Offseason Notes: Yanks’ Brackman Now Free Agent

Andrew Brackman, who signed a major-league deal out of NC State, is no longer a Yankee.

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

1. Assorted Headlines
2. SCOUT Leaderboards: Arizona Fall League
3. Prospecting: Baseball America’s Top 10 Atlanta Prospects

Assorted Headlines
Yankees Decline Option on Former First-Rounder Brackman
The New York Yankees declined the 2012 option on 25-year-old right-hander Andrew Brackman‘s contract,’s Bryan Hoch reports. Brackman signed a four-year, $4.55 million deal after being taken 30th overall in the 2007 draft. Though generally considered a top-ish propsect (he was ranked as the 92nd overall prospect by Baseball America before 2009 and 78th overall before 2011), Brackman missed all of 2008 after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow, and walked and struck out 75 batters a piece in 2011. He’s now a free agent, although it wouldn’t be shocking to see him sign a minor-league deal with New York. (Read Mike Axisa’s analysis of the Brackman Situation here.)

Chapman Misses AFL Start with Sore Shoulder
Aroldis Chapman was scratched from his Arizona Fall League start on Monday because of a sore left shoulder,’s Mark Sheldon reports. The Reds’ left-hander has made two relief appearances and was expected to play in the Puerto Rican Winter League next month, as he prepares for a starting role ahead of the 2012 season. Sheldon talked to Reds GM Walt Jocketty, who indicated that the situation creates some uncertainty for the time being.

Dodgers to Purposely Sign Rivera
The Dodgers are closing in on a deal that would see them purposely sign Juan Rivera to a one-year contract including a team option for 2013, Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times reports. “We’re just as shocked as you are,” both Rivera and Dodger representatives sang in unison as Rivera’s agent worked out the details of the agreement with the team. “You’re sure this is in dollars,” asked a confused Rivera during the negotiations, “and not in yen or lire or something?” In fact, Rivera’s production in LA was decent: in 246 plate appearances, the 1B/OF slashed .274/.333/.406 (.299 BABIP) 106 wRC+. Should the contract fall in the $2-3 million range*, it wouldn’t represent much of a reach for Los Angeles.

*It appears to be $4 million, actually. At first blush, that seems like an overpay. At second blush, too.

SCOUT Leaderboards: Arizona Fall League
Batting Leaderboard
Here is the SCOUT batting leaderboard for the AFL. 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.)

Name Org PA xBB% xK% xHR% BBz Kz HRz SCOUT
Robbie Grossman PIT 110 13.9% 15.3% 3.8% 0.86 0.71 0.42 0.66
Wil Myers KC 81 14.3% 19.1% 3.0% 0.94 0.11 0.11 0.39
Jefry Marte NYN 62 11.8% 16.9% 3.2% 0.41 0.45 0.18 0.35
Jedd Gyorko SD 62 11.3% 17.6% 3.5% 0.30 0.34 0.33 0.32
Michael Choice OAK 66 10.1% 18.4% 4.2% 0.06 0.21 0.60 0.29
Joe Panik SF 59 10.4% 14.7% 2.6% 0.13 0.80 -0.09 0.28
Nolan Arenado COL 84 7.2% 14.0% 3.7% -0.55 0.90 0.38 0.25
Anthony Seratelli KC 48 12.5% 18.8% 2.7% 0.55 0.16 -0.05 0.22
Logan Schafer MIL 73 9.7% 15.5% 2.8% -0.02 0.67 0.00 0.22
Bryce Harper WAS 65 10.1% 18.5% 3.5% 0.07 0.19 0.31 0.19

Logan Schafer enters the top-10 batter list for the first time this fall. The 25-year-old Brewer center-field prospect has generally displayed excellent contact numbers in the minor leagues, striking out in only 10.6% of his plate appearances between Double- and Triple-A this season, while walking in nearly as many (8.4%).
• Super prospects Gary Brown (Giants) and Mike Trout (Angels) find themselves perilously close to the bottom of the SCOUT batting tables, at -0.20 and -0.41, respectively — or, 66th and 70th of the league’s 71 qualified hitters. The pair, teammates with Bryce Harper on the Scottsdale Scorpions, have posted a combined 5:30 BB:K in 121 plate appearances. While development is more important than performance at this stage, that hasn’t stopped Harper from placing himself among the early leaders in AFL play.

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
Bradley Boxberger CIN 8 0 10.1 43 26.2% 8.7% 0.86 -0.01 0.43
Anthony Bass SD 4 3 16.0 66 23.8% 8.0% 0.54 0.15 0.35
Kevin Munson ARI 10 0 10.2 40 24.0% 8.2% 0.56 0.10 0.33
Miguel De Los Santos TEX 6 3 17.0 71 25.8% 9.4% 0.82 -0.16 0.33
Chris Carpenter CHN 8 0 10.2 41 23.9% 8.4% 0.54 0.06 0.30
Evan Reed FLA 8 0 10.2 42 23.8% 8.5% 0.53 0.02 0.28
Forrest Snow SEA 6 1 10.2 35 23.3% 8.5% 0.47 0.04 0.26
Aaron Loup TOR 9 0 13.1 57 21.7% 7.9% 0.24 0.16 0.20
Gerrit Cole PIT 4 4 12.0 47 21.7% 8.5% 0.24 0.04 0.14
Austin Fleet SF 7 0 10.0 42 21.0% 8.2% 0.15 0.11 0.13

• Recent first-overall draft pick Gerrit Cole makes his debut on the leaderboard today. The 21-year-old Pirate prospect has been commendably even in his first four AFL starts, striking out two or three more than he’s walked each time.
• Meanwhile, although he’s currently got a better ERA than Cole (1.62 vs. 3.00), second-overall pick Danny Hultzen’s peripherals have been less impressive overall. That said, he has posted a 10:1 K:BB in his last two starts (7.2 IP), which is impressive considering the 2:3 K:BB he put up in his first three starts (9.0 IP).

Prospecting: Baseball America on Atlanta
Baseball America’s Top 10 Prospect List for Atlanta
Baseball America has published its top-10 prospect list for the Atlanta Braves.

There’s a lot of similarity between BA’s list and the preliminary one released by John Sickels a couple weeks ago. Both sources notes that Arodys Vizcaino — rated second overall in each case — might not be a starter in the near future, which immediately limits his value. Meanwhile, Andrelton Simmons makes a lot of contact and is likely already a +5-10 run major-league shortstop. Personally, I’d flip-flop them; then again, I’m a notorious flip-flopper.

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