Looking for some good baseball-related reading to start your weekend?
In case you haven’t heard, a certain former Twin threw a no-hitter last night against the Cardinals. It was the first no-hitter in Mets history, but it was the second for a player involved in the notorious Santana trade this year, because Phil Humber tossed a perfect game in April. With Kevin Mulvey out of baseball, this surely places a lot of pressure on Deolis Guerra to return to the starting rotation and hold somebody hitless.
Earlier this week I wrote that the Twins should trade Josh Willingham. According to MLB Trade Rumors, the Texas Rangers are looking for a right-handed hitting outfielder, and they’re willing to trade pitching to get it. None of the players mentioned in the story sound very appealing, but Texas does have some more promising prospects in the minors, such as LHP Martin Perez and RHP Cody Buckel. Willingham has hit quite well against the AL West this year (six homers in 68 PAs!), so Texas should at least consider making the Twins an offer.
The Star Tribune ran a great piece on prospect Miguel Sano yesterday. We all want Sano to zip through the minors and end the reign of awful baseball in Minnesota, but the super-prospect still has a long way to go before he gets here. Right now he knows how to crush fastballs, but he’s still learning to hit trickier pitches, cut down on strikeouts, and play third base. Imagine trying to figure all that out while being stuck in a small town in a country far away from your family where you don’t speak the language, and you might have some idea of the challenges Sano faces.
Speaking of Twins prospects, Seth Stohs of Twins Daily has completed his midseason list of the Top 50 Twins prospects. You can find the top 10 here. Spoiler Alert: Sano is #1.
If you’re looking for something a bit more pessimistic, how about this piece from Grantland. It describes a story we’re all too familiar with, the story of the Twins’ nasty decline from perennial contender to MLB doormat. All in all, it’s a nice little summary. The author seems to conclude that there’s no end in sight to the Twins’ troubles, but I disagree. I think that if the team moves Willingham, Matt Capps, Carl Pavano, and possibly Justin Morneau this summer, they could restock their farm system and build the nucleus of a decent team by 2014. But then, I’ve always been an optimist when it comes to the Twins.
Have you been checking out the Mock Drafts? MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo seems convinced the Twins will ignore their need for pitching and select high school outfielder Byron Buxton, thanks to his tremendous upside. Given the Twins’ tremendous need for pitching, I think it would be a mistake to take another outfielder at #2. Then again, I remember being very upset in 2007 when the Vikings drafted a running back seventh overall… so perhaps I don’t know what I’m talking about!