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   1. Xander Posted: January 22, 2007 at 03:49 AM (#2284090)
Apparently Masterson tinkered with his changeup in instrux and it was nearly unhittable.
   2. 1k5v3L Posted: January 22, 2007 at 04:16 AM (#2284096)
E.P.P., just looking at his stats, what do you make out of this reliever?
   3. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: January 22, 2007 at 04:21 AM (#2284099)
Go Tom Brady.
   4. Xander Posted: January 22, 2007 at 04:23 AM (#2284102)
He seems like he is good. Why?
   5. 1k5v3L Posted: January 22, 2007 at 04:26 AM (#2284104)
Just because I hadn't heard of him until recently, which surprised me; if anyone, I should know something about him. I was hoping you'd have some scouting reports on him, or anything to fill in the blanks on him; you know more about minor league players than is legal in most states. Reading about Cox reminded me of Newby. Fwiw, PECOTA likes Newby and Cox about the same.
   6. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 22, 2007 at 04:31 AM (#2284105)
Daniel Bard below two A-ball relievers? I mean, all we're talking about is scouting reports, and Bard is the one who got drafted in the first round, the one who was generally rated higher than he was drafted, and the one who throws high-90s "free and easy." Picking Masterson and Cox over him is a pretty major break from the consensus, and I think it requires quite a bit more argument than you've given here.
   7. Xander Posted: January 22, 2007 at 04:35 AM (#2284107)
OK, well going on beyond his statistical line, he has some insight in one of his interviews regarding his dominance:

FutureBacks: What did you throw with Yakima?

Kyler Newby: I throw a fastball, curveball and change. I'm really not throwing anything over 92 miles per hour, I can amp it up a little, but I'm comfortable throwing in the low 90s and that's how I've been most effective.

FutureBacks: A look at your stats, especially your strikeout numbers, indicates that you've got some sort of dominant out pitch, what is that?

Kyler Newby: I really don't, what I do, that I think is a little different than some guys, is that I'm always pitching against the game, not necessarily the hitter. I've been a fastball dominant pitcher, and when I do that, I keep hitters off balance. I'll throw three fastballs in a row, and just challenge guys to hit it. I have three pitches, and a lot of guys at this level don't, so I throw the fastball, and if I need to then I'll throw the change, and that gets hitters thinking, 'Okay, he's got two pitches,' and then I can throw the curve and the hitters really get uncomfortable, thinking, 'Wait, he's got three pitches.' It just keeps hitters off balance, that's the key.

Just speculation, but I wonder if this is the sort of thing that gets figured out in the higher levels when there are more complex scouting reports.

He was also extremely dominant against right-handed hitters this year (16.13 K/9, 2.96 BB/9, .307 OPSA) and less so against left-handers (8.1 K/9, 5.4 BB/9, .698 OPSA).

From a K perspective, I was actually a little disappointed with Cox in high-A. He averaged over 1 per inning, but I thought his slider could do a little more damage against A-ball players. What I did love from him was his 4.8/1 GB/FB ratio.

Newby seems like an interesting follow and I will keep my eye on him. He also maintained his dominance against better hitters in the HWL, so that's a positive sign.
   8. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 22, 2007 at 04:35 AM (#2284109)
-that sounds more confrontational than I meant it, sorry. Kinda emotional after the game, I think. But I would be interested to hear why you're so much lower on Bard or higher on Masterson/Cox than most, thanks.
   9. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 22, 2007 at 04:47 AM (#2284115)
I also think that what I've heard about Cox is not that impressive. I am extremely wary - maybe too much - of great college sliders, and while we're in somewhat of a new age for relievers, in that it's only recently that pitchers with good arms might become relievers even at the amateur level, it's still a major concern if a pitcher can't even start in A-ball.

