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I'm happy to announce that Dollar Sign on the Muscle will be available in e-book and paperback formats in late October.
That's a valid question. We'd have to somehow determine the value a team derives from having players within the system, including the minors.
Bo Porter has a plus-plus face; of this there is no doubt. But this has to be my favorite Bo moment of the season so far:
Thanks to everyone who took the time to comment. You've given me a lot to think about!
well said, and thanks.
"Either Wedge meant what he said, or he's not a good enough public speaker to handle the duties of a MLB manager."
This is something of a false dilemma. Those aren't the only two conclusions we can draw. Wedge could have been having a horrible day and said something flip and immediately regretted it. I bet even Joe Maddon has bad days and says dumb stuff sometimes. But no, one poorly worded comment doesn't mean he's unfit for the job. I really wish we had the full text of the interview, because more context is always helpful.
It's not my job to hold stupid people to account, nor to defend BP. We don't need defending, firstly, and secondly, a lot of the "defending" I see comes off as strident and smug. Which is fine, but it's not how I operate. Individual people will come around to advanced stats or they won't. All I can do is let them know there's water over here; it's up to them whether to drink or not.
I'm not interested in being an Eric Wedge apologist here, although I know it looks like from this exchange. My only goal is to deepen my understanding of the game, which often comes from discussing it with people who know more about it than me. And when I tweet or type or say "Eric Wedge is an idiot," the dialogue stops.
I'm suggesting is that we don't take the nerd-bait and see if there's anything of value in his statement. I thought there was; many (most?) others disagree. Which is totally cool.
You're welcome. Now go to your room, you're grounded.
For the record, I agree. As I at least attempted to say, the issue isn't with the data, it's what we do with the data. But maybe Ackley is all messed up mentally, and maybe he's overthinking things at the plate. Maybe he ends up washing out because of it, as many who have gone before him. If you strip the antagonism away from Wedge's statement, that's what you're left with (or at least I was).
You'd be surprised. I know I was.
Good question! Pretty often guys will ask you who you work for, and when asked I say BP. Reactions vary: some guys have no idea what BP is, and I've had others ask me intense advanced metrics questions that had me emailing our stats team!
But I don't usually lead with "Hi, I'm Ian and I write for BP." When I do talk to guys, I usually just try and connect on a personal level.
Socks were plus with plus-plus potential. If Appel develops stirrups, we could be looking at elite-grade socks. But the sock floor is big-league average; they could play in an MLB rotation right now.
Thanks for reading, and listening!
Well, you and I have a fundamental difference of opinion there. I believe that the Astros' baseball ops staff are committed to building a team that, in 2 or 3 or 4 years, can be competitive over the next decade. They've earned my trust by making sound baseball decisions.
I reject the notion that teams are *supposed* to spend X% of revenues on salary. Look at the Angels or the Dodgers right now. Bloated salaries, bad free agent signings, and awful W-L records. What if Houston spent 40 or 60 or 80 million on player salaries this year. What does that get them -- a middle of the pack finish and they don't make the playoffs anyway. They simply don't have the talent to compete right now -- but they will soon.
When the Astros' window for competitiveness opens in a few years, if they start making bad baseball decisions, then they'll lose my trust. But right now, I'm buying what Jeff Luhnow and co. are selling. If I end up being wrong, then so be it.
You bring up some fair points, Dale, but I think it's less a coaching deficiency and more just that the Houston lineup is composed almost entirely of young/raw guys. They're not seasoned, and hell, they've got nothing to lose if they swing from their heels. If they happen to run into one, then they're heroes.
100% serious, the original draft of this article attempted to do exactly that. I couldn't come up with a satisfying result, though. Closest I came was figuring out a combined run differential and concluding that the combined team would be roughly equivalent to the White Sox.
The broadcast rights are a *huge* issue, but not one that the baseball ops folks have any control over. The Padres are in a similar situation with their local sportsnet. It's baffling to me that they can't seem to get these deals done. Both sides are leaving a LOT of money on the table.
Although I didn't mention it, I didn't forget it either.
Like I said toward the end there, it doesn't matter a whit if the Astros lose 95 or 105 or 115 this year. The only impact might be a modest one on ticket sales or TV viewers. But this year's W-L record is irrelevant. If they can flip Chris Carter or Carlos Pena for prospects down the stretch, then they damn well better do it. Their window for winning will start to open in 2-3 years, and (I assume) that's where the Astros' front office attention is focused.
Dude, harsh! You know I love me some Panik. Nothing spectacular about him, but I suspect that the more you see him, the more you'll appreciate what he brings to the game.
Shame we didn't get to meet up. Next time for sure!
Thanks for all the kind words, folks. I really do appreciate it.
Fantastic quote, and so very apt. Thanks for sharing it.
Fantastic stuff, Geoff. Thanks for sharing it with us.
The Japanese manager was quoted as saying that JC Romero was exceptionally slow to the plate, and they thought they could swipe a coupla bases off of him (as opposed to Yadier). Apparently you weren't the only one surprised by the call!
I think the tendencies of Japanese hitters are well known, so it wasn't a surprise to see the PR pitchers work the outside of the zone and let them get themselves out, as it were.
Disappointed that this is not PECOTA vs. Vegans :(
Great stuff as always, Diane!
You make a compelling argument.
He looked good in '12, but I'm not sure I'd call it a breakout. He needs to sustain that kind of performance before I'm ready to get on the bandwagon.
(P.S. I want to believe, but repeating AA and posting ~.300 OBPs both times makes me skeptical.)
