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I'm curious what would stop Granite from being an everyday regular who plays a good CF, steals a ton of bases and doesn't strike out a lot. Kind of like <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=45394">Michael Bourn</a></span> but with a better eye.
There are no commercial breaks in spring training?
I find it hard to tell from the pitcher profiles especially how much of a prospect many of them are. Most have a good fastball and a couple of other pitches, some of which are questionable. It would help to give an indication of whether someone has starting pitcher potential, and if not, why not.
They would also be more useful with a little more information on how a player's talent might stack up - even something like back half of the first round or 3rd-5th rounder would be useful.
I think if Moncada strikes out 25% of the time in the majors, the White Sox would take that now.
TO be fair, having moaned about the absence of the tool grades, I should say that I also like the various article intros. It's interesting to get some bigger picture analysis, which is something that's largely missing in the internet prospect business.
One of the best things that happened to prospect coverage here was when <a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/author/jason_parks">Jason Parks</a> decided not to treat people like children, and that the readership was intelligent enough to handle complex evaluations. The refusal to provide tool information seems to me to be a step back from that. It's obvious from the report, and Jones's ranking of #7 in a very weak system, that he's unlikely ever to hit. If you thought there was a good chance he'd even be an average hitter, he'd be a much better prospect.
No desire to get into a debate about it, but I wanted to say I find the new way of doing things to be less informative, and harder work to extract the information. If you're willing to consider feedback for the future, I'd prefer all of the grades stated explicitly in one place.
Just possibly, the reason you have no supportive comments and a bunch of downvotes is because very few people agree with you.
It's also about whether baseball wants to stay in the Olympics on a long-term basis or not. It's already in a relatively weak position because not that many countries play it seriously. If it ends up being a bunch of games played by people who mostly aren't in the best 500 baseball players in the world, it starts to beg the question as to why baseball is there at all.
The question is whether the decline in performance was wholly or largely a result of the concussion, and whether we can expect him to perform at the level of his first half performance.
And althouh Baez's contact skills are not great, so far he strikes out significantly less than Gallo.
I still think the owners see the QO system working more or less as planned. It's designed to depreciate the value of free agents, which is exactly what is happening.
But not so well, and in Colorado.
"Hamilton stole 57 bases in 2015 while hitting an awful .226 and making marginal contributions elsewhere, yet managed to return $21 in mixed leagues." pretty much explains it. I can't see Barreto putting up much more than that value. Mateo could reasonably hit a lot more than .226, and contribute more in runs/RBI than Hamilton. Some evaluators have also suggested there may be more power to come.
How far off the top 10 was <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=104651">Albert Abreu</a></span>?
Things, not thongs. Obviously.
On the other hand, when the reason for not signing him is that his UCL is going to break, and then it breaks six months later, you could argue the Astros come out of thongs looking a lot less bad than most of the hot takes suggested.
No, it would mean most teams add at least two more relievers, and probably three more in many cases.
How many of the owners are not super-rich white guys?
Acquiring possible bit parts cheaply, and not worrying about them if they aren't good enough to stick?
I can't imagine getting so upset about a relatively ordinary prospect missing out on being in the top 10 that I'd dismiss the professional opinion of someone who is paid to analyse prospects for a living and cancel my subscription because everyone thought that I was having a silly tantrum. But each to their own.
What about <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=104804">Jordan Holloway</a></span>, the better prospect of the two?
Did Jordab Holloway get any consideration?
Silly question, maybe, but I'm curious if you think any of these guys could have had a career on the mound if they had chosen to concentrate on pitching when they were young.
Yeah, some clarity would be nice. Every few days someone else seems to be saying on Twitter that they are finishing here.
Is there anything there with Eibner? I know he's old for a prospect, but his numbers have improved so much over the last couple of years, and he does have some defensive value.
They're also going to have some guys who will be free agents at the end of the season, so they may well not have to DAF anyone that matters.
At least we didn't get a free bonus PED rant today.
Because the Nats don't care much whether they have Papelbon/Storen or Storen/Papelbon in the 8th and 9th? Once you get past many people's personal distaste for Papelbon it makes very little difference which way round they pitch. And obviously he's not going anywhere that won't pick up his option, given that it's pretty much guaranteed if he isn't traded. He could easily just finish up the season in Philly and get traded in the off-season otherwise.
I think it's a bit of a stretch to say that Simmons will come back from TJ, with a pretty short track record in the bigs, and get the most saves. I think Grilli is still under contract for next year, and should be healthy for the start of the season. He would seem likely to open with the job, and then perhaps Vizcaino or Simmons gets a shot if Grilli is traded or ineffective.
They'd probably prefer not to be seen as a team whose word is worthless.
I thought Mateo was seen as having some power potential - the offseason report had him with potential to reach 5 power. Is that something that's changed, or is he not currently able to tap into it in games?
An awful lot of the cries for an international draft seem to come from teams who won't invest the time, scouting and money necessary to do well in the international market.
You obviously have. Parks wrote at great length about the approach that he intended to take, and it was obviously not going to be a performance based approach.
I'd much prefer competent lists to ideologically driven lists that choose to focus on performance even though we know that itsn't likely to be the best approach.
I'm surprised that <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=100634">Lewis Brinson</a></span> didn't get consideration. Obviously the hit tool is the main issue, but he seems to have made very substantial progress in reducing the strikeouts and he's walking at a very good rate.
I'd take every one of those packages over Appel/Kemp.
Except that clutch hitting can be analysed perfectly well mathematically. You just don't like what that analysis tells us.
Very disappointed that the <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=103946">Joan Baez</a></span> report was so straight up.
That said, Fox is a US high school product, so his ETA is probably 2019/2020. Everyone below him on the list is 16 so their ETAs will be post-2020, and they'll very likely start in the DSL unless their team is very aggressive, so there isn't an awful lot to say about most of the prospects on that front. I would be interested in where the Cubans would likely start and how far away they are.
Or teams could spend the money, you know. It's hard to complain about talent not being spread around when several teams won't even spend the pool that MLB allows.
Martinez, Alvarez and Fox are all older.
Do you think so? I can't remember the last time a situation like that didn't work out through either performance, injury or trade. There aren't many, if any, prospects who are already capable of contributing at a meaningful fantasy level in the bigs who are stuck in the minors for a prolonged period.
If we have a variety of metrics for measuring pitching competence, and we accept that <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=DRA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('DRA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">DRA</span></a> is somewhat better than the others, but, in this case, comes to a radically different view from the various other metrics, are we better to assume that DRA is 100% correct, or that the truth actually lies somewhere in between DRA and FIP/ERA/FRA etc?
If they get Bregman, Tucker and Cameron, they've had a great draft regardless of who else they sign.
Almost everyone who is good but seen as unsignable/overpriced gets drafted after the first ten rounds are over, so that teams have an insurance policy in case something goes wrong with their draft.
I wondered if you had heard how <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=58044">Manny Banuelos</a></span> is looking these days. The numbers seem quite promising, but it seemed to be taking an awfully long time for the stuff and stamina to return. What's the prognosis these days?
The Yankees seem to be doing pretty well without having a proven closer. Also, non-proven closer <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=47360">Wade Davis</a></span> seems to be doing fine filling in for the Royals. But then, you know that BP isn't arguing that you should put bad pitchers in to close. So you're probably just trolling badly.
Is Marlette's bat good enough to play anywhere else if his defence doesn't come along sufficiently?
And there's a daily article demanding the death penalty for steroid users.
Is the key number not how many baserunners are given up - 7H/9 + 4BB/9 is pretty much equal to 9H/9 and 2BB/9. If anything you'd prefer to give up the walks because they're less damaging than hits. So the simple answer is that relievers can get away with walking more because they can sustainably give up fewer hits than starters.
Players that can hit?
Most people know that serious drug addiction ruins your life. If that doesn't deter them, I doubt banning them from playing baseball for a few months will make much of a difference.
Why don't you set up your own website instead of the boringly predictable sniping after pretty much every single article on prospects all across the internets?
I think the only issue with him is whether he hits enough or not. I don't doubt he has the potential for power and speed, but I think striking out that much at AA, especially with no walks, is a big issue. He also struck out a good deal even before the promotion, so I think he needs to make substantial progress or big league pitchers will just eat him up.
2 walks and 36 strikeouts is struggled badly imo.
He struggled badly at AA after they promoted him.
But Josh Harrison
I must know. Where does he rank
In the outfielders?
Is there a just missed list?
Did Danry Vazquez get any consideration here?
Rendon was rated 5th at second base a year ago. It's hardly a case of one season (which was more than solid) vaulting him to the top of the list. It's much more of a case of him demonstrating the talent that people knew he had all the way back to his college days. Also, injury concerns tend to be overstated, and Rendon's ankles will be less at risk at third than second.
I thought that Brinson made very significant progress in reducing the strikeouts this year, but he doesn't seem to get much credit for that. Last year, he struck out 38% of the time, compared to 25% this year. Also, and possibly more importantly, he didn't strike out any more after he was promoted. Is this a case where the scouting suggests that the improvement will be unsustainable at a higher level, or is he perhaps underrated? It always seemed to me that almost the only question with Brinson was whether he would hit enough - obviously there are other things to work on, but the defence, baserunning and power are all there, and now he appears to be making progress with the hitting too.
Is Austin Meadows not a bit of a reach at that point?
On the other hand, two fifths of the rotation is gone after 2015. Scherzer is a pretty good replacement there.
I don't think you decide who gets into the Hall of Fame based on what they might have done to the datasets.
He's going to get 25-30 million every year for the next seven years or so. So your figures are a long way off.
I wonder if the risk with Sanchez is a little underplayed. He's not put up great numbers at AA or AAA, and he's never really managed to maintain an acceptable walk rate at any level. To describe someone like that as low risk seems a bit of a stretch. I get that he's performed well in relief (although his peripherals are not as good as his surface numbers), but I'd still be concerned that he doesn't end up getting the control to a level that he can start in the bigs.
It's a little misleading not to point out the number of years they get each player for.
Settle down. Bogaerts was 21 last season.
Let's put in something unrealistic just to liven things up for you.
This isn't really that hard. They're saying that Syndergaard and Glasnow won't become aces unless something that can't reasonably be anticipated happens in their development. Obviously, that can happen - Cliff Lee was never projected to be an ace, and nor was Corey Kluber (if you accept him as a #1 yet), but it would be a little ridiculous to start projecting everyone as potential aces just in case.
Not all relievers are the same, though. It's entirely reasonable, for example, to say someone has a floor of being a major league reliever, a likely outcome of being a set-up guy and the potential to be a #3 starter.
It seems to me that there's a pretty decent chance that Hanson ends up being an above average second baseman on both sides of the ball. Given that he had a relatively successful season at AA aged 21, I wonder if he's being somewhat underrated here. It seems harsh to rank him behind a high risk pitcher with mid-rotation upside and only a complex-level resume, for example.
Appreciate you taking things on board. If you're looking for suggestions that could be implemented without too much extra work, I'd also suggest just a list of who the near misses were. I would find that useful, even if it wasn't ordered, and if no further info was provided.
Any chance next year you could go a bit deeper on the best systems? The problem with only having 10 from systems like this or the Twins is that you end up with guys who are very real prospects being missed out. I mean, whoever is 11 in the Cubs system would be in the top 5 in a number of other farms, and is probably more interesting than many of the other prospects featured in other articles.
His surgery was in mid-May. It's not that uncommon to be back in around 12 months.
Would you prefer Lopez or Marcos Molina of the Mets?
Probably due to a distinct absence of double-A phenoms, I'd imagine.
Wondered if anyone had seen Eddie Rosario? He seems to be doing a lot better in the AFL after a pretty disappointing season.
They could have just slid Machado to short and looked for a third baseman, where the free-agent class is less barren.
He had an OPS+ of 127 in the second half.
Just surprises me that all the advance scouts would realise the same thing at the same time.
It seems odd that you wouldn't see a more gradual drop-off. A sudden fall would seem to require a lot of pitchers across a range of teams realising simultaneously that throwing fewer fastballs against the As was a winning strategy.
How many times has he gone two or three times through the order at the major league level? Until he does that, there are always significant doubts about his ability to succeed as a starter.
Yes, the thirty innings in the bigs is relatively encouraging, although the peripherals are much closer to good performance than elite, but the question with Sanchez has always been about command, and whether he would have enough of it to succeed as a starter. Even pre-season, it was pretty unusual to find a report suggesting that he wouldn't be, as a minimum, a very solid reliever. If this season has shown that he's less likely to be an effective starter, and I think it has, then it's entirely fair to classify it as a disappointment.
I'd be curious to see how this compares with other positions, and also to work in something on just how highly rated the prospects were.
But you are assuming that if they had kept Cespedes they would have kept hitting. Since he went to Boston he's hit .279/.297/.459, which is not really a difference maker.
There's a limited number of readily available players who would be a clear upgrade on what they have already at second or third, and would be a sensible trade to make, especially if the Dodgers are looking to clear outfield space in the off-season. In any case, everyone seems to be assuming that Pederson would hit from day 1 in the bigs. That's a pretty big assumption. I don't think them giving him plenty of AAA time is a big issue, and I don't think he's clearly better than their existing outfielders right now.
Appel seems to have steadied the ship a bit since getting moved to AA, at least looking at the numbers. I wonder if there's any feeling that he might be making progress amongst evaluators now?
I think pretty much everyone in the game would prefer Bryce Harper to a likely mid-rotation starter who hasn't reached the bigs and is currently rehabbing from Tommy John, so, no, I don't think they did know something that nobody else knew.
Something about how players see themselves, and how you as an agent have to be both supportive and realistic? Do players usually have a fairly good idea of what they're worth and their importance or otherwise to a team?
Which doesn't mean he's a better prospect, or necessarily has the potential to be a better player.
Wondered if any of Eddie Rosario, Alen Hansen or Teoscar Hernandez got any consideration. Also, how many people got any real consideration?
Talking of high strikeout guys, I wondered what the collective wisdom on Lewis Brinson is. He seems to have made some real progress this year on reducing the Ks but I don't think he's even been mentioned in BP yet this year.
Why is it now, and not next year or the year after? Because he has a lower BABIP? Just about everyone has shifted against him for years anyway, so that probably doesn't make much of a difference.
Let's just be honest. The Yankees don't have the pieces to trade for Price. None of the guys you mention would have made the Yankees close to being competitive for Price.
That doesn't necessarily mean that he'll continue to perform at that level, especially given his past struggles with the strike zone. It's entirely reasonable to prefer a whole bunch of closers to Betances at this stage.
Unless you already have one, in which case having a highly competent 2B or CF on both sides of the ball is much more valuable. It's not like there's no defensive value outside of shortstop, and that offense is irrelevant. Otherwise Jose Iglesias would be the most valuable player in the world.
Because you're misunderstanding the concept of stabilising. There's nothing magical about the 70th batter faced that suddenly means his strikeout rate this season is much more likely to be sustainable than it was after 60 or 65 batters faced.
Most people look better if you take out their worst performance, especially when that performance highlights their most significant weakness as a prospect.
Seriously, people are getting upset because a report said that a prospect was less than perfect and there are still some development needs there?
These are interesting to me. Especially, the winter leagues (and maybe the WBC too, given all the moaning that goes on every time it rolls round), and the issue of Latin prospects and their prior representation.
Just a thought, but would the high school versus college comparisons not be impacted by the fact that high school players will have had less time to accumulate WAR. For example, a high school pick from 2008 might reasonably have reached the bigs in 2012, and would have to have done pretty well from the start to have reached 5WAR by now. A college guy might have reached MLB in 2010, and would have that much more time to start WAR collecting.
Can't you approximate what happens when Hamilton's on first by looking at the stats of whoever else you decide used to the fastest baseballer?
They know what Xander is at short already. They'd likely still be wondering how Cecchini does in the bigs anyway, because they don't think he's ready and won't be till towards the end of the season. They have a pretty good idea of what Middlebrooks is too. He's a guy with power who doesn't have a great approach and will suffer from prolonged cold spells. Given that he isn't an elite defender, he's pretty much no more than a second-division starter.
Your understanding is incorrect. All teams except for the Red Sox would have lost a pick for signing Drew. If a team has already forfeited their highest eligible pick, they lose their second highest eligible pick and so on. If a team except for the Red Sox had signed Drew before this year's draft, the Red Sox would have received an additional pick between the first and second rounds.
Yeah, the one thing baseball really needs is for the owners to get even more money. It's not like they're going to cut ticket prices just because they don't spend as much on free agents.
While Hernandez's numbers are obviously inflated by the Cal league, the only real issue between him and being much higher ranked seems to be making enough contact. Do you think that's fair, and how likely is it that he'll be able to overcome that?
Given that he succeeded in the bigs in 2012, sucked for a month or two in the bigs last year, but was good in AAA, and has done well at AAA again this year, it might be that the anomaly was the suckitude in the majors last year.
Or maybe they look at more than whether he can get AA guys out. A scouting report should be about more than one-off results. He's unlikely to be an ace or anything close to it pitching in the low 90s without absolutely elite secondary offerings.
If you are taking requests, I'd be particularly interested in Rafael de Paula and/or Teoscar Hernandez.
I think some of the gifs are wrong. There seem to be an awful lot of Pence in the same position.
Assuming the bat does continue to develop promisingly, what would you do with him defensively, given that Boston isn't likely to need a second baseman for the foreseeable future, and presumably wouldn't want to trade a player who could reach the all-star/franchise player level.
While I realise they aren't directly comparable, I wonder if Japanese pitchers tend to get more elbow injuries given the popular perception that they throw an awful lot more at a very young age.
Also, with someone like Strasburg, I wonder if having TJ surgery has a different impact on the likelihood of injury when compared to other injuries which may not require surgery, and may thus leave the elbow structurally weaker. I know that when guys like Medlen and Beachy were diagnosed this year, some of the experts were surprised as they thought that there was a period post-Tommy John when pitchers were relatively safe from another UCL injury.
That is right, as long as they can reach a deal. Not all clubs are willing to do this before a player has even played in the majors though. Also if they do promote him before any deal, and he hits, he's just given himself a lot more leverage, as it would be awfully difficult to send him down again to stop him getting super-2 if there is no deal.
The content for these is really good, but the pretend arguing is beginning to get a bit stale.
On the other hand, especially at the higher levels, ignoring stats completely is somewhat foolhardy.
Disagree. Well, not that more scouting reports on major leaguers would be nice. That's true. I value the reports on prospects and potential draftees as much, if not more so, than the big leaguer reports.
Saying the guy who is advanced for his age won't have that edge in the majors is a bit wrong-headed. Most players continue to develop when they get to the bigs, and the earlier you get there, the more opportunities you have to continue developing.
Baez is probably the only one with a realistic chance to go full Brandon Wood on us. The strikeouts do matter - yes, he has the potential to reduce them, but most people who strike out 29% of the time in AA end up with a severe strikeout problem in the majors. I mean, you can make a K-rate like that work in the bigs (Pedro Alvarez and Chris Davis say hi) but it's not all going to be plain sailing and there will be poor seasons mized in. And all of that assumes that the K-rate doesn't spike further when he gets to the majors.
Do you think you would get a different answer if you just asked who is the best prospect, or who will be the best player?
I wonder what the chances of him getting significant numbers of saves for someone this year are.
It's unlikely that the Rockies will be in contention for long enough to make it worth rushing him. Realistically, even if he destroys AA, he'll be there for a couple of months. Probably a month or so at AAA as well to take him past the super-2 deadline. So in that case, you get half a season. If he doesn't lay waste immediately and every time, you get less of him. Even if he does, he has to pitch very well in the bigs immediately to have value, given that he plays in Colorado.
You are completely taking for granted that Cabrera continues to perform at his current level. Even a small decline could have cost him tens of millions of dollars.
And 30 million a year for the sort of player Cabrera is likely to be in 5-6 years will probably be ridiculous then too.
