Wednesday, September 9, 2009

End of season review: Hitters


Cameron Maybin
August - 56 AB, .286/.328/.429 (.756), 4/11 BB/K, 1 SB
Season - 298 AB, .319/.399/.463 (.862), 3 HR, 26 2B/3B, 38/58 BB/K, 8/2 SB

Was banged up a little bit which explains the decreased ABs. He is now with the MLB club for the rest of the season. All and all, a pretty good year in AAA. If he hits 60+ extra base hits hits in the majors over 650 AB, he’s going to be one hell of a player. Hopefully more of them turn into homeruns, and those SB numbers go up as well, but this was an excellent year for Cam. He should be penned into center field in 2010.

Gaby Sanchez
August - 66 AB, .318/.458/.576 (1.034), 5 HR, 15/5 BB/K
Season - 298 AB, .292/.377/.470 (.847), 14 HR, 38/42 BB/K, 5/0 SB

Organization won’t let him play at the MLB level, but he continues to rake. The BB/K is pretty excellent, and this could be a .775-.825 OPSing player at the big league level. Which is a very solid starter. Morrison may have more upside, but it should be his job to lose in Spring training for 1B. He deserves the opportunity.

Jai Miller
August - 91 AB, .253/.346/.495 (.841), 6 HR, 11/35 BB/K
Season - 323 AB, .282/.353/.502 (.855), 15 HR, 35/99 BB/K, 6/3 SB

Nothing has changed report to report. Still too many strikeouts. This is the next in the Reggie Abercrombie-Charlton Jimerson line of AAAA toolsy outfielders who will get a few shots in the bigs, but probably aren’t good enough to hold down a backup job because lack of contact. Jai has to be on our 25 man roster in 2010, as he is out of options, so it’s likely he is back for Spring Training 2010 and he must win a job to stay in the organization.

Alejandro De Aza
August - 58 AB, .293/.379/.534 (.913), 2 HR, 6/15 BB/K, 0/2 SB
Season - 258 AB, .295/.359/.508 (.867), 8 HR, 23/51 BB/K, 8/5 SB

Impressive numbers. I still don't like him that much but he should get a shot at a roster spot in Spring '10.

John Raynor
August - 85 AB, .306/.388/.459 (.847), 2 HR, 10/19 BB/K, 4/2 SB
Season - 423 AB, .258/.327/.362 (.689), 6 HR, 39/114 BB/K, 18/8 SB

Ending strong which is nice to see. He’ll be more than likely placed on the 40 man roster before the Rule5 draft and sent back to NOLA in 2010. Those strikeouts are a bit worrisome though.

Brett Hayes
August - 68 AB, .176/.250/.235 (.485), 1 HR, 6/20 BB/K
Season - 322 AB, .239/.281/.323 (.604), 4 HR, 20/66 BB/K, 2/0 SB

Up with the club for September, back to NOLA in April as our 3rd catcher. After this year, he has no chance at the backup roll for 2010. The lack of bat is scary.

Brett Carroll
August - 76 AB, .276/.329/.539 (.869), 5 HR, 6/16 BB/K, 0/1 SB
Season - 103 AB, .233/.295/.427 (.722), 5 HR, 8/23 BB/K, 0/1 SB

BC is out of options after this season, so he will more than likely be the Marlins 4th or 5th outfielder for next year. Hopefully they give him more playing time, as he clearly is the best defensive outfielder in the organization and he has power potential. If he can OPS a mid 700 in a platoon role, that’s a very good player to have around.


Bryan Petersen
August - 98 AB, .337/.411/.510 (.921), 3 HR, 13/7 BB/K, 1/6 SB/CS
Season - 410 AB, .302/.375/.422 (.797), 7 HR, 49/66 BB/K, 12/12 SB/CS

He’s been on fire for three months, but the fact he is an outfielder, and pretty much a corner outfielder, makes that lack of HR pop a bit concerning for the longterm. The BB/K and average easily suggest he’ll hit MLB pitching, but even if it’s .290/.360/.440, we’re talking an average OF as the HIGH, with no real longterm potential to turn into an above average producer (which is the goal of every position). I think by 2011, he and Cousins will be in a platoon in LF/RF (depending on where Stanton and Morrison land), but I can only get excited in a “Matt Murton” kind of way, and not as a future starter kind of way.

Logan Morrison
August - 99 AB, .293/.393/.434 (.828), 1 HR, 16/17 BB/K, 3/2 SB/CS
Season - 257 AB, .280/.419/.459 (.878), 8 HR, 61/42 BB/K, 7/3 SB/CS

It’s pretty exciting that his “bad” month is “Chris Coghlan.” Because of the low quantity of ABs, I’d like to see him play winter ball somewhere in the DR, and then get 200 PA in NOLA before the inevitable callup. He will be placed on the 40 man roster by the Rule5 draft.

Scott Cousins
August - 93 AB, .269/.340/.495 (.834), 3 HR, 10/19 BB/K, 5/4 SB/CS
Season - 463 AB, .259/.322/.443 (.765), 39 2B/3B, 12 HR, 42/99 BB/K, 26/9 SB/CS

Ending strong. The strikeouts are a big concern, and you’d like to have seen an extra 15-20 BB on the year, but this was an OK year. Not the breakout we hoped, but he still holds his own and shows enough promise to potentially turn into a longterm starter. Look at the huge quantity of XBH, the speed, and remember he is the second best defensive outfielder we have next to BC. He will be going to the AFL, and probably promoted to AAA next year. He will have to go on the 40 man roster before the Rule5 draft too.

Mike Stanton
August - 100 AB, .210/.281/.390 (.671), 4 HR, 11/34 BB/K
Season AA - 278 AB, .234/.310/.453 (.763), 14 HR, 27/93 BB/K, 1/1 SB
Season A+ - 180 AB, .294/.390/.578 (.968), 12 HR, 28/45 BB/K, 2/2 SB

I’m going to say a .763 OPS as a 19 year old in AA is pretty impressive. Obviously need to see the whiffs go down, walks go up, and add at least 50 points in average, but he held his own which is all you can ask for. He will probably start 2010 in AA again, and if he comes out like he did in Jupiter this year, see a summer promotion to AAA. I still think the first we see him is a September callup in 2010, and maybe become a starting option if everything goes perfect summer 2011. I think it’s likely he’ll be a top 5 overall prospect in MLB when Baseball America releases their new list in the fall.

Matt Dominguez
August/Season AA - 82 AB, .183/.280/.280 (.560), 1 HR, 11/19 BB/K
Season A+ - 381 AB, .262/.333/.420 (.753), 11 HR, 38/68 BB/K, 1/0 SB

Brutal promotion, but he was tearing up A+ (had a horrible start, awesome end of his team in Jupiter which explains the low overall line. Also remember park factors). He will begin in AA next year, and probably stay there the entire season.


Literally no one of interest.


Thomas Hickman
August/Season - 76 AB, .355/.473/.750 (1.223), 7 HR, 16/22 BB/K, 2/2 SB

Blast from the past is killing baseballs. Very old for this level, I’m guessing they move him to Jacksonville to start 2010 and maybe he can reclaim some of his prospect status. If you don’t know who Hickman is, he was considered a “Hermida Lite” when drafted because he walks a ton. But Hickman also likes to strikeout every 3rd AB which really hurts his prospect status.

Jake Smolinski
August - 44 AB, .409/.458/.545 (1.004), 2/8 BB/K
Season - .285/.380/.449 (.829), 7 HR, 36/44 BB/K, 2/5 SB

Got banged up a little, but was ending the year really strong before he did. I hope this is not a trend where he is injury prone, because when he plays he produces pretty well. Very solid season in GBO coming back from a major arm injury. He will probably open in Jupiter and start comparing comparisons to Coghlan if he relatively repeats the success of this season.

Isaac Galloway
August - 95 AB, .263/.283/.368 (.651), 1 HR, 6/28 BB/K, 7/2 SB
Season - 313 AB, .265/.293/.380 (.673), 3 HR, 12//83 BB/K, 14/8 SB

All tools. Way too many Ks. He probably repeats Greensboro. It’s to early to tell, but this may be the next Greg Burns who everyone loves athletically, but just doesn’t put it together as a player. But he’s very young so this could turn around real quick.

Kyle Skipworth
August - 17 AB, .235/.316/.647 (.963), 2 HR, 2/4 BB/K
Season - 264 AB, .208/.263/.348 (.612), 7 HR, 18/91 BB/K, 1/2 SB

Got hurt, but he hit some HR. Anything positive. He will start again in Greensboro, and it just has to be better. He’s the biggest bust of the 2008 draft as of right now.


No one of interest.

GCL Marlins (R)

Marcell Ozuna
August - 91 AB, .264/.349/.396 (.744), 2 HR, 13/26 BB/K
Season - 214 AB, .313/.377/.486 (.863), 5 HR, 22/52 BB/K, 4/2 SB

Slowed down a bit, but looking OK. That’s a lot of strikeouts, but he’s extremely young. He’ll probably get some time in Jamestown and Greensboro next year where the real talent evaluation will begin.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A more in-depth look at the Marlins pitchers headed out to the desert

As of today, the three pitchers the Marlins are sending to the Arizona Fall League are all relievers. There's a very good chance that if healthy, the fourth Marlins pitcher sent will be Kyle Winters, but he is still recovering from surgery.

Jay Voss: Big 6'4 lefty, combined 2-1 with a 2.79era, .222baa in 48.1 innings between High-A and Double A. Has struck out 43, walked 17 and given up 39 hits. Marlins signed him for $80,000 as an 8th round pick in the 2007 draft. He pitched mostly as a starter in 2007-08 before becoming a fulltime reliever in 2009.

Jay Buente: Drafted by Marlins in the 14th round in 2006 out of Purdue University. 6'2 righty, combined 4-2 with a 3.01era, .234baa in 74.2 innings between Double A and Triple A. Career 3.31era, 1.26whip in 163.2ip coming into 2009.

Garrett Parcell: Combined 1-0 with a 0.53era, .143baa in 33.2 innings between High-A and Double A. Was one of seven San Diego State Aztecs to be taken in the 2007 amateur draft. There were some that believed the Marlins selected him too high, as he was expected to last past the 12th round. In his final season at SD State, he only threw 9.2 innings, giving up 7 runs on 11 hits while walking 5. The low inning total was due to an arm injury which hampered him throughout the season. Before transferring to San Diego State, Garrett spent two seasons at Cypress Junior College, leading the team in saves both seasons, striking out 25 batters in 24 2/3 innings pitched his sophomore year. He was named to the All-Orange Empire Conference second team during his junior college career. Prior to the Marlins drafting him in 2007, Parcell was drafted in the 41st round by the Seattle Mariners in 2004 before deciding to attend SDSU.

