FanGraphs Baseball

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  1. Matt Murton set the Nippon league on fire last season.

    Comment by Dudley — February 8, 2011 @ 9:12 am

  2. Tuffy Rhodes was a beast in Japan.

    Just thinking about some of his seasons gives me a chubby.

    Comment by Red Eye — February 8, 2011 @ 9:29 am

  3. What about Mike Hessman? He has some monster minor league stats.

    Comment by Red Eye — February 8, 2011 @ 9:31 am

  4. While he wasn’t in pro ball last year (for the first time since the Eisenhower administration I’m pretty sure), Scott McClain deserves a special permanent spot on this list. 1,783 career minor league games (plus another 321 in Japan) and 44 big league appearances.

    Comment by david — February 8, 2011 @ 9:55 am

  5. “You see this if you ever watch big-league pitchers, who struggle to hit .100, take batting practice. They drill line drives all over the place. They’re the guys in your muni softball league who hit balls over the houses across the street from the park and everyone says, “He must have played pro ball.”

    This kinda puts it in perspective how good even the worst major leaguers are. I know most intelligent fans already know stuff like this but I really do feel that your casual or uninformed fan just doesn’t understand how talented even the worst MLB players are.

    A friend of mine played High School ball and more recently some competitive softball with a former big leauger named Joe Roa. He pitched a little bit in the 90s and early 00s, never was really a top prospect or anything(atleast to my knowledge) and obviously didn’t amount to anything in the Pros but according to my friend you would think he was Albert Pujols or something with the way he played compared to everybody else.

    Comment by Dwight Schrute — February 8, 2011 @ 9:55 am

  6. This reminds me of the movie “Sugar” and the bit in the end when all the lost prospects end up playing in some amateur league in NYC.

    Comment by delv — February 8, 2011 @ 10:05 am

  7. “Calling Tracy a third baseman might represent wishful thinking. But pretty much anything would’ve been better last year, I think, than replacing Placido Polanco with Wilson Valdez.”

    Valdez put up .9 WAR in 111 games playing all over the left side of the infield. Andy Tracy could not have done that.

    Comment by hunterfan — February 8, 2011 @ 10:08 am

  8. On April 6, there will be approximately 4,100 men playing in the majors or full-season minor league ball. That means the difference between Albert Pujols and the worst guy in Low A is the difference between being in the 99.99999th percentile and merely the 99.9999th percentile.

    Comment by david — February 8, 2011 @ 10:11 am

  9. I can see Barbaro Canizares coming in 2nd at 1B and DH, but he had to be top 5 in both those lists. Surely he’s on the bench for this team?

    Comment by deadpool — February 8, 2011 @ 11:40 am

  10. The Beloved Bobby Scales was my mom’s favorite Cub for that month in 2009.

    Comment by Padman Jones — February 8, 2011 @ 11:41 am

  11. After Scales stopped hitting and Sweet Lou kept playing him (in left field, of all places, despite that he’d never been an outfielder), we speculated that Scales must have found Neifi Perez’ collection of compromising photos of Jim Hendry.

    That said, by the end of 2009, Bobby Scales was my favorite Cub, too.

    Comment by Al Dimond — February 8, 2011 @ 12:08 pm

  12. I’m reminded of something in Tim Kurkjian’s book, about how great his brother was in high school, and didn’t get a sniff of the majors.

    Just think about it, probably 95% of the stud, legendary high school phenoms never even get past AA. The guys you were in awe of as a teen, guys who could seemingly do anything on a diamond….just aren’t good enough to get on the field in the majors.

    Comment by Dave — February 8, 2011 @ 12:22 pm

  13. I played softball against Matt Diaz a couple of years ago. While Diaz is an established MLB player and not totally relevant to this discussion, he hit lefty in our softball league and was easily the best hitter out there. It just shows how talented these guys are. I’m a southpaw and probably couldn’t hit a softball too far out of the infield right handed and here is Matt Diaz torching balls hitting left handed.

    Comment by Danny — February 8, 2011 @ 2:43 pm

  14. Scott McClain might be able to grace this list. 330 minor league HRs and 2 in the majors.

    Comment by robertobeers — February 8, 2011 @ 2:49 pm

  15. I think there’s a ton of over-respect going on here. There’s no doubt that most if not all major league ball-players are great athletes. But most major league guys have spent almost 4 or 5 years playing baseball and working their bodies to be able to do that. Guys who are in the majors for 5 years have spent countless hours of time working at their game. They are incredible; but it’s not like they’re super-human. most of them have succeeded because of luck, talent, and determination. It’s not athletic ability alone. If you were to take the average 23 year old, and have him spend 2 hours a day in the gym 5 days a week, 2 hours every day with hitting and fielding drills; then at 25; that kid better be able to own the local softball league; no matter where that league is. Unless the kid doesn’t put any effort into it or doesn’t care.

    Comment by mcneo — February 8, 2011 @ 4:26 pm

  16. Imagine how much MORE talent we’d see in the majors and minors if colleges offered as many lucrative scholarships for baseball as they did for football and basketball. When you cover high school/college sports for a living, you realize that most of the best athletes – in terms of raw physical ability – aren’t even playing baseball cuz it’s damn near impossible to get into a good uni playing rounders as a youth. Imagine how many more Jason Heywards we’d have if college baseball was as popular as college football.

    Comment by wrinklebump — February 8, 2011 @ 10:39 pm

  17. “They’re the guys in your muni softball league who hit balls over the houses across the street from the park”

    And usually play the hell out of shortstop too!

    Comment by shthar — February 9, 2011 @ 12:16 am

  18. Sadly, Lindsay’s MLE from his season w/ the Isotopes was .277/.320/.500. That’s about what Jay Gibbons gave them, who’s about to be a platoon starter for them.

    Loney, of course, went .267/.329/.395, which was far worse. I’d still take Loney over Lindsay, but the Dodgers should really consider starting him if the Dodgers find themselves in contention, only for Loney to be a black hole.

    Comment by Joe R — February 9, 2011 @ 1:51 am

  19. How about Trent Durrington? 1184 games in the minors – plus he’s an Aussie! Also, despite playing 2B, he managed to pitch in a game in MLB and even win a game as a pitcher in AAA.

    Comment by AJS — February 9, 2011 @ 2:11 am

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