Evidence suggests otherwise. At the end of his age 30 season, Pujols had 83.1 WAR, compared to Cabrera's 54.6. If we restrict it to oWAR, Pujols is ahead 69.6 to 62.4. He had 39 more home runs at the end of his age 30 season than Cabrera currently has, and still has a better career triple slash line than Cabrera despite the last three years of poorer performance. I mean maybe Cabrera lasts much better and overhauls Pujols in some or all of these stats, but at the same stage in their careers, Pujols is clearly better than Cabrera.
Then again, players may continue to play for longer if they are actually getting free agent wages.
You know people already play fantasy baseball for money, right? Or is your contention that daily or weekly fantasy baseball is gambling, but somehow if it's over a season, that makes it OK?
Sounds like service time control, assuming they don't think they will compete this year.
So I have Matt Joyce in a dynasty league (14 team, standard 5x5 roto), who mostly sits against lefties. Is he good enough against righties to be worth using in this strategy, and who am I best using as the other half player, given that I want to have someone out there every day, and I want to maximise the amount of time I have the advantage?
That's kind of the interesting question really. I know all of these reports are from a short moment in time, but I wonder whether any of them would lead to a significant reassessment of the prospect involved.
Not sure that Almora is ever going to hit 30 home runs in a season.
Thanks for the replies. I fully understand that rankings can change radically between now and the draft for a load of reasons, and that it just takes one team to like a guy a lot for him to get popped earlier than most people think he should be. Also signability and other stuff too. I'll go and read the articles you suggested and pester you if I have any more questions.
I suppose the problem I have is that I can't necessarily work out from the scouting report whether someone is a likely first rounder or more likely to be a 3rd-5th guy. It seems that every pitcher has the potential to throw 95+ with interesting but inconsistent secondaries, and some command/control issues. I get that we're still a way off the draft, and that especially high school guys can develop markedly in that time, so it's hard to value players definitively at this stage. I'm aware of many of the guys that might be expected to go early in the first, but I'm finding it hard to broaden my knowledge much beyond that. All I seem to take away is that there are lots of people who have potential but are just in some sort of amorphous group that stretches from the back of the first round down to the level where you probably won't cover them. I'd be interested in any suggestions you have on how I can get a better feel for what's happening here.
It doesn't make much sense for him to be ranked in the 50s, with a possible value of $35+, and being low risk. Someone with that profile should be ranked much higher.
This is really useful, but it would be helpful for those of us who are less familiar with the players if you could put in something on their likely draft position as a matter of course.
Adding something like
Current Draft Stock: 3rd round
Potential: Top half of the second.
to each profile might be one way of doing this.
The ERA and WHIP data bins are backwards.
That doesn't matter. They would have Kendrys Morales.
I think you'll find that
Many people give a crap
Thus many downvotes
Were they seriously provoked by both agents?
Yeah, he's fine if he hits .240 or .250. There aren't many people who get regular playing time if they hit .200 though.
I suppose my thoughts were that both Matz and Ynoa seem to have the stuff and command/control to be mid to back end starters, which is what you're projecting for Molina, and they are that bit further along the developmental road than he is.
I'm curious what would make Molina a better prospect than guys like Matz or Ynoa. From a non-expert point of view, it would seem that if Molina has a decent year or two, he's likely to be in a similar position then to where Matz and Ynoa are now.
Valencia got traded to the Royals.
Why are there differences in people's views of Bonds when you split out the responses by the racial group of the respondent? That's the whole point of the article, and the one which you appear to be missing repeatedly.
That's based on the assumption that Bonds and Clemens have behaved equally badly, and that there are no other relevant differences. Bonds's personality and how it's perceived is likely one such factor that makes drawing comparisons between Bonds and Clemens fairly meaningless.
The question as to why there is this discrepancy with Bonds is going to be really hard to answer for many reasons. Even comparing the results from Bonds and Clemens wouldb't tell us anything useful about why people view Bonds in the way they do, as we can't say that in a totally unbaised world they would necessarily have equal ratings - we might think we should, but we have no way of knowing. Also, it may well be more complex than one group is treating Bonds too harshly or too leniently. I would imagine, for example, that whites and non-whites don't consume the same media, and that such a difference is likely to be important. For example, I doubt Fox News is going to present Bonds' actions in a particularly favourable light, and I'd imagine that it has a disproportionately white audience.
Any facts or data to back up your rant? Or all the data presented in the article is irrelevant because you say so?
"the effect of race on public perceptions of Bonds would likely be different than it would for another, less-controversial black player"
Do you think he's likely to be able to stick as a starter?
Any real hope for Barrett Barnes?
Anyone you think is likely to move from shortstop that could be an impact option at second?
Is there anyone you'd have really liked to put on the list even though it would just have been way too much of a stretch?
I think most baseball cases are more clear-cut - for example, the vast majority of who got to the bag first cases are resolved easily with slow-motion footage. Much the same goes for an awful lot of disputed catches, fair/foul calls and most home runs. That must make up a pretty large percentage of potentially disputed calls. So, it's less of an issue then if a manager challenges anything that appears to be in doubt.
I think that's true, and should take care of this problem.
How good is Carlos?
Can he play adequate third
Or is it just mad?
It's not sidestepping. Jason clearly feels there is no value in comparing MLB ready players who haven't gone through the minors system with orthodox prospects. You might as well ask him where David Ortiz would rank if he was a prospect.
You're missing the two years of elite, below market value pitching that you get with Price. That's worth quite a lot.
Bellow not their names
Hart and Moss and those like them
Could be good value
But we all know that. So it's not really a problem.
I will minus all
Who fail to post in haikus
Prose is so banal!
Does not like your haiku hate
Or first base prospects.
For me, a top 12 wouldn't really help that much. It's the deeper stuff that's more valuable - the guy that you can pick up for pennies that's actually a passable option using OBP, and the folks to avoid because they're allergic to walks.
On this, I think a disproportionate number of leagues that are deep enough for a list like thi will use OBP (either instead or as well as AVG). I get that making two whole lists would be a lot of work, but it would be useful if you could add in at the bottom a list of four or five who would be much higher or lower if OBP was a factor.
Iannetta is a lot better in OBP leagues.
Is Ender Inciarte interesting? I see him in the Minor League Update a lot.
Do you think either Santana or Rosario will catch fewer than 20 games in 2015? The Rockies have Morneau for two years, and no DH. I suppose the Indians might completely move Santana, but I think it's more likely than not that he ends up being the backup catcher, backup 1B and primary DH (assuming the move to third doesn't work out). In those cases, it's pretty likely that both would have catcher eligibility in 2016.
The other thing is that both of their bats are good enough to be usable elsewhere, so an owner will not really get zero value if they lose catcher eligibility. I get why you do that because the rankings are structured positionally, but it isn't an accurate reflection of their true value.
The stars are the rating for each tier of players according to the tiered rankings published recently.
I'm really surprised that you think McCann is going to play regularly for three years in New York (probably with more PAs than he had in Atlanta due to the DH) and there are 9 people you would prefer to have over him. For example, Montero is older than McCann, and doesn't have the DH fallback. McCann has a better career triple slash line in all three categories, and has the advantage of moving to a substantially more favourable park. That's without mentioning Montero's poor year in 2013.
Also, I think you may be too quick to move people out, given that to be eligible in 2016, someone has to catch 10-20 games in 2015. I'd imagine it's relatively likely that everyone on your list will catch that much, assuming no injuries. I'm also sceptical on your ranking of some of the prospects. If you say Alfaro, for example, is projected at 4 in 2016, there's huge downside to that projection, and very little upside. Guys like Zunino and Mesoraco were seen as significantly better prospects when they were coming through than Alfaro or Murphy are now, and they've had significant adjustments to make at the big league level. I think it's reasonable to assume that current prospects will have similar issues when they arrive.
Except MLB (as with every other doping authority) doesn't care whether a positive test is a one-off or part of a systematic effort to cheat, given that they make no effort to investigate and everyone just gets 50 games regardless. Except A-Rod. If systematic doping was worthy of so much longer a ban, surely MLB would investigate much more thoroughly each time someone tests positive.
One day we'll get a better commenting system here. I tried to cut and paste the exact text of 7.A. but it failed. It says "A player who tests positive for a Performance Enhancing Substance, or otherwise violates the Program through the use or possession of a Performance Enhancing Substance, will be subject to the discipline set forth below." It then goes on to outline the 50/100/life penalties.
To be honest, it's hard to see how this doesn't apply in the A-Rod case. I'm curious why A-Rod and the MLBPA would agree that it doesn't.
7.A. states "
The thing that slightly confuses me is why A-Rod and the MLBPA would agree that 7.A. doesn't apply. On reading it, it appears to apply directly.
Also the concept of stacking seems pretty much thought up on the spot to get a longer ban. It would surprise me very much if every single player who has tested positive so far has only had one illegal substance found in their sample. Section 7.K. suggests that if a player tests positive for more than one type of drug at the same time, only the longest suspension would be applied. That would seem to imply that the intention was that penalties could not be stacked - otherwise, the penalties for testing positive for different kinds of drugs at the same time would be cumulative.
Strikes me as unlikely that it would be significantly damaging to come through in the fifth starter role. We regularly read about the Cardinals and others introducing their starters to the bigs as relievers without anyone seriously suggesting that this retards their development. I mean, obviously it helps if the manager is intelligent and looks to get the young guy enough work when the fifth starter isn't required, but that can be done either in the majors or in AAA. It could also be used for pitchers coming back from significant injuries, to limit innings.
For the tandem experiments, we presumably won't only be drawing on the marginal starter pool. If we accept that relievers are mostly failed starters, there are probably a bunch of guys who are currently working in short relief roles who could be semi-stretched out to manage 3-4 innings even if they can't be effective for 6. Then again, the question as to whether a good short reliever is more valuable than a tandem starter may actually be a real issue.
How close was Travis Jankowski? Does he have a realistic chance?
Oh the year 27 fallacy again.
Whether you can afford to carry them or not is entirely format dependent. Even if the majority do flame out, that doesn't mean that they aren't better bets than guys who don't have a high enough ceiling to be significant contributors even if they do make it.
I think Eugene mentioned before that the arbitrator could use evidence that wouldn't be acceptable in criminal proceedings, as he has the skills and knowledge necessary to assess how the shortcomings involved impact on the reliability of the evidence.
If the penalty for failing a test is 50 games for a first offence, and the penalty for a non-analytical positive is undefined, it would seem pretty close to the arbitrator dispensing "his own brand of industrial justice" to say that the correct penalty in such a case ought to be 162, especially if the other players involved got 50 for a similar non-analytical positive. Then again, a good chunk of the 162 may be due to other offences. It will be interesting to see the arbitrator's full ruling if A-Rod does go to court about this.
That's the interesting question, isn't it? Can he delay the suspension by going to court, or would MLB be able to suspend him in the interim?
Any idea if Santana is actually looking usable at third?
This is really useful. One thing that could improve it further would be to add in some older international signings. In most leagues I play in, only the absolute top name guys (people like Jairo Beras) get picked in the year of signing, and most of the others are left until they do something in the minors. As an example, guys like Raimel Tapia, Amed Rosario, Alberto Tirado are all available in most leagues. If there's a way of producing an article like this including guys like these, that would be great.
Would it be more practical to go with a 4 and a half man rotation where you only use the fifth starter when actually necessary to ensure that your other starters do get the full four days rest. Currently, I guess that there are too many practical issues in going back to a 4 man that it's not going to happen any time soon - regardless of the true merits of one system over the other. I mean, even progressive teams are still wedded to a fairly traditional bullpen, and that's a much smaller change to make, with significantly fewer potential health implications involved.
Indeed. As the article says, "the average/on-base skill driven value his most recent stat line hinted at is a more realistic outcome"
And Machado could be the best third baseman or shortstop in the league in 2-3 years time, and he's a lot closer to actually achieving that than Gausman is to being a top-5 major league starter.
If Jesus Montero can't hit better than Morrison or Smoak then he probably deserves to be blocked.
Given that he's 19, just out of high school and has pitched 25 innings in pro ball, that seems entirely reasonable.
Machado is already an above average third baseman, with very significant further upside. I don't really see how a pitcher who has not yet established himself at the big league level, and who isn't a generational sort of talent, can be ranked ahead of that. It seems to me that established major leaguers are often ranked surprisingly low on the U25 lists, and I wonder if enough attention is being paid to the difficulties that many, if not most, prospects have in adapting to MLB.
How do you think playing time is likely to shake out between Flaherty, Valencia and Weeks once Machado comes back?
Probably something about strikeouts, baserunning, defence and age?
I prefer the idea of actually putting the work in to evaluate trades. I think it tends to give better results.
No, I think Kelly Johnson was signed to stand in for whichever old baseball player happens to be broken on any particular day. You wouldn't really want him as the starting second baseman on a contender, but he works well as an active utility player.
I, for one, am shocked that Parks likes a system full of young, high ceiling lottery tickets.
Yeah, cos Beltran can run and defend like Ellsbury.
Is CarGo not likely to be the CF in Colorado now? Which would still leave a corner slot potentially open for Parker or anyone else.
+1 to this idea.
Would you see Lindor having enough bat to hit at the top of the order, or do you think it's more likely that he ends up somewhere towards the back end of a lineup?
If I can get a second question, am I reading you right to assume that Ramirez can play just enough short to be a decent utility guy?
I think the much bigger risk is not that it would cost a team many games, as they would presumably only do this if they thought their shortstop was actually better at fielding bunts (e.g. an Iglesias/Cabrera situation), but that the manager gets pilloried when it goes wrong, and gets no credit when it actually makes a positive difference. Managers don't like looking like idiots, because it impacts badly on their job security.
A lot of the time, you just need to bunt though.
The new market inefficiency appears to be trading with yourself.
I know we're not really supposed to use the 1 win = $5 million these days, but if it's anywhere approaching correct, that's a lot to give up to avoid hurting someone's feelings. A free 2 win upgrade is massive for most teams.
That's probably why he says its his suspicion. That, and the publicly available CBA and drug testing agreement which make it pretty obvious that the number of 211 games was chosen arbitrarily by Selig/MLB, and that it isn't really justified by either agreement.
Yeah, I just don't think that you'll get in for being Elvis Andrus as he is at present for long enough to get you to 3,000 hits.
I would imagine by then that we might have got to the stage of not just chucking people into the Hall for reaching arbitrary milestones.
Any thoughts on Niko Goodrum?
Dear God. You actually thought that was worth posting?
This is really the problem. Sabermetrics suggests that he is one of a number of reasonable contenders for NL MVP given that his offence is good, his baserunning is good and he plays elite defence at an important defensive position. Yes, it's possible that his defence isn't as good as all that, but maybe you'd do better to explain why you think that an all-star who had 24 homers, 40 steals and won a gold glove in CF is not a credible candidate for MVP.
It's not even particularly about Trout/Cabrera. Let's not get away from the simple fact that, as far as we can currently measure, Trout has been better than Cabrera over the last two years. Nobody says this makes Cabrera bad, or not good at baseball, so it's not anti-Cabrera in any way.
I son't believe in down-voting posts because I disagree with them, but this just translates as "I like Cabrera more than Trout, and I don't care about any reasons why I'm wrong."
It does give them a pretty poor outfield defensively. Probably all of Craig, Holliday and Taveras (as a CF) would be below average.
The other bits of that line are not so good though. A .274 OBP is awful.
Beginning of May: Freese to 3rd, Carpenter to 2nd, Wong to AAA.
But that's the whole point, and it's precisely these sort of cases that matter. No manager with half a brain is going to leave their fifth starter in for the fourth time through if he's got through five innings with a couple of strikeouts and walks and given up four runs.
Just because someone is pitching a two hit shutout, it doesn't necessarily mean that they are a) pitching above their normal talent level or b) a better bet than a quality set up man or closer to pitch the last inning or two. Most good relievers are better than pretty much every starter over one inning, especially if the starter has already gone seven innings and three times through the order.
I very much doubt it.
Given that the data seems to support the idea that this is due to increased familiarity with a pitcher's repertoire, would it be possible to look at the variety of stuff thrown by a pitcher? It would seem that pitchers like Darvish, who throw a lot of different pitches, might have a lower penalty as they go through the order multiple times.
Very impressed by the high quality work once again. Many thanks to all those who contribute to the top 10s. They are probably the best thing about being a subscriber here.
A couple of quick questions, if I can. Firstly, I wondered if you'd be willing and able to give us some tool numbers for Teoscar Hernandez, and secondly, I'd be interested in your thoughts on Japhet Amador.
I wish people would stop minusing everything that they disagree with. It's a bit pathetic.
That doesn't give him a pass to make bad moves, surely.
Yeah, it's not a competition to use every guy, but to deliberately go into the most important series of the year with two pitchers that you don't think are fit to throw (or they would have much more prominent roles) is pretty close to negligent.
You still have to explain why the Cardinals should be penalised because the Red Sox made a mistake which caused Craig to be impeded. The rule is deliberately and correctly written to say that it doesn't matter whether the runner is deliberately impeded or not because that's the whole point. The runner shouldn't be penalised because of the actions of the fielding team whether intentional or not. Think about how unfair it would be for Craig to be out through no fault of his own, and not as a result of good play by the opposition.
Jeff, can you get us a home to first time for Amador?
That's not really mutually exclusive with him playing for the Astros next year.
From your article, it would seem that you think MLB would likely be the disappointed party. Given that the MLBPA seems content with the 50 game bans for most players, and the 65 for Braun, it seems unlikely they'd be too upset with A-Rod getting anything under 100 or so.
Does it start to cause a problem for baseball if MLB keeps firing arbitrators? Is it going to be harder to get elite arbitrators if they know they're getting sacked the first time they rule against MLB?
I could see it ending up as one of these situations where lots of people end up with 450 ABs or thereabouts, with only Holliday and Craig playing pretty much every day.
True. I posted the comment, and then realised I'd pretty much just summarised what you had already said.
I thought that the Cardinals had pretty much decided that Craig would never be allowed to play second base again, short of a dire emergency. Anyway, they also have Kolten Wong pretty much ready for a big league trial, and second is the only real position that he can play, so I'm not sure that moving Carpenter to third would clear space for Adams. I suspect that they don't resign Beltran - it doesn't make any real sense with Adams and Taveras both pretty much major league ready and nowhere to put them. Then Craig can go to the OF, Adams at 1st, and Taveras is the first guy brought up when any of Adams or the outfielders gets hurt.
I'm assuming that you know that Peter Bourjos played in 55 games all season. Also, it's entirely possible to have more than one competent outfielder in any team. Maybe, for example, they shade Bourjos towards right when he's playing alongside Trout. In that case, Trout may catch every ball and more that would normally be the left fielder's responsibility. Or maybe he catches more balls down the line as he can shade a little to the left playing beside an elite CF. You really don't have anything to suggest that WAR is significantly wrong on Trout's defence.
This is wicked good.
If it improves a marginal player to the point that you can get a decent utility guy or a set up man at league minimum, then it has quite a substantial benefit for the club.
I've seen it suggested that a 60 grade for a particular tool is one standard deviation above the mean, a 70 is two standard deviations above, and so on. Hence the lack of 80 grades. Obviously, this is easier/more accurate for some tools than others. I think I've seen work on other sites applying this and grading major leaguers' tools based on this approach.
The point being that it's not a great example for those who think there is a lot of hope for Brinson, or several of the other Hickory prospects who strike out a load, if the best example of someone who overcame massive-K problems is a below average player from a previous generation.
That's one guy who was a below average big leaguer from thirty years ago.
What's your point? Being a level or two ahead of the expected level for their age is standard for relatively elite prospects. If players can't handle that, then it suggests they are not as good prospects as we previously thought.
I thought it was funny. It isn't really going to tell you how likely Lindor is to become an All-Star, but that doesn't matter.
That, and he isn't good enough to make the Mets do anything about it, either by being worth much in a trade or hitting well enough to force his way into the lineup somewhere.
Not convinced that Japanese defence would be significantly worse than MLB defence.
Thanks for this. It's nice to get some coverage of deeper levels for fantasy purposes. Something else that might be appreciated is the opposite sort of article - guys who are not generally rated very highly, but have the potential to be very valuable in fantasy - either because the current projection is wrong, they are more valuable in fantasy than real life, or they happen to have high ceilings, even if they are unlikely to reach them.
