PDA

View Full Version : Best Tools



ericchri
12-10-2012, 01:28 PM
Something that's been running through my head a bunch lately (and was sparked by the Adam Walker interview). I know we all love to read Top 10/20/50/100 lists and see Twins names on them. But I always wish I had a little more information about players and the organization in general as well. It's nice to see Sano ranked as #15 (or whatever) in baseball, but what is it that puts him at that spot? One scouting report listed Levi Michael as the best defensive infielder in the Twins organization, where did that grade come from?

In thinking about that, I always wish I had the "scouting reports" that ranked players on the various aspects (like the 20-80 scale, for instance) to give me an idea what the player profiled as overall, not just that he runs fast or hits the ball hard (though those might be the most fun to compare). That's way too much to ask for for an entire organization, obviously, but I think it'd be pretty cool to see who are considered the best at certain tools.

For instance, who are the 3-5 tops in raw power? Sano would presumably be in there. Who else? Kennys Vargas, Adam Walker, Travis Harrison?

Other categories that would be fun to know: Raw speed, strongest throwing arm for position players, best fastball (highest speed) for pitchers, best pickoff move, best defensive infielder/outfielder/catcher, etc... I'm just tossing out things I think would be fun to know, but there's tons of others.

I don't know how possible it is to answer any of that without access to scouting services' information, but anyone with thoughts, I'd love to read it.

gunnarthor
12-10-2012, 01:47 PM
Baseball America subscription might answer most of those questions. BA comes out with a book every year (you can get it at your library) and I believe, although am not certain, that they list 20-80 rankings on every player they scout. Usually they'll have write ups on around 30 players per team.

Other than that, I don't have any ideas. I know some guys on chats (Klaw, Callis, Manuel) will give a grade here and there but that's about it.

lightfoot789
12-18-2012, 02:48 PM
I'm curious what Seth would list as his Top 5 per position:
*Fastest Player
*Best Power (Raw & Usable - per game average)
*Best Hitter
*Best Arm Infield
*Best Arm Outfield
*Best Fastball
*Best Off Speed

That's only 35 names and would give viewers great insight for 2013

B Richard
12-18-2012, 03:13 PM
I'd like to get an answer from someone who knows- which online baseball database/insider info site provides the best, most accurate information on prospects? On the majors? I'm looking for advanced statistical analysis that's accessible.

I hear fangraphs/BA/BP/other names get tossed around, but which one is actually the most informative? I'm planning on starting a subscription, so I was hoping someone knowledgeable would be able to point me (and others) in the right direction.

Didn't want to hijack the thread, but I feel like this info is useful to everyone.

kab21
12-18-2012, 11:17 PM
I think BA has the most content and is also comprised of several different people rather than singular sources at ESPN (Law), BP (Goldstein) or most of the others. Fangraphs, prospect361, minorleagueball and some others are free sites though and it's best to use as many sources as possible when prospecting imo.

It should be noted that BA and Sickel's at minorleagueball also publish a book that goes much further than anyone's online content goes including their own site. The books go 20-30 prospects deep (full scouting reports) while there are very few online sites that have more than 10 scouting reports/team.

Shane Wahl
12-19-2012, 12:24 AM
I'm curious what Seth would list as his Top 5 per position:
*Fastest Player
*Best Power (Raw & Usable - per game average)
*Best Hitter
*Best Arm Infield
*Best Arm Outfield
*Best Fastball
*Best Off Speed

That's only 35 names and would give viewers great insight for 2013

I also wish I knew some of this.

Fastest seems to come down to Benson, Buxton, Hicks, JD Williams, and maybe Santana.
Power seems to be Sano, Vargas, Walker, Colabello and either Wilkin Ramirez (yes) or Deibinson Romero (yes)
Best hitter: Arcia, Kepler, Sano, Rosario, Harrison

Not sure about much else. I still want to know who is a real shortstop within the system and why the Twins move around players so much. James Beresford might develop into an OK, defensive-first shortstop. But he doesn't play the position enough at the moment to tell.

