Tuesday, November 21, 2006


The Florida Marlins Know Pitching. Evaluating the Marlins Recent Trades

The Florida Marlins made two trades involving pitchers on Monday. On paper, you have to say that the Marlins got the better of both deals. Here's a quick evaluation.


ADAM BOSTICK - 24 years old. Bostick has yet to pitch at the major league level. In 495 minor league innings his record is 9.8 K's and 4.6 BB's. An OK 2.1 K to BB ratio, but that's a high level of walks. The lowest ERA he has ever recorded for a full year was 3.52. Would not expect too much out of him at the Major League level, but he is a lefty.

JASON VARGAS - will be 24 years old this year. In 237 minor league innings, his record is 8.6 K's and 2.8 BB's. That's an excellent ratio of 3.1 to 1. However, in AAA last year he was awful, pitching to a 7.43 ERA in 69 innings. He has also pitched 116 major league innings and has likewise been awful, going 6.5 K's and 4.7 BB's, with a 5.27 ERA. Prior to '06, his minor league record was pretty good at 9.4 K's and 2.5 BB's, all at AA or less. What to make of him? He did have an injury last year, and he did pitch very well in the low minors. I'd say he can pitch on the big league level, but doubt he will ever be a star.

MATT LINDSTROM - will be 27 years old. Has never pitched above AA. His record is 436 innings/ 7.9 K's/ 3.9 BB's. A ratio of 2 to 1. Last year in AA Binghamton, Lindstrom's record was 40 innings/ 12.2 K's/ 3.2 BB's / 3.76 ERA, all in relief. That was the first year Lindstrom pitched entirely as a reliever. I'd say he can definitely pitch in the Majors as a reliever, with some success. His K rate is just too high to ignore, and his K to BB ratio was 3.8. That is the makings of a successful reliever.

HENRY OWENS - will be 28 this year. He pitched 4 innings for the Mets in '06, but other than that he has never pitched above AA. However, his record in the minors is pretty good, 248 innings/ 12.4 K's/ 3.9 BB's. That's a 3.2 K to BB ratio. Excellent. At AA Binghamton this year, Owens pitched brilliantly, 40 innings/ 16.7 K's/ 2.3 BB's/ 20 saves/ 1.58 ERA. That K rate is not a misprint. His K to BB ratio was off the charts at 7.3. He's old to be a prospect, but Owens can obviously pitch at the big league level, and probably with a lot of success. The Marlins may very well just plug him into the closer role this year, and I'd say there's a very good chance he can handle it.


The Marlins gave up a mediocre prospect in Bostick, and a question mark starter in Vargas. In return they got back two older minor league relievers who can flat out throw some cheeze. Owens has all the makings of a big-time big league closer. Unless Vargas turns into a decent starter at the big league level, the Marlins got the better of this deal.

Marlins send CHRIS RESOP to the Angels for KEVIN GREGG

CHRIS RESOP - will be 24 years old. Resop's minor league record is, 152 innings/ 10.8 K's/ 2.5 BB's/ 39 saves. A great K to BB ratio of 4.3. In AAA Albuquerque in 06, he was 49 innings/ 7.9 K's/ 2.8 BB's/ 3.81 ERA. Not bad numbers in a tough AAA park and league. Resop has also pitched in the majors, going 38 innings/ 6.3 K's/ 6.3 BB's/ 5.70 ERA. Not a great record, but he showed improvement last year. He has talent, and will develop into a major league reliever, and possibly a closer, if given the chance.

KEVIN GREGG - will be 29 years old this year. Gregg is already an established major league reliever. His record to date is 255 innings/ 7.8 K's/ 3.0 BB's/ 4.31 ERA. A nice 2.6 K to BB ratio. So Gregg is already a decent reliever at the big league level. There is nothing in his minor league record to indicate he is ever going to be any better than he is.


The Marlins gave up a relatively young reliever who has demonstrated great talent at the lower minor league levels, but has yet to show that talent at the big league level. In return they get back a proven major league reliever with a decent track record. Over time, Resop might develop into a better reliever than Gregg, but for now the Marlins come out ahead on this trade because they traded might be for a proven commodity.


