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Rany takes the easy ones; we want to cover a couple of interesting guys you
may not have heard as much about: Adam Riggs, a longtime second baseman in
the Dodger chain with a little pop, and Octavio Dotel, one of many pitching
prospects around the minors who could be great, or could be injured or
awful. Let Rany talk about Troy Glaus, Eric Chavez, and Adrian Beltre.
These guys are the ones that pose interesting organizational questions.


If you’re not familiar with the format of the translated statistics below, just
think of them as performances translated to a neutral park in major league
baseball, where the average is a .260 batting average, a .330 on base
percentage, and a .420 slugging. Clay’s just trying to provide a stable
platform for comparison of players across, leagues, parks, and eras. For more
details on these statistical tools, check out Baseball Prospectus 1998, or
email us at info@baseballprospectus.com.

Adam Riggs, 2B Born 1973 Age 25

Year Team     Lge  AB  H   DB  TP  HR  BB  R  RBI  SB  CS Out   BA   OBA   SA  EQA
1994 GreatFls Pio 241  57   7   1   4  21  26  22   6   4 188  .237 .298 .324 .217
1994 Yakima   Nwn   7   2   0   0   0   0   0   1   0   0   5  .286 .286 .286 .199
1995 San Bern Cal 523 150  19   1  17  42  74  78  13   6 379  .287 .340 .424 .266
1996 SanAnton Tex 505 129  20   2  13  33  59  60  12   5 381  .255 .301 .380 .238
1997 Albuquer PCL 214  51   5   1   9  23  28  29   9   2 165  .238 .312 .397 .250
1997 LosAngls NL   20   4   2   0   0   4   4   1   1   0  16  .200 .333 .300 .234
1998 Albuquer PCL 160  47   7   2   3  16  28  22   9   4 117  .294 .358 .419 .273


Riggs is not a grade-A prospect by any means. He’s not the greatest
defensive second sacker in the world, but he’s adequate. He’s not young, and
there’s not one particular facet of the game that he’s great at. But take a
look at the whole package: Riggs hits for a decent average, has some pop in his
bat, isn’t a bad baserunner, and at age 25 this year, there’s still some room
for him to improve. Riggs is certainly talented enough to help a major league
club with a hole at 2B; he may not definitely be better than Eric Young, but
I’m pretty sure he’s not $4,000,000 worse. If you’re going to have a stopgap
solution at a position, it makes sense to try someone like Riggs there — he’s
not expensive, and he has a chance to improve. With a lot of the guys
competing for roster space and playing time like Riggs, you don’t have settle
for expensive, guaranteed mediocrity, like EY.


An interesting aspect about the PCL since the big merger this year: Runs are
down significantly, with teams averaging 5.3 runs per game, as opposed to 6.0
per game last year. That’s going to make judging minor leaguers a little
interesting. Those parks in the old PCL should have pretty drastic park
effects, as the addition of the American Association parks brought the league
average down without changing the old parks. So far, beloved Mike Marshall
Stadium [Albuquerque] is running about a 123 park factor, albeit in
a very small sample size. (28/24 home/road dates.)

Octavio Dotel, 1974 Age 24

 Year Team     Lge     IP   H   ER  HR  BB  K    ERA  W  L   H/9  HR/9 BB/9   K/9  
 1995 St Lucie Fla     7.7  14   7   2   4   7  8.22  0  1 16.43  2.35 4.70  8.22
 1996 Columbia SAL   108.0 138  64  10  58  85  5.33  4  8 11.50  0.83 4.83  7.08
 1997 St Lucie Fla    49.0  53  17   3  27  29  3.12  3  2  9.73  0.55 4.96  5.33
 1997 Binghmtn Eas    56.3  74  46   4  36  31  7.35  1  5 11.82  0.64 5.75  4.95
 1998 Binghmtn Eas    61.7  39  13   4  23  55  1.90  6  1  5.69  0.58 3.36  8.03


That’s a nice sharp contrast to his performance last year in the same league.
He’s always prevented home runs well, but currently he’s shutting down hits,
has cut his walk rate by a quarter over his career rate, and raised his
strikeouts. If you haven’t had a chance to see this guy pitch, he’s really
improved a great deal, and looks well nigh unhittable. In addition to adding a
couple miles per hour of velocity, he’s hitting corners, and the ball’s got
nasty movement.


The Eastern League is the best league for pitchers in AA or above, with an
EqA of just .238, with teams averaging 4.6 runs per game. Even so, Dotel (like
Yarnall before him) is pitching in one of the better hitter’s parks in the
league.


The Mets would not have let Yarnall go unless they were convinced that
Dotel’s progress is genuine. Clearly, his performance in 60-some odd
innings this year is out of line with his previous performance. Fluke or
genuine change in level of ability? Probably a bit of both. But Dotel
doesn’t need to retain all of his improvement to help a club — if he can
hold on to 50%, he’s a valuable property.