Category Archives: outfield
Charleston, specifically. The Notebook Edition, if you will.
While everyone (including the White Sox) has been clamoring over the newest Cuban defector, Yoenis Cespedes, the South Siders have had a Cuban mash artist stashed all along. Dayan Viciedo has had little exposure in the majors (104 AB in 2010, 102 AB in 2011) but performed well in the minors, hitting 20 homers both of the last two years in AAA. If you’ve seen him play (which I have both in person and on TV), you can see that he has very evident raw power. His 20 homers in AAA Charlotte in 2010? They came in 363 plate appearances. That’s a homer every 18.5 plate appearances. That’s excellent. Viciedo lacks plate discipline- he’s definitely a prototypical “free-swinger.” But he also has very solid contact rates (swinging at 35ish% pitches outside the strike zone is a large number but maintaining a 75ish% overall contact rate means he has the ability to hit the balls he swings at, regardless of the strike zone).
He ranks as the 72nd Outfielder on Mock Draft Central’s list. To be clear, that is behind Seth Smith (64th), Alejandro De Aza (69th), and Lorenzo Cain (57th). His ADP is 225.48, with a 41% draft rate (as of the date of writing). By that point in the draft, you should not be going for Seth Smith, honestly. At least the other two have sorts-of upside. My point is this- you can’t argue with his ADP, Viciedo is unproven. But at that point in the draft, upside is king, and the Cuban Tank has power upside to spare. His upside has upside. While De Aza and Cain have upside to be more effective than their positions (if you’re drafting Smith over them, you’re a lost cause or in a HUGE draft), Viciedo has POWER. Power, for the first time in a long time, is legitimately at a premium. Late in the draft, go for the Cuban. Players taken that late are likely to be dropped. Unlike the others around him and the ones I mentioned, Viciedo has not had the opportunity to prove himself. 25-30 homers that late in a draft could be the power bump that puts you into the playoffs. He’s competing against the aforementioned DeAza, the ghost of Alexis Rios, and Brent Lillibridge (in addition to anyone they pick up before spring training, like, say, Cespedes.). My bet is he starts in Right all year(Bill James has him playing 132 games. Reasonable enough). He’ll get the shot to swat some dingers.
Analysis complete. Don’t you forget about…
BONUS: How great is the old school Sox logo?
….Is that not the famous saying?
So I have to admit… this is a piece I sent into MLB as a sample for my winning application for the MLB fancave. I truly believe Mike Stanton is going to have a spectacular year this year. Read my brilliance and draft accordingly. -w
Players and fans alike should beware Mike Stanton in 2012 and going forward. Normally I am wary of batters with such prolific strikeout potential but Stanton is different. For all the talk of his strikeouts, his BB:K ratio is actually a manageable 0.36 for his career. Scouts talk about the ball ‘sounding different’ off his bat when he makes solid contact. While I cannot claim to have been in the stadium for any of Stanton’s games, I watched many of them on MLB.com. Any casual observer can tell you that a Mike Stanton homer looks different. His homer run balls travel at such majestic trajectories, one might think they were designed to look that way. But these reasons are anecdotal. His numbers, coupled with the improvements the Miami Marlins have made this offseason, lead me to believe he will be contending for an MVP sooner rather than later. It remains to be seen how the new Marlins Park will play (on first glance, the outfield appears quite large). However, I would argue that with a player like Stanton, it won’t matter. He will hit his 40-ish homers. With an improved team and lineup in front of him, it seems his first 100 RBI season is ahead of him (Bill James agrees). What would seem to hold him back from an MVP award, for most forecasters and fans, is the strikeouts and average. It would not take much for Stanton’s upcoming great season to turn into an MVP-worthy season. In the majors, his Kpercent has been around 30percent (31.1percent as a rookie in 2010, 27.6percent in 2011). This has led to his average being around .260 and a mediocre OBP. However, his BABIP (one of my favorite statistics) has remained an excellent .330 in 2010 and .314 in 2011. Bill James expects this BABIP to remain about the same and so do I. So all Stanton needs to do is strike out closer to 20percent of the time rather than 30percent. I look to his 2009 and 2010 seasons in the minors. With a K-rate closer to 20percent in single A , Stanton produced an OBP of .390 and an average of .294 in 2009 before getting called up to AA. The next year, before being called up, he again kept his Kpercent down closer to 20percent and put forth a monster .442 OBP and .313 average. If he could translate this type of success in the majors, he could easily come up with a 40-plus homer season with over 100 RBI, an above-.300 average, above .420 OBP and an OPS far over 1. Those sound like MVP-worthy numbers to me, especially if the Marlins put together a playoff run in 2012.
