Tag Archive | "Bigs"

Random, Possibly Intriguing, Mostly Useless Information

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Random, Possibly Intriguing, Mostly Useless Information

Posted on 19 September 2012 by Will Emerson

The Major League Baseball season is winding down and as I was thinking about what to write I was drawing a bit of a blank. So, as I often do when I am bored, I started looking through baseball statistics. Yeah, I’m a baseball nerd and I wholeheartedly admit and accept this. One of the things I love about baseball is that there are just so many stats. So many in fact that some of them are not really even that meaningful. So many that you can even bend stats to your will and make a player seem better or worse than another player by the way you use the stats. Or make him just seem worse than he is. For instance: Player A’s ERA has gone up almost 18% over last season and his WHIP is a little over 14% higher than last season. Yeah, well that seems bad as his number are worsening at a hihgish rate. Well, that player is Justin Verlander and the ERA has risen to 2.82 and the WHIP is up to 1.05. Still impressive numbers, wouldn’t ya say? That was rhetorical. So, hopefully you get the point here. Now I’m gonna save the blind player comparisons I know you all enjoy and love for another day. Instead, this article will feature some random stats and information that I found possibly intriguing. Oh yeah, and they may be mostly useless. Yeah, it was not just a clever title folks! So on with the show!

Pittsburgh Pirate Jose Tabata has the honor of being one of only two players this season that has been caught stealing ten or more times, but has also managed to be successful less often than not. As in he has has been caught stealing more than he has been successful at swiping bases. The other person to accomplish this at this point in the season, since I know you are wondering, is the Diamondbacks Willie Bloomquist. Another note here, the Pirates are the only team in baseball that have more than one player who has been caught stealing more than 10 times. The other player is some no-name fella by the name of McCutchen. In fact the Pirates have the worst stolen base success rate in the majors at 56.8%. Kind of strange that Pirates would be so bad at stealing, am I right? Jack Sparrow would be ashamed!

While we’re on the topic of stolen bases, Howie Kendrick has the pleasure of being the only player in the bigs thus far this season with double digit stolen bases that has also grounded into over 20 double plays. in fact only Miguel Cabrera has grounded into more double plays than Howie. Generally you would think a guy getting a fair amount of steals would be able to avoid double plays. Granted he does not have 20 or 30 steals or anything, he is at 12, but still. It looks like he has an outside shot at this elusive 20-20 mark, but don’t hold your breath. Maybe he needs to do a better job when he puts the ball on the ground, sort of like Austin Jackson.

A-Jax is hitting .380, best in the majors, when he puts the ball on the ground. This is almost 20 points higher than number two on that list. Maybe Jim Leyland should go all Lou Brown on Jackson and make him do pushups every time he puts the ball in the air, since keeping it on the ground is clearly getting the job done like nobody’s business! Of course this will not quite work for everyone.

Take Pirate Pedro Alvarez, for instance. He is hitting .381 when he gets the ball in the air, as opposed to a meager .208 when he puts it on the ground. When he hits line drives, he is hitting .741, for those of you scoring at home. Of course many power hitters are going to have similar numbers, I just guess none of those hitters are in the current Giants lineup.

Over the last 30 days the Giants have 13 home runs, one less than Adrian Beltre in that same time span. Now Beltre is having a great last 30 days, but the fact that nine hitters are within five home runs of the Giants in that time span, is not so spectacular from San Fran’s perspective. I mean it’s as if they’re facing Kris Medlen, superstar, every time out!

Medlen has been absolutely brilliant as a starter! Brilliant! In his eight starts he has only allowed more than one earned run on one occasion. In that start he allowed an eye-popping two earned runs. He also had a streak of 39 consecutive innings where he did not allow an earned run. Not quite in Hershiser range, but impressive nevertheless! Also impressive? The Reds rotation.

Something you don’t see much these days; the Reds rotation of Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Bronson Arroyo, Homer Bailey and Mike Leake have started all but one game for the Reds this season. That’s right, ONE! Now that’s reliability folks! The Mets, on the other hand, have used 12 different starting pitchers this season. Not sure that Reds-like reliability would have helped Houston, however.

