Sometimes we get a little too Mets-focused here. There are 29 other teams in baseball, after all. Here are two links I like.
1. The Cardinals are SABR
At ESPN Sweetspot, Anna McDonald sat down with Cardinals’ GM John Mozeliak to learn about how the Cardinals use sabermetrics. It’s well worth a read. Hint: the Cardinals use a proprietary version of WAR. Really. And a key quote from Mozeliak, on the amateur/minor league side:
I will say where analytics do come into play is two places. One is the amateur draft. It has become a really important tool for the success of our operation. The other part that comes into play is determining promotions and demotions in minor league players and, again, we do not solely make decisions on what these numbers say. We allow all the people we have working for us to have a voice in this, but we do have some guidelines that we use that help us make these decisions.
In both of these respects, the Mets are similar. In the draft, they have identified a particular type of college hitter (think low k%) while on the pitching side they seek guys with outstanding K/BB ratios. As for promotions, the Mets have clear internal metrics that prospects must reach in the majority of cases to earn promotions.
2. The Rockies are Re-thinking their Player Development Staff
The Rockies have created a new staff position for each of their minor league affiliates, the Supervisor of Development.
The Development Supervisor is a leadership role that is highly responsible for the oversight and implementation of the Rockies development philosophies and practices. The Development Supervisor will be a team-builder who will create synergy among staff members so that they may generate and evaluate best practices on a daily, weekly, monthly and season-long basis.
The Development Supervisors will serve as leaders in communication, so that consistency and continuity of organizational philosophies, execution, standards and expectations exist from level to level. In addition, the Development Supervisors will creatively seek out solutions to issues and challenges, so that we establish a foundation of winning with a focus on the professional and personal development of our players. The Development Supervisor will travel with their respective club.
With the exception of the final clause of that first paragraph, that sounds an awful lot like the job description of the minor league manager. The Supervisor position clearly is more process oriented than the managers are expected to be and more focused on the organization as a whole, while the on-field manager tends to be more focused on the day-to-day of the players in his charge.
I think this is a fascinating development. I wonder if the managers will feel that their role is being usurped, or whether they will welcome the help with administrative and big league team interactions to be freer to focus more on their teams. In this age of computers and video, this seems like a good reminder that there is still often no replacement for being there.
Hey, Travis d’Arnaud liked Mike Piazza growing up in Southern California. I liked Todd Hundley and then Mike Piazza growing up in New York. We’re almost the same! Ok, that’s not true. But there are lots of d’Arnaud features this morning.
- At Fangraphs, Eno Sarris takes a look at recent Jays’ hitting prospects and their transitions to Toronto and the big leagues, which is pretty grim. He also compares d’Arnaud to other recent catching prospects ranked in the top 25 overall by Baseball America, which is a much more encouraging grouping.
- Andy McCullough in the Star-Ledger goes back to Lakewood High School to talk to d’Arnaud’s old coaches and Marti Wolever, who was the Phillies’ scouting director who drafted d’Arnaud in 2007 and praised his mature demeanor.
- In the Post, Kevin Kernan goes back to d’Arnaud’s childhood where he and his brother learned to hit in the family driveway.
- At ESPNNY.com, Adam Rubin talked to Phillies’ national crosschecker Jim Fregosi Jr. and former Yankee and one of d’Arnaud’s former manager Sal Fasano, emphasizing the fact that d’Arnaud grew up modeling his game on Mike Piazza.
Ted asks a burning question, “What should the Mets do with Wilmer Flores?”
He can hit, but he does not really have a position.
I like the answer: play him in the minors. Let him hit his way to the big leagues.
I wanted to share two really interesting articles related to player-development that not Mets-specific.
1. Jorge Arangure writes at Baseball Prospectus about the low walk rates for Latin American ballplayers, and how Carlos Santana became the exception. Arangure also points out the disparate paths taken by young Venezuelan ballplayers who play more games versus their Dominican counterparts.
For reference, the National League average is right around 8%. So, what about some of the Mets’ high-profile international prospects?
