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Archive for March, 2008

By Frankie Piliere

Every fan that follows prospects will know where I’m coming from with this. There is always some great degree of ambiguity when it comes to prospect tracking but why is that? We feel that the degree of ambiguity should be taken down a notch if not totally eliminated. There should be much less guess work on the part of the fan as to what their team’s number two pitching prospect’s velocity has been this season or how their newly converted first base prospect looks defensively. Obviously, we’ll be scouting a great deal of players from the amateur all the way up through the professional ranks. But, what we’d like to do is take suggestions from our readers on this. Find out what I mean after the jump….

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By Frankie Piliere

Through consultation of some good statistical minds, I believe that I now have a more firm understanding of what our new pitching statistic really is measuring and how it can be applied. Pitches Towards Outs measures a pitchers dominance. Yes, dominance. It sounds bold but that’s what it is I believe.

This is not a measure of best pitchers, although that can often go hand in hand with dominance. Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, etc. are all phenomenal but you are not going to see them go through a lineup without setting up hitters or battling them in deep counts. And, while it’s been suggested that this measurement may work towards indicating a pitcher’s stuff, well it doesn’t quite do that either. A perfect example of why not is if a pitcher is walking hitters and laboring deep into counts to get them out, great stuff or not, they would not do well in this formula.

So, yes, this formula is about ease of outs. The optimal performances are first pitch outs and three pitch strikeouts. If a pitcher went through a game like that, I think you’d call that the essence of “ease of outs” or dominance. Dominance is a little bit up for interpretation so if ease of outs works for you, we can call that this formula’s application. Find out more after the jump…

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By Kiley McDaniel

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Aaron Crow is widely considered one of the top two pitchers available for the 2008 Draft, and a strong contender for college player of the year and #1 overall pick in the Draft. He’s certainly an elite talent that has a lot of momentum built up after a coming-out party at the Cape Cod League this summer and has kept that momentum going with a dominant start for a strong Missouri Tigers team this spring.

I would love to say that Crow has picture perfect mechanics and is a near flawless pitching prospect. However, he has a big red flag in his delivery that makes some pause about his ultimate upside. Find out what’s up with this projected top-5 pick after the jump…

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By Frankie Piliere

We’ve had a mechanical analysis of a pitcher, now it’s time to look at a hitter. To best introduce our hitter breakdowns, I wanted to use a particularly impressive hitter in terms of swing mechanics. That hitter is University of South Carolina infielder, Reese Havens. A lefty swinger, Havens has really impressed me on every opportunity I’ve had to see him. Check out our first “Batter Breakdown” after the jump…

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By Kiley McDaniel

When it comes to ranking prospects, these days it seems everyone has a philosophy they’d like to share, but more importantly a list they want you to read and a book for you to buy (and probably a timeshare presentation). And I’d bet these lists look a lot like Baseball America’s Top 100 List or Baseball Prospectus writer Kevin Goldstein’s Top 100 list, with a few surprises sprinkled in. Even if a list is put out before these two, it is inevitably made up of the intermittent updates these two insiders give on a daily basis, in an effort to appear like an original work.

Now, to a degree, there is no original work when it comes to prospect lists because there are a finite number of players and many things about them—stats, age, signing bonus, etc.—are objectively measured. That being said, I can’t help but think the baseball community is in need of a list formed from a different process. Is Saber-Scouting the site to accomplish this mission, even just a part of it?

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By Frankie Piliere

We’ve been neglecting the hitters of the world of late so I thought it would be time to break out the bats. And, if I’m going to give you a hitter, then we might as well start off with a bang. Bottom line: Dennis Raben is one of a handful of flat out mashers in this 2008 draft class, a group he firmly entrenched himself with after an outstanding summer in Cape Cod. Unfortunately, the lefty slugger is currently missing time in his college season with back problems, but I certainly hope he’s back soon and not hampered. He’s got some power in his bat that is a real rarity. Take a look at his scouting report and video after the jump…

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By Kiley McDaniel

Last season, I was able to see a number of impressive players, just as Frankie did in the Cape. Being in Tampa, these players were the occasional amateur stud, but mainly top-level prospects in the High-A level Florida State League. Three teams are a short drive from my place and a fourth is certainly in the neighborhood, so every good player came to my neck of the woods at some point. Before the new season gets going late next week, I’ll be rolling out some of my reports from last summer to whet your prospect appetites and also set the stage for what should be a steady flow of reports all summer.

First up is former Sarasota Red and current #3 starter of the Cincinnati Reds, Johnny Cueto. Cueto was a personal favorite of mine in this league, and when I filed my report a few days after the outing, I pointed out that Cueto “could be in the Reds’ 2008 rotation at some point depending on Cincinnati’s urgency.” It turns out Cueto decided to skip the gauging of urgency stage and not even give the Reds the option of sending him back to the minors for seasoning (despite a tough last spring outing). I definitely saw something in Cueto this night, and the full report is after the jump…

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