David's Blog

On this page, I'll share my thoughts, and any articles or information I think are of interest.  Feel free to use the comments section to join in the discussion!


“Legit or legend? “

 

A TRUE MYTH ABOUT PEDRO MARTINEZ

Eno Sarris

0

By the time you are voted into the Hall of Fame, you gather as many urban legends as legitimate accolades: Babe Ruth called his shot, Harmon Killebrewwas the model for the MLB logo, Wade Boggs drank 64 beers on a flight once. It has been said that peak Pedro Martinez had four pitches, and each was the best of its type in baseball. Legit or legend? 


The current crop of Hall of Fame inductees are the first that have any data that give us any hope of answering this question. The PITCHf/x era is said to have started in 2007, and that is indeed when the numbers linking individual pitches to their outcomes begin. 

Unfortunately, it's not very instructive to say that Martinez's changeup had the 42nd-best swinging strike rate among the 78 pitchers who threw at least 300 changeups in 2008. Pedro was 36 years old that year, and though he pitched over 100 innings, by wins above replacement it was the worst effort of his career. Not a great time to test the legend. 

Over at FanGraphs, though, we have Baseball Info Solutions data back to 2002. That year, Pedro won 20 games and had probably the third-best season of his career. He was 30, and it wasn't his best year, and the numbers come to us from humans rather than computers, but it's the best we can do with available statistics. 

Here's how Pedro's change, curve, and fastball did that season by swinging strikes. Whiffs are not the only way to judge a pitch, but they are what we have on hand currently -- and the pitcher never had an above-average overall grounder rate, so it's not likely his individual pitches were elite by that measure either. By whiffs at least, he was comfortably above the league's averages with those three pitches. 

Pedro vs. MLB

 

CH swSTR

CB swSTR

FB swSTR

Pedro

25.4%

15.1%

11.1%

League

15.2%

11.9%

7.4%

We already have a problem with the legend, though. Pedro's slider is not listed because Pedro's slider was never a top pitch. In 2002, at least, his slider got whiffs 13.6% of the time. Though that was his best effort on the slider in the seven-year sample that we have for Martinez, it wasn't as good as the league's swinging strike rate on the slider that year (15.6%). The pitch looked good (ifthis is a slider), but it was never elite. 

But if you listen to games as they were called at the time, the slider wasn't ever really thought of as a go-to pitch of his. You can hear Tim McCarver describing the Dominican's arsenal in 1999, and he points out that while "most great pitchers have two great pitches, Pedro has three." 

The curveball, relative to the league rates, doesn't seem elite at first. But Pedro threw a lot of curveballs. If you limit the leaderboard to only those who threw at least 450 curves, he was a top-five guy in 2002.

The curve

Name

Curves Thrown

swSTR%

Roy Oswalt

676

17.8%

John Burkett

771

15.8%

Dan Wright

705

15.5%

Pedro Martinez

486

15.1%

The legend is dead, but the kernel of truth that spawned it is not quite done. The curve was never the best pitch Martinez owned -- that was the change -- and yet it was a top-five curve in 2002. 

What about the fastball? Once again, the whiff rate might not seem like great shakes. Madison Bumgarner owned the best four-seam whiff rate this year, at 13.7%. But today's game has more strikeouts. Once again, Martinez was atop the leaderboards (minimum 1000 thrown).

The fastball

Name

Fastballs Thrown

swSTR%

Mark Prior

1246

12.7%

A.J. Burnett

2147

12.4%

Josh Beckett

1282

12.2%

Curt Schilling

1959

11.3%

Pedro Martinez

1817

11.0%

So we have him in the top five with two pitches so far, and his best pitch remains. Maybe the big surprise, then, is that Martinez did not have the best whiff rate on the changeup among starters in 2002. That honor belonged to Chris Reitsma, who coaxed a swinging strike on 27% of the changeups he threw that year. Martinez also didn't have the highest raw whiff count on the changeup that year -- Mark Redman threw almost 200 more changeups and managed to get six more raw whiffs. But seen through a combination of changeups thrown and whiffs enticed, we can call Pedro's change the best in baseball in 2002. It certainly looked the part

The change

Name

Changes Thrown

swSTR%

Whiffs

Chris Reitsma

400

27.0%

108

Pedro Martinez

579

25.4%

147

Mark Buehrle

480

20.0%

96

Mark Redman

766

20.0%

153

Greg Maddux

513

19.1%

98

Like many legends before it, the idea that Martinez had the best four pitches in baseball must be laid to bed. The fun part about this exercise, though, is that there is some truth to the whole thing. When judged by whiff rates against starters that threw those pitch types often, his pitches did well.

In 2002, Pedro had three top-five pitches. No pitcher could boast that same fact in 2014. 

