A.J. Reed and Casey Gillaspie win the week 8 baseball america stat roundup.
Reed had 3 HRs (12), 3 doubles (8) against a Gator team that just won the season series against no. 1 FL state. 6'4, 240, LH hitter, 1B, batting .373/.500/.771 in 118 AB's on the year.
Gillaspie had 3 HRs (8) against Indiana State. First baseman, switch hitter. He's batting .402/.507/.692 in 117 ABs.
Both players are juniors
The Twins are spending millions of dollars to scout players. They will have a board by draft day and will draft BPA regardless of franchise need. With the way the draft is shaping up it wouldn't be surprising if their first two picks are pitchers.
From BA's J.J. Cooper's chat:
- How wide open is the field for #1 overall in the draft?
J.J. Cooper: Way wider open than it was when the season began. At this point there are a number of viable options at No. 1. In some way, you could say that's good news for the Astros, as it gives them some flexibility financially at the No. 1 pick, as opposed to what it looked like last fall when there was one clear No. 1 pick (Rodon) who was likely to be looking for at least the full No. 1 slot value and maybe more.
^Interesting. Should be a fun couple of months.
It seems the positional value is already weighed into the current draft rankings. Pitchers are probably holding down 5 of the top 6 spots in consensus rankings right now. Turner and Gordon are flirting with the top 10 because they project to stick at SS, not for their bats. Circumstances could change but taking one of those two with the fifth pick would be a stretch right now. The Twins absolutely need to find a SS of the future and add more high-upside pitching talent. They can't force it, though. That's how you end up with Christian Ponder.
Off topic......My neighbor kept pointing out Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson. So we looked at 25 years worth of data. A total of five QB's in rounds 2 or 3 were starting QB's for more than 5 years. Those two, and Favre, Plummer, and Brees. The number drafted was about 60 (8%). Of all the QB's taken in the top 10, the success rate was 50% during the same time period.
Just because something has happened before, does not make it likely.
Circling back to the Twins, I think we have less than an 8% chance of finding our SS through waiver pick ups. Almost none hit the FA market. The trend seems to be to sign these guys well before they hit the market, same with good young starting pitchers. When they become free agents, you get the chance to spend $200M on Max Scherzer, which we are not going to do. My point is we can't ignore these trends.
IMO, one of the biggest benefits to drafting strikeout arms is that you can fit a few square pegs into round holes on defense if you have to, in order to supplement your lineup. Fewer balls in play, so poor defense won't cost you as badly. Maybe this is the impetus for NL teams like the Cards finding great pitchers all the time.
On the other hand, if you stock up on bats, you can get by playing matchups and using 13 man pitching staffs. More of an AL brand of baseball. You also need to have a manager whose able to leverage his arms and bend a few rules about bullpen roles, which may be easier said than done since players seem pretty territorial about that stuff.
Either way you want to do it, that will impact your positional adjustments and therefore your determination of BPA. As another poster said, prospects don't come with BPA stamped on their forehead.
Law also reported tonight that Aiken is dealing. Has hit 96 at least 6 times tonight.
I don't get it because while technically true, a pitcher has a much bigger influence on the game when they do play than a position player has on a daily basis. If 90% of the game is batter versus pitcher, a pitcher that goes 6 innings plays a large role in about 33% of the game. Versus being one in 18 position players. It is much more common to see a pitcher single handedly win or lose a game (8 IP, 1 ER or the flip-side, 3 IP, 6 ER).
I'd like to think the Twins aren't just throwing their 25 man rosters together willy nilly. And Terry Ryan is on record saying he wants guys who don't get hurt, don't need to be platooned, don't need off days, presumably so that Gardy can have the liberty of pulling a shaky starter after 75 pitches or having two relievers warming up in case the opposition elects to PH a dangerous Jim Thome type bench bat in the late innings. AL brand baseball, in other words.
I just hope (wish?) everyone from the GM to the last guy in the bullpen is on the same page with that.
edit: to your point, I'd argue that maybe you're underestimating how often starting pitchers singlehandedly lose games. The position players are the ones who have to pick them up when that happens.
edit 2: Bert Blyleven. Even HoF Pitchers struggle to get to .500 when the position players don't score. Its a team game.
A top SP isn't useless on the games he doesn't pitch. If said pitcher takes the ball every 5th game and pitches well and deep into his starts there is less need for relief pitchers. The bullpen is better rested and may even be shortened by one permitting an extra position player/hitter to be on the active roster. That extra position player allows more flexibility in the line-up, platoons, pinch-hitters, defensive replacement, or just plain rest. Then there is the emotional "pick-up" when the "ace" is pitching instead of the "journeyman".
Of the 8 teams in the playoffs last year, only four were top ten in runs scored (Boston, Oakland, STL, and Detroit). Six were top 10 in ERA (Oakland, STL, Pitt, LAD, Atlanta, and Detroit). It seems like teams with good pitchers, more than good lineups make it it to the post season.
Burt had 27 more wins than losses. I do understand if he had played for better franchises he would have won more games. But his career 3.30 ERA was not lights out for his era. In my opinion, longevity helped his case a ton. I am guessing a 3.30 ERA than is probaby similar to a 3.50 or 3.60 ERA now, which is a 1 or 2 starter. Johan Santana has a career 3.20 ERA and his win percentage is 64% versus Burt's 53%.
I didn't mean to under-estimate how often bad starts lose games. That is actually part of my argument of why you need to put more emphasis on a starting pitcher in the draft over an OF. Odds are, if we take a good starter, he will be taking the spot of a guy like Kevin Correia.
I think this thread is getting a bit off topic so, with that in mind, I'll add to it. I believe I read an article that said, at the extreme end, a great hitter will be better than a great pitcher but, until you reach the extremes it doesn't really matter, value is value. But the other point was that it was easier for the great hitter to be consistently good over several seasons. Look at Verlander/Cabrera. Most would agree both are at the top of their positions and, over the last 5 years, Cabrera has about a 7 WAR advantage. Pitching can be fickle.
While not a MN boy, here's someone semi-local:
Daddy (Jeremey Kendall) made it as far as AA for the Phillies after attending college at Winona State a few (or more) years back.
But the Red Sox had the highest regular season run differential. And that carried into the playoffs. Utimately, that's what matters most.