Shohei Ohtani is a unicorn by way of two-way expertise, however he’s not the one participant who has proven a capability to offer worth on each side of the ball. And also you don’t want to return so far as Babe Ruth or Negro Leagues legend Ted “Double Duty” Radcliffe to search out examples. It’s not that way back that Mike Hampton was placing up wholesome offensive numbers within the DH-less Nationwide League, and Michael Lorenzen was pinch-hitting and enjoying the outfield for the Reds simply two years in the past. There may be additionally Brendan McKay — he of the repaired labrum — who would presumably welcome a return to two-way play if the Rays had been to present him that chance.
Cade Cavalli may conceivably deal with his personal as an Ohtani-lite. The highest pitching prospect within the Washington Nationals system carried out solely on the mound in his junior 12 months on the College of Oklahoma, however he was each a pitcher and a nook infielder within the two years prior. And he raked. Cavalli’s sophomore numbers with the Sooners included a .319/.393/.611 slash line with 5 doubles, a pair of triples, and 4 house runs in 88 plate appearances. Together with his freshman output, the Tulsa native went deep 10 instances as a collegian.
I requested Cavalli for his ideas on two-way gamers in MLB this previous Friday.
“It takes a particular individual to have the ability to do this,” stated Cavalli, who pitched within the Futures Sport and is at present with the Double-A Harrisburg Senators. “There’s so much that goes on; it’s not simply enjoying within the recreation each single day. There’s early work, hitting, you’ve received your conditioning as a pitcher, you’ve received place work. It could possibly take a toll on somebody’s physique.
“For me, I used to be enjoying it extra on the protected aspect going into my junior 12 months,” continued Cavalli, “I figured that my future was going to be on the mound. Don’t get me fallacious — I liked hitting, and I liked enjoying each single day— however bodily, for restoration functions… and mentally, focusing solely on pitching, helped me a ton. However I do suppose there are dudes on the market. And I feel that I may have executed it. However like I stated, I used to be simply enjoying it protected.”
Cavalli has loved his handful of alternatives to hit this season — he’s 1 for 4 with a double and no strikeouts — and whereas he doesn’t see himself changing into a feared slugger, he does envision a world the place the very best of his contemporaries are doing injury on each side of the ball.
“As the sport retains growing, we’re going to see an increasing number of guys like Lorenzen and Ohtani,” opined Cavalli. “I feel there are going to be a number of two-way guys that make their manner into the massive leagues. For certain. I see that being a part of the long run in baseball.”
RANDOM HITTER-PITCHER MATCHUPS
Zach McCambley’s first Double-A begin didn’t go as deliberate. Promoted to Pensacola from Beloit the place he’d fanned 73 whereas strolling simply six, the 22-year-old right-hander didn’t make it out of the fourth inning. Furthermore — in a veritable flip-flop of his Excessive-A performances — he issued 5 free passes and punched out only one Mississippi Braves batter.
Prefacing my query by declaring the final of these numbers, I requested McCambley — a 2020 third-round decide who entered the season No. 27 on our Miami Marlins Top Prospects list — about his atypical outing. Was he responsible of giving the opposing lineup an excessive amount of credit score?
“It’s humorous you say that,” stated McCambley, who performed his school ball at Coastal Carolina. “I used to be speaking to my dad proper after the sport, and I used to be like, ‘Dude, I simply walked as many individuals in a single recreation as I did in two and a half months.’ We simply laughed about it. Baseball is difficult, man. However principally, yeah, it type of trickles right down to giving these guys an excessive amount of credit score. They had been banging breaking stuff, so I type of went away from it slightly bit, then couldn’t command my fastball as a lot as I needed to. However that simply goes with stepping stones and studying. It’s about flushing this one, hold trusting my stuff, and going on the market and attacking.”
McCambley’s stuff is plus, significantly his curveball (which shall be featured in a forthcoming installment of our Studying and Creating a Pitch sequence). As Eric Longenhagen wrote within the righty’s prospect profile, “his curveball was maybe the very best in your entire  draft.” McCambley additionally throws a work-in-progress circle change and a four-seam fastball that has been sitting 91-94 [mph] and topping out at 96-97.
Longenhagen’s writeup additionally talked about a necessity for improved command, and regardless of the hiccup in his Double-A debut, McCambley has clearly made large strides in that space. Doing so was a aim getting into what’s successfully his first skilled season.
“Coming into professional baseball, a number of guys had a number of various things to say concerning the walks I’ve had in my previous,” McCambley stated when requested about his 0.95 BB/9 over 57 innings in Beloit. “I used to be type of making an attempt to point out them — and I nonetheless am — that I’m a strike-thrower.”
McCambley made his second Double-A begin final evening and allowed three hits and one unearned run over six innings. He walked two and fanned six.
The Seattle Mariners went 116-46 in 2001. Which Seattle participant was value probably the most WAR that season?
The reply may be discovered beneath.