The Florida Marlins dealt a mediocre minor league prospect (Bostick), and two minor leaguers who have demonstrated very good talent at the lower minor league levels, (Vargas and Resop), but have yet to show that talent at the major league level. In return, they got back a decent major league proven reliever,(Gregg), a minor league reliever who K'd over 17 batters per 9 innings (that's like little league, not AA) last year, (Owens), and a minor leaguer who also had a year that demonstrated he might be ready for the bigs (Lindstrom).

You never know how trades will work out, but from a statistical point of view, the Marlins got the better of these two trades.

Saturday, November 18, 2006


Ranking the Free Agent Hitters for 2007

Rankings based on players ages, combined with their average offensive seasons, and their lifetime batting averages, on-base percentages and slugging percentages.

Say what you want about the free agent pitchers this year, but to me the hitters are an even worse collective bunch of players. Question marks abound with all of these players. Most of them will get contracts, and most will never live up to them.


1) ALFONSO SORIANO - 30 years old. Average season is 35 HR's, 94 RBI's, 105 Runs, with a .280 Avg, .325 OBP and .510 SLG. Walked 67 times last year, which was more than double his previous high. He's a low on-base player, which he compensates somewhat for with his speed. Be interesting to see what kind of a deal he gets. Personally, I think the 10 million he got last year is just about right. Loses a lot of appeal to fantasy players this year because he is no longer eligible at 2B. Nobody he has been associated with in the past seems real interested in him, Yankees, Rangers, Willie Randolph (Mets), except for the Nationals. Says something to me.

2) J. D. DREW - 29 years old. Average season is 27 HR's, 86 RBI's, 102 Runs, with a .286 Avg, .393 OBP and .512 SLG. Has only had one year with 500 at-bats. He's a better offensive player than Soriano, but just misses too much time with injuries to be ranked higher. Give him the same number of AB's as Soriano each year, and his seasonal numbers would be much better. They are not far behind now, even though he has missed substantial amounts of playing time. He's a fine statistical player, when he actually plays. The missed time leaves lots of questions.

3) CARLOS LEE - 30 years old. Average season is 30 HR's, 105 RBI's, 97 Runs, with a .286 Avg, .340 OBP and .495 SLG. He's about even with Soriano as an offensive player, except for the speed.

4) MOISES ALOU - 40 years old. Average Season is 28 HR's, 108 RBI's, 93 Runs, with a .301 Avg, .368 OBP and .516 SLG. He's getting up there in age, but still producing good numbers.

5) CLIFF FLOYD - 33 years old. average season is 24 HR's, 89 RBI's, 86 Runs, with a .279 avg, .359 OBP and .488 SLG. Would rank higher but for all his injury problems. Seems to get hurt every year.

6) DARREN ERSTAD - 32 years old. Average season is 14 HR's, 77 RBI's, 100 Runs, with a .286 Avg, .341 OBP and .416 SLG. Might be able to put up better numbers playing in a better hitters park and a better hitting division.

7) PRESTON WILSON - 32 years old. Average Season is 28 HR's, 99 RBI's, 85 Runs, with a .264 Avg, .330 OBP and .471 SLG. He's a low on-base player, with some pop. Another guy unlikely to get a long term deal anywhere.

8) JUAN PIERRE - 29 years old. Average season is 2 HR's, 46 RBI's, 98 Runs, with a .303 Avg, .350 OBP and .377 SLG. Speed is his game, and he still has it, having stolen 58 bases last year.

9) KENNY LOFTON - 39 years old. Average season is 10 HR's, 61 RBI'd, 119 Runs, with a .299 Avg, .372 OBP and .423 SLG. Better offensive player than Pierre, but much older. He still has speed too, as he stole 32 bases last year for the Dodgers. Might squeeze another year or two out of him, if you're lucky.

10) DAVE ROBERTS - 34 years old. Average season is 5 HR's, 44 RBI's, 87 Runs, with a .270 Avg, .344 OBP and .371 SLG. Another guy who still has his speed, with 49 SB's last year. Has never had 500 AB's in a year.

11) LUIS GONZALEZ - 39 years old. Average season is 23 HR's, 93 RBI's, 92 Runs, with a .284 Avg, .368 OBP, and .484 SLG. His production is down from what he used to do, but he wasn't awful last year.

