Friday, January 20, 2012

My Yu Darvish Prediction

I think he's going to be great for the first two years. People will have trouble figuring him out early on, and he'll have a couple of stellar seasons and a ROTY/Cy Young candidate.

Then when people begin to figure him out, he'll probably have to adjust his delivery and will end up just being a solid mid-rotation starter. The first couple of years, he'll be worth his contract, but after that he'll become Randy "Woof" Wolf with too long of a contract.

Not that I don't like Randy Wolf... he's certainly been a better investment than Barry Zito. But if I were running a team, I wouldn't have placed that much money, or that many years, on someone who has never pitched in the MLB.

I mean, it's hard enough to calculate "MLE" but with entirely different leagues and a much smaller sample size of players (Japanese pitchers in MLB) you really can't decide that there is a set trend for them to follow.

Of course, this isn't just about giving an unknown commodity a 6-year contract. Pitchers in general shouldn't be getting really long contracts because of the risks of injury and BABIP fluke seasons that can fool those who aren't careful.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Dated Blog Name

I started this blog about 5 years ago, "Waiting for Rings" referring to me waiting for the Giants to win a World Series. I declared at some point that they'd win one by 2015. I thought it'd be more likely to be 2015 than 2010, but fortunately, I was wrong.

I still want to update about the Giants, but this blog name stands out as an anachronism in this new time for Giants fans.

I'm known (not very well) as Conor Gillaspie's biggest fan-boy. I started his Facebook fan page and put a bit of money to advertise it to targeted groups, even. That being said, it's hard for me to separate my desire for Conor to succeed with the facts, so I am probably not the best person when it comes to analysis of his value in the major leagues.

I am sure that he'd out-hit Aubrey Huff. His MLE (Major League Equivalency) has improved each year in the minors. It went from .213/.268/.278 in 2009 (San Jose) to .234/.273/.332 in 2010 (Richmond) to .252/.328/.372 in 2011 (Fresno.)

The one concern that stands out to me for Gillaspie is how much he got caught stealing. He does seem to be a smart baserunner, with 8 triples in 2010 and 6 in 2011, but a 50% CS rate is far too high. He needs to either not attempt to steal as often or try to learn to read pitchers better.

I think Gillaspie is ready to be a positive contributor to the 2011 Giants. In a full season of starting, I'd see him with about 2.0 WAR (mostly offense and a token 0.1+ WAR for average defense) and a dark horse ROTY candidate. However, the Giants will probably use him as a backup for Sandoval and perhaps Huff/Belt/Melky, and he won't get more than 150 at-bats barring a serious injury.

Part of me wants him to spend 2012 in the minors for a better shot at getting ROTY consideration in a full-time role for 2013, but I think both Gillaspie and the Giants would benefit more from having him on the roster this season.