This video is simply silly bad. Just silly.
Baseball is as guilty as any sport or form of entertainment when it comes to out-of-control hype machines. It is nearly impossible to predict with complete accuracy how a young player will handle the jump to the big leagues or how they will pan out in the long run. We as baseball fans, and more importantly fantasy baseball fans, have impossibly short memories. Prospects are here today, gone tomorrow. We overdraft a hyped young’n only to have him flounder in the big show, then we forget about him. The process is very frustrating. However, it also leads to the delightful subset of players known as the post-hype sleeper. Post-hype sleepers are a greatly valuable fantasy commodity. They’re the change found in the couch. The beer in the very back of the fridge. You know they’re there, but they’ve been pushed to the back of your mind, only to be stumbled upon later when you least expect it- and probably need it. But not for you, clever fantasy baseball-person, you. You’re getting ahead of the curve. You haven’t forgotten. You lie in wait, mock drafting, plotting, scheming. You know there is value to be had with these gently used former shiny prospects. Where these players were reached for last year, they’ll slide to the later rounds in 2012. So dust off your 2011 Baseball America preview, get your notepads ready, I’m going to squeeze some knowledge juice from my mind grapes.
Don’t you forget about: Brandon Belt
I in no way mean to say that you don’t remember who Brandon Belt is or what kind of prospect he is/was. If you’ve ended up on the dregs of the internet and landed on this site, you’re either a baseball devotee or I tricked you with a misleading #tag. Either way, I’m not assuming you have no idea, rather, I’m planting the seed for your upcoming drafts Inception-style so you remember Belt before your counterparts.
Belt is a great example of the roulette game of drafting. Taken in the 11th round in both 2006 and 2007 drafts (by the Red Sox and Braves, respectively), before being taken in the 5th round by the Giants in 2009. He was not a big-name prospect but hit his way onto everybody’s lists, with an astoundingly impressive 2010 through three minor league levels (23 homers, 112 RBI, 22 steals, .455 OBP) and what scouts like to call an ‘advanced approach’ (93 BB, 99 K). Despite the success, most were surprised when the Giants started him off in the big show in 2011, thereby eliminating a year of arbitration. He struggled in the majors both in the spring and when he was called back up in the summer. However, he demonstrated the same skill set in his 200+ at-bats in AAA, so it is not as though his 2010 was a flash in the pan.
He has a great eye, which is usually a good sign for a young hitter even when they struggle, sneaky power (43 2B, 23 HR in the minors in 2010) and should be given ample opportunity in the still-punchless San Francisco lineup. I’ve seen several projections that have him hitting over 20 homers, despite a .270-ish average. I’d bet he starts out slow again, as he continues to adjust to the majors, but given his rapid trajectory through the minors he seems to be a quick learner. The 20-homer power is legitimate. So are the double digit steals. Bill James has him hitting .266 in 2012. That is a reasonable, conservative estimate. However, given an expected plate discipline improvement (that is common among smart young hitters), a .280-.290 average is not an outrageous progression. Given that his ADP is 204.4, he could be an absolute steal as a backup 1B in almost every draft.
Don’t you…. forget about Belt…. Don’t, don’t, don’t… doooooooooonnnnnnnn’t (fist pump, slow-motion, freeze-frame)