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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
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4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
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The Good, the Bad and the Healing
2005-11-29 16:32
by Jon Weisman

A fairly even-handed assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the big-name Dodger minor league prospects arrived today from Dayn Perry at A sample:

Chad Billingsley, RHP
Billingsley's the best Dodger pitching prospect. In past seasons, he struggled badly with his control. In 2004, for instance, Billingsley walked 71 batters in 134.1 innings, but he made strides on that front in '05. He also finished second in the Southern League in strikeouts. Going forward, he needs to prove his improved control is sustainable. He also shows fly-ball tendencies, which could really hurt him next season at hitter-friendly Las Vegas. Billingsley's got tremendous stuff, but there are many ways for a young pitcher to squander his promise.

Joel Guzman, SS
Guzman is an outstanding power prospect, but he lacks plate discipline and his defense is such that he'll probably wind up at an outfield corner. Such a position switch will raise the bar for him offensively. He's likened to Juan Gonzalez in many circles. That remains to be seen, but Guzman's ceiling will be meaningfully lower if he's manning a corner slot rather than shortstop. He's the best prospect in the system, but he's not without his weaknesses.

At the same time, Perry writes in another article that "thanks to a division packed with mediocrities, the Dodgers are poised to make their latest playoff drought a brief one."

Comments (233)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2005-11-29 16:59:46
1.   RELX
Despite the article being just one man's opinion, that is the reason why you have to be skeptical of banking your future completely on the minor league system. Too many people seem to be under the impression that think that all these guys are going to come out of the farm system and make the team a contender in 2007/8. Even in the best of farm systems, only about a quarter of the prospects make it to the majors, and only a small percentage of those become stars. I live in NY, and remember when the Mets had the can't miss trio of Paul Wilson, Bill Pulshipher and Jason Isringhausen. That is why I won't be upset if Colleti trades away some of the prospects for proven talent. For all the Dodger prospect hype over the last few years, no one drafted by them except for Gagne has made a contribution in the 21st century. And it sounds like all the current Dodger prospects are at least a year or two away from even being in the big leagues, not to mention actually contribtuing.

On top of all that, winning and losing has become a very year to year thing in baseball. Teams go from worst to first and first to worst all the time, and hardly anyone builds long-term with their farm system the way the Dodgers did back in the 1970s.

2005-11-29 17:03:31
2.   GoBears
Dayn Perry is always pretty good. So I'm surprised that he got the Gagne thing wrong too - repeating that Game Over had the TJ surgery. He didn't.

He also describes the 1b situation as follows: "Hee Seop Choi needs a platoon partner." I don't think that 81 ABs (less than 1 per week) confirms that, but at least he's willing to accept that HSC should get most of the plate appearances at 1b.

2005-11-29 17:04:35
3.   dsfan
Fair, solid review.

A few points:

Scouts are more mixed on Tiffany than Perry states. Although Elbert is further away, some rate him over Tiffany.

Too bad Willy Aybar again gets omitted from one of these lists.

Wouldn't surprise me to see Kemp emerge as the best of the bunch. And with the dearth of catching, Martin gets sold a little short here. He's got special feet.

Perry should give more scrutiny to the franchise's track record on development.

How many productive starting pitchers have the LAD developed in recent years? How many hitters? Are the development people doing a good job? Did they botch the handling of Edwin Jackson? It's one thing to have a nice bundle of raw talent, but have the Dodgers shown they can maximize talent?

2005-11-29 17:57:23
4.   natepurcell
perry is selling our system short.

one thing he fails to realize is that almost all our tops prospects except for martin, have been young at every level of play. That should play a considerable amount into future projections.

the second thing is that he didnt even rate all our best prospects. the one thing the dodger system has going for it is its incredible depth.

The 3rd thing the system has going for it is that even though it doesnt have that delmon young or king felix type prospect, its probably the most well rounded system in the bigs. We have our big power hitters, our slick fielding infielders, a couple top notch catchers, flame throwing projected closers, and quality potential #1 pitchers.

I also dont put much stock in dayn perry's prospect expertise. But i wont rip every little thing he says. Ill just talk about one quote:
"Miller is sort of the pitching version of Loney — jaw-dropping raw ability, vanilla record of performance, injury concerns"

You cant compare loney to miller. You cant put a "vanilla performance" label on miller because when he was healthy, he was the best left handed pitching prospect in the game and in his first season back, he was very good despite the walks- which were expected.

I also find it humorous he talked about joel hanrahan but failed to mention justin orenduff at the same level. Or the relievers we have with broxton and kuo.

if i had to put some labels on our prospects it would go like this:
positional player to most likely reach potential: Russ martin
pitcher most likely to reach potential: Jon Broxton
Pitcher with most potential: Greg Miller
Positional player with most potential: Joel Guzman

i would rated the top 11 like this
Joel Guzman SS
Chad Billingsley SP
Andy Laroche 3b
Russ Martin C
Jon Broxton RP
Matt Kemp OF
Scott Elbert SP
Blake Dewitt 3b/2b
Chuck Tiffany SP
James Loney 1b
Justin Orenduff SP

miller didnt pitch enough to qualify. I want to see a healthy year next year.

2005-11-29 17:58:32
5.   King of the Hobos
And manager candidate #5 hs been revealed! 3B coach of the Indians, Joel Skinner. He was the interim manager when Manuel was fired in 2002. He's somewhere with Acta at the top of my choices
2005-11-29 17:59:03
6.   natepurcell
I personally think i can give a better review of the dodgers system than dayn perry.
2005-11-29 18:00:44
7.   D4P
2005-11-29 18:03:47
8.   natepurcell
also, Guzman's DWL performance is just a warm up to to next year where he will destroy the PCL.
2005-11-29 18:16:00
9.   King of the Hobos
ESPN's article on Skinner is interesting. He's the son of Bob Skinner, who was a former major league manager of the Padres and Phillies. He was a catcher in the big leagues, wasn't there someone who showed that catchers tend to be slightly more successful as managers?

Little, Acta, and Skinner will be interviewed by next Monday, and Acta claims his interview is Thursday. Acta seems to think he's already considered the manager:

"It took me by surprise that a team with such tradition as the Dodgers would consider me," Acta told the Associated Press in the Dominican Republic. "I'm going with an open mind as if the job was mine. The Dodgers are equal to baseball, so I feel proud to be considered to be their manager."

And spokesman Josh Rawitch couldn't confirm the Furcal meeting

2005-11-29 18:16:13
10.   dzzrtRatt
Skinner was interim manager for the Indians in '02. Why didn't they keep him?

I'm always biased toward managers who played catcher. Especially players like Skinner who had little talent but somehow stayed in the majors.

2005-11-29 18:20:11
11.   King of the Hobos is doing a top 54 prospect list for the Dodgers. I can't read them, but so far it's 54. Ramon Troncoso and 53. Trayvon Robinson
2005-11-29 18:26:40
12.   Bob Timmermann
I remember back in the day (1982) when Joel Skinner became the answer to a trivia question when he was the first player picked as free agent compensation.

The White Sox lost a player to free agency (I think it was Ed Farmer). Because of his status, the White Sox were allowed, under the terms of the new CBA, to pick one player from a pool of players (usually players 35-40 on the roster) of all teams in the major as compensation.

The White Sox tabbed Skinner. The White Sox later used this same technique to acquire Tom Seaver from the Mets. Oakland got Tim Belcher through the same system (from the Yankees) and in turn dealt him to the Dodgers.

2005-11-29 18:28:38
13.   scareduck
4 - on the contrary, I think Perry's spot-on. There are a few guys in the Dodgers system who are going to be very good, but very, very few (LaRoche, maybe, Kemp, perhaps, but so far I would say none of the pitchers). Like it or not, the failure to produce a Felix Hernandez-grade impact player is the exact problem the Dodgers have. I see a lot of iron pyrite in the Dodgers' minor leagues.
2005-11-29 18:29:27
14.   Bob Timmermann
I demand a royalty payment for the use of my metaphor!

I take payment in iron pyrite.

2005-11-29 18:30:27
15.   D4P
I've warned Nate in the past not to get his hopes up regarding Dodger prospects, but he didn't want to listen.
2005-11-29 18:36:11
16.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Ah, yes, the old 6-4-2 debate over whether or not our prospects are really all that good. I guess we're going to find out in about two or three seasons who's right. I personally think we'll be fine, although I think scareduck has a point when he cites Jackson's flame-out and Loney's very scattershot performance (his power surge in AFL needs to be carried over into a full season).

I am, however, fairly confident about our pitching. We have so many good arms that I really do think that we can avoid the perils of TINSTAAPP to some extent. It may not be the prospect on all our radar screen, but I do think that we'll see in the next few years a Dodger farm product emerge as one of the best young starters in the game. The question is, whether or not he'll be pitching in Dodger blue.


2005-11-29 18:54:34
17.   overkill94
11 I'm tempted to subscribe for 2 months just so I can see the write-ups. I probably haven't even heard of anyone past the top 25.
2005-11-29 19:07:57
18.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Here's a thought for the prospect pros around here.

If I am correct to think of TINSTAAPP as a sabermetric concept, meaning that there are real limits to using statistical methods to predict pitching performance, than does that mean that a more traditional scouting approach has more merit with regards to pitchers? Is this a correct thing for me to say? I sorta had that impression after a BA chat between old-school scouts and statheads that this was the case. The statheads seemed to be arguing IIRC that we have a higher degree of certainty when it comes to predicting hitting talent as opposed to pitching ability. Am I remembering wrong?

Furthermore, if one believes, as I do, that TINSTAAPP should not be taken to a extreme, that one knows nothing about a future pitching prospect's performance, does that then mean that the most important thing for any given system to have is a large pool of above-average arms as possible, as measured by both statistics and raw tools, in order to maximize the chance of finding a truly successful pitcher? And that one should be extremely cautious about trading any one out of, let's say, the top 10 pitchers in one's system? Also, that any farm system should emphasize pitching, on the assumption that a position player's value is more certain on the free agent market, therefore pitching is the premium product that needs to be produced on one's own farm?


2005-11-29 20:05:49
19.   rockmrete
Off topic...Why hasn't Kevin Kennedy's name come up as a candidate for manager. I heard him say he was interested in the position.
2005-11-29 20:06:21
20.   molokai
I think it is silly to downgrade the Dodger prospects because we don't have a Felix Hernandez upside. He may be the best pitcher at his age since Dwight Gooden. That is like complaining we don't have a Pujols or Cabrerra. Those players are RARE quit expecting them to show up every year. What we do have is a plethora of players who will have major league careers with a few of them being able to be impact players like Billingsly and Guzman. Even players like Abreu, Willie Aybar, D Young who can't crack our top ten should have decent Major League careers. I've been tracking Dodger prospects since 1969 and this is easily the best group of players they have had since the incredible draft that powered the team in the 70's. Who cares if most of them won't become all-stars? How unrealistic is that.

The Angels are deep in infield prospects, we are deep in pitching prospects. Neither of us have much in the outfield and we both have nice catching prospects. I like the upside of the Angels infield over our infield but I'll take our top 5 pitchers before I take one Angel pitcher not name Jared Weaver.
When BA finishes ranking the prospects the Dodgers will be in the top 3. Book it Dano

2005-11-29 20:07:32
21.   molokai
Skinnnnerrrrrrrrrrrr, now that is a name I can get behind.
2005-11-29 20:19:33
22.   molokai
I've never thought of TINSTAAPP as a sabermetric concept. It was created by the boys at BP but even at BP many don't agree with it. I always thought it was based more on the injury nexus then a pitcher just failing if the performance analysis showed success. So many young pitching prospects go down to injury that it is hard to count on them. The guy giving the Met example was right. 3 of the best prospects in the league and boom, boom, boom they end up with nothing. Isn't that where the disdain for Dallas Green comes from? The Seattle Mariners have only King Felix left to show from countless pitching prospects who have gone down. The A's have been the opposite, what were the odds that Mulder, Hudson, Zito, and Harden could all escape serious arm trouble. Maybe I shouldn't include Harden since he did have some this year. Since the Dodgers started bringing in the pitching talent they have already been hit hard with pitching problems:
Kuo - 2 surgeries
G Miller - 2 surgeries, neither one were TJ or Labrum but serious enough that he lost lots of time. His are the worse because he did have the best talent in the minors at the time he went down the 1st time. Pitchers coming back from two surgeries at a young age are rare according to Will Carrol.
Megrew - TJ or Labrum?
D Thompson - TJ or Labrum?
So it is not like we haven't already been hit with some setbacks so yes it is a good thing we have stockpiled lots of pitching prospects because some of them are going to go down. Lets hope none go down this year.
2005-11-29 20:19:35
23.   Jon Weisman
19 - We're still recovering from Kennedy mentioning that he was a manager every night on the Southern California Sports Report. By the way, did I mention that he mentioned he was a manager?
2005-11-29 20:25:47
24.   MikeB
Steps up on the soap box …

If the Dodgers don't hire a manager soon, like by the end of this week, they will find it nearly impossible to attract and sign any of this year's free agents – at least those few with some potential for a positive impact on the roster. Right now, the most viable candidates for what used to be one of the great gigs in baseball -- manager of The Los Angeles Dodgers -- are as follows: a retread who managed his way to a losing record while in his managerial prime (Fregosi), a guy who couldn't win the Big One, even with Nomar, Manny, Pedro, Curt and Senor Papi on the roster (Little), a complete unknown (Acta) who, sadly to say, is most likely on the list only to satisfy Chairman Bud's mandate for interviewing minority candidates, and someone considered not good enough to manage in Tampa Bay (McLaren)! At least Paul DePodesta was interviewing some guys we had heard about or at least had ties to the Dodgers organization (Trammell, Collins, Royster).

