Whither Ramon Flores?

Tweener.

With the noteworthy exception of ‘bust,’ I am unsure that there is a more dreadful label in the scouting community than ‘tweener’ – particularly when such a label is affixed to a prospect within your team’s organization. It may not quite evoke the kiss of death as we associate with a bust, yet it is almost always offered hand-in-hand with terms like ‘fourth outfielder’ or ‘utility infielder’ or ‘spot starter.’ While it is a matter of fact that a team needs players to fill such roles, it serves as a sobering reminder that the minor leagues are not brimming with potential franchise players and staff anchors.

Tweener.

Ramon Flores, signed for $775,000 in 2008, has been pigeonholed as a tweener. Standing at 5’10” and generously listed at between 150 and 160 lbs., the 19-year-old Dominican lacks the range to play center field, yet his power and potential for power (or lack thereof) profiles best up the middle. As it stands, projections for double-digit home runs may be considered overly ambitious.… Click here to read the rest

After the Fact HOF Griping

First off, congrats to Barry Larkin. He should’ve been inducted last year anyway, but whatever. He’s in the Hall of Fame now and that’s what matters. After the jump, I’m going to do a little bit of Hall of Fame griping. I know a lot of you have stopped caring about the results of any sort of awards or HOF voting and I keep trying to sway myself to that side, but for whatever reason, I just can’t. There’s going to be data below that’ll  feature four pitchers (I tried to do a table, but it was just too big). There will be a lot of categories for each pitcher and the leader in each category will be bolded. One pitcher will be Jack Morris, who got about 67% of the vote this year and will almost undoubtedly make it next year. The other three will include a pitcher who is already off the ballot and two who will likely be off the ballot after their first years.… Click here to read the rest

Stay Away from Luis Ayala

Luis Ayala is still looking for a job. This time last year, the Yankees signed Ayala to a minor league contract after a roughly half a decade of ineffectiveness. He pitched his way on to the roster and stuck there for the entire year. He pitched 56 innings with an ERA of 2.09, a K/9 of 6.3 and a BB/9 of 3.3. According to MLBTR’s Ben Nicholson-Smith, the Yankees are interested in bringing him back.

I think Joe Girardi’s preferences are informative here. Despite  a low ERA all season, he was very slow to use Luis Ayala in key situations. 68% of Ayala’s plate appearances against were in low leverage situations. His poor walk and strikeout rate show us why – he just didn’t have good inputs. Ayala put a lot of baserunners on and got lucky. He might not be a terrible reliever, but he certainly isn’t the kind of guy who’s a good bet to put up anything close to a 2.09 ERA in 2012.… Click here to read the rest

Reposting: The National Baseball Hall of Fame AND Museum

It’s wonderful that the Hall of Fame documents the history of baseball, all of this history, even the worst parts of this history. This is the part of the mission of the Hall that we don’t talk much about. We talk about how Pete Rose should (or should not, depending on your lean) be in the Hall of Fame, but Rose IS represented in the museum.  So is Manny Ramirez.  So is Barry Bonds. Their memorabilia is prominently featured in exhibits in the museum, even if their plaques aren’t (and won’t) be hanging in the Gallery.  I was able to point my boys to Rose’s jersey in an exhibit and explain to them who he was, what he did on the field and the things he did off the field which has kept him from the other side of this great building.

As I walked through the Hall, I thought about whether this is the best way to remember players who had Hall of Fame quality careers but whose involvement with performance-enhancing drugs will likely prevent them from being inducted into the Hall.… Click here to read the rest

Do The Yankees Really Need Another Lefty Reliever?

