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Dear Mr. Collins, I salute your ability to put together this fine resource while at the same time delivering high quality bullpen innings in Kansas City.
Best of luck this year!
Has Hamilton ever been timed at the 100 metre dash? He'd have to be somewhere below 10.5, at least...
Thanks for the excellent update. Informative, with plenty of new information on some of the younger guys in the Toronto system, Amon others.
I think you can re-use a nickname once every 120 years.
I asked the Google, but was unable to find out which staffer is moving to Toronto--who's the new employee?
And congratulations to him or her!
Did you happen to ask the scouts about White's defence? Would it also have been an 80, or more likely a 70 or 75?
Was Anthony Gose under consideration for best OF defense in the minors? I don't have a great sense about his instincts, but the speed and the arm give him a great base, and his UZR in centre last year was spectacular in a very small sample.
This was awesome. Thanks!
I met Earl Weaver at Fanfest '91 at the All-Star game in Toronto. I believe he was there promoting his video game (which I recall as being awesome).
He was warm, engaging, and happy to chat to me and any other baseball fan who walked by. I went back several times to play the game and have a word with the great man. A class act who will be missed.
During the last World Baseball Classic, the Skydome was actually incredibly loud during the Canada-US game. The lack of any actual hope over the past 19 years, plus a naturally quiet fanbase, has meant Toronto's been a fairly mediocre place to watch a game for the last very long while.
However, the fan base for the Jays has been getting noticeably younger over the past several years and the fans have also shown a greater inclination to volume lately, whenever there's been any pretext to cheer.
While their has been some drunken idiocy (two dollar Tuesday shall never return), Toronto's fans have been so deeply starved for a winner, that there's real potential for 35,000+ fans in the stands each game, and a more enthusiastic, vibrant crowd, where Jays fans aren't outnumbered by Yankee and Red Sox fans visiting north of the border during big intra-divisional series.
If you look at the Jays' roster they're set at 1B, 3B, SS, LF, RF, and C (given D'Arnaud) for at least the next 2 years.
On top of that Rasmus/Gose provide cover/trade bait in CF. The only area of immediate need is DH (assuming Izturis/Bonifacio are a decent stopgap at 2B).
The failure of the lower level position prospects to develop is disappointing, but not as relevant to the current squad. With the young arms they have, if a need arises, they can presumably flip pitching talent for hitting.
Nyjer Morgan is Canadian? Perhaps Tony Plush is his American alter-ego.
December 5th, 1990. Pat Gillick sends Fred McGriff and Tony Fernandez to the San Diego Padres for Joe Carter and Roberto Alomar. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/06/sports/baseball/06trade.html?_r=0
Still the most important moment in Blue Jays history.
The Jays still need SP depth and a 1B/DH to ensure that Adam Lind does not see significant playing time.
An interesting and ambitious article. However, this line stood out: "Yet he is also, like Ai Weiwei, a persecuted and endangered species, carrying on his back a massive world of philosophical thought about baseball."
Trivializing the work of a great dissident by comparing him directly to a replacement-level player does Ai a disservice and distracts from the rest of the piece.
Colin, kudos on point 11. It's been a traumatic season for most Jays fans, finding out time and again that a series of worthless to moderately valuable pieces have been traded FOR RELIEVER AFTER RELIEVER AFTER RELIEVER.
I agree with you that the madness has to stop.
One small point: There's a typo in the header for 11, which suggests either that the Jays need to quit going after reincarnated ballplayers, or ballplayers stuck on revisiting their Glory Days.
Of course, the Jays had a lot of guys who were big baseball players, back when I was in high school...we should be so lucky today.
I very much enjoy the new format. The context and descriptions are excellent. Until someone mentioned it in the comments, I hadn't noticed that the stars were gone.
I don't miss them, but I can appreciate why some people would--perhaps you could add some context/depth to comparisons across systems. I do plan on reading each system review, but it will be tough to keep 300+ write-ups in mind when attempting to compare. Will you be ranking the systems at the end?
It was interesting to note that none of the many prospects sent over by the Blue Jays for J.A. Happ were worthy of a mention other than Asher Woj (and he barely got that).
Are any of those players worth keeping an eye on, or are they damaged goods/lottery tickets with limited chance of success?