Four OF's Who are Strictly Part-Timers:

FRANK CATALANATTO - has never had 500 AB's in any year, and in most years is far short of that. Have seen him play enough to say that he'd disappoint anyone who thinks he can be a full time player. He's not a bad player, but he's a part-timer.

DAVID DELLUCCI - very similar player to Catalanatto, he too has never gotten 500 AB's in any given year. Both these guys make great platoon players.

SHANNON STEWART - has pretty good career numbers, but his slugging percentage has fallen off the table the last couple of years. Have to be leary of him.

TROT NIXON - been a decent player, and used to kill righties, but his SLG was just .394 last year, and he has not played full-time in years.


1) AUBREY HUFF - 29 years old. Average season is 26 HR's, 91 RBI's, 81 Runs, with a .285 Avg, .342 OBP and .477 SLG. Ranks this high because he's still only 29. He has a better chance of maintaining his decent level of production than do the older free agents. Obviously is never going to be the star player some predicted he would be. If the Yankees trade A-Rod, he would make an interesting 3B candidate in the Bronx.

2) RAY DURHAM - 34 years old. Average season is 17 HR's, 72 RBI's, 107 Runs, with a .281 Avg, .354 OBP and .443 SLG. Best 2B available this year. Still got good wheels and power. Would not give him a long-term contract.

3) JULIO LUGO - 31 years old. Average season is 12 HR's, 59 RBI's, 92 Runs, with a .277 Avg, .340 OBP and .402 SLG. Has some speed, he's an OK player, but nothing really to open the checkbook for.

4) RON BELLIARD - 31 years old. Average season is 12 HR's, 68 RBI's, 82 Runs, with a .272 Avg, .338 OBP and .411 SLG. Very similar offensive player to Lugo. Edge Lugo has on him is that he can play SS everyday.

Four Infielders to be Leary of:

ADAM KENNEDY - only 30, but he has little power and doesn't get on base that well. Getting out of Anahiem might help his stats some, but not much upside here.

TODD WALKER - not a bad offensive player, but can't seem to hold down a full-time job anywhere. Have to be leary.

MARK LORRETTA - he's over 35 now, never had any power. He's an OK offensive player, but at his age, you must be leary.

AARON BOONE - would only get consideration from me if I thought he could play SS for me everyday.


1) NOMAR GARCIAPARRA - 33 years old. Average season is 29 HR's, 113 RBI's, 115 Runs, with a .318 Avg, .367 OBP and .540 SLG. Had a pretty good year for the Dodgers, but still battled injuries, which have plagued his career for years now. Unlikely to ever get back to what his production was earlier in his career. Far too many rumors about him to trust he'll ever be really productive again for any long period of time.

2) BARRY BONDS - 42 years old. Average season is 42 HR's, 109 RBI's, 122 Runs, with a .299 Avg, .443 OBP and .608 SLG. Can't really run anymore, so he needs to go to the AL and be a DH. He's a risk because his numbers could flatline at any time given his age and problems, but he produced good last year in the second half.

3) CRAIG WILSON - 29 years old. Average seaosn is 24 HR's, 70 RBI's and 71 Runs, with a .265 Avg, .354 OBP, and a .480 SLG. He's not a bad offensive player, especially against lefties. If nobody makes a run at him, look for the sharpies like the Twins or the A's to sign him relatively cheap.

Four 1B/DH's to be Leary of:

KEVIN MILLAR - he was better in '06 than '05, but he's over 35 and has little speed. Orioles were obviously dissappointed with him.

SHEA HILLENBRAND - low OBP player with absolutley no speed. Seems to think he's a lot better than he is. I'd only take him at a bargain basement price.

RYAN KLESO - SLG has been down every year since '02. If I thought he was healthy I'd give him a shot at the right price. He's been a much better offensive player than either Millar or Hillenbrand.

PHIL NEVIN - too many injuries.


1) BENGIE MOLINA - 32 years old. Average season is 16 HR's, 81 RBI's and 57 Runs, with a .275 Avg, .310 OBP, and a .407 SLG. Only ranked first because you can be reasonably sure he could hold down the job for a few years.

