PDA

View Full Version : It's the Halfway Point of the Season: Who's in Your Top 10?



Scrap Irony
07-10-2012, 02:18 AM
1. Billy Hamilton, SS
Comment: Dominant half-season in Bakersfield. Has improved his plate discipline greatly, allowing for a much higher obp, key to his game. Has also begun to master the art of bunting, another great sign that he understands what he needs to do to succeed moving forward. His hit tool is above average, his arm is solid, but his glove needs serious work, and he'll never hit for much power. His ceiling is Brett Butler with the stolen bases of Tim Raines. I'll definitely take that from my shortstop. Or, if need be, CF.

2.(T) Tony Cingrani, SP
Comment: He's done nothing but dominate the competition since being drafted last year out of Rice. He's learning how to throw his slider, but his fastball and control remain his calling card. And, oh my, what a card it's been. 30 starts, 150 IP, 100 H. 1.44 ERA. 12.1 K/9. Those are ace numbers. Questions about his slider keep him below Hamilton, but he's got a high, high ceiling. His floor is lower than others on this list, but even then, he profiles as a late-inning reliever. Which isn't bad at all.

2. (T) Daniel Corcino, SP
Comment: I'm chickening out on the Corcino/ Cingrani debate by naming them 2A and 2B. Both are looking good as starters in AA, a great sign for Cincinnati's future rotational plans. Corcino's taken a step back after being aggressively promoted straight to AA from Dayton. His K and BB rates have taken a hit, but he's not allowing any more runs. He needs to cut down on his walks, as he's issuing more than four per game. Other than that, he looks like a solid MOR starter.

4. Robert Stephenson, SP
Comment: Took a year getting his mechanics ironed out. So far, it's been worth the wait. Great stuff. Good beginning to his career at Billings. I'm normally reticent about ranking Pioneer Leaguers-- too far to go, too many questions that cannot be answered that early in their careers. But, from all accounts, Stephenson looks like the real deal.

5. Henry Rodriguez, 2B/ 3B
Comment: All he does is hit. And hit some more. He's played six season professionally and hit over .300 in the past five. Rodriguez is now playing 2B for Louisville after having switched in the offseason to the hot corner. Defensively, it looks as if the Reds are okay with him at either post. As a switch hitter who rarely strikes out (11% this year, after 13% last season), he'd be an ideal number two hitter for the Reds. He's only 22 and has just returned from a broken thumb. Expect his power (decent-- expect 10-15 HR pop with a slugging percentage in the .450 range) to take a hit the rest of this year as he heals up from the injury.

6. Kyle Lotzkar, SP
Comment: Only 22, Lotzkar has seen his fair share of trials and tribulations. When healthy, he's been outstanding. Unfortunately, he was healthy very rarely early in his career. This year, all is better. His delivery is much cleaner as well. His K rate is still awesome, at 10.5 for the year, but his BB rate is too high (4.3, with it rising to 4.7 in AA). At this point, all he needs is innings. Profiles as another MOR starter, assuming he gets his walks down a bit.

7. JJ Hoover, RP
Comment: Hoover's been very good in Cincinnati and would have stuck, were it not for veteran Bill Bray's return to active duty. He's been a reliever this year, but has also shown the ability to start. At 24, he's toying with the kids in AAA and needs to be challenged. But the Red pen is so strong right now, he's not really needed. When he is needed, Hoover's shown a very good fastball, a high K rate, and an extremely low H rate. Could very well be the closer of the future in Cincinnati.

8. Donnie Joseph, RP
Comment: If not for Hoover, Joseph might get more pub. As is, he's been lights out in both AA and AAA this season after struggling in 2011. Joseph, like Hoover, is a 24 year-old, with great stuff. He's equally hard to hit and has just as high a K rate, though it's split between AA and AAA and not AAA and the majors. As a southpaw, Joseph's floor is as a major league LOOGY, something the Reds may need as early as next season.

9. JC Sulbaran, SP
The forgotten fourth of the Pensacola starting group, Sulbaran is also 22 in AA. He's giving up a hit an inning, with a K rate above one per IP. He walks too many (4.5 per 9), and has been HR prone as well, indicating he's a fly ball pitcher. (That may not work all that well in the GABP.) This is Sulbaran's first taste of sustained success in the minor leagues. He profiles as a BOR starter, but, in about half of the preceding decade's prospect lists, likely would have ranked as the top pitcher on the list.

10. Yorman Rodriguez, OF
Comment: Perhaps the most disappointing first half prospect in the Red pipeline, Rodriguez was pushed to Bakersfield in the hopes that he would grow into his massive potential. Instead, he took a giant step backward. After a week of soul-searching (and some work in Arizona), Stormin' Yorman went back to Dayton where he's been hitting well for a couple weeks. Still only 19, Rodriguez has a super quick bat and major power potential. In limited time in Dayton this year, he's put up a 900+ OPS. He still strikes out far too much, but, at 19, has time to figure it out.

Honorable Mention: (No order)
Donald Lutz, OF/1B
Jesse Winker, OF
Neftali Soto, 1B
Ryan Wright, 2B
Kyle Waldrop, OF
Juan Perez, SS
Tanner Rahier, 3B
Ty Washington, 2B/ SS
Tucker Barnhart, C

camisadelgolf
07-10-2012, 02:43 AM
Even if Hoover doesn't return to the big leagues, he doesn't qualify as a rookie next year.

Scrap Irony
07-10-2012, 02:59 AM
Meh.

He's in the minors now. He started the season in the minors.

I should probably re-do my list, but, screw it. He's a prospect in my book.

camisadelgolf
07-10-2012, 04:52 AM
Does a player actually need to get on the field to qualify for your list? There was no mention of Nick Travieso. And are you not on the Ryan LaMarre bandwagon at all?

Benihana
07-10-2012, 05:49 AM
Lutz, Winker and Gregorius would all be ahead of any relievers for me. Otherwise the list seems reasonable. I'd put Lotzkar ahead of Rodriguez but I understand the counter argument as well.

HokieRed
07-10-2012, 09:37 AM
David Vidal would have to be somewhere on my list (in the honorable mention category). .870 in his stint at Bakersfield and shows every sign lately of adjusting at AA. .959 over the last ten games. 22 year old.

dougdirt
07-10-2012, 11:40 AM
1. Daniel Corcino
2. Billy Hamilton
3. Robert Stephenson
4. Nick Travieso
5. Tanner Rahier
6. Didi Gregorius
7. Jesse Winker
8. Henry Rodriguez
9. Kyle Lotzkar
10. Tony Cingrani

mace
07-10-2012, 12:52 PM
I think it's a very good list, Scrap. The reality is, though, that our comments inherently dwell on our disagreements.

In this case, I don't have many. I suspect that you may have inadvertently left off Gregorius, but maybe not. He'd be in my top 10. Sulbaran probably wouldn't.

I think Lutz belongs there, as well. He might bump Yorman, in my view. I love what Yorman has done recently, and there's no disputing his potential, but I'd like to see a little staying power before returning him to the top echelon.

On your second-tier list, the only guy I'd omit is Ty Washington. Just haven't seen enough yet. I'd consider Avain Rachal, Sal Romano, and, like many of us, Vidal and LaMarre.

Kc61
07-10-2012, 12:58 PM
I don't have a top ten list, but after all the prospect trades last off-season, I'm pretty impressed by the quality of these lists. Particularly when you add in the guys just drafted.

The depth is coming back.

Blitz Dorsey
07-10-2012, 01:16 PM
I cheated and went Top 12:


1. Billy Hamilton – SS
2. Tony Cingrani – LHP
3. Daniel Corcino – RHP
4. Robert Stephenson – RHP
5. Kyle Lotzkar – RHP
6. JJ Hoover – RHP
7. Donnie Joseph – LHP
8. Neftali Soto – 1B
9. Henry Rodriguez – 3B
10. Nick Travieso – RHP
11. Didi Gregorius – SS
12. Jesse Winker – OF

TOBTTReds
07-10-2012, 01:30 PM
Hamilton
Corcino
Stephenson
Cingrani
Travieso
Lotzkar
Winker
Gregorius
Rahier
HRod

lollipopcurve
07-10-2012, 01:37 PM
I'm going with something like this:

1. Cingrani
2. Corcino
3. Hamilton
4. Lutz
5. YRod
6. Gregorius
7. Stephenson
8. Lamarre
9. Vidal
10. Winker

I'll wait on Travieso and Rahier.

fearofpopvol1
07-10-2012, 03:55 PM
1. Daniel Corcino
2. Billy Hamilton
3. Robert Stephenson
4. Nick Travieso
5. Tanner Rahier
6. Didi Gregorius
7. Jesse Winker
8. Henry Rodriguez
9. Kyle Lotzkar
10. Tony Cingrani

No Yorman? I thought you were high on him. Also, isn't Travieso a bit high for never having thrown a pitch in the minors? Especially considering that thread is who is in your first half top 10? I know his makeup and pedigree are good, but this just seems high for someone who hasn't played an inning of pro ball yet.

RedlegJake
07-10-2012, 03:57 PM
Hamilton
Corcino
Cingrani
Stephenson
Winker
Lotzkar
HRod
Joseph
Gregorious
Lutz
YRod (just on his tools and potential and the fact he's only 19)
LaMarre
Sulbaran

I left off Travieso and Gelalich and Rahier as too soon to really tell. Winker and Stephenson almost got the same axe but their brief showings have been so good I had to include them. Just missing are some like Theo Bowe, Barnhart, Washington, Wright and Robert Maddox has been busting out some lumber.

dougdirt
07-10-2012, 04:00 PM
No Yorman? I thought you were high on him. Also, isn't Travieso a bit high for never having thrown a pitch in the minors? Especially considering that thread is who is in your first half top 10? I know his makeup and pedigree are good, but this just seems high for someone who hasn't played an inning of pro ball yet.

I am pretty high on Yorman. Had him at #5 preseason and I still think he has the best overall set of tools of anyone in the system. But his patience at the plate was so terrible in Bakersfield and it hasn't exactly been good in Dayton this year either that he is sitting just outside of the Top 10 for me right now.

As for Travieso, no. From all of the video I have watched on him, I really like him. I don't have to see him throw against professionals to know how much I like his stuff. I had Stephenson ranked at #6 coming into the year without ever throwing a pitch and I wasn't concerned by it at all. When I updated my list for the Mid season, he had not yet thrown a pitch and was my #3 guy.

The Rage
07-10-2012, 05:16 PM
1.Hamilton
2.Corcino
3.Stephenson
4.Trivieso
5.Winker
6.Cingrani
7.Gregorius
8.Sulbaran
9.Rahier
10.Lotzkar

This is like the bizzaro Reds. Arms,arms and more arms. They fill the major league starting rotation and the minors. This is the way things were supposed to be looking in 2003..... They got in in the upper minors and the lower minors. The positional prospects are lacking after the Latos trade, but can be restocked. I tried to mix production and ceiling the best I saw fit. I am not to concerned about Corcino's k/bb "issues" yet. He may be struggling with the jump a bit there. I think that issue would take care of itself in August if he puts up a good month.

Ohayou
07-10-2012, 08:33 PM
1. Billy Hamilton
2. Daniel Corcino
3. Robert Stephenson
4. Tony Cingrani
5. Nick Travieso
6. Jesse Winker
7. Didi Gregorius
8. Henry Rodriguez
9. Kyle Lotzkar
10. Donald Lutz

New Fever
07-10-2012, 08:48 PM
1. Billy Hamilton
2. Robert Stephenson
3. Daniel Corcino
4. Yorman Rodriquez
5. Tanner Rahier
6. Nicholas Travieso
7. Tony Cingrani
8. Jesse Winker
9. Didi Gregorius
10. Kyle Lotzkar

Scrap Irony
07-10-2012, 09:44 PM
For those of you who have Corcino so far ahead of Cingrani, why?

