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NoVaO

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Everything posted by NoVaO

  1. This was not a case of him coasting. He initially mis-read the ball off the bat, evidenced by his first instinct to move in. He clearly had trouble tracking the ball in mid-air given the meandering route he took to the ball. Run in a non-straight line, head turned almost completely around looking up in the sky, knowing you're headed straight for a hard, lightly padded wall and see if you're running at full speed. Not to mention, if you're running at full speed and aren't sure where the ball is going to land, you risk overrunning the baseball. If he was able to track the ball successfully, he could have put his head down and run straight to the spot he determined it would land, full speed. That's impossible to do if you aren't successful in tracking the ball while it's in mid-air. It's possible the ball hit a bit of a jet stream as well and took off on him. Clearly he didn't think it was hit as well as it actually was. People are trying to see stuff that isn't there. He's human. It's not lack of effort and trying to look smooth. Sometimes players simply don't make the plays. It wasn't an easy play to begin with. His mis-judgement made it that much more difficult to catch.
  2. Just speechless...watching his broadcasts, one would never know what he was feeling inside. I know with depression, you have your good days and your bad. And there are periods where I'm sure one's depression makes everything so debilitating, and the brain keeps sending streams of negativity without ever allowing a positive thought to break through. We'll never know what triggered Flanagan's depression in this instance, but I find it so hard to believe and comprehend how these thoughts were so powerful to drive him to this outcome, if what is being reported is true. Incredibly sad, may he RIP, and my prayers to his family who must be absolutely devastated. It's tragic.
  3. Really good deal...Hoey and Jacobson are essentially organizational depth.
  4. Can you give some names you'd like to see acquired for 1b, 3b/LF, and a veteran #2/3 starter and describe how you'd acquire them. If you are trading for them, what players are you giving up? If you are signing them, for how much and for how long?
  5. I had a chance to grab a few of Aberdeen's last games and I've been going over them the past couple of days. Some thoughts... To start, Aberdeen's camera angle leaves a lot to be desired, but what I wanted to see most was a player's approach at the plate, their patience, whether they were taking good pitches, etc. The three guys I focused on were Givens, Machado, and Narron. Narron I wasn't as impressed with from a performance standpoint and he has a lot of development ahead of him, but he really does try to work the count and be patient in his ABs even though he has to work on his pitch recognition. But Givens and Machado I came away really impressed by. Givens was extremely patient, really worked the count, laid off borderline pitches, and showed a quick bat by turning on a couple of fastballs and placing them over the left field wall for a home run. He was out in front on some off-speed pitches and he'll have to work on keeping his weight back in general. His footwork is also a little off defensively, which will lead to some inaccurate throws to first base. I was surprised by Machado wasn't as patient as Givens, but he still worked the count well and he had the better approach, using the entire field rather than always pulling the ball like Givens seemed to do. It was nice to see how advanced he seems to be as a hitter for his age. Defensively he looked smooth and he seems to exude confidence as well. So all in all, some nice developments in a system that definitely needs some.
  6. I haven't read the rest of the thread, but I want to address this... What bothers me with the inverted-w argument is the cherry picking that goes on. When a pitcher has an inverted delivery and they get injured we hear about it. When a pitcher with an inverted delivery stays healthy, we don't hear about it. When a pitcher without an inverted delivery gets injured, we don't hear about it. You link to an article that cherry picks a few pitchers who have gotten injured with an inverted-w delivery and act like it's proof of something. I'm not saying pitchers with inverted deliveries don't have a higher injury risk. They might...and I have my own theories why that type of arm action way be riskier for a pitcher. But they are just theories. I don't present them as fact because there is no actual proof an inverted arm action carries more risk -- especially when you're talking about an inverted arm action that is way more borderline than extreme. Now, I think we do see some correlation, but correlation does not equal causation. And there are many counter-examples to draw from. One of the most durable pitchers in Major League history (Mickey Lolich) had an inverted delivery. Jesse Orosco had an inverted delivery. Francisco Rodriguez, Don Wilson, Adam Wainwright, Josh Beckett (borderline), Aaron Heilman, Pedro Martinez (borderline), ...I can go on. Hell, the article mentions John Smoltz and he had nine straight healthy seasons, seven of which he pitched over 200+ innings. He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2000 and returned to pitch four straight healthy seasons out of the bullpen and then three more seasons as a starter, again pitching 200+ innings. Man, that inverted-w really hurt his career. He was only able to pitch 16 healthy seasons, 12 of them as a starter, only ten of which he threw over 200+ innings. It also needs to be said that Strasburg's inverted delivery was actually very borderline. When you look at a still image of him in mid wind-up it might seem like a big deal. But keep in mind his elbow drops down to at or below shoulder's level. His elbow goes higher than his shoulder for a fraction of a millisecond. To illustrate this: The timing of Strasburg's arm action is similar to another borderline inverted pitcher: Bob Feller... When is the point of maximum stress on a pitcher's arm? It's not when the elbow is above of the shoulder. It's when the arm is rotated around into release (external rotation). And this is where Strasburg's delivery is violent. He puts a tremendous amount of torque and whip on his arm. It reminds me of Tommy Hanson (who also is borderline with his elbow and shoulder), except the ball comes out of Strasburg's hand about 4 - 8 mph faster. Despite the smoothness of the delivery, Strasburg's arm action during external rotation is still violent. It was less of a red flag with with Strasburg because of the ease in which he repeated it. In any case, I expect Strasburg to bounce back just fine. That doesn't mean he won't be another Prior, but it's important to note Prior's career was complicated by his collision with Marcus Giles in which he fell right on his shoulder, tearing it in the process, rather than his mechanics. I don't recall Prior having any arm related problems before his collision with Giles.
  7. Hmmm...I don't know about that. The report about Matzek's velocity spike were from Keith Law. I know he personally saw him a couple of times as well and if he didn't actually see him throw in the mid-90's, I doubt the source of his information was from somebody who had a vested interest in getting Matzek more money. In additon, there are differences in the mechanics of Matzek's 2010 delivery and 2009 delivery. The Rockies have slowed his tempo, shortened his stride and turned him into a little more of a tall-and-fall guy rather than somebody who drifts through his balance points. Those are factors that can have an impact on one's velocity and it seems to be a theme this year for various organization's. "Smooth" out a pitcher's delivery, slow them down, and then wonder where the velocity has gone.
  8. I compared the differences between Wieters' swing from 2008 and 2010 last month. Here is the link: Matt Wieters mechanics It's not a perfect analysis as the angles of each swing are a little different, which complicates matters and I couldn't find the necessary clips to compare his right hand side swing, but it does give you a nice synopsis of the changes Wieters has undergone over the last couple of years.
  9. I think this sums it up perfectly. Our best option at first base is to target one that is blocked and I'd be willing to use Tillman or Arrieta to get one though I'm not sure how much value either have at the moment.
  10. NoVaO

