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Monday Morning Astros, etc Round Up

Jordan Lyles continues to impress the folks at Baseball America. He made their top ten list of prospects for the past week after dominating Low A hitters left and right:

An 18-year-old in the South Atlantic League with 139 strikeouts and 32 walks in 117 2/3 innings? No, that's not Madison Bumgarner we're talking about. It's Jordan Lyles, one of the most dominant pitchers in the minors this year. The 6-foot-4 righthander with a free-and-easy delivery and a plus fastball is tied for fourth in the minor leagues with 139 strikeouts, showing why the Astros bucked industry consensus by taking him in the supplemental first round a year ago.

Lyles and teammate Ross Seaton were shown some love by a reader at Minor League Ball, who ranked the pair in the top 35 of all South Atlantic League prospects. Lyles came in at #5 and Seaton was at #27. The future looks bright for both, especially Lyles who seems to be a scout's dream- young, projectible, nice delivery and has the ability to miss bats with his pitches. Ross Season may have a harder go of things as he rises through the minor leagues since he has not displayed the strikeout ability that Lyles has. Time will tell, and with both players being well under 20 years old, the future can't get here fast enough for Astros' fans.

 Could Billy Beane be Big Apple bound someday soon? That would be pretty cool to see- Mr. Moneyball with money to spend.

Two veteran players were given their walking papers this week, as Jason Giambi was released by Oakland, and John Smoltz was designated for assignment by the BoSox.

Josh Hamilton's rise from out of baseball drug addict to heart warming slugger has taken a hit this past week, as photos have surfaced of Hamilton engaging on some extra curricular activities last January in a Tempe, AZ bar.  

In divisional news, Keith Law says the Cardinals' traded away the best prospect at the trade deadline, Mr. Brett Wallace:

Wallace is the only impact prospect among all minor leaguers who changed hands in the past two weeks, and his is a special case, since he may have to move to first base, a position the Cardinals reserve for players with superhuman abilities. Wallace should be somewhere in Oakland's starting lineup next April.

 Tom Tango gives us five reasons to love baseball. My favorite:

5. Baseball Springs Eternal. Best represented by Opening Day.

Hope springs eternal in the human breast:
Man never is, but always to be, blest.
The soul, uneasy and confin'd from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.

-- Alexander Pope

Your wedding day or birth of your child probably qualify as the most important days of your life. Those anniversary dates however sometimes sneak up on you. "Oh, you mean the day I committed myself to you for eternity was nine years ago tomorrow?"

But when the baseball schedule is released, you circle Opening Day, and anticipation builds with each day. It is a day unlike all others and I've got five reasons why.