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View Full Version : Sickels' Grades for Reds Prospects



BoydsOfSummer
01-30-2006, 04:37 PM
Just got my Baseball Prospect Book from John Sickels. Here are the Reds grades:

James Avery C
Homer Bailey B+
Bobby Basham C+
Willie Bergolla C
Jay Bruce B
Travis Chick C
Chris Denofia C+
Chris Dickerson C
Phil Dumatrait B-
Richie Gardner C
Justin Germano C+
Rafael Gonzalez C
Alex Graman C
Paul Janish C
Steve Kelly C
Bo Lanier C
Sam LeClure C+
Calvin Medlock C
Javon Moran C
Bubba Nelson C
Thomas Pauly C
Tyler Pelland C+
Miguel Perez C
Elizardo Ramirez C
Brandon Roberts C
Adam Rosales C
Jeff Stevens C+
B.J. Szymanski B-
Joey Votto C+
Zach Ward C+
Travis Wood B
Abe Woody C

Ravenlord
01-30-2006, 04:38 PM
i pretty much agree with Sickel's take, but i think he's undervaluing Denorfia and Medlock.

klw
01-30-2006, 05:00 PM
All those "C" ratings is giving me an awful flashback about my college Russian grades.

KronoRed
01-30-2006, 05:03 PM
With these grades we can totally get into a community college

Heath
01-30-2006, 05:15 PM
Sickels' also voted woy & krono posters of the year on redszone.com.

He gave Steel a B+. I couldn't believe it - blew me away. :D

Heath
01-30-2006, 05:15 PM
With these grades we can totally get into a community college

or UC. :p: ;)

KronoRed
01-30-2006, 05:16 PM
or UC. :p: ;)
BURN :laugh:

MikeS21
01-30-2006, 05:37 PM
I am vetry surprized to see Dumatrait rated a B-. I would have thought he was lower.

I also think he is being a little generous with Homer Bailey, since Bailey has shown no signs of being a dominating pitcher. I would be interested to see how that B+ compares to the grades Sickles has given some of the other recent young pitching studs.

Aronchis
01-30-2006, 06:52 PM
I am vetry surprized to see Dumatrait rated a B-. I would have thought he was lower.

I also think he is being a little generous with Homer Bailey, since Bailey has shown no signs of being a dominating pitcher. I would be interested to see how that B+ compares to the grades Sickles has given some of the other recent young pitching studs.

Most likely because of the piggyback system, Bailey's numbers were inflated, he pitched well down the stretch when he started.

Disagree that Bailey showed no signs. He showed plenty of signs, it is the consistancy of control that is his biggest hurdle and not one overly unexpected coming out of High School. His string of starts in May, 11k game late in the season when his arm was going full power was signs of dominance.

Signs don't mean "stud" yet, but they were there.

OSURedLeg
01-30-2006, 08:02 PM
I've read alot of Sickel's stuff, and the B+ rating for Bailey is based both on a decent debue at Dayton and outstanding projectibility. The only grade that surprised me was Dumatrait's, simply due to the fact that his control isn't there and it's not just post surgery - he's had a tendency for walks even beforehand.

MikeS21
01-30-2006, 08:50 PM
Most likely because of the piggyback system, Bailey's numbers were inflated, he pitched well down the stretch when he started.

Disagree that Bailey showed no signs. He showed plenty of signs, it is the consistancy of control that is his biggest hurdle and not one overly unexpected coming out of High School. His string of starts in May, 11k game late in the season when his arm was going full power was signs of dominance.

Signs don't mean "stud" yet, but they were there.
Any idea some of the other "big name" pitchers who may have been graded as a B+ at the same stage of their minor league career?

4256 Hits
01-30-2006, 09:06 PM
B.J. Szymanski B-

Here is another one that seems to high.

Danny Serafini
01-30-2006, 09:47 PM
That sure is a really lazy list. It's as if he gave everyone a C and then threw in a few random plusses just to make it look like he was doing some actual grading.

paintmered
01-30-2006, 09:53 PM
or UC. :p: ;)

Some of us UC guys have the power to ban.

Just sayin' :p:;)

dougdirt
01-30-2006, 11:04 PM
What on earth was he grading on, and how did he come to these conclusions? If Bailey gets a B+, then how does Travis Wood get a B? What more did he want Wood to do really? Szymanski and Rosales both played in Dayton, where Adam clearly outproduced him, yet got a grade lower than him. Bo Lainer did horrible this year, but gets a C, when Elizardo Ramirez does well in Triple A at the same age, and gets the same grade?

I dont know what he grades on, but it doesnt seem that he knows a whole lot.

