Daily Notes: Maurer, Rondon Among Spring’s Leading Rookies

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of the Daily Notes.

1. Maurer, Rondon Among Spring’s Leading Rookies
2. SCOUT Leaderboards: Spring Training (Overall)
3. SCOUT Leaderboards: Spring Training (Rookies)

Maurer, Rondon Among Spring’s Leading Rookies
We have established in the Notes this week both that (a) there are questions to be asked with regard to the author’s competence in most every endeavor, and also that (b) the pitchers who finished among the top 10 on last spring’s SCOUT leaderboard had much better regular seasons than those who finished among the bottom-10.

This being the case, then, it would not be surprising to see Julio Teheran, Stephen Strasburg, and Matt Harvey (Nos. 1-3 on the SCOUT pitching leaderboard below) outperform Tim Hudson, Kevin Correia, Joe Kelly (the ultimate, penultimate, antepenultimate pitchers by SCOUT) in the season to come.

Of note, then, is what we might learn about certain rookie-eligible pitchers who’ve performed particularly well by SCOUT this spring. We’ve considered Julio Teheran, J.J. Hoover, and Michael Wacha earlier this spring. Among the top-five spring rookie pitchers below, however, there are two new addition: Seattle starter Brandon Maurer and Detroit reliever Bruce Rondon.

Considered for much of the winter to be a very real candidate in Detroit for the closer role vacated by Jose Valverde, Rondon was actually optioned to Triple-A this morning. While Rondon did little to dispel concerns this spring regarding his control, walking over 12% of the batters he faced, he also did nothing to dispel the notion that he could induce swings and misses, striking out nearly a third of opposing batters. Because the latter (i.e. strikeout rate) stabilizes more quickly than the former (i.e. walk rate), SCOUT will favor strikeout-oriented pitchers in smaller samples.

Like Erasmo Ramirez last season, the right-handed Maurer has emerged from within the Mariners organization without any of the publicity of that club’s triumvirate of top pitching prospects, Danny Hultzen, James Paxton, and Taijuan Walker. After posting a 117:48 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 137.2 innings at Double-A Jackson last season, Maurer has recorded a 22:6 strikeout-to-walk ratio — and performed well enough to earn him the No. 4 spot in the Mariners rotation.

SCOUT Leaderboards: Spring Training (Overall)
SCOUT Leaderboard: Spring Hitters
Below is the current SCOUT batting leaderboard for spring training. SCOUT+ combines regressed home-run, walk, and strikeout rates in a FIP-like equation to produce a result not unlike wRC+, where 100 is league average (in this case, for all spring hitters) and above 100 is above average. xHR%, xBB%, and xK% stand for expected home run, walk, and strikeout rate, respectively.


Player Team Pos PA HR BB K xHR% xBB% xK% SCOUT+
Ryan Raburn CLE UT 52 5 9 4 3.9% 10.5% 14.4% 129
Jose Bautista TOR RF 62 5 9 7 3.8% 10.1% 15.2% 125
Gaby Sanchez PIT CIF 51 4 8 3 3.6% 10.1% 13.8% 124
Freddie Freeman ATL 1B 79 7 4 9 4.3% 6.9% 14.5% 123
Steve Pearce BAL COR 45 6 4 6 4.3% 8.3% 16.5% 122
Matt Wieters BAL C 43 5 5 5 4.0% 8.9% 16.1% 121
Don Kelly DET UT 54 4 7 5 3.6% 9.4% 14.8% 120
Christian Yelich FLA LF 51 5 6 7 3.9% 9.1% 16.5% 120
Domonic Brown PHI COF 91 7 6 14 4.2% 7.4% 16.4% 119
Derek Norris OAK C 43 5 8 10 4.0% 10.4% 19.4% 119

SCOUT Leaderboard: Spring Pitchers
Below is the current SCOUT leaderboard for spring training. SCOUT- combines regressed strikeout and walk rates in a kwERA-like equation to produce a number not unlike ERA-, where 100 is league average (in this case, for all spring pitchers) and below 100 is better than average. xK% and xBB% stand for expected strikeout and walk rate, respectively.


