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Houston did a very good job of scouting prospective Pro Scouting Coordinators. I considered you the best judge of talent in the public domain. Now that star twinkles and fades away. Wishing you all the best.
Again, I'm just giving my impressions. I've followed Sickels in the past and enjoyed his work. He's been around forever and obviously loves baseball. At this point, I think I've said enough.
I don't think it's personal at all. I think he gets treated with kid gloves because no one wants to start an internet flame war. Bad for business. And predicting the future is hard; you can easily say things that make you look foolish later. But you're not going to talk up some guy who feeds off your work and sells it as his own. I think I could do what Sickels does, but I couldn't do what the others I mentioned do. And here are plenty of guys selling themselves as experts these days. All you need to do is start a website that fills a niche (e.g. MLB Depth Charts, an excellent site) and all of a sudden people are asking you for your opinions on trades, etc. I don't begrudge anyone their livelihood, but I do try to separate the giants of the industry from the pretenders.
I don't think anyone wants to badmouth Sickels, but my impression is that Sickels scouts the boxcores and stat lines like any other schlub who doesn't have access to industry insiders, who doesn't work the phones or see many games in person. He mostly assimilates the work of others. KG is renown for his rolodex and I think Callis and Law are also in that category, with Parks and Badler moving up on the inside rail. These are just my personal impressions.
. . . and I am absolutely gasted.
Was that Marvin Miller's cue to just throw up his hands and give up? There was an antitrust exemption back then, too. I think the more unfairness you can show, the more likely it is that the antitrust exemption gets reviewed by Congress and/or the courts.
Just the fact that there is a draft is a problem. Kids can't play where they want to and have to take what is being offered or miss a year or more of development. That's bad enough. Throw in arbitrary bonus and salary caps and what have you got? Indentured servitude? The money saved goes straight into the pockets of peope who have never had such restrictions imposed upon them and who are already obscenely wealthy. And this is necessary to have competitive baance? Please . . . it is for me to laugh. I'm fine with minimum and maximum payrolls. I'm not fine with taking away all of the contract leverage of the performers we pay to see.
You may be right, especilly with the current SCOTUS. I don't know diddly about the NFL. But as I watched what happened to Appel, I could not escape the feeling that it was wrong, wrong, wrong . . . just wrong.
When did price-fixing become legal? What need did MLB have to impose it? I think we're in for a lot of litigation and Congressional attention until this CBA abomination is abolished. Meanwhile, careers will be ruined. Appell v. MLB, coming soon to a theater near you. If not Appel, someone else will be this generation's Curt Flood or Andy Messersmith.
I hope Appell has a good lawyer. The more money a guy demands, the farther he slips in the draft, making him virtually unsignable as the amount that can be spent continues to decline. It could have been much worse; in fact, I think the Pirates did MLB a favor by taking Appell at #8. I see lawsuits coming. That's an unfair restraint of trade and violates public policy re worker mobility. The whole purpose of the new CBA is to make rich owners even richer, and their "solution" stinks like a Bombay whore.
Did I say Pollyannaish? My aplologies to Pollyanna.
You're out of your depth here, son. I take cases on a contingency fee basis. I win most, but not all of them. I turn down over 99% of the people who want me to take their case, even though almost all of them have been mistreated by their employers. I take all of the risk. Without guys like me discrimination would run rampant in this nation. You'll change your tune if it ever happens to you.
Oh yeah? How many perjury prosecutions have you seen? People lie under oath all the time. It is the bane of my existence as a trial lawyer. How many millions of dollars is it worth to prove Clemens or Bonds once lied under oath when there are tons of white collar crimes - - with real victims - - that are never prosecuted. Your opinion is Pollyannaish, sir.
The Reds are not extracting maximum value from Chapman's dominance. Using him as a middle reliever is criminal. How can things so patently obvious not be understood by so-called "baseball men?" They stretched him out in Spring Training, paid lip service to making him a starter then began treating him like their red-headed stepchild. Why?Which is better, 150-200 innings of Chapman or 70 innings of Chapman?
Not KG, but I'm pretty sure he meant what he said. Rendon was tried at SS this Spring. After the long layoff (thanks, old CBA), and what with Rendon not even playing in the Fall league, I think he needs some time to get his legs under him. I don't like hearing doubts about his hitting ability, but give the kid some time before hitting the panic button.
Thanks and goodbye, Steve. You were at your best when you intermingled baseball history with the subject at hand. Baseball is a tradition, and you kept the memories alive. Good luck.
Cool stuff. You really, really love baseball and it shows. My kind of guy.
Nicely done, Steven.
What's your source?
Great deal for both teams. Minor league-wise, Seattle has pitching depth and the Yankees have catching/hitting depth. The Yankees now have a significant bumper crop of talent (Campos, Williams, Bichette, Sanchez, Santana) due to hit the scene around 2014, which is precisely when they need to get their payroll at or under $189 million to avoid paying Draconian luxury taxes under the new CBA. Perfect timing, flowing from near-perfect management and excellent scouting.
