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Thread: Six-Year Minor-League Free Agent Rundown (Long)

  1. #16
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    Re: Six-Year Minor-League Free Agent Rundown (Long)

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc. Scott
    Point: in general, guys that bounce around like this have a tough time sustaining success.
    You are absolutely right.

    A big part of the reason they have trouble sustaining their success is that they are already pushing 30 by the time they get their big break. Within 3-4 years, age related decline starts to catch up to them. However, for a small market team, that window is perfect. Use 'em up for 3-4 years, and trade 'em when they start to get expensive.

    Oakland did a masterful job with Berroa, getting great production out him while he was cheap and then dealing him for a stud SP prospect when he got expensive. The fact that the stud prospect turned into Jimmy Haynes tarnishes it a bit, but without the benefit of hindsight, it was a masterful move.

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  3. #17
    Lover of Trivialities Doc. Scott's Avatar
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    Re: Six-Year Minor-League Free Agent Rundown (Long)

    I'm just trying to be clear that just because these guys can produce nice ratios in the minors, it doesn't mean we're looking at the 2008 All-Star team. A lot of the time they do well at their level because they're older than the average player.

    If many of them had more visible "tools" or the right draft pedigree or were younger, they wouldn't be six-year minor-league free-agents to begin with. But there are always penny stocks that can grow out there.

    I'm pleased that the Reds have already moved to grab a couple of their own guys and bring them back. It could do for Brian Rose what happened for Luke Hudson, for example.

    Joel Barreto could be Luis Pineda, but he could also be Felix Rodriguez. Rob Stratton could be Geronimo Berroa if he can figure out what's a ball and what's a strike; he had the power skill, usually the last to develop, from a young age (which is what made him a first-round draft choice). The right batting coach can work wonders; look at the young Sammy Sosa.

    Okay, I'm probably getting a little wishful here, but these things do happen, and it's fun to have imagined them in advance.

  4. #18
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    Re: Six-Year Minor-League Free Agent Rundown (Long)

    I hope they sign that Bevis kid.



    Yeah! Yeah!
    'When I'm not longer rapping, I want to open up an ice cream parlor and call myself Scoop Dogg.'
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  5. #19
    Lover of Trivialities Doc. Scott's Avatar
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    Re: Six-Year Minor-League Free Agent Rundown (Long)

    Fastball! Fastball! Huh-huh! Yeah!

  6. #20
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    Re: Six-Year Minor-League Free Agent Rundown (Long)

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc. Scott
    I'm just trying to be clear that just because these guys can produce nice ratios in the minors, it doesn't mean we're looking at the 2008 All-Star team.
    I completely agree.

    On rare occassions you can catch lightning in a bottle like Oakland did with Berroa, but the vast majority of the time these guys pan out to be bench fodder. Sign a bunch and hope a few become useful spare parts off the bench.

  7. #21
    Lover of Trivialities Doc. Scott's Avatar
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    Re: Six-Year Minor-League Free Agent Rundown (Long)

    Obviously, clubs have pretty much all winter to sign these guys, but not a one of the players I've spotlighted has been signed yet, as best I can tell from either BaseballAmerica.com or ESPN.

  8. #22
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    Re: Six-Year Minor-League Free Agent Rundown (Long)

    Hey Doc,
    Thanks for all of the work that has gone into this!

    Do you have any scouting reports about Jeff Bailey as a catcher? He would be worth a flyer as a 1B/OF utility guy for AAA, but as a AAA C, he looks like a prime pickup.

    Bevis is pretty interesting, too. Although old for the league, he dominated AA ball last year. Honestly, do the Reds have 6 potential AAA relievers with more upside than him for 2005?

  9. #23
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    Re: Six-Year Minor-League Free Agent Rundown (Long)

    Nice work, but I can recall just a couple years ago that just myself and one other poster were enthusiastic about the Freel signing. I am afraid it is a sign of the state of the club when it's fans are included in scouring over the minor league free agent list in hopes of finding affordable help for the big league team (as opposed to providing insurance at AAA as the primary goal).

  10. #24
    Lover of Trivialities Doc. Scott's Avatar
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    Re: Six-Year Minor-League Free Agent Rundown (Long)

    Well, some of the guys on the list would be AAA insurance and some might be able to help at the big-league level. Players like Esteban German, Bryant Nelson, and Tony Schrager are probably not potential starters, but they'd be a cut above the average AAA vet. I've found that what keeps many of the minor-league veterans and journeymen from breaking through is a lack of power or plate discipline (or both). The Reds' crop of AAA vets from 2004- Aaron Holbert, Jermaine Clark, Jim Chamblee, Steve Lomasney- were by and large a pretty average bunch, even as AAA veterans go. There are players out there who are better, both for Louisville's record and for when an opportunity opens up in Cincinnati. It's likely that the better AAA hitters have serious other problems with tools like the glove or the wheels- but I think we've learned the Bob Boone Lesson (taught Berenstain Bears-style) about how it's usually better to have bats on the bench than gloves.

    Some of the young pitchers are fliers for the future. Dominican/Latin American pitchers who were signed as teenagers and saw their careers stall due to injury or momentary ineffectiveness; now they're free agents at 23 or 24, and already with high-minors experience. Guys like Jeff Bailey and Chip Ambres seem to have solid hitting skills and plate discipline and are obviously undervalued by their former clubs.

    You just never know which guys are going to surprise and make an impact in the big leagues, whether it's the same year they're picked up or three years later. But the Reds would increase the chance of getting one of these pleasant surprises if they picked players who seem to have results on their records that would indicate greater potential.

    Plus, it's a really slow time in between the end of the World Series and the winter meetings.

