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This column is one of the major reasons why I re-upped my subscription earlier today -- great stuff.
I love the details at the top of each report, but the information contained in the fields is not always consistent. My suggestions for making it even better:
-- please always list the league and level
-- DOB is great, but including baseball age too would be great
-- including average player age for the league would also be a nice addition
I'm really impressed with the innovations, writers, and general direction of BP over the past 6 or so months. Thanks for an outstanding product and keep up the excellent work!
Whenever I think of Cameron Maybin, I think of this shot from last year:
According to 1974 Topps, Sparky Lyle "enjoys birthday cakes"
Excellent work, Jason et al. If still-eligible and sprinkled onto this list, where would some of last year's top catching prospects land -- Grandal, Mesoraco, W. Rosario, W. Castillo?
Congrats, you deserve it because your work is excellent. It is the reason I've subscribed the past few years. Best of luck, you'll be missed.
Danny Espinosa seems to have a better bat than Ian Desmond. KG, which of the two do you feel is a better defensive shortstop?
I could easily see Hamilton (high average, 50-100 SBs, 100+ run scoring middle infielder) as more valuable than Mesoraco if this were ranking prospects for Roto value, but I've always understood this list's criterion to be real-life value.
Agreed; this ranking makes me feel like there is a lot I don't know about Hamilton. Especially if Hamilton ends up in CF, he has yet to reach the upper levels and the writeup makes me believe Juan Pierre is a good comp for his ceiling (hit for average but no power, speed and lots of steals, not much on defense other than range). That is more valuable than a seemingly MLB-ready, middle-of-the-order hitting catcher? Pierre has put together a decent career, and one that would look a lot nicer at SS, but Mike Piazza's best 3 or 4 years eclipse the total value of Pierre's career. I'm not saying Mesoraco is a lock to hit like Piazza, but what is it about Hamilton's ceiling that we are missing. Thanks KG!
I saw Allen Dykstra play a couple of times in the Eastern League last year. He might be the perfect image to recall in your brain whenever you read "unathletic, slow bat."
I'm a bit disappointed that 90% of this is focused on Zambrano; I find Volstad to be a much more interesting pitcher at this moment in time.
"Even on the wrong side of 30 and with a lot of mileage on his arm, Zambrano gives the Marlins a better chance to win now than they would have had with Volstad." I'm not sure I agree.
"This will allow me to focus more on creating content ..."
= this will make BP a better product
I like the idea of bringing Berkman onto the Crew to keep the window open during the Greinke/Marcum years ...
Can you hit rewind and remind us all of John Mayberry's prospect status from past years?
Hey Jason, love your work on this series and the podcast.
One thing I was hoping you'd mention: In scoutier writings, I've seen mentions of hitters barring their front arms noted as a minus. I imagine this is a negative because it might lead to early extension, a long swing, and make it difficult to keep hands inside the ball. From my experience (as a pretty lousy player attempting to resurrect and improve his swing for an adult wooden bat rec league after 15 year hiatus from the game) I feel like I'm better able to translate torque from hip and shoulder rotation into bat speed when my front arm is approaching fully barred as the bat launches into the zone. Picture Junior Griffey, hips and shoulders rotated, with his bicep and elbow pressed flat against his chest, whipping his hands and bat through the zone. Domonic Brown's swing also comes to mind.
I'd love to hear your comments on the barred front arm (is this something you notice?), and on the missing (at least from my swing) link between hip/shoulder rotation and hand/bat speed (what do you look for as an effective "link"?).
I know minor league stats only mean so much, especially when dealing with teenagers, but I have had fun looking at these numbers:
age, level, OPS (min 250 PA)
16 RK .842
17 A .637
18 A .775
18 A+ .739
17 RK .696
18 A .709
19 A+ .754
20 AA 1.038
I'm not saying Flores has the ceiling of Cabrera, or that the minor league levels listed are directly comparable, but its interesting that Flores has held his own at very young ages for his leagues, like (or better than) Cabrera did. Flores also hit for more power than Cabrera at age 18, and with half his season at high-A ball.
Hi Kevin, I was looking back at last year's Cubs top 11. You noted that Castro could be an above average MLB shortstop, but lacked the tools to be a true impact bat. Based on your comment on Castro above, I wonder if his age 20 performance in AA and MLB in 2010 has raised your opinion of his potential offensive ceiling? Many thanks for the great work on these lists, as usual.
Only 6 NL guys out of the 20 listed ...
Why would VORP lists be qualified by a minimum playing time? Kind of defeats the point of the metric, doesn't it?
And if a minimum playing time constraint is the reason, it seems strange to me that Carlos Santana would be projected for more playing time than the guys I listed, especially Posada and Soto, who are almost certainly regulars (while Santana has yet to log a PA above double-A, and had hamate bone surgery in early December).
Marc, a question about your other catcher list: the VORP top 10 in the PECOTA Leaderboards section of the annual (page 635). How did Soto (VORP 22.1), Ianetta (22.5), Montero (20.1), Posada (16.7), etc miss that list, but AJ Pierzynski (13.6) and Ronny Paulino (13.0) made the cut?
Will, could you explain what you mean by "bounce" and "disconnect" in Nolasco's blurb? Thanks ...
meant to type "under 25," not "top 25"
How would Schlereth rank (either top 25, or as a prospect if he still qualifies)?
I have to say the annual was absolutely fantastic to have in hand at spring training last year, but the lack of index really hurt when attempting to look up lesser-knowns on the fly. Glad to see the index is back, and I'm looking forward to checking out all the new bells and whistles.
Do you know any details about Ramirez' wrist(s)? Its something on which I'm having a hard time finding information. Was it tendonitis that persisted, or something more serious?
Will, would you please summarize health issues involved in the Mike Lowell/Max Ramirez talks? Thank you ...
I was lucky to grow up reading the Globe as my local paper, when Gammons was a major part of the greatest sports page I've known in my lifetime. Only a few months ago I finally caved and bought a subscription to ESPN insider, with a major factor being I missed reading Gammons on a regular basis. All of ESPN's baseball products will suffer without him; on the other hand, this is a great move for NESN, which I imagine will gain a much larger audience nation-wide through this addition alone.
amen ... the explanation is far worse than the ballot itself
Kevin, I love your column. Another follow-up on the Brown/power discussion: can you define "present power" and "raw power"? Is raw power the same thing as "power potential", or just one factor in projecting power potential? I'm assuming present power is basically what a guy shows he can do in games, at this moment?
Also have one of Danny Espinosa:
I've also got some Alvarez clips in that same collection
RE: Lars Anderson, I actually witnessed him hit a ball out of the park about two weeks ago during a game at Bowie. It was a shot down the right field line that the umpires determined to be foul. It was the worst call I've ever seen in a pro game, as the ball was fair, maybe by 10 or more feet; most of the (Bowie-rooting) crowd agreed that it was a home run. It didn't count, but it was also encouraging.
I was also at Bowie for Chisenhall's big game last night. I caught both swings on video and posted them in case anyone would like a look:
How about profiling the Brewers next?
With CC, Sheets, and all the young bats, 2008 seemed like the window of opportunity. Sheets went down, Hart fell apart, and the Brew Crew made a quick exit from the NLDS.
Now the rumors range from trading Fielder, Weeks, Hardy (indicating a bit of rebuilding?) to signing CC or Lowe (hoping the window is still open?) or F-Rod (???)...
What do you think, Joe? What is going on with this team?