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I'm confused how <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=PECOTA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('PECOTA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">PECOTA</span></a>'s ROS 90th percentile is somehow a little WORSE in two of the three categories than its 90th percentile from before the season. Its somehow taking the additional information gained from his incredible first half and predicting his up-side talent level is lower?!
I think I know the answer given the write up on Wily, but with both Peralta and Hutchinson as the option for my last spot this week which way would you lean?
Not sure if JP and CM are still monitoring, but was wondering if Owens motion was that of a 'long strider' so to speak. It seems is velocity plays up more than the gun indicates. And I was thinking if it were possible that on top of his substantial height he was striding closer to the plate than 'normal' and as such a 91FB might play closer to 93 in terms of the reaction time a hitter had?
Hi Nick, love this series. Was wondering if you were going to speculate/outline a few targets for the 2nd pick your 'shadow draft' will be selecting tonight in round two? Given the information above, it would appear to College SP or perhaps a MI given the relative scarcity compared to the college arms would be in line. Thanks again for all the work, looking forward to following this.
I thought the series was excellent. I think its 'easy' to see comparable articles from the CF and C positions. Might need to tweak the format a little bit for other spots along the defensive spectrum, but the idea of a format that lets you check in on and quasi update the BP 101 without all the aggravation of you (and the group) actually having to re-order them sounds fantastic.
I'm starting to wonder what Sean Coyle has done to someone here. Home Runs in 4 of 5 games, slugging .780 on the season and the only reference to him in the last two weeks is as an aside when his younger brother made the write up.
I love this line...
The only time scouts stop discussing his defensive prowess is to mention how weak his bat is, before quickly jumping back to the discussion of his almost pornographic defensive abilities.
I apologize in advance for stealing it and using it at some point.
Was wondering who the top 3 of hitter and pitchers were that they missed.
At the end of the series, will there an overall ranking of the systems compared to each other? More a curiousity question than a 'I'd really like to see it' one.
Starting SS on the 2012 WS champs looks awfully similar to a .250 hitting SS with little to no offensive value and a good glove.
Quick question Matt, what changed in the last couple weeks that's changed your thinking on Grienke's projected contract going from 5/115 to 7/164.5?
Thanks for the in process look at the list, though I am curious what Xander Bogaerts did to drop out of the top 50. You had him at 32 in preseason and from I had heard/read he had more than held his own in High A as 19 year old (.287/.364/.485).
They stated last night on TV the Sox have used the most OF's and the most combo's in the league (which was basically a 'no duh' moment). For comparison's sake I would like to know how many different OF and OF combo's the next couple closest teams have used. How far above and beyond have they gone?
"We have rerun the playoff odds for the entire season, so the one- and seven- day deltas are working off corrected data and thus reflect changes in a team’s odds over time, not the correction of mistakes."
Are you sure this is correct? I just clicked over to the odds that say they were updated this morning at 7am. And despite the fact that the Red Sox were the only team in the Al East to win yesterday their, 1 day delta is listed as minus 3.5%. That seems....unlikely.
Xander B project as being able to stay at SS? Showing this much power at this age, makes me wonder if he is destined to 'fill out' to the point where SS becomes an issue.
Can I take credit for referring to Lavarway a 'poor man's Jesus Montero' in the the comments of the midseason top 50? I had hoped his D wasnt as lackluster as Montero's is reported to be, but it sounds like he may not be any better. As an ivy-leaguer, innate intelligence would seem to be working in his favor for learing the 'tools of ignorance'
Not that I expect he was 'on the spreadsheet' for the top 50, but how far has Ryan Lavarnway's stock risen this season? He's raking, but was more curious about whether scouts see his Defense as future passable (if below average or if he's a poor man's Jesus Montero.
It is odd that Lavarnway was left out. If it was about his suspect (but allegedly improving) Defense, then leaving Montero out would seem appropriate too.
Out of curiousity, how close did Boston's RF crap-tastrophe of Drew and Cameron come to making this list. I'm actually stunned they didn't given how bad they've been.
