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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
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Prospect Park
2008-12-28 12:00
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Prospect guru John Sickels looks at the Dodger system at Minor League Ball. "The Dodgers system has thinned out a lot, and actually looks a bit weak right now, though I trust Logan White and his people to recharge quickly," Sickels writes, adding that "some of the Grade C guys at the lower levels have the potential to get higher grades once they prove themselves more fully, and this system could look much deeper a year from now.

Comments (105)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-12-28 12:04:35
1.   Tripon
Will it look much deeper because of the infusion of talent from the 09 draft, or because the guys on the current list mature, and develop into better prospects?
2008-12-28 12:07:13
2.   Mind Revolution
From the last thread:

The numbers an unhappy Manny put up are still numbers we need in our lineup. It's not the end of the world if he misses a handful of games with some fake injury. Probably a good thing to give him some rest. Lets not forget the Red Sox made the playoffs despite having an unhappy Manny around for 4 months. People are acting like he wrecked their season. I'm sure his money concerns would be eased by being the center of attention in Hollywood, and he clearly likes that attention.

2008-12-28 12:10:46
3.   silverwidow
The Great Lakes Loons should have co-aces in their rotation in 2009 (Martin & Eovaldi) and hopefully Withrow puts in a full year at Inland Empire. These three guys have enormous ceilings and just need to pitch to prove it.
2008-12-28 12:16:49
4.   jasonungar07
I agree. For 16 seasons he has this line.....314/.411/.593/1.004 to think he was Happy the whole time is strange to me. I think the Red Sox stuff is overblown and they will not win a WS again until they get a hitter like him, nor will we.
2008-12-28 12:24:39
5.   ToyCannon
The important thing is what has he done the last three years and what can you expect him to do the next three years. His sixteen year career is not relevant to the current situation.
2008-12-28 12:28:22
6.   Tripon
I would like to know what Boras' plans are for Manny. He won't negotiate with the Dodgers until it seems that he can draw a 2nd team for the Dodgers to bid against, but the teams in the Texieria sweepstakes don't want anything to do with Manny, to the point where several teams such as the Nats, and Angels already publicly declared that they won't be trying to sign Manny. He might fit on the Braves, but they seem almost shell shocked that they lost out on Burnett, and Furcal the way the Braves did, and I can't think of another team that can both A) afford Manny, and B) actually need a left fielder/DH that badly.
2008-12-28 12:51:54
7.   jasonungar07
I think it is when you talk about being happy or not. Or faking injury or whatever...

The stats show over the course of a long career that through personal good times and bad that he had one pretty big slip up but otherwise was very consistent.

Of course Toy I agree that in trying to predict production that the last three are much more relevant to his next three..

2008-12-28 13:19:15
8.   Tripon
And the Detroit Lions are 0-16.
2008-12-28 13:25:03
9.   KG16
8 - I think I'm going to have to turn on Jim Rome tomorrow, over/under on me listening is probably 5 minutes. There's only one other person I can think of on talk radio that is as obnoxious as Rome but that is a Rule 5 violation.
2008-12-28 13:26:51
10.   Tripon
9 Colin Cowherd?
2008-12-28 13:27:48
11.   KG16
Good Manny or Bad Manny is probably still better than No Manny. It's not like LA fans aren't use to guys like Manny. I remember Shaq basically saying he wasn't going to play defense if he didn't get the ball on offense
2008-12-28 13:28:17
12.   KG16
10 - nope, KFI weekdays at 9 am
2008-12-28 13:31:07
13.   Tripon
12 That was a joke. Although, how Colin Cowherd got a national sports show when half the time he talks about himself is mind boggling.
2008-12-28 13:34:55
14.   KG16
13 - ah, my bad. i tend not to listen to talk radio any more, too many music choices on Sirius. Plus, I get espnews too.
2008-12-28 13:58:46
15.   silverwidow
12 I think Rome is on KLAC 570.
2008-12-28 14:01:05
16.   silverwidow
12 Nevermind, I thought you were referring to Rome's timeslot.
2008-12-28 14:06:02
17.   caseybarker
Rome and Rush are not in the same league.

