Sunday, May 6, 2018

Month-End TTM Roundup: 04/03-05/05


Received On: 04/03/2018

My first return this period came from Benny Distefano.
Benny Distefano was originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the second round of the 1982 MLB Player Draft. Distefano made his MLB debut in 1984 and spent parts of the the years following that with the big league Pirates. Distefano was actually with the Chunichi Dragons in 1990 and hopes were high that he could provide some pop for the ballclub. He made a big first impression by hitting a home run in his first NPB at-bat but he struggled mightily after that. Distefano is largely remembered nowadays for being the last lefthanded catcher (Distefano played all over the field), and possibly for breaking up Mets-era David Cone's no-hit bid. Distefano has since taken up coaching and was even a coach for the local Brooklyn Cyclones not too long ago.
Sidenote, I asked Distefano to add a "Chunichi Dragons 1990" inscription and he generously did so. Thanks Mr. Distefano!

Received On: 04/09/2018

Next up is a return from Dallas Stars goaltender, Ben Bishop.
Ben Bishop was originally drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the third round of the 2005 NHL Player Draft. In the 2008-09 season Bishop made his NHL debut in October and went on to the team's backup goaltender for the next few seasons. Bishop was later traded to the Ottawa Senators before being traded again to the Tampa Bay Lightning where he left his mark on the franchise. With Tampa Bishop become the main goaltender and played enough to accumulate enough playing time to set new franchise records like the most saves in franchise history and the most games played by a goaltender in franchise history. Bishop was even an NHL All Star in 2016. In early 2017 he was traded to the Los Angeles Kings and was later traded to the Dallas Stars before the 2017-18 season started.

Received On: 04/11/2018

Next up is a return from Islanders defenceman, Ryan Pulock.
Ryan Pulock was drafted by the New York Islanders in the first round of the 2013 NHL Player Draft. The Pulock was in the minors for a few years before making his NHL debut in the 2015-16 season. After that he was kept in the minors again before rejoining the team for good this season. Overall he hasn't put up the numbers some had hoped for but most attribute that to inconsistent playing time and a small sample size. This season Pulock got a few more reps at the big league level and managed to put together a nice season. It'd be nice if he could keep it going and develop further into a really good defenseman for the post- (future Ranger)-Tavares Islanders.

Received On: 04/14/2018

Here's a return from Sabres centre, Zemgus Girgensons.
Zemgus Girgensons hails from Latvia and was drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in the first round of the 2012 NHL Player Draft. After a nice amateur career his professional career started off on a slow start but he eventually managed to make his NHL debut in the 2013-14 season. Girgensons was selected to the 2015 NHL All Star Game during the 2015-16 NHL season. This season Girgensons shifted to being a winger as Jack Eichel got top line billing. That might be his position going forward.

Received On: 08/16/2018

Next up is one of several returns I got back to kick off the 2018 Minor League Baseball season.
Starting with a return from Yankees slugging prospect, Steven Sensley.
Sensley was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 12th round of the 2017 MLB Player Draft. The lefty hitting 6'1" outfielder has power for days and a keen eye for balls he knows he can absolute mash. Sensley has a very patient approach and isn't scared to make the pitchers pitch more until he see's a pitch he likes. In a very crowded outfield depth chart, Sensley is set to join it very soon.

Received On: 04/16/2018

Here is Yankees outfield prospect Frederick Cuevas.
Cuevas is another outfield prospect who was signed by the New York Yankees as an international free agent back in 2014. The outfielder (primarily left field) is a bit of a jack of all trades, master of none type of player. He hits for contact, he has good speed, he has nice range, he has a good arm, he has line drive power. He doesn't have a standout skill but in turn he can be a very versatile player. I wish him nothing but the best because even on that card you can see that he's just thrilled to be here. His facial expression is so pure and happy, I love it.


Also you noticed how he signed the front twice right? He also signed the back. Lol, thanks Frederick!

Received On: 04/16/2018

Here is Yankees righty Matthew Wivinis.
Matthew Wivinis was signed as a non-drafted free agent by the New York Yankees in 2016 out of indy ball. Wivinis is armed with a fastball that is said to have sink and cut action, as well as an above average slider (per The Baseball Draft Report), but now works in relief and has put up the results to show that he's worth giving more looks at. Which is impressive. The Yankees have been finding a lot of intriguing relief options at these lower levels out of indy ball and Wivinis seems to one of the newest. He'll probably be pushed a bit aggressively this year as he's already 24 and will likely be tested at higher levels sooner rather than later.

Received On: 04/16/2018

Next up is Yankees righty Daniel Ramos.
Daniel Ramos was signed by the New York Yankees as a non-drafted international free agent back in 2013. A very nice prospect for those in the know, his career got off to a slow start due to injuries but he's worked hard to make up for it by coming straight to the US after like one start in the DSL. Armed with a low-90's fastball, a curveball and a work-in-progress changeup (per Pinstriped Prospects), whether or not he can stay a starter depends on the development of that changeup. So far the results have been mixed but sky's the limit.

