Archive for ‘All Star Game’

Thursday: 06.21.2012

2012 Futures Games Rosters Announced

I have been an avid watcher of the Futures Game for several years now.  In fact, I can only vaguely remember the time when I didn’t care about prospects.  I probably knew of the very best, say the 3-4 high impact prospects on the verge, but I certainly didn’t have decent or better knowledge of 80% of the Futures rosters as I do these days.  This year’s game is sure to display some incredible talent likely to be making waves in the big leagues very soon, especially the United States roster.

I don’t know if it is the best US roster in Futures Game history, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it was and it is definitely a contender.  The pitching staff is just filthy with only Jameson Taillon toting a sub-9.0 K/9 and his 8.1 K/9 is hardly poor.  Plus his 1.17 WHIP is one of the best on the squad.  The staff has 704 innings with a 9.7 K/9 and 3.2 K/BB.

Along with Taillon, they will roll out stud arms Taijuan Walker, Trevor Bauer, Dylan Bundy and Gerrit Cole among others.  Three of those four were drafted just last year.  Just an absurd amount of talent.  The World roster is hardly bereft of talent with Jose Fernandez and Chris Reed standing out on their staff, both of whom were also drafted in last year’s insane first round.

On the hitting side, viewers will be treated to Billy Hamilton, the blazing fast infielder in the Cincinnati Reds organization (who plays for the Bakersfield Blaze… pun wasn’t originally intended, but then when I noticed it I kept it on purpose so it became intended).  Hamilton stole 103 bases in 135 games last year.  With 80 in 66 games, he is on pace to steal 163 bases if he plays that many games again.  That’s reminiscent of the first Billy Hamilton.

Additionally, the US is trotting out Nick Castellanos from the Tigers organization who put together a ridiculous .405/.461/.553 line in 55 games at High-A before getting promoted to AA earlier this month.  He had three 0-fers in High-A.  Three.  He also had 27 multi-hit games including a stretch of five in a row.  He has come back to earth a bit in AA having already posted four 0-fers in his 11 games.

Other names to focus on include Nolan Arenado, Travis d’Arnaud, Kolten Wong, Wil Myers, Christian Yelich, Mike Olt and Manny Machado.  Those are just some of my favorite names, they all merit watching.

Jurickson Profar is the standout hitter on the World roster (well, standout among standouts).  The 19-year old shortstop for Texas is battering AA to the tune of .295/.374/.481 with 30 extra-base hits (out of 79 total hits) and an advanced approach especially when you consider his age.  After posting 65 walks against just 63 strikeouts at High-A last year, he has remained strong with a 35/45 ratio.  He is a special glove in the middle of the infield, too, giving the Rangers an embarrassment of riches that will likely result in Ian Kinsler moving once Profar is ready.

The Cardinals haven’t missed a beat in their lineup this year despite the departure of Albert Pujols, but the core of Matt Holliday, Carlos Beltran and Lance Berkman is hardly young so they have to be thrilled to have 20-year old Oscar Tavares tearing apart AA after a superb season in High-A last year.  I got a chance to see Tavares in the Arizona Fall League last November and only Arenado impressed me more among the players I saw.

He has an aggressive approach, but it’s controlled aggression.  While he doesn’t walk a ton (8% BB rate), he doesn’t flail wildly, either (13% K rate).  He has a .323/.380/.579 line with 86 hits, 38 which are extra-base hits including 13 bombs.  Keep a close eye on him when he bats.

Additionally, I am really excited to see Francisco Lindor (Cleveland) as I haven’t seen him at all yet.  I desperately hope he goes to AFL this November so I can get in a few games of his as I’m really excited about him going forward except for the fact that he plays for one of the rivals of my Tigers.

Just to give you an idea of how well these rosters are put together in terms of future major leaguers, check out the 2011 entrees who have since played in the majors whether later in 2011 or sometime this year:

World – Henderson Alvarez, Kelvin Herrera, Liam Hendriks, Julio Teheran, Arodys Vizcaino, Wilin Rosario, Yonder Alonso, Jose Altuve*, Alex Liddi, Dayan Viciedo

US – Matt Moore, Brad Peacock, Drew Pomeranz, Tyler Thornburg, Jacob Turner, Devin Mesoraco, Paul Goldschmidt, Jason Kipnis*, Will Middlebrooks, Bryce Harper*, Mike Trout*

* could make this year’s All-Star roster

Going back a few years, 35 of the 55 (five were injury or MLB promotion replacements) players on the 2010 rosters have reached the big leagues.  Looking even deeper, a full 80% (40 of 50) of the 2008 rosters have reached the majors.

Meanwhile, Profar, Arenado, Machado and Myers are headed to their second Futures Game after making the 2011 game as well.

