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November 19, 2012

BP Unfiltered

Daily Draft Video: Jan Alexis Hernandez

Daily exclusive video series designed to familiarize you with the names you need to know leading up to the 2013 amateur draft.


BP Announcements

Baseball Prospectus Welcomes Zachary Levine, Incorporates MLBDepthCharts.com

BP adds an accomplished author and a valuable resource.

I enjoy announcing additions much more than I do dealing with departures, so I'm thrilled to have only two exciting additions to announce today:

  • Starting November 27th, Zachary Levine will be writing regularly for Baseball Prospectus. Here's his origin story:
    Zachary Levine comes to BP off three years covering the Astros for the Houston Chronicle, including the last two on a full-time basis, giving him a nice view of most of the 111 wins and 213 losses. When the annual trips to the highly underrated NL Central ports of Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, and Cincinnati were snatched away in favor of the AL West's suburban hellscapes, he took shelter as BP's newest hire for major-league coverage. You can also follow him on Twitter @zacharylevine.

    Before joining the Chronicle, Zachary was at the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated in 2007 with a degree in mathematics. He currently maintains a fairly nomadic existence concentrated in Albany, N.Y., Houston, and maybe your couch.

    He is left-handed.
  • Jason Martinez, whom you already know from his work with the Minor League Update, will be expanding his role with Baseball Prospectus by bringing all the functionality from his website, MLBDepthCharts.com, to BP in January 2013. I asked Jason to write a few words about the move:

    In case you're not familiar with MLBDepthCharts.com, let me take a minute to explain the concept. I launched the site in February 2009 with the intention of showing readers what each team’s projected roster looked like “on paper,” as well as a snapshot of each organization's farm system. It has become an important resource for baseball fans, fantasy baseball enthusiasts, journalists, scouts, and front office executives. The move to Baseball Prospectus makes MLBDC even more user-friendly, since the statistics and analysis available at BP will be only one click away, helping readers make sense of the non-stop stream of roster moves and transactions. Other MLBDC staples, including the “How Assembled” charts, Tommy John surgery tracker, Designated for Assignment tracker, and regular features such as “Knocking Down the Door” and “Under the Radar” will all continue to be accessible through the MLBDC-related pages.


BP Daily Podcast

Effectively Wild Episode 85: Manny Acta and the Blue Jays' Managerial Job

Ben and Sam discuss whether Manny Acta's lousy career win-loss record has any bearing on his likelihood of success if he becomes the Blue Jays' manager.

Ben and Sam discuss whether Manny Acta's lousy career win-loss record has any bearing on his likelihood of success if he becomes the Blue Jays' manager.

Episode 85: "Manny Acta and the Blue Jays' Managerial Job"


Minor League Update

Games of November 16-18

Notes from the weekend games in the DWL, VWL, PRBL, WBC, and AFL.

There were plenty of standouts in Saturday's Arizona Fall League Championship and I've already wrote about most of them since I started on the Minor League Update a few weeks back. Rymer Liriano, Nate Roberts, and Mike Zunino each had three hits for Peoria, who beat Salt River 4-3 to win the AFL title. Instead of writing about them again, do yourself a favor and scroll down the Twitter timeline of former big league scout Bernie Pleskoff, who was tweeting lots of informative scouting notes during the game and throughout the entire season.

Here are some of my notes from the Caribbean Winter Leagues and even a few on some prospects playing in the World Baseball Classic.

  • Cheslor Cuthbert, 3B, Royals (Nicaragua-WBC): 4-for-8, HR (1), 2B, RBI. His team was eliminated from the World Baseball Championship after losses to Panama and Colombia, but Cuthbert had a pair of hits in each game, including a homer on his 20th birthday on Friday. A return to Hi-A, where he struggled as a 19 year-old, is very likely to start the 2013 season.
  • Jae-Hoon Ha, OF, Cubs (Aragua-VWL): 3-for-9, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 K, 2 SB (6). The 22 year-old out of South Korea has solid skills across the board, although he profiles as a big league reserve. He has just 26 home runs in four minor league seasons since signing with the Cubs in 2009 but I did witness Ha hitting an impressive opposite field home run in the Futures Game off Pirates prospect Gerrit Cole.  
  • Sugar Ray Marimon, RHP, Royals (Colombia-WBC): 5 IP, ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 4 K. The 24 year-old pitched his team to victory on Friday against Nicaragua before Colombia was knocked out when they lost on Saturday and Sunday. Marimon allowed just one run on a solo homer to Royals teammate Cuthbert. 
  • Jenrry Mejia, RHP, Mets (Licey-DWL): 5 IP, ER, 3 H, BB, 4 K. Is he a reliever or a starter long-term? The Mets will have to cross that bridge at some point. Whether they sign R.A. Dickey long-term could have some effect whether Mejia has a chance to be part of a future rotation that would include Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler. It wouldn't surprise me one bit, though, if he's closing out games for them in 2014. As of now, he's a starter for los Tigres del Licey in the DWL, where he has a 2.65 ERA in 17 innings pitched over four starts. 
  • Francisco Peguero, OF, Giants (Cibao-DWL): 4-for-7, 3 2B, 2 RBI, BB, K, SB (1). After an exciting end of the season spent with the eventual World Champion Giants, though not on the playoff roster, Peguero finally joined los Gigantes del Cibao on Friday. That San Francisco Giants magic apparently hasn't worn off as the 24 year-old had three doubles, a single, and a walk in eight plate appearances. 
  • Yasiel Puig, OF, Dodgers (Mayaguez-PRBL): 2-for-8, HR (1), 2 RBI, 3 K, SB (1). Puig didn't waste any time showing off his speed and power, homering and stealing a base in his PRBL debut on Saturday. The 21 year-old Cuban, who signed a seven-year, $42 million major league with the Dodgers in late June, could be on the fast track to the big leagues. He'll run into a roadblock, however, with outfielders Carl CrawfordAndre Ethier, and Matt Kemp all signed to long-term deals.
  • Bruce Rondon, RHP, Tigers (Magallanes-VWL) IP, 0 R, H, BB, K, Sv (4). Reportedly a candidate for the Tigers' closing job in 2013, Rondon now has his 2012 save total up to 33 between the VWL, Triple-A, Double-A, and Hi-A. The 21 year-old has had control problems throughout his career but has shown much improvement this year. With a fastball that can reach triple digits, he's a very uncomfortable at-bat for hitters, as evidenced by their .172 batting average against him in 2012.
  • Sandy Rosario, RHP, Red Sox (Cibao-DWL) IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 3 K. He'll be competing for a spot in the Red Sox bullpen next spring after they claimed him off waivers from the Marlins in October. It's not too early to make a good impression, though. The 27 year-old, who had a 1.04 ERA with two walks and 24 strikeouts in 26 innings for Triple-A New Orleans in 2012, struck out the side in a 1-2-3 7th inning on Saturday. 
  • Darin Ruf, 1B/OF, Phillies (La Guaira-VWL): 4-for-12, HR (11), 2 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K. The man they call "Babe" Ruf after he hit 41 homers in 2012 (38 in Double-A, 3 in MLB) continues to mash down in the Venzuelan Winter League. The 26 year-old has now rounded the bases 52 times on the year after he hit his 11th homer on Sunday. His RBI total is now up to 28 in 33 games. 


