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Thursday, October 09, 2014

Q&A: Dan Kantrovitz, St. Louis Cardinals Scouting Director

Some good info on their methods and philosophies.

On methodology and valuation: “When you talk about our methodology, it’s not rocket science. It’s more, ‘Find a reliable metric; see what’s worked in the past and use it as a guide going forward.’ As a scouting director, I need to be disciplined to implement it and sell it to our department of scouts, who might not always agree with what we think the optimal decision is.

“Basically, we translate every piece of available information into runs. We have data from scouts, doctors, trainers, quantitative analysts, specialists in pitching mechanics – they all provide an expert opinion on a player. We bake all those opinions together and apply discount rates to enable us to compare players apple to apples in today’s dollars. We basically end up with a present value for every player on our board.

Perry Posted: October 09, 2014 at 03:13 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: scouting, st. louis cardinals

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Morosi: Scout’s honor: The discovery of David Peralta

Searching for grit mostly just turns up dirt, but it can occasionally unearth a gem.

Chris Carminucci, the Arizona Diamondbacks’™ coordinator of independent league scouting… is why the fourth-place Diamondbacks can claim one of the best stories in baseball this season: David Peralta, the effervescent 27-year-old rookie outfielder from Venezuela…

Peralta, who made his major-league debut June 1, is now the Diamondbacks’€™ everyday right fielder and No. 3 hitter… Peralta’€™s .793 OPS ranks among the top 30 major-league outfielders who have at least 250 plate appearances this year… Peralta’€™s pro baseball career began as a pitcher in the St. Louis Cardinals’ system. He was released in 2009 after two shoulder surgeries, having never made it out of rookie ball. But Peralta went home to Venezuela, transformed himself into a position player and returned to the U.S. in 2011… As the ‘12 season wore on, two of Carminucci’€™s contacts with a rival team in the American Association €—Laredo Lemurs manager Pete Incaviglia and pitching coach Bill Bryk Jr.—€” reaffirmed his original assessment of Peralta: He’€™s a good ‘€˜A’™ ball player if you need one... “€œHe was calling me every three or four days: ‘€˜I was 2 for 3 with a double. I went 3 for 4,’ ” Carminucci remembered… Finally a roster spot opened at Class A Visalia, and the Diamondbacks purchased Peralta’€™s contract. He had his second chance at affiliated ball—and responded with a .346 batting average in 51 games…

Added to the roster for a spring game because the Diamondbacks needed an extra outfielder, Peralta grounded a single up the middle and hustled to second on a momentary bobble by the center fielder… That one play in spring training stood out in our GM’s eyes, and it stuck with him all year.” [said Carminucci]...

In contrast to massive amateur scouting departments that cost upwards of $4 million per year—€” before signing bonuses—€” only a handful of major-league organizations employ a full-time independent league scout like Carminucci.

Perhaps more of them should.

The District Attorney Posted: August 21, 2014 at 10:30 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: david peralta, diamondbacks, independent leagues, scouting

Thursday, August 14, 2014

How Japan Finds American Baseball Talent

Now, Lopez’s job is to find current Triple-A players who look capable of clicking the same way. He sees every Independent League team at least twice over the course of a season. He completes his first circuit before July, attempting to see everyone in case the BayStars need midseason reinforcements. In the second half, he starts cherry-picking players at the positions that he, Kakazu, Yates, and GM Shigeru Takada expect to have to fill the following season. Eventually, Lopez becomes a quasi stalker, shadowing the player or players he thinks would be the best fit. “It gets tricky because they get called up or they get sent down,” Lopez says. “I’ll fly to a city and go to the park and, next thing you know, he’s been sent down or called up. So you’ve got to follow him, but that’s part of the scouting gig.” Trips to Japan are also on the itinerary, always during spring training and often during organizational meetings at the end of the year.

Lopez is primarily looking for pitchers, outfielders, and corner infielders. Catchers are problematic because of the language barrier; middle infielders are less desirable because they lack power. As Lopez puts it, “If you’re going to bring a foreigner over, why not bring someone who can hit home runs?” The sweet spot for pitching is “a guy that has good command and spots the ball, [and] can throw 90-92.” Lopez would love to sign someone with nastier stuff, but he knows he’s shopping at the outlet store, where every item has a flaw. “If we go any [faster],” he says, “they’re probably in the big leagues anyway.”

