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Archive for the ‘Player Scouting’ Category

Check out my article over at Razzball.
Hope you enjoy.

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Omar Vizquel, the human vacuum has been signed by Texas displacing any possibility of Elvis Andrus having any fantasy value this year.  That is unless the “Hands of Silk” has a physical breakdown in his dinosaur years, which is likely.  However, the Rangers need a SS that will not punt the ball to the outfield grass 32 times like Mr. Andrus accomplished to do in 109 games; that is an error every 3 1/2 games.

This move obviously fills the time gap until Elvis matures into an everyday SS.  Moving Michael Young over to Third may have been a bit preemptive, though in the long run secures an opening for Andrus to fill in when need be.  I expect the Rangers to make the smart me (though that is not always the case) and start Elvis in the minors for at least the first two months of the season.  Elvis’ peripherals are not that amazing even considering his age.

To put his minor league totals in perspective with a major leaguer of equivalent age  in the minors we have to use Delmon Young (yes the Delmon Young who was suspended for 50 games).  Delmon Young’s slugging percentage was .880 (career minors, A,AA, and AAA) while Elvis Andrus’ slugging percentage is .707 (career minors, RK, A, and AA).  Delmon Young accomplished his numbers in 185 AB less, hit 44 more homers and stuckout less.  What Elvis strives at is stealing bases.  The only thing right now you can assume with Andrus is his stealing ability.  I would take Carlos Gomez before I would take Andrus, for sole fact that Gomez has an additional season of experience.  Buyers beware

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Back with the ever so thrilling Scouting the Unknown (or STU as I like to call it).  However, because it is the off-season there will be a few more ‘larger’ names thrown into the mix.  It will be more Scouting the Unknown about lower tier/overrated players.  Sure, its a cop out, but you tell me 3-4 new players that no one is looking at this off season… who was? … Fair enough and you thought I was crazy? Silly you!

Onto the plan…:

Mat Gamel (BREWERS)– Gamel has proven at each step he has taken he’s ready.  2008 was a brilliant year for this young slugger hitting .329 96/19/96  (Ave R/HR/RBI) in a little over 500 AB.  Not to shabby for a 22 year old in Double-A.  He did play in 5 AAA games with very little success, maybe it was his bum elbow.  Over at ScoutingBook.com they say he is, “A polished pro hitter, Gamel has all-fields line drive swing with developing power.”  Due to his defense, which is suspect to say the least, he may not be even in the mix for a while,  that is unless they want to see if he can hit like Braun and dismiss all defensive liabilities he will provide!  I would expect to see him during a late May–early June call up.

*For a wonderful article on Matt LaPorta, Mat Gamel, and Chris Davis here is an excellent article. ps- Matt LaPorta hit .167 in winter ball…

Blake DeWitt (LAD)– Sure he started all season, but why?  He only hit .268/.344/.383(Ave/OBP/SLG) with 45/9/52.  To put that into perspective, Carlos Gomez hit .258/.296/.360 with 79/7/59 plus 33 steals.  Sure Gomez was at that top of the order- for about 6 weeks.  Nevertheless, DeWitt should be inline for a DeMotion.  Those numbers, especially at 3B is pitiful, no horrendous is more like it.  If he was a catcher I would put up with it, but 3B? Are you kidding me? Are you… wait never mind.  His minor league numbers say it best- .280/.333/.446 and 277/61/270 in over 1900 AB.  That doesn’t look any better.  You are now looking at maybe a .012 improvement in his average, and at a season total of 60/16/65.  Nothing to look at here.

Cliff Lee (CLE)– I am sure you are wondering why Cliff Lee made this list…(refer up about, oh say 4 inches) OVER… RATED…!!! *chirping in the outfield, crickets whittling on their violins*  Easily a career year, 1.5 ERA less than his average, and .2 WHIP less than his career average too.  Sure he has always had a great winning percentage, but his numbers have never shown that he could dominate like he did last year.  Even his best year in the minors (2003) didn’t translate into big league success.  At age 30 he is past his prime (even for pitchers), and I would avoid him like the plague.  Just remember the year Bartolo Colon had after his CY Young…? Yea me either (he hasn’t had a full season since (2005)).  Don’t ever draft a historically late round pick… Yeah, I know, I am bitter because he should not have been so good last year.  It was a fluke beyond all flukes.  Like the Falcons beating the Vikings in ’98!

Hopefully this will tide you over for the next few days.

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