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  1. Wasn’t Simon Castro a bigger disappointment for the Padres?

    Comment by schlomsd — October 5, 2011 @ 3:20 pm

  2. Way to only use statistics, and flawed ones for minor leaguers, to discuss these prospects. If you knew what you were talking about, Marc, you’d talk about Matzek’s fastball and how it basically lost it’s velocity. In my opinion, anybody could look at a stats page and list reasons why a prospect struggled. Not a fan of this article.

    Comment by Alex — October 5, 2011 @ 3:20 pm

  3. Jerry Sands? Withrow or Miller would have been better choices. So Jerry Sands is a disappointment because he got called up to the MLB and struggled? If you look at his time after Sept. call ups he triple slashed .342/.415/.493. This in due part of slight modifications in his stance which has evidently worked. Wait til Jerry at least plays a full season before you start labeling him a disappointment.

    Comment by Bernard Arnault — October 5, 2011 @ 3:33 pm

  4. Yeah, Sands fixed a major hitch in his swing and I expect him to really thrive next season.

    Comment by Ben — October 5, 2011 @ 3:43 pm

  5. Sure diminished velocity is important with Matzek but I would argue that the control issues trumps that. A lefty can survive diminished and/or below-average velocity but massive control issues will ruin your career pretty much without fail. I’m not sure how rate stats for prospects are flawed… especially for walk and strikeout rates…

    As for Sands, I chose him because there were a lot of hopes for him after his 2010 season, much of which was unreasonable. Miller got hurt, so I don’t hold that against him as much. And Withrow’s season really wasn’t that bad.

    Comment by Marc Hulet — October 5, 2011 @ 3:44 pm

  6. Matzek’s biggest problem was the Rockies changed his mechanics, which likewise hurt his velocity and his control. He went back to his old High School pitching coach and re-worked them, and at the end of the season, was looking closer to what he did when he debuted. While it is a small sample, he has gone through a complete transformation as a pitcher from this year ’till now. There isn’t a guarentee he will be better or worse, but I don’t think anyone really knows how he’ll turn out.

    Comment by Jeff — October 5, 2011 @ 3:54 pm

  7. Matzek definitely struggled but after returning to the team from spending time with his old pitching coach, he was much improved. Next year will be an interesting one for him…

    Comment by Resolution — October 5, 2011 @ 3:55 pm

  8. I don’t agree with the rude/negative tone on your response to the article, but I do agree with your basic idea. I think a better (and more interesting) focus for looking at ‘disappointing prospects’ would be to try to statistically answer WHY their counting numbers were disappointing. As you can say, “any(one) can look at a stats page…,” Fangraphs articles should strive for statistical analysis, not statistical regurgitation… just my 2 cents.

    Comment by JSprech — October 5, 2011 @ 3:57 pm

  9. Not sure why you think Sands disappointed this season. This is pretty much what i thought one could expect from a guy who had no experience above AA before this season. His splits are definitely something to pay attention to but the sampling remains pretty small.

    Comment by Will — October 5, 2011 @ 4:17 pm

  10. Matzek was hitting 97mph in August

    Comment by Andrew T. Fisher — October 5, 2011 @ 4:24 pm

  11. A good point on the Rockies’ aggressiveness with prep pitchers. I believe Tago still has good stuff, but he was just outmatched debuting in the offense-heavy Sally League. He probably should have been held back to Short Season. He has time – he was one of the youngest players in the SAL last year.

    Comment by Andrew T. Fisher — October 5, 2011 @ 4:27 pm

  12. I’m not sure that I’d consider Tate’s performance a disappointment.

    The injuries and alleged behavioral issues are certainly disconcerting, but he’s still only 21 and he did hit .288/.410/.411 between Low-A and High-A, in an admittedly small sample size. Still, for a player that’s regarded as more of an athlete than a ballplayer, you have to be encouraged by a 16.3% walk rate and 73% stolen base rate (which isn’t great, but it’s solid for a player of his background).

    Comment by Domenic — October 5, 2011 @ 4:58 pm

  13. Aaron Miller is 24 in A ball. I doubt he amounts to much going forward.

    Jerry Sands hit .278/.344/.586 in AAA, granted he plays in the PCL, his numbers were better than his numbers in AA. He had a higher ISO, lower BABIP, and a comparable wOBA and BB:K rate. If you were expecting him to hit .330/.415/.620 then maybe he was a disappointment.

