Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Base Hits: Jones Gets His Glove, Spring Training (Again) and Prospect News

Will the Orioles hold Spring Training in Sarasota in 2010 after all?

It makes little sense that they won't given the fact that there will be an Oriole Fan Fest in Sarasota this weekend and with so much invested in the move. This problem with notification would appear to be just a technicality.

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So after I offered all the rational reasons that Adam Jones would not win a Gold Glove yesterday, he won it anyway.

Congrats to him...if you base it on his last two seasons of work, he is very deserving. But just like I argued last season for Jones and Markakis to win the award and in 2007 for Markakis again, I would be a bit disingenuous if I pretended that Jones deserved the award for his work in 2009 alone. By the same standards I championed him last season, I must say that he is not one of the three best outfielders in the AL. The highest I could honestly put him is 4th.


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The Orioles made their first acquisition of the offseason when they grabbed P Armando Gabino off waivers from the Minnesota Twins. Who? (Give them this, the Orioles's scouts are paying attention. They seem to always know the guys they feel are worthy of a waiver claim...whether they actually work out out or not.)

Gabino is a 6'3", 215 lb righty who will be 26 next season. He has a 3.30 minor league ERA and while not a big strikeout guy, he does have a nice K/BB ratio (2.67 in AAA last year). He's not really a groundball pitcher but not really a flyball pitcher either. I take nothing from the 3.2 innings he pitched for the Twins last year.

All you people who moan about the bullpen...these are the kinds of moves that can turn a bullpen around.

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Baseball Prospectus has released their Top 11 (plus four more) Prospects for the Baltimore Orioles and non-subscribers can check out the list here.

Some excerpts from the write-ups:

3B Josh Bell - As much as Bell improved at the plate in 2009, he made even larger strides defensively. Once seen as a future first baseman, Bell has made significant improvement in his instincts and footwork at the hot corner, while his arm has always been a plus. In an age where many players focus solely on the batting cage, Bell's commitment to defense also speaks to his makeup...While Bell is a switch-hitter, he still struggles against left-handers, as hit he just .193 with one homer against them in 2009.

SP Jake Arrieta - Arrieta's secondary pitches are all works in progress, which leads to an overreliance on his fastball, a habit that had him getting punished at times in the International League.

SP Matt Hobgood - There are concerns about Hobgood's body, as those who saw him in the Appalachian League and instructional league say he was already significantly larger than his listed weight of 245 pounds. That factor, combined with the stress of a long year, saw his velocity dip into the 87-91 range during his pro debut. Conditioning will likely always be an issue with him.

1B Brandon Snyder - Snyder doesn't profile well at his position, as he lacks plus power. While his defense has improved at first base, he's still below average there. A steady diet of breaking balls exposed the holes in his offensive game at Triple-A, and he'll need to make adjustments to have any kind of major league career.

C Caleb Joseph - Joseph will get his first taste of the upper levels in 2010 by beginning the year at Double-A, with a chance to end it as one of Baltimore's best trade chips.

That stuff about Matt Hobgood going all Sidney Ponson on us at age 18 is a bit disconcerting. But there's a lot to like on this list.

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The Dan Uggla to Baltimore reports are interesting. A righthanded power bat that can move to first or DH if Josh Bell forces his way to Baltimore.

But I wouldn't give up a ton for a guy who is a career 114 OPS+...in the weaker National League and has little value in the field.

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In news that matters only to me, Baysox C Adam Donachie will return to the Oriole organization next season. Donachie is a good defensive catcher and rakes against lefties. Part of me still believes he will make a good backup catcher in Baltimore someday.

2 comments:

Dave Mc said...

Applying "rational reasons" to Gold Gloves? What were you thinking?

Heath said...

I tried to apply rationality to the irrational tides that affect the awarding of Gold Gloves, futile as that may be. I know they GG's are not awarded logically. :)

I'm still shocked that he won.