The 6′5 Parcell has an easy delivery with a classic 3/4 arm slot that allows him to repeat his throwing motion. His fastball runs in the high 80s, low 90s range but it’s his 2 other pitches which allow him to miss as many bats as he does. He can throw his changeup as low as 69mph and his curveball in the mid 70s. He mixes all 3 pitches in well and that led to him to great success in his first tour of duty in Jamestown in 2007.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Marlins headed to the Arizona Fall League

Marlins will play for the Mesa Solar Sox (along with prospects from the Angels, Cubs, Red Sox, and Twins) with Bo Porter managing

We have 4 spots for pitchers, but only have used 3 at this point (Kyle Winters is probably the 4th choice, depends on his health)

Jay Buente, Jay Voss and Garrett Parcell

Matt Dominguez will go along with Michael Stanton, Bryan Petersen and Greg Burns

Greg Burns is on the taxi squad, meaning he will only be activated on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Arizona Fall League Player Eligibility
Roster size is established at 35 players per team.
Each major-league organization is required to provide seven players subject to the
following eligibility requirements:
• All Triple-A and Double-A players are eligible provided they are on
Double-A rosters no later than August 17.
• Two players below the Double-A level are allowed for 2009.
• Foreign players are allowed as long as the player is not on his native
country’s primary protected player list.
• No players with more than two years of credited major league service
as of August 31 (including major league disabled list time) are eligible
except a team may select one player picked in the most recently
concluded Major League Rule 5 Draft.
• Each team is allotted 20 pitchers but only 15 are designated “eligible”
each game day.

Arbitration Files: The Bullpen

Matt Lindstrom
2007-2008, 134 G, 6-7, 5 S, 33 Holds, 124ish IP, 3.10ish era, 1.38ish whip, 105 K
2009, 41 G, 36 IP, 2-1, 14 S, 3 H, 5.75 era, 1.69 whip, 29 K
Reasonable Projection Season Line - 50 G, 45 IP, 3-2, 20 S, 5 H, still really high era/whip
Career - Around 185 Games, 170 IP, sub 4 era, 1.45ish whip, 25 saves, 40 holds

Leo Nunez
2005-2008 106 G, 160 IP, 9-7, 0 S, 10 H, 5ish era, 1.40ish whip, 110ish K
2009 58 G, 53.1 IP, 3-4, 14 S, 13 H, 4.05 era, 1.24 whip, 49 K

Reasonable Projection Season Line - 75 G, 70 IP, 4-5, 15 S, 18 H, 3.50 era, 1.20 whip, 70 K
Career - Around 185 Games, 230 IP, mid 4 era, 1.40 whip, 15 S, 30 Holds

Reynel Pinto
2006-2008 - 151 G, 153 IP, 4-9, 2 S, 36 H, high 3 era, low 1.40s whip, 150ish K
2009 - 56 G, 47 IP, 3-1, 9 H, 2.87 era, 1.51 whip, 46 K
Reasonable Projection Season Line - 70 G, 60 IP, 4-2, 2.90 era, 1.50 whip, 60 K, 12 H
Career - Around 220 Games, 220 IP, mid 3 era, 1.45ish whip, 2 Saves, 45-50 holds, 200+ K

Scott Proctor
2008 - 38.2 IP, 6.05 era, 1.68 whip
2009 - Injured
Career - 262 G, 297 IP, 16-10, 1 S, 48 H, 4.42 era, 1.40 whip, 256 K

A basic primer of recent RP comparables.

Years 4-5-6 salary trends

Grant Balfour $.500, $1.4
Scott Downs $.705, $1.025, $2.25
Brian Shouse - $.725, $.975
Frank Francisco $.775, $1.6
Jason Grilli $.8
Jason Frasor - $.825, $1.125, $1.45
Matt Thornton $.875, $1.325
Dan Wheeler $.930, $2.1, $2.8
Matt Guerrier $.950k, $1.475
Jesse Crain $1.05
Heath Bell $1.2
CJ Wilson $1.85
Mike Gonzalez $2.25

Let’s start from the top. Mike Gonzalez was awesome in Pitt, doing sub 3 era, 1.22 whip over 50 innings, got 24 saves in year 3. If Lindstrom gets every save here on out, he can match the saves total (and Gonzalez prior years were loogy-holds years, so this is similar to Lindstrom as well), so this is the PEAK. However, Lindstrom has the double era, and the atrocious most recent season. So let’s find a less awesome Gonzalez.

CJ Wilson in 2008 - 24 S, 6.02 era, 1.64 whip, and the two years prior very solid 115 IP of work at a 3.5 era, 1.30 whip, 22 H, etc. Career wise, CJ pitched 2005-2008 in 184 G, mid 4 era, 1.40+ whip, 24 S, 27 H, and around 170 K. This kind of looks like Lindstrom. Except Lindstrom has better career ERA rates (ballpark factor, but I don’t know if arbiters will care for that argument), and more holds which are becoming slightly more ‘sexier’ as agents find ways to get middle relievers paid.

To show how dramatic these save stats are, look at Heath Bell, unquestionably great. He is coming off back to back seasons which combine into 175 IP, a 1.10 whip, a low 3 era, an absurd 57 holds, 2 Saves, and 173 K. He makes less than CJ Wilson, because CJ Wilson has 20 more saves. Yea, the save stat is stupid.

Basically, going to stop with Lindstrom right here, and I am very surprised at where I am projecting this number. Based on CJ Wilson, Lindstrom is going to get paid quite handsomely. He has a better overall resume than CJ. The only thing CJ has is, more saves in year 3. This projection is based on Lindstrom getting 5-6 more saves, but overall isn’t probably going to change much if he doesn’t get him. The change would move from the medium to the low.

Low - $1.65 million. He does not get any saves the rest of the year
Medium - $1.85 million. He gets CJ’s contract and his better career rates make up the gap of not getting more saves in year 3
High - $2 million. Lindstrom is balls awesome the rest of the year and gets more saves.

So let’s move down to Leo Nunez now. Who is getting saves to. He is 1/2 the saves of everyone else, low teens.

Wheeler in 2006 had a 9 S/25 H year, and career wise had 14 saves entering arbitration. 4th year arbitration got him $930K, and he had really wicked back to back 70 IP, 2.50 era, 1.05 whipish seasons leading up to that. RP are insane! I love how CJ Wilson makes twice the money as Wheeler because he got 15 more saves. So, Leo does not have Wheeler’s resume, but he may end the year with some more saves if the Marlins opt to pitch him as closer versus Lindstrom. Let’s end Leo here, and assuming no horrific era explosion

Low - $1,000,000. Leo gets no more saves
Medium - $1,300,000. Leo gets 5-6 more saves.
High - $1,600,000. Leo gets 10 more saves.

So now we’re down to Pinto, just an ordinary non-save getting relief pitcher (that happens to love putting baserunners on like they're going out of style).

I like Thornton here, for similar career rates (3.79, 1.35 whip, tons of holds, Under 5 Saves pre year 4), the lefty factor, and games played. Pinto has played a lot for a RP. He’s not as good as Thornton from the whip factor, so he probably won’t get all the way to him, but you can see the range of all of these guys falling into the 700-850k range, so that seems safe for pinto.

Low - $750k. Whip hurts him
Medium - $850k. All the games played add up to one of the higher RP comps.
High - None.

So now we’re at Proctor. He made $1.15 in 2008, coming off 180 IP and an absurd 135 games over 2006-2007. All good rates, around a 3.50 era, 1.30 whip, 45 holds, a save, etc. Really nice workhorse reliever, and it shows you that ‘saves’ aren’t determinative because he got over Wheeler’s 9 saves, with an extra 50 innings of work or so. Then in 2009, he was non-tendered because he sucked, and was surely going to get a bump to the $2-2.25 million range. Marlins signed him for $750k.

I cannot think of any awesome RP for two years, crappy relief pitcher for 1 year, injured for entire next season, and then 6th year arbitration eligible RP comp. If you can, awesome. So I’m just going to guesstimate looking at some of those 6th year salaries (Guerrier and Frasor $1.4, Downs $2.2, Wheeler $2.8), where Proctor would land. Career good, recent two years bad. He’d at least get over $1 million. Maybe even a bit higher. But I’m going to just wild guess about $1.2 million. Making him a clear DFA for this organization.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Thomas Hickman : Revenge of the Fallen

I don't really know what the title of this article means, but I liked it. So whatever.

With the 63rd overall pick in the 2006 draft, the Marlins selected outfielder Thomas Hickman. A two way player in high school, the Marlins decided he was more projectable as a hitter, so pitching was quickly scrapped from his resume. Like many left handed hitters, he has a smooth stroke and allows ball to travel deep before centering them. His first 175 professional at bats with the Gulf Coast League Marlins were promising as he hit .263/.377/.411. After that season, some in the Marlins organization began calling him "Baby Hermida” because of his swing and good eye at the plate.

Signing for $575,000 out of Pepperell HS in Georgia, Hickman hit .183/.278/.256 in 164 at bats while in short season Jamestown. On the one hand, he again showed a strong walk rate; on the other hand, he also struck out at an astronomical pace. Making any kind of contact was an issue for Thomas, and when he did get a hit, rarely did he provide any power. Not blessed with blazing speed, he’ll be relegated to one of the corner outfield spots, although he has good instincts. Because of his strong arm, to go along with promising power, he could develop into a real good right fielder. These things were also said about the Marlins current right fielder, Jeremy Hermida. Of note in his season in Greensboro in 2008, his OPS improved every month, culminating in a .872 August. He also managed to have a .250 increase in OPS (.897) with runners on base as opposed to the bases empty in just about the same amount of at bats.

Because of his youth and his walk rate, there is still a bit of promise for Hickman as scouts believe as he matures and gains more muscle, he will show significant gap and homerun power. He has a good confidence about him and the Marlins love his makeup. Many believe he will be a prototype 2 hole hitter in the majors, but he needs to make better contact. Just 21 years old, Thomas should have spent most of this season in High-A Jupiter, but only saw 70 at bats where he hit .129/.274/.229 with an amazing 33 strikeouts. He then got hurt (when you swing and miss so often, you're bound to sprain something) and when he returned, he went back to Low-A Greensboro. Since his return, Hickman has been en fuego hitting .333/.467/.729 in his first 15 games in the SALLY. He's walked 12 times while striking out 12 times in that span.

Yea, him repeating Greensboro is not impressive at all but considering how bad he was earlier in the year, it looks like there's still some potential with Hickman after all. We'll have to see how he finishes his season as there is just a few games left in the minor league year. He was Future Fish's 26th ranked prosect to start 2009, he'll probably be in the same company heading into 2010.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Arbitration Files: Anibal Sanchez

Anibal Sanchez
2006 - 18 G, 114.1 IP, 10-3, 2.83 era, 1.19 whip, 72 k
2007 - 6 G, 30 IP, 2-1, 4.80 era, 2.07 whip, 14 k
2008 - 10 G, 51.2 IP, 5.57 era, 1.57 whip, 50 K
2009 - 7 G, 35.2 IP, 5.55 era, 1.77 whip, 28 K
Career - 41 G, 40 S, 231 IP, 15-13, 4.12 era, 1.48 whip, 164 K
Reasonable Expectation Season Line - No freaking idea. But it doesn’t matter.

Apparently John Patterson is out of the contract system, but if I remember correctly after his ace like 2005 season with the Nationals (31 G, 198 IP, 3.13 era, 1.19 whip, 185K), he got $1.8 million. 2002-2004, he made 32 starts. So about 63 starts. Anibal has had nowhere near this success in games player, or starts. So this represents the “high” for sure.

