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I guess that's a no? LOL. Just thought I'd ask.
Any consideration of Roberto Hernandez? Currently slated for 2 starts at home. I'm in a 14 team mixed, H2H, points league. Innings are valuable (2 pts apiece), but there are negatives for hits, walks, runs. Would probably be benching Homer Bailey.
When you say "solid-average" hit tool for Nimmo, does that mean more than a 50 or less? Term has always confused me. Thanks.
I think you're projecting your own feelings here, to be honest, in terms of fight or flight. As Robotey points out, professional baseball players should be conditioned for that - and none more so than Quentin, with 116 career HBP.
I feel for your plight as a Pirates' fan but this still strikes me as myopic. Maybe you could set aside your fandom just for a moment to be happy Francona found a good situation? Aren't we all baseball fans first?
Thanks for responding. I've been trying to find some cite that shows I'm not imagining this but I can't. But the impression I had was not just bad makeup but epically bad makeup, like worst in the minors makeup. Not 'he's a bad guy' makeup but 'he's a slug and makes no effort' makeup. Wish I could support that but maybe one of the prospect guys has an insight.
I'm pretty sure Cano was always seen as talented but my understanding is that he was viewed as having terrible makeup, and the expectation was that he wouldn't get the most of his talent. Keith Law has mentioned this, maybe in a chat.
The lingering attachment to him is weird, I will grant you that.
I had a similar reaction, and I think the only reason they "preferred him" was the expectation that he would come cheaper than the talents that legitimately deserved to go 1-1.
Hate to see Anthony Rendon's perfect attendance record snapped. Woe is me.
I agree. If you're asking 'Is X the new Y?' you're asking the wrong question.
I'd love to see one of these for the Rays - seems like they have some work to do yet.
Jason, I commend you for taking the MLU and really running with it. You continue to make this feature creative, interesting and surprising at a time of year when it seems like there would little material to work with. Kudos.
Number 4 seems to be missing the line that says what the trade actually is. If I'm following the three-way logic correctly, Baltimore would give up J.J. Hardy so they can slide Machado to SS, and would receive...Jed Lowrie? Why would they do that?
Thanks for the response. I wasn't trying to call you out on Myers, for what it's worth, just hoping to get a better sense of what elite means. It seems like to some degree it's in the eye of the beholder.
I'm curious...if none of these guys or presumably Wil Myers is currently elite, then who is? I just want to be sure I understand your terms.
If Loney produces 1 win for $2 million, isn't that a victory by free agent market standards? Do you project him below 1 win or am I missing something?
Also, pretty much everybody on Tampa is in a platoon of some type, so I would expect the same for Loney.
That, and the strategy available to the Astros wasn't available to everyone since they had the highest total pool of dollars to play with.
I thought Houston executed it brilliantly, don't get me wrong, but getting an elite (top 3 or better) talent for below slot and then having lots more $ to spread around simply wasn't in the cards for the vast majority of teams.
Yeah, but you don't know the full context of those comments. Could be they work for teams that drafted late and didn't really get to sniff elite talent. I see that more as wishful thinking from their own perspective rather than saying what they would have done if they drafted 1 or 2.
Also, I'm pretty sure some teams (many? most?) had a total pool well under $6 million. Hypothetically, if you had the 15th pick and Buxton somehow fell you'd have to put up 90 percent or maybe 100 percent of your pool to have an offer that could even be taken seriously.
This basically played out with Appel. I see the comments more in those lines.
I loved this piece, look forward to more of this type of exchange of ideas and opinions.
It's interesting, though - I would have guessed from reading the back and forth that Baez would have ended up 1st. Maybe that's a reading comprehension fail on my part. Is it possible to say how exactly this dialogue affects the outcome? After everyone has their say, how is the final order decided?
It's probably less important than the discussion itself, but it spurred my curiosity.
Thanks for this perspective. So, out of curiosity, where did you end up ranking Bogaerts?
Great article, lots to think about.
One thing that I wonder about is how can we expect sportswriters to resist the temptation to proliferate the narratives demanded by their audience? What's the incentive for change?
I tire of not just the character-driven narrative stuff but the elevation of symbols over substance - the AL MVP award seemed like a bigger story down the stretch than the actual pennant races. This, it seems to me, is all about reader psychology.
I'm all for trying to educate the audience and trying to expose them to new ways of thinking, but as long as the Holliday/Scutaro incident (conflict = drama) is getting the page clicks, traditional narratives will prevail. I'm not that confident that this is a generational thing that will abate with time.
I don't mean to sound like a downer - I guess I'm just accustomed to intelligent analysis being a niche product in the media world we live in, whether sport, politics or business.
I suppose seeing Baltimore as a fit requires putting away logic. But I can see Peter Angelos wanting to cement the goodwill and the momentum the team built this year with the fans and the community and make some kind of big splash in the offseason - to solidify ticket sales if nothing else. By that logic I've thought for a while that they might be a fit for Josh Hamilton.
Thank you for this. The myth of Maddux as nothing but brains and pitchability is out of control.
Thanks for the response. It looks like I may have missed a sentence where you conclude that Myers changed his approach.
