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Huge +1 to adding MLB teams to the grid. I love all of BP's new prospect work, and enjoy reading about role 4 players as much as role 7's, but other than local clubs, obvious extreme hitting/pitching environments (PCL/Wilmington) and A-level, I can't make heads or tails of which affiliate belongs to which team. Thanks for your monster efforts!
151 hours of rest?
Crazy to consider that Elvis Andrus and Jean Segura will also be in the argument once all these guys are in the majors.
So the puppy was licking your member, eh?
Just the article I was waiting for. Thanks Prof!
..and I'm not sure Mike Mussina qualifies as an ace, although I do belief he is a borderline HOF.
The nicknames for those three pitchers are Mad Dog, Doc Holliday, and Bulldog. The man didn't say "anger," he said "attitude," and each of these three had a profoundly competitive one.
Sam fucking Miller! Amazing.
Dom just gave all of Scherzer and Miggy's money to Miggy. Somewhere CameronK200II984* shudders in disbelief.
I watched the Houston broadcast of the Astros/Cards game yesterday, and the Houston play-by-play guys said that "St.Louis has a lot of question marks on their pitching staff." The end.
Nice cast. Regarding your request for summer content ideas, I am interested in hearing from storied SS owners who could plug their approach into a format feature of some kind. Like: 10 Scoresheet Tips from XX. I find that most SS resources either include tips from "famous" people that play SS, which is fine, but I think that there are a lot of SS "owner's owner" types that would stomp the "famous" owners in open competition. These might be owners you've played against or you could solicit nominations. Just my 2 bits. Keep up the nice work!
Great podcast, men.
He is small, that's why. His frame might not hold the workload of a #1.
Wow, Nolan Ryan. I assume he's a top 10 or 20 fastball of all time too, yes? Could this be a skill that needs to be era-adjusted?
Mark Whiten had the strongest arm I've ever seen.
Kyle Drabek seems to be of a lock than any other 5th starter option for the Jays, no? Assuming health, naturally.
Those investigating the BL Mock should keep in mind that since the player numbers have changed (the draft is done using the 2013 player numbers), all the names in the scoresheet.com link to the draft will look screwy. Nick Markakis did not go first overall, obviously. The correct draft order files can be found in the Yahoo group.
I think Millar just has the one ring.
A league-mate of mine is planning on keeping him.
Lindor sounds a lot like Andrus, but perhaps Andrus is a perfect-world comp?
I completely love this series. I held back the suggestion this year that something like incredible MiL scouting reports done by BP be done for MLBers, and this is exactly what I imagined. Bravo.
One question on Donaldson. By measure of any of the better WAR/WARP's, he had one of the best seasons in MLB this year, and by his inclusion in your series, he's clearly being highlighted as a major factor in the series. By those measures, I would think he is currently more than a 5+/6 hit/power guy. My question is this: where in the scouting rubric, if anywhere, are you putting the walks/patience? I assume hit tool, but it would seem that this skill alone, which is where he draws a large amount of his value, would bump him up a full grade beyond 5+ in that department.
Please hire Gabe Kapler immediately.
Sorry - I hadn't refreshed my phone since I began this article this morning. Fredo indeed...
"He lacks the fluidity in action to project as a future six-spotter, but he has the arm for third and could profile well at the keystone, where there would be less pressure on the power tool."
Either this is a typo or I need it explained to me like I'm Fredo in The Godfather.
Back off of Mickey Tettleton, Reno. Back. the. F. off. Mickey Tettleton.
Is it fair game to talk about a player's "natural" abilities or instincts? Aren't we normally talking about players that have spent a decade or two honing the craft of baseball (or their own athleticism)? I understand that this might just be a way of expressing a player's remarkable athleticism, but "natural" this and that has been used as a code-word in the past.
Thanks for this, Jason! He has an 80 personality.
Wild at Heart
I'd think Rose would actually rate extremely high in the makeup department. After Robinson, I can't think of another player more driven and competitive than Rose.
I think he has to display it in the show before it's the best anything.
He's 31 now, but this is his age-32 season. Even more concerning!
If BP was just this I would subscribe.
Green went 13 players ahead of Trout in first round of the '09 draft. I believe this comment is a jab at Beane's (former) preference for college-level amateurs.
Thank you Rob!
Shocked this hasn't been asked: were he eligible, where would Desmond Jennings sit on the U25?
Respect the 8.
I would think you could just allow the real Frank Robinson to player-manage this bunch, no? That would solve a huge oh nevermind.
Doug, you have completely won me over! Incredible work.
Whether their station is high, low, or in-between, it seems like the Choo-Swisher swap makes all the sense in the world for the Tribe. Maybe they felt they couldn't work out an extension with Choo, just didn't like the cut of his jib - and who would know better? - or simply needed to spend this off-season to shrug off the cheapskate label; in any event, they swap him out for a massively talented cost-controlled gamble in the rotation and a breathing human to play CF, and then give Choo's money to Swisher - who is basically an older Choo with a bigger smile - to bring affability, playoff experience, and the beginnings of credibility to the Francona era.
Not the kind of deal that's going to make the franchise, but these two deals in tandem basically give them an interesting, worthy, or very good position player at each position, save DH. And if any of the broken pieces of the rotation gets fixed, then things begin to add up. Maybe.
Awesome work JP & co. Surprised to see Middlebrooks so high on the under-25, especially given the top 4 in the system. I assume that means his OFP is roughly considered a 6/first division starter?
I would actually submit that many scouts would rate Beltre as the #1 defensive 3B in all the land, and Trout as not close to the best CF. If Beltre was bumped to #1 your defensive ranking...Miguel Cabrera would win the MVP!
I LOVE this kind of siloed update, so thank you all. Surprised to not see Profar here; assuming you are looking at all of the minors and including MLB players that haven't crossed the rookie status threshold. I assumed he was Lindor-level with the smarts/feel.
80 update Jason. I'm wondering about Starling vs. Brinson. Is the shine attached to Starling simply that he has the best toolshed around? And that while Brinson is toolsy and has shown feel that Starling lacks at the moment, he simply doesn't have the ceiling of an actualized Starling?
This is a fascinating thread. Thanks to Jason and Hudson! Could I ask what you mean when you continually say "young" power pitchers? Does this refer to a pitcher that hasn't established a mature innings level in the bigs, or are we simply talking about age ranges here? Or just simply: a still developing pitcher with youth on his side?
