Baseball Prospectus 2012 - Prospectus, Baseball

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Baseball Prospectus 2012Baseball Prospectus2012THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO THE 2012 BASEBALL SEASONEDITED BY KING KAUFMAN AND CECILIA M. TAN R.J. Anderson Bradley Ankrom Tommy Bennett Craig Brow n Derek Carty Jason Collette Cliff Corcoran Jeff Euston Ken Funck Rebecca Glass Steven Goldman Kevin Goldstein Gary Huckaby Jay Jaffe Christina Kahrl King Kaufman Ben Lindbergh Sam Miller Rob McQuow n Marc Normandin Jason Parks Cecilia M. Tan Colin W yers Geoff YoungJohn W iley & Sons, Inc. Copyright 2012 by Prospectus Entertainment Ventures, LLC. All rights reserved Published by John W iley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey Published simultaneously in Canada No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning, or otherw ise, except as permitted under Section 107 or 108 of the 1976 United States Copyright Act, w ithout either the prior w ritten permission of the Publisher, or authorization through payment of the appropriate per-copy fee to the Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosew ood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923, (978) 750-8400, fax (978) 646-8600, or on the w eb at w w w .copyright.com. Requests to the Publisher for permission should be addressed to the Permissions Department, John W iley & Sons, Inc., 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030, (201) 748-6011, fax (201) 748-6008, or online athttp://w w w .w iley.com/go/permissions. Limit of Liability/Disclaimer of W arranty: W hile the publisher and the author have used their best efforts in preparing this book, they make no representations or w arranties w ith respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents of this book and specifically disclaim any implied w arranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. No w arranty may be created or extended by sales representatives or w ritten sales materials. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation. You should consult w ith a professional w here appropriate. Neither the publisher nor the author shall be liable for any loss of profit or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages. For general information about our other products and services, please contact our Customer Care Department w ithin the United States at (800) 762-2974, outside the United States at (317) 5723993 or fax (317) 572-4002. W iley also publishes its books in a variety of electronic formats and by print-on-demand. Some content that appears in standard print versions of this book may not be available in other formats. For more information about W iley products, visit us at w w w .w iley.com. ISBN 978-0-470-62207-0 (paper); ISBN 978-1-118-19768-4 (ebk); ISBN 978-1-118-19769-1 (ebk); ISBN 978-1-118-19770-7 (ebk) Printed in the United States of AmericaCONTENTSForew ord, Ken Tremendous Preface, King Kaufman and Cecilia M. Tan Statistical Introduction, Colin W yersTeamsArizona Diamondbacks Atlanta Braves Baltimore Orioles Boston Red Sox Chicago Cubs Chicago W hite Sox Cincinnati Reds Cleveland Indians Colorado Rockies Detroit Tigers Houston Astros Kansas City Royals Los Angeles Angels Los Angeles Dodgers Miami Marlins Milw aukee Brew ers Minnesota Tw ins New York Mets New York Yankees Oakland Athletics Philadelphia Phillies Pittsburgh Pirates St. Louis Cardinals San Diego Padres San Francisco Giants Seattle Mariners Tampa Bay RaysTexas Rangers Toronto Blue Jays W ashington Nationals The Baseball Prospectus Top 101 Prospects, Kevin Goldstein Team Name Codes PECOTA Leaderboards Contributors Acknow ledgments IndexForewordKen TremendousWelcome Address Society for Aphorism and Conjecture Research, Education Division (SACRED) March 14, 2022 Lazy Journalists, Conventional W isdom Spouters, Augurers, and Research-Hating, Clich-Spew ing Hacks: W elcome. SACRED w as founded 10 years ago w ith one mission: to reclaim baseball from the anti-American geeks w ho sought to destroy the game w e love by pointing out that the things w e said about it w ere w rong. And make no mistakeat that time, in early 2012, they w ere w inning. Back then, in 2012, the w orld w as divided into tw o camps. On one side: people w ho relied on their eyes, and their gut instincts, to tell us w ho w as good at baseball and w ho w as bad. We took the perfectly reasonable stance that people should accept the things that they w ere told w hen they w ere children and never doubt their validity. Questioning dogma w as pointless and rude, w e thought, and had no place in baseball journalism. On the other side w ere a bunch of tw erps w ho proved that w e w ere w rong by using so-called numbers that they w rote dow n and casually pointed at w hile explaining w hat they meant. And somehow , back in 2012, those tw erps w ere winning . Batting average w as being replaced by OPS. Poetic musings on Derek Jeters calm eyes and intangible leadership w ere being drow ned out by ad hominem claims about his complete lack of lateral mobility. Everyone stopped w atching Around the Horn. Things w ere spiraling out of control. But today, just a decade later, the w orld is a very different place. Those geeks have gone scuttling back to their caves, and SACRED stands victorious. Our membership has sw elled into the millions. Our influence is felt across all media platforms and in every major-league front office. Today, thanks to our hard w ork, America is free from the tyranny of science and analysis and information. And, most importantly, w e are finally free from nerds. [Hold for applause.] Just to recap some of our most recent accomplishments: *By Federal law, wins is now the only criterion by which the Hall of Fame election committee may judge pitchersand all current members are up for review. Out: Bert Blyleven. In: Jack Morris. (And yes, we know Blyleven had more wins than Morris, but Morris had one that counted.) *Likewise, batters can only be judged by Batting Average, RBIs, Amount of Hustling, Postseason Success, and Overall Leadership Abilities. Lets all say a special welcome to the Hall of Fame Class of 2021: Tommy Herr, Mark Lemke, and Juan Pierre. *Guts is now an official statistic. Congratulations to 2021 Guts champion Darin Erstad, who, though he has been retired for a long time, once punted for the football team at Nebraska, and brought that football mentality to the park every time he played, back when he played, so he wins the Guts Award for the 10th year in a row. Lets go ahead and rename it the Darin Erstad Guts Award. *There must be, by Commissioner Decree, a life-size statue of David Eckstein outside every major league baseball stadium. You twerps never appreciated him enough when he was playing. Now you have to. *As per the wishes of SACRED founding member John Kruk, not hot-dogging is now an official criterion for Hall of Fame consideration. *Teams are now awarded between one and three extra runs per game based on how dirty theiruniforms are. And all sacrifice bunts are worth three Tradition Points. *Dusty Baker is the president of the United States. [Hold for applause. W ave to President Dusty.] The man w ho popularized clogging up the basepaths as a w ay to describe average-speed hitters successfully getting on base, ladies and gentlemen. Sir, its an honor to have you here. This is truly a golden age for our movement. No longer do w e have to suffer the indignity of having our beliefs and discussions dissected and attacked by the w hiny blogger class. Those blogger types are all gone. Do you know w here they are? I have a guess. I bet you anything theyre in [Everyone in unison, probably] their mothers basements! So: How did w e get here? How did w e reclaim the soul of baseball from those Ivy League tw its w ho cared more about numbers and stats than the taste of a good hot dog . . . w ho w ould rather do research than sit in the bleachers at W rigley and drink a cold one w ith their dad, w ho is teaching them w isdom . . . w ho cared more about learning things and understanding them than they did about autographs and stickball and bringing your mitt to the game and SmartBall and hustling? It all began back in the spring of 2012, w ith the eradication of the Baseball Prospectus annual. Baseball Prospectuseven the name is nerdyw as a collective of horrifying egghead tw its w ho actively hated baseball. They sought nothing less than the complete destruction of our w ay of life and the game w e love; they w anted to reduce it to column after column of cold, heartless numbers. Every year, more and more people became aw are of, and w ere brainw ashed by, their mathematicsbased fandom. Just as one example: In 2007 their so-called PECOTA model predicted that the W hite Sox, w hod w on 90 games in 2006, w ould fall all the w ay to 72 w insand many people believed them! I guess they forgot about a little thing called heart. (That the W hite Sox w on exactly 72 games in 2007 is irrelevant. The point is, it w as a ridiculous prediction.) A few years later, w e w itnessed the absurd crow ning of Felix Hernandez as the 2010 AL Cy Young Aw ard W inner despite the fact that he only had 13 w ins, (an indignity that has since been reversed, as the aw ard w as retroactively stripped from Hernandez and properly given to 21 game-w inner C.C. Sabathia). Reeling from these absurd indignities, a group of like-minded heroes formed SACRED, an organization w hose sole purpose w as to protect baseball from absurd, Godless, and un-American activities. SACRED launched a full-on assault against the insidious creep of statistics-based analysis, w hich had continued to insinuate itself into mainstream baseball, unabated. Specifically, w e targeted the tip of the nerd spear: Baseball Prospectus itself. Late one night, several SACRED agents raided a w arehouse and destroyed every extant copy of the Baseball Prospectus 2012 annuala yearly rallying point for their cause. By destroying it, w e denied their loyal soldiers their most dangerous w eapon: analyzed data. And their reign of terror began to w ane. The dominoes fell quickly. Stat-minded GMs w ere run out of tow n and replaced w ith heartier, more traditionally minded folk. Baseball Tonight w as replaced by Thinkin W ith MGut, W ith Ozzie Guillen . Billy Beanes self-serving autobiography, Moneyball, w as banned from public libraries. Fantasy Baseball w as declared illegal and replaced by the far more enjoyable Fantasy W ho W ill Sing God Bless America During the Seventh Inning Stretch? Joe Morgan and Bill Plaschke recorded an album of jazz standards that remains number 1 on the Billboard charts to this day. Rob Neyer and Joe Posnanski w ere locked in a bamboo cage dangling above Citi Field. And baseball began to be fun again. This year, as w e celebrate our accomplishments, let us be mindful of those dark days. Let us alw ays remember how close w e came to a horrifying Age of Enlightenment. And let us be ever vigilantfor someday, and I suspect it w ill be soon, Baseball Prospectus w ill rise again.PrefaceThe end of the 2011 baseball season w as as magical as they come. A final day for the ages gave w ay to an exciting postseason, w ith four of the seven series going the distance and no sw eeps. Then the w hole thing climaxed w ith one of the greatest World Series games in history, one that gave us the first Fall Classic Game 7 in nine years. The w inter thats follow ed has been just as dramatic, but a lot more traumatic than usual. The 2011 12 baseball offseason has been as eventful as any in recent memory w ith new s other than just big trades and signings. Seattle Mariners outfielder Greg Halman w as stabbed to death in his native Netherlands, his brother charged w ith the crime. Washington Nationals catcher W ilson Ramos w as kidnapped from his family home in Venezuela by gunmen, then rescued, unhurt, in a daring raid tw o days later. Ryan Braun,the National League MVP, failed a drug test, a result he w as disputing at press time. On the other hand, it w as an offseason during w hich baseball patted itself on the back for continued labor peace, signing a new collective bargaining agreement w ith very little fanfare or media attention. That new CBA w ill do little to affect the game in the season just ahead, but it may cause significant changes in the w ay teams draft and recruit players in the future. How teams adapt to the new financial ecology remains to be seen. W hile first the NFL and then the NBA w ere locked out and protesters w ho w ere fighting for economic fairness pitched tents near Wall Street and in dozens of other cities, baseballs stakeholders decided that they have it pretty good and that it w as in their best interest to keep it that w ay. The talks and their outcome w ere characterized by various involved parties as w in-w in, though there w as grumbling among fans of low -revenue teams that the new restrictions on spending in the draft and international free agency w ould close one of the few avenues their favorite teams have for keeping pace w ith the big, rich teams. Tw o more notable changes w ont be felt right aw ay. The Houston Astros w ill move from the NL Central to the AL West in 2013, meaning that the tw o leagues w ill have the same number of teams, something thats only been the case for five of the last 35 years. And since both leagues w ill have an odd number of teamssomething thats never happenedthe Astros move also means that starting in 2013, there w ill be year-long interleague play. The other big change w ill be a second w ild-card team, w hich w ill be added no later than 2013. The most dramatic baseball move of the offseason happened at the W inter Meetings, w hen the games greatest player, Albert Pujols, shocked the baseball w orld by agreeing to a 10-year, $254 million contract w ith the Los Angeles Angels. So the Astros w ill have that to look forw ard to in the AL West. Almost as shocking w as the emergence of a leading candidate in the bidding for Pujols: the Miami Marlins. The Fish didnt land their Hombre, but they did go on a spending spree that w ill result in Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, and Heath Bell donning the new ly named teams new uniforms in its new ballpark this spring. Other big names changing pajamas included C.J. W ilson to the Angels, Carlos Beltran to the Cardinals, Jonathan Papelbon to the Phillies, and Aramis Ramirez to the Brew ers. Trades had an unusual number of prominent young pitchers on the move, including Mat Latos, Trevor Cahill, Edinson Volquez, Gio Gonzalez, Travis W ood, and Sean Marshall. As w e put the 17th edition of Baseball Prospectuss annual to bed, there are still tw o months of offseason to go, and the Hot Stove continues to steam. One old chestnut so often roasted on that stove is every team is in first place on Opening Day. If youre reading Baseball Prospectus 2012, how ever, you might not quite share that sentiment. Most trades are not w in-w in. W ho are the w inners and losers this w inter? Our w riters are never hesitant to praise the w inning moves, nor to call out the delusions of the GMs w ho hope theyve built a w inner, or at least that no one notices for a w hile if they havent. We notice. Were not alw ays right, but w ere usually looking in the right place. Baseball Prospectus 2012, like its predecessors, is an attempt to make sense of the chaos, not just the sometimes tragic chaos of these cold months, but also the w onderful bedlam that makes up any baseball season, any summer, and more importantly, w hat it means for the coming season and beyond. The 2011 season certainly had its share of pandemonium, or have you forgotten the last night of the regular season, or Game 6 of the World Series? An entire book could be devoted to either of those nights, and the odds are that it w ont be long until more than one w ill be. But this is not one of those books, because any baseball season is more than even all of its dramatic moments put together. Perhaps the offseason seemed more chaotic than usual to us, though, because w e did make one major change in the w ay Baseball Prospectus 2012 is done. In the past, each player w as listed w ith the team he played for in the previous year. This year, w e have moved players to the team they w ill be playing for come Opening Day . . . at least, for as many players as w e could bring up to date before w e w ent to press. W e can see from the number of unsigned free agents still hanging, and the needs of certain teams, that more moves w ill be made betw een w hen w e had to stop tinkering and w hen you received your copy of the book. At press time, Prince Fielder, Roy Osw alt, and Japanese import Yu Darvish remained unsigned, w ith Darvish in negotiations w ith the Rangers, w ho w on the bidding for the right to talk to him. But w eve made our best attempt to match as many players as possible w ith their 2012 organizations. Speaking of Darvish, since he didnt have a team yet, w e couldnt put him into a chapter. So here is a little scouting report on him: Breathless optimists may perhaps be forgiven for gushing that he w ill be the best thing since Roger Clemens/sushi/sliced bread, but some scouts have a tendency to over-exoticize his stuff. (Remember all the hoopla over Daisuke Matsuzakas gyroball?) Yes, hes half-Iranian/ half-Japanese, but the ball is still round, and he still throw s it much like other human beings w ho are 6-foot-5, 220 pounds. Darvishs stuff isnt exotic, but it is by all accounts varied. He is a drop and drive guy, w ith six pitches: He w ill be all of 25 years old and has a lifetime ERA under 2.00. But he w ill be facing better hitters, more varied w eather, and longer travel, and hell be learning new ballparks. Another potentially exciting import is Yoenis Cespedes. Scouts have been drooling at the prospect ofAnother potentially exciting import is Yoenis Cespedes. Scouts have been drooling at the prospect of the 26-year-old outfielder escaping his native Cuba for years, but it w as a series of highly entertaining promotional videos put out by his representative, Edgar Mercedes, that made him a household name. The good new s is hes the real deal, an ultra-athletic tool shed w ith plus-plus pow er, above-average speed and a cannon for an arm. W henever hes able to get his paperw ork in order to come to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic, hell likely command a deal larger than w hat the Reds gave Aroldis Chapman in 2010. Hell need a few months in Triple-A to get acclimated, but his floor is Mike Cameron, and his ceiling is through the roof. W hat else w ill 2012 bring? W ill someone go w orst to first like the Arizona Diamondbacks did last year? W ill there be an epic stumble out of the gate like those of the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays, a mind-boggling end-of-season collapse like those of the very same Red Sox and Atlanta Braves, or a comeback for the ages like those of the very same Rays and the eventual World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals? No, not just like. Its never the same tw ice. There probably w ont be a 19-inning game decided on a blow n call at home plate this year. We w ont see another star player suffer through 496 misery-filled plate appearances exactly like Adam Dunn, but an epic slump w ill probably happen to someone. Ryan Vogelsong cant surprise us again the w ay he did last year, and Matt Kemp and Curtis Granderson cant blow aw ay their pasts in quite the same w ay, but someone w ill surprise us. Someone w ill have a monster year. W ho w ill it be? How it w ill it go? Were happy to say w e dont know . Thats w hy its so exciting. But the talented team of w riters, editors, statistical analysts, and all-around baseball savants w ho w rote this book have some educated thoughts on the matter. Thousands of them, in fact. They say theres a difference betw een the team on the field and the team on paper. One has to w atch the games all season long to see the team on the field, but this book is w here one finds the most definitive paper. W ithin these pages youll read about the outlook for all 30 teams, this year and beyond. Youll find an opinion, guided by both statistical analysis and scouting observation, about every single player likely to have even the slightest impact in the major leagues in 2012 and many w hose presence w ont be felt until future years. We w ere handed stew ardship of Baseball Prospectus 2012 by the annuals longtime editor, Steven Goldman, w ho has guided us in his continuing role as BPs Editor-in-Chief. In last years preface, Steve w rote, This book serves multiple purposes. It can be a fantasy guide or a season preview , but to us, more than anything else, it is a snapshot of state-of-the-art thought on the art of building a w inning baseball team. W hat he said. We hope you enjoy Baseball Prospectus 2012, and that you indeed find it The essential guide to the 2012 baseball season. King Kaufman, San Francisco Cecilia Tan, Boston December 23, 2011Statistical IntroductionColin WyersThey w ill tell you you had to be there. They lie . I remember being a young boy, and being in aw e of all the greats: Ruth, Mays, Gehrig, W illiams, Cobb, Aaron, Musial, DiMaggio. I didnt see them. I w asnt there. But I knew . Flipping through stacks of cardboard (packaged w ith nearly indistinguishable pieces of gum), through books the consistency of new sprint . . . and then laying ones hands on an actual new spaper to catch up on yesterdays games, to see the successes and failures. Having favorite players, reliving games I had never lived to begin w ith, it w as, in a very real sense, magic. Teleportation. Time travel. Now , to be fair to those w ho say you had to be there, looking at baseball through its numbers is like looking through a telescope not quite in focus. Every year w e turn the knob a little to the left or the right and things get a little clearer. (Of course, sometimes the game is a littleor a lotout of focus for them as w ell. Their picture never gets any clearer, though.) So w e continue to turn that knob, little by little, and each year w e see a little more. Last year w e made a rather large tw ist of the knob; this year w e move the knob much more subtly. We hope you find that w e keep moving it in the right direction.Offense At the core of everything w e do to measure offense is True Average, w hich attempts to measure everything a player does at the platehitting for pow er, taking w alks, striking out, and even making productive outson the familiar scale of batting average. A player w ith a TAv of .260 is average, .300 is exceptional, .200 is rather aw ful. True Average also accounts for the context a player performs inthe baseline for average is not w hat the typical player has done, but w hat w e expect the typical player w ould have done given similar opportunities. That means w e adjust based on the mix of parks a player plays in. Rather than use a blanket park adjustment for every player on a team, a player w ho plays a disproportionate number of his games at home w ill see that reflected in his stats, for instance. We also adjust based upon league quality; the average player in the AL is better than the average player in the NL, and True Average accounts for this. Because hitting runs isnt the entirety of scoring runs, w e also look at a players Baserunning Runs. BRR accounts for the value of a players ability to steal bases, of course, but it also accounts for his ability to go first to third on a single or advance on a fly ball. Defense Defense is a much thornier issue, and one w eve tried to tackle in recent years. Historically, the fielding stats w eve presented have been improvements upon the concept of range factor, but sharing the same underpinnings: measuring a players plays made in terms of his putouts and assists, and comparing those plays made to his peers at that position (w ith an adjustment for the tendencies of pitchershandedness and ground ball rate primarily among them). The general move in the sabermetric community has been tow ard stats based on zone dataw here human stringers record the type of batted ball (grounder, liner, fly ball) and its presumed landing location, and that data is used to compile expected outs to compare a fielders performance to. Many people abandoned metrics based on adjusted range factor for other metrics that incorporated this zone-based data. The trouble is that this zone dataunlike the sorts of data that w e use in the calculation of the statistics you see in this bookw as never made publicly available; the data w as recorded by commercial data providers w ho kept the raw data privately, only disclosing it to a select few w ho paid large sums for it. But as w eve seen the field of zone-based defensive analysis open upmore data and more metrics based upon that data coming to lightw hat w eve seen is that the conclusions of zone-based defensive metrics dont hold up especially w ell to outside scrutiny. Different data providers can come to very different conclusions about the same eventsbased upon their recording practices and their observational vantage point. And tw o metrics based upon the same data set can come to radically different conclusions based upon their starting assumptionsassumptions that havent been tested, using methods that cant be duplicated or verified by outside analysts. And w eve seen that the quality of the fielder can bias the data. Zone-based fielding metrics w ill tend to attribute more expected outs to good fielders than bad fielders, irrespective of the distribution of batted balls. Scorers w ho w ork in parks w ith high press boxes w ill tend to score more line drives than scorers w ho w ork in parks w ith low press boxes. Because of the secrecy surrounding the underlying data, w eve barely begun to scratch the surface of quantifying these problems and their effects. But because of this, w e have abandoned our efforts to produce our ow n zone-based metric for inclusion in this book. Simply put, there is no evidence to show that the inclusion of zone-based data improves defensive metrics over the short run, and much evidence that incorporating the data causes severe distortions over the long run. Instead, w eve revised FRAA to incorporate play-by-play data, allow ing us to study the issue of defense at a much more granular level, but w ithout resorting to the sorts of subjective data used in some other fielding metrics. We count how many plays a player made, as w ell as expected plays for the average player at that position based upon a pitchers estimated groundball tendencies and the handedness of the batter. There are also adjustments for park and the base-out situations; depending on w hether there are runners on base, as w ell as the number of outs, the shortstop may position himself differently, and w e account for that in the average baselines. Still, measuring individual fielding is a much less precise endeavor than measuring a players hitting. So youll often see player comments discussing a fielders ability or performance in w ays that directlyyoull often see player comments discussing a fielders ability or performance in w ays that directly contradict the stat block printed above. This seems to stick in the craw s of many readers. To w hich I can only respond: If everything about a player could be captured by the stat block, w e w ouldnt need the comments at all. And until w eve advanced to a far greater point of certainty in fielding analysis than w here w e are now , I (as a reader myself, as w ell as the man behind the figures in the book) w ould rather have comments that told me information that the metrics dont capture than information the metrics do capture. Sometimes those additional comments w ill be w rong and the metric right, and sometimes itll be the other w ay around, but until w ere sure w hich is w hich I find its much more useful to have both than to behave as though w e have much more certainty than w e really do. Pitching Of course, new findings about fielding influence how w e measure pitching as w ell. Probably the most radical finding about either w as made by Voros McCracken, w ho stated, There is little if any difference among major-league pitchers in their ability to prevent hits on balls hit in the field of play. This w as an extremely controversial finding w hen first published, but later research has by-and-large validated it (if softened the impact of it a bit). McCracken (and others) w ent forth from that finding to come up w ith a variety of defense-independent pitching measures. The trouble is that many efforts to separate pitching from fielding have ended up also in some respects separating pitching from pitchinglooking at only a handful of variables (typically w alks, strikeouts, and home runsthe three true outcomes) in isolation from the situation in w hich they occurred. W hat w eve done w ith our new pitching statistic (the name, Fair RA, may seem familiar, but its an entirely new metric) is to take a pitchers actual resultsnot just w hat happened, but w hen it happened as w elland adjust them for the quality of his defensive support, as measured by FRAA. Now , applying FRAA to pitchers in this sense is easier than applying it to fielders. We dont have to w orry about figuring out w hich fielder is responsible for making an out, only identifying the likelihood of an out being made. So there is far less uncertainty here than there is in fielding analysis. Thats not the same as no uncertainty, of course. And again, w ere right at the beginning of a renew ed effort to study the impact of batted-ball distribution on fielding, and in turn how pitchers can affect batted-ball distribution. W hat w e are finding is that little if any difference does not, in fact, mean no difference, and that there may be pitchers w ho have the ability to prevent hits on balls in play. W hat w e are struggling to do now is improve our ability to figure out w ho those pitchers w ere in short time spansa single season, or even several seasons. The w ay I like to look at it is: any effort to put a single number to a players contributions is a good place to start a discussion, but a poor place to finish it. Sabermetrics provides us w ith a framew ork for talking about baseball, not a w ay to silence debate. Also, Fair RA means exactly that, a number scaled to a pitchers runs allow ed per game, not his earned runs allow ed per game. The concept of an earned run seems less and less expressive as w e come to terms w ith how little errors tell us about a players fielding abilities. And looking only at earned runs tends over time to overrate three kinds of pitchers: 1. Pitchers w ho play in parks w here scorers tend to hand out more errors. Looking at differences in error rates betw een parks tells us that scorers can in fact differ significantly in how likely they are to score any given play as an error (as opposed to an infield hit); 2. Groundball pitchers. A substantial proportion of errors occur on groundballs, ERA w ill tend to overrate groundball pitchers compared to fly-ball pitchers of equal ability; and 3. Pitchers w ho arent very good. Good pitchers tend to allow few er unearned runs than bad pitchers, for the simple fact that good pitchers have more w ays to get out of jams than bad pitchers. Theyre more likely to get a strikeout to end the inning, and less likely to give up a home run. In short, looking at ERA (or metrics scaled to ERA) provides a distorted picture of w hat a pitcher actually accomplished. This is something w eve long preached at Baseball Prospectusand by starting to move aw ay from ERA and tow ard RA in our advanced pitching metrics, w e hope to encourage more people to move in this direction. One frequent reaction to the introduction of Fair RA last year w as the desire for a second pitching stat that does not attempt to measure a pitchers total performance, but only those aspects of pitching thatseem to be strongly repeatable season to season. To that end w ere now also including Fielding Independent Pitching, a metric developed independently by Tom Tango and Clay Dreslough that says w hat a pitchers expected ERA w ould be, given his w alks, strikeouts, and home runs allow ed. FIP is attempting to answ er a different question than Fair RA; instead of saying how w ell a pitcher performed, it tells us how much of a pitchers performance w e think is due to things the pitcher has direct control over. Over time, there are pitchers w ho consistently over and underperform their FIPs through some skill that isnt picked up by the rather limited components; FIP may be useful in identifying pitchers w ho w ere lucky and unlucky but some caution must be exercised, lest w e throw the baby out w ith the bathw ater. Projection Of course, many of you arent turning to this book just for a look at w hat a player has done, but a look at w hat a player is going to dothe deadly accurate PECOTA projections mentioned in bold type on the cover. PECOTA, initially developed by Nate Silver (w ho has moved on to greater fame as a political analyst), consists of three parts: 1. Major-league equivalencies, to allow us to use minorleague stats to project how a player w ill perform in the majors; 2. Baseline forecasts, w hich use w eighted averages and regression to the mean to produce an estimate of a players true talent level; 3. A career-path adjustment, w hich incorporates information on how comparable players stats changed over time. That basic approach is still retained. Weve made a series of refinements, though, to improve upon the process. PECOTA may again someday declare the end of Ichiro, for instance, but it w ont be this year hes projected for another season of more than 200 hits. Now that w eve gone over how the book has changed from previous years, lets go over w hats inside the book. The Team Prospectus The bulk of this book comprises team chapters, w ith one for each of the 30 major-league franchises. On the first page of each chapter, you w ill be greeted by a box laying out some key statistics for each team. 2011 W -L is exactly as it sounds. The straight and unadjusted tally of w ins and losses. Pythag tallies w ins and losses on an adjusted basis by using the runs scored (RS/G) and allow ed (RA/G) by a team in a season, running them through a refined version of Bill James Pythagorean formula developed by David Smyth and Brandon Heipp.A teams run-scoring ability is represented by True Average. Then w e have several metrics for a team's pitching and defense. TAv-P is opponent's TAv against, FIP presents team Fielding Independent Pitching, and DER rates the team's defensive efficiency Ratio, essentially 1-BABIP. Weve also incorporated several new statistics into this years team summaries. DL refers to how many days a teams players logged on the disabled list over the course of a season. B-Age and P-Age tell us the average age of a teams hitters and pitchers, respectively. Salary, of course, refers to a teams total payroll, in millions of dollars. But w eve supplemented that w ith a teams marginal dollars per marginal w ins, a metric created by Doug Pappas to show how efficiently a team is spending its money. Position Players After an opening essay, each chapter moves on to the player comments. Position players are listed first, in alphabetical order, and each player is listed w ith the major-league team w ith w hich he w as employed as of January 1, 2012, meaning that free agents w ho eventually change teams w ill be listed under their previous employer. The player-specific sections (see Joey Bats listing below ) begin w ith biographical information before moving onto the column headers and actual data. Other than cups of coffee at the various levels trimmed out in the interest of space and in accordance w ith small-sample-size theoryall relevant seasons and partial seasons w ill be listed. The column headers begin w ith more standard information like year, team, level (majors or minors, and w hich level of the minors), and the raw , untranslated tallies found on the back of a baseball card: PA (Plate Appearances), R (Runs), 2B (doubles), 3B (triples), HR (home runs), RBI (runs batted in), BB (w alks), SO (strikeouts), SB (stolen bases), and CS (caught stealing). Follow ing those are the untranslated triple-slash-rate statistics: batting average (BA), on-base percentage (OBP), and slugging percentage (SLG). Their slash nickname is derived from the occasional presentation of slash-delimitation, such as noting that Joey Votto hit .309/.416/.531. Each of the three statistics is flaw ed on its ow n, but put together they describe the shape of a hitters production w hether hes a slap-hitting punch and judy type, or an all-or-nothing pow er hitter, or simply an all-around amazing hitter like Albert Pujols. Its follow ed up by True Average, w hich rolls all those things and more into one easy-to-digest number. BABIP stands for Batting Average on Balls in Play, and is meant to show how w ell a hitter did w hen he put the ball in play. An especially low or high BABIP may mean a hitter w as especially lucky or unluckybut it may not. Line-drive hitters w ill tend to have especially high BABIPs from season to season; so w ill speedy runners w ho beat out more grounders for base hits. Next is Baserunning Runs (BRR), w hich as mentioned earlier covers all sorts of baserunning accomplishments, not just stolen bases. The last column is W ARP, W ins Above Replacement Player, w hich means w eve left out VORP altogether. That doesnt mean w eve discarded the underpinnings of VORPw e simply determined it w asnt necessary to have tw o w ays of measuring the same players contributions relative to replacement. For anyone w ho misses the VORP scale, its simple enough to convert; a player w ith a W ARP of 2.0 w ould have a VORP roughly equal to 20. W ARP combines a players batting runs above average (derived from a players True Average), BRR, FRAA, an adjustment based upon position played, and a credit for plate appearances based upon the difference betw een the replacement level (derived from looking at the quality of players added to a teams roster after the start of the season) and the league average. W hy the replacement-level adjustment? W hy not leave everything relative to average? The answ er is playing timeif you have tw o players w ho are totally average (in terms of hitting, fielding, position, and baserunning) but one plays in a dozen games and one plays in 120 games, the latter of the tw o is clearly more valuable to his team. At the same time, it is easy to envision a player w ho plays so poorly he is less valuable the more he plays: a first baseman w ho bats .200 w ith w alks and pow er to match is easily hurting his team more the more he plays. Replacement level gives us a w ay to see how a players playing time is helpingor hurtinghis team.Pitchers Now lets look at how pitchers are presented, looking at last years AL Cy Young and MVP w inner Justin Verlander. The first line and the YEAR, TM, LVL, and AGE columns are the same as in the hitters example above. The next set of columnsW (W ins), L (Losses), SV (Saves), G (Games pitched), GS (Games Started), IP (Innings Pitched), H (Hits), HR, BB, SO, BB9, SO9are the actual, unadjusted cumulative stats compiled by the pitcher during each season.Jose Bautista RFBorn: 10/19/1980 Age: 31 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 1 W eight: 195 Breakout: 1% Improve: 42% Collapse: 2% Attrition: 5% MLB: 95% Comparables: Reggie Smith,Frank Robinson,Roger Maris YEAR TEAM LVL AGE PA R 2B 3B HR 2009 TOR MLB 28 404 54 13 3 13 2010 TOR MLB 29 683 109 35 3 54 2011 TOR MLB 30 655 105 24 2 43 2012 TOR MLB 31 621 87 28 2 31 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM TOR TOR TOR TOR LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB SO 85 116 111 118 SB 4 9 9 7 CS 0 2 5 3RBI 40 124 103 89BB 56 100 132 87AVG_OBP_SLG .235/.349/.408 .260/.378/.617 .302/.447/.608 .259/.370/.501TAv .268 .341 .370 .304YEAR TEAM LVL BABIP BRR FRAA WARP 2009 TOR MLB .275 3.9 -2.9 1.4 2010 TOR MLB .233 -1.6 -12.4 6.5 2011 TOR MLB .309 1.4 10.3 10.3 2012 TOR MLB .275 -0.2 RF -2, 3B 2 4.2 Next is GB%, w hich is the percentage of all batted balls that w ere hit on the ground including both outs and hits. The average GB% for a major-league pitcher in 2007 w as about 45 percent; a pitcher w ith a GB% anyw here north of 50 percent can be considered a good groundball pitcher. As mentioned above, this is based upon the observation of human stringers and can be skew ed based upon a number of factors. W eve included the number as a guide, but please approach it skeptically. BABIP is the same statistic as for batters, but often tells you more, since most pitchers have very little control over their batting average on balls in play. A high BABIP is more likely due to a poor defense, or bad luck, than to a pitchers ow n abilities, and may be a good indicator of a potential rebound. A typical league-average BABIP is around .295.300. W HIP and ERA are common to most fans, w ith the former measuring the number of w alks and hits allow ed on a per-inning basis w hile the latter prorates earned runs allow ed on a nine-innings basis. Neither is translated or adjusted in any w ay. Fair RA has been covered in some depth above, and is the basis of W ARP for pitchers. Significantly, incorporating play-by-play data allow s us to set different replacement levels for starting pitchers and relievers. Relief pitchers have several advantages over startersthey can give their best effort on every pitch, and hitters have few er chances to pick up on w hat theyre doing. That means that its significantly easier to find decent replacements for relief pitchers than it is for starting pitchers, and thats reflected in the replacement level for each. We also credit starters for pitching deeper into games and saving the pen. A starting pitcher w hos able to go deep into a game (w hile pitching effectively) allow s a manager to keep his w orst relievers inthe pen and bring his best relievers out to preserve a lead. All of this means that W ARP values for relief pitchers (especially closers) w ill seem low er than w hat w eve seen in the pastand may conflict w ith how w e feel about relief aces coming in and saving the game. But the save, w hile a model of how w e feel about a pitchers performancea successful save means a w in, w hile a failed save typically means a lossdoes not describe how teams w in games. In other w ords, saves give extra credit to the closer for w hat his teammates did to put him in a save spot to begin w ith; W ARP is incapable of feeling excitement over a successful save, and judges them dispassionately. PECOTA Both pitchers and hitters have PECOTA projections for next season, as w ell as a set of biographical details that describe the performance of that players comparable players according to PECOTA. The 2012 line is the PECOTA projection for the player in the upcoming season. Note that the player is projected into the league and park context as indicated by his team abbreviation. All PECOTAs represent a players projected major-league performance. The numbers beneath the players nameBreakout, Improve, Collapse, and Attritionare also a part of PECOTA, and estimate the likelihood of changes in performance relative to a players previously established level of production, based upon the performance of the comparable players: Breakout Rate is the percent chance that a players production w ill improve by at least 20 percent relative to the w eighted average of his performance over his most recent seasons. Improve Rate is the percent chance that a players production w ill improve at all relative to his baseline performance. A player w ho is expected to perform just the same as he has in the recent past w ill have an Improve Rate of 50 percent. Collapse Rate is the percent chance that a position players equivalent runs produced per PA w ill decline by at least 25 percent relative to his baseline performance over his past three seasons. Attrition Rate operates on playing time rather than performance. Specifically, it measures the likelihood that a players playing time w ill decrease by at least 50 percent relative to his established level. Breakout Rate and Collapse Rate can sometimes be counterintuitive for players w ho have already experienced a radical change in their performance levels. Its also w orth noting that the projected decline in a given players rate performances might not be indicative of an expected decline in underlying ability or skill, but rather something of an anticipated correction follow ing a breakout season.Justin VerlanderBorn: 2/20/1983 Age: 29 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 6 W eight: 200 Breakout: 11% Improve: 35% Collapse: 37% Attrition: 6% MLB: 97% Comparables: Chris Young,Jon Rauch,Jake Peavy YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H 2009 DET MLB 26 19 9 0 35 35 240 219 1 190 2010 DET MLB 27 18 9 0 33 33 224 2011 DET 2012 DET YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM DET DET DET DET MLB 28 MLB 29 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 20 14 24 18 24 5 0 15 7 0 BB 63 71 57 56 SO 269 219 250 191 34 34 251 174 29 29 202 1 181 EqBB9 3.3 3.3 3.2 2.5 EqSO9 2.4 2.8 2.0 8.5 GB% 38% 42% 42% 41%YEAR TEAM LVL BABIP WHIP ERA FIP FRA WARPYEAR TEAM LVL BABIP WHIP ERA FIP FRA WARP 2009 DET MLB .323 1.17 3.45 2.85 3.29 6.1 2010 DET MLB .289 1.16 3.37 2.94 3.33 5.2 2011 DET MLB .237 0.92 2.40 3.03 3.18 5.8 2012 DET MLB .292 1.17 3.05 3.30 3.31 4.2 The final piece of information, listed just to the right of the players Attrition Rate, are his three highest scoring comparable players as determined by PECOTA, and a similarity score from 0100 describing how similar a players comps are to him. Occasionally, a players top comparables w ill not be representative of the larger sample that PECOTA uses. Its also important to note that established major leaguers are compared to other major leaguers only, w hile minor-league players may be compared to major-league or minor-league players, w ith PECOTA strongly preferring the latter. All comparables represent a snapshot of how the listed player w as performing at the same age as the current player, so if a 23-year-old hitter is compared to Sammy Sosa, hes actually being compared to a 23-year-old Sammy Sosa, not the decrepit Orioles version of Sosa, nor to Sosas career as a w hole. The Managers Statistics Each team chapter ends w ith a managers comment and data breaking dow n his tactical tendencies. Though it is often difficult to isolate a managers contributions to a team, comparing specific data modeled after w ell-documented plays and styles to the league average helps determine w hat a manager likes to do, even if w e are still precluded from translating that information into actual w ins and losses. Follow ing the year, team, and actual record, Pythag +/- lets us know by how many games the team under- or over-performed its Pythagenpat record. Mike Scioscias Angels exceeded their projected record by four games, and exceeded it in the previous tw o seasons as w ell. That isnt necessarily an endorsement of Sciosciakeep in mind that Pythag +/- is a mathematical expression of team performance, not an interpretation of the managers w ork, even though it has become commonplace to attribute Actual/Pythag discrepancies to the skipper. Pitching staff usage follow s, first w ith Avg PC reporting the average pitch count of his starting pitchers w ith the subsequent 100+P and 120+P offering the number of games in w hich the starters exceeded certain pitch thresholds. QS is the total number of quality startsa start of at least six innings and w ith no more than three runs allow eda manager received from his starting pitchers. BQS is Blow n Quality Starts, a Baseball Prospectus stat that measures games in w hich the starter delivered a quality start through six innings before losing it in the seventh inning or later by allow ing runs to give him four or more. That said, a Blow n Quality Start is not necessarily an indictment of the managers abilities or tactics. A number of factors ranging from excellent offensive support to extremely poor bullpen support can lead a manager to leave his starter in a game after hes throw n six quality innings. Conversely, the decision by a manager to bank quality starts by restricting his starters to only six innings can have dow nsides as w ell as it increases his bullpens w orkload and the opportunity for the pen to blow a game in w hich a starter w as cruising. Speaking of bullpen support, the next stats in the manager table tally how many pitching changes a manager made over the course of the season (REL) and how many times the reliever called upon didnt allow any runners, his ow n or inherited, to score (REL w Zero R). Bequeathed runners also count against REL w Zero R, meaning that relievers w ho exit w ith runners on that subsequently score prevent a manager from padding his tally here. Concluding the pitching section, IBB is quite simply the number of intentional w alks the manager ordered during the given season, w hich can definitely be a mark of managerial strategy so long as outliers like Albert Pujols are accounted for. Managers do more than manage pitchers, how ever; their usage of a bench can lead to added or lost performance. Subs lets us know the number of defensive replacements he employed throughout the regular season, w hile PH, PH Avg, and PH HR report the offensive statistics of pinch-hitters called upon. We then turn to the so-called small ball tactics, starting w ith the running game. The managers aggressiveness on the bases is broken dow n by successful steals of second and third base (SB2, SB3) and times caught (CS2, CS3). We also provide the number of sacrifices a team attempted (SAC Att) and their success rate (SAC %). Be sure to keep in mind the differences betw een leagues as National League sacrifice attempts are greatly inflated by the fact that the pitchers hit. To correct for this, w e list the number of times a manager got a successful sacrifice from a position player (POS SAC), w hich allow s for comparisons betw een the tw o leagues. We finish up w ith Squeeze, w hich counts the number of successful squeeze plays the team executed over the season. Finally, w e have a couple of statistics thatattempt to measure the managers hit-and-run tactics. Sw ing is the number of times a hitter sw ung at a pitch w hile the runners w ere in motion, w hile In Play reflects how many times a managers hitters sw ung and made contact w hile those runners w ere off to the races. Granted, sw ings on steal attempts do not alw ays translate to hit-and-run attempts, but managers w ho greatly deviate from the average can be assumed to be staunch proponents or opponents of the strategy.MANAGER: MIKE SCIOSCIAYEAR TEAM W-L 2009 ANA 2010 ANA 2011 ANA Pythag Avg +/ PC 100+ 120+ QS BQS REL P P 1 160 11 70 9 108 6 98 8 434 410 38697-65 1 80-82 0 86-76 197.1 83 204.3 162 101.0 98YEAR TEAM REL w IBB Subs PH PH PH SB2 CS2 SB3 Zero R Avg HR 2009 ANA 2010 ANA 2011 ANA 269 325 313 35 48 66 34 79 .308 2 172 .174 0 75 .154 2 22 14 18 5 10 4 2 0 1YEAR TEAM CS3 SAC SAC % POS Squeeze Swing In Play Att SAC 2009 ANA 2010 ANA 2011 ANA 1 3 1 64 67.2% 41 4 140 72.9% 100 6 78 80.8% 59 1 180 400 417 134 125 144Arizona DiamondbacksW hen Kevin Tow ers assumed the position of Diamondbacks general manager in the final days of the 2010 season, the job seemed to promise a fair share of impending punishment. Tow ers mentioned tw o goals: cutting dow n on the teams historically high strikeout rate and rebuilding its historically broken bullpen. If he also aimed to finish first in the NL W est, he w isely left that intention unstated. Before Tow ers took over, the number of teams that had managed to follow a last-place finish w ith a first-place finish in the follow ing season during the six-division era that daw ned in 1994 could have been counted on Antonio Alfonsecas six-fingered hand; a standard complement of fingers could have accommodated them if you excluded the 2006 D-Backs, w ho tied for last in the West before their 2007 turnaround, and Mordecai Brow n could have handled the trio that hadnt finished last in four-team divisions. Only three additional teams pulled off the single-season turnaround during the four-division period of 1969-93, and none of those completed the feat before 1991. Not surprisingly, in light of the rarity of such reversals, the Diamondbacks w erent a popular preseason pick to unseat the reigning World Series champion Giants and claim the NL W est title. W ith such lofty ambitions likely buried deep in the back of his mind, Tow ers set about improving the w eaknesses hed targeted after taking over. The 2010 club hed inherited had struck out more frequently than any team had before, going dow n sw inging or looking in just under a quarter of its plate appearances. To some extent, the situation resolved itself. Chris Snyder had already been shipped to Pittsburgh at the trading deadline, and Tow ers allow ed Adam LaRoche to leave as a free agent, w hich subtracted tw o strikeout-prone bats from the roster. He toyed w ith selling low on Justin Upton but refrained w hen he couldnt secure a suitable package; the right fielder w ould go on to cut his strikeout rate significantly in a resurgent 2011 campaign. But Tow ers did send main offender Mark Reynolds to Baltimore in December.As a result of those changes in personnel and performance, the Snakes slashed their strikeout rate by 17 percent. To be sure, strikeouts arent the disgrace theyre made out to be in Little Leaguein fact, theyre highly correlated w ith patience and pow er, so one shouldnt read too much into the fact that the tw o teams w ith the few est w hiffs w ent to the World Series last season. Still, as w e observed in our Arizona essay in BP2011 , stacking a lineup w ith strikeout-prone bats has historically been an unsuccessful strategy, producing a compounding effect that contributes to volatile run-scoring. By no means w ere the Diamondbacks adept at making contact in Tow erss first full season at the helmthey still struck out at the fourth-highest rate in the NLbut their tendency tow ard strikeouts w as no longer a serious handicap. Table 1. Extreme Makeover, Baseball Edition: Single-Season Worst-to-First Team TurnaroundsTeam Braves Tw ins Phillies Giants Padres Diamondbacks Diamondbacks Cubs Rays DiamondbacksYear 1 Year 1 Finish 1990 6 1990 7 1992 6 1996 4 1997 4 1998 5 2006 4 2006 6 2007 5 2010 5Year 2 Year 2 Finish 1991 1 1991 1 1993 1 1997 1 1998 1 1999 1 2007 1 2007 1 2008 1 2011 1That left one liability lingering on Tow erss offseason to-do list. The Diamondbacks bullpen posted an abysmal 5.99 FRA in 2010, by far the w orst in baseball and .79 runs higher than the next-w orst NL unit. Tow ers, w ho show ed a knack for assembling some of baseballs best and most cost-efficient bullpens w hile in San Diego, seemed like the perfect man to reengineer Arizonas relief corps. The Reynolds trade helped to kill tw o team w eaknesses w ith one transaction, since the D-Backs bounty w as hard-throw ing righthander David Hernandez, w ho became a consistent setup man for the Snakes, earning the second-highest Leverage Index among Arizona relievers. (Fellow righty reliever Kam Mickolio, w ho also came over in thedeal, w as less successful, though he struck out nearly 10 batters per nine innings at Triple-A Reno.) In a slight departure from his usual pattern of low -cost acquisitions, Tow ers gambled on often-injured free-agent reliever J.J. Putz, w hose health mostly held up in his first season as the clubs closer. Tow ers also successfully filled the pens lefty specialist slot w ith Rule 5 find Joe Paterson and made another trade to reinforce his relief corps at the deadline, sending extraneous pieces Brandon Allen and Jordan Norberto to Oakland for Brad Ziegler, one of the most dependable bullpen arms in baseball (albeit one somew hat limited by his susceptibility to southpaw s). The net result of Tow erss tinkering w as an improvement in bullpen FRA of nearly a run and a half, giving the D-Backs a 4.69 mark that ranked 17th in baseball. The teams starters w ere similarly solid-but-unspectacular, ranking 17th overall at 4.41. Since Tow erss bullpen investments paid off, he w ent back to the w ell over the w inter, adding another off-brand former closer w ith injury issues in Takashi Saito and trading for another consistent Oakland reliever in Craig Breslow . Still, despite Reynolds aversion to contact and the bullpen help he brought back, there w as a dow nside to running him out of tow n. In the process of striking out, w alking, or homering in nearly half of his plate appearances for the Orioles, Reynolds recorded a .286 True Average, w hich w ould have been the best mark among non-Upton Diamondbacks w ith at least 150 PA. The Snakes scored the fourth-most runs in the NL, but the hitter-friendly confines of Chase Field helped camouflage some of their offensive inadequacies. Their .256 TAv revealed a slightly below -average offense that ranked in the middle of the NL pack. Reynolds departure left the hot corner in the hands of Ryan Roberts, w hose bat mostly w ent south after an excellent April, as w ell as a host of offensive zeroes like Melvin Mora, Sean Burroughs, Geoff Blum, and Cody Ransom. In addition, w hile retaining LaRoche w ould not have represented a solution, his departure nonetheless left a void at first base that the Diamondbacks spent most of the season trying to fill w ith subpar bats. Paul Goldschmidts promotion in August brought some stability to the cold corner, though its not clear w hether his ceiling is high enough to admit him to the upper echelons of the position. Miguel Montero and Gerardo Parra are coming off excellent seasons, and Chris Young and Stephen Drew can be counted on to contribute if healthy, but aside from Upton, the lineup features very little star pow er, and significant uncertainty remains on the infield corners and at second base, w here the Diamondbacks are desperately hoping to get more of the good Aaron Hill they saw at the end of last season. Instead of shoring up one of their w eaker positions, the Diamondbacks shot themselves in the foot in December by signing free-agent Jason Kubel to a tw o-year deal, w hich relegated the younger, cheaper, and more productive Parra to a fourth-outfielder role. Aside from the erstw hile left fielder, little assistance can be expected from the benchits fair to w onder w hether any team really needs Blum, John McDonald, or W illie Bloomquist, let alone all three of them, but the Diamondbacks acted quickly to corner the market on offensively inept utility men. In short, the Diamondbacks had a mediocre offense and a run-of-the-mill rotation and relief corps, and unlike the 2008 Rays, the last team to leapfrog their divisional opponents in a single season, their defense also placed in the middle of the pack, ranking 11th w ith a 0.714 defensive efficiency. The lone standout aspect of their attack, the third-best baserunning performance in the NL, w as w orth less than a w in. So w hat made them so good? The uncomfortable truth for Arizona fans is that despite their 94 w ins, the Diamondbacks werent particularly goodsurprisingly successful, certainly, especially in light of their shedding a quarter of their payroll and spending less than all but tw o other NL teams, but still something w ell short of the dominant performers that their record suggests they w ere. Arizonas improbable playoff appearance w as in part the product of a w eak division and a large helping of luck. The Diamondbacks outplayed their third-order w inning percentagea metric based on underlying statistics and adjusted for quality of opponentsby 10 1/2 games, the biggest margin in baseball. The DBacks finished w ith an eight-game cushion in the NL West, and thats the only performance that counts in determining w hich teams get tickets to October. But in the third-order standings, they beat out the Giants by only one game and actually finished behind the Dodgers, w hich should temper our expectations for this season. The Diamondbacks w ent 28-16 in one-run games, giving them the best w inning percentage of any team in those contests, w hich often hinge as heavily on luck as they do on skill, though an improved bullpen didnt hurt. They also benefited from another factor largely determined by chance: good health. The Diamondbacks suffered the few est injuries and days lost to injury of any NL team. According to BP injury guru Corey Daw kins, they surrendered only an estimated 2.0 W ARP to the DL and day-to-day ailmentshalf as much as any other team in their divisionw ith Drew s ankle fracture accounting for the majority of the damage. Even if the Diamondbacks medical staff deserves much of the credit, the Snakes can expect more aches and pains to plague them in 2012. Of course, none of that means there isnt plenty of hope on Arizonas horizon, as the teams formerly fallow farm system has been rebuilt by a combination of fruitful trades orchestrated by former interim GM Jerry DiPoto, astute drafting by former scouting director Tom Allison, w ho w as let go after Tow ers cameJerry DiPoto, astute drafting by former scouting director Tom Allison, w ho w as let go after Tow ers came to tow n, andat least in 2011the same sort of good health in the bush leagues that the Snakes enjoyed in the bigs. The Diamondbacks organization boasts perhaps the best collection of young pitching talent in baseball. In addition to the 27-year-old Ian Kennedy, w ho finished fourth in the Cy Young voting after leading the league in w ins and w inning percentage; the soon-to-be 25-year-old Dan Hudson, w ho hurled over 200 innings w ith a strikeout-to-w alk ratio w ell over 3; and 26-year-old Josh Collmenter, w ho finished fifth in the Rookie of the Year voting but might not have the stuff to sustain his success, the team possesses unparalleled pitching riches in the minor leagues. Even w ith former first-rounder Jarrod Parker shipped off to Oaklandin exchange for Trevor Cahill, a more established pitcher only six months his seniorits easy to make the case that the D-Backs have five or six minor-league arms more promising than their best position player prospect. Trevor Bauer, the thirdoverall pick in last years amateur draft, could contend for a rotation spot as soon as this spring. Tyler Skaggs, w hom the Diamondbacks acquired in the 2010 Dan Haren trade, might be in the big leagues by September. Archie Bradley, yet another 2011 first-rounder, is behind those tw o but possesses the same top-of-the-rotation talent. And a few other arms of varying abilities figure to make strong cases for the middle or end of the rotation in the next few seasons. Given that profusion of young pitching, its not difficult to envision the Snakes best starter last season being their fourth- or fifth-best by 2013, although as alw ays the TNSTAAPP principle applies. It is important to note that the Diamondbacks feature a fly-ball staff; 30.1 percent of their batted balls allow ed w ere hit in the air last season, the highest rate in baseball. Although Cahill keeps the ball on the ground and Wade Miley might do the same, none of Arizonas up-and-coming arms is a budding Brad Ziegler in the grounder department, so that percentage might not see a substantial change. In one sense, that tendency w orks against the Snakes, since fly balls travel farther in Arizonas dry air; Chase Fields home run factor ranks sixth-highest among major-league parks. But the danger is diminished somew hat by an outfield that in 2011 featured three players capable of playing center field in Young, Parra, and Upton. Thanks to that trios efforts in tracking dow n balls that might have found gaps or corners on teams w ith less rangy players in the pastures, the Diamondbacks allow ed the third-low est parkadjusted slugging percentage on balls in play in the NL last season, though theyll have trouble repeating that performance w ith Kubel displacing Parra. The Diamondbacks franchise has been unstable and prone to w ild sw ings in the standings since its inception, perhaps appropriate for one that came of age so quickly and w ith so few grow ing pains. After suffering only a single season of the expansion-team blues, the Snakes spent heavily on free agents such as Randy Johnson, Steve Finley, and Todd Stottlemyre to go along w ith their highly paid veterans already in place, Matt W illiams and Jay Bell, w inning 100 games and pulling off their first w orst-to-first reversal. That all-out veteran effort culminated in a 2001 World Series victory and gave the D-Backs the distinction of being the quickest team to a title, but that aging club soon ran out of steam, sending Arizona back to the cellar (and nearly halving the 99 teams w in total) by 2004. The 2007 team arose from the ashes w ith a new core, but that core has had a bumpy ride, alternating betw een first- and last-place finishes of its ow n. The signings of Tow ers and skipper Kirk Gibson to respective three-year extensions w ith tw o club options give the team one sort of stability. Still, the Diamondbacks are in an unusual spot in that they have few gaping holes in w hich to plug in players for easy improvements, but even few er players capable of producing more than three or four w ins above replacement, a state of affairs that hampers both their upside and their flexibility. The organizations current crop of pitching prospects should produce more stars, but impact position players w ill be harder to come by for the foreseeable future. Although experience suggests that a team can never have too much pitching, a rotation can hold only so many arms; once the Diamondbacks determine w hich ones they think w ill pan out, theyll have to be proactive in selling off the surplus in exchange for offensive talent from other teams, lest an imbalanced roster limit their capacity to keep surprising us w ith success.HITTERS Henry Blanco CBorn: 8/29/1971 Age: 40 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 0 W eight: 170 Breakout: 3% Improve: 16% Collapse: 8% Attrition: 23% MLB: 48% Comparables:Carlton Fisk,Greg Myers,Birdie Tebbetts YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM SDN NYN ARI ARI TEAM SDN NYN ARI ARI TEAM SDN NYN ARI ARI LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 37 38 39 40 SO 50 26 21 53 PA 232 144 112 250 R 21 10 12 26 2B 12 5 3 10 3B 0 0 1 1 HR 6 2 8 6 RBI 16 8 12 25 BB 26 11 12 19SB 0 1 0 1CS 0 0 1 0AVG_OBP_SLG .235/.320/.382 .215/.271/.300 .250/.330/.540 .229/.290/.359 FRAA -1.3 0.1 -0.6 C -2 WARP 0.7 0.1 0.9 0.8TAv .251 .217 .290 .232BABIP .282 .248 .239 .268BRR -1.1 -1.1 -0.1 0Blanco hit so w ell last year that he w as almost forced to resign in disgrace from the International Brotherhood of Backup Catchers, but ultimately the first-time offender w as forgiven his delusions of grandeur and allow ed to keep his membership card on the basis of his unimpeachable record of poor hitting. Chase Field may have had something to do w ith his erupting for a home run every 12.5 at-bats after hitting one every 41.1 at-bats over his first 13 seasons. He hit .313/.400/.792 w ith six of his homers at home, w hile on the road he hit like his old self. The D-Backs brought him back for an encore. Even if okay, better make that w henhis bat returns to its old w ays, Arizona can count on his strong arm: he threw out 11 of 24 attempted basestealers (45.8 percent) last season.Willie Bloomquist SSBorn: 11/27/1977 Age: 34 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 0 W eight: 185 Breakout: 2% Improve: 23% Collapse: 11% Attrition: 30% MLB: 81% Comparables: Adam Everett,Alvin Dark,Edgar Renteria YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 TEAM KCA CIN KCA ARI ARI TEAM KCA CIN KCA LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB AGE 31 32 32 33 34 SO 73 3 25 PA 468 18 181 381 322 R 52 0 31 44 34 2B 11 0 10 10 10 3B 8 0 1 2 3 HR 4 0 3 4 3 RBI 29 0 17 26 28 BB 27 1 8 23 20SB 25 0 8CS 6 0 5AVG_OBP_SLG .265/.308/.355 .294/.333/.294 .265/.296/.388TAv .236 .221 .2402011 ARI 2012 ARI YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 TEAM KCA CIN KCA ARI ARIMLB 51 20 10 .266/.317/.340 .234 MLB 54 17 7 .261/.310/.345 .235 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB BABIP .309 .357 .294 .300 .304 BRR 2.5 -0.2 -0.3 0.3 -0.8 FRAA 0.4 -0.1 -0.9 -3.3 SS -2, LF 0 WARP 0.4 -0.1 0.1 -0.1 0.2Sabermetrician Tom Tango has proposed W ins Above W illie as a fitting name for a total-value statistic, and Bloomquist once again show ed w hy last season. His embodiment of a concept that critics say isnt real makes him more valuable as a teaching tool than a playerafter a decade in the majors, hes accumulated just 1.0 W ARP, and as he heads into his age-34 season, there is plenty of time for his decline phase to erase even that modest sum. Bloomquist endeared himself to Arizona fans w ith a scrappy .306 average in April but hit just .257/.315/.323 after returning from a hamstring strain suffered late that month. Aside from his forgettable performance, Bloomquists calling card is his flexibility in the field (w hich boils dow n to an ability to be bad at a multitude of positions), but Stephen Drew s injury limited Bloomquist to just three positions in 2011, including a mere one game at second base, since his dubious services w ere often required at shortstop. One thing Bloomquist has alw ays been able to do is steal at a high rate of success, but even that skill deserted him last season. Nonetheless, he re-signed for tw o seasons, w hich hell spend battling John McDonald for backup at-bats.Geoff Blum 3BBorn: 4/26/1973 Age: 39 Bats: B Throw s: R Height: 6 4 W eight: 193 Breakout: 0% Improve: 19% Collapse: 12% Attrition: 25% MLB: 53% Comparables: Todd Zeile,Melvin Mora,Cal Ripken Jr. YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM HOU HOU ARI ARI TEAM HOU HOU ARI ARI TEAM HOU HOU ARI ARI LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 36 37 38 39 SO 61 33 9 41 PA 427 218 55 250 R 34 22 8 26 2B 14 10 3 11 3B 1 1 0 1 HR 10 2 2 5 RBI 49 22 10 24 BB 33 15 5 17SB 0 0 0 0CS 1 0 0 0AVG_OBP_SLG .247/.314/.367 .267/.321/.356 .224/.309/.408 .236/.293/.356 FRAA -9.3 0.1 0.3 3B 1, SS -1TAv .241 .243 .226 .232BABIP .266 .311 .237 .265BRR -1.1 2.1 0.3 -0.1WARP -0.8 0.2 0.0 0.4Blum and Melvin Mora spent the season vying to be Arizonas least productive 38-year-old third baseman. Mora edged out Blum, -0.6 to 0.0 W ARP, but it w asnt a fair fight: Even though Mora w as released in late June, he had more opportunities to make his case. Blum did the team a favor by hurting his knee in spring training, w hich allow ed Ryan Roberts to claim the starting job. The knee eventually required surgery that delayed Blums debut until mid-July, and seven games later, he broke his right pinkie w hile fielding a ground ball and disappeared till September. Blum might have done his best w ork for the Diamondbacks w hile he w as on the DL, but he got the last laugh: Unlike Mora, hell be back for another season of replacement-level play.Bobby Borchering 3BBorn: 10/25/1990 Age: 21 Bats: B Throw s: R Height: 6 4 W eight: 200 Breakout: 0% Improve: 6% Collapse: 5% Attrition: 12% MLB: 19% Comparables: Chris Marrero,Tony Horton,Alberto Odreman YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM MSO SBN VIS ARI TEAM MSO SBN VIS ARI TEAM MSO SBN VIS ARI LVL RK A A+ MLB LVL RK A A+ MLB LVL RK A A+ MLB AGE 18 19 20 21 SO 27 128 162 76 PA 93 588 590 250 SB 0 1 4 0 R 10 74 80 24 2B 8 31 29 10 3B 1 2 3 1 HR 2 15 24 7 RBI 11 74 92 26 BB 5 54 49 12CS 0 1 1 0 BRR -0.8 -3.6 -0.2 0AVG_OBP_SLG .241/.290/.425 .270/.343/.423 .267/.332/.469 .213/.253/.352 FRAA -6 -16 -6.3 3B -7, 1B -2TAv .301 .278 .284 .215BABIP .328 .331 .337 .277WARP 0.1 0.6 2.3 -0.7Borchering is still young for his league, but hes old enough to know the truth: Prospects at his position dont often post batting averages in the mid-.200s in the minors and live to tell the tale. Last season, the 2009 first-rounder w ent from being a third baseman w ho w as often referred to as a future first base type to a player w ho actually saw more time at first than at third. That ratio is likely to grow even more lopsided in favor of first in the coming seasons, since Borchering lacks the quickness and strong arm that come in handy at the hot corner. The sw itch-hitter has a sw eet sw ing and plenty of pow er, but unless he can make more contact or start w alking tw ice as often, he w ont unseat Paul Goldschmidt or distinguish himself from the legion of other corner infielders en route to Phoenix.Sean Burroughs 3BBorn: 9/12/1980 Age: 31 Bats: L Throw s: R Height: 6 3 W eight: 200 Breakout: 2% Improve: 20% Collapse: 11% Attrition: 21% MLB: 69% Comparables: Joe Randa,Frank Malzone,Terry TiffeeYEAR 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2011 2011 2012TEAM RNO ARI MIN TEAM RNO ARI MIN TEAM RNO ARI MINLVL AAA MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB MLBAGE 30 30 31 SO 8 15 34PA 110 115 250R 19 8 282B 11 4 133B 2 0 2HR 2 1 3RBI 25 8 26BB 7 3 12SB 0 1 2CS 2 0 1AVG_OBP_SLG .412/.450/.618 .273/.289/.336 .276/.313/.388 FRAA 0.5 0 3B 0 WARP 1.0 -0.3 1.3TAv .329 .205 .250BABIP .435 .305 .307BRR -1 -0.4 -0.2Research has show n that players tend to perform w orse as pinch-hitters than they do as starters. Burroughs actually hit slightly better in his long-shot return to baseball w hen he w as pinch-hitting than he did w hile playing third, but neither line resembled anything useful or evoked his small-sample tear at TripleA. The lefty w alked less frequently than Yuniesky Betancourt and had as many extra-base hits as Dontrelle W illis delivered in 81 few er plate appearances. The former cant-miss prospect long since w ent w ide of the major-league mark, but at least, after having spent three years aw ay from the game, doing, in his ow n w ords, nothing, really, he got one last hurrah.Matt Davidson 3BBorn: 3/26/1991 Age: 21 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 4 W eight: 210 Breakout: 0% Improve: 3% Collapse: 3% Attrition: 7% MLB: 11% Comparables: Thomas Neal,Jonathan W altenbury,Jaime Ortiz YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 TEAM YAK SBN VIS VIS ARI TEAM YAK SBN VIS VIS ARI LVL AA A+ A+ MLB LVL AA A+ A+ MLB AGE 18 19 19 20 21 SO 75 109 25 147 74 PA 299 475 84 606 250 SB 0 0 0 0 0 R 29 58 6 93 23 2B 15 35 1 39 11 3B 0 3 0 1 0 HR 2 16 2 20 5 RBI 28 79 11 106 23 BB 21 43 12 52 14CS 2 2 0 1 0AVG_OBP_SLG .241/.311/.319 .289/.374/.504 .169/.298/.268 .277/.348/.465 .206/.261/.329TAv .227 .304 .204 .291 .211YEAR TEAM LVL BABIP BRR FRAA 2009 YAK A- .325 0.4 8.1 2010 SBN A .359 -2.4 0.4WARP 0.6 2.82010 2010 2011 2012SBN VIS VIS ARIA A+ A+ MLB.359 .227 .340 .274-2.4 -1.2 -1.7 00.4 0.6 -3.5 3B 1, 1B -12.8 -0.4 3.0 -1.0Davidson, a slightly better, slightly younger version of Bobby Borchering (w ho w as selected 19 picks before him in the 2009 draft), experienced similaralbeit less severestruggles to make contact at High-A last season. After spending 2010 trading off at the hot corner in South Bend, both played 135 games for Visalia split betw een the infield corners and DH. Since they appeared at the same positions for the same team, scouts had ample opportunity to make an informed comparison betw een the tw o, and most came aw ay liking Davidson better, both for his bat and for his better chance of sticking at third thanks to a superior fielding percentage and a stronger arm. How they do at Double-A could be the real decider.Stephen Drew SSBorn: 3/16/1983 Age: 29 Bats: L Throw s: R Height: 6 2 W eight: 185 Breakout: 3% Improve: 29% Collapse: 7% Attrition: 19% MLB: 94% Comparables: Jimmy Rollins,Brendan Harris,John Valentin YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM ARI ARI ARI ARI TEAM ARI ARI ARI ARI TEAM ARI ARI ARI ARI LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 26 27 28 29 SO 87 108 74 67 PA 595 633 354 388 SB 5 10 4 4 R 71 83 44 48 2B 29 33 21 21 3B 12 12 5 6 HR 12 15 5 9 RBI 65 61 45 49 BB 49 62 30 31CS 1 5 4 2 BRR 1.2 2.5 1.4 -0.3AVG_OBP_SLG .261/.320/.428 .278/.352/.458 .252/.317/.396 .265/.327/.440 FRAA 5.1 -2.2 -2.6 SS -3 WARP 2.6 4.4 1.2 2.4TAv .257 .288 .258 .270BABIP .288 .321 .313 .301Drew left the D-Backs in the lurch w hen he broke his ankle sliding into home plate on July 20 (to add insult to injury, he w as out), but his season w as already w ell on the w ay to disappointment after an age27 career year. Its time to accept that Drew w ill never put together the monster season forecasted for him by scouts and statheads alike, but even reduced expectations leave room for a passable defender and an above-average hitter for w hom roughly 10 other NL teams w ould gladly sw ap their shortstops. It w ould be a shame if Drew s early promise relegated him to the same land of the perpetually underappreciated w here his big brother J.D. has been for the better part of a decade. October surgery for a sports hernia complicated his rehab from the ankle fracture and could put his status for Opening Day in doubt.Adam Eaton CFBorn: 12/6/1988 Age: 23 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 5 10 W eight: 180 Breakout: 2% Improve: 40% Collapse: 9%Attrition: 22% MLB: 72% Comparables: Ron Fairly,Oscar Gamble,Scott Lusader YEAR 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM MSO VIS MOB ARI TEAM MSO VIS MOB ARI TEAM MSO VIS MOB ARI LVL RK A+ AA MLB LVL RK A+ AA MLB LVL RK A+ AA MLB AGE 21 22 22 23 SO 44 41 35 50 PA 282 301 255 250 R 48 54 31 28 2B 14 15 7 9 3B 4 3 4 2 HR 7 6 4 4 RBI 37 39 28 23 BB 35 42 30 22SB 20 24 10 9CS 8 8 6 4AVG_OBP_SLG .385/.504/.575 .332/.455/.492 .302/.409/.429 .250/.332/.362 FRAA 6.2 2.8 3 CF -1, RF 2TAv .386 .350 .312 .252BABIP .457 .379 .345 .302BRR 0.9 4.4 -3.5 -0.3WARP 4.8 4.8 2.3 0.7Eatonnot to be confused w ith the journeyman starter w ho w ent to his major-league grave a few years agohas climbed quite a few prospect lists over the past tw o seasons by virtue of a .340/.456/.500 start to his pro career. As that line and his 59 frame suggest, he doesnt possess a lot of pow er, but he has an excellent eye and enough pop to keep pitchers honest. He w alked more than he struck out at High-A last year, and after going Mobile at midseason, he continued to hit for a high average in the Arizona Fall League. W ith A.J. Pollock entrenched in center, Eaton sw itched to right in the Southern League. Since his glove profiles better in a corner, he has the makings of an excellent fourth outfielder or a scrappy second-division starter; a strong Triple-A season could vault him out of tw eener territory to stay. Not bad for a 19th-round pick.Paul Goldschmidt 1BBorn: 9/10/1987 Age: 24 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 4 W eight: 245 Breakout: 3% Improve: 25% Collapse: 26% Attrition: 38% MLB: 83% Comparables: Carlos Pena,Hee-Seop Choi,Chris Carter YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM MSO VIS MOB ARI ARI LVL RK A+ AA MLB MLB AGE 21 22 23 23 24 PA 331 599 457 177 268 R 51 102 84 28 34 2B 27 42 21 9 12 3B 3 3 3 1 1 HR 18 35 30 8 13 RBI 62 108 94 26 37 BB 36 57 82 20 27YEAR TEAM LVL SO SB CS AVG_OBP_SLG TAv 2009 MSO RK 74 4 3 .334/.414/.638 .3552010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012VIS MOB ARI ARI TEAM MSO VIS MOB ARI ARIA+ AA MLB MLB LVL RK A+ AA MLB MLB161 92 53 785 9 4 21 3 0 1 BRR -1 -2.5 4.6 1.4 0.314/.390/.606 .306/.435/.626 .250/.333/.474 .244/.323/.470 FRAA 2.8 -5.4 4 -2.4 1B -12, CF 0.336 .361 .281 .277BABIP .400 .395 .331 .323 .300WARP 3.7 5.0 6.3 0.6 1.4The Snakes didnt quite strike gold as the calendar turned to August, but they did strike Goldschmidt, w hich w as almost as good given that Chase Field held more Latino voters in favor of SB 1070 than first basemen w ho could hit last season. At the time of his promotion, Goldschmidt led the minors w ith 30 homers and ranked second w ith 82 w alks. Not only w as he on the verge of matching the pow er numbers he put up in a full 2010 season, but his plate discipline had made a marked improvement, as evidenced by a K:BB ratio that had improved to 1.12 after tw o years over 2.00. That performance helped him repeat as the organizations Player of the Year and likely w ould have given w ay to further firew orks had he not bypassed Triple-A, but it didnt fully translate to the major-league level, w here Goldschmidt proved highly susceptible to strikeouts. That w asnt enough to keep him from being the best of a bad first-base bunch, but it didnt ease concerns about his long sw ing. How ever, roughly half of his strikeouts came in the first third of his plate appearances, so he may already have made some adjustments.Aaron Hill 2BBorn: 3/21/1982 Age: 30 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 0 W eight: 195 Breakout: 1% Improve: 51% Collapse: 5% Attrition: 9% MLB: 87% Comparables: Felix Mantilla,Orlando Hudson,Brandon Phillips YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM TOR TOR TOR ARI ARI TEAM TOR TOR TOR ARI ARI LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 27 28 29 29 30 SO 98 85 53 19 83 PA 734 580 429 142 539 R 103 70 38 23 63 2B 37 22 15 12 29 3B 0 0 1 2 2 HR 36 26 6 2 18 RBI 108 68 45 16 67 BB 42 41 23 12 34SB 6 2 16 5 15CS 2 2 3 4 6AVG_OBP_SLG .286/.330/.499 .205/.271/.394 .225/.270/.313 .315/.386/.492 .255/.307/.427TAv .288 .241 .217 .298 .260YEAR TEAM LVL BABIP BRR FRAA WARP 2009 TOR MLB .288 1.5 9.1 5.12010 2011 2011 2012TOR TOR ARI ARIMLB MLB MLB MLB.196 .242 .356 .271-0.2 -1.4 1.5 -0.44.2 -5 2.2 2B 10.9 -1.5 1.3 1.7Hill has become something of a cipher after spending 2007-10 alternating seasons of roughly five w ins w ith seasons in w hich he played near replacement level. That hot-and-cold pattern persisted into 2011, w ith a big improvement in 33 games after his August trade from Toronto. In this case, the classic change of scenery trade seemed to pay dividends, but the improvement w as built upon an unsustainable BABIP. After Kevin Tow ers declined the infielders $8 million options for 2012 and 2013, he explained, I dont w ant to get too crazy about six w eeks. Theres a reason [the Blue Jays] moved him. How ever, the upside proved too tantalizing to ignore, and Tow ers eventually inked him to a tw o-year deal for $11 million. Judging by Hills track record, it might not be long before his scenery changes again.Jason Kubel RFBorn: 5/25/1982 Age: 30 Bats: L Throw s: R Height: 6 0 W eight: 190 Breakout: 3% Improve: 37% Collapse: 3% Attrition: 15% MLB: 90% Comparables: Terrmel Sledge,Johnny Callison,Matt Stairs YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM MIN MIN MIN ARI TEAM MIN MIN MIN ARI TEAM MIN MIN MIN ARI LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 27 28 29 30 SO 106 116 86 83 PA 578 582 401 417 SB 1 0 1 1 R 73 68 37 52 2B 35 23 21 21 3B 2 3 1 2 HR 28 21 12 15 RBI 103 92 58 54 BB 56 56 32 37CS 1 1 1 1 BRR -0.6 -2.9 -2 -0.1AVG_OBP_SLG .300/.369/.539 .249/.323/.427 .273/.332/.434 .265/.332/.453 FRAA 1.3 -1.8 -2.2 RF -0, LF -0TAv .311 .263 .273 .277BABIP .327 .280 .326 .302WARP 3.9 0.4 0.8 1.5After an off 2010, Kubel got off to a great start.310/.355/.465 through the end of Maythat seemed like the opening act of another season like his stellar 2009. Unfortunately, a sprained left foot cost him all of June and most of July; he hit just .229/.304/.398 the rest of the w ay and missed the seasons final tw o w eeks after re-aggravating the injury. Kubel w ound up w ith essentially the same rate stats as in 2010, albeit w ith a higher batting average due to a 46-point spike in BABIP and a slight dip in his w alk rate. Youd think the combination of his dow n season and his limitations in the field, on the bases, and against lefties (.239/.313/.365 career, compared to .282/.342/.490 against righties) w ould have conspired to keep his price dow n, but the Diamondbacks gave him a guaranteed $16 million over the next tw o seasons to replace a superior playerGerardo Parrain left.John McDonald SSBorn: 9/24/1974 Age: 37Born: 9/24/1974 Age: 37 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 0 W eight: 175 Breakout: 0% Improve: 25% Collapse: 5% Attrition: 30% MLB: 62% Comparables: Royce Clayton,Mike Bordick,Juan Castro YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM TOR TOR TOR ARI ARI TEAM TOR TOR TOR ARI ARI TEAM TOR TOR TOR ARI ARI LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 34 35 36 36 37 SO 18 26 18 9 38 PA 156 163 182 63 250 R 18 27 19 2 24 2B 7 9 8 2 12 3B 0 2 1 0 1 HR 4 6 2 0 3 RBI 13 23 20 2 24 BB 1 6 8 4 9SB 0 2 2 0 4CS 2 1 4 0 3AVG_OBP_SLG .258/.271/.384 .250/.273/.454 .250/.285/.345 .169/.222/.203 .239/.271/.344 FRAA 0.4 -0.4 4.6 1.2 SS 0, 3B 4TAv .236 .256 .236 .196 .217BABIP .269 .260 .267 .200 .264BRR -1.4 1.9 0.8 -0.2 -0.9WARP -0.1 0.7 0.8 0.1 -0.5W ith Stephen Drew out for the season and Arizona in desperate need of a shortstop, Kevin Tow ers got McDonald throw n into the Aaron Hill deal in late August. Predictably, the archetypical good-field, no-hit infielder both fielded w ell and failed to hit in his 15 starts dow n the stretch. Its not often that a .169 average earns a player a multi-year deal, but the D-Backs like his leather enough to put up w ith his lumber for tw o more seasons. Say w hat you w ill about the imprecision of defensive statistics, but if McDonald w ere the second coming of Ozzie Smith, it w ould show up in the numbers. His 8.5 career FRAAeven after putting up a 4.6 last yearsuggests that the 37-year-old is above-average at best, w hich might not be enough to make up for his absent offense.Miguel Montero CBorn: 7/9/1983 Age: 28 Bats: L Throw s: R Height: 6 0 W eight: 197 Breakout: 4% Improve: 22% Collapse: 8% Attrition: 34% MLB: 91% Comparables: Dave Sax,Charlie OBrien,Ryan Doumit YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM ARI ARI ARI ARI LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 25 26 27 28 PA 470 331 553 477 R 61 36 65 60 2B 30 20 36 28 3B 0 2 1 2 HR 16 9 18 16 RBI 59 43 86 62 BB 38 29 47 39YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012TEAM ARI ARI ARI ARI TEAM ARI ARI ARI ARILVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLBSO 78 71 97 89SB 1 0 1 1CS 2 1 1 1AVG_OBP_SLG .294/.355/.478 .266/.332/.438 .282/.351/.469 .269/.335/.455 FRAA -2 0.6 2 C1 WARP 2.8 1.2 3.8 3.1TAv .283 .256 .279 .278BABIP .327 .318 .317 .303BRR -0.4 -2.8 -2 -0.1The D-Backs made Montero their catcher of the future w hen they traded Chris Snyder to the Pirates in 2010. They might not have gotten the best possible returnD.J. Carrasco, Ryan Church, and Bobby Crosby are all either out of the game already or rapidly approaching retirementbut in light of Snyders injury issues last season, it looks like they backed the right backstop. According to W ARP, Montero w as a top-five catcher in 2011, his first All-Star campaign, and thats w ithout giving him full credit for his defense. Arizonas catcher cupboard is bare behind Montero, w ho w ont turn 29 until July. Its time to start talking extension.Xavier Nady 1BBorn: 11/14/1978 Age: 33 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 6 W eight: 220 Breakout: 1% Improve: 22% Collapse: 5% Attrition: 19% MLB: 64% Comparables: Jorge Toca,Dmitri Young,Ben Broussard YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM NYA CHN ARI ARI TEAM NYA CHN ARI ARI TEAM NYA CHN ARI ARI LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 30 31 32 33 SO 6 85 46 53 PA 29 347 223 250 R 4 33 26 29 2B 4 13 11 13 3B 0 0 0 0 HR 0 6 4 8 RBI 2 33 35 30 BB 1 17 10 13SB 0 0 2 1CS 0 0 0 0AVG_OBP_SLG .286/.310/.429 .256/.306/.353 .248/.287/.359 .266/.315/.424 FRAA -0.1 -2.7 -1.7 1B -2, RF -1TAv .229 .230 .239 .262BABIP .364 .326 .294 .313BRR 0.6 1.9 -0.3 0WARP 0.0 -0.9 -0.4 0.9Diamondbacks first basemen combined for a .264 TAv last season, the 26th-best mark in the majors. A number of subpar first-sackers bore some blame, but none more than Nady, w ho brought up the rear at 2.7 VORP. As has been the case throughout his career, Nady w as at his w orst against righties, but in 2011, his w orst (.248/.282/.307) w as even w orse than usual. His season came to an end on August 12, w hen the Mets Dillon Geew ho throw s just hard enough to hurt someonebroke his left hand w ith a fastball. Nady had already begun to give w ay to Paul Goldschmidt, so the fateful pitch really just put him out of his misery. As a below -average batter w ith a below -average glove, Nadys already had a surprisingly long major-league leash.Lyle Overbay 1BBorn: 1/28/1977 Age: 35 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 3 W eight: 215 Breakout: 2% Improve: 20% Collapse: 4% Attrition: 29% MLB: 75% Comparables: Richie Hebner,Erubiel Durazo,Kevin Millar YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM TOR TOR ARI PIT ARI TEAM TOR TOR ARI PIT ARI TEAM TOR TOR ARI PIT ARI LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 32 33 34 34 35 SO 95 131 11 77 94 PA 500 607 49 391 447 SB 0 1 1 1 1 R 57 75 3 40 52 2B 35 37 4 17 25 3B 1 2 0 1 2 HR 16 20 1 8 12 RBI 64 67 10 37 48 BB 74 67 6 36 48CS 0 0 0 1 0 BRR -1.1 -2.1 0.1 -1.5 -0.1AVG_OBP_SLG .265/.372/.466 .243/.329/.433 .286/.388/.452 .227/.300/.349 .239/.323/.398 FRAA 4.3 -0.9 0.8 -3 1B 0 WARP 2.1 1.0 0.2 -0.9 0.6TAv .290 .273 .284 .232 .259BABIP .305 .285 .367 .269 .283Arizona signed Overbay in mid-August to be a lefty caddy for Goldschmidt. That w as eight days after Overbay had been released by the Pirates to clear roster room for Derrek Lee. In Pittsburgh, Overbays $5 million salary and poor performance had earned him the moniker Lyle Overpay. Generally, if you cant hit enough to hold on to your job w ith a perennial loser on the fringes of the playoff race, you w ont be of much use to a frontrunner, but Overbay served the Snakes w ell enough in his brief time w ith the team to convince Tow ers to bring him back for more in 2012. You know how people say you really have to mash to be considered a first-base prospect? Overbay hit .342/.411/.531 in five minor-league seasons, and hes barely made the grade.Chris Owings SSBorn: 8/12/1991 Age: 20 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 5 10 W eight: 175 Breakout: 0% Improve: 4% Collapse: 1% Attrition: 5% MLB: 9%Comparables: Garabez Rosa,Daniel Santana,Hector Gomez YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM MSO SBN VIS ARI TEAM MSO SBN VIS ARI TEAM MSO SBN VIS ARI LVL RK A A+ MLB LVL RK A A+ MLB LVL RK A A+ MLB AGE 17 18 19 20 SO 25 50 130 68 PA 111 271 555 250 SB 3 1 10 2 R 20 39 67 21 2B 5 19 29 11 3B 1 2 6 1 HR 2 5 11 3 RBI 10 28 50 23 BB 3 9 15 2CS 0 3 4 1 BRR 1.8 -0.2 -1.2 -0.1AVG_OBP_SLG .306/.324/.426 .298/.325/.447 .246/.274/.388 .213/.222/.310 FRAA 0.1 2.7 12.6 SS 11, LF -0TAv .300 .272 .239 .186BABIP .383 .351 .305 .275WARP 1.3 1.8 2.0 -1.6Ow ings probably w asnt the best hitter w ith that surname in the Arizona organization last seasonand the other Ow ings w as a pitcher. Chris struck out in 23.4 percent of his plate appearances for Visaliamore often than any shortstop in the majorsand his 8.7 K:BB ratio w as easily the w orst among players w ith at least 500 PA in High-A (or Double-A or Triple-A, for that matter). In an even more disturbing development for a player w hose future depends on his glove, Ow ings committed the most errors in the California League. Hes still young for his level, but his struggles in the field could make him a second baseman dow n the road. Unfortunately for him, there are few roads for second basemen w ith sub-.300 OBPs that dont end in early retirement.Gerardo Parra LFBorn: 5/6/1987 Age: 25 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 0 W eight: 197 Breakout: 5% Improve: 36% Collapse: 2% Attrition: 15% MLB: 69% Comparables: Andre Ethier,Keith Smith,Chris Pettit YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM MOB ARI ARI ARI ARI LVL AA MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 22 22 23 24 25 PA 130 491 393 493 448 R 23 59 31 55 54 2B 3 21 19 20 21 3B 1 8 6 8 7 HR 3 5 3 8 7 RBI 12 60 30 46 52 BB 22 25 23 43 30YEAR TEAM LVL SO SB CS AVG_OBP_SLG TAv 2009 MOB AA 13 7 4 .361/.469/.491 .340 2009 ARI MLB 89 5 7 .290/.324/.404 .2422010 ARI 2011 ARI 2012 ARI YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM MOB ARI ARI ARI ARIMLB 76 1 0 MLB 82 15 1 MLB 81 8 3 LVL AA MLB MLB MLB MLB BABIP .391 .346 .322 .342 .332.261/.308/.371 .234 .292/.357/.427 .275 .282/.334/.421 .265 FRAA 0.2 -3.6 8 14.9 LF 7, RF 0 WARP 1.3 -0.2 0.9 3.5 1.3BRR 0 1.7 1.1 0.8 -0.1Just as it seemed that Parras top-prospect past w ould come to fourth-outfielder fruition, he put it all together. W hile he might be stretched in center field, both advanced metrics and Gold Glove voters agree that hes a standout in left. Parras not all about range, though: He show ed a strong arm as w ell. His offensive skills improved to the point that hes not solely reliant upon his defense to make him an everyday player, as improved plate discipline translated into gains in his w alk rate and isolated pow er that put his overall performance at the plate slightly above the level of the average NL left fielders. As if determined to demonstrate that there w ere no w eak points to his game, he also stole 15 bases in 16 attempts. As he enters his age-25 season, he still has room to grow , but hes already one of the NLs most underappreciated playerseven by his ow n team, w hich platooned him w ith Collin Cow gill dow n the stretch despite his contributions beyond the batters box and reverse splits in the past tw o seasons, then signed Jason Kubel to replace him in December.A.J. Pollock CFBorn: 12/5/1987 Age: 24 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 2 W eight: 205 Breakout: 6% Improve: 33% Collapse: 8% Attrition: 28% MLB: 65% Comparables: Dave Sappelt,Clay Timpner,Brandon Guyer YEAR 2009 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2011 2012 TEAM SBN MOB ARI TEAM SBN MOB ARI TEAM SBN MOB ARI LVL A AA MLB LVL A AA MLB LVL A AA MLB AGE 21 23 24 SO 36 86 47 PA 277 608 250 R 36 103 26 2B 12 41 12 3B 3 5 1 HR 3 8 3 RBI 22 73 25 BB 16 44 11SB 10 36 9CS 4 7 2AVG_OBP_SLG .271/.320/.376 .307/.357/.444 .251/.287/.358 FRAA 10.3 -1.5 CF -6, RF 0TAv .273 .289 .230BABIP .304 .346 .297BRR 2.1 1 0.2WARP 2.6 2.9 0.0Look up tw eener in the dictionary, andw ell, okay, you probably w ont find a picture of Pollock peering out at you, unless the editor had a large art budget and a keen aw areness of Double-A prospects. Still, tw eener is the term most often associated w ith Pollock, w hose defense in center is still seen as fringy and w hose bat isnt quite big enough for a corner. He proved that he w ouldnt be hampered by anylingering effects of the elbow fracture that cost him all of 2010, upping his average from its 2009 level and stealing bases at an 84 percent clip. How ever, unless the D-Backs think he projects to replace Chris Young in center, he might be of more value to them as trade bait.Ryan Roberts 3BBorn: 9/19/1980 Age: 31 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 0 W eight: 190 Breakout: 1% Improve: 45% Collapse: 8% Attrition: 10% MLB: 83% Comparables: Rance Mulliniks,Graig Nettles,Robin Ventura YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 TEAM ARI RNO ARI ARI ARI TEAM ARI RNO ARI ARI ARI TEAM ARI RNO ARI ARI ARI LVL MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB AGE 28 29 29 30 31 SO 55 73 17 98 92 PA 351 412 71 555 474 R 41 62 8 86 56 2B 17 25 4 25 22 3B 2 2 0 2 3 HR 7 11 2 19 12 RBI 25 55 9 65 51 BB 40 56 3 66 52SB 7 16 0 18 13CS 3 6 0 9 5AVG_OBP_SLG .279/.367/.416 .265/.369/.444 .197/.229/.348 .249/.341/.427 .249/.335/.404 FRAA -3 5.1 -0.3 1.9 3B -0, 2B 1TAv .269 .272 .206 .277 .264BABIP .320 .307 .229 .275 .289BRR 0.6 1.3 -0.3 2.6 -0.4WARP 0.8 1.9 -0.3 3.1 2.0A mid-March injury to Geoff Blum gave Roberts a starting gig, and his April ensured that hed keep it. Roberts hit .313/.413/.594 before the calendar turned to May but just .239/.329/.402 thereafter, essentially reproducing Blums batting line in the oft-injured infielders 55 trips to the plate. Of course, April counts, so the entirety of Roberts uneven season w as w orth nearly three w ins to Arizona. Now , the Diamondbacks need to determine w hich w as the real Roberts: the April slugger or the Blum-level bat that show ed up for the rest of the season. As an infield tw eener w ho doesnt have the glove to play up the middle or the offense for a corner, he could find himself forced out by Blum, W illie Bloomquist, and John McDonald w hen they combine to form utility man Voltron.Justin Upton RFBorn: 8/25/1987 Age: 24 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 4 W eight: 205 Breakout: 0% Improve: 25% Collapse: 3% Attrition: 31% MLB: 87% Comparables: Gene Hiser,Carlos Quintana,Jayson W erth YEAR TEAM LVL AGE PA R 2B 3B HR RBI BB2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012ARI ARI ARI ARI TEAM ARI ARI ARI ARI TEAM ARI ARI ARI ARIMLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB21 22 23 24 SO 137 152 126 147588 571 674 613 SB 20 18 21 1784 73 105 8330 27 39 317 3 5 726 17 31 2486 69 88 8855 64 59 58 TAv .297 .275 .311 .296CS 5 8 9 7 BRR -1.3 -0.8 2.3 -0.7AVG_OBP_SLG .300/.366/.532 .273/.356/.442 .289/.369/.529 .276/.353/.493 FRAA 10.3 2.6 4.3 RF 3 WARP 4.5 1.8 5.2 3.4BABIP .360 .354 .319 .333After racking up 4.5 W ARP at age 21 in 2009, Upton, w hose scouting reports and draft position supported the stats, seemed assured of a smooth, Griffey-like rise to stardom. But he hit an unexpected speed bump in 2010, as his strikeout rate rose and his isolated pow er fell by over 25 percent, prompting the D-Backs to shop him around over the w inter. Another season like that and Upton might have been view ed as a partial disappointment like his brother B.J. Instead, he bounced back and then some, hitting more homers w hile cutting dow n on his Kstw o trends that rarely occur in tandem. Not only that, but his play in the field earned him his first Fielding Bible Aw ard. At age 24 and w ith a nearly five-w in season under his belt, its safe to assume hes off the market.Chris Young CFBorn: 9/5/1983 Age: 28 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 3 W eight: 180 Breakout: 0% Improve: 41% Collapse: 1% Attrition: 7% MLB: 93% Comparables: Carlos Beltran,Merv Rettenmund,Curtis Granderson YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM RNO ARI ARI ARI ARI TEAM RNO ARI ARI ARI ARI LVL AAA MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 25 25 26 27 28 SO 13 133 145 139 145 PA 63 501 664 659 620 SB 2 11 28 22 19 R 17 54 94 89 76 2B 5 28 33 38 33 3B 1 4 0 3 4 HR 3 15 27 20 23 RBI 9 42 91 71 80 BB 9 59 74 80 62CS 2 4 7 9 7AVG_OBP_SLG .370/.460/.667 .212/.311/.400 .257/.341/.452 .236/.331/.420 .243/.322/.445TAv .350 .243 .279 .273 .270YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012TEAM RNO ARI ARI ARI ARILVL AAA MLB MLB MLB MLBBABIP .447 .268 .296 .275 .285BRR -0.3 2.8 2.7 5.3 -0.3FRAA -1.8 -5.5 4.7 -5.9 CF -1WARP 0.6 0.2 4.1 2.6 2.6Is Young a good center fielder, a poor one, or one w ho fluctuates from year to year? His FRAA has alternated betw een positive and negative numbers in each of his six major-league seasons, but he w as a Gold Glove finalist last season and routinely makes spectacular plays in center. Hes also settled in as a comfortably above-average hitter, cutting dow n on his strikeouts in three straight seasons. Young hits for low averages, but its not because of his Ks: Despite his speed, hes a low -BABIP hitter because of his tendency to get under the ball. The right-handed hitter has popped up 16.9 percent of his batted balls since 2009, by far the highest rate among players w ith at least 1500 plate appearances over that span. Youngs speed makes him good at many things, but beating out infield flies isnt one of them.PITCHERS Craig BreslowBorn: 8/8/1980 Age: 31 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 2 W eight: 180 Breakout: 8% Improve: 47% Collapse: 30% Attrition: 10% MLB: 92% Comparables: Dave Righetti,Sid Fernandez,Ken Dayley YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 MIN 2009 OAK 2010 OAK 2011 OAK 2012 ARI YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 TEAM MIN OAK OAK OAK ARI TEAM MIN OAK OAK OAK MLB 28 MLB 28 MLB 29 MLB 30 MLB 31 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 3 5 9 4 6 1 2 0 7 5 0 4 4 5 0 2 0 3 1 1 BB 11 18 29 21 21 SO 11 44 71 44 48 17 0 60 0 75 0 67 0 62 0 EqBB9 6.9 2.9 3.5 3.2 3.2 ERA 6.28 2.60 3.01 3.79 H14 1 11 55 1 37 74 2 53 59 1 69 58 2 50 EqSO9 6.9 7.2 8.6 6.7 7.3 FIP 6.84 3.81 3.88 3.62 GB% 34% 33% 31% 40% 40% WARP -0.2 0.5 0.6 0.3BABIP .222 .219 .228 .348WHIP 1.53 0.99 1.10 1.52FRA 7.31 4.60 4.06 4.482011 OAK 2012 ARIMLB .348 MLB .2871.52 1.223.79 3.62 4.48 0.3 3.68 3.97 4.00 0.8Breslow , an independent league discovery during Tow ers tenure in San Diego, has described himself as a right-handed left-hander, by w hich he means that hes more effective against opposite-handed hitters, a contention borne out by his platoon splits. Last year the split w as particularly extreme, as he held righties to a .263 TAv w hile allow ing a lofty .348 figure to southpaw s, but in most seasons its freed his managers to use him against multiple batters. After 279 innings, his career FIP is over three quarters of a run higher than his 3.06 career ERA. W hat hell be w orth to the Diamondbacks, w ho acquired him in the Trevor Cahill deal, depends on w hether he can continue to be a low -BABIP guy. One thing the cerebral Yale biochem major probably cant do is keep his home-run rate as low as it w as last season: Even after curbing his flyball tendencies to some extent, he ow ns the 20th-highest fly-ball percentage among pitchers w ith at least 250 IP since 2008, w hich w ont play as w ell in Chase Field as it did in the Coliseum.Charles BrewerBorn: 4/7/1988 Age: 24 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 5 W eight: 205 Breakout: 34% Improve: 61% Collapse: 17% Attrition: 18% MLB: 89% Comparables: Fernando Hernandez,Vicente Padilla,Homer Bailey YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 MSO 2010 SBN 2010 VIS 2011 MOB 2012 ARI YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 TEAM MSO SBN VIS MOB ARI TEAM MSO SBN VIS MOB ARI RK A 21 22 7 4 0 4 5 0 7 3 0 1 1 0 1 2 0 BB 18 19 13 22 10 SO 71 66 73 53 17 17 7 HA+ 22 AA 23 MLB 24 LVL RK A A+ AA MLB LVL RK A A+ AA MLB HR 5 3 5 2 354 2 55 13 13 69 50 14 14 81 2 71 11 11 52 1 51 5 5 25 2 25 EqBB9 2.5 2.6 1.7 3.3 3.6 ERA 2.47 1.83 2.97 2.58 4.81 EqSO9 10.0 10.2 8.3 8.3 6.1 FIP 3.78 3.32 3.45 3.15 4.57 GB% 51% 47% 50% 45% 45% WARP 2.2 1.3 0.9 1.0 0.0BABIP .299 .288 .306 .316 .304WHIP 1.06 1.09 1.09 1.28 1.39FRA 4.58 3.55 4.29 3.90 5.22The right-handed starters stat line survived the dreaded Double-A jump intact, but his body didnt, as his season w as interrupted first by a concussion and then by a line drive that broke his hand in June. Brew er made up some of those lost innings and w orked on a cutter in the Arizona Fall League, and he could contend for a rotation spot at some point next season, but all the w ork ethic in the w orld might not help him overtake the better pitching prospects ahead of him on the organizational depth chart.Trevor CahillBorn: 3/1/1988 Age: 24 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 4 W eight: 210 Breakout: 27% Improve: 52% Collapse: 20% Attrition: 11% MLB: 92% Comparables: Steve Hargan,Storm Davis,Milt Pappas YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 OAK 2010 OAK 2011 OAK 2012 ARI YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM OAK OAK OAK ARI TEAM OAK OAK OAK ARI MLB 21 MLB 22 MLB 23 MLB 24 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 27 19 19 19 10 13 0 18 8 0 12 14 0 12 10 0 BB 72 63 82 68 SO 90 118 147 124 H32 32 178 2 185 30 30 196 2 155 34 34 207 2 214 31 31 194 172 EqSO9 4.5 5.4 6.4 5.7 FIP 5.38 4.16 4.14 4.25 GB% 49% 57% 57% 55% WARP -0.5 2.1 0.5 2.3EqBB9 3.6 2.9 3.6 3.2 ERA 4.63 2.97 4.16 3.88BABIP .274 .237 .306 .281WHIP 1.44 1.11 1.43 1.24FRA 6.19 4.52 4.79 4.22W hat a difference a BABIP makes. Cahill posted FIPs just .02 runs apart in 2010 and 2011, but his ERA rose w ell over a run last seasonto match his 2010 FIP perfectlythanks to the most predictable BABIP correction in baseball. W hen hes not enjoying unusually good fortune on balls in play, Cahill is no better than a league-average innings muncher, but hes just embarking on his age-24 season and w ont become overly expensive till 2015. Although he misses more bats than some pitch-to-contact types, he recorded the majors sixth-highest groundball rate last season, w hich should help him survive the transition to a less forgiving park after joining the D-Backs predominantly fly-ball-oriented staff in a December sw ap that sent Jarrod Parker to Oakland.Josh CollmenterBorn: 2/7/1986 Age: 26 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 3 W eight: 235 Breakout: 22% Improve: 60% Collapse: 20% Attrition: 9% MLB: 88% Comparables: Pat Jarvis,Joel Pineiro,Joe Blanton YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2011 ARI 2012 ARI MLB 25 MLB 26 10 10 0 7 7 0 H31 24 154 1 137 19 19 113 2 110YEAR TEAM LVL HR BB SO EqBB9 EqSO9 GB% 2011 ARI MLB 17 28 100 1.6 5.8 35%2012 ARIMLB 13 37 69 2.95.540%YEAR TEAM LVL BABIP WHIP ERA FIP FRA WARP 2011 ARI MLB .260 1.07 3.38 3.77 3.63 2.5 2012 ARI MLB .288 1.29 4.25 4.45 4.62 0.8 First, the good new s: A year after posting a near-6.00 ERA in the PCL, Collmenter spent all but one start of his season in the majors, finishing w ith a better-than-average ERA and the third-highest W ARP among rookie pitchers. Thatplus the successful show ing in the Arizona Fall League that preceded itw ouldve qualified as a successful debut for any player, let alone one w ho w asnt w ell-regarded by prospect hounds, didnt make the Opening Day roster, and started out in the bullpen once he did get called up. The bad new s is that Collmenter is essentially the same pitcher w ho struggled in Triple-A, w hich means hes not the safest bet to repeat his first-season heroics. Collmenter has a quirky delivery w ith an unorthodox release point, the sort of skill that beats hitters like gangbusters the first time they see it but lacks the staying pow er of, say, a 90-mph fastball (his barely averaged 87). Only Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee had better w alk rates among NL pitchers w ith at least 150 innings, but that stinginess w ith free passes w as out of character for Collmenter, and hell be in trouble if his control regresses. A mustache can take you only so far.Patrick CorbinBorn: 7/19/1989 Age: 22 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 4 W eight: 165 Breakout: 26% Improve: 39% Collapse: 12% Attrition: 8% MLB: 85% Comparables: George Stone,Brad Havens,Ryan Feierabend YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 ORM 2010 CDR 2010 VIS 2010 RCU 2011 MOB 2012 ARI YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2010 TEAM ORM CDR VIS RCU MOB ARI TEAM ORM CDR VIS RCU RK A 19 20 4 2 0 8 0 0 0 1 0 5 3 0 6 4 0 3 4 0 BB 13 8 9 12 44 18 SO 49 41 29 59 147 33 H13 12 46 1 63 9 9 58 1 46 8 8 26 17 11 11 60 1 49 26 26 160 1 185 10 10 53 2 57 EqBB9 2.1 1.5 3.1 2.7 2.2 3.1 ERA 5.05 3.86 1.38 3.88 EqSO9 8.9 6.5 10.4 9.6 8.0 5.5 FIP 4.33 3.40 3.13 3.80 GB% 50% 52% 50% 54% 48% 47% WARP 0.5 0.5 0.8 0.5A+ 20 A+ 20 AA 21 MLB 22 LVL RK A A+ A+ AA MLB LVL RK A A+ A+ HR 6 2 1 6 18 7BABIP .341 .291 .291 .328WHIP 1.51 1.06 1.00 1.24FRA 5.81 4.45 2.69 4.482011 MOB 2012 ARIAA .333 MLB .3111.32 1.404.21 3.97 4.89 2.1 5.06 4.68 5.50 -0.1Corbin w ould like to remind you that there w as more than one pitching prospect involved in the Dan Haren deal. The lefty doesnt have the ceiling of Tyler Skaggs, but he does appear destined to fill a spot in the middle or at the end of a major-league rotation, w hich could come in handy in the event the DBacks staff isnt completely stocked w ith aces by 2013. Arizona w as aggressive w ith his assignment, starting him off at Double-A despite expectations that hed return to Visalia for more seasoning. His strikeout rate didnt survive the promotion completely intact, w hich could have stemmed in part from the pitch-to-contact philosophy he preached, but his w alk rate improved enough to keep him out of trouble. Corbin could still add some speed to a sinking fastball that sits around 90 and gets groundballs, and his slider is already effective enough to have helped him strike out a third of the southpaw s he faced last season.Sam DemelBorn: 10/23/1985 Age: 26 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 1 W eight: 215 Breakout: 14% Improve: 50% Collapse: 18% Attrition: 27% MLB: 91% Comparables: Boone Logan,Yhency Brazoban,Roberto Novoa YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 MID 2009 SAC 2010 SAC 2010 ARI 2011 ARI 2012 ARI YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 TEAM MID SAC SAC ARI ARI ARI TEAM MID SAC SAC ARI ARI ARI AA 23 0 2 11 27 0 2 3 3 2 0 6 2 1 2 2 2 0 1 1 0 BB 9 21 6 12 13 12 SO 26 37 18 33 15 23 28 0 22 0 37 0 34 0 29 0 EqBB9 2.8 5.9 2.8 2.9 4.6 3.8 ERA 0.61 3.62 1.25 5.35 4.21 4.69 HAAA 23 AAA 24 MLB 24 MLB 25 MLB 26 LVL AA AAA AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL AA AAA AAA MLB MLB MLB HR 1 1 1 5 4 329 1 23 32 1 30 28 2 16 37 42 25 2 31 28 2 27 EqSO9 8.0 9.2 8.8 8.0 5.3 7.1 FIP 2.83 3.61 3.88 4.13 5.60 4.22 GB% 57% 49% 53% 53% 59% 53% WARP 0.5 1.3 0.3 -0.2 -0.6 0.0BABIP .265 .309 .268 .325 .329 .308WHIP 1.09 1.49 1.08 1.46 1.71 1.38FRA 3.95 2.32 4.04 5.69 6.91 5.10Demels 2011 season w as a step back from his 2010 in more w ays than one. Since his 2010 w asntimpressive to begin w ith, that step took him back to Triple-A. In 25 2/3 innings interspersed w ith a stint on the DL for shoulder tendinitis, a rehab assignment in Reno, and a subsequent demotion, Demels K:BB ratio w as less than half of w hat it had been the season before, lefties tattooed him to the tune of a .379/.500/.552 line, and his fastball w as 3 mph slow er. Another step in the same direction might take him off the 40-man roster.Zach DukeBorn: 4/19/1983 Age: 29 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 3 W eight: 210 Breakout: 22% Improve: 61% Collapse: 18% Attrition: 16% MLB: 78% Comparables: Mike Maroth,Carlos Perez,Butch Henry YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 PIT MLB 26 11 16 0 32 32 213 2010 PIT MLB 27 8 15 0 29 29 159 2011 ARI MLB 28 3 4 1 21 9 76 2 2012 ARI YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM PIT PIT ARI ARI TEAM PIT PIT ARI ARI MLB 29 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 23 25 6 10 4 6 0 BB 49 51 19 18 SO 106 96 32 33 H 231 212 10118 14 83 100 EqSO9 4.5 5.4 3.8 3.5 FIP 4.20 4.98 3.96 4.63 GB% 50% 49% 50% 50% WARP 1.4 -0.1 0.7 -0.5EqBB9 2.1 2.9 2.2 2.0 ERA 4.06 5.72 4.93 5.47BABIP .301 .343 .343 .325WHIP 1.31 1.65 1.57 1.43FRA 5.03 5.28 4.54 5.95First impressions are pow erful. Duke is the equivalent of the guy w ho w ears a snappy suit to an interview and lands a job, only to spend the next several years taking tw o-hour lunch breaks, using his phone for personal calls, and stealing paper from the printer. Its hard to say how much Dukes fluky 14-start debut in 2005 has to do w ith the chances hes gotten since thenhe is a lefty, after allbut among hurlers w ith at least 900 innings pitched over the intervening six seasons, only Aaron Cook has had a low er strikeout rate than Dukes 4.5 per nine. A line drive fractured Dukes hand in mid-March, keeping him out until late May, but once he did return, both his fastball velocity (86.5) and strikeout rate (3.8 per nine) plummeted, leaving him too dependent on his decent control and moderate groundball ability to get him out of trouble. In mid-July, he became a reliever, posting an improved ERA but an even sorrier strikeout rate. If he doesnt stick in the bullpen, he w ont like w hat comes next.Barry EnrightBorn: 3/30/1986 Age: 26 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 4 W eight: 220 Breakout: 24% Improve: 55% Collapse: 16% Attrition: 27% MLB: 83% Comparables: Rich Bordi,Larry Christenson,Jackson Todd YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H2009 MOB 2010 MOB 2010 ARI 2011 RNO 2011 ARI 2012 ARI YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM MOB MOB ARI RNO ARI ARI TEAM MOB MOB ARI RNO ARI ARIAA AA23 2410 9 0 4 1 0 6 7 0 9 5 0 1 4 0 4 6 0 BB 37 12 29 43 15 24 SO 103 50 49 89 21 4327 27 156 171 14 14 93 2 46 17 17 99 97 21 21 122 2 133 7 7 37 2 50 14 14 82 EqBB9 2.1 1.4 2.6 3.1 3.6 2.6 ERA 3.98 2.88 3.91 5.21 7.41 5.38 EqSO9 5.9 8.0 4.5 6.3 5.0 4.8 FIP 3.90 3.86 5.65 5.68 6.95 5.25 89 GB% 44% 41% 37% 36% 40% 40% WARP 2.9 2.1 0.8 1.7 -0.5 -0.5MLB 24 AAA 25 MLB 25 MLB 26 LVL AA AA MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL AA AA MLB AAA MLB MLB HR 16 6 20 21 11 14BABIP .316 .253 .254 .291 .315 .299WHIP 1.33 1.02 1.27 1.38 1.73 1.38FRA 4.46 3.77 5.09 5.43 6.90 5.84The honeymoon period lasted six starts. After that, Enrights lousy 2011 took precedence over his superficially successful 2010, and he found himself in Reno to stay, save for a lone shellacking in a mid-July spot start. The fly-baller suffered from the same gopher-itis that afflicted him in 2010, allow ing 1.7 home runs per nine innings across tw o levels, and this time he didnt have the BABIP luck to survive the barrage. He did successfully live-tw eet Daniel Hudsons w edding in early November, complete w ith video and pictures, so he could make a smooth transition into a second career as a w edding photographer if his uneven performance in the Venezuelan W inter League carries over into 2012.Armando GalarragaBorn: 1/15/1982 Age: 30 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 5 W eight: 180 Breakout: 35% Improve: 47% Collapse: 29% Attrition: 9% MLB: 86% Comparables: Dave Mlicki,Greg Harris,Ernie Johnson YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 DET 2010 DET 2011 ARI 2012 ARI MLB 27 MLB 28 MLB 29 MLB 30 6 10 0 4 9 0 3 4 0 4 4 0 H29 25 143 2 158 25 24 144 1 143 8 8 42 2 47 11 11 63 1 61YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012TEAM DET DET ARI ARI TEAM DET DET ARI ARILVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLBHR 24 21 13 10BB 67 51 22 23SO 95 74 28 39EqBB9 4.2 3.2 4.6 3.3 ERA 5.64 4.49 5.91 4.90EqSO9 6.0 4.6 5.9 5.5 FIP 5.52 5.06 7.26 5.11GB% 41% 39% 43% 43% WARP -0.9 0.7 -1.0 0.0BABIP .298 .262 .260 .281WHIP 1.57 1.34 1.62 1.33FRA 6.35 4.91 6.97 5.32Galarraga w as much further aw ay from perfection last season than a blow n call by Jim Joyce. After Arizona traded for him in late January, he show ed w hy fly-ball pitchers arent a good fit for Chase Field, coughing up 13 round-trippers in his eight starts, seven of them in just 17 innings at home. Galarraga appeared gracious in the w ake of his 2010 almost-perfecto, but he w as anything but after being sent to Reno in May, admitting that hed complied w ith the teams w ishes only so he could collect on his $2.3 million and that he didnt think he had anything to w ork on. He ran up an ERA over 9.00 w ith more w alks than strikeouts before an arm injury ended his season in mid-July, suggesting either that sulking impacts performance or that he had even more to w ork on than the D-Backs thought.David HernandezBorn: 5/13/1985 Age: 27 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 4 W eight: 215 Breakout: 24% Improve: 60% Collapse: 21% Attrition: 23% MLB: 81% Comparables: Luis Tiant,Matt Turner,Robb Nen YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 BAL 2010 BAL 2011 ARI 2012 ARI YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM BAL BAL ARI ARI TEAM BAL BAL ARI ARI MLB 24 MLB 25 MLB 26 MLB 27 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 27 9 4 9 4 10 0 8 8 2 H20 19 101 1 118 41 8 79 1 72 69 1 49 64 1 57 GB% 31% 29% 34% 35% WARP -0.8 0.2 0.9 0.35 3 11 74 0 3 2 3 BB 46 42 30 26 SO 68 72 77 57 50 3EqBB9 4.1 4.8 3.9 3.6 ERA 5.42 4.31 3.38 4.36EqSO9 6.0 8.2 10.0 7.9 FIP 6.66 4.45 2.91 4.46BABIP .286 .286 .257 .294WHIP 1.62 1.44 1.14 1.29FRA 6.90 4.97 3.70 4.74After converting to relief in late May 2010, Hernandez picked up a mile per hour on his fastball and nearly doubled his K rate to 10.9 per nine. Both upticks proved sustainable in his first big-league season spent entirely in the bullpen after Kevin Tow ers took a liking to w hat he saw of the new Hernandez and acquired him in the Mark Reynolds deal. Hernandez rew arded Tow ers faith w ith a strong setup season, earning the highest-leverage outings of any Arizona pitcher other than J.J. Putz. He did limit opposing batters to a .253 BABIP and only four home runs despite the second-highest fly ball percentage among Diamondbacks w ho pitched at least 50 innings, so there could be some regression coming.David HolmbergBorn: 7/19/1991 Age: 20 Bats: R Throw s: L Height: 6 5 W eight: 219 Breakout: 53% Improve: 73% Collapse: 12% Attrition: 2% MLB: 33% Comparables: Don Drysdale,Milt Pappas,Dick Brodow ski YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H 2009 BRI RK 17 2 2 0 14 7 40 40 2010 MSO RK 18 1 4 0 7 7 37 1 47 2010 GRF 2011 SBN 2011 VIS 2012 ARI YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM BRI MSO GRF SBN VIS ARI TEAM BRI MSO GRF SBN VIS ARI RK A 18 19 1 1 0 8 3 0 3 3 0 2 3 0 BB 18 7 6 12 35 20 SO 37 47 17 77 76 26 40 1 31 14 14 83 57 13 13 71 1 73 8 8 8 8 EqBB9 4.1 1.7 2.0 1.4 4.4 4.2 ERA 4.72 3.86 4.47 2.39 4.67 5.58 43 45 EqSO9 8.3 11.3 6.5 8.8 9.6 5.5 FIP 4.96 2.97 4.48 2.62 4.31 4.90 GB% 50% 56% 56% 52% 45% 48% WARP -0.3 -0.1 -0.7 1.6 0.9 -0.3A+ 19 MLB 20 LVL RK RK RK A A+ MLB LVL RK RK RK A A+ MLB HR 5 2 2 3 5 5BABIP .307 .398 .349 .265 .342 .312WHIP 1.45 1.45 1.51 0.94 1.51 1.53FRA 6.25 5.60 5.71 3.59 4.40 6.06If Holmberg never throw s a pitch at the major-league level, the Snakes still w ill have come out ahead in the Edw in Jackson trade, courtesy of Daniel Hudsons contributions. How ever, Holmberg seems determined to tip the trade further in their favor. The 19-year-old southpaw mastered the Midw est League, finishing w ith a flourish at that level by making five consecutive scoreless starts w ith 31 strikeouts and one w alk in 34 frames. After a promotion to High-A at midseason, his w alk rate suffered but his strikeout rate ticked up. Holmbergs 64 frame finally yielded the velocity that w as expected of it, turning an 88-90-mph fastball into one that ranged from 90-94, and he already possessed solid secondary stuff and control. The scary thing is that all of that might make him only the organizations fourth- or fifth-best lefty pitching prospect.Daniel HudsonBorn: 3/9/1987 Age: 25 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 5 W eight: 220 Breakout: 12% Improve: 35% Collapse: 25% Attrition: 8% MLB: 97% Comparables: Adam W ainw right,Jered W eaver,Kevin Millw ood YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 W NS A+ 22 4 3 0 8 8 45 2009 BIR 2009 CHA 2010 CHR 2010 CHA 2010 ARI 2011 ARI 2012 ARI YEAR 2009 2009 2009 2010 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2009 2010 2010 2010 2011 2012 TEAM W NS BIR CHA CHR CHA ARI ARI ARI TEAM W NS BIR CHA CHR CHA ARI ARI ARI AA 22 7 0 0 1 1 0 11 4 0 1 1 0 7 1 0 16 12 0 11 9 0 BB 13 10 9 19 11 16 50 47 SO 49 63 14 71 14 70 169 144 9 9 6 2 H 31MLB 22 AAA 23 MLB 23 MLB 23 MLB 24 MLB 25 LVL A+ AA MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL A+ AA MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 3 1 3 7 1 7 17 1856 1 37 18 2 1617 17 93 1 52 3 3 15 2 17 11 11 79 2 51 33 33 222 217 28 28 178 1 154 EqSO9 9.8 10.1 6.8 10.4 8.0 7.9 6.9 7.3 FIP 3.04 1.79 5.34 3.72 4.20 3.24 3.25 3.69 GB% 53% 39% 34% 44% 30% 40% 43% 42% WARP 1.1 1.8 0.0 1.9 0.0 1.9 3.0 2.9EqBB9 2.6 1.6 4.3 3.0 6.3 1.8 2.0 2.4 ERA 3.40 1.60 3.38 3.47 6.32 1.69 3.49 3.53BABIP .257 .269 .236 .273 .364 .217 .298 .289WHIP 0.98 0.83 1.34 1.20 1.79 0.84 1.20 1.13FRA 3.70 2.21 5.97 3.92 4.59 3.10 4.01 3.84Any demerits Jerry DiPoto might have earned as a result of the Dan Haren deal w ere more than made up for by his Hudson heist. After easily outdoing Edw in Jackson dow n the stretch in 2010, Hudson turned in a strong full season as Arizonas second starter, show ing even better control than Ian Kennedy by w alking just 5.4 percent of opposing batters, a top-10 figure among NL qualifiers. Not only that, he w on a Silver Slugger Aw ard (w hich must have made Micah Ow ings jealous) thanks to a .226 TAv (w hich must have made Melvin Mora, Sean Burroughs, and Geoff Blum jealous). Better performance w ith runners in scoringposition might improve his ERA even further, since he suffered from one of the leagues low est left-onbase rates last season.Chris JakubauskasBorn: 12/22/1978 Age: 33 Bats: L Throw s: R Height: 6 3 W eight: 215 Breakout: 12% Improve: 29% Collapse: 26% Attrition: 21% MLB: 86% Comparables: Craig Lefferts,Charles Nagy,Frank Tanana YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H 2009 SEA MLB 30 6 7 0 35 8 93 91 2010 PIT MLB 31 0 1 0 1 1 0 2 2 2011 BAL 2012 ARI YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM SEA PIT BAL ARI TEAM SEA PIT BAL ARI MLB 32 MLB 33 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 15 0 11 8 2 2 0 3 3 0 BB 27 0 29 20 SO 47 0 52 38 33 6 25 9 EqBB9 2.6 0.0 3.6 2.8 72 1 93 65 2 69 EqSO9 4.5 0.0 6.5 5.2 FIP 5.17 3.11 4.93 4.54 GB% 46% % 46% 46% WARP -0.3 0.0 0.0 0.1BABIP .254 .500 .349 .305WHIP 1.27 3.00 1.69 1.36ERA 5.32 27.00 5.72 4.88FRA 5.91 4.22 5.57 5.30Jakubauskas has spent his entire MLB career as a sw ing man, splitting time in the rotation and bullpen as far back as 2007 in Double-A after the Mariners plucked him from the independent leagues. In the majors, hes been less successful as a starter (4.7 K/9, 3.4 BB/9) then as a reliever (5.8 K/9, 2.9 BB/9), w hen he can keep his fastball consistently at 91-92 mph as opposed to 89. Having only a looping curve to play off his relatively straight heater also suits him better for w ork out of the pen. Jakubauskas spent the second half of last season in the bullpen for the Orioles, occasionally being asked to pitch tw o or three innings at a time, and that seems to be the role hes best suited for. Hell try to w in a spot in Arizonas bullpen.Ian KennedyBorn: 12/19/1984 Age: 27 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 1 W eight: 190 Breakout: 13% Improve: 56% Collapse: 29% Attrition: 11% MLB: 90% Comparables: Jensen Lew is,Ramon Ramirez,Justin Verlander YEAR 2009 2010 2011 TEAM NYA ARI ARI LVL MLB MLB MLB AGE 24 25 26 W 0 9 21 L 0 10 4 SV 0 0 0 G 1 32 33 GS 0 32 33 IP 1 194 222 H 0 163 1862012 ARIMLB 2712 9 028 28 181 2 154YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012TEAM NYA ARI ARI ARI TEAM NYA ARI ARI ARILVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLBHR 0 26 19 19BB 2 70 55 57SO 1 168 198 151EqBB9 18.0 3.2 2.2 2.8 ERA 0.00 3.80 2.88 3.63EqSO9 9.0 7.8 8.0 7.5 FIP 10.14 4.35 3.19 3.84GB% % 39% 40% 39% WARP 0.0 2.6 3.1 2.7BABIP .000 .261 .274 .284WHIP 2.00 1.20 1.09 1.16FRA 9.12 4.44 3.76 3.94W ith so many valuable pieces changing hands, its tough to say w ho got the best of the three-team sw ap that brought Kennedy to the D-Backs in late 2009, but its hard to be upset w hen your haul includes a Cy Young contender. Despite his league-leading w in total and w inning percentage, Kennedy w asnt the NLs best pitcherhe ranked 11th in W ARPbut his record w asnt just a product of the 11th-highest run support among qualifying NL starters, either. Although he sports the sixth-low est BABIP among pitchers w ith at least 400 innings over the last tw o seasons, a big correction might not be coming: like other perennial low -BABIP arms like Matt Cain and Jered Weaver, hes adept at inducing pop-ups, w hich dont often fall in for hits.Wade MileyBorn: 11/13/1986 Age: 25 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 2 W eight: 220 Breakout: 21% Improve: 57% Collapse: 14% Attrition: 11% MLB: 88% Comparables: Matt Chico,Chuck Stobbs,Zach Jackson YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 SBN 2010 VIS 2010 MOB 2011 MOB 2011 RNO 2011 ARI 2012 ARI YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2011 TEAM SBN VIS MOB MOB RNO ARI A 22 5 9 0 4 5 0 5 3 0 0 2 0 4 1 0 4 2 0 4 5 0 BB 29 34 20 27 16 18 SO 91 45 47 45 55 25 HA+ 23 AA AA 23 2421 21 113 2 127 14 14 80 1 76 13 13 72 2 43 14 14 75 1 71 8 8 8 7 54 1 53 40 48AAA 24 MLB 24 MLB 25 LVL A A+ AA AA AAA MLB HR 8 1 2 6 4 612 12 71 1 78 EqBB9 2.3 4.1 3.5 3.3 2.7 4.1 EqSO9 7.2 5.6 7.8 5.5 9.3 5.6 GB% 58% 68% 61% 57% 51% 49%2012 ARI YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2011 2012 TEAM SBN VIS MOB MOB RNO ARI ARIMLB 9 LVL A A+ AA AA AAA MLB MLB29 38 3.6 WHIP 1.37 1.47 1.21 1.35 1.27 1.65 1.49 ERA 4.12 3.25 1.98 4.78 3.64 4.50 5.294.8 FIP 3.80 4.17 3.48 4.34 3.55 5.04 5.0053% FRA 5.41 5.24 4.09 5.22 3.99 5.64 5.75 WARP 0.0 -0.1 0.9 0.0 1.2 -0.2 -0.3BABIP .343 .326 .301 .283 .331 .328 .313Three starts by Jason Marquis cost the Diamondbacks $2.5 million and a marginal prospect. Seven starts dow n the stretch by Miley, Marquiss replacement, cost them a ticket to Phoenix and the pro-rated majorleague minimum. Thats w hy its so nice to have the surplus of young, major-league-ready arms that the Diamondbacks do. Mileys stuff and stats made great strides in 2010, and he took another step forw ard last season. Strangely, he had his most success in Reno, one of the w orst environments for pitchers in all of organized baseball; the lefty w as the only arm on the Aces to pitch over 25 innings w ith an ERA below 4.25. His strikeout rate ticked up there, too, though he didnt miss as many bats in the majors. Southpaw s w ho can touch the mid-90s and get groundballs w ithout w alking the ballpark are scarce, and Miley could do a credible job in the back of the D-Backs rotation right now .Micah OwingsBorn: 9/28/1982 Age: 29 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 6 W eight: 225 Breakout: 39% Improve: 55% Collapse: 21% Attrition: 12% MLB: 84% Comparables: Tommy Greene,Ken Forsch,Paul W ilson YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 CIN 2010 LOU 2010 CIN 2011 RNO 2011 ARI 2012 ARI YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM CIN LOU CIN RNO ARI ARI MLB 26 AAA 27 MLB 27 AAA 28 MLB 28 MLB 29 LVL MLB AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB HR 18 2 3 5 8 8 7 12 1 0 1 0 3 2 0 3 1 0 8 0 0 3 2 0 BB 64 8 25 9 23 22 SO 68 11 35 27 44 39 H26 19 119 2 126 8 5 20 1 16 22 0 7 7 33 4 27 6 33 1 39 63 58 2 28 41 56 56 GB% 38% 39% 32% 45% 39% 38%EqBB9 4.8 4.4 6.8 2.1 3.3 3.4EqSO9 5.1 5.8 9.4 6.2 6.3 6.0YEAR TEAM LVL BABIP WHIP ERA FIP FRA WARP2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012CIN LOU CIN RNO ARI ARIMLB AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB.282 .264 .294 .295 .264 .2891.59 1.48 1.59 1.28 1.25 1.325.34 2.22 5.40 4.85 3.57 4.715.63 5.65 4.70 4.86 4.44 4.775.44 4.91 5.51 6.18 5.21 5.120.9 0.2 0.1 0.5 0.0 0.1Okay, so maybe theres still something to the notion of Ow ings as a pitcher, albeit not a starting one. After struggling a bit in the rotation at Triple-A Reno, he returned to relief at the major-league level, making a few starts betw een low -leverage outings in the middle innings. His second extended stint in a big-league bullpen w asnt plagued by the same control problems that stymied him in 2010, giving him superficial statistics good enough to earn a spot on the postseason roster. Betw een that and his pedestrian performance at the plate (4-for-19 w ithout an extra-base hit), the idea of his reinventing himself as a position player seems a lot less exciting than it did a year ago, though a disturbing drop in velocity of nearly three mph and a forthcoming BABIP correction suggest that his future on the mound isnt so hot, either.Joe PatersonBorn: 5/19/1986 Age: 26 Bats: R Throw s: L Height: 6 2 W eight: 210 Breakout: 30% Improve: 60% Collapse: 18% Attrition: 12% MLB: 91% Comparables: Chad Billingsley,Kevin Jepsen,Greg Harris YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H 2009 NRW AA 23 5 6 10 55 0 69 53 2010 FRE AAA 24 4 3 2 46 0 54 1 33 2011 ARI 2012 ARI YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM NRW FRE ARI ARI TEAM NRW FRE ARI ARI MLB 25 MLB 26 LVL AA AAA MLB MLB LVL AA AAA MLB MLB HR 3 1 1 3 0 3 1 2 1 0 BB 25 13 15 12 SO 73 34 28 24 62 0 36 0 EqBB9 3.1 4.0 4.0 3.5 ERA 1.96 3.48 2.91 4.16 34 28 30 2 28 EqSO9 9.0 8.1 7.4 7.0 FIP 2.85 3.82 3.41 4.08 GB% 50% 51% 55% 50% WARP 1.4 0.1 -0.1 0.2BABIP .262 .305 .276 .299WHIP 1.03 1.45 1.26 1.30FRA 3.52 5.14 5.44 4.52Patersons 34 frames last season w ere the fourth-least ever throw n by a pitcher w ith at least 60 appearances, behind only Tony Fossas, Arizona predecessor Mike Myers, and the ageless Jesse Orosco, w hom Paterson probably had a poster of in his childhood bedroom. Like those previous practitioners of the situational lefty trade, Paterson can expect his yearly ERAs to fluctuate w ildly w ithout much of a change in his underlying performance, since BABIP variations over the small samples that constitute his seasons w ill largely determine how his stat lines look at first glance. Fortunately, 2011 w as a low -BABIP year, but Patersons peripherals suggest that he can survivemaybe for decadeseven w hen few er balls bouncePatersons peripherals suggest that he can survivemaybe for decadeseven w hen few er balls bounce his w ay and more than 5 percent of his flies leave the park.J.J. PutzBorn: 2/22/1977 Age: 35 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 6 W eight: 220 Breakout: 14% Improve: 39% Collapse: 31% Attrition: 20% MLB: 83% Comparables: Rafael Betancourt,Rich Gossage,Pedro Martinez YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 NYN 2010 CHA 2011 ARI 2012 ARI YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM NYN CHA ARI ARI TEAM NYN CHA ARI ARI MLB 32 MLB 33 MLB 34 MLB 35 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 1 4 4 5 1 4 2 29 0 7 5 3 60 0 2 2 45 60 0 3 1 19 56 0 BB 19 15 12 16 SO 19 65 61 53 EqBB9 5.8 2.5 1.9 2.7 ERA 5.22 2.83 2.17 2.94 29 1 54 58 52 1 H 29 41 41 41 GB% 46% 49% 44% 45% WARP 0.1 0.9 1.0 1.2EqSO9 5.8 10.8 9.5 9.1 FIP 4.15 2.49 2.51 3.34BABIP .295 .278 .250 .291WHIP 1.64 1.04 0.91 1.08FRA 4.65 3.98 3.33 3.20On the first leg of Putzs tw o-year, $10 million deal, the oft-injured reliever pitched as w ell as he had since his heyday in Seattle and succeeded in high-leverage spots and appearances on short or no rest, both of w hich gave him trouble w ith the W hite Sox. He did seem poised to fall apart w hen he missed roughly a month at midseason w ith elbow inflammation after allow ing runs in tw o consecutive appearances, but he show ed no ill effects follow ing his return in late July, pitching to a 0.77 second-half ERA. Any delivery could be his last, but unless his elbow finally gives up the ghost in 2012, his contract w ill continue to look reasonable compared to those of some of his late-inning counterparts.Takashi SaitoBorn: 2/14/1970 Age: 42 Bats: L Throw s: R Height: 6 2 W eight: 202 Breakout: 13% Improve: 34% Collapse: 27% Attrition: 19% MLB: 72% Comparables: Steve Carlton,Dan Plesac,Doug Brocail YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 BOS 2010 ATL 2011 MIL 2012 ARI MLB 39 MLB 40 MLB 41 MLB 42 3 3 2 2 3 1 4 2 0 2 1 0 56 0 56 0 30 0 33 0 H55 2 50 54 41 26 2 21 30 2 24YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012TEAM BOS ATL MIL ARI TEAM BOS ATL MIL ARILVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLBHR 6 4 2 3BB 25 17 9 9SO 52 69 23 31EqBB9 4.0 2.8 3.0 2.7 ERA 2.43 2.83 2.03 2.87EqSO9 8.4 11.5 7.8 9.2 FIP 4.29 2.46 3.37 3.33GB% 35% 44% 45% 45% WARP 0.7 1.3 0.4 0.7BABIP .291 .287 .264 .292WHIP 1.35 1.07 1.12 1.07FRA 4.50 2.82 3.73 3.12The earthquake, tsunami, and resultant nuclear disaster that struck Saitos native Miyagi Prefecture last spring might have made baseball a w elcome distraction. Unfortunately, he had plenty of time to contemplate problems at home w hile spending 88 days on the DL w ith hamstring and oblique injuries. A career-low innings pitched total and strikeout rate revealed some concessions to age, but Saito remained effective w hile on the mound. Among pitchers w ith at least 300 innings of w ork over the past six seasons, only Mariano Rivera and Joe Nathan have low er ERAs than Saitos 2.18. W ith age-36-41 seasons like those, one w onders w hat kind of major-league career Saito might have had if hed come to America earlier. How ever, all that matters to the Diamondbacks, w ho signed him in December, is w hether hell have any life left at age 42.Joe SaundersBorn: 6/16/1981 Age: 31 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 4 W eight: 210 Breakout: 17% Improve: 37% Collapse: 25% Attrition: 14% MLB: 70% Comparables: Chris Jakubauskas,Jarrod W ashburn,Brian Gordon YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H 2009 ANA MLB 28 16 7 0 31 31 186 202 2010 ARI MLB 29 3 7 0 13 13 82 2 97 2010 ANA 2011 ARI 2012 ARI YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 TEAM ANA ARI ANA ARI ARI MLB 29 MLB 30 MLB 31 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 29 11 14 29 23 6 10 0 12 13 0 10 11 0 BB 64 19 45 67 48 SO 101 50 64 108 93 20 20 120 2 135 33 33 212 210 28 28 178 1 184 EqSO9 4.9 5.4 4.8 4.6 4.7 GB% 48% 46% 44% 46% 46%EqBB9 3.1 2.1 3.4 2.8 2.4YEAR TEAM LVL BABIP WHIP ERA FIP FRA WARP 2009 ANA MLB .289 1.43 4.60 5.21 5.72 0.12010 2010 2011 2012ARI ANA ARI ARIMLB MLB MLB MLB.315 .308 .275 .2991.40 1.49 1.31 1.304.25 4.62 3.69 4.644.46 4.64 4.74 4.654.80 4.74 4.66 5.040.5 0.9 0.8 0.4Saunders didnt make D-Backs fans forget Dan Harenif anyone Arizona obtained in the 2010 trade does that, it w ill be Tyler Skaggsbut if you didnt w atch the games and looked at his stat line only long enough to see his ERA and innings pitched total, it w as like Haren never left. At the time of the trade, then-interim GM Jerry DiPoto summoned the scorn of the bloggerati by repeatedly citing Saunders .628 career w inning percentage in an effort to make the salary dump easier to sw allow . Ironically, the righty has run a 15-20 record since then w hile improving upon his career Angels ERA by almost half a run. How ever, that apparent improvement rests on the shakiest of foundations, since Saunders 4.6 K/9 w as the low est among qualified NL pitchers in 2011. As Bill James once said, There is simply no such thing as a starter w ho has a long career w ith a low strikeout rate. The D-Backs have been reading their Baseball Abstracts: They non-tendered Saunders in December.Bryan ShawBorn: 11/8/1987 Age: 24 Bats: B Throw s: R Height: 6 2 W eight: 210 Breakout: 29% Improve: 58% Collapse: 20% Attrition: 18% MLB: 88% Comparables: Mike Pelfrey,Mike W itt,Nelson Briles YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 VIS 2010 MOB 2011 MOB 2011 ARI 2012 ARI YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM VIS MOB MOB ARI ARI TEAM VIS MOB MOB ARI ARI A+ 21 AA 22 AA 23 MLB 23 MLB 24 LVL A+ AA AA MLB MLB LVL A+ AA AA MLB MLB HR 7 1 1 2 4 3 7 0 5 9 2 1 1 7 1 0 0 2 1 0 BB 40 25 8 8 15 SO 95 51 15 24 23 H30 19 107 1 96 33 13 101 1 58 15 0 33 0 22 3 EqBB9 3.4 3.8 3.5 2.5 3.6 ERA 4.70 4.26 0.87 2.54 4.80 20 2 14 28 1 30 37 2 37 EqSO9 8.0 6.7 6.5 7.6 5.5 FIP 4.26 3.59 3.64 3.49 4.56 GB% 59% 60% 51% 60% 53% WARP -0.7 -0.2 0.1 0.1 0.0BABIP .291 .295 .236 .333 .297WHIP 1.27 1.43 1.11 1.34 1.38FRA 6.23 5.05 4.90 4.16 5.22Shaw s first full season in the bullpen since his 2008 professional debut resulted in his making the majors. Shaw racked up 16 saves betw een Mobile and Reno, took w ell to the NL West, and has a pow er sinker that averages 93 and tops out at 95, but he doesnt miss as many bats as the typical closer candidate,that averages 93 and tops out at 95, but he doesnt miss as many bats as the typical closer candidate, w hich could restrict him to setup duty. W hat the 08 second-rounder does do is keep the ball out of the air, w hich should serve him w ell in Chase Field.Tyler SkaggsBorn: 7/13/1991 Age: 20 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 5 W eight: 195 Breakout: 49% Improve: 63% Collapse: 20% Attrition: 16% MLB: 94% Comparables: Mike McQueen,Chris Zachary,Terry Forster YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2010 CDR 2011 VIS 2011 MOB 2012 ARI YEAR 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM CDR VIS MOB ARI TEAM CDR VIS MOB ARI A 18 8 4 0 1 3 0 1 0 0 3 3 0 BB 14 34 18 18 SO 66 125 89 44 HA+ 19 AA 19 MLB 20 LVL A A+ AA MLB LVL A A+ AA MLB HR 5 6 4 519 14 82 1 58 17 17 100 2 81 10 10 57 2 56 9 9 49 2 45 EqBB9 2.3 3.0 2.3 3.2 ERA 3.61 3.22 2.50 4.06 EqSO9 9.0 11.2 11.4 7.9 FIP 3.64 3.39 2.16 3.83 GB% 50% 53% 45% 47% WARP 1.0 2.2 1.6 0.5BABIP .303 .310 .317 .305WHIP 1.20 1.14 1.04 1.26FRA 4.46 3.57 3.29 4.41In BP2011 , w e w rote, Were tw o years aw ay from know ing if Skaggs is a star or back-of-the-rotation starter. W ith one year remaining on that timeline, star looks like the more likely outcome for the 2009 supplemental first rounder. Previously a one-level-per-year prospect, Skaggs mastered High-A and moved on to Double-A in 2011, boosting his strikeout rate above 11 batters per nine at both levels w ithout a corresponding increase in w alks. For that performance, he earned the organizations Pitcher of the Year honors, follow ing in the footsteps of such Diamondbacks luminaries as Bret Prinz, Brian Bruney, and Enrique Gonzalez. From here, his path w ill diverge from theirs; after bumping his velocity into the 92-93 range and further refining a changeup to accompany a plus curve, the leftys stuff has made up much of the difference betw een projection and reality. The 20-year-old could use another full season in the minors, but he should be ready to form a young and talented righty-lefty tandem w ith Bauer at the top of the 2013 rotation. Dan Haren w ho?Brad ZieglerBorn: 10/10/1979 Age: 32 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 5 W eight: 200 Breakout: 8% Improve: 45% Collapse: 36% Attrition: 16% MLB: 97% Comparables: Braden Looper,Tim Hudson,Orel Hershiser YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 1 H2009 OAK 2010 OAK 2011 OAK 2011 ARI 2012 ARI YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM OAK OAK OAK ARI ARI TEAM OAK OAK OAK ARI ARIMLB 29 MLB 30 MLB 31 MLB 31 MLB 32 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 2 4 0 0 32 4 7 3 7 0 3 2 1 0 0 0 3 1 1 BB 28 28 13 6 18 SO 54 41 29 15 3569 0 64 0 43 0 23 0 59 0 EqBB9 3.4 4.2 3.1 2.6 2.9 ERA 3.07 3.26 2.39 1.74 3.6973 1 82 60 2 54 37 2 38 20 2 15 53 2 49 EqSO9 6.6 6.1 6.9 6.5 5.9 FIP 3.21 4.09 2.64 2.41 3.63 GB% 62% 56% 73% 66% 61% WARP 0.7 0.1 0.1 0.0 0.7BABIP .352 .278 .328 .259 .304WHIP 1.50 1.35 1.35 1.02 1.24FRA 4.39 4.74 4.55 4.49 4.01Ziegler has been an inveterate w orm-killer since his 2008 debut, but he took his ground-balling to even greater heights (so to speak) last season, keeping 70.3 percent of his balls in play allow ed on the ground, the highest rate of any hurler w ith a minimum of 50 innings pitched save for Jonny Venters. Thanks to that aversion to air balls and a corresponding uptick in strikeout rate, Ziegler is actually a better pitcher now than he w as in 08, despite a slightly less aw e-inspiring ERA. The rightys 2.16 mark w as matched by a 2.56 FIP, so dont let that first number scare youZiegler is one of the most dependable arms in the bullpen business, not another low -BABIP mirage about to blow up in a slightly larger sample. The sidearmer does have to be used judiciously to get the most out of his talents, since hes terrible against left-handed hitters.LINEOUTSHITTERSPLAYER RF C. Gillespie TEAM RNO ARI C R. Hammock RNO RF M. Krauss MOB CF R. Langerhans RNO TAC SEA 3B M. Mora ARI SS C. Ransom RNO LVL AAA MLB AAA AA AAA AAA MLB MLB AAA AGE 27 27 34 23 31 31 31 39 35 PA 582 7 120 504 171 255 64 135 432 R 100 2 18 69 23 46 6 5 86 2B 19 0 7 25 10 10 0 6 29 3B 16 0 1 6 2 0 0 0 3 HR 12 1 5 16 6 16 3 0 27C K. Schmidt 3B R. W heeler LF D. W infree PLAYER RF C. GillespieARI RNO MOB RNOMLB AAA AA AAA RBI 79 4 21 65 23 37 6 16 92 4 45 89 37 TAv .292 .404 .281 .272 .338 .349 .267 .193 .316 .186 .252 .280 .31635 26 22 25 BB 81 1 15 64 39 37 11 2 55 3 21 45 1537 374 531 157 SO 91 1 17 123 31 63 22 24 94 9 66 102 223 47 69 272 24 30 50 3 2 11 9 16 9TEAM RNO ARI C R. Hammock RNO RF M. Krauss MOB CF R. Langerhans RNO TAC SEA 3B M. Mora ARI SS C. Ransom RNO ARI C K. Schmidt RNO 3B R. W heeler MOB LF D. W infree RNO PLAYER RF C. Gillespie TEAM RNO ARI C R. Hammock RNO RF M. Krauss MOB CF R. Langerhans RNO TAC SEA 3B M. Mora ARI SS C. Ransom RNO ARI C K. Schmidt RNO 3B R. W heeler MOB LF D. W infree RNOSB-CS 24-5 0-0 0-0 3-3 8-1 3-6 0-1 0-1 10-3 1-0 1-3 3-4 8-1 BRR 6.2 0 1 1.7 1 -1.9 -0.4 -1.4 3.1 0.5 0.1 -5 1.4AVG/OBP/SLG .300/.405/.479 .333/.429/.833 .257/.353/.495 .242/.340/.439 .308/.468/.554 .313/.416/.584 .173/.317/.346 .228/.244/.276 .317/.405/.629 .152/.243/.303 .280/.330/.445 .294/.358/.465 .321/.389/.575 WARP 4.4 0.1 0.9 1.5 1.8 2.8 0.0 -0.5 4.7 -0.1 1.3 1.9 1.2BABIP .343 .250 .259 .299 .362 .372 .222 .271 .358 .174 .324 .343 .315FRAA 8.3 0 -0.2 -0.8 -3.2 1.5 -1.1 0.7 3.1 0.6 -0.7 -1.4 -2.5Right-handed-hitting outfielder Cole Gillespie is essentially Collin Cow gill, only almost tw o years older, w ith less center field experience, and w ith one few er l. Youd think Robby Hammocks last name w ould have inspired him to try retirement by now , but the utility man seems to be a believer in the philosophy that w here theres a PA, there a w ay. Last season, he got tw o in the bigs. Like the player hes often been compared to, Adam Dunn, doughy Double-A outfielder Marc Krauss had a disappointing season, failing to repeat the home run pow er he show ed in 2010. Ryan Langerhans hit .311/.437/.573 at Triple-A and appeared in 61 games in center, but hes amply demonstrated that he has neither the bat leaguer. Konrad Schmidt is a Henry Blanco injury aw ay from being a marginal major leaguer for life. He lacks Blancos arm and receiving skills, but he has the body type dow n, and a better bat. Unlike Bobby Borchering, Ryan Wheeler stands a good chance at sticking at third. His first Double-A season w as a success, but his bat probably w ont break the Ryan Roberts mold. Last season, Triple-A journeymannor the glove to replicate that performance w here it counts. The bloom is off late-blooming Melvin Mora, w ho w ent homerless before earning his release in late June. Weve likely seen the last of the 40year-old. Theres nothing w rong w ith raking in Reno, as Cody Ransom did, but to paraphrase Jeff Foxw orthy, if thats how you spend your age-35 season, you might be a marginal major David Winfree finally found out that the key to cracking a 40-man w as starting hot, then getting hurt before he could regress. W ed make a joke about his value, but his surname w ould steal the punchline.PITCHERSPLAYER TEAM LVL AGE W L SV IP AAA 31 MLB 31 AAA 27 MLB 27 AAA 27 AAA 27 MLB 27 A+ 24 AAA 28 MLB 28 3 0 1 0 0 0 10 3 0 0 1 0 3 2 2 3 4 6 0 0 0 1 0 9 HY. Brazoban ROU ARI Z. Kroenke RNO J. Lew is K. Mickolio ARI COH RNO ARI Y. Ortega VIS26 1 23 6 8 128 1 179 4 28 58 62 6 37 62 10M. Zagurski LEH PHI PLAYER39 1 37 4 0 11 54 1 47 0 0 0 31 4TEAM HR BB SO EqBB9 EqSO9 GB% 5 1 14 1 4 4 0 3 3 1 11 4 52 1 13 26 3 21 28 3 31 8 78 3 20 67 7 58 65 4 3.8 6.0 3.5 2.2 4.8 3.9 4.1 4.8 4.5 8.1 10.6 12.0 5.1 6.8 7.1 9.8 9.4 13.3 10.4 10.8 42% 33% 49% 67% 21% 45% 23% 47% 51% 50%Y. Brazoban ROU ARI Z. Kroenke RNO ARI J. Lew is COH K. Mickolio RNO ARI Y. Ortega VIS M. Zagurski LEH PHI PLAYERTEAM BABIP WHIP ERA FIP FRA WARP .277 1.29 3.42 5.10 5.49 0.1Y. Brazoban ROUY. Brazoban ROU ARI Z. Kroenke RNO ARI J. Lew is COH K. Mickolio RNO ARI Y. Ortega VIS M. Zagurski LEH PHI.277 .412 .354 .357 .375 .335 .455 .374 .328 .3331.29 2.00 1.74 1.75 1.96 1.43 1.95 1.47 1.29 2.103.42 6.00 5.89 9.00 5.14 4.97 6.75 4.81 2.65 5.405.10 4.99 5.27 5.49 5.06 3.67 2.24 3.73 3.28 7.195.49 8.76 6.19 6.54 6.10 4.88 4.44 5.13 4.48 6.380.1 -0.3 0.8 -0.1 0.1 0.9 0.1 0.1 0.7 -0.1Yhency Brazoban resurfaced after a season lost to injury and one bouncing around the minors, striking out 42 batters in 36 1/3 Triple-A frames. The Diamondbacks gave him a look after he requested his release from the Rangers, then kicked off the next leg of his w orld tour by selling him to the Fukuoka SoftBank Haw ks in late July.Kroenkes first full season in a minor-league rotation w ent poorlyshocking, w e know . Once a closer candidate for the Indians, Jensen Lewis struggled in Columbus last season and w as released in June, but hes only 27 and w as useful as recently as 2010. The Diamondbacks signed him in November, dashing our dreams that hed become a paid spokesman for the Manhattan furniture company that bears his name. The lesser reliever acquired in the Mark Reynolds trade, 69 righty Kameron Mickolio had highBABIP issues for the second straight Triple-A season. Sooner or later, the strikeouts w ill shine through. Dominican right-hander Yonata Ortegas fastball touches 98, but his scale hasnt touched 198 in ages. A few extra pounds might not be a problem, but its not a great sign w hen you miss bats and still outw eigh your strikeout-to-w alk ratio. The D-Backs acquired Mike Zagurski from the Phillies in late September and w ill give him a shot this season, w hich means Arizonas strength and conditioning coordinator has his w ork cut out for him. After struggling in relief at Triple-A in 2010, former lefty specialist Zach Six-foot-oneMANAGER: KIRK GIBSONYEAR TEAM W-L 2010 ARI 2011 ARI Pythag Avg +/ PC 100+ 120+ QS BQS REL P P 83 0 56 3 90 6 247 46334-49 0 94-68 1188.7 83 96.9 80YEAR TEAM REL w IBB Subs PH PH PH SB2 CS2 SB3 Zero R Avg HR 2010 ARI 2011 ARI 181 375 38 16 302 .235 0 248 .206 5 3 16 1 2 0 0YEAR TEAM CS3 SAC SAC % POS Squeeze Swing In Play Att SAC 2010 ARI 1 64 84.4% 24 0 153 312011 ARI09661.5% 26330679In steering the low -payroll Diamondbacks from w orst place to first place in the span of a single season, Gibson added another I dont believe w hat I just saw -w orthy accomplishment to his career record, though this one w as a team effort that took even longer to complete than his painful trudge around the bases in the 1988 W orld Series. As is alw ays the case w hen a skipper presides over a remarkable reversal in a teams fortunes, even one driven by Pythagorean overperformance, its hard to say how much credit Gibson deserves (though the BBW AA voters didnt hesitate to make him Manager of the Year); after all, he didnt w ork any immediate miracles w ith the losing club he inherited from A.J. Hinch in 2010. Perhaps the highest compliment that can be paid to Gibson is that he got out of the w ay and let his team play. The Diamondbacks recorded the few est sacrifice hits and handed out the few est intentional w alks in the senior circuit; Gibson called for free passes just over 20 percent as often as Atlantas IBB-happy Fredi Gonzalez. How ever, Gibson w asnt the perfect sabermetric manager. Its possible to find fault w ith Gibsons batting orders: W illie Bloomquist w as the teams most frequent leadoff man, w hile Gerardo Parra, one of the teams best hitters, usually languished in the eighth slot (w hen he w asnt being pointlessly platooned w ith Collin Cow gill). Gibson earned plenty of praise for improving Arizonas preparation, motivation, and clubhouse culture, the sort of intangible effects that some take on faith and others cynically dismiss as byproducts of w inning instead of its cause. Now that hes righted the ship, hell have plenty of time to make sure it stays afloat: Not long after his teams exit from the NLDS, Gibson received an extension that w ill keep him in Arizona through at least 2014.Atlanta BravesThe good times w ere back. Atlanta entered August 25 leading the w ild card by 9 1/2 games w ith 30 to play. Teams w ith leads that great and finish lines that close tend to be postseason locks. Atlanta w as no different. The Braves had every reason to begin designing, printing, and distributing playoff tickets. Five w eeks is a long time, but the odds of a historic collapse w ere remote, w ith 99.4 percent playoff chances entering the day. On the regular seasons final night, the Braves controlled w hether they w ould play another game or not. W in and Atlanta w ould play at least once more; lose and no such guarantees existed. Because fate is cruel, the Braves w ould do battle w ith the Phillies, w hile the Cardinalsnow tied w ith the Braves in the w ild cardw ould face the Astros. St. Louis scored five runs in the first inning and cruised to an eight-run victory. W hile they w ere doing that, Atlanta took a tw o-run lead into the seventh inning and a one-run lead into the ninth. Play the game a thousand times and the Braves w alk aw ay w ith a victory almost 90 percent of the time. Baseball is beloved for its unpredictability for good reason, and the Braves w ould blow the lead in the ninth. Bitter division rivals headed to extra innings know ing that the Braves w ould have to w in to avoid elimination. The 10th saw no scoring, nor the 11th. The 12th came and w ent w ith the Braves stranding the w inning run on third. The 13th saw the eventual w inning run score after Hunter Pence hit a brokenbat single that never left the infield. The Cardinals w ere in, the Phillies w ere in. The Braves w ere out.During the Braves run of the 1990s and 2000s, they w ere teases. Regular-season giants, postseason dw arves. Atlanta produced a 15-year stretch honeycombed w ith 14 division titles and a lone World Series victory. W ho can forget: Manager Bobby Cox, GM John Schuerholz, and scouting director Roy Clark w ere the brain trust. The games w ere on TBS. These are not those Bravesnot in their w inning w ays, not in personnel. The Braves have not w on a postseason series since 2001, and theyve reached the postseason just once in the past six years. The consistency at key positions that made the Braves unique has faded along w ith the rest of the dynasty. The three positions fans tend to know the best, in order, are the field manager, the general manager, and the scouting director. Betw een Fredi Gonzalez, Frank W ren, and Tony DeMacio, the trio has few er than 10 years of combined experience w ith the Braves in their current positions. Most organizations are doing w ell to keep a piece or tw o of the triumvirate intact for more than a decade. The Braves have had tw o managers and tw o general managers since 1991, and three scouting directors since 1981. Change is not something the Braves are accustomed to, but something that has popped up in succession in recent years. Atlantas organizational culture shock carries off the field and beyond the front offices into the previously sacrosanct draft w ar room. Clark and predecessor/mentor Paul Snyder had a simple philosophy: take the most athletic baseball player they could find. Often, that player w ould hail from some backw oods tow n in Georgia, w here hed grow n up rooting for the Braves. The organization w ould use this as a negotiating ploy, and the player w ould sign on the dotted line to join his favorite team. Atlanta, meanw hile, reaped the benefits of having high-ceiling players w ith w hom they w ere intimately familiar. Seeing tw o, three, four Georgians in the Braves top five, six, seven picks w as once a common sight, but no more. Under DeMacio, the Braves have shifted to a more conservative philosophy in risk and cost. The team now targets collegiate players w ith low er ceilings and higher likelihood of becoming major leaguers, thus eschew ing the old w ayor, as many called it, the Braves w ay. Some things have remained constant, such as the Braves allegiance to signing and developing international, and especially Latin American, talent. The glory days of yore included products of the system such as Andruw Jones, Javy Lopez, and Rafael Furcal. The glory days of the future could include a number of international players, too, particularly if the top prospects w ork out. W ith a strong developmental team still in place, the Braves have as good a chance as any team to turn these unpolished stones into gems. Turning question marks into exclamation points is an art W ren has mastered at the major-league level. Contending teams sometimes lose sight of a fundamental reality w hen building their lineups to compete against All-Star teams. That reality is that the bench matters, too. Playing baseball is not an easy task. It takes a toll mentally, physically, and spiritually on the everyday players. All those games, all that travel, all those late nights spent partying to get aw ay from the game for a w hile, they add up. Players need a day off every now and again, and having a good bench allow s a team to be more accommodating. Otherw ise, an All-Star lineup w ill w in games, but a minor league bench can lose them. W ren tipped his hand on benches w hen he acquired a number of depth pieces at the trade deadline an unsexy quartet of Matt Diaz, Jack W ilson, Wes Helms, and W il Nieves. The purpose w as not to push the Braves over the top but to buttress an already impressive roster in case of injury. The moves proved prescient, if fruitless, as Diaz and W ilson started games over the final w eek. Praising W ren and leaving it at that is one w ay to go about business, but curious minds w ant to know : Just how good is W ren at building a bench? Alternatively, is this a case w here the anecdotes get ahead of reality? A problem in evaluating benches is trying to define a bench player. Since American League teams often carry four bench players, and National League teamsnot burdened by the designated hittercarry five, that means you w ould expect the number of bench players per team to be a touch more than 4.5, given that there are more NL teams. Sure enough, the parameters w e came up w ith returned a tally of 4.7 bench players per team. The playing time constrictions used to come up w ith that rate called for no more than 3.3 plate appearances per game played, but at least 40 games played. From there, W ins Above Replacement Player can be added to easily evaluate the merit of a teams bench. As the above table suggests, the Braves have show n a proficiency in building talented benches. Just as impressive is the money Atlanta has paid for such superlative production from its reserves. Despite leading the league in W ARP, the Braves rank only 10th in bench-player salary. It should be noted that a teams tally can be skew ed by having a high-priced player in a bench capacity, but then again, w hy should that team be treated any differently? Any argument centered around the Braves spending too much on their bench w hile neglecting the other areas of the team seems baseless.bench w hile neglecting the other areas of the team seems baseless. Top benches 200811NL Team Atlanta Milw aukee Cincinnati Chicago ColoradoW ARP 9.6 8.7 8.0 7.5 5.1AL Team Tampa Bay Detroit New York Seattle MinnesotaW ARP 4.1 3.9 3.7 3.4 3.4How the Braves w ere able to generate production w ithout w riting massive checks becomes obvious once you examine the acquisitions of their key contributors. Atlanta signed Martin Prado as an international free agent from Venezuela as a teenager. Omar Infante came over in a trade for Jose Ascanio that also netted Atlanta W ill Ohman. The Braves signed David Ross after he spent time in five other organizations. Brooks Conrad and Jose Constanza w ere minor-league free agents. Even Matt Diaz, the first time Atlanta acquired him, came over as a journeyman w ithout major-league success in exchange for Ricardo Rodriguez, a pitcher w ho w ould exit organized baseball a season later. And so on. The only honest-to-goodness major leaguer w ith a bunch of pre-Braves success to star in a bench role w as Eric Hinske. Top Braves individual bench seasons 200811Season 2008 2009 2010 2010 2009Player Martin Prado David Ross Brooks Conrad David Ross Omar InfantePA 254 151 177 145 229W ARP 1.5 1.4 1.1 1.1 0.9You get the feeling that if the Braves w ere only more open about their use of sabermetrics, they w ould become community darlings. Instead, Atlantas stubbornness w hen it comes to perceived loafers like Yunel Escobar casts them as unenlightened, ossified in their prehistoric w ays. The Braves w ill be just fine, though, as their methodology seems to find undervalued players by the handful. Atlantas methodology seems to w ork w hen it comes to finding any type of player. The offseason consisted of trolling the market for potential trades. After shipping Derek Low es contract to Cleveland, the Braves spent the early portion of the offseason shopping starting pitcher Jair Jurrjens and left fielder Martin Prado. Atlanta annually seems to be a corner outfielder and some health aw ay from being a threat in the postseason, and on paper, the 2012 season looks no different. W ith a scary amount of rotation depth, young high-upside prospects in the minors, and a solid core, the Braves are in a good position to rival the Phillies as the divisions pow erhouse for the next few seasons. They might not be TBSs Braves, but they could bring the good times back.HITTERS Christian Bethancourt CBorn: 9/2/1991 Age: 20 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 3 W eight: 175 Breakout: 1% Improve: 2% Collapse: 0% Attrition: 1% MLB: 4% Comparables:Comparables: Leonel De Los Santos,Luis De La Cruz,Torre Langley YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM BRA DNV ROM ROM LYN ATL TEAM BRA DNV ROM ROM LYN ATL TEAM BRA DNV ROM ROM LYN ATL LVL RK RK A A A+ MLB LVL RK RK A A A+ MLB LVL RK RK A A A+ MLB AGE 17 17 18 19 19 20 SO 22 16 62 27 35 52 PA 131 56 420 235 175 250 R 22 10 31 25 11 21 2B 9 5 19 10 6 10 3B 1 0 2 3 0 1 HR 2 2 3 4 1 2 RBI 19 8 34 33 20 21 BB 11 6 14 8 3 5SB 7 1 11 6 3 4CS 0 1 3 3 2 2AVG_OBP_SLG .284/.352/.431 .260/.339/.480 .251/.280/.331 .303/.323/.430 .271/.277/.325 .225/.241/.298 FRAA -0.2 -0.4 -0.2 0.9 -0.7 C -1 WARP 0.6 0.6 0.3 1.6 0.0 -1.3TAv .275 .318 .236 .276 .218 .194BABIP .337 .344 .290 .323 .328 .274BRR 1.2 0 -1.4 1.5 1 -0.1Basestealers should avert their glance w hen on the same field as Bethancourt to avoid demise from mere eye contact. Bethancourt has the tools to become a defensive stalw art, since his arm is elite and he pops out of the chute quicker than a bulletscouts talking about his pop times is akin to old men exchanging fish tales; the stories border on fabrication. W hile defense is Bethancourts best act, he may become an asset at the plate, too. Above-average bat speed creates the sw eet sound of pow er potential each time he makes contact, although his in-game results have yet to bear it out. Further, Bethancourt still treats the strike zone like a theory, and his susceptibility to secondary pitches make him a candidate to post the w orst w alk-to-strikeout ratio on the team.Michael Bourn CFBorn: 12/27/1982 Age: 29 Bats: L Throw s: R Height: 6 0 W eight: 180 Breakout: 1% Improve: 36% Collapse: 15% Attrition: 26% MLB: 84% Comparables: Todd Donovan,Lew Ford,Chris Duffy YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 TEAM HOU HOU HOU ATL LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 26 27 28 28 PA 678 605 473 249 R 97 84 64 30 2B 27 25 26 8 3B 12 6 7 3 HR 3 2 1 1 RBI 35 38 32 18 BB 63 59 38 152011 ATL 2012 ATL YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM HOU HOU HOU ATL ATL TEAM HOU HOU HOU ATL ATLMLB 28 MLB 29 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB SO 140 109 90 50 129249 30 8 3 655 73 24 7 SB 61 52 39 22 55 CS 12 12 7 7 12 BRR 10.9 10.4 4.4 2.2 1.71 518 5715 55 TAv .261 .251 .277 .250 .249AVG_OBP_SLG .285/.354/.384 .265/.341/.346 .303/.363/.403 .278/.321/.352 .269/.333/.356 FRAA 3.4 6.9 -1.8 -5.3 CF 1 WARP 3.2 3.3 2.4 0.3 1.5BABIP .366 .329 .381 .346 .331After the Braves came up short on acquiring Hunter Pence, they found a match on Houstons other outfielder w ithout sacrificing a top-tier arm. On paper, acquiring Bourn to replace Jordan Schafer at leadoff and in center field made sense. At the time of the trade, Bourn looked like a player w ho w ould eclipse multiple career highs by seasons end. That momentum for a statistical slaughter ended once Bourn put on the Braves colors, and he limped to a meager finish by striking out more often, w alking less often, and hitting for less pow er than he had earlier in the season w ith Houston. Even Bourns stolen base success rate dipped once he joined Atlanta. Bourn w ill receive an opportunity to validate the trade, but PECOTA is bearish.Brooks Conrad 3BBorn: 1/16/1980 Age: 32 Bats: B Throw s: R Height: 6 0 W eight: 190 Breakout: 8% Improve: 26% Collapse: 9% Attrition: 25% MLB: 77% Comparables: Rico Petrocelli,Cody Ransom,Phil Nevin YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM GW N ATL ATL ATL MIL TEAM GW N ATL ATL ATL MIL LVL AAA MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 29 29 30 31 32 SO 108 14 45 41 72 PA 469 58 177 122 250 SB 13 0 5 2 4 R 66 7 31 11 28 2B 25 1 11 5 11 3B 0 2 1 0 1 HR 12 2 8 4 9 RBI 64 8 33 13 29 BB 53 3 16 15 23CS 1 0 1 0 1AVG_OBP_SLG .269/.363/.422 .204/.259/.407 .250/.324/.487 .223/.325/.388 .223/.299/.404TAv .276 .210 .279 .260 .246YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012TEAM GW N ATL ATL ATL MILLVL AAA MLB MLB MLB MLBBABIP .339 .237 .301 .322 .279BRR 5 0.6 2 0.5 0.2FRAA 0.5 0.1 -0.4 -0.1 3B -1, 2B -1WARP 2.2 -0.1 1.1 0.3 1.0Conrad has an excuse if he is dizzy, because the last 24 months have resembled a bad elevator ride. He started 2010 as a minor-league lifer, recorded some big hits that made him a regular-season hero, flubbed a few defensive chances that turned him into a postseason goat, and then spent 2011 nestled into a bench role. Reserve life is one that fits Conrad w ell. His defensive position is w hichever spot needs filling, and his offensive output is limited by a long sw ing. Being flexible in the field and at the plate (he sw itchhits) makes him a useful pinch-hitter or defensive sub, but not a starting-caliber player. Credit Fredi Gonzalez for recognizing this.Jose Constanza CFBorn: 9/1/1983 Age: 28 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 5 10 W eight: 150 Breakout: 6% Improve: 37% Collapse: 7% Attrition: 23% MLB: 81% Comparables: Freddy Guzman,Nyjer Morgan,Norris Hopper YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM AKR COH GW N ATL ATL TEAM AKR COH GW N ATL ATL TEAM AKR COH GW N ATL ATL LVL AA AAA AAA MLB MLB LVL AA AAA AAA MLB MLB LVL AA AAA AAA MLB MLB AGE 25 26 27 27 28 SO 65 54 41 14 34 PA 575 448 363 119 250 R 98 69 47 21 28 2B 15 11 2 1 6 3B 7 8 4 1 2 HR 0 1 1 2 2 RBI 46 32 25 10 20 BB 75 35 25 6 20SB 49 34 23 7 14CS 14 6 8 4 5AVG_OBP_SLG .282/.372/.342 .319/.367/.394 .312/.361/.351 .303/.339/.385 .280/.338/.345 FRAA 2.2 -6.2 1.3 2.3 CF -4, LF 2TAv .276 .253 .246 .285 .249BABIP .317 .359 .353 .333 .317BRR 9.2 2.7 2.8 1.8 -0.2WARP 3.8 0.4 0.7 0.8 0.6Anyone w ho predicted Constanza w ould start in Jason Heyw ards place prior to last season deserves a straitjacket as a prize. Blinding speed and defensive aptitude make Constanza a functional bench player, perfect for pinch-running and defensive substitution assignmentsas does a bat that belongs to the slash family tree, even if he did hit as many home runs in the majors as he did over his last tw o seasons in Triple-A. The Braves w ould be w ise to install Constanza as the fifth outfielder and leverage his skillsTriple-A. The Braves w ould be w ise to install Constanza as the fifth outfielder and leverage his skills properly. They w ould also be w ise never to play him over Heyw ard for any stretch of time again.Matt Diaz LFBorn: 3/3/1978 Age: 34 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 2 W eight: 200 Breakout: 1% Improve: 15% Collapse: 12% Attrition: 27% MLB: 85% Comparables: Carl Furillo,Lee Lacy,Hank Bauer YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM ATL ATL PIT ATL ATL TEAM ATL ATL PIT ATL ATL TEAM ATL ATL PIT ATL ATL LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 31 32 33 33 34 SO 90 44 44 8 49 PA 425 244 231 37 250 R 56 27 14 2 29 2B 18 17 12 1 11 3B 4 2 1 0 1 HR 13 7 0 0 5 RBI 58 31 19 1 27 BB 35 13 11 1 14SB 12 3 4 1 5CS 5 1 2 0 2AVG_OBP_SLG .313/.390/.488 .250/.302/.438 .259/.303/.324 .286/.297/.314 .276/.325/.399 FRAA -5.9 2.3 -4.6 0.1 LF 0, RF -5TAv .301 .264 .228 .205 .261BABIP .383 .282 .324 .357 .326BRR -4 0.7 -0.8 -0.3 -0.2WARP 1.6 0.7 -1.0 -0.2 1.0Lassoed from Pittsburgh late in the season to serve in reserve, Diazs uncharacteristic trouble w ith southpaw s w orsened upon re-arrival in Atlanta. Fredi Gonzalez used Diaz better than Clint Hurdle had by maximizing his exposure to lefties78 percent of his plate appearances, as opposed to 49 percent in Pittsburgh. Diaz managed to hit for average vs. lefties, so the culprit w as a ghostly slugging percentage. A return to hitting lefties w ill make him the haute piece of bench decoration he served as during his first tour in Atlanta.Brandon Drury 3BBorn: 8/21/1992 Age: 19 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 3 W eight: 190 Breakout: 0% Improve: 0% Collapse: 1% Attrition: 2% MLB: 2% Comparables: Josh Vitters,Yunior Figueroa,Mario Martinez YEAR 2010 2011 2012 TEAM BRA DNV ATL LVL RK RK MLB AGE 17 18 19 PA 207 278 250 R 20 40 19 2B 7 23 9 3B 1 0 0 HR 3 8 2 RBI 17 54 19 BB 9 6 5YEAR 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2010 2011 2012TEAM BRA DNV ATL TEAM BRA DNV ATLLVL RK RK MLB LVL RK RK MLBSO 50 35 61SB 2 3 0CS 2 0 0AVG_OBP_SLG .198/.248/.292 .347/.367/.525 .198/.219/.269 FRAA -2.7 -2 3B 3, 2B 0TAv .186 .312 .174BABIP .250 .373 .252BRR 0.7 0 0WARP -1.0 2.4 -2.4The Braves converted Drury, their 13th-round pick from Oregon, from shortstop to third base and w atched as he struggled in his first exposure to professional ball, striking out in more than a quarter of his at-bats. He took a step forw ard in 2011 and almost w on the Appalachian League batting title. Aboveaverage bat speed combined w ith a quick sw ing on a big frame can lead to some damaging blow s, and Drury has the potential to turn into a nice pow er hitter. In the interim, he still needs to w ork on his approach, and there is every reason to believe he w ill, given his high marks in makeup.Luis Durango CFBorn: 4/23/1986 Age: 26 Bats: B Throw s: R Height: 5 10 W eight: 160 Breakout: 1% Improve: 44% Collapse: 6% Attrition: 19% MLB: 68% Comparables: Alex Cole,Brad Coon,Joey Gathright YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM SAN SDN POR SDN OKL HOU ATL TEAM SAN SDN POR SDN OKL HOU ATL LVL AA MLB AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL AA MLB AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB AGE 23 23 24 24 25 25 26 SO 70 2 59 7 23 1 44 PA 560 14 423 53 180 7 250 R 78 3 42 8 33 0 25 2B 9 0 5 0 2 0 6 3B 2 0 2 0 1 0 1 HR 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 RBI 25 0 24 4 9 1 16 BB 81 2 45 4 22 1 25SB 44 2 35 5 18 0 13CS 17 1 16 0 9 0 5AVG_OBP_SLG .281/.378/.309 .545/.615/.545 .300/.367/.325 .250/.308/.250 .273/.362/.299 .167/.286/.167 .244/.324/.296TAv .274 .414 .271 .196 .237 .186 .227YEAR TEAM LVL BABIP BRR FRAA 2009 SAN AA .316 3.2 -0.3 2009 SDN MLB .667 1.1 -0.1WARP 2.2 0.42009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012SDN POR SDN OKL HOU ATLMLB AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB.667 .344 .293 .318 .200 .2921.1 -0.1 1.2 1.3 -0.1 -0.4-0.1 5.1 -0.7 -0.2 -0.2 CF -1, LF -30.4 2.0 0.0 0.1 -0.1 -0.3Durango is a sw itch-hitting w aterbug w ho spent 2011 traveling the country. He started in San Diegos camp, w as claimed off w aivers by Houston, then signed w ith the Braves as a minor-league free agent. A spacious park seems to best fit Durangos bunt-heavy approach, w hich leaves fielders playing as far in as w hen children bat at a picnic softball game. How ever, Atlanta has found use for similar players like Jose Constanza, and Durangos .373 on-base percentage over the last three seasons suggests he could stick as a fifth outfielder somew here. At least until he loses a step.Freddie Freeman 1BBorn: 9/12/1989 Age: 22 Bats: L Throw s: R Height: 6 6 W eight: 225 Breakout: 2% Improve: 33% Collapse: 4% Attrition: 17% MLB: 68% Comparables: Mike Ivie,Jason Thompson,Billy Butler YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 TEAM MYR MIS GW N ATL ATL ATL TEAM MYR MIS GW N ATL ATL ATL TEAM MYR MIS GW N ATL ATL ATL LVL A+ AA AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL A+ AA AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL A+ AA AAA MLB MLB MLB AGE 19 19 20 20 21 22 SO 41 19 84 8 142 108 PA 297 169 519 24 635 535 SB 1 0 6 0 4 3 R 43 15 73 3 67 65 2B 19 8 35 1 32 25 3B 0 0 2 0 0 1 HR 6 2 18 1 21 16 RBI 34 24 87 1 76 63 BB 26 11 43 0 53 39CS 4 0 2 0 4 2 BRR -2.3 -0.5 -0.5 -0.1 -2.1 -0.4AVG_OBP_SLG .302/.397/.447 .248/.317/.342 .319/.384/.521 .167/.167/.333 .282/.346/.448 .271/.332/.426 FRAA 0.3 0.6 -0.6 0.1 -5.1 1B -13 WARP 1.0 -0.4 2.5 -0.1 0.8 1.3TAv .293 .242 .297 .193 .280 .271BABIP .341 .273 .359 .200 .339 .315Finding a harmony betw een the scouting reports and defensive metrics about Freeman is impossible. Folks w ho w atched Freeman know about his picking-and-scooping abilities as w ell as his strong arm,characteristics that fan the flames of contention. Freemans offensive output is less controversial. He became the youngest first baseman in club history to belt 20-plus home runs during the regular season, and produced at rates better than league-average. The dow nsides to Freemans season at the plate w ere his strikeouts (more than expected), issues against left-handed pitching, and w ayw ard plate discipline. Still, receiving as much offense as the Braves did from a 21-year-old in his freshman campaign is a blessing more than a curse. The big question is w hether Freeman w ill be w orthy of the Captain Marvel Jr. nickname, or if he just becomes a solid everyday first baseman.Jason Heyward RFBorn: 8/9/1989 Age: 22 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 6 W eight: 240 Breakout: 4% Improve: 41% Collapse: 1% Attrition: 16% MLB: 83% Comparables: Keith Mitchell,Gary Carter,Curt Blefary YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM MYR MIS ATL ATL ATL TEAM MYR MIS ATL ATL ATL TEAM MYR MIS ATL ATL ATL LVL A+ AA MLB MLB MLB LVL A+ AA MLB MLB MLB LVL A+ AA MLB MLB MLB AGE 19 19 20 21 22 SO 30 19 128 93 88 PA 214 195 623 454 461 SB 4 5 11 9 8 R 34 32 83 50 59 2B 12 13 29 18 20 3B 0 4 5 2 3 HR 10 7 18 14 15 RBI 31 30 72 42 54 BB 21 28 91 51 56CS 0 1 6 2 3 BRR 1 1.3 -0.1 -0.6 -0.1AVG_OBP_SLG .296/.373/.519 .352/.453/.611 .277/.393/.456 .227/.319/.389 .267/.363/.439 FRAA 1.1 4.8 1.6 3 RF 4, CF -0TAv .319 .377 .304 .254 .291BABIP .309 .368 .335 .260 .308WARP 1.9 3.2 3.9 0.5 2.4Less than tw o years ago, Braves fans w ere touting Heyw ard as the next hometow n hero. After a disappointing 2011, some of those same fans w ere lamenting having Heyw ard instead of Mike Stanton. Heyw ard started April looking right and killing everythingsmashing seven home runs and ow ning an OPS near 900. Unfortunately for Heyw ard, the season extended into late September, but his offensive production did not. He w ound up on the disabled list due to shoulder inflammation, and Chipper Jones took the time to add insult to injury by questioning his toughness. W hen Heyw ard returned, Fredi Gonzalez then sprinkled some salt into the w ound by opting to bench Heyw ard for Matt Diaz and Jose Constanza. The J-Hey Kid still profiles as one of baseballs next great stars, but he needs to duplicate and exceed his freshman campaign. For now , give Heyw ard the benefit of the doubt that he w ill do just that in 2012.Brandon Hicks SSBorn: 9/14/1985 Age: 26 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 3 W eight: 200 Breakout: 1% Improve: 45% Collapse: 6%Attrition: 21% MLB: 79% Comparables: Grant Psomas,Felipe Lopez,Jose Valentin YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM MIS GW N ATL GW N ATL ATL TEAM MIS GW N ATL GW N ATL ATL TEAM MIS GW N ATL GW N ATL ATL LVL AA AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL AA AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL AA AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB AGE 23 24 24 25 25 26 SO 131 74 2 137 9 76 PA 534 287 6 407 22 250 SB 17 10 0 8 0 5 R 63 27 7 52 1 25 2B 25 9 0 14 0 8 3B 4 1 0 1 0 1 HR 10 7 0 18 0 6 RBI 48 22 0 50 1 23 BB 53 20 1 41 1 20CS 1 6 0 3 0 2 BRR 1.6 1.3 0.7 0.5 -0.6 -0.1AVG_OBP_SLG .237/.317/.373 .211/.279/.333 .000/.167/.000 .252/.333/.446 .048/.091/.048 .216/.283/.345 FRAA 1.8 3.8 0.1 -0.1 -0.1 SS -0, 3B 0TAv .258 .199 .096 .255 .061 .226BABIP .302 .265 .000 .354 .083 .290WARP 2.4 -0.1 0.0 1.4 -0.5 0.2Last year w e w rote that the fact that Hicks got a grand total of six plate appearances in his 16 games tells you everything about his bat. If you did not believe us then, maybe you w ill be more inclined to now . Hicks combines a hitch in his sw ing w ith an uppercut, a combination not conductive to contact or major league success. Given his ability to play each infield position and his occasional pop, Hicks could become a reserve. More likely is a career as a fringe player.Eric Hinske LFBorn: 8/5/1977 Age: 34 Bats: L Throw s: R Height: 6 3 W eight: 225 Breakout: 1% Improve: 27% Collapse: 6% Attrition: 32% MLB: 86% Comparables: Chris Richard,Cliff Floyd,Charlie Maxw ell YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM NYA PIT ATL ATL ATL LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 31 31 32 33 34 PA 98 126 320 264 259 R 13 18 38 24 30 2B 3 9 21 10 11 3B 0 0 1 0 1 HR 7 1 11 10 9 RBI 14 11 51 28 30 BB 10 17 33 26 272012 ATL YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM NYA PIT ATL ATL ATL TEAM NYA PIT ATL ATL ATLMLB 34 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB SO 25 27 75 71 62259 30 11 1 SB 1 0 0 0 2 CS 0 0 0 1 193027 TAv .287 .263 .275 .248 .263AVG_OBP_SLG .226/.316/.512 .255/.373/.368 .256/.338/.456 .233/.311/.403 .235/.322/.413 FRAA -1.7 0.7 -0.4 0.4 LF -1, 1B 1BABIP .222 .333 .308 .288 .280BRR 0.3 -0.4 -0.6 0.2 -0.1WARP 0.3 0.2 0.7 0.3 1.1Hinske ow ns a World Series ring, a Rookie of the Year aw ard, and an equally redoubtable back tattoo. Despite never improving on 2002, he has become a fixture on a contenders bench and has appeared in the postseason in four of the last five seasons. Hinske excels vs. righties, struggles vs. lefties, and can fill in at each of the four corner positions. Such a skill set is a luxury to have on the bench. Factor in the great clubhouse review s he receives and the Braves decision to exercise his option is no surprise.Chipper Jones 3BBorn: 4/24/1972 Age: 40 Bats: B Throw s: R Height: 6 4 W eight: 185 Breakout: 1% Improve: 18% Collapse: 9% Attrition: 17% MLB: 69% Comparables: Mike Schmidt,Rafael Palmeiro,Stan Musial YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM ATL ATL ATL ATL TEAM ATL ATL ATL ATL TEAM ATL ATL ATL ATL LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 37 38 39 40 SO 89 47 80 66 PA 596 381 512 456 R 80 47 56 61 2B 23 21 33 21 3B 2 0 1 1 HR 18 10 18 14 RBI 71 46 70 54 BB 101 61 51 62SB 4 5 2 3CS 1 0 2 1AVG_OBP_SLG .264/.388/.430 .265/.381/.426 .275/.344/.470 .282/.379/.449 FRAA -9.9 1.9 -12.6 3B -6 WARP 2.0 2.4 0.8 3.6TAv .285 .286 .288 .297BABIP .287 .281 .295 .307BRR -0.5 -0.3 -4.9 0The legend goes like this: Bobby Cox, unsold on Joness leadership ability, signed off on drafting the sw itch-hitting third baseman after finding out that Jones punched an opponent w ho yakked at his pitcher. Jones fittingly broke his hand in the act, because hitting and breaking are his tw o dependable qualities. W hen hearty and hale, Jones is a top-10 offensive third baseman w ho makes up for declining pow er output and an ill-stricken glove w ith healthy strikeout and w alk rates. Jones has not played in more than 150 games since 2003, missing at least three w eeks in every season since 2004. There w ill be retirement talk w ith 2012 being Joness last contractually guaranteed season, but his option for 2013 vests w ith a reachable 123 games played.Mycal Jones SSBorn: 5/30/1987 Age: 25 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 5 11 W eight: 165 Breakout: 4% Improve: 35% Collapse: 5% Attrition: 24% MLB: 60% Comparables: Shane Mack,Rich Becker,Steve Garrabrants YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 TEAM DNV ROM MYR MIS ATL TEAM DNV ROM MYR MIS ATL TEAM DNV ROM MYR MIS ATL LVL RK A A+ AA MLB LVL RK A A+ AA MLB LVL RK A A+ AA MLB AGE 22 23 23 24 25 SO 55 48 66 90 62 PA 282 219 318 449 250 R 50 27 51 63 24 2B 18 12 19 25 10 3B 6 0 1 1 1 HR 4 6 7 7 4 RBI 27 34 22 36 20 BB 26 11 31 56 18SB 19 6 15 17 7CS 4 3 4 6 2AVG_OBP_SLG .258/.338/.430 .261/.302/.412 .269/.356/.422 .252/.359/.381 .212/.276/.314 FRAA 0 -2.8 -8.4 3.4 SS -2, CF 0TAv .289 .266 .288 .273 .213BABIP .314 .311 .328 .314 .267BRR 3.6 1.7 4.2 0.7 -0.1WARP 2.3 1.0 1.9 2.3 -0.5Jones is an athletic marvel w ith tools that are still w aiting to progress beyond the ornamental phase. Atlanta drafted him from a Florida junior college and moved him from shortstop to center field last season. Leadoff is the most logical landing spot for Joness skill set since he steals bases (a career 77 percent success rate) and takes w alks to overcome a contact deficiency. Soon to be 25, Jones is more raw than the age or assignment to Triple-A suggests, though he could still w ork his w ay into the majors before long.Matt Lipka SSBorn: 4/15/1992 Age: 20 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 2 W eight: 188 Breakout: 0% Improve: 6% Collapse: 1% Attrition: 4% MLB: 10% Comparables:Freddy Galvis,Drew Cumberland,Hak-Ju Lee YEAR 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2010 2011 2012 TEAM BRA ROM ATL TEAM BRA ROM ATL TEAM BRA ROM ATL LVL RK A MLB LVL RK A MLB LVL RK A MLB AGE 18 19 20 SO 22 83 50 PA 210 585 250 R 33 78 21 2B 8 21 8 3B 4 3 1 HR 1 1 1 RBI 24 37 17 BB 14 42 10SB 20 28 6CS 3 14 3AVG_OBP_SLG .302/.359/.401 .247/.305/.304 .216/.248/.270 FRAA -1.1 3.7 SS 3, 2B 1TAv .307 .237 .189BABIP .337 .288 .265BRR 3.8 4.5 -0.5WARP 2.1 1.4 -1.7Selected w ith the supplemental pick received for losing Mike Gonzalez, Lipka forew ent a football scholarship at the University of Alabama to sign w ith the Braves. His introduction to Low -A ball w ent poorly save a strong Septemberand proved that he still remains more projection than results. Blessed w ith tremendous bat and foot speed along w ith an above-average arm, Lipka could turn into something special if he hits on all cylinders. That seems unlikely, how ever, as he is still unrefined at the plate and in the field in part because of his previous dual-sport commitments. Hes a hard w orker, though. The Braves may elect to push him, and had him play center field during instructspossibly a prelude to a position change.Brian McCann CBorn: 2/20/1984 Age: 28 Bats: L Throw s: R Height: 6 4 W eight: 210 Breakout: 2% Improve: 35% Collapse: 5% Attrition: 20% MLB: 95% Comparables: Charlie OBrien,Dave Sax,Yogi Berra YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM ATL ATL ATL ATL TEAM ATL ATL ATL ATL LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 25 26 27 28 SO 83 98 89 73 PA 551 566 527 504 R 63 63 51 66 2B 35 25 19 26 3B 1 0 0 0 HR 21 21 24 19 RBI 94 77 71 66 BB 49 74 57 50SB 4 5 3 3CS 1 2 2 1AVG_OBP_SLG .281/.349/.486 .269/.375/.453 .270/.351/.466 .278/.354/.468TAv .288 .292 .284 .292YEAR TEAM LVL BABIP BRR FRAA WARP 2009 ATL MLB .297 -1.9 1.5 4.1 2010 ATL MLB .297 -3.4 1.5 4.32011 ATL 2012 ATLMLB .287 MLB .293-2.6 3.6 -0.1 C 23.5 4.0McCann is the best-hitting catcher in the National League and anyone w ho suggests otherw ise is committing an act of impertinence. His career low in home runs over a full season is 18, his career-w orst on-base percentage is .320 (the only time he finished at less than .349), and his slugging percentage has alw ays ended at more than .450. Offensive production like that has earned McCann six straight All-Star appearances w hile making up for defensive deficienciesnamely that he does not throw out many baserunners. McCann has tw o seasons left on his current contract, assuming the Braves pick up a 2013 club option. Look for that to become a regular talking point sooner rather than later if the Joe Mauer hoopla w as any indication.Tyler Pastornicky SSBorn: 12/13/1989 Age: 22 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 0 W eight: 170 Breakout: 2% Improve: 18% Collapse: 10% Attrition: 20% MLB: 54% Comparables: Lenny Faedo,Andres Blanco,Drew Cumberland YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM LNS DUN DUN MIS MIS GW N ATL TEAM LNS DUN DUN MIS MIS GW N ATL TEAM LNS DUN DUN MIS MIS GW N ATL LVL A A+ A+ AA AA AAA MLB LVL A A+ A+ AA AA AAA MLB LVL A A+ A+ AA AA AAA MLB AGE 19 19 20 20 21 21 22 SO 50 7 49 22 34 11 38 PA 459 66 331 160 395 117 250 R 63 9 50 22 50 15 25 2B 11 3 16 5 13 2 8 3B 9 0 0 2 5 0 2 HR 1 0 6 2 6 1 2 RBI 31 3 35 15 36 9 21 BB 39 3 39 16 24 8 14SB 51 6 24 11 20 7 14CS 15 3 7 2 8 3 4AVG_OBP_SLG .269/.334/.346 .270/.303/.317 .258/.345/.376 .254/.323/.366 .299/.345/.414 .365/.407/.413 .250/.294/.330 FRAA -1.2 2.4 -2.1 -3 -9.9 0 SS -2, 2B -1TAv .253 .235 .264 .274 .272 .279 .226BABIP .301 .304 .289 .274 .315 .398 .284BRR 2.9 -0.6 4.8 -0.1 -0.1 -2.1 -0.1WARP 1.6 0.4 1.7 0.7 1.3 0.5 0.2Meet the Braves shortstop of the very near future. Pastornicky held his ow n after a post-trade promotion to Double-A and repeated the level for most of 2011, one-upping his 2010 performance and continuing to hit even after a promotion to Triple-A. By seasons end, Pastornicky found himself on the Atlanta bench as an insurance policy in case of injury. Expect to hear the story about how his father once played for John Schuerholz in Kansas City and hit tw o home runs, but do not anticipate seeing the younger Pastornicky hit too many homers. His offensive game is all about contact, w alks, and speed, and his real value is on defense, thanks to an above-average arm and plentiful range. W ith Alex Gonzalez moving on to Milw aukee, Pastornicky could be the Opening Day shortstop.Martin Prado LFBorn: 10/27/1983 Age: 28 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 2 W eight: 170 Breakout: 1% Improve: 30% Collapse: 9% Attrition: 26% MLB: 75% Comparables: Frank Catalanotto,Juan Rivera,Lou Skizas YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM ATL ATL ATL ATL TEAM ATL ATL ATL ATL TEAM ATL ATL ATL ATL LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 25 26 27 28 SO 59 86 52 63 PA 503 651 590 571 R 64 100 66 70 2B 38 40 26 31 3B 0 3 2 2 HR 11 15 13 12 RBI 49 66 57 66 BB 36 40 34 38SB 1 5 4 4CS 3 3 8 4AVG_OBP_SLG .307/.358/.464 .307/.350/.459 .260/.302/.385 .293/.341/.427 FRAA -4 -0.5 2.6 LF -1, 2B -1TAv .281 .283 .245 .275BABIP .331 .335 .266 .310BRR -1 5.6 -1 -1WARP 1.7 4.0 0.8 2.4There w ere questions about how Prados bat w ould play in an outfield corner, but this w as not w hat people had in mind. Prados batting average cratered w ithout enough w alks or pow er to buoy his offensive value. He entered 2011 as a career .307 hitter through 1,500 plate appearances and ended the year as a career .293 hitter. You w ould expect most second and third basemen to translate to the outfield w ell defensively, and Prado did. There are no red flags suggesting Prado is heading for a permanent dow nfall, as he managed to strike out less often in 2011suggesting this is about making good contact rather than any contactand PECOTA thinks he w ill be just fine in 2012. The real mystery is w hether the Braves enter the season w ith Prado as their starting left fielder.David Ross CBorn: 3/19/1977 Age: 35 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 3 W eight: 205 Breakout: 1% Improve: 34% Collapse: 12% Attrition: 34% MLB: 83% Comparables: Roy Campanella,Jorge Posada,Jason Varitek YEAR TEAM LVL AGE PA R 2B 3B HR RBI BB2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012ATL ATL ATL ATL TEAM ATL ATL ATL ATL TEAM ATL ATL ATL ATLMLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB32 33 34 35 SO 39 28 51 64151 145 170 250 SB 0 0 0 118 15 14 299 13 7 100 2 0 17 2 6 820 28 23 2721 20 16 28 TAv .298 .293 .272 .257CS 0 1 1 1AVG_OBP_SLG .273/.380/.508 .289/.392/.479 .263/.333/.428 .235/.323/.397 FRAA 1.9 0.7 0.9 C3 WARP 1.4 1.1 0.9 1.9BABIP .341 .359 .358 .287BRR -1.4 -1.9 -3.2 -0.1Anointing Ross as the new Practically Perfect Backup Catcher now that Gregg Zaun is busy w ith his new career in television seems just. Ross makes up for not sw itch-hitting by offering pop and w alks aplenty, thus separating him from the typically feckless-w ith-the-bat reserve backstops. Even w ith the offensive chops, Ross still brings it on defensefiguring as a plus receiver and avid hunter of basestalers (a career 38 percent kill rate)and reportedly embraces his role. Expect teams to line up around the block to make him a starter once he hits free agency at seasons end.Edward Salcedo 3BBorn: 7/30/1991 Age: 20 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 4 W eight: 195 Breakout: 2% Improve: 4% Collapse: 0% Attrition: 3% MLB: 7% Comparables: Bobby Borchering,Francisco Martinez,Jefry Marte YEAR 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2010 2011 2012 TEAM ROM ROM ATL TEAM ROM ROM ATL TEAM ROM ROM ATL LVL A A MLB LVL A A MLB LVL A A MLB AGE 18 19 20 SO 56 105 61 PA 209 566 250 SB 6 23 6 R 23 83 22 2B 5 27 9 3B 4 6 2 HR 2 12 3 RBI 16 68 21 BB 11 41 10CS 5 10 3 BRR 0.9 5.9 -0.5AVG_OBP_SLG .197/.236/.295 .248/.315/.396 .210/.245/.302 FRAA 7.3 4.5 3B 1, SS 6TAv .206 .273 .199BABIP .259 .289 .263WARP 0.4 3.6 -1.0Atlanta spent $1.6 million to spring Salcedo from the Dominican Republic, and for good reason. Just 20, Salcedo has a chance to become a pow er-boasting cleanup hitter thanks to a 6-foot-3 frame w ith room to add w eight. The Braves moved him from shortstop to the hot corner preemptively, thus alleviating concerns about range and foot speed w hile keeping his strong arm in play. The numbers from Salcedos repeat stint at Rome do not scream portent. But he possesses above-average bat speed and his raw pow er potential is notable. As you w ould suspect, his pitch selection also needs some w ork. Superstardom is still a possibility, if not the likely destination.Andrelton Simmons SSBorn: 9/4/1989 Age: 22 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 3 W eight: 170 Breakout: 3% Improve: 15% Collapse: 9% Attrition: 17% MLB: 38% Comparables: Jose Castro,Erick Aybar,Joaquin Arias YEAR 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2010 2011 2012 TEAM DNV LYN ATL TEAM DNV LYN ATL TEAM DNV LYN ATL LVL RK A+ MLB LVL RK A+ MLB LVL RK A+ MLB AGE 20 21 22 SO 14 43 33 PA 269 570 250 R 36 69 24 2B 11 35 11 3B 1 6 1 HR 2 1 1 RBI 26 52 21 BB 16 29 8SB 18 26 8CS 4 18 5AVG_OBP_SLG .276/.343/.356 .311/.351/.408 .253/.277/.319 FRAA 14.3 16.5 SS 18 WARP 4.1 5.8 -0.3TAv .295 .275 .215BABIP .286 .334 .283BRR 0.5 0.6 -0.9W hats cooler than being cool? Ice cold! And w hats cooler than being ice cold? Simmonss bat prior to 2011. Equipped w ith a top-notch arm and more than enough range to