The quality of the coverage is very much appreciated. If you're looking for a project for the next couple of months, you could maybe review how much progress certain prospects have made over the year, kind of like you had the progress reports on the 1st rounders earlier on. Some groups that might be of interest would be more draft picks, people in the top ten lists, or prominent IFAs from recent years.
I'm not really disputing that. I'm just unconvinced that the point that this occurs for all pitchers is 116 pitches (ignoring the length of innings, weather conditions, quality of opposition and other relevant factors).
I think that throwing more than 120 pitches on a reasonably regular basis continued much later than 4 decades ago.
I'm also not sure that facing inferior hitters makes much of a difference. It's not like NL pitchers only throw at 85 when the opposing pitcher is up.
I think there is a legitimate point that pitchers now throw harder than at any point in the past, and that this potentially has an impact, but I suspect that the truth is more complex than just throwing the 116th pitch once vastly increases the risk of needing TJ.
It seems counter-intuitive that the 34 pitches that you mention have a substantial impact on Harvey's likelihood of injury. In the past, many pitchers regularly threw those sort of numbers of pitchers, and, if your suggestion is correct, we'd surely anticipate an epidemic of TJ surgeries.
The other thing that is surely important is the number and velocity of warmup pitches that are thrown both before a start and between innings. If we don't have that info, it seems hard to say much that's meaningful here - say Harvey throws fewer warmup pitches than average - could he then not go a little deeper than normal?
Don't you just think he was bemused at a bizarre ejection? I mean, it seems obvious that he just couldn't find the strike zone at all, and wasn't trying to hit anyone. I can't see what was immature about it in the slightest - he had just completely lost any command or control over the baseball. (which might actually be much more of a long term issue, if it recurs)
That's a shame. Keeping subscribers informed of changes like this is something that BP could generally be much better at. People seem to just vanish into cyberspace without letting us know or having a chance to comment or say goodbye.
The internet says there was an issue with the physical and they couldn't agree what was a fair bonus as a result.
You would have thought there would be a team somewhere who would give this a shot with someone who was likely to be released anyway just to see how it works, in the same way that washed out position players sometimes get a shot at pitching if there's no more hope with the bat.
Except that many of the players involved in Biogenesis were fringy guys with not so much to lose. I doubt that even lifetime bans stop PED use, given that many of the users are on the verge of not having a career anyway, and those that are getting PEDs from better sources than Biogenesis will be confident that they can beat the test anyway.
Could the over 130 effect be partially caused by a considerable portion of over 130s being no hitters or attempts, which would mean that those pitchers are not necessarily the most able to get through a large number of pitchers?
It seems odd that there's no real difference up to 125 and then a huge difference at the 130 mark. Also, historically, pitchers frequently used to pitch what would be seen as ridiculous workloads to modern eyes without breaking down. While I get that this isn't necessarily comparable, in that pitchers are throwing harder than ever and so on, I have a feeling the story is more complex than the numbers initially suggest.
Could you go away and design a research project that will establish the impact of PEDs for us. Many people would really like to know.
When you can provide us with a list of who has used PEDs, which PEDS they used, for how long, and how much they used, then you can get started. Until then, you're wasting your time.
Would love someone to be sent to watch Hickory for a series or two and report back on the guys there.
Yeah, I get that these pitchers, as with all those who pitch in pitchers parks, will likely put up better numbers at home than away. I'm asking whether there's any reason to assume that these guys will have a bigger advantage than others, given the small sample sizes posted. For example, if I played Zito at home for the rest of the year, I'd expect an ERA much closer to 4 than the 2.45 he's put up so far this year.
The problem I always have with articles like this is that I don't know whether the stats presented are in any way predictive. I mean, it's kind of obvious that all the pitchers listed pitch in good pitchers parks, and they have big home/road splits this year, but samples of 30 or 40 innings wouldn't appear to tell us a lot about the future. For guys like Zito who have pitched in the same park for years, would we not do better just to look at their career splits? I'm not sure what the answers are - it's just something that always concerns me with these situations.
His stuff has improved significantly since he was 15th best prospect. He's gone from being a soft-tosser to hitting 93-94.
Did he really? He seems to have had a pretty successful career in any case. I mean, it's obviously difficult to tell whether he would have been significantly better if he loved playing every day or not, but maybe that tells us that, for some people, the enjoyment may be less important than some of the other issues that Russell raises.
Also, just wanted to say that this was another excellent article.
Just wondered if you thought there was any chance that the Mariners are planning to bring up Walker rather than Erasmo to replace Bonderman?
Is there any need to promote now, rather than get an extra year of service time given that it will take the Astros a while to be competitive again?
The flaw was in repeatedly relying on a bunch of injury-prone players, and then being shocked when they break. It's fine to look at giving the players one more go before tearing it down, but you might want to invest in, say, a really solid utility guy or two, because they'll get a lot of work on that roster. Having some solid backups would be good as well.
Oh, and the other one that I forgot. I think Hultzen is out again with more shoulder issues - just for a couple of weeks at the moment, but I wouldn't assume that everything is good yet.
This is a prospect list, not the stash list.
Thanks for the list. A few surprises for me are the inclusions of Gallo and Starling. Very few prospects with their hitting issues ever make it, and even if they do, there is a question about if they make enough contact to stick. Gallo has 135Ks in 80-odd games at low-A - that's pretty horrific really.
Also wondered why Liriano had jumped so much despite not playing. It seems odd when others like Dahl were pretty static.
Thanks. Appreciate the quick and helpful responses.
Is it easy to get a relatively accurate diagnosis as to what percentage of tear there is? Seems to me this might be a problem if Bundy had a clean MRI, but had enough of a tear that it couldn't heal with rest and PRP.
You haven't managed to establish that having 11 wins means anything much. I mean, it's obviously correlated with good performance to a degree, but I don't see what else it tells us.
It obviously happens to a degree even pre-season. It's not like teams like the Twins or Astros are playing to maximise their wins in 2013.
I think the surgery involves replacing the ligament with a substitute from elsewhere in the body, so the degree of the tear is not important. From previous stuff about this, I think anything more than about a 25% tear is thought to be unlikely to heal without surgery.
Everyone plays a bit of the game, no?
As well, the overall grade is not an average of the other grades. Someone who was a 6 across the board would probably be a 7 player (I think - especially if he played a reasonably demanding defensive position - correct me if I've got this wrong, Parks.)
Can't really see how there would be a problem with an automatic 12-15 game ban for hitting someone in the head. It doesn't really matter if it was allegedly unintentional.
That, and umpires really should start ejecting pitchers for obviously intentional HBPs.
Baseball teams tell lies, you know.
I'd be surprised if Walker pitches at all this year. He's clearly the best prospect of the three, but he is still relatively raw, and there's no reason to rush him.
Maybe, or maybe not. Maybe he pitches a 6 pitch inning and can pitch the 10th. Maybe you put up a 4 run 10th and it doesn't matter.
Also, it's easily demonstrable that using better pitchers in tied games is better than using them, say, to pitch the 9th with a three run lead, which may well be what happens the next day.
Gah. My pony is slow.
Probably not, though.
Is this not as simple as the teams that dump early are generally the worst teams, so although they may get more/better deals, that isn't enough to go from worst to first? I mean, if I'm dumping now, I'm generally going to be in the cellar, but I'll probably hang on or even try and strengthen a mid-table team at this stage. If that's true, I'm not sure this helps us much in deciding when to dump or not.
Also, I disagree that being a high-quality owner means trying to compete every year. I play in a number of leagues with a bunch of people who are never much of a threat to win because they try to compete with mediocre rosters every year, rather than giving up on a year early, and trying to build properly. I suspect that, if anything, the problem is the other way round. Too many people hang on for too long with teams that are never going to win leagues or even place in the money.
No chance. He has basically not pitched this year. He'll clearly need to build up arm strength before he gets called up.
And after I submitted the comment, it appears that you've already fixed it.
I think you have the wrong numbers in your table for most of the 2012 swing rates - Sanchez is the only one who seems to be right.
Also, if I can get another question, would Anderson be better to focus on one off-speed pitch rather than keeping both the curve and slider? I seem to remember seeing something suggesting that pitching in Coors was even harder if you throw a lot of curves, so might he be better off focusing on the slider.
Curious why you see Kline as a likely reliever. It doesn't seem to fit well with the report - he seems to have a variety of reasonable pitches, decent feel for pitching/sequencing etc and no huge mechanical red flags, so I'm not sure why he couldn't start.
That's largely why you shift against those players who have failed to demonstrate the ability to use all parts of the field.
A few quick questions if that's OK.
Would the Cards not consider stretching out either Rosenthal or Martinez rather than Wacha? I know Wacha has a shiny ERA, but striking out 6/9 innings at AAA doesn't look that promising in the bigs.
What have you heard about Erasmo? I hadn't heard anything at all, so any news would be appreciated.
Finally, I'm not really seeing why the Reds are so desperate to bump Leake, who they know is a competent back-end starter, to get Cingrani up. Most scouting reports suggest Cingrani is no more than a middle of the rotation guy in the longer term - I know he puts up nice numbers, but he's not really seen as an elite guy in the bigs. Am I missing something?
You'd often end up with someone who can productively pitch more than just 50-75 pitches per outing. Given that you presumably have a competent minor league system, at times, you should develop some guys who can effectively pitch a full starters workload. You also need to have something in place for the days that one of your guys gets shelled and is out in the first or second inning. It seems to me that this would destroy your bullpen that much more than a conventional larger pen - either that, or you have to use the next day's guy on shorter rest or something.
Just wanted to say that having Doug's comments on pitchers, where possible, adds a lot to an article like this. I think it would be a great idea to try and do that more systematically in future articles of this sort.
Why must the fact that Mike Trout finished ahead of Miguel Cabrera in WAR mean that defence and baserunning are over-valued? Is it really so hard to believe that very good hitter + elite baserunning + elite defence > elite hitter + poor baserunning + poor defence?
From looking at Trout's performance last year, it appears around 3/4 of his WAR was generated by his bat. It's simply not true to say that hitting, baserunning and defence are equally valued.
There are two separate issues here. One is whether there are legitimate questions to answer about how WAR is constructed. The answer to this is clearly yes, and these should be discussed. The other is whether there is value responding in a manner such as this to someone who is obviously trolling. I'd imagine that Jon Heyman is delighted to have caught such a big fish with his little troll right now. Ignoring him, and looking at issues with WAR at another time, and in a way not related to his trolling, is a much better option.
There should be an apostrophe in it's.
No, just that I don't think he is actually interested in the answers to the questions he poses. That tends to make a meaningful conversation a tough difficult.
I think this is a good article, but Jon Heyman makes a habit of trolling saber-people every month or two. He's actually reasonably good at it, judging from the Twitter rage that invariably ensues.
As opposed to now, when the umpires, in effect, determine the strike zone, and ignore the rulebook zone?
Good thing the article didn't say that, then.
I think the Pirates also have a rule that pitchers get pulled pretty much automatically if they go over 30 pitches in an inning.
I get that they have a solid lineup. I don't really see why I'd be more careful with pitchers facing them than I would be with a bunch of other clubs who also have solid lineups (Detroit/Oakland/LAA if Pujols & Hamilton get things going/much of the AL East still).
How good a third baseman would you see Bogaerts being? I know it's probably harder to say because you won't have seen him play there much, if at all. I'm curious if he was, say, a 50-55 3B or 40-45 at short, which position he would play. Or does that probably depend more on organisational need at that point?
It's still 29 innings. There can be any number of reasons why these things happen. Maybe he's been asked to work on particular things, maybe a lot of it's random chance, maybe his mechanics are slightly off. I'd suggest that, unless there's some particular reason to worry, such as his stuff being weaker, you're placing too much weight on one data point here.
Truly horrific seems a bit excessive for Cole. Yeah, he's had some control problems, but it's 29 innings.
It would be an amazing coincidence that a cheating pitcher can get sufficient impact out of cheating to make it worth his while, but that somehow all the pitches we have don't look noticeably different either to the naked eye or to PITCHf/x.
Small sample size fluke. It's 35 innings.
Isn't that kind of assuming that all pitchers a) can command their off-speed pitching effectively and b) that they will adjust substantially to the batter? I seem to recall seeing various different pitchers come out with things like that they don't pay that much attention to the batters' strengths and weaknesses, but prefer just to work to their own strengths regardless.
Yeah, I also wanted to say that I really like these pieces. I don't often have questions/comments because I'm not familiar with most of the players, but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate the content. That said, I actually do have a question this time. I had heard a few weeks ago that Denney had some helium, and could go as high as top-10. I'm guessing you see him more as someone who likely goes back end of the first round. Is that fair?
I think it's mostly you that doesn't like him.
Well, they would say that wouldn't they.
Yes. I'd welcome them back too.
There's no way of knowing though, is there? Is his contribution there more or less than another pitching coach who makes a guy who would wash out into a reliable number 4 starter who eats a load of innings, or whatever. It seems reasonably plausible to me that pitchers as talented as Cain and Lincecum would have had very similar careers with any competent pitching coach.
Because the only things that show his true talent level are spring training stats, right?
There's no real reason why someone with Boggs' skills couldn't be an acceptable closer, is there? I mean the chances of someone with that sort of profile running off four or five cleanish outings to get themselves ensconsed as the closer must be relatively high.
I'm a little surprised that some of the non-top 101 guys aren't categorised as pure shortstops. I guess I'd seen guys like Vinicio and Marrero as significantly better defenders than the elite prospects that you mentioned. Is there a cut-off on a potential glove grade to be pure (I was kind of surprised you were talking about guys who might have a 6 glove as only being pure enough), or is it more to do with grace and fluidity and things like that?
I think there are actually CBA things about where teams are allowed to play, in terms of travel distance.
I don't really agree. Giving a much shorter contract at the same AAV wouldn't be much of a story, because it's a much shorter contract and thus has much less risk. Giving an 8 year deal (with an opt-out, which minimises the upside for the Rangers, but doesn't mitigate the risk at all) to a player whose game is based around young player skills such as defence and speed is both a big deal and quite risky. That's not to say they shouldn't have done it, but it is a big deal, especially given the lack of similar deals to other players with similar skills.
Are the Rangers not approaching the point that they would do better to trade someone to allow people to play their natural positions? A lineup with Olt at first, Profar at second and Kinsler in left seems to be a waste of defensive skill. Additionally, Kinsler and Olt are probably pretty average offensively at left and first respectively. You would think that the Rangers could get more offensively if they traded someone to a team who needed middle infielders or third basemen.
I think sustain means more over an outing rather than on one pitch, than over the course of a career. The fact that Chapman regularly reaches 101-102 and has done for a couple of years is sufficient to say he sustains his velocity.
I don't know. The difference between "some nice depth" and "the pipeline of talent is still very rich with impact potential" would seem considerable to me. About 18 places or so.
Except most players would prefer 3/33 to 1/13 so it's hard to even say Boras failed Lohse.
Yes, it's probably an average starting 2B or so.
You could make this argument about any system which compensates clubs for losing free agents at the expense of the new club - the cost of acquring the player (in picks or whatever) are effectively coming out of the player's compensation. It's just more acute for the players who only just reach the level for being part of the system like Lohse. To me, it's simply a matter of whether the benefits of the system outweigh the drawbacks. Personally, I'd adopt a system that only rewarded a team when they developed a player who left through free agency, and I'd probably move away from punishing the signing team.
I also think that the importance of the pick in all of this has been overplayed. It's a pretty simple matter to get a ballpark valuation for a pick, and I'd imagine that, depending on exactly which pick we're talking about, you'd be talking around $1-5 million. Obviously that impacts on what Lohse gets, but I suspect that it isn't the reason that this took so long. I'd guess a tepid market and Lohse/Boras wanting top dollar were much more significant.
Of course, the problem could be that MLB is launching baseless lawsuits. I'd imagine the courts don't take too kindly to being used as a fishing expedition for MLB's internal squabbles. They aren't really there for people to send messages, you know.
I also haven't noticed anyone around here suggesting that players shouldn't be suspended for PEDs, where there is reliable evidence. Some people seem to get upset that players are entitled to due process, even when you "know" who is using and who isn't.
Yeah, but given that closers are relatively replaceable, it doesn't make sense to give them huge credit for getting the last three outs. If you take any average or better MLB pitcher, tell them they only have to go one inning and see what happens, you have a pretty good chance of getting a scoreless inning out of them.
Andrus has two years left in Texas. They aren't trading him mid-season this year if they're in contention, unless they have huge needs to fill elsewhere due to injuries or whatever.
Yeah, but you forget the times he's on your bench, has a two homer game, so you stick him in the lineup and he goes 1 for 31 with 17Ks for the next week. Anyway, I'm going with the intelligent analysis over the one man knows approach again.
Except that MLB clearly allows players to play in the WBC, so a WTF were you doing reaction would be totally ludicrous. If the Dodgers don't like the WBC they should whine to MLB about it.
Firstly, I think he would have been diving for a ball in a spring training game - that's kind of the point of them - to help get people up to MLB speed, both at the plate and in the field. I don't think infielders tend just to wave the ball past in spring training.
Also, I don't really believe the Dodgers were very upset that he played some games at 3B. It's not like he's never played there before, or that it radically impacts on his preparation. It sounds much more like someone who doesn't like the WBC had a moan to a journalist than something the club would really care about.
You know that MLB wants players to play in the WBC, right?
No disagreement that they would be delighted if he was as good as Bourn. The point I was making is that Michael Bourn doesn't win two categories outright for people in fantasy and Hamilton likely won't either.
The stealing in a blowout matters because the Reds won't let him do it in the majors, because they really don't want him getting hit every week. That makes a significant difference to the number of steals he can get.
Only if you feel the need to artificially inflate the value of relievers.
If the Yankees win 5-4 and Rivera pitches a clean ninth, his contribution to the win is significant, but no more so than that of most of his teammates - everyone who scored a run, stopped a run from scoring or drove someone in contributed similarly, as well as the starting pitcher and other relievers as well.
Come on, people. We know that the idea of double and triple counting higher leverage innings just because of the way that modern bullpens are constructed is nonsense. Rivera wouldn't have been a significantly worse pitcher if he'd always pitched the 6th, 7th or 8th inning. Relievers are less valuable than starters because they pitch so many fewer innings - it's really that simple.
The thing with Hanley is that, in a standard mixer, you can pick up, say, a 2 star option off the waiver wire pretty easily. 2-3 months of that + 3-4 of Hanley is more than a 2 star option for me.
People overemphasise the likely impact of Hamilton in fantasy, given that he won't be told to go up and steal every time he's on base. If he does that in blowouts, he'll get a fastball in the ribs, because baseball somehow thinks that's how things should be done. There will be other situations when it's better for him not to risk a steal - do you want to take the bat out of Votto's hands, for example - and the pitchers and catchers are, as discussed, more competent at the big league level. In terms of runs, he's not going to score many more than someone like Michael Bourn, who is fast, a good baserunner, gets on a lot and leads off.
Yeah, everyone not listed in this article is bad at hitting.
Absolutely. Given some of your previous articles, I was kind of expecting you to look at those issues a little more.
I suppose the other thing that may matter, and is probably even harder to analyse is the group dynamics. For example, if Gomes helps the quieter guys and Inge helps the more extroverted ones, but they hate each other, then you may have a problem. If the two of them get on well together, then you might have a really good clubhouse. That seems to me to be something that's difficult to get at through a large-scale statistical approach.
Are you not making some implicit assumptions in this article - that the effect of someone like Inge will be spread across all players - which seem unlikely. If the clubhouse chemistry stuff is true, there's probably a disproportionate effect on younger players (perhaps meaning Inge was less valuable to the Tigers, who, I suspect, were significantly older than the 2012 As). It's also likely that different players work well with some colleagues and not others - some players will respond much better than others to a big, extrovert personality, others to someone who gets really into the technical side of things and so on. Given that, I'm not sure that the approach you've taken here is likely to yield positive results.
To be fair to Cano, the rumour about him is much weaker than the stuff about Braun, A-Rod and Biogenesis.