(The following is being syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)

While this offseason has been mostly an inactive one for the Yankees, one thing they have gone after consistently is cheap pitching depth.  From re-signing Freddy Garcia to another team-friendly one-year deal to taking low-risk flyers on guys like Adam Miller, Brad Meyers, and Matt Daley, the Yankees have definitely given themselves plenty of options to choose from when it comes to filling out their Major League and Triple-A pitching staffs for 2012.  Among this smorgasbord of lower-level talent is a collection of left-handed relief pitchers (Cesar Cabral, Mike O’Conner, and Hideki Okajima) from which the Yankees will presumably look to fill the “2nd bullpen lefty” role that was left vacant in 2011 thanks to injuries suffered by the now departed Damaso Marte and the still being paid Pedro Feliciano.  But in looking at how the team, and the bullpen, will likely be constructed in 2012, is a 2nd lefty reliever something the Yankees should even be pursuing?… Click here to read the rest

On Hall of Fame histrionics

Forgive me for deviating slightly from the topic of the Yankees, but with the hot stove cooling down, I figured I would take a look at the current topic du jour: the Hall of Fame voting.  William provided an excellent writeup of the results yesterday that is definitely worth checking out.  As you may or may not have heard, Barry Larkin was the only candidate who exceeded the 80 percent threshold required to earn enshrinement in Cooperstown.  Larkin was not an especially controversial choice, as he was a franchise icon for the Cincinnati Reds who provided excellent production throughout his career at an up the middle position.  There was plenty of material in his resume to impress both statheads and traditionalists alike.

As for the other candidates, Larkin’s statistical clone Alan Trammell seems to be making slow progress and sabermetric whipping boy Jack Morris inches ever closer to enshrinement.   Two Yankee legends, Bernie Williams and Don Mattingly, look like they not going to be heading to Cooperstown anytime soon for any reason other than touring the Ommegang Brewery (highly recommended if you find yourself in the area) or visiting the Cooperstown Farmers Museum.  … Click here to read the rest

Is Jorge a Hall of Famer?

There are two groups we have to consider Posada against: Those already enshrined, and his peers during his playing days. Let’s consider those who already made it in as the first test.

Player OPS+ HR BA OBP SLG wOBA WAR
Johnny Bench 126 389 0.267 0.342 0.476 0.361 81.5
Carlton Fisk 117 376 0.269 0.341 0.457 0.354 74.4
Gary Carter 115 324 0.262 0.335 0.439 0.341 72.5
Yogi Berra 125 358 0.285 0.348 0.482 0.370 71.4
Bill Dickey 127 202 0.313 0.382 0.486 0.394 63.8
Gabby Hartnett 126 236 0.297 0.370 0.489 0.390 56.1
Mickey Cochrane 128 119 0.320 0.419 0.478 0.411 55.9
Jorge Posada 121 275 0.273 0.374 0.474 0.366 47.6
Roy Campanella 123 242 0.276 0.360 0.500 0.385 43.1
Average BBWAA 123 281 0.286 0.362 0.476 0.376 64.8
Posada’s Rank 7 5 6 3 7 6 8

 

Looking at the above table (which is made up only of the players who were voted into the hall of fame by the BBWAA, thus excluding Ewing, Bresnahan, Schalk, Ferrell, and Lombardi) we see that Jorge is not in the top echelon, but he fits in the group.… Click here to read the rest

Larkin Wins Enshrinement, but Intrigue Rests Further Down the Ballot

(The following is being syndicated from The Captain’s Blog).

 

Red's SS Barry Larkin finally got the call from the Hall of Fame.

Barry Larkin was the only player elected to the Hall of Fame, having being named on 86.4% of all ballots cast. Despite being overlooked over the past two elections, Larkin’s enshrinement was all but ensured heading into the vote. However, there were some interesting, and in some cases surprising, developments further down the ballot.

If there was any suspense on this ballot it was whether Jack Morris would finally clear the hurdle. Although Morris once again fell short, he has reached a threshold that augurs well for his final two seasons of eligibility. After stagnating around 50% for the last few years, Morris jumped up to 66.7%. Over the years, only five players who pulled in at least that many votes failed to make the Hall of Fame on the writers’ ballot, and all were eventually enshrined via the Veterans Committee.… Click here to read the rest