"Fixing Boston’s Problems: On the field
The on-field problems for the last-season 2011 Red Sox and the 2012 version were two-fold:
1) Gadawful starting pitching
2) Underperformance by previously star-level players"
I'm not sure that your 1 & 2 are two different things; their underperformance largley happened in the rotation. The offense was scoring runs with the best of them this year, and virtually every hitter that struggled eventually came around.
I would submit that 1) Gadawful staring pitching and 2) injuries were far more to blame than anything else, including Valentine, who should be fired immediately.
My understanding is that it is $12M in cash, plus Loney's remaining money.
8 games, bub.
The Dodgers were awarded a waiver claim on both Gonzalez and Beckett. I'm unsure of Crawford. Presumably he passed through waivers earlier this month. Still, my question stands.
"the only risk would be that they could get stuck with Adrian Gonzalez's contract if the Red Sox decided to let him go nothing"
Just so I understand this properly - the Dodgers couldn't, in this case, get "stuck" with Gonzalez, right? You seem to imply that the claiming team runs the risk of the waiving team simply sticking the player to them. My understanding is that there is no risk at all in the Dodger's clame and that the entire process had to be mutual. When Rios, for example, jumped to the W.Sox with no other exchange, that was something that was agreed to by both sides. Am I wrong?
Surely if what you say is true they would have just gladly dumped Beckett and Crawford on the Dodgers and asked for nothing in return.
If the Sox don't ask Ortiz back, that and this trade would clear something in the $65M/year range for the franchise. I suppose no one is talking about this paving the way for an Ellsbury extension because of his agent, but doesn't this deal at least pave the way for the influx of Hamilton-Greinke level players? Let's say Ross resigns for an appropriate amount, and Lavarnway assumes a Napoli/Santana/Victor style role at 1B/C/DH. They need an ace, but having a hole in LF, 1B, and SS doesn't seem like the worst outcome if you have ~$65M annually to play with.
And the influx of youth perhaps paves the way for them to creatively approach a trade for Elvis Andrus, who would be a very good long-term fit for the Sox.
I don't know what you mean by "the risk with someone like Hamilton" is not hitting enough. Hamilton as a prospect is not solely defined by his speed.
Aaron may have also been slowed by his visitors when he rounded the bases.
It was mentioned on a MLBN show today and I think it really rings true: steroids or no, it's pretty strange that no one remembers the pitcher, opponent, date, etc when it comes to Bond's record breaking blast in the way we remember Hank, Cal, Rickey, or other's big moments.
JM fit right into the wild '93 Phillies bunch. He was the least strange personality on the entire team! Even then I remember there were times he'd turn his back to home plate from LF, sometimes placing his glove on the ground, seemingly always talking to himself. What a special player. A poor man's Molitor.
DeShields Sr. was also an "athlete first" initially. He was to be the starting point guard at Villanova. I believe he was also a top 10 or 15 pick. I haven't followed Jr.'s career outside of these pages, but I'm imagining that he was a multi-sport player as well.
What's not impressive about those two players?
This is awesome. I love all the "scout's take" articles that BP does.
Well, with Rico, it was injuries. He did follow up '69 with 29 homers.
Brady Anderson was not a "mediocre" player and he did not have a "fluke" year by WARP standards. He had a fluke year with *home runs.* This is a career 36+ WARP player that didn't really begin compiling that figure until he was handed a full-time gig at age 28. He was one of the best baserunners of his era and tremendous defensive corner outfielder when he played LF. Since when has .288/.393/.469 been "entirely respectable" and not "damn good"? By BP standards, his 50hr year was less than a win better than his 1992 season, when he threw down a 6.3 WARP. (And, for the sake of ephermera, I believe he's the only player ever with a 20hr/50sb season AND a 50hr/20sb season in his career.)
Free Brady Anderson
Fortunately, Dunn owns TWO killer skills. If he has any possessions remaining, that is.
I've been playing with this for the last week, and it is indeed awesome. Tremendous work, Rob, and your extreme efforts here are much appreciated.
So you think the guy that KG has higher than Bryce Harper isn't going to be accompanied by his feelings that he'll garner at least Cy Young candidacy? Did you see him during his cup of coffee? This guy is Strasburgian and the best pitching prospect on earth.
"The biggest surprise, though, was them saying Burnett would be a good influence on the Pirates' young pitchers, especially in light of his tattoos and one-time penchant for nipple rings. It goes to show you that you can't always judge someone by their appearance."
I'm not sure why his personal appearance would even come up here. Surely someone questioning his positive influence on younger pitchers would point to his back-talk and negative-emotional response on the mound to his manager as the better indicator of his being. If tatoos are any indication of poor influence, the younger members of the Yankees pitching staff should best beware of CC Sabathia.
If the Angels management was different, Wells wouldn't have existed.
Luckily, you don't have to give him credit! His baserunners from the various teams he's 3B coached for already have. "His" SB% totals traveled with him from team to team.
I'd like to add to Bowa's resume that he was the 3B coach for the early 90's Phillies teams, including the '93 club that suffered Instant Joe Carter Death in Game 6. Given the massively high SB%'s of the teams he coached third for, I'd submit that - in that respect at least - he is one of the greats ever.
By "three" you mean Bowa, Jaffe, and The Stache?
Given his trade history, especially in the post-Zito/Hudson/Mulder era, it's hard for me to doubt Beane. Smith may not fit, sure, but he'll fit somewhere else. The A's are "rebuilding" so they can afford to hold him until he's flipped to the other location - or until the trade one of the other OF's that are confusing the matter. Especially considering the bag of used washers they gave up.
(This is what every bad team should do in Scoresheet, too: add cheap talent no matter the fit or position and then work out the details later.)
Please do this. If BP ever ends up with a pile of money that isn't on its immediate way out, please buy us CK back. Otherwise, nice work.
Anyone that buys on Ebay regularly knows you need to put up some weird crooked numbers like the R.Sox did for Dice-K if you want to win the bidding.
I expected the winning bid for Darvish to be $56.something million or higher, because you absolutely cannot ignore the historical/symbolic piece here. That's why Pujols got the extra few million in his deal - so that he would have the 2nd highest contract ever and not the 3rd. These nuances matter greatly to teams and players.