If you compare Bumgarner's cutter to other cutters instead of comparing it to sliders -- something we couldn't do with the data from 2002 -- then his cutter, curve and fastball counted as top 10 pitches last season. Johnny Cueto's fastball, cutter and change were top 15 last season among starters. By swinging strike rates, Felix Hernandez has a sinker, a curve and a change in the top 15 (he also threw his changeup 1,120 times --€“ the most in baseball, and basically twice as often as Pedro threw *his* changeup in 2002). But nobody had three top-five pitches like Pedro did. 

There are many different ways that Martinez was great. This urban legend might not be true, but hidden within the myth was yet another way he was great.

http://www.foxsports.com/mlb/just-a-bit-outside/story/pedro-martinez-hall-of-fame-myth-changeup-curveball-fastball-011215

 

“a large reason for that is the ugliness that often arises in the negotiations”

 

MLB salary arbitration schedule, filing dates & more

By Bryan Kilpatrick  @purplerowBK on Jan 12 2015,

 

Fewer than 50 arbitration cases over the last 10 years have gone to the hearing phase, which runs from Feb. 1 through Feb. 20.

Well over 100 major league players will file for arbitration on Tuesday, setting in motion a series of negotiations that could last more than a month.

Three days after the players file, teams can begin exchanging figures with them. A large chunk of arbitration cases are settled early in the process, and in recent years, it has become rare for the negotiations to extend beyond January. Last season, just three of the 146 players who filed ended up reaching the hearing phase, which takes place from Feb. 1 through Feb. 20. and is mediated by a three-person panel.

In 2013, no hearings took place. It was the first time since 1974 that all cases were settled before that point, according to Maury Brown's MLB Salary Arbitration Scoreboard.

Fewer than 50 total hearings have taken place since 2005, and a large reason for that is the ugliness that often arises in the negotiations. The sessions can last in excess of three hours, according to Brown, and half of that consists of the club arguing why a player isn't worth his asking price.

In odd years, like 2015, all hearings will take place in Phoenix, Ariz., while in even years all hearings are in the other spring training locale of Florida.

David PriceJeff SamardzijaChris Davis and Doug Fister are among a talented group of players expected to file for arbitration this year.

Arbitration schedule

Jan. 13: Filing date

Jan. 16: Salary figure exchange date

Feb. 1-20: Arbitration hearings (this year, in Phoenix, Ariz.)

http://www.sbnation.com/mlb/2015/1/12/7506169/salary-arbitration-mlb-2015-filing-dates

 

 

“I respect tradition, but I don’t revere it.”

 

MLB Owners Must Adapt Their Game with New Rules at Annual Meetings

By Anthony WitradoFeatured Columnist 

Jan 12, 2015

In a game steeped in tradition, change can be met with forceful opposition.

But as times and technology change, so too should Major League Baseball. Tweaking existing rules and implementing completely new ones are ways for the game to adapt to the 21st century, hopefully capturing a younger, more diverse audience while also making it safer and quicker.

That is why the 2015 edition of the MLB owners meetings, happening in Phoenix on Wednesday and Thursday, has to focus efforts on how to improve the game. Baseball has been more accepting of new ideas in recent years, implementing instant replay and a home plate collision rule, and has shown a willingness to admit errors by adjusting the rules, or even the language of them, on the fly.

MLB, the Players Association and the umpires’ union must continue to grow the game in this era, but the serious discussion for changes must start this week with the owners and MLB Commissioner-elect Rob Manfred.

ss

While MLB is not likely to institute a “pitch clock” this year, according to Fox Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi, there are other rules and adjustments up for discussion.

On the docket for existing rules is modifying instant replay so that managers have to alert umpires to a challenge in a timelier manner. As it stands, the replay rule is a bit of a farce. While it corrects mistakes, it is usually a relatively low-risk decision for managers since they are allowed to leisurely stroll up to the offending ump and look back into the dugout for a thumbs-up or thumbs-down from a coach who is on the phone with someone watching a replay. With this system, if a manager challenges a call, he is almost always correct because someone has already seen the replay and passed the message.

If managers are required to more quickly declare their intentions, then the gamble is put into play, thus making the entire ordeal more exciting for fans.

Aside from replay, the meetings are likely to take another pass at Rule 7.13, or the home plate collision rule. This one has been a particular headache for MLB because the interpretation was unclear, causing it to be clarified twice during the last season. The first was to reiterate that the rule does not apply to force plays at the plate and the second to say it should not apply to plays when the runner is clearly out.

