Welcome to Football Friday (Season Two). The wildly popular weekly column has returned for a second year of diving into the theories, analysis, and fun of baseball. Every week we here at Football Friday will use all of our integrity and other things that sound impressive to deliver the best baseball column you’ve ever seen or ever will see. We at Football Friday, Inc are honest, truthful, and most of all we’re serious journalists. Every single one of us.
Every Spring, Major League Baseball moves south to Arizona and Florida for six weeks to practice and prepare for games as well as profiteer off all of us lovely people charging near regular season prices for practice games in 80 degree heat. It’s great!
For the second straight year, Football Friday got a chance to attend Spring Training, but for the first time the Rockies allowed Football Friday behind the gates into the training facility.
I wasn’t allowed to take photos inside the facility (I didn’t ask but when I tried to snapchat I got a stern look), but I will describe to you how the entire trip went in great detail.
I was led into the facility by several armed guards, each bigger than the last and the smallest was the size of Dwayne Johnson. Once inside, I was questioned for over an hour on my intentions and if I was a spy sent by Troy Tulowitzki. I declined vehemently, I was just a simple reporter from Purple Row. They allowed me to pass, thankfully, after several attempts to break me.
I’m just kidding.
It was an amazing facility. I accidentally bumped into Bud Black and he said, “excuse me” and I said “sorry” and he said “alright.”
Jeff Bridich walked by me. Nolan Arenado walked by me. This guy carrying four barrels of baseballs walked by me. All superstars in their own way! It was amazing.
Anyway, that’s my story of how I used my credential! That’s all I did!
Again, jokes! This is a comedy column! Get used to those! Haha! We have fun here.
My time in Spring Training was split between scouting using the Connor Specific Scouting System (TM) from last season and meeting with players to talk about their favorite foods.
Fortunately, the Rockies let me meet with every cool player in camp. Unfortunately, the only cool players in camp are Ryan McMahon and Dillon Thomas. Before I get into scouting players, I would like to introduce my interviews with both of these players.
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Football Friday Interviews Real Baseball Players
A new, exciting opportunity has been added to the Football Friday content schedule. I’m now able to interview actual baseball players. This week, I was able to very briefly talk to Dillon Thomas and Ryan McMahon at the Rockies spring facility.
I am uploading these interviews to YouTube to prove that they are real. But first, I want to discuss a couple highlights of the interviews with Dillon and Ryan.
The first thing I want to discuss is Ryan’s insane, absolutely preposterous order at Chipotle.
Ryan, when queried for his favorite burrito order, said he eats a “QUESARITO with double steak, double cheese, and double guacamole”.
This is insane how does this work, this seems like a burrito they have to bring in on a crane and lower onto the table. When McMahon walks into Chipotle they have to call an extraction team to come in and lift this burrito onto an extra sturdy table.
I tried to look up the calorie count for this monstrosity and my computer just locked up and printed out a page that said “you’re going to die at 38.”
I fail to believe Ryan McMahon has eaten more than three of these in his life but what do I know? I clearly don’t know Ryan McMahon.
Beyond burritos and McMahon, I talked to Dillon Thomas about his new life as a father.
Dillon, if you didn’t know, had a daughter this past winter with his girlfriend. Now that he’s a father I think I have a really good idea for the Rockies.
We need to sign Dillon Thomas’ daughter as soon as possible.
Look, Dillon isn’t the only elite athlete in his own family, his sister is an outstanding softball player at the University of Washington. This is just smart planning strategy. Dillon’s generation was athletic as all get out, there’s no chance his daughter isn’t an elite baseball player. By that point, women will definitely be in baseball and there won’t be a better woman to sign than Dillon Thomas’ daughter.
Anyway, I only want a finders fee of 10% of the total revenue she drives to the organization so whenever you want to set it up Rockies, I’m your man.
Look for these interviews on YouTube, I won’t be shy about sharing them. You’ll see them. I’m a real journalist now.
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The Connor Specific Scouting System
Last year, Football Friday debuted it’s premiere Connor Specific Scouting System. The system attempted to find the gems, the rubies, and just the good old fashioned rocks of the minor league system for the boys in Colorado. A refresher on what the system looks like is below:
If the player is listed under GOOD that means I think they will be good. If they are listed under I THINK SO it means they may not be widely recognized but I think they’ll be good and it’s my system so that’s what matters. If they’re listed under MAYBE? it means I don’t think they’ll be good, but I don’t really know anything, how could I know? So maybe they’ll be good? I don’t want to say definite either way what will happen, I’m not that smart.
During my time in Phoenix I was able to watch a lot of players play including Josh Fuentes, Vince Fernandez, and I even got a few tosses in at the cages that were open to fans. I didn’t receive a contract so I think I’m firmly in the MAYBE? category.
Player #1: Vince Fernandez
Vince Fernandez was a 2016 10th round pick and spent his season in Grand Junction last year. Vince hit .310 in GJ with five home runs and 31 RBI. His Pioneer League stats were good, but for a college draftee you’d hope his 2017 is breakout and quick moving if he’s going to make an impact in the major leagues.
I saw Vince briefly in Surprise playing against the Rangers, he slapped a base hit up the middle and scored a run. It was pretty good, he took some good swings and had a good at bat. I liked the way he moved in the box and his speed to home. Overall, will Vince Fernandez be good? I THINK SO.
Player #2: Manuel Melendez
Manuel Melendez is a 20 year old Venezuelan who made his American minor league debut last season in Grand Junction. He hit .294 with seven home runs in Grand Junction but most importantly he stole 24 bases in 60 games. Melendez is a speedster with real major league wheels. He pinch ran twice while I was in Phoenix and both times I was surprised by his speed.
The 20-year-old outfielder is years away from impacting the major leagues, but his speed was promising and if his bat comes along with it, watch out.
Will Melendez be good? I THINK SO
Player #3: Antonio Senzatela
Antonio Senzatela is one of the hottest names in the Rockies farm system right now. The 22-year-old right handed pitcher is one of the names in the mix for the opening day rotation and that is because of his electric stuff and outstanding control. Senzatela has rocketed through the minors and may break major league camp on the 25-man roster with only seven starts in AA.
When I saw him, he was extremely hittable. The Indians ran their major league lineup out there and Senza’s stuff wasn’t missing their bats much at all. He got two strike outs and allowed one home run which is +1 in my book (that’s math). Senza’s velocity was fine and he pounded the zone well, but it wasn’t missing bats. Missing bats is vital to pitching well, in my opinion. Bats are what hit the ball, if they hit the ball you are leaving it up to chance that it turns into an out. But if they miss the bat, baby, that’s what I’m talking about!
The stuff I saw from Senza was good, the results weren’t great, but the process was. I rank Senzatela as GOOD. But on the line from I THINK SO due to the fact that this is still my opinion.
Player #4: Me
While I was at Goodyear, they had a little game area where you could throw some pitches and I grab the ol’ balls and decided to show off my cannon.
Well, my first pitch hit the dirt in the front of the plate, but my next three throws were right into the glove for a perfect strike. I wasn’t offered a contract or even scouted so I’m just going to put myself down as a solid MAYBE? I think that’s fair
By 2030 I hope to have scouted the entire Rockies minor league system.
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The Good Tweet of the Week
This week’s good tweet comes from Dan Lucero, Rockies Twitter Icon and Radio guy.
When the 'Heaven's Gate Night' promotion at the ballpark goes too far pic.twitter.com/WZMql5Tlpq— Dan Lucero (@danluceroshow) March 30, 2017
That is a good tweet, man.
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Until next week.