Received On: 04/16/2018

Ending the streak of Yankees is Pirates southpaw, Brandon Waddell.
Brandon Waddell was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the fifth round of the 2015 MLB Player Draft. After zooming up the ranks very quickly in the early stages of his career, it looked like Waddell was going to make an impact on the Buccos very soon. But he hit a roadblock around the time he started facing tougher competition in double-A. Armed with a fastball, slider and changeup, he has the ceiling of a back of the rotation starter. His fastball doesn't really have the velocity (as of this post anyway) to allow him to be a super effective reliever so the key to his long term success is really unlocking his slider and changeup and learning to fool hitters.

Received On: 04/19/2018

Next up is a return from Jason Spezza.
Jason Spezza was originally drafted by the Ottawa Senators in the first round of the 2001 NHL Player Draft. He'd been a top prospect for years before the draft but after his professional career started he spent a couple of more seasons down in the minors and then made his NHL debut in the 2002-03 season. Spezza then went on to have several great years with the Senators. Earning All Star Game honors twice in the process. Spezza was later traded to the Dallas Stars prior to the 2014-15 NHL season. The 2018-19 season will be the last one on the extension he signed with the Stars so it'll be interesting to see where he goes (if he moves at all) in the future.

Received On: 04/21/2018

Next up is a return from Anderson Severino.
Anderson Severino was signed by the New York Yankees as a non-drafted international free agent back in 2013. The southpaw is armed with a fastball that's primarily in the low 90's but can reach 96 mph at times. He also has a really good curveball that is his go to pitch. I always joke about Severino being the next (Luis) Severino, but there is a part of me that legitimately wants to see an all Severino team. And I'm going to assemble that team.

Received On: 04/21/2018

Here's a return from Yusniel Diaz.
I already wrote an entire ode to him a while back so here's the TL;DR version of that post. He's an outfielder who can make contact and put the ball in play. He's got the arm to be a serviceable centerfielder or rightfielder. The knocks against him are mainly how he doesn't have a ton of power or speed. But he's still a good prospect worth watching if you're a Dodgers fan getting worried about Yasiel Puig or Matt Kemp (hahaha) leaving as free agents.

Received On: 04/26/2018

Next up is Predators captain, Ryan Johansen.
Ryan Johansen was originally drafted by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 1st round (4th overall) of the 2010 NHL Player Draft. After a pretty remarkable amateur career Johansen made his NHL debut in 2011 and has been a fixture at center in the NHL since the 2012-13 season. Johansen had several notable moments with the Blue Jackets like an All Star Game appearance, but eventually he was traded to the Nashville Predators in a trade for Seth Jones. A few years after that Johansen signed an extension and the largest contract given out in Nashville's history (eight years, $64 million). Good for him. Hopefully the Predators can make a deep playoff push this season.

Received On: 04/28/2018

Next up are a couple of returns from Jordan Staal.
Jordan Staal was originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round (second overall) of the 2006 NHL Player Draft. Staal made his NHL debut with the Penguins in the 2006-07 season and had several nice moments with the team, like a Stanley Cup Championship in 2009. Staal was eventually traded to the Carolina Hurricans in 2012 and he's been with them since. Staal is one of four brothers to make it to the NHL. Along with Eric Stall, Marc Staal and Jared Staal.

Received On: 04/28/2018

Here's a return from Reds prospect, T.J. Friedl.
TJ Frield was signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Cincinnati Reds in 2016. So far that has turned out to be a great and shrewd move by the Reds because Friedl has managed to make a name for himself as a top prospect in spite of not getting drafted. Friedl's main attributes are his speed and contact ability, both of which gets high praise from scouts. If all goes well he could be a very good fourth outfielder in the big leagues.

Received On: 04/30/2018

Here is a return from Marc-Édouard Vlasic.
Vlasic was drafted by the San Jose Sharks in the second round of the 2005 NHL Player Draft. A top prospect in the QMJHL, the defenseman made his NHL debut in the 2006-2007 season and has stayed with the Sharks since. Vlasic has been a part of numerous parts of the Sharks' postseason run in the years he's spent with the club, hopefully this year he can be part of the club that wins it all.

Received On: 04/30/2018

Next up is a return from Jonas Brodin.
Jonas Brodin was drafted by the Minnesota Wild in the first round of the 2011 NHL Player Draft. A defenseman out of Sweden, Brodin made his NHL debut in the 2012-13. He was named to the All Rookie Team that year and has been a key productive defender for the Wild since, especially alongside Ryan Suter and Matthew Dumba.

Received On: 04/30/2018

Here's another Wild, Jared Spurgeon.
Spurgeon was originally drafted by the New York Islanders in the sixth round of the 2008 NHL Player Draft. But he didn't sign with the team and ended up signing on with the Minnesota Wild and has been part of their team since. Unfortunately he suffered a pretty serious injury near the end of the regular season but managed to come back to see some postseason action this year before the Wild were eliminated by the Jets.