The BayStars use statistics to supplement their scouts’ reports. “For us, the most important factor in evaluating players is scouting reports by [Lopez and Yates], whose opinions we trust most,” Kakazu says. “With that said, we do take stats into consideration. We have analyzed the past performances of recent foreign players and how their Triple-A and MLB stats correlate to their NPB stats, so that we can predict how our candidates might do if they come to Japan.”....

ESPN analyst Dan Szymborski offered a theory via email. “The players from the US that translate the best over there are kind of the opposite ones to the NPB guys who do well here,” writes Szymborski, who created the ZiPS projection system, which translates stats between leagues to forecast the performance of foreign players. “The ‘three true outcomes’ guys fare the best — take any fourth/fifth outfielder type that’s a fringe major leaguer with good power and they have a reasonable shot at success there. Brad Eldred, Wladimir Balentien, Wily Mo Pena aren’t surprising success stories over there. My hypothesis is that a baseball culture that still has a bias against strikeouts and for putting the ball in play/pitching to contact is a good fit for guys like that, that are fairly easy outs when you go right at them.”


Monday, August 04, 2014

Trainer Says Yankees Left Dominican Prospect At The Altar

Its “Adam and EVE” not “Adam and Christopher”!

The Yankees backed out of a seven-figure signing agreement with a 16-year-old Dominican shortstop, according to the player’s trainer, but the team says there was never a deal in place.

Dominican shortstop Christopher Torres, according to his trainer Orlando Mazara, reached an oral agreement in October 2013 to sign with the Yankees for a $2.1 million bonus, with the understanding that Torres would officially sign when he became eligible on July 2. Instead, Mazara said the Yankees told Torres’ camp in June they would not be signing him, leaving Torres unsigned with other teams having spent their budgets on other players.

“The kid was crying,” Mazara said. “His family, they were upset because they broke their word. They broke everything.”

Yankees vice president Mark Newman denied that the Yankees ever had a deal in place with Torres, a switch-hitter listed by MLB as 6 feet, 170 pounds.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 04, 2014 at 10:18 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: contracts, dominican, prospect, scouting, yankees

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

ESPN: Twins Sign “Out Of Nowhere” Prospect

In one of their craziest scouting experiences, the Minnesota Twins have reached a deal with a 24-year-old pitcher who has thrown 100 mile per hour fastballs in a California summer league but has never been drafted. The Twins plan to send Brandon Poulson to their rookie league club in Elizabethton, Tennessee. He was cleared to play Tuesday.

Poulson pitched this summer for the Healdsburg Prune Packers in the collegiate Sacramento Rural League. He played last season for the Academy of Art University in San Francisco after taking off a couple of years to work in his father’s excavating business.

The 6-foot-6 Poulson previously played baseball and football at Santa Rosa Junior College but was never drafted. His manager this summer was the brother of major leaguer Jonny Gomes.

It’s one thing to prevent runs with the Prune Packers, quite another to be the next Sidd Finch

The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 29, 2014 at 10:48 PM | 86 comment(s)
  Beats: minnesota twins, phenoms, scouting

Monday, July 14, 2014

Knobler: Inside MLB’s Cuban Pipeline: It’s High-Risk, High-Reward

Mr. Burns, I think we can trust the President of Cuba.

Eventually, the players who leave the island establish residency in another country and are declared free agents. Workouts are scheduled, sometimes attracting 200 scouts and executives if the player is a big enough star.

Sometimes, a player may work out for a specific team, as Abreu did for the Reds when they wanted to see if he could play third base or left field (he couldn’t, at least not to their satisfaction, and with Joey Votto set at first base, they reluctantly dropped out of the bidding).

Eventually, a player signs pending a physical exam, which can be something of an adventure in itself. The Dodgers had to have someone drive Puig 1.5 hours across Mexico City to find an MRI machine. When the Reds recently signed pitcher Raisel Iglesias, scheduling the physical was almost a bigger obstacle than negotiating the contract.

“We were working on a tight deadline, and the kid couldn’t get a visa yet to come to the Dominican Republic or the U.S.,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty explained. “We finally brought a doctor from the Dominican, and a Spanish-speaking doctor we work with in Cincinnati, to see the kid in Haiti. But then they had to find an MRI machine in Haiti.”

It all got done, and now the Reds will hope Iglesias does as well for them as Chapman has. He was nearly as expensive, costing the Reds $27 million for a seven-year contract, even though he wasn’t as highly touted as Chapman (who got $30.25 million for six years in January 2010).

