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   1. John DiFool2 Posted: December 16, 2007 at 01:31 AM (#2646926)
# Oscar Tejeda, SS, Grade B- (high praise for rookie ball guy)


He's 17 and hit .298 in a league where the average age is 3-4 years older.

He may not be Nomar but he's definitely someone to watch develop.
   2. OCD SS Posted: December 16, 2007 at 01:41 AM (#2646936)
I like sickels' approach. I think people can get too wrapped up in the minutia of placing one guy above another when really it's the slimmest of margins one way or the other. Grouping by grade (or stars, as Goldstien does) helps alleviate that for me. I like that he give more weight to guys with longer track records. Let them preform their way to the top of a list. In most cases BA's ranking just drafted players high on a team's list is something I find troubling.
   3. Gold Star for Robothal Posted: December 16, 2007 at 01:49 AM (#2646945)
Watch your hubris, Darren.
   4. Valentine Posted: December 16, 2007 at 02:11 AM (#2646965)
Maybe I'm biased, but I think there is still a huge difference between Red Sox and Yankees fans. Red Sox fans are rabidly passionate about their own players, talking up prospects and veterans alike. Mike Lowell, MVP candidate? Jacoby Ellsbury, future All-Star? We've been spoiled by the last few years.

In contrast, Yankees fans are shockingly bitter. Yes, they also overrate their prospects (as I suspect most fans do). But they can't turn around without bad-mouthing the Red Sox. Skim through the LoHud Yankees blog some time and you'll see as much whining about the "overrated Red Sox" as you do commentary on the Yankees. I'm sure this is only a part of their fanbase, but it is an annoyingly vocal segment.

As for Sickels ratings, is there ANYBODY who feels he was unreasonably critical of the Red Sox prospects? I wouldn't personally kvetch too much if he thought Ellsbury were a B+ player (citing limited star potential). But Lowrie A-? I've got high hopes for the kid, but don't understand how he can possibly be given a "can't miss" grade. Neither have Masterson/Bowden/Hagadone proven enough to merit a grade higher than their current B. Both Goldstein and Sickels seem exceptionally high on Kalish, given how FAR he is from the majors, but I'll take that as a vote of confidence in his tools.

And the rest? Bates hasn't proven anything until he hits outside of Lancaster. Same with Bubba Bell (a true long-shot to make the majors at his age). Is there ANYBODY who merits a B- or better grade who was neglected?
   5. Darren Posted: December 16, 2007 at 02:39 AM (#2646993)
In contrast, Yankees fans are shockingly bitter. Yes, they also overrate their prospects (as I suspect most fans do). But they can't turn around without bad-mouthing the Red Sox. Skim through the LoHud Yankees blog some time and you'll see as much whining about the "overrated Red Sox" as you do commentary on the Yankees. I'm sure this is only a part of their fanbase, but it is an annoyingly vocal segment.


There are a lot of Red Sox fans who talk about Yankees fans as being bitter front-running jerks, though. They even compare them to the Evil Empire. I think it's pretty safe too assume that both fanbases have a bunch of jerks and some really great fans like me and Mankhan.

As for Sickels ratings, is there ANYBODY who feels he was unreasonably critical of the Red Sox prospects?


I could see a fan of a certain prospect deciding that it's an outrage that said player wasn't higher. And I'm sure that there are so many Sox fans that a) there are a lot of different favorites and b) John's site and email box get stuffed with lots of angry messages about a perceived snub.

Maybe I was too hard on John above (Sorry John). I can see why he gets frustrated but I don't think calling attention to the rabid looonies is going to help him.

As for his grades, they all seem pretty reasonable to me, except for Lowrie. To me, a grade in the A range means that a player has a reasonable chance to be a star. Is that Lowrie? He seems more like he has a great chance to be a average to good player. I'd put that type of player in the B to B+ range. I was also a little disappointed not to get more insight from John on Lowrie's defense. That's a big deciding factory in how high he should rate.

Another one I might quibble with is Bowden. He was rated a B+ last year and then destroyed high-A before moving to AA at age 20. Every peripheral except hits allowed was good (could the hits be attributed to playing in front of Lowrie/Natale/etc?). I would have thought he'd at least remain at B+.
   6. Sparkles Peterson Posted: December 16, 2007 at 02:48 AM (#2647001)
I think it's pretty safe too assume that both fanbases have a bunch of jerks and some really great fans like me and Mankhan.


Darren, watch your hubris, for real.
   7. Valentine Posted: December 16, 2007 at 02:59 AM (#2647011)
Does anybody have a 2007 MLE on Lowrie? At the very least, his "upside" would be duplicating that MLE at the major league level.