Detroit’s Robbie Grossman led off Sport One in all yesterday’s double-header in opposition to the Minnesota Twins with a house run. Per the Elias Sports activities Bureau, it was the primary time in franchise historical past that the Tigers hit a house run of their first at bat of the sport and went on to win 1-0. MLB historical past contains 26 such occurrences, with Nick Markakis’s lead-off house run in a 1-0 Orioles win over Seattle on August 3, 2014 being the newest.
Dick Tidrow died on July 10 at age 74. A giant-league pitcher from 1972-1984, and a longtime scout and govt — primarily with the San Francisco Giants — Tidrow was lauded for his talent-evaluation abilities, significantly on the pitching entrance. Sam Gazdziak chronicled Tidrow’s profession at RIP Baseball.
F.X. Flinn is stepping down because the treasurer of SABR’s Board of Administrators. Dan Levitt shall be shifting intro the vacated publish, creating a gap for Levitt’s present Director place. Should you’re all in favour of making use of, please contact Allison Levin by July 26.
Nick Sandlin was one among three pitchers featured on this previous week’s Learning and Developing a Pitch installment. The Cleveland reliever advised the story behind his slider, which he’s thrown 46.0% of the time this season. His repertoire additionally features a sinker and a four-seamer, in addition to an occasional change-of-pace. The final of these choices — a pitch he’s taken out of his again pocket simply 9 instances all 12 months — is intriguing when you think about his arm angle. Sandlin is a bona fide sidewinder.
“It’s a whole splitter grip,” stated Sandlin, whom Cleveland chosen within the second spherical of the 2018 draft out of the College of Southern Mississippi. “I used to be all the time looking for a changeup with constant motion, and that was what labored finest.”
I requested the 24-year-old right-hander how he’s capable of manipulate a splitter from such a low slot.
“The cut up grip will kill the spin on it slightly bit and create some dive,” defined Sandlin. “You wish to keep on high of it and ensure you get out in entrance, and throw it arduous. After I say ‘on high,’ I principally imply to not get lazy with my arm. It’s type of an out-in-front factor. I launch it with my hand ready much like the slider — out in entrance and to the aspect — however popping out with the cut up grip… that’s what creates the motion for me.”
Sandlin — first featured right here at FanGraphs in a July 2018 Sunday Notes column — has come out of the Cleveland bullpen 24 instances this season and surrendered 13 hits in 25-and-a-third innings. He has 37 strikeouts, a 1.78 ERA, and a 2.26 FIP.
Euribiel Angeles is slashing .348/.406/.470 with 13 stolen bases for the Low-A Lake Elsinore Storm. The 19-year-old center infielder from Higuey, Dominican Republic, Angeles is No. 23 on our San Diego Padres Top Prospects list.
Felix Valerio is slashing .296/.410/.426 with 18 stolen bases for the Low-A Carolina Mudcats. The 20-year-old center infielder from Bonau, Dominican Republic is No. 28 on our Milwaukee Brewers Top Prospects list.
Ezequiel Tovar is slashing .314/.349/.498 with 18 stolen bases for the Low-A Fresno Grizzlies. The 19-year-old center infielder from Macaray, Venezuela is No. 15 on our Colorado Rockies Top Prospects list.
Nick Yorke is slashing .289/.381/.400 with 9 stolen bases for the Low-A Salem Pink Sox. The 19-year-old second baseman from Newport Seaside, California — the Seventeenth-overall decide in final 12 months’s draft — is No. 15 on our Boston Red Sox Top Prospects list.
Curtis Mead is slashing .341/.390/.550 with 9 stolen bases between Low-A Charleston and Excessive-A Bowling Inexperienced. The 20-year-old third baseman from Adelaide, Australia is No. 34 on our Tampa Bay Rays Top Prospects list.
Sal Frelick has come a good distance in just a few brief years. Undrafted out of highschool, the Lexington, Massachusetts native was taken fifteenth total final week by the Milwaukee Brewers out of Boston Faculty. I requested Frelick how he went from an ignored prep to a first-round decide.
“I feel the most important motive there was no draft speak in any respect out of highschool is as a result of I wasn’t going round doing showcases,” Frelick reasoned. “I actually performed baseball from March 1st all the way in which till soccer camp in August/September, whereas a number of different guys had been enjoying 12 months spherical. [At Boston College], we’d go up in opposition to groups like Florida State — top-ranked groups with top-ranked gamers popping out of highschool — and when the lights activate and the ball rolls out, some guys simply can’t deal with the stress. I feel I’ve all the time thrived in these stress conditions due to the year-round competitors, which is one thing I’ve valued. I feel that may have been my breakthrough, simply type of having the ability to compete on a nationwide degree with these youngsters.”
An achieved quarterback in highschool, the 21-year-old Frelick went on to slash .345/.435/.521 in three seasons as a Boston Faculty Eagle. And whereas his outfield protection is stellar — he was honored because the ACC’s Defensive Participant of the 12 months this previous season — it’s Frelick’s left-handed stroke that has garnered probably the most rave evaluations. And he’s solely getting higher.
