Fun Farmhand Facts!

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  • #80447
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    Bob Reed
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    I’ve accumulated a lot of minor leaguer tidbits lately. Most of them probably signify nothing, but I’m in the mood to share.

    You may recall that the first high-profile offseason prospect rankings came from Fangraphs, where they placed Malcom Nunez 28th in a Cardinal farm system that they consider second worst of the 11 they’ve reviewed so far. In other words, this means they consider Nunez more or less a non-prospect. This was mildly unsettling, as I had him 8th and the community here placed him 7th. Looked like maybe Fangraphs knew something we didn’t know — something awful about Nunez that basically invalidated his historically great DSL season.

    Well, now the Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus lists are out, and Nunez ranked 9th for BA and 6th for B-Pro. So we see who the oddball outlier is. This doesn’t mean that Fangraphs is wrong, of course. But it puts them on an island. Not unlike 12 months ago when they dismissed Bader, Hicks, and Hudson, among other Redbird prospects.

    Speaking of Nunez, we sometimes are warned not to take small sample sizes seriously. What that really implies is that we should be cautious with smaller samples because if the season had lasted longer, the player might theoretically have declined, maybe by a lot. So with small samples — like in rookieball — I like to check and see how the hitter was trending when the season ended. Let’s check Nunez.

    I took Malcom’s post-DSL All-Star Game numbers and pro-rated them to 160 games.
    The resulting full season looked like this: .433 average with 55 homers, 5 triples, and 64 doubles.
    That’s seems okay to me.

    Here’s another good one. Nunez bats righty but likes righties just fine.
    Pro-rating his performance v. righties to 550 AB’s, he’d hit .427 with 47 HR’s, 9 3B’s, and 56 2B’s.

    But my favorite Nunez split is his line with runners in scoring position.
    Again extrapolating to 550 AB’s, Malcom would bat .424 with 42 homers, 8 triples, and 92 doubles. Yep, 92. That’s slightly better than one extra base hit for every 4 at-bats with RISP.

    ————————————————

    I also checked into Malcom’s fellow DSL Redbird, Joerlin De Los Santos. It felt to me like Joerlin had displayed a real rare combination of talents, hitting for high average with an abundance of functional speed, and also excellent markers for strikezone control. So I did a little research.

    Here’s the list of all minor leaguers in 2018 (any age, any level) who stole at least 25 bases while swiping at least one bag per three games played, while batting .310+ and walking more than he struck out.

    1.) Joerlin De Los Santos

    And that’s the list. (There was nobody who met those standards in 2017, either.)
    Sure, I shaped the categories to suit my guy…but DLS easily qualified in each category. Add to that, the fact that he was also among the league leaders in extra base hits and that he was young for his level of competition, and he’s really interesting. In fact, here’s Kyle Glaser from the BA chat: “De Los Santos is really interesting.” See, told you.

    Glaser went on to say that DLS “can fly and covers a lot of ground in center, and although he’s short he’s pretty strong and can really sting the baseball.” Mighty nice writeup, considering Joerlin’s only the 7th or 8th-best teen position player prospect in the farm system. (Teens during the 2018 season, I mean.)

    ———————————————-

    All I have to say about 18-year-old backstop Ivan Herrera is that he’s the only catching prospect in anyone’s minor league system to post at least a 150 wRC+ in each of the past two years — and he’s been young for his leagues. Glaser calls him “a really impressive pure hitter” who possesses “all the leadership qualities you want to see out of a young catcher.”

    So the thing is, even if Ivan doesn’t pan out as a catcher, Glaser’s remarks imply both physical gifts for hitting and emotional/intellectual maturity. And those are fine foundations for a smooth switch to almost anywhere else on the diamond except shortstop or centerfield.

    ———————————————————-

    I look forward to seeing all these guys in Peoria over the next two years. Fangraphs hates the Cardinal farm system, and doesn’t have any of them inside of the Redbird top 25. But I think it’s a top 6-8 system, and rank them all in the top 16. So we’ll see who knows best, in a few years. Or maybe much sooner.

    #80450
    Brian Walton
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    No one has yet seen Nunez face advanced breaking pitches. That will be the next most important indicator for him, IMO. I expect De Los Santos to be over to the US later this spring and yes, Herrera is a very good talent. Not sure if they will stretch and give him an MLB camp invitation, but it is not out of the question. If they do, that will say a lot.

