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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

2007 ZiPS Projections - New York Mets


Name               P Age   AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS
David Wright         3b 24 .298 .379 .523 156 581 99 173 41 3 28 120 73 115 17 6
Carlos Beltran#      cf 30 .258 .359 .502 145 546 108 141 34 3 31 101 85 96 17 3
Moises Alou         lf 40 .285 .358 .498 109 400 60 114 23 1 20 66 43 48 2 1
Carlos Delgado*      1b 35 .256 .360 .495 134 485 73 124 27 1 29 98 67 114 0 0
Cliff Floyd*        lf 34 .261 .350 .469 102 360 52 94 19 1 18 61 38 73 6 1
Jose Reyes#          ss 24 .296 .340 .462 157 676 119 200 32 16 16 82 47 75 58 17
Lastings Milledge     cf 22 .277 .356 .436 143 498 71 138 32 4 13 64 52 107 12 11
Brett Harper*        1b 25 .257 .312 .486 100 346 51 89 16 0 21 63 26 116 0 1
Shawn Green*        rf 34 .263 .337 .414 145 529 71 139 29 3 15 65 52 99 3 2
Michael Tucker*      rf 36 .248 .354 .378 100 294 40 73 16 2 6 37 46 59 4 1
Jacob Cruz*          lf 34 .254 .338 .399 74 138 17 35 11 0 3 21 16 36 0 0
Ben Johnson         rf 26 .249 .323 .425 131 421 65 105 25 2 15 60 44 107 6 2
Julio Franco         1b 48 .270 .340 .381 87 189 19 51 10 1 3 30 20 48 2 1
Kelly Stinnett       c   37 .264 .331 .387 60 106 11 28 4 0 3 10   9 45 0 0
Damion Easley         2b 37 .235 .321 .416 95 221 26 52 14 1 8 31 24 40 2 1
Paul Lo Duca         c   35 .283 .326 .381 117 449 57 127 27 1 5 52 25 37 3 1
Endy Chavez*        cf 29 .280 .320 .377 138 411 52 115 21 5 3 39 25 43 18 5
Chris Basak         ss 28 .242 .317 .393 105 326 43 79 19 3 8 36 32 77 10 4
Ricky Ledee*        lf 33 .241 .311 .377 85 162 18 39 10 0 4 24 15 37 1 0
Ramon Castro         c   31 .232 .313 .373 61 142 16 33 8 0 4 22 16 41 0 0
Jose Valentin#        2b 37 .224 .295 .401 113 344 47 77 18 2 13 47 34 86 4 2
Jose Offerman#        1b 38 .231 .326 .336 92 277 26 64 9 1 6 33 39 52 3 1
Rashad Eldridge#      lf 25 .244 .313 .349 107 344 44 84 20 2 4 34 34 93 4 4
Edgardo Alfonzo       3b 33 .248 .315 .344 93 323 32 80 17 1 4 41 29 28 0 1
Chase Lambin#        3b 27 .228 .304 .364 120 390 46 89 22 2 9 48 39 90 2 1
Jorge Padilla         rf 27 .247 .308 .344 109 372 40 92 16 1 6 36 29 70 5 4
Ruben Gotay#        2b 24 .239 .299 .361 141 510 57 122 29 3 9 59 40 98 8 5
Fernando Martinez     cf 18 .242 .284 .373 100 389 35 94 20 2 9 38 20 82 6 5
Sandy Martinez*      c   36 .222 .280 .367 78 248 21 55 9 0 9 34 19 61 1 1
Carlos Gomez         cf 21 .250 .292 .352 139 492 56 123 21 4 7 44 22 95 36 16
Mike DiFelice         c   38 .215 .293 .330 61 191 16 41 10 0 4 24 19 44 1 1
Chris Woodward       2b 31 .228 .293 .327 65 171 18 39 9 1 2 20 14 42 0 1
Anderson Hernandez#    ss 24 .248 .289 .305 137 525 60 130 15 3 3 36 30 95 15 9
Julio Ramirez         cf 29 .211 .254 .347 109 346 45 73 16 2 9 42 17 110 13 8
Joe Hietpas         c   28 .184 .240 .265 81 234 16 43 10 0 3 20 15 60 0 1

Player Spotlight (Beta) - Jose Reyes
Name           AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS
Optimistic (15%)  .314 .365 .517 162 695 140 218 37 19 22 104 54 64 72 15  
Mean         .296 .340 .462 157 676 119 200 32 16 16 82 47 75 58 17
Pessimistic (15%) .280 .321 .403 136 583 90 163 23 11 9 56 35 75 43 17  

Name               Age   ERA   W   L   G GS   INN   H   ER HR   BB   K
Billy Wagner*        35   2.06   5   1 67   0   70.0   50   16   6   18   81
Pedro Martinez         35   3.16 15   6 29 29   188.0 155   66 19   48 177
Duaner Sanchez         27   3.33   5   2 65   0   73.0   66   27   6   28   49
Pedro Feliciano*      30   3.90   5   3 62   0   60.0   56   26   7   23   50
Tom Glavine*          41   3.92 14   9 31 31   195.0 198   85 19   64 107
Juan Padilla         30   4.03   5   3 56   1   87.0   92   39   9   28   57
Aaron Heilman         28   4.29   7   6 52 13   126.0 120   60 15   53   93
Mike Pelfrey         23   4.30   5   4 16 16   90.0   85   43   8   35   71
John Maine           26   4.30 11   9 29 28   159.0 150   76 20   69 117
Jason Standridge       28   4.33   5   4 45 10   108.0 107   52   9   47   66
Oliver Perez*        25   4.50 11 10 29 29   164.0 149   82 27   72 165
Jon Adkins           29   4.57   2   2 61   0   65.0   72   33   7   22   39
Ambiorix Burgos       23   4.62   4   5 69   0   74.0   67   38 13   38   81
Guillermo Mota         33   4.65   4   4 52   1   60.0   58   31   8   27   49
Orlando Hernandez       41   4.65   8   8 22 22   118.0 117   61 18   48 101
Phil Humber           25   4.74   4   5 15 14   76.0   80   40 13   26   52
Steve Trachsel         36   4.77 10 12 29 29   166.0 176   88 21   74   80
Bartolome Fortunato     32   4.79   2   3 37   0   47.0   45   25   7   22   47
Steve Schmoll         27   4.79   4   4 52   0   62.0   63   33   6   28   39
Victor Zambrano       31   4.85   6   8 22 20   117.0 115   63 12   74   92
Alay Soler           26   4.87   5   6 20 20   109.0 109   59 13   50   66
Mitch Wylie           30   4.88   2   3 22   4   48.0   52   26   7   17   33
Dave Williams*        28   4.88   7   9 25 23   131.0 136   71 19   51   75
Jason Vargas*        24   5.01   7   9 29 24   149.0 147   83 21   64 109
Blake McGinley         28   5.22   4   6 38   5   81.0   88   47 17   25   55
Jose Lima           34   5.36   8 12 32 28   168.0 192 100 30   50   79
Adam Bostick*        24   5.66   6 11 27 27   151.0 154   95 21   85 101
Jeriome Robertson*      30   6.49   4 10 24 16   104.0 127   75 25   39   55

Player Spotlight (Beta) -  Oliver Perez
              ERA   W   L   G GS INN   H   ER HR   BB   K
Optimistic (15%)  3.60 15   8 32 32 185 154   74 24   73 195
Mean           4.50 11 10 29 29 164 149   82 27   72 165
Pessimistic (15%)  5.84   6 11 24 24 131 132   85 29   68 132


Disclaimer:  ZiPS projections are computer-based projections of performance. 
Performances have not been allocated to predicted playing time in the majors -
many of the players listed above are unlikely to play in the majors at all in 2007. 
ZiPS is projecting equivalent production - a .240 ZiPS projection may end up
being .280 in AAA or .300 in AA, for example.  Whether or not a player will play
is one of many non-statistical factors one has to take into account when predicting
the future.

Players are noted with their most recent teams unless Dan has made a mistake. 

ZiPS is projecting based on the AL having a 4.51 ERA and the NL having a 4.37 ERA.

