Prospects For Cash

Ebay Auctions Ending Soon "Bowman Chrome Auto"

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Prospect Call Ups

On the day after Jorge Soler went yard for the Cubs, I'm reminded of my changing philosophy toward prospects who are called up to the Majors.

I used to think Major League prospects lose value in the Majors (which they often due as time goes on), but there is one caveat.  It sometimes pays to wait a week or so.  The reasons for this are twofold:  if the prospect struggles for his first week or so, his value will not decrease much.  Smart prospectors who are holding will not panic.  Second, if he plays well, his value could skyrocket.

So it is a no lose situation to hold for a few days after a promotion.  Hey, imagine Soler hits a bomb in a few straight games.  The upside is tremendous.

Jorge Soler (OF, Cubs) Stats
  Jorge Soler - EBAY LISTINGS

Thursday, August 21, 2014

What are YOUR thoughts on #Cubs Javier Baez?

For all intents and purposes, let's just estimate Baez strikes out half the time he is up ever since his MLB promotion.  I'm tired of writing about my favorite prospect since 2012, so I'm curious what YOU think of his ridiculous K rate and potential.  Comment below or email me.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

2014 Bowman Chrome Autograph Prospects Who Are Having Good Years

You'll notice this is not the strongest class of Bowman Chrome autographs, but here are the best performers so far in the 2014 season from the 2014 BC Auto class:

Billy Burns Ebay Listings
Some say he can beat Billy Hamilton in a race.  53 SB.

Christian Binford Ebay Listings
133 K, 17 BB at 3 different levels.  Um, yes please.

Chris Bostick Ebay Listings
44 XBH, 19 SB

Casey Meisner Ebay Listings
53 K, 51 IP

Daniel Robertson Ebay Listings
.306 - 102 R - 15 HR

Devon Travis Ebay Listings
.298 - 9 HR - 14 SB

Josh Hader Ebay Listings
Managed a 2.70 ERA in CAL to earn a promotion

Jesse Winker Ebay Listings
15 bombs in 282 AB

Kris Bryant Ebay Listings
Yeah, you know.

Ketel Marte Ebay Listings
.303 - 26 SB at two levels

Luke Jackson Ebay Listings
8-2  3.02  a K per IP before promotion to unforgiving PCL

Lewis Thorpe Ebay Listings
61 K - 59 IP     

Mookie Betts Ebay Listings
.346 - 11 HR - 33 SB --- now a major leaguer

Pierce Johnson Ebay Listings
2.37 -- 86 K -- 87.1 IP -- two levels

Preston Tucker Ebay Listings
.276 - 74 R - 24 HR - 85 RBI -- two levels

Raimel Tapia Ebay Listings
.855 OPS - 30 SB

Yohander Mendez Ebay Listings
2.14 ERA - 23 K - 21 IP

Friday, August 15, 2014

Javier Baez Hitting Analysis (Part 1) #Cubs

August 10, 2014

Javier Baez Stats
    JAVIER BAEZ - eBay Listings

The Javier Baez era has begun, as the Cubs decided to change the youngest player in the majors from Bryce Harper to Baez.  I have constantly been recommending him as my favorite hitting prospect and it is paying off.

He's already shown his exciting talents, quick wrists, and power, and has even hit a game-winning HR.  But it looks like he's been hit or miss, with the misses being literal misses (i.e. strikeouts).  Let's see what's going on:

Baez is what I like to call "hitterish".  He's up there to hit the ball, and hit it hard.  This is probably due to his quick wrists and being conditioned to thinking he can hit anything, because all his life, his bat really was able to hit anything.

I don't think pitch type has much to do with Baez's K's as much as location does.  The glaring stat is pitchers are getting swings and misses from Baez with offspeed and breaking stuff in the dirt.

Here are the percentage of pitches in each zone, looking at breaking stuff and offspeed stuff only.  Almost everything is low.  More than half of pitchers' secondary pitches are low and out of the zone.

Now, here are the swing and misses from Baez on offspeed and breaking pitches.  His swing and miss percentage on balls in the lowest row is terrible.  About 2/3 of the time he swings at pitches below the zone, he whiffs.

Simply put, Baez needs to learn to recognize secondary offerings and stop swinging at stuff in the dirt, because he isn't hitting it.  Pitchers are expanding the zone on Baez and he's taking the bait.  Over time, he will start recognizing these pitches, laying off, and getting ahead in counts.  This will force pitchers to throw strikes and Baez can crush the ball when it's over the plate.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Oscar Taveras Hitting Analysis (#1)

August 10, 2014

Oscar Taveras Stats

The Cardinals are so deep that Oscar Taveras, a top 5 MLB prospect, has been struggling to get playing time.  But when he does, there is info there, and I want to look into it...

With exactly 150 plate appearances at the MLB level this year, Taveras' numbers are downright ugly:
.206 - 2 HR - 5.3% BB - 15.3% K

When looking at types of pitches, he is not excelling against any type, except the splitter (sorta) where he is 3-for-10 with 3 singles.  The rest is ugly across the board.

Let's look at his plate discipline:

Swing % - 48.1%  (average is 46% so he's fine here))
O-Sw% (percent swung at pitches out of the zone) - 34.4%  (avg. is 30% so he is a bit high)
Z-Sw% (percent swung at pitches in the zone) - 65.3% (avg. is 65% so he's on the money)
Contact % - 88% (avg is 81% so he's making better contact than average)
Same goes with contact on pitches in the zone: 89.5% (avg is 88%) and a tremendous contact rate on pitches out of the zone: 85.8% (avg is only 68%).

So his plate discipline is very good, and his hand eye coordination fits with his scouting profile of his ability to hit a pitch, regardless of where it is.

This would lead us to conclude his BABIP is very low.  And it is.  It is way too low - .231.  So is Taveras getting unlucky on the balls he hits or is he hitting weak grounders and popups?

His Line Drive rate is 14.3% and we want him to be at about 20%.  His 28.6% Fly ball rate is okay but his HR/FB rate of only 5% needs to be at least double.  This is probably due to the fact that 17.6% of his batted balls are infield popups (a very bad number).  His 2:1 ratio of groundballs to flyballs is also not good.  He's simply not hitting the ball with good wood.  Let's see why:

I think the zone profiles of pitch location tell a bit of the story.

First, Taveras is seeing most pitchers keep the ball away (remember Taveras bats Lefty):

Next, we see his average is not good on those outside pitches.  

Third, we want 20% line drive rates, so any box less than a .200 LD% is not good, and there are a ton of batted balls in play on pitches outside and out of the zone.

Lastly, we see he puts a lot of his batted balls in play on pitches low in the zone, which are pitches that he cannot elevate and hit for power, thus the low BABIP on those pitches.

So, in all, I believe pitchers are actually pitching Taveras very tough.  His extremely low BABIP may regress to the norm (.300+), but we can see that there is a reason the BABIP is so low - he is swinging at the wrong pitches.  He needs to hone in on his strengths, balls middle-in, and capitalize on those pitches, which he has not done.

I wouldn't give up on Taveras.  He is an extremely talented hitter, and it shows in his contact rates of both balls in and out of the zone.  Basically, the dude really can hit everything.  It's just a matter of where he hits it and how hard.