29 April 2010

More from yesterday's Composite Draft Ranking . . .

I decided to crunch the numbers and determine different groupings. These groupings take into consideration which prospects are significantly different from each other based on these rankings. Prospects, of course, can appear in several groupings

Group A
Bryce Harper

Group B
Jameson Taillon
Drew Pomeranz
Karsten Whitson
Manny Machado

Group C
Karsten Whitson
Manny Machado
Deck McGuire
Anthony Ranaudo
Zach Cox
Dylan Covey
AJ Cole
Jesse Hahn
Chris Sale
Josh Sale
Aaron Sanchez

After the jump, the next class.

Group D
Anthony Renaudo
Zach Cox
Dylan Covey
AJ Cole
Brandon Workman
Bryce Brentz
Christian Colon
Austin Wilson
Matt Harvey
Jesse Hahn
Josh Sale
Yasmani Grandal
Chris Sale
Nick Castellanos
Kaleb Cowart
James Paxton
Stetson Allie
Aaron Sanchez

28 April 2010

2010 Composite MLB Draft Prospect Rankings: Late April Edition

The graph below (click on it to blow it up) is the mid-season composite top 50 ranking for the 2010 MLB draft. Included in the current composite scores are Keith Law's top 100, Nick James' PNR Scouting top 100, and PG Crosschecker's top 100. As both Law's and PG's are member only lists, I will not divulge the numbers behind these scores. The graphs are representations of the average + standard deviation.

After the jump, just a few observations on this list and how Keith Law's, Nick James's, and PG Crosschecker's differ.

Total number of players in the composite list: 144

Unique Players on Each List in the Top 50
Keith Law: Mel Rojas Jr. (18), Kellin Deglan (31), Dixon Anderson (49)
Nick James: Tyler Austin (45), Jared Lakind (48)
PG Crosschecker: Jarrett Parker (43), Austin Wood (49)

Players to Watch
Chris Sale - Keith Law is much further down on Sale than either James or PG. It will be interesting to see how each of these rankings change at draft time.
Aaron Sanchez - James values Sanchez much less than Law or PG.
Gary Brown - His rankings run the gamut from high (PG), middle (Law), and low (James).

27 April 2010

MLB Draft Value Trade Chart

You can now follow us on Twitter: CamdenDepot.

So, I was watching the NFL draft last Thursday and it got me to thinking about draft pick trade charts. As you probably know, Jimmy Johnson and the Cowboys used this in the late 80s and early 90s in order to make quick deals during the draft, ensuring them equal or greater value. A couple decades later, the system looks a bit simple due to how free agency and rookie slotting made the first round picks less valuable and later second through third round picks much more valuable. Throw in talent variance year by year and the concept still holds strong, but the chart itself is dated.

In baseball, there are no draft pick trades. It does seem though as if this will be included in the next bargaining agreement. I decided during the draft to look whether anyone had done such a thing as to create an actual draft board trade value chart for MLB. Sky Andrecheck almost did it while answering perhaps more interesting questions here. He mentions how the first few picks are much more valuable than the later ones, but does not put an actual value on them. That is probably the most prudent thing to do, but here . . . we are going to be a little irresponsible.

First things first: recreate the value chart by painstakingly redoing Andrecheck's work. What this graph illustrates is the power best fit line of players selected in the 1990-1999 draft and associated with their WAR during their first six years of MLB service.

As you can see from this chart and when you compare it to his previous one, these are somewhat comparable. There are not identical, but they are close enough. We may have some disagreement on what counted as the first six years of MLB tenure. I don't think the differences are all that significant.

Another thing to notice is just how exceptional the bust rate is with these picks. The formula on the chart shows the top pick in the draft being worth about 12.4 WAR over his first six years in the Majors. That is an average player. The fifteenth player selected has a WAR total of 2.4, which would be slightly above average if all of that was accomplished over a single season as opposed to six. Value drops quickly in the draft and risk becomes more and more apparent. For a savvy team, it may not be incredibly worthwhile to deal for anything outside of the first few selections. That is, unless you think your scouting department is better than everyone else's department.

After the jump, the quick and easy trade chart.

Round 1 Chart

Picks 31-300 Chart

So what could the Orioles get for their third overall pick?
In this scenario, we have the Orioles first round pick as being worth 510 points. They could match up with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. This deal would be equal, based on the chart:

3rd (510pts)
18th (172pts)
29th (129)
30th (126)
144th (50)
264th (33)

What this goes to show is just how valuable those first few picks in the draft actually are. They are so much more valuable that a straight up trade for specific draft picks probably would not be very common at the top of the draft, but certainly would be later on. If trades at the top of the draft would occur, then it would probably include established prospects in the minor leagues.

Next time, converting this all over to money so we can include prospects in the deals.

26 April 2010

More thoughts on Puerto Rico and Draft.

As some of you long timers may remember, I wrote a somewhat popular post back in the day comparing the decrease in MLB talent from Puerto Rico and how it may be similar to the decrease in American blacks in baseball. Today, I decided just to illustrate the decrease in MLB production from Puerto Rico. In the graph below, I included three countries who were strong in developing talent in the 1970s and 1980s. I used birth date to approximate how the 1990 inclusion affected each country and the prospects they produce. With that in mind, I would read 1973 and prior as before the draft. 1974-1978 as a transitional time where the infrastructure is still having an affect on prospects. Post 1978 should be seen as when the infrastructure has probably been significantly degraded and no longer much of an issue.

Click on the picture to make it larger and more legible.

After the jump, the raw numbers.

Years PR Ven DR
54-58 16 5 26
59-63 20 15 31
64-68 32 18 57
69-73 29 28 81
74-78 39 47 108
79-83 19 67 105

23 April 2010

Markakis Walk Update

Markakis early lead in walks has dissipated. It could be a product of pitchers being more aggressive or Markakis being more aggressive.

