Anonymous Scout: Joba =/= Beckett

In the past, I have been very critical of writers for presenting opinions from anonymous scouts without providing us with the scout’s credentials. This is a tactic that allows a writer to spout off about whatever they so choose, as the following quote from Jayson Stark’s most recent column illustrates perfectly:

On Joba Chamberlain: “They’re waiting for him to become the next Josh Beckett, and it ain’t gonna happen. He just doesn’t have the power stuff Beckett has. He doesn’t have the delivery. He’s not the athlete Beckett is. And he doesn’t have the breaking stuff. If they ever get smart, they’ll put him back in the bullpen and let [Alfredo] Aceves be the [No.] 3-4 starter he ought to be.”

Firstly, advocating that Joba go back to the bullpen so Aceves can start is ridiculous. Aceves is excellent in the bullpen, and probably would be a 4 type starter, while Joba has ace potential. Whoever this scout is, he does not know much about maximizing value.

Secondly, I never understood why a guy as inconsistent as Beckett was the goal for Joba Chamberlain. Let’s hope he turns into Roger Clemens sans steroids. However, even playing along with the scout leads me to believe that the guy has not done his homework. In regard to stuff, Joba’s velocity is similar to Beckett’s at Joba’s age, and Joba utilizes more pitches than Beckett did at the time (Beckett was FB, CB, CH, while Joba is FB, SL, CB, CH). While Beckett is a bit more fit than Chamberlain, Joba has not heard real questions about his weight since college. Neither is a particularly great athlete, and both have adequate deliveries that they occasionally struggle to repeat. It is also important to note that this scout is comparing Joba to the veteran Beckett. Let’s take a look at the numbers from Beckett’s early years compared to Chamberlain’s. Remember that Josh was in the NL East, while Joba pitches in baseball’s toughest division, and that Chamberlain did spend some time in the bullpen.

Beckett through age 23 season:

273 IP, 239 H, 111 BB, 1.279 WHIP, 3.32 ERA, 125 ERA+, 7.9 H/9, .8 HR/9, 3.7 BB/9, 9.5 SO/9

Joba at this point:

227 IP, 201 H, 93 BB, 1.295 WHIP, 2.93 ERA, 151 ERA+, 8 H/9, .8 HR/9, 3.7 BB/9, 9.7 SO/9

When considering the league difference, Joba has had a better start to his career, as evidenced by his significantly higher ERA+. To state unequivocally that he has no chance of replicating Beckett’s career when he has the stuff and the results that suggest the contrary is incredibly bold and seemingly uninformed. I would love to hear an explanation. Alas, the opinion comes from an anonymous source, severely diminishing it’s value.

0 thoughts on “Anonymous Scout: Joba =/= Beckett

  1. Who cares what anyone from ESPN has to say? They slobber over the Redsox and sloober a little more. I doubt the validity of this scout… but ultimately ESPN sucks so why attention?

  2. Moshe I think you are selling Aceves short. I think he can be a solid number three starter.

    As for anonymous scouts quotes…they are a joke.

  3. Speaking as the generic “scout,” let me assure you my views have no validity whatsoever. But feel free to quote me at any time!

  4. If you’re waiting for an explanation that makes sense, you’re not going to get one. It’s amazing that people like this are actually paid to evaluate baseball.

    If you’re waiting for an explanation that doesn’t make sense, I believe Fatcessa has one in between sips of Diet Coke – “BUT THE 8TH INNING!!!!!!” and “BECKETT IS A STAHTING PITCHAHHH!!!”

  5. I would just like to know how different Yankee world would be had Joba never made his appearance in the big leagues that September and and continued developing in tiple A as a starter and came up as a starter. Does anyone even mention Joba as a reliever or to the pen at anytime?

    • That is why the average fan needs to be more informed despite maybe overrating their team’s prospects. I said the same thing in the other article when it comes to a fan’s knowledge of a team’s farm system. I doubt there would be any support for Joba to the bullpen if he didn’t get called up to the majors in September, but you have to deal with it. In what is his first full season Joba is doing just fine with pitching and will become better when he has no innings limit on him.

  6. Let me get this straight Joba throwing 93-97 when he is right isn’t enough power to be a starter but Aceves throwing 89-91 is an excellent starter? How does that work? Aceves was never a guy I saw as a 7 inning starter I just see a guy who will either be a good bull pen guy or a 6 inning starting pitcher. I also have no idea how Hughes is the number one player in our organization now just because Joba has had a down year, if Joba goes out tonight and has his 3rd good start in a row will everything change? Probably not so how did things change over a mix of good and bad this season?

  7. Anonymous scouts piss me off and Jayson Stark pisses me off the most. He does that all the time in relation to the Yankees. A few weeks ago, he had an anonymous scout say something terrible about A-Rod while A-Rod was slumping. The “scout” said something like, “He can’t even run anymore.” No shit Sherlock, the guy had hip surgery just weeks prior to his return. This is what Stark does, though.

  8. I think I heard Stark say during that slump (before he got rest in Florida) that we need to accept that “we may be seeing the post steroids Rodriguez” or it could be that he hadn’t had a rest since coming back to the team…

  9. Yup, some writers ain’t got no learnings!
    It is amazing how Roids used years ago (his worst years), makes a writer say that it is “post steroids”.
    A-Rod will be back, also, he isn’t doing to bad this year. His swing is a little loopy and doesn’t clear his hips fast enough (sometimes) but, that will change as his hip gets better.
    As for Joba becoming as good as AJ, I think he is getting closer every game…he may end up being better in a few years.

  10. I really doubt the Jays want Chamberlain I think that out of the two Hughes is the only one people want because they truthfully see Chamberlain as a reliever which is more than fine with me! Let them think he is crap so we don’t get the opportunity to trade him and let him develop into a walking talking so there to everyone when he becomes a star pitcher.

  11. HAHA yeah I totally agree he just went out and looked nothing like Beckett he looked a lot better than Beckett has against the Rays.

  12. These two pitchers are so similar it is crazy. At the same age beckett was this kid who was known as a thrower not pitcher, someone who had all the talent in the world but had not put it together… Then he goes to the Sox and suddenly everyone loved him… well he sucked, then he became amazing the year after… and last year he sucked… I have always been a beckett fan but the guy is still pretty inconsistent… Hey that sounds a lot like joba who is in his first full year as a starting pitcher… and when on JOBA is unhittable. They both similar build (joba a bit bigger) both throw power pitches (both the fastball and breaking pitch) as joba’s is a hard slider while beckett is a tight curve. In 2 years don’t be surprised if joba becomes a top 10 starter, oh and Hughes not far behiend becuase i have a feeling he will have the confidence and in the offseason the yanks will let him break out his slider which used to be his best pitch coming out of HS…

    When this happens then all this yanks never develop players crap will end because 3/5 of the rotation will be home grown, which is more then most teams can say… deff the red sox who only have lester as home grown. BTW whats with all the hype buchholz gets… he is so overrated because of that no hitter vs the Os couple years ago… the kid is 25 and can’t make it through 6 in the majors