2) MIKE PIAZZA - 38 years old. Average season is 37 HR's, 114 RBI's, 90 Runs, with a .309 Avg, .379 OBP, and a .551 SLG. Actually SLG .501 last year in SD, which was the first time he was over .500 in 5 years. Great offensive player nearing the end.

3) MIKE LEIBERTHAL - 34 years old. Average season is 21 HR's, 84 RBI's, 73 Runs, with a .275 Avg, .338 OBP, and a .450 SLG. Injuries are the problem with him. If you sign him, better have a backup plan. Decent offensive player if healthy.

One Catcher to Avoid:

ROD BARAJAS - lifetime OBP of .282, with just a .240 batting average. And he played in one of the best hitters parks in baseball!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Ranking the Free Agent Relief Pitchers for 2007

Rankings based on five key stats. Age, Percentage of LERA, K and BB rates, and K to BB ratios. Like with the Starters, any relievers with a career Percentage of LERA that is above the league average are not mentioned, as such pitchers are rarely worth signing.

Guillermo Mota has been left out, due to his Steroid suspension.


1) KIETH FOULKE - 34 years old, has pitched to 76% of the LERA in career. 8.3 K rate and 2.2 BB rate, 3.30 ERA in career. His K to BB rate is superb at 3.8. After a bad 2005, he pitched better, but not great in 2006. Been battling injuries last two years. If he's healthy, he's a fine closer. Have always felt that his funny style of holding the ball up and then releasing it, helps him greatly to slightly confuse the hitters. It looks just a little bit harder to pick up his release point, and as a pitcher that is a huge advantage. An extra split second of advantage can be the difference between a successful pitcher and a mediocre or bad one.

2) ERIC GAGNE - 30 years old. Pitched to 80% of LERA in career. 10.4 K's, 3.0 BB's, 3.27 ERA. Has a tremedous K to BB rate of 3.4. Obviously, health is the main issue with him. If he gets back to what he was, he's the best closer in the game. It's unlikely he'll ever be that again, but just how good can he be? Huge question mark.

3) OCTAVIO DOTEL - 32 years old, has pitched to 83% of LERA in career. 10.8 K's, 4.0 BB's, with a 3.75 ERA. K to BB rate of 2.7. This guy can pitch and be a very effective closer if he's healthy. Worth a gamble at the right price.

4) EDDIE GUARDADO - 36 years old. Pitched to 91% of LERA in career. 7.9 K's, 3.3 BB's and 4.27 ERA. K to BB rate of 2.4. Has had some pretty good years, and some not so great. Was lousy for Seattle in 2006, but great for Cincy. Strictly a lower end stopper at this stage.

5) JOE BOROWSKI - 35 years old, has pitched to 91% of LERA in career. 7.4 K's and 3.7 BB's, with a 3.87 career ERA. K to BB ratio is 2.0. Had two very good years with the Cubs, and one good year with the Marlins. Another low end stopper, maybe the Rutgers product can ride the amazing Scarlet Knights college football wave into a nice contract.

6) DANYS BAEZ - 29 years old. Has pitched to 85% of the LERA in career. 7.1 K's and 3.7 BB's, with a 3.79 ERA in career. K to BB ratio of 1.9. He had one really good closer year in Tampa. If you are desperate for a closer at a cheap price, he might foot the bill, if you're lucky.


1) CHAD BRADFORD - 32 years old, has pitched to 76% of LERA in career. 6.2 K's and 2.5 BB's, with a 3.40 ERA in career. K to BB ratio of 2.5. He had a fine year for the Mets in 2006, and is a quality reliever. Like his onetime teammate Foulke, he gains an advantage on the hitters with his funny delivery. His knuckle scraping delivery motion must be harder to pick up than a normal delivery. That is a pretty low percentage of LERA he has for his career. Could close successfully for somebody, if given the chance.

2) DAVID RISKE - 30 years old. Pitched to 81% of LERA in career. 8.6 K's and 3.8 BB's, with a 3.59 ERA in career. K to BB rate of 2.3. Quality reliever who could probably be a low price closer for somebody.

3) JUSTIN SPEIER - 33 years old, has pitched to 84% of LERA in career. 7.8 K's and 3.1 BB's, with a 4.02 ERA in career. K to BB rate of 2.5. Has pitched very well the last two years out of the pen in Toronto. Still another guy who could probably close for somebody.