Here are the full 2012 rosters including each player’s highest level reached to date:

This year’s Futures Game is on Sunday, July 8th at 4 PM Central on ESPN2 and

Jonathan Mayo’s Preview

Baseball Prospectus’ Stat Sheet

Futures Game Wiki

Thursday: 06.23.2011

2011 Futures Game Roster Primer

As I have become more and more interested in prospects the last few years, the All-Star Futures Game has become one of my favorite events of the year.  This year’s sets up to be another great game with the best & brightest of the game’s future getting a chance to show off on a big stage.  This year’s game is highlighted by the consensus 1-2 prospects in the game this preseason: Mike Trout and Bryce Harper.  The order of the two may have varied, but they topped just about every list.

Here’s a look at all of the participants along with some information about their 2011 season:

(I apologize for the table, it’s a lot uglier than the one I built originally.  I have no idea why the tables I build out don’t work properly when I load the HTML.  It’s frustrating.)

Player Team Age Level BA Org. RK Season Stats Notes
Paul Goldschmidt ARI 23 AA 11 .328/.450/.656, 22 HR, 61 RBI in 250 AB Hit 35 HR last yr; has 1 HR every 14 AB in 1062 min. lg ABs
Tyler Skaggs ARI 19 A+ 2 11.1 K/9, 3.2 K/BB, 3.36 ERA, 1.18 WHIP in 83 IP A key piece in the Dan Haren trade
Julio Teheran ATL 20 AAA/MLB 1 7.8 K/9, 3.8 K/BB, 1.83 ERA, 0.98 WHIP in 79 IP Top rated pitching prospect, reached AAA after just 40 AA IP
Arodys Vizcaino ATL 20 A+/AA 7 8.7 K/9, 3.6 K/BB, 2.86 ERA, 1.03 WHIP in 66 IP Health is the primary concern otherwise yet another ATL stud
Manny Machado BAL 18 A 1 .276/.376/.483, 6 HR, 24 RBI, 3 SB in 145 AB Came out on fire in Apr, but knee inj. cut most of May & some of Jun
Jonathan Schoop BAL 19 A/A+ 10 .313/.369/.487, 8 HR, 41 RBI, 53 R in 265 AB Enjoying nice full-season debut, no longer SS w/Machado in system
Chih-Hsien Chiang BOS 23 AA UR .307/.363/.620, 11 HR, 41 RBI, 21 2B in 192 AB Breaking out in AA repeat w/same HR total already in 246 fewer AB
Will Middlebrooks BOS 22 AA 11 .294/.335/.478, 8 HR, 32 RBI, 27 R in 201 AB Power starting to show in a breakout season for the 3B
Matt Szczur CHC 21 A 7 .327/.383/.463, 5 HR, 46 R, 16 SB in 214 AB Good ballplayer, great person
Gregory Infante CWS 23 AA, AAA 6 8.2 K/9, 2.0 K/BB, 1.64 ERA, 1.39 WHIP in 33 IP Had 5 scoreless IP in majors in ’10, but control is the final hurdle
Dayan Viciedo CWS 22 AAA 3 .324/.364/.520, 11 HR, 49 RBI, 22 2B in 281 AB Free-swinger did well in 104 MLB AB last yr, unsure why B.Morel has job now
Yonder Alonso CIN 24 AAA 4 .313/.373/.496, 8 HR, 40 RBI, 35 R in 256 AB Major league ready, but no place to play thus it’s time for a trade
Devin Mesoraco CIN 23 AAA 3 .322/.404/.545, 8 HR, 42 RBI, 26 2B in 233 AB Has carried over last year’s huge breakthrough w/another big season
Jason Kipnis CLE 24 AAA 3 .291/.372/.496, 8 HR, 42 RBI, 10 SB in 258 AB Could be up soon as Cord Phelps flounders in limited opportunities
Drew Pomeranz CLE 22 A+ 4 11.4 K/9, 3.4 K/BB, 1.93 ERA, 1.10 WHIP in 61 IP SP help is on the way for CLE w/he & Alex White, who got hurt earlier this yr
Nolan Arenado COL 20 A+ 3 .283/.327/.418, 6 HR, 42 RBI, 38 R in 251 AB The 3B job is open in COL, but even the fast-track would be late ’12
Wilin Rosario COL 22 AA 2 .263/.302/.469, 11 HR, 25 RBI, 28 R in 213 AB 2nd tour in AA hasn’t been as kind w/122 pt drop in his OPS
Francisco Martinez DET 20 AA 4 .291/.332/.427, 7 HR, 34 RBI, 44 R in 227 AB Numbers don’t overwhelm even in ’11 breakout, but keep his age in mind
Jacob Turner DET 20 AA 1 7.2 K/9, 3.1 K/BB, 2.94 ERA, 1.08 WHIP in 80 IP Might break ’12 camp in DET rotation given aggressive promos in Motown
Jhan Marinez FLO 22 AA 4 11.6 K/9, 1.8 K/BB, 3.77 ERA, 1.61 WHIP in 29 IP Lacks much command right now, but mid-90s arm could close in future
Jose Altuve HOU 21 A+/AA 28 398/.434/.612, 8 HR, 51 RBI, 23 SB in 299 AB Insane numbers are impressive regardless, but more so from 5’5″ Altuve