Thanks again for this great series, and I encourage you to dig deeper into the projection of learning skills. It seems like a really rich vein to mine.
I have to say, though, the choice to include Wil Myers feels odd. Jason wrote that piece about Myers in February and I think most observers would agree that Myers did exactly what Parks hoped to see - got more aggressive, and the results were very strong. His ability to learn is (evidently) not an open question. He's proved it.
So I understand the point about neural pathways and the likehood of behavioral tendencies to repeat themselves, and that really does seem to play out in a lot of people...but unfortunately it looks like Myers is a poor example at least in this context. Perhaps this would have benefited from some reporting on how he managed to make the appropriate adjustment (i.e. learn)? Professor Parks?
I'm in love with this series. More, more!
The pitch recognition/dyslexia portion is a great companion piece to the Professor's recent deconstruction of Brandon Wood.
Great stuff. Keep pushing. Already excited for the next installment.
Great to wake up to a Ten Pack this morning!
Re: Guerrieri, has his velocity/projection dclined this year? I'm surprised to see him needing a third pitch to become a middle of the rotation guy. I know that's no insult but I understood based on his stuff coming out of his high school that he was somebody to dream top of the rotation on. And the results certainly suggest some polish.
I agree with this completely - the combination of disappointment and excitement/interest describes my reaction perfectly.
What I've been wondering over the weekend, though, is the nature of departures on BP - why do we always find out someone is leaving through a 'this is my last piece' bon voyage column? Why no transition? I suppose BP is not alone in this, but it would ease the pain of loss to have some time to come to grips with the coming change.
Thanks for the response, don't take this as a request to suspend the analysis of failure. I am curious whether you think this series (or a possible success corollary) would yield a set of traits or tendencies that offer predictive value? Is that what you're after? Or, in your estimation, will success and failure continue to be singular events, difficult if not impossible to project?
Thanks, Jason. These pieces are great. I kind of wonder, though, whether it wouldn't be even more informative to match each one of these with a breakdown of a guy that exceeded expectations. For me it's all about trying to improve my understanding of how prospects develop, and it would be good to focus on all types of outcomes.
It's not the first time I've heard that. I think they want to move Escobar and will be aggressive in getting it done.
If the rule of thumb is that you play a guy at his highest value defensive position until he absolutely proves he can't play there, then I think we have to assume he hasn't done that yet w/r/t 3B. Scouts are projecting him to move off the position, and that's their job and I'm sure they're probably right, but it's an organizational decision and teams are likely to hold out as long as they can.
The (however small) chance that he sticks at 3B has to be worth more to the Twins than giving Sano extra experience at a lesser defensive position. This seems perfectly rational to me.
Any particular rationale that would explain why Zunino is still in Everett?
I was under the impression that Burroughs was a pure hitter, not an athlete. Even had some questions about power ceiling. Almost the opposite profile from Tate.
I can't see the Brewers having the leverage to get that kind of return for a guy who might be a rental.
How much if any do we ding DeShields for repeating the level?
I just wanted to say I think the absence of comments here is more a reflection on the uninspiring nature of the Giants farm system than the quality of the analysis or writing.
Also, bloodface made the exact same comment at the end of yesterday's MLU thread, so it felt like spamming. That was more the reason I gave it a negative as opposed to the WATG aspect, which was merely annoying.
I think whether or not that's a WATG is open to interpretation. I saw it as exactly that. Not sure what "conformity" has to do with anything.
Hey, Professor, thanks for another great piece. The question I kind of want to ask - WILL Skaggs figure it out? - is probably unanswerable.
So, instead let me ask: what would you have to see or hear to be convinced that he did figure it out? Could we see it in the numbers or would it strictly be a scouting evaluation? Would you have to hear it from multiple sources or see it yourself?
Care to weigh in on Brandon Snyder? I'm in a deep enough league where I'll have to act quickly.
Thanks. Another reminder how strong the Padres' system is. Speaking of which, I'm wondering if you got any good reports on Jace Peterson?
Interesting set of names. I'm not sure any of them would be available, and Snider and Brown potentially have their own development/adjustment issues. Why not take a chance on the now freely available Bobby Abreu?
Since we can't really trust the Snider numbers due to SSS and Las Vegas factors, are you hearing anything from scouts that suggests he might be better prepared to succeed in the bigs?
Nobody knows about Brett Lawrie? On what planet?
The only thing wrong with this article is it's far too short. More, more!
I have to ask - your Grapefruit League notes had a scout pretty sounding lukewarm on Rendon. Was that a lone voice in the wilderness or an emerging consensus?
Anybody stand out for getting less positive reports than expected?
This is not exactly on topic, but I don't know where else to ask it: Is it possible to survey the fantasy industry to establish roughly what proportion of leagues still use batting average? I'm sure it's the vast majority, but I'm just wondering if there's any movement there. Personally I play in four different leagues, all of which have moved away from BA to OBP or OPS.
Oh, and 3 of the 4 have moved from pitcher wins to quality starts. I sense there's an evolution happening, but it could be a lot narrower than my experience.
Yes, I think that's what scouts should have said. Or the filter that KG should have laid over this.
