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(Congrats.....this gig is long overdue)
Now will you tell us what you have on Michael Keaton?
I think a passive approach can come from a lack of confidence, too. Will Middlebrooks does it all the time. He's "worked" full counts several times and watched strike three when you could see he had no intention of swinging to begin with.
What team is finally hiring you?
Great stuff....Tim Anderson is with the White Sox, not Red Sox.
Obviously I know Zobrist is 6-3 vs Mookie's 5-9.
Seeing how he's blocked at 2b in Boston, and assuming Boston wants to keep him, when would you start the transition to other positions? Would you send him to the AFL and ask the coaches to play him everywhere? I think that's where Billy Hamilton made the transition from SS>CF. In a perfect world he would become a Ben Zobrist type....somebody capable of holding his own all over the diamond until establishing himself in some sort of regular role.
Fun fact, Ramsey and Piscotty were on the same Cape League team.
I wanted to bring up the 2011 Royals system too. There was an episode of Up and In when the fellas discussed the Royals system and joked about how the Royals will probably only get two MLB regulars out of the group. A few years later and, unfortunately, that's closer to a reality.
Sounds to me like it would be a combination of his mechanics and a straight fastball.
I think you're exactly right. I think it also depends on where Appel gets drafted and how much he's paid. If Appel shows that the whole "senior sign" idea doesn't matter if there's significant talent to back it up (earning him a top 1 or 2 pick), then I'd think it would be more likely that a player coming off a disappointing junior season returns to school.
I guess this is a long way of saying, I don't know what the hell is going to happen.
I'm curious if we'll see a player pull an Appel and return to school for their senior year. Depending on where they're drafted, Wilson and Manaea would seem likely to be candidates, don't you think?
I had to do a bunch of yard work and driving recently so I downloaded a few of the Up & In eps to pass the time.
Did we ever figure out who Not Jim Tracy is? Is it Goldman?
Thanks for getting these things up for us right away. It's great to start the day off with this info.
JP....on the podcast you mentioned repeatedly that you weren't a fan of doing big lists like this. Has your opinion changed now that you've cranked out your first 101?
I'm curious to see if Jagielo develops at third like you guys say. I saw him quite a bit and it was a flip of a coin as to whether he fielded a ball cleanly....grounders, easy pop-ups in foul territory...he made them all look incredibly difficult.
JP...great Beatles quote from one of my favorites. You've let it be known that you're not a huge fan of "the list" but when in Rome.....can we get a Beatles Top 10 in the comments?
Awesome. Please fill us in on what you see.
I watched him a lot this summer, and I really like him. The raw is 70+. The arm is 70+. It's just the utility of both that I think we need to question. I completely agree with you, his size is giving him problems at the plate because there are holes in his swing and he has to improve his pitch recognition. His arm is so strong but it didn't seem natural to me. I didn't feel like he could rely on his ability to charge and come up firing. There was too much of a pause between fielding/throwing. That's something that's fixable though.
With regards to a move to left sooner rather than later, I don't see the quickness that's reported. His times to first in the multiple looks I had, were a lot slower than anticipated. From a "not a scout" perspective it seemed like he runs a little too much side to side and not enough straight line. Keeping all that in mind, I feel like his range left a lot to be desired.
Again, I really like Wilson, and I'd love to see him put up an enormous season this spring, but I'm just a little bit more skeptical than most.
Any concern over Austin Wilson's size? I had him in the 4.6/7 range down the line this summer. I think he can handle RF for a while, especially with his arm (although his release is slow), but a move to LF is coming sooner than most think.
If it's me, I'd still put Machado there IF the Orioles still believe he's the shortstop of the future. It'll be interesting to see what happens. If I had to guess the O's will leave Machado at third while Hardy is still with the org.
Understood, and that makes perfect sense in 2012. I think they should put Machado back at SS and Hardy at 3B next year though.
