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In Search of the Elusive 'Pitching Prospect'

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Re: In Search of the Elusive 'Pitching Prospect'

Postby PlayingWithFire » Fri Feb 03, 2012 4:00 pm

Ender wrote:You can usually pick out the sure thing pitching prospects if you are just careful. Edwin Jackson is an example of someone that was in no way a sure thing, he had an ERA over 4 in the minors and a WHIP over 1.35. Same with Andrew Miller who was erratic in the minors, Hochevar was good but not dominant.. Compare most of these 'busted' prospects to someone like Gallardo or Lincecum in the minors and you see the big difference. Truth is any pitcher who throws hard gets the label prospect, for fantasy purposes this is not the type of player you want. You want a polished prospect who has displayed elite skills in the minors if you are going to be drafting a rookie pitcher.

A lot of times these guys are just being pushed through the minors at a young age and they end up being good in the majors but from a fantasy baseball perspective you don't want to take a risk on these types. Stick with the guys who absolutely dominated in the minors and barring a major injury they almost always pan out to be at least decent in the majors.


Counter example: Yusmeiro Petit.
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Re: In Search of the Elusive 'Pitching Prospect'

Postby PlayingWithFire » Fri Feb 03, 2012 4:04 pm

rib217 wrote:
Garry26 wrote:The next one is Darvish.

Bottom line is that Japan is pretty on par with the US on baseball. So their Ace pitchers can come here dominate. Even 2nd tier can be successful because it takes time for the league to adjust.

Since most casual fans will not hear of them, the hardcore fantasy fans that know of them, has an edge picking them up. If you have first pick in a keeper league, you got yourself a stud that no one else can get. Or you can risk skipping a few rounds in a regular draft and then BAM! Extra stud over everyone else.

That's why I always keep an eye out for new Japanese starting pitchers. Just make sure they're studs and not average.



I plan on staying away from Darvish; perhaps I am wrong but it certainly seems like every big name (Ace pitchers) coming out of Japan has not come close to living up to the hype.


Darvish was far better in the Japan league than Daisuke if that's who you are referencing. We are also not talking about things that don't matter like the "gyroball" this time. Darvish has a legit 70 fastball and 70 slider. Good stuff and good command in one package is hard to find.
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Re: In Search of the Elusive 'Pitching Prospect'

Postby MasterX1918 » Fri Feb 03, 2012 5:20 pm

PlayingWithFire wrote:
Ender wrote:You can usually pick out the sure thing pitching prospects if you are just careful. Edwin Jackson is an example of someone that was in no way a sure thing, he had an ERA over 4 in the minors and a WHIP over 1.35. Same with Andrew Miller who was erratic in the minors, Hochevar was good but not dominant.. Compare most of these 'busted' prospects to someone like Gallardo or Lincecum in the minors and you see the big difference. Truth is any pitcher who throws hard gets the label prospect, for fantasy purposes this is not the type of player you want. You want a polished prospect who has displayed elite skills in the minors if you are going to be drafting a rookie pitcher.

A lot of times these guys are just being pushed through the minors at a young age and they end up being good in the majors but from a fantasy baseball perspective you don't want to take a risk on these types. Stick with the guys who absolutely dominated in the minors and barring a major injury they almost always pan out to be at least decent in the majors.


Counter example: Yusmeiro Petit.

yeah but he was never really projected as being an ace, the highest BA ranked him was 46. He was definitely a big time bust though.

This thread made me think of another legendary pitching prospect, the incomparable Matt Riley
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Re: In Search of the Elusive 'Pitching Prospect'

Postby PlayingWithFire » Fri Feb 03, 2012 5:57 pm

MasterX1918 wrote:
PlayingWithFire wrote:
Ender wrote:You can usually pick out the sure thing pitching prospects if you are just careful. Edwin Jackson is an example of someone that was in no way a sure thing, he had an ERA over 4 in the minors and a WHIP over 1.35. Same with Andrew Miller who was erratic in the minors, Hochevar was good but not dominant.. Compare most of these 'busted' prospects to someone like Gallardo or Lincecum in the minors and you see the big difference. Truth is any pitcher who throws hard gets the label prospect, for fantasy purposes this is not the type of player you want. You want a polished prospect who has displayed elite skills in the minors if you are going to be drafting a rookie pitcher.

A lot of times these guys are just being pushed through the minors at a young age and they end up being good in the majors but from a fantasy baseball perspective you don't want to take a risk on these types. Stick with the guys who absolutely dominated in the minors and barring a major injury they almost always pan out to be at least decent in the majors.


Counter example: Yusmeiro Petit.

yeah but he was never really projected as being an ace, the highest BA ranked him was 46. He was definitely a big time bust though.