I'm no prospect expert, but I don't know anyone who seriously considers him as a future big-leaguer. He's lost a couple of very valuable years of development time and is big, slow, and out of shape. I saw him in a couple of games this spring and he looked pretty awful. That's not to say he *couldn't* turn it all around, but it certainly doesn't seem likely at this stage.
I had a very good red pizza at Hanny's. Really enjoyed everything about the place. Can't wait to get back!
I'm told it was Payless. Still doesn't make any sense.
And yes, the autograph guys are another topic altogether.
I'll ask the editors to make that change. Thanks for reading!
I wasn't trying to make a case against Arizona, just saying it's not "my kind of place." I'm a bike-riding vegan anarchist who lives in Oakland, and lots of things about AZ make me feel uncomfortable. That's all.
It just got dusty in here.
Your review of her review is perfect.
I did my level best in arguing Jason's case, but ultimately I feel like his side overreached. The $8.25M figure they requested was too much based on what amounts to half a season of ace-like production.
That said, if he stays healthy and puts up similar numbers in 2013, dude is gonna get PAID for '14 and beyond. So hey, no big deal if he loses here and is paid "only" $5.7M, right? (As long as the other stuff comes to pass, of course.)
It's a fair cop.
we always called it Dirt, Grass, or Skin.
Great piece, Zach. Thanks.
A capital idea!
Thanks for clarifying, Carrie! I may have to pick up a copy myself -- Jim Hendry's Cajun selections sound pretty tantalizing.
I can't believe I overlooked this element. I am now kicking myself.
oh man, the Slider. ...
I can tell you it's not simply that writers are resistant to publicizing the ballots. There are other considerations, some of which are enforced by the organizations for which the writers work.
SF Giants involved in all three Best (Worst) Intentional Balls. This seems statistically significant.
They should do MLBT3000, where they shoot Millar into space with some robots and have them make fun of the movies.
At least that way Millar will have been shot into space.
I feel like you're not giving "BACBACKBACKBACKBACK!" its due respect.
Yes, it was actually supposed to be funny! I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it.
I can say with near absolute certainty that there were fans and reporters leveling these same charges against Fidrych. It's all a matter of our perspective, I think.
appreciate that, RA.
Loving all the comments. Please keep 'em coming!
This is very possibly the best SGA-related story I've ever heard.
Way better than the time I almost got into a fist-fight over a slanket.
You made me look up "Simpson's paraadox," and now I'm disappointed that it has nothing at all to do with Matt Groening's creations.
Great piece, Zach. Thrilled to have you aboard!
Gotcha, and that's a fair critique. I didn't actually mean to say that the A's didn't get a fair return, but that sentence certainly implies it. Poor word choice on my part.
I think I'm agnostic on the trade. Ross still has upside, but who knows if he'll ever get there? And I don't know enough about Werner to have an informed opinion.
"Selling low" doesn't mean the A's didn't get a good return; it simply means that Ross' value has ebbed. He's far less valuable now, for instance, than he was 1 year or 2 years ago.
Yep. Being smart and funny and charming isn't enough to make a great (or even good) GM, I guess. In fact, maybe those things -- or at least the being nice part -- actually worked against him. Pure speculation, of course.
you are far too kind. thanks!
1. It's Zack.
B. Wheeler wasn't part of the rotation.
iii. Your point is still at least semi-valid.
With apologies to Bush 43, we have to ask, "Why isn't our prospects developing?"
Really appreciate the kind words, Ryan. Glad you enjoyed them!
Converting "Average to slightly above" footspeed to a number grade would mean 50-55, maybe? That's plenty fast.
Thanks! Phyllis is quite the character.
Makes perfect sense. RTFA, you guys! :)
Very curious -- why are people negging this post?
I feel fairly comfortable making that assumption, Richard, solely based on the amount of money available to MLB teams. I don't mean to denigrate the Cuban game nor its players; I have no doubt that their skills and acumen are every bit as good as those of their counterparts who play in North America. It's simply a question of resources. Do players in Cuba's Serie Nacional have access to the same training tools, be they video, strength, or what have you? I don't know for sure (hence the assumption part), but I suspect they don't.
0.5 WARP in 38 games as an Athletic. not earth-shattering, but a pretty clear upgrade over the previous MI configuration.
I intentionally avoided the MLK Day issue and went with DST because of its apolitical nature. I hope everyone read this in spirit in which it was intended, which is pure silliness.
Average seems charitable. Although I haven't scouted this guy with my own eyes, I'd be tempted to throw an NP on him.
I, too, bought one on KG's recommendation. Mine is yellow.
A quick perusal of this page http://www.baseballprospectus.com/odds/ suggests "yes." From (essentially) 0 to 87%. No one else is even remotely close.
At the very least, I hope someone covering the team is working on a book. Even if they don't go all the way, I would absolutely read a book about this bunch.
And imagine if they *do* win it all!
Probably a bit of a stretch on my part, but I meant to refer to the A's minor-league complex in Arizona. Sorry it wasn't clearer!
What he said.
That assumes all other things being equal though, right? Especially the pitching?
I'm no ZiPS computer or anything, but I have to believe the pitching, especially the starting rotation, will regress somewhat. Of course, that's out the window if Guggenheim brings in a free-agent arm.
Damn me and my dyslexia! Thanks for the heads up.
Heavens to mergatroid, that was amazing.
I'd try and quote my favorite parts, but the entire article won't fit in this little box.