So I’m trying to think of other injured starters that had underachieving fourth year arbitration figures as a result?

Sergio Mitre (year 4 $1.2 million)
2003-2006 - 51 G, 25 S, 5-15, about 160 IP, eyeballing a 5.8ish era, etc
2007 - 27 GS, 149 IP, 5-8, 4.65 era, 1.48 whip, 80 K.

Josh Johnson (year 4 $1.4 million)
2005-2007 - 39 G, 29 GS. 12-10, Had around 185 IP with a sub 3.50 era and 160 K or so.
2008 - 14 GS, 87.1 IP, 7-1, 3.61 era, 1.35 whip, 77 K.

So Anibal is around the same amount of games started here and service time as JJ, has 3/4s a year up in ERA pretty much, not as good whip stats, and slightly less Ks. Johnson is a great comp for Anibal. He can’t go over Johnson no matter what, which is good for us. But as we saw with stuff like Francouer making more money than Hermida, despite less stats, this season, the amount of games player factor is pretty strong in determining these. Anibal is going to go up similarly as a result. Mitre on the other hand, has a lot more playing time, but it’s his performance that really shot him down. Anibal has a slightly better career performance, but not as much playing time. So Mitre is also a good comp for the Marlins.

Low - $900,000. Lack of playing time and brutal 2007-2009 really hurt him. He does not come back this year.
Medium - $1,000,000. His career numbers are better than Mitre, but he’s played in 30 less games. Comes back and throws a few starts.
High - $1,250,000. His better stats make up the gap to Mitre’s more playing time. He’s going to need to throw at least 8-9 non horrible starts this year.

Arbitration Files: Jeremy Hermida

Jeremy Hermida
2007 - .870 OPS
2008 - 142 G, 502 AB, 74 R, 17 HR, 61 RBI, .249/.323/.406 (.729) / 4th year salary $2.3
2009 - 116 G, 391 AB, 43 R, 12 HR, 46 RBI, .258/.351/.391 (.742)
Reasonable Season Line Expectation - 145 G, 525 AB, 55 R, 16 HR, 60 RBI, .260/.340/.400 (.740)

Mark Teahen (5th year $3.5). Was coming off a really bad .715 OPS full season in year four. i.e., exactly what Hermida is doing now. A really bad fourth year.

This is a great comp, and I don’t think looking at others really matters. You can see “higher” comps looking at Cody, and I think it’s safe to say Hermida is not going to do that. So Teahen had 572 AB, 66 R, 15 HR, 59 RBI, and a .715 OPS, made the same money as Hermida made in year 4, and got a $1.2 million raise.

Hermida is basically doing that. This is going to be quick and dirty.

Low - $3. They bench him the rest of the year and doesn’t get the AB
Medium - $3.5. They play him, and he does exactly what he’s been doing
High - $4. He OPS’s .800+ and is totally sweet the rest of the year, to really bump the OPS R/RBI/HR points up significantly into the 75 R/RBI, 20 HR, .780+ OPS range. Very doubtful, but I’ll come back to this if Hermida decides to crush a lot.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Arbitration Files: Ricky Nolasco

Ricky Nolasco ($2.4 salary year 4)
2008 - 212 IP, 15-8, 3.52 era, 1.10 whip, 186 K
2009 - 136.1 IP, 9-8, 5.22 era, 1.26 whip, 136 K
Reasonable Expectation Season Line - 185 IP, 12-10, 4.50 era, 1.25 whip, 180 K

Ricky is going to be an interesting case. Ace type year 2008, ace type half season, worst pitcher ever half season. This is going to go to an arbitrator for sure. I can’t see the Marlins offering him anything based on the horrible year, and I’d do the same thing, and Ricky’s agent is going to be “45 of 60 starts have been ace quality.” This one is probably the most volatile. Even more volatile than JJ. Alright so.

David Bush (Year 4 salary - $2.55)
2008 - 185 IP, 9-10, 4.18 era, 1.14 whip, 109 K Year 4, Year 5 Salary $4 million.

Nate Robertson (Year 4 salary $3.25)
2007 - 177.2 IP, 9-13, 4.76 era, 1.47 whip, 119 K / Year 5 $4.25 (part of a contract)

Joe Blanton (year 4 $3.7)
2008 - 197.2 IP, 9-12, 4.69 era, 1.41 whip, 111 K . Year 5 $5.7 (Arbitration)

So these are all over the place. Notice these are all losing pitchers, the best one (whip right?) makes the least money. Why? Because Robertson and Blanton started higher off on the money in year 4 because they threw more innings in years 2 and 3. So the arm surgery is going to hurt Ricky here a bit just because he is starting lower than all of them, at $2.4.

But Ricky is better than all of them. He has the best overall season in 2008. He has been ace like half of this year. His first half will certainly knock him down so he doesn’t drop a $3 million raise into the mid $5 million range, but he certainly has to be above the $1 million Robertson got, and probably a little over Bush’s $1.5 raise because he’s likely going to have more wins, similar era, ton more K, and an overall “better career” rating to tip the scale. Will he get a $2+ million raise? That’ll be interesting and where the aforementioned arbitration battle will concern.

Low - $4. This is between a Bush/Blanton raise.
Medium - $4.5. This is almost doubling his salary, and over the Blanton raise in dollar value. He gets this level because he’s better than Blanton, so despite starting lower on the pay scale than Joe, he gets the same dollar value moving up. This is of course, assuming the final line and Ricky really needs to be awesome to lower his era/etc. this low. If not, it will go closer to Bush. But I’m working under the assumption Ricky is a beast over his final 10 starts.
High - $5. Inflation really drives it up. Find it unlikely.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Arbitration Files: Cody Ross

Cody Ross (4th year salary $2.2)
2008 - 145 G, 461 AB, 59 R, 22 HR, 73 RBI, .260/.316/.488 (.804)
2009 - 112 G, 412 AB, 62 R, 20 HR, 64 RBI, .262/.320/.478 (.798) (as of Aug 16th)
Reasonable Expectation Season Line - 155 G, 560 AB, 80 R, 27 HR, 85 RBI, .260/.320/.475 (.795)


Alex Rios
2007 - 161 G, 114 R, 24 HR, 85 RBI, 17 SB, .297/.354/.498 (.852) ($2.5)
2008 - 155 G, 91 R, 15 HR, 79 RBI, 32 SB, .291/.337/.461 (.798) ($4.8)

Not perfect, but I want to use Rios because of the defensive factor to nip that in the butt right from the start. Cody obviously is killing it with the glove, so I wanted to at least have a similar offensive performer (OPS/HR wise) on the list. Also, because Rios $2.5 in year 4 is very similar to Ross $2.2

Year 5s
Teahen - $3.5. Had a .715 OPS. Cody’s over this.
Cuddyer - $3.75. Made $1.4 in year 4,significantly lower than Cody. Had .867 OPS year 4. This is a $2.5ish jump, so it shows how much you can go up. This is similar to Atkins, etc, when it comes to performance jumps.
Sizemore - $4.6
Granderson - $5.5
Hawpe - $5.5 (made $3.9 in year 4, significantly higher than Cody)
Braun - $6 (incentives could push up)
Markakis - $6.75 (made $3 in year 4)

I do not think this one is complicated. Cody is having a nice, non-breakout huge Cuddyer like season, so he’s due for a decent raise. He shouldn’t get as much of a raise as Cuddyer, but it should be close because of inflation. The rest of the star outfielders, Cody has no shot at.

Low $3.5. Teahen, and Cody’s ‘lower’ AB in 2008 hurt him. Very doubtful.
Medium $4.2. Gets a $2 million raise. Not quite the $2.5+ raise Atkins/Cuddyer and others have gotten, but enough to make a big dent in his salary.
High - None. He’s not getting in sniffing distance of Sizemore. No upside here.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Arbitration Files: Dan Uggla

Dan Uggla (4th year salary $5.35)

2008 - 146 G, 531 AB, 97 R, 32 HR, 92 RBI, 171 K, .260/.360/.514 (.874)
2009 - 109 G, 387 AB, 52 R, 20 HR, 60 RBI, 97 K, .240/.354/.450 (.804) (Aug. 13th)
Reasonable Expectation Season Line - 158 G, 550 AB, 80 R, 30 HR, 85 RBI, 150 K, .245/.360/.450 (.810)

Not a second baseman, but what’s really important to note is Garret Atkins.
2007 - 605 AB, .853 OPS, 25 HR, 111 RBI - Club Controlled YEAR 3
2008 - 611 AB, .780 OPS, 21 HR, 99 RBI - $4.3 million YEAR 4
2009 - $7.05 Million < - YEAR 5

So regardless of a 70 OPS drop, once you make a lot, you make a lot and will get a significant pay raise. Granted Garrett Atkins still had very close HR/RBI/AB totals, but Uggla is going to get “close” (HR, only a handful less RBIs, less than 20 less Runs, a lot less K), to his 2008 rates even if that OPS is well off a .874. So anyway you look at it, Uggla is not going up $1-2 million. Uggla’s going to go up $3-4 easy.

Year 5
Chase Utley - $7.5, with unknown parts of signing bonus additional to this
Hanley Ramirez - $ 7 (using middle infielders too)
Dustin Pedroia - $5.5
Troy Tulowitzki - $5.5
Ian Kinsler - $4

Alright so we get the idea. Uggla is already over nearly all of them. This is easy. Atkins went down in performance, got a little less than a $3 million raise. Uggla’s performance is basically the same decline, but he’s still going to be paid.

Low - $7.4. Utleyish. Marlins try to be cute and slot him below him, and lose again. They did this in 2009 with a $4.4 million-$5.3 million gap (Utley made $4.5 in year 4, so there whole argument was "he's not as good as Utley." Doesn't work, as Utley had a contract with lower figures upfront. Dummies).
Medium - $8 million. This is an Atkinsish $2.7 raise, and very realistic.
High - $8.75. Uggla’s agent really try to push slot but bit off more than they can chew.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Arbitration Files: Josh Johnson

Josh Johnson (Current 4th year salary - $1.4 million)
2008 - 87.1 IP, 7-1, CG, 3.61 era, 77 K, 1.35 whip
2009 - 148 IP, 10-2, 2 CG, 2.98 era, 123 K, 1.11 whip (as of Aug 6th)
Reasonable Expectation Season Line - 220 IP, 15-4, 3.25 era, 185k, 1.15 whip

Usually it's tough to find comps as good as this one, but we got lucky below.

Zack Greinke
2007 - 122 IP, 7-7, 3.69 era, 106 K, 1.30 whip < - Half year because of injury, just like JJ
2008 - 202.1 IP, 13-10, 3.47 era, 183 K, 1.28 whip < - $1.4 million year 4. Same as JJ

Post 2008, Greinke signed a 4/$38 extension, $3.75-$7.25-$13.50-$13.5 (signed after year 4)

So where do we begin. Greinke is spot on from years 3/4. This is the slot, we just have to value how much more is Johnson than Greinke. JJ has an enormous “loss” advantage, a bit of whip, and probably a quarter to a half run less era. He also made the all-star team in 2009. JJ is clearly going to be slotted above Greinke off performance, and because of inflation.