play shortstop, Simmonss future relies upon how his bat develops. His results improved in his first full season despite a declining w alk rate and increasing strikeout rate. Simmons is listed at a lithe 6-foot-2, 170 pounds, keeping any pow er aspirations in check. Should Simmons fail to develop at the plate, he could alw ays take the route blazed by a similar former Braves shortstopTony Pena Jr.and give the mound a go.Joe Terdoslavich 1BBorn: 9/9/1988 Age: 23 Bats: B Throw s: R Height: 6 2 W eight: 200 Breakout: 5% Improve: 15% Collapse: 5% Attrition: 13% MLB: 30% Comparables: Mark Hamilton,Carmelo Martinez,Micah Schnurstein YEAR 2010 2010 2011 2012 TEAM ROM DNV LYN ATL LVL A RK A+ MLB AGE 21 21 22 23 PA 85 205 536 250 R 7 27 72 26 2B 9 10 52 13 3B 0 2 2 1 HR 0 2 20 7 RBI 10 24 82 28 BB 5 15 41 13YEAR 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2010 2010 2011 2012TEAM ROM DNV LYN ATL TEAM ROM DNV LYN ATLLVL A RK A+ MLB LVL A RK A+ MLBSO 18 27 107 58SB 0 3 2 0CS 0 3 0 0 BRR -1.6 -0.9 -1.3 0AVG_OBP_SLG .316/.365/.430 .296/.351/.402 .286/.341/.526 .234/.273/.382 FRAA -2.4 -2.3 2.7 1B -7, 3B -0TAv .288 .293 .295 .231BABIP .410 .338 .324 .279WARP 0.0 0.8 3.1 -0.6Follow ing a 20-home run regular season, Terdoslavich kept momentum rolling w ith a strong show ing in the Arizona Fall League. An optimist might view the Braves deciding to try him out at the hot corner as a sign they believe in his athleticism. A pessimist w ould point out that it could mean they do not buy his bat. A realist w ould smack both upside the head, then point out that Freeman is younger than Terdoslavich. The odds are long that Terdoslavich becomes more than a bench player, barring a change in skill set.Dan Uggla 2BBorn: 3/11/1980 Age: 32 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 0 W eight: 200 Breakout: 2% Improve: 22% Collapse: 7% Attrition: 13% MLB: 84% Comparables: W oodie Held,Ryne Sandberg,Tom Runnells YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM FLO FLO ATL ATL TEAM FLO FLO ATL ATL TEAM FLO FLO ATL ATL LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 29 30 31 32 SO 150 149 156 154 PA 668 674 672 632 SB 2 4 1 3 R 84 100 88 81 2B 27 31 22 28 3B 1 0 1 1 HR 31 33 36 29 RBI 90 105 82 83 BB 92 78 62 70CS 1 1 3 2 BRR -0.5 0.6 1.9 -0.4AVG_OBP_SLG .243/.354/.459 .287/.369/.508 .233/.311/.453 .249/.338/.461 FRAA -2.2 -6.1 -3.9 2B -6 WARP 2.5 4.8 2.4 3.6TAv .275 .306 .270 .285BABIP .274 .330 .253 .291Just w hen w e w ere this close to calling Uggla a reliable commodity, he w ent and regained his w ild card reputation. There are instances w hen numbers do not do a story justice. Ugglas 2011 season is one such case. He finished w ith a career high in home runs, coinciding w ith a career-low in doubles, remarkable since on Independence Day he had a .173/.241/.327 line. On the next day, Uggla embarked on the mostunlikely 33-game hitting streak in recent memory, boosting his seasonal slash line stats to .231/.297/.450 by the streaks end. Uggla continued to hit and his True Average compared to his numbers posted in 2006, 2007, and 2009. Uggla is still a poor fielder, so his bat has to come true for him to make good on the four years and $53 million remaining on his contract. He amassed the totals in 2011, the Braves just hope he starts quicker in 2012.Jack Wilson SSBorn: 12/29/1977 Age: 34 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 1 W eight: 175 Breakout: 2% Improve: 26% Collapse: 8% Attrition: 40% MLB: 81% Comparables: Aaron Miles,Keith Lockhart,Frank Bolling YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM PIT SEA SEA SEA ATL ATL TEAM PIT SEA SEA SEA ATL ATL TEAM PIT SEA SEA SEA ATL ATL LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 31 31 32 33 33 34 SO 31 17 35 27 12 31 PA 286 116 211 187 45 250 R 26 11 17 22 3 26 2B 18 5 11 8 1 12 3B 1 0 1 0 0 1 HR 4 1 0 0 0 2 RBI 31 8 14 11 0 22 BB 15 6 7 9 1 12SB 2 1 1 5 0 5CS 1 0 2 2 0 2AVG_OBP_SLG .267/.304/.387 .224/.263/.299 .249/.282/.316 .249/.283/.295 .220/.238/.244 .264/.305/.346 FRAA 3.8 -1 5 0.5 -0.6 SS 4, 2B -0TAv .241 .207 .243 .253 .201 .234BABIP .288 .256 .298 .291 .310 .289BRR -0.1 -0.6 -1.5 0.9 0.3 -0.4WARP 1.3 -0.5 0.9 0.7 -0.1 0.5Another player Frank W ren excavated from a non-contenders bench late in the season to act as a security blanket, W ilson did just that by starting five of the Braves final seven games. W ilson is no longer a defensive w izard, and the only magic left in his bat turns it invisible. A litany of injurieseverything from a right foot contusion to hamstring strains and hand surgeryhave robbed W ilson of the dependability factor that tends to give players of his caliber value. Now a free agent, W ilson is unlikely to net a starters job, so the bench could become his second home.Josh Wilson SSBorn: 3/26/1981 Age: 31 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 2 W eight: 180 Breakout: 9% Improve: 31% Collapse: 9% Attrition: 39% MLB: 77% Comparables:Comparables: Gene Alley,Jim Davenport,Gil Velazquez YEAR 2009 2009 2009 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2009 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2009 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2011 2012 TEAM RNO TAC ARI SDN SEA TAC SEA RNO MIL ARI ATL TEAM RNO TAC ARI SDN SEA TAC SEA RNO MIL ARI ATL TEAM RNO TAC ARI SDN SEA TAC SEA RNO MIL ARI ATL LVL AAA AAA MLB MLB MLB AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL AAA AAA MLB MLB MLB AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL AAA AAA MLB MLB MLB AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB AGE 28 28 28 28 28 29 29 30 30 30 31 SO 8 6 3 9 32 15 74 7 21 1 50 PA 61 60 30 43 138 86 388 64 82 10 250 R 5 10 1 2 16 7 22 11 10 3 24 2B 3 2 1 2 8 11 14 5 4 1 11 3B 1 0 0 0 1 1 2 2 0 0 1 HR 1 1 0 0 3 0 2 1 2 0 3 RBI 10 3 2 1 10 11 25 12 4 1 21 BB 7 2 3 3 6 0 14 4 4 0 13SB 1 1 0 0 1 0 5 2 1 0 3CS 1 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 1AVG_OBP_SLG .260/.356/.420 .245/.271/.340 .231/.333/.269 .105/.190/.158 .250/.294/.398 .333/.345/.494 .227/.278/.294 .351/.406/.561 .227/.266/.360 .200/.200/.300 .234/.285/.327 FRAA 0.3 0.8 1.3 -1.3 -1.7 -0.5 12.2 0.5 -0.7 0.1 SS 1, 2B -0TAv .255 .200 .211 .118 .250 .271 .224 .289 .243 .194 .221BABIP .286 .245 .261 .138 .312 .403 .280 .380 .288 .222 .283BRR 0.1 0.6 0.1 -0.2 -1 0.4 -2.1 -0.4 0.4 0.2 -0.1WARP 0.1 0.1 0.1 -0.9 0.0 0.5 1.1 0.5 0.1 0.0 0.0W ilson is surprisingly sixth on the list of shortstops by Fielding Runs Above Average-per-inning over the past three seasons combined (minimum 500 innings), w ith 21.5 FRAA in 1350 1/3 innings, behind usualpast three seasons combined (minimum 500 innings), w ith 21.5 FRAA in 1350 1/3 innings, behind usual suspects such as Brendan Ryan and Rafael Furcal. W ith his replacement-level bat and lack of a great defensive reputation, he is likely to start the season in Gw innett, but could spend time as the Braves backup shortstop before seasons end.Matt Young LFBorn: 10/3/1982 Age: 29 Bats: L Throw s: R Height: 5 9 W eight: 175 Breakout: 1% Improve: 50% Collapse: 4% Attrition: 25% MLB: 87% Comparables: Lenny Green,Reggie W illits,Sam Fuld YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM MIS GW N GW N ATL ATL TEAM MIS GW N GW N ATL ATL TEAM MIS GW N GW N ATL ATL LVL AA AAA AAA MLB MLB LVL AA AAA AAA MLB MLB LVL AA AAA AAA MLB MLB AGE 26 27 28 28 29 SO 59 53 59 6 35 PA 571 555 428 52 250 R 81 88 64 4 27 2B 22 33 16 1 10 3B 10 5 4 0 2 HR 4 3 1 0 1 RBI 33 35 24 1 18 BB 94 57 57 4 29SB 42 39 17 0 12CS 16 7 7 1 4AVG_OBP_SLG .289/.420/.407 .300/.380/.407 .273/.372/.347 .208/.269/.229 .254/.345/.331 FRAA -5.9 4.6 1.5 -0.7 LF 2, CF -3TAv .303 .266 .252 .189 .251BABIP .322 .330 .321 .238 .293BRR 5.7 8.4 4.6 0 -0.1WARP 4.0 3.1 1.4 -0.4 0.8Young made his major league debut in April after spending more than 500 games in the upper minors w ith an on-base percentage of more than .380. The 5-foot-8 lefty sw ings a w et new spaper at the plate, but he majored in Strike Zone Philosophy, can steal bases, and plays defensethe Braves have even crosstrained him betw een the outfield and second baseall boosting his stock as a potential reserve. The lone positive from his major league stint is that the Braves thought w ell enough of him to give him a shot in the first place.PITCHERS Jairo AsencioBorn: 5/5/1984 Age: 28 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 3 W eight: 205 Breakout: 30% Improve: 51% Collapse: 25% Attrition: 14% MLB: 86% Comparables: Bob James,Scott Sanders,Kevin GreggYEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 GW N AAA 25 2009 ATL MLB 25 5 4 27 58 0 0 1 0 3 0H71 1 66 22 3 54 2 39 10 1 16 23 22 EqSO9 9.5 0.0 11.5 7.0 7.4 FIP 2.52 5.31 2.60 4.16 3.86 GB% 49% 45% 47% 44% 46% WARP 1.5 0.0 1.1 -0.3 0.12011 GW N AAA 27 2011 ATL 2012 ATL YEAR 2009 2009 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2011 2011 2012 TEAM GW N ATL GW N ATL ATL TEAM GW N ATL GW N ATL ATL MLB 27 MLB 28 LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB HR 4 0 3 1 23 2 26 47 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 BB 19 2 22 5 9 SO 77 0 70 8 19 6 0 19 0 EqBB9 2.4 6.8 3.6 4.4 3.5 ERA 3.28 3.38 1.81 6.97 4.23BABIP .297 .273 .283 .395 .314WHIP 1.19 1.88 1.12 2.03 1.33FRA 3.46 5.31 3.76 6.22 4.60After missing the 2010 season due to visa issues, the Sabana Grande del Palenque native returned to professional baseball in 2011 w ith a new name. Previously know n as Luis Valdez, Asencio continued to throw a fastball that topped out in the mid-90s along w ith a slider and changeup. Look for Asencio to spend time in the majors in 2012 after a strong Triple-A campaign.Luis AvilanBorn: 7/19/1989 Age: 22 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 3 W eight: 165 Breakout: 25% Improve: 48% Collapse: 12% Attrition: 7% MLB: 76% Comparables: Steve Carlton,Jerry Reuss,Cesar Jimenez YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 DNV 2010 ROM 2010 MYR 2011 MIS 2012 ATL RK A 19 20 0 2 2 2 1 0 4 3 9 4 8 1 1 1 0 14 3 10 0 31 0 H38 1 25 20 2 14 48 38A+ 20 AA 21 MLB 2236 13 106 1 113 14 2 32 2 34YEAR TEAM LVL HR BB SO EqBB9 EqSO9 GB% 2009 DNV RK 1 17 34 4.0 8.0 56%2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012ROM MYR MIS ATL TEAM DNV ROM MYR MIS ATLA A+ AA MLB LVL RK A A+ AA MLB1 5 10 49 16 36 1518 34 78 173.9 3.4 3.0 4.1 ERA 3.05 2.61 3.94 4.57 5.439.1 6.9 6.6 4.6 FIP 3.90 3.85 4.58 4.30 5.1356% 48% 45% 43% FRA 5.21 4.14 5.61 4.97 5.90 WARP -0.3 0.2 -0.3 0.1 -0.2BABIP .240 .250 .284 .304 .301WHIP 1.10 1.16 1.25 1.40 1.51The Braves left Avilan exposed in the 2010 Rule 5 draft, but felt strong enough about his 2011 to add him to the 40-man roster in November. W hat changed? Avilan show ed his stuff can w ork against Double-A hitters and spent the final tw o months toiling aw ay in the rotation. Another Venezuelan product, Avilan continued to start in w inter ball and should figure into the Braves Triple-A rotation plans at some point in 2012.Brandon BeachyBorn: 9/3/1986 Age: 25 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 4 W eight: 215 Breakout: 13% Improve: 42% Collapse: 19% Attrition: 16% MLB: 93% Comparables: Yovani Gallardo,Al Hrabosky,Joba Chamberlain YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 MYR A+ 22 4 3 1 22 8 58 2010 MIS AA 23 3 1 1 2 0 1 0 2 0 7 3 0 6 5 0 BB 15 18 5 7 46 34 SO 47 67 33 15 169 104 27 6 8 7 3 3 H 59 2 38 732010 GW N AAA 23 2010 ATL 2011 ATL 2012 ATL YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 TEAM MYR MIS GW N ATL ATL ATL TEAM MYR MIS GW N MLB 23 MLB 24 MLB 25 LVL A+ AA AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL A+ AA AAA HR 2 2 1 0 16 1045 2 30 15 16 25 25 141 2 125 25 17 111 98 EqBB9 2.3 2.7 1.2 4.2 2.9 2.7 ERA 3.41 1.47 2.17 EqSO9 7.3 12.2 9.5 9.0 10.7 8.4 FIP 3.36 2.90 2.83 GB% 50% 42% 44% 33% 36% 39% WARP 0.7 1.8 1.1BABIP .328 .295 .302WHIP 1.28 1.02 1.01FRA 4.08 3.04 3.502010 ATL 2011 ATL 2012 ATLMLB .356 MLB .312 MLB .3111.53 1.21 1.183.00 2.51 3.24 0.4 3.68 3.16 3.64 2.1 3.56 3.42 3.87 1.8Beachy lacked an out pitch entering the season, but he seemed to manage just fine. By being able to locate his fastball, slider, and changeup for strikes, Beachy kept batters off balance and shrugged off hints of predictability, thereby managing to fan 169 batters in 141 2/3 innings pitched during his freshman campaign. PECOTA expects Beachy to concede to his prospect day expectations rather than repeat his star-like performance, but w ho can be sure? After all, nobody saw the Kokomo Kid getting this far.Billy BullockBorn: 2/27/1988 Age: 24 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 7 W eight: 225 Breakout: 35% Improve: 55% Collapse: 16% Attrition: 9% MLB: 94% Comparables: Jack Meyer,Henry Rodriguez,Mark Clear YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 BLT 2010 FTM 2010 NBR 2011 MIS 2012 ATL YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 TEAM BLT FTM NBR MIS ATL TEAM BLT FTM NBR MIS ATL A 21 3 0 8 26 0 HA+ 22 AA 22 AA 23 MLB 24 LVL A A+ AA AA MLB LVL A A+ AA AA MLB HR 0 2 3 2 20 4 14 28 0 2 4 13 30 0 3 1 11 50 0 1 0 1 BB 12 16 20 32 10 SO 35 37 39 65 20 17 0 EqBB9 4.1 4.6 5.9 6.2 4.7 ERA 2.74 3.62 3.43 4.53 4.2726 1 25 37 1 29 36 2 24 49 2 32 19 2 17 EqSO9 12.0 10.9 14.7 11.8 9.1 FIP 3.12 3.69 4.41 3.68 4.02 GB% 33% 45% 46% 55% 44% WARP 1.1 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.1BABIP .385 .403 .404 .275 .312WHIP 1.41 1.55 1.58 1.39 1.37FRA 1.78 4.76 4.54 4.91 4.64Tracing Bullocks Braves origins provides another excuse to credit the organizations ability to identify and develop undervalued talent, in this case: amateur free agents. They signed Scott Diamond back in 2007, left him unprotected in the 2010 Rule 5 draft, then traded Diamonds rights to the Tw ins for Bullock. Diamond had no chance to crack this years Braves rotation or any in the next few seasons, but Bullock could find himself in the bullpen sooner rather than later. He is a big righty w ith a mean fastball (clocked in the upper-90s before) and no idea w here the ball is headed once it leaves his grip.Jaye ChapmanBorn: 5/22/1987 Age: 25 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 1 W eight: 180Breakout: 34% Improve: 60% Collapse: 12% Attrition: 12% MLB: 89% Comparables: David Aardsma,Billy Koch,Cecilio Guante YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 ROM 2009 MYR 2010 MIS A 22 1 0 13 19 0 1 2 0 1 4 0 2 3 2 1 0 0 BB 4 20 14 26 8 SO 29 37 38 61 12 27 0 36 1 43 1 13 0 EqBB9 1.6 5.1 4.5 4.3 4.5 ERA 0.40 4.33 5.19 2.98 4.84 HA+ 22 AA 2322 2 9 35 1 35 50 1 43 54 1 40 16 2 16 EqSO9 11.5 9.4 9.5 10.1 6.7 FIP 1.57 4.06 3.06 3.63 4.76 GB% 59% 52% 45% 51% 40% WARP 0.8 0.0 0.0 0.7 -0.02011 GW N AAA 24 2012 ATL YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM ROM MYR MIS GW N ATL TEAM ROM MYR MIS GW N ATL MLB 25 LVL A A+ AA AAA MLB LVL A A+ AA AAA MLB HR 0 3 0 5 2BABIP .176 .330 .398 .273 .304WHIP 0.57 1.56 1.69 1.21 1.45FRA 1.82 5.10 4.82 4.70 5.26Taken in the 16th round of the 2005 draft, Chapmans control issues made him an afterthought until 2011. In 52 games betw een Double-A and Triple-A, Chapman show ed improved control. He is a short righty w ith a fastball that can sneak into the mid-90s and a plus changeup. Should Chapman keep throw ing strikes, he w ill find his w ay into the majors before the 2012 season ends.Randall DelgadoBorn: 2/9/1990 Age: 22 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 4 W eight: 165 Breakout: 20% Improve: 50% Collapse: 21% Attrition: 10% MLB: 86% Comparables: Chris Tillman,Larry Dierker,Alex Fernandez YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H 2009 ROM A 19 5 10 0 25 25 124 123 2010 MYR A+ 20 4 7 0 20 20 117 1 78 2010 MIS 2011 MIS 2011 ATL AA 20 AA 21 MLB 21 3 5 0 5 5 0 1 1 0 8 8 43 2 21 21 21 117 1 113 7 7 35 292012 ATL YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM ROM MYR MIS MIS ATL ATL TEAM ROM MYR MIS MIS ATL ATLMLB 22 LVL A A+ AA AA MLB MLB LVL A A+ AA AA MLB MLB HR 9 6 2 11 5 84 5 0 BB 49 25 14 44 14 31 SO 141 104 25 104 18 4712 12 68 2 67 EqSO9 10.2 9.2 8.6 8.4 4.6 6.2 FIP 3.46 3.12 4.10 3.97 5.11 4.70 GB% 50% 55% 43% 45% 40% 45% WARP 1.2 2.2 0.4 0.8 0.0 -0.1EqBB9 3.6 2.5 4.1 3.5 3.6 4.1 ERA 4.35 2.76 4.74 3.84 2.83 4.94BABIP .341 .283 .250 .319 .220 .302WHIP 1.39 1.03 1.28 1.38 1.23 1.44FRA 4.25 3.45 4.60 4.74 5.18 5.37Delgado enters 2012 as a 22-year-old w ith more starts in the majors than Triple-A. The major league experience failed to expose Delgado, and that is a positive sign. Smooth arm action gives w ay to a fastball that can touch the mid-90s, and Delgado show s versatility w ith his plus-curveball by throw ing the breaker for strikes or plunging it into the dirt. Delgados changeup is more mundane, and he can overthrow the pitch at times, although he could develop it into a third above-average offering. Delgado may become a good teams number tw o starter or a lesser teams ace. More likely is that he takes his place as a number three starter.Cory GearrinBorn: 4/14/1986 Age: 26 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 4 W eight: 200 Breakout: 25% Improve: 57% Collapse: 19% Attrition: 13% MLB: 91% Comparables: Mark W ohlers,Brandon Medders,Rich Gossage YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 MYR 2009 MIS A+ 23 AA 23 0 2 17 27 0 1 2 2 3 5 0 4 1 4 1 1 0 1 0 0 BB 3 8 21 SO 32 20 42 20 0 52 0 35 0 18 0 24 0 EqBB9 0.9 2.8 3.6 H29 1 22 25 1 19 80 1 42 50 42 18 1 17 33 2 30 EqSO9 9.8 7.1 7.4 GB% 63% 42% 67%2010 GW N AAA 24 2011 GW N AAA 25 2011 ATL 2012 ATL YEAR 2009 2009 2010 TEAM MYR MIS GW N MLB 25 MLB 26 LVL A+ AA AAA HR 2 2 42011 GW N AAA 0 2011 ATL MLB 0 2012 ATL MLB 3 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM MYR MIS GW N GW N ATL ATL LVL A+ AA AAA AAA MLB MLB20 60 3.6 12 25 5.9 15 29 4.1 WHIP 0.85 1.07 1.30 1.24 1.58 1.33 ERA 1.84 2.85 3.36 1.80 7.85 4.1810.8 12.3 7.8 FIP 2.46 3.85 4.14 2.22 2.56 3.9862% 61% 53% FRA 3.97 4.78 4.89 3.81 3.56 4.55 WARP 0.5 0.0 0.8 1.2 0.3 0.2BABIP .260 .254 .252 .331 .370 .304Gearrin is the logical successor to Peter Moylan. From arm slot (side) to prominent strengths (generates groundballs, annoys righties) and velocity (maxes out in the low -90s), Gearrin is like a Moylan facsimile. During his time in the majors he faced 50 right-handed batters, retiring 18 by strikeout and allow ing 13 to reach base. Less impressive w as Gearrins performance against lefties, although four of his six w alks issued w ere intentional in nature. A future righty specialist.Tommy HansonBorn: 8/28/1986 Age: 25 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 7 W eight: 220 Breakout: 14% Improve: 39% Collapse: 17% Attrition: 9% MLB: 96% Comparables: Chad Billingsley,Chad Cordero,Adam W ainw right YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 GW N AAA 22 2009 ATL 2010 ATL 2011 ATL 2012 ATL YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 TEAM GW N ATL ATL ATL ATL TEAM GW N ATL ATL ATL MLB 22 MLB 23 MLB 24 MLB 25 LVL AAA MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB MLB MLB HR 5 10 14 17 12 3 3 0 11 4 0 10 11 0 11 7 0 8 7 0 BB 17 46 56 46 39 SO 90 116 173 142 106 H11 11 66 1 40 21 21 127 2 105 34 34 202 2 182 22 22 130 106 21 21 123 1 102 EqSO9 12.2 8.2 7.7 9.8 7.7 FIP 2.36 3.46 3.33 3.64 GB% 38% 41% 43% 41% 40% WARP 1.8 2.1 3.8 1.2EqBB9 2.3 3.2 2.5 3.2 2.9 ERA 1.49 2.89 3.33 3.60BABIP .248 .279 .290 .271WHIP 0.86 1.18 1.17 1.17FRA 2.74 4.01 3.71 3.892012 ATLMLB .2851.143.40 3.70 3.70 2.2Tendinitis in Hansons right shoulder limited him to 22 starts in his third major league season. W hen he did pitch, he show ed a juiced up strikeout rate (from 7.7 batters per nine innings to 9.8) and allow ed more gopherballs than during his first 55 starts in the majors. Hanson averaged a career-low innings pitched per start, and yet still found a w ay to throw more than 100 pitches in almost as many games in 2011 as he did in 2010 despite making 12 few er starts. Everyone is w aiting for Hansons perception to shift from good starter to great starter, and it could come in 2012 if he can stay on the mound and out of the trainers room.J.J. HooverBorn: 8/13/1987 Age: 24 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 4 W eight: 215 Breakout: 36% Improve: 60% Collapse: 20% Attrition: 17% MLB: 91% Comparables: John Verhoeven,Jake Peavy,Frankie De La Cruz YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 ROM 2010 MYR 2011 MIS 2012 ATL YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM ROM MYR MIS ATL TEAM ROM MYR MIS ATL A 21 7 6 1 11 6 0 2 5 1 2 2 0 BB 25 30 29 15 SO 148 96 85 28 HA+ 22 AA 23 MLB 24 LVL A A+ AA MLB LVL A A+ AA MLB HR 9 5 5 425 18 134 1 135 24 24 132 2 111 31 12 87 10 6 38 EqBB9 1.7 2.4 2.9 3.6 ERA 3.35 3.26 2.48 4.64 EqSO9 9.9 8.0 8.9 6.5 FIP 2.85 3.27 3.23 4.28 64 37 GB% 47% 43% 34% 39% WARP 2.3 2.2 1.0 0.1BABIP .341 .309 .265 .309WHIP 1.19 1.21 1.07 1.37FRA 3.46 3.73 3.85 5.04Having tremendous starting pitching depth is not a victimless crime. Most organizations w ould view Hoover as a number four or five starter. Not Atlanta. By seasons end Hoover pitched from the bullpen in Gw innet, and that could be his major league home if he stays w ith the Braves. Hoover keeps a quick tempo and comes after batters w ith a low -90s fastball. He throw s every secondary pitch under the sun, w ith a curveball being the best of the bunch and a changeup being the w orst. Having a breadth of options is nice and helps to shake batters on his trail, but he lacks an out pitch. Another flaw in Hoovers game is his shaky command. Throw ing strikes is one thing, throw ing quality strikes is another.Tim HudsonBorn: 7/14/1975 Age: 36 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 1 W eight: 160 Breakout: 21% Improve: 49% Collapse: 26% Attrition: 8% MLB: 90% Comparables: Hiroki Kuroda,Chris Carpenter,Tom CandiottiYEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 ATL 2010 ATL 2011 ATL 2012 ATL YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM ATL ATL ATL ATL TEAM ATL ATL ATL ATL MLB 33 MLB 34 MLB 35 MLB 36 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 4 20 14 15 2 1 0 17 9 0 16 10 0 12 10 0 BB 13 74 56 49 SO 30 139 158 99 7 7H42 1 49 34 34 228 2 189 33 33 215 189 28 28 187 2 173 EqSO9 6.4 5.5 6.6 4.8 FIP 3.79 4.12 3.36 3.97 GB% 61% 65% 58% 60% WARP 0.9 2.8 2.5 2.8EqBB9 2.8 2.9 2.3 2.4 ERA 3.61 2.83 3.22 3.56BABIP .341 .253 .276 .288WHIP 1.46 1.15 1.14 1.18FRA 4.40 4.61 4.12 3.87Believe it or not, Hudson has now tallied more innings w ith the Braves than the Athletics. That Hudson has pitched back-to-back 200-plus inning seasons after recovering from August 2008 Tommy John surgery is a testament to the advances of modern medicine. A testament to the advances of Hudson is that he has made 10 or more starts in 12 big league seasons and recorded quality starts in 70 percent or higher in seven of those campaigns. W ith Derek Low e exiled to Cleveland, Hudson becomes the only graybeard on an increasingly cherub-faced staff, and Atlanta w ill depend on him for leadership, stability, and everything else that lonely old pitchers provide to young rotations on contending teams.Jair JurrjensBorn: 1/29/1986 Age: 26 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 2 W eight: 160 Breakout: 17% Improve: 44% Collapse: 19% Attrition: 5% MLB: 93% Comparables: Clay Hensley,Bob Sadow ski,Pat Jarvis YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H 2009 ATL MLB 23 14 10 0 34 34 215 186 2010 ATL MLB 24 7 6 0 20 20 116 1 120 2011 ATL 2012 ATL YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM ATL ATL ATL ATL MLB 25 MLB 26 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 15 13 14 11 13 6 0 7 7 0 BB 75 42 44 39 SO 152 86 90 74 23 23 152 142 20 20 123 117 EqSO9 6.4 6.7 5.3 5.4 GB% 45% 43% 44% 47%EqBB9 3.1 3.2 2.6 2.8YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012TEAM ATL ATL ATL ATLLVL MLB MLB MLB MLBBABIP .274 .306 .273 .295WHIP 1.21 1.39 1.22 1.27ERA 2.60 4.64 2.96 4.03FIP 3.64 4.22 3.95 4.11FRA 4.13 4.59 4.25 4.38WARP 3.6 1.2 1.2 1.2Jurrjenss 2011 presents a conundrum for the Braves. He posted a sub-3 earned run average for the second time in three seasons, but still provided reason for w orry. A decline in velocity has left Jurrjens sitting in the upper-80s and topping out in the 93-94 mph range, as opposed to w hen he used to sit around 91 and touch 95-96. It w ould be unfair to implicate the velocity drop as the only party responsible for a career-low strikeout rate; how ever, it w ould be irresponsible to ignore it as a contributing factor. To Jurrjenss credit, he did shave a little off his w alk rate, although his strikeout-to-w alk ratio remained betw een 2.03 and 2.05 for the third consecutive season. Jurrjens is not as good as he show ed last season, and the Braves w ould be smart to move him before he gets expensive or his elbow pops.Craig KimbrelBorn: 5/28/1988 Age: 24 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 0 W eight: 205 Breakout: 32% Improve: 51% Collapse: 17% Attrition: 6% MLB: 96% Comparables: Chris Perez,Jonathan Broxton,Francisco Rodriguez YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 MYR A+ 21 0 2 2 19 0 H2010 GW N AAA 22 2010 ATL 2011 ATL 2012 ATL YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 TEAM MYR GW N ATL ATL ATL TEAM MYR GW N ATL ATL ATL MLB 22 MLB 23 MLB 24 LVL A+ AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL A+ AAA MLB MLB MLB HR 2 2 0 3 43 2 23 48 0 4 0 1 21 026 1 18 55 2 20 20 2 9 77 48 64 2 39 EqSO9 15.4 13.4 17.4 14.8 12.6 FIP 4.22 3.76 1.56 1.49 2.76 GB% 61% 59% 28% 45% 48% WARP -0.1 1.0 0.6 2.2 1.84 3 46 79 0 3 2 27 62 0 BB 28 29 16 32 33 SO 45 56 40 127 90 EqBB9 9.6 5.7 7.0 3.7 4.6 ERA 5.48 1.62 0.44 2.10 2.45BABIP .356 .240 .281 .317 .300WHIP 1.75 1.13 1.21 1.04 1.12FRA 5.74 3.71 2.49 2.39 2.66Few rookie seasons have impressed like Kimbrels. Fredi Gonzalez used Kimbrel early and often, and Kimbrel ended the season w ith the second-most appearances in the majors, trailing teammate Jonny Venters. The best statistical nugget from Kimbrels efforts w ere his 38 appearances in a row w ithout allow ing a run, the longest such streak since the most recent round of expansion. Kimbrel passed the eye test, too. Ifyou trust PITCHf/x data, then no fastball Kimbrel threw w ent slow er than 92 mph. Believable, given that Kimbrels heater is a true plus-plus pitch that combines breakneck velocity w ith fine movement. The other plus-plus offering in Kimbrels package, a slider, serves as a good put-aw ay pitch. Should Kimbrel falter, expect to hear about usage to the point of abuse, but it takes a strong man to avoid using an arm like this as much as he can.Scott LinebrinkBorn: 8/4/1976 Age: 35 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 4 W eight: 185 Breakout: 35% Improve: 50% Collapse: 21% Attrition: 6% MLB: 90% Comparables: Jack Morris,Joel Peralta,Jim Bunning YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H 2009 CHA MLB 32 3 7 2 57 0 56 70 2010 CHA MLB 33 3 2 0 52 0 57 1 59 2011 ATL 2012 ATL YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM CHA CHA ATL ATL TEAM CHA CHA ATL ATL MLB 34 MLB 35 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 9 11 6 7 4 4 1 3 1 0 BB 23 17 21 16 SO 55 52 42 39 64 0 53 0 EqBB9 3.7 2.7 3.5 2.8 ERA 4.66 4.40 3.64 4.39 54 1 58 51 1 50 EqSO9 8.8 8.2 7.0 6.8 FIP 4.66 4.77 4.26 4.39 GB% 39% 34% 41% 41% WARP 0.3 0.0 -0.1 0.2BABIP .361 .296 .321 .304WHIP 1.66 1.33 1.45 1.28FRA 5.38 5.31 4.97 4.77Once upon a time, Linebrinks name belonged among the games elite relievers. Now adays, Linebrink keeps modest company, and his name is synonymous w ith humdrum veteran reliever. He does not excel at any one aspectnot even in retiring batters of a certain handbut did everything just w ell enough to finish w ith a passable strikeout-to-w alk rate and earned run average.Cristhian MartinezBorn: 3/6/1982 Age: 30 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 2 W eight: 160 Breakout: 9% Improve: 43% Collapse: 22% Attrition: 13% MLB: 88% Comparables: Ryan Franklin,Brian Bannister,Cory Lidle YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H 2009 JAX AA 27 9 3 0 17 16 104 96 2009 FLO MLB 27 1 1 0 15 0 26 1 27 2010 GW N AAA 28 2010 ATL MLB 28 5 1 0 0 0 0 23 2 18 0 52 2 30 26 282010 ATL 2011 ATL 2012 ATL YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 TEAM JAX FLO GW N ATL ATL ATL TEAM JAX FLO GW N ATL ATL ATLMLB 28 MLB 29 MLB 30 LVL AA MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL AA MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB HR 7 2 2 3 8 80 0 0 1 3 0 2 1 0 BB 22 8 7 6 19 17 SO 62 18 34 22 58 3018 0 46 0 32 2 EqBB9 1.9 2.7 1.4 2.1 2.2 2.4 ERA 2.94 5.13 3.07 4.85 3.36 4.7426 28 77 2 56 62 2 66 EqSO9 5.4 6.2 8.4 7.6 6.7 4.4 FIP 3.53 3.59 3.13 3.61 3.69 4.72 GB% 52% 56% 54% 59% 49% 47% WARP 0.9 0.2 0.6 0.0 -0.2 -0.0BABIP .279 .301 .262 .316 .220 .297WHIP 1.13 1.33 1.01 1.31 0.97 1.32FRA 4.32 4.38 4.77 5.03 5.09 5.15The rubber-armed Martinez w ent multiple innings in 31 of his 46 appearances w hile admirably mopping up messes. Despite low w alk rates and respectable groundball rates, Martinez may never become much more than a suitable long reliever thanks to pedestrian stuff. His fastball tops out in the low -90s and outside of his changeup, the rest of his arsenal fails to inspire confidence. If any team has the bullpen depth to avoid falling victim to the Peter Principle, Atlanta is it, so expect Martinez to return to his janitorial post in 2012.Kris MedlenBorn: 10/7/1985 Age: 26 Bats: B Throw s: R Height: 5 11 W eight: 190 Breakout: 20% Improve: 52% Collapse: 23% Attrition: 5% MLB: 98% Comparables: Roy Osw alt,Zack Greinke,Erik Hanson YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 GW N AAA 23 2009 ATL 2010 ATL 2011 ATL 2012 ATL YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 TEAM GW N ATL ATL ATL MLB 23 MLB 24 MLB 25 MLB 26 LVL AAA MLB MLB MLB HR 0 5 13 0 5 0 0 3 5 0 6 2 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 BB 10 30 21 0 SO 44 72 83 2 8 6 37 4 H37 2 20 67 2 6531 14 107 2 108 2 0 21 1 5 2 EqBB9 2.4 4.0 1.8 0.0 18 EqSO9 10.5 9.6 6.9 7.7 17 GB% 45% 42% 44% 33%2011 ATL 2012 ATL YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM GW N ATL ATL ATL ATLMLB 0 MLB 2 LVL AAA MLB MLB MLB MLB0 52 0.0 15 2.4 WHIP 0.80 1.40 1.20 0.43 1.19 ERA 1.19 4.26 3.68 0.00 3.677.7 7.3 FIP 1.61 3.31 3.80 1.28 3.8233% 44% FRA 2.44 3.70 4.27 2.71 3.99 WARP 1.3 1.2 1.4 0.0 0.3BABIP .241 .335 .305 .167 .311Unearthed as a collegiate shortstop, Medlen makes the most of being 5-foot-10 by throw ing in the low to-mid-90s and tossing a great changeup. Medlens first tw o big-league seasons consisted of splitting time betw een the bullpen and rotation, but his UCL popped in 2010, costing him most of 2011. A return to the bullpen makes sense given the Braves rotation depth, and Medlens reverse splits could provide a neat w rinkle for the team to exploit.Mike MinorBorn: 12/26/1987 Age: 24 Bats: R Throw s: L Height: 6 4 W eight: 210 Breakout: 32% Improve: 62% Collapse: 19% Attrition: 12% MLB: 95% Comparables: Scott Sanderson,Jeremy Hellickson,W illie Adams YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2010 MIS AA 22 2 6 0 15 15 87 2010 GW N AAA 22 2010 ATL MLB 22 4 1 0 3 2 0 4 5 0 5 3 0 6 6 0 BB 26 8 11 27 30 32 SO 77 23 43 99 77 85 6 6 9 8 H 48 1 13 33 40 2 532011 GW N AAA 23 2011 ATL 2012 ATL YEAR 2010 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2010 2010 2010 2011 2011 TEAM MIS GW N ATL GW N ATL ATL TEAM MIS GW N ATL GW N ATL MLB 23 MLB 24 LVL AA AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL AA AAA MLB AAA MLB HR 4 1 6 12 7 1016 16 100 2 93 15 15 82 2 93 18 18 101 98 EqBB9 3.5 3.2 2.4 2.4 3.3 2.8 ERA 4.03 1.89 5.98 3.13 4.14 EqSO9 11.3 10.0 9.5 8.9 8.4 7.6 FIP 3.28 3.26 3.79 3.69 3.36 GB% 48% 50% 38% 45% 39% 43% WARP 1.3 1.0 0.0 1.5 1.1BABIP .310 .267 .382 .299 .354WHIP 1.24 0.93 1.57 1.19 1.49FRA 3.91 2.94 5.17 4.59 4.142012 ATLMLB .3221.284.13 3.76 4.49 0.9Atlanta took body blow s from the community after drafting Minor in 2009. The seventh overall pick is not one usually associated w ith risk aversion, but the gambit paid off. Minor increased his velocity and stock, shooting through the minors thanks to an already healthy arsenal that featured a plus changeup and improving breaking ball. Despite losing the fifth starters job to Beachy in camp, Minor still made 15 starts and opened the season in the rotation due to a Jurrjens injury. Although he allow ed a below leagueaverage number of runs, the component measures suggest he pitched w ell. Expect Minor to open 2012 in the big-league rotation.Peter MoylanBorn: 12/2/1978 Age: 33 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 3 W eight: 200 Breakout: 21% Improve: 37% Collapse: 37% Attrition: 11% MLB: 95% Comparables: Jim Mecir,Hoyt W ilhelm,Jose Mesa YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H 2009 ATL MLB 30 6 2 0 87 0 73 65 2010 ATL MLB 31 6 2 1 85 0 63 2 53 2011 ATL 2012 ATL YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM ATL ATL ATL ATL TEAM ATL ATL ATL ATL MLB 32 MLB 33 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 0 5 0 1 2 1 0 1 1 0 BB 35 37 3 8 SO 61 52 10 14 13 0 26 0 EqBB9 4.3 5.2 3.2 3.5 ERA 2.84 2.97 3.24 3.66 8 1 12 19 2 17 EqSO9 7.5 7.4 10.8 6.6 FIP 2.91 4.33 1.67 3.66 GB% 64% 69% 84% 62% WARP 1.2 -0.5 0.1 0.3BABIP .314 .282 .480 .296WHIP 1.37 1.41 1.80 1.26FRA 3.89 5.88 3.70 3.98Years after w ashing out of the Tw ins system, Moylan pitched in the 2006 World Baseball Classic. Little know n then, Moylan has become a mainstay in the Braves bullpen more than 250 innings later. Ol faithful missed most of 2011 w hile recovering from tw o surgeriesone to fix a bulging disc, the other to repair a torn labrum and rotator cuff. Moylans side-arm throw ing, groundball-getting w ays are a luxury in the bullpen, but the Braves have Cory Gearrin hanging around at a low er cost. A free agent at seasons end, Moylan may continue his great story in another city.Eric OFlahertyBorn: 2/5/1985 Age: 27 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 3 W eight: 195 Breakout: 26% Improve: 47% Collapse: 16% Attrition: 12% MLB: 95% Comparables: Johnny Antonelli,Billy Pierce,Fernando ValenzuelaYEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 ATL 2010 ATL 2011 ATL 2012 ATL YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM ATL ATL ATL ATL TEAM ATL ATL ATL ATL MLB 24 MLB 25 MLB 26 MLB 27 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 2 2 2 4 2 1 0 3 2 0 2 4 0 4 2 1 BB 18 18 21 19 SO 39 36 67 45 78 0 56 0 78 0 68 0 EqBB9 2.9 3.7 2.6 2.8 ERA 3.04 2.45 0.98 3.44H56 1 52 44 37 73 2 59 60 2 54 EqSO9 6.2 7.4 8.2 6.7 FIP 3.41 3.36 2.51 3.52 GB% 55% 58% 57% 51% WARP 0.8 0.3 1.1 1.0BABIP .294 .285 .285 .300WHIP 1.24 1.25 1.09 1.21FRA 3.83 4.44 3.46 3.74OFlaherty show ed symptoms of specialism w hile in Seattle. Since moving to Atlanta via w aiver claim, OFlaherty has become a full-fledged lefty terminator. Lefties have not posted an on-base percentage of more than .280 or a slugging percentage of more than .330 against him. He led the league in ERA in 2011 and is living proof that useful relievers are all over. You just have to give them a chance.Carlos PerezBorn: 11/20/1991 Age: 20 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 3 W eight: 195 Breakout: 30% Improve: 51% Collapse: 28% Attrition: 17% MLB: 92% Comparables: David Clyde,Ray Sadecki,Bruce Robbins YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 BRA 2010 DNV 2011 ROM 2012 ATL YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM BRA DNV ROM ATL RK RK A 17 18 19 1 2 0 2 0 0 3 8 1 1 3 0 BB 13 10 65 21 SO 23 26 104 15 10 5 HMLB 20 LVL RK RK A MLB HR 2 0 7 430 2 35 6 6 32 18 28 23 125 134 7 7 34 1 40 EqBB9 3.8 3.9 4.8 5.4 EqSO9 6.7 7.6 7.8 3.9 GB% 54% 60% 47% 47%YEAR TEAM LVL BABIP WHIP ERA FIP FRA WARP 2009 BRA RK .344 1.56 5.28 4.53 5.91 0.22010 DNV 2011 ROM 2012 ATLRK .257 A .335 MLB .3171.06 1.63 1.751.12 3.10 4.26 1.1 4.82 4.25 5.52 -0.2 6.61 5.68 7.19 -0.6Those dissuaded by Perezs underw helming results w ere never true believers to begin w ith. Perez operates a long and lean body that smells of projection. His arm moves as if it has a hot date and his fastball can touch the mid-90sw ith a pow er curve serving as its best friend. For Perez to reach his topof-the-w orld upside, he has to hone his changeup and control. Until that happens, he w ill not merit a mention w ith the Braves trio of Latin American pitching studs.Todd RedmondBorn: 5/17/1985 Age: 27 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 4 W eight: 215 Breakout: 41% Improve: 63% Collapse: 9% Attrition: 19% MLB: 86% Comparables: Virgil Vasquez,Dustin Moseley,Jeremy Hernandez YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H 2009 GW N AAA 24 9 6 0 27 24 145 152 2010 GW N AAA 25 9 10 0 28 28 162 2 108 2011 GW N AAA 26 2012 ATL YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM GW N GW N GW N ATL TEAM GW N GW N GW N ATL MLB 27 LVL AAA AAA AAA MLB LVL AAA AAA AAA MLB HR 21 12 18 8 10 8 0 3 4 0 BB 47 31 47 16 SO 106 97 142 32 28 27 169 2 152 9 9 55 58 EqSO9 6.6 7.9 7.5 5.2 FIP 4.69 3.87 3.92 4.80 GB% 33% 36% 37% 36% WARP 0.8 2.3 2.6 -0.1EqBB9 2.9 2.4 2.5 2.6 ERA 4.41 4.26 2.92 4.95BABIP .292 .298 .282 .304WHIP 1.37 1.23 1.17 1.34FRA 5.02 4.63 4.67 5.38The Braves acquired Redmond in exchange for Tyler Yates in 2008. After tw o pedestrian seasons in Triple-A, Redmond pitched w ell enough in 2011 to earn a 40-man roster spot. Despite being a physical presence (6-foot-3, 215 pounds), Redmond is all about pitchability. His fastball has average velocity and he throw s a changeup and curveball to keep batters guessing. He relies on throw ing strikes and avoiding w alks. In another organization, he might sneak into the rotation as a number five starter.Zeke SpruillBorn: 9/11/1989 Age: 22 Bats: B Throw s: R Height: 6 5 W eight: 184 Breakout: 31% Improve: 57% Collapse: 23% Attrition: 24% MLB: 83% Comparables: Fred New man,W ilbur W ood,John Mitchell YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H2009 ROM 2010 MYR 2011 LYN 2011 MIS 2012 ATL YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM ROM MYR LYN MIS ATL TEAM ROM MYR LYN MIS ATLA 19 A+ 20 A+ 21 AA 21 MLB 22 LVL A A+ A+ AA MLB LVL A A+ A+ AA MLB HR 9 4 7 3 68 6 1 3 5 0 6 6 0 3 2 0 2 4 0 BB 24 9 23 17 17 SO 95 28 92 16 1720 19 116 120 14 13 65 73 20 20 129 2 108 7 7 8 8 EqBB9 1.9 1.8 1.6 3.4 3.2 ERA 3.03 5.54 3.19 3.20 5.78 45 45 48 2 56 EqSO9 7.4 5.7 6.4 3.2 3.2 FIP 3.64 4.00 3.21 4.92 5.16 GB% 59% 54% 56% 37% 49% WARP -0.7 0.0 1.8 -0.1 -0.5BABIP .310 .347 .264 .275 .310WHIP 1.24 1.48 1.01 1.38 1.51FRA 5.54 5.21 4.42 5.09 6.28Another Georgia native drafted by the Braves, Spruill recovered from a rough 2010 season by passing a repeat trial in High-A. The gangly righty throw s a low -90s sinker that he pounds the bottom of the zone w ith, and a w orthw hile changeup. He is still developing a slider, but has a chance to vindicate the Braves second-round selection after all. Look for him to open in Mississippi.Julio TeheranBorn: 1/27/1991 Age: 21 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 3 W eight: 175 Breakout: 20% Improve: 59% Collapse: 9% Attrition: 2% MLB: 89% Comparables: Dennys Reyes,Mike W itt,Larry Dierker YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 ROM 2009 DNV 2010 ROM 2010 MYR 2010 MIS A RK A 18 18 19 1 3 0 2 1 0 2 2 0 4 4 0 3 2 0 15 3 0 1 1 0 3 4 0 7 7 7 7 7 7 H37 2 42 43 2 36 39 1 22A+ 19 AA 192011 GW N AAA 20 2011 ATL 2012 ATL MLB 20 MLB 2110 10 63 1 49 7 7 40 11 25 24 144 2 121 5 3 19 2 21 10 10 59 1 57YEAR TEAM LVL HR BB SO EqBB9 EqSO9 GB%2009 2009 2010 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012ROM DNV ROM MYR MIS GW N ATL ATL TEAM ROM DNV ROM MYR MIS GW N ATL ATLA RK A A+ AA AAA MLB MLB LVL A RK A A+ AA AAA MLB MLB2 2 1 4 1 5 4 611 7 10 12 11 46 8 2328 39 45 65 26 119 10 392.6 1.4 2.3 1.8 3.8 3.0 3.7 3.4 ERA 4.77 2.68 1.15 2.99 3.38 2.55 5.03 4.466.7 8.0 10.3 10.8 8.6 7.6 4.6 5.9 FIP 3.94 3.46 2.85 3.03 3.40 3.08 5.84 4.3747% 61% 47% 45% 41% 40% 30% 43% FRA 5.02 4.90 2.58 3.86 4.20 4.00 5.42 4.85 WARP 0.0 0.5 1.2 1.0 0.5 3.1 -0.1 0.3BABIP .342 .293 .236 .321 .179 .294 .270 .300WHIP 1.41 0.98 0.84 1.09 1.15 1.18 1.47 1.35In a system loaded w ith talented young arms, Teheran rises to the top. Teheran made his major league debut at age 20 and could become a major league regular before turning 22. He has all the right w eaponry you look for in a frontline starter: fastball velocity (he averaged 93 miles per hour in the majors), a plus secondary offering (his changeup), a third offering (a curveball that has plus potential), and good arm action. Add in that Teheran hides the ball w ell throughout his delivery, and that he receives rave review s for his mound presence, and he could be the future staff ace.Anthony VarvaroBorn: 10/31/1984 Age: 27 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 1 W eight: 195 Breakout: 25% Improve: 64% Collapse: 12% Attrition: 8% MLB: 86% Comparables: Tim Scott,Randy Johnson,Jeff Parrett YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 W TN AA 2010 W TN AA 2010 TAC 24 25 4 3 8 1 3 9 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 8 1 0 2 0 1 0 0 36 0 31 0 19 0 4 0 38 0 18 0 22 0 H54 1 30 39 1 21 25 2 4 59 24 30 2 16 6 37 15 29AAA 252010 SEA MLB 25 2011 GW N AAA 26 2011 ATL MLB 26 2012 ATL MLB 27YEAR TEAM LVL HR BB SO EqBB9 EqSO9 GB% 2009 W TN AA 1 44 63 7.3 10.4 41% 2010 W TN AA 2 17 34 4.8 10.5 48%2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012TAC SEA GW N ATL ATL TEAM W TN W TN TAC SEA GW N ATL ATLAAA MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL AA AA AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB1 2 3 3 411 6 33 11 1916 5 69 23 244.9 13.5 5.3 4.1 5.79.1 11.2 10.5 8.6 7.0 FIP 3.78 3.78 4.95 11.55 3.34 4.08 5.1947% 46% 47% 35% 42% FRA 3.76 4.83 4.55 11.02 4.48 4.23 6.09 WARP 0.8 0.2 0.3 -0.3 0.7 0.2 -0.3BABIP .234 .322 .259 .364 .276 .211 .305WHIP 1.36 1.22 1.48 3.00 1.22 1.08 1.59ERA 2.82 3.21 5.25 11.25 2.90 2.62 5.60The last time Atlanta rescued a reliever from Seattle, he led the major leagues in earned run average three seasons later. As unlikely as Varvaro is to assume Eric OFlahertys success, he does have perceived upside. W ith a fastball that can touch the mid-90s and tw o secondary offeringsa curveball and changeup, vestiges from his days as a starterVarvaro is armed to w age w ar w ith any batter, although his time in the majors has show n a favoritism tow ard righties. Varvaro should split time betw een Gw innet and Atlanta.Jonny VentersBorn: 3/20/1985 Age: 27 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 4 W eight: 195 Breakout: 23% Improve: 38% Collapse: 11% Attrition: 36% MLB: 93% Comparables: Royce Ring,Fernando Valenzuela,Courtney Duncan YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 MIS AA 24 4 4 0 4 8 0 4 4 1 6 2 5 4 1 2 BB 35 44 39 43 35 SO 40 60 93 96 59 H2009 GW N AAA 24 2010 ATL 2011 ATL 2012 ATL YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM MIS GW N ATL ATL ATL MLB 25 MLB 26 MLB 27 LVL AA AAA MLB MLB MLB HR 2 7 1 2 612 12 65 1 60 17 17 91 1 111 79 0 85 0 73 0 EqBB9 4.8 4.1 4.2 4.4 4.1 83 61 88 53 76 2 67 EqSO9 5.5 5.7 10.1 9.8 6.9 GB% 58% 51% 69% 74% 59%YEAR TEAM LVL BABIP WHIP ERA FIP FRA WARP 2009 MIS AA .293 1.45 2.76 4.02 5.39 0.12009 2010 2011 2012GW N ATL ATL ATLAAA MLB MLB MLB.333 .291 .250 .2991.59 1.20 1.09 1.325.62 1.95 1.84 3.974.37 2.72 2.74 4.055.89 3.98 3.72 4.31-0.3 1.2 0.9 0.7The 2011 league leader in relief appearances, Venters has more innings pitched than every reliever except Tyler Clippard over the past tw o seasons. Groundballs are good, and strikeouts are even better. W hen a pitcher can get bundles of both, you know superlatives are on the w ay. Venters does just that w ith his bow ling ball sinker and much-improved breaker, sporting a strikeout rate exceeding one batter per inning pitched and a career groundball rate over 70 percent. The only blemish on an otherw ise pristine picture is a high w alk rate created by messy and complicated mechanics. Venters is 78 games from passing John Smoltz for 10th all-time in Braves relief appearances, and given how aggressive Fredi Gonzalez w as in using him in 2011, Venters could reach that milestone in 2012.Arodys VizcainoBorn: 11/13/1990 Age: 21 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 1 W eight: 190 Breakout: 21% Improve: 57% Collapse: 10% Attrition: 2% MLB: 89% Comparables: Dennys Reyes,Alex Fernandez,Larry Dierker YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 STA 2010 ROM 2011 LYN 2011 MIS 2011 ATL 2012 ATL YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2011 2012 TEAM STA ROM LYN MIS ATL ATL TEAM STA ROM LYN MIS ATL ATL AA 18 19 2 4 0 9 4 0 2 2 0 2 3 0 1 1 0 2 3 0 BB 15 9 10 18 9 17 SO 52 63 37 55 17 31 H10 10 42 1 34 14 14 71 2 56 9 9 11 8 17 0 13 7 EqBB9 3.2 1.1 2.2 3.3 4.7 3.5 ERA 2.13 2.38 2.45 3.81 4.67 4.59 40 1 31 49 2 44 17 1 16 43 2 43 EqSO9 11.1 8.5 8.3 10.0 8.8 6.3 FIP 2.61 2.59 3.09 3.14 3.51 4.44 GB% 52% 44% 43% 49% 34% 41% WARP 0.8 1.6 1.0 0.6 0.1 0.2A+ 20 AA 20 MLB 20 MLB 21 LVL AA A+ AA MLB MLB LVL AA A+ AA MLB MLB HR 2 1 3 3 1 5BABIP .296 .284 .252 .315 .306 .305WHIP 1.16 1.00 1.02 1.25 1.44 1.37FRA 3.39 3.37 3.71 4.07 4.11 4.98Vizcaino is undersized, has an unorthodox delivery and an injury history, and lacks a tertiary pitch. He shot through the system in 2011starting in Lynchburg and ending in Atlanta. In the interim, Vizcaino transitioned to the bullpen, w hich many scouts believe is his long-term destination, and overpow ered major league hitters at times. Vizcaino commands a low -to-mid-90s fastball w ell w hile throw ing his pow er curveball for strikes and burying it w hen necessary. The Braves have good reason to keep Vizcaino in the rotation for as long as possible, since his ultimate upside is a top-of-the-rotation starter, but w ith their rotation depth and other factors w orking against him, they may elect to add another elite reliever to their corps before the end of 2012.LINEOUTSHITTERSPLAYER SS N. Ahmed CF T. Cunningham DH I. Gac 1B M. Gomez 3B D. Hernandez 3B K. Kubitza 2B T. La Stella RF A. Milligan RF J. Parraz LF A. Richardson 2B D. Sutton TEAM DNV LYN W NS GW N GW N ATL DNV ROM LYN SW B MIS PAW BOS TEAM DNV LYN W NS GW N GW N ATL DNV ROM LYN SW B MIS PAW BOS LVL RK A+ A+ AAA AAA MLB RK A A+ AAA AA AAA MLB RBI 24 20 96 90 26 4 34 40 40 52 21 27 7 AGE 21 22 25 26 27 27 20 22 23 26 27 28 28 BB 30 33 58 38 7 0 24 26 16 42 60 21 3 PA 284 386 587 557 289 35 190 270 258 495 353 192 60 R 46 59 91 76 19 4 36 46 35 66 64 24 11 2B 13 12 31 34 12 1 16 13 19 28 9 13 7 3B 2 4 1 2 1 0 3 5 4 6 0 1 0 HR 4 4 33 24 5 1 1 9 12 9 1 5 0PLAYER SS N. Ahmed CF T. Cunningham DH I. Gac 1B M. Gomez 3B D. Hernandez 3B K. Kubitza 2B T. La Stella RF A. Milligan RF J. Parraz LF A. Richardson 2B D. SuttonSO 46 47 144 131 46 5 38 28 76 91 66 38 13SB-CS 18-6 14-6 0-1 6-2 2-2 0-0 9-3 2-2 1-0 5-4 17-5 0-2 0-0AVG/OBP/SLG .262/.346/.379 .257/.348/.353 .279/.358/.535 .304/.356/.522 .201/.229/.308 .212/.212/.333 .321/.407/.475 .328/.401/.543 .291/.345/.557 .289/.362/.440 .283/.430/.327 .295/.382/.476 .315/.362/.444PLAYERTEAM TAv BABIP BRR FRAA WARPSS N. Ahmed CF T. Cunningham DH I. Gac 1B M. Gomez 3B D. Hernandez 3B K. Kubitza 2B T. La Stella RF A. Milligan RF J. Parraz LF A. Richardson 2B D. SuttonDNV LYN W NS GW N GW N ATL DNV ROM LYN SW B MIS PAW BOS.273 .263 .296 .287 .177 .212 .313 .337 .296 .270 .287 .292 .279.305 .289 .323 .364 .224 .222 .408 .337 .380 .346 .369 .355 .4152.5 5.5 -1.3 2.8 0.4 -0.4 3.5 0.1 1.5 0.9 5.2 -3.4 0.416.3 -4.5 0.6 -1.4 -1.9 -0.5 -3.9 -4.6 0.2 -1.8 6.7 -1.6 0.33.5 1.2 2.7 2.4 -1.9 -0.2 1.8 2.6 1.5 1.8 3.1 0.8 0.4Atlanta popped UConn shortstop Nick Ahmed in the second round. Ahmed has gap pow er, good speed, and more than enough arm and passion to play the position, but his range and fluidity are limited, and pow er has not translated to w ood yet despite profiling as his best tool. Carolina League MVP Ian Gac posted eye-popping numbers last year, but thats w hat a 25-year-old should do; to paraphrase Rick Blaine, hell alw ays have Gw innett, but if you came here for a prospect, you w ere misinformed. Mauro Gomez is a chubby first baseman w ho keeps hitting w ell enough to stay on the radar, just not w ell enough to be considered anything more than organizational depth. Outrighted to the minors byAtlanta in August, Diory Hernandez had show n offensive life in the minors before, but flatlined in 2011. The Astros provide one of the best environments for him to sneak onto a roster as a utilitythere are questions about how his sw ing w ill translate to w ooden bats. The other compensatory pick acquired from Mike Gonzalezs departure turned into Todd Cunningham. A JuCo product, Cunninghams Atlantas third-round pick, Kyle Kubitza comes w ith pop, discipline, and the ability to play La Stella hit .328/.401/.543 in his first exposure to professional ball. The Braves liked outfielder Adaminfielder. third base. Tommy La Stella is a buggy infielder from Coastal Carolina drafted in the eighth round. The book on La Stella is that he can hit, but he has to find a place on the diamond to play. True to form, Milligan so much they drafted him three times. The injury bug thinks Milligan is a charming young lad too, and refuses to leave him alone. As such, Milligans pow er potentialand keep in mind, he has 29 career home runs in 637 plate appearancesrisks going to w aste. Jordan Parraz changes organizations more often than some odd people change underw ear. Atlanta w ill be Parrazs fifth organization since the beginning of 2008. He has tools and could still prove useful as a bench player, but time is no longer on his side. Yet another product of Atlantas minor league free agency harvest, Antoan Richardson signed w ith the club after the 2009 season and reached the majors in 2011. He is a tiny outfielder w ho relies on draw ing w alks and stealing bases for his limited offensive value. Remember the Hit Mechanic w ho w orked w ith Ben Zobrist? He taught Drew Sutton the voodoo, too. Suttons offense has not translated to the majors, but he can play multiple positions and his legal nameStephen Drew Suttoncan inspire a misleading autograph.PITCHERSPLAYER TEAM LVL AGE W L SV IP HE. Cordier D. FilakGW N AAA 25 ROM DNV A RK RK 21 21 215 8 0 2 4 0 0 5 0 5 1 0 2 1 1 1 0 0 3 1 086 88 45 1 56 58 2 72 57 2 57 56 2 55 12 2 19 72 1 67J. Graham D. HughesDNV ROC MINAAA 29 MLB 29 A+ 22 AA 22C. Jones B. Pruneda J. RiceKIN MIS PAWAAA 252 7 11 64 1 55 2 3 4 85 1 77 1 0 0 3 1 2 1 2 0 30 30 32 31 32 2 31D. Richardson GW N AAA 27 NW O AAA 27 A. Russell PLAYER E. Cordier D. Filak TBA MLB 28TEAM HR BB SO EqBB9 EqSO9 GB% 9 6 2 0 6 4 6 3 6 4 2 2 51 33 19 13 24 8 32 40 42 22 20 20 61 32 47 62 68 11 69 71 89 29 35 13 5.3 6.6 2.9 2.0 3.8 5.7 3.7 5.6 4.4 6.6 5.6 5.5 6.4 6.4 7.2 8.1 10.8 7.8 8.2 9.9 9.4 8.7 9.8 3.6 43% 51% 59% 59% 34% 38% 54% 51% 34% 46% 48% 55%GW N ROM DNV J. Graham DNV D. Hughes ROC MIN C. Jones KIN B. Pruneda MIS J. Rice PAW D. Richardson GW N NW O A. Russell TBA PLAYER E. Cordier D. Filak J. Graham D. Hughes C. Jones B. Pruneda J. RiceTEAM BABIP WHIP ERA FIP FRA WARP GW N ROM DNV DNV ROC MIN KIN MIS PAW .302 .350 .361 .320 .329 .395 .276 .321 .307 1.62 1.96 1.55 1.13 1.39 2.13 1.31 1.48 1.39 5.13 7.54 5.06 1.72 4.29 9.95 3.36 3.50 3.69 5.20 6.22 3.80 2.36 3.59 7.56 3.79 3.80 3.68 5.87 7.01 4.61 3.76 4.31 8.95 5.06 5.30 4.50 0.2 -0.8 0.7 1.1 1.0 -0.5 0.2 0.0 1.0D. Richardson GW N .302 NW O .341 A. Russell TBA .2711.73 1.59 1.566.00 5.34 5.69 0.0 3.66 4.33 5.04 0.0 3.03 5.17 6.59 -0.7Erik Cordier is a big and blocky right-hander w ith a zipper and control issues. His future is in the bullpen, since his stuff is no longer good enough to overcome those issues. David Filak entered the 2010 draft w ith as much helium as a pitcher from SUNY Oneonta can, but disappointed in his first exposure to A-ball. The upside is there, as Filak is a big righty w ith a pow er arsenal (including a fastball that can touch the mid-90s), and is still green to pitching after catching in high school. The Braves drafted J.R. Graham in the fourth round out of Santa Clara University. Still raw , he throw s a fastball that operates in the mid- to upper-90s. He could turn into a late-inning reliever if he finds a secondary pitch. Dusty Hughes and his high-80s fastball continue to bounce around the league. Hughes has faced more than 150 major-league lefties, and put 36.1 percent of them on base one w ay or another. Add in his struggles against righties, and Hughes seems unlikely to get another shot at 50-plus big-league innings any time soon. The Braves acquired Chris Jones for Derek Low e and salary relief in late October. Jones gets strikeouts not by the merit of his stuff, but w ith an assist from a funky delivery and low release point. He could develop into a useful specialist.majors petered thanks to a decline in velocity and strikeouts. Quite the bizarre year for Jason Rice, w ho w as a part of four different organizations but pitched for just one. W ith quality stuff, he has a future as a middleman. A 2006 fifth-round pick by the Red Sox, Dustin Richardson sw itched organizations tw ice in a years timefirst to the Marlins for Andrew Miller, then to the Braves off w aivers seven months later. Richardsons struggles w ith w alks and home runs make him a non-entity barring a gene-sw apping incident w ith Tom Glavine in the near future. Adam Russell is a giant right-hander w ith mid-90s velocity and respectable groundball rates. Previously successful w ith the Padres, Russell had his strikeout rates plummet w ith Tampa Bay, and he looked none the better in the minors. At his best, Russell has the potential to become a set-up man. W ild, hard-throw ing reliever Benino Prunedas ascent to the MANAGER: FREDI GONZALEZYEAR TEAM W-L 2009 MIA 2010 MIA 2011 ATL Pythag Avg +/ PC 100+ 120+ QS BQS REL P P 1 69 0 72 4 52 1 86 3 529 193 51087-75 1 34-36 1 89-73 192.6 44 191.5 70 95.9 56YEAR TEAM REL w IBB Subs PH PH PH SB2 CS2 SB3 Zero R Avg HR 2009 MIA 2010 MIA 2011 ATL 346 141 435 60 74 36 73 278 .280 8 202 .211 2 257 .175 8 9 3 6 6 1 1 0 1 0YEAR TEAM CS3 SAC SAC % POS Squeeze Swing In Play Att SAC2009 MIA 2010 MIA 2011 ATL1 1 3106 66.0% 26 68 76.5% 14 115 70.4% 393 2 2127 148 28992 45 86They say good things come to those w ho w ait. For Gonzalez, that meant a comfy new managerial gig aw ay from Jeffrey Lorias interference. The Marlins fired Gonzalez after a 34-36 start to the 2010 season, but he landed on his feet w ithin the division. For an organization that values continuity, Gonzalezs Braves history seemed too good to pass up, so Atlanta tabbed him to replace the retiring Bobby Cox. Gonzalez quickly joined a select fraternity by leading the league in intentional w alks issued. Prior to 2011, Cox and another former Braves manager, Joe Torre, had ruled the league in free passes for the better part of the past half-decade. Gonzalez took an aggressive approach to the handling of his bullpen. W henever he got the itch, he w ent to Eric OFlaherty, Jonny Venters, or Craig Kimbrel. Relief arms like that are rare, and other managers w ould no doubt have done the same, but Gonzalez continued to use those three even after promising to reduce their w orkload. W hether that usage led to erratic September performances from the bullpen w ill be a barstool topic for years to come, as w ill Gonzalezs decision to bench Jason Heyw ard so the hot streak-riding Jose Constanza could stick in the lineup. Benching potential franchise cornerstones for career minor leaguers is not a good w ay to earn respect in the community, even if Gonzalez did it just to appease his clubhouse and motivate Heyw ard. Gonzalez also earned ire by attempting the second-most sacrifice bunts, although calling him a small-ball manager ignores that the Braves rarely ran, succeeding in 65 percent of their chances w hen they did.Baltimore OriolesIf theres one w ord that best describes the Orioles offseason front office situation, its debacle. No, maybe spectacle. Catastrophe? Or maybe a simple disaster tag best applies. Any w ay you slice it, youd think the Orioles w ere trying to give aw ay a case of chlamydia as opposed to their general manager position last fall. Given that there are only 30 such positions in the entire w orld, you know theres a problem w hen multiple executives are uninterested in or flat-out turn dow n the job. To recap: Jerry Dipoto chose the Angels over the Orioles, Tony LaCava turned dow n Baltimores offer, and DeJon Watson pulled his name out of the hat, but at least they w ere w illing to be interview ed in the first place, unlike Andrew Friedman, Rick Hahn, and Allard Baird. The Tw ins w ouldnt grant permission for the Os to interview Mike Radcliff either, but w ord is that Radcliff w asnt interested and the Tw ins w ere being nice. The Yankees Damon Oppenheimer did receive permission, but he never interview ed and is said to have had similarly low interest. Finally, after being caught w ith their pants dow n more times than Im sure they care to count, the Os settled on Dan Duquette as their new general manager, a man w hos been out of major league baseball since 2002. Its not hard to see w hy so many found the Orioles gig repugnant. Were talking about a team that hasnt cracked a .500 record in 14 years, just once finishing higher than fourth in the division. You see, the Orioles play in the AL East, w hich boasted four teams that finished at least .500 last season; just one other division in baseball had more than tw o. Betw een the cash-loaded Yankees and Red Sox, the player development machine that is the Rays, and the rising Jays, it w ill be quite the uphill battle for the Os to regain relevance in the division, much less compete.W ithout a major overhaul both on and off the field, attempting to take dow n these pow erhouses w ould be like storming Mount Olympus armed w ith a butter knife. You cant out-spend the Yankees or the Red Sox, and even if money w erent an issue, itd be a challenge just to bring in enough brainpow er to rival their front offices. The cash-strapped Rays have managed to succeed in this environment thanks to comparable brainpow er and top-notch amateur scouting and player development departments, but they prove the exception to the rule. The same as you cant out-Yankee the Yankees w ith cash, it w ill be almost as difficult to out-Ray the Rays w ith S&D (scouting and development). Exacerbating the problem is that, divisional landscape aside, the Baltimore gig w as plenty unappealing on its ow n merits. Its been said that LaCava w ould have w anted to give the organization an overhaul, but ow ner Peter Angelos denied him permission to fire several long-standing employees. For a club that has been a loser for so long, accountability is key, and preventing the teams new GM from holding personnel accountable is not a w inning strategy. W hen you look at the teams track record w ith drafting and player development, you can get a glimpse of w hy LaCava thought change w as in order. From 1998 to 2008, the Orioles selected 26 players w ithin the first 50 picks of the amateur draft, and just seven w ent on to play more than a full season in the majorsgood for a mere 27 percent success rate (quite a bit below the major league average of 38 percent). And just tw o (Matt W ieters and Brian Roberts) developed into All-Stars. All of this is made even more remarkable w hen you realize that the Os have had seven picks in the top 10 and 12 in the top 20 over that period. Aside from his ow n reputation for having this sort of heavy hand in the teams affairs, Angelos allow s manager Buck Show alter a great deal of pull in the front office as w ell. No GM candidate w ould w ant so many voices w hispering in his ear; w hen there are too many hands in the cookie jar, no one gets a cookie. As such, its easy to see w hy someone like LaCava didnt w ant the job: only partial autonomy but all of the blame w hen such a poor dynamic leads to (likely) continued failure. Surely all of the candidates w ho turned Baltimore dow n have aspirations to be a general manager someday, but trying to do so in Baltimore w ould be an incredibly difficult entry point. Theyd last a few years, and after failing to dethrone the AL East aristocracy, theyd be fired and have a difficult time ever finding another GM job again. Duquette being the one to ultimately accept the job makes a lot of sense since, having been out of the game so long, he w asnt likely to find another one anyw ay. Still, if the Orioles w erent able to get their first option (or their second, or their third, or their eighth), they did manage to get someone w ho could w ind up being a good fit for the job. Duquette has a loaded resume w ith plenty of experience as a major league general manager, holding that role w ith the Expos in 1992 and 1993 and w ith the Red Sox from 1994 to 2002. He has a strong background in S&Dpreviously holding the post of scouting director for the Brew ers and director of player development for the Expos w hich is going to be crucial for his tenure in Baltimore. If the Orioles can start stocking their farm better and developing those players better, their financial advantage over the Rays and Jays could put them back in contention. Theoretically, the Orioles could be playoff contenders in the AL East, especially w ith the new collective bargaining agreement calling for a second w ild-card team. After all, they have a higher payroll than both the Jays and Rays (they more than doubled the Rays payroll in 2011), and theres no financial barrier to developing a quality farm systemquite the opposite, in fact, since more money enables the acquisition of higher quality S&D personnel. W hile Duquette has the background for this, his being out of the game for so long could prove problematic if hes not familiar enough w ith todays pool of talent in this regard. W hile LaCava had specific people in mind w hom he w anted to bring to Baltimore, its unclear if Duquette has that same certainty of vision. Still, Duquette does bring skills to the table that should prove useful for Baltimore. In the BP book Mind Game, Duquette is described as a failed Theo Epstein prototype. Another w ay of spinning that w ould be to say that Epstein is Dan Duquette 2.0. If Duquette has learned from the mistakes he made as Red Sox GM, Os fans w ould love to have an Epstein type of GM running their club. Mind Game discusses how Duquettes biggest failure w asnt an inability to assemble cost-effective talent but rather his GMitishis inclination to tinker too much w ith his roster and not let the pieces he acquired prove their w orthalongw ith a failure to maintain goodw ill w ith his players, fans, and media. If your GM is going to have a hamartia a tragic flaw this isnt a bad one to have, since it may be correctable. Duquette w as described in Mind Game as having a knack for buttressing his core talent w ith low -cost acquisitions, w hether through trades, w aiver claims, or inventive signings. This is going to prove crucial to Baltimores ultimate ability to make it back to the playoffs. Once the Os manage to create a pipeline of young talent through their minor league system to the major league club, they w ill need to find the right pieces to surround this hypothetical young core w ith, and Duquettes apparent talent-identification ability combined w ith the Os sufficient payroll should allow the team to bring in quality complementary pieces. Table 1. What a MessName Jeremy Guthrie Zach Britton Jake Arrieta Alfredo Simon Tommy Hunter Brad Bergesen Chris Tillman Brian Matusz Chris Jakubauskas Jo-Jo Reyes Mitch Atkins Rick VandenHurkGS 32 28 22 16 11 12 13 12 6 5 3 2IP 203.2 154.1 119.1 94.1 68.1 62.1 62 49.2 27.1 23.2 10.2 5.1ERA 4.37 4.61 5.05 4.96 5.00 5.78 5.52 10.69 6.91 6.85 8.44 11.81Task number one for Duquette w ill be rebuilding one of the most out-of-sorts rotations in the majors. In 2011, the Orioles posted the w orst starter ERA in baseball at 5.39more than a half-run w orse than the next-w orst rotation at 4.82 and a hypothetical replacement level pitchers ERA of 4.68. Employing the strategy of throw ing enough crap at the w all that something is bound to stick, the Os used the secondmost starters in baseball (behind the Rockies, w ho had three starters log significant DL time and either traded or acquired another four midseason), but by the end of the year, the Os still had a very empty w all. In fact, just three of their starters managed an ERA better than 5.00, and just tw o w ere better than replacement level. Table 2. Kevin Goldsteins Prospect Ratings of Baltimores Young StartersPitcher Jake Arrieta Zach Britton Dylan Bundy Brian Matusz Chris TillmanCurrent Age Goldstein Rating Rating Year 26 70 2010 24 17 2011 19 8 2012 25 18 2010 24 16 2009The good new s is that the Os rotation is young and potential-laden, w ith several young starters w ho could help them contend in a few years. Their 2011 first-round pick, Dylan Bundy, is mature beyond his age and w ill move through the system quickly, giving them a potential number-one starter by 2014. Zach Britton and Jake Arrieta both show ed flashes of dominance last season and could form a potent 1-2-3 w ith Bundy. Throw in tw o lottery ticket, former five-star prospects in Brian Matusz and Chris Tillman, and theOs have a solid core for Duquette to start w ith. Table 3. Baltimores Offensive CorePlayer Adam Jones Nick Markakis Matt W ietersCurrent Age W ARP 26 4.0 28 1.7 26 3.4W ARP Year 2011 2011 2011Player Josh Bell Chris Davis Manny Machado Jonathan SchoopCurrent Age Goldstein Rating Rating Year 25 39 2010 26 74 2008 19 6 2012 20 85 2012On the offensive side of the ball, Duquette has a bit less to w ork w ith. At the major league level, he has tw o young, star-level players at premium defensive positions in Matt W ieters and Adam Jones, and a complementary but aging piece in Nick Markakis, w hos is locked up through 2014. Aside from that, how ever, he has little in the w ay of players w ho w ill still be around w hen Baltimore hopes to contend, excluding lottery ticket third basemen Josh Bell and Chris Davis. In the minors, Manny Machado is a future star at yet another premium position (if his glove sticks at shortstop), but after him, Jonathan Schoop is the only other prospect w ho grades out at even four stars. A core of W ieters, Jones, and Machado w ould be great, but the lack of minor league depth emphasizes just how important it w ill be for Duquette to bulk up the farm system and to find cost-effective pieces to fill out the rest of the diamond. Its an understatement to say that Duquette has his w ork cut out for him. W hile it w ould be more than a challenge for any GM to bring a last-place team w ith a shallow farm back from the abyss, Duquette w ill be tasked to do so w ith a manager w ho likes to have a say in player acquisition and an ow ner w ho is protecting the jobs of potential front office liabilities. If Duquette manages to pull this one off, hell be deserving of all the praise you could possibly heap upon him.HITTERS Ryan Adams 2BBorn: 4/21/1987 Age: 25 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 0 W eight: 185 Breakout: 1% Improve: 20% Collapse: 14% Attrition: 46% MLB: 79% Comparables: Elliot Johnson,Reid Brignac,Jason Hardtke YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM FRD BOW NOR BAL BAL LVL A+ AA AAA MLB MLB AGE 22 23 24 24 25 PA 235 594 415 96 250 R 27 81 46 9 27 2B 14 43 28 4 14 3B 0 0 3 0 1 HR 2 15 10 0 4 RBI 25 68 37 7 26 BB 19 47 30 6 14YEAR TEAM LVL SO SB CS AVG_OBP_SLG TAv2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012FRD BOW NOR BAL BAL TEAM FRD BOW NOR BAL BALA+ AA AAA MLB MLB LVL A+ AA AAA MLB MLB41 121 103 25 602 2 5 0 14 3 2 0 1 BRR 0.3 -1.1 -0.2 -1.3 -0.1.288/.349/.381 .298/.368/.464 .284/.341/.454 .281/.333/.326 .252/.302/.375 FRAA -2.6 7.2 -7.3 -1.6 2B -0, 3B -0.266 .278 .269 .213 .243BABIP .349 .363 .363 .391 .318WARP 0.2 3.4 0.6 -0.5 0.6Injuries in the Baltimore infield meant a w indfall of starts for Adams, but he needs more development if he is to stick as a major league regular. Hes unathletic, has poor range at second, and doesnt quite have the pow er to play at a corner, so if he does stick, it w ill be as a bat-first infielder. Bundles of doubles have kept his isolated pow er above .150 as he has risen through the minors, but those doubles havent turned to home runs yet. His overall line has benefited from a perpetually high BABIP, w hich scouts equate to potential in his bat. Realistically, that BABIP w ill dip some in the majors, and hell likely need to cut dow n on strikeouts to maintain those .280 batting averages.Robert Andino 2BBorn: 4/25/1984 Age: 28 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 1 W eight: 170 Breakout: 2% Improve: 32% Collapse: 8% Attrition: 24% MLB: 77% Comparables: Orlando Hudson,Luis Gonzalez,Bob Johnson YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 TEAM BAL NOR BAL BAL BAL TEAM BAL NOR BAL BAL BAL TEAM BAL NOR BAL LVL MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB AAA MLB AGE 25 26 26 27 28 SO 47 110 13 83 91 PA 215 588 66 511 461 SB 3 16 1 13 10 R 31 72 6 63 49 2B 7 30 4 22 21 3B 0 4 0 0 3 HR 2 13 2 5 8 RBI 10 76 6 36 46 BB 15 29 3 41 28CS 3 3 1 3 4 BRR -0.1 -1 -0.3AVG_OBP_SLG .222/.274/.288 .264/.305/.405 .295/.333/.459 .263/.327/.344 .253/.300/.367 FRAA 2 8.4 -0.9TAv .217 .248 .260 .245 .242BABIP .278 .308 .340WARP 0.1 2.1 0.02011 BAL 2012 BALMLB .311 MLB .3011.9 0.8 1.1 -0.2 2B -3, SS 3 0.9Andino earned the trophy for Best Cesar Izturis Impression this season, starting the year as a reserve infielder but accumulating over 500 plate appearances of barely above-replacement-level performance. Filling in at shortstop (for J.J. Hardy), second (for Brian Roberts), and third (post-Derrek Lee trade), Andino provided serviceable defense around the diamond and even played a little left field. He drove the nail into the Red Sox coffin on the seasons final day, but thats about all he did, posting a .249 True Average, in line w ith the rest of his career. At 28, there isnt much more to project in Andinos bat, w ith little pow er to speak of and poor on-base skills. He has some speed and w ont kill the Os w ith his average, but those are the nicest things one could say about Andinos offense.Matt Angle CFBorn: 9/10/1985 Age: 26 Bats: L Throw s: R Height: 5 11 W eight: 175 Breakout: 1% Improve: 45% Collapse: 5% Attrition: 18% MLB: 68% Comparables: Alex Cole,Brad Coon,Kenny Lofton YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM FRD BOW NOR NOR BAL BAL TEAM FRD BOW NOR NOR BAL BAL TEAM FRD BOW NOR NOR BAL BAL LVL A+ AA AAA AAA MLB MLB LVL A+ AA AAA AAA MLB MLB LVL A+ AA AAA AAA MLB MLB AGE 23 24 24 25 25 26 SO 72 5 54 88 13 41 PA 553 70 399 489 95 250 R 78 11 55 67 12 26 2B 17 2 4 13 4 8 3B 4 0 4 3 0 1 HR 1 1 1 4 1 1 RBI 32 9 24 33 7 19 BB 59 6 41 47 12 22SB 40 5 24 27 11 13CS 12 2 4 3 1 3AVG_OBP_SLG .289/.365/.347 .383/.420/.467 .260/.335/.303 .271/.347/.344 .177/.293/.266 .253/.321/.320 FRAA 3.9 1.1 1.5 5.5 1 CF -1, LF 1TAv .275 .318 .247 .254 .245 .238BABIP .330 .386 .300 .329 .200 .298BRR 3.8 -0.5 4.1 6.1 1.3 0.5WARP 3.5 0.9 1.1 2.6 0.3 0.4Angles best tool is his speed, w hich he put on full display in his first taste of the big leagues: despite a mere .293 OBP, Angle stole 11 bases in 95 plate appearances thanks to an absurd 55 percent attempt rate and a 92 percent success rate. W idely considered the best defensive outfielder in the system, his bat is suspect. He has no pow er to speak of and struck out 18 percent of the time at Triple-A, unacceptable for a guy w ithout pop and w ithout Ichiros BABIP. Still, he takes some w alks, and if he can manage tostretch his tools, his best case scenario is becoming a toned-dow n version of Michael Bourn.Matt Antonelli 3BBorn: 4/8/1985 Age: 27 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 1 W eight: 200 Breakout: 1% Improve: 29% Collapse: 9% Attrition: 22% MLB: 71% Comparables: Andy LaRoche,Paul Schaal,Steve Ontiveros YEAR 2009 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2011 2012 TEAM POR SYR BAL TEAM POR SYR BAL TEAM POR SYR BAL LVL AAA AAA MLB LVL AAA AAA MLB LVL AAA AAA MLB AGE 24 26 27 SO 30 59 45 PA 219 359 250 R 25 44 26 2B 11 19 10 3B 2 3 1 HR 4 8 4 RBI 22 30 20 BB 26 47 28SB 1 6 3CS 1 6 2AVG_OBP_SLG .196/.297/.339 .297/.393/.460 .220/.316/.331 FRAA 0.2 5.3 3B 2, 2B -2TAv .240 .291 .240BABIP .210 .342 .257BRR 0.6 -4 -0.4WARP 0.0 2.5 0.8The former San Diego Padres second baseman of the future is now joining his second organization since the Pads gave up on him, but he once held a lot of promise and is still just 27 years old. The Os liked him enough to hand him a major league deal in the hopes that hell impress in spring training and make the team as a utility infielder. After tw o miserable seasons at Triple-A for San Diego, Antonelli played w ell there for the Nationals in 2011, displaying his usually excellent patience to go w ith a pow er resurgence and contact hitting adeptness. He definitely has a chance to contribute in Baltimore and certainly cant be any w orse than the Cesar Izturis/Blake Davis types the Orioles have been using in the backup infielder role.Xavier Avery CFBorn: 1/1/1990 Age: 22 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 0 W eight: 180 Breakout: 3% Improve: 13% Collapse: 1% Attrition: 10% MLB: 26% Comparables: Dave Martinez,David Paisano,Christopher W hite YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 TEAM DEL FRD BOW BOW BAL LVL A A+ AA AA MLB AGE 19 20 20 21 22 PA 509 498 120 626 250 R 55 73 10 72 22 2B 15 25 6 31 10 3B 8 6 0 2 1 HR 2 4 3 4 2 RBI 36 48 18 26 19 BB 27 42 7 49 12YEAR TEAM LVL SO SB CS AVG_OBP_SLG TAv 2009 DEL A 111 30 10 .262/.306/.340 .251 2010 FRD A+ 96 28 14 .280/.348/.389 .2612010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012FRD BOW BOW BAL TEAM DEL FRD BOW BOW BALA+ AA AA MLB LVL A A+ AA AA MLB96 34 156 6628 10 36 1014 0 14 4 BRR 1.5 4.4 1.1 2.2 -0.2.280/.348/.389 .234/.288/.374 .259/.324/.343 .218/.259/.296 FRAA -5.8 -9.4 1.7 -14.7 CF -13, LF -2.261 .246 .240 .201BABIP .336 .347 .306 .352 .289WARP 0.5 0.9 0.4 -0.9 -1.4Avery is the type of prospect scouts love to dream about: a multi-sport star in high school, the best athlete in Baltimores system, loaded w ith potential. He passed up a football scholarship for pro ball, and w as scouted out of the same rural Georgia baseball program that produced Nick Markakis and (Averys w orkout partner) Jason Heyw ard. He is still quite raw , and his stats reflect it, but Avery has begun to spin his tools into on-field production, raising his w alk rate and low ering his strikeout rate last season. He doesnt have much pow er projection, but he hits the ball hard, projects as an excellent defender, and, on the 20-80 scouting scale, he has 70 speed. W hile few project Avery as a superstar, most feel hell be an everyday center fielder and leadoff man.Josh Bell 3BBorn: 11/13/1986 Age: 25 Bats: B Throw s: R Height: 6 4 W eight: 220 Breakout: 12% Improve: 32% Collapse: 5% Attrition: 39% MLB: 73% Comparables: Greg Norton,Russ Canzler,Dave Hollins YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM BOW CHT NOR BAL NOR BAL BAL TEAM BOW CHT NOR BAL NOR BAL BAL LVL AA AA AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL AA AA AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB AGE 22 22 23 23 24 24 25 SO 28 70 78 53 118 25 68 PA 127 391 344 161 438 65 250 SB 0 3 2 0 4 0 2 R 18 47 43 15 62 6 27 2B 5 30 25 5 12 0 10 3B 0 2 0 0 2 0 1 HR 9 11 13 3 19 0 8 RBI 24 52 50 12 57 6 29 BB 11 50 23 2 40 4 17CS 0 5 4 1 0 0 1AVG_OBP_SLG .289/.352/.570 .296/.391/.497 .278/.331/.481 .214/.224/.302 .253/.320/.438 .164/.215/.164 .241/.292/.397TAv .326 .302 .276 .204 .256 .158 .248YEAR TEAM LVL BABIP BRR FRAAWARP2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012BOW CHT NOR BAL NOR BAL BALAA AA AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB.312 .348 .333 .301 .310 .278 .303-0.6 -2.8 -1.4 -0.6 1.6 1.2 -0.2-2.5 0.2 -1.7 1.5 3.8 -1.6 3B -3, RF -00.8 2.8 1.3 -0.5 1.6 -0.6 1.1Once a promising Dodgers prospect, Bell has fallen from grace in his time w ith the Orioles. His tw o partial seasons w ith the big league club have been abysmal; he batted just .200 w ith a strikeout every three plate appearances. Unlike teammate Mark Reynolds, w ho has prodigious pow er, Bell cant get aw ay w ith those kind of w hiffs. Of course, neither of Bells chances w ith Baltimore lasted long, and hes still had relative success at Triple-A Norfolk, w ith a more acceptable 25 percent strikeout rate and above-average pow er. If you w ant a straw to grasp at, how about the fact that he did raise his major league w alk rate from 6.7 percent in 2010 to 9.1 in 2011 in a limited stint? Hes now blocked by Chris Davis at third, but is anybody ever really blocked by Chris Davis at third?Endy Chavez CFBorn: 2/7/1978 Age: 34 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 1 W eight: 165 Breakout: 2% Improve: 24% Collapse: 8% Attrition: 21% MLB: 76% Comparables: Curt Flood,Tike Redman,Lance Johnson YEAR 2009 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2011 2011 2012 TEAM SEA ROU TEX BAL TEAM SEA ROU TEX BAL TEAM SEA ROU TEX BAL LVL MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL MLB AAA MLB MLB AGE 31 33 33 34 SO 22 6 30 27 PA 182 142 274 250 R 17 16 37 27 2B 3 8 11 10 3B 1 2 3 2 HR 2 2 5 2 RBI 13 17 27 23 BB 14 10 10 13SB 9 6 10 8CS 1 0 5 2AVG_OBP_SLG .273/.328/.342 .305/.353/.445 .301/.323/.426 .267/.307/.354 FRAA 3 -1.4 -3.9 CF -3, LF -0TAv .245 .257 .273 .236BABIP .302 .306 .321 .284BRR 0.5 -1.1 1.6 0.1WARP 0.5 0.0 0.9 0.2Chavez is a quality bench outfielder w ho has contact ability, versatility in the outfield, and enough speed left in his 33-year-old legs to force you to notice. Pushed into the most games since his 2008 season w ith the Mets thanks to injuries to Julio Borbon and Josh Hamilton, Chavez provided a service for the Rangers that w as slightly above replacement level. Texas let Endy go w ith Leonys Martin approaching major league readiness, but the Orioles scooped him up and could give him the strong side of a left field platoon w ith Nolan Reimold.Blake Davis RFBorn: 12/22/1983 Age: 28 Bats: L Throw s: R Height: 6 0 W eight: 170 Breakout: 3% Improve: 23% Collapse: 14% Attrition: 32% MLB: 60% Comparables: Jon W eber,Row land Office,Jose Cardenal YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM ABE NOR NOR NOR BAL BAL TEAM ABE NOR NOR NOR BAL BAL TEAM ABE NOR NOR NOR BAL BAL LVL AAAA AAA AAA MLB MLB LVL AAAA AAA AAA MLB MLB LVL AAAA AAA AAA MLB MLB AGE 25 25 26 27 27 28 SO 7 40 43 46 13 51 PA 56 197 268 252 65 250 R 6 21 32 28 6 25 2B 2 4 14 3 3 9 3B 0 2 2 3 1 2 HR 1 1 4 5 1 4 RBI 5 14 23 27 6 23 BB 4 14 17 15 6 16SB 0 3 3 6 1 4CS 0 2 4 5 1 3AVG_OBP_SLG .320/.370/.420 .211/.270/.272 .246/.288/.369 .280/.323/.384 .254/.323/.390 .240/.290/.342 FRAA -0.7 -0.8 2.8 0.2 -1.3 RF 0, SS 1TAv .283 .208 .232 .249 .261 .230BABIP .357 .264 .276 .326 .311 .289BRR 0.2 -0.7 -0.3 -0.1 -0.9 -0.5WARP 0.2 -0.6 0.3 0.3 0.0 -0.1Blake Davis spent tw o months w ith the Orioles during his rookie season, but he only managed to step to the plate 65 times. Not a big part of the teams future plans, he w as designated for assignment in September but cleared w aivers and w ill stick around as organizational depth. If he is to make an impact, it w ill be as a utility man w hose most valuable contribution is defensive versatility; he logged time at second, third, short, and all three outfield positions last year at Norfolk. Yes, hes a veritable Sw iss Army Knife on defense, but on offense? W ell, a .298 OBP across parts of three seasons at Triple-A doesnt bode w ell.Chris Davis 1BBorn: 3/17/1986 Age: 26 Bats: L Throw s: R Height: 6 5 W eight: 235 Breakout: 3% Improve: 18% Collapse: 4% Attrition: 32% MLB: 78% Comparables: Josh Fields,Pedro Castellano,Dallas McPherson YEAR TEAM LVL AGE PA R 2B 3B HR RBI BB 2009 OKL AAA 23 194 27 12 1 6 30 252009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2011 2012TEX OKL TEX ROU TEX BAL BAL TEAM OKL TEX OKL TEX ROU TEX BAL BAL TEAM OKL TEX OKL TEX ROU TEX BAL BALMLB AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB23 24 24 25 25 25 26 SO 39 150 105 40 58 24 39 74419 444 136 210 81 129 250 SB 0 0 3 3 1 0 1 148 67 7 39 9 16 3115 31 9 14 3 9 131 2 0 1 0 0 121 14 1 24 3 2 1259 80 4 66 6 13 3624 37 15 11 5 6 16 TAv .327 .243 .305 .202 .382 .257 .268 .278CS 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 BRR -2.6 1.1 -1.5 -0.3 -0.6 -1.4 -0.9 0AVG_OBP_SLG .327/.422/.521 .238/.284/.442 .327/.388/.520 .192/.279/.292 .368/.405/.824 .250/.296/.408 .276/.310/.398 .261/.312/.478 FRAA -4.7 -5.7 -5.7 1 0.1 -0.7 -1.8 1B -3, 3B -5BABIP .400 .324 .416 .275 .412 .327 .390 .330WARP 1.1 -0.9 2.5 -0.6 3.4 -0.2 0.1 1.9The centerpiece of the Koji Uehara deal, Chris Davis may finally be given a full season of at-bats in 2012, assuming he can stay healthy. His health is no given: he played through a partially torn labrum late in the year and suffered a sports hernia. If he can avoid injury setbacks, hes a good candidate for a Carlos Peastyle breakout. If he cant, hell be remembered as strictly 4A. After years of riding the bus back and forth betw een Triple-A Round Rock and Arlington, Davis has proven all he can in the minors. He has the raw pow er of Thor, and that w ill be the tool to carry him.Ryan Flaherty 2BBorn: 7/27/1986 Age: 25 Bats: L Throw s: R Height: 6 4 W eight: 220 Breakout: 0% Improve: 25% Collapse: 15% Attrition: 34% MLB: 76% Comparables: Tony Batista,Reid Brignac,Neil W alker YEAR 2009 2010 2010 TEAM PEO DAY TEN LVL A A+ AA AGE 22 23 23 PA 543 475 84 R 81 65 10 2B 24 34 2 3B 5 3 0 HR 20 9 1 RBI 81 63 9 BB 50 41 102011 TEN 2011 IOW 2012 BAL YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM PEO DAY TEN TEN IOW BAL TEAM PEO DAY TEN TEN IOW BALAA 24 AAA 24 MLB 25 LVL A A+ AA AA AAA MLB LVL A A+ AA AA AAA MLB SO 98 74 12 55 44 53344 52 20 2 186 22 11 1 250 27 12 1 SB 7 6 1 4 1 1 CS 6 3 0 6 0 114 66 5 22 7 2840 10 16 TAv .296 .295 .204 .290 .223 .241AVG_OBP_SLG .276/.345/.470 .286/.354/.445 .183/.293/.254 .305/.384/.523 .237/.277/.399 .237/.287/.387 FRAA 6 3.9 -2 -0.5 -0.6 2B -1, 3B 1BABIP .309 .328 .207 .332 .288 .274BRR -4 0.9 -0.6 -0.3 -0.7 -0.2WARP 3.8 3.5 -0.6 1.8 -0.3 0.6Flaherty blasted Double-A pitching last season, but the w heels came off upon his promotion to Triple-A. That doesnt bode w ell for the Rule 5 pick, as he must spend the entire 2012 season in Baltimore or else be returned to the Cubs. If he sticks, Flaherty w ill likely fill a super-utilityman role, as the former firstrounder played six positions last season. He fits best in the infield, and he w ould project for above-average pow er if could find a w ay to stick at second base. He has good patience and a solid approach at the plate, w hich should make him a serviceable enough contact hitter, and his good instincts and a high baseball IQ w ill help as he attempts to make the jump to the majors.Vladimir Guerrero RFBorn: 2/9/1975 Age: 37 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 4 W eight: 235 Breakout: 0% Improve: 21% Collapse: 11% Attrition: 19% MLB: 68% Comparables: Hideki Matsui,Al Oliver,Mike Low ell YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM ANA TEX BAL BAL TEAM ANA TEX BAL BAL LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 34 35 36 37 SO 56 60 56 67 PA 407 643 590 565 R 59 83 60 72 2B 16 27 30 28 3B 1 1 1 1 HR 15 29 13 20 RBI 50 115 63 74 BB 19 35 17 33SB 2 4 2 3CS 1 5 2 2AVG_OBP_SLG .295/.334/.460 .300/.345/.496 .290/.317/.416 .287/.335/.457TAv .273 .289 .256 .282YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012TEAM ANA TEX BAL BALLVL MLB MLB MLB MLBBABIP .313 .292 .302 .298BRR -1.2 -5.7 -1.8 -0.5FRAA 0 0 0 RF -0, LF 0WARP 0.8 1.9 0.1 1.9In 2011, Vlad experienced his second big decline in three years. W hile he bounced back from the first, w ith a strong 2010 season in Texas, its unlikely hell repeat the feat. Three separate injuries marred his 2009 decline year, but his raw pow er remained intact. Last year, how ever, Vlads age caught up w ith him and his raw pow er w orsened: even w hen he did go deep, 54 percent of his homers barely cleared the fences. He remains a contact hitter, but Vlads days of 20 home run seasons have likely gone the w ay of every sports show Comedy Central has ever tried. Thats bad new s for a guy w ho can no longer play the field adequately, or even inadequately.J.J. Hardy SSBorn: 8/19/1982 Age: 29 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 3 W eight: 181 Breakout: 2% Improve: 32% Collapse: 6% Attrition: 16% MLB: 96% Comparables: Jimmy Rollins,Nomar Garciaparra,Robin Yount YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM NAS MIL MIN BAL BAL TEAM NAS MIL MIN BAL BAL TEAM NAS MIL MIN BAL BAL LVL AAA MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 26 26 27 28 29 SO 9 85 54 92 76 PA 74 465 375 567 498 R 7 53 44 76 60 2B 2 16 19 27 23 3B 0 2 3 0 2 HR 4 11 6 30 18 RBI 12 47 38 80 64 BB 3 43 28 31 35SB 0 0 1 0 1CS 0 1 1 0 1AVG_OBP_SLG .254/.284/.451 .229/.302/.357 .268/.320/.394 .269/.310/.491 .264/.317/.444 FRAA -1 3.7 1.8 8.1 SS 3 WARP 0.0 0.8 1.8 4.2 2.6TAv .247 .229 .261 .276 .270BABIP .241 .260 .299 .273 .279BRR -0.2 0.4 -0.3 1.5 -0.1After playing just as poorly in Minnesota as he had in Milw aukee, Hardy w as acquired by the Os last w inter for a pair of non-prospects, and the results w ere tremendous. Hardy took advantage of Camdens cozy left field, posting a career high 30 round-trippers to go w ith a return of his fielding prow ess, resulting in a 4.2 W ARP, almost identical to his 2008 season (4.0). Despite his success, PECOTA is doubtful . . . and w rong. In 2009, Hardy had some mechanical problems that caused his sw ing to get too long andw rong. In 2009, Hardy had some mechanical problems that caused his sw ing to get too long and hampered his ability to pull the ball. The result w as too many balls to straightaw ay centerthe deepest part of most ballparks. In 2010, he made adjustments but experienced several pow er-sapping w rist injuries and saw his fly-ball rate plummet. Health, reformed mechanics, a career-high fly-ball percentage, and Baltimores friendly dimensions mean Hardys pow er should repeat.Kyle Hudson LFBorn: 1/7/1987 Age: 25 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 0 W eight: 175 Breakout: 3% Improve: 21% Collapse: 2% Attrition: 38% MLB: 64% Comparables: Boomer W hiting,Fernando Valenzuela Jr.,Chico W alker YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2011 2011 2012 TEAM DEL FRD FRD BOW NOR BAL BAL TEAM DEL FRD FRD BOW NOR BAL BAL TEAM DEL FRD FRD BOW NOR BAL BAL LVL A A+ A+ AA AAA MLB MLB LVL A A+ A+ AA AAA MLB MLB LVL A A+ A+ AA AAA MLB MLB AGE 22 23 24 24 24 24 25 SO 85 129 16 24 55 6 59 PA 456 598 98 103 284 29 250 SB 31 40 8 7 26 2 12 R 61 83 12 9 39 3 23 2B 8 17 3 3 7 0 7 3B 2 3 0 1 1 0 1 HR 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 RBI 21 28 2 10 11 2 16 BB 49 62 10 10 33 0 20CS 16 15 6 2 8 0 5 BRR 4 6 1.1 -1.1 1.7 0.8 -0.5AVG_OBP_SLG .284/.360/.314 .260/.342/.304 .279/.354/.314 .308/.376/.363 .297/.382/.333 .143/.143/.143 .234/.299/.281 FRAA -6.8 -4.4 -1.6 2.8 3.7 -0.3 LF -3, CF -6TAv .282 .250 .248 .267 .260 .096 .216BABIP .353 .337 .343 .418 .382 .182 .307WARP 1.8 0.9 0.1 0.3 1.4 -0.4 -0.9A former w ide receiver in college, Hudson is a toolsy outfielder w ith a similar skill set to fellow prospect Matt Angle. Hes as fast as w hatever the opposite of molasses ishot chili oil, maybe?and he covers a lot of ground in the outfield. Partially as a result of his speed, he has posted high BABIPs at every level, but he also strikes out a lot and has absolutely no pow er. None. Hudson has a grand total of zero home runs in his professional career. He know s how to handle the strike zone, so if he hits in the majors, Hudson profiles as an everyday outfielder and potential leadoff man.Adam Jones CFBorn: 8/1/1985 Age: 26Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 3 W eight: 200 Breakout: 7% Improve: 41% Collapse: 4% Attrition: 19% MLB: 91% Comparables: Matt Kemp,Rocco Baldelli,Ellis Burks YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM BAL BAL BAL BAL TEAM BAL BAL BAL BAL TEAM BAL BAL BAL BAL LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 23 24 25 26 SO 93 119 113 115 PA 519 621 618 581 SB 10 7 12 9 R 83 76 68 71 2B 22 25 26 26 3B 3 5 2 4 HR 19 19 25 20 RBI 70 69 83 77 BB 36 23 29 28CS 4 7 4 5 BRR 0.1 2.4 2.7 -0.7AVG_OBP_SLG .277/.335/.457 .284/.325/.442 .280/.319/.466 .276/.320/.451 FRAA 14.3 5.9 -1.6 CF 5 WARP 4.0 3.7 4.0 2.7TAv .269 .268 .282 .274BABIP .308 .328 .304 .314Jones makes his living not on a single exemplary toollike teammates Mark Reynolds w ith pow er or Brian Roberts w ith speedbut on flashing all five tools in moderation. He did set a career high in both homers and steals last year, and at age 26, Jones could still someday hit over .300 or bash 30-plus homers. The best thing Jones could do for himself is to be more patient. He doesnt take many w alks and sw ung at a career-high 44 percent of pitches out of the strike zone last season. (League average is just 30 percent.)Manny Machado SSBorn: 7/6/1992 Age: 19 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 4 W eight: 185 Breakout: 0% Improve: 4% Collapse: 1% Attrition: 5% MLB: 9% Comparables: Jonathan Galvez,Jiovanni Mier,Tony La Russa YEAR 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2011 2011 2012 TEAM DEL FRD BAL TEAM DEL FRD BAL LVL A A+ MLB LVL A A+ MLB AGE 18 18 19 SO 25 48 56 PA 170 260 250 R 24 24 25 2B 8 12 10 3B 2 3 1 HR 6 5 5 RBI 24 26 24 BB 23 22 17SB 3 8 3CS 1 5 1AVG_OBP_SLG .276/.376/.483 .245/.308/.384 .224/.276/.346TAv .297 .266 .226YEAR 2011 2011 2012TEAM DEL FRD BALLVL A A+ MLBBABIP .296 .286 .269BRR 0.7 2.3 -0.2FRAA 3 -0.5 SS 4WARP 1.5 1.8 0.2W hile Machado is unlikely to reach Baltimore for at least another year and a half, he is Baltimores top prospect and one of the top 10 prospects in baseball. The Orioles grabbed him as a 17-year-old in the first round of the 2010 draft w ith the third overall pick. All five of Machados tools rate as above average, w ith contact hitting ranking as his best, thanks to excellent bat speed. His quick w rists and broad shoulders point to potential grow th in the pow er department dow n the line. Throw in good defense at a premium position, and if everything goes according to plan, the Orioles w ill have a superstar to build around for years to come.Nick Markakis RFBorn: 11/17/1983 Age: 28 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 3 W eight: 195 Breakout: 0% Improve: 48% Collapse: 5% Attrition: 15% MLB: 85% Comparables: Magglio Ordonez,Andre Ethier,Al Kaline YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM BAL BAL BAL BAL TEAM BAL BAL BAL BAL TEAM BAL BAL BAL BAL LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 25 26 27 28 SO 98 93 75 93 PA 711 709 716 671 R 94 79 72 87 2B 45 45 31 40 3B 2 3 1 2 HR 18 12 15 18 RBI 101 60 73 82 BB 56 73 62 64SB 6 7 12 9CS 2 2 3 3AVG_OBP_SLG .293/.347/.453 .297/.370/.436 .284/.351/.406 .290/.360/.451 FRAA -17 -2.4 -3 RF -5, 1B 0TAv .281 .280 .269 .290BABIP .317 .331 .300 .317BRR 3.2 -0.8 0.3 -0.2WARP 1.0 2.5 1.7 3.4Every year, PECOTA projects better for Markakis than he delivers, and at 29, his chances of delivering on his one-time superstar potential are dw indling. Coveted as both a hitter and a pitcher in the first round of the 2003 amateur draft, he has certainly been w orth his selection as an outfielder, but he grades out as a merely above average player; just once has he posted a W ARP above 3.0 (2008). Like teammate Adam Jones, Markakis has all five tools, but not to the extent Jones does. He had compensated for his four-year home run decline by cracking over 45 doubles each year from 200810, but he managed just 31 last season w ithout much of an increase in big flies. Markakis isnt the star player the Os once hoped to build around. Sad face.Nolan Reimold LFBorn: 10/12/1983 Age: 28 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 5 W eight: 205 Breakout: 0% Improve: 33% Collapse: 5%Breakout: 0% Improve: 33% Collapse: 5% Attrition: 16% MLB: 86% Comparables: Fred Lew is,Tom Tresh,Josh W illingham YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM NOR BAL NOR BAL NOR BAL BAL TEAM NOR BAL NOR BAL NOR BAL BAL TEAM NOR BAL NOR BAL NOR BAL BAL LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB AGE 25 25 26 26 27 27 28 SO 25 77 61 26 43 57 55 PA 130 411 401 131 161 305 275 R 21 49 52 9 16 40 35 2B 11 18 12 5 6 10 12 3B 0 2 0 0 0 3 1 HR 9 15 10 3 6 13 11 RBI 27 45 37 14 22 45 35 BB 18 47 54 12 18 28 27SB 6 8 9 0 2 7 5CS 1 2 2 0 1 2 2AVG_OBP_SLG .394/.488/.743 .279/.365/.466 .249/.366/.374 .207/.282/.328 .237/.329/.410 .247/.328/.453 .263/.342/.452 FRAA -1.3 0.2 -0.4 0.1 2.7 2.2 LF 0, 1B -1TAv .415 .287 .259 .214 .263 .282 .284BABIP .453 .316 .278 .236 .293 .264 .296BRR -0.4 -0.5 -1.2 -0.9 0 0.3 0WARP 2.1 2.1 0.2 -0.4 0.6 1.7 2.1A stud in college, Reimold w as a second round pick in 2006, climbing the ladder quickly and establishing himself as one of the Orioles top prospects. After just 130 plate appearances at Triple-A, Reimold w as promoted to the bigs in 2009, and he didnt disappoint, triple-slashing .279/.365/.466. A guy w ith good (and projectable) pow er, also capable of hitting for average, taking a w alk, and sw iping a few bags, Reimold had people excited for his sophomore season. Unfortunately, after offseason ankle surgery, Reimold proved ineffective to start 2010, w as sent dow n, and w asnt heard from again until September