Kelvin Herrera KC 21 A+/AA 30 10.2 K/9, 13.3 K/BB, 1.27 ERA, 0.74 WHIP in 35 IP Converted SP has reinvented himself as an elite RP, though health is a concern
Wil Myers KC 20 AA 2 .295/.366/.418, 3 HR, 14 RBI, 23 R in 146 AB Heating up after slow start in which he played just 20 G through May
Mike Trout LAA 19 AA 1 .324/.424/.557, 9 HR, 9 3B, 24 SB in 244 AB Actually better than ’10; could feasibly reach MLB by late summer
Alfredo Silverio LAD 24 AA UR .324/.343/.581, 7 HR, 50 RBI, 11 3B in 253 AB Quite a free swinger w/just 89 BB in 2082 pro ABs
Tyler Thornburg MIL 22 A 6 10.0 K/9, 3.0 K/BB, 1.57 ERA, 1.08 WHIP in 69 IP Bright spot in thin MIL system w/mid-90s heat
Kyle Gibson MIN 23 AAA 1 9.4 K/9, 4.0 K/BB, 3.89 ERA, 1.30 WHIP in 76 IP Std. MIN control artist missing a lot of bats in ’11; could be up this summer
Liam Hendriks MIN 22 AA 6 8.2 K/9, 4.4 K/BB, 2.81 ERA, 1.17 WHIP in 77 IP An Austrailian version of the MIN profile
Matt Harvey NYM 22 A+ 4 10.9 K/9, 3.8 K/BB, 2.37 ERA, 1.20 WHIP in 76 IP Great pro debut for the UNC product; could be NYM’s #1 prospect in ’12
Jefry Marte NYM 20 A+ 26 .283/.357/.402, 5 HR, 32 RBI, 9 SB in 254 AB Has to hit to have a real future, 15 E at 3B
Austin Romine NYY 22 AA 6 .298/.362/.421, 4 HR, 31 RBI, 23 R in 178 AB Part of trio of Cs in NYY top 6 prospects; related to MLBers Andrew & Kevin
Grant Green OAK 23 AA 1 .293/.344/.407, 4 HR, 37 RBI, 35 R in 263 AB Many believe he doesn’t have the chops to stick at SS
Jarred Cosart PHI 21 A+ 4 7.5 K/9, 2.1 K/BB, 3.16 ERA, 1.20 WHIP in 74 IP Huge ceiling, but still quite a while away
Sebastian Valle PHI 20 A+ 6 .343/.355/.482, 3 HR, 22 RBI, 21 R in 166 AB Just 2 BB in 169 PA, I’m not sure an SP could walk Valle if he tried
Chase d’Arnaud PIT 24 AAA 10 .280/.347/.418, 4 HR, 33 RBI, 17 SB in 239 AB He’s not *completely* ready, but he can’t be worse than Ronny Cedeno
Starling Marte PIT 22 AA 4 .338/.371/.475, 4 HR, 24 RBI, 15 SB in 263 AB Hasn’t hit below .309 since coming to the States in 2009
James Darnell SD 24 AA 12 .346/.438/.634, 16 HR, 57 RBI, 57 R in 257 AB His ’11 SLG (.634) isn’t too far from his AA OPS in 101 G last yr (.756)
Reymond Fuentes SD 20 A+ 4 .294/.354/.351, 0 HR, 30 SB, 52 R in 265 AB Speed & defense CF who came over in Adrian Gonzalez deal
Gary Brown SF 22 A+ 3 .328/.398/.477, 6 HR, 47 RBI, 32 SB in 287 AB Needs to become a smarter base stealer (70% success rate in 46 attempts)
Carlos Martinez StL 19 A 3 11.8 K/9, 3.6 K/BB, 2.48 ERA, 1.10 WHIP in 33 IP Making big waves in ’11; will skyrocket up lists for ’12
Shelby Miller StL 20 AA 1 12.1 K/9, 4.1 K/BB, 2.39 ERA, 1.13 WHIP in 79 IP Could be the #1 SP prospect in baseball for ’12
Alex Liddi SEA 22 AAA 13 .260/.326/.471, 13 HR, 46 RBI, 22 2B in 289 AB Has underwhelmed in upper levels since High-A MVP in 2009
James Paxton SEA 22 A UR 13.1 K/9, 2.4 K/BB, 2.70 ERA, 1.40 WHIP in 50 IP Paxton has shown little rust after yr off due to being ineligible for Sr. season
Hak-Ju Lee TB 20 A+ 4 (for Cubs) .339/.412/.468, 2 HR, 20 SB, 51 R in 233 AB I have seen nothing but rave reviews for Lee, can’t wait to see him play
Matt Moore TB 22 AA 2 11.9 K/9, 4.5 K/BB, 2.43 ERA, 0.97 WHIP in 78 IP His K rates in five years as a pro: 13-13-13-13-12; total of 12.7 K/9 in 420 IP
Martin Perez TEX 20 AA 1 8.5 K/9, 2.4 K/BB, 3.28 ERA, 1.32 WHIP in 82 IP Example of numbers not telling everything in minors, still TEX #1 after 5.96 ERA
Jurickson Profar TEX 18 A 2 .268/.378/.490, 6 HR, 26 RBI, 38 R in 208 AB 32 BB/29 K in 248 PA, good for 13% BB rate; already a plus-plus defender at SS
Henderson Alvarez TOR 21 A+/AA 17 5.4 K/9, 3.1 K/BB, 2.98 ERA, 1.03 WHIP in 51 IP Seems to have K-worthy stuff, yet relies on heavy GB lean (59%) instead of Ks
Bryce Harper WAS 18 A+ 1 .330/.429/.586, 14 HR, 45 RBI, 13 SB in 227 AB Living up the immense hype in pro debut, what will he do next?
Brad Peacock WAS 23 AA 10 12.1 K/9, 6.4 K/BB, 2.46 ERA, 0.85 WHIP in 80 IP Has taken K & BB rates to new heights adding to burgeoning crop of WAS arms
Friday: 11.13.2009