Contract Comparisons - Player Stats for Year 4 / Contract Value Year 5
Adam Wainwright - 158.1 IP, 12-7, 2.79 era, 1.28 whip, 140 K / $4.65 million (signed after year 2)
Matt Cain - 148 IP, 12-3, 2.25 era, 1.16 whip, 117 K / $4.25 million (signed after year 1)
Jon Lester - Currently in year 3 / $5.75 million (signed after year 2)
James Shields - Currently in year 3 / $4.25 million (signed after year 1)

Cole Hamels (a Super2), signed a contract for years 3-4-5 for $4.35, $6.65, and $.9.5 million. The $9.5 is technically his year 5 salary so that isn’t comparable to JJ, but that $6.65 certainly marks the HIGH. Hamels was coming off a 227 IP, 14-10, 3.09 era, 1.08 whip, 196 K season. That is certainly very comparable to what Johnson is doing right now. Hamels signed the deal after year 2.

Other notable pitchers hitting arbitration year 5, year 4 salary noted - Felix Hernandez ($3.8), Justin Verlander ($3.6)

So the question now is, what is Johnson’s arbitration status for next year. What is his long-term contract status for next year. Each probably have very different responses.


At this point, it is clear Johnson is going to murder people all year. Most believed at some point that he would come back to earth but that is simply not going to happen. Since his return from Tommy John surgery, Johnson is an amazing 18-3. But JJ has decided he’s going to be a legitimate # 1 SP. Great, awesome. Despite the fact his Year-3 innings are low and Greinke is such an amazing comp for all the reasons where we’d hope he’d only slot above him maybe a million bucks to the “Wainwright” level of compensation, we have the new Lester and Hamels contracts to deal with. JJ has to go above Lester in arbitration. He’s simply better than him and the Marlins are going to get slammed if they try and argue a low 3 era / 1.15 whip / 180 K JJ, is lower than a (projecting) 3.75 / 1.30 / 200 K Lester. There’s just no way an arbitration panel is going to buy that, even if you want to argue AL/NL, etc. Additionally, Lester is a bad comp for JJ because the 5th year contract price is LOWER than what the ‘free market’ would give because the Red Sox bought this year 3 years in advance. Jon Lester arguing a contract in three years is a higher value than him signing one right now. So suffice to say, if the Marlins are insane and don’t offer JJ a 4-5 year deal (see below), they are going to get slammed. I don’t know if JJ can get up to Hamels, who has been healthy and won the World Series, but it’s going to be. An additional problem would be if King Felix or Verlander randomly have their arbitration hearing before Johnson’s, or sign new deals. They would each get to Hamels levels easily. Making the case even harder for the Marlins.

So the Arbitration Projection.

Low - $4.75 million. Wainwrightish, and JJ is hurt by his lack of innings in 2008.
Medium - $5.8 million. Lesterish, and JJ because the top non-Super2 slot for 5th year players. (not including Verlander or Felix really jumping here, which is possible)
High - $6.75. Hamelsish, and JJ becomes the new slot because he is that awesome and general inflation

I think the Marlins strategy would be a low 5 and arguing everyone but Hamels. I think if Johnson attempts to go huge with Hamels, he’ll get shot down for the lack of innings in year 3. Those innings won’t have a major effect on his figure, but they are still there to tip the scale. If the Marlins try to low-ball this, like they did with Dan Uggla last year, they are going to lose. But, I think discussing arbitration strategy is foolish. JJ needs the contract. And he needs it now.


So you don’t have to scroll up, Greinke signed a 4/$38 extension, $3.75-$7.25-$13.50-$13.5 (4/$38). Lester is making (years 5-8, including option) $5.75-$7.6-$11.6, $13 (4/$37). So we have a nice baseline for top young starters here. One, who has the same innings pitched track JJ does, and the other bought out years in advance. JJ has to be slotted above this. Forgot Wainwright, who is $4.6-$6.5-$9-$12 (4/$32). Nice deal for the Cards.

So after the back and forth with Johnson wanting a $70 million deal and the Marlins wanting to give him $38.01 million, I think this is reasonable.

2010 - $5.5 million
2011 - $7.75 million
2012 - $14 million
2013 - $14.25 million
2014 - $14.5 million club option / $1.5 buyout
4/$43 or 5/$56

That seems about right. JJ will either be 29 or 30 at the end of this deal, meaning he is due another huge payday in his career. Which is very important and why he’d never sign a 7 year deal. Not that we would want to either, but just saying.

Overall. I find it imperative the the Marlins sign Johnson to a 4-5 year contract similar to the above. Not just because arbitration is scary, but because we don’t have to sign anyone else. JJ is simply a cornerstone player you build around. Also from JJ’s perspective, he still is coming off the major arm surgery. Banking $5-6 million in arbitration would be nice, but that’s not “settle down forever” money. Getting a $40-50 million dollar contract is “locked up for life.” The time is now for both parties for the deal. Make it happen. Git R Dun.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Arbitration Files: Jorge Cantu

Over the next few days we'll be taking a look at the Florida Marlins that are due arbitration in the fall. First up is Marlins 1b/3b Jorge Cantu.

Jorge Cantu (Current 5th year salary - $3.5 million)

2008 - 155 G, 628 AB, 92 R, 28 HR, 95 RBI, .277/.327/.481 (.808)
2009 - 101 G, 394 AB, 42 R, 11 HR, 62 RBI, .277/.336/.434 (.770) (Aug. 10)
Reasonable Expectation Season Line - 152 G, 600 AB, 70 R, 18 HR, 90 RBI, .280/.340/.460 (.800)


Joe Crede
(5th year salary $4.94 M, 6th year $5.1 M). Came off injury from 07-08 so he got a nominal upgrade. He had a .828 OPS in year 4, which warranted him getting up to the $5 million range in year 5.

Casey Blake (5th year $3.75, 6th year $6.1). Blake had a .777 OPS in year 5, which lead to that salary in year 6. Cantu is going to match Blake’s year in a worst case scenario, probably get over it. This

Chad Tracy is making $5.75 this year (including buyout). He just sucks.

Bill Hall is going to make $6.8. But he also has the added positional flexibility, making him a ‘maybe’ comp, but we don’t have much to look for.

Longoria is going to make $6 million, in year 6. Wow. Zimmerman $8.9. Wright $10.

Some 1B for food for though. A. Gonzalez $5.5, Laroche and Overbay each $7, Pena $8. Youk $9. Morneau $10.6. Just not good comps here.

Alright, so that’s a good baseline. Crede did nothing in 2007, and got over $5. Blake did OK, and got over $6. Blake also had a $2.25M jump which is 60% of his previous contract value. The Tracy comp sucks for the Marlins. Cantu has to go above him based on his last two year, and immediate year, performance. So does he get to Blake? Depending on where his season line this year ends will dictate that question. The combination of not always at 3B may slot him a little higher as it seems 1B make more than 3B (or maybe they are just better, which is likely), but Cantu’s horrific defense could be a tie breaker and slot it down.

Low - $5.75. He gets Tracy’d.
Medium - $6.25. Over Blake. He is statistically better than him with more HR/RBI, and his lack of playing time in 2007 and defense don’t really hurt him.
High - $7. Atkins. He really, really, pounds the ball the last 50 games and gets to the .830 OPS/28 HR/100RBI level, and doesn’t commit to many of the mystical “errors.”

Friday, August 7, 2009

What's the deal with Jeff Allison?

(hopefully you read the title to yourself as if you were Jerry Seinfeld)

So here we are. 24 year old former phenom Jeff Allison has finally made it to Double-A ball up in Jacksonville. In his debut for the Suns, he went 5 innings and gave up 6 hits, 2 runs (both earned), walked 1 and struck out 3. This promotion is coming on the heels of his second go around in High-A Jupiter, this time a bit more successful than in 2008. In 20 starts for the Hammerheads this year, Allison went 4-8 with a 3.87era to go with a .275baa.

Because of the Marlins record in 2002, they had the 16th overall pick in the 2003 draft. They decided on the right-handed Jeff Allison from Veterans Memorial HS, in Peabody, Massachusetts. In his senior season at VMHS, Allison went 9-0, 0,00era with 142 strikeouts in 64 innings, giving up just 13 hits, nine walked and 1 unearned run. He only fell to the Marlins at 16 because of bonus demands, but that didn’t scare the Marlins away as they gave him a $1.85mil bonus. Right away he was compared to Marlins pitcher Josh Beckett and some believed he would be on the same kind of fast track that Josh was on. Allison had the best fastball (92-97mph) and curveball (80-86mph with nasty break) of any pitcher in the draft. In his first 9 major league innings, Allison didn’t allow a run. He was slated to debut for the low-A Greensboro Grasshoppers in 2004, but he took a major detour. Jeff nearly died after overdosing on the drugs oxycontin and heroine. After what looked he got his act together, Jeff made his Greensboro debut in 2005. Because of the layoff Allison’s stuff wasn’t nearly as good, but there were flashes of brilliance. His fastball was down to the high 80s-low 90s, but the big curveball was still there. He improved start by start and by the end of the year, he was going 6-7 innings in each start.

Again it looked like his career was getting back on track. Then in August of 2006 he overdosed again. Massachusetts police found Allison unconscious in an apartment building. Rescue workers revived Allison at the scene, and he was hospitalized in Winchester, Mass., and later released. In October of 2006, Jeff was arrested after an officer found him driving what was reportedly a stolen Dodge Ram. Inside the truck were heroin and drug paraphernalia, specifically syringes. He was facing 3 felony charges. He has since been able to get his life back on track.

His season in Jupiter in 2008 was a mixed bag. He pitched great in his first 10 starts of the year and then got hit hard towards the end of May and all of June. His arm got tired down the stretch but that was to be expected of him. Jeff no longer has the 95mph fastball he once had as he mainly works in the upper 80s and can reach 91-92 on occasion. His curveball shows glimpses of the table-dropper he once had. His changeup is still an above average pitch. At 24, soon to be 25, Allison can still be considered a prospect, albeit not a great one. He'll have a handful of starts in Jacksonville before their season is over.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

July Roundup: Pitching Prospects

Remember when this organization was all pitching prospects/no hitting prospects? Things have changed in a big way. Analysis c/o lou at


Brett Sinkbeil RP
Season as Reliever - 30 IP, 3.90 era, 1.60 whip (33 H, 15 BB), 18 K, .289 BAA

Hayden Penn SP/RP
July - 22.1 IP, 7.66 era, 1.88 whip (31 H, 11 BB), 16 K, .337 BAA

Tim Wood RP
Season - 32.1 IP, 2.51 era, 1.36 whip (31 H, 13 BB), 28 K, .248 BAA

Andrew Miller SP
has been absolutely obliterated for 10 ER in 5.2 IP since being sent down.

Chris Mobley RP
Season - 41.2 IP, 3.24 era, 1.29 whip (47 H, 7 BB), 33 K, .283 BAA

So the quick wrap up. It’s looking like a real smart idea of putting Wood on the 40 man and protecting him from the Rule5 draft as he is turning in a quality season (whip is a little high, but whatever) between AAA/MLB levels. Penn is still horrific. Miller who the hell knows (and now he's hurt his ankle fielding a come backer). Mobley continues to put up solid numbers at every level. He probably won’t ever really see time with the Marlins as we have better RP prospects, but he has excellent control, decent GB rates (historically anyways), and could be a 4th or 5th righty out of the bullpen in a year or two. At least Sink is doing SOMETHING.

