John Sickels has taken a look back at “Elite Prospects” from 2003-2007 over the past few days. There are some absolute stars on the list as well as a few flops. One thing that Sickels thought about why a few of the guys flopped was that at the time, he bought into guys breaking out while in the California League and those guys didn’t do much once they left the league. With the Reds in the California League, it is always something worth noting. The guys who hit well in Bakersfield last year also seemed to carry that forward to Carolina last season (Henry Rodriguez, Yasmani Grandal). While Bakersfield isn’t one of the more hitter friendly parks in the league, the league as a whole is still very friendly. I tend to treat it much like the Florida State League: Don’t pay much attention to slash lines, but look at things like walk rates, strikeout rates and scouting reports but also attempt to adjust for isolated power for the level.
Keith Law has up his Top 100 Prospects over at ESPN.com, but, it is an Insider only article. I don’t have Insider access, but I do know that the Reds landed three players on the list. Devin Mesoraco came in at #8 on the list. Daniel Corcino came in at #54 and the second Reds prospect on the list. Billy Hamilton wound up 10 spots later at #64. Three Top 100 prospects after trading away tons of talent in the offseason? Yeah, I will take that. If you wanted to get more information, from a Reds standpoint, there is more on the Reds blog on the Enquirer’s site. They also list Law’s Reds Top 10, where Cingrani stands out as the biggest surprise. Here is that list:
1. Devin Mesoraco, C (8)
2. Daniel Corcino, RHP (54)
3. Billy Hamilton, SS (64)
4. Robert Stephenson, RHP
5. Tony Cingrani, LHP
6. J.C. Sulbaran, RHP
7. Zack Cozart, SS
8. Didi Gregorius, SS
9. Yorman Rodriguez, OF
10. Todd Frazier, UT
Not entirely prospect related, but could be a little bit. Fangraphs Matt Swartz has up an article that tests the different projection systems for the 2011 baseball season to see which ones were most accurate. He tested the hitting and pitching separately. The most interesting thing from the article to me was the STEAMER pitching projections, which to be perfectly honest, I had not heard of before. They were head and shoulders above the other systems and this is the part that really stood out to me:
Steamer comes out ahead. I asked Jared Cross what was making his projections so good, and he explained that he was using velocity (as well as handedness) in his pitcher projections, and that was giving them a leg up.
I find that very interesting and would love to see more about what exactly they use from the velocity. As the regular readers here know, I am very big into statistical analysis. I love it. I want it as much as possible. One thing that I find interesting is that the use of velocity boosted the accuracy rate for the STEAMER projections. Major League Baseball has had the Hit F/X system (check out that link for more information on what it is) up and running for more than a full season now. They do not make that data publicly available at this point in time, but the teams do have access to the data. I wonder if any teams out there are using that kind of data in order to improve their projection models.
The Baltimore Orioles scouts have been banned from all Korean baseball stadiums. It is certainly interesting to follow along the timeline. Essentially, it seems that the Orioles just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, as the Korean Baseball Organization was looking to drop the hammer on having their talent taken away from the country. The Orioles didn’t break any actual rules, but they didn’t follow what is the perceived protocol of signing a player and the hammer was dropped. What is perhaps even worse than this though, is that other scouts seem to believe that this guy isn’t close to being worth what he was paid.