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Van Ostrand's Homer, Greeneville, Etc.

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clack had talked about having seen Lexington outfielder James Van Ostrand's homer in the Futures Game, and I just saw it for the first time myself.  Not prodigious, but he certainly went down and got it. A true golf shot, you'll probably not regret the look if you click the link.

Baseball Prospectus' Nate Silver, writing at SI.com notes that the Dodger prospect who allowed Van Ostrand's homer, 19-year old Clayton Kershaw, had given up only one previous homer all year.

As I was looking for info on the Futures Game, I stumbled across depressing news about our Rookie affiliate.  The Appy League Greeneville Astros saw their record drop to 4 - 15, and lost to the Elizabethton Twins 18 - 0 Monday night.  Elizabethton third baseman Delbinson Romero homered three times and drove in ten.

Yikes.

That got me thinking about some comments Joe in B'ham had made earlier on.  If not all of our farm teams are currently in last place, they've all spent some time there.  Joe, perhaps justifiably, wondered what all this losing this year says about our scouting.

At that time, in response, I had pointed to all the winning the chain had done last year, and made some noises about how winning percentage isn't important anyway.

Last night as I was trolling eBay for junk to buy, I was struck by another thing I might have said.

 As I was browsing, I found a 1992 Tuscon Toros pocket schedule tht wasn't part of my collection.  The cover of the sked reminds us that the 1991 Tuscon team were PCL champions.  And my point I guess is that lotta good it did 'em.  The '91 Toros had Kenny Lofton, but after that its team was comprised of names like Andujar Cedeño, Dave Rohde, and Karl Rhodes.  Solid AAAAers all, but for longterm effect on the Astros' chances, the '91 champs' effect was minimal.  

I don't want to casually dismiss the positive effects of progressing as a player in a winning environment, but I would imagine that its almost impossible as a fan not to overrate the importance of your minor leaguers' won-loss records.

It's fun when they win, sure, but if your AA team lacks a closer who can shut the door, it doesn't really say much about the hitter you're trying to develop, right?