In my opinion it is but it's such a slippery slope. Do you trade one of the middle infielders (including Andrus)? Do you trade two or three of them? There's no right or wrong answer to make at this time as long as the deal makes sense. Teams have to be careful to deal from a surplus while limiting all their eggs from being in one proverbial basket. I remember a podcast where Kevin and Jason talked about the loaded (at the time) Royals farm system. They listed off all these 5 star prospects and then joked, I'm paraphrasing some memory so cut me some slack, "And they'll be lucky to get one major league regular from this list..." Looking back I'm sure the Royals could've made a deal or two that would like absolutely brilliant now but it's impossible to determine that two years ago.
At the same time, I think teams are a little too hesitant to see if there's another way to make surplus' work. All this talk of trading Andrus makes me scratch my head. We don't know what Jurickson Profar will be. We have an idea of what he could be but that's far from fool proof. If the Rangers can get maximum value for Andrus, then they should consider a trade. I just think in this day and age it's so difficult to get maximum value for a player of Andrus' ability.
That's why I applaud the Orioles for being creative and bringing Machado up to play 3B this year. Although, if Machado is their SS of the future, why not put him at SS and put Hardy at 3B?
Sorry for rambling.
I'm psyched to see this added into the mix.
I thoroughly enjoyed this line.
This is great. If at all possible, when amateur seasons get going, is there any way we can convince you guys to report on some of the top high school/college talents?
Whenever I read about Ranaudo, I get the feeling that he came into spring training out of shape. Do you think there's any truth to that?
Well, fringy defense matters in fantasy, doesn't it? If you read that a player with fringy defense in left field and has to move to first base shortly down the road, that will impact your fantasy team because suddenly a prospect you're penciling into your outfield may not qualify there if he's a 1b. And, will the bat profile there?
I think we, as readers, are smart enough to translate what KG/Jason (or if you read Keith and BA) say into how that impacts a fantasy roster.
I don't understand how their writing needs to be more fantasy-baseball focused. The write-ups and reports on players are in depth so you should be able to figure out how that translates into fantasy baseball.
God damn. I'm mad and I'm incredibly happy. Congrats KG. You deserve this. You've educated so many of us and there's nothing we can do to thank you enough.
Maybe some other team values him as a third baseman?
F. I just saw the post above me that said you're not stopping. I should've listened before commenting....but my point doesn't change...
Fitting title to the end that hits home for me. This show taught me how little I knew (and know) about our favorite sport. I watch games, analyze prospects and front office decisions in a completely different way now and I have you both to thank for it.
Thanks for all your hard work. To say that you guys went above and beyond is an understatement. This was, without a doubt, the highlight of my baseball week for the last 100 episodes. 80 informative...at times 80 humor...80 guests....80 listeners/listeners of the week. You guys are both 80s. KG's mom is a "Billy Hamilton's speed is an 80 only because that's as high as we can go" 80.
Now that all is said and done, and we're going to all shower you guys with praises.....seriously, Jason.....what dirt do you have on Michael Keaton and Val Kilmer?
Yea, same thing. I work in finance, force of habit. 100m = $100,000...100mm = $100,000,000. Sorry for the confusion.
5 more Ks today...Still, for 100m, it's a worthwhile investment for the Red Sox.
Have you ever seen anything like Shaq Green-Thompson's line before? Not that BP readers need a reminder, but in case you do, baseball is a tough sport....
It's a tough task for kids to play their HS/college season, then deal with the build-up to the draft/signing process while continuing to work out. For them to step out on the field in pro ball and perform out of the gate is fantastic. If they don't perform, oh well, maybe the player needs a deep breath and re-focus in the offseason. I don't think either are terribly indicative.
This is an incredibly awesome series. Great work, as usual.
How much do hitters practice facing non-fastball pitches? It seems like it would be a tough thing to do because I doubt a team would want to send out their top arms throwing 100% in practice just so their hitters can practice tracking/hitting non-fastballs? I'm sure pitching machines can mirror the action of a pitch but it's not the same as picking up the ball out of a pitcher's hand.
