Sunday, April 27, 2014

Travis D'Arnaud Hitting Analysis (Part 3)

As a Met fan, I want to continue to monitor Travis D'Arnaud.
Travis d’Arnaud Ebay Listings 

In the Part 1 analysis, as well as the Part 2 analysis, it was clear D'Arnaud was having trouble with pitches located away.  It was very obvious...

Jose Abreu - The Greatest Power Hitter So Far - Analysis

Ok, so the title may be a little misleading, but it's technically true.  Jose Abreu has hit more HR in his first month of play than any other player in history.  Let's see how he's doing it...

Jose Abreu Ebay Listings

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Martin Perez (SP, Tex) - 27.1 Scoreless Inning Streak and Counting...

In honor of Martin Perez's recent dominance, here's a blast from the past, a post I wrote about Perez back in July of 2013.  My sentiments remain the same, so I figured I'd just reuse the post.  I swear, I'm not bragging.  Okay fine, maybe I am...


"BARGAIN BIN - Martin Perez (SP, Tex)
at 7/01/2013 06:42:00 PM Posted by Adam
Ok, It's extremely rare that I'd ever recommend a prospect who already reached the majors.  The trick is to sell before/when that promotion happens.  But I really like Martin Perez.
Perez has an auto from 2010 Bowman Chrome and recently came back from a stint on the DL with a broken arm.  He's not an overwhelming strikeout pitcher, but has great stuff and induces plenty of groundballs.
In his past two starts, Perez got both wins and went 13.2 IP - 11 H - 2 R - 6 K - 2 BB ... and more impressively he faced the Cardinals (lead the National League in runs) and the Reds (third in the NL in runs).
His 2010 BC autos seem to be in the $10-15 and I think there's room to grow as more people notice him, pick him up for their fantasy teams, etc."

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Justin Verlander Myth

I know, Justin Verlander is not a prospect, but I wanted to point this out.
Justin Verlander Ebay Listings 

MYTHS:  
- Verlander is in decline because of reduced velocity.
- Draft him at your own peril in fantasy leagues.

FACTS:  
- Verlander is notoriously bad in the first month (March/April) - 3.83 career ERA in March/April vs. a career 3.39 career ERA in all months.
- Verlander increases velocity as the season rolls on, probably causing his early struggles every year..
- His velocity has dropped from 2011 to 2012 to 2013 but he is on pace with last year's velocity in April. (and last year was a better year than it seems: 3.28 FIP which is lower than his career FIP of 3.38 -- so, if he plateaus at this velo, even though it's lower than pre-2013, he can still perform at a very respectable 3.28 FIP clip like he did last year).
- I'm not worried.  He's a horse.


Justin Verlander pitching velocity pitchfx
Verlander's four seamer velocity by month, tends to increase as year progresses.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Is Yordano Ventura Legit? An Analysis of His First Two Starts

Is Yordano Ventura legit?  In a word, yes.
Yordano Ventura Ebay Listings

Pitching is comprised of stuff, usage of the stuff, and location.  That's how you judge a pitcher.  Then you have the batters' results of said pitches to confirm.

Top 100 Prospects - Prospects For Cash (Adam Wisel) - Part 2 - #s 21-40

Here is Part 2 of my Top 100 Prospects List for 2014, based on anticipated future MLB production.


Click here for #'s 1 - 20

Part 2 (#21 - 40)



21 Francisco Lindor, SS, Cleveland Indians
22 Dylan Bundy, RHP, Baltimore Orioles
23 Albert Almora, CF, Chicago Cubs
24 Jameson Taillon, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates
25 Archie Bradley, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks
26 Jonathan Gray, RHP, Colorado Rockies
27 George Springer, OF, Houston Astros
28 Kevin Gausman, RHP, Baltimore Orioles
29 Jorge Alfaro, C, Texas Rangers
30 Eddie Butler, RHP, Colorado Rockies
31 Chris Owings, SS, Arizona Diamondbacks
32 Kyle Zimmer, RHP, Kansas City Royals
33 Alex Meyer, RHP, Minnesota Twins
34 Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates
35 Rougned Odor, 2B, Texas Rangers
36 Aaron Sanchez, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays
37 Kolten Wong, 2B, St. Louis Cardinals
38 Jorge Soler, RF, Chicago Cubs
39 Jackie Bradley, CF, Boston Red Sox
40 Hunter Harvey, RHP, Baltimore Orioles

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

2014 Bowman Prospect Autograph Checklist

2014 Bowman Prospect Autograph Checklist

Here's the very impressive Bowman Chrome autograph checklist for the new release of 2014 Bowman.