22 April 2010

Revisting my Shadow Team

A few weeks back I shared an expansion shadow team. The opening day roster was listed here.

How are things shaping up? Ok. WAR suggests they would be 6-8. The team has been buoyed by Felipe Lopez, Juan Uribe, and Ryan Church on offense. Rick Ankiel, switched to center after Crisp's injury, has provided nearly average worth there. The only other hitter of note is Bobby Crosby who has been swinging the bat well in a backup role. The pitching staff really only has Justin Ducherrer and Colby Lewis providing any positive worth.

As I thought before, this team is set to finish in the mid 60s. With the O's woes, they may be challenging them for the top pick in the draft. I still think the O's rebound somewhat. It has been a tough year so far.

20 April 2010

2010 Season Wins Update: Week 3

Here is the season update prior to last night's games. The secondary axis this week is projected 2011 draft slot according to PECOTA as opposed to season wins. As you can see, the Orioles dropped from 12 to 10 to 1 so far this season. PECOTA is typically not very reactionary, but it appears to be so this year.

Playoff percentages are 0.52% for PECOTA and 0.41% for Camden Depot.

Raw Data After the Jump

Week Pecota WAR Pythagorean Actual Psodds Penodds Wcodds WARPsodds 4th record in AL PECOTA Pecota Draft
6-Apr 78.6 78.3 81 0 0.34% 12
13-Apr 71.7 76.4 45.5 1 1.95% 0.60% 1.35% 0.88% 91.5 10
20-Apr 68.8 74 46.7 2 0.52074 0.11376 0.40698 0.18% 92.6 1

19 April 2010

Off Season Managerial Candidates

The calls for Dave Trembley's retire have softened just a bit after the Orioles victory yesterday, which should be tempered as much as the overall record. There really is not much of what Trembley has done that can be considered his fault for the Orioles current state. Similarly, the players have not shown to be listless or turned their backs on Trembley. He seems very well liked and the players do listen to him. That said, fans still like to see a good execution when their team fails and the Orioles have been failing a lot.

Last week, we looked at in season opportunity to replace Trembley. This week, we will lost at potential off season solutions.

Davey Johnson - Senior Adviser - Washington Nationals

Davey Johnson is someone who Orioles fans long for in that he was at the helm for the O's last winning season. The rocky breakup with Angelos is something any Oriole fan can still recount blow by blow. Johnson's name was one of the first to be mentioned when Perlozzo was fired several years ago. For unknown reasons, he was dropped from the running and the team focused on Joe Giraldi. That did not work out and MacPhail decided to keep with Trembley. Now, Johnson would be staring at age 68 next year, which is rather old for a manager. He has not managed in the Major Leagues since 2000, but has been very much involved in Team USA and the WBC. He would not be able to ride out the rest of 2010 as he has a contract with the Nationals. Some think that contract as a Senior Adviser is merely a holding maneuver for Johnson until current Nats manager Jim Riggleman inevitably fails, allowing Johnson to takes the reigns. That being said, if available, Johnson probably stands a decent chance to be rehired by the Orioles.

Tom Kelly - Special Assistant to GM - Minnesota Twins

Kelly was one of MacPhail's big hirings when he joined the Twins organizations. Kelly lasted his entire term as GM. Under Terry Ryan, Kelly was sort of like the GM's personal cross checker for internal minor leaguers. He worked part-time as a restricted evaluator. I am assuming that under Bill Smith, the same arrangement has been made. Since MacPhail's hiring, Kelly has repeatedly been asked about any potential openings within the Orioles organization, but he has routinely responded that he enjoys his semi-retirement and not having to travel as much as he used to. Based on the information we have, it seems unlikely he would now be interested in managing again.

Joey Cora - Bench Coach - Chicago White Sox

Cora was another coach that was linked to MacPhail when he took over the Orioles' GM position. After retirement as a player, he was groomed in the Mets minor league system until being promoted to the big leagues by Ozzie Guillen in 2003 as a third base coach. He was then promoted to being the bench coach in 2006. On several occaisions, Cora has served as the ChiSox's interim manager. He has also logged time as manager in Venezuela during the off season. His managerial perspective is somewhat of an unknown as Guillen's personality and perspective overwhelms the day to day operation of the team.

Bob Melvin - Scout - New York Mets

Melvin was part of the Why Not? team with the Orioles and played a total of three years in Baltimore. He spent several seasons as a coach in the Diamondbacks system. His MLB managerial career began with a two year stint in Seattle that was uneven with his first season winning 93 games and his second season with 99 loses. He was immediately hired after being let go by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the wake of the Wally Backman fiasco. Melvin led the Diamondbacks to 90 wins and a pennant in 2007, but lost in the NLCS. That year he was awarded the Sporting News and MLB National League Manager of the Year awards. He was fired form the position in 2009 after 29 games. Melvin's handling of a squad is considered a bit frantic. He will often tinker with the lineup and the bullpen to get the results he wants. To many, the results he gets from his tinkering have about the same effect on winning as a fan at home wearing his lucky shirt. This behavior looks genius when the team is winning and desperate when it is not. He is rather well regarded though and is on many GMs' short lists for any opening.

Tony Pena - Bench Coach - New York Yankees

Pena has early success during his tenure in Kansas City as head coach, winning Manger of the Year honors in 2003 with a young team. He is considered a strict disciplinarian with young players and gets a lot out of them. Of course, such a style often will get old without results. He also has a reputation for being a coach who burns out arms and somewhat unfriendly to more recent trends in managerial strategy. He was in the running for the Yankees job after Torre left, but lost out to Girardi. Pena stayed on, remaining as the bench coach. By all indications, he wants to get back to managing a team.