The Astros, aptly nicknamed the Disastros this season, are actually picking up the pace with an 8-7 start to September. Those 8 wins in the first two weeks of September, ties their win total for July and August….combined. For July and August they were 8-46, a paltry .148 winning percentage. If they played that pace over an entire 162 game season they would have won 24 games. Yikes! Expansion teams can do better than that! Maybe the ‘Stros need a guy like Tim Collins in their bullpen?

Little Timmy Collins has the honor of being the only relief pitchers in the majors this season with 90 or more strikeouts, and no saves. Only three other relievers who have not been their team’s regular closer for any sort of extended period of time this year have more than 80 strikeouts- David Hernandez (90), Steve Delabar (85) and Jason Grilli (84). All four pitchers have been very effective posting solid K/BB ratios. The same cannot be said for Ricky Romero however.

Romero has a league low K/BB rate, amongst qualifying starting pitchers, of 1.20 which is probably a major reason for his big fall off this season. Second worst K/BB rate in the majors? That would be his rotation mate Henderson Alvarez with a 1.22 rate. Which would probably help explain why the Jays starters have the worst K/BB ratio in the majors at 1.74. Of course Gavin Floyd sure made a valiant effort to catch these two in that category.

A bit in the past, but in July Gavin Floyd posted a K/BB rate of .44 for the month. Now this was over 25.2 innings, but that is still impressively awful. His K/9 that month was 2.81 and his BB/9 was 6.31. What is even more weird, or impressive depending on how you look at, is Floyd still managed a 2.45 ERA for that month. Go figure, right?

Alright, so I ran out of cheesy, barely good, segues, so this one is just out of left field I guess. The Bronx Bombers are, naturally, looking to head to the playoffs, but they haven’t come this far by tripling. See, no segue whatsoever! I have no shame. Anyways, Angel Pagan of the Giants has 13 triples on the season, one more than the entire Yankees team! All of them! Every single Yankee combined! Good work Angel!

Well, there you have it, some random, possibly intriguing, but useless information for you. I hope you enjoyed this little slice of baseball nerdery and don’t you worry, I will certainly find more, and better, obscure, quite random, possibly intriguing, mostly useless information for you for next time. Until then, good day and godspeed.

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Starting Pitching Valuation (SPv) Leaderboard

Posted on 16 August 2012 by Dylan Cain

Loyal Full Spectrum Baseball readers may remember an article I wrote a while back about an innovative new stat, one I call Starting Pitcher Valuation (SPv).  For a brief introduction to the statistic for those who have not read the article, SPv is a stat that encompasses 1) the number of base runners a starting pitcher has allowed, 2) how many earned runs he’s allowed, 3) how many batters he strikes out as opposed to how few batters he walks 4) and how well he can lead his team to a victory.

I have taken all these stats and “blended” them together, creating a pitching stat that ranks starters (not relievers) on a scale of 100%-0%. This gives analytically-minded  fans like you the chance to see one stat that is “easy-to-digest” as opposed to reading a long line of the 10-15 most commonly used statistics.  I wrote this article in hopes of providing a weekly “leaderboard” of SPv and to also give my opinions and some notes about how they (starting pitchers) have done of late.  Here are your season-to-date SPv leaders (as of  August 12th). Enjoy!

1) Jered Weaver (84.87%)- The Angels’ ace has been dealing this year, even in an offensive powerhouse division like the AL West. He’s only lost one game this year and with the offensive production of the Halo’s lineup, he doesn’t seem to have that much pressure on him.  With guys like Mike Trout (.340 AVG) and Albert Pujols (Did you hear about his 24 homeruns?? Talk about coming back after a slow start…), any pitcher would feel relaxed on the hill.  His fastball isn’t Aroldis Chapman caliber but it’s enough to get the job done.

2) R.A. Dickey (81.19%)- The Tim Wakefield impersonator has looked slightly more human of late, with his ERA going up .74 points since his second consecutive one-hitter.  Remember, he still has the best SPv in the senior circut, meaning he is on track to have the best season a knuckleballer has ever had, statistically. His 15 wins are tied for the most in the the bigs, he still makes batters look silly, and he is still very likely in line to win the NL Cy Young Award.

3) Chris Sale (80.96%)- The lanky southpaw for the Chicago White Sox has given his rotation a big boost, even with his young, inexperienced arm.  He puts on a show with the radar gun and can shutdown powerful lineups.  He does have an advantage of facing some weaker offensive teams in the AL Central, however.  Six of his 13 wins have come against the Royals, Indians and Twins.  He is a great pitcher but needs a little more experience to convinced me. The addition of Jake Peavy helped him greatly and Francisco Liriano will give him more of an advantage.

