Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Weekend TTM Roundup: 04/25-04/30

Received On: 04/25/2016

My first return this week came from Yankees righty Cale Coshow.
Cale Coshow was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 13th round of the 2013 MLB Player Draft. Armed with a fastball that can reach the mid-90's, a slider and change up, Coshow projects to be anything between a solid mid-to-back end starter and a reliever in the big leagues. Coshow was initially used as a reliever but in 2015 he started to get more starts to see if he could handle a starting pitching role. Here in 2016 it appears as though Coshow's games have all been starts and it wouldn't be surprising to see him continue his starting pitching role if his breaking pitches improves. The upside is very real with Coshow, I'm pretty excited to see how he fares going forward.

Received On: 04/26/2016

Next up is a return from Tribe lefty Ryan Merritt.
Ryan Merritt was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 16th round of the 2011 MLB Player Draft. Armed with a fastball, curveball, slider and change up, Merritt projects to be a back-end-of-the-rotation starter or a swingman/longman in the majors. Merritt's four pitches aren't really flashy and he doesn't have a ton of upside but his floor is quite high thanks to his control (very few walks). Here in 2016 Merritt has already made it to triple-A, he's a pretty likely candidate to make it to the majors in September if he has a usual Merritt-level season in triple-A this summer.

Received On: 04/28/2016

Next up is former major leaguer Mike Krukow.
Mike Krukow was drafted by the Cubs in the eighth round of the 1973 MLB Player Draft. Krukow later made his MLB debut in 1976. During Krukow's playing career he carved out a nice career for himself as a starting pitcher who even made the All Star team in 1986 as a member of the Giants and was even inducted in the SF Giants' Hall of Fame. Currently Krukow serves as one of the radio broadcasters for the San Francisco Giants and has been doing so for 23 years. Krukow is also one of many people suffering from IBM (inclusion-body myositis) which is a disease that gradually weakens the muscles in the fingers, wrist, thighs and various other parts of the legs. IBM isn't life threatening but whether or not it will make Krukow's goal of broadcasting until he's 80 difficult remains to be seen. Hopefully Krukow keeps kicking IBM's butt and keeps the SFG faithful hearing the same Kruktionary sayings they've been hearing for years.

Received On: 04/28/2016

Here's a return from Italian Royals prospect Marten Gasparini.
Marten Gasparini was signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2013. A son of a Italian father and British mother, Gasparini's a rare European professional baseball player. When he signed his $1.3 million deal with the Royals he was seen as one of the best baseball talents in all of Europe and that very bonus broke the previous record bonus given out to a European baseball prospect (which was Max Kepler's $800,000 bonus). The Kansas City Star has an excellent piece of Gasparini's path to playing pro ball in America and it's quite good (read it, I command you). It also has one of my favorite quotes of 2016, "they're Italian. They sit at the table and talk [...] and they talk for three hours."
Anyway Gasparini as a player is quite an interesting player to keep an eye on. He has power and speed and with a little more consistency he could quite a formidable hitter. Defensively Gasparini's a work in progress but there is hope that he can crack it at shortstop long term. If not a transition to the outfield may be in order.
Anyway, I'm really excited to see what Marten Gasparini can do in the US. Seeing as how Max Kepler is now up in the big leagues, I'm hoping Gasparini joins him and more European major leaguers emerge (seriously, MLB needs more Europeans not just the descendants of Europeans).

Received On: 04/29/2016

Next up is Yankees farmhand Simon De La Rosa.
Simon De La Rosa was signed by the New York Yankees as a non-drafted free agent in 2012. Armed with a fastball, an above average curveball and a work in progress change up, De La Rosa projects to be a major league pitcher in some capacity. Exactly what kind remains to be seen. With his fastball and curveball combo he can be a very good middle reliever but if he manages to improve his change up and his overall control, he could have a ceiling of a number two starter in the big leagues. As of now he's been a very good find in the same free agent class (he led the Appy League in strikeouts in 2015) that brought the Yankees Thairo Estrada and Luis Torrens.

Received On: 04/29/2016

Here's a neat addition to my 1979 Topps set,  Jim Beattie.
Jim Beattie was drafted by the New York Yankees in the fourth round of the 1975 MLB Player Draft. Beattie made his MLB debut three years later and had an (all things considered) alright nine-year career in the big leagues. His best remembered moment is probably in 1978 when he was a pivotal member of the '78 World Series Champion Yankees. However his Yankees tenure only lasted one more season and he was traded to the Seattle Mariners where he spent the bulk (seven years) of his nine-year MLB career. Beattie's last season in the big leagues was in 1986 and after that he found himself being in various roles for various teams like being a pitching coach, a scout, a front office personnel and various other jobs.

Received On: 04/29/2016

Here's a return from Justin Pope.
Justin Pope was originally drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the first round (28th overall) of the 2001 MLB Player Draft. As a pitcher Justin Pope spent eight seasons in the Cardinals, Yankees and Phillies systems (and even played overseas) but he became a pitching coach in 2010. Since then he's been either the pitching coach or the manager of various Yankees affiliates. This year Justin Pope is the pitching coach for the Charleston Riverdogs after being the pitching coach for the Pulaski Yankees last year.

Received On: 04/29/2016

Here's a return from Luis Dorante.
Luis Dorante is currently in his third consecutive stint as the Charleston Riverdogs manager. An ex-catcher who spent six seasons in the Red Sox organization, Dorante has since had a long career as a coach and scout for various organizations. Dorante was even the bullpen coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates between 2008 and 2010.
BTW, on the Dorante card above, Luis Torrens (right, 20) makes a cameo.

Received On: 04/292016

Last but certainly not least for this week is a really cool return from Sam Militello.
Sam Militello was drafted by the New York Yankees in the sixth round of the 1990 MLB Player Draft. Once seen as a promising pitching prospect, Sam Militello had dominated the minors and had a very good debut season in 1992. Unfortunately for Militello, arm injuries wrecked his future and his last game came in early 1993. Quite a shame, one has to wonder what the Yankees dynasty would've looked like if Militello and Brien Taylor worked out. Since then Militello tried making a comeback in the Yankees, Marlins and Yankees (again) organizations before working as a coach and scout for various organizations. But in 2000 Militello went back to his alma-mater and has been a coach at the University of Tampa for 16 years (and counting). Militello has been the pitching coach of four national championship teams and he's looking for his fifth title.

And those were my returns this week. Big thanks to Mr. Coshow, Merritt, Krukow, Gasparini, De La Rosa, Beattie, Pope, Dorante and Militello for the awesome returns.

BTW, by the time this post goes up it will no longer be the month of April. For the sake of wanting to find something positive, I would like to point out that my TTM count at this time last year was 65, while my total for this year (so far) is 103. #Hustle

Anyway as always thank you (the readers) for stopping by.

Take care.

2016 TTM Count: 103



  1. I really like the Coshow. He needs to be on my short list of guys to send to.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks guys. I really like getting oddballs like that signed.

  3. I was unaware of Gasparini - I'll have to start keeping an eye his progress now with such a unique backstory.

    1. I'll be keeping tabs on him too. I want more Europeans in MLB.

  4. Krukow's the man! A true SF legend! Got mine last week too