Honestly, I think this is more an issue of what was written for the ESPN audience, who might actually wonder if Rendon has a shot at SS, versus what passes the sniff test for BP readers.
Right, but there's a legitimate question as to whether Rendon's appearances at SS were anything more than a training exercise. Treating those appearances like he was legitimately being auditioned to play that position seems a little spurious to me.
5. Jorge Alfaro
I realize it will take a few years to settle the question of whether Swihart can stick at C or not, but for those of us eyeballing him in upcoming fantasy drafts, do you think there are any organizational indicators/biases that can illuminate the question of how patient a given team will be? I'm asking specifically whether Boston will be more or less willing to indulge that process than, say, KC was with Wil Myers, but I'm also interested in general to know if different organizations will handle this type of situation differently. Sorry for the convoluted question.
But isn't the real point that the Twins would have been better off riding Santana in 2008, letting him walk, and taking the draft pick compensation?
That argument was made repeatedly at the time, at least in saber circles, and still looks like it would have achieved the optimal outcome. In fact, the Twins were pretty good in 2008, going so far as to force a 163rd game - missing the playoffs only by losing the 1-game playoff with the White Sox.
I don't know who replaced Santana in the Twins' rotation that year but surely he would have been the difference in the AL Central that year, no?
These are always very enlightening, thanks and keep up the great work. Quick question: wondering if Ronny Rodriguez received consideration, and whether you have any first-hand impressions of him?
I suppose this goes without sayIng but even if there were somethIng to Verducci's theory, he couldn't prove it by usIng ERA alone. David Price increased his K rate, reduced his walk rate, and Verducci counts him as a win because his ERA went up? Sheesh.
If you want to escape nihilism you could start by deciding this for yourself.
I think you mean 80s-soap-opera not 80-grade.
Kevin, I'd heard that scouts liked the curveball Harvey threw in high school better than his slider, but that he had abandoned it at UNC and was going to go back to the curve as a pro - anything to this?
Buster is reporting that the A's may be doing this to comply with minimum payroll requirements/expectations (I've never been sure how official that is, since there's technically no salary cap or floor). At any rate, I find that reason much more persuasive than thinking this is a baseball decision.
Great stuff, as always. I have a better feel for all of these guys than I did before I read this.
Yes indeed. I understand the multiple demands on time, but it feels like subscriber content has gotten de-prioritized.
Boy, I have to +1 this comment. Every day I open BP hoping for a new top 11. There have only been 2 since Thanksgiving! It's like the series has been abandoned in mid-stream.
Thanks for the clarification. I always assumed that was the case but it's nice to see you so adamant about it. It's an important issue.
I agree. They might have been willing to rebuild in theory, but really that was only if they got what they wanted for Danks, Quentin and whoever else (Peavy, Rios, Dunn). And, like most teams, they valued their guys more than other teams did. The bottom line for me is the idea that trading Santos signals a rebuild was way overstated.
Well, if Colin is an Iowan I may have to reconsider... however, considering I was born in Minnesota and raised in Wisconsin, I'm probably not the most objective on this subject.
You're saying Iowa is NOT boring the first week of January? This must be a veiled reference to the Iowa Caucuses, in which case I'm going to have to disagree with your definition of not boring. Even if I agreed, it's once every four years, which leaves the first week of January in Iowa pretty boring pretty regularly. Just sayin.
They probably should rebuild, but who really believed the White Sox would be willing to go through the painful process? Their farm system is so bad that once they deal veterans, they start to look like the Astros pretty quick. That doesn't sound like something Reinsdorf would accept and rebuilding is not Kenny Williams' forte, either. The Santos trade might be a slight concession to the need to rebuild on the fly but it might also be trading high on a more or less fungible relief arm. They've still got Matt Thornton and Addison Reed for the back end of the bullpen, and maybe Chris Sale too if the starter experiment craps out. I'm not impressed with Molina as a return but to me that says more about the team's questionable ability to evaluate prospects than as any kind of window into their intentions for 2012.
You're more confident than I that there'd be much of a market for Trumbo and the .291 OBP he sported.
Mike - I love the feature, so I hope you can forgive me for pointing out that the only pitchers to earn no grades in the Super Deep category are Brett Anderson and Charlie Morton, both of whom are out with significant injuries. What does it take to get a healthy no in this category? I'm in a league with 215 keepers and I can't see Bedard, Capuano or Felipe Paulino even sniffing a roster.
You're giving him a 20/20 floor?
Oh, come on. The playoffs are borderline random in outcome - look at the Cardinals this year. If you can't take pleasure in 116 wins, you're not going to be happy very often.
This seems like a longshot. He's got 5 years left at $17 million per season - who do you propose is going to take that off your hands?
The notes on Josh Johnson really point out how helpful it would be in certain cases to have the BP injury writers weigh in with some type of health prognosis. As you say, it's not a question of his on the field performance. Would this be possible?
Have there been closers other than Rafael Soriano to get offered more money to set up than close? That struck me as a very unique circumstance.
I would love to see this. I'm deciding between Dee Gordon and Stephen Drew, both of whom have been covered, but still...talk about apples and oranges. No idea how to weigh those two against each other.
How about Dee Gordon?