Received On: 05/02/2018

Here's a return from Islander Johnny Boychuk.
Boychuk was originally drafted by the Colorado Avalanche in the second round of the 2002 NHL Player Draft. After a pretty lengthly and notable minor league career he finally made his NHL debut with Colorado in the 2007-08 season. He was then traded to the Boston Bruins and after toiling in the minors for a bit he finally stuck around with the big league club. In the 2013-14 offseason he was traded to the New York Islanders and has been a serviceable defenseman for the team since.

Received On: 05/04/2018

Here is 16-year NHL veteral, Radim Vrbata.
A native of Czechoslovakia, Vrbata was originally drafted by the Colorado Avalanche in the seventh round of the 1999 NHL Player Draft. Two years later he made his NHL debut with the Avalanche and spent some time with the club before being traded to the Carolina Hurricanes, only to be flipped to the Chicago Blackhawks immediately afterwards. Vrbata's Blackhawks tenure was pretty short and he found himself having a revival year with the Phoenix Coyotes in the 2007-08 season. Vrbata then signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning but only spent about a year with them due to various reasons. Vrbata eventually went back to Phoenix before signing with the Vancouver Canucks in 2014. After that signed with the Coyotes again, and then the Florida Panthers before deciding to end his career after the 2017-18 season. Leaving behind a pretty good career where he holds the record for the most shootout goals in the NHL.

Received On: 05/04/2018

Here's a return from Astros righty Peter Solomon.
Solomon was drafted by the Houston Astros in the fourth round of the 2017 MLB Player Draft. Solomon is armed with a low-90's fastball, a curveball and a slider, and has the potential to be a really effective middle of the rotation starter. Harnessing control of his offerings will be key for his development, but the Astros might have lucked out on potential first round talent in the fourth round last year.

Received On: 05/05/2018

My last return this period came from Daulton Varsho.
Daulton Varsho was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the second round of the 2017 MLB Player Draft. Varsho is a very good hitter with good contact, power and some speed to make himself a threat on the basepaths too. Defensively he's a work in progress catcher but hopes are high that he can stay behind the plate. He's got the arm strength to handle catching duties. Daulton is the son of former big leaguer Gary Varsho and was named after the late Darren Daulton (who was Gary's teammate in the big leagues).

And those were my returns this past period. Big thanks to Mr. Distefano, Bishop, Pulock, Girgensons, Sensley, Cuevas, Wivinis, Ramos, Waddell, Spezza, Severino, Diaz, Johansen, Staal, Friedl, Vlasic, Brodin, Spurgeon, Boychuk, Vrbata, Solomon and Varsho for the awesome autographs.

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

Take care.

2018 TTM Count: 53

Sources:
*https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/d/distebe01.shtml
*https://www.hockey-reference.com/players/b/bishobe01.html
*https://www.hockey-reference.com/players/p/pulocry01.html
*https://www.hockey-reference.com/players/g/girgeze01.html
*http://www.milb.com/player/index.jsp?player_id=642062#/career/R/hitting/2018/ALL
*http://www.milb.com/player/index.jsp?player_id=660663
*http://www.milb.com/player/index.jsp?player_id=607114
*https://baseballdraftreport.com/2016/02/26/2016-mlb-draft-follow-lists-ohio-valley/
*http://www.milb.com/player/index.jsp?player_id=650736#/career/R/pitching/2018/ALL
*https://pinstripedprospects.com/top-75-prospect-profiles-60-daniel-ramos-27934/
*http://www.milb.com/player/index.jsp?player_id=663399#/career/R/pitching/2018/ALL
*https://www.hockey-reference.com/players/s/spezzja01.html
*http://www.milb.com/player/index.jsp?player_id=644429
*http://www.milb.com/player/index.jsp?player_id=666783
*https://www.hockey-reference.com/players/s/staaljo01.html
*http://www.milb.com/player/index.jsp?sid=milb&player_id=670770#/career/R/hitting/2018/ALL
*http://m.mlb.com/prospects/2018/?list=cin
*https://www.hockey-reference.com/players/v/vlasima01.html
*https://www.hockey-reference.com/players/b/brodijo01.html
*https://www.hockey-reference.com/players/s/spurgja01.html
*https://www.hockey-reference.com/players/b/boychjo01.html
*https://www.hockey-reference.com/players/v/vrbatra01.html
*http://www.milb.com/player/index.jsp?sid=milb&player_id=656981
*http://www.milb.com/player/index.jsp?player_id=662139#/career/R/hitting/2018/ALL
*http://m.mlb.com/prospects/2018/?list=ari

2 comments:

  1. Holy huge month! Love the Severino and Sensely! Really good start to the Minors season!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks TLC. I really lucked out thanks to the hockey returns lol.

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