Prospects of Scott Kazmir ever recapturing the magic are declining - along with his velocity.
I’m not ashamed to admit this: Once upon a time, I had a fantasy crush on Scott Kazmir. You know what I’m talking about when I say fantasy crush... I had to have him on my roster. In every league. I was probably guilty of raising his ADP by five to ten places. If some other owner grabbed him before I had a chance, I immediately sprang into action formulating a potential trade. Auction league? Let’s just say I had my own little “Kazmir Allocation Fund” at the ready.
Why did I like Kazmir so much? The strikeouts, the strikeouts and the strikeouts. He led the AL in strikeouts in 2007 with 239 and from 2005 to 2008 he averaged 9.7 SO/9. Among starters that threw in all four seasons and tossed at least 500 innings total, that strikeout rate was the tops in baseball. And it wasn’t even close. In fact, only three pitchers struck out more than a batter an inning during those four seasons.
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Lima Time as a standard for evaluation, reinforcing the Red Sox, the Tigers slip by an Inge, and more.
Using a pitcher's rate of SNLVAR, Kazmir's season has been a disaster of massive proportions, one that rates about 4.8 on the Keough scale, something that for the moment suits my purposes for describing starting pitcher inadequacy, using Matt Keough's appalling 1982 season as a baseline for starting pitcher-related terrors visited upon a team's unhappy fans over a full season. This isn't really especially fair of me, in that Keough doesn't hold the single-season low for a starter with 30 starts in a campaign, but 1982 was a horrifying disappointment, and the man was beaten with a regularity that made me think that he was the drum, and the entire American League was Keith Moon.
With an eye towards the weekend's action, what is the performance track record of the Angels' Game Three starter?
Despite his age, Scott Kazmir has already had a career full of ups and downs. At just 25 years old, the former Tampa Bay Rays ace has an uncertain future ahead of him, as he could go in one of two directions: he could bounce back from a disappointing 2009 season to become the pitcher many envisioned him turning into, or he could continue to slip further from top-of-the-rotation relevancy with each passing year. The Angels dealt for him this summer, hoping that he can be more the former than the latter, especially over the next month, as they try to do something they have never done before-beat the Red Sox to advance in the playoffs.
The Sox played their way into October with two dramatic wins this week, while the Rays won their division with six dramatic months. Who holds the advantage?
Each year, the White Sox graciously host a University of Chicago alumni event, where Christina Kahrl and I speak to 150 or more nerds in the U.S. Cellular Conference & Learning Center. The group gets tickets to the game too-which usually means a contest against the Orioles or the Royals, or perhaps a thrilling interleague tilt against the Pirates; clubs that don't motivate many Chicagoans to give up an afternoon from their short summers to come out to the ballpark.
The AL Central will be a dead heat, according to the BP staff, with the East and West showing more separation.
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 League. The National League predictions will follow, 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 preseason MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year voting.
Let's compare J.J. Hardy and Bobby Crosby:
Player Age EqBA/EqOBP/EqSLG
Hardy 20 .240/.316/.380
Crosby 23 .273/.356/.490
Adjusted for park and league context, Crosby's numbers were much, much better. How to balance that against the age differential? I think the question becomes: How likely is it that Hardy will post a line of .273/.356/.490 or equivalent by the time that he's 23? It's possible, certainly, and it's also possible that he'll post a line even better than that. But I don't think that it's *probable*. That's a lot of improvement to make. PECOTA would put the possibility at somewhere around 25%, I'd think, and I think that's enough to render Crosby the stronger prospect.
In preparing the annual top prospect list for Baseball Prospectus 2004, BP authors participated in the annual extended roundtable discussion of baseball's top prospects. The ranking and review process balanced translated statistics, scouting reports, and injury reports with the strong personal opinions of BP's finest…all with the goal of putting together the "best damn prospect list the world has ever seen." In Part I today we'll listen in on the discussion of the top prospects among pitchers, catchers, first basemen and second basemen. Parts II through IV will run Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. We'll also unveil the final list Tuesday, with the Top 50 prospects (we've expanded from prior years' Top 40) revealed. Rany Jazayerli will be along to discuss the Top 50 list and the process that went into compiling it in Tuesday night's Chat.
Welcome to the first installment of Top 10 Prospects, Baseball Prospectus' weekly look at the 10 best prospects currently active in the minor leagues. Every week, David Cameron will look at those prospects who display the best combination of long-term potential, current performance, historical performance, and minimal risk. He'll also include a weekly list of Honorable Mentions, and Rising and Falling prospects. Dig in to find out who made the list.