Cashman is asleep at the wheel. He could have had Darvish for 52 mil. The starting rotation needs major improvement & Davish was the perfect solution - - no loss of daft pick, reasonable salary (since posting fee does not count toward luxury tax), etc. It's very strange that the Yankees and Boston have gone silent while everyone else is going crazy.
Latos will be an ace. He just need to do it (it = what he did in the first half of 2010 and the second half of 2011) over a full season and he's there. Alfonso is an average first baseman, at best, and is at the peak of his trade value. Unless Volquez re-blossoms in Petco, San Diego will regret this deal.
He's quoting his mother, not Johnny Carson. Sorry, but I think he's more qualified than you to characterize what his mother says.
Why stop there? Why not ask for Nate Silver, Keith Law, or any number of illustrious alumni of BP? I think the present crew is as good as any they've had.
Does this mean we'll get our Top 150 25-and-under list this winter? C'mon KG, what else is there to do in Dekalb?
Tha's a trick question.
Its not just explosiveness, it's also fluidity. But you'd think they would have some film of him making great catches, not just trick catches. Obviously this film alone is not enough to pass judgment.
Dude's obviously a phenomenal athlete, but he hasn't dominated Cuban baseball like a true superstar would have by this age. There are guys ahead of him in most categories. He sure looks capable, though. Gotta love his explosiveness. Is he top ten material?
Add Roberto Petagine, Brad Eldred, Jorge Vazquez, Chris Davis, Kila K'Aihue and countless others to that list. Cecil Fielder was headed down that road before he went to Japan and came back as the Cookie Monster.
Arencibia may become a backup catcher in June. T. d'Arnaud was MVP in AA.
The scout who mentioned Hosmer' potential is late to the dance. Many others peg him as more than "above average." Janssen is not closer material; he doesn't get enough K's or DP's.
I don't agree with some of the gloom and doom talk here. The Mariners are on the verge of having an incredible starting rotation if Walker and Hultzen are as good as advertised. They won't need much offense to win with that rotation.
Nixon was caught stealing 30 times during the season in which he stole 107 bases, a 72% success rate.
& Bruce Bochy.
BTW, Ricky Henderson never stole 100 bases in the minors. However, he had 3 100 SB seasons in the majors by age 24. Henderson also had much more power than Nixon or Hamiton, despite the fact his build (6'1", 160 lbs.)was identical to Hamilton's (at least at the beginning of Henderson's career). (Nixon was listed at 6'1", 180 lbs.) At age 23 (in 1982, the same year Nixon stole 100 bases in the minors) he set the MLB record of 130 SB.
Otis Nixon stole 107 bases in 1982 at age 23 in AA/AAA. He didn't really make an impact at the MLB level until age 29, which is also the last time he spent a significant portion of a season in the minors. Nixon never hit more than 2 HR in a single season. He stole more than 40 bases per season in 9 consecutive seasons in the majors. If Hamilton is an average or better shortstop, he will make it to the bigs much faster than Nixon, who was an outfielder. So that's my question - - is he projected to be an average or better fielding shortstop?
McCourt and Colletti. It's gonna be a long road back.
Not getting a blue-chip prospect in exchange for Bourn was unforgiveable. Steve, I'm one of your biggest fans but I could not disagree with you more. One star is worth more thn 5 replacement-level players. One of the reasons they are called "replacement level" is that they're easily replaced. Wade did well to get Singleton & Cozart for Pence. He then gave back his gains, and then some, by basically getting nothing for Bourn. The sum total does not make the Astros a winner in the deadline deals.
Brown is faster and far more advanced as a hitter. Higher ceiling, higher floor. Am I right, KG?
Fascinating. Too bad you don't like trade speculation because you're very good at it. Another thng you're good at is rating the best 25-and-under players - - not just minor leaguers. If you come out with a list of the top 150, it would set a precedent in the industry and be more useful than all of the rest of the lists combined. It really is absurd to think that interest in a player vanishes when he is no longer rookie-eligible. Some guys struggle, some guys have weaknesses exposed, etc., but what does it all mean? Baseball junkies turn their lonely eyes to YOU.
I read a story saying that Gary Sanchez went to a local bar while his team was playing a game because he wasn't in the starting lineup. Please tell me this was someone's poor attempt at humor. I know he's had some attitude problems this year but that's a bit much.
Ironhorse isn't as crazy as you think. I recall having similar thoughts about Hellickson when the Rays were thinking of letting him stay in the minors this year. He was ready at the beginning of last year and had already been in the minors too long. The Rays decisions will cost Hellickson millions of dolars and definitely hinder his chances of accumulating HOF stats. Ditto Posey and Stanton last year. If a guy's ready, he should be called up.