Interesting article. One small comment--I believe that Ricky Romero won't be going to arbitration this year or any other, owing to the extension he signed in 2010.
He's owed $7.5 million each year from 2013 until 2015, with a club option for 2016.
I agree with others' positive comments on the new format.
I'd also like to add: Thanks for getting this out early in the day.
If the new plan for the Minor League Update results in high-quality pieces 5 days a week, published early in the day, I think that would be an improved product, notwithstanding the loss of talent.
Today's update puts the Red Sox' playoff odds at 32.3%. I am just going to chalk it up to a typo.
I concur. The Jays have the most glaring weakness of any team (i.e. lack of pitchers with functional UCLs) but if they choose to pick up 1 or 2 starters, they are at a minimum on an equal footing with Baltimore. It would not have been that difficult to add them to the mix and note that they need starters and a healthy Travis D'Arnaud.
Also, according to the chart, Boston's playoff odds appear to be about 37%. The article suggests the odds are 51%. Was this a typo, or am I missing something?
I'm Canadian. Your high dollar and Gord Ash prevented my favourite team from competing from 1994-2004.
2005-2012 non-competition cannot be solely blamed on Americans, but I still hold a grudge.
I am enjoying everyone's use of all-caps. This is one of the few times in the history of the internet that it's been entirely appropriate.
Well done, all of you!
I was going to suggest that D'Arnaud was the Jays' best option at C, and that there was no reason for Toronto to trade for a backstop, but then I realized you probably just typed 'J' instead of 'R'.
This is genius: "Finding success at such a young age at such advanced levels only added to the hype, and a very large percentage of national prognosticators and evaluators suggested Perez could have “top of the rotation potential,” which is like being at a party when “Common People” by Pulp appears on the playlist. You just start to dance, you think you can score with anything that walks, and the future appears paved with gold in your moment of celebration. Happiness."
I hope you don't mind, but I will be copying and pasting a large excerpt of this article, and sending it to friends who love Britpop and baseball. Perhaps they'll sign up.
Much as I love(d) Bill Simmons, it strikes me as odd that people around the Internet demand obeisance, 'royalties', or a hat tip whenever anyone uses movie quotes or lists players' trade value.
Bill's plenty successful, he doesn't need you to look out for him, and while this article uses quotes to support sports analysis, the actual analysis has little in common with whatever Bill compared using Boogie Nights quotes.
Of course, Jason doesn't need me to stand up for him, either, but I've seen the Simmons Police on other sites and wanted to take a stand.
Regarding the Jays' pick at 22, I've read that under the new CBA, the pick is in fact protected for one year. Did the rules change, or will they lose the 22nd pick without compensation if he isn't signed?
Could you tell us a bit more about Litsch's infection? Recent Toronto media reports suggest that it might be career-threatening.
I permanently injured my hip trying to hit like Tony Batista in a slow-pitch game. Do not try that stance at home!
This is very exciting. I happen to be lucky enough to have seats behind home plate for his start next week against the Blue Jays (May 1st, if the internet can be trusted).
Jason, is there anything in particular I should be looking for from Darvish, or should I just sit back and enjoy the awesomeness.
Also, if any BP folks are interested in a pint before the game, please suggest a location and time.
This is a great piece. Everyone makes mistakes.
Considering how and why you made them, and illustrating how things have changed is in some ways even better than getting it absolutely right the first time.
Or at least more interesting. If you got everything right, you would no longer be employed here at BP.
Lacks the hallucinogenic elan of your finest work, but an enjoyable snapshot nonetheless.
Great series, Jason.
Clearly, I disagree with the colonel on the more than how fried chicken should be prepared.
I can buy Brett Cecil at 0.2 WAR, but Ricky Romero at 0.5 WAR?
Numbers like this, and the -7.3 FRAA for Peter Bourjos really have me shaking my head. The written analysis from the Annual remains excellent, but some of these numbers seem ridiculous.
Is Molina's absence from the White Sox' 2013 #1 prospect conversation because he's worse than Jaye, or likely to be up in Chicago by then?
I enjoyed this very much.
I also enjoy the narrative pieces.
Leavening the awesomely strange with some straight up information dumps like this could serve to enhance both approaches (i.e. this could be the 50 change-up that presents as plus when played off your plus-plus fastballs with crazy movement).