Had you titled this piece "A Love Letter to Chris Carter," I would have read it much sooner.
Next time don't bury the lede. Especially when it's about my man Chris.
This article is like crushing a home run to dead center in your first big-league at-bat. Painstakingly researched, well written, interesting, and informative. Just a great read.
Color me impressed.
Big 97s fan, but can't include him based on my criteria. Both excellent suggestions, however!
Another embarrassing oversight on my part. In my defense, however, Mr. Jackson didn't make it to the upper echelons of the Rolling Stone list.
Arroyo should be prosecuted for crimes against humanity for his "music" career.
flattery will get you everywhere.
Excellent point about Johnny! I'd forgotten how big a baseball fan he was.
Play the bass!
That sounds terrifying.
I can't believe I left out the Gambler! Horrible oversight on my part.
It definitely occurred to me! But according to my own self-imposed rules, I was required to go with Bowie due to his Rolling Stone ranking. (Pretty sure the Monkees didn't crack the top 100.)
Hot damn, this is amazing.
That's the $64,000 question, ain't it?
Maybe his swing is just long enough that he can beat up on (or at least be adequate against) AAA pitching, but can't catch up to big-league pitching? Classic AAAA guy?
If there's an adjustment to be made, either mental or mechanical, I'm sure the M's staff is working on it. The good news is that he's only 25, and there's still time for those adjustments to be made. If he's as talented a hitter as scouts once thought, it's possible that he can make the adjustments and address the holes in his swing. One need look no further than the BP front page to see evidence of another guy who seems to have figured it out after languishing in the minors (and failing in the majors) for years: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=17942
Fascinating stuff, Jason. Thanks!
Best podcast on any topic, anywhere. Thank you both for this (usually) weekly gift.
Much obliged, Shaun! I too am glad that BP staff and subscribers seem to be open to my silliness.
Pelican is too plodding for a workout playlist.
This is like getting handed the keys to the kingdom, Dan. There's so much insight in here that I know I'm going to be bookmarking it and coming back to it for a long, long time.
Hey, why should I suffer alone? Come, join me in my misery!
I'm outsourcing all future work of this nature to Richard. No way can I compete with that!
I'm innocent, I swear! I even had to google "MTGO."
Great analysis, as always! Selfishly, I'd love to see one of these capsules for every team -- or at least the teams that can be considered "buyers."
well, that didn't work out like i'd hoped.
MIKE OLT! o/
A fair point, depending on your perspective.
Counterpoint: He's young and exciting and, yes, a jackass, but also charismatic and funny and smart. He's many things.
That was... amazing. Thanks for sharing!
I'm not ready to say that this feature is the best thing on BP, but I'm not ready not to say that either.
Who is this person and why does she #SOMETIMES randomly hashtag an #ADVERB?
Gerrit Cole was hit by not one, but TWO line drives in the first inning of that game.
//steals idea for future column
YOUKILIS? SOUNDS A LOT LIKE DUKAKIS, AMIRITE HERE? NOT ONE OF US.
HERE'S AN ILL-ADVISED PICTURE OF YOUKILIS IN A SHERMAN TANK, ILLUSTRATING HOW ILL-EQUIPPED HE IS TO LEAD OUR COUNTRY-SLASH-BASEBALL-TEAM
It's 4:20 bro, the server just taking a break to do some bong rips! I'm sure it'll be back soon.
Good stuff, KG! Really encouraged by Panik's surge of late -- I was pretty close to giving up hope.
Any indication from scouts about a cause behind Gary Brown's struggles, or is it as simple as him facing superior pitching?
Really surprised Billy Hamilton wasn't promoted at the break. Any sense of what's going on there? Is a move to CF in the offing?
I predict a bidding war with Colorado.
wasn't positing a relationship; just saying that the defense behind him is poor, so Vogelsong's surprisingly low BABIP is all the more surprising.
Couldn't agree more. He doesn't look especially fast, so in many ways his feats seem even more impressive. Maybe he has an extra gear we haven't even seen yet!
I'm rooting so hard for his continued development, if only so we get more of these amazing stories.
+1. I like em and was already trying to figure out how to use them in my next thing!
IANAS, but to me, his fielding actions look smooth, he's obviously very quick, but the arm seems average at best for SS.
MILB.com only has splits from this year, and, as you might imagine, his AVG is higher vs. RHP, because he's 2 ticks faster to first. As far as grading the hit tool, I'm gonna leave that to the experts. Kevin Goldstein talks about it a little here: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=15854
Totally agree that our nomenclature is slippery, and that I cherry-picked a few top guys to help make my point.
I did look at 2B production for the last 3 years (really, the last 2 full seasons + 2012 so far) and it's definitely slipping -- MLB 2B are posting a .253 TAv this year. Now of course that includes non-starters as well, so maybe the TAv for starters is something like .260? So Wong would need to post better than that to be considered a 1st-div guy. Can he do that?
Take a look at the guys who are considered first-division 2B: Cano, Pedroia, Uggla, Kinsler... Those guys are really, really good hitters. It's certainly possible Wong could hit .275 and slug .440, but is it likely? I don't think so, and I'm a HUGE fan.
I was about to say I was surprised by Purke's line, but then I realized that I probably would'be been equally surprised if he came out and dominated. But FB topping out at 90? That's cause for real concern.
I was an absolute cheerleader for Kolten Wong coming into the 2011 draft, and he's already exceeded what I reasonably thought he could do. I understand he doesn't profile as a star, but man, he looks like a future big-leaguer.
