Sunday, September 8, 2013

UConn Has 9 Current Pros, Some of Them Future Stars. UConn Baseball, That Is

This is a basketball blog, obviously, but I'm guessing there are some people who peruse this site who take some interest in the UConn baseball team, as well -- or, at the very least, enjoy hearing about anything good about any UConn sport.

With that in mind, I present my final Minor League Notes column of the summer,which takes a look at the wealth of UConn talent in professional baseball right now -- some of whom are knocking at the door to the bigs and, in a few cases, potential stardom.

No fewer than nine players from the 2010 UConn baseball team are all in the pro ranks right now and all have had at least a small measure of success. It's not out of the question that at least a half-dozen of these kids are in the majors within the next couple of years.

Leading the way, of course, is George Springer. Quite simply, he's had one of the greatest seasons in the history of minor-league baseball. But when his Triple-A season ended the other night, four of his Oklahoma City teammates were promoted to Houston (if being sent to Houston can be called a promotion), but not Springer.

I understand that there are concerns about starting his arbitration clock too early, meaning, in a nutshell, he would be in danger of becoming more expensive, earlier, for the skinflint Astros -- and also possibly hit free agency earlier. I get it. But for a team like Houston, one of the worst teams in the history of the sport, wouldn't it engender some goodwill with its already alienated fanbase to bring the young prospect up for a couple of weeks, let him get a few ABs, get his feet wet, maybe even sell a few -- not a lot, but a few -- extra tickets?

Of course that would make sense. But then, we're talking about a franchise that allegedly is the most profitable in baseball, thanks in large part to a paltry $13 million payroll and the owners pocketing their profits.

Absurd. Send the kid up.



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