M2
01-31-2006, 12:16 AM
What on earth was he grading on, and how did he come to these conclusions? If Bailey gets a B+, then how does Travis Wood get a B? What more did he want Wood to do really? Szymanski and Rosales both played in Dayton, where Adam clearly outproduced him, yet got a grade lower than him. Bo Lainer did horrible this year, but gets a C, when Elizardo Ramirez does well in Triple A at the same age, and gets the same grade?

I dont know what he grades on, but it doesnt seem that he knows a whole lot.

Wood's only pitched in rookie ball. I like what he's done as much as anyone, but that B probably marks a rise from the B-/C+ he'd have earned around draft time. Szymanski's got tools. Rosales' grade will rise if he continues to rip in 2006. He was a 12th round pick in 2005 and I can see not getting too geeked about one good year. Ideally a good grading system will move players slowly in either direction instead of in wild swings. Ramirez gets a C because he's a soup tosser. Giving him anything higher, IMO, would be a big mistake.

dougdirt
01-31-2006, 01:45 AM
I understand that m2. Of course, I didnt know what he was giving the grades based on. Granted the entire idea of it still makes no sense. If he grades on potential, then it doesnt make sense. If he grades on performance, then it doesnt make sense. I was just basically pointing out that his grading system, makes no sense at all.

BoydsOfSummer
01-31-2006, 01:46 AM
john regards himself as a tough grader, so a B or B+ from him is pretty high praise. He doesn't give out many in the A-range at all. Some other B-Rated players for comparison:

Joey Devine Atl P
Dustin Nippert ARZ P
Chuck James ATL P
Val Majewski BAL OF
Hayden Penn BAL P
Rich Hill CHIn P
Felix Pie CHIn OF
Eric Patterson CHIn 2B
Travis Bowyer Flo P
Josh Johnson FLO P
Scott Olsen FLO P
Chris Volstad FLO P
Cole Hamels Phi P
Gio Gonzalez PHI OF
Mike Costanzo PHI 3B
Tyler Greene STL SS
Cody Haerther STL OF
Mark McComack STL P
Colby Rasmus STL OF

Also by comparison the Marlins have 15 B-Rated prospects and one A guy in Hermida. All those "C's" for the Reds look bad because they are bad. A fact that holds true no matter who is doing the grading, I'm afraid.

dougdirt
01-31-2006, 02:12 AM
That Hermida kid.....watch out for him this season.
Cole Hamels gets a B? He cant be grading on talent, becuase that kid has so much talent its unreal.

Does the book say what it takes into account when having a grade given out? I just want to understand where John is coming from here.

Topcat
01-31-2006, 02:39 AM
or UC. :p: ;)


So true and face it if you can play basketball, who needs to even recite the alphabet ? :p:

BoxingRed
01-31-2006, 07:50 AM
An abreviated look at how Sickles grades: (Sorry I am not much of a typist or I would type out the whole thing)
"Grade A prospects are the elite. The have a good chance of becoming stars or superstars.
Grade B prospects have a good chance to enjoy succesful careers. Most end up spending several years in the makors , at the very least in a marginal role.
Grade C is the most common type. These are guys that who have something going for them, but who may have a question mark or 3 or who are too far from the majors to get an accurate feel."
He goes on to say that pitcher's grades are far less certain than hitters because of iujuries etc.
And:
"...the letter grade only tells so much. A Grade C prospect in rookie ball could end up being very impressive, while a Grade C prospect in AAA is likely just a future role player."
You really need to read the player comments for each guy to get a feel for where the grade is coming from. So, in other words, buy the book.:)

mound_patrol
01-31-2006, 08:56 AM
It looks like Sickels grades players based on how Baseball America regards athletes, or maybe it's the other way around. Either way the two seem a lot alike

Heath
01-31-2006, 09:03 AM
Some of us UC guys have the power to ban.

Just sayin' :p:;)

Congrats - you can spell ban ... welcome to UC ;) :p:

TRF
01-31-2006, 09:46 AM
This year Tyler Pelland and Javon Moran crank it up a notch. I can feel it.

Really.

Jpup
01-31-2006, 09:53 AM
This year Tyler Pelland and Javon Moran crank it up a notch. I can feel it.

Really.

I think that's just yesterday's lunch.:mooner:

KronoRed
01-31-2006, 11:31 AM
Congrats - you can spell ban ... welcome to UC ;) :p:
You're on a roll :devil:

Doc. Scott
01-31-2006, 12:08 PM
A guy who was picked up for free at the end of the season (Alex Graman) gets the same grade as Travis Chick? Geez.

I understand and appreciate that a B is higher praise than the average it's become to a typical college student, but that seems a little stiff.

Honestly, Sickels might do himself a little more justice if he created more notches on his rating scale. As it stands, it's a little oversimplified if you're just looking at the grade.

dougdirt
01-31-2006, 12:48 PM
boxingred, thanks for the breif explanation.