You're far too kind, all of you. Thanks for reading!
Thanks for the kind words, everyone. Glad you enjoyed it! Part II next week.
Oh man, I got my RPG nerd in my British sci-fi nerd! At least they taste great together!
That is uncanny.
OH LORD, you need to warn people before showing them something like that LoMo PhoTo. Absolutely terrifying.
I'm driving the bandwagon. No talking to driver while bandwagon is in motion.
Thank you sir! I am understandably thrilled.
Glanville interview should be required listening for all baseball fans, and when they finally make me Commissioner for Life, I will make it so!
Whoa, crazy stuff. Would be fantastic if he put it all together!
Forgive my ignorance, but what's the backstory with Gattis "walking away from the game"?
That's an embarrassment of ritual-riches right there. Personally, I think Jansen should meld the Tiny Hop with the Non-Existent-Collar Pop (referred to here as "shirt tug," although it's pretty obvious Jansen is trying to pop his collar but realizes too late that he is not wearing a 1976 White Sox jersey, and therefore has no collar to pop). That would make for a unique and hilarious ritual.
"prospect heavy show"
music to my earballs.
Doug, your piece are like being taken to school, only instead of being stupid and boring, it's informative and awesome.
It might be time to take your sarcasm meter in for an adjustment.
Hensley appeared in last night's Marlins-Giants game, and literally every person in our section commented on his W-L record vs. his ERA. It's remarkable!
Also, Nick Johnson NEEDS to stick in the majors. Otherwise we won't be able to make any more of these! http://productiveouts.com/tagged/Nick-Johnson
KG, what are you hearing about Tommy Joseph's D? I've seen him a couple of times and he hasn't looked bad behind the plate, but obviously that's the smallest of sample sizes. Are scouts saying he won't stick back there, or is it just that there's no future for him as a C in the Giants org?
Long live Hak-Ju Lee!
Wow, Kolten Wong has to be exceeding everyone's expectations at this point.
Mike Trout: this is just stupid. Make room for him.
RIP Hak-Ju Lee :(
Crazy-ass line for Reckling! Wow.
Amazing that Pimentel's been playing pro ball for 5+ years already at age 22.
"as a baseball fan I root for greatness"
ofttimes I wish I could +1 a staff post; this be one of them.
Tons of talent on that Grizzlies squad right now.
Great stuff, Geoff. I really enjoyed the BP event in E'ville, and was especially struck by your citation of the Caminiti/Nady situation as the root of Bochy's fear of untested talent, and I've related it to several of my friends who follow the Giants. It's as good an explanation as I've heard to date.
Pair the veteranophiliac Bochy with the risk-averse Brian Sabean, and you've got the perfect storm of Brandon Belt: Bench Bat.
"Sudden extra-base ability is limiting his opportunity to steal bases..."
One more Teheran-related question for either KG or Ben: can you explain what "casting" means w/r/t a pitcher's mechanics? I assume it's related to casting with a fishing rod, but I can't quite figure out how to apply that to a pitcher's mechanics.
Looking forward to reading more about Teheran. I find him fascinating for a number of reasons, not all of which can be explained.
Matt Adams haters to the left.
+1 if you're trolling Kevin, -1 if you're serious.
Got a chance to see Hamilton close up on Saturday after the BP event in Emeryville. Good god almighty, is he fast. Three slow chops to the left side, all fielded cleanly, in on the grass. Beat them all out pretty easily. 1 SB (terrible jump), 1 CS (equally terrible jump).
No way on God's green earth is he 160#, though. *Maybe* 145 soaking wet. But wow. Fun.
This was a joy to read. Thanks.
An embarrassment of prospect riches today! Mein gott.
Really curious to hear what you (KG) think about Kieschnick. A coupla years ago you said he projects as an everyday RF, but he wasn't on your top 11/20 this year. I kinda gave up on him after a mediocre showing in AA last year. Does his hot start change anything for you?
One of the best things I've read on this site, which is truly saying something. And yes, a weekly version of this would be a wondrous thing.
Tickets acquired! Can't wait for this.
It's probably something to do with the lossiness of the GIF, but it quite literally looks like Bourjos' feet aren't touching the ground.
I could watch Peter Bourjos run all day!
Fuck it man, I'm jealous of myself! At the time I really couldn't appreciate what was happening. And yes, Canty is a monster.
Thanks to all for reading, and for the kind words. BP is the best.
Man, I missed these so much. Thank you. That is all.
This is the Fugazi show in question: http://www.dischord.com/fugazi_live_series/new-orleans-la-usa-32190
A bunch of our gear had been stolen just a few days before the show, and Fugazi was cool enough to let us borrow some of theirs. I ended up playing Joe Lally's Sting Ray that night. It was awesome.
I posted a snap of my scorecard once, and KG said I kept score like an old lady or something to that effect. Whatever works.
This single article was worth my $39.95 annual BP sub. Everything after this is pure lagniappe.
Thanks for the lulz.
Doug Thorburn on the 14th! Yes!! I'm going to pepper him with questions about Jose Valverde and Pat Neshek.
should of gone. :(
Gah, I really should've gone to the Nuts home opener. But that yard... it's just so depressing. Maybe the worst in the Cal League, and that's really saying something.
Incredibly rich article. Just finished my 1st pass though it, and will be back several more times, I expect, to digest all the wisdom herein. Thanks for sharing it!
1. Fantastic piece. I was truly moved.
B. The typography in that Wilson ad is glorious.
iii. Bobby Fucking Estalella???
