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Saturday, February 25, 2006

Sickels All Questions Answered Bits

Selected samplings from John Sickels' All Questions Answered thread:
Q: Howie Kendrick: Can he keep his career minor league batting average over .350? Is he that great of a contact hitter?

A: Yes, he can keep his minor league BA over .350, or at least .340. I think he'll tear up the PCL.

Yes, he is an outstanding contact hitter.


Q: Chuck Tiffany, Edwin Jackson or Jason Hammel

Which one of these 3 Rays Prospects will have the best year in 2006(overall, stat-wise)?

A: Hm. Well, hard to say since they will be (probably) pitching at different levels. It would not surprise me to see Tiffany put up the best numbers, which doesn't mean he has the best future.


Q: Why are so many people down on Jered Weaver?

He had immaculate control in college and looks like he's got great "stuff" compared to his older brother...yet people are pegging him to be a bust....why?

A: Bust? Who is pegging him to be a bust?

He's not Mark Prior but he should be a good pitcher.


Q: I have your book and know how you rated them in your top 50, but in terms of liklihood of making a smooth transistion to the majors and immediately playing at a star/all star level upon their arrival in the majors (ie. a Pujols path not an up and down for a year or two Arod path) how would you rank between Wood, Kendrick, Gordon, Marte?

A: Well, I don't think ANYONE can be EXPECTED to pull a Pujols. But in terms of "not struggling" too badly, I'd make it

Gordon, Kendrick, Marte, Wood.

I expect all of them will be excellent players in the long run.


Q: BP in their explanation of their top 50 provided this:

Wood's PECOTA card reflects this sentiment, as his raw numbers of .321/.383/.672 translate to a more reasonable and conservative .257/.309/.506. A 815 OPS is still solid for a SS.

A 1.055 OPS becomes a .815 OPS? Wood's home park wasn't even High Desert or Lancaster. I don't buy that.

Don't you believe that Wood has more than just a "solid year for a SS" and that this translation goes overboard? IMO, he coulda slugged >= .550 in any run environment vs A-ball pitchers this year.

A: Without breaking down the numbers myself I don't know if the PECOTA translation is excessive or not.

I do know that I am still not convinced by the accuracy of MLE translations at the A-ball level or lower. . .I take them with many dashes of sodium cloride. Double-A and Triple-A translations I put much more stock in. But the leap between Class A and Double-A, let alone Class A and the majors, is so great that I have a lot of doubts about whether those translations are accurate or not.

In Wood's case, getting to see him in Double-A is one of my main goals for early in the coming season. [Me, too. I'm planning a trip to Arkansas in early May just to take a gander at Wood in action. -- Rob.]


Q: John, I know you posted a pretty good recap of his history, but didn't notice much in terms of your future expectations for him (and didn't leave a comment later). Do you have a prognosis for him?

A: I think Choi will end up having one or two really outstanding seasons as a platoon player, but that he will age poorly and never live up to the potential he showed in the minors.

Whether things could have been different if he'd been given consistent playing time in Chicago, I don't know.


Q: If you were held at gunpoint and told you had to pick 1 prospect to have the best baseball career from the following choices, who would you pick?

  1. Delmon Young
  2. Daric Barton
  3. Billy Butler
  4. Alex Gordon
  5. Justin Verlander
  6. Brandon Wood
A: Young.
I'll check back later in the day; the thread's closed right now, but I imagine he'll answer the stuff that entered the queue before the deadline.

Comments:
Good stuff. Sickels' website is one of the absolute best for baseball junkies.
 
Regarding Wood, this comment was also posted:

"that 815 OPS is his translated major league performance for 2005. it is indeed "solid" for a shortstop but for a guy who's 21 it's a sign of possible stardom."

And this comment:

"Is that .815 OPS what they're saying he would have done in a neutral park, or is that what he would have hit in the MLB?"

So, Rob, is PECOTA suggesting that Wood's numbers from last year, adjusted for league/park effects, translate to an .815 OPS on the major league level? And if that's the case, shouldn't Wood be given every chance to win the major league job this year?

Note: Wood was 20 when he put up those numbers last year. He turns 21 in a week or so.
 
But in terms of "not struggling" too badly, I'd make it

Gordon, Kendrick, Marte, Wood.


Even after reading this several times, I still can't tell which way this ranking goes. Is Gordon going to "not struggle" more or "struggle" more than Wood?
 
Is Gordon going to "not struggle" more or "struggle" more than Wood?

I think that Gordon, according to Sickels, will struggle the least, and Wood will struggle the most while adjusting to the bigs.

I didn't RTFA, but I assume that has to do with the fact that Kendrick hits for higher average and doesn't strike out much while B-Wood hits for a lot of power with a lot of K's. That ability to swing and NOT miss is a big feather in the hat of Kendrick. He is more likely to hit the ground running in the bigs, IMO.
 
there was another comment early on that said all the Angel's minor league parks are "hitter's parks" (wasn't made by Sickels) - now i'm pretty sure this isn't true, but don't have the numbers in hand to properly refute it.

Isn't RC neutral, or slightly a pitchers park? And i thought Arkansas was also neutral at least, same with CR. Any definitve statements on this? if so, feel free to rebut the "accusation" at Sickel's site too.
 
Brian -- if you look at the Angels minor league park factors (and again in context), you'll see that indeed all the Angels' minor league parks, with the exception of Cedar Rapids, are hitters' parks.
 
Thanks - Wow, my impressions of Arkansas were completely wrong - it looks like the 2nd best Hitters park in the Texas League! So Wood should have some extra 'support' this year.

i was a bit closer about CR and RC. it seems like RC is a hitters park, but it as close as you get to a pitchers park in the Cal League.
 

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