Saturday, April 12, 2014

David Dahl (Rockies, OF) - Bargain Bin - Breakout Prospect of the Year

My breakout prospect of the year prediction for 2014 was and is David Dahl.
David Dahl Ebay Listings 
David Dahl Stats


David Dahl Rockies prospect swing
XBH machine.


David Dahl

Birthdate: 4/1/1994     Bats/Throws: L/R
Height/Weight: 6-2/185     Position: OF


Biography:

Ranked No. 1 among Rockies prospects by MLB.com entering the 2013 season. ... Led the Pioneer League in batting, slugging and OPS in 2012 while ranking second in triples, runs scored and doubles and fourth in RBIs. ... Selected by the Colorado Rockies in the first round (10th overall) of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft out of Oak Mountain High School in Birmingham, Ala. ... Was rated the top prospect from the state of Alabama entering the 2012 Draft. ... Batted .412 (35-for-84) with three homers, three triples, 11 doubles, 17 RBIs and 18 stolen bases as a high school senior.

Awards/Honors:

12/23/2012    MiLB.com Organization All-Star
11/28/2012    Topps Short-Season/Rookie All-Star
11/05/2012    Topps PIO Player of the Year
08/31/2012    PIO Most Valuable Player
08/31/2012    PIO Post-Season All-Star




Analysis

Dahl burst on the scene in his first taste of pro ball after being drafted 10th overall out of high school in 2012 with a serious line of:
.379/.423/.625/1.048    280  AB  62 R   106 H   22 2B   10 3B   9 HR   57 RBI   21 BB   42 K   12 SB

He had literally everything I look for in a young hitting prospect:
BB:K ratio (1:2)
Low K% (13.7% in a high school draftee's first season is remarkable)
Extra Base Hits: 41 in only 280 AB
Speed: 12 SB

He missed nearly all of 2013 due to an early-season suspension for insubordination and a torn hamstring that ended his year in mid-May.  Reports claim Dahl worked hard in the offseason to be in the best shape of his life and it's paying dividends as he's just hit his fourth HR of 2014.  It is his third game in a row with a bomb.  Along with a double and triple so far, his propensity for extra base hits is incredible.  I'm dreaming of a 3-4 punch of CarGo and Dahl, which can develop into one of the best in baseball.

DAHL'S MOST IMPRESSIVE STAT: (as of today, 4/12) Dahl has only 6 more career Ks than extra base hits in 356 AB.  Just think about that for a second.

I rate his 2012 Bowman Chrome Draft autos as STRONG BUYS.  His raw base autos are in the $25-30 range.  I'm scooping as many as I can get.

Why I Avoid Most Pitching Prospects

If I had a post like this for every relevant news story, I'd be up to about 3,000.  Dr. Andrews claims the plethora of arm injuries to these kids is probably due to their year-long play in winter and fall leagues for a majority of their teenage years. I buy that. Any way, another one bites the dust...

"Pittsburgh's No. 10 prospect Luis Heredia was pulled from his start with West Virginia Saturday with discomfort in his throwing shoulder, the Pirates said." - MiLB.com

And I don't mean to be cavalier. I wish Heredia all the best and hope this is nothing serious. He's been one of my favorites for a few years now.  But he's racked up innings at a very young age so this was always a possibility. 

baseball injury
The fate of many a pitcher.

2 Must Reads - Which Top 100 Prospect List Is Best & A Guide to Looking Beyond The Box Score

Prospect's delight: Which top 100 list is best?

The Beyond the Box Score guide to looking beyond the box score

Top 100 Prospects - Prospects For Cash - Part 1 - #1-20

Here is my Top 100 Prospects List for 2014, based on anticipated future MLB production.

1 through 20


Part 1 (#1 - 20)



1
2
3   Xander Bogaerts, SS, Boston Red Sox
4   Byron Buxton, OF, Minnesota Twins
5   Oscar Taveras, OF, St. Louis Cardinals
6   Robert Stephenson, RHP, Reds
7   Nick Castellanos, 3B, Detroit Tigers
8   Lucas Giolito, RHP, Nationals
9   Noah Syndergaard, RHP, New York Mets
10   Kris Bryant, 3B, Chicago Cubs
11   James Paxton, LHP, Seattle Mariners
12   Yordano Ventura, RHP, Royals
13   Carlos Correa, SS, Houston Astros
14   Addison Russell, SS, Oakland Athletics
15   Miguel Sano, 3B, Minnesota Twins
16   Gregory Polanco, CF, Pittsburgh Pirates
17   Clint Frazier, CF, Cleveland Indians
18   Raul Mondesi, SS, Kansas City Royals
19   Mark Appel, RHP, Houston Astros
20   Taijuan Walker, RHP, Seattle Mariners


