Offseason Notes for November 9th

“I’m just saying, I think Eddie Stanky has a couple-few good seasons left.”

Unsolicited Commentary
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
Batting Leaderboard
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.)

Name Org PA xBB% xK% xHR% BBz Kz HRz SCOUT
Robbie Grossman PIT 124 13.7% 15.4% 4.0% 0.87 0.68 0.51 0.69
Wil Myers KC 91 14.3% 18.4% 3.0% 1.00 0.19 0.05 0.42
Michael Choice OAK 70 10.9% 17.8% 4.2% 0.24 0.29 0.60 0.38
Jefry Marte NYN 81 11.3% 16.3% 3.4% 0.34 0.52 0.25 0.37
Bryce Harper WAS 79 10.4% 17.3% 4.1% 0.14 0.37 0.56 0.36
Joe Panik SF 72 9.8% 13.5% 2.9% 0.00 0.98 -0.01 0.32
Anthony Seratelli KC 62 13.3% 18.1% 2.6% 0.76 0.23 -0.12 0.29
Derek Norris WAS 73 12.2% 17.4% 2.9% 0.54 0.35 -0.02 0.29
Jedd Gyorko SD 74 10.7% 18.6% 3.9% 0.19 0.16 0.43 0.26
Brodie Greene CIN 69 10.4% 16.6% 3.2% 0.14 0.49 0.15 0.26

The SCOUT batting leaderboard remains largely unchanged. It looks like there was a cancelled game on Monday.

Pitching 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
Miguel De Los Santos TEX 7 4 22.0 90 27.7% 9.3% 1.38 -0.08 0.65
Anthony Bass SD 5 4 18.2 81 23.6% 8.2% 0.70 0.17 0.44
Chris Carpenter CHN 9 0 11.2 47 24.0% 8.5% 0.77 0.09 0.43
Tyler Lyons STL 6 6 24.2 103 23.4% 8.4% 0.68 0.12 0.40
Evan Reed FLA 10 0 12.2 49 23.7% 8.9% 0.73 0.01 0.37
Kevin Munson ARI 11 0 11.2 45 22.9% 8.6% 0.59 0.08 0.33
Forrest Snow SEA 7 1 11.2 38 22.5% 8.7% 0.52 0.05 0.29
Aaron Loup TOR 10 0 14.0 60 21.6% 8.1% 0.37 0.17 0.27
Patrick Lehman WAS 9 0 10.2 51 21.5% 8.5% 0.35 0.10 0.23
Gerrit Cole PIT 4 4 12.0 47 21.3% 8.7% 0.32 0.05 0.18

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.

We hoped you liked reading Offseason Notes for November 9th by Carson Cistulli!

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Carson Cistulli has published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

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Carson, do you know why AFL stats aren’t on the player pages? They’re there for 2010. Maybe just need to wait till after the season?