Opening night is Thursday, meaning it’s time to get the schedule of Augusta GreenJackets coverage into gear.
As a short introduction, this is my first season covering the team. My previous baseball experience is blogging since the age of 14, surrounding myself with baseball annuals and digging into sabermetrics. While advanced stats aren’t as ideal in the minor leagues, I will use them on occasion. But I intend to balance analytics with scouting as a way to cover the team from the prospect side of the game, while providing the team coverage you have come to expect.
Thursday – vs. Lexington, 7:05 p.m. (Magnetic schedule giveaway)
Friday – vs. Lexington, 7:05 p.m. (Fireworks Friday)
Saturday – vs. Lexington, 7:05 p.m. (Photo and autograph opportunities)
Sunday – vs. Lexington, 2:05 p.m. (Kids day)
The GreenJackets open the season at home against the Lexington Legends, which is fitting considering the two teams meet 20 times this year, including the first two home series. But a major difference this season is the change in affiliation for the Legends, swapping out the Astros for the Royals.
What this means for Lexington’s on-field success remains to be seen, but for prospect lovers in Augusta, you can’t go wrong with either organization at this level. The Astros are in the midst of a rebuilding phase that includes high draft picks annually. But the Royals have been known as a solid draft team for several years, and they have built a reputation for developing good prospects in their system.
Notable Lexington prospects (Baseball America ranking within Royals system):
OF Bubba Starling (2)
SS Adalberto Mondesi (5)
RHP Miguel Almonte (10)
C Cameron Gallagher (15)
RHP Bryan Brickhouse (17)
SS Humberto Arteaga (20)
OF Fred Ford (23)
LHP Colin Rodgers (25)
RHP Christian Binford (26)
While not all rosters in the SAL have been announced as of this writing, it's safe to assume Lexington's consists of more top 30 system prospects than most, if not all, in the league. The Legends also have a top 100 player in Starling, who is ranked 35th among all prospects in baseball, down from 24th in 2012. Mondesi and Almonte are two potential top 100 guys in the future, as well.
More will be written on Lexington and Augusta's matchup prior to Thursday's game.