    #80454
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    14NyquisT
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    Us guys here are very excited about Nunez and De Los Santos. Our enthusiasm may cause us to overrate all the Cardinal prospects when they are compared with prospects on other teams. I guess its natural for fans of other teams in every sport.

    The same holds true for the big club.

    #80457
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    gscottar
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    Bob, I wouldn’t worry too much about Fangraphs. They also predict the Brewers to finish last in the NLC. In my opinion they have very little credibility.

    #80464
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    14NyquisT
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    gsc… I agree, and IMO the same goes for MLB’s cred.

    #80480
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    CariocaCardinal
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    Bob, where would you edtimate you would rank.Herrera nationàlly if he puts up a 150 wrc+ in 2019 across SC and Peoria? What if it dips to 120 (still excellent for his age).

    #80481
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    Bob Reed
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    “Our enthusiasm may cause us to overrate all the Cardinal prospects when they are compared with prospects on other teams.”

    Well said, Ny. This is indeed the permanent danger. Our biases may color our comparisons.
    Which is why I use 80-90% on-field performance when evaluating any prospect from any team. The same yardstick for Cardinals as for prospects from every other organization. Generally makes things very simple, objective, and fair.

    It’s obviously quite a bit harder to do with pitchers, since the “stat line” omits so many details of velocity, movement, mental toughness, etc.. Pitchers require more research, to be sure. But position players aren’t so tough, not really. I’ll show you what I mean.

    As a prospect, Yadi Molina was never on a top 100 list. Neither were Paul Goldschmidt or Jose Altuve or Harrison Bader or Jose Ramirez. Also Matt Carpenter, Justin Turner, Robby Cano, A.J. Pollock, Kyle Seager, Lorenzo Cain, Matt Holliday, Kevin Kiermaier, Paul DeJong, Brett Gardner, Russell Martin, Brian Dozier, and Ben Zobrist. Never top 75 for anyone: Chase Utley, Ian Kinsler, and Dustin Pedroia. Never top 60: Mookie Betts, Andrelton Simmons, Chuck Knoblauch. And never top 40, Albert Pujols.

    That’s 25 stars and superstars, maybe a half dozen Hall Of Famers, all radically underrated as prospects. Not underrated by a notch or two. Waaay off. Just goes to show how incredibly difficult it is to properly grade baseball prospects, right?

    Not on your life. Of the 25, all but 3 or 4 could easily have been evaluated much more accurately, if only their publicly available track records of hitting & defense had been shrewdly scrutinized and given proper weight. In short, if only the stat lines had been fully scouted.
    So that’s what I do, with Redbirds and everyone else.

    Scout the stat lines, both hitting and defense. Then after that, fold in the other lesser factors. (And those “other factors” do NOT include signing bonuses or draft slots. Those are little more than distractions, lazy comfortable data points that people inadvertently use to play tricks on themselves, to talk themselves into untrue things. To lobby for example for allegedly self-evident future MLB star Ian Happ over the supposedly inferior future bench player, Harrison Bader.)

    “Bob, I wouldn’t worry too much about Fangraphs. They also predict the Brewers to finish last in the NLC. In my opinion they have very little credibility.”

    Well, gscott, like every other source, they certainly have their (intellectual) virtues and vices. To be fair, the “standings” that show the Brewers behind the Reds & Pirates are generated by computer models, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of individual Fangraphs writers. But I agree, any computer model that shows the Brewers in last, needs to be re-evaluated. Just like several seasons ago the ZiPS model was annually too low on the Cardinals, year after year, because St. Louis had a team of actual high BABIP hitters and the ZiPS model invariably over-regressed for that.

    But I think it’s important to discredit intellectually dishonest and incompetent evaluators, which in the context of St. Louis prospects described Baseball America for 15-20 years, and now describes Fangraphs to a T.

    I want Cardinal fans to be better informed. And I want them to feel good about good prospects, great about great ones, and bad about the distorted, dismissive and in my opinion dishonest work by McDaniel and Longenhagen at Fangraphs. The rankings are not only third rate, but they’re riddled with omissions and nonsense. Think I exaggerate? Okay, here’s one quick example.

