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Sam, talk slower please.
Great piece. Couple questions: What size bat does he use? What is his bat speed? Is there something in his swing that allows him to generate more backspin than average?
"Listed height (6-foot-3) accurate; nice broad shoulders and beautiful frame"
Picturing you with a tape measure and googly eyes.
Is this derived from pitch/fx data at Brooks? Is this data available for minor league players?
What is the going rate for a job like this in MLB? 75k?
Bruno threw Griffey out at the plate in the 16th right after DeLeon was inserted. I think they each got two balls hit to them.
Couple things: Visual tracking of a baseball is a conscious activity. Good hitters are completely focused on the ball long before it leaves the hand. The subconscious part is turning that visual tracking into a dynamic swing path. Lastly, pro hitters don't decide TO swing, they decide NOT TO swing. This is a small, but critical, distinction concerning the mental process of hitting.
I'm officially starting the countdown to Julio Urias' 17th birthday. It is in 10 days. He's practically lighting the candles now.
Brady Childs: Can I get breakdowns by age and nationality?
I spoke w/ Buxton on Saturday and will have a few notes up at 80grade.com in the next day or two. His tools are beyond legit and he is showing a fair amount of growth in his approach.
Wacha's Ks are down this year. He didn't strikeout a batter per inning in his final college season, so I wasn't expecting 17+ K/9 like last year...but his 5.3 mark is rather disenchanting. Where do scouts stand on his ability to miss bats, and is anyone hearing what the difference is aside from the obvious level of competition?
Not entirely true. 80grade has something similar, but BP definitely has the best prospect coverage. Job well done guys.
Great work guys. Disappointed this is the final report.
Yeah, I wasn't questioning the label. I thought you might have some info on the progression of his delivery since the draft. From what I've read, the Braves aren't changing it and he's been working on a spike curveball with Venters and Kimbrel.
Lefties that throw 95 w/ potential plus change-ups usually don't get labeled as relievers. I know it is likely due to Wood's strange delivery. Are the Braves development staff intent on changing his hop and head jerk? How much has his delivery changed since the draft?
Gameday shows that all 6 of his hits this spring have been of the first pitch variety. I know that his homer the other day was a first pitch fastball, but I can't tell if they were all fastballs. In Spring Training, it is probably a decent assumption they were.
Appreciate the update. Can anyone confirm if all three of Castellanos hits were 1st pitch fastballs?
Bradley has slightly better overall stuff that he still needs to harness and a slightly higher ceiling. Syndergaard throws more strikes and is the safer bet to be a productive major leaguer. My gut says Syndergaard.
CJ Edwards was a theft in the 48th round. How have his secondary pitches looked? Was he close to the list?
sorry...missed this question earlier
"Leonys Martin has too much service time to qualify." Can you clarify how much he has and what your cutoff is? Baseball Reference shows his service time as 0.113 and he has 60PA/54AB at the ML level. Thanks.
Of the 25 qualified MLB players that hit .300 (admittedly somewhat arbitrary) this year, only 1 struck out more than 23% of the time (Dexter Fowler .300, 24.2 K%), but he did it with a .390 BABIP. None of those 25 players struck out 20% of the time while in AA. There will certainly be examples that disprove this, but the distribution is not favorable.
Eddie, The first 3 sentences of my comment are pure fact, nothing else. The 70 future grade (Baseball America) is fact as well. You are free to disagree w/ the last 5 words, but I will say your assumption that I am not informed is incorrect. I'd be happy to wager a beer on whether Nick hits over .265 for his career. I'll take the under. Let's revisit this in 3-20 years.
Castellanos had 340+ plate appearances at AA to make adjustments. In his last 102 at bats he hit .186 (25% K%). He followed that up in the AFL hitting .240 and striking out at a 28% clip. I have seen as high as 70 futures grades on his hit tool, but I just don't see it.
Probably a lot of 20 Power
Does Taveras need to display better strike zone awareness to earn an 80 grade? His approach seems a little vulnerable at higher levels...at least to the point where he's making weaker contact. I still think he's an All-Star in the near future.
I think it is tough to put an 80 grade on a guy named Trevor from the Midwest. This is a joke. (sort of)
I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.
