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   1. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 04, 2007 at 04:30 PM (#2392063)
You can listen to Lester's start right now (12:15 start) on WHJJ streaming radio. Perfect first, nine pitches, one strikeout...

According to BA, Haigwood has a plus changeup and a sharp curveball that can be good against LHB, but a fringe fastball and mediocre command. I wonder if he has a future in the bullpen - if he can get the fastball to average and work backwards off the breaking stuff, he might be able to be pretty good in an Okajima kind of mold.
   2. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 04, 2007 at 04:36 PM (#2392065)
Granadillo continues to rake high-A, hitting 362 with power and patience.
Oh, and good pick in Granadillo. He's the primary guy at Lancaster that I'm watching at this point.

Hey, Ed Rogers just pulled off a suicide squeeze, even made it to first safely. cool.
   3. Darren Posted: June 04, 2007 at 04:45 PM (#2392071)
Granadillo was a minor league Rule 5 guy. That makes him that much more fun.
   4. Xander Posted: June 04, 2007 at 04:46 PM (#2392073)
Chiang has a beautiful swing. It's really fantastic. Easy power to all fields.
   5. plim Posted: June 04, 2007 at 04:49 PM (#2392075)
ironic that a kid with mediocre command is sporting a k/bb ratio near 3. guess he's just getting lucky.
   6. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 04, 2007 at 04:53 PM (#2392081)
To repost from the OF thread, with an addition, here are the MLEs for all the interesting position players at AA/AAA who haven't sucked this year:

315/380/417, 17 SB, 4 CS - Ellsbury
261/337/378, 2 SB, 0 CS - Murphy
237/336/404, 0 SB, 1 CS - Moss
262/378/399, 4 SB, 3 CS - Lowrie
ironic that a kid with mediocre command is sporting a k/bb ratio near 3. guess he's just getting lucky.
Why? He's walking a ton of batters, and giving up too many homers. He has good enough stuff to strike out AA hitters, but he misses a lot, which leads to the walks and homers.
   7. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 04, 2007 at 04:57 PM (#2392084)
Hey Temple - do you know how our middle infielders grade out defensively? Among Granadillo, Chiang, Lowrie, Natale- which ones have good chances to be able to play up the middle in the majors? Thanks.
   8. Darren Posted: June 04, 2007 at 05:00 PM (#2392087)
plim,

Check out my previous minor league thread that features Haigwood. He was considered a very good pitching prospect before last year. I think he may have been given up on too early. I agree with MCOA that he may have an interesting future in the pen.

Here's an update on the comparison with Gio Gonzalez and Thomas Diamond:

Haigwood at AA: 25.2 IP, 24 H, 3 HR, 13 BB, 38 K, 3.86 ERA
Gonzalez at AA: 59.2 IP, 50 H, 6 HR, 20 BB, 82 K, 3.17 ERA
Diamond: recovering from TJ surgery.

Gonzalez still has the edge but I don't think it's a big enough difference that one is still considered a top prospect and the other was traded for Shoemaker.
   9. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 04, 2007 at 05:10 PM (#2392104)
Haigwood, at his peak, was #6 in a Phillies system that was ranked 22nd that year by BA. I don't think anyone was comparing him to Gio Gonzalez then, either.

He got that #6 ranking in part because BA had reports he was gaining velocity into the low 90s, which he has not maintained. I like Haigwood as a potential relief prospect, but I think the Gonzalez/Diamond comp does him no favors.
   10. Darren Posted: June 04, 2007 at 05:10 PM (#2392105)
There's also a huge disparity in parks for the two pitchers. Portland has a 1.08 factor (1.18 for HR), while Birmingham has a 0.96 (0.55 HR).
   11. chris p Posted: June 04, 2007 at 05:17 PM (#2392113)
so, basically, haigwood is the next abe alvarez?
   12. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 04, 2007 at 05:17 PM (#2392114)
The Pawtucket radio guys sound like they're drugged and watching the game through frosted glass - every time there's a ball in play and runners moving, they pause for three seconds, then describe what happened in the past tense. It's really annoying.
   13. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 04, 2007 at 05:19 PM (#2392117)
so, basically, haigwood is the next abe alvarez?
Alvarez has a changeup that Theo Epstein and absolutely no one else called a plus pitch. Scouts other than the GM who drafted him have at different times described both Haigwood's change and curve as plus.
   14. Darren Posted: June 04, 2007 at 05:21 PM (#2392118)
MC,

You're a lot more familiar with BA than I am, but Sickels had Haigwood as a B prospect prior to 06, and said of him in his mid-06 review that Haigwood was pitching as well as Gio Gonzalez (who was a B+). That's why I used him for the comparison. I used Diamond, also a B+, because he'd gotten a slightly better grade than Haigwood, pitched in the same system/level in 06, and gotten similar results in 06. I'm not implying that Haigwood is the same as these two, just that he's gotten similar results, similar scouting opinion, and somehow we got him for nothing.

