Friday News & Notes

Baseball America released their list of the Top 20 Prospects in the Midwest League earlier this week.  That list contained no Timber Rattlers.

There are 16 teams in the MWL and there is no guarantee that every team is going to have at least one player in that Top 20 list…Especially in a year where some teams are loaded – from a prospect standpoint.  For example:  Cedar Rapids (4), Quad Cities (3), and Kane County (3) took up half of the 20 spots on the 2013 MWL list.

JJ Cooper handled the “Why no Rattlers?” question in his chat (No link. Subscribers only) content:

Mike (Milwaukee, WI): I’m a bit surprised not to see a single TimberRattler make your list, specifically Tyrone Taylor, Orlando Arcia or Victor Roache. Was it simply a matter of not having room for them, or are their ceilings just not as high as those who did make it?

J.J. Cooper: Promised on Twitter that I would answer this one. All three were among prospects considered for the list. Taylor came the closest to making it. I’d say he was in the 21-30 range. Pretty universally scouts liked Taylor more than Roache because of a better hitting approach, better defense, plays a premium position and is more athletic. In Taylor you have a solid center fielder while Roache was considered adequate in LF. Taylor was probably the third best CF prospect in the league behind Toles but ahead of Mallex Smith. Arcia often looked overmatched this year at the plate, but scouts think he’ll improve as he matures. He has a solid swing but he’s just not strong enough to do anything with that swing yet.

Photo Credit: Ann Mollica

Tyrone Taylor just missed Baseball America’s Top 20 list.

The Toles that Cooper mentions is Bowling Green’s Andrew Toles, who won the MWL batting title at .326.  Toles was placed at #19 on BA’s list.

Also from earlier this week, Adam McCalvy had this surprise in his twitter timeline:

  The surprise part is that last note about 2013 Timber Rattlers All-Star Pitcher Austin Blaski retiring.

2013 Timber Rattlers All-Star Austin Blaski has retired.

2013 Timber Rattlers All-Star Austin Blaski has retired.

Blaski’s last game with the Timber Rattlers was on June 13 in the second game of a doubleheader against the Beloit Snappers at Pohlman Field. Blaski allowed one run on four hits with four walks and four strikeouts to pick up the win in a 2-1 defeat of the Snappers. He was a late addition to the 2013 MWL All-Star squad and was scheduled to pitch in the game at Dayton. But, he was scratched from making an appearance. That game was on June 18. Blaski had surgery one month later – July 18.

Now, he’s retired.

Good luck, Austin.

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