3B Wilmer Flores (Valencia, VZ)- 7.3% at AA, 6.9% in 2012 between advanced-A and AA.
OF Juan Lagares (Constanza, DR) – 6.8% in AA in 2012
3B Jefry Marte (La Romana, DR)- 8.4% in AA in 2012
OF Cesar Puello (La Romana, DR)- 2.8% in A+ in 2012
3B Aderlin Rodriguez (Santo Domingo, DR) – 7.2% total in 2012, 8.2% in the SAL, 4.9% in A+
2B/OF Jordany Valdespin (San Pedro de Macoris, DR) – 4.9% in MLB, 6.1% in AAA
Walks. More are better.
2. Mike Ashmore, the beat writer for the Trenton Thunder takes a look at how little money minor league baseball players actually make.
Rob Castellano over at Amazin Avenue does the work and profiles guys who finished the season with the Savannah Sand Gnats.
Rob Castellano looks at the 2012 Brooklyn Cyclones at the recently redesigned Amazin Avenue. Enjoy.
I had a fun post in the works about some of the prospects who have been traded in deals not involving the Mets this week, but it’s still in the works.
In the meanwhile, here are some links.
1. The Press and Sun Bulletin has a nice story on Juan Centeno learning to catch.
2. At ESPN, Adam Rubin talks to Steven Matz for his weekly Farm Report. Much of what Matz says is similar to the piece I did on him a week ago here.
3. Zack Wheeler had a rough outing Wednesday for AA Binghamton: 4 IP, 10 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 2 HBP.
- In the New York Post, Mike Puma explores the logic of starting Miguel Batista over Matt Harvey this Saturday: “The Mets’ reluctance to lose Miguel Batista was a strong factor in the selection of the veteran righty over prospect Matt Harvey for Saturday’s start against the Dodgers, a team source said yesterday. If Harvey was selected, the Mets in all likelihood would have cleared roster space by exposing Batista to waivers.”
The logic makes my head hurt.
- Jonathan Zeller tells us that Brandon Nimmo used to listen to oldies with his dad.
- Adam Rubin talks to Mets VP of Scouting and Player Development Paul DePodesta. Part one has commentary on Harvey and Jenrry Mejia while part two focuses on the draft.
The Mejia stuff is revealing in a convoluted way.
-Mike Sielski in the Wall Street Journal wrote about Brandon Nimmo and the database he’s now keeping about his at-bats.
- Patrick Flood does a hilarious bit guessing at the individual Mets’ players and then team UZR comparing his eyes to the numbers.
- David Lennon: “Source said no aneurysm for Gee; docs now determining extent of damage, if any, from clot.
- At ESPNNY, Adam Rubin talked to a vascular expert.
- Terry Collins told the Post, “I’m really nervous for [Gee].” The Post also raises the possibility that Gee has Thoracic Outlet syndrome, similar to Chris Carpenter.
- I wrote about the history of baseball players with blood clots. It’s not an encouraging read for Dillon Gee’s 2012 season.
- Stay Back.
Collin McHugh writes about the struggle to “stay back” in his physically and mentally upon his promotion to Buffalo. I hope for his sake that he has a long and successful career. If that doesn’t happen, he could just write about about baseball, or whatever the hell he was into. I’d surely read it.
- More Walks, More Better
At Amazin’ Avene, Rob Castellano crunches the numbers and learns that the Mets minor leaguers are walking more than than they did a year ago.
- The NCAA is Broken
In case you hadn’t heard, the NCAA’s financial model is broken. The University of Maryland is planning to cut seven teams. Cal did not drop several sports, but baseball, women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s gymnastics and rugby are now being asked to become financially “independent.” Hint: it’s impossible. From the Cal article: “Nationally, men’s gymnastics programs average $33,000 in annual revenue and $540,000 in expenses.” Lest you think these two schools are anomalies, they’re not, “In 2009-10, only 22 of the 228 Division I public schools covered their expenses.”