Have you listened to KFI from 3:00 to 7:00? Frick and Frack.

2008-12-28 14:07:46
18.   ToyCannon
3
You think all these High School draftees who haven't thrown 20 innings combined are all going to skip the rookie leagues, and start out in Low A or High A?
2008-12-28 14:14:33
19.   Bob Timmermann
17
There used to be an old man (presumably deceased now) who would call the library every month or so, right before closing time, and demand that librarians read him biographical information about the real life Frick and Frack (a figure skating act from the 1940s).

If you couldn't come up with the answer right away, you would get a lecture or a harangue on the phone that would last about 10 minutes.

2008-12-28 14:20:49
20.   caseybarker
Frick and Frack were real people?
2008-12-28 14:22:24
21.   CanuckDodger
19 -- Why would anybody listen for 10 minutes? Why not just hang up? Taking verbal abuse from crazy people can't shouldn't be library policy.
2008-12-28 14:23:27
22.   Bob Timmermann
20
Their real names were Davey Lopes and Bill Russell.
2008-12-28 14:25:00
23.   caseybarker
Or Brian Sabean and Ned Colletti.
2008-12-28 14:29:35
24.   Tripon
http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/8997354/Source:-Red-Sox-close-to-adding-Penny-to-rotation

Rosenthal reports that the Red Sox are close to signing Penny.

2008-12-28 14:30:13
25.   CanuckDodger
18 -- I expect to see Withrow in Low A, and Martin too. It is pretty common now for 1st round high school pitchers to skip rookie ball, with so many of them signing late. Eovaldi I'm thinking will be Ogden. So the Great Lakes rotation should be Withrow, Martin, Aguasviva, Redding, and somebody else who was in Ogden or the GCL last year. Too bad it couldn't be Michael Watt. I now believe that the Dodgers were willing to throw away Watt so easily, to get Maddux, because they thought they already had a long enough line of starting prospects at the same level as Watt.
2008-12-28 14:31:01
26.   Bob Timmermann
The original Frick passed this past April at the age of 92. Frack died in 1979.
2008-12-28 14:35:56
27.   underdog
24 I wish that was Lowe instead, so we'd get a first round pick for him.

--

Btw, The Wrestler is pretty stunning. Don't miss it! Rourke is so moving in it.

2008-12-28 14:41:19
28.   Tripon
27 Its becoming clearer that the Dodgers won't net an extra first rounder, so it might be best to try to keep our first rounder, even if say, Ben Sheets wanted to pitch for the Dodgers.
2008-12-28 14:41:49
29.   underdog
I think Sickels' review of the Dodgers prospects seems pretty fair and accurate overall, though I can't help but feel he undergraded Elbert and Withrow. I know he's generally a tough grader though. Also saying "Troncoso is close to the show" seemed a bit odd. But overall, pretty fair write-up.

Redding is indeed a sleeper.

2008-12-28 14:42:50
30.   underdog
28 - Yup.

--

I sometimes wonder if Kyle Russell will eventually be a Rob Deer clone, and if that would be a bad thing. He could also be something much worse.