I understand that there's a whole heap of content that gets produced over the off-season, and that some of it will inevitably come in the run-up to Opening Day. Would it be possible for the readership to get some input into prioritising for future years? If many people find the tiered rankings particularly useful, then that could be done significantly earlier next year, for example. It wouldn't be difficult to put together a quick online survey that would allow as many people as possible to have their say.
You do know it's a free article?
People seem to care about it in most other countries apart from the US. The real problem is that the WBC doesn't really do a good job of determining who is top baseball nation, in that there's a load of randomness in a tournament of that length, and everyone knows that the US is likely to remain the strongest for the foreseeable future.
You better hope the Chinese never get too good either then. Or are they acceptable communists?
Oh, and just wanted to say that this is a really good article.
Following on from that, it would be interesting to look at the actions of pitchers drafted by these organisations and how these develop over the years.
No, it's one guy. By all means, look at all those picks that were seen as reaches and see how much success they have compared with those that were expected to go at that point in the draft, but the fact that a late first round pick didn't work out doesn't tell you much. It happens quite often.
A couple of quick questions, if that's OK. Does your overall view and ranking of Sanchez take a significant possibility of him moving off the position into account? I get that a 6 bat with a 4 glove at catcher is very valuable, but I'd imagine you couldn't go much lower than a 4 without being pretty much unplayable at the big league level. How well will the bat play elsewhere, and would elsewhere have to be first or would there be other options?
On Austin, the impression I'm getting is that you still have significant questions in your own mind as to exactly how the power will play, and that this is really the key to how much of a prospect he'll end up being. Is that fair?
Apologies. It appears I need to be better at commenting too. I was trying to talk to Richard.
I'm going to have to agree with this. I've already done various different drafting things, and have had to use other sites for those teams that hadn't been covered by the draft time. Obviously, it's not the end of the world, but having full coverage of the quality that we get from BP would be useful.
or Lewis Brinson?
The main problem with this is that it probably makes MLB teams more reluctant to release players if they have to go to Korea or Japan and back in Spring Training (probably also if they had to go to Venezuela or Cuba, for different reasons).
You're usually better at commenting than this. Did Jason beat you at FIFA or something?
True. I don't really disagree with your rankings, given the Ks and potential ratio help you get with Jansen, but I think it's worth noting that there is a decent chance that Jansen doesn't get a chance as a closer all year, especially if League gets off to a good start.
The thing is that a non-terrible pitcher (and League is a non-terrible pitcher) has a pretty good chance of not sucking badly enough to lose a closer job within a year. I think Derek Carty wrote about this last year, if I remember correctly.
Or possibly you need to re-examine your own prejudices as well? It's always possible your eye is not the ultimate best way of determining defensive competence.
I think they'd move Rosenthal back to starting before they promoted Wacha. Personally, I'd also consider Carlos Martinez first. Without such an injury crunch, Rosenthal seems a much better relief option than Wacha. I could see him ending up closing if something happened to Motte, and he got off to a good start.
Will bet real money that Wacha doesn't pitch at all in the majors in 2013. Pretty much zero chance of him being top-50 value, given the Cards depth in pitching, both relief and starting.
Thinking about things a little further, I would have thought that the important thing for the Indians would be to maximise their share of the overall cake. There are distinct advantages to them in other MLB teams not doing as well financially, in that they will be more likely to sign free agents at affordable prices and so on. I get that they might gain from revenue sharing and so on if everyone does well, but I think their competitive position is most improved if they maximise their financial takings, and other clubs do not. That's why I'm surprised they're willing to share this.
I'm surprised that this was allowed to be shared. I get that whether the White Sox (say) use similar stuff doesn't impact on how much money the Indians make from using it, or at least not directly. It does impact on how competitive a team the White Sox can put out, which affects Cleveland's chances of winning their division or reaching the post-season. Presumably this would have a knock-on impact on the financial side of things as well.
I think it does make sense. I mean these guys are waiver wire stuff in standard mixed leagues, but they have significant value in NL only because they get 500ABs and they put up reasonable numbers of counting stats.
Thanks for the reply. Curious what sort of projection you'd put on Garces. He's someone I'm not very familiar with.
How many of these guys do you think are likely to be major league contributors (assuming health etc hold up)?
I'm aware they're for dynasty leagues. There are plenty of them that have less than 16 teams though - I play in several.
Curious what sort of numbers you anticipate Gyorko putting up in Petco. I'm not sure that they're likely to be enough for him to be more than fringe-relevant in relatively shallow leagues, which leads on to another question. When you rank these prospects, what sort of depth of league are you ranking them for? Obviously the potential elite guys hold their value across all formats, but someone like Gyorko is much more valuable in an only/ultra-deep setup than in, say, a standard 12 or 14 team mixed league.
Hurray. Everyone is upset that their team got criticised.
Pretty hard to argue that any 3 year contract at less than $10mill/year could be one of the worst of all time, when you have monstrosities like A-Rod, Howard, Zito, Wells etc to compare to.
Added to that, I think it's unlikely to be to do with differences between Jason and Kevin's ways of assessing prospects. I can't think of any 1B only types who should be there.
Is it really a significant difference? I can't think of a lot of 1B only prospects recently - Hosmer, Belt and not that much more. Even guys like Montero who are very likely 1B/DH types wouldn't have been categorised at 1B in lists.
Also curious if we live in thirdbaseland, where Bogaerts and Baez would rank if they had to move to third.
I think this is potentially useful, but it's hard to argue with significantly without knowing what the underlying projections are. Two players that I think you are very low on are Aramis Ramirez (who I don't see being significantly different from Ryan Zimmerman in expected production) and Ben Zobrist. I still think you have a large gap between Castro/Ramirez and the next tier of shortstops.
One other thought would be whether a version of this could be done based on PECOTA or on the fantasy staff's rankings. Not sure if that would be too difficult/time-consuming to do, but it would be interesting.
They won 95 games with pretty much the same team last year. PECOTA isn't going to forecast a 15 game dropoff based on one year's aging.
I don't think so. Rendon isn't ready and has played very little second base. Lombardozzi is just not that good. Espinsa played 160 games last year - that doesn't suggest that the team lack confidence in him.
Also, the Nats are intelligent enough to realise that there's value in a player with 20/20 potential who can competently play in the middle infield, even if his batting average isn't great.
He certainly went for less in my recent auction than he would have a year or two ago.
If you have Aramis as your primary third baseman, how quick are you to bench him early on? I suppose what I'm trying to ask is how predictive is the early-season struggling, and what should you do about it (12 teamer, standard 5x5 roto, if that matters)?
Would love to see the Jason Parks only list as well. Also, I'm sure there must be good discussion pieces, like you did on a couple of the early lists - I remember one on the Rockies list, for example.
People definitely do target players that will score a lot of runs. They tend to be leadoff hitters, often steal a load of bases and so on.
I don't think that's necessarily the case. Conventional wisdom has been that pitchers who throw a lot of sliders are susceptible to elbow injuries in particular (I have also heard it suggested that the same is true of curveballs). I'm not sure if the mix of pitches was something that Russell looked at.
Also, my understanding was that, to avoid tipping pitches and so on, the arm speed of different pitches was supposed to be the same, at least as much as possible. It's certainly something the prospect guys comment on with some younger pitchers trying to develop different pitches.
I think there's a very real case that in a purely strategic sense, they are better off, if we ignore the minor details such as that everybody hates them and they will get three men and a goat watching them most days.
Pressed submit too early. Lombardozzi isn't a starter and Rendon will not be up soon, unless there's an injury and he gets off to a real hot start.
Espinosa doesn't really have multiple challengers, and the Nats seem confident that he'll be ready for opening day.
I'll be amazed if Profar is 13th or better at the end of the season, unless Kinsler or Andrus gets injured early on. The lack of playing time, plus the likely adapting to the majors time, and the fact that he doesn't have a Trout/Harper ceiling add up to someone who shouldn't be any more than a late round flier for me.
The internet tells me that Drew Stubbs' OBP in 2012 was .277. He hit .186/.259/.282 against right handed pitchers.
I assume the club couldn't find any comps across all categories that matched Bailey's performance and their offer, which led to the odd approach of citing comps for each individual stat.
Curious why you think that Harang is preferred to Capuano when the numbers clearly suggest that Capuano is better.
Jason Hammel's agent is reading this and is displeased.
Chase Headley is a terrible pitcher. He has precisely zero major league wins.
Id be interested in something looking at mechanics of prospects and how they develop - do Taillon's elite mechanics make him more likely to be effective at the big league level than Walker or other elite prospects. I wonder to what extent mechanics are or are not taken into account in prospect evaluation.
Except that a power based corner OF is really not what the Cards need. I get that Stanton is good enough that you'd create a space for him, but you could improve the team more by upgrading the middle infield without burning half your farm system.
Living in the real world, where things are more complicated than in cartoons, is difficult.
I'm confused that you say that both hitters (Prado) and pitchers (Delgado) lose value from moving parks from Atlanta to Arizona. Is that just a typo, or am I missing something?
Does this not work both ways though, in that having two pitchouts in a row is very rare. Even two in the same at bat must be pretty unusual, so once you've pitched out the base runner can be pretty sure you're not going to do it again.
You can, but the vast majority of the risk is with the Rays, and much of the analysis fails to reflect that. People say things like that Myers will be a perennial all-star, and he might, but all the risks (and they are substantial) are to the downside of that sort of projection. The same is true of the other prospects, but not of two pitchers who have been successful to varying degrees in the big leagues for a number of years.
That said, it still isn't a great deal for the Royals. Givng Ryan Dempster a 3rd year, keeping Myers and binning Francouer is a better plan, as would be trading for and extending Dickey.
I think Profar is the only bat that is clearly a better prospect than Myers. I think you could credibly claim Myers is the third best prospect in baseball right now if you wanted.
I think Myers probably is considered elite. If not, the elite bat list is pretty short.
Is the lack of up the middle talent coincidental, or is that a significant weakness of next year's class?
I would take Myers over Perez. I don't know if I would take Zimmer over Perez. I wouldn't take the other two.
Presumably that's why the current problems with the hit tool are repeatedly pointed out, but the potential is there for a ridiculously good player if these issues can be resolved - thus the high OFP combined with the extreme risk.
It's quite possible that he might be the Red Sox SS for a year or two. I just don't see someone like that having a starting job for a contending club for five or ten years, and that applies to Crawford as well.
Thanks. I appreciate the detailed responses.
Curious with Bogaerts if there's still any suggestion that he may have to move further down the defensive spectrum than third (I get that the Sox may move him to the OF if Middlebrooks settles in as the long term solution at third, but that's to get the bat into the lineup)? Last year there were even some suggestions that he could end up as a first baseman.
I think all of that is true. I still don't think the Red Sox will settle for such limited offensive production from a regular player - I can't think of any examples of such an extremely defense oriented player holding down a job for a contending team.
You think the right approach with a win now team like the Phillies is to pass on acquiring a good CF, at what is, by free agency standards, a reasonable price?
I can't see Iglesias keeping Bogaerts out the lineup if the Red Sox feel that Bogaerts can play a passable short - even if it's 40-45 grade. To be honest, I don't see a first division club running out a guy who hits an empty .250 year after year however good his defence is.
Then again, smart teams try not to do their extensions after a player has just had his best season ever. Yes, there are risks, but the discount that the Rays got over what they would have paid if Longoria had played 160 games of All Star 3B is huge, and the risks are not much higher.
Does that mean that you wouldn't project anyone as having an ace/#1 ceiling?
I'm unconvinced that the Marlins would accept their free choice of any four Yankees prospects for Stanton. Most teams just don't have the pieces to deal for him.
Two guys I'd appreciate your thoughts on are Giovanny Urshela and Jesus Aguilar. I thought one or both might sneak into your top ten, especially given the lack of depth here.
I pressed submit too early. I was going to say that I'm now intrigued to see what Jason and the ~wantaunauts have to say on him.
Thanks for the reply. That kind of surprises me, as the prospect consensus was almost the reverse of that - a lot of stuff, but a high effort delivery that, combined with his size or lack of it, would potentially see him moved to the pen.
I think Colin Cowgill would make a pretty atrocious angry leopard.
Why do you think they overpaid? 1.5-2WAR or whatever is needed to break even at $8 million a year seems eminently likely.
Buxton's ceiling is potentially a lot more than .280/10-15HR. If it was more like .300/20-25HR then that would make a huge difference here. .280/10-15 HR is a plausible outcome, but to be fair, you wouldn't be comparing it to Sano reaching his full ceiling.
This is really interesting. On the subject of Cardinals prospects - I wondered if you had seen Carlos Martinez pitch and what you thought.
You're misreading the prospects. Marisnick and Nicolino are probably both on the margins of the top 50. Hechevarria has some value as well, although the bat is a problem as discussed. He can play well all round the infield as a defensive utility guy at least.
The other thing that's missing is the money. Not having to pay the best part of $200 million in potentially overvalued contracts is crucial. Buehrle will not live up to that contract - yes, there's value in 200 slightly below average innings a year, but not close to $18-20 million a year. Reyes is not cheap, and will probably be hanging on by the end of the deal. They only get Johnson (who is made of glass) for a year. Bonifacio has his uses, but he's hardly an elite player. All of that doesn't add up to lots of elite prospects.
Can I ask if Max is going to be writing for BP again? He hasn't written anything for a couple of months, and he would be a loss to the site.
Also, by eye, that team looks a long way from the playoffs to me. It would be fun trying to rebuild it in 2015 or so.
I think the request was for how the team that was put together would project.
Is there a long term reason that Mexico City isn't an option? Also, out of interest, when did MLB split things up into television territories? That would seem to me to be the big barrier to any real changes.
These articles are really good. Was the decision to put Matzek at 4 pretty clear for everyone? Also curious if Arenado came into the discussion for 1/2 at all, or not? He appears to have dropped a fair way in the last year.
+1 for a great article. It's nice to read an intelligent and informed take on these issues.
One more, if that's OK. How would Story's bat play at 2nd or 3rd if the Rockies move him eventually because of Tulo? Or would they do better trading Story to someone who needs a shortstop?
Any thoughts on Rosell Herrera? Was he anywhere near the list?
Thanks. I appreciate you taking the time to answer questions.
Actually, one more question. The write-up on Almora suggests that he could have plus hit/power, but also that he might be a 10-15 HR guy. I thought 10-15 bombs was about 4 power. Am I missing something here?
I was just thinking about Vizcaino, and that you have him as being extremely risky due to the injury. Is that really merited, given that most people recover well from Tommy John these days? I know you get some like Liriano who never get the command back, but the success rate is pretty high and recurrence, at least in the short term is kind of unlikely. Am I missing something here, as otherwise he'd seem relatively low risk for a pitcher - having success in the higher minors and doing OK at MLB?
What are your thoughts on Matt Szczur these days?
Roles obviously can change, given that we used to have different bullpens, and I think you could make it into a role, say, if you had a very well-established closer, and a decent young pitcher coming through, where the manager can say "You know we can't give you Mo's job, but this is how you can help the team the most". Either that, or try it with an under-rated guy who would welcome the attention.
Also, the whole roles argument is pretty suspect really. Pitchers need one-inning roles, except for LOOGYs who somehow survive, or in extra-inning games, or in the postseason or in the 1970s.
Stars are like batting average as a measure of hitter competence. Most readers here are looking for more than that, in my opinion. Also, as a fan, I found the reports very easy to read and understand.
Except that you can define a role in a lot of different ways. "Your job is to get us out of this ****ing mess" for example, ought to be one that is easily understood.
+1 that dropping the stars is good. The new system of quantifying potential and risk is far superior in my opinion.
Hi Jason, just wanted to clarify this a little. Looking at the ratings above, the Astros have a whole bunch of players with 6 potential, and they appear to be all mixed up in order, despite various levels of risk - for example, you have Springer (6/High risk) ahead of DeShields (6/Moderate risk). Why might that happen?
Also, I'm assuming a 6 player is pretty much equally valuable at any position (except for relievers maybe). Is that right?
Finally, is it fair to say that you see Cosart and McCullers pretty much exclusively as relievers, or do either of them have a realistic chance to stick as starters?
I don't think anyone said that all #1s were equal. That would be as silly as saying that all five star prospects were equal.
I wonder if a lot of this could be done more subtly if teams were willing to make some smaller tweaks, rather than having a big public rejection of the current models. We're already seeing more closers being used in tied games (I think - I haven't looked at any numbers or anything). A next step might be to get a sort of fireman role, where one of the better pitchers is used to deal with high leverage situations - I have a recollection of the Red Sox using Daniel Bard in a role like this when they still had Papelbon closing. Teams already use LOOGY types in appropriate situations like this. I wonder how far you could move towards a leverage based system before anyone actually noticed. My guess is you could get a good chunk of the benefits without much controversy.
Montero isn't so hopeless that he can't catch now and then. Also, he could presumably be trained up to play first well enough to allow someone else to DH occasionally.
Given that Marmol has only a year left at $9.8 million, and has his uses even if he walks the world, the Cubs would laugh hysterically before hanging up if Wells was involved at all.
Even if Hardy is a better defender at short?
I'm just commenting to say that I really like these articles. I don't know enough about the players to ask sensible questions, but I think that the whole pre-draft area is one that BP hasn't always covered in as much depth as it could, and work like this goes a long way to correct that.
I'm going to applaud the decision to scrap stars. I don't think they tell us anything useful really, and not everyone in the same star was remotely comparable in any case.
I think you have your numbers wrong - if an 8 player is three standard deviations above the norm then only 0.3% should be that far from the norm.
Also, the whole idea that players can be rated as a single number which is normally distributed is pretty problematic - for a start, in the world, there are many more 2s than 5. In major league baseball, 2s or 3s don't get a job [Obligatory joke about Kansas City Royals rotation here], so there are some 4s (often utility guys or 4th OFs, maybe guys who can pinch run), a load of 5s, and then an ever diminishing number of 6-8s.
One suggestion for this is that you will inevitably end up with a bunch of material on the guys who don't end up making the top 10 for whatever reason. Obviously some of that will filter into the guys on the rise, or those who might contribute in the big leagues soonish, but it would be interesting if some of that could be shared. Even if you just provided a list of 5-6 near misses, that would add value, especially for some of the deeper systems - going 10 deep in Toronto, San Diego or Texas will result in missing out some very decent prospects indeed.
As a thought, and it's probably too late for this year, might it be better to provide coverage on all prospects of a certain standard or better, rather than a set number for each team. If Texas has 20 good prospects, and Cleveland has 5, I'd prefer a big list for Texas and a small one for Cleveland, rather than missing out good prospects in one list and reading about very marginal guys in another one.
The format looks really good - the more that you can quantify tools and skills the better, for me at least. It makes it much easier to compare people across different lists and to evaluate how players may turn out.
Curious why you don't think Bogaerts is an elite prospect - as a guy who has hit for average and power at A+/AA at 19, has decent defensive value even if he can't stick at short, and doesn't seem to have excessive strikeout issues generally for a power hitter, I'd have thought he would have ranked pretty highly.
You're missing the point that these players will both get multi-year contracts, so even if they don't get $13.3 million/year they'll likely take the longer-term deal assuming the annual is relatively close to the $13.3 million figure. Also, I think other teams would pay that amount for both players if they could get a one year deal.
I think the Cards would be delighted if Adams put up Allen Craig numbers. Hitting .300 with 25-30HR a year if he stays healthy is pretty solid. I've also not seen much that suggests Adams has upside beyond that sort of level. The injury is probably more of a reason not to trade him now.
Matt Adams would seem to be a real possibility to be traded with the Cards having Craig, Beltran, Holliday and Taveras to use at 1B and the OF corners.
I'd be surprised if the Red Sox traded Bogaerts yet, given the potential for a special bat, the possibility that he can stick at short for a while, and the potential for Middlebrooks to fail to live up to his rookie season, especially given his high strikeout low walk approach.
Does this also impact on the development of Dominican pitchers because they'll get abnormally good results from avoiding the strike zone both in terms of swings and misses and in generating weak contact?
That's a really good and interesting article. It seems obvious to me that the solution has to come from MLB teams. If they are not rewarding players who show plate discipline, then the trainers aren't really going to do anything differently.