Player Team G GS IP TBF K BB xK% xBB% SCOUT-
Julio Teheran ATL 6 6 26.0 95 35 9 30.0% 8.3% 71
Stephen Strasburg WSH 6 6 25.1 108 31 7 25.7% 7.8% 81
Matt Harvey NYM 6 6 23.1 96 29 7 25.8% 7.9% 81
Josh Johnson TOR 5 3 16.0 60 21 1 24.8% 7.4% 82
Raul Valdes PHI 8 2 17.1 68 22 1 24.6% 7.3% 82
Alex Cobb TB 6 6 25.2 99 28 5 24.8% 7.5% 82
J.J. Hoover CIN 8 0 9.0 37 16 1 24.3% 7.7% 84
Clayton Kershaw LAD 6 6 25.0 106 28 7 24.0% 7.8% 85
Bryan Shaw CLE 8 0 9.0 33 14 1 23.4% 7.8% 86
Al Alburquerque DET 12 0 12.0 51 18 7 23.9% 8.6% 87

SCOUT Leaderboards: Spring Training (Rookies)
SCOUT Leaderboard: Spring Rookie Hitters
Below is a table of the the top-five spring hitters per SCOUT who are also rookie eligible. “Rank” stands for each player’s rank among Marc Hulet’s organizational top-15 list for the relevant organization.


Player Team Pos Rank PA HR BB K xHR% xBB% xK% SCOUT+
Christian Yelich FLA COF   51 5 6 7 3.9% 9.1% 16.5% 120
Conor Gillaspie CWS 3B   55 2 8 2 2.9% 9.9% 12.7% 118
Brandon Barnes HOU OF   44 5 1 5 4.0% 6.8% 16.0% 115
Khris Davis MIL LF   58 6 4 12 4.2% 7.8% 19.0% 114
Brandon Laird HOU CIF   57 5 4 10 3.9% 7.8% 17.8% 113

SCOUT Leaderboard: Spring Rookie Pitchers
Below is a table of the the top-five spring pitchers per SCOUT who are also rookie eligible. “Rank” stands for each player’s rank among Marc Hulet’s organizational top-15 list for the relevant organization.


Player Team Rank G GS IP TBF K BB xK% xBB% SCOUT-
Julio Teheran ATL   6 6 26.0 95 35 9 30.0% 8.3% 71
J.J. Hoover CIN   8 0 9.0 37 16 1 24.3% 7.7% 84
Michael Wacha STL   5 0 11.2 44 15 1 22.8% 7.6% 87
Brandon Maurer SEA   6 3 20.0 80 22 6 23.1% 8.0% 87
Bruce Rondon DET   12 0 11.2 55 18 7 23.5% 8.6% 88




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Carson Cistulli occasionally publishes spirited ejaculations at The New Enthusiast.


7 Responses to “Daily Notes: Maurer, Rondon Among Spring’s Leading Rookies”

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  1. Will H. says:

    Antepenultimate is one of my favorite words. Now if only I can find the word for hating the sound of one’s own voice…

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  2. Resolution says:

    Cistulli, I notice Charlie Blackmon is absent from the scout+ leaderboards. Do you think there is a flaw in the system?

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  3. Balthazar says:

    What particularly impressed me about Maurer looking back at his 2012 stats was that he only gave up 4 HR in 137.2 innings. He’s been described as attacking the bottom half of the strike zone with consistent accuracy, and the low home totals suggest that, though I _haven’t_ heard that his primary fastball is a sinker. Maybe it is. I’d thought I heard he picked up a good cutter from Lance Painter at Jackson last year, who taught it to multiple Seattle prospects. Maurer is particularly interesting for _how_ he pitches, to me, even more than what he throws. Always a good story to see a prospect grow his skills coming up rather than hanging his future hat on ‘one true thing.’

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  4. Loria woodchips kitties says:

    Where can I find expanded SCOUT scores? I’m curious about Justin Smoak’s spring numbers.

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