I guess #6 in a mediocre system isn't really such high praise. It seems to me like the language used to describe Bryce Cox doesn't really match with his rankings - if he really has the best slidah evah, or anything like it, he shouldn't be #6 in this system.
   10. JC in DC Posted: January 22, 2007 at 04:50 AM (#2284116)
I don't think Bard had a senior season, did he?
   11. Xander Posted: January 22, 2007 at 04:51 AM (#2284118)
1. I have never really like Bard going back to before he was drafted by the Sox (ask npurcell).
2. He has 1 good pitch and a slider which is inconsistent. I respect that he is seen as more of a project than most college draftees, but that's tough for me to overcome.
3. The other two players dominated their professional leagues; Bard didn't pitch. That's not totally his fault, but I have no data points with which to judge him by other than a spotty college career and equally spotty college playoffs.

Regarding Kevin's points, he didn't really turn it around THAT MUCH. He couldn't make it out of the second inning of a game against Alabama in the super regionals and he didn't look dominant in the CWS either. I'm not really concerned with CBW's analysis; Miller is the far superior pitcher and Bard has nothing that can match Miller's slider.

If you didn't watch Cox in the CWS, it's just impossible to really appreciate how amazing he was.
   12. JC in DC Posted: January 22, 2007 at 04:52 AM (#2284119)
I guess #6 in a mediocre system isn't really such high praise. It seems to me like the language used to describe Bryce Cox doesn't really match with his rankings - if he really has the best slidah evah, or anything like it, he shouldn't be #6 in this system.


I agree. Something about that description didn't ring true to me, either.
   13. Xander Posted: January 22, 2007 at 04:52 AM (#2284120)
No, Bard left as a junior.
   14. Darren Posted: January 22, 2007 at 04:56 AM (#2284121)
MCOA,

Sickels has Bard 5, Masterson 9, and Cox 10. Masterson and Bard to me are both rated B's, so I assume it's at least somewhat close in his mind. FWIW, Soxprospects has it Cox, Bard, Masterson in their 5/6/7 slots. So the picks go a bit against conventional wisdom, but not shockingly so.

Add to that that Masterson was absolutely great at Lowell, while Bard has no pro track record. I think it's reasonable to give him some credit for that.

PS. Let's keep the discussion focused on Red Sox prospects. There's no reason questions about other teams' youngsters need to appear here.
   15. 1k5v3L Posted: January 22, 2007 at 04:58 AM (#2284123)
E.P.P., thanks. I actually google-found the scout.com profile on Newby, but since I don't subscribe to that site, I couldn't read it. Also, that interview (if it's the same one I saw) took place after the 2005 season, when he pitched in Yakima. I'm going to try to find some scouting reports on him from his 2006 campaign in South Bend.

But the interview tells what his pitches are and what's his fastball. I too wonder how he'll handle more advanced pitchers, especially if he gets bumped to AA this year. He's also not a ground ball pitcher; according to BPro, his GB% is right around 40% or so. I certainly hope he fares better than Matt Elliot, who also was dominant in Low A in 05.

One encouraging thing about Newby: he's given up exactly 1 home run in ~ 100 IP as a professional (including his stint in HWL).
   16. JC in DC Posted: January 22, 2007 at 04:58 AM (#2284124)
There's no reason questions about other teams' youngsters need to appear here.


Are you asking me to leave? Aren't we discussing the Red Sox prospects?
   17. JC in DC Posted: January 22, 2007 at 05:02 AM (#2284127)
People read levski's posts?
   18. chris p Posted: January 22, 2007 at 05:04 AM (#2284128)
I guess #6 in a mediocre system isn't really such high praise. It seems to me like the language used to describe Bryce Cox doesn't really match with his rankings - if he really has the best slidah evah, or anything like it, he shouldn't be #6 in this system.



I agree. Something about that description didn't ring true to me, either.


the downside to cox is that he could completely lose control at any time.
   19. 1k5v3L Posted: January 22, 2007 at 05:04 AM (#2284129)
Let's keep the discussion focused on Red Sox prospects. There's no reason questions about other teams' youngsters need to appear here.

