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

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Cardinals sign Cuban Aledmys Diaz

Cardinals limited roster space get even more limited…. Anyone have projections for Diaz yet?

The Cardinals have agreed to terms on a four-year, major-league deal with shortstop Aledmys Diaz, a Cuban who defected from the country and had to wait out a years suspension before being eligible as a free agent. The team announced the deal Sunday afternoon.

cardsfanboy Posted: March 09, 2014 at 02:23 PM | 60 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cardinals, cuba, free agents, international free agents

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. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: March 09, 2014 at 05:06 PM (#4668720)
Diaz could play shortstop, second base, or third base. An NL scout said earlier this spring after seeing Diaz that his bat has the potential to play at any of the positions, and that his ability to stick at shortstop had a greater likelihood than some of the other Cuban infielders chances of being offensive threats.


So the Dodgers gave more money to the Cuban infielder who can't hit than the Cardinals are giving to the Cuban infielder who can.
   2. JJ1986 Posted: March 09, 2014 at 05:27 PM (#4668730)
Erisbel at SS is probably worth more than Diaz at 3B even if the former doesn't become an offensive threat. The weird phrasing is an attempt to hide the fact that Diaz's chances of sticking at SS are not good.
   3. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 09, 2014 at 05:48 PM (#4668738)
Diaz is likely to be a starting-caliber 2B or 3B, and Erisbel is likely to be a backup-caliber SS.

I know which of those two I'd rather have.
   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 09, 2014 at 07:59 PM (#4668789)
Wong is a rookie, Carpenter just signed an extension and Peralta just signed a 4 year deal. Seems like a curious move. I mean, depth, yay, and Wong is no sure deal, but it seems odd for Diaz to go somewhere where he's blocked like that.
   5. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 09, 2014 at 08:19 PM (#4668797)
but it seems odd for Diaz to go somewhere where he's blocked like that.

Unless they got a big discount from the rumored demands for $20-plus million, it seems even more odd the Cardinals wanted Diaz, for the same reasons you listed.

(Diaz, on the other hand, assuredly went where he was offered the most money. I can't recall a single Cuban defector who ever took less money because of a better/faster opportunity.)
   6. Greg K Posted: March 09, 2014 at 08:36 PM (#4668802)
(Diaz, on the other hand, assuredly went where he was offered the most money. I can't recall a single Cuban defector who ever took less money because of a better/faster opportunity.)

I recall there was talk about Hechavarria going to the Jays rather than the Yankees because of Jeter's presence. But I'm about 90% sure that was just media speculation, and I have no idea if New York offered more money (or even offered any money at all).
   7. greenback calls it soccer Posted: March 09, 2014 at 08:44 PM (#4668805)
Peralta is no sure thing either, but, yes, it's surprising the Cardinals made this move. This is the team that ended up giving plenty of 2B/SS/3B at-bats to Pete Kozma, Ryan Theriot, Skip Schumaker, and Daniel Descalso the last few years, so I guess they've learned difficult lessons about depth.
   8. cardsfanboy Posted: March 09, 2014 at 08:44 PM (#4668806)
It is peculiar that they acquired what amounts as to a starter, when they have pretty much every position on the team locked up for a few years. I think Wong has about a month or two to prove that's he's a starter material or else he'll be relagated to the utility role.

   9. JRVJ Posted: March 09, 2014 at 09:02 PM (#4668813)
As usual, my comment here will be that there's no reason why the Astros shouldn't have signed this guy (with their very low payroll), to increase their asset base (if he panned out, they have a heck of a cost controlled chip to trade. If not, it's pocket money in the grand scheme of things and takes MLBPA off your back).