Could be become Carlos Guillen?
   8. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: December 16, 2007 at 03:16 AM (#2647020)
1. I've yet to be convinced that Jacoby Ellsbury should be rated any higher than Jed Lowrie as a prospect.

2. I think both Lowrie and Ellsbury should both be listed as B+/4-Star prospects.
   9. chris p Posted: December 16, 2007 at 03:19 AM (#2647024)
2. I think both Lowrie and Ellsbury should both be listed as B+/4-Star prospects.

i was in the fence whether or not they were a- prospects, but if njasdf thinks they're b+'s, then it's pretty clear that they are at least an a-.
   10. bibigon Posted: December 16, 2007 at 03:29 AM (#2647027)
2007 MLE line of .261/.330/.436 for Lowrie. That's a better line than Ellsbury put up, while playing a more valuable defensive position, and being younger at the same time. Now of course, Ellsbury was a star in the majors for a month, and has GG potential in CF, while Lowrie is a question mark defensively, so that's not really a complete comparison. There's also a pretty fair sense that Ellsbury is actually pretty seriously overrated by a lot of people.

I still get the sense that he's underrated as a prospect by most - not by Sickels (who probably swung around too fair to the other end.)

Honestly, almost every grade here looks about a third of a letter grade high, other than Bowden's, which I like.
   11. chris p Posted: December 16, 2007 at 03:32 AM (#2647029)
That's a better line than Ellsbury put up, while playing a more valuable defensive position,

i'd rather have a gold glove center fielder than somebody that might stick at shortstop.
   12. Valentine Posted: December 16, 2007 at 03:41 AM (#2647034)
That's a better line than Ellsbury put up

Really? I'm surprised, since I thought Ellsbury projected to a .350-.360 OBP. Can you explain the discrepancy?

In any case, Ellsbury is special for his legs -- not his bat.
   13. bibigon Posted: December 16, 2007 at 04:15 AM (#2647054)
Really? I'm surprised, since I thought Ellsbury projected to a .350-.360 OBP. Can you explain the discrepancy?


Chone's MLE has Ellsbury at .294/.344/.392 - I suspect if you factor in Ellsbury's time in the majors, his combined line becomes superior.

In any case, Ellsbury is special for his legs -- not his bat.


If that's the case, then Ellsbury isn't special (offensively).
   14. chris p Posted: December 16, 2007 at 04:29 AM (#2647062)
If that's the case, then Ellsbury isn't special (offensively).

he should be solid offensively, special defensively.
   15. Valentine Posted: December 16, 2007 at 04:40 AM (#2647068)
Bingo! What do you call a competent hitter (.270 EqA) who plays plus defense in CF? A special player! If he can boost that to an OBP-heavy .280 EqA then all the better. Now you've got a player who can contribute something in the leadoff role.

Ellsbury destroyed his reputation by hitting .350 in the majors in September. If he had only hit a simple .270, maybe people would be more willing to acknowledge his value? Instead he gets slapped with the "overrated" tag and dumped into the dustbin with Otis Nixon. Same is true of Buchholz -- I think he has fewer proponents now than he did before throwing that no-hitter in September.
   16. chris p Posted: December 16, 2007 at 04:58 AM (#2647078)
If he had only hit a simple .270, maybe people would be more willing to acknowledge his value? Instead he gets slapped with the "overrated" tag and dumped into the dustbin with Otis Nixon.

if he had swung and missed more, maybe his walk rate would have been higher!
   17. Joel W Posted: December 16, 2007 at 05:09 AM (#2647092)
.294/.344/.392 in 436 ABs, .353/.394/.509 in 116 ABs, weighted is a .306/.354/.417, with great center field defense. That's damn good.
   18. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: December 16, 2007 at 05:17 AM (#2647096)
i'd rather have a gold glove center fielder than somebody that might stick at shortstop.

This is what I don't get. If Lowrie is a fringe SS, you would think he could be at least average at 2B and it's not like there's lots of offense to be typically had at 2B, so while this may hurt Lowrie's value to the RS, it shouldn't hurt the fact that he's still a very valuable property as someone who can hit while at least appearing competent at an up the middle position.
   19. shattnering his Dominicano G Strings on that Mound Posted: December 16, 2007 at 09:12 PM (#2647423)
If Ellsbury is special for his legs, then he's Gary Pettis. It seems to me that he's going to put up similar stats to Coco at the end of his Cleveland stay, with more steals. As for SOX/YANKEES fans: if they were all shoved into the woodchipper, and ESPN wasn't around, would Peter Gammons make a sound...?
   20. Joel W Posted: December 16, 2007 at 10:40 PM (#2647463)
Coco at the end of his time in Cleveland was a damn good player, and if he were the player the Red Sox had traded for, they'd have an all-star on their team playing in Center. An .800 OPS with gold-glove defense in center is a very good player. Remember the Red Sox gave up an A prospect to get him? If that's what Ellsbury is comparable, he's an A- prospect.
   21. chris p Posted: December 16, 2007 at 11:03 PM (#2647470)
If Ellsbury is special for his legs, then he's Gary Pettis.

no. try again.
   22. Kevin Sweet Child Romine (aco) Posted: December 17, 2007 at 01:31 AM (#2647512)
If Ellsbury is special for his legs, then he's Gary Pettis.

no. try again.