They're in the same level and Cingrani's pitched much, much better. I realize Cingrani needs to work on his third pitch, but Corcino needs to work on his control. Too, Cingrani's LH, too, and has a much higher K rate, indicating more movement, better control on his fastball and a more effective off-speed pitch.

Is it doug's opinion that carries so much weight, or is it scouting reports by other supposed experts who likely haven't seen him pitch at all? (Or, being generous, twice in two years.)

The Rage
07-10-2012, 09:48 PM
For those of you who have Corcino so far ahead of Cingrani, why?

They're in the same level and Cingrani's pitched much, much better. I realize Cingrani needs to work on his third pitch, but Corcino needs to work on his control. Too, Cingrani's LH, too, and has a much higher K rate, indicating more movement, better control on his fastball and a more effective off-speed pitch.

Is it doug's opinion that carries so much weight, or is it scouting reports by other supposed experts who likely haven't seen him pitch at all? (Or, being generous, twice in two years.)

Cingrani is older and Corcino skipped a level. That may have slowed his development a bit, but obviously not enough to make him ineffective. We hit AAA next year and Corcino blows up while Cingrani struggles, nobody would be surprised.

Joey Votto put up a inferior AAA season in 2007 than his AA 2006 season, didn't mean much.

dougdirt
07-10-2012, 09:56 PM
For those of you who have Corcino so far ahead of Cingrani, why?

They're in the same level and Cingrani's pitched much, much better. I realize Cingrani needs to work on his third pitch, but Corcino needs to work on his control. Too, Cingrani's LH, too, and has a much higher K rate, indicating more movement, better control on his fastball and a more effective off-speed pitch.

Is it doug's opinion that carries so much weight, or is it scouting reports by other supposed experts who likely haven't seen him pitch at all? (Or, being generous, twice in two years.)

Because no one doubts that Corcino is a starting pitcher and there is still a whole bunch of people out there who aren't convinced that Cingrani is a for sure starter.

Cingrani, in no way, shape or form has a better off speed pitch than that of Corcino. Cingrani's breaking ball is average when it is at its best and more of a 30-40 pitch. His change up is above-average to plus depending on where you look, but he also doesn't throw it. So it isn't really effective. Corcino on the other hand has an above-average to plus slider that he uses well. Corcino's change up is quite a bit better than Cingrani's slider is. That leaves Corcino with much better offspeed stuff and still with an above-average fastball, though not quite the same kind of fastball as Cingrani.

And again, I really think you aren't giving people enough credit if you think BA/BP/Sickels are talking to guys who have only seen Cingrani pitch one or two times in the last two years.

JaxRed
07-10-2012, 09:56 PM
You know that Cingrani skipped a level also, right? Bypassed Dayton and has gone from Rookie Ball to AA in 1 year.

camisadelgolf
07-10-2012, 09:58 PM
I have confidence in Cingrani being able to handle starting duties at the Major League level but to think he'd be better than a #3 starter is very optimistic imho.

membengal
07-10-2012, 10:39 PM
1. Daniel Corcino
2. Billy Hamilton
3. Robert Stephenson
4. Nick Travieso
5. Tanner Rahier
6. Didi Gregorius
7. Jesse Winker
8. Henry Rodriguez
9. Kyle Lotzkar
10. Tony Cingrani

LOL

Trolling par excellance.

dougdirt
07-10-2012, 10:40 PM
LOL

Trolling par excellance.

Huh?

camisadelgolf
07-10-2012, 10:53 PM
LOL

Trolling par excellance.
This might be the most ironic thing I've ever read.

membengal
07-10-2012, 10:55 PM
This might be the most ironic thing I've ever read.

Yay, the dougdirt defense team is here!

Whhheeeeee!!!

dougdirt
07-10-2012, 10:58 PM
I am still trying to figure out how I was trolling anything by posting my current Top 10 prospects in a thread about our individual Top 10 prospects....

membengal
07-10-2012, 11:00 PM
You put Cingrani 10th. Whatever. Its Stubbs all over again, only in reverse.

camisadelgolf
07-10-2012, 11:09 PM
Yay, the dougdirt defense team is here!

Whhheeeeee!!!
mem, I'm with you. I think Doug's underrating Cingrani. But I'm sick of seeing people bringing it up repeatedly, especially without bringing up any new points. Doug's not 100% on board the Cingrani wagon. Cool. If that's trolling, what do you call it when a board member follows around another board member from thread to thread just to point out how ridiculous of an opinion someone has? You're one of my favorite posters, but you're not doing anyone any favors with comments that are bordering on sniping.

dougdirt
07-10-2012, 11:11 PM
You put Cingrani 10th. Whatever. Its Stubbs all over again, only in reverse.

You seem to be offended by how I feel about a prospect. Or that I simply make things up about him to justify my rankings. That isn't the case. I have absolutely no reason to love/hate someone. I am a Reds fan. I want them all to be #1 starters and #3 hitters. But they aren't all that. In fact, none of them are likely going to be close to that.

You don't have to like my way of ranking prospects. I feel confident in my rankings at the time I make them. I have seen Tony Cingrani pitch 5 times this season. There is a lot to like. There are also several questions that still need to be answered in regards to him remaining as a starting pitcher regardless of what the numbers say. If you don't like my opinion on it, then to quote you, "whatever".

membengal
07-10-2012, 11:12 PM
Not sure how to really respond to it. It looks willful at this point. He's got a guy who has put up the crazy numbers scrap outlined, built at a hitter's paradise in the Cal League, and then continuing up to AA, while having skipped a level, behind a guy who hasn't thrown one pitch as a pro and two hitters making rookie ball debuts. And that's not even taking into consideration having him behind Gregorius, a nice glove no hit SS.

Its laughable.

What scrap highlighted:


And, oh my, what a card it's been. 30 starts, 150 IP, 100 H. 1.44 ERA. 12.1 K/9.

membengal
07-10-2012, 11:13 PM
mem, I'm with you. I think Doug's underrating Cingrani. But I'm sick of seeing people bringing it up repeatedly, especially without bringing up any new points. Doug's not 100% on board the Cingrani wagon. Cool. If that's trolling, what do you call it when a board member follows around another board member from thread to thread just to point out how ridiculous of an opinion someone has? You're one of my favorite posters, but you're not doing anyone any favors with comments that are bordering on sniping.

There, I broke it down. Better?

I will try and ignore it from here on out. But, again, this is the Stubbs thing all over again, in reverse. For years that fight went on, doug vs. the world. I hoped doug would win, but man, Stubbs has been the awful with the bat, just he was all through the minors. It is what it is.

dougdirt
07-10-2012, 11:17 PM
Not sure how to really respond to it. It looks willful at this point. He's got a guy who has put up the crazy numbers scrap outlined, built at a hitter's paradise in the Cal League, and then continuing up to AA, while having skipped a level, behind a guy who hasn't thrown one pitch as a pro and two hitters making rookie ball debuts.

Its laughable.

Why aren't you all over New Fever? You didn't even ask him why he had Cingrani behind two hitters making rookie ball debuts and one guy who hasn't thrown one pitch as a pro.

What about The Rage who had him behind that same non professional pitch thrower and one of those hitters making his rookie ball debut?

What about when every publication out there is still quoting scouts who think Cingrani is a reliever? (Note: They also mention some who believe he is a starter). Do they not have a clue at all and are laughable at their profession that Major League teams (multiple ones at that) are paying to evaluate talent?

dougdirt
07-10-2012, 11:18 PM
There, I broke it down. Better?

I will try and ignore it from here on out. But, again, this is the Stubbs thing all over again, in reverse. For years that fight went on, doug vs. the world. I hoped doug would win, but man, Stubbs has been the awful with the bat, just he was all through the minors. It is what it is.

I think you misremember the Stubbs debate. My side was that he would develop the power. He did and he did it rather quickly upon entering the Major Leagues. He isn't the weak slap hitter that a whole bunch of people were claiming he was.

membengal
07-10-2012, 11:19 PM
Yes, I think anyone whether it is you or Goldstein or Law or whomever that is pigeon-holing Cingrani as merely a reliever at this point is laughable.

He's got more than just a chance to start. And the results scream there is something there to date.

membengal
07-10-2012, 11:21 PM
I think you misremember the Stubbs debate. My side was that he would develop the power. He did and he did it rather quickly upon entering the Major Leagues. He isn't the weak slap hitter that a whole bunch of people were claiming he was.

The Stubbs debate also revolved around contact and average, and he has been just a disaster on that front, from minors into majors. And it is killing his career. Just like pretty much everyone said it would.

dougdirt
07-10-2012, 11:30 PM
The Stubbs debate also revolved around contact and average, and he has been just a disaster on that front, from minors into majors. And it is killing his career. Just like pretty much everyone said it would.

I feel pretty confident you won't find a post by me suggesting Stubbs would have good contact rates or average.

kaldaniels
07-10-2012, 11:40 PM
Not being someone who follows the kids in the minors on a daily basis, I must say it's fun to track the stock market-like movement of these guys up and down the rankings. Good posts by all on here. Thanks!

Scrap Irony
07-10-2012, 11:48 PM
Because no one doubts that Corcino is a starting pitcher and there is still a whole bunch of people out there who aren't convinced that Cingrani is a for sure starter.

Cingrani, in no way, shape or form has a better off speed pitch than that of Corcino. Cingrani's breaking ball is average when it is at its best and more of a 30-40 pitch. His change up is above-average to plus depending on where you look, but he also doesn't throw it. So it isn't really effective. Corcino on the other hand has an above-average to plus slider that he uses well. Corcino's change up is quite a bit better than Cingrani's slider is. That leaves Corcino with much better offspeed stuff and still with an above-average fastball, though not quite the same kind of fastball as Cingrani.

And again, I really think you aren't giving people enough credit if you think BA/BP/Sickels are talking to guys who have only seen Cingrani pitch one or two times in the last two years.



Fastball Ė Daniel Corcino has a very live Fastball. He can consistently bring the heat with a fastball that sits at 93-94 mph. But he is capable of a little extra and can light the radar gun at 97 mph. This pitch comes in straight, but does get on the hitters quickly. He can throw this pitch with control, but has a nasty tendency to overthrow this pitch, which can cause him to lose command of the strike zone.

Slider Ė This pitch is an excellent compliment to his major league ready fastball. The slider has a hard break away from right-handed hitters. With velocity that has good variation from his fastball, the hitters canít cheat on the fastball. With the big break on this pitch it flashes as a plus major league offering. The greatest problem with this offering is that Corcino often overthrows this pitch. It is actually more effective when he throttles back on this pitch allowing him to throw with more control.

Changeup Ė This pitch is a below average pitch but can be thrown for strikes. This pitch is not used enough. The problem with this pitch is that Corcino hasnít had to use it much and certainly hasnít needed to work on refining it. His other 2 offerings are so dominant, that this pitch has largely gone ignored from a developmental standpoint. However, Corcino will have to learn how to use this pitch effectively at higher levels if he is to continue his rising prospect status.


Two pitches. Just like Cingrani.

Off-speed means anything other than a fastball. Is Corcino's slider better than Cingrani's change-up? I'd say they're about even, maybe a slight edge to Corcino. Fastball velocity is about even. (BA says both pitch in the low 90s, but can "crank it up" to 97/98.), but Cingrani's has more movement and he controls it better. Cingrani's slider v. Corcino's change-- meh.