4) David Price (79.77%)- The three-time All-Star is on pace to get the most wins of his career and as far as the AL Cy Young Award voting is concerned, he is breathing down the neck of Sale and Weaver.  The only thing he actually lacks is a big bat to support him offensively.  Evan Longoria coming back will hopefully help with that problem.  If any pitcher can help Tampa Bay get a playoff spot from the A’s it will be Price.  He WILL have a Cy Young Award on the wall before his career is done.

5) Justin Verlander (78.62%)- Finally on the list, Verlander comes in at fourth place in the junior circuit, quite surprising for the Detroit Tigers ace. In my opinion, he is the most overrated pitcher in baseball.  Sure, he has a blazing fastball. Sure, his ERA is under two and a half.  But, he has been inconsistent at moments and is on pace to have the most losses in his career since 2008.  I will give him credit, however, because he tends to dominate one of my favorite statistics (WHIP).

6) Stephen Strasburg (77.71%)- The Strikeout king is now on the list and he is very deserving.  In seven of his twenty three games this year, he has struck out nine batters or more!  That is 30.4% of the time.  Looking for a whiff?  He’s the guy you have to call.  His innings limit has been in the news lately and I think if the Nationals want to keep winning he must be in the rotation. We’ll have to wait and see how this all plays out.

7) Matt Cain (76.7%)- “Mr. Perfect”, “Cain-O Insane-O”, “The San Fran Man”…regardless of what you call him, he is still a dominant force on the hill out on the west coast.  His ERA is under 3 for only the second time in his career but he’s currently regarded as the best pitcher in the Giants’ stacked rotation.  This is due mostly to Tim Lincecum‘s recent struggles, and the fact that most of the rotation is considerably “young talent”.  One of his statistics which catches my eye the most is the fact that his walks per 9 is the lowest in his career.

8) Felix Hernandez (76.44%)- “King Felix” is one of my favorite pitchers and I feel he is very underrated.  Although he may only have 10 wins, he already has 3 shutouts, leading the league.  He continues to strikeout batters (he is nearing his 1,500th strikeout) and his ERA is staying low.  His division rivals include the Texas Rangers and the LA Angels, two huge offensive teams.  Hernandez continually gets the job done, though.

9) Madison Bumgarner (76.4%)- When looking at the ERA leaders, you could easily think his fellow teammate Ryan Vogelsong has the edge. However, Bumgarner has a higher SPv for a couple of reasons.  One, he strikes out more batters and walks less, as opposed to Vogelsong.  And secondly, Bumgarner has a better WHIP.  Walks plus Hits divided by Innings Pitched is a crucial statistic in the makeup of SPv.  The first round pick in the 2007 draft is off to a good start in his career and he makes a good #2 behind Matt Cain.

10) Kyle Lohse (76.27%)- I was very surprised when I realized Lohse had made the Top 10. When we look at his stats, he has the second most wins on the St. Louis Cardinals staff (12, just behind Lance Lynn‘s 13) against only has 2 losses.  He hasn’t had much popularity since 2008 when he had 15 wins but the baseball community should know that Kyle still has his stuff.  His WHIP and ERA are at career bests and along with Jake Westbrook and Lance Lynn, they are filling the hole left by the Chris Carpenter injury quite nicely.

11) Johnny Cueto (76.18%)- I can truly say that in my mind, Cueto is the best pitcher in the packed NL Central.  I say this because he doesn’t allow many base runners, keeps batters guessing and even when things do get out of hand, he can still often get the win.  This is because of an offense led by Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, and Brandon Phillips.  These athletes, led by Cueto, will help the Reds gain an even larger lead over Andrew McCutchen and the Pittsburgh Pirates as the season winds down.

12) Jordan Zimmermann (76.14%)- I know I say the word underrated too often, but it’s one of the few words that describes Zimmermann accurately.  The reason I feel he hasn’t had instant stardom is due to the fact that, earlier in the year, he lacked run support.  At one point he had a losing record with an ERA under two and a half.  He doesn’t strikeout very many batters but he doesn’t walk many either. This keeps men off the base, keeping his WHIP low.  If anyone on this list will win the NL Cy Young Award in dramatic fashion, it’s Zimmermann.