    In 2018 Atlanta outfielder Drew Waters and Cardinal third baseman Elehuris Montero each played in Low-A ball at age 19. Drew Waters posted a terrific 145 wRC+ and Montero was even better at 157. Very exciting season for each player.

    About Waters, Fangraphs said:
    “His full season debut in 2018 was a smashing success; he demolished the Low-A Sally League and posted a 98 wRC+ in High-A as a teenager.”

    As for Montero:
    “Montero’s strong initial foray into full-season ball — .322/.381/.529 with 46 extra-base hits in 103 games — was his second straight year of on-paper success…”

    So Waters was a smashing success who demolished his league. Montero, however, was merely strong. On paper. Whatever that’s supposed to mean. I thought on-paper success was for potty-training your puppy. So that’s what I mean by “nonsense.” (Small matter, but note also that they mention Waters’ solid High-A performance. Nothing about Montero’s 110 wRC+ in his High-A time, however.)

    Fangraphs went on to cite Montero’s “approach” as a potential problem, even though Waters actually walked less and struck out more than Montero in Low-A. Thus, more nonsense.

    One other not entirely meaningless nitpick: when a player wins his league batting title and his league MVP, those achievements should be mentioned in any review of his season, in my opinion. That’s what I mean by “omissions.” Casual fans of the minor leagues might not know that Montero had done those things, and that knowledge helps to paint a richer more complete picture of his season. It gives an idea of what he accomplished, and maybe more importantly how he was perceived by MVP voters — which I believe was the league managers, but I don’t know for sure.

    And it’s not just 6 or 8 or 12 guys. There were roughly 20-25 such weird examples of misleading writing within their Cardinal capsules. It was like a concerted relentless salespitch for a very specific idea. And that idea is “St. Louis’ prospects, almost to a man, are not nearly as good as they played on the field in 2018.”

    #80516
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    gscottar
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    I’m not as big of a prospect expert as some of you are but from what I can gather I really don’t see how anyone could say the Cardinals don’t have a top 10 farm system and I’m being as objective as I can. There aren’t many prospects out there I would choose over Reyes, Hudson, Gorman, Montero, Nunez, and Knizer. There just aren’t.

    #80519
    Brian Walton
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    As you may have seen on another thread, BP has just two Cardinals in their top 101. “Fair share” is 3 1/3. Same as most years, the Cards score well for depth, but lower on top-end talent. Looks to me like most raters will again have the system in the middle of the pack – mid-teens – roughly the same as the last five years. What happened under the covers is a major shift from pitching to hitting.

    #80548
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    PadsFS
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    Gorman was rated the second highest among draftees in that list, directly ahead of India and Mize.

    That has to be a bummer to be a Reds fan, draft way up at #4 due to another awful season, only to have your top pick bested in a prospect list by a Cardinal drafted much later —-just 7-8 months later!

    #80559
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    Bob Reed
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    “Bob, where would you estimate you would rank Herrera nationàlly if he puts up a 150 wRC+ in 2019 across SC and Peoria? What if it dips to 120 (still excellent for his age)?”

    Quite the question, CC! Herrera will still be just 18 for the first half of the 2019 season — nine months younger than Eleh Montero was when he played for Peoria as a teenager in 2018 — so I’m not even sure the organization will place Herrera above the Appy League. I don’t think I would.

    But let’s see. I have him roughly 140th right now. So if he were to keep killing the ball at a 150 wRC+ clip while moving up three levels to the Midwest League at age 18/19, I’d say he’d be top 20-30 overall, depending on defense. He’d immediately be one of baseball’s best 15-20 hitting prospects, and a plausible future catcher to boot. (But believe me, Ivan isn’t going to post a 150 wRC+ in the MWL. Not in 2019.)

    For context, fellow catcher Miguel Amaya was a few months older when he played in the Midwest League in 2018, and posted a 114 wRC+. That quite rightly made him a consensus top 100 overall prospect. Amaya’s defensive numbers mirror Herrera’s in both caught stealing and errors, with Amaya holding the edge in passed balls. So I’d say that to rank where Amaya ranks now, top 60-80, Ivan would need a 120-125 wRC+ for Peoria while looking viable as a long term backstop.

