Analyzing the MLB draft using WAR

There has been plenty of work published regarding the value of draft picks, most recently the work done by Victor Wang. Wang’s previous studies (part 1 and part 2 ) on the draft were a major help for me in conducting this study. He was recently honored by Beyond the Boxscore for the Best Novel […]

Something you don’t see every day is reporting that Oakland Athletics prospect Grant Desme will be retiring from baseball to become a priest. The 23-year old was a second round pick in 2007 and missed nearly all of 2008 due to a wrist injury but he emerged as a premier prospect last season and was the only player in the […]

MLB draft versus International free agent market

The recent singing of Aroldis Chapman for $30.25 million has got me thinking. The number one pick in this year’s draft, Stephen Strasburg, is almost universally regarding as a better pitching prospect yet he signed for “only” $15.1 million. I say “only” because this was a record amount of guaranteed money for a draft pick. […]

Aroldis Chapman signs with Reds

21-year old Cuban phenom Aroldis Chapman has agreed to a six-year deal worth $30.25 million with the Cincinnati Reds. Chapman is a highly regarding left-handed pitching prospect with a fastball that reached triple digits during the World Baseball Classic. He threw 6.1 innings in the WBC striking out eight while walking four and allowing six […]

Michael Taylor finds a new home

I doubt many prospects have had a more tumultuous off-season than outfielder Michael Taylor. I profiled Taylor back in July when he appeared to be on the fast track to Philadelphia after scorching the Eastern League to a tune of .333/.408/.569. He enjoyed similar success in Triple-A where he posted a .375 wOBA in 128 […]

Recapping the Rule Five draft

This morning the annual Rule Five draft took place in Indianapolis as part of the Winter Meetings. Baseball America has a complete listing of all the players selected today. I hope to give a quick overview of the notable prospects chosen. The Yankees obtained the rights to the number one pick outfielder Jaime Hoffmann from […]

Thoughts on Pedroia switching to shortstop

As a Red Sox fan I felt it necessary to chime in on the talks of Dustin Pedroia possibly moving over to shortstop. The idea of a player moving from second base to shortstop goes against conventional wisdom, particularly Bill James‘ defensive spectrum, although several player have made the move recently with success. I think […]

Notable minor league free agents

The 2009 minor league free agent list is littered with former top prospects and number one picks. Some of these names should sound familiar; Josh Barfield, , Chad Cordero, Eric Duncan, Clint Everts, Ryan Harvey, Dallas McPherson, Greg Miller and several notable others are all free agents this year. As Dave Cameron over at Fangraphs […]

A look at Red Sox prospect Casey Kelly

One of the more intriguing two-way prospects in the minor leagues is Red Sox shortstop and pitcher Casey Kelly. Kelly, just 20 years of age, was a first round pick in 2008 out of Sarasota High School. He made his debut in 2008 as a shortstop and in 130 at-bats between Rookie-A and Low-A he […]

2010 impact rookies: Stephen Strasburg

The number one overall pick in the 2009, Stephen Strasburg, signed for a record bonus just hours before the signing deadline. Although he missed the regular minor league season he has been throwing for the Phoenix Desert Dogs of the Arizona Fall League. Much has been made of his triple-digit fastball and mind boggling numbers […]

2010 impact rookies: Carlos Carrasco

I will continue to look at potential impact rookies for 2010 today with Indians right-handed pitcher Carlos Carrasco. Carrasco came over to Cleveland from Philadelphia as part of the Cliff Lee trade this past season. The 22-year old Venezuelan native entered the 2009 season as one of the top pitching prospects in the minors. He […]

Top minor league defensive players of 2009

Sean Smith has been kind enough to provide The Hardball Times with his Total Zone data for all minor league players in 2009 (for more information check The Total Zone numbers are produced using play-by-play data and the results are similar to Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR) or the plus/minus system. A more detailed explanation […]

2010 impact rookies: Buster Posey

Continuing with my series on 2010 impact prospects today we will take a look at San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey. Posey was a first round pick (fifth overall) out of Florida State in 2008. After appearing in only 10 games after signing late in ’08, he began the 2009 season in Advanced-A and excelled […]

2010 impact rookies: Carlos Santana

Continuing with my look at impact prospects for the 2010 season today we will take a look at Cleveland Indians catcher Carlos Santana. Santana came to the Indians organization in 2008 as part of a deal that sent Casey Blake to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The departure of Victor Martinez all but assures that there […]

2010 impact rookies: Desmond Jennings

Beginning today I will be looking at various prospects who may be counted on to contribute in the major leagues next season. First on my list is Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Desmond Jennings. Jennings will turn 23 at the end of the month and is a phenomenal athlete. He originally signed a letter of intent […]

Baseball in Sweden

I stumbled across an interesting post on Xconomy today about the Baseball World Cup qualification in Sweden. This got me thinking about the great potential for baseball to spread its market into Europe and across the globe. We have already seen the Latin American community and emerging asian markets embrace the game, why not Europe? […]

Offensive environments in the minors | part two

The other day I looked at the run scoring environments in Triple-A and Double-A and today I will continue with the lower levels of the minors. Advanced-A California League- .270/.341/.416 Runs-5.114 2B- 1.914 3B- .350 HR- .806 BB- 3.295 K- 7.915 SB- .850 Carolina League- .256/.329/.383 Runs- 4.458 2B- 1.772 3B- .198 HR- .664 BB- […]

Offensive environments in Triple-A and Double-A

When evaluating prospects it is crucial to consider the offensive environment they play in. Today we’ll take a look at the offensive levels at the Triple-A and Double-A levels. Note that all statistics are per game and the triple slash notes the league averages. Triple-A International League -.262/.328/.395 Runs- 4.297 2B- 1.826 3B- .184 HR- […]

Samardzija back up with the Cubs

Yesterday the Chicago Cubs re-called right handed pitcher Jeff Samardzija. Samardzija is perhaps more renowned for his time spent playing wide receiver for Notre Dame than for his success on the baseball field. Armed with a powerful sinking fastball, Samardzija made an impressive debut in 2008 with the Cubs. In 27.2 innings he struck out […]

Michael Brantley gets the call

Cleveland’s Michael Brantley was called up September first and has quickly made a name for himself filling in for the injured Grady Sizemore. The son of former major leaguer Mickey Brantley, Michael is a well rounded player and makes good, solid contact. Brantley was acquired, along with the organization’s top prospect Matt LaPorta, in the […]