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I had a longer idea for a piece that never came together around Keller that discussed that idea further. Sometime dudes just get shown a grip and it takes off. <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=70445">Michael Fulmer</a></span> is a recent example. I can't project "learning a new grip" on Keller, can only project the change as is with allocation for the fact that he didn't throw it much at all for me. I'd probably keep him around where we had him last year which is a low risk #3 type, very valuable on its own, not quite Sandy-Koufax-lite though.
So I didn't get this exact comp, but it occurred to me reading your question. The downside risk here is something like a tweener/4th that is stretched in center field and doesn't have real game power for a corner. Add in the durability concerns and that sort of sounds like 2017 <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=70524">Brandon Nimmo</a></span>.
I can't argue strenuously with dropping him a ton (as opposed to Crawford, where I would be more apt to pound the table) just because the power question and durability concerns queer the projection so much. I think I know what Crawford is if my ranking is "right." It's harder to see what that looks like with Meadows at 21.
I'm a Royce Gracie guy myself.
We like Chance, and he's a 101 candidate again. There's enough questions about whether he sticks behind the plate to scare us off from a top 50 ranking for now.
It's not easy, and this exact debate came up internally. If someone told me they preferred him to Alcantara due to the latter's command and bullpen risk, I couldn't really quibble. For us, the relative rankings came down to Alcantara's upside, and concern about Flaherty's ultimate major league out pitch. This could all change by November too, as past 30 the list gets really mushy.
Like Manning, hecould have easily slotted into that last tier of arms 41-50 and was discussed a lot internally. The upside is obvious, but he is far enough away and the reports have been mixed enough in total that he ends up in the next ten guys for us at the moment. Could easily be there by offseason list time.
Manning was discussed and he has a case to be in around, say, <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=109022">Riley Pint</a></span>. The major issue for him was really just timing. It was a very short pro track record at the time we were putting the list together. I live 45 minutes from
Norwich so this is the kind of thing that will resolve itself over the balance of the season. Honestly there isn't much separating him from the guys at the back of the Top 50, and he' still probably somewhere in the next 10-15 guys as it is. Just didn't have enough info to get him on at the time.
Preaching to the choir, the pre-Ford Volvo wagons were both square and cool.
I think he could be ready this year, but I don't see more than a September call up to get his feet wet.
Yeah, and I was even looking at his bref page at the time. I will never get used to that or the Rockies not being in Colorado Springs anymore.
I've required at a 25-run minimum for inclusion here for any games from the PCL Pac South.
Hard to say. He looked better as a starter than out of the pen, but it's two small samples, and he hadn't relieved since complex ball (didn't stop Collins from using him on back-to-back days almost immediately natch'). I'd worry about opposing teams being better able to leverage the platoon issues in late innings, but that very well might end up being his ultimate role. And you could have voiced the same concerns about <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=66336">Hansel Robles</a></span> a couple years ago, although he always looked like a future reliever.
You probably shouldn't encourage me to use more footnotes.
The performance was good (at least until the majors), I just don't know that the stuff really backs it up going forward. When he is sitting more 91-94 with just the changeup, it's a backend starter with little margin for error. He wasn't really in contention, because we view him as 'riskier' than your standard MLB #4 going forward.
He could get there throwing a full season sitting a tick or two higher like he did at times, and with either breaker getting a bit better, but of course if he does that he likely isn't list-eligible next year.
Oh come on, Craig.
We had Rob run the numbers, and the last four years have had 15, 11, 11, 15 from the previous Summer's draft. I don't know if that is significant or not, but I do think it was pretty a good draft class, especially if you wanted a high upside arm.
We like Vladito a lot, and he was in the 90s on various iterations of the list. In the end, we decided that the likelihood that he ends up at first base means we want to see him perform in full-season ball before pulling the trigger on him as a global top 100 prospect. I fully admit we might end up being a year late here, but that's the risk you run.
I've written a lot about Gsellman on the site, but the stuff has jumped this year. The fastball looks plus-plus now, a sinker with hard, late movement in the mid-90s, the slider is a potential plus pitch and the curve has tightened up as he's thrown the hard slider more. That's a 70 FB / 60 SL / 55 CU from a guy that is already in the majors. The proximity, floor, and still remaining upside if the command and change find another half grade makes him one of the best pitching prospects in baseball for us.