    Wynn Pelzer

    Ok, I see your reasoning then...but what does that say about the state of our farm system on the pitching side? I feel like the starting pitching prospects we tend to develop are potential Brian Burres or Mark Hendrickson types rather than guys we can immediately add as power arms to the bullpen. We need more David Hernandez types in the organization and I'm not sure I see many...Brandon Erbe maybe, or somebody else I'm forgetting?
  11. NoVaO

    Wynn Pelzer

    I don't see the McCrory comparison. Pelzer is a much better prospect than McCrory ever has been. Pelzer has better control and misses more bats (looking at K% and looking at how each performed from full season ball and above). At the same levels of pro ball, Pelzer has been younger, he's played in the two most difficult environments for pitchers between the two (California and Texas League), and most importantly, Pelzer has done this as a starter. McCrory has always been a reliever and he's never been a particularly good one.
  12. NoVaO

    Wynn Pelzer

    It's not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but getting Pelzer for Tejada is a win for Baltimore. Yes, he has command issues, but he's definitely shown some ability to throw strikes over an extended period of time. His control has really deserted him for the past two months, but his BB% in April and May as a starter were 7.1% and 6.7%, respectively. He's a guy with good stuff -- two above average to plus pitches -- who profiles best out of the bullpen. He's struggled early in his transition to the bullpen, but we're only talking about four appearances.
  13. The problem is that our division opponents dwarf that list of Oriole prospects you just put together. Boston - Kalish, Anderson, Rizzo, Westmoreland, Reddick, Iglesias, Fuentes, Gibson, Middlebrooks, Jacobs, Nava, Tejeda, Head, Lavarnway, Vinicio, Navarro, Vinicio, Brentz, Vitek, Coyle, Cecchini, Ramos, Perkins, Hollenbeck...I can keep going. Some of these guys will flame out. Some are struggling right now. But the key for Boston is that they have reinforcements for any failures they have. They have back up options and they have back ups for their main back ups. They have a pipeline of talent. And the overall talent level of their top guys are better than the guys we have at the top, besides maybe Machado, but that is debatable. New York - Montero, Adams, Heathcott, Romine, De Leon, Sosa, Gary Sanchez, Nunez, Laird, Culver, Gumbs, Segedin, Austin, Jordan...not as deep, but still better than what Baltimore has to offer Tampa - Jennings, Brignac, Beckham, Sweeney, Bailey, Malm, Kang, Guevara, Jaso, Bortnick, Glaesmann, Dietrich, O'Conner, Wunderlich, Price...and once they sign all their 2010 draftees, they'll be reloaded once again. Guys like Sale, Lorenzen, Vettleson, and Ryan will give a shot of talent into that organization. Plus, they have signed one of the top Latin American talents on the market. Toronto - Wallace, d'Arnaud, Arencibia, Emaus, Goins, McDade, Tolisano, Carlos Perez, Thames, Marisnick, Pierre, Kellen Sweeney, Marcus Knecht...and they also signed a very talented third base from Latin America. Our positional talent level pales in comparison to what the other teams in our division have in their systems.
  14. I was really disappointed to see his answers in regard to the number of scouts. I understand more scouts doesn't necessarily mean better and having the best scouts is more important than having the most scouts, but it sounds like he's assuming other teams have hired bad scouts. The bottom line is our division has basically lapped us from a scouting standpoint. I'd like to see McPhail asked how he plans to compete year in and year out when the opponents in his division bring in more premium talent from the draft than he does, more premium talent internationally than he does, and spends more on free agency than he does.
  15. That's possible. As I mentioned in my post above, as time goes on, they may incorporate back into his delivery some of the velocity generating attributes he dropped after high school. He does get good sink on his fastball. When he throws it for strikes, it's generally well located. However, he needs to control it better. I do like his curveball a lot. His change-up had promise. I wouldn't read too much into the radar gun readings since we're talking about four pitches. But I'd like to see him throw it more since it's a feel pitch and will only get better with repetition. He has "smoother" mechanics, but they have smoothed out some of the things he did that helped him generate velocity. Hopefully he will incorporate them back into his delivery at some point. Hopefully...that's a best case scenario right there though. I don't think it's too early to judge him for what he is at this point. It is too soon to be declaring him a bust and not recognize that player development is not a static, linear progression. There are peaks and valleys a player goes through obviously and Hobgood is still very early in his development process. I was disappointed in a few things I saw, but encouraged by a couple of other things I saw. I'd like to see the inconsistent arm slot addressed immediately and hopefully, as I said earlier, they incorporate some of the velocity producing elements of his delivery back into his mechanics once they feel he's comfortable enough with his "new" delivery.
