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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Pickoff Moves

Today's Birthdays

Player birthdays in history:

Jack Billingham LAN b. 1943, played 1968
Fred Newman LAA,CAL b. 1942, played 1962-1967, d. 1987-06-24
Norman Plitt BRO b. 1893, played 1918-1927, d. 1954-02-01
Ted Savage LAN b. 1936, played 1968
Jeff Schmidt CAL b. 1971, played 1996

Roster Notes

Rich Lederer On Strikeout Proficiency

Rich Lederer has a two-part series up about a new way to measure strikeout proficiency, namely, by looking at the number of strikeouts a pitcher gets per 100 pitches, or K/100 (I prefer K/100P to disambiguate it from the established K/9). David Pinto wrote a rebuttal, and there was a BTF thread on it, too. Interesting reading, though my question is, how good is a pitcher at putting away batters in two-strike situations?

Baseball Prospectus Publishes Top 50 Prospects

Baseball Prospectus published its top 50 prospects list yesterday, and here's the damage:
5. Howie Kendrick, 2B, Los Angeles of Anaheim
6. Brandon Wood, SS, Los Angeles of Anaheim
14. Joel Guzman, SS, Los Angeles
22. Andy LaRoche, 3B, Los Angeles
24. Chad Billingsley, RHP, Los Angeles
26. Kendry Morales, 1B, Los Angeles of Anaheim
35. Jered Weaver, RHP, Los Angeles of Anaheim
50. Eric Aybar, SS, Los Angeles of Anaheim

Honorable Mention:

Jonathan Broxton, RHP, Los Angeles
Matt Kemp, OF, Los Angeles
Russell Martin, C, Los Angeles


Comments:
I asked Nate Silver about the Kendrick/Wood thing, as I was surprised that BP of all publications would rank them that way. He said:
I think it's a much different thing to have a walk rate as low as Kendrick's when you almost never strike out, especially when it's coupled with fantastic contact hitting skill. Not that Wood isn't a fantastic prospect hismelf... the next LDL on middle infield prospects should cover this ground in more detail.
 
Dodger prospects overrated? Stop it, Rob. You're a caution.
 
A "caution"? That's the first time I've ever been called that..!
 
Not just BA ranks the Dodger prospects highly. John Sickels also ranks them highly -- in fact, ranks the Dodger farm system #1 on the strength of those prospects.
 
another point in Kendrick's favor is the fact that he's done it every single year. Brandon's just had the one break out year. But if i had to choose one myself, i'd pick Brandon - better defense and you just have to take a chance on that power he showed in 2005.
 
Ah, the Adrian Beltre argument...

Brandon Wood's .316/.316/.526 line at Salt Lake was nothing to sneeze at, either (19 AB, though).
 
Kemp has power, but his severe lack of plate disicipline depressed his value enough to keep him out of serious consideration for the Top 50. Also, he had some very extreme splits, with Vero Beach significantly elevating his power numbers. Like most prospects, what he does in Double-A will be much more important in getting an idea of his future than his A-ball work.

And that's the first complaint I've heard about the speed of the PECOTA cards -- I've tested it in a few different environments and found little problem. Try pinging Dave Pease (dpease@...) if you're having trouble.
 

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