    What I expect though is that Herrera will go to the Appy League and mash in much the same way he always has. That would make him a top 100 possibility for me. Again, depending on defense.

    “There aren’t many prospects out there I would choose over Reyes, Hudson, Gorman, Montero, Nunez, and Knizner. There just aren’t.”

    Agreed, gscott. Cards are in an unusual spot, since so many high-upside guys are also high risk, e.g., Reyes, Gorman, Nunez, and all of the kid position players who have yet to taste full season ball. Plus the Card farm is overloaded with position players — worst imbalance in memory. But also most teenage talent.

    The Twins, Rays, and Pads are almost surely the strongest systems, with Toronto up there as well, led of course by the two Legacy Guys. Birds are in a tier with the Reds, Braves, and a few others. Maybe the White Sox, though their depth stinks. St. Louis looks to be somewhere in the 5-10 range. But that’s rather vague, so I’ll opine 6th-8th. (I do not include O’Neill, as MLB officially excludes him from R.O.Y. eligibility due to days on the 25-man roster.)

    I say 6th-8th, having not carefully examined every single team yet. But after doing this sort of thing for 15-20 years or more, a person develops a sense of what an average farm, a top 10, or a top 5 look like. Cards are top 10 for sure, but NOT top 5 right now. Redbird hitters are like Padre pitchers — lotsa guys with lotsa high ceilings. Could be fun to watch them grow over the next 4-6 years. (Both teams, I mean.)

    “…the Cards score well for depth, but lower on top-end talent.”

    Ivan Herrera is the only minor leaguer at his position to post at least a 150 wRC+ in both 2017 and 2018.

    Nolan Gorman was the youngest Cardinal to play in the Midwest League in 50 years.

    Malcom Nunez was easily the best hitter in the DSL for as far as the records go back.

    Elehuris Montero when he was promoted was on pace to be the first teenager in Midwest League history (founded 1963) to win the batting title while leading the league in extra base hits.

    Tyler O’Neill was the first AAA batter (23 or younger) since Willie McCovey 59 years ago to post an isolated slugging of .380 or better — despite playing more than half his games in pitcher’s parks. (He homered 8 times in the only 10 games he played in PCL hitter’s parks.)

    And Joey De Los Santos was the only minor leaguer at any level to hit at least .310 while stealing lots of bases and walking more than he whiffed. No one else did so in 2017, either.

    So whatever you may read, there is LOTS of top-end talent. The question is, how much of it will self-actualize.

    #80567
    Brian Walton
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    I see it with my own eyes. There is POTENTIAL for top end talent, but a number of the names you cite are not there yet. Trying to project teenagers playing in complex leagues into major leaguers leaves much room for adjustment as they gain maturity and experience.

    #80628
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    SoonerinNC
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    Our best bet to get the elite talent is through the international probram particularly since there is a firm cap on what teams may spend. Even in our worst years we don’t finish far enough down the standings to get a top 5 draft choice where a lot of the really great talent is drafted.

    Gorman could turn out to be elite but he has to get the K’s under control.

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 3 weeks ago by Avatar SoonerinNC.
    #80631
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    Bob Reed
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    “Our best bet to get the elite talent is through the international program, particularly since there is a firm cap on what teams may spend.
    Gorman could turn out to be elite but he has to get the K’s under control.”

    Agreed all around, Sooner. And I do expect Gorman to limit the strikeouts enough to keep his average over .260 during his prime 5-7 years. Probably struggle until age 23 or 24, though. Now that I think of it, that sounds like a Matt Williams career, if Gorman’s glove is as good as I anticipate. And I’d take a left-handed Matt Williams any day.

    “I see it with my own eyes. There is POTENTIAL for top end talent, but a number of the names you cite are not there yet.”

    I suspect we’re mostly just tussling over terminology, Brian. Forgive me for speaking for you, but when you say “top end talent” you seem be talking about the top 20 or 30 or 40 overall prospects. Something of that nature? And when I say “top end talent” I’m talking about any hitter of the right age who does something spectacular in the minors, at any level. (In some cases this might include simply performing very well at a very young age for his league — like if Dylan Carlson should post, say, a 125 or 130 wRC+ in Double-A at age 20.)

