Thursday Theriots for 2/7/13 – All about prospecting

Thursday Theriots for this week focus on the young guys.

An incredible article from Ben Badler at Baseball America about the difficulty of scouting international prospects. As it says in the article, it’s like scouting JV-level players with bigger bodies. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to figure out who stands out and what price is associated with each player. Scouts have a unique talent, one that’s so often overlooked at the major-league level.

Keith Law’s Top 100 Prospects – This is the article I wait for every single year. It’s impressive how much information he puts into each write up. It’s crazy reading the comments about guys thinking he did a terrible job because someone was rated lower than they thought. Just silly.

Also very happy that the O’s have players at #3, 26, 50 and 100. And Machado would likely have been a top 5 guy if he didn’t lose eligibility.

ESPN’s Fantasy Baseball Top 300 – Another list I wait for all offseason. Surprised Braun is ranked above Trout, but I can’t complain. What I really wait for is the auction value list, which is key for my auction draft.

In case you missed it (and I’m sure you all did), I had a little back and forth with Buster Olney via Twitter on Tuesday. I absolutely hate how he uses misleading stats for the sake of the “common reader” and called him out on it. He didn’t like it too much. But I think Keith Law said it best yesterday: “Pitcher wins are a useless stat.” End of story.

Alright, keeping it short for today, as I’m fighting off sickness the best I can…

Thursday Theriots for 1/24/13

As I do every Thursday, here’s a rundown of interesting links and stories I’ve found all throughout the internet.

Justin Upton has finally been traded. We’ve only been expecting this for the last year or so. Badly handled by the Diamondbacks front office. I was expecting that they would have received more upside in terms of prospects from the Braves. Martin Prado is a solid player, but he’s getting expensive and only has one year left on his contract. Keith Law loves the deal for the Braves, which has generally been what I’ve read on Twitter.

Baseball America has released its preseason Top 25. I really love thinking that baseball is right around the corner. The biggest news though? They have the Wolfpack ranked #8 in the nation. It’s been forty years since they’ve been to the CWS, despite being in super regionals numerous times. Can’t wait to see Trea Turner and Carlos Rodon light it up.

I like Shaun Marcum as rotation filler for the Mets. But I don’t know why they’d be willing to give up the 11th overall pick for Michael Bourn, as has been reported.

Buster Olney has an interesting idea in his Top 10’s. But I’m disappointed that he didn’t take a more rigorous approach. So what if the 1931 Yankees scored more runs than anyone? They played in a high-scoring era. Why not start with a stat like fWAR (yes, I’m a bit enamored with it) that is context-independent?

Yes, baseball is played in Europe. Not at a very high level, but there’s some talent there. I love Carson Cistulli’s regressed stats, such as these for the Dutch league. I would love to see more investment by MLB in Europe, as there’s so much potential.

If you’ve read my bio, you know that my day job is in the language industry. That’s why I love this interview by Nataly Kelly (who just co-wrote a seminal work on translation) with Kenji Nimura, who has served as an interpreter in MLB for a number of years. Talk about combining my interests…

And with that, I leave you until next time.