Jax (AA)

Aaron Thompson
- Traded for Nick Johnson (Good trade, hopefully Thompson gets a Sept callup in DC)

Christian Martinez SP/RP
July - 36 IP, 5.00 era, 1.44 whip (44 H, 8 BB), 18 K, .308 BAA

Graham Taylor SP
July - 20 IP, 8.10 era... and I don’t need to type the rest

Sean West
July - 15.1 IP, 5.28 era, 1.43 whip (16 H, 6 BB), 11 K, .267 BAA
Season MILB - 58 IP, 4.97 era, 1.51 whip (60 H, 28 BB), 61 K, .262 BAA, 12 HR, .74 GB/FB
Season MLB - 55 IP, 4.91 era, 1.47 whip (60 H, 28 BB), 29 K, .251 BAA, 7 HR, .65 GB/FB

Chris Leroux
Season - 42.1 IP, 3.19 era, 1.29 whip (42 H, 13 BB), 36 K, .259 BAA, -0- HR

Brad Stone
Season AA - 27 IP, 2.00 era, 1.03 whip (27 H, 1 BB), 16 K, .255 BAA

Grant Parcell
Season - 16.2 IP, .54 era, 1.14 whip (8 H, 11 BB), 17 K, .138 BAA

DL - Winters, Ceda, and Owens

So the quick wrap up. We lost our 2nd best lefty at the A+/AA/AAA levels with Thompson for Nick Johnson, but it’s not a huge loss. Graham Taylor has forgotten how to pitch since getting his ass handed to him in the bigs. Christian Martinez is down to earth and proving to be an organizational arm and nothing more. West has been consistently awful all year. I hope this is a byproduct of working intensely on offspeed pitches, because his FB rates have doubled (last year 1.40), and he’s giving up a lot more HR. Leroux has been up and down and having a solid year. Stone has jumped around a few levels, but has settled in nicely in Jax. A little old, but can’t argue with that control. Parcell is a sleeper RP prospect back from injury. The rust is to be expected a little bit, see those walks, but that’s a nice first 16.2 innings back from the shelf.


Alejandro Sanabia SP
July - 27.1 IP, 4.28 era, 1.28 whip (22 H, 13 BB), 15 K, .227 BAA
Season - 104.1 IP, 3.45 era, 1.20 whip (89 H, 36 BB), 68 K, .231 BAA, .87 GB/FB

Kris Harvey
Season - 56.1 IP, 3.83 era, 1.35 whip (50 H, 26 BB), 46 K, .235 BAA
July - Really ugly, 8+ era month

Steve Cishek
Season - 54 IP, 2.83 era, .87 whip (34 H, 13 BB), 43 K, .181 BAA, 1.97 GB/FB
Slowing down a little bit, 3.50 era over 28 IP June-July

Elih Villanueva SP
Season as SP - 126.2 IP, 2.98 era, 1.06 whip (122 H, 13 BB), 87 K, .252 BAA

Jeff Allison SP
Season as SP - 109.1 IP, 3.87 era, 1.31 whip (119 H, 25 BB), 56 K, .275 BAA

Jose Rosario SP
Season A+ - 94 IP, 2.68 era, .93 whip (66 H, 22 BB), 80 K, .195 BAA

Brett Harker SP/RP
Season A+ - 76.1 IP, 2.59 era, 1.06 whip (66 H, 15 BB), 40 K, .232 BAA

Sanabia had an OK month. I’d like to see more whiffs and more groundballs, but he’s still having a nice ‘breakout’ year and is easily one of our top 5 pitching prospects at this time. Harvey has finally hit the learning curve wall and got lit up the last month. Still, an incredible transition to a RP and maybe he has a true breakout performance next year. Cishek as I said, slowing down a bit, but he’s getting 2-1 groundballs and missing some bats. He and Parcell are probably the two sneaky future bullpen candidates we have. As for the other four, they should count their blessings they pitch in Jupiter. What a pitcher’s park.


Kyle Kaminska SP
July - 33 IP, 2.73 era, 1.15 whip (31 H, 7 BB), 17 K, .252 BAA
Season - 117 IP, 3.46 era, 1.30 whip (119 H, 34 BB), 88 K, .264 BAA, .87 GB/FB

Brad Hand SP
July - 30.1 IP, 4.15 era, 1.68 whip (45 H, 16 BB), 35 K, .299 BAA
May thru July - 81 IP, 4.33 era, 1.58 whip (91 H, 37 BB), 72 K, 8 HR

Pete Andrelczyk RP
Season - 53.1 IP, 2.36 era, 1.18 whip (50 H, 13 BB), 66 K, .244 BAA

Dan Jennings RP
Season - 46.1 IP, 2.91 era, 1.31 whip (41 H, 20 BB), 50 K, .244 BAA

Kaminska has really been killing people for 2 months now. His June line was very similar to his July line. It’s important to note how much of a launching pad GBO in, so any success here is very notable. Kaminska is poised for a big breakout in Jupiter next. Hand, and I am being very generous erasing his April which we will not speak of, has been OK all year. The walks are a major problem, but he’s striking out some guys and as he grows you’d hope he starts giving up less hits. Andrelczyk, and Jennings (whose a lefty) have been killing people all year out of the pen. There have also been a few other solid performances (Dorn 3.69 era/1.28 whip, Koehler 2.96 era/1.31 whip, Todd 3.00 era/1.04 whip), but these things take me awhile and I can’t cover every college guy dominating 19 year olds in A ball.

Jamestown (A-) and GCL Marlins (R)

To young to really track, but Sandy Rosario 42.1 IP/1.70 era/41 K, Stephen Richards (who is the one name I do know, he is a lefty reliever from Arkansas) 10.1 IP/2.61 era/10K, and Curtis Petersen 38 IP/4.03 era/29 K are throwing solid in Jamestown, and a bunch of guys (Estevez, Sprague, Eskew, Topp, Morales, Hernandez, Chirinos) are dominating the GCL. Your guess is as good as mine to whether these guys hold up at future levels, but it’s safe to say all of these names are 4-5 years away if any of them pan out into legitimate prospects.

Ryan Tucker
Start 1 - 5 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 5 BB, 3 K
Start 2 - 6 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 2 K

Pitched 2 games for the GCL. Slowly coming back.

First and Second round picks in 2009, James and Berglund, are not pitching. Or even signed.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Marlins promote Matt Dominguez to AA

The Marlins officially put Matt Dominguez on the fast track by calling up the 3b prospect to AA Jacksonville, just 381 at bats into his Jupiter stay.

With the Hammerheads, he was hitting .262/.333/.420 with 11hr 38bb and 68k

Pre All Star splits: .250/.301/.373 in 236ab
Post: 283/.382/.497 in 145ab

Preseason Scouting Report:
The Marlins selected third baseman Matt Dominguez with the 12th pick in the 2007 amateur drafted. Drafted out of the same high school that produced number two overall pick Mike Moustakas, Dominguez was signed to a $1.8mil bonus. Matt entered the season competing for top prospect honors in Southern California, especially after leading USA Baseball's junior national team with two homers and 11 RBIs in last year's World Junior Championship. He has drawn comparisons to Mike Lowell and Eric Chavez, but the one you hear the most is that of Nationals 3b Ryan Zimmerman. His glove his major league ready and he has a strong, accurate arm over at the hotcorner. He shows good torque on his swing and is mostly a gap to gap hitter at this point. As he grows older and matures physically, those doubles should turn into homeruns.

In his first season, it was hard to take anything of note from Matt's 57 at bats between the Gulf Coast League and Jamestown. Even with the strikeouts early on, scouts still believe he will have above average strikezone judgment eventually. His season this year in Greensboro was a major leap forward for the 19 year old. He hit .296/.354/.499 in 345 at bats and hit 18 homeruns. His season started off a bit late because he had to deal with mono in the beginning of the season.

Matt’s smooth stroke will allow him to hit for both power and average. He's a smart baserunner as well. He has a great work ethic and scouts love his makeup both on and off the field. Like many Marlins prospects, Jupiter is going to be much tougher for him hitting-wise than Greensboro was. The Florida State League is a notorious pitchers’ league but if he can hold his own with the bat, he’ll continue to stay on the quick track for a starting spot in 2011.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

July Roundup: Hitting Prospects

analysis c/o lou over at


Cameron Maybin CF
July - 103 AB, .320/.403/.485 (.889), 2 HR, 15/24 BB/K, 2/0 SB
Season - 244 AB, .328/.415/.471 (.886), 3 HR, 34/47 BB/K, 7/2 SB

Gaby Sanchez 1B/3B
July - 61 AB, .246/.310/.377 (.687), 2 HR, 6/6 BB/K, 2/0 SB
Season 234 AB, .282/.353/.436 (.789), 9 HR, 25/38 BB/K, 5/0 SB

Brett Hayes C
July - 75 AB, .242/.263/.360 (.623), 2 HR, 3/13 BB/K
Season - 255 AB, .255/.291/.345 (.636), 3 HR, 14/62 BB/K, 2/0 SB

Jai Miller CF
July - 70 AB, .300/.351/.557 (.908), 5 HR, 6/22 BB/K, 1/0 SB
Season - 235 AB, .289/.352/.498 (.950), 9 HR, 24/66 BB/K, 6/3 SB
vs LHP 6 HR, 1.112 OPS, vs RHP 3 HR .725 OPS

John Raynor LF/RF
July - 77 AB, .221/.333/.286 (.619), 1 HR, 13/31 BB/K, 6/1 SB
Season - 342 AB, .243/.308/.333 (.641), 4 HR, 29/97 BB/K, 14/6 SB

So business as usual. Maybin isn’t hitting for much HR power, but has an excellent average, BB rate, and the K rate is much improved from last year. It’s just a question of when he comes up at this point. In other threads, I have detailed his future arbitration status which may be of importance here. Basically, if the Marlins call up Maybin now, he will be a Super2 in 2012 and the Marlins will be on the hook for an extra $2-3 million in salary. If the Marlins call him up around August 20th, take maybe a week or so, Maybin will probably not be a Super2 and the Marlins will have Maybin club controlled 2010-2012. Kind of a big deal. If the Marlins don’t ‘need’ him for the playoff push, he should stay down for a few more weeks just to preserve his status.

Gaby had a bad July, but he was up with the Marlins for a bit explaining the low PA. I kind of feel that Gaby’s current minor league line is what he’d be doing in the big leagues. And I’m more than happy with that for a few club controlled years. Jai is really smashing lefties, but still can’t be considered much of a prospect since he can’t hit RHP. Jai is out of options after this year, so I’d suspect he is out of the organization in March unless he wins a job on the big league roster somehow. Hayes and Raynor are just brutal and will surely repeat AAA.