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November 18, 2012

BP Announcements

Kansas City Royals Job Posting - Systems Architect

Kansas City Royals looking for Systems Architect, Baseball Analytics

The Kansas City Royals are looking to hire a Systems Architect for their Baseball Analytics department. You can apply for the position by going to Team Work online. A copy of the job description is below. Let the Royals know you read about the opening at Baseball Prospectus.

The Kansas City Royals Baseball Club is seeking a highly motivated data architect and systems developer to deliver analytics solutions to both baseball and business operations. While primarily working with baseball operations, this individual will also support projects for broader business operations. The ideal applicant will be able to manage multiple concurrent projects that expand the overall Royals’ information architecture and analytics capabilities.


  • Develop interfaces, data imports, and/or other ETL processes for identified data sources
  • Apply database design and warehousing best practices to enterprise environment
  • Support gathering and implementing data definitions and relationships, analytics requirements and reporting needs from the organization
  • Develop organizational collaboration and information delivery tools
  • Manage data lifecycle based on retention and storage requirements
  • Ensure jobs and processes execute successfully, and ensure accuracy of data
  • Understand data and be able to explain data structures and relationships to other members of baseball and business operations
  • Ensure that systems and solutions are in line with organizational objectives
  • Interface with analysts and staff on creation of optimal data structure for analytical purposes
  • Other related duties as assigned


  • 4 year degree or equivalent experience is required. Specialized training or certifications are a plus
  • Ability to work evening, weekend, and holiday hours during the baseball season is a must
  • Excellent interpersonal and communications skills and ability to interact and work with staff at all levels
  • Ability to recognize and maintain confidentiality of work materials and issues as appropriate
  • Experience with the following tools, platforms and business data:

                     o SQL server 2005 or newer – required (SQL server 2008 preferred)
                     o SSIS ETL development - required
                     o Ruby on Rails, AJAX, HTML5 or equivalent technologies - required
                     o Development of portable platforms (PC, mobile) - required
                     o Statistical performance data – preferred
                     o Business intelligence experience is a plus
                     o Baseball knowledge and exposure to baseball statistics is a plus


BP Unfiltered

Daily Draft Video: Weekend Flashback (Story vs Dahl)

Daily Draft Video Weekend Flashback gives you an exclusive look at some of today's top prospects before they were pros.

Trevor Story and David Dahl were the top two prospects in this year's Colorado Rockies Top 10 Prospects here at Baseball Prospectus. This Sunday's Draft Video Flashback gives you a glimpse of what the Rockies saw prior to drafting these high-ceilinged talents.


November 17, 2012

BP Unfiltered

Daily Draft Video: Weekend Flashback (Almora vs Baez)

Daily Draft Video Weekend Flashback takes a look at today's top prospects before they were pros.

Albert Almora and Javier Baez were the top two prospects in this year's Chicago Cubs Top 10 Prospects here at Baseball Prospectus. This weekend's Draft Video Flashback features these former FTB Mizuno/Cardinals Scout stars in pre-draft action.


November 16, 2012

BP Unfiltered

Why Mike Trout Matters

The argument over the AL MVP isn't a pointless squabble.

I suppose that we ought to be used to this at this point. Noted author, columnist, sportswriter, and Detroit resident Mitch Albom wrote about the obvious big story involving the city of Detroit and the game of baseball: yesterday's naming of Miguel Cabrera as American League MVP. But his sub-headline proclaimed the award as a victory over "the stat geeks." For the most part it followed the same cliched form that these pieces tend to, complete with the veiled and not-so-veiled insults that somehow keep being peddled as journalism. Albom pulls out two old favorites in his column: that the "stat nerd" crowd never sees the sun and that we are not fans and probably don't actually watch games. 


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