13) Cole Hamels (75.75%)- This southpaw has been the talk of trade rumors year in and year out, but he remains in Philly, being the only pitcher to have double-digit wins for the Phillies.  He also has the most strikeouts, most innings pitched, leads in ERA+ and the lowest hits per nine innings.  Once the #2 pitcher to Roy Halladay, he is now the ace of the struggling team.  He just signed a huge, $153 million contract, so expect him to stick around for a while.

14) Clayton Kershaw (75.17%)- “The Claw” is the same man as he has been his whole career but isn’t quite as dominant as he was last year.  He is in the very pitching dominant NL, hurting his chances of winning back-to-back Cy Young Awards.  He strikes out a whole batter less per 9 inning than he did last year but he still has a WHIP of 1.027.  He leads the league in shutouts (2), is still the ace for the NL West leading (tied) Los Angeles Dodgers and no longer has to face Melky Cabrera due to a 50 game suspension.

15) CC Sabathia (75.06%)- CC has been on the DL for an extended period of time.  I think the Yankees are in a good enough position to where they can retain first place in the AL East without him.  If you asked me a year earlier, I would’ve told you that New York couldn’t have competed without Mariano Rivera and with Sabathia out, however, that’s exactly what they are doing.  Yankees’ fans just need to hope that C.C. can bounce back from the injuries, and continue on the pace where he left off.

16) A.J. Burnett (74.81%)- I would’ve expected the Pirate’s righty to be higher on this list, with 14 wins and a new beginning in Pittsburgh, however, he is not.  Like many of the pitchers ranked above him, he doesn’t possess a high number of K’s.  Through 21 starts, he already has the most wins in his career since 2008 in Toronto.  Not only does he have a career low WHIP (with 21+ games started), but he has a one-hitter under his belt.

17) Ryan Vogelsong (74.64%)- The reason this guy may not quite be a household name is because he hasn’t performed in the past, as he is just showing signs of greatness.  The last season that he had 25 or more starts before San Fransisco, he had an ERA of 6.50 with a 6-13 W-L record. He has redeemed himself, however, in his second stint for the Giants.  His two years back have been astounding, posting 249 strikeouts and a 23-13 record.  He does walk a few too many, but nothing to worry about. Expect him to have more than one all star selection in his career.

18) Scott Diamond (74.35%)- I consider this young man the only “stud” in the Minnesota Twin’s rotation.  He isnt like many of the guys on this list as far as strikeouts are concerned (5.0 strikeouts per 9 innings), but he makes up for it because he doesn’t walk many either (1.3 walks per 9 innings, a league lead).  He’s only pitched 18 games, and I really don’t expect the trend to continue, as he allows almost a home run a game.  That’s low enough to be a quality pitcher, but not to consistently be on this list.

19) Gio Gonzalez (74.15%)- Gio is one of the best parts of the Washington Nationals “Big 3″ (Strasburg and  Zimmerman included).  He has the most wins out of all of them (15, 2 away from a career high), he has the league lead in home runs per 9 innings (0.4), and the league lead in hits per 9 innings (6.9).  His wicked curveball is similar to those of fellow teamate Stephen Strasburg and Barry Zito.  With Strasburg supposedly being out of postseason play, Gio is the man who needs to step up even further, if possible.  This would be by walking less and staying consistent.

20) Ryan Dempster (73.62%)- The Texas new-comer is lucky to even be on this list.  His ERA has gone up 79 points in 4 games, but I think he still has some success in him.  He is aging, however, and is struggling to get wins.  He is a great #3 or #4 in the Rangers rotation, and run support won’t be an issue anymore, as it was with the Cubs.

Think one of your favorite pitchers deserved to be on the list or would you like to just discuss Starting Pitching Valuation, contact me on Twitter @pitchingstats or use the comments section below. I’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have about about this list, how to calculate SPv and/or how to apply its usage to fantasy baseball. Thanks for reading and be sure to check back next week.

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manny machado

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Finders Keepers/Welcome to the Bigs, Kid: Manny Machado (Special Double Edition)

Posted on 10 August 2012 by T.J. McDonald

Welcome to the special double edition of Finders Keepers/Welcome to the Bigs, Kid. Late Wednesday evening, the Baltimore Orioles shocked the baseball world and fantasy community, at large, by announcing the call up of their top position player prospect, 20 year old Manny Machado.  If you are familiar with either of this series of articles you know what will follow. But if not, here is what will. In this piece, I will give a little background on Machado, welcome him to the bigs and go into his long term fantasy value as well as give my overall keeper potential grade.

