MLB.com came out with revamped listings of the top 30 prospects in every major league baseball organization last week.
And 17 seems to be the magic number for Quad-City kids.
Former Rock Island Alleman pitcher Cody Sedlock is now listed as the 17th best prospect in the Baltimore Orioles’ farm system. And Central DeWitt alumnus T.J. Sikkema, who wore uniform No. 17 during his college career at Missouri, debuted at 17th on the New York Yankees’ list.
This bodes well for at least one of them reaching the major leagues, something no one from the Quad-Cities has done since former North Scott athlete Mike Busch took his last swings with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1996.
Sedlock, 24, has split this season between the Class A Frederick Keys and the Double-A Bowie Baysox and has been effective at both places. He is 4-2 with a 2.41 earned-run average and a 1.10 WHIP with 84 strikeouts in 74.2 innings.
Selected 27th overall in the 2016 draft, he has had various arm injuries over the past couple of years, although he has managed to avoid surgery.
A portion of MLB.com’s assessment of Sedlock: "In the absence of his once-powerful stuff, Sedlock has really learned how to pitch, relying on his ability to command his two- and four-seam fastballs to both sides of the plate while effectively changing speeds and eye levels with his secondary pitches. His heater ranges from 90-93 mph, but his long arm action on the backside gives it some natural deception that enables him to miss bats and generate weak contact. His mid-80s slider is the better of his two breaking balls, while his changeup has been his most improved pitch in the wake of his injuries."
Sikkema, 21, was the 38th overall pick in the June draft and has done very well in his first few professional appearances with the Staten Island Yankees of the New York-Penn League. In four games there, he has a 0.84 ERA and a 0.66 WHIP with 13 strikeouts and one walk in 10.2 innings.
"Sikkema's stocky frame and crossfire delivery aren't the prettiest, but his stuff plays up because of the angle and extension he creates and because he's supremely confident," MLB.com reported. "He throws strikes, will go inside against left-handers and right-handers and sequences his pitches well. He had one of the highest floors among college pitchers in the 2019 Draft, projecting as at least a lefty reliever in the Majors with a good chance of becoming a No. 4 starter."
There is a third locally-bred pitcher who has a chance of beating both Sedlock and Sikkema to the majors.
Moline’s Dakota Bacus has had a nice season with the Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies, making the Pacific Coast League All-Star game. He is not rated among Washington’s top 30 prospects, but his 3.63 ERA and nine saves this season could be enough to get him a September call-up with the Nationals.
There is some disagreement over whether or not the Chicago Cubs improved their fortunes with the flurry of deals they made just before the trade deadline last week.
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The website sportsbetting.ag had the Cubs at 16 to 1 to make the World Series at the All-Star break but now has them at 14 to 1. MyTopSportsBooks.com, on the other hand, took them from 12 to 1 up to 13 to 1 after the trades.
Both sites still have the Astros, Dodgers and Yankees far out in front of everyone else as the three best bets to play in the October classic.
In the wake of our story about 10-year-old Leo Ferme inadvertently running the full seven miles in the Quad-City Times Bix 7, we continue to hear tales of other 10-year-olds who did the full race in the past.
This one may be hard to top: Jonny Swarm of Bettendorf not only went the whole way in the 2012 Bix 7, but he did it in 53 minutes, 13 seconds, about an hour faster than Leo did it.
Swarm, now a runner at Bettendorf High School, also ran the Bix as a 9-year-old in 2011.
It seems as though every Midwest-based men’s college basketball team that is taking an overseas trip this summer is going to Italy.
Iowa State is headed over there this weekend to play three games and see the sites in Rome, Florence, Siena and Venice. UNI has already been there earlier this month. So have Illinois, Minnesota and Nebraska. Northwestern is going next week.
The NCAA passed a rule recently stating that in order to be certified by the organization, sports agents must meet a set of criteria. No. 1 on the list is that they must have a bachelor’s degree.
Doesn’t it seem ironic that a guy needs to have a college degree in order to influence some 19-year-old kid not to get one?