BTW, where'd you get the info on his velocity? What is it now?
   15. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 04, 2007 at 05:28 PM (#2392122)
BTW, where'd you get the info on his velocity? What is it now?
BA 2006: "He primarily works with fringe-average velocity, but he gained a little zip in 2005, topping out in the low 90s." (PHL, #6 in #22 system)

BA 2007: "Haigwood also has ... a fringe-average high-80s fastball that he needs to learn to trust." (TEX, #21 in #28 system)

Haigwood's great numbers in a half season at AA in 2005 look pretty fluky - no homers allowed in 67 IP, 31 BB and a 1.77 ERA. I think he might have gotten a boost in the rankings that he didn't quite deserve, or only deserved based on reports of a jump in velocity that has not materialized.
   16. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 04, 2007 at 05:32 PM (#2392124)
similar scouting opinion
Gio Gonzalez: 2006, #2 in #22 system; 2007, #3 in #26 system
Tom Diamond: 2006, #4 in #16 system; 2007, #4 in #28 system
Dan Haigwood: 2006, #6 in #22 system; 2007, #21 in #28 system

At least from BA, one of these things is not like the others.
   17. Darren Posted: June 04, 2007 at 05:32 PM (#2392125)
Thanks.

Lester's at 5 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 K today. He's certainly been impressive in his return to AAA so, even if he's been a little light in the K department.
   18. Darren Posted: June 04, 2007 at 05:43 PM (#2392134)
Matt,

Can we start by agreeing that you were wrong in saying "I don't think anyone was comparing him to Gio Gonzalez then, either." :) With that said, I should have said "scouting opinion up to mid 06." Clearly, the scouts' opinion of Haigwood has fallen off the table since then.

I think the rest of what I've written on the subject makes my opinion pretty clear: Haigwood's reputation has take an big hit in the last year, but his results have remained comparable to those of actual prospects who USED TO BE considered in the same class as him. Therefore, getting him for Shoemaker is a pretty exciting. It seems like you are asking me to take the scouts' word as gospel and ignore the stats, and I'm not willing to do that, because scouts are wrong plenty.
   19. chris p Posted: June 04, 2007 at 05:45 PM (#2392136)
pawsox announcers are talking up petunia!
   20. chris p Posted: June 04, 2007 at 05:57 PM (#2392148)
it appears that david murphy has major league power.
   21. Darren Posted: June 04, 2007 at 05:57 PM (#2392149)
Why?
   22. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 04, 2007 at 05:59 PM (#2392153)
Certainly, it was nice to get Haigwood for Shoemaker, and props to Theo for jumping in when the Rangers had a roster crunch.

To me, the 2006 ranking looks like the fluke - Haigwood was the #19 prospect in the Phils system in BA 2005. Fringe fastball, fluky results in a half season at AA in a poor system, and he got talked up more than he deserved. AA hitters take advantage of his fastball and command in his first full season at that level, and he returns to his rightful placement.
   23. chris p Posted: June 04, 2007 at 06:01 PM (#2392157)
why? he just hit a bomb to right. announcers were saying *nobody* hits home runs out there ... and it was described as a rising line drive. iow, he hit it hard. so that's nice.

btw, how's conor jackson doing these days?
   24. Darren Posted: June 04, 2007 at 06:03 PM (#2392159)
Since that fluky rating he's done a pretty good job keeping pace with Gonzalez and Diamond performance-wise.
   25. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 04, 2007 at 06:04 PM (#2392161)
Jackson's on a tear, actually, up to 385/422, and looking like a nice player. No Pedroia or Youkilis or anything, but pretty good.
   26. Xander Posted: June 04, 2007 at 06:10 PM (#2392167)
Among Granadillo, Chiang, Lowrie, Natale- which ones have good chances to be able to play up the middle in the majors? Thanks.
I've heard laudatory reports about Granadillo's defense from Lancaster. From what I saw of Chiang, he was steady at 2B, bur I wouldn't be surprised if he moved to 3B down the line. I think he will have enough power to make the move. Lowrie is good defender, but unspectacular. Natale...not so much.
   27. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 04, 2007 at 06:14 PM (#2392170)
Since that fluky rating he's done a pretty good job keeping pace with Gonzalez and Diamond performance-wise.
Do you think he's a good starting pitching prospect, or not? Gonzalez and Diamond are both good starting pitching prospects - or Diamond at least was one before surgery. If Haigwood is a relief prospect, then he's really nothing like Gonzalez and Diamond.