Why would Johnny Damon, Paul Konerko or Matt Morris -- or any decent player -- voluntarily choose to play for a team that hasn't got a clue how to run a decent press conference, let alone a major league ball club? What will be left for the Dodgers, to fill-in the holes at 3B, in the OF, and in the bullpen, are the dregs of the baseball off-season – the lame, the aged, the forgotten misfits waiting for a non-roster invitation to anybody's spring training camp.

If this scenario plays out, the Dodgers will be forced to upgrade their roster via trades, and from a negotiating position of perceived weakness. How can you make a sensible deal if every other team on the planet knows your desperate? And, the only chips of marketable value that we have on the table are Kent, Gagne and perhaps Penny – and, of course, our highly touted minor league prospects.

Of course, the McCourts and their newest GM, Ned "Snake" Colletti, can use Paul DePodesta as their excuse to write off 2006 – at least in competitive baseball terms. They can claim DePodesta ruined the roster to the point that it couldn't be fixed – and it's going to take a year or two to rebuild. The road to perdition will be cleared so that Snakeskin Ned can deal away the veterans of value (and high salaries), while hanging on to the younger players/prospects, and trim the payroll even more. It is a very attractive financial move for the McCourts. Young players without any MLB roster time don't have big salaries – and they remain relatively inexpensive for a number of years -- which makes them very attractive to owners with a penchant for counting pennies --- like the McCourts. So we can probably say goodbye to Jeff, Eric and Brad in 2006 -- right around the July trading deadline – and especially if the Dodgers are losing more than they're winning at that point.

The McCourts can look forward to raking in the profits from another 3 million plus attendance year in 2006, as loyal fans like ourselves will find it difficult to break their allegiances to the team - a team and an organization that is a far cry from the glory days of yore (pre-Murdoch/Fox). By the end of this season, the McCourts will have completed their mostly cosmetic "upgrades" to Dodger Stadium -- which in terms most Southern California home owners will understand -- is the equivalent of improving the curb appeal of your house by painting the exterior and laying down a new lawn, while ignoring the rusted galvanized plumbing and the overloaded old electrical wiring.

The McCourts can and will cut the player payroll from nearly $100 million a year to about $50 or $60 million. They have already cleared out most of the experienced (well paid) business and baseball executives left over from the O'Malley & Fox regimes. What's left at the top of the Dodgers food chain are a bunch of family members and clueless baseball "newbie's" - all chanting "Yes Jaimie, yes!" in unison for a lot less money.

The McCourts, despite their official pronouncements otherwise, are not long-term owners. They are "deal makers" -- and flipping the Dodgers for a $100 million or more profit after 3 or 4 years is not a bad business deal – it is however, a bad baseball deal – for the fans and for the stub of an organization they will eventually leave behind – stripped of its pride, glory and roster value – with nothing to look forward to except for watching the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim win a succession of championships.

… and falls off the soapbox.

2005-11-29 20:26:45
25.   Steve
So while we wait to see whether one mere signature guarantees five more years of ignominy, any information about Joel Skinner, who apparently has nothing that 139 people in baseball don't have, except for his combination name of favored characters on MST3K and The Simpsons?
2005-11-29 20:33:51
26.   rockmrete
24 - My sentiments exactly
2005-11-29 20:36:23
27.   FirstMohican
(Hides the soapbox)
2005-11-29 20:38:41
28.   MikeB
27. Thank you!
2005-11-29 20:39:17
29.   bill cox
#13-What's your criteria for saying basically the system is all hype,none of the pitchers will make it(nevermind that Broxton and Kuo have already had some success at major league level)I thought Perry's analysis was uninformed and looking for holes in these guys' games.Have you ever seen any of these guys play,Scareduck?
#24-Thank you for the optimistic outlook.Do you also predict earthquakes and bird flu outbreaks?
Maybe,just maybe things won't turn out quite as bad as you think.What's that old Hot Stove League saying..."Hope springs eternal"
2005-11-29 20:40:11
30.   FirstMohican
AP: "The Yankees and Farnsworth have been talking about a two- or three-year deal averaging $4.5 million to $6 million, a high-ranking baseball official said Tuesday, speaking on condition of anonymity because the negotiations were ongoing."

Once again, thank you Evans/DePo for setting up this bargain bullpen.

2005-11-29 20:44:40
31.   Steve
someone considered not good enough to manage in Tampa Bay

In fairness, it's not like the folks in Tampa Bay are really great talent hounds. On the other hand, it's not like I'm terribly excited about John McLaren.

And I think it was FirstMohican who asked this morning whether Gathright would be any better than Repko, and the answer is no.

2005-11-29 20:45:33
32.   molokai
Great article at BP on how the CWS used the bullpen during the 2005 season.
2005-11-29 20:53:50
33.   MikeB
29. Sorry, but I cannot feign hope at a time when an overextended Boston parking lot mogul now owns my favorite baseball team, with a former Giant executive named as GM, and with a high probability that a former Angel, who also happens to be a mediocrity as a manager, will soon be signed to make out the lineups. Is there anyone out there with the imagination to have even considered this scenario two months ago? What is there to be positive about. I'd really like to know.
2005-11-29 21:05:06
34.   Steve
33 -- What, the $60 million banjo hitting shortstop with Guillermo Mota's liver doesn't do it for you?
2005-11-29 21:11:37
35.   MikeB
33. Oh Susanna!
2005-11-29 21:16:05
36.   molokai
I'm positive that we will be competitive in 2006 and probably win the pennant. I'm positive the payroll will be 75-85 millon. I'm positive we will sign several free agents. I'm positive that several of our prospects will get traded and that could be a good thing. I'm positive the overextended parking lot mogul will get richer every day because the real estate he owns is worth more everyday on both coasts. I'm positive the new seats in the stadium will seat another 3 million fans who will find new hero's. I'm positive that all this doom and gloom is overstated. Hurrying to make a decision just to make a decision is always a bad decision. JMO
2005-11-29 21:22:02
37.   molokai
I'm mostly positive because my Clips beat the the Twolves and that was a win they had to have as they now play 4 games in a row that they probably won't win.
2005-11-29 21:26:45
38.   Andrew Shimmin
I don't know how you people can be talking about baseball. CANADA's government has fallen! Will Paul Martin be able to steer the Liberal party back to power, despite its scandels? Will the Conservatives finally make any headway? How about the Quebecois national party? Really, it's like Christmas in, er, December.

If Ned really hires Flanders I'll be able to get back on board in a major way. I can't believe the FOX folks didn't think to do this. . .

2005-11-29 21:29:10
39.   Steve
You must mean Russ Martin.
2005-11-29 21:31:27
40.   molokai
How does this effect someone who wants to retire on Vancouver Island :)
2005-11-29 21:36:07
41.   Andrew Shimmin
I love Canadian politics. They're similar to American politics, except that they don't effect me in any way. It's like a video game. Harvard dandy Michael Ignatieff has returned home to run for Parliment. That's like when the actor who played the character in the movie voices it for the video game. Gives the illusion of being an actual person.
2005-11-29 21:39:34
42.   Steve
The best night on television is the night of the British Parliamentary elections. Best. Graphics. Ever.
2005-11-29 21:42:42
43.   scareduck
16 - indeed, a wait-and-see attitude is all anyone can have right now. But even then, with Colletti at the driver's wheel, one possible future is to watch while all the pieces get traded for useless veteran junk.

20 - the problem I have with the Dodgers farm (stop me if you've heard this before) is that the prospects have this bad habit of getting to Vegas (or levels even lower) and turning to pumpkins. (Loney, for instance, who got injured and hasn't had a good season yet.) My problem is something akin to what Bill James said about overrated players; one factor is, "does he play in New York or Los Angeles?" The same operative is active with the Dodgers.

The scouts may say what they say, and so with Baseball America. But I will feel a whole lot better about the farm when that good young talent is actually playing in Chavez Ravine. The proof is in the pitching; so far, Mssrs. Broxton, Brazoban, Houlton, etc. haven't overly impressed me. Certainly, Edwin Jackson's disappearance from Perry's list is no accident.

36 - yes, the division is weak. We're also months away from pitchers and catchers reporting, let alone having completed 25-man rosters. Pessimism is easy, but so is optimism.

2005-11-29 21:52:08
44.   Bob Timmermann
The graphics for the Canadian elections are cool. They show the CBC and the estimable Peter Mansbridge on C-SPAN.

My Canadian friend says that the Liberals will still prevail although in a coalition.

I don't think that Canada apportions its seats in its Parliament in an equitable manner. There are too many in the East and too few in the West.

2005-11-29 21:54:53
45.   Steve
I would guess the graphics are similar, and very cool. American election graphics are horrible.

The Conservatives have come a long way from having two seats.

2005-11-29 22:00:41
46.   King of the Hobos
Apparently Konerko has denied the Orioles' offer despite it being more than the Angels (and likely the White Sox). The Orioles are not confident that they have a chance.
2005-11-29 22:14:57
47.   overkill94
43 Well, let's see here - Broxton had a total of 13 2/3 IP in the majors last year, hardly any way to judge anyone (and he managed an amazing 22 K's); Brazoban is not a Dodgers farmhand, he was included in the Brown/Weaver trade as a throw-in, any success will be considered gravy; Houlton was a rule 5 draft pick last year who was mostly only kept because we had to either keep him or return him back to the Astros and because we had no better starters.

The truth is that the Dodgers' farm system has been so bad for so long that we haven't been able to see any dividends yet. Almost all our prospects are 22 or younger, hardly the age for most players to enter the majors. Perry could be right, maybe our system is overrated, but when so many trusted scouting sources rave about our system you have to believe that good things are in store in the near future.

2005-11-29 22:15:24
48.   dzzrtRatt
24 To pick up on one of your points, are you suggesting that Colletti should choose as manager the candidate that potential free agents will respond to positively?

Should we just cut to the chase and ask Brian Giles and Rafael Furcal which one of Colletti's candidates lights their candles?

While I agree with much of what you said, and am intrigued by the hint that DePodesta's hiring and firing was all a set-up to buy McCourt time to run the Dodgers with an artificially lowered payroll, I disagree with a few things:

-- The lemming-like return of 3 million fans is no sure thing. Usually there's a drop-off after a crummy season. There's been an especially negative vibe around the Dodgers this off-season, which especially impacts ticket sales to groups and businesses. We're in an era when an entertainment-content provider can take absolutely nothing for granted; just ask the LA Times or CBS Evening News.

-- The latest adds to the managerial hunt aren't so bad, really. Just because you've never heard of Acta doesn't make him a bad choice. Skinner and McLaren are eminently qualified. Skinner's managed in the minors and was just promoted to bench coach in Cleveland; McLaren losing out to Joe Maddon, highly respected, is not a disqualifier. Fregosi is a joke, and Little is a puzzle, but as a group, the five candidates Colletti has now compare pretty favorably to the group DePodesta was looking at.

Your perception of the McCourts is, however, totally accurate. The question is, how much damage will they do before they flip the team? Will they somehow manage to improve it? Do they have an incentive to do so?

2005-11-29 22:20:03
49.   overkill94
As far as Gathright is concerned, he's a hell of a lot faster than Repko, that's for sure. Secondly, he posted an OBP of .384 or over at every stop in the minors except his first year in 2000 when it was .360. That hasn't exactly translated to major league success since he only manage a .316 OBP last year for TB, but that could be attributed to adjusting to major league pitching. I know it's hard to rely on a guy to maintain a .300+ BA, but with Gathright's speed it should be easier than most.
2005-11-29 22:24:11
50.   King of the Hobos
Henson article up. Drew is in to get examined tomorrow, and meet Colletti. Hopefully everything is good so far

Supposedly, the Braves offer to Furcal is the worst and they're hoping to get Furcal back due to familiarity. Furcal's agent isn't optimistic about the Braves, and it was an associate that met with Colletti. I'd say Cubs are in the lead so far. He claims we are one of three teams in the running for Furcal. If Kent doesn't want to play 1B and Furcal doesn't want to play 3B, then I have no idea what Colletti would do with Izturis. A trade would have LoDuca like implications, and I don't think McCurt needs that (well, he thinks he doesn't need it)

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2005-11-29 22:40:01
51.   King of the Hobos
To further the last post, the Braves have re-opened talks with the DRays about Lugo, likely meaning they're not confident about Furcal

Not that I think the Dodgers will beat the Cubs. Hopefully Colletti doesn't go too crazy with a contract for Furcal, assuming he's serious about getting him

2005-11-29 22:45:30
52.   Steve
49 -- I don't get too hung up on the stats. Gathright has terrible footwork and a hole in his swing.
2005-11-29 22:51:44
53.   dzzrtRatt
52 I hear Choi has signed up for 10 weeks of Arthur Murray!

I don't know if it means I want him, but I watched an Angels/DRays game toward the end of the season where Gathright's speed just demolished the Angels. It seemed like if the guy got on first base, he'd score.

Do any sabrematicians keep track of the ratio of times on base/times scored a run? I'd have to think Gathright would be as close to 1.0 as anyone in the majors now.

2005-11-29 22:52:54
54.   GoBears
50 While I'm pretty sure I don't want Furcal at the current price, I don't think that trading Izturis would cause that much of a media backlash IF a replacement were already here, and performing well. Part of the trauma with Lo Duca was that it was a suprise to everyone, and the other part was a season of Dave Ross and Brent Mayne. If Dionner Navarro had already been up, and winning hearts and minds through a half-season injury to Lo Duca, then the trade wouldn't have been so poorly reviewed, despite the high scrappiness quotient.
2005-11-29 22:53:55
55.   das411
24 - Didn't Schilling only talk his way over to the Bosox after Little left and his old friend Tito Francona took over?

Similarly, if Fregosi does end up in LA does that mean Terry Mulholland and Todd Pratt follow him there?

2005-11-29 22:58:15
56.   Steve
A career high ten doubles last year. Groovy.
2005-11-29 22:59:47
57.   GoBears
There's a link to a Neyer chat in a box on the front page of ESPN's MLB section. It's surrounded by links to Dodger-related stories, so I wonder if the chat talked about the Dodgers. Any Insiders who can shed some light?