And it ticks me off that the Phillies didn't sign this guy, if only so they have more materiel in their farm system (I would like to know why the Yankees, whose farm system needs all the help it can get, didn't sign this guy but St. Louis did).
   10. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 09, 2014 at 09:17 PM (#4668824)
Well, the Astros may not have thought that Diaz was very good. A number of people simply don't regard him as an immediate big league talent... (Joe, you may be one, yes?)
   11. cardsfanboy Posted: March 09, 2014 at 09:32 PM (#4668831)
Well, the Astros may not have thought that Diaz was very good. A number of people simply don't regard him as an immediate big league talent... (Joe, you may be one, yes?)


That's a big thing, I think his stock wasn't as big as the hype. I trust the Cardinals of course, but it's probable that other people just didn't see the potential in him that the Cardinals did. Still I am somewhat surprised the Cardinals got him. It was pretty obvious they were going to make a big push for him, with how they have handled his "try out", that I was somewhat shocked that there wasn't a spoiler.

It's funny...The Cardinals opening day roster this year is pretty different than their opening roster last year, and it's probable that by the end of the season that the roster is going to be significantly different also. I expect Taveras and Diaz to not make the roster, that Martinez will be a reliever at the start of the season, and I wouldn't be shocked at all if all three are starters in September. Drawback is that means that eventually Adams and probably Wong will be the odd men out (Craig, Holliday, Carpenter, Diaz and Peralta are all locked up while only centerfield is up for grabs-)
   12. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 09, 2014 at 10:12 PM (#4668840)
Well, the Astros may not have thought that Diaz was very good. A number of people simply don't regard him as an immediate big league talent... (Joe, you may be one, yes?)

Right. It's possible that Diaz has gotten better in the ~18 months since I saw him play for Villa Clara, but I see him as a 2B or 3B on a bad team or a utility guy on a good team.

The Cardinals are obviously one of the better organizations in baseball, but they have almost no experience in the big-money international market. It's possible the Cardinals are seeing something that everyone else missed, but the fact that the usual big spenders were sitting out on Diaz, including a Yankees team with a gaping hole at SS, would have given me pause if I was the Cardinals. Just like in poker, in the international market, if you can't spot the sucker at the table, you're probably it.

That said, we still don't know the contract terms, and the fact the agent still hasn't leaked the number means the deal could be for substantially less than the rumored $20 million. If so, this could be a good upside play for St. Louis.
   13. JRVJ Posted: March 09, 2014 at 10:34 PM (#4668847)
I have no idea if Díaz will pan out, but the fact that the Cards (which are very good talent evaluators) see something there makes me think that he has SOME potential.

And my way of looking at these things is that if you have $$$ that can be spent and a potential asset comes along, you'd be foolish not to go after it. Granted, a player can be so suc-ky that it makes no sense to go after him, but a 2B or 3B on a bad team/utility guy on a good team is not a bad bet to make (IMO).
   14. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 09, 2014 at 10:56 PM (#4668854)
The Houston rebuild clearly hasn't been half as aggressive as the Astros people want us to believe, but there's a limit to the "it's only money" idea. If Diaz got anything close to the rumored $20 million, that might be a new international record for a player who doesn't have a single plus tool. The Astros, if they were going to pursue such a spending strategy, would be much better off focusing on players with substantial upside, such as Arruebarruena* (if he hits) or impending free agent Cuban OF Rusney Castillo, or spending $10 million on several premium July 2 kids and then paying the $10M penalty.


(* I know Arruebarruena has signed with the Dodgers.)
   15. JRVJ Posted: March 09, 2014 at 11:06 PM (#4668855)
14, You may be right that Díaz is not the player for which one should draw a line in the sand, but my larger point remains that Houston has a lot of uncommitted salary AND it has not locked up ANY Cuban defectors (so as to increase its talent pool).
   16. cardsfanboy Posted: March 09, 2014 at 11:07 PM (#4668856)
Assuming it's 4 for $20, and considering the youth of the Cardinals and that they have the room in their payroll to pay even a utility player $5 mil a year, the likely worst case scenario is an Oquendo level of utility player who can more than adequately play multiple positions with a potential of more.

