Friday, November 20, 2009

Keith Law's Top 50 FA

He has a few intl. guys on the list that I have written about before:


####################################

Rank Player
5 Aroldis Chapman
Age: 21 Bats: L Throws: L
Position: Starting pitcher
'09 team: Cuban national team Status: Free agent



Chapman is the wild card of the free-agent market, as his track record is largely unknown, he's barely thrown for clubs since defecting and he's represented by agents who haven't handled a free agent of this magnitude before. When Chapman is on, he'll show No. 1 starter stuff, with a fastball in the mid-90s (and yes, as high as 101 mph) with good tail and a mid-80s slider that will show plus with legitimate tilt, although the latter pitch isn't consistent. He does have a soft changeup but lacks feel for it and pushes it out of his hand rather than selling it with good arm speed. His command isn't good, and he's more thrower than pitcher, with a very loose arm that makes the velocity come out easily. Since defecting, he has worked on his body and scouts who've seen him recently say he's stronger and in better overall shape. He might be a No. 1 starter; he might be an ace closer; he might be a mountain of frustration. Is that worth $60 million? Or the fourth- or fifth-biggest contract of the offseason? Not to me, but he's worth some eight-figure amount because of the almost limitless upside.


10 Noel Arguelles
Age: 19 Bats: L Throws: L
Position: Starting pitcher

'09 team: None Status: Free agent

Arguelles defected from the Cuban junior national team with current Red Sox prospect Jose Iglesias in the summer of 2008 and is just now at the point where he's ready and able to sign with a major league team. Arguelles is 19 and already pitches with a solid-average fastball, although before he defected he had worked as high as 91-94 and will probably return there once he's throwing on a regular schedule again. His changeup projects better than his curveball, with the change a potentially plus pitch. What everyone notices about Arguelles is his body -- loose, lean, athletic, with good projection; his new agents took him underground for a few weeks to get him back into playing shape and the results have definitely impressed. If he was an American high school or junior college player, he'd be a solid first-rounder with a chance to be a top-10 guy and would probably be a $4 million bonus baby. As a free agent, he should easily double that.


Rank Player
25 Ryota Igarashi
Age: 30 Bats: R Throws: R
Position: Relief pitcher
'09 team: Tokyo Yakult Swallows Status: Free agent
Tokyo Yakult Swallows
2009 STATS
GM 44 IP 43.2 SV 3 BB 6 K 42 ERA 2.47


It's unclear whether Igarashi will come over from Nippon Professional Baseball this winter, but he's eligible to do so and has expressed interest in playing in the majors in the past. Igarashi is a slightly wild power reliever who missed all of 2007 and part of 2008 due to Tommy John surgery, but has fully recovered and handled a regular workload in 2009. He has a very quick arm and has been clocked at 98 mph, although he'll probably pitch at 93-96 in a one-inning role in the U.S. His best off-speed pitch is a mid- to upper-80s splitter with good bottom, and he can throw the pitch for strikes instead of waiting for hitters to chase it in the dirt. He has some deception in his delivery, and he's almost a "drop-and-drift" guy without great forward momentum towards the plate.


################################


Couple of notes -

Arguelles: the comment on his "nice lithe body" is a bit strange given that he was taken off the market for a month because he had gotten fat and disappointed at his workouts. There is no reason to believe that he won't regain his velo range once he gets back into to shape and starts pitching competitively again - he last pitched in the summer of 2008 when he defected. As a LHP with international experience, he has a lot of value and would likely start off in highA.

Igarashi: Law overstates his velo, as he touched 98 years ago before his injury and will be 31 next year. However, he could be viewed as a setup guy who pitches 92-94 so he could be worth a shot with TX. He would also give TX some Japan clout which could always prove useful during next year's NPB draft...



##############

No comments:

Post a Comment