Some Notes on Scott Boras
Agent Scott Boras tells Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post that (a) “a lot of teams” have inquired about free agent 40-year-old catcher Ivan Rodriguez and also that (b) “We have not seen [other free agent Rick Ankiel's] best years.” The former statement is possible: despite the fact that Rodriguez is only a backup at this point, perhaps teams are interested in him as a mentor of young catchers. The latter statement, regarding Ankiel, is — as you’re already thinking in your own head — very likely false. Ankiel is 32 and, while he switched to hitting late-ish in his career (25), his offensive skills already appear to be eroding, as this painstakingly crafted graph suggests:
Boras’s job, however, is not to provide the most complete picture of his clients; it’s to provide the most optimistic picture of his clients, within the bounds of credibility.
To that last point, here’s more Boras, courtesy of Kilgore:
“Rick’s situation is unique,” Boras said. “He’s still a player who is advancing himself in the major leagues… It’s certainly clear the Nats liked what they saw. It’s just pretty hard to find guys who can play center field, who have that arm strength and who can hit for power. Ank’s in great shape. He runs well. His chronological age and what he is as a player are not the same.”
Because he’s been successful at his job over a long-ish span of time, it follows that we can assume that Scott Boras knows where that outer bound of credibility is — at least in terms of how it correlates to his ability to signs clients to the best possible deals. To the ears of the FanGraphs’ reader, Boras’s analysis of Ankiel sounds precisely like someone who’s selling Ankiel. Ankiel may or may not have latent power; regardless of that, it hasn’t translated to baseball power for over three years. Indeed, he does appear to play a decent center field, and he certainly has an excellent arm, but when we weight all these things by how they relate to production, it’s hard to view Rick Ankiel’s ceiling as anything more than league average.
And yet, again, because Boras is successful, we must assume that he’s learned to craft these sorts of analyses in such a way — in addition to whatever materials/arguments he presents on behalf of the player during contract negotiations — in such a way that baseball executives aren’t turned off.
The answer likely has something to do with something Boras’s own personal magnetism — either that, or guns.
SCOUT Leaderboards: Arizona Fall League
Here is the SCOUT batting leaderboard for the Arizona Fall League. SCOUT represents an attempt to derive something meaningful from small samples and is the average of a player’s standard deviations from the AFL 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 SCOUT batting leaderboard remains largely unchanged. It looks like there was a cancelled game on Monday.
For pitchers, SCOUT is the average of a player’s standard deviations from the AFL mean in (regressed) strikeout and walk rate.
|Miguel De Los Santos||TEX||7||4||22.0||90||27.7%||9.3%||1.38||-0.08||0.65|
• Bradley Boxberger falls off the SCOUT leaderboard, but it appears to be due to a shortage of innings. Boxberger has only made one (relief) appearances in November. Still he has a 19:4 K:BB in 11.1 innings.
• Cardinal prospect Tyler Lyons, just 23, made his third consecutive strong start, over which span he’s posted a 15:0 K:BB in 15.0 innings. Lyons didn’t have those sort of results at High-A Palm Beach, against presumably less talented competition. So, it’s a mystery, is what I’m saying.
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