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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Top 10 Future Scouting Directors

No Baseball America feature is complete without a Top 10 Prospects list, so while gathering information about the job of scouting director, we also asked people where the next generation of scouting directors might come from. This ranking is not a formal poll, but does reflect the opinions of the more than 25 current scouting directors and other front-office executives.

1. Danny Montgomery

Assistant Scouting Director, Rockies

Montgomery, 47, has been with the Rockies since the birth of the ...

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Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: January 25, 2017 at 10:29 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: front office, scouts

Dodgers left-hander Ryu Hyun-jin claims to be pain-free, ready for new season

“Right now, I’d say I am in better shape than I normally would be at the start of spring training,” Ryu told reporters at Incheon International Airport. “I threw four bullpen sessions a day while training in Japan. I have no pain at the moment.”

Ryu, who made his big league debut in 2013, missed the entire 2015 season after a shoulder surgery in May that year. He returned to action on July 7 last year against the San Diego Padres but was touched for six earned runs on eight hits in 4 2/3 ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 25, 2017 at 06:52 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, ryu hyun-jin

Mets captain David Wright: I’m no feel-good story, I want to win | New York Post

“I can go on for hours about that, but I still have a passion for the game,’’ Wright told The Post Friday night. “Everybody I’ve talked to has said the same thing to me. You know when you know.’’

It’s not over for David Wright, not yet.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 25, 2017 at 06:49 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: david wright, mets

MLB Allows Hector Mendoza Unrestricted Free Agency In Unusual Case | BaseballAmerica.com

Late Cuban free agent enters the mix. In another article, BA says he’s a reliever with middle of the rotation potential. That ability should help him to get a nice contract.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 25, 2017 at 06:47 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cuban free agents, hector mendoza

Know Thyself: How Self-Assessment by Teams Fires The MLB Hot Stove | VICE Sports

“You’ve got a thousand little things that go into it, even when you feel like you’ve got a pretty good sense of your ballclub,” said one executive. “How long a tenure does the general manager have, and how long is his current contract? How stable and consistent and long-term looking is the ownership? How have the last five years been? The last ten? What’s the current season ticket base? There’s just so many different factors, and there is a huge wide spectrum of thought on each of those ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 25, 2017 at 06:40 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers

2017 Top 10 shortstop prospects list | MLB.com

Torres leapfrogs them all.

1. Gleyber Torres, Yankees
The recipient of a $1.7 million bonus out of Venezuela in 2013, Torres excelled in his first full pro season in ‘15 as he helped Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach win the Carolina League title at age 19. He continued to impress last season in his return to Myrtle Beach before joining the Yankees as their key return in the Aroldis Chapman deal in July, and then became the youngest Arizona Fall League MVP and batting champion (.403) in 25 years. ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 25, 2017 at 06:35 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: prospect rankings, prospect reports

S. Korean infielder embraces challenger mindset after signing with San Francisco Giants

“They told me they could clearly see I was getting better, and that I had potential to grow even more,” Hwang said. “I know the team will be counting on me to provide some power. And I hope to take advantage of the assets that I have.”

Jim Furtado Posted: January 25, 2017 at 06:24 AM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, hwang jae-gyun

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Jeff Bridich on Building the Rockies (With an Eye on the NFL) | FanGraphs Baseball

It’s tough to think outside the box when you all occupy the same box.

“That’s where your internal process is important — how you evaluate, and not only the players you have, but also the type of development process you have. You’ve got to have people that don’t think alike all the time. Group-think isn’t always a good thing in an organization. You want people who are willing to play devil’s advocate and push your internal convention. If you’ve got that, you’re hopefully setting ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 24, 2017 at 06:48 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, jeff bridich, rockies

The Dodgers’ Decision To Be Intentionally Inefficient | FanGraphs Baseball

One of the best things about baseball is we’ll eventually find out the answer.

De Leon could make this deal a disaster from LA’s perspective, but if Forsythe provides enough short-term value that they can get past the Cubs in either of the next two years, they’ll comfort themselves with the warmth of a World Series appearance, and maybe a big shiny trophy. Deals that require postseason success to work out are the worst kinds of trades to make, but the best kind of trades to have to make. The ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 24, 2017 at 06:39 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, rays

Edwards: Scott Rolen, Ron Santo, and the Third-Base Myth

Rolen, Rolen, Rolen, Rawhide!

In one way, Mike Schmidt is the prototypical third baseman: he was a great hitter and provided excellent defense. In another way, though, he isn’t: a prototype is a model on which subsequent reproductions are based. But no other third basemen has ever reproduced Schmidt’s accomplishments. He’s the best third baseman ever.

