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I guess "worst case" isn't the best term to use--along those lines, ask our prospect team how they feel about the word "ceiling."
But in terms of "reasonable worst case" or "likely downside," they project to be very good relievers. Otherwise you're talking about something significant changing about them. Either injury or their stuff backing up.
And unless you have a reason to believe that will happen, then you're just operating from the perspective of, "Well he's a pitcher so he could get hurt and be terrible." And since that's true of everyone, it gets very tiresome to say that over and over again.
Lopez already showed that his stuff can work in the majors last year. Kopech is a bit further away, but he dominated major leaguers in a 2 inning burst against the Cubs just the other day.
But if Lopez, Kopech, Fulmer, and Hansen don't wind up as starters, add those to <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=56519">Nate Jones</a></span> and Burdi and I don't think it's a stretch to say based on what we know now that should be a really good group.
True! I suppose that would fall under a Rebuilding Type trade (veteran for prospect). For purposes of this article, that occurred in 1998, prior to <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=92694">Kenny Williams</a></span> taking the helm. So in a sense, in terms of timing and what the organization's philosophy was and when, it still fits.
Very fair point, though.
If Fulmer hits his 99th percentile outcome he certainly has the potential to be dynamic, and the White Sox have earned some benefit of the doubt given their track record.
That said, Sale is an anomaly in many, many ways, and when you're doing these lists you have to balance a player's potential ceiling against the likelihood that they get there.
Well, the White Sox certainly have plenty of similar chipped gems...
Not that I didn't smirk at a reference to a Horadric Cube.
I appreciate the conversational tone and the attempt at variety. I like both of your personalities and they came through in the article.
The problem is that's essentially the only thing here. The "Is he rebuilding or no?" thing with Kenny Williams has been beaten to death weeks ago. Ditto the "White Sox offense is terrible and it would need a lot of things to go right for it to work" and the "Adam Dunn's season was a freaky thing and so we don't know what to expect."
Then for the trade bullet point there's the lazy response of, "Well, there have been rumors about Thornton so maybe him maybe not" and my previous complaint with the Alexei Ramirez blurb.
Essentially the only thing I felt would be news to anyone is the evaluation of Chris Sale's 3rd pitch being a difference maker converting to the rotation.
I'm not trying to be hypercritical or a jerk. I've been a subscriber for years. But this article feels like filler to me, and that's a bit disheartening when you pay for content. I hold you guys to a higher standard than free websites.
I mean, you're not wrong, but then perhaps you gave the right answer to the wrong question, in that case.
I'm just really disappointed with this article in terms of analysis.
Alexei Ramirez, I think, is the least likely player to get traded on the team. The analysis here is, "Boy, would the Giants love having Alexei Ramirez!"
Which is foolish. The White Sox would love to have Evan Longoria but that doesn't mean that trade is anywhere approaching reality.
Baffles me that Dick Allen isn't in there.
I believe he spells it Mat Latos for some reason.
I'm saying I don't see the point of it. Like Drew says, we have Sano here, and he has 80 power and everything else is a mystery as to whether it will develop. That doesn't really do anything for me in fantasy to say, "He'll hit home runs." Unless people are playing minor league fantasy...?
If there's no room to do more than that, then I wouldn't bother with it.
With the caveat that I'm a huge fan of your work and these articles in general!
I'm still convinced the "Fantasy Impact" should be focused more on this year or next year, and is useful for guys who are threatening to break into the majors in the coming year. Vague statements about what they'll look like in 3-5 years may not be as useful. I think of it more as an expansion of "Path to the Majors" in a way.
Does Jose Martinez have any athleticism left after years of injury?
Is there any real baseball reason for Dayan Viciedo to still be in the minors?
How many of these in a row is this without a White Sox prospect? Yeesh, Kenny Williams...
Mightn't it be fair to take Stewart's AAA numbers with a grain of salt in that they were in Vegas?
Always a highlight for me. Are there any reports on Viciedo's outfield defense? Any shot at adequacy?
I agree this deal makes no sense for the Tigers.
Re: Furbush -
Everything I read/see about his delivery screams, "Each pitch could be my last."
Didn't the Brewers just acquire Nyjer Morgan? Couldn't that change the Carlos Gomez outlook considerably?
Just because one of those three teams will exceed 84 wins doesn't mean you, as a projection system, have to pick any *particular* one of them to win more than 84 games.
