Free the Prospect!

Just a short time before the radio show starts…

Every year, there are prospects who are ready for the big leagues, but won’t have the opportunity — or won’t be given the opportunity, to get a shot because there’s some veteran ahead of him. Last year was a good one for stuck prospects, as Dan Johnson and Ryan Howard got the opportunity to show what they could do and ran with it big time.

So here are some early nominees for Free the Prospect! campaigns. Most of the guys thisFeel free to chime in with your own choices…

1. Justin Huber, 1B, Royals. Wouldn’t bother me as much if he wasn’t now blocked by the offensively deficient Doug Mientkiewicz. With all due respect to Mr. M, the Royals are a young team who should be rebuilding with prospects like Huber. The guy can hit and now Dougie’s in his way.

2. Carlos Quentin, OF, D-Backs. Quentin wouldn’t have been a real option in center anyway, but with Eric Byrnes in the fold now, there’s really no room for Quentin. He’s got absolutely nothing left to prove in the Minors at this point, but looks like he’ll spend more quality time in Tucson.

3. Angels first basemen? If Darin Erstad moves to center, then Casey Kotchman finally gets a full-time gig. That could open DH at-bats for Kendry Morales, who’s bat will be ready, if not on Opening Day, then soon thereafter. But if Erstad needs to move back to first, then we’re back the same issue as last year, when Kotchman was blocked. He’s good enough defensively to play the field and Morales has to get his shot when he’s ready. Even with Erstad in the outfield, it’s a lot to ask a young player like Morales to become a full-time DH, so something may have to shift here.

I’ll have more nominees later, but feel free to weigh in…

5 Comments

Looking at this topic from a Twins fans’ perspective…

Garrett Jones appears to be fairly close. Another season at Rochester may help him learn to walk a little bit. But he is blocked by Justin Morneau likely for awhile. With the Rondell White signing, DH is not open for probably two years.

Alex Romero offensively is also very close after a very good year at New Britain (AA). However, this year the Twins have Shannon Stewart in left and Torii Hunter in center with Jason Kubel, Michael Cuddyer and Lew Ford battling for right. From everything I’ve heard from Terry Ryan and Ron Gardenhire, they seem to want Kubel to be ready to go by opening day, but I have to think he could be a little rusty and a couple months at Rochester (AAA) would be good.

Pitching-wise – It is likely that the Twins Opening Day starting rotation will consist of: Johan Santana, Brad Radke, Carlos Silva, Kyle Lohse and Scott Baker. That means that Francisco Liriano, one of the best pitching prospects, is likely to begin at Rochester. Also, in many organizations, Boof Bonser would have been called up already after leading the International League in strikeouts last year.

Pat Neshek is a bullpen guy worth watching too as he could appear in Minnesota sometime this year. Willie Eyre should finally get a chance with the Twins this year as well after a remarkable 2005 season at Rochester followed by being the pitcher of the year in Venezuela.

I’d like to throw 2 more into the ring:

Corey Hart blocked by Corey Koskie in Milwaukee at 3B. Dustin Pedroia blocked by Mark Loretta and Alez Gonzalez in Boston. When a guy is deemed ready, then let him play!

What about Carlos Ruiz in Philadelphia who is now being blocked by Lieberthal and Fasano. The Phils need to look to the future in at catching sometime, Lieberthal maybe a great guy in the clubhouse and well liked, but it’s time to hand the reigns over.

Is there an internet site that lists scouts for different parts of the country?

I am looking to find a baseball scout, where do I go?

Thanks for your time,

Scott B.

Thank you for your comments about Justin Huber being blocked at KC. Why did they bother trading for the guy when they need a young 1st baseman but they will not give him a go.

Huber can’t prove anything else in the minors, he has been an all star and KC minor league MVP!!

He needs everyday starts in the KC lineup

Thanks

Dave

Sydney, Ausralia

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