Jake Odorizzi has a decent shot as well.
I generally don't like comments like this, but I have nothing constructive to add. Great work, Ben.
Your confidence in the number of pitchers that are better than Odorizzi intrigues me. I'd probably slot him 4th behind Price/Moore/Hellickson and inline w/ Archer.
Adding to the description of Odorizzi... He managed to rank #20 (9th highest pitcher) on KG's midseason (August 1st, 2012) rankings and #29 on BA's midseason 50 last year. He then advanced to the majors where his 7 innings can't really be regarded as anything but a small sample size. There is a 35-40% chance he proves more valuable over the next 6 years than Myers. Additionally, there is a similar chance he'll be a better starting option than Wade Davis in the 2nd half of 2013, given a full season of MLB exposure.
Ross and Buehrle get 20 grades on the power categories. Roughly how much could they improve their velocity by being league average?
Has Odorizzi's stock fallen in the last year? He started slow in his initial run at AA in 2011, then reclaimed strong ratios early in 2012 at that level. He saw a similar decline in his initial stint in AAA in 2012. He seems like a guy that adapts pretty well. Where do you see his K/9 stabilizing at the MLB level?
Great work JP. Question about the sum of parts... What makes a likely thirdbaseman like Bogaerts grade as a 7 when his individual grades are 6+ hit, 6+ power, 6 arm?
Sounds optimistic. I'm curious what about his arm makes it play better in the OF. As far as routes/angles go, they will obviously improve, but to what degree and over what time? Maybe Hamilton's speed is so elite, he won't need to have that great of routes.
Couple of observations... Rafael Furcal's loss really showed in this series. Kozma looked fairly uncomfortable out there defensively. Telephone Company park looked monstrous with all of the Cardinals' fly balls. My gut tells me the Cards were at a 50% FB rate and the Giants were at a 50% LD rate. Aside from Posey, if seemed like every Giant was swinging like they knew what pitch was coming.
According to the rule book, the slide was legal. At the end of the slide, Holliday could've easily reached back and touched second base. He definitely slid late, but how many inches earlier would he have had to start his slide for this to not be considered a dirty play in your book? 6? 12? Matt Holliday is a horse (6'4", 235). Marco Scutaro isn't (5'10", 185). This is physics...not malicious intent.
One aspect of this game that was completely lost was the Carpenter error on Crawford's chopper. Crawford was very obviously running inside the diamond.
The throw did not hit him and Carpenter's throw was well wide, but on that type of bunt, the runner's position has a huge effect on the fielder's throw. Belt would've still scored from third either way, but Vogelsong would've been up with 2 outs, likely ending the inning. Instead, Vogelsong sacrificed, Pagan walked, and then Scutaro drove 3 runs in. If you take those 3 runs away and the 2 runs from scoring after the blown call, this game has a dramatically different tilt.
Great play. He shows amazing range there. I watched the guy for 4 years in St. Louis and I never remember him showing range like that.
I know this isn't anywhere near the point of the article, but I think you're giving Brendan Ryan a little too much credit. Or...maybe it just makes me feel old that he is the definition of a quality defensive shortstop.
Players throw harder now and have better information on hitters. Both of these things correlate to higher strikeouts. I remember watching the Cardinals in 1998 and they brought up a bullpen arm (Rich Croushore) that excited me because he could throw in the low to mid 90's. I may be misremembering, but there may have been 1 other guy on that team that broke 90 w/ regularity. Now nearly everyone breaks 90. Hitters have had a more stagnant 20 years. They exchanged contact for power for the first half and now just seem to be slowly losing that power w/out gaining much.
Let me at least fill up your glass to half-empty.
Was this comment computer generated by Scout?
Seriously? I think you've been duped. You should head to a batting cage right away, watch the Natural, and play (have a) catch with someone you care about.
I'm curious your thoughts on the media rights contracts currently being signed (Rangers, Angels). Are these going to be good deals 5 years down the road? I tried some rough calculations based on commercial spots over a 10-20 year period and the price seems steep. However, television advertising is quickly being eliminated outside of live televised events, so the value of these live slots is increasing very quickly.