Seth Stohs
12-19-2012, 12:32 AM
Let me give this some thought... this is a great question!

Jim Crikket
12-19-2012, 09:11 AM
I imagine the reason guys, especially those like Beresford, get moved around a lot is that the Twins simply don't know what position they're going to need to fill if/when that player is ready to contribute at the MLB level. Using James as an example, let's say a year from now they feel he's ready to compete for a spot as a utility infielder with the Twins. If he's played SS 90% of the time and someone asks, "yeah but can he play 2B?" you wouldn't know the answer. Since he's been splitting time at the two positions, anyone who's watched him frequently would, presumably, know the answer to that question.

I imagine that's why we see catchers and infielders (at least those who look to have some aptitude with a bat in their hands) playing some outfield, as well. If Chris Parmelee had been used pretty much exclusively at 1B coming up through the organization, nobody would know whether he could hold down RF or not. But because he did play the position some, there's at least a comfort level with putting him out there. You know you aren't getting a gold glove OF, but you do know what to expect and can judge whether that's adequate for your purposes.

Steve Lein
12-19-2012, 09:30 AM
If you're interested in stuff like this, I highly recommend subscribing to sites such as Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus (there are many others as well). Keith Law often has scouting reports with values on the scouting scale if you're an ESPN Insider too. John Sickels at MinorLeagueBall is one of my favorite prospect guys. In my experience, it's actually pretty hard to find the scouting scale numbers on tools for players in a "free" capacity. Just for fun, here’s how I'd rate some of the Twins prospects best tools (with the 20-80 scale values being future MLB potential) based on what I think I know and read:

Hitting: Oswaldo Arcia, 65. Eddie Rosario, 65.
Power: Miguel Sano, 80 (best power prospect in Minors, like Giancarlo Stanton of a few years ago)
Speed: Byron Buxton, 80 (Seen it said he's fastest RH-hitter down 1B-line since Bo Jackson)
Defense (OF): Aaron Hicks, 70
Defense (IF): Danny Santana, 60 (probably others to consider here)
Arm Strength (OF): Aaron Hicks, 70/75
Arm Strength (IF): Sano, 70/75 (Also has a cannon, which is why I see him in RF if 3B doesn't work out, and not 1B. But that's also assuming his body doesn't outgrow his athleticism).

Shane Wahl
12-19-2012, 10:11 AM
I am particularly interested in the MI defense of Beresford, Santana, Michael and Goodrum. Are any of the four real shortstops?

Steve Lein
12-19-2012, 10:31 AM
They're probably all "for real" shortstops, but that doesn't necessarily mean they are blue-chip prospects in a defensive capacity, either. Not as good as Escobar/Florimon, probably a bit better than Dozier. I have the most hope for Goodrum overall, he's looked the part when I've seen him, though he could use some bulking up.

ericchri
12-19-2012, 10:32 AM
That's cool! Thanks Steve.

As a curiosity, for comparison, what would the ratings of some current/former Twins have for a rating in these. For instance, what would Michael Cuddyer have had for Arm Strength, Ben Revere for Speed? Stuff like that really helps get a perspective. I'll assume Jim Thome might have rated an 80 in power, where does Willingham rate? Alexi Casilla's infield defense? Torii Hunter's outfield defense?

Steve Lein
12-19-2012, 10:55 AM
These are how I'd rate the guys you mention:

-Cuddyer's Arm Strength: 60/65. Definitely above average, but not on Hick's level.
-Revere's Speed: I'd have to think he's at least a 70/75. In my opinion, he's more "quick" than "fast", which is not to say he doesn't have elite level speed, it's just that I've seen a lot of people say Hick's would beat him over distance.
-Thome's Power: Definitely an 80. Sano's the first prospect Twins have had that I can remember even being mentioned in 80 raw power territory. Willingham is about a 60/65.
-Casilla's defense: 60. He showed the talent of a better defender, but the inconsistency hurt him a lot.
-Hunter's defense: Based on his 9 Gold Gloves, he's an 80. But I honestly believe Hick's has a better overall package, better speed, bigger arm. It's hard to touch Hunter's instincts though.