I have to say that I agree with Doc Scott, more notches in the system would be nice.

BoxingRed
01-31-2006, 01:45 PM
I have to say that I agree with Doc Scott, more notches in the system would be nice.
If you read the profiles for each player he does a nice job of explaining most ratings.
He basically says Chick has a high ceiling, but really stunk up AA ball last year so he reserves judgement. I think that is a fair assessment.

dougdirt
01-31-2006, 02:47 PM
Boxingred, I was more talking about the more grades system, not really the assessment of Travis Chick. Thanks for the info BR, I am going to go out and take a look at the book.

M2
01-31-2006, 03:30 PM
If you read the profiles for each player he does a nice job of explaining most ratings.
He basically says Chick has a high ceiling, but really stunk up AA ball last year so he reserves judgement. I think that is a fair assessment.

Chick was as misused as any pitcher in baseball last season. It was clear he wasn't ready for AA, but the Reds and Padres kept trotting him out there for an every-fifth-day beating. FWIW, there was a rumor going around Chattanooga late last season that Chick's arm was hanging by a thread. From what I understand, his velo dropped off quite a bit in his last few starts.

lollipopcurve
01-31-2006, 03:34 PM
FWIW, there was a rumor going around Chattanooga late last season that Chick's arm was hanging by a thread. From what I understand, his velo dropped off quite a bit in his last few starts.

The numbers sure suggested that. By the end of the year, he was having 0 K/1 K starts. They need to be sure about what's going on in that shoulder.

Aronchis
01-31-2006, 03:41 PM
Supposedly Chick was back throwing bullets again at the Instrutional league after his month "off", for what its worth.

dougdirt
01-31-2006, 03:45 PM
Thats good to hear Aronchis, hopefully there is some truth to that. I would expect him to be back in Chattanooga again, hopefully with better success.

Doc. Scott
01-31-2006, 03:47 PM
If you read the profiles for each player he does a nice job of explaining most ratings.
He basically says Chick has a high ceiling, but really stunk up AA ball last year so he reserves judgement. I think that is a fair assessment.

Sure, gotcha. But to the casual observer, the grades list says a minor-league free agent and a 21-year-old in AA with a 95+ fastball are the same level of prospect. If the system had a couple more gradations (although how to do that without sacrificing the elegance of the A/B/C stuff is another matter), you'd have fewer of these sorts of issues. And Sickels doesn't generally give away the player comments for free, just the grades.

redsfanmia
01-31-2006, 08:04 PM
If this guy Sickels is such a brilliant analyst of minor league talent then why isnt he a farm director for a major league team? I just question anything buy the so called experts. Just my opinion ofcourse.

BoydsOfSummer
01-31-2006, 11:11 PM
There are actually more than 3 grades to the system: A+, A, A-, B+ and so on. I've seen him agonize over whether to give a guy a B+ or a B for instance. He's also a blend of scouting and performance metrics. He isn't the be all end all, but I think he does good work and enjoy his efforts

cincinnati chili
01-31-2006, 11:15 PM
I also think he is being a little generous with Homer Bailey, since Bailey has shown no signs of being a dominating pitcher. I would be interested to see how that B+ compares to the grades Sickles has given some of the other recent young pitching studs.

Ask and you shall receive. I've bought all his books since 2001.

By the way, in his 2001 book he defined "B" prospects as having "a good chance for successful major league careers."

So I think he's given a HUGE benefit of the doubt to Bailey, who I'd consider to have a slight (not good) chance of a successful major league career