2005-11-29 23:15:22
58.   Vaudeville Villain

Actually, I can't help but wonder whether or not Atlanta is not REALLY intending to resign Furcal and is actually after Lugo. I don't have the stats in front of me, but how do Lugo and Furcal stack up offensively? I was under the impression that Lugo was actually better.

2005-11-29 23:17:08
59.   dzzrtRatt
From Henson: "The Dodgers are one of several teams who have shown strong interest in free-agent corner outfielder Brian Giles, who has expressed a desire to play on the West Coast and who also said he would not re-sign with San Diego."

When did Giles say that?

2005-11-29 23:20:23
60.   sanchez101
Apparently the dodgers are set to interview Indians third base coach Joel Skinner. So let me get this straight, Ned, aka Flanders, will be interviewing, Skinner? Maybe we can bring Homer Bush out of retierment to be his bench coach.
2005-11-29 23:20:42
61.   Vaudeville Villain
Never mind, got it.


Julio Lugo


Rafael Furcal


Hmmm. So Furcal has a marginally better slugging percentage, but hasn't sabermetrics taught us that OBP is something like three times more valuable than Slugging? And I'm assuming Furcal gets paid (or will be paid) a LOT more than Lugo. So Lugo might be the better deal, for any team.

2005-11-29 23:26:26
62.   sanchez101
Lugo: .295 .362 .403 39sb 11cs
Furcal: .284 .348 .429 46sb 10cs

Furcal is a excellent defender, while lugo is merely good. A smart organization would take Lugo, so I think we all know what Atlanta will do. It be nice if the Dodgers were a smart organization.

2005-11-29 23:51:44
63.   Vaudeville Villain
52 was hilarious by the way.
2005-11-29 23:52:19
64.   Uncle Miltie
Lugo is a real wife beater, unlike Bradley, so why would the Dodgers be interested in him? Oh, but they're interested in 2 time DUI'er Rafael Furcal.
2005-11-30 00:07:33
65.   natepurcell
Certainly, Edwin Jackson's disappearance from Perry's list is no accident.

you are right... its because jackson is not a prospect anymore due to pitching a certain amount of MLB innings.

The problem i have with perry is that he isnt a scout. he doesnt watch these players consistently. He writes for BP, he is more numbers oriented and with this write up of the dodger system, it was more about finding the holes in every prospect we have instead of showing their all around abilities.

I think everyone seems to forget the BA article written two months ago about our AA jax squad, calling them possibly the best prospect filled team EVER. They compared them to the yankee dynasty of the 90s of posada, bernie, jeter, pettite, rivera and etc.

I think that is high praise and when it comes to prospects, i take BAs opinion of scouts who have watched these players over a BP sabre analysis.

2005-11-30 00:14:31
66.   CanuckDodger
Dayn Perry is at it again. No, Jon, Perry's thumb-sucker was not "even-handed." A "fair, solid review," it most decidedly wasn't, dsfan. But of course Rob McMillan (aka "scareduck") thinks "Perry's spot on," given his own ridiculously quixotic crusade against the Dodgers' farm system. Perry has no credibility, people. He is renowned for his bias against high school draftees with excellent tools, which has automatically made the Dodgers' farm system "inconvenient" to his ideology, since the Dodgers' farm system -- built mostly on toolsy high school talent -- should be downright miserable if his beliefs are true.

Right after the 2003 draft, when the Dodgers picked up Billingsley, Tiffany, Kemp, Denker, and LaRoche, Perry, at, gave letter grades to each MLB team's draft effort. Teams that went with college players early received good grades, teams that went in more of a high school direction got bad grades from Perry, and the Dodgers' draft in particular Perry singled out for the worst grade out of all 30 teams, a "D-". Since two years later everybody in baseball would agree that the Dodgers had the BEST draft in 2003 -- a perhaps historic draft, though we won't know that for many years -- Perry is looking pretty foolish right now, and he needs to do something about that -- like throw dirt on some of these Dodgers' prospects whose acquisition prompted him to virtually call the Dodgers idiots. Perry's expertise in these matters is brought into further question by things like including Greg Miller, after 2003, on BOTH his Top Left-Handed Pitching Prospect list and his Top Right-Handed Pitching Prospect list (an ambidextrous pitcher, how useful), and scoffing at Joel Guzman's selection to the Futures' Game squad in 2004, when he later admitted in a private e-mail that he was completely ignorant of the fact that Guzman was having a fantastic year in 2004, as he hadn't bothered checking Guzman's stats since the previous year. And this guy gets PAID to write about prospects? Dayn Perry is unquestionably the Bill Plashcke of prospect analysis.

Let's start looking at what he has to say in the article under discussion. About Billingsley, he writes that "In past seasons, he struggled badly with his control." Quite simply, no. Two problems. Billigsley has pitched in the pros for three seasons. His walks/9 stat was a low 2.5 in his first season, and in 2005 the number was 3.08, which is very decent, especially for a power pitcher young for his league. So Perry was out of line talking about bad control in "past seasons," plural. And how bad was Billingsley's control in 2004? Frankly not really "bad" at all. History tells us a prospect's walk ratio has to be about 5.0 for one to be really worried, and Billingsley stayed under that, even though there was a lot of room for improvement --and guess what, he did improve a lot in 2005, returning close to his 2003 level. I have already said that Billingsley's walk rate was 3.08 this year in Double A. Now keep in mind that in 1997, in the same Double A league, at the same age as Billingsley, Kerry Wood's walk ratio was a terrible 7.56.

Dayn Perry continues on Billingsley: "He also shows fly ball tendencies, which could really hurt him next season at hitter-friendly Las Vegas." So much wrong with such a short sentence. Billingsley's grounball/flyball ratio this year was 1.01. 1.00 means "neutral." Anything higher than 1.00 indicates a groundball tendency, but obviously .01 is so insignificant that Billingsley is properly categorized as a neutral pitcher when it comes to the whole groundball/flyball matter. Contrast Billingsley's 1.01 ratio with Jered Weaver of the Angels' 0.36 to get an idea of what a hard-core flyball pitcher looks like. But more importantly, why would it be such a problem if Billingsley WERE a flyball pitcher? Most high-strikeout pitchers ARE flyball pitchers, and anyway, Billingsley is going to make a career pitching in Dodger Stadium, not Las Vegas. As Chan-Ho Park knew well, Dodger Stadium can be very forgiving to flyball pitchers, while places like Arlington, Texas should be avoided by the likes of Park, or even better flyball pitchers. And should Billingsley even be in Vegas next year? I have said before in this comments section, and I will say it again: unless he is hurt, Billingsley should be in the Dodgers' opening day rotation in 2006. If Scott Kazmir can skip Triple A and post a 3.81 ERA in his first full MLB season, Billingsley can't do a lot worse, and may even do better given the NL and particularly the NL West.

Of Guzman, Perry writes, "he lacks plate discipline." He strikes out a lot, and that is part of the plate discipline equation, but 6'6" power hitters are going to strike out a lot. 42 walks in 442 AB's, however, tells us that Guzman is showing enough patience that we should not be too concerned about his plate discipline. His 2005 OBA of .351 was fine. Perry also notes that a move to the outfield (which I agree is inevitable) "will raise the bar for him offensively." Since Guzman is projected to be a 30 to 40 HR's a year man, not a 10 to 20 guy, one would imagine that Guzman isn't too troubled by the prospect of having to meet the offensive expectations for a corner outfielder.

Next, Perry tells us that Joel Hanrahan is "no longer much of a prospect." Oh, really, Dayn? Then why did you choose to bother writing about Hanrahan, instead of Broxton, Elbert, DeWitt, Orenduff, Abreu, Hu, Kuo, Aybar, Denker, Delwyn Young, Blake Johnson, or a dozen other guys who would currently place in front of Hanrahan in Dodger prospect rankings? In other late-breaking news, Onan Masaoka is no longer much of a prospect either (but at least he still has a fun first name going for him, I suppose).

Nobody would disagree with Perry when he says that Matt Kemp needs "to improve his eye at the plate," but Kemp was only 20 this season and that small entry on the debit side of the ledger really pales compared to all of the favorable things that can be written about Kemp (high batting average, great power, significant speed for a big man, right-fielder's arm). Perry's statement, "It's never too wise to get too fired up about prospects who have yet to play in the high minors," shows how desperately Perry is reaching for something negative to say when it comes to Kemp. Perry has showered laurels on plenty of prospects who have not reached Double A, or have performed downright poorly in Double A (in the latter category, the Diamondbacks' Stephen Drew comes to mind). As for Kemp needing to "prove himself against more advanced competition," I won't disagree, but he has played with mostly Double A-experienced prospects in the Arizona Fall League and he clearly out-performed, frankly, almost all of them, ranking second in league batting average and slugging over .600 despite being younger, and sometimes MUCH younger, than his competition.

As for Andy LaRoche, Perry notes that after destroying the Florida State League, LaRoche hit .273/.367/.445 in Double A in the remainder of the season, then Perry goes on to say, "While it's not an indictment for a 21-year-old to semi-struggle for a half-season in Double A..." Do we really need the rest of the sentence? .273/.367/.445 from a 21-year-old promoted mid-season to Double A is "semi-struggling?" Just idiotic. Of course, as I have already mentioned in passing, Perry loves Stephen Drew of the Diamondbacks, yet Drew is older than Laroche and performed a lot worse than Laroche when he was promoted mid season to the same Double A League LaRoche was sent to. But of course, unlike LaRoche, Drew was drafted out of a four-year college, so Perry is quick to put a gleam and shine on the old Perry double standard.

Perry's anti-Loney tirade, in which he calls Loney "one of the most over-hyped hitting prospects to come along in quite a while," is pretty silly. Perry notes that Loney has "endured a litany of injuries," yet, strangely, that does not stop him from expecting a record of top-flight production: "Loney has yet to put up the numbers." First, it has to be noted that Loney's injuries have stemmed from "freak accidents" and the damage has healed slowly, so Loney is not "injury prone" like certain players who chronically pull muscles and other tissues. As for what sort of numbers we should be seeing from Loney, obviously playing hurt does not help with stats, but Perry's blanket statement that "Loney has not put up the numbers" is outright false. Loney's numbers have not been inappropriate given league, park, age-versus-level-of-competition, and yes, injury, contexts. Loney hit .284/.357/.419 in 2005 at age 21 in Double A in a pitcher-friendly park in a pitcher-friendly league a year after a broken finger, infection, and surgery marred his 2004 campaign. The batting average is good, the OBA is good, only the slugging percentage is less than what one would like to see from a first base prospect. Given his age and physique, the Dodgers and others believe that Loney's "warning track power" will increase as he continues toward his mid-20's, but it is true he will not have prototypical first baseman power. Given Loney's other attributes, so what? Keith Hernandez, John Olerud, Mark Grace, and many other valuable first sackers did not have prototypical first baseman power either. In the majors, Loney should provide a high average, a high OBA, and Gold Glove defense to go along with about 20 HR's a year. A championship level team will take that at first base any day of the week. Now here is something to note about Perry. Notice that he said nothing about Loney's defense? Notice that he said nothing about ANY player's defense? Bill James and Billy Beane have famously avowed that defense is very important, but Perry is one of those rock-ribbed sabermetricians who just doesn't care about defense, and that misguided stance is a significant Achilles heal in his prospect analysis.

In Russell Martin, we have the prospect that one might expect Perry to positively fawn over. Martin is Mr. Plate Discipline. 78 walks and 69 strikeouts this year in 409 AB's. But Perry is unimpressed, because he says that "last year's numbers were wildly out of step with those Martin has put up in previous seasons." Indeed, the year before, Martin had 72 walks and 54 strikeouts in 416 AB's. WILDLY different numbers. Martin's walk and strikeout numbers relative to at bats have been very good in each of the four seasons since he was drafted. Perry must be thinking about Martin's batting average and isolated slugging numbers. From 2004 to 2005, Martin's batting average improved from .250 to .311. In the same time, his isolated slugging declined from .171 to .112. If Perry were more on the ball, he might have observed that Martin went to a more pitcher friendly home park when he advanced from high A to Double A. It also pays to have actual "scouty-type" information instead of just looking at numbers, because that would have allowed Perry to know that in high A Martin's low batting average but good isolated slugging could be attributed in large part to a somewhat long swing that the Dodgers' minor league hitting coaches got Martin to shorten this year, hence a much better batting average but also less raw power. Does hitting for less power than he has shown before hurt Martin? With his new, shorter swing, the improvement in his batting average was so marked that his overall slugging percentage improved over the 2004 slugging percentage, notwithstanding that Martin hit for less power this year and moved up to a more pitcher-friendly environment. In 2006, with Martin away from the pitcher-friendly Southern League and the cavernous ballpark in Jacksonville, and with Martin almost certainly playing in spectacularly hitter-friendly Las Vegas, does Perry expect to see even bigger numbers from Martin next year? Actually, Perry tells us, "Don't be surprised if he regresses with the bat in 2006." Quite the stranger to common sense, our friend Dayn. And, oh, yeah, per my comment in the paragraph about Loney, Perry has nothing to say about Martin's outstanding defense.

As for Greg Miller, I don't disagree with all the caveats Perry offers about Miller's health status, given his arm surgeries, but that is why I don't think Miller warrants any place in a discussion about the Dodgers' current top prospects. When Miller is logging innings as a starter again, over a full season, we can draw our conclusions then. But in the meantime one can say, but Perry did NOT say, that Miller retook the mound in 2005 and was throwing 90-95 MPH as a lefty with the same quality breaking pitches he was throwing before he got hurt. And as for Perry's crack about Miller's "vanilla record of performance" -- hey, note the injury concerns and time missed all you like, but Miller's performance record to date, when he just turned 21 on November 3, looks pretty darn great. There really is no way to avoid praising a pitching record that includes a line of 26.2 IP, 15 H's, 7 BB's, 40 K's in Double A at age 18. And just to include a note about Miller that I think is interesting (that Perry wouldn't be aware of, but that he couldn't care less about anyway), a Braves' fan who spoke to the manager of the Atlanta Braves' Double A team told me that the manager called Greg Miller the best pitching prospect he has ever seen. High praise from a man who had seen many pitching prospects in his day, in recent years Mark Prior and Dontrelle Willis among them.