Then there are the new rules up for discussion. Among them are ideas to speed up the pace of play. Baseball games averaged 3 hours, 8 minutes in 2014, 21 minutes longer than the average game in 2005. Realizing this trend needs to change, MLB experimented with pace-of-play rules in the Arizona Fall League in October and had positive feedback.

Among those rules was the 20-second pitch clock, but since that idea is being tabled for now, discussions can focus on the experimental rule that requires a hitter to keep one foot in the batter’s box at all times with exceptions for foul balls, wild pitches and timeouts. With no current major league rule to deter hitters from stepping out of the box, they are free to stroll away after every pitch. With this rule, if a player leaves the box completely, he can be penalized with a strike. 

There were some flaws with the rule in the AFL, though. That is why tweaks would be needed before it is implemented permanently.

“I did like the batter keeping at least one foot in the box,” Cincinnati Reds outfield prospect Kyle Waldrop, who played in the AFL, toldMorosi. “However, I saw two guys get called out on strikes for stepping out of the box with two strikes. I don’t ever think the bat should be taken out of someone’s hands. I don’t think the fans would want to see that [either].”

There are other ideas to quicken the pace of play, ones that may or may not be discussed at the meetings, though they should be.

One is to shrink the number of warm-up pitches allowed from eight to less than five. Part of this new idea would be to disallow warm-up pitches for relievers entering the game from the bullpen. The rule allowing a reliever as many pitches as necessary when he comes in for an injured pitcher would still exist.

Another way to speed things up is to actually enforce Rule 8.04, or the 12-second rule. This rule states that when no runners are on base, a pitcher has 12 seconds to deliver the ball to the plate. When the pitcher exceeds 12 seconds, a ball is to be called. The problem is this is never enforced.

Press

Before implementing something as radical as a 20-second pitch clock, regardless of the situation, umpires have to get players accustomed to the current, wildly unenforced 12-second rule.

“In 1954, the NBA introduced a shot clock, and while it was considered radical at the time, it’s something that stuck through the years,” Boston Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner told The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo last summer. Werner is part of an MLB committee charged with examining pace of play. “It would speed up play and it would give fans something to look at. Baseball is too slow and there’s a lot of inaction. If a pitcher is holding the ball for 40 seconds between pitches, you’re losing an audience.”

Another rule Morosi’s sources expect to be discussed at the meetings is one that forces runners to slide directly into second base on double plays. Currently, players can slide away from the bases to take out an infielder as long as he can reach the base with his outstretched arm. But again, this rule is not always enforced.

While they are at it, a discussion needs to be had on late takeout slides at second base. If an umpire deems a slide too late, or for the sole purpose of taking out an infielder, the double play should be awarded.

Also, for the good of the game, Manfred must urge owners, or maybe it’s the other way around, to do away with the All-Star Game determining home-field advantage in the World Series. This rule should need no explanation for why it is bad.

New rules, especially for such a traditional game, always seem nuts at first. How crazy did it first sound when baseball proposed a rule to create a position only for offense? Probably very, but now the designated hitter seems like a natural part of the game, and some people even want it implemented in the National League.

These pace-of-play rules are for the betterment of the sport, and quicker games could attract a larger audience.

“Too many people are leaving games in the sixth and seventh innings because they can’t watch three-and-a-half-hour games, so they’re leaving the game at the point where the game should be getting exciting,” Werner said to Cafardo. “You wouldn’t make a three-and-a-half-hour movie.

“I respect tradition, but I don’t revere it.”

It is time for the baseball owners, players and umpires to think the same way. That change has to continue this week at the owners meetings.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2326725-mlb-owners-must-adapt-their-game-with-new-rules-at-annual-meetings

 

“There is no clear top prospect in this draft.”

 Early 2015 MLB Draft Rankings

By Matt Garrioch  @mattgarrioch on Jan 12 2015

 

There is no clear top prospect in this draft. While there are several impact players at the top of the list, none are head and shoulders above the rest. At this point, anyone in the top 10 could end up at #1. Spring will seperate some of the talent.

 

This is just a list with no details on these players yet. I will start writing about these guys soon but for now, these are names for you to start getting used to reading and hearing about going forward.