call-ups. He remained an afterthought until Luke Scott w as injured in July 2011, leaving left field open for Reimold to get another shot. Taking advantage, a healthy Reimold posted numbers almost identical to w hat he did in 2009. He seems poised to establish himself as a serviceable major league regular in 2012 if given a starting job. Word is he might platoon w ith Endy Chavez, though, w hich w ould limit his at-bats as the righty half of the platoon.Mark Reynolds 3BBorn: 8/3/1983 Age: 28 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 2 W eight: 200 Breakout: 2% Improve: 22% Collapse: 0% Attrition: 24% MLB: 76%Comparables: Dallas McPherson,Marlan Coughtry,Mike Schmidt YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM ARI ARI BAL BAL TEAM ARI ARI BAL BAL TEAM ARI ARI BAL BAL LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 25 26 27 28 SO 223 211 196 189 PA 662 596 620 578 SB 24 7 6 9 R 98 79 84 74 2B 30 17 27 24 3B 1 2 1 2 HR 44 32 37 31 RBI 102 85 86 82 BB 76 83 75 64CS 9 4 4 4 BRR -1.4 1.5 -2.3 -0.5AVG_OBP_SLG .260/.349/.543 .198/.320/.433 .221/.323/.483 .236/.327/.477 FRAA 2.5 -0.5 -15.3 3B -5, 1B -1TAv .295 .263 .282 .284BABIP .338 .257 .266 .305WARP 3.9 1.6 1.2 3.5A third baseman for most of his major league career, Reynolds shifted to first on the arrival of Chris Davis andmercifully, for all involvedw ill remain there this year. After an abysmal first six w eeks, Reynolds proved to be a very savvy acquisition. The nearly 20 percent sw ing in home run park factors betw een Chase Field and Camden Yards for right-handed batters helped Reynolds and the Os, w ith Reynolds averaging a dinger every 12 at-bats from May 14 on. Even w ith his below replacement level April, he still posted the highest rate of homers on contacted balls in the majors. Of course, he strikes out, and hell never hit for a high average. But his history of much higher BABIPs suggests hell improve somew hat on the paltry .221 overall batting average he posted last year. His raw pow er is among the best in the majors, and his home park suits him.Brian Roberts 2BBorn: 10/9/1977 Age: 34 Bats: B Throw s: R Height: 5 10 W eight: 170 Breakout: 0% Improve: 39% Collapse: 8% Attrition: 20% MLB: 91% Comparables: Mark DeRosa,Lou W hitaker,Ray Durham YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 TEAM BAL BAL BAL BAL TEAM BAL BAL BAL LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB AGE 31 32 33 34 SO 112 40 21 PA 717 261 178 250 SB 30 12 6 R 110 28 18 30 2B 56 14 7 15 3B 1 0 1 1 HR 16 4 3 4 RBI 79 15 19 27 BB 74 26 12 26CS 7 2 1AVG_OBP_SLG .283/.356/.451 .278/.354/.391 .221/.273/.331TAv .280 .267 .2152012 BAL YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM BAL BAL BAL BALMLB 39 12 3 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB BABIP .318 .319 .236 .307 BRR 2.3 0.7 2.2 0.4.271/.346/.408 .271 FRAA -11.9 -4.3 -0.5 2B -6 WARP 2.4 0.4 -0.1 2.0Another year, another 100+ day DL stint. W hat else is new for Brian Roberts? In 2010 it w as an abdominal strain that kept him sidelined; in 2011 it w as a concussion. Talent isnt a question w ith Roberts; his ability to stay on the field is. The problem now , how ever, is that hes 34 years old and hasnt played a full season since 2009. Even if he can stay healthy in 2012, its hard to know w hat to expect. His primary asset has alw ays been his speed, but hes lost quite a bit of it over the past tw o seasons and is unlikely to ever steal 30 bases again. He could probably still pop a dozen or so homers in a full season and get on base at a clip of .350, though, w hich w ould be plenty of value for the Os. The team w ill be much happier if w ere right about Robertss PECOTA-projected .262 TAv than if he has another year at .215.Luke Scott LFBorn: 6/25/1978 Age: 34 Bats: L Throw s: R Height: 6 1 W eight: 210 Breakout: 0% Improve: 27% Collapse: 5% Attrition: 25% MLB: 91% Comparables: Jerry Lynch,Charlie Maxw ell,David Dellucci YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM BAL BAL BAL TBA TEAM BAL BAL BAL TBA TEAM BAL BAL BAL TBA LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 31 32 33 34 SO 104 98 54 61 PA 506 517 236 281 SB 0 2 1 1 R 61 70 24 35 2B 26 29 11 13 3B 1 1 0 1 HR 25 27 9 12 RBI 77 72 22 37 BB 55 59 24 29CS 0 0 1 0 BRR -1.8 -6.1 -1.1 0AVG_OBP_SLG .258/.340/.488 .284/.368/.535 .220/.301/.402 .243/.324/.450 FRAA 0.6 0.2 0.7 LF 1, 1B -0TAv .286 .315 .256 .285BABIP .283 .304 .250 .272WARP 1.9 2.8 0.2 1.8Scott may have his w eaknesses (age, lack of speed, and average-at-best defense), but his strengths entering 2011 w ere health and pow er. He had spent just 34 career days on the DL coming into the season and had bashed 75 homers from 200810 in less than full-time play. Unfortunately for Scott, a torn labrum robbed him of both playing time and performance in 2011. Non-tendered by the Orioles, hes not to be forgotten, especially if off-season LASIK and shoulder surgery prove successful in returning his productivity at the plate. Take his pow er and throw in good plate discipline, and you have a playerperfectly suited for a DH role, especially if he finds a good park and lineup for his lefty bat. W hile hell certainly carry risk, Scott could w ind up as one of the best values on the free agent market this w inter.Brandon Snyder 1BBorn: 11/23/1986 Age: 25 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 3 W eight: 215 Breakout: 5% Improve: 28% Collapse: 0% Attrition: 16% MLB: 48% Comparables: Randy Bush,Tino Martinez,Johan Limonta YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM BOW NOR NOR BAL NOR BAL TEX TEAM BOW NOR NOR BAL NOR BAL TEX TEAM BOW NOR NOR BAL NOR BAL TEX LVL AA AAA AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL AA AAA AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL AA AAA AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB AGE 22 22 23 23 24 24 25 SO 45 64 101 3 91 4 56 PA 233 297 376 20 494 17 250 SB 0 3 4 0 1 0 1 R 24 36 36 1 55 2 28 2B 19 18 22 2 21 1 12 3B 1 2 1 0 1 0 1 HR 10 2 9 0 14 0 6 RBI 45 43 43 3 71 1 28 BB 27 24 28 0 32 3 17CS 1 1 1 1 2 0 1 BRR -1.8 -0.3 2.8 -0.8 -3.3 0.2 -0.1AVG_OBP_SLG .343/.426/.597 .248/.323/.355 .257/.326/.407 .300/.300/.400 .261/.312/.406 .231/.412/.308 .250/.310/.398 FRAA -0.4 -1.3 0 0.6 4.4 -0.5 1B -9, 3B -0TAv .350 .245 .256 .244 .248 .273 .245BABIP .404 .321 .341 .353 .293 .333 .301WARP 2.2 -0.3 0.3 0.0 0.2 0.0 0.0Baltimores first round pick in 2005, Snyder hasnt panned out as expected. The Orioles drafted him as a catcher, but multiple injuries forced the Os to try him at third base before he finally settled in at first. W hile he has adapted enough to play average defense, he doesnt have the pow er or patience needed for a first baseman. Snyder looks like a major league backup at best.Taylor Teagarden CBorn: 12/21/1983 Age: 28 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 2 W eight: 200 Breakout: 24% Improve: 44% Collapse: 8% Attrition: 27% MLB: 84% Comparables: Ellie Hendricks,W es W estrum,Kelly ShoppachEllie Hendricks,W es W estrum,Kelly Shoppach YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM TEX FRI TEX ROU TEX BAL TEAM TEX FRI TEX ROU TEX BAL TEAM TEX FRI TEX ROU TEX BAL LVL MLB AA MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL MLB AA MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL MLB AA MLB AAA MLB MLB AGE 25 26 26 27 27 28 SO 76 75 34 52 13 84 PA 218 220 85 173 36 250 R 26 24 10 30 3 27 2B 13 10 1 4 2 9 3B 0 1 0 3 0 1 HR 6 3 4 12 0 10 RBI 24 32 6 22 2 29 BB 14 25 8 21 2 22SB 0 0 0 0 0 0CS 0 0 0 0 0 0AVG_OBP_SLG .217/.270/.374 .242/.339/.353 .155/.259/.338 .285/.376/.589 .235/.278/.294 .218/.292/.398 FRAA -0.7 0.4 -0.1 -1.4 -0.3 C -2 WARP 0.1 0.4 0.1 1.8 -0.1 1.5TAv .231 .246 .242 .320 .231 .248BABIP .314 .384 .212 .356 .381 .293BRR 0.7 -2.3 0.6 0.9 -1 0Teagarden has the defensive skill-set behind the plate to offer some value at the major league level; hes a cerebral game-caller w ith a strong arm and good fundamentals. But as is often the case, w hen his bat starts to stink w ith the rot of a below -average hitter, his prow ess behind the plate suffers as a result. If his bat can show signs of lifehe did show pow er potential in his days as a legitimate prospect Teagarden could be a cheap backup option behind the plate for the Os and an upgrade over Craig Tatum.Matt Wieters CBorn: 5/21/1986 Age: 26 Bats: B Throw s: R Height: 6 6 W eight: 230 Breakout: 1% Improve: 26% Collapse: 5% Attrition: 22% MLB: 73% Comparables: A.J. Ellis,Keith Moreland,Hardy Peterson YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM NOR BAL BAL BAL BAL LVL AAA MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 23 23 24 25 26 PA 163 385 502 551 508 R 25 35 37 72 61 2B 9 15 22 28 25 3B 2 1 1 0 1 HR 5 9 11 22 15 RBI 30 43 55 68 60 BB 20 28 47 48 42YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012TEAM NOR BAL BAL BAL BAL TEAM NOR BAL BAL BAL BALLVL AAA MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB MLB MLB MLBSO 30 86 94 84 93SB 0 0 0 1 1CS 0 0 1 0 0AVG_OBP_SLG .305/.391/.504 .288/.340/.412 .249/.319/.377 .262/.328/.450 .265/.327/.423 FRAA -0.3 -0.1 -0.9 3.2 C 0, 1B -0TAv .309 .255 .251 .266 .268BABIP .358 .356 .287 .276 .299BRR -0.1 -4.3 -0.8 -2.2 0WARP 1.3 0.6 1.7 3.4 2.7W hile W ieters didnt catapult himself into the upper echelon of catchers as everyone once expected (and many still do), he did have a breakout 2011 campaign. As he continues adjusting to big league pitching, he cut dow n on strikeouts for the third straight season and finally had the pow er surge everyone has been w aiting for. Doubling his home run output from 2010 and increasing his ISO by 60 points, W ieters displayed good pow er to all fields and could easily take another step forw ard in his age 26 season. The only draw back w as a career-low BABIP, but theres plenty of reason to expect that to be higher in 2012. If W ieters can maintain the gains he made last year, he could settle in as a .285, 25-home-run type w ith a league average w alk rate. Throw in his good defense, and W ieters is w ell on his w ay to becoming the star catcher the Orioles w ere hoping for.PITCHERS Jeremy AccardoBorn: 12/18/1981 Age: 30 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 3 W eight: 190 Breakout: 29% Improve: 52% Collapse: 18% Attrition: 11% MLB: 88% Comparables: Ben McDonald,Bob Rush,Guillermo Mota YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H 2009 LVG AAA 27 2 1 13 27 0 30 32 2009 TOR MLB 27 0 0 1 26 0 24 2 23 2010 LVG 2010 TOR 2011 NOR 2011 BAL 2012 BAL AAA 28 MLB 28 AAA 29 MLB 29 MLB 30 3 2 24 42 0 0 1 0 1 1 2 3 3 0 2 1 0 5 0 26 0 31 0 34 0 44 41 6 2 12 33 1 26 37 2 43 39 2 41YEAR TEAM LVL HR BB SO EqBB9 EqSO9 GB% 2009 LVG AAA 1 8 27 2.4 8.1 57%2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012TOR LVG TOR NOR BAL BAL TEAM LVG TOR LVG TOR NOR BAL BALMLB AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB2 0 0 1 5 417 10 3 11 18 1518 19 3 27 23 276.2 3.1 4.1 3.0 4.3 3.4 ERA 3.00 2.55 3.48 8.10 2.16 5.73 4.266.6 5.3 4.1 7.3 5.5 6.0 FIP 2.98 5.05 3.94 3.95 3.09 5.08 4.2947% 50% 44% 49% 39% 48% FRA 3.25 4.52 5.32 6.77 4.77 4.95 4.63 WARP 0.7 0.3 0.2 -0.2 0.3 0.0 0.2BABIP .337 .309 .406 .444 .281 .322 .302WHIP 1.33 1.62 1.52 2.25 1.11 1.62 1.42Accardos days as a high-leverage reliever are gone. After saving 30 games for the Blue Jays in 2007, he completely fell apart the follow ing season and has since been passed betw een seven different major and minor league teams. His velocity has fallen from over 94 mph in 2007 to under 92 mph in 2011, and all of his pitches come in on the same plane, never forcing a batter to change his eye-line. Unable to control any of his pitches particularly w ell, Accardo simply doesnt do anything w ell enough to stick in the majors anymore.Jake ArrietaBorn: 3/6/1986 Age: 26 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 5 W eight: 225 Breakout: 23% Improve: 63% Collapse: 18% Attrition: 25% MLB: 89% Comparables: Dan Meyer,Ricky Romero,A.J. Murray YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 BOW AA 23 6 3 0 11 11 59 2009 NOR 2010 NOR 2010 BAL 2011 BAL 2012 BAL YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 TEAM BOW NOR NOR BAL BAL BAL AAA 23 AAA 24 MLB 24 MLB 25 MLB 26 LVL AA AAA AAA MLB MLB MLB HR 4 9 3 9 21 13 5 8 0 6 2 0 6 6 0 10 8 0 6 7 0 BB 23 33 26 48 59 45 SO 70 78 45 52 93 74 H 4517 17 91 2 97 12 11 73 43 18 18 100 1 106 22 22 119 1 115 18 18 100 1 102 EqSO9 10.7 7.7 7.9 4.7 7.0 6.7 GB% 38% 43% 50% 44% 48% 45%EqBB9 3.5 3.2 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.02012 BAL YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 TEAM BOW NOR NOR BAL BAL BALMLB 13 45 74 4.0 LVL AA AAA AAA MLB MLB MLB BABIP .287 .331 .255 .292 .274 .292 WHIP 1.15 1.42 1.12 1.53 1.46 1.46 ERA 2.59 3.93 1.85 4.66 5.05 4.656.7 FIP 3.02 4.10 3.94 4.73 5.37 4.7645% FRA 3.28 3.97 4.32 4.82 5.88 5.05 WARP 1.3 1.4 1.0 0.7 -0.4 0.1W hile Brian Matusz and Chris Tillman got the most hype of Baltimores pitching prospect trio w hile they w ere coming up, Arrieta has enjoyed the most major league success of the three. He started the home opener for the Os in 2011, and pitched w ell before an August surgery to remove bone chips from his pitching elbow . Arrieta has tw o fastballs, a sinker to get groundballs and a 92-mph four-seamer. The fourseamer sets up his tw o above average breaking ballsa slider and a curveplus a show -me change. He has the stuff to generate strikeouts and induce grounders. W hether he steps up to become a second or third starter depends on how his control develops and his rehab post-surgery.Brad BergesenBorn: 9/25/1985 Age: 26 Bats: L Throw s: R Height: 6 3 W eight: 215 Breakout: 22% Improve: 59% Collapse: 20% Attrition: 16% MLB: 76% Comparables: Geno Espineli,Bobby Livingston,Mark Buehrle YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 BAL 2010 BAL 2011 BAL 2012 BAL YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM BAL BAL BAL BAL TEAM BAL BAL BAL BAL MLB 23 MLB 24 MLB 25 MLB 26 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 11 26 16 14 7 5 0 8 12 0 2 7 0 6 6 0 BB 32 51 32 28 SO 65 81 61 53 19 19 123 1 30 28 170 34 12 101 25 16 108 1 EqSO9 4.7 4.3 5.4 4.4 FIP 4.15 5.11 4.95 4.68 H 126 193 119 120 GB% 51% 50% 41% 51% WARP 1.4 0.1 0.0 0.0EqBB9 2.3 2.7 2.9 2.3 ERA 3.43 4.98 5.70 4.67BABIP .285 .290 .304 .290WHIP 1.28 1.44 1.50 1.37FRA 5.08 5.48 5.18 5.07Bergesen w as one of the first pitchers to be throw n out of the revolving door that w as Baltimores rotation last season. He w as demoted after nine starts, then returned in a bullpen role, making just three more starts the rest of the year. A pitch-to-contact guy w ho relies on groundball outs, those grounders w ere few er and further betw een this season, dropping from his usual 50 percent to 41 percent. Part of the reason for that w as an increased reliance on his four-seamer over his sinker and slider. If he can w orkdow n in the zone, hell induce more grounders, but hes a back-end starter for a bad team at best, and the Os have plenty of those.Jason BerkenBorn: 11/27/1983 Age: 28 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 1 W eight: 175 Breakout: 31% Improve: 79% Collapse: 8% Attrition: 7% MLB: 86% Comparables: Frank Castillo,Nate Robertson,Dave Heaverlo YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 BAL 2010 BAL 2011 BAL 2012 BAL YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM BAL BAL BAL BAL TEAM BAL BAL BAL BAL MLB 25 MLB 26 MLB 27 MLB 28 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 19 5 10 7 6 12 0 3 3 0 1 2 0 2 1 1 BB 44 19 21 17 SO 66 45 41 32 H24 24 119 2 164 41 0 62 1 64 40 0 34 2 47 50 63 59 GB% 41% 49% 42% 46% WARP 0.4 0.3 -0.4 -0.3EqBB9 3.3 2.7 4.0 3.0 ERA 6.54 3.03 5.36 5.13EqSO9 5.0 6.5 7.9 5.7 FIP 5.36 3.56 5.49 4.76BABIP .344 .314 .356 .318WHIP 1.74 1.33 1.79 1.51FRA 5.71 4.72 6.09 5.57Giving up on Berken as a starter, the Os moved him to the bullpen at the start of 2010 w ith great success, w atching him post a 3.59 FIP and using him in high leverage situations before he w as diagnosed w ith a frayed rotator cuff and a slightly torn labrum in August. Returning for 2011, Berken posted solid peripherals, but his ERA w as skew ed by a seven-run, tw o-homer game in July. The story emerged later that Berken had been experiencing forearm issues, w hich soon rose to his elbow , leading to an eventual DL stint. If Berken can come back and remain healthy, hed be a serviceable middle reliever or long man, but having undergone Tommy John surgery in 2005 and now dealing w ith shoulder and elbow troubles the past tw o years, thats far from a given.Zach BrittonBorn: 12/22/1987 Age: 24 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 4 W eight: 195 Breakout: 37% Improve: 64% Collapse: 18% Attrition: 4% MLB: 97% Comparables: Steve Trout,Aaron Laffey,Jim Abbott YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 FRD A+ 21 9 6 0 25 24 140 2010 BOW AA 22 7 3 0 15 14 87 2010 NOR AAA 22 3 4 0 12 12 66 1 H 123 49 502011 BAL 2012 BAL YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 TEAM FRD BOW NOR BAL BAL TEAM FRD BOW NOR BAL BALMLB 23 MLB 24 LVL A+ AA AAA MLB MLB LVL A+ AA AAA MLB MLB HR 6 2 2 12 1311 11 0 7 8 0 BB 55 11 18 62 50 SO 131 43 38 97 7428 28 154 1 162 22 22 122 1 130 EqSO9 8.4 7.0 7.6 5.7 5.4 FIP 3.40 3.29 3.59 4.04 4.60 GB% 68% 66% 66% 55% 59% WARP 0.6 0.9 0.6 1.0 0.3EqBB9 3.5 2.9 3.1 3.6 3.7 ERA 2.70 2.48 2.99 4.61 4.58BABIP .296 .296 .333 .309 .298WHIP 1.27 1.20 1.30 1.45 1.47FRA 5.17 4.30 4.82 4.91 4.98Britton started his rookie year strong, posting a 2.93 ERA through the end of May. Things derailed soon after, how ever, and he eventually landed on the DL w ith a shoulder strain. Britton has the potential to be an extreme groundball pitcher: his sinker, slider, and change are all serious w eapons. But successful lefty sinkerballersat least as startersare rare, because of the pitchs extreme platoon split. He has a fourseamer and changeup to w ork in against right-handers, but hes performed considerably w orse against them since Double-A and threw over 40 percent sinkers to them w ith Baltimore. He has also struggled w ith runners on base throughout his career, so w hile Britton has number-three starter potential, there are still question marks.Dana EvelandBorn: 10/29/1983 Age: 28 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 2 W eight: 219 Breakout: 22% Improve: 46% Collapse: 27% Attrition: 19% MLB: 88% Comparables: Matt Albers,Scott Radinsky,Lenny DiNardo YEAR 2009 2009 2010 TEAM SAC OAK IND LVL AAA MLB AAA AGE 25 25 26 W 8 2 0 L 6 4 2 SV 0 0 0 G 21 13 11 GS 21 9 5 IP 124 44 26 92 H 133 70 25 152010 PIT 2010 TOR 2011 ABQ 2011 LAN 2012 BALMLB 26 MLB 26 AAA 27 MLB 27 MLB 280 1 0 3 4 0 12 8 0 3 2 0 4 4 03 1 9 944 2 57 25 25 154 144 5 5 29 2 28 12 12 64 2 72YEAR TEAM LVL HR BB SO EqBB9 EqSO9 GB% 2009 SAC AAA 12 51 92 3.7 6.7 56%2009 2010 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012OAK IND PIT TOR ABQ LAN BAL TEAM SAC OAK IND PIT TOR ABQ LAN BALMLB AAA MLB MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB AAA MLB MLB4 3 0 4 10 1 626 4 5 27 59 6 2722 14 3 21 103 16 395.3 2.1 4.7 5.4 3.6 1.8 3.7 ERA 4.94 7.16 7.96 8.38 6.45 4.38 3.03 4.824.5 9.0 2.8 4.2 6.3 4.9 5.4 FIP 4.58 5.10 4.42 4.66 5.22 4.61 3.16 4.4661% 43% 39% 53% 59% 55% 53% FRA 5.15 5.73 6.23 6.59 5.40 5.64 3.79 5.24 WARP -0.3 0.0 0.1 -0.1 0.1 1.5 0.3 -0.0BABIP .315 .393 .407 .385 .333 .297 .293 .315WHIP 1.48 2.18 1.81 2.07 1.88 1.38 1.15 1.52A non-roster spring training invitee for the Dodgers, pitching in his sixth organization in as many seasons, Eveland marked time at Albuquerque w hile staying out of trouble thanks to his penchant for groundballs; as it w as, seven of the 11 homers he allow ed w ere at home. Added to the Los Angeles rotation in September once Nathan Eovaldi w as shut dow n, he mustered better control than he had show n in any month so far in the majors, but both the Pirates and Giantstw o of the leagues three w eakest teams in terms of True Averageroughed him up after hed stifled them the first time around. Aside from throw ing less of his 88 mph fastball and more offspeed stuff, he is essentially the same pitcher w ho has failed to stick in so many other teams rotations. Traded to Baltimore in December, he seems to be the perfect fit for a team like the Os, w ho trotted out plenty of Eveland clones in 2011.Willie EyreBorn: 7/21/1978 Age: 33 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 3 W eight: 205 Breakout: 20% Improve: 53% Collapse: 27% Attrition: 9% MLB: 91% Comparables: Tom Candiotti,Steve Rogers,Bob W elch YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 OKL 2009 TEX 2010 OKL 2011 SAC 2011 BAL 2012 BAL AAA 30 MLB 30 AAA 31 AAA 32 MLB 32 MLB 33 0 0 2 0 0 0 5 4 2 4 5 9 2 2 0 1 0 0 19 2 17 0 49 0 39 2 19 0 24 0 34 1 18 72 62 18 1 H 24 18 45 62 1233 2 34YEAR TEAM LVL HR BB SO EqBB9 EqSO9 GB% 2009 OKL AAA 1 12 25 3.1 6.6 50% 2009 TEX MLB 0 6 8 3.0 4.0 38%2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012OKL SAC BAL BAL TEAM OKL TEX OKL SAC BAL BALAAA AAA MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB AAA AAA MLB MLB1 5 2 320 27 5 1330 42 10 213.1 4.1 2.5 3.4 ERA 2.10 4.50 3.50 3.48 3.44 4.207.4 6.5 4.9 5.6 FIP 3.51 3.25 4.24 4.78 4.21 4.2746% 53% 51% 47% FRA 3.70 4.42 4.32 5.15 4.80 4.57 WARP 0.5 0.2 0.9 0.1 0.0 0.2BABIP .247 .321 .306 .313 .185 .293WHIP 1.05 1.33 1.38 1.47 0.93 1.41After inking a minor league deal w ith the As in the offseason and posting a 3.53 ERA at Triple-A, Eyre opted out of his deal to sign w ith Baltimore in August. The Orioles recalled him after just 3 1/3 innings w ith their ow n Triple-A affiliate. He throw s a 92-mph fastball that he can cut, and a breaking ball somew here betw een a curve and a slider. The 32-year-old Eyre proved marginally effective w ith a 4.17 FIP, but theres really nothing special about him.Kevin GreggBorn: 6/20/1978 Age: 34 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 7 W eight: 200 Breakout: 10% Improve: 25% Collapse: 49% Attrition: 6% MLB: 97% Comparables: Jay W itasick,Troy Percival,Armando Benitez YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 CHN 2010 TOR 2011 BAL 2012 BAL YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM CHN TOR BAL BAL TEAM CHN TOR BAL BAL MLB 31 MLB 32 MLB 33 MLB 34 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 13 4 7 6 5 6 23 72 0 2 6 37 63 0 0 3 22 63 0 3 1 26 58 0 BB 30 30 40 26 SO 71 58 53 52 EqBB9 3.9 4.6 6.0 4.3 ERA 4.72 3.51 4.37 3.85 H68 2 60 59 52 59 2 58 55 48 EqSO9 9.3 8.8 8.0 8.5 FIP 4.89 3.54 4.92 4.15 GB% 39% 43% 44% 40% WARP 0.4 0.7 -0.2 0.5BABIP .260 .300 .302 .286WHIP 1.31 1.39 1.64 1.36FRA 5.07 4.16 5.44 4.18After a shaky outing last summer, Gregg told a reporter, You obviously havent acquired my taste inpitching yet. W ho has, exactly? Gregg has alw ays teetered at the edge of the cliff w here passable falls into tragedy, and he finally fell in 2011. Signed to pitch the ninth inning for the Os because of his veteran closing experience, the kind of failure he experienced couldnt have come as a shock to very many BP readers. W hile he managed to post a 3.41 ERA before the All-Star break, things w ent south quickly in the second half for Gregg. His ERA ballooned to 5.68 and eventually he w as pulled from the closers role. Gregg is signed for $5.8 million, but it seems highly unlikely the Orioles w ill give him the ninth inning again.Jeremy GuthrieBorn: 4/8/1979 Age: 33 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 2 W eight: 200 Breakout: 22% Improve: 43% Collapse: 37% Attrition: 27% MLB: 86% Comparables: Bronson Arroyo,John Thomson,Steve Gromek YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H 2009 BAL MLB 30 10 17 0 33 33 200 224 2010 BAL MLB 31 11 14 0 32 32 209 1 193 2011 BAL 2012 BAL YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM BAL BAL BAL BAL TEAM BAL BAL BAL BAL MLB 32 MLB 33 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 35 25 26 26 9 17 0 10 11 0 BB 60 50 66 47 SO 110 119 130 105 34 32 208 213 28 28 182 187 EqSO9 4.9 5.1 5.6 5.2 FIP 5.35 4.41 4.52 4.68 GB% 37% 43% 41% 42% WARP 0.1 2.3 1.6 0.9EqBB9 2.7 2.1 2.9 2.3 ERA 5.04 3.83 4.33 4.26BABIP .287 .255 .287 .279WHIP 1.42 1.16 1.34 1.29FRA 5.93 4.39 4.75 4.63Despite being below average at generating both strikeouts and groundballs, Guthrie has managed to be successful by boasting great control and a career .273 BABIP that, after over 1000 innings, PECOTA suggests is sustainable. Entering his third year of arbitration, Guthrie is getting expensive for a guy w ho relies so much on his defense and w hose strikeout rate is barely passable. He may be w orth it for another year or tw o, but the Os might w ant to start looking into trades for a guy w hose balancing act rivals Cirque du Soleil. Inducing w eak contact is the lynchpin of the w hole act. Theres a steep age curve for those tight-rope w alkers, and at 33 years old, Guthrie is just one misstep aw ay from plummeting.Tommy HunterBorn: 7/3/1986 Age: 25 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 4 W eight: 255 Breakout: 19% Improve: 49% Collapse: 18% Attrition: 15% MLB: 96% Comparables: Casey Janssen,Scott McGregor,Jesse Litsch YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 OKL 2009 TEX AAA 23 MLB 23 3 2 0 9 6 0 8 8 H49 1 53 19 19 112 1132009 TEX 2010 OKL 2010 TEX 2011 ROU 2011 TEX 2011 BAL 2012 BAL YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2011 2012 TEAM OKL TEX OKL TEX ROU TEX BAL BAL TEAM OKL TEX OKL TEX ROU TEX BAL BALMLB 23 AAA 24 MLB 24 AAA 25 MLB 25 MLB 25 MLB 25 LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB HR 5 13 1 21 2 1 11 139 6 0 1 2 0 13 4 0 2 2 1 1 1 0 3 3 0 5 5 0 BB 16 33 7 33 3 5 10 22 SO 35 64 8 68 16 10 35 4919 19 112 113 6 6 26 2 18 23 22 128 126 8 5 26 2 37 8 0 15 1 12 12 11 69 1 88 20 15 91 1 101 EqSO9 6.4 5.1 4.7 4.8 5.4 5.9 4.5 4.8 FIP 4.44 4.45 4.73 4.96 3.96 3.58 4.72 4.70 GB% 41% 39% 54% 42% 54% 57% 41% 45% WARP 0.2 0.9 0.0 1.1 0.4 0.2 0.4 0.3EqBB9 2.9 2.7 3.7 2.3 1.0 2.9 1.3 2.2 ERA 3.83 4.10 4.04 3.73 5.06 2.93 5.06 4.46BABIP .322 .277 .270 .257 .361 .244 .316 .291WHIP 1.40 1.30 1.46 1.24 1.50 1.11 1.41 1.34FRA 4.82 4.90 5.15 4.72 4.61 4.54 4.62 4.85Acquired in the Koji Uehara deal, Hunter profiles as a back-of-rotation innings eater. Physical differences aside (Hunter looks like he could eat Guthrie for breakfast), Hunter has the potential to become the new Jeremy Guthrie for the Osa guy w ho can throw 92-mph but, lacking a true sw ing-and-miss pitch, struggles to be even average at generating strikeouts. Like Guthrie, his ability to survive w ill hinge upon good control and treating his fielders to lots of steak dinners. He has a career .281 BABIP, but in just over 300 innings, that numbers legitimacy is far from assured. Aside from his fastball, the uncanny resemblance to Guthrie continues as Hunter boasts an almost identical repertoire: an 11-to-5 curve, a tw o-seamer, a change, and a cutter that behaves a bit like Guthries slider.Jim JohnsonBorn: 6/27/1983 Age: 29 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 6 W eight: 224 Breakout: 31% Improve: 58% Collapse: 19% Attrition: 7% MLB: 96% Comparables: Dave Schmidt,Alejandro Pena,Brad Ziegler YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H 2009 BAL MLB 26 4 6 10 64 0 70 732010 BAL 2011 BAL 2012 BAL YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM BAL BAL BAL BAL TEAM BAL BAL BAL BALMLB 27 MLB 28 MLB 29 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 8 2 5 71 1 1 6 5 9 3 1 4 BB 23 5 21 19 SO 49 22 58 4226 0 69 0 54 0 EqBB9 3.0 1.7 2.1 2.6 ERA 4.11 3.42 2.67 3.8726 1 32 91 80 66 2 68 EqSO9 6.3 7.5 5.7 5.7 FIP 4.34 3.05 3.26 4.16 GB% 54% 51% 63% 52% WARP 0.1 0.1 0.3 0.6BABIP .302 .357 .273 .293WHIP 1.37 1.41 1.11 1.31FRA 5.53 4.72 4.85 4.21The Orioles w ill be faced w ith an interesting decision to make about Johnson this offseason. Initially, there w as talk that they w anted to move him into the rotation, but given Kevin Greggs collapse and Johnsons ow n excellence in the pen, making him their full-time closer is now a legitimate option. W hile hes had tw o very good seasons in a row and despite throw ing 95 mph, Johnson has never had a penchant for the strikeout, and it seems unlikely that w ould change as a starter. Despite his high velocity, hed probably end up as a Nick Blackburn, a fourth-starter type w ith a below -average K rate, getting by on serviceable control and a lot of groundballs.Brian MatuszBorn: 2/11/1987 Age: 25 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 6 W eight: 200 Breakout: 18% Improve: 48% Collapse: 18% Attrition: 16% MLB: 94% Comparables: Mike Stanton,John Danks,Scott Olsen YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 FRD A+ 22 22 4 2 0 7 0 0 5 2 0 10 12 0 1 2 0 1 9 0 5 6 0 BB 21 11 14 SO 75 46 38 H2009 BOW AA 2009 BAL 2010 BAL 2011 NOR 2011 BAL 2012 BAL YEAR 2009 2009 2009 TEAM FRD BOW BAL11 11 66 2 56 8 8 46 1 31 8 8 44 2 52 32 32 175 2 173 9 9 54 2 51 12 12 49 2 81 16 16 83 2 89 EqSO9 10.1 8.9 7.7 GB% 52% 47% 31%MLB 22 MLB 23 AAA 24 MLB 24 MLB 25 LVL A+ AA MLB HR 5 2 6EqBB9 2.8 2.1 2.82009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012BAL BAL NOR BAL BAL TEAM FRD BOW BAL BAL NOR BAL BALMLB MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL A+ AA MLB MLB AAA MLB MLB6 19 4 18 1214 63 19 23 2838 143 41 38 662.8 3.2 3.1 4.3 3.0 ERA 2.16 1.56 4.63 4.30 3.46 10.69 4.487.7 7.3 6.8 6.9 7.0 FIP 3.06 2.49 4.13 4.02 3.84 7.63 4.5031% 37% 46% 28% 40% FRA 3.75 3.36 4.27 4.67 4.24 7.68 4.87 WARP 1.2 0.9 0.9 1.7 1.0 -1.3 0.3BABIP .300 .250 .338 .295 .299 .384 .305WHIP 1.15 0.91 1.48 1.34 1.28 2.11 1.39W ith big things expected of him in 2011, former top prospect Matusz fell flat on his face, compiling a big league ERA over 10.00. His tw o stints w ith the club sandw iched a demotion and he w as exiled to the bench. Mere bad luck cant explain this one, but it is hard to pinpoint w hat caused his dow nfall as scouts dont believe theres an injury or mechanical issue to blame. He stopped throw ing his tw o-seamerw hich led to a drop in groundballs from 37 percent to 28 percenthis change-up appeared to be straighter w ith less tumbling action, and he lost three miles per hour off his fastball before his demotion; the velocity returned to the majors w ith Matusz, but he still allow ed over five runs in all six of his starts. There are w hispers that theres an issue w ith his w ork ethic, but does it say more about Matusz or the Orioles that a pitcher could log one of the w orst seasons in history?Darren ODayBorn: 10/22/1982 Age: 29 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 5 W eight: 225 Breakout: 14% Improve: 35% Collapse: 34% Attrition: 12% MLB: 98% Comparables: Greg McMichael,Joe Black,Justin Duchscherer YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 NYN MLB 26 0 0 0 4 0 3 2009 TEX 2010 TEX 2011 ROU 2011 TEX 2012 BAL YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2011 TEAM NYN TEX TEX ROU TEX MLB 26 MLB 27 AAA 28 MLB 28 MLB 29 LVL MLB MLB MLB AAA MLB HR 0 3 5 2 7 2 1 2 6 2 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 2 1 0 BB 1 17 12 4 5 SO 2 54 45 26 18 64 0 72 0 17 1 16 0 29 0 EqBB9 3.0 2.7 1.7 1.8 2.7 H 5 2 36 55 62 43 20 1 16 16 2 17 27 2 25 EqSO9 6.0 8.7 6.5 11.5 9.7 GB% 39% 43% 39% 49% 37%2012 BAL YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM NYN TEX TEX ROU TEX BALMLB 3 LVL MLB MLB MLB AAA MLB MLB822 2.5 WHIP 2.00 0.95 0.89 0.98 1.32 1.19 ERA 0.00 1.94 2.03 2.21 5.40 3.397.3 FIP 3.72 3.04 3.47 3.34 7.62 3.8947% FRA 5.04 3.44 4.06 4.39 6.51 3.69 WARP 0.0 1.2 0.8 0.2 -0.1 0.4BABIP .385 .241 .221 .292 .244 .285ODay is basically a right-handed version of Clay Rapada, but the exoticism of a player just joining Baltimores system w ill probably place this side-armer higher up on the totem pole. Thats not a dig at ODay as much as its praise for Rapada, as ODay has been a very effective reliever in the past. He struggled through hip and shoulder injuries in 2011 and posted a high ERA, but his peripherals w ere good and he dominated Triple-A. W ith great control, enough deception to strike out an above-average number of batters, and numbers just as good versus lefties as righties (not alw ays a given for sidearmers), ODay should have plenty of success in Baltimore.Troy PattonBorn: 9/3/1985 Age: 26 Bats: B Throw s: L Height: 6 2 W eight: 185 Breakout: 23% Improve: 56% Collapse: 27% Attrition: 17% MLB: 90% Comparables: Enrique Gonzalez,Stan Bahnsen,Nelson Briles YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 BOW AA 2009 NOR 2010 NOR 2010 BAL 2011 NOR 2011 BAL 2012 BAL YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM BOW NOR NOR BAL NOR BAL BAL 23 6 2 0 1 3 0 8 11 0 0 0 0 4 1 0 2 1 0 1 2 0 BB 18 14 24 1 12 5 10 SO 47 26 62 1 30 22 17 HAAA 23 AAA 24 MLB 24 AAA 25 MLB 25 MLB 26 LVL AA AAA AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB HR 4 12 10 0 0 2 411 11 63 1 50 9 9 44 2 62 25 25 136 97 1 0 02 1 17 2 20 0 9 4 44 1 44 30 25 31 33 GB% 43% 32% 41% 50% 43% 40% 40%EqBB9 2.6 2.8 2.8 13.5 2.4 1.5 2.8EqSO9 6.7 5.2 5.9 13.5 6.1 6.6 4.8YEAR TEAM LVL BABIP WHIP ERA FIP FRA WARP 2009 BOW AA .246 1.07 1.99 3.47 3.98 0.82009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012NOR NOR BAL NOR BAL BALAAA AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB.336 .282 .500 .310 .258 .2881.70 1.38 3.00 1.26 1.00 1.396.44 4.43 0.00 1.83 3.00 4.536.75 4.26 4.55 2.83 2.96 4.757.63 5.04 1.59 3.59 3.52 4.92-0.8 0.9 0.0 0.9 0.5 0.1This season, Patton posted his first truly notew orthy campaign since undergoing major shoulder surgery in 2008. Prior to surgery, Patton had made most top 100 prospects lists for three years running and w as a piece of the haul the team received for Miguel Tejada. Once expected to be a rotation mainstay, the 25year-old Pattons destiny now looks to be a good setup man. Throw ing a grounder-inducing tw o-seamer w ith a lot of arm-side run, a sw eeping slider, some four-seamers, and a change-up, Patton could be a key piece of an Oriole bullpen that needs to be restocked follow ing the trades of Koji Uehara and Mike Gonzalez and the potential move of Jim Johnson to the rotation.Zach PhillipsBorn: 9/21/1986 Age: 25 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 2 W eight: 200 Breakout: 19% Improve: 49% Collapse: 20% Attrition: 7% MLB: 92% Comparables: Billy Pierce,Bob Knepper,Chris Nabholz YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H 2009 BAK A+ 22 2 3 2 16 3 44 19 2009 FRI AA 22 0 0 2 20 0 33 2 27 2010 OKL 2011 ROU 2011 BAL 2012 BAL YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM BAK FRI OKL ROU BAL BAL TEAM BAK FRI OKL ROU BAL BAL AAA 23 AAA 24 MLB 24 MLB 25 LVL A+ AA AAA AAA MLB MLB LVL A+ AA AAA AAA MLB MLB HR 1 1 1 3 1 3 3 2 1 1 3 3 0 0 0 1 0 0 BB 11 19 14 21 2 12 SO 46 29 24 36 8 17 33 1 33 0 10 0 19 0 EqBB9 2.2 5.1 5.2 4.2 2.2 4.4 ERA 1.23 1.60 3.22 4.43 1.12 4.77 50 1 36 44 2 50 8 6 25 27 EqSO9 9.4 7.7 7.2 7.7 9.0 6.0 FIP 2.71 3.68 4.26 4.47 3.44 4.84 GB% 57% 54% 55% 55% 39% 49% WARP 0.9 0.3 0.0 0.4 0.0 -0.1BABIP .165 .263 .343 .346 .227 .301WHIP 0.68 1.36 1.57 1.59 1.00 1.55FRA 3.07 4.33 5.56 5.03 4.90 5.18Coming from the Rangers at midseason (surprisingly, in neither the Koji Uehara nor the Mike Gonzalez deal), Phillips received his first taste of the big leagues at the end of August and pitched w ell for the Orioles dow n the stretch. The most likely scenario paints Phillips as a mere middle reliever, but there is a bit of upside here. His 90-mph fastball is his w orst pitch. He throw s an above average change-up and a grounder-inducing curveball that bears a striking resemblance to the one J.P. How ell found success w ith for several years. Hell notch enough Ks and groundballs to stick in the bigs if he can improve his control.Clay RapadaBorn: 3/9/1981 Age: 31 Bats: R Throw s: L Height: 6 6 W eight: 200 Breakout: 24% Improve: 55% Collapse: 26% Attrition: 23% MLB: 90% Comparables: Brendan Donnelly,Josh Kinney,Tyler Yates YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 TOL 2009 DET 2010 OKL 2010 TEX 2011 NOR 2011 BAL 2012 BAL YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM TOL DET OKL TEX NOR BAL BAL TEAM TOL DET OKL TEX NOR BAL BAL AAA 28 MLB 28 AAA 29 MLB 29 AAA 30 MLB 30 MLB 31 LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB HR 1 1 0 2 1 3 2 3 2 5 0 0 0 1 2 2 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 0 0 1 0 0 BB 18 2 10 7 3 8 10 SO 47 2 42 5 18 18 19 42 0 3 0 50 0 13 0 26 0 32 0 25 0 EqBB9 3.3 5.4 3.2 7.0 1.7 3.9 4.0 ERA 2.76 5.40 1.82 4.00 3.92 6.06 4.03 H45 2 50 31 4 59 1 22 9 6 20 2 23 16 1 14 21 2 21 EqSO9 9.3 5.4 9.3 5.0 8.7 9.9 8.0 FIP 2.56 7.64 3.35 7.16 2.85 4.71 4.04 GB% 41% 50% 50% 33% 49% 36% 45% WARP 1.0 0.0 0.9 -0.1 0.2 0.2 0.2BABIP .377 .273 .218 .160 .373 .268 .300WHIP 1.47 1.80 0.89 1.44 1.35 1.29 1.40FRA 3.70 5.50 4.00 6.27 4.65 4.22 4.38Throw ing from w hat he calls a submarine and sidearm mix, Rapada has bounced back and forth betw een the majors and minors for years, spending tw o stints each w ith Baltimore and Norfolk last season. He seems capable of being an effective lefty specialist w ith his arm angle, excellent tw o-seamer, and good slider, all pitches w ell-suited to get out opposite-handed batters. He has posted good peripherals in hisyears at Triple-A and simply needs to be given a shot.Jo-Jo ReyesBorn: 11/20/1984 Age: 27 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 3 W eight: 230 Breakout: 32% Improve: 57% Collapse: 23% Attrition: 16% MLB: 76% Comparables: Al Jackson,Bud Daley,Sterling Hitchcock YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 GW N AAA 24 4 3 0 15 14 66 2009 ATL MLB 24 0 2 0 6 5 27 2010 GW N AAA 25 2010 ATL 2011 BAL 2011 TOR 2012 PIT YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM GW N ATL GW N ATL BAL TOR PIT TEAM GW N ATL GW N ATL BAL TOR PIT MLB 25 MLB 26 MLB 26 MLB 27 LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 6 4 6 2 7 14 15 1 5 0 0 0 0 2 3 0 5 8 0 6 8 0 BB 25 13 8 3 13 35 43 SO 35 21 19 2 23 64 62 H 74 2712 10 47 1 38 1 0 3 1 10 30 2 36 20 20 110 140 22 22 113 2 125 9 5 EqBB9 3.3 4.3 2.9 8.1 3.8 2.9 3.4 EqSO9 4.4 7.0 9.5 5.4 6.8 5.2 4.9 FIP 4.45 4.98 4.88 12.41 5.90 4.67 4.96 GB% 46% 52% 50% 33% 44% 42% 47% FRA 5.26 6.10 5.66 11.70 6.01 5.17 5.97 WARP 0.3 -0.1 0.4 -0.3 -0.2 0.2 -0.8BABIP .285 .291 .381 .500 .312 .330 .315WHIP 1.39 1.48 1.52 3.90 1.60 1.59 1.48ERA 2.86 7.00 5.71 24.30 6.16 5.40 5.50Reyes spent most of the season starting for the Blue Jays before he w as designated for assignment in July and picked up by the Os, joining their carousel of starters. The thing is, after posting a 6.98 ERA before being shifted to the bullpen, hes the horse on the carousel that you w ould only ride if he w as the only one left and, in the case of the Orioles, not broken (see Matusz, Arrieta, et al). Hes only 25 and has good enough stuffas far as guys w ho throw under 90 mph gobut hes never translated that stuff to much big league success.Alfredo SimonBorn: 5/8/1981 Age: 31 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 5 W eight: 230 Breakout: 36% Improve: 57% Collapse: 16%Attrition: 20% MLB: 84% Comparables: Pascual Perez,Dave Bush,Claudio Vargas YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 BAL MLB 28 0 1 0 2 2 6 1 2010 BAL 2011 BAL 2012 BAL YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM BAL BAL BAL BAL TEAM BAL BAL BAL BAL MLB 29 MLB 30 MLB 31 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 5 10 15 15 4 2 17 49 0 4 9 0 4 5 5 BB 2 22 40 33 SO 3 37 83 60 H 849 1 54 23 16 115 2 128 38 11 94 1 106EqBB9 2.8 4.0 3.1 3.1 ERA 9.95 4.93 4.90 5.16EqSO9 4.3 6.8 6.5 5.8 FIP 13.41 5.64 4.45 5.05GB% 22% 48% 43% 44% WARP -0.3 -0.4 0.7 -0.5BABIP .167 .293 .317 .303WHIP 1.58 1.54 1.45 1.47FRA 13.71 6.15 4.57 5.61Yet another Oriole w hose G and GS numbers are unequal, Simon began the year in the bullpen and w as moved into the rotation w hen his teammates started going dow n in July. W hile the move didnt w ork out as w ell as the team hopedhe posted a 4.96 ERA in the rotationat least it w asnt a total disaster. He has a varied arsenal, including a 94-95 mph heater, a plus splitter and cutter, and a tw o-seamer and slurve that he can get batters to drive into the ground, but hes never turned that arsenal into shut-dow n stuff consistently. He did have some dominating performances and could w ind up as a quality arm if he can do that on a more regular basis.Pedro StropBorn: 6/13/1985 Age: 27 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 1 W eight: 160 Breakout: 27% Improve: 44% Collapse: 38% Attrition: 17% MLB: 87% Comparables: Jim Miller,Jeff Stevens,Edinson Volquez YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 FRI 2009 TEX 2010 OKL 2010 TEX 2011 ROU 2011 TEX 2011 BAL AA 24 5 5 4 0 0 0 36 0 7 0 MLB 24 AAA 25 MLB 25 AAA 26 MLB 26 MLB 26 H1 2 13 39 0 0 0 0 15 051 1 48 7 6 42 1 22 10 2 17 47 2 53 92 7 12 1 84 4 11 39 0 0 1 0 2 0 0 11 0 12 012 2012 BAL YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2011 2012 TEAM FRI TEX OKL TEX ROU TEX BAL BAL TEAM FRI TEX OKL TEX ROU TEX BAL BAL MLB 27 LVL AA MLB AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL AA MLB AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB HR 1 0 1 2 2 0 0 3 1 1 1 BB 29 4 7 11 24 7 3 15 SO 48 9 37 11 55 9 12 28 28 0 EqBB9 5.1 5.1 3.0 9.3 4.5 6.5 2.2 4.5 29 2 28 EqSO9 8.4 11.6 12.1 9.3 10.4 8.4 8.8 8.5 FIP 3.43 2.29 3.11 6.80 3.55 3.68 1.85 4.15 GB% 53% 35% 54% 35% 57% 52% 68% 47% WARP 0.9 0.2 1.0 -0.4 0.5 0.1 0.2 0.1BABIP .315 .353 .304 .441 .386 .269 .267 .312WHIP 1.50 1.43 1.09 2.62 1.62 1.45 0.89 1.46ERA 4.39 7.71 1.91 10.12 3.59 3.72 0.73 4.23FRA 3.72 3.37 3.25 8.02 4.76 4.39 3.43 4.60Acquired from the Rangers in the Mike Gonzalez deal, Strop is an interesting darkhorse candidate to close for the Os if they have indeed seen enough of Kevin Gregg in the ninth and Jim Johnson moves to the rotation. He has an electric fastballw hich managers love to see in a closerthat he pairs w ith a plus splitter and a developing slider. As is the case w ith many high velocity youngsters, control w ill be his biggest obstacle, but its not such a sore spot that it renders him ineffective.Chris TillmanBorn: 4/15/1988 Age: 24 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 6 W eight: 195 Breakout: 26% Improve: 61% Collapse: 18% Attrition: 14% MLB: 84% Comparables: Felipe Paulino,Billy Loes,Luke Hochevar YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 NOR 2009 BAL 2010 NOR 2010 BAL 2011 NOR 2011 BAL 2012 BAL AAA 21 MLB 21 AAA 22 MLB 22 AAA 23 MLB 23 MLB 24 8 6 0 2 5 0 11 7 0 2 5 0 2 4 0 3 5 0 5 6 0 H18 18 96 2 85 12 12 65 77 21 21 121 1 91 11 11 53 2 51 15 15 76 1 77 13 13 62 77 16 16 83 1 88YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012TEAM NOR BAL NOR BAL NOR BAL BAL TEAM NOR BAL NOR BAL NOR BAL BALLVL AAA MLB AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB AAA MLB MLBHR 5 15 6 9 17 5 12BB 26 24 25 31 38 25 34SO 99 39 67 31 54 46 60EqBB9 2.4 3.3 2.2 5.2 4.5 3.6 3.7 ERA 2.70 5.40 3.34 5.87 5.19 5.52 4.77EqSO9 9.2 5.4 7.0 5.2 6.4 6.7 6.4 FIP 2.70 6.14 3.74 5.86 6.29 4.03 4.86GB% 41% 39% 40% 42% 41% 41% 39% WARP 1.6 -0.5 1.6 0.1 -0.3 0.3 0.0BABIP .304 .302 .324 .258 .264 .350 .300WHIP 1.15 1.55 1.24 1.53 1.51 1.65 1.47FRA 3.80 6.61 4.32 5.84 6.79 4.92 5.19Tillman is one of the trickiest pitchers in baseball to figure out. Hell look great one start and terrible the next, and in three stints in Baltimore has yet to find success. W hile his fastball used to sit in the low -90s, it w as just over 89 mph last season. He still has the kind of stuff that should let him be successful, but only if he can command his pitches. The thing to remember w ith Tillman is that hes still just 23 years old, and if it ever clicks for him, hell be a quality major leaguer. If in a couple years it hasnt clicked, he could still w ind up as a valuable reliever. Those are big ifs, but in a system like Baltimores, ifs are the new upside.Rick VandenHurkBorn: 5/22/1985 Age: 27 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 6 W eight: 195 Breakout: 25% Improve: 66% Collapse: 20% Attrition: 13% MLB: 86% Comparables: Eric Gagne,Joe Coleman,Carl Erskine YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 FLO 2010 FLO 2010 BAL 2011 NOR 2011 BAL 2012 BAL YEAR 2009 2010 2010 TEAM FLO FLO BAL MLB 24 MLB 25 MLB 25 AAA 26 MLB 26 MLB 27 LVL MLB MLB MLB HR 11 0 2 3 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 4 7 0 0 0 0 3 3 0 BB 21 1 7 SO 49 1 17 H11 11 58 2 57 2 0 11 3 7 1 16 1 13 26 26 154 1 136 4 2 9 12 9 9 48 1 48 EqBB9 3.2 6.8 3.9 EqSO9 7.5 6.8 9.4 GB% 29% 43% 33%2011 NOR 2011 BAL 2012 BAL YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM FLO FLO BAL NOR BAL BALAAA 23 38 107 2.3 MLB 4 8 7 8.0 MLB 7 19 40 3.5 LVL MLB MLB MLB AAA MLB MLB BABIP .274 .429 .282 .252 .308 .290 WHIP 1.33 3.00 1.22 1.17 2.22 1.39 ERA 4.30 6.75 4.96 4.43 8.00 4.626.3 7.0 7.4 FIP 5.10 3.86 4.21 4.78 10.28 4.6139% 23% 36% FRA 5.30 3.85 5.64 5.54 8.51 5.02 WARP 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.4 -0.2 0.1The last pitcher through Baltimores revolving door of a rotation, VandenHurk received tw o starts at the end of September after spending the year in Norfolk. An upside gamble they acquired from the Marlins in 2010, VandenHurk throw s a 93-mph heater w ith good rise, a slider that has some bite, and a lesser-used slow curve and change. The 6-foot-5 Dutchman has yet to match his hoped for potential at age 27; his extreme fly ball tendencies put a limit on it. The Os have a lot of rotation candidates, but hell get some starts in 2012, especially if he can put it all together at Triple-A.Pedro ViolaBorn: 6/29/1983 Age: 29 Bats: R Throw s: L Height: 6 2 W eight: 185 Breakout: 33% Improve: 49% Collapse: 18% Attrition: 25% MLB: 69% Comparables: Scott Dunn,Jeff Bajenaru,Agustin Montero YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 LOU 2009 CIN AAA 26 MLB 26 27 2 2 8 0 0 0 3 2 0 0 0 0 2 1 4 0 0 0 1 1 0 BB 33 3 6 1 13 2 8 SO 57 5 50 3 40 4 15 54 0 H2010 BOW AA 2010 BAL49 1 48 9 0 7 7 23 10 62 2 34 2 0 40 0 4 0 12 1 EqBB9 6.0 3.9 2.7 6.8 2.9 4.9 4.3 11 1 39 2 26 32 6 17 1 18 EqSO9 10.4 6.4 9.2 20.2 9.1 9.8 7.6 GB% 43% 41% 40% % 37% 29% 42%MLB 27 282011 BOW AA 2011 BAL 2012 BAL YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM LOU CIN BOW BAL BOW BAL BALMLB 28 MLB 29 LVL AAA MLB AA MLB AA MLB MLB HR 7 2 1 1 2 3 2YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012TEAM LOU CIN BOW BAL BOW BAL BALLVL AAA MLB AA MLB AA MLB MLBBABIP .320 .263 .282 .000 .250 .273 .308WHIP 1.64 1.43 1.28 1.50 0.98 2.18 1.52ERA 5.48 5.14 3.59 13.50 2.04 9.82 4.83FIP 4.69 6.63 2.59 10.55 3.11 13.15 4.36FRA 6.57 7.43 3.86 18.02 3.48 8.89 5.24WARP -0.3 -0.1 1.1 -0.1 0.6 -0.1 -0.0W hile spending almost his entire season at Double-A Bow ie for the second year in a row (this time exclusively in relief), Viola had tw o very short stints w ith the big boys in 2011. W hile hes old enough to be a non-prospect, Viola has put up good numbers at Double-A and is w orth w atching to see if his 93mph fastball and average slider w ill play at the upper levels. His command is a bit lacking, but its not inconceivable that he finds some success in low leverage innings.Mark WorrellBorn: 3/8/1983 Age: 29 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 2 W eight: 215 Breakout: 26% Improve: 45% Collapse: 28% Attrition: 12% MLB: 86% Comparables: T.J. Mathew s,John Smoltz,Manny Delcarmen YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H 2010 POR AAA 27 1 4 0 25 0 33 18 2011 NOR AAA 28 0 2 21 52 0 52 2 42 2011 BAL 2012 BAL YEAR 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM POR NOR BAL BAL TEAM POR NOR BAL BAL MLB 28 MLB 29 LVL AAA AAA MLB MLB LVL AAA AAA MLB MLB HR 4 3 2 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 BB 10 22 2 8 SO 29 35 3 15 4 0 17 0 EqBB9 3.0 3.8 9.0 3.9 2 6 18 17 EqSO9 9.3 6.2 13.5 7.3 FIP 4.79 4.13 16.06 4.32 GB% 40% 47% 22% 41% FRA 5.28 5.36 17.94 4.55 WARP -0.2 0.2 -0.3 0.1BABIP .219 .264 .571 .293WHIP 1.36 1.25 4.00 1.40ERA 5.45 3.42 36.00 4.19Once upon a time, Worrell w as the closer of the future for the St. Louis Cardinals. In 2011, he had to settle for being the closer for the Norfolk Tides w ith a brief cup of coffee w ith the Os. Relying on a deceptive delivery thats nearly side-arm, he throw s his fastball just 88 mph now after it once sat in the low -to-mid 90s. Now three years past Tommy John surgery, Worrell may w ell end up a big league reliever, but its more likely hes Triple-A fodder, giving this story a not-so-happy ending.LINEOUTSHITTERSPLAYER CF G. Davis SS B. Harris 2B L. Hoes TEAM ABE NOR FRD BOW DH R. Hughes NOR 1B J. Mahoney BOW SS J. Schoop DEL FRD 1B M. Sw eeney MNT 3B B. W aring BOW PLAYER CF G. Davis SS B. Harris 2B L. Hoes TEAM ABE NOR FRD BOW DH R. Hughes NOR 1B J. Mahoney BOW SS J. Schoop DEL FRD 1B M. Sw eeney MNT 3B B. W aring BOW PLAYER CF G. Davis SS B. Harris 2B L. Hoes TEAM ABE NOR FRD BOW DH R. Hughes NOR 1B J. Mahoney BOW SS J. Schoop DEL FRD 1B M. Sw eeney MNT 3B B. W aring BOW LVL AAAA A+ AA AAA AA A A+ AA AA RBI 14 50 17 54 59 67 34 37 29 59 TAv .255 .221 .224 .282 .263 .294 .321 .256 .202 .250 AGE 19 30 21 21 27 24 19 19 23 25 BB 25 37 10 43 36 25 20 22 35 33 PA 286 565 173 393 383 355 238 329 305 449 R 34 50 23 47 54 43 45 37 25 60 2B 14 21 7 17 25 24 12 12 11 21 3B 0 2 0 1 2 5 3 2 1 3 HR 1 10 3 6 15 11 8 5 7 21SO 53 87 25 56 111 84 32 44 92 127SB-CS 23-9 2-2 4-2 16-7 3-3 7-2 6-4 6-3 1-0 0-0 BRR 0.7 4.4 0.3 -0.1 1.3 0.6 0.5 2.3 -1.0 1.8AVG/OBP/SLG .271/.337/.337 .225/.282/.331 .241/.297/.342 .305/.379/.413 .249/.321/.465 .289/.344/.502 .316/.376/.514 .271/.329/.375 .154/.262/.282 .222/.288/.443 WARP 1.1 -0.7 -0.5 2.2 0.7 1.9 3.1 1.6 -1.8 1.3BABIP .337 .251 .267 .347 .320 .349 .337 .304 .204 .264FRAA 0.5 -4.8 -2.9 0.9 -0.8 -0.6 2.7 5.5 -1.9 6.0A true 80 runner on the 20-80 scouting scale, Glynn Davis w ill be fun to w atch if nothing else, but the Orioles should be excited because his bat and defense have some projectability too. Gone are the days of playing every day for Brendan Harris, w ho didnt even merit a call-up w hen Brian Roberts w ent dow n,despite the likes of Cesar Izturis and Robert Andino taking starts. A bat-first second baseman w ho can take a w alk, LJ Hoes could be a solid big league regular if his glove doesnt push him off second, though if it does, there are few other positions his bat might handle. Rhyne Hughes w ill serve a 50-day suspension starting in 2012. Now 27 and w ith a questionable bat before this episode, the first basemans future looks bleak. Making big strides tw o years in a row has cemented Joe Mahoney in prospect conversations, but the massive, 6-foot-7 first bagger has still been old for each level, so hell need to move quickly and keep hitting. W ith a strong first year in full-season ball, Jonathan Schoop may now be Baltimores top prospect aside from Machado. He has a w ays to go, but a strong arm, a good bat, and projectable pow er could make him part of a very strong middle infield come 2014. Testing positive for an amphetamine, Selectedin the Double-A portion of the Rule 5 draft over the w inter, MatthewSweeney has good raw pow er, but has had trouble staying healthy enough to use it. Possessor of great pow er, Brandon Waring has spent tw o full seasons at Double-A w orking on his plate discipline and defense, but striking out 30 percent of the time still isnt good enough to have big league impact.PITCHERSPLAYER M. Atkins TEAM LVL AGE W L SV IP NOR BAL R. Bundy R. Drese FRD NOR BAL A. Loomis W . Pelzer J. Rupe CLR AAA 25 MLB 25 A+ 21 AAA 35 AAA 37 MLB 37 A+ 25 2 5 0 0 0 0 8 4 0 1 1 0 2 2 0 1 0 0 1 0 3 5 6 1 2 2 0 0 0 0 H94 1 95 10 2 121 44 59 2 21 102 57 48M. Hendrickson NOR11 15 31 2 27 76 75 42 50 14 1 16BOW AA 25 NOR AAA 28 BAL MLB 28PLAYER M. AtkinsTEAM HR BB SO EqBB9 EqSO9 GB% 10 5 8 3 8 1 0 6 5 5 37 3 31 14 16 6 10 43 21 6 74 7 100 8 29 5 39 64 29 7 3.5 2.5 2.3 2.9 2.4 4.9 2.8 5.3 4.5 3.8 7.1 5.9 7.4 2.2 4.4 4.1 11.1 7.7 6.2 4.4 36% 33% 50% 51% 41% 68% 49% 49% 49% 63%NOR BAL R. Bundy FRD R. Drese NOR M. Hendrickson NOR BAL A. Loomis CLR W . Pelzer BOW J. Rupe NOR BALPLAYER M. AtkinsTEAM BABIP WHIP ERA FIP FRA WARP .304 .400 .278 .370 .225 .368 .346 .322 .338 .239 1.40 2.25 1.10 1.77 1.14 1.91 1.17 1.59 1.69 1.53 5.44 8.44 2.75 6.55 2.87 5.73 1.14 4.14 7.07 5.65 4.64 8.97 3.44 4.92 4.81 4.97 1.97 4.73 4.98 8.29 5.70 7.69 4.04 6.37 5.82 5.89 4.00 5.95 6.92 9.19 0.3 -0.1 1.6 -0.2 0.0 -0.1 0.5 -0.4 -0.5 -0.5NOR BAL R. Bundy FRD R. Drese NOR M. Hendrickson NOR BAL A. Loomis CLR W . Pelzer BOW J. Rupe NOR BALApparently, it is possible to induce few er groundballs than Rick VandenHurk; Mitch Atkins beat him out at Triple-A this year 35 percent to 37 percent. Thats not a good thing. The older brother of Os 2011 first-rounder Dylan, Robert Bundy has good stuff and began to put it all together at High-A Frederick this year, dominating hitters and improving his control. No longer a 14-game w inner throw ing over 95, Ryan Drese hadnt pitched since 2008 and hadnt made a major league appearance since 2006. W ith a terrible 2011 at Norfolk, its unlikely hell ever make it back. The Os snagged Andy Loomis in the Triple-A portion of the Rule 5 draft in December, but having pitched just four innings above Single-A in hiscareer, he might struggle to remain in Norfolk the entire year. Wynn Pelzer has a plus fastball, a nearplus slider, and a change-up that needs w ork, but there are concerns his control w ill never be good enough to allow him to succeed, even as a middle reliever. Rupe w ill seek out his fourth team in four years this w inter. He gets groundballs, but he has poor control and cant strike out enough batters. Released by the Orioles in August, JoshMANAGER: BUCK SHOWALTERYEAR TEAM W-L 2010 BAL 2011 BAL Pythag Avg +/ PC 100+ 120+ QS BQS REL P P 56 0 43 3 60 6 144 47834-23 1 69-93 0197.4 56 91.8 50YEAR TEAM REL w IBB Subs PH PH PH SB2 CS2 SB3 Zero R Avg HR 2010 BAL 2011 BAL 106 351 20 42 30 .154 0 57 .309 1 4 7 0 5 0 0YEAR TEAM CS3 SAC SAC % POS Squeeze Swing In Play Att SAC 2010 BAL 0 30 80.0% 24 0 78 262011 BAL04165.9% 26230997Buck Show alter received more press this offseason than usual, thanks to the shake-up in the Orioles front office. W ith team president Andy MacPhail stepping dow n, there w ere rumors that Show alter could move upstairs to take the reins. Hell ultimately stay on as field general, but it appears he w ill have input in personnel decisions. Show alter has been around the game a long time and doesnt have a reputation as a progressive thinker, more fitting the baseball man mold. Old-school attitudes fly w ell enough in the dugout, but the GM chair needs to be filled by someone w ho is open to varied approaches and is w ellversed in the statistical side. Show alter is know n as a strict leader w ho expects a lot of his players; a team stocked w ith youngsters w ill benefit from his presence in the clubhouse. On the field his tactics w ere a mixed bag in 2011. He employed the second few est sacrifices in baseball but intentionally w alked more batters than average. He w asnt afraid to plug new faces into the rotation w hen things w erent w orking, but theres only so much a manager can do w hen just three of the 12 starters he used posted ERAs under 5.00. W hile Show alter provides a net positive as skipper, the Os should be careful about giving him too much say in the front office, particularly in terms of major league acquisitions.Boston Red SoxA team is never as good as it looks at its best, and never as bad as it appears at its w orst. This isnt a new adage: its been passed on enough that w e cant pretend to know w ho said it first or that w e made it up. The Red Sox nearly pulled off defying that first bit last summer, thanks to an offensive onslaught that rivaled any team you have seen in your lifetimethey looked like w orld-beaters. But, in the end, they played to a level far w orse than the collective talent summed to. Starting at the beginning: the 2010 Red Sox w ere a massively talented team, but one forced to deal w ith injury after injury to stars, bit pieces, and everyone in betw een. Follow ing a first-round exit in 2009, this stuttering season became a disappointment to the Fenw ay Faithful, despite the 89-w in finish. Even w ith lengthy and season-ending injuries to the likes of Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Mike Cameron, the Red Sox led the American League in True Average in 2010. For 2011, they w ould get all of those players back and the offensive attack w ould be more potent than before. Just to be sure, though, Theo Epstein and Company added the most valuable trade asset on the market in Adrian Gonzalez, as w ell as one of the top free agents in Carl Craw ford. Not only w ere the bats of both a fit for the pow erful lineup, but they w ere also defensive stalw arts at their respective positions. The Red Sox had a habit of collecting players like this, w ho could play both sides of the ball fabulously, and the addition of this pair caused that easy w ave of December euphoria, in w hich w inning the w inter meetings w as akin to w inning the W orld Series. Neither player came free, of course. Gonzalez cost the Red Sox in prospects, as they sent first baseman Anthony Rizzo, starting pitcher Casey Kelly, and low minors center fielder Reymond Fuentes to the Padres for one year of his services. Boston also signed Gonzalez to an extension that keeps him in tow n through 2018. Craw ford also got paid, inking a seven-year, $142 million deal that w ill pay him $21 million for his age-35 season.Gonzalez, fresh off of shoulder surgery and in a park that w asnt actively trying to hinder his production, raked for most of the year, quickly becoming a favorite of Sox fans. Craw ford had a tougher time of it; from the outset he w as trying too hard to earn his entire contract w ith each sw ing. A 431 OPS in April w as easily the w orst of a season that eventually got better, but it w as a poor first impression. That w as about all there w as to complain about in the lineup, though. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, quietly acquired at the 2010 trade deadline, stepped in as the starter after Victor Martinez signed w ith Detroit. Salty slugged .450 and played quality defense w henever he w asnt catching a knuckler. J.D. Drew struggled w hile playing w ith a shoulder injury, but rookie Josh Reddick stepped in and produced w ith a .290 TAv and defensive value, too. The 2010 holdoversPedroia, Youkilis, Scutaro, Ortiz, etc.did w hat w as expected of them, or more. There is a reason the Red Sox threatened the 1976 Cincinnati Reds and the 1982 Brew ers for the greatest single-season offense of the last 50 years up until mid-August, and its because the lineup, one through nine, w as cartoonishly talented. It w as a good thing, too, as the pitching didnt have nearly as much luck. The bullpen w as no longer an issue, thanks to late-w inter pickups like Alfredo Aceves and Matt Albers, tw o pitchers w ho w ere nontendered but combined to give the Red Sox much-needed relief innings. The pen ended up overw orked as a unit, though, thanks to injuries. Jon Lester missed a bit of time w ith a latissimus dorsi issue, and Josh Beckett had to skip starts due to a stomach illnessthese w ere the least problematic of the issues. Daisuke Matsuzaka w as far more horrific than anyone could have predicted, and it turned out it w as because he needed Tommy John surgery. Clay Buchholz rarely looked right on the mound, and w hile he w as still very much Clay Buchholz, it turned out he had a stress fracture in his spine that caused him to miss the second half of the season. John Lackey required a cortisone shot in his elbow early on in the year, and by seasons end, needed Tommy John surgery. He continued to pitch long enough to post the w orst ERA and adjusted-ERA numbers ever for a Red Sox starter w ith 150 frames. W hy? Because there w as no one else to turn to. This w asnt for a lack of depth, either. The Red Sox came into the season w ith a full rotation, Aceves, and Tim Wakefield. They also had Felix Doubront in Paw tucket, as w ell as Andrew Miller and Kevin Millw ood, and, as the season w ent on, Kyle W eiland, too. As noted philosopher Mike Tyson once said, Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth. Aceves w asnt as good a starter as he w as a reliever. Wakefield picked up w here he left off in 2010, and w as intermittently useful and intolerable. Doubront show ed up to camp out of shape, and spent the year recovering from minor injuries instead of filling in as the first man out of Paw tucket. Miller w as terrible, and Weiland, w ho should have been relieving during September call-ups, instead took his lumps as a starter. Millw ood opted out and headed to Colorado, almost immediately before the Red Sox w ould have throw n him against the w all, too. The offense kept them afloat despite the pitching issues, but then injuries took their toll on the lineup, too. Youkilis attempted to play through pain, and, unlike in 2010 w hen he hid his thumb injury from everyone by continuing to mash, it w as obvious he w as hurting. Reddick sustained a ligament injury in his hand, and w as no help or not around at all w hen needed in September. Saltalamacchia and Jason Varitek both appeared gassedand then injuredduring September. Mike Aviles, acquired at the deadline for bench depth, ended up being leaned on as one of the teams top offensive contributors dow n the stretch. W ith the lineup in a less-than-optimal state, there w as no saving the Wakefields, Millers, or Weilands anymore. Beckett and Lester w erent at their best, either, both starters having their w orst month at the w rong time. W hereas mid-August w as this teams zenith, w hen a playoff spot seemed all but a given and talk of just how fantastic the lineup w as in an all-time sense mattered more than the next series, September w as the Red Sox at their nadir. W hile it seemed that even a team limping as much as they w ere could make it through a month in w hich they w ere w ell over 90 percent assured of a playoff berth, it w asnt to be. Injuries took their toll, healthy players faltered, and the Rays, w ho at one point had odds of roughly 1 percent to surpass the Sox, ended up in October after game 162. Red Sox fans w ere stunned, and quickly searched for something to point to and blame. An article in t he Boston Globe cited a laundry list of reasons, most of them pertaining to clubhouse attitude, even going so far as to accuse manager Terry Francona of dependence on pain medication. Lester, Beckett, and Lackeys late-season meltdow ns w ere attributed to their consumption of beer, fried chicken, and video games on off days, rather than shoulder trouble, regression, and a need for Tommy John surgery. Its not that these things didnt contribute to the dow nfall at all: its that they w ere being used as theIts not that these things didnt contribute to the dow nfall at all: its that they w ere being used as the reason, and as an excuse to bring out the torches and pitchforks. Epstein departed during this mess, heading to the Chicago Cubs to try his hand at a World Series there. Francona also left tow n, in w hat w as presented as a joint decision betw een ow nership and himself. Epstein left behind Ben Cherington, w ho w as here before Epstein, before John Henry, before Larry Lucchinohe w as originally hired by Dan Duquette. The 37-year-old Cherington w as the assistant general manager the last tw o seasons, and part of the co-general managership from the 200506 offseason, w hen Epstein left tow n in a gorilla suit, leaving Jed Hoyer and Cherington to w atch over the roster. Cherington is part of the new generation of general managers. Not necessarily your stats-oriented leaders, but the kind that know how to marry a scouting background w ith an appreciation and understanding of analytical thinking and data. Its the same vision that Epsteinw ho w as perceived as a pure stathead, but w as no such thinghelped bring to the organization w hen he first took over in 2003, a vision he helped to build w ith Cherington. Cherington is only new to the job in the sense that his title changed. In a w ay, he is the general manager version of his first manager hire, Bobby Valentine. Valentine has been in the game since the 1960s, w hen he w as drafted by the Dodgers, and has been managing since the 1980s. He know s the old schoolhe lived it!but also understands the value of gaining an advantage, of building an edge over his opponents. He w as talking the Moneyball talk before Michael Lew is submitted his first draft to his publisher, and he has done more w ith it than just talk. Valentine is the guy w ho can actually get aw ay w ith w earing a T-shirt that states, Im Big In Japan, as he brought the Chiba Lotte Marines of the NPB more success than they ever had before. Valentine has been know n to rankle his employers on more than one occasion, but for now , w hile this marriage is still a happy one, the Cherington/Valentine partnership could produce high-quality baseball at Fenw ay. The Cherington era has started out quietly enough, but its easy to see the big picture even in tiny moves. He let Jonathan Papelbon sign w ith the Phillies w ithout so much as a w himper, preferring instead to rebuild his pen w ithout spending huge money on one arm. David Ortiz w as told during negotiations that he could accept arbitration and receive a hefty one-year payout, or sign a multi-year deal for roughly the same amount of money totalthe first w as a favor out of loyalty in a dow n market for designated hitters, w hile the latter offer w as a reminder that this is a business. The underachieving Jed Low rie, w ho had no real place on a roster that also has Marco Scutaro and Mike Aviles, w as sent to the Astros along w ith Weiland for five years of Mark Melancon, w hom the Sox can use as a setup man or closer. Nick Punto w as picked up to replace Low rie, and w hile he w ont provide Low ries offense, his glove is exponentially better, and one of the best among bench infielders. The margins are w here Cherington started, reemphasizing his repeated statements that the Red Sox have an incredibly talented team already in place. Cherington moved slow ly this past w inter because the market rew ards those w ith patience. As they w ere not looking for any star-caliber playersthat is w hat the 201011 offseason w as forthey w ere free to w ait out the demands of mid-level free agents, and let the closer market sort itself out. In the end, they w orked a deal for Andrew Bailey, the As closer and former Rookie of the Year. W ith Lackey and Matsuzaka both out recovering from Tommy John surgery, the Red Sox need tw o starting pitchers. The pitching market is thin, so it looks like Daniel Bard is likely to take on the role, despite a career in relief. He w as a starter in college, but sw itched to relief after a horrid first professional campaign. The thing is, w hile starting he w as using mechanics the Red Sox sw itched him to that killed his command and velocity. A return to the mechanics and approach he w as drafted w ith brought back both heat and command. As of press time, the Red Sox have not finished filling out their roster. But their plan is clear. Cherington has been looking everyw here for the best-fit options in both the bullpen and rotation, and is looking to add pieces w ithout compromising the future of the team either financially or from a talent perspective. Melancon and his one year of service time is an example of this; others w ill surely follow before you get a chance to read this. Cherington is thorough. This is a good thing, even if it might make fans w onder w hat the team is thinking. Exploring every avenue, w hen the front office is talented enough to figure out w hat should be effective, is a positive. This is w hy Bard w ill get a look as a starter, the team hasnt completely given up on Miller yet, and someone like Melancon could get an opportunity to close or set up in the toughest division in the game despite a relative lack of experience. After September, it might be hard to feel this w ay, but the Red Sox are still in good hands.HITTERSLars Anderson 1BBorn: 9/25/1987 Age: 24 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 5 W eight: 215 Breakout: 4% Improve: 34% Collapse: 1% Attrition: 17% MLB: 51% Comparables: Jeff Bagw ell,Brock Peterson,Keith Hernandez YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2010 2011 2012 TEAM PME PME PAW BOS PAW BOS TEAM PME PME PAW BOS PAW BOS TEAM PME PME PAW BOS PAW BOS LVL AA AA AAA MLB AAA MLB LVL AA AA AAA MLB AAA MLB LVL AA AA AAA MLB AAA MLB AGE 21 22 22 22 23 24 SO 114 16 109 8 120 61 PA 512 71 462 43 577 250 SB 2 1 2 0 5 1 R 50 13 49 4 65 28 2B 23 5 32 1 31 13 3B 0 0 3 0 2 1 HR 9 5 10 0 14 5 RBI 51 16 53 4 78 25 BB 63 7 44 7 80 27CS 0 1 2 0 0 0 BRR 0.1 -0.7 -6.5 0.5 -4.1 0AVG_OBP_SLG .233/.329/.345 .355/.420/.677 .262/.342/.428 .200/.326/.229 .265/.369/.422 .240/.325/.376 FRAA -1 -1.8 -3.9 -0.2 3.1 1B -12 WARP -0.8 0.7 -0.7 -0.1 1.6 0.1TAv .242 .377 .261 .219 .278 .248BABIP .293 .415 .334 .250 .322 .304Anderson has alw ays been passive at the plate, to the point that even Gandhi w ants to know w hat his deal is. That passivity and his long sw ing hurt him in 2010 and in the first half of 2011. W hile his bat sped up a little thanks to a less mechanical-looking approach, he remains as laid back as ever at the dish: he isnt sw inging on pitches he should mash, the ones that w ould give him the pow er numbers needed from a first baseman. If not for the aborted Rich Harden deal, the Red Sox w ould have their 40-man spot back, and Anderson w ould have an opportunity w ith another teamsomething he is unlikely to see in Boston, given Adrian Gonzalez.Mike Aviles 2BBorn: 3/13/1981 Age: 31 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 5 10 W eight: 195 Breakout: 2% Improve: 35% Collapse: 8% Attrition: 12% MLB: 82% Comparables: Michael Young,Rich Aurilia,Alvin Dark YEAR TEAM LVL AGE PA R 2B 3B HR RBI BBYEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2011 2012TEAM KCA OMA KCA OMA BOS KCA BOS TEAM KCA OMA KCA OMA BOS KCA BOS TEAM KCA OMA KCA OMA BOS KCA BOSLVL MLB AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB MLBAGE 28 29 29 30 30 30 31 SO 26 10 49 17 17 27 50PA 127 75 448 150 107 202 349R 10 8 63 21 17 14 412B 3 3 16 8 6 11 183B 1 1 3 2 0 3 3HR 1 1 8 9 2 5 7RBI 8 8 32 25 8 31 42BB 4 4 20 6 4 9 15SB 1 0 14 6 4 10 10CS 0 0 5 4 2 2 4AVG_OBP_SLG .183/.208/.250 .271/.320/.386 .304/.335/.413 .307/.329/.586 .317/.340/.436 .222/.261/.395 .282/.314/.420 FRAA 2.1 -0.1 3.5 5.2 1.2 0.2 2B 0, SS 3TAv .168 .242 .261 .286 .276 .231 .255BABIP .223 .305 .327 .291 .361 .231 .312BRR -0.3 0.1 1.5 -0.8 -0.2 -1.7 -0.3WARP -0.5 0.2 1.8 1.8 0.6 -0.1 1.4Aviles appeared in just 53 games for the Royals before he w as dealt to the Red Sox on July 30, and he played in 38 of their remaining 57 contests. Aviles had struggled as a bench player in Kansas City, but the plane ride to Boston did the trick, as he hit .317/.340/.436 the rest of the w ay, more like the Aviles w e had come to expect from his tw o full seasons. He primarily filled in for the injured Kevin Youkilis at third, and, unlike Yamaico Navarro, w ho w as dealt to the Royals to acquire Aviles, he is capable of filling the utility role for Boston right now , even if he isnt under team control for as long.Xander Bogaerts SSBorn: 10/1/1992 Age: 19 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 4 W eight: 175 Breakout: 0% Improve: 3% Collapse: 0% Attrition: 13% MLB: 17% Comparables: Matt Dominguez,Tony La Russa,Alex Rodriguez YEAR TEAM LVL AGE PA R 2B 3B HR RBI BB 2011 GRN A 18 296 38 14 2 16 45 25 2012 BOS MLB 19 250 26 10 1 9 30 12 YEAR TEAM LVL SO SB CS AVG_OBP_SLG TAv2011 GRN 2012 BOSA 71 1 MLB 72 03 0.260/.324/.509 .285 .225/.264/.394 .228YEAR TEAM LVL BABIP BRR FRAA WARP 2011 GRN A .291 -0.5 7.9 2.6 2012 BOS MLB .277 0 SS 7 0.4 Bogaertss .260/.324/.509 line w ith 32 extra-base hits in 296 plate appearances is impressive for tw o reasons: its good enough to make his eventual move off of shortstop fine, and, most importantly, Bogaerts is 18 years old and had a mere 280 pro plate appearances heading into this year. He is a long w ay off, of course, and his ceiling and floor are further apart than the tw o sides at a typical NBA labor meeting. Pow er potential doesnt necessarily mean successask Lars Anderson about that onebut he is, for now , a name to remember.Bryce Brentz RFBorn: 12/30/1988 Age: 23 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 2 W eight: 180 Breakout: 2% Improve: 42% Collapse: 1% Attrition: 6% MLB: 79% Comparables: Manny Ramirez,Brian Dow ning,Larry W alker YEAR 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM LOW GRN SLM BOS TEAM LOW GRN SLM BOS TEAM LOW GRN SLM BOS LVL AA A+ MLB LVL AA A+ MLB LVL AA A+ MLB AGE 21 22 22 23 SO 76 35 80 67 PA 286 186 321 250 R 28 43 48 30 2B 14 10 15 10 3B 4 3 1 1 HR 5 11 19 12 RBI 39 36 58 35 BB 21 14 26 13SB 5 2 1 0CS 4 2 1 0AVG_OBP_SLG .198/.261/.340 .359/.414/.647 .274/.336/.531 .249/.291/.456 FRAA 2.3 0.5 0.6 RF -2, CF -0TAv .229 .359 .281 .256BABIP .260 .403 .311 .294BRR -1.2 -1.2 1.2 0WARP -0.1 2.1 1.4 0.7Brentz w as a major pow er threat in college, but his first taste of the pros left him w ishing the bats w ere still made of aluminum. His first full season in the minors changed that, though, as Brentz decimated the Sally League before continuing his rampage at High-A Salem. Brentz doesnt w alk much, but he did cut his strikeout rate despite moving up tw o levels. In that sense, Brentz might remind Red Sox fans of Josh Reddick, as Reddick never saw a pitch he didnt like until this year. Eventually, Brentz w ill be challenged by pitchers and forced to change his approach, but if he can adjust to those inevitable troubles, the 2011 season has given us an idea of his pow er potential.Carl Crawford LFBorn: 8/5/1981 Age: 30 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 3 W eight: 203Breakout: 2% Improve: 32% Collapse: 6% Attrition: 21% MLB: 82% Comparables: Robin Yount,Matt Diaz,Rob Butler YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM TBA TBA BOS BOS TEAM TBA TBA BOS BOS TEAM TBA TBA BOS BOS LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 27 28 29 30 SO 99 104 104 90 PA 672 657 538 530 SB 60 47 18 32 R 96 110 65 67 2B 28 30 29 26 3B 8 13 7 8 HR 15 19 11 11 RBI 68 90 56 66 BB 51 46 23 34CS 16 10 6 8 BRR 1.5 4.9 3 0.6AVG_OBP_SLG .305/.364/.452 .307/.356/.495 .255/.289/.405 .291/.339/.445 FRAA 11.2 10.4 2.5 LF 6 WARP 4.8 6.5 1.3 2.1TAv .290 .311 .251 .274BABIP .342 .342 .299 .335W e predicted Craw ford to lose some hits and w alks from the move into Bostons stronger lineup and aw ay from turf, but 2011 w as disastrous. Betw een a .155/.204/.227 April and a month of games missed due to a hamstring injury, Craw fords line never recovered. He looked uncomfortable at the plate, and his sw ing w as at its most ugly w hen he needed to protect the plate w ith tw o strikes. The result? The same number of w hiffs as in 2010 in 119 few er chances. Craw ford isnt just in Boston for his bat, though, as he is a superior defender and baserunner, too. He also at least started to recover w hen he returned from his leg injury (.272/.303/.462 in last 209 PA). Craw ford used to claim his legs w ould be stronger if he got off turf, but PECOTA sees those w heels fading.J.D. Drew RFBorn: 11/20/1975 Age: 36 Bats: L Throw s: R Height: 6 2 W eight: 190 Breakout: 0% Improve: 35% Collapse: 8% Attrition: 16% MLB: 87% Comparables: Frank Robinson,Bobby Abreu,Al Kaline YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM BOS BOS BOS BOS LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 33 34 35 36 PA 539 546 286 322 R 84 69 23 41 2B 30 24 6 16 3B 4 2 1 2 HR 24 22 4 10 RBI 68 68 22 37 BB 82 60 33 44YEAR TEAM LVL SO SB CS AVG_OBP_SLG TAv 2009 BOS MLB 109 2 6 .279/.392/.522 .308 2010 BOS MLB 105 3 1 .255/.341/.452 .2782011 BOS 2012 BOS YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM BOS BOS BOS BOSMLB 58 0 MLB 66 2 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB BABIP .319 .282 .270 .3071 1 BRR -0.1 1 0.3 -0.3.222/.315/.302 .239 .260/.364/.437 .283 FRAA 2.7 3.6 6.4 RF 4 WARP 3.8 2.2 0.6 1.9Isnt it odd that the last season of Drew s five-year deal w as the campaign w here he caught the least amount of flak from the pulpits? Maybe playing w ith a busted shoulder stirred sympathy. Or maybe everyone finally understood just how good he w as from 2007-2010, w hen he had a combined TAv of .295 and played quality defense in a very difficult right-field corner. For all the complaints about Drew , he performed as w ell as Mike Low ell did over his ow n five years in Boston (for similar money), but for some reason Low ell is a hero, w hile Drew is a representation of all that w as w rong w ith Theo Epsteins regime.Jacoby Ellsbury CFBorn: 9/11/1983 Age: 28 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 2 W eight: 185 Breakout: 4% Improve: 45% Collapse: 4% Attrition: 12% MLB: 92% Comparables: Chris Denorfia,Amos Otis,Shane Victorino YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM BOS BOS BOS BOS TEAM BOS BOS BOS BOS TEAM BOS BOS BOS BOS LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 25 26 27 28 SO 74 9 98 72 PA 691 83 729 556 R 94 10 119 74 2B 27 4 46 31 3B 10 0 5 6 HR 8 0 32 12 RBI 60 5 105 71 BB 49 4 52 40SB 70 7 39 40CS 12 1 15 10AVG_OBP_SLG .301/.355/.415 .192/.241/.244 .321/.376/.552 .308/.363/.462 FRAA -7.3 0.7 11.6 CF 5, LF 0TAv .270 .186 .325 .287BABIP .328 .217 .336 .336BRR 7.5 1.1 3.2 0.8WARP 2.6 -0.3 8.6 3.4Ellsbury put together an MVP-caliber campaign, setting career-highs in everything except for triples and stolen bases, blow ing aw ay even the Johnny Damon-pow er comparisons that have dogged him since he w as drafted in 2005. The difference? Ellsbury learned how to hit the low -inside fastball w ith authority, rather than w hiffing on it as he had in the past. W hile his pow er is for real, the future w ill likely hold few er opportunities to mash to this extreme degree: Ellsbury w as in the top 10 in percentage of fastballs seen among qualifiers, alongside slugging behemoths like Emilio Bonifacio, Brett Gardner, Juan Pierre, and Elvis Andrus. Expect Ellsbury to see more breaking balls and secondary pitches in the future, once the leaguecollectively realizes fastballs dont w ork like they used to.Adrian Gonzalez 1BBorn: 5/8/1982 Age: 30 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 3 W eight: 190 Breakout: 4% Improve: 34% Collapse: 6% Attrition: 14% MLB: 95% Comparables: Jeff Bagw ell,Norm Cash,Eddie Murray YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM SDN SDN BOS BOS TEAM SDN SDN BOS BOS TEAM SDN SDN BOS BOS LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 27 28 29 30 SO 109 114 119 125 PA 681 692 715 667 SB 1 0 1 1 R 90 87 108 94 2B 27 33 45 34 3B 2 0 3 2 HR 40 31 27 29 RBI 99 101 117 94 BB 119 93 74 82CS 1 0 0 0 BRR -2 -5 -8.1 0AVG_OBP_SLG .277/.407/.551 .298/.393/.511 .338/.410/.548 .286/.377/.500 FRAA 9.9 9.4 8.8 1B 7, RF -0TAv .328 .326 .324 .302BABIP .278 .322 .380 .319WARP 6.6 6.2 5.6 3.8In his first full season free of Petco Park, Gonzalez nearly w on a batting title, collected 75 extra-base hits, and hit .313/.455/.523 during Bostons September collapse despite playing w ith a sore shoulder and leg. Surgically repairing that shoulder during the 201011 offseason did more for his opposite-field doubles pow er and his defense than it did for his home run totals, but Fenw ay is not a kind mistress for lefty pull pow er. That said, Gonzo is w ell-acquainted w ith the Monster: a good thing considering the extension that keeps him in tow n through 2018. Its fair to w orry about his .380 BABIP, but dont be surprised if he comes close to repeating the feat w ith his approach and this park, a la Manny Ramirez.Jose Iglesias SSBorn: 1/5/1990 Age: 22 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 0 W eight: 175 Breakout: 2% Improve: 16% Collapse: 8% Attrition: 20% MLB: 44% Comparables: Jonathan Herrera,Gustavo Nunez,Lenny Faedo YEAR 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM PME PAW BOS BOS LVL AA AAA MLB MLB AGE 20 21 21 22 PA 236 387 6 250 R 29 35 3 24 2B 10 9 0 11 3B 3 0 0 1 HR 0 1 0 1 RBI 13 31 0 20 BB 8 21 0 10YEAR 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2010 2011 2011 2012TEAM PME PAW BOS BOS TEAM PME PAW BOS BOSLVL AA AAA MLB MLB LVL AA AAA MLB MLBSO 49 58 2 49SB 5 12 0 5CS 2 4 0 2AVG_OBP_SLG .285/.318/.357 .235/.285/.269 .333/.333/.333 .246/.282/.315 FRAA -7.5 12.4 -0.2 SS 2 WARP 0.2 0.2 0.0 -0.4TAv .238 .204 .236 .214BABIP .364 .279 .500 .301BRR 4.2 -0.8 -0.6 -0.1Iglesias had a better second half than first, but it w ould have been nearly impossible not to improve on a .227/.275/.245 line. To be fair, the Cuban-born Iglesias is only 21 years old, and w as force-fed into TripleA w ith just one year of pro ball under his belt and before he mastered Double-A. At his best, w ere talking about a bottom-of-the-order hitter w ho does just w ell enough to not be embarrassed, but w ith a glove so smooth, people should flock to his fielding drills like they do for Albert Pujolss batting practice. Hell spend 2011 in Triple-A in his attempt to become a passable hitter during the last year of Marco Scutaros deal.Conor Jackson LFBorn: 5/7/1982 Age: 30 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 3 W eight: 225 Breakout: 3% Improve: 33% Collapse: 3% Attrition: 18% MLB: 85% Comparables: John Olerud,Mark Grace,Gail Hopkins YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 TEAM ARI ARI OAK OAK BOS BOS TEAM ARI ARI OAK OAK BOS BOS TEAM ARI ARI OAK LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB AGE 27 28 28 29 29 30 SO 16 18 9 50 3 41 PA 110 172 69 368 22 340 R 8 19 6 30 2 41 2B 4 11 2 17 0 18 3B 0 0 0 1 0 2 HR 1 1 1 4 1 6 RBI 14 11 5 38 5 35 BB 11 20 11 30 2 34SB 5 4 2 3 0 6CS 0 1 0 1 0 2AVG_OBP_SLG .182/.264/.253 .238/.326/.331 .228/.362/.316 .249/.315/.342 .158/.227/.316 .272/.350/.402 FRAA -1.7 0.5 0.1TAv .198 .251 .246 .255 .198 .268BABIP .207 .263 .255BRR 0.2 1.9 -0.1WARP -0.7 0.4 0.02010 2011 2011 2012OAK OAK BOS BOSMLB MLB MLB MLB.255 .281 .125 .296-0.1 -3 0.2 0.20.1 -0.9 -0.2 LF -1, 1B -20.0 -0.3 -0.1 1.3Jackson w as acquired to give the team someone w ho could hit lefties and play the outfield, as Mike Aviles originally acquired to do just thatw as needed at third base. W hile at first this trade w ith Oakland made it seem as if there w ere no hard feelings about the aborted Rich Harden sw ap, Jacksons play in Boston should make it obvious these tw o teams are not BFFs. In fact, Billy Beane hates the Red Sox. Jackson played exactly as meh as he has for years, and made people pine for Darnell McDonald, something that seemed impossible just one month prior.Brandon Jacobs LFBorn: 12/8/1990 Age: 21 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 2 W eight: 225 Breakout: 0% Improve: 14% Collapse: 3% Attrition: 21% MLB: 38% Comparables: Andrew Lambo,Boog Pow ell,Norm Miller YEAR 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2010 2011 2012 TEAM LOW GRN BOS TEAM LOW GRN BOS TEAM LOW GRN BOS LVL AA MLB LVL AA MLB LVL AA MLB AGE 19 20 21 SO 59 123 75 PA 263 502 250 SB 4 30 7 R 30 75 25 2B 18 32 11 3B 2 3 1 HR 6 17 6 RBI 31 80 26 BB 21 43 12CS 1 7 2 BRR 0.5 5.5 0AVG_OBP_SLG .242/.312/.411 .303/.376/.505 .225/.270/.364 FRAA 1.9 0.3 LF -8, RF -0TAv .266 .307 .220BABIP .298 .381 .298WARP 1.0 4.3 -0.9Bostons 2009 10th-rounder broke out in 2011, collecting 17 homers and 52 extra-base hits to go along w ith a .300 average, .500-plus slugging, and 30 steals in 37 chances. Jacobs w as alw ays toolsy and athletic, but this is the first time he had a chance to show it off, as his previous campaigns in Rookie ball and in the New York-Penn league w ere full of disappointment. W hile his .381 BABIP means the 20-yearold has more w ork to do than his line suggests, he has the pow er/speed potential to make him an intriguing prospect.Ryan Kalish CFBorn: 3/28/1988 Age: 24 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 2 W eight: 205 Breakout: 3% Improve: 45% Collapse: 1% Attrition: 22% MLB: 93% Comparables: J.D. Drew ,Reggie Smith,Jim Eisenreich YEAR TEAM LVL AGE PA R 2B 3B HR RBI BB 2009 SLM A+ 21 143 21 5 2 5 21 262009 2010 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2010 2011 2012PME PME PAW BOS PAW BOS TEAM SLM PME PME PAW BOS PAW BOS TEAM SLM PME PME PAW BOS PAW BOSAA AA AAA MLB AAA MLB LVL A+ AA AA AAA MLB AAA MLB LVL A+ AA AA AAA MLB AAA MLB21 22 22 22 23 24 SO 20 87 21 32 38 20 53437 183 160 179 96 250 SB 7 14 13 12 10 4 1063 35 22 26 9 3019 9 9 11 6 124 1 1 1 0 113 8 5 4 0 756 29 18 24 9 2942 28 14 12 8 23 TAv .331 .271 .323 .288 .256 .191 .261CS 3 3 1 2 1 3 2AVG_OBP_SLG .304/.437/.513 .271/.343/.440 .293/.411/.527 .294/.361/.476 .252/.305/.405 .209/.271/.279 .259/.328/.416 FRAA 3.2 9.1 0.3 5.1 2.1 3.9 CF 6, LF 2BABIP .333 .320 .298 .349 .303 .265 .307BRR 0.4 3.5 0.9 3 2 -1 0.3WARP 1.8 2.9 1.6 1.6 0.9 -0.2 1.2Kalish came into 2011 as Bostons top outfield prospect, but a left-shoulder labrum tear in April set the tone for his year. W hen Kalish returned, the team discovered he w as playing w ith a bulging disc in his neck that he had suffered w hile recovering from the labrum injury. He underw ent neck surgery in September that isnt expected to impact his 2012, but w hile Kalish w as healing, Josh Reddick burst upon the majors, leaving the matter open of just w hich above-average defender w ith questions about his bat is now at the top of the depth chart.Ryan Lavarnway CBorn: 8/7/1987 Age: 24 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 5 W eight: 225 Breakout: 1% Improve: 17% Collapse: 4% Attrition: 37% MLB: 82% Comparables: Chris Snyder,Rick Dempsey,Ramon Castro YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2011 TEAM GRN SLM PME PME PAW BOS LVL A A+ AA AA AAA MLB AGE 21 22 22 23 23 23 PA 466 360 190 239 264 43 R 60 66 25 35 40 5 2B 36 18 9 5 18 2 3B 2 0 0 0 0 0 HR 21 14 8 14 18 2 RBI 87 63 39 38 55 8 BB 50 44 26 25 32 42012 BOS YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2011 2012 TEAM GRN SLM PME PME PAW BOS BOS TEAM GRN SLM PME PME PAW BOS BOSMLB 24 LVL A A+ AA AA AAA MLB MLB LVL A A+ AA AA AAA MLB MLB SO 113 62 42 47 60 10 61250 32 12 0 SB 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 CS 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 BRR -2.7 -0.7 0 -1.8 -2.6 -0.4 012 3424 TAv .321 .309 .295 .295 .343 .285 .281AVG_OBP_SLG .285/.372/.540 .289/.395/.487 .285/.399/.494 .284/.360/.510 .295/.390/.612 .231/.302/.436 .257/.335/.471 FRAA -0.8 -0.1 -0.3 0 -0.3 0.1 C -1 WARP 4.1 3.0 1.1 1.4 3.4 0.1 2.3BABIP .348 .325 .343 .298 .327 .259 .299Lavarnw ay led the Red Sox organization in home runs in 2011, giving him 77 over the last three seasons, and his first campaign w ith over 30. Given his low est TAv since 2009 is .291, w e knew he could mash: more importantly, Lavarnw ays defense started to come around. He threw out 37 percent of runners betw een Double- and Triple-A, and gunned dow n the one runner w ho w ent on him in the majors, thanks to a better-than-average pop time and a strong arm. He also drew positive review s from farm director Mike Hazen for his improved athleticism behind the plate, w hich resulted in more blocked pitches than in the past. His defense isnt quite there yet, but if 2011 is any indication, it is coming.Che-Hsuan Lin CFBorn: 9/21/1988 Age: 23 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 1 W eight: 180 Breakout: 1% Improve: 24% Collapse: 3% Attrition: 11% MLB: 57% Comparables: J.B. Shuck,Len Dykstra,Michael Brantley YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 TEAM SLM PME PME PAW BOS TEAM SLM PME PME LVL A+ AA AA AAA MLB LVL A+ AA AA AGE 20 21 22 22 23 SO 75 63 14 PA 562 543 161 378 250 R 75 88 23 49 26 2B 23 17 5 11 10 3B 2 4 2 1 1 HR 7 2 0 2 1 RBI 54 34 11 25 18 BB 66 72 20 38 24SB 26 26 12CS 11 12 3AVG_OBP_SLG .265/.357/.365 .275/.386/.343 .268/.373/.333TAv .267 .269 .2602011 PAW 2012 BOS YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM SLM PME PME PAW BOSAAA 51 16 4 MLB 38 9 3 LVL A+ AA AA AAA MLB BABIP .299 .315 .298 .271 .289.235/.325/.293 .231 .248/.328/.322 .237 FRAA 1.6 16 2 5.5 CF 2, RF 0 WARP 2.5 4.6 0.6 0.5 0.3BRR -0.2 2.7 -1.7 -1.1 -0.2Lin conquered tw o levels in his ow n little w ay in 2011. He continued to show no pow er at Double-A Portland, but made up for it by being phenomenal defensively. W hile his average and w hat little pow er he had vanished in his first taste of Paw tucket, Lin continued to w alk, and stole bases w hen he did get on. W hether w ith Boston or elsew here, Lins future is as a bench outfielder w ho w ill out-defend anyone else on the roster, pinch-run, and maybe draw a w alk if forced to bat, too. The ceiling isnt as high as Boston hoped back w hen they bid on his services, but he does have a major-league career ahead of him.Darnell McDonald RFBorn: 11/17/1978 Age: 33 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 0 W eight: 208 Breakout: 1% Improve: 26% Collapse: 7% Attrition: 20% MLB: 88% Comparables: Casey Blake,Geronimo Berroa,Hank Bauer YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM LOU CIN BOS BOS BOS TEAM LOU CIN BOS BOS BOS TEAM LOU CIN BOS BOS BOS LVL AAA MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 30 30 31 32 33 SO 56 31 85 33 56 PA 304 111 363 175 250 R 42 12 40 26 30 2B 22 6 18 6 13 3B 7 1 3 1 2 HR 9 2 9 6 6 RBI 40 10 34 24 29 BB 16 5 30 14 18SB 8 1 9 2 6CS 3 0 1 3 2AVG_OBP_SLG .314/.350/.539 .267/.306/.400 .270/.336/.429 .236/.303/.401 .267/.325/.419 FRAA 5.4 0.8 -2.2 0.2 RF 1, CF 1TAv .308 .225 .270 .258 .259BABIP .362 .361 .342 .258 .326BRR -1 -0.9 -3.4 0 -0.2WARP 2.4 -0.4 0.7 0.2 1.1W hen forced to stretch his ability and assume the role of starting outfielder for the Red Sox in 2010, McDonald rose to the challenge and replicated Jacoby Ellsburys pre-2011 value w ell over 117 games. BackMcDonald rose to the challenge and replicated Jacoby Ellsburys pre-2011 value w ell over 117 games. Back on the bench w here he belongs in 2011, though, McDonald struggled to ever get going. He did his job hitting lefties (.260/.333/.471) in an outfield full of left-handed hitters, but each at-bat against righties w as like a slow death for everyone involved, except the opposition. Now 33, w ithout much defensive ability to his credit, and w ith the occasional hit off lefties his only source of quality, McDonald w ill likely be buried on the 2012 Red Sox as a fifth outfielder, if he sticks there at all.Will Middlebrooks 3BBorn: 9/9/1988 Age: 23 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 5 W eight: 200 Breakout: 6% Improve: 30% Collapse: 3% Attrition: 25% MLB: 68% Comparables: Josh Bell,Edw in Encarnacion,Jose Moreno YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM GRN SLM PME PAW BOS TEAM GRN SLM PME PAW BOS TEAM GRN SLM PME PAW BOS LVL A A+ AA AAA MLB LVL A A+ AA AAA MLB LVL A A+ AA AAA MLB AGE 20 21 22 22 23 SO 123 121 95 18 72 PA 427 481 397 60 250 SB 7 5 6 3 2 R 53 69 54 4 27 2B 25 31 25 0 13 3B 3 2 1 0 0 HR 7 12 18 2 7 RBI 57 70 80 8 28 BB 48 35 21 3 14CS 4 3 0 1 1 BRR 0.1 1.1 -0.3 0.9 0AVG_OBP_SLG .265/.351/.404 .276/.335/.439 .302/.345/.520 .161/.200/.268 .241/.286/.389 FRAA -7 12.6 -0.9 -0.2 3B 4 WARP 1.6 3.5 2.0 -0.5 0.6TAv .282 .279 .288 .164 .236BABIP .377 .358 .363 .189 .314Middlebrooks has improved in small spurts in each of his seasons as a professional, but 2011 w as the first legitimate breakout campaign for the 22-year-old. One year after setting a career-high in tw o-baggers, the 2007 fifth-round pick just missed doubling his previous high for homers. Middlebrooks strikeout rate once again dropped slightly, though that progress w as more significant before Triple-A happened. W hile his w alk rate didnt climb, it didnt fall significantly, either, a good sign given the levels involved. Middlebrooks is never going to w alk much, but his impressive plate coverage should help his bat plenty in the majors as soon as 2013, combining w ith his plus glove to give the Sox their third baseman of the future.David Ortiz 1BBorn: 11/18/1975 Age: 36 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 5 W eight: 230 Breakout: 1% Improve: 26% Collapse: 11% Attrition: 16% MLB: 88% Comparables: Harmon Killebrew ,Jeff Bagw ell,Carlos DelgadoYEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012TEAM BOS BOS BOS BOS TEAM BOS BOS BOS BOS TEAM BOS BOS BOS BOSLVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLBAGE 33 34 35 36 SO 134 145 83 111PA 627 606 605 569 SB 0 0 1 1R 77 86 84 812B 35 36 40 373B 1 1 1 1HR 28 32 29 25RBI 99 102 96 83BB 74 82 78 77CS 2 1 1 1 BRR -3.9 -4.1 -5.1 -0.2AVG_OBP_SLG .238/.332/.462 .270/.370/.529 .309/.398/.554 .277/.376/.512 FRAA 0.4 -0.1 -0.1 1B -0 WARP 1.0 3.1 3.8 3.5TAv .273 .306 .318 .306BABIP .262 .313 .321 .309Ortiz once again saw his performance dip in April, but this time around, he w asnt an easy out at the plate. He hit .267/.373/.395 w ith strikeouts in under 11 percent of his plate appearances, a massive shift from April 2010, w hen he w hiffed nearly 40 percent of the time. That low punchout trend continued throughout the year, and Ortiz finished w ith his most productive season since 2007. W hile his pow er w as still heavily pull-oriented, Ortiz w ent the other w ay more often, borrow ing a modified version of the approach used by new teammate Adrian Gonzalez. This shift means Ortiz is more likely to continue producing for the next few