    Here’s a convenient example of a player who showed his extraordinary talent at a very young age, but was ignored anyway: Cleveland superstar Jose Ramirez came up in Kiley McDaniels’ Wednesday Fangraphs chat.

    Jeff: Franco and Brujal sound amazing. At this stage how much better are these two than Lindor and Ramirez?

    12:33
    Kiley McDaniel: Ramirez wasn’t really a prospect when in Double-A, so most guys we talk about were ahead of him at that stage.
    Lindor was a top-10 pick at the age Franco is now a top-5 prospect in the game, so Franco seems ahead.

    Right on cue, this is exactly the brand of Fangraphs intellectual dishonesty described earlier in this very thread. With his Ramirez remarks McDaniel is actively misleading his readers, because Jose Ramirez was in fact a absolutely tremendous ballplayer as a teenager in full season Low-A ball. In fact, as a funny coincidence Ramirez posted a 145 wRC+, which is precisely the same as Drew Waters did in 2018 as a teen in Low-A. You remember Waters. He’s the one who Fangraphs nearly drowned in praise:

    “(Waters’) full season debut in 2018 was a smashing success; he demolished the Low-A Sally League…”

    Yes, Waters had a great 2018. But not quite as great as Ramirez was in 2012, because not only did Jose Ramirez hit exactly as well as Waters at the same age and same level, the future superstar Ramirez did so while striking out less than half as often as Waters. This made him much more of a sure thing than Waters is now. But Ramirez was short, so the scouty types belittled him — when they weren’t ignoring him altogether. One person who scouts the stat lines noticed him, though.

    “Anyway, the Most-Overlooked Award shouldn’t go to Garcia, but to Jose Ramirez. The little switch-hitting keystoner got overshadowed by Lindor, but Jose hit lefties and righties, hit at home and away, stole some bases, and committed just two miscues in more than 60 games afield. As a teen in the MWL. Darn impressive, even if you are 5’ 9″ and limited to second base.”
    commented on BA’s Top 20 Midwest League Prospects from Minor League Ball, Oct 2, 2012, 2:48pm PDT

    Sometimes it’s honestly just not that hard to evaluate prospects. About 80-90% of the time the good ones will let you know. You simply need to be attentive and reasonably intelligent. McDaniel regularly appears to be neither, or he’s just a liar. Jose Ramirez quite clearly showed his top-end talent at age 19 in the Low-A Midwest League. He was spectacular but the scouts incorrectly ignored him then, and guys like Kiley McDaniel continue to, well, lie about it to this day. Bizarre, the allergy to admitting mistakes that some “scouty” types have.

    But enough negativity. This is the internet, Home Of Good Cheer. And in keeping with the thread title, I have one fun fact.

    Harrison Bader, career minor league line versus southpaws: .387/.441/.798 in 272 plate appearances.
    And he’s been great in the majors, too. Though obviously not THAT great. In any case, there is no way that Bader should ever hit lower than cleanup when the opposition starts a lefty. Never, ever lower than cleanup. Best choice: second or third, with Goldschmidt taking the other.

    #80641
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    PadsFS
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    Great post Bob.

    #80655
    stlcard25
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    The big knock against Montero (and possibly Gorman and Nunez as well) is that they “might have to move to 1st base down the road.” Even so, 4 of the top 20 players by WAR last year were either 1B or DH. If the bat plays (and Montero’s has a good chance to), he will be easily be worth it either at 3B or 1B.

    Perhaps Bob can give us another pinch of his excellent research, but how many teenagers put up a 150 wRC+ or better in A ball and were buried outside of top 100 lists? I’d bet there are almost none, and given that the Cards lead or nearly lead the league in rookie WAR on a nearly yearly basis, perhaps it indicates some anti-Cardinals bias on prospect analysts’ part.

    #80662
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    PadsFS
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    Gorman doesn’t look like a moving-off-third candidate. He just recently shifted off of shortstop. Look at a couple of tidbits that were included in his prospect write-up, for instance:

    “In my opinion, I think he is going to be a solid-average to plus third baseman….. He was for us for the 18U Team last year. He was an exceptional defender at third base.”

    – Former Cardinals area scout and now 18U National Team Director for USA Baseball, Matt Blood.