Dear PECOTA, I bet you 20 dollars the Blue Jays' top 6 starters accumulate more than 4.3 WAR.
Does PECOTA really project the White Sox and the Jays to have the same record this year. Can I bet with PECOTA on that?
Greg's suggestions vis a vis Rogers Centre are good ones. When the dome's open, it's actually a half-decent place to watch a game, provided you're not way down the first base-line.
My favourite cheap seats are in the 200-level right above the visitors' bullpen. Prime heckling territory, plus Bautista's right there (and, in days gone by, Eric Hinske!)
Hi. Please come to Toronto. That would be great.
We will forgive you in person for the diminutive Lineouts section in this year's annual (and here I would insert a smiley if I were the type of person who used smileys).
I appreciate the logic between a flattening of values in AL/NL only leagues, but I've found that in reality, these values are never reflected in an actual draft, particularly in a league with inflation.
Sticking to the theoretical values, it seems the main advantage to be gained is to pick the top performers in each dollar value tier. I.E. with Young, Longoria, A-Rod, Bautista [even woefully under-projected], Beltre, and Reynolds within a $4 range, it makes a ton of sense to spend the extra $4-$5 for the elite performer.
Of course, this can lead to bidding wars and prices closer to the players' intuitive values.
Great stuff. Thanks!
Ooooohhh...Look at me double switching!
Ooooohhh...Look at me intentionally walking Jose Lind 19 times a season!
Ooooohhh...Look at me pulling my ace for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the 6th inning!
I actually have no problem with pitchers continuing to hit in the NL, but to say it leads to superior (or even more interesting) strategic thinking or game play is silly.
Has the WARP data for pitchers been updated yet? Or is the impact of the bug mentioned elsewhere in the site ongoing?
I find it hard to believe that Felix Hernandez' 2010 season was only worth 3.3 WAR, or that his 2011 was only worth 2.2 WAR.
In the last two years, Jose Bautista has put up 6.5 and 10.3 WAR.
Does PECOTA really only project him to put up 3.2 WAR next year, less than Lawrie and Escobar?
That seems really, really low. While the new calculations may be more accurate for the majority of players, perhaps anomalies such as Jose throw the system for even more of a loop.
Thanks! I appreciate the customer service, and will order today.
A slightly off-topic question: When will the 2012 BP Annual be shipping through Amazon.com?
If I order now, would it be likely/definitely delivered in the US by February 28?
Thanks very much.
While I appreciate your deigning to reply, I believe your post contains a large dollop of personal preference and a dearth of substance (and if I were the type of person who could use a smiley without cringing, I would insert one here).
This was cute. But seriously, what could go wrong with Nestor Molina?
I was at the Orioles-Red Sox brawl game, which was truly horrible, up until the brawl, which was awesome in its incompetence.
Additional context: the game was over with 2 outs in the first inning (7-0, I believe); the Orioles made 3 errors in the first inning (only one of which was actually counted as an error by the scorekeeper--he was either interested in pumping up Sox' stats or protecting J.J. Hardy's fielding percentage, not sure which); and, it rained lightly throughout the entire game.
Also, and this may be evidence for its awesomeness, after the brawl the Orioles came off the field, then came back on, and a new reliever came in to warm up, as Gregg had been ejected. After warming up, the reliever left the field without throwing any pitches, and the Orioles cam out to hit in the top of the 9th.
There was no explanation, and thus mass confusion for 15 minutes. Mass, unconcerned confusion, as the game was totally uncompetitive. Apparently the runner from 3rd was called out for leaving the basepaths to participate in the brawl (awesome!)
Don't worry Jamie, it's only going to be a one or two word chapter, depending on whether or not Jaffe decides to include a 'hell' before the 'no'.
Pitch perfect. Well done, sir.
(And also to you, Professor).
Very, very well done.
In addition to accuracy on the schedule, I think it would be great to see more chats from more writers.
I appreciate that staff are very busy, but it shouldn't be difficult for more folks to set aside 60-90 minutes every other week (or irregularly, if need be) for a chat with readers.
Your consideration is most appreciated.
If the scuttlebutt from a friend who worked for the Jays at the time is to be believed, "sleepwalking" = bad acid trip.
An excellent article.
I hope there are more of these--it gives a very well-rounded picture of each prospect.
