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Offseason Notes

For whatever reason, “Quantitative Baseball Analysis Not Bombs” hasn’t ever really caught on as a slogan.

SCOUT Batting Leaderboard
The Leaderboard
Here is the SCOUT batting leaderboard for the Arizona Fall League. (Click here for more on SCOUT, the metric that’s “sweeping” the “nation.”)

Notable Changes

On Eduardo Escobar
In the week or so that I’ve been running SCOUT, Chicago (AL) shortstop prospect Eduardo Escobar has been firmly ensconced in the top spot. This, of course, does not mean he’s the best hitting prospect in all of the Arizona Fall League. Still, look what he’s done so far: 77 AB, 6 K, 4 HR. Here are some other numbers, ones that require more PAs to become reliable: .377/.422/.688, 4 2B, 4 3B, 6 BB. The most notable thing is that Escobar, until this point, has been regarded as a no-hit defensive wizard. Regard these lines in re Escobar from Baseball America’s Prospect Handbook: “If you didn’t have to hit to get noticed on defense, Escobar would project as a future Gold Glove shortstop. But it’s unclear if he has enough bat to get to the big leagues… Escobar has Omar Vizquel-like range, sure hands and a strong arm.”

SCOUT Pitching Leaderboard
The Leaderboard
Same verse, very similar to the first.

Notable Changes
Tampa prospect, 23-year-old Alexander Cobb moved from eighth to second on the list after doing this versus Phoenix: 14 BF, 4.0 IP, 6 K, 2 BB. He recorded five groundouts against zero flyouts and now has a 3.14 GO/AO ratio in the AFL. That is, in fact, consistent with his minor league performances, as both First Inning and StatCorner have his groundball rates consistently above the 50% mark. Adam Sobsey of Durham, North Carolina’s Indy Week, provided an able account of Cobb’s Triple-A debut (a playoff game) in September. Among other things, Sobsey notes that Cobb “throws four pitches, a four-seam fastball (90-92 mph), a two-seamer (85-86), a curveball and a changeup.”

Another Cistulli Heard From (Rumors and Transactions)
Andy Marte: Now a Free Agent
True fact: Andy Marte once played for every major league team in the same season.

Pittsburgh: Has Maybe $15 Million for Pitching
James McDonald pitched well in his 11 starts (64 IP) for Pittsburgh, posting a 4.03 xFIP over that time. Charlie Morton had the team’s second-best xFIP (4.26) in 79.2 IP (all via start), but an ugly-ugly 7.57 ERA and a tERA (6.02) that, like a Led Zeppelin song, makes you wonder. After that, there’s — what? — Zach Duke and Paul Maholm? That’s not so great. Here’s my advice: sign Jorge de la Rosa, clone him, and then sign all of his clones. That’s just good baseball management right there.

Max St. Pierre: Free Agent
Life-long minor leaguer Max St. Pierre became a free agent. He has a little bit of power and not-horrible contact skills (posting a 16.2% K rate in 147 Triple-A PA last season). CHONE (.235/.284/.375) likes him less than I do — which, you should probably just believe CHONE in this case.

Bryce Harper Watch
Bryce Harper was dormant yesterday.