    #80663
    stlcard25
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    I just said “possibly.” When he was drafted, it seemed like some were saying that it could happen down the road. I guess pretty much unless you’re a super athletic glove first guy you’re considered a possible candidate to move to 1B.

    That said, it’s more about Montero for me. Gorman seems about where he should be after his stellar first year.

    #80687
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    Bob Reed
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    Great post Bob.
    Gorman doesn’t look like a moving-off-third candidate. He just recently shifted off of shortstop. Look at a couple of tidbits that were included in his prospect write-up, for instance:

    “In my opinion, I think he is going to be a solid-average to plus third baseman….. He was for us for the 18U Team last year. He was an exceptional defender at third base.”
    – Former Cardinals area scout and now 18U National Team Director for USA Baseball, Matt Blood.

    Thanks for the generous words, Pads. I know my posts often go on too long and can degenerate into tedium, but I’m trying like the dickens to be thorough.

    And thanks also for the insightful quote from Mr. Blood. I’m not worried about Gorman’s defense, not since he started his pro career by amazingly turning 20 double plays in approximately his first 50 games. And then I saw him in Peoria and he looked comfortable & confident at the position, charging a slow roller with aplomb and firing to first in plenty of time. Just one instance, but he displayed the “actions” for a third baseman, no doubt. Footwork, balance, composure, timing.

    It’s just kind of a shame that two guys from among Montero, Gorman, and Nunez will have to find a new defensive home. Or all three of them if the Cards can get Nolan Arenado somehow. Either way, I think a Nolan at third base is the future of the Redbirds.

    “…how many teenagers put up a 150 wRC+ or better in A ball and were buried outside of top 100 lists? I’d bet there are almost none…”

    And you’d be correct, sc25.
    Unfortunately I don’t have any Sally League numbers. But I do have some info on prolific young Midwest League hitters of recent vintage. In addition to Elehuris Montero in 2018, here are all the MWL teenagers to post a 150 wRC+ this decade (min. 200 PA’s):
    Bo Bichette, Fernando Tatis Jr., and Vlad Guerrero Jr. in 2017. Eloy Jimenez the year before that. And prior to him, Bobby Bradley, Corey Seager, Byron Buxton, Javy Baez, Oscar Taveras, Wil Myers, and some guy named Trout. That’s the entire list, just 11 other guys besides Montero.

    And following their Midwest League seasons, all 11 of them were top 100 per Baseball America. Average rank, 24th. Toss the highest and lowest ranks Olympic-style, and the average improves to 19th. Of course, in smaller samples averages can be easily distorted, so how about the median? If we include all 11 again, the median is 14th.

    Now, Elehuris Montero isn’t really their precise peer, as 4 of the 11 were already considered at least somewhat elite before their dominant MWL performances. Therefore Montero would best be compared to the guys who, like himself, were NOT already top 100 prospects prior to their full-season debuts. Those 7 players were Bichette, Bradley, Tatis, Taveras, Seager, Myers, and Eloy. Their average rank following the massive Midwest League breakout was 35th. Not 24th, but still pretty terrific. The median ranking on the other hand remains an uber-elite 14th. And I rank Montero roughly 40th. (As opposed to 340th at Fangraphs.)

    “…perhaps it indicates some anti-Cardinals bias on prospect analysts’ part.”

    A conscious anti-Cardinal bias? Naaah, I truly doubt it. Or at least very, very rarely. But every outlet, every national voice (individual or collective) has prospect biases. Maybe it’s for power hitters, or college shortstops, or speed guys, or changeup artistes, or triple-digit fastballers with faulty command.

    And the single most sweeping bias, the one persistent and pernicious phenomenon is the Sweetheart Organization. If you’re a Sweetheart Organization, places like Baseball America & Fangraphs & Baseball Prospectus tend to lean more favorably for almost ALL of your prospects — at least for that one season of rankings. (To his credit, ESPN’s Keith Law does NOT fall into this trap very often, if ever. He has his foibles, but when it comes to baseball he usually possesses a rigorous enough mind to dodge commonplace intellectual errors. He sees racists in his soup, but that’s a whole other type of intellectual error.)