Another way of putting it - Gio Gonzalez is not a prospect because of his results. His performance in 2006 was wildly unimpressive, but since he throws 92-95 with a hammer curve, he got rated highly. His numbers in 2007 are beginning to approach the upside projected from his stuff. Haigwood has unimpressive stuff, and got rated highly mainly because of his results. When, after a nice half season, those dropped off to the level of Gio Gonzalez, he once again was rated as an unimpressive prospect.

It's just not an apples to apples comparison. Gonzalez is ranked highly despite his results, while Haigwood was once ranked highly entirely because of his results.
   28. chris p Posted: June 04, 2007 at 06:15 PM (#2392171)
Jackson's on a tear, actually, up to 385/422, and looking like a nice player. No Pedroia or Youkilis or anything, but pretty good.

yeah looks like he could be a poor-man's kevin youkilis type.
   29. Darren Posted: June 04, 2007 at 06:20 PM (#2392177)
I think I've made it very clear, from the beginning, why I brought up Gonzalez and Diamond. I don't think he's as good of a prospect as either of them. How many times do I have to say that? I don't know whether he'll be able to start down the line, and to pretend that you do know that with any certainty seems pretty foolish.
   30. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 04, 2007 at 10:45 PM (#2392406)
I think I've made it very clear, from the beginning, why I brought up Gonzalez and Diamond. I don't think he's as good of a prospect as either of them. How many times do I have to say that? I don't know whether he'll be able to start down the line, and to pretend that you do know that with any certainty seems pretty foolish.
Clearly, this is not a big deal either way, and I hope I don't sound like I'm annoyed about any of this, sorry about that if I did.

I don't really see what's at stake for you in the comparison. They seem like very dissimilar players, and to me, the comparison only highlights how Haigwood is a marginal prospect, instead of talking up how he's got a lot more upside that most April castoffs and Theo did good to pick him up.
   31. Darren Posted: June 04, 2007 at 11:30 PM (#2392439)
Everything is at stake. EVERYTHING!

Actually, nothing.
   32. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: June 05, 2007 at 04:26 PM (#2393675)
Chiang has a beautiful swing. It's really fantastic. Easy power to all fields.

To tell you the truth, I NEVER want to see a Taiwanese guy play for the Red Sox, because then the idiots would start cheering for the Red Sox.

I also hear he has poor plate discipline and will be moved to 3B
   33. JB H Posted: June 06, 2007 at 06:49 AM (#2394787)
In Greenville:

Player IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Bard (L, 0-1) 3.0 2 2 1 2 3 0 3.00

i guess that's progress

place's OPS is almost at 700. if he finishes the year with a 725 OPS or so that's not a bad debut for a super toolsy teenager
   34. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: June 06, 2007 at 09:49 AM (#2394801)
To tell you the truth, I NEVER want to see a Taiwanese guy play for the Red Sox, because then the idiots would start cheering for the Red Sox.


I fell of chair, when I read this.
   35. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 07, 2007 at 01:46 PM (#2396024)
I've been arguing over in the OF thread that Brandon Moss isn't likely to help in the majors, and I still think that, but I'd like to offer a different perspective on him - he's 23, putting up a 900 OPS in triple-A. That's a prospect. Not a great prospect, but a guy with a shot at being a real major leaguer in a year or two.

His stats suggest he's added power by cutting down on his contact rate - swinging harder, basically - and I'm not sure if that adjustment will work out at the next level, but a guy who can hit this well at age 23 is pushing his way up the team prospect rankings.

-thanks for the response, TUS. The marginal prospecthood of Granadillo grows!
   36. chris p Posted: June 07, 2007 at 01:51 PM (#2396033)
I've been arguing over in the OF thread that Brandon Moss isn't likely to help in the majors, and I still think that, but I'd like to offer a different perspective on him - he's 23, putting up a 900 OPS in triple-A. That's a prospect. Not a great prospect, but a guy with a shot at being a real major leaguer in a year or two.

well, he needs to cut down his strikeout rate
   37. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 07, 2007 at 01:57 PM (#2396044)
Right, he's not a major leaguer yet primarily because he strikes out too much. But he's not far off, and he's 23 years old. An adjustment or two, some age-related improvement, and he could be ready by 2009 or so, and he'd just be 25. That's a prospect.
   38. chris p Posted: June 07, 2007 at 04:40 PM (#2396185)
i remember a couple years ago we were arguing about what moss's high babip in single a meant. i think was saying that it may be an indication that he's hitting the ball hard. well, fast forward a few years, and it seems that if nothing else, the guy has some pop in his bat.
   39. Darren Posted: June 08, 2007 at 03:21 AM (#2397188)
Lowrie is now up over .300:

301/439/486; 42 BB, 30 K.