lightfoot789
12-19-2012, 11:17 AM
I can't wait to see the (BPs) batting practice at the minor league Spring Training . The A Ball combo team (Ft. Myers & Cedar Rapids) should be interesting / fun to watch with Sano - Vargas - Walker & DJ Hicks. I'd like to know who wins those BP HR battles, day in and day out. Are there any stories from this past Fall Instructionals on thier BPs? If these guys cut down on their K's - The Twins are looking somewhat formidable in the coming years. (Sano @ 3B - Vargas (Big Pappi) @ DH - Walker @ RF & DJ Hicks @ 1B) Could provide some nice pop to go with the speed / athleticism / and pure hitting skills of say: A Hicks / Arcia / Rosario / Buxton / Harrison / Goodrum / Levi Michaels & Kepler. The question is who becomes expendable as 2014 - 15 rolls near? What type of team will we field? More of a (Power / High BA / Speed / or Defensive & Pitching) type team?

B Richard
12-19-2012, 11:18 AM
This thread has really given some good insight, thanks a lot guys

Oxtung
12-19-2012, 11:31 PM
If you're interested in stuff like this, I highly recommend subscribing to sites such as Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus (there are many others as well). Keith Law often has scouting reports with values on the scouting scale if you're an ESPN Insider too. John Sickels at MinorLeagueBall is one of my favorite prospect guys. In my experience, it's actually pretty hard to find the scouting scale numbers on tools for players in a "free" capacity. Just for fun, here’s how I'd rate some of the Twins prospects best tools (with the 20-80 scale values being future MLB potential) based on what I think I know and read:

Hitting: Oswaldo Arcia, 65. Eddie Rosario, 65.
Power: Miguel Sano, 80 (best power prospect in Minors, like Giancarlo Stanton of a few years ago)
Speed: Byron Buxton, 80 (Seen it said he's fastest RH-hitter down 1B-line since Bo Jackson)
Defense (OF): Aaron Hicks, 70
Defense (IF): Danny Santana, 60 (probably others to consider here)
Arm Strength (OF): Aaron Hicks, 70/75
Arm Strength (IF): Sano, 70/75 (Also has a cannon, which is why I see him in RF if 3B doesn't work out, and not 1B. But that's also assuming his body doesn't outgrow his athleticism).

Prospects361.com blurb about Buxton mentioned that he pitched in HS and that his fastball routinely hit 95mph. How does that mesh with your understanding of Hick's arm? Do you think that is incorrect? Do you think Hicks, if he was ever clocked, would top that? Is there some other reason you think Hick's arm is better than just sheer velocity?

ScottyB
12-20-2012, 05:50 PM
Prospects361.com blurb about Buxton mentioned that he pitched in HS and that his fastball routinely hit 95mph. How does that mesh with your understanding of Hick's arm? Do you think that is incorrect? Do you think Hicks, if he was ever clocked, would top that? Is there some other reason you think Hick's arm is better than just sheer velocity?

Hicks also pitched in HS and teams were considering drafting him as a pitcher, but he wanted to play everyday, not pitch. As I recall, he also had a mid-90's fastball, possibly a little higher.

Steve Lein
12-20-2012, 07:33 PM
Prospects361.com blurb about Buxton mentioned that he pitched in HS and that his fastball routinely hit 95mph. How does that mesh with your understanding of Hick's arm? Do you think that is incorrect? Do you think Hicks, if he was ever clocked, would top that? Is there some other reason you think Hick's arm is better than just sheer velocity?

What ScottyB said. Many teams wanted to draft Hicks as a pitcher and he threw mid-nineties as well. And from what I'm recalling from predraft discussions about Hicks' and Buxton's pitching leading up to their respective drafts, Hicks would have been considered the better pitcher.

