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giancarlo stantonIf the Bullets are your first stop in the morning and you weren’t around this weekend, make sure you check out this morning’s catch-up post – you may have missed a lot this weekend.

  • The Home Run Derby is two weeks away from today, and perhaps the most logical and exciting Derby competitor is now confirmed to be participating: Giancarlo Stanton. The most powerful hitter in baseball – and possessor of historically good power, in fact – has never participated in a Derby, so it’ll be a treat to see him in action. Sometimes it’s surprising to see the difference between how a guy’s game power plays differently from his BP/Derby power, but it’s really hard to see Stanton not being a monster. Captain Troy Tulowitzki has three spots left to choose, and none have yet been announced. I mention this because it remains my hope, and Anthony Rizzo’s hope, that the Cubs’ first baseman will be added to the team. I want to see that.
  • John Sickels wrote about Dallas Beeler after watching his start this weekend for the Cubs. He still doesn’t see huge upside for Beeler, but does believe that the added cutter makes it more likely that Beeler could reach his ceiling as an innings-eater at the back of a rotation like Scott Feldman (Sickels’ comparison).
  • Interesting read on Astros prospect Domingo Santana, a 21-year-old outfielder who is ostensibly having success at AAA, but whom the Astros are waiting on calling up. In the piece, GM Jeff Luhnow is candid about what Santana needs to work on, and it’s illuminating stuff. A sample quote: “Often times with young players, especially young Latin players at high levels … it’s more about swing decision,” Luhnow said. “[Santana] actually has the ability to shorten his swing and do some things that help him in that regard. Even at Triple A, scouting reports get more advanced, they just pick at your weaknesses, and chasing is a weakness for a lot of those types of guys.”
  • The best part about reading Luke’s minor league piece today? The fact that it’s nearly impossible to say which Cubs prospect is the hottest right now. Kris Bryant? Kyle Schwarber? Arismendy Alcantara? Albert Almora? Dan Vogelbach? Jacob Hannemann? Depending on how you define it, you could make an argument for any of those guys, and several more. Were I being a negative nelly, I’d point out that the pitching in the system this year has been a disappointment (mostly due to injuries – TINSTAAPP), but there’s still time for some guys to impress in that regard over the next couple months.
  • David Laurila’s Sunday Notes on FanGraphs have become obligatory reading for the inside look they give at at scouting, player development, etc.
  • The Hardball Times with a deep dive on Tommy John surgery impact, recovery times, and velocity implications.

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