The Yankees definitely have enough talent to trade for Felix. Heck, The Brewers had enough to get Greinke, the Red Sox had enought to get A-Gonz. What planet do you call home?
How do we know you're not just misleading everyone else so you can win your fantasy league? Next you'll be telling us that Yuniesky Betancourt is a real sleeper. Well played, Collette, but I've got your number.
Hey Joe, great job. You are a true gentleman and distinguished scholar. I'm assuming you knew of KG's Top 101 list before it was published to the world. If not, you should have. Any way, there is no excuse for not updating your chart the moment the list became public. This is the Baseball-freakin'-Prospectus and KG's top 101 list is one of its best products. It should be made as accessible as possible to anyone visiting your website. What, it's not that important? Oh, I see. OK, take your time.
I don't think she's ashamed of her first article, nor should she be. Her peers gave it high praise. We're laughing at the prude dudes who overreacted to it. Lighten up.
Your age is showing. I hadn't thought about Brock in a long time. Mike Epstein and Ben McDonald were also supposed to be far better than they were.
Yeah, Ryan Anderson was a big tease. But nobody thought Borchard was worth what the CWS paid him as a signing bonus and his performance in the minors never generated any excitement.
I never forgave Sparky for that comment. It was said of Thurman Munson just before before or during the 1976 World Series. Munson hit .529 during the 1976 WS and was the only Yankee who hit aabove .250 in the Rds' 4 game sweep. As fate would have it, Bench hit .533 with 2 HR's and was the WS MVP.
No Klaw top 100 list? It should be in one of the first 5 columns, left to right. Or is it proprietary?
Nepotism? Nah, the Steinbrenners would never do that. Oh wait . . .
Not yet, anyway.
So would Darryl.
I second that. I thought we had talked KG into doing that last year, but it never happened.
Can't get into the U.S. yet. Huge upside.
I totally agree. It won't hurt to spend a couple of months working on his defense and gaining confidence in his hitting. But you can't keep that bat under wraps much longer.
Actually, he played hurt most of the year. We'll see.
You have a firm grasp of the obvious. It's the other stuff you need to work on.
I, and I alone, predicted Bautista's breakout season before the season began. I wasn't expecting 50+ HR's but I was expecting 30+ HR's. He is definitely for real and AA has done it again.
That's the key question, isn't it?
Brett Gardner says hello. Despite having little to no power or strength, he continues to draw walks due to a discerning batting eye. From a fantasy standpoint, wouldn't you want your stolen bases guy to be standing on first, rather than second or third, after an AB?
We're missing our left fielder.
Will Carroll and Joe Sheehan are legends only in their own minds.
I completely agree. It was interesting to learn of a baseball subculture I never knew existed. Writers love to find something to poke fun at and Emma struck a rich vein here. (Not that I would want regular updates; this is a one-and-gone type of subject.)
Hey Tulo, Larry Walker says hello.
KG: Do your opinions ever change over the Winter? I know you had to prepare your Top 101 list in December, so how much of this are you locked into because you've already taken a stand? Or, put another way, have you ever changed your list from the one published in the BP book?
How are you going to quantify it? You'd need to know who took them, how often they took them, what they were and in what quantities and concentrations they were taken. Not gonna happen, so let it die. I think we have to assume that pitchers benefitted as much as hitters and leave it at that. There were some players who played well into their 40's in the pre-steroid era too. I'm tired of the smears (Davey Johnson? Mike Piazza? Jeff Bagwell? Brady Anderson?) based upon absolutely zero evidence and I think that's more harmful to the game than the use of PED's itself. For the most part, the "abuses" occurred at a time when PED's were not banned.
I agree with the commenters above who espouse a shorter ST, uniformly 7 game playoffs, no increase in wild card teams and fewer days between games in the playoffs. I also agree that instant replay should be expanded and I think there has to be a time limit between pitches - and/or a rule that a batter cannot step out of the batter's box between pitches.
The fact Arencibia raised his OBP from .284 to .359 in one year has me puzzled. Was last year an outlier? KG puts himself on a limb with this one.
. . . and hurts like hell when you catch it or get sawed off at the plate. Kevin Brown was notorious for his.
I think it's McGee's job to lose, although they will probably ease him into it.
Good ballot JP. You get high marks from me for including Palmeiro and Raines. To pick nits, I would have used my other two votes for McGwire and Trammell. I would not have agonized over Palmeiro and McGwire easily tops him in terms of his historic effect on the game. On top of his performance, he was agreat ambassador for the game when it truly needed one.
2012. Brain-to-finger malfunction.
Won't Norris be ready by 2010? Ramos seems eternally blocked.
KG: One of the reasons you are at or near the top of your profession is that that you are obviously not just throwing darts at a board, as opposed to some "analysts" who say thing like "something here holds me back, I'm not sure what," and actually admit that their ratings are hunches which they are unable to explain. It is quite clear who has the industry contacts and who is merely looking at the statistics and feeding off the analyses of industry giants such as yourself, Callis & Law. After all, it is easy to switch ranking orders to make oneself look independent - - everyone knows this is not an exact science.
