Offseason Notes for November 8th

I’m sorry, were you not expecting a terrifying monkey logo?

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

1. Assorted Headlines
2. SCOUT Leaderboards: Venezuelan Winter League
3. Prospecting: BA’s Top-10 Lists for Miami, New York NL, Philadelphia

Assorted Headlines
All the nerd that’s fit to print.

Cubs Name Saber-Friendly Bohringer Director of Pro Scouting
The Cubs have added Joe Bohringer as director of pro scouting,’s Carrie Muskat reports. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because he (i.e. Bohringer) participated in both of our live events in Arizona this past March, when he was still scouting for the Diamondbacks. To say that Bohringer is “saber-friendly” is just another way of saying that he’s both curious and open to the best possible information.

Cuban Defector Cespedes to Become Free Agent
Cuban center fielder Yoenis Cespedes, who defected mid-summer, expects soon to be cleared for free agency, reports Jeff Passan of Yahoo. Cespedes, who’s reported to be 26, is reported to be the best thing since sliced bread — which is notable under the circumstances, considering that sliced bread was the last thing the US exported to Cuba before the trade embargo*.

*Denotes fact that you needn’t look up or ask your history teacher about.

Marlins to Meet with Every Single Free Agent
The Miami Marlins are meeting with free agent left-hander Mark Buehrle on Tuesday and shortstop Jose Reyes Wednesday, reports Juan Rodriguez of the Sun Sentinel. There’ve also been reports of the team pursuing both Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols. FanGraphs has learned that the team might be interested in Boomer Esiason and Phil Simms, as well.

SCOUT Leaderboards: Venezuelan Winter League
Batting Leaderboard
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 Arizona Fall League appear here on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Leaderboards for the Venezuelan and Dominican Winter Leagues appear on Tuesday and Thursday, respectively.)

Name Org PA xBB% xK% xHR% BBz Kz HRz SCOUT
Luis Rodriguez FA 65 14.5% 13.8% 1.5% 0.72 0.72 -0.20 0.41
Bryan LaHair CHN 82 12.6% 22.4% 3.7% 0.40 -0.59 0.91 0.24
Gregor Blanco WAS 97 14.8% 19.2% 1.9% 0.78 -0.10 0.03 0.24
Caleb Gindl MIL 78 13.8% 19.6% 2.4% 0.60 -0.16 0.26 0.24
Seth Bynum WAS 58 11.8% 18.0% 2.5% 0.26 0.08 0.32 0.22
Darwin Perez LAA 52 12.1% 15.4% 1.5% 0.32 0.47 -0.16 0.21
Luis Jimenez SEA 93 11.0% 19.0% 2.9% 0.12 -0.08 0.54 0.20
Josh Satin NYN 58 15.8% 22.0% 2.2% 0.96 -0.53 0.15 0.19
Alberto Gonzalez SD 65 9.5% 15.8% 2.5% -0.15 0.41 0.30 0.19
Kole Calhoun LAA 84 13.0% 19.5% 2.3% 0.46 -0.14 0.24 0.19

• Recently outrighted — and current free agent — utility infielder Luis Rodriguez retains his spot atop the SCOUT batting leaderboard for the VWL. Rodriguez has struck out only five times while walking 15 in ca. 65 plate appearances. He’s likely available for just a minor-league deal this offseason. I don’t know anything, personally, about his character, but his ability suggests that he has the potential to provide a nice return on investment for the team that signs him.
• Milwaukee outfield prospect Caleb Gindl, 23, makes his debut on the leaderboard today. He hasn’t received much attention for his tools, but had a totally decent season — .307/.390/.472 (.357 BABIP), 11.7% BB, 17.3% K, 108 wOBA+ — in his age-22 season at Triple-A and was among the youngest hitters in the Pacific Coast League.

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

Name Org G GS IP BF xK% xBB% Kz BBz SCOUT
Dylan Owen NYN 6 4 24.2 99 23.4% 8.6% 0.89 0.17 0.53
Chad Reineke CIN 5 5 24.2 111 22.0% 8.4% 0.67 0.21 0.44
Deunte Heath CHA 5 5 23.1 100 22.5% 9.3% 0.75 0.01 0.38
Yohan Pino TOR 10 0 15.2 64 21.5% 8.6% 0.60 0.16 0.38
Josh Schmidt NYA 4 4 21.2 90 23.1% 9.8% 0.85 -0.10 0.37
Alex Herrera MEX 5 5 30.2 124 21.1% 8.5% 0.54 0.18 0.36
Scot Drucker CPBL 4 4 16.1 78 22.4% 9.5% 0.74 -0.03 0.36
Josh Wilkie WAS 10 0 10.1 41 21.4% 9.0% 0.59 0.07 0.33
Jarrett Grube SEA 3 3 14.1 55 20.4% 8.8% 0.44 0.12 0.28
Enrique Gonzalez DET 10 0 12.0 49 21.9% 9.8% 0.66 -0.10 0.28

Right-hander Scot Drucker, 29, has pitched in the Oakland and Detroit organizations, but spent (at least part of) 2011 with the Lamigo Monkeys, a Taiwanese team in the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL). He actually writes pretty extensively about his international baseballing experiences at his MLB blog.

Prospecting: Baseball America on the Marlins, Mets, and Phils
Baseball America has published its top-10 prospect lists for Miami, New York NL, and Philadelphia — all three of which (lists) are accessible via the site top-10 prospect landing page. (Non-subscribers can click on a team logo to see the relevant top-10 list sans scouting reports.)

Some notes on the lists:

• BA’s editors rank right-hander Zack Wheeler, acquired by the Mets for Carlos Beltran near the 2011 trade deadline, first overall in the Met organizaion. The scouting video below, courtesy Baseball Instinct, documents his full arsenal, which includes a moving fastball in the mid-90s and a curve in the mid- to high-70s that he can back-foot to left-handed batters (as he does around the 5:30 mark).
• Philadelphia No. 1 prospect Trevor May struck out 208 batters (32.0%) in just 144.1 innings as a 21-year-old at High-A Clearwater this year.
• International signing and third-base prospect Maikel Franco walked almost as much as he struck out as an 18-year-old at Philly’s short-season affiliate Williamsport.

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