I think he's referring to that pesky levski and his grade C D'Backs prospects, JC


Well, my question was directed at E.P.P. He didn't have to answer it, but he did. For which I'm appreciative. I didn't ask Darren or Kevin for their thoughts on AZ's C level prospects. There is a reason for that too: I don't really think that Darren or Kevin know the first thing about minor league prospects to be worth asking anything.

Anyhow, thanks again, E.P.P.
   20. Xander Posted: January 22, 2007 at 05:05 AM (#2284130)
Levski, I sent you an e-mail.
   21. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 22, 2007 at 05:05 AM (#2284131)
I think you're overweighting 30 IP in short-season ball by quite a lot. Kason Gabbard was unhittable in Lowell, too. And anything can happen in that few PA. I don't think 30 IP should be anything more than a tiebreaker - statistics just don't work that way. If we have scouting reports and 30 IP of statistics, I'd rather just throw out the 30 IP entirely than let it prejudice our opinions. I mean, the scouting reports from those 30 IP are meaningful, but the actual numbers seem far from useful. I think Soxprospects is similarly overweighting statistics against observations.

That 4.8 GB ratio, to me, looks more like a fluke than anything - it's probable that Cox is a ground ball pitcher, but there's really very little reason to think he's anything more than a pretty normal GB pitcher. He doesn't throw a sinker - everything I've read just says his fastball has good life.
   22. Xander Posted: January 22, 2007 at 05:08 AM (#2284133)
That's fine MCOA. But not only do the scouting reports rave about Masterson, I saw him with my very own eyes dominate.

Same with Cox.
   23. 1k5v3L Posted: January 22, 2007 at 05:09 AM (#2284134)
People read levski's posts?


Some people have actually gone to school and learn how to read, JC. You should've tried it.
   24. Xander Posted: January 22, 2007 at 05:13 AM (#2284137)
He doesn't throw a sinker - everything I've read just says his fastball has good life.

This is what Kevin Goldstein wrote in his BP writeup...
Classic sinker/slider type who misses plenty of bats with a slider that many in the organization think is better than Craig Hansen's, while 91-95 mph fastball consistently gets pounded into the ground...

He has Cox 6th btw, but he has Bard 5th. FWIW, Cox had a similar 4.4/1 GB/FB ratio in the CWS.
   25. Xander Posted: January 22, 2007 at 05:19 AM (#2284142)
Kevin, you're pretty feisty for this not being a steroid thread and all.
   26. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 22, 2007 at 05:23 AM (#2284145)
That's fine MCOA. But not only do the scouting reports rave about Masterson, I saw him with my very own eyes dominate.

Same with Cox.
I mean, god knows I hope you're right about them. And I certainly agree that you should be trusting your eyes and using that a major factor in your rankings, that's what this is about, well, good on ya, and thanks for bringing that perspective here. Insofar as the stats are simply something to back up what you saw, then ok. (I remain skeptical that the GB ratio thing is just backing up an observation, but, whatever, that's a minor thing.)

Having not seen it myself, I'll wait to add your opinions to the others that will be coming out. Right now, my in-my-head rankings for these five are based on the pre-draft concensus, with adjustments based on the few scouting reports we've gotten. I definitely don't see enough weight of evidence to shunt Bard below pitchers drafted after him, and rated far below him in the pre-draft concensus. We'll see.
   27. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 22, 2007 at 05:24 AM (#2284147)
Classic sinker/slider type who misses plenty of bats with a slider that many in the organization think is better than Craig Hansen's, while 91-95 mph fastball consistently gets pounded into the ground...
Cool. How'd I miss that?
   28. chris p Posted: January 22, 2007 at 05:29 AM (#2284149)
are we discounting college slider's because of craig hansen? hansen is a specific case--i've seen the slider and it's good if he can throw it, way too often he just doesn't even try to go to it. is that because he can't get ahead in the count? or becuase he doesn't feel like he is commanding it? i dunno. but either way, he still has potential.
   29. Xander Posted: January 22, 2007 at 05:31 AM (#2284150)
I understand. But in terms of "pre-draft consensus," Masterson was rated #24 overall by Baseball America, 9 spots behind Bard. Ahead of such mid 1st rounders as Kasey Kiker, Colton Willems, and Matt Antonelli. So it isn't like he has never been spoken in the same breath as 1st round talent.

