B3 Mailbagish

Sorry I haven’t been around much — been knee-deep in our draft coverage and that probably means I won’t be able to hop on here much until after the draft comes and goes. But I had been getting a few requests for Mailbagish and “FIND THE MINOR LEAGUER,” so I wanted to answer at least one in good faith with the promise that post-draft, I’ll do more on that front.

Before I get to that, though, I want you guys to check out the latest in our growing MiLB blog empire, Behind the Lens. It’s the work of video producer Joe Cronin. He’s good people and he’s on the road with myself and Lisa all the time and will have plenty of interesting insights into what we’re seeing and doing. And he’s promised that he’ll try to add plenty of pics and video along the way.

Just wondering if you can find out what happened to two Rays prospects for me.
Cole Smith and Woods Fines. I cant find Woods at all and I don’t know if Cole
quit the game. — Mike K.

By now, you may have noticed that Fines made his 2008 debut yesterday (Tuesday). He’s back at Columbus and was, well, rusty. The 2004 14th-rounder went four innings and allowed seven earned runs on 10 hits. The good news is that he didn’t walk anyone. Obviously, he’s just getting back into the swing of things. He was on the Columbus DL until now.

Smith, from what I told, was actually still with the organization and was, simply, a no-show for Spring Training. I’m guessing he’s decided to hang ’em up.

Thanks guys. I’ll be back more regularly post-draft.


Hi Jonathan,

Thanks for your input a couple months ago. It helped me decide who to cut while acquiring the likes of Cameron Maybin and Andrew McCutchen once I decided ’08 would be a rebuilding year.

With that in mind, I noticed Micheal Aubrey, German Duran and Jeff Larish have been called up and are available in my league. I could pick them up and have them at $10 each for through 2010. They could even be sent down this season and still have value to me if there is a very good chance they would be starting at the beginning of next season. Especially if it is believed they will be 15-20+ homer guys. Do any/all project to be productive major league players with 500+ AB’s?

I’ve also picked up John Herrera of COL and am wondering what you think of his speed and on-base abilities at the Major League level and if he might contend for a starting job next spring.

Finally, would you drop any of the following to make room for any of the names above?

Matt Latos,
Tyler Robertson,
Brett Lillibridge,
Will Inmann

Thanks for all your help.

Mark from Maine

Mark —

Hang tight. I’ll get to your question this week.

Mark —

OK, now we can get to your questions. By now, you know that Aubrey’s back in Triple-A and with the glut of 1B types in the organization, isn’t really worth any long-term commitment. Larish has some legit power, but I’m not sure he’s going to reach it anytime real soon. Duran is a little interesting to me. He can hit, with some power and he’s shown an ability to play three positions, which is always nice. Of the three of them, he’s the one I’d probably take a chance on. Herrera’s on-base abilities? He had a .315 OBP in 2007 – he’s more of a slasher and I’m not sure if that will play at the highest level.

Depending on the stage of your rebuilding, I’m not sure who, if anyone, I’d drop from that list. If I were going to pick one, I’d probably drop Lillibridge.

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