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I saw Zimmer this weekend, and the stadium gun showed him at 91-92 his entire outing, with one pitch hitting 94. The Frederick Keys, who seem to be lacking in future major leaguers, made a lot of solid contact against him -- enough hits, and most of the outs were hit right at a fielder. Maybe it was an off night, but I didn't get much of the hype, except for the curveball.
I've had this idea for years (even sent it to an anonymous baseball team that posted a job on BP a few years back.)
My theory was three sets of three, with no pitcher starting an inning having thrown more than 35 pitches in the game. Generally that's going to get you through 9 without having to use other "relievers." The three-headed pitchers rotate as to whether they're the first, second, or third into the game, since different innings may induce different stress on the arm and mind, and also since the last pitcher in will in average throw less. Mixing righties and lefties is a nice feature as well, as is mixing different styles. These pitchers would never enter in the middle of an inning.
There would still be three traditional relievers who could enter mid-inning -- ideally a ROOGY, LOOGY, and "closer" (more of an extra-inning arm and close game where pitcher #3 is scuffling than an annointed game finisher.)
Finally, there would also be a traditional long man -- maybe a knuckler, or just a generally durable innings eater, for marathons, double headers, and the ability to rearrange your rotation / skip a turn.
The minors would need to be structured the same way, because rather than wasting resources teaching pitchers 3 and 4 pitches, they can concentrate on their best two and still have success. Furthermore, adapting pitchers to this workload is likely to be more successful if done developmentally.
This could actually save the team money (or money spent on pitchers) in the long run, until other teams copy, as two-pitch pitchers who throw 2-3 innings at a time don't have a role on a normal team other than low-leverage long relief, and so costs in free agency and arbitration may be lower.
I was surprised to not see Adams on this list. If he wins the starting job, he will have the opportunity to lead NL rookies in many offensive categories.
that was supposed to be in response to wrightfan, but I failed at posting.
Off-base. Cespedes in CF, Crisp in LF, Reddick in right. Reddick has one of the best outfield arms in baseball, and is arguably a better hitter than Smith (.286 to .281 TAV), who will get to fight Carter for the DH. Gomes has always been there to be the RH platoon for Smith and/or Reddick. The rest of them can duke it out for that last roster spot, and for at bats in Sacramento.
Cespesdes is signed for four years. Crisp is signed for one. Ergo, Cespesdes plays center.
If Bryan LaHair hadn't exhausted his rookie eligibility (and thus his official prospect status) with Seattle a few years back, where would he have placed on the Cubs top 11? Somewhere around Szczur and Vitters? Or much lower? I know it's a hypothetical and we hate hypotheticals, but he's a late bloomer that I find fascinating.
If I'm not mistaken, if you are traded during a multi-year deal you signed as a free agent, you can opt out of the deal at the end of the season in which you were traded. So essentially the acquiring team would be getting Fielder for one season and a period of exclusive negotiating rights while Boras threatens an opt-out. This also assumes that the deal doesn't contain a no-trade clause.
Regardless, it makes little sense to sign a player to a 9-year deal hoping to trade him after a season or two. Especially one of the most expensive 9-year deals in history.
The review of Goodwin makes him sound like a 4-star or 5-star more than a 3-star. Did he just miss the cut of a 4-star, or is raw the most important thing we should take away when thinking about him.
If I were to ask Selig to do one thing, it would be to work with amateur baseball (HS and NCAA) to popularize it more. I think the popularity of "amateur" football and basketball has heightened the interest in the professional levels of the sports. Baseball would be served long-term by forming meaningful relationships with the NCAA and high school amateur showcases that go beyond putting a couple of them on MLB network.
#1 certainly may have, but the NFL just went through a relatively brutal labor fight, and no one seemed to care at the end of it. Sure, a season wasn't cancelled, but as much as people complained about millionaires fighting billionaires, the NFL chugged right along once it was over.
#2 certainly didn't matter at all. Does anyone even watch the Pro Bowl?
#3 Again, this didn't matter much either. Fans in two cities may have been annoyed, but Minnesota still loves the twins, and Montreal -- well, I don't think that threatening to contract Montreal did anything to help the rise of football. If anything, putting a team in DC, that may someday be successful, will help baseball fight off football.
#4 Look at football players and say, with an honest face, that American sports fans left baseball for football because they were upset at PED usage.
#5 on that list is certainly a black mark on Selig's resume, but it's not that baseball has lost popularity. It's that football has gained popularity more quickly than baseball. And with the exception of the first item on that list, it's because football is an easier game to market.