Bryan Petersen RF
July - 54 AB, .315/.373/.500 (.873), 2 HR, 4/8 BB/K, 1/1 SB
Season - 315 AB, .292/.365/.394 (.759), 4 HR, 37/60 BB/K, 11/7 SB
vs LHP 0 HR, .605 OPS. vs RHP, 4 HR, .797 OPS

Logan Morrison 1B/LF
July - 83 AB, .313/.500/.554 (1.054), 5 HR, 31/15 BB/K (not a typo), 3/0 SB
Season - 161 AB, .267/.430/.466 (.896), 7 HR, 46/26 BB/K, 4/1 SB

Mike Stanton RF
July - 94 AB, .277/.349/.596 (.945), 7 HR, 7/32 BB/K, 1/0 SB
Season AA - 180 AB, .244/.330/.483 (.813), 10 HR, 18/60 BB/K, 1/1 SB
Season A+ - 180 AB, .294/.390/.578 (.968), 12 HR, 28/45 BB/K, 2/2 SB

Scott Cousins CF
July - 100 AB, .260/.299/.460 (.759), 2 HR, 6/23 BB/K, 5/0 SB
Season - 374 AB, .257/.317/.428 (.745), 9 HR, 32/80 BB/K, 22/5 SB

Morrison. Is. Retarded. At this point, we may have to pencil him into the starting lineup in April 2010, whether it’s 1B or LF. Average, Contact, BBs, Power. Full package right there. Stanton is holding his own in AA overall, and was much improved in July. You’d like to see a few less strikeouts, but I’m really happy he’s not being dominated. Plate recognition will probably improve as he ages, so he just needs to keep at it. If he can hit .260 in the bigs, he’s probably going to be a star with that power and BB potential. If Petersen can start hitting for power, he’s going to start looking real good with that avg/bb potential. Especially against right handers. And Cousins hit a lot of 2B/3B this month to explain the slugging, but he should probably repeat AA next year. Petersen should move up as he is a college player.

Jupiter (A+)

Matt Dominguez 3B
July - 102 AB, .314/.410/.569 (.978), 6 HR, 16/16 BB/K
Season - 381 AB, .262/.333/.420 (.753), 11 HR, 38/68 BB/K, 1 SB

Not really any other major hitting prospects in Jupiter, but boy has Dominguez turned it on. April .681 OPS, May .513 OPS, June .826 OPS, and now July. Season line is nothing to write about, but he’s been on a tear the last two months. One more good month, and we have to look at this as a highly successful season for Jupiter.

Greensboro (A)

Isaac Galloway CF
July - 100 AB, .240/.255/.310 (.565 OPS), 1/23 BB/K, 3/2 SB
Season - 224 AB, .262/.293/.378 (.671), 2 HR, 9/59 BB/K, 11/6 SB

Jake Smolinski 2B
July - 81 AB, .259/.348/.407 (.755), 1 HR, 10/11 BB/K, 0/2 SB
Season - 226 AB, .261/.365/.429 (.794), 7 HR, 34/38 BB/K, 2/5 SB

Kyle Skipworth C
July - 58 AB, .224/.262/.328 (.590), 1 HR, 2/26 BB/K, 0/1 SB
Season - 250 AB, .204/.257/.324 (.581), 5 HR, 16/87 BB/K, 1/2 SB

Not much positive to say. Smolinski has a nice walk rate. Skip and Galloway brutal.

Jamestown (A-)

No one of particular interest at this time. If someone wants to fill something in, feel free. But no major hitting prospects, and the international signings are not hitting.

GCL Marlins (R)

Marcell Ozuna, RF
July - 96 AB, .396/.443/.646 (1.089), 3 HR, 8/19 BB/K, 1/1 SB
Season - 133 AB, .346/.393/.556 (.949), 4 HR, 9/28 BB/K, 2/1 SB
vs LHP .545 OPS, vs RHP 1.134 OPS.

Ozuna played in the Dominican league last year as an international signing. He did ok for a 17 year old, hitting .279/.335/.416 (.751). Now, he’s really hitting the ball hard. It’s not unusual to struggle against lefties at a young age, but I note it just to show how hard he’s hitting right handers. Scouting reports are thin, but he is turning into a prospect of interest.

And Hickman is back playing in the GCL. Only a few games, we'll see if he is still striking out at an astronomical pace.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Marlins make a move

The Marlins traded LHP Aaron Thompson(below) for 1B Nick Johnson. Good deal. While I like Thompson, it's a move the Marlins had to make right now. Bat Nick Johnson second, move Cantu to 3B and make Bonifacio the utility man. I can dig that.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Aaron Thompson continues his late season surge in JAX

Aaron Thompson continued his strong summer campaign in Jacksonville Tuesday night in an 11-4 win over Birmingham. He went 7 innings, giving up 3 runs on 9 hits, while walking none and striking out 3. Is one mistake of the night was a 2 strike, 2 out hanger to LF David Cook who deposited the ball over the right field wall for a 2 run homerun.

In his last 10 starts, Thompson is 3-2 with a 3.28era in 60.1 innings of work. He has given up 22 earned runs on 55 hits, while walking 20 and striking out 41. Opposing batters are hitting just .234 off of him during this run of solid outings. The strikeouts still aren't ideal, but he's definitely missing some bats. This continues to raise the question if Thompson is eventually going to move to the bullpen, or will he continue being a starter?

Thompson was taken with the 22nd overall pick in the 2005 draft by the Marlins. He was awarded with a $1.225mil bonus. Most believed he would be a tough sign because he had committed to Texas A&M early on, but things changed once the Aggies fired their coaching staff, and Aaron then signed with the Fish. After struggling in his first couple of professional outings, he came back strong in his Jamestown campaign with a 3.10era in just over 20 innings. The 6'3 left-hander spent the 2006 season at low-A Greensboro and showed much promise in what is considered a hitter friendly league. Thompson went 8-8 with a 3.63era and a 1.30whip in 134 innings of work. The longball was a bit of a problem as he gave up 12, but he did strikeout 114 compared to just 35 walks. 2007 was a minor breakout for him. Aaron battled with shoulder tendonitis early on but still went 4-6 with a 3.37era and a 1.36whip in 115 innings of work in high-A Jupiter. He gave up just 2 homeruns, while walking 35 and striking out 84. What was most impressive from his 2007 performance was his consistency from month to month. Besides June where he had a 4.05era, his era in every other month was 3.67 or better.

Thompson took a major step backwards in 2008 while in Carolina. He dealt with injuries much of the year and when he was healthy he showed little command. His strikeouts plummeted and he gave up well over a hit per inning. Like many finesse left-handers, Thompson has garnered plenty of comparisons to Tom Glavine. Thompson’s fastball sits at 89-91mph and his three secondary pitches, changeup, curveball and slider, are all solid. His curveball has the most potential out of those pitches. All four of his pitches have the potential to be (or are already) plus pitches. Aaron has shown good poise, savvy and competitiveness on the mound. He also showed a much improved pick-off move at first base, and was good at holding runners. He has a projectile frame, and should add strength and muscle in the near future. With this added strength, his pitches should have improved velocity as well.

Most would say that Thompson is near his ceiling as a #3 or 4 starter. I believe with the improvement of all four of his pitches, his ceiling is much closer to being a #2 than in being a #4. He's about as developed as much as a 22 year old can be and has done well in his second season in the Southern League. Heading into August, he's 5-9 with a 4.11era, .268baa in 114 innings. Lefties are hitting just .209 against him. With just a few starts left before the season ends, it will be interesting to see if Thompson's arm tires out or if he can finish strong.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Hammer Time

As if Josh Willingham wasn't on fire enough, he goes out and does something that hasn't been done since 2003. Tonight in Milwaukee, Hammer hit 2 grand slams, and drove in 8 as the Nats beat the Brewers 14-6.

He's now hitting .298/.410/1.007

That OPS is only bested by Albert Pujols, Joe Mauer, Prince Fielder, and Raul Ibanez. That's it. Not only that, but he's within shouting distance of everyone but Albert. And yet, here he is, 4 days from the deadline and still stuck in D.C.

The Cardinals traded for free-agent-to-be Matt Holliday and his .857 OPS just this week. They gave up a real nice prospect in 3B Brett Wallace, along with RHP Clayton Mortensen and OF Shane Peterson. They could have had Josh Willingham for faaaaaar less.

Tonight, the San Francisco Giants gave up LHP Scott Barnes in exchange for 1B Ryan Garko and his .826 OPS. Barnes, rated as SF's #9 prospect heading into 2009, was 12-3 with a 2.85 ERA and 99 strikeouts in 18 starts and 98.0 innings. Sabean and Co gave up alot for a guy that has nearly .200 points less in OPS than the Hammer.

Do teams not realize what he is doing right now? How is this happening? Hopefully his 2 grandslams wake someone up tonight. Even if it's the Phillies. Hammer needs to be in a pennant chase.

Alejandro Sanabia flirts with no hitter, just gets her number, no goodnight kiss

On Sunday afternoon, Marlins right-hander Alejandro Sanabia came within 6 outs of pitching a no hitter against the Dunedin Blue Jays. Throwing mostly two-seam fastballs, the 6'1 righty struck out 6 and walked just 1 in his 8 innings of work. Coming into the game against the Jays, Sanabia had knocked around in July, giving up 13 runs in 19.1 innings. The remedy for his struggles would be a visit from Dunedin, a team that now only has 4 hits off him in 15 innings this season.

Sanabia has been a nice surprise this year for the Hammerheads. In 104.1 innings, Alejandro has gone 9-5 with a 3.45era and a .231baa. He has given up just 89 hits while walking 36 and striking out 68.

The Marlins drafted Alejandro Sanabia in the 32nd round of the 2006 draft. The San Diego, native spent the 2005 season as part of the rookie league Gulf Coast Marlins pitching staff, going 3-1 with a 3.24 ERA in 11 appearances. Opponents hit just .169 off him while with the GCL Marlins. He shows a sinking fastball at 88-92mph that tops out at 93. He has a big slurve-like breaking ball and is working on a changeup. The changeup improved greatly from 2007 to 2008.

Stepping up from Jamestown to Greensboro was a big challenge for the 19 year old. In Jamestown, he was able to hold right-handed batters to a .212 average while walking just 9 and striking out 42. Obviously this meant that lefties killed him, which they did to a tune of .347. Pitching in Jamestown as an 18 year old, the late round pick certainly opened up some eyes in a much older league. Marlins vice president of player development and scouting Jim Fleming just raves about him, especially with his bounce back in the second half of the 2007 season after being hit hard in Jamestown early. He had a 5.80era before the break, and posted a 3.74era after, while batters hit just .224 off of him.

Sanabia took another step forward in his development in 2008. He held his own in the South Atlantic League, posting a 4.93era, .273baa and a 1.36whip in 96.2 innings. It seems as if he turned a corner late, as in his final 10 games he went 3-2 with a 3.78era. In those 52.1 innings of work, he gave up just 53 hits, walked 11 and struck out 41.

Still very young and quite raw, Sanabia has been a bright spot in high-A Jupiter. His work on his secondary pitches is what has transformed him into a legitimate pitching prospect. With his stuff, he’s definitely a big time sleeper in this system and if he can finish strong, he will easily be one of the better pitching prospects in the Marlins system heading into 2010.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Projecting Gaby Sanchez

Well, he's finally up. And he gets to ride the bench.