And Perry finishes with Chuck Tiffany. He disparages Tiffany's control, even though Tiffany's walk/9 stats were only 3.6 and 3.52 in 2004 and 2005 respectively. Unlike Perry's charge against Billingsley, it is fair to say that Tiffany is a flyball pitcher (his ratio was 0.58 this year, so he is a bigtime flyball pitcher, if not as "bad" as Jered Weaver), but he has no logical basis to predict that Tiffany will falter at the next level. Tiffany is moving up to a huge pitcher's park in 2006, and three above-average pitches that Tiffany gets a lot of K's with are not going to fail against Double A hitters. Sure, if he goes up to Vegas in 2006, or 2007, he is going to get punished, but I have already made it clear in talking about Billingsley that not doing well on the mound in Vegas is completely irrelevent to the question of whether one will eventually do well in Dodger Stadium.

Perry concludes by asserting that the Dodgers' farm system is not as good as the farm systems of the Angels, Diamondbacks, Braves, or Devil Rays. Nobody who can be taken seriously ranks the Braves', Diamondbacks' or Devil Ray's systems even close to the Dodgers level. The Braves are not even as strong on the farm as they were last year, because of the "graduations" of Francouer, Davies, McCann, Betemit, Langerhans, and Kelly Johnson. They had more players close to the majors than we did, because of our poor drafts until 2002, and the Braves were less conservative than DePodesta about promoting youngish prospects to the majors, so the the Braves defintely "got more out" of their farm in 2005 than the Dodgers did, but that mass of graduations has thinned Atlanta's CURRENT farm crop going into 2006. The Diamondbacks scarcely have any pitching prospects, and their hitters are ALL overrated because up to this year every single Arizona minor league affiliate has played in band boxes in hitter-freindly leagues, grossly inflating offensive stats. Interestingly, in 2005 the Diamondbacks moved their Double A affiliate to the same Double A league where the Dodgers have their affiliate, the pitcher-friendly Southern League, and all of their hitting prospects in Double A tanked there -- including, as I keep mentioning, Stephen Drew. The Devil Rays have Delmon Young. The best prospect in baseball. We have nobody on that level. Get past Delmon Young, however, and what does Tampa Bay have? The answer is not much (especially pitching-wise), and certainly not enough to put them anywhere near the Dodgers' overall system. That leaves us with the Angels. All respectable authorities (Perry is not respectable) put the Dodgers and Angels in the top two right now. Baseball America writers have said over and over that the Dodgers and Angels are top two and it will be hard to pick one over the other when they do their official rankings for the next Prospect Handbook. I think their #1, Brandon Wood, beats our #1 (Billingsley). Overall, for top hitters, the Angels have an advantage over the Dodgers (I believe helped by the fact that like the Diamondbacks they play in very hitter-friendly environments, inflating their stats). For pitching, the Dodgers beat the Angels by a wide margin. Very wide. For overall depth, which means looking at prospects outside the top 10's for both teams, I see a lot more depth in the Dodgers' system. Thus, the Dodgers should beat out the Angels. In my opinion, the Dodgers' system SHOULD beat out the Angels' system when BA does their rankings. Will we? One problem will be the fact that BA prizes hitting prospects more than pitching prospects, because of the greater injury risks with pitchers. Another problem is that BA is not that concerned with depth issues when they are ranking the top two teams relative to each other. If the Angels top the Dodgers in BA's next rankings, I think it could largely be on the back of Brandon Wood.

2005-11-30 00:22:24
67.   sanchez101
wow, that was huge

i think perry went a little overboard trying to support his point that the dodgers should consider trading some of their prospects because they arent all going to turn out. I think he is right in this regard. Some of hi reasoning in this article doesnt make much sense, but to compare him to Plascke? i dont think so.

2005-11-30 00:27:05
68.   natepurcell
i really dont understand this negativity surrounding the dodger prospects.

billingsley is one of the top 5 best SP prospects in the minors.

martin is a top 5 catching prospect

laroche is a top 5 3b prospect

broxton is a top 5 relief/projected closer prospect

Joel guzman is a top 5 SS prospect.

and what we have that most teams dont have is DEPTH.

i know im posting a lot about this, but i just want to dispell the myth that we dont have any very good players down there.

this is funny, in the system write up, perry says we dont have any elite prospects. but in his dodger analysis write up (
this is what he said:
"Penny figures to be healthier, as does Odalis Perez. Derek Lowe returns, and uber-prospect Chad Billingsley may be in Chavez Ravine for good by the All-Star break."

so which is it dayn? billingsley is an elite prospect or not?

he also says the Angels, Diamondbacks, Braves and D-Rays all have a better system than the dodgers. Well i disagree.

The Angels have a better system, i can give him that.

the dbacks, outside of quentin,jackson and drew, are really limited- especially in the pitching department with only Nippert projecting as a #2 or better. And even he is iffy coming back from TJ surgery.

the braves system is a little thinner now that francouer, McCann, kelly johnson and davies have graduated to the majors. I dont even see the braves in the top 5 as of right now.

The drays have super prospect delmon young, and a bunch of toolsy outfielders but... where is the rest of the group? Jason Hammel had a solid year, Neimann injured constantly and never got goining. Again, where is the balance?

I have said it before but ill say it again, the dodgers system is the most balanced in the majors. Why I think the angels are better is because their positional prospects are better and they tend to be a more surer bet than piching prospects (due to the injury factor)

And by june of 2006, it will be evene better after having 3-4 picks in the first two rounds of the draft.

2005-11-30 00:37:04
69.   Uncle Miltie
66- I agree with you on some of your points. Dayn relies way too much on numbers and doesn't seem to take age-against-competition into consideration. Including Hanrahan on his list was absurd. I thought he was overrated in 2003 and I wanted the Dodgers to sell high on him. I agree with what he said about Tiffany- he should be used as trade bait. Even though Loney is young, he was repeating AA. I also realize that he was young compared to the competition. It's too early to write Loney off, but I don't think he'll be the star player that scouts projected him to be .300+ hitter with 30 home run power, and gold glove defense. He has a pretty good eye at plate and gap power. He might not be a great fit for Dodger Stadium. I certainly wouldn't consider him untouchable, but I don't think of him as a spare part either.
2005-11-30 00:38:41
70.   natepurcell
a Braves' fan who spoke to the manager of the Atlanta Braves' Double A team told me that the manager called Greg Miller the best pitching prospect he has ever seen. High praise from a man who had seen many pitching prospects in his day, in recent years Mark Prior and Dontrelle Willis among them

when did the braves manager say this? during millers 2003 yr or this year?

2005-11-30 00:39:40
71.   Uncle Miltie
The drays have super prospect delmon young, and a bunch of toolsy outfielders but... where is the rest of the group? Jason Hammel had a solid year, Neimann injured constantly and never got goining. Again, where is the balance?
Even though he's had a 100 or so at bats at the major league level, I'd still consider BJ Upton a prospect, and a very good one. Nate, would you trade Guzman for Upton?
2005-11-30 00:48:19
72.   natepurcell
Even though he's had a 100 or so at bats at the major league level, I'd still consider BJ Upton a prospect, and a very good one. Nate, would you trade Guzman for Upton?

it depends. I am not a scout but it would have to depend on who my scouts (if i were colletti) feel can stay at SS at the big league level.

Upton is a safer choi offensively than guzman. But guzmans bat has a higher cieling.

If neither can stay at SS defensively, i would need to know which one has the best ability to make a position change to the OF and become a very good defensive outfield.

so im going take the easy way out and say i dont know because i dont have enough scouting data.

on that note. I really think logan white and his scouts think guzman can play SS in the bigs. If they didnt think so, guzman would have made the switch already.

that said, him playing multiple positions in the DWL isnt because of the dodgers request, its where his team needs him to play.

2005-11-30 00:54:07
73.   overkill94
66 Quite a breakdown you have there.

To enhance the argument that our farm has impact players, when a message board of unbiased fantasy baseball players was polled recently asking for their dream minor league all-star team, all but one chose Billingsley in their rotation, and many chose Guzman as a DH or SS (not to mention some nods to Martin, Laroche, and Kemp).

Perry just seems to be bitter for whatever reason. Obviously the counter-argument will develop in the next 5 years or so.

2005-11-30 00:55:54
74.   natepurcell
also, when hochevar signs (yes i said it, when!) theres another elite arm to add to the TINSTAAPP attrition war.
2005-11-30 00:59:43
75.   fanerman
74 - He really has no other options right?
2005-11-30 01:00:48
76.   natepurcell
He really has no other options right?

play independent league, re enter the draft, and get offered like 200k.

Hes not going to get anywhere near the money he would get if he signs with us. But whatever, its up to luke.

2005-11-30 01:03:56
77.   natepurcell
PS: i still believe in 22 yr old edwin jackson- as long as his fb velocity is still 93-95 and didnt go jerome williams on us :)
2005-11-30 01:06:13
78.   CanuckDodger
70, 72 -- Nate, it was Bill Shanks, who recently published a book about the Atlanta Braves' "way" of scouting and player development, who told me what the Braves' Double A manager told him about Greg Miller. He said the guy would not stop raving about Miller, so I assume Shanks talked to him not long after Miller struck out about 14 of his batters in 7 innings in a game between Jacksonville and the Greenville Braves, back in 2003.

You say you think Logan White and his scouts have confidence that Guzman can play short in the majors. Actually, White was recently quoted saying that he sees Guzman as an outfielder. I can't remember where I read that, though.

2005-11-30 01:07:47
79.   Steve
I really think logan white and his scouts think guzman can play SS in the bigs.

And Steve. Too much talk tonight about Guzman changing positions. This is not the night to be encouraging such discussion. Let Furcal fall into Neifi's waiting arms, then have this discussion.

2005-11-30 01:08:00
80.   natepurcell
if white sees guzman as an OF, why hasnt the switch been made yet?
2005-11-30 01:19:03
81.   CanuckDodger
80. Good question. Logan White does not have the last word on player development decisions. That is Terry Collins' department. I think the move should have already been made, unless it is only NOW, after Guzman was in Double A for a year, that hopes of Guzman proving he can stick at SS have been abandoned.
2005-11-30 02:47:53
82.   GoBears
Wow. Over the last 14 months or so, I've read every post on DodgerThoughts, and every comment. I was in Budapest for a week and Prague for another week, but I went back and caught up. I was in the hospital for the better part of 3 weeks last off-season, but I went back and caught up. But 66 was the first comment that I just plain skipped. I hope it was edifying to those who made the effort.

Apparently, Konerko's "no thanks" to Baltimore was to a 5/$65M offer! That's crazy talk. Here's hoping the Angels go for it. Although, at this point, I'm feeling as sorry for Casey Kotchman as I do for Choi. Mebbe Konerko would DH. And having both might finally mean that Erstad gets put out of everyone's misery.

2005-11-30 02:53:35
83.   regfairfield
Players on the Angels I feel sorry for:

Juan Rivera
Casey Kotchman
Rob Quinlan

Jeff DaVanon would be up here, had he not cost my fantasy team Chad Tracy, and then proceeded to be very, very bad.

2005-11-30 06:45:06
84.   the count
Perry went a little overboard but he does make good points. The Dodgers have trade bait prospects. A guy like Orenduff would be a #1 SP prospect in many other organizations, but the Dodgers have other arms to make up for that hole. I think he was nitpicking with Billingsley as he made major strides this season with his walk rate.

A lot of what he wrote though was just stating obvious statistical observations about players.

Offense: Plate discipline, power not developing
Pitching: Control, injury history

You don't have to be a detective to spot these things, which is why I like to see what scouts say and then compare it to the stats and then see what story it tells.

Why did he even include Hanrahan? Elbert, Blake Johnson, or Kuo would have been much better choices.

2005-11-30 06:49:25
85.   scareduck
20 - (sorry to drag you all back so far) So what if the Dodgers haven't produced one Felix Hernandez every year? My point is there isn't a single Felix-grade prospect throughout the system at any position! And yes, that's absolutely the point: you want difference-makers, superstars-in-the-making. Absent that, how do you plan on winning ballgames? It's a point Rich Lederer made recently in the context of the Padres:

Warren Buffett, the Oracle of Omaha, once said he would rather have one athlete who could high jump seven feet than seven who could jump one. I've always subscribed to that theory as well. Give me quality over quantity any day of the week. I realize price is a factor, but I've learned over the years you generally get more value buying good merchandise than mediocre.

2005-11-30 07:40:17
86.   molokai
And exactly how many Felix-grade prospects have inhabited the minor leagues in the last 20 years? At least pick a player that isn't so high off the charts that we can have a meaningfull discussion.
2005-11-30 07:43:24
87.   CanuckDodger
85 - The larger, RELEVENT point is that there is no "Felix grade" prospect in any team's farm system outside of Delmon Young in the Devil Rays' system, so who cares if the Dodgers' don't have what 27 other teams don't have? The choice is not between having one platinum prospect and a whole lot of "iron pyrite." We have a whole lot of gold and silver, but no platinum. And yes, I will take a whole lot of gold and silver over a very tiny bit of platinum. It's a 25 man roster. The World Series keeps being won by teams that do not have anybody even close to being the best player in baseball. A-Rod's teams can't win, and while he was with Texas, the Rangers couldn't even get to .500. Pujols and the Cardinals only go so far. Billingsley gets compared routinely to Ben Sheets. Guzman is likened to Juan Gonzalez. LaRoche is compared to Scott Rolen minus the great defense. I doubt any of Sheets, Gonzalez, or Rolen are going to the Hall of Fame. But a team that can produce three players like that from their farm system within about a two year period, as well as other quality players, is going to be an outstanding team, while I don't see Felix Hernandez leading the Mariners anywhere given that team's many other deficiencies.
2005-11-30 07:47:39
88.   Bob Timmermann
But the Mariners have Adrian Beltre.
2005-11-30 07:50:38
89.   scareduck
66 - given his own ridiculously quixotic crusade against the Dodgers' farm system

Believe what you want, CanuckDodger; the Dodgers' prospects continued failures at higher levels speaks for itself. Broxton can't get the ball over the plate. Toolsy McAybar's a slap-hitting nobody in the mold of Izturis. The proof is in the winning; let's see some of them come up and do it before you go around declaring the Dodgers farm system's so great.