Please don't denigrate PETA members by lumping them in with this idiot.
+5 for the Prince reference.
The brain trust of Law, Callis, and Goldstein was even better than I'd hoped it would be. Really, really informative and awesome.
definitely shows lack of #want
Goddammit, I just realize i completely misread your comment. Profuse apologies.
Playing in the AFL =/= elite prospect. There are PLENTY of non-prospects in the AFL -- pitchers especially, but position players as well. There are guys who are there to fill out a roster, who a team wants to keep close (vs. sending them to winter ball down South), or for any of a number of other reasons that those outside the front office are not privy to.
That was a BP fastball right over the heart of the plate. :)
As A Giants fan, I was *super* pissed when the Cards took Kolten Wong. He was my white whale of the draft. I guess SFG did OK with Panik at #29, but still. Big fan of Wong's.
I actually LOL'd when I read that.
While I realize it wasn't presented as a heads-up competition among the 5 guys already in the MLB, it's pretty interesting that Adam Jones got the most votes over Cespedes. Not what I would've expected to see.
I don't disagree, really. It's definitely encouraging that he was able to hold his own at that age and level. I'm certainly optimistic about his future.
I don't know that we can draw any conclusions based on 34 big-league plate appearances.
Still on the fence about Sanchez myself. He flashes serious power -- i saw him hit 3 bombs in one game in advanced A -- but I'm not convinced he can succeed against superior pitching. I remain hopeful, however.
He seems to have made strides in his defense as well, especially in terms of his receiving. Obviously, right now, almost anything would be a welcome (offensive) upgrade over the Stewart/Whiteside backup situation.
Didi Gregorius is my new favorite player. From Curacao, plus-plus name, Facebook profile is http://www.facebook.com/Oneloverboy. Oneloverboy!
2.5 hours! YES.
1. As a nominal Giants fan, I'm glad Jarrod Parker will not be in the NL West.
B. I'd still read these lists even if they were composed entirely of the "ephemera." Hell, I might even like 'em more.
"Pedro Feliz had an 11-year career."
EAST COAST/MIDWEST BIAS
Lake Elsinore Storm is gonna be fun to watch in the first half of '12.
Taijuan Walker in the Cal League! Yes.
45" box jump is impressive.
oops, meant Diane! conflated your twitter handle with your actual name. again. :/
Really enjoyed this, Diana! Thanks.
steak grows on Dimitri!!!
No mention of Downtown Gary Brown's 3.96 time to first???
As a Giants fan, it's terrifying that Justin Upton is only 23.
Had no idea Ogando came up as an outfielder!
Great piece--hope you do more of these, KG.
thanks for clarifying!
First rainout in the history of the AFL, I'm told.
Surprise @ Scottsdale was rained out, strangely enough.
I'm thrilled anyone even got the oblique reference.
Plus he recorded "Bleach"; he's got to get extra credit for that.
awe·some Adjective /ˈôsəm/
1. Extremely impressive or daunting; inspiring great admiration, apprehension, or fear.
HEARD THIS: Jorge likes girls who wear Abercrombie & Fitch. No word on whether or not Chinese food makes him sick.
Atomizer is far and away my favorite Big Black record. They only other record I still reach for regularly is "Songs About..." But I discovered Atomizer first, and it hit me like a ball-peen hammer between the eyes. A really important record for me.
p.s., ATOMIZER is the greatest record ever.
Radish is a great vegetable, but it's pretty much one tool. Not versatile, but great at what it does. It's the Wily Mo Pena of vegetables.
p.s., holy shit, Neftali Soto.
Francisco Peguero is one of those guys who confounds me to no end. He looked terrible the few times I saw him in A-ball -- had raw speed but that was about it -- nothing else looked remotely projectable. And then he'll go crazy for a month, and then he'll be terrible.
I guess this is why I'm not a scout.
great insight! thanks for sharing it.
Can't remember seeing a Future Shock that included 3 Giants prospects! Get stoked.
Still not sure the Tommy Joseph is for real or what the org should do with him, seeing as C and 1B are blocked for the foreseeable future. But hey, having an offensive catcher as a trade chip isn't the worst thing in the world.
Also, Joe Panik making the Giants' brass look smart. I'm loving it.
And promote Gary Brown already!
Well stated, passionately argued, and flat-out wrong.
In pro sports, unless you are contributing somehow to the effort, or are drawing a paycheck, "we" excludes "you." The question of how this works in college athletics is a bit thornier -- are you "we" once you've graduated? -- but it's cut-and-dried in the pro game.
KG: I know you like Erlin, but how will his stuff play at the big-league level? Are you confident he can get MLB hitters out?
Also, I know the A's front office is filled with people far smarter than me, but I wish they'd give Chris Carter a shot at 1B/DH for the big club. I know there's value in having him play every day in AAA, but they need to fish or cut bait with this guy.
Koko's gettin' upset!
my pleasure! that was fun.
Hey guys, just tuned in, so I hope you haven't covered this already, BUT I'm curious to hear everyone's take on the Ibanez-over-Brown move in Philly.
I have a crazy friend who says it's wrong to bench Ibanez. Is he crazy?
"...it's hard to figure out where he fits in a system that already has a disappointing first-base prospect at Triple-A in Chris Carter."
Brutal. Fair, accurate, but still: brutal.
You're right about Pence > Brown. I was definitely undervaluing Pence.
The thing about Pence is that his offensive numbers this year are being driven by a gaudy .368 BABIP, which means he's almost certainly due for some regression over the remainder of the season. Not a ton, but maybe his AVG ends up around .300 and his TAv a bit below that.