I'm pretty sure Ellsbury is a free agent after 2013.
At what point do you draw the line between small sample size and a loss, or change, of talent? I'm asking because of Adrian Gonzalez. If you watched him at the plate right now, you'd never think he'd have the track record of a superstar. Has he always been off balance and falling into the plate when he swings? If you watched a prospect with that type of swing, what would you say?
Sorry for rambling. Thanks for doing what you do and I hope things settle down in your personal life.
I remember this game. If I remember correctly, the play he made on Delgado was extremely impressive as he picked it off a short hop and tagged Delgado in one motion.
He's a converted SS
KG, are you ready for all the Marrero/Iglesias questions?
That's a cool and fun thing to do.
There were concerns about him before the injury. Lots of swing and miss. I got to see him a lot on the Cape and after getting off to a hot start, teams would exploit him with nothing but offspeed stuff.
Before I get a minus 100 on this, I really hope there's no end in sight for the podcast.
I'm curious if there are any subtle references in this one about episode 100 being the end....
I had a line drive foul ball clank off my hands one time, it doesn't hurt as much as you think. Your adrenaline kicks in. The mental anguish of watching the ball roll away and down the ramp to anybody willing to bend over and pick it up was unbearable though.
if I could give you a plus 1 million, I would.
Maddux didn't always sit in the 80s...he pitched into into the low-mid 90s in his younger days.
You also have a bit of flexibility with where you look for a hotel. The science center is a few blocks from Kenmore Square so you can take catch the T right there. That'll free you up to find hotels near the green line.
False, plenty of women attended last year but the crowd was mostly men.
How do you notice a pitcher losing his release point?
I went last year, outstanding stuff. I highly recommend attending the event. The speakers are informative, interesting, and accessible for discussion during breaks. It's well worth the money and it all goes to the Jimmy Fund.
RE: Scouts' views/Bard&Cook.....Cook gets ground balls at an incredible rate but his K rate is beyond horrible. It's the worst career mark of any pitcher with 1000+ innings since 1990. Plus the leftside of the Sox infield isn't exactly built to have such an extreme groundball pitcher on the mound. He's going to get lit up.
Cook is not a solution.
How do you tell if a hitter has strong hands? Is it the control of the barrel through the contact point?
Doesn't John Perrotto provide that stuff in his column:
Kevin, are the Red Sox going to call up Owens to the big leagues this year?
I kid, I kid.
Good point RE: Bundy
Can you make any sense of the Owens lines so far?
It also hurts his trade value.
This was awesome.
While I enjoy all of your work, I'm usually not in the, "this is the best one yet!" crowd. (cue Larry David) Having said that, this was your best diary entry yet. It captures your insanity (a compliment) and plenty of baseball talk. Really great stuff.
Great recap, as usual.
RE: Banuelos, you said, "a fastball that shows intimidating velocity on the radar gun but doesn’t seem to intimidate minor-league hitters..."
Could this be because he's on the shorter side? A shorter pitcher should, theoretically have less extension than a taller pitcher. Less extension means that hitters get an extra fraction of a second to look at the pitch which would, presumably, mean that his 95 mph heat looks a little more like 92-93 to the hitter. Do you think this plays a role?
Keep up the great work.
Speaking of Dirk...this is really excellent:
Nice NWA reference on Desmond Henry.
Brown is old for the level and 2.5 years older than Marisnick.
Stupid random question of the day: how close do you need to be to the action to produce a reliable reading on a gun? Is my reading less reliable if I'm standing 100 feet away as opposed to 50 feet?
1:58:13 JP: "Can Jesus stop it?"
Funniest moment in Up and In history?
I saw Carpenter recently on the Cape...in the words of Larry David..."Ehhhh"
Wow. Listening to you guys try to breakdown the trade deadline while tying in your prospect expertise was outstanding. Well done.