2008-12-28 14:45:57
31.   CanuckDodger
29 -- If Sickels were a tough grader for every team that would be fine, but I always find it easy to find examples of players in other systems that he grades higher than comparable players in ours.
2008-12-28 14:47:25
32.   Bob Timmermann
Frick got a really long obit in the New York Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/23/arts/dance/23groebli.html?_r=1
2008-12-28 14:47:35
33.   underdog
31 - True, and I tend to read more about what he says about Dodger prospects than about other teams'. I was also partially going by his own definition of himself as "conservative" on picks as a rule, even if he isn't always. He did give Gordon a higher rating than I expected. Fwiw.
2008-12-28 14:48:41
34.   immouch
sickels' list raises another issue that's peripherally manny-related: if we don't sign manny, the front office might exert pressure to push lambo too quickly into LF (two years out, maybe?). but if we do sign manny for (gulp) three seasons, then lambo could be brought along at a pace that'll be favorable to his overall development... i'm not, in any way, comparing to two players (if lambo pans out, he might be a nice player; but i don't think anybody is predicting he'll be manny-esque...) but without manny, we're looking at pierre. and if we've got pierre out there, then it'll be all about "next year," etc. until he's gone, and that's naturally going to lead to an early arrival of lambo, i think...
2008-12-28 14:49:58
35.   silverwidow
25 Withrow might stay with Inland Empire due to Charlie Hough's presence. That's why I pegged him going there in my first post.
2008-12-28 14:50:55
36.   Ken Noe
I sure hope Martin stays healthy and happy, because we are very thin in catching right now.
2008-12-28 15:01:50
37.   berkowit28
31 "If Sickels were a tough grader for every team that would be fine"

You're joking, right?

2008-12-28 15:11:14
38.   AKblue
0 Thanks for the story and the link Jon. Last summer I read a few sparse reports about Preston Mattingly's decline as a prospect in the system. Anyone have any recent info on his plight?

A bit off topic here, but these cold snowy winter days have reminded me of how much fun my wife and I had down in Vero Beach last March. It was our first time down there and it's a bit sad that this chapter is now closed. It was just so easy to convince my wife to leave the icy interior of Nevada for several days on a Florida beach. Ah yes, sun, beer, baseball, and of' coarse lots of very old people. Sadly there were not so many dodger fans hanging around Holman though, so I do understand the move out west.

Two memorable exchanges from our trip to Vero Beach Dodgertown this past March (2008):

1. My wife: "Whoa there… who's the fat guy?"
My response: "Oh, that's Andruw Jones. I don't know, maybe he's just big boned or something. Anyway, I think he's going to have monster year this season!"

2. My wife: "Hey, that jerk riding the beach cruiser just about ran me over."
My response: "Yea, his name is Frank McCourt."

Happy Holidays and thanks for the great site Jon! DT has successfully aided me in procrastination in the workplace for nearly two years now. Thankfully I discovered it after I completed my thesis.

2008-12-28 15:13:29
39.   CanuckDodger
37 -- I obviously wasn't joking. I have looked at Sickel's prospect rankings for each team for as long as minorleagueball.com has existed, and I have seen countless instances over the years of him overrating guys on other teams while not giving due regrad to our players. I have said before that I DON'T think he has any bias against the Dodgers; it is just that with his sabermetric philosophy he tends to be impressed with the types of players that the Dodgers avoid to stock up on younger, toolsier players.
2008-12-28 15:48:19
40.   immouch
ok, dumb thought: with the market dropping for big bat/low field* players, why aren't the dodgers moving on adam dunn instead of manny? he's young enough that he might be inclined to accept a three-year deal, which would free him up in his age 32 season...
if we signed him for that period, his production could drop significantly and he'd still hit 100 homers as a dodger...
* dunn's LF range factor listed in Baseball Reference shows him better than league average, for what it's worth...
2008-12-28 15:57:05
41.   trainwreck
40
Not the type of player Ned likes.

Manny is way better anyways. I have no idea why anyone is anti-Manny right now. Best player to put on a Dodger uniform since Piazza. Sure his defense is not great, but it is not as bad as people make it out to be and his offense more than makes up for it.

Manny gives us a chance to win the World Series and that is all that matters.

2008-12-28 15:58:17
42.   trainwreck
41 was just a general statement about people that do not want Manny. Though, I do have D4P in mind. : )
2008-12-28 15:59:37
43.   CanuckDodger
40 -- The Dodgers don't want Adam Dunn, and the market for him is dropping because a lot of other teams don't want him either. Just because the market is dropping for a player doesn't mean you should sign him.
2008-12-28 16:03:23
44.   berkowit28
39 I see comments from followers of almost every team that Sickels is unduly hard on their prospects. In the meantime, 5 hours after posting, there's still not a single comment up on his site on his Dodgers post.
2008-12-28 16:05:32
45.   trainwreck
Sickels has started to give more credit to toolsy guys.