Rank

Name

POS

LG

Level

College/Commitment

1

Brendan Rodgers

SS

HS

 

Florida State

2

Carson Fulmer

RHP

College

JR

Vanderbilt

3

Kolby Allard

LHP

HS

 

UCLA

4

Brady Aiken

LHP

College

J1

UCLA

5

Dansby Swanson

SS

College

JR

Vanderbilt

6

Walker Buehler

RHP

College

JR

Vanderbilt

7

Kyle Funkhouser

RHP

College

JR

Louisville

8

Alex Bregman

2B

College

JR

Louisiana State

9

Dazmon Cameron

CF

HS

 

Florida State

10

Justin Hooper

LHP

HS

 

UCLA

11

Chris Betts

C

HS

 

Tennessee

12

Beau Burrows

RHP

HS

 

Texas A&M

13

Nathan Kirby

LHP

College

JR

Virginia

14

Garrett Whitley

OF

HS

 

Wake Forest

15

D.J. Stewart

LF

College

JR

Florida State

16

Cody Ponce

RHP

College

JR

Cal Poly Pomona

17

Nick Plummer

OF

HS

 

Kentucky

18

Ashe Russell

RHP

HS

 

Texas A&M

19

Ian Happ

OF

College

JR

Cincinnati

20

Richie Martin

SS

College

JR

Florida

21

Mike Nikorak

RHP

HS

 

Alabama

22

Ryan Mountcastle

SS

HS

 

UCF

23

Tyler Ferguson

RHP

College

JR

Vanderbilt

24

Riley Ferrell

RHP

College

JR

TCU

25

Demi Orimoloye

OF

HS

 

Oregon

26

Kyle Tucker

LF

HS

 

Florida

27

Juan Hillman

LHP

HS

 

UCF

28

Joe DeMers

RHP

HS

 

Washington

29

Michael Matuella

RHP

College

JR

Duke

30

Kyler Murray

SS

HS

 

Texas A&M

31

Christin Stewart

1B

College

JR

Tennessee

32

Chris Shaw

1B

College

JR

Boston College

33

Jonathan Harris

RHP

College

JR

Missouri State

34

Trenton Clark

OF

HS

 

Texas Tech

35

Gio Brusa

OF

College

JR

Pacific

36

Austin Smith

RHP

HS

 

Florida Atlantic

37

Kyle Molnar

RHP

HS

 

UCLA

38

Chandler Day

RHP

HS

 

Vanderbilt

39

Alex Young

LHP

College

JR

Texas Christian

40

Devin Davis

1B

HS

 

Loyola Marymount

41

Steven Duggar

LF

College

JR

Clemson

42

Jonathan India

SS

HS

 

Florida

43

Phil Bickford

RHP

College

J2

Southern Nevada

44

Ryan Cole McKay

RHP

HS

 

Louisiana State

45

Luken Baker

1B

HS

 

TCU

46

Ryan Burr

RHP

College

JR

Arizona State

47

Jacob Nix

RHP

College

J1

UCLA

48

Triston McKenzie

RHP

HS

 

Vanderbilt

49

Mitchell Hansen

LF

HS

 

Stanford

50

Tristin English

RHP/C

HS

 

Georgia Tech

51

Kyle Cody

RHP

College

JR

Kentucky

52

Jake Lemoine

RHP

College

JR

Houston

53

James Kaprielian

RHP

College

JR

UCLA

54

Ke'Bryan Hayes

3B

HS

 

Tennessee

55

Donnie Everett

RHP

HS

 

Vanderbilt

56

Tyler Jay

LHP

College

JR

Illinois

57

Jahmai Jones

OF

HS

 

North Carolina

58

Nick Shumpert

SS

HS

 

Kentucky

59

Wyatt Cross

C

HS

 

North Carolina

60

Kep Brown

LF

HS

 

Miami

61

Nick Neidert

RHP/3B

HS

 

South Carolina

62

Kevin Newman

SS

College

JR

Arizona

63

Alonzo Jones

SS

HS

 

Vanderbilt

64

Cody Poteet

RHP

College

JR

UCLA

65

Marcus Brakeman

RHP

College

JR

Stanford

66

Joe McCarthy

LF

College

JR

Virginia

67

Justin Garza

RHP

College

JR

Cal State Fullerton

68

John Aiello

SS

HS

 

Wake Forest

69

C.J. Hinojosa

SS

College

JR

Texas

70

Kyle Dean

LF

HS

 

San Diego

71

Thomas Eshelman

RHP

College

JR

Cal State Fullerton

72

Ryan Johnson

RF

HS

 

TCU

73

Ryan McKenna

OF

HS

 

Liberty

74

Alex Robinson

LHP

College

JR

Maryland

75

Andrew Suarez

LHP

College

SR

Miami

76

Isiah Gilliam

OF

College

FR

Chipola College

77

Marrick Crouse

RHP

HS

 

San Francisco

78

Dillon Tate

RHP

College

JR

UC-Santa Barbara

79

Jason Goldstein

C

College

JR

Illinois

80

Josh Staumont

RHP

College

JR

Azusa Pacific

81

Brett Lilek

LHP

College

JR

Arizona State

82

Mac Marshall

LHP

College

FR

Chipola (Fla.)