Obviously he can be a complete flop, there is no guarantees, but it seems to me that everyone think he's at a minimum likely to be starting material on a weak team. That is a quality backup on a good team.
   17. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 09, 2014 at 11:15 PM (#4668859)
14, You may be right that Díaz is not the player for which one should draw a line in the sand, but my larger point remains that Houston has a lot of uncommitted salary AND it has not locked up ANY Cuban defectors (so as to increase its talent pool).

Forget big-money Cuban defectors — last I checked, the Astros still haven't maxed out their 2013–14 international signing allotment, and they traded $1M of it away.
   18. Sleepy supports unauthorized rambling Posted: March 09, 2014 at 11:56 PM (#4668867)
the likely worst case scenario is an Oquendo level of utility player who can more than adequately play multiple positions with a potential of more.


If the "likely worst case" for a player is ~10 bWAR for age 24-27, and he's willing to sign for under $20M, I'll take it, but that seems like a bit of a high floor for a guy who's never seen an MLB slider.

And of course, Oquendo was basically done at age 27.

Anyway, I like it just because it's a high-risk, high-reward kind of signing, and I like to root for those kinds of players, and it's my team, but I think Jose O is a bit of a stretch as a comp.
   19. Walt Davis Posted: March 10, 2014 at 12:15 AM (#4668869)
Arruebarruena

Is this a character in a Garcia Marquez novel?

the likely worst case scenario is an Oquendo level of utility player who can more than adequately play multiple positions with a potential of more.

This is the likely worst-case scenario? As a reasonable downside, that would make him one of the better prospects around I'd think. From ages 23-26, Oquendo had 10 WAR. Granted, half of that was his one best season but even ignoring that one, the other 3 add up to 5 WAR in about 2 full seasons of play. He started getting hurt (or didn't play much) after that accumulating just under 1000 PA over 5 years but that was still 4.5 WAR (1.5 WAA).

14 WAR, 5 WAA in 4.5-5 seasons of play as a reasonable downside (say 25th percentile) would be pretty sweet. In the 2002 draft, only 8 players have accumulated more than 14 WAR, 3 position players. 14 WAR is as much as BJ Upton and a few more than Loney in 6 full seasons.

Not trying to be picky, maybe you just meant more that "type." That makes, say, Mark Teahen a more reasonable downside -- 4 WAR, 8 oWAR from 23-26. That's still a good player and worth about $20 M for 4 years on the open market so I'm guess that might be his expectation. Maybe reasonable dowside is Ty Wigginton ... actually that's about the same with 6 oWAR at his 4-year peak (1 WAR). A lot obviously depends on Diaz's ability to handle 2B/3B.

Man, that 2002 draft was not a particularly good draft for position players -- I only grabbed it because it's the oldest one listed in the immediate b-r pulldown. Swisher is the best 1st round position player -- exceeded by Hamels who was picked right after him and Cain who was picked right after Blanton. In the 2nd round you do get Votto and McCann who have both done better than Swisher.
   20. cardsfanboy Posted: March 10, 2014 at 12:18 AM (#4668870)
I was just using a quick name as a reference. Oquendo's defense was pretty good, but what I was meaning was roughly a 100 ops+ with average defense playing multiple positions.
   21. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 10, 2014 at 12:18 AM (#4668871)
better off focusing on players with substantial upside, such as Arruebarruena* (if he hits)


(which he probably won't)
   22. PreservedFish Posted: March 10, 2014 at 12:30 AM (#4668874)
what I was meaning was roughly a 100 ops+ with average defense playing multiple positions.


That's a very strong player. Knowing absolutely nothing about this Cuban fellow, I'm going to say that his worst case scenario is something more like Kaz Matsui's career 83 OPS+.
   23. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 10, 2014 at 12:59 AM (#4668881)
(which he probably won't)

I agree, but it's unlikely that Iglesias and Hechavarria will hit, either, and they still have strong supporters who believe their defense makes up for the lack of offense. (Note: I'm not one of them.)