4) STEVE KLINE - 34 years old. Pitched to 79% of LERA in career. 6.7 K's and 3.9 BB's, with a 3.42 ERA in career. K to BB rate is just 1.7. His low career Percentage of LERA probably a product of being a lefty facing lefties. Looks like the best lefty specialist available this year via free agency.

5) RAY KING - 32 years old. Pitched to 76% of LERA in career. 6.2 K's and 3.8 BB's, with 3.28 ERA in career. K to BB rate is just 1.6. Very similar to Kline, with the same comment about his Percentage of LERA. Might get this lefty specialist cheap this year, because he pitched in Colorado last year, with resulting stats being inflated from what he normally does.

5) ROBERTO HERNANDEZ - 42 years old. Has pitched to 74% of LERA in career. 8.0 K's and 3.8 BB's, with a 3.32 ERA in career. K to BB ratio of 2.1. Has a fine career Percentage of LERA and he has pitched well the last two years, but he's well over 40. Otherwise, he'd be near the top of the list.

6) JAMIE WALKER - 35 years old, pitched to 89% of LERA in career. 6.7 K's and 2.2 BB's, with a 3.95 ERA in career. K to BB ratio is a fine 3.1. He's a lefty and is therefore going to get offers. He's a much better reliever than say, Ron Villone.

7) MIKE STANTON - 39 years old, has pitched to 87% of LERA in career. 7.3 K's and 3.4 BB's, with a 3.81 ERA in career. His K to BB ratio is 2.2. He'd be much higher on the list, but for his age. He pitched pretty good for the Giants at the end of last year. Lefty specialist sure to get offers.

Three Relievers to Be Wary of:

DANNY KOLB - his career K to BB ratio is just 1.3, as he walks 4.2 batters per 9 innings. He might get away with having a decent stretch every now then, but that K to BB rate is always going to get him in the end.

MIKE DEJEAN - he's not awful, but another guy with a very high BB rate of 4.2.

DOUG BROCAIL - career stats are not bad, but he hasn't really had a good year for 5 years.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Ranking the Free Agent Starting Pitchers for 2007

Rankings are based on the Stats, taking into consideration 7 categories. Age, Career Average Won-Lost record, Career ERA, Percentage of the League ERA (LERA), K and BB rates, and Career Won-Lost Records.

I'm leaving Clemens and Galvine off the list because Clemens may retire, and Glavine is either going to re-sign with the Mets or go to the Braves.

Any starting pitcher who failed to have a career ERA at or below the LERA will not be mentioned, as such pitchers rarely make wothwhile signings for teams.

1) BARRY ZITO - will be 29 this year, he has the lowest % of LERA of anybody on the list, except Maddux, at 79%. Average year is 15-9, with 3.55 ERA, 6.9 K's and 3.5 BB's. Career record stands at 102-63. Only knock on him is that he compiled his fine stats while playing in a great pitchers park in Oakland. He has the least amount of question marks about him of anybody on the list.

2) ANDY PETTITTE - 34 years old, pitched to 84% of the LERA in career. Typical year is 17-9, 3.81 ERA, 6.6 K's and 2.8 BB's. Career record stands at 186-104. Contemplating retiring, but he's not really old for a lefty pitcher. Has battled some injuries, but he's a solid pitcher.

3) JASON SCHMIDT - 33 years old, pitched to 91% of the LERA in career. Typical year is 13-9, 3.91 ERA, 8.0 K's and 3.5 BB's. Career record stands at 127-90. Most people would put him above Pettitte, but the stats clearly say otherwise. He's a risk because most of his favorable stats are the product of a couple of great years, a few years back. Other than those years, he's a slightly above average pitcher.

4) MARK MULDER - 29 years old, has pitched to 92% of LERA. Typical year is 17-9, 4.11 ERA, 5.7 K's and 2.8 BB's. Career record stands at 103-57. Quality pitcher who's a risk because of injury. Worth the risk if he's healthy and the price is right. He's not that old, and should be able to come back eventually.