And for what it's worth, Smith is getting a write up in the just missed Ten Pack going up tomorrow, and the difference between like 80 (which would put us more in line with other national sources) and 110 just isn't that significant.
That said, I've seen Smith 15 times or so over the last three years and wrote about him plenty. You can disagree with us leaving him off, and many will, but I don't think it should be shocking. Also, internally he didn't really get pushed by any of our other authors for a spot, and there were plenty of cases in the back 10-20 spots where I got convinced on a guy by our team.
I don't love these kind of hypotheticals--what would this prospect be if he was actually a different prospect--but my lazy comp would be pre-2015 <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=69012">Dilson Herrera</a></span> with more pop and less speed/athleticism, so back half of the list somewhere.
I don't know about the next ten, but he'd make a 150, maybe a 125. Still very possible he's a reliever, and the change-up is the only real plus offering. He's more of a fun prospect than an impact one.
I can really only speak to our own list-making process, but we saw Mendez as a basically major-league-ready mid-rotation arm, and the reports we had on him both internally and externally were strong. He's not that far off de Leon as a matter of profile.
Lee, but they are both so far away at this point my opinion on this will change a half dozen times back and forth before either sniff the majors.
My conversation with Craig about that went Iike this:
"People are going to hate it but I like it and I don't care."
And here we are.
As someone who cites Fear of Music as a desert island disc and has strong opinions about David Byrne's solo work, this is the most valid critcism of these lists thus far.
Apparently yes, as I filtered by catcher when I double-checked it.
We discuss this some on the BP White Sox podcast, which should be up today. I *think* I agree with you, but Anderson was a top 30 prospect coming into the season and performed well in Triple-A/MLB, although it was a very Tim Andersony performance. He's also a better bet to stick at a premium defensive spot. If you believe he's a good shortstop now, I think it'd defensible.
I guess I would just say I don't know if Aiken has that upside anymore. How much more likely is he to add a couple mph than Hillman? Probably more, if only because he used to throw that hard, but I don't think it outweighs the downside risk. I also really like Hillman, and anyway there isn't a huge gap for me between like 4 and 12 in this org.
Parks used to do a series called "What I missed" on guys. I'll be doing something similar. Funnily enough, it will be the essay for the Tigers list tomorrow.
Yeah, all of the above. Plus, I try to use the philosophy of, "Pretend they get traded to the Marlins in July."
At this point in the list process I can barely even remember who was on the Padres list that went up Monday. Everything is a surprise to me.
For what it's worth, Ben, I care if you want to die, because I really don't want to do the fantasy stuff myself.
They were in the discussion. Lauer has a likely major league backend role, but the stuff is more average to solid-average across the board. Potts is a ways away and the Power projection is a question at present. Preferred Urias for a low-ceiling profile and Ona for the upside in a corner one.
SP1 is a fantasy baseball designation, not a major league role.
Not to be glib about these, but in this system, if you think a guy had a shot of making the list, he was probably in the discussion. It's a really deep system and only a clear top 6 or 7 or so. Top 10 becomes an arbitrary endpoint, and we easily could have gone a dozen or so deep on "others." Padres get short-changed more than most orgs by my needing to cut off somewhere to get thirty of these out between 11/1 and Spring Training.
I didn't really dig into why <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=DRA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('DRA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">DRA</span></a> shows him overperforming his RA-WAR numbers. But I'd say from a scouting standpoint, I'd want to see him tighten up his command a little more before throwing a 6 on him, regardless of one-year metrics.
Sure, that's possible, though Arenado should be hitting FA around when Rodgers is ascending to the majors, and I don't know if the Rockies find 200 million for him.
He also isn't eligible for the list based on service time. Rough guess is he would have slotted somewhere in the next five. It's a really deep top ten.
Blah, forgot about the rest of it. Alvarez's delievery isn't like <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=109067">Jordan Sheffield</a></span> level or anything but there is a little hitch before acceleration and he can get off line at times. A little more man strength might smooth it out.
We think Lux is potentially above-average at short, so he probably isn't moving, and isn't that likely to grow off it. But he is 18, and the gap between that and playing a major league shortstop is a really large thing.