Cox was obviously nowhere to be seen on the BA list or probably some team boards as well; basically because he didn't round into form until a lot of scouting directors and cross-checkers had finished their rounds. I'm sure there is some chance that Cox falls into his old habits again; I really don't know how to quantify that. And if it happens, my rankings will go to ####. But I think if he keeps the stuff he has now and improves the changeup, he could be a legitimate closer.
   30. Xander Posted: January 22, 2007 at 05:35 AM (#2284153)
Also, from the rankings 6-20, can anyone guess 1-5?
   31. Darren Posted: January 22, 2007 at 05:39 AM (#2284156)
I can!
   32. Darren Posted: January 22, 2007 at 05:41 AM (#2284157)
Also, I think I phrased my request rather politely. I wouldn't complain about a thread that veers greatly off topic--that's lots of fun, usually. I just don't think it makes sense to throw a completely unrelated question into this thread, when you could get the answer via email. So, I'll ask again: please don't do that.
   33. chris p Posted: January 22, 2007 at 06:09 AM (#2284166)
Also, from the rankings 6-20, can anyone guess 1-5?

jason place has to be #5. (i havn't seen him rated this high anywhere, though).

ellsbury is probably #1 and buchholz #2. then i'd say pedroia then bowden. although if you like bowden you could swap those.
   34. Xander Posted: January 22, 2007 at 06:24 AM (#2284172)
jason place has to be #5. (i havn't seen him rated this high anywhere, though).

Goldstein has place at #4, fwiw.
   35. 1k5v3L Posted: January 22, 2007 at 06:56 AM (#2284197)
Also, I think I phrased my request rather politely. I wouldn't complain about a thread that veers greatly off topic--that's lots of fun, usually. I just don't think it makes sense to throw a completely unrelated question into this thread, when you could get the answer via email. So, I'll ask again: please don't do that.


Your request wasn't impolite. I originally wasn't going to say anything about it until kevin felt the need to elaborate.

Now, whether your request was reasonable is a different matter. When you have a discussion on an open forum about prospects, you're bound to have people bring in other prospects, if only for the sake of comparison. Now, in Newby's case, the reason I brought it up was because I happened to look at the PECOTA projection for Cox, then the PECOTA projection for Newby, and the two of them were basically identical, about the same whip (around 1.50) and same ERA (around 4.50). Newby was given more Ks, Cox fewer homers. Of course, Cox is considered a real prospect, while Newby is a C level filler in the Dbacks system (per kevin). What does that tell us about Newby, or Cox?

Back to my original point, are you going to demand that no one ever brings up any other prospect from any other farm system in a Red Sox thread? Seems like that's your plan; all I can say is, good luck with that.

Oh, and about Cox: he really seems to be the poor man's Ryan Wagner, relying on a dominant slider as the out pitch, but with poorer control and poorer strikeout rates. For Cox's sake, hopefully he turns out better than Ryan Wagner.
   36. 1k5v3L Posted: January 22, 2007 at 06:59 AM (#2284199)

I know that Pedroia kicks Callaspo's ass as a prospect so that's something.


Well, you also claimed that Pedroia kicks David Wright's ass as a prospect. So that was something
   37. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: January 22, 2007 at 07:02 AM (#2284202)
Based on the fact that I haven't seen his name in any of the first three lists presented here, should I assume that Jeff Corsaletti isn't considered much of a prospect at this point?

I didn't expect him to fare that well in the pro game, but I have been trying to keep an eye on one of the heroes of the '05 Florida baseball team.
   38. Xander Posted: January 22, 2007 at 07:26 AM (#2284210)
Corsaletti is kind of an interesting prospect. He, along with Pedroia and Natale have the best plate discipline in the system. I know UF emphasizes that, and it really shows. He had a very solid 97/85 BB/K ratio in 447 AB's last year. After a slow start in Wilmington, Corsaletti put up .897, .912, and .878 OPS's in his last 3 full months. Unfortunately, I'm not sure if he has a plus skill other than batting-eye. Corsaletti hit less line drives than league average last year, and most of those batted balls turned into pop-ups and flyouts. Corsaletti had the advantage of playing 4 years at an ultra-competitive school that made it to the CWS in his final season. Someone with that type of experience and pedigree should probably be holding his own in high-A.