Arruebarruena is an elite defender, so if the bat exceeds even the modest Iglesias-type offensive expectations, the Dodgers will have struck gold, at least by the above logic. Diaz, on the other hand, has a much lower ceiling.
   24. Sleepy supports unauthorized rambling Posted: March 10, 2014 at 01:02 AM (#4668882)
That's a very strong player. Knowing absolutely nothing about this Cuban fellow, I'm going to say that his worst case scenario is something more like Kaz Matsui's career 83 OPS+.


I'd go with Rico Washington. Roughly 6000 MiLB PA's of .800ish OPS as an infielder, not useful in MLB.
   25. bjhanke Posted: March 10, 2014 at 01:20 AM (#4668886)
Not to pile on, but I agree with the people who think that Jose Oquendo is the BEST-case scenario. My opinion of Oquendo is that 1) he was possibly the #2 defensive shortstop in baseball in the 1980s, depending on how you compare him to Ripken, and 2) he was Ken Oberkfell or Tommy Herr with the bat. He couldn't run like Tommy, but if he'd had full seasons, instead of being buried behind the only SS in baseball whose glove was clearly better, he's have hit .280-.310, with 100 walks a year. He was almost certainly a better 3B in the mid-80s than Terry Pendelton, but Whitey kept thinking that Terry would develop power (which took The Launching Pad). No power, little speed, but a gold glover who doesn't make outs - yeah, if the new guy can match THAT, I'll be REAL happy. - Brock Hanke (possibly Oquendo's biggest fan, and not one bit ashamed of it)
   26. cardsfanboy Posted: March 10, 2014 at 03:19 AM (#4668900)
It may not have been that accurate of a comparison...again, I was just looking at a guy who wasn't a liability in the field at multiple positions and wasn't a bad bat.
   27. bjhanke Posted: March 10, 2014 at 05:54 AM (#4668904)
cfb - And that is certainly fair. - Brock
   28. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 10, 2014 at 09:12 AM (#4668924)
Forget big-money Cuban defectors — last I checked, the Astros still haven't maxed out their 2013–14 international signing allotment, and they traded $1M of it away.


In all fairness we don't know what sort of handshake agreements Jim Crane has with Bud Selig regarding the operation of his franchise as a condition of Bud's approval.
   29. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 10, 2014 at 09:44 AM (#4668930)
I think people are underselling Diaz. He hit .315/.419/.500 as a 21-year-old in his last season in Cuba, with more walks than Ks. That's a pretty good season for a guy who allegedly doesn't have any plus tools.
   30. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: March 10, 2014 at 09:53 AM (#4668932)
I wish the A's had signed him. These Cardinals are deep. Tahoe deep.
   31. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 10, 2014 at 10:09 AM (#4668939)
28/YR - Actually, that's true.

**

I like the direction that this discussion took.

* Jose Oquendo has a lot of biggest fans.
* Using him in a Diaz/Arruebarruena talk is reasonable ... if you want to talk about Arruebarruena's ceiling, as Jose was an atrocious hitter in his Met days.
* I think Joe K. has pretty much got this thing figured out in terms of how to frame the discussion, though I might actually disagree on the outcome - as I really, really don't like Arruebarruena's bat. Having said that, terrible hitters sometimes go Oquendo, or Spike Owen, and work their way to usefulness...
* Concur that Diaz looks like a second division regular or quality sub.
* Sleepy: nice Rico Washington pull.
   32. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: March 10, 2014 at 12:35 PM (#4669026)
It looks like it's 4/8, not 4/20. 2m a year is petty cash, and if he turns out to be worth something you've got major value for your buck.
   33. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 10, 2014 at 01:17 PM (#4669048)
It looks like it's 4/8, not 4/20.