Yeah I hemmed and hawed over 60 versus 70 OFP for him. I think I even through a 70 on him in a char recently. If I gave 65s, he'd probably fit best there balancing the present stuff with the risk, but I think I need to see a bit more with the change and more than 60 innings of the stuff in a season before I go 7. If someone else went 7 it would be totally defensible though.
de Leon's floor is something like "it goes Aaron Blair Bad." Stuff has less margin for error, so I think saying he already made the majors, while true, underplays the risk in the profile.
He was in consideration for a spot in the others and would definitely be in the next ten, maybe even the the next five. There's a long development path ahead for him though.
Not a ton has changed here since he signed. He still has one of the biggest...uh...rear ends you will see on a shortstop, and his ultimate defensive home might be second or third. There's more pop potential than you'd expect from a guy his size, but he's more polish than projection.
Jimenez should be fine in a corner outfield spot.
It me, the Cubs homer.
Though I suppose this beats the "not enough analysis" complaint on the last list.
Re: Flaherty, Yeah, that is pretty much how it shook out for us.
Neither was Chris Correa unless I missed a baseball team in my years at Camp Hamp (which, I mean I wasn't that st...uh, never mind). Cardinals Devil Magic cares not for who called your name on draft day.
Personally wasn't a huge fan of the cutter, I don't know if there is enough movement or velo separation of the fastball to make it a truly different look. Did get some positive reports on the slider from his time in the minors this year, FWIW.
The recent reports are good. The ones before that, not so much. He hasn't pitched in a game in 30 months. He's a slight, 6'1" righty. I am going to wait for actual games before I try to write/rank him.
I could see <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=45435">Adam Jones</a></span> lite (or even just young Adam Jones) as like a 95th percentile outcome. The median is *significantly* lower than that though.
The numbers are really shiny, and he was in the mix as a just-about-ready backend major league starter. the stuff isn't as good as Ponce's or potentially as good as Williams'. He'd be top ten in most other systems.
I am the low man on Gallo on the staff I think, but the only thing that has really changed for me is the risk in the profile. Still all-star OFP, less convinced he ever finds it.
I think the Athletics slot in right around ten give or take. I'd never bet against Beane dealing dudes, but I think they take a full year to rehab Gray's value. Doolittle I could see being deadline bait if he bounces back.
I will make Ben go back and edit his comments on the Angels list to make them rosterable in your league.
He's a respectable major league backup catcher who is about to turn 26 and hasn't hit outside of the PCL. Sometimes these guys figure it out late and turn into regulars, and the defensive base means he doesn't have to hit much to get to that point. He could also just end up <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Rene+Rivera">Rene Rivera</a></span>, which is fine, but not notable in this system nowadays.
I made a case for him on the Top Ten, but I think the lead time for development here is significant enough that we can wait and see.
The Angels Farm System is a Hollis Frampton film. Probably Zorns Lemma
Hey, Campos had a shot at making the Diamondbacks list too.
I actually like Jones a lot and think he is on the cusp of the 101, so it would be the teams with the most 101 dudes, which right now is either the Yanks, Braves, or White Sox.
Now if you drop it to second best prospect in the system...
I discovered this by accident, so at least I have an excuse.
Sure. And I still believe in <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=106025">Wilkerman Garcia</a></span>, and <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=106015">Dermis Garcia</a></span>'s game power at 18 warrants mentioning too.
Maybe? I don't know what the carrying tool is there and he is a rightfielder. I think he is right in the same role range as the back end of the list. Another year of performance when not "college guy in the NYPL" would land him on the list I'd imagine. And if you prefer the shot of a role 5 regular over the closer arms, I can see it.
In hindsight we should have set every blank profile pic to default to Connor Greene's glamour shot from last year.
<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=49832">Ivan Nova</a></span>'s bank account may disagree.
I am blaming autocorrect. But apologies to the weed mouse regardless.
Kafka is my personal favorite of his longer works. I know it is seen as lesser Murakami, maybe because it was the point that his tropes became a bit obvious and tiresome for some. But I think it's a much better read than the ponderous Wind-Up Bird Chronicle or the bloated 1Q84.
Outside of the Braves and Yankees (the two best systems in baseball), I can't really think of an org loaded with left-handed pitching.
His velocity actually did come back to a certain extent in 2014-15. He was down for most of this season. How much that is the mechanical tweaks throughout the year, and how much is an actual velocity dip is uncertain, and adds to the, well, uncertainty.