Luke Scott and ostrowj1 are a symptom of the sickness in our society. Flat-earthers, truthers, creationists, teabaggers . . . I think we have more than our share.
What Birthers believe:
Thank you for stating the obvious.
My head a splode.
Norris is a true five-star player. His batting eye is incredible and he has good power. That makes him an elite catcher. Sorry, but Storen is not in the same category. I don't recall Zim being a five-star pitcher before his injury, but I could be wrong about that.
I've gotta think that's a rare mistake by KG. Norris should be ahead of those guys.
AL hitters will be happy to learn "Benoit does not have closer-type stuff." Maybe they were mesmerized by his shiny necklace.
I agree. 4 years at 80 million is ridiculous.
Except the Diamondbacks, Padres and Brewers have extra picks in the first round and there will be some more changes when Type A free agents are signed.
You're right. Pencil him back in as the #4 starter.
The Yankees have the answer to their catching problem in Gary Sanchez. The only problem is that he won't be ready until 2013 at the earliest. There's no need to give up a bunch to get a catcher. Montero will be a great DH.
Now the awkward years begin. Posada is the biggest problem. He's a liability behind the plate and is not quite good enough at hitting to be a DH on a championship team. To complement Montero, the Yankees need a strong defensive catcher and neither Posada nor Cervelli measures up. Jeter is the next biggest problem because he is rapidly turning into a 4th outfielder yet must be treated as a superstar. The day of reckoning for him is approaching uncomfortably quickly. The Yankees also need a backup plan at closer because Rivera cannot go on forever. At SP, Vazquez, Hughes and Burnett all spit the bit. This was the last hurrah for this edition of the Yankee Dynasty. They got unbelievable mileage from Jeter, Pettitte, Rivera and Posada, but those guys will be role players, at best, on #28.
Oh no you didn't. You didn't just play the "you're obviously biased against my favorite team" card, did you? Do you realize how lame and utterly absurd that is? If you want pablum, try licking your bib.
"in the initial battle (or the battle between initials)" is classic Christina. Nuggets everywhere.
How many teams have better third-game starters than the Twins? A: lots of them. The Twins were outplayed on the field. Now quit your whining - - the Pohlads have plenty of money to invest in the team but choose to keep it for themselves. Sucks to be you.
KO was and is a passionate baseball fan. And at the very least, unlike your heroes at Fox News, he does not lie or distort the news. When I was 14, I was dreaming up ridiculous trades and sending them to Lee McPhail, the NYY General Manager. There was much less baseball information out there, but I devoured every source I could find. Getting a new Baseball Digest was like opening a Christmas gift.
If Smoak becomes a Mark Grace type, Jack Z definitely screwed up. Hitters like Montero are rarer than hen's teeth.
Even better would be a top 150 25-and-under list. I know, I'm straying from the subject. So sue me.
Jack Z had a plan, which he boldly executed. This is all on the players. Kotchman got his full shot, which he had never been given before, and he blew it. Figgins was reasonably expected to score 100 runs. Etc., etc. That said, Jack Z blew it in the Lee trade. He should have taken the Yankees' offer. Montero is Edgar Martinez with more power, and Lueke will never be accepted by the fans.
Will, just cut it out. You're arrogant too, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
"Adam Jones the superior of a deity like Mays? To back up this assertion, Mr. Goldstein explained that modern athletes are, by and large, more advanced than their progenitors. Case and point...Jesse Owens' 1936 Olympic gold medal winning track and field times and scores are standard fare now for championship athletes at the High School level. Jones faces pitches (the slider and split-finger) that Mays never saw, endures crazier travel, and faces players drawn from an international talent pool. Put his ability back into the 1950s, and he'd do unbelievable things. So its not that theres anything particularly impressive about Adam Jones, he's just a part of a modern game in which is bigger, faster and stronger than what our grandfathers watched. (Sorry Baltimore Fans.)"
I'm not even sure he's talking about a player; it may be that he's talking about statheads like Depodesta. I agree that whoever made that comment is missing the boat. The "moneyball" apprach refers to taking advantage of market inefficiencies, which differ from time to time. At one time it was players with high OBP's who were undervalued, at another it was players who played great defense who were undervalued. That approach will never become outdated.
Stating the obvious: The Marlins were able to get Stanton in the second round of the 2007 draft, which sorta makes up for Dominguez. Also, the Nats should be set at catcher with Ramos & Norris.
Don't believe me?
Who ya gonna believe, Normandin or your lying eyes? I picked Bautista to have 40 HR's this year and I expect him to have 30+ homers each year for the next few years. He is not a one-year wonder.
A 50 game suspension for using a legal drug (Vitamin B-12)? That probably makes sense to people in Arizona.
