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.


Up Coming Season Plans

It has been quite some time since my last post.  I am ashamed to say that school took more time out of my life then I anticipated.  Over the next few months I am hoping to continue the “Scouting the Unknown” segment of my blog, along with some random tidbits of baseball news.  As a full time college student time is scarce and sacred. However, as spring training nears, baseball becomes more of a priority.  Please mention any segment ideas, players to scout, or other critiques that you may see or want to address.  I am open to possible changes in writing styles, topics, etc.
Until later (the next week or so)…

Taking Back

It pains me to say it but I am going to have to go back on my word and say that my up coming two weeks are super full with 2 day camps, a wedding, and 12-14 hour days of work, on top of having 2 nephews and 1 neice over for a the up coming week.  It looks like that my post will actually be greatly diminished.  It hurts me to say that but with the most chaotic 2 1/2 weeks of summer for my family and work I will be hard pressed to keep my own fantasy team up to date.  Thanks for the understanding and I hope that I can get some quality articles up instead of daily posts.

Attention Lacking?

Is it? I don’t think so, but I have had quite a chaotic past two weeks:

So it has been awhile since I have had time to even look at this blog.  I am sad that life sometimes throws you a change-up when you expected a fastball. I had a wonderful vacation until my family got a call from my father who was back home working saying that he fall and shattered his knee cap. Thus my vacation was actually cut short by a couple of days, and my extra time that I would be able to write was soaked up by helping my father limp around the house, and helping my mom because she needed more than just herself to get food on the table for 7 people. 

I did not abandon this blog, I am hoping to get a few good posts over the weekend, and maybe a recap of Friday (todays) games late late tonight.  I could do the trades but I feel liek everyone and their dogs are talking about that.  So I will be back and writing for the remainder of the season, and I will be going back on a few players that I didn’t think would be helpful but are (Mike Aviles).  Back to reality, I hope to be getting 4-5 posts a week until October, even during school.

Thanks for your patiences and continued reading.

Stephen Horn- Stat-Tacular’s sole writer.

The Down Lohse on Kyle

Once just a Twins cast off Kyle Lohse has somehow won a stellar 12 games on the season for the surprising Cardinals by throwing 7 IP of 2-run ball last night against the Padres.  He is clearly having a career year as he has never had an ERA under 4.18 (2005), and his best WHIP was in 2003 at 1.27.  It would be conenient to say that it was because of switching leagues, but that happened in 2006 and that didn’t help (though it was to Cincinnati).  One of the largest factors contributing to his amazing year is his career HR/9IP is 1.15, while this year it is at 0.64.  I have a feeling that the second half will derail his fine year.  It isn’t that I don’t think he is talent (the Twins held on to him for several years trying to fix his mechanics and his mental toughness because they knew he had [has] filthy stuff), but to prove that you are legit it has to last longer than a seasons half.  If I owned him, I would trade him away, but at the same time if I were offered him I would run away like a diabetic would from rich, gooey, warm hot fudge with ghetto juice to wash it down.  You are now warned from foolish endeavors with risky career seasons. Now on with the rest of the four game day:

Edgar Gonzalez- Went 2/4 with 2 runs scored, and a homer. Adrian’s older brother is trying to prove that he is just as strong. This Edgar is no Martinez as I said here now 30 year old is going to change what his minor league history says about his hitting ability.

Gary Sheffield- Trying to show everyone that he isn’t all washed up hit a 2-run homer in the top of the 2nd. I am not sure that he can prove to the league that he isn’t done. Shoulder surgery + his bat wiggle = imminent danger. Use at your own risk, in deeper leagues his is definitely worth the risk.

Johan Santana- In his first post all-star break (PASB) he proved that even the best pitcher in baseball isn’t always dominate, even if he is a proven PASB player. 4 IP, 5 R, and only 2 strikeouts. He continues to be plagued by the long ball giving up back-to-back solo homers to Adam Dunn, and Edwin Encarnacion. I think this was just an arbitration and that he will be back to his usually Cy Young worthy self for the rest of the year.

Johnny Cueto- Not that he did any better in his match up last night against Santana: 5.1 IP 6 runs, but did strike out 6. However, he also gave up 2 homers in his outing leaving the game in the 6th in line for the loss. As a rookie, he will live and die by how many homers and walks (had 3 last night) that he’ll give up. Look for more inconsistency from this young flamethrower.

