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Showing posts from July, 2008

How has Round 1 of the Draft played out?

I had wanted to post this prior to the S9 draft but real-life took over. I started thinking about whether or not Round 1 draft picks are sure locks for the Majors so I did a quick look and found the following:

Seasons 8
1st round picks (1-32) 256
Not in the league 25 9.77%
In the Majors 121 47.27%

Well, this doesn't tell the full story now does it? Since players from S7 and S8 haven't had the time to progress thru the minors.

In the Majors by Draft Season
Season 1 21 65.63%
Season 2 26 81.25%
Season 3 24 75.00%
Season 4 19 59.38%
Season 5 15 46.88%
Season 6 12 37.50%
Season 7 4 12.50%
Season 8 0 0.00%

I also decided to take this one step further... which franchises have been the most active in advancing their Round 1 selections up to the majors. The following is a little misleading since some franchises …

The Year of the Four Firsts

In the season eight draft, Montgomery had four first round picks in the amateur draft.

Now a year later, where are they now?

(20) Tony Otonez was the first of owner Beernoser's four first rounders chosen, and Rebel Yells could be heard throughout the Constitution, as the young catcher was the one player they were hoping would fall to them. The 22 year old Missourian has not disappointed either. He's spending this season at High A and is batting .329 with 24 home runs and 71 RBI's as the season 9 draft approaches.

(25) The Stits were also happy to land starting pitcher Erik Rakers. His story has not gone as well though as his personality left mangement questioning his work ethic. The young hurler was traded to Scranton for major league slugger Juan Valentin, but things haven't gotten better up north. A misunderstanding left the 18 year old missing the plane to Scranton, and once he got off on the wrong foot, things have only gotten worse for the first rounder as he has spe…

Amateur Draft On Deck

With the release of amateur prospects this morning we're now just a few days from the draft. So let's look at the teams that stand to get fat on the future. These are teams with a nice array of picks in the first two rounds.

Tacoma Typhoon Picks
#22, #29, #33, #36, #60, #69

Jacksonville Juggernauts Picks
#28, #34, #41, #75

Anaheim Anteaters Picks
#26, #40, #44, #73

Jackson Riverdogs Picks
#31, #35, #43, #78

Toronto Beavers Picks
#11, #37, #58

Florida SunRays Picks
#18, #38, #65

Only one team has forfeited their first round pick via a free agent signing. The San Juan Express will at #42 and #76, after losing pick #29 by signing Lee Plunk.

Mile High Times

Since S2, bowlum's Colorado Bombers(previously Boise) have averaged a $108M player budget, partnered with 8 consecutive losing seasons, all hovering around .450. Prior to S9, bowlumbrenner expressed frustration at the team's continued lackluster performance and threatened to leave the Coors Field bandbox for more neutral confines.

But those threats were just that, though maybe strategic motivations. A third of the way into the season, the Bombers are off to their best start ever at 29-22, including victories in 10 of their last 13 games. Of course, the Bombers lead the league in hitting, at .324 and OBP at .387.

Ironically, though, Colorado is playing much better on the road, 18-11, versus their home record of 11-11. And while the Bombers still have room to improve their staff ERA of 6.03, they have climbed to 25th out of 32 pitching staffs, an improvement from their previous seasons. Could this be the beginning of a more promising era in the Rockies?

International Signing Report Card

Roughly 20% into the season, we've already seen 24 international players sign on, with 5 of them landing bonuses north of $10 million. From time to time here we'll assess the respective value of these signings by assigning letter grades that consider the following: player projections, likelihood of reaching and performing at the big league level, age, size of investment, etc. You get the idea.
(Keep in mind, this is all based upon my 14M advance scouting reports. Someone with $20m sunk into advance scouting[Las Vegas Jackson, etc], or $5[Fargo], for that matter, would see the prospects as worth more or less. We're probably close to the league average here.)

