Finding the greener (or any) pastures …

by Ben Catley

Ten days before pitchers and catchers report to Diamondbacks Major League Spring Training, and 15 days before the early minor-league arrivals roll into the Salt River complex.

– A handful of former Osprey managed to crack the NL West All-Prospect team, selected by MLB.com. Archie Bradley (2011) was named to the starting pitcher list, while shortstop Chris Owings (2009) earned the nod at shortstop.

– Bradley is No. 2 and Owings is fourth on the D-backs Top 20 Prospect list, also by MLB.com. Also on the list are former Osprey David Holmberg (2010, 7th), Bobby Borchering (2009, 11th), Andrew Chafin (2011, 13th), Anthony Meo (2011, 14th), Charles Brewer (2009, 15th), Adam Eaton (2010, 16th) and Justin Bianco (2011, 19th). Read more about it here.

– Miami Marlins utility player Emilio Bonifacio (2003) became the second player in the organization to win an arbitration hearing earlier this week, and will get quite the raise. The difference between the two sides was, in relative terms of baseball salaries, small … $250,000, to be exact … but the raise for Boni will bump him up from $425,000 to $2.2 million. Stat that did some swaying – Bonifacio led the Marlins with a .296 batting average last season, and stole 40 bases.

– Greg Smith (2005) has found a new home, signing a minor-league contract with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim this week. Smith is 8-18 in the majors with a 4.51 ERA with Oakland and Colorado. Last season, Smith started out in independent ball before getting picked up by the New York Yankees organization, but did not spend any time with the big club.

So get the suntan lotion ready … it’s nearly time for baseball season.

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