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Offseason Notes: Arbitration Deadline Imminent


One of these is Don Kelly’s hand.

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

1. Reminder: Arbitration Deadline Imminent
2. SCOUT Leaderboards: Australian Baseball League
3. Prospecting: Catching Up with John Sickels, Part I

Reminder: Arbitration Deadline Imminent
The deadline for teams and arbitration-eligible players to exchange figures is noon ET today. A lot of players remain unsigned — probably many of them on the team you spend all your time thinking about. (Not Don Kelly, however. He settled with the Tigers this morning, so don’t worry.) MLB Trade Rumors is pretty excellent at tracking this sort of thing.

SCOUT Leaderboards: Australian Baseball League
Batting Leaderboard
Here is the (totally sortable) SCOUT batting leaderboard for the Australian Baseball League (ABL). SCOUT represents an attempt to derive something meaningful from small samples and is the average of a player’s standard deviations from the ABL mean in three important (and regressed) stats: walk rate, strikeout rate, and home-run rate. Click here for more on SCOUT. (Note: “Org” is last known team/league affiliations are.)


Num Name Org PA xBB% xK% xHR% BBz Kz HRz SCOUT
1 Brian Burgamy IND 174 16.2% 10.3% 4.1% 1.78 1.38 0.37 1.18
2 Justin Huber IND 161 15.8% 13.7% 3.5% 1.68 0.82 0.10 0.87
3 Boss Moanaroa BOS 156 14.0% 13.5% 3.3% 1.24 0.86 -0.04 0.69
4 Matt Kennelly ATL 162 10.7% 10.5% 3.5% 0.43 1.36 0.10 0.63
5 Tim Kennelly FA 165 9.6% 12.1% 4.5% 0.15 1.08 0.58 0.60
6 David Sutherland FA 163 9.7% 8.0% 2.9% 0.17 1.78 -0.24 0.57
7 Allan De San Miguel FA 162 14.7% 19.8% 3.9% 1.42 -0.21 0.27 0.49
8 Brenden Webb BAL 121 16.0% 24.3% 4.7% 1.75 -0.97 0.66 0.48
9 Brad Harman FA 131 8.6% 16.3% 5.5% -0.09 0.37 1.11 0.46
10 Kody Hightower GER 116 10.8% 13.5% 3.4% 0.44 0.84 0.02 0.44

Notes
• Boston minor leaguer Boss Moanaroa moves up from seventh last week to third on this edition of the SCOUT batting leaderboard after doing this (or something very close to this) in his last four games: 16 PA, 1 HR, 5 BB, 2 K. Moanaroa, 20, played first base exclusively last season at short-season Lowell.
• Baltimore prospect Brenden Webb, entering his age-22 season, is new to the list. Webb has posted poor strikeout rates (31.2% K in 2011 at Class A Delmarva), but, per Jordan Tuwiner of Orioles Nation, has developing power, excellent athleticism, and can play any outfield spot.

Pitching Leaderboard
For pitchers, SCOUT is the average of a player’s standard deviations from the ABL mean in (regressed) strikeout and walk rate.


Num Name Org G GS IP BF xK% xBB% Kz BBz SCOUT
1 Yohei Yanagawa NPB 7 7 35.2 153 28.2% 9.9% 2.11 -0.44 0.84
2 Mike Mcguire PHI 12 9 49.1 215 25.1% 9.3% 1.49 -0.29 0.60
3 Todd Van Steensel PHI 10   18.2 78 23.2% 7.9% 1.11 0.06 0.59
4 Matthew Williams FA 13   25.2 96 22.4% 7.5% 0.95 0.18 0.56
5 Ryan Searle CHN 4 4 25.0 102 22.3% 8.1% 0.93 0.02 0.47
6 Cameron Lamb SF 13   26.1 112 21.8% 8.0% 0.82 0.05 0.44
7 Paul Mildren FRA 10 9 58.0 253 18.6% 6.1% 0.17 0.54 0.35
8 Alex Maestri IND 10 8 58.2 248 21.0% 8.1% 0.66 0.01 0.34
9 Aidan Francis IND 9 9 47.1 207 18.8% 6.6% 0.22 0.41 0.32
10 Chris Oxspring DET 10 6 42.2 190 21.1% 8.5% 0.68 -0.07 0.31

Notes
• Right-hander Ryan Searle is an Australian native in the Cubs organization. He posted a not particularly impressive 17.6% K and 11.4% BB this past season as a 22-year-old at Double-A Tennessee — although, with something around a 50% ground-ball rate, per Minor League Central. He has a 1.50 GO/AO so far in his 25.0 ABL innings, which suggests something closer to 45%, probably.

Prospecting: Catching Up with John Sickels
John Sickels has been prolific of late, publishing a number of his preliminary top-20 lists over the winter holiday while the rest of us were drinking heavily and yelling at the neighbor children. I’ve omitted eight of his lists from the Notes over the last couple weeks. Here are links to four of them. Comments are my own, and shouldn’t be confused with “analysis” of any sort.

Los Angeles Angels
Right-hander Johnny Hellweg, whom Sickels ranks seventh, throws his fastball in the upper-90s and cut his walk rate in half after moving to the starting rotation in the High-A California league. Marc Hulet likes him, too, ranking him sixth in the org back in November.

Pittsburgh Pirates
Sickels ranks AFL SCOUT batting leader Robbie Grossman fifth overall. Baseball America ranks him eighth.

New York Mets
Have you ever seen Zack Wheeler‘s (second on Sickels’ list) curveball? Make Out City. (Note: Jefry Marte doesn’t make Sickels’ top 20. Nor did he make Baseball America’s top 10, nor did he make Hulet’s top 15. In any case, he’s only just turning 21 and finished third on the AFL SCOUT leaderboard. And plays third base.)

Chicago White Sox
Sickels ranks 22-year-old Nestor Molina, acquired in the trade that sent Sergio Santos to Toronto, first in the org.