Barrett Loux was probably a little old for High A, but his numbers were exceptional. How close was he? What does he need to do to improve his stock this year at AA?
Who is Alex Avila? Actually, I'm curious if you've had any discussions with scouts on what they missed with Avila and why you see his 2011 as not fluky.
Maybe I can help you with your methodology. This shouldn't increase the amount of time required to input it and would add a tremendous amount of value.
Small amount of criticism that I mentioned last year...and was hoping would be fixed this year. This format is not really conducive to anything but reading. An overall page like:
Player Team POS BP KL ETC
Mike Trout Angels OF 3 1 2
Bryce Harper Nationals OF 2 2 1
Matt Moore Rays P 1 3 3
would allow for sorting, filtering, averaging, etc. A similar team page would show the ranking per team.
Player Team POS BP KL ETC
Mike Trout Angels OF 1 1 1
Bryce Harper Nationals OF 1 1 1
Matt Moore Rays P 1 1 1
I'm not too concerned because this type of spreadsheet is available at fantasyrundown.com, but it would be nice if valuable comments weren't ignored.
Seem more comparable to the Angels from a few years ago to me. They lack elite talent.
I have heard some knocks on Delgado's command, but... If you take a look at his Pitch/fx verse lefties, you'll see that he only threw 1 changeup on the inner half of the plate in his MLB stint and his fastballs are very clustered on the outer half as well. I watched one AB last year where he located three 94 mph fastballs on the black on the lower outer corner of the zone. I see his command as above-average to plus w/ his fastball/change. He seems fairly dependent on command and changing speeds though because his fastball is fairly straight and the curve isn't fully developed yet. If the curve does develop, I think he'll live up to the 5 star label.
just curious how you decide on who to highlight here. obviously with lamb on the shelf there wouldn't be much to talk about but i was wondering what the current perception is of him? I know the luster was coming off last year but now that we know he was hurt could that in a way raise his stock (assuming a full recovery) given he finished 2010 with everything clicking?
How can we explain Montgomery's command issues? Were they accompanied by any change in velocity or approach? Did the more advanced hitters just lay off his chase pitches? I'm concerned he fought fatigue at the end of 2010 and it carried over to 2011, possibly as some sort of injury.
Kev, I know you got less opportunity to watch Rashun Dixon in 2011. What have you heard about his progress (or lack there of) in his move to Stockton? What do you see for his perfect world projection?
I am under the impression that Darvish becomes a Japanese free agent after next year. What incentive does he have to sign THIS year rather than next? Obviously, a fair amount of money and job security are factors, but isn't he essentially giving up the $50M (present day dollars) posting fee? That seems fairly steep for job security. Will the Ham Fighters "kick back" some of that to Darvish? Is there a sense of pride in the Japanese culture? Is Japanese free agency more binding than allowing him to simply sign overseas?
"Collusive Vendetta" is the terminology i am using for what Jay touched on a mere two weeks ago in anticipation of this vote. It is also kind of the prevailing narrative around here as far as i can tell and it is basically that Santo wasn't thought of very highly amongst his peers and that they were never going to vote him in as long he was alive. The last 10 years he has been at the mercy of the veterans committee the vast majority of which was made up of HOF players.
Clearly I feel he is deserving but that's fine if someone doesn't, that argument can certainly be made.
If he wasn't deserving two years ago is he more deserving now? As I said earlier this all just far too convenient for me to take it with a smile. I find it offensive and spiteful that only now he is gone are they able to find the wherewithal to get him in and no, I don't feel like an injustice is being rectified because the true injustice here was never his exclusion but rested in depriving him of reveling in this honor and us of being able to celebrate it with him.
His acceptance speech might have been borderline unintelligible and perhaps a bit hard to follow and it still would have blown the doors off of any induction speech in history. The raw emotion would have been palpable in a way that only Santo could convey, as those that have listened to him over the years can attest. That speech would have been epic. That's what he was hoping for and that is what I was looking forward to. That can't happen now, that is the injustice and that is not being rectified, it can't be.
Pat Hughes said something yesterday or today that he doesn't see any point in being angry about it. He knew Ronnie close to as well as anyone so I guess I have no choice to defer to him on that one. So I will, begrudgingly and as such stop railing away on this message board.