83

Cornelius Randolph

2B

HS

 

Clemson

84

Trent Thornton

RHP

College

JR

North Carolina

85

Andrew Stevenson

OF

College

JR

Louisiana State

86

Ty Buck

3B

HS

 

Iowa Western CC

87

Blake Hickman

RHP

College

JR

Iowa

88

David Thompson

LF

College

JR

Miami

89

Gray Fenter

RHP/3B

HS

 

Mississippi State

90

Josh Sborz

RHP

College

JR

Virginia

91

Jalen Miller

SS

HS

 

Clemson

92

Kyle Twomey

LHP

College

JR

USC

93

Greg Pickett

LF

HS

 

Mississippi State

94

Matthew McGarry

RHP

HS

 

Vanderbilt

95

Nick Fortes

C

HS

 

Mississippi

96

Josh Naylor

RF

HS

 

Texas Tech

97

Daniel Reyes

LF

HS

 

Florida

98

Colin Poche

LHP

College

JR

Louisiana State

99

Skye Bolt

LF

College

JR

North Carolina

100

Xavier Turner

3B

College

JR

Vanderbilt

101

Mikey White

SS

College

JR

Alabama

102

Cadyn Grenier

SS

HS

 

Oregon State

103

Drew Finley

RHP

HS

 

Southern California

104

Christopher Cullen

C

HS

 

South Carolina

105

Kody Clemens

SS

HS

 

Texas

106

Tyler Alexander

LHP

College

SO

TCU

107

Antonio Santillan

SS

HS

 

Texas Tech

108

Corey Zangari

RHP

HS

 

Oklahoma State

109

Garrett Wolforth

C

HS

 

Dallas Baptist

110

Doak Dozier

OF

HS

 

Virginia

111

Tyler Nevin

3B

HS

 

UCLA

112

Mitchell Traver

RHP

College

JR

Texas Christian

113

Christifer Andritsos

RHP

HS

 

Oklahoma

114

Chandler Eden

RHP

College

SO

Yavapai (Ariz.)

115

Darryl Wilson

CF

HS

 

Vanderbilt

116

Solomon Bates

RHP

HS

 

Southern California

117

Cole Sands

RHP

HS

 

Florida State

118

Travis Bergen

LHP

College

JR

Kennesaw State

119

Tate Matheny

OF

College

JR

Missouri State

120

Cole Irvin

LHP

College

JR

Oregon

121

Kyri Washington

OF

College

JR

Longwood

122

Travis Blankenhorn

SS

HS

 

Kentucky

123

C.J. Saylor

C

College

JR

San Diego State

124

Matt Withrow

RHP

College

JR

Texas Tech

125

Rhett Wiseman

LF

College

JR

Vanderbilt

126

Tyler Williams

OF

HS

 

Arizona State

127

Freddy Avis

RHP

College

JR

Stanford

128

Wesley Rodriguez

3B

HS

 

Pittsburgh

129

Mark Laird

OF

College

SR

Louisiana State

130

Kyle Wilcox

RHP

College

JR

Bryant

131

Taylor Ward

C

College

JR

Fresno State

132

Christopher Chatfield

OF

HS

 

South Florida

133

Jameis Winston

CF

College

JR

Florida State

134

Jonathan Hughes

RHP

HS

 

Georgia Tech

135

Hunter Virant

LHP

College

JR

UCLA

136

Blake Trahan

SS

College

JR

Louisiana-Lafayette

137

Dexter "DJ" Neal

RHP

HS

 

South Carolina

138

Garrett Cleavinger

LHP

College

JR

Oregon

139

Bryant Harris

LF

HS

 

Tennessee

140

Jake Drossner

LHP

College

JR

Maryland

141

Thomas Szapucki

LHP

HS

 

Florida

142

Eric Gutierrez

1B/OF

College

SO

Texas Tech

143

Brendon Little

LHP

HS

 

North Carolina

144

Gabriel Gonzalez

RHP

College

FR

Southern Nevada

145

Jake Kelzer

RHP

College

JR

Indiana

146

Harrison Bader

OF

College

JR

Florida

147

Julian Infante

3B

HS

 

Vanderbilt

148

Seth McGarry

RHP

College

JR

Florida Atlantic

149

Patrick Weigel

RHP

College

J3

Oxnard (Calif.)

150

D.J. Peters

OF

College

FR

Western Nevada

151

Grayson Long

RHP

College

JR

Texas A&M

152

Chris Oakley

RHP

College

SO

Florence-Darlington (S.C.)