I would have assumed the implication was that Boesch was an unacceptable option in RF, but he had a higher WARP in fewer games than Austin Jackson. This could use some clarification, please.
Jorge Alfaro is a catcher prospect. #thelegend
Thanks for the response, and thanks again for the great series. Looking forward to whatever future installments you have up your sleeve, whether here or elsewhere.
I love this set of articles - some of my favorite pieces ever on BP, easily.
And while I know this theory can't work every time, I can't help thinking of a fairly recent scenario where it doesn't hold up well.
In 2007, the 2nd and 3rd picks were Mike Moustakas and Josh Vitters, respectively - both high ceiling prep 3B. With some differences, yes, but as close to an apples to apples comparison as we're likely to get. Yet while Vitters was Very Young, Moustakas was Very Old. And I can't imagine there's any team that would prefer Vitters to Mous at this point - acknowledging that there's still some non-zero chance for Vitters to break out.
Offered in the spirit of constructive dialogue.
Though it is fascinating stuff, it's difficult to know how to apply this to current (or future) draftees. Was Bubba Starling a poor pick at #6 despite all those tools? Like Josh Bell, Starling was an old 18, nearly 19 when drafted.
Color me confused, but fascinated.
If you're taking requests, I'd love to hear opinions on Stephen Drew.
Thanks for adding the super deep category.
I'm going to have to agree as well. I think of my league as medium-deep and we have 14 teams with 15 MLB keepers and 10 prospects. I've seen deeper formats.
Not sure what I'm asking for....I guess I'm just wondering how confident you are in your category descriptions? Was there a basis for choosing them?
Well done. I think this might be my favorite BP article ever.
I think you're right that the real pivot point was early in the development process when it went from a documentary to a feature film. I've yet to meet a person in any line of work - health care, education, law enforcement, finance, government - that felt Hollywood got it right when it came to their field. Story trumps fact when trying to reach a broad audience and that's an uncomfortable place when you know how it really works.
I think that's what they're doing by playing Todd Frazier this month. Probably worth the time to figure out if he can be a passable MLB 3B before trading for or signing an alternative.
Out of curiosity, what was Boston's peak playoff probability this year?
I don't think this clarification is doing you too many favors, dude. Even as an anecdotal observation, it's not at all useful to say that these two have been "perceived" as lacking intensity "at times."
Dukes: 970 plate appearances, 2.5 WAR
Upton: 3360 PA, 16.2 WAR
There is no similarity between these two guys other than one that is superficial and extremely troubling.
This is a shockingly dumb thing to say.
Big Papi also a free agent. Shift Youk to DH and promote Will Middlebrooks?
Thanks, as always, KG. Curious about the suggested 2012 debut for Tim Beckham. Given Desmond Jennings just logged almost 1000 PA at Durham, with more polish than Beckham has displayed, I see Beckham as more of a 2013 mid-season callup. Do you think he'll be ready sooner?
So if he's hitting homers in numbers comparable to Harper or Stanton or Sano, but without an 80 power grade, does that mean he's arguably selling out for power, as some thought Nick Franklin was doing last year?
The number of times Starling Marte was mentioned on MLU this season: 12.
Derek Norris is still doing the power and patience thing but his appalling lack of contact (.199 BA as of this morning) seems like a big red flag. Are there positive reports or is his stock on the way down?
Thanks, it's very good stuff. I'll look forward to it next season.
Michael - This is great stuff, and this series represents the kind of insight we all expect from BP. Having said that, I have a couple questions: 1) are the findings here meant to have equal applicability to annual and keeper leagues (the focus on rest-of-season suggests the former only) 2) Are most fantasy leagues (particularly annual leagues) not already past their trade deadlines? I don't know if there's an industry standard for that, but we're past the deadlines for both my annual league and my keeper league (trades can resume after the World Series).
Again, not to look a gift horse in the mouth, but I'm struggling with how to use this information.
Late to the game, but did you get any reports on Garin Cecchini? Was he a factor for the list or not close?
That's gotta be a typo or a transcription error, no? If the scout had actually said that to John, I'm sure he would have asked for a clarification.
If you included Smoak, where would he fit? Thanks for indulging me, by the way.
Wouldn't the burden of proof fall on you to support the claim rather than others to refute it?
Tampa's reliably cautious with prospect development. They're not going to over-react to a hot or cold streak by one or the other.
I'd wager that both Beckham and Lee play most of the season at their current levels and if/when they're promoted, it will be both at the same time.
Thoughts on Carlos Perez (Tor)? He seems like one of those guys well-rounded enough to play above his tools. Any validity to that?
Yeah, I would think Jordan Schafer would merit an analysis in this space.
Ooh, fun new game! "I’ve written a thousand times now that Kevin Gregg is overrated and mediocre while Koji Uehara (when healthy)" is _____________ ?
I'll guess the answer you meant to include is "not Kevin Gregg." What do I win?
It can't be that uncommon for guys who have success in rookie ball to fail to translate that to full-season leagues. That doesn't make last year a fluke, it just makes it not predictive.
I suspect that what he was saying was that player evaluation is a little more complex and the variability of player profiles a rich enough tapestry that narrowing it down to > = or < is demeaning to both the players and the analyst.