So, with all else being equal, let's look at three variables-- mechanics, production, and age. Corcino's described as a max-effort kind of guy who often overthrows. Cinani's praised as a pitcher who keeps the ball hidden well with clean arm slot and balance. Corcino has the edge in age-- by a year. Cingrani has performed far better while in AA (and in his career) though it's a much smaller sample size.

At this point, there's really not much difference.

Certainly not eight spots' worth.

Now, you could cite out-of-date reports about worries because of a lack of a third pitch (which... he has... which... is okay... but which needs work... like all minor league pitchers). Or you could grab onto the experts who've seen him pitch... maybe. You might cite his small sample size. (Though poo-poohing that dominance at age-appropriate levels and leagues levelled against pitchers seems... biased.) You might point out his lack of pedigree. (Though that would also ding Corcino, Cueto, and, to a lesser degree, Votto and Dunn.)

Corcino has had a longer track record of decent numbers, true. He's been young for his league as well, absolutely. Last season, his numbers were TOR-like. Ace-worthy. This year, they're not. And Cingrani's continue to be.

Red Swagger
07-10-2012, 11:57 PM
1. Hamilton
2. Cingrani
3. Corcino
4. Stephenson
5. Gregorius
6. H Rodriguez
7. Lotzkar
8. Joseph
9. Lutz
10. R Wright

11. Yorman
12. Sulbaran
13. LaMarre
14. Soto
15. Waldrop


I did not include any player that was drafted in 2012

Travieso
Winker
Rahier
Gelalich

dougdirt
07-11-2012, 12:07 AM
I disagree with the guy who said Corcino's change up is a below average pitch.

I also hope that he wasn't using a video from April 2011 to determine Corcino's stuff now, but it is the video that he posted in the article. I was at that game and the video is mine, and it was one of his worst games of the year and he was topping out at about 90 MPH that day. I recall being a little disappointed after the game based on what I had heard about him from the season before.

There may have been a point in time where Cingrani was throwing low 90's and touching higher, but I haven't seen him mentioned as topping 92 all season as a starter. Corcino is in that 91-94 range and touches higher. Of course, I also think that even with that, Cingrani has the better fastball because of the movement and ability to pinpoint it.

With Cingrani it still comes down to his secondary stuff. He is 23 years old and I still haven't seen a game from him that showed anything near good and consistent secondary stuff. And according to his own words, I have seen the best game for his secondary stuff in his life. Corcino on the flip side is throwing an above average to plus slider, consistently, every game. That is the difference between the two guys in my rankings right now. One guy is consistently throwing a very good secondary pitch every night he toes the mound and he does it often within that game. One guy doesn't.

camisadelgolf
07-11-2012, 12:12 AM
One point that I don't see brought up enough is that it makes a huge difference when hitters get to see pitchers multiple times. Cingrani hasn't spent more than a few months at the same level. Meanwhile, there have been tons of pitchers who have dominated leagues for a while only to practically become non-prospects due to scouting reports getting around and hitters becoming familiar with the pitchers' stuff.

Scrap Irony
07-11-2012, 12:20 AM
One point that I don't see brought up enough is that it makes a huge difference when hitters get to see pitchers multiple times. Cingrani hasn't spent more than a few months at the same level. Meanwhile, there have been tons of pitchers who have dominated leagues for a while only to practically become non-prospects due to scouting reports getting around and hitters becoming familiar with the pitchers' stuff.

While I agree that there have been a few pitchers who have dominated a league or two, then struggled later to find any consistency, I'd argue that Cingrani's dominated every league he's been in as a professional. He was the best pitcher in the Pioneer League-- a hitter's league. He was the best pitcher in Bakersfield-- a hitter's league. He's been among the best pitchers in the Southern League.

Three leagues he's pitched in. Three dominant performances.

His professional ERA has never been above 2.95 in any league he's pitched. His career ERA is under 1.50.

I'd love to see the list of starters with career minor league numbers under 1.50 in three leagues that haven't made an impact as a major leaguer.

I don't think there are very many of those. If any.

Maybe I'm wrong, though. I certainly don't know for certain. But, yeah, I'd love to see that list.

Scrap Irony
07-11-2012, 12:43 AM
I disagree with the guy who said Corcino's change up is a below average pitch.

I also hope that he wasn't using a video from April 2011 to determine Corcino's stuff now, but it is the video that he posted in the article. I was at that game and the video is mine, and it was one of his worst games of the year and he was topping out at about 90 MPH that day. I recall being a little disappointed after the game based on what I had heard about him from the season before.

There are multiple reports about Corcino's max-effort delivery. As to stuff, here's another report. I've only found the two:


Daniel Corcino (RHP)
Numerous sources inside the Reds organization have compared Corcino to current Reds hurler Johnny Cueto. Corcino offers a plus fastball that can touch 95 mph regularly and has good life. His slider and change-up have both improved over the last year and both flash as potential average pitches. If his small stature does not hold him back and he improves his command, Corcino could be a very nice mid-rotation starter.

Too, I find it odd that you'd say the writer is only using the video to make his observations, especially when I basically told you that was what many do, and you claimed they didn't.



There may have been a point in time where Cingrani was throwing low 90's and touching higher, but I haven't seen him mentioned as topping 92 all season as a starter. Corcino is in that 91-94 range and touches higher. Of course, I also think that even with that, Cingrani has the better fastball because of the movement and ability to pinpoint it.

From a scouting report dated from June 28:


While his plus fastball was already 95mph as a starter, it can touch 99 in relief, and he flashes just enough of a loopy slider and acceptable change to keep hitters more or less honest.

From milb:

He can dominate with his plus fastball and changeup, more than enough to zip to the big leagues as a short reliever. But the Reds will let him start, and if the slider can catch up, he could have a chance in that role. On June 2, he was promoted to Double-A.



With Cingrani it still comes down to his secondary stuff. He is 23 years old and I still haven't seen a game from him that showed anything near good and consistent secondary stuff. And according to his own words, I have seen the best game for his secondary stuff in his life. Corcino on the flip side is throwing an above average to plus slider, consistently, every game. That is the difference between the two guys in my rankings right now. One guy is consistently throwing a very good secondary pitch every night he toes the mound and he does it often within that game. One guy doesn't.

Isn't a changeup a secondary pitch? Haven't you yourself said Cingani's change is a plus pitch? (And didn't milb in the above quote?)

dougdirt
07-11-2012, 01:18 AM
There are multiple reports about Corcino's max-effort delivery. As to stuff, here's another report. I've only found the two:

I don't recall saying anything about his delivery.




Too, I find it odd that you'd say the writer is only using the video to make his observations, especially when I basically told you that was what many do, and you claimed they didn't.
I said I hope he isn't. I didn't say he was or wasn't. My point was simply that I hope he wasn't since the video was shot 57 weeks before his article came out.

Comparing an internet writer for a website that I have never heard of where apparently no one goes (I only went a few pages deep, but there were three pages of articles without a single comment on them) to professional scouts in terms of how often they see someone to make your point as to 'scouts do that too' is reaching at best. And even if we were to say it were true, it isn't like BA/BP/Law/Piliere/Sickels are all talking to just that one scout or that all of the scouts they talked to were all at the exact same game and are only going off of X players game from June 19th.

Quoting 'Scoutingbook.com' as a reliable place for information.... I don't know. Maybe they have improved in the last year or so, but that site used to have terrible information on players. They currently rank Cingrani 14th in the Reds system.



Isn't a changeup a secondary pitch? Haven't you yourself said Cingani's change is a plus pitch? (And didn't milb in the above quote?)

I have said it is an above-average pitch at times. Other places have been quoted as saying it is a plus pitch. But, the fact of it all remains that he guy simply doesn't trust the pitch and barely throws it. Why? I don't have a clue. Scouts seem to like the pitch. But he doesn't. If you aren't throwing the pitch, it doesn't matter how good it is or could be.

Scrap Irony
07-11-2012, 02:08 AM
I didn't say scouts don't watch players. Of course scouts watch players.

I said prospect mavens-- internet and print-- do not often watch players more than once or twice before making judgments on them. Too, those same scouting mavens take what others have said as gospel. Too, because they want to appear unbiased and more expert, they typically try to balance out glowing reports with at least one "question" on all prospects.

Cingrani was typecast when he was drafted. It's difficult to get rid of that tag because the knights of the keyboard continue to regurgitate what came before as fact. When it wasn't then and isn't now.

Example: Joey Votto, as a prospect, was playing well. Made the Futures Game in 2006. While taking BP, an ESPN blogger said:


Joey Votto (Reds) probably put on the biggest show during BP, which is not the same as being the most impressive. Votto launched several balls into the right-field bleachers, hitting the fence at the back of the stands at least once. He does have a wide stance and a long swing, which will limit his ability to make contact going forward. At least he didn't swing and miss during BP. That's embarrassing

Baseball Prospectus, one of those sites that is almost always viewed as gospel, said something about Votto have a classic long swing/ slow bat in their pre-season prospect report the next year. By the time 2007 was done, every prospect site on the internet had written something about Votto's slow bat.

It was a throw-away comment, meant to balance out a from-the-hip report. Nothing more. Yet the reputable sites took the information and absolutely ran wild with it.

Now, having seen Votto in person several times and on TV more than 500, I'd say that report was absolute hogwash. It was crap. Totally, absolutely wrong. Votto's bat is among the quickest in the game now and has been since he was a Canadian youth, I'd imagine. (Your bat doesn't get quicker. That's not a skill you can learn. It's God-given.)

It's pandemic to the profession, doug.

membengal
07-11-2012, 07:33 AM
Re: the Votto stuff in Scrap's ridiculously good post above...

Amen.

lollipopcurve
07-11-2012, 08:24 AM
I agree with Scrap. Too often, the experts are ill-informed or don't know what they're looking at. The received wisdom is rampant.

bubbachunk
07-11-2012, 10:48 AM
Yes, I think anyone whether it is you or Goldstein or Law or whomever that is pigeon-holing Cingrani as merely a reliever at this point is laughable.

He's got more than just a chance to start. And the results scream there is something there to date.

Results in the minor leagues do not mean translation to major league numbers

membengal
07-11-2012, 11:43 AM
Results in the minor leagues do not mean translation to major league numbers

Didn't say they did.

Blitz Dorsey
07-11-2012, 12:14 PM
Scrap is bringin' the noise.

I like it.

Scrap Irony
07-11-2012, 12:18 PM
Results in the minor leagues do not mean translation to major league numbers

I'd argue that dominance in multiple leagues-- complete, utter, shut-you-down, number one pitcher in the league dominance-- presages success at a much, much, much higher rate than do scouting reports.

Cingrani's numbers are sick. He's been the most successful (re: best) pitcher in each league he's pitched. Two of those leagues-- Pioneer and California-- are notorious hitter's havens. Yet, Cingrani shut down offenses completely.

If he were only doing it for one or two innings, then getting lit up, I might agree that he's a likely reliever. If he only dominated in the Pioneer League, I might agree that he was a little old for the league.

But he's in AA now (after having skipped Dayton and breezed through A+) and has shown no signs of slowing down.

bubbachunk
07-11-2012, 12:32 PM
I'd argue that dominance in multiple leagues-- complete, utter, shut-you-down, number one pitcher in the league dominance-- presages success at a much, much, much higher rate than do scouting reports.

Cingrani's numbers are sick. He's been the most successful (re: best) pitcher in each league he's pitched. Two of those leagues-- Pioneer and California-- are notorious hitter's havens. Yet, Cingrani shut down offenses completely.

If he were only doing it for one or two innings, then getting lit up, I might agree that he's a likely reliever. If he only dominated in the Pioneer League, I might agree that he was a little old for the league.

But he's in AA now (after having skipped Dayton and breezed through A+) and has shown no signs of slowing down.

