Jason has more notes on Royals and Indians prospects from his recent trip to Delaware.
“Baseball is my stereo, and this ain't no garden party, brother, this is wrestling, where only the strongest survive.” –Ric Flair
I just returned home from a five-day scouting expedition, where I saw organizational players and prospects alike recite their lines on the advanced A-ball stage. Wilmington, Delaware was the setting for this theater, and I probably escaped the state with more stories that originated outside the ballpark than on the field itself, and trust me, I was able to gather plenty of stories from the action taking place on the field. My next article might have to focus on the eclectic cab driver who took a casual conversation about adult metabolism and escalated it into a tale of karate and gunfights, the 30-year-old hotel bartender who foolishly thought he could play shortstop in the high minors, and the previously mentioned girl on the bus, who looked like a toy, complete with the plastic package that separates the product from the hands of the outside world, but baseball is still fresh on my mind, and the notes from the Wilmington Blue Rocks/Carolina Mudcats series are playing on repeat in my head. I was sad to leave the scene of the crime, but happy to find comfort in the documented history of my travels, the scouting scribbles on prospects like Royals right-hander Jason Adam and Indians middle-infielders Ronny Rodriguez and Tony Wolters. Let’s just do this.
Mitchell is not the best prospect on the Yankees Triple-A staff, but don't be surprised if he's the first to the majors. Scouts think he could be effective as either a back-end starter or middle reliever, as while he's on the small side, he's ultra-athletic and features a fastball that has slightly above-average velocity and plenty of movement. He's not going to be a star, but he should have big league value, even on a championship-level roster.
Is our prospect guru going to jump off the bandwagon on some of his top prospects of 2011?
Who: Christian Bethancourt (Braves) Background with Player: My own eyes; information from industry sources Documented Observations and Prognostications: For nearly two years, I’ve been waxing hyperbolic on Bethancourt’s skill set, at times saying he might be the best catching prospect in the minors. On a raw tool front, I have put Bethancourt’s arm strength and release from behind the plate as 80-grade attributes, as I’ve clocked pop times under 1.8 and others (sources) have clocked him even faster (1.65). In fact, 80-grade might not do his raw arm strength justice; if you can’t tell, his arm is insanely strong.
At the plate, the Panamanian catcher has crazy pop, using his raw strength and fast hands to spray balls to all fields. While his batting-practice displays can slick your hair up Teddy-boy style, the translation to game action has been slow. While he’s immature with the total skill package, the promise is overwhelming. I absolutely love Bethancourt, and I think he is going to be a star.
Do early-season phenoms fade once the rest of the league learns to stop giving them pitches to hit?
Believe it or not, most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.
Pegging BP's favorites in both leagues, in the standings and for the major awards.
Today we reveal the Baseball Prospectus staff predictions for the division standings and the major player awards (MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year) in the American and National Leagues. Each staff member's division standings predictions may be found later in the article. Here, we present a wisdom-of-the-crowds summary of the results. In each table you'll find the average rank of each team in their division with first-place votes in parentheses, plus the results of our pre-season MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year voting. Picking favorites for the Wild Card for the respective leagues initially might have seemed easy, since the selections universally favored the second-place team in the AL East, while all but two voters picked their second-place teams in the NL East to earn the non-division champ playoff team, but a tie in the rankings had to be broken in favor of the team named the Wild Card winner on the most individual ballots, which is sure to upset some people.
For the MVP voting, we've slightly amended the traditional points system in place that's been used elsewhere, dropping fourth- and fifth-place votes to make it 10-7-5 for the MVP Award, and the regular 5-3-1 for the Cy Young and Rookie of the Year Awards (that's 5 points for a first-place vote, 3 points for a second-place vote, etc.). Next to each of these selections we've listed the total number of ballots, followed by the total number of points, and then the number of first-place votes in parentheses, if any were received.
With Opening Day a little more than a week away, here is a look at the projected rosters for each of the 16 National League clubs following conversations with club executives and media members. Keep in mind these are projected rosters and subject to change. American League lineups are here. You can also look at the fantasy depth charts at any time to see our latest updated projections.
With Opening Day a little more than a week away, here is a look at the projected rosters for each of the 14 American League clubs following conversations with club executives and media members. National League lineups are here. You can also look at the fantasy depth charts at any time to see our latest updated projections.
As in the AL, the Central division is as tight as can be, while in the East two Mets are predicted to take home some hardware along with their division flag.
Today we reveal the Baseball Prospectus staff predictions for the division standings and the major player awards (MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year) in the National League, along with the staff picks in some fun miscellaneous categories.
Each staff member's division standings predictions may be found later in the article. Here, we present a wisdom-of-the-crowds summary of the results. In each table you'll find the average rank of each team in their division, plus the results of our pre-season MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year voting.