years, w hereas prior to 2011, no one w ould have been shocked if the purpose of this comment w as to eulogize his career. Except for David Ortiz, of course.Dustin Pedroia 2BBorn: 8/17/1983 Age: 28 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 5 10 W eight: 180 Breakout: 2% Improve: 47% Collapse: 3% Attrition: 6% MLB: 93% Comparables: Edgardo Alfonzo,Ian Kinsler,Bill Madlock YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM BOS BOS BOS BOS TEAM BOS BOS BOS BOS LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 25 26 27 28 SO 45 38 85 56 PA 714 351 731 612 R 115 53 102 85 2B 48 24 37 44 3B 1 1 3 1 HR 15 12 21 14 RBI 72 41 91 80 BB 74 37 86 59SB 20 9 26 18CS 8 1 8 5AVG_OBP_SLG .296/.371/.447 .288/.367/.493 .307/.387/.474 .315/.385/.482TAv .287 .297 .304 .302YEAR TEAM LVL BABIP BRR FRAA WARP2009 2010 2011 2012BOS BOS BOS BOSMLB MLB MLB MLB.297 .291 .325 .3272.9 1.3 1.4 0.2-3.3 -7.2 2 2B -44.1 1.6 5.7 4.7Pedroia returned from his injury-shortened 2010 campaign and surgery that inserted a screw into his foot to put up a season that made it seem like he never left. After slugging just .331 through May, Pedroia made every ball that came near the plate sorry for the transgression afterw ard, hitting .340/.405/.543 over his last 485 plate appearances, shoving himself in the middle of an MVP race that involved three different Red Sox hitters. Throw in his fine defensive w ork at second, and its no w onder that the team is often at its best w henever Pedroia is too . . . September notw ithstanding.Nick Punto 2BBorn: 11/8/1977 Age: 34 Bats: B Throw s: R Height: 5 10 W eight: 170 Breakout: 4% Improve: 21% Collapse: 9% Attrition: 33% MLB: 80% Comparables: Jamey Carroll,Nelson Liriano,Tom Herr YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM MIN MIN SLN BOS TEAM MIN MIN SLN BOS TEAM MIN MIN SLN BOS LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 31 32 33 34 SO 70 50 21 43 PA 440 288 166 250 R 56 24 21 26 2B 15 11 8 10 3B 1 1 4 2 HR 1 1 1 1 RBI 38 20 20 18 BB 61 28 25 27SB 16 6 1 6CS 3 2 1 2AVG_OBP_SLG .228/.337/.284 .238/.313/.302 .278/.387/.421 .242/.324/.319 FRAA -4.1 3.9 2.3 2B 1, SS -1TAv .230 .238 .293 .229BABIP .276 .289 .319 .288BRR 4.5 -1.3 1.8 0WARP 0.2 0.9 1.6 0.3The Tw ins cut Punto loose after the 2010 season, choosing to pay a $500,000 buyout rather than pick up their $5 million option on his contract. The Cardinals sw ooped in and signed him to a one-year deal for just $750,000. After a solid start filling in at second, short, and third, Punto missed a total of almost three months w ith strains to his oblique and his right forearm. His .308/.424/.500 September helped the Cards during their stretch run, though, in w hich they made the playoffs only after game 162. The Red Sox signed him to an inexpensive tw o-year deal, giving them a Jed Low rie replacement minus the bat, but plus a glove.Jarrod Saltalamacchia CBorn: 5/2/1985 Age: 27 Bats: B Throw s: R Height: 6 5 W eight: 195 Breakout: 1% Improve: 17% Collapse: 3% Attrition: 38% MLB: 71%Comparables: George W illiams,Joe Hietpas,Johnny Blanchard YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 TEAM TEX OKL BOS BOS BOS TEAM TEX OKL BOS BOS BOS TEAM TEX OKL BOS BOS BOS LVL MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB AGE 24 25 25 26 27 SO 97 60 4 119 83 PA 310 270 25 386 292 SB 0 1 0 1 1 R 34 37 2 52 34 2B 12 11 3 23 15 3B 0 2 0 3 1 HR 9 11 0 16 9 RBI 34 33 1 56 34 BB 22 25 6 24 24CS 2 0 0 0 1 BRR -1.9 -1.6 0.3 -1.2 -0.1AVG_OBP_SLG .233/.290/.371 .244/.328/.445 .158/.360/.316 .235/.288/.450 .247/.313/.415 FRAA -0.7 -0.1 0 -2.1 C -2, 1B -0TAv .223 .261 .256 .255 .254BABIP .320 .281 .200 .304 .322WARP -0.1 0.7 0.1 0.9 1.8Now -departed GM Theo Epstein acquired Saltalamacchia at the trade deadline in 2010 as insurance against Victor Martinez leaving as a free agent. Salty did just w hat w as needed out of him in that role, throw ing out a career-high 31 percent of runners, playing in over 100 games for the first time, and posting a .215 Isolated Pow er. He w asnt perfect by any meanshis April (547 OPS) and September (542) w ere horrific bookends on an otherw ise quality year, and w hile its mostly Tim Wakefield and his knucklers fault (okay, almost entirely Wakefields fault), he led the league in passed balls. Saltalamacchia w as the primary starter in 2011, but that role might shift as soon as the middle of 2012, as top prospect Ryan Lavarnw ay w ill get a chance to w in a regular gig this spring, and his bat looms large.Marco Scutaro SSBorn: 10/30/1975 Age: 36 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 5 11 W eight: 170 Breakout: 1% Improve: 19% Collapse: 13% Attrition: 23% MLB: 78% Comparables: Barry Larkin,Alan Trammell,Mark Loretta YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM TOR BOS BOS BOS LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 33 34 35 36 PA 680 695 445 470 R 100 92 59 55 2B 35 38 26 24 3B 1 0 1 1 HR 12 11 7 6 RBI 60 56 54 44 BB 90 53 38 45YEAR TEAM LVL SO SB CS AVG_OBP_SLG TAv2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012TOR BOS BOS BOS TEAM TOR BOS BOS BOSMLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB75 71 36 5614 5 4 55 4 2 2.282/.379/.409 .275/.333/.388 .299/.358/.423 .271/.344/.376 FRAA -1.3 1 -0.7 SS -0, 2B 0.283 .260 .274 .255BABIP .304 .295 .312 .296BRR 0.7 0.5 2 -0.3WARP 4.3 3.0 2.5 1.7Scutaro just w rapped up the most productive tw o-year stretch at short for the Red Sox since the days of Nomar Garciaparra: the nearly six w ins Scutaro produced in 201011 outnumber the total value of Sox shortstops from post-Nomar 2004 through 2009. Orlando Cabrera, Edgar Renteria, Julio Lugo, Alex Gonzalez, and Nick Green (yes, that Nick Green) combined for 5.5 W ARP over 2,897 plate appearances before Scutaro came to tow n on a tw o-year, $12.5 million deal. W ith his 2012 option picked up, he has one more chance to add to that total.Kelly Shoppach CBorn: 4/29/1980 Age: 32 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 0 W eight: 210 Breakout: 2% Improve: 25% Collapse: 15% Attrition: 26% MLB: 86% Comparables: Mickey Tettleton,Johnny Bench,Todd Hundley YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM CLE TBA TBA BOS TEAM CLE TBA TBA BOS TEAM CLE TBA TBA BOS LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 29 30 31 32 SO 98 71 79 83 PA 327 187 253 250 R 33 17 23 29 2B 14 8 3 11 3B 0 0 0 0 HR 12 5 11 9 RBI 40 17 22 28 BB 33 20 19 22SB 0 0 0 0CS 0 0 0 0AVG_OBP_SLG .214/.335/.399 .196/.308/.342 .176/.268/.339 .221/.313/.402 FRAA -2 -1.1 -0.9 C -2 WARP 1.2 0.2 0.0 1.7TAv .264 .250 .221 .252BABIP .280 .313 .212 .302BRR -0.7 -1.2 -0.6 0Defense didnt used to be Shoppachs strong suit back w hen he w as originally w ith the Red Sox, but it has improved over the years, to the point w here he gunned dow n over 40 percent of runners in 2011 w ith the Rays. Part of that w as due to being the personal catcher of the man w ho led the league in pickoffs and w ho is notoriously good at holding runners (James Shields), but Shoppachs arm helped, too. W hile his TAv has dropped from .297 to .223 over the past four seasons, the Red Sox signed himW hile his TAv has dropped from .297 to .223 over the past four seasons, the Red Sox signed him specifically to face lefties, against w hom he has hit .274/.373/.536 in his career. This leaves right-handed hurlers to the natural left-handed sw ing of sw itch-hitter Jarrod Saltalamacchia, giving the Red Sox a strong backstop platoon w hile Ryan Lavarnw ay w orks on his defense.Ryan Sweeney RFBorn: 2/20/1985 Age: 27 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 5 W eight: 200 Breakout: 4% Improve: 35% Collapse: 6% Attrition: 22% MLB: 76% Comparables: Mark Kotsay,Johnny Grubb,Johnny Groth YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM OAK OAK OAK BOS TEAM OAK OAK OAK BOS TEAM OAK OAK OAK BOS LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 24 25 26 27 SO 67 41 48 42 PA 534 331 299 287 R 68 41 34 34 2B 31 20 11 15 3B 3 2 3 2 HR 6 1 1 3 RBI 53 36 25 28 BB 40 24 33 25SB 6 1 1 3CS 5 1 1 1AVG_OBP_SLG .293/.348/.407 .294/.342/.383 .265/.346/.341 .281/.345/.387 FRAA 8.9 -0.6 0.8 RF 4, CF 0TAv .276 .263 .260 .260BABIP .327 .333 .319 .322BRR 4.1 0.5 -3.2 -0.2WARP 3.5 0.6 0.7 1.0A versatile defensive outfielder w ith on-base ability should be considered a valuable resource for a team to have cost-control over. Not that he lacks value, but as an everyday player, Sw eeney falls flat. In the field, the former second round pick does have the aforementioned versatility, but hes not a 162 game center fielder. Hes more of a hole-plugger, taking reps at a position that needs a w arm body. At the plate, the 6-foot-4, 225-lb. athlete hits like a shortstop from the 1980s, making decent contact but managing a slugging percentage of only .341. Not to throw salt on the w ound, but Cliff Pennington outslugged Sw eeney, and Cliff Pennington isnt know n for his slugging prow ess.Jason Varitek CBorn: 4/11/1972 Age: 40 Bats: B Throw s: R Height: 6 3 W eight: 210 Breakout: 2% Improve: 16% Collapse: 9% Attrition: 21% MLB: 52% Comparables: Harmon Killebrew ,Todd Pratt,Greg Myers YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM BOS BOS BOS BOS LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 37 38 39 40 PA 425 123 250 250 R 41 18 32 28 2B 24 6 10 11 3B 0 0 1 1 HR 14 7 11 7 RBI 51 16 36 25 BB 54 10 21 272012 BOS YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM BOS BOS BOS BOS TEAM BOS BOS BOS BOSMLB 40 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB SO 90 35 67 64250 28 11 1 SB 0 0 0 0 CS 0 0 0 072527 TAv .250 .256 .257 .246AVG_OBP_SLG .209/.313/.390 .232/.293/.473 .221/.300/.423 .224/.315/.380 FRAA -1.3 -0.8 0.4 C -1 WARP 0.8 0.2 0.8 1.5BABIP .235 .268 .264 .281BRR -2.4 -1.4 -2.3 0At this point, Variteks greatest strength is his ability to handle a pitching staff. He split playing time w ith Jarrod Saltalamacchia about 60/40 this year, but w ith far less success overall, as he w as nearly an automatic out against right-handed pitchers. He also threw out just 14 percent of runners, allow ing 73 of 88 baserunners to stealand Varitek w asnt the one catching Tim Wakefields slow floater, either. It has been a good run for Varitek, a career .256/.341/.435 catcher w ith a highly-regarded defensive past despite some of the present problems, but it might be the end for this 40-year-old.Kolbrin Vitek 3BBorn: 4/1/1989 Age: 23 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 3 W eight: 195 Breakout: 5% Improve: 17% Collapse: 1% Attrition: 7% MLB: 37% Comparables: Tucker Ashford,Damion Easley,Dave Hilton YEAR 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2010 2011 2012 TEAM LOW SLM BOS TEAM LOW SLM BOS TEAM LOW SLM BOS LVL AA+ MLB LVL AA+ MLB LVL AA+ MLB AGE 21 22 23 SO 61 102 58 PA 239 529 250 SB 13 12 3 R 30 78 24 2B 13 22 11 3B 3 6 1 HR 4 3 1 RBI 30 43 19 BB 26 45 15CS 2 3 1 BRR 0.4 5.6 0AVG_OBP_SLG .270/.366/.422 .281/.350/.372 .233/.283/.305 FRAA -2.4 0.4 3B 1 WARP 0.6 2.1 -0.7TAv .276 .264 .211BABIP .367 .349 .302The question surrounding Vitek is just w hat is he supposed to be. He doesnt have a real defensive home, and his bat hasnt show n enough yet to make us not w orry about that. Of course, he is just 22, and has all of 815 plate professional plate appearances to his credit. Dropping his punchout rate by 5 percent despite a promotion is a start, but a sub-.100 ISO for a third baseman w ithout a glove is w orrisome, especially one w hose approach w as supposedly as advanced as Viteks. Hes a prospect because he stillprojects to have better pow er as he fills out. Hes going to need it, because given his defensive play at the hot corner, left field is calling.Kevin Youkilis 3BBorn: 3/15/1979 Age: 33 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 2 W eight: 220 Breakout: 1% Improve: 23% Collapse: 2% Attrition: 9% MLB: 82% Comparables: Ron Santo,Troy Glaus,Frank Bolick YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM BOS BOS BOS BOS TEAM BOS BOS BOS BOS TEAM BOS BOS BOS BOS LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 30 31 32 33 SO 125 67 100 91 PA 588 435 517 471 SB 7 4 3 4 R 99 77 68 68 2B 36 26 32 30 3B 1 5 2 2 HR 27 19 17 17 RBI 94 62 80 65 BB 77 58 68 57CS 2 1 0 1 BRR 3.3 1.7 0.5 -0.1AVG_OBP_SLG .305/.413/.548 .307/.411/.564 .258/.373/.459 .291/.391/.503 FRAA 2.8 -1.8 -1.3 3B 2, 1B 0TAv .331 .347 .297 .313BABIP .359 .327 .296 .337WARP 5.9 4.4 3.1 4.1Youkilis w as having a far better season than his final line indicates before a sports hernia and bursitis in his hip took him dow n. He played in just 22 of the teams games over the final tw o months of the year, hitting .190/.304/.342 in that stretch after posting a .273/.388/.486 line and .308 TAv prior to that. He w as the lone third baseman over .300 to that point, and w ell above the positional average of .252/.317/.390. Youkilis has now averaged 119 games per year over the last three, and has 30 separate entries in Baseball Prospectuss injury database during that stretch. Boston could pass on his 2013 option because of that, unless there is suddenly room at DH, but as his pre-injury performance show s, they w ould be cutting loose one of the games better hitters.PITCHERS Alfredo AcevesBorn: 12/8/1982 Age: 29 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 4 W eight: 220 Breakout: 11% Improve: 34% Collapse: 31% Attrition: 9% MLB: 96% Comparables: Mel Rojas,Tim Belcher,Vida Blue YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H 2009 NYA MLB 26 10 1 1 43 1 84 692010 NYA 2011 BOS 2012 BOS YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM NYA NYA BOS BOS TEAM NYA NYA BOS BOSMLB 27 MLB 28 MLB 29 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 10 1 8 93 0 1 10 2 2 4 2 1 BB 16 4 42 26 SO 69 2 80 5910 0 55 4 43 612 10 114 84 83 2 81 EqSO9 7.4 1.5 6.3 6.3 FIP 3.80 5.05 4.07 4.12 GB% 36% 50% 41% 44% WARP 1.1 0.0 0.7 1.1EqBB9 1.7 3.0 3.3 2.7 ERA 3.54 3.00 2.61 3.87BABIP .250 .200 .233 .283WHIP 1.01 1.17 1.11 1.27FRA 4.37 5.76 4.65 4.21It w as unclear w hat the Red Sox w ould get out of the oft-injured Aceves and his balky back, but 2011 w as the best-case scenario for all involved. Aceves remained healthy, and made four starts in the summer w hen holes opened in the rotation. His other 51 appearances came out of the bullpen, w here he posted an ERA of 2.03, a K/BB of 2.3, and 93 of his 114 frames. He w as useful as a long man soaking up innings after a short starthe w as something of a tandem starter w ith Tim Wakefield for much of the yearor in high-leverage situations, w here he held opponents to a 516 OPS. Master pitching strategist David Ortiz w anted Aceves to start in September, but his absence from the bullpen w ould have created a new set of problems.Matt AlbersBorn: 1/20/1983 Age: 29 Bats: L Throw s: R Height: 6 1 W eight: 205 Breakout: 23% Improve: 51% Collapse: 29% Attrition: 19% MLB: 80% Comparables: Jon Sw itzer,Scott Radinsky,Justin Hampson YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H 2009 BAL MLB 26 3 6 0 56 0 67 80 2010 BAL MLB 27 5 3 0 62 0 75 2 78 2011 BOS 2012 BOS YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM BAL BAL BOS BOS MLB 28 MLB 29 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 3 6 7 7 4 4 0 2 1 0 BB 36 34 32 26 SO 49 49 68 41 56 0 48 0 EqBB9 4.8 4.0 4.3 4.1 64 2 62 57 2 65 EqSO9 6.6 5.8 9.5 6.4 GB% 51% 58% 48% 51%YEAR TEAM LVL BABIP WHIP ERA FIP FRA WARP2009 2010 2011 2012BAL BAL BOS BOSMLB MLB MLB MLB.360 .306 .316 .3161.73 1.48 1.44 1.575.51 4.52 4.73 5.073.96 4.21 4.08 4.714.51 6.21 4.98 5.510.8 -0.8 0.4 -0.2Was 2011 a success or failure for the Albers experiment in Boston? The Sox signed a reliever cut loose before his second year of arbitration, one w ho had below -average strikeout and w alk numbers, but an ability to induce grounders, and stuff that suggested strikeouts w ere possible. He punched out 9.5 per nine w ith the Red Sox, posting his first K/BB over tw o, but also imploded in the second half, allow ing six of his seven homers over his last 29-1/3 innings. There is a lot to like about Albers despite his w arts, and he remains inexpensive, under team control for one more year. In a bullpen now sans Papelbon, there is no reason for Boston to not give this arm another go.Scott AtchisonBorn: 3/29/1976 Age: 36 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 3 W eight: 180 Breakout: 19% Improve: 40% Collapse: 42% Attrition: 23% MLB: 84% Comparables: Bobby Shantz,Esteban Loaiza,Mark Langston YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H 2009 HNS NPB 33 5 3 0 75 0 90 60 2010 BOS MLB 34 2 3 0 43 1 60 58 2011 PAW AAA 35 4 1 5 36 1 61 1 47 2011 BOS 2012 BOS YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM HNS BOS PAW BOS BOS TEAM HNS BOS PAW BOS BOS MLB 35 MLB 36 LVL NPB MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL NPB MLB AAA MLB MLB HR 3 9 5 0 5 1 0 1 1 1 0 BB 20 19 9 6 13 SO 81 41 64 17 35 17 0 30 0 EqBB9 2.0 2.8 1.3 1.8 2.7 ERA 1.70 4.50 2.64 3.26 4.16 30 1 31 44 2 46 EqSO9 8.1 6.2 10.6 5.0 7.1 FIP 2.05 4.63 2.85 2.73 3.97 GB% 48% 49% 46% 44% WARP 0.0 -0.1 0.7 0.5 0.4BABIP .247 .269 .298 .323 .310WHIP 0.89 1.28 0.96 1.22 1.34FRA 5.44 4.40 3.73 4.53Atchison w as out of place in the 2010 bullpen. He is best suited to a mop-up role or as a long man w ho can soak up innings, but instead w as considered the teams top middle reliever simply because everyone else failed. This past year w as more his speed, as he split time betw een Paw tucket and Boston, throw ing strike after strike resulting in lots of contact outs and few w alks. In 2010, that meant tons of homers, but he got aw ay souvenir-free this time. The Red Sox declined his option but kept him on the 40-man in order to house him in Triple-A to begin the year. Atchison has his uses, just bear in mind his limitations.Andrew BaileyAndrew BaileyBorn: 5/31/1984 Age: 28 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 4 W eight: 235 Breakout: 22% Improve: 49% Collapse: 28% Attrition: 9% MLB: 94% Comparables: Juan Rincon,Manny Delcarmen,Derrick Turnbow YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 OAK 2010 OAK 2011 OAK 2012 BOS YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM OAK OAK OAK BOS TEAM OAK OAK OAK BOS MLB 25 MLB 26 MLB 27 MLB 28 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 5 3 3 4 6 3 26 68 0 1 3 25 47 0 0 4 24 42 0 2 1 18 36 0 BB 24 13 12 14 SO 91 42 41 35 EqBB9 2.6 2.4 2.6 3.5 ERA 1.84 1.47 3.24 3.50 H83 1 49 49 34 41 2 34 37 33 EqSO9 9.8 7.7 8.9 8.6 FIP 2.60 2.92 2.89 3.85 GB% 42% 39% 38% 42% WARP 2.2 0.8 1.0 0.6BABIP .220 .240 .274 .290WHIP 0.88 0.96 1.10 1.27FRA 2.95 3.20 3.07 3.80One of the hottest relief commodities on the market, Bailey w as secured by the Red Sox after Papelbons departure. The big righty closer has fought to stay healthy during his career, but w hen on the mound, the 27-year-old w ill solidify any bullpen. Armed w ith a husky frame, a husky plus fastball, a darting cutter, and a show curve, Bailey has the stuff to miss bats and the command profile to not only throw strikes, but to throw quality strikes w ith all three offerings. Next question: w ill the Boston media pressure cooker suit him or steam him? W ell find out.Daniel BardBorn: 6/25/1985 Age: 27 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 5 W eight: 200 Breakout: 26% Improve: 54% Collapse: 25% Attrition: 13% MLB: 96% Comparables: Billy Sadler,Bryan Harvey,Rich Gossage YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 BOS 2010 BOS 2011 BOS 2012 BOS MLB 24 MLB 25 MLB 26 MLB 27 2 2 1 1 2 3 2 9 1 3 1 2 49 0 73 0 70 0 57 0 H49 1 41 74 2 45 73 46 59 50YEAR TEAM LVL HR BB SO EqBB9 EqSO9 GB% 2009 BOS MLB 5 22 63 4.0 11.5 48%2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012BOS BOS BOS BOS TEAM BOS BOS BOS BOSMLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB5 6 5 622 30 24 2863 76 74 634.0 3.6 3.0 4.3 ERA 3.65 1.93 3.33 3.6011.5 9.2 9.1 9.5 FIP 3.43 3.34 2.99 3.8148% 47% 54% 49% FRA 3.01 3.90 3.88 3.91 WARP 1.5 1.0 1.1 0.9BABIP .313 .218 .230 .290WHIP 1.28 1.00 0.96 1.32Before Bards rough September, in w hich he allow ed 13 runs over 11 innings thanks to iffy mechanics that affected his fastball command, he w ent 25 appearances and 26 1/3 innings w ithout allow ing a run, posting a 25/6 K/BB. The former stretch seems to be the only one anyone remembers, especially w hile discussing Bard as a Jonathan Papelbon replacement. Gauging relievers based on a seasons w orth of w ork is difficultif it w erent, building a good bullpen w ouldnt be such an issue for most teamsso predicting Bards success or failure as a closer on a few bad frames isnt w ise. There is much more of that dominant mid-season streak on his resume than horrific struggles, and so long as his mechanics are in check, the great Bard is w hat w e w ill be seeing more of. Thats just one more reason the Red Sox plan to try Bard out as a starter this spring, rather than investing in the lightw eight free agent market.Josh BeckettBorn: 5/15/1980 Age: 32 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 5 W eight: 190 Breakout: 18% Improve: 34% Collapse: 36% Attrition: 6% MLB: 92% Comparables: Rafael Betancourt,Curt Schilling,Rick Aguilera YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 BOS 2010 BOS 2011 BOS 2012 BOS YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM BOS BOS BOS BOS TEAM BOS BOS BOS BOS MLB 29 MLB 30 MLB 31 MLB 32 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 25 20 21 17 17 6 0 6 6 0 13 7 0 12 6 0 BB 55 45 52 38 SO 199 116 175 143 H32 32 212 1 198 21 21 127 2 151 30 30 193 146 24 24 152 152 EqBB9 2.3 3.2 2.4 2.3 ERA 3.86 5.78 2.89 3.81 EqSO9 8.4 8.2 8.2 8.5 FIP 3.68 4.51 3.61 3.53 GB% 48% 47% 42% 45% WARP 3.5 0.5 3.1 2.1BABIP .292 .341 .249 .313WHIP 1.19 1.54 1.03 1.25FRA 4.27 5.05 3.83 4.14Becketts seasons all come dow n to how he is feeling. W hen he w as younger, blisters w ere w hat held himback. As he has aged, his back has become the source of his problems. In 2010, back pain kept him from commanding his curveball, forcing him to rely on his fastball. His back felt fine this past year, though, and Beckettexcepting September, w hen it w as physically impossible for any Red Sox starter to pitch w ell w as the Beckett of old. Wont w e all feel silly for getting on our soap boxes w hen it turns out the key ingredient in the Colonels recipe has restorative back-healing properties?Michael BowdenBorn: 9/9/1986 Age: 25 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 4 W eight: 215 Breakout: 14% Improve: 64% Collapse: 11% Attrition: 11% MLB: 88% Comparables: Osiris Matos,Jesse Chavez,Brandon McCarthy YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 PAW 2009 BOS 2010 PAW 2010 BOS 2011 PAW 2011 BOS 2012 BOS YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM PAW BOS PAW BOS PAW BOS BOS TEAM PAW BOS PAW BOS PAW BOS BOS AAA 22 MLB 22 AAA 23 MLB 23 AAA 24 MLB 24 MLB 25 LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB HR 11 3 9 2 5 3 4 4 6 0 1 1 0 6 4 1 0 1 0 H24 24 126 1 106 8 1 16 23 31 16 105 2 58 14 0 15 1 20 52 2 43 20 19 29 2 32 EqSO9 6.3 6.8 6.6 7.6 10.4 7.7 6.8 FIP 4.03 5.21 4.34 3.83 3.24 4.96 4.59 GB% 32% 42% 23% 27% 39% 29% 36% WARP 0.6 -0.1 0.9 -0.1 0.7 0.1 0.12 2 16 41 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 BB 47 6 26 4 18 11 11 SO 88 12 56 13 61 17 22 14 0 15 2 EqBB9 3.3 3.4 3.2 2.3 3.1 4.9 3.4 ERA 3.14 9.56 3.66 4.70 2.73 4.05 4.64BABIP .259 .370 .240 .383 .297 .271 .309WHIP 1.21 1.81 1.14 1.57 1.16 1.50 1.45FRA 4.88 6.95 4.64 5.80 4.49 4.82 5.04Bow den scrapped the curveball that once made him a top prospect, but w hich had grow n flat and easy to mash. He replaced it w ith a cutter, and know ing he w ould be relieving exclusively in 2011, dominated Triple-A in his new full-time bullpen gig. As many have learned before him, though, Triple-A is not the majors, and though he kept the hits per nine under double-digits for the first time, he also allow ed too many homers and w alks. Bow den might still turn into a bullpen piece and have a career, but w ith Bostons crow ded bullpen and 40-man, it might not be w ith the Red Sox.Drake BrittonBorn: 5/22/1989 Age: 23 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 3 W eight: 200 Breakout: 31% Improve: 61% Collapse: 20% Attrition: 24% MLB: 95% Comparables: Chuck Stobbs,Matt Perisho,Bruce Hurst YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2010 GRN 2011 SLM 2012 BOS YEAR 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2010 2011 2012 TEAM GRN SLM BOS TEAM GRN SLM BOS A 21 4 3 0 1 13 0 2 2 0 BB 12 55 17 SO 27 89 16 HA+ 22 MLB 23 LVL A A+ MLB LVL A A+ MLB HR 1 12 421 21 75 2 24 26 26 97 2 111 7 7 26 2 33 GB% 49% 46% 40% WARP 1.7 0.3 -0.3EqBB9 2.7 5.1 5.7 ERA 2.97 6.91 6.51EqSO9 9.3 8.2 5.5 FIP 3.63 4.86 5.87BABIP .284 .338 .322WHIP 1.22 1.70 1.86FRA 4.08 5.48 7.08Brittons first season back from Tommy John w ent smoothly, but his lack of command and control cropped up again in 2011. In the first half, Britton couldnt find the plate, w alking as many as he struck out. In the second half, Britton found the strike zone, but opponents hit .323 against him. Britton w as one of Bostons top pitching prospects, but like fellow command-less hurler Stolmy Pimentel, no one know s quite w hat to make of him right now .Clay BuchholzBorn: 8/14/1984 Age: 27 Bats: L Throw s: R Height: 6 4 W eight: 190 Breakout: 27% Improve: 53% Collapse: 19% Attrition: 11% MLB: 94% Comparables: Phil Coke,Billy Pierce,Jon Lester YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 PAW AAA 24 7 2 0 17 16 99 2009 BOS MLB 24 7 4 0 16 16 92 2010 BOS 2011 BOS 2012 BOS MLB 25 MLB 26 MLB 27 17 7 0 6 3 0 7 3 0 H 67 9128 28 173 2 142 14 14 82 2 76 14 14 85 1 82YEAR TEAM LVL HR BB SO EqBB9 EqSO9 GB% 2009 PAW AAA 7 30 89 2.7 8.1 54% 2009 BOS MLB 13 36 68 3.5 6.7 54%2010 BOS 2011 BOS 2012 BOS YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM PAW BOS BOS BOS BOSMLB 9 67 120 3.5 MLB 10 31 60 3.4 MLB 9 33 73 3.5 LVL AAA MLB MLB MLB MLB BABIP .231 .281 .263 .265 .298 WHIP 0.98 1.38 1.20 1.29 1.35 ERA 2.36 4.21 2.33 3.48 3.926.2 6.5 7.7 FIP 3.18 4.74 3.58 4.38 4.0252% 51% 48% FRA 4.23 5.27 4.18 4.33 4.26 WARP 1.0 1.0 2.1 1.0 1.1Buchholz allow ed more homers in his 82 innings than he did in all of 2010, but a huge percentage of that damage came in his first start of the season against the Rangers, w hen he gave up four of his 10 bombs. Otherw ise, he w as the Buchholz w e got used to seeing the year before, inducing grounders and w eak contact w ith his fastball/cutter combo, and missing bats w ith his finest pitch, his change. Even though he w as successful, he never seemed as comfortable on the mound, show ing occasionally diminished velocity and iffy command. Was a stress fracture in his spine that w as thought to be nothing actually more serious? Post-trade deadline tests said yes. Buchholz w as ready to pitch again by the time the year ended, meaning he w ill be ready to go in the battle against FIP once more in 2012.Felix DoubrontBorn: 10/23/1987 Age: 24 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 3 W eight: 165 Breakout: 28% Improve: 51% Collapse: 27% Attrition: 17% MLB: 87% Comparables: Juan Nieves,Jake W oods,Jeff Francis YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2010 TEAM PME PME PAW BOS LVL AA AA AAA MLB AGE 21 22 22 22 W 8 4 4 2 L 6 0 3 2 SV 0 0 0 2 G 26 8 9 12 IP 121 43 37 25 18 16 70 1 11 0 9 6 EqBB9 3.9 3.6 3.9 3.6 3.3 7.0 4.2 GS 26 8 8 3 H 119 24 18 27 652011 PAW 2011 BOS 2012 BOS YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM PME PME PAW BOS PAW BOS BOSAAA 23 MLB 23 MLB 24 LVL AA AA AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB HR 8 0 0 3 10 1 42 4 0 0 0 1 2 2 0 BB 52 9 8 10 26 8 14 SO 101 22 21 23 61 6 2010 1 12 29 2 35 EqSO9 7.5 8.0 8.3 8.3 7.8 5.2 6.1 GB% 47% 45% 53% 46% 48% 45% 44%YEAR TEAM LVL BABIP WHIP ERA FIP FRA WARP2009 2010 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012PME PME PAW BOS PAW BOS BOSAA AA AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB.305 .316 .281 .320 .276 .344 .3241.41 1.30 1.41 1.48 1.29 1.94 1.653.35 2.51 3.16 4.32 4.22 6.10 5.783.84 3.34 3.29 4.09 4.55 5.48 5.024.94 4.03 4.47 4.17 5.08 7.16 6.280.7 0.7 0.5 0.3 0.7 -0.2 -0.2It is unfair, but if youre looking for one particular person to blame for the lack of pitching depth in September, Doubront is a place to start. Doubront w as supposed to be ready to go as a starter w hen the Red Sox needed himnot Andrew Miller, not Kyle Weilandbut he came to camp out of shape, and it came back to bite him. Forearm inflammation, a groin strain, and a hamstring strain all caused him to miss time. Now , out of options and w ith 2011 something of a w asted year, hell try to make things w ork out of Bostons bullpen.Rich HillBorn: 3/11/1980 Age: 32 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 6 W eight: 205 Breakout: 23% Improve: 60% Collapse: 22% Attrition: 11% MLB: 91% Comparables: Micah Bow ie,Jack Taschner,Randy Myers YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 BAL 2010 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2010 2011 2012 PAW MEM BOS BOS BOS TEAM BAL PAW MEM BOS BOS BOS TEAM BAL PAW MEM BOS BOS BOS MLB 29 AAA AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB AAA AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB AAA AAA MLB MLB MLB 30 30 30 31 32 HR 7 2 4 0 0 2 3 3 0 3 4 1 0 1 BB 40 21 21 1 3 8 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 14 13 57 2 19 6 53 23 4 46 6 0 4 9 0 8 8 1 15 EqBB9 6.2 4.9 5.9 2.2 3.4 4.7 ERA 7.80 3.74 4.30 0.00 0.00 4.69 H 68 33 26 5 3 15 GB% 35% 51% 39% 57% 36% 41% WARP 0.0 0.2 -0.2 0.0 0.2 0.0SO 46 40 35 3 12 13EqSO9 7.2 9.3 9.2 6.8 13.5 8.0 FIP 5.26 4.10 5.36 2.30 1.56 4.80BABIP .341 .320 .306 .357 .214 .300WHIP 1.87 1.40 1.41 1.50 0.75 1.49FRA 6.12 4.92 5.83 5.27 3.44 5.10Fueled entirely by our suggestion in Baseball Prospectus 2011 that Rich Hill be freed, the Red Sox gave him an opportunity to be their lefty out of the pen. Eight innings, 12 strikeouts and one w alk later, everyone involved looked brilliant . . . but then came Tommy John surgery, ending Hills season, and forcing Boston to look elsew here for a southpaw savior. Too many lefties in the penand w ithout any options remaining among themmeant Hill w asnt tendered a contract, but the Red Sox hope to stash him in the minors if no one else bites on his recovery time availability first.Bobby JenksBorn: 3/14/1981 Age: 31 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 4 W eight: 270 Breakout: 12% Improve: 40% Collapse: 34% Attrition: 2% MLB: 93% Comparables: Chad Qualls,Roger Clemens,Greg McMichael YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 CHA 2010 CHA 2011 BOS 2012 BOS YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM CHA CHA BOS BOS TEAM CHA CHA BOS BOS MLB 28 MLB 29 MLB 30 MLB 31 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 9 3 1 2 3 4 29 52 0 1 3 27 55 0 2 2 0 1 1 7 BB 16 18 12 7 SO 49 61 17 20 19 0 25 0 EqBB9 2.7 3.1 7.5 2.8 ERA 3.71 4.44 6.32 3.58 H53 1 52 52 2 54 15 2 22 23 22 EqSO9 8.3 10.4 9.8 8.0 FIP 4.51 2.55 4.02 3.51 GB% 48% 60% 40% 54% WARP 0.5 0.9 0.0 0.4BABIP .283 .354 .429 .305WHIP 1.27 1.37 2.23 1.28FRA 4.69 3.85 5.26 3.90Jenkss disappointing biceps strain doesnt sound so bad w hen you consider w hat he has been through since the season ended. He underw ent offseason surgery to repair a calcified ligament causing nerve damage in his spine. The ligament w as discovered w hile treating Jenks for colitis, but surgery could not be performed immediately thanks to a pulmonary embolism in Jenkss lungs. Thankfully, Jenks is expected to be healthy and ready to go in the spring. Assuming he is indeed the Jenks of old, w ith the w ay the closer market exploded this past w inter, his tw o-year, $12 million contract all of a sudden looks fantastic even w ith the lost season in mind.John LackeyBorn: 10/23/1978 Age: 33 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 7 W eight: 200 Breakout: 34% Improve: 42% Collapse: 32% Attrition: 24% MLB: 85% Comparables: Bobby Tiefenauer,Bartolo Colon,Dan Giese YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 ANA MLB 30 11 8 0 27 27 H 1 1772009 ANA 2010 BOS 2011 BOS 2012 BOS YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM ANA BOS BOS BOS TEAM ANA BOS BOS BOSMLB 30 MLB 31 MLB 32 MLB 33 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 17 18 20 1711 8 0 14 11 0 12 12 0 12 7 0 BB 47 72 56 44 SO 139 156 108 11827 27 176 1 33 33 215 28 28 160 26 26 157 1 EqSO9 7.1 6.5 6.1 6.8 FIP 3.77 3.81 4.74 3.95177 233 203 175 GB% 47% 46% 42% 45% WARP 2.2 2.0 0.5 0.7EqBB9 2.4 3.0 3.2 2.5 ERA 3.83 4.40 6.41 4.59BABIP .304 .320 .340 .324WHIP 1.27 1.42 1.62 1.39FRA 4.26 4.50 5.20 4.99Everything sucks in my life right now , he told the press in May. How do you snark at that? Lackeys 2011 w as the w orst ever for a Red Sox starting pitcher w ith as many innings pitched, but there are tw o causes to point to. On the side of things w e cant measure, Lackeys w ife had a miscarriage, underw ent treatment for cancer, and the tw o filed for divorce late in the season. Then there w as Lackeys elbow , w hich required a cortisone shot early in the year, deteriorated as the season dragged on, and finally gave out. Ignore the projection: he elected Tommy John surgery, setting him up for a 2013 return. His contract w as w ritten w ith this possibility in mind, so w hile the Red Sox w ill pay him to do nothing in 2012, Lackey w ill pitch in exchange for next-to-nothing (the league minimum) in 2015, after his initial five-year deal ends.Jon LesterBorn: 1/7/1984 Age: 28 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 3 W eight: 190 Breakout: 18% Improve: 43% Collapse: 31% Attrition: 7% MLB: 93% Comparables: Jeff Calhoun,Craig Breslow ,Rob Murphy YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 BOS 2010 BOS 2011 BOS 2012 BOS YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM BOS BOS BOS BOS MLB 25 MLB 26 MLB 27 MLB 28 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 20 14 20 16 15 8 0 19 9 0 15 9 0 13 6 0 BB 64 83 75 60 SO 225 225 182 160 H32 32 203 1 186 32 32 208 167 31 31 191 2 166 26 26 166 1 157 EqBB9 2.8 3.6 3.5 3.3 EqSO9 10.0 9.7 8.5 8.7 GB% 49% 54% 51% 48%YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012TEAM BOS BOS BOS BOSLVL MLB MLB MLB MLBBABIP .314 .291 .287 .311WHIP 1.23 1.20 1.26 1.31ERA 3.41 3.25 3.47 3.69FIP 3.20 3.10 3.86 3.61FRA 3.73 4.33 4.43 4.01WARP 4.6 2.9 2.0 2.5A poor finish to the year marred w hat w as otherw ise a fine campaign by Lester. It w asnt just September, either, w hen the Red Sox w ent 1-5 in his six starts and his season ERA climbed half-a-run, but August, too, w hen his trouble w ith command started. Lester, w ho has w alked 3.3 per nine over the last three years, w alked 4.5 per over the last tw o months, driving up his pitch count and shortening his starts at a time w hen the last thing the bullpen needed w as to pitch more. A pitcher as good as Lester is allow ed to struggle; even Roy Halladay has his bad days. Further removed from the latissimus dorsi strain that sidelined him in July, its possible PECOTAs crush on him w ill be justified.Daisuke MatsuzakaBorn: 9/13/1980 Age: 31 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 1 W eight: 190 Breakout: 16% Improve: 45% Collapse: 23% Attrition: 12% MLB: 93% Comparables: Mel Rojas,Don Elston,Aurelio Lopez YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 BOS 2010 BOS 2011 BOS 2012 BOS YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM BOS BOS BOS BOS TEAM BOS BOS BOS BOS MLB 28 MLB 29 MLB 30 MLB 31 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 10 13 4 6 4 6 0 9 6 0 3 3 0 4 2 0 BB 30 74 23 25 SO 54 133 26 47 H12 12 59 1 81 25 25 153 2 137 8 7 9 9 EqBB9 4.6 4.3 5.5 4.3 ERA 5.76 4.69 5.30 4.44 37 1 32 51 2 51 EqSO9 8.2 7.8 6.3 8.3 FIP 5.13 4.02 4.99 4.35 GB% 35% 35% 32% 39% WARP 1.0 1.0 0.1 0.3BABIP .382 .286 .248 .307WHIP 1.87 1.37 1.47 1.46FRA 4.76 4.87 5.48 4.83Matsuzaka frustrates Red Sox fans to no end thanks to his nibbling approach. That said, had he been healthy in 2011, rather than undergoing Tommy John surgery, its likely the teams September performance w ould have been a footnote as they coasted, rather than a collapse. For all the aggravation surrounding Dice-K, he tends to be average, and that is something the Red Sox sorely lacked w hile relying on Tim Wakefield, Kyle Weiland, and Andrew Miller to fill in. Matsuzaka could be back by the end of 2012, but he has a history of healing as slow ly as he w orks on the mound, meaning his final appearance in a Boston uniform might have already occurred.Mark MelanconBorn: 3/28/1985 Age: 27Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 3 W eight: 215 Breakout: 22% Improve: 53% Collapse: 30% Attrition: 2% MLB: 96% Comparables: Alexi Ogando,Tim Belcher,Darren ODay YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H 2009 SW B AAA 24 4 0 3 32 0 53 37 2009 NYA MLB 24 0 1 0 13 0 16 1 13 2010 SW B 2010 NYA 2010 HOU 2011 HOU 2012 BOS YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2010 2011 2012 TEAM SW B NYA SW B NYA HOU HOU BOS TEAM SW B NYA SW B NYA HOU HOU BOS AAA 25 MLB 25 MLB 25 MLB 26 MLB 27 LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 3 0 4 1 1 5 5 6 1 6 0 0 0 2 0 0 40 0 2 0 20 0 56 1 39 4 7 17 1 12 74 1 65 55 1 52 EqSO9 9.2 5.5 9.3 6.8 9.9 8.0 7.9 FIP 2.81 4.49 4.29 4.80 3.22 3.22 3.64 GB% 59% 60% 55% 44% 47% 59% 53% WARP 0.8 -0.1 -0.2 0.0 0.3 0.1 0.88 4 20 71 0 2 1 6 BB 11 10 23 0 8 26 19 SO 54 10 42 3 19 66 49 48 0 EqBB9 1.9 5.5 5.0 0.0 4.2 3.1 3.1 ERA 2.89 3.86 3.68 9.00 3.12 2.78 3.69BABIP .254 .260 .324 .400 .262 .290 .298WHIP 0.91 1.41 1.67 1.75 1.15 1.22 1.28FRA 3.77 6.03 5.56 6.29 3.64 4.69 4.01Its amazing w hat adding a pitch can do. Melancon alw ays had a lively fastball and an unhittable yakker, and he tended to be as successful as his control of the curve w as in any given game. But throw in a cutter, and voil, instant closer! He w as ruthless against right-handed batters w hile allow ing a .344 onbase percentage to lefties, but his overall effectiveness in 2011 w as quite closer-w orthy. The Red Sox sw apped Jed Low rie and Kyle Weiland for him, hoping that Melancon can take on high leverage situations, allow ing for the trial run of Daniel Bard: Starting Pitcher during spring training.Andrew MillerBorn: 5/21/1985 Age: 27 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 7 W eight: 210 Breakout: 17% Improve: 61% Collapse: 18% Attrition: 14% MLB: 87% Comparables: Felix Heredia,Steve Foucault,Bill SimasFelix Heredia,Steve Foucault,Bill Simas YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H 2009 FLO MLB 24 3 5 0 20 14 80 85 2010 JAX AA 25 1 8 0 18 18 85 1 72 2010 FLO 2011 PAW 2011 BOS 2012 BOS YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM FLO JAX FLO PAW BOS BOS TEAM FLO JAX FLO PAW BOS BOS MLB 25 AAA 26 MLB 26 MLB 27 LVL MLB AA MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL MLB AA MLB AAA MLB MLB HR 7 4 6 2 8 8 1 5 0 1 3 0 6 3 0 5 5 0 BB 43 47 26 35 41 43 SO 59 49 28 61 50 58 9 7 32 2 51 13 12 65 2 42 17 12 65 77 16 16 74 2 85 EqBB9 4.8 6.4 7.2 4.8 5.7 5.2 ERA 4.84 6.01 8.54 2.47 5.54 5.67 EqSO9 6.6 7.0 7.7 8.4 6.9 7.0 FIP 4.41 4.81 6.26 3.51 5.15 4.77 GB% 50% 51% 42% 51% 49% 52% WARP 0.5 -1.0 -0.6 1.5 0.0 -0.4BABIP .313 .374 .429 .237 .342 .333WHIP 1.60 1.86 2.36 1.17 1.82 1.72FRA 4.93 6.05 6.81 3.68 5.75 6.16Miller didnt damage the Red Sox in the w ay you w ould think, despite stats that suggest the opposite. Yes, he had an ERA of 5.54 that w ouldnt have looked good even 10 years ago w hen offenses dominated, but the Red Sox w ent 9-3 in his starts, thanks to over eight runs of support per game. In a w ord, both the Sox and Miller w ere lucky. Despite a stretch in the minors and his first few appearances in the majors that suggested, hey, Miller does know w here the strike zone is, he eventually turned back into a 6-foot-7, Andrew Miller-shaped pumpkin.Franklin MoralesBorn: 1/24/1986 Age: 26 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 1 W eight: 170 Breakout: 27% Improve: 59% Collapse: 21% Attrition: 10% MLB: 96% Comparables: Bob Cain,Felix Heredia,Pete Richert YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 CSP 2009 COL 2010 CSP 2010 COL AAA 23 MLB 23 AAA 24 MLB 24 2 2 0 3 2 7 3 0 1 0 4 3 8 8 40 2 24 0 35 0 H41 1 39 40 38 30 1 15 28 2 282011 COL 2011 BOS 2012 BOS YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM CSP COL CSP COL COL BOS BOS TEAM CSP COL CSP COL COL BOS BOSMLB 25 MLB 25 MLB 26 LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 4 4 2 5 2 4 50 1 0 1 1 0 2 1 1 BB 19 23 12 24 8 11 22 SO 37 41 22 27 11 31 3014 0 36 0 39 0 EqBB9 4.1 5.2 5.6 7.5 5.1 3.1 5.2 ERA 3.49 4.50 2.67 6.28 3.86 3.62 5.2714 10 32 1 30 37 2 40 EqSO9 8.1 9.2 10.1 8.5 7.1 8.6 7.0 FIP 4.52 4.11 4.75 6.32 4.99 3.96 5.09 GB% 45% 31% 41% 40% 33% 31% 44% WARP 0.4 0.7 0.1 -0.3 0.0 0.2 -0.2BABIP .310 .318 .289 .287 .216 .306 .309WHIP 1.40 1.52 1.29 1.81 1.29 1.27 1.63FRA 5.28 4.41 5.30 6.22 5.25 4.72 5.73Freed from Coors Field, w here his stuff w as held back by the lack of air to interact w ith, Morales finally started to pitch w ell. He w asnt at the level he w as expected to be years ago, w hen he w as considered one of the top prospects in the game, but his 32 innings in Boston featured his best-ever K/BB, as w ell as curves and fastballs w ith movement. Morales and the man he replaced, Rich Hill, should be reminders especially for the Red Sox, w ho perpetually struggle to build a quality bullpenthat nifty relief pieces dont alw ays have to cost millions of dollars. Especially if you can take them from Colorado and into air density levels that dont guarantee failure.Anthony RanaudoBorn: 9/9/1989 Age: 22 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 8 W eight: 231 Breakout: 19% Improve: 50% Collapse: 25% Attrition: 12% MLB: 75% Comparables: Kyle Davies,Jon W arden,Ryan Tucker YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H 2011 GRN A 21 4 1 0 10 10 46 35 2011 SLM A+ 21 5 5 0 16 16 81 80 2012 BOS MLB 22 2 2 0 6 6 30 2 35 YEAR TEAM LVL HR BB SO EqBB9 EqSO9 GB% 2011 GRN A 4 16 50 3.1 9.8 41% 2011 SLM A+ 6 30 67 3.3 7.4 45%2012 BOS YEAR 2011 2011 2012 TEAM GRN SLM BOSMLB 4 LVL A A+ MLB15 20 4.5 WHIP 1.11 1.36 1.65 ERA 3.33 4.33 5.645.9 FIP 3.79 3.97 5.0643% FRA 3.55 4.31 6.14 WARP 1.2 1.2 -0.2BABIP .274 .315 .317Ranaudo w as Bostons top pitching prospect heading into 2011, but his performance at tw o levels might have tempered expectations for him. Single-A w as no issue, but the 21-year-old Ranaudo struggled to impress at High-A Salem, losing more than tw o strikeouts per nine, dropping expectations for him to a tw o or a three in the majors, at best. He w ill need consistent mechanics if he ever w ants to reach that point, and must improve his changeup, a pitch that as of right now is not quite average and unable to complement his bender or fastball.Junichi TazawaBorn: 6/6/1986 Age: 26 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 0 W eight: 180 Breakout: 33% Improve: 55% Collapse: 18% Attrition: 20% MLB: 92% Comparables: Fernando Nieve,Ross Ohlendorf,Catfish Hunter YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H 2009 PME AA 23 9 5 0 18 18 98 80 2009 BOS MLB 23 2 3 0 6 4 25 1 43 2011 PME 2011 BOS 2012 BOS YEAR 2009 2009 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2011 2011 2012 TEAM PME BOS PME BOS BOS TEAM PME BOS PME BOS BOS AA 25 MLB 25 MLB 26 LVL AA MLB AA MLB MLB LVL AA MLB AA MLB MLB HR 8 4 3 1 2 3 2 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 BB 26 9 7 1 6 SO 88 13 27 4 12 8 2 3 0 7 2 EqBB9 2.4 3.2 2.7 3.0 3.2 ERA 2.57 7.46 4.70 6.00 5.07 23 20 3 3 16 2 19 EqSO9 8.1 4.6 10.6 12.0 6.6 FIP 3.29 5.59 3.94 5.73 4.40 GB% 45% 23% 33% 12% 40% WARP 1.8 0.1 0.6 0.0 0.0BABIP .270 .386 .288 .286 .319WHIP 1.08 2.05 1.17 1.33 1.49FRA 3.84 5.75 3.75 4.32 5.51Tazaw a underw ent Tommy John in early 2010 and spent this past season w orking his w ay back to the majors. There w ere bumps in the road, as expected, but he pitched better as he moved through the minors, picking up strikeouts and cutting his w alks until he w as part of Septembers expanded roster in Boston. Like seemingly everyone else at Triple-A, Tazaw a is likely destined to relieve, though his low -90s fastball and mid-70s curveball make him a quality fit in the pen. He does have the potential in his othersecondary offerings to make a w orthw hile attempt at starting again. Its not as if the Red Sox are overflow ing w ith starting pitching depth at Triple-A that w ould get in his w ay.Tim WakefieldBorn: 8/2/1966 Age: 45 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 3 W eight: 195 Breakout: 33% Improve: 64% Collapse: 14% Attrition: 0% MLB: 52% Comparables: Satchel Paige,Gaylord Perry,Dutch Leonard YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 BOS 2010 BOS 2011 BOS 2012 BOS YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM BOS BOS BOS BOS TEAM BOS BOS BOS BOS MLB 42 MLB 43 MLB 44 MLB 45 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 12 19 25 18 11 5 0 4 10 0 7 8 0 8 6 0 BB 50 36 47 44 SO 72 84 93 78 H21 21 129 2 137 32 19 140 153 33 23 154 2 163 28 18 128 2 147 EqSO9 5.0 5.4 5.4 5.4 FIP 4.62 4.49 5.03 4.84 GB% 38% 39% 41% 39% WARP 1.9 0.7 0.1 -0.4EqBB9 3.5 2.3 2.7 3.1 ERA 4.58 5.34 5.12 5.21BABIP .295 .289 .276 .304WHIP 1.44 1.35 1.36 1.49FRA 4.45 4.93 5.35 5.66Wakefield achieved three milestones in 2011. On July 24, he became one of 24 pitchers ever to record 2,000 strikeouts or more w ith the same team. He recorded career w in 199 in the same game, but it took him a record-setting eight attempts to notch w in 200, tw o more than fellow knuckler Charlie Hough, and one more than Steve Carlton. Some of them w ere hard-luck losses, but Wakefield, w ho has slow ed dow n significantly the last tw o seasons, w as also to blame. He gave up eight runs in w in 199, and six in 200, but the Red Sox scored a combined 30 runs to nail dow n both W s. W hile Wakefield is on the record saying the fans deserve a chance to see him set the franchise record for w inshe is seven aw ay from passing both Roger Clemens and Cy Youngthe w ait for 200 might have dampened the enthusiasm of everyone else.Dan WheelerBorn: 12/10/1977 Age: 34 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 4 W eight: 215 Breakout: 16% Improve: 38% Collapse: 35% Attrition: 5% MLB: 89% Comparables: Keith Foulke,Jerry Koosman,Javier Vazquez YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 TBA 2010 TBA MLB 31 MLB 32 4 5 2 2 4 3 69 0 64 0 H57 2 41 48 1 362011 BOS 2012 BOS YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM TBA TBA BOS BOS TEAM TBA TBA BOS BOSMLB 33 MLB 34 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 11 7 7 62 2 0 2 1 1 BB 9 16 8 12 SO 45 46 39 3947 0 48 0 EqBB9 1.4 3.0 1.5 2.5 ERA 3.28 3.35 4.38 3.7149 1 47 43 1 41 EqSO9 7.0 8.6 7.1 8.1 FIP 4.53 4.08 3.81 4.04 GB% 33% 36% 33% 35% WARP 0.5 0.5 0.4 0.6BABIP .199 .234 .274 .286WHIP 0.87 1.08 1.11 1.21FRA 4.84 3.93 4.67 4.03W heeler started the year poorly, posting an ERA of 11.32 w ith four homers allow ed through May 4, but follow ing a stint on the DL for a calf strain, he w as the W heeler the Sox thought they w ere getting w hen they signed him for $3 million. In his final 39 frames, W heeler posted a K/BB of 4.4 and an ERA of 2.54. The problem w as that manager Terry Francona didnt seem to notice, utilizing W heeler almost exclusively in situations considered to be low -leverage, even w hen the rest of the pen struggled. This also caused W heeler to face lefties far more often than a ROOGY should: nearly 40 percent of his batters faced w ere left-handers, despite a career record that says that is a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea.Alex WilsonBorn: 11/3/1986 Age: 25 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 1 W eight: 215 Breakout: 34% Improve: 62% Collapse: 9% Attrition: 17% MLB: 89% Comparables: John Lackey,Brad Clontz,Clay Carroll YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H 2009 LOW A- 22 0 1 0 13 13 36 13 2010 SLM A+ 23 2 1 0 11 11 55 2 29 2010 PME 2011 PME 2012 BOS YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 TEAM LOW SLM PME PME BOS AA 23 AA 24 MLB 25 LVL AA+ AA AA MLB HR 0 3 8 7 6 4 5 0 9 4 0 3 2 0 BB 7 11 20 37 18 SO 40 44 38 96 28 16 16 78 1 62 21 21 112 97 8 8 41 2 46 EqBB9 1.8 2.4 3.9 3.0 3.9 EqSO9 8.2 8.1 6.4 8.0 6.2 GB% 49% 51% 41% 47% 44%YEAR TEAM LVL BABIP WHIP ERA FIP FRA WARP2009 2010 2010 2011 2012LOW SLM PME PME BOSAA+ AA AA MLB.144 .236 .323 .302 .3090.47 1.04 1.65 1.25 1.550.50 3.39 6.67 3.05 5.191.68 3.28 4.76 3.53 5.032.81 3.79 5.91 4.01 5.641.1 1.0 0.0 2.3 -0.1W ilsons stint at Portland w as the first time the 24-year-old crossed the 100 inning mark at any level. Unlike in 2010, w hen he struggled there thanks to a sub-tw o K/BB and problems w ith homers, he pitched w ell enough to earn a trip to Triple-A, w here he continued to miss bats. As W ilson is mostly a fastball/slider pitcher, he projects better as a reliever than as a starter in the long-term, especially as his changeup is below -average.LINEOUTSHITTERSPLAYER 2B S. Coyle C L. Exposito LF A. Hassan 2B N. Spears PLAYER 2B S. Coyle C L. Exposito LF A. Hassan 2B N. Spears PLAYER 2B S. Coyle C L. Exposito LF A. Hassan 2B N. Spears TEAM GRN PAW PME PAW TEAM GRN PAW PME PAW TEAM GRN PAW PME PAW LVL A AAA AA AAA RBI 64 36 64 45 TAv .287 .227 .296 .273 AGE 19 24 23 26 BB 60 26 76 49 PA 466 359 545 378 R 77 33 75 49 2B 27 17 34 19 3B 7 0 1 2 HR 14 8 13 8SO 110 79 79 69SB-CS 20-6 0-2 8-2 13-1 BRR -0.9 0.2 2.1 1.1AVG/OBP/SLG .247/.362/.464 .242/.298/.367 .291/.404/.456 .248/.355/.397 WARP 2.7 0.1 3.2 1.9BABIP .303 .294 .326 .288FRAA 2.8 -1.4 -4.4 1.4Second baseman Sean Coyle is sure to hear the Dustin Pedroia comparisons, as he is 5-foot-8 and w ell under 200 lbs. w ith plus batspeed, but that isnt fair to anyone, even if that anyone posted a .217 Isolated Pow er in Single-A as a 19-year-old. 24-year-old backup catcher Luis Exposito made it to the majors for the first time, but didnt get into a game, so the poor guy doesnt have the player page to prove it. Plate discipline is Alex Hassans defining trait, but this w alk machine has some potential pop as w ell if only hell stop relying on his arms to do all the w ork; w hen his legs get involved, the ball goes very far. Nate Spears is a fun player, mostly because not only does he have six positions w ith at least 13 games played, he has pitched tw o innings, too.PITCHERSPLAYERTEAM LVL AGE W L SV IP A+ 22 AA 22 3 1 0 3 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 8 0 0 1 0 0 6 4 0 0 9 0 0 0 0 0 1 8 0 1 0 6 7 0HC. Balcom-Miller SLM PME T. Miller BOS TOR SLN H. Okajima PAW BOS S. Pimentel SLM PME D. Reyes R. W illiams B. W orkman PLAYER BOS PAW BOS GRN34 2 24 82 1 103 2 0 32 6 15 2 19 51 39 81 7 51 2 50 50 1 75 12 2 32 25 8 1 10 131 128MLB 38 MLB 38 MLB 38 AAA 35 MLB 35 A+ 21 AA 21MLB 34 AAA 35 MLB 35 A 22TEAM HR BB SO EqBB9 EqSO9 GB% 2 4 0 1 1 3 0 8 8 0 2 0 10 11 32 0 2 10 9 5 16 23 2 15 5 33 37 75 1 2 9 49 6 35 30 1 37 6 115 2.9 3.5 0.0 4.9 5.7 1.6 5.4 2.8 4.1 10.8 3.7 5.4 2.3 9.6 8.2 4.5 4.9 5.2 8.5 6.5 6.1 5.4 5.4 10.1 6.5 7.9 74% 56% 40% 43% 41% 38% 56% 48% 34% 60% 49% 48% 43%C. Balcom-Miller SLM PME T. Miller BOS TOR SLN H. Okajima PAW BOS S. Pimentel SLM PME D. Reyes BOS R. W illiams PAW BOS B. W orkman GRN PLAYERTEAM BABIP WHIP ERA .275 .391 .000 .385 .333 .263 1.01 1.64 0.00 2.18 1.85 0.94 2.34 4.81 0.00 4.91 4.02 2.29FIP FRA WARP 3.04 3.72 2.06 7.15 4.97 2.61 3.92 4.80 4.60 5.30 6.02 3.48 0.6 1.0 0.0 0.0 -0.3 1.1C. Balcom-Miller SLM PME T. Miller BOS TOR SLN H. Okajima PAWS. Pimentel D. Reyes R. W illiams B. W orkmanBOS SLM PME BOS PAW BOS GRN.292 .276 .372 .400 .291 .357 .3171.44 1.28 1.95 2.40 1.12 1.80 1.234.32 4.53 9.12 16.20 1.41 6.48 3.713.42 5.26 6.14 9.06 3.52 3.42 3.634.60 5.48 6.22 8.93 4.76 5.31 4.040.1 0.3 0.2 -0.1 0.3 0.0 2.3Chris Balcom-Miller, the groundball strikeout machine know n as Baconator, w as essentially stolen from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for Manny Delcarmen last year and his first half w ith High-A Salem reinforced that impression. Trever Miller pitched for three teams in 2011, making 48 appearances but logging just 21-1/3 innings, but being left-handed has its perks: dont be surprised if he finds w ork again, despite recent events. Left y Hideki Okajima w as only re-signed by Boston as insurance after they failed to get Scott Dow ns and only pitched in Boston because Dennys Reyes w as a bust. Designated for assignment in June, Okajima demanded a trade, didnt go anyw here, and now the 35-year-old is a free agent. One step forw ard, tw o steps back for Stolmy Pimentel, w ho allow ed more than a run per inning, handed out w alks and easy-to-destroy pitches left-and-right, and saw his strikeout rate drop upon being promoted to Double-A, resulting in a demotion back to High-A. Dennys Reyes pitched few er than tw o innings for Boston, as their Plan A for left-handed relief w as sent packing before the first w eek of April had run its course. As the Red Sox lost all four April contests Reyes pitched in, the entire September collapse is his fault, in a sense. Logical fallacy you say? W hatever does that mean? We solved the mystery of the collapse; you should be thankful! Terry Francona w as a successful manager for many reasons, but his bullpen usage w as not one of them. Case in point: Randy Williams, he of the career K/BB of 1.3 and a 5.82 ERA over five seasons, had 11 batters faced in situations considered high leverage in his eight-plus innings in Boston. Brandon Workman w as selected in the second round of the 2010 draft, and his first pro season at age 22 w ent w ell enough in the Sally League thanks to his high-80s cutter.MANAGER: BOBBY VALENTINEValentine has a background as a stats-oriented manager, and from an era w hen Sox fans still felt cursed, even. Valentine is alw ays w illing to try out new things if the result could be more w inning baseball; w hen those nuggets of learning are presented by a front office as statistically inclined as Bostons, its easy to see w hy his introductory press conference caused a collective sw oon for even Red Sox Nations toughest critics. Valentine might one day outstay his w elcomeas every manager doesbut for now , the Red Sox likely found the best man for the job.Chicago CubsTheo Epsteins career as general manager in Boston w as given a running start w hen he took over a very good Red Sox club follow ing Dan Duquettes dismissal in 2002. After exorcising the Curse of the Bambino in 2004 and adding a second W orld Series title in 2007, Epstein brings his talents, as w ell as key personnel, to Chicago, w here his challenge w ill be greater but the potential rew ard commensurately sw eeter. An unprecedented collapse in the final w eeks of the season, during w hich the Red Sox dropped 20 of their final 27 games and squandered a nine-game w ild-card lead, served as the catalyst for a multi-franchise game of executive musical chairs. In October, it w as announced that San Diego GM Jed Hoyer and assistant GM Jason McLeod, both of w hom had been hired by the Padres less than a year earlier, had resigned to take the same jobs in Chicago under Epstein, w ho had been named the Cubs new teampresident. Padres senior vice president and former Diamondbacks GM Josh Byrnes w as promoted to take Hoyers place in San Diego and longtime assistant GM Ben Cherington w as promoted to replace Epstein in Boston.Table 1. Source of Top Performers, Boston Red Sox, 200311Player David Ortiz Manny Ramirez Kevin Youkilis Jason Varitek Dustin Pedroia Johnny Damon Jacoby Ellsbury Josh Beckett Jonathan Papelbon Jon LesterW ARP 35.9 34.1 28.7 22.0 19.6 16.7 15.6 15.5 13.6 13.2Source Free Agent Free Agent Draft Trade Draft Free Agent Draft Trade Draft DraftGM Epstein Duquette Duquette Duquette Epstein Duquette Epstein Epstein Epstein DuquetteCurses and billy goats and Bartmans aside, it w ould be difficult to come up w ith more favorable conditions than w hat Epstein inherits in Chicago. The Cubs have the pleasure of competing in the w eakest division in baseball: Since 2007, NL Central clubs have combined for a .484 w inning percentage, joining the AL Central (.488) as the only tw o divisions to fall under .500 during that time. In those five seasons, the average w inning percentage for the NL Central division w inner is .568, only slightly better than the league-w orst .562 w inning percentage posted by NL W est champions. W in or lose, the Cubs have draw n more than 3 million fans to W rigley Field each year since 2004, and a 2011 Forbes estimate valued the franchise at $773 million. Cubs games reach fans from coast to coast thanks to a broadcast agreement w ith superstation W GN, and they have a clear mindshare advantage in Chicago over the crosstow n W hite Sox. Of course, if everything in W rigleyville w ere going w ell, Jim Hendry w ould still be at the helm. Unlike the 2002 Red Sox, w hich included Johnny Damon, Nomar Garciaparra, Pedro Martinez, andManny Ramirez all betw een the ages of 28 and 30 and at or near their peaks, the Cubs roster that Epstein and Hoyer inherit is noticeably thin on young impact talent. The Cubs rolled out the 12th-youngest collection of hitters in the NL last year, and their lineup frequently featured five hitters betw een the ages of 33 and 35. Carlos Pea, Reed Johnson, and Aramis Ramirez w ere the only thirtysomethings to post an OPS higher than 759. Pea and Reed departed as free agents after the season w hile Johnson re-upped. Right fielder Kosuke Fukudome w as traded to Cleveland in a deadline deal last July. Those departures leave Alfonso Soriano, Marlon Byrd, and Jeff Baker as the only returning regulars or semi-regulars over the age of 30 on the 2012 roster. The new regimes first significant free-agent acquisition, how ever, w as 32-year-old David DeJesus, signed for tw o years and $10 million to patrol right field. Among the Gen Y crow d, shortstop Starlin Castro built upon his successful rookie season w ith improvements in nearly every offensive category as the youngest everyday player in the National League. Matt Garza, acquired in January from Tampa Bay, established himself as a legitimate number-tw o starter in his first season in Chicago, placing seventh in strikeouts per nine innings and tied for sixth in few est home runs allow ed among NL starters. The ebb and flow of BABIP contributed to catcher Geovany Soto slipping back into a funk at the plate after a 2010 bounce-back had inspired hope that the 2008 NL Rookie of the Year had returned to form. On the farm, years of poor drafting have led to a dearth of blue-chip talent. The systems top prospect, 2009 first-rounder Brett Jackson, reached Triple-A in 2011 and could find at-bats in Chicago at some point in 2012. If history has taught us anything, how ever, Cubs fans w ould be w ise to temper their expectations for Jackson. Over the last 20 years, Doug Glanville (8.9 career W ARP) is the most productive first-round position player the Cubs have developed. Corey Patterson (1.1) and Brooks Kieschnick (1.4) round out the top three. It doesnt get a w hole lot better in rounds tw o through five, either, as Ryan Theriot (5.3) and Kevin Orie (2.8) represent the cream of tw o decades collective crops. Table 2. Position players drafted in Round 1Player Drafted Terry Hughes Ralph Rickey Roger Metzger Gene Hiser Jerry Tabb Scot Thompson Brian Rosinski Bill Hayes Joe Carter Tony W oods Shaw on Dunston Rafael Palmeiro Derrick May Ty Griffin Earl Cunningham Doug Glanville Brooks Kieschnick Corey Patterson Lou Montanez Ryan Harvey Tyler ColvinCareer 1967 1968 1969 1970 1973 1974 1975 1978 1981 1982 1982 1985 1986 1988 1989 1991 1993 1998 2000 2003 2006W ARP -0.5 6.7 -0.8 -0.5 -2.2 0.0 25.7 18.9 58.9 1.0 8.9 1.4 1.1 -1.4 0.6Josh Vitters Brett Jackson2007 2009 Things have gone better w hen the Cubs have opted for an arm instead of a bat in the first round, though their hitsKerry Wood, Jon Garland, and Mark Priorw ould be a bit more impressive if Dusty Baker hadnt Dusty Bakered Wood and Prior (how thankful is Garland for the 1998 trade that shipped him to the South Side?). Compare that to Epsteins record in Boston, w here since 2003 the top five rounds have netted AllStars Jonathan Papelbon, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Clay Buchholz, as w ell as the requisite chips to acquire Adrian Gonzalez and Victor Martinez via trade. Only tw o of the top 10 players in Kevin Goldsteins ranking of Cubs prospects are pitchers. Dillon Maples instantly became the organizations top pitching prospect w hen he signed for $2.5 million out of a North Carolina high school in the 14th round of last years draft, but hes yet to throw his first professional pitch and is at least four years aw ay. The top arm in the upper levels, right-hander Trey McNutt, struggled at Double-A and could w ind up in the bullpen. In 2008-10, Chicago ranked 25th in total draft spending at $14.3 million, a figure that Epsteins Red Sox nearly doubled at $28.3 million during the same period. Surprisingly, after shelling out a combined $8.7 in 2009-10, the Cubs w ere one of the most aggressive teams in the 2011 draft, spending nearly $12 million and outpacing all but Pittsburgh, W ashington, and Kansas City. If theres anything Epstein and Hendry have in common its a history of poor contract decisions. Despite overseeing the Cubs first back-to-back w inning seasons in more than 30 years in 2003-04, Hendrys tenure as Cubs GM w ill most likely be remembered for the mammoth mistakes he made w ith Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Zambrano. Soriano has never lived up to his eight-year, $136 million contract, delivering just one season out of five better than 2.7 W ARP, and Zambrano has been suspended or placed on the restricted list four times since signing his five-year, $91.5 million deal in 2008. Smaller sums w ere paid to Fukudome (4 years/$48 million) and Milton Bradley (3 years/$30 million), but the latters behavior forced Hendry to ship him out of tow n after just one year. Fukudome, like the overw helming majority of Japanese players to come to the U.S., underw helmed in three-plus years as a Cub. Much of the dead w eight from Hendrys poor signings w ill slide off of the books w hen the contracts of Zambrano, Byrd, and Ryan Dempster expire after 2012. Sorianos deal still has three years and about $60 million remaining through 2014. Epstein, too, has had his share of regrettable contracts, most notably the five years and $82.5 million paid to John Lackey, w ho has been a shell of his former Angelic self since coming to Boston in 2010. Carl Craw fords first season in Boston after signing a seven-year, $142 million contract w as an unmitigated disaster, but hes still young enough, and presumably healthy enough, to bounce back in years tw o through seven. Several lesser free-agent deals (Julio Lugo for 4/$36 million, Matt Clement for 3/$25 million, arguably J.D. Drew for 5/$75 million) also backfired in Boston, but Epstein rarely gets credit for the right decisions hes made w hen locking up his ow n players to relatively affordable contract extensions (Table 3). Table 3. Contract Extensions Signed by Red Sox Players (Non-Free Agents), 2003-11Player David Ortiz Josh Beckett David Ortiz Jon Lester Dustin Pedroia Kevin Youkilis Josh Beckett Adrian GonzalezAmount $20.25 million $30 million $52 million $30 million $40.5 million $41.25 million $68 million $154 millionYears 2005-07 2007-09 2008-10 2009-13 2009-14 2009-12 2011-14 2012-18AAV $6.75 million $10 million $13 million $6 million $6.75 million $10.313 million $17 million $22 millionClay Buchholz$29.945 million 2012-15 $7.486 millionClay Buchholz $29.945 million 2012-15 $7.486 million After he cut ties w ith incumbent skipper Mike Quade, Epsteins managerial search led him to a familiar face in Dale Sveum, w ho served as Bostons third-base coach in 2003-04. After the 2004 championship, Sveum left Boston to become Ned Yosts bench coach in Milw aukee. In six years, he filled a variety of roles for the Brew ers, including hitting coach, third-base coach, and interim manager after Yost w as fired in 2008. Prior to going to Boston, Sveum had been named the top managerial prospect in the Eastern League by Baseball America after compiling a .502 w inning percentage in three seasons. If Sveum finishes anyw here near .500 in his first season in Chicago, theres a fair chance the Vatican w ill recognize it as a miracle. A patently average offense took a hit over the w inter w hen first baseman Pea and third baseman Ramirez w ere lost as free agents. Chicago w as expected to be a major player for free agents Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder, but aside from occasional w hispers that they could be one of Scott Borass infamous mystery teams, the Cubs w ere never firmly linked to either, though Fielder remained unsigned at press time. Nine-year minor-league veteran Bryan LaHair enters spring training as the favorite to assume Pea vacated spot, w ith Ian Stew art, Blake DeW itt, and Jeff Baker battling for playing time at third base. The addition of right fielder DeJesus allow ed Epstein to include Tyler Colvin.150/.204/.306 in 212 plate appearances last yearin the deal that brought Stew art, along w ith reliever Casey Weathers, from Colorado. Epsteins first significant trade as Cubs GM (no, acquiring Ian Stew art does not qualify) sent reliever Sean Marshall to Cincinnati for middling young starter Travis Wood and change in December. Marshall could assume the closers job in Cincinnati if free agent Francisco Cordero doesnt return, w hile Wood is likely to find a place near the back of the Cubs 2012 rotation. Because there are so few stars (or even potential stars) already in place, Cubs fans expecting Epstein to repeat the quick success he had in Boston are likely to be disappointed. Fortunately, patience is a virtue that North Siders have had plenty of time to hone.HITTERS Jeff Baker 2BBorn: 6/21/1981 Age: 31 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 3 W eight: 210 Breakout: 3% Improve: 37% Collapse: 10% Attrition: 24% MLB: 69% Comparables: Luis Lopez,Ben Broussard,Razor Shines YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM CHN COL CHN CHN CHN TEAM CHN COL CHN CHN CHN LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 28 28 29 30 31 SO 46 7 50 46 58 PA 224 24 224 212 250 R 27 0 29 20 29 2B 15 0 13 12 13 3B 1 1 2 1 2 HR 4 0 4 3 6 RBI 21 3 21 23 28 BB 17 1 16 10 18SB 0 1 1 0 1CS 0 0 0 0 0AVG_OBP_SLG .305/.362/.448 .130/.167/.217 .272/.326/.413 .269/.302/.383 .266/.320/.410TAv .280 .091 .250 .248 .260YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012TEAM CHN COL CHN CHN CHNLVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLBBABIP .374 .188 .340 .333 .331BRR -1.8 0 -0.6 2.5 0FRAA 3.3 0 1.6 -1.5 2B -0, 3B 1WARP 1.2 -0.4 0.4 0.1 1.4One of the ex-GMs last moves w as to make a splash about how Baker w as not available in trade at the July deadline. Baker w as hitting .304/.324/.422 at the time, but the teams rumored to have show n interest in him realized Bakers limitations (mainly the career .239/.292/.364 batting line against righthanded pitchers) and w erent going to dangle top prospects. W ith a lame-duck GM and Aramis Ramirezs 2012 status undecided, keeping Baker might have been a smart move, but the fact that he hit just .197/.260/.303 after Hendrys proclamation provided another punch line for those w ho found the Cubs to be a bad joke in 2011.Darwin Barney 2BBorn: 11/8/1985 Age: 26 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 5 11 W eight: 180 Breakout: 2% Improve: 18% Collapse: 6% Attrition: 15% MLB: 51% Comparables: Chip Hale,W illiam Bergolla,Brent Butler YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 TEAM TEN IOW IOW CHN CHN CHN TEAM TEN IOW IOW CHN CHN CHN TEAM TEN IOW IOW CHN CHN CHN LVL AA AAA AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL AA AAA AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL AA AAA AAA MLB MLB MLB AGE 23 23 24 24 25 26 SO 33 32 52 12 67 68 PA 284 229 510 85 570 502 R 30 25 72 12 66 54 2B 12 12 24 4 23 22 3B 0 1 4 0 6 3 HR 3 0 2 0 2 3 RBI 32 17 49 2 43 46 BB 23 13 23 6 22 22SB 5 4 11 0 9 7CS 1 1 3 0 2 2AVG_OBP_SLG .317/.369/.401 .264/.304/.330 .299/.333/.378 .241/.294/.291 .276/.313/.353 .274/.311/.355 FRAA 1.1 2.3 0.2 0.7 7.8 2B 2, SS 1TAv .272 .237 .254 .218 .239 .239BABIP .350 .308 .330 .284 .310 .310BRR -1.2 1 -3.2 2.7 3.1 0.1WARP 1.4 0.6 1.7 0.4 1.4 0.8Barney embodies all the traits that are often ridiculed by the sabermetric community. Hes gritty, great on fundamentals, hustles all the time, has a selfless attitude, and is a good teammate. A natural shortstop, he has above-average range and a plus arm for the right side of the infield. His combination of attitude and fielding skill w ill support his marginal bat through a long career, though if he doesnt miraculously add some w alks or pow er to his offensive game, he profiles more as a utility player than a regular.Jeff Bianchi SSBorn: 10/5/1986 Age: 25 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 5 11 W eight: 190 Breakout: 2% Improve: 20% Collapse: 8% Attrition: 43% MLB: 76% Comparables: Pat Kelly,Matt Law son,Jason Hardtke YEAR 2009 2009 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2011 2012 TEAM W IL NW A NW A MIL TEAM W IL NW A NW A MIL TEAM W IL NW A NW A MIL LVL A+ AA AA MLB LVL A+ AA AA MLB LVL A+ AA AA MLB AGE 22 22 24 25 SO 47 58 85 57 PA 245 297 499 250 R 32 42 63 25 2B 12 17 23 11 3B 2 1 2 1 HR 4 5 2 3 RBI 28 42 48 23 BB 20 19 39 15SB 12 10 20 7CS 2 4 5 2AVG_OBP_SLG .300/.357/.427 .315/.360/.441 .259/.320/.333 .244/.290/.346 FRAA 4 2.7 8.4 SS 3, 2B 1TAv .294 .283 .237 .226BABIP .360 .383 .313 .304BRR 0.3 -2.2 1.2 0.1WARP 2.2 2.1 1.3 -0.1The former second-round draft pick has missed significant time due to injuries since signing in 2005. One year removed from Tommy John, he appeared in over 105 games last summer for only the second time in his career. He lost plate selectivity as he advanced through the Kansas City system and the injuries make playing defense a chore. Once thought of as a key prospect in the early stages of the Royals rebuilding process, Bianchi w as available on w aivers to the Cubs, w ho are hoping that good health w ill allow his highly regarded talent to emerge.\Marlon Byrd CFBorn: 8/30/1977 Age: 34 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 1 W eight: 225 Breakout: 0% Improve: 25% Collapse: 4% Attrition: 16% MLB: 92% Comparables: Kirby Puckett,Torii Hunter,Felipe Alou YEAR TEAM LVL AGE PA R 2B 3B HR RBI BB 2009 TEX MLB 31 599 66 43 2 20 89 32 2010 CHN MLB 32 630 84 39 2 12 66 312011 CHN 2012 CHN YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM TEX CHN CHN CHN TEAM TEX CHN CHN CHNMLB 33 MLB 34 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB SO 98 98 78 83482 51 22 2 484 60 26 3 SB 8 5 3 5 CS 4 1 2 29 35 11 5725 29 TAv .283 .279 .258 .276AVG_OBP_SLG .283/.329/.479 .293/.346/.429 .276/.324/.395 .285/.340/.429 FRAA -9.7 6.2 0.6 CF 0, LF 0BABIP .308 .335 .316 .328BRR -4.6 -3 -1.6 -0.2WARP 1.3 4.0 1.3 2.3At three years and $15 million, Byrd looked like an economical and effective signing. W hen he w as hitting .321/.374/.488 on July 17, 2010, and the Cubs w ere 10 games out, he had some nice trade value. The Cubs didnt sell high then, partly because they needed someone to play center field. But Byrd w as hit in the face w ith a pitch on May 21, 2011, and hit just .255/.311/.380 after returning. W hen Byrds healthy and confident at the plate, he contributes against both left-handed and right-handed pitching w hile covering enough ground to be an asset in center (the smallish territory in W rigley Field helps). But the backloaded contract makes his price tag $6.5 million in 2012, and if the Cubs are doing the deep rebuild many expect, hell likely be traded for prospectsfar lesser ones, how ever, than if hed been dealt in 2010.Tony Campana CFBorn: 5/30/1986 Age: 26 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 5 9 W eight: 165 Breakout: 1% Improve: 29% Collapse: 5% Attrition: 29% MLB: 71% Comparables: Billy Baldw in,Emilio Bonifacio,W illy Taveras YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM PEO DAY TEN IOW CHN CHN TEAM PEO DAY TEN IOW CHN CHN LVL A A+ AA AAA MLB MLB LVL A A+ AA AAA MLB MLB AGE 23 23 24 25 25 26 SO 6 78 82 23 30 48 PA 58 473 550 129 155 250 R 14 56 76 27 24 26 2B 1 8 22 8 3 9 3B 1 2 5 2 0 1 HR 0 0 0 0 1 1 RBI 5 25 39 9 6 21 BB 5 34 44 6 8 13SB 11 55 48 8 24 20CS 2 16 20 1 2 5AVG_OBP_SLG .283/.345/.340 .284/.331/.312 .319/.375/.384 .342/.383/.442 .259/.303/.301 .271/.313/.334TAv .278 .246 .272 .279 .218 .231YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012TEAM PEO DAY TEN IOW CHN CHNLVL A A+ AA AAA MLB MLBBABIP .319 .340 .376 .423 .321 .330BRR 3.1 0.9 1.2 3.2 4.2 0.3FRAA -1 0.3 1.6 -1.6 0.3 CF -5, LF 0WARP 0.5 0.7 2.9 0.7 0.3 0.0Only seven qualifying batters registered a higher speed score than Campanas 7.5 in 2011, and its no statistical illusionhe has the sort of w heels that cause even inveterate critics of the running game to gaw k. His small stature makes him a longshot to develop into a starting position player, but he did go through the minors almost as quickly as he goes around the bases, w ith just 156 plate appearances below the High-A level, w here he played most of 2009. W ith new GM Theo Epsteins affinity for fast players w ho play good defense, Campana should manage to stay on the roster and even see playing time, but an upside of fourth outfielder seems more likely than a starting job.Welington Castillo CBorn: 4/24/1987 Age: 25 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 5 11 W eight: 200 Breakout: 4% Improve: 20% Collapse: 7% Attrition: 36% MLB: 63% Comparables: Doug Camilli,Tom Pagnozzi,Denny Nino YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 TEAM TEN IOW CHN IOW CHN CHN TEAM TEN IOW CHN IOW CHN CHN TEAM TEN IOW CHN IOW CHN LVL AA AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL AA AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL AA AAA MLB AAA MLB AGE 22 23 23 24 24 25 SO 71 58 7 57 4 65 PA 339 272 21 251 13 250 R 27 35 3 38 0 27 2B 16 17 4 9 0 11 3B 0 1 0 0 0 1 HR 11 13 1 15 0 9 RBI 39 59 5 35 0 30 BB 15 19 1 20 0 12SB 1 0 0 0 0 0CS 0 2 0 0 0 0AVG_OBP_SLG .232/.274/.386 .255/.325/.498 .300/.333/.650 .286/.351/.524 .154/.154/.154 .240/.282/.405 FRAA 1.5 -1.4 0.1 -0.7 -0.1 WARP 0.2 1.1 0.3 1.9 -0.1TAv .226 .265 .335 .301 .130 .241BABIP .265 .284 .417 .321 .222BRR -2.4 -1.2 -0.2 -0.8 -0.22012 CHNMLB .2890C -11.1Castillo is follow ing in the Cubs catching prospect tradition begun by Geovany Soto, playing badly (hitting bottom in 2009) before improving his aggressivenessand w ith it his pow erw ith an assist from minorleague hitting instructor Von Joshua. Now Welington is one of those rarest of entrees, a catcher w ho should end up hitting medium-w ell in the majors. His glove is still a w ork in progress, even though hes caught a good percentage of attempted base thieves in the minors.Starlin Castro SSBorn: 3/24/1990 Age: 22 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 1 W eight: 190 Breakout: 5% Improve: 33% Collapse: 8% Attrition: 24% MLB: 85% Comparables: W il Cordero,Jimmy Rollins,Lenny Faedo YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 TEAM DAY TEN TEN CHN CHN CHN TEAM DAY TEN TEN CHN CHN CHN TEAM DAY TEN TEN CHN CHN CHN LVL A+ AA AA MLB MLB MLB LVL A+ AA AA MLB MLB MLB LVL A+ AA AA MLB MLB MLB AGE 19 19 20 20 21 22 SO 41 12 11 71 96 89 PA 387 122 121 506 715 644 R 45 11 20 53 91 79 2B 17 6 8 31 36 34 3B 3 3 5 5 9 7 HR 3 0 1 3 10 8 RBI 35 14 20 41 66 74 BB 19 10 9 29 35 31SB 22 6 4 10 22 19CS 11 0 5 8 9 9AVG_OBP_SLG .302/.338/.391 .288/.344/.396 .376/.429/.569 .300/.347/.408 .307/.341/.432 .304/.341/.424 FRAA 12.9 1.8 -0.3 -1.7 2.6 SS 5 WARP 3.3 0.8 1.1 1.6 4.0 3.4TAv .268 .261 .330 .259 .269 .272BABIP .329 .320 .412 .346 .344 .341BRR 1.3 -0.6 -0.7 0.6 0.3 -1.5Castros critics say he doesnt w alk enough, he doesnt have enough pow er, his defense is terrible, and hell need to move to second base. But he show s good range and a strong arm, and his rate of errors per 162 games started has dropped. The thought of a move aw ay from shortstop at this point in his career is pure folly. He became the youngest player to lead the National League in base hits, his hitting tool (to use scout-speak) is off the charts, and hes big enough to add homers to his nascent extra-base pow er. Some of the defensive w eaknesses that have been reported do exist, but guys like Derek Jeter and Troy Tulow itzki w ere making more errors per game in the minors at age 21 than Starlin w as in the majors. It w ould take a long memory indeed to recall the last time the Cubs had a position player show anyw here near this level of promise for future greatness.Steve Clevenger CBorn: 4/5/1986 Age: 26 Bats: L Throw s: R Height: 6 1 W eight: 195 Breakout: 2% Improve: 24% Collapse: 10% Attrition: 46% MLB: 90% Comparables: Clint Courtney,Marv Foley,Milt May YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM TEN IOW TEN TEN IOW CHN TEAM TEN IOW TEN TEN IOW CHN TEAM TEN IOW TEN TEN IOW CHN LVL AA AAA AA AA AAA MLB LVL AA AAA AA AA AAA MLB LVL AA AAA AA AA AAA MLB AGE 23 23 24 25 25 26 SO 8 31 28 39 7 35 PA 89 251 294 351 97 250 R 12 21 37 42 9 28 2B 4 12 24 27 3 13 3B 3 1 0 3 1 1 HR 1 0 5 5 3 3 RBI 10 26 47 39 15 25 BB 10 15 20 35 9 16SB 0 4 0 1 1 1CS 0 3 6 0 0 1AVG_OBP_SLG .364/.438/.532 .265/.310/.326 .317/.369/.461 .295/.363/.449 .407/.454/.570 .269/.317/.381 FRAA -0.5 -1.5 -1.3 1 0.5 C -1, 1B -1TAv .333 .233 .272 .262 .346 .246BABIP .391 .303 .340 .321 .410 .300BRR -1 -1.3 -2.3 -1.8 -0.7 -0.2WARP 1.0 -0.2 1.3 1.6 1.4 1.3W hile Clevenger put up okay numbers at Double-A, he w as repeating the level and didnt show any progress from 2010. He draw s enough w alks and has good contact skills and extra-base pow er, so he isnt likely to be completely overw helmed in the majors. But w ith rough defense and a marginal bat, the primary thing that makes him interesting as a potential backup catcher is that he bats left-handed, w hile the guys ahead of him on the depth chartGeovany Soto and W elington Castillobat right-handed.David DeJesus RFBorn: 12/20/1979 Age: 32 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 1 W eight: 170 Breakout: 0% Improve: 29% Collapse: 6% Attrition: 22% MLB: 83% Comparables: Spider Jorgensen,Jim King,Jorge Orta YEAR TEAM LVL AGE PA R 2B 3B HR RBI BB 2009 KCA MLB 29 627 74 28 9 13 71 51 2010 KCA MLB 30 394 46 23 3 5 37 342011 OAK 2012 CHN YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM KCA KCA OAK CHN TEAM KCA KCA OAK CHNMLB 31 MLB 32 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB SO 87 47 86 65506 60 20 5 453 54 20 5 SB 4 3 4 5 CS 9 3 3 410 46 6 4645 38 TAv .271 .287 .265 .265AVG_OBP_SLG .281/.347/.434 .318/.384/.443 .240/.323/.376 .275/.347/.396 FRAA 13.3 -1 6.3 RF 3, LF 2BABIP .311 .355 .274 .310BRR 0.1 -1.6 1.5 -1WARP 3.7 1.5 2.0 1.1DeJesus somehow manages to sport a great reputation among Saber-aw are fansand front officesfor a corner outfielder w ith career numbers including a .421 slugging percentage and a w alk rate of just 8.3 percent. Cubs fans can expect comparable defensive contributions to the high level Kosuke Fukudome had provided, accompanied by an offensive game w ith more base hits and few er w alks. The reasonable contract he signed means that he should be able to live up to expectations (or at least avoid being scapegoated), and the fact that hes been troubled w ith injuries throughout his career suggests that a fully healthy season still contains some upside, even though hes past his prime. Entering the season, DeJesus claims to be 100 percent after his surgically repaired right hand bothered him throughout 2011.Blake DeWitt 2BBorn: 8/20/1985 Age: 26 Bats: L Throw s: R Height: 6 0 W eight: 175 Breakout: 1% Improve: 37% Collapse: 4% Attrition: 24% MLB: 76% Comparables: Bernard Gilkey,Chris Coghlan,Milt Thompson YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 TEAM ABQ LAN CHN LAN CHN CHN TEAM ABQ LAN CHN LAN CHN CHN LVL AAA MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 23 23 24 24 25 26 SO 44 7 37 49 31 43 PA 407 53 204 292 243 279 R 64 4 18 29 21 33 2B 21 3 9 15 11 12 3B 9 0 1 4 4 3 HR 7 2 4 1 5 5 RBI 47 4 22 30 26 29 BB 48 3 17 30 12 25SB 2 0 1 2 1 1CS 2 0 0 2 0 1AVG_OBP_SLG .256/.351/.426 .204/.245/.388 .250/.314/.375 .270/.352/.371 .265/.305/.413 .263/.332/.395TAv .250 .222 .244 .268 .250 .259YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012TEAM ABQ LAN CHN LAN CHN CHNLVL AAA MLB MLB MLB MLB MLBBABIP .276 .195 .290 .329 .289 .298BRR 2.6 -0.1 0.1 -1.2 -1.4 -0.1FRAA -7.7 -0.1 -0.1 -1.4 -0.1 2B -4, 3B 1WARP 0.2 -0.1 0.2 0.8 0.2 1.5DeW itts w alk rate plummeted w hen he joined the Cubs, but he w as never as patient as his numbers w ith the Dodgers w ould suggest. He hit low in the lineup in Los Angeles and got intentional and semiintentional w alks he w ouldnt get w ith the Cubs. He also stopped hitting right-handed pitching in 2011, but thats almost certainly a statistical fluctuation given his near-textbook approach at the plate. DeW itt remains a valuable utility player, and unless the Cubs start leaning far more to the left w ith the influx of Bostonians to the front office, the fact that DeW itt doesnt bat right-handed makes him a valuable commodity.Koyie Hill CBorn: 3/9/1979 Age: 33 Bats: B Throw s: R Height: 6 1 W eight: 190 Breakout: 3% Improve: 35% Collapse: 9% Attrition: 44% MLB: 67% Comparables: Josh Paul,Hank Foiles,Chad Moeller YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM CHN CHN CHN CHN TEAM CHN CHN CHN CHN TEAM CHN CHN CHN CHN LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 30 31 32 33 SO 78 61 40 63 PA 284 231 153 250 R 26 18 15 25 2B 12 13 3 11 3B 2 1 1 1 HR 2 1 2 3 RBI 24 17 9 22 BB 27 12 14 19SB 0 1 1 1CS 0 0 0 0AVG_OBP_SLG .237/.312/.324 .214/.254/.298 .194/.268/.276 .226/.287/.329 FRAA -0.8 1 -0.9 C -1, 3B -0TAv .222 .209 .195 .221BABIP .333 .292 .258 .291BRR 0.3 2.8 0.1 0WARP 0.0 -0.1 -0.5 0.3In last years edition, Hill w as reported as having the sixth-w orst season in the Retrosheet-era database among those w ith 200 PA in a season. This is significant only because he w as actually w orse in 2011 (by TAv), though w ith Geovany Soto not missing as much time, he didnt get 200 PA. He has a good reputation as a defender and play-caller, but the metrics havent backed that up: Hes throw n out just 21 percent over the past tw o seasons w hile allow ing 38 w ild pitches plus passed balls in just 894 1/3 innings of w ork.Brett Jackson CFBorn: 8/2/1988 Age: 23 Bats: L Throw s: R Height: 6 3 W eight: 210 Breakout: 1% Improve: 36% Collapse: 2% Attrition: 14% MLB: 77% Comparables: Mike Jorgensen,B.J. Upton,Joe Benson YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM PEO BOI DAY TEN TEN IOW CHN TEAM PEO BOI DAY TEN TEN IOW CHN TEAM PEO BOI DAY TEN TEN IOW CHN LVL A AA+ AA AA AAA MLB LVL A AA+ AA AA AAA MLB LVL A AA+ AA AA AAA MLB AGE 20 20 21 21 22 22 23 SO 32 20 63 63 74 64 70 PA 128 106 312 268 297 215 250 R 30 14 56 47 45 39 29 2B 5 1 19 13 10 13 10 3B 1 1 8 6 3 2 2 HR 7 1 6 6 10 10 7 RBI 17 15 38 28 32 26 28 BB 11 17 43 30 45 28 25SB 11 2 12 18 15 6 8CS 1 1 7 4 6 1 3AVG_OBP_SLG .295/.383/.545 .330/.443/.398 .316/.421/.517 .276/.366/.465 .256/.373/.443 .297/.388/.551 .241/.323/.403 FRAA 2.3 -4.1 4 -3.7 -1.9 4.8 CF -1, RF -1TAv .325 .314 .332 .282 .284 .320 .258BABIP .356 .418 .397 .352 .323 .402 .315BRR 0.9 0.1 4.1 2 2.4 2.5 -0.1WARP 1.7 0.5 4.1 1.1 1.6 2.7 1.2In the early 2000s, the Tigers had a young left-handed outfielder w ho w as considered to have no outstanding strength and w ho struck out too much. Fast forw ard to 2011, and Curtis Granderson led his league in runs scored and RBI. One anecdote w ont change Brett Jacksons stars, butlike Granderson before himJackson is a high-energy player w ho carries the reputation of not having a standout skill. Yet, other than making contact, hes above average in all aspects of the game, and he compensates for his w hiffs by taking enough pitches to rack up the w alks. How much playing time Jackson sees for the 2012 Cubs w ill depend on a variety of factors, such as offseason acquisitions, service time manipulation, how he does in spring training, how w ell Byrd rebounds, and how Jacksons Triple-A season begins. But anything less than half a season w ould be a disappointment.Reed Johnson RFBorn: 12/8/1976 Age: 35 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 5 11 W eight: 180 Breakout: 1% Improve: 28% Collapse: 8%Attrition: 28% MLB: 71% Comparables: Emil Brow n,Hank Bauer,Brian Jordan YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM CHN LAN CHN CHN TEAM CHN LAN CHN CHN TEAM CHN LAN CHN CHN LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 32 33 34 35 SO 27 50 63 52 PA 186 215 266 250 R 23 24 33 28 2B 10 11 22 13 3B 2 2 1 1 HR 4 2 5 3 RBI 22 15 28 25 BB 13 5 5 11SB 2 2 2 3CS 1 2 1 2AVG_OBP_SLG .255/.330/.412 .262/.291/.366 .309/.348/.467 .266/.318/.376 FRAA -1.9 3.2 -0.8 RF 1, CF -2TAv .258 .243 .285 .248BABIP .281 .336 .394 .324BRR 0.2 1.5 0.4 -0.3WARP 0.3 0.5 1.1 0.5Johnson has been the backup quarterback in Chicago three of the past four years, unduly loved by fans. In 2011, he enhanced his legend, actually hitting right-handed pitching for a change (.312/.361/.468). That he did this on the strength of a .394 overall BABIP (.410 vs. RHP) w ont escape the notice of the new regime in Chicago, and theres a good chance Johnson w ont return. Regardless of his low earned-toreceived love quotient from the fans, Johnson has been a very useful playerhe has hit left-handed pitching w ith authority (.311/.369/.464 for his career), and w hen his back isnt acting up, hes been a good corner outfielder w ho can cover center field in a pinch.Bryan LaHair 1BBorn: 11/5/1982 Age: 29 Bats: L Throw s: R Height: 6 6 W eight: 220 Breakout: 8% Improve: 42% Collapse: 6% Attrition: 20% MLB: 75% Comparables: Richie Sexson,Leon Durham,David Ortiz YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM TAC IOW IOW CHN CHN LVL AAA AAA AAA MLB MLB AGE 26 27 28 28 29 PA 510 478 523 69 250 R 72 71 91 9 31 2B 28 30 38 5 13 3B 2 0 0 1 1 HR 26 25 38 2 10 RBI 85 81 109 6 33 BB 45 51 60 9 23YEAR TEAM LVL SO SB CS AVG_OBP_SLG TAv 2009 TAC AAA 116 0 5 .289/.356/.530 .293 2010 IOW AAA 94 3 1 .308/.387/.557 .3202011 IOW 2011 CHN 2012 CHN YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM TAC IOW IOW CHN CHNAAA 111 2 MLB 18 0 MLB 66 0 LVL AAA AAA AAA MLB MLB BABIP .335 .347 .361 .375 .3130 0 0 BRR -4.4 -4.1 -4.3 -2.2 -0.1.331/.405/.664 .335 .288/.377/.508 .304 .256/.326/.456 .273 FRAA 2 -1.5 -5 -0.2 1B -8, LF -2 WARP 2.6 3.5 4.3 0.1 1.4Im not so sure there is something called a 4-A hitter. Its just [a] pretty good major league hitter w ho never got an opportunity, spake Theo w hen the topic of LaHair arose. Its important to consider Epsteins new position w hen evaluating this statement, w hich is obviously false on its surface. Clearly, there have been plenty of hitters w hose statistics show they arent good major-league hitters, despite tearing up Triple-A. As team president, Epsteins is primarily a leadership position, and w hile mechanics of sw ing planes, quickness of sw ing, pitch recognition, and other hitting-instructor terms do have an impact on how w ell a batter hits, so does confidence. Sending a clear message that his w ork has been noticed to an asset (as Theo later referred to LaHair) cant do any harm.Carlos Pea 1BBorn: 5/17/1978 Age: 34 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 3 W eight: 210 Breakout: 0% Improve: 24% Collapse: 9% Attrition: 13% MLB: 92% Comparables: Jack Clark,Carlos Delgado,Ken Phelps YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM TBA TBA CHN CHN TEAM TBA TBA CHN CHN TEAM TBA TBA CHN CHN LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 31 32 33 34 SO 163 158 161 156 PA 570 582 606 565 SB 3 5 2 3 R 91 64 72 76 2B 25 18 27 21 3B 2 0 3 2 HR 39 28 28 30 RBI 100 84 80 77 BB 87 87 101 87CS 3 1 2 1 BRR -0.7 0.5 0.1 -0.2AVG_OBP_SLG .227/.356/.537 .196/.325/.407 .225/.357/.462 .233/.360/.480 FRAA -8 -6.8 0.2 1B -2 WARP 2.4 0.9 2.2 2.8TAv .309 .278 .288 .296BABIP .250 .222 .267 .276Pea w as exactly w hat the Cubs expected, though he took a w hile to get w armed up. He ended up posting rate stats just below his career marks, playing his standard good defense, and, w ell, disappearingat the plate against left-handed hurlers. The big sw ing gives him some of the best pow er in the game, though it comes at the price of maddeningly long slumps chock full of strikeouts. Pea provided a great clubhouse presence. W hether hell again be able to find eight digits on his tax return remains to be seen, but he could get multi-year security from a team that doesnt w ant to pay the market rate for Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder.Dave Sappelt CFBorn: 1/2/1987 Age: 25 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 5 10 W eight: 193 Breakout: 6% Improve: 52% Collapse: 5% Attrition: 21% MLB: 87% Comparables: Ken Landreaux,Paul Molitor,Angel Mangual YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM DYT SAR LYN CAR LOU LOU CIN CHN TEAM DYT SAR LYN CAR LOU LOU CIN CHN TEAM DYT SAR LYN CAR LOU LOU CIN CHN LVL A A+ A+ AA AAA AAA MLB MLB LVL A A+ A+ AA AAA AAA MLB MLB LVL A A+ A+ AA AAA AAA MLB MLB AGE 22 22 23 23 23 24 24 25 SO 46 29 15 46 13 39 17 40 PA 331 271 77 372 115 336 118 250 R 44 27 7 53 12 40 14 29 2B 14 10 5 19 8 16 8 12 3B 7 3 0 8 3 3 0 2 HR 3 4 0 9 1 7 0 4 RBI 25 21 4 62 8 29 5 27 BB 23 13 5 31 6 30 7 13SB 26 21 6 15 4 4 1 8CS 11 11 4 13 1 4 1 5AVG_OBP_SLG .269/.323/.392 .295/.330/.406 .282/.338/.352 .361/.416/.548 .324/.365/.481 .313/.377/.458 .243/.289/.318 .276/.317/.397 FRAA 10 6.6 -0.4 4.4 1.7 0.7 1.6 CF -0, LF 1TAv .277 .281 .261 .344 .262 .283 .225 .254BABIP .307 .315 .357 .394 .362 .339 .289 .314BRR 1.2 0.2 -0.4 -3.7 -1.9 -2.5 0.5 -0.9WARP 2.7 2.3 0.2 4.6 0.4 1.4 0.0 0.9Theres an easy temptation to pigeonhole Sappelt as a fourth outfielder. Hes not the picture image of a center fielder: Hes built more like a fire hydrant but motors around like a speedster. He has some pow er and some range and he helps some on offense, w ithout having any one signature skill beyond out-offashion contact hitting. Hes become a more patient hitter, and the glove w ill play. He shrugged off amonth missed to a strained oblique to bounce back and earn an August promotion from the Reds. W ith Tony Campana, the Cubs are w ell-stocked w ith capable outfield reserves, or even a productive stopgap platoon solution for center field if Marlon Byrd is traded before Brett Jackson is deemed ready. Such a platoon could redefine the term short-center fielder from its meaning to most Chicagoans, w here 16inch softball is ever-popular.Alfonso Soriano LFBorn: 1/7/1976 Age: 36 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 2 W eight: 160 Breakout: 3% Improve: 24% Collapse: 12% Attrition: 22% MLB: 73% Comparables: Bob Nieman,David Dellucci,Bob Cerv YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM CHN CHN CHN CHN TEAM CHN CHN CHN CHN TEAM CHN CHN CHN CHN LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 33 34 35 36 SO 118 123 113 111 PA 522 548 508 487 SB 9 5 2 7 R 64 67 50 60 2B 25 40 27 26 3B 1 3 1 2 HR 20 24 26 22 RBI 55 79 88 69 BB 40 45 27 32CS 2 1 1 2 BRR -0.2 2 0.8 0.1AVG_OBP_SLG .241/.303/.423 .258/.322/.496 .244/.289/.469 .259/.311/.469 FRAA -0.2 -6.4 -7.9 LF -4 WARP 0.2 1.8 0.3 1.8TAv .247 .284 .257 .273BABIP .279 .295 .266 .296Most everyone w hos seen Soriano play thinks hes a terrible fielder. And FRAA is starting to agree w ith this view now that hes no longer throw ing out 19 baserunners in a year, as he did in 2007. But another advanced fielding metric, ultimate zone rating, says hes been 55 runs better than the average left fielder during his time w ith the Cubs. Considering that Soriano has amassed less than 10 W ARP in his time in Chicago, 55 runs (approximately 5.5 W ARP) w ould dramatically impact his value, percentage-w ise. Of course, the elephant in the room is that hes been paid $82 million for this, so its not as if hes been w orth his salary either w ay. And the really painful part of the contract is still to come, as hes due $54 million more through 2014.Geovany Soto CBorn: 1/20/1983 Age: 29 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 2 W eight: 230 Breakout: 3% Improve: 31% Collapse: 4% Attrition: 18% MLB: 86% Comparables: Chris Hoiles,Miguel Ojeda,Johnny Bench YEAR TEAM LVL AGE PA R 2B 3B HR RBI BB 2009 CHN MLB 26 389 27 19 1 11 47 50 2010 CHN MLB 27 387 47 19 0 17 53 622011 CHN 2012 CHN YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM CHN CHN CHN CHN TEAM CHN CHN CHN CHNMLB 28 MLB 29 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB SO 77 83 124 97474 46 26 0 429 56 22 1 SB 1 0 0 0 CS 0 1 0 0 BRR -0.8 -2.9 -2.3 017 54 17 5645 50 TAv .233 .309 .251 .291AVG_OBP_SLG .218/.321/.381 .280/.393/.497 .228/.310/.411 .266/.354/.467 FRAA 0.6 -1.7 3.3 C0 WARP 0.7 3.1 1.8 3.6BABIP .246 .324 .280 .314W ith only one trip to the 15-day DL, 2011 w as one of Sotos least injury-riddled seasons. Yet something w as clearly w rong. He didnt seem to be reacting to pitches nearly as w ell, resulting in many more strikeouts, few er w alks, and more w eakly hit balls. Or the answ er may be more straightforw ardSotos tw o best seasons by rate stats, 2008 and 2010, follow ed episodes of dramatic w