Wednesday Newsletter time: Texas Rangers prospect Blaine Crim does something in Puerto Rico that hadn't been done since the 1940s
The first baseman, who has a .314 career minor-league average, finished the winter league regular season batting .406.
Blaine Crim has been on a roll since May, when his first full pro season started at High A Hickory.
He earned a bump to Double A Frisco and did just fine there to end the season.
He then chose to play this winter in Puerto Rico, and he has made history.
The Texas Rangers prospect became the first player born and raised in the United States to win the Puerto Rican Winter League batting crown while batting at least .400 since the 1948-49 season.
The U.S. had only 48 states at the time.
Crim, a first baseman, batted .406 for Mayaguez, which has advanced to the postseason. He posted a league-best 1.046 OPS, in large part due to 12 extra-base hits (three homers) in 101 at-bats.
It’s a small sample, but Crim finished 40 points higher than the runner-up in batting average and the Rangers continue to like what they see from a player who would become their top-ranked first baseman if Dustin Harris sticks in the outfield.
Crim has done nothing but hit since being selected in the 19th round of the 2019 draft (Mississippi College). He batted .300 at Hickory and .288 at Frisco, and has a .314 career minor-league average with 37 home runs in 630 at-bats.
Top prospects lists coming
John Moore and I will be ranking Rangers prospects beginning next week. John is going to go first with his top 20 beginning Monday, five at a time, in part because T.R. Sullivan is going on vacation and won’t have a memoir to share.
This week’s memoir on Kenny Rogers is really good, with Part II to come.
My rankings will follow the next week with my top TBD. I’m weighing between choosing 30 and 50, and I might spread it out to lead up to the beginning of spring training.
Mine will follow the usual prospect rules, meaning a player who still has MLB rookie status qualifies. John, though, disqualifies any player who has appeared in the majors.
So, Sam Huff won’t be on his list but will be on mine.
I compiled the top 30 last year for the annual Baseball America handbook, and that was a tough task. It will be even more difficult this year after the Rangers added more talent and players developed.
Good times are ahead. The stories will be behind the paywall, so go ahead and subscribe for either $5.99 a month or $60 a year.
My Rogers Memoir
I’ve never met Rogers, who T.R. says threatened to kill him, so I’m not sure I’m eager to do it. It might happen at some point as the years pass by.
But I do have Rogers story.
He had just thrown his perfect game in 1994, and days later I was in Las Vegas to gamble despite being 16 months shy of being able to do so legally. I saw a stat on ESPN that said pitchers who throw perfect games don’t fare particularly well their next time out.
So, down I raced to the sportsbook to place a wager. I took the Chicago White Sox to beat the Rangers on Aug. 2. I don’t remember the line or how much I bet, though it wasn’t any more than $20. But I do remember that he didn’t pitch well and I cashed.
It was probably the only bet I won that trip, and probably why I remember it.
In a separate, yet-to-be-released video, this dog pushes a car down a hill just so he can go for a ride. Enjoy. See you Thursday.