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

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

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Javier Baez Hitting Analysis (Part 1)

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.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Prospect Reviews 2013 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospect Autographs (Part 2)

Quick reviews of the prospects in the 2013 Bowman Chrome Draft Autograph set.  Part 2 of 2.  Enjoy.

Kevin Franklin - Stats
1:10 BB:K ratio.  Nuff said.

Kevin Ziomek - Stats
Ebay Search Link
This guy is putting up huge numbers but he's facing much younger hitters at Low-A.  Need to see him at higher levels.

Kohl Stewart - Stats
Ebay Search Link 
Disabled List.  Ground ball pitcher.  Not enough K's.  Pass.

Marco Gonzales - Stats
Ebay Search Link 
Got rocked in PCL and Majors.  Not a shocker.  Still a talented arm.

Michael Lorenzen - Stats
Ebay Search Link 
Another ground ball pitcher with relatively low K rate.  Not exciting for me.

Nick Ciuffo - Stats
Ebay Search Link - Ciuffo
Very young.  Small sample size.  Evaluation pending.

Oscar Mercado - Stats
Ebay Search Link 
Speedster.  No pop.  Pass.

Phil Ervin - Stats
Ebay Search Link 
Big numbers last year.  Heavy struggles this year and a repeat at the level.  Not sure what's up.

Reese McGuire - Stats
Ebay Search Link 
Boring utility type player.

Riley Unroe - Stats
Ebay Search Link 
Another boring utility guy.

Robert Kaminsky - Stats
Ebay Search Link 
Love this kid.  High floor, "low" ceiling.

Ryan Eades - Stats
Ebay Search Link 
Hitters feast on this guy.

Ryan McMahon - Stats
Ebay Search Link 
STRONG BUY.  Will be promoted to CAL one day.  Look out.

Ryder Jones - Stats
Ebay Search Link 
Could be out of baseball soon.

Tim Anderson - Stats
Ebay Search Link - Anderson
On the disabled list but a nice little player. Speed, hits for average and added some pop with 4 HR in June. His home away splits are drastic though (hitting .383 at home in Winston-Salem A+ CAR, and only .235 on the road).  Winston-Salem does have the highest park factor for hits in the Carolina League but only by a small margin, so I'm not sure what that's all about. 

Tom Windle - Stats
Ebay Search Link 
I think this kid is just a victim of the CAL hitter's environment.  He's better than his current numbers.  Could be a nice Bargain Bin buy.

Travis Demeritte - Stats
Ebay Search Link 
Tons of pop for a second baseman, but tons of K's too.  He'll either develop or get embarrassed at higher levels.  It's anyone's guess.

Trevor Williams - Stats
Ebay Search Link 
He's not a strikeout pitcher but he keeps the ball on the ground.  Batted balls aren't so bad at his club's major league level.  Miami is a tough ballpark to hit in.  His FIP has always been good despite the low K's.

Trey Ball - Stats
Ebay Search Link - Ball
This guy gets knocked around like a pinball.

Tyler Danish - Stats 
Ebay Search Link 
Apparently, he has a crazy sidearm delivery, but it's working with an incredible rate of ground balls (over 2:1 GO/FO).  The side arm delivery adds to the effectiveness of his plus slider, which complements a fastball that has reached the mid-90's.  I like the kid.