5) GREG MADDUX - 40 years old, has pitched to 74% of LERA in career. TYpical year is 16-10, 3.07 ERA, 6.2 K's and 1.8 BB's. Career record stands at 333-203. Yes he's old, but he pitched OK for the Dodgers at the end of last year. At this stage of his career, he needs to be in the right spot to have success.

6) BRAD RADKE - 34 years old. 89% of LERA in career. Typical year is 13-12, 4.22 ERA, 5.4 K's and 1.6 BB's. Career record is 148-139. Another with injury problems. Only rates this high if healthy.

7) RANDY WOLF - 30 years old, pitched to 98% of LERA in career. Typical year is 12-10, 4.21 ERA, 7.4 K's and 3.4 BB's. Career record is 69-60. Another lefty with an injury problem, who is not that old. If you think he's healthy, and the price is right, he's worth the risk.

8) TOMO OHKA - 30 years old, pitched to 90% of LERA in career. Typical year is 9-11, with 4.04 ERA, 5.1 K's and 2.5 BB's. Career record is 48-58. Not much in the K department, but this guy has pitched fairly effectively at the major league level in his career, mostly for bad teams. He's worth a long look in a year when teams are struggling to find quality pitchers, and he probably won't cost that much.

9) VINCENT PADILLA - 29 years old, pitched to 94% of LERA in career. Typical year is 12-11, 4.06 ERA, 6.3 K's and 3.1 BB's. Career record is 66-61. Has pitched somewhat effectivley in two lousy pitchers parks in Philly and Texas. Worth a risk at the right price.

10) WOODY WILLIAMS - 40 years old, pitched to 95 % of LERA in career. Typical year is 12-9, 4.09 ERA, 6.1 K's and 2.9 BB's. Career Record is 124 -101. Would rank higher on the list, but he's over 40. Would only sign him at the right price. Been pitching lately in a great pitchers park.

One Pitcher Worth a Risk

TED LILLY - has pitched to just 100% of LERA in career, but he has a high K rate at 7.7, is 59-58, he's a lefty and still only 30 years old.

Six Pitchers to Forget About

STEVE TRACSHEL - well below two K to BB rate. Career record stands at 134-143. 36 years old. He was never really any good and he's not getting any better.

JOHN THOMPSON - career record stands at 62-84.

JEFF SUPPAN - pitched great in the post season, but his career K to BB rate is 1.7, and his career ERA is 4.60.

AARON SELE - another low K to BB guy. Actually has a fine career W/L record at 145-110. He just has not pitched well enough lately to warrant serious consideration.

ORLANDO HERNANDEZ - El Duque has been a fine major league pitcher and a tremendous post season pitcher, but he's too injury prone at this stage of his career. Listed age is 37, but wouldn't it be great if we could all knock 5-10 years off our real age?

MIGUEL BATISTA - K to BB rate is an abysmal 1.5. Career record stands at 68-79, and he's over 35 years of age.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


A-Rod to the Cubs?

With the Chicago Cubs signing of Lou Piniella to a lucrative 3 year contract to be their manager, and Piniella's fondness for Alex Rodriguez, a trade seems realistic. The Cubbies are one of the few teams in the majors with the financial resources to pay A-Rod. The move to Wrigley would allow A-Rod to move back to short, and give the Cubs a huge offensive upgrade.

Playing everyday at home in hitter friendly Wrigley, and most of his away games in parks that also favor the hitter in Houston, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, and best of all Cincinnati, A-Rod would likley be able to put up even better numbers than he did in tough Yankee Stadium (for a righty). The Yankees seem more than willing to part with A-Rod, so a trade to the Cubs is a realistic possibility. Do the Cubs have any players the Yankees would want?

What do the Yankees need? As outlined in the previous posting, the Yankees do not win World Series unless they have a dominant lefty on their staff. Do the Cubs have any dominant or potentially dominant lefty starters to trade?

The Cubs do have two relatively young lefty starting pitchers. Let's take a quick statistical look at both:

RICH HILL - will be 27 years old, but lefties sometimes mature later. Hill's minor league record is not bad, great in one respect. He's a tremendous strike-out pitcher. In 351 minor league innings, he K'd 12.6 batters per 9 innings. His control is a problem though, as he also walked 4.9 batters per 9.