His defense is OK, but he's probably a tweener who can't play center. He tightened up his body before last season, but he's still pretty small-framed and doesn't project to hit for much power.
On the plus side, he does have good baseball instincts and decent speed. Ultimately, he projects as a 4th outfielder who can be a platoon partner (.885 OPS split v. RHP). But I don't even know if he'll get there. Anytime a senior-sign makes it to the majors, however it is somewhat of an accomplishment. In his favor, Frawley Stadium usually kills left-handed hitters, so he should be in a more friendly offensive environment upon arrival at double-A.

I definitely root for Corsaletti, maybe even more than Natale. But I'm appropriately bearish on him.
   39. Balerion Posted: January 22, 2007 at 07:35 AM (#2284213)
Now, in Newby's case, the reason I brought it up was because I happened to look at the PECOTA projection for Cox, then the PECOTA projection for Newby, and the two of them were basically identical, about the same whip (around 1.50) and same ERA (around 4.50). Newby was given more Ks, Cox fewer homers. Of course, Cox is considered a real prospect, while Newby is a C level filler in the Dbacks system (per kevin). What does that tell us about Newby, or Cox?


It doesn't tell us anything about them, but it does tell us something about PECOTA's usefulness in evaluating prospects with short minor league track records.
   40. 1k5v3L Posted: January 22, 2007 at 07:44 AM (#2284214)

It doesn't tell us anything about them, but it does tell us something about PECOTA's usefulness in evaluating prospects with short minor league track records.


Sure, but is PECOTA less useful in projecting the futures of Cox and Newby than any other stats-based projection system, or any scout (or scouts) out there?
   41. npurcell Posted: January 22, 2007 at 07:58 AM (#2284222)
1. I have never really like Bard going back to before he was drafted by the Sox (ask npurcell)



this is true!!
   42. npurcell Posted: January 22, 2007 at 08:20 AM (#2284233)
why does every thread on Primer have dimondback taint to it?
   43. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: January 22, 2007 at 10:03 AM (#2284245)
I think I am scared of sliders in general. First there was the Foulke 'Chico' slider? and then Hansen...scary #### right there
   44. villageidiom Posted: January 22, 2007 at 03:04 PM (#2284302)
kevin, don't use the s-word. Please. I like this thread.
   45. 1k5v3L Posted: January 22, 2007 at 03:04 PM (#2284303)
npurcell, you confused "dback taint" with "mets taint" :)

kevin, newby hasn't even pitched in the PCL. and at least I didn't call callaspo "david wright on steroids". i would've, of course, if you hadn't trademarked that term for pedroia. even though, in pedroia's case, it really would be "david wright on krespy kremes"
   46. Josh Posted: January 22, 2007 at 03:33 PM (#2284341)
A couple random small points.

(1) The RS system isn't really mediocre. Well, I suppose it matters what we mean by that. I take mediocre to mean average to below average. I think they are solidly above average, tho' certainly not spectacular. They are closer to top 1/3 than bottom 1/3.

(2) I don't think Temple likes Bard - that isn't new. Very good reason for that - he doesn't strike out nearly enough batters. When is the last time a pitcher struck out 20% of the batters he faced in college and turned into a good strike out pitcher? I don't know the answer to this. For point of reference, looking at the 2004 class (randomly), Verlander SO over 30%, Humber near the same, and Neimann at 27%. Sowers is closer to 24%. Diamond is close to 30% (tho, he was a reliever more often), and Weaver at 31%. You go down the ranks and find someone like Zach Jackson as a decent statistical comp in college, and he couldn't strike out anyone in the minors, either --- but he is a high 80s FB guy, while Bard throws nearly 10mph faster. I've no idea what the make of Bard, but from a novice, he seems pretty unique.