Is anyone else kind of frightened by the picture of Colin Wyers? I'm sure he's very nice, but the photographer must have invited him to give his 'death stare' instead of a smile.
Also, I don't know what's on Jason Parks' head, but it fits in with my impression of Mr. Parks as awesome.
Why not Kyle Drabek, D'Arnaud, and Anthony Gose?
Wouldn't Logan Morrison have to be part of a much larger package to bring in Shields? With that level of performance and his contract, he seems to be worth a lot more than a nice prospect whose value is at a low ebb in his organizations.
The article mentions the potential move of Niemann or Davis in a Morrison deal, and that seems much more likely.
I know that the Rays have significant financial constraints, but with Moore up next year seems to be within their window of contention, rather than rebuilding, so an off-season that includes a Shields trade for lesser major league talent doesn't seem to make much sense (unless the financial system collapses again and the Rays' owners really need to save their pennies).
Thank God it's almost lunch time. Fine work, sir.
At what maximum price in an AL-only 23-man active roster keeper league would it make sense to hold on to Morel?
The $5 value he returned this year suggests a max of $7-8 given league inflation for 2012, but is this actually a case where spring training might be meaningful in terms of his ability to deliver $10-12 in value?
Ordinarily I wouldn't consider him at those prices but 3B is relatively dire in the AL, but just about every serviceable player will be owned. $28 on A-Rod or $11 on Morel (shudders).
Brett Morel? Chad Pennington? Alex Rios?
Nice to see you guys and gals show your chops beyond baseball.
A great article, topped by the introduction of "Nerfy Nunez". That's an 80 name right there, but I can't argue with Smerling Lantigua on the top of the list.
"Yo soy Smerling Lantigua..."
How I wish I could say that, and mean it.
Thanks for the response.
Enjoy your stay in Mexico. I envy your access to various meats braised in delicious adobo and mole sauces.
Always an enjoyable read.
A quick question: Will living in Mexico hinder your ability to write about prospects, most of whom are based in the United States?
Richard, you get a +1 for calling to mind my second favorite Blue Jays brawl moment, after George Bell's karate kick on Bruce Kison.
Dan Bern's baseball songs are fantastic.
Of the songs listed here: http://homepage.mac.com/bcourter/danbernbaseball/
I'd most recommend 'This Side of the White Lines' (heartbreaking); 'Gambling With My Love' (with Martha Wainwright); and (Day at the) Ballpark.
Great writing. Thanks.
Another excellent piece in this series. Keep up the good work!
PhilliesRed, I'm pretty sure that's a typo. As far as I know (and I follow the Jays pretty closely, he's still behind the plate.
This has been a great series so far. Thanks for the illumination!
An excellent insight into the scouting process. Thank you.
Fear and Loathing in Spring Training. Solid.
Jason, thanks for this. It will be very helpful in ranking some of the back-end pitchers in my AL-only league.
Excellent customer service is appreciated. Keep up the good work!
This is excellent writing, Jason. The analysis is very impressive, and should be quite useful to anyone playing fantasy.
Will there be similar analysis of middle relievers, for those of us in deeper leagues?
Marc, these types of responses are very helpful and the type of thing that makes one's new membership feel worthwhile.
I will try the "Aggressive" setting in the PFM and see if that looks more familiar. Thanks again!
Marc, thanks very much for the speedy reply.
I'm not sure if I buy the logic entirely, but ever since tying up too much money in Carl Crawford and Alfonso Soriano way back when I've tended to avoid superstars, so perhaps I intuitively agree with the principle, and the discomfort with the specific dollar values are just a question of degree.
A quick question or two from a new member:
1. The differences in auction values from mixed to 1-league only seem bizarre to me. Is there a reason why Pujols' or Cabrera's values are lower for NL/AL only than for a mixed league? For my 12-team AL only league, the Cabrera value, for example, would be low by at least $10.
2. I like Kila Ka'aihue as much as the next guy, but once I tweaked the PFM for our league's specifics, his auction value, with rounding, was the same as that for Kevin Youkilis. I take all of these rankings with a grain of salt, but that sort of result really makes me question the value of the dollar figures in the spreadsheet (even if the rest of the information and the analysis is very helpful).
Is it just Kila love inside the machine, or is there anything else I should be wary of?