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The Upper Deck

Welcome to The Upper Deck, Baseball America’s daily look at the biggest stories around the game and some lighter fare.


In his second big league game—and a day after Boston traded for Eduardo Nunez—Rafael Devers hit his first big league homer Wednesday against the Mariners in a 4-0 win. Devers, just 20, is known for his bat, with plus power potential. He ranked as the No. 6 prospect in our midseason Top 100.


The hiring of a new coach always leads to turnover and that is the case in South Carolina, The State newspaper reported Wednesday. Six players are leaving the Gamecocks program before Mark Kingston coaches a game, including redshirt freshman first baseman Joey Polak, who ranked No. 435 on the BA 500 in 2016. The others departing are senior catcher John Jones, senior righthander Brandon Murray and redshirt freshman lefthander Jonathan Jahn, as well as two players who sat out 2017: sophomore pitcher Kyle Anderson and redshirt freshman pitcher Josh Gregory. Chad Holbrook resigned after the season, despite going 200-106 in five seasons in South Carolina.


Phillies No. 6 prospect J.P. Crawford added to a blazing July with the first inside-the-park grand slam in Triple-A Lehigh Valley's history in an 8-2 win over Gwinnett (Braves). Crawford is hitting .301/.396/.675 this month after hitting just .211/.328/.330 in the first half.


If this truly was Yu Darvish's last start for the Rangers—he could be traded before Monday's non-waiver deadline—it could not have gone worse.

Darvish allowed a career-high 10 runs in a 22-10 loss to Marlins on Wednesday night. Darvish is a free agent after the season, thus Texas' apparent willigness to at least listen to proposals. His ERA in his past five starts is 7.20, although overall he is 6-9, 4.01 with his usual excellent strikeout-to-walk numbers.


Nick Madrigal Danielshirleygetty

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Adrian Beltre, who by the way is now just four hits from 3,000 in a Hall of Fame career, had something happen to him Wednesday that has never happened before. Beltre was ejected during Texas' loss to the Marlins, not for arguing a strike call, but for moving the on-deck circle. Umpire Gerry Davis saw Beltre standing outside the on-deck circle—which is Beltre's wont—so he told Beltre to get back in the on-deck circle. So Beltre moved the circle—actually a mat with the Rangers' logo on it—a few feet to where he was standing. So Davis ejected Beltre, and hilarity ensued.

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