So far in the majors, in 123 innings, Hill's record is 8.1 K's per 9, with 4.1 BB's per 9.

What's intriguing about Hill is that he's showing signs of getting better. In 2005 in the minors his record was 130 innings/ 13.5 K's / 2.4 BB's. And at AAA in 2005 he was 65 innings/ 12.8 K's / 1.9 BB's. Very impressive numbers.

In 2006 in the majors, Hill's numbers were also slightly better than in 2005 in the majors. He improved to 99 innings/ 8.2 K's / 3.5 BB's.

Rich Hill has talent, if he can keep his walk ratios down, he's going to be a very good major league pitcher. He's definitely someone the Yankees should be looking at.

SEAN MARSHALL - is 24 years old. Marshall's minor league record is excellent. 252 innings/ 9.2 K's / 2.5 BB's. The only problem is, he never pitched above AA in the minors. But neither did Dontrelle Willis.

In the majors in 2006, Marshall's record was 125 innings/ 5.6 K's / 4.3 BB's. Not too good, but he's learning. Given his stellar minor league record, he's also someone the Yankees should be looking at.

The NY Yankees want to trade Alex Rodriguez. The Chicago Cubs just signed Lou Piniella to a three year contract. Piniella likes A-Rod. The Yankees need left-handed starting pitching. The Cubs have two relatively young left-handed starters with talent. Could such a trade happen?

If I'm the Yankees, I would trade A-Rod for both Rich Hill and Sean Marshall, plus another throw in (like lefty reliever Edward Campusano, 55 inings / 13.3 K's / 2.8 BB's in minors last year). Would I do the deal if I was the Cubs? If I wanted to vastly upgrade my offense, with A-Rod back at SS, and add a huge talent who can only help my box office sales and TV ratings, the answer is yes!

Thursday, September 07, 2006


The Florida Marlins Have the Best Young Pitching in Baseball

With Anibal Sanchez having thrown a no-hitter, and so many of the other young Florida Marlins pitchers doing so well, I decided to reprint an article I wrote back in February for my sister-site, Baseball Fantasy Stats.

Having scoured through so many major and minor league records over the years, I had never come across such an impressive bunch of young pitchers as the Marlins had going into this year. Most organizations didn't even have one young pitcher that could match the records of the young Marlins pitchers coming into this year. The Marlins had seven young starting pitchers with stellar records! And I did not even include Josh Johnson, who is having a fine year, but I doubt he will be able keep it up over his whole career.

The Team With the Best Young Pitching in Baseball is - The Florida Marlins

With the losses of Carlos Delgado, Paul Lo Duca, Juan Pierre and Mike Lowell from their offense, and Josh Beckett and A.J. Burnett from their pitching, the Florida Marlins will struggle this year. There is hope for the Marlins future though, as they have the best collection of young pitching talent in baseball today, and maybe of all time.

From a fantasy perspective, some of these young pitchers are so talented, they will have an impact this year. Don't forget, the park and the division they play in will help them compile stats. Here's a quick look.

DONTRELLE WILLIS - 24 years old. The D-Train was awesome last year, posting a 22-10 record with a 2.63 ERA. In his minor league career, never above AA, he averaged 7.4 K's per 9, while walking just 1.7 per 9. So far in the majors he's averaging 6.8 K's and 2.6 BB per 9. He was a relatively high strikeout, low walk pitcher in the minors and that's what he's been in the majors. He might not win 20 again this year, but he's still a great pitcher, and a great fantasy pitcher.

JASON M. VARGAS - 23 years old. His minor league record, 168 innings/176 K's/46 BB's, is great (like D-Train, never above AA). That works out to 9.4 K's and 2.5 BB's per 9. He didn't embaress himself in the bigs last year, going 5-5 with a 4.03 ERA and a complete game. He's a high strikeout, low walk pitcher who might be able to help you this year.

SCOTT OLSEN - 22 years old. Another one who's minor league record is great, 396 innings/431 K's/156 BB's. Works out to 9.8 K's and 3.5 BB's per 9. Didn't embaress himself either in a brief stint in the bigs, going 1-1 with a 3.98 ERA, and striking out 21 batters in 20 innings. He's certain to have a fantasy impact in the future, and maybe even this year.