I guess the note about the Giants moving Posey isn't exactly a bombshell but I'm beginning to wonder if the "elite offensive catcher" is destined to become an endangered species for exactly the reasons you cite.
Way to weave in a little Lebowski.
I saw some video of Flores from spring training and I was surprised how skinny he looked. Is there a chance that he's fighting the natural tendency of his body to grow bigger and stronger because he feels he has to stay lighter to field the SS position? If I'm projecting something that isn't there, please tell me but it certainly seems like it's long past time to move him off SS, and tell him to hit the training table and the weight room.
I probably should have been clearer - I assume your information is far more accurate and the current estimates from "official sources" are insanely optimistic.
The story on MLB.com says he'll have the cast removed Monday. Something's not adding up here.
No worries. I'm glad it didn't come across like I was jumping down your throat.
I know there are exceptions like David Clyde, who was rushed to the majors the year he was drafted (out of a Texas high school) as a marketing stunt, but in general I think there's less of that than one might assume. The incentives are really all the other way - towards deliberate development, maximizing the value of team control, sometimes delaying a player's arrival for financial reasons - in today's baseball economy.
I read an interview with Bill James some years ago and in response to the question 'is there a factor you can look for that predicts Hall of Famers' and his answer was something to the effect of 'the thing that seems to unite more Hall of Famers than anything else is their arrival and success in the majors at a very young age.' I'm sure I didn't get that exactly right, but it led to me do some research and I was really astonished at how many great players debuted as teenagers. The list is even longer than I've captured here.
As for those three, yeah, you may be right: the longer anyone stays in the public eye the more apt we are to see the blemishes. And the only way their careers could be construed as disappointing - even if none of them played another game - would be relative to the huge expectations that their greatness has engendered.
Forgive me, but this is sort of a strange observation you're making. For the three in question it took about a decade on average for these "maturity" problems to manifest themselves in ways that the public became aware of. It clearly didn't impact their performances at a young age as the first 8-10 years of the careers of Cabrera, Andruw and K-Rod are either Hall of Fame caliber or at least in the discussion.
Maybe your point is that teenage superstars suppress maturity problems that explode later and threaten to shorten careers?
Well, maybe that's something we'll observe going forward but it's interesting to note that the list of players who made the majors as teenagers includes some of the greatest players in the history of the game: Mickey Mantle, Ken Griffey, Jr., Mel Ott, Johnny Bench, Robin Yount. Some really good current players who also debuted as teenagers: Alex Rodriguez, Ivan Rodriguez, Justin Upton, Adrian Beltre, Aramis Ramirez. Also the recently retired Gary Sheffield.
I don't think there is today or has been historically a crisis of rushing teens to the majors prematurely. It's in the team's interest not to promote someone who isn't ready, and the track record seems pretty good. If there's a study that says otherwise, I'd love to see it. It'd have to overcome a whole bunch of pretty spectacular success stories to conclude there's a problem.
Any thought as to why Loney is so bad at Dodger Stadium? I know it's a pitcher-friendly park, but that doesn't seem to hinder Kemp and Ethier. I mean, I accept your point that there's more to Loney than is apparent at first blush, but if I were another team thinking about rolling the dice on him I'd want to better understand the nature of his home woes for fear they might transfer to my ballpark as well.
Hey, he just reported the opinion of a credible source. Don't shoot the messenger.
Re: why would the Cubs do that - because his trade value may never be higher? Because reliever performance in general is less predictable than any other position? Because Marmol in particular may not be able to find the fine line between wildness and dominance in quite the same measure as last year ever again?
Thanks for the good work, Mike. Quick question for you. Four closers, four different risk profiles: Thornton, Nathan, Street, Putz. What order would you take them?
Wow. Could not disagree more.
Great stuff, John. I'm glad you're still a part of the BP family. The rumors and rumblings section is always a good read.
Thanks for the good work. I agree with the Fowler analysis, though "the only real worry" being the stolen base category is a pretty significant understatement for fantasy purposes. Do we know anything about Jim Tracy's predilections in that regard? I can't say I've ever thought of the Rox as a running team, now or in the distant past.
Well, at some level, you're right, I could piece together what he intended even though it was (IMHO only) contrary to the language chosen. I think the response the Professor gave is very helpful, as the 20-80 scale avoids the semantic problems with labels like "great," "special," or "impact."
I appreciate the response. War Games to you, sir.
I'm confused. Ackley is likely to be great but unlikely to be special? Unless you define what each of those terms means to you this word choice seems destined to obscure your point. To me it takes a special talent just to make MLB but true greatness lies well beyond that. I don't mean to nitpick semantically but I think this matters. Your mission with these pieces seems to be to add clarity, which is much appreciated. So, how do you define great? Special?
Interesting stuff. One followup question: To what extent is strand rate a skill as opposed to luck? I always thought it was more luck than skill, but the article seems to suggest otherwise.
That's the obvious definition, the most commonly accepted version. This articles attempts to go beyond the cliche to find a statistically definable and usable definition. Is that really not apparent in the reading?
