Trying another new feature on here, where we run through three stories of the day with a little analysis and links for more info. I got the idea from a feature on XM Fantasy Radio, and I really like it. But, we'll see how it goes. First up, let's talk some spring training stories:
1) Brian Bogusevic in the mix in center field - Oh, no big deal. The Astros are just doing something TCBers have been pushing for all offseason. Brian Bogusevic will be in the mix with Jordan Schafer, J.B. Shuck and Jason Bourgeois in center field.
There are a lot of reasons why this makes sense. He's fast enough to cover ground in center. He hits better than any of the other candidates. Even though Shuck has a better average and OBP, Bogey will have more power. In a way, with the right field candidates in camp, it makes more sense for Bogusevic to move over to center and give another guy a shot in right.
Also, this makes Schafer moot, which is exactly where he should be. Moot.
2) John Sickels has three Astros in Top 120 - You guys and gals have already discussed this some. I agree with some of you that Jarred Cosart is probably underrated by Sickels. But, at the same time, I kind of agree with him.
I like Cosart a lot. I think he's got the stuff to be a big part of this club's future. However, without turning that stuff into production in the minors, it's hard to justify thinking of him too highly.
That's the basis for prospect lists, after all. It's not just about potential, tools or raw stuff. That's a big part of it, but the prospects ranked highly have elite tools and are producing in the minors. Cosart and even Jonathan Singleton, to a lesser extent, have one but not the other.
Still, I'm very pleased that Houston has three prospects on this list. The Astros need impact players on this roster more than anything and it appears they may have a few in the system now.
3) Jordan Lyles trying to get more out of his frame - Since he was drafted, one of the big parts of Jordan Lyles' projection was that he could add velocity as he matures. To this point, that hasn't really happened. Lyles works right around 90 for the most part. In fact, FanGraphs had his average fastball at 89.8 MPH last season.
While adding two or three MPH to his fastball could help him quite a bit, it's not an "if/then" proposition. More velocity with less movement or less control means nothing. The hope is that Lyles can use Joe Matlack's knowledge to just speed up his delivery without losing either of those other two things.
If he can do that, Lyles could become more than just a third starter. But, because he's working on things like this, I'm more and more of the mind that Lyles should start the season in Oklahoma City. That way, he can refine a new delivery, gain that velocity while keeping his effectiveness.