Dan Szymborski Posted: December 19, 2006 at 05:19 PM | 292 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   201. Rocco's Not-so Malfunctioning Mitochondria Posted: December 20, 2006 at 05:38 PM (#2265770)
As a non-New York fan who's seen both of them pitch enough, Pelfrey does have more problems than Hughes. Pelfrey's still better than some here are selling him as, but Hughes is pretty special. Pelfrey equates to me more like a Derek Lowe, which is plenty valuable, but isn't quite the same level. He'll be a good groundball pitcher, strike out his share of guys, and avoid walking too many, but I doubt he'll ever be thought of as a dominant pitcher simply because he will frequently need to rely on pitching to contact unless he erally improves his breaking pitches from average to plus.
   202. Raskolnikov Posted: December 20, 2006 at 05:42 PM (#2265772)
The competitve window isn't a fallacy; it reflects the idea that a great team requires multiple great players, and such players only peak at a great level for a few years simultaneously. Sure, you can get lucky and go all 2003 Marlins on everyone (or 2005 White Sox for that matter), but there isn't a bottomless supply of top-tier talent just waiting to be brought up and hurl the Mets to championship glory. The Mets are going to have a 2-3 year window where Beltran is still great, and Reyes and Wright will be verygood-to-great and signed to below market deals (kudos to the Mets for that, of course). This interval is their best shot to be a 95 win team every year, going into the playoffs as the best NL team every year, and, with even average luck, take home a flag or two. There's no guarantee that the next batch of prospects will pan out, or the next great FA will choose the Mets.

Sure, but with every transaction, the issue is present for future value. If Willis would make that much of a difference, then the proposal would make some sense. But he wouldn't, and the proposal doesn't.

The easiest way to see this is to ask yourself if you would trade Hughes + Tabata for Willis. Because using your reasoning, the conclusion would be to make that trade if you were the Yankees. But of course, that trade would be absurd. So one must conclude then that there were flaws in your reasoning. And the flaws are that adding a Willis doesn't guarantee anything, and that prospects are valuable.

This fallacy that all prospects don't pan out as a reason to trade them is so flawed that I can't believe people still throw it out. It's Sabean-like. Of course, not all prospects fan out. But a strong organization should always to nurturing their prospects because they form the foundation for your team 5-10 years down the line. To parallel your comments above, hopefully someday it will be "Reyes/Wright are still great, and Martinez and Guerra will be very good-to-great and signed below market value." This is a cycle, and you don't get a free lunch without disrupting the chain when you trade prospects.

You can always improve your chances today by sacrificing the future. The question is whether it's an even exchange.
   203. billyshears Posted: December 20, 2006 at 05:58 PM (#2265782)
So, the guy who will be 25, with a career major league ERA+ of 120, will only put up a 108 next year, while a propspect who currently lacks reliable secondary pitches and looked overmatched at AAA last year will do the same? Maybe, but I'd bet against it every single time.

Mike Pelfrey pitched 8 innings at AAA last year. He gave up 2 runs, 4 hits, 5 walks and struck out 6 in those 8 innings. How that is being overmatched is beyond me.
   204. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: December 20, 2006 at 05:59 PM (#2265783)
I'm guessing they won't get a 1.5 ERA from Mota and Ring

Uh, that's 30 IP of 750. I don't think that's going to impact it very much. That's allowing *one* additional run each. I don't think that swings the bullpen.

a 2.09 from Feliciano, a 2.60 from Sanchez, or a 2.90 from Bradford.

Bradford? He posted right around what I'd expect. Okay, maybe he posts a 3 (which should be right), but that's a single run. He may just as well post a 2.5. He's being used *very* smartly, and while it may not reflect his talent-level, it refelcts his usage value. Same with Feliciano.

I disagree, and don't see there being a significant impact, at least not one that Heilman and Wagner won't pick up.
   205. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: December 20, 2006 at 06:01 PM (#2265786)
I think it's perfectly reasonable to say the Mets bullpen will allow 20 more runs than last year

Which pitchers? It's reasonable to say it, but no more so than they'll allow about the same or less.
   206. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: December 20, 2006 at 06:07 PM (#2265793)
The Bet:
El Duque throws 150.0 innings in the 2007 season. More - Dial wins. Less- Joe C wins.

Stakes: Some ~$10 BB-Ref sponsorship, possibly El Duque.
   207. Famous Original Joe C Posted: December 20, 2006 at 06:10 PM (#2265797)
Mike Pelfrey pitched 8 innings at AAA last year. He gave up 2 runs, 4 hits, 5 walks and struck out 6 in those 8 innings. How that is being overmatched is beyond me.

Maybe overmatched was a bit strong. It's not enough innings to say much at all, really.
   208. Famous Original Joe C Posted: December 20, 2006 at 06:11 PM (#2265799)
The Bet:
El Duque throws 150.0 innings in the 2007 season. More - Dial wins. Less- Joe C wins.

Stakes: Some ~$10 BB-Ref sponsorship, possibly El Duque.


Deal.
   209. Raskolnikov Posted: December 20, 2006 at 06:19 PM (#2265805)
As a non-New York fan who's seen both of them pitch enough, Pelfrey does have more problems than Hughes. Pelfrey's still better than some here are selling him as, but Hughes is pretty special. Pelfrey equates to me more like a Derek Lowe, which is plenty valuable, but isn't quite the same level. He'll be a good groundball pitcher, strike out his share of guys, and avoid walking too many, but I doubt he'll ever be thought of as a dominant pitcher simply because he will frequently need to rely on pitching to contact unless he erally improves his breaking pitches from average to plus.

Sure. But the issues facing Pelfrey and Hughes aren't that distinct. You could prefer Hughes at this point depending on your tastes, but both are unfinished products. Both will need to overcome the danger of injuries. Both will need to learn how to set up pitches and avoid dangerous situations. Both carry a lot of promise and will need to get better to fulfill them. These are the types of pitchers to keep despite their "problems" and see how they turn out.
   210. Sam M. Posted: December 20, 2006 at 06:21 PM (#2265808)
Bradford? He posted right around what I'd expect. Okay, maybe he posts a 3 (which should be right), but that's a single run.

The problem with that is . . . he's gone. We've got to learn how to face it . . . he's goooooooooonne! Damn Orioles.

The Mets' pen is likely to regress somewhat, but is awfully likely to still be very, very strong. Quibble if you like about the details.

To me, Pelfrey looked like a pitcher whose stuff was plenty good enough to get major league hitters out, but who had the classic problem that so many young pitchers up for their first taste of the big leagues have: they don't yet believe it. So instead of challenging the hitters the way they did (successfully) in the minors, they try to be ultra fine with every pitch, thinking they have to be better than they really need to. That's when they get behind in the count, and get hurt -- like 99.9% of pitchers do, almost no matter how good their stuff. This especially happened when Pelfrey would give up a solid base hit to one guy -- he'd immediately stop trusting his stuff enough and start nibbling. Uh-oh. It is SO typical of a kid pitcher; he doesn't treat it as just a base hit, the way he does in the minors. He starts to think, "Wow. That guy hit my good stuff. I better make the next one better, better, best." Which is trouble.

The key for Pelfrey is what he does with that experience. The stuff he showed in 2-3 inning flashes IS good enough, right now, to be a league-average starter. Because he doesn't have the strong secondary stuff, he'd be doing some OJT, and not be great. We'd have to accept that learning curve. But if he trusted his stuff, learned from last season's experience, and took some lumps along the way, he'd be just fine, at the back end of the Mets' rotation. League average -- of that I have very, very little doubt. Whether the Mets have room in the rotation, and want to let him grow and learn from that perch, or in AAA, is another question. But he'd be just fine in that role, IMO.
   211. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: December 20, 2006 at 07:03 PM (#2265831)
Rask, there's nothing I enjoy more than a little factbased rebuttal of bullshit. And you're more full of bullshit than a rodeo barn. So here goes.

1)[Pelfrey has] No more [prolems] than, say, a Phillip Hughes.

No. Hughes has better stuff and better numbers. Comparing them both at AA last season:

Hughes: H/9=5.66; K/9=10.71; BB/9=2.48; HR/9=0.39;

Pelfrey: H/9=8.14; K/9=10.45; BB/9=3.53; HR/9=0.27

Both are excellent prospects, of course, but Hughes walks fewer, allows far fewer hits (and has done so consistently), and has a higher WHIP-adjusted K-rate. Hughes also throws harder. Both have minor injury concerns.

2)His control could use improvement. Pelfrey still dominated A and AA.