I don't know about you but the two primary leagues I'm in allow a player to gain position eligibility in 5 and 10 games played during the season, respectively. I assume those thresholds are fairly standard. It's absolutely appropriate to evaluate him as a 3B as far as I can see.
What's the response to those who say his limited experience playing baseball means he can't be evaluated the same as other prospects his age?
I was aware of the Broxton usage problem last year so I've been treating him as way undervalued this year. I must admit I hadn't considered there might be lasting damage. Perhaps some day we'll view that stretch as similar to Prior's overuse in the pennant race. Is there any way to approach Broxton as anything other than guesswork at this point? Precedents for reliever pitch count warning signs?
I don't see that statement applying to Smoak, either.
I'm a little surprised to see Mesoraco and Hamilton miss the five star category. I know you changed how you handle that this year, so I'm wondering if you could clarify that a little bit. Also, maybe a hint at how many five-stars there are on the top 101?
Thanks, guys. Looking forward to diving in. One quick request: always enjoyed the companion article Nate wrote about what surprised him, what projections looked high or low, etc. I don't know if that's planned, but it would be welcomed, at least by me.
Any hope left for Everett Williams?
I was thinking more of the inscrutability of Dusty Baker than whether or not Bailey's earned it (I think he has). I'd love to draft Bailey like he's a lock for the rotation but I think there's risk there. Then again, maybe that's a buying opportunity.
I was just wondering the exact same thing.
Thanks, CK. I didn't think there was anything left to be said on this subject but this is the definitive analysis.
Just one question - do we know if Wells has been exposed to waivers in the past few years? I have always assumed so and if that is the case Wells could have been had for "just" money whereas here the Angels also give up useful assets and a truckload of dollars.
Now looks like Balfour signed with Oakland, so the odds are zero. I could not have been more wrong.
You might want to read the first line of the article.
Good article. I wonder what the odds are now that all three of Soriano, Balfour and Qualls return to Tampa on one year deals?
Whoops. Looks like I missed your last one. Let me re-phrase: how about another?
How about a fantasy chat to get us through the winter doldrums?
Re: "I would have to imagine that neither Jeter nor Close expects another team to pay more than $15 million a year for more than four years to an aging shortstop with notoriously poor defense and declining offensive skills." I really wonder what's in their minds. They may truly be baffled, as Close said he was.
I remember last year Jermaine Dye's agent said he was shocked that nobody wanted Dye because he's a "winner," apparently in reference to him being a member of team that won a World Series. In 2005.
I realize these guys aren't all idiots, but I don't think it's necessarily an easy thing for an agent to give his client the hard truth about his marketability. If you say things the player perceives to be negative, he can always hire someone else who positions himself as believing in the player. I think Close and Jeter might truly be baffled by the way this is playing out, which would seem to argue this will draw out some more, though I can't see how the deal doesn't happen on the Yankees terms in the end.
If I were a Pirates fan I'd be encouraged to know that Clint Hurdle intends to teach players how to: 1) get after it, 2) roll up their sleeves, and 3) eat an elephant.
Norris hasn't had a single AA at-bat yet.
Not too parse all of this too finely, but I'm encouraged by the Mesoraco report. Wasn't he looking really tired a few days ago? Or is it just that there's still a big gap between his offensive and defensive game?
What level of play is the Puerto Rican league analogous to?
I appreciate this very much. Greinke is one of my favorite players, and I'm trying to come to grips withe possibility that I might have to cut him in my keeper league. This helps.
I've always loved everything about the top 11s, but if you're asking, I think a lot of readers would welcome at least a comment on the fantasy desirability of a given prospect. I know that's not your cup of tea, KG, but Marc Normandin needs something to do this winter, no?
You could also read that as 'he couldn't cut it as a starter so now that we know what he is - a fungible reliever - we can just keep running him out there until there's nothing left.'
I hate to add to your workload (or do I?) but I miss the positional rankings you used to do. Any chance of resurrecting that series?
Check the game logs from Volquez' last few MLB games - he had completely lost his control.
Do you really KG to tell you that was a good night? Or that Montero is a good prospect? The best thing about MLU is uncovering new players to follow.
Interesting piece. I'll just go ahead and ask a selfish question: in a lifetime keeper league, would you rather have Buchholz or Greinke? Clay seems to be overperforming but has the skillset to improve (esp. Ks) while Zack is underperforming but also apparently will always be light in the W column as long as he remains in KC. I've got a few months to sort this out, but color me confused.
WATG: Luke Bailey.
I read a few decent reports on Hamilton's defense at SS last year, so I've been surprised to see him playing exclusively at 2B this year. Was it just a pipe dream that he could stick at short?
I saw that as well. The choices for Greinke are not limited to KC or Yankee Stadium. Given that maybe it makes sense for Dayton to move him for a prospect package, maybe find that C or SS of the future. We know he has the Braves on speed dial. Something like Randall Delgado and Christian Bethancourt?
Don't know if you're willing to entertain a fantasy-oriented question, but if so, who has the highest offensive ceiling: Yorman Rodriguez, Aderlin Rodriguez, Jake Marisnick or Oswaldo Arcia?
At the risk of being a jerk, what would an answer to this question really tell you one way or the other?
