With a quarter of the season in the books, Joel Sherman of the New York Post looks at some players whose may simply headed for poor seasons rather than slow starts. Sherman constructs a lineup for his “It Gets Late Early” team, a Bizarro All-Star lineup of notable names who haven’t lived up to expectations — Shelby Miller, Ken Giles, Prince Fielder, Russell Martin, Mark Teixeira, Dee Gordon, David Wright, Erick Aybar, Carlos Gomez and (somewhat surprisingly) two regulars from the league-leading Cubs, Jorge Soler and Jason Heyward. Here’s more from around baseball as we head into the new week…
- Jonathan Villar has been a nice surprise for the Brewers, and an NL scout tells John Perrotto of TodaysKnuckleball.com that Villar’s good start could be for real. “I thought Villar was nothing more than a utility guy but he’s starting to prove me wrong,” the scout said. “He’s really maturing as a player. He may never be a star but he’s starting to look like an everyday guy to me. I don’t think what he’s doing is a two-month fluke.” It’s worth noting that Villar has a whopping .398 BABIP en route to his .286/.382/.390 slash line (and 14 steals) over 181 plate appearances, though his speed has also been a factor in allowing him to turn grounders into hits. As Perrotto notes, Orlando Arcia is still slated to be Milwaukee’s shortstop of the future, though the Brewers may have found an unexpected deadline trade chip in Villar.
- The Athletics don’t seem likely to make any notable acquisitions to help their injury-ravaged roster, CSNBayArea.com’s Joe Stiglich infers from Billy Beane’s comments. The sheer number of injured players “would impact any team in baseball,” Beane said, “and it’s certainly going to have a greater impact on us, given we’re not going to have the depth or the resources” to find easy replacements. The A’s fell to 19-26 after today’s loss to the Yankees and Oakland has already been cited as a possible trade deadline seller.
- Cardinals pitching prospect Alex Reyes threw four scoreless innings in a Triple-A start today, his first action since returning from a 50-game suspension for marijuana use. Suspension notwithstanding, Reyes could very possibly still reach the majors this season given his status as one of the game’s best prospects; the righty was rated very highly by Baseball America (7th), ESPN’s Keith Law (8th), Baseball Prospectus (10th) and MLB.com (11th) in preseason top-100 lists. In an interview with MLB.com’s Nick Krueger, Reyes discusses his outing and how he hopes he can regain the trust of both the organization and the fans.
- There’s still quite a bit of uncertainty surrounding the June amateur draft, as Baseball America’s John Manuel writes. Some of the uncertainty could stem from the fact that “there’s more comfort this year with the high school class than the college class,” one scouting director tells Manuel. “It’s not a clear-cut Top 10 group . . . not as high-end a group as you would have hoped for this year.”