Manny Machado is a 20 year old shortstop prospect in the Baltimore Orioles organization.  He was drafted 3rd overall in the 2010 Major league draft, was Baseball America’s #11 prospect coming into the season and was ranked #9 in their mid-season rankings. He projects to be a potential All Star with plus grades for both hit tool and power from scouts. He hit .266 with 11Hrs and 59 RBIs in 19 games this year in AA.  While profiled as a shortstop, the Orioles plan to give him time at third upon his promotion as they are in the thick of the playoff race.

The Orioles are in a three way tie atop the wild card standings and only 4 and a half games back of the AL East leading New York Yankees.  It looks as if the Orioles are doing everything they can to make their first playoff appearance since 1997.  While Machado has not been lights out this year in AA, since the AllStar break, he has hit a .275 with four HRs, 11 BBs and 15 Ks in 104 plate appearances and was on a tear his last ten games hitting  .444 with three doubles, two triples, three HRs and seven RBIs.

If he can live up to even half the expectations most have for him it will not be hard to outperform the dismal production of the revolving door of Orioles third basemen this year who’ve hit a combined .245 with 13 HRs and 45 RBIs on the season. The one catch here may be his defense.  He has only played two career games at third with one error, so some could argue the O’s are throwing him into the fire at the hot corner without the proper minor league experience at this position.  However, the Orioles have struggled defensively at third, with Wilson Betemit making a team-high 13 errors at third and Mark Reynolds making six errors at the hot corner in 15 games and also the Orioles do not seem to overly concerned about the tranistion.

As Oriole’s vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette told the team’s official website,”Manny should be a plus defender, wherever we play him. He’s a five-tool player, and he can help our team. I think he improves our team, and it’s important here (for this club) to be strong.” When Manny himself was asked by the media before Thursday’s game about how comfortable he was playing third his response was, “I’m very comfortable out there. Every day I try to be proactive, I try to take a couple ground balls at third base after I catch my grounders at short. I am pretty comfortable out there. So, I’m really looking forward to it.” He started at third base Thursday night going 2-4 with a triple and one run scored.

Now for his fantasy value in yearly leagues. I wouldn’t drop anyone of good to decent value for him. As @FantasyRundown stated yesterday on Twitter, “Human nature to get excited about the latest and greatest, but I would not drop anyone of significance for Manny Machado.”  However, I suggest if you have a bench spot or start the Logan Forsythe and Willie Bloomquists of the world, pick him up.  Just keep in mind, many top prospects struggle when they first get called up.  Case in point, Mike Trout struggled in his first tour in the big leagues prior to this season.

Once Machado gains his dual eligibility (3b/SS), it will be a major asset going forward and since he will be playing third primarily depending on your leagues rules it shouldn’t take long to add 3rd base eligibility to go along with his short stop eligibility. With this dual eligibility he could be a valuable asset onany yearly league owners bench.

Now for keeper leagues. Pick him up as he is a very highly rated prospect and a highly rated prospect can be very valuable keeper and or trade asset. Keep him for the rest of the season and go from there or even flip him immediately to the owner in your league who is enamored with prospects. Either way it is a win/win. At worst, he can be dropped come keeper time and at best, you have either flipped him for valuable pieces and/or have the next big thing on your fantasy roster come keeper time. He may lose shortstop for next year but if he does not, having dual eligibility will make him that much more valuable. When a prospect is called up prior to the expanded rosters in September it gives you a larger sample size than just the normal September callup small sample size. This enables you to have that much more of a look at the player. Allowing you to make an even better asset of him as a player and potential keeper, come keeper time. Percent owned as of Thursday August 9th: 2% ESPN, 8% Yahoo and 35% CBS. He is currently only shortstop eligible. I grade his keeper potential as an A.

Will you be picking up Manny Machado or did you happen to have have him already rostered?  Let me know in the comments and, as always, be sure to follow me on Twitter @FantasyzrTJ for all your fantasy baseball needs.