Notes:

Jose Abreu is for real, as I'm sure most people would agree.
Javier Baez takes over Bogaerts and Buxton as the top prospect from most lists.
Stephenson is my favorite prospect pitcher.
I rate Kris Bryant higher than most analysts.
Raul Mondesi is so young, yet so promising.
I'm not as high on Taijuan as most analysts.
Despite injuries, Russell and Sano are good enough to make the top 20.
I rank Polanco higher than most.  He is the key third piece to the fantasy Pirates outfield.
I'm not as high on Appel as most.  Unproven track record prevents almost any prospect in my mind from making it to the Top 10.

A More Humble Trevor Bauer Looked Solid

In a spot start vs. the San Diego Padres on Wednesday April 9, Trevor Bauer showed a glimpse of his potential as a front of the rotation starter.  Sure, the Padres are a poor offense, but Bauer took advantage with 6 dominant innings, allowing only 4 hits, 1 earned run, and struck out 8 while walking 2 on 99 pitches.

"Fastball was good, slider was good early, decent change, curveball, good split (finger). I didn't throw any sinkers or cutters today. Maybe next time I can work those in. It's very rare I can make use of all seven pitches in a game," said Bauer.

Here are the pitchfx data on Bauer's pitch types:

Pitch Type Count Freq Velo (mph) pfx HMov (in.) pfx VMov (in.) H. Rel (ft.) V. Rel (ft.)
Fourseam6263.27%94.79-3.6511.04-0.466.14
Change99.18%86.48-5.787.39-0.696.00
Slider1111.22%84.503.55-0.78-0.596.03
Curve1414.29%78.004.59-8.21-0.366.18
Split22.04%87.21-1.856.03-0.535.93


Bauer's bread and butter, his fastball, showed great movement (11 inch vertical) with an avg velocity of about 95.  Add in 25% breaking stuff at a velo change of 10-15 mph and you have something, as long as the control is there, which it was.

Bauer likes to live up in the zone, which is something he prides himself on (a la Matt Harvey).

Majority of pitches up and out of the zone.

Hitters have trouble laying off the high heat especially when it rises 10 inches vertically.

If Bauer can stay modest, open to coaching, and disciplined, there's no reason not to expect similar results against more superior lineups.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Official Minor League Baseball Teams Twitter List

Official Minor League Baseball Teams Twitter List

Every serious prospector should follow the minor league clubs...

BGS Graders Getting More Lenient?

Using base chrome autos, here are the percentage of submissions getting a Gem Mint BGS 9.5 or Pristine 10.  Seems like graders at BGS are getting more lenient (probably to boost business for themselves)...  which is just one of the many reasons why I'm not a fan of the whole grading craze.  It's a monopoly owned by BGS and there is no regulation on them, despite their influence on market prices of tangible goods.

A counterargument to my hypothesis is that graders are getting better at cleaning their cards and choosing which cards can gem before sending them into BGS.  Also, BC auto cards may be constructed better now - thus, making it easier to gem the newer stuff.


BGS population reports Percentage of gem mint or pristine 9.5 10
2010 BC was clearly a hard set to grade but note the upward trend since 2010.

Travis D'Arnaud Hitting Analysis (Part 2) - Catcher, New York #Mets - Time To Worry

In Part 1, we looked at what went on last year with D'Arnaud:

"112 PA - .202 - 20-for-99 - 3 doubles - 1 HR - 4 R - 5 RBI - 12 BB - 21 K
- D'Arnaud hit the ball well when it was low and middle in (18-for-53 for a .340 avg.), but was incredibly inefficient when swinging at a pitch in any other location (2-for-46 for a .043 avg.).
- Line drives: clearly D'Arnaud likes it low and inside.  He got good wood/line drives on a majority of the batted balls (purple/red squares).  He looked for pitches in.  But when they were away, he almost never hit a LD.  He didn't adjust well to anything outside of what he was looking for.
- Groundballs: As you'll often see, pitchers were able to take advantage of the low and away location to get D'Arnaud to roll over a weakly hit grounder.
- Flyballs: Similar to grounders, flyballs were hit when the ball was away and up.  This is a sign he was just not comfortable looking for anything away.
- Looking at D'Arnaud, he was clearly just trying to get back into the groove after some time off with injuries, and focused on zoning anything middle in.  He reacted to pitches outside when he had to, and couldn't make good contact."