I think there is some argument the Bryan LaHair actually did develop somewhat. Not tremendously, but his BA increased by 20+ points each of the last three years, which would imply that it is more than a mere function of the randomness of BABIP, and his ISO also increased each of the last three seasons (since his cup off coffee with Seattle.) Do I think he'll be a world beater? No. But could his 28-30 year-old peak seasons result in a league average first baseman? Absolutely. He's certainly someone to consider in deeper fantasy formats.
I'd hypothesize that Nelson Cruz's wide open stance does exactly that.
Alejandro de Aza: Valuable platoon centerfielder, capable of being a starter for a couple of years, or pure fluke?
The Brewers have a very weak farm system to begin with, so they won't be amazing prospects, but they'll be better than non-prospects. The Mets are already paying his salary for the remainder of the year, so the Brewers must have offered something enticing enough to trade him now as opposed to at the trade deadline, or just putting him on waivers and seeing who claimed him for the exact same cost savings.
I thought K-Rod had a limited no trade clause. If so, perhaps he did not have to waive it to go to the Brewers, if they weren't on the list, and thus will have to set up without too much fussing if he wants a good deal next year.
Huh. And I would have thought the obvious person left out was Brett Lawrie. Are you just considering him an outfielder at this point?
With Goldschmidt, are you saying that the D-backs might hold him back until next June? I read a quote recently from Towers that indicated they were considering the All-star break of this year.
There's still 30 to go. I'd be shocked if Burroughs (who's an NRI for Arizona?!?!?) doesn't make the list, seeing as he was a top 10 prospect three years running by BA.
Early-drafted catchers just don't make good prospects. They're just too risky. I don't know why everyone goes batty over them.
How does this ranking fit in with your team rankings, and the stars assigned to players there? For example, Wilmer Flores is listed as a 3-star in the Mets system, but is above 4-star players on this list. Is this due to the fact that the Mets write-up was done early, and the 3-star/4-star barrier shifted? Did he have an especially good winter league showing? There are a few other examples like this, where a player is above or below players with a higher or lower star ranking.
Thanks for posting this list here, so I could comment with my question. The hard copy isn't as interactive, although it does come with nice writeups!
Wilmer Flores is a 3-star, at 98....
What happened to Nick Barnese? He did all right last year if I'm not mistaken, but he's not even in the top 20, compared to being in their top 10 the prior two years with a 3-star ranking.
Years ago I did a paper comparing the dichotomy of the new revenue sharing agreements in sports in the later 70's early 80's with the simultaneous concern over the Cold War. It was one of my most favorite projects.
I'm amused to see that Hank is a few decades behind the times.
Thanks for the article Kevin. Where do the 3-stars end and the 2-stars begin for the Rays? Are they still as deep as they have been in past years, or have they seen a little thinning?
That's a horrible idea. Why would I ever draft a college player if I were a team? I'd draft 50 high schoolers, sign no more than 10, and let the other 40 go to college where I would offer them contracts only if I liked what I saw in college. College baseball would essentially become a minor-leagues where players aren't paid. And like Kevin said about a hard slot system, something like this would drive away players who are two or three sport athletes, or even those who have other non-sport opportunities, which only dilutes the product you put on the field as MLB.
Why not bring back the reserve clause while we're at it?
Assuming Jeff Bianchi heals up (and stays healthy in the future,) does he fit into this equation at all? At second perhaps, if Colon stays at short? Or is he another MI/Utility guy for the bench at best?
The 61.8% chance of scoring one run is incorrectly low, as it assumes Joe Average hitter is at the plate. I hate Derek Jeter, but he's a significantly better hitter than the average player. It also doesn't account for Damon to follow Jeter, and Tex behind him. Not to mention Arod was up 4th, and was more likely to bat if you don't start throwing away outs bunting. That's the point of this entire argument -- it's not that there was a bunt with two on and no outs, it's the fact of who was bunting, who else was coming up. Maybe if there was a groundball-inducing pitcher on the mound, you could try to make a semi-rational argument, but Chan Ho Park is not a groundballer.
Toronto, 7/196, 12/9
I\'m surprised no one picked the Blue Jays yet.
If Alvarez is declared a free agent, so too will Hosmer, and I\'m certain Hosmer can get more as a free agent as well, since the draft deflates contracts. In fact, Hosmer would be the biggest winner, since he could get a new, better contract, didn\'t embarrass himself in his three minor-league games, and won\'t have the PR hit to his name that Alvarez will have, not that a PR hit as a draftee should matter too much.