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Offseason Notes for December 22nd


That’s just how Ricardo Nanita rolls.

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

1. Assorted Headlines
2. SCOUT Leaderboards: Dominican Winter League
3. Prospecting: John Sickels on Miami

Assorted Headlines
Cubs, Reds Trade Pending Physicals, Includes Minor Leaguers
Yesterday, Jim Breen provided crack analysis yesterday on developing trade talks between the Cubs and Reds that would see left-hander Sean Marshall go to Cincinnati in return for Travis Wood. Per Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago, that deal is done now, pending physicals — and includes two minor leaguers moving with Wood.

Kansas City Signs Reliever Mijares
The Kansas City Royals signed left-handed reliever Jose Mijares to one-year deal worth $925,000 on Wednesday, Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star reports. Mijares has been mostly effective before in the majors — posting xFIP-s of 99 and 103 in 2009 and ’10, respectively — but walked and struck out the same number (30) of batters in 2011 en route to a 143 xFIP-. Despite those numbers, he was actually still relatively effective against left-handed batters: 97 TBF, 19.6% K, 8.3% BB, 32.8%% GB, 4.51 xFIP.

SCOUT Leaderboards: Dominican Winter League
Batting Leaderboard
Here is the SCOUT batting leaderboard for the Dominican Winter League (DWL). SCOUT represents an attempt to derive something meaningful from small samples and is the average of a player’s standard deviations from the DWL mean in three important (and regressed) stats: walk rate, strikeout rate, and home-run rate. (Click here for more on SCOUT. SCOUT leaderboards for the Venezuelan and Dominican Winter Leagues appear on Tuesday and Thursday, respectively.)


Name Org PA xBB% xK% xHR% BBz Kz HRz SCOUT
Ricardo Nanita TOR 131 11.1% 10.3% 2.8% 0.55 1.42 0.96 0.98
Brian Bogusevic HOU 147 15.9% 19.0% 2.0% 1.82 -0.16 0.45 0.70
Jhonatan Solano WAS 118 10.7% 9.9% 1.2% 0.44 1.50 -0.15 0.59
Brandon Belt SF 116 11.8% 16.8% 1.9% 0.73 0.25 0.32 0.43
Anderson Hernandez HOU 209 9.1% 11.0% 1.1% 0.01 1.29 -0.21 0.36
Matt Hague PIT 168 12.0% 16.1% 1.3% 0.77 0.37 -0.08 0.35
Denis Phipps CIN 117 11.8% 17.3% 1.5% 0.72 0.15 0.08 0.32
Alex Valdez BOS 127 10.3% 16.8% 1.8% 0.33 0.24 0.28 0.29
Jose Constanza ATL 138 7.3% 8.8% 0.8% -0.47 1.69 -0.45 0.26
Mauro Gomez ATL 162 13.2% 23.5% 2.0% 1.11 -0.96 0.40 0.18

Notes
• So far as I can tell, 31-year-old 1B/OF Ricardo Nanita is the only one of the 35 qualified DWL batters to have a higher regressed walk rate than strikeout rate. To that distinction, he adds the third-highest regressed home-run rate. Per Baseball America’s Minor League Free Agent Tracker, Nanita is still unsigned at the moment. Sign him, Astros or something.
• First and second in regressed home-run rate are Seattle outfielder Carlos Peguero and Colorado catching prospect Wilin Rosario. The pair is also striking out quite a bit: Rosario’s regressed K rate is 1.6 standard deviations above the DWL mean; Peguero’s is 2.82!

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


Name Org G GS IP BF xK% xBB% Kz BBz SCOUT
Jairo Asencio ATL 22 0 24.1 96 29.0% 7.1% 1.73 -0.01 0.86
Everett Teaford KC 5 5 23.2 92 27.0% 6.5% 1.35 0.26 0.81
Raul Valdes PHI 10 9 51.2 215 23.8% 6.0% 0.76 0.47 0.62
Aneury Rodriguez HOU 8 7 32.2 126 24.5% 6.4% 0.90 0.29 0.60
Angel Castro MEX 21 1 42.2 172 23.3% 6.3% 0.68 0.31 0.50
Jordan Norberto OAK 16 6 33.0 144 26.1% 8.0% 1.20 -0.36 0.42
Kenji Otonari NPB 5 5 23.0 103 24.1% 7.2% 0.83 -0.05 0.39
Erick Abreu HOU 19 0 21.2 89 23.4% 7.0% 0.69 0.02 0.36
Osiris Matos SF 22 0 22.2 94 22.7% 6.8% 0.57 0.12 0.35
Juan Perez PHI 26 0 28.0 109 24.0% 7.5% 0.81 -0.17 0.32

Notes
• Left-hander Raul Valdes, 34, has made two appearances since we last looked at the DWL leaderboards, posting this line: 6.2 IP, 11 K, 4 BB. He signed a minor-league deal with the Phillies in November.

Prospecting: John Sickels on Miami
John Sickels has published his preliminary top-20 list for the Miami Marlins.

Here are some notes on same:

Christian Yelich is (a) a baseball player you’ve maybe never heard of and (b) the player whom Sickels — and Baseball America, as well — ranks first in the Marlin organization. He hit well as a 19-year-old in the Class A Sally League this year, showing decent plate discipline (10.6% BB, 19.6% K) and power (15 HR in 521 PAs) for his age, while also stealing 32 bases on 37 attempts. Both Sickels and BA like his outfield defense, too. He appears, really, to have little in the way of flaws — except for that his .312 batting average this year benefited from a .373 BABIP. Brian Cartwright’s OLIVER system already sees him as better than replacement-level.

• Here are the ways in which Marcell Ozuna, Sickels’ second-ranked prospect in the org, is slightly different than Yelich:

1. He bats right-handed.

2. He’s a year older.

3. Has slightly more power, it appears (45 HRs over last years, 872 PAs).

4. Has slightly poorer contact skills (21.9% K in 2011, 32.1% at Low-A in 2010).

5. Crazy arm. (Yelich’s is on the modest side of average.)