Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by Eric-OH

  1. The deterrent effect of this punishment is minimal in my opinion. In fact, it doesn’t exist. In the future, a player weighing cheating on this level vs a complete non-punishment and total lack of responsibility is an easy call. If any of the players who did this continue to get away with it and face no penalties, why would anyone not commit this act if they see it as providing an advantage? None of them got punished even minimally so it’s hard to say that they didn’t fully get away with it. Reading Astroball and Darvish’s quotes it seems even more selfish that Houston wasn’t willing to compete and damning for their future, but MLB showed they barely care with their inaction. Also, a reminder that the Astros were warned specifically several times to not misuse the video or the video room and blatantly ignored Manfred. Still, no player faced a punishment.
  2. I don’t have as much confidence at the plate (yet) but I’m very much looking forward to him in CF. His routes are clean and his jumps/dives are well timed. These are skills that are somewhat natural. I hope he can go get em this year without a major injury. I don’t know about a force but he looks like a solid player if he can make his way to his share of ABs.
  3. I can’t believe you said it either. Give credit where it’s due. Great W and a solid team to sweep.
  4. This game had the most loud clap moments of any this season. No matter how you look at it, this is a very competitive conference to be leading. The last baseball free weekend starts with a huge W!
  5. I’m with you and this thought process. I look forward to the same type of prospect landscape in the O’s organization. The talent has gone up and, with more focus on development will only continue.
  6. https://www.mlb.com/news/each-team-s-fastest-prospect
  7. I’m glad to have them but trust us a little bit more because of the reasons you said. Yes, we’re biased and maybe that leaks into our opinion but I like the OH consensus more than the non-OH. When I saw Kremer lower it didn’t make me think too much had changed in his profile, but is it possible that he just slightly underperformed the expectations that he built with an excellent 2018? Is Lowther that different? I think despite the velocity change you cited that both of these guys will get their chance to start proving who they are this year.
  8. Yup. And great synopsis too. The depth has improved and rankings have reflected it but I think there’s a couple guys who they are selling short. I’d cut the same guys they cut except for JCE until he absolutely forces me to, and this would be the year he will or won’t. Rom to me a bit low at 19 but it’s all understandable. I think it’s a sign that they’ll recognize the Orioles moves and momentum but not enough eyes trained on specific players and their battles upward, victories included. It’s great to have both them and us following the system. I liked them in on Hernaiz, Zebron and Sparks especially. The 2019 GCL O’s will make their mark!
  9. If this is the actual timeline, looking back and forward to competing/contending a bit later than consensus thinks I’d be fine with it. I don’t think it’s sobering either, it may take long to deepen the talent producing pools to levels where the administration is comfortable. I think that’s an important element when looking at sustained success. If the resources have been spent making staffs of evaluators it doesn’t make me think they can or should evaluate any quicker so I’m out for seasons-long sample sizes if need be.
  10. And the next day, FanGraphs and their top 40 agreed with your HOU comp! Im with this, especially the league leading ERAs throughout. Wondering what will be the accelerators to any of these year thresholds or elements/events that slow them down. The staffs have been pared and rebuilt in scouting so that’s off to a good start. There have been a few holdover prospects mixed with a large handful of Elias acquired picks so there’s that too. Minor league competition is bubbling individually and at least last year in their standings. What is the next positive indicator to begin to show itself?
  11. Might. The crew is already doing things at the big league level. Your timeline is reasonable and just like any measurement, a few good bounces and things break very right. Surpluses are being built so I wonder if a future free agent’s best skill will be his bat speed or his processing speed. Out of everything you speculated, if we went back 20-some months from today we’d probably be happy with just Baumann or Means individually taking big steps. Expectations and the right to look ahead are markers on the path back too.
  12. Thanks for the heads up. This list is a sign of serious progress! A few different names and great tidbits. They’re high on Sparks and for those making minor league rosters he’ll have to be on an accelerated track.
  13. Thanks for putting this together. It looks like lots of fans will be pleasantly surprised by the rest of the Keys when they go to see Adley. That rotation looks pretty strong.
  14. What a great measuring stick. And also what an underwhelming group to a rebuilding team. Not young enough, not developed by the system in place in the current minors and not top flight talent as evaluated. A clear indicator. This year I’d expect a similar number of debuts, maybe a sprinkle more than 8 and a twinge younger as the wheel of progress starts to turn in the right direction. As the team wants to skew younger, debuts is a great reference point.
  15. I’d say this is a very logical opinion and yes there is distinct value in that number one overall pick. The fact that the Astros held high pick status for those three consecutive years, plus what missing out on Brady Aiken brought them, which was Alex Bregman, was big for them. Also I see it like you, those vets’ hold more collective value in their yield not their performance. If there were more wins, we’d have a better gauge of curve.
