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One of the most impressive batting lines in the high minors is <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=68318">Peter O'Brien</a></span>, a threat to win the triple crown with a 346/383/660/1.043. You would think a 24-year-old putting these kind of numbers up would generate at least SOME buzz, but no....his profile page indicates that he has not been mentioned in a single BP chat or article. I know the D'Backs were trying him in the OF, but recently he's been back at catcher as well. Any chance he sees the majors to improve the D'Backs wretched catching situation? Surely, there must be a future for him.....?
I don't understand why he is not coaching. Not that I would ever have a chance to run a team, but one of the first things I would do would be to find out what Rickey was doing, and hire him to coach in some capacity. Is there something I'm missing as to why he's become invisible?
...and Joc Pederson returns to action, hits a triple before the game is suspended.
Winfield must have some powerhouse DNA. No surprise considering he was drafted in three sports.
...but how about kids whose parents were BOTH professional athletes? And please, I intend absolutely no snark in asking this....but I thought the notion I was adding here was that expectations might be more reasonably raised by BOTH parents contributing superstar gametes. The Agassi's and Garciaparra's were the only ones I knew of, but perhaps you know of others...?
Otherwise, we'll be left waiting a while. The Agassi kid is starting high school soon, but the Garciaparras still get a mustache when they drink milk.
I just HAVE to think that the real litmus tests for this idea will be Garrett Anthony Garciaparra (son of Nomar and soccer superstar Mia Hamm). Also, we should probably have high athletic expectations for the Agassi progeny (via Steffi Graf). Their oldest son is 12 and is apparently very interested in baseball....
A little surprised Trevor Bauer did not make it here.
6 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K
Seems to me that Brian Wilson ought to be mentioned in here somewhere...I've been stashing him all season, but it looks like he'll be signed in the not-to-distant future.
By the way, I love these columns. Keep up the good work!
I'm not looking for a pity party here, but at least fans of the Cubs have other teams in Chicago that have won championships. I was born in '73 and grew up a rabid sports fan in support of the Browns/Indians/Cavs. Geez, even the Cleveland Force of the MISL joined in on the disappointment bandwagon. (And really, I could have been born in the 50s and still be just as championship-starved)
Eventually, I moved away from Cleveland but still supported the teams for years. However, at this point, the Cleveland teams don't hold much of a place in my heart anymore. I imagine I'd get some modest enjoyment from an Indians championship run, but nothing like the life-altering experience it would have been in earlier times.
When Braun found out about all of this, he denied wrongdoing and requested another test, which came back clean. For my part, I think that answers the question of whether chain of custody is significant. I'd like to know how all of the people assuming Braun is juicing are rationalizing the existence of his clean test.
It's like Pluto...in a number of decades, people will regard the notion of it being a planet as rather silly. However, since we all grew up learning that it was the 9th planet, it will take a while for the "Pluto is a planet" crowd to fade into the margins.
Maybe I'm out to lunch here, but I've never seen Manny as being the clubhouse cancer he's made out to be. His reputation in Cleveland was one of a ballplayer obsessed with hitting. Although he looked and seemed aloof, he spent tons of time watching film and refining his craft. The PED usage is consistent with that dedication to being a better hitter more than poisoning team chemistry. To borrow your line, "Ramirez has always seemed popular among his teammates until late in his Boston phase."
To me, the fact that Oakland stinks makes sense of this. If he's role-modelling the aforementioned dedication to hitting, that's something you'd like the padawans to pick up. If not, kick him to the curb, and right quick - it'll be obvious to the ballclub which Manny they are getting.
After writing all this, I went and looked for some of the news articles from last spring. After signing Manny (and Johnny Damon), Andrew Friedman essentially said the same thing...."It's about how dedicated they are to their craft. And I think given all the homework and conversations that we've had about people, both of these guys are extremely well regarded as teammates, and also the way they prepare. I think that it's something that with our young players, just to watch them; watch the way they get ready to compete."
