Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Baseball America’s Top 10 Prospects: Oakland A’s

And now we’ve been gutted…

1. Jarrod Parker, rhp
2. Brad Peacock, rhp
3. Sonny Gray, rhp
4. A.J. Cole, rhp
5. Michael Choice, of
6. Grant Green, of
7. Derek Norris, c
8. Jermaine Mitchell, of
9. Michael Taylor, of
10. Tom Milone, lhp

Oakland will have to do a better job of signing and developing talent. The A’s landed a potential frontline arm by taking Sonny Gray with the 18th overall pick in June, yet spent just $3.1 million overall on their 2011 draft class, the third-lowest figure in baseball. They also haven’t been as active in Latin America after getting burned by Dominican righthander Michael Ynoa, who signed for a club-record $4.25 million in 2008 but rarely has been healthy since.

Repoz Posted: January 25, 2012 at 05:36 PM | 23 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: athletics, minor leagues, prospect reports, scouting

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Danny Posted: January 25, 2012 at 06:49 PM (#4045737)
Jermaine Mitchell at #8 is pretty bad, but this is the same writer who put Tommy Everidge in his top 20 a couple years ago.

It's interesting to see BA have a much higher opinion of Milone than Goldstein did (outside his top 20).
They also haven’t been as active in Latin America after getting burned by Dominican righthander Michael Ynoa, who signed for a club-record $4.25 million in 2008 but rarely has been healthy since.

They were active in 2010, signing Renato Nunez ($2.2M), Vicmal de la Cruz ($800K), and Argenis Raga ($580K). According to BA, they spent the 5th most on the international market that year. They also spent $1M on Wilfredo Solano in 2009. They didn't sign anyone of note in 2011, but they did add Yairo Munoz for $280K yesterday.
   2. Walt Davis Posted: January 25, 2012 at 07:34 PM (#4045769)
Is there any evidence that, after controlling for draft position, spending more in the draft helps?

1. Yes, clearly the old maneuver the Pirates and other teams used of not using their top 3 pick for an expensive top 3 talent was idiotic. When you've got the potential star in your grasp, spend the money. But since the A's drafted 18th, that's not the case here.

2. Especially for draftees who can still play college ball, you might have to spend a little more to convince them not to.

Otherwise, it's not clear to me why there would be any advantage to spending over slot. There's probably the occasional guy who is worth a little extra money and stubborn enough to sit out a year rather than sign cheap.

I completely understand that pinching pennies in the draft is silly -- passing up the player you think is better in order to save $250,000 makes no sense in the grand scheme of baseball spending.

Or is draft spending really a function of (a) how high your 1st round pick is and (b) how many 1, 1s and 2 picks you have? (b) is the outcome of a different strategy, not a decision to "spend more in the draft" per se.

In 2011, the A's had that #18 pick. Their next pick wasn't until #105. Just how much money does BA think they should have laid out in last year's draft?

The A's were nice enough to give their 2nd round pick to the Rays when they signed Grant Balfour (one of Beane's weaknesses for sure).
   3. danup Posted: January 25, 2012 at 07:43 PM (#4045777)
I was just thinking about Michael Ynoa the other day. Is he still any kind of prospect at all? From what I can tell he missed last year after elbow surgery.
   4. philly Posted: January 25, 2012 at 08:19 PM (#4045802)
Is there any evidence that, after controlling for draft position, spending more in the draft helps?


I keep meaning to gather the data to really address the issue, but my opinion is that it does. Now, what I also think is true is that the 3rd round player who signs for 500k as a slot bonus is a better player than the 11th rd pick who signs for an overslot 500k bonus even though they got the same bonus. The first player is getting money commensurate with a concensus view of his talent. The second player is getting paid for his talent and his leverage. It's also likely that the talent evaluation is less of a consensus opinion, but it's not clear how big of a deal that is.

But even if you're paying for talent and leverage instead of just talent, I think more shots on goal is likely an advantage.
   5. Run Joe Run Posted: January 25, 2012 at 08:40 PM (#4045817)
Highly recommend the BA podcast. They have recently gone through all the organization top 10 lists. Very informative and a good listen. From what I recall the short of the As was that if it wasn't for the trades they made, this might have been the worst farm system.
   6. MM1f Posted: January 25, 2012 at 09:22 PM (#4045832)
Highly recommend the BA podcast. They have recently gone through all the organization top 10 lists. Very informative and a good listen.


