News Around the Minors (1/16/07)
Just enough to make a post out of, so I'm off and running...Edit: For those of you who think that you simply do not have enough meaningless numbers to stare at, I've added stats below for the Colombian Winter League, where they don't have THE Manny Ramirez, but do have A Manny Ramirez. I've also added another T-Rats article.
At ESPN, Keith Law wrote an article focusing on top prospects likely to start '07 in the minors
, and regarding our own Jeff Clement, he had this statement...
Jeff Clement was the third pick in the 2005 draft, ahead of big leaguers like Ryan Zimmerman (nearly the NL Rookie of the Year in 2006 for the Nationals) and Troy Tulowitzki (already in the majors with the Rockies) as well as top prospects like Jacoby Ellsbury (Red Sox), Cameron Maybin (Tigers), and Andrew McCutchen (Pirates). Clement went that high because he has big pull power and was expected stay behind the plate, although he was never pretty back there.
Now he's already had his first knee surgery, he didn't hit for power in the power-friendly Cal League, and was awful in the Hawaiian Winter League. At 23, he has plenty of time to put his career back on track, but it looks likely that he's more evidence that drafting for need is usually a bad strategy in the first round.
It's hard to know where to begin with a statement like that, but I'll start with the obvious: Clement wasn't in the Cal League, he was in the Texas League, and he did hit for power. I did a longer analysis
of the case presented over at SportSpot, but to tighten it up a bit, I'll reduce it to a single paragraph. Clement's performance in Texas this year, a .288/.386/.525 line in limited time, was fairly representational of his abilities save for the OBP, which was partially the result of him getting hit a few times. He has pretty significant defensive flaws which would have been exposed in time. The problem was that they sent him to Tacoma, where both his defensive flaws and his offensive flaws could have been exploited by the more polished competition, and did so while he was coming off a significant surgery and had a good deal of rust to knock off. It was a poor decision (in time, I may do a longer analysis of the aggressive promotion campaign from this last season), and there's a difference between allowing a player to struggle first in the minors and putting them in a position where they're set up to fail (which really was continued with his usage in the HWL). As a catcher, and one who is still working on his defense, Clement is going to take more development time than some of the "bigger names" on the draft board.
Floating around the web, we now have news that Greg Dobbs was picked up on waivers by the Phillies
. Pat Gillick taking his pick off the M's scrap heap again? Surely, you jest! With Burroughs already in the minors, we have another sweet swing with limited results and defensive versatility in the minors, so this isn't much of a loss in terms of organizational depth. Even without Burroughs, it wouldn't be.
This isn't purely minor league news, but InsidePitch, one of the premier Angels analysts that I know of, did an analysis of Bavasi's trades
over at the Scout boards. There's enough there to be concerned about, particularly undervaluing his own players and trading system players who didn't respond that well to being rushed.
John Sickels, drawing two names from the T section of his book, posted a prospect review of Matt Tuiasosopo
on his blog. Tui's handling, in my opinion, was the biggest mistake of the aggressive promotion campaign, as his average was empty in the Cal League and he wasn't driving the ball with any authority or displaying decent plate discipline. He has a long road ahead of him, and the next season is going to be crucial.
After leading the Canadian team with a .448 average in the regional tournament, Michael Saunders has been named the senior team MVP of 2006
. I've gone back and forth on doing a Saunders write-up at some point, because I've wanted to look at him as potential breakout candidate, but the statistical evidence doesn't corroborate and the scouting doesn't quite approve of what it sees either. It's a hunch at best, and should be regarded as such.
The Wisconsin Post-Crescent has a story in anticipation of Ryne Sandberg's managerial debut
against the Timber Rattlers on opening day.
I'm going to end by pointing out that there's going to be a spotlight on the M's system (and the Phillies, heh) on Februrary 20th over at MiLB.com. I got this off the He Said, She Said Blog
, which has Jonathan Mayo and Lisa Winston posting. I don't have the expectations of it that I would of something like Baseball America, but they're planning on bringing some front office people in and it could be interesting in that sense, plus Mayo occassionally surprises by pointing to a guy like Alfredo Venegas who no one else has ever heard of. I'll do a reminder as we approach the date if I can remember a month from now. At the very least, it might qualify as a "fix".
That link comes via the Rattler Radio blog
, which has been a great deal more active than I have this offseason. Bonus points for a Blernsball reference
a few days ago.