Yea, I think it comes down to need. If they think Lavarnway makes their team better, they'll drop Randy Williams/Atchison or Sutton (when Lowrie returns) because his value drops quite a bit. They could DFA any of those 3 in favor of Lavarnway. They need to add Lavarnway to the 40 in the off-season anyways.
Last night the O's threw Mark Worrell. This is the ugliest delivery I've seen in a while. Can anybody name an uglier delivery?
Here's Worrell... http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=17030543&topic_id=8879838&c_id=mlb
Lavarnway isn't on the 40 man so you may be right, he may not see MLB in 2011.
I can't remember the last time he spent time writing up somebody old for their given league. When there's a player young for the league, he usually says so. I guess you could just assume the player is appropriately aged unless stated otherwise.
I'm not in disagreement with you. It would've been great to have a prospect guy in the booth.
It's like KG said a while ago in a podcast or chat or both....we're in the minority. Most viewers don't associate themselves with the KG/Callis/KLaws of the scouting world. If Sutcliffe said, "Wow...Harper's power is an easy 80 grade," most people in the viewing audience would think, "wait....why not 90 or 100?"
We (the minority) are going to watch the Futures game no matter what.
Well...they've given up talent in trades. Rizzo is putting up a monster season, granted it's for the Padres, but he was solid last season too. Hagadone is in the AAA pen now.
But, yea, it seems like their pitchers are off to a rough start this year. Ranaudo has been......good?....I'm trying to think of another word. He hasn't been as dominant as I think he should've been in Low-A but he wasn't getting lit up. Brentz, on the other hand, was old for the league and raked. I think we expected Ranaudo to do the same on the mound.
Pimentel and Britton have been awful this year. I'd love to hear what the scouts are saying about these to. Are their deliveries out of whack? Injury buried in their arms?
"Cozart is no slouch himself with the glove"
Ty Webb: Don't sell yourself short Judge, you're a tremendous slouch.
Do the other teams laugh and call them names? Because....that would be awesome.
Stupid question: Is there an internal database that MLB shows to the teams real time, to show who's available and who hasn't picked? Is it just up to the teams to follow and take note of who's picked on their internal software?
Sox fan here...tough season for the Sox prospects so far. Ranaudo was good in low A but with less dominance than I had hoped.
I think the best bet is on one of the 2011 draftees sitting on top of next year's Top 11.
KG, it seems like we hear several scenarios where a team tries a player out a more premier position before moving him down the defensive spectrum. It sounds like it's going to happen with Ackley, last I heard reports on Lawrie are improving but still not to the point of comfort, and then there's Montero who needs no additional discussion.
Can you think of any players who were asked to play a more premium position (that's not their "traditional" position) and they actually flourished?
As, presumably, a Pirates fan, who do you want them to draft? For a while I hoped they'd take Cole but now I'm back to Rendon. This is a pick the Pirates can't afford to screw up and I think Rendon is the safer pick who'll still provide plenty of upside.
Honestly, I didn't even think of it but appreciate the offer. I just ordered one from Amazon....you guys deserve a commission.
Thanks. Good to meet you at the seminar (spoke with you during day one's lunch RE: Cape League).
Anybody remember what stopwatch most scouts use during games?
Gary Sanchez's homer was off of Ranaudo, which is impressive.
What are the scouts saying about ZVR? Has the velocity ticket up or is it poor command to go along with 87-89 MPH?
Yea. I think it's the type of situation where crushing it doesn't prove much but if he struggled then it would lead to some concern.
I can tell you it takes me a solid hour to click through them all and that's not writing down any notes, not researching many players during the process ("Oh, player XYZ when 3 for 5 with 2 homers tonight, what are his splits on the year?"), and know about 12.2% of the players that Kevin knows. I'm guessing it takes him at least 2 hours.
Another question to KG: do you go by league: AAA, then AA, then A+ etc or do you search out specific games or specific teams?
Couldn't have said it any better.
My thoughts exactly. What a hell of a story.