The HOF is more selective and that is good but that doesn't explain Santo's exclusion up until today. I am not sure what was going on but there was clearly some sort of collusive vendetta amongst the people voting over the last decade.
Sites like this are great for pointing out the merits of certain players and many times arguments that are beyond compelling have been made on Santo's behalf on this very site.
The whole production is all too convenient, the HOF is trying to right a wrong here and if everyone goes along with it they can put it to bed and feel better about themselves feeling like they have made the necessary amends. The only problem is that the travesty in this situation isn't that Santo wasn't in the HOF, its that he was prevented from enjoying his moment, a moment that he wanted so dearly and would have appreciated so deeply. This a wrong that can never be rectified and it should be made clear to the HOF that making some clerical correction to it's books, which is all this amounts to, doesn't absolve them of the crime they committed in shamefully excluding him all these years.
His election today is a joke and a sham and should be treated as such. They should put a plaque of him up at wrigley, a place where he was actually appreciated.
I am frustrated in not knowing of any better forum to voice my thoughts regarding today's events but take solace knowing that the people that read this are among the few that actually care about baseball.
I would like to call on the Cubs and the Santo family to officially disavow the HOF and refuse to accept this award. Ron Santo is too good for any group that would refuse to accept him amongst its ranks while he was still alive.
Admitting him today to the HOF is tantamount to spitting on his grave. Santo is the man to whom this honor would have meant more than it ever has or ever will to anyone else. Depriving him of that thrill of being accepted deprived not only him but all of us a special moment. It was selfish and beyond forgiveness.
I pray that none of the 15 people that voted for him this time around neglected to vote for him the last time he was eligible. If so, I call for them to be exposed and if by any chance current members of the HOF to be expelled immediately.
13 years ago I made my first and only trip to Cooperstown. It was awesome, my dad and I had plans to go back together for Santo's induction, now I am leaning much closer to refusing to go back for the rest of my life.
Next article...What are the correlations of hSOB and BABIP to these 4 factors: horizontal pitch location, vertical pitch movement, change in speed from the previous pitch, and change in location from the previous pitch. I'd do this myself, but this data is located at Fort Knox, or possibly "in the computer" next to Selig's pillow. I'd assume these all have a statistically significant correlation to hSOB/BABIP and are probably a fairly decent indicator of pitcher success when comparing pitchers w/ similar fastball velocity and walk rate.
You could always use the fantasy impact and the ETA information together.
Agreed, I'm most curious if the other upper right players fit this "madness" description as well. Obviously, not swinging at true balls is a good thing. The fact that something is a true strike though doesn't mean you should swing at it. I think that is where these players are erring. They aren't being selective enough on balls in the zone.
Great article. I'd be interested to see if Carlos Pena's year to year changes in productivity have been correlated to these measures. My gut tells me that the hitters in the upper right quadrant have amazing pitch recognition ability, but are probably taking the wrong approach at the plate. Where can I get the True Strike Swing % and True Ball Take % by player?
You should try harder
the trade for aramis included lofton, so that was part of the same move i already gave him credit for and which is well deserved.
Derrek Lee was a few days away from being non tendered by the marlins before hendry acquired him. he had one good year for the cubs and the one month we really needed him, september of 2004 he was nonexistent as was the rest of the team outside of aramis and sammy.
Rich harden fell behind in his only playoff start in the first inning ending our season.
I went to 20 games in 2008, it was awesome. they were a great regular season team that was overmatched the minute it was faced with playing top line competition. they were a good team with great depth for the long haul but toe to toe with the other top teams they were at serious disadvantage in terms of having no true Ace starters and an unbalanced lineup.
Carlos Zambrano, pretty hard to give anyone a medal for having him around boy are the cubs blessed to have zambrano around right now. where would we be without zambrano? i perish at the thought. marmol leads the league in blown saves. these are decent major leaguers, not championship pieces.
Wood, my absolute favorite player on the team was run out of town by hendry for no reason. so any credit i would give him for having him he loses on the back end.
prior was great for a year or two, speaking of first round picks since prior who have we taken in the first round thats actually made any sort of impact?
i think it will be pretty hard for you to come up with some bullet points of those. there are NONE.
the below comment mentions dempster and that was an astute move so now we are up to about 3 or 4 in 9 years. awesome.