I'm not convinced Lugo is actually a starter even in the medium term, but the velocity jump and plus curve make him your standard "4/5 starter or 7th/8th inning" profile. Not all that unlike Double-A deGrom from the essay. Like that deGrom, he'd probably be 11-15 somewhere if still eligible. If you were more confident he can start, you could probably squeeze him ahead of Cecchini and Becerra.
Szapucki has a change, and he threw it almost as much in the curve in my look at him this Summer. It's better than your average prep arm in his first full pro season, which is to say there's some genuine feel there, but it's crude and inconsistent generally. I could probably get to Future 55 on it.
If he does get the Warthen Slider, the Mets tend to start teaching it in the first major league camp, which Szapucki is a ways away from.
He came up in discussion, but the reports were more backend starter/relief type, and that doesn't really move the needle a ton in this system.
Overall Future Potential: It's your "ceiling" grade, although I don't like to think of it as that strict a term.
Pache was one of the last cuts from the Others. Lean, fast-twitch CF type with a ways to go at the plate. Braves have done well with this type of prospect recently, and wouldn't be shocked if he has a bit of a breakout in Rome next year if they push him to full-season ball. The system is spoiled for upside. I had to cut <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=107178">Derian Cruz</a></span> for space too, who is a bit rawer than Pache at the plate, but a similarly fun lottery ticket.
This list was composed through painstaking rigor and definitely not just in the service of easy quips.
Yeah, on the prospect side it is more about comps, or putting guys in buckets. Your #3 projection guy may end up the best pitcher on your staff (Hi Brewers) for a couple years. Or you might be <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=99821">Steven Matz</a></span>, and have a 70 OFP, but be the fourth best starter in your rotation. It is descriptive rather than prescriptive.
The interesting thing to me was the idea that "mid-rotation arms" as we think about them are more slippery than the class of arms on either side.
"They're cloning them in a lab" is as good an explanation as any for the Mets recent player development success with pitchers.
Vignetted and everything.
Only if they play the ridiculous music video for it on the jumbotron too.
Mets haven't been particularly interested in giving too many details there. So without knowing the extent of the damage and the timetable for the recovery it is tough to say. In the most general terms, his arm wasn't a cannon to begin with so this could accelerate a move to the right side of the diamond, but even that is pure speculation. It will of course slow his developmental progress, though how much that matters for an 18yo with his present polish, I don't know either.
I like Urena a lot. Nice swing from both sides, has an idea up there, and a better third baseman than you would think given the body. The assignment was aggressive, the performance not great, and he had a hamate injury that cost him a lot of time. Beyond that there is the issue of how much power he develops. Could have made the interesting section though.
I think there is something to the idea that Coors affects pitchers in specific ways that aren't fully-captured or at least are underrated by a simple park factor adjustment. They aren't even getting good 5.00 <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=ERA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('ERA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">ERA</span></a> <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=540">Pedro Astacio</a></span> seasons anymore (or their modern equivalent).
Ken Rosenthal says yes
We are publishing based on the reverse of last year's farm system rankings. I imagine they will rank much higher this year.
Every organization is a little different, some want a strict OFP average (with some leeway given depending on makeup/aptitude stuff) and then adjust for position internally, some use an alphanumeric designation for role separate from 20-80 tool grades.
I'm not writing for a crosschecker, so I try to describe their major league role as best I can given the potential tools at the position. .290, 15-18 home runs with speed and plus defense is an all-star at shortstop. That's the role. If you want to grade his "OFP" differently, suit yourself.
He's in the 11-15 range in this system but I don't find college first baseman mashing in A-ball to be generally interesting enough to write about outside of a top ten ranking, and this system is too deep for him to crack it. If he does the same in Double-A the conversation changes some.
I like Wilkerman a lot, and I think a switch-hitting prep shortstop with his feel would be a candidate to go in the first 50 for sure. You just don't often see prep picks with his profile because the development paths and emphases tend to be very different for American high school kids and IFAs.
Dermis is maybe a better example of this. Some of the issues with the swing and body have become more evident from 16 to 18. He might be the type that gets popped post-first-ten rounds and ends up going to college. Or the pop might still entice a team to go big early. Tough to say.
He would probably be in 11-15 (which is different from the five more interesting names). Big, projectable arm, but very far away, not *that* young, and the delivery, as you mentioned, makes it difficult to project him as a starter.