Alan Trammell - Bench Coach - Chicago Cubs

Trammell is perhaps the most underrated SS of all time. He is also largely given too much blame for the Tigers' woeful 2003-2005 time. After winning 5 out of their last 6 in 2003, his Tigers avoiding the embarrassment of finishing with fewer wins than the '62 Mets, Trammell was fired and offered a role in the Tigers front office. Trammell declined, wanting to get back into the saddle. He signed on as bench coach for the Cubs in hopes of restoring that dream and remains there. His teams consisted of young pitching rotations and was thought not to be too taxing on their arms (although almost every single Tigers pitcher from that time has come down with arm problems and have suffered incredibly underwhelming careers). It would be surprising if he did not wind up as the Cubs manager or somewhere else within the next five years.

Harold Baines - 1st base coach - Chicago White Sox

Baines would be a fan favorite. He has been a part of Guillien's coaching staff since the World Series 2005 win. His name rarely comes up for manager openings, but he could be another Eddie Murray or Rick Dempsey interview. His soft spoken style may not work well with the media or fan base. His skills as a manager are largely unknown and untested.

Rich Dauer - 3rd base coach - Colorado Rockies

Dauer would be another legacy interview. He too has been rather unassuming, but is well regarded in Denver.

Don Mattingly - Hitting Coach - LA Dodgers

Mattingly lost out to Girardi and has been thought to be biding his time in LA until he can find a coaching slot. It has been suggested that in the next year or two Torre will retire and Mattingly will take over. Having been burned by the new Steinbrenner/Cashman arrangement, he may have second thoughts trusting that the current Dodger leadership will remain with their owners' divorce proceedings. Baltimore may be interested in trying to hire him on as an offensive oriented manager with playoff experience, but Mr. Baseball probably wait for a better team to open up. Certainly, a better team if he was going to the AL East and having to face his Yankees.

Dave Martinez - Bench Coach - Tampa Bay Rays

Martinez and MacPhail know each other well from their Cubs years'. Martinez is often mentioned as a peripheral candidate for several teams, which may merely be due to the fact he has been associated with many teams over his career and has been thought of as being a manager type. He would be another untested commodity.

John Farrell - Pitching Coach - Boston Red Sox

Farrell would be the person I would be most interested in coming to the Orioles as a coach. He cut his teeth with the Indians as the Director of Player Development for the Cleveland Indians from 2001 to 2006. Not incredibly gifted in a Joe Jordan role in my opinion, but he certainly was competent. For the past three years he has been the pitching coach for the Red Sox. Coming up through player development, coaching young pitchers (i.e. Jon Lester), and being a part of a highly competitive and intense baseball environment (Boston); I think Farrell could be an excellent option as a manager. I think he would prove to be a very useful voice and give good feedback to our stable of young pitchers. His contract included a very strict retention clause and it was thought to prevent him being hired by the Indians this past off season. This upcoming off season, the contract is over and Farrell should be on of the most eagerly sought after rookie managers.

16 April 2010

Looking at the fourth round of the 2010 draft 4:3

This post will be more similar to the 3:3 post as opposed to the 1:3 posts. It is fairly difficult to determine who will definitely be available at this early date. It is also pretty difficult who the Orioles will value as Jordan's staff seems to follow the beat of their own drummer. I will try to identify an individual that might be available 118 players deep (round 4: pick 3). Stereotypical Jordan picks are projectable/low ceiling college position players, JuCo pitcher with potential, projectable/low ceiling left handed college pitcher, and prep pitchers with projection.

P/LC College Position Player
Andy Wilkins 1B/3B/RF University of Arkansas
Wilkins is playing most of his time at first base for Arkansas as Zach Cox mans third base and is the best collegiate first baseman in this year's draft. Wilkins is a fine player in his own right, but does not match the potential of Cox. He has a strong lefty power swing and may be able to profile at third base or right field. Range may ultimately be limiting in the outfield. He should be willing to sign for slot here at around 280k.

JuCo Pitcher with Potential
Jake Eliopoulos LHSP Chipola JC
Eliopoulos was drafted last year by the Blue Jays in the second round last year. He was considered a slight overdraft and required overslot. The Jays did not offer him as much as he wanted and he decided to go to Chipola. I do not think he increases his value much this year and with the shine off him, teams will see that the ceiling is lower than what some thought with him coming out of high school. He throws a fastball in the upper 80s with marginal command, his curveball looks incredibly promising, and his changeup is mentioned as being a work in progress. As a lefty, this is a good group of characteristics to have. He is not expected to put on much more velocity and will likely fall short of being a starter. The Orioles are a team that has made a significant push in the last year to acquire more left handed pitching in their minors and Eliopoulos is a guy whose floor is still usable to this organization. Being an eligible freshman, I could see him signing for about 350-400k.

P/LC College Pitcher
Kevin Gelinas LHP Junior University of California, Santa Barbara
Gelinas is primarily a two pitch pitcher with a fastball the crests 90 and a slider in the low 80s. This spring, a hurdles for him include getting greater command of his pitchers (his mechanics need a bit of refinement) and to actually throw changeups in game situations. A lefty at the velocity should certainly garner more attention than he did last year when he was selected at the end of the draft, but the lack of a viable third pitch for a Junior will keep him out of the first couple rounds. This type of player fits well for the Orioles as I previously mentioned. He is a lefty who has two decent pitches that may become average to above average at the pro-level. He would be a decent fit as a left handed bullpen prospect. If the change shows promise, he might be in line as a swingman or backend rotation pitcher at the pro level. That is good value for the fourth round. I imagine he would sign at slot here, 280k.

Prep Pitcher with Potential
Casey Mulholland RHP Pendleton HS FL
Mulholland is a tall lanky pitcher who has some projection left in his body. He has a fastball in the high eighties, a decent slow curve, and the working of a changeup. There certainly is a lot to be intrigued by his sets of skills and he could wind up being a legitimate starting candidate. Mulholland is definitely a player I will be following as the prep season progresses. He will probably be a slight overslot, but I doubt he is firmly committed to Ole Miss. I imagine around 320-360k would get him to pass on college.

Nothing after the jump.

