Offseason Notes for November 29th

The Baltimore Orioles wanna Schoop.

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

1. Assorted Headlines
2. Prospecting: John Sickels’ Top-20 List for Baltimore
3. Crowdsourcing Broadcasters: Atlanta Television

Assorted Headlines
Twins Signs Seven
Matt Eddy’s most recent Minor League Transaction report for Baseball America reveals that Minnesota has been quite active of late in signing minor leaguers. Almost all the signings have purpose and upside: outfielder Wilkin Ramirez has had contact issues but has both power and speed, is only 26, and can likely play an average center field; former Cincinnati prospect, right-hander Daryl Thompson, is also just 26 and has a history of success; former Rocky Sam Deduno has had problems with control, but has also posted ground-ball rates in the high-50s throughout his minor-league career.

Mariners Re-Sign Rodriguez
That same report from Eddy notes that Seattle has re-signed infielder Luis Rodriguez. Rodriguez’ line of .197/.299/.333 (.219 BABIP), 76 wRC+, is decidedly unimpressive, but, as of our last look at the Venezuelan Winter League, he had a comfortable lead atop the SCOUT batting leaderboard and, more generally, he’s shown good control of the strike zone with enough power to deter pitchers from just grooving it.

Toronto Acquires Valbuena from Cleveland
The Indians traded infielder Luis Valbuena to the Blue Jays in exchange for cash considerations,’s Gregor Chisolm reports — or, I should say, reported three days ago. In any case, we haven’t mentioned it in these pages — except on Monday’s edition of the podcast — and Valbuena is an interesting case, with the capacity to play all around the infield (although stretched at short, probably) and a decent minor-league bat (an MLE of .257/.319/.398, .316 wOBA, in 2011 per OLIVER). The problem has been hitting at the major-league level, where Valbuena owns a line of .226/.286/.344 (.272 BABIP), 66 wRC+, in 806 plate appearances. (Note: our man David Goleblahblahblah has some thoughts on Valbuena’s fantasy value this morning over at RotoGraphs.)

Prospecting: John Sickels on Baltimore
John Sickels has published his preliminary top-20 list for the Baltimore Orioles.

Here are some notes on same:

• Sickels’ first two picks for the O’s — shortstop Manny Machado and 2011’s fourth-overall draft pick, right-hander Dylan Bundy — likely won’t surprise readers. The third name on Sickels’ list, though, might be less familiar: 20-year-old infielder Jonathan Schoop. Schoop hit 13 home runs in 567 plate appearances between the (Low-A) Sally and (High-A) Carolina Leagues — this, while posting only a 13.4% strikeout rate. The internet suggests that he has the skill to play short, but that maybe his body will move him off the position.

• If Sickels has anything like a “sleeper” prospect for Baltimore, it’s probably outfielder Glynn Davis. Of Davis, Sickels writes:

Bold ranking for me, but there is something about this guy I like. Local undrafted talent signed for $100,000. Blazing speed, somewhat raw at the plate but will already take some walks, and 6-3, 170 body offers power projection. NY-P sources were very impressed.

Davis, who turns 20 on December 7th, hit .271/.337/.337 (.337 BABIP), 100 wRC+, in 286 plate appearances at short-season Aberdeen, while also going 23-for-32 on stolen-base attempts.

• First baseman Joe Mahoney, whom I featured for last year’s Second Opinion, is 19th on Sickels’ list. Mahoney hit decently (.289/.344/.502, .349 BABIP, 128 wRC+) in 355 plate appearances at Double-A Bowie, but he was 24 and his strikeout rate actually increased by 5.0 percentage points.

Crowdsourcing Broadcasters: Atlanta Television
This offseason, FanGraphs is asking readers to rate the broadcast teams for all 30 major-league clubs. (Click here for more on this project.)

Image courtesy Joey Gardner, Minor League Baseball

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