Since two years later everybody in baseball would agree that the Dodgers had the BEST draft in 2003 -- a perhaps historic draft, though we won't know that for many years

No kidding. Neither do you know that, but your smug, windy contempt for my skepticism has been duly noted.

Perry is looking pretty foolish right now, and he needs to do something about that -- like throw dirt on some of these Dodgers' prospects whose acquisition prompted him to virtually call the Dodgers idiots.

Maybe he's just, I dunno, being consistent in his evaluation? He didn't like the 2003 draft then, he still doesn't like it. What's so hard about that?

Dayn Perry is unquestionably the Bill Plashcke of prospect analysis.

Wow, what a whopper. We'll get back to that one in a moment. Aw, what the heck, let's look at this statement:

places like Arlington, Texas should be avoided by the likes of Park, or even better flyball pitchers

Where in that list does it show Park to be a flyball pitcher? Right, it doesn't, well, save for a small-sample-sized 2003. If you're going to be arrogant, you'd better be unassailable. For instance:

Nobody would disagree with Perry when he says that Matt Kemp needs "to improve his eye at the plate," but Kemp was only 20 this season and that small entry on the debit side of the ledger really pales compared to all of the favorable things that can be written about Kemp (high batting average, great power, significant speed for a big man, right-fielder's arm).

I'd turn that around and ask, so what that he's 20? This is the exact problem I have with guys like the Angels' Brandon Wood: gee, those homers are nice. Where's the walks? I mean, he could be the next Dick Simpson, or the next John Warner. What, you never heard of them? Darn tootin': they hit 42 and 37 homers in the minors, and their strikeouts -- and inability to hit against lefties at the majors -- left them as footnotes in the game.

Perry's anti-Loney tirade, in which he calls Loney "one of the most over-hyped hitting prospects to come along in quite a while," is pretty silly. Perry notes that Loney has "endured a litany of injuries," yet, strangely, that does not stop him from expecting a record of top-flight production: "Loney has yet to put up the numbers."

Is there something somehow wrong with expecting actual performance? Health is a tool. Loney doesn't appear to have it so far. Yes, yes, I know he got injured on a hit-by-pitch, but at some point you have to produce. Call it the Adrian Beltre syndrome; at some point, it all becomes excuses. I'm not alone in this sentiment; John Sickels thinks he's overrated, too:

His 2005 in Jacksonville will probably earn him a trip to Vegas. He must hit there to be taken seriously.

2005-11-30 07:54:57
90.   molokai
2005 - CWS win world series without any superstars
2004 - Boston wins world series with Manny via free agency, Ortiz via waiver wire, Schilling via trade. Don't see any home grown superstars here.
2003 - Marlins - Cabrerra will become a mega-star, he wasn't in 2003 and posted a line that any good corner outfielder could do.
2002 - Angels - no superstars in 2001
2001 - Diamondbacks - don't see any home grown ulba super stars here
2000 -NYY - Is Jeter an ulba super star? No
Bernie Williams? No
Clemens - Yes,not home grown

So since the 21st century started exactly what ulba superstar who was home grown has helped their team win a World Championship?
You could say Cabrerra helped the Marlins even though he only posted a 268/325/468 line in 2003. Any corner outfielder could have done that.

2005-11-30 07:57:23
91.   molokai
And the Mariners will not be winning any World Championships with Felix Hernandez anytime soon.

Maybe the greatest prospect to come up in years is Albert Pujuls. Has he won any rings? Has AROD won any rings? Has Griffey won any rings when he was the best player in baseball? For that matter has the greatest hitter in baseball ever won a ring?

2005-11-30 07:58:46
92.   scareduck
87 - The larger, RELEVENT point is that there is no "Felix grade" prospect in any team's farm system outside of Delmon Young in the Devil Rays' system, so who cares if the Dodgers' don't have what 27 other teams don't have?

Um, because at some point they'll need to beat the Cards? Or did you just like the prospect of being constantly "competitive" in the NL West year after year?

2005-11-30 07:59:35
93.   scareduck
91 - I understand Babe Ruth had a couple.
2005-11-30 08:04:34
94.   molokai
Wow, way to make your point. I guess the Dodgers do have failure at the minor league level. Can you believe they have the gall to not find the greatest player in history.
2005-11-30 08:08:53
95.   molokai
Yeah as a home grown pitcher:)
2005-11-30 08:20:05
96.   oldbear
Why does signing Rafael Furcal necessarily a bad thing, when it comes to developing Joel Guzman?

The Dodgers will need a 2nd basemen in 2007. Whats wrong with sliding Furcal to 2nd base, and keeping Guzman at SS?

Fact: Dodgers dont have any 2nd basemen in their system that will hit better than Furcal will over the next 3-4 years.

Fact: The free agent crop of available 2nd basemen to replace Kent is slim.

Sign Furcal and play him at SS this year.
Slide him over to 2nd next year if Guzman is ready.

Seems simple to me.

2005-11-30 08:30:22
97.   D4P
Why does signing Rafael Furcal necessarily a bad thing,

As far as I'm concerned, signing Furcal is a bad thing because it presumably take some $10 million/year to do so. That's outrageously high.

2005-11-30 08:39:48
98.   CanuckDodger
96 -- Furcal is not likely to give us a better batting line playing 2B in 2006 than we would get from Aybar (one of those "failed" Dodger prospects scareduck complains about), but Furcal's salary would be about 20 times Aybar's salary. But of course with Furcal you get stolen bases, and caught-stealing outs to go with those, so I guess that little extra justifies paying 20 times Aybar's salary.
2005-11-30 08:41:53
99.   FirstMohican
There's nothing wrong with signing Furcal. There is something wrong with paying him 10M+ a year.

96 - It was reported that Furcal was not excited about the Mets' request to move to 2B. (They've since spent their Furcal money on Delgado.)

2005-11-30 08:49:15
100.   Bob Timmermann
Barry Bonds has announced that he will play for Team USA at the WBC.

I hear the sound of inner conflict among people here.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2005-11-30 08:56:16
101.   Xeifrank
61. OBP isn't three times as important as SLG%, it is 1.5 times more important from what I've read. (3*OBP) + (2*SLG)
vr, Xei
2005-11-30 09:02:13
102.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Re: 89

>>Is there something somehow wrong with expecting actual performance?<<

I agree with this point on Loney, but isn't there a related issue with our other prospects--that in the same way we shouldn't be too optimistic about Loney due to his tools, we shouldn't be too pessimistic about the rest of our prospects, just because they haven't actually had the chance yet to either succeed or fail in the majors. Even Jackson's still so young that we can't really call him a definitive bust yet, although it's clear he isn't the next Doc Gooden.


2005-11-30 09:06:03
103.   overkill94
89 I don't understand your obsession with prospects playing at higher levels. We're talking about the farm system here, not "which team has had the most success with homegrown players in the past". Theoretically we have a bunch of great prospects who should become great major leaguers, that's all you can ever say about a farm system.

96 Furcal's defense is pretty wasted at 2B since his strong arm is his best asset. Plus, we have quite a few guys ready to step in at 2B once Kent is gone (Aybar, A. Perez, D. Young) that it makes a lot more sense to give an outfielder a big contract. Plus, like others have said, Furcal will be grossly overpaid for the stats he puts up with his only positive being his baserunning ability.

2005-11-30 09:07:15
104.   scareduck
91 - molokai, I understand you were referring to my 93.

90 - Jeter's not a superstar? According to the Jamesian Hall of Fame calculator, he's an almost certain lock for the hall now, and he's got years left in his career:

The 2002 Angels had no superstars on their team? Troy Glaus led the AL in 2000 with 47 dingers, and was fourth in 2001 with 41, leading the league in VORP at his position both years, and placing fourth in 2002. Is he not a superstar because you say so?

The Red Sox didn't have a well-regarded farm team in 2004, so what's your point? Unless you're seriously suggesting that Colletti has the trading acumen of Epstein/Luccino, I don't see how this is relevant. I can't speak to the Diamondbacks in 2001, as I can't find their BA ranking at the time. But does it especially matter? They elected to go with a one-time bang of high-priced free agents. If that's the direction you're recommending the Dodgers pursue, come out and say it.

94 - you said "ever".

2005-11-30 09:09:34
105.   molokai
No inner conflict here. It is not like I'll be rooting for Goliath over David anyway.
2005-11-30 09:11:33
106.   D4P
I seem to remember reading in Moneyball that Depo had determined OBP to be 3X as important as SLG. Maybe the thinking on that has changed since the book was written.
2005-11-30 09:11:42
107.   underdog
66. Very impressive.
Btw, Canuck also moonlights writing for the Zagat guide.

I agree 10 mil a year would be outrageously high for Furcal. On the other hand, it sort of seems like the Dodgers (gasp, am I about to defend Frank McCourt? No... please...) can't win - they're criticized for being too cheap and for talk of reducing payroll, and then when there's mention of them actually spending a lot to get somebody it's "Oh that's too much!"

Well, I'm not paying 10 million a year, that's for sure. But if it lands us a couple of great players, I'm not going to complain either. The problem is, as many of you have pointed out, that this year's free agent pool is mostly pretty thin. Frankly, given our minor league blue chippers and our overall roster when healthy I would be very happy with two free agents. Brian Giles and a pitcher. But if Furcal comes, too, that's okay by me.

Better Furcal, than Dreifort, y'know.

2005-11-30 09:13:16
108.   scareduck
103 - I don't understand your obsession with prospects playing at higher levels.

Because that's what you want them to do? Or are we all supposed to bow and scrape to every single-A hitter who breaks the Cal League home run record, and every single-A pitcher who misses a ton of bats?

2005-11-30 09:13:38
109.   Jon Weisman
I guess this debate is why I thought Perry's article was even-handed. CanuckDodger has many good points (and I appreciate him and others pointing out Perry's errors), and Rob (scareduck) has good points as well. I don't think Perry was trashing the Dodger prospects to the extent that Nate Purcell seems to have taken offense. I think Perry was saying that it's a good group with question marks.

I think the deeper issue is that people - myself included - feel a lot is at stake with the assessment of the farm system. We don't want the failure of Dodger prospects of the past - who weren't as highly rated - to tinge the prospects of the present, and possibly lead the Dodgers into deleterious free agent spending. On the other hand, as people have pointed out, these guys are young. And their ceilings, however high they are, may not be reached for a few years. That doesn't mean they can't contribute today, but there is a certain amount of patience that needs to come into play. And yes, some will not pan out.

In the end, we don't know how any of them are gonna do. We just don't know. I'll take my evaluations, or Canuck's, or Nate's, over Perry's any day. But I think Perry's ultimate assessment - "good but not great" - is as useful as any. It tells us not to trash the farm system, and it tells us not to bet the farm on the farm.

2005-11-30 09:14:27
110.   GoBears
Amidst all the reciminations above, an interesting question emerged, and I don't think it has an obvious answer. Would you rather have a 25-man roster with lots of good players and no superstars, or a few superstars mixed with some AAAA-level "talent?" The 2002 WS kinda presented this question, with the "everyone (except Erstad) is good, no one is great" Angels beating the Bonds-driven Giants. But it was a close thing, and had not a few of the mediocres (Kennedy, Weber, a couple other pitchers) not played over their heads, the Giants might have won it.

I've rung this bell before: baseball is a team sport with no teamwork. There are no synergies from guys meshing well together. It doesn't matter if you have long sequences of singles, a la the 2002 Angels, or 2 innings of outs followed by a HR, a la the Giants. What matters is the total number of runs scored (and prevented). Basketball, despite the star-driven model that has prevailed lately (Bulls, Spurs, Lakers) is more obviously a team game, in which the whole can be more or less than the sum of the parts. Not so in baseball. The whole is exactly the sum of its parts.

So, the Dodgers are aiming for the Angels' model - homegrown prospects at nearly every position, which means probably no or very few stars, but hopefully no or very few duds as well.

Oh, and don't tell Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling that their WS team didn't have any stars.

2005-11-30 09:14:50
111.   D4P
To some extent, overpaying for someone like Furcal is really only a problem if it keeps the Dodgers from signing other players (like Giles). If they address all of the needs and THEN want to overpay for Furcal, then more power to them, I guess.
2005-11-30 09:15:41
112.   Strike4
Happy belated birthday to Vin and Ross. For anyone interested, today is the cutoff for this year's Ford C. Frick Award voting process. The top three vote-getters will be placed on the final ballot for consideration for the 2006 Ford C. Frick Award, presented annually to a broadcaster for major contributions to the game of baseball.