Riverbrian
12-20-2012, 07:37 PM
These are how I'd rate the guys you mention:

-Cuddyer's Arm Strength: 60/65. Definitely above average, but not on Hick's level.
-Revere's Speed: I'd have to think he's at least a 70/75. In my opinion, he's more "quick" than "fast", which is not to say he doesn't have elite level speed, it's just that I've seen a lot of people say Hick's would beat him over distance.
-Thome's Power: Definitely an 80. Sano's the first prospect Twins have had that I can remember even being mentioned in 80 raw power territory. Willingham is about a 60/65.
-Casilla's defense: 60. He showed the talent of a better defender, but the inconsistency hurt him a lot.
-Hunter's defense: Based on his 9 Gold Gloves, he's an 80. But I honestly believe Hick's has a better overall package, better speed, bigger arm. It's hard to touch Hunter's instincts though.

I have no idea... I have only read some stuff and some of things I've read has me excited for the future.

But... I gotta say... Cuddyer has a canon... One of the best arms in the majors. Top ten... i would imagine...

Revere is as fast they come... If Hicks is just as fast and has a better arm than Cuddyer... Plus... I'm reading reports of good plate discipline and a little pop in his bat and superior glove.

My question... How is Hicks not at least #2 in our system and at least top 20 overall.

kab21
12-20-2012, 08:29 PM
My question... How is Hicks not at least #2 in our system and at least top 20 overall.

His contact problem could push BA down to the .250-.260 range. Even with a lot of walks that probably results in a low .700's OPS. A very good player but that's what keeps his prospect helium in check.

Steve Lein
12-20-2012, 08:47 PM
You know, you're probably right. I'm discrediting Cuddy a bit, which I'm not trying to. I don't think he's top 10 (playing with the baggy in the Metrodome helped give him a reputation), but I imagine he'd be in the conversation. So lets put him up there about even with Hicks, at 70.

I probably discredit Revere a bit too in "speed", quick may be better than fast. (I'm a really big fan of Hicks defense, since you noticed)

There are still questions about Hicks bat. Average doesn't stand out, still lots of K's (3rd in ESL in 2012). I don't think the defensive profile was ever questioned. But that's why 4th OF's are often defensive wunderkinds with not much of a bat. Still have to have one of those to be a top prospect, and on its own will get you a helluva lot further (See Sano, Miguel).

Jeremy Nygaard
12-20-2012, 08:59 PM
I'll chime in more later... off the top of my head: Buxton and Hicks both have 70 to 75 arms. Niko and Sano are 65 to 70.

Sano has 80 raw power. Buxton has 80 speed.

One BA staffer recently visited with someone in the Twins organization and thought it was a joke how often he put 80 grades on tools of guys they talked about. It's all one person's perspective of the scouting scale.

Riverbrian
12-20-2012, 09:02 PM
I've been pumped for Hicks since he was drafted. Haven't seen him yet and I am looking forward to it.

Oxtung
12-21-2012, 02:18 AM
Didn't know that Hick's pitched in high school. Thanks for that info :)

Brandon
12-21-2012, 08:40 AM
If I remeber right his fastball touched 97 in highschool thats why teams were interested in him as a pitcher.

What would be a cool idea is if this website would post a top 40 or 50 prospect list with the player name a link to a discussion about stuff like this for each player. same could be done for 25 man roster too. That way we can all talk about players individual strengths and weaknesses and scouting reports and stuff.

Sssuperdave
12-21-2012, 08:48 AM
If I remeber right his fastball touched 97 in highschool thats why teams were interested in him as a pitcher.

What would be a cool idea is if this website would post a top 40 or 50 prospect list with the player name a link to a discussion about stuff like this for each player. same could be done for 25 man roster too. That way we can all talk about players individual strengths and weaknesses and scouting reports and stuff.

Seems like this could be incorporated into the Adopt-A-Prospect forums. In fact, a lot of the information is probably already there.

Shane Wahl
12-21-2012, 04:04 PM
Having something organized like that would be pretty good. Seth's prospect handbook is pretty indispensable.