eight loss, and Soto clearly w asnt as svelte in 2011 as hed been the year before. W hether his mediocre 2011 season w ill serve as another sufficient bottom to help him shed some of his ow n bottom remains to be seen, but Sotos show n himself to be among the top hitting catchers in the game w hen properly motivated.Ian Stewart 3BBorn: 4/5/1985 Age: 27 Bats: L Throw s: R Height: 6 4 W eight: 205 Breakout: 1% Improve: 37% Collapse: 4% Attrition: 19% MLB: 91% Comparables: Josh Fields,Troy Glaus,Marty Brow n YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM COL COL CSP COL CHN TEAM COL COL CSP COL CHN LVL MLB MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB AAA MLB MLB AGE 24 25 26 26 27 SO 138 110 51 37 66 PA 491 441 195 136 250 SB 7 5 1 3 3 R 74 54 29 14 31 2B 19 14 10 6 11 3B 3 2 1 1 2 HR 25 18 14 0 10 RBI 70 61 42 6 33 BB 56 45 22 14 25CS 4 2 0 2 1AVG_OBP_SLG .228/.322/.464 .256/.338/.443 .275/.359/.591 .156/.243/.221 .252/.333/.454TAv .257 .270 .271 .169 .277YEAR TEAM LVL BABIP BRR FRAA 2009 COL MLB .270 0 -5.6WARP 0.62010 2011 2011 2012COL CSP COL CHNMLB AAA MLB MLB.308 .308 .224 .3091.4 0.7 -0.4 -0.13 -2.9 -0.8 3B -0, 2B -02.7 0.7 -0.9 2.6In Googling Ian Stew art, up comes a book titled, Professor Stew arts cabinet of mathematical curiosities. W hile theres not a chapter in there about the new Cubs third baseman going homerless for the Rockies in 2011, there could be. The outage certainly qualifies as curious for someone w hose pow er w as described as jaw -dropping in his prospect days. The Cubs are hoping that the combination of statistical fluctuation, a new home, and a new hitting coach w ill get Stew art back on track and crashing homers onto Sheffield Avenue. But w hile theres been a dearth of production from the left side for generations on the North Side, it w ould be foolhardy to expect too much out of Stew arteven in homerhappy Coors Field, he averaged just .246/.334/.454 in his three good seasons leading up to his curious 2011.Matthew Szczur CFBorn: 7/20/1989 Age: 22 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 2 W eight: 195 Breakout: 6% Improve: 28% Collapse: 5% Attrition: 22% MLB: 53% Comparables: Gorkys Hernandez,Jarvis Tatum,Thad Bosley YEAR 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM BOI PEO DAY CHN TEAM BOI PEO DAY CHN TEAM BOI PEO DAY CHN LVL AA A+ MLB LVL AA A+ MLB LVL AA A+ MLB AGE 20 21 21 22 SO 11 28 20 44 PA 82 298 182 250 R 17 55 20 25 2B 9 15 7 11 3B 0 1 2 1 HR 0 5 5 5 RBI 8 27 19 26 BB 6 21 5 9SB 1 17 7 6CS 0 5 0 2AVG_OBP_SLG .397/.450/.521 .314/.366/.431 .260/.283/.410 .251/.277/.361 FRAA -0.2 1.8 0.9 CF 0, RF -1TAv .321 .294 .258 .225BABIP .468 .335 .268 .285BRR -1.9 2.5 -0.9 0.1WARP 0.5 2.5 0.5 -0.3Szczur (Caesar) is one of those prospects w ho elicits ratings all over the scaleeven w ithin BP, theres a szczism about him, w ith Kevin Goldstein omitting him entirely from his Cubs prospect list w hile Jason Parks had him in the teams top five. Tw o things are certain: He has blinding speed and great hand-eye coordination. To date, he hasnt translated his w heels (rated by some as an 80 skill) into either impact baserunning or impact fielding in center field. Hes not expected to hit for pow er or to improve his throw ing arm much, and he doesnt draw many w alks. But hed also been splitting his efforts betw een baseball and football until recently, he w ent to a cold-w eather college, and hes still young, so theres time for him to tip the scales in his favor.Josh Vitters 3BBorn: 8/27/1989 Age: 22 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 3 W eight: 200 Breakout: 6% Improve: 29% Collapse: 4% Attrition: 15% MLB: 54% Comparables: David Flores,Neil W alker,Larry Parrish YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 TEAM PEO DAY DAY TEN TEN CHN TEAM PEO DAY DAY TEN TEN CHN TEAM PEO DAY DAY TEN TEN CHN LVL A A+ A+ AA AA MLB LVL A A+ A+ AA AA MLB LVL A A+ A+ AA AA MLB AGE 19 19 20 20 21 22 SO 42 23 22 41 54 45 PA 288 196 120 228 488 250 R 42 21 16 28 56 27 2B 12 7 8 12 28 11 3B 1 2 0 0 2 1 HR 15 3 3 7 14 8 RBI 46 22 13 26 81 30 BB 7 5 8 13 22 6SB 4 2 4 2 4 2CS 0 1 1 0 10 1AVG_OBP_SLG .316/.354/.535 .238/.262/.344 .291/.350/.445 .223/.289/.383 .283/.322/.448 .247/.273/.397 FRAA -4.2 -0.3 -3 -3.6 -12.8 3B -7, 1B -1TAv .317 .229 .309 .221 .249 .236BABIP .330 .258 .341 .244 .290 .271BRR -1.4 0.5 0.4 -0.6 -1.1 -0.3WARP 1.7 0.0 0.5 -0.7 -0.4 0.5Normally, fielding percentage is a statistic to be avoided in any serious discussion, but Vitters has struggled to keep his over the .900 mark as a third baseman (.906 in his minor-league career), meaning that he makes, on average, one error per 10 chances. FRAA doesnt think much more of his efforts at the hot corner, nor do scouting reports. His bat finally show ed signs of life in 2011 as Vitters made hard contact on all sorts of pitches, as has been expected of him since draft day. But you have to hit home runs like Mark Reynolds if you field like Mark Reynolds and expect to play, so Vitters had better start channeling Ron Santo w hile afield.PITCHERS Justin BergBorn: 6/7/1984 Age: 28 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 4 W eight: 230 Breakout: 31% Improve: 55% Collapse: 31% Attrition: 7% MLB: 83% Comparables: Ron Klimkow ski,Scott Munter,Mike PerezRon Klimkow ski,Scott Munter,Mike Perez YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 IOW 2009 CHN 2010 IOW 2010 CHN 2011 IOW 2011 CHN 2012 CHN YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM IOW CHN IOW CHN IOW CHN CHN TEAM IOW CHN IOW CHN IOW CHN CHN AAA 25 MLB 25 AAA 26 MLB 26 AAA 27 MLB 27 MLB 28 LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB HR 2 0 2 3 4 1 2 6 2 0 0 0 0 4 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 3 0 0 0 1 0 0 BB 29 1 6 20 17 6 10 SO 35 7 10 14 17 6 8 37 0 11 0 21 0 41 0 27 0 8 0 20 0 EqBB9 4.7 0.8 3.6 4.5 5.2 4.5 4.2 ERA 2.42 0.75 3.64 5.18 5.16 3.75 5.66 H55 2 41 12 10 29 2 16 40 45 29 2 29 12 11 22 2 24 EqSO9 5.7 5.2 4.8 3.2 5.2 4.5 3.1 FIP 4.55 2.14 4.97 5.11 6.57 5.08 4.97 GB% 63% 55% 74% 54% 67% 53% 60% WARP 0.0 0.4 -0.4 -0.7 -0.6 -0.2 -0.2BABIP .239 .270 .250 .288 .287 .270 .298WHIP 1.26 0.92 1.21 1.62 1.55 1.42 1.55FRA 4.96 2.51 6.13 7.00 7.81 6.71 6.15Bergs sinker w orks just fine, thank you. Hes allow ed a .265 batting average and a .361 slugging percentage for his careernot great, but w ith the groundball-induced double plays, its good enough to hold a roster spot. Except that the other pitches dont w ork, and he frequently misses the strike zone for fear of getting them clobbered, leading to an an unacceptable .346 career on-base percentage allow ed and a likely return to Triple-A.Chris CarpenterBorn: 12/26/1985 Age: 26 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 5 W eight: 220 Breakout: 24% Improve: 53% Collapse: 34% Attrition: 24% MLB: 93% Comparables: Kevin Olsen,Butch Metzger,Shaw n Hillegas YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2011 IOW 2011 CHN AAA 25 MLB 25 1 1 1 0 0 0 22 0 10 0 H30 1 32 9 2 122012 CHN YEAR 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2011 2011 2012 TEAM IOW CHN CHN TEAM IOW CHN CHNMLB 26 LVL AAA MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB MLB HR 3 1 21 1 0 BB 23 7 10 SO 28 8 117 3 EqBB9 6.8 6.5 4.9 ERA 6.53 2.79 5.6919 20 EqSO9 8.3 7.4 5.4 FIP 5.75 4.86 4.99 GB% 55% 47% 52% WARP -0.1 0.0 -0.1BABIP .345 .355 .312WHIP 1.81 1.97 1.59FRA 6.16 5.43 6.19Only 10 pitchers had a pitch clocked faster than Carpenter did in 2011, and he topped 100 mph four times. He also landed on the disabled list w ith a strained oblique in August, and his terrible control all season long is a strong indicator that the arm w as bothering him long before he acknow ledged it. Hes had frequent injuries dating back to college, suppressing his prospect value far below his talent level. So the Cubs have for the time being scrapped the idea of using him in the rotation, and he made no starts in 2011. The organization became cautiously optimistic that Carpenter is all the w ay back after he began blow ing aw ay hitters in the Arizona Fall League. If being limited to fastballs and sliders out of the pen keeps him healthy, Carpenters pure stuff gives him the potential to continue his AFL success in the major leagues in 2012.Andrew CashnerBorn: 9/11/1986 Age: 25 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 7 W eight: 210 Breakout: 24% Improve: 60% Collapse: 18% Attrition: 13% MLB: 94% Comparables: Chad Gaudin,Anibal Sanchez,Pat Zachry YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H 2009 DAY A+ 22 0 0 0 12 12 42 31 2009 TEN AA 22 3 5 0 12 12 58 1 53 2010 TEN 2010 CHN 2011 CHN 2012 SDN YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 TEAM DAY TEN TEN CHN CHN SDN AA 23 MLB 23 MLB 24 MLB 25 LVL A+ AA AA MLB MLB MLB HR 1 1 0 8 1 2 3 1 0 2 6 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 BB 15 31 11 30 4 9 SO 34 43 27 50 8 14 6 6 53 0 7 1 12 2 EqBB9 3.2 4.2 3.2 5.0 3.4 4.0 36 14 54 1 55 10 2 3 20 1 18 EqSO9 7.3 6.3 10.5 8.3 6.8 6.4 GB% 50% 49% 49% 52% 56% 48%YEAR TEAM LVL BABIP WHIP ERA FIP FRA WARPYEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012TEAM DAY TEN TEN CHN CHN SDNLVL A+ AA AA MLB MLB MLBBABIP .250 .256 .269 .313 .077 .281WHIP 1.10 1.23 0.97 1.56 0.66 1.31ERA 1.50 3.40 2.75 4.80 1.69 4.02FIP 3.18 3.55 2.97 5.06 3.84 4.43FRA 3.67 4.73 3.21 5.48 2.98 4.37WARP 0.9 0.9 1.0 0.0 0.2 0.1Every effort has been made to convert Cashner the TCU closer, considered to have the best stuff among college pitchers in the 2008 draft, into Cashner the Cubs front-line starter. As w ith Carpenter, Cashner has great fastball velocityapproaching 100 mph out of the bullpena nasty slider, and an injury history that makes everyone nervous. Unlike Carpenter, his changeup is good enough to continue efforts to keep him in the rotation, despite the fact that he w orks at a somew hat lesser velocity there. W hile his w alk numbers suggest control issues, arm health is considered to be both more important and the underlying cause. If he can stay healthy for a full season, his control should be more than adequate to support his great stuff.Casey ColemanBorn: 7/3/1987 Age: 24 Bats: L Throw s: R Height: 6 1 W eight: 180 Breakout: 26% Improve: 55% Collapse: 26% Attrition: 6% MLB: 96% Comparables: John Lannan,Larry Jaster,Neal Heaton YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H 2009 TEN AA 22 15 6 0 27 27 149 151 2010 IOW AAA 23 10 7 0 20 20 117 1 74 2010 CHN 2011 IOW 2011 CHN 2012 CHN YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 TEAM TEN IOW CHN IOW CHN CHN TEAM TEN IOW CHN IOW CHN MLB 23 AAA 24 MLB 24 MLB 24 LVL AA AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL AA AAA MLB AAA MLB HR 9 5 3 11 10 11 4 2 0 2 1 0 3 9 0 5 7 0 BB 61 15 25 22 46 38 SO 89 38 27 54 75 51 12 8 57 12 12 74 56 6919 17 84 1 102 17 17 97 102 EqSO9 5.1 4.5 4.3 6.6 8.0 4.7 FIP 4.02 4.40 4.26 5.10 4.54 GB% 51% 57% 48% 49% 45% 50% WARP -0.4 1.4 0.9 1.0 0.2EqBB9 3.5 2.7 3.9 2.7 4.9 3.5 ERA 3.68 4.07 4.11 3.65 6.40BABIP .282 .271 .280 .280 .358WHIP 1.34 1.20 1.42 1.23 1.75FRA 5.73 4.90 4.40 4.90 5.352012 CHNMLB .3041.435.06 4.80 5.50 -0.1Coleman know s how to pitch. In fact, he got tabbed Mini-Maddux after Ryne Sandberg compared him to Greg Maddux in 2009. But even though one frisky radar gun recorded him topping 94 mph in 2011, Caseys four-seam fastball is more likely to arrive at or below 90, and as he learns even more about how to pitch, hell avoid tossing that four-seamer anyw here near the strike zone. His tw o-seamer, curve (against righties) and change (against lefties) are somew hat more effective, but Colemans upside more closely resembles the career of Mike Maddux than that of Mikes little brother.Ryan DempsterBorn: 5/3/1977 Age: 35 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 3 W eight: 195 Breakout: 26% Improve: 47% Collapse: 28% Attrition: 10% MLB: 88% Comparables: Justin Speier,Joe Borow ski,Kyle Farnsw orth YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H 2009 CHN MLB 32 11 9 0 31 31 200 196 2010 CHN MLB 33 15 12 0 34 34 215 1 198 2011 CHN 2012 CHN YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM CHN CHN CHN CHN TEAM CHN CHN CHN CHN MLB 34 MLB 35 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 22 25 23 19 10 14 0 10 11 0 BB 65 86 82 63 SO 172 208 191 145 34 34 202 1 211 29 29 176 2 169 EqSO9 7.7 8.7 8.5 7.4 FIP 3.83 4.02 3.87 4.03 GB% 49% 50% 46% 48% WARP 2.4 2.7 2.2 1.2EqBB9 2.9 3.6 3.6 3.2 ERA 3.64 3.85 4.80 4.36BABIP .307 .298 .331 .316WHIP 1.30 1.32 1.45 1.31FRA 4.64 4.29 4.48 4.74W ith a w insome personality and a sense of humor, Dempster has managed to remain above most of the blame-tossing in Chicago despite results short of his paychecks, spats w ith his manager, and a self-inflicted injury in 2009 that cost him playing time. His velocity w as dow n a tick in 2011, but the big jump in ERA w asnt really his faultas show n by both his FIP and FRAand the Cubs w asted no time picking up his $14 million option for 2012. Though he w alks too many to front a rotation, Dempsters committed to his craft, mixing pitches and pitch sequences to support his tw o fastballs and nasty slider. All indications are that hell be good enough and durable enough to rack up 200 innings again.Matt GarzaBorn: 11/11/1983 Age: 28 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 5 W eight: 185 Breakout: 25% Improve: 51% Collapse: 23% Attrition: 5% MLB: 93% Comparables: Don Sutton,Heath Bell,Bill Singer YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H2009 TBA 2010 TBA 2011 CHN 2012 CHN YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM TBA TBA CHN CHN TEAM TBA TBA CHN CHNMLB 25 MLB 26 MLB 27 MLB 28 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 25 28 14 188 12 0 15 10 1 10 10 0 10 10 0 BB 79 63 63 53 SO 189 150 197 13932 32 203 177 33 32 204 2 193 31 31 198 186 27 27 173 2 159 EqSO9 8.4 6.6 9.0 7.2 FIP 4.21 4.39 2.92 3.87 GB% 40% 37% 48% 43% WARP 2.1 1.4 2.7 2.1EqBB9 3.5 2.8 2.9 2.7 ERA 3.95 3.91 3.32 3.90BABIP .274 .273 .312 .301WHIP 1.26 1.25 1.26 1.22FRA 4.58 4.51 3.70 4.23Garza pitched like a true ace in 2011, posting the eighth-best FIP among qualifying pitchers. His home run rate w as completely out of character w ith his past and cant be expected to be repeated, but he has a broad repertoire, and the strikeouts arent an illusion. Hes averaged just 3.0 w alks per nine innings over the past four seasons and should be a big help to the Cubs effort to turn things around, even though his fly-ball rate (and resultant homers) w ill likely keep him from the ranks of the elite.John GaubBorn: 4/28/1985 Age: 27 Bats: R Throw s: L Height: 6 3 W eight: 210 Breakout: 36% Improve: 52% Collapse: 28% Attrition: 25% MLB: 96% Comparables: Scott W illiamson,John Rocker,Anthony Slama YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 TEN 2009 IOW 2010 IOW 2011 IOW 2011 CHN 2012 CHN YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 TEAM TEN IOW IOW IOW AA 24 3 1 4 1 1 1 3 4 3 0 2 7 0 0 0 1 0 0 BB 17 15 18 39 SO 40 40 19 72 26 0 26 0 30 0 50 0 4 0 19 0 EqBB9 5.3 4.6 7.8 6.5 HAAA 24 AAA 25 AAA 26 MLB 26 MLB 27 LVL AA AAA AAA AAA HR 3 1 0 528 2 19 31 1 17 29 16 55 1 41 22 2 19 2 16 EqSO9 12.5 11.5 11.8 12.2 GB% 41% 43% 41% 50%2011 CHN 2012 CHN YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM TEN IOW IOW IOW CHN CHNMLB 0 MLB 2 LVL AA AAA AAA AAA MLB MLB2 3 6.8 11 21 5.1 WHIP 1.25 1.05 1.79 1.48 1.50 1.36 ERA 2.82 1.73 6.52 3.42 6.75 4.0010.1 9.8 FIP 3.55 2.75 4.71 4.48 2.99 4.0757% 40% FRA 4.22 2.50 4.05 4.61 3.06 4.35 WARP 0.4 0.9 0.3 0.5 0.1 0.2BABIP .267 .235 .372 .298 .286 .306There are concerns that Gaub w ont w ow major-league hitters as hes done to their minor-league counterparts so far, based mostly on the fact that he rarely tops 94 mph and that major-league hitters are too good to be deceived by his delivery. W hen w inding up, Gaub has a lot of excess movement, w hich can be confusing, and he keeps the ball hidden a bit longer than most. The more likely culprit if Gaub isnt able to translate his fastball-slider combo into relief success w ould be his questionable control, a natural byproduct of his unconventional delivery. If he can low er his w alk rate, hell be more than a LOOGY; if he cant, hell be less than a major leaguer.John GrabowBorn: 11/4/1978 Age: 33 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 3 W eight: 190 Breakout: 16% Improve: 45% Collapse: 17% Attrition: 18% MLB: 90% Comparables: Ricardo Rincon,John Franco,Mike Maddux YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H 2009 CHN MLB 30 0 0 0 30 0 25 19 2009 PIT MLB 30 3 0 0 45 0 47 1 43 2010 CHN 2011 CHN 2012 LAN YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM CHN PIT CHN CHN LAN TEAM CHN PIT CHN CHN LAN MLB 31 MLB 32 MLB 33 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 1 4 5 9 6 1 3 0 3 1 0 3 1 0 BB 12 28 13 28 22 SO 16 41 20 38 36 28 0 58 0 52 0 EqBB9 4.3 5.3 4.6 4.0 3.7 ERA 3.24 3.42 7.36 4.76 4.29 25 2 35 62 1 67 53 1 50 EqSO9 5.8 7.8 7.0 5.5 6.1 FIP 3.86 4.32 5.72 5.05 4.55 GB% 50% 43% 45% 41% 45% WARP 0.1 0.5 -0.4 -0.3 0.1BABIP .240 .293 .357 .287 .291WHIP 1.24 1.50 1.87 1.52 1.34FRA 4.91 4.53 6.41 5.34 4.662012 LANMLB .2911.344.29 4.55 4.66 0.1Entering the 2010 season, Grabow looked like a pitcher w ho w as w orthy of nothing more than an invitation to camp by some team, having posted pedestrian career numbers, lacking notew orthy stuff, and not even show ing a lopsided platoon split to make him an effective LOOGY. Instead, the Cubs gave him a mind-numbing $7.5 million contract for tw o years. It took a front-office decapitation, but the sensation has returned, the contract has expired, and any expectation of similar remuneration is nothing but a pipe dream for Grabow .Jay JacksonBorn: 10/27/1987 Age: 24 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 2 W eight: 195 Breakout: 31% Improve: 55% Collapse: 19% Attrition: 14% MLB: 88% Comparables: Justin Verlander,Junichi Tazaw a,Don Gullett YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 DAY 2009 TEN 2010 IOW 2011 IOW 2012 CHN YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM DAY TEN IOW IOW CHN TEAM DAY TEN IOW IOW CHN A+ 21 AA 21 2 2 0 5 4 0 11 8 0 3 6 0 3 3 0 BB 4 37 35 46 16 SO 46 73 77 97 34 7 7 H38 1 31 16 16 82 2 66 32 25 157 1 103 26 26 146 2 180 9 9 50 2 50 EqSO9 10.8 8.4 6.8 6.0 6.1 FIP 2.29 3.66 4.81 4.32 4.35 GB% 50% 40% 38% 43% 40% WARP 1.1 1.4 1.3 2.1 0.2AAA 22 AAA 23 MLB 24 LVL A+ AA AAA AAA MLB LVL A+ AA AAA AAA MLB HR 3 6 11 10 6EqBB9 0.9 4.2 2.7 2.8 2.9 ERA 1.64 3.70 4.63 5.34 4.59BABIP .301 .279 .294 .349 .305WHIP 0.91 1.35 1.28 1.54 1.32FRA 2.93 4.28 4.70 4.84 4.99Jackson w ill be an interesting data point in how the new Cubs front office interprets statistics. For years, the 8-14, 5.34 season at Iow a w ould have led a pitchers team to pull the plug on his starting career based on his failure as a starting pitcher. For Jackson, its a move that has been hinted at for years and should result in more consistent mid-90s heat. But it w ould also w aste some of his assets, as hes a good hitter and fielder, and his other three pitchesslider, curve, and changeupgive him more variety than the typical tw o-pitch bullpen arm. Seen through a different statistical filter, his 2011 FIP w as actually better than his 2010 as the luck pendulum sw ung the other direction for balls in play, and the fact that hes more often w orking dow n in the zone has helped temper his home run propensity. Even ignoring the poor standard stats, he profiles as no better than a back-of-rotation starter, but that w ould help a team a lot more than another generic middle relief pitcher.Rodrigo LopezBorn: 12/14/1975 Age: 36 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 2 W eight: 180 Breakout: 25% Improve: 45% Collapse: 38% Attrition: 39% MLB: 72% Comparables: Turk Farrell,Don Robinson,Rick W ise YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 LEH AAA 33 7 5 0 3 1 0 7 16 0 6 1 0 6 6 0 5 9 0 BB 14 11 56 14 30 31 SO 71 19 116 44 54 58 2009 PHI MLB 33 2010 ARI MLB 34 2011 GW N AAA 35 2011 CHN 2012 CHN YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM LEH PHI ARI GW N CHN CHN TEAM LEH PHI ARI GW N CHN CHN MLB 35 MLB 36 LVL AAA MLB MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB MLB AAA MLB MLB HR 9 3 37 2 18 18 18 18 100 1 7 5 30 33 33 200 9 9 59 26 16 97 2 H 122 42 227 59 11619 19 114 2 135 EqSO9 6.4 5.7 5.2 6.7 5.0 4.5 FIP 3.38 4.19 5.24 3.00 5.36 5.04 GB% 46% 37% 40% 48% 43% 44% WARP 1.1 0.3 -0.6 1.2 -0.2 -1.0EqBB9 1.3 3.3 2.5 2.1 2.7 2.5 ERA 4.31 5.70 4.99 2.59 4.42 5.75BABIP .345 .375 .293 .310 .308 .323WHIP 1.36 1.77 1.41 1.24 1.48 1.45FRA 4.46 4.41 5.42 3.88 5.06 6.25A surprise 200-inning starter in Arizona in 2010, Lopez w as only able to find a job in Gw innett to start the 2011 season. After a trade to Chicago, he joined a rotation that may w ell have been w eaker than the Braves Triple-A squad and helped pick up some of the pieces left by injuries to Andrew Cashner and Randy Wells. Earning 1.0 W ARP every 172 innings in his career, Lopez has actually translated his slop (sub90 mph fastball, slider, and changeup, for the most part) into a useful career, and his lack of acknow ledged success means that he should be available for a near-minimum salary. Hes a good example of how a team can fairly easily find a player to produce more than notional replacement level if they are w illing to forego the chance for future upside.Scott MaineBorn: 2/2/1985 Age: 27 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 4 W eight: 210 Breakout: 18% Improve: 51% Collapse: 28% Attrition: 18% MLB: 89% Comparables: David Purcey,C.J. W ilson,David Cone YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H2009 MOB 2010 IOW 2010 CHN 2011 IOW 2011 CHN 2012 CHN YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM MOB IOW CHN IOW CHN CHN TEAM MOB IOW CHN IOW CHN CHNAA243 3 5 3 1 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 BB 15 8 5 25 5 11 SO 46 27 11 71 5 2236 0 33 0 13 0 7 0 21 0 EqBB9 2.9 4.6 3.5 4.4 6.4 3.9AAA 25 MLB 25 AAA 26 MLB 26 MLB 27 LVL AA AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL AA AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB HR 2 3 1 3 4 32 0 12 38 047 1 41 13 51 1 756 19 9 37 1125 2 24 EqSO9 8.8 10.3 7.6 12.6 6.4 7.8 FIP 2.78 4.42 3.57 3.48 11.14 4.30 GB% 44% 49% 55% 53% 44% 47% FRA 3.41 4.90 3.52 5.47 11.19 4.88 WARP 1.2 0.1 0.2 0.4 -0.4 0.1BABIP .386 .258 .216 .312 .304 .312WHIP 1.50 1.32 1.08 1.23 2.29 1.35ERA 2.66 3.51 2.08 3.68 10.29 4.49The primary piece in the 2009 Aaron Heilman trade, Maine w orks his fastball and either changeup or slider to get out both right-handed and left-handed batters. Since joining the Cubs organization, hes show n great peripherals in the minors, notably the lofty strikeout rate. He should be ready for a major-league bullpen job in 2012, and even though minor-league relief stats dont translate very w ell to the majors, he has enough velocity and movement that he could quickly become another tw o-w ay lefty to hold dow n the occasional seventh inning.Carlos MarmolBorn: 10/14/1982 Age: 29 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 3 W eight: 180 Breakout: 19% Improve: 44% Collapse: 32% Attrition: 14% MLB: 96% Comparables: Bryan Harvey,Michael Gonzalez,Nolan Ryan YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H 2009 CHN MLB 26 2 4 15 79 0 74 43 2010 CHN MLB 27 2 3 38 77 0 77 2 40 2011 CHN 2012 CHN MLB 28 MLB 29 2 6 34 75 0 4 2 34 72 0 74 54 71 2 44YEAR TEAM LVL HR BB SO EqBB9 EqSO9 GB%2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012CHN CHN CHN CHN TEAM CHN CHN CHN CHNMLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB2 1 5 565 52 48 3993 138 99 937.9 6.0 5.8 4.9 ERA 3.41 2.55 4.01 2.8111.3 16.0 12.0 11.7 FIP 4.02 2.04 3.51 3.1541% 33% 41% 36% FRA 4.27 3.07 4.66 3.06 WARP 1.0 1.8 0.4 1.8BABIP .258 .293 .302 .281WHIP 1.46 1.18 1.38 1.16Marmol held opposing hitters to just a .205 batting average in 2011 w hile striking out 12 batters per nine innings. That these rates w ere disappointing is due to various factors. First, his 2010 season w as one for the ages, w ith 16 K/9 and .147 batting average allow ed. Signing a new three-year contract after that great season set expectations high. Then theres the fact that Marmol led the league (and tied for the MLB lead) in blow n saves, w ith 10. Of more concern to the Cubs front office is the precipitous drop in velocity he demonstrated. In 2009 and 2010, his fastball averaged over 94 mph, but he rarely even topped 95 mph in 2011, and sat under 92. W hile his sliderhis w eapon of choice against most foesis still a w ipe-out pitch against hitters from either side of the plate, losing the edge on his fastball gives them a bit more time, and they now occasionally make solid contact, an all-but-unheard-of occurrence before 2011. Since Marmol pitches w ith a crazymaking lack of control, he needs to be nearly perfect w hen he does throw strikes to regain closer-w orthy effectiveness.Marcos MateoBorn: 4/18/1984 Age: 28 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 2 W eight: 160 Breakout: 35% Improve: 62% Collapse: 17% Attrition: 19% MLB: 75% Comparables: Gene Nelson,Jim Mecir,Ramon A. Ramirez YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 TEN 2010 TEN 2010 CHN 2011 CHN 2012 CHN YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 TEAM TEN TEN CHN CHN CHN AA 25 AA 26 MLB 26 MLB 27 MLB 28 LVL AA AA MLB MLB MLB HR 10 1 6 2 3 5 7 0 0 0 4 0 1 0 1 2 0 1 0 0 BB 45 1 9 10 11 SO 77 14 26 25 17 H34 14 97 1 101 17 1 20 2 15 21 0 23 0 22 0 EqBB9 4.0 1.3 3.7 3.9 4.0 21 2 20 23 24 24 2 26 EqSO9 6.5 12.6 10.8 9.8 6.0 GB% 45% 58% 39% 36% 44%YEAR TEAM LVL BABIP WHIP ERA FIP FRA WARP 2009 TEN AA .290 1.44 4.07 4.58 4.47 0.9 2010 TEN AA .378 1.26 2.17 2.97 4.00 0.42010 2010 2011 2012TEN CHN CHN CHNAA MLB MLB MLB.378 .275 .367 .3121.26 1.34 1.48 1.482.17 5.82 4.30 5.382.97 5.69 3.25 4.744.00 5.91 4.60 5.840.4 -0.2 0.1 -0.2Mateo comes straight at hitters, blow ing them aw ay w ith his mid-90s heat and w icked slider, having shed his other offerings since being converted to short reliever in 2009. He again posted a great strikeout rate in 2011, but again missed a big chunk of the season w ith an injury, the latest edition being a forearm strain that ended his season in July. He has enough control that his arsenal w ill succeed in a late-inning role, assuming he can stay on the field.Trey McNuttBorn: 8/2/1989 Age: 22 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 5 W eight: 220 Breakout: 20% Improve: 49% Collapse: 21% Attrition: 15% MLB: 78% Comparables: Mike Fornieles,Jim Ollom,Jon W arden YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 BOI 2010 PEO 2010 DAY 2011 TEN 2012 CHN YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 TEAM BOI PEO DAY TEN CHN TEAM BOI PEO DAY TEN CHN AA 19 20 3 0 0 6 0 0 4 0 0 3 4 0 2 3 0 BB 12 23 8 44 16 SO 21 67 40 71 22 7 2 H20 1 9 13 13 59 2 37 9 9 41 22 23 22 95 129 8 8 35 2 38 EqBB9 5.3 3.6 2.0 3.7 4.0 ERA 1.33 1.51 2.63 4.55 5.44 EqSO9 9.3 10.6 10.8 6.2 5.5 FIP 4.58 2.81 2.94 4.31 4.77 GB% 51% 46% 41% 47% 44% WARP 0.1 1.3 1.1 0.8 -0.1A+ 20 AA 21 MLB 22 LVL AA A+ AA MLB LVL AA A+ AA MLB HR 1 0 2 7 4BABIP .174 .291 .256 .362 .318WHIP 1.03 1.12 0.93 1.67 1.52FRA 4.68 3.49 3.32 5.31 5.92To quote Kevin Goldstein, McNutt fell apart mechanically. Making the jump to Double-A is often difficult, and McNutt has been w orking to find a third pitch to mix w ith his easy mid-90s heat and good slider, but he appeared to become his ow n w orst enemy at times in 2011. He w as trying to overthrow instead of trusting the stuff that made him a four-star prospect entering the season. If all of Theos men can put Humpty Dumpty back together again, hes already advanced enough to join a rotation or the back end of a bullpen. And if the w ork on his curve and changeup pay dividends, the skys still the limit. But that tiny w ord if makes the variance on his projections as extreme as they can be.James RussellBorn: 1/8/1986 Age: 26Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 5 W eight: 205 Breakout: 33% Improve: 67% Collapse: 14% Attrition: 16% MLB: 86% Comparables: Don Gross,Butch Henry,Jon Lieber YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H 2009 TEN AA 23 2 3 0 11 5 37 45 2009 IOW AAA 23 3 3 0 26 7 65 2 71 2010 CHN 2011 CHN 2012 CHN YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM TEN IOW CHN CHN CHN TEAM TEN IOW CHN CHN CHN MLB 24 MLB 25 MLB 26 LVL AA AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL AA AAA MLB MLB MLB HR 5 6 11 12 9 1 1 0 1 6 0 3 2 0 BB 9 19 11 14 15 SO 26 46 42 43 31 57 0 64 5 54 2 EqBB9 2.2 2.6 2.0 1.9 2.4 ERA 5.11 3.42 4.96 4.12 5.56 49 55 67 2 76 55 62 EqSO9 6.3 6.3 7.7 5.7 5.1 FIP 4.26 4.11 5.23 4.74 5.02 GB% 34% 38% 32% 40% 37% WARP 0.1 0.5 -0.6 -0.2 -0.4BABIP .339 .305 .297 .295 .312WHIP 1.46 1.37 1.35 1.33 1.40FRA 5.20 4.55 6.27 5.16 6.04Russell uses his blistering 88-mph fastball and nuclear 80-mph slider to incinerate any hope lefty batters might have. Or at least hes held them to a .265 on-base percentage in his career, though nine home runs in 207 PA adds excitement to even his appearances in a LOOGY role. As a starter, hes a catastrophe w aiting to happen; right-handed hitters have little trouble picking up his pitches and driving them. W ith a bit more experience, and used in roles w here he can succeed, he should hang around for a few years.Jeff SamardzijaBorn: 1/23/1985 Age: 27 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 6 W eight: 220 Breakout: 17% Improve: 42% Collapse: 30% Attrition: 28% MLB: 85% Comparables: J.D. Durbin,David Palmer,Fred Green YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 CHN 2010 CHN 2011 CHN 2012 CHN MLB 24 MLB 25 MLB 26 MLB 27 1 3 0 2 2 0 8 4 0 3 3 0 20 2 7 3 75 0 39 6 H34 2 46 19 1 21 88 64 73 2 75YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012TEAM CHN CHN CHN CHN TEAM CHN CHN CHN CHNLVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLBHR 7 4 5 9BB 15 20 50 36SO 21 9 87 47EqBB9 3.9 9.3 5.1 4.4 ERA 7.53 8.38 2.97 5.26EqSO9 5.5 4.2 8.9 5.7 FIP 5.85 8.28 3.63 4.98GB% 44% 30% 43% 43% WARP -0.2 -0.3 0.4 -0.3BABIP .345 .262 .257 .305WHIP 1.76 2.12 1.30 1.50FRA 6.56 7.40 4.49 5.72Shark Samardzija is one of the more high-profile cases of a failed starting pitcher turning into an effective reliever, w ith his struggles constantly invoking questions about w hether the former Notre Dame w ide receiver chose the right sport. As a reliever, he w as able to add a couple mph to his fastball and he continued using all four of his pitches en route to racking up a high innings total. As w ith Marmol, he w alked far too many batters, but the .200 batting average allow ed and sub-.300 slugging percentage allow ed made him highly effective anyw ay. A bit of luck on balls in play indicates that Samardzija w asnt pitching as w ell as his stats, and the Cubs declined a relatively light $3 million option, w ith the expectation of signing him for less per year and more years.Hayden SimpsonBorn: 5/20/1989 Age: 23 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 1 W eight: 170 Breakout: 41% Improve: 63% Collapse: 15% Attrition: 24% MLB: 74% Comparables: Miguel Asencio,Phil Huffman,Nate Cornejo YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2011 PEO 2012 CHN A 22 1 1 0 1 3 0 HMLB 2316 16 61 1 73 7 7 20 1 26YEAR TEAM LVL HR BB SO EqBB9 EqSO9 GB% 2011 PEO A 8 26 39 4.0 6.8 52% 2012 CHN MLB 3 11 6 5.0 2.8 47% YEAR TEAM LVL BABIP WHIP ERA FIP FRA WARP 2011 PEO A .340 1.68 5.72 5.10 5.66 -0.2 2012 CHN MLB .325 1.82 7.29 6.16 7.93 -0.4 Simpson could be the poster boy for w hy teams shun small pitchers, especially righties, on draft day. He w asnt exactly Juan Marichal, but he used his exaggerated leg kick to get clocked as fast as 98 mph for 2010 draft evaluators. At number 16, he w as considered an overdraft by most, but none saw the precipitous drop in his velocity coming, as Simpson w as having trouble sitting above 90 mph in 2011. As harsh as it sounds for the player in question, the best possible outcome for the Cubs now is that an injury w ill be revealed, and Simpson w ill have surgery and begin the long process of rehab. Otherw ise hes just an undersized pitching prospect w ithout good velocity, great control, or standout secondary pitches.Andy SonnanstineBorn: 3/18/1983 Age: 29 Bats: L Throw s: R Height: 6 4 W eight: 185 Breakout: 22% Improve: 70% Collapse: 12% Attrition: 7% MLB: 88% Comparables: Frank Tanana,John Smiley,Jack Kralick YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 TBA 2010 TBA 2011 DUR 2011 TBA 2012 CHN YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM TBA TBA DUR TBA CHN TEAM TBA TBA DUR TBA CHN MLB 26 MLB 27 AAA 28 MLB 28 MLB 29 LVL MLB MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB AAA MLB MLB HR 19 11 4 10 7 6 9 0 3 1 1 3 6 0 0 2 0 2 2 0 BB 34 27 15 12 13 SO 60 50 35 12 33 22 18 99 2 41 4 81 10 9 56 15 4 35 2 22 6 EqBB9 3.1 3.0 2.4 3.0 2.1 ERA 6.77 4.44 4.82 5.55 4.82 H 131 83 64 4056 1 61 EqSO9 5.4 5.6 5.6 3.0 5.3 FIP 5.50 4.84 3.77 7.13 4.34 GB% 43% 45% 45% 47% 43% WARP -0.6 -0.7 0.4 -0.4 0.1BABIP .326 .277 .316 .259 .312WHIP 1.66 1.36 1.41 1.46 1.31FRA 6.65 5.91 5.20 6.39 5.24At one point last season, Sonnanstine w as pitching so infrequently for the Rays it w as possible to forget he w as in the bullpen. Apparently Andrew Friedman did, because the club let Cory Wade exercise an out clause in his contract from Triple-A despite pitching w ell, w hile keeping Sonnanstine on the active roster. Sonnanstine w as used in the low est-leverage situations and still stank. He has alw ays w anted a chance to be a starting pitcher again. Hell pursue that dream w ith the Cubs after signing a split contract.Nicholas StruckBorn: 10/7/1989 Age: 22 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 0 W eight: 185 Breakout: 35% Improve: 64% Collapse: 18% Attrition: 22% MLB: 82% Comparables: Johnny Kucks,Dave McNally,Alex Sanabia YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2010 PEO 2011 DAY 2011 TEN 2011 IOW A 20 8 8 0 6 2 0 1 1 0 2 2 0 A+ 21 AA 21 AAA 21 25 18 114 2 10 10 50 6 6 35 12 11 62 1 H 61 55 42 762012 CHN YEAR 2010 2011 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2010 2011 2011 2011 2012 TEAM PEO DAY TEN IOW CHN TEAM PEO DAY TEN IOW CHNMLB 22 LVL A A+ AA AAA MLB LVL A A+ AA AAA MLB HR 5 2 0 2 52 3 0 BB 27 16 6 22 17 SO 46 47 26 38 219 8 EqBB9 3.1 2.9 1.5 3.2 3.5 ERA 3.22 3.42 2.31 5.20 5.4745 EqSO9 6.6 8.5 6.7 5.5 4.3 FIP 4.35 3.17 2.41 4.14 4.8550 GB% 41% 51% 46% 38% 42% WARP 0.8 0.6 0.9 0.5 -0.2BABIP .265 .361 .362 .357 .317WHIP 1.16 1.42 1.37 1.57 1.50FRA 4.77 4.76 3.97 4.82 5.95Struck w as a 39th-round pick and may be a long shot to ever hold dow n a major-league rotation spot, but he did negotiate a $125,000 signing bonus, more than about half the 10th-round picks, indicating that much of his slide in the draft w as due to his scholarship offer from the University of Haw aii. And w hile hes undersized and doesnt throw in the mid-90s, he does w ork above 90 mph and has four pitches that all have promise. He also has a hard-nosed mentality, is very coachable, and earned tw o promotions in 2011 despite posting a BABIP over .350 at every stop (though his FIPs w ere quite good). Hes yet to show that he can handle Triple-A hitters, but a good first half there in 2012 could get his bullpen/spot-start career going as soon as the second half.Casey WeathersBorn: 6/10/1985 Age: 27 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 2 W eight: 205 Breakout: 34% Improve: 59% Collapse: 18% Attrition: 7% MLB: 87% Comparables: John Axford,Joselo Diaz,Charlie Hough YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2011 TUL 2012 CHN AA 26 MLB 27 0 1 0 1 0 1 44 0 14 0 H45 2 30 14 2 13YEAR TEAM LVL HR BB SO EqBB9 EqSO9 GB% 2011 TUL AA 3 48 47 9.5 9.5 41% 2012 CHN MLB 1 10 13 6.0 8.1 46% YEAR TEAM LVL BABIP WHIP ERA FIP FRA WARP 2011 TUL AA .248 1.75 5.32 5.79 6.42 -0.5 2012 CHN MLB .305 1.54 5.09 4.36 5.53 -0.0 You can never predict Weathers. The scorching heat this converted outfielder show ed in his one full year on the mound at Vandy led the Rox to overdraft him w ith the eighth pick in 2007. Since then, scouts and meteorologists alike have been in a fog, as first his control dissipated, then he had Tommy John surgery in 2009, the effects of w hich linger still. The Cubs didnt give up much to get him, and his fastball still strikes2009, the effects of w hich linger still. The Cubs didnt give up much to get him, and his fastball still strikes like lightning, leading to huge strikeout rates. Hes a risk, but if the control issues have all been part of a slow er-than-usual injury recovery, theres a chance they w ill clear up suddenly and quickly, allow ing his talent to shine. But its best to have an umbrellaor another reliever optionclose by, just in case.Randy WellsBorn: 8/28/1982 Age: 29 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 6 W eight: 235 Breakout: 31% Improve: 61% Collapse: 23% Attrition: 18% MLB: 86% Comparables: Casey Janssen,Tony Pena,Sergio Mitre YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 CHN 2010 CHN 2011 CHN 2012 CHN YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM CHN CHN CHN CHN TEAM CHN CHN CHN CHN MLB 26 MLB 27 MLB 28 MLB 29 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 14 19 23 15 12 10 0 8 14 0 7 6 0 7 8 0 BB 46 63 46 39 SO 104 144 82 76 H27 27 165 1 165 32 32 194 1 209 23 23 135 1 141 21 21 127 133 EqSO9 5.7 6.7 5.5 5.4 FIP 3.84 3.96 5.06 4.46 GB% 49% 49% 44% 47% WARP 2.3 1.6 -0.6 0.4EqBB9 2.5 2.9 3.1 2.8 ERA 3.05 4.26 4.99 4.71BABIP .292 .315 .277 .309WHIP 1.28 1.40 1.39 1.35FRA 4.53 4.66 5.44 5.12Wells is rumored to have taken his profession a bit less professionally than some, and results w ould support that something w as definitely amiss early in the season. The converted catcher w as starting to look like a success story before 2011, as any starting pitcher w orthy of a rotation spot is w orth significant money, even if his upside is only that of a mid-rotation guy. Before 2011, he mixed his four pitches w ell enough to confuse hitters, but last year his velocity w as dow n, and he w asnt fooling much of anyone. The more benign explanation for Wells struggles is that he tried to return too quickly from an early-season arm strain, as he held opposing hitters to a futile .218/.276/.347 batting line from August 24 through the end of the year. Assuming he hits the offseason w orkouts more diligently than his reputation w ould indicate, and entering 2012 w ith a healthy arm, he becomes a prime bounceback candidate, though the extent of such a bounce is limited.Kerry WoodBorn: 6/16/1977 Age: 35 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 6 W eight: 225 Breakout: 12% Improve: 36% Collapse: 31% Attrition: 16% MLB: 84% Comparables: Tom Gordon,Joe Nelson,Francisco Cordero YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H 2009 CLE MLB 32 3 3 20 58 0 55 482010 CLE 2010 NYA 2011 CHN 2012 CHN YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 TEAM CLE CLE NYA CHN CHN TEAM CLE CLE NYA CHN CHNMLB 33 MLB 33 MLB 34 MLB 35 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 7 3 1 5 41 4 8 2 0 0 3 5 1 3 1 4 BB 28 11 18 21 19 SO 63 18 31 57 4923 0 24 0 55 0 50 0 EqBB9 4.6 4.9 6.2 3.7 3.7 ERA 4.25 6.30 0.69 3.35 3.6820 21 26 14 51 45 47 1 39 EqSO9 10.3 8.1 10.7 10.1 9.2 FIP 4.20 5.15 3.35 3.56 3.44 GB% 41% 43% 36% 38% 41% WARP 0.8 0.0 0.6 0.3 0.7BABIP .295 .305 .236 .303 .308WHIP 1.38 1.60 1.23 1.29 1.24FRA 4.22 4.98 2.89 4.37 4.00Wood is the author of one of the best-pitched games in history, though its date, May 6, 1998, may as w ell qualify it as 19th century literature as far as Cubs fans are concerned. But Wood is still w riting. Hes the active leader in strikeouts per nine innings (1,000 IP minimum). His fastball averaged over 94 mph in 2011 and his slider over 90. W ith his family and foundation having deep roots in Chicago and his expressed interest in staying w ith the organization after his playing days, Wood may be happy to take less money to stay, as he did in 2011. His control got lost w hen his arm started hurting in Cleveland, but healthy he should provide at least one more year of solid bullpen help.Travis WoodBorn: 2/6/1987 Age: 25 Bats: R Throw s: L Height: 6 0 W eight: 165 Breakout: 12% Improve: 53% Collapse: 17% Attrition: 16% MLB: 90% Comparables: Osiris Matos,Carlos Rosa,Don Gullett YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H 2009 CAR AA 22 9 3 0 19 19 119 78 2009 LOU AAA 22 4 2 0 8 8 48 2 49 2010 LOU 2010 CIN 2011 LOU 2011 CIN 2012 CHN AAA 23 MLB 23 AAA 24 MLB 24 MLB 25 5 6 0 5 4 0 1 2 0 6 6 0 6 7 0 16 16 100 65 17 17 102 2 85 10 10 52 1 64 22 18 106 118 19 19 112 1 110YEAR TEAM LVL HR BB SO EqBB9 EqSO9 GB% 2009 CAR AA 2 37 103 2.8 7.8 43%2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012CAR LOU LOU CIN LOU CIN CHN TEAM CAR LOU LOU CIN LOU CIN CHNAA AAA AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL AA AAA AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB2 4 7 9 6 10 1237 19 18 26 17 40 39103 37 69 86 47 76 772.8 3.0 2.2 2.3 2.9 3.4 3.1 ERA 1.21 3.14 3.06 3.51 5.33 4.84 4.507.8 5.9 8.9 7.5 8.1 6.5 6.2 FIP 2.65 3.99 3.66 3.45 4.02 4.03 4.2643% 46% 48% 32% 43% 36% 39% FRA 3.54 4.71 4.23 3.39 4.95 4.62 4.89 WARP 2.7 0.7 1.9 2.6 0.3 0.4 0.6BABIP .246 .281 .310 .261 .365 .333 .305WHIP 0.97 1.21 1.10 1.08 1.55 1.49 1.33In 2010, Wood posted W HIPs of 1.1 at both the Triple-A and major-league levels, and w hile his gas w asnt w ow ing people, his control of his sinker w as excellent, and batters w erent thinking about how short he is or how short his fastball might be. Though he may not pop radar guns like Billy Wagner, he touches 94 MPH on occasion, and no less of an authority than Logan Morrison w as quoted before the 2010 season as saying that Wood had the nastiest stuff hed seen in the minors. But, alas, a little control and a little luck goes a long w ay, and Wood w alked more people in 2011 and also saw his BABIP balloon. These reversals led to him losing first his rotation spot (to Homer Bailey), then his roster spot (optioned back and forth from Triple-A starting in June), then his spot on the Reds (traded to the Cubs after the season). The buy-low Cubs are hoping for grow th such as fellow short southpaw Wandy Rodriguez show ed, but w ould be content w ith their side of the trade if Wood merely continues posting his 3.74 career FIP for the next four seasons. After all, that w as good enough for 44th out of 93 qualifying pitchers in 2011, and an above-average starter has value.Carlos ZambranoBorn: 6/1/1981 Age: 31 Bats: B Throw s: R Height: 6 5 W eight: 250 Breakout: 27% Improve: 63% Collapse: 23% Attrition: 13% MLB: 95% Comparables: Jim Mecir,Bill Singer,Hoyt W ilhelm YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 CHN 2010 CHN 2011 CHN 2012 FLO YEAR 2009 2010 2011 TEAM CHN CHN CHN MLB 28 MLB 29 MLB 30 MLB 31 LVL MLB MLB MLB HR 10 7 19 9 7 0 11 6 0 9 7 0 8 7 0 BB 78 69 56 SO 152 117 101 H28 28 169 1 155 36 20 129 2 119 24 24 145 2 154 21 21 125 1 115 EqBB9 4.1 4.8 3.5 EqSO9 8.1 8.1 6.2 GB% 46% 45% 46%2012 FLO YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM CHN CHN CHN FLOMLB 11 53 94 3.8 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB BABIP .306 .309 .307 .303 WHIP 1.38 1.45 1.44 1.34 ERA 3.77 3.33 4.82 4.306.8 FIP 3.57 3.74 4.56 4.1147% FRA 4.05 4.82 5.25 4.68 WARP 3.8 1.4 0.5 0.7There really isnt anything offensive Zambrano has done that hasnt been done by numerous ballplayers throughout the history of the game. But hes alienated enough of the w rong people that incidents as harmless as show ing the w rong body language w hen being pulled from a game get interpreted as more evidence of w hat a w hack job he is. Teammates, media, and fans tolerated his antics much more readily w hen he w as making hitters look stupid w ith his heavy tw o-seam fastballs that sat around 93 mph supported by four-seamers reaching the upper 90s. Influenced by Carlos Silva during the junkballers brief time on the Cubs, Zambrano has begun throw ing all varieties of slop on occasion to compensate for the fact that his fastball is lucky to touch 95 mph once on a good day out of the bullpen. Hoping for him to avoid alienating anyone else, and also accepting a role as a back-of-rotation starter, seems like sheer optimism at this point.LINEOUTSHITTERSPLAYER CF P. Chen RF R. Golden 2B J. Mota TEAM BOI BOI TEN IOW 3B M. Smith IOW PLAYER CF P. Chen RF R. Golden 2B J. Mota TEAM BOI BOI TEN IOW 3B M. Smith IOW PLAYER CF P. Chen RF R. Golden 2B J. Mota TEAM BOI BOI TEN IOW 3B M. Smith IOW LVL AAAA AAA AAA RBI 30 39 8 30 36 TAv .291 .282 .208 .265 .265 AGE 19 19 24 24 26 BB 25 28 2 9 23 PA 263 265 81 220 292 R 34 36 5 24 45 2B 14 10 4 15 18 3B 4 5 0 1 2 HR 2 7 2 5 7SO 44 68 14 32 61SB-CS 20-6 5-2 0-1 1-1 0-1 BRR 2.3 0.0 -0.1 2.1 0.1AVG/OBP/SLG .301/.363/.424 .242/.332/.420 .221/.250/.351 .289/.321/.446 .278/.344/.444 WARP 1.4 1.6 0.0 1.6 0.5BABIP .356 .310 .246 .318 .333FRAA -3.9 3.2 2.1 3.3 -5.4Pin-Chieh Chen has converted from second base to the outfield, has good all-around tools, and is ontrack to succeed at full-season ball in 2012. Reggie Golden show ed unexpected patience at the plate, and is still a five-tool player, though his speed hasnt often materialized in game situations, either at the plate or in the field. More of an organizational soldier than a prospect, despite his relative youth, Jonathan Mota is w illing to play any position. Hes even pitched, though the 2010 experiment w ith catching didnt take. Assuming Chicago gets more lefties into the starting lineup, Marquez Smith might have some use as a righty bat off the bench w ho can play multiple positions.PITCHERSPLAYER TEAM LVL AGE W L SV IP AA AA 24 22 4 0 3 2 1 0 2 4 0 1 0 4 2 3 3 0 1 0 HJ. Beliveau TEN A. Cabrera TEN IOW E. Caridad IOW M. Carrillo TEN IOW R. Dolis TEN CHN R. Lopez R. Ortiz PEO IOW CHN B. Parker TEN IOW C. Rusin TEN IOW J. Stevens TEN IOW CHN B. W allach PEO DAY PLAYER57 38 48 2 60 88 2 118 37 45 76 1 65 31 38AAA 22 AAA 27 AA AA 24 23 AAA 24MLB 23 A 20 AAA 38 MLB 38 AA AA 26 24 AAA 26 AAA 24 AA 273 2 17 72 2 68 0 0 0 11 0 1 1 1 3 0 0 1 2 0 0 2 3 1 0 4 1 0 0 2 1 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 3 5 0 69 78 99 1 115 33 1 31 24 19 51 1 37 76 76 62 2 70 41 2 38 23 1 40 7 4 26 1 29 91 106AAA 27 MLB 27 A 22 A+ 22TEAM HR BB SO EqBB9 EqSO9 GB% 7 4 11 4 7 6 14 21 53 27 34 6 76 34 67 27 64 25 2.1 3.9 5.4 6.6 3.8 1.7 10.9 6.3 6.8 7.3 7.3 7.3 33% 48% 48% 34% 34% 42%J. Beliveau TEN A. Cabrera TEN IOW E. Caridad IOW M. Carrillo TEN IOWR. DolisTEN CHN PEO IOW CHN B. Parker TEN IOW C. Rusin TEN IOW J. Stevens TEN IOW CHN B. W allach PEO DAY R. Lopez R. Ortiz PLAYER2 0 8 12 6 1 5 5 8 1 5 1 0 637 1 30 20 11 12 27 15 14 18 12 7 23 3451 1 35 81 25 18 60 45 46 59 15 4 25 714.3 6.8 3.9 1.8 3.0 4.9 4.7 1.9 2.0 3.5 4.6 9.0 7.9 3.45.9 6.8 4.6 7.3 6.8 7.5 10.5 5.8 6.6 11.2 5.8 5.1 8.5 7.060% 1.% 49% 52% 43% 47% 40% 54% 55% 46% 38% 42% 39% 48%TEAM BABIP WHIP ERA .226 .350 .377 .363 .257 .337 .280 .000 .307 .337 .255 .281 .269 .307 .335 .339 .398 .167 .349 .344 0.88 1.66 1.93 2.11 1.22 1.42 1.32 0.75 1.57 1.36 1.26 1.38 1.25 1.26 1.34 1.20 2.23 1.57 1.97 1.54 1.89 5.36 6.60 8.27 2.36 6.10 3.22 0.00 5.35 4.26 4.86 4.12 2.81 3.91 4.02 2.59 10.03 5.14 6.49 5.74FIP FRA WARP 3.07 4.39 5.73 6.03 4.31 5.32 3.95 3.74 5.37 4.37 4.82 3.97 4.36 3.76 4.65 2.15 6.91 7.14 4.31 4.04 3.41 5.27 5.97 7.58 4.63 5.93 4.94 4.12 6.23 4.83 5.78 4.52 4.34 4.43 5.05 3.48 7.53 9.23 6.40 4.46 1.4 0.3 -0.2 -0.5 0.8 0.1 0.9 0.0 -0.7 1.0 -0.2 0.3 0.7 1.5 0.2 1.1 -0.3 -0.2 -0.4 1.2J. Beliveau TEN A. Cabrera TEN IOW E. Caridad IOW M. Carrillo TEN IOW R. Dolis TEN CHN R. Lopez PEO R. Ortiz IOW CHN B. Parker TEN IOW C. Rusin TEN IOW J. Stevens TEN IOW CHN B. W allach PEO DAYJeff Beliveau has 18th-round stuff, but the lefty is crafty enough to befuddle minor-leaguers, and hell get a chance soon to try it in the bigs. Alberto Cabrera can reach 97 mph and may end up being another bullpen conversion if he cant iron out his secondary offerings and throw strikes more consistently. Never to be confused w ith a future closer, Esmailin Caridad nonetheless looked verygood in a few innings at the end of 2010, but a litany of injuries has set him back since. W ith health, he has the potential to help a pen in need. Marco Carrillo doesnt throw hard or come w ith a prospects pedigree, and his effectiveness hasnt improved w hen used out of the bullpen, but hes show n enough the past tw o seasons that he could be used in an emergency. Given a very brief look in September, Rafael Dolis w as clocked as high as 97 mph w ith one of his 40 pitches in 2011, but hell need better command of either his curve or slider if he w ants to get outs at the higher levels. Robinson Lopez, as a starting prospect, made the Cubs Top 11 list entering the season, but w asnt throw ing w ith the same velocity or movement in 2011, and a move to the pen didnt help. There are only three pitchers w ho have amassed 1,000 or more innings pitched in their career and have allow ed a higher TAv against than Ramon Ortiz. That he w as better than several other Cubs pitchers summarizes Chicagos 2011 staff in a nutshell. It hasnt quite been the Sergio Santos success story, but fireballing ex-catcher Blake Parker did enough at Iow a that he should get attention from other teams after being left off the Cubs 40-man roster. Chris Rusin doesnt throw overly hard and has a sloppy delivery, but he still manages to find the strike zone w ith uncanny regularity, and though his upside isnt much, he should at least carve out a career as a LOOGY.end of the season, its a clear indicator that things didnt w ork out as hoped. Brett Wallach, son of Tim, made scouts salivate back in 2009, but part of the Pavlovian response w as based on projection that hasnt happened yet. W hen Jeff Stevens appears in a teams major-league pitching stats at the MANAGER: DALE SVEUMA favorite pastime of casual fans everyw here is playing the guess how hard someone is trying game. Of course, the players are professionals, among the top 1000 or so in their field, and have dedicated their life to the sport of baseball, but w hen teams lose, fans need somew here to direct their rage. So the guys w ho have a relaxed demeanor get an abundance of blame. Hence, w hen a new manager says that all his players w ill play hard, its mostly pablum for the masses, an announcement that hes going to w ork on making his players appear to try harder. Yet thats important. It may or may not help motivate the other professional athletes on the team, but part of baseball is show business, and selling the product is alw ays important. Sveums tactics remain to be seen, but at least hes not expected to be a bunt-tastic manager like Ron Roenicke, under w hom he did his last stint as hitting coach. Hes show n leadership skills in his various coaching positions, and is expected to be a hard w orker and open to some introduction of advanced concepts into the managerial routine. In choosing a rookie manager, the new front office has hopes that Sveum can turn into the face of the franchise. He has emphasized his belief that being bodylanguage neutral is important, citing Joe Torre, Tony La Russa, and Jim Leyland as his biggest influences. That is likely to go a long w ay tow ard keeping things on track in W rigley Fields tiny, archaic clubhouse and helping the team deal w ith the massive changes that appear to be on the horizon. It w ont, how ever, w in the hearts of the casual fans, w ho often confuse a steady mien w ith not trying. Hell just have to w in games to convince them.Chicago White SoxOf the many dubious strategies guaranteed to help gamblers w in their fortune the easy w ay, few are as simple, as subtly alluring, or as ultimately damaging as the martingale system. The concept is simple: you make a small initial w ager on an even-money proposition, and if that first bet loses you continue to double the w ager size until one finally w ins. At that point youre ahead the amount of the initial w ager, pocket that amount as profit, and make another small bet. Lather, rinse, repeat, all the w hile squirreling aw ay a small profit each time a bet is w on. Simple, right? Best of all, its guaranteed to w ork . . . at least for a w hile. The problem is that any bettor w ho dares give the martingale a spin w ill eventually run into a string of bad luck and lose a large number of bets in a row . W hen the size of the bet needed to recoup your lastloss grow s larger than your bankroll, youre stuck. Attempting the martingale at the blackjack table or the pass line or any other casino w ager is even more perilous, as you can quickly reach the tables bet size limit regardless of the size of your stake. The martingale can provide small profits in the short term, but in the long run is virtually guaranteed to end in a crippling loss, w iping out any earlier gains. W hich brings us to W hite Sox GM Kenny W illiams, a Stanford man w ho is certainly w ell aw are of the martingales pitfalls. As w eve frequently noted in these pages, W illiams is a born gambler and a smart one at that, know n for taking risks on other teams failed prospects and toxic assets, rehabilitating them, and frequently reaping a substantial rew ard. The Sox have done w ell on his w atch, riding his aggressive, w innow attitude and his gamblers nerve, an approach epitomized by the organizations 2011 marketing slogan: All In. During the 11 seasons W illiams has been at the helm, the Sox have posted only three losing seasons, collected tw o division titles, and w on a World Series. How ever, each of those losing seasons have come in the six years since the Sox w on their 2005 title, a period that has seen W illiams make increasingly aggressive bets on veteran players to push his team over the hump, to no avail. Last season the Sox posted another losing record despite a payroll that ranked among the top five in baseball, a remarkable turn of events for a club that fancies itself a mid-market organization in a big-market tow n. W ith little help forthcoming from a farm system many consider the most barren in baseball, and w ith no money available to double dow n, W illiams w ill have to w alk aw ay from the table and search for a new system to try. W hat that w ill be w e cant be sure, but if history is any guide, it w ill be interesting to w atch.For organizations like the Sox not blessed w ith Amazon-sized revenue streams, the key to success is getting as much production as possible from young, cost-controlled players. Usually this is achieved through the slow , steady development of players w ithin the organizations ow n farm system, but W illiams has often chosen another path. The Sox have excelled at procuring talented young underachievers at a low cost from other organizations, relying on their excellent big league staff to turn them into assets. John Danks, Gavin Floyd, Matt Thornton, and Carlos Quentin all came to Chicago in that manner, and all have been significant contributors to w hatever measure of success the Sox have realized over the past few seasons. At the same time, W illiams seemingly decided it w as not w orthw hile to w ait for the slow blossoming of players already in the organization, but instead used the farm system as a change purse to buy veterans like Nick Sw isher and Javier Vazquez off the rack, w ith diminishing returns. Those trades, along w ith a series of stingy and unproductive drafts, left the club competitive but unable to improve from w ithin, leading in the late summer of 2009 to the series of jaw -dropping bets that have defined the Sox ever since. At the trade deadline W illiams acquired ace starter Jake Peavy from the Padres for a collection of middling prospects and, more importantly, the w illingness to assume the three years and $52 million remaining on his contract. Shortly thereafter the Sox struck again, placing a successful w aiver claim on disappointing outfielder Alex Rios and the nearly $60 million he w ould be ow ed through 2014. These moves affirmed that the Sox w ere w illing to hunt for big game, but as The Stranger made clearin The Big Lebowski: Sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes . . . he eats you. The first ursine w ound w as inflicted by Peavy, w ho had struggled through tw o injury-marred seasons prior to the trade. The former Cy Young Aw ard w inner spent less than a year at the Cell before a detached latissimus dorsi muscle put him on the shelf; hes been either injured or comparatively ineffective ever since. Rios, w ho superficially matches the profile of other underachieving talents the Sox have redeemed in the past, has been even more disappointing. The Sox received solid production from him in 2010 but the enigmatic outfielder spent last season as a millstone, looking lost and uninterested at the plate and in the field, giving credence to the rumors of apathy that have long dogged him. Last season W illiams pressed his bets even further, signing leather-allergic slugger Adam Dunn to a fouryear, $56 million deal and re-upping team captain Paul Konerko for three years and $37.5 million. Setting aside the fact that the Sox w ouldnt have needed to fill a hole at DH had they not previously sacrificed Jim Thome to appease former manager Ozzie Guillens misguided demand for improved baserunning, most analysts felt the Dunn signing w as a solid one. Even the smartest bets can sometimes go w rong, how ever, and instead of providing the lefty thump the Sox needed last season, Dunn struggled through a historically inept year at the plate that left many w ondering if he could ever recover. Konerkos late-career renaissance continued but w asnt enough to redeem the rest of the clubs high-priced talent, combining w ith Peavy, Rios, and Dunn to post 1.3 W ARP last season, at the cost of $52 millionfully tw o-thirds the payroll of the 2005 championship squad (see Table 1). Table 1: Smells Like Team DispiritName Jake Peavy Alex Rios Adam Dunn Paul Konerko Total2011 Salary ($M) 2011 W ARP $16 1.7 $12 -0.6 $12 -2.5 $12 2.7 $52 1.32012 Salary ($M) $21* $12 $14 $12 $59*includes $4 million buyout of $22 million club option in 2013 That foursome is due to earn another $59 million this year, and each enters the season w ith a giant question mark sew n on his jersey. Peavys injury is unprecedented for a pitcher, and after spending last season struggling to regain his form is no sure bet to be healthy and effective. Dunn retains a solid batting eye but provides no value outside his bat, and if his pow er remains AW OL he may be on the Jack Cust career path. Konerko has been marvelously productive but w ill be 36 years old on Opening Day; at some point, Father Time w ill have his say. Rios has talent but rarely seems w illing or able to apply it; his greatest future value to the Sox may be to function as the baseball equivalent of Bernie Lootzs shattered kneecap, his presence a daily reminder to W illiams of the dangers of compulsive gambling. The money committed to those four players helped drive the W hite Sox payroll near $130 million last year. It w as the fourth season out of six since their 2005 title that theyve outspent the Cubs, despite considerably few er paying customers coming through the turnstiles. Obviously such outlays arent sustainable, w hich meant the Sox not only didnt come into the offseason w ith a free agent shopping list, but w erent able to competitively bid on popular staff anchor Mark Buehrle, w hose move to Miami punched a hole in the rotation and unleashed a w ave of fan discontent. The organization hopes promising lefty Chris Sale, one of their few successful top draft picks, can move from the pen to take Buehrles spot, but his departure w ont be the last shoe to drop. Danks has been signed to a five-year extension to stabilize the rotation, but Floyd and Thornton are frequently mentioned as trade possibilities. W hile W illiams has yet to find an offer for them he finds attractive, the need to reduce payroll has already forced the trade of closer Sergio Santos and his modest contract to Toronto, and Quentin to the Padres for second-tier pitching prospects Simon Castro and Pedro Hernandez. The Sox find themselves in offseason limbo, w ith an obvious need to re-tool for the future, but enough talent on hand to put them on the edge of contention should everything break the clubs w ay. Punting on a season seems foreign to W illiamss nature, so theres a chance most of his veterans w ill still be on hand for Opening Day, but even if that happens, their ability to compete now and in the near future depends on a long list of hopes. Theyll hope that Peavy is healthy, Dunn is cured, Rios is focused,and Konerko is ageless. Theyll hope Sale is a future ace, former phenom Gordon Beckham bounces back, and minor league veteran Alejandro De Aza can be an improvement on Juan Pierrea reasonable bet, that. Theyll hope third baseman Brent Morel w ill build on his productive September, outfielder Dayan Viciedo can keep his improved plate approach, Tyler Flow ers can finally become a force behind the plate, and rookie Addison Reed can provide enough late-inning value to make up for the loss of Santos. Thats a lot of w ishes, and theyre not likely to all come true, meaning things are likely to get w orse before they get better. Hope is not a plan, but in the long run the Sox have more going for them than just hope. W illiams has show n himself to be a bold leader, and w hile his latest gambles have not paid off, his hands-on aggressiveness makes him as likely as any GM in the game to find the proper levers to shift his club back into contention. The trade of Santos for minor league starter Nestor Molina gave a glimpse of W illiams at w ork: reducing payroll by dealing from a position of bullpen strength to address the complete lack of young rotation options in the system, w hile trusting his ow n evaluation of Molina to the exclusion of those w ho doubt. Molina may be a future star or a future bust, but W illiams didnt blink w hen the chance came to make a small bet on his future. Such decisiveness w ill serve the Sox w ell going forw ard. W illiams may have w agered his w ay into this predicament, but he isnt about to throw up his hands and quietly accept it, and his history show s he deserves a chance to w ork his w ay out of it. We long ago gave up guessing w hat he w ill do next, but unlike some GMs, w ere certain hell try something. Ozzie may be gone, and his mismatched buddy-cop routine w ith W illiams may have run out of steam after seven sequels, but that doesnt mean things w ont remain entertaining on the South Side.HITTERS Gordon Beckham 2BBorn: 9/16/1986 Age: 25 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 1 W eight: 190 Breakout: 0% Improve: 25% Collapse: 21% Attrition: 43% MLB: 85% Comparables: Jim Lefebvre,Ron Dunn,Scott Sizemore YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 TEAM BIR CHA CHA CHA CHA TEAM BIR CHA CHA CHA CHA TEAM BIR CHA CHA LVL AA MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL AA MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL AA MLB MLB AGE 22 22 23 24 25 SO 24 65 92 111 92 PA 166 430 498 557 512 SB 1 7 4 5 6 R 23 58 58 60 59 2B 17 28 25 23 26 3B 0 1 2 0 1 HR 4 14 9 10 13 RBI 22 63 49 44 55 BB 14 41 37 35 41CS 0 4 6 3 3 BRR 0.6 2.5 -0.2AVG_OBP_SLG .299/.364/.497 .270/.347/.460 .252/.317/.378 .230/.296/.337 .254/.324/.399 FRAA 2 0.9 -1.2TAv .293 .279 .253 .242 .262BABIP .331 .290 .297WARP 1.6 2.6 1.32011 CHA 2012 CHAMLB .276 MLB .2860.3 6.8 0.9 -0.7 2B 1, 3B 1 1.7For the second straight year, Beckham started the season batting in the tw o-hole but hacked his w ay to the bottom of the order, tortured by hurlers w ho learned he cant lay off high fastballs or sliders aw ay. Once considered the future face of the franchise, Beckhams struggles sparked a clubhouse confrontation betw een Kenny W illiams and former hitting coach Greg Walker after W illiams hinted that Walkers tinkering had ruined the former wunderkind s sw ing. True or not, Beckhams current approach clearly isnt w orking, and hell need to adjust if he w ants to make good on his immense talent. To his credit, he didnt take his offensive struggles w ith him to the field, having w orked hard to become a plus defender at the keystone w ith a strong arm and good footw ork on the pivot. A calmer clubhouse and reduced expectations may be just the elixir to help Beckham rediscover his stroke, and if he does there are still All-Star Games in his future.Ramon Castro CBorn: 3/1/1976 Age: 36 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 4 W eight: 225 Breakout: 0% Improve: 16% Collapse: 11% Attrition: 22% MLB: 68% Comparables: Roy Campanella,Jason Varitek,Barry Lyons YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM CHA NYN CHA CHA CHA TEAM CHA NYN CHA CHA CHA TEAM CHA NYN CHA CHA CHA LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 33 33 34 35 36 SO 23 16 26 23 60 PA 84 87 128 75 250 R 8 5 18 6 30 2B 3 5 2 3 9 3B 0 0 0 0 0 HR 4 3 8 4 12 RBI 12 13 21 10 33 BB 8 8 9 7 21SB 0 0 1 0 1CS 0 0 0 0 0AVG_OBP_SLG .184/.262/.382 .253/.322/.430 .278/.328/.504 .235/.307/.456 .242/.308/.442 FRAA -0.8 -0.6 0.2 -0.7 C -3 WARP -0.1 0.2 1.0 0.2 2.3TAv .229 .243 .284 .267 .264BABIP .204 .283 .293 .293 .272BRR -0.5 0.1 0.1 -0.9 0Castros season w as cut short in July w hen his throw ing hand got in the w ay of a Mark Buehrle fastball, proving yet again that the term soft-tosser is a relative one. The catching injury resulted in a broken finger that required four pins to heal. Despite that, Castro continues to demonstrate skills perfectly suited to the short side of a catching platoon: solid defense, an affable demeanor, and a talent for punishing lefthanded pitching (.261/.336/.552 over the last three seasons). His absence allow ed Tyler Flow ers to plant his flag on the W hite Sox backup catcher job, meaning Castro w ill need to find a new set of teammates to paint an arrow and the w ords Catch Ball Here on his mitt.Jordan Danks CFBorn: 8/7/1986 Age: 25 Bats: L Throw s: R Height: 6 5 W eight: 210 Breakout: 3% Improve: 33% Collapse: 7% Attrition: 25% MLB: 78% Comparables: Marcus Davis,Mike Cameron,Rick Miller YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM W NS BIR CHR CHR CHA TEAM W NS BIR CHR CHR CHA TEAM W NS BIR CHR CHR CHA LVL A+ AA AAA AAA MLB LVL A+ AA AAA AAA MLB LVL A+ AA AAA AAA MLB AGE 22 22 23 24 25 SO 32 73 151 155 74 PA 138 330 502 535 250 SB 5 7 15 18 6 R 25 50 62 65 26 2B 11 12 27 24 10 3B 2 1 3 6 1 HR 3 6 8 14 5 RBI 21 20 42 65 23 BB 18 37 41 57 22CS 1 3 6 4 2 BRR -1.1 2 3.7 1.6 -0.1AVG_OBP_SLG .322/.409/.525 .243/.334/.356 .245/.309/.373 .257/.344/.425 .222/.296/.351 FRAA -2.4 1 -7.5 3 CF -3, LF 0TAv .318 .249 .237 .259 .232BABIP .417 .301 .342 .356 .300WARP 1.0 0.9 -0.5 1.9 0.1After tw o disastrous campaigns in the upper minors, Danks has finally started show ing signs of converting his considerable tools into some semblance of production. A 24-year-old slugging .425 in Triple-A doesnt exactly call for a cilidh , but it does provide fuel for optimists to think that the former Longhorn star is finally tapping into the pow er his size and sw ing have long foretold. His strikeout rate is still alarming and guarantees hell never earn a full-time job, but his speed, athleticism, and glovehe w on the 2011 Gold Glove as the best defensive center fielder in the w hole minor leaguesmight just earn him a fourth outfielders job.Alejandro De Aza LFBorn: 4/11/1984 Age: 28 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 1 W eight: 174 Breakout: 1% Improve: 33% Collapse: 7% Attrition: 30% MLB: 89% Comparables: David Murphy,Tito Francona,Ben Francisco YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 TEAM NW O FLO CHR CHA LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB AGE 25 25 26 26 PA 307 27 358 32 R 45 6 53 7 2B 21 1 21 3 3B 5 0 4 0 HR 8 0 5 0 RBI 34 3 49 2 BB 27 5 29 12010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012CHA CHR CHA CHA TEAM NW O FLO CHR CHA CHR CHA CHA TEAM NW O FLO CHR CHA CHR CHA CHAMLB AAA MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB26 27 27 28 SO 53 5 60 4 72 34 5032 435 171 250 SB 11 0 16 2 22 12 117 64 29 303 29 11 130 5 3 20 9 4 52 37 23 291 33 17 20 TAv .305 .284 .280 .250 .288 .341 .268CS 5 0 3 1 11 5 5AVG_OBP_SLG .300/.364/.506 .250/.385/.300 .302/.366/.440 .300/.323/.400 .322/.378/.494 .329/.400/.520 .270/.333/.417 FRAA -4 0.8 -0.1 -0.6 -1.4 2.5 LF -2, CF -0BABIP .338 .312 .355 .346 .373 .404 .319BRR 0.7 1 4.4 0.1 1.9 1.6 -0.8WARP 1.8 0.4 1.8 -0.1 2.5 2.2 1.4De Aza has alw ays been know n for his speed, but his breathless ascent from minor league afterthought to presumptive big league center fielder and leadoff man w as rapid even for him. Called up in late July, De Aza homered in his first at-bat and never stopped hitting, w hile exhibiting solid defensive chops and playing w ith an energy that stood in stark contrast to the somnambulant Alex Rios. His half-season numbers w ith the big club w ere flukyhe w ont slug over .500 again, or sustain a .404 BABIPbut he w ont have to repeat them to be an upgrade from Juan Pierres slap-dashery, and his range in center allow s the W hite Sox to exile Rios to a corner. Combine all that w ith the solid on-base skills hes show n in Triple-A, and De Aza can provide average production on the cheapsomething the Sox can certainly use. Doling out starting gigs to minor league veterans is often a fools errand, but w ith so little dow nside, theres reason to believe this is a gamble w orth taking.Adam Dunn 1BBorn: 11/9/1979 Age: 32 Bats: L Throw s: R Height: 6 7 W eight: 240 Breakout: 0% Improve: 36% Collapse: 3% Attrition: 6% MLB: 94% Comparables: Carlos Pena,Ken Phelps,Mark McGw ire YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM W AS W AS CHA CHA LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 29 30 31 32 PA 668 648 496 496 R 81 85 36 66 2B 29 36 16 18 3B 0 2 0 1 HR 38 38 11 26 RBI 105 103 42 65 BB 116 77 75 77YEAR TEAM LVL SO SB CS AVG_OBP_SLG TAvYEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012TEAM W AS W AS CHA CHA TEAM W AS W AS CHA CHALVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLBSO 177 199 177 143SB 0 0 0 1CS 1 1 1 1 BRR -2.9 -5.4 -6.5 -0.2AVG_OBP_SLG .267/.398/.529 .260/.356/.536 .159/.292/.277 .232/.358/.469 FRAA -11.2 -5.9 -2.4 1B -5, LF -1TAv .310 .306 .218 .292BABIP .324 .329 .240 .284WARP 2.5 2.1 -2.7 2.4Having erred in not re-signing Jim Thome for the 2010 season, the Sox paid top dollar last year for Dunn to fill their DH void, only to w atch his sluggers license expire. How historic w as Dunns pow er outage? There have been 2,300 qualifying player-seasons w here a batter slugged over .500, and last year Dunn became the first to follow up such a year by slugging below .300. W hether due to age, changing leagues, adapting to the DH spot, or some random Ozzieball curse, Dunn spent the season at sea, unable to catch up to the fastballs he has traditionally crushed and posting a stomach-churning .064/.235/.074 line against lefties. The good new s is Dunns superior batting eye remains intact, and a new found commitment to offseason cage w ork may perk up his reflexes and remind him how to put bat on ball w ith authority. None of that w ill stop him from being a Canyonero-sized millstone in the field and on the basepaths. W hile hes certain to improve at the plate, his days as one of baseballs most feared one-trick ponies might be over, unless the three years and $44 million left on his contract say otherw ise.Eduardo Escobar SSBorn: 1/5/1989 Age: 23 Bats: B Throw s: R Height: 5 11 W eight: 165 Breakout: 10% Improve: 35% Collapse: 9% Attrition: 29% MLB: 65% Comparables: Cristian Guzman,Zoilo Versalles,Luis Aparicio YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM KAN W NS BIR CHR CHA CHA TEAM KAN W NS BIR CHR CHA CHA LVL A A+ AA AAA MLB MLB LVL A A+ AA AAA MLB MLB AGE 20 21 21 22 22 23 SO 91 76 35 104 1 54 PA 514 408 216 536 7 250 SB 20 8 3 13 0 5 R 64 57 22 55 0 24 2B 10 18 8 23 0 9 3B 7 8 3 4 0 2 HR 3 3 3 4 0 2 RBI 41 39 22 49 0 21 BB 29 23 9 27 0 11CS 6 5 0 8 0 2AVG_OBP_SLG .256/.292/.328 .285/.322/.402 .262/.287/.376 .266/.303/.354 .286/.286/.286 .237/.271/.320TAv .250 .259 .254 .229 .194 .212YEAR TEAM LVL BABIP BRR FRAAWARP2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012KAN W NS BIR CHR CHA CHAA A+ AA AAA MLB MLB.300 .340 .296 .327 .333 .2892.3 -0.9 -0.2 -4.9 0 -0.33 4.9 3.6 0.5 0.1 SS 4, 2B -02.3 2.1 1.2 -0.4 0.0 -0.4Now that Ozzie has left the building, Escobar has become the most notable w alk-averse Venezuelan shortstop in the W hite Sox' employ. The organization had hoped to see incremental improvement at the plate, but last year Triple-A pitchers exploited his impatient approach and sent his w alk, strikeout, and pow er numbers spiraling into the danger zone from w hich prospects rarely recover. He is a plus defender, how ever, w ith a cannon arm and soft hands that should guarantee him a career as a reserve middle infielder, and keep him ahead of Osvaldo Martinez on the organizational depth chart. In baseballs w orst farm system, thats more than enough to keep the development staff interested.Tyler Flowers CBorn: 1/24/1986 Age: 26 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 5 W eight: 245 Breakout: 7% Improve: 28% Collapse: 7% Attrition: 26% MLB: 84% Comparables: Eric W edge,Tom Haller,Mike Napoli YEAR 2009 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2009 TEAM BIR CHR CHA CHR CHA CHR CHA CHA TEAM BIR CHR CHA CHR CHA CHR CHA CHA TEAM BIR CHR CHA LVL AA AAA MLB AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL AA AAA MLB AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL AA AAA MLB AGE 23 23 23 24 24 25 25 26 SO 76 32 8 121 5 84 38 75 PA 317 119 20 412 15 270 129 250 SB 3 0 0 2 0 2 0 1 R 54 13 3 43 2 36 13 30 2B 18 10 1 22 0 8 5 9 3B 2 0 0 2 0 0 1 1 HR 13 2 0 16 0 15 5 10 RBI 43 13 0 53 0 32 16 28 BB 57 10 3 55 4 39 14 32CS 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 BRR 0.8 0.5 -0.2AVG_OBP_SLG .302/.449/.548 .286/.361/.438 .188/.350/.250 .220/.335/.434 .091/.333/.091 .261/.390/.500 .209/.310/.409 .228/.343/.415 FRAA -0.3 0.1 0TAv .356 .268 .223 .264 .198 .299 .260 .272BABIP .390 .389 .375WARP 4.8 0.6 0.02010 2010 2011 2011 2012CHR CHA CHR CHA CHAAAA MLB AAA MLB MLB.284 .167 .350 .261 .300-2.3 0.4 -0.6 0.2 0-0.2 0 -1.5 -0.2 C -1, 1B -01.9 0.0 2.0 0.6 2.6Flow ers has been the W hite Sox catcher-in-w aiting since his arrival from Atlanta in 2008, and the backstop-sized backstop is finally ready to prove hes been w orth the w ait. An offense-first catcher w ith prodigious raw pow er and a patient approachthink Mike Napoli on Miracle-GroFlow ers has w orked hard to upgrade his receiving skills from disastrous to adequate, and last spring re-tooled his sw ing to overcome a fleeting case of lumber anemia and once again lay the w ood to Triple-A hurlers. Ramon Castros fractured finger gave Flow ers his big break, and the organization came aw ay convinced he can be a big league catcher. Hell start the season in a reserve role, but w ill likely end it as Chicagos TTO catcher-inresidence.Paul Konerko 1BBorn: 3/5/1976 Age: 36 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 4 W eight: 205 Breakout: 0% Improve: 36% Collapse: 9% Attrition: 18% MLB: 87% Comparables: Kevin Mitchell,Rafael Palmeiro,Stan Musial YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM CHA CHA CHA CHA TEAM CHA CHA CHA CHA TEAM CHA CHA CHA CHA LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 33 34 35 36 SO 89 110 89 99 PA 621 631 639 599 SB 1 0 1 1 R 75 89 69 80 2B 30 30 25 23 3B 1 1 0 1 HR 28 39 31 29 RBI 88 111 105 82 BB 58 72 77 69CS 0 1 1 0 BRR -2.1 -3.3 -6 -0.1AVG_OBP_SLG .277/.353/.489 .312/.393/.584 .300/.388/.517 .264/.356/.480 FRAA 2.9 -5.8 -9 1B -5 WARP 2.3 5.1 2.9 3.1TAv .289 .338 .315 .297BABIP .282 .326 .304 .274Impressive as the numbers above may beand his late-career surge has indeed been something to behold they go only partw ay to describing Konerkos value to the W hite Sox. Paulie is the face of the franchise, a fan favorite and long-time team captain, a Marvin Miller Man of the Year finalist, and a voice of clubhouse sanity during an era of reality-show histrionics. His leadership skills and baseball w isdom had Kenny W illiams at least momentarily considering a promotion to player/manager, an idea scotched not by concerns that he w asnt ready to run a ballclub, but fear that the added responsibility might erode Konerkos focus on remaining a run-producing force. Given all that, the $25.5 million hes set to earn through 2013 (some of it deferred) w ill be w ell-earned, never mind his declining glove, ponderous baserunning, and w hatever offensive value Father Time sees fit to steal aw ay in the interim.Brent Lillibridge SSBorn: 9/18/1983 Age: 28 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 0 W eight: 190 Breakout: 1% Improve: 32% Collapse: 9% Attrition: 33% MLB: 79% Comparables: W ill Venable,W illie Craw ford,Joe Lefebvre YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 TEAM CHR CHA CHR CHA CHA CHA TEAM CHR CHA CHR CHA CHA CHA TEAM CHR CHA CHR CHA CHA CHA LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB AGE 25 25 26 26 27 28 SO 57 26 46 36 62 67 PA 283 112 206 101 216 250 R 34 9 26 19 38 27 2B 9 2 8 5 5 8 3B 4 0 0 2 1 2 HR 3 0 4 2 13 7 RBI 24 3 16 16 29 26 BB 29 14 17 3 17 21SB 17 6 19 5 10 12CS 1 3 3 3 6 4AVG_OBP_SLG .252/.337/.358 .158/.273/.179 .270/.335/.378 .224/.248/.378 .258/.340/.505 .225/.302/.375 FRAA 0.5 -1.7 1.5 0.2 2.5 SS -1, 2B 0TAv .251 .177 .257 .212 .297 .242BABIP .312 .217 .341 .333 .310 .283BRR 2.5 1.3 2.5 0.1 1.8 -0.3WARP 1.0 -0.8 0.9 -0.3 1.6 0.4Lillibridge is a likeable player and w as a rare bright spot in an otherw ise gloomy season at the Cell, shining defensively all over the diamond and delivering unexpected home run thump. It w as exactly the sort of small-sample performance that prompts sports-radio chuckleheads to call up The Score and demand that some fleetingly productive grinder be permanently installed at the top of the order, despite years of evidence that their heros true talent level is that of a utility player. Luckily, the W hite Sox know the difference, and w ill continue to get good value from Lillibridge by spotting him appropriately. Hell likely never hit this w ell again, and if he gets 400 at-bats this year, youll know things have gone badly for the Sox.Osvaldo Martinez SSBorn: 5/7/1988 Age: 24 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 5 11 W eight: 190 Breakout: 2% Improve: 18% Collapse: 11% Attrition: 33% MLB: 72% Comparables: Edgar Renteria,Bucky Dent,Greg SmithYEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012TEAM JUP JAX FLO NW O FLO CHA TEAM JUP JAX FLO NW O FLO CHA TEAM JUP JAX FLO NW O FLO CHALVL A+ AA MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL A+ AA MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL A+ AA MLB AAA MLB MLBAGE 21 22 22 23 23 24 SO 51 64 6 57 9 41PA 485 587 48 371 23 250R 54 90 8 43 0 242B 16 28 4 15 0 93B 5 4 1 1 0 1HR 1 5 0 3 0 2RBI 45 54 2 26 1 20BB 41 49 4 21 0 15SB 16 13 1 11 0 5CS 4 9 0 4 0 2AVG_OBP_SLG .254/.321/.321 .302/.366/.401 .326/.383/.465 .245/.296/.322 .130/.130/.130 .233/.283/.310 FRAA 6.7 -2.4 -0.4 -5.3 -0.1 SS 0, 2B -0TAv .242 .279 .295 .214 .086 .217BABIP .282 .330 .378 .284 .214 .270BRR 4.3 2.6 1.1 -1.8 0.5 -0.2WARP 2.2 4.1 0.4 -1.1 -0.3 -0.2Half of the organizations haul for saying adios to Ozzie, Martinez saw his prospect flame dim significantly last year w hile hacking aw ay like a futility-infielder-in-w aiting for the Marlins. W ith average speed, little pow er, and questionable range at short, hell need to rediscover the patience he demonstrated in 2010 to have any chance of moving past the more leather-capable Eduardo Escobar and into a big-league utility role.Jared Mitchell CFBorn: 10/13/1988 Age: 23 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 1 W eight: 205 Breakout: 3% Improve: 12% Collapse: 4% Attrition: 14% MLB: 40% Comparables: Todd Hollandsw orth,Matthew Cerione,Mickey Hall YEAR 2009 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2011 2012 TEAM KAN W NS CHA TEAM KAN W NS CHA LVL A A+ MLB LVL A A+ MLB AGE 20 22 23 SO 40 183 88 PA 139 541 250 SB 5 14 5 R 13 74 22 2B 12 31 10 3B 2 8 1 HR 0 9 3 RBI 10 58 19 BB 23 52 20CS 3 6 2AVG_OBP_SLG .296/.417/.435 .222/.304/.377 .192/.261/.294TAv .324 .230 .202YEAR 2009 2011 2012TEAM KAN W NS CHALVL A A+ MLBBABIP .453 .336 .290BRR -3.4 0.3 -0.2FRAA 0 -7.9 CF -11WARP 1.0 -1.0 -1.3Ouch. A tw o-sport star at LSU, Mitchell w as considered a raw talent w hen the Sox made him their first round pick three years ago, but after one season lost to unfortunate injury and another lost to unfortunate hackery, hes now considered a raw semi-talent. Mitchell has tremendous speed and pow er potential but has yet to translate those tools into actual performance, and never w ill if he continues to w hiff in over a third of his plate appearances. The Sox are w illing to chalk last year up to rust and the burden of high expectations, but if Mitchellalready 23 and still inexperiencedcant get this battleship turned around quickly his career w ill be sunk before it gets started.Brent Morel 3BBorn: 4/21/1987 Age: 25 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 3 W eight: 220 Breakout: 8% Improve: 32% Collapse: 10% Attrition: 29% MLB: 72% Comparables: Adrian Beltre,Jesus Guzman,Stan Royer YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2010 2011 2012 TEAM W NS BIR CHR CHA CHA CHA TEAM W NS BIR CHR CHA CHA CHA TEAM W NS BIR CHR CHA CHA CHA LVL A+ AA AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL A+ AA AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL A+ AA AAA MLB MLB MLB AGE 22 23 23 23 24 25 SO 66 36 50 17 57 66 PA 526 203 324 70 444 405 R 82 25 40 9 44 46 2B 33 13 24 3 18 19 3B 1 1 4 0 1 1 HR 16 2 8 3 10 11 RBI 79 30 34 7 41 47 BB 38 14 13 4 22 21SB 25 5 3 2 5 7CS 9 5 0 0 4 3AVG_OBP_SLG .281/.337/.453 .326/.378/.440 .320/.343/.503 .231/.271/.415 .245/.287/.366 .264/.305/.407 FRAA 5.6 0.4 1.2 -0.7 -1.3 3B 1, SS -0TAv .278 .302 .295 .231 .245 .257BABIP .298 .395 .356 .261 .262 .291BRR 2.9 -0.7 0.9 0.8 -0.9 -0.4WARP 4.0 1.5 2.9 0.0 0.5 1.6Morel has a plus glove but has long suffered from Josh Vitters Disease, w herein a young third baseman w ith excellent plate coverage puts the first pitch he can reach in play rather than w aiting for somethingw ith excellent plate coverage puts the first pitch he can reach in play rather than w aiting for something he can drive. His symptoms w ere greatly in evidence throughout his rookie season, as Morel didnt draw a w alk until May 30, and had only 11 free passes, tw o home runs, and a punchless .247/.271/.333 line through the end of August. W hen Morel started to embrace the selectivity his coaches w ere preaching, how ever, the results w ere eye-popping, featuring a .224/.340/.553 September line w ith 15 w alks and 8 home runs. Theres alw ays risk in reading too much into late-seasons results, but if Morel can carry his new found patience forw ard hell continue to unleash the pow er in his sw ing and w ill blow past that PECOTA projection.Juan Pierre LFBorn: 8/14/1977 Age: 34 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 1 W eight: 170 Breakout: 4% Improve: 24% Collapse: 11% Attrition: 29% MLB: 80% Comparables: Fernando Vina,Chuck Knoblauch,Steve Sax YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM LAN CHA CHA CHA TEAM LAN CHA CHA CHA TEAM LAN CHA CHA CHA LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 31 32 33 34 SO 27 47 41 49 PA 425 734 711 673 R 57 96 80 71 2B 16 18 17 17 3B 8 3 4 4 HR 0 1 2 2 RBI 31 47 50 51 BB 27 45 43 40SB 30 68 27 44CS 12 18 17 16AVG_OBP_SLG .308/.365/.392 .275/.341/.316 .279/.329/.327 .274/.328/.328 FRAA 1.7 5.5 -1.2 LF -3, CF -0TAv .267 .242 .242 .237BABIP .331 .294 .294 .285BRR 1.6 8.6 10 -1.1WARP 1.3 1.4 -0.2 -0.2Ozzies decision last year to keep the pow erless Pierre atop his lineup and starting in left field w asnt surprising, but it did fly in the face of several hard truths: speed is not defense, bunting and making contact is not on-base ability, and Juan Pierre isnt a lead-off manhe just plays one on TV. Anyone w ho fields a corner outfield position poorly, doesnt draw w alks, is routinely throw n out trying to steal, and has less pow er than a Utah Democrat doesnt deserve 700 precious plate appearances, no matter how hard he w orks or how good he w as a decade ago. Its not Pierres fault that clubs continue to pay him to do things hes no longer capable of, but any GM that signs him for more than a pinch-running role w ill have a lot of 'splainin' to do.A.J. Pierzynski CBorn: 12/30/1976 Age: 35 Bats: L Throw s: R Height: 6 4 W eight: 218 Breakout: 0% Improve: 22% Collapse: 12% Attrition: 33% MLB: 75% Comparables: Darrin Fletcher,Bengie Molina,Toby Hall YEAR TEAM LVL AGE PA R 2B 3B HR RBI BB2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012CHA CHA CHA CHA TEAM CHA CHA CHA CHA TEAM CHA CHA CHA CHAMLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB32 33 34 35 SO 52 39 33 53535 503 500 472 SB 1 3 0 157 43 38 5222 29 29 211 0 1 113 9 8 1149 56 48 5124 15 23 21 TAv .259 .230 .250 .245CS 1 4 0 1AVG_OBP_SLG .300/.331/.425 .270/.300/.388 .287/.323/.405 .264/.303/.388 FRAA -2.8 -1.7 -0.9 C -2 WARP 1.2 0.5 0.7 1.4BABIP .312 .278 .291 .276BRR -3.4 -0.8 -2.7 -0.2It w as dj vu all over again last year at the Cell, as the W hite Sox signed A.J. for the fourth time and w ere rew arded w ith the same mix of singles, doubles, double-play grounders and opponent steals he alw ays provides. If you sing .280/.320/.420 into a smartphone, Shazam w ill identify it as a classic Pierzynski track. Such consistent mediocrity, paired w ith A.J.s legendary durability, provides value, as it allow s the organization to build the rest of the lineup know ing their catcher w ill neither carry nor sink it. W ith Pierzynskis latest deal expiring at the end of this season, the Sox plan to shift more w ork onto Tyler Flow ers, but if the young slugger again fails to launch dont be surprised if A.J. re-ups for a fifth time.Alexei Ramirez SSBorn: 9/22/1981 Age: 30 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 4 W eight: 185 Breakout: 4% Improve: 39% Collapse: 3% Attrition: 9% MLB: 88% Comparables: Barry Larkin,Edgar Renteria,Jason Bartlett YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM CHA CHA CHA CHA TEAM CHA CHA CHA CHA LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 27 28 29 30 SO 66 82 84 81 PA 606 626 684 631 R 71 83 81 75 2B 14 29 31 23 3B 1 2 2 2 HR 15 18 15 19 RBI 68 70 70 74 BB 49 27 51 42SB 14 13 7 11CS 5 8 5 6AVG_OBP_SLG .277/.333/.389 .282/.313/.431 .269/.328/.399 .272/.324/.418TAv .257 .265 .254 .265YEAR TEAM LVL BABIP BRR FRAA WARP 2009 CHA MLB .288 -0.1 -6.9 1.52010 CHA 2011 CHA 2012 CHAMLB .300 MLB .288 MLB .2846.2 20.9 1.4 7.5 -1.1 SS 75.8 3.2 2.9If Ramirez w ere a bit younger his 2011 campaign might have been called a consolidation season, that moment w hen a burgeoning star confirms a level of steady production before grow ing into his full potential. Now that hes on the w rong side of 30, how ever, its far more likely Ramirez has reached his peak having never quite taken that great leap forw ard at the plate. Nonetheless, his defense remains superlative, show ing great range, a cannon arm, and a flair for the dramatic, w hile oozing an athleticism that should help him retain his value in the field for years to come. Ramirez w ill never w alk enough to be an asset at the top of the order or slug enough to be an outstanding run producer, but more importantly, hes not about to become a lineup void. Most teams w ould love to get that from their shortstop.Alex Rios CFBorn: 2/18/1981 Age: 31 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 6 W eight: 180 Breakout: 1% Improve: 51% Collapse: 2% Attrition: 11% MLB: 90% Comparables: Amos Otis,Vernon W ells,Eric Byrnes YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM CHA TOR CHA CHA CHA TEAM CHA TOR CHA CHA CHA TEAM CHA TOR CHA CHA CHA LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 28 28 29 30 31 SO 29 78 93 68 88 PA 154 479 617 570 545 R 11 52 89 64 63 2B 6 25 29 22 26 3B 0 2 3 2 3 HR 3 14 21 13 16 RBI 9 62 88 44 65 BB 6 31 38 27 36SB 5 19 34 11 20CS 2 3 14 6 7AVG_OBP_SLG .199/.229/.301 .264/.317/.427 .284/.334/.457 .227/.265/.348 .259/.312/.418 FRAA -0.2 5.7 4.1 -1.2 CF 3, RF 1TAv .186 .264 .270 .216 .261BABIP .226 .289 .306 .237 .284BRR -1 -0.2 0 2.1 -0.4WARP -1.0 1.9 3.1 -0.7 1.7The third leg in last years Stool of Southside Lineup Disaster, Rioss season w as in some w ays the most discouraging. W hereas Adam Dunns struggles at the plate w ere unprecedented, Rios has been here before, w ith his 2010 adequacy looking more and more like an outlier. W hile Gordon Beckham refused to let his sickly bat infect his glove, Rios often shambled around the outfield like a Sleestak w ith mono. His batting average dropped 60 points despite a huge drop in his strikeout rate, and sabermetric orthodoxy insists that his .237 BABIP w ill improvebut sabermetric orthodoxy hasnt w atched Rios repeatedly make w eak contact on pitches out of the zone. On the w rong side of 30 and ow ed $37 million over the next three years, Rios still has the skills to play a solid center field if he w ants to and has now here to go but up at the plate, but no amount of squinting w ill make him the tw o-w ay star his contract demands.at the plate, but no amount of squinting w ill make him the tw o-w ay star his contract demands.Tyler Saladino SSBorn: 7/20/1989 Age: 22 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 0 W eight: 180 Breakout: 5% Improve: 24% Collapse: 7% Attrition: 36% MLB: 79% Comparables: Jose Offerman,Angel Berroa,Bobby Grich YEAR 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2010 2010 2011 2012 TEAM KAN BRI W NS CHA TEAM KAN BRI W NS CHA TEAM KAN BRI W NS CHA LVL A RK A+ MLB LVL A RK A+ MLB LVL A RK A+ MLB AGE 20 20 21 22 SO 44 12 90 59 PA 198 56 464 250 R 40 7 75 28 2B 14 3 26 10 3B 1 0 9 2 HR 2 1 16 8 RBI 18 6 55 28 BB 22 5 51 20SB 4 1 7 3CS 2 2 7 2AVG_OBP_SLG .309/.395/.442 .292/.364/.417 .270/.363/.501 .233/.302/.397 FRAA -1.9 -0.4 11.4 SS 9 WARP 1.3 0.4 5.4 1.4TAv .291 .307 .292 .249BABIP .398 .361 .310 .276BRR 2.2 -0.9 2 -0.4Saladinos impressive 2010 debut placed him on numerous prospect sleeper lists, and last year the former seventh round pick broke out in a big w ay. After missing a month w ith a broken hand, Saladino broke out the boom stick on Carolina League pitchers, maintaining a solid w alk rate and show ing unexpected home run pop. In the field hes more steady than spectacular, though most scouts feel he has the arm and instincts to remain at shortstop. Long on production but short on pedigree, Saladino w ill need to prove himself all over again at Double-A. If his pow er and patience carries forw ard into the high minors hell profile more and more as a big league starter.Brandon Short CFBorn: 9/9/1988 Age: 23 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 2 W eight: 190 Breakout: 4% Improve: 21% Collapse: 6% Attrition: 17% MLB: 55% Comparables: Miguel Velazquez,Ben Guez,Rod Craig YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM KAN W NS BIR CHA LVL A A+ AA MLB AGE 20 21 22 23 PA 390 544 581 250 R 56 77 75 25 2B 19 31 29 10 3B 3 5 5 1 HR 7 15 13 5 RBI 55 79 60 25 BB 27 28 36 10YEAR TEAM LVL SO SB CS AVG_OBP_SLG TAv2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012KAN W NS BIR CHA TEAM KAN W NS BIR CHAA A+ AA MLB LVL A A+ AA MLB78 107 125 6112 7 21 41 10 9 2 BRR 2.4 2.5 6.6 -0.3.284/.336/.417 .316/.367/.491 .262/.318/.411 .229/.270/.348 FRAA -2.7 -7 -2.1 CF -6, RF -1.270 .289 .255 .220BABIP .337 .375 .317 .283WARP 1.5 2.8 1.9 -0.7Finding a useful player in the 28th round is more difficult than finding a quiet hotel room in Cairo, but the Sox may have something in Brandon Short. Possessing a standard-issue fourth outfielder tool kit, w ith just enough range for center and just enough arm for right, Short has a fluid stroke that generates gap pow er but often gets himself out w ith an impatient approach. If he fixes that last part he can become a big league outfielder; if not, hell become a big league outsider.Trayce Thompson CFBorn: 3/15/1991 Age: 21 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 4 W eight: 195 Breakout: 0% Improve: 15% Collapse: 2% Attrition: 13% MLB: 27% Comparables: Mike Anderson,Juan Gonzalez,Jason Place YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM BRI KAN KAN CHA TEAM BRI KAN KAN CHA TEAM BRI KAN KAN CHA LVL RK A A MLB LVL RK A A MLB LVL RK A A MLB AGE 18 19 20 21 SO 33 69 172 85 PA 93 235 597 250 SB 2 6 8 2 R 8 28 95 23 2B 3 13 36 9 3B 1 3 2 1 HR 0 8 24 7 RBI 10 31 87 24 BB 4 21 60 16CS 0 4 4 1 BRR 0.4 1 -1.9 -0.1AVG_OBP_SLG .188/.250/.247 .229/.305/.433 .241/.329/.457 .189/.246/.329 FRAA -0.5 2.6 3.6 CF -6, RF -0TAv .173 .267 .268 .205BABIP .308 .301 .309 .257WARP -0.8 1.0 2.6 -1.2Flash! Thunder! No tool in the Sox system generates as much excitement as Thompsons light-tow er pow er, and no player w ould benefit more from learning to recognize friendly pitches. His second spin through the Sally League w as hit-and-miss, as Thompson unleashed a long stroke that generated both moonshots and strikeouts w ith great frequency, and show ed a w elcome w illingness to take a w alk. The son of former NBA center Mychal Thompson, hes already 6-foot-3 at age 