Stephen Strasburg faced the Pirates for the first time since his major-league debut, and he reeled off a similar line.
The Thursday Takeaway
Merry Strasmas, Nationals fans. With the team coming off a disappointing three-game skid, Stephen Strasburg took the mound against the Pirates and played stopper with results strikingly similar to his major-league debut.
Back on June 8, 2010, Strasburg surpassed even the loftiest of expectations by striking out 14 batters without issuing a walk over seven innings in his first career start. Strasburg’s victims that night were the Pirates, who managed only two runs on four hits, one of which was a Delwyn Young homer.
Checking in on whether a player with high pedigree has a better major-league career than a non-prospect.
Potential is a funny thing. The team that manages to grab the most players who outperform expectations often wins fantasy leagues. Every spring we hear about breakout candidates and which players stand the best chance of outperforming their projections. Often, these breakout candidates are selected based on their tools and their pedigree—their potential. While this kind of subjective and scouting data is very important, few people outside of Major League Baseball have a database with scouting reports on enough players dating back as far as we’d need to run a study to examine what these things actually tell us—not to mention all of the complications that would go into such a study. But there is one freely available tool that I thought might make for an interesting study: Baseball America’s archive of their Top 100 prospect lists dating back to 1990.
Today, I wanted to run a study using this archive as a proxy for pedigree to see how much pedigree matters for players who have already made it to the majors. Once a player is in the majors, does his pedigree make him more likely to break out?
With the first round of the draft in the books, do any of the northpaws crack the top tier of right-handed pitching prospects?
Ranking prospects by position has been done—at least, it has been attempted in the traditional sense [read: standard formula, i.e., #1. Best. #2. Second-best. #3. Third-best. You get it.]. Instead of following the standard formula, I thought I would offer something a little different, though the fundamental objective will remain the same: identifying baseball’s best prospects at each position.
Over the next 11 installments, I’ll focus on one position on the field, identify the preeminent talent in the minors at said position, and place them into cute little tiers to contextualize their place in my world. It’s an earnest and sincere exercise, delivered with some (attempted) humor, so hopefully it will be taken as such. I want to embrace the subjective nature of the task rather than pretend to be objective about it, which is great in theory, but not practical in its application. Everybody looks at players through a unique lens, and as a result, personal feelings enter into the equation. I’m cool with this. As I said, I’m going to attempt to deliver a sincere and earnest series, free from the artificiality associated with presenting a universal truth. Opinions change based on the climate of the moment. This is a snapshot of that moment.
With an abundance of trades over the winter, who is left to take over as the NL Central's top prospects?
Chicago Cubs How'd I do in 2010?: Of the five players given odds, three were not eligible for the this year's list; shortstop Starlin Castro (4-1) and right-hander Andrew Cashner (15-1) both saw their big-league timetables accelerated, while shortstop Hak-Ju Lee (10-1) went to the Rays in the Matt Garza deal. The eventual top prospect, outfielder Brett Jackson, got decent odds at (6-1), but the player with the best odds, third baseman Josh Vitters (3-1), saw his stock dip significantly.
A look back and a look ahead to who could the top prosects in the senior circuit next year.
One of the most frequent questions I get, be it via e-mail, chats, or the comment sections in the articles, is which player on (insert team here) has the best shot at moving into the Top 101. That's a much different question from who is the best prospect not in the Top 101, as the focus need to move solely to growth potential. Building on last year's "Future Top Dogs" series, let's keep that category in this year's version, while also taking an honest look at last year's prognostications.
Looking ahead to who could top next year's prospects lists in the junior loop.
One of the most frequent questions I get, be it via e-mail, chats, or the comment sections in the articles, is which player on [insert team here] has the best shot at moving into the Top 101. That's a much different question from who is the best prospect not in the Top 101, as the focus needs to move solely to growth potential. Building on last year's "Future Top Dogs" series, let's keep that category in this year's version, while also taking an honest list at last year's prognostications.
Counting down the top 15 farm systems armed with the most promising talent.
15. New York Mets Last Year’s Ranking: 18 Why They Are Here: The system is on the upswing, thanks to a nice group coming from the international market and, for the first time in a while, a draft class (2009) that looks like it will pay some dividends. With four Top 101 prospects and a three-star list that runs into the early teens, there's room for optimism here. Where They Will Be Next Year: The Mets could add another Top 50-type with the seventh overall pick in the draft, their highest slot since 2004, and fourth-highest pick in the last 25 years. Top prospects like Jenrry Mejia and Ike Davis have more of a 2011 timetable, so Fernando Martinez is the only top prospect likely to lose his eligibility this season.
The prospects positioned to campaign for the top spots in-house and within the game at large.
Prospecting is all about the future, so let's look deep into the coming year and try to figure out who might be topping next year's prospect lists in their respective organizations, as well as who could be moving up, down, or even out, beginning today with the American League.