Is Kipnis' bat enough to project him as an all-star type player or is he more of a solid regular?
Can I be in your fantasy league?
I'm not sure why that's the only choice.
The editing on this site is not good. That's a fair observation. I don't know if you disagreed with the point or just the tone but it's not an isolated incident. The content is great and obviously I'd rather have great content and weak editing than the reverse but this is a paid site and we shouldnt have to apologize for expecting a more polished product.
Interesting to see Sano listed and not Wilmer Flores. They would seem to have similar profiles with Flores further along. I'm guessing that means scouts see a higher ceiling for Sano?
Kudos for doing this while being swamped by draft stuff. Hope you get to sleep at some point this week.
Wow, I'll bite on your Nick Franklin comment. Better than Wil Myers or just that it's a legitimate debate?
I can't argue that Iannetta should have been better the past two years but this season he was demoted on the strength of 34 at bats, during which he had a BABIP of 118. It's beginning to feel like Jim Tracy has made up his mind about Iannetta.
Quick note on the "raking" Logan Morrison: he hasn't played since April 19th.
Sorry, just having fun with words; i.e.: "The wrist (and Johnson, since he's connected) will have to be shut down, possibly even immobilized..."
His Johnson has been shut down? Am I reading that right?
Davidson's 26:1 K/BB ratio is pretty alarming, but that's a pretty impressive line for a teenager in the MWL.
Put me down as wanting to hear more about Didi Gregorius when an opportunity arises.
Any qualms about the aggressive assignment for Gordon?
The quote about Tabata is hard decipher. What exactly is the scout saying? Not a great body, but looks good at the plate or something to that effect? Kind of reminds me of the anonymous scout you quoted saying about Pablo Sandoval: "That fat f***er can hit." Am I on the right track?
Agree on Snider. Apparently this comes from Marc Hulet, but I can't see the basis for him saying that.
This is really impressive stuff, Matt. Do you think your research is applicable to minor league performance/prospect watching?
I must have missed when Ian Stewart had a back injury. When was that?
Interested in this as well. Just to pick one, the Valverde saves total seems curiously low.
The intro to the piece says "Players are loosely ordered within tiers."
There seem to be rumblings of trying Darnell at 2B - anything to that or just speculation? Speaking of 2B, is there any hope left for Matt Antonelli?
Thanks as always Will. One question about Kendrick: weren't his recurring hamstring problems once seen as potentially chronic? Is that no longer an issue?
It would help if it were actually, you know, funny.
"Superstar-in-waiting" Hunter Pence? Really? Seems a little strong.
How are the reports on Robbie Grossman? Making any progress?
Thanks for the good work. I'm wondering if you can elaborate on Francisco's red. I'm under the impression that his time missed last year was divided between a bout of pneumonia and some precautionary rest. Is the shadow of surgery still hanging over?
I think the confusion stems from the assumption that "low" and "high" refer to risk within a band rather than the underlying number. I know you've been clear about this, Will, but the setup isn't necessarily very intuitive.
Thanks for the great work, as always. One question: I honestly can't tell whether the Vitters comp to Howie Kendrick is meant as faint praise, given that Howie hasn't fully established himself at the level most expected from him.
I've always wondered about this. Shouldn't the star system be more consistent over time rather than vary depending on the talent pool? It seems like this makes it harder to compare prospects year to year.
Thanks, KG. Anything on Hector Guevara?
You mentioned recently that you would soon be making a Neftali Feliz level early call on a prospect. Is it Noriega? He's an intriguing package but it seems an aggressive rating.
I heard the same Eric Byrnes comp and it made me wonder if EB is becoming the guy that people use to comp prospects they don't know what to make of - Aaron Cunningham was another guy comped to Byrnes. It seems like Desme has more power than Cunningham, but his age relative to level makes me unsure. I really think only time will tell on this one. Not to be a party pooper or anything.
Strupp, this site does have a search function. Here's what Kevin wrote about the Bucs in his 2007 draft preview:
"The Pirates would like to take Wieters here, but a request submitted to ownership to spend big money was quickly denied. That had the team turning to college pitching..."
Is there much if any doubt that Zobrist will be the everyday 2B in 2010? I don't think this is an argument that needs arguing.
Wait, is the $328 million pro-rated for time on the DL or is it all salary for pitchers who spent any time on the DL? Wasn't quite clear to me. Thanks.
This is an interesting observation; are you suggesting that he could hit for power if he tried?
Is the Midwest League a fair challenge for a (late) first-round college player like Jackson?
Will: This seems like a chat question but I know you don't do those much anymore. Not an injury per se, but would love your take. There's a Denver Post story today that says Dexter Fowler will be somewhat limited due to back pain arising from a "growth spurt". Dex has grown 1 inch in the "past few months" - and he's 23! Not to mention he was already 6-4. How unusual is this and does it tell us anything?
That's interesting to know in terms of the proximity, but in this case Clearwater is a team as well as a town, so "returning to Clearwater" is technically accurate - he left the team and must rejoin them.
I'm guessing Chris Tillman is doing pretty well with the ladies, but your concern is touching.
Does Cardenas still have a shot to stick in the middle infield?