Alex A is smart enough to know this. He's also smart enough to know that his main competitor for Prince Fielder are the Rangers. I'm guessing they hyped the Darvish bid to make sure the Rangers were in it to win it. If the Rangers are going to sink $100M into Darvish, that potentially removes them as an obstacle for the real prize: Prince.
That is like saying Cespedes is a top 10 prospect of all time. Not only is it not true, it's the special kind of 'not true' that one can make 30 minute movies about, and whether or not the filmmaker supports the opinion, either way it will illuminate the shocking non-truthiness of it all.
"Did Coppola throw scenes from The Godfather into The Godfather II? No, he did not, and there's a good reason for that."
Not to go all film-nerd and miss the point of your joke, but doesn't Part II open with the exact final sequence/footage from I of Michael extending his hand to Rocco & company?
His point is that Albert Pujols is not the best player alive. Even if you want to ding Bonds, there's still the little matter of Mr. Mays.
"This makes the rebuild in Pittsburgh that much slower than before."
Jesus, Mary & Joseph.
You have Brett Anderson's surgery listed as 2010.
KG, I know the backstory on Jeremy Jeffress, but what's the current take? He seemed to be having success this year before he disappeared.
...and I think the reason why players like Ramos are kidnapped, and not players Felix Hernandez, proves this point. Felix is likely employing the Black Delta Death Squad to protect his loved ones. Ramos can't foot that bill at this point.
I hope someone on high is watching over this kid, and I hope that MLB and the US take a public stance with teeth on this issue.
My theory is that the Christopher Cross song is a reference to the way in which Cepedes likely left the island: Sailin'.
Defensive efficiency be damned. I think of virtually every Royal regular - once Cain replaces Melky - as an above average defender, with the exception of Gia at second base. Hosmer was a massive upgrade at first. Catcher has been upgraded. The leap at short was startling.
"Ricciardi most recently worked as GM of the Toronto Blue Jays, and while his reign yielded some questionable moves and nary a playoff appearance, the foundation for the exciting Toronto club of today was laid during his time at the helm."
JP had almost a full decade to do something in Toronto. At least half of the foundation for the current club - Lawrie, Escobar, Rasmus, Morrow, Drabeck, D'Arnaud - comes from Alex Anthopoulos. As does the freedom from Wells' and Rios' contracts. No one could have predicted the Bautista miracle, but I guess he's Ricciardi claim. So is Lind, Arencibia, and Romero.
I wish that Napoli and Michael Taylor could still be added to AA's ranks, but I guess his practice ain't perfect...
"Tito" is Terry's nickname as well.
Can you fix the LaRussa link? Can't wait to see what's behind that door...
Give this guy a job!
I believe he forgot to include the 200 hit piece, but whatever.
Brandon Phillips' best offensive season is 2011? 2007 would beg to differ.
Exactly. Match-up stats are far from useless. If an average veteran hitter is 5-for-6 with 2 homers against a reliever, that is extremely meaningful. It's "only" 6 AB's, but in the context of the *hitter's career* it's a stand-out of many thousand AB's.
At this point, I would only gouge for his future.
Great list, featuring many of my youthful favorites (Phillips, Mulhulland, and Olerud - my favorite 1B of all time). Since my favorite player of all time was never a star, I feel compelled to mention him here:
Delino DeShields. Senior, that is.
He was never an all-star, never led the league in anything other than triples once and strikeouts once, and was always in the shadow of a better rookie (David Justice) or a player that I came to regard as pure f**cking EVIL: Craig Biggio, because of his interference with *my guy* getting recognized.
I loved walks, speed, defense and smartball by middle infielders, and walks, stoopid power, and defense by everyone else. My dream team would be populated by Rob Deer's and Roberto Alomar's (my 2nd favorite player of all time, as perverse as that may seem) -- with Delino sliding back over to his natural position at short.
Overtly political, a student of the Negro Leagues, and at one point the all-time steals leader in Villanova BASKETBALL history, he's mostly known for his memorable name, for being on the wrong side of the Pedro deal, and for appearing in a lot of top-RH-pitching-performance highlight reels because he was a lefty that K'd and flailed a lot.
DeShields would routinely steal home when the catcher neglected to call time-out before visiting the mound. I swear that I once saw John Smoltz throw over to first *fourteen* times during one AB to inhibit Delino from getting a good jump. He never racked up completely gawdy steal totals, but he stole *when it mattered,* often when the game was on the line against tough competition. He, Marquis Grissom, and Larry Walker would absolutely terrorize pitchers in their brief tenure together under Felipe Alou (who would routinely bunt one of the above baserunners over to 2nd in the late innings only to then allow them to steal 3rd).
No one seemed to care about Montreal where I lived (lowly Delaware, Delino's home state), and I made every effort to see this team that I secretly loved amidst a sea of Phanatics. DeShields would go on to have great years with St. Louis and Baltimore (LA...not so much), but my memories and belief in him during his Expos years are why I love the game.
He's the only player I'm sentimental over, which I guess is all that counts!
*Dwayne MURPHY. Sorry.
Mike Cameron, Dwayne Johnson, and Tony Phillips come to mind as TTO's that play(ed) up the middle. One could also argue Curtis Granderson. Or Mickey Tettleton and Mike Napoli, if you consider catchers as "up the middle."
Dude, an EIGHTY bat. 80. Eight. Zero.
Jason, I know this all makes for good copy, right? Like a sober Bukowski is a bad writer, maybe you need the just-missed lady to make this all come together some how. But, buddy, let's look at the facts here. There's a girl. She's attractive. She can at least make her way to the town where you live. She talked to you with her mouth and eyes. She knows who Marc Bolan is AND enjoys him. She has a Cyclones hat on. Now, when those pieces combined...I'm just not sure how a guy sizes all that up and isn't instantly transported into the "this is all I care about right now at all costs" place. Now add in that there is a bus. And you are BOTH GETTING ON THE BUS. AND YOU ARE TALKING *WHILE* *BOARDING* *THE BUS.*
As a record collector, film elitist, and BP-subscriber, I would have rather inflicted a new ailment on the two old bags you made nice with than risk not sitting next to this apparently perfect creature that is now gone forever.
I know Clark Gable, and you sir are no Clark Gable.