I wonder if the problem is partly related to most clubs using people who have come through the Dominican system as scouts and so on. While doing this has obvious advantages, if the scouts have themselves developed in a system where plate discipline and walks aren't valued, then it's unsurprising that nothing changes.
That said, the new system certainly incentivises stronger teams to find new ways of getting value given the smaller pools they'll be working with, which may lead to changes. I'm curious whether, say, Venezuelan players tend to get better signing bonuses with plate discipline, or whether it's just something that comes with playing a lot of games, and isn't rewarded significantly in bonus terms.
I don't see much evidence that Yelich's bat is inferior to Arenado's.
I'd also be interested in your taken on Carlos Martinez if you are looking at Cardinals prospects. At the big league level I'd like to request Josh Johnson.
I've seen research from other sports suggesting that the score in the series significantly impacts a team's winning percentage - especially when teams are facing elimination games. While I haven't seen anything on whether this works in baseball, it would be interesting to see how that might work through if it did apply to baseball.
Why is it turning the whole concept of advantage on its head? In all cases, if the higher seed wins all their home games, they win.
Amazing number of comments totally ignoring the analysis provided in the article
The correct statement is really that the rosters that Manny Acta has been given have failed to win. Most of the reasons for that are outside Manny Acta's control (and will be outside Terry Francona's control). The fact that Francona may expect to win won't change that.
On the other hand, rankers need to have the courage of their convictions. KG made a number of calls that seemed odd to me - last year he ranked Hamilton ahead of Mesoraco, for example, which seemed to me to be a huge stretch. Evidence this year suggests he knows more about prospects than I do. It remains to be seen whether the same is true of Bogaerts or not (and I'd agree that he was far too low, and I didn't find Kevin's reasoning convincing), but I'd much rather have someone who has the guts to make their own rankings and live or die by them. The fact that someone with the knowledge of KG feels that Bogaerts is not a top 50 prospect is data in itself, and should maybe lead us to re-examine existing positions.
I'm going to say that I totally disagree, because the current system allows almost all MLB clubs to be competitive at some stage. Over the last five years, pretty much everyone (except the Royals and Blue Jays) has been involved in a playoff race, and I think that's one of MLB's greatest strengths.
It's not that hard if you make sensible acquisitions, have a few good young players come through at the same time, and you get a bit lucky to reach 90 wins, which will generally get you into the playoffs.
If you have a structure where you have only 2 or 4 teams going to the post-season, that many more teams are going to find it virtually impossible to contend. How many teams can credibly get to 95-100 wins most years - I'd guess about 8-10, and that's before teams like the Yankees start spending more to give themselves the best chance of being one of the 2 or 4.
They're not going back to no divisions, you know.
No, it's very rare for someone without elite stuff to become an ace. In most cases, such a pitcher would need to have 80 control. It simply isn't true to say that an average top 100 pitching prospect can become an ace based on intelligence and hard work.
I think I completely disagree with this - not that being smart and working hard are bad, but that most pitchers in the top 100 or so have the skills to become great. I think that's completely untrue. Many of them have the skills to be a #3 or 4 starter or a good reliever. You could probably count the number of pitchers in the minors with good enough stuff to become an ace on your fingers.
I'm kind of curious with a case like this whether the fact that Roger Bernadina has never managed to fully unlock all his talent is a significant thing against his brother managing to do that, and reaching his ceiling.
Curious how Bernadina differs from his brother at the same stage - he sounds quite a similar player.
I'm sure they will all carefully weigh up the data, the anecdotal evidence, and so on, and make a sensible decision based on that. Either that, or they'll do it the same way they always do.
Are you really claiming that you haven't seen a single article from a pundit saying Cabrera should win the MVP, or are you just annoyed because the evidence doesn't support your view that he should win?
Do you really think that renowned drunk driver Miguel Cabrera is that much nicer than notorious hard worker and team player Mike Trout to make up for the extra three wins or so in value that Trout generated, or is it just that you think Cabrera should win regardless and you are spouting assorted rubbish to try and muddy the waters a bit?
When you say that Beras is behind Guzman/Mazara at the plate, is that more than just that the other two have a year of pro development under their belts and he doesn't? Also, is it fair to say that Guzman and Mazara are currently at a broadly similar level?
Other dictionaries see the use of flaunt in such circumstances as being a clear error.
Thanks. I appreciate the thoughtful response.
It sounds like once the new team have done a set of rankings, it might help to post the player's ranking, and maybe their age. One other thing that would help me is to always post the level of a club - i.e. Short Season Hudson Valley rather than just Hudson Valley.
Another question, actually. Do you get a feel for who is actually making progress in instructs, if you see the same guys quite often?
This is a really good article. I hope it's the sort of thing that we are going to get more of under the new prospect approach.
I was wondering if Markel has a good fastball/slider, and the possibility of developing a decent changeup, why you see him as a reliever? Would the three decent pitches not give him a chance as a starter?
Also, Sano sounds as though he might end up somewhat similar to Pedro Alvarez - load of Ks, load of home runs, not great average, and mediocre defence. Is that the sort of outcome that you think is most likely?
I can't see him being traded to Houston any time soon if this is anything to go by. http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=18152
Pretty sure that Jason has also agreed with Kevin's take on Ruf.
The problem with your thought experiment at the end is that the score is 11-0, so the game is over. Pre-game, with two teams making a reasonable effort, it's pretty unusual for one team to be more than about 70% to win against another MLB team.
Because the people demand it, and the people must be fed.
Either that, or it's just that Kevin is very difficult to replace, and the thrust of the option they've gone for is to get several part-time guys to write about things they know lots about.
Didn't they get Russell Carleton back recently, and Max Marchi? They're pretty sabrish, no?
In terms of grades, are we looking at potential for a lot of 55-60's for Hanson, with the hit tool being a bit higher? Any chance you'd care to speculate on potential numbers for Polanco as well? Other than that, I really liked the article. More in depth stuff like this is welcomed.
I have to say that I was concerned about what would happen to prospect coverage when Kevin left, and like many others, the content that Kevin and Jason provided was one of the main reasons that I subscribed.
I'm very pleased and reassured that BP appear to have thought quite deeply about what they should do now, and have brought in a range of different folks with lots of different expertise. I'm sure it's not going to be exactly the same as before, but I'm feeling a lot more comfortable that we'll get comprehensive and high quality coverage of the prospect world.
Yeah, it's not like they've told you anything like the list of people they have employed or things like that. Nothing specific at all there.
OK, but it doesn't change my fundamental point. The Jays don't really have the same air of hopelessness that, say, the Royals or, until very recently the Pirates have had.
You could click on the link provided.
The flaw in your argument is the idea that you want the best teams to win always. One of the joys of baseball is that nobody is truly out of contention in the long-term - if you look at the last five years, pretty much every team in baseball (except for the Royals) has been involved in a playoff race, and that's what keeps it fresh and interesting. Always wanting the best team to win keeps things predictable and dull, because there's a greater correlation between money spent and being the best team than there is between money spent and winning divisions or world series.
Would you be looking to trade for him in formats where you could keep him for the next few years, or do you think the price would be too high now? How much would you be willing to pay for him at auction next year (say for a 14 team mixed league)?
No, we don't know that the way Dusty Baker used pitchers was conclusively the thing that ruined them. There's no real way we could ever know exactly what caused a particular injury in a particular player.
Going the other way, and saying we know nothing about these issues is equally unhelpful though. It simply isn't true to say that - there has been good research carried out on, for example, building up the number of innings that young pitchers throw as safely as is possible. Even if you ignore the Tommy John surgery, this is applicable to Strasburg, and letting him go to, say, 220 IP if he pitched through the end of a World Series run, would be a big jump over what he's done previously.
Additionally, when Tommy John surgery does go wrong, it's apparently most common in the second year following surgery (according to either Andrews or Yocum, I forget which). It would also suggest a relatively conservative approach is in order, especially when dealing with a pitcher who doesn't have years of experience of throwing 200+ innings a season.
I mean, you can make a value judgement that the chance to win the World Series is worth the added risk of destroying Strasburg's arm, but to try and pretend there is no added risk or no significant added risk because we are unable to fully quantify it is dishonest.
If we're being realistic, the added value of Strasburg pitching over the alternatives is much less likely to make a difference than most people will think (and that can be quantified pretty much). I would imagine that the Nats have a pretty good idea of the real equation - something like increasing your chances of winning the WS from say 15% to 17%, against an added 5% risk of ruining Strasburg's arm (probably plus an additional risk of doing some damage that has a shorter-term impact) - and can make an intelligent decision on it.
I wondered if anyone had any thoughts on how likely Russell is to stick at SS. I had heard that previously he was thought to be too big and would be likely to move to third as a pro, but that he had lost quite a lot of weight prior to this season and now had a pretty good chance to stick. Is that about right?
Oh, this was meant to be a snarky comment in reply to another post. It doesn't work when you fail to use the reply to the correct post.
Hello, Dusty Baker. I didn't know you were a BP man.
I disagree, and I think the Nats would like significantly more than 200 innings out of Strasburg in 2013, especially if they go deep into the playoffs. Adding 100 innings or so at his age is not good.
This is really good. One suggestion with this - if more than one contributor has knowledge of the different guys, it would be nice to get both or all perspectives. I think we are grown up enough to realise that sometimes you'll agree and other times you won't, but it's interesting to see what things people agree and disagree on.
I don't see how that conflicts with the Nationals taking expert medical advice on this, and then coming to an informed decision. While I'm not saying you treat everyone the same in these things, I'm unclear why Strasburg should be able to go significantly more innings than Zimmermann. If you're going to convince people, you're going to either have to come up with evidence that the Nats have not gone with the best available advice, or that they should ignore that advice. I don't think you've managed either of these so far.
The sentiment is good, although for pitch counts, I think most teams do that. Starters doing well and looking good have always gone an extra inning, and someone who looks gassed is often brought out a little early. That doesn't have a lot to do with how best to help a pitcher come back from Tommy John surgery, except that if Strasburg had looked tired earlier the Nats might have done something to help him out - skipped a start or whatever
While I know this is all irrelevant because none of us are experts in rehabbing and coming back from Tommy John surgery, I'm curious why you think you know better than the Nationals' doctors, who know as much as there is to know currently about this.
Excellent subtitle. Excellent article too. I wonder how much teams do in areas like this. It would be interesting to know more about their approaches.
There are practical reasons why the late start and the skipping starts along the way strategies were not used. The late start strategy (assuming you are leaving enough innings for a full playoff run) had a high risk of leaving Strasburg a long way short of 160IP, given the possibility of missing some starts due to minor injuries or the Nationals missing the playoffs/going out early (remember that pre-season they were one of four realistic contenders in that division). If he didn't pitch the full 160 or close to it, you have a similar problem next year in that he would have a huge jump in innings, which is also a significant injury risk.
I understand that the doctors advised that keeping him in a routine was safer than skipping starts here and there - that's why the Nats went with him pitching every fifth day until his quota was used up. Additionally, it seemed likely at the beginning of the season that you might need every single start to have a chance to reach the playoffs.
The only reasonable alternative position is that you're going to keep running him out there against medical advice, because the chance to win a World Series this year is worth that risk. Obviously, you can look at whether he's tiring or not, but that isn't anywhere close to being foolproof - plenty pitchers get hurt without showing signs of injury or fatigue in advance.
Pedro Alvarez would be interesting.
Parks is moving up
Knows all about the prospects
Can he do haikus?
Kevin Goldstein gone
Professor Parks must step up
With new plans and #want?
But only for existing major leaguers (or potentially for likely callups), as far as I know.
This man suggests Negro Modelo can hold a chill. Excommunication is the only solution.
Seriously though, the top 100 would be a useful start, although it should also take into account things like team (eg Dylan Bundy is less valuable in fantasy because he will pitch in Baltimore), situation (Mesoraco is less valuable because Cincinnati usually split catcher playing time more equally than other teams) and so on. Commentary would also be useful - player X is much more valuable if you play in an OBP league, or your league uses holds as well as saves, or this player has a good chance of being eligible at more than one position or whatever. Also, an appreciation of how big a league has to be before a player has value - for example, I play in a 28 team league, where a guy like Nate Eovaldi has a lot of value (potential mid-rotation guy, NL team, pitchers park), but I wouldn't take him in my 12 teamer with the last pick in the draft.
I'd imagine this would be minimised by eliminating comments which refer to things like clubhouse leadership or whatever, and focusing on those that refer to effort on the field, which can be discerned by watching the game.
Nobody said that the announcers thought all Hispanic players were lazy. I'm going to suggest that a competently carried out study is more likely to be correct than your impressions here.
Except that when the people concerned are interviewing for a job, then it matters because one person is more likely to get a job than another. When the person concerned is a judge it matters, because one person will get a harsher sentence than the other, and so on.
I'm sure readers generally are smart enough to translate most of what's said, in the same way that if I gave you one of Kevin's top 20s, took off the stars and rankings, and then asked you to recreate it based on the analysis, you could come up with a reasonable facsimile of Kevin's list. That doesn't mean it's ideal or that someone with a real interest in both prospects and fantasy couldn't add anything of value.
Fringy defence only matters if it results in a position shift. A comment like "below average defence" can mean very little in fantasy terms, if the team will accept weaker defence at whatever position, or it can mean a great deal if a player may have to move, with whatever the impact is on bat/value. That's why I was asking for authors to try and be as specific as possible about things like that.
I think one thing that would be useful is to have someone on staff who can answer questions like "Should I trade prospect A for prospects B and C?" when A, B and C are not necessarily top 50 or so guys, or people about to make an immediate impact in the majors. I don't currently feel that there's anyone I could ask that sort of question to in a chat and get a good answer. I may be wrong on that, but it is my perception right now.
In terms of specific information, it's probably more a case of quantifying things as much as possible. So, for example, a prospect like Matt Dominguez or Jose Iglesias is less valuable in fantasy than real life, because most of their value comes from their defence. It's much more useful if the analysis is written in a way that makes that apparent, rather than just stating that the defence is really good. There are other prospects who have good defence but it's a lesser component of their overall value - Profar is an obvious example.
Similarly, a comment like "fringy defence" is not that helpful. What I want to know is how likely someone is to stick at a position, and if they don't stick, where will they go to. Even factors such as organisational philosophy impact on this - for example, the Tigers appear willing to allow anyone to play any infield position as long as their glove is made of metal, while other teams believe much more in pitching and defence - and things like that are less often discussed in standard prospect analysis.
I do also think there are some things that an experienced fantasy writer with a really good knowledge of prospects could do. Some possibilities might include:
Separate fantasy rankings
Players badly over or undervalued by rankings
Deeper prospects you might want to pick up/trade for
Analysis of who can stick at short or catcher, or whether pitchers will end up as relievers or not.
Some decent discussion on trades
Deep dynasty strategy discussion (where say 300+ prospects are held across the league)
I don't think anyone is suggesting that current content is replaced. It would be a case of adding in certain information, either to existing articles or as new separate articles.
Thanks for the response. That's very reassuring for me that Jason will be able to craft a role that suits his own range of skills, and that he's not seen as being the new Kevin Goldstein.
I think the main thing that I wanted to say was that I thought that the different approaches that Kevin and Jason took led to a very effective and interesting product. For me, I find the systematic approach that Kevin took - covering off top 20s for all the teams, regular minor league updates, weekly ten packs and so on to be essential to a site like BP. I wouldn't want that to be lost at all - I particularly value the depth in the top 20s, for example.
I also think that Jason has a specific set of skills that work very well for the sort of things he has been doing for the site - looking at more obscure guys, focusing in greater depth on a smaller number of players, scouting reports, and writing a range of weird things. I'm kind of hoping you aren't just going to get Jason to do Kevin's old job, and bring someone else in to try and do what Jason did before. While I'm sure that if that's the approach you do take, that Jason would do a very good job, I don't think you would get the most out of his talents that way. I'm quite willing to accept that I might well be wrong about this, but I hope that whatever solution you come up with will take things like that into account.
The other thing I'd like to ask for specifically, is to get someone with deep prospect knowledge who also plays fantasy, and who could produce some content for people who play proper, deep dynasty leagues. Most of the fantasy content is currently focused on redraft or shallowish dynasty, and the fantasy guys tend to pass off prospect questions to Kevin/Jason if they require knowledge beyond the top 50-100 guys. I can understand why they do that, with the expertise you have in house, but it would be useful to get someone who can cover this area properly. I think many of the prospect readers are reading for fantasy purposes, and I think that's a gap in your current provision.
Many congratulations. I trust you are currently being fitted for a nice new fedora.
I don't want to get into this today, because this is a thread for congratulations, #want, hats and strange mancrushes, but it would be nice if there was an opportunity for folks to discuss what they want from prospect coverage from BP before things were set in stone.
Where to start?
To be honest, the regular moaning about the scouts' comments is getting a little tedious. If people don't like them, they really are not compelled to read them, especially if you don't believe that scouting adds any value to statistical analysis.
Also, you aren't going to get major league scouts to do a back and forth discussion on the merits of a player, knowing that it could end up in print. It's totally unrealistic, as are the pointless complaints that come up every so often that the scouts are anonymous.
Obviously, most of the comments are not desperately deep, and some of them say very little at all when you boil them down, but they tell you what some baseball professionals think of various players. I find that interesting, especially when someone is willing to step out of the consensus on a player. Will Medlen win a Cy Young - probably not, but it's at least interesting to me that an intelligent observer who is being paid by a big league team thinks he might. Similarly with Harrison. On the Cueto comment, I think it's very unlikely that all major league pitchers avoid tipping any of their pitches at all in any way. Do you really think that?
Congratulations Kevin. I remember when I started subscribing feeling that people were over-reacting when someone moved on from BP, and now I'm doing the same thing. I'm really going to miss the quality of analysis that you've provided over the years.
As someone who didn't grow up with baseball, it's guys like you who have helped to develop my interest in the game, and shown me the richness of the world of baseball, and that's something that I'll be forever grateful to you for.
It's a shame so many people actually took this comment as being intended seriously. Either that, or I'm giving people too much credit again.
Allen Craig is much more likely as the Opening Day starter.
But the doctors told them that stopping and starting Strasburg like this would put him at greater risk of injury.
The problem with the late start approach is twofold. Firstly, at the time that decisions were made, the Nats were odds against to reach the playoffs. Secondly, the Nats have an interest in getting Strasburg right up to his cap, so that the jump next season is not so big. In the long term, they'll want 240 innings a year or something like that from him.
Also, I've seen comments from medical folks that being too creative in terms of skipping starts, taking him out early and moving him back and forwards between the rotation and the pen is not ideal. I'm sure there is some flexibility, but perhaps not as much as people think.
Finally, there is huge value in winning the division. The Nats are four games ahead of Atlanta. That suggests a) that they need Strasburg now, and b) that having used him in other ways (a la Medlen), they may not even have the division lead at all.
The only alternative strategy that seems to me to have any merit is to say that he appears to be strong and healthy, and as long as that remains the case, you're going to keep sending him out every fifth day because you don't often get a chance of winning the WS. Not being a doctor, or privy to Strasburg's medicals, I don't know the risks in doing that. The Nationals have that information, and they are choosing to shut him down.
Remind me quickly how many other teams in baseball would make a trade that involved taking on Beckett and Crawford at all. You might not feel it was a great deal for the Red Sox, but there's no way that they were getting any more.
Is it possible that other teams miscalculated here, in that they were told Gonzalez would only be moved if the team took on Beckett/Crawford as well, and assumed that there was no need to block because nobody would do such a thing?
There is an article elsewhere on the site which suggests that, in practice, teams only make waiver claims if there is a reasonable likelihood that they can make a deal. So Texas probably knew that Gonzalez was only available if they gave up a load of prospects, or took on nasty contracts, and thus decided to pass. They may also have miscalculated that nobody would take on the relevant contracts, and thus that there was no need to block. Either that, or they don't currently have the cash to take on Gonzalez's salary if they were awarded him.