There’s a view that’s prevailed for some time to the effect that third basemen are just like first basemen except slightly more mobile. ...

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Renegade (((JE))) Posted: January 24, 2017 at 05:18 PM | 111 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, scott rolen, third basemen

Heyman: Best Of The Rest Free Agents

As we near February, some of these players must be getting nervous.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 24, 2017 at 03:06 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents

Pleskoff: Baseball in Cuba: Part I - The Atmosphere

A few people have floated the idea of a MLB team in Cuba. It’s not going to happen.

Games in Cuba are local celebrations. Tickets for Cubans cost the equivalent of 17 to 19 cents. For Americans, the price was three CUKs, a tourist currency, with each CUK translating to one American dollar. Tourists purchase CUKs at the hotel or a bank for a service fee. Locals pay for any goods and services not provided by the government in Cuban pesos which carry a different value than a CUK.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 24, 2017 at 03:00 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: cuban baseball

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-24-2017

Bridgeport Evening Farmer, January 24, 1917:

Albert (Reb) Russell, a pitcher with the Chicago Americans, has signed a 1917 contract. Russell is the twenty-first member of the club to come to terms. “Talk of a strike is not worrying me,” Charles Comiskey said. “I am having no trouble in signing my players.”

Meanwhile, the Marshalltown (Iowa) Times-Republican reports that Shano Collins, the White Sox representative to the players’ fraternity, sent a letter to a teammate talking about ice skating ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 24, 2017 at 12:49 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Phillies Catchers Have Much To Prove In 2017

In my now-ongoing series on the Phillies rebuild, I’ve examined their pitching, and focused on Maikel Franco. Now, we turn to their catchers.

As GM Matt Klentak has repeatedly done this winter, there will be a stopgap in place, while a fresh young prospect will be groomed to be the next great core player. What will be interesting is to see how Klentak and manager Pete Mackanin balance both.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 24, 2017 at 10:57 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies

The Hidden Effects of Jet Lag on Baseball Players - WSJ

According to a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, teams traveling eastward at least two time zones give up more home runs than they otherwise would, offering insights into how the internal body clock affects performance.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 24, 2017 at 10:55 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: performance

Report: Left-hander Brett Anderson, Cubs agree to deal

Free-agent left-hander Brett Anderson has agreed with the Chicago Cubs on a deal, pending a physical, according to Fox Sports.

Anderson spent the past two seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He is just 28 but is coming off his second back surgery in three years, having undergone an arthroscopic procedure during spring training last year. He was limited to just four appearances, and three starts, with the Dodgers this past season, registering an 11.91 ERA in 11 1/3 innings.

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 24, 2017 at 10:09 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: brett anderson, cubs

Braves say Cobb County owes $14 million more for stadium it is already paying for

In a sign that we are truly living in a world with alternate facts, a Major League Baseball team owned by Liberty Media Company—which is in turn owned by John C. Malone, who is worth an estimated $7.7 billion—claims that it is owed an additional $14 million by taxpayers for the construction of a stadium that the public is already financing to the tune of at least $350 million. The Braves paid $280 million upfront and will add an additional $92 million over the life of the 30-year deal. The ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 24, 2017 at 10:08 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, stadiums

2017 Top 10 third base prospects | MLB.com

1. Rafael Devers, Red Sox
He has been overshadowed in the Boston system by the likes of Andrew Benintendi and Yoan Moncada, but that should change in 2017 with Benintendi in the big leagues and Moncada traded to the White Sox. Devers blends a rare combination of hitting ability and power potential, and he’s ready for Double-A at age 20.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 24, 2017 at 07:07 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Harris eager to show Cardinals result of elbow surgery | St. Louis Cardinals | stltoday.com

Potentially one of the biggest stories of the upcoming season.

Like former Cardinals reliever Seth Maness, Harris went into surgery expecting Tommy John and left as one of three professional pitchers attempting to return after an alternative. Dr. George Paletta did a “primary repair” of Harris’ ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) at the bone and then constructed a protective sling out of tape to give the ligament support and protection as it healed. As a result, instead of missing 2017 and ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 24, 2017 at 07:06 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

$20M owed to Yordano Ventura likely hinges on his toxicology report

I know this is news but…

Jim Furtado Posted: January 24, 2017 at 07:00 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: royals, yordano ventura

Looters left Ventura to die, according to unconfirmed reports - Royals Review

Initial reports aren’t always accurate but if Pedro’s comments are true, the story of Ventura’s horrible death just got even worse.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 24, 2017 at 06:58 AM | 169 comment(s)
  Beats: royals, yordano ventura

Monday, January 23, 2017

Dodgers Trade Prospect Jose De Leon Straight-Up to Tampa for Logan Forsythe

After being rumored for months in heated pursuit of Minnesota second baseman Brian Dozier, the Dodgers pivoted on Monday and acquired Tampa Bay’s Logan Forsythe for right-handed pitching prospect Jose De Leon.