Indeed. But the point under debate was Dial's assertion that, "I have a 50% chance Willis will be the same as Pelfrey, and only a 25% chance he'll be significantly better." Surely you're not arguing that 50% of the pitchers who post A and AA stats equivalent to Pelfrey's have MLB careers better than Dontrelle Willis?

3)Neither Webb nor Wang throws fastballs down the middle. They'd get creamed if they did. Webb is a fantastic pitcher who gets guys out with a array of pitches, his sinker being the most dominant. Wang has done well for himself the last couple of years by inducing a heavy dose of grounders. Pelfrey does not have the extreme ground-ball tendencies of those two (maybe it's only not yet), but he throws harder than Webb or Wang.

Wang does throw right down the middle. That's what so bloody remarkable. I can't speak as confidently about Webb, who I only watched on TV once last season, but over the last 3 years I've seen him as a guy who can challenge hitters with his fastball because he doesn't fear the homer, which puts him ahead in the count and allows him to make better use of ordinary secondary pitches. Your assertion that Pelfrey throws harder than Wang is inaccurate; I believe the STATS handbook had Wang's average fastball at 93mph last season, and Pelfrey is said to throw (quoting from BP here)"92-95 mph, touches 97". They both throw similarly hard.

4)Let's see. You say he is not "ready" to start, therefore he is not ready to start. This must from be the Hawk Harrelson school of baseball analysis. Next you can tell me how Joe Crede is the best 3Bman in the last 50 years because Joe Crede is the best 3Bman in the last 50 years. Hard to argue with that

I don't say he's not ready; I argue that based upon the following lines of evidence:
1)Subpar performance at the MLB level last season
2)High BB rates at AAA and MLB last season
3)Scouting reports that consistently indicate the lack of secondary pitches

Do you contest any of these assertions, or the conclusion that they indicate that its likely Pelfrey will struggle (ERA+<100) as a big leaguer next season?

5)I agree with that estimate. But *no young pitcher* has better than a 50% chance of matching Steve Trachsel's career. Taking a page out of your book, I don't even think there's a 50% chance that Phil Hughes will match Steve Trachsel's career. Maybe in a year.

That's precisely what Dial claimed (see quote above). And what I'm saying is that injury risk aside, Pelfrey has some distance to go before he's an acceptable MLB starter. That, combined with injury risk, makes Pelfrey a risky proposition at best to have a successful career as a starter, let alone (to quote Dial again), "[to] throw 100 IP of 108 ERA+ [in 2007]".

6)Then trade Phillip Hughes and Jose Tabata for Dontrelle Willis because the value of each extra "oomph" during the Yankees competitive window is so great. You can't assume the Yankees will be this good in 3 seasons; a lot can happen between now and then.

Don't think I haven't been tempted. Unlike many of my Yankee-fan compatriots, I'm not militantly opposed to trading prospects for veterans. The Yankees are in a weird spot w/r/t the success cycle-they got insanely lucky with their top prospects over the last 3 seasons, and that's opened up the possibility of contention after Jeter and A-Rod and Damon and Posada pass out of their primes. I don't think I'd make a Hughes for Willis trade, largely because I think Hughes is one of the top 3-5 prospects in all of MLB, whereas Pelfrey may not even be the best prospect in his own organization. Would I consider Humberto Sanchez and Tabata for Willis? You bet I would.
   212. bibigon Posted: December 20, 2006 at 07:04 PM (#2265832)
Sure. But the issues facing Pelfrey and Hughes aren't that distinct.


See, that's the thing - they are distinct. Nobody doubts Hughes' secondary stuff, while lots of people doubt Pelfrey's. That's the main issue that people seem to have with Pelfrey, and it's an issue which Hughes doesn't seem to have.

The rest of the issues you mentioned are generic issues present among every young pitcher. Pelfrey has a question mark on top of that, and it's one which Hughes lacks.

Pelfrey is a good pitching prospect - one of the 10 best or so in baseball. Hughes is the best pitching prospect in baseball meanwhile. There's a substantial difference there, and it's not just the result of Hughes having better numbers than Pelfrey does - it's that in addition to him having inferior numbers, people having a specific reason to doubt how well Pelfrey's numbers will translate across levels.
   213. Sam M. Posted: December 20, 2006 at 07:17 PM (#2265843)
Don't think I haven't been tempted. Unlike many of my Yankee-fan compatriots, I'm not militantly opposed to trading prospects for veterans.

If you've been tempted by that trade, you shouldn't have been. Both because of how good Hughes is (yes, he stepped past Pelfrey last season) and because of how good Willis isn't. As you said later, you wouldn't trade Hughes for Willis straight up. Neither would I. How could you possibly be tempted to deal Hughes AND Tabata? Color me confused.

they got insanely lucky with their top prospects over the last 3 seasons, and that's opened up the possibility of contention after Jeter and A-Rod and Damon and Posada pass out of their primes.

Uh huh. I assume you're referring to Wang (26) and Cano (23). If their youth opens up the Yankee success cycle into the future, and should make them more reluctant to trade prospects for short-term value, why isn't that even truer for the Mets, who have gotten even better results from their prospects Wright and Reyes, who are both STILL younger than either Wang or Cano?

As for how good a prospect Pelfrey is, just because he's not as good as Hughes, let's not forget: BA still ranked him the # 3 prospect in the extremely deep Eastern League, ahead of Adam Miller. I don't see anyone questioning Adam Miller's status as an elite prospect. Some folks around here have latched on to some questions people have about Pelfrey and have, IMO, vastly exaggerated their importance. He has a consistent 95+ MPH fastball with great movement. If he stays healthy, that's a recipe for a successful major league starter. The other stuff is about whether he's a solid pitcher, or a star -- NOT whether he makes it at all.
   214. The Artist Posted: December 20, 2006 at 07:19 PM (#2265844)

Pelfrey's got problems.

No more than, say, a Phillip Hughes.


Wait Rask? Are you equating Pelfrey to the one of the top 2 pitching prospects in baseball? Seriously?
   215. ian Posted: December 20, 2006 at 07:23 PM (#2265848)
Sure. But the issues facing Pelfrey and Hughes aren't that distinct. You could prefer Hughes at this point depending on your tastes, but both are unfinished products. Both will need to overcome the danger of injuries. Both will need to learn how to set up pitches and avoid dangerous situations. Both carry a lot of promise and will need to get better to fulfill them. These are the types of pitchers to keep despite their "problems" and see how they turn out.

Hughes has a very good secondary repertoire while Pelfrey has none. Maybe you should re-read their scouting reports.
   216. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 20, 2006 at 07:23 PM (#2265850)
I assume you're referring to Wang (26) and Cano (23). If their youth opens up the Yankee success cycle into the future, and should make them more reluctant to trade prospects for short-term value, why isn't that even truer for the Mets, who have gotten even better results from their prospects Wright and Reyes, who are both STILL younger than either Wang or Cano?

This statement is going to add 100 or so posts to this thread.

While it's fun to debate the merits of our teams' favorite prospects, I don't think how Pelfrey compares to Hughes is that relevant to a discussion about the 2007 Mets. The question that needs to be asked is : Can Pelfrey give the Mets a 100 ERA+ in a significant amount of innings next year if called upon?
   217. bibigon Posted: December 20, 2006 at 07:24 PM (#2265851)
I don't see anyone questioning Adam Miller's status as an elite prospect.


A couple things...

1. I don't think anyone has said that Miller is a better prospect than Pelfrey.

2. I'm not sure I've seen anyone question Pelfrey's status as an elite prospect.

So this strikes me as somewhat of a strawman.
   218. Raskolnikov Posted: December 20, 2006 at 07:29 PM (#2265853)
Hughes: H/9=5.66; K/9=10.71; BB/9=2.48; HR/9=0.39;

Pelfrey: H/9=8.14; K/9=10.45; BB/9=3.53; HR/9=0.27

Both are excellent prospects, of course, but Hughes walks fewer, allows far fewer hits (and has done so consistently), and has a higher WHIP-adjusted K-rate. Hughes also throws harder. Both have minor injury concerns.


You can certainly make the case that Hughes is a better prospect than Pelfrey. I think so as well. But I don't think that it's much of a gap, and the numbers don't bear out a significant difference.

As for Hughes throwing harder than Pelfrey, it's the first time I've heard of that. What I've read is that Pelfrey throws mid 90's and Hughes throws low 90's.

My main point being that Pelfrey faces barriers similar to Hughes. I suspect, that barring injury, both will be at least very good pitchers at the next level.