    In his stint with the pro club he demonstrated a double digit walk rate, a great outfield arm/defensive abilities, and plus opposite power. After working on his swing, he showed why he was highly regarded in the Dodger organization. His 61 games and his .253/.338/.389 line (.9 war) do not simply yield disappointment…In fact, after being called up, Sands illustrated progression which is a positive factor moving forward. Say Sands played this way the entire season, he would be worth 2.3 wins above replacement. This in what many believe was growing pains. Heck I’d take a 23 year old 2.3 win player at 400k any day.

    Comment by Bernard Arnault — October 5, 2011 @ 6:00 pm

  14. interesting that you completely forget to mention matzek’s month off for re-training with marshall, and his improvements upon return

    Comment by jim — October 5, 2011 @ 6:07 pm

  15. Yeah, Sands doesn’t belong on this list. Along with the change in his swing, he still showed the ability to get on base in the majors. A .338 OBP from a rookie is noting to scoff at.

    And I highly doubt Sands was aided by the environment of the pitcher-friendly Midwest League in 2010. He was a tad old for the league, but still had solid success in the Southern League.

    Ethan Martin should be the clear choice for the Dodger representative on this list.

    Comment by Dustin Nosler — October 5, 2011 @ 6:59 pm

  16. Wow, I’m amazed that Sands was chosen. Sure he didn’t hit like Brett Lawrie or anything, but his september was pretty great. I was fully expecting someone like Ethan Martin or Chris Withrow or someone else like that, not someone who’s had MLB success as a nearly average hitter up there.

    Comment by Ivdown — October 5, 2011 @ 8:58 pm

  17. Tyler Matzek had serious control issues in 2010 so the Rockies only attempted to change his mechanics, apparently, because of that, heading into 2011. I read they thought his delivery may be too difficult to repeat effectively.

    He moved up in competition and had new mechanics and was awful.

    He fixes his mechanics and shows great mental toughness in bouncing back. By the end of the season he went on a great six-game run where he looked like a star talent again.

    2012 will likely be very revealing as to whether he has the necessary control to allow his stuff to play up and advance through the system.

    Comment by Colorado Rockies Prospects Report — October 5, 2011 @ 9:53 pm

  18. While Sand’s lack of MLB power is a bit concerning, it’s way too early to say it doesn’t exist. Check out his minor league numbers, the guy has put up ISOs of:

    .337 (R) (2009)
    .313 (A) (2010)
    .308 (AAA) (2011)
    .259 (AA) (2010)
    .250 (A) 2009
    .233 (R) 2008

    To act like his power is a “product of his environment” is ignorant. His BB%, K% and defense were all good during his MLB callups. He just has to bring up his power and show that he can damage right handers as well as left.

    Many people thought Sands might spend the entire year at AAA. The Dodgers rushed him to MLB in May, he predictably was not ready. Perhaps Sands did not follow up his 2010 with another eye opening season, but he was hardly a disappointment.

    Comment by Chair — October 6, 2011 @ 6:47 am

  19. Honestly, if Sands belongs on this list, then you should be scrambling to get Belt on the list as well.

    Comment by Chair — October 6, 2011 @ 6:50 am

  20. Also Rizzo

    Comment by Chair — October 6, 2011 @ 6:51 am

  21. Exactly.

    Comment by mwhite06 — October 6, 2011 @ 11:26 am

  22. Anyone who watched Jerry Sands after he was called up the second time would not put him on this list. Fixed the hole in his swing and really looked confident and comfortable which he did not before.

    Comment by BobNA — October 6, 2011 @ 12:29 pm

  23. I was also disappointed with this article. Knowing virtually nothing about most teams prospects, I was waiting for the Giants turn. I was expecting analysis of more than just one prospect.
    If I’d known that only one was to be analyzed, I would have expected something more than just a few stats, especially stats like HR’s and BA.

    Comment by GiantHusker — October 6, 2011 @ 1:44 pm

  24. Jerry Sands is amazing. He was disappointing in his first call-up, yes. But that was before he went to AAA and shortened his swing. He was well above replacement level in September, helping the dodgers to a record way over .500 for the month. And his glove is great. His arm is even better. Statistical defensive metrics aren’t perfect and if they are saying his defense isn’t solid, they’re wrong.

    Comment by Lnickerson88 — October 6, 2011 @ 2:32 pm

  25. Lol. This whole series is basically worthless. Aside form the laughable Sands “analysis,” how is there not even a mention of Matzek’s work with his high school coach mid year and the obvious improvements afterward? I hate to be so harsh but Hulet’s work is oddly retrograde and out of step with the quality of the other work on Fangraphs.

    Comment by baron — October 6, 2011 @ 7:51 pm

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