'but if that were its only drawback, the criticisms wouldn't have much traction (much like those directed toward the wild card'
How is this different than the wild card? Aren't the AL east teams 'forced' to play their 'natural rivals' in the division 18 times, so Tor gets 54 games against NYY/Bos/TB while Tex gets 54 against the A's/Sea/LAAOC. Or to bring it back to the NL Central. For the last couple years Stl/Cin have got to play extra games against Hou/Pit while the Marlins and Mets have got extra games against Atl/Phi. Why no outcry on this? The divisions are no less unbalanced with regard to scheduling than interleague which when you take out the effectively equivalent middle teams boils down to 6 or so games against tougher or weaker competition. 3.7% of the schedule.
And why does the sport with the longest schedule in professional sports always seem to have more whinning about unbalanced scheduling? 162 games would seem to give 'superior' teams a far better chance to separate from their competitors than say 81 or 16? In the NFL the first place teams play two extra games against other 1st place teams, intentionally giving them a harder schedule. This is 12.5% of the schedule. I never hear any complaining about this.
If people don't like interleague I can understand that. Just admit you dont like it because you are a traditionalist. Don't give me bogus arguments that it 'skews' competitive balance. If people were truly concerned about a balanced schedule these same people would push for every team in the league to play approx the same number against everyone. When we all know they don't and you rarely hear anyone complain about that.
If Beckett had a SIERA of 3.78 last year and PECOTA is forecasting an ERA of 3.92 this year, I'm not sure that really qualifies as PECOTA expecting a 'rebound'. It seems more like it expect him to pitch slightly worse, but have far more neutral luck in more innings.
I had similar thoughts to Tango. How much is Bonds skewing the HR totals at the upper ages.
They be flush with "catchers" is the concern. Romine is the best of the group and his worst tool is still listed as 'glove'. Its sounds like its entirely possible only one of them makes it as a catcher at the big league level. Then again, they played Posada as a 'catcher' at the big league level for a long time.
I too was surprised that a 5 star guy only had a ceiling as a #3 starter. In my head I had seen 5 Star prospects as being better than that, at least in the 'Perfect World Projection', hit their max potential sense. I'll assume that his status as a nearly fully developed prospect means his worst case scenario is '4th starter' status and as a result, his value variance is very low.
Correction Yale not Harvard for Lavarnway, the point of course remains the same, but I'm sure if I were a Yale grad I'd be pissed about being referred to as a Harvard-er.
The system was bound to take a hit with the Gonzales trade, Kalish and Bowden losing eligibility and Westmoreland's unfortunate diagnosis (but fortunate recovery). They lost #'s 1,2,4,5,8 and 10 off last years list. System seems to lack sizzle at the moment, but a number of them seem capable of making leaps forward this year. Ranaudo, Vitek and Workman (and the other 2010 draftees listed in 12-17 range) as they get their first full year of pro ball. Britton with a full post TJ workload. Lavarnway if he shows addtional progress behind the dish (he is a havard grad after all, seems like he'd be the studious type). Even Jose could improve his stock if his bat shows some growth. Not to mention the wildcard (for lack of a better word) of Westmoreland regaining some of his former talent level. Sox system could look significantly better this time next year. With the draft bounty of all 2011 draft picks, they should at last be a little better off next year and could be a lot better.
*removes rose colored glasses*
With San Diego's intimate familiarity of the Sox prospects, it can argued either: 1) they know them so well, they know which ones are really good or 2) they see what they want to see and may be overly enamored with them precisely because they drafted them and obviously already beleive in them.
Curious as to the comment regarding Varitek 'unlikely to be back with the Red Sox next season'. I can't imagine anyone sees him as anything more than a backup catcher and he hasn't appeared to be disappointed or sullen regaridng his role this year. To the contrary, he appears to have taken to the role quite well. I would think his history with the Sox would make him more likely to be back there than anywhere else. Unless there's something I haven't heard rumors of about him being upset with the organization.
In the preseason Top 11 for the Red Sox, neither Felix Doubrount and Ryan Lavarnway warranted even an honorable mention. Was wondering how much each had improved their stock this year? Felix has made it all the way to Sox pen after making a couple spot starts earlier. Lavarnway appears to be capable as a hitter. But is the scout scuttlebut that he's a poor mans Jesus Montero in that noone thinks he'll cut it behind the plate long term or has he shown flashes of being quasi competent with the tools of ignoranc?