Christina does a heckuva lot more than report transactions. Her knowledge of baseball history is encyclopedic and her analysis is usually spot on. She helps me understand what is (or should be) going on in the minds of the General Managers. Of course, the fact that she can turn a phrase with the best of them doesn't hurt.
BP has persevered despite losing Silver, Klaw, Sheehan (who uses his platform to promote outside endeavors) and others. This too shall pass.
Will found his own niche and exploited it well, but I got the feeling almost anyone could do the same thing if he or she found the time. He's kinda like Buster Olney - - not particularly talented, but he gives the readers what they want. His genius was in finding the niche. BP could hire someone else to do his schtick and it probably wouldn't take more than a year to bring him/her up to speed. I hope Will comes back, but life will go on and I will continue to subscribe to BP.
I think slotting of any kind is an illegal restraint of free trade and un-American. The draft itself has resulted in more parity than there would otherwise be and the owners are lucky to get away with it. Instead, they want more. Their greed will ultimately lead the stripping of MLB's antitrust exemption and the abolishment of the draft.
Rodriguez morphs into Ramirez toward the latter half of the first part of this piece. I'm pretty sure Hanley wasn't managing in New Orleans earlier this season.
Davis is a better hitter and fielder than Smoak.
You matched my hyperbole and took it up another notch. No one gets a Bambino comp. No one. And no one gets a Pujols comp. Montero was considered a better hitting prospect than Stanton before this year. He is an extremely talented hitter, the type who is scarcer than hens' teeth. There is a reason he was ranked way above Smoak in everyone's (I repeat, everyone's) prospect ratings. Jack Z swung and missed and he had played it perfectly up to that point. What a shame.
Oswalt is no better than Javy Vasquez. He is no Cliff Lee.
I engaged in a bit of hyperbole when I made the Kotchman comp, which is probably the worst possible scenario. However, Kotchman was also a highly regarded hitter as he made his way through the minors. Like Smoak, he was considered an excellent fielder but he was never mentioned in a discussion of the best hitting prospects in the minors. Neither of them, for instance, tore up high-A or AA ball in pitchers leagues and parks as 19-year-olds learning an infinitely more difficult position. Jack Z has done a great job up to this point and this could have been his masterpiece. Instead, it will become his one true regret.
I agree with Christina. Montero will be an Edgar Martinez with more power - - a monster in the middle of the lineup. Smoak will be another Casey Kotchman. Jack Z came so close, only to let it slip away.
Kevin, I hate to feed your already enormous ego but you are the best. However, you will not be perfect until you develop a top 201 25-and-under list.
Well, Brett Anderson helps a bit.
Drafting Taillon and Allie says something different to me. Their first pick in 2009 is doing great. I think they are finally on the right track, but it will be 2-3 years before they are a winning team and 2-3 years after that before they are a contending team. I'd be excited if I were a Pirate fan.
Just think of all the high draft picks you'll be getting. This year it's the Anthony Rendon sweepstakes. He'd be a natural fit for the Astros (coming from Rice), but I'm sure he'd be equally welcome in Pitt or Balt.
I was just trying to help KG find an Astros prospect worthy of mention. You're right. Forget it.
I don't see Chris Johnson mentioned much, here or any other prospect sites. He may be 25 with not much projection left, but but he is still rookie-eligible and has followed up his 8 HR Spring Training performance with a solid, if not spectacular performance in AAA. I'm assuming he would have replaced Feliz already but for the Super Two issue.
I'm still waiting fot the first ever top 202 ranking of 25-and-under players in the minors and majors combined. Kevin, that will set you apart from all of the other analysts and push you to the pinnacle of your profession (provided, of course, that you don't screw up).
That was an awesome podcast with Klaw. Sounds like you guys are lovin' life. Could Rendon be a decent glove at SS with his size (not too big) and athletic ability? Would it be worth it to try him there as a pro?
How can anyone say the Pirates, or for that matter, the Natinals, did not have one of the top 5 drafts?
Young was waiting fot a changeup because he couldn't hit Strasburg's fastball. Either that or he thought Strasburg's changeup was a fastball. Think he'll ever see a changeup from Strasburg again?
The Pirates can be accused of lots of things, but they are not cheap or conservative in the draft. Tony Sanchez, who was supposedly a signability pick last year, looks like an absolute stud. As I recall, the Pirates ended up being in the top 3 teams who spent the most on the draft last year.
Did you see the part where it said "little power?"
I cannot believe how incredibly stupid Phillips is. I mean rock-hard stupid. Dehydrated-rock-hard stupid. Stupid so stupid that it goes way beyond the stupid we know into a whole different dimension of stupid. Trans-stupid stupid. Meta-stupid. Stupid collapsed on itself so far that even the neutrons have collapsed. Stupid gotten so dense that no intellect can escape. Singularity stupid. Blazing hot mid-day sun on Mercury stupid. Quasar stupid - - Phillips emits more stupid in one second than entire galaxies emits in a year. Seriously, the idea of trading Strasburg for Oswalt has damaged my psyche. My mind still recoils from the sheer horror of it all. I have peered into the void, my friends, and I have paid the price. My faith in humanity is now completely gone.