Woah. That's much less than was originally estimated. The fact that no other team was willing to commit beyond that shows how underwhelming Diaz must have been during his meetings with the other clubs.
   34. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 10, 2014 at 02:47 PM (#4669093)
It looks like it's 4/8, not 4/20. 2m a year is petty cash, and if he turns out to be worth something you've got major value for your buck.

I figured Diaz got a lot less than $20M after the number didn't leak yesterday. On the one hand, it seems to confirm that the other 29 teams didn't think all that highly of Diaz, especially given the industrywide shortage at SS. On the other, the Cards won't need to get all that much from Diaz for it to be at least a break-even deal.
   35. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 10, 2014 at 02:52 PM (#4669097)
4/8 sounds like a solid deal - and implies that they're prepared to let him spend some time in Memphis rather than forcing a complementary move at the big league level.
   36. cardsfanboy Posted: March 10, 2014 at 02:57 PM (#4669099)
For that amount of money it's perfectly legitimate to keep him in the minors for half a season or more. I think those 18 months off might have hurt him.

It makes roster construction for the upcoming season a lot easier if you are only paying him 2mil.
   37. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 10, 2014 at 03:00 PM (#4669101)
4/8 sounds like a solid deal - and implies that they're prepared to let him spend some time in Memphis rather than forcing a complementary move at the big league level.

Right, although I'd start him at Palm Beach, as he hasn't played a meaningful game in almost two years. Mozeliak seemed to imply Springfield or Memphis was the plan, though.
   38. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 10, 2014 at 03:03 PM (#4669103)
Right, although I'd start him at Palm Beach, as he hasn't played a meaningful game in almost two years.

From a quality of play perspective, Springfield makes sense to me (not that it necessarily makes a huge difference) - but...
how much benefit is derived in a situation like this from having the player start with a team located where the ST facility is? Seems like you might have a more controlled environment, more access to instructors, etc...
   39. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 10, 2014 at 03:12 PM (#4669107)
how much benefit is derived in a situation like this from having the player start with a team located where the ST facility is? Seems like you might have a more controlled environment, more access to instructors, etc...

Probably not all that much from an instructional standpoint, as most instructors start to travel as soon as the season starts. But A-ball is a much lower-key place to get one's feet wet than Double-A or especially Triple-A, and even in the FSL, Diaz would see more quality pitching in a week or two than he probably saw his last year in Cuba added together. The pitching down there is atrocious right now, and a couple of the best pitchers were teammates he never had to face.
   40. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 10, 2014 at 03:39 PM (#4669126)
I think people are underselling Diaz. He hit .315/.419/.500 as a 21-year-old in his last season in Cuba, with more walks than Ks. That's a pretty good season for a guy who allegedly doesn't have any plus tools.

Arruebarruena hit .320/.367/.520 with 19 doubles and 8 HR as a 21-year-old in 2011–12, yet you seem positive he won't hit. Just out of curiosity, why so much confidence in Diaz? Is it based solely on his better K/BB numbers?
   41. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: March 10, 2014 at 04:29 PM (#4669159)
From everything I've read, scouts say that Arruebarruena can't hit.
   42. Walt Davis Posted: March 10, 2014 at 04:32 PM (#4669160)
Sorry cfb,didn't mean to dump you in it. The player you describe is more Teahen/Wiggy but with a better glove. Those types are awfully rare though and usually end up starting not super-subbing.

But at 4/$8, who cares? Signing me for 4/$8 in this market is a decent gamble. No, seriously ... and that's just my starting position, I can probably be bargained down to 3/$6.

As to Cuban numbers and all ... Cuban leagues aren't awesome, Dias is already 23, he hasn't played in 1.5 years so he's likely at least a year from being useful in the majors, it seems he won't stick at SS and may be blocked if he does (although Peralta's long-term future, especially at SS, is hardly certain). Even putting the blockage aside, that's not much of a prospect.