Will, a little clarification on the Chipper/Rice comment. Do you mean you feel Chipper falls short on qualification but get in anyway? Or do you mean a voting pattern similarity where he starts low, and gradually builds his total late in his 15 year eligibility window?
Just seems odd that the Yankees have a preferential claim to a player the A's put on waivers over the Pirates.
I'm not sure I follow the logic here. The Red Sox, who by adding a 4.5 win player would increase their playoff odds 15.7% up to a total of 37.9% and their championship odds by 4.0% to a total 7.4%.
The Twins would increase their playoff odds by 15.8% to a total of 38.9% by adding a 4.5 win player. Their championship odds go from up 2.7% to a total of 5.1%.
The White Sox increase their playoff odds by 16.0% to a total of 77.3% and championship odds increase 3.6% to a total of 10.2%.
Somehow the Red Sox rate as a 'Stong Buy' while the White Sox only rate as a 'Weak Buy' and the Twins only get a 'Hold'.
If the 'Buy' determination is based on making the playoffs firstly (added revenue) and championship odds secondly (since the playoffs are considered a 'crapshoot') then the Twins are almost exactly equal to the Red Sox. If the 'Buy' determination is based firstly winning the whole thing (flags fly forever), the White Sox are clearly in a stronger position than the Red Sox.
It seems if the 'Buy' determination is strongly influenced by 'who has the most money and who has shown predispositions to making trades in the past' in some places rather than strictly by the numbers.
From a pure numbers standpoint, all the info in the article is accurate. But from a FANTASY stand point, I think it's off. A fantasy all-star, in my opinion at least is not the guy necessarily performing best, but the guy performing best relative to his draft or auction price. You mentioned it yourself with regards to Han Ram. Yes, he's the most productive SS by numbers, yet nearly every owner overpaid for him at that production and in fact, he's more of a disappointment to his owners than a all-star. A Latos drafed or a Colby Lewis drafted in late or reserve rounds or, Votto as the the 8th 1B drafted now THAT is a fantasy All-star to me.
I'd like to see an article showing the guys most over produing their draft/auction position. HanRam and Pujols aren't likely to appear on those. Not that you don't need production from your 1st-3rd round picks mind you. Fanning on Grady Sizemore is just as painful as taking a flyer on C. Lewis and having it payoff is exhilrating.
Given that the Sox are employing minor league journeyan, Darnell Macdonald, independent league cast off Dan Nava, the injury hampered Mike Cameron or the lesser talented Patterson brother in two of three OF positions everynight, I think its safe to say 'the next need' arrived about 2 months ago. If MLB scouting turns Nava into pumpkin shortly and there have been signs its happening and Cameron eventually gives up the good fight, it might be time to try Kalish sooner rather than later.
With a name like 'Stoneburner' you'd think he'd be a sinker specialist with groundball tendencies. Be almost disappointing if he were a flyball pitcher.
Kevin, with Lars Anderson making the jump to AAA and Rizzo raking in High-A, it seems a promotion to AA seems likely soon, no? eEpecially since I don't beleive he is particularly young for High A. What's the (presumably) good word on Lars' progress this year versus his struggles alst year?
That's selling his velo short. Fan graphs has him at 92.4 average in '07, 91.9 in '08 and even last year with the myriad of groin/shoulder issues at 91.1. Not to say he's blowing anyone away with 97mph heat, but he's not throwing sub 90 either.
Will, anything to add/report/teach/enlighten us on the Ryan Westmoreland situation? 'Cavernous Malformation' isn't a term most of us have run across (or perhaps even yourself for that matter), but I was wondering about your take on it, with the obvious point being first and foremost that the kid be able to live a normal life and then consider perhaps a return to baseball.
It is a shame that Nomar's mind bogglingly good years are overshadowed by his exit strategy, but the same could be said of Damon and Manny. They too produced some unbeleivable memories but are going to be remembered for the way they left (or who they went to play for) as much if not more so than the good memories. But it is hard to not think of him sitting alone on the bench in the midst of a big yankee series when his name comes to mind. It's a human trait (failing?) that isn't just sports related. A divorce follows a 15 year marriage that was predominantly happy, what are the parties going to remember more? Work at a company that treats you well for ten good years, but then lays you off, which memory is most poignant at the end of the day? The 'remember the worst' isn't true in all cases sure, but in more instances than not I expect it is.