I do not have a problem with any of his grades.

2008-12-28 16:07:22
46.   Gagne55
and the 11-5 Patriots are eliminated
2008-12-28 16:08:03
47.   Bob Timmermann
Just because the market is dropping for a player doesn't mean you should sign him.

This holds true as well to my idea about investing your life savings in whale oil futures.

2008-12-28 16:08:06
48.   trainwreck
I have been high on Gordon since I heard reports on him, so I am happy that Sickels thinks highly of him.
2008-12-28 16:11:10
49.   Bob Timmermann
46
And I believe that in the D4P household, a bottle of Champagne has been opened.

I am surprised that the Raiders fans here did not appreciate the Raiders winning:
1) the first game that Al Davis hadn't attended in person since 1979
2) knocking Jon Gruden's team out of the playoffs

The Cowboys missing the playoffs also will make me weep.

Weep with joy!

2008-12-28 16:14:36
50.   trainwreck
49
I like Jon Gruden.

I miss him. :(

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-12-28 16:16:07
51.   Bob Timmermann
50
He's no Tom Cable.
2008-12-28 16:16:45
52.   Tripon
Tom Cable for 2009!
2008-12-28 16:19:59
53.   trainwreck
Sigh.
2008-12-28 16:31:21
54.   DBrim
Jets != Cal.

It was a good try, though.

2008-12-28 16:31:44
55.   MC Safety
Go Eagles!

I love when the Cowboys lose, too.

2008-12-28 16:35:26
56.   D4P
New England Patriots before getting caught cheating:

3 Super Bowls

New England Patriots after getting caught cheating:

Missed playoffs

2008-12-28 16:44:17
57.   immouch
43: hmmm. perhaps you're right. the dodgers didn't do anything to block AZ from grabbing dunn last year. so maybe the dodgers don't want dunn... that said, the dodgers do want homers and dunn provides those... meanwhile, the price of homers seems to be falling. so it seems like this might be a good time to buy low... and i'll bet my ostrich farm against your whale oil futures that it's a possibility.
2008-12-28 16:46:55
58.   immouch
the bad part about dallas losing (the only bad part) is the spike in the odds that we'll soon endure a sports news cycle focussed on terrell owens
2008-12-28 16:47:39
59.   trainwreck
I am sure we will sign a starting pitcher. I just hope it is not Garland.
2008-12-28 16:49:04
60.   dzzrtRatt
While I retain a vestige of my youthful attachment to the Jets, when that game ended, a warm feeling went up my leg. Chad Pennington gets the juiciest revenge of the season, and the ever-annoying Pats get eliminated.

I dislike the Raiders with the strength of 500 of Hercules' biceps, but it was kind of sweet that they beat Gruden and TB and opened the door for Philly to play Dallas for more than just pride.

Now I'm looking forward to see if San Diego can rescue their lost season.

The best way to watch the NFL is bed-ridden. I've watched more NFL football today than the entire 2008 season combined until today. Hey, maybe I should try the NBA now!

2008-12-28 16:51:43
61.   Disabled List
56 Far be it from me to defend the Patriots, but let's be honest here.

New England Patriots after getting caught cheating:

16 wins, 1 loss.

New England Patriots after losing star quarterback to knee injury:

Missed playoffs.

2008-12-28 16:57:36
62.   trainwreck
Hard to knock an 11-5 season.

I can't even dream of that type of year for the Raiders.

2008-12-28 17:05:11
63.   Tripon
62 You could have a 11-5 season too when the Raiders sign Matt Cassell to a 10 year/100 million contract.
2008-12-28 17:12:06
64.   trainwreck
Save us, Bill Parcells.
2008-12-28 17:49:01
65.   Gagne55
11-5 is better than the Giants last year when they won the Super Bowl.
2008-12-28 17:49:02
66.   D4P
Penny, 31 in May, dealt with shoulder and forearm pain all year. The Red Sox have a sophisticated system for dealing with pitching shoulders, so it's an interesting match.