So far, his struggles have continued in 2014, as he is hitless in 17 plate appearances, with a 35% K rate....

Thursday, April 3, 2014

MiLB Prospect Primers (All 30 Teams: Breakout, MLB Ready, Full SeasonDebuts, At the Crossroads)

Here is a look at the complete list of players from the Minor League Baseball Prospect Primer series that is being released right now at MiLB.com.  I am very impressed with these articles so far, and they're a great read.  MiLB.com is a great place to get your prospecting updates and more importantly, it has a major influence on Bowman Chrome pricing.  Click here to see all of the Prospect Primer articles from all 30 teams. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Bargain Bin - Mitch Nay (Blue Jays, 3B)

Mitch Nay (Toronto Blue Jays, 3B)


Mitch Nay Ebay Listings 
Mitch Nay Stats - MiLB

2012 Bowman Chrome Draft Autograph Recent Pricing:


Base Auto - $7-10
Base Auto BGS 9.5/10 - $15-20
Refractor Auto - $10-15
Blue Auto - $30-45
Blue Auto BGS 9.5/10 - $80
Gold Auto - $105

PROFILE


Bats: Right, Throws: Right
Height: 6' 3", Weight: 195 lb.
Born: September 20, 1993 in Chandler, Arizona, US (Age 20)
High School: Hamilton HS (Chandler, AZ)
Drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1st round (58th) of the 2012 MLB June Amateur Draft from Hamilton HS (Chandler, AZ)

ANALYSIS


Mitch Nay, an infield prospect for the Blue Jays, rarely showed up on Top 100 prospect lists, and I don't understand why.  He was a supplemental first rounder and made the 2013 Appalachian League All-Star team... and was then named Most Valuable Player of the 2013 Northwest League Post-Season with Vancouver as selected by MiLB.com.

Nay was only 19 last year, and put up impressive numbers across the board.  Atypical for teenagers, Nay's BB:K ratio was a beautiful 25 BB : 35 K.  He batted .300 and hit 11 doubles, 6 home runs, and 42 RBI in only 230 AB.  The only downside was his 17 errors at third base for a bad .901 fielding percentage.

His numbers were legit as his BABIP was a relatively normal .328.  Of his 66 games, including postseason, Nay managed multiple hits in 20 of them, and multiple strikeouts in only 6 of them, while never striking out more than twice.  This shows consistency and an ability to adapt during a game (you often see teenagers have many multiple K games when they're owned by the opposing, more advanced pitcher).

Nay's power is legit and will develop.  In high school, he hit 11 bombs in 32 games in his senior year and was drafted as a prospect with plus power, a necessity for corner infielders.

So, Nay clearly has an advanced bat for his age, with his main liability being in the field.  He comes from good stock: he is the grandson of Lou Klimchock who was a third baseman in the major leagues from 1958 to 1970.  And he has a mature perspective on the game.  “[The history] was always ingrained in me because [my grandfather] always talked about it and those names (Mantle, Maris, Aaron) always came up,” said Nay. “I think it’s really important to know where baseball originated.”

With autos at less than $10, I think Nay is a VERY STRONG BUY, as I anticipate continued improvement at the plate with his mature approach.  Plus his only liability, fielding, is not a factor most prospectors use when determining demand for a prospect.



Bowman Chrome Prospects Who Made Their MLB Rosters - National League

Thanks to MLB Prospect Watch for its posts (click here for NL).


Prospects On Major League Rosters - National League


Arizona Diamondbacks:
Chris Owings over Didi Gregorius, Shortstop
Chris Owings Ebay Listings
Didi Gregorius Ebay Listings
Archie Bradley - Returned to the minors
Archie Bradley Ebay Listings

Atlanta Braves:  
David Hale and Gus Schlosser - Joined the injury plagued rotation

Chicago Cubs:  
Mike Olt - Starting 3B
Mike Olt Ebay Listings 
Javier Baez - will be called up at some point this summer
Javier Baez Ebay Listings
Later in the year, expect to see some of the troops arriving
Jorge Soler Ebay Listings 
Kris Bryant Ebay Listings 
Albert Almora Ebay Listings 
C.J. Edwards Ebay Listings 

Cincinnati Reds:  
Billy Hamilton - leadoff hitter and center field
Billy Hamilton Ebay Listings
Tucker Barnhart - backup catcher until Devin Mesoraco returns from the DL

Colorado Rockies:  
Chad Bettis and Tommy Kahnle - Bullpen
Chad Bettis Ebay Listings

Los Angeles Dodgers:  
"Chris Withrow is technically still a rookie, even though it feels like he's been around forever.  Otherwise, this is a veteran-laden team."
Chris Withrow Ebay Listings

Miami Marlins:  
No prospects on the Marlins

Milwaukee Brewers:  
"No prospects on the Brewers from one of the weakest farm systems in the league."