The prices keep going up, which only makes the decisions tougher.

“The gut feel has to be there,” said Don Welke, a top Rangers scout who has been to many Cuban showcases and was involved in the signing of outfielder Leonys Martin. “It’s huge risk, huge reward. As it’s turned out recently, whoever has taken the risk has gotten the reward.

“But some scout had to stick his neck out for every one of these guys. And you’d better darn well be right, because your owner is asking you why you want to spend so much on a guy you only saw in two workouts.”


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

What’s Behind Baseball’s Right-Handed Power Decline?

Although eight of the top 10 home run hitters in 2014 are right-handed, such success comes on the heels of some very fallow years, and it belies the larger trend. Only eight right-handed hitters reached 30 home runs in 2013, and only 36 hit 20 homers, both the fewest in a non-strike-shortened season since 1992. Only 11 righties posted a slugging percentage above .500 last year, also the fewest in any season since 1992. And even though the top of the current leaderboard is righty heavy, there’s been no appreciable change in the overall rate of right-handed home run hitting: The overall HR/AB and slugging numbers for righties in 2014 are only a modicum better than the 2013 figures, and they are still worse than 2011 and 2012.

“It’s hard to find power,” Braves general manager Frank Wren says, “and it’s really hard to find right-handed power in today’s game.”...

No one interviewed for this story is confident in a catchall answer to explain the decline, and the most common theory is that this is merely the natural ebb and flow.

“I’m sure we’ll get right-handed hitters back,” one AL scout says. “I’ve got to think it’s cyclical. This is the Bronze Age of right-handed hitters. There’ll be a Golden Age coming.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 11, 2014 at 12:54 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, right-handed power, scouting

Thursday, June 05, 2014

If teams were comprised of only players they drafted

fun project by one of the authors at brewcrewball.  thought folks might be interested.  if you are just going to nitpick how the lists were constructed go (anatomically impossible act).

Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 05, 2014 at 02:38 PM | 79 comment(s)
  Beats: draft, mlb, scouting

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Baseball Prospectus | Prospects Will Break Your Heart: Re-Introducing the Eyewitness Scouting Series

This is some nice work over at Baseball Prospectus. I look forward to reading the reports.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 06, 2014 at 11:07 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: scouting, scouting reports

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Beasley: Bryce Harper “can handle” starting season with Nationals

Beasley: Bryceslist: Killer job.

New Triple-A Syracuse manager Tony Beasley believes Harper could use some more seasoning but has also demonstrated hints of the complete package
.
“I would hate to see him come all the way through the system quickly, skip levels and then get the major league level and really skid,” Beasley said. “The thing he has that is special, and I have talked to him about it, is his mindset - the way he believes and the level of confidence he has and his ability to play the game of baseball. I don’t think you want to shake that, especially at this age. I don’t think you want to take the chance of shaking that.”

...But all you can go on is what you have seen and Beasley believes in what Harper has produced in one season. He believes it is a very positive sign for what lies ahead for the Nationals and their top prospect.

“I think so far he has done outstanding. That is the tough call for general manager Mike Rizzo and manager Davey Johnson (to make). All we can do as a minor league field staff is to prepare him as best we can for on and off field situations. I think so far he is way, way ahead of his years and he gets it. I think (Harper) really understands it,” Beasley said.

So, is Harper ready?

“If he gets the call out of spring training this year,” Beasley said, “I have a feeling that he can handle it.”

Repoz Posted: January 21, 2012 at 12:03 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, nationals, prospect reports, scouting

SI.com: Economic considerations at heart of Carmona’s decision

An interesting analysis of signing ages, signing bonuses, and success rates in the Dominican Republic, by Melissa Segura of Sports Illustrated ...

Teams pay premiums for 16-year-olds for two primary reasons: One, because teams often want to be the first to sign a promising player and, thus, avoid bidding wars with other teams; and two, clubs prefer to develop their players’ skills under the watchful eyes of their own club personnel rather than under those of unqualified and unaffiliated coaches or trainers.

But are 18-year-old Latin American players really worth 70 percent less than their 16-year-old counterparts? Here’s another data analysis that calls into question the industry practice of placing a premium on youth. Let’s assume the most basic marker of a successful signing is making it to the majors. We’ll make it simple and look at the 79 players who have made their major league debuts from 2008-2011 from Carmona’s Dominican Republic. Of those 79, only six were signed as 16-year-olds. The debuts suggest older players were more likely to advance to the majors. ...

