Shohei Ohtani is a unicorn when it comes to two-way expertise, however he’s not the one participant who has proven a capability to offer worth on either 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 seek 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 taking part in 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 have been to offer him that chance.
Cade Cavalli might 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 yr 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 occasions 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,” mentioned Cavalli, who pitched within the Futures Sport and is at present with the Double-A Harrisburg Senators. “There’s quite a bit that goes on; it’s not simply taking part in within the recreation each single day. There’s early work, hitting, you’ve bought your conditioning as a pitcher, you’ve bought place work. It might probably take a toll on somebody’s physique.
“For me, I used to be taking part in it extra on the protected facet going into my junior yr,” continued Cavalli, “I figured that my future was going to be on the mound. Don’t get me incorrect — I beloved hitting, and I beloved taking part in each single day— however bodily, for restoration functions… and mentally, focusing solely on pitching, helped me a ton. However I do assume there are dudes on the market. And I feel that I might have performed it. However like I mentioned, I used to be simply taking part in 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 either 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 plenty of two-way guys that make their approach into the large leagues. For positive. 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,” mentioned 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 tough, man. However mainly, yeah, it form of trickles all the way down to giving these guys an excessive amount of credit score. They have been banging breaking stuff, so I form of went away from it a bit bit, then couldn’t command my fastball as a lot as I wished 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, notably his curveball (which can be featured in a forthcoming installment of our Studying and Creating a Pitch collection). As Eric Longenhagen wrote within the righty’s prospect profile, “his curveball was maybe the very best in all the  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 enormous strides in that space. Doing so was a purpose coming into what’s successfully his first skilled season.
“Coming into professional baseball, plenty of guys had plenty of various things to say in regards to the walks I’ve had in my previous,” McCambley mentioned when requested about his 0.95 BB/9 over 57 innings in Beloit. “I used to be form 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 might be discovered under.
Detroit’s Robbie Grossman led off Sport Considered one of 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 consists of 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. An enormous-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, notably 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 can be shifting intro the vacated submit, creating a gap for Levitt’s present Director place. When you’re considering making use of, please contact Allison Levin by July 26.
Nick Sandlin was certainly one of three pitchers featured on this previous week’s Learning and Developing a Pitch installment. The Cleveland reliever instructed 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 occasions all yr — is intriguing when you think about his arm angle. Sandlin is a bona fide sidewinder.
“It’s an entire splitter grip,” mentioned Sandlin, whom Cleveland chosen within the second spherical of the 2018 draft out of the College of Southern Mississippi. “I used to be at all times looking for a changeup with constant motion, and that was what labored greatest.”
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 a bit bit and create some dive,” defined Sandlin. “You need to keep on high of it and ensure you get out in entrance, and throw it onerous. After I say ‘on high,’ I principally imply to not get lazy with my arm. It’s form of an out-in-front factor. I launch it with my hand ready much like the slider — out in entrance and to the facet — 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 occasions 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 Crimson Sox. The 19-year-old second baseman from Newport Seaside, California — the Seventeenth-overall decide in final yr’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 great distance in just a few quick years. Undrafted out of highschool, the Lexington, Massachusetts native was taken fifteenth general final week by the Milwaukee Brewers out of Boston School. I requested Frelick how he went from an neglected prep to a first-round decide.
“I feel the most important purpose there was no draft discuss in anyway 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 plenty of different guys have been taking part in yr 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 strain. I feel I’ve at all times thrived in these strain conditions due to the year-round competitors, which is one thing I’ve valued. I feel that may have been my breakthrough, simply form of with 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 School Eagle. And whereas his outfield protection is stellar — he was honored because the ACC’s Defensive Participant of the Yr 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,” mentioned Frelick, who hit six of his 12 collegiate house runs as a junior. “Early on, I used to be so caught up in not putting 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 have to develop that energy, these gap-to-gap bat abilities, and never simply be slapping the ball and being a collision hitter. I feel I form of put that collectively this yr.”
9 Canadian-born gamers have been chosen within the first 10 rounds of this yr’s draft, with Stouffville, Ontario’s Tyler Black the best choice at No. 33 general. 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 group and can 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 collection on Friday. Hiroshima Carp infielder Ryosuke Kikuchi had 4 hits, together with a house run, for the successful facet. Saturday’s Sport 2 then went to the Pacific League by a rely 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 couple of hours earlier than Monday’s occasion, I ran a short-lived Twitter ballot — it was up for only some hours — asking about folks’s degree of curiosity in house run derbies. There have been three choices, and the outcomes have been as follows:
Excessive — 31.7%
Medium — 39.4%
Low — 28.8%
Given the excitement surrounding Shohei Ohtani’s participation on this yr’s derby — to not point out Coors Subject because the venue — I anticipated the outcomes to skew extra closely within the path of “excessive.” Whereas the pattern measurement of the ballot was too small to be significant, the shortage of enthusiasm is nonetheless fascinating 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 Crimson 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 Crimson 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 elements of 4 seasons — the final of them with the White Sox — Wirts is certainly one of eight gamers in MLB historical past with the given first title 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 in the present day’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 in the present day’s date in 1999, Brad Ausmus squeezed within the successful 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 successful facet.
On in the present day’s date in 1994, the Houston Astros scored 11 runs within the sixth inning on their solution to a 15-12 win over the visiting St. Louis Cardinals. Houston trailed 11-0 after three innings.
Gamers born on in the present day’s date embody 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 Value.
Additionally born on this date was Glenn Williams, who holds the major-league file 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 taking part in in 13 video games for the Minnesota Twins in 2005.