I get that there are potentially CBA/MLBPA issues with cutting the payroll back too much, but apart from that, why would the Astros want to spend more than they have to on the big league team? The long-term health of the franchise is probably better served by getting the highest draft picks possible until they have some elite talent coming through. They'd be better using money to pay down debt or improving facilities or something like that (given that spending on prospects is capped now) rather than spending money on the big league team to get up to 65 wins instead of being someehere in the fifties.
That's certainly the view that a proportion of fans have taken. On the other hand, the article talks about how his game is developing on both sides of the ball. I think that the idea that he's lazy/slack/doesn't learn is probably overblown now - pretty much every defensive mistake is seen as being a mental lapse.
Someone who steals 80 bases would be very valuable, especially if he leads off, and scores a load of runs as well. I'm slightly sceptical that he actually steals 80 every year in the bigs, when nobody else is averaging more than about 50 a season. The risk with someone like Hamilton is that he doesn't hit enough to play every day - if there are questions about his defence, and he has no pop to speak of, then he needs to maintain a good average/OBP to hold down a slot, given that steals are less valuable in real life than in fantasy. There were a lot of people talking about how great Dee Gordon was going to be at the beginning of this season. I'd certainly prefer more traditional elite prospects - Machado, Myers or Taveras for example.
I don't think the Braun comment makes anyone think more deeply about anything. It basically just says "PEDs, PEDs, nudge, nudge". Everyone knows about the Braun case, and has already made up their mind about it.
The only problem with what you are saying is that many of the anonymous comments are actually positive. Given that, and the fact that the real choice is between having the anonymous comments and having no comments at all, it seems clear that having the anonymous comments is far better.
At the end of the day, a player like Castro is talented enough that he's going to make a boatload of cash from baseball in any case, whether he cuts out the mental lapses or not. If he's going to improve that side of his game, it was never going to be because of money.
Also, I think the Cubs are more interested in whether they save some money by locking him up now. They don't want to wait another year or two because some fans think that Castro doesn't listen to the manager enough, and end up paying another $20 million as a result.
My own view is that it's good from the Cubs point of view that they've not done this just after Castro goes on a hot streak. It suggests a degree of wisdom in the front office that hasn't been there previously.
Think about it this way. If I tell you that you have to run fifty percent of the time, you're going to cut out the situations where you're most likely to be caught - pitchers with a quick delivery, catchers with really good arms, and situations where you can't get enough of a lead. If you have to run every time, then you have to run in all these unfavourable situations, so your success rate will be significantly lower.
Of course, the people who usually complain about these deals have never made a better offer for the same players. One of the most frustrating things is when you go around the whole league trying to get best value for a rental player, accept the best offer, and then still have people moaning that you didn't get enough when nobody will give you any more.
The idea that we shouldn't be allowed to make trades, or do anything else within the rules because our competitors don't like it seems pretty problematic to me. Too many people seem to have this idea that they should be allowed to control the strategy that other players use for their teams. For example, if you have Trout or Harper (cheap and controllable long term), why should I not be able to offer you rentals of Pujols and Verlander, who are of no use to me any more, to substantially increase my chances of winning in the future.
It's not like other people are being shut out from making similar deals or acquiring particular players - they are entirely free to make offers. If another player makes me a better offer for the Pujols and Verlander, he'll get them instead.
Also, people tend to make deals with friends or people they work with for one reason - they talk about the league with those people more. Your rule seems to me to be an example of a rule that appears to make sense, but is actually just an unnecessary infringement on a manager's right to run his team as he sees fit.
It isn't only about the sports that are popular in America, you know. Table tennis and handball, at least, have very large audiences in other parts of the world, and will have all the best players in those sports taking part.
That kind of impacts on pennant races, because of the bonus for whoever plays the out of contention clubs completely shorn of all talent, but it's probably the most workable solution that's been suggested. Alternatively, baseball could just accept that there's no desire from the Olympics to have a second-rate baseball tournament.
His BABIP remains high because he hits the ball hard, and because he runs fast. Probably not .398 high though, and I doubt that Jackson's .377 or whatever is fully sustainable either.
We probably have more of an idea than you are suggesting. The likelihood of a player with true talent of Trout's 2011 season producing a season like Trout this year is vanishingly small. The likelihood of any player, almost however talented, struggling when they first reach the bigs, is pretty high. It seems very likely that 2012 is signficantly closer to Trout's true talent level than 2011, especially given that most 21 year olds continue to improve for some time.
But that's the whole point. Being smart is offering the extension a year ago when Trout's value is lower, because you know you have a special player on your hands (even if you don't know he's going to be as good as he has been this year). It wasn't a secret that he was one of the top 2-3 prospects in the game, so it's a pretty good gamble to make the deal then. Now, you probably don't try extending him because his value is actually probably higher than his talent (unless you expect him to do this every year).
That's really an issue of league structure though. If your league is structured properly, then there's a limit to how much people will trade off for either short or long term gain.
You could always do a bit of work on the trade market yourself. I don't see how getting production from trading is any less legitimate than picking someone up on the waiver wire. If the other people are getting all the best deals, and people want to stick it to you, you are doing something wrong. Anyway, almost all leagues have a deadline between the end of July and the third week in August , so I'm not really sure what your point is.
How would you grade out Buckel's pitches, delivery and command?
I don't know the exact methodology that John Sickels uses, but his work seems to me to be of high quality, and I'd recommend it as one of a number of valuable sources for people interested in prospects. HeavyHitter's comments are pretty shabby unless he knows a lot more about how Sickels operates.
The other thing is that high bonus or early draft pick prospects have shown very considerable potential at some stage, whereas a 40th rounder (say) may not have done. Given that, you might suspect the high bonus guy has a higher ceiling than the late round guy, even if current scouting reports and numbers are broadly similar.
"His lower half is too big, and he has poor first-step quickness at shortstop." probably suggests that he wouldn't be a good fit at second either.
Potentially the worst comment I've ever seen on this site. I'd suggest an apology might be in order.
I think people are legitimately pointing out that it's only one article, and comments like:
i had to pay to read that??? Hope there are better reason to renew
are a bit ludicrous. That, and gently laughing at "stoned on marijuana" man.
You and your logic. Are you stoned on marijuana too?
It's not like you get Minor League Updates several times a week covering tens of different players or anything.
You really think that?
Was that really worth all the effort?
No, you're right. All four of the top prospects will work out. All of the struggling young hitters will solve all their problems. All the best free agents will sign and work out well for Seattle - after all, the other teams can only offer more money and better teams to play for.
Seriously, what's likely to happen is that they get one good pitcher out of Hultzen, Walker and Paxton, and the offence is a bit better because some of the kids work out better. Others turn into complete busts (Smoak looks kind of likely right now). Montero is the only one that's likely to be much above average for me though. I'm not sure that's likely to add up to a contender either in 2013 or 2014, especially with Texas, the Angels and possibly even Oakland in the same division.
And in 2014, you're left with no stars anywhere, and no flags either.
You aren't really taking service time into account. People aren't going to give you three or four top drawer prospects for a rental player that you have to pay full market value for in salary terms.
And nothing ever goes wrong in your world?
To be fair, he hasn't done anything to show he's big-league ready this year.
The comment about the Rangers wasn't meant to be snarky. It's just most of your regular readers will know a lot of the guys that you happen to rate highly in the depths of the Rangers system.
On the other hand, not dealing the star player doesn't work out often either. We just don't see it as a big reason to criticise a GM when his team loses a player like Hernandez to free agency despite having been non-competitive for years. Probably we should change that.
Also a suggestion - how about an article on prospects that you think will be really good and nobody else does? Extra rule: They aren't allowed to have signed with the Texas Rangers.
Slightly surprised to see Lindor in the top 10. Any chance of a more detailed writeup?
Because their contract situations are exactly the same too. Oh wait...
Stats over a small sample size don't really tell us much at these levels.
After all is done
We all have outwritten Ben
Forty is too few
Because his trade value is not very high right now?
The difference between most AAA pitching and most major league pitching really is that great. There are loads of AAA sluggers who can't produce in the big leagues, or, at least, take several shots to get going.
This one is the best
In my honest opinion
A prize is needed
Sadly still not right
The last line is just too short
More #want is needed
Ben will do more work
When you master the haiku
Have been given out to all
Who make the haikus
This was a good try
but too many syllables
In the final line
Well, forty haikus
That is really quite a lot
Much more fun than prose
Warning you all now
All comments must be haikus
Or I will minus
Do you think that if you were a fan of a currently weak team, you'd be happier watching whichever one of your relievers has failed to suck badly pitch an inning so that you can feel included, or would watching a more competitive game with the best players in MLB actually be more interesting? It's a genuine question, although I think the idea that everyone must be represented is a significant weakness that could be resolved.
I think I asked you pre-season about Gose, and you felt he was unlikely to hit more than about .250 at the big league level. Would it be fair to say your view of his ceiling has changed?
And this is the problem. You are assuming that Appel is some sort of idiot who can't make a rational decision for himself, due to Boras-magic.
It seems much more likely that Appel has made a decision based on a variety of factors - that he feels he can get more next year (and the downside is probably significantly over-emphasised as can be seen from cases like Giolito and Purke), and potentially some non-monetary factors - maybe he doesn't want to pitch for the Pirates, maybe he wants to complete his degree with his friends and classmates, maybe he wants to play more college ball.
Initial indications suggest that the 2013 draft class is no better than this years, and I've seen suggestions that it could well be worse.
Best W/L record gets home advantage?
This is the thing with Boras. There's no evidence to suggest that he had a conversation like that with Appel at all, but everyone somehow decides that he's used his secret magic powers to stop/influence Appel away from signing. Appel seems to me to be an intelligent young man who is entirely capable of making his own decisions.
My own view is that short of a catastrophic shoulder injury, he'll get a very good offer next year as well - Giolito got almost $3million and has a fair chance of needing Tommy John over the next few years. Purke ended up with a very good deal, even with shoulder concerns (I know this was under the old system, but it still shows that someone will take a risk on upside), and there's a fair chance that Appel will go in the top 2-3 picks next year. I think people are significantly over-estimating the risks involved in Appel turning down the offer.
I think it's more that there is no real way to make it better, because both clubs and players don't think it's important compared to real baseball.
I just think that the ASG now, and the ASG forty years ago are sufficiently different that all the data tells us is that the ASG is less popular now. If there's a way round the adjustments required to look at the World Series, and you guys are much more qualified to look at that than I am, then I think it's a much better indicator of overall interest in baseball.
But then the intensity of the game has diminished over time, and there isn't the same opportunity to see players you wouldn't otherwise see. This would suggest that viewing figures would, all other things being equal, shrink over time.
Is there not an issue in that World Series viewing figures will be impacted significantly by the teams involved. You'd presumably get higher viewing for Yankees-Mets or Yankees-Dodgers than, say, Rays-Reds.
Ot alternatively, you could come up with some evidence that Boras somehow forced intelligent adult Mark Appel to refuse to sign for the Pirates when he really wanted to. I suppose just shouting BORAS!!! EVIL MONSTER BORAS!!!!1!! is easier.
+1 to this. I think that could be really interesting.
It always amazes me how Boras makes otherwise sensible people become lunatics simply by doing what he's supposed to do.
Clearly, the players approve of the whole package. That doesn't mean that they like every element of it. This is very likely one of the parts they don't like, but it's a bit silly to expect the union to sacrifice the interests of its members to help people who currently aren't union members. The draft and the way it operates is very much the design of the owners, and it's foolish to suggest otherwise.
You count significantly worse than Starlin Castro, sir. Two differences...
If you think that the premise of the article is that it's OK just to say that you trust your eyes over analysis, then you've badly misunderstood it.
Respectfully, I disagree. We aren't talking about Joe Morgan's value as a person - I'm sure he has a variety of talents outside baseball, as well as being a Hall of Fame player, but about his abilities as a commentator/analyst, which are very significantly affected by the attitude he takes towards sabermetrics, or indeed any analysis of the game at all.
The question is really whether Joe Morgan wishes to be a traveller on any of the paths to knowledge. I don't see much evidence of it so far.
Am I right in thinking the rehab for position players who have to have Tommy John is much shorter than for pitchers? If Crawford has the surgery immediately after the season, when would he be likely to come back?
Ben Zobrist is pretty valuable, no?
I'm assuming that, being however many games back now, with eleventy-three starters broken, they aren't regarded as contenders any more.
I suspect that if you are a corner outfielder and you want to be one of the top 2-3 hitting prospects in the game, everything about your hitting needs to be well above average. A walk rate of 8% is fine, but it isn't well above average, especially given that it may fall when Taveras comes up against more advanced pitching.
Not sure that it really is atypical to be honest. The weakness appears to be trading too many people away, rather than a developmental one.
Kind of think there's a huge amount of post-failure rationalisation going on with a lot of those sorts of comments (in general - this isn't aimed at you). So and so didn't make it, so he must have a ten cent head/lack of desire/whatever. It's kind of easy to say that the reason for someone failing is just down to makeup, and there isn't any real way to verify that in most cases.
Given that Doug also writes regularly for BP, it would be really interesting to get him to do an article focusing on the mechanics of the guys listed here.
Pujols WARP 1.4, Fielder at 1.2 and Teixeira at 0.9. Chris Davis is at 0.5.
Curious what you think the Red Sox will do with Bradley - they are fairly well set in CF at present, and have Ellsbury under control until the end of 2014.
He's an often-injured player who hasn't hit very well for a year and a half, with dodgy defence, and only under control to the end of the season. Couple that with the fact that everybody in the world knows you need to trade him, and you're never going to get much that matters for him.
Except that Sano would play for the World team, and the guys you listed are on the US team.
The main problem with your rant is that John doesn't actually say what you accuse him of. He says his job isn't to be a morality policeman, not that he would never allow moral issues to impact on a decision.
Would be interesting to see how this matched up with results, if sample sizes are big enough.
Also, very good article.
I'd really like Pedro Alvarez, as one that hasn't been mentioned. Also, another vote for Domonic Brown.
As well, I just wanted to say that I hope you are OK, and that things work out for you.
It's also easier to take risks if you have a nice, deep system like the Rangers.
When they are talking about signability at 1.1, they don't mean whether they can get someone to sign, it's about how much it will cost. Looking at Houston picking McCullers at 41, it seems that they feel they can get Correa to sign significantly below 1.1 slot, which will allow them to get McCullers as well. If Appel was asking for full slot + 5%, then you could see why they might go with Correa if it allows them better picks later on.
No, they are still subject to the draft, in the same way as Aaron Crow was a few years ago when he did that.
I believe they get to pick after the eighth pick, and get an appropriate amount added to their cap, so it isn't catastrophic if they can't sign.
One of these three is not like the other two imo. Giolito might require pretty huge creativity - like pretty much punting the other first-rounder, while I'd guess that the other two are more just the usual talk of wanting bigger bonuses, but would end up settling for pretty close to the slot.
On the other hand, there's no other way that you can get someone with 1.1 talent at that stage in the draft. OK, one day he may need Tommy John, and that isn't as risk-free as people seem to think, but he's a good way ahead of anyone else that will be available at 12. Also, the Mets farm is not exactly full of talent right now - in fact, it would look pretty thin if either Harvey or Wheeler got hurt. I wouldn't say they are at a stage to do anything apart from BPA.
Except that Martinez can throw strikes...
But then the Rangers would be paying Profar the league minimum and Andrus however many millions which could be put into filling other needs.
I think it's that teams expect more from the bat - the slick fielding automatic out guys are not going to get a job these days, and the number of people who can hit a bit and play MLB standard defence at short is not high.
Pretty sure it's the tone rather than the request for a mock draft that's getting the minuses. Then again, I also think that an article like this is much better and more useful than a mock which is ruined when someone picking early does something unexpected. (see every mock done last year, for example)
I could see the big teams take the risk of losing their pick next year to try and get someone who is seen as unsignable - say, if Giolito doesn't get picked early, it might make sense for a team at the very end of the first (Yankees/Red Sox/Phillies) to take him and sign him, given that he may well be a better bet than a standard pick at the end of the first this year, and another standard pick at the end of the first next year.
The thing is, they have the same problem next year.
The comment on Allan Craig refers to his last DL visit, not the latest one.
I thought the Verducci effect had been pretty comprehensively debunked - not to say that there isn't an issue with overuse of young pitchers, especially if the workload is increased too quickly - but the specifics of Verducci don't appear to stand up to much scrutiny.
What a ridiculous thing to say. You think it's OK to hit umpires with equipment because you don't like a call. Really?
Thanks for the reply. Where would you slot him into the list if you had considered him, and how do you think he's likely to develop?
Surprised that you are so down on Cespedes. The strikeout rate started off very high and has been declining, and most reports about his plate discipline (I think from Kevin Goldstein among others) have been that it's better than expected. Also, is it possible that the injury affected him in early May?
Not a fan of Eovaldi?
Also meant to say that I really appreciate your work here. I forgot to mention it above - apparently my #want outweights my #manners.
I wondered if Rosell Herrera got any consideration, and if you had any thoughts on him? Also, on Story, I assume the Rockies keep him at short for the foreseeable future, both as a potential trade chip and in case Tulo might be slowing down a little by the time Story is ready. If Story does move off short, where does he end up?
I kind of assumed it was all computer-generated, as a human would surely come up with something more sensible. Hopefully, if it gets better, you can let us know, so we can switch scout back on.
Well, if they want to keep their pay, they could always not deliberately hit people.
Would be interested in any thoughts you had on Mikie Mahtook.
1990 Billy Hamilton is just skin and bones. 1866 Billy Hamilton is just bones.
Unsure that #want can make someone who hasn't mashed at either AA or AAA into an instant above average major leaguer though.
I don't even understand what this means. OK, they'll sell more tickets for a few weeks. So? It's not like it will provide them with anything like enough extra revenue to sign up Harper long term.
His voting has to be better than your posting. He said he instinctively thought a very strong candidate for the Hall of Fame should get in on the first ballot, but that he would need to do some research before he made a definite decision. Tell me how that's a problem.
Any thoughts on Jesus Aguilar?
More articles like this are a good thing. This is the sort of thing that I pay my money for.
Ignore the Nieuwenhuis comment - he's listed twice because he's played at two levels. I'm clearly less intelligent early in the mornings.
Also, meant to say that this is great.
One thing that would be really useful is a direct link to the top 11 article on each page. If it was possible, and I realise it would involve more work, it would be useful to have some info on what's happened to the missing players (eg. in extended spring training, injured or whatever).
As a minor detail, Kirk Niewenhuis is showing up twice on the Mets page.
Finally, I'm also getting the H/I stuff with IE8/Windows 7.
How much does Gose need to hit to hold down a regular job? He's probably fortunate to be in an org that appreciates the other things he brings to the table even if it comes with a sub-par average. I kind of thought that Drew Stubbs numbers were the most likely positive outcome for Gose (.250 with too many Ks and some walks, double digit HRs and a load of steals plus good D).
Why would you move him if there's a chance he can stick at third? He'd be much more valuable as a third baseman than at first. Also, I had heard suggestions that if he can't handle third, they would try him in the OF, rather than at first.
Interested in whether he was playing second base, and if he was, how he looked?
Wondering how this will play out with the changes to the luxury tax in the new CBA (both greater penalties, and much slower cap increases). Does this mean more equality in spending with a lot more teams around the luxury cap level once new TV deals are signed and so on?
One thing that I would find useful with a lot of this is if you could tell us a little about the evidence that supports your work. I find that helps me to make up my own mind more effectively, especially as this can be an area where a lot of assertions are made without much supporting evidence.
Valdespin has already been sent to AAA.
Hard to conclude that, unless you know what Tulo said to him.
Jimenez has just been banned for five games.
Presumably the umpires in charge of the game felt it was accidental, given that Jimenez was not ejected. I'm not sure that there is sufficient evidence to override their professional judgment.
While I accept that it's suspicious given the history in this case, if we automatically suspend without any other evidence, then we're more or less saying that you can't pitch inside to someone that you don't like.
I suppose it's probably more Martinez than Miller that I'm querying. I guess Miller is #1 unless he no longer qualifies or gets seriously hurt. If he's gone, I would have thought that Taveras and Martinez are probably about equally likely to be best in the system (given that Kevin currently prefers Taveras, but Martinez has more upside).