Dock Ellis Posted: January 23, 2017 at 09:23 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: jose de leon, logan forsythe, los angeles dodgers, tampa bay rays, trades

The Surprising Way Jet Lag Impacts Major League Baseball Games

The most striking effect of jet lag was on poor defensive performance, exemplified best by home runs allowed by pitchers. An increased tendency to give up the long ball was seen among eastward travelers (but not westward travelers), and in both home and away groups. This single stat was enough to explain most of the jet lag effects observed in this study, and it was considered strong enough to negate home field advantage (call it “jet lag disadvantage”). In terms of actual numbers, jet ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 23, 2017 at 03:58 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: jet lag, science

Phillies’ Maikel Franco works to improve plate approach

I’m sold on his bat to ball skills. If he can learn to hunt for better pitches, he can be a star.

Franco offered a blunt diagnosis for his woes at the plate.

“In 2016, most of the time I just went to the plate without a plan,” he said. “I just swung at everything. Now, I think about it like, ‘This year is really important for you. You have to know what you’re doing and have to show everybody more discipline and be more selective at home plate.’ “

Franco wasn’t the only Phils hitter to struggle ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 23, 2017 at 03:52 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: maikel franco, phillies

Ryan Zimmerman hits hard but needs to add lift | MLB.com

I would have liked to see a comparison to his 2014-2015 results. (If I have time later today, I check out their handy new tool to investigate myself.) Anyway, this suggests it wasn’t a physical issue but was mechanical. It will be interesting to see if the coaching staff helps him correct the problem.

Though he hit the ball hard, Zimmerman had a pretty low launch angle, which is to say he was hitting hard-hit grounders. When viewed in this context, his numbers above make a lot more sense. While ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 23, 2017 at 11:21 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: ryan zimmerman, statcast

Baseball Prospectus | Prospectus Feature: Command and Control

Interesting stuff. Read the whole article.

Command

Now that we’ve established that CS Prob is a proxy for control, we can build on it. After extensive review, we’ve concluded that CSAA substantially reflects a pitcher’s ability to command his pitches. It’s important to make the connection between what CSAA does and the popular definition of command.

Traditionally command is understood as the ability to “hit your spots”—having the ball end up where you intend it to. Over the years ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 23, 2017 at 10:18 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-23-2017

Ogden Standard, January 23, 1917:

A charge that last year’s pennant race in the Pacific Coast baseball league was “fixed” so that the Vernon club could not win was made in a statement by Edward R. Maier, former owner of the club, printed [in San Francisco yesterday]. Maier was expelled from membership in the league last September. At that time the explanation of Maier’s departure generally accepted was that he did not get along with the directors.
...
[Maier:] “In the final game of the season, ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 23, 2017 at 09:56 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, fixed games, history

OTP 23 Jan. 2017: Theo Epstein on baseball, politics and what he may do next

Theo globally, act locally:

“The reality is these days so much of the most important work in society is done by these non-profits, most of which don’t get real government funding, so it’s really important to identify the most impactful non-profits in your community, especially in a city like Chicago right now that is battling so many critical challenges and support them,” Epstein said. “Baseball is just bread and circus. What we do, we just entertain the masses.”

(As always, views expressed ...

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BDC Posted: January 23, 2017 at 07:37 AM | 2351 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, politics, theo epstein

2017 Top 10 second base prospects | MLB.com

Except for the top guy, a bunch of new names on the top second base prospect list.

1. Yoan Moncada, White Sox
After the Red Sox broke the bank to sign Moncada—a total of $63 million—he made it to the big leagues in just two years, where he struggled, albeit in just 19 at-bats. He was at the top of the four prospects the White Sox got in that Sale deal and he should see time at second in Chicago at some point in 2017.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 23, 2017 at 06:36 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects reports

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Becoming Yordano

The odds of a young Yordano Ventura ever pitching in the major leagues were astronomically long.  But thanks to ability that Royals officials call a gift, not to mention more than a little good fortune, the fire-throwing young man who starred in game six of the 2014 World Series could be poised to follow in the footsteps of Dominican Republic countryman Pedro Martinez.

Zach Posted: January 22, 2017 at 11:22 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: rip, royals, yordano ventura

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