It's getting to be that time of the year where bloggers are scrambling for things to write about that concern their teams. The Astros haven't made much news of late, save for Alyson Footer telling us what we pretty much already knew about Carl Crawford and the Astros offseason plans. As for Crawford, I really hesitate to write too much about him on TCB. For one, I consider the readers of this blog to be among the most astute baseball fans anywhere, and it is fairly evident that the Astros will not be a front runner for Carl.
The Angels, Red Sox, Yankees, Dodgers and Giants could all use some new blood in left field in 2011. With the free agent market looking fairly top heavy again (Crawford, Cliff Lee, Jason Werth and...), Crawford could command a $100 million plus contract for those teams desperate enough to pay top dollar for a well rounded player like Crawford. While Crawford's signing would make sense on the level that he is a Houstonian, and played Little League with Michael Bourn, it's doubtful that the soon-to-be ex-Ray would be willing to take any sort of hometown discount. Dreaming about CC in left doesn't hurt anyone, but don't let your dreams get crushed when his new hat doesn't have a star on it.
In other news featuring actual Astros, Baseball America ranked the top 20 players from the Pacific Coast League in 2010. The list is a cool cross-section of players. At the top, Buster Posey has already proven himself to be a very good major league hitter. San Francisco also can boast Madison Bumgarner among the league's top ten prospects. Logan Morrison and Justin Smoak are already major leaguers, with Morrison faring much better so far. It's amazing to me how far Smoak has fallen. Once thought of as a top five prospect in all of baseball, his 2010 seasons between Triple-A and Texas/Seattle has left prospect mavens scratching their heads. He has tremendous plate discipline and should be at least an average power performer at first, so I would still be just as bullish on his career prospects- despite the letdown this past year.
Closing out the top 11 are Brett Wallace and Jason Castro. I can't say that I disagree with the ranking, but I'm more eager than ever to see how the other names, along with our guys, perform in 2011. I don't think any of us can say they were satisfied with either player's seasons, but the objective nature of BA's analysis leaves me feeling optimistic heading into winter.
Really, though, I am interested in seeing what y'all think of their assessment of our boys. A look at some of those names behind Castro and Wallace: Oakland's Chris Carter, Milwaukee's Mat Gamel, Texas' Mitch Moreland and Peter Bourjos of Anaheim/LA shows that four big names did not perform as well as our duo this past summer in Triple-A. Praise has been heaped on these guys from scouts, bloggers and broadcasters. Yet we haven't heard much of anything said nationally about Castro/Wallace, probably with good reason given how they performed. Patience is what we've preached around here, and it seems like the good folks at BA have given us two really good reasons to think that's sage advice.