Not only did he let C the P and pie lose all their value but he also couldn't get rid of nolasco fast enough.
he also was terrible when it came to being a seller at the deadline, he once made a daring acquisition of cesar izturis, calling him an all star. what more did we need to know about that move that we didn't learn when piniella essentially banished cesar 3 weeks into the following season.
lastly, i care about jacque jones because it perfectly captures just how little understanding he had for how to compete in the current landscape. you don't pay 5 million to players who stink.
im surprised you are posting here because your comments sound like those of someone that drinks only the kool-aid the chicago tribune endlessly spewed about hendry instead of actually watching what was happening.
vast resources, the weakest competition in MLB and middling results at best. thats all there is to know.
now that you have made me respond i think my opinion of his body of work went even lower. thanks for enhancing my depression.
Im willing to give Hendry a free pass on the Soriano signing, he needs it b/c his body of work beyond that is still putrid.
The first trade he made as a GM was a good one and we've been waiting for his next good one for 9 years. He got Aramis from pittsburgh for a song and hasn't done a thing to help this team since.
The overall takeaway from watching him build a roster is that he truly doesn't understand what it takes to win a championship. the 2007 and 2008 teams were fine if the goal was to win a mediocre division, they were never going to win a world series, they couldn't even win a playoff game.
maybe soriano wasn't his idea but when no other team in baseball was pursuing him, hendry gave jacque jones 5 million a year. he just didn't get it. his vision for a team that might be able to win a world series was way off the mark.
It was also painful to watch him mismanage the value of any sort of young up and coming player the cubs had under his watch. It behooves a team to know beforehand how good your own players are, how many times did the cubs have a 'great prospect' that he would let lose all of their value and then trade them away on the absolute low points. how many prospects did he trade away before realizing they could maybe be able to contribute? how could anyone expect him to acquire players of value in trades when he didn't even realize which players in his organization were any good and which were overrated? everyone certainly makes mistakes but when you only make mistakes then there is a problem.
the baffling thing is the credit he got here for so long, how many years did it take watching teams from smaller markets run circles around the cubs before the team and the fans realized we were at a prohibitive competitive disadvantage with hendry at the helm.
beyond all of that, the one player over the last 15 years that could have been a career cub and someone that universally loved by every fan, kerry wood, hendry ran out of town for absolutely no reason, a final black mark on his shameful record.
how is ricketts not in tampa right now with a blank check for friedman trying to lure him up here. what is not computing? some people have shown without a doubt that they 'get it'. why not hire one of them?
His delivery seems all over the place to me. After he releases, he jerks his throwing hand above his head (Jose Valverde does something similar but less violent) which will put unnecessary stress on his shoulder. He never seems all that straight to the plate. He has time to work these things out though.
I have to think Law's view is focusing on Martinez's ceiling, which is top notch. However, questions related to his size, delivery, control, and limited professional exposure have to temper expectations.
Can someone explain "with the necessary loft to create backspin?"
Not sure if this has already been suggested...but you need two master list tabs. The first for overall rankings and the second for team rankings. For the overall, it would look like:
Player Team BP BA MLB etc
Trout Angels 2 2 1 3
Montero Yanks 3 1 2 4
The team rankings would be similar so you might have:
Player Team BP BA MLB etc
Teheran Braves 1 1 1 1
Carter Athltcs 1 2 2 1
There are too many benefits to mention in doing it this way. Otherwise, keep up the good work.
Did I miss Sosa admitting he used PED's or a confirmed positive test implicating him? If not should we be lumping him in with others who have?
Chris Perez seems due for a significant regression for a couple of reasons. His 4.0 BB/9 was a career best, but still below average. He managed to strand 86% of baserunners, close to the highest among relievers. Lastly, he is a fly ball pitcher that managed to limit homers at a better rate than usual.
Joe Strauss knows better than the other voters the value that Pujols provides his team beyond the stats.