Ainsworth Kurt 2001
Baxter Gerik 2001
Belisle Matt 2001
Bridges Donnie 2001
Cedeno Jovanny 2001
Christensen Ben 2001
Colome Jesus 2001
Cruz Juan 2001
George Chris 2001
Johnson Adam 2001
Kinney Matt 2001
Myers Brett 2001
Neugebauer Nick 2001
Peavy Jake 2001
Redding Tim 2001
Serrano Wascar 2001
Smith Bud 2001
Sonnier Shawn 2001
Torres Joe 2001
Wainwright Adam 2001
Williams Jerome 2001
Ainsworth Kurt 2002
Baugh Kenny 2002
Bonsor Boof 2002
Brazelton Dewon 2002
Claussen Brandon 2002
Gobble Jimmy 2002
Heaverlo Jeff 2002
Heilman Aaron 2002
Hernandez Carlos 2002
Johnson Adam 2002
Journell Jimmy 2002
Malone Corwin 2002
Myers Brett 2002
Ramos Mario 2002
Song Seung 2002
Soriano Rafael 2002
Thomas Brad 2002
Wainwright Adam 2002
Williams Jerome 2002
Arnold Jason 2003
Basham Bobby 2003
Bonderman Jeremy 2003
Bonsor Boof 2003
Brazelton Dewon 2003
Burnett Sean 2003
Figueroa Jonathan 2003
German Franklyn 2003
Greinke Zach 2003
Guzman Angel 2003
Hannaman Ryan 2003
Hanrahan Joel 2003
Heilman Aaron 2003
Honel Kris 2003
Kazmir Scott 2003
Kozlowski Ben 2003
Levinski Don 2003
Lewis Colby 2003
McBride Macay 2003
McGowan Dustin 2003
Nageotte Clint 2003
Rodriguez Ricardo 2003
Santana Johan (of the Angels) 2003
Sisco Andy 2003
Song Seung 2003
Tallet Brian 2003
Traber Billy 2003
Valentine Joe 2003 :laugh: (I liked him too... oops)
VanBenschoten John 2003
Willis Dontrelle 2003
Young Jason 2003
Banks Josh 2004
Bautista Denny 2004
Blackley Travis 2004
Blasko Chadd 2004
Bonsor Boof 2004
Bruney Brian 2004
Buchholz Taylor 2004
Burnett Sean 2004
Bush David 2004
Craine Jesse 2004
Cruceta Francisco 2004
Francis Jeff 2004
Gaugin Chad 2004
Gobble Jimmy 2004
Guzman Angel 2004
Hanrahan Joel 2004
Hawksworth Blake 2004
Hernandez Felix 2004
Jenks Bobby 2004
Maine John 2004
McBride Macay 2004
Meyer Dan 2004
Nageotte Clint 2004
Nolasco Ricky 2004
Oquendo Ian 2004
Parra Manny 2004
Santana Erwin 2004
Sisco Andy 2004
Tsao Chin-Hui 2004
Valdez Merkin 2004
VanBenschoten John 2004
Young Jason 2004
Zumaya Joel 2004

SteelSD
02-01-2006, 12:40 AM
If this guy Sickels is such a brilliant analyst of minor league talent then why isnt he a farm director for a major league team?

You've now wiped out the entire sports journalism, broadcasting, and commentator community except for pretty much Steve Phillips, Dick Vitale, John Madden, Mike Fratello, Doug Collins, and Don Cherry.

Unfortunately, Phillips can barely tie his shoes much less handle a computer. VITALE TYPES IN ALL CAPS, BABY!!!!!! Madden has to screen print his articles from his telestrator. And they'll all quit once Cherry shows up and calls Phillips stupid, Madden fat, Collins "vanilla", tells Fratello that he's a short mook, and slams Vitale as the most annoying loudmouth he's ever seen. And Cherry will do that within 30 seconds of meeting them.

Great job. Now you've got Don Cherry covering MLB, the NBA, the NHL, and the NFL. Super work!

Don's first MLB game report:

"So today the Colorado Rockies got beat by the Milwaukee Brewers 7-1. I don't know what that's all about. Rockies got eight goaltenders behind their pitcher and still get beat even though I counted that they had more shots on goal. But the worst thing about the game is this one play in the 2nd Inning when the Brewers guy ran to second base and slid into the second baseman to break up a double play. That second baseman did NOTHING about it. Just got up and walked back to his position. I'll tell you, when I was coaching the Rockies back in 1979, I had this kid named Lanny McDonald and if someone woulda' come at him low, Lanny would have just taken that other guy's head clean off and wouldn't think twice about it even if he'd have taken a five-minute major for it. Speaking of penalties, I kept asking folks where the penalty boxes were in this joint and they kept asking if I meant 'luxury boxes'. The town's full of idiots for sure.

But this freaking Rockies team is a bunch of pansies who avoid contact at all costs and won't even hit the boards hard in the outfield to gain control of the ball. When I was coaching if you saw a guy slow up going into the corner, you just knew that he wasn't working hard enough for it. So far, all I can tell is that this baseball game is a bunch of wusses and slackers playing each other and Colorado's goals-against is just awful so far this season. But at least baseball got rid of Montreal because those Frenchies are the biggest bunch of whiners on the planet.

Tune in for tomorrow's edition where I'll tell you how the Dominicans are ruining baseball just like the Europeans ruined hockey!"

REDREAD
02-01-2006, 09:54 AM
Ask and you shall receive. I've bought all his books since 2001.



Wow, a big thumbs up for taking the time to type all that in. thanks :thumbup:

gonelong
02-01-2006, 10:48 AM
If this guy Sickels is such a brilliant analyst of minor league talent then why isnt he a farm director for a major league team? I just question anything buy the so called experts. Just my opinion ofcourse.

I don't know much abou Sickels, but you surely don't have to be working for a team to worthy of grading them.

The same could have easily been said (and likely was) about James. Now he is working for a MLB team, and he has a championship under his belt to top it off.

GL

Redsland
02-01-2006, 01:46 PM
Steel:

:clap: :laugh: