had more than home runs in the Eastern League than the catcher prior to his promotion.