Betty Grable?
   23. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: December 17, 2007 at 02:29 AM (#2647537)
how can anyone say that Buccholz is not one of the top 5 or so pitching prospects in the majors? he destroyed the minors, is only going to be 23 next year, and posted a better than 2/1 K/BB ratio (and a nearly 9.0 K/9 ratio) in a cup of coffee that included a friggin no hitter. he's got 4 pitches that grade out to plus or greater, and the curve is most definitely plus plus. his mechanics are sweet, and the one issue he MIGHT have is that he's friggin tall and skinny.

tell me which starting pitching prospect is better. seriously.
   24. Valentine Posted: December 17, 2007 at 03:30 AM (#2647569)
If Ellsbury is special for his legs, then he's Gary Pettis.

The blind man and the elephant... Are you incapable of seeing the whole package? Seems to me we have some people focusing on his average offensive talents and ignoring his speed and defense. We have other people focusing on his speed and comparing him to guys who are complete zeros with the bat like Otis Nixon and Gary Pettis.

Step back for a minute and try to view the whole. What do you call an average hitter who runs like a deer and plays plus defense in centerfield? You sure as hell don't call him Gary Pettis!
   25. Toby Posted: December 17, 2007 at 03:47 AM (#2647579)
As far as comparisons go, I think of Ellsbury as a poor man's Ichiro.
   26. I can't believe we're playing Francoeur(KevinHess) Posted: December 17, 2007 at 04:25 AM (#2647619)
What do you call an average hitter who runs like a deer and plays plus defense in centerfield? You sure as hell don't call him Gary Pettis!


Devon White?
   27. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: December 17, 2007 at 04:49 AM (#2647649)
i like the poor mans Ichiro comp.
   28. Valentine Posted: December 17, 2007 at 02:23 PM (#2647763)
Devon White is closer than Gary Pettis, but Ellsbury's CHONE projection for 2008 is .299/.353/.418. Devon White's career numbers are .263/.319/.419. Why the difference? White struck out over 20% of the time in his career. Kenny Lofton's career numbers are .299/.372/.423. While that is an optimistic comparison, assuming modest improvements in his walk rate, strikeout rate, and power, it at least captures his "style" of play better than most. Can't find any others who really fit. David DeJesus with better speed? Jose Cruz and Johnny Damon had more power. Juan Pierre has less (and no plate discipline).

Just struck me -- the people arguing Ellsbury is overrated seem to come up with comps that suggest he will underperform his CHONE projections. While I suppose that is possible, it is rarely the "smart" bet.
   29. dr. bleachers Posted: December 17, 2007 at 05:36 PM (#2647912)
Devon White is closer than Gary Pettis, but Ellsbury's CHONE projection for 2008 is .299/.353/.418. Devon White's career numbers are .263/.319/.419. Why the difference?

Context? It's OBP-heavy, but these are very similar OPS+ numbers at a glance, and .270 EqA for White (which is where PECOTA has Ellsbury sitting, although from last year's batch of projections). I'm also under the impression that White played historically great defense, so it sounds OK to me if Ellsbury is a really special defensive player.
   30. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: December 17, 2007 at 05:46 PM (#2647925)
And the rest? Bates hasn't proven anything until he hits outside of Lancaster. Same with Bubba Bell (a true long-shot to make the majors at his age). Is there ANYBODY who merits a B- or better grade who was neglected?

Brandon Moss went from a B+ to a C+ in a year, and got beat buy a bunch of long-shot guys hitting in Lancaster for no frakking reason.

He's above average in LF, average in RF, good arm, his developmental curve has been slow, but he's been progressing along. He's had decent #s everywhere he's hit, and he did not look out of place in his cup of coffee.

What happens? he gets dropped a whole frakking grade and beaten out by a bunch of Lancaster longshots.
   31. Valentine Posted: December 17, 2007 at 06:06 PM (#2647936)
Devon White's overall level of play isn't an unreasonable expectation for Ellsbury -- but I definitely expect a higher BA, higher OBP, and lower SLG. EqA lumps them all into one number and loses the "shape" of the performance. It's like comparisons with Brett Butler. I'd be very happy if Ellsbury has a career that is as productive as Butler's, but I expect him to be productive in different ways.

