Peter Gammons Blog entry (April):
"Years ago, managers just snubbed their noses at sabermetrics. Now, it's mostly media members and former players who reject such studies. Not managers.
Washington's Manny Acta will lay an occasional "VORP" on you, and Brewers manager Ken Macha was so intrigued by "The Fielding Bible," compiled by John Dewan and Bill James, that he copied sections and gave them to players. He wanted the players to understand the relationship of bases and outs to runs, and how outfielders cutting balls off and hitting relay men and how baserunners' aggression and hustle add up at the end of the year. So add the Brew Crew to the list of teams using sabermetrics."
What is the over and under on how many years it will take before JD does the same for Wash (and Nolan) who in turn leave a few pages in Rudy Jaramillo's lunch pail? For individual production, Jaramillo's approach to hitting has to be the best in the biz while it surely ranks as the worst as a measure of team-wide run production. How much longer will Jaramillo last when the team emerges as a creature of pitching and defense?
Peter Gammons blog (April) - 4 questions posed to 60 "baseball people" about young players in sping training:
on brink of breakout season: Chris davis, 6th of 15
best arm: Holland, 3rd of 5 pitchers
most impressive: Holland/Feliz, runners up, min 2 votes, 21-30 range
Most impressive absence? Justin Smoak did not make the top 20 or receive HM while Oakland's Sean Doolittle placed 19th. We'll have to remind the "baseball people" not to go out for burgers and beers during Smoak's plate appearances. From everything we have heard out of ST, Smoak could hit for average and power in the majors _rightnow_!
Ben Badler's top 26 DSL (class of 2008) prospects to watch in '09:
Tomas Telis, Anyenil Mendoza, Carlos Melo
Of course you already knew that if you've been checking out my DSL profiles/rankings! Here are profiles for my top 5 international players who have yet to make their state-side debuts:
1. Tomas Telis C SH 17.8 130K AZL VZ 5'8 205
.300 hitter at 17, >BB than SO, premium position; attended 2nd Instructs this yr; DSL all-star; impressive FI (converted to catcher during his first instructs in 07); very short, but sturdy frame (added 20 pounds his first 1 1/2 yrs); decent arm, quick feet/hands (converted SS, moved to catcher after putting on weight). I consider him a -BREAKOUT CANDIDATE- despite the demands of being a 2nd-yr catcher making his state-side debut as he reportedly has plus makeup. DSL Coach Jason Tingler (via Jason Cole at lonestardugout.com) says repeatedly that he has "tremendous hands" and that his defense has progressed very well. Also, he " has never seen a 17yo who can put the bat on the ball" so well; and, has "tremendous gap power" at present. IMO he starts off in AZL due to his inexper. at the position but could probably hit in Spokane right now. Might see him in Hickory in 2010.
2. Richard Alvarez SP 16.6 350<>750K DSL1 VZ 5'11 160
Fall Sign. As far as I can tell, no one knew about the sign, and he magically appeared when minor league camp began their games this week (though Jason Parks over at BBTIA.com said he knew of the sign). The only scouting stuff that I could find on him was a report (cubs?) that he was one of the two best pitchers left in the FA market at year's end and that there was a "bidding war" to get him. Until we know more about him that isn't really saying much, as all the best pitchers signed 4-6 months earlier. Not sure why it took him long to sign as he could have signed as early as his 16th birthday end of August. The other thing I found was that he pitched and hit for VZ in the Little League World Championships in 2005 when he was about 12! The reports from his one inning (TNR, Klaw, Lucas, Cole) are that he has below average velo, sitting at 84-86, with an impressive changeup and a "show me" curve. His delivery is fluid with clean mechanics and good command. The Rangers say that his velo is normally 87-89+90. So add another arm to the their freakishly talented menagerie. And for a minor league geek like me, I must say, it is kinda cool to wake up one morning and discover that another elite intl. FA sign has magically appeared in camp!
3. Carlos Melo SP 18.1 170K AZL DR 6'3 205
93-96fb, good feel for curveball, belo-ave CU; nice peripherals, high so/9, good control; .324 BAA LH (small sample size), flyball guy . Reportedly has "electric" arm and has added about 20 pounds in the last 2 years (cole) - States that he actually flashes 97, can throw his curve for strikes, and only broke out a change during Fall instructs (Cole); so basically he sounds just like a high-ceiling HS SR - BREAKOUT CANDIDATE
4. Juan Grullon SP LH 18.9 A- DR 6 185
improved on good dsl1 debut 07; did not get invite to instructs - I suspect visa issues keeping in DSL 2yrs (guessing) because his first yr #s were plenty good to start 08 in AZL; a bit short. Scott Lucas had this tidbit: last 7 appearances: 19ip/6bb/32so/.155baa/.47era! I have not read anything about his velo or what BB he favors (Cole suggests he throws a Slider), which is a little odd, ie, not hearing any scuttlebut about a guy with such dominant #s. - BREAKOUT CANDIDATE -
5. A. Mendoza SP 19.3 AZL DR 6'2 185
instruct invitee; 2-yr DSL1 guy with nice peripherals both yrs; slight improvement 2nd yr with a decr in IP 44 to 38 (poss injury) ; Tingler (via Cole) says he flashes 95, is explosive and has a "very good" curveball, with a below ave change; "he's coming along nicely and could be our most talented pitcher" !!!! Could see a surprise assignment to Spokane. - BREAKOUT CANDIDATE
Check out the rankings pinned to the sidebar for my complete top 20.