153

Jason Bilous

LF

HS

 

Coastal Carolina

154

Trevor Megill

RHP

College

SR

Loyola-Marymount

155

Bryan Hoeing

RHP

HS

 

Louisville

156

Parker Ford

RHP

HS

 

Mississippi State

157

Bryce Denton

3B

HS

 

Vanderbilt

158

Brendon Davis

3B

HS

 

Cal State Fullerton

159

Ryan Perez

BHP

College

 

Judson

160

Kevin Duchene

LHP

College

JR

Illinois

161

Zach Erwin

LHP

College

 

Clemson

162

Jaylin Davis

OF

College

JR

Appalachian State

163

Tyler Neslony

OF

College

JR

Texas Tech

164

Tyler Krieger

SS

College

JR

Clemson

165

Cody Morris

RHP

HS

 

South Carolina

166

Nick Lee

LHP

HS

Class

School/Commitment

167

Nick Madrigal

SS

HS

 

Oregon State

168

Matt Kroon

3B

HS

 

Oregon

169

Reese Cooley

OF

College

FR

Chipola (Fla.)

170

Jacob Woodford

RHP

HS

 

Florida

171

Saturnino Santa Cruz

RHP

HS

 

Arizona

172

Chad Smith

LF

HS

 

Georgia

173

Parker Kelly

SS

HS

 

Oregon

174

Max Wotell

LHP

HS

 

Arizona

175

Tyler Ivey

RHP

HS

 

Texas A&M

176

Michael Hickman

C

HS

 

Oklahoma

177

Yasin Chentouf

OF

HS

 

Pittsburgh

178

Riley Thompson

RHP

HS

 

Louisville

179

Chase Mullins

LHP

College

J3

Kentucky

180

Taylore Cherry

RHP

College

JR

North Carolina

181

Trey Cabbage

3B

HS

 

Tennessee

182

C.D. Pelham

LHP

College

J2

Spartanburg Methodist (S.C.)

183

Jameson Fisher

C

College

JR

Southeastern Louisiana

184

Patrick Sandoval

LHP

HS

 

Vanderbilt

185

Rock Rucker

RF

College

JR

Seminole State (Fla.)

186

Tyrone Perry

1B

HS

 

Florida State

187

Kolton Mahoney

RHP

College

JR

Brigham Young

188

Lucas Herbert

C

HS

 

UCLA

189

Austin Riley

RHP

HS

 

Mississippi State

190

Elih Marrero

C OF

HS

 

Mississippi State

191

Brandt Stallings

1B

HS

 

Georgia Tech

192

Nolan Kingham

RHP

HS

 

Texas

193

Andrew Sopko

RHP

College

JR

Gonzaga

194

Mylz Jones

3B

College

JR

Cal State Bakersfield

195

Eric Jenkins

RHP

HS

 

UNC-Wilmington

196

Jiovanni Orozco

RHP

HS

 

Arizona

197

Michael Benson

C IF

HS

 

UCLA

198

Scott Heineman

OF

College

SR

Oregon

199

Jacob Corso

1B/LHP

HS

 

UCF

200

Dalton Kelly

1B

College

JR

UC Santa Barbara

201

Benton Moss

RHP

College

SR

North Carolina

202

Andy Pagnozzi

RHP

HS

 

Mississippi

203

Tucker Simpson

RHP

College

J2

Chipola

204

Kyle Holder

SS

College

 

San Diego

205

Jack Wynkoop

LHP

College

JR

South Carolina

206

Julius Gaines

SS

College

SR

Florida International

207

Ryan Kellogg

LHP

College

JR

Arizona State

208

Hogan Harris

LHP

HS

 

Louisiana-Lafayette

209

Luke Wakamatsu

SS

College

JR

Keller

210

Dakota Chalmers

RHP/SS

HS

 

Georgia

211

Hunter Bowling

LHP

HS

 

Florida

212

Matt Gonzalez

SS

College

JR

Georgia Tech

213

Brendan Illies

RHP

HS

 

North Carolina

214

Devon Roedahl

RHP

HS

 

TCU

215

Xavier LeGrant

SS

HS

 

North Carolina State

216

Kal Simmons

SS

College

JR

Kennesaw State

217

Mitchell Gunsolus

3B

College

SR

Gonzaga

218

John LaPrise

2B/SS

College

JR

Virginia

219

Francis Christy

C

College

J2

Central Arizona CC

220

Hunter Haley

OF

College

JR

Oklahoma

221

Chris Chinea

C

College

JR

Louisiana State

222

Curt Britt

RHP

College

JR

South Carolina

223

A.J. Minter

LHP

College

JR

Texas A&M

224

Alec Rash

RHP

College

JR

Missouri

225

Kyle Survance

OF

College

SO

Houston

226

Justin Jacome

LHP

College

JR

UC-Santa Barbara

227

Eric Hanhold

RHP

College

JR

Florida

228

Braden Bishop

OF

College

JR

Washington

229

Travis Maezes

3B

College

JR

Michigan

230

Anthony Hermelyn

C

College

JR

Oklahoma

231

Kevin Collard

OF

HS

 