  16. I’m hoping from this comparison that Mountcastle excels from this step in his development and K elimination may not be a huge part of that. It won’t be an easier population of arms/pitches he’ll see once he moves up to the Birds. This is a very smart group of posters/readers! I’ll estimate a more line for line comp in the future.... To answer your questions, the Gulf Coast League is very different than the usual baseball environment. So talking to the players in game, even during play is possible. There are no fans, 90% of the time there was nobody in the entire seating bowl except for me. When there is, it’s a scout, O’s coach or a player’s family. Last year I met the Siani’s. They have a son on the Pirates GCL squad and one in the Red Sox system for example. I have not ever talked to a guy during a game and I’d rather observe but you can walk to the bullpen and I did introduce myself to Roth while he was stretching. It was the top of the 7th however and I knew he’d be used as the closer. imagine a high school game with no crowd at all and no music/intros. The dugouts are loud to put it mildly and the chatter is both English and not. It’s awesome! Fans trickle in, eat lunch under the overhang then leave and some talk into the dugout or ask for autographs. BTW Gunnar signed every single one, even when on deck. It’s laid back. It’s also beyond sweltering, one game 104 degrees on the field. I’m finding a way to devote almost all of my free time to following/covering the team and gaining experience because of the fact that I make my home just blocks from the stadium. This season will mark my first of many covering Spring, extended Spring, Minor League Spring at Twin Lakes and the GCL. I don’t like to get too personal, in person I’m more open and I’m planning on being at every Spring game-but I had a small business and now I don’t, I want to follow and cover the O’s more and can put energy into that more than anything else. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to share-we’re only days away from getting some info and some baseball so I’m hoping for a busy Spring. Thanks for the thoughts.
  17. Very fair. Without enough Orioles tenure to judge, I figured a profile of the exec team would make it obvious what’s happening and supposed to happen. Reading it didn’t clarify anything but maybe some semblance of a timeline and college draft pattern to go with an innovative organizational philosophy. If you think that on its own is significant, than you probably think the rebuild is moving well. If MLB win percentage or O’s performance on the field is what you prioritize than no, progress has slow-lots of us feel that way. Today I can’t say either but I like the first more than I’m worried about the second. A big and obvious step forward in 2020 means we can speculate a little less and know a little more. If roles are defined, started to be filled and the team wins 66-72 somehow instead of emptying the pantry and scratching out 50 we’ll have consensus on progress. Is that our best case scenario? I appreciate the true opinion and will grow and get better as a thought expresser on here. This wasn’t my best job at that in general or in terms of length. I like to stick to the minors despite my O’s passion so looking at draft patterns and Elias’ draft history is what made me break the book out again.
  18. Reasonable. It’s hard to say what RM will be but we know his at-bat criticism is K’s and he’s 22. Springer is someone whose track record is known and he had issues with K’s in the minors at the same age.. That’s the only reason for the focus on both. Maybe I should have made the point clearer but it’s possible that Mountcastle keeps striking out and it doesn’t adversely affect his full potential. We’d love to see him walk more but him at his absolute best may just rely on that aggressiveness.
  19. You got it. It felt kind of empty to choose a grade for Elias with nothing to back it up so I had to reread his history. There was plenty to make me think, especially in optimistic terms. Next time I’ll stick to the outline and be more efficient-thabks.
  20. Agreed. Definitely not my most organized summary. I’m glad you let me know, if nobody told me I might be inclined to ramble and I take no offense at the honest observation. I hope I got some points across. I guess TLDR, the new guys are smart and my grade on them is incomplete as of today.