I completely agree. Very ramble-y and tangent-y but they are GOOD rambles and tangents, filled with good baseball stuff. They give you a bit of an insight into the process of forming prospect lists.

The first player is getting money commensurate with a concensus view of his talent. The second player is getting paid for his talent and his leverage. It's also likely that the talent evaluation is less of a consensus opinion, but it's not clear how big of a deal that is


Agreed.
   7. Run Joe Run Posted: January 25, 2012 at 10:23 PM (#4045867)
Not knowing the history, but Tom Milone looks like a pretty good prospect at 10. 24 years old, lefty starter, always good ERAs. Strikes out a batter per inning. Seems like a guy like that has promise. Any idea why he is only 10?
   8. MM1f Posted: January 25, 2012 at 10:37 PM (#4045876)
Any idea why he is only 10?


Has difficulty throwing a baseball.
   9. Run Joe Run Posted: January 25, 2012 at 10:46 PM (#4045879)
I found a scouting report, doesn't throw hard at all. Tops out in the high 80s
   10. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 25, 2012 at 10:58 PM (#4045888)
From what I recall the short of the As was that if it wasn't for the trades they made, this might have been the worst farm system.


It would have been the worst in the AL West, but Gray, Green, and Choice were all here before the trades and they're clearly better than anyone the White Sox have. Nestor Molina in this system, before the trades, would have slotted in behind those three.

Not knowing the history, but Tom Milone looks like a pretty good prospect at 10. 24 years old, lefty starter, always good ERAs. Strikes out a batter per inning. Seems like a guy like that has promise. Any idea why he is only 10?


Milone gets by on exceptional location and great off-speed pitches, but he doesn't throw very hard. Sometimes guys like this turn into Jamie Moyer; more often than not they scuffle. Milone's had a history of exceeding expectations, and it wouldn't shock me to see him turn into a serviceable major-league starter, but history says it's not a good bet.

Jermaine Mitchell has no business being in anyone's top 10; that's a clear overreaction to the state of the system and a great half-season at Midland. He's 27 years old and took 2 1/2 years to get out of the California League. I like Aaron Shipman about 10 times better.

-- MWE
   11. Run Joe Run Posted: January 25, 2012 at 11:07 PM (#4045895)
Thanks for the insight Mike. Hope Milone makes it. I gotta root for a guy like that.
   12. Walt Davis Posted: January 25, 2012 at 11:29 PM (#4045911)
From what I recall the short of the As was that if it wasn't for the trades they made, this might have been the worst farm system.

Certainly stinko but some speculation ...

At least up until the Moneyball draft, the A's generally kept their good players until they hit FA and collected the draft picks. Thus the 7 or whatever it was 1 and 1s picks that year. This was the strategy TB followed (and still does) garnering about 700 of the first 50 picks last year.

Perhaps starting with the Mulder and Hudson trades, the A's pretty clearly shifted strategies to trading away their best players before they hit FA (with Zito the main exception that springs to my mind). This means the A's don't often get multiple 1, 1s and 2 picks anymore but rather build the system (at least its depth) via trades.

Second bit of speculation -- in my various digs into the A's drafts from 2001 to 2007 (or whenever it was), they focussed on older college players and this, in turn, meant that guys were promoted to the majors rather quickly. It wasn't really designed to be a "wow" system it seems to me, it was designed to be a "get them to the majors the moment they can contribute" system. I don't know if they've shifted away from that but I assume that Weeks and Allen would make this list look better and even guys like Cahill and Anderson were still just 23 last year when similar guys (e.g. Parker) might still have been in the minors.

Now, what I also think is true is that the 3rd round player who signs for 500k as a slot bonus is a better player than the 11th rd pick who signs for an overslot 500k bonus even though they got the same bonus.