SP Odalis Leon, Cleveland Spiders. $22m bonus.
-While we only see his overall projection as 75, Leon offers the potential for excellent control, splits, and a superlative four-seam fastball that all equal a potential #1 ace. However, there is reason for concern: his secondary pitches are mediocre and need work beyond their…

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise

as Gomer Pyle so nicely put it. Here are some dudes who, 20% into the season, appear to have made a deal with Lew Siffer to enhance their previously modest skill set, or are playing beyond the physics of the HBD age code.

CF Ernie Dorsey, El Paso Diablos: 365/425/600
-Dorsey hasn't hit 300 since winning ROTY in S4, and holds a career line of 291/350/520. With 63/41 splits, Dorsey cannot maintain such a lofty average and will soon come back down to earth.

CF Harvey O'Leary, Chicago Vipers: 357/417/468
-Leary's contact is 30 and his power 18. How jeclapton has milked a career line of 282/354/348 from this Corey Patterson wannabe is anybody's guess.

2B Don Torres, San Juan Express: 286/381/827
-There's something in the water in Puerto Rico. The Express keep turning the kind of career-minor chumps we've all got buried in our system into veritable all-stars. Just look at Torres' horrible contact and splits and explain how this guy has not only left the yard 30 times i…

International $

16 year-old Dominican pitcher Michael Inoa broke the signing bonus record last week when he agreed to become the baseball property of the Oakland A's for 4.25M. Clearly MLB GMs are amateurs when it comes to the big-time market for international players.

Capra's 1st large $ international signing of S9 landed this afternoon when the Florida Sunrays inked 18 year-old Dominican pitcher Karim Pichardo for a robust 11M. Pichardo is an offspeed/sinker specialist who projects as possible late-inning ace for the Rays, if his development goes according to plan.

Earlier this season Jimmie Feliz signed with the Buffalo Hunters for 4.7M, a relatively modest amount in the landscape of HBD internationals. The competition for internationals in Capra was not always this steep, however.

Let's look back to Season 1's three biggest bonuses and see what happened:

P Alberto Vargas. 8.8M, Scranton Breakers.
Vargas has never quite panned out. He was effective in five minor league seasons for the …

A Cautionary Tale

The Minnesota North Stars had a horrible pitching coach in season 1 and did not enjoy the remedy that was employed in the most recent case. Instead, Preston Rowan went through the entire season with the worst fielding IQ on my coaching staff, a 3, and proceeded to permanently alter the careers of several players. Over the course of that season, Minnesota's starting nine had these effects:Oleg Ramsey: lost 5 points in range and 3 points in fieldingHarry Unamuno: 2 and 1Tom Burkett: 3 and 2Jose Almonte: 0 and 5Jose Roque: 2 and 0Paul Clemens: gained 1 and LOST 16Bill Benes: 0 and 6Jose Garces: no change
In the farm system, several others were significantly impacted on the way to the show.Darrin Hatcher: gained 2 and lost 8Rudy Lombardi: gained 3 and lost 8Jeffrey Brow 0 and 5Lonny Urbina gained 1 and lost 11Herm Munoz: gained 2 and lost 14Daniel Miller: gained 6 and lost 15
In conclusion, fielding coaches can make a big difference. Within a week of starting this franchise, it was w…

Coaching Trouble?

steelerstime recently pointed out that the Rochester Rough Riders reported to ST with a Fielding Instructor that sported a Glove IQ of 8. Subsequently, some of Rochester's young talent took hits in their ability to field and catch the ball, as evidenced here: Tiny Allen, Henry Siddall, Tyler Buhner, Jimmy Little, and so on. steelerstime was kind enough to submit a ticket on this to admin, and they have replaced Rochester's original FI with another, slightly better version: Groucho Lesher.

This got me to wondering what other coaches out there that may do damage to their squads. The good news is that there aren't many. Nine seasons into Capra, we have seen more quality coaches and IQ improvements than retirements, making it easier to land solid staffs and harder to get stuck with a stinker.
At the big league level, the lowest rated Pitching coach(Jaret Fyhrie) sports a 76 IQ, a respectable # that would have been a mid-grade pitching coach for Capra's first 4-5 seasons. Sa…