Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Offseason Notes.
Minnesota Claims Shortstop Florimon from Baltimore
The Twins claimed shortstop Pedro Florimon from the Orioles on Monday and placed him on the 40-man roster, MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger reports. Florimon, who turns 25 on December 10th, slashed .267/.344/.396 (.336 BABIP) in 520 plate appearances at Double-A Bowie this year. The internet indicates that he profiles as above-average defender at short, but also that he’s mistake-prone.
Young Will Maybe Play Baseball Again, or Not
Dmitri Young, now 38, is looking to play in the majors again, Danny Knobler of CBS Sports reports. Per Knobler, Young has apparently lost 70 pounds, and is willing to play in Japan if no opportunities become available in the US. The former Tiger and National and Red and Cardinal owns a career 111 wRC+ and 14.9 WAR in 5253 career plate appearances.
Johnson to GM Mike Rizzo: Keep an Open Mind on Harper
Washington manager Davey Johnson considers Bryce Harper a potential fit for the 25-man roster in 2012 and wants GM Mike Rizzo to keep an open mind about it, Pete Kerzel of MASN Sports reports. In his defense, Johnson cites the success of Dwight Gooden as a 19-year-old — to which point it also makes sense to add that Gooden was a mess by age 30. Did other factors contribute to Gooden’s early decline? Yes. Really, the conclusion we should draw from the Gooden case is that he’s merely a single data point. We should also conclude that Harper beginning the season as a starter would likely be very good for my ottoneu team.
SCOUT Leaderboards: Venezuelan Winter League
Here is the SCOUT batting leaderboard for the Venezuelan Winter League (VWL). SCOUT represents an attempt to derive something meaningful from small samples and is the average of a player’s standard deviations from the VWL 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.)
There hasn’t been much movement on the SCOUT batting leaderboard since last week, although we do now find Gregor Blanco both (a) closer to the top of same leaderboard and (b) affiliated not with the Nationals but the Giants. This apparently happened about three weeks ago, but, as Kant said, “I wasn’t paying attention.”
For pitchers, SCOUT is the average of a player’s standard deviations from the VWL mean in (regressed) strikeout and walk rate.
• Left-hander Renyel Pinto, 29, moves from fifth to third on the SCOUT pitching leaderboard on the strength of his Decemeber 1st start, which looked like this: 7.0 IP, 8 K, 1 BB, 0 HR. The Orioles have recently expressed interest in Pinto, reports Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports. It appears as though Pinto might be worth a damn at this point — especially if the cost is only a minor-league deal.
Here are some notes on same:
• Like Jerry Sands, right-handed starter Allen Webster — ranked second in the organization by Sickels — was signed by scout Lon Joyce. Like Sands, Webster also signed for basically nothing after being taken in the later rounds. Sands got a $5,000 bonus as a 25th-round pick in 2008; Webster, $20,000 as an 18th-rounder in the same year. According to StatCorner, Webster’s ground-ball rates have actually increased as he’s been promoted — from 47.6% in 2010 at Class-A Great Lakes, to 50.4% at High-A Rancho Cucamonga, to 54.0% at Double-A Chattanooga.
• If Sickels has anything like a sleeper pick, it’s 23-year-old catcher Gorman Erickson, whom he (i.e. Sickels) rates 11th overal — i.e. above other catcher Tim Federowicz (the player whom the Dodgers acquired from the Red Sox in the deal that sent Erik Bedard to Boston). Erickson slashed .293/.379/.486 (.321) in 430 plate appearances between High- and Double-A, walking almost as much as he struck out (14.9% vs. 12.1%).
• Absent from Sickels’ list is outfielder Brian Cavazos-Galvez, who posted last year at Double-A Chattanooga a season almost identical to the one he’d posted the season before in the Class-A Midwest League — which is to say, decent quantities of both home runs and stolen bases, with a good contact rate (14.3% K) and nominal walk rate (2.7%). Cavazos-Galvez will turn 25 this season, which suggests he’s approaching the end of his development years.