About the 'Super 2' designation. As I understand it, the Super 2 players are the top X%(15%? 17%?) of 2nd year players with less than 3 years of time. With more and more teams waiting to bring up players in attempt to gain another year of service time at cut rate pricing it would seem to me the amount of time required to reach Super 2 status should actually end up being reduced as the years go by. If nearly everyone is waiting a month or two to bring these kids up, then shouldn't at some point these still the be longest tenured 2nd year players?
OK, if Vernon Wells is the only player signed beyond 2011 and his salary is 21 million per year from 2012-2014, how is it the Blue Jays are committed to 24.6 million in each year 2012-2014?
You are confusing last year with this year. Greinke somehow avoided being dinged by KC's D last year, but the expectation is that he won't be this year. I think what Marc is saying is that he considers the two of them equal in talent level and that as a tie-breaker he considers Detriots Defense better than KC's. Even if KC's D does improve from last year and Det's D declines, Det's is still better.
Marc, Just thought I would point out that this article never got psted/linked to the front page. I only found via the link at the bottom of one of the other fantasy articles. Might explain the lack of comments.
For two, the alternative options at DH in Chicago include Kotsay and Vizquel.
Well you also need to remember when PECOTA looks back at lasat year it doesn't see a 97 win team, it sees something closer to an 87 win team based on RS/RA. So using that as a baseline a 10 win dropoff that 'seems about right', you get the 75ish wins. I tend to think they'll overachieve as the always seem to do and get to the mid 80's as well however. How Oakland could expect to get to .500 without getting 200 IP total from Sheets and Duch as PECOTA projects is beyond me, unless it sees a lot of promise in several of the young staff.
You're not going to see Ortiz and Drew bat back-to-back. Francona is a big proponent of L-R-L if at all possible. If Ortiz looks like the Papi of old, you may well see him the 4th spot, but I think it's more likely you'll see someone (Cameron or Beltre) batting between Ortiz and Drew. Which of course will lead to more bashing of Drew for his low RBI totals despite hitting directly behind an iffy OBP source and a painfully slow Ortiz.
Marc, I'm curious how/why you think the 2009 version were a 88-90 win 'true talent' wise? My first thought was maybe they outperformed their Pythag differential, but it seems they nailed that dead on (while the NYY were +6 and the Rays -2). Where did you see them outperforming their true talent out of curiousity? Given the xFIP and BABIP numbers you could argue the pitching staff underperformed relative to their raw stats.
If we were talking about a world where only one team can make the playoffs I'd be more concerned, but we're talking about a world where they've combined to make the playoffs 12 out of a 14 possible times in the last 7 years. In the playoffs anything can happen (the 2006 Cards wave hello) and the best way to counter a big slugging team like the Yankees is with a stellar pitching staff and a defense that doesn't give that big hitting lineup extra outs. Coincidentally (or perhaps not), the Red Sox have signed two premium defensive players, upgraded two other postions defensively and signed the premium starting pitcher on the FA market to go with their two in house #1's.
If a top 10 offense and a top 5 pitching staff aren't enough to make the playoffs then I'll tip my cap to the other teams in the AL east. The run differential shouldn't change much from 2009 to 2010. The pitching should be better, even not accounting for the improved defense. The addition of Lackey plus the 2010 versions of Daisuke and Clay should be significantly better than the Smoltz/Penny/Byrd/2009 Daisuke/Tazawa poo-poo platter that started more than 50 games last year.
And if you're going to reference the 'AL East' and 'players on the wrong side of 29', the team that leaps to mind first is not the Sox. Posada,Jeter,A-rod,Johnson,Rivera,Pettite,Vazquez, Burnett and Texiera will all be on the 'wrong side' of that number come April, and 5 of them on the wrong side of 34. Seem to be a couple of 'key players' in that grouping as well.