Great stuff, Kevin. Absolutely worth the wait.
So, here's a question: What's the tipping point for this trade for the Astros? That is to say, what level of success do the 4 prospects need to achieve in order for this to be a win for Houston? Like, if Zeid makes it as a middle reliever and Cosart becomes an average starter, does that make it a "good trade" from Houston's perspective? Is it even possible to quantify stuff like this?
Question 2: If the Phillies option Brown and trot out an outfield of Ibanez, Victorino, and Pence, have they improved at all? Seems to me that replacing Pence with Brown is a push, given how terrible Ibanez has been this year. Brown-Victorino-Pence seems to be the ideal alignment given the pieces they have.
I mistakenly assumed "Doctor Million" was the musical guest. It totally sounds like a hipster band name.
Great stuff as always, KG. Thanks.
Any sense of the adjustments Bryce Harper is making? I know the jump to AA is generally seen as the toughest due to the pitching these guys see; is he figuring out the breaking stuff for instance, or is it just "getting comfortable" in general, or just random fluctuation?
Also, any sense to when the Giants will promote Brown? I'm not sure what else he needs to prove in A-ball...
Zolio Almonte has unseated Rougned Odor as the best name in baseball.
Any firsthand reports on Trayvon Robinson's in-game power? Dude has added .140 points to his SLG since he got to AAA. Is that all Albuquerque/PCL, or is some of it legit?
Pablo's big fly was certainly impressive. Not many home runs hit out to that part of the yard.
Keith Law posted about Alvarez today on espn, you might wanna check that out.
Couldn't have happened to nicer guys. Thrilled for you guys and even more excited as a potential listener!
Mesoraco looks like a really athletic Sta-Puft Marshmallow Man.
Ehh, I think he should stay at AA for the remainder of the season, regardless of performance. What's the benefit of moving him to AAA this season? Let him continue to mature, and if he absolutely dominates AA, then great. He's still got lots to learn.
Michael Choice in full beast mode. Move to Midland has to be be coming soon.
KG: Isn't it pretty unusual for an "up-the middle" guy to be a TTO-type hitter? I'd think it would be especially odd for a CF.
Now I know you hate comps, but does Choice's skill-set remind you of anyone? I'm just trying to wrap my head around this guy. I guess the next question is does he stick at CF or move to a corner?
Not surprised to see Burrell's near the top of the chart. He was very... uh... deliberate.
NOT JIM TRACY!
Looking forward to seeing how you crammed all this into just 2 hours.
Really surprised to see Chris Dominguez continuing to hit at AA. Not at all surprised by the AVG-driven OBP. Perfect fit for the Giants!
Metal State: California, obviously.
Phenomenal episode. Seriously.
That's ex-post facto reasoning. Just because the results have been bad doesn't mean there haven't been some successful roster decisions. The A's have basically built an entire elite rotation in-house, from scratch. Problem is, they're super banged-up right now. That's not Wolff's or Beane's fault.
The putrid offense is, however.
Not only would I go see that movie, i'd also participate in the conspiracy to commit murder.
Excellent post, last sentence expecially; sums up my feeling perfectly.
I listen on the Web, then download it on my home iTunes and also grab it on my iPhone.
iTunes usually lags by an hour or two.
Actually, it's up now.
Nah, that's not necessary. But don't you think "nothing but questionable decisions" is a bit much?
John, your piece doesn't mention any of the myriad injuries the Oakland pitching staff has suffered this year. Even if Matsui and DeJesus were performing as they had in the past (and if Kouzmanoff hadn't been a black hole at third, and, and...), the decimated rotation would be a huge burden to overcome. The fact that the A's aren't out yet is a testament to the depth of the pitching talent in their system.
All that said, the offense is downright offensive, and there don't seem to be any quick fixes. If Chris Carter wasn't putting up sub-Mendoza numbers in Triple A, maybe that would allow Beane to cut loose an obviously finished Hideki Matsui. Beane has definitely made his bed, and offering up Geren as a sacrifice isn't gonna do a damn thing about the moribund offense or the injuries.
I see him as more of a Lincecum type.
I don't think so either, but when this many guys go down, it makes me start to wonder. Thanks!
Corey & Ben:
Do you guys see anything systemic in the injuries to Oakland pitchers (i.e., is anything the club is doing or NOT doing contributing to these injuries), or is this just bad luck?
There definitely is. Cortisteroids reduce swelling, but they also break down tissue, so if you take several injections in one spot in a short period, it can actually damage the tissue.
And this is why I'm pretty OK with a seemingly lackluster draft by the Giants. Barr, Tidrow, and co. have proven to be way better at evaluating talent than most of the rest of everyone else. They've earned my trust.
I've read this a bunch of times, and I'm still having trouble understanding seeing Aaron Rowand's name up there.
I'm already tired of the shows of righteous indignance from the entire blogospehere that greet Bryce Harper's every perceived misstep. He seems like a cocky prick, but the armchair enforcers who want to "teach him a lesson" offend me far more.
Don't make me defend Bryce Harper. Please.
good question; GREAT screenname.
been waiting for this all day. kinda surprising that Ramos won by "only" 3 seconds.
I get the unwritten rules AND I loved Matt Williams as a player, but really, the fact that he got apoplectic over this is kinda ridiculous.
And poor Chris Carter who can't even make the list of recently busted power prospects. :(
I've seen some reports about Owens' delivery as being problematic -- any insight into that, KG?