Slightly surprised by some of the odds here. I'd have thought that all of Singleton, Cosart and Springer are high-upside guys who could potentially rise fast if they get off to a good start this year. I'd have thought that one of the three is seen as a better prospect than the #1 pick in a relatively thin draft more than 1 time in 8.
Also surprised by your thoughts on the Cardinals. I'd have thought that the chances of Shelby Miller exhausting his rookie eligibility are high enough that he won't be the number 1 prospect in the system 40% of the time. Also very surprised at the long odds on Carlos Martinez, given that you only have him 8 slots behind Taveras in the top 101. While I take the point about inefficiency and his long-term role being unclear, it really wouldn't shock me if he mows down A+ hitters pretty easily this year.
It just tells us who is the best person. Unfortunately, you have the highest number, so you lose. I also have quite a high number, but I'm OK with not being one of the best people.
The Average column appears to be all over the place. Either that, or it's meaning something different from what I'd expect.
Why did Santorini only face one batter in the first game? Seems odd.
Talk to us about Odor - he doesn't seem to be rated that highly (at least, by many) for a 17 year old who put up reasonable numbers in pro ball. I think KG felt he lacked potential above-average tools - would you agree?
Also interested in your thoughts on Martin.
Jason, how good a player is a 6? Who might be an example of a current second baseman that you would grade as a 6?
Given that Adrian Beltre is no longer there to destroy Ellsbury's ribs, and outside of 2010, he's never missed more than about 5 games at a time, I think the injury thing might be overblown.
If you've run out of page space, I'm pretty sure the nice folks at BP would happily provide you with a new page. Would be very interested in the other reports.
As a groundball heavy pitcher, pitching in front of a ropy infield defence, he's always going to give up quite a few unearned runs.
Holy over-reaction, Batman.
Is Allen Craig not most likely to be the guy who fills in at the OF corners and at first whenever one of the old men can't play (at least once he's healthy)?
You probably have a point, but saying Nestor Molina was unranked is just not true. Quentin was just not worth that much, given that he costs $7 million this year, will cost more next year, and will then be a free agent.
What, still no haikus?
Protesters now in Dekalb
Corn will be trampled.
No haikus. So sad.
Kevin Goldstein should redo
This list the right way
It really isn't. It says that Granderson may well regress because throughout his career he's struggled against lefties, and the author thinkg that his success last year is unlikely to be a permanent change. That's an entirely reasonable argument.
Thanks for all you've written here. I think the site has really picked up in the last year or so, and you will be missed. Please make sure your replacement can also do regular liberal diatribes to irritate dodgerken.
More snide comments about Jon Heyman, please.
This confuses me even more now. From what you are saying, Guzman would have realised exactly how controversial this would be. I'm confused as to why he would have advised Beras to handle things in this way - it would seem to me that he must believe that there is a decent chance that this can be pushed through as well.
Kevin, how clued up would an average buscone be on how much of an issue this would be likely to cause? I'm also curious as to how often a buscone might know/strongly suspect that a player had age/identity issues.
I would have thought that you'd certainly get close enough to the $2.9 million that it wouldn't matter really. I guess the teams might like to keep $100K or so just to throw around at a few lottery ticket guys, if they could. It may lead to guys like Beras actually choosing teams for non-financial reasons - if 5 or 6 teams offer $2.75-$2.9 million, then the player may be better going with a team where he might be more comfortable culturally, or that has a better reputation for developing young talent.
The difference is that the Orioles upset the KBO. MLB values good relations with the other professional baseball leagues. The Rangers have taken a chance that this contract will be approved - they may have upset MLB, but I guess that it's relatively small potatoes in terms of things teams do which upset Bud. He's probably more bothered about the suggested bonus than the guy's age.
I'd imagine that there are a number of cases that it's actually impossible to be certain how old a player is, given the apparent standard of record keeping in the Dominican Republic.
If he's 16, he isn't eligible to sign until the summer. That means he would fall under the new CBA, which has a maximum pot of $2.9 million per team. He's been offered a contract of $4.5 million just now - there is a clear incentive for him to be 17.
The only comment that I have would be that the Rangers presumably feel they have a non-zero chance of getting this pushed through, or they wouldn't risk the backlash that they must have known was coming their way over this.
Shyam Das will happily arbitrate if required.
You're approaching this backward. The question that matters is not what Trout would like. It's what teams would offer in a competitive situation, where likely every team in baseball would have an interest. That's going to be a lot more than 8/$50.
Some skills translate better from the minors than others - pitching is one, as are defence and baserunning. The difficulty that hitters often have is that hitting major league pitching is harder than hitting AAA pitching, and that being able to hit AAA pitching is not a guarantee of being able to hit MLB pitching. For me, Trout's defence and baserunning mean that he should have a good MLB career even if the hit tool doesn't work out as well as projected. Moore has already shown he can get major league hitters out. I think it's very unlikely that, outside of catastrophic injury, either of these players would be below average MLB starters, and any player can get injured. I see no real reason why Trout or Moore are more likely to get injured than anyone else. Harper is more of a risk, because much more of his value is bound up in his bat, and it's possible he'll struggle more against big league pitchers, but he still seems a pretty good bet to me.
The money would go to players whatever. All that would be achieved by making everyone free agents would be to transfer money from veterans to younger players.
A suggestion for a similar article. Ask all the same people which current MLBer would get the biggest deal if all players were free agents.
Also, agree with the others who are suggesting these figures are pretty conservative. I'd be pretty surprised if nobody would go 10 years for the position players, and 8/$120 for Trout is clearly a worse deal than Jayson Werth got, for a period which should include most of Trout's prime.
Quickly, how do we know what conditions the sample was kept under? I suppose we might know what conditions the courier says he kept the sample under, but that's not really the same, is it?
Oh, go away.
Have you read the arbitrator's report or something? You seem very sure about what has happened. I'm curious where this certainty comes from.
Also, how do you know that Braun presented no other evidence. If the custody chain was broken to an extent that the test had to be thrown out, there would be no reason for the arbitrator even to listen to any other defence as there would be no case to answer.
Will Carroll was suggesting it on Twitter (@injuryexpert, if you want to look).
Much better for random members of the public who have heard none of the evidence to decide they know what the verdict should be.
MLB and the players have agreed to a confidential process. ESPN never did, and has no obligations to keep these things confidential. My own view is that the confidentiality is a mistake and allows things to be swept under the carpet too easily - whatever happens with this case, there are clearly things that MLB would have preferred us not to know which are better off in the public domain. That isn't to say that Braun wasn't entitled to confidentiality, given that it had been agreed, but just that it isn't a great idea generally.
There should be more than just the source of any leak losing their job. MLB have been incompetent in what is an important area where players should be able to have confidence that samples are dealt with competently and fairly. Whoever is responsible for these events should also be getting fired.
I had heard that Braun's people had managed to reproduce a very similar result with a clean sample which had been handled in the same way as his sample appears to have been treated. That would suggest that this may be more than a technicality. There is also the issue that Braun may have had other defences to use if the arbitrator had deemed that the chain of custody was satisfactory. Given that the chain of custody was broken, it wasn't necessary to look at any other defences, so saying that he isn't arguing that he didn't use is unfair.
Let's not have some form of blacklist here. I can accept that the penalties for repeat PED users should be higher, but once someone has served their time, they should be eligible to play, and clubs should offer them appropriate deals. MLB hardly has a glorious history when a player is miraculously not offered a contract, after all.
Also, I don't really see that it affects the reputation of the A's - if it goes wrong for baseball reasons, they just made a cheap signing that didn't work, and if Manny does something stupid, the world will just see it as Manny being an idiot again.
No, it's always posted significantly later than most or all of the day's content. I suspect that's because it is actually written on the day of publication, but it does look a little odd.
Poor child will be born into a deluge of #want. He better hope his father is prognosticating well that day, otherwise he'll have great difficulty explaining at school why his name is Jorge Gary Ronald Parks.
Must type faster in future.
Maybe Keith Law's analysis isn't the norm. Which bit of what was said do you disagree with, and why?
I think the problem is a lack of creativity. For example:
Tampa deal with the arbitration/free agency thing by offering extensions very early.
Other teams (Tampa and Toronto, for example) collected draft picks
Other teams go over-slot to counteract not having high picks (including Pittsburgh, KC and other low revenue teams)
Some teams really work hard on the international side of things, like Texas, and are reaping the dividends.
The A's mostly complain about how awful their situation is.
Would that mean you think he's likely to stick at second? Is it too early to say what sort of defender he might be there?
Insert usual question about how far down the three stars go.
When you say that Lavarnway's receiving is below average, would that imply that it's too bad for him to be the starting catcher for the Red Sox? Do you think they are most likely to use him as the back-up catcher/primary DH once Ortiz moves on?
I'd certainly welcome more systematic work on deeper prospects. The daily updates throughout the season are really useful, and Jason's content has given both a new perspective (which is good - I much prefer reading different informed views and coming to my own decisions based on what's said than some form of mushy groupthink) and a different focus, due to the unending pursuit of #want. Nonetheless, more stuff on things like breakout candidates, next year's draft, what happens to international prospects after they sign and so on, would be interesting. Note: Not trying to add further to Kevin's already heroic workload, but more just adding thoughts that BP may choose to act on in the future.
Certainly possible, given the account name change.
Yeah, that was more me being snarky than anything useful. I do take the point that you make about Pestano's extreme splits. Obviously, the good side of that is that he's elite against right-handers, and looks likely to continue to be so, given the 2010 stats that you found. How much would he have to improve against lefties to be the best closing option in Cleveland right now?
If the Indians wanted to be progressive, would the best solution not be to use Pestano as the closer most of the time and work in a LOOGY-type when they have someone like Prince Fielder coming up? I guess if I was Manny Acta, I might not mind leaving him in against weaker left-handed hitters, or if he was only likely to face one lefty in an inning. Given his AAA numbers as well, he seems very likely to continue to be lethal against right-handed hitters, and you would presumably want to use that in as high-leverage situations as possible.
The question at the end is what people who are not obnoxious tools call a reasonable question, rather than a soft-toss. It isn't really necessary to be insulting to ask a difficult question.
Especially given that dearth means the exact opposite of what he thinks it means.
I think it's a better proxy than draft order. I never said it was perfect.
The problem you are having is that you are sounding like an obnoxious tool.
Also, since when was 2 years enough time to judge a prospect list? Remind me how long it took for Alex Gordon to put up a really good season. Alternatively, you could always stop trolling, or provide us with a link to your own, far superior list.
Or probably not, once he comes up against pitchers and catchers who have an ability to control the running game.
James - how many impact players do you think have arrived in MLB since 2010? I'm going to give you a clue - it's significantly less than 101.
I'd suggest signing bonus might be a better proxy for ability than draft position.
At a glance, 17 out of 41 players on the Marlins roster could likely be of Latino origin. This is significantly less than the 65% of the population of Miami that is, in fact, Hispanic/Latino. But bash on, you don't generally care about the facts anyway.
It's hardly unfair to quote the man exactly, and then contextualise it by explaining the context in which he was speaking and how that might impact on his views. There is a clear distinction drawn between his views and those of actual racists.
One other thought - Vinnie Pestano against left-handers is pretty close to Chris Perez last year against hitters.
One thing that isn't clear to me is why it's possible for Pestano to be a competent set-up man with his arsenal (which he was last year) but not a competent closer. I accept managers may pinch-hit more in the 9th, but American league bench players are often not the best hitters in any case, so I'm not sure that there's a huge difference.
Another thing that I'd be curious about is whether there is data on his minor league results against left-handed hitters. I did look after you last mentioned this, but didn't see anything.
The one that surprised me was Luis Heredia. Given that he's 17, and scuffled in rookie ball, I'm somewhat surprised that he's rated so highly. I accept that he has a load of potential, but there are other similar young international players (Elier Hernandez, Ronald Guzman, Jeimer Candelario and so on) who also have huge potential. I wonder if you could explain why you chose to rank Heredia so highly, and not any of the others.
The other question I had would be how much of a difference it makes to Lavarnway's ranking if he can a) stick b) catch well enough to survive a couple of days a week or c) give up on catching altogether. Also interested in how you see his chances of sticking as of right now.
On the other hand, the hitting is utterly abysmal, much more so than the pitching is good, which gives you a distinctly below average grade overall, which is not good for an organisation that needs to get a lot out of its farm due to financial constraints.
They have no #want. They don't care.
I suspect a lack of #want here, to only be able to find one White Sox prospect worth mentioning. Admittedly, not as bad as the White Sox lack of #want for prospects though.
It's amazing how much Beane gets away with just because of his history. For example, the consensus view was that Arizona did pretty well in the Cahill deal - if Parker turns out as well as Cahill, you would have to be relatively pleased with that. Despite the perpetual moaning and excuse making about finances, other organisations have done significantly better with similar resources.
Pretty sure we had the exact same debate about Mike Minor last year, and the answer was that if the player was pretty much major league ready, and his floor was, say, a #4 major league starter, then 5 stars were entirely appropriate. I think those of us who play fantasy a lot sometimes forget how valuable a competent, cost-controlled number three starter who throws 200 innings a year is to a MLB club.
While putting Barney in a utility role may not be a bad thing, doing it by replacing him with a worse player seems a poor plan.
Why would MLB intervene as long as the club can pay their bills and meet their obligations? As the Pirates and other teams know, putting out a good team is not a requirement.
Also, the Mets are that far from being a contending team that signing most non-elite free agents would just be wasting money. They are better finding out what they have with their young players, and trying to rebuild sensibly.
The other reason to keep Harper in AA (which he hasn't mastered yet) is that he likely wouldn't be a huge upgrade to the MLB club yet.
Come on, please point out where Alan Wiggins was in any way glorified in the article.
Why do they think he is in any way ready to play in the bigs, if he can't yet deal with AA pitching? Surely giving him most of the season in the minors and not rushing him for no good reason would be a much better plan, especially when he's not yet going to be a huge upgrade.
Kevin, the biggest question with Cespedes seems to be with the hit tool. Would you feel comfortable to try to grade it, or at least put a range on it at this stage?
Usual question - how deep do the three stars go? And, as a follow-up, how deep would the two stars go here?
Also is Gregerson ahead of Cashner for the Padres? Trading Rizzo for a 7th inning guy would seem to be an obviously bad move, and the Padres don't appear to have confidence in Gregerson, or they would have let him close rather than trading for Street.
Yeah, he seems a fair way ahead of Sipp to me.
Just curious, but are these meant to be your ranking of the best five prospects in the system, or just five guys you find interesting to write about?
OK, lets look at it again. Things we know:
1. Nobody else would pay 9/$214m or more, or Fielder would not be a Tiger.
2. The best part of this contract is likely to be the beginning of the contract.
It therefore makes little sense for anyone to take on the last seven years of the contract, especially as they would be paying at least as high an AAV, and give up some sort of positive return in terms of prospects. Yeah, something could be done if the Tigers take on a different bad contract, or if they pay some of Fielder's salary, but otherwise, it makes little sense for the team receiving Fielder (especially as Votto will be a free agent at that point).
Nobody is saying that Fielder is totally untradeable (unless he has a no trade clause which is distinctly possible) - just that it's very unlikely the Tigers would get a significant return by doing so.
Kevin - were there signs if Aguilar improving his plate discipline at all? I thought that was at least one of the barriers to him being seen as a real prospect? Also, I'd be interested in your thoughts on his hit tool.
It's unlikely to be an option, because there is only one team in baseball that believes Fielder is worth 9/$214m (otherwise Fielder wouldn't be a Tiger right now). That won't change radically in a year's time or two years' time. Also, the fans would expect a vast return - "You're trading away Prince Fielder. How many top 20 prospects are we getting back?" "None" "I don't understand."
I preferred today's piece. Maybe this would work better if it focused on the more obscure/offbeat stuff. I just think that 200 words on the main story of the day is pretty pointless, and doesn't fit well with the BP brand, because the structure of the column dictates that you get weaker and less detailed analysis than that offered by other, free sites.
It doesn't matter how good his defence is if he hits 235/.285/.269, even excluding that hitting in the AL East is harder than hitting in AAA. There's a reason that all the top teams don't have elite glovemen who can't hit playing short, and that is that the defensive gains are more than lost due to offensive ineptitude.
I accept that, but the issue I have with it is really that it doesn't give the writer the opportunity to develop an argument properly. The reason that I pay for a subscription is to get informed and detailed analysis of a sort that isn't commonly available for free. It seems to me, and I accept that I might be in a minority here, that it isn't possible to do more than provide a basic sketch of an argument in the space that this column gets.
I do want to make it clear that I'm not having a go at Daniel, who for all I know may be a very talented writer. It's just that this format makes it very hard for him to demonstrate it.
If both sides of the deal are discussed properly in the Transaction Analysis article, then what's the point of this piece? I don't want to be unfair to Daniel, who is presumably writing what he's been asked to do, but I really don't see what benefit we get from a couple of hundred words of very basic analysis, when very similar content is available from a large number of different free sources.
I think that's exactly what you would expect, because the guys in a system like this are often too young to have ha dto move off short. In a year or two, you may have a couple of shortstops, a second baseman, a third baseman and a bust, instead of five shortstops.
I don't think he would have been a free agent until 2014 though.
The impression I get is that this is actually a reasonably well run system, which had the top-end cut off it due to the Ubaldo trade, and a number of graduations. They seem to be going the right way about rebuilding it, with a pretty good 2011 draft, and a lot of high-upside international guys. Fair?
Very hard seems a little excessive. Mildly irritating might be more accurate.
If Juan Francisco still had eligibility, what sort of report would he have got?
Also surprised that you have Hamilton over Mesoraco. If Hamilton might well not stick at short, and will never develop any power, I kind of struggle to see how he could ever be more valuable than Mesoraco, who seems likely to be a competent defensive catcher with the ability to hit for both decent average and good power.
Can we stop citing numbers like this which appear to suggest someone can't close, given that you can blow a save if you lose the lead in the 7th or 8th, but can't get credit for the save unless you finish the game. If we must use this data, surely we should include holds as being a successful result for these pitchers.
I wonder if that is the case. Certainly when I used to follow golf, there were players who were seen as not being able to handle the pressure of closing out a major championship - people like Scott "Hoch as in Choke". Obviously, it's difficult to tell when someone has blown an opportunity due to pressure, and when they executed well, but just got a poor result, but I wouldn't assume that it's automatically the case that everyone who can pitch competently can handle the pressure of closing.
To be honest, even a lot of the three star guys could be graded worse than that. This system really is awful.
Shame we can't get pay-quality comments with our subscriptions as well, really.
Have you ever had a reliever as the best prospect in a system before?
I support further mockery of Luke Scott for his stupidity, but the deal does make sense for them. We know this because Jon Heyman thinks the Rays would have been better to keep Johnny Damon.
Please stop feeding the troll that is Jon Heyman.
I think the problem with the interviews was that it had to be done every week, and there are not enough interesting people to talk to. I saw some of the ones that David carried out on another site, and thought they were very interesting, but it might work better as something that is done as and when there's actually an opportunity to talk to someone interesting who has something innovative to say.
Except that he gets hit more often than average (for him) in a 3-0 count, which is not what you would expect if the 2-0 thing was anything other than chance.
Maybe, if Rob thinks that there is evidence that Edgar Martinez is more likely to be a steroid user than Derek Jeter, he could lay out what that evidence is. Otherwise, I suspect it's nothing more than hearsay/people's personal dislikes and biases, and, in my view, to treat people differently on that basis is pretty contemptible.
Indeed, Derek Jeter has shared a clubhouse with several known steroid users. Are you sure this isn't just so and so is seen as being a good guy fundamentally, and thus could never have used, or is thus significantly less likely to have used?
Finding 5 White Sox prospects to discuss will require considerable #want.
I'm not sure what this tells us, to be honest. I'd expect older teams generally to be in a win now (or now and the next few seasons) mode, which fits with the data - most teams make the post-season relatively quickly, with a few missing out because their roster has finally just become too old and worn out, and they need to rebuild.