Feel free to tell me if I'm nuts, but maybe the answer to the problem of how to fit these parts in place hasn't been mentioned? Is it possible Victor Martinez could play third base? He wouldn't be the first catcher to convert there. I doubt if he'd be very good, but he wouldn't have to be to do better than Cabrera...
Thanks Kevin! Keep up the great work!
Hey Kevin...wondering if your feelings on Todd Frazier have changed any....he is hitting very well so far this season, and was once highly regarded...might the Reds give him a shot, and if so, what might we expect?
Sorry...just saw your blog post of April 7....and thank you for that!
I hope you'll take a request. Last year, you ran a two-piece article on where each of your top 101 prospects were assigned. Please do it again this and every year, I really enjoyed them and found the quite useful.
Well, if you use 1/infinity as your value for zero, then every team is has a winning percentage of 100%....
(1/infinity)/(1/infinity) = infinity/infinity = 1
Anyone care to out-nerd that?
Thank you for a very interesting and insightful article.
I feel that your article does shed light on the "business" side of your career, insofar as you reflect on your particular and personal approach to your work. I tend to think I can imagine the types of practical tasks and ethical dilemmas that are involved in performing your type of work. As such, this article adds a human element to that, which is an enormous aspect of executing any type of professional employment and the type of fulfillment one extracts from the work.
Almost exactly 11 years ago, you wrote..."Outfielder Chad Hermansen is going to be a better player than any of their current threesome of Brant Brown, Brian Giles, or Jose Guillen"
I love your writing, so I'm not intending snark here...your comments here gave me an itch to see what you thought of Giles back then....clearly not much (although you were clearly drinking the Chad Hermansen Kool-Aid).
What I'm reading in the comments here is that BP readers like the numbers backing up the analysis. I disagree - just as there is no BP groupthink, I also think there is no BP groupread.
I would rather have read 6-up and 6-down while condensing the statistical defense. I don't mind the analysis, but I'm subscribing for articles that are useful, entertaining or - at their best - both.
As he got to the list of available guys, I thought to myself "This is the most useful article so far. I wonder where he'll go with it after the lists."
I'm wondering if there's a second half to this piece lying around somewhere...
So, Ramirez comes back and...what to do with Pierre? Does he have trade value now? Sure, he's got a few years of data showing that he's a pedestrian outfielder, but when you've been playing someone like DeWayne Wise in the leadoff spot, Pierre really doesn't look so bad...
Or does Ned Colletti suddenly think that signing Pierre was a stroke of genius, and continue paying him for the duration of the deal?
If I can keep up, I'm voting for one article a week, based simply on enjoyment.
This one gets mine this time. Thanks!
I liked the title and have generally wished for some more humor in general. I enjoy analysis, but it's nice to have some quirky/geeky quips along the way. Come to think of it, the same goes for regular BP writers too...
There's nothing really inappropriate about the title - it's just bathroom humor. Beats the heck out of watching a bunch of football analysts in ties laughing like hyenas at one another's non-jokes.
My first time commenting twice in the same article....I just wanted to point out that the fallout of Gordon's injury is Willie Bloomquist, Right Fielder.
There are so many factors I don't know about....but I look at Chris Lubanski tearing it up in both Spring Training and Omaha after being rather disappointing for quite some time and think that they really have nothing to lose by giving him a shot now while he's hot.
If you doubled Clement's current AAA batting average, he'd still be sub-Mendoza, which speaks to why he's still not up a bit.
Sorry to be a bit grumpy, but is there any way that HACKING MASS could be initiated a little earlier in the future? I always enjoy fielding a team, but I would like some more time to think over my choices.
I had braces in the early 90's and played varsity basketball at my high school. One day in practice, I took a hard elbow to the mouth and my braces were lodged into my lip in similar fashion to what you've described above. It was a bit bloody, but I managed to get them out, wash up, and continue practicing. I don't recall any lingering pain or subsequent problems; It was just a really odd experience.
If Sandoval's experience was similar to mine, I can understand why his comment was that he liked it. For me, it looked much worse than it felt, and the experience was surreal and makes for a great story.
Guzman hurt his wrist in February. I've always kept an eye on him, but I have to imagine that would scare off just about anybody.