Indeed. But the point under debate was Dial's assertion that, "I have a 50% chance Willis will be the same as Pelfrey, and only a 25% chance he'll be significantly better." Surely you're not arguing that 50% of the pitchers who post A and AA stats equivalent to Pelfrey's have MLB careers better than Dontrelle Willis?

I was addressing your point that he walked more than 3 in AA. He dominated that level. Could he improve his control? I'd like to see that. But his BB rate didn't give him any problems at AA.

Wang does throw right down the middle. That's what so bloody remarkable. I can't speak as confidently about Webb, who I only watched on TV once last season, but over the last 3 years I've seen him as a guy who can challenge hitters with his fastball because he doesn't fear the homer, which puts him ahead in the count and allows him to make better use of ordinary secondary pitches. Your assertion that Pelfrey throws harder than Wang is inaccurate; I believe the STATS handbook had Wang's average fastball at 93mph last season, and Pelfrey is said to throw (quoting from BP here)"92-95 mph, touches 97". They both throw similarly hard.

I don't see as many Wang games as you, so I'd have to take that premise. I'd be surprised if he did pitch in the middle of the zone rather than down as most sinkerballers do.

But whatever the case, at a similar stage in development, Wang didn't have a superior fastball. Pelfrey can certainly develop better command of his sinking fastball, and if he does, he can certainly imitate Wang's approach. I also wouldn't be surprised if he struck out more batters than Wang.

Anyway, the point is that Pelfrey doesn't need to achieve Webbian levels to be a solid ML starter. He has a fantastic pitch to get by with - a hard sinking fastball - and as you so nicely point out, an effective one is more helpful than any other pitch.

I don't say he's not ready; I argue that based upon the following lines of evidence:
1)Subpar performance at the MLB level last season
2)High BB rates at AAA and MLB last season
3)Scouting reports that consistently indicate the lack of secondary pitches

Do you contest any of these assertions, or the conclusion that they indicate that its likely Pelfrey will struggle (ERA+<100) as a big leaguer next season?


Sure. But again, you're running into sample size issues with AAA and MLB numbers. Pelfrey was actually fine in ERA in the majors until his last couple of starts last year. Given that he had an additional fall and winter to progress, and accounting for the natural improvement of young players, there's plenty of reasons to argue that he's ready as is. And it would seem that ZIPS would be arguing in favor of Pelfrey rather than your assessment.

(I'll get to the rest of your comments later.)
   219. JPWF13 Posted: December 20, 2006 at 07:33 PM (#2265855)
No. Hughes has better stuff and better numbers. Comparing them both at AA last season:

Hughes: H/9=5.66; K/9=10.71; BB/9=2.48; HR/9=0.39;

Pelfrey: H/9=8.14; K/9=10.45; BB/9=3.53; HR/9=0.27

Both are excellent prospects, of course, but Hughes walks fewer, allows far fewer hits (and has done so consistently), and has a higher WHIP-adjusted K-rate.


There's a minor hiccup in your stat analysis-
Hughes gave up .39 hr/9 in the worst home run park in the EL- depressing homeruns by some 30%
Pelfrey gave up .27/9 in a park that increases HR and hits and has been nicknamed "Coors East"

If you think a 100 IP or so sample is valid- as your post implies- then it looks like Pelfrey has a significant edge in his ability to keep the ball in the park
   220. bibigon Posted: December 20, 2006 at 07:34 PM (#2265856)
My main point being that Pelfrey faces barriers similar to Hughes.


Yeah, what people are saying is that this isn't the case. Nobody doubts Hughes' secondary stuff. Lots of people doubt Pelfey's.

They both face the generic hurdles that young pitchers face, that's true. Pelfrey faces an additional hurdle however.
   221. Sam M. Posted: December 20, 2006 at 07:38 PM (#2265860)
2. I'm not sure I've seen anyone question Pelfrey's status as an elite prospect.

Have you been reading this thread??? He's been called "a risky proposition at best to have a successful career as a starter." Ian, grossly exaggerating, says, "Hughes has a very good secondary repertoire while Pelfrey has none."
   222. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: December 20, 2006 at 07:46 PM (#2265864)
Have you been reading this thread??? He's been called "a risky proposition at best to have a successful career as a starter." Ian, grossly exaggerating, says, "Hughes has a very good secondary repertoire while Pelfrey has none."

Sam, elite pitching prosects are risky propositions to have successful careers. That's the premise behind TINSTAPPXZSWR or whatever its called. It's pretty true. Good lord, man, you were a Mets fan in the 90s!

How quickly they forget.
   223. Mister High Standards Posted: December 20, 2006 at 07:47 PM (#2265865)
because of how good Willis isn't


This is just frigging crazy talk. I love mets fans.
   224. JPWF13 Posted: December 20, 2006 at 07:47 PM (#2265866)
Yeah, what people are saying is that this isn't the case. Nobody doubts Hughes' secondary stuff. Lots of people doubt Pelfey's.

They both face the generic hurdles that young pitchers face, that's true. Pelfrey faces an additional hurdle however.


Pelfrey's also 2.5 years older- which if we were comparing hitters I'd say is a huge plus for Hughes- but we're not and I prefer the OLDER pitching prospect simply because there is a non- negligible chance that Hughes hasa career altering injury between now and when he reaches Pelfrey's age.

Pelfrey also had a long lapse between his last stint of collegiate pitching and pitching in the minors- he was rusty and his college curveball seemed to vanish.

I'm not saying Pelfrey's a better prospect than Hughes- he's not, TINSTAAPP may not be literally true- but's it's uncomfortably close to being a general rule- Hughes could be the best pitching prospect on all baseball- and yet the odds are that at least someone out of prospects 2-10 will end up better than him.

Two years ago King Felix was the concensus best prospect in baseball- Liriano and Verlander overtook him pretty quickly didn't they.
   225. bibigon Posted: December 20, 2006 at 07:48 PM (#2265868)
Have you been reading this thread??? He's been called "a risky proposition at best to have a successful career as a starter." Ian, grossly exaggerating, says, "Hughes has a very good secondary repertoire while Pelfrey has none."


Well, the first of those in no way impugns his status as an elite prospect. I don't happen to agree with it, but I think there is enough ambiguity there to give him the benefit of the doubt.

With regards to Ian's statement, if Ian actually thought Pelfrey had no secondary repertoire at all, then he certainly wouldn't be an elite prospect, but as you point out, Ian was clearly exaggerating there for effect, likely because of the rather silly comp being made between Pelfrey and Hughes.

Perhaps I should have said, "I don't think I've seen anyone seriously question Pelfrey's status as an elite prospect."
   226. Sam M. Posted: December 20, 2006 at 07:52 PM (#2265870)
Sam, elite pitching prosects are risky propositions to have successful careers.

Yeah, Phil, except you made that comment about Pelfrey as part of a broader point distinguishing him from Hughes, whom you evidently DON'T view as much of a risky proposition to have a successful career as a starter. What I'm saying is that the negative views being expressed about Pelfrey in this thread are NOT just of the TINSTAAP variety. They are way over the top, underrating his actual status as a prospect. The Mets' fans, OTOH, are being quite sober in their assessment, recognizing the work he needs to do, the progress he needs to make, and making limited claims about what he is prepared to contribute at this point. IMHO, the ONLY question mark about Pelfrey being a successful major league starter is whether he will stay healthy. Whether he develops secondary pitches, and refines his command of his fastball, will determine whether he's an ace or merely a solid rotation starter, not whether he "makes it."
   227. Sam M. Posted: December 20, 2006 at 07:56 PM (#2265873)
because of how good Willis isn't

This is just frigging crazy talk. I love mets fans.


For more details of how good I think Willis is (and isn't), see # 168.
   228. bibigon Posted: December 20, 2006 at 07:56 PM (#2265874)
Pelfrey's also 2.5 years older- which if we were comparing hitters I'd say is a huge plus for Hughes- but we're not and I prefer the OLDER pitching prospect simply because there is a non- negligible chance that Hughes hasa career altering injury between now and when he reaches Pelfrey's age.


This is pushing it - you're now arguing that age is an active negative for a pitching prospect? I take the argument that being younger isn't a massive positive, but now you're saying it's a serious negative?

Additionally, this has nothing to do with the hurdles being faced by Pelfrey and Hughes being the same. This is, if anything, another differentiation in the hurdles they face.

