With the draft fast approaching, Kiley McDaniel of ESPN.com profiles Pennsylvania high school right-hander Nick Bitsko, who ranks among the highest-upside pitchers in this year’s class. Bitsko could go anywhere from the top 10 to the late 30s, per McDaniel, who reports that he has recently helped his stock with Zoom interviews and social media videos showcasing his enticing repertoire. While teams haven’t gotten an extensive look at Bitsko in person, McDaniel explains that the 17-year-old features a fastball that reached 98.5 mph last week and has so much spin that it could be near the top of the majors in that category already. Bitsko also has a pair of breaking balls that have the potential to turn into “above-average” offerings in the bigs, according to McDaniel, who goes into greater detail on those pitches in his piece. It’s worth a read for those interested in learning about an intriguing draft prospect.
More from around the game…
- There may not be any minor league season in 2020, but that could be made up for to an extent with an extended Arizona Fall League campaign. The AFL season usually runs from September to October, but a 2020 version could begin “within weeks” of a potential Opening Day in the majors, Josh Norris and J.J. Cooper of Baseball America report. The MLB and MLBPA would first have to agree to a season, and Norris and Cooper highlight other roadblocks (including financial issues). But if a longer AFL season does come to fruition, all 30 teams would send a roster of prospects to their spring training sites to play games. It’s possible each of those clubs would also have “a second lower level” prospect team, Norris and Cooper write.
- A few more teams have committed to paying their minor leaguers for at least the next handful of weeks. The Tigers’ farmhands will continue to earn $400 per week, and there’s “no end in sight,” Chris McCosky of the Detroit News tweets. The club’s also not planning to cut any minor leaguers as of now, McCosky adds. The Rockies, meanwhile will pay their minor leaguers through at least June, according to Thomas Harding of MLB.com. The Yankees are taking the same approach as Colorado, James Wagner of the New York Times relays.
- Super-agent Scott Boras is taking action to make sure his released minor league clients still receive compensation, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network. Boras, who called those releases “completely unanticipated,” will personally pay all of those players their expected salaries for 2020.