If Trembley Goes . . . Who can replace him in-season?

It has been a rough start to the Orioles' season. As someone who is attuned to numbers, projections, and scouting reports . . . I am wincing a lot, but am generally unmoved in my assessment of the team long-term. The team is a 70s win team and what has happened has largely not been a product of anything Dave Trembley has or has not done. Still, some fans have been calling for the dugout to be cleared and new coaches to take their places.

Ken Rosenthal wrote a column the other day expressing his thoughts. Many think Trembley will be replaced in-season, but there really are not many candidates available and there is a great risk that any selection may do well and then prevent a wider search in the off season. Any new hire, then, will probably be someone who has experience and is someone whom the Orioles would be fine giving a multi-year contract.

An internal hire is also possible. One way would be to promote a current coach in the dugout to manager. Guys like Shelby and Samuel have some experience managing in the minors, but have been largely looked over at the Majors level. The new hire last offseason, Datz, has never been considered for a managerial position and is thought to be a bit bare bones in how he handles players. Alan Dunn might be the only other option and he seems like an afterthought here. The Orioles are just not very well set up with ex-coaches as positional coaches or "consultants" as other teams are.

The other way of doing an "internal" hire would be to hire an Orioles personality. Names on this short list would be guys like Eddie Murray, Cal Ripken, and Rick Dempsey.

After the jump, I'll go a bit more over the likely possibility of available talent for an in-season hire.

Eric Wedge
561-573 (.495) regular season; 6-5 postseason

Wedge got his start quickly making his way through the minors as a manager. In 2002, he was awarded Baseball America's and the Sporting News' Minor League Manager of the Year. That offseason he was hired to replace Charlie Manuel as manager of the Cleveland Indians. The team rebounded on strong play of guys like Sizemore, Sabathia, Lee, Hafner, and Carmona. In 2007, the Indians got edged out in 7 games to the Red Sox in the ALCS. Two lackluster seasons later and Wedge got the ax.

Wedge gas said he fully intends to stay out of the game in 2010 and reenter in 2011. I imagine though that a chance to audition for the Orioles position might be enticing to him. His strengths have largely been attributed to keeping the clubhouse loose and focused each day as well as being somewhat of an instructor. He is criticized for his in game play. Wedge does not like to play "small ball," yet seemed to religiously adhere to pitchers having certain roles. I'm not sure how much these two impressions hold water, but I have heard them enough to consider them to be the perception of his managerial style.

My bet is that Wedge stays retired until the off season when he reenters MLB as a bench coach for someone like the Rangers.

Jerry Narron
291-341 (.460) regular season

Narron has had two tours of duty. A two season span with the Rangers that sunk him when all of Hicks' toys could not be turned into a winner. He then put in two admirable years with the horribly mismanaged Reds before being fired mid-season. It seems that his hiring as Reds manager was perhaps an accident as he performed well enough that the interim tag had to be removed (which might sound familiar to O's fans). I remember him as a rather uninspiring manager who seemed somewhat detached from the players. Far more suited to the bench coach role than the managerial one. To be honest I don't really have a good read on it. As well as I look, it seems he has been out of the game for about two years. He would certainly be chomping at the bit to get back in the bigs. He used to coach Orioles minor leagues in the early 90s, but I imagine all of those guys are gone and we do not have a Reds presence in the front office anymore.

My bet is that if Narron finds his way back into baseball it will be as a bench or bullpen coach. I severely doubt he will be with the Orioles. I would think they would choose someone who at least has some sort of upside or post-season experience.

Phil Garner
903-974 (.481) regular season; 13-13 postseason

Garner is Rosenthal's choice as Dave Trembley's successor. He certainly does fit the mold in that he has had success with two Astros teams and he is a well known coach having been managing with 15 years of experience. He is currently unattached to any team. Also helping his cause is that he is an old school manager who highly values small ball and traditional strategy. I would personally find that to be a fault, but if MacPhail is still anything like he was with Chicago . . . Garner would seem to fit in with what he was. The only knock from MacPhail's perspective is that Garner might be seen by him as an NL-style coach.

What is perhaps slightly puzzling to me is that Garner has never really had much success. He coasted in the worst divisions in baseball and still only managed four winning records during his 15 year tenure. His success was mainly a product of Lance Berkman, Roy Oswalt, Roger Clemes, and Andy Pettite. Nothing else. True, he has always had to work with horrible GMs. It is hard to tell if he was a bad manager or if he just had lackluster teams. A question does beg to be answered though: why do awful GMs hire and retain Phil Garner? I think his style is somewhat too brash with his players and that he subscribes to outdated philosophies on baseball. He is not known to work well with young players and is way too invested in veterans, which has been a similar M.O. of Garner's GMs.

My bet is that if the Orioles are willing to sign a multi-year deal, Garner is on the short list. Wedge might be slightly more preferable as he could be pushed around by the organization a little easier.

Buck Showalter
882-853 (.514)

Showalter is another coached who is immediately recognized by fans and is considered a bit more of a hothead than Phil Garner. Rightly or wrongly, he is thought to be strong on fundamentals and brings the most out of his players. Some attribute the World Series wins in the year following his ousting in New York and Arizona as evidence that he is a great manager. For the Yankees teams of the early 90s, you really have to give some of that credit to their development system and player acquisition. With the Diamondbacks, it was really the act of bankrupting the team to sign marquis free agents that got them going. In Texas, Showalter could not improve the Rangers mess and did not much better than Narron.

As an analyst for ESPN, Showalter most likely has a clause to allow him to join a ballclub as manager. He would also most likely require a multiyear contract. As opposed to Garner, who I think is itching to get back into the game, I think Showalter would only consider going to the right situation. He has no qualms about going to a bad team as evidenced by the Dback and Ranger opportunities, but I do question whether he wants to face the uphill battle the Rays, BoSox, and Yanks present. I think he might be hard pressed to find another job.