Two years ago King Felix was the concensus best prospect in baseball- Liriano and Verlander overtook him pretty quickly didn't they.


Felix Hernandez has not been overtaken by either one of those. Neither Verlander nor Liriano are particularly close really, albeit for different reasons. He's a tremendous pitcher, and better bet going forward than any pitcher other than Santana. People are reading way too much into some lousy luck he had on balls in play this year. I'm not sure I'd trade Felix for both Verlander and Liriano right now.
   229. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: December 20, 2006 at 07:57 PM (#2265875)
Two years ago King Felix was the concensus best prospect in baseball- Liriano and Verlander overtook him pretty quickly didn't they.

Call me crazy, but I find it hard to believe that if given the choice today, one would take Verlander or Liriano over King Felix. I don't know, to each his own I guess. I'm speaking of career value going forward by the way, not just next year.

IMHO, the ONLY question mark about Pelfrey being a successful major league starter is whether he will stay healthy. Whether he develops secondary pitches, and refines his command of his fastball, will determine whether he's an ace or merely a solid rotation starter, not whether he "makes it."

As far as I can tell, the list of successful active big league starters with one pitch goes:

Chien-Ming Wang
...
...

So yeah, I'm open to suggestions otherwise, but if you're going to admit that Pelfrey has one good pitch and the only question mark on him is health then I think that's just crazy.
   230. billyshears Posted: December 20, 2006 at 08:01 PM (#2265880)
Yeah, what people are saying is that this isn't the case. Nobody doubts Hughes' secondary stuff. Lots of people doubt Pelfey's.

Phil Hughes is one of the two best pitching prospects in baseball and has refined secondary pitches.

Mike Pelfrey is one of the ten best pitching prospects in baseball and does not have refined secondary pitches.

Seems to me that (ignoring the possibility of injuries) because Hughes is already polished, he likely to be more successful than Pelfrey (though I believe both will be successful) but if Pelfrey can refine his secondary pitches, he would likely be better than Hughes.
   231. Sam M. Posted: December 20, 2006 at 08:04 PM (#2265882)
So yeah, I'm open to suggestions otherwise, but if you're going to admit that Pelfrey has one good pitch and the only question mark on him is health then I think that's just crazy.

It's not like Pelfrey has only one pitch. His secondary stuff needs to improve, but he has other pitches. On his "other pitches," this is from BA's scouting report (as I said, # 3 in the EL after last year, behind Hughes and Matt Garza, ahead of Miller):

Pelfrey needs to improve the consistency of his secondary stuff and have more conviction in it. His changeup is his second-best pitch and has the potential to be an above-average offering. His curveball remains slurvy, though he throws it at 82-86 mph.

Third best pitch an OK 85 MPH curve? Yes, I think he can be a solid major league starter with that, given the fastball he has. Improving the off-speed stuff is the key to stardom, but Pelfrey can be solid in a rotation with what he has right now.
   232. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: December 20, 2006 at 08:06 PM (#2265885)
Yeah, Phil, except you made that comment about Pelfrey as part of a broader point distinguishing him from Hughes, whom you evidently DON'T view as much of a risky proposition to have a successful career as a starter.

No! Sorry for the misunderstanding. My logic goes thusly:
1)Hughes is better than Pelfrey, and has surmounted one of the barriers to being a successful starter (good secondary pitches) that Pelfrey has yet to accomplish
2)All pitching prosects are inherently VERY risky
3)Therefore, Dial's assertion that Pelfrey is a good bet to exceed Willis's career, or to pitch 100 IP of above average baseball next year, is in error.

I left out:

4)If anyone made similar arguments about the odds of Hughes exceeding Willis or pitching above average baseball in MLB next year, they would also be in error. This highlights the inaccuracies of Dial's assertion, because Hughes is better than Pelfrey.
   233. JPWF13 Posted: December 20, 2006 at 08:07 PM (#2265886)
They both face the generic hurdles that young pitchers face, that's true. Pelfrey faces an additional hurdle however.
Additionally, this has nothing to do with the hurdles being faced by Pelfrey and Hughes being the same. This is, if anything, another differentiation in the hurdles they face.


you were the one that said:

They both face the generic hurdles that young pitchers face, that's true. Pelfrey faces an additional hurdle however.
   234. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: December 20, 2006 at 08:09 PM (#2265891)
Third best pitch an OK 85 MPH curve? Yes, I think he can be a solid major league starter with that, given the fastball he has. Improving the off-speed stuff is the key to stardom, but Pelfrey can be solid in a rotation with what he has right now.

If his second best pitch has the POTENTIAL to be an above average offering, not a great or even good offering, but an above average one, I think it's safe to assume that that pitch is at best average. That would make his third best pitch somewhere below average. I may be interpreting this wrong, but a pitching prospect with a mid 90s sinking fastball, MAYBE average changeup, and below average curveball is not a good bet to be solid in a rotation right now. Down the line, who knows, but right now, I don't think so.
   235. HowardMegdal Posted: December 20, 2006 at 08:17 PM (#2265894)
"Not that Pedro was particularly good in 2006, but the origin of the "that Pedro guy" quote was talking about what the 2007 rotation relative to the 2006 rotation, not on its own merits."

But if medical reports are to be believed, Pedro will be a part of the 2007 rotation by midyear. Frankly, there's a good chance he actually makes more starts in 2007 than in 2006. A guarantee? Of course not. But it sure wouldn't surprise me, and that will almost certainly be an improvement over 2006, when he was pitching through about 4-5 injuries.
   236. Sam M. Posted: December 20, 2006 at 08:19 PM (#2265895)
Dial's assertion that Pelfrey is a good bet to exceed Willis's career, or to pitch 100 IP of above average baseball next year, is in error.

I agree with you half-way. I don't think Pelfrey (or Hughes, for tha matter) is a good bet to exceed Willis's career.* Too much riskiness about sustaining quality, motivation, as well as durability. But then, no one is offering to trade Willis straight up for Pelfrey, are they?

But on the second proposition: if I can make the slight modification of major league average ball, instead of above-average, I think Pelfrey is quite a good bet to provide 100 innings of that next year. Assuming, of course, that the Mets choose to give him the shot.

Indeed, I think the odds of those two propositions are tremendously different. The issue with young pitchers is often whether they can stand up to the second 100 innings, when they are having to go deeper into games (at least on some teams) than they did in the minors. With the Mets' pen, I think Pelfrey would not get overextended, and he'd do well, especially in the first 100 innings. The odds of 100 ERA+, or thereabouts? No sure thing, but it's a reasonable thing to hope for. Matching Dontrelle Willis's career is a much longer short, for a host of reasons.


* - Except, I should add, Chris clarified that comment later by adding (# 182) that he meant only for 2007.
   237. Sam M. Posted: December 20, 2006 at 08:22 PM (#2265897)
If I could, I swear I would delete post # 235 and pretend it never existed. It is tempting fate and if it brings down curses on the 2007 Mets, I will never forgive Howard. Never.
   238. HowardMegdal Posted: December 20, 2006 at 08:25 PM (#2265899)
"If I could, I swear I would delete post # 235 and pretend it never existed. It is tempting fate and if it brings down curses on the 2007 Mets, I will never forgive Howard. Never."

Sam, I'm not in any way counting on it. Is acknowledging the possibility enough to bring on a hex? It's not like I guaranteed that Louisville will win the Orange Bowl.
   239. Famous Original Joe C Posted: December 20, 2006 at 08:25 PM (#2265900)
Frankly, there's a good chance he actually makes more starts in 2007 than in 2006.

Pedro made 23 starts last year. He may come back in the second half and be useful or even good, but he won't make 23 starts and shouldn't be counted on as anything more than a bonus should he contribute.
   240. HowardMegdal Posted: December 20, 2006 at 08:31 PM (#2265902)
"Pedro made 23 starts last year. He may come back in the second half and be useful or even good, but he won't make 23 starts and shouldn't be counted on as anything more than a bonus should he contribute."