San Diego

232

Gabriel Klobosits

RHP

College

J2

Galveston (Texas)

233

R.J. Ybarra

C

College

JR

Arizona State

234

Kort Peterson

LF

College

SO

UCLA

235

Ako Thomas

SS

HS

 

Michigan

236

Noah Burkholder

RHP

HS

 

Louisville

237

Blake Helton

SS

HS

 

Wallace State CC-Hanceville

238

Garrett Hutson

RHP

HS

 

Oklahoma State

239

Timmy Robinson

LF

College

JR

Southern California

240

Georgie Salem

CF

College

JR

Alabama

241

Trey Killian

RHP

College

JR

Arkansas

242

Drew Jackson

SS

College

JR

Stanford

243

Gandy Stubblefield

RHP

College

SR

Texas A&M

244

A.J. Murray

1B

College

SR

Georgia Tech

245

Troy Conyers

LHP

College

JR

San Diego

246

Kyle Carter

LHP

College

J3

Miami-Dade

247

Sage Diehm

LHP

HS

 

North Carolina

248

Logan Allen

LHP

HS

 

South Carolina

249

Brandon Kulp

RHP

College

JR

Lehigh

250

Nico Hoerner

SS

HS

 

Stanford

251

Edwin Rios

3B/LF

College

JR

Florida International

252

Ty Moore

LF

College

JR

UCLA

253

Stephen Kolek

RHP

HS

 

Texas A&M

254

Vahn Bozoian

LF

College

JR

Concordia-Irvine

255

Logan (LT) Tolbert

SS

HS

 

South Carolina

256

Drake Owenby

LHP

College

JR

Tennessee

257

Dalton Sawyer

LHP

College

JR

Minnesota

258

Korey Dunbar

C

College

JR

North Carolina

259

Ramon Alejo

SS

HS

 

Mississippi

260

Ian Gibaut

RHP

College

JR

Tulane

261

Tyler Stubblefield

LHP

College

JR

Texas A&M

262

Jarret DeHart

OF

College

SO

Howard (Texas)

263

Lucius Fox

SS

HS

 

North Carolina State

264

Riley Smith

C

College

FR

San Jacinto (Texas)

265

Nick Sprengel

LHP

HS

 

San Diego

266

Nolan Watson

RHP

HS

 

Vanderbilt

267

Daniel Sweet

CF

College

J3

Dallas Baptist

268

Kevin McCanna

RHP

College

JR

Rice

269

Cam Gibson

OF

College

J3

Michigan State

270

Willie Burger

C 3B

HS

 

Penn State

271

Reggie Pruitt

LF

HS

 

Vanderbilt

272

Austin Byler

1B

College

SR

Nevada

273

Josh Roeder

RHP

College

 

Nebraska

274

Lamonte Wade

OF/LHP

College

SR

Maryland

275

Tristan Metten

SS

HS

 

Texas A&M

276

Anthony Misiewicz

LHP

College

JR

Michigan State

277

Ryan Tella

OF

College

5S

Auburn

278

Case Rolen

RHP

College

FR

Grayson (Texas)

279

A.J. Simcox

SS

College

JR

Tennessee

280

Shane Tucker

RHP

HS

 

Georgia

281

Maddux Conger

RHP

HS

   

282

Ronnie Healy

C

College

J2

Broward CC

283

Austin Russ

1B

HS

 

Southern California

284

Mariano Rivera

RHP

College

SR

Iona (NY)

285

Dylan Nelson

RHP

College

J3

Radford

286

Bernardo Bonifacio

RF

College

J2

Northwest Florida State

287

Mike Odenwaelder

RHP/OF

College

 

Amherst

288

Jackson McClelland

RHP

College

JR

Pepperdine

289

Brock Hartson

RHP

College

SR

UT-San Antonio

290

Dylan Cyphert

LHP

HS

 

Pittsburgh

291

Dayton Dugas

LF

HS

 

Wichita State

292

Brandon Lopez

SS

College

JR

Miami

293

Desmond Lindsay

3B

HS

 

North Carolina

294

Senquez Golson

CF

College

SR

Ole Miss

295

Brady Singer

RHP

HS

 

Florida

296

Scott Kingery

OF

College

SO

Arizona

297

Drew Jackson

RHP

College

SR

Pensacola State

298

Ross Dodds

SS

HS

 

Fresno State

299

Joseph Shaw

RHP

College

JR

Dallas Baptist

300

Blake Perkins

OF

HS

 

Arizona State

http://www.minorleagueball.com/2015/1/12/7528383/early-2015-mlb-draft-rankings

 

“It wasn’t pleasant to go through. The one thing that I could do really well was taken away from me.”

