National Pastime Archive: July 2008


  • Prospect Q&A - Colton Willems, Washington Nationals

    Right-hander Colton Willems, a first-round pick in 2006, has experienced success at every level so far while steadily making his way up the Nationals' organizational ladder. After a stellar 2007 campaign in short-season Class A, he's enjoying another fine season with the Class A Hagerstown Suns and looks like yet another outstanding young player the Nats can build around. By Jay LeBlanc. Published July 10 2008

  • PUBLISHED - Prospect Q&A - Colton Willems, Nationals

    Right-hander Colton Willems, a first-round pick in 2006, has experienced success at every level so far while steadily making his way up the Nationals' organizational ladder. After a stellar 2007 campaign in short-season Class A, he's enjoying another fine season with the Class A Hagerstown Suns and looks like yet another outstanding young player the Nats can build around. By Jay LeBlanc. Published July 10 2008

  • KILL - Prospect Q&A - Brandon Hicks, Braves

    The main things pro teams look for in a shortstop are the abilities to field and throw. The Atlanta Braves knew they had a player who could perform both of those tasks in 2007 third-round pick Brandon Hicks, who showed good range while playing for Texas A&M and flashed a 90-plus mile per hour heater while doubling as a pitcher in junior college. What they might not have realized was just how much pop Hicks had in his bat. By Jay LeBlanc. Published July 9 2008

  • KILL - Prospect Q&A - Gorkys Hernandez, Braves

    Still just 20 years old, Gorkys Hernandez has already put together an impressive resume, earning Gulf Coast League Post-Season All-Star honors in 2006 and Midwest League Post-Season All-Star and MVP honors last season. The speedy Venezuelan, who was acquired by the Braves along with right-hander Jair Jurrjens last fall in the deal that sent shortstop Edgar Renteria to the Tigers, has also appeared in the past two Futures Games. By Jay LeBlanc. Published July 9 2008

  • KILL - Amateur Hour - Summer on the Cape

    Ten towns scattered across the Massachusetts peninsula make baseball truly a part of the summer fabric, as the Cape Cod Baseball League attracts the top college talent in the nation. The college players who choose to spend their summer on the Cape are all focused on the same goal: they want to impress pro scouts. By Tom Stad. Published July 8 2008

  • Cooperstown Bound? - Kenny Lofton

    When I told a colleague my next article would focus on Kenny Lofton, he was stunned. "Kenny Lofton?" "Yeah, Kenny Lofton." The thing is, if you take a closer look at the career of Lofton - who was once parodied in a DHL commercial about the number of teams he has played for - you'll see that his case for Cooperstown is a little stronger than you might think. By Nick Leco. Published July 8 2008

  • KILL - Cooperstown Bound? - Kenny Lofton

    When I told a collegue my next article would focus on Kenny Lofton, he was stunned. "Kenny Lofton?" "Yeah, Kenny Lofton." The thing is, if you take a closer look at the career of Lofton - who was once parodied in a DHL commercial about the number of teams he has played for - you'll see that his case for Cooperstown is a little stronger than you might think. By Nick Leco. Published July 8 2008

  • KILL - Cooperstown Bound? - Kenny Lofton

    When I told a collegue my next article would focus on Kenny Lofton, he was stunned. "Kenny Lofton?" "Yeah, Kenny Lofton." The thing is, if you take a closer look at the career of Lofton - who was once parodied in a DHL commercial about the number of teams he has played for - you'll see that his case for Cooperstown is a little stronger than you might think. By Nick Leco. Published July 8 2008

  • My Five - Favorite first-half storylines

    I have devoted my first six My Five columns to ranking the best in baseball in a variety of categories, but I figured it was time to toss a change-up this week. With the All-Star break just around the corner, I'm taking a look back at what has been a thrilling first half and highlighting my favorite storylines. Enjoy. By Sean Raposa. Published July 7 2008

  • KILL - My Five - Favorite first-half storylines

    I have devoted my first six My Five columns to ranking the best in baseball in a variety of categories, but I figured it was time to toss a change-up this week. With the All-Star break just around the corner, I'm taking a look back at what has been a thrilling first half and highlighting my favorite storylines. Enjoy. By Sean Raposa. Published July 7 2008