Art Howe
1129-1137 (.498) regular season; 6-9 playoffs

Howe was last seen in the majors as Ron Washington's bench coach in 2007 and 2008 after spending a year with the Phillies as a third base coach. He is getting up there in age (63 years old) and is thought of much more as a caretaker with a traditional perspective. He sounds exactly like an Andy MacPhail kind of guy. He is low key and rather unimpressive in how he carries himself. He had a mediocre stint with the Astros, and excellent run that ended poorly between him and GM Billy Beane with the A's, and a disastrous run with the Mets. His success with the A's was largely a product of the Big Three. He also did very little in terms of in game strategy as that was dictated to him by the front office. Howe looked very much to the Mets position where he would have more of a free hand. It did not go well and it has been a bit of a black mark for him.

Howe could be had with a single season contract. He seems eager to get back into baseball and could look over the team as an interim. He may be OK with being reassessed at the end of the season. He seems like a convenient pick and he does have experience which will probably be a selling point.

The Unlikely Bunch:

Cal Ripken Jr.
This would be for the old school fans and for the casual fans with elephant memories. Ripken has no experience coaching at this level, but should not be too much of an issue. More so, I think he might be used to getting his way. It could potentially be a Michael Jordan - Wizards sort of situation.

Eddie Murray
This would also be for the fans. Murray has had plenty experience coaching, but has been looked over time and time again as manager material. There are some concerns about how well he could encourage chemistry and work public relations.

Rick Dempsey
Dempsey's post playing day dream appears to be managing the Orioles. He has lobbied hard for interviews every offseason when the manager is let go. He has never been successful and either does not wish to go elsewhere or is largely considered not a managerial prospect. He has plenty of experience with managing in the minors and coaching in the majors. Dempsey is a media guy, so he has that down.

Jim Palmer
Palmer often gets mentioned in the backwater of discussions for an Orioles manager. It seems unlikely that he would care much for it. The only prospect that would be enticing to him is that I severely doubt he would want to coach the team after the season concluded which would give MacPhail the Cheney/Biden option of not having to carry someone over to manager slot the following season. As we all know though, Palmer hates to travel.

Mike Flanagan
As long as there was not much of a falling out and as long as Flanny's guys were not responsible for all of the leaks at the beginning of MacPhail's tenure, this move might actually have more traction than you might think at first. He is an Angelos darling and he does seem to have good personal skills. MacPhail might bristle at another GM-type in the chain of command.

Gary Allenson
This would be a Trembley style move. To promote someone who has been a good teacher and solid manager in the minors. I doubt the O's would look to double up on this. I think he best profiles in the minors whereas a guy like Brad Komminsk could be someone to keep an eye on and promote to the MLB level as a coach in order to groom him as a manager.

Alan Dunn, Juan Samuel, Jeff Datz
All would be fine. Dunn probably has the best shot as both Samuel and Datz are not really known for good personal skills.

15 April 2010

Likelihood of not making the Majors: 1990s Draft Picks

The graphic is pretty self explanatory . . . I think.

Forewarning . . . there is nothing after the jump.

13 April 2010

2010 Predicted and Actual Record Recap

I am bringing this back after a year long hiatus. This will be a weekly post that will keep track of the Orioles actual wins and will also take a gander about how their performance is changing the metrics we use in projecting their performance. I imagine that PECOTA will be more reactive to player performance this year than I will be.

Current Playoff Odds
PECOTA: 1.95%
Camden Depot: 0.88% (91.5 wins)

PECOTA uses their projection systems to predict the entire season and the chance that individual players can have breakout or fadeout seasons. My system is basically using a binomial distribution to determine the percent likelihood of the Orioles matching the 4th record in the AL according to the adjusted PECOTA rankings. On the graph, I illustrate the slightly rougher rule which is 95 wins in the AL East.

Crawdaddy 2010 Mock Draft April Edition

Here is the April edition of my 2010 Mock Draft, which I am sure Stotle will swoop in and inform me of any misevaluations. He is a bit more sharp on these and actually travels the circuit. My estimates are based on past behavior of teams and consensus evaluations. I also tinker with the stats, which certainly have very limited value.

