Diamond Cutter Scouting Report: Kevin Youkilis

July 16, 2009
Kevin Youkilis is the heart and soul of the Sox.

Kevin Youkilis is the heart and soul of the Sox.

Name: Kevin Youkilis | Number: 20
Position: First/Third Base | MLB Debut: May 15, 2004
Bats: Right | Throws: Right | Height: 6-1 | Weight: 220

Scouting Report: Kevin Youkilis has one of the most advanced approaches at the plate in all of baseball. He has a game plan each and every trip to the plate and adjusts it on the fly accordingly depending on how the pitcher is trying to attack him. He will work every count and sit on pitches until he gets what he wants. Youk has superb bat control and uses his hands and wrists a lot in his swing. He is a gap-to-gap hitter and generates most of his power to the alleys. What makes him so valuable is his ability to hit anywhere in the lineup you need him and has a solid glove at first and third base. At both corners he has great instincts and can get to the ball easily and control it with his soft hands. Combines a fantastic baseball mind, hardcore grit and a never-give-up attitude making him one of the game’s elite.


Reinventing Hughes

July 12, 2009
Hughes has pitched his share of big time games (firebrandal/Flickr).

Hughes has pitched his share of big time games (firebrandal/Flickr).

It wasn’t that long ago that Phillip Hughes was one of baseball’s biggest and most highly touted prospects. Not only did he have a stellar track record as an amateur and minor league pro, but he also had an incredible arsenal of pitches at his disposal. He was every organization’s dream.

But after an up-and-down career as a starting pitcher for the New York Yankees, it was becoming more and more difficult for the young right hander to find a spot on the big league club. That was until they Yankees needed a new set-up guy.

There has never been any question that Hughes has the stuff to be a big time major league pitcher. But for some reason he has never been able to grasp the consistency to stick in the Yankees rotation. Here’s a look at how Hughes has broken down as a game has gone on…

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Matthew Whipps is a writer for Baseball Daily Digest. If you would like to contact him via email you can reach him at whipps15[at]gmail.com.


Four Ways to Fix the Mid-Summer Classic

July 6, 2009

What does a guy have to do to get voted in? (Keith Allison/Flickr)

What does a guy have to do to get voted in? (Keith Allison/Flickr)

Now before we begin let me start out by saying I know the All-Star game is an exhibition game. But be that as it may, it’s still kind of a joke. None of the reasoning behind the rules, set-up and outcome makes any sense. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the All-Star game as much as the next guy, but you have to admit it is very flawed.

With that being said, I wanted to take an opportunity to explain the things wrong with the game as well as how to fix them. After all, there’s no sense complaining about something if you aren’t going to bring a reasonable solution to the table. Now I know this is going to sound negative (you should have read my original draft), but it’s not meant to criticize as much as it is to help shine light on its flaws and to work on fixing it. Remember, this is the only All-Star game of the four major sports that players actually care and where there are consequences at stake…

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Matthew Whipps is a writer for Baseball Daily Digest. If you would like to contact him via email you can reach him at whipps15[at]gmail.com.


A Pirates’ Life For Me

July 1, 2009
Beautiful PNC Park needs to hang some new banners (drocpsu/Flickr).

Beautiful PNC Park needs to hang some new banners (drocpsu/Flickr).

Reality can really be a drag at times. Especially when your reality is that of a Pittsburgh Pirates fan. For almost two decades now they have suffered at the hands of mismanagement, cheap ownership and doing whatever they can to pass off a group of Quadruple-A players (some not even that advanced) as a major league ball club.

That’s not what any organization’s fan base deserves. Especially one with as rich a history as Pittsburgh’s.

When Neal Huntington was hired as the 12th Pirates’ general manager in club history following the 2007 season, he brought with him a lot of hope. Hope that he could turn things around for this organization. Hope that he could bring respectability back to a proud city. Hope that he could at least make it so the Bucs weren’t the joke of Major League Baseball. Now that’s some pressure.

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Matthew Whipps is a writer for Baseball Daily Digest. If you would like to contact him via email you can reach him at whipps15[at]gmail.com.