I just don't get the whole 'Sox need another big bat' thing that is so prevalent, especially among so many of the so called Red Sox fans. This is a team that scored more runs than 28 other teams last year. Yes, Bay's offense will be missed. But 4 months of the corpse of Varitek batting being replaced with V. Martinez should be a huge upgrade. The offensive black hole of Lugo/Green/Gonzales will be upgraded by Scutaro even if he does regress. Will Ortiz bat blindfolded for the first two months again? Even if the offense is somehow 80 runs worse than last year, it's STILL a top 10 offense. That doesn't even take into account the 20+ runs better they likely are defensively simply in CF/LF or the 20+ runs better they are 3B and the 10+ runs better they are SS.
The $103 over 6 years also doesn't give the team credit for the fact that half of that 103 million does NOT count as far MLB as concerned. Yes, in terms of dollars paid it's still there. But tell me that cutting roughly 8-9 million off the 'salary tax' payroll number each year because it was a one time payment to Daisuke's Japan league team isn't advantageous for the Sox. That 8 million a year difference is the difference between having Lackey and having to bid on the Marquis' of the world.
While in theory if the Yankees choose to go to the 3 man starter series it helps them. BUT that also allows Verlander to pitch twice in the first four games in the series. I'm not sure what a simulation would say, but my first thought at that scenario was 'the Tigers win more series pitching Verlander in games 1 and potential 4 than the do in game 1 and a potential game 5.' If for no other reason, a game 4 is much more probable than game 5.
The difference in Ellsbury is the most shocking to me. The rest seem almost expected, but then again I watch a lot of the games. There do seem to be fewer 'laying out' catches for Ellsbury, but that's subjective memory and not hard fact. Did having Coco there push him to try and catch everything? Did he and Coco have the challenge of always trying to outdo each other? Did he take criticism of his lack of batting improvements personally to the point where decided to try and be less banged up by playing it safer in the field? Is he already banged up is some manner that effects him defensively (I remember him jamming a shoulder at least once this year?) It'll be interesting going forward as to which year is the more accurate baseline for his abilities.
I couldn't help but do a double take on Felix still being on the 'young pitchers list', and will qualify again next year given the 24 year olds on the list. I think we take for granted what this kid has accomplished already and some are too quick to label his development 'slow' or not 'as good as hyped'. The fact that he was even considered as being on the market at the trading deadline is amazing. The Mariners either 1)know something about his health arm-wise 2)are hurting financially 3) are idiots or 4) were getting a haul of ridiculous proportions.
A more pertinent question, how much longer can McCarver be allowed to be the 'talent'. Do they do studies on viewer satisfaction? I mean noone I know who watches baseball thinks McCarver is any good. 'Unwatchable', 'I turn on the radio', etc, etc. Wouldn't this show up in some sort of market research? Are we being forced to endure him because of 'casual fans'? Are they the ones approving of his antiquated philosophy? I will admit to being a little surprised at the producers willingness to effectively throw a lot of the 'blame' for what is used on McCarver. Of course this interview and website are about as likely as to be cruised by Tim as one written in Chinese.
Here's a question I've had for some time now. Why is it that players can get back from a surgery on their kneee just as fast as an appendectomy? It's a weight bearing joint that they run on and sees change in direction stresses versus removing a useless item from the gut? What the delay in returning from the appendectomy from? Cutting thru muscle?
Well this is a welcome sign. His performance was starting to worry me, but not having actaully been able to watch most of his starts, I wasn't sure how justified the concern was. It would appear that much like Lester at the beginning of the year fell vicitim to high a BABIP number, Smoltz is as well. Lester 'back of the card' numbers returned to form shortly thereafter and now Red Sox fans can hope Smoltz's do as well. Not that I expect him to be as dominant as Lester has looked during most of the last two months, but a fraction of that would be more than adequate for #4 starter staus.
Kevin, great work as always, how unique is the 'Casey Kelly experiment' at least for an upper level draft pick? Is the decision going to come from the Sox or the kid ultimately as to what he will 'be'. Or is it going about as well as the Sox could hope, he dominates on the mound and (presumably) is mediocre afield and at the plate given that he's likely paid less attention to hitting/fielding this season to date. Then they hope the kid makes the decision for them without them having to force on him. Anyway was just curious if in this era of pitch and inning limits for young 'uns, someone else had tried the split season route. Since it would seem some kids would run up against system mandated inning limits earlier and earlier in the year. And how many innings could he be expected to pitch next year? 120-130?