I am not trying to devalue him just pointing out that there are no definites, especially when it comes to pitching prospects.

I love what Tony is doing and hope he can have enough control/command of 3 pitches to become a great major league pitcher for the Reds.

dougdirt
07-11-2012, 12:56 PM
Every argument you can bring where 'they' were wrong, someone can bring one right back where 'they' were right. Pounding your chest because you can find an example of where 'they' were wrong doesn't mean that you are now right because you disagree with them because they were wrong at something in the past.

Maybe they are wrong about Cingrani. But it isn't going to be because they were wrong about Joey Votto. It will be because they were wrong about Tony Cingrani.

If you want to talk about why they are wrong about Cingrani, then go ahead and talk about that. Look at what is being said about him, why they think he could wind up a reliever. Debate those reasons.

Tony Cingrani has very questionable secondary stuff at the age of 23. Debate that. Show your work. Don't bring up Joey Votto quotes from someone who isn't likely the same person who is providing the analysis on Tony Cingrani.

JayBruceFan
07-11-2012, 01:00 PM
I agree with Scrap. Too often, the experts are ill-informed or don't know what they're looking at. The received wisdom is rampant.

Gotta love the "experts"

Scrap Irony
07-11-2012, 01:50 PM
Every argument you can bring where 'they' were wrong, someone can bring one right back where 'they' were right. Pounding your chest because you can find an example of where 'they' were wrong doesn't mean that you are now right because you disagree with them because they were wrong at something in the past.

Maybe they are wrong about Cingrani. But it isn't going to be because they were wrong about Joey Votto. It will be because they were wrong about Tony Cingrani.

If you want to talk about why they are wrong about Cingrani, then go ahead and talk about that. Look at what is being said about him, why they think he could wind up a reliever. Debate those reasons.

Tony Cingrani has very questionable secondary stuff at the age of 23. Debate that. Show your work. Don't bring up Joey Votto quotes from someone who isn't likely the same person who is providing the analysis on Tony Cingrani.

I point out not mistakes on individual players, doug, but fundamental mistakes in the way that those guys work. "Pandemic" is the word I used. I stand by it and showed my work by giving an example. There are reasons why everyone should take what these guys say with a gigantic grain of salt.

What they write cannot be trusted.

They are not, however, useless. Some have contacts within the game that give a glimpse into a player's scouting report. Some have past scouting experience. Other than that? They're the same as you and I, doug. Amateurs with opinions. No, check that. They're more dangerous than I am. Because they have a forum and conflated sense of ablility.

I'm not pounding my chest about this either and resent the implication, frankly. Let's discuss this like adults, doug.

Scrap Irony
07-11-2012, 01:57 PM
I am not trying to devalue him just pointing out that there are no definites, especially when it comes to pitching prospects.

I love what Tony is doing and hope he can have enough control/command of 3 pitches to become a great major league pitcher for the Reds.

No one has said Congrani is a definite. Those of us in the pro-Cingrani as starter point to his production across three levels as a starter. We point to his plus fastball and, in some reports, plus changeup. We point to his clean mechanics and to other pitchers with two plus pitches and a show-me third pitch who've had success at the major league level.

At this point, Cingrani has shown enough to be considered a top-end prospect, equal to Daniel Corcino. Doesn't mean he won't fail.

dougdirt
07-11-2012, 02:07 PM
I point out not mistakes on individual players, doug, but fundamental mistakes in the way that those guys work. "Pandemic" is the word I used. I stand by it and showed my work by giving an example. There are reasons why everyone should take what these guys say with a gigantic grain of salt.

What they write cannot be trusted.

They are not, however, useless. Some have contacts within the game that give a glimpse into a player's scouting report. Some have past scouting experience. Other than that? They're the same as you and I, doug. Amateurs with opinions. No, check that. They're more dangerous than I am. Because they have a forum and conflated sense of ablility.

I'm not pounding my chest about this either and resent the implication, frankly. Let's discuss this like adults, doug.

So what about when I point out the hundreds and hundreds of times when 'they' were right, doesn't that kind of get around your 'epidemic' problem? And wouldn't is also point that we shouldn't take anything they write with a giant grain of salt?

It has been said before and it needs to be said again.... you ask 10 scouts about a player and you are probably going to get at least 5 different opinions.

As for some of them having contacts in the industry.... well, sure, unless you are talking about the big guys such as BA, BP, Law, Piliere and Sickels, in which case they all have many contacts within the industry. Not just 5. Probably more than 30. Each.

This is something where you are wrong more than you are right if you talk about enough players over a long enough period of time. The best of the best are wrong on guys more than they are right on guys.

When it comes to Cingrani, I stand strongly by what I say about him. Anyone who has watched him pitch and says that his secondary stuff is up to par right now isn't watching the same pitcher that I am. His offspeed stuff is incredibly inconsistent and frankly, more often than not, not even average. That doesn't mean he can't or won't improve it to the point where he can be a starter in the Majors. It just means that right now, his offspeed stuff isn't good enough to work in the Majors and at 23 and in AA, that leaves open questions about whether or not he winds up in the bullpen.

Scrap Irony
07-11-2012, 03:00 PM
What hundreds of successes?

I can tell you that Mike Trout is going to be special. Same with Harper. Do I get credit for those?

Or are we talking about guys that BA and their ilk championed that mlb didn't? (Do we have a list of these guys?)

kaldaniels
07-11-2012, 03:03 PM
You guys realize this all started cause Doug essentially was called a troll for ranking Tony at #10. I don't blame him for taking offense and fighting back. I know there have been differences but this thread was clean up till then.

Scrap Irony
07-11-2012, 03:10 PM
You guys realize this all started cause Doug essentially was called a troll for ranking Tony at #10. I don't blame him for taking offense and fighting back. I know there have been differences but this thread was clean up till then.

Nah.

This discussion has been years in the making. There's a moving definition of what constitutes a good prospect that's worthy of hashing out, IMO. Too, exposing prospect sites as little more than guesswork is helpful to all those that take those sites as gospel.

mdccclxix
07-11-2012, 03:38 PM
What the hay:

1) Hamilton
2) Stephanson
3) Cingrani
4) Travieso
5) Corcino
6) Lutz
7) Rahier
8) Rodriguez
9) Joseph
10) Winker

membengal
07-11-2012, 04:15 PM
You guys realize this all started cause Doug essentially was called a troll for ranking Tony at #10. I don't blame him for taking offense and fighting back. I know there have been differences but this thread was clean up till then.

I didn't say he was a troll.

I said he was trolling.

There is a difference.

Given who Doug holds himself out to be, and his reach on radio, in print media, and cited by McAlister and others, I will examine his opinions in the same way I would and do a Law, Sickles, or Goldstein. It's not personal, Doug just happens to be on this board while such discussions are happening.

And Scrap is right, this is a discussion that has been years in coming (the nature of the scouting "industry" that sprung up). And scrap's criticisms of that industry are dead on.

thorn
07-11-2012, 04:42 PM
Ok, I got a question on what method many of you use to determine who is in your top 10. From reading your post, some put more weight on performance and others put more weight on scouting services, whether it be press or your own. But it seems to me both are inaccurate, numbers do lie and scouts or scouting sites sometime run invalid information because they are lazy or just can't see everyone? And the second second question is, once you have a formula for evaluating a prospect, do you honestly apply that formula equally to all players? Would anyone like to share their formula? Oh, and just as for clarification, just because a player is ranked as a prospect it in no ways guarantee's they will be a successful MLB player? If not, then is the formula you used wrong? Because after all this should in some way at least determine who has a greater chance at some type of MLB career, right?

mdccclxix
07-11-2012, 04:50 PM
Ok, I got a question on what method many of you use to determine who is in your top 10. From reading your post, some put more weight on performance and others put more weight on scouting services, whether it be press or your own. But it seems to me both are inaccurate, numbers do lie and scouts or scouting sites sometime run invalid information because they are lazy or just can't see everyone? And the second second question is, once you have a formula for evaluating a prospect, do you honestly apply that formula equally to all players? Would anyone like to share their formula? Oh, and just as for clarification, just because a player is ranked as a prospect it in no ways guarantee's they will be a successful MLB player? If not, then is the formula you used wrong? Because after all this should in some way at least determine who has a greater chance at some type of MLB career, right?

In the past I've tried using a "formula" to weigh stats and scouting and was pretty happy with it, but it takes so darn long, I don't bother with it. With regards to players without much statistical weight like Stephenson, I go with what I've read about his makeup and ability. I like his chances better than any other pitcher we've got.

thorn
07-11-2012, 05:18 PM
Thanks md, and you bring up a good point on ranking players without stats.

camisadelgolf
07-11-2012, 05:22 PM
I didn't say he was a troll.

I said he was trolling.

There is a difference.

Given who Doug holds himself out to be, and his reach on radio, in print media, and cited by McAlister and others, I will examine his opinions in the same way I would and do a Law, Sickles, or Goldstein. It's not personal, Doug just happens to be on this board while such discussions are happening.

And Scrap is right, this is a discussion that has been years in coming (the nature of the scouting "industry" that sprung up). And scrap's criticisms of that industry are dead on.
I still don't see any of Doug's critics here more qualified to do these lists. How about you put up or shut up? Not to sound harsh, but you could make your top-10 list, and as time goes on, we can compare it to Doug's to see if you and his other critics actually have any ground to stand on?

Scrap Irony
07-11-2012, 05:54 PM
Ok, I got a question on what method many of you use to determine who is in your top 10. From reading your post, some put more weight on performance and others put more weight on scouting services, whether it be press or your own. But it seems to me both are inaccurate, numbers do lie and scouts or scouting sites sometime run invalid information because they are lazy or just can't see everyone? And the second second question is, once you have a formula for evaluating a prospect, do you honestly apply that formula equally to all players? Would anyone like to share their formula? Oh, and just as for clarification, just because a player is ranked as a prospect it in no ways guarantee's they will be a successful MLB player? If not, then is the formula you used wrong? Because after all this should in some way at least determine who has a greater chance at some type of MLB career, right?

Great question.

I tend to favor production, as scouting reports are (as doug said) often inaccurate/ contradictory. It's more art than science, IMO, but a general rule of thumb that works for me contains the following tenets:

1) Age v. level
Simply put, a 19-year-old hitting .300/.350/.450 in AA in infinitely more valuable than a 23-year-old hitting .400/.475/600 in the Pioneer League. The younger a prospect is as he advances, the more likely he will be an impact player at the major league level. That said, you can find sleepers and effective players by looking not just at age, but at experience levels as well. Derrick Lutz gets a bit of a free pass as a 23-year-old in High A because he only started playing baseball at age 16. IMO, true prospects should be no more than:
Pioneer League-- 20
Low A-- 20 or 21
high A-- 21
AA-- 22-23
AAA-- 23-24

This is one reason Henry Rodriguez rates higher on my list than on many others-- he's a couple years younger than most of his competition. If he can continue to hit at his career levels in Louisville, he's got a great shot at being very good.

2) Production v. peers (both team and league, age-balanced)
Production can be a double-edged sword. It doesn't necessarily mean you're going to be an All-Star in Cincinnati if you've been an All-Star in Louisville. In fact, it often doesn't mean squat. Eventually, I've whittled my periphials down to K rate and BB rate-- things each player can control, at least a bit. (This works for both pitchers and hitters, BTW.) I also look at a modified Iso slugging and OPS. If they're all acceptable, I roll on from there. Acceptable usually means:
-- a K rate of less than 25% for power hitters, 15% for everyone else
-- a BB rate of at least 7%, preferrably 10% or more
-- an OPS of 800+
-- I add stolen bases (and subtract CS/ POs) to total bases and try to find a modified isolated slugging percentage. If you're not above .125, you're probably not much of a prospect.
-- for pitchers, a K rate over 7.5 is imperative, 8.5 is preferred, and anything over 9.0 is good
-- A good pitching BB rate is less than 3.0. Anything over 3.5 is a major red flag, especially as you go up the ladder.
-- A K:BB ratio of 3:1 is pretty much where I draw the line for prospects. Anything above that is questionable.
-- HR allowed is odd. Almost always, it corresponds to a lack of stuff that will be exposed the higher a pitcher goes. It's another red flag for me.