[...]

What’s more, SI tracked down the bonus data for 60 of the 79 players. Fernando Martinez, signed by the Mets in 2005 for $1.3 million, was the only one to receive a seven-figure bonus. Only nine others signed for six figures and one — the Rockies’ Juan Nicasio — received nada to sign, according to the data obtained by SI. The median signing bonus among them tallied a paltry $35,000.

Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 21, 2012 at 05:09 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, international, mets, miami, minor leagues, rockies, scouting

Friday, January 20, 2012

Kevin Goldstein: Indians Top 11 Prospects

System in 20 Words or Less: This is the youngest, riskiest, most volatile Top 11 I’ve ever done.

Five-Star Prospects
1. Francisco Lindor, SS
Three-Star Prospects
2. Dillon Howard, RHP
3. Ronny Rodriguez, SS
4. Austin Adams, RHP
5. Tony Wolters, SS
6. Nick Hagadone, LHP
7. Dorssys Paulino, SS
8. Luigi Rodriguez, OF
Two-Star Prospects
9. Scott Barnes, LHP
10. Robel Garcia, INF
11. Elvis Araujo, LHP

Nine More
12. Jake Cisco, RHP: This 2011 third-round pick has size and stuff, but he’s raw.
13. Zach McAllister, RHP: He has command and fastball movement, but little else. His ceiling is a fifth starter.
14. Felix Sterling, RHP: This young righty has a power arm and big potential, but he needs refinement.
15. Jorge Martinez, SS: He’s yet another teenage Dominican with loud tools. He profiles as a third baseman with power.
16. Chen Lee, RHP: This undersized righty has an electric fastball. He should pitch in big leagues this year, and has a seventh- or eighth-inning ceiling.
17. Levon Washington, OF: He’s still a great athlete, but his swing fell apart in 2011.
18. Jesus Aguilar, 1B: This massive first baseman is a bat-only prospect, but there are questions about what he can do other than hit for power.
19. Chun-Hsui Chen, C: He has impressive offensive skills, but he’s well below average behind the plate.
20. Zack Putnam, RHP: Like Lee, Putnam should reach the big leagues this year, but he profiles as a solid reliever, not an impact one.

 

Tripon Posted: January 20, 2012 at 01:33 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, minor leagues, prospect reports, scouting

Thursday, January 19, 2012

IIATMS: Jim Callis of Baseball America Talks Yankees Prospects

(checks fine print for Calvin Riggar update)

CB:  Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances are two of the brightest and most highly sought after pitching prospects in the Yankee system.  While they each miss a lot of bats and generate big strikeout numbers; both have exhibited difficulties in limiting walks.  After watching each struggle with their command in 2011, are you still projecting both pitchers to be top of the rotation starters?

JC:  I don’t think I’ve ever projected Betances as a frontline starter. That may be his ceiling, but given his slow development path and still less-than-stellar command, I’ve suspected for a while that he’s going to end up as a reliever. I still see Banuelos as a starter, however, but again, I don’t think I’ve ever called him a No. 1 starter. He’s a No. 2 or 3 if everything comes together.

CB:  After being listed as Baseball America ’s 108th best prospect prior to the 2011 amateur draft, the Yankees selected Dante Bichette, Jr. with the 51st pick.  He signed quickly and promptly set the Gulf Coast League afire hitting .342/.446/.505 and winning league MVP honors.  Looking back, do you think your initial evaluation was accurate?  If not, what has changed?

JC:  Our initial evaluation was based in part about suspicions that he’ll eventually wind up in the outfield. If he can stay at third base, and the Yankees think he can, then he’ll have more value. Bichette has boosted his stock since the draft with his strong debut and his initial play at third base.

Repoz Posted: January 19, 2012 at 06:13 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, prospect reports, scouting, yankees

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Baseball America’s Top 10 Prospects: Chicago White Sox

Leapin’ Lukevics! What a mess!

1. Addison Reed, rhp
2. Nestor Molina, rhp
3. Simon Castro, rhp
4. Trayce Thompson, of
5. Jake Petricka, rhp
6. Keenyn Walker, of
7. Jhan Marinez, rhp
8. Tyler Saladino, ss
9. Juan Silverio, 3b
10. Ozzie Martinez, ss

With his farm system failing to supply impact players, GM Ken Williams constantly has had to be on the lookout for OPT—other people’s talent. He has chosen poorly in recent years, hamstringing Chicago with bad contracts for Adam Dunn, Jake Peavy and Alex Rios.