The teams with most youth, on the other hand, will be those in the middle of a big rebuild, who may not get to the playoffs for a long time, which is pretty much what the results seem to suggest
Teah. The only reason this is a story is because the Mets were too stupid to say something like "We fully support R.A. Dickey's commendable efforts to help others, and we'll be donating $1000 to the charity."
I saw an interview with Billy Beane where he said that, if they were moving to San Jose, they would likely be rebuilding with the intention of being competitive when they got there. This, plus recent specularion on the move, suggests to me that they may be making their moves knowing that they will be moving.
The difference between the Cards and the best NPB teams is probably about the same as the difference between Barca and the best non-European sides, in that you might lose a one-off game, but there is a considerable gulf in quality between the two sides in both cases.
Your initial summation for Morrison is a touch misleading, given that the question with him was always whether the home run power would come - last year appears to have answered that, and that his demotion to AAA was largely unrelated to his performance. The future average, as you point out, is not a problem, so it seems reasonable to anticipate him hitting .270 or .280 with 20+HR, in an increasingly good lineup.
The only problem, of course, is that the site is set up to allow you to determine your own viewing threshold. If you want to see the post, you just click on it. That kind of makes most of your points irrelevant, although I would agree that people do minus things too readily if they disagree with them, rather than if they are in some way objectionable.
I'd be interested in your thoughts on Matt Lollis - his strikeouts and walks look not too bad - nearly a K/inning and K/BB over 2.5. A lot of the problems he had seem to be related to the Cal League, and things that, in the bigs, would be seen as luck-related - poor BABIP and strand rate. I know that with prospects, these can also be evidence of problems, so I'd appreciate any thoughts you might have.
Also, does it make it difficult to evaluate Padres' pitching prospects, when they play in a bunch of hitting friendly parks in the minors, and then will come up to play in Petco?
Jason, have you ever met Verducci, and does he know about this piece? If he does, do you know what he thought of it?
Have you managed to make a post that hasn't been hidden yet?
God, I hope we don't get all the "I don't dislike gay people, but I was horribly offended by that article" comments again.
Moore presumably decided to accept this deal, so I doubt he's that keen on firing his agent. Especially as he now, if he's sensible, will never have to worry about money again, even if he blows out his elbow or shoulder in the first week of next season. I think what people forget with deals like this is that the first however many millions are insanely more useful to a player than anything he will earn later, especially for a player like Moore, who wasn't a high draft pick. If he wanted to gamble, he would have told the Rays to come back in a year or two, but he's now pretty much set up for life, which he wasn't last week. Hard to criticise him for that, and sensible for the Rays to take advantage.
The standard across other sports is that a positive A test and a negative B test is a negative test, presumably on the basis that the result cannot be duplicated and is therefore unreliable. It should also be said that a positive A and negative B test is so rare as to be virtually unheard of.
Would do it if you can start it early enough that it works for people based in Europe.
Does a torn ACL tend to have any long-term consequences - reduced speed or agility, or greater difficulty in catching, or is it something that, once healed, is not an issue?
Isn't the size of the Marlins new park likely to boost Sanchez's value a bit?
Given that Reyes is unlikely to play 162 games a year, is Hanley likely to fill in at short when he doesn't play? Depending on your settings, he could retain SS eligibility that way for a while.
Is there not a real risk here that Miami end up stuck with a couple of untradably bad contracts, minimal crowds and not enough money coming in to pay the bills? Suppose they sign Pujols and him and Reyes get off to Crawford/Werth style starts. The Marlins would have to absorb a huge amount of salary to move them then.
Molina is more than a minor prospect. There are a variety of opinions on his potential, some of which are higher than Kevin's - John Sickels, for example, has Molina as the second best Toronto prospect in a very good farm system. In any case, if you get a solid cost-controlled starter out of the deal, that's a pretty good return for any reliever.
Also, there's really no way of knowing whether the White Sox asked for more or not. Personally, I think they would be better to take one good prospect than three or four lottery tickets.
Whoever closes this year is not really important, if they really are trying to rebuild. In the longer term, Addison Reed looks very likely to get the job.
Yeah, I don't really see how it's a win for the Rockies at all.
Not really sure what all the big decisions are for Houston that need to be made at the Winter Meetings. They shouldn't be significant players for free agents, and Wandy Rodriguez is probably the only important asset left. His value will go up as the starting pitching options available diminish, so he wouldn't be moved early on in any case.
And then they lowered the mound, which was the first step in the pussification of America.
Because you're then pretty much guaranteeing that people will continue to use the old data that they are more familiar with, even though it's now substandard? Surely, if the point of WARP is to demonstrate how much better a player is than the idealised "replacement player", if we can now do a better job of that, then we should?
I think KG said somewhere that no pitching prospect is odds-on to become an ace. Even someone like Moore is still more likely than not to fall short for any number of reason.
The problem is that to rebuild, and counteract the advantage that big market teams have through being able to spend heavily on free agents, it takes more talent than you can get through simply spending your quota of money in the draft. That's why the Pirates, for example, as well as signing Cole and Taillon over the last couple of years, also spent heavily on players like Allie and Bell (which they wouldn't be able to do under the new CBA). This makes the rebuild in Pittsburgh that much slower than before.
Other teams spend heavily on international youngsters - the Rangers for example, don't have a huge payroll, but have spent heavily in Latin America to build up the farm. This is also not allowed any more. The Rays have an academy in Brazil, but this does them little good now, as they have to register all prospects, giving other teams the chance to sign them too, and they will find it that much harder to take young talent away from soccer, where the very best youngsters can earn many millions by 20-21.
The teams that will actually benefit from this are the ones, say like the White Sox, who have chosen not to spend time or money on young talent, although they have the resources to do so if they wanted to. I would suspect that under these rules, you could put together an acceptable draft just from paying slot, and reading about the young players on the internet.
It's pretty much an arbitrary cutoff to deal with the problem of a player being cut right at the end of spring training, and not being able to get a job anywhere else even if he is actually good enough to play, simply because rosters are fixed by that point.
That's true, actually. I always read all the below the threshold ones. They probably get more attention than the mundane comments do.
I think you're right, but it's very difficult to accumulate a lot of picks because draft pick compensation has been cut way back, and that teams no longer have an option to go significantly over-slot for a range of players. As a practical example, under the new system, I'm pretty sure that the Pirates still get Taillon and Cole over the last couple of years. Having done that, I think there is no chance that they can stretch for additional players of the order of Allie and Bell, which makes their rebuidling process that much slower and longer.
Because that's about mature talent - there is also an exception for Cuban players who are older than 23, and have played professionally for 3 years.
Minusing doesn't remove your comments - it just means people can choose not to read them if they don't want to. Given the comments that you made, that seems entirely reasonable. Also, BP has no obligation to allow you full free speech rights on their website, as you undoubtedly know.
What the draft actually does is stop any team getting too much young talent. The talent that is there (and there probably will be somewhat less than before) will be spread more evenly around the 30 clubs. The reason that this is a bad thing is that, to rebuild, you need to get significantly more than your fair share of young talent, and it's much harder to do this now.
Except that the problem is not that all the big market teams sign the best players. It's the intelligent teams that sign the best players, whether they are big or small market - teams like Pittsburg, KC and so on now have a much harder job to be competitive.
On a more serious level, the caps on spending for international young players are probably one of the most important (and worst) parts of the CBA, and should really have been mentioned in the article.
Regrettably, your comments are still there for everyone to see. The good thing is that they are likely to influence people in a significantly more liberal direction.
I also wish to have the right to post asinine drivel without other people being able to have the right to comment on it, or vote it down.
Richardkr34 is a fool, some say.
Why are you going through all the threads here accusing assorted players of being racists?
@JimmyJack - A modesty grade of 30 or so, as well?
Eh, nobody? There aren't 11 guys who merit five stars before playing in pro ball every year. Who do you think that was left would have been a better choice?
When was a win worth $2 million? I thought it was closer to $5mill?
The slightly scary thing about the Rangers is that, if they choose to spend some money they have the potential for a couple of massive upgrades at first base and in the rotation.
On the other hand, they could do something like use McGehee/Greem at 3rd, sign a halfway competent SS like, say, Scutaro, and sign someone who can field well at first, say Pena. Even the Brewers farm can come up with some bullpen pieces, and Peralta could, as Kevin said, fill out the back end of the rotation, which is pretty much all that's required, given that they have Greinke/Gallardo/Marcum as a very decent top 3. I would imagine that the pitchers may also have better luck with a more competent infield behind them.
More of an error by the Cubs, really. The Red Sox could have realised that they would maximise their leverage by negotiating once the Cubs decided they wanted Epstein.
Keith Law said in his chat today that Rany's findings were not entirely new, and that some teams (he mentioned the Cards and the As) were already taking this into account. That might be a good place to start looking.
Also, for requests - Josh Johnson. I know you might need to consult the medical gurus on that one, but I'd like your thoughts on him.
Re: Garcia - there's really nothing about the way that he pitches, or the park that ought to cause a huge difference in his pitching results. If anything, as a guy who gets a load of grounders, that should minimise park effects somewhat. Without an explanation as to why he's so good at home, and very mediocre on the road, are we not best just to chalk it up to chance. I'd really like to know, because I think I have him in three different keeper leagues.
Forgot to ask for Ryan Roberts, if you feel he counts primarily as a 3B.
Pedro Alvarez, please. Also, Paul Konerko and Carlos Pena would be interesting.
If you're taking requests, Jaime Garcia and Colby Lewis please.
As far as I can make out, the argument seems to be that wild card teams are doing well, so we should scrap the wild card. But one of the main reasons that we have the wild card is to make sure that we have the best teams in the postseason, so I'm not sure why the fact that they are doing well (potentially indicating that they are indeed good enough to merit a postseason place) is an argument for scrapping the wilc card.
Additionally, I was always aware that a team that lost a five game series could have come back to win a 7 game series. I'm unsure why that is news, or why it's an argument to change the length of a series. I can see people might like 7 game series all the way through, but an actual argument as to why this might be better would be useful.
Also, if someone could reformat the tables so that they work, this would make the article much more readable.
Finally, and I'm not an expert here, but some indication of issues of sample size and significance would help to evaluate whether there is actually anything interesting going on here, or if we are just seeing randomness at work.
When do we get to the point with Morrow that we start to consider he may be something of an anomaly?
Are we not about at the stage when we can give up on the idea that Jose Iglesias will ever be the starting shortstop in Boston? He just can't hit enough, however good his glove is.
Or, alternatively, they could, you know, try to make the best of it, and deal with the bad behaviour, make it a better place for families and so on. They aren't going to be moving to San Jose any time soon, so they would do much better just getting on with things.
The A's payroll this year was higher than 8 other teams, including several who have been very competitive, such as Arizona and Tampa Bay, as well as others who appear to be much closer to building successful teams, such as Toronto and Washington. It seems to me to be an excuse for persistent poor performance to say that the situation is hopeless. Several other teams are in a significantly worse situation, and appear to be making a better go of things.
The attendances show that people are willing to come out for a winning team, but that the As don't seem able to put one out there. I get the impression that they are using the whole ballpark issue to avoid dealing with other problems, such as their farm's apparent inability to produce hitters that can contribute at an MLB level. Yeah, they can't go out and buy in expensive free agents, but there are many other teams in the same situation there. I'm not really seeing why their situation is as hopeless as they make out, except perhaps that Billy Beane can't fix it, so it must be unfixable. Maybe it's time to get someone new in instead.
It would be interesting to expand this work a bit, and try to eliminate factors such as the opposition (for example, the Rays run more than just about any other team in baseball - how much does playing them 18 times a year affect the results), and the pitching staff (people run more against Boston because Wakefield is pretty easy to steal off, whoever is catching). Also curious whether there is much of a difference between different catchers on the same team - how much more do people run on Varitek than Saltalamacchia, and so on?
More a case of nothing else working, so why not try something new, I guess. I'm curious whether the Rockies tried to change Matzek's delivery at all, and then found that they had broken him and couldn't put him back together again. Alternatively, he may just have had a very good high school coach.
Any thoughts on people who are likely to close in 2012, but aren't this year? Parnell seems a prime candidate, but is there anyone else?
Would have thought that Pence is a significant upgrade on Brown for this year, but that both of them are better than Ibanez.
Could you not get much closer to a definitive answer if you looked at the pictures in pairs taken at the same instant. For example, the third last photo from the high third base view looks like there is some contact. If there isn't, it would be because of the way in which the glove and Lugo's leg are aligned with the camera. Should it not be possible to check that by looking at the corresponding picture from central field, given the different angles involved. (assuming that the central field view isn't blocked).
Brandon Flowers is someone different, no?
Given that even a casual reading of Kevin Goldstein's work would tell you that Altuve has been having a breakout season, I'd have to agree that some more current analysis really should have been provided here.
I'm not suggesting that Red Sox fans dislike Ortiz. I think most people who are not Yankees or Red Sox fans tend not to find them overly appealing.
This article doesn't work, because most people don't perceive Ortiz as being some sort of lovable hero.
So they pretended it was broken so that people like you could make unsupported insinuations that their star player was a cheat. That doesn't make a lot of sense.
So, to sum up. You know more about brokem bones than doctors, just because you do. Medical degrees are irrelevant in understanding medical issues. Pujols was taking HGH to heal a bone that wasn't broken in the first place.
The HGH post is pretty lame unless you have some evidence to back it up.
I'm not sure how adding a fourth (or maybe fifth or sixth) mediocre option at second base helps the Rockies in any way.
I would guess Flores isn't mentioned because he's unlikely to stick at short. Whether he's doing well enough to be included at other positions is another question.
Slightly surprised that you would see Weeks as being a better prospect than Kipnis. Any particular reasons for that?
Just looking at this from the point of who might be a first division starter one day, or even someone you might roster as your 1B in a not immensely deep fantasy league - would that be restricted to Montero, Carter, Goldschmidt, maybe Borchering/Davidson. Anyone else?
Given that the Yankees are bunting less successfully than average, I doubt they are doing it strategically when the opposition defend in such a way that it could be the right move.
Pretty clear that "politically correct estrogen-based gayness" on the other hand, is suggesting that people who don't agree are gay.
The persistent assumption that new people can't be as good, or even better than their predecessors is getting a little dull.
High quality arguments here. It's always been like that, and if you don't like it, you must be gay. Is that really the best you can come up with?
Is Pedro Alvarez another buy low option just now? How about as a long term option in a dynasty league?
This doesn't totally work though, because a team can't go back and change a pick once it's made. Until then, a team can more easily choose a player that they believe will be more easily signed, but once the pick is made, then the player has more leverage.
Sorry, that was supposed to be a follow-up to lemppi's post further up. BP commenting is hard to do correctly.
As an add-on to this - what proportion of save situations ought to be pitched by the best reliever? I suppose I was thinking about closers by committee, and that, while there is the odd situation where someone else ought to close (three lefties due up, or three run lead facing the bottom of the order or whatever), most of the time, you would just want the best reliever who hasn't pitched yet out there. Is the real problem then that closers should be used much more frequently in key situations earlier in the game, in the same way that the Red Sox appear to be using Daniel Bard this year?
What are the most harmful mistakes that teams make by ignoring sabermetric advice?
Also, how does sabermetrics make itself more relevant - it seems to me that sometimes more and more good work is done, only to be ignored by much of the media and baseball as a whole.
Best wishes to David, and thanks for all the interviews that you've done over the years. I do think it would help if BP sought feedback from subscribers before making decisions like this. I'm not one of those who thinks that the sky is falling because different people have come in and are providing different content, but unilateral decisions like this don't really help.
Who would be next in line in Seattle, if League were to lose his job (assuming Aardsma is out for a couple of months anyway)?
Anonymous sources probably mean that we get something more than "Miguel Cabrera is quite good at baseball.". Seriously, does it matter who exactly said it?
I suspect that he was minused because of the unnecessarily confrontational way that he posted, rather than because of his failure to understand the joke. (And no, I didn't minus him, even though it was a pretty poor post).
Is Logan Morrison due back soon? I remember suggestions that this might be a lot longer than a minimum DL stint, but the team seem to be working on the basis that he will be back reasonably quickly.
"Players noted with an asterisk are available in less that 50 percent of ESPN or Yahoo leagues."
You think the Braves have a 72% chance to beat the Marlins? That seems very optimistic, and surprising that the bookmakers would get this so badly wrong.
What would make this even more useful would be to have clips showing examples of what is and isn't OK in the various situations. I know there may be copyright issues, but, if these could be overcome, it would help to make things more real.
As a five star prospect with massive potential, Stetson Allie must be shorter than 100,000-1, you would have thought.
You could have one symbol for less than 50% ownership and another for less than 20% ownership.
I realise this is probably just me failing at reading, but what do the stars mean?
Excellent, someone else has made the nitty comment about odds. Every time I read one of these articles, the misunderstanding of the odds irritates me, but I keep feeling it's not important enough to make a fuss about.
I thought last year that Kevin didn't understand fully how these odds work, but I never bothered to comment about it. For example, 3-2 is not an overwhelming favourite, but is actually a 40% shot. The odds as expressed here suggest that nobody has more than a 50% chance of being the number one prospect, but reading the article, Machado, for example, appears to be almost a lock to be the O's number one prospect next year.
They would say that, wouldn't they? Seriously, nobody is going to say that Albert could be traded in July if the Cardinals are out of the running, but, if he had a chance to go to a playoff team, and the Cards felt they had no chance of resigning him, why wouldn't he be traded?
That's not really a fair comparison, though, as there are very few shortstops that get taken in rounds 2-4. You are fine with 1B if you get someone up to about Morales, but there is a big drop off after that. I'm not sure that Hanley + a bargain 1B is better than Albert + a bargain SS.
I would suggest that you use the "Contact Us" link at the bottom of the home page.
Must stop spamming thread
Are BP readers
Making more haikus
Is a good way not to work
Here comes dismissal!
We need more haikus
Not quite sure why we do, but
get writing, people.
Cannot write haikus
But I like his username
I disagree with the bit about having fewer medical details. I think it's both interesting and educational, but trying to make a point of giving some info on time out, and how, if at all, it will impact when someone does come back would be useful.
Also, the more detailed report suggests that there is still improvement required on both sides of the plate, and I assume that both of those are required for Sanchez to be above average. Players like Rosario have an elite ceiling, and are thus ranked higher.
Anyway, Kevin is doing a chat this afternoon, so you might do better to ask him yourself - link is on the front page.
It seems that Kevin sees Sanchez's ceiling as being above-average, rather than, say, elite or All-Star. I think this, coupled with the time missed due to injuty would suggest the ranking is reasonable. It's hardly an unusual position - Sanchez doesn't crack MLB's top 10 catching prospects, for example.
If you fancied looking at some players who are already out, I would be interested in thoughts on Johan Santana.
Presumably because, in many of the cases where another team gets enough wins to get the wild card, they would now win the division because the Cards are that much weaker.
He's at number 18.
Good to have you on board. I wonder if you might want to do a few more general articles on topics like the impact of wrist injuries on hitters and elbow and shoulder injuries on pitchers. I know I would find this useful and interesting - almost to have some sort of reference on the impact of the different types of injuries that players frequently suffer.
I had hoped that it didn't need said. People are either less perceptive than I thought, or the moralists are out in force again.
Personally, I feel that this comment has nothing to do with baseball, and should not have been made on a website like Baseball Prospectus.
It's one article. You don't like it, fine, but this seems a bit of an over-reaction.
But the world is a much better place if we just pretend it doesn't.
Given this, I find it shocking that the article above refers to a Prince Albert.
The ancient Greeks thought their soldiers fought better if they had a homosexual relationship with one of their comrades, so maybe there is a legitimate analysis question here.
More articles like this please. If you don't like it, don't read it. If you're still really bothered, then don't renew your subscription. Maybe next time, just put "Don't click here if you are easily offended." as the link, and we can avoid most of the moaning.
Would be interesting to know the number of triples that were hit in each decade, given that they are (I think) very much park-dependent. Also, I'd like to know how many players managed to hit .330 over a season in each decade.
I did ask for Nolan Reimold, but I might have missed him.
Really good article. More of these for other teams would be really useful - Angels, White Sox, and maybe for other reasons, Minnesota and Seattle.