Regardless, this was a fun article. Thank You!
Hot Stove Heaters
I always enjoyed ESPN\'s Hot Stove Heaters circa the early aughts...Here\'s a link to one of them by a familiar face...
If memory serves, many/all of these were provided by BP. Basically, it was a quick-and-dirty look at each team in the moment between the end of their regular season an the beginning of the winter player movement. ESPN coupled these with a profile of the team\'s farm system, generally provided by John Sickels. BP\'s awesome Top 11 Prospects is already covering that angle superlatively.
It wouldn\'t be a hard task either. Only 8 teams advance to the postseason, so these Heaters could begin running at the end of the regular season. Giving each writer one or two, you could start on October 15ish and finish the whole league before the Winter Meetings. Make up similar category headings for each profile and keep it simple.
I\'d love it. Just my $0.02
From the beginning, I\'ve thought Teixeira and the Orioles were a perfect match, but not for Joe\'s reasons.
Here we have a good player. Some might say he was very good. Fine. He\'s also 29. It\'s been said that he should age more gracefully than your average 1B. That may be a stretch, but lets take it. Your still looking at a guy who\'s gotten almost no MVP consideration in his career. And then you\'re going to give him one of the richest contracts in baseball?
And what if some of these sunny predictions for Teixeira don\'t come to pass? I mean, how surprising would it be if he did start his decline at age 31?
Another name comes to mind. The Rockies signed 27-year-old Todd Helton for nine years back in 2001. How well has that worked? While Helton has been very good at times, he\'s been expensive from day 1. The Rockies have had numerous 1B prospects forced around the diamond due to Helton\'s presence, the seeing their value evaporate. While they probably didn\'t anticipate the back problems that developed, the injury/contract combo makes him essentially unmovable.
True, the Rockies made it to the World Series after sneaking into the playoffs in the miracle run of 2007, and Helton had a good year. Does that alone make the Helton deal worthwhile? Even if you think so, the Orioles are not going to be in a position to make the playoffs in similar fashion if only because of their division.
I see Teixeira as a typical Orioles sign: an older player, overpaid almost from the start and a serious financial problem soon thereafter. As Teixeira\'s contract hamstrings the Orioles for most of the next decade, the other teams in the division will use their dollars far more efficiently.
I\'m a bit surprised to see all the support for signing him around this site.
That was my gut reaction, but 1) you can\'t dispute that Garza/Bartlett arrived via trade, and 2) you would have to give similar credit to the Phillies for using their farm talent to get Moyer/Blanton.
Re: Price, I was wondering if your usage suggestion for the World Series takes into consideration what could happen if it doesn\'t go so well. I feel that the Rays were being a bit risky with their future last night, and would be if they used him as a closer in the WS. After all, if Price comes in and becomes the goat, the psychological damage could affect his development/ability to succeed later. He wouldn\'t necessarily even need to pitch poorly, as long as he was the easiest scapegoat. And how unusual would it be for a young talent to struggle against the kind of offenses that find themselves playing in late October?
To be honest, I tend to agree with you. However, I was wondering if you had thought about the risks, and (assuming you had) if you might elaborate on the cost-benefit analysis of this strategy.
Isn\'t there a reasonable solution here?
1. As deadline extensions should be beneficial to both sides of the negotiation, make the process of granting an extension regulated and transparent to both sides. Since both sides would surely want this, they should be able to hammer out the details.
2. Grant Alvarez and the Pirates an extension to re-open negotiation. This may not seem to be in the Pirates\' best interest, but it sure beats making him a free agent or facing alternative punishments, and it would allow them to mend the fences with Alvarez.
3. Any punishing of MLB to be done should be limited to something that either doesn\'t affect draftees (a fine?) or benefits them somewhat (increase minimum salary, or enhance basic contract in some way)
Both sides benefit here, with the particular parties emerging in a positive manner, while MLB and MLBPA strengthening a deadline process that, frankly, sounds a bit ham-fisted, and in such a manner that will accomodate both sides in future years.