Winter League Stats (1/14/07)
Edit: 8:54 pm, hey, now there's LehrArizona Fall League (FINAL)
2B Michael Garciaparra: 19 G, 79 ABs, 13 R, 27 H, 4 2B, HR, 13 RBI, 13/1 K/BB, 2 SB, .342/.388/.430
RHP Craig James: 10 G, 0-0, 3.60 ERA in 10.0 IP, 10 H, 5 R (4 ER), 7/6 K/BB, HB
RHP Stephen Kahn: 9 G, 0-0, 8.64 ERA in 8.1 IP, 14 H, 8 R (8 ER), 7/8 K/BB, HB
LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith: 12 G, 0-1, 5.40 ERA in 15.0 IP, 19 H, 10 R (9 ER), 16/8 K/BB, HB
3B Matt Tuiasosopo: 21 G, 78 ABs, 9 R, 13 H, 2B, 3B, 4 RBI, 22/6 K/BB, .167/.235/.205
RHP Sean White: 0-3, 6.35 ERA in 17.0 IP, 18 H (HR), 15 R (12 ER), 12/11 K/BB
OF Mike Wilson: 20 G, 74 ABs, 10 R, 18 H, 2 2B, 3B, 3 HR, 19 RBI, 27/13 K/BB, SB, .243/.356/.419Asian Games (FINAL)
2B Yung-chi Chen: 5 G, 20 ABs, 5 R, 9 H, 2B, 3B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 2/0 K/BB, .450/.450/1.050Colombian Winter League
3B Leury Bonilla: 36 G, 100 ABs, 9 R, 20 H, 5 2B, 2 3B, HR, 10 RBI, .200/.279/.320
RHP Natividad Dilone: 8 G, 5-2, 3.06 ERA in 47.0 IP, 42 H (HR), 18 R (16 ER), 34/24 K/BB, 3 HB, 4 WP
OF Eddy Hernandez: 19 G, 52 ABs, 7 R, 14 H, 2 2B, 3B, HR, 5 RBI, .269/.321/.404
C Jair Fernandez: 16 G, 43 ABs, R, 8 H, 2B, .186/.286/.209
RHP Roman Martinez: 17 G, 3-0, 6 saves, 1.64 ERA in 22.0 IP, 14 H (HR), 8 R (4 ER), 20/11 K/BB, 2 HB, WPHawaiian Winter League (FINAL)
LHP David Asher: 10 G (5 GS), 1-2, 5.68 ERA in 25.1 IP, 33 H (2 HR), 18 R (16 ER), 23/15 K/BB, 2 HB
OF Sebastien Boucher: 26 G, 84 ABs, 18 R, 15 H, 3 2B, 3 3B, HR, 4 RBI, 24/14 K/BB, 3 SB, 2 CS, 3 HBP, .179/.317/.321
C Jeff Clement: 21 G, 53 ABs, 4 R, 10 H, 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 13/0 K/BB, HBP, .189/.191/.321
1B Reed Eastley: 26 G, 86 ABs, 4 R, 19 H, 3 2B, 13 RBI, 20/7 K/BB, 2 HBP, SB, .221/.292/.256
RHP Joe Woerman: 17 G, 3-1, 4.26 ERA in 25.1 IP, 21 H, 12 R (12 ER), 28/18 K/BB, HB, 2 WPIBAF Intercontinental Cup (FINAL)
IF Yung-chi Chen: 9 G, 36 ABs, 7 R, 17 H, 3 2B, 3B, HR, 9 RBI, 3/2 K/BB, SB, 3 HBP, .472/.537/.694
3B Alex Liddi: 9 G, 35 ABs, 4 R, 8 H, 3 2B, 3B, 3 RBI, CS, 9/1 K/BB, .229/.350/.371
OF Kalian Sams: 4 G, 5 ABs, 2 R, 3 H, 3B, 4 RBI, 0/0 K/BB, .600/1.000/.600Mexican Pacific League (FINAL)
RHP Jorge Campillo: 13 G (13 GS), 5-4, 3.07 ERA in 76.1 IP, 55 H (8 HR), 30 R (26 ER), 67/18 K/BB, 4 WP
1B Bryan LaHair: 19 G, 64 ABs, 11 R, 15 H, 2 2B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 16/13 K/BB, CS, .234/.359/.359
RHP Justin Lehr: 9 G (9 GS), 5-1, 3.40 ERA in 47.2 IP, 52 H (7 HR), 19 R (18 ER), 39/15 K/BB, 3 HB, 3 WPMexican Pacific League (Semi-finals)
RHP Jorge Campillo: 2 G (2 GS), 1-0, 1.42 ERA in 12.2 IP, 12 H, 2 R (2 ER), 10/3 K/BB
RHP Justin Lehr: 1 G (1 GS), 1-0, 1.80 in 5.0 IP, 5 H (HR), R (ER), 4.0 K/BBPuerto Rican Winter League (FINAL?)