I'm interested to hear that there's a "defensive liability" to the White Sox fielding Dunn (DH so who cares), Konerko (modestly below average), Quentin (ghastly), and then Alexei Ramirez (the best defensive SS in the AL last year), and Alex Rios.
And it sounds like they're about to acquire Adrian Beltre, who is an excellent defensive 3B...
Will we be able to see any assessments along the lines of how the team will likely hold up performance-wise? It's an aging group, with some players having some spotty histories - either recently or a few years ago - and I was interested to see a BP perspective on that. Kevin Goldstein hinted at potential pitfalls to Cliff Lee in a blurb the other day, for example.
The financial situation isn't as bad as I really had thought, although I still think this is a touch optimistic.
Came here to write something similar to the first three sentences.
The acquisition of Cliff Lee was not an all-in move for 2010. He was cheap this year - cheaper than people realize - and the prospects they gave up for him are pretty awful. If they were good this year, great they have Cliff Lee. If not, they trade him for a stud prospect - which they did.
When people say "glove whiz" about Eduardo Escobar, does that mean "major league ready in the minors defensively", "Top 10-15 defensive shortstops in the majors eventually", or some combination of both?
I heard stories from people in Tampa that during Spring Training he would go out and drink pretty hard. Given his history with the DUI and so forth, it wouldn't surprise me if his conditioning and attitude aren't in the right place.
Then again, the Major Leagues are hard enough that you don't even need off the field problems as an excuse.
I think Bedard said today he's probably not going to pitch this year, so that's another option off the table.
Please tell me that Giovany Soto is Geovany's brother.
One can argue that Howard is roughly the 5th-7th best at the position now, and there's nowhere to go but down.
Abner Doon was technically a genius, but it was certainly meant as a pejorative, correct.
Perhaps I'm overly pessimistic, but I think Arbuckle is generally given the credit as the savvy baseball guy, and Amaro was considered a nice guy who wasn't very bright - whether that's true is yet to be seen.
I guess I used a lot of words and wasted a lot of people's time to say: "Assuming the Phillies know what they're doing when the evidence on a specific move suggests otherwise may not be a valid way of analyzing as much as it is for others."
Whoa! I never said "incompetent" or "idiotic." My point was that his reasoning has been flawed, and that his moves have been questionable - at least to the extent where we cannot say, "Well this doesn't seem to make sense, but Amaro's really great so we'll assume he's right."
I notice you decided to portray the Lee trade as A Three Way Trade, which I have been lead to believe is false. It was a separate deal made because they were trying to "play for the future" (which is odd, seeing as they have no interest in leveraging their leaving free agents into draft picks, and are signing guys who will contribute now but not much later to long deals) and got marginal prospects. Lee was cheap for this year, and that deal was NOT necessary to acquire Halladay. For him to turn around and give the money he couldn't afford to give to Lee to Danys Baez and Placido Polanco seems pretty foolish to me.
Additionally, authors on this very site savaged the Ibanez deal. Even if it worked out - and worked out so well in one year it justifies the whole deal - that doesn't mean it should make us think he knows what he's doing. The odds were against it working out. And a single season of fielding defense in left field doesn't seem to me to outweigh the fact that he had been terrible for years before, and I'd bet he's going to be poor instead of average going forward.
I think Amaro inherited an extremely enviable stockpile of resources at the major and minor league levels, and that he is not leveraging them as nearly as well as he could be.
I liked your article on the Howard extension, and it mollified my dislike of it, but only slightly.
I would argue the "Phillies are competent" argument is no longer a given. Much of the team's current success can be attributed to people who are no longer with the team. Amaro's moves may be described as "peculiar" to be polite, and "Abner Doon-ish" to be melodramatic.
I'm not saying we should assume everything he does is foolish, but I think he's made far more poor moves than good ones.
I don't know if this has already been addressed, so forgive me, but will Jared Mitchell 's ankle injury hinder him long term, beyond development time? Any shot of him recovering ahead of the timetable of just, "one year"?
I think this is pretty much right.
I would also point out that Freddy Garcia is pretty much just a placeholder. Would be interested to see a BP/Battle Royale take on these staffs that includes depth of the starting rotations. If each team lost a pitcher or two, who would be best suited to move forward?