Wow, that's more than I'd remembered. Looking at his log, it's pretty clear from Cincinnati 6/22 on, Pedro simply wasn't Pedro (5 walks?). That means 14 essentially healthy starts. I'd say he's a decent bet to top that with a June return, but out of deference to Sam, I will say instead that I am currently mourning the passing of Pedro Martinez.
   241. Sam M. Posted: December 20, 2006 at 08:46 PM (#2265909)
Once nice fringe benefit of signing Zito would be to lessen any pressure (real, perceived, or self-imposed) on Pedro to rush himself back. The stronger the Mets are, the better they are playing, and the better their rotation seems to be, the more time he'll take and the more confident everyone can be that IF he ever does make it back, he actually is ready to go and contribute. I'm assuming that is going to be Spring 2008 -- and if it's earlier than that, I'll be pleasantly surprised.
   242. Raskolnikov Posted: December 20, 2006 at 08:59 PM (#2265916)
Whew, the thread blew up in the time I went to get lunch. Let's see if I can catch up.
First, finishing my reply to Mr. Hughes.

And what I'm saying is that injury risk aside, Pelfrey has some distance to go before he's an acceptable MLB starter.

And what ZIPS suggests, and which I'm convinced of, is that you're overestimating what an acceptable MLB starter is. Teams keep throwing out guys like Ortiz out there because they're always underestimating what some of their pitchers in AA and AAA can do if given the chance. BTW, I think Hughes could be an acceptable MLB starter if called upon tomorrow as well.


Don't think I haven't been tempted. Unlike many of my Yankee-fan compatriots, I'm not militantly opposed to trading prospects for veterans. The Yankees are in a weird spot w/r/t the success cycle-they got insanely lucky with their top prospects over the last 3 seasons, and that's opened up the possibility of contention after Jeter and A-Rod and Damon and Posada pass out of their primes. I don't think I'd make a Hughes for Willis trade, largely because I think Hughes is one of the top 3-5 prospects in all of MLB, whereas Pelfrey may not even be the best prospect in his own organization. Would I consider Humberto Sanchez and Tabata for Willis? You bet I would.


Why does it matter where Pelfrey ranks within his own organization? What we care about is his inherent potential - which wouldn't matter whether he were #1 or #10. All that means is that the Mets are top-heavy.

Sanchez would be a top prospect with greater value if it weren't for his arm troubles. (I love Sanchez as well, BTW). It'd still be a foolish trade for the Yankees.

And the underlying premise still holds, which is that you don't trade 2 elite prospects for a Willis. If you're stating that you would even consider a Hughes/Tabata for Willis exchange, then your reasoning is consistent and I bow to how highly you value Willis. I think that's way, way too much to give up, but then it would simply be a disagreement of value, and not a disagreement about Pelfrey. And if Cashman saw things that way, there are 15 GMs looking to trade a very good starter for Hughes/Tabata.

(Note by the way, in the paragraph above, how you're willing to consider the Yankees future beyond 3 years. Why shouldn't the same case apply to the Mets? Yet you argued against it in your "competitive window" post.)
   243. Raskolnikov Posted: December 20, 2006 at 09:02 PM (#2265917)
Pelfrey's got problems.

No more than, say, a Phillip Hughes.


Wait Rask? Are you equating Pelfrey to the one of the top 2 pitching prospects in baseball? Seriously?


Okay, I was careless with the language. My fault.

Not markedly more problems than, say, a Phillip Hughes.

I'm saying that Pelfrey isn't that far off from Hughes. Hughes deserves to be ranked higher, but they are comparable.
   244. bibigon Posted: December 20, 2006 at 09:04 PM (#2265918)
I'm saying that Pelfrey isn't that far off from Hughes. Hughes deserves to be ranked higher, but they are comparable.


Sure - Hughes is an 'A-' prospect in my book, while Pelfrey is a 'B+' guy. They're both very good certainly.
   245. Raskolnikov Posted: December 20, 2006 at 09:07 PM (#2265921)

Hughes has a very good secondary repertoire while Pelfrey has none. Maybe you should re-read their scouting reports.


Yep, and they both have much more to learn about pitching. For Pelfrey, his main weakness is a lack of a second pitch. He has an ordinary curveball (not a lousy one), but it would make him much more effective if he had a better complementary pitch. I'm sure Hughes has his own list of things he needs to work on. They're both great young pitchers.
   246. Raskolnikov Posted: December 20, 2006 at 09:15 PM (#2265924)
Sam, elite pitching prosects are risky propositions to have successful careers. That's the premise behind TINSTAPPXZSWR or whatever its called. It's pretty true. Good lord, man, you were a Mets fan in the 90s!

How quickly they forget.


But Willis hasn't escaped that "danger" period himself either. I wouldn't be surprised if tomorrow Willis comes down with a sore shoulder. That's the inherent risk of any young pitcher.

What I do contest is your conclusion from that, which is that you would trade them anyway. Just because Hughes or Pelfrey may end up getting hurt, I wouldn't, as a GM, look to move them. They both have too brilliant a pair of futures ahead of them to move as part of a package.

If what we are arguing is whether elite pitching prospects should be traded, then that's one issue. If we're arguing whether Pelfrey is an elite pitching prospect, that's another issue.
   247. Raskolnikov Posted: December 20, 2006 at 09:23 PM (#2265926)
As far as I can tell, the list of successful active big league starters with one pitch goes:

Chien-Ming Wang
...
...

So yeah, I'm open to suggestions otherwise, but if you're going to admit that Pelfrey has one good pitch and the only question mark on him is health then I think that's just crazy.


What that tells me is that Wang and Pelfrey are fairly unique pitchers. Which I knew already. Pitchers who can throw 90+ and get ground balls are not that common. To make your case, you'd have to bring up a pitcher who was similar to Pelfrey and similarly successful at that stage who didn't become effective in the majors. Because right now, the numbers are all arguing in favor of Pelfrey.

Everyone doubted whether Wang could get by with his unique reportoire as well. Seems that he proved everyone wrong.

And finally, let's kill the myth that Pelfrey throws fastball after fastball ala Beckett. Pelfrey has an average curve and a below-average change. He does have multiple pitches in his arsenal, they just aren't plus pitches yet. Pelfrey's now working on a slider. He does have multiple pitches.
   248. Raskolnikov Posted: December 20, 2006 at 09:30 PM (#2265931)
but a pitching prospect with a mid 90s sinking fastball, MAYBE average changeup, and below average curveball is not a good bet to be solid in a rotation right now. Down the line, who knows, but right now, I don't think so.[

Except that the numbers argue against this. He's done very well at each level where he's been placed. ZIPS seems to like him. Maybe you don't like his style, but you can't argue with his results.

The key is that Pelfrey is young and still learning, so if he was pretty close to acceptable last year, there's no reason why he couldn't be acceptable right now. Do the Mets want to rush him in such a way? That's the issue.
   249. bibigon Posted: December 20, 2006 at 09:33 PM (#2265935)
And finally, let's kill the myth that Pelfrey throws fastball after fastball ala Beckett. Pelfrey has an average curve and a below-average change.


That's exactly like Beckett - except Beckett has an above average curve.
   250. Raskolnikov Posted: December 20, 2006 at 09:37 PM (#2265936)
That's exactly like Beckett - except Beckett has an above average curve.

From what I've gathered from reading the Sox threads, Beckett overrelies on his fastball because his other pitches cause blisters. That has been proposed as an explanation for his poor season. I think Beckett has one of the best arsenals in the game, so it would be a shame for him not to utilize it.

Anyway, my point being that Pelfrey does have other pitches. He doesn't just rear back and fire as has been insinuated in these debates.
   251. ian Posted: December 20, 2006 at 09:38 PM (#2265937)
Except that the numbers argue against this. He's done very well at each level where he's been placed. ZIPS seems to like him. Maybe you don't like his style, but you can't argue with his results.

Yusmeiro Petit?
   252. bibigon Posted: December 20, 2006 at 09:47 PM (#2265941)
That has been proposed as an explanation for his poor season.


Eh - I don't buy it. Take a look at BPro's adjusted peripherals - his BB and K rates didn't change all that much actually, it was mainly a contextual(league) change. His HR rate went up, but only by 0.3 HR/9.

His raw stats suggests a complete collapse - I see a guy who was never that good in the first place, who got exposed in the AL, and got a bit unlucky on the HR ball. I'm skeptical of his bounce back ability. He'll improve just from being a bit luckier with HRs, but last year is likely a lot closer to his true talent in the AL than a lot of people seem to think.

In general, I'm skeptical of pitchers whose primary secondary pitch is their curveball. Fastball/Curveball combo pitchers without a great changeup seem to have somewhat mediocre results. I haven't done research on this, it's just observational.
   253. Sam M. Posted: December 20, 2006 at 09:56 PM (#2265942)
Yusmeiro Petit?

