[MLB Pipeline] Here’s the state of the D-backs’ farm system
And for those wondering about the D-backs’ slight dip in MLB Pipeline’s midseason farm rankings, from No. 5 in 2019 to No. 9 in 2020, that can be mostly chalked up to the team having traded away a pair of top 10 prospects (SS Liover Peguero, RHP Brennan Malone) to Pittsburgh in the Marte deal.
[Cooperstown tred] Forget Twitter: Curt Schilling is a hall of famer
Now with Trump leaving the office, will writers value his baseball accomplishments more than his political stance?
[Bleacher Report] Every MLB Team’s Most Promising Young Building Block Heading into 2021
[Bleacher Report] Predicting 10 Players Who Could Surface in MLB Trade Rumors at Winter Meetings
Escobar still has plenty of value as a switch-hitter who can hit for average and for power. He can also play nearly every infield position, and teams value that kind of versatility.
Around the MLB
[Fangraphs] Sunday Notes: A Hall of Fame Ballot Explained
When it comes to the Hall of Fame, people are not voted in purely because of their baseball skills, which to me, personally, is perfectly fine. But when you start meddling politics in sports, you might burn your hands on why you did choose others that used PEDs or had an affair with a 15-year old.
[Sports Illustrated] Baseball’s Last Turkey
His MLB career consisted of one game with one plate appearance. (April 23, 1944 for the Philadelphia Phillies; bottom of the ninth, blowout loss, he popped up to third.): Turkey Tyson.
[NBC Sports Philadelphia] Phillies cut workforce by more than 80 positions
First, there were rumors that Phillies lost $145 million during pandemic season. Then ownership announced a major layoff. Before the reduction in staff, the Phils had more than 460 full-time employees. The cuts represent more than 17 percent of the staff and more than 1,100 years of service, according to the memo.
[Yahoo Sports] Padres’ Tommy Pham sues San Diego strip club where he was stabbed, claims ‘catastrophic’ injuries
Pham claimed to be “trapped” inside the club as the fight broke out, and was later stabbed “without any provocation” by an unknown attacker as he approached the valet stand to get his car.
The suit reportedly claims that Pham’s stabbing has left him with “catastrophic injuries, which have and will continue to cause him significant economic damage, including but not limited to his earning capacity as an elite professional baseball player.”
Across the Pacific
[Japan] Incident-free Japan Series could aid push for fans to attend Olympics
While NPB did what it could to help reduce the risks of COVID-19 transmission, there were still several thousand people sitting, talking and eating and drinking around each other for four games in two domed stadiums. The league preached social distance, but there was only so much that could be achieved during Game 4.
The Series also relied, in part, on the fans taking on some responsibility themselves by not screaming or shouting during games and limiting their movement around the venues. They were asked not leave their seats to chase after foul balls, which stadium staff would be collecting anyway.
Even with the government’s restrictions on crowd size in place, over 16,000 fans attended each of the first two games at Kyocera Dome in Osaka. For Game 3, the first in Fukuoka, attendance crept over 17,000. On Wednesday, with the Hawks in line to clinch, Game 4 attendance was 19,679.
[Japan] SoftBank Hawks win 4th straight Japan Series championship
The SoftBank Hawks won their fourth straight Japan Series championship on Wednesday after sweeping the Yomiuri Giants for the second year in a row.
[South Korea] NC Dinos ask KBO to post slugger Na Sung-bum for MLB teams
Na, 31, joins Kiwoom Heroes’ shortstop Kim Ha-seong as the second KBO player to ask to be posted this offseason. Na is represented by uber-agent Scott Boras.
Na appeared in 130 of 144 games this year, and batted .324/.390/.596 with a career-high 34 home runs and 112 RBIs. It was a nice bounceback season after Na missed most of 2019 with a knee injury. He split his time at right field and designated hitter in 2020.
And just because we love it, let’s see that video of the NC Dinos winning their first trophy again.
KBO sword trophy >>>> World Series trophy. In fact, this may rival anything in sports. pic.twitter.com/bQVOgBiVrD— Maury Brown (@BizballMaury) November 24, 2020
[Bhutan] Baseball growing in the highest country in the world: Bhutan
Baseball and softball were brought to the Himalayan state in 2013, and 2021 could be a key year for the growth of the sport in the country, which shares borders with India and Tibet.
The small Himalayan country, which has an average elevation of 3,280 meters (10,761 ft.) and shares borders with Tibet and India, has just over 750,000 inhabitants and 800 of them are now playing the game.
The first league was founded in 2014 and consists of three teams BCCB, Due Ten Du Pawos and Druk Minups. BCBB is the reigning champion.
Across The Wall
[Dominican Republic] On new arrivals, more COVID related news and player tricks
Steven Souza and Odubel Herrera reported for duty with the Giants, former D-Back Spring Training invite Antonio Bastardo refused to undergo a COVID-19 test and yet another American, although a very familiar face over there, left the LIDOM because of COVID concerns.
But the week’s most prominent news was Rays prospect Vidal Bruján tricking runner Luis Liberato into an out.
Incredible moment just now in this Toros/Escogido game.— Céspedes Family BBQ (@CespedesBBQ) November 24, 2020
Luis Liberato steals second, catcher drops ball on transfer, no throw.
He pops up from the slide and asks 2B Vidal Bruján "foul?"
So Liberato starts walking back to 1st
They tag him out
All-time TOOTBLAN pic.twitter.com/mQ8tVk0d9x