...The club could struggle to contend in the immediate future because it has done a poor job of signing and developing its own talent. Chicago has the worst farm system in baseball, and it’s no coincidence that it ranks last in draft spending in the last five years ($18.3 million) and has had little presence on the international amateur market in that time.

Repoz Posted: January 18, 2012 at 07:20 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, prospect reports, scouting, white sox

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Kevin Goldstein: Cincinnati Reds Top 11 Prospects

System In 20 Words Or Less: Considering the trades made for a 2012 run at the National Leaugue Central, there is still some strength in the system.

Five-Star Prospects
1. Billy Hamilton, SS
2. Devin Mesoraco, C
Three-Star Prospects
3. Zack Cozart, SS
4. Robert Stephenson, RHP
5. Daniel Corcino, RHP
6. J.C. Sulbaran, RHP
7. Didi Gregorius, SS
8. Todd Frazier, UT
9. Neftali Soto, 1B
10. Henry Rodriguez, 2B
Two-Star Prospects
11. Yorman Rodriguez, OF

Nine More:
12. Kyle Lotzkar, RHP: Can’t stay healthy, but continues to tease with some of the best stuff in the system.
13. Kyle Waldrop, OF: Athletic outfielder impressed Pioneer League scouts in 2011, has excellent chance to move up.
14. Donnie Joseph, LHP: Lefty reliever has bat-missing arsenal; could reach big leagues in 2012 with more strikes.
15. Gabriel Rosa, 3B: 2011 second-round pick is raw, but has the potential for plus power and defense.
16. Tony Cingrani, LHP: 2011 third-rounder has crazy number in pro debut, but projects for many as reliever.
17. Ryan LaMarre, OF: 2010 second-rounder has speed and contact ability, but leaves scouts underwhelmed with overall hitting.
18. Tucker Barnhart, C: Will get to the big leagues on defensive chops alone, but backup bat.
19. Juan Duran, OF: Finally began to untap the power in 2011, but is still uncoordinated after growing to six-foot-seven.
20. Ryan Wright, 2B: Overachiever with more skills than tools, but hard not to like.

Tripon Posted: January 17, 2012 at 07:26 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, prospect reports, reds, scouting

Monday, January 16, 2012

Kevin Goldstein: White Sox Top 11 Prospects

System in 20 Words or Less: Two words: Not good.

Four-Star Prospects
1. Addison Reed, RHP
Three-Star Prospects
2. Nestor Molina, RHP
3. Trayce Thompson, OF
4. Jake Petricka, RHP
5. Simon Castro, RHP
6. Keenyn Walker, OF
Two-Star Prospects
7. Eduardo Escobar, SS
8. Jhan Marinez, RHP
9. Myles Jaye, RHP
10. Tyler Saladino, SS
11. Andre Rienzo, RHP

Nine More
12. Juan Silverio, 3B: He’s a third baseman who has the ability to hit, and could move forward in 2012.
13. Jared Mitchell, OF: This former first-rounder still has tools, but the results have been disastrous.
14. Brandon Short, OF: His plus hit tool is matched with a poor approach and a lack of corner-outfield power.
15. Pedro Hernandez, LHP: He was acquired from the Padres in the Carlos Quentin deal. Martinez could pitch in the big leagues this year, but he has a seventh-inning ceiling.
16. Gregory Infante, RHP: Infante is another potential 2012 bullpen piece. He has a power arm, but does not have much to go with in.
17. Erik Johnson, RHP: This 2012 second-round pick has a plus fastball and slider, but he needs to refine his changeup and command.
18. Michael Blanke, C: He has raw power and a good arm, but there are big questions about his bat.
19. Dylan Axelrod, RHP: His ceiling is a fifth starter, but he might already be there.
20. Ozzie Martinez, SS: Martinez arrived from Florida in the Ozzie Guillen deal. He’s a future utility player.