  16. You want a pitcher's mechanics to be efficient. If they aren't efficient, you want to work with the pitcher on getting them to be more efficient without having to sacrificing any quality in stuff. And to be clear, Hobgood's mechanics were inconsistent in high school and did need some tweaking. But what do you expect when you slow down his tempo, lessen the intent in which he throws with and possibly the force he uses to initiate his hip rotation? Hopefully he can get used to his "new" mechanics and then as time goes by, he can get his body moving faster and incorporate some of the effort he had in his prior delivery so he get his velocity back up. Not the method I would use, but it could certainly work. At least his diminished velocity is not health related. The one area they have to fix now, however, is that arm slot. I can't believe how much it fluctuated in that start I saw.
  17. Just wanted to offer my thoughts on Hobgood. I was going to make a separate thread, but didn't want to clutter up the board. In any case, I did a write-up on my site, which you can read here, but be warned it's Subscriber-based content. However, I'll delve into the hidden content here... First, in regards to his velocity, there was no radar gun, but I was able to get a glimpse of the scoreboard on four of his pitches: Three fastballs - 89 and 87 One Curveball - 76 One Change-Up - 82 It's possible the radar gun was off considering the opposing pitcher I also saw clocked at 87 and he's usually a little higher than that. But still, not good news on the velocity front, which I'll go over a bit more in a second. What I found most striking was how inconsistent his mechanics were. They would vary from pitch-to-pitch. His arm slot would range anywhere from high 3/4 to a normal 3/4 slot. Other inconsistencies included the timing of his hand break, the amount of arch in his bat as he loaded his arm, the amount of bend in his back leg as he strides forward...numerous inconsistencies. Now, the inconsistent mechanics could certainly impact his velocity, but he's definitely a different pitcher mechanically than he was when drafted. It's something I'll probably do a future article on, but here is a quick summary... 1. They have slowed him down....tempo (the rate the body is moving into release) is about two or three frames slower than it was prior to being drafted. He's more under control...less "violence" in his delivery. 2. They have shortened the stride of his delivery...that may have involved incorporating a less forceful "kick-out", which is something that he uses to initiate an aggressive rotation of the hips... The shorter stride, the slower tempo, the smoother delivery, and possibly the less forceful/aggressive kick-out -- each change can hinder a pitcher's velocity, especially when all four mechanical adjustments are used on one pitcher. The one positive change they have made to his mechanics were on the front side. His glove is in a much more stable position out in front of the chest, especially on his fastball, which helps in keeping the front shoulder closed and is associated with better command. However, his front side mechanics do change when throwing the curveball. And of course, none of that matters if a pitcher can't repeat his mechanics consistently, which Hobgood isn't doing right now. The biggest positive for me was definitely the curveball. It can be a true out pitch and he actually commanded the pitch better than his fastball. I'd like to see him stick with the higher arm slot because that is the slot his curveball comes from. Change-up showed promise, but was a little inconsistent and he didn't throw many. I think the biggest thing to take from this is the development team the Orioles have in place seems to have worked with Hobgood on correcting his mechanical problems. Thus far, the results being decreased velocity, a struggle to repeat his mechanics, and inconsistent command. What does that tell you?