This may be a clue as to why managers don't like to do it:
"Brian Fuentes ripped A's manager Bob Geren after the club's Monday evening loss to the Angels.
Fuentes, who has been acting as the A's closer through the first two months of the regular season, was thrown into a tie game Monday night and allowed Anaheim's go-ahead run. "There’s just no communication," he told reporters afterward. "Two games, on the road, bring the closer in a tied game, with no previous discussions of doing so. I don’t think anybody really knows which direction he’s headed.""
What eighteen said. Awesome. Forty years ago, Chapman wouldn't have thrown 105 mph, because he'd either be a starter and expected to throw 300 innings or a long reliever expected to make several multi-inning appearances a week.
It's also worth pointing out they psychological point that every generation views the world as "in crisis" in ways that previous generations were not.
Don't worry folks. Joe P. handled this one.
This is a must read column. Keep playing like a 427lb dead cat and in another 5-8 years, I will love you as much as I love CK.
My only issue is that I think a replacement player isn't mythical. The the average performance that the current crop of non-prospect minor league players would produce if allowed to play is literally replacement level, right? The replacement baseline will naturally change depending on a host of factors, but essentially AAA organizational warriors are as bad as it gets.
Anecdotal evidence and highlight reels are really all that's needed to confirm the greatness of someone that is/was universally regarded as an elite defender, no? No one doubts Brooks Robinson, right? And that's largely based on a couple televised World Series and a mountain of awards. In my mind, for pre-1980, they are maybe the two most revered non-middle-infielder defensive players.
I would think that leaving behind one of the worst bullpens in MLB history helps Haren more than any defensive or park measure. He obviously had no problem with the park in previous years.
Oooooh, a snarky response on a message board. Where's my closet and fetal position?
It took Hill 8-10 months to come back from his concussion, then he had a great season.
How is Jay Gibbons
still rostered? Divorce decree?
Die carrot top, die!
...unless, of course, Liriano is a Yankee before opening day.
I sadly get the feeling that female baseball writers are a lot like pitchers the size of Pedro Martinez or Tim Collins. You have to be really, really good in order to be given the same shot that the normal pitchers get.
You're sporting a Bondsian OBP right now, Emma.
Nary a Chone Figgins reference! Pshaw!
Joe Carter didn't hit an opposite field home run for 7 years in that park.
For some reason, his name didn't highlight: "The shoulder MRI on Jake Peavy came back clean, and he has been throwing well while recovering from his own latissimus injury."
I tend to think that almost any player's range can be masked in one way or another in Scoresheet: by DH'ing him if possible; by fielding superior defenders at other positions to balance out the overall team defense; if he's an IF, by playing him out of position at 1B.
I obviously get that in player comparisons, defense is a key factor, but there are a lot of other factors in play. For instance, if you were to bat ARod 9th, the correlative defensive effect on his OPS would be different than if you batted him first.
I gotta have ARod all day long with this pick.
(Also, Scoresheet's SS average is 4.75)
I would think both Dustin Pedroia and Robinson Cano have such seasons in them.
A hitting coach AND a positional change to 1B would do wonders for EE, methinks.
Ah, and positions! Sort sort sort!
YEAHHHHH!!! This is awesome.
(In the next iteration, can you add the league to each line? Easier to sort for AL- or NL-onlys!)
"(Strangely enough, the next guy is Billy Wagner. Remind me again why he retired?)"
We'll remind you as soon as he files his papers!
It'd be interesting to ponder what an Edmonds/Rivera platoon would look like compared to the production/cost of Wells. Toss Pods into that mix for $2M to spot in CF, keep Napoli for 1B/DH/C, and I think you're looking at a better ballclub than the +$15M they own this year.
I'm grateful and delighted by all the changes, but when are you going to please allow yourselves to introduce the new PECOTA's?
Maybe because everyone in Cuba is a godless left-hander?
KG: Thoughts on the Verducci Effect for Gio?
Many people would argue that Beltre is one of the top 5 defenders at 3B *ever.* He is 2-3 wins better than Uggla *defensively.* Is that worth $5.6M? Easily. Will the difference between Beltre's and Uggla's defense continue to be that large as they both decline? Yes.
Uggla, a bat-first player, is an .837 career. Beltre, a glove-first player, is .791 career. Uggla has only been a MLB player since age 26. Beltre since 19. Both are great supporting players on championship teams. One is an elite defender and the other is a liability.
I'm not sure why you are calling him "Brittle Beltre." In the last 9 seasons he's played 149+ games 7 times, 143 once, and 111 once. Three or four other teams were willing to play Beltre a similar annual salary, but Texas was willing to go the extra year. I'm not sure how that makes him Gary Matthews Jr.
Unless you buy a Pie-Reimold populated LF in Camden Yards this year, I could see the O's as a prime landing spot for a heretofore jobless DH. Scott is a much better defender than he is given credit for, if below average, and could create an interesting hit-run-defend rotation between the positions. And all these players in the mix would allow them to mix, match, and rest a feller like Thome. I'm sure the era-o-Buck would fully embrace yet another aged one amongst their ranks.
If we're forced to compare the two, then yes, Beltre's defense is that much better. He's among the most elite defenders in the game.
Dave, I made nearly the exact same post as yours 12 hours earlier!
CRP13, whether or not we're talking SABR or traditional voters here, there are essentially just 2 real tricks for any position player: offense and defense. Just because Bags stole 200 bags (at an extremely sub-optimal rate, btw) doesn't mean that he was a more valuable than McGwire. And while there are no truly trustworthy defensive metrics that we can lean on, McGwire has a much better defensive reputation than you are giving him credit for.
For all the teams that LaRussa has fielded, and all the HoF players that have played under him, Big Mac is still in his top 2 favorite of his own guys, only behind Big Albert. More than Rickey, more than Eck.
McGwire won ROY. He led the league in homers - during the home-run era - 4 times. He hit more homers in a single season than any player in the 120 previous years. And he did it twice. He led the league in homers when he was 23 AND when he was 35. He was a 12 time All Star, 3 time Silver Slugger, and won a Gold Glove (despite apparently being a 1-tool player). He is 10th ALL TIME in OPS, 8th in SLG, 10th in HR, 1st in HR/AB, and 38th in BB. Those are all-time numbers for all position players. He's won the World Series and played in few more as part of a few different truly storied lineups/teams. Additionally, he and Sammy put the game back on the map at a time when it really needed it.