  11. #25
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    Re: Six-Year Minor-League Free Agent Rundown (Long)

    Hey Doc. No I agree, it is worth the clubs time to take a close look at some of these guys as they will contribute to the organization and perhaps at the big- league level. I always have a few in mind that I think could make the jump to the bigs if given the shot- I was a Berroa fan actually but also of several more that failed when given the crack. Anyway, it's interesting to see a roundup of such players. My remark was aimed more at the increased level of general interest on the board toward such players just as a sign of where we have turned for signs of hope during the Lindner regime.

  12. #26
    Lover of Trivialities Doc. Scott's Avatar
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    Re: Six-Year Minor-League Free Agent Rundown (Long)

    Perhaps it's just fallout from the Bowden years, like, "where'd he get THAT guy?" Plus, with the steadily increasing level of talent in the majors and minors (due to the truly global player marketplace), it makes it more likely to find someone useful in the scrap heap going forward.


    ---
    Little did I know at the time I slapped together my little report that other pundits were weighing in on the six-year guys.

    From the Baseball Prospectus chat with Chris Kahrl, Guru of "Transaction Analysis":

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/ch....php?chatId=89

    ---
    Will, aka RCS (Fredericton, NB): Of the six-year free agents, who could make a splash in 2005? Of last year's six-year free agents, who made the biggest splash in 2004? Did you notice any team's performing better than most others in signing the right players of this type?

    Chris Kahrl: Much depends on who's doing the shopping. Certainly, some teams are more active than others in sifting through the minor league free agent bin, like the Reds, A's, Red Sox, even the Royals. The Yankees could really help themselves, but they barely bother to remember the names of anybody after the first twenty or so players in the organization.

    Guys I like in this year's pool: C Mike Rose, UT Josh McKinley, OF Chip Ambres, RHP Brian Rose, perhaps 3B Jared Sandberg for teams with lefty platoonable pop in the infield corners. And Jack Cust, because if Cal Pickering can make it, why not Jack?
    ---

  13. #27
    Lover of Trivialities Doc. Scott's Avatar
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    Re: Zapp signed by Reds

    From ESPN:

    ---
    Wednesday, November 10, 2004

    Cincinnati Reds: Signed first baseman A.J. Zapp to a minor-league contract and invited him to spring training.
    ---

    http://www.thebaseballcube.com/playe....asp?Name=HFDI

    http://mariners.scout.com/2/279104.html

    While not on Scott's List Of 22, Zapp does have some interesting qualities. 27 next April and 6'3"/190#, he was picked up by the Seattle organization after the 2002 season from Atlanta, the club that drafted him in the 1st round in 1996 out of high school in Indiana. According to Tacoma's website, Zapp still makes his home in Greenville, IN. He's also apparently big into local fitness.

    The lefty-swinging Zapp hit 26 homers for AA San Antonio in 2003 and 29 homers for AAA Tacoma in 2004, but struck out 178 and 184 times. This second figure was a PCL record, breaking a mark set by the Trifecta of Doom of Rob Deer (1984), Gorman Thomas (1974), and Rob Stratton (2003). Those two years also saw him draw only 47 and 56 walks, respectively.

    His .291/.365/.523 line in AAA may also seem tempered by the fact that it's the Pacific Coast League, well-known for being a hitter's circuit, but Baseball Prospectus showed earlier this season that the Tacoma park was actually playing at a Park Factor of 948 (i.e. as a pitcher's park; 1000 is neutral). Tacoma has also been a pitcher's park the previous several seasons as well (source: BP again).

    So AJ certainly didn't live up to Atlanta's hopes, and he has issues with plate discipline and making contact, but he did just come off what is his best professional season since he was a teenager in rookie ball. Either the Reds have bigger and better plans for Jesse Gutierrez (a trade? having him catch regularly again?), or they're just stockpiling a 1B/DH in Louisville to help the Bats put a few fireworks on the scoreboard.

    ---
    Or, as a poster at the Mariner Musings blog put it in haiku:

    http://www.all-baseball.com/marinerm...es/012320.html

    Haiku #29: A.J. Zapp

    Zap! Pow! Bang! Bam! Whiff!
    A six-year minor leaguer.
    Homers and strikeouts.
    ---

  14. #28
    Lover of Trivialities Doc. Scott's Avatar
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    Re: Six-Year Minor-League Free Agent Rundown (Long)

    The Phillies released RHP Eric Junge yesterday. Remember that it was rumored Junge was to be one of the PTBNLs in the Cory Lidle trade. (I consider Elizardo Ramirez being that guy to be for the best, though.)

    http://www.thebaseballcube.com/playe...le.asp?ID=5833

    Do you bother? He was recovering from injuries (two stints on the DL, with a labrum tear and elbow inflammation) in 2004, but put together two solid stints (better than Josh Hancock's, incidentally) at AAA Scranton Wilkes-Barre in 2002 and 2003. He also did decently in twenty-something MLB innings. He'll be 28, and was originally drafted by the Dodgers in the 11th round out of Bucknell.

  15. #29
    Lover of Trivialities Doc. Scott's Avatar
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    Re: Six-Year Minor-League Free Agent Rundown (Long)

    Andrew Beattie was signed by Philadelphia off the Reds' six-year list a couple of days back.

  16. #30
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    Re: Six-Year Minor-League Free Agent Rundown (Long)

    11/11: Toronto snatches three off the List of Twenty-Two: Spike Lundberg, Mike Nannini, and Jesse Carlson.

    The Reds, on the other hand, snap up Jeriome Robertson. Oops.

    Also, Florida signed catcher-utiltyman Jason Hill off the Reds' list. Hill split time with Brian Peterson at AA Chattanooga in 2004, hitting .297/.350/.405. He'll be 28.


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