Dustin Richardson at AFL Rising Stars Game

Headed into the weekend, I want to start sharing the AFL videos I’ve promised more of since posting the one of Tanner Scheppers. Today, let’s look at Boston’s Dustin Richardson. Richardson is a 25 year old (turns 26 in early January) lefty with a very live arm. As is often the case with huge arms in the minors, he also struggles with his control. He was a reliever when he first got to the Red Sox organization in A-Short Season before moving to the rotation for all of 2007 and 2008. Despite a better than 9.0 K rate, he was destroyed once he left the comfort of A-ball, posting a 6.33 ERA in 22 starts at AA-Portland.

This facilitated a move to the bullpen in 2009 where he pitched 74 innings, 63 of which came at AA-Portland. With Portland, he struck out 11.4 per nine innings while walking 5.7. He held a 2.70 ERA, but his WHIP was 1.30 because of all of the walks. He got a quick stint in AAA-Pawtucket where he continued to blow batters away (13.5 K/9) and cut his walk rate down to 1.7 BB/9. Of course, a 10-inning stint tells us next to nothing so I wouldn’t put a lot stock in it. Walks have been the culprit in his 10-inning stint in the Arizona Fall League, as well. He has 14 strikeouts against seven walks resulting in a 6.52 ERA and 1.97 WHIP.

Check out his interesting delivery:

Tuesday: 05.26.2009

This is How Mistakes Happen

I was over at on Sunday casting some of my 25 votes for this summer’s All-Star Game and I was struck something I saw there. Now I saw this same thing last year so it’s not really new nor am I really mad about it per se, but I just don’t understand the reason for it:

asg tm ballot

The team ballot. Who exactly thought this was a good idea? This is how undeserving Red Sox and Yankees get voted in. Those two teams have throngs upon throngs of fans and they lazily use this team ballot link 25x apiece despite the fact that several of the players included don’t have any business in the game. I didn’t mean to single out Florida in particular as every team has one of these annoyances, but back to my original question: who thought this was a good idea? First off all, why would I want to see my entire team represent their league in the ASG? I see my team 9 innings a night, 6-7 days a week. I’d like to see SOME of my team’s players in the games, but not the starting nine. That’d be absurd.

Secondly, why would I want to waste my votes at positions I know won’t go to my team’s representative? Using the example above, I’d be embarrassed to cast a ballot for Emilio Bonifacio. And I’d say no offense to Bonifacio except I’d be lying. I don’t care if he’s offended by that statement. He sucks. He might well be a great guy in his life, but he’s not a very good baseball player and 2,000 throwaway votes by jokers that click the Team Ballot button is precisely 2,000 too many for him. Think about a team like the Padres. They have ONE vote-worthy player so each Team Ballot vote includes 8 WORTHLESS picks.

I don’t mean to be Elitist All-Star Vote guy that says who can and can’t be voted for, but surely there should be some objectivity involved and that is especially true when it comes to these Team Ballots that include supershmucks like Bonifacio and Chris Getz. If you want to vote Ryan Howard over Albert Pujols and Adrian Gonzalez, I get that. He’s a superstar having a solid season. I wouldn’t personally cast that vote as I think both are markedly better, but in the end I can get over that pretty easily. However, I am anti-Team Ballots.