  21. We’re trying to evaluate and grade Mike Elias and finally have some data to look at a little closer as he’s been in place since November of 2018. We have a draft and a full offseason but we can also look at Elias and Mejdal two immense contributors in the Astros recent and ongoing success, which is hard to keep in context considering the recent scandal where it was proven how much the team cheated. As O’s fans we don’t care about that as much as we want to know if our rebuild is on track, because there is no disputing that theirs worked. From my perspective, a big follower of the minors and the action below the big league level I wanted to use Elias and Sig’s previous success as a baseline and see where the O’s stand entering 2020 as an organization in a state of change. To give me a better perspective of the Astros’ rise but much more importantly the collective contributions and roles of Sig and Elias I read Astroball. Again, every single word of this book is taken in a different context when you consider the cheating and it takes it to a level where completing the book is maybe uncomfortable. Luhnow was on track to be an excellent exec, Hinch and Beltran outstanding managers too. Why they spoiled it and took it too far is for others to judge. But, the story for us starts with two people that are both brilliant in their own right and so totally different than anyone the Orioles have hired in the past that just having their minds influence the organization is a major victory. Sig is of course a probability and outcome obsessed rocket scientist who left NASA because he lived and loved baseball and Elias is a scout who used to pitch and is Ivy League educated and major league title winning. Lots of pedigree which can seem like it helps in a rebuilding situation but nobody’s resumè is going from 5th to 2nd to 1st in the division and the playoffs so who really are these guys and what have they done, and what are they going to do for the Orioles. On some of those questions we don’t have to wonder so much because there’s info from the book, their personal history and their recent O’s experience that makes it clear. Elias seems savvy beyond his years in communication and has proven it in interactions with media and fans. It seems less like he’s hiding top secret info and more like he’s open to listen and perhaps be influenced by others. His pedigree in the bigs is top notch and he doesn’t act aloof or above others. This is in some ways a contrast to previous GMs in Baltimore and also a little different than his mentor Jeff Luhnow. Luhnow is a cheater and went too far but to deny that Elias wasn’t groomed by an outstanding baseball mind is ignoring the obvious. A phrase that stood out to me while reading was Luhnow the teacher having a philosophy that every single decision he made, no matter painful would be based on a probability that it would prove helpful in the long term. Elias has made plenty of tough calls here already, lots of them painful on some level. Chris Davis is on the horizon, among others. It’s this kind of thinking that makes me optimistic about solutions instead of locked on to the problems. Sig worked at a casino during college and it’s been publicized how he learned about probability and why long term it’s better to hit on a 16 with 7 showing in blackjack as it lessened the overall loss, but the application to the sport and roster building decisions were where he had to develop, quickly and he definitely did. It is possible that he is in the peak phase of his career, where the Orioles will get the benefit of his experience. He learned to meld his stats with anti-cognitive bias, or what leads us to make poor choices when faced with complicated and difficult decisions. This is not Buck Showalter telling Ryan Mountcastle to walk more and we’ll see him in the bigs because it hasn’t worked like that and that’s not how it’s going to work with this regime in place. There are reasons and factors for why Mountcastle hasn’t walked and has struck out. Some of them can be addressed and improved upon but can his profile truly be changed or can he still succeed and not walk too often? Heuristics are what this new pair is up against as an executive team. These are the mental shortcuts that sometimes make us choose the easiest path instead of fully grasping the scope of the problem and properly addressing it. In baseball it’s maybe the idea that a prospect needs to be up by age 23 or after so many minor league innings or will only peak at 26. There are ways to prove these things true and also plenty of exceptions but in the past baseball has to a large degree just gone along with them. Elias and Sig are the most anti-groupthink pair I’ve observed recently and that’s exactly what a team like the Orioles needed. Elias could have pouted about the fact his shoulder frayed in college, instead he educated himself on Tommy John surgery and made it his senior thesis. He followed to popular pitching guru Tom House, interned and became expert level on optimal pitching mechanics and began to formulate the ideal windup, release and trajectory. Again, a drastic upgrade on the guy just pointing a speed gun at a pitcher. These are confidence inspiring outside the box thinkers that impress me and have pretty decent resume’s. After decimating a roster and no longer having Manny Machado on a big league roster, I can’t think of any better pair to come in and change organizational philosophy and quickly. For lots of fans focused on the win total at the major league level it has not been quick at all. That’s something that came to mind when looking at all the scouting, perseverance, budget, man-hours, good fortune and circumstance that went into drafting Carlos Correa at number one overall. Luhnow said that all the work is done, you just have to call his name and that stuck with me. If you draft, sign and trade for more guys that buy in to what you’re trying to do, you can do so more confidently and let them be themselves. Almost like Ozzie Newsome drafting the best guy available yet always ending up with a pretty complete roster. Also it made me think that there are newer, younger and hungrier scouts and organizational members so singularly focused on maximizing any shred of talent that they acquire that everybody is going to get a chance. The growth mindset is discussed at length in the book too and it made me think back to my GCL in-game chat with pitcher Nick Roth who used that exact term. He was amazed that Elias knew everything about his arsenal as a Randolph Macon University senior but more impressed with what they told him to maximize even if he wasn’t drafted by the O’s, who let him have his throwing session at Camden Yards. Low round pick, super detailed analysis and opportunity presented. It’s such a great example that Roth has taken off running but think of the future and that happening several hundred times more. He’ll WANT to grow. It also