Want to add that this is my only complaint about an otherwise fantastic overhaul.
This was the best example I could find for the problem I have with the Performance Forecast. Every player - no matter their age or ability - is simply projected to put up the same year or worse and then gradually decline no matter what. Even if that's the safe prediction it seems pretty not-useful.
The concern is that Lee had a cheap option for this year as well, and the trade didn't *have* to be made. Carrasco apparently has makeup issues that are so damning that dyed-in-the-wool numbers junkies like Keith Law think he is completely broken.
They're not completely devoid of value, but the odds are against it coming close to panning out. There are also financial benefits to avoiding the PR bath of selling everything that isn't tied down every year.
I agree Drabek is overrated when it comes to the statistical side of thing but scouts like him a lot better for a reason.
I don't understand the value of Jayson Nix on this team. If something happens and Alexei or Omar need to be put on IR you have Lillibridge.
Oh, and Gordon Beckham could probably play SS in a pinch. Then you still have Lillibridge, Teahen and Retherford and a few other in house options for emergency depth at 2B that is probably roughly comparable to the production of Jayson Nix.
Seriously, there is so much position redundancy on this White Sox roster/AAA that any bleating about needing versatility must simply be a smokescreen. Nix is completely superfluous to this roster and needs to be cut yesterday.
You have marked Blylven as not leading the league in any of Wins, ERA, or Ks with a 0 in the 3C column.
However, in 1985 Blyleven was 1st in the AL in strikeouts with 206.
If Retherford has good hands but poor range, and 2B is occupied, any way he could play 3B or is his arm not up to snuff?
Did Bellamy just miss or am I the only one who's excited about him?
I'm curious as to how Sizemore has somehow failed to meet expectations. Sincere question not snarky, aggrieved Sizemore defender.
I know correlation isn't causation, but Danks' good/bad months correspond with a wrist injury. It could have been Double-A pitchers getting a second look at him and exploiting weaknesses, but couldn't this just mean his wrist is healthy again?
I feel like this article is part of the explanation for the Peavy trade.
The announcers said that Hanley decided to bunt there on his own, so I'm not sure why you would fire a manager for that.
Not sure if this has been mentioned yet, but today's post by Christina Kahrl on the game dissects this decision in a bit more depth, and I think there are some reasonable thought processes in it.
Here, this is what I was talking about, and it covers the sort of thing you meant, Evan.
To clarify, so I don't sound like a belligerent, wouldn't VegasWatch's regression analysis of all of PECOTA's projections serve as a better feather in your cap than picking a single team in a single year?
Not trying to criticize too much, as BP is something I love and I agree that PECOTA is the best. But still, every year I hear boasts about the 72 wins pegged for the '07 White Sox. But haven't they missed horribly on the White Sox in most years?
People talk about Ozzie Small Ball a lot, and he does too, but really isn\'t he fully aware he doesn\'t have the personnel for it and doesn\'t he manage accordingly?
I didn\'t want to look like a complainer, so this index is very much appreciated. It was bizarre to see BP removing features instead of adding them.
Also sad to see the Team Quotes go.
Link fixed. Thanks!
Looper was the solution I had kind of hoped for for the White Sox - especially if they have $8 million to play with, if those reports are to be believed. Although, how much weight would you put into Looper saying he wanted to pitch for an NL team?
I like the article, and the idea behind the article. I\'m not sure if that link at the end of it, regarding the White Sox situation, is working though.
I was hoping for something along these lines too. Not necessarily getting rid of FRAA but maybe adding another statistic to add perspective. There are dozens of batting metrics that people feel pretty good about, but there isn\'t any single fielding one people seem really sure on. Makes sense to have more.
Character guys like Brett Myers you mean?
1) Criticize defensive metrics all you like, but I\'m pretty sure visual evidence from people who know what they\'re talking about really don\'t like Ibanez\'s defense.
2) Not only do the Phillies lose the chance of gaining draft picks by offering arbitration to Burrell, don\'t they also lose their draft pick by signing Ibanez, who\'s Type A?
As I was watching the World Series, it seemed as if nobody wanted the Phillies to win more than Joe Maddon.
It really did seem like Maddon was trying his hardest to give himself the worst match ups possible out of the bullpen.
To be fair, when you haven\'t been to the playoffs in 20-some-odd years, just making it means quite a lot.