20 and most scouts expect himto outgrow center field, though his bat has the potential to play in a corner. The Sox can afford to take their time w ith him, and if Thompson can learn to make more contact and leverage his plus speed, hell be the only prospect in the system w ith All-Star potential.Dayan Viciedo RFBorn: 3/10/1989 Age: 23 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 0 W eight: 240 Breakout: 4% Improve: 61% Collapse: 3% Attrition: 10% MLB: 79% Comparables: Ruben Sierra,Ellis Valentine,Raul Mondesi YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM BIR CHR CHA CHR CHA CHA TEAM BIR CHR CHA CHR CHA CHA TEAM BIR CHR CHA CHR CHA CHA LVL AA AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL AA AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL AA AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB AGE 20 21 21 22 22 23 SO 89 78 25 83 23 52 PA 540 363 106 505 113 250 R 72 42 17 60 11 29 2B 20 15 7 28 3 10 3B 0 0 0 0 0 0 HR 12 20 5 20 1 9 RBI 78 47 13 78 6 31 BB 23 11 2 45 9 12SB 5 1 1 2 1 1CS 2 1 0 1 0 0AVG_OBP_SLG .280/.320/.391 .274/.306/.493 .308/.321/.519 .296/.364/.491 .255/.327/.314 .264/.306/.427 FRAA -2.2 0.9 -1.8 -7.9 -2.3 RF -5, 3B -1TAv .258 .251 .296 .285 .236 .259BABIP .320 .298 .365 .324 .321 .301BRR 1.2 -1 -0.5 3 0.1 0WARP 1.5 0.3 0.3 1.9 -0.1 0.9One glance at Viciedo in a baseball uniform is enough to discern his main purpose in life: hitting a baseball very, very hard, and ideally going into a slow trot after doing so. The young Cuban has alw ays show n outstanding raw pow er to all fields and an ability to hit for average, but last year he developed a more selective approach that resulted in a quadrupled w alk rate and a significant raising of his offensive ceiling. He remains a defensive liability, how ever; the organizations latest scheme involves hiding him in the outfield, w here he possesses an adequate arm but reads fly balls at a Kittle-garden level. W ith Carlos Quentin moving to San Diego, Viciedo w ill break camp as the everyday right fielder, and if his new approach sticks he has a chance to provide solid production at a fraction of the cost.PITCHERS Dylan AxelrodBorn: 7/30/1985 Age: 26 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 1 W eight: 195 Breakout: 22% Improve: 49% Collapse: 24% Attrition: 11% MLB: 87% Comparables: Pat Jarvis,Alfredo Aceves,Gary Nolan YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2010 W NS A+ 24 2011 BIR 2011 CHR 2011 CHA 2012 CHA YEAR 2010 2011 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2010 2011 2011 2011 2012 TEAM W NS BIR CHR CHA CHA TEAM W NS BIR CHR CHA CHA AA 25 9 3 0 0 1 0 2 1 0 1 0 0 3 3 0 BB 14 13 21 9 20 SO 87 49 75 19 37 H23 13 99 1 90 11 9 59 1 50 15 15 91 1 74 4 3 18 2 18 11 8 EqBB9 1.1 2.1 2.1 4.3 3.2 ERA 1.99 3.34 2.27 2.89 4.38 56 2 60 EqSO9 7.6 8.6 7.4 9.2 5.9 FIP 2.58 2.68 2.70 3.33 4.33 GB% 45% 39% 47% 43% 43% WARP 2.6 1.1 2.4 0.2 0.2AAA 25 MLB 25 MLB 26 LVL A+ AA AAA MLB MLB LVL A+ AA AAA MLB MLB HR 3 1 2 1 6BABIP .304 .322 .273 .327 .303WHIP 1.08 1.11 1.04 1.45 1.42FRA 3.42 3.20 3.40 4.17 4.76Since signing him aw ay from the W indy City ThunderBolts in 2009, the Sox have w atched Axelrod charge his w ay through the system, ending last season w ith a successful September call-up. An undersized righthander, command and control are his stock in trade. Axelrod needs to carefully spot his lackluster fastball before uncorking a nasty, late-breaking slider that creates a surprising number of punchouts. Axelrods ceiling is that of a fifth starter, a role hell nominally compete for this spring, though he profiles best as a sw ingman or slider-slinging ROOGY. W hile low -velo control artists run the constant risk of the league catching on to their tricks, if Axelrod can keep familiarity and contempt from getting too friendly he can have a career.Anthony CarterBorn: 4/4/1986 Age: 26 Bats: L Throw s: R Height: 6 4 W eight: 210 Breakout: 36% Improve: 71% Collapse: 14% Attrition: 19% MLB: 91% Comparables: Allen W atson,Gabe W hite,Todd Stottlemyre YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 W NS A+ 23 2010 BIR AA 24 11 7 0 H27 27 154 2 156 1 4 22 46 2 57 1 3357 2011 CHR 2012 CHA YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM W NS BIR CHR CHA TEAM W NS BIR CHR CHA AAA 25 MLB 26 LVL A+ AA AAA MLB LVL A+ AA AAA MLB HR 23 4 6 3 0 2 3 1 0 0 BB 43 15 26 8 SO 123 37 46 8 35 0 13 0 EqBB9 2.5 3.5 4.9 4.3 ERA 4.36 3.93 7.23 6.10 47 1 60 16 19 EqSO9 6.9 9.1 9.1 4.7 FIP 4.70 4.01 4.91 6.14 GB% 41% 33% 39% 40% WARP -0.2 0.0 -0.1 -0.3BABIP .286 .293 .391 .306WHIP 1.24 1.20 1.82 1.68FRA 6.11 5.09 6.05 6.63In most organizations a 25-year-old reliever w ho suffered a mid-season demotion to Double-A isnt really a prospect, but this isnt most organizations. Carter commands attention w ith his upper-90s fastball, but last year he couldnt command the strike zone, issuing almost five free passes per nine and getting kicked around the yard like a gym ball at recess. If he can cut dow n on the w alks w hile keeping his strikeout rate high he could someday have Mike MacDougals career, for w hat thats w orth. But lets be honest here that almost never happens.Simon CastroBorn: 4/9/1988 Age: 24 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 6 W eight: 210 Breakout: 19% Improve: 67% Collapse: 16% Attrition: 15% MLB: 90% Comparables: Chris Resop,Bob Lacey,Chris Carpenter YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 FTW 2010 SAN 2011 SAN 2012 CHA YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM FTW SAN SAN CHA A 21 11 6 0 7 6 0 3 6 0 2 3 0 BB 41 25 16 18 SO 170 80 88 28 HAA 22 AA 23 MLB 24 LVL A AA AA MLB HR 9 7 10 528 27 140 1 122 24 23 129 2 81 16 16 89 1 109 8 8 41 43 EqBB9 2.4 2.5 1.6 4.0 EqSO9 10.1 7.4 7.4 6.2 GB% 43% 50% 40% 43%YEAR TEAM LVL BABIP WHIP ERA FIP FRA WARP 2009 FTW A .294 1.10 3.34 3.16 3.71 2.8 2010 SAN AA .260 1.10 2.91 3.49 4.12 1.12011 SAN 2012 CHAAA .327 MLB .2971.24 1.494.33 3.64 4.00 1.4 4.89 4.74 5.32 -0.0The key ingredient coming to Chicago in the Carlos Quentin trade, Castro endured a disastrous season that saw him spend time in extended spring training after losing all sense of the strike zone at Triple-A Tucson, before picking up a few of the pieces in Double-A. Hes armed w ith a mid-90s fastball, a solid slider, and a dodgy changeup, so many scouts see his future in the bullpen, but the Sox believe they can w ork out the mechanical kinks that led to his loss of command and see the big righty as their new Jose Contreras. If theyre right hell be a steal; if not, hes just another bullpen arm.Jesse CrainBorn: 7/5/1981 Age: 30 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 2 W eight: 200 Breakout: 22% Improve: 59% Collapse: 24% Attrition: 11% MLB: 93% Comparables: Matt W ise,Jeff Montgomery,Kevin Gregg YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 MIN 2010 MIN 2011 CHA 2012 CHA YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM MIN MIN CHA CHA TEAM MIN MIN CHA CHA MLB 28 MLB 29 MLB 30 MLB 30 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 3 5 7 6 7 4 0 1 1 1 8 3 1 3 1 1 BB 27 27 31 23 SO 43 62 70 50 56 0 71 0 67 0 57 0 EqBB9 4.7 3.6 4.3 3.8 ERA 4.70 3.04 2.62 3.73 H51 2 48 68 53 65 1 50 55 1 50 EqSO9 7.5 8.2 9.6 8.1 FIP 4.09 3.41 3.73 4.05 GB% 46% 41% 36% 42% WARP 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6BABIP .302 .267 .270 .289WHIP 1.45 1.18 1.24 1.33FRA 4.55 4.48 4.33 4.05Crain spent his first year on the South Side making good on his new three-year, $13 million salary, or at least as much as he could w orking in relief, w here the line betw een formidable and fungible can be w aferthin. Once considered strictly a fireballer, Crain can still unleash a mid-90s fastball but now throw s his slider almost half the time, more than any right-hander not named Marmol, and last year found a new changeup grip that helped him hold lefty bats to a .184/.311/.195 line. He seemed to tire dow n the stretch, but if manager Robin Ventura can ease back a bit on the throttle to keep him fresh, Crains new ly-expanded repertoire makes him a late-innings w eapon against hitters of all stripes. Good thing too, since thats exactly w hat the Sox are paying him forand w ith Sergio Santos now closing in Toronto, Crain may yet earn his salary in the ninth.John DanksBorn: 4/15/1985 Age: 27 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 2 W eight: 200 Breakout: 29% Improve: 61% Collapse: 27% Attrition: 8% MLB: 91% Comparables:Harvey Haddix,Phil Coke,Fu-Te Ni YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 CHA 2010 CHA 2011 CHA 2012 CHA YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM CHA CHA CHA CHA TEAM CHA CHA CHA CHA MLB 24 MLB 25 MLB 26 MLB 27 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 28 18 19 20 13 11 0 15 11 0 8 12 0 9 9 0 BB 73 70 46 51 SO 149 162 135 124 H32 32 200 1 184 32 32 213 189 27 27 170 1 182 25 25 158 2 153 EqSO9 6.7 6.8 7.1 7.0 FIP 4.64 3.67 3.86 4.24 GB% 46% 46% 46% 43% WARP 1.5 3.3 2.2 1.6EqBB9 3.3 3.0 2.4 2.9 ERA 3.77 3.72 4.33 3.90BABIP .269 .276 .315 .288WHIP 1.28 1.22 1.34 1.29FRA 5.12 4.08 4.13 4.24Last year Danks didnt take that big step forw ard some expected, stumbling out of the gate and losing his first eight decisions before regaining some traction en route to an 8-12 record. W in-loss records arent particularly eloquent, how ever, and under the hood Danks w as the same solid starter hes been since joining the W hite Sox rotation. His w alk and strikeout rates actually improved a bit, but as a fly-ball pitcher in the Cell home runs can be an issue, and Danks suffered more than most at the hands of an outfield filled w ith George Romero film extras. He throw s his low -90s fastball less than half the time, w orking off his cutter and changeup and relying more on command than pure stuff. In other w ords, if Danks is your ace that means you dont have one, but as a healthy and valuable second starter in the prime of his career, he likely w ont make the Sox regret his new five-year, $65 million extension.Gavin FloydBorn: 1/27/1983 Age: 29 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 6 W eight: 210 Breakout: 18% Improve: 43% Collapse: 28% Attrition: 8% MLB: 92% Comparables: Gaylord Perry,Ed Halicki,Curt Schilling YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H 2009 CHA MLB 26 11 11 0 30 30 193 178 2010 CHA MLB 27 10 13 0 31 31 187 1 199 2011 CHA 2012 CHA MLB 28 MLB 29 12 13 0 9 10 0 31 30 193 2 180 26 26 166 161YEAR TEAM LVL HR BB SO EqBB9 EqSO9 GB% 2009 CHA MLB 21 59 163 2.8 7.6 46% 2010 CHA MLB 14 58 151 2.8 7.3 50%2011 CHA 2012 CHA YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM CHA CHA CHA CHAMLB 22 45 151 2.1 MLB 22 50 127 2.7 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB BABIP .285 .327 .280 .288 WHIP 1.23 1.37 1.16 1.27 ERA 4.06 4.08 4.37 3.907.0 6.9 FIP 3.82 3.43 3.85 4.3046% 44% FRA 4.59 4.07 4.19 4.24 WARP 2.3 3.2 2.2 1.7Blessed w ith the best stuff on the W hite Sox starting staff, Floyd continues to show maddening inconsistency, producing masterpieces and disasterpieces w ith equal frequency. W hen hes on, Floyd gets ahead of hitters w ith w ell-located fastballs and puts them aw ay w ith his curveball or an odd slider/cutter hybrid, draw ing aw kw ard sw ings and w eak contact. W hen hes not, his breaking stuff flattens out, his fastball floats up in the zone, and last w eeks pop-flies become this w eeks bleacher souvenirs. Even Floyds defense is inconsistent, as he w as once again one of the easiest starters in baseball to run on. W ith talent like his, the chance of a breakout often seems imminent, but at this point even Vladimir and Estragon w ould stop w aiting, and Floyds w illingness to sign a club-friendly extension through his arbitration years didnt seem like a pitcher confident in his ow n upside. Theres value in being a mid-rotation starter, and Floyd may w ell be w orth his $9.5 million club option in 2013, but Sox fans should stop thinking that he is going to be anything more.Philip HumberBorn: 12/21/1982 Age: 29 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 5 W eight: 210 Breakout: 24% Improve: 60% Collapse: 21% Attrition: 17% MLB: 88% Comparables: Raw ly Eastw ick,Bob W elch,Nate Robertson YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 ROC 2009 MIN 2010 OMA 2010 KCA 2011 CHA 2012 CHA YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 TEAM ROC MIN OMA KCA CHA CHA AAA 26 MLB 26 AAA 27 MLB 27 MLB 28 MLB 29 LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB HR 15 1 7 1 14 16 7 9 0 0 0 0 5 6 0 2 1 0 9 9 0 6 8 0 BB 45 9 13 7 41 41 SO 87 9 45 16 116 77 H23 22 119 2 135 8 0 9 17 21 20 118 2 72 21 2 22 28 26 163 151 19 19 115 120 8 1 EqBB9 3.4 9.0 1.5 2.9 2.3 3.2 EqSO9 6.5 9.0 6.1 6.6 6.4 6.0 GB% 39% 50% 51% 44% 48% 42%YEAR TEAM LVL BABIP WHIP ERA FIP FRA WARP 2009 ROC AAA .312 1.50 5.34 4.65 5.22 0.52009 2010 2010 2011 2012MIN OMA KCA CHA CHAMLB AAA MLB MLB MLB.516 .269 .304 .276 .2922.89 1.27 1.34 1.18 1.408.00 4.47 4.15 3.75 4.495.59 4.45 3.28 3.62 4.745.21 5.70 4.14 3.65 4.880.1 -0.3 0.3 2.6 0.4Ever notice how starters w ho throw a variety of off-speed pitches are junkballers w hen they fail, but have a deep repertoire w hen they succeed? Case in point, Philip Humber, a former top prospect w ho had been branded a Triple-A junkballer by the Tw ins, Royals, and Athletics before the W hite Sox grabbed him off the scrap heap last year and plugged him in as a temporary rotation patch. Humber responded by unleashing his deep repertoirefastball, changeup, slider, and a knee-buckling curve he can throw for strikeson an unprepared American League, w ith hitters posting a .218/.275/.321 line against him through the All-Star break. He regressed significantly in the second half once the book on him came out, but not so badly that there isnt hope he can have a career at the back end of the rotation. He w ont be better than that, though.Gregory InfanteBorn: 7/10/1987 Age: 24 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 3 W eight: 185 Breakout: 51% Improve: 73% Collapse: 13% Attrition: 10% MLB: 85% Comparables: Al McBean,Mudcat Grant,Jack Morris YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 KAN A 21 3 5 0 1 2 0 1 2 9 2 2 3 0 0 0 1 3 4 1 0 0 BB 37 23 10 4 4 21 10 SO 75 10 30 18 5 40 8 H2009 W NS A+ 21 2010 W NS A+ 22 2010 BIR 2010 CHA 2011 CHR 2012 CHA YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 TEAM KAN W NS W NS BIR CHA CHR CHA TEAM KAN W NS W NS AA 2215 15 88 1 76 6 5 20 2 18 31 0 24 0 5 0 34 0 13 0 EqBB9 3.8 10.0 4.0 4.1 7.7 3.9 5.9 ERA 3.26 7.83 3.47 33 2 25 26 1 16 42 2 48 1 50 15 1 17 EqSO9 7.6 4.3 9.3 11.6 9.6 7.4 4.8 FIP 3.92 8.32 2.74 GB% 52% 44% 58% 49% 40% 52% 47% WARP 0.4 -0.5 0.4MLB 22 AAA 23 MLB 24 LVL A A+ A+ AA MLB AAA MLB LVL A A+ A+ HR 4 3 0 0 0 5 2BABIP .298 .242 .338WHIP 1.28 1.98 1.39FRA 4.82 9.31 4.242010 2010 2011 2012BIR CHA CHR CHAAA MLB AAA MLB.364 .200 .308 .2941.33 1.29 1.47 1.763.42 0.00 3.35 5.982.75 3.48 4.36 5.813.78 4.65 5.18 6.500.3 0.0 0.3 -0.3Infante spent the year dealing gas from the Charlotte pen, a phrase the baseball-disinclined may take to mean he w as selling nitrous oxide to fellow prisoners, but w hich you, Gentle Reader, understand to mean he used his mid-90s fastball in relief. Infantes already-shaky control took a small step backw ards last year, he didnt miss as many bats as he had in the low minors, his mechanics are still a fright, and his secondary pitches are w orks-in-progress. On the plus side he clearly has enough stuff to retire major league hitters. W ith few other options in the system, he may get his shot this year.Nathan JonesBorn: 1/28/1986 Age: 26 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 6 W eight: 185 Breakout: 26% Improve: 50% Collapse: 17% Attrition: 10% MLB: 82% Comparables: Vladimir Nunez,Pete Filson,Ryan Drese YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 W NS A+ 23 2010 W NS A+ 24 2011 BIR 2012 CHA YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM W NS W NS BIR CHA TEAM W NS W NS BIR CHA AA 25 MLB 26 LVL A+ A+ AA MLB LVL A+ A+ AA MLB HR 4 9 3 4 2 1 0 11 7 0 32 0 H49 1 48 28 28 152 1 161 63 1 59 26 2 31 EqSO9 7.8 6.4 9.5 5.7 FIP 3.59 4.27 3.16 5.68 GB% 46% 48% 54% 43% WARP 0.5 1.0 0.5 -0.40 3 12 42 0 1 2 0 BB 15 58 27 16 SO 44 100 69 17 9 4 EqBB9 2.4 3.3 3.8 5.3 ERA 3.65 4.08 3.27 5.97BABIP .312 .349 .320 .316WHIP 1.16 1.52 1.34 1.75FRA 4.63 5.01 4.32 6.49After an abortive attempt by the team to make him a starter, Mr. Jones put a w iggle in the development staffs collective stride by thriving in a relief role last year. The tow ering right-hander used his high-90s fastball to greater effect in shorter stints, amping up his strikeout rate w hile keeping his w alks in check. Not everything w as ventilated slacks, how ever, as Jones still needs to better locate his pow er curve, and the only benefit to being 25 in the Southern League is cheaper car insurance than your teammates. Still, if Jones can consolidate his gains this year he may soon be able to fill a role at the back of the Sox bullpen.Jhan MarinezBorn: 8/12/1988 Age: 23 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 2 W eight: 165 Breakout: 26% Improve: 56% Collapse: 23% Attrition: 20% MLB: 93%Comparables: Dave Bosw ell,Gio Gonzalez,Billy McCool YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H 2009 JUP A+ 20 1 1 1 29 0 43 28 2010 JUP A+ 21 0 1 4 21 1 25 1 9 2010 FLO 2011 JAX 2012 CHA YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 TEAM JUP JUP FLO JAX CHA TEAM JUP JUP FLO JAX CHA MLB 21 AA 22 MLB 23 LVL A+ A+ MLB AA MLB LVL A+ A+ MLB AA MLB HR 4 0 1 7 2 1 1 0 1 4 3 1 0 2 BB 20 7 3 43 11 SO 42 33 3 73 18 4 0 56 0 16 0 EqBB9 4.2 5.0 10.1 6.5 5.6 ERA 3.14 1.42 6.75 3.57 4.57 22 3 58 47 17 2 16 EqSO9 8.8 15.7 10.1 11.5 9.2 FIP 4.13 1.87 9.11 4.63 4.51 GB% 40% 26% 38% 46% 42% WARP -0.1 0.4 -0.4 0.2 0.0BABIP .222 .409 .286 .310 .299WHIP 1.12 1.03 2.25 1.53 1.53FRA 5.20 3.48 17.90 4.69 4.97A w ispy reliever w ho nevertheless can dial his fastball up near triple digits, Marinez w as the key return from the Ozzie trade and instantly became the best pow er arm in the system not named Addison Reed. After a brief taste of big-league meal money in 2010, Marinez spent last season in Double-A, w here he stacked strikeout victims like cordw ood but handed out free passes at an alarming rate. If he can learn to throw strikes and develop a better feel for his slider, it is easy to picture big outs in his futurethough admittedly, you can say the same thing about virtually every hard-throw ing young reliever in the game.Nestor MolinaBorn: 1/9/1989 Age: 23 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 2 W eight: 179 Breakout: 24% Improve: 66% Collapse: 17% Attrition: 5% MLB: 94% Comparables: Don Drysdale,Scott Bankhead,Bob W elch YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 BLJ 2010 LNS 2011 DUN 2012 CHA RK A 20 21 3 0 1 8 2 4 5 1 0 1 2 0 15 2 37 2 H37 1 26 76 2 47A+ 22 MLB 2321 18 108 1 102 10 4 33 1 34YEAR TEAM LVL HR BB SO EqBB9 EqSO9 GB%2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012BLJ LNS DUN CHA TEAM BLJ LNS DUN CHARK A A+ MLB LVL RK A A+ MLB0 3 8 42 13 14 1124 42 115 281.0 2.3 1.2 3.1 ERA 1.69 3.17 2.58 4.327.7 7.2 9.6 7.6 FIP 2.20 3.72 2.64 4.0763% 65% 50% 51% FRA 4.02 5.21 3.90 4.70 WARP 1.0 0.1 2.4 0.2BABIP .321 .282 .325 .309WHIP 0.94 1.10 1.07 1.37Molina w as traded to the Sox last w inter for closer Sergio Santos, as the organization attempted to bolster their system by dealing from a position of bullpen strength. W hether Molina w as w orth the cost is an open question, as his production has been stellar but his stuff may limit his ceiling. Armed w ith a low -90s fastball, a slider, a curveball, and an excellent changeup, Molina displayed terrific command as he racked up strikeouts in the low minors, avoided free passes, and succeeded in his first taste of Double-A. Some scouts question w hether he can conjure up the same success against more advanced hitters, but clearly the Sox are believers, and w hether Molinas ceiling is that of a fourth starter or something more, hes now the best starting pitcher prospect in the organization.Will OhmanBorn: 8/13/1977 Age: 34 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 3 W eight: 195 Breakout: 33% Improve: 62% Collapse: 21% Attrition: 10% MLB: 83% Comparables: John Bale,Brandon Knight,Mike Stanton YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 LAN 2010 FLO 2010 BAL 2011 CHA 2012 CHA YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 TEAM LAN FLO BAL CHA CHA TEAM LAN FLO BAL CHA MLB 31 MLB 32 MLB 32 MLB 33 MLB 34 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 4 1 3 8 5 1 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 1 3 0 3 1 1 BB 8 5 18 17 19 SO 7 14 29 54 41 21 0 17 0 51 0 59 0 60 0 EqBB9 5.8 3.8 5.4 2.9 3.7 ERA 5.84 3.00 3.30 4.22 12 1 12 30 53 1 H 12 10 30 5345 44 EqSO9 5.1 10.5 8.7 9.1 8.1 FIP 8.08 3.11 4.31 4.17 GB% 26% 34% 53% 42% 41% WARP -0.1 0.1 0.1 0.0BABIP .229 .290 .329 .306WHIP 1.62 1.25 1.60 1.31FRA 6.29 3.96 4.82 5.162012 CHAMLB .3001.374.02 4.09 4.37 0.3The Sox w ent into last season w ith the dynamic lefty duo of Matt Thornton and Chris Sale already manning the bullpen, but w ith both tabbed for late-inning duties the club felt it necessary to drop a multiyear contract on long-time LOOGY W ill Ohman. To his credit, Ohman performed reasonably in his designated role, w ith lefties managing a mundane .234/.299/.374 line against himbut w ith both Thornton and Sale posting dramatically better lines against same-side hitters, not to mention their ability to retire hitters of every stripe, w hat w as the point? Dropping millions on Ohman w asnt a misallocation of resources on the scale of, say, signing John Turturro to haw k Heineken, or asking Haw k Harrelson to talk more than Steve Stone, but these things add up.Jake PeavyBorn: 5/31/1981 Age: 31 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 2 W eight: 180 Breakout: 15% Improve: 43% Collapse: 23% Attrition: 2% MLB: 96% Comparables: John Smoltz,Ted Higuera,Scott Linebrink YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 CHA MLB 28 3 0 0 3 3 20 2009 SDN 2010 CHA 2011 CHA 2012 CHA YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM CHA SDN CHA CHA CHA TEAM CHA SDN CHA CHA CHA MLB 28 MLB 29 MLB 30 MLB 31 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 1 7 13 10 11 6 6 0 7 6 0 7 7 0 6 6 0 BB 6 28 34 24 32 SO 18 92 93 95 98 H 1113 13 81 2 69 17 17 107 98 19 18 111 2 117 18 18 105 95 EqBB9 2.7 3.1 2.9 1.9 2.8 ERA 1.35 3.97 4.63 4.92 3.23 EqSO9 8.1 10.1 7.8 7.7 8.4 FIP 2.89 2.98 3.98 3.25 3.61 GB% 51% 44% 43% 40% 43% WARP 0.5 1.2 1.5 1.6 2.0BABIP .204 .302 .280 .318 .293WHIP 0.85 1.19 1.23 1.26 1.21FRA 3.24 3.80 4.16 3.94 3.51Peavys w ell-know n competitiveness may be getting in the w ay of his obvious desire to get healthy and make good on his sizable contract, as the right-hander w orked hard to return from shoulder surgery w ell ahead of schedule only to see his season devolve into a strange odyssey less notable for the mixing of pitches than the mixing of messages. Encouraging spring training results w ere cut short by shoulder tendinitis that Peavy described as a minor blip on the radar, but w ound up costing him a month of the season, follow ed by another DL trip for a groin strain. Soon after came the odd four-inning relief outing for w hich he volunteered betw een tw o late June starts. Peavy said he enjoyed taking his tank to empty during the appearance, but as ineffective starts began to pile up later in the summer, Peavy admitted the outing had set his season back and contributed to the fatigue and ineffectiveness that eventually shut him dow n in early September. There w ere fleeting glimpses of dominance but no sustained success,leaving Peavy and the Sox hoping that their efforts to w ring out a few months of modest production last year didnt jeopardize a full year of ace-level production now .Jake PetrickaBorn: 6/5/1988 Age: 24 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 6 W eight: 170 Breakout: 21% Improve: 41% Collapse: 39% Attrition: 30% MLB: 88% Comparables: Denny Bautista,Marty Bystrom,Bob Mahoney YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2010 BRI 2011 KAN RK A 22 23 2 4 0 3 1 0 4 7 0 1 3 0 BB 6 13 26 15 SO 31 48 46 17 8 8 8 8 H34 2 23 41 2 392011 W NS A+ 23 2012 CHA YEAR 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM BRI KAN W NS CHA TEAM BRI KAN W NS CHA MLB 24 LVL RK A A+ MLB LVL RK A A+ MLB HR 1 0 3 413 13 67 2 71 6 6 29 1 34 EqBB9 1.8 2.8 3.5 4.6 ERA 2.85 2.81 4.39 5.56 EqSO9 9.9 10.4 6.1 5.2 FIP 2.90 2.16 3.72 5.35 GB% 61% 53% 59% 52% WARP 0.6 0.7 0.5 -0.2BABIP .297 .361 .309 .310WHIP 0.92 1.25 1.43 1.66FRA 4.59 3.69 5.21 6.04Petrickas first full pro season w as a mixed bag, as the former second round pick show ed off a heavy mid90s fastball that hitters continually pounded into the dirt and he never contracted a case of the w alksies, but he made little progress w ith his slider or changeup. Despite his college pedigree, Petricka w ill likely move through the system one rung at a time, and the club w ill give him every opportunity to remain a starter, though his stuff may play better in relief.Addison ReedBorn: 12/27/1988 Age: 23 Bats: L Throw s: R Height: 6 5 W eight: 215 Breakout: 18% Improve: 40% Collapse: 44% Attrition: 9% MLB: 86% Comparables: Cole Hamels,Francisco Liriano,Clay Buchholz YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H 2010 GRF RK 21 1 0 1 13 2 30 8 2011 W NS A+ 22 2 0 1 15 0 28 1 21 2011 BIR 2011 CHR AA 22 0 1 2 0 0 2 13 0 11 0 20 2 10 21 1 8AAA 222011 CHA 2012 CHA YEAR 2010 2011 2011 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2010 2011 2011 2011 2011 2012 TEAM GRF W NS BIR CHR CHA CHA TEAM GRF W NS BIR CHR CHA CHAMLB 22 MLB 23 LVL RK A+ AA AAA MLB MLB LVL RK A+ AA AAA MLB MLB HR 1 1 0 2 1 30 0 0 1 0 0 BB 4 4 6 3 1 9 SO 41 39 33 28 12 306 0 15 0 EqBB9 1.8 1.3 2.6 1.3 1.2 3.2 ERA 1.80 1.59 0.87 1.27 3.68 3.107 1 10 26 1 22 EqSO9 13.2 12.4 14.4 11.8 14.7 10.4 FIP 2.33 1.55 1.12 2.25 1.97 3.43 GB% 44% 43% 27% 41% 20% 41% WARP 1.9 0.9 0.7 0.6 0.1 0.5BABIP .179 .299 .270 .150 .474 .300WHIP 0.77 0.88 0.77 0.52 1.50 1.19FRA 3.59 2.99 2.12 2.60 4.22 3.36Despite a name more reminiscent of Bob Segers sax player than a bullpen bully, Reed began his first full pro season in the Sally League but ended it striking out Matt La Porta at Progressive Field, leaving a trail of overmatched hitters and hyperventilating prospect mavens in his w ake. A former third-round pick from San Diego State, Reed has terrific command of his upper-90s fastball (note the ridiculous w alk and strikeout rates), along w ith a slider and changeup that can be plus pitches. Reed has more than enough sw ing-andmiss stuff to someday get paid for three outs and a hug, and his development allow ed the Sox to deal Sergio Santos know ing theyve already identified their closer-in-w aiting. For now the Sox w ill plant him in a setup role and w atch his career take root, but few w ould be surprised to see him pitching the ninth before the season is out.Andre RienzoBorn: 7/5/1988 Age: 23 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 4 W eight: 160 Breakout: 14% Improve: 59% Collapse: 18% Attrition: 21% MLB: 87% Comparables: Gus Keriazakos,Edw in Jackson,Ike Delock YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 BRI RK 21 2 6 0 8 4 0 6 5 0 1 3 0 BB 13 14 66 SO 49 43 118 2010 KAN A 22 2011 W NS A+ 23 2012 CHA MLB 23 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 TEAM BRI KAN W NS LVL RK A A+ HR 4 3 4 54 1 20 18 101 25 22 116 6 6 31 13 9 EqBB9 2.2 2.9 5.1 H 55 53 108 36 GB% 50% 50% 46%EqSO9 8.1 11.1 9.22012 CHA YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM BRI KAN W NS CHAMLB 4 LVL RK A A+ MLB20 21 5.7 WHIP 1.25 1.26 1.50 1.80 ERA 4.14 3.65 3.41 5.995.9 FIP 3.56 3.67 3.41 5.4645% FRA 5.30 4.01 4.38 6.51 WARP 0.6 2.0 2.2 -0.4BABIP .325 .439 .326 .320A lanky Brazilian import, Rienzo continues to climb the organizational ladder w hile striking out more than a man per inning, though his prospect status w ill w ax if he can get his w alk rate to w ane. Rienzos stuff is considerably less unusual than his background, as plenty of minor league starters can boast a mid-90s fastball and inconsistent secondary offerings, but few others can sing the Hino Nacional Brasileiro in Portuguese. A starter as of this moment, his most likely destination is the bullpen.Chris SaleBorn: 3/30/1989 Age: 23 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 6 W eight: 170 Breakout: 19% Improve: 42% Collapse: 40% Attrition: 11% MLB: 75% Comparables: Dave Righetti,Clay Buchholz,Francisco Liriano YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2010 CHA 2011 CHA 2012 CHA YEAR 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2010 2011 2012 TEAM CHA CHA CHA TEAM CHA CHA CHA MLB 21 MLB 22 MLB 23 LVL MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB HR 2 6 5 2 1 4 2 2 8 3 1 4 BB 10 27 21 SO 32 79 64 21 0 58 0 47 0 EqBB9 3.9 3.4 3.5 ERA 1.93 2.79 2.85 H23 1 15 71 52 54 1 42 EqSO9 12.3 10.0 10.5 FIP 2.70 3.16 3.20 GB% 52% 52% 48% WARP 0.5 1.1 1.2BABIP .277 .269 .288WHIP 1.07 1.11 1.17FRA 3.60 3.78 3.10Sale spent his first full season in the bigs w orking out of the pen, moving his w ay up the bullpen pecking order and leaving W hite Sox fans hoping for great things. The lanky lefty has terrific velocity, unleashing mid-90s heat from a low three-quarters slot w hile mixing in a plus changeup, but it w as the in-season development of a new slider grip that helped Sale baffle hitters to the tune of .154/.233/.265 in the second half. The Sox w ill move him to the rotation this year, and if Sale can continue to hold hitters to a .220 TAvbetter than Jered Weaverhell be a Cy Young candidate. But extrapolating those numbers to a full starter w orkload is just the sort of voodoo sabermetrics you should learn to ignore during an election year. Nevertheless, Sale has the stuff to front Chicagos rotation for a long time, and his future is now .Hector SantiagoBorn: 12/16/1987 Age: 24 Bats: R Throw s: L Height: 6 1 W eight: 210 Breakout: 43% Improve: 66% Collapse: 11% Attrition: 9% MLB: 87%Comparables: Tyler Clippard,Erv Palica,Ubaldo Jimenez YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H 2009 W NS A+ 21 4 5 1 38 0 58 59 2010 W NS A+ 22 5 5 2 37 1 60 2 60 2011 W NS A+ 23 2011 BIR 2011 CHA 2012 CHA YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2011 2012 TEAM W NS W NS W NS BIR CHA CHA TEAM W NS W NS W NS BIR CHA CHA AA 23 MLB 23 MLB 24 LVL A+ A+ A+ AA MLB MLB LVL A+ A+ A+ AA MLB MLB HR 6 3 7 4 0 5 2 3 0 3 4 0 0 0 0 2 2 0 BB 26 17 14 43 1 22 SO 70 54 43 79 2 30 8 8 44 38 15 15 83 1 78 2 0 51 1 13 5 EqBB9 3.9 2.8 2.9 4.2 1.7 5.0 ERA 3.88 4.15 3.68 3.56 0.00 5.01 39 1 41 EqSO9 10.2 9.0 8.8 8.0 3.4 6.9 FIP 3.83 3.26 4.49 3.72 2.87 5.01 GB% 39% 38% 49% 47% 60% 42% WARP 1.0 0.8 0.7 0.5 0.2 -0.1BABIP .340 .341 .277 .311 .067 .303WHIP 1.36 1.35 1.18 1.32 0.38 1.59FRA 4.26 4.44 4.40 4.60 2.00 5.45Santiago w as taught the mysteries of the screw ball by ex-Brew er Angel Miranda during w inter ball prior to last season, and the pitch helped his rapid rise from minor league relief suspect to genuine prospect. W hile its the screw gie that attracts curiosity seekers, its Santiagos mid-90s portside gas thats helped him strike out more than a man per inning in his minor league career and earned him a brief call-up last July. He made a solid transition to the starting rotation last year, but his big league future lies in the pen, and w ith Chris Sale slated to move to the rotation Santiago, could go north as the pens vestigial third leftythe need for w hich you may question, but Hector certainly w ont.Zach StewartBorn: 9/28/1986 Age: 25 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 3 W eight: 205 Breakout: 26% Improve: 62% Collapse: 10% Attrition: 9% MLB: 93% Comparables: Taylor Buchholz,Charles Hudson,Rollie Fingers YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 SAR 2009 CAR A+ 22 AA 22 1 1 0 3 0 0 7 7 7 7 H42 1 47 37 29 12010 NHP 2011 NHP 2011 TOR 2011 CHA 2012 CHA YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2011 2011 2012 TEAM SAR CAR NHP NHP TOR CHA CHA TEAM SAR CAR NHP NHP TOR CHA CHAAA 23 AA 24 MLB 24 MLB 24 MLB 25 LVL A+ AA AA AA MLB MLB MLB LVL A+ AA AA AA MLB MLB MLB HR 1 1 9 6 2 9 108 3 0 5 5 0 0 1 0 2 5 0 4 6 0 BB 8 10 28 24 5 13 32 SO 32 31 79 72 10 35 5526 26 136 1 84 16 16 94 1 99 3 3 10 8 16 2 26 50 2 6415 15 81 1 92 EqBB9 1.7 2.4 3.6 2.6 2.7 2.3 3.5 ERA 2.13 1.46 3.63 4.20 4.86 6.22 4.93 EqSO9 6.8 7.5 7.0 7.1 5.4 6.2 6.1 FIP 2.63 2.67 3.96 3.48 4.50 4.82 4.63 GB% 59% 54% 49% 46% 47% 52% 48% WARP 0.9 1.0 1.4 1.1 0.0 0.2 -0.1BABIP .343 .277 .275 .342 .421 .342 .317WHIP 1.30 1.05 1.36 1.41 1.86 1.52 1.52FRA 3.25 3.15 4.59 4.40 4.89 5.08 5.35Stew art came to Chicago as part of the Edw in Jackson Tradethe one Sox fans preferred to label the Colby Rasmus Trade until they got a better look at Colby Rasmusand put together a mixed run of starts for the big club dow n the stretch. A sinker/slider aficionado w ho can dial his fastball up to the mid90s w hen necessary, Stew art induces his share of groundballs yet allow ed a surprising number of gopher balls last year. His strikeout rate hasnt matched his stuff, and the development of his dodgy changeup w ill help determine w hether hell make his living at the back of the rotation or in the middle innings.Matt ThorntonBorn: 9/15/1976 Age: 35 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 7 W eight: 220 Breakout: 12% Improve: 39% Collapse: 38% Attrition: 10% MLB: 94% Comparables: Brian Fuentes,Jim Brew er,Billy W agner YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 CHA 2010 CHA 2011 CHA 2012 CHA MLB 32 MLB 33 MLB 34 MLB 35 6 3 4 5 4 8 2 5 3 3 1 3 70 0 61 0 62 0 56 0 H72 1 58 60 2 41 59 2 60 54 1 46YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012TEAM CHA CHA CHA CHA TEAM CHA CHA CHA CHALVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLBHR 5 3 3 5BB 20 20 21 19SO 87 81 63 60EqBB9 2.5 3.0 3.2 3.1 ERA 2.74 2.67 3.32 2.99EqSO9 10.8 12.0 9.5 9.9 FIP 2.51 2.11 2.66 3.24GB% 47% 41% 49% 47% WARP 2.3 1.4 1.0 1.1BABIP .301 .286 .331 .301WHIP 1.08 1.01 1.36 1.20FRA 2.73 3.13 3.67 3.25Sometimes its not so much w hat you do, its w hen you do it. If Thornton had set his alarm clock to start the season on April 24, he w ould have held batters to a .235/.291/.289 line for the year, numbers that are perfectly consistent w ith his recent dominance. How ever, since Thornton struggled out of the gate, Sergio Santos w as handed the key to the executive w ashroom and the title of Vice President for Ninth Inning Operations. Thats not to say there w asnt some w obble in Thorntons game, as his sw inging strike rate dropped, but he still has more than enough stuff to w ork in high-leverage situations. W ith Santos now out of the picture, Thornton may get another chance to close, though handing him set-up duties w ould allow the Sox to plug in his heater w henever an emergency crops up.LINEOUTSHITTERSPLAYER C M. Blanke TEAM KAN W NS 2B T. Kuhn BIR CHR C D. Lucy CHR CHA 1B C. Marrero BIR RF J. Martinez W NS BIR 3B D. McPherson CHR CHA C J. Phegley BIR CHR LF B. Shoemaker KAN W NS C K. Smith BRI GRF 3B O. Vizquel CHA LVL A A+ AA AAA AAA MLB AA A+ AA AAA MLB AA AAA A A+ RK RK MLB AGE 22 22 24 24 28 28 24 22 22 30 30 23 23 24 24 23 23 44 PA 184 266 470 98 147 11 494 333 220 426 15 394 90 431 77 112 127 182 R 22 25 61 9 11 1 70 45 19 54 1 43 9 68 9 24 22 18 2B 13 9 28 4 1 1 25 13 13 27 0 21 4 28 3 10 12 7 3B 1 0 10 1 0 0 8 3 1 0 0 2 0 2 0 1 2 1 HR 2 7 1 0 4 0 12 5 1 20 0 7 2 11 0 7 2 0RF K. W alkerKAN GRFA RK RBI 18 25 55 4 9 1 59 29 16 69 0 50 6 65 12 32 16 8 15 9 TAv .255 .236 .298 .243 .180 .214 .297 .249 .248 .270 .147 .232 .243 .313 .238 .42820 20 BB 11 22 39 5 10 1 61 13 15 31 0 23 8 43 9 14 14 9 14 7180 25 1 72 16 7 SO 28 43 64 13 35 5 69 44 25 126 7 61 18 78 16 14 16 18 64 17 SB-CS 0-0 0-0 16-5 0-2 0-0 0-0 10-4 2-3 5-2 1-2 0-0 1-2 0-0 7-3 0-1 1-2 1-0 1-2 10-4 11-5 BRR 0.6 -0.1 0.3 0.6 0 0 1.1 0.7 -3.8 -1.8 -0.3 -3 -0.1 -0.8 -0.4 -1.82 10 0PLAYER C M. BlankeTEAM KAN W NS 2B T. Kuhn BIR CHR C D. Lucy CHR CHA 1B C. Marrero BIR RF J. Martinez W NS BIR 3B D. McPherson CHR CHA C J. Phegley BIR CHR LF B. Shoemaker KAN W NS C K. Smith BRI GRF 3B O. Vizquel CHA RF K. W alker KAN GRF PLAYER C M. Blanke TEAM KAN W NS 2B T. Kuhn BIR CHR C D. Lucy CHR CHA 1B C. Marrero BIR RF J. Martinez W NS BIR 3B D. McPherson CHR CHA C J. Phegley BIR CHR LF B. Shoemaker KAN W NS C K. Smith BRIAVG/OBP/SLG .259/.311/.382 .236/.303/.363 .341/.401/.464 .297/.327/.363 .158/.233/.256 .200/.273/.300 .293/.385/.476 .314/.344/.422 .295/.344/.385 .283/.334/.505 .133/.133/.133 .242/.292/.368 .241/.326/.367 .319/.399/.493 .273/.351/.318 .396/.482/.740 .318/.417/.523 .251/.287/.305 .228/.296/.259 .333/.431/.483 WARP 0.6 0.3 3.8 0.3 -0.4 0.0 2.6 0.7 0.0 0.9 -0.2 0.4 0.1 3.4 -0.2 2.3BABIP .300 .258 .395 .338 .181 .400 .323 .352 .330 .367 .250 .271 .288 .375 .346 .413FRAA -0.2 -1.4 -0.1 -0.1 0.5 0 -3.2 3 0.6 -3.8 0.2 -0.3 -0.2 4.2 -1.5 -0.73B O. Vizquel RF K. W alkerGRF CHA KAN GRF.322 .225 .223 .328.356 .278 .374 .4550.5 0.1 1.5 -1.3-2.9 -2.5 1.5 -9.51.5 -0.4 0.0 -0.2Strong-armed catcher Michael Blanke impressed by throw ing out baserunners at a 37 percent clip and continued to improve behind the dish, but if he cant aw aken his slumbering bat the organization w ill stop giving a blank. Former shortstop Tyler Kuhn spent his summer spraying line drives all over the upper minors, and w ith a lefty bat and the ability to play five positions at a near-adequate level, he may grow up to be an offense-first utility reserve. Backstop Donny Lucy spent six w eeks as a major leaguer due to the convergence of an A.J. Pierzynski injury and September roster expansion; those w ill likely be the only six w eeks to see the convergence of Donny Lucy and a big league roster. In his third season at Birmingham, Christian Marrero show ed continued patience and improved pow er, but hes a liability in the outfield, and third season at Birmingham speaks volumes about his bats suitability for first base. Former top prospect Jose Martinez managed a full slate of games, hit for average, and w orked his w ay up to Double-A, but hes no longer a center fielder and his bat has yet to produce enough thunder for a corner. Quad-A slugger Dallas McPherson could probably launch 20 minor league bombs w hile w earing a blindfold, but his big league prospect status has long since been offered a cigarette and asked for final w ords. Catcher Josh Phegley had surgery to remove his spleen before putting in a full season behind the dish; he has a strong arm, pow er potential, and theres no questioning his toughness, but he still struggles mightily to fulfill his Prime Directive: keep the ball from hitting the backstop. The Kearney Zzyw icz of the Sally League, corner outfielder Brady Shoemaker has spent the last tw o years beating up pitchers several years his junior; w hile thats certainly preferable to not beating them up, hell need to provide age-appropriate entertainment in the high minors before hes cast as anything more than a bit player. A former Pitt quarterback recruit, Kevan Smith w as old for the rookie leagues but cut a w ide sw ath, show ing patience, pow er, and great athleticism; hes raw behind the plate, but any backstop w ho treats his bat as more than a fashion accessory is w orth paying attention to. Now that the Sox have w rung out his last few drops of value years after most analysts thought he had anything left to provide, Omar Vizquel can hold his head high as he totes his magic glove to the Hall of the Very Good. Top pick Keenyn Walker is a sw itch-hitting center fielder w ith speed to burn and pow er potential; there are a lot of rough edges to smooth aw ay, but he possesses tools you can dream on.PITCHERSPLAYER B. Bruney TEAM LVL AGE W L SV IP CHR CHA R. Buch KAN AAA 29 MLB 29 A 23 1 0 7 1 0 0 4 3 0 4 4 0 2 2 0 1 7 0 H20 2 12 19 2 26 44 1 35 56 2 52 52 51 45 2 59W NS A+ 23 D. Davis CHR CHN AAA 35 MLB 35D. Heath P. HernandezCHR LEL SANAAA 25 A+ 22 AA AA 22 242 4 1 5 0 0 0 1 0 5 5 0 1 1 0 2 1 7 1 1 0 2 1 0 2 1 0 4 1 1 0 0 0102 2 98 56 2 52 41 1 45 152 153 20 1 25 38 2 25 28 2 28 29 2 20 26 1 24 68 12 70 11C. Leesman T. PenaBIR CHAMLB 29 AA 25D. Remenow sky BIR CHR L. Septimo MOB BIR E. Stults CSP COLAAA 25 AA AA 26 26AAA 31 MLB 31PLAYER B. Bruney R. BuchTEAM HR BB SO EqBB9 EqSO9 GB% 0 4 2 10 2 2 12 3 6 4 2 2 3 1 1 10 4 7 12 17 23 12 26 62 6 13 83 10 10 12 25 19 14 4 28 16 45 48 46 36 117 44 58 122 17 53 25 22 40 69 7 3.9 5.5 3.5 3.7 2.1 5.1 5.4 1.0 2.2 4.9 4.4 2.3 3.8 7.6 5.5 2.1 3.0 13.1 7.3 9.1 7.6 8.0 7.1 10.3 7.0 9.4 6.7 7.5 12.3 7.8 6.7 13.0 9.1 5.2 60% 43% 46% 41% 47% 46% 41% 40% 45% 62% 49% 44% 44% 47% 41% 37% 29%CHR CHA KAN W NS D. Davis CHR CHN D. Heath CHR P. Hernandez LEL SAN C. Leesman BIR T. Pena CHA D. Remenow sky BIR CHR L. Septimo MOB BIR E. Stults CSP COL PLAYER B. Bruney R. Buch D. Davis D. HeathTEAM BABIP WHIP ERA FIP FRA WARP CHR CHA KAN W NS CHR CHN CHR .279 .379 .273 .273 .325 .373 .320 1.02 1.93 1.17 1.32 1.21 1.86 1.56 1.31 6.86 3.65 4.92 2.60 6.50 4.73 1.69 5.91 3.44 5.30 2.72 3.83 4.41 2.80 5.97 4.06 6.40 3.62 5.21 4.92 0.6 -0.1 0.6 0.0 1.2 -0.1 1.3D. Heath P. HernandezCHR LEL SAN C. Leesman BIR T. Pena CHA D. Remenow sky BIR CHR L. Septimo MOB BIR E. Stults CSP COL.320 .285 .305 .312 .354 .277 .298 .247 .329 .314 .1891.56 1.02 1.19 1.53 1.72 0.91 1.40 1.52 1.48 1.35 1.254.73 2.70 3.48 4.03 6.20 2.79 4.40 6.37 4.10 4.63 6.004.41 3.39 3.41 3.93 4.14 2.16 4.22 5.39 3.26 4.24 7.414.92 3.60 3.91 5.20 5.19 2.57 5.06 6.83 4.96 4.81 8.171.3 1.2 1.1 0.0 0.0 1.0 0.2 -0.3 0.0 1.4 -0.3He still throw s hard, but since those halcyon days as a Yankees bullpen cog, Brian Bruney has been cluttering his stat sheet w ith more stops than a Greyhound timetable; if he doesnt stop posting Boeing ERAs, itll be time to go home. Curveball stylist Ryan Buch had a productive season in the low minors, but w ill need to develop a stronger distaste for ball four; his eventual destination is the bullpen, w here his stuff might just play up. Rasputin-grade survivor Doug Davis couldnt stop the bleeding during nine starts w ith the Cubs, but fooled the kids in Triple-A after the Sox picked him up; still ticking despite a decade of substandard stuff and health, hell likely bring his slow -and-slow er routine to someones spring training complex, unless a coterie of tsarist aristocrats take him for a long w alk along the Neva first. Fireballer Deunte Heath has sw ing-and-miss stuff but absolutely no control; if he can cut his w alk rate in half this year, then cut it in half again next year, w ed be in a position to say he could become a bullpen asset if hed cut his w alk rate a little more. W ith a low -90s fastball, a solid changeup, and a developing curve, lefty strike-throw er Pedro Hernandez posted terrific numbers in Double-A last year despite yaw ns from the scouting community; the Sox hope he can continue to fool most of the people most of the time and earn an eventual spot at the back of the rotation. Hulking lefty Charles Leesman surrendered far too many w alks in his second stroll through Double-A, and doesnt have the stuff or pedigree to make the organization overlook such generosity. Veteran middle-man Tony Pena underw ent elbow reconstruction in August after 20 non-descript innings, w as released, and may not pitch in 2012. He doesnt light up radar guns, but indy-league find Dan Remenowsky makes the most of his deceptive motion, solid breaking stuff, and excellent control to post ridiculous strikeout-to-w alk ratios; since he conquered Double-A, the organization is taking his bullpen future seriously. Lefties that can light up a gun like Leyson Septimo tend to get the glass-half-full treatment, thus the former Arizona farmhand w ill get yet another chance to prove he has any clue at all w here his pitches are going. Veteran lefty Eric Stults returned from Japan to deal a few relief innings in Colorado, then signed a minor league deal w ith the Sox; his fringy stuff and fly-ball tendencies make him a bad choice to administer a shot of adrenaline to the big clubs heart.MANAGER: ROBIN VENTURAAfter the organizations often-tempestuous eight-year relationship w ith Ozzie Guillen, it w ould be easy to characterize the hiring of Ventura as a typical rebound date choice. The popular conception is that they are polar opposites: W here Guillen w as hyperkinetic, unconventional, and confrontational, Ventura is view ed as easygoing, traditional, and an organization man, more likely to w ork smoothly w ith Kenny W illiams and certain to keep w hatever differences they may have behind closed doors. How ever, missing in that analysis is the new skippers reputation as a quietly demanding leader during his playing daysanyin that analysis is the new skippers reputation as a quietly demanding leader during his playing daysany player expecting a classic-rock cruise dow n the Ventura Highw ay w ill likely be in for a surprise. W ith Ventura having never run a clubhouse at any level, its impossible to guess w hat sort of managerial tics or personnel fetishes he might display, but if he can build on his predecessors legacy of solid pitching-staff management, the Sox w ill be in good hands.Cincinnati RedsOne year after the Reds w on the NL Central, they reverted back to the below -.500 irrelevance from w hich theyd arisen. They couldnt even claim to have been a real disappointment. Setting aside questions such as how disappointing a team counting on Bronson Arroyo and Jonny Gomes can be, the Reds 79-83 season is right around w hat they should have achieved. A simple Pythagorean extrapolation of their record suggests they underperformed by four games, but if you interpret their runs scored and allow ed in terms of strength of schedule, you get 79 w ins. The easy assumption is that this w as just another classic example of the Jamesian plexiglass principle in play, a team that overachieved in 2010 and regressed to its essential mediocrity. It may not be w hat you thought youd get w hen figures associatedhow ever fairlyw ith as much success as Walt Jocketty and Dusty Baker have been came aboard to guide the Reds return to relevance. But the comedow n made the ambitions of 2010indeed, the entire design fueled by the pennant-w inning track records of Jocketty and Bakerseem fruitless and pointless. Put in that situation, a team can choose to interpret its immediate possibilities in all sorts of w ays. It can decide that sliding back tow ard mediocrity w as a matter of unhappy accident and essentially let it ride, they can decide theyre really not contenders, or they can get serious. This w inter, the Reds stuck w ith the ambitions fueled by w hat theyd achieved in 2010, and they got serious. Credit them w ith not settling for the patsy role. Maybe its a matter of playing in a division that has already produced tw o w orld champion Cardinals teams in the last six years, or tw o Brew ers playoff teams in the last four, but in todays National League, unless youre a real basket-case franchise like the Astros or an also-ran that has already shot its bolt like the Cubs or Mets, even the most modest ambitions can be rew arded, even before you add a fifth playoff team to the mix.Thats not to say everyone in the Fourth Estate gets around to seeing things this w ay. Perhaps the most exasperating element of the aftermath of the Reds 2011 disappointment for their fans w as having to live w ith the immediate speculation by several national w riters that their team just had to trade Joey Votto as some sort of fiscal obligation to season ticket-holders in more lucrative markets. This w asnt rooted in any particular truth so much as it w as basic neomercantilist covetousnessVottos really good, so w hy leave him in Cincinnati? Hes only under contract for tw o more seasons, and his paydays accelerate to $9.5 million in 2012 and $17 million in 2013. Its as if theres an automatic assumption that the Reds couldnt possibly harbor any ambitions forIts as if theres an automatic assumption that the Reds couldnt possibly harbor any ambitions for themselves, let alone pay a player that kind of money. Imagine the nerve, daring to contend in flyover country. That sort of parochial obsessiveness, the notion that all the great players simply must w ind up in Boston or New York or Philadelphia, speaks volumes about the people convinced that this sort of stratification has to be. How ever, it operates in ignorance of how very much the Reds can and do take their shot seriously, and ought to. The NL Centrals balance of pow er for the immediate future has already been fundamentally altered w ith this w inters departures of Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder. W hy should the Reds punt now ? Just because the Padres did w ith Adrian Gonzalez after 2010? Just because the Reds might get a return as remarkable as the now -infamous Braves-Rangers Mark Teixeira trade of 2007? To suggest as much misses the fact that a supply of prospects isnt the Reds problem. If anything, the Reds problem has been choosing from among the crow d of prospects they already have, and coming up w ith opportunities for them. Consider the 2011 rotation. Even w ith a spring decision to bump Aroldis Chapman to the bullpen, the Reds had five reasonable options to choose from for the four slots after Arroyo: Johnny Cueto, Homer Bailey, Travis Wood, Edinson Volquez, and Mike Leake. Working around injuries and ineffectiveness, they tried everybody and failed to really commit to anybody other than Cueto. They could keep hoping everyone got better, but that w ould have been hopelessly optimistic for a team that thinks it can win now . Remember, the Reds are operating in a competitive environment w here the Brew ers, Cardinals, Diamondbacks, and Phillies have proven more than w illing to deal for top starters to enhance already accomplished rotations. The Giants still boast an exceptional crew of starting pitchers. These are the strongest contenders, in the past and going forw ard. The Reds could hold still and hope, again, that guys like Bailey and Arroyo w ould propel them to October (achieving little more than another quick October exit, as w ith 2010s three-and-out LDS experience). Or they could start making hard choices. To Jockettys credit, he did w hat youre supposed to do w hen your objective is to w in now . He w anted to trade up in the rotation, and he had depth to deal from. You can argue about the execution, naturally: Trading Yasmani Grandal, Yonder Alonso, Brad Boxberger, and Edinson Volquez w ould be a lot to give up in any single deal, and w hether Mat Latos w as the right target is a huge question mark. But in the case of each of the four players dealt, the Reds could afford the exchange, w inding up w ith Latos instead of Volquez in the rotation, still having Votto at first (w ith Neftali Soto in the w ings) after dealing Alonso, and w ith Devin Mesoraco taking over behind the plate instead of w aiting for Grandal. The real question is w hether Latos is going to be the ace they gave up so much to get. As w ith any high-strikeout pitcher, the ready reaction in the sabermetric community is to say of course he is: Metrics like FIP are w ild for big strikeout rates. You can fidget a bit over his being a fly-ball pitcher moving from Petco to the Great American Ball Park, but hes a 24-year-old ace in the making w ith nearly identical FIP marks home and aw ay (3.25 in San Diego, 3.30 everyw here else). Like Cueto, Latos is exactly the kind of starter the Reds can build contending teams around for the next four years, as w ell as giving them a tandem to use against the best teams in the league and have a fighting chance in one-, five-, or sevengame series. And because Latos w ill be under club control at below -market pricing, hes exactly the kind of front-end starter a budget-conscious club should covet to keep a multi-year w indow as a contender w ide open. Even if the Latos deal w orks out as w ell as you might expect, theres still the Reds other major problem: Vottos loneliness in the lineup as their only impact bat. For the time being, Votto is Arthur w ithout Lancelot, Gilgamesh w ithout Enkidu, Achilles w ithout Patroclus. Even Pujols had his Matt Holliday, Fielder his Ryan Braun. Consider, w ho does Joey Votto usually get for sidekicks? An amiable collection of low -OBP guys w ho play good or great defense, hit homers in the Gap, and flail, bail, and fail on the road. Scott Rolen w as supposed to be the difference-making other star, but w ith Rolens fragility and advancing age, thats an increasingly brittle proposition spun w ith sugar and cemented w ith cortisone. In short, this is the Chicago Cubs problem of old, a lineup that looks like a better offensive team than it is because its park makes everyone look like a slugger, perverting evaluations of the value of all of the nonVottos. The lassitude this inspires is easy to understand; it isnt that Drew Stubbs or Brandon Phillips or Chris Heisey are bad exactly, its that theyre all about the same in terms of w hat they do for a team, particularly their w alk rates. Adding Zack Cozart to the mix as the everyday shortstop in 2012 w ill just give the Reds another hack-happy chip off that particular block. The hitter w ho might change all this is Jay Bruce as he heads into his peak seasons; if the Reds are smart and avoid the mistake they made w ith Paul ONeill tw o decades ago, they could reap the benefits. Relative to his position, Mesoraco should be an asset, but w hether he produces serious sock in the Gap remains to be seen.The current collection of talent is young enough to provide a platform to w in from, both in the next tw o seasons and beyond Vottos last year in 2013, w hether he stays or goes. The core talents beyond Votto are just reaching that 2529 sw eet spot that generally defines most players peak seasons, starting w ith Bruce but also thanks to a rotation featuring Cueto, Latos, and Bailey under team control through 2014. In the long term, even after the exodus of ready-now stuff lost in the Latos trade, the Reds have made significant strides on the player-development front, so theyre becoming even better equipped to sustain multi-year bids for contention. Theyve become increasingly active in the Latin American market. Signing Chapman, the Cuban Missile, w as the high-profile move, but their scouting of and investments in Venezuela and the Dominican Republic in the last four years have been increasingly productive. The Reds are also among the industrys leaders in scouting and acquiring European talent; that may not have borne out results yet, but its a new field that might eventually yield significant returns on their modest investments. Theyve also been considerably more aggressive yet unpredictable in the draft, proving w illing to pay over slot (under the old CBA) w hile selecting a blend of ready-now and high-upside talent. Look at all that and its a compelling argument to w in now and not cash in Votto, certainly not before theyve sorted out how 2012 is going to go. Take in the Brew ers climbdow n now that the Fielder w indow is shut, and the Reds multi-year picture w ith Pujols in California, and there may be no better proposition for contention than the one youll find in Cincinnati for the next four years. If Walt Jocketty figured that out w hile mainline commentators did not, thats to his credit.HITTERS Jay Bruce RFBorn: 4/3/1987 Age: 25 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 4 W eight: 205 Breakout: 2% Improve: 32% Collapse: 3% Attrition: 35% MLB: 92% Comparables: John Christensen,Manny Ramirez,Larry W hisenton YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM CIN CIN CIN CIN TEAM CIN CIN CIN CIN TEAM CIN CIN CIN CIN LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 22 23 24 25 SO 75 136 158 138 PA 387 573 664 606 SB 3 5 8 7 R 47 80 84 80 2B 15 23 27 24 3B 2 5 2 3 HR 22 25 32 32 RBI 58 70 97 89 BB 38 58 71 56CS 3 4 7 5 BRR -0.1 -0.7 3.6 -1AVG_OBP_SLG .223/.303/.470 .281/.353/.493 .256/.341/.474 .264/.335/.495 FRAA 4.1 23.4 -2.5 RF 9 WARP 1.2 5.0 2.5 2.8TAv .258 .289 .278 .288BABIP .221 .334 .297 .296Betw een his defense and pow er, Bruce is already an excellent complementary player, but the question is w hether hes about to blossom into a true star. In his career, Bruce has hit .235/.309/.410 aw ay from thew hether hes about to blossom into a true star. In his career, Bruce has hit .235/.309/.410 aw ay from the Gap, but just as hes slow ly erased a platoon rap, hes become a more productive hitter on the road, taking it up to .239/.340/.448 last year. Hes also a nice illustration of the distinction betw een a good basestealer and a good baserunner, because hes good at scoring on hits and advancing on balls in play, but doesnt do so w ell w ith straight steals. Just heading into his age-25 season, theres a very good chance that hes the Red best equipped to graduate from at-large member of the string section to the lineups legit second fiddle behind Joey Votto.Miguel Cairo 3BBorn: 5/4/1974 Age: 38 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 1 W eight: 160 Breakout: 1% Improve: 24% Collapse: 16% Attrition: 23% MLB: 68% Comparables: Cal Ripken Jr.,Tony Fernandez,Melvin Mora YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM LEH PHI CIN CIN CIN TEAM LEH PHI CIN CIN CIN TEAM LEH PHI CIN CIN CIN LVL AAA MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 35 35 36 37 38 SO 40 4 30 36 37 PA 315 47 226 276 250 R 44 6 30 33 27 2B 12 2 12 8 10 3B 2 1 0 2 1 HR 5 1 4 8 4 RBI 33 2 28 33 25 BB 15 0 17 18 15SB 8 0 4 3 5CS 1 0 0 4 2AVG_OBP_SLG .287/.325/.392 .267/.283/.422 .290/.353/.410 .265/.330/.412 .256/.311/.371 FRAA -5.5 -0.4 -5 3.5 3B -1, 2B 1TAv .250 .242 .277 .266 .242BABIP .317 .275 .320 .279 .283BRR -0.8 0.5 0.2 0.1 -0.1WARP 0.2 0.1 0.5 1.5 0.9As a pinch-hitter, Cairos useful as a guy w ith good zone coverage, but leave a fastball over the plate and he can lay some pretty mighty humiliation on a hurler in the Gap: Hes belted all 12 of his homers as a Red at home. After last years eight-bomb outbreak, the Reds gave Cairo the first multi-year contract of his career, $2 million for tw o years. How many guys do that after their 37th birthday? Not everyone can make the adjustment to bench player, and not everyone can handle pinch-hitting assignments. Being good enough may not be the same thing as being good, but Cairos more useful as a 200 at-bats bit part than he ever w as as a full-time player.Zack Cozart SSBorn: 8/12/1985 Age: 26 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 1 W eight: 195 Breakout: 2% Improve: 33% Collapse: 5% Attrition: 30% MLB: 77% Comparables: Denny Hocking,Ramon Castro,Joe MilletteYEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012TEAM CAR LOU LOU CIN CIN TEAM CAR LOU LOU CIN CIN TEAM CAR LOU LOU CIN CINLVL AA AAA AAA MLB MLB LVL AA AAA AAA MLB MLB LVL AA AAA AAA MLB MLBAGE 23 24 25 25 26 SO 87 107 51 6 47PA 541 610 350 38 250 SB 10 30 9 0 6R 72 91 57 6 282B 29 30 26 0 123B 2 4 2 0 1HR 10 17 7 2 6RBI 59 67 32 3 28BB 63 40 23 0 16CS 2 4 2 0 1 BRR 2.1 3.9 4.1 -0.3 0.2AVG_OBP_SLG .262/.361/.398 .255/.309/.416 .310/.357/.467 .324/.324/.486 .251/.305/.395 FRAA 2.1 6 0.6 1.6 SS 1 WARP 3.3 2.6 2.2 0.3 1.3TAv .269 .245 .270 .254 .246BABIP .302 .285 .348 .345 .286You might see Cozart as the last Reds shortstop left standing after the stickless Paul Janish didnt hit and the gloveless Edgar Renteria couldnt field, but he essentially w on the 2012 job from his hospital bed: Tw o w eeks after taking over at short in July he hyper-extended his left elbow and finished the year on the DL. He had Tommy John surgery on the elbow in August, then, once he could support himself on crutches, another surgery to clean out his right ankle. Cozart still deserves the shot on the strength of his rsum. An above-average defender w ith good pow er for a shortstop, hell be an asset in a park that rew ards anyone w ho can put a charge in the ball. Eventually, hell be challenged by w hichever one of the kids in the system demonstrates he can play short, but in the meantime Cozarts an effective right-now solution for a team that ought to be in w in-now mode.Juan Duran LFBorn: 9/2/1991 Age: 20 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 8 W eight: 205 Breakout: 3% Improve: 6% Collapse: 1% Attrition: 6% MLB: 10% Comparables: Telvin Nash,Cristian Santana,Denny Almonte YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM RDS BIL DYT CIN LVL RK RK A MLB AGE 17 18 19 20 PA 174 221 404 250 R 15 23 48 21 2B 7 10 21 8 3B 4 1 2 1 HR 0 6 16 6 RBI 17 25 71 23 BB 8 19 34 10YEAR TEAM LVL SO SB CS AVG_OBP_SLG TAv 2009 RDS RK 52 0 0 .177/.220/.268 .1902010 BIL 2011 DYT 2012 CIN YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM RDS BIL DYT CINRK 71 2 A 152 1 MLB 99 0 LVL RK RK A MLB BABIP .259 .344 .405 .2843 4 0 BRR -0.8 -1.1 -2.6 0.244/.308/.393 .264 .264/.329/.463 .289 .188/.222/.311 .187 FRAA 2.1 -5.6 -2.4 LF -7, RF -4 WARP -1.1 -0.2 1.6 -2.5Duran comes equipped w ith the Glenn Braggs suite of goodies, capable of eye-popping feats of strength in batting practice or w hile show ing off his arm. The toolsy Dominican made his full-season debut stateside, delivering a mixed bag: He hit for pow er and shook off a slow start after being hampered w ith a bad hammy, but is getting your strikeout rate almost dow n to 30 percent in the second half really w hat w e call progress? Just 20, Durans still filling out, having already grow n four inches and packed on at least 20 pounds since the Reds signed him to a $2 million bonus in 2007. His problems making contact and playing the field to some extent can be explained by his getting used to his changing body, but theres no getting around poor pitch recognition and bad instincts producing w orse routes. Because of the talent hes still a w ild card w ith upside, but hes far from a sure thing.Juan Francisco 3BBorn: 6/24/1987 Age: 25 Bats: L Throw s: R Height: 6 3 W eight: 180 Breakout: 5% Improve: 29% Collapse: 9% Attrition: 31% MLB: 76% Comparables: Dave Hollins,Brandon W ood,Brian Buscher YEAR 2009 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM CAR LOU CIN LOU CIN LOU CIN CIN TEAM CAR LOU CIN LOU CIN LOU CIN CIN LVL AA AAA MLB AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL AA AAA MLB AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB AGE 22 22 22 23 23 24 24 25 SO 91 24 7 81 20 65 24 60 PA 464 99 25 329 59 314 97 250 R 64 17 4 46 3 46 10 31 2B 26 5 1 24 3 23 7 13 3B 2 1 0 4 0 1 1 1 HR 22 5 1 18 1 15 3 11 RBI 74 19 7 59 7 50 15 37 BB 20 4 3 16 4 10 4 9SB 6 0 0 1 0 0 1 1CS 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0AVG_OBP_SLG .281/.319/.501 .359/.392/.598 .429/.520/.619 .286/.327/.565 .273/.322/.382 .307/.334/.540 .258/.289/.452 .272/.302/.478TAv .279 .336 .385 .294 .234 .285 .253 .268YEAR 2009 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012TEAM CAR LOU CIN LOU CIN LOU CIN CINLVL AA AAA MLB AAA MLB AAA MLB MLBBABIP .312 .444 .615 .335 .412 .348 .318 .316BRR -2.3 -2.4 0.2 -1.1 -0.4 -1.3 0.8 0FRAA -3.2 2.3 0.2 -6 -0.9 0.6 -1.9 3B -4, LF 0WARP 1.9 1.2 0.4 1.8 -0.1 1.8 0.2 2.1It might seem as if Francisco has been around forever, but hes still just shy of 25. Giving him an extended look after Scott Rolen broke dow n around midseason last year w ould have made sense, but Destinys not alw ays some broad on a charger w ho arrives w ith trumpets; sometimes shes a loan shark w ith bills to pay and your IOU. Rolen may have been dow n, but Francisco w as out, on the shelf w ith a knee injury at the time. If Francisco ever got to be an everyday player in the Gap, hed hit 30 homers; hed also struggle to draw more than 20 w alks, and lefties pw n him. Aw ful range and a strong arm make him a 30-30 guy at the hot corner, able to start that many DPs and make just as many errors. Bobby Bonilla could do that and still help a team, but w ill Dusty trust Francisco, or just get frustrated w ith the boots and w hiffs?Todd Frazier 3BBorn: 2/12/1986 Age: 26 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 4 W eight: 220 Breakout: 0% Improve: 41% Collapse: 4% Attrition: 23% MLB: 90% Comparables: Dave Hollins,Tim W allach,Hank Blalock YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 TEAM CAR LOU LOU LOU CIN CIN TEAM CAR LOU LOU LOU CIN CIN TEAM CAR LOU LOU LVL AA AAA AAA AAA MLB MLB LVL AA AAA AAA AAA MLB MLB LVL AA AAA AAA AGE 23 23 24 25 25 26 SO 67 12 127 82 27 51 PA 500 69 538 359 121 250 SB 7 2 14 17 1 6 R 59 9 71 47 17 30 2B 40 5 32 18 5 13 3B 2 0 4 1 0 0 HR 14 2 17 15 6 10 RBI 68 9 66 46 15 33 BB 42 6 45 34 7 18CS 8 0 4 4 0 2 BRR -0.6 -0.1 2.6AVG_OBP_SLG .290/.354/.481 .302/.362/.476 .258/.334/.448 .260/.340/.467 .232/.289/.438 .259/.316/.447 FRAA 0.2 1.1 6.7TAv .291 .282 .265 .275 .270 .268BABIP .316 .347 .318WARP 3.1 0.4 2.22011 LOU 2011 CIN 2012 CINAAA .302 MLB .253 MLB .2921.4 2.6 1.8 1.3 -1 0.7 -0.2 3B 0, LF -0 1.8You get the sense the Reds are not really any closer to know ing w hat Todd Frazier is than they w ere w hen they drafted him w ith the 34th overall pick in 2007. Theyve achieved some sense of w hat he isnt a middle infielderbut if hes just bumping around the corners, opportunities are going to be harder to come by. Guys have managed to put together careers despite this sort of positional ambiguity: Scott Brosius w ent through it in the '90s and Michael Cuddyer more recently w andered from shortstop to second to third and the outfield corners. Hes ready right now to help a w inning team at all four corners.Brodie Greene 2BBorn: 9/25/1987 Age: 24 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 2 W eight: 195 Breakout: 0% Improve: 9% Collapse: 6% Attrition: 15% MLB: 32% Comparables: Luis Rivas,Davey Johnson,Dickie Thon YEAR 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2010 2011 2012 TEAM LYN BAK CIN TEAM LYN BAK CIN TEAM LYN BAK CIN LVL A+ A+ MLB LVL A+ A+ MLB LVL A+ A+ MLB AGE 22 23 24 SO 50 75 47 PA 297 556 250 R 38 79 24 2B 11 21 9 3B 1 6 1 HR 1 14 4 RBI 20 79 22 BB 22 41 11SB 8 36 9CS 3 9 2AVG_OBP_SLG .269/.329/.330 .287/.344/.436 .230/.267/.326 FRAA -1.3 -4.3 2B -0, SS -2TAv .256 .268 .209BABIP .324 .312 .267BRR 0.9 5.1 0.1WARP 1.2 2.8 -0.6W hile the Reds might seem to have more defensively indeterminate floaters than your average organization, thats not a bad thing; after all, it affords the brass considerable flexibility in deciding w hat to do w ith a guy. Eventually. And assuming they actually come to a decision. After starring at Texas A&M, Greenes blend started out w ith the up-the-middle positions, but 16 quick errors in Bakersfield and hes already seen as stretched at short, moving across the keystone once Didi Gregorius w as healthy, then staying at second even after the Dutchmans promotion. Greene w as supposed to hit on the strength of his college career; if that pow er in the hitter-friendly Cal League translates to Double-A, hes officially interesting.Didi Gregorius SSBorn: 2/18/1990 Age: 22 Bats: L Throw s: R Height: 6 2 W eight: 160 Breakout: 1% Improve: 6% Collapse: 4% Attrition: 7% MLB: 19% Comparables: Eduardo Nunez,W alter Ibarra,Pedro Lopez YEAR TEAM LVL AGE PA R 2B 3B HR RBI BB 2009 SAR A+ 19 74 8 4 0 0 2 12009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012BIL DYT BAK CAR CIN TEAM SAR BIL DYT BAK CAR CIN TEAM SAR BIL DYT BAK CAR CINRK A A+ AA MLB LVL A+ RK A A+ AA MLB LVL A+ RK A A+ AA MLB19 20 21 21 22 SO 9 27 62 25 25 46225 548 203 160 250 SB 0 8 16 8 3 528 65 30 18 2310 16 12 6 91 11 1 3 11 5 5 2 316 41 28 16 2212 33 10 9 7 TAv .213 .298 .258 .277 .249 .198CS 0 6 7 8 2 3AVG_OBP_SLG .254/.270/.310 .314/.363/.387 .273/.324/.379 .303/.333/.457 .270/.312/.392 .226/.251/.318 FRAA 0.6 -11.8 -2.5 1.6 2.9 SS 3, 2B -0BABIP .286 .354 .300 .323 .314 .263BRR 0.5 2.1 3.1 0.1 2.8 -0.6WARP 0.1 0.6 2.3 1.4 1.2 -1.1A kidney infection kept this product of the Netherlands from getting in action until it w as almost June. That put the Reds in an aw kw ard spotthey w ere already going to have to decide w hether hed be added to the 40-man after the year, because theyd signed him as a teen in 2007. W ith his injurycompressed season, they challenged him w ith a spin at Double-A, w here he made a creditable show ing. As w ith many European players, Gregorius simply needs more reps and more game experience. He has the arm and the fluidity to be a good shortstop, but hes still inconsistent afield. At the plate, hes turning into a good contact hitter w ith flashes of pow er against right-handers, but hes been utterly hopeless against lefties.Billy Hamilton SSBorn: 9/9/1990 Age: 21 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 2 W eight: 160 Breakout: 2% Improve: 15% Collapse: 0% Attrition: 10% MLB: 25% Comparables: Shaw n OMalley,Eduardo Escobar,Silvio Pena YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM RDS BIL DYT CIN LVL RK RK A MLB AGE 18 19 20 21 PA 180 316 610 250 R 19 61 99 21 2B 6 13 18 7 3B 3 10 9 2 HR 0 2 3 2 RBI 11 24 50 19 BB 11 28 52 12YEAR TEAM LVL SO SB CS AVG_OBP_SLG TAv 2009 RDS RK 47 14 3 .205/.251/.277 .2112010 BIL 2011 DYT 2012 CIN YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM RDS BIL DYT CINRK 56 48 9 .318/.385/.456 .335 A 133 103 20 .278/.340/.360 .277 MLB 70 22 5 .213/.251/.283 .192 LVL RK RK A MLB BABIP .281 .391 .360 .290 BRR 1.9 10.4 16.4 0.6 FRAA 5.3 12.8 4.1 SS 6, 2B 3 WARP 0.2 5.8 5.9 -1.4Even w ithout 19th century Hall of Famer Sliding Billy to refer to, the basepaths aggression of this Billy Hamilton w ould earn the sobriquet. Five of the eight times in modern-era big-league baseball in w hich somebodys stolen 100 or more bases in the majors he has also w ound up w ith more steals than runs scored; Hamiltons achievement on that score in the Cal League is cute and rare but also emblematic of the more basic challenge that for all the shenanigans nothing beats just simply getting on base. Hamilton w alks w ell for a player of his youth but less than 10 percent of the time. The Reds gave him a full year at shortstop to see if hed erase concerns about a w eak arm for the position. He responded w ith a 39-error season.Ryan Hanigan CBorn: 8/16/1980 Age: 31 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 1 W eight: 195 Breakout: 1% Improve: 35% Collapse: 11% Attrition: 26% MLB: 88% Comparables: Paul Lo Duca,Tim McCarver,Carlos Ruiz YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 TEAM CIN LOU CIN CIN CIN TEAM CIN LOU CIN CIN CIN TEAM CIN LOU CIN CIN CIN LVL MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB AGE 28 29 29 30 31 SO 31 6 21 32 33 PA 293 52 243 304 279 R 22 6 25 27 34 2B 6 3 11 6 10 3B 1 0 0 0 0 HR 3 0 5 6 6 RBI 11 2 40 31 27 BB 37 4 33 35 31SB 0 0 0 0 0CS 0 0 0 0 0AVG_OBP_SLG .263/.361/.331 .239/.327/.304 .300/.405/.429 .267/.356/.357 .274/.362/.390 FRAA 2.5 -0.1 -0.8 -2 C -1 WARP 1.3 0.0 1.7 1.5 2.6TAv .246 .219 .296 .270 .270BABIP .289 .275 .313 .285 .293BRR -0.8 0.4 -1.4 0.9 0Theres a natural temptation to w ant to multiply a guys production into full-time play, especially w hen its a hitter w ho can help you as much as Hanigan does w ith his OBP, not to mention a career 36 percent rate of gunning dow n stolen-base attempts. But historically, Hanigan has run out steam in the second half (losing almost 100 points in OPS in the majors), and hes never caught 100 games. That isnt to say he cant, but you can understand w hy he might be better off just w earing the uneasy crow n of Baseballs Best Backup Catcher and being done w ith it.Chris Heisey LFBorn: 12/14/1984 Age: 27 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 1 W eight: 215 Breakout: 3% Improve: 26% Collapse: 4% Attrition: 19% MLB: 80% Comparables: W es Covington,Andy Barkett,Johnny W eekly YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 TEAM CAR LOU LOU CIN CIN CIN TEAM CAR LOU LOU CIN CIN CIN TEAM CAR LOU LOU CIN CIN CIN LVL AA AAA AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL AA AAA AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL AA AAA AAA MLB MLB MLB AGE 24 24 25 25 26 27 SO 34 43 23 57 78 64 PA 314 271 89 226 308 285 R 54 37 6 33 44 37 2B 18 17 3 10 9 12 3B 2 1 0 1 1 1 HR 13 9 4 8 18 14 RBI 40 37 13 21 50 41 BB 34 14 7 16 19 20SB 13 8 2 1 6 5CS 1 2 0 2 1 1AVG_OBP_SLG .347/.426/.572 .278/.327/.465 .241/.307/.430 .254/.324/.433 .254/.309/.487 .266/.326/.479 FRAA -2.6 0.2 -1.3 0.4 0.5 LF -0, CF -1TAv .348 .274 .247 .268 .291 .281BABIP .358 .303 .283 .312 .283 .298BRR 3.1 -0.3 0.1 2.2 0.5 0.1WARP 4.2 1.2 0.1 1.1 1.6 2.2If anyone is the perfect Red, it might be Heisey. In essentially one seasons w orth of big-league stats (534 PAs), Heisey has hit 26 homers w hile cranking out a .254/.316/.465 line. Thats sw ell, and hes certainly capable of a 30-homer season as an everyday player. But if you think hes really about to blow up, keep in mind that hes already 27 years old. He isnt building up to anything. This is exactly how good he is and exactly as good as hes going to be. He could pick up some ground by hitting lefties better than he has, but hes essentially another athletic, good-glove regular w ho bats righty, except that hes the one playing an outfield corner. If youve got genuinely great players at up-the-middle positions, that isnt a problem, but the Reds dont have a Morgan at second, Griffey in center, or Larkin at short; instead, they have guys w ho hit like Heisey, or a little w orse.Paul Janish SSBorn: 10/12/1982 Age: 29 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 3 W eight: 190 Breakout: 8% Improve: 38% Collapse: 10% Attrition: 25% MLB: 85% Comparables: Edgar Renteria,Tony Fernandez,Roberto Pena YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM CIN CIN LOU CIN CIN TEAM CIN CIN LOU CIN CIN TEAM CIN CIN LOU CIN CIN LVL MLB MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB AAA MLB MLB AGE 26 27 28 28 29 SO 40 30 4 46 49 PA 292 228 53 366 324 R 36 23 9 27 34 2B 21 10 2 14 15 3B 0 0 0 1 0 HR 1 5 1 0 6 RBI 16 25 3 23 30 BB 26 22 7 18 24SB 2 1 1 3 2CS 0 3 0 2 1AVG_OBP_SLG .211/.296/.305 .260/.338/.385 .256/.377/.372 .214/.259/.262 .236/.303/.350 FRAA 8 -2.9 0.2 4.7 SS 3, 3B -0TAv .208 .258 .264 .205 .233BABIP .247 .283 .256 .244 .260BRR 1.6 -1.3 0.7 -0.2 -0.2WARP 0.4 0.4 0.3 -0.1 0.6Among shortstops w ith a meaningful amount of playing time in the majors last season, Janish ranked among the top five afield via BIS Plus/Minus and Total Zone, rating w ith the likes of Brendan Ryan, Alex Gonzalez, Clint Barmes and Troy Tulow itzki. But w hile theyve all got guaranteed money and jobs in 2012, as the w orst hitter in the lot Janish is stuck trying to live dow n losing in the one shot hes gotten at an everyday job in the big leagues. At the plate, Janish is easily overpow ered and pitchers have learned that they dont need to be cute w ith him, how ever patient he might w ant to be.Fred Lewis LFBorn: 12/9/1980 Age: 31 Bats: L Throw s: R Height: 6 3 W eight: 190 Breakout: 1% Improve: 31% Collapse: 9% Attrition: 25% MLB: 86% Comparables: Phil Bradley,Lloyd McClendon,John Rodriguez YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM SFN TOR CIN CIN LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 28 29 30 31 PA 336 480 210 263 R 49 70 20 31 2B 21 31 7 12 3B 3 5 0 3 HR 4 8 3 5 RBI 20 36 19 28 BB 36 38 22 25YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012TEAM SFN TOR CIN CIN TEAM SFN TOR CIN CINLVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLBSO 84 104 38 60SB 8 17 2 8CS 4 6 5 3 BRR 1.8 -0.2 -0.5 -0.5AVG_OBP_SLG .258/.348/.390 .262/.332/.414 .230/.321/.317 .257/.335/.403 FRAA 2.3 -0.7 1.6 LF -1, RF 0TAv .267 .264 .240 .263BABIP .348 .325 .273 .321WARP 1.2 0.9 -0.1 1.1Expectations that Lew is might have made the perfect partner for Jonny Gomes in left w ere derailed early by a strained oblique that cost him the first month of the season. By the time he came back in May, he struggled to get on track, and hes not so good that he deserves many chances to overcome these setbacks. On a practical level, if you w ant to define replacement level in terms of w hos freely available to man an outfield slot from one year to the next, its somebody like Lew is, w hich is w here hes at as w e go to press31 years old, unsigned, and merely moderately useful.Devin Lohman SSBorn: 4/14/1989 Age: 23 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 2 W eight: 185 Breakout: 5% Improve: 13% Collapse: 2% Attrition: 10% MLB: 27% Comparables: Bobby Meacham,Brodie Greene,Michael Fisher YEAR 2010 2011 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2010 2011 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2010 2011 2011 2011 2012 TEAM BIL DYT BAK BIL CIN TEAM BIL DYT BAK BIL CIN TEAM BIL DYT BAK BIL CIN LVL RK A A+ RK MLB LVL RK A A+ RK MLB LVL RK A A+ RK MLB AGE 21 22 22 22 23 SO 47 47 23 22 60 PA 270 235 147 138 250 R 33 14 25 23 21 2B 12 5 10 4 8 3B 2 1 2 0 1 HR 1 1 5 4 3 RBI 31 31 17 21 19 BB 24 17 13 16 14SB 2 9 4 6 3CS 5 2 2 2 1AVG_OBP_SLG .239/.317/.322 .208/.269/.256 .331/.400/.554 .322/.420/.461 .202/.252/.287 FRAA -3.1 0.2 -9.6 -18.3 SS -9, 2B 1TAv .273 .219 .316 .333 .192BABIP .284 .261 .373 .363 .252BRR -1.4 -0.4 -0.9 -0.2 -0.1WARP 1.1 -0.3 0.5 0.0 -1.5A third-rounder out of Long Beach State in 2010, Lohman bounced all over the organization. He started slow ly w hile playing second base, a position he had trouble adjusting to, in Dayton. That earned him a month-long demotion to the Pioneer League to pick up playing shortstop again, and that w as follow ed by a bump back up the ladder to the High-A Cal League, about w here a top-program player should have been at the end of his first full season. Unfortunately, the concerns that Lohman couldnt stick at short w ere borne out by error-prone fielding and poor range. He made progress at the plate, but hes another toolsy Reds prospect in search of a defensive home w ho might not have the bat to carry a slide dow n the defensive spectrum.Devin Mesoraco CBorn: 6/19/1988 Age: 24 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 2 W eight: 220 Breakout: 3% Improve: 18% Collapse: 4% Attrition: 42% MLB: 83% Comparables: Matt W ieters,Ramon Castro,Rick Dempsey YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM SAR LYN CAR LOU LOU CIN CIN TEAM SAR LYN CAR LOU LOU CIN CIN TEAM SAR LYN CAR LOU LOU CIN CIN LVL A+ A+ AA AAA AAA MLB MLB LVL A+ A+ AA AAA AAA MLB MLB LVL A+ A+ AA AAA AAA MLB MLB AGE 21 22 22 22 23 23 24 SO 76 29 37 14 83 10 52 PA 357 181 212 58 499 53 250 R 32 24 42 5 60 5 30 2B 22 11 11 3 36 3 13 3B 1 2 3 0 2 0 1 HR 8 10 13 3 15 2 9 RBI 37 31 31 13 71 6 32 BB 35 19 18 6 52 3 20SB 0 2 1 0 1 0 0CS 1 2 0 1 1 0 0AVG_OBP_SLG .228/.311/.381 .335/.417/.620 .294/.368/.594 .231/.310/.462 .289/.371/.484 .180/.226/.360 .251/.316/.443 FRAA -2 0.6 0.2 0.3 2.4 -0.1 C -0 WARP 0.6 2.4 2.9 0.6 2.5 -0.1 2.1TAv .250 .351 .332 .298 .276 .210 .265BABIP .273 .361 .307 .257 .325 .184 .284BRR 0.4 -0.5 0.6 -0.4 -1.8 -0.4 0Having redeemed his prospect status in 2010, Mesoraco follow ed up his new found seriousness w ith a solid season to cement his future as the Reds catcher of the present. W hile show ing continued improvement as a receiver, Mesoracos caught-stealing clip dropped to 28 percent, and may drop some more facingconservative, high-percentage MLB running games, but hes strong-armed enough to be an asset. At the plate, hes a solid blend of patience and pow er w ithout costing himself contact for slugging, and heading to the soft landing of a tremendous backup in Hanigan and a great park to hit in should make him an early Rookie of the Year favorite.Brandon Phillips 2BBorn: 6/28/1981 Age: 31 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 0 W eight: 185 Breakout: 1% Improve: 31% Collapse: 2% Attrition: 15% MLB: 89% Comparables: Don Money,Rod Booker,Orlando Hudson YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM CIN CIN CIN CIN TEAM CIN CIN CIN CIN TEAM CIN CIN CIN CIN LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 28 29 30 31 SO 75 83 85 89 PA 644 687 674 636 R 78 100 94 80 2B 30 33 38 28 3B 5 5 2 3 HR 20 18 18 24 RBI 98 59 82 85 BB 44 46 44 39SB 25 16 14 18CS 9 12 9 9AVG_OBP_SLG .276/.329/.447 .275/.332/.430 .300/.353/.457 .277/.328/.458 FRAA -4.1 5.8 -6.7 2B -4 WARP 1.6 3.3 3.3 2.9TAv .259 .266 .283 .275BABIP .284 .293 .322 .289BRR 4.3 4.9 6.4 -1.4Phillips balances on the edge betw een park-inflated star and merely good ballplayer. In a typical year, he might slug a hundred points better in the Gap than on the road, but he still does enough aw ay from his home park to help an offense. More troubling, how ever, is that, no matter how often he show s up on highlight reels, the various defensive metrics arent unanimous about his value in the field. Can he help a team w in? Absolutely, but the real problem is that hes getting paid as much as a sixth of the Reds payroll, and hes simply not that critical a component to this or any teams success. No dummy, Phillips appears determined to stick around and w ork out an extension beyond his 2012 compensation of $12 million.Denis Phipps CFBorn: 7/22/1985 Age: 26 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 3 W eight: 177 Breakout: 4% Improve: 50% Collapse: 5% Attrition: 24% MLB: 89% Comparables: Derek Bell,Devon W hite,Roberto Kelly YEAR 2009 2010 2010 TEAM SAR LYN CAR LVL A+ A+ AA AGE 23 24 24 PA 540 103 411 R 51 23 44 2B 32 10 22 3B 5 1 3 HR 10 8 4 RBI 55 21 35 BB 31 10 322011 CAR 2011 LOU 2012 CIN YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM SAR LYN CAR CAR LOU CIN TEAM SAR LYN CAR CAR LOU CINAA 25 AAA 25 MLB 26 LVL A+ A+ AA AA AAA MLB LVL A+ A+ AA AA AAA MLB SO 108 19 86 83 41 65338 53 22 5 173 30 12 2 250 27 12 1 SB 18 9 8 10 4 5 CS 8 1 9 6 1 2 BRR 1.3 0.1 -3.2 3.5 2.3 -0.37 5 638 26 2827 13 12 TAv .251 .374 .228 .308 .325 .238AVG_OBP_SLG .239/.288/.385 .333/.398/.720 .228/.296/.336 .328/.382/.502 .380/.428/.576 .248/.288/.391 FRAA 8 1.3 -4.1 2.1 0.1 CF -1, RF -1BABIP .284 .348 .286 .425 .487 .313WARP 2.1 1.8 -1.3 3.4 2.3 0.1Phipps is the rare Dominican w ho signed years after his 16th or 17th birthday, but that w as because he didnt start playing baseball until his late teens. Last season, he hit w ell for the first time in six years. If youre a BABIP-minded skeptic, youll understandably sign up for a fresh mug of regression, but the upside is that youll w ind up w ith a Timo Perez kind of guy, an aggressive hacker w ith some value as a fourth outfielder.Cody Puckett 2BBorn: 4/3/1987 Age: 25 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 5 11 W eight: 175 Breakout: 3% Improve: 20% Collapse: 9% Attrition: 44% MLB: 79% Comparables: Jason Hardtke,Bret Boone,Jorge Velandia YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM DYT LYN CAR CIN TEAM DYT LYN CAR CIN LVL A A+ AA MLB LVL A A+ AA MLB AGE 22 23 24 25 SO 138 124 80 70 PA 538 542 380 250 SB 19 17 10 5 R 76 72 51 26 2B 35 40 29 13 3B 1 4 0 0 HR 19 18 15 9 RBI 67 54 68 30 BB 39 45 28 12CS 1 4 3 1AVG_OBP_SLG .263/.325/.459 .277/.348/.493 .248/.313/.466 .223/.268/.399TAv .275 .292 .264 .231YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012TEAM DYT LYN CAR CINLVL A A+ AA MLBBABIP .327 .333 .276 .272BRR -0.3 3.6 3.7 0.2FRAA -13 1.7 -1.3 2B -4, LF -0WARP 0.8 3.9 1.3 0.1You might see that Puckett played a lot of second base and hit those 15 homers and think theres something to get excited about, but buyer bew are: Pucketts a former college shortstop struggling to stick at up-the-middle positions, having already spent much of the second half in the outfield. He drew an assignment to the AFL, w here he flopped thanks to a poor approach and merely sporadic aw areness of the strike zone. Eight of the regular-season homers came off lefties, and he slugged only .429 against right-handersdoes that sound like a starting corner outfielder? It shouldnt surprise you that he slipped through the Rule 5 draft unpicked, although he could prove to be a useful utilityman.Edgar Renteria SSBorn: 8/7/1976 Age: 35 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 2 W eight: 172 Breakout: 0% Improve: 28% Collapse: 7% Attrition: 19% MLB: 81% Comparables: Alvin Dark,Jerry Hairston,John Valentin YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM SFN SFN CIN CIN TEAM SFN SFN CIN CIN TEAM SFN SFN CIN CIN LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 32 33 34 35 SO 69 43 65 47 PA 510 267 333 300 R 50 26 34 34 2B 19 11 14 12 3B 1 2 0 1 HR 5 3 5 5 RBI 48 22 36 29 BB 39 21 24 22SB 7 3 4 4CS 2 0 2 1AVG_OBP_SLG .250/.307/.328 .276/.332/.374 .251/.306/.348 .268/.322/.375 FRAA -1.8 -2.1 0.7 SS -2, 2B 0TAv .219 .245 .242 .248BABIP .281 .323 .302 .303BRR 2.9 -0.8 -0.3 0WARP -0.1 0.4 0.5 1.4Signing Renteria to balance Janishs leather w ith some pop at the plate might have sounded nice in the abstract, but he proved to be just another component from the 2010 Giants ready to turn into a pumpkin. Its possible he might cling to a career Omar Vizquel-style, but it just as easily could be the end; to move into the O-zone you have to have elder statesman cred and an automatic saving throw on charisma. In another time and place, Renteria w ould have been a Hall of Famer, if hed had Frankie Frisch for a teammate; instead, hell have to settle for tw o rings and a brief heyday as the best shortstop in the NL at the height of the steroid era. If theres anything to feel genuinely badly about, its Renterias finishing second to Todd Hollandsw orth in Rookie of the Year voting in '96, an utter travesty at the time, even setting aside that expected future value is not a criterion.Henry Rodriguez 2BBorn: 2/9/1990 Age: 22 Bats: B Throw s: R Height: 5 11 W eight: 150 Breakout: 5% Improve: 19% Collapse: 4% Attrition: 16% MLB: 60% Comparables: Cesar Izturis,Bill Mazeroski,Rennie Stennett YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM RDS DYT BAK CAR CIN TEAM RDS DYT BAK CAR CIN TEAM RDS DYT BAK CAR CIN LVL RK A A+ AA MLB LVL RK A A+ AA MLB LVL RK A A+ AA MLB AGE 19 20 21 21 22 SO 18 70 35 43 45 PA 161 547 254 312 250 R 24 76 37 39 26 2B 10 37 17 19 12 3B 1 3 0 1 0 HR 1 14 8 5 5 RBI 19 78 44 37 27 BB 7 22 14 25 7SB 9 33 12 18 11CS 0 13 7 3 4AVG_OBP_SLG .322/.356/.421 .307/.340/.473 .340/.378/.513 .302/.367/.432 .250/.274/.370 FRAA -0.7 -5.9 -2.7 -3 2B -5, SS -1TAv .291 .298 .305 .272 .223BABIP .361 .334 .372 .342 .284BRR 1.9 -0.1 1.3 2.2 -0.2WARP 0.9 3.0 1.8 1.1 -0.2Amid the throng of middle-infield maybes, Rodriguez offers some relief w ith his bat. Fifty extra-base hits, 30 steals, and a successful jump to Double-A? Everyone likes that. In 2011, Rodriguez added improved patience to his combination of excellent plate coverage, quick hands, line-drive pow er, and speed. Like a lot of sw itch-hitters, Rodriguezs real thunder comes from the right side of the plate, but hes no mere platoon player. Unfortunately, theres cause to keep the parade off Main Street: As young as he is, he remains a rough-edged thing in the field. His arm might have kept him at second, but poor range and mental errors have contributed to keeping him from finding a defensive home; he played third base in Venezuela this w inter.Yorman Rodriguez CFBorn: 8/15/1992 Age: 19 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 3 W eight: 184 Breakout: 0% Improve: 3% Collapse: 0% Attrition: 2% MLB: 5% Comparables: Cesar Puello,Jose Martinez,Jonathan Garcia YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 TEAM BIL RDS BIL DYT LVL RK RK RK A AGE 16 16 17 18 PA 193 95 184 310 R 21 9 25 38 2B 10 2 8 10 3B 2 1 3 4 HR 3 0 2 7 RBI 17 2 39 40 BB 9 10 8 252011 DYT 2012 CIN YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM BIL RDS BIL DYT CIN TEAM BIL RDS BIL DYT CINA 18 MLB 19 LVL RK RK RK A MLB LVL RK RK RK A MLB SO 61 23 30 84 81310 38 10 4 250 20 8 1 SB 5 5 12 20 8 CS 2 0 2 8 37 340 2025 10 TAv .235 .249 .334 .259 .180AVG_OBP_SLG .219/.259/.344 .274/.351/.321 .339/.367/.456 .254/.318/.393 .196/.227/.282 FRAA -0.4 0.6 -1.4 -3.9 CF -7, RF -6BABIP .311 .377 .400 .337 .275BRR 1 -0.9 1.7 -2.7 -0.2WARP -0.3 0.2 2.0 0.2 -2.6Among the Reds collection of Caribbean candy snapped up by a sharp squad of scouts, Rodriguez represents the biggest bet theyve made on any one position player, as they paid the Venezuelan a thenrecord $2.5 million signing bonus. His full-season debut as a teen w as rough, and his early-season effort in the field drew some criticism. Just as he seemed to get comfortable at the plate, he injured his shoulder on a dive that effectively ended his season a month early. He w as also just 18 years old, so its no surprise that he remains w hat he w as before the year, a five-tool talent w ho has a lot of w ork ahead of him to translate those tools into production. If he improves his approach at the plate, he can reach the sky-high ceiling set for him w hen he signed; even if he doesnt, he w as still a lottery ticket w orth buying, because thats the nature of investing in foreign talent.Scott Rolen 3BBorn: 4/4/1975 Age: 37 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 5 W eight: 210 Breakout: 0% Improve: 16% Collapse: 17% Attrition: 27% MLB: 72% Comparables: Joe Randa,Ken Boyer,Richie Hebner YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM CIN TOR CIN CIN CIN TEAM CIN TOR CIN CIN CIN LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 34 34 35 36 37 SO 20 42 82 36 46 PA 162 373 537 269 306 R 24 52 66 31 36 2B 7 29 34 20 17 3B 1 0 3 2 1 HR 3 8 20 5 8 RBI 24 43 83 36 35 BB 19 26 50 10 24SB 1 4 1 1 3CS 2 2 2 0 1AVG_OBP_SLG .270/.364/.401 .320/.370/.476 .285/.358/.497 .242/.279/.397 .260/.327/.417TAv .268 .301 .292 .246 .264YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012TEAM CIN TOR CIN CIN CINLVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLBBABIP .291 .341 .302 .262 .285BRR 1.3 1.3 -2.3 0.1 -0.3FRAA -0.7 -1.6 11.6 1.4 3B 5WARP 0.6 3.0 3.9 0.7 2.0Rolens managed just tw o full-ish seasons in the last seven, and last years problems w ith injuries to both shoulders hampered him before shutting him dow n altogether for surgery shortly after an All-Star selection he hadnt earned. Well see if theres a usage pattern that can keep him healthy enough to contribute all year; regular rest (and playing time for Francisco or Frazier) might do the trick, but Rolen might not like it, and it remains to be seen if Dustys w illing to do it.Neftali Soto 1BBorn: 2/28/1989 Age: 23 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 3 W eight: 180 Breakout: 5% Improve: 18% Collapse: 7% Attrition: 14% MLB: 41% Comparables: Kendrys Morales,Mark Trumbo,Carmelo Martinez YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM SAR LYN CAR CIN TEAM SAR LYN CAR CIN TEAM SAR LYN CAR CIN LVL A+ A+ AA MLB LVL A+ A+ AA MLB LVL A+ A+ AA MLB AGE 20 21 22 23 SO 95 105 96 59 PA 537 565 414 250 SB 1 0 0 0 R 53 73 70 27 2B 21 33 19 11 3B 2 2 3 1 HR 11 21 30 11 RBI 57 73 76 33 BB 23 32 25 8CS 3 0 1 0 BRR -5.5 -3.4 -0.2 0AVG_OBP_SLG .248/.283/.362 .268/.320/.460 .272/.329/.575 .239/.267/.427 FRAA 1 -5.2 2 1B -7, 3B 0TAv .234 .271 .304 .241BABIP .284 .301 .286 .270WARP -0.8 0.2 2.5 -0.1A broken bone in his w rist in April cost Soto a month and a shot at w inning the minor-league home run title, but once he w as back in action and in gear, he crushed 26 homers w hile slugging at a .642 clip, all as a 22-year-old making the leap to Double-A. That sort of production should silence concerns over his prospect status as a first baseman, even as he approaches the one stumbling block he cant hulk-smash out of existence: Joey Votto. A strong arm has led to experiments behind the plate; hed be a bit chunky for an outfield corner, but if the Reds w ere w illing to try to make Yonder Alonso an outfielder, you cant rule out they might try it w ith Soto. Hes already on the 40-man, and if he keeps crushing pitches at this pace in Triple-A, its going to be hard not to w ant to take a peek at some point.Drew Stubbs CFBorn: 10/4/1984 Age: 27Born: 10/4/1984 Age: 27 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 5 W eight: 205 Breakout: 3% Improve: 37% Collapse: 4% Attrition: 16% MLB: 74% Comparables: Chris Dickerson,Keith Miller,Adolfo Phillips YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM LOU CIN CIN CIN CIN TEAM LOU CIN CIN CIN CIN TEAM LOU CIN CIN CIN CIN LVL AAA MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 24 24 25 26 27 SO 104 49 168 205 173 PA 472 196 583 681 620 SB 46 10 30 40 36 R 57 27 91 92 73 2B 25 5 19 22 22 3B 2 1 6 3 3 HR 3 8 22 15 20 RBI 39 17 77 44 71 BB 51 15 55 63 57CS 8 4 6 10 9 BRR 3.3 0.7 9.2 4.9 1AVG_OBP_SLG .268/.351/.360 .267/.323/.439 .255/.329/.444 .243/.321/.364 .252/.326/.414 FRAA 12 0.3 6.2 -3.2 CF 2, LF -0TAv .262 .269 .270 .250 .262BABIP .347 .325 .330 .343 .325WARP 3.1 0.8 4.0 1.5 2.3Stubbs is simultaneously one of the most entertaining players to w atch and yet one of the most overrated everyday players in baseball. Graceful and acrobatic in center, hes a defender w hose gifts are reflected, not amplified by, highlight reel regularity, and hes one of the best baserunners and basestealers around. But his career OPS on the road is 645; hes delivered a .112 ISO on the road compared to .198 at home. That doesnt make him a bad player by any meansbecause of his gifts, hes been able to exploit his environment quite handily, and not everybody w ould do as w ell given the same opportunity. But it limits his value to anyone besides the Reds, especially after he reaches arbitration next w inter.Chris Valaika 2BBorn: 8/14/1985 Age: 26 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 1 W eight: 215 Breakout: 4% Improve: 18% Collapse: 5% Attrition: 