Jake Peavy- Went 7 IP, but gave up 4 solo homers to Troy Glaus (2), Rick Ankiel, and Joe Mather (pinch-hit nonetheless) after giving up only 8 all season. I would be more worried if it was at Petco Park, but it wasn’t and his still k’d 7 without walking anyone.

Clint Barmes- With Jeff Baker going 2/3 with 2 doubles and 2 runs scored in the 2-hole, so Barmes goes an empty 2/4 from the 7th spot.  Since coming off of the DL he is 13/63 with 3 doubles 0 homers, and 3 RBIs.  Let’s hope this is signs to come or he will always be remembered as Dear Meat.

Francisco Cordero- It’s not often that I mention a closer, but when I do, you know they did something wrong, or are injured.  Will for Francisco it was the former allowing the Mets to rally back from an 8-6 deficit.  By blowing only his 2nd save of the season, the Mets win their 10th straight game. Not impressive and his 4 year $46 million contract looks awful on this pitiful Reds team.  I could see him being dealt if the Reds, but then again you never know what the Reds were doing in the first place.

Adam LaRoche- Providing the only offense (2 RBI) the Pirates had on Thursday doesn’t mean a whole lot besides the fact that he is a top player in the second half.  Look for his 2nd half numbers to be close to 30/10/45 .280, quote me if you want, but if you need help at first base go after him.

*this is my last post for a week as I am heading to my family’s cabin for some nice summer relaxin’.  Peace out suckas,



I am not going to talk about my least favorite, mind numbing sporting event in any sport (NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB all-star games are equally ridiculous), but instead just to remind ourselves that the second half is were winners are made.  If I had more time today, I would have created a list for second-half players that could save your team (Just remember some of the obvious aka Robinson Cano, Mark Texeria, Johan Santana). However, because my work day on July 16 thwas extended to 9:30 pm, with a 7 am wake up call for the 17th I will link you to some reliable sources:

Razzball had some stellar reports here on second half players, and their top 100 for the remainder of the season. Matt Buser just recently wrote a recap of the most consistent players (both good, and bad).  And NineBoJackson has written some excellent reports over the weekend on Over-Performing/Under-Performing picthers, Pitcher Abuse Points (PAP), and an article title “Expected Batting Averages “(aka signs of regression).

That should tickle your fancy for awhile.  I know it kept me up late over the weekend, and the slow going break.  Hope to see you all back in the next 2 1/2 months.

Home Run Derby

Is anything more boring than watching the Home Run Derby, especially with Chris Berman, Joe Morgan, and Steve Phillips as the announcers? I think I rather watch a Giants-Padres game at Pecto would be more legit than this contest. If it sounds like I’m a bit harsh on an event that was created for the MLB to acquire more money, well rightfully am. Two hours to watch the first round, and praise the Lord (PTL) that Josh Hamilton finished with a record 28 1st round homers. Not that Bobby Abreu’s second half numbers in 2005 reflected any power, but hey he did have the record for a few years. Lets hope that Josh’s spectacular season isn’t tarnished by a repeat of Abreu’s season.

After those two hours, I decided that I had seen enough, knowing that I had better things to do on a day when I woke up at 5:45 AM, like shower, post and sleep. Not that I care about who wins. Serious, its only there for awful, over hyped announcers to rant all nigh. How many times can a Chris Berman’s “Back… Back…. GONE!!!” can one hear in one night? I was going insane by the middle of Hamilton’s amazing feat, not by Chris but by Joe Morgan because with 8 outs Josh Hamilton was just crushing the ball (he hit a lot out with 8 outs, not sure the number but don’t really care to find out), but Joe kept saying, “I wish he’d hit an out so all the homers he gets will be on the money ball.” Or something along those lines. Kid you not he said that about 10 times, and then when Josh does get to that ball first contact he made was an out. Ironic no, satisfying to hear Morgan shut-up, yes.

Enough with my rant, I have to end it here because, well I didn’t watch anymore of the contest, and don’t care to know who one.

PS for those want to know, Justin Morneau over Hamilton. Looks like someone wore themselves out.

Other contestants: Ryan Braun, Chase Utley, Dan Uggla, Evan Longoria, Lance Berkman, Grady Sizemore.