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Organizational Outlook: Cleveland Indians

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Organizational Outlook: Cleveland Indians

Posted on 28 June 2012 by Bryan Geary

This is part four of thirty in the Organizational Outlook series. For those of you interested in minor league baseball, and I know you are out there, keeping up with all the top players can be a tall task. This series will take you through each team in baseball and get you up to date on their top prospects.

Only two years ago, the Cleveland Indians farm system was ranked 3rd in all of baseball, loaded with potential impact talents throughout its top 10. But several promotions and one big trade later, the Indians are now the second worst system in the bigs according to Baseball America. The good news is that the last two drafts have replenished some of the top end talent that went missing. In fact, according to Keith Law (subscription), their top 10 prospects for the coming year will be, “full of 2012 draft picks”.

Of course Cleveland fans cannot be too upset about the system’s poor ratings, as they are right in the thick of the AL Central race . Much of this season’s success can be attributed to Jason Kipnis, the team’s number 2 prospect back in 2011. He and Asdrubal Cabrera lead almost every offensive category. Righty Ubaldo Jimenez has not been the rotation savior fans envisioned when Cleveland sent top pitching prospects Drew Pomeranz and Alex White to Colorado at last year’s deadline, but neither of those two seem ready to contribute yet. With the Central very much up for grabs, having Jimenez still gives them a better chance to win now.

(All prospect rankings according to Baseball America.)

For Indians fans, everything starts with Francisco Lindor. A true shortstop prospect out of Montverde (FL) Academy, Lindor was the 8th overall selection in last year’s amateur draft. He is easily the team’s best prospect and their only representative in BA’s Top 100 list. Aside from his excellent physical tools, Lindor is lauded for his instincts on the field and has shown leadership ability in the past, captaining the U.S. 16-and-under team that won gold in 2009. Incredibly, Lindor has been switch hitting since he was 13 and scouts love his swing from both sides of the plate. Even more incredible is that the young shortstop is still just 18 years old and playing well in his first full season of professional ball. As the second-youngest player in the low-A Midwest League, Lindor is putting up a .285/.369/.410 line with 4 HR, 23 RBI, and 14 SB. To say that this is impressive at his age would be an understatement. He is truly one of the game’s elite prospects. Look for Lindor in this year’s Futures Game during All-Star weekend.

The Rest of the Top 10

Dillon Howard — RHP — 6’4″/210

One of the top prep arms in last year’s draft, a lackluster senior season and signability questions pushed Howard back to the 2nd round, where Cleveland gave him an over-slot deal. Howard apparently had a, “tired arm” in spring, leading Cleveland to hold him back in extended spring training. Armed with an excellent two-seam fastball that sits in the low 90′s, Howard is a potential top of the rotation starter who should see time at low-A Lake County at some point this year.

2012 (ExST): 3 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 1 K, 2 BB

Nick Hagadone — LHP — 6’5″/230

Hagadone was drafted back in 2007 by the Red Sox and came over in the Victor Martinez deal. Currently in the major league bullpen, he is thought to have late-inning reliever potential, largely because of a fastball that has reportedly touched 98 at times. Walks had been a problem, but he has made big strides in that area.

2012: 23 G, 4.91 ERA, 22 IP, 18 H, 23 K, 11 BB

Chen Lee — RHP — 5’11/175

The Indians signed Lee out of Taiwan in 2008 and he has been solid ever since. Scouts love the movement he gets on the fastball which tops out a 95. His low arm slot translates into lots of groundballs. A potential set-up man, Lee may get a chance in the big leagues at some point this year, but for now he is a AAA Columbus.

2012: 5 G, 2.57 ERA, 7 IP, 5 H, 8 K, 1 BB

Luigi Rodriguez — OF — B-T:S-R — 5’11″/160

An international free agent signing in 2009, Rodriguez is a speedy outfielder from the Dominican Republic. He was actually signed as a second-basemen, but his reported lack of defensive instincts made for a quick change to the outfield. Rodriguez is a switch-hitter with more doubles than home run power. He is at low-A Lake County this year.

2012: .285/.338/.415, 297 PA, 5 HR, 13 SB, 23 BB, 72 K

Zach McAllister — RHP — 6’6″/240

McAllister was once a highly regarded prospect for the Yankees before coming to Cleveland as a Player To Be Named Later in the Kerry Wood deal. His lack of a true out pitch is what really holds him back, as his secondary stuff is nothing special. He does, however, throw strikes with a sinking fastball that can touch 94. McAllister has made four starts in Cleveland this year, but is currently at AAA Columbus.

