A writer who never saw Jack Morris pitch watches him in action for the first time and comes away even less convinced that the traditionalist case for his candidacy should earn him a call to Cooperstown.
A young Detroit Tiger is pretty much Kevin's favorite animal. It's like a tiger and a prospect mixed, bred for its skills in baseball.
1. Cameron Maybin, cf DOB: 4/4/87 Height/Weight: 6-3/200 Bats/Throws: R/R Drafted: 1st round, 2005, North Carolina HS What he did in 2006: .304/.387/.457 at Low A (445 PA) The Good: On sheer athleticism and tools, Maybin is the total package, with a brutal home park hurting his nonetheless impressive numbers, as evidenced by road line of .333/.416/.517. Excellent hand-eye coordination and big time raw power that should begin to show up more in games as he improves his pitch recognition. Plus-plus runner who almost effortlessly covers the outfield from gap to gap and has a strong arm. The Bad: Maybin has trouble with breaking balls, and is prone to chasing pitches, which led to a lofty strikeout total. He needs to improve the accuracy of his throws. The Irrelevant: In 11 at-bats with the bases loaded, Maybin had three singles, a double, two grand slams and 16 RBI. In A Perfect World, He Becomes: A healthy Eric Davis. Gap Between What He Is Now, And What He Can Be: High. Maybin will likely start the year in the Florida State League, which means the power surge might have to wait another year.
With the young talent the Indians have on the big league roster, no wonder Kenny Williams is trying to restock his farm system.
1. Adam Miller, rhp Very Good Prospects
2. Chuck Lofgren, lhp
3. Trevor Crowe, cf Good Prospects
4. John Drennen, cf
5. Brian Barton, cf
6. Tony Sipp, lhp Average Prospects
7. Wes Hodges, 3b
8. Brad Snyder, rf
9. Rafael Perez, lhp
10. Scott Lewis, lhp
Interesting arms give the Pirates hope that they'll contend at some point.
1. Andrew McCutchen, cf Very Good Prospects
2. Brad Lincoln, rhp
3. Brent Lillibridge, ss Good Prospects
4. Neil Walker, c Average Prospects
5. Todd Redmond, rhp
6. Brian Bixler, ss
7. Josh Sharpless, rhp
8. Mike Felix, lhp
9. John Van Benschoten, rhp
10. Justin Vaclavik, rhp
A farm system that is in no way deep can at least thrill Reds fans with the best prospect tandem in the game.
1. Homer Bailey, RHP
2. Jay Bruce, RF Very Good Prospects
3. Joey Votto, 1B Good Prospects
4. Drew Stubbs, CF
5. Johnny Cueto, RHP
6. Travis Wood, LHP
7. Sean Watson, LHP Average Prospects
8. Milton Loo, SS/3B
9. Chris Valaika, SS
10. Paul Janish, SS
Kevin checks out the newsmakers in the winter leagues.
\nMathematically, leverage is based on the win expectancy work done by Keith Woolner in BP 2005, and is defined as the change in the probability of winning the game from scoring (or allowing) one additional run in the current game situation divided by the change in probability from scoring\n(or allowing) one run at the start of the game.';
xxxpxxxxx1160988517_18 = 'Adjusted Pitcher Wins. Thorn and Palmers method for calculating a starters value in wins. Included for comparison with SNVA. APW values here calculated using runs instead of earned runs.';
xxxpxxxxx1160988517_19 = 'Support Neutral Lineup-adjusted Value Added (SNVA adjusted for the MLVr of batters faced) per game pitched.';
xxxpxxxxx1160988517_20 = 'The number of double play opportunities (defined as less than two outs with runner(s) on first, first and second, or first second and third).';
xxxpxxxxx1160988517_21 = 'The percentage of double play opportunities turned into actual double plays by a pitcher or hitter.';
xxxpxxxxx1160988517_22 = 'Winning percentage. For teams, Win% is determined by dividing wins by games played. For pitchers, Win% is determined by dividing wins by total decisions. ';
xxxpxxxxx1160988517_23 = 'Expected winning percentage for the pitcher, based on how often\na pitcher with the same innings pitched and runs allowed in each individual\ngame earned a win or loss historically in the modern era (1972-present).';
xxxpxxxxx1160988517_24 = 'Attrition Rate is the percent chance that a hitters plate appearances or a pitchers opposing batters faced will decrease by at least 50% relative to his Baseline playing time forecast. Although it is generally a good indicator of the risk of injury, Attrition Rate will also capture seasons in which his playing time decreases due to poor performance or managerial decisions. ';
xxxpxxxxx1160988517_25 = 'Batting average (hitters) or batting average allowed (pitchers).';
xxxpxxxxx1160988517_26 = 'Average number of pitches per start.';
xxxpxxxxx1160988517_27 = 'Average Pitcher Abuse Points per game started.';
xxxpxxxxx1160988517_28 = 'Singles or singles allowed.';
xxxpxxxxx1160988517_29 = 'Batting average; hits divided by at-bats.';
xxxpxxxxx1160988517_30 = 'Percentage of pitches thrown for balls.';
xxxpxxxxx1160988517_31 = 'The Baseline forecast, although it does not appear here, is a crucial intermediate step in creating a players forecast. The Baseline developed based on the players previous three seasons of performance. Both major league and (translated) minor league performances are considered.
Wright or Marte, Marte or Wright. I love 'em both. I've put Andy Marte ahead for the moment, because of the 10-month age difference and because scouts seem to like him a lot more, but I really feel strongly that David Wright's as complete a prospect as there is in the game. I'd love to hear comments comparing the two, and Nate, I'd love to see what their PECOTA comps look like. Nobody else is that impressive. Dallas McPherson put up some serious numbers last year, and while some of that was in The Hangar in Rancho Cucamonga, he hit .314/.426/.569 in Arkansas. He doesn't have a great defensive reputation, but it's not terrible either, and he clearly outhit everyone else on this list. I don't know if anyone else deserves Top 50 consideration. I know people love the Greek God of Walks, but he hit .165/.295/.248 in Triple-A, over a 32-game sample. Of course, his full-season OBP was still .446, so... Chad Tracy hit .324 and his defense took a big step forward, but he doesn't do much more than hit singles, and it was Tucson. I respect that he's had two good seasons in a row, but he was in El Paso in 2002, so I'm not sure that means anything either. And as much as I hyped him a year ago, I have to concede that Brendan Harris may not be quite as good as I thought he was. But he's still a better prospect than almost anyone gives him credit for.