There are exceptions. (Chapman's AAA experience is exhibit one. He couldn't hit the broad side of a barn, but other teams took to poorest swings on his stuff I have ever seen. They looked like Little Leaguers against him.) But they are few are far between.

Once I've whittled my list of intriguing guys down, I'll usually look at ranking them on a bell curve both on the team and in the league. (Those above age levels are usually left out of prospect status but not in the league rankings.) Cingrani, for example, has been in the upper one percent of his league in almost all categories for every league he's been. That's patently ridiculous production.

Those at the top are usually can't-miss type guys. Those in the next level usually are solid major league regulars, but there are enough surprises that it's obviously not fool-proof. The third deviation-- that big middle group-- usually never pan out as prospects. (Though, again, there are surprises and sleepers.)

I also compare a player to his teammates. If every pitcher in Pensacola is pitching like the late 60s Dodgers, there's likely a better reason than every pitcher on the team is a prospect. I also like to see where hitters hit in the lineup, as it gives a clue as to what the club think about them. A sixth place hitter in High A ball is probably not considered a prospect unless he can pick it. Anyone in the top five spots, however, likely are looked at as at least promising by the big club. (If they're not 30 or something.)

3) "Stuff"/ Tools
I love scouting reports because they shed light on what experts think. True experts, I mean, not prospect sites. They're also wildly inconsistent, so you look for consensus. (Again, among scouts, not prospect sites. And the scouts are always better when named or at least told with which team they're a part.) Because I only go to around 30 games a year (less than that since spine surgery, marriage, and two kids), I can't just trust my own eyes. I look for scouting reports, paying particular attention to:
-- The hit tool
-- Patience/ Good idea at the plate/ Batting eye
-- Power or speed (preferrably both)
-- Baseball IQ
-- Elite athleticism
-- Willingness to work hard/ Good teammate
-- Good fastball (sitting 91+, with movement and control)
-- At least one good ("plus") offspeed pitch (change, slider preferred, as curves tend to get crushed when off even a little)

I'm focusing on guys with high tools in any spot. Hamilton's speed, for example, is an 80. Since he also has an idea at the plate, a great reputation for working hard, elite athleticism, and a hit tool (career BA around .290 with improvement each year), he's a keeper. Theo Bowe, another big speed guy, OTOH, has a career .270 BA with no mention of work ethic, baseball IQ, or any other tool. Bowe also plays OF (and not well) to Hamilton's SS. So, while I like the tool, he's not really a prospect. (At least not yet.)

4) Career Arc
Players must continue to improve. If their numbers are dominant at one level, then crash down to reality for three years, they're likely not much of a prospect. If they stall in AA for two full years and half a third, they're likely not much of a prospect. The better the arc-- the more obvious the numbers climb or stay at the same dominant level-- the better the prospect.

For example, Daniel Corcino was truly dominant last season. Great stuff reports. Produced Ks at a monster level and cut his BBs by half. Young for his league. All earmarks of a possible TOR arm. Then, this season, he's nto pitching as well. He's young for his league, but his career arc (such as it is) has suffered. Therefore, his prospective prospects have as well. I don't see him as a TOR arm anymore; he's a MOR guy.

Scrap Irony
07-11-2012, 05:57 PM
I still don't see any of Doug's critics here more qualified to do these lists. How about you put up or shut up? Not to sound harsh, but you could make your top-10 list, and as time goes on, we can compare it to Doug's to see if you and his other critics actually have any ground to stand on?

At the same time, camisa, we're not any LESS qualified to do the lists either.

And, chest-beating aside, I'll compare my lists to his every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

Of course, he said he didn't want that and has also presaged his comments with the this-is-inexact-at-best wet blanket, so... yeah.

dougdirt
07-11-2012, 06:34 PM
At the same time, camisa, we're not any LESS qualified to do the lists either.

And, chest-beating aside, I'll compare my lists to his every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

Of course, he said he didn't want that and has also presaged his comments with the this-is-inexact-at-best wet blanket, so... yeah.

I think some of you probably are less qualified to do the lists and have them be accurate than I am. I spend 50 hours a week doing something related to these players. I watch them all play multiple times a season. I read about them every single day in 5 different newspapers. I talk with scouts. I listen to their games and hear what the announcers have to say on them.

Does that mean I have a better handle on them than you? I don't know. But it means I have a better handle on them than most people on this board.

camisadelgolf
07-11-2012, 06:46 PM
At the same time, camisa, we're not any LESS qualified to do the lists either.

And, chest-beating aside, I'll compare my lists to his every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

Of course, he said he didn't want that and has also presaged his comments with the this-is-inexact-at-best wet blanket, so... yeah.
So instead of trying to bring Doug down their level, why don't we start trying to build ourselves up to his level?

Scrap Irony
07-11-2012, 06:56 PM
What level, camisa?

He's a fan. Nothing more.

membengal, myself, lollipop-- we're all well-versed enough (and erudite enough) to write the same stuff. All I lack is the web expertise and the time. (I don't know about the others.)

How about we have no sacred cows around here instead?

dougdirt
07-11-2012, 07:03 PM
What level, camisa?

He's a fan. Nothing more.

membengal, myself, lollipop-- we're all well-versed enough (and erudite enough) to write the same stuff. All I lack is the web expertise and the time. (I don't know about the others.)

How about we have no sacred cows around here instead?

But you kind of made a point there.... sure, I am a fan, but I am a fan WITH the time. It allows me to see them more, research them more, break them down more. It also allows me to talk to other people about them more.

That, generally, makes me more well versed on them than most others.

Superdude
07-11-2012, 07:28 PM
But you kind of made a point there.... sure, I am a fan, but I am a fan WITH the time. It allows me to see them more, research them more, break them down more. It also allows me to talk to other people about them more.

That, generally, makes me more well versed on them than most others.

I think we all appreciate the time and effort you put into this, but a lot of enjoyable discussions turn personal when you play this card, as valid as it may be. It's not completely your fault, but it's becoming a little tiresome seeing every thread deteriorate into a Doug vs. Board cage match.

camisadelgolf
07-11-2012, 07:31 PM
It seems like the big issue is that people are bothered by the fact that Doug is getting recognized as a good source for information about Reds prospects when other people in this forum are just as qualified or close to it.

I understand being skeptical about Doug's logic and how he values prospects--like I've said in the past, I certainly don't always agree with him--but it crosses a line when it gets personal. If you don't like that people are putting more and more stock in his word, why don't you put up or shut up?

Doug may not be Chris Buckley when it comes to scouting, but--right or wrong--in the public's eye, he's a heck of a lot closer to it than any of his RZ critics. Instead of being petty and attacking Doug's qualifications, put your energy toward showing that you actually know what you're talking about instead of trying to publicly tarnish Doug's name. Create your own lists. Run your own site. Do the homework. Whatever.

And if you want to say that's not what's going on, that's fine with me. I don't really care. If this is only about scouts vs. stats, there have been multiple threads created for that in the past. Feel free to go to one of those or start a new thread. In the meantime, can we go back to actually talking about minor leaguers?

I'm leaving this thread until it's about prospects again, so if you want to talk to me about it, please send me a pm.

Scrap Irony
07-11-2012, 07:47 PM
While I don't spend 50 hours a week looking at prospects, I do talk to sportswriters I used to know once or twice a month about sports they cover, their opinions, and those of the people they know within the business. (Scouts and reporters spend a lot of time together, btw, and have lots of downtime.)

Those opinions and scouting reports don't change much if at all in the two months between talking. They certainly don't change from day to day.

The vast web of scouts you seem to be inferring as a part of your job just isn't that vast, in my experience. There are five or six bird dog scouts for every team who might see a guy three or four times a year, a couple "big-timers", one of which is usually impossible to get ahold of. A director of scouting (who you will get NOTHING out of of).

That's about it.

There are regional guys who get paid a few hundred bucks and travel money, but they're not used in this area of prospect mining once prospects are in the fold. (They're used for draft purposes.)

For the most part, what they know is what's already on the web. Team reporters tend to do a good job getting interesting prospects noticed, as the PR guys for teams tend to push those guys (usually on orders from others higher up). If you pay attention to the press releases and the local write-ups (not to mention the quotes from the managers), you can tell you the organization likes and what they like about him.

Breaking down swings and arms is, IMO, best left to the professionals. If you've had training I don't know about, I'm obviously not giving you enough credit. (An example: I was absolutely sure Todd Frazier wouldn't be able to hit fastballs at the major league level because his swing set-up is absolutely brutal.)

An old scouting friend of my Dad's once wrote a report about Jeff Bagwell that said he'd never be anything more than a career AA player with no power. That same guy told a story about one of the old-timers when he was young that said the same thing about Stan Musial, almost word for word. Another guy I know told me the story of how half the Reds' scouts were convinced Eric Davis would never hit at higher minor league levels because of where his hands were. They were actively trying to get the Reds to trade him.

And these guys are the experts. Breaking down a swing to point out injury concerns is fine. (Same thing with pitching mechanics.) (Though you can find the same information from teams and reporters if you listen closely.) But breaking down a swing looking for success is... well, it's really hard to do in person and impossible to figure out on video.

Scrap Irony
07-11-2012, 08:25 PM
It seems like the big issue is that people are bothered by the fact that Doug is getting recognized as a good source for information about Reds prospects when other people in this forum are just as qualified or close to it.

I understand being skeptical about Doug's logic and how he values prospects--like I've said in the past, I certainly don't always agree with him--but it crosses a line when it gets personal. If you don't like that people are putting more and more stock in his word, why don't you put up or shut up?

Doug may not be Chris Buckley when it comes to scouting, but--right or wrong--in the public's eye, he's a heck of a lot closer to it than any of his RZ critics. Instead of being petty and attacking Doug's qualifications, put your energy toward showing that you actually know what you're talking about instead of trying to publicly tarnish Doug's name. Create your own lists. Run your own site. Do the homework. Whatever.

And if you want to say that's not what's going on, that's fine with me. I don't really care. If this is only about scouts vs. stats, there have been multiple threads created for that in the past. Feel free to go to one of those or start a new thread. In the meantime, can we go back to actually talking about minor leaguers?

I'm leaving this thread until it's about prospects again, so if you want to talk to me about it, please send me a pm.

1) I don't care who thinks doug is an expert or who believes it. It's not jealousy to point out questionable posts and logical fallacies in someone's work.
2) I fail to see how any of this is personal, aside from your comments about "some of you." doug has a history here on Redszone. Some of it is great. Other parts? Notsomuch. (Same with all of us.)
3) doug has no qualifications that I know of. Aside from time, as he stated. How is it unfair to point that out?
4) Finally, disagreeing with doug about his prospect list-- or any of his opinions, for that matter-- is hardly tarnishing his reputation. He has holes in his analysis, IMO. (Speed and low pedigree prospects, primarily.) He refuses to admit when he's wrong. (Which leads to "gotcha" games like the one about Zach Stewart's impending Cy Young.) If he can't stand the heat, so to speak, he shouldn't be in the kitchen.