Not that it means he won't turn out useful. That too is an earmark of the DeRosa type of player -- 10 WAR, -3 WAA, 4000 PA spread over 13 seasons, no significant playing time until age 26.
   43. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 10, 2014 at 04:46 PM (#4669164)
The Cardinals sure seem high on Diaz:
The Cardinals introduced their newest acquisition, Cuban shortstop Aledmys Diaz, on Monday. Within the organization, some have compared him to a young Derek Jeter. "He walks like him, you can see some of that there," general manager John Mozeliak said.

Diaz liked to hear that.

"He thinks Derek Jeter is definitely the model ballplayer that everyone should look up to, that he looked up to in the opportunities that he had in Cuba to watch baseball games," said translator Moise Rodriguez, a team employee. "He's a world-renowned baseball player that comes across as somebody that's a leader and somebody that everybody should try to be like."

Could be the kiss of death for some of the Lower Primates around here.
   44. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 10, 2014 at 04:52 PM (#4669166)
From everything I've read, scouts say that Arruebarruena can't hit.

I don't think Arruebarruena will hit, either. I'm just curious why Vlad pointed to Diaz's similar stats and drew the opposite conclusion.
   45. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 10, 2014 at 05:01 PM (#4669170)
If the Cardinals just signed the next Derek Jeter for $2 million a year I'd actually be pretty happy about it. The idea that a dozen other teams looked at this Cuban defector and decided that he wasn't even worth the going rate for a mop-up reliever only to have him blossom into an iconic superstar is the sort of thing that would make you go, "Ya just can't predict baseball!"
   46. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 10, 2014 at 05:05 PM (#4669173)
Arruebarruena hit .320/.367/.520 with 19 doubles and 8 HR as a 21-year-old in 2011–12, yet you seem positive he won't hit. Just out of curiosity, why so much confidence in Diaz? Is it based solely on his better K/BB numbers?


Arruebarruena played in a better hitter's park, so those raw numbers aren't as impressive as Diaz's, and Diaz had been a substantially better hitter in prior seasons as well. I also didn't like the looks of Arruebarruena's swing from the video I was able to find online.
   47. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 10, 2014 at 05:21 PM (#4669180)
Arruebarruena played in a better hitter's park, so those raw numbers aren't as impressive as Diaz's,

Where did you see park factors for the National Series? I can't recall seeing those anywhere.

and Diaz had been a substantially better hitter in prior seasons as well.

Diaz's stats were better, but not substantially better.

Anyway, no big deal. It's just interesting that a lot of people seem convinced both Cuba's and MLB's personnel erroneously valued Arruebarruena over Diaz.
   48. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 10, 2014 at 05:35 PM (#4669188)
Where did you see park factors for the National Series? I can't recall seeing those anywhere.


I don't have the actual PFs myself, but Clay Davenport says that he does, so you can make a reasonably apples-to-apples comparison for SN players by looking at his EqA numbers on his site's player cards.

Those obviously have a huge error bar if you're going to try to import them into a MLB-specific context given the uncertainty over league quality (and demographic info on crossover players), but as far as comparing two players within Cuba, it ought to be reasonably accurate.

Diaz's stats were better, but not substantially better.


I guess it depends on how you define "substantial", but the gap looks pretty big to me.
   49. Walt Davis Posted: March 10, 2014 at 06:20 PM (#4669214)
Within the organization, some have compared him to a young Derek Jeter.

A polite way of saying his defense is not good enough to stick at SS. :-)
   50. cardsfanboy Posted: March 10, 2014 at 06:23 PM (#4669217)
Within the organization, some have compared him to a young Derek Jeter.

Matheny made a point to say that was about how he carried himself(how he walked etc.) not about his talent. Honestly I have no clue what they meant by it, but that is what Matheny clarified about what the comment meant.
   51. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 10, 2014 at 06:30 PM (#4669223)
I don't have the actual PFs myself, but Clay Davenport says that he does, so you can make a reasonably apples-to-apples comparison for SN players by looking at his EqA numbers on his site's player cards.