Like Jeter, he is a historic player. If we're setting aside the steroid judgement for Raffy - who *never* led the league in HR, BA, RBI, BB, OBP, SLG, or OPS (when Mac did so 15 times, cumulatively speaking) - McGwire is in the Hall. Period.
Sorry. I meant Gregux.
I don't think there's a darn thing wrong with voter's 1st ballot tendencies. It's a way of honoring the best of the best. And as you say, Robbie did nothing from 09-10 to improve his chances, so he has nothing to worry about. He'll be in, and he's not a face-of-the-game player, so he can wait a year. First ballots are reserved for the Jeter's and Maddox's of that era, just as they were in days gone by.
Ian Kinsler is a well above-average second baseman.
Weaver's book was published in '84 I believe.
Devon White gets my vote as well in the last 30 years. Andruw was a definite mechanic out there, but for OF's, I prefer flash in the package. I'll take your no-frills Belanger-types on the middle-IF and C all day long, but in the OF Mays, Devon, and Clemente rule. And I assume there is no controversy at 3B. A guy named Doug Mwoeriwoerutewoiervoweuroweuriwkervitch is the best 1B I have ever seen.
What's wrong with MLB that they don't put these plays on youtube or other websites? Do they really think it's better for the game that the 5-6 catches mentioned here aren't available at our fingertips?
With Edwin "The Human Dustbuster" Encarnacion shoring up the left side...
I wonder how much the SB-against totals will naturally drop no matter who's behind the plate given that Crawford is likely to leave the East....
I love Player Profiles! One of the best features on the site.
Hard to believe the Verducci Effect was not mentioned here. Wilson's looking at a +150 inning jump, including the post-season. I believe that Daniels has said he feels Wilson is less at risk than most because of his mental and physical approach to the game and life. But +150!
I was wondering why there wasn't a link attached to that comment. Will, surely this isn't called for, and I'm quite certain that KG isn't arrogant enough to make a number of the comments you have made in this column and over the years.
Additionally, Zobrist is one of the more gifted defenders in the game, excelling at multiple difficult positions. Huff offers little value in the defensive department in general.
Matt Moore not on the top 20 possibles?
I love this guy. He was taken to task online for his ARod comments, but I completely agree with Braden. You do not cross that mound, period. And his honesty & smarts shown then & shine here.
The humbling baseball gods rewarded him with his 27-down for his ARod-efforts.
That .999 was in 124 games. That that was his most amount of games since 2004, six teams ago, when he grimaced in a career high 141 games. In light of that, it wasn't so much an outlier as it was a display of what he's capable of when DHing - 3/4ths of a great season.
JD Drew is a vastly superior player to Milton Bradley - Drew's been much healthier (he is oft-injured, but Bradley is Prior-Wood level) & is an immeasurably greater defensive player.
But the point is how well Bradley is being paid, despite his injury history and the fact that he is probably considered batshit crazy by most front-office types. And how poorly paid Orlando Hudson is, comparatively.
Matt, whether or not Bradley is "very uniquely talented" or not isn't the point; he is a prime example of a "Black malcontent." We would either have to find a white counterpart from the same market to compare contracts, which probably doesn't exist, or we could compare teams' valuation of him compared to a comparable player that is also a "model citizen."
I'm sure more-than-viable arguments could be made that have Orlando Hudson as a more valuable asset than Milton Bradley. Hudson has a much higher career WARP with two less seasons of service time, and two 5-6 win seasons to Bradley's one. Of the four highest WARP seasons between the players, Hudson owns three of them. (And of course this doesn't even add in his Good Citizen Wins points.) Yet Hudson, club house gold, goes year-to-year at a far more premium position, while Bradley receives a relatively massive contract. Carlos Silva wasn't involved in 2008 post-season. Yes, Bradley had a 1.000 season that year, but subtract defense, add injury prone-ness and that a 1.000 for a DH mugging as a corner isn't exactly a display of unique talent. His stock, like the stock of many COF/DH types that offseason, was down. Yet he was paid well, and Hudson wasn't.
edit: *wouldn't* snap him up.
Milton Bradley & Orlando Hudson entered the same off-season as FA's. Bradley scored a multi-year deal as a human that, as CK has pointed out several times, cannot play defense, hit, and stay healthy at the same time. And is a corner OF, probably the most replaceable job in baseball at the moment. Hudson could only ink a 1-year deal as distinguished 2B that has by and large stayed healthy, played defense, and hit all at the same time. They are approximately the same age; one has just about the worst reputation/behaviour in the modern era of MLB. The other is widely considered a team-player & club-house-plus. And both were signed by approximately equal GM's.
Personally, I believe that it is the influx of OTHER races and nationalities into the majors that have knocked every existing block's percentages down. And I would find it very difficult to believe that if there was indeed a "black malcontent" player available cheap, existing as an asset that could be exploited, Billy Beane or one of the other highly creative GM's would snap him up.
This is a problem at the micro level - kids do what is fun & cool & what they're good at. If baseball no longer provides this for specific segments of youth, they will not grow up to be ballplayers.
Altho several of those Sox 2Bman had very good seasons during their spins with the team, and at least three of them have rings to show for it. Bellhorn's homer off the foul-pole is the stuff of TTO legend.
I still love how Dennis Miller spelled Offerman's name: O-F-F-E-5.
Berkman might be a blessing in disgust...
They could just have a hot gun in KC, but it looks like Hochevar, Meche, and Buchholz were all living around 96-97 in their recent starts their. If that velocity is real - and it very well could be - whatever Meche lacked in "stuff" he certainly had in gas.
I'm hopeful that Marte will have a late-bloom in his career, a'la Carlos Pena, but man has he had a rough go of it. His handedness & defensive positivity should keep him around the bigs for a while, at least in a bench capacity. Hard to believe that no 2nd division team has given him a full-season shot.
Will, I've seen Meche listed quite a bit as a 4/10 activation, 4/11 start. Is 4/13 more accurate?
CK, this single page of your pen-warring is worth my entire year's subscription. I surely hope the fractal of the pittance we put forth that finds it way to your purse makes you a living worth living.
Long live Cust.
Oh, yes, thanks: 275 TB allowed, 200 K's.