I think you've made a mountain out of a molehill, frankly.

dougdirt
07-11-2012, 10:12 PM
I think we all appreciate the time and effort you put into this, but a lot of enjoyable discussions turn personal when you play this card, as valid as it may be. It's not completely your fault, but it's becoming a little tiresome seeing every thread deteriorate into a Doug vs. Board cage match.

I only bring it up when it is actually relevant to the conversation. Like when someone who has never seen a guy play says that scouts who have seen him or even people who have seen him are wrong when they say he may have problems doing X,Y,Z.

I too am tired of every thread turning into some sort of doug vs 5 guys on the board cage match.

Superdude
07-11-2012, 11:08 PM
4) Finally, disagreeing with doug about his prospect list-- or any of his opinions, for that matter-- is hardly tarnishing his reputation. He has holes in his analysis, IMO. (Speed and low pedigree prospects, primarily.) He refuses to admit when he's wrong. (Which leads to "gotcha" games like the one about Zach Stewart's impending Cy Young.) If he can't stand the heat, so to speak, he shouldn't be in the kitchen.

Disagreeing is one thing. Calling him a troll for posting his top ten in a thread devoted to personal top ten lists is just asking for irrelevant, petty arguing. Just don't see a reason for the whole "king of the mountain" contest going on in the minor league forum now. Everyone has opinions, they're all welcome, and the overwhelming commonality is that no one has ever been 100% right.

membengal
07-11-2012, 11:15 PM
If Sickels or Law or Goldstein had Cingrani 10th overall in Reds system at mid-season, I would have said far choicer things about it than I did in this case, out of respect to Doug. There are a lot of adjectives I have for that particular ranking that I have not employed. I am, in fact, giving him the benefit of some doubt. So there's that.

As for "credentials", this isn't about that. No one knows much about each other on here or their past. I wrote for a time for one of the major sports .coms, does that make me an expert on anything? No, not in my opinion. And not relevant to any discussion I have ever had on this board. But how Doug holds himself out does tend to matter when these discussions start, particularly when he plays the "I've watched so and so X amount of times and you haven't" card. Which is not a particularly good look on anyone.

I didn't do a list because I am not sure what it would contribute to the thread. I also don't vote in the end of year prospect lists. My sense is, based on Cingrani's results and the reports of his crazy good command of his fastball, along with his being a left-hander, that he is among the handful of best Reds prospects. I love his low BB rate. I recoil a bit at the highish walk rate from Corcino and Lotzkar, which make me nervous about their trajectory. I think command is to be cherished in a pitching prospect, particularly if it is plus command like Cingrani seems to have.

We shall see. I do find it crazy to rank Cingrani behind guys just starting out in rookie ball. It is what it is.

HokieRed
07-11-2012, 11:32 PM
Just like to say that some of us appreciate the conversation, expertise, good judgment, and insights from all sides, and, in these minor league forums, the expertise particularly of Doug. Nothing more to add except that it's more fun to read when the differences of opinion remain more focused on different interpretations and weighings of the various data than when they turn more toward personal struggle. It seems to me, for instance, that there's plenty of evidence to build a case for either Cingrani or Corcino as our top pitching prospect (or Stephenson, maybe even Travieso for that matter). Personally I'd put Corcino slightly ahead of Cingrani, but there's no smoking gun to point to that can make that case in a way that will satisfy all rational minds. It's based on a complex weighing of a whole range not only of evidence but also of evaluative criteria. I'd give the edge to Corcino, for instance, because of his being one year younger and because I think the leap he has made--from low A to AA--is the most extraordinary jump you can make in minor league baseball. I say this in part because I see a lot of High A baseball, the level at which many high round college prospects start their minor league careers. For me, then, Cingrani's starting at Billings last year was lower than typical; he started this year at the level he could very well have been at last year and thus really hasn't made a level skip in the way Corcino has. Now I don't expect anyone else to weigh those factors quite that way but I do think that's a completely legitimate way to weigh them. But given the inherent differences built in to acts of judgment, we're never going to get perfect agreement about things like Corcino vs. Cingrani--and it's a mistake to think that we should.

Scrap Irony
07-11-2012, 11:42 PM
Low A is where most college prospects begin their careers. And, while true that Cingrani started out lower than he should have (it seems to be a Red thing), he skipped right over Dayton to Bakersfield. Because Bakersfield is such an extreme fly ball park, I think that jump was more difficult than was Corcino's, who went from pitcher's park to pitcher's park.

I do like that he's a year younger.

I hate his lack of control and max delivery. (The delivery, in particular.)

I agree that they're just about even.

Scrap Irony
07-11-2012, 11:46 PM
Disagreeing is one thing. Calling him a troll for posting his top ten in a thread devoted to personal top ten lists is just asking for irrelevant, petty arguing. Just don't see a reason for the whole "king of the mountain" contest going on in the minor league forum now. Everyone has opinions, they're all welcome, and the overwhelming commonality is that no one has ever been 100% right.

He wasn't called a troll. mem said he was trolling, which means purposefully gigging those who have a different viewpoint. doug says he wasn't; I suppose they'll agree to disagree. Why it has to be discussed so much (and misunderstood by many) is one of life's little mysteries.

There is no "king of the mountain" because there is no king.

Betterread
07-12-2012, 12:00 AM
At the same time, camisa, we're not any LESS qualified to do the lists either.

And, chest-beating aside, I'll compare my lists to his every day of the week and twice on Sunday.



If you feel your list can stand up to scrutiny, then please explain how didi gregorius is not in your top 20. And how you have juan perez rated as a better SS prospect that gregorius.

HokieRed
07-12-2012, 12:05 AM
Low A is where most college prospects begin their careers. And, while true that Cingrani started out lower than he should have (it seems to be a Red thing), he skipped right over Dayton to Bakersfield. Because Bakersfield is such an extreme fly ball park, I think that jump was more difficult than was Corcino's, who went from pitcher's park to pitcher's park.

I do like that he's a year younger.

I hate his lack of control and max delivery. (The delivery, in particular.)

I agree that they're just about even.

I've seen a lot of college prospects taken in the top five rounds start in the Carolina league, High A.

kaldaniels
07-12-2012, 12:14 AM
I am the guilty party who said Doug was essentially called a troll by the way. So of course he was not called a troll but regardless it was a personal shot and if I were Doug it would offend me...can't speak for him though.

I just think to call one guy out for trolling for ranking Cingrani at 10 is ridiculous. Honestly, who here thinks that was warranted? The first page or so of this thread was great and you can see that as I posted a big thanks in my first post in this thread. I should have read further before I wrote that I guess...but like I said, this thread got real ugly with the "trolling" post. A shame.

Scrap Irony
07-12-2012, 12:32 AM
If you feel your list can stand up to scrutiny, then please explain how didi gregorius is not in your top 20. And how you have juan perez rated as a better SS prospect that gregorius.

He has no power. None. Zilch. He also doesn't get on base very well because his BB rate is extremely iffy (8% this season, 6.2% for his career). If you can't do one of those things, you better be able to do the other. Lifetime OPS is less than 700 as well. Gregorius rode a monster hot streak at the very beginning of the season to his current poor numbers. He's actually been worse than his numbers suggest.

He's a classic good-field, no-hit SS. We tried one of those last year-- it didn't work.

Perez, meanwhile, is almost two years younger and has 100 career OPS points on Gregorius. He's only 20 and in Dayton, so he age-appropriate and, in the second half of the season, he's gone .303/.354/.556/.919. (That's a small sample size, but does show you that Perez has power Gregorius never dreamed of.) Perez has also stolen five times as many bases and, if you can believe it, at a better rate. Perez may not stick at SS (chances are slim, in fact), but he'll be a fine 2B or could make the transition to OF if need be. (I see him as a possible utility guy in the majors and possible semi-platoon guy with pop.)

Both hit LH. Perez's BB rate is higher and their K rates are close to being equal. Neither profiles as a starter at the major league level, but both look like they'll at least make it that far (though Perez does have a far longer road to travel).

I could see Perez go bonkers and earn some serious helium in Bakersfield next season while OPSing around 850 or 900, but that will be a California League mirage.

dougdirt
07-12-2012, 12:45 AM
Gregorius has more power than you think Scrap. It isn't really showing up this year, and I don't have park factors to show it, but from everything that people say about the park in Pensacola, you can't hit it out to right. Gregorius is never going to be a big HR guy, but it wouldn't surprise me one bit if he turned into a 15 HR guy in the future.

Gregorius also outslugged Hamilton in the California League despite having a lower batting average. Gregorius makes more contact and plays better defense. Is the speed of Hamilton really worth 20+ spots between the two guys?

Scrap Irony
07-12-2012, 01:38 AM
Hamilton: .323/ .413/ .439/ .852/ 13% BB rate/ 104 SB (21 CS)
Gregorius: .303/ .333/ .457/ .791/ 4.9% BB rate/ 8 SB (8 CS)

Speed plus the almost 80 points in obp? You're talking, over a full season (700 ABs), an extra 120 total bases (when factoring in stolen bases, CS, BBs, and hits). (321 TB for Gregorius and 441 for Hamilton)

That's the difference between 2011 offensive versions of Chris Heisey and Mike Leake.

BTW, I'd agree that Gregorius has more power he hasn't shown, except he re-worked his swing this offseason, sacrificing power for putting the ball on the ground. As he's swinging right now, there's no chance he can hit 15 homers in the majors.

dougdirt
07-12-2012, 02:18 AM
Hamilton: .323/ .413/ .439/ .852/ 13% BB rate/ 104 SB (21 CS)
Gregorius: .303/ .333/ .457/ .791/ 4.9% BB rate/ 8 SB (8 CS)

Speed plus the almost 80 points in obp? You're talking, over a full season (700 ABs), an extra 120 total bases (when factoring in stolen bases, CS, BBs, and hits). (321 TB for Gregorius and 441 for Hamilton)

That's the difference between 2011 offensive versions of Chris Heisey and Mike Leake.

BTW, I'd agree that Gregorius has more power he hasn't shown, except he re-worked his swing this offseason, sacrificing power for putting the ball on the ground. As he's swinging right now, there's no chance he can hit 15 homers in the majors.

Sure, if both guys carry forward their exact Bakersfield stats. But they probably won't do that. Gregorius for example has an 8% walk rate in AA this year compared to 4.9% in Bakersfield last year.

Gregorius GB rate is 44% this year. Last year it was 43%.

Now, he does absolutely give up his power right now to try and just put the bat on the ball. When he wants to though, he can bring out the power. It will be interesting to see if either he or someone else can talk him into trying to use it a little bit more often.

Either way though, a strong defensive shortstop who walks nearly as much as he strikes out who also makes contact at a very high rate has more value than I believe you are giving him credit for, especially if we are going to compare him to someone with far less power, more struggles making contact and not nearly the same kind of defense.

bubbachunk
07-12-2012, 09:36 AM
This is a whole lot of belly aching based upon two different approaches to valuing prospects. One group is giving more weight to minor league numbers while another is giving more weight to tools/scouting reports/stuff.

Depending on which way you lean will greatly influence how your rankings come out.

membengal
07-12-2012, 10:28 AM
This is a whole lot of belly aching based upon two different approaches to valuing prospects. One group is giving more weight to minor league numbers while another is giving more weight to tools/scouting reports/stuff.

Depending on which way you lean will greatly influence how your rankings come out.

I tend to believe that when you put up the kind of numbers that Cingrani has, it is a clue that his "stuff" is pretty darn good. So they two kind of go hand in glove. I have no idea what his ceiling is, or his floor, but am curious enough about that given what he has done and the reports of his plus command to go with his handedness to keep me very interested.

bubbachunk
07-12-2012, 11:21 AM
I tend to believe that when you put up the kind of numbers that Cingrani has, it is a clue that his "stuff" is pretty darn good. So they two kind of go hand in glove. I have no idea what his ceiling is, or his floor, but am curious enough about that given what he has done and the reports of his plus command to go with his handedness to keep me very interested.