This thread made me think of another legendary pitching prospect, the incomparable Matt Riley


But Petit had "elite" stats up until double A and his second go around in AAA was actually quite good as well. Age vs. League was also quite good. He's as polished as it usually gets for a young prospect.
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Re: In Search of the Elusive 'Pitching Prospect'

Postby Ender » Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:14 pm

Not sure Petit really makes a good counter argument. He never really dominated in AAA and those HR/9 stats had to be pretty scary even in his decent years in AAA. He is not someone I would have been salivating over from a fantasy standpoint during his rookie season. He also started having back and shoulder problems early in 2006 which might have completely halted his progression. Once pitchers start to pile up injuries it can derail things quickly.
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Re: In Search of the Elusive 'Pitching Prospect'

Postby kab21 » Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:51 pm

MasterX1918 wrote:why would they use Edwin Jackson as an example of a failed pitching prospect? He's no ace but Jackson has developed into a very serviceable #3 started who has helped his teams reach the world series twice. I wouldn't call that a bust. There has to be better examples out there, Homer Bailey? Andrew Miller?


Edwin jackson is still a pretty good example. You would have been drafting him for 3-4 yrs before he turned in a halfway decent season. Other prospects completely bust and never amount to anything but it's extremely common for pitchers to struggle for several years.

I also disagree with Ender. there are plenty of prospects with great MiLB stats and scouting reports that fail or take much longer than expected to develop. Matusz is one example. In fact you could make an argument for the entire Orioles expected rotation.
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Re: In Search of the Elusive 'Pitching Prospect'

Postby Element » Fri Feb 03, 2012 9:13 pm

kab21 wrote:
MasterX1918 wrote:why would they use Edwin Jackson as an example of a failed pitching prospect? He's no ace but Jackson has developed into a very serviceable #3 started who has helped his teams reach the world series twice. I wouldn't call that a bust. There has to be better examples out there, Homer Bailey? Andrew Miller?


Edwin jackson is still a pretty good example. You would have been drafting him for 3-4 yrs before he turned in a halfway decent season. Other prospects completely bust and never amount to anything but it's extremely common for pitchers to struggle for several years.

I also disagree with Ender. there are plenty of prospects with great MiLB stats and scouting reports that fail or take much longer than expected to develop. Matusz is one example. In fact you could make an argument for the entire Orioles expected rotation.


Guys like Matusz and Petit never had elite pure stuff. The "Prospect" terms gets thrown around loosely as well, IMO. In a case like Hochevar, the high prospect status is more or less given to him based on his projectability to the MLB level rather than his upside ability. E-Jax still has elite pure stuff and has turned into a reliable starter. His upside may not have been reached 100%, but I would hardly refer to him as a bust. He is still rather valuable.

Also, in the case of the O's 'should-be' staff, isn't that more of a failure on the O's organization rather than the players themselves?
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Re: In Search of the Elusive 'Pitching Prospect'

Postby kab21 » Sat Feb 04, 2012 12:59 am

Matusz had what were considered as 4 average or better pitches. He was a top 10 pick and virtually everyone had him as a top 25 prospect. He was considered a very safe prospect with great MiLB numbers. He might not have had ace potential but he was a great prospect. Note - He still has plenty of time to become a good pitcher.

I simply mentioned the Orioles as an example. If you want to include Drabek, Joba and Hughes feel free to. The list is endless of great pitching prospects that failed or became average at best.

I do believe in Matt Moore and Yu Darvish though. Definitely some risk there but they have a lot going for them as far as stuff is concerned.
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Re: In Search of the Elusive 'Pitching Prospect'

Postby Ender » Sat Feb 04, 2012 7:51 pm

Matusz also didn't spend enough time in the minors, I was wary of him because of that and the bad situation he was going into playing in the AL East. He skipped AAA completely and barely spent any time in AA before being called up to face the Yankees, Blue Jays and Red Sox every other day.

But again with Edwin Jackson the difference is scout vs stats. I'm trusting the stats first when it comes to fantasy. In 2004 he posted a 5.86 ERA, 5.5 bb/9 and 6.9 k/9 in AAA. There was no reason to expect much out of him anytime soon at that point. At no point in the minors was he a dominant pitcher. Scouts called him a big prospect because of a lively arm but for fantasy I read that kind of review and for a single season league I think avoid. Maybe for keepers the scouting means a lot more.

I don't see all that many huge prospects with stats supporting them that don't pan out. Take any given season, sort the AAA stats for that year by ERA. Take out any starter that didn't manage 7.5 K/9 or had a BB/9 over 3 or HR/9 over 1. The list you have left is usually almost all draft-able pitchers or pitchers who got hurt and disappeared. Drill down into these individuals and look for a pattern of this type of success throughout the minors and you found your big targets. The guys you pulled out are almost always flagged 'prospects' but a large portion of them will flame out, especially the ones with high K/9 and high BB/9, those guys are almost always loved by scouts but the flame out rate for that type is just huge.
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Re: In Search of the Elusive 'Pitching Prospect'

Postby Merlin401 » Sun Feb 05, 2012 1:13 pm

Ok, so of course you're going to find some big league pitching prospects that didn't pan out. Does that mean that we should just throw our hands up and give up? Of course not. Look at the top prospects from 2006:

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/fe ... p100c.html

Top 10 has guys like Jeremy Hermida, Lastings Milledge, Brandon Wood... the list goes on and on. I guess there is no such thing as a hitting prospect either? Its fascinating to look back, see what amazing things were being said about various players, and see how wrong many of them turned out to be. Prospecting is very variable, no matter what position or level but that doesnt mean you ignore it...
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