Tripon Posted: January 16, 2012 at 03:15 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, prospect reports, scouting, white sox

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Kevin Goldstein: New York Mets Top 11 Prospects

Five-Star Prospects
1. Matt Harvey, RHP
2. Zack Wheeler, RHP
Four-Star Prospects
3. Jeurys Familia, RHP
Three-Star Prospects
4. Brandon Nimmo, OF
5. Juan Lagares, OF
6. Jordany Valdespin, 2B
7. Jenrry Mejia, RHP
8. Reese Havens, 2B
9. Cesar Puello, OF
10. Michael Fulmer, RHP
11. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, OF

Nine More:
12. Cory Mazzoni, RHP: 2011 second-rounder was great in brief debut; will move to rotation in 2012.
13. Akeel Morris, RHP: 20-year-old Virgin Islands native has big, but unrefined, power arm.
14. Darin Gorski, LHP: Had arguably the best stats of any pitcher in the system, but he’s older and has more finesse than stuff.
15. Phillip Evans, SS: Over slot 15th-rounder profiles as offense-oriented second baseman
16. Wilmer Flores, INF: Bat has never taken expected move forward while scouts see big moves down defensive spectrum.
17. Jefry Marte, 3B: Age and strong showing in Arizona Fall League saves him; some scouts still believe in the bat.
18. Juan Urbina, LHP: Shows flashes of high-ceiling potential, but not enough of them.
19. Chris Schwinden, RHP: Reached the big leagues, but what you see is what you get with potential to be a number-five starter.
20. Darrell Ceciliani, OF: Plus speed and a leadoff man’s approach, but never got going with the bat in full-season debut.

Tripon Posted: January 14, 2012 at 04:28 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, minor leagues, prospect reports, scouting

Kevin Goldstein: Athletics Top 11 Prospects

Five-Star Prospects
1. Michael Choice, OF
Four-Star Prospects
2. Jarrod Parker, RHP
3. A.J. Cole, RHP
4. Brad Peacock, RHP
5. Sonny Gray, RHP
6. Derek Norris, C
7. Grant Green, OF
Three-Star Prospects
8. Chris Carter, 1B
9. Collin Cowgill, OF
10. Raul Alcantara, RHP
11. Max Stassi, C

Nine More
12. Michael Taylor, OF: He made some improvements in 2011, but the A’s showed “confidence” in Taylor by acquiring Reddick and re-signing Crisp.
13. Josh Donaldson, C: He doesn’t have any star-level tools, but he has improved defensively and has always had solid power.
14. Yordy Cabrera, SS: He had an ugly full-season debut in 2011, but the seven-figure tools are still there.
15. Bobby Crocker, OF: This 2011 fourth-round pick is a big-time athlete with speed and power potential.
16. Aaron Shipman, OF: He could explode with some hitting refinements due to his speed and advanced approach.
17. Vicmal De La Cruz, OF: De La Cruz was beat up in the Dominican Summer League. His speed and bat are his best tools.
18. Ian Krol, LHP: He lost 2011 due to injury, but his instructional league showing has officials optimistic for a bounceback.
19. Miles Head, 1B/3B: Head came over in the Andrew Bailey trade. There is nothing pretty about what he does, but his power is significant.
20. Jermaine Mitchell, OF: He finally had his breakout season, but he is also 27 now.

Tripon Posted: January 14, 2012 at 04:26 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, minor leagues, prospect reports, scouting

Baseball America’s Top 10 Prospects: Cleveland Indians

Pork Chop Pough, don’t ya know!!!

1. Francisco Lindor, ss
2. Dillon Howard, rhp
3. Nick Hagadone, lhp
4. Chen Lee, rhp
5. Luigi Rodriguez, of
6. Zach McAllister, rhp
7. Tony Wolters, ss
8. Austin Adams, rhp
9. Scott Barnes, lhp
10. Zach Putnam, rhp

If things don’t click for the Indians, they’ll likely have to turn back to trade market. The trades of White and Pomeranz and graduations of Chisenhall and Kipnis have left the system thin of talent. Cleveland’s strength in the minors is its depth of relief pitching, but Hagadone, Chen Lee, Zach Putnam and Co. aren’t going to provide the foundation for a contender.

The Indians’ best prospects are years away from contributing. They paid $4.75 million for their first two picks in the 2011 draft, shortstop Francisco Lindor and righthander Dillon Howard, but they’re high schoolers with a combined five games of pro experiences. Similarly, Dominican outfielder Luigi Rodriguez and shortstop Tony Wolters have played just 34 games in full-season leagues.

Repoz Posted: January 14, 2012 at 09:46 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, minor leagues, prospect reports, scouting

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Baseball America’s Top 10 Prospects: Baltimore Orioles

Bundy: From Ann Rule to Oriole Way…always with the damn restrictions.

