Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of the Daily Notes.
Some Brief and Mostly Important Disclaimers
Last Thursday, in celebration of the final post in our team-by-team release of Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections for 2013, the present author — using his (by now famous) ability of “being able to sort leaderboards” — identified the rookie-eligible hitters and pitchers (meaning fewer than 130 at-bats or 50 innings in the majors) with the best projections, where “best” was equivalent to “highest projected WAR” and nothing else.
What follows is the product of an almost identical exercise — except for, instead of ZiPS, the author has sorted the Steamer projection leaderboards, instead.
Below are the the top-five hitters and top-five pitchers who most aptly fit the aforementioned criteria. Alongside each player’s name are listed his 2012 line (for the level at which he spent the most time) and his 2013 projection. Finally, the author has appended brief comments to each entry to give the impression that he has not merely assembled a List of Numbers.
Note: Steamer utilizes playing-time projections from the FAN Projections here at the site.
5. Jackie Bradley, OF, Boston
2012 Line: 305 PA, .357/.479/.523 (.405 BABIP), 180 wRC+ at High-A
2013 Steamer: 408 PA, .256/.335/.387 (.303 BABIP), 1.7 WAR
Notes: Sophomore year at South Carolina was excellent; junior one, less so. Taken by Red Sox 40th overall in 2011. Has been excellent as professional. Received similarly optimistic projection (1.7 WAR) from ZiPS. Will begin season at Triple-A, it seems.
4. Travis D’Arnaud, C, New York (NL)
2012 Line: 303 PA, .333/.380/.595 (.374 BABIP), 147 wRC+ at Triple-A
2013 Steamer: 374 PA, .241/.290/.415 (.273 BABIP), 1.7 WAR
Notes: Taken by Phillies out of California high school 37th overall in 2007 draft. Traded to Blue Jays in Roy Halladay trade and then Mets, this offseason, in R.A. Dickey trade. Has been top-100 prospect per Baseball America for last three preseasons (not including present one). Will begin season in minors, most likely.
3. Leonys Martin, OF, Texas
2012 Line: 260 PA, .359/.422/.610 (.392 BABIP), 164 wRC+ at Triple-A
2013 Steamer: 400 PA, .268/.327/.426 (.300 BABIP), 1.7 WAR
Notes: Defected from Cuba in 2010, signed with Rangers in May of 2011. Has been ca. 600 minor-league plate appearances since then — the vast majority at Triple-A — and slashed .323/.388/.503 with a 51:77 walk-to-strikeout ratio while so doing. Offseason departure of Josh Hamilton likely means strong side of center-field platoon with Craig Gentry.
2. Jedd Gyorko, 3B, San Diego
2012 Line: 408 PA, .325/.377/.585 (.340 BABIP), 144 wRC+ at Triple-A
2013 Steamer: 482 PA, .252/.308/.421 (.280 BABIP), 1.9 WAR
Notes: Taken by San Diego in second round of the 2010 draft from West Virginia. Has posted above-average league-adjusted offensive marks at every level since. Received favorable projection (2.0 WAR) from ZiPS, as well. For now, presence of talented Chase Headley makes promotion to majors difficult, although played 47 games at second base between Double- and Triple-A in 2012.
1. Adam Eaton, OF, Arizona
2012 Line: 562 PA, .381/.456/.539 (.432 BABIP), 163 wRC+ at Triple-A
2013 Steamer: 588 PA, .282/.358/.412 (.321 BABIP), 3.6 WAR
Notes: Of hitters here, probably has lowest ceiling, owing predominantly to lack of power. Still, has posted a 133 wRC+ at every minor-league level. Enters age-24 season. Should have everyday role following departure of Justin Upton to Atlanta.
5. Trevor Bauer, RHP, Cleveland
2012 Line: 82.0 IP, 10.7 K/9, 3.8 BB/9, 0.9 HR/9, 3.38 FIP at Triple-A
2013 Steamer: 122.0 IP, 8.2 K/9, 4.8 BB/9, 1.0 HR/9, 1.2 WAR
Notes: Posted this line in four major-league starts last year: 16.1 IP, 22.1% K, 16.9% BB, 45.5% GB, 5.00 SIERA, 121 xFIP-, 0.0 WAR. Traded to Cleveland in offseason, as every person reading this already knows. Not necessarily expected to win rotation spot out of camp, but Cleveland starting corps is also rather weak.
4. Wily Peralta, RHP, Milwaukee
2012 Line: 146.2 IP, 8.8 K/9, 4.8 BB/9, 0.6 HR/9, 3.83 FIP at Triple-A
2013 Steamer: 130.0 IP, 7.1 K/9, 4.8 BB/9, 0.8 HR/9, 1.2 WAR
Notes: Made major-league debut in 2012, after originally signing from Dominican in 2005. Pitched 29 slightly above-average innings, almost all as starter. Sat at ca. 95 mph with fastball. Definite candidate for 2013 rotation.
3. Casey Kelly, RHP, San Diego
2012 Line: 29.0 IP, 8.1 K/9, 3.1 BB/9, 1.6 HR/9, 4.78 FIP at MLB
2013 Steamer: 113.0 IP, 6.3 K/9, 3.2 BB/9, 0.8 HR/9, 1.5 WAR
Notes: Taken in first round of 2008 draft by Red Sox and sent to Padres 2.5 years later in Adrian Gonzalez trade. His 2012 season was limited by early season elbow trouble, so actually pitched majority of innings at major-league level. Seems likely to begin season in minors.
2. Kyle McPherson, RHP, Pittsburgh
2012 Line: 48.2 IP, 8.5 K/9, 0.9 BB/9, 0.9 HR/9, 3.14 FIP at Double-A
2013 Steamer: 126.0 IP, 6.2 K/9, 2.6 BB/9, 1.0 HR/9, 1.6 WAR
Notes: Taken by Pirates in 14th round of 2007 draft out of University of Mobile (AL). Has posted nearly 5:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in six minor-league seasons. Made 10 appearances (three starts) in majors last season, posting 109 xFIP- in 26.1 innings. Per PITCHf/x, sat at 93-94 mph in relief; 91-93 as a starter. Reasonable chance of winning fifth spot in rotation.
1. Shelby Miller, RHP, St. Louis
2012 Line: 136.2 IP, 10.5 K/9, 3.3 BB/9, 1.6 HR/9, 4.48 FIP at Triple-A
2013 Steamer: 126.0 IP, 7.9 K/9, 3.9 BB/9, 0.9 HR/9, 1.6 WAR
Notes: Taken 19th overall out of high school by St. Louis in 2009. Has been top-100 prospect per Baseball America for last three preseasons (not including present one). Made six appearances (one start) in majors last year, posting this line: 13.2 IP, 29.6% K, 7.4% BB, 42.4% GB, 2.72 SIERA, 86 xFIP-, 0.4 WAR. With recent injury to Chris Carpenter, will compete (alongside Joe Kelly and Trevor Rosenthal) for fifth spot in rotation.