Wow, those career WARP leaders are stunning. I had never considered that particular ranking method before.
I was a little disturbed at how far down I had to scroll to find Nolan Ryan. 74 seems kinda...low, no? His 1980 season (233ip, 3.35, 275k) is only worth a 1.1 WARP? Can that be possible?
CK, Cust DFA'd...and Jesus wept?
Love this segment. Can you randomly select Josh Barfield next? Oh, they have to be *physically* dead? Never mind.
So, the Sox do things there way and have one of the best, most respected franchises in baseball, right? And the Mets do things their way and have completely shit the bed for multiple seasons running despite their payroll? You think that maybe, just maybe the Sox know what their doing? And the Mets less so?
"Bay plays every single year."
Quite a ringing endorsement.
Where's Jensen Lewis?
There may be something amiss with Aardsma's card. The 90% calls for 105 innings pitched, and his 10% calls for 57! Not sure if PECOTA is "allowed" to stretch a player that far out, given his role. Not sure he should be envisioned in a Hughes/Gio/Tejeda role.
People, for the love of Eldridge, Manny is from the DR!
Will, there's been a lot of talk recently about Haren's 2nd half ERA's being flukey (a couple articles and a thread on Scoresheet talk). Essentially his K-rates & FIP seem to call for similar results to his first halves. Can your system read this "trend" of flukiness in Haren, or is it just reading the ERA spike?
This is the first I've read of Dice-K beginning on the DL. He may not be ready for opening day, but that doesn't necessarily mean he's DL-bound.
Is Frank Robinson in '63 in the top 10?
Wow. This is very impressive. I especially love the heavy linkage at the bottom. Just what the Halladay ordered.
Bravo, and very nearly worth the wait.
Oh shit, a Buffy reference - where's Eric Van when you need him?
PECOTA cards update, anyone? I'm pulling my ears off, here...
Given that Youkilis played more games in the OF that year than he did 3B, I'd say it was semi-regular. He also played 2 games in the OF in each of 2008 & 2009, so clearly he is considered capable regardless of circumstance. Would any of us like to see him in the OF for a foolhardy reason? Of course not. But if Ellsbury goes to SD for Gonzalez mid-season, Youk would be in LF in a heartbeat. Futhermore, if it helps the Sox cause of trading Lowell by showing he can still stand over at 3B and look smart, CK's posit grows a lot more meritable.
Any donkey could see that if Lowell *can't* play 3B, and remains on the team, he'll spot at 1B & DH at that's it. And that since Beltre is probably one-and-done, Youk will be sliding over the semi-regularly (let's not split hairs this time) so he won't have forgotten what it looks like when he's probably asked to man 3B full-time in 2011. CK isn't a donkey, so she's displaying advanced thinking without spelling out every possible variant.
Youk has played OF for the Sox before, semi-regularly at times, and there aren't a lot of guys that are athletic enough for 3B but not LF.
Will/Kevin, can BP do an annual article on VE pitchers? The at-risks could be examined for the coming season, and those that were red-flagged the year before could be revisited.
Of the 10 Verducci highlighted, I'm particularly curious about Porcello, as he the Tigers seemed to measure him as much as possible. He also seemed to be asked to be a GB pitcher instead of power pitcher, which may be his more natural setting.
For LAA, who will back-up 1B sans Quinlan? Could we end up seeing Wood in a reverse-Youkilis defensive setting?
I'll second that. No brainer. Scoresheet is the best fantasy baseball ever created, and costs the same as it did 20 years ago.
I recommend joining a "standard" private league with 2 openings. 13 keepers, 2 crossovers. It'll be an AL or NL league with a name after it, instead of a number.
I might have you at my table, Goldman. We could have a Capra-Sturges throw-down. I'm going Lady Eve as my tops, but it's hard to beat the church scene in Sullivan's (or go wrong with any of his features from that 3-4 year stretch).
Mentioned it before, but you guys have David Ortiz as a +12 1B, pushing his WARP much higher than it should be, when it should actually be subtracting from his value. He defense, when displayed, is below average.
I assume the defensive numbers are projections as well, so perhaps PECOTA is picking up on a weird comp somewhere.
Any good articles on the Pirates/Nutting revenue-sharing scene? That is horrifying.
*Typo, sorry. Meant 1B.
Just because I haven't seen it mentioned yet: David Ortiz is not a +12 defender at 3B.
When I downloaded the spreadsheet, I can only see one similarity comp for each player, followed by a bunch of numbers. I recall in the past there were three, and actually it appears that the pitchers have had their 2nd and 3rd comps smooshed down below the rest of the spreadsheet stats. I assume this is not the desired effect. Is there a simple solution?
It's hard to look at Beane's moves this offseason & not think that platooning is the new moneyball. Look at the tons of corner-hopping split hogs on his club; when's the last time we saw 4-5 platoons on one team?
Sorry, those with Scoresheet questions; my email has been corrected above (smallflowerspress at yahoo). Happy to chat/guide with anyone off-site.
Ack! Sorry, I'm an idiot: It's smallflowerspress (at) yahoo.
Fire me another!
I just want to say that I'm here for KG & CK. The site is better than when I joined, and I'm happy CK is writing more. My only suggestion is that the sortable stats be made more universally sortable (like, why can't I just have access to *every* stat that there is, advanced or otherwise, through a selection process, on one page?).
Oh, and can CK write a book in which she Greil Marcus's Earl Weaver? Please?
Oh, and can we have 3 Future Shock Top 10's this week? Please?
Happy to give you (or anyone) all the info you need & guide you along the way! If you're up on BP, you're for Scoresheet. I've been playing since I was a mid-teen & know the ropes well. There're tons of leagues and openings, nice folks, and bull-dog competitors.
Totally email me if you want: (user name) @yahoo.com
So the Rockies are a "player development machine" every bit as good as the Sox? Sounds like you hold the Sox in pretty high regard in their ability to develop young talent. Me too!
One team's group other than the Rays over the Sox? You're right. Why in the world would I trust their system & KG over you?
(I'm barely overlooking the fact that the Rockies didn't produce C-Gone and that Francis pitched in the majors in 2004. Does this mean I get to include Youkilis on my side?)
It's because this isn't Roto. Steals mean as much in Scoresheet as they do in MLB, which at the very least is not as much as they do in Roto...
