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The first-place Milwaukee Brewers have been an unexpected surprise this season, and the same goes for the team’s second baseman, Scooter Gennett.

Scooter, whose real name is Ryan Joseph Gennett, is in the midst of an under-the-radar breakout season, as he currently leads all National League second basemen with at least 320 plate appearances in batting average (.301), slugging percentage (.475) and OPS (.813).

Gennett’s combined success between the last two seasons has him pegged as the Brewers’ long-term second baseman, especially with Rickie Weeks set to leave as a free agent after the season. He’s still relatively young, at 24, and has room to improve, but the early return on Gennett’s brief career suggests he’s for real.

Overall, the left-handed-hitting Gennett has now played 160 games since arriving in the major leagues last year, which is essentially a complete season.

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When it rains, it pours. At least that seems to be the case right now for the San Francisco Giants.

After getting swept over the weekend by the Dodgers, the Giants’ struggles deepened Monday when Pirates right-hander Vance Worley allowed just four hits en route to the first complete-game shutout of his career. The Pirates won the contest 5-0.

Giants ace Madison Bumgarner was unable to lift the team from its current funk, as he struggled from the onset of the game, throwing 42 pitches in a four-run first inning. The left-hander lasted only four innings, allowing five runs on six hits to go along with a pair of strikeouts and walks.

Bumgarner discussed his rough outing following the game, via The Associated Press on SFGate.com:

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With the 2014 trade deadline set to expire Thursday at 4 p.m. ET, teams are busily exploring the market with the hope of adding the final piece needed for a run at the postseason.

While several teams have been active on the trade front so far, there will likely be a flurry of deals that transpire over the coming week. However, only a few organizations have the prospects and overall organizational depth needed to make an impact trade.

That said, with so many teams still in the mix for a playoff berth this season, it’s a safe bet that more prospect-based trades will take place in the coming days.

So, in anticipation of the July 31 trade deadline, here’s a look a baseball’s top 10 prospect trade chips for the week ahead.

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The 2014 Baseball Hall of Fame class will be inducted Sunday, with the ceremony beginning at 1:30 p.m. ET and airing live from Cooperstown on MLB Network and MLB.com. 

After zero players were elected in 2013, this year’s Hall of Fame class features three first-ballot selections in Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas as well as legendary managers Joe Torre, Bobby Cox and Tony La Russa.

Meanwhile, the 2015 class is expected to produce at least two more first-ballot Hall of Famers in Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez, and there’s a good chance we begin to see holdovers from previous years such as Craig Biggio, Mike Piazza and Jeff Bagwell finally receive the recognition they deserve.

Beyond that, almost every class through 2019 has at least one first-ballot lock, whether it be Ken Griffey Jr. (2016), Chipper Jones (2018) or Mariano Rivera (2019).

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Parity has been the story of the 2014 season.

With a little more than two months remaining in the regular season, the Detroit Tigers are the only team with a division lead of more than three games, as they currently hold a seven-game advantage over the Kansas City Royals in the American League Central.

Elsewhere in the AL, the Orioles have a three-game lead over the Yankees and Blue Jays in the East, while the A’s sit three games ahead of the Angels in the West. In the National League, the Dodgers and Nationals lead the East and West by 1.5 games, respectively, and the Brewers are three games up on the Pirates and Cardinals in the Central.

Overall, 15 teams have at least a 21 percent chance of reaching the playoffs, according to Baseball Prospectus’ postseason probabilities, via MLB.com.

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The Detroit Tigers and Los Angeles Angels met in the first of a four-game series Thursday night, a series we may very well see again in October.

The game itself had a playoff atmosphere, with defending Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer starting for the Tigers and All-Star snub Garrett Richards for the Angels, and superstars Miguel Cabrera and Mike Trout playing on the same field.

However, based on the outcome, the Angels can’t be too excited about the prospects of facing Scherzer and the Tigers again in the postseason.

Though he wasn’t at his best, Scherzer still stole the show Thursday night as the right-hander struck out 11 batters over seven innings and powered the Tigers to a 6-4 win.


The 2014 season has seen a number of notable prospects receive call-ups to the major leagues. Undoubtedly, there are more to comeand soon.

Highly regarded youngsters like George Springer (currently on the disabled list), Marcus Stroman, Jonathan Singleton, Gregory Polanco and Ken Giles have been seeing regular run for their respective clubs for quite some time now. Others like Oscar Taveras, Taijuan Walker and Kevin Gausman (no longer prospect-eligible) have been shuttling up and down between the minors and majors.

With a week to go until the July 31 trade deadline, there should be plenty of promotions of prime prospects as the wheeling and dealing opens up 25-man roster spots on teams that are selling and building for the future.

Meanwhile, contenders are finding ways to fit youngsters into the mix to help down the stretch. That's the story in Toronto, where the Blue Jays have called up Aaron Sanchez, according to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet. Normally a starter, the 21-year-old right-hander will try to provide a boost out of the bullpen and looked great in his first appearance Wednesday, throwing two perfect innings of relief.

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With the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline just around the corner, the next week has the potential to either make or break the season for some teams.

Two major deals have transpired since Friday, with the Los Angeles Angels acquiring Huston Street from the San Diego Padres over the weekend and the Detroit Tigers trading for the Rangers' Joakim Soria on Wednesday night, per USA Today's Scott Boeck

In return for the proven closers, both the Padres and Rangers received a loaded prospect package featuring some of the best young talent from the Angels' and Tigers' systems, respectively. 

More importantly, both of the aforementioned trades can be viewed as a "win" for all teams involved, as they fit each organization's short- or long-term timelines.


Though the 2014-15 international signing period began earlier this month, July 2, most teams have already locked up the best players in this year’s class.

As I detailed in a previous article, the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox are already considered the big winners this year, as both teams blew past their allotted international bonus pools so as to procure a variety of high-end prospects. 

However, after looking at each team’s international class for the current period, today we’ll be breaking down some of the top individual player signings by issuing grades based on the strengths of those signings.

The grade for each signing is based on the player’s pre-signing period ranking (as determined by Baseball America, Scout.com and MLB.com), his reported signing bonus and his potential long-term impact with his new organization.


We’re now entering the final stretch of the minor league season, and countless prospects continue to open eyes with their performances at each of the four full-season levels. And with the rookie and short-season leagues underway, we have even more prospects to break down each week.

With teams in full-season leagues having played over 100 games since Opening Day on April 3—most starting pitchers have made anywhere from 15 to 20 starts, while everyday players have amassed 400-plus plate appearances—we no longer have to worry about misleading, small sample sizes.

As we did in the series’ previous installments, this week’s list of players once again combines reports on both hitters and pitchers in the same article. However, we’ll only be looking at just the hottest players because, well, there are a lot of them, and they’re all worth mentioning.

Here are the hottest players at every minor league level.