ROSS PORTER: 28 years (1977-2004), all with Los Angeles, and retired…In addition to television play-by-play duties, hosted the Dodgers' postgame "DodgerTalk" Show…Provided play-by-play for the 1977 and 1978 World Series and the 1984 NL Championship Series on CBS Radio and the 1988 World Series for the Dodgers' flagship station…Won the Southern California Sportscaster Association's Tom Harmon Award for Radio Sports Anchor in 1991 and Radio Talk Show Host award in 1992 and 1993…Also won "Best Talk Show" honors at the SCSBA's annual awards in February 1999…Holds the major league record for the longest consecutive play-by-play by one announcer when he called the action in a 22-inning game between the Dodgers and Expos on Aug. 23, 1989…For that broadcast, was honored with a Special Achievement Award by the SCSBA in 1990…A play-by-play announcer since the age of 14, the University of Oklahoma graduate is the only broadcaster to have called the action for both a World Series champion (1981 and 1988 Dodgers) and an NCAA basketball champion (1990 UNLV)…Won an Emmy during his 10-year stint as a sportscaster for KNBC-TV before joining the Dodgers…Called NFL games for NBC-TV from 1970-76.

Perfect summary for Ross. Gotta love the statistic of only broadcaster to cover a WS champ and a NCAA basketball champ.

Good luck Ross.

2005-11-30 09:16:05
113.   GoBears
and it tells us not to bet the farm on the farm.

Gee, any chance you went to Stanford, Jon?

2005-11-30 09:16:06
114.   Rob M
103 In the same spirit as TINSTAAP, I still think Edwin Jackson could become a star. Or not. It remains to be seen. The fact is, most great pitchers have great stuff, and they learn how to pitch. It takes some guys longer than others, some guys never learn, and some guys get hurt. Randy Johnson, Schmidt, Schilling - all heralded prospects that faltered early (from memory, so correct me if I'm wrong). If Jackson isn't an effect big league starter until he's 25 or 26, would that be so shocking? Would it be shocking for Billingsley or Miller or Broxton?
2005-11-30 09:16:41
115.   scareduck
BTW, I hate unthreaded comments. SPORTSblogs has a much better comments system.
2005-11-30 09:19:15
116.   oldbear
I still think you guys are underestimating Furcal here.

When Raffy Furcal first came up, his rookie year in 2000 he OBP'ed over .370

As the years have gone on, his OBP has dipped, but his power (HR's) have gone up. The guy has hit 15HR's each of the last two years.

In addition, he's entering his prime.

I definitely disagree with Canuck that Aybar, Perez, or someone else from our system will be a better player than Furcal will be during 2007. And Furcal also steals bases at a high enough percentage that the CS'ings arent a detriment.

I just think SS is the biggest hole on the team, AND in the organization if Guzman doesnt pan out. So Furcal looks like a smart move to me. Isnt Furcal better than Renteria, and didnt Edgar get 10mils?

2005-11-30 09:19:26
117.   scareduck
114 - early scouting on Johnson was that he was a surprise package, could be something great, could be a bust. Big. BIG. The light really came on for him in his 1995 season with Seattle.
2005-11-30 09:22:48
118.   natepurcell
the Dodgers' prospects continued failures at higher levels speaks for itself. Broxton can't get the ball over the plate. Toolsy McAybar's a slap-hitting nobody in the mold of Izturis.

broxton struck out 22 batters in like 13IP. He obviously had to get the ball over the plate somehow. Its also not uncommon for pitching prospects to struggle with walks when they first come up. But its clear that he has the stuff to succeed in the majors.
Aybar batted over 320 in his callup. NOONE never said aybar was going to be a power hitter when he came up. So dont try and blame his faults for something he wasnt expected to become.

Maybe he's just, I dunno, being consistent in his evaluation? He didn't like the 2003 draft then, he still doesn't like it. What's so hard about that

i dunno, when the 2003 drafted produced players lke billingsley, tiffany, kemp, denker and laroche who will probably be on most top 150 prospect lists this year, there comes a time where you have to realize you made a mistake in judging that draft class. He isnt being consistent, he is being thick headed, unwilling to admit his mistakes.

2005-11-30 09:23:01
119.   D4P
I've rung this bell before: baseball is a team sport with no teamwork. There are no synergies from guys meshing well together...

I'm not totally convinced that that's true. Baseball players play a very long season and endure numerous bumps, bruises, and other injuries. Giving 100% every game is difficult, both physically and mentally, particularly when you're making millions of guaranteed dollars that don't necessarily depend upon your team's performance.

I think it's at least reasonable to believe that a player's effort on the field (and off the field in the weight room, batting cage, etc.) is positively influenced by his relationships with the other players and his commitment to the team. A group of individuals who don't care about each other are probably less likely to give 100% than players who like and feel an obligation to each other.

2005-11-30 09:48:31
120.   molokai
Wow do we differ on what constitutes a super star. Let's use your VORP numbers for a more detailed look at those "super star seasons". In 2000 Glaus had the 18th highest VORP. In 2001 it was 42nd and in 2002 it was 60th. How many players do you consider super stars. I try to limit that to maybe 10 at most or it become meaningless. Just because your the best players at your position doesn't make you a super star.

I've always thought of Jeter as an above average player every year but never a super star. Only once has he even been the best SS in his league.
Year/Vorp/NYY Placement/SS Placement/League
Jeter 1996/51/2nd/3/38
1998/80 1st bingo/3/10th
1999/118 1st bingo/1st /1st
2000/82 1st bingo/3/17th
2001/71 1st bingo/3/23rd
2002/60 4th/4/26
2003/53 4th/6/33
2004/60 3rd/4 /26
2005/66 2nd/3/16

An incredibly consistent above average player who had one monster year and no doubt is a HOF player. I've never thought of him as a super star but I have to give you Jeter. If that is the player you want to complain about that the Dodgers don't produce then I'll just say Mike Piazza and leave it at that.

2005-11-30 09:55:20
121.   Jon Weisman
113 - Yeah, I probably used that line before when I was there - I just can't remember.
2005-11-30 09:58:20
122.   molokai
My comments were strictly about HOME grown super stars who have lead their teams to world championships. Schilling and Randy need not apply. It is a rarity in this day and age of free agency that the home grown super star has peaked enough to lead his team to a world championship before they leave for free agency.

Manny almost did it for Cleveland. Puhols almost did it for the Cards and it looks like he'll get plenty of more opportunities. Arod and Griffy almost did it. Lots of almosts so I give lots of credit to JETER and B Williams for doing it and admit I was wrong in not proclaming them super star studs who did it.
And a late entry is Chipper Jones.

2005-11-30 10:00:37
123.   molokai
Great point. I think everyone got used to seeing pitchers like Oswalt succeed right out of the gate and expect everyone to do the same when that is not the norm but the exception.
2005-11-30 10:01:27
124.   Jon Weisman
Rob said: "Toolsy McAybar's a slap-hitting nobody in the mold of Izturis."

Nate said: "Dont try and blame his faults for something he wasn't expected to become."


Nate, your analysis is usually some of the best, but this doesn't make sense to me. Maybe I'm not getting it. Are you saying that because Aybar wasn't expected to become a power hitter, someone can't criticize him for not being a power hitter?

2005-11-30 10:01:49
125.   CanuckDodger
120. In addition to Piazza, our farm system produced a superstar named Pedro Martinez, and a Cy Young-winning closer in Gagne. I am surprised by the number of Dodger fans I come across who think it is just not "our thing" to produce great major league players from the farm, so everybody on our farm at any given time must be over-hyped. But historically, the Dodgers have actually been one of the most successful teams in terms of creating impact MLB players on the farm.
2005-11-30 10:05:07
126.   Jesse
Probaby already covered, but I like the picture of Ned on the computer on Move over google-boy...

Speaking of the said Depodesta moniker, how unfunny is the LA media? I don't mind the occasional silly name but Just Diabled Drew, Google Boy, Stupidesta, and the like are ridiculously dumb.

2005-11-30 10:05:49
127.   Jon Weisman
Further on 118, while I do have optimism about the Dodger draft class, Perry doesn't need to admit he was wrong about his negative assessment before the guys make the big leagues.

I've had some disagreements with Rob this year about the farm system, but he's certainly been right about this: Until these guys do something in the majors, it is all just talk, even if they hit 100 homers in the minors. Reason for optimism is a good sign, but the biggest test is yet to come.

2005-11-30 10:10:45
128.   Slikk
Oh Lord, Bonds is on the US team. I have no idea what to say.
2005-11-30 10:20:46
129.   Rob M
127 Then again, he did say at the time that the 2003 class was the worst in all the majors. Now he has them at 5. If he acknowledged his initial misjudgment, it would enhance his credibility.
2005-11-30 10:24:08
130.   Steve
Free Casey Kotchman!

No, really. Can we, like, have him for free?

2005-11-30 10:27:07
131.   Jon Weisman
129 - Fair enough.
2005-11-30 10:33:09
132.   Marty
From now on, ALL minor leaguers are Billy Ashleys until proven otherwise.
2005-11-30 10:37:13
133.   Vishal
i was definitely impressed by both broxton and kuo in their MLB callups. and though broxton had a lot of walks, i thought at least a few of them were the result of questionable umpiring. i'm excited to see him in 2006.
2005-11-30 10:37:49
134.   D4P
See #55.
2005-11-30 10:39:29
135.   GoBears
BTW, I hate unthreaded comments. SPORTSblogs has a much better comments system.

Not me. I like this format much better.

2005-11-30 10:39:35
136.   GoBears
BTW, I hate unthreaded comments. SPORTSblogs has a much better comments system.

Not me. I like this format much better.

2005-11-30 10:39:56
137.   Marty
134 We either think alike, or I subconsciously plagiarized that :)
2005-11-30 10:40:09
138.   GoBears
Oops - I do hate inadvertent double posts, however.
2005-11-30 10:44:17
139.   D4P
Or both.
2005-11-30 10:46:40
140.   bigcpa
In his latest post Gammmons says the Red Sox offered JD Drew 3/$42M a year ago. A year from now he'll choose between our 3/$33M and whatever the market will bear with Boras at the wheel. Unless his knees disintegrate you have to think he's gonzo. All the more reason to keep Bradley.
2005-11-30 10:50:48
141.   GoBears
104 On Glaus. Well, yeah, he's a really good player, but I wouldn't call him a superstar. Heck, lots of mediocre players have led the league in HRs over the years. I think Glaus is better than that - he's going to be an occasional all-star, but if "superstar" is taken to mean someone with a decent shot at the HoF, then I stick by my claim that the 2002 (pre-Vlad) Angels included no superstars. So yeah, because I say so. I also think that this is part of the mystique of that team. Before Arte started turning the Angels into Yankees-west (lots of high-priced free agents - Vlad, Colon, now maybe Manny or Konerko or both), the Angels were often talked about as a bunch of lovable overachievers, a "team" whose long-sequence offensive rallies showed the true value of small-ball. Never mind that they went on a HR binge throughout the playoffs. For a while, they had a lineup of .300 hitters. Not a lot of walks or power, but a LOT of singles.

And try to absorb the spirit of my post, instead of nitpicking. Yeah, OK, Glaus was the best hitter on that team. That does not mean he was a superstar. I was posing a question about whether it's better to have a a more balanced lineup of, say, B/B+/A- caliber major leaguers, or a lineup with an A+ type surrounded by average to below-average major leaguers. It was a question. I wasn't actually coming down on one side or the other.

2005-11-30 10:57:58
142.   GoBears
119 Ah, chemistry rears its head again. Sure, I agree that happy players might work harder and play better, tho some guys apparently are better when they're angry. But "chemistry" in that sense is different what teamwork as I meant it. What I'm talking about is joint production. Other than really marginal effects such as the way middle IFers work together on DPs, every baseball act is an individual act. Sometimes a series of acts are needed to make a play (a throw and a tag, for instance), but is sequential, not joint.

Incidentally, this is why it also cracks me up that the biggest head-cases in football seem to be wide receivers. If there's anyone on the field who should realize how his performance depends on the performance of others, it's a receiver. It's true for everyone else in football too, but it's most obvious even to the casual fan for WRs.

2005-11-30 11:01:59
143.   deburns
No need to worry about a Konerko in the Southland. He just re-upped with the World Champions. (per Rotowire)
2005-11-30 11:03:25
144.   D4P
2005-11-30 11:04:25
145.   razzle nugent
"What I'm talking about is joint production"

Doesn't the new drug and steroid policy say anything about this?

2005-11-30 11:06:45
146.   the count
Re: 127
He does need admit some level of fault for inaccurate assessments. From an article he wrote last August regarding the best NL West prospects:

"Guzman is one of the handful of top hitting prospects in all of baseball; among hitters, only Delmon Young and Jeremy Hermida are clearly superior. There's some question as to whether Guzman will be able to remain at short, but his raw power is simply tremendous. Last season, he slugged over .500 in stops at Vero Beach and Jacksonville, two parks that are tough on hitters.

In 2005, he's hitting once again at Jacksonville. When a 20-year-old shortstop hits for power in the Southern League, he's one to follow closely."

Then this article comes out. Oddly enough, he ranked Guzman #1 (ahead of Conor Jackson and Carlos Quentin), LaRoche #4, Billz #6, Broxton #8, and Martin #10. There are inconsistencies in his analysis that bears question.

2005-11-30 11:09:56
147.   GoBears
143. Wow. I'm pleasantly surprised I guess that the Angels didn't waste their money. Let's hope they play Kotchman full time.

122 Oops, sorry for overlooking the "home-grown" part of your equation. But this underlines my question about aiming for balance versus versus aiming for the occasional superstar. Sometimes, the way to land those superstars through trades is to package a group of above-average-but-not-top-flight prospects. Especially given the economic disparities, some teams can only hope to survive by trading their occasional diamond for a pocketful of mere silver. Richer teams can overspend for the diamonds, if they have plenty of silver prospects to trade (depth in the minors) or plenty of actual silver (cash) to spend on free agents.

This might bring the "debate" full circle. IF scareduck is right and our farm system leans more toward quantity than highest-end quality, then its true value WILL be in the trade market, to go after superstars whose own teams can't afford them any more. Which might be all scareduck meant - not that the farm system is bad, just that its future value to the 25-man roster might be as much through what it can buy us as through simple promotion.