 

Finally healthy, Daniel Bard prepared for a comeback

By Nick Cafardo  JANUARY 11, 2015

He was, with little debate, the best setup man in major league baseball in 2010 and 2011. It was tough to deny that Daniel Bard was a stud with that 97-mile-per-hour heat, where he’d be automatic in the eighth inning for the Red Sox before giving way to Jonathan Papelbon.

And then 2012 happened.

Bard was converted from reliever to starter and the problems began. Bard hit batters and was unable to throw strikes (43 walks in 59 innings).

Pundits called it a bout of Steve Blass disease, which never really improved through 2012, 2013 (mostly in the Cubs’ system), and 2014, when his limited outings in the Rangers’ farm system were almost sad — 18 batters faced, seven hit by pitches and nine walks.

Was it a mental block or was it physical?

Bard calls it a “perfect storm” of events that worked against him, but he mainly cites his shoulder, for which he underwent thoracic outlet syndrome surgery in January 2014.

He had symptoms (mostly numbness in his hand) for a few years, and he finally addressed it.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, thoracic outlet syndrome describes “a group of disorders that occur when there is compression, injury, or irritation of the nerves and/or blood vessels (arteries and veins) in the lower neck and upper chest area. Thoracic outlet syndrome is named for the space (the thoracic outlet) between your lower neck and upper chest where this grouping of nerves and blood vessels is found.”

The surgery, Bard said, which requires taking a rib or a shoulder bone out, was painful afterward and required him to stay in the hospital for a few days.

He said after getting through some swelling he was able to get his range of motion back fairly quickly. Perhaps Bard thought he was going to regain his pitching form quickly, too. He didn’t. He still couldn’t find the plate when he pitched in the Rangers’ system.

“I feel now as good as I’ve felt since before 2012, maybe before 2011,” Bard said from his home in Mississippi. “I’m throwing as well as I have since then. I haven’t seen a radar gun, so I don’t know if I’m back to what I was, but just the way it’s coming out of my hand, I’m really encouraged by what I feel.”

Bard, 29, expects to be signed by a team, likely to a minor league deal, by early this week. At that point, his new journey will begin. Who knows, it might be Bard’s last chance to show that he can bounce back from the rapid decline of such a promising career.

“I can’t lie,” he said. “It wasn’t pleasant to go through. The one thing that I could do really well was taken away from me. There were some tough times, tough moments. You’re out there and you think you’re throwing the ball well but it’s not doing what you want it to do. It’s so frustrating. I thank the Rangers, though. They were very patient and waited it out as long as they could. They were very good to me.

“But it was tough just bouncing around team to team, not knowing what was going to happen. I learned a lot through the situation, mostly about myself. I know never to take anything for granted. I appreciate every chance I get to show I can get back to what I was. I knew there was a loss of velocity there, but this situation was far more complex.”

Bard never believed converting to starter caused the numbness in his pitching hand. The only qualms he had during that time centered on the amount of attention on his transition from a reliever.

He felt as if every pitch was magnified. He found himself having to answer in-depth questions about his role as a starter after every outing.

All along he could feel a physical change in the way he threw that he couldn’t explain.

“I lost faith in my ability to throw strikes,” Bard said. “To this day I don’t understand it.”

The Red Sox had big plans for Bard.

He was the heir apparent to Papelbon after the closer signed a lucrative deal with Philadelphia. But Bard decided he wanted to be a starter and the Sox front office obliged, though it didn’t seem to make a lot of sense to many people.

Although it’s been hard to get teams interested in Bard again, some organization is about to step forward.

“I’ve often said, it only takes one team,” Bard said. “I can’t worry about that part of it right now. The important thing is that I’m throwing again. I’m excited about the way I’m throwing again. I think it’s taken some time — from the time I had the surgery to now — to get back from it. I thought it would happen sooner, but maybe I just had to be more patient.

“The good thing is my arm is fresh. I’m not coming off a 75-appearance season. I’m coming from very little stress on the shoulder, really. I should be fresh.”

Bard believes his starting days are over.

He just wants to his career to be relevant again. A lot has happened since 2012. The Red Sox won another championship. His former bullpen mate, Papelbon, who lives about an hour from him in Mississippi, has worn out his welcome in Philadelphia.

A host of other relievers have replaced Bard as top setup men.

“I’ve fought so hard to get back,” Bard said. “I’ve never given up on what I love to do the most. I’ll keep fighting for it.”

http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2015/01/11/red-sox-setup-man-daniel-bard-healthy-ready-bounce-back/y5xTS7WIA6kIKGBL3YHSzK/story.html