Think of it as potential vs production. Some players have immense potential but never have the production to back it up. Some players produce for a time but their lack of skill or potential eventually comes back and shows them for what they truely are.

I do not know what history says as far as if we should value minor league production or scouts grades more than the other. That is because there is not a way to quantify that in any way that would not bring about a giant amount of arguments.

At the end of the day though we all hope everyone of these guys/kids become what we hoped they could be when they are signed and more.

Scrap Irony
07-12-2012, 01:04 PM
Sure, if both guys carry forward their exact Bakersfield stats. But they probably won't do that. Gregorius for example has an 8% walk rate in AA this year compared to 4.9% in Bakersfield last year.

While an 81-game stretch of barely acceptable BB rate is better than his alternative career (which borders on 5%), I'd like to see that continue before being convinced it's a change due to hitter selectivity or simply noise. As a no-power guy, he'll have to obp fairly high not to be a drag on the offense. His BA (.274) is okay, but if it stays there at the major league level, he'd need to have a BB rate around 10%.

I don't see that happening.



Gregorius GB rate is 44% this year. Last year it was 43%.

Now, he does absolutely give up his power right now to try and just put the bat on the ball. When he wants to though, he can bring out the power. It will be interesting to see if either he or someone else can talk him into trying to use it a little bit more often.

Well then he'd better start showing it then. His career as a whole has shown one 200-AB California League blip on a career-long arc of limp noodle slugging. I cannot imagine a player unwilling to show a tool he supposedly possesses. Of course, as you said earlier about Cingrani's plus change, if he doesn't use it, does it matter?



Either way though, a strong defensive shortstop who walks nearly as much as he strikes out who also makes contact at a very high rate has more value than I believe you are giving him credit for, especially if we are going to compare him to someone with far less power, more struggles making contact and not nearly the same kind of defense.

At 106 and 213, he Ks twice as much as he walks. That's a mugh higher ratio than Hamilton's numbers right now and about even with him over their respective careers. Too, "far less power" is questionable, at best. Hamilton has a higher career slugging percentage by more than 20 points. While neither have exactly murdered the ball, Hamilton's at least got another weapon offensively that Gregorius simply doesn't possess. And that weapon can garner his team 80 more bases a year. That's huge. And, while Gregorius doesn't K all that much (which is good), he doesn't walk nearly enough for that to become a major advantage. Hamilton, as a high K, high BB guy, adds value to his obp with all those extra walks. (Those 50 or so points of obp are of extreme value.)

Defensively, Gregorius is better, no question. He'll make a fine backup/ defensive replacement late in games. He may even get to part-time starter or placeholder on a weak team. Want proof? Let's compare Gregorius' numbers to another no-hit, good-field SS-- Paul Janish:
BB rate-- Janish
BB:K ratio-- Janish
SLG-- Janish
OBP-- Janish
BA-- Gregorius

Now, I realize Gregorius is young and may fill out and show some of that batting practice power as he continues to play. Then again, so might Hamilton. As of now, Gregorius is what the back of his baseball card says he is.

Scrap Irony
07-12-2012, 01:16 PM
Think of it as potential vs production. Some players have immense potential but never have the production to back it up. Some players produce for a time but their lack of skill or potential eventually comes back and shows them for what they truely are.

Can you give me a list of guys who didn't have acceptable numbers in the minor leagues that went on to great major league careers? Or even acceptable major league careers?

Drew Stubbs? Okay, maybe.

Got another?

I'm guessing that almost all prospects-- 90+% of them, maybe more-- are easy to see from their numbers. Especially hitters. If you compare them across their own team, their league/ level, their age group, you can come up with a list of guys that should perform well.

Those in the lower echelon may become useful spare parts or platoon partners, but I don't know of one that's become a star. (Though, admittedly, I could absolutely be wrong. This is an absolute guess.)

klw
07-12-2012, 01:23 PM
Can you give me a list of guys who didn't have acceptable numbers in the minor leagues that went on to great major league careers? Or even acceptable major league careers?

Drew Stubbs? Okay, maybe.

Got another?

I'm guessing that almost all prospects-- 90+% of them, maybe more-- are easy to see from their numbers. Especially hitters. If you compare them across their own team, their league/ level, their age group, you can come up with a list of guys that should perform well.

Those in the lower echelon may become useful spare parts or platoon partners, but I don't know of one that's become a star. (Though, admittedly, I could absolutely be wrong. This is an absolute guess.)

Hanley Ramirez is an interesting case study for minor league vs major league numbers. In the minors he never hit more than 8 homers in a season while in the majors he has averaged 25 homers per 162 games and has produced far greater than he did in the minors. While he was always young for his level and a top prospect, he really exploded once he got to the majors.

dougdirt
07-12-2012, 01:26 PM
Acceptable walk rates vary based on a guys strikeout rate. A guy who walks 5% of the time but strikes out 25% of the time.... not acceptable. A guy who walks 5% of the time but strikes out 10% of the time, acceptable. Keep the K/BB better than 3-1 and you are on the right side of things. Between 2009 and today Brandon Phillips has a walk rate of 6.5%. His strikeout rate though is at 12%. Phillips doesn't walk much at all, but it is ok because he also doesn't strike out much, allowing him to hit for a solid average while doing so. Gregorius falls into that Phillips range both in terms of walks and strikeouts over his career.

I hate to bring it up, but its a valid point, Stubbs never really used his power in the minors, but once he got to the Majors, it showed up. Yes, the Cal League is about the only place where he has shown the game power, but go watch him take BP. The power is there. As I said, it is a matter of translating it into game power, which I think is actually more an approach issue than anything else.

I overestimated Didi some there, but he is still at a 1.7 K/BB rate this season. That is pretty good.

With Hamilton, it remains to be seen if those walks actually translate forward when pitchers who can throw strikes when they want to get to pitch to him. Counting on a guy with absolutely no power to walk 10% of the time in the Majors is questionable at best. There are some guys who have been able to do it, but they are few and far between.

Comparing Gregorius and Janish is not all that fair. Gregorius is 22 right now and in AAA. When Janish was 22 he was playing in Dayton.

As for Hamilton showing some of his batting practice power.... he is. That is all he has got. Hamilton doesn't have any semblance of projectable power. Didi does.

With the back of the baseball card.... if we are only ranking prospects based on how they would perform today, then all of our top prospects would be in AAA because they are simply better than the guys in AA/A+/A?RK (well, most of them at least).

It seems to me that the difference is that you believe Hamilton will continue to walk at the high rate he has shown this year and that will offset his absolute no power. Where as I don't think it is a safe bet at all to assume Hamilton will walk at anywhere near the same rate he has thus far this season in the Majors and could wind up being exactly what Didi Gregorius is right now, but with more strikeouts, more steals, lesser power and lesser defense.

dougdirt
07-12-2012, 01:28 PM
Scrap, why does someone have to become a star? If Gregorius turns out to be an average or even slightly above average Major League shortstop, isn't that something worth including inside your Top 20?

Scrap Irony
07-12-2012, 01:41 PM
Acceptable walk rates vary based on a guys strikeout rate. A guy who walks 5% of the time but strikes out 25% of the time.... not acceptable. A guy who walks 5% of the time but strikes out 10% of the time, acceptable. Keep the K/BB better than 3-1 and you are on the right side of things. Between 2009 and today Brandon Phillips has a walk rate of 6.5%. His strikeout rate though is at 12%. Phillips doesn't walk much at all, but it is ok because he also doesn't strike out much, allowing him to hit for a solid average while doing so. Gregorius falls into that Phillips range both in terms of walks and strikeouts over his career.

I hate to bring it up, but its a valid point, Stubbs never really used his power in the minors, but once he got to the Majors, it showed up. Yes, the Cal League is about the only place where he has shown the game power, but go watch him take BP. The power is there. As I said, it is a matter of translating it into game power, which I think is actually more an approach issue than anything else.

I overestimated Didi some there, but he is still at a 1.7 K/BB rate this season. That is pretty good.

With Hamilton, it remains to be seen if those walks actually translate forward when pitchers who can throw strikes when they want to get to pitch to him. Counting on a guy with absolutely no power to walk 10% of the time in the Majors is questionable at best. There are some guys who have been able to do it, but they are few and far between.

Comparing Gregorius and Janish is not all that fair. Gregorius is 22 right now and in AAA. When Janish was 22 he was playing in Dayton.

As for Hamilton showing some of his batting practice power.... he is. That is all he has got. Hamilton doesn't have any semblance of projectable power. Didi does.

With the back of the baseball card.... if we are only ranking prospects based on how they would perform today, then all of our top prospects would be in AAA because they are simply better than the guys in AA/A+/A?RK (well, most of them at least).

It seems to me that the difference is that you believe Hamilton will continue to walk at the high rate he has shown this year and that will offset his absolute no power. Where as I don't think it is a safe bet at all to assume Hamilton will walk at anywhere near the same rate he has thus far this season in the Majors and could wind up being exactly what Didi Gregorius is right now, but with more strikeouts, more steals, lesser power and lesser defense.

Before I get into this: are you saying you'd take Gregorius over Hamilton?

Scrap Irony
07-12-2012, 01:47 PM
Hanley Ramirez is an interesting case study for minor league vs major league numbers. In the minors he never hit more than 8 homers in a season while in the majors he has averaged 25 homers per 162 games and has produced far greater than he did in the minors. While he was always young for his level and a top prospect, he really exploded once he got to the majors.

If you compare him to his peers (age, their level, et al), Ramirez dominated most of them until his last minor league year.

I'd argue that his numbers-- obp and slugging especially-- were well above average. A total minor league line from a SS that goes .300/.350/.430 is very, very good. (Especially considering the leagues he was a part of.)

dougdirt
07-12-2012, 01:47 PM
Before I get into this: are you saying you'd take Gregorius over Hamilton?

Nope. I am just saying I think they are much closer than you do.

I think Hamilton has a chance to compete for MVP's if things go right for him. I don't see that with Gregorius.

But as both of their games stand, today, I think that Gregorius is probably the better player when looking at the entire package. Hamilton just has that upside that Gregorius doesn't.

Scrap Irony
07-12-2012, 01:53 PM
Acceptable walk rates vary based on a guys strikeout rate. A guy who walks 5% of the time but strikes out 25% of the time.... not acceptable. A guy who walks 5% of the time but strikes out 10% of the time, acceptable. Keep the K/BB better than 3-1 and you are on the right side of things. Between 2009 and today Brandon Phillips has a walk rate of 6.5%. His strikeout rate though is at 12%. Phillips doesn't walk much at all, but it is ok because he also doesn't strike out much, allowing him to hit for a solid average while doing so. Gregorius falls into that Phillips range both in terms of walks and strikeouts over his career.

And if he could slug like Phillips, that would be fine.

Even if you were to give him the bump for his batting practice power, he doesn't get there.

He's a no-power guy with a poor BB rate, at this point. He has to have one or the other in order to even be considered a prospect. Unless, of course, he's Ozzie Smith with the glove-- and, while he's good, he's not that good.



I hate to bring it up, but its a valid point, Stubbs never really used his power in the minors, but once he got to the Majors, it showed up. Yes, the Cal League is about the only place where he has shown the game power, but go watch him take BP. The power is there. As I said, it is a matter of translating it into game power, which I think is actually more an approach issue than anything else.

Stubbs' slugging percentage in the minor leagues didn't dropp below .400 until AAA. Gregorius has only toppped .400 once. In 200 ABs. In the California League.