Alvarez didn't do much before June last year, either. Then he got promoted and was much better at a higher level. Just sayin'
No one wants to compare themselves to the Rays, because the Rays make everyone else look foolish. You can do it with good scouting, strong drafts, good coaching and a conservative, yet bold trading philosophy. A hundred-million dollar payroll is not necessary. The Rays are already in position to win championships for the next 5 years; if they keep doing what they're doing, it could be much longer. This is the closest thing to a dynasty we will see in the twenty-tens.
Prediction: Posey will be up in 3 weeks and Sabean will claim the timing (coinciding with when Posey can no longer become eligible for "super two" status) is pure coincidence.
While we're at it, how many 18-year-olds have hit 39 homers in the minors, like Stanton did in 2008? I don't recall ever seeing that before.
Looking forward to top 101 (151?) 25-and-under article. And you need to do more chats. You're my secret weapon.
Ending a sentence with a preposition is a practice up with which I will not put.
The arcade game numbers suggest that Stanton has nothing left to learn in AA. He is not being challenged. Strikeouts notwithstanding, if he can help the Marlins he might as well learn at the major league level. Using Wood as an example, the Angels blew it by not giving him an extended major league audition years ago. They not only hindered his progress, but destroyed his confidence.
If Stanton is in a funk, I'd hate to see him when he's hot. Could this be a case of a scout not seeing the forest for the trees? By how much does Stanton have to outperform his peers before he's considered MLB-ready?
Dustin Ackley = Mark Kotsay. Both were fantastic college players.
You're just plain wrong. The law requires the police “when practicable” to detain people they "reasonably suspect" are in the country without authorization. It also allows the police to charge immigrants with a state crime for not carrying immigration documents. And it allows residents to sue cities if they believe the law is not being enforced. Like the Jews in Nazi Germany, people can be stopped and made to show their papers on the whim of a law enforcement official. It is an abomination and guys like Adrian Gonzales, Ozzie Guillen, etc. are showing true courage and leadership by opposing it.
He should have used a Cone of Silence.
That's it, Pelfrey, you've been relegated to the status of a statistical anomaly. Next!
"Of course, with Feliz projected for just a .246 TAv against Blum's .247, it's still worth wondering why they signed Feliz in the first place." I agree that signing Feliz was short-sighted, but he is a huge upgrade over Blum on defense. The Disastros need to find a way to finish with the worst record in baseball so they can draft hometown-boy Anthony Rendon in 2011, but Baltimore is giving them a run for their money and has the "advantage" of playing in the AL East.
Outstanding writing and good content, per usual. However, you are buying too much into conventional wisdom regarding Jose Bautista. Check out his numbers during the last couple of months of the 2009 season and in Spring Training this year. His OPS during that time frame was staggering. He's off to a bit of a slow start, but his OBA is still north of .350, making him a decent leadoff hitter even in the midst of a mini-slump. I think he has turned a corner in his career. If Cito has any brains at all, he leaves Bautista where he is and Lewis is the fourth outfielder. (Benching or optioning Snider would also be an mistake of epic proportions.)
Oh, and by the way I'd like to know the answer before I draft on Friday.
Kevin, I assume that some of what you are told is confidential but at some point I'd like to know why the Yankees and Red Sox did not actively pursue Chapman, whom they had heavily scouted. It cost the Red Sox over 100 million to sign Dice-K after a bidding war with the Yankees and Chapman has an even bigger upside, so there's something here that does not meet the eye.
I think Josh Anderson was already sent down.
I beg to differ. If I say "I don't see how the Democrats are going to pick up seats in the next election" does that mean I've observed all of the evidence first hand?
If I was Washburn or Pedro, I would take great comfort in some of these 5th starter scenarios.
Kouzmanoff was traded; Headley's back at third.
It's simple. Combine what you've done this year with last year. Provide a numerical order from best to worse and group them into tiers. The tiers should be based on fantasy value alone and not some artificial formula that says "there must be 5 players in each tier."
I didn't notice any editing errors, maybe because I was more focused on the content, which I thought was excellent. This article is packed with useful information.
Kevin, you're the gold standard. Will your top 101 be different from the one in the book? To include Chapman, for instance?
Christina, this is some of your best stuff. You were obviously fascinated with the subject matter. You know, rather than figuring out a clever way to say something about nothing . . . a category in which you totally dominate (which I say as a compliment). Outstanding.
This list would look a lot better with Santana and Bell on it. But heck, they got Blake and Sherrill, so who cares?
The Yankees got younger and faster, improved their defense and pitching, and will probably at least match the offense they lost with Damon and Matsui, whose offensive contributions will diminish because of age and leaving Yankee Stadium. Cashman is entering his prime. And he had better be, just to keep up with Epstein. The Red Sox have also improved themselves greatly.