KG, any word on how hard ZVR threw?
I can't explain how happy I am to have this daily post back.
I think we should retire the phrase, "....on the 20-to-80 scouting scale."
I don't think the Red Sox gave up on Hanley. You need to give up talent to get talent.
Huge fan of this column. It's kind of depressing to think about prospects this way, "If all these things don't go wrong, the player could reach their potential..." but it's reality.
Keep up the great work.
Not a chance. Dice-K isn't the Ace he was billed as, but they don't need him to be. They need him to be a #5 and they really don't have any arms who'll do any better than him. Maybe Doubront (or somebody else), gives Dice-K competition at #5 next offseason and they make a move but I can't see it happening before next winter.
I think he's their right fielder in 2012, don't you?
I agree. I don't know why I like the podcast so much, but I do. Also, and this is doesn't get mentioned enough, a lot of the other podcasts out there are kind of painful to listen to because the recording quality sucks. I like that these are higher quality recordings, makes it much easier to listen to.
Aren't there a lot of mixed reviews on Cox? I thought you talked to a few scouts who were amazed he received a MLB contract.
KG, didn't you say on the last podcast that there's somebody on your A's top 11/20 that you're going to really talk up?
My money is on Hellickson and Harper.
Honestly, I'm a huge fan of most of the BP stuff, but the Podcast is the best feature and this episode is a great example what's so great about it.
Have you seen Dan Uggla play defense?
I think teams weren't as high on him due to the fact that it's tough to scout cold weather high school or college kids due to the weather. If it's tougher to scout him then it's tougher to get a real feel for just how much talent is there.
I'm actually against the "fantasy flavor" idea for John's column and KG's top 11s....and I play fantasy baseball. It seems pointless. If you read the scouting report or the article, it'll give you a good idea about a player's value in fantasy basball terms.
Good comment. Couldn't have been more accurate.
It'll be interesting to see how this plays out for the Brewers. If things go south this season, do they punt Fielder/Greinke/Marcum to try to replenish the farm system? The return for Fielder should be rather small considering he'll be a free agent.
Hopefully this isn't the case. It'll be good for baseball to have them in the hunt.
To a certain extent, I don't think it goes away. Let's say Lueke hits a wall for the next 5 years but stays in baseball and finally puts it altogether. As soon as he gets to the majors, it won't take more than one appearance in the big leagues before his past comes up.
I also think the more he succeeds, the less he'll be able to escape it, in the short run. Think about the questions he'll get from reporters the first day he pitches in MLB. "Given everything you've put yourself through, being in jail and all, did you ever think you'd get to the major leagues?"
In the long run, people won't forget but they'll almost forget. You don't have to look too far to see other athletes who've had problems and come back to almost 100% PR status.
Do you think a 3 year deal will get VMart done? I think the Red Sox are going to face a Johnny Damon-like scenario. They'll make a perfectly acceptable offer (like Damon's 4/40) and some other team will make a significantly better offer (Yankees 4/52). I don't think it'll be the Yankees to step in but I have a feeling some team is going to blow the Sox out of the water here.
I think what holds him back, like others, is that his "should" scenario (supply 10-15 homers) doesn't always become a reality.
Yea, he's been that bad.
Best podcast yet. Loved hearing your takes on Josh Hamilton.
That's not what he said at all.
I love this site.
Looking ahead to the top 100 lists that will come out in the next few months, despite all the graduations, I think we're going to see much more diverse lists this year. Is there a true #1? Last year, basically everyone had some combination of Stasburg/Heyward at 1/2. There are quite a few guys you can make an argument about as the #1 prospect. There'll be plenty of good reading coming up in the future. Can't wait.
I'm surprised too, and they've had their fair share of disappointments this year, but not to the extent of some others, and you also have to consider circumstances. Casey Kelly struggled, especially in the second half, but he was also in his first full season as a pitcher. I think he'll be cut a little slack.
Hechavarria or Iglesias?