2005-11-30 11:11:14
148.   GoBears
145 Nice.
2005-11-30 11:13:47
149.   molokai
Joe Sheehan of BP just compared Burnett to Driefort. It is possible he is correct. If he signs with the BLue Jays I think JP has made the two worse signings of 2006.
I found it curious in his column that his breakdown of how bad an idea it is to sign any of the 2006 free agents he does not mention the best free agent of the class, our boy Giles.
2005-11-30 11:15:12
150.   GoBears
ESPN seems convinced that Konerko was the class of the free agent class. Nothing like a little October magic to raise one's q-rating.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2005-11-30 11:17:06
151.   molokai
Good, I love it when a free agent stays home. It is that damn loyalty chip in my brain that doesn't make sense but I can't deprogram it to save my life.
2005-11-30 11:18:40
152.   fanerman
143 - ESPN has it as well. Fantastic news! Hope for Choi (and Kotchman for the Halos syndicate) lives on.
2005-11-30 11:19:22
153.   D4P
Did you want the Dodgers to resign Beltre?
2005-11-30 11:20:57
154.   fanerman
149 - Because Giles is somebody we should sign =).
2005-11-30 11:21:04
155.   scanderbeg
140 - Drew would need an unbelievable year to have the confidence to leave the three guaranteed years worth $33MM that he currently has with the Dodgers.
2005-11-30 11:26:17
156.   GoBears
153. Geez, I think everyone wanted Beltre re-signed, but not at that price. In retrospect, even the offer that DePo did make was probably way too high. I'd say the team dodged a bullet there. Had Beltre accepted the offer, DePo would have been vilified for overpaying.
2005-11-30 11:29:24
157.   GoBears
155 I think the point is that the decision won't be Drew's. It will be other teams'. IF he has a good year, still at age 30, he'll be offered a contract bigger than 3/33. Not a great year. Really just a healthy year is all it would take. I think 140 is right. The only way Drew stays here is if he has another injury-riddled season (bad) or if the Dodgers renegotiate his contract. $12-15M for Konerko means that Drew could earn more than the $11M he's due.
2005-11-30 11:32:05
158.   molokai
To me that is a win win situation. If he has a year that enables him to walk away from the rest of his contract then he would have to be a contender for the MVP and we would have gotten his best year before he Darren Drieforts on us.
2005-11-30 11:34:11
159.   MrTim
Hey everyone,
I hate to take advantage like this, since I hardly ever post, but this is for a good cause, so....
My friend is helping with SAATHII USA (Solidarity and Action Against the HIV Infection in India), and they're hosting an online auction via ebay to raise money to help kids in India with HIV. Among other things are 4 tickets to the Dodgers-D'backs game on July 4th next year in Dodger stadium, so.....if you're not planning on boycotting McCourt or Coletti, or you just wanna see Hee-Seop Choi in action (hopefully), you might take a gander. There's a bunch of other good auction items too (Magic Johnson autographed ball, Roger Clemens ball, various handmade items from Indian...lots of stuff), so check it out if you're interested. The Dodgers tickets are selling on this page:

You can see the other stuff here:

Again, sorry for the soliciting post here. Hope you don't mind, Jon.

2005-11-30 11:37:27
160.   jasonungar05
here is the list of players that went 40-100 back to back in the previous 2 seasons.


with A-rod and Texiera very, very close. That's pretty rare air and he was the only free agent out of those guys.

I wish the trade for Dunn talks would start again.

2005-11-30 11:38:25
161.   MrTim
Oh yeah, also, the auction ends at 11:59 PST tonight.
2005-11-30 11:44:43
162.   bigcpa
158 I was thinking more along the lines of 157. If he puts up a .290/.390/.500 type line with 25 homers that will have other teams lined around the block. He won't exercise his out clause without a really good idea of his market value. I'm sure Boras is working on his Drew binder now.
2005-11-30 11:49:37
163.   jasonungar05
well you know, for Drew/Boras it's not the two wrists or the knee that is a concern, it's his shoulder.

I was about to throw out a Steve Austin reset, but realized I would be about 5 million short.

2005-11-30 11:49:45
164.   scanderbeg
162 - What does the FA Market look like next season?
2005-11-30 11:50:20
165.   MrTim
And one last thing. The tickets in question are in the Reserve level almost directly behind home plate. Okay, that's it, I swear. I'll go back into hiding now.
2005-11-30 11:52:45
166.   molokai
162They weren't lined up around the block last year when he did even better then that for the Braves. So your telling me that in 2006 after missing 1/2 a year to injury and having 3 seperate surgeries and then hits 290/390/500 in 2006 that the same teams who passed on him in 2005 will be lined up around the block when he's two years older and multiple surgeries later?
2005-11-30 11:53:46
167.   Marty
Nice payday for Konerko. 5 years, 60 million
2005-11-30 11:55:33
168.   molokai
The shoulder is the latest but that doesn't mean the knee and wrist are as good as new.
2005-11-30 11:55:36
169.   D4P
That's more than twice as much as I'll probably make in 10 years.
2005-11-30 11:59:28
170.   Marty
169 So you make around 2 million a year? Click on Jon's Paypal button now!
2005-11-30 12:02:29
171.   D4P
A lot of numbers are consistent with my statement, including many that are much smaller than 2 million a year (and more realistic as well).
2005-11-30 12:03:19
172.   bigcpa
166 If he plays 140+ games at an .850+ OPS clip then 2005 will be the outlier. Chalk that up to the HBP. He'd be 3 years removed from the knee problems. Look at the deals for Glaus and Sexson coming off surgeries. People will pay.
2005-11-30 12:06:20
173.   D4P
He'd be 3 years removed from the knee problems.

Drew's knees were acting up last season, and caused him to miss some games prior to the broken wrist. The media reported at the time that the knee condition was quasi-permanent, and that there wasn't much that could be done for them. It seemed pretty clear that he would be missing more games in the future as a result.

2005-11-30 12:10:54
174.   jasonungar05
168, sorry, that was sarcasm...
2005-11-30 12:14:44
175.   scareduck
124 - especially when said player is absorbing a corner infield spot.
2005-11-30 12:42:54
176.   oldbear
Does Konerko signing with the White Sox, make a Manny Ramirez to the Halos deal imminent?
2005-11-30 12:47:21
177.   blue22
176 - Well, if the rumor mill is to believed (and why shouldn't it?), it's Mike Sweeney on his way to Anaheim, for Kotchman no less.
2005-11-30 12:48:22
178.   blue22
177 - link:

2005-11-30 12:52:45
179.   molokai
Aybar is a future 2nd baseman, he only played 3b because everyone else had failed. The Dodgers moved him off of 3b after 2003 when they felt his lack of power would play better at 2nd. What Aybar did at the Major league level was way better then what was expected. He had the best eye of any Dodger prospect I've seen in years. Everyone looks for holes and everyone has them including Jeff Francour. If you look at him as a 2nd baseman he looks to be league average. Can he play 3b for us for one year? I think the answer is yes because for all the power he doesn't provide at 3b, Kent will provide at 2nd base that no one else has. I'll take him over spending money on Randa. Mueller or Nomar would be my preferred options but I can live with Aybar until LaRoche is ready.
2005-11-30 12:53:57
180.   molokai
Good for the Royals if they pull that off. With Kotchman / Gordon / Butler they will have the making of a nice young trio to build the future around.
2005-11-30 12:59:52
181.   oldbear
177. Mike Sweeney? Talk about throwing your money away...And on top of that to trade Kotchman for him? If I was a halo fan, I'd rather them trade for Manny.
2005-11-30 13:00:51
182.   blue22
Mike Sweeney - Professional Hitter.
2005-11-30 13:07:47
183.   Eric L
180 Just like when they had Beltran, Damon, Dye, and Sweeney at the same time.
2005-11-30 13:14:29
184.   Rob M

I wish we had an overpriced sucky 1B to trade for Kochman.

2005-11-30 13:17:50
185.   natepurcell
Nate, your analysis is usually some of the best, but this doesn't make sense to me. Maybe I'm not getting it. Are you saying that because Aybar wasn't expected to become a power hitter, someone can't criticize him for not being a power hitter?

That is basically what i am saying. No one has labeled aybar as being a middle of the order bat, so if he comes up to the bigs and doesnt have a high slg%, why do we criticize him?

it would be different if it was laroche or guzman or kemp because they are prospects that have been touted to become power hitters. But aybar displayed what he is, an average to above average second basemen offensively.

what was touted of him was these qualities:
-ability to play multiple infield positions
-above average batting eye
-good contact rate
-good to above average batting average
-singles and doubles type of hitter

And those characteristics are exactly what he displayed in his callup.

2005-11-30 13:20:35
186.   D4P
Jason Phillips...?
2005-11-30 13:26:58
187.   Jon Weisman
185 - You're missing the point. We're not trying to guess whether players will exceed their own individual expectations. We're trying to determine how much they will contribute, period.

Rob wasn't criticizing Aybar for not being Aybar. He was questioning whether "being Aybar" was something worthwhile.

2005-11-30 13:33:05
188.   Vishal
[187] well, rob's criticism of aybar was in the context of "dodger prospects' continued failures at higher levels". nate's point was that just because aybar is more of a slap hitter, it doesn't mean he is or was a failure, especially since he wasn't expected to be more than that.
2005-11-30 13:33:39
189.   Eric L
187 Too bad "Aybar being Aybar" isn't the same as "Manny being Manny".
2005-11-30 13:34:19
190.   sanchez101
I hope Aybar gets a real chance to play next year in part because he's the first real hitting prospect to come along since Beltre. It will be intereting to see how he does, and what that will say about all the guys behind him.

as a side note, i think its important, when talking about how Las Vegas impacts the raw numbers, that while both Aybar and Navarro put up luke-warm numbers in Las Vegas, both players had little trouble hitting in the majors. It may just be conincidence, or a case of small sample size, but i think its worth noting.

2005-11-30 13:36:42
191.   razzle nugent
Jon, I believe you are mistaken. Rob was "criticizing Aybar for being Aybar". It was a discussion of Dodger prospect performance at higher levels compared to their performance at lower levels. Here is Rob's quote that Nate was arguing against:

"the Dodgers' prospects continued failures at higher levels speaks for itself. Broxton can't get the ball over the plate. Toolsy McAybar's a slap-hitting nobody in the mold of Izturis. The proof is in the winning; let's see some of them come up and do it before you go around declaring the Dodgers farm system's so great."

Aybar did come up and do it!

2005-11-30 13:38:39
192.   D4P
Navarro's numbers in the majors look mostly lukewarm to me.


2005-11-30 13:39:42
193.   molokai
At least it is something to look forward to if your a Royal fan compared to what they have on the diamond today.
2005-11-30 13:42:22
194.   oldbear
Caution: SOAP BOX

Switching gears to the Lakers...Kobe Bryant shot 9-33 last nite. Brian Cook was 0-7. And the Lakers fell to 5-8 under zen master Phil Jackson.

How can the LA media have such a contempt for the Dodgers, yet let the Lakers slide???

The LA media was more loyal to Jim Tracy, than to Jerry West...Where are the articles clamoring for the ouster of Mitch Kupchak? Plashke can moan and whine about DePo destroying some mythical "Dodger tradition"... Wouldnt Kupchak replacing West be of more merit? Consider the Lakers recent success with the Dodgers lackthereof...?

I'm a lakers fan, but my team has fallen a long way. And the LA Media quite possibly could be the most illegitimate in the nation.

2005-11-30 13:45:20
195.   D4P
I hear what you're saying. While it might seem like a double-standard, I actually think it speaks favorably of the Dodgers that they are receiving so much attention, albeit negative. That indicates that the Dodgers are relevant. The Lakers, on the other hand, have plunged into almost complete irrelevancy. People don't talk about the Lakers because people don't care.
2005-11-30 13:46:44
196.   sanchez101
192. not for a 21 year old catcher, Navarro had the 8th highest Eqa among NL catchers with more than 100 PA. His numbers in LV are almost identical to his numbers in the majors, which doesnt make sense considering that he was not only moving to a more advanced league, but he was moving from a extreme hitters park to an extreme pitchers park.
2005-11-30 13:49:12
197.   Vishal
[192] that's not bad for a rookie catcher. in fact, he was the best rookie catcher last year not named joe mauer.
2005-11-30 13:49:44
198.   sanchez101
195. the dodgers are a better story right now with all the front office drama and intrigue. The Lakers wont be interesting until something bad happens off the court. Thats all the media is really interested in, whatever happens during competition is almost secondary to the "story"
2005-11-30 13:51:01
199.   Steve
According to USA TODAY research, the percentage of revenue that goes into payroll decreased from 67% in 2002 to 53% last season.

That's one competent union. Big hand for Don Fehr and the boys down on the waterfront.

2005-11-30 13:52:27
200.   oldbear
195. Really? People dont care about the Lakers anymore? Sort of apathetic after getting to 4 finals in 5 years? That makes sense I guess. But its just striking to me that DePo could get drilled for trading Paul Loduca, and Kupchak a free pass for trading SHAQ???

And if DePo/McCourts are ruining Dodger tradition, what exactly did Jerry Buss do when he let the NBA LOGO, Hall of Famer, Architect of the resurgence of Laker Basketball, walk to a freaking expansion team?

I dont live in LA. Maybe people out there really dont care about the Lakers anymore. But I find it hard to believe so many would care about the Dodgers either...

Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2005-11-30 13:54:48
201.   sanchez101
id guess that that number will be back above 60% in a year or two. The owners love crying about how much the players are making, but when ever the % of revenue that goes into payroll dips towards 50%, we see big spending spree's like the one this winter.
2005-11-30 13:55:47
202.   Bob Timmermann

Here are a variety of reasons why the Lakers get more of a break:

1) Large pool of goodwill to draw from. It wasn't that long ago that the Lakers were winning championships.
2) Phil Jackson is coaching again.
3) Lower expectations this year.