You're nuts if you think trading Clement for Wilson and Snell was a bad trade. Going from Betancourt to Wilson was a huge upgrade, and Snell still has plenty of upside. Morrow for League seems a bit dicey, but I think Trader Jack deserves the benefit of the doubt at this point, don't you?
The only difference is the throws, and Chavez always had a good arm. It's sad if they have to take that away because of his back.
I agree. McGwire was great for the game. How about a little gratitude?
Sleeper Alert: Don’t look now, but Jorge de la Rosa’s strikeouts have gone up and his WHIP has decreased every year for the last 5 years. He will be 29 next year.
Kevin, this is pure gold. Profar is going to be interesting to watch.
Marc, I enjoy your work. I'd prefer that you expand the rankings to at least 25 per position and that you also group the players into tiers. You're using every tool available to make educated guesses, which is all we can ask you to do; the "thinking aloud" aspect of your work also allows the readers to draw their own conclusions and provides a valuable service to fantasy owners.
Wow. A casual mention at the end of fairly mundane piece (for you, anyway). I couldn't believe my eyes. WTF?
I like this analysis. Penny-wise and pound-foolish.
Dustin Ackley probably belongs on this list.
If Pudge takes any playing time away from Jesus Flores, it's a mistake. If they pay him like a starter, but he's only a reserve, it's a mistake. In other words, it's a mistake.
I call Balderdash on Toronto. They don't need Montero. They need the best package they can get, and nobody as good as Montero will be necessary. Chamberlain or Hughes, M. Cabrera, and a decent prospect like Romine or Banuelos. That's way better than what the Indians got for Lee.
I thought Kendall had a horrific ankle or leg injury. He was never the same after that.
I also expected to see Matsui on this list. The Yankees should have no interest in Marquis - he's a Type A free agent who, over the course of his career, is a nothing more than a replacement-level pitcher. And I don't see them offering Damon more than a one-year deal, if that. He's a Type A free agent and the Yankees will probably gamble on getting a #1 draft pick from the team that signs him, since they're going to lose their own pick when they sign Holliday.
Posada can still catch and should do so until Romine is ready (or, after him, Murphy or Sanchez). Cervelli is a backup. Molina is history. Matsui or Damon should be resigned for one year to keep the DH spot warm for Montero. The other has to go. I love 'em both but we can't keep both Damon's arm and Matsui's knees around forever. After next year, Jeter should probably be an outfielder (although he should be kept at shortstop until he proves he can't play it anymore). Melky is a good 4th outfielder and Ajax can also provide depth. Swisher is OK; he played a helluva right field in the playoffs. Gardner is a goner. The Yankees must get younger. Their long term needs, other than pitching, are at shortstop and centerfield. They need to sign Chapman and make Hughes a starter. Let someone else sign Lackey; next year, Halladay will be available. I hope Girardi learned not to overmanage and never, I repeat, never, pinch runs for A-Rod again. That is all.
I recall seeing some reports that Hermida has had an attitude problem; he's just not all that interested in baseball. He's the type of player a small market team could gamble on, but he won't get an opportunity in Boston unless he stays out of the doghouse and gets off to a hot start. Boston is past the point where it should be looking for this type of bargain. His downside is significant.
I will state, unequivocally, that MLB needs to experiment with instant replay in the minors or in Spring Training.
I can't make my reply button work, so I will just say this. ElAngelo, I think what you are saying is that I have an intuitive grasp of the obvious. Thank you. a5ehren and Stevis, the point I am making is that Matsui was deked by the umpire, not Rollins. Do you think Matsui walks off the field if he knows it was called a catch and there was no force out at second? It wasn't clear to me at all that the ump was ruling on the catch rather than the force, and I think Matsui's actions say the same thing. I mean, if it was so obvious, why did the umps spend 5 minutes chatting with each other after the play?
Let's not get ahead of ourselves here. Lee is not the only pither who can dominate. I like Sabathia on 3 days rest more than Lee on 3 days rest. If Sabathia takes the next 2 matchups between them, the Yankees win the Series.
I am right and half the world is wrong. Matsui didn’t just “wander off” on that double play as McCarver and Buck were saying last night. It was another blown call by the umps. The second base umpire made the out call when Rollins touched the bag, not when Rollins caught the ball. Matsui saw that he had been called out, so, naturally, he was leaving the field. Matsui should have been allowed to stay at second.
Don't worry about CC. The Brewers pitched him on 3 days rest 4 times in a row before he had a bad game. During that stretch, his ERA was below 1.00. He'll do just fine.
Girardi: "Alex runs the bases very well, but sometimes it's that extra step that can tie or win a game for you."