(3) Corsaletti will be 24 when the season starts, 6 months older than Moss. If he doesn't hit AAA by the end of the year, it is hard to imagine he'll go much further for the rest of his career. A fun player to keep an eye on, though.

(4) Newby vs. Wagner vs. Cox vs. Random Statistical Player X -- this is a major problem with looking at players in the minors. If you look at Cox for 2+ years, you'll see player with major control issues. But the theory is that he isn't the pitcher he was 18 months ago. Just about everyone who watches him buys that - but people are still wondering if he will revert to his prior pumpkin pedigree. Similarly, taking the statistics of random player X and comparing them to non-random player Y doesn't do particularly much. People tend to forget that minor league statistics are a proxy something else. We are looking for a player's ability to perform well in the major leagues. Minor league statistics have a strong correlation with major league statistics, but it is not the minor league statistics that are what we care about - is is what those statistics tell us about a player. The statistics don't cause success - they are the by product of success. It is what causes success that we care about. Sometimes we loose ourselves in statistics, taking them for a direct proxy for the truth when in reality they are mere glimpses towards what we are really looking for.

The long version: an 88 mph fastball with a decent change-up may work as well as a 95 mph fastball with a good slider given certain conditions. Changing those conditions (eg, putting better hitters in the box) changes the expected outcome.
   47. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: January 22, 2007 at 06:44 PM (#2284536)
"Corsaletti is kind of an interesting prospect. He, along with Pedroia and Natale have the best plate discipline in the system. I know UF emphasizes that, and it really shows. He had a very solid 97/85 BB/K ratio in 447 AB's last year. After a slow start in Wilmington, Corsaletti put up .897, .912, and .878 OPS's in his last 3 full months. Unfortunately, I'm not sure if he has a plus skill other than batting-eye."

That's kind of what I was worried about when he entered pro ball. His game at Florida was very much that of a classic lead-off hitter, and while it worked exceptionally well in the SEC, I didn't think it would translate to the pros. I don't know if the Sox have tinkered with Corso's swing at all, but in Gainesville he had a choppy, kind of Damon-esque swing. I didn't think it would produce much power in the pro game (he had a healthy slugging percentage his senior year, but his home park was good for home runs) and once pitchers figured out he couldn't really sting them in the strike zone, they would start challenging them.

He's still drawing his walks, so at least that last part isn't entirely true.
   48. JB H Posted: January 23, 2007 at 01:05 AM (#2284854)
Man I really want Lars Anderson to mash. I dunno much about him but I'm rooting for him more anyone in the system. The Sox haven't had a prospect I could pretend was gonna hit a ton of major league HRs since Tony Blanco was hitting bombs in the 2000'ish GCL.
   49. OCD SS Posted: January 23, 2007 at 04:29 AM (#2284940)
Also, from the rankings 6-20, can anyone guess 1-5?


1. Buchholz
2. Ellsbury
3. Bowden
4. Pedroia
5. Place

That's assuming that Matsuzaka is not in the running. It's also using this link as a cheat sheet...

http://sonsofsamhorn.net/index.php?s=&showtopic=12981&view=findpost&p=535842
   50. Xander Posted: January 23, 2007 at 04:30 AM (#2284941)
Aren't you clever.
   51. Hairps Posted: January 23, 2007 at 03:55 PM (#2285122)
Also, from the rankings 6-20, can anyone guess 1-5?

5. Place
4. Granadillo
3. Bowden
2. Ellsbury
1. Buchholz
   52. Josh Posted: January 23, 2007 at 08:05 PM (#2285236)
Granadillo is ranked to low.
   53. Miko Supports Shane's Spam Habit Posted: February 10, 2007 at 05:50 PM (#2295248)
10. Lars Anderson (1B)

Shouldn't it be "Larz"?

I didn't know that guy donated the statue of the eagle that sits in front of Gasson Hall on the BC campus.

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