YUSMEIRO PETIT - 21 years old. Acquired from the Mets in the Delgado trade, his minor league record is excellent. In 401 innings, he's averaged 11 K's and 2 BB's per 9 innings (401 innings/491 K's/91 BB's). He's obviously ready for the majors this year, and with his high K rate, will have some fantasy impact this year, provided he's in the rotation. Having traded him and Kazmir, I guess the Mets don't like high strikeout pitchers with tremendous talent. The sky is the limit for this kid.

ANIBAL SANCHEZ - 22 years old. Yet another one who's minor league record (never above AA) is great, 328 innings/396 K's/103 BB's. Works out to 10.9 K's and 2.8 BB's per 9. Another high strikeout pitcher who can make a fantasy impact if he's in the rotation this year. He came to the Marlins in the Beckett trade with the Red Sox. The Marlins may have gutted their team, but at least they got back some real talent that will help them in the future.

RICKY NOLASCO - 23 years old. Acquired from the Cubs in the Pierre trade. His minor league record is great too, 567 innings/567 K's/177 BB's. Works out to 9 K's and 2.8 BB's per 9. Another high strikeout pitcher who could have some fantasy impact this year if he's in the rotation.

JOSE L. GARCIA - 21 years old. Unlikely to make it to the bigs this year, but his minor league record so far (nothing above A ball yet) is tremendous, 210 innings/255 K's/44 BB's. Works out to 10.9 K's and 1.9 BB's per 9. He does that again this year in AA and AAA, he'll be in the majors next year.

CHRIS RESOP - 23 years old. The Marlins signed Joe Borowski, and their AAA closer last year was Travis Bowyer. If Borowski doesn't work out or gets injured, Resop could end up closing games this year. In A and AA ball his record is 103 innings/139 K's/28 BB's, with 37 saves. His K rate is 12.2 and his BB rate is 2.5. He's a much better closer than Bowyer, who walks way too many batters to be an effective major league closer (averaged almost 5 BB's per 9 at every level in minors). One to keep an eye on.

The Marlins may have gutted their team this year and are unlikely to have a winning season this year, but with this awesome collection of young pitching talent, their future looks bright.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


The Most Underpaid Players in Baseball

The minimum salary this year for major league players is $327,000. Calling anyone making at least that much this year underpaid may not seem appropriate, but it's all relative.

There are 30 MLB teams with 25 man rosters. That equals 750 MLB players. Add in the few on the disabled list and the number grows a little bit, but there are still well under 1,000 men playing major league baseball this year. Add in the fact that MLB generates Billions of dollars a year in revenue, and one can quickly see why salaries are as high as they are. Nevertheless, there are a number of players this year who will be making significantly less money than their peers, but based upon their actual on field performances are much better players. They are the underpaid players. (I'm leaving off young players making at or near the minimum. All of these players have 3 or more years of MLB experience.)

DAVID ORTIZ, 6.5 Million, (Red Sox) - Papi is right there with A-Rod (25 mil), Pujols (14 mil), and Manny (18 mil) as a hitter. Just signed a new deal that will start paying him around 13 million a year next year, which still makes him a slight bargain.

CARL CRAWFORD, 2.6 Million, (D'Rays) - a player who scores 100 runs and steals 50 bases every year, is worth more than the 2.6 million Crawford will make this year.

JAKE PEAVEY, 2.5 Million, (Padres) - a pitcher with a lifetime winning % of .588, who K's a batter per inning, is worth far more.

BRANDON WEBB, 2.5 Million, (D'Backs) - 3.34 career ERA in a hitters park.

CHONE FIGGINS, 2.2 Million, (Angels) - scored 113 runs last year, while stealing 62 bases, and he can play any position on the field.

JASON BAY, 1 Million, (Pirates) - one of the 10 best hitters in baseball.

CHAD CORDERO, $525,000, (Nationals) - led the Majors with 47 saves last year.

CHASE UTLEY, $500,000, (Phillies) - arguably the best hitting 2B in the majors.

MIGUEL CABRERA, $472,000, (Marlins) - just a kid, but has 3 years of service. He'll be making millions in the near future.

JOHN PATTERSON, 450,000, (Nationals) - better pitcher than most making over a million a year.

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