Petit is the anti-Pelfrey. He has a lot of pitches, but no great one, and especially no dominant fastball. The scouts always felt he was getting by on guile and deceptive delivery, but had inadequate stuff that would be exposed in the majors, whereas they rate Pelfrey very highly (as evidenced by BA's ranking of Pelfrey) because of that heat.

They are about as un-alike as two pitching prospect can be.
   254. The Wilpons Must Go (Tom D) Posted: December 20, 2006 at 10:05 PM (#2265945)
That seems to be what Sam expects of Willis, and I don't think that's unreasonable.

Enough of the Marlins hijack. By what methodology did Heilman get 13 starts? In fact, how did Zambrano project for 20 starts?
   255. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: December 20, 2006 at 10:07 PM (#2265947)
They are about as un-alike as two pitching prospect can be.

I may be wrong, but I think the point was more along the lines of...we shouldn't just look at minor league results and translate them to X major league results, because not all numbers are created equally. For example, if two pitchers have identical numbers across the board and one has a good fastball, curveball, and changeup while the other only has a good fastball, I would think it makes sense to say that the first pitcher is a better bet to do well in the majors right now while the second MAY have a higher ceiling.
   256. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 20, 2006 at 10:13 PM (#2265950)
BTW, I watched some video on Jorge Vasquez and here's a Russlan Abouhassan scouting report on his stuff:

90-92 MPH straight fastball with a very good slider at 83-86.

I only wathced 4 innings of his pitching for the Braves against the Rangers at TBAA so take this for what it's worth. His slider is pretty good and he has a lot of confidence in it. He got a lot of swings and misses with that pitch and he's willing to throw it behind in counts. He's not going to beat anyone with his fastball though.

One AB impressed me quite a bit. He fell behind Teixera 3-1. He throws him a great slider that Teixera spit at to get to 3-2. He then got Teixera to strike out on another slider as Teixera was clearly expecting fastball.

If his fastball was 2-3 MPH harder, he'd be really good. He's certainly someone that I think is a decent guy to have around. I like his stuff better than I like Juan Padilla's to tell you the truth.
   257. Sam M. Posted: December 20, 2006 at 10:27 PM (#2265958)
we shouldn't just look at minor league results and translate them to X major league results, because not all numbers are created equally.

Well, sure. But I will always take the guy who posseses a 95 MPH fastball with good movement, who has also produced good results. Always. To me, the great fastball is just an article of faith: Thou Shalt Put No Other Pitch Before Me. You build legends on the other stuff, but you build careers on the fastball. That's why I say that if Pelfrey's going to be a star, he has work to do, but if he's going to have a career as a solid starter, he just has to stay healthy. His fastball will be enough for that much.
   258. Raskolnikov Posted: December 20, 2006 at 10:31 PM (#2265963)
I may be wrong, but I think the point was more along the lines of...we shouldn't just look at minor league results and translate them to X major league results, because not all numbers are created equally. For example, if two pitchers have identical numbers across the board and one has a good fastball, curveball, and changeup while the other only has a good fastball, I would think it makes sense to say that the first pitcher is a better bet to do well in the majors right now while the second MAY have a higher ceiling

True, but I would say that the results are the 1st line of considerations in determining "readiness" as opposed to "stuff" or how someone "looks." It may be the case that ultimately, the other two factors may determine whether success or failure, but I would say that's very difficult to know a priori.

Petit got hit hard last year. I would argue that he earned his shot. It wasn't a good debut, but that will happen. Not all pitchers succeed right away.
   259. Raskolnikov Posted: December 20, 2006 at 10:34 PM (#2265968)
Thanks for the report, Russlan. Vasquez is now my favorite "AAAA" or Ken Phelps All-Star pitcher to root for. I'm excited about the guy. Can't believe he slipped the other GMs' eyes.
   260. Chris Dial Posted: December 20, 2006 at 11:09 PM (#2265998)
zop,
I cannot believe you misrepresented my position three times on this page.

The topic I responded to was "Will Dontrelle Willis significantly and unqstionably improve the Mets chances in 2007"

I stated that Willis has about 50% chance to be better than Pelfrey.

NOT ONCE DID I EVER COMMENT ON WILLIS' CAREER.

I only clarified for the reading comprehension impaired.
   261. Chris Dial Posted: December 20, 2006 at 11:14 PM (#2266003)
Therefore, Dial's assertion that Pelfrey is a good bet to exceed Willis's career

This never happened, so I'd appreciate it if you retracted it - this will be one of those things later this season or next "I can't believe Dial said Pelfrey would have a better career than Willis."

That NEVER happened. Retract it.
   262. The Powers That Be Posted: December 20, 2006 at 11:20 PM (#2266007)
Looking at the optimistic projection for Reyes: 100+ RBI? For a leadoff hitter? In the National League? In Shea Stadium? Yeah, I'd call that optimistic. When's the last time an NL leadoff hitter drove in 100 runs?
   263. Dan Broderick Posted: December 20, 2006 at 11:35 PM (#2266018)
Looking at the optimistic projection for Reyes: 100+ RBI? For a leadoff hitter? In the National League? In Shea Stadium? Yeah, I'd call that optimistic.

Well he drove in 81 last year so another 19-23 isn't totally nuts.
   264. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 20, 2006 at 11:36 PM (#2266019)
Reyes did drive in 81 runs last year despite having an OPS of .717 in the first two months of the season.
   265. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: December 20, 2006 at 11:48 PM (#2266029)
I see no need to retract it. I don't think the text you wrote and your ex post facto reinterpretation are consistent. So let people think what they want; either you wrote poorly or you changed your mind. No me importa either way, frankly.
   266. JPWF13 Posted: December 20, 2006 at 11:48 PM (#2266030)
Fastball/Curveball combo pitchers without a great changeup seem to have somewhat mediocre results.


Gooden 1985

Sandy Koufax
   267. Шĥy Posted: December 20, 2006 at 11:50 PM (#2266032)
And finally, let's kill the myth that Pelfrey throws fastball after fastball ala Beckett. Pelfrey has an average curve and a below-average change.

Actually, the Mets have instructed Pelfrey to stop throwing his curve and only throw his slider instead because they think his slider is significantly better than his curve.
   268. Raskolnikov Posted: December 21, 2006 at 12:17 AM (#2266045)
Actually, the Mets have instructed Pelfrey to stop throwing his curve and only throw his slider instead because they think his slider is significantly better than his curve.

I know - and I'm happy because this indicates to me that Pelfrey accepts that he has much to learn. I was listing Pelfrey's current repertoire that he would go with if he had to start tomorrow. I'm hoping that slider can come to fruition, it would be a perfect complement for a power pitcher.
   269. batpig Posted: December 21, 2006 at 12:17 AM (#2266046)
I see no need to retract it. I don't think the text you wrote and your ex post facto reinterpretation are consistent. So let people think what they want; either you wrote poorly or you changed your mind. No me importa either way, frankly.

Wow. I know everyone hates the "that's not what you said" game, but as an impartial observer who's been reading along on this thread, you're just so wrong.

Dial quoted this:

"Or that 3) trading Pelfrey and Milledge for Willis would have significantly and unquestionably improved your team's chances of winning the world championship both in 2006 (when it came oh so close) and in 2007?"

And then immediately responded:

"Not a chance. I have a 50% chance Willis will be the same as Pelfrey, and only a 25% chance he'll be significantly better. *And* I'd lose Milledge, who has to be here when Shawn Green is shot by a sniper for his poor performance. Not only is in not "unquestionably" incorrect to think that "significantly" improves our chances, I'd say it does almost *nothing* for them. And certainly not for the price."

Given that the response was in the *immediate* context of a quoted comment about their chances in 2007, and his response specifically referenced that comment (the bolded part about significantly improving chances), I'm gonna have to say it was pretty much crystal clear that he was just talking about the Mets chances in the 2007 season. Your response in the next post was where career value was brought up, and you ran with that misinterpretation.

That is all.
   270. Chris Dial Posted: December 21, 2006 at 12:25 AM (#2266053)
I see no need to retract it. I don't think the text you wrote and your ex post facto reinterpretation are consistent. So let people think what they want; either you wrote poorly or you changed your mind. No me importa either way, frankly.

