Kyle Kendrick’s Fear of a Rainout

With storms descending on southern Ohio, today’s Phillies-Reds game was delayed by rain for nearly an hour and a half, then played to a confusing, numbing standstill as Antonio Bastardo and Aroldis Chapman traded dueling perfect relief in innings (not surprising) to preserve dueling two-hit shutouts by Kyle Kendrick and Homer Bailey (definitely surprising).

Then, with the bottom of the ninth inning set to start and the score tied 0-0, the heavens opened up. This prompted Chris Wheeler to climb down to the field and start building an ark as the umpires called for a rain delay.

It was at this moment that Bailey called Kendrick out to the middle of the field. They sat together on the tarp, and Kendrick, afraid to lose what would almost certainly be his best start of the year, began to talk.
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Death or Glory: Delmon Young

“Delmon’s going to be as good as Delmon wants to be. He can do whatever he puts his mind to do.”
-Anonymous Scout

That was the quote Baseball America used on their website to sum up the prodigious talent of then Tampa Bay Devil Rays prospect, Delmon Young, who ranked as BA’s #1 prospect in all of baseball prior to the 2006 season. Delmon had just finished his 2005 campaign at Triple-A Durham, a level he forced his way to after taking a machete to Southern League (Double-A) pitching to the tune of a .336/.386/.582 line with 20 Hrs and 25 steals in just 370 trips to the plate. At age 19. It was neither the first nor last thing that made us shake our collective heads at Delmon in some form of disbelief.

We know now that Delmon Young did not (well, has not) become the generational player that virtually everyone expected him to become. But has anyone ever stopped to ask those most intimately involved, “why?” It’s a question we probably don’t ask enough in the prospect world because we simply do not have the time or desire to ask. There are always new players to evaluate, new bodies to project, new medicals to acquire and old scars of failure and misfortune we need not reopen by pondering the failures of young athletes which, as scouts, are simultaneously our own. But someone’s got to do it, so it may as well be me. What follows is an examination of one of the most talented baseball players we’ve seen this century and his rapid ascent to mediocrity.

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The Tuesday 10: 4/16/13

A brief aside before I get to the new feature: Yesterday’s events in Boston were obviously horrid, and those in the area could use your help. If you can spare it, you can donate monetarily to the victims through the Red Cross here. Now, back to baseball.

Bill’s begun to introduce you to a neat, concise weekly round-up of the most important plays of the past week with his Week In Review series. As something of a supplement, here’s something a touch more long-form about the week that was around the Phillies and the league at-large, with 10 points that caught our attention.

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