SS Jeff Dominguez: 16 G, 13 ABs, 3 R, 3 H, 5/4 K/BB, .231/.412/.231
RHP Sean Green: 3 G (0 GS), 0-0, 1.69 ERA in 5.1 IP, 3 H, R (ER), 3/4 K/BB, HB
IF Erick Monzon: 13 G, 25 ABs, 4 R, 6 H, 2B, 3B, 2 RBI, 8/5 K/BB, .240/.367/.360
RHP Mumba Rivera: 7 G (3 GS), 2-1, 5.50 ERA in 18.0 IP, 17 H (HR), 12 R (11 ER), 6/12 K/BB, WP
C Rene Rivera: 19 G, 44 ABs, 2 R, 8 H, 3 2B, HR, 4 RBI, 10/1 K/BB, .182/.196/.318Venezuelan Winter League (FINAL)
RHP Nibaldo Acosta: 2 G, 0-0, 0.00 ERA in 1.1 IP, 3 H, 2/0 K/BB
OF Wladimir Balentien: 41 G, 138 AB, 22 R, 37 H, 7 2B, 4 3B, 9 HR, 23 RBI, 39/16 K/BB, 2 SB, 2 CS, .268/.342/.572
RHP Yorman Bazardo: 21 G, 2-0, S, 1.84 ERA in 30.1 IP, 20 H, 9 R (6 ER), 18/7 K/BB, 2 WP, HB
RHP Cibney Bello: 3 G, 0-0, 4.15 ERA in 4.1 IP, 7 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2/4 K/BB, WP
RHP Ivan Blanco: 18 G, 2-1, 5.04 ERA in 25.0 IP, 23 H (2 HR), 21 R (14 ER), 24/14 K/BB, 3 HB, 2 WP
LHP Jose Escalona: 7 G, 1-0, 4.50 ERA in 6.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R (2 ER), 2/2 K/BB, WP
IF Jesus Guzman: 15 G, 21 ABs, R, 2 H, 2B, RBI, 9/3 K/BB, CS, .095/.208/.143
LHP Cesar Jimenez: 15 G, 1-1, 0.49 ERA in 18.1 IP, 10 H, 4 R (1 ER), 12/6 K/BB, HB
IF Jose Lopez: 42 G, 162 ABs, 21 R, 50 H, 8 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 21 RBI, 13/5 K/BB, 5 HBP, 2 SB, CS, .309/.347/.407
IF Oswaldo Navarro: 24 G, 80 ABs, 7 R, 24 H, 2 2B, 9 RBI, 9/5 K/BB, CS, HBP, .300/.349/.325
1B Jon Nelson: 7 G, 25 ABs, 2 R, 4 H, 2B, 2 RBI, 6/3 K/BB, SB, .160/.276/.200
C Luis Oliveros: 14 G, 32 ABs, 6 R, 9 H, 2B, 3 HR, 13 RBI, 4/2 K/BB, .281/.314/.594Venezuelan Winter League (Semi-Finals)
RHP Yorman Bazardo: 4 G, 0-0, 13.50 ERA in 2.2 IP, 7 H, 4 R (4 ER), HB
RHP Ivan Blanco: 4 G, 7.20 ERA in 5.0 IP, 6 H (HR), 4 R (4 ER), 3/2 K/BB, HB, WP
LHP Cesar Jimenez: 5 G, 1-0, 0.00 ERA in 5.0 IP, 6 H, 3/1 K/BB
IF Jose Lopez: 1 G, 3 ABs, 2 H, RBI, 1/0 K/BB, .667/.667/.667
Not much to update this time, which is not to say that I expected a great deal. I think this is the second season in a row that it's happened, but the guy who updates the Puerto Rican Winter League stats took his Christmas break and didn't come back when the season finished up on January 3rd. The stats I have are only current through the 22nd of December, which is okay, there's not usually anything of interest down there anyway, unless you want to see Rene Rivera hit like a catcher with anemia, and really, you can really see enough in games that matter more and have better coverage.
I've also added some playoff stats for Mexico and Venezuela. Campillo continues to do well for Culiacan. I can't say the same for anyone in Venezuela, save for maybe Jose Lopez. It becomes a little less interesting when you consider that Balentien missed the final few games of the season and hasn't been on the playoff roster for the Cardenales, who don't really have a chance anyway.
Since the M's don't have any current farmhands participating in Australia, the best we have to hope for as far as news goes is a signing (or a few) out of there or elsewhere abroad. Alternatively, I suppose a good minor league FA signing would do, or the announcement of the NRI list.
I recognize that the moves made this offseason went back and forth with little headway in the overall sum of things, but right now, I think I'm more ready for [minor league] baseball season to start up than I have been around the same time the past few years. Naturally, the big story is going to be who emerges from the pack down in the low minors, and personally, I can't wait to see that one unfold.