  • Prospect Q&A - Wes Hodges, Indians

    All-Star break? Not for Indians prospect Wes Hodges, who'll play in the Futures Game at Yankee Stadium on Sunday and follow that up with an appearance in the Eastern League All-Star Game on Wednesday. The Tribe's No. 4 prospect and third baseman of the future is also a candidate for the U.S. Olympic Team and could be in line for a September call-up. By Jay LeBlanc. Published July 6 2008

  • PUBLISHED - Prospect Q&A - Wes Hodges, Indians

    All-Star break? Not for Indians prospect Wes Hodges, who'll play in the Futures Game at Yankee Stadium on Sunday and follow that up with an appearance in the Eastern League All-Star Game on Wednesday. The Tribe's No. 4 prospect and third baseman of the future is also a candidate for the U.S. Olympic Team and could be in line for a September call-up. By Jay LeBlanc. Published July 6 2008

  • KILL - My Five - Favorite first-half storylines

    I have devoted my first six My Five columns to ranking the best in baseball in a variety of categories, but I figured it was time to toss a change-up this week. With the All-Star break just around the corner, I'm taking a look back at what has been a thrilling first half and highlighting my favorite storylines. Enjoy. By Sean Raposa. Published July 6 2008

  • Hey Tribe, Brew Crew: Pull the trigger!

    Recent media reports suggest that the Indians and Brewers are trying to hammer out a deal in which Cleveland would send reigning A.L. Cy Young Award winner C.C. Sabathia to Milwaukee in exchange for top prospect Matt LaPorta, minor leaguer Taylor Green and a lesser prospect. My advice to both clubs? Just get this deal done already! By Jay LeBlanc. Published July 5 2008

  • KILL - Hey Tribe, Brew Crew: Pull the trigger!

    Recent media reports have suggested that the Indians and Brewers have been trying to hammer out a deal in which the Tribe would send reigning A.L. Cy Young Award winner C.C. Sabathia to the Brew Crew in exchange for Milwaukee's top prospect, Matt LaPorta, minor leaguer Taylor Green and a lesser prospect. My advice to both clubs? Just get this deal done already! By Jay LeBlanc. Published July 5 2008

  • Coming attractions

    After the All-Star break, teams that think the solutions to their problems can be found within their own organizations - as well as teams that are out of contention and want to fast-forward their youth movements - will start to promote their top prospects, giving fans a sneak preview at the future of baseball. Here are my super seven prized prospects likely to debut to great fanfare in the second half. By Jay LeBlanc. Published July 4 2008

  • KILL - Coming Attractions

    After the All-Star break, teams that think the solutions to their problems can be found within their own organizations - as well as teams that are out of contention and want to fast-forward their youth movements - will start to think seriously about promoting their top prospects, giving fans a sneak preview at the future of baseball. Here are my super seven prized prospects likely to debut to great fanfare sometime in the second half. By Jay LeBlanc. Published July 4 2008

  • Amateur Hour - To sign or not to sign?

    That was the decision facing nine high schoolers taken in the first round of the 2008 MLB Amateur Draft, not to mention the scores of college underclassmen who were selected. However, the students are the ones who are dictating the price tag nowadays, and consequently the word "signability" has gained significant meaning. By Tom Stad. Published July 4 2008

  • Morning Report - Friday, July 4

    Rookie Johnny Cueto pitched the Reds past the Nats, while the Royals outslugged the O's despite a pair of jacks by Aubrey Huff. Elsewhere, the D-Backs rallied for six runs in the ninth to top the Brewers and the Red Sox took out their frustrations on the Yankees after getting swept by the Rays. All that and more in today's Morning Report. By Tim Whitman. Published July 4 2008

  • Prospect Q&A - Michael Burgess, Washington Nationals

    The Nationals felt like they got a steal last summer when they selected high school outfielder Michael Burgess with their supplemental first-round pick in the 2007 MLB Draft, but they figured it would be a while before he started to realize his vast potential. Apparently, Burgess - ranked by Baseball America as Washington's No. 4 prospect - had other plans. By Jay LeBlanc. Published July 3 2008

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