Things got a lot more interesting for the 2023 Triple-A season on Thursday night when Buster Olney of ESPN reported what had been speculated for a while now – every Triple-A team will be using an automated strikezone in 2023. Last season the International League only had one team with the technology in place – Charlotte – but the entire Pacific Coast League had the system in place.

The automated strikezone will be in use, but not at all times. Some games will use the system for all calls, while other games will be called by the umpires and in those games players will be able to challenge a call if they feel the umpire missed it. If a team is correct in their challenge then they don’t lose one of their three challenges per game.

In both of those leagues the data came from Hawkeye, not Trackman. Major League Baseball switched over to Hawkeye from Trackman a few years ago. Many minor league teams kept Trackman in place as it does measure most of the things that Hawkeye does – they just go about it differently. Hawkeye does have some additional things it tracks and some of those things are useful (running, fielder tracking, fielder throws, and all of these things are also synced up to video on the back end). In both the Florida State League and the Pacific Coast League where this has been tested out already, as well as Charlotte, the data was mostly front facing. While not all of the data was readily available to anyone and everyone, the typical stuff you see from Gameday in the big leagues was available.

It’s not impossible that some of the Cincinnati Reds prospects make the big league club out of spring training. But if there are no surprises, then it would seem that the Louisville Bats are almost assuredly going to have Elly De La Cruz, Matt McLain, Christian Encarnacion-Strand, Connor Phillips, Brandon Williamson, Andrew Abbott, Joe Boyle, and Michael Siani among the team’s Top 25 prospects (at some point during the season – not necessarily at the start of the season). Being able to get data on all of their pitches, exit velocities, sprint speeds, arm strength/throws, and more is going to make things a lot more fun to follow along with and at times, analyze.

Spring Training report dates

This is just for guys heading to big league camp, but pitchers and catchers are due to report to Goodyear on February 15th. Position players will show up five days later on February 20th. If a player is going to be participating in this spring’s World Baseball Classic, then they will show up on February 13th or 16th.

About The Author

Doug Gray is the owner and operator of this website and has been running it since 2006 in one variation or another. You can follow him on twitter @dougdirt24, or follow the site on Facebook. and Youtube.

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15 Responses

  1. Optimist

    Are you that confident Boyle, Abbott and Phillips start in AAA? It’s not overly aggressive, but I thought 2 of the 3 may begin in AA, and move up after 6-8 starts if all was OK.

    I’d like it if true since it signals a real plan to feed them into the 26-man, rather than using Louisville as a AAAA team for older marginal talent.

    • Doug Gray

      I didn’t say they’d start there, though I should edit it to say “Louisville will almost assuredly see (insert players here) at some point in 2023” – the only thing I think that would stop any of those guys listed from seeing time in Louisville is if they make the big league club out of spring training and never look back. That seems unlikely in all of the cases – especially since as of right now some of those guys won’t even be in big league camp (though there is precedent that they could get an invite after camp starts and make the team).

      Right now I’d say that unless De La Cruz, Encarnacion-Strand, Williamson, and Siani are all probably slated to start in Triple-A unless something unforeseen happens (in a good or less-good way). You could argue that McLain moves up, too, though I feel less confident about that one.

      • Optimist

        Ooops – reading miscomprehension on my part – the parenthetical. Anyway – barring disaster, agree that they all see time there, and expect the field players to begin there. Is it possible Petty gets there late in the season? Will he start at AA? Seems he’s worth a fast track with structured innings and pitch limits.

  2. LarkinPhillips

    Do we know what Reds players will be playing intge WBC?

    • MBS

      Didn’t I read Diaz will be pitching for Puerto Rico? I haven’t seen anything eles.

      • Doug Gray

        Donovan Benoit is on the Great Britain preliminary roster. Most of the preliminary rosters aren’t public at this point, so as far as I can tell it’s just him and Alexis Diaz with Puerto Rico.

        Daniel Duarte pitched with Mexico in the Olympics two summers ago, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he made their roster. Alejo Lopez might be an option with Mexico, too.

  3. Krozley

    The only one I’ve seen so far is Donovan Benoit pitching for Great Britain. Most rosters have not been set or released.

  4. MBS

    This will be great!, I’d love to see more insight into the prospects tools. EDLC’s speed, and arm are 2 things I’d love to see some data on.

  5. Stock

    Way off topic but Fangraphs came out with their Reds top 46 prospect rankings today. Lots of surprises. Siani makes his top 10 for all you Siani fans. Some interesting inclusions in the top 25

    Interesting ranks:

    Steer and Arroyo are ranked #2 and #3.

    Lyon Richardson, Andrew Moore, Ricky Karcher, Levi Stoudt and Carson Spiers make his top 25

    Daniel Vellojin and Yerlin Confidan make his top 25.

    Rece Hinds, Ariel Almonte, Leonardo Balcazar, Esmith Pineda, Carlos Sanchez and Alex McGarry do not make his top 46

    Jose Acuna and Julian Aguiar do not make his top 46

    This could be a great weekend topic of discussion.

    • Amarillo

      I’m not very enamored with Fangraphs’ prospect evaluation. Their lists are usually pretty wild and off of the concensus. Last year they listed Ashcraft as a single inning reliever and had him in the midteens, and then had Cerda at #5. I don’t understand having both Carlos Jorge in the top 15 and then also not listing Balcazar at all.

      • Tom

        They remind me of baseball prospectus about a decade ago. (Are they still around?) Everyone wants to score the big pick that no one else saw coming so they end up betting big in certain cases. I’m sure it’s more complicated than that and that they have a system they start with that differentiates them, etc etc. I do like Fangraphs and value their write ups more than anything else.

      • Doug Gray

        When Baseball Prospectus sold a few years ago (to many of the people that still write and work there, as opposed to a corporate entity that was a nightmare to deal with) I started reading their stuff more again. I have a few friends that do work over there.

      • Amarillo

        Ha, yes Baseball Prospectus is still around. I have a gift subscription. They make it a point to take cheap shots at the Reds even in articles that aren’t about the Reds. Maybe it’s deserved, but as a reader it’s unpleasant.

        Fangraphs does a lot of good work, I just think their prospect evaluation is the weakest of the notable publication sites.

      • Tom

        I used to subscribe to baseball prospectus, in fact, it’s the only one besides, Doug’s site here that I’ve ever subscribed to. I used to enjoy the Kevin Goldstein and Jason Parks podcast.

        Doug, on your recommendation I will check BP out once again. Fangraphs really has done a great thing for the baseball community with their site and hopefully has grown the market share, as opposed to eat into other competitors too much. I read the roster resource page sometimes daily.

        Looking forward to reading the FG top 46 this weekend to read where their convictions lie with some of the shake ups that Stock mentions.