“I’ve positively developed as a hitter,” stated Frelick, who hit six of his 12 collegiate house runs as a junior. “Early on, I used to be so caught up in not hanging out, and placing the ball in play. And as a lot as that’s going to be part of my recreation, I feel I nonetheless must develop that energy, these gap-to-gap bat abilities, and never simply be slapping the ball and being a collision hitter. I feel I type of put that collectively this 12 months.”
9 Canadian-born gamers had been chosen within the first 10 rounds of this 12 months’s draft, with Stouffville, Ontario’s Tyler Black the very best choice at No. 33 total. The infielder out of Wright State College went to the Milwaukee Brewers, who later chosen Winkler, Manitoba’s Tristan Peters within the sixth spherical. An outfielder, Peters performed his school ball at Southern Illinois College.
Kiwoom Heroes pitcher Hyun-hee Han 한현희 has withdrawn from the South Korea’s Olympic baseball crew and shall be changed by former big-league reliever Seunghwan Oh 오승환. Han reportedly broke COVID protocols. In associated information, the KBO has banned 4 gamers for the remainder of this season, additionally for breaking protocols.
Over in NPB, the Central League beat the Pacific League 5-4 in Sport 1 of Japan’s All-Star sequence on Friday. Hiroshima Carp infielder Ryosuke Kikuchi had 4 hits, together with a house run, for the profitable aspect. Saturday’s Sport 2 then went to the Pacific League by a depend of 4-3. Rakuten Golden Eagles outfielder Hiroaki Shimauchi drove in three runs, together with the tie-breaking tally within the eighth inning.
Ryoto Kita made his NPB debut earlier this week and homered on the primary pitch he noticed. The 18-year-old Orix Buffaloes outfielder and went 3 for 3 on the day.
A number of hours earlier than Monday’s occasion, I ran a short-lived Twitter ballot — it was up for just a few hours — asking about individuals’s degree of curiosity in house run derbies. There have been three choices, and the outcomes had been as follows:
Excessive — 31.7%
Medium — 39.4%
Low — 28.8%
Given the thrill surrounding Shohei Ohtani’s participation on this 12 months’s derby — to not point out Coors Discipline because the venue — I anticipated the outcomes to skew extra closely within the course of “excessive.” Whereas the pattern measurement of the ballot was too small to be significant, the dearth of enthusiasm is nonetheless attention-grabbing to ponder.
LINKS YOU’LL LIKE
At Baseball-Reference, Adrian Burgos, Jr. wrote about the historical past of Latinos within the Negro Leagues.
The Denver Put up’s Erica Hunzinger looked at how MLB tries to guard the fully-online All-Star Sport vote from ballot-stuffing.
The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier took an in-depth look on the sticky substances that pitchers have been making use of to baseballs. Former Pink Sox hurlers Manny Delcarmen and Lenny DiNardo pitched in with hands-on experience, whereas Daigo Fujiwara supplied graphics to assist intensify the information.
RANDOM FACTS AND STATS
Going into yesterday, the Pink Sox and Giants had each hit 20 three-run homers, probably the most within the majors. The Cubs had simply 5 three-run homers. (per @billyball)
Larry Littleton and Mike Potter each went hitless in 23 profession at bats, probably the most ever for a place participant in big-league historical past. Littleton had 27 plate appearances with Cleveland in 1981, Potter 24 with the Cardinals in 1976-1977.
Kettle Wirts made his big-league debut with the Chicago Cubs on July 20, 1921. A catcher who went on to play components of 4 seasons — the final of them with the White Sox — Wirts is one among eight gamers in MLB historical past with the given first identify Elwood.
Luis Tiant Sr. went 9-0 with a 2.37 ERA for the Negro Nationwide League’s New York Cubans in 1947. A southpaw who was then in his age-40 season, the Cuban legend was the daddy of longtime MLB right-hander Luis Clemente Tiant.
David Cone threw an ideal recreation on immediately’s date in 1999. The New York Yankees right-hander fanned 10 alongside the way in which in a 6-0 win over the Montreal Expos.
Additionally on immediately’s date in 1999, Brad Ausmus squeezed within the profitable run — Detroit’s second sacrifice bunt of the body — because the Detroit Tigers beat the Cincinnati Reds 9-8 in 10 innings. Tony Clark homered twice for the profitable aspect.
On immediately’s date in 1994, the Houston Astros scored 11 runs within the sixth inning on their strategy to a 15-12 win over the visiting St. Louis Cardinals. Houston trailed 11-0 after three innings.
Gamers born on immediately’s date embrace Hod Kibbie, whose big-league profession comprised 11 video games for the Boston Braves in 1925. A center infielder who logged 11 hits in 41 at bats, Kibbie hailed from Fort Price.
Additionally born on this date was Glenn Williams, who holds the major-league document for many video games performed wherein he had not less than one hit in all of them. The Gosford, Australia native — a visitor on episode 900 of FanGraphs Audio — went 17 for 40 whereas enjoying in 13 video games for the Minnesota Twins in 2005.