KLaw seems convinced Cole will go 1-1.
I've long been a subscriber to this theory. It seems especially prevalent in former-catcher managers evaluating their own catchers. And Scioscia is repeating all the mistakes of Mathis/Napoli with Mathis/Conger.
Had a feeling Huff would rank as slowest trot. He Cadillaced it a little as he rounded the bases after #1. Kinda surprised he didn't get plunked after #2, frankly.
open office ftw!
also, i like the new gold widget up there. very cool.
Great work, Sam. One of the best things I've read on BP in a while, and that's really saying something!
Starship Troopers too. It's a vastly underrated gem, in my opinion.
oic. thanks for clarifying.
The 30-30 prediction for Harper means in the bigs, yes?
I want that .9er T-shirt. Now.
Jay, or some other BP person who knows numbers and what have you, can you explain how the Giants are still projected to win 91 games *without* Buster Posey? I get that the division is awful and that the G's pitching is great, but do they really have a better chance of making the postseason than the Phils and the Cards??
Love reading this stuff. The guys who fail spectacularly are as legitimately interesting as the guys who succeed, if not moreso. You could probably write a book on each of these guys and how it all went wrong.
To bastardize Tolstoy, superstars are all alike; every bust is interesting in its own way.
I enjoyed Capillary Action, and that's not usually my jam. I guess the closest frame of refernce for me is Xiu Xiu, who I don't care for, but CA was better somehow.
Looking forward to the draft episodes!
Yes, but the two are related, and there's often a causal relationship between the two. Choice looked ghastly when I saw him the other day; the approach and the results were both poor.
Scouting is a crazy business. If you'd seen Michael Choice on Monday (and only on Monday) like I did, you'd have no earthly idea the kid was a prospect: 0-for-3 with 2 walks, which Zack Wheeler was giving away like circus peanuts. Then he goes out of his mind on Wednesday and hits 2 bombs. Just underlines how much data you need before you can get an accurate picture of a guy.
My hats are off to those scouts. They've got an incredibly hard job.
Losing any starter -- even a 4 or 5 -- is a huge loss. Even if Outman were ready, which is questionable, that means you've still got to plug in 1 more replacement-level starter. With their pitching depth, the A's are well-positioned to absorb this, but it's still a big blow.
Brutal luck for the A's. With their tepid offense, I don't know how they bounce back from this, at least in the short term.
i've seen him play a few times this year and he looks really good. only obvious shortcoming at this stage -- and given his skill-set, it's kind of a big deal -- is his baserunning. I've seen him get caught stealing, get picked off, and run into outs seemingly from lack of focus. Generally seems like a smart kid, but at times he seems a bit clueless on the basepaths. With time and proper instruction, he's almost certain to improve.
Metaphysical Velcro. I love it.
Thanks for another great piece, Jason.
I completely agree. Doesn't make his comments any more cogent.
I said Weeks but meant Choice. Duh.
Looking forward to seeing Brown and Weeks on Monday at Stockton. Should be a Wheeler start as well.
OK, just finished. Phenomenal show, guys. Thanks for entertaining and educating the hell out of me every week. And apologies for the FIRST comment. Just got a little carried away.
The Boras interview is one of the funniest things I've ever heard. I wonder if he believes the stuff he's saying about players "giving away their right to an education" and the like. It's patently absurd.
Re. Brown & Gyorko: Is there a "typical" timetable for when the first wave of promotions happens? I assume there's a bunch of moves around midseason, but is it typical to move guys before that?
Oh, I know. It doesn't matter, he probably makes the throw from the left side of 2B twice a year. I was just surprised at how weak it looked.
That makes sense. Thanks!
Wonder if I could've fit one more "shame" into that comment.
Yeah, that was a shame. Kid sure has range though. Shame about the arm.
Zack Wheeler's peripherals are instructive; the "earned run" he allowed last night was due to a series of misplays in the field. One error was charged, but there were plenty of mistakes to go around. Still, Wheeler never got rattled, bore down, and worked out of a tough spot in the 1st and basically shut down Lancaster after that.
Also, both pitchers were getting squeezed all night -- scouts were saying the HP ump is well-known to have the tightest strike zone in the league.
Great stuff as always, Jason. I really appreciate your insights into swing mechanics. It's enlightening.
Since you entreated us to ask questions, here's one: When talking about load, you said "I want to see the hands slowly drift back (not forward)."
Since weight is being shifted back during load, I can't actually picture hands moving forward at the same time. Does this actually happen? Are there any hitters I may know of (current/former big leaguers, maybe?) whose hands moved forward while they were loading?
Pretty aggressive on Brown, but appropriate. Dude is destroying the Cal League.
Great stuff as always, Jason.
There's been some talk this week about the new pitching dominance being predicated on the rise of the cutter. Do you put any stock in this, or are we looking at a small sample size anomaly, or is there another reason for the preponderance of near-no-hitters night after night?
check out the image on the BP homepage
It means the questioner has a questionable sense of humor.
Well, not literally.
But yeah, I totally called it.
Kila Ka'aihue: dead man walking.
Agreed! Already fanboyed out via Twitter re. Langford and didn't want to belabor (belabour?) the point, but hell yes.
Not Jim Tracy PLUS an Ozzie Guillen cameo? Dream Episode.
Ahem: Giants didn't get swept by the Nats. They merely lost 3 of 4.
Rebel Ridling? Really??
John Savage's handling of Trevor Bauer this season has been criminal.
