Category Archives: prospects

Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Japanese 2B/SS, to be Posted

Simple translations. Not much is known about Tsuyoshi Nishioka, the Chiba Nippon Baseball League player, but he has posted a .293/.364/.426.

Translation rates are rough because the Nippon League is extremely different. Batters swing at everything (and, reciprocally, pitchers don’t quite have the same strike zone)

Fukudome, hit .294/.448/.520 in japan in 2007 and over the last three years, something like .310/.430/.520 the last three years. That got equivalated to .289/.405/.440 by Baseball Prospectus, which is about -.005/-.040/-.080.

Add in that .259/.368/.410 is what he had over the last three years–and that he was 31 in his first season in MLB–and you get a rough idea that the translation is a pretty big drop in all three slash stats. Consider that Nishioka will play ages 27 and after in the majors, and his stats (.293/.364/.426) will roughly translate to between .265/.310/.340 and .290/.340/.380 line. This isn’t great, but you’re not expecting a lot from a guy who’s basically a slap singles hitter in the Japanese leagues–Ichiro notwithstanding.

Of course this is completely inexact, but the great news is that Chiba Marine Stadium has pretty close to a MLB park, especially in left and right center. That helps.

So, cool. Several teams in the AL are looking for a good 2B for the 2011 season, so I imagine a few good bids are gonna come in on this one. Iwakuma just went to Oakland and while the posting fee hasn’t been revealed, it was probably close to 15 or 20 million. Posting fees are kinda random, but I guess we’ll find out how much the team wants in a few days/weeks.

Wouldn’t mind seeing the Dodgers take a stab at him.

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Protected Draft Picks Will Move a Lot in the Next 48 Hours

Ah. I know all Dodger fans are rooting against the Dodgers right now so they can get a better draft pick–I’m certainly one of them.

Almost all of the protected 2011 picks are solidified except one. Here’s the teams (in a current-standings order before games on Oct. 2) and their draft picks.

1. Pittsburgh*
2. Seattle*
3. Arizona*
4. Baltimore*
5. Kansas City*
6. Washington*
6a. Arizona*
7. Cleveland*
8. Chicago Cubs*
9. Houston*
9a. San Diego*
10. Milwaukee*
11. Los Angeles Dodgers
12. Florida
13. New York Mets
14. Oakland
15. Anaheim
16. Detroit

Colorado is at no. 17, but have only 77 losses; so even if they lose their final two games, they won’t have a protected pick.

There’s room for movement, as picks 10 through 16 have between 80 and 83 losses with two games to play. The final two days here will be a game of musical chair.

Detroit is at 80-80 while Anaheim and Oakland are at 79-81. The Dodgers, Mets and Marlins are at 78-82 and the Brewers are at 77-83.

Basically Anaheim and Oakland’s unmagic number is 2.

There’s also gonna be some movement in the top quarter of the draft, since Arizona and Baltimore are tied while Kansas City, Washington and Cleveland are all within one loss of each other.

(Dodger fans: the best the Dodgers can do at this point is pass Milwaukee and grab no. 10. The worst is tying with Detroit, but I don’t know what happens in that case.)

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Correction: Dodgers Draft Pick is All But Protected

A couple of weeks ago, I reported the Dodgers were on the cusp of a protected pick, but with an added caveat: only the 13 worst records in baseball would be protected because of two picks held over from the 2010 draft (no. 6 Barret Loux and no. 9 Karsten Whitley both didn’t sign).

This is false.

The rules are that the 15 teams with the worst records in baseball have protected picks regardless of held-over picks. In the 2010 draft, the Rangers received a held-over pick for failure to sign Matt Purke from the 2009 draft between picks 14 and 15. The Cubs, who had the 15th worst record in the 2009 season, still had a protected pick at no. 16.

The ruling states that picks held over from last year’s draft become that pick’s (a). So the Rangers’ 2010 pick was pick no. 14a. The Diamondbacks’ no. 6 pick from last year will become no. 6a (7) and the Padres’ pick will be 9a (11).

This means picks 16 and 17 in the 2011 draft will be protected.

Sorry for the error, I hope I didn’t mislead anyone.

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Dodgers MILB Season Overview

Suffice to say the Dodgers minor league system looks better right now than this time last year, several Dodgers had some very good seasons in the minors.

You can view a lot of them at TBLA, where Brandon Lennox compiled the season leaders in many stats.

Once again, pitchers dominated the minors while a small cluster of good hitters performed well.

Some players to look out for next year and to look out for on next year’s top 10/20 prospect lists.

Quick risers:
P Allen Webster
P Rubby De La Rosa
OF Jerry Sands
P Matt Magill
P Greg Wilborn

Guys who will likely bounce back next year:
Dee Gordon
Chris Withrow
Aaron Miller

(Gordon and Withrow were listed in the top 100 prospects by Baseball America and other sources. Both had setbacks this year, but mostly because they were playing ahead of their age level. Both should see progress next year. Likewise, Miller started the year hot and was promoted to AA, where he struggled.)

Webster and De La Rosa will likely start in AA Chattanooga next year with Miller and Withrow. Magill may join them if the organization feels like promoting him aggressively, or may send him to A+ Inland Empire if they wanna take it a little slower. Either or.

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Well, What Do We Look Forward to Now?

The thing that sucks most about trading Manny is the Dodgers had a pretty good month of a schedule to look forward to: three games against the Phillies (leading NL Wild Card), six games against the Giants (second place in NL Wild Card), six against the Padres (leading NL West), six against the Rockies (currently ahead of Dodgers in NL Wild Card) and 10 against the Astros and the Diamondbacks. The only factoring team the Dodgers don’t face is the Cardinals. There’s a lot of potential to boost the record in there, but 6.5 games and four teams is a lot to overcome in a month.