  18. I might not get to that dollar figure. It all depends obviously. For every tough sign, I'd have a range of what they are worth. But, in a couple instances, I might make an exception to go a little higher than I had planned to. I certainly wouldn't do that for everyone though. Not sure, but that wouldn't stop me from picking tough to sign players. You could always hire somebody that can help with negotiations. Again, there is no set figure. But as I said, I'd probably make an exception to go above the range set forth for a player or two as long as there isn't too big a difference between the range and asking price. And I'd still take more chances on tougher to sign talent in the 15 - 30 range knowing that some of those players won't sign.
  19. I don't really disagree with much of what you said...I just wouldn't confuse "we need to take more guys that drop for signability purposes" as "let's give less talented players more money than they are worth". If we spend $18 - 19 million, I would expect the overall talent in that draft class to better than the draft class of a team that spent $12 million. Well, it's not like I talked to a huge sample...we're talking four or five guys. And it's not like they weren't without criticism of Machado. But never did I hear one of them say Colon was somebody they'd seriously consider with a top-3 pick.
  20. I'm not sure if you're misinterpreting what I'd do or what, but I wouldn't just go out and offer $3 million to this guy, $6 million to that guy, and so on to players not worth that kind of money. Wilson was actually one of the guys I would not have taken a chance on because of the likelihood he wouldn't sign and the price tag he would have come with. But you'll see plenty of these mid - later round players sign for a high six-figure or a low seven-figure bonus. As for Machado, who said there are no questions? All I said was that he was a consensus top-3 talent. And that's not just coming from BA or Keith Law -- I talk to scouts too.
  21. I don't think there is merit to either strategy to be honest. It shouldn't be an either/or for the Orioles. Take the best talent in the early rounds and then snatching up players that dropped because of signability in the mid - late rounds. The money is there for them to do it. If they can offer a $22 million/year contract to Teixeira, or give $10 million to Tejada/Atkins, then they can put in an extra $10 million or so into the draft. It's such a cheap way to put a bunch of top talent in your system and I still don't understand why they don't take full advantage of it. And let me add, taking Machado was the easy choice. You can't ignore his upside just because Colon will reach the Majors two years earlier. And you can't just ignore the more talented players because you aren't satisfied with what kind of job player development does. Even college players have to be developed.
  22. While I might pick a few more high cost players, I agree you need to have some sort of balance. I actually think Tampa did a great job of this in the first 10 rounds of their draft.
  23. The problem here is that the Red Sox are basically already doing this, as are a few other teams to a lesser extent. While I do advocate to go above and beyond what teams currently spend, I'd like to at least see us match what the Red Sox or Rays do with their drafts. You have to find some advantage over the big market teams and the draft and international market are the most efficient ways to do that.
  24. I wouldn't of drafted Hobgood at No. 5 -- I'd have gone one of Wheeler, Matzek, or Turner -- but Green is not the slam dunk prospect many think he is. He doesn't walk much and he struck out almost twice as often as he walked (this was true all three of his years at USC). He didn't show a lot of present power last year and he regressed in almost every area of his game as a junior. In addition, his defense at shortstop is being questioned and he'll lose a lot of his value if he has to move off the position. Don't get me wrong...he's a very good prospect, but I don't think he's the guy we'll be wishing we drafted over Hobgood when all is said and done.
  25. I haven't seen any of next year's projected top picks except for Ranaudo, so I can't make any definitive statements one way or another in terms of rankings, but I was really, really impressed with what I saw from Ranaudo. Of course, I saw two of his better starts on the year, so I'll need to see one in which he struggled, but I didn't see any particular weakness...fastball doesn't have huge velocity, but it has tremendous life up in the zone and he still has some projection in his body, his curveball is a true hammer and he can throw it for strikes. His command will get off track occasionally, but when he's going good he's able to hit both corners of the plate with his fastball. I have rarely seen the guy throw a change-up, but I've heard it's potentially an above average pitch. Lastly, this guy is fiery and he has a certain swagger to his game...he makes Joba look like a wallflower and he'll definitely pacify all those saying this team needs somebody with heart and passion.
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