"So, after weighing the pros and cons, knowing that the best baserunner isn't always the fastest baserunner, but the one who has good baserunning instincts and a feel for the game, I decided to take out the best payer in the game, maybe the best player of all time, because I had no concern whatsoever that we would score that run to tie the game, leaving a black hole in the middle of the batting order, thus ensuring that Tex would never get a pitch to hit for the rest of the game. The fact A-Rod had stolen 14 bases in 16 attempts, and was routinely taking out catchers and infielders on the basepaths, never entered into my thoughts. Actually, it was a gut decision. You know, I just can't explain it. Something told me I had to do something, so that was it." Here's a thought, Joe. Admit you were wrong. Until you do, you will have no credibility.
Colletti did well to get an extension before the Carlos Santana and Josh Bell trades blow up in his face.
You do not pinch run for A-Rod. Period. If the Yankees had tied the game, they would have been crippled by A-Rod's absence. I was willing to give Girardi a pass on a lot of head-scratching moves he has made (like replacing Robertson with Aceves to pitch to Kendrick), but there is no defense for this one. None. Girardi truly is an idiot.
I don't understand why Cano is getting all the negative attention. Posada's mental errors were far more egregious. On the play where Cano stopped short of third and was tagged, the Angels mad misplayed a rundown allowing Posada to take third. I repeat, Posada was safe at third. But then he stupidly left the bag. Had he stayed there, Cano could have tried to retreat to second. Of course, Posada should have already scored anyway. How you can fail to score on a double from second base is beyond me. I guess Posada was watching Hunter, who completely decoyed him, rather than the ball. Later in the game, Posada lost track of the outs and left his position (with Hunter on third)after a double play. Had A-Rod not hustled to cover home plate, that could have been an extremely embarrassing moment. Posada's head was just not in the game.
Conversely, Jeter, Teixeira (despite his lack of hitting) and A-Rod have played like consummate professionals. I feel privileged to witness their greatness.
I agree with everything said by Evan except "If the MLBPA values the mostly free market in which their players currently exist, they will oppose hard slotting as vigorously as they opposed a salary cap." The players union as a whole resents the large bonuses given to kids who haven't proven anything on the field. Those kids have no representation in the bargaining and they will be Kansas City Royally ____ed.
Selig's biggest concern is making money for the owners. Period. He gets paid $15 million a year and that's how capitalism works.
As I recall, Appier had a violent delivery and was not as economical with his pitches as Greinke. Greinke is Catfish Hunter with better stuff.
You mean Theo made a mistake? Nah, couldn't be . . . there must be some other explanation.
Again, no comment on the Pudge acquisition by Texas, what it means about the seriousness of Saltalamacchia's injury, why they would give up anything for an offensive black hole on his last legs, etc. What is this? The Twilight Zone?
I'm still trying to figure out why the Rangers got Pudge Rodriguez, and gave up some mid-level prospects to do it. Why pay that much?
If Toronto had gotten Alonso in the Rolen deal, that would have been a good deal for them. Unfortunately, they didn't. And even more unfortunately, Encarnacion has proven he cannot play third base.
Very good analogy. However, I don't think the Wilpons are charity cases yet, not with a team in that market with a new ballpark. I think it will come down to the Phillies or the Mets, with the Mets having an "advantage" because Wells could really help them.
Mike Stanton. Same age as Montero, better athlete, more power. Is it better to play catcher poorly than it is to play a corner outfield position well?
3 Braves . . . what a sorry lineup that is.
Well, Cleveland got Santana for Blake last year, so figure Ethan Martin and Lambo, at least.
Mark, I'm a big fan. However, the Yankees have set a team record for consecutive games of errorless ball, Hughes looks like he will contribute this year and, oh by the way, they've only lost a couple of games in the last 2 weeks. With Posada back and Nady coming back soon, it's not going to get any easier for their opponents. This is a juggernaut. You missed the boat on this one.
Delmon Young is the new Brad Komminsk. Other great examples of 3rd chance stars are Bill Robinson and Dale Murphy.
I agree. Hughes should definitely go to the bullpen, not the minors, when Wang is activated.
Kevin: Extremely well done . . . fascinating tidbits and cogent analysis. I think there's a future for you in this business!
Didn't Darrell Porter wear glasses?
Great job as usual, Marc. So Nolasco has pitched as well as Cueto . . . can we keep this our little secret?
Hey philosofool, ever hear of "regression to the mean?"
Great article, Joe. Girardi has never had much confidence in Edwar, to the detriment of the Yankees. He's a funky-looking and funky-throwing pitcher who gets great results in the long run, but becomes a batting practice pitcher if the hitter guesses right when he decides to throw a fastball. Ya still gotta use him. Piniella, on the other hand, is as flitty as a bimbo with ADD. Everyone but him has figured out that Marmol shold be the closer, through thick and thin.
Fabulous draft. The best catchers in each league and bargains galore.
Gardenhire is some kind of comedian. The Twins kept Liriano in the minors long after he had proven he was ready to come back up. That cost them at least one win, maybe more. Management has only itself to blame.