New York Mets:  
Travis d'Arnaud - Catcher
Travis d’Arnaud Ebay Listings
Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero - Will get the call mid-summer.
Noah Syndergaard Ebay Listings
Rafael Montero Ebay Listings 
Wilmer Flores - just called up to temporarily replace Daniel Murphy (paternity leave)
Wilmer Flores Ebay Listings

Philadelphia Phillies:  
Cesar Hernandez - 2B
"Maikel Franco and Jesse Biddle are the prospects worth watching for, and both could be up this summer."
Maikel Franco Ebay Listings
Jesse Biddle Ebay Listings

Pittsburgh Pirates: 
"The Pirates are holding off their best prospects (namely Gregory Polanco and Jameson Taillon) until after the super two deadline, but both should be factors on this year's club."
Gregory Polanco Ebay Listings
Jameson Taillon Ebay Listings

San Diego Padres:  
No prospects for the Padres

San Francisco Giants: 
No prospects on the Giants.

St. Louis Cardinals: 
Kolten Wong - 2B
Kolten Wong Ebay Listings 
Carlos Martinez - Bullpen
Carlos Martinez Ebay Listings
Oscar Taveras - Arguably the best hitting prospect in baseball, battling leg injuries, MLB ready in a deep, crowded Cardinals outfield
Oscar Taveras Ebay Listings

Washington Nationals: 
Anthony Rendon - 2B  stud
Anthony Rendon Ebay Listings

Bowman Chrome Prospects Who Made Their MLB Rosters - American League

Thanks to MLB Prospect Watch for its posts (click here for AL).

Prospects On Major League Rosters - American League


Baltimore Orioles:  
Jonathan Schoop - 2B and 3B while Manny Machado is out
Jonathan Schoop Ebay Listings
Kevin Gausman - sent down to AAA, could be up soon
Kevin Gausman Ebay Listings

Boston Red Sox:  
Xander Bogaerts - Shortstop
Xander Bogaerts Ebay Listings
Jackie Bradley, Jr. - Lost CF job to Grady Sizemore (as I predicted) was not.
Jackie Bradley Ebay Listings  

Chicago White Sox:  
Erik Johnson - earned a spot in their rotation before spring training even got under way
Erik Johnson Ebay Listings
Matt Davidson - not ready for 3B yet
Matt Davidson Ebay Listings
Marcus Semien - 2B (injury to Gordon Beckham)
Marcus Semien Ebay Listings

Cleveland Indians:  
No prospects on the Indians roster.

Detroit Tigers:  
Nick Castellanos - 3B stud
Nick Castellanos Ebay Listings
Tyler Collins - LF sleeper prospect until Andy Dirks returns (platooning with Rajai Davis)
Tyler Collins Ebay Listings 

Houston Astros:  
No prospects until the super two deadline has safely passed
"George Springer will lead the way, likely around June, but there will be plenty of prospects on this team by season's end"  
George Springer Ebay Listings

Kansas City Royals:  
Yordano Ventura - Made the rotation
Yordano Ventura Ebay Listings

Los Angeles Angels:  
No prospects on the Angels roster.

Minnesota Twins:  
Josmil Pinto - backup to Kurt Suzuki

New York Yankees:  
No prospects on the Yankees roster. 

Oakland A's:  
No prospects on the A's roster.
Addison Russell is close.
Addison Russell Ebay Listings

Seattle Mariners:  
James Paxton - Made the rotation
James Paxton Ebay Listings
Taijuan Walker - Will get called up soon when he gets off the DL
Taijuan Walker Ebay Listings

Tampa Bay Rays:  
Jake Odorizzi - In the rotation while Jeremy Hellickson is out
Jake Odorizzi Ebay Listings

Texas Rangers:  
"Michael Choice has more of an opening to play in Texas than he would have in Oakland.  He's on the major league roster but is scheduled to share at-bats for now, playing mostly against lefies.  I expect him to hit his way into the lineup more frequently."
Michael Choice Ebay Listings

Toronto Blue Jays:  
No prospects on the Blue Jays roster
"Marcus Stroman will be up at some point this season"
Marcus Stroman Ebay Listings
"Aaron Sanchez looked significantly better this spring.  He could move quickly if he continues to have better command."
Aaron Sanchez Ebay Listings