Nice tip! Sadly, this doesn't fix the fact that someone in the world thinks Jose Reyes is a top 5 something...
Lackey has been a top 10 pitcher in the AL over the last 5 years, an all-star, and an all-star snub. He would be an ace on 2/3rds of MLB teams, and was one on a perennial post-season team during that stretch.
I didn't say "massive depth" but "massive upswing," but they certainly have the depth. Farm systems that birth a ton of high-impact major league players (I forgot to mention Bard last time) often falsely appear mediocre on the odd year because of the age gap.
"Q: The system seems a little weaker than it has the in the past. Is there enough here to get a big trade done?
KG: Absolutely. It is a little weaker, but there is a LOT of depth. They're 1-11 might not be crazy elite, but their 21-30 would rank very high, so there are a lot of options."
How about you do some work now: show me a team other than the Rays (who were picking 25+ players earlier than the Sox most years) who've produced 6 players you'd rather have that reached the majors since 2005 than the ones I've mentioned.
Boston's 2010 payroll at the moment (post-Lackey/Cameron/Scutaro) stands at $135,878,333. That's $70,000,000 (or two ARods) less than the Yankees $205,084,714.* So, let's stay calm.
Sorry, I can't respond directly under the comments for some reason. Jose Reyes was a top 5 player in the whole league in 2009? Has he ever been a top 5 player in the whole league?
amazin_mess: Say what? In the last four seasons, the Sox farm system has produced an MVP, a perennial all-star closer, and one of the great left-handed starters in the game. Not to mention Ellsbury & Buchholz. For a perennial contender to develop players year to year is the sign of a masterful franchise (like the 90s Braves). Would you rather have those five, or Joba, Hughes, Melky, Wang and Cano? And the Sox *still* have massive upside and depth in their org (Westmoreland, Casey, etc).
Which moves are questionable again? When they traded for Victor Martinez? Signed Lackey? Cameron? Unhappy Manny for Bay? Oh, finding Okajima? Is that the one you mean? Crisp for R.Ramirez? Wakefield's contract? Drew? The Wagner trade? Outside of Lugo, which questionable move am I forgetting?
Signing the best shortstop available for 2/$12 is far from desperate. And given that he's the worst position player they will probably field (an above average defender & offensive player), Scutaro towers over whoever the 3rd OFer the Yanks are currently subscribed to.
They don't *need* to be that much better than last year, but they are an ace better at the moment.
Scoresheet is the "true" sabermetric fantasy league! I don't think anything else has come close to fulfilling the fantasy of being a MLB GM.
I wish there was a BP-helmed Scoresheet column. Didn't Silver cut his teeth on such?
Woah. How was the dispersal managed? Longo & some of these other guys hitting any open draft is pretty wild.
I like your team so far. He who hath Halladay hath a chance.
Dude, you are a part of the Tim Raines problem! The man deserves to be in the hall.
Wasn't there a pretty great BP argument for his inclusion? Yup.
Myriad, the noun, means "thousands" ("a myriad of hurts"). Myriad, the adjective, means "many varied aspects" ("myriad hurts"). CK's usage is fine in this context, so let's stay calm.
Dropping a Potemkin on us with no creative link? Who are you & what have you done with Mrs. Tug Hulett?
Baldelli, whose larger condition is obviously a rarity in baseball, had a 2nd massive injury that occured during his rehab for a 1st massive injury. I'm interested in reading about a few examples of players that didn't have direct setbacks, but had an indirect blow-out somewhere else, and how the issue can be avoided, if possible. It's fascinating to consider how a smaller injury can result in a major one (like an upper body one leading to a leg injury), but even moreso how a rehabbing a hip-flexor (or whatever) can lead to TJ.
Funny how the old MLB cliche about such-and-such a player only being recognized as a super-star when tucking his glove under the lights for 82 big ones in NYC have amazingly been rebirthed in reverse by Grandy. Yanks fans don't know what they've just landed, yet in six months we'll hear about the 2nd coming of Mantle. He is an elite-level defender in the outfield, coming off a down year offensively (in which he still managed 30 homers and many other large counting stats) and defensively. He strikes out a lot, walks a lot, flys around the bases and is Adam Everett against lefties. He has been 95% of Sizemore during his career, and is one of the great character men in the game. He ain't playing in a corner, people, unless Girardi's small game-within-the-game errors grow into the bigger kind.
There are a heap of reasons why the only criticism that could be levied against this amazing swing by the Janks has gone unspoken (eg, why not just sign Cameron & keep all the little people around): A) They still have all the money in the world with which to do as they please, which includes B) that they can still sign Cameron or someone better to play a corner and C) Granderson is a special player whose specialness cannot easily be eclipsed. Not a dominate player, and probably not a HoF player, but one that plays a key role at a premium position on multiple championship winning teams. With a smile.
Melky and that other nub aren't bumping this guy off position, ever, or as long as sanity reigns at least within the dugouts of the Bronx, because the same phenomena that makes you think Melky could do so is also that which makes Granderson "sound" to you like a corner. But, man, just wait until you see him...
Sure Delmon only walked 5 times down the stretch, but he'd only walked 8 times the entire season before hand! Leaps & bounds, people!
If a tree falls in left field, and no one's there to hear it...
I'm quite impressed -- and as a R-Sox fan quite horrified -- that the Jays inked Al-Gonz for such unrisen dough. McDonald is a nice spread too, given his popularity in town and ability to play the position post-deadline deal, if needed. The cheese on this heartburn inducing pie is that they'll now offer Scutaro arb, threatening to toss him in an outer corner if he accepts, burning him with the Type-A stigmata to all suitors if he declines. This seems deliciously evil by the Blue Birds, and quite a welcome blow of healthy competition far too absent from their recent working-class work-outs. This isn't close to the kind of total org-bobble that they need to reach the post-season, but I do think this adds 1 win of the 25 that they'll require for respectibility.
If Manny's going to the Hall playing shitty defense, Edgar should certainly go playing none at all.
If you see Dayton Moore, tell him we're all laughing at him.
Amazing Christina, as always. You and KG are the book-ends of this deal.
My money is on Hermida not seeing a single pitch in a Sox uni. I think he'll be flipped to a smaller market team in a package deal.
However, if he stays, we're talking 4th OF here folks. This is the Red Sox, and he ain't no Drew/Bay/Manny/etc.