If we're just looking at overall value and ignoring specific talents, then why not compare Ellsbury to Mike Lowell or Kevin Youkilis? Don't let their differences stop you -- the WARP should be similar. :-) ;-) :-)
   32. dr. bleachers Posted: December 17, 2007 at 06:24 PM (#2647948)
Heh, EqA, position, and defense works for me, but if this discussion is more comp than value, I stand corrected. I really just skimmed it.
   33. JPWF13 Posted: December 17, 2007 at 06:41 PM (#2647975)
Just struck me -- the people arguing Ellsbury is overrated seem to come up with comps that suggest he will underperform his CHONE projections. While I suppose that is possible, it is rarely the "smart" bet.


Or its a counterbalance reaction to Kevin's insistence that Ellsbury = Sizemore.

.294/.344/.392 in 436 ABs, .353/.394/.509 in 116 ABs, weighted is a .306/.354/.417, is no Sizemore, but it is a damn sight better than Pettis or Otis Nixon.
   34. Valentine Posted: December 17, 2007 at 07:21 PM (#2648019)
That suggests to me a question...

Kevin Youkilis, Raul Ibanez, Garret Anderson, Dustin Pedroia, Travis Hafner, and Carl Crawford all had similar MLVr this year but their styles of play are very different:

Youkilis (.288/.390/.453) and Hafner (.266/.385/.451) have high OBPs, one more heavily reliant on BA than the other. Neither has much speed. Ibanez (.291/.351/.480) and Anderson (.297/.336/.492) are your prototypical hackers. Decent BA, few walks, good SLG. Also not much speed. Dustin Pedroia (.317/.380/.442) has a high OBP and a little speed. Carl Crawford (.315/.355/.466, 50 SB) has a relatively low OBP and a ton of speed.

Position and defense aside, which of these six hitters was most valuable this year? Or does the shape of the production not influence your choice?
   35. Famous Original Joe C Posted: December 17, 2007 at 07:25 PM (#2648026)
He's above average in LF, average in RF, good arm, his developmental curve has been slow, but he's been progressing along. He's had decent #s everywhere he's hit, and he did not look out of place in his cup of coffee.

He's 25, and his translated numbers last year were something like .245/.315/.400. He's basically a 4th OF who can't play center.
   36. dr. bleachers Posted: December 17, 2007 at 07:39 PM (#2648039)
Position and defense aside, which of these six hitters was most valuable this year? Or does the shape of the production not influence your choice?

I'd guess Youk, Hafner and maybe Crawford, but that's because I think there's some subtle difference there. As for which was most valuable, I have no idea. That would have to be based on something that isn't context neutral. If those were true talents and they all reflected +20 offense or whatever, I don't see why I'd care.

If there's a better answer, then I'd love to hear it (really).
   37. Famous Original Joe C Posted: December 17, 2007 at 09:05 PM (#2648188)
Therapeudians - please help settle a discussion I've been having with a Cubs fan friend of mine.

Would you trade Lowrie straight up for Fukudome *if* Fukudome was being paid according to his MLB service time and not whatever he eneded up getting for the Cubs (so you'd get him for six cost controlled years just like Lowrie)? I know it depends on what the team needs are and all that, but in a vacuum...?
   38. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: December 17, 2007 at 11:57 PM (#2648333)
He's 25, and his translated numbers last year were something like .245/.315/.400. He's basically a 4th OF who can't play center.

He's 23.

You know who his minor league #'s look like?

Trot F Nixon
   39. Joel W Posted: December 18, 2007 at 08:02 PM (#2648997)
Nowhere to post this really, I just think every Sox and Yankees fan should see this, Carl of ATHF on the Mitchell Report:

http://withleather.com/post.phtml?pk=4606
   40. Darren Posted: December 19, 2007 at 02:51 AM (#2649486)
Let's split the difference and say that Moss is 24 (because he is). He K'ed 154 times in 518 ABs last year--Trot was never close to that. And you have to remember about Nixon that he was not highly regarded for his stats. He was thought to have great skills that he couldn't put it together because of injuries.

Moss profiles as a nice 4th OF/borderline nonhorrible starter right now.
   41. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: December 22, 2007 at 05:12 PM (#2652152)

Moss profiles as a nice 4th OF/borderline nonhorrible starter right now.


In other words, he'll probably hit for 135 *OPS+ once he gets traded.

I miss Wily Mo
   42. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: December 22, 2007 at 05:18 PM (#2652154)
I agree with Sickels except I don't like Red Sox prospects.
   43. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: December 22, 2007 at 05:58 PM (#2652164)
Go back to Japan

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