Those obviously have a huge error bar if you're going to try to import them into a MLB-specific context given the uncertainty over league quality (and demographic info on crossover players), but as far as comparing two players within Cuba, it ought to be reasonably accurate.

OK. Given that the quality of teams varies wildly in Cuba and that the ballparks in Cienfuegos (Arruebarruena) and Villa Clara (Diaz) have the same dimensions, I'd be careful about buying too much into alleged park factors. The fact that Jose Dariel Abreu and Yasiel Puig both played for Cienfuegos might make that ballpark look more hitter-friendly when, in fact, the team simply had a disproportionate number of the league's elite hitters.

***
Matheny made a point to say that was about how he carried himself(how he walked etc.) not about his talent. Honestly I have no clue what they meant by it, but that is what Matheny clarified about what the comment meant.

I think it's as simple as the Cardinals having a shiny new prospect and there being the usual hyperbole involved. Aside from the fact the Cardinals can't possibly know Diaz well enough to make such grand pronouncements about his character, it's a little over the top to compare Diaz — who just spent a year on the sidelines due to fraud — to Jeter when it comes to makeup.
   52. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 10, 2014 at 06:47 PM (#4669230)
The fact that Jose Dariel Abreu and Yasiel Puig both played for Cienfuegos might make that ballpark look more hitter-friendly when, in fact, the team simply had a disproportionate number of the league's elite hitters.


I'm not sure why that would matter - we've been correcting for similar issues in US ball for years now, and Clay is pretty experienced.
   53. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 10, 2014 at 07:11 PM (#4669241)
I'm not sure why that would matter - we've been correcting for similar issues in US ball for years now, and Clay is pretty experienced.

Park factors are still an inexact science when it comes to MLB, so I'm skeptical that Davenport has gotten them down to a science for Cuba. I guess it's possible he adjusted for the differences in pitching quality between Cienfuegos and Villa Clara, which have been huge over the past decade, but since his formula apparently isn't published anywhere, that's unknown.

As a result, I'm skeptical that Arruebarruena's .320/.367/.520 was meaningfully inferior to Diaz's .315/.404/.500, which occurred at the same age (21), in the same season (2011–12), in identical or nearly identical ballparks, and in a league that plays a balanced schedule.
   54. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 10, 2014 at 09:34 PM (#4669281)
I'm willing to take Clay's PFs at pretty close to face value. Would like to know the error bar on them, though.

Anyway, no big deal. It's just interesting that a lot of people seem convinced both Cuba's and MLB's personnel erroneously valued Arruebarruena over Diaz.

I agree but... I remember favoring Iglesias over Hechevarria back in the day, in large part from exercises like building cruddy MLEs and extrapolating from there (mind you, I figured it was the better glove and safer, if less than great and lower ceilinged, bat - bit of a different story then here), along with glimpses of footage of each.
I'd definitely trust the experts but there's still a few opportunities for statdork arbitrage out there.
   55. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 10, 2014 at 10:59 PM (#4669312)
It's always an interesting exercise. I wasn't trying to give Vlad a hard time above. I've seen comments all over from people who are confident Diaz will be much better than Arruebarruena, and I was curious if it was based on their Cuban stats, statistical translations (of which I haven't paid much attention in recent years), some video scouting, or simply from believing the Cardinals are smarter than their competition. (I've always known Cards fans are passionate, but I never realized just how large the "We Trust in Mozeliak" camp was.)

I took a quick look at Davenport's translations for both, and it seems like his system only shows about 20 points of OPS between the two in terms of their 2014 projections (in favor of Diaz). Given the difference in defensive ability, I'd want a much wider spread before I'd consider taking Diaz over Arruebarruena. But if this was a depth move rather than a "future starter" move, I could see favoring Diaz.
   56. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 10, 2014 at 11:14 PM (#4669318)
I wasn't trying to give Vlad a hard time above.