Down this road lies madness, billm21.
Thanks, as always, KG. What do scouts say about Norris' defense?
Second that. I'm sure you love your job, KG, but we appreciate all the overtime you're putting in these days.
Would you consider the Pirates taking a budget pick in the draft next week a strong sign that they feel the Sano deal is done?
Fair enough. I guess I also don't understand why Sano would agree to a deal beforehand since he can only benefit from letting the bidding war escalate right up until July 2, but I know that that happens as well.
The thing that I don't get is that if Pittsburgh goes cheap at the top of the draft to save money for Miguel Angel Sano, what happens if they don't win the bidding war?
There's three weeks between the draft and the signing day, and anything could happen. Unless the Pirates have a deal in place with Sano, which would be against the rules as I understand it. Obviously these things do happen in Latin America, but there is theoretically more scrutiny now and we're talking about the #1 prospect down there.
And how does the team address this publicly if they do go cheap? Given the freshness of the Wieters/Moskos debacle, how are Pirates fans going to be assuaged? "Trust us, we can't say anything now, nudge nudge wink wink, but you'll be happy on July 2"? And at that point, does MLB get involved?
It just seems fraught with problems.
I know you pledged to keep writing about Vitters as long as he kept raking, but I want to propose that you now pledge to boycott writing about him until the Cubs promote him to high A. It worked once before; why not try again?
I'm betraying my own obsession (words) by asking, but did you realize you didn't use the word "Matt" until the second to last sentence of the piece? If you're trying to make Matt Cain into a one-name megastar a la Ichiro, count me in.
Seriously? You need a new league.
Kiley - thanks again. Will you do a chat shortly after July 2nd? Look forward to your coverage up until then but it might be fun to get a chance to ask some questions.
Quick question - the photo on the front page of BP today - Michel Ynoa or Miguel Sano wearing an A's jersey? Or other? Color me confused.
That would certainly help remedy the odd choice last year to pop Alonso with Gordon Beckham still on the board.
No offense, but I don't get this 'please give some love to my guy' thing that seems to show up in every comments thread. Wouldn't you rather hear about somebody you hadn't heard of before?
Wasn't Norris a catcher conversion project? If so, that's remarkable that he's become a solid defender so quickly.
My Felipe Paulino "love" comment was a joke but obviously a lame one.
No love for Felipe Paulino?
I don't know if you meant to imply bias there, but it sure comes across that way. Anyway, I'd rather hear from KG, not you, no offense.
Are scouts really that down on Carlos Triunfel?
+1. This is my guess, too.
This one surprised me, too. Additional data point: Snider went 2 for 3 this afternoon with two doubles while playing LF against the Nats. Would like to hear more about this.
Thanks for this Kevin. These are always good stuff.
I've wondered the same thing but for catcher development - would yoga create the flexibility needed for some guys to stick at the position who otherwise move?
Angel Salome: One of us, one of us.
Bailey's above the prospect eligibility threshold, hence irrelevant to this discussion.
Saying it's interesting Liriano is not on the list is not the same as exalting him into a god-like presence. I would think even Liriano lite would put him in the top 30 (at the tail end) but I'd love to hear from Marc on the subject.
One thing that makes the projection difficult to swallow is the idea that a catcher, any catcher, would see 649 at bats in a season. Russell Martin had 553 AB last year to lead all catchers, and he started 8 games at 3B.
Nothing against Wieters, but even if he makes that triple slash line, he won\'t see those kind of counting numbers, at least not this year.
That\'s certainly what happened last year. No reason to expect it to play out any differently.
I kind of think they\'ve already made that decision on Balentien.
I\'m kind of surprised PECOTA likes Reynolds as much as it does (relatively speaking). The strikeouts worry me but I also look at his platoon splits and imagine him splitting time with Chad Tracy. Any platoon worries for you?
I notice the projection for Lastings Milledge went down on the adjustment for the Dunn addition. I know the outfield is crowded, but isn\'t he the only real center field option?
I realize Santana has strong scouting reports, but I\'m wondering how much consideration was given to his really high BABIP (in both leagues) when evaluating the significance of his performance numbers?
It\'s your world, KG. We\'re just livin in it.
I feel like a jerk but I\'ll point this out anyway: Alonso\'s perfect world projected OPS of 950 would have put him 4th in the NL last year. Even in a perfect world, that seems a bit much, no?
Ugh. Nice nitpick. Sloppy editing, sure, but why bother commenting?
Matt Wieters is one of the top prospects in the game.
Matt Wieters is arguably the top prospect in the game.
Take your pick. Move on.
I\'ll try to rephrase my Rowell comment in the form of a question: do scouts believe a position change would help Rowell or are is the effort issue part of a broader concern about his desire and makeup?
Isn\'t Billy Rowell overdue for a position switch? He was always questionable to stick at 3B, and given the raw talent and the investment they\'ve made it seems like they need to put him in a better position to succeed. Wouldn\'t one way to do that be to eliminate the discouragement that\'s likely coming from struggling defensively? I know teams would prefer to have players respond positively to challenges but everybody\'s different, he\'s still just a kid and some of them are going to need more positive reinforcement than others. Anyway, great piece as always.