Offseason Notes for October 24th


Ryan Madson is hailed as a Proven Closer.

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

1. Assorted Headlines
2. SCOUT Batting Leaderboard: Arizona Fall League
3. SCOUT Pitching Leaderboard: Arizona Fall League
4. Prospecting: John Sickels’ Top 20 Prospect Lists for St. Louis and Texas

Assorted Headlines
Amaro and the Search for a Closer
In the event that the team is unable to re-sign Ryan Madson, Ruben Amaro would like to sign an experienced closer, reports Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer — this, despite appearing to fully acknowledge the fact that Madson himself (a) was not an experienced closer and (b) performed admirably (60.2 IP, 2.63 SIERA, 2.94 xFIP, 76 xFIP-) in said role. Amaro continued by stating that the world is flat, while holding a globe in his hands.

The Pirates Have Almost Zero Catchers
While the club has yet to reach a decision, Pirates general manager Neal Huntington indicated Saturday that the team is unlikely to exercise the club options of catchers Ryan Doumit and Chris Snyder, Michael Sanserino of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. Among the alternatives on the current 40-man roster, Jason Jaramillo and Michael McKenry are likely the closest things to major-leaguers — and McKenry actually caught more games for the Pirates (54) than either Doumit (53) or Snyder (30) in 2011. Unfortunately, he (i.e. McKenry) only posted a 0.1 WAR in 201 plate appearances.

Royals’ Giavotella Has Surgery
Royals second baseman Johnny Giavotella had surgery Thursday to repair a torn labrum in his right hip, Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports. He’s expected to be fully recovered and still entirely Italian when the Royals open spring training in February for the 2012 season.

SCOUT Batting Leaderboard
The Leaderboard
Here is the SCOUT batting leaderboard for the Arizona Fall League. SCOUT 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.)

Name Org PA xBB% xK% xHR% BBz Kz HRz SCOUT
Robbie Grossman PIT 77 12.6% 15.3% 3.7% 0.36 0.57 0.35 0.43
Michael Choice OAK 35 11.3% 18.7% 4.1% 0.12 0.07 0.49 0.23
Wil Myers KC 52 14.4% 19.9% 2.9% 0.71 -0.10 0.07 0.23
Jefry Marte NYN 49 12.1% 18.3% 3.3% 0.26 0.14 0.20 0.20
Corban Joseph NYA 51 10.5% 15.3% 3.0% -0.04 0.57 0.07 0.20
Alex Castellanos LAN 34 11.4% 18.2% 3.4% 0.13 0.15 0.25 0.18
Jarek Cunningham PIT 50 10.5% 16.8% 3.3% -0.03 0.35 0.20 0.17
DJ LeMahieu CHN 68 11.5% 16.5% 2.5% 0.17 0.40 -0.11 0.15
Nolan Arenado COL 55 8.7% 14.2% 2.9% -0.37 0.74 0.06 0.14
Derek Norris WAS 37 11.7% 17.8% 2.8% 0.20 0.21 0.00 0.13

Notes
• Despite having just earned enough plate appearances (35) to appear on the AFL leaderboards, Oakland outfield prospect Michael Choice is actually tied with Robbie Grossman for the league lead in home runs, with five. His plate-discipline numbers (5:6 BB:K) are also excellent.
• Cub DJ LeMahieu makes his first appearance on the SCOUT leaderboard today. With Aramis Ramirez likely to depart this offseason, LeMahieu would appear to a candidate for the starting third-base job.

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

Name Org G GS IP BF xK% xBB% Kz BBz SCOUT
Kevin Munson ARI 7 0 7.1 28 24.6% 9.2% 0.56 0.10 0.33
Anthony Bass SD 3 2 12.0 48 23.4% 9.0% 0.42 0.13 0.28
Bradley Boxberger CIN 6 0 7.2 33 24.1% 9.8% 0.50 -0.03 0.23
Chris Carpenter CHN 6 0 7.2 29 23.3% 9.5% 0.41 0.03 0.22
Forrest Snow SEA 4 1 8.2 27 22.9% 9.4% 0.36 0.06 0.21
Nathan Adcock KC 2 2 6.1 27 22.8% 9.8% 0.35 -0.01 0.17
Tyler Cloyd PHI 4 4 14.0 61 21.7% 9.2% 0.23 0.10 0.17
Joe Gardner COL 3 3 7.0 33 22.7% 9.8% 0.34 -0.03 0.16
Evan Reed FLA 5 0 6.1 22 22.1% 9.7% 0.27 0.01 0.14
Sean Gilmartin ATL 4 4 16.0 64 20.6% 9.1% 0.11 0.11 0.11

Notes
No comment on any specific players. Rather, use this space to allow the leaderboards to wash over you.

Prospecting
John Sickels’ Top 20 Prospect Lists for St. Louis and Texas
Prospect maven John Sickels has published his preliminary top-20 lists for the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers. Below are some notable rankings. Comments are mine, and should, in no way, be used to sully the reputation of John Sickels.

Notable Cardinal Prospects
Here’s a pair of notable prospects from Sickels’ Cardinal list.

1. Shelby Miller, RHP, Grade A: The Cardinals’ first-round pick in the 2009 draft, Miller struck out 170 of the 574 (29.6%) batters he faced between High- and Double-A in this, his age-20 season. I own him in the FanGraphs staff ottoneu league and so can you. (Unless he’s already owned, that is — in which case, you can only acquire him via trade.)

4. Kolten Wong, 2B, Grade B+: Playing the entire season as a 20-year-old, Wong slashed .335/.401/.510 (.355 BABIP) this year at Low-A Quad Cities while walking and striking out at almost the same rate (21 BB, 24 K) in 222 plate appearances. ZiPS MLEs had him slashing a major-league equivalent of .272/.321/.381, while OLIVER sees him as a .279/.339/.435 hitter in 2012.

Notable Ranger Prospects
Here’s a pair of notable prospects from Sickels’ Ranger list.

1. Jurickson Profar, SS, Grade A: Played entire season as 18-year-old in South Atlantic league. His ZiPS MLE (.253/.326/.389) is close to Kolten Wong’s, which is remarkable considering that Profar is also two years younger and a shortstop. OLIVER shares in the enthusiasm, projecting Profar to be a league-average player by 2013.

6. Robert Ross, LHP, Grade B: Ross appears to be the sort — small-ish, left-handed, only decent velocity — who won’t particularly excite anyone, but who will also become a serviceable major-league where higher-ceiling prospects fail to materialize. Per StatCorner, his ground-ball rates have been above average. Also, he doesn’t walk people.



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