Oh, I didn't think you were.

As to 20 points of OPS difference between the two - it looks more like 60 to me... - maybe we're looking in different places?
Diaz: "Neutral DTs": .231/.307/.349; "Real": .220/.311/.346; EQa: .251
Eris: "Neutral DTs": .205/.232/.330; "Real": .212/.240/.350; EQa: .214
   57. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 11, 2014 at 12:33 AM (#4669334)
Thanks. I thought I compared the 2014 DTs for both, but it looks like a 60-point spread there, too. I wonder how much of that is due to the park factors and how much is due to Diaz's better K/BB numbers.

In any event, the DT system doesn't seem to expect much from either of them (or Alexander Guerrero). I don't, either, but it will be interesting to see what happens in 2014. (The DTs actually expect more from Diaz than Guerrero, which is kind of hard to believe. If that ends up being right, I might become more of a believer in the DTs for Cubans.)
   58. esseff Posted: March 11, 2014 at 03:56 AM (#4669351)
On a minor side note, isn't Arruebarruena now Arruebarrena? I thought I'd read -- LA Times, maybe? -- that the second "ue" was a mistake, a misspelling on a uniform or roster or something.
   59. esseff Posted: March 11, 2014 at 03:59 AM (#4669352)
   60. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 11, 2014 at 02:32 PM (#4669628)
Arruebarruena's name was always spelled with the second "u" in Cuba, from his earliest playing days. Contrary to the L.A. Times article, it wasn't a one-off error on his WBC jersey.

In any event, it's interesting the number of Cuban defectors who have made minor modifications to their names after defecting. There have been at least two dozen (Yuniesky/Yunesky Maya, Kendry/Kendrys Morales, etc.).

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14!
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogPhoto of the day: Bill Murray, indy league ticket-taker
(102 - 12:27am, Sep 02)
Last: Bunny Vincennes

NewsblogNitkowski: Wanted: Major League manager...sort of.
(7 - 12:23am, Sep 02)
Last: steagles

NewsblogRon Roenicke rips into home-plate umpire
(17 - 12:18am, Sep 02)
Last: Bunny Vincennes

NewsblogAstros Fire Bo Porter
(54 - 12:16am, Sep 02)
Last: Zach

NewsblogBlue Jays Acquire Mayberry Jr.
(7 - 12:10am, Sep 02)
Last: Infinite Joost (Voxter)

NewsblogAthletics Acquire Adam Dunn
(43 - 11:46pm, Sep 01)
Last: Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66)

NewsblogOT: Politics, September, 2014: ESPN honors Daily Worker sports editor Lester Rodney
(27 - 11:36pm, Sep 01)
Last: Morty Causa

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread August, 2014
(986 - 11:25pm, Sep 01)
Last: The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott)

NewsblogRobothal: Changed [Manny] Ramirez enjoyed helping Cubs prospects grow
(10 - 11:24pm, Sep 01)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogOT:  2014 College Football pre-season thread
(101 - 11:17pm, Sep 01)
Last: Lance Reddick! Lance him!

NewsblogNo-hitter! Four Phillies pitchers combine to blank the Braves
(10 - 11:12pm, Sep 01)
Last: Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq.

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - September 2014
(5 - 11:07pm, Sep 01)
Last: DanO

NewsblogHBT: Jorge Soler with an extra-base hit in each of his first five games
(1 - 10:00pm, Sep 01)
Last: Cargo Cultist

NewsblogTigers' Miguel Cabrera appears to re-injure ankle, leaves game
(19 - 9:53pm, Sep 01)
Last: AJMcCringleberry

NewsblogOT: Politics, August 2014: DNC criticizes Christie’s economic record with baseball video
(6358 - 8:35pm, Sep 01)
Last: David Nieporent (now, with children)

Page rendered in 0.6981 seconds
53 querie(s) executed