Wednesday, July 14, 2004
Just How Good Is Barry? Why, He's TWICE The Hitter Scott Rolen Is!In fact, more than twice. Mariners Wheelhouse does the math. Incredible.
Throwin' It Out ThereIn today's earlier exercise, we discussed the dubious merits of a proposed Cubs-Red Sox-Diamondbacks trade. Here's one my wife suggested, and on mulling it over, it might make some sense. David Eckstein to the Cubs for prospects, say, Andy Sisco and a PTNBL. The Angels system is in terrible shape right now with regards to its premier pitching prospects; each of Ervin Santana and Bobby Jenks have spent extended time on the DL. Baseball America has soured some on Bobby Jenks' future, though admittedly some of that has come from a change in the reporter covering him. (Josh Boyd left BA to work for the Padres; replacing him is Jim Callis.) The Cubs get a franchise player with legit leadoff hitting (albeit shaky reliability thanks to DL time), and the Angels get a guy with Randy Johnson comparisons attached (ya gotta pay to get in):
Background: After snaring Mark Prior with the No. 2 overall pick in 2001, the Cubs followed up with another potential ace in Sisco in the second round. Recruited as a defensive end by Pacific-10 Conference football programs, he signed for $1 million. He missed two months with a broken pitching hand in 2003, but finished strong by not allowing an earned run in two starts as Lansing won the Midwest League playoffs.Of course, the only way this trade happens is if Angels prospect Dallas McPherson pans out toward the end of the season, so Figgins can move to short. Something to think about for the 2004/2005 offseason.
Strengths: Sisco is a huge lefthander who already throws 92-94 mph and projects to add more heat, so he draws obvious comparisons to Randy Johnson. And while he has to polish the rest of his game, he has better mechanics and command than the Big Unit had at the same age. Sisco already has an effective changeup and at times shows a plus curveball.
Weaknesses: Sisco’s curve is far from a finished product, as one in four he throws is above-average. He’d be better off throwing fewer splitters and focusing on his other pitches. The Cubs like his competitive makeup, but he also can be immature.
Eat This, Moneyball JihadistsThis just in from Baseball America: surprise, the risk of drafting prep righties is grossly overstated.
Worth reading regardless of whether or not you believe in the Moneyball religion (oops -- did I say that?).
In a study of the first 10 rounds of the 1990-97 drafts last year, I found that regardless of round or position, high schools held their own versus colleges in terms of producing talent. The colleges' only pronounced edge came in the number of cup-of-coffee players who reached the majors. With significant players, the two crops were virtually even, and high schools generated more star-caliber talent (4.3 to 2.3 percent).
Don't just take my word for it, however. A club official recently examined the performance of all pitchers drafted in the first round from 1990-98 and sent me the results--which reinforced mine.
Ask yourself, would you trade Ervin Santana or Bobby Jenks for David Eckstein? Why would the Cubs?