Kevin: What do you see as Gary Brown's ultimate ceiling? Do you see him sticking in the bigs as a regular CF/leadoff hitter?
Just listened to the entire interview a second time. Wholeheartedly agree that his story is far more interesting than Albert Pujols'. "I've succeeded at every level in everything I've ever done" isn't nearly as interesting as Hamilton's trials and tribulations. I'm a Hamilton and Bay Stars fan for life now.
Clayton Hamilton interview was phenomenal. So great.
Not only is Gary Brown getting thrown out a lot, he's looking bad doing it. On Sunday I watched him get picked off once and run himself into an out when he tried to stretch a single into a double and get thrown out by 15 feet.
Montero is out of his goddammed mind.
I really, really want Dontrelle to get right and make it back to the show. That guy is too cool.
Yup, my entire opinion of De Jesus is from watching him play against the Giants earlier this season. Good glove, but nothing projectable about the bat, I don't think. Again, I'm not arguing that he's not better than Miles -- it would be difficult for him not to be -- just that his ceiling is just a few inches off the ground.
As a Giants fan, I'm fine with paying Huff for his past performance. He's in negative WAR-land now, but I suspect he'll bounce back and end up above average (especially if he gets to move back to 1B).
I'm sure there's a reason Bay is rehabbing in A-ball -- so what is the reason? Too cold/snowy in Buffalo?
Also, is this the first time that two Korean-born players have been listed in a single Future Shock column?
Man, the Giants really dodged a bullet when Agent Ned swooped in and snatched up Uribe.
Also, the Ivan DeJesus link is... classic. Have you actually seen the other Ivan De Jesus (not the former Cub) play? He might be better than Aaron Miles, but not by much.
Pulling for Schoop. I have an inexplicable love for guys from Curacao. Plus how can you not root for the Orioles?
Rougned Odor: 80-grade name.
As a Giants fan, watching Esmil Rogers on-the-mound meltdown was, to borrow an adjective from Brian Wilson, delicious.
Wily Mo Pena is like a Harbor Freight drill press
Gary Brown is fast, no two ways about it. However, he ran himself into 2 outs on the basepaths yesterday -- one was a CS, which I didn't mind much, but the other was ugly. Gary tried to stretch a long single into a double, and kinda Cadillaced it toward 2B until he saw the throw coming in, and he kicked into high gear and was thrown out by 15 feet. Had he been hustling the whole way, he probably would've been safe.
Not a big deal, but a very A-ball performance.
Great stuff as always, Kevin. This is the kind of analysis I don't see anywhere else and why I'm happy to fork over money to be a BP subscriber.
Slade Heathcott: 80-grade Anglo ballplayer name
Quite a coup to land that little band from Chicago.
Fantastic, Joe. This is the kind of piece that separates BP from the competition. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.
You really need to see OC & Stiggs. It's a clusterf*ck classic.
I'm pretty sure I agree with you here, but the crux is that it turns out we were overvaluing defense all that time. That's why Duane Kuiper had a 10-plus year big-league career while logging a total of 1.4 WAR.
In order for a defensive specialist to bring real value as an everyday player, he would have to be exceptional -- like an Omar Vizquel-level talent in the field.
That's my theory, anyway. I'm happy to have holes poked in it.
Nice survey -- it's refreshing to see a variety of opinions rather than someone claiming to have The Answer and ramming it down your throat.
From my very specific historical perspective, the transformation seems to have begun with Cal Ripken and peaked with A-Rod. Those guys bore no resemblance to what *I* thought of as up-the-middle guys like Duane Kuiper and Felix Millan.
I'm totally winning the Jason Parks "call me and complain" boobie prize. I picked the Charros (Kenny Powers' Mexican ballclub) to win it all.
HOLY SHIT, BENNY AGBAYANI SIGHTING
If NY held a candle to CHGO, it would just burn to the ground (again).
Seriously, New York is easily the greatest city in the U.S. and possibly the best city in the world. Anyone who says otherwise is just wrong.
Awesome news. Don't know him, but as you say, he's super charismatic and I find it impossible not to root for him to succeed. I'll certainly miss the leg kick, though.
^^ great idea! ^^
1. KLaw chat was awesome. He's much more personable than I thought he'd be. He's just an East Coaster.
B. Loved the listener of the week segment, again. Keep it up.
iii. You need to write the script of what happened to the Bucktown apt. people. If you don't, I will.
Holy shit, Adam's email.
I'm dying here.
Oh man, the Giants prospect talk has me so fired up.
Albini is so full of shit. He's awesome, and I love him.
Also, Atomizer is one of the best records ever made. 80 grade album.
Luke Scott would be a great fit in STL. Scott could accompany LaRussa to all those Glenn Beck appearances.
BP is quickly becoming the Evil Empire of baseball websites. I feel like I'm getting a lot more value for my membership dollar all of a sudden. Well done, and welcome to all the new talent!
Had no idea about the Kroom story! Thanks for sharing it -- and for the Voltaire quotes. You're not gonna get that at Bleacher Report, that's fer damn sure.
As I said on the tweeterer, the Not Ozzie Guillen moments are priceless. Bravo on another excellent effort.
Missed Jason, of course, but Steven was a great pinch-hitter. Loved the love for Jon Miller and Hinshaw was a stellar interview. So candid and honest. Proud to have that dude in the Giants org.
I've been accused of having natural boring action.
Great show as always. I'll echo the commenters above re. the Professor joining BP. Looking forward to you both livetweeting the brisket & mac and cheese prep.