It seems that other managers are having the same difficulty with finding time off. Until taking two days off this weekend. Mike Lowel had started 64 of 67 games and played in a 65th. And he wasn't ready until late in spring training. Similarly, Utley is at 63 games started of 67 and played on two other 'off' days. All three are guys are guys who traditionally play everyday, and such when asked by the manager will undoubtably say 'I'm fine' and keep going out there. All three teams have playoff aspirations. It may come back and bite them in the ass if these guys wear out over the 2nd half.
Here's the thing with Boras and 'money now is worth more than money later'. If he really believed this how can you let someone like Varitek and Drew sit out a year after the draft? Doesn't that set back their big free agency contract at LEAST one year by lagging their development? Shouldn't getting signed a week after the draft and leaving a few dollars on the table with the chance to get into the system and hitting FA at a younger age be the goal? In most cases we're talking less then a 500K probably (and yes I realize thats still a big number to most of us). But half a million versus an extra year at 10 million? What if Varitek instead of being a FA last year after his corpse batted barely .200 had been a Free Agent the year before?
1) Most surprising thing, being at Fenway and watching the Red Sox and hit into not one but TWO triple plays against the Twins. On the 2nd one before the 3B (gaetti?) even had fielded the ball it was clear it wasn't even going to be close. The batter was out by 2 or 3 steps (i want to say Brunasky, but I'm guessing). Quietest I've ever heard Fenway, stunned disbelief. And yes it was a MLB record. But for the record the Sox won the game, the immortal Tom Bolton the winning pitcher.
2) Guilty pleasures: Remdawg the player, Rick Miller and Gary Allanson
And Willis may have been the second best starting pitcher on the field that night. Michael Bowden of the Paw Sox went 6 2/3 allowing 1 hit and 1 unearned run.
Really, a game between two teams projected to lose 90+ games each was better than the best closer ever blowing a lead with 2 outs in the 9th between the best rivalry in sports? I mean I know there is east coast bias but there's no reason to swing the other way into west idiocy....
I mean Hor-gey Posada became Georgie at some point (unless of course he's in a World Wide Leader commercial then he's suddenly 'Hip hip Horgey' again) so really anything is possible.
I find it difficult to imagine Mark Kotsay gets anywhere near 45% total playing time (20%LF,15%RF,10%1B) when he's already out the first 10-15% of the year. That has him playing 50% of the time of he's on the roster. If he were needed that much (say Drew gets hurt and Rocco can't handle near daily status) I think they go outside for another option. Pedroia got bumped down with the muscle tweak in the WBC, but it appears to be a non-factor and should probably bump him back to at least 90% time.
I\'m a PECOTA backer, but how can Bay possibly come out as a worse defensive fielder than Manny? I didn\'t go looking just now, but I don\'t recall any \'he\'s a nice hitter, but....\' type analysis when the trade went down. If anything, there were plenty of \'he\'s not Manny with the bat, but consider the defensive upgrade....\' type comments going around. Seems bizarre to me.
I was simply playing by the rules Joe laid down in giving the Dodgers credit for Kuroda.
Not to quibble with what’s a fine article, but in regards to home-grown/signed talent on the field in 2009. Youklis, Pedroia, Ellsbury, Lowrie, Lester, Daisuke, Buchholz, Papelbon, Delcarmen, Masterson, Okijima, and perhaps Bowden seems to match up quite well with the Dodgers group. In a not-so shocking related note, take on Theo’s chair in the next week. I keep reading that Teixera is a ‘perfect fit’ for Boston. While his skill set is certainly a ‘perfect fit’ with the Red Sox philosophy, I’m quite sure their current 1B just finished 3rd in the MVP voting, the current DH has finished in the Top 5 for MVP 5 of the last 6 years, and the current 3B is a 2007 World Series MVP with Gold Glove caliber defense. Not to mention that two of those three are untrade-able at the moment due to injury. So ‘perfect fit’ seems a tad overstated to me.