Quick Hits: Towles, Braves, Prospects

There have been 23 perfect games in Major League history and 16 instances of a player hitting four home runs in one game, and both of these rare baseball events have taken place on April 30.  White Sox right-hander Charlie Robertson threw a perfecto against the Tigers on this day in 1922; 39 years later, the legendary Willie Mays homered four times as part of a 14-4 Giants rout of the Braves.  Incredibly, there have been two other instances of a four-homer game and a perfect game on the same day — July 18 (Pat Seerey in 1948 and David Cone in 1999) and May 8 (Josh Hamilton in 2012 and Catfish Hunter in 1968).

Here’s some news from around the majors as we head into May…

  • J.R. Towles is fully recovered from a home plate collision that ended his 2013 season and is receiving some interest from Major League teams, MLBTR’s Zach Links reports (Twitter links).  Considered a top-55 prospect headed into the 2008 season, Towles hit .187/.267/.315 in 484 PA with the Astros from 2007-11.  The catcher spent 2012-13 playing for the Triple-A affiliates of the Twins, Dodgers and Cardinals, and is currently hitting well for the independent Bridgeport Bluefish.
  • Three years ago, Jason Heyward was seen as the Braves‘ signature star of the future while Freddie Freeman was projected to have a more modest ceiling, Sports Illustrated’s Ben Reiter writes.  Now, Freeman is emerging as one of the game’s best first basemen while Heyward has yet to truly break through thanks to both injuries and a hole in his swing.  Reflecting how the two players have switched roles, the Braves only locked Heyward up to a two-year commitment during their offseason extension frenzy, while Freeman was given an eight-year, $135MM contract.
  • In an Insider-only piece for ESPN.com, Jim Bowden looks at seven top prospects who could be making their Major League debuts sometime this season.
  • Fortitude is a quality that every scout wants to see in a pitcher, yet it’s one of those intangibles that is hard to both identify or even define, Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus writes.


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15 Comments on "Quick Hits: Towles, Braves, Prospects"


johnsilver
1 year 4 months ago

A lot of what Jason Parks mentions has been taken away though. Pitching inside, or the guts to and stand up for yourself and take on the batter if/when they charge the mound has been taken away.

Bruce “Buster” Kison, hit bad boy George Bell of Toronto, Bell charged him. Kison was a tall, skinny fellow and old timer’s remember the muscular Bell.. But Kison earned the nickname of “Buster” not from childhood, but from throwing the ball inside at plate divers, which has been taken away.

Dave Stewart would stand up for himself on the mound and had guts as many remember and not afraid to throw a karate kick in either.

The game now seems to promote a lot of softies, like Eric bedard types who could care less whether they win or lose.. Just mail them a paycheck.

I want to see more Roy Halladay and Curt Schilling types who yearn to win.

Tesseract
1 year 4 months ago

Intestinal Fortitude. My favorite word

h2h
1 year 4 months ago

Actually, it’s really not that surprising. The probability is around 50% with around twenty in each category.

See “The Birthday Problem” on wikipedia if you want more information. It’s just simple statistics.

h2h
1 year 4 months ago

It’s not actually that incredible to see these two events happen on the same day given the number of occurrences and the number of days in the baseball calendar. The probability is over 50%. Google “the Birthday Problem” to see the statistics (since I can’t link here).

Tesseract
1 year 4 months ago

I was going to say the same thing but you beat me to it. That’s like saying the coincidence of 2 people having the same birthday in a classroom is rare. When in actuality the probability of it happening if there are more than 45 students is over 95% (I might be wrong about the exact numbers). Considering the major league season is less than 180 days long, the probability of two unrelated events that have happened more than 16 times each is very high!

Eric
1 year 4 months ago

I used Wolfram Alpha (180 possible days). It’s not 32 possible matches because that calculation would include four homer games on the same day as another four homer game.

I thought I could calculate this, but I’m not sure how. We need a mathematician in here.

Bertin Lefkovic
1 year 4 months ago

If the Braves want to let Jason Heyward walk as a free agent, I would be more than happy to have the Yankees sign him to a long-term deal. I wonder if the Braves would consider trading Heyward and Dan Uggla to the Yankees for Brett Gardner and Brian Roberts.

RiverKKiller999
1 year 4 months ago

Umm…no.

1 year 4 months ago

Who would play second base for the Yankees then?

Bertin Lefkovic
1 year 4 months ago

Kelly Johnson and Dan Uggla

1 year 4 months ago

Why would anyway trade for Dan Uggla for any reason under any circumstance unless the package also included Mike Trout?

Bertin Lefkovic
1 year 4 months ago

I think that Heyward offers more offensive upside, especially in Yankee Stadium, than Gardner, while Gardner is probably a better fit for the Braves, especially with his current, reasonably-priced contract. If Heyward begins to hit like he can between now and when he becomes a free agent, he is going to become much more expensive than Gardner. Between that and the salary relief offered by swapping Roberts and Uggla, I think that this would be a good deal for both teams.

Tko11
Tko11
1 year 4 months ago

Defensively Heyward is a good player but offensively he just hasn’t lived up to expectations. For a big guy, Heyward (6’5 245) surprisingly wasn’t much of a power threat even in the minors but he did hit .317/.391. Hes still only 24 and with the recent trend of players breaking out in their late 20s, I can see him hitting .300+ with ~15-20 homeruns in the next few years. Paired with good defense he can very well be a 6+ WAR player. It does seem as if the 2012 27 homeruns and 21 SB season is an outlier though. The 2010 stat line with a bit higher average seems about right.

CT
1 year 4 months ago

FYI, Heyward is 6’5″.

connfyoozed .
1 year 4 months ago

I’m sure that J.R. wants another shot at the majors, but it may just be time to throw in the Towles on this guy’s career.