1. Dylan Bundy, rhp
2. Manny Machado, ss
3. Jon Schoop, inf
4. Parker Bridwell, rhp
5. L.J. Hoes, of/2b
6. Nicky Delmonico, 3b/1b
7. Ryan Flaherty, inf/of
8. Jason Esposito, 3b
9. Xavier Avery, of
10. Dan Klein, rhp

Angelos is now on his eighth different GM since buying the Orioles 18 years ago. MacPhail lasted the longest, at four and a half years. Before him, Angelos ran off baseball icon Roland Hemond, who left after the 1995 season; Hall of Famer Pat Gillick, who fled after 1998 despite making the AL Championship Series twice in three years; Frank Wren, who lasted only one season and has found success as GM of the Braves; Syd Thrift, a recycling experiment similar to Duquette that lasted three years; and Jim Beattie and Mike Flanagan, who served as a two-headed GM for three years before Flanagan did a year and a half on his own.

Angelos has done a poor job of creating a unified baseball operation pulling in the same direction toward a shared goal, instead fostering an atmosphere where departments seem to function as autonomous units. Duquette, of course, pledges to change that. Empty promises have remained one of the few constants with the Orioles during the last 14 years.

Repoz Posted: January 11, 2012 at 07:56 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, orioles, prospect reports, scouting

Phillies Top-15 Prospects List

1. Trevor May | RHP | Age – 21 | Grade – B

2. Jesse Biddle | LHP | Age – 20 | Grade – B

3. Phillippe Aumont | RHP | Age – 23 | Grade – B/B-

4. Maikel Franco | 3b | Age – 19 | Grade – B-

5. Justin De Fratus | RHP | Age – 24 | Grade – B-

6. Sebastian Valle | C | Age – 21 | Grade – C+

7. Larry Greene | LF/1b | Age – 19 | Grade – C+

8. Freddy Galvis | SS | Age – 22 | Grade – C+

9. Austin Wright | LHP | Age – 22 | Grade – C+

10. Jon Pettibone | RHP | Age – 21 | Grade – C+

11. Brody Colvin | RHP | Age – 21 | Grade – C+

12. Lisalberto Bonilla | RHP | Age – 21 | Grade – C+

13. Jiwan James | CF | Age – 23 | Grade – C+

14. Tyler Greene | SS | Age – 19 | Grade – C+

15. Adam Morgan | LHP | Age – 22 | Grade – C+

NoVaO Posted: January 11, 2012 at 05:27 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: fantasy baseball, minor leagues, phillies, prospect reports, sabermetrics, scouting

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Baseball America’s Top 10 Prospects: Boston Red Sox

Next time I go to an EXXXOTICA Expo convention, I’m signing in as Xander Bogaerts.

1. Will Middlebrooks, 3b
2. Xander Bogaerts, ss
3. Blake Swihart, c
4. Anthony Ranaudo, rhp
5. Bryce Brentz, of
6. Brandon Jacobs, of
7. Garin Cecchini, 3b
8. Matt Barnes, rhp
9. Ryan Lavarnway, c
10. Jackie Bradley, of

The Red Sox may have embarrassed themselves and missed the playoffs for a second straight season, but they still won 90 games and will remain a contender in the near future. Likewise, Boston’s farm system didn’t cover itself in glory in 2011, yet still has plenty of talent. The system does lack an elite prospect, however, and many of its best players haven’t advanced past Class A.

For the third time in four years, the Red Sox set a new franchise record for draft spending, upping the ante to $11 million in 2011. Their haul included catcher Blake Swihart, righthander Matt Barnes and outfielder Jackie Bradley, all of whom rank among their Top 10 Prospects. The draft changes that came out of baseball’s new collective bargaining agreement may hit Boston more than any club, as it will have a relatively small signing bonus cap and fewer extra picks going forward.

Repoz Posted: January 08, 2012 at 10:44 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, prospect reports, red sox, scouting

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Kevin Goldstein: Rockies Top 11 Prospects

System In 20 Words Or Less: There’s a good combination of near big league-ready talent and youngsters to dream on.