Regardless, I figured he would be best to post up now so fans can know around what to expect from it.

Coming up through the minors, he's been known as a line drive contact hitter with good patience but questionable pop. No surprise to anyone, this shows up in the numbers.

While at first glance you might look at the numbers and say "Hey, those are very similar power numbers to Maybin" (.175 ISO, 16 HRs for Maybin), they in fact come to those numbers very differently. The first thing to understand is age relative to league. Maybin, at 22 years old, is still growing. Gaby, 25, is basically in his prime years now. The second thing is their HR/FB rates (Or, % of times a FB goes for a HR). Gaby's HR/FB is 9.6%, whereas Maybin's is 14.3%. This shows that Maybin has a lot more raw power.

The other thing with Gaby is the park factors. Greensboro, the Class A affiliate of the Florida Marlins, is a hitters park in a hitters league. Jupiter, the Class A Advance affiliate of the Florida Marlins, is a massive pitchers park in a pitchers league. So, power n
umbers for hitters are normally high in Greensboro but take a massive drop when they go to Jupiter. This happened to Gaby; after posting a .286 ISO and 17% HR/FB in Greensboro, he went down to .154 ISO and 6% HR/FB. Carolina is a rather neutral park, and he posted pretty impressive .200 ISO although just a 9.8% HR/FB. His ISO mostly came from doubles, as he finished the year with 42 doubles and 1 triple (29% of his hits). Unfortunately, this number should lower as he reaches the majors due to better offense. Normally for a prospect, you hope that doubles turn into home runs as their body fills out and they gain more power. But again, with Gaby's age, there is not much room for more power projection. That means the balls will stay in the ball park, and better defensive players will track down more of those balls.

To make a comparison to another former "old for his league, question his power" Marlin is none other than Josh Willingham, who didn't get to AA until 25 and AAA until 26. Willingham has ha
d quite a career, with a MLB ISO of .212 and HR/FB of 14%. However Willingham showed a lot more in the minors then Gaby did. Take a look at Hammer vs Sanchez(Note: the former Class A affiliate with Kane County, but it's park factors are similar to Greensboro, meaning it's a hitters park. The New York-Penn League, where the short season affiliates are, are mostly neutral. Also, HR/FB data only goes back 2005)

As can be seen here, Willingham had a continual power improvement from ages 23-26, posting a .275 ISO in that time spawn. Sanchez, meanwhile, actually took a step back, only posting a .172 ISO. An absolute huge difference.

There's also a worry about Sanchez's LHP and RHP splits. He has crushed LHP (.963 OPS) but hasn't fared that well against RHP (.831 OPS). This is mostly do to a big BABIP (batting average of balls in play) difference. There isn't much of a power difference (.204 ISO and 10.3% HR/FB against LHP, .169 ISO and 9.2% HR/FB), nor BB/K difference (1.10 BB/K against LHP, 0.93 against RHP). Basically about what you'd expect for most players. However, he has a .356 BABIP against LHP and a .318 BABIP against RHP. This is fueled by a 20% LD rate against LHP while only 17% against RHP. Will it even out, or is it something we need to expect? Just won't be something we know until he's up here and does his thing.

Defensively, he was once considered a horrible defensive first baseman but made huge improvements and won the gold glove award for the southern league. However, I have my doubts of just how much he improved, and although I do expect him to be better than average, I don't expect him to be great. Base running wise, he's not a big lumbering first baseman but he isn't fast either, but he's suppose to be a smart base runner.

So it's projection time.

His WARs aren't exactly eye openers.

What most likely happens is that he displays basically average power, keeping around the same HR rate but losing some doubles to better defenses. It also allows him to still keep a solid BB rate, but overall he's nothing special. The biggest problem being the position he plays, with the average 1B OPS normally hovering in the .800-.850 range. He could still have a career ahead of him, Doug Mientkiewicz took a very similar career line of .271/.360/.405 and had a long career. However, Mientkiewicz was also worth 10+ runs on defense. If Gaby can get to that level, he could duplicate Mientkiewicz's career. The biggest problem with this for Gaby is that he has Logan Morrison breathing down his neck. And while there are rumblings of moving Morrison to LF, it then becomes a question of "Do you want Gaby Sanchez at first base, or Scott Cousins/Bryan Petersen/John Raynor/someone else in the OF? With how cheap 1B/LFs are on the FA market now, is it worth spending that extra 5 mil to get a mid .850 OPS bat?". Unfortunately, he'll probably be a 1B/3B back up, and the fact that he was called up to ride the bench just kind of affirms it. Then again, our front office has gone a bit coo-coo over the last few years, so who knows.

Best case scenario: He's a late bloomer and his HR/FB raises, turning those doubles into homeruns. This is certainly possible, some players took a long time to hit their power peak. It's just rare when this happen. His power though is really the only thing keeping him from being an slightly below average to average player and being a good player, everything else though he already does well.

Worst case scenario: He doesn't develop the HR power, and a lot of those doubles start turning into outs, dropping him to the high-end power of a slap hitter. This is already happening in AAA. Last year a hit went for a 2B/3B 28.7% of the time, this year just 13.6%. Pitchers then pound the zone, dropping his ability to take a walk. If this happens, he's probably not even a major leaguer.

It should also be noted that a lot of things depend on how well Sanchez can field third base. If he can field 3b at a neutral level, that would basically add 1 win to his WAR, turning him into a good player. Big difference between a .770 OPS 1b and a 3b. But this is again a question of how good he is defensively, and a lot of scouts don't think he can handle the position well enough to play everyday.

My assumption is that the Marlins played him so much at 3b in AAA to see if he could handle it. If he could, he'd usurp Emilio Bonifacio (like Fredi has the balls to bench him, right?). If he couldn't, he'd ride the bench. And we're now watching this happen. Hopefully Gaby atleast gets a chance to show what he's got. I don't know if he can handle getting 3 at bats a week. The same thing Brett Carroll had to go through forever (and he still doesn't play nearly enough).

I'd like to thank Nny for putting together all the stats and numbers. Dude knows his shit.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

So the Marlins need a bat...

So here we are on Thursday, July 23rd with the Florida Marlins 6 games behind the Phillies in the NL East, and just 3.5 games out of the wildcard (Rox, Giants, Cubs, Astros ahead of them). The low payroll Florida Marlins are somehow in the thick of things for the playoffs. Even after all the of moves made by both the front office and the managerial braintrust that left us shaking our heads, the Marlins have an actual chance at a playoff birth with about 65 games to go.

The three headed monster in the starting rotation is starting to come around. Josh Johnson has been a horse all season long. Chris Volstad has a 3.24era and under a 1.00whip for the month of July. Since Ricky Nolasco was sent to the minors towards the end of May, he has made 9 starts. In this 59.1 innings, he has a 2.73era to go along with a 1.03whip with 68 strikeouts and just 13 walks. Opposing batters are hitting just .218/.361/.355 against him during his recent run of dominance. The Fish are lacking a legit 4th starter right now, but it looks like Rick VandenHurk might be ready to contribute to the team for the first time in his young career.

The Marlins bullpen is pretty damn good. Dan Meyer has found the form that made him one of the best prospects in baseball a few seasons ago. Leo Nunez has been a rock back there in the abscence of closer Matt Lindstrom. Brian Sanches and Kiko Calero have been absolute revelations, proving yet again that seemingly anyone not named Jorge Julio can pitch effectively in the Marlins bullpen at anytime. The additions of veterans Brandon Donnelly and Luis Ayala only strengthen the Marlins bullpen even more.

What the Marlins need is a bat. A guy that can step in and just mash the ball. A guy that can play either corner outfield spot if need be, and even some first base at times. Being that the Marlins have payroll constraints, they could use someone that isn't exactly making that much money. It would be nice if this masher could also take a walk here and there. In a best case scenario, this player the Marlins would bring in would be a veteran but someone the players on the team could instantly connect with. In a perfect world, there wouldn't be a bunch of teams lining up to get this guy because of bigger fish in the sea (Matt Holliday, Roy Halladay, Victor Martinez). And oh yea, this player's current team would have to be terrible and be in somewhat of a cost-cutting mode so they could maybe save some money to try and sign their top draftee from 2009.

Next on ABC: "I'm a good hitter... get me outtttta here!"

As it turns out.... there is such a guy out there. He meets all of our requirements. Ya'll remember Josh Willingham, don't you? The guy we unceremoniously shipped off to D.C. along with Scott Olsen in exchange for Emilio Bonifacio (seriously) and a bunch of minors leaguers. Well it turns out, rumors of his back being shot for good were greatly exaggerated. Former Nationals Manager Manny Acta, not knowing how potent a weapon Josh Willingham's bat really is, started him off on the bench to begin the 2009 season. In exchange for this treatment, Josh hit all of .143/.302/.257 in 35 at bats in the month of April.

May finally comes around and with injuries to Elijah Dukes, Austin Kearns, Lastings Milledge and every other outfielder that Acta liked over Willingham, Acta had no choice but to start giving The Hammer some legit at bats. Josh hasn't seen the pine since (although Acta is now watching games at home on his couch after being fired... no doubt for his lack of trust in Josh Willingham). Since May 5th, Willingham is hitting .328/.438/.632 in 174 at bats. He has 27 walks to go with just 36 strikeouts. On the season, even with that horrid start, Josh has a .984 OPS. If he had enough at bats to qualify(missed a bunch of time due to a death in the family), that OPS would rank him 7th in the majors. That would be ahead of guys like Hanley, Utley, Miguel Cabrera and Mark Teixeira.

But Nomahhhhhh you ask, Hammer is probably just feasting on lefties, he can't come in and just tear up all the righties like we need him to. I'm so glad you posed that thought. While Josh is hitting .326/.492/.674 against lefties, he is still crushing righties to a tuen of .288/.389/.540 in 163 at bats. He's turned himself into a legit force in the middle of the order. Can you imagine just plugging his bat right behind Hanley and in front of Cantu? The best part is that depending on where Hammer plays in the field that day, you either get Emilio Bonifacio (Cantu at 3rd) or Chris Coghlan (who I love, but still he isn't bringing much to the table right now) out of the lineup on those days. How about a 2-3-4-5 of Hermida/Baker (walk machines), Hanley, Willingham and Cantu? Obviously Cody should be hitting 6th with Uggla 7th, but I think that might be asking too much of Fredi. We know he doesn't look at stats or splits or anything when he makes his decisions. Hell, he'd probably ask Hammer to hit 8th in his order.

Why are no other teams even interested in Willingham anyway? There were rumors saying the Cardinals may go after Josh if they can't land Matt Holliday. How about just going after the guy that have .150 OPS points on Holliday and won't cost nearly as much (in prospects or in salary). Seriously, when was the last time someone playing this well, making this little amount of money, relatively inexpensive (prospect-wise) was available in the middle of the season? It's not like he has baggage with him and it's not like he's a bad clubhouse guy. Forget Roy Halladay, the road to the playoffs goes through whichever team decides to man-up and grab Josh Willingham. If no one decides to, he'll just continue to kill the ball in D.C. and be everyone's worst nightmare down the stretch.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

What's new with Cameron Maybin?