I don't mind if they read what I wrote and think what they want. I object to your "paraphrasing" what I wrote when you *know* it to be incorrect wrt what I meant. You did it thrice on this page *after* my clarification. Moreover, your last post indicates, that even having been corrected repeatedly, it is your inetntion to continue to misrepresent what I said, and what I meant.
   271. Orange & Blue Velvet Posted: December 21, 2006 at 12:26 AM (#2266055)
Sickels, Re. Pelfrey:
I think the breaking pitch problem is overblown. He had a good one in college and I think he'll find it again. I am sticking with my guns on this one.

Oh, yeah, the Mets are up.
   272. bibigon Posted: December 21, 2006 at 12:46 AM (#2266069)
Sickels echos my feelings perfectly:

For some reason, Mets fans tend to get very defensive about their farm system, likely a form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from trades over the last few years.
   273. Raskolnikov Posted: December 21, 2006 at 12:56 AM (#2266079)
Bibigon, you didn't live through Black Friday. It was a JFK-like "you knew where you were" moment when the trades were announced.
   274. HowardMegdal Posted: December 21, 2006 at 12:59 AM (#2266080)
"For some reason, Mets fans tend to get very defensive about their farm system, likely a form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from trades over the last few years."

Just what the hell do you mean by that John Sickels quote? You take that back!
   275. 1k5v3L Posted: December 21, 2006 at 01:01 AM (#2266085)
I agree with Sickels that "For some reason, Mets fans tend to get very defensive"
   276. HowardMegdal Posted: December 21, 2006 at 01:02 AM (#2266086)
"It was a JFK-like "you knew where you were" moment when the trades were announced."

My father drove three hours to be with me that weekend. Granted, it was a pre-scheduled visit. But the trades meant it would've happened anyway.
   277. Chris Dial Posted: December 21, 2006 at 01:14 AM (#2266092)
I think almost all baseball fans are defensive of their teams, in equal amounts.

A Red Sox fan thinking a Mets fan has some complex is retardedly hilarious.
   278. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 21, 2006 at 01:21 AM (#2266094)
The Braves signed Chris Woodward.
   279. Sam M. Posted: December 21, 2006 at 01:33 AM (#2266098)
The Braves signed Chris Woodward.

Speaking of retardedly hilarious . . . .
   280. Chris Dial Posted: December 21, 2006 at 01:49 AM (#2266103)
The Braves signed Chris Woodward.

Speaking of retardedly hilarious . . . .


It'd be funnier if I didn't know who Charlie O'Brien, Darren Bragg and Matt Franco were.
   281. bibigon Posted: December 21, 2006 at 06:36 AM (#2266219)
A Red Sox fan thinking a Mets fan has some complex is retardedly hilarious.


I never said we don't have complexes - I just don't think we've got the defensive about our farm system one.
   282. Шĥy Posted: December 21, 2006 at 06:55 AM (#2266228)
I never said we don't have complexes - I just don't think we've got the defensive about our farm system one.

Kevin and Dustin Petunia say hello.
   283. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: December 21, 2006 at 01:53 PM (#2266277)
I just don't think we've got the defensive about our farm system one.

Oh. I didn't realize you never read those farmhand threads in Sox Therapy.
   284. David Wrightwing obstructionist Posted: December 23, 2006 at 08:52 PM (#2267788)
I don't argue with the sabermeticians here but I do want to say one thing on mound presence.

I usually surprised that a forum of such intelligent people generally disregards the psychology of sport, what are most Primates closet Scientologists?

I think mound presence has more affect on the poor results than the good really. If you have that kind of presence you are less affected by negative results. Your bad periods are much shorter or not as bad as they could have been, obviously resulting in better overall numbers by the end of the year. Every pitcher get shelled here and there but there are those who instead of making it a season long or half season long can overcome that on occasion. Randy Johnson for instance sprinkled in some quality starts despite the fact that his stuff is obviously not what it used to be. Basically the idea of being able to win or more to the point keep your team in the game despite not having your stuff, which we have all heard a millions times.

As far as Eric Gagne why not yes to Off's question. Is it that hard to believe that with the different mindset that you take coming out of the pen as compared to starter might help you establish a better mound presence?

Maybe Eric is a max effort guy, maybe his stuff wasn't nearly as good two or three times threw the order so he was as confident or didn't have the presense to get by despite this. Maybe handing the ball and telling him to get filthy with his best stuff for 3 or more hitters established in him better mound presense for that task.
   285. David Wrightwing obstructionist Posted: December 23, 2006 at 08:59 PM (#2267791)
Oh and I agree that Dontrelle has that kind of mound presence, but D-Train for Milledge and Pelfrey, I still think that is crazy talk.
   286. HowardMegdal Posted: December 25, 2006 at 05:45 PM (#2268434)
"Oh and I agree that Dontrelle has that kind of mound presence, but D-Train for Milledge and Pelfrey, I still think that is crazy talk."

You're the one who's crazy! Trade for Dontrelle, and the Mets would be laughing all the way to the, um, prison.
   287. J. Cross Posted: January 16, 2007 at 06:51 AM (#2281012)
For lack of a better place, here are the Mets starting pitcher PECOTA IP and ERAs:
Pedro,    171.2, 3.07
Glavine,  168.0, 4.03
El Duque, 137.1, 4.18
Maine,    119.2, 4.22
Pelfrey,  140.1, 4.30
J. Sosa    74.0  4.45*
Williams,  97.2, 4.58
Perez,     97.0, 4.60

Soler,     66.2, 4.64
Humber,   111.1, 4.83
Bostick,   99.1, 5.21
Vargas,    97.0, 5.26

former Mets:

Bannister, 73.0, 4.57*
Trachsel, 117.2, 4.89
MacLane,  121.0, 4.96

*estimated based on EqERA since he's they are projected with other teams. Also worth noting that half of Jorge Sosa's projected innings are in relief so a projected for him as just a starter would be higher.

Now, obviously Pedro won't pitch that many innings but as long as the Mets starters come from that top bunch they should be better than last year's group, maybe susbstantially better.

Bullpen ERA's:
Wagner    2.36
Burgos    3.60 (!!)
Heilman   3.61
Sanchez   3.80
Felicano  3.86
Mota      4.37

2006 starters: 4.67
2006 relievers: 3.25

We'd need to do something like 4.35 and 3.85 this year to match the overall ERA.

Also, as I'm feel like I've perhaps posted a little too much pecota, let me just reccomend the BPro account to those who aren't already members. Lots of excellent Silver and Goldstein stuff these days. And, of course, you want the full pecota cards.
   288. J. Cross Posted: January 16, 2007 at 07:03 AM (#2281014)
oh, and

Alou07: .294/.364/.508*
Beltran07: .282/.377/.530
Milledge07: .285/.356/.461

get that man and OF corner!

Mets 2006 LF: .250/.330/.407
Mets 2006 CF: .267/.370/.538
Mets 2006 RF: .281/.337/.470

*projected with Dodgers

The Mets 2006 CF and RF numbers are effected by Endy hitting brilliantly while playing RF and brutally while playing center. Now, obviously those '07 numbers are just for the Mets best options but, if the Mets just let Milledge play I think this year's OF can outhit last year's OF.
   289. bibigon Posted: January 16, 2007 at 07:04 AM (#2281016)
Also, as I'm feel like I've perhaps posted a little too much pecota, let me just reccomend the BPro account to those who aren't already members. Lots of excellent Silver and Goldstein stuff these days. And, of course, you want the full pecota cards


The 2007 cards are out?
   290. J. Cross Posted: January 16, 2007 at 07:12 AM (#2281019)
just projections right now. cards likely within 24 hours.
   291. Orange & Blue Velvet Posted: January 16, 2007 at 07:12 AM (#2281020)
The full cards aren't up yet.
   292. 2 Balls on Clemente Posted: May 28, 2007 at 02:25 PM (#2381197)
" 106. Margo Adams FC Posted: December 19, 2006 at 08:38 PM (#2265385)

So basically you were saying that your gift of prophecy was better than ZIPS.



Yes, I was taking issue with some of the projections, but especially the contention that those six pitchers could constitute a winning starting rotation in an of themselves during the coming season."


What are you saying now?
   293. Famous Original Joe C Posted: December 11, 2007 at 03:13 PM (#2641181)
What are you saying now?

And what are you saying now?

Also, Chris Dial, you owe me a $10 BB-Ref sponsorship, wherever you are.
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