I overestimated Didi some there, but he is still at a 1.7 K/BB rate this season. That is pretty good.

It's... okay. But for a low-walk, no-pop guy, it needs to be better to get any consideration as a full-time major league player.



With Hamilton, it remains to be seen if those walks actually translate forward when pitchers who can throw strikes when they want to get to pitch to him. Counting on a guy with absolutely no power to walk 10% of the time in the Majors is questionable at best. There are some guys who have been able to do it, but they are few and far between.

So, let me get this straight: Gregorius' low BB rate will play at the major league level as is (or get better) because of his batting practice power, while Hamilton's high BB rate won't because he doesn't have any power, though his slugging percentage is higher than Gregorius'?

As to Hamilton not sustaining his BB rate, it's possible, sure. But it's a tool he's shown consistently so far. If he struggles going forward, I'll change my picks.



Comparing Gregorius and Janish is not all that fair. Gregorius is 22 right now and in AAA. When Janish was 22 he was playing in Dayton.

Okay, fair enough. How about Juan Castro (http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=castro002jua)? Different scrub, same result.



As for Hamilton showing some of his batting practice power.... he is. That is all he has got. Hamilton doesn't have any semblance of projectable power. Didi does.

Then DiDi best get to it. He hasn't shown any of it so far.



With the back of the baseball card.... if we are only ranking prospects based on how they would perform today, then all of our top prospects would be in AAA because they are simply better than the guys in AA/A+/A?RK (well, most of them at least).

It seems to me that the difference is that you believe Hamilton will continue to walk at the high rate he has shown this year and that will offset his absolute no power. Where as I don't think it is a safe bet at all to assume Hamilton will walk at anywhere near the same rate he has thus far this season in the Majors and could wind up being exactly what Didi Gregorius is right now, but with more strikeouts, more steals, lesser power and lesser defense.

And what I see is that you're projecting Gregorius to make a massive jump forward and Hamilton to take a massive step backward when, again, it just doesn't normally work that way. Players tend to be in-- and stay in-- select strata. Gregorius' strata is as a less than league average minor leaguer offensively with a plus glove. Hamilton's strata is a no-power, high BB speedster. Those play about half the time as All-Stars at the major league level. (For every Joey Gathright you give me, I can give you a Rafael Furcal. For each Dee Gordon, there's a Vince Coleman.) Hamilton's ceiling is a game-changing perennial All-Star. Gregorius is as a league average starter. Hamilton's likely career looks a lot better, at this point, than does Gregorius'.

dougdirt
07-12-2012, 02:12 PM
Scrap, here is the kind of season I fully believe that Gregorius is capable of


PA AB H 2B 3B HR BB K HBP SH SF AVG OBP SLG BABIP
650 588 160 25 10 8 49 85 5 5 3 .272 .332 .389 .305


I would gladly take that kind of season from a very good defensive shortstop.

In that scenario I gave him a 7.5% walk rate and a 13% strikeout rate.

Where am I very far off in that scenario that would leave a guy like that outside of your Top 20?

klw
07-12-2012, 02:21 PM
A total minor league line from a SS that goes .300/.350/.430 is very, very good. (Especially considering the leagues he was a part of.)

His minor league numbers were fine but to then jump to .292/.353/.480 in the majors at 22 with twice the homers he ever hit in a minor league season and then to go to 332/386/562 with 29 homers and 51 sb's was a huge jump.

Scrap Irony
07-12-2012, 02:24 PM
Nope. I am just saying I think they are much closer than you do.

I think Hamilton has a chance to compete for MVP's if things go right for him. I don't see that with Gregorius.

But as both of their games stand, today, I think that Gregorius is probably the better player when looking at the entire package. Hamilton just has that upside that Gregorius doesn't.

At the same level, at nearly the same age, Hamilton would put up 120+ more bases per year. The 11 error difference between gloves might be worth 10 runs.

110+ runs says differently.

Scrap Irony
07-12-2012, 02:28 PM
Scrap, why does someone have to become a star? If Gregorius turns out to be an average or even slightly above average Major League shortstop, isn't that something worth including inside your Top 20?

If you thought he was a major league starter.

I don't. Each of the other guys I chose ahead of him has a higher ceiling, IMO. That may change as more information becomes available.

For now, he's Juan Castro/ Paul Janish.

dougdirt
07-12-2012, 02:30 PM
At the same level, at nearly the same age, Hamilton would put up 120+ more bases per year. The 11 error difference between gloves might be worth 10 runs.

110+ runs says differently.

I am not following your logic here. 120 more bases? Where did that number come from? And how is 120 bases - 10 runs = 110+ runs?

Maybe you meant 110+ bases?

Even still, I am not concerned so much about Didi in 2011 compared to Hamilton in 2012 in the California League. I am concerned about how each guy projects towards the Major Leagues. I will await your response to my Didi slash line post to expand further.

Scrap Irony
07-12-2012, 02:36 PM
Scrap, here is the kind of season I fully believe that Gregorius is capable of


PA AB H 2B 3B HR BB K HBP SH SF AVG OBP SLG BABIP
650 588 160 25 10 8 49 85 5 5 3 .272 .332 .389 .305


I would gladly take that kind of season from a very good defensive shortstop.

In that scenario I gave him a 7.5% walk rate and a 13% strikeout rate.

Where am I very far off in that scenario that would leave a guy like that outside of your Top 20?

Because you're assuming he takes a massive jump in power, his BB rate improves, and his K rate stays untouched?

I don't think any of those numbers, aside from possibly BA, are remotely possible.

(And, yeah, I meant bases. My bad.)

dougdirt
07-12-2012, 02:41 PM
Because you're assuming he takes a massive jump in power, his BB rate improves, and his K rate stays untouched?

I don't think any of those numbers, aside from possibly BA, are remotely possible.

(And, yeah, I meant bases. My bad.)

Actually, compared to this season his walk rate would have gone down and his K rate would remain where it has been for his entire career.

His power jumps up slightly. Right now, over 650 PA's, in Pensacola mind you, where the word is you can't hit for power as a lefty, he would be on pace for 20 doubles, 15 triples and 2 home runs. I don't think saying he could have a .117 Isolated Power is some sort of MASSIVE jump or even unexpected.

In 2010 his IsoP was .106. In 2011, it was .140. In 2012 it is .095. A .117 IsoP is not anywhere close to a massive jump from where he has been at in the past.

dougdirt
07-12-2012, 02:46 PM
But I guess what I am saying is that I believe Gregorius can put up that line and probably be a 3 to 4 win player when adding in his defense (for example, Jeter in 2010 had a .340/.370 OBP/SLG and posted a 2.7 WAR and we all know about his defense).

You clearly don't think Gregorius can sustain anywhere near the walk rate he has in AA now (I am unsure why you think that though) or that he literally has no power to speak of at all despite you saying that you do think he has power in BP.

I am done with the back and forth though, I think we both have our opinions out there.

Scrap Irony
07-12-2012, 03:26 PM
Don't put words in my mouth, now. This has been civil.

My opinion is that Gregorius has no game power now. He's never exhibited game power. He's not likely to exhibit game power as he continues. His career BB rate is around 6%. I'm betting it'll stay there and the small bump this year is statistical noise.

Because of this, he's a backup SS/ less than league average starter. If he plays a full season with a full season's worth of ABs, he'll not sniff a .710 and would be lucky to post something above .675.

Because of his glove (and the massive bump SSs get), he might get to a 1.0 - 1.5 WAR. There's no way he gets above 3.0. Not even his ceiling, IMO, suggests that.

(All of this, of course, assumes no new information comes in at Louisville. I'm actually going tonight to see him play, as I haven't seen him in a couple of years.)

bubbachunk
07-12-2012, 03:50 PM
Can you give me a list of guys who didn't have acceptable numbers in the minor leagues that went on to great major league careers? Or even acceptable major league careers?

Drew Stubbs? Okay, maybe.

Got another?

I'm guessing that almost all prospects-- 90+% of them, maybe more-- are easy to see from their numbers. Especially hitters. If you compare them across their own team, their league/ level, their age group, you can come up with a list of guys that should perform well.

Those in the lower echelon may become useful spare parts or platoon partners, but I don't know of one that's become a star. (Though, admittedly, I could absolutely be wrong. This is an absolute guess.)

That was not my point. I could give a long list though of guys who excelled in the minors who never did squat in the majors or even made it. That was the poitn between the two.


Don't put words in my mouth, now. This has been civil.

My opinion is that Gregorius has no game power now. He's never exhibited game power. He's not likely to exhibit game power as he continues. His career BB rate is around 6%. I'm betting it'll stay there and the small bump this year is statistical noise.

Because of this, he's a backup SS/ less than league average starter. If he plays a full season with a full season's worth of ABs, he'll not sniff a .710 and would be lucky to post something above .675.

Because of his glove (and the massive bump SSs get), he might get to a 1.0 - 1.5 WAR. There's no way he gets above 3.0. Not even his ceiling, IMO, suggests that.

(All of this, of course, assumes no new information comes in at Louisville. I'm actually going tonight to see him play, as I haven't seen him in a couple of years.)

Irony, see bolded

dougdirt
07-12-2012, 03:58 PM
Don't put words in my mouth, now. This has been civil.


I don't see where I put words in your mouth or was uncivil. Where did I do that?

Scrap Irony
07-12-2012, 04:04 PM
That was not my point. I could give a long list though of guys who excelled in the minors who never did squat in the majors or even made it. That was the poitn between the two.

Irony, see bolded

True, there are a ton of those AAAA failures. But almost all players-- I'm guessing at least 9 out of 10-- come from that pool of good, productive minor leaguers. And the higher up the ladder you go, the higher minor league production, age, level, et al, match up. That 's the top strata I talked about earlier.

In other words, if you suck (or are merely slightly above average) as a minor league hitter, you're not going to play in the major leagues more than a handful of games. You aren't going to improve to league average or better results just because you get to the majors. And you're almost certainly never going to be a star.

(BTW, that's not irony. I never put words in your mouth, nor did I purposefully mangle the meaning of your post.)

Vottomatic
07-12-2012, 06:21 PM
1. Cingrani
2. Corcino
3. Hamilton
4. Stephenson
5. HRod
6. Joseph
7. Lutz
8. Lotzkar
9. Sulbaran
10. Travieso
11. Winker

Ohayou
07-12-2012, 06:58 PM
1. Hamilton
2. Cingrani
3. Corcino
4. Stephenson
5. Gregorius
6. H Rodriguez
7. Lotzkar
8. Joseph
9. Lutz
10. R Wright

11. Yorman
12. Sulbaran
13. LaMarre
14. Soto
15. Waldrop


I did not include any player that was drafted in 2012

Travieso
Winker
Rahier
Gelalich

You see, I'm not the only one. If we're excluding 2012 draft picks, one of the two remaining spots in my Top 10 would go to Wright. The other, maybe Y-Rod if he finishes strong, but right now probably LaMarre.

OGB
07-12-2012, 07:21 PM
1 Corcino
2 Hamilton
3 Lotzkar
4 Stephenson
5 Gregorius
6 H Rodriguez
7 Cingrani
8 Travieso
9 Lutz
10 Barnhardt

Betterread
07-12-2012, 11:56 PM
1. Hamilton
2. Corcino
3. Stephenson
4. Sulbaran
5. Gregorius
6. Cingriani
7. Travieso
8. Waldrop
9. Lotzkar
10. Wright

Kingspoint
07-13-2012, 04:08 PM
...

bellhead
07-14-2012, 03:22 AM
Barnhart is making a case for top 5 after being named player of the month. Also he plays a premium position in catcher....