Matt Holliday anyone?
Are you suggesting that the BoSox would be better off with Mark Kotsay than Casey Kotchman?
"One minor point...Hagadone came from the Red Sox in the Martinez deal."
KG doesn't suggest otherwise.
Not sure this is too small a sample for an RP prospect. This is probably 10+ outings we're talking about here. The whole point is how players develop under a microscope.
Any concern about Henry Rodriguez's splits? Yowza.
ERA IP H R ER HR BB SO GO/AO AVG
vs Left 16.87 2.2 5 5 5 2 3 5 3.00 .385
vs Right 0.00 11.1 3 0 0 0 4 19 0.67 .086
I'd love to know the answer to this as well, as all three have slept in many Scoresheet drafts.
Given that Weeks is 22 and only in High-A, when should we expect an acceleration on him?
Amen on Leo Mazzone. How did he not fit into the O's future plans? I feel similarly about Ron "Papa Jack" Jackson, who helped engineer one of the greatest offensive juggernauts in MLB history, the 2003-2004 Red Sox. Dismissed without explanation, he remains without a major league job.
I only watch Seattle from afar, but my guess is that the reason they have taken such strides to improve their defense is to make SPs like Washburn, Bedard, and Silva more tradeable (masking a few of their issues). Two of them have been gowing pretty well -- Z is actually out-Beaning Beane thus far if that's his plan. I assume the same fate for Johjima. Despite his awful contract, Z sure has to be thinking about moving him at any cost if he becomes a valid option for anyone. Then I assume Clement re-enters the picture, mid-season, and becomes the starting catcher.
Yup, Rob Deer was a fine fielder. And C.Granderson, who is a borderline case IMO, is an amazing one.
This is my favorite article of the bunch. It needs to be "CK'd" a bit and have some of the 101 info that isn't necessary chopped out (we all know what OPS is and there's the mouse-over besides). But this topic, and his future suggested topics, are ones I have always wanted to read articles on. Pitcher K-rates and TTO BA's are fascinating topics and indicators that we take for granted without totally knowing why. Nice work.
As a Red Sox fan, I would be thrilled if they traded that monster away. For my money, as AL East adversaries, he and Doc are the guys you don't want to see them face. I consider owning Kazmir -- the Rays in MLB and me in Scoresheet -- to be a major commodity. Other than the fact that he reached the bigs a year early, has there been a better handled SP in the majors in recent memory? A ton of those missing innings have to do with the Rays being very cautious over the years, shutting him down early and bumping back his starts even though whatever was ailing him had passed. Put Kazmir on the Angels and let them ride him. He'd be a 215/3.25 guy easy. Kazmir has been putting up amazing numbers for his age and division.
I'm certain they're playing Johjima to increase his trade-worthiness, even for another bad contract. I believe Clement is still their catcher-of-the-future. Twenty-five isn't that old for a catcher beginning his career (Posada, Shoppach, etc).
How's that? The Sox are better defensively at, say, CF, RF, 3B, SS, 2B, and probably tie at 1B and C. That leaves Damon towering over Bay, but I'm not sure how the Yanks gain in this department.
"Contreras'" without the additional "s" is perfectly fine usage for a possessive surname if the person is historical or famous. You would never write "Jesus's," dig? The fact that we don't know Contreras personally makes him famous. The fact that we don't know how old he is may make him historical...
Free Nick Swisher!
Dave: Billy Butler\'s card has the (MORP, etc) issues you describe.
What about Luke Hughes in the mix in Twinky-town? If his \'08 MiL blow-up was for real, why does there appear to be no consideration for him anywhere?
Equality is born from exploitation. Like Lincoln, Rickey\'s decision was multivalent and ultimately appealing to the majority of his constituency. But most importantly, it made them a better team. That\'s the bottom line, and that is the profundity here. It was a decision that trancended all economics and political systems because he was trying to improve *his team,* and he did it in a way that disregarded precedant (in a way that Billy Beane has done for his team over the last decade, obviously without the staggering social aspects).
If you are looking for unimpeachable figures on race relations, looking at white baseball guys isn\'t going to be helpful. Rickey was a great GM for *his* team, and he needn\'t be weighed for other obligations. He was one man in the middle of an ocean of opinions and impossible-to-navigate circumstances, and he improved his team (and, indirectly, the world) with good ol\' western pragmatism. That\'s why he deserves a damn statue.
Hasn\'t Giambi had enough shots? Ba-dump.
RED SOX: Trade Lugo, Crisp and/or Masterson for young C and resign Tek to groom; sign Mulder/Sheets/Penny, Tazawa, and super utility IF; run at Dunn and Teix, adjusting as needed; make trades with Royals.
Youkilis, Pedroia, Ellsbury, Lester, Lowrie, and most of the key guys in the bullpen for the Sox (Papelbon, Masterson, Delcarmen) are products of the org. Not to mention Varitek, who was a minor leaguer when he was traded for, and Hanley, who netted Beckett and Lowell.
During NLCS game 1, McCarver mentioned at some point that Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz partially stands up to receive pitches \"too often.\" And he mentions Varitek as the other culprit, and indeed Ruiz probably picked up this amazing technique from studying Tek. But McCarver, the former catcher, doesn\'t like it. No facts, no reasons why. Just doesn\'t like it.
Now...tell me...how many starting catchers are still playing baseball in October? Those two must be doing something right.
\"Manny is well known for being a guess hitter\"
This isn\'t Rob Deer we\'re talking about here. This is a man whose knowledge of the strike zone, opposing pitchers, and pitch-selection is more impressive than virtually any other active player of his generation. If Barry Bonds were right-handed and clean (and a slow, poor defender), he would have been Manny. What Manny is well known for setting up pitchers, something requiring vastly more talent, and something that has made him a legend. A hitter\'s hitter -- a rarity for a \"home run hitter.\"
Do those precentages measure only strikes?
I think perception of \"protection\" by the masses is represented fairly accurately in the reading above, but i think inching towards \"placebo effect\" might harsh the point a little. \"Taking the pressure off\" is another perceived effect in these cases, and that psychological edge, plus the more careful placement of pitches, are the reason for this \"myth,\" methinks.
It\'s too bad david ortiz isn\'t 100%, or you could measure the effect in reverse...