made me think of the GCL pitching coach Adam Bleday. He’s got a chance for a long term career in baseball ahead of him and he’s 26. How can he not have a growth mindset? To conclude, lots of work is being done and has been done. How do we see it or measure it? Can we look at Mountcastle, a 22 year old with strikeout issues and compare him to a George Springer, also an excellent minor league stat producer who didn’t let the k’s kill him? Yes for these reasons-they both displayed great hitting skills and a ton of strikeouts in the minors. No for these-Springer started in the minors at 22 after college and got 1100 ABs down there before seeing the bigs, Mountcastle didn’t go to college and won a league’s MVP at 22 just a breath from MLB. But the player profile is comparable. And the description of how Springer was helped was that he reached for the guidance this new scouting was giving him. Slowly the k rate shrink a little and he became a star. When looking at Mountcastle’s rates they’ve gone in the wrong direction recently but his advantage over Springer is years. It seems obvious in Elias’ handling of Mountcastle and not rushing him that he’s aware of that difference. Individual player development is a great and clear indicator of scouting ability but it takes years. He’s had one draft, and one rankings cycle raise reflects that it was a good one. How about trades that initiated a full rebuild? In Houston it started in 2012. Wandy Rodriguez, Carlos Lee and Brett Myers were the vets traded away for Robbie Grossman, Matt Dominguez and some fluff. For the O’s the effort started without Elias in town as a handful of O’s including Manny and Schoop were dealt for prospects from the Dodgers, Brewers, Braves and Yankees. He had no role in the haul the O’s received in the 2018 trades so he can’t be credited or blamed here. Maybe in terms of time from the lowest point to the top would paint that clear picture. How long did it take us to become good again? Well that’s something that we can’t accurately pinpoint, but a horrible start to that 2018 is somewhere close. For the Astros, their lowest point was identified and it was when Johnathan Villar slid into a purposefully turned around Brandon Phillips at second base somewhere during an empty 2013 season their third in a row with 100 losses. My mind went to Villar being a young player then and wondered did his whole career happen from then until now...hint, it did. They finished fifth but almost fourth in 2014 however and finished within their first winning month in several seasons, a 15-14 May. By 2017, still years down the road, Astros vets were being quoted at the deadline as being upset due to a lack of action to keep them in a pennant race. It took time but that’s a milestone in itself. Could a similar record turnaround be close or years off for the Orioles? I have to say it looks like not this year as the system is yet to bear fruit and recent trades have been for space clearing and budget eliminating instead of talent increasing. There is no Altuve or Springer to start off the season. But by the end of 2020 the Orioles will have a pair of years under the expert eyes of Elias and a great deal more talent than when this effort started way back under a previous administration. Otherwise it’s too soon to really truly make a call on progress. Some will look and see that there hasn’t been enough. Others, like me will see the foundation for success being laid and why it can’t be a knee-jerk quick fix type of scenario. I’m willing to give Elias credit and the benefit of experience. Will he draft a high school pitcher after the sting of Brady Aiken or will he realize that his system was already steaming along that one draft pick even at the top won’t hurt them? Will he turn potential disasters like that into Alex Bregman 12 months later? I hope so but I also know that if a rebuild was never initiated that the answer would be no. The way I will look at ‘timeline’ is based on an Astros transaction that now has a horribly ugly stench but stood for something significant. When they signed Carlos Beltran in 2016 it filled a need at DH, but he was a gap- bridging veteran who communicated with the clubhouse vets and kids and provided that high caliber experience that their roster was without. He solidified things to a degree and they took off. When the O’s sign a vet to not only be good, but to be the older voice who’s still a contributor I’ll make a check mark but that also seems not in the plans 2020. Start off 35-15 and maybe some adjusting will be necessary but I’m glad to have a front office that’s capable and connected to the players. The organization is led by innovators, not group thinkers and or group thinking that led to mediocrity and worse. That should make you happy as a fan. The book ended with Sig looking back at NASA and how to maximize human performance in specific environments like a space shuttle. His mind went to a dugout and thoughts of the cameras, sensors and biometric measurements to get from the players and their interactions in terms of comfort vs stress, fatigue and overall health. The future of the Orioles is dependent on so many people, potential contributions and effort. This new pair is so much on the edge of the melding of maximized collective mindset and statistics that even a long term pessimist like myself has bought in. When fans complain that 2019 was the worst season in recent history I can’t help but disagree. I see it as the beginning of something necessary and new and the absence of that would be a continual low point. From 2018 on there has only been one way to go, up. My mindset is that the organization is already very much on track and I’m excited. But grading them short term on the ability to have long term success is not something I can do today
  22. I did. Our timing is in midseason form I’d say.
  23. I would prefer to see that info as well. An old Red Sox site had no report on either. I agree that the stats look good, especially the k/bb ratio for Prado. If these stats came from GCL games, these youngsters would have some more attention on them and would be the top offensive performers on the team. Right now, players are arriving at the O’s complex in Santo Domingo and the rosters shouldn’t take more than a couple weeks to formulate down there. If I can get any info at all I’ll be happy to share it here.
  24. https://www.prospects1500.com/al-east/orioles/the-next-10-a-deeper-dive-into-the-baltimore-orioles-farm-system/ Saw this today, a few new names and a couple we recognize. Some recognition for Welk too
  25. A very good point. These execs know their prospects’ birth month relative to developmental curve and especially compared to their draft class. It’s data. If they’re that young than at least to start they’ll be back down with the opportunity to jump. My odds would be slightly less than 50/50 but truly just another topic to speculate on.
  • Create New...