Chris Perez has never really been a solid control guy in my mind. He ranked 95/124 among ML relievers with his 4.0 BB/9, which is a modest improvement on his years in the minors and St. Louis. He hid his control issues by having the 8th best strand rate of the same group. I like the guy, but I don't see him coming close to these numbers next year.
Hanson for Rasmus probably makes more sense.
full order is in the blog entry, but it is by draft order
Is this 1985? I've never heard of a 25K buyout. What is the point?
Put a little earpiece in the umps helmet that beeps on strikes and then lets them call it. Don't bother telling the fans...
Marc, What pitcher would you say is most likely to be left off the list this year and a 5 star pitcher for 2011 (a la Adam Wainwright last year)?
I think it is pretty simplistic to give hendry anything more than very little credit for the playoff appearances. There has been a significant loosening of the purse strings beginning in the mid to late 90's and this has given them a tremendous advantage in their division full of small market squads. They have gone from being cheapskates to irresponsible spenders which has merely given them a small modicum of success against the weakest competition in MLB. Not to mention that in Littlefield, Wade and Bowden, Hendry was competing against some of the other worst GM's in recent memory for a large portion of his tenure.
you guys stole all my ideas for comments!! it is amazing how this article could unintentionally sum up everything that is wrong with the Cubs. If I was a GM I would love Hendry also, it is a huge advantage to have someone bumbling around the league in charge of a huge payroll. Hendry's right though, it really is about more than a guy having a high or low on base percentage, how else would he have had the foresight to sign Jacque Jones, for 3 years! This has sufficiently squelched the marginal excitement i was building for the season by reminding me how screwed the team is from the top down.
I am somewhat surprised to see Pecota that optimistic on Hoffpauir but it certainly seemed last year that at least against Righties their ideal lineup included him. so of course they are going out of their way to bury him on the bench and bring in chad tracy to possibly push him off the roster entirely.
Hendry is easier to understand when you realize he is a detriment and view him and his moves from that perspective. We are one offseason away from him overhauling the team to get more lefthanded, a plan that included guaranteeing aaron miles 5 mil somehow, and now the cubs just one year later will have the most righty leaning lineup in MLB. Hoffpauir coulda easily handled the lefty half of a platoon but instead he might not even make the team. no idea, no plan. When you aren't good at your job you are gonna do a lot of things that don't make sense, that's not hard to understand.
Hendry belongs in the bottom 10. He has been competing in a pathetic division esp the last half of the decade, with far superior resources. I feel like his predicament is the opposite of riccardi. He also signed aaron miles for more than the major league minimun, a move which on its own should banish him to the bottom 10.
Could there be an even more backloaded option? For example, Albert Pujols has 12M of his current contract deferred until 2020-2029 to be paid in 1.2M annual installments. At 5% and 6% long term average discount rates, the 12M is worth only 4.24M and 3.47M, respectively.
I can understand the idea for this post seeming to be a good one initially but I cant understand not realizing what a non-sensical and generally awful parallel was being attempted whilst in production.
the post which is being poorly mocked was heartfelt and thoughtful which i suppose could be difficult to glean if viewed through what must be a set of excessively rigid glasses that present the world in only black and.
lastly, the suggestion of even having the capacity to pull off a madoff-esque scheme is an example of extreme hubris.
The fact Bonds will remain unsigned, even in light of this suspension, is a joke. He'd look sick in dodger blue!
I don't want to be the guy that asks what about my guy, but what about my guy? It is tough to be a Cardinal fan w/ no starters in the top 60, so I'd like you to reconsider. I know Pecota hates Wainright, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and say this must be an oversite.
Why would Manny make MORE with these signings? The market value of corner OFs went down and there are still many teams with a glut. The Cardinals, Nationals, Twins, and Yankees have players to give at now reduced prices...though also admittedly reduced production. You have to explore trading for Ludwick (3.1 WARP vs Manny\'s 4.3) or Delmon Young (best prospect in the land a short time ago) before going at Manny with blinders on.
I for the longest time thought steroid use wasnt against the rules until a few years ago either but apparently in 1991 fay vincent \'prohibited\' use of steroids along with all other illegal drugs. while this wasn\'t collectively bargained, it does imply players weren\'t \'supposed\' to use them and at least makes whether they were cheating or not more a gray issue.