1. Washington Nationals – Bryce Harper, C, CC of Southern Nevada - 9MM/3MM incentives

2. Pittsburgh Pirates – Deck McGuire, RHP, Georgia Tech - 4MM

3. Baltimore Orioles – Jameson Taillon, RHP, The Woodlands HS (TX) - 6MM

4. Kansas City Royals – Manny Machado, SS, Brito HS (FL) - 4.5MM

5. Cleveland Indians – Drew Pomeranz, LHP, Ole Miss - 4MM

6. Arizona Diamondbacks – Chris Sale, LHP, Florida Gulf Coast - 3.8MM

7. New York Mets – Austin Wilson, OF, Harvard-Westlake HS (CA) - 2.3MM

8. Houston Astros – Karsten Whitson, RHP, Chipley HS (FL) - 3MM

9. San Diego Padres – Nick Castellanos, 3B, Archbishop McCarthy HS (FL) - 3.7MM

10. Oakland Athletics – Yordy Cabrera, SS, Lakeland HS (FL) - 2.1MM

11. Toronto Blue Jays – Christian Colon, SS, Cal State Fullerton - 2.2MM

12. Cincinnati Reds – A.J. Cole, RHP, Oviedo HS (FL) - 2.5MM

13. Chicago White Sox – Dylan Covey, RHP, Maranatha HS (CA) - 2.4MM

14. Milwaukee Brewers – Anthony Ranaudo, RHP, LSU - 2.5MM

15. Texas Rangers – Zack Cox, 3B, Arkansas - 2.2MM

16. Chicago Cubs – Matt Harvey, RHP, Univ. of North Carolina - 2.5MM

17. Tampa Bay Rays – Yasmani Grandal, C, Miami - 1.8MM

18. Los Angeles Angels – Bryce Brentz, OF, Middle Tennessee State - 1.9MM

19. Houston Astros – Michael Choice, OF, UT Arlington - 1.6MM

20. Boston Red Sox – Kaleb Cowart, RHP, Cook County HS (GA) - 2MM

21. Minnesota Twins – Reggie Golden, OF, Wetumpka HS (AL) - 1.5MM

22. Texas Rangers – Brandon Workman, RHP, Texas - 1.5MM

23. Florida Marlins – Josh Sale, OF, Bishop Blanchet HS (WA) - 1.8MM

24. San Francisco Giants – Stetson Allie, RHP, St. Edwards HS (OH) - 1.5MM

25. St. Louis Cardinals – Kevin Gausman, RHP, Grandview HS (CO) - 1.4MM

26. Colorado Rockies – Justin O’Conner, SS/C, Cowan HS (IN) - 1.3MM

27. Philadelphia Phillies – Gary Brown, OF, California St. Univ. - Fullerton - 1.1MM

28. Los Angeles Dodgers – James Paxton, LHP, Grand Prairie (Independent) - 1.3MM

29. Los Angeles Angels – Micah Gibbs, C, LSU - 1.3MM

30. Los Angeles Angels – Jesse Hahn, RHP, Virginia Tech - 1.1MM

31. Tampa Bay Rays – Austin Wates, OF/1B, Virginia Tech - 0.9MM

32. New York Yankees – Kyle Parker, OF, Clemson - 1.8MM

12 April 2010

Markakis Walk Tally Comparison

Markakis' walk rate collapsed in 2009 and contributed in large part to his lost value last season. Over the year, we'll be keeping track of the walk tally. So far, there is little difference between his 2008 and 2009 seasons, but this year . . . Markakis is way ahead of either season.

11 April 2010

Minor League Recap

Eventually, I think this will turn into an every few days sort of thing, but I am running through the games and here are some quick thoughts.

-Looks like Alfredo Simon was pretty sharp, but may have had some control issues. It would not surprising to see him log a couple starts in the Majors this year. He spent 72 pitches over 3 innings, notching 3 ks, 1 walk, and 3 hits.
-Kam Mickolio needed 38 pitches to go 1.1 innings. That is awful and it appears he continues to have issues with his control. Disappointing.
-Bell and Snyder both went 3 for 4 with a double a piece.
-Montanez continues to hit AAA pitching going 2 for 5.

-Caleb Joesph is looking strong early on. He popped into the discussion in a few top ten prospect lists for the Orioles this past year. He hit two doubles and a single in four plate appearances.
-Chorye Spoone put in a pedestrian performance. This is basically his make or break year. Walking two and striking out two over four innings won't cut it.
-Wilfredo Perez continues to dominate by getting save and striking out three in one inning of work.

-From the reports I heard, Hobgood was very uneven. Inconsistent release point, but his pitches did look good . . . just without the command want. He went 4 innings walking 5 and striking out 4. Not ideal to say the least. He did induce 4 groundballs to only 1 fly. I also heard that he was very agile in the field.
- Dalles hit a home run. He might be the only Delmarva hitter of note this year.

10 April 2010

Minor League Recap

Norfolk Tides
-Lou Montanez went 3 for 3 with a triple and 2 rbis. He seems to be rather proficient against AAA pitching. On a less talented team with respect to outfielders, he could probably find a slot as a 4th outfielder.
-Arrieta was all over the place over 5 innings. I am now certain there is an 80 pitch limit for MiL pitchers as he too came out at 80 flat. He threw 42 for 80 pitches as strikes. That is not good at all.
-Alberto Castillo was the only reliever to come out well. Jim Miller was slugged.

Bowie Baysox
-The only good news from the Baysox game is that Steve Johnson struck out 6 over 5 innings and was fairly efficient.

Delmarva Shorebirds
-Steve Bumbry notched two triples.
-Levi Carolus did his Conley impersonation tonight going 3 for 5.
-Jake Cowan was all over the place. Over 4 innings struck out 5 and he walked 5. Not really the best thing to do. He did log 6 ground outs and no flyouts. Outside of the walks, it is encouraging. I have high hopes for him. Kendall Volz pitched for Greenville and was a player we had suggested in the shadow draft . . . he did quite well over four innings.

09 April 2010

Minor League Recap

Occasionally, I will go and post some thoughts about the Orioles MiL system. Last night was opening day for the full season affiliates and found the O's losers in both completed games, winning in a suspended one, and completely rained out in another.

From the Norfolk loss:
-Chris Tillman pitched 4 innings. He threw 81 pitches over 4 innings, which is pretty deep with the pitch per inning rate. Only one extra base hit and one walk to go along with 5 strikeouts. A good, but not dominant, performance.
-Scott Moore played short. No word on his defense, but he misthrew a ball for an error.
-Rhyne Hughes is playing right field. He logged in a hit and a stolen base at the plate.

From the Delmarva loss:
-Ryan Berry looks like he is too advanced for loA ball. Looks like there may be a rough 80 pitch count on the early season starts. With Berry's shoulder that might be a good idea. He struck out 4 over the 5 innings and did not give up any extra base hits. I think when he arrives in Bowie in a year or two, we will then know what he has to bring.
-Towson's Brian Conley went 4 for 4 with two doubles. Outside of a fielding error, it was a good night for him. He is probably an organizational player.
-Justin Dalles logged in his first hit of the season. I am very much interested in seeing how his bat develops. In a small sample size, he hit well off of college pitchers drafted along side him in 2009.
-Bobby Bundy is in the pen. I had high hopes for him. Maybe when Berry pushes someone out in the Frederick rotation, Bundy will get the call.

Extra Innings:
Zach Britton pitched 4.1 innings before the rain came in. He had a 7:3 GB:FB ration and K'd 3 batters. The line is a typical Zach Britton line. He should put up some interesting numbers this year and challenge for a Norfolk promotion as early as July.