I guess what I was asking was, in part, how many "signability" picks are there these days? Can you really get a 3rd round talent in the 11th on a regular basis? And, in the end, that sort of thing maybe explains the A's spending $3.1 M instead of $3.6 M which (I assume) is not going to move them up much higher on the ranking of team draft spending.
   13. Bourbon Samurai Posted: January 25, 2012 at 11:42 PM (#4045916)
Yes, more pitchers that we can trade for more pitchers! Soon we'll have an all pitcher team and rehire Tony Larussa!
   14. Squash Posted: January 25, 2012 at 11:49 PM (#4045920)
I think the A's failure to spend a ton last year was more about keeping Uncle Bud happy and not signing any overslot prospects. I don't think they signed a single one.
   15. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 26, 2012 at 12:41 AM (#4045944)
I guess what I was asking was, in part, how many "signability" picks are there these days?


Subjectively, the Pirates never seem to have any trouble finding some.
   16. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: January 26, 2012 at 01:17 PM (#4046194)
14: seconded.

I like Mitchell more than most (maybe not more than BA) and can see an argument for him over Shipman. He brings both some skills and some tools to the table - legit CF glove (needs the arm to hold up), patience, gap power with the potential for a bit more, doesn't have the contact issues that torpedoed Jai Miller... I wouldn't be shocked if he were a league average CF for a few years. Not a lot of ceiling and the health issues worry me, but he's not a bum.

Milone is a cause celebre among stat dorks. That said, the track record for guys with extreme pitchability but marginal velocity is grimmer than I'd prefer to believe. (there was a discussion of him and his peers somewhere on this site a few weeks back)

The White Sox system is worse by magnitudes.
   17. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: January 26, 2012 at 02:14 PM (#4046241)
This was the strategy TB followed (and still does) garnering about 700 of the first 50 picks last year.


Heh. They had 10 of the top 60. Nothing higher than #24, but given their track record, I like their chances of getting at least one star and a couple other useful contributors out of that lot. Some notable players drafted between 20th and 60th since 2000:

Adam Wainwright
Kelly Johnson
J J Hardy
David Wright
Jeremy Guthrie
Matt Cain
Joe Blanton
Joey Votto
John Lester
Scott Baker
Chad Billingsly
Carlos Quentin
Adam Jones
Phil Hughes
Gio Gonzalez
Huston Street
Yovani Gallardo
Cliff Pennington
Jacoby Ellsbury
Matt Garza
Colby Rasmus
Clay Bucholtz
Jed Lowrie
Bret Anderson
Ian Kennedy
Daniel Bard
Joba Chamberlain
Chris Perez
Rick Porcello
Brett Cecil
Tommy Hunter

That's through 2007. 320 players picked, 32 good to very good players (so far). With 10 picks, a 65% chance of getting one, 27% chance of getting 3. Given that the Rays seem to be well above average in this respect, 2-3 is not out of the question. I figure they will do better than the Moneyball draft.




   18. Danny Posted: January 26, 2012 at 02:16 PM (#4046244)
The A's just DFAd Adrian Cardenas to make room for Gomes, which makes no sense with guys like Norberto, Doolittle, and Figueroa on the roster.
   19. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 26, 2012 at 02:40 PM (#4046260)
Milone is a cause celebre among stat dorks. That said, the track record for guys with extreme pitchability but marginal velocity is grimmer than I'd prefer to believe. (there was a discussion of him and his peers somewhere on this site a few weeks back)


If I had to predict, I'd be inclined to predict something like a Carlos Perez type of career.

The A's just DFAd Adrian Cardenas to make room for Gomes, which makes no sense with guys like Norberto, Doolittle, and Figueroa on the roster.


If he can't play an up-the-middle position (and by all indications he can't), he's not likely to be a particularly useful player. I can see hanging on to the pitchers instead of Cardenas, because you can get 40-50 useful innings a year out of most pitchers even if they offer little else.

-- MWE

-- MWE
   20. Walt Davis Posted: January 26, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4046341)
Adam Wainwright
Kelly Johnson
J J Hardy
David Wright
Jeremy Guthrie
Matt Cain
Joe Blanton -- A's
Joey Votto
John Lester -- Red Sox
Scott Baker
Chad Billingsly
Carlos Quentin
Adam Jones
Phil Hughes
Gio Gonzalez -- obtained by A's
Huston Street -- A's
Yovani Gallardo
Cliff Pennington -- A's
Jacoby Ellsbury -- Red Sox
Matt Garza
Colby Rasmus
Clay Bucholtz -- Red Sox
Jed Lowrie -- Red Sox
Bret Anderson -- A's
Ian Kennedy
Daniel Bard -- Red Sox
Joba Chamberlain
Chris Perez
Rick Porcello
Brett Cecil
Tommy Hunter

With 10 picks, a 65% chance of getting one, 27% chance of getting 3. Given that the Rays seem to be well above average in this respect, 2-3 is not out of the question. I figure they will do better than the Moneyball draft.