Regardless, we have silver linings to look forward to.

One is that Trayvon Robinson may see the majors before the end of the season. Law makes it sound like Robinson will be the 2011 replacement for Manny, hopping over Xavier Paul on the organizational depth chart.

Another thing to look forward to: if the Dodgers lose more, the front office may have a protected pick in the 2011 draft. That means Ned Colletti could sign a Type A free agent in the off-season and still have a first-rounder to look forward to.

The biggest question of the 2010-11 off-season will be if the Dodgers have money to play with. This not only means money to sign free agents, but money to offer arbitration to players who will be leaving the team this year. Though the Dodgers likely won’t offer arbitration to Octavio Dotel and Scott Podsednik, they might offer to Ted Lilly and Hiroki Kuroda, who will likely be Type A free agents.

If the Dodgers do have some free money to spend, it looks like they’d make a decent push for Cliff Lee, or resign Kuroda and make a push for Lilly. Seems silly to stuff the MLB starters roster for the next umpteen years when Chris Withrow, Zach Lee and a few high upside arms (Ethan Martin, Aaron Miller, “Carl” “Allen” Webster) coming up through the system.

Past that, there’s always the rumors of who among the Dodgers front office will be promoted to a general manager for another team. Those rumors have been swirling for years, but after Logan White’s brilliant maneuvering to sign first round pick Zach Lee, it’s hard to imagine he WON’T be made a GM somewhere this off-season.

Other than that, 2011 doesn’t look sharp, but the Dodgers have a solid group of arbitration-ready players returning and most of them had awful regression years in 2010 that’ll be easy to bounce back from. Jamey Carroll is signed for another year (cool) and Ryan Theriot will return (eh). Then there’s always Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley. Past those two, though, starting pitching will be a big weakness that needs to be addressed.

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A little reflection on the Dodgers’ Trade Deadline

Not gonna comment too much on this. A lot’s been said, a lot’s been published, but we’re going to need some time to reflect on it.

The Dodgers traded away Blake DeWitt, Elisaul Pimentel, Lucas May, Brett Wallach, James McDonald and Andrew Lambo. That’s one MLB starter, one #5 starter, two back-end starters, a back-up catcher and a troubled but talented outfield hitter.

They got in return Ted Lilly, Scott Podsednik, Ryan Theriot and Octavio Dotel. A decent SP, an average OF with no power, a replacement level 2B with no power and a sub-par reliever.

The plan is to win this year, but at what cost?


Meanwhile, the Dodgers are 7 games out of first place in the NL West and 5 games out of the wild card. It’s a long shot to even get to the playoffs.

The best news is the biggest pieces in the Dodgers’ farm system are still Dodgers. Trayvon Robinson, Jerry Sands, Chris Withrow, Dee Gordon, Aaron Miller, Ethan Martin, Javy Guerra and Nathan Eovaldi. Andrew Lambo was a loss, but he’s a risky investment and Sands has performed better than him this year and last. Sands is also a risk, but I’d rather have Sands.

Giving up McDonald, though, was a mistake. And giving up McDonald AND Lambo for Dotel was a big mistake.

Even if neither of them does well in the majors, it was overpaying greatly for a sub-par reliever. Honestly, the Dodgers paid less for Lilly and Theriot. You wonder what the Dodgers could’ve netted for McDonald and Lambo if they had shopped them more.

The second-best news, I guess, is Podsednik, Manny, Lilly and Dotel (if his option year isn’t vested) are free agents after the season and offering arbitration could give the Dodgers 5 or 6 first round draft picks, if all goes to plan.

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The Two Parts to Evaluating Any Trade

There are two essential parts to evaluating any trade made by your favorite team:

  1. Should your team be buying or selling right now?
  2. Is the trade of value to them?

I think the first part, for the Dodgers in this trade, is wrong.  They should be sellers at the deadline.  It’s obvious this line-up isn’t great, the pitching stinks and they’re gonna have some holes in the rotation to start next year that, barring some gift of God, won’t be filled. The time to rebuild for next year should start about now and I still firmly believe seeing what’s available for Andre Ethier isn’t a bad idea.

On the second part, though, the Dodgers did good.  Pimentel might be of value at the major league level.  He’s still pretty far away, though, and he repeated Rookie ball two years in a row.  This was for a decent every-day outfielder with above-average on-base skills the last two years, who’s only getting paid about $250,000 the rest of the way.

The Royals traded a surplus and the Dodgers filled a deficit for this season. In return, the Royals received a player who may make the Majors in four years.

Some are complaining that Pimentel is a high-upside arm. Maybe true, but to be honest, this isn’t trading a sure-thing. This isn’t Carlos Santana in 2008 or Josh Bell in 2009. Pimentel’s got a ways to go and it’s possible that even if he makes the majors, the best he does isn’t better than what Vicente Padilla puts out.

Sometimes this gets lost. You see a prospect and look at how good he CAN be, but the chances of that happening are kinda slim. There are enough high-upside prospects in the Dodgers’ system. In this case, the Dodgers traded a surplus and the Royals filled a deficit.

Call to the Pen says this was a clear win for the Royals, though he seems to be looking too much at May’s/Pimentel’s numbers than their skills.

TBLA’s Eric Stephen makes a very convincing argument that Podsednik is having a lucky season and a half. I rebutt: even if his luck changes for the worse, he’s replacement player, which neither Garrett Anderson nor Xavier Paul is right now.

Fangraph’s Dave Anderson makes a solid point that this is what the Dodgers can afford and in that, it’s an OK trade.

I don’t think anyone’s arguing this trade was a clear win for the Dodgers, but that it didn’t hurt them much for the future and helps them right now, which is basically what rental trades should be.

MOKM doesn’t like this trade. My prospects!

Jack Taschner’s been designated. Hooray!

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