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Hey! Michael Bay
here. Sorry to be gone so long. How about a Top Ten prospect update!
1. Neftali Feliz (P) – When
I watch him, I’m like Homer Simpson and Mindy Simmons whispering “think unsexy
thoughts” to themselves. He’s that
good. I really can’t say any more about
this in public.
2. Tanner Scheppers (P) —
With all due respect to Finnerty, “Tanner Scheppers” doesn’t sound like an ace.
“Tanner Scheppers strikes out the side?”
I think not. More like “Top Chef runner-up
Tanner Scheppers owns a bistro in Couer D’Alene.” But he’s pitching fantastic in the Arizona
Fall League. (I also worry about 2nd-rounder
Tommy Mendonca, who’ll surely be called “Mendonkey” by opposing fans. He’d better have a stout heart, and maybe
Rafael Palmeiro’s earplugs as well.)
3. Martin Perez (P) – People
say he’s the next Johan Santana. Didn’t Houston lose Santana in the Rule 5 draft? I hope that doesn’t happen to Perez.
4. Justin Smoak (1B) – He
kind of laid an egg in AAA. To think
that Texas could have had Jason Castro, who might’ve solved the
catching problems I wrote about this spring.
But then I remember that Smoak destroyed the best pitchers from Europe in the World Cup, and I worry less.
5. Kasey Kiker (P) – 21
years old and had the most strikeouts among Texas‘s AA and AAA teams.
Likes to hit people. His dad was
smart enough not to give him a middle name starting with “K.”
6. Mitch Moreland (OF) –
Just a straight shooter with upper management written all over him.
7. Marcus Lemon (IF) – Had a
bad year in AA but is tearing up the AFL. Keep the faith.
8. Mike Bianucci (OF) – Wow,
.288 with 30 homers. I guess I could’ve
driven up from my home in LA to Bakersfield to catch him in person, but have you ever been
there? Cows, oil rigs and tweakers as far as the eye can see. No thanks.
9. Wilmer Font (P) – I’m not totally sure who or what a “Wilmer Font” is, but
he’s young and threw almost as well as Perez.
10a. Matt Nevarez (P) – Like Font, I don’t know much about him, but I
see he struck out 50 in 35 innings in Hickory.
Promising. I wonder if they’ll
let him skip Bakersfield like Perez and Feliz.
10b. Kevin Richardson (C) –
Guess which Rangers catcher hit the most homers in 2009? Someone named Doug Hogan. But Richardson was second.
He hit 13 in AAA. Texas‘s so-called “Big Three” of Saltalamacchia,
Teagarden, and Max Ramirez combined for 20.
Whoopee. Let Salty and Tea fight
for the starting job, trade the loser, and make K-Rich the backup.
Who’s disappointing me: Michael Main (missed most of season with
ebola-like virus), Blake Beavan (Dude, Where’s My Strikeouts?), Max Ramirez
(can we bring back Kenny Lofton?), Engel Beltre (ugh).
Unanswered questions: If
Hicks sells the Rangers soon, might Grady Fuson finally fulfill his dream of
becoming the GM? Did Matt Purke know
that TCU is a real school with real classes and homework when he turned down
that cash? Is Marlon Byrd the next Mark
Derosa or Gary Matthews? If Ivan
Rodriguez is the answer, what is the question?
Other thoughts: Sad to see blogger emeritus Jamey Newburg dissing
my man Finnerty over at Lone Star Ball.
Thought he was above that sort of thing.
I still read him – the dude’s forgotten more baseball than most ever
learned — but all the stuff about his kids and bad music (who admits to liking
Live?) wears me out. Here at Crops, we’re
trying to be smart, on-topic, clairvoyant, AND entertaining.
Emphasis on “trying,” since I
haven’t written a word in months. I’m no better than who I’m criticizing. Maybe a little better. Anyway, people need to chillax, me
included. One love.
In case you spent your
summer on Mars, the auteur Michael Bay,
with whom I share a name and a love of life, dropped “Transformers: Revenge of
the Fallen.” I pulled some strings to
catch a sneak preview and can attest that it will command your attention for
each of its 147 minutes, so if you didn’t catch it in the theater, rent it now
and crank up the blue ray. Ignore the negative
reviews by grumps like the mean-spirited Roger Ebert, who’s busy enjoying Woody
Allen’s latest navel-gazer or some Dutch flick about troubled souls.