Semiotically speaking, I suppose if he stands near third base in a major league game, the only conclusion we can draw is that he is a major-league third baseman.
Cecchini and Smith's seasons look good because they both hit .300. There isn't much in the way of secondary skills there. There isn't much projection in the frames/swings either. They aren't 7 hit guys, and you have to believe they are .280 hitters in the majors to even be role 5 types. And even that might not be enough for Smith.
Shorter: Don't scout the stat line here.
Meant more in the "high draft pick that didn't really work out but still managed to provide some MLB value on the bench" sense rather than a strict comp.
Without thinking about it too hard: Giolito, Urias, Matz, maybe Hoffman and Newcomb (though I've always been one of the high guys there).
Do you live in South Korea perhaps?
The description of the play, while accurately reflecting what happened and the rule interpretation, is not meant to be a defense of Utley. The statement that Tejada trying to turn a double play and Utley doing what he did to break it up were "morally equivalent" baseball plays is a purposefully cynical reading. I guess it wasn't as rhetorically effective as I hoped.
I would start Conforto. I get that Lagares and Cuddyer have a track record against lefties, and Conforto doesn't (why he didn't get some starts against them down the stretch to see how he did was weird) but in my looks at him as a prospect, he stayed in well and ground out at-bats. If you are going to start Granderson, Duda, and Murphy, I don't get the argument for not starting Conforto as well, other than he is a rookie.
I don't expect that to happen, so yeah I'd probably take the defensive upgrade of Lagares in CF and Cespedes in left.
Alternatively, you could also play with the son of a team's farm director, that is how Daniel Murphy got drafted.
The shoes are amazing, but I think I am partial to Seth Greisinger baseball mecha t-shirt.
Canada will burn effigies of Mort tonight.
I know you don't drink Ian, but I'd be interested in a future series on baseball-player-endorsed spirits.
For Tapia, obviously you keep him as a starter if possible, but for you would he have a higher OFP if he ends up in the pen? Possible elite set-up or more?
Mets need a catcher, but Arencibia isn't really all that good. Best guess would be Gose and another close to MLB-ready prospect. Nolin fits, and the Mets have no left-handed starting pitching either.
It's hard out there for a corner guy. Still, a basically major-league-ready 6 is nothing to scoff at.
I think I shared an apartment with Hunter my fourth year of college.
I really just came for the empty wizard, but I do have a question now: What's keeping Fernandez from the vaunted ace ceiling right now? Is it more lack of current change or the command issues? And could he theoretically bump that ceiling up with some refinement in AA this year>
"Kyle Lohse (Royals)"
He's played 1b/2b/3b in Binghamton, so INF is probably the most accurate description of his position
Yeah, nothing says power hitter like a guy slugging .383.
I guess this is GMDM's final masterstroke of the contest. Picking up a guy even Omar had to get rid of.
Well, they did the same thing with Pagan, though they let him sit a bit longer and then come back hitting only righty like Reyes, and that worked out okay. It didn't with Reyes.
Not KG, but I think until Havens shows he can stay healthy for a full season, it's Niewenhaus.
Ken Okberfell's name was tossed around a bunch as recently as a couple years ago, has he fallen off the radar now?
Any thoughts on the Mets bringing back Jon Niese after an hour rain delay (plus 8 run half hour half inning) with a 10-0 lead and then riding him to try and get the ol' W when he was clearly laboring the next inning and two thirds?
I don't want to speak for all Mets fans, but I think the issue with Mejia was more taking a guy with less than 100 innings above High A (and he wasn't lights out in AA) and putting him in the major leagues before he was ready to be a contributor. This isn't breaking in a major league ready player in the pen to keep his innings down, a la Santana or Feliz, because Mejia isn't major league ready.
This looked more to me like the Mets (Manuel specifically if you believe the scuttlebutt) overvaluing some good Spring performances and thinking Mejia was ready to pitch in the majors now with only one plus pitch and iffy command.
We won't even get into Manuel insisiting Mejia stay up as an important piece in the pen, and then only using him in low leverage situations.
I grant your basic point, though, and if they had done this next year after Mejia had a successful year in AA/AAA as a way to keep his ML innings down and acclimate him to the bigs, I would have been fine with it.