Meanwhile, Dodger medical staff still rely primarily upon leeches.

2008-12-28 17:57:12
67.   Bob Timmermann
Leeches! Why did it have to be leeches?
2008-12-28 17:57:31
68.   Tripon
http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/baseball/red_sox/view.bg?articleid=1141749&srvc=home&position=1

Red Sox reach deals with Bard, and Penny.

2008-12-28 18:02:52
69.   Bob Timmermann
So are the Red Sox just going to trade Bard back to the Padres for whomever the Padres ending up using at catcher in 2009?
2008-12-28 18:08:10
70.   bhsportsguy
The Red Sox also paid Curt Schilling a lot of money in 2008 to basically criticize Manny Ramirez.

Schilling's doctor says Boston's plan of rehab won't work, shoulder surgery needed.
http://tinyurl.com/2sfhve

Schilling to have shoulder surgery.
http://tinyurl.com/6zux4z

2008-12-28 18:10:23
71.   Tripon
I think Schilling criticized Manny all on his own.
2008-12-28 18:15:01
72.   ToyCannon
66
Just because they have a sophisticated system doesn't mean it is anymore effective. Where is the beef to that comment? What RedSox pitchers who have had shoulder problems have come out smelling like a rose?
Schilling - missed all year
Buchholz - 6.75 ERA
Wakefield - Shoulder problems? None I've ever heard of
Beckett - is that who the comment is based on?
Pedro - pre Met days?
DiceK - Shoulder problems? None I've ever heard of
Lester - cancer not shoulder problems is what held his career back
Colon - that worked out well
Byrd - ???

We'd be ticked if we signed Penny and put him in front of a talent like Buchholz.

2008-12-28 18:24:52
73.   Tripon
McAdam has more on the Brad Penny deal, too. The agreement, a one-year deal with a base salary of $5MM, will be finalized Monday. Incentives and performance bonuses can increase the total deal another $3MM if Penny pitches more than 160 innings, McAdam reports.

$5 million? Seriously? Did they pay attention at all with what happened to Penny in 2008?

2008-12-28 18:30:34
74.   ToyCannon
Gee, I wonder what the odds are that Penny pitches with pain given the innings incentive?
2008-12-28 18:31:26
75.   Bob Timmermann
One thing in the world I hate: leeches. Filthy little devils.
2008-12-28 18:37:24
76.   Marty
We don't see Charlie Allnut around here often.
2008-12-28 18:37:43
77.   68elcamino427
Would leeches be an appropriate treatment for Andruw Jones and Schmidt?

Any update on the status of the Dodgers insurance suit re: Schmidt?

2008-12-28 18:47:47
78.   KG16
the appropriate treatment for Jones and Schmidt involves a hacksaw, shotgun, and glue factory.

I don't mind the Red Sox having injury issues in their pitching rotation.

2008-12-28 19:05:02
79.   Tripon
Things I want to see: The Giants trade their Flying Molina Brother to the Red Sox for low level prospects. Then the Giants signing Veritek in a misguided attempt to contend.
2008-12-28 19:13:42
80.   D4P
Leeches! Why did it have to be leeches?

Remember that time you were running away from those South American native guys who were blowing poisoned darts and throwing spears at you and you jumped into the water and swam out to the plane and jumped in the back seat only to find your pilot friend's pet snake back there?

That was awesome.

2008-12-28 19:19:31
81.   bhsportsguy
San Diego Superchargers
San Diego Chargers
San Diego Superchargers
San Diego Chargers

Colts can start making their travel plans.

2008-12-28 19:24:55
82.   KG16
Can we get the Chargers to move back to LA? After they fire Norv Turner? I would like to have a team that I can be a casual fan of, and the Kings and Ducks just aren't going to do it for me.

Also, while wishing for magic flying ponies, how about the Big West bring football back?