That said, I don't think everybody in the L.A. media gives the Lakers a free ride. Mark Heisler in the LAT has often written about the problems that the Lakers face in trying to build another championship team. Every other J.A. Adande column is about the Lakers.

Also, Plaschke doesn't cover the Lakers very often. He just sticks to baseball and football unless forced.

Finally, the media does not perceive the Lakers as being in trouble because of a lack of money from the owner, but rather a lack of personnel. All digs at the Dodgers are just veiled attempts to get rid of the McCourts and get the much fabled deep pockets, L.A. based owner to take over the team. The fact that such a person likely doesn't exist has not stopped people like Plaschke from trying to find the Dodgers Messiah/owner.

But Messiahs don't come around often and depending upon your point of view, hasn't/won't/or already came and left.

2005-11-30 13:56:55
203.   sanchez101
200. I dont remeber LoDuca asking for a trade. The media's problem with the McCourts has nothing to do with "Dodger Tradition", it has to do with their perceived lack of resources.
2005-11-30 13:57:51
204.   natepurcell
lol, so i guess when aybar exceeds everyone's expectations next year of him, we can all just attribute it to "aybar just being aybar"

vishal explained my position a little bit clearly.

2005-11-30 13:58:30
205.   D4P
Even I as a Laker fan started to lose interest toward the end of the ShaKobe saga.

Regarding the trades, Shaq demanded to be traded, while Lo Duca did not. Kupchak didn't have much choice. However, I still maintain he should have gotten more in return for Shaq than what he got. Plus, the Lo Duca trade happened in the middle of the season, when the Dodgers had won 22 out of their last 29 games. Their formula seemed to be working, and Depo was criticized for altering what appeared to be a functional unit. The Lakers, however successful, were nevertheless becoming increasingly dysfunctional. That's not to say they should have kept Kobe.

2005-11-30 13:59:15
206.   Uncle Miltie
179- agree, though I'd trade Kent, keep Bradley, and let Antonio Perez and Aybar battle for the starting 2B job. I think Aybar has a chance to be as good of hitter as Todd Walker. I'd like to see what Aybar can do in a full season, before we start calling him a utility player. Aybar showed an advanced eye at the plate until someone got ahold of him and told him to be more aggressive. His average rose, but his walk plummeted in 2003. I think Aybar is putting it all together, learning how to be a patient hitter, while also being aggressive enough to swing a good pitches.

As a 17 year old in rookie ball, Aybar drew 36 walks in 266 ABs, while striking out 45 times. As an 18 year old at Wilmington (low A ball), he 43 walks in 431 at bats, which is not bad for someone who was being rushed, and was clearly overmatched. Despite his poor performance in 2001, the Dodgers pushed Aybar to A (Vero), where as a 19 year old, he walked 69 times in only 372 at bats, while only striking out 54 times. He also hit 11 home runs and 18 doubles. This was the year that I started following him, and despite hitting only .215, I saw him a rare young hitter with excellent plate discipline. The Dodgers had Aybar repeat A, but some coach must have advised Aybar to be more aggressive. It paid off, sort of..Aybar hit .274/.336/.427, his power numbers remained mostly the same, with the exception of a slight increase in doubles. Aybar drew only 41 walks in 445 at bats, while his strikeouts rose to 70. In 2004, Aybar had what many considered to be his breakout year. He slugged .425 in Jacksonville's cavernous stadium. He walk rate, was pretty good, but nothing like it was in 2001. Last year I expected Aybar to have an even bigger year. He was set to play at Cashman Field in Las Vegas, a notorious hitters park. Unfortunately, he was beset by injuries and put up a disappointing line of .297/.356/.419. When Aybar was called up to the majors, he again displayed that superb plate discipline, which had not been present for a couple of years. Many young hitters who reach the majors tend to be too aggressive, but Aybar was different. Why? I'm speculating that maybe when he made it to the majors, he had a better work ethic and was more motivated. I realize that opposing pitchers are going to adjust to Aybar and exploit his weaknesses. At the same time, I also feel that he's going to be a good one.

2005-11-30 14:00:14
207.   zappala
194 This is because any "journalist" can play GM for a baseball team and suggest the moves that should be made. In baseball, you can make trades and sign whatever players you want, and there is a plethora of young talent available to move up. In basketball, the salary cap makes it difficult to change a club meaningfully, so if you stink you're stuck.
2005-11-30 14:05:30
208.   molokai
Considering where our draft position has been since Logan White took over we should be giddy with what he's done. At least we have multiple players to talk about that both scouts and performance analysts like compared to the mid 90's going forward.
2005-11-30 14:07:22
209.   Johnson
What's really interesting is how similar Navarro's and Mauer's seasons were if you extrapolate Navarro out to the same number of ABs as Mauer:

61 144 26 9 55 61 64 .294 .372 .411 - Mauer
58 133 25 8 39 56 58 .273 .354 .375 - Navarro

Mauer's got the ability to swipe 15-20 bags, but aside from that, pretty similar numbers. Mauer is the hottest young catcher in the league. If Navarro can play him that tight...not bad.

2005-11-30 14:14:46
210.   molokai
The Laker ride was due to be over anyway. In case you haven't noticed Shaq is already hurt, was hurt in the playoffs last year and even if Buss had met his crazy salary demands and we had Kobe and Shaq and the 3 muffins cause that is all they could afford they still wouldn't be close to smelling a championship because Shaq is no longer the man.
The reason Kobe is jacking up so many shots is because NO ONE on the team can shoot. What the media should be all over Buss about is that he raised prices again last year without Shaq and then when they failed to make the playoffs this year he left the prices the same after raising them EVERY year since Shaq joined the team. I'm paying the same damn price for my ticket for a last place team that I paid for a championship team. How does that get a pass is what I want to know? And why would an idiot like me pay such a stupid price is also what I want to know. It is that damn loyalty chip again.
Thankfully my Clips are making up for the Lake Show. Course you know the Lakers lose to San Antonio and are in last place and they got front page in the Daily news but the Clips win again, are still in 1st place, just finished the greatest November in Franchise history and the Daily news gives us the AP story on the back pages.
2005-11-30 14:15:41
211.   molokai
Don't forget a guy name Brian McCann. I'd swap Navarro for him in a blink.
2005-11-30 14:18:19
212.   D4P
How does that get a pass is what I want to know? And why would an idiot like me pay such a stupid price is also what I want to know. It is that damn loyalty chip again.

You can remain loyal without shelling out the big bucks for tickets...My fanship doesn't cost a penny.

2005-11-30 14:23:12
213.   natepurcell
Don't forget a guy name Brian McCann. I'd swap Navarro for him in a blink.

i would too, but i would be hestitate to swap martin for him.

martins defense is said to be considerbly better than McCann.

2005-11-30 14:27:08
214.   King of the Hobos
Our dreams of replacing Phillips with Kelly Stinnett are gone, he signed with the Yankees.
2005-11-30 14:29:41
215.   King of the Hobos
Is anyone else concerned now that Konerko has signed, the Orioles and Angels could try to give a lot of money to Giles? Giles seems about ready to pick a team, although who knows if he gets more offers, but I wish Konerko had waited a little longer...
2005-11-30 14:37:18
216.   D4P
Well, if Anaheim is no much closer than LA to San Diego that Bud Black wouldn't leave Anaheim for LA, wouldn't Ahaheim be equally more attractive to the San Diegoan Giles?
2005-11-30 14:37:51
217.   oldbear
I've been upset with Kupchak/Buss primarily because they didnt get good value back from Shaq. Worst case scenario they should have forced Shaq to play out the final year of his contract in LA. Whats the worst that coudl have happened? Nothing worse than taking back Brian Grant's contract which Kupchak ended up doing...

And then bringing back Phil Jackson. I dont support this move because I believe Phil is a big reason why the Lakers are in a bind today. It was his drafting of non-athletic triangle type players, that has killed this teams ability to play defense on one end, and create their own shots on the other.

I still like Kobe Bryant as a player. I just wish we could fire Coach Kobe, and GM Kobe, if in fact he is those things. Chucky Atkins comments last year were hilarious about that.

2005-11-30 14:48:06
218.   the OZ
217 - I'm with you in blaming Kupchak for the Lakers' troubles. He seems in over his head.

I currently consider him to be the worst alum of the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

2005-11-30 14:51:11
219.   jasonungar05
In order to simplify things: The lakers were dead the day Jerry West left town.
2005-11-30 14:55:42
220.   Bob Timmermann
I currently consider him [Mitch Kupchak] to be the worst alum of the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

When Kupchak got his MBA, it was just the generically named Graduate School of Management and was in an older building, which is now the School of Public Policy.

2005-11-30 15:09:05
221.   dzzrtRatt
I was in Borders today and wandered thru the calendars. The 2006 Los Angeles Dodgers' calendar has a bunch of players that I don't think will be Dodgers during 2006. Milton Bradley is Mr. January. Jason Phillips and Jose Valentin are also featured for an entire month.

I didn't see a Jacksonville Suns calendar.

219 Not only did West's departure kill the Lakers, it was obvious at the time that it would do so. West made Buss look smart. I can't think of a baseball GM in my lifetime who so obviously outclassed the competition the way West outclassed the GMs of the NBA during his Laker reign. He made the off-season almost as entertaining as the season with the deals he'd pull.

2005-11-30 15:13:14
222.   Bob Timmermann
So if Jerry West is so much better than all the other GMs, why has there been no victory parade down Beale Street yet?
2005-11-30 15:14:01
223.   Vishal
[211], [213]

well, don't blink too fast, because you might not have noticed that in just about the same number of at-bats, navarro and mccann were just about identical, and in some ways you can say navarro was slightly better.

2005-11-30 15:15:44
224.   Vishal
[214] is kelly stinnett the guy with the gray hair?
2005-11-30 15:15:48
225.   FirstMohican
217 - Don't forget that Shaq demanded a trade. He was smart to do so only because the team he ended up with had to give up less talent to get him because of his demand.
2005-11-30 15:32:30
226.   Johnson
Well, their stat lines may look almost identical but Navarro is 11 days older, so he'll clearly break down sooner.

I'd venture to call their stats creepily similar, and the modest SLG advantage that McCann has can be attributed to 2 extra HRs over a period of 50 games - easily within the margin of error. Is there a particular reason that some here like McCann more?

2005-11-30 15:33:39
227.   molokai
McCann jumped from 1/2 a season of AA to the Major Leagues. I'm not taking anything away from Navarro but McCann has the power I like.
2005-11-30 15:36:02
228.   Vishal
i'm not taking anything away from mccann but navarro has the plate discipline i like :)

but then i haven't looked at mccann's minor league stats and i have to go to class now.

2005-11-30 15:39:26
229.   molokai
From my favorite site at HQ:
"Because Estrada is not 100% healed, McCann will continue to get some starts, and owners in keeper leagues may want to take special note of what the 22 year-old has accomplished in his brief time in the majors this season. Here are his BPI compared with last season's performance at A Myrtle Beach.

Year/Venue AB bb% ct% eye BA
========== === === === ==== ====
2004 A Myrtle Beach 382 8 86 0.57 .277*
2004 ATL 116 9 84 0.67 .284
*Actual minor league stats

This is remarkable transfer of skills to the major leagues for such a young player. In fact, at AA Mississippi earlier this season, McCann displayed his upside by compiling a 0.96 eye in 166 AB. McCann's power has yet to develop, as his PX so far this season is only 88, but given his youth, the power should come. As Jeremy Deloney noted at the time of his initial callup, McCann is still a couple of years away from being an impact player, but Deloney rated him an "A" prospect, "with ability to hit .280-.300 with 20-25 HR"

2005-11-30 15:47:38
230.   dzzrtRatt
222 Burnout? I remember he left the Lakers due to exhaustion and stress. Maybe he needed a longer rest. Anyway, the Grizzlies look decent this year. What I liked about West was his long-term thinking. He's not who you'd hire for an instant turnaround. I admit I don't follow his team closely enough, though, to judge whether his long-term moves have reflected the same genius that built the Showtime and Shaq-daddy teams.
2005-11-30 18:21:25
231.   fanerman
How do you calculate "eye" and PX? Up until recently, I've never heard of those stats... or possibly I have but not by that name.
2005-11-30 19:06:20
232.   molokai
Batting Eye (Eye)

Purpose & Meaning
A measure of a player's strike zone judgment — the raw ability to distinguish between balls and strikes — used as a leading indicator for batting average. Similar in usage to a pitcher's Command ratio.

The best hitters have eye ratios over 1.00 (indicating more walks than strikeouts) and are the most likely to be among a league's .300 hitters. At the other end of the scale are ratios less than 0.50, which represent batters who likely also have lower BAs. (See Forecaster's Toolbox for more research.)

(Walks / Strikeouts)
Linear Weighted Power Index (PX)

Purpose & Meaning
A normalized form of Linear Weighted Power (LWPwr). This normalized form places the LWPwr for all player's in perspective with the rest of the league for a given year; this allows reliable comparisons between players.

A level of 100 equals league average power skills. Any player with a value over 100 has above average power skills, and those over 175 are the slugging elite.

(Batters LWPwr / League LWPwr) x 100
Linear Weighted Power (LWPwr)

Purpose & Meaning
This is an excerpt/variation of the Linear Weights (LW) formula; LWPwr only considers events that are measures of a batter's raw power. A prime base performance indicator.

Baseball's top sluggers usually top the 50 mark. Weak hitters will have a LWPwr Level of under 20.

((((Doubles * 0.8) + (Triples 0.8) + (Home Runs 1.4)) / At Bats) x 365

2005-11-30 20:22:42
233.   das411
Aren't the Braves shopping Estrada though because they are pretty well set on keeping McCann? Does anybody else know where I heard this, since finals are coming up and I am currently unable to remember anything?

221 - I have a 2002 Mets calendar at home and I am pretty sure the last player still around from that team was Piazza...

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