That's simply an outstanding line for a SS or anyone else for that matter. Maybe my next minor league thread should focus on him.
   40. Xander Posted: June 09, 2007 at 10:51 PM (#2398706)
The Sox signed Che-Hsuan Lin (18), the best player in Taiwan, for 400K.
   41. Darren Posted: June 09, 2007 at 11:19 PM (#2398740)
The best player in Taiwan? Is that good?
   42. philly Posted: June 09, 2007 at 11:39 PM (#2398777)
The best player in Taiwan? Is that good?


Do other people have to link the exploits of each and every Taiwanese position player tearing up the majors?

There. Now what say you?
   43. Xander Posted: June 09, 2007 at 11:47 PM (#2398792)
Tools are color-blind.
   44. Darren Posted: June 10, 2007 at 12:27 AM (#2398843)
I'm a tool and I'm not color blind.
   45. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: June 10, 2007 at 01:24 AM (#2398910)
Yeah, I heard about that this morning too. Supposedly he's toolsy.

If he was really toolsy, why is he at 1B?
   46. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: June 10, 2007 at 01:24 AM (#2398911)
Apparently this kid runs 100m in 10.78 seconds
   47. Xander Posted: June 10, 2007 at 01:56 AM (#2398968)
He's not at 1B. He's a CF.
   48. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: June 11, 2007 at 02:18 PM (#2400227)
he is, however, 18 years old.
   49. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: June 11, 2007 at 03:22 PM (#2400276)
Apparently, his agent is not a REAL SPORTS AGENT. She's some girl who earned 15 minutes of fame (yes you're reading that right) after she won some court battle against Banks after she legally took advantage of Credit Card reward systems and made a bunch of money.
   50. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: June 12, 2007 at 01:31 AM (#2400764)
LOL her pseudo-sports-agent thing has totally blown into a full-out "scandal" if you will. His "agent" posted this thing on the internet stating that "Lin's family wanted to sign with the Red Sox when other teams offered way more money, because they liked them the most" or something.

I then blasted the biotch by calling her an incompetent fool who had no idea how to get more money for a client, and that Scott Boras while receiving a soapy massage during contract negotiations could have gotten an extra 300K out of the Red Sox.

Others have offered sinister conspiracy theories of how the signing bonus was actually WAY more than the 300k he got, but some sort of elaborate scheme to screw the player.
   51. Xander Posted: June 12, 2007 at 01:59 AM (#2400781)
What the hell are you talking about?
   52. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: June 12, 2007 at 01:52 PM (#2401128)
Ok, the Lin signing has turned into an absolute fiasco here in Taiwan.

1. His agent like i said, is not a REAL SPORTS AGENT. She's some random girl who had 15 minutes of fame here (again, you're reading that right) by winning a court battle against banks here after she made a lot of money off of credit card reward systems (legally). She's not accredited, she has never worked in the United States, and she doesn't know lick about baseball. Awesome.

2. She revealed that "other teams bid more for Lin, but they chose to sign with the Red Sox because they felt Lin's future woudl be best with the Red Sox". (Apparently the difference was over 300K) Teh Intarwebs then started a rumour of a conspiracy theory in which Lin was ripped off by this pseudo-agent and mysterious co-conspirators, while the majority of the village idiots continued to defend his psuedo-agent-woman.

3. I took a different approach, and blasted the woman for her total incompetence in getting Lin the best deal possible, and provided several ways for her to milk more money out of the Red Sox.

4. She came on to teh Intarwebs and released some sort of weird statement-ish thing claiming the Red Sox had already worked out a Visa for Lin (even though all the other teams could do the same thing). Anyway, it made no sense, it didn't explain why Lin took a way inferior offer (the Mariners offered 680K apparently), and the conspiracy theorists went apeshit. I just took it as another sign that this biotch had no idea what the hell she's doing.

It's now turned into the hottest topic in Taiwanese Baseball. The Saga continues.
   53. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: June 12, 2007 at 02:11 PM (#2401153)
Daniel Bard: 5IP, 0H, 6BB, 4K.
   54. villageidiom Posted: June 12, 2007 at 02:31 PM (#2401175)
It's now turned into the hottest topic in Taiwanese Baseball. The Saga continues.

Meh. The hottest topic in American Basketball is Eva Longoria.

Here's a few blog posts on Lin.
   55. Sexy Lizard Posted: June 12, 2007 at 03:35 PM (#2401242)
Daniel Bard: 5IP, 0H, 6BB, 4K.

I'm trying to decide between Nuke LaLoosh and Andy Hawkins.
   56. Darren Posted: June 13, 2007 at 03:02 AM (#2402315)
Wok,

Your posts about Lin sound like you're having some sort of manic episode where you can't remember if you're telling a story or living it out. Take a deep breath and remember, everyone here is on your side. No one wants to see you get upset.

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