Looking at the third round of the 2010 Draft 3:3

In the two previous posts we have explored what would happen if Bryce Harper fell to the Orioles as well as what would happen if he does not. Of course, we should keep in mind how early it is in the evaluation process for the 2010 draft, so much can change. Today, we'll be looking at the pick that follows for the Orioles. Due to the Mike Gonzalez signing, the Orioles second selection will be the 85th overall selection, which we will refer to as 3:3 (round:selection in round).

In the past few years, Joe Jordan has shown as desire to pick up raw, toolsy players in the second and third rounds. I would put LJ Hoes, Xavier Avery, and Mychal Givens in this classification. These were high school players with high upside and were generally thought to go a round or two later. Jordan appears to trust his method of evaluation more so than the consensus as represented by periodicals like Baseball America who gather their information by talking to scouts and front office types. Jordan has also shown an interest in JuCos and College players who have significant upside, particularly pitchers. An example of this would be the selection of Jake Arrieta. It is often hard to forecast who these free fallers might be, but I will give it a try.

After the jump, a list of four prospects whom the Orioles might take an interest in.

Russell Wilson, 2B, Junior, NC State
After all of that, I am mentioning a player who does not fit either of the two characteristics mentioned above (toolsy prep position player or underrated college pitcher). What Wilson offers is a strong athletic body and great footwork. His focus on football as NC State's starting QB has certainly taken him away from the diamond and prevented him from honing his skills. Wilson has decided this season to not take part in Spring football practice and instead dedicate that time to baseball. My guess is that there will be many questions lingering when the draft arrives as to what Wilson can become and few would be interested in offering the top end second round money I think he will be asking for. If the Orioles are sold on the ceiling of his bat, they may be willing to offer him 800k. So much depends on his performance this spring that it is really difficult figuring out where he could go.

Sammy Solis, LHP, Sophomore, San Diego
Solis is a type of pitcher who may fall on draft day. His freshman year (2008) he was unable to establish himself as a starter on a staff that was led by current Oriole Brian Matusz. In 2009, he led off the season with a solid outing, got hit hard in his second outing, came down with a season ending injury, and received a medical redshirt. He comes into 2010 again as a sophomore and eligible for the draft. With the injury last season, he will need to show that his back in sound and that he is capable of putting up the numbers people expect from him. That doubt might cost him with where he is selected. Added to that, since he is a sophomore, if he is not offered the kind of money he wants to see . . . he can easily go back into the draft in 2011 and still have similar leverage as a Junior. My guess is that it will cost about 1.5MM to get him to sign. He really could go anywhere between the supplemental round to the tenth round like Sam Dyson did after he was unable to show command in his off speed pitches.

Dominic Ficociello, 3B, Fullerton HS, CA
Ficociello is a switch hitter who has split much of his time between baseball and football. The lack of dedication to one sport has probably cost him some developmental time in baseball, but based on his Summer showcase . . . Ficociello may be turning some heads this spring. He is raw and seems capable of plus power at short or above average power at third base. His 6'2, 160lbs frame has more projection in it. He is committed at this moment to Arkansas. Depending on his summer, I could see him signing around slot here. A good spring might raise him to being a second round overslot prospect.

DeAndre Smelter, RHP, Tattnal County HS, GA
Smelter does not seem to have much projection left, but he has a low 90s plus sinking fastball and a plus potential slider. If he can develop a suitable third offering, he could make it as a starter. Though he might profile best in the bullpen. My guess is that it will take supplemental first round money to sign him. Such a price made Zach Von Rosenburg fall last year and it might make DeAndre Smelter fall this year. A year at a JuCo with a better staff might help him refine his mechanics. I think he signs for about 1.2MM. Like the other numbers, watch these predictions become incredibly wrong come August.

06 April 2010

On the links . . .

Check out this very interesting article.

Now, to slightly misrepresent it, the top 5 college hitters of 2009 available for the 2010 draft.

1. Bryce Brentz 1409 OPS against drafted players in 2009 (at least 60 AB)
2. Jarrett Parker 1024
3. Gary Brown 905
4. Yasmani Grandal 834
5. Christian Colon 817

05 April 2010

Another look at the 2009 draft: budgets

Be sure to click on the following graphic . . . it will become much larger and legible.

It is a graphical representation of spending in last year's (2009) draft with respect to money spent in the first 10 rounds, last 40 rounds, and total expenditure.

What do it all mean for the Orioles? They seem to project their budget to a sort of market slotting. They rank 7th overall, while having the 5th or 6th highest slot allotment. Based on my back of the envelope calculations, they exceeded their slot allotment by about 50-60%. Now, they way they did this was rather unconventional. They devoted 40% of their budget to picks chosen after the tenth round. The Yankees were really the only other team to act in a similar fashion.

After the jump . . . what could this mean?

A major difference between the Orioles drafting and our shadow Orioles draft last year was the after tenth round budgeting. Stotle and I are much more aware of the talent that drops in the first ten rounds, so our draft budgets would probably fall more in the 95% spent in the first ten rounds . . . similar to the A's or Giants. It is a type of strategy you would expect from organizations that might prefer consensus perspectives and not isolated ones.

Joe Jordan acted differently last year and, although somewhat unique in his methodology, it kind of makes sense. If you have a few scouts who are completely sold on overlooked high school talent, then it makes sense to use several of your selections after the tenth and follow those players through summer ball and to offer overslot contract to those you like after a more extended look. This enables the scouting department the opportunity to draft more value. What I mean is this . . . if you are selecting near slot for players in the first ten rounds and then overslot afterward, you are likely to get more overall talent as the base level of talent in the first ten rounds is much much greater than in the final 40. The crux of the strategy is how good your team is at ID'ing solid overslots after the 10th pick.

What is worth more: Max Stassi and Mike Spina or Randy Henry and Michael Ohlman?
I don't know the answer to that. For the Orioles sake, hopefully Joe Jordan does.

