John Sickels

  • joined Mar 18, 2008
  • last login Jul 29, 2014
  • posts 7218
  • comments 18024

John began his baseball career working as Bill James research assistant from 1993 through 1996. He worked as ESPN.com's Minor League Baseball Analyst from 1996 until 2005, when he joined SB Nation. He is senior editor and writer for MinorLeagueBall.com, SB Nation's site for all things related to baseball prospects and the minor leagues.

John was born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa. He graduated from Northwest Missouri State University in 1990 with a BA in History and Philosophy. He earned an MA in European History from the University of Kansas in 1993, and did PhD study in British History at KU from 1993 through 1996.

John has written 22 books. He lives in Lawrence, KS, with his wife Jeri and his sons Nicholas and Jackson.

Baseball Publications:

STATS Minor League Scouting Notebook, 1996-2002
The Baseball Prospect Book 2003-2013
Bob Feller: Ace of the Greatest Generation (Potomac Books, 2004)

Non-Baseball Publications:
GURPS Romulans (2005)
GURPS Federation (2011)

A Fan Of...

  • MLB Minnesota Twins
User Blog

Astros first-rounder Brady Aiken has elbow problem


Jon Heyman of CBS Sports is reporting that 2014 Houston Astros first-round pick Brady Aiken has an elbow problem, delaying his contract agreement.

Cards, Cubs take different farm approaches


Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch points out that the Cardinals and Cubs have adopted different approaches to building their farm systems. Which do you prefer?

Twins OF prospects Byron Buxton, Nate Roberts back


Minnesota Twins outfield prospect Byron Buxton, rated as the top prospect in baseball pre-season, has returned to action in High-A after season-long wrist problems. Teammate Nate Roberts, another...

Cubs OF Jorge Soler returns to action in Double-A


Chicago Cubs outfield prospect Jorge Soler returns to action in Double-A with a home run.

Dbacks send Thatcher to Angels for prospects


The Arizona Diamondbacks sent pitcher Joe Thatcher and outfielder Tony Campana to the Los Angeles Angels today for a pair of prospects, outfielder Zach Borenstein and pitcher Joey Krehbiel.

Cubs trade Samardzija, Hammel to A's for prospects


The Chicago Cubs traded starters Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the Oakland Athletics for shortstop prospect Addison Russell, outfield prospect Billy McKinney, and pitcher Dan Straily. Here's...

Hessman sets International League home run record


Toledo Mudhens slugger Mike Hessman set the all-time International League home run record this week. He's spent half his life playing professional baseball and now has 404 career home runs, 259 in...


Shadow Twins 2014 International Class

Here are the players signed by the Shadow Twins. The bonus pool is 3,686,000. I intend to stick within the budget. Using the same rules I used in 2012 and 2013, if I want a player signed in real...

Billy Hamilton, Jose Abreu: Rookies of the Month


Billy Hamilton of the Cincinnati Reds and Jose Abreu of the Chicago White Sox were named Rookies of the Month for June by MLB.

Top International bonuses through 2009


Here's a list of seven-figure international amateur bonuses through 2009. You have Miguel Cabrera and . . .

Cubs prospect Kyle Hendricks wins without big MPH


Dallas Beeler got his opportunity. Will Kyle Hendricks get his?

2014 MLB International Signing Day


We'll keep track of all the top international signings today right here.

Houston Astros promote Domingo Santana to majors


The Houston Astros promoted top outfield prospect Domingo Santana to the major leagues this afternoon.

Giants prospect Edwin Escobar: up-and-down in AAA


San Francisco Giants pitching prospect Edwin Escobar has had mixed results for Triple-A Fresno but is still an intriguing prospect.

Prospect of the Day: Taijuan Walker, RHP, Mariners


Seattle Mariners rookie right-hander Taijuan Walker made his first big league start of 2014 on Monday night.

Royals promote Christian Colon to major leagues


Pretend he wasn't a first-round pick and he looks a lot more like a nice sleeper prospect.

White Sox rookie Jake Petricka: future closer?


With the White Sox trying to find a stable closer, rookie Jake Petricka has an opportunity.

Ben Lively making Double-A transition for Reds


He's had some command issues in his first two starts, but is maintaining a strong strikeout rate.

Prospect of the Day: Mookie Betts, INF-OF, Red Sox


Mookie Betts finishes his incredible rise to the major leagues.

Who is Dallas Beeler?


The Chicago Cubs rookie threw six strong innings in his major league debut on Saturday. Where did he come from?

Padres turn to Cuban RHP Odrisamer Despaigne


27-year-old Cuban right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne of the San Diego Padres takes the mound in his second major league start today,

Prospect Retrospective: Scott Kazmir, LHP, A's


Scott Kazmir was once one of the top pitching prospects in baseball. He's had an up-down-back-up career, but ranks well compared to pitchers that he was similar to back in 2006.

Cincinnati Reds sign Cuban pitcher Raisel Iglesias


The Reds have signed Cuban 24-year-old Cuban right-hander Raisel Iglesias to a seven-year contract.

Prospect Retrospective: Jeff Samardzija, RHP, Cubs


Trade rumors have been swirling about Chicago Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija. His development as a prospect was unusual, to say the least, but demonstrates why teams don't like to give up on live arms.

Astros prospect Kyle Smith makes transition to AA


Houston Astros right-handed pitching prospect Kyle Smith is making a successful transition to the Double-A Texas League, pitching well for the Corpus Christi Hooks.

Prospect of the Day: Joc Pederson, OF, Dodgers


Currently sidelined with a shoulder separation, Joc Pederson has little left to prove in the minors once he returns to health.

Prospect of the Day: Marco Gonzales, LHP, Cards


Completing a one-year rise from college to the majors, the St. Louis Cardinals rookie had to make his big league debut in Coors Field. There were some rough moments, but his potential is clear.

2014 MLB Futures Game roster review: United States


Here's a summary of the 2014 MLB Futures Game United States roster.

2014 Futures Game roster review:International Team


Here's a look at the International roster for the 2014 MLB Futures Game.

Sorry, Emmert, the minors aren't minor league

On the witness stand in the O'Bannon case, NCAA president Mark Emmert says minor leagues in the United States aren't successful or supported by fans. Forty-one million people disagree.

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