Five-Star Prospects
1. Nolan Arenado, 3B
2. Drew Pomeranz, LHP
Four-Star Prospects
3. Wilin Rosario, C
4. Chad Bettis, RHP
5. Tim Wheeler, OF
Three-Star Prospects
6. Tyler Matzek, RHP
7. Rosell Herrera, SS/3B
8. Trevor Story, SS
9. Josh Rutledge, SS
10. Tyler Anderson, LHP
11. Kent Matthes, OF

Nine More:
12. Charlie Blackmon, OF: He reached the majors and got hurt. Scouts wobble between him being a good fourth outfielder and second-division starter.
13. Christian Adames, SS: He has the potential for well above-average defense, but will he hit enough?
14. Edwar Cabrera, LHP: He put up incredible numbers thanks to an outstanding changeup, but he’s a bit of a trick pitcher.
15. Kyle Parker, OF: This first-round pick didn’t mash at Low-A, especially away from Asheville.
16. Christian Friedrich, LHP: His dominance in 2009 is in the rearview mirror with no great explanation for his decline.
17. Corey Dickerson, OF: Last year’s sleeper slugged 32 home runs, but he also had baseball’s most extreme splits; he had a .354/.417/.844 line at home, and .193/.280/.363 mark on the road.
18. DJ LeMahieu, INF: This future utility player offers some hitting skills and positional flexibility.
19. Will Swanner, C: He’s a catcher with plus power who needs to improve behind the plate.
20. Rafael Ortega, OF: Ortega is an athletic center fielder with tools in a small package, but his approach is a mess.

Tripon Posted: January 05, 2012 at 02:38 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, prospect reports, rockies, scouting

Kevin Goldstein: Miami Marlins Top 11 Prospects

System In 20 Words Or Less: The system finds some depth and star power in Yelich, but there is still an overall lack of elite-level talent.

Five-Star Prospects
1. Christian Yelich, OF
Four-Star Prospects
2. Jose Fernandez, RHP
Three-Star Prospects
3. Marcell Ozuna, OF
4. J.T. Realmuto, C
5. Chad James, LHP
6. Matt Dominguez, 3B
7. Jesus Solorzano, OF
8. Jose Ceda, RHP
9. Jose Urena, RHP
10. Rob Rasmussen, LHP
11. Noah Perio, 2B

Nine More:
12. Austin Brice, RHP: Big, athletic righty with well above-average velocity and lots of projection.
13. Adam Conley, LHP: 2011 second-round pick has outstanding velocity for lefty, but secondary offerings need work.
14. Mason Hope, RHP: Fifth-rounder was overshadowed by big-name Oklahoma arms, but fastball and curve are both above-average.
15. Chris Hatcher, RHP: Marlins have dreams of converted catcher being the next Jason Motte. Good command of mid-90s heat.
16. Scott Cousins, OF: Left-handedness all but assures him of fourth outfielder work; has ability to turn into second-division starter.
17. Kyle Skipworth, C: Sixth overall pick in 2008 still has plenty of raw power, but approach is a mess and defense has not improved.
18. Kyle Jensen, OF: Put up big numbers in the Florida State League, but is an older corner outfielder who has to keep hitting.
19. Mark Canha, 1B: Another Jensen type, Canha has very real power, but as a 22-year-old first baseman in Low-A last year, he was supposed to mash.
20. Alejandro Ramos, RHP: Wipeout slider has missed plenty of best as A-level closer, but scouts wonder if he has enough of a fastball for it to work in the upper levels.

Tripon Posted: January 05, 2012 at 02:37 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: miami, minor leagues, prospect reports, scouting

Milwaukee Brewers Top-15 Prospects of 2012

1. Wily Peralta | RHP | Age – 22 | Grade – B

2. Taylor Jungmann | RHP | Age – 22 | Grade – B

3. Tyler Thornburg | RHP | Age – 22 | Grade – B/B-

4. Jed Bradley | LHP | Age – 21 | Grade – B-

5. Jorge Lopez | RHP | Age – 19 | Grade – B-

6. Logan Schafer | CF | Age – 25 | Grade – C+

7. Scooter Gennett | 2b | Age – 22 | Grade – C+

8. Cody Scarpetta | RHP | Age – 23 | Grade – C+

9. Taylor Green | INF | Age – 25 | Grade – C+

10. Michael Fiers | RHP | Age – 26 | Grade – C+

11. David Goforth | RHP | Age – 23 | Grade – C+

12. Orlando Arcia | SS | Age – 17 | Grade – C+

13. Caleb Gindl | OF | Age – 23 | Grade – C+

14. Michael Reed | RF | Age – 19 | Grade – C

15. Khris Davis | OF | Age – 24 | Grade – C

NoVaO Posted: January 05, 2012 at 02:01 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, fantasy baseball, minor leagues, prospect reports, sabermetrics, scouting

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