What does this all mean for the 2010 draft?
Just a basic numbers approach would suggest a draft budget of 9.5 to 10MM. That value would not be able to draft either Harper or Taillon in addition to the rest of the draft class (around 2.5MM at slot). It may be possible that MacPhail has budgeted in extra money in case they do need to expand the money in order to fit in one of these players. Most industry sources think Matzek is superior to Taillon, but we have received every indication that the Orioles thought Hobgood (and Wheeler) were better than Matzek. Would the O's be willing to pay Taillon 3-4x as much as they did Hobgood while also not considering him to be an elite talent? Probably not. Though, they may very well have an opinion that is more in line with consensus on Taillon.

04 April 2010

2010 Projection: BoSox over Phillies; Matusz RotY

American League
East - Yankees (Orioles finishing 4th)
Central - Minnesota
West - Texas
Wild Card - Boston

MVP - Joe Mauer
Cy Young - Feliz Hernandez
RotY - Brian Matusz

National League
East - Atlanta
Central - St. Louis
West - Los Angeles
Wild Card - Philadelphia

MVP - Albert Pujols
Cy Young - Roy Halladay
RotY - Jason Heyward

Yanks over Rangers
Boston over Minnesota
Boston over Yanks

Braves over Dodgers
Phillies over Cards
Phillies over Braves

World Series
Boston over Phillies

After the jump . . . projected 2011 draft order

1. Toronto Blue Jays 62-100
2. San Diego Padres 64-98
3. Washington Nationals 67-95
4. Houston Astros 67-95
5. Kansas City Royals 70-92
6. Oakland Athletics 71-91
7. Pittsburgh Pirates 73-89
8. Detroit Tigers 74-88
9. Milwaukee Brewers 77-85
10. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 77-85
11. New York Mets 77-85
12. Baltimore Orioles 78-84
13. Chicago White Sox 79-83
14. Florida Marlins 80-82
15. Cincinatti Reds 81-81
16. Cleveland Indians 81-81
17. San Francisco Giants 83-79
18. Chicago Cubs 84-78
19. Colorado Rockies 84-78
20. Arizona Diamondbacks 87-75
21. Seattle Mariners 87-75
22. Tampa Bay Rays 88-74
23. Minnesota Twins 87-75
24. Los Angeles Dodgers 88-74
25. St. Louis Cardinals 90-72
26. Texas Rangers 90-72
27. Atlanta Braves 92-70
28. New York Yankees 97-65
29. Philadelphia Phillies 91-71
30. Boston Red Sox 95-67

02 April 2010

What happens if the Nationals select Bryce Harper?

Last week we explored what would happen if the Nationals did not draft Harper. This week, we assume they do. Honestly, I have a hard time seeing them do anything different. There are some concerned that Harper is going to demand a 10+MM contract, but I severely doubt a 17 year old with some doubt as to whether he can play a difficult defensive position would command such a price. He should go around the same neighborhood as Renaudo and Taillon. I could see the Nationals potentially selecting Renaudo, but Harper is a special prospect. Probably not a once in a generation kind of guy, but he has immense power.

What would the Pirates do?
Last time, I had them go slot. With Ranuado still on the board, I think they select him. The Pirates emerging approach is to either spend big on a polished elite college player or to go slot and recoup talent by overslotting. Of course, given that he has missed significant time this year (elbow), returning to action this past Sunday, Pittsburgh could look to another college arm with the likely candidate being Georgia Tech's Deck McGuire, Ole Miss's Drew Pomeranz or Florida Gulf Coast's Chris Sale. Other names making their case as the potential top college arm in the draft include Texas's Brandon Workman and Virginia Tech's Jesse Hahn, with a dark horse to watch former projected early-1st rounder Matt Harvey from UNC (who has shown some consistency this year to go with big-time raw stuff). Whichever player the Pirates target, the potential dearth of viable overslots and the presence of several solid "slot" candidates would probably make this easy for them.

So what do the Orioles do?
The answer is after the jump.

For the Orioles the choice will be between an elite talent, Jameson Taillon, and a bevy of potential slot picks. The growing consensus is that they would be willing and eager to select Taillon. Although, he has a strong college commitment, which may in turn make Jordan prefer to select a prospect who is more likely to sign on with the team.

If signability is an issue, I can see Karsten Whitson signing for about 500k to 1MM over slot. He still has some projection in his 6'4 frame and already works in the low 90s with his sinker. Jordan has shown over the past few seasons that he seems to scout out pitchers with pro-quality two seamers with good regularity. Here is a description of his fastball from PnR Scouting:

Whitson's fastball is a low-90s offering that can consistently get up to the 94-95 mph zone. He produces some solid boring action and should have the ability down the line to produce groundballs as well as swings-and-misses. There's also potentially more velo in there, be it through some increased strength or clean-up in his stride/plant to get a little more momentum directly towards home. Control is the only factor preventing me from grading it a true plus offering right now, but the velocity and movement are there.

With that said, I think the selection here would be Jameson Taillon. It is rare to have the ability to draft an elite talent like Taillon. A slightly lesser talent was passed on last year by Jordan (Tyler Matzek), but there were whispers of concerns about make up. I would find it hard to believe that the top prep arm in this year's draft would also have makeup issues. Everything I have read about Taillon is that he is solid on and off the field. He would be an excellent selection. Here is what PnR has to say about him:

Taillon has been nothing short of incredible each time I've seen him (on film and in person), and I do not pass that compliment out lightly. As mentioned above, his body control really stands out for such a big-body. There's an excellent combination here of well above-average pure stuff, an ideal Major League pitcher's body, athleticism and poise. In some ways, this summer will make things more difficult on Taillon, as he's set the bar very high for his spring season. At the same time, I never expected to enter the 2010 season with anyone but Bryce Harper atop my big board -- Taillon has given me reason to examine that slot more closely. He has all the makings of a potential front-end starter.