Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Offseason Notes.
News for nerds.
Blue Jays Acquire Reliever Kimball
The Blue Jays claimed right-hander Cole Kimball off waivers from Washington on Wednesday afternoon, MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm reports. Kimball, 26, was shifted to relief by the Nats in 2009 and has posted high strikeout and walk rates over the course of his minor-league career. Kimball underwent rotator cuff surgery in July, so likely won’t be available to pitch at the start of the season.
Pridie Signs Minor League Deal with A’s
The A’s signed outfielder Jason Pridie to a minor-league contract on Wednesday, MLB.com’s Jane Lee reports. Pridie, 28, played for the Mets in 2011 and had been a member of the Minnesota and Tampa Bay orgs before that. Given his minor-league Total Zone numbers, Pridie appears to be a plus defender anywhere in the outfield; however, his offense has been poor. The new Bill James Handbook projections have Pridie at .248/.296/.366 (.303 BABIP), .294 wOBA for 2012.
Tomorrow Is MLB Deadline for Reserve Lists
Friday is the deadline for teams to file major league and minor league reserve lists with the Commissioner’s Office. This is the first step towards defining the 40-man roster before December’s Rule 5 draft. Except for outright assignments or the addition of free agents, minor league reserve lists may not be amended between Friday and the Rule 5 Draft. For more information on this, consult the Sox Prospects Wiki.
SCOUT Leaderboards: Dominican Winter League
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 Arizona Fall League appear here on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Leaderboards for the Venezuelan and Dominican Winter Leagues appear on Tuesday and Thursday, respectively.)
• The last week has seen giraffe-y San Francisco OF/1B Brandon Belt ascend six spots on the DWL SCOUT leaderbaord, to second overall. In his last six games, Belt has posted the following line: 25 PA, 2 HR, 3 BB, 2 K.
• Nationals center-field prospect Eury Perez only had a homer and nine doubles in 465 plate appearances at High-A Potomac this year, but he’s only 21 and has considerable speed (168-for-215, or 78.1%, stealing in four minor-league seasons). Ideally, he’d bring his plate discipline numbers into his 2012 season.
For pitchers, SCOUT is the average of a player’s standard deviations from the DWL mean in (regressed) strikeout and walk rate.
• Atlanta reliever Jairo Asencio, 27, struck out 31.5% of the batters he faced this year in 54.2 innings at Triple-A Gwinnett and has improved upon that mark during his brief stint in the DWL, striking out a full 46.9% of opposing batters. In five November appearances, Ascenio has 12 strikeouts and no walks in 5.1 innings.
• Kansas City minor-league reliever, and leaderboard debutant, Kelvin Herrera posted a 70:15 K:BB in 67.2 innings this season across three levels. His 2.07 GO/AO during that same span suggests a ground-ball rate of approximately 51% or 52%. Herrera, just 21, made his final two appearances of the season at the major-league level, suggesting that he could very we re-appear there in 2012.
Some notes on same:
• BA ranks catcher Devin Mesoraco first overall in the organization. Mesoraco both lowered his strikeout rate (17.5% to 16.6%) and raised his walk rate (8.5% to 10.4%) between Double-A in 2010 and Triple-A in 2011 — although his rate of home runs dropped, too. The Bill James Handbook projects him for a .332 wOBA, which would make him an average or slightly above-average hitter as a catcher — i.e. a valuable thing. With Ramon Hernandez having departed for free agency, Mesoraco is likely to begin 2012 as the Reds starter.
• Shortstop prospect Billy Hamilton, 21, is ranked second. Hamilton became the first minor leaguer to steal 100-plus bases in a decade — which, while pointing to what one might call “significant quick-twitch athleticism,” doesn’t necessarily correlate to baseball skill. For example, the last player to steal 100-plus bases — Chris Morris, in his age-21 season, also in the High-A Midwest League — never made it to the majors.
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