2008-12-28 19:27:48
83.   Tripon
Let San Diego keep the Chargers. I rather take Jacksonville's franchise.
2008-12-28 19:29:47
84.   KG16
No problem, Jaguars in LA with a new name, and we move the Chargers to Anaheim and call them the San Diego Chargers of Anaheim.
2008-12-28 19:30:20
85.   KG16
also, the Chargers need to go with the old powder blue jerseys all the time.
2008-12-28 19:33:20
86.   Jon Weisman
Stanford 39, Texas Tech 18, 8:00 remaining in first half.
2008-12-28 19:53:27
87.   Jon Weisman
57-34 at halftime. Texas Tech entered with a 9-3 record.
2008-12-28 19:58:20
88.   Tripon
http://tinyurl.com/Synder

D'Backs and Synder are working out an extension. Another contract that Martin and his agents can base arbitration numbers off of.

2008-12-28 20:10:10
89.   ToyCannon
Amazing show about Elephants going on at KCET right now.
2008-12-28 20:18:14
90.   Eric Stephen
89
Cue D4P re: Andruw in 3...2...1...
2008-12-28 20:19:10
91.   das411
82 , those are the same Ducks that won the STANLEY CUP two years ago that "just don't do it for you," right?

In other holiday-related news, just finished reading Michael Lewis's "The Blind Side," which is only kind of a football version of "Moneyball." Anybody else here read/like it?

2008-12-28 20:19:43
92.   Indiana Jon
87 Tech is not a real good team this year. Their best game of the year was actually the loss to Pittsburgh.
2008-12-28 20:20:30
93.   Eric Stephen
91
I have "The Blind Side," but I have yet to read it.
2008-12-28 20:28:01
94.   Gagne55
75 leeches rhymes with peaches
2008-12-28 20:32:13
95.   Bob Timmermann
91
I'll be watching your Flyers next Saturday at Staples courtesy of the Kings promotion where you could buy any seat in the house for $11.50 each.
2008-12-28 20:37:07
96.   Jon Weisman
Stanford hits 101 with 7:30 remaining in the game.
2008-12-28 20:37:39
97.   Jon Weisman
I don't think I've seen Stanford in a game like this one since the Maples Massacre against UCLA.
2008-12-28 20:47:19
98.   Bob Timmermann
Stanford's next opponent, Hartford, lost to Niagara by 40 points.
2008-12-28 21:06:43
99.   Tripon
Wonder if tonight's Lakers-Warriors game would make anyone nervous in Boston. Nah, probably not, but it's amazing how big a two game stretch can be.
2008-12-28 21:09:04
100.   Tripon
Also, the Lakers crowd outside of FSN's studio at Staples center seems to looooooove Boston. And there is a guy that looks like Derek Lowe rocking Lakers gear in the crowd.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-12-28 21:51:34
101.   John Hale
Was the maples massacre the game played early on a weekday so they could show it on FX?
Lavins teams later inexplicable success in Maples makes it OK for me to even think about the Maples Massacre.
It was easy to dump on Dawkins and Stanfords future outlook but the efficiency stats look decent on Pomeroy. However, their weekest point is 2 pt FG% which I would think is the worst thing to be bad at.
2008-12-28 22:00:18
102.   kinbote
Sickels' grading system has never really made any sense to me. Giving a prospect a grade of C+ is supposed to mean something?
2008-12-28 22:02:24
103.   kinbote
Big Bird Alert!

http://tinyurl.com/9nydku

2008-12-28 22:10:13
104.   Jon Weisman
NPUT
2008-12-28 22:23:30
105.   CeyHey10
81 Just got back from watching the Chargers game live. My San Diego native wife is trying to convert me from a lifetime of Raider fandom. I'm struck by how much of an imprint your childhood sports fan choices leave (Konrad Lorenz demonstrated this with ducks, right??)

If ever there were a sports franchise that worked harder to lose its fan base, it's the Raiders, and the Chargers seem like a team of good guys... but as Lorenz would say, I've been imprinted. Perhaps, sadly, forever.

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