2012 (MLB): 1-1, 3.96 ERA, 25 IP, 25 H, 22 K, 6 BB

Tony Wolters — SS — B-T:L-R — 5’10″/165

Drafted as a shortstop, the 2010 3rd round pick has split his time between short and second base this season at high-A Carolina. Wolters lack of range may send him to second base full time in the future, especially as Lindor moves up. At the plate he is a contact first hitter who has decent gap power, but he has struggled so far this year.

2012: .226/.293/.329, 279 PA, 1 HR, 4 SB, 22 BB, 59 K

Austin Adams – RHP — 5’11″/185

Adams became one of the team’s top pitching prospects after signing as a 5th round pick in 2009 and even challenged for a big league roster spot this spring. Though he was ticketed for AAA, he went down with a shoulder injury in May and surgery will sideline him for the entire year. When healthy, he shows a big fastball that can touch 100 MPH but not much secondary stuff. Though he has pitched out of the rotation, some believe his future is as a reliever.

2011 (AA): 11-10, 3.77, 136 IP, 147 H, 131 K, 63 BB

Scott Barnes — LHP — 6’4″/185

Drafted back in 2008 as an 8th rounder, Barnes came to Cleveland from San Francisco a deal for Ryan Garko. He missed time last year with a torn ACL, but seems to be healthy as he works this year at AAA Columbus. The lefty flashes a fastball that can touch 96 as well as a decent starter. While some see a future reliever, others believe he can be a solid back end starter.

2012: 0-2, 3.73 ERA, 31.1 IP, 21 H, 35 K, 15 BB

*Zach Putnam was number 10 on Baseball America’s list, but he was traded to the Rockies in January.

Draft Recap

As I noted earlier, this year’s draft was about replenishing the system and their Top 10 list will now be stocked with 2012 draftees. Though some, including Keith Law, had top pick Tyler Naquin as somewhat of a reach, the speedy outfielder is still likely their second best prospect behind Lindor. Their next three picks drew much higher reviews from scouts, as they took high school right-handers Mitch Brown and Kieran Lovegrove in addition to high school outfielder D’Vone McClure. Of the four, only McClure is yet to sign. If you are looking for late round gambles, some picks that caught my eye were Justin Garza and Cory Raley. Garza is a right-handed pitcher out of high school who can run the fastball up to 94. BA had him ranked 130 in their Top 500 but Cleveland took him at 803. Raley is a prep shortstop who is reportedly a great athlete. BA had him 158 in their pre-draft rankings and the Indians took him at 1013. Both Garza (Cal State Fullerton) and Raley (Texas A&M) figure to be tough signs. You can check out all of Cleveland’s draft picks right here.

 

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The Waiver Wire: Drew Smyly

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The Waiver Wire: Drew Smyly

Posted on 12 April 2012 by Jared Thatcher

Were you one of the managers that had Doug Fister or some other struggling starting pitcher on their roster this week? Well, lucky for you, I have an idea. If you over-manage like I do, then you are probably looking to make some changes in your starting pitcher lineup after only a few games.

My suggestion to you is to add Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Drew Smyly immediately. I took a little heat when I ranked Smyly higher than almost everyone else on my Top 100 Prospects list, but I have faith he can make it in the bigs. I have so much faith in him in fact, that I also projected him as the AL Rookie of the Year for 2012.

Smyly is owned in 0.5% of ESPN fantasy leagues. That number could increase dramatically after tomorrows start if he performs even close to what how I think he will. If your league gives points for Wins then Smyly is an easy pickup due to the fact that he might have the best offense in years behind him. The Tigers should be able to give him a comfortable lead early, which will allow him to pitch without any restrictions or worries.

Smyly might walk a few batters but he definitely has the stuff to strike out a few batters as well. At Double-A last year, he averaged 10.4 strikeouts per nine innings and registered a sterling 1.18 ERA. He has excellent control and even better command of his pitches. The Tigers have never been afraid of throwing young pitchers out there so I don’t expect his rotation spot to be in jeopardy very quickly.

Pick up Smyly as a spot starter this week and be prepared to make him a stable part of your rotation going forward.

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