The A's got Swisher and Blanton. Also Mark Teahen who b-r considers one of the worst defensive players of all-time (-89 in a mere 3200 PA) but did produce 8 oWAR. Chances are the Rays won't do better than that.
   21. Squash Posted: January 26, 2012 at 03:36 PM (#4046348)
Milone feels like a better version of Greg Smith to me. Or Kyle Kendrick. I have to think the A's would be ecstatic if he turned into Carlos Perez, minus of course the insanity.
   22. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: January 26, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4046357)
Just a note, but Doolittle looked pretty good in instructs, from what I understand.

because you can get 40-50 useful innings a year out of most pitchers even if they offer little else.

OTOH, if you can get 40-50 useful innings out of "most" pitchers (if you spot them right), that kind of reduces the value of those three. Of those guys, I make sure to keep Cardenas (who will be 24 this season).
FWIW, Cardenas was the only one of that bunch to make the BA book - they had him at 12 (pre-trades - still, that would be too high under any scenario).
   23. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: January 26, 2012 at 04:04 PM (#4046383)
(Conversely, Sickels has Mitchell and Cardenas as "Grade Cs" and not in the top 22, Shipman as a C+ @ #14.)

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
JPWF13
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOT: NBC.news: Valve isn’t making one gaming console, but multiple ‘Steam machines’
(1185 - 4:30am, Nov 28)
Last: Dan The Mediocre

NewsblogOT: NFL/NHL thread
(8725 - 3:32am, Nov 28)
Last: Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee

NewsblogOTP Politics November 2014: Mets Deny Bias in Ticket Official’s Firing
(5074 - 3:21am, Nov 28)
Last: David Nieporent (now, with children)

NewsblogBoston Red Sox prove (once again) that competitive balance in baseball will never exist | cleveland.com
(42 - 3:03am, Nov 28)
Last: SoSHially Unacceptable

NewsblogDave Cameron: A proposed three-way swap for Red Sox, Mariners, Nationals
(53 - 1:58am, Nov 28)
Last: DJS and the Infinite Sadness

Newsblog[Cricketer NOT baseball player] Phil Hughes dies after “pitch” to the head
(13 - 1:53am, Nov 28)
Last: RoyalsRetro (AG#1F)

Hall of Merit2014 Results: Maddux, Thomas and Glavine elected to the Hall of Merit!
(82 - 1:19am, Nov 28)
Last: Bleed the Freak

NewsblogOT:  Soccer (the Round, True Football), November 2014
(549 - 1:05am, Nov 28)
Last: Sean Forman

Hall of Merit2015 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion
(57 - 12:52am, Nov 28)
Last: Bleed the Freak

NewsblogOT - November 2014 College Football thread
(597 - 12:19am, Nov 28)
Last: Spivey

NewsblogSource: Tomas agrees to six-year deal with D-backs | MLB.com
(24 - 12:15am, Nov 28)
Last: McCoy

NewsblogShould the Red Sox Be Afraid of Hanley Ramirez Being Hanley Ramirez? - Red Sox - Boston.com
(34 - 10:52pm, Nov 27)
Last: the Hugh Jorgan returns

NewsblogSandy Alderson says Mets can move quickly if a shortstop becomes available - NY Daily News
(37 - 9:15pm, Nov 27)
Last: Arbitol Dijaler

Newsblog2015 Potential Hall of Fame Ballot | Baseball-Reference.com
(33 - 6:45pm, Nov 27)
Last: shoewizard

NewsblogOT: Wrestling Thread November 2014
(85 - 4:43pm, Nov 27)
Last: Tubbs & Minnie Miñoso don't fear Sid Monge

Page rendered in 0.1983 seconds
52 querie(s) executed