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Bluebird Links and Yunel Escobar Love

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After Yunel's big homerun yesterday, I thought it was time to give him a bit of love, in a similar fashion to what I did for JPA a couple of weeks ago.  FanGraphs isn't a big fan of his D, or his baserunning overall so far this year, but hitting wise, Yunel is among the best in baseball at SS (4th in wRC+) and since he came into the league, he's 6th overall in the league among SS (5th if you don't count Michael Young).  We have one of the best offensive shortstops in baseball right now, let's enjoy Yunel's bat!


Player 2011 wRC+ wRC+ (since 2007)
Hanley Ramirez 72 139
Troy Tulowitzki 111 117
Jose Reyes 151 116
Derek Jeter 83 113
Michael Young 124 110
Yunel Escobar 128 108
Jimmy Rollins 102 105
Jason Bartlett 93 101
Jhonny Peralta 149 100
J. J. Hardy 111 98


Lots of draft related links after the jump.  Any predictions for tonight?

Jays Links

Six Blue Jays Selected as All-Stars
For the Florida State League All-Star Game. Deck McGuire, Nestor Molina, Was Etheridge, AJ Jimenez, Brad Glenn and Justin Jackson all get the nod.

Tar Heel for the Jays?
Bob Elliot writes about tonight's amateur draft.

Picking 21st in MLB draft a ‘crapshoot’ for Jays
Robert Macleod of the Globe also has some notes on the draft.

Zach Stewart Interview, June 2011
I'm not sure if anyone watches these, but I'll keep linking them just in case!

After the contest, I spoke with the 6-foot-2-inch tall 205-pound Stewart, who was acquired from Cincinnati as part of the 2009 Scott Rolen trade, about his ups and downs, his potential to change roles as he advances toward higher levels, his pitches and plenty more.

1BlueJaysWay has another interview, with Henderson Alverez.

An Interview with Darold Knowles, Dunedin Pitching Coach
Batters Box has a great (written) interview, where the Dunedin pitching coach discusses the five Dunedin starting pitchers.

Jays had head start on Jose
Ex Jays scout, Mike Berger remembers how the Bautista trade unfolded. And in a point completely unrelated to the main article:

Roy Halladay has pitched at least six innings in 60 consecutive road starts, the longest streak of six-plus outings on the road since Walter Johnson posted 82 straight from 1911-15

2/5 Farm Report
The Southpaw updates the top performers and disappointments in the minors at the 40% mark.

Patterson settling into No. 2 slot in lineup
Blue Jays left fielder Corey Patterson has found a home batting second in the order. Manager John Farrell has continually kept him in that spot, and Patterson has responded by having one of his finest seasons as a Major Leaguer.

Around the League

AL East Mock Draft
Thanks to Minor League Ball. I don't know any of these guys, but John Sickels seems to like it.

Oakland's Josh Outman Tops List Of Great Pitcher Names
Rob Neyer gives us the top 10 pitcher names in baseball.

2011: The year that evil became stupid?
Chris gives us his annual look at add-on fees to MLB tickets. The Jays have the 5th highest add-on fees of all MLB teams. And in 2007, they had one of the lowest fees in baseball. Interesting stuff.

Posey sure to recover, but thanks to Sabean, Cousins probably won't
Scott Cousins (the guy that hit Posey) has had a rough week - death threats and some bush-league talk from the Giants general manager.

No, we won't call them "The Terribles"
Batter's Box composes a team of players with the name "Ivan", and wonders how they would do in the AL East (okay, it's a slow news day).

If you want passion, start with this roster
Nick Carfado presents the top 25 most passionate people in baseball. One Jay makes the list.