He's been lighting up the PCL over the last few weeks and there is an obvious need for an upgrade in Miami. Here's what Baseball Prospectus' Kevin Goldstein has to say:

Cameron Maybin, CF, Marlins (Triple-A New Orleans) I'm not sure what else this guy has to do to get another chance. Maybin went 7-for-13 over the weekend and is batting .345/.428/.500 overall, including a .393 mark in his last 30 games. In addition, the once-disturbingly high strikeout rate has become much more manageable, as the former first-round pick has whiffed 38 times in 200 at-bats, although the power is significantly down, as he's hit just three home runs. Like Reds outfielder Drew Stubbs, he's a different player than he once was, but he might be an overall better one because of it, and he deserves second shot.
He certainly deserves a shot, and no doubt the Marlins could use a shot in the arm these days but perhaps his pending contract status/arbitation is what could keep Cam down in NOLA for longer than he probably should be.

Just to remind you before starting, 172 Days of service time is 1 MLB season.

Cam Maybin’s Service Time

Entering 2009 - 58 Days
April 6 -May 10 2009 - 35 Days
Total - 93 Days (He was sent down May 11th, not sure if day of transaction counts, so everything may be off by 1 day, but you get the idea).

July 7th today through end of the season - 90 Days (183 Days for Maybin)
August 1st through end of the season - 65 Days (158 Days for Maybin)
September 1st through end of the season (Oct. 4th) - 35 Days (128 Days for Maybin)

So depending on when we call him up, we have a few scenarios

Calling him up before July 19th

Maybin will accrue 1 year of service time by the end of 2009. Assuming he is on the major league roster here on out at the next call up, his progression would look like:

2010 - Minimum Salary; End of the year Service Time over 2 seasons
2011 - Minimum Salary; End of the year Service Time over 3 seasons
2012 - Arbitration year 1; End of the year Service Time over 4 seasons
2013 - Arbitration year 2; End of the year Service Time over 5 seasons
2014 - Arbitration year 3; End of the year Service Time over 6 seasons, FREE AGENCY

Calling him up July 19th-August 12thish

First, August 12th puts him at 135 days of service. Historical Super 2 Deadline is 128 days, lately it’s been 140 days as teams are playing younger players. I’m splitting the difference.

2010 - Minimum Salary; End of the year Service Time around 1.135
2011 - Minimum Salary; End of the year Service Time around 2.135
2012 - Super 2 Arbitration; End of the year Service Time around 3.335
2013 - Arbitration year 2; End of the year Service Time around 4.135
2014 - Arbitration year 3; End of the year Service Time around 5.135
2015 - Arbitration year 4; Service Time over 6 years, FREE AGENCY

Calling him up August 13thish or later

2010 - Minimum Salary; End of the year Service Time around 1.134
2011 - Minimum Salary; End of the year Service Time around 2.134
2012 - Minimum Salary; End of the year Service Time around 3.134
2013 - Arbitration year 1; End of the year Service Time around 4.134
2014 - Arbitration year 2; End of the year Service Time around 5.134
2015 - Arbitration year 3; End of the year Service Time over 6 years, FREE AGENCY


Basically, the Marlins have an entire year of control to gain by not calling him up until July 19th. It’s cutting it REALLY close, but following the service time progression, that’s how it is. At absolutely minimum, he's not coming up before July 19th. There is no way they risk an entire year of control for a few games.

The choice they have to make is, do they want to really try and nickel and dime it and wait till, let’s be really safe and say August 20th, to prevent Maybin from being a Super 2, or will they call him up end of July/Early August for the playoff push?

the above was courtesy of my boy lou... he's gonna be my arbitration guy someday when im running the nationals

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Hitter Roundup: June Edition

c/o my boy lou over at


Cameron Maybin
June - 76 AB, .382/.489/.500 (.949), 0HR, 14/13 BB/K, 4/2 SB
Season - 139 AB, .331/.422/.460 (.883), 1 HR, 19/23 BB/K, 5/2 SB

Doing what he should be doing. His line drive rates went up in June, even if he had a ridiculous BABIP (.433). I think we'd all like to see more HR, but the walks are there, the average is there, and the general contact is there. Power is always the last tool that develops and he's young. Looking good.

Gaby Sanchez
June - 84 AB, .250/.315/.405 (.720), 3 HR, 6/17 BB/K, 2 SB
Season - 171 AB, .298/.366/.462 (.828), 7 HR, 17/31 BB/K, 3 SB

Slumped a bit in June, but it's a small sample size and his season line is OK. What's notable is his seemingly fulltime transition to 3B. Maybe that is messing with his offense a little bit. Either way, he's probably not a call up coming off this kind of month but longterm he is still looking like a solid bat to have around.

John Raynor
June - 91 AB, .209/.263/.319 (.581), 1 HR, 4/27 BB/K, 4/1 SB
Season - 261 AB, .253/.304/.352 (.656), 3 HR, 16/64 BB/K, 8/5 SB

I didn't even think he was going to be this bad. Only positive here is he has a few option years so we can stash him in AAA for a few years and see if he regains some of his prospect clout from his A/AA days. Horrible. Simply horrible.

Brett Hayes
June - 66 AB, .242/.282/.364 (.645), 0 HR, 4/16 BB/K
Season - 178 AB, .264/.302/.343 (.645), 1 HR, 11/33 BB/K, 2 SB

Not very encouraging coming off the .851 OPS May, but I think we realize at this point Hayes isn't going to be a huge bat. Ideally, he can sit in AAA for the next year or two and develop his bat into a .250/.300/.350+ kind of guy that hits lefties harder than righties (.793 OPS vs LHP this year). With his defense, that would make him a solid backup. But like to see some more hits.

Jai Miller
June - 93 AB, .323/.369/.570 (.939), 3 HR, 7/20 BB/K, 2/1 SB
Season - 161 AB, .292/.361/.484 (.845), 4 HR, 18/42 BB/K, 5/3 SB

So Jai had a pretty good month, and his season looks alright. However, he has a sub .700 OPS versus RHP and a 1.300+ OPS versus LHP this year. Can't feel very confident about him turning into a bench outfielder if this is how he's going to play.


Mike Stanton
June - 84 AB, .214/.302/.369 (.671), 3 HR, 9/27 BB/K, 0/1 SB
Jupiter A+ - 180 AB, .294/.390/.578 (.968), 12 HR, 28/45 BB/K, 2/2 SB

The fact he is in AA at his age is ridiculous so an initial learning curve is expected. It's nice to see the BB rate, and a little bit of power. Just have to wait and see how long it takes him to figure it out. It may take awhile, but even if he's in AA the rest of this year and next, he's still way ahead of schedule.

Logan Morrison
June - 68 AB, .217/.325/.319 (.644), 1 HR, 11/9 BB/K, 1 SB
Season - 75 AB, .227/.348/.387 (.735), 2 HR, 14/10 BB/K, 1/1 SB

Back from injury, getting his timing back. It's nice to see the BB/K so he's still seeing the ball well. As with Stanton, just a matter of time. I'm expecting a big rest of the year.

Scott Cousins
June - 96 AB, .313/.383/.521 (.904), 3 HR, 10/13 BB/K, 6/3 SB
Season - 270 AB, .256/.325/.419 (.743), 7 HR, 26/57 BB/K, 16/5 SB

Welcome back Cousins. That was a very nice 300 OPS jump from your May total. Love the BB/K and huge huge decrease in strikeouts, and the average is fantastic. Your season line is still subpar, but we'll overlook it if perform well in July. It's also important to remember Cousins is left handed, and a plus defender. So he can become a pretty significant prospect if he starts to figure it out.

Bryan Petersen
June - 96 AB, .313/.367/.406 (.773), 1 HR, 9/17 BB/K, 0/3 SB
Season - 258 AB, .287/.362/.372 (.734), 2 HR, 32/51 BB/K, 10/5

Slightly better than what he's been doing all year. I ask again, where is the slugging! Last year, Petersen had a .477 slugging between three levels, and a .486 in AA Carolina. Where is the slugging! The average is good. The walks are nice. The strikeouts are borderline acceptable, but can we get some HR? You hit 23 last year in 488 AB. You have 2 to 258. What gives? Here's to hitting some XBH in the second half.


Matt Dominguez (who is very lonely)
June - 95 AB, .295/.352/.474 (.826), 3 HR, 9/14 BB/K, 1 SB
Season - 271 AB, .247/.305/.365 (.671), 5 HR, 21/51 BB/K, 1 SB

As with Cousins, Dominguez finally decided to show up. You can see the dramatic BB/K improvement, average, power, everything. This is the guy we drafted in the first round. Let's see him keep it up as he's the only hope for 3B in the organization (not including Gaby, but I don't think anyone sees him there longterm).


Isaac Galloway
June - 41 AB, .293/.340/.463 (.804), 1 HR, 3/12 BB/K, 2/2 SB
Season - 118 AB, .288/.331/.449 (.780), 2 HR, 8/32 BB/K, 8/4 SB

He's back from injury and seemingly picking up where he left off. It's a smaller sample size than everybody else so far, but I'd like to see improvements with the BB/K here on out. Love the average, as he's really raw, but just have to work with the plate discipline with the younger hitters. At this point, you can chalk this up to a big win for the Marlins to be able to sign him, and that he is doing pretty good in his first professional season.

Jake Smolinski
June - 77 AB, .299/.449/.468 (.917), 3 HR, 20/16 BB/K, 2/3 SB
Season - 142 AB, .261/.375/.444 (.819), 24/25 BB/K, 2/3 SB

Jake is playing 2B/3B, and you can consider him a younger Coghlan. He's everything as advertised. Advanced plate recognition for his age, excellent average, a little bit of pop which Greensboro is surely helping. I like him a lot and am excited to track him the next few years.

Kyle Skipworth
June - 67 AB, .254/.315/.328 (.643), 0 HR, 5/21 BB/K, 0/1 SB
Season - 189 AB, .201/.259/.328 (.587), 4 HR, 14/71 BB/K, 1/1 SB

I'm so glad we drafted him. It's sad to even say this, but his June line is up 200 OPS points from May. Look at the strikeouts. I want to punch something. Also looking for a positives, he simply cannot hit left handers at this stage of his career, and his season line moves up a bit against right handers. There is a lot of hope longterm. We're just not seeing any of it right now.


These guys just started so there isn't much. We have two big international signings here.

Jose Ceballos
Season - 23 AB, .217/.250/.261 (.511), 0 HR, 0/5 BB/K

He is a catcher, and ideally Skipworth and him each level and in 2013 we have two excellent young MLB ready catchers. Still a long long way to go.

Jose Torres
Season - 20 AB, .100/.095/.100 (.195), 0 HR, 0/5 BB/K, 0/1 SB

I feel silly even typing that line, but he is a SS from Venezuela. He wanted to play next to Miguel Cabrera in 5 years. Whoops. But he is definitely one to watch.


It's hard to judge if anyone is interesting here, especially since our top two picks in the draft are pitchers, but

Marquise Cooper
Season 22 AB, .136/.174/.136 (.310), 0 HR, 1/7 BB/K,1/7 BB/k, 1/1 SB

Our third round pick, and is a speedy low-power OF prospect. Welcome to baseball. Now get some hits.