Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Offseason Notes.
Baltimore Nearing Deal with Korean Reliever Chong
The Orioles are closing in on signing right-handed reliever Chong Tae-Hyon out of South Korea, MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli reports. Chong, 33, has pitched in the Korea Baseball Organization since 2001 and has made appearances with the South Korean National Team. Chong posted a 39:28 K:BB in 52.2 innings in 2011, but likely generates a number of ground balls by virtue of a submarine delivery. Below is some footage of Chong against China (starting at about the 4:08 mark). Warning: dope beats included.
Spring Training Schedules Available
A number of spring-training schedules have been released in the past week-plus. To the best of my knowledge, Spring Training Online (linked above) is the best resource for that sort of thing. (Note: they pay me no money to say that, but I would gladly take any that they’re offering.)
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.)
• Free-agent utility infielder Luis Rodriguez has demonstrated the best plate discipline in the VWL by a wide margin, demonstrating regressed walk and strikeout rates that are both a standard deviation better than the VWL mean.
• Less than a week after being designated for assignment by the Indians, infielder Luis Valbuena, about to turn 26, makes his first appearance on the SCOUT batting leaderboard for the VWL.
• Detroit minor-leaguer Justin Henry is 6-foot-3 and has only home run in his last three minor-league seasons (1345 plate appearances). That seems improbable.
For pitchers, SCOUT is the average of a player’s standard deviations from the VWL mean in (regressed) strikeout and walk rate.
• Since our most recent look at the VWL, Renyel Pinto has made two starts, to this effect: 13.1 IP, 13 K, 4 BB, 0 HR. He has a 1.40 GO/AO in his 43.2 VWL innings — i.e., approximately 44% or 45%.
• The internet reveals that 35-year-old left-hander Les Walrond has played in Japan, Korea, the independent Atlantic League, and space; however, he finished the season at Double-A Reading.
Projecting: ZiPS for Los Angeles (AL)
Dan Szymborski has published his ZiPS projections for the Los Angeles Angels. Below are some of the notable ones. (All numbers assume major league competition. OPS+ and ERA+ are park-adjusted.)
Mike Trout, CF, 20: .267/.338/.414, 39/53 SB, 106 OPS+
Accounting for both offense and defense, ZiPS regards Trout as the best player on the Angels right now.
Jeff Mathis, C, 29: .205/.258/.313, 57 OPS+
There are four catchers in the organization — Hank Conger (89 OPS+), Bobby Wilson (78), Cole Armstrong (71), and Orlando Mercado (66) — projected by ZiPS to post a higher OPS+ than Mathis.
Peter Bourjos, CF, 25: .261/.309/.412, 30/39 SB, 96 OPS+
Bourjos slashed .271/.327/.438 (.338 BABIP) in 2011, nor is this projection a great departure from that line — basically, a couple fewer hits. Bourjos is one of the few players with an EX (i.e. Excellent) defensive rating: according to Szymborski, only about 2% of the 1100 players rated in 2011 received EX defensive ratings. Bourjos has posted a 19.1 UZR/150 through 1719.0 center-field innings.
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