24% MLB: 48% Comparables: Jose Castillo,Josh Barfield,Jon Shave YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 TEAM LOU LOU CIN LOU LVL AAA AAA MLB AAA AGE 23 24 24 25 PA 392 459 40 453 R 32 49 3 39 2B 20 28 1 18 3B 1 2 0 0 HR 6 4 1 7 RBI 36 53 2 37 BB 16 19 1 212011 CIN 2012 CIN YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM LOU LOU CIN LOU CIN CIN TEAM LOU LOU CIN LOU CIN CINMLB 25 MLB 26 LVL AAA AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL AAA AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB SO 76 72 9 65 3 4727 3 1 1 250 25 11 1 SB 1 3 0 1 0 0 CS 0 3 0 0 0 00 50 252 11 TAv .216 .250 .202 .228 .257 .223AVG_OBP_SLG .235/.274/.344 .304/.334/.408 .263/.282/.368 .261/.302/.355 .280/.333/.400 .242/.280/.358 FRAA 0.8 -3.1 0 8.5 0.4 2B -0, SS 0BABIP .281 .355 .321 .291 .318 .280BRR 2.3 -4.7 -1.6 -2.6 0.4 0WARP -0.2 0.3 -0.3 0.3 0.2 -0.1The latest inheritor to the mantle of futility infielders doom that once hung from the shoulders of the unremarkable, unlamentable Freddy Benavides, Valaika is a w orking-class utility infielder looking for his Steinbeck and having to settle for the febrile cruelties of our keyboards instead. Oh, the songs that might be sung about his intangibles, if only w e had the voices to shout Valaikas name in praise or scorn to the skies above. Oh, the torrents of ink already spilled to grimly observe that he might accost the roster of some team you care for, and w orse yet, get serious playing time. Lo, I see a w ord count w orthy of a fulllength player comment approaching . . . and there it isChris Valaika, everyone! Thank you so much for playing.Joey Votto 1BBorn: 9/10/1983 Age: 28 Bats: L Throw s: R Height: 6 4 W eight: 220 Breakout: 2% Improve: 48% Collapse: 1% Attrition: 13% MLB: 95% Comparables: Norm Cash,Miguel Cabrera,Mark Teixeira YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM CIN CIN CIN CIN TEAM CIN CIN CIN CIN LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 25 26 27 28 SO 106 125 129 124 PA 544 648 719 661 SB 4 16 8 10 R 82 106 101 100 2B 38 36 40 35 3B 1 2 3 1 HR 25 37 29 33 RBI 84 113 103 103 BB 70 91 110 82CS 1 5 6 4AVG_OBP_SLG .322/.414/.567 .324/.424/.600 .309/.416/.531 .305/.394/.546TAv .326 .348 .325 .326YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012TEAM CIN CIN CIN CINLVL MLB MLB MLB MLBBABIP .372 .361 .349 .337BRR -2 -1.2 -3.9 -0.6FRAA 2.5 2.3 14.2 1B 7WARP 4.3 6.7 7.2 5.4To belabor the obvious, theres an impressive consistency at w ork here. There isnt a fastball he cant hurt one w ay or anotherup and in or low and aw ay, hell hammer it w hen he offers, and its very rare to get him to chase after a breaking pitch outside. Most hitters numbers drop w hen they face relievers for the first time. The reasons for that are pretty straightforw ard: pure stuff, securing the platoon advantage, unfamiliarity. Votto beats all of that: his 946 OPS is nifty enough, but it goes up against relievers, to 988 in a first at-bat against them. Some of thats a measure of the inevitable intentional w alks, but his pow er numbers go up as w ell. You can call that consistency, self-aw areness of w hat he can do and w ho he can do it to, or you can even call it clutch, since so many of those plate appearances happen late in games. So yeah, hes good.PITCHERS Jose ArredondoBorn: 3/30/1984 Age: 28 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 1 W eight: 175 Breakout: 28% Improve: 53% Collapse: 21% Attrition: 9% MLB: 81% Comparables: Matt Lindstrom,Manny Delcarmen,Josh Kinney YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H 2009 ANA MLB 25 2 3 0 43 0 45 47 2011 CIN MLB 27 4 4 0 53 0 53 43 2012 CIN MLB 28 2 1 0 40 0 42 2 37 YEAR 2009 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2011 2012 TEAM ANA CIN CIN TEAM ANA CIN CIN LVL MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB HR 6 5 5 BB 23 31 18 SO 47 48 37 EqBB9 4.6 5.3 3.7 ERA 6.00 3.23 4.06 EqSO9 9.4 8.2 7.7 FIP 4.32 4.28 4.26 GB% 45% 44% 47% WARP 0.2 0.2 0.4BABIP .333 .277 .296WHIP 1.56 1.40 1.28FRA 5.13 4.40 4.41The w orld may alw ays need ditch-diggers, but it also needs its garbage men, and thats effectively all Arredondo w as for the Reds in his comeback campaign from Tommy John surgery. Dusty trusted him just five times all year w ith leads of three runs or less. His biggest virtue is an assortment that doesnt limit him to situational roles, as he alternates splitters and sliders w ith a fairly standard low -90s fastball. The greatest threat to his job security is probably his just-acquired arbitration eligibility, because beyond basic competence theres not much to recommend the former shortstop for more than a staff-filler role.Bronson ArroyoBorn: 2/24/1977 Age: 35 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 6 W eight: 180 Breakout: 16% Improve: 48% Collapse: 15% Attrition: 5% MLB: 82% Comparables: Doyle Alexander,Steve Gromek,Rick W ise YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 CIN 2010 CIN 2011 CIN 2012 CIN YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM CIN CIN CIN CIN TEAM CIN CIN CIN CIN MLB 32 MLB 33 MLB 34 MLB 35 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 31 29 46 31 15 13 0 17 10 0 9 12 0 9 12 0 BB 65 59 45 45 SO 127 121 108 94 H33 33 220 1 214 33 33 215 2 188 32 32 199 227 27 27 172 177 EqSO9 5.2 5.0 4.9 4.9 FIP 4.74 4.64 5.68 5.24 GB% 46% 44% 40% 42% WARP 0.4 1.8 -0.2 -0.0EqBB9 2.7 2.5 2.0 2.4 ERA 3.84 3.88 5.07 4.95BABIP .268 .241 .281 .287WHIP 1.27 1.15 1.37 1.29FRA 5.33 4.77 5.48 5.38On the list of mistakes you cant afford, throw ing dow n eight mil for an innings-eating junkballer is one of those legacy misjudgments, the sort of decision that might have flow n during the naughty Aughties, but ends up being a crippling budget-buster now adays. But giving Arroyo a three-year, $35 million deal in December 2010, w hen he w as already under option for 2011, w ill rank among the decades w orst deals, even if the Reds softened the blow by deferring payments out to 2021. Arroyo responded to his security by taking a tilt at the single-season homers-allow ed records of Jose Lima (48, 2000 NL) and Bert Blyleven (50, 1986 AL). For Arroyo, this w asnt that remarkable a feat; hes a fly-ball pitcher and the Gaps no friend to anyone on the mound. But to make matters w orse, his strikeout rates on a three-year slide as overall strikeout rates climb to historic highs year after year. Arroyos rate w as tied for third-w orst among NL ERA title qualifiers. Given that hes already throw ing everything including the kitchen sink at people, hoping that hell find a magic bullet amid all the slop might be hard to expect.Homer BaileyBorn: 5/3/1986 Age: 26 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 5 W eight: 205 Breakout: 27% Improve: 52% Collapse: 19% Attrition: 19% MLB: 90% Comparables: Andy Benes,Joe Hesketh,Fernando Nieve YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 LOU 2009 CIN 2010 CIN AAA 23 MLB 23 MLB 24 8 5 0 8 5 0 4 3 0 H14 14 89 2 87 20 20 113 1 115 19 19 109 1092011 LOU 2011 CIN 2012 CIN YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM LOU CIN CIN LOU CIN CIN TEAM LOU CIN CIN LOU CIN CINAAA 25 MLB 25 MLB 26 LVL AAA MLB MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB MLB AAA MLB MLB HR 10 12 11 1 18 162 1 0 9 7 0 6 8 0 BB 27 52 40 6 33 41 SO 82 86 100 22 106 846 6 30 34 22 22 132 136 20 20 117 1 118 EqBB9 2.7 4.1 3.3 1.8 2.2 3.2 ERA 2.71 4.53 4.46 3.00 4.43 4.74 EqSO9 8.2 6.8 8.3 6.6 7.2 6.5 FIP 3.81 4.37 3.77 2.81 4.02 4.59 GB% 46% 43% 44% 37% 41% 44% WARP 1.6 0.6 1.6 0.5 0.7 0.4BABIP .304 .304 .317 .333 .299 .309WHIP 1.27 1.47 1.37 1.33 1.28 1.36FRA 4.45 5.01 4.06 3.97 4.82 5.15The annual grumble of the Bailey involved injuries again, as he hurt his throw ing shoulder tw ice (once w hile hitting). He did make progress, though, getting his strikeout rate back up near 20 percent in the second half. He also w alked few er, used his slider and change more effectively as chase pitches, and had 13 quality starts (four against the Astros) in 22 turns. If he can stay healthy enough to just become a fourth-slot rotation mediocrity he has Arroyos example for the kind of payoffs that can bring.Bill BrayBorn: 6/5/1983 Age: 29 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 4 W eight: 215 Breakout: 14% Improve: 35% Collapse: 43% Attrition: 9% MLB: 97% Comparables: Erik Bedard,Dan Plesac,Rich Hill YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2010 CIN 2011 CIN 2012 CIN YEAR 2010 2011 2012 TEAM CIN CIN CIN MLB 27 MLB 28 MLB 29 LVL MLB MLB MLB HR 4 3 4 0 2 0 5 3 0 3 1 1 BB 10 17 14 SO 30 44 39 35 0 79 0 58 0 EqBB9 3.2 3.2 3.1 H28 1 21 48 1 35 40 1 34 EqSO9 9.5 8.2 8.8 GB% 39% 34% 41%YEAR TEAM LVL BABIP WHIP ERA FIP FRA WARP 2010 CIN MLB .236 1.09 4.13 3.88 4.79 0.12011 CIN 2012 CINMLB .248 MLB .2981.08 1.182.98 3.16 4.09 0.5 3.57 3.60 3.88 0.6Bray might seem a bit young to already be punted into the Honeycutt super-situational set-up role, pitching more than 70 games w hile throw ing few er than 50 innings as he struggled a bit in the second half. Hes not really a LOOGY, since he has a good three-pitch assortment (holding righties to a 659 OPS), and hes not really getting to just let it rip, as he w as Bakers fireman w ithin innings, coming in w ith runners on base as often as not. In Bakers heavily scripted bullpen-usage patterns, Bray may not get a shot at being the next Matt Thornton, and his extensive injury history might argue against it, but the talents there for him to convert a few save opportunities.Aroldis ChapmanBorn: 2/28/1988 Age: 24 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 5 W eight: 185 Breakout: 46% Improve: 67% Collapse: 16% Attrition: 30% MLB: 98% Comparables: Dave Righetti,Sam McDow ell,Herb Score YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2010 LOU 2010 CIN 2011 CIN 2012 CIN YEAR 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2010 2010 2011 2012 TEAM LOU CIN CIN CIN TEAM LOU CIN CIN CIN AAA 22 MLB 22 MLB 23 MLB 24 LVL AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB MLB MLB HR 2 0 2 3 9 6 8 2 2 0 4 1 1 2 2 0 BB 36 5 41 23 SO 90 19 71 55 H39 13 95 2 56 15 0 13 1 9 54 0 29 4 EqBB9 4.9 3.4 7.4 4.8 ERA 3.57 2.03 3.60 3.11 50 24 43 1 29 EqSO9 11.8 12.8 12.8 11.5 FIP 3.18 1.38 3.25 3.16 GB% 49% 70% 54% 49% WARP 1.9 0.3 0.4 1.0BABIP .344 .333 .244 .297WHIP 1.35 1.05 1.30 1.21FRA 4.10 2.99 4.36 3.38Like so many overhyped Cuban talents before him, Chapman disappointed lofty expectations, but youre still left w ith the talent: scary-good triple-digit velocity that he used to strike out almost 40 percent of the batters he faced after he came back up in June. The Reds w anted to look at moving him back into the rotation this w inter, but the sore shoulder he came dow n w ith in the AFL kept him on the shelf. The trades for Mat Latos and Sean Marshall makes his role a bit ambiguous going into 2012. Although the Rangers example w ith Neftali Feliz is there to guide the Reds, it w ouldnt be surprising if Chapman succeeds as both a closer and a starting pitcher before he completes the last three seasons of his initial five-year contract.Daniel CorcinoBorn: 8/26/1990 Age: 21 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 0 W eight: 165 Breakout: 23% Improve: 54% Collapse: 28% Attrition: 4% MLB: 88%Comparables: Camilo Pascual,Lindy McDaniel,Hayden Penn YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 BIL 2010 DYT 2010 BIL 2011 DYT 2012 CIN YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 TEAM BIL DYT BIL DYT CIN TEAM BIL DYT BIL DYT CIN RK A RK A 18 19 19 20 1 4 3 1 1 0 1 3 0 11 7 0 2 3 0 BB 15 15 10 36 18 SO 30 29 24 162 26 20 0 6 6 9 9 H25 2 23 31 1 31 39 2 23MLB 21 LVL RK A RK A MLB LVL RK A RK A MLB HR 2 1 1 10 526 26 139 1 134 8 8 39 41 EqBB9 5.3 4.3 3.9 2.2 4.2 ERA 4.90 4.31 3.40 3.42 5.58 EqSO9 10.5 8.3 7.0 10.1 6.1 FIP 4.35 4.09 4.10 2.93 4.92 GB% 44% 47% 41% 42% WARP 0.1 0.1 -0.6 3.0 -0.2BABIP .339 .335 .293 .319 .314WHIP 1.48 1.47 1.39 1.16 1.52FRA 5.57 4.91 5.26 3.74 6.07Any preconceived notions that right-handers under 6 feet tall might not stick as starters get chucked w hen they come attached to someone w ith heat that touches the mid-90s and an effective slider and change w ith tremendous separation. W ith those kinds of gifts, this young Dominicans getting taken seriously as a starter, and he rew arded that confidence w ith a solid full-season debut. Hes a long w ay from ready, and hell have to dispel concerns over durability year after year, but for the time being hes w orth noting as another w orthw hile product of the Reds Caribbean scouting effort.Francisco CorderoBorn: 5/11/1975 Age: 37 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 3 W eight: 200 Breakout: 18% Improve: 40% Collapse: 38% Attrition: 10% MLB: 89% Comparables: Hoyt W ilhelm,Roger Clemens,Jay How ell YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 CIN 2010 CIN 2011 CIN 2012 CIN MLB 34 MLB 35 MLB 36 MLB 37 2 6 39 68 0 6 5 40 75 0 5 3 37 68 0 3 1 34 62 0 H66 2 58 72 2 68 69 2 49 62 52YEAR TEAM LVL HR BB SO EqBB9 EqSO9 GB%2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012CIN CIN CIN CIN TEAM CIN CIN CIN CINMLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB2 5 6 630 36 22 2458 59 42 544.1 4.5 2.8 3.4 ERA 2.16 3.84 2.45 3.617.8 7.3 5.4 7.8 FIP 3.06 3.95 3.98 3.8842% 44% 50% 44% FRA 3.55 4.44 3.80 3.93 WARP 1.2 0.8 0.7 0.9BABIP .306 .296 .215 .292WHIP 1.32 1.43 1.02 1.22To paraphrase Pierre Trudeau, the essential ingredient of free agency is timing; Cordero had it once, getting a four-year, $45 million deal after 2007. Unfortunately, that set him up for serial spurning during this w inters stopperpocalypse, w hen it seemed like half the closers in baseball w ere free agents and all of them w ere getting deals before Cordero did. Thats in part because hes no longer the same pitcher, relying heavily on his slider and change to make up for flagging velocity, mirrored in a strikeout rate that has plummeted to 15 percent, less than half w hat it w as in his salad days in Milw aukee. If ever simple save totals w ere supposed to represent quality youd put a price on, Cordero w ould have gotten serious money for his 327 career saves; as w e go to press, he hasnt, reflecting the smarter industry hes struggling to survive in.Johnny CuetoBorn: 2/15/1986 Age: 26 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 5 11 W eight: 185 Breakout: 25% Improve: 56% Collapse: 15% Attrition: 16% MLB: 93% Comparables: Bob W elch,Steve Busby,Juan Oviedo YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 CIN 2010 CIN 2011 CIN 2012 CIN YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM CIN CIN CIN CIN TEAM CIN CIN CIN CIN MLB 23 MLB 24 MLB 25 MLB 26 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 24 19 8 18 11 11 0 12 7 0 9 5 0 8 9 0 BB 61 56 47 41 SO 132 138 104 98 H30 30 171 1 172 31 31 185 2 181 24 24 156 123 23 23 137 2 128 EqSO9 6.9 6.7 6.0 6.4 FIP 4.65 4.00 3.42 4.37 GB% 43% 44% 55% 43% WARP 0.4 2.6 1.4 1.0EqBB9 3.2 2.7 2.7 2.7 ERA 4.41 3.64 2.31 4.35BABIP .294 .295 .254 .289WHIP 1.36 1.28 1.09 1.23FRA 5.24 4.19 3.98 4.73Shoulder trouble early and late kept Cueto from completing his bid for the ERA title, but in tw o-thirds of a season he did more than that to provide evidence of incipient acedom. He threw quality starts in 18 of 24 turns. His strikeout rate might have dropped, but it w as part of an effort to induce more groundball outs, a sensible enough idea w hile pitching in the Gap. That paid off w ith more DPs (helped by a great move to first that keeps runners close), shorter at-bats, and being able to pitch deeper into games. As w ith any pitcher w ho has health and durability issues, youre going to w orry. Add Dusty Baker to the mix and youd be right to steer clear. But those things w ere true of Cueto before last year, and this sort of development is w orth getting excited about.Carlos FisherBorn: 2/22/1983 Age: 29 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 5 W eight: 225 Breakout: 38% Improve: 52% Collapse: 20% Attrition: 18% MLB: 76% Comparables: Jim Mecir,Dustin Nippert,Edw in Moreno YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 CIN 2010 LOU 2010 CIN 2011 LOU 2011 CIN 2012 CIN YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM CIN LOU CIN LOU CIN CIN TEAM CIN LOU CIN LOU CIN CIN MLB 26 AAA 27 MLB 27 AAA 28 MLB 28 MLB 29 LVL MLB AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL MLB AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB HR 4 3 1 4 3 4 1 1 0 1 1 4 1 1 0 2 1 6 0 3 0 1 0 0 BB 31 6 13 18 11 14 SO 48 23 21 40 17 24 39 0 30 0 18 0 32 0 17 0 25 0 EqBB9 5.3 2.0 5.2 4.0 4.1 3.8 ERA 4.47 2.23 5.64 3.35 4.50 4.90 H52 1 50 36 1 14 22 1 22 40 1 30 24 25 32 32 EqSO9 8.3 9.4 8.5 8.9 6.4 6.6 FIP 4.05 3.92 3.69 3.96 4.70 4.64 GB% 45% 38% 43% 43% 47% 51% WARP 0.6 0.7 0.3 0.5 0.0 -0.0BABIP .329 .234 .328 .263 .289 .313WHIP 1.55 0.85 1.57 1.21 1.50 1.42FRA 4.13 3.55 4.26 4.52 4.83 5.33As a claim to fame, Fisher may have to settle for being the loser of the Reds 19-inning loss to the Phillies on May 25, pitching into a sixth inning out of the pen. As a guy already boxed out by Arredondo for spare w arm-body duties, being on the w rong side of glory is becoming something hes familiar w ith.Josh JudyBorn: 2/9/1986 Age: 26 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 5 W eight: 200 Breakout: 28% Improve: 49% Collapse: 22%Attrition: 25% MLB: 93% Comparables: Rich Thompson,Bud Norris,Ramon A. Ramirez YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 AKR 2010 COH 2011 COH 2011 CLE 2012 CIN YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM AKR COH COH CLE CIN TEAM AKR COH COH CLE CIN AA 23 4 3 11 36 1 3 1 2 38 0 6 2 23 50 0 0 0 0 12 0 1 0 0 BB 18 13 24 4 11 SO 67 38 57 10 25 26 0 EqBB9 3.3 2.7 4.3 2.6 3.5 ERA 3.10 2.68 3.12 7.07 4.65 AAA 24 AAA 25 MLB 25 MLB 26 LVL AA AAA AAA MLB MLB LVL AA AAA AAA MLB MLB HR 2 5 5 4 4 49 1 47 52 14 29 1 H 41 31 44 18 28 GB% 50% 34% 38% 23% 42% WARP 1.2 0.9 0.8 -0.5 0.1EqSO9 11.5 10.5 10.4 6.4 7.5 FIP 2.23 4.13 3.74 7.06 4.40BABIP .315 .292 .305 .326 .310WHIP 1.08 1.32 1.33 1.57 1.34FRA 3.31 4.19 4.67 8.62 5.05Just a 34th-round pick in 2007, Judy established himself as a quality relief prospect for the Indians after posting big strikeout numbers the past three years. A tall, aggressive reliever w ith good stuff, Judy boasts a four-seamer that sits in the low 90s and touches 96, w hile his slider has developed into a plus pitch that can generate w hiffs. This tw o-pitch repertoire can make Judy an extreme fly-ball pitcher, and his struggle to keep the ball dow n in the zone embittered his cup of coffee in 2011. He has the stuff to succeed as a middle-innings reliever, but he may still need more seasoning.Mat LatosBorn: 12/9/1987 Age: 24 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 7 W eight: 225 Breakout: 35% Improve: 61% Collapse: 20% Attrition: 6% MLB: 99% Comparables: Tommy Hanson,Felix Hernandez,Tom Niedenfuer YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 SAN AA 21 5 1 0 9 9 47 2009 SDN 2010 SDN 2011 SDN 2012 CIN MLB 21 MLB 22 MLB 23 MLB 24 4 5 0 14 10 0 9 14 0 10 9 0 H 3210 10 50 2 43 31 31 184 2 150 31 31 194 1 168 27 27 165 137YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012TEAM SAN SDN SDN SDN CIN TEAM SAN SDN SDN SDN CINLVL AA MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL AA MLB MLB MLB MLBHR 0 7 16 16 16BB 9 23 50 62 50SO 46 39 189 185 141EqBB9 1.7 4.1 2.4 2.9 2.7 ERA 1.91 4.62 2.92 3.47 3.20EqSO9 8.8 6.9 9.2 8.6 7.7 FIP 1.92 4.67 3.03 3.13 3.66GB% 41% 39% 46% 45% 44% WARP 1.1 -0.2 4.0 2.3 3.7BABIP .256 .257 .275 .288 .284WHIP 0.87 1.30 1.08 1.18 1.13FRA 3.02 5.04 3.20 3.65 3.48Latos began last year on the disabled list due to bursitis in his throw ing shoulder, and he struggled w ith his command upon returning. His fastball velocity w as dow n slightly and he had trouble locating his curveball. There w ere concerns that perhaps the previous seasons heavy w orkload had caught up w ith him. Then the second half came and Latos looked like his previous self again, w ith a 2.87 ERA, 8.8 K/9, and 3.8 K/BB in 14 starts. If Latos stays healthy and maintains focusneither is a given w ith himhe could develop into one of the games elite pitchers. That possibility is w hy the Reds paid so heavily in talent to acquire him to front their rotation, but moving from Petco to the Gap is about as big a change in environment as melting both ice caps, setting the Amazon ablaze, and giving every person in China a Hummer.Mike LeakeBorn: 11/12/1987 Age: 24 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 2 W eight: 190 Breakout: 25% Improve: 59% Collapse: 22% Attrition: 13% MLB: 93% Comparables: Frank Pastore,Juan Oviedo,Don Robinson YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2010 CIN 2011 CIN 2012 CIN YEAR 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2010 2011 2012 TEAM CIN CIN CIN TEAM CIN CIN CIN MLB 22 MLB 23 MLB 24 LVL MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB HR 19 23 22 8 4 0 12 9 0 7 9 0 BB 49 38 36 SO 91 118 87 H24 22 138 1 158 29 26 167 2 159 22 22 140 1 142 EqBB9 3.2 2.0 2.3 ERA 4.23 3.86 4.73 EqSO9 5.9 6.3 5.6 FIP 4.70 4.19 4.77 GB% 51% 49% 48% WARP 1.7 1.8 0.4BABIP .320 .272 .300WHIP 1.50 1.17 1.27FRA 5.25 4.46 5.14Balanced against the big-time maybes of Latos, Cueto, and Bailey, Leake may be the closest thing to DonSutton-style dull consistency in the rotation after he delivered 18 quality starts in 26 turns. Hes not an out-and-out soft-tosser as much as a finesse right-hander, moving around the zone w ith cutters, sinkers, sliders, and changeups. Heading into his age-24 season, hes picking up durability through conditioning w hile w orking w ith the kind of pitch efficiency that might dispel even Dusty-inspired visions of a flameout.Sam LeCureBorn: 5/4/1984 Age: 28 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 2 W eight: 205 Breakout: 20% Improve: 57% Collapse: 16% Attrition: 37% MLB: 77% Comparables: Mark Huismann,Colby Lew is,Geraldo Guzman YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 LOU 2010 LOU 2010 CIN 2011 CIN 2012 CIN YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 TEAM LOU LOU CIN CIN CIN TEAM LOU LOU CIN CIN CIN AAA 25 AAA 26 MLB 26 MLB 27 MLB 28 LVL AAA AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL AAA AAA MLB MLB MLB HR 17 5 6 10 9 10 9 0 8 3 0 2 5 0 2 1 0 3 3 0 BB 47 18 25 21 22 SO 127 68 37 73 42 25 25 143 1 15 15 98 15 6 48 43 4 77 2 20 6 EqBB9 2.8 2.1 4.7 2.4 3.3 ERA 4.46 3.67 4.50 3.71 4.92 H 149 63 50 5759 2 60 EqSO9 7.9 8.0 6.9 8.5 6.4 FIP 4.05 3.54 5.06 3.75 4.86 GB% 40% 55% 46% 48% 42% WARP 1.5 0.9 0.1 0.9 0.0BABIP .309 .315 .308 .241 .301WHIP 1.30 1.23 1.56 1.00 1.36FRA 4.89 4.93 5.06 4.22 5.34On a team w ith as many w eek-to-w eek crises in the rotation as the Reds had to deal w ith, LeCure w as an indispensable man for the five months he w as healthy enough to contribute. Calling him a low -velo guy w ould be a mistake; hes a utility pitcher w ho can occasionally dial up a 94-mph fastball, but hes also a five-pitch hurler w ho can hit the corners. He can be spotted in the rotation or handle multi-inning relief chores. If there w ere ever an 11th man Olympics LeCure w ould be on the short list of favorites to medal, and as long as you dont insist he graduate from the role, youre in great shape.Kyle LotzkarBorn: 10/24/1989 Age: 22 Bats: L Throw s: R Height: 6 5 W eight: 200 Breakout: 33% Improve: 64% Collapse: 15% Attrition: 9% MLB: 73% Comparables: Juan Pizarro,Rick Ankiel,Mike Chris YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H2010 RED 2011 DYT 2012 CIN YEAR 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2010 2011 2012 TEAM RED DYT CIN TEAM RED DYT CINRK A20 211 1 0 3 2 0 1 1 0 BB 12 30 11 SO 27 78 168 624 1 20MLB 22 LVL RK A MLB LVL RK A MLB HR 1 9 314 14 66 2 56 5 3 19 2 19 EqBB9 4.4 3.4 4.9 ERA 3.33 4.32 5.41 EqSO9 10.0 9.7 7.2 FIP 4.99 4.80 5.24 GB% 40% 39% WARP 0.0 0.6 -0.1BABIP .313 .272 .307WHIP 1.32 1.14 1.51FRA 4.96 5.88Five years after he w as a supplemental first-rounder in the 2007 draft, the big, fragile Canadian managed a career-high in starts last season; thats now 43 in 4 1/2 seasons. Lotzkar also beaned 15 batters in those 14 turns, but you can understand how he might be w orking out some latent frustration over his elbow problems. Hes still a live-armed prospect despite his many setbacks, but because of the delays the Reds had no choice but to add him to the 40-man roster this w inter, another addition w ho handicaps their roster flexibility next season.Sean MarshallBorn: 8/30/1982 Age: 29 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 8 W eight: 205 Breakout: 15% Improve: 47% Collapse: 26% Attrition: 13% MLB: 95% Comparables: Rafael Perez,Don Mossi,Billy Pierce YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 CHN 2010 CHN 2011 CHN 2012 CIN YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 TEAM CHN CHN CHN CIN TEAM CHN CHN CHN MLB 26 MLB 27 MLB 28 MLB 29 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB HR 10 3 1 7 3 7 0 7 5 1 6 6 5 4 1 2 BB 32 25 17 19 SO 68 90 79 54 55 9 80 0 78 0 71 0 EqBB9 3.4 3.0 2.0 2.6 ERA 4.32 2.65 2.26 H85 1 91 74 2 58 75 2 66 67 2 62 EqSO9 7.2 10.8 9.4 7.2 FIP 4.15 2.30 1.83 GB% 52% 53% 60% 50% WARP 1.2 1.5 1.5BABIP .318 .297 .322WHIP 1.44 1.11 1.10FRA 4.68 3.32 3.162012 CINMLB .3001.203.76 3.80 4.08 0.9Marshall retains the vicious curve thats been his trademark up through the levels, and he now mixes in his fastball, w hich occasionally tops 93 mph, and slider to devastating effect. But although he has a starters mix, the Cubs adopted an if it aint broke attitude, rather than risk losing an exceptional set-up man. Marshall is a demonstrable asset as a reliever, and w ith his deal to the Reds hes sure to stay in the pen. He may even be in the saves mix, w hich could be the best thing for his incipient free agency after 2012, but the Reds have said theyre interested in signing him beyond the one year hes under their contractual control.Nick MassetBorn: 5/17/1982 Age: 30 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 5 W eight: 190 Breakout: 22% Improve: 65% Collapse: 21% Attrition: 13% MLB: 90% Comparables: Matt W ise,Hoyt W ilhelm,Santiago Casilla YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H 2009 CIN MLB 27 5 1 0 74 0 76 54 2010 CIN MLB 28 4 4 2 82 0 76 2 64 2011 CIN 2012 CIN YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM CIN CIN CIN CIN TEAM CIN CIN CIN CIN MLB 29 MLB 30 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 6 7 5 8 3 6 1 4 1 2 BB 24 33 31 25 SO 70 85 62 54 75 0 73 0 EqBB9 2.8 3.9 4.0 3.3 ERA 2.37 3.40 3.71 4.21 70 1 76 68 64 EqSO9 8.3 10.0 7.9 7.2 FIP 3.19 3.41 3.52 4.25 GB% 55% 47% 52% 49% WARP 1.1 1.1 0.1 0.5BABIP .251 .295 .335 .307WHIP 1.03 1.27 1.52 1.30FRA 3.97 4.01 4.87 4.57Masset w as a nifty deadline pickup for Ken Griffey Jr. in 2008, and since then hes given the Reds three years of durable high-leverage relief as Dustys designated eighth-inning tight-game guy. Unfortunately, cracks started to show late last summer, as Masset generated few er sw ings and misses in the second half, getting hammered for an 898 OPS against and a .412 BABIP. There w as no injury thats come to light, so you can try to figure out if it w as the w orkload w earing him dow n, the league finally catching up to him, or just one of those slippery problems w ith location and execution that you hope pitching coach Bryan Price can iron out.Logan OndrusekBorn: 2/13/1985 Age: 27 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 9 W eight: 225 Breakout: 18% Improve: 57% Collapse: 12% Attrition: 12% MLB: 86% Comparables: Dave Stew art,Cal Eldred,Dock EllisYEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 CAR 2009 LOU 2010 CIN 2011 CIN 2012 CIN YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM CAR LOU CIN CIN CIN TEAM CAR LOU CIN CIN CIN AA 24 2 1 7 24 0HAAA 24 MLB 25 MLB 26 MLB 27 LVL AA AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL AA AAA MLB MLB MLB HR 0 1 7 6 70 0 12 19 0 5 0 0 5 5 0 3 1 0 BB 12 2 20 28 21 SO 24 15 39 41 30 60 0 66 0 54 0 EqBB9 3.3 0.9 3.1 4.1 3.5 ERA 1.65 1.74 3.68 3.23 4.8932 2 21 20 2 16 58 2 49 61 1 55 54 1 54 EqSO9 6.6 4.8 6.0 6.0 5.0 FIP 2.73 2.76 4.35 4.40 4.93 GB% 53% 59% 50% 51% 47% WARP 0.8 0.3 0.4 -0.4 -0.0BABIP .233 .217 .243 .261 .292WHIP 1.01 0.87 1.18 1.35 1.39FRA 2.89 3.87 4.43 5.50 5.32Baker likes using this hulking righty in tandem w ith Bray in the seventh and eighth innings, but, as w ith the southpaw , it isnt strictly situational. He used both every other day last year until August, w hen Ondrusek landed on the DL w ith a strained forearm after appearing in 56 of the Reds first 114 games; he w asnt as effective after he w as reactivated at the end of the month. As w ith Massets second-half breakdow n, you can w onder how much of it w as a product of asking too much, because w hat doesnt get reflected in a simple appearances count is the number of times a guy w arms up and sits back dow n, used or unused. If hes healthy, he should be able to build on last years four-month run of effectiveness.Jordan SmithBorn: 2/4/1986 Age: 26 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 5 W eight: 220 Breakout: 42% Improve: 67% Collapse: 15% Attrition: 25% MLB: 74% Comparables: Dick Drago,Chris Mears,Curt Barclay YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 CAR 2010 CAR 2010 CIN 2011 LOU 2011 CIN 2012 CIN AA AA 23 24 5 3 0 1 3 9 3 2 1 0 4 7 0 0 0 1 0 0 H13 13 73 1 77 27 0 28 1 29 37 0 24 0 17 0 29 0 42 45 26 1 25 20 32 32 1 38MLB 24 AAA 25 MLB 25 MLB 26YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012TEAM CAR CAR CIN LOU CIN CIN TEAM CAR CAR CIN LOU CIN CINLVL AA AA MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL AA AA MLB AAA MLB MLBHR 4 3 7 2 3 5BB 21 6 11 9 8 11SO 39 11 26 13 13 13EqBB9 2.6 2.5 2.4 3.1 3.6 3.0 ERA 3.44 5.09 3.86 3.08 7.20 5.92EqSO9 4.8 4.5 5.6 4.4 5.8 3.7 FIP 3.69 4.79 4.96 4.38 4.99 5.43GB% 52% 54% 51% 49% 44% 51% WARP 0.5 -0.2 -0.5 0.0 -0.3 -0.4BABIP .305 .356 .288 .277 .420 .310WHIP 1.34 1.63 1.33 1.29 2.00 1.50FRA 4.41 5.98 5.98 5.53 5.86 6.44Smiths brief run as a situational sinkerballer may have already shot its bolt. He w as out of a big-league job little more than a month into the season, and he later lost time to a sore shoulder. Given the crush of prospects now here close to ready on the 40-man, bubble guys like Smith are in particular danger of being squeezed out. There isnt a ton of cause to w ant Smith in the first place, but the Reds have insisted on carrying him on the 40-man as w e go to press.J.C. SulbaranBorn: 11/9/1989 Age: 22 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 3 W eight: 220 Breakout: 13% Improve: 41% Collapse: 38% Attrition: 14% MLB: 75% Comparables: Dick Drott,Gil Patterson,Rich Hand YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 DYT 2010 DYT 2011 BAK 2012 CIN YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 TEAM DYT DYT BAK CIN TEAM DYT DYT BAK A A 19 20 5 5 0 4 6 0 7 3 0 2 4 0 BB 51 42 50 22 SO 100 68 155 31 H21 21 92 2 94 16 15 79 1 65 26 26 137 140 8 8 42 43 EqBB9 5.0 5.6 3.3 4.8 ERA 5.24 4.99 4.60 EqSO9 9.7 9.4 10.2 6.6 FIP 6.29 4.96 4.02 GB% 34% 44% 44% 39% WARP -0.9 0.0 2.1A+ 21 MLB 22 LVL A A A+ MLB LVL A A A+ HR 19 6 10 6BABIP .314 .303 .352WHIP 1.56 1.60 1.39FRA 6.98 5.03 4.292012 CINMLB .3091.555.86 5.16 6.37 -0.3It w asnt a pretty season in the aggregate, but the former pitcher from the Dutch Olympic and W BC team delivered his best all-around effort yet. The Cal League is no easy place to pitch, and Sulbarans inseason improvements included better groundball and w alk rates in the second half, not to mention just four hit batsmen after pelting 10 in his first 13 starts. Theres still a question over his effort, and his ultimate upside isnt great, but if he harnesses an occasionally plus curve and change to complement a fastball that sits around 90, he could pitch his w ay into back-end rotation opportunities.LINEOUTSHITTERSPLAYER C T. Barnhart DH S. Buckley 1B D. Dorn CF R. LaMarre 1B D. Lutz SS K. Negron RF B. Rhinehart TEAM DYT BIL LOU BAK DYT LOU CAR HAR 3B D. Vidal DYT RF K. W aldrop BIL PLAYER C T. Barnhart DH S. Buckley 1B D. Dorn CF R. LaMarre 1B D. Lutz SS K. Negron RF B. Rhinehart TEAM DYT BIL LOU BAK DYT LOU CAR HAR 3B D. Vidal DYT RF K. W aldrop BIL PLAYER C T. Barnhart DH S. Buckley 1B D. Dorn CF R. LaMarre 1B D. Lutz SS K. Negron TEAM DYT BIL LOU BAK DYT LOU LVL A RK AAA A+ A AAA AA AA A RK RBI 43 41 74 47 75 45 29 59 85 29 TAv .267 .329 .249 .259 .307 .209 AGE 20 21 26 22 22 25 26 26 21 19 BB 37 23 36 42 34 22 17 39 44 10 PA 372 258 494 503 506 465 137 323 514 293 R 47 38 52 78 85 54 21 55 85 38 2B 24 11 30 17 23 16 5 17 37 22 3B 2 3 1 3 3 4 0 2 1 9 HR 3 14 18 6 20 9 7 21 20 5SO 59 73 133 97 125 102 30 59 111 65SB-CS 2-1 6-4 2-0 52-14 5-4 11-1 1-1 1-1 3-2 4-4 BRR 0.0 -1.4 0.9 2.2 0.0 5.3AVG/OBP/SLG .273/.344/.387 .289/.372/.551 .248/.310/.440 .279/.347/.371 .301/.358/.492 .216/.269/.338 .287/.380/.513 .283/.376/.587 .280/.350/.498 .273/.305/.471 WARP 2.9 0.2 0.3 2.7 3.1 -1.0BABIP .320 .364 .309 .339 .375 .260FRAA -0.6 -22.8 1.9 7 -0.9 -4.9RF B. Rhinehart CAR HAR 3B D. Vidal DYT RF K. W aldrop BIL.302 .329 .315 .284.321 .286 .325 .3400.0 -0.2 -2.9 -0.5-0.8 -2.8 -7.1 -0.10.8 2.4 4.2 0.7The Reds may have dealt catching in the Latos deal, but theres potentially more on tap in the form of Tucker Barnhart, a small catcher w ith a great arm (nabbing thieves at a 48 percent clip) and patience at Danny Dorns simply in the w rong organization to break through. Hes not not much of an outfielder, and loses at least 200 points of OPS w hen a lefty pitches. Ryan LaMarre played a better center than expected in his full-season debut; the longer he does that, the better his chances of beating a tw eeners rap. Donald Lutz may w ell be the best prospect out of Germany, but he has to pick up the finer points of first-base play, he struggles against lefties, and hes years aw ay from being ready. After a terrible 2011, Kris Negron might best serve as a w arning to the Reds horde of shortstops w ho dont play short that w ell and dont hit enough to get looks anyw here else. Part ofthe plate w ho passed his full-season debut w ith flying colors. Far from just being a nepotista, Sean Buckley, son of the Reds scouting director, show ed excellent pow er after getting taken in the sixth round of the 2011 draft. the package received for Jonny Gomes, Kaiser Bill Rhineharts big combined numbers in Double-A might gull you into seeing a prospect but hes spent most of the last four years in the Eastern League last year w as his first genuinely good season and hes already 27. corner w hile stepping up his pow er production in-season. Expect a Cal League breakout. The other Kyle Waldrop is a toolsy tw o-sport star w ho might never create more confusion w ith the Tw ins pitcher, but his pow er potential deserves notice, so dont say w e didnt w arn you. David Vidal made progress at the hot PITCHERSPLAYER TEAM LVL AGE W L SV IP RK A 22 23 2 2 0 2 2 1 HT. Cingrani BIL T. Crabbe DYT I. Guillon D. Hayes J. Horst BAK BIL DYT LOU CIN D. Joseph CAR C. Manno HAG C. Reineke LOU CIN D. Renken DYT BAK51 1 35A+ 23 RK 19 A 23 AAA 25 MLB 25 AA A 23 2224 2 21 1 3 0 111 97 3 3 0 63 78 2 2 22 60 31 1 2 0 51 1 41 0 0 0 1 3 8 15 1 18 58 1 62AAA 29 MLB 29 A 221 2 12 43 1 20 6 5 1 126 2 143 0 1 0 6 8 0 1 0 0 62 5 113 1 99 30 36A+ 22K. Texeira KCA PLAYERMLB 250 0 06113TEAM HR BB SO EqBB9 EqSO9 GB% 1 2 9 11 3 2 2 7 1 13 2 10 4 0 6 7 46 46 27 14 6 30 15 39 6 39 13 3 80 20 123 61 92 42 9 64 69 77 3 141 24 0 1.1 2.6 3.7 6.6 4.1 2.5 3.5 4.6 3.1 2.8 8.1 3.1 3.9 4.3 14.0 9.1 10.0 8.7 13.4 7.4 5.3 10.2 14.3 5.5 4.1 11.2 7.2 0.0 49% 53% 49% 42% 45% 46% 39% 48% 39% 39% 40% 49% 35% 53%T. Cingrani BIL T. Crabbe DYT BAK I. Guillon BIL D. Hayes DYT J. Horst LOU CIN D. Joseph CAR C. Manno HAG C. Reineke LOU CIN D. Renken DYT BAK K. Texeira KCA PLAYERTEAM BABIP WHIP ERA FIP FRA WARP .330 .288 .312 .362 .241 .267 .308 .353 .244 .312 .167 .326 .333 .406 0.80 1.18 1.29 1.97 0.93 1.07 1.57 1.66 0.81 1.44 1.65 1.22 1.63 2.53 1.75 3.65 3.41 6.57 1.35 2.81 2.93 6.94 1.04 3.84 6.75 3.18 4.80 2.84 1.80 3.89 4.15 6.97 2.39 3.04 4.69 4.47 2.10 4.38 9.14 3.21 5.77 4.48 2.03 4.79 4.22 6.85 3.34 4.44 5.95 5.03 2.71 5.11 7.58 4.00 5.60 5.30 2.2 0.2 1.7 -0.5 1.3 0.8 -0.1 0.4 1.2 0.7 -0.2 1.9 0.1 0.0T. Cingrani BIL T. Crabbe DYT BAK I. Guillon BIL D. Hayes DYT J. Horst LOU CIN D. Joseph CAR C. Manno HAG C. Reineke LOU CIN D. Renken DYT BAK K. Texeira KCAW ith their third-round pick of the 2011 draft, the Reds selected Tony Cingrani, a hard-throw ing lefty out of Rice; having gotten his debut out the w ay, he could move up the ladder quickly. W hile Tim Crabbe might be easy to overlook in a system stocked w ith bigger names, hes an athletic righty w hose heat touches the mid-90s, and he complements it w ith a sharp slider. Venezuelantyro Ismael Guillonstruggled badly w ith his low -90s/changeup mix at Billings. As a college pitcher out of Vanderbilt picked in the 11th round of the 2010 draft, Drew Hayes w as supposed to dominate in the Midw est League anddid, but his heat touches the mid-90s, and thats more interesting than his save total. Being lefthanded and throw ing a tick harder than most southpaw s got Jeremy Horst a regular seat on the Louisville shuttle, but his struggle to acquire any mastery over his fellow lefties made him an easy choice toas a pow er lefty prospect out of the pen got scragged by Southern League hitters. T h e objet de dsir received from the Nats in the Gomes dump, Chris Manno is a pow er lefty arm out of Duke w ho W hatever hopes there w ere that Donnie Joseph w ould be in his element mow ed dow n less-advanced kids in the Sally League. Tw o years in the Reds organization might have brought native Ohioan Chad Reineke closer to pitching in front of friends and family, but as a sixth-starter w annabe, hes just roster flotsam searching for some suitably desperate team to give him a shot. Not much w as expected from 2010 25th-rounder Daniel Renken, but the Cal State-Fullerton product carved his w ay through the Midw est League w ith sharp command. Kanekoa Texeira has an occasionally niceoutright off the 40-man. breaking pitch that isnt quite good enough to separate him from tw o-dozen other candidates for 12th man on a staff.MANAGER: DUSTY BAKERYEAR TEAM W-L 2009 CIN 2010 CIN 2011 CIN Pythag Avg +/ PC 100+ 120+ QS BQS REL P P 2 157 2 77 4 111 5 90 7 477 501 50278-84 0 91-71 1 79-83 198.7 89 195.5 158 95.5 67YEAR TEAM REL w IBB Subs PH PH PH SB2 CS2 SB3 Zero R Avg HR 2009 CIN 2010 CIN 2011 CIN 320 408 398 36 43 64 47 251 .227 4 15 512 .236 20 14 240 .286 8 12 4 5 6 1 0 0YEAR TEAM CS3 SAC SAC % POS Squeeze Swing In Play Att SAC 2009 CIN 2010 CIN 2011 CIN 1 2 1 137 73.0% 47 200 75.0% 68 110 78.2% 39 4 6 2 122 322 377 98 99 131Dusty might get a good fundamentals rep but hes a fairly passive tactician on offensenot especially bunt-crazy or prone to setting his baserunners loose on the league to do much more than eliminate the double play. He struggled to find a reliable top-of-the-order combination to bat in front of Joey Votto, but he didnt have any obvious choices to make, and if the job-sharing arrangements at shortstop and left field flopped, he got good mileage out of his catching combo. On the pitching side of the slate, w hatever his past rep for overw orking his starters, he didnt ask too much of his current crew , rating reliably mid-pack or low er in pitch counts, blow n quality starts, and the like. Maybe thats the influence of pitching coach Bryan Price and maybe he learned from w hat happened in Chicago. Either w ay, he turned the w hip to the bullpen last year, as Reds relievers ranked among the most-used crew anyw here outside of Clint Hurdles oft-flogged pen in Pittsburgh, w hich contributed to a couple of late-season meltdow ns.oft-flogged pen in Pittsburgh, w hich contributed to a couple of late-season meltdow ns.Cleveland IndiansRebuilding a major league baseball team is a precarious undertaking. Even if the process could be guaranteed to result in a contending team, intentionally reducing the quality of any major league roster risks alienating fans. The Indians began their current rebuild by trading CC Sabathia just nine months after blow ing a three-games-to-one lead in the American League Championship Series, creating a radical change in the teams short-term outlook. Its no surprise that the organization w ants to emerge from their rebuild just as quickly, but it is not clear that the team is as ready to contend as the front office w ould like to believe. The Indians w ere the most surprising team in the majors in the first half of the 2011 season. Expected to linger near the bottom of the standings w hile graduating their top prospects and sorting out the players received in the 16 major-leaguers-for-prospects trades they had made over the previous three seasons, the Indians shot to the top of the American League Central in the seasons opening w eek and spent just six days out of first place prior to July 21. Sensing an opportunity, Cleveland took advantage of a dow n year for the Rockies (10 games out in the National League West on July 21) and nabbed ace Ubaldo Jimenez for tw o top pitching prospects and tw o other minor leaguers. The bold move brought in a tremendously talented young pitcher w ith a team-friendly contract, but it w as too bold. Yes, the Indians w ere still in first place on July 21, and w ere just a game and a half back w hen Jimenez arrived in Cleveland. But they w ere also just 53-51 on the season at that point and had gone 33-43 dating back to May 4. The Indians w ere contenders for most of the summer of 2011 in part because they had a fluky 20-8 start to their season. That opening run included 11 w ins against the Royals, Mariners, and Orioles, three more against a Red Sox team that couldnt get out of its ow n w ay to start the season (or, as it turned out, to end it), and a pair of one-run w ins against the Tigers.The other reason they w ere still in contention w as a lack of competition. The Tw ins w ere a disaster from Opening Day. The Royals w ere never expected to contend, and didnt. The W hite Sox w ere unable to get over the hump, not once getting above .500 betw een April 16 and August 14, and the eventual division champion Tigers started out in a 12-17 hole. They seemed ready to pass the Indians in mid-June, but then played .500 ball for a month and a half before finally hitting hyperdrive after the trading deadline. The Indians, meanw hile, w ent 60-74 (.448) after that hot 28-game start and w ere outscored 660-554 over those final 134 games. After April, the only months during w hich they w erent significantly below .500 w ere May and August. In the former, they w ere outscored and w ent 12-12 after their 28th game of the season, w hile in the latter they w ent 15-13, but only outscored their opponents by one run, 125124. The Indians contention w asnt so much a fluke as it w as an illusion. Its hard to criticize any team for adding a pitcher as talented as Jimenez, w ho finished third in the NLCy Young voting in 2010 and w hose stuff rivals Justin Verlanders even if his command of it doesnt. Jimenez just turned 28 and w ill receive a paltry $4.2 million for the coming season. Even his options for the 2013 and 2014 seasons are team-friendly; the latter tops out at $9 million even if he reaches the innings and/or aw ard requirements that increase the amount. How ever, having been traded, Jimenez now has the option to void that 2014 option, w hich means the Indians may have traded six years each of Drew Pomeranz, the 6-foot-5 lefty w ho w as the fifth overall pick in the 2010 draft, and righty Alex W hite, the 15th overall pick in 2009, for only tw o years of Jimenez. Even if Jimenez is inexpensive in dollars, he cost a lot in terms of talent. His acquisition w as a w in-now move for a team that doesnt appear ready to w in now . The Indians dirty little secret is that their rebuild hasnt really gone particularly w ell. Cleveland traded the previous-years AL Cy Young aw ard w inner in consecutive seasons, Sabathia in 2008, Cliff Lee in 2009. W hile those tw o helped deliver their new teams three pennants, the Indians and their fans found solace in the potential of the players acquired in those trades. Unfortunately, that potential is quickly eroding. The key player acquired in the Sabathia trade, first baseman Matt LaPorta, w as supposed to be a masher in the heart of the lineup. Hes now 27 and a career .238/.304/.397 hitter in the major leagues. Michael Brantley, the second-best player acquired in that trade, looks like a fourth outfielder at best. The best player in the Lee deal w as teenage pitching prospect Jason Knapp, but he has appeared in just 13 games since joining the Indians organization in mid-2009 thanks to a pair of shoulder surgeries. Carlos Carrasco, also acquired in that deal, looked like he might be turning into a solid major league starter last year, only to go under the knife himself: Tommy John surgery in September. Hell be 26 before he appears in another major league game. In the Baseball Prospectus annual last year, w e ran a list of the 29 players the Indians acquired in the 16 trades mentioned above. Scanning it now , there is very little to get excited about. Stealing Carlos Santana from the Dodgers for Casey Blake w as a masterstroke, as Santana is quickly emerging as one of the best young catchers in the game. After Santana, Justin Masterson, a third starter, and Chris Perez, a closer w ith a rapidly declining strikeout rate, are the other tw o solid performers out of that entire list of 29 men. Of course, theres more to the Indians than those 29, but optimism for the coming season is limited. Top prospects Jason Kipnis and Lonnie Chisenhall arrived last season to take over second and third base, but they combined for just 373 major league plate appearances and an aggregate .304 on-base percentage. Both likely need a few seasons of development and adjustment at the big league level before they fulfill their potentialif ever. Left fielder Nick Weglarz w as supposed to emerge alongside those tw o and provide another middle-of-the-order bat, but injuries scuttled his season and may be a chronic concern for the 24-year-old. The Indians could expect a bounceback season from 29-year-old right fielder Shin-Soo Choo, w hose run as the most underrated player in baseball w as interrupted last year by a drunk driving arrest and a pair of injuries. That added production could be undermined by a regression from shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, w ho more than doubled his career total w ith 25 home runs last year, many of w hich barely cleared the outfield w all. Travis Hafner has settled in at a reduced but still valuable level of production, buoyed as much by his on-base skills as his pow er, but an ugly platoon split and nagging injuries prevent him from being a full-time solution at designated hitter. One particularly telling transaction w as the decision to bring back Grady Sizemore. After declining his $9 million option, the team devised an incentive-laden one-year deal w ith a base salary of $5 million and a promise of much center field playing time. The new deal could be w orth $9.5 million if he makes 650 plate appearances and w ins the Comeback Player of the Year aw ard. Sizemore is now 29 years old, played in just 104 games over the last tw o seasons w hile hitting .220/.280/.379, and hasnt stolen a base and hit a home run in the same season since 2009. Its unclear if the actual motivation for the deal w as a genuine hope that the Indians former franchise player can recover his old form or a fear of fan revolt should he do so elsew here. A team w ith a real chance to contend in the coming season w ouldnt need to pander to the fans, and at the very least w ould tell Sizemore that he w ould have to fight for playing time. But the Indians arent that good of a team. Still, theyre keeping up appearances. Just three days after the World Series, they traded minor league lefty reliever Chris Jones to the Braves for the final year of Derek Low es contract and tw o-thirds of Low es salary. If the Jimenez deal w as hard to criticize because of the quality of the pitcher the Indians received, the Low e trade w as hard to criticize because of how little it cost them. Jones is a non-prospect w ho has yet to pitch above A-ball, and Low e w ill cost the Indians just $5 million, giving them a veteran top tw o in their rotation of Jimenez and Low e for a combined $9.2 million. Add Masterson, control ninja Josh Tomlin, and w hatever they can get out of Fausto Carmona, and the Indians rotation looks to be a strength, but it might be better on paper than in reality. Consider that the 38-year-old Low e has posted an 86 ERA+ since leaving the Dodgers after the 2008 season. Jimenez, meanw hile, lost a couple of miles per hour off his fastball last year, has seen his groundball rate erode over the last three seasons, andper hour off his fastball last year, has seen his groundball rate erode over the last three seasons, and posted a 5.10 ERA in his first 11 starts in the DH league. Still, one can see the upside on the Indians roster. Jimenez should be an ace. Low e could be a solid number tw o. Masterson could be a strong three. Their high-leverage relief could be an asset w ith sophomore Vinnie Pestano in the primary set-up role behind Chris Perez, and rookie Zach Putnam ready to join in alongside righty Joe Smith and lefty Rafael Perez. Choo could have a big comeback season, as could Sizemore. Kipnis and Chisenhall could find their feet more quickly than expected. Santana could have a major breakout season. Asdrubal Cabrera, w ho is entering his age-26 season, could retain more of his seemingly fluky pow er than expected. Heck, even LaPorta could find himself in his age-27 season. That could all happen, but its not very likely. The cold, hard facts are that their rebuild hasnt been terribly fruitful. W ithout LaPorta or Weglarz fulfilling expectations, and w ith Hafner and Sizemore diminished, the lineup looks underpow ered, and there are no significant reinforcements on the w ay. The Royals look to be the team of the near future in the AL Central. But w ith the Tw ins out of the w ay, the W hite Sox foundering, and the Tigers still vulnerableparticularly w ith Verlander likely to regress some from his MVP seasonnow may w ell be the time for the Indians to strike. Their chances arent great, and it w ill be painful if Jimenez leaves for a big free agent payday after failing to turn Cleveland into a w inner, but thats rebuilding. Sometimes things go aw ry and you have to deviate from the plan. The Indians have accelerated their timeframe, and in doing so, have raised the stakes considerably. If this team doesnt turn into a legitimate contender by 2013, it could be back to square one.HITTERS Michael Brantley CFBorn: 5/15/1987 Age: 25 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 3 W eight: 200 Breakout: 4% Improve: 31% Collapse: 1% Attrition: 36% MLB: 79% Comparables: Joe Keough,Tom Poquette,Manny Jimenez YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 TEAM COH CLE COH CLE CLE CLE TEAM COH CLE COH CLE CLE CLE TEAM COH CLE COH LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB AAA AGE 22 22 23 23 24 25 SO 48 19 28 38 76 64 PA 528 121 316 325 496 469 R 80 10 54 38 63 53 2B 21 4 13 9 24 20 3B 2 0 2 3 4 3 HR 6 0 4 3 7 6 RBI 37 11 29 22 46 44 BB 59 8 34 22 34 38SB 46 4 13 10 13 18CS 5 4 5 2 5 5AVG_OBP_SLG .267/.347/.361 .312/.358/.348 .319/.392/.425 .246/.296/.327 .266/.318/.384 .268/.329/.368 FRAA -0.3 -1.3 5.6TAv .253 .252 .277 .229 .254 .253BABIP .282 .376 .337BRR 2.8 0.2 4.3WARP 1.4 0.1 2.42010 2010 2011 2012COH CLE CLE CLEAAA MLB MLB MLB.337 .271 .303 .2984.3 3.5 0.5 0.25.6 -2.5 -4.3 CF -0, LF -22.4 -0.1 0.6 1.0Capable of stealing bases and scoring runs as the Indians leadoff hitter, Brantley is a great example of a player w ho is more valuable in fantasy baseball than real baseball. He hasnt become the everyday outfielder the team hoped for, though he did have to play every day, thanks to injuries to his teammates. Lacking the elite strikeout and w alk rates he posted as a minor leaguer, Brantley has very little pow er and isnt a very good defender in spite of his speed. If he could get on base more, the team might be able to hide his below -average arm in left field, but that is his only route to a future as something more than a fourth outfielder. If he returns from late season hamate bone surgery to a regular role in 2012, it w ill only be because the Indians lack better options.Asdrubal Cabrera SSBorn: 11/13/1985 Age: 26 Bats: B Throw s: R Height: 6 1 W eight: 170 Breakout: 4% Improve: 33% Collapse: 8% Attrition: 24% MLB: 92% Comparables: J.J. Hardy,John Valentin,Josh W ilson YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM CLE CLE CLE CLE TEAM CLE CLE CLE CLE TEAM CLE CLE CLE CLE LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 23 24 25 26 SO 89 60 119 97 PA 581 425 667 580 SB 17 6 17 13 R 81 39 87 69 2B 42 16 32 31 3B 4 1 3 2 HR 6 3 25 10 RBI 68 29 92 61 BB 44 25 44 44CS 4 4 5 5 BRR 2.6 0.7 2.4 -0.2AVG_OBP_SLG .308/.361/.438 .276/.326/.346 .273/.332/.460 .274/.337/.401 FRAA -4.3 -2.8 -19.1 SS -10, 2B 0TAv .287 .247 .287 .266BABIP .360 .318 .302 .313WARP 3.3 1.0 2.7 2.8So simply copying last years his value is diminished by a lack of pow er and w alks comment for Asdrubal is out of the question, huh? Cabrera is still below average in terms of w alks (though he improved this year and talent evaluators believe he has more grow ing to do), but an unexpected pow er outburst rocked the baseball w orld as Droobs more than tripled his 90th percentile PECOTA home run projection. That he pow ered to a 13.3 percent HR/FB rate (compared to a career HR/FB of 3.3 percent entering 2011) makes us skeptical he can repeat his prodigious pow er output. Cabrera can hit for a decent average but below -average defense limits his value.Ezequiel Carrera CFBorn: 6/11/1987 Age: 25 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 5 11 W eight: 185 Breakout: 2% Improve: 33% Collapse: 8%Attrition: 28% MLB: 80% Comparables: Del Unser,Richie Ashburn,Jim Eisenreich YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM W TN COH TAC COH CLE CLE TEAM W TN COH TAC COH CLE CLE TEAM W TN COH TAC COH CLE CLE LVL AA AAA AAA AAA MLB MLB LVL AA AAA AAA AAA MLB MLB LVL AA AAA AAA AAA MLB MLB AGE 22 23 23 24 24 25 SO 62 34 32 53 35 48 PA 405 183 243 377 226 277 R 68 19 24 63 27 30 2B 12 7 6 8 8 10 3B 4 3 2 3 3 2 HR 2 1 0 2 0 1 RBI 38 16 18 25 14 22 BB 59 12 20 39 16 24SB 27 11 9 35 10 18CS 13 3 5 4 5 6AVG_OBP_SLG .337/.433/.416 .286/.324/.385 .268/.329/.315 .287/.371/.348 .243/.301/.312 .259/.329/.335 FRAA 0.1 7.8 0.8 7.4 -4.4 CF 2, LF -1TAv .314 .251 .234 .246 .224 .243BABIP .396 .336 .303 .337 .293 .308BRR 6.5 -2.4 -0.8 2.7 0.1 -0.2WARP 4.1 1.1 0.1 1.4 -0.6 0.5Carrera has a skill set typical of many toolsy minor leaguers, most of w hom w ind up as bench players or Triple-A filler: plus speed, plus defense, no pow er, and a bat that w ill determine how much value he has to a major league team. Despite hip and hamstring injuries in 2010, Carreras speed and defense w ere still very good this past season, during w hich he made his debut and filled in for various injured Indians outfielders. He could be a second-team starter in left or center if he can maintain the patience he show ed in Triple-A this year and slap enough singles around.Lonnie Chisenhall 3BBorn: 10/4/1988 Age: 23 Bats: L Throw s: R Height: 6 2 W eight: 200 Breakout: 3% Improve: 32% Collapse: 3% Attrition: 22% MLB: 71% Comparables: Eric Chavez,Eric Campbell,Andy Carey YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 TEAM KIN AKR AKR COH LVL A+ AA AA AAA AGE 20 20 21 22 PA 432 101 524 292 R 59 13 81 45 2B 26 5 22 15 3B 2 1 3 3 HR 18 4 17 7 RBI 79 13 84 45 BB 37 7 46 282011 CLE 2012 CLE YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM KIN AKR AKR COH CLE CLE TEAM KIN AKR AKR COH CLE CLEMLB 22 MLB 23 LVL A+ AA AA AAA MLB MLB LVL A+ AA AA AAA MLB MLB SO 80 16 77 47 49 54223 27 13 0 268 30 13 1 SB 2 1 3 0 1 0 CS 1 0 0 1 0 07 822 318 17 TAv .294 .282 .286 .254 .254 .257AVG_OBP_SLG .276/.346/.492 .183/.240/.387 .278/.357/.450 .267/.353/.431 .255/.284/.415 .251/.306/.407 FRAA -3.5 -0.8 -3.5 1.3 4.3 3B 0 WARP 2.3 0.5 2.3 0.6 1.0 1.6BABIP .306 .178 .303 .300 .299 .287BRR 0.5 0.3 -0.8 -0.6 -0.3 0Chisenhall w as the subject of many a Cleveland bar fight last March over w hether he w as the teams top prospect. Braw lers fell into tw o camps: Team Lonnie and Team Jason. W hile Jason Kipnis had a tremendous rookie debut w ith the Tribe, Chisenhall did quite w ell for himself, too. He chases too many pitches out of the zone and so has never posted a batting average that w ould catch your eye. He is making good on his pow er potential, how ever, and could one day be a 20-25 home run guy. A former shortstop, Chisenhall is above-average defensively at the hot corner and should be a good regular in Cleveland for years to come, even if he lacks a stars ceiling.Shin-Soo Choo RFBorn: 7/13/1982 Age: 29 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 0 W eight: 180 Breakout: 4% Improve: 49% Collapse: 2% Attrition: 7% MLB: 92% Comparables: Oscar Gamble,J.D. Drew ,Jack Clark YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM CLE CLE CLE CLE TEAM CLE CLE CLE CLE LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 26 27 28 29 SO 151 118 78 85 PA 685 646 358 396 SB 21 22 12 12 R 87 81 37 51 2B 38 31 11 20 3B 6 2 3 2 HR 20 22 8 11 RBI 86 90 36 46 BB 78 83 36 45CS 2 7 5 4AVG_OBP_SLG .300/.394/.489 .300/.401/.484 .259/.344/.390 .274/.368/.438TAv .314 .317 .272 .290YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012TEAM CLE CLE CLE CLELVL MLB MLB MLB MLBBABIP .370 .347 .317 .334BRR 3.6 -1.3 1.2 -0.1FRAA 4.3 -4.5 3.7 RF 1, LF -0WARP 5.6 5.3 1.6 2.3If theres one thing w e learned about Choo last year, its that he can really hold his liquor; he registered a .20 on the breathalyzer during a DUI arrest. Thats some w ay to show youre thankful for being let out of Korean military duty to continue playing baseball. In terms of on-field issues, Choo suffered through a pow er and BABIP drop-off, but much of that could be attributed to three separate DL stints, tw o for an oblique strain. Normally a pull hitter, Choo saw his spray pattern shift tow ard center, w here the ball w ould die. Presumably the oblique strain limited his range of motion, especially if he w as playing through discomfort before he hit the DL. W ith an offseason to heal up and get his mind straight, Choo should return to star-level production in 2012.Trevor Crowe CFBorn: 11/17/1983 Age: 28 Bats: B Throw s: R Height: 6 1 W eight: 190 Breakout: 7% Improve: 33% Collapse: 9% Attrition: 43% MLB: 66% Comparables: Tyrell Godw in,Keith Smith,Tim Hummel YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 TEAM COH CLE COH CLE CLE CLE TEAM COH CLE COH CLE CLE CLE TEAM COH CLE COH CLE CLE CLE LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB AGE 25 25 26 26 27 28 SO 31 39 19 73 9 44 PA 219 202 128 479 32 250 R 27 22 21 48 6 26 2B 11 9 4 24 1 12 3B 1 3 1 3 0 1 HR 2 1 1 2 0 2 RBI 20 17 13 36 2 21 BB 30 11 7 29 4 19SB 14 6 6 20 3 11CS 7 0 1 7 0 4AVG_OBP_SLG .297/.397/.400 .235/.278/.333 .244/.286/.319 .251/.302/.333 .214/.312/.250 .246/.307/.338 FRAA 2 0.8 2.3 3.9 -0.8 CF 3, LF 1TAv .275 .228 .217 .229 .190 .237BABIP .344 .288 .283 .297 .316 .292BRR 0.4 -0.6 -0.6 -0.1 -0.8 -0.1WARP 0.9 -0.1 -0.1 0.1 -0.3 0.1Trevor Crow e, aka Ezequiel Carrera Sr., spent much of 2011 in Triple-A after he received his bigopportunity in 2010 and failed to impress. Speed and defense are Crow es calling cards, though neither is quite as good as Carreras, and Crow e is three years older. W ith a career .268/.346/.394 triple-slash at Triple-A, Crow es bat is less questionable than it is simply insufficient. W ith few years left before his speed goes into decline, Crow e looks like a Triple-A lifer or a defensive replacement/pinch runner on a bad team.Aaron Cunningham RFBorn: 4/24/1986 Age: 26 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 0 W eight: 195 Breakout: 3% Improve: 41% Collapse: 7% Attrition: 22% MLB: 84% Comparables: Franklin Gutierrez,Joe Hague,Chris Heisey YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 TEAM SAC OAK POR SDN SDN CLE TEAM SAC OAK POR SDN SDN CLE TEAM SAC OAK POR SDN SDN CLE LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB AGE 23 23 24 24 25 26 SO 74 16 68 28 17 57 PA 375 57 308 147 101 250 R 62 6 30 17 12 28 2B 24 2 17 12 6 14 3B 1 0 3 1 1 1 HR 11 1 7 1 3 5 RBI 48 6 45 15 9 27 BB 33 3 28 7 9 19SB 11 0 2 1 1 4CS 4 0 7 3 0 2AVG_OBP_SLG .302/.373/.479 .151/.211/.245 .251/.332/.413 .288/.331/.417 .178/.257/.367 .250/.316/.391 FRAA -6.1 -1.7 -9.5 -0.4 0.3 RF -5, LF -3TAv .304 .182 .253 .263 .232 .256BABIP .360 .194 .308 .349 .183 .309BRR 0.7 -0.4 -3.7 -1.3 0.4 -0.5WARP 2.0 -0.6 -1.1 0.1 0.0 0.7Cunningham hits the ball hard to all fields, runs w ell, and can play all three outfield spots. The dow nside is that he doesnt have much home-run pow er, isnt a good base stealer, and isnt blessed w ith a strong throw ing arm. As he did in each of the three previous seasons, Cunningham split time betw een Triple-A and the big leagues, never getting an extended look at the higher level. This cycle ultimately led to Cunningham getting traded for the second time in tw o years, this time from the Padres to the Indians, and hell now try to latch on as a fourth outfielder for Cleveland.Jason Donald SSBorn: 9/4/1984 Age: 27 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 2 W eight: 195 Breakout: 2% Improve: 35% Collapse: 10% Attrition: 27% MLB: 82% Comparables: Jim Fregosi,Derek Jeter,W ayne KrenchickiJim Fregosi,Derek Jeter,W ayne Krenchicki YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM LEH COH CLE COH CLE CLE TEAM LEH COH CLE COH CLE CLE TEAM LEH COH CLE COH CLE CLE LVL AAA AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL AAA AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL AAA AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB AGE 24 25 25 26 26 27 SO 53 33 70 33 35 57 PA 230 165 325 201 143 250 R 26 27 39 32 13 27 2B 15 10 19 12 6 13 3B 1 2 3 0 1 1 HR 1 2 4 4 1 3 RBI 16 17 24 15 8 23 BB 14 21 22 19 7 17SB 6 10 5 7 3 5CS 0 2 1 3 2 2AVG_OBP_SLG .236/.298/.332 .277/.394/.423 .253/.312/.378 .310/.397/.448 .318/.364/.402 .254/.315/.361 FRAA 4.2 1.5 -1 -1.9 -2.8 SS -2, 2B -2TAv .228 .260 .256 .274 .290 .247BABIP .310 .350 .320 .365 .423 .322BRR 0.5 2.5 3.2 0.7 0.2 -0.1WARP 0.5 0.8 1.1 0.7 0.8 1.0Donalds career has been something of a Greek tragedy, w ith injuries hampering him and relegating him to a bench role. W hile he hit w ell dow n the stretch trying to prove himself, hell find himself in a utility role again as the Indians play the new er, shinier models. Thats probably w here he belongs, as he hasnt turned his once-promising toolsgood contact hitting, projectable pow er for a middle infielderinto consistent production at the upper levels. His athleticism w ill give him value as a reserve w ho can play average defense backing up second, third, and short.Shelley Duncan LFBorn: 9/29/1979 Age: 32 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 6 W eight: 215 Breakout: 1% Improve: 20% Collapse: 7% Attrition: 15% MLB: 76% Comparables: Kevin Barker,Carlton Fisk,Luke Scott YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 TEAM SW B NYA COH CLE COH CLE LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB AAA MLB AGE 29 29 30 30 31 31 PA 527 15 166 259 137 247 R 85 1 21 29 20 29 2B 30 0 11 10 3 17 3B 1 0 0 0 0 0 HR 30 0 6 11 5 11 RBI 99 1 34 36 19 47 BB 64 0 17 26 24 192011 CLE 2012 CLE YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM SW B NYA COH CLE COH CLE CLE TEAM SW B NYA COH CLE COH CLE CLEMLB 31 MLB 32 LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB SO 94 5 28 76 24 56 66247 29 17 0 274 34 12 0 SB 2 0 0 1 1 0 1 CS 0 0 0 0 0 1 011 47 12 3519 29 TAv .327 .113 .284 .269 .231 .287 .275AVG_OBP_SLG .277/.374/.546 .200/.200/.200 .301/.382/.500 .231/.317/.419 .202/.350/.367 .260/.324/.484 .239/.326/.443 FRAA -7 0 -1.7 -2.3 2 -0.5 LF -2, RF -1BABIP .290 .300 .339 .294 .207 .297 .275BRR -1.7 -0.3 1.3 -1.4 0.1 1.4 0WARP 3.6 -0.3 0.6 0.9 0.1 1.3 1.5A former fan favorite in New York, Duncan surely made some new fans in Cleveland w ith his seven home run September, especially among those fantasy players he w on championships for. W ith Sizemore, Choo, and Brantley chained to the table in the trainers room, Duncan started in left field and certainly earned himself a roster spot for 2012. But it seems unlikely Duncan w ill enjoy long-term success as a starter. Hes a mammoth of a man w ith good pow er and a home run stroke, but he has little in the w ay of contact or defensive skills and merely average patience.Kosuke Fukudome RFBorn: 4/26/1977 Age: 35 Bats: L Throw s: R Height: 6 1 W eight: 190 Breakout: 1% Improve: 21% Collapse: 10% Attrition: 24% MLB: 68% Comparables: Jeff DaVanon,Jim King,W ally Moon YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 TEAM CHN CHN CHN CLE CLE TEAM CHN CHN CHN LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB AGE 32 33 34 34 35 SO 112 67 57 PA 603 429 345 258 532 SB 6 7 2 R 79 45 33 26 62 2B 38 20 15 12 25 3B 5 2 2 1 2 HR 11 13 3 5 9 RBI 54 44 13 22 49 BB 93 64 46 15 69CS 10 8 2AVG_OBP_SLG .259/.375/.421 .263/.371/.439 .273/.374/.369TAv .273 .280 .2692011 CLE 2012 CLE YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM CHN CHN CHN CLE CLEMLB 53 2 MLB 99 8 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB BABIP .310 .287 .330 .298 .2994 8 BRR -0.5 -0.4 -1.4 -0.8 -2.2.249/.300/.371 .235 .252/.351/.376 .267 FRAA -2.1 1.3 2.6 4.7 RF 7, CF -2 WARP 2.1 1.7 1.0 0.1 1.3Fukudome hasnt lived up to the hype he w as billed w ith coming to the States, but hes still an aboveaverage fielder capable of getting on base. Better against righties than lefties, Fukudomes numbers as an Indian took a hit as he started against every lefty save one. He w as much more aggressive at the plate, to a fault. He has value as a great platoon player if he can return to his old, more patient approach.Travis Hafner DHBorn: 6/3/1977 Age: 35 Bats: L Throw s: R Height: 6 4 W eight: 240 Breakout: 3% Improve: 26% Collapse: 7% Attrition: 30% MLB: 81% Comparables: Frank Thomas,Erubiel Durazo,Andre Thornton YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM CLE CLE CLE CLE TEAM CLE CLE CLE CLE TEAM CLE CLE CLE CLE LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 32 33 34 35 SO 67 94 78 76 PA 383 462 368 366 R 46 46 41 45 2B 19 29 16 17 3B 0 0 0 0 HR 16 13 13 11 RBI 49 50 57 39 BB 41 51 36 43SB 0 2 0 1CS 0 1 0 0AVG_OBP_SLG .272/.355/.470 .278/.374/.449 .280/.361/.449 .252/.350/.407 FRAA 0 0 0 WARP 1.4 2.3 1.6 1.3TAv .292 .303 .294 .275BABIP .297 .332 .332 .299BRR -2.7 -2.1 -1.2 0W hile Hafner w as 34 years old this past season, his numbers have not yet begun to show much agerelated decline. The injuries are nothing new for him, and hes unlikely to ever play a full season again, having avoided a DL-w orthy injury just once since 2004. Still, his pow er has remained intact to go w ith good on-base skills. Cleveland w ill be happy to w rite Pronks name on the DH line of the lineup card w henever hes capable of playingat least against righties, as hes lacked both patience and pow er versus lefties for several years. Hes expensive for w hat he is, but hes under contract for just one more season.Jack Hannahan 3BBorn: 3/4/1980 Age: 32Bats: L Throw s: R Height: 6 3 W eight: 205 Breakout: 6% Improve: 34% Collapse: 6% Attrition: 19% MLB: 79% Comparables: Fernando Tatis,Dave Hansen,Roy Smalley YEAR 2009 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 TEAM SAC OAK SEA TAC PAW CLE CLE TEAM SAC OAK SEA TAC PAW CLE CLE TEAM SAC OAK SEA TAC PAW CLE CLE LVL AAA MLB MLB AAA AAA MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB MLB AAA AAA MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB MLB AAA AAA MLB MLB AGE 29 29 29 30 30 31 32 SO 27 36 35 55 27 80 80 PA 88 134 167 264 128 366 317 R 8 12 15 32 15 38 33 2B 7 6 8 9 8 16 14 3B 0 2 0 1 0 2 1 HR 2 1 3 5 4 8 5 RBI 11 8 11 33 12 40 26 BB 7 13 17 34 17 38 35SB 0 0 1 1 2 2 2CS 1 0 1 0 0 1 1AVG_OBP_SLG .222/.284/.383 .193/.278/.303 .230/.311/.345 .228/.333/.344 .255/.359/.436 .250/.331/.387 .221/.312/.336 FRAA 1.1 4 0.2 6 8.8 16.8 3B 14, 2B 0TAv .253 .221 .250 .246 .272 .266 .239BABIP .308 .268 .279 .279 .304 .308 .287BRR 0.1 -0.6 -0.9 -1.2 0.5 -0.8 0WARP 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.8 1.4 3.1 0.8Hannahan w as brought to Cleveland to keep third base w arm for Lonnie Chisenhall, but he did more than that, quietly setting the hot corner on fire. The quiet part is due to the fact that he received just a halfseasons w orth of play (yet still w as w orth more than three w ins) and saw most of his value come from defense. He w as merely average w ith the bat and is unlikely to repeat even that kind of performance, but hes proven enough for the Tribe to bring him back as a backup third baseman and pinch hitter. W ith near-plus defense, good patience, and fringe-average pow er, Hannahan should do enough to earn his keep. At least his prep bloodlines are solid. He attended the same high school as Joe Mauer and Hall of Famer Paul Molitor.Jason Kipnis 2BBorn: 4/3/1987 Age: 25 Bats: L Throw s: R Height: 6 0 W eight: 185 Breakout: 1% Improve: 26% Collapse: 19% Attrition: 43% MLB: 89% Comparables: Danny Richar,Jason Bates,Johnny RayDanny Richar,Jason Bates,Johnny Ray YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM MHV KIN AKR COH CLE CLE TEAM MHV KIN AKR COH CLE CLE TEAM MHV KIN AKR COH CLE CLE LVL AA+ AA AAA MLB MLB LVL AA+ AA AAA MLB MLB LVL AA+ AA AAA MLB MLB AGE 22 23 23 24 24 25 SO 18 46 61 72 34 53 PA 129 237 355 400 150 250 R 19 33 63 65 24 30 2B 8 12 20 16 9 11 3B 3 3 5 9 1 2 HR 1 6 10 12 7 7 RBI 19 31 43 55 19 30 BB 15 24 31 44 11 20SB 3 2 7 12 5 4CS 3 3 1 1 0 1AVG_OBP_SLG .306/.394/.459 .300/.387/.478 .311/.383/.502 .280/.362/.484 .272/.333/.507 .257/.325/.426 FRAA 4.5 -2.3 3.7 7.1 -1.5 2B 2, LF 0TAv .328 .298 .303 .271 .299 .269BABIP .359 .359 .358 .318 .312 .302BRR -1.7 0.9 1 2.1 0 0WARP 1.7 1.4 3.1 2.2 0.9 1.8Kipnis burst onto the major league scene like gangbusters in late July. W hile minor oblique and hamstring injuries put him on the shelf for part of August, by the end of the season Kipnis had left little question as to w hy hes considered the top prospect in the Indians system. W hile his seven home runs w ere a surprisepow ered by a 20.2 percent HR/FB ratehell play every day at the keystone in 2012 . His quick, compact sw ing projects modest 15-20 home run pow er to go w ith a good batting average. Moved to second in 2010 to hide his below -average arm, Kipnis w ill manage to be an average defender w hile projecting as one of the top offensive w eapons at the position.Matt LaPorta 1BBorn: 1/8/1985 Age: 27 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 3 W eight: 210 Breakout: 1% Improve: 35% Collapse: 1% Attrition: 15% MLB: 68% Comparables: Justin Huber,Steve Pearce,Ryan Garko YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 TEAM COH CLE COH CLE CLE LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB AGE 24 24 25 25 26 PA 393 198 81 425 385 R 63 29 7 41 34 2B 23 13 4 15 23 3B 2 0 0 1 1 HR 17 7 5 12 11 RBI 60 21 16 41 53 BB 42 12 12 46 232012 CLE YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 TEAM COH CLE COH CLE CLE CLE TEAM COH CLE COH CLE CLE CLEMLB 27 LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB SO 56 37 10 82 87 76381 45 19 1 SB 1 2 0 0 1 1 CS 3 0 1 0 0 112 4533 TAv .297 .263 .334 .241 .269 .268AVG_OBP_SLG .299/.390/.530 .254/.308/.442 .362/.457/.638 .221/.306/.362 .247/.299/.412 .251/.323/.419 FRAA -5.9 0.2 -0.9 -14 -5.4 1B -10, LF -1BABIP .316 .281 .370 .250 .293 .287BRR -2.2 1 -1 -2.7 -5.6 -0.1WARP 1.1 0.5 0.6 -2.1 -0.6 1.1Matt LaPortas game is right out of a Joe Esposito song, the best arouw ait, thats not right. W e thought w e w ere talking about Albert Pujols for a second. W hile LaPorta once held that kind of potential, the centerpiece of the CC Sabathia deal has done nothing but disappoint in his time in the majors. W hile he has displayed average pow er, his plate discipline has been suspect, sw inging at more out-of-zone pitches each year hes been at the show . W hile his .313/.400/.553 line across three Triple-A seasons is excellent, his inability to handle major league breaking pitches has been his dow nfall.Jose Lopez 3BBorn: 11/24/1983 Age: 28 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 3 W eight: 170 Breakout: 1% Improve: 42% Collapse: 3% Attrition: 14% MLB: 75% Comparables: Buddy Bell,Angel Chavez,Frank Malzone YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2011 TEAM SEA SEA NW O COL FLO CLE TEAM SEA SEA NW O COL FLO LVL MLB MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB AAA MLB MLB AGE 25 26 27 27 27 28 SO 69 66 12 15 13 PA 653 622 135 129 113 323 R 69 49 24 10 13 35 2B 42 29 9 4 8 17 3B 0 0 0 0 0 0 HR 25 10 9 2 6 8 RBI 96 58 30 8 13 36 BB 24 23 6 3 4 12SB 3 3 2 2 0CS 3 2 0 0 0AVG_OBP_SLG .272/.303/.463 .239/.270/.339 .400/.430/.688 .208/.233/.288 .226/.259/.472TAv .268 .219 .354 .192 .2632012 CLE YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2011 2012 TEAM SEA SEA NW O COL FLO CLEMLB 38 2 LVL MLB MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB BABIP .270 .254 .387 .222 .205 .2681.257/.289/.392 .246 FRAA -5.3 20.2 -0.5 -0.4 -0.9 3B 6, 2B 0 WARP 1.3 1.6 1.6 -0.9 0.1 1.0BRR -1.5 -3.5 0.1 -0.6 1 -0.1Lopez joined his third organization in six months w hen the Marlins claimed him off w aivers from Colorado in June, but a 3-for-29 start earned him a trip to Triple-A New Orleans a month later. He hit w ell upon his recall in mid-August, batting .365/.382/.788 through his first 56 plate appearances, but w as squeezed out of regular at-bats once September call-ups arrived and as a result his ow n production cratered again. After spending the majority of his early career as a second baseman, he has split time betw een second and third base in recent years. Any value that defensive versatility may carry, how ever, is negated by his inability to play either of those positions competently any longer. Inking a minor league deal w ith the Indians this w inter, Lopez w ill hope to contribute but could instead find himself taking Luis Valbuenas seat on the bus back and forth from Triple-A.Lou Marson CBorn: 6/26/1986 Age: 26 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 2 W eight: 200 Breakout: 1% Improve: 27% Collapse: 13% Attrition: 33% MLB: 66% Comparables: A.J. Ellis,Jorge Posada,Robinson Chirinos YEAR 2009 2009 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 TEAM COH LEH CLE PHI COH CLE CLE CLE TEAM COH LEH CLE PHI COH CLE CLE CLE LVL AAA AAA MLB MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL AAA AAA MLB MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB AGE 23 23 23 23 24 24 25 26 SO 19 40 14 7 24 55 68 57 PA 116 241 52 20 147 294 272 260 R 10 32 6 3 19 29 26 28 2B 5 13 6 1 7 15 9 12 3B 1 0 0 0 1 0 2 1 HR 1 1 0 0 4 3 1 3 RBI 9 24 4 0 14 22 19 21 BB 10 30 7 3 22 26 24 27SB 1 3 0 0 5 8 4 3CS 0 1 0 0 0 1 2 1AVG_OBP_SLG .243/.322/.340 .294/.382/.370 .250/.346/.386 .235/.350/.294 .202/.327/.371 .195/.274/.286 .230/.300/.296 .239/.323/.333TAv .216 .265 .248 .215 .245 .217 .220 .244YEAR 2009 2009 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012TEAM COH LEH CLE PHI COH CLE CLE CLELVL AAA AAA MLB MLB AAA MLB MLB MLBBABIP .289 .359 .355 .400 .219 .234 .312 .303BRR -0.4 -1.8 -0.2 0.4 1.1 0.8 0.1 -0.1FRAA 0 -0.2 0.1 0.2 0.1 -0.9 0.1 C -1WARP 0.0 1.1 0.2 0.1 0.5 0.5 0.4 1.4Another former Philly prospect from the Cliff Lee deal w ho hasnt panned out as expected. Marson has still managed to become a legit big leaguer due to his great defensive skills, particularly in terms of blocking pitches and throw ing out runners, but w ith his career .218/.295/.305 triple-slash line, he might as w ell be sw inging a W iffle bat at the plate. His elite minor league w alk rates havent translated to success at the plate. A great defensive receiver w ill alw ays have a spot as a backup catcher, even w ith numbers as anemic as these, but w ith starting catcher Carlos Santana spending time at first base and DH to stay fresh, Marson w as overexposed. Marson drew 46 percent of the starts at catcher in 2011much too high for a guy w ithout a bat.Cord Phelps 2BBorn: 1/23/1987 Age: 25 Bats: B Throw s: R Height: 6 3 W eight: 200 Breakout: 0% Improve: 26% Collapse: 20% Attrition: 43% MLB: 83% Comparables: Jim Lefebvre,Ron Dunn,Scott Sizemore YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 TEAM KIN AKR COH COH CLE CLE TEAM KIN AKR COH COH CLE CLE TEAM KIN AKR COH LVL A+ AA AAA AAA MLB MLB LVL A+ AA AAA AAA MLB MLB LVL A+ AA AAA AGE 22 23 23 24 24 25 SO 97 29 39 89 17 49 PA 582 218 273 434 80 250 R 72 25 41 51 10 28 2B 27 8 20 25 2 11 3B 5 3 4 4 1 2 HR 4 2 6 14 1 4 RBI 53 23 31 63 6 24 BB 93 15 24 51 8 26SB 17 1 3 3 1 3CS 14 4 2 6 0 2AVG_OBP_SLG .261/.386/.363 .296/.347/.397 .317/.386/.506 .294/.376/.492 .155/.241/.254 .252/.332/.377 FRAA 1 -4.9 -2.8TAv .279 .270 .300 .270 .191 .260BABIP .318 .337 .357BRR -1.2 -1.1 -3WARP 2.5 0.1 1.52011 COH 2011 CLE 2012 CLEAAA .348 MLB .189 MLB .303-3.2 -2.2 1.1 0.7 -2.3 -0.5 -0.6 2B -5, SS 0 1.4W hile Phelps w as the first to the majors among Clevelands infield prospect trio (alongside Kipnis and Chisenhall) last season, hes definitely the runt of the litter, projecting as a fringe starter w ho gets by on hard w ork, hustle, and instincts rather than outstanding tools. He struggled in his time w ith the big boys and has poor speed for an infielder, but he does project to hit for a solid average w ith more gap than home run pow er. Hell play at least average defense at either second or third.Felix Pie LFBorn: 2/8/1985 Age: 27 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 3 W eight: 170 Breakout: 6% Improve: 45% Collapse: 9% Attrition: 32% MLB: 86% Comparables: Cleon Jones,Omar Infante,Trent Oeltjen YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM BAL BAL BAL CLE TEAM BAL BAL BAL CLE TEAM BAL BAL BAL CLE LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 24 25 26 27 SO 58 52 32 49 PA 281 308 175 250 R 38 39 15 28 2B 10 15 8 11 3B 3 5 1 3 HR 9 5 0 5 RBI 29 31 7 27 BB 24 13 10 16SB 1 5 3 5CS 3 2 2 2AVG_OBP_SLG .266/.326/.437 .274/.305/.413 .220/.264/.280 .256/.306/.387 FRAA 8 4.2 2.3 LF 7, CF 0TAv .257 .250 .205 .248BABIP .309 .316 .273 .303BRR 0 3.6 0.1 -0.3WARP 1.5 1.5 -0.5 0.5Once considered one of the top prospects in the game, Pie is now considered little more than organizational depth. He received some playing time in left field for the Os in 2011 w hen Luke Scott w as injured, but failed again, triple-slashing .220/.264/.280. Designated for assignment at the end of August to give younger September call-ups a look, Pie inked a minor league deal w ith the Tribe this w inter w ith an opt-out clause if he doesnt break camp w ith the team. To his credit, he has alw ays managed to hit at Triple-A (.299/.353/.477 across parts of four seasons), and his speed is still a plus tool (his best). Hell be just 27 this year, so all hope is not lost, but Pie is running out of time to adjust to major league pitching.Carlos Santana CBorn: 4/8/1986 Age: 26 Bats: B Throw s: R Height: 6 0 W eight: 190 Breakout: 5% Improve: 34% Collapse: 2% Attrition: 20% MLB: 93% Comparables: Hobie Landrith,Tom Tischinski,Chris IannettaYEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012TEAM AKR COH CLE CLE CLE TEAM AKR COH CLE CLE CLE TEAM AKR COH CLE CLE CLELVL AA AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL AA AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL AA AAA MLB MLB MLBAGE 23 24 24 25 26 SO 83 39 29 133 106PA 535 246 192 658 554 SB 2 6 3 5 4R 91 39 23 84 742B 30 14 13 35 283B 2 1 0 2 1HR 23 13 6 27 22RBI 97 51 22 79 69BB 90 45 37 97 85CS 2 0 0 3 1 BRR 2.8 1.7 -0.1 -1.8 -0.1AVG_OBP_SLG .290/.421/.530 .316/.451/.597 .260/.401/.467 .239/.351/.457 .252/.371/.462 FRAA 1.6 0.7 0.7 -0.6 C -0, 1B 1TAv .332 .331 .316 .290 .298BABIP .314 .340 .277 .263 .279WARP 6.9 3.1 2.1 3.6 4.1After his promising rookie season w as derailed by LCL surgery, Santana came back strong in 2011 to establish himself as perhaps the best young catcher in baseball. Praised for pow er as a prospect, the lasers Santana sent into orbit this season might have given Dr. Evil a run for his money. W ith elite patience, all Santana has to figure out at the plate now is making his sw ings count and putting the ball in play. Given his tempered approach and good contact rate, expect a good deal of upside to Santanas batting average. W hile his defense has been substandard behind the plate thus far, his 24 percent caught stealing rate belies a strong arm. Scouts believe he should become a solid backstop. Santana w ill continue playing first on days his surgically repaired knees need a rest, and the Indians w ill be happy to have his bat in the lineup.Grady Sizemore CFBorn: 8/2/1982 Age: 29 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 3 W eight: 200 Breakout: 3% Improve: 47% Collapse: 4% Attrition: 9% MLB: 92% Comparables: Chet Lemon,Ken Henderson,Brian Giles YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM CLE CLE CLE CLE LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB AGE 26 27 28 29 PA 503 140 295 251 R 73 15 34 31 2B 20 6 21 12 3B 6 2 1 1 HR 18 0 10 8 RBI 64 13 32 30 BB 60 9 18 29YEAR TEAM LVL SO SB CS AVG_OBP_SLG TAv 2009 CLE MLB 92 13 8 .248/.343/.445 .2842010 CLE 2011 CLE 2012 CLE YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM CLE CLE CLE CLEMLB 35 4 MLB 85 0 MLB 53 7 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB BABIP .275 .287 .284 .2932 2 3.211/.271/.289 .205 .224/.285/.422 .252 .250/.348/.434 .281 FRAA 3.7 -4 -3.9 CF -3 WARP 2.8 -0.7 0.1 2.3BRR -1 1.7 -0.7 -0.2Once one of the most promising young players in baseball, Sizemore hasnt played a full season since 2008, barely accumulating 400 plate appearances over the past tw o seasons. His list of ailments reads like the w orst Christmas w ish list in the w orldleft knee microfracture surgery, right knee contusion, arthroscopic elbow surgery, and tw o sports hernias. Dont bet on Sizemore ever being healthy enough to be an everyday player again. W hen he is healthy, he still has some pow er, but the knee issues have sapped his speed and defense, and his plate discipline has dissipated over the past tw o seasons. Sw inging at outside pitches nearly tw ice as much as he did earlier in his career, Sizemore may be pressing to make something happen. If Sizemore is to be successful in w hatever time he manages to be on the field, hell need to be more selective and stop trying to hit the five-run homer. The Tribe declined an $8.5 million option on him for 2012 that w as once thought to be an enormous bargain. Signed to a one year, $5 million deal, he can make up the difference in bonuses tied to plate appearances.LeVon Washington CFBorn: 7/26/1991 Age: 20 Bats: L Throw s: R Height: 6 0 W eight: 170 Breakout: 1% Improve: 1% Collapse: 2% Attrition: 12% MLB: 14% Comparables: Aaron Hicks,Cutter Dykstra,Juan Gonzalez YEAR TEAM LVL AGE PA R 2B 3B HR RBI BB 2011 LKC A 19 351 35 9 4 4 20 49 2012 CLE MLB 20 250 22 8 1 3 17 22 YEAR TEAM LVL SO SB CS AVG_OBP_SLG TAv 2011 LKC A 89 15 6 .218/.331/.315 .253 2012 CLE MLB 74 5 2 .193/.264/.276 .203 YEAR TEAM LVL BABIP BRR FRAA WARP 2011 LKC A .296 2.7 -1.4 -0.1 2012 CLE MLB .267 -0.2 CF -16, LF -0 -1.3 After all the prospect turnover in C-Tow n, Washington now ranks among the teams top minor leaguers. About as raw as they come, Wash is still young and has time to make good on all of his tools. An athletic player w ith plus-plus speed, Washington has the ceiling of an everyday center fielder, though at the moment, even his defense is still mooing. W hile he strikes out a lot, his strike zone judgment is developing and he know s how to draw a w alk. Scouts are split on his pow er potential, but his destiny lies as a leadoff hitter w hether he develops moderate pow er or not. A prospect to dream on, Washington is at least a couple of years from the majors.PITCHERSFausto CarmonaBorn: 12/7/1983 Age: 28 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 5 W eight: 190 Breakout: 14% Improve: 44% Collapse: 32% Attrition: 17% MLB: 86% Comparables: Steve Ontiveros,Scot Shields,Gary Majew ski YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 CLE 2010 CLE 2011 CLE 2012 CLE YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM CLE CLE CLE CLE TEAM CLE CLE CLE CLE MLB 25 MLB 26 MLB 27 MLB 28 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 16 17 22 16 5 12 0 13 14 0 7 15 0 10 9 0 BB 70 72 60 62 SO 79 124 109 104 H24 24 125 1 151 33 33 210 1 203 32 32 188 2 205 28 28 169 2 173 EqSO9 5.7 5.3 5.2 5.5 FIP 5.41 4.07 4.60 4.30 GB% 56% 56% 56% 60% WARP -1.0 1.2 -0.4 0.8EqBB9 5.0 3.1 2.9 3.3 ERA 6.32 3.77 5.25 4.22BABIP .322 .284 .296 .295WHIP 1.76 1.31 1.40 1.38FRA 6.57 4.73 5.32 4.59Despite a high ERA, Carmona posted a very similar year peripherally to his 2010the first time hes managed to maintain good peripherals in back-to-back seasons. Unfortunately, that didnt translate to the same results as in 2010, as Carmona struggled mightily w ith runners on base, a problem that has plagued him for much of his career. W ith runners on, Carmonas strikeout rate plummets, and the runners are bound to score w hen so many balls are put into play. Pitching coach Tim Belcher thought he picked up w hat w as causing the problem in June, but Carmona continued to struggle through the end of the season. W hile he has rediscovered the command that allow ed him to be successful in 2007, and his sinker w ill alw ays generate grounders, hell need to find a w ay to strike batters out from the stretch. W ithout a real put-aw ay pitch to begin w ith and having just once in his career posted a K/9 above 5.0 w ith runners on, thats far from assured.Carlos CarrascoBorn: 3/21/1987 Age: 25 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 4 W eight: 215 Breakout: 37% Improve: 72% Collapse: 7% Attrition: 15% MLB: 95% Comparables: James Baldw in,Billy Loes,Jae Kuk Ryu YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 COH AAA 22 5 1 0 6 6 H42 1 312009 LEH 2009 CLE 2010 COH 2010 CLE 2011 CLE 2012 CLE YEAR 2009 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 TEAM COH LEH CLE COH CLE CLE CLE TEAM COH LEH CLE COH CLE CLE CLEAAA 22 MLB 22 AAA 23 MLB 23 MLB 24 MLB 25 LVL AAA AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL AAA AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB HR 3 14 6 11 6 15 136 9 0 0 4 0 10 6 0 2 2 0 8 9 0 5 6 0 BB 7 38 11 32 14 40 36 SO 36 112 11 99 38 85 7020 20 114 2 118 5 5 22 1 40 25 25 150 1 90 7 7 44 2 47 21 21 124 2 130 16 16 94 1 100 EqBB9 1.5 3.0 4.4 2.8 2.8 2.9 3.5 ERA 3.19 5.18 8.87 3.65 3.83 4.62 4.80 EqSO9 7.7 8.8 4.4 8.0 7.7 6.1 6.7 FIP 2.86 3.96 7.13 3.90 4.10 4.32 4.66 GB% 40% 43% 48% 49% 57% 51% 45% WARP 0.6 0.4 -0.3 1.9 0.2 0.4 -0.2BABIP .233 .319 .405 .290 .323 .296 .303WHIP 0.90 1.36 2.28 1.23 1.37 1.36 1.45FRA 4.21 5.03 7.03 4.98 4.54 4.77 5.22Carrasco underw ent Tommy John surgery in September, so this projection is most likely for 2013. Despite w hat looks on the surface like a poor 2011, Carrasco had an impressive year peripherally and seemed poised to become the best of the quartet of prospects that the Indians received for Cliff Lee. Of course, w hen Jason Donald and Lou Marson are in a group w ith you, thats kind of like having the best beard w hen your cohorts havent started shaving yet. Armed w ith a 93-mph fastball, a plus change, and a solid breaking ball, Carrasco certainly has the stuff to be a number tw o starter if he can translate that stuff into a few more strikeouts.Chad DurbinBorn: 12/3/1977 Age: 34 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 2 W eight: 175 Breakout: 16% Improve: 29% Collapse: 51% Attrition: 19% MLB: 66% Comparables: Kane Davis,Jack Morris,Andy Messersmith YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 PHI 2010 PHI 2011 CLE MLB 31 MLB 32 MLB 33 2 2 2 4 1 0 2 2 0 59 0 64 0 56 0 H69 2 56 68 2 63 68 1 862012 CLE YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM PHI PHI CLE CLE TEAM PHI PHI CLE CLEMLB 34 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 8 7 12 83 1 0 BB 47 27 26 26 SO 62 63 59 4654 0 EqBB9 6.1 3.5 3.4 3.7 ERA 4.39 3.80 5.53 4.5062 63 EqSO9 8.0 8.3 7.8 6.6 FIP 5.09 3.99 4.89 4.66 GB% 40% 45% 41% 45% WARP 0.1 0.5 -0.1 0.0BABIP .257 .298 .341 .295WHIP 1.48 1.31 1.64 1.44FRA 5.03 4.57 5.28 4.89W hile he w as a bit unlucky on balls in play, this 12-year veteran w as only relied upon in low leverage situations for Cleveland in 2011. Since scrapping his slider after the 2008 season and developing his cut fastball, he has become a more-than-capable mop-up man. Despite a fastball that sits at a mere 90 mph, hes capable of generating strikeouts thanks to an above-average curve and that cutter. He also mixes in a change to give hitters a different look.Jeanmar GomezBorn: 2/10/1988 Age: 24 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 4 W eight: 170 Breakout: 20% Improve: 39% Collapse: 38% Attrition: 23% MLB: 92% Comparables: Julio Valera,Anthony Sw arzak,George Susce YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 AKR 2010 COH 2010 CLE 2011 COH 2011 CLE 2012 CLE YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM AKR COH CLE COH CLE CLE AA 21 11 4 0 8 8 0 4 5 0 10 7 0 5 3 0 5 5 0 BB 44 28 22 47 15 32 SO 117 47 34 103 31 48 AAA 22 MLB 22 AAA 23 MLB 23 MLB 24 LVL AA AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB HR 12 10 7 8 6 11 H22 22 123 1 129 20 20 116 88 11 11 57 2 73 21 21 137 2 116 11 10 58 1 73 14 14 83 2 96 EqBB9 2.9 3.3 3.4 3.2 2.3 3.4 EqSO9 8.0 6.1 5.3 7.0 4.8 5.2 GB% 48% 47% 47% 51% 53% 46%YEAR TEAM LVL BABIP WHIP ERA FIP FRA WARP2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012AKR COH CLE COH CLE CLEAA AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB.301 .300 .330 .286 .325 .3071.27 1.47 1.65 1.25 1.51 1.533.43 5.20 4.68 2.55 4.47 5.113.65 4.59 4.69 3.63 4.16 4.914.18 5.78 5.07 4.68 4.53 5.551.6 0.6 0.1 1.9 0.5 -0.4Gomez doesnt have the kind of stuff to overpow er hitters, but he does have the kind of stuff that could one day make him an effective fifth starter. He might have competed for such a position in spring training had the Derek Low e trade not made it likely hell return for his third engagement at Triple-A. His fastball is a 90-mph sinker that can generate grounders, w hich he complements w ith a change-up and a slider. His biggest problem is that his control has been merely above average for Triple-A, and that could cause problems at the major league level. If he manages to miss enough bats and hit his spots a bit better, he could be of use to the Indians after a bit more seasoning.Nick HagadoneBorn: 1/1/1986 Age: 26 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 6 W eight: 230 Breakout: 37% Improve: 63% Collapse: 20% Attrition: 10% MLB: 90% Comparables: Craig Breslow ,Jim Maloney,David Cone YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H 2009 GRN A 23 0 2 0 10 10 25 13 2010 KIN A+ 24 1 3 0 10 10 37 2 21 2010 AKR 2011 AKR 2011 COH 2011 CLE 2012 CLE YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 TEAM GRN KIN AKR AKR COH CLE CLE TEAM GRN KIN AKR AKR COH AA AA 24 25 2 2 1 2 0 0 4 3 4 1 0 0 1 1 0 BB 14 25 28 7 15 6 12 SO 32 35 25 22 53 11 23 19 7 12 0 34 0 9 0 12 2 EqBB9 5.0 6.9 6.4 2.8 2.8 4.9 4.4 ERA 2.52 2.39 4.50 1.59 3.35 48 31 22 2 14 48 1 42 11 4 24 22 EqSO9 11.5 10.7 8.2 9.5 9.9 9.0 8.5 FIP 3.06 4.28 5.39 2.40 3.32 GB% 69% 46% 45% 40% 43% 33% 48% WARP 0.8 0.4 0.0 0.3 0.9AAA 25 MLB 25 MLB 26 LVL A A+ AA AA AAA MLB MLB LVL A A+ AA AA AAA HR 0 2 4 0 5 0 2BABIP .236 .264 .284 .269 .287WHIP 1.08 1.51 1.62 0.93 1.18FRA 3.31 4.47 5.64 3.81 4.352011 COH 2011 CLE 2012 CLEAAA .287 MLB .167 MLB .2971.18 0.91 1.403.35 3.32 4.35 0.9 4.09 2.97 3.87 0.1 3.97 3.87 4.32 0.2Three years removed from Tommy John surgery, the once promising Hagadone finally enjoyed success again in 2011. He w as frivolous w ith w alks in 200910, but the physically imposing southpaw not only regained average control, he kept on going into good territory. Despite never fully regaining the velocity on his once plus-plus fastball, Hagadone has still managed to strike batters out as he climbs the ladder. W ith a 94-mph plus fastball, a plus slider w ith good tilt, and a show -me changeup, Hagadone has the tools to succeed at the major league level. As long as he can continue to improve his command, he could find himself pitching in Cleveland for the better part of 2012.Frank HerrmannBorn: 5/30/1984 Age: 28 Bats: L Throw s: R Height: 6 5 W eight: 220 Breakout: 9% Improve: 53% Collapse: 14% Attrition: 22% MLB: 84% Comparables: Donovan Osborne,Graeme Lloyd,Randy Tomlin YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H 2009 COH AAA 25 2 3 2 44 0 76 83 2010 COH AAA 26 3 0 2 19 0 28 2 14 2010 CLE 2011 CLE 2012 CLE YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 TEAM COH COH CLE CLE CLE TEAM COH COH CLE CLE CLE MLB 26 MLB 27 MLB 28 LVL AAA AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL AAA AAA MLB MLB MLB HR 3 0 6 7 7 0 1 1 4 0 0 2 1 0 BB 13 5 9 16 14 SO 50