I thought I heard some rumors around Fairfield County. I don't know exactly where they would put it, the waterfront in Bridgeport maybe (which I'm sure makes St. Pete look super safe by comparison) and you'd run into territorial rights issues here too. CT has been desperate for pro sports since the Whalers left, though.
Tejada is probably a win better than Castillo on defense over a full season, maybe more. Luis has been pretty bad the last few years.
Nitpick: Giants AA affiliate is Richmond now.
Which is why, of course, the Mets have rolled out such luminaries as Jose Lima, Jeremi Gonzalez, Dave Williams, Alay Soler, Brian Lawrence, Jorge Sosa, Brandon Knight and Claudio Vargas the last few years.
I would have gone with got in a car accident in a cab on the way to the ballpark. Mets fans would have at least done a double take.
Sure, but here's the thing. No free agent contract in baseball history has been built that way. It's predicated on an assumed future production. Sure, there are incentives, escalators and stuff, but any team makes a decision, we think you are worth x number of dollars over y seasons and we are going to pay you it regardless, because baseball talent is incredibly scarce.
And if you buy the stats/scouts on Strasburg, he is a once in a generation player. There is no way he should be assuming the majority of the risk, or, more specifically, should his agent allow him too. 25 million prorated over six years is a pittiance for even a number five starter. If your scouts say he can come up and be an effective major league pitcher, pay him as such. Or keep him for a year and flip him for established prospects at a lower cost if economics is the issue. Or, don't get a deal done and keep being the Nationals.
My response to this is if Strasburg was a free agent, right now, how much would he get? Yeah, twenty million is more than just about everyone posting at this site will ever see, but it is not that much in baseball dollars. For example, it is half of what Carlos Silva got paid. And Silva had given us about as much evidence that he would be a capable major league starter over the life of the contract as Strasburg has.
Forgot to mention that the Mets, despite having Delgado come off the books after this year, seem unlikely to want to add that kind of payroll, esp. with raises due to Wright and Reyes from their pre-arb contract extensions.
Very interesting stuff, as usual. You would think there would be some kind of arms race between the Mets and Phillies to get Peavy, seeing as they are both likely an arm away from upgrading from a good shot to win the division-> likely favorite, but neither seems to have the top 20 type prospect you would want to get back as the crux of the deal, though Phily could throw Carasco/Drabek, and the Mets F.Martinez/Mejia/Flores at the Pads.
Atlanta would actually be the logical spot, as they could make Heyward the crown jewel of a deal, and suddenly be able to roll out Peavy/Jurrjens/Vazquez/Hansen, which could be enough to win a division. With the Mets injury issues and the Phillies pitching woes, 90 wins might be enough to win the NL East this year.
Well, it\'s kind of unfair to compare McGwire to five of the fifty or so best hitters in baseball history, three of whom will probably be top ten when they are done. Using BA is kind of a straw man, since his career OBP is .394 and his career OPS is .982. Basically, yes, he could rake. I don\'t have his JAWS numbers in front of me, but I seem to recall him being right around the JAWS numbers for first basemen.
And for what its worth. FRAA has him as basically an average first baseman for his career. Don\'t know how that will change with the new fielding stats, but while he wasn\'t a particularly valuable defensive player, he doesn\'t seem to be awful either for a typical masher.
I\'d say he\'s a bit better than Bagwell, who will probably get in, and probably should. I think there is room in the hall for the second best first baseman of that generation.
There is just one problem with this argument. There is no actual evidence that McGwire ever took steroids. He never failed a drug test. He was never subject to criminal charges relating to the purchase or use of steroids. The case against McGwire relates soley to his testimony, or lack thereof, in front of Congress. If he for some reason had never been called in front of the House, he would probably be in by now, with some wailing and nashing of teeth by certain members of the fourth estate about the era he played in, but nothing more. I don\'t see how there is any more *hard* evidence that he took steroids than there is for someone like Jeff Bagwell, who will probably get in. Or Frank Thomas, who definitely will.
What about playing Murphy at second when anyone but Pelfrey starts? The Mets have had one of the more extreme flyball staffs in baseball the last couple years, and it\'s not like Castillo\'s defense is any good right now. You can stick him in left or at first against the occasional rightie, give Wright a day off here and there. I think you have to give him 120-130 games this year to see if he can be a .290/.370/.470 type player if you aren\'t going to sign another big corner bat, which it seems like they aren\'t.