    Every winter when prospect rankings come out, there are perhaps 3 or 4 such organizations. Usually the same 3 or 4 at each outlet. Right now, Tampa is one of Fangraphs’ Sweetheart Organizations, so the Devil Rays have between 21 and 26 prospects rated above Elehuris Montero for example. Which, relative to player evaluations, is pretty much clinically insane. (If it feels like I’m picking on Fangraphs, well they are supposed to be a leader in the field of baseball analysis. If not THE leader. I’m not punching down a weight class, at some poor slob managing an obscure blog. Fangraphs should be better than they are.)

    The Cards on the other hand have only been an S.O. once in my memory, six years back when they had power arms Miller, Martinez, Wacha, and Rosie. The high-octane numbers were too big to ignore. And for bats, there was Taveras at the top, with Wong, Adams, Pham, Carson Kelly, and Piscotty for flavor. Just boatloads of talent there.

    The corollary to the S.O. is unsurprisingly the anti-S.O.. And last year and this, the Birds are clearly an anti-S.O. for Fangraphs, if not THE anti-S.O.. And they’ve quite frequently been an anti-S.O. for Jim Callis wherever he goes, and John Manuel as well. (Manuel’s bizarre and inadvertently hilarious rationalization for excluding Jack Flaherty from the top 20 Midwest League prospects a few years back remains one of the best examples of bad baseball analysis available anywhere. It should be cited in Logic 101 classes, for how not to use your brain.) Hence the years of dismissiveness by Baseball America, and now MLB Pipeline. For the anti-S.O.’s the (mostly if not entirely subconscious) principle is simple: when in doubt, downgrade the prospect. Sometimes massively.

    #80688
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    PugsleyAddams
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    And then I saw him in Peoria and he looked comfortable & confident at the position, charging a slow roller with APLOMB and firing to first in plenty of time.

    I beg anyone to read one single BobbyReed post…….and come away from the experience not having learned something of significance. I think we’ll see young Gorman not only field his position with APLOMB, but also hitting ABOMB in many a game in Peoria this season. The natives in Peoria must indeed be getting restless waiting for the season to commence with all of the talent waiting in the wings to ply their trade in their fair city.

    BobbyReed > ZIPS

    #80691
    EuroWolf
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    Writing a lot and saying a lot often are not the same. Not that all of his posts are long, but Bob says a lot when he spells out things in detail. I agree with Pugs that it’s stuff worth reading, even when my thoughts are not on the same line. I appreciate many of the posters and Brian taking time to spell out their info and assessments, with Bob being right at the tip of the spear.

    #80694
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    mudville
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    When I see a post from Bob Reed, I am immediately intrigued. Then, after I’ve read it, I can’t help but feel like I just got something for free.

    #80695
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    PugsleyAddams
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    Put very very well, Mud & Euro. Last accolade I’m tossing Bobby and then I’m moving on, but I think we all realize that we have someone truly special in our midst. My fear is that Bobby will move along to greener pastures one day soon here and then only stop by occasionally to toss we posters a passing bone. Go Birds!!

    #80714
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    14NyquisT
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    “…perhaps it indicates some anti-Cardinals bias on prospect analysts’ part.”

    We talked about us Card’s fans having a “pro” bias and maybe overrate our guys when being compared to other team’s prospects.

    I read that Gorman MAY? be moved to the outfield. Our set of 3Bs can’t all play in Busch at the same time as third-basemen. I posted the idea of moving Nunez off third a while ago and was told that its too early to even ponder that idea. I like thinking ahead. There will always be the unknown down the road.

    #80716
    Brian Walton
    Brian Walton
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    Ny, do you recall where you read about Gorman and the OF? I have not seen that so would like to understand who said it and in what context. Thanks.

    On the other hand, if we don’t know who said it and why, citing it seems questionable.

    My point about Nunez is that he is 17 years old, has 44 games of professional experience and until a few weeks ago, had never been to the US, let alone worked with the organization’s coaches here. So, yes, talk of him moving to another position is very, very premature.

    For that matter, the Cards never mess with players their first partial year. Likely, they left Gorman alone in 2018, too. This spring is also his very first camp with the Cardinals instructors where they have time to step back and breathe.

    If we should talk about any of the third basemen moving, it should be Montero, not because of his performance, but only because he at least has two seasons of play in the US to better evaluate his skills.

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