May 17, 2009
Shawn O’Malley is the third card in the 2007 Bowman Chrome Prospects set. He was a fifth round pick of the Tampa Bay Rays in 2006. He has moved up a level each year from rookie ball in 2006 to high A ball this year where he is the starting shortstop. His hitting stats show that he has average on-base skills and next to no power with slugging percentages around .300 in his career so far. He is not listed in Tampa’s top 20-30 prospects in John Sickel’s blog (www.minorleagueball.com). Looking on other blogs it looks like the one talent O’Malley has is speed. He stole 28 bases last year but was caught 14 times as well which may mean he needs to learn how to read pitchers. Shawn was the Rays’ 30th best prospect according to Baseball America earlier this year.
For O’Malley to become a major leaguer he is going to have to be an above average fielder and probably will have to show some versatility to become a utility player. If he can learn to cut down on his times caught stealing then someday he may make the majors as a utility player who can also be a pinch runner. He is only 21 so he has time to develop.
May 8, 2009
Our second prospect review is Jason Taylor. Jason was selected in the second round of the 2006 draft by the Royals. He did not play in 2007 because he was suspended by the Royals. He was drafted as a third baseman and played with Burlington of the Midwest League in A ball in 2008. He did put up some decent numbers (.242/.372/.418, 17HR, 40SB). He was moved to first base since he had trouble with third. It sounds like from prospect reports I have read that he is an excellent athlete. Unfortunately he has been suspended for a “drug of abuse” and is missing the first 50 games of this season. He will probably play at high A ball when his suspension is over. It seems like Taylor has the tools and potential to be a major leaguer but two lengthy suspensions means that he has to prove that he has the discipline and is willing to get his life in order to get there.
2 down and a number of prospects to review. Thanks for reading and feedback is welcome.
May 6, 2009
As I’m ready to watch 2008-09 NBA MVP LeBron James and the Cavs take on the Hawks for Game 1 of the second round of the NBA playoffs I am starting a new feature that will look back at the 2007 Bowman Chrome Prospects set and see where these prospects are now. We start with a pretty cool story with Cooper Brannon.
Brannon was a US Marine who lost his pinkie finger of his non-pitching (left) hand on his second tour of duty in Iraq. According to the back of the above card Brannon was signed by the Padres after he met Sandy Alderson at a radio show. He pitched 26 innings for the rookie Arizona League AZL Padres and did not have very impressive numbers which is understandable since he was never drafted and hadn’t played baseball since high school in 2003. He pitched with the Eugene Emeralds in short season A ball last year and pitched 21 innings, again without impressive numbers.
I have to work on my research. I’m not sure if Brannon is going to be pitching in 2009. He is not on San Diego’s full season A team’s roster. He may play in Eugene again this year but short season A ball doesn’t start until June. I will keep an eye on the short season rosters to see if Brannon plays professional baseball this year. It doesn’t look like Brannon will ever play major league ball but he is a heck of a story and I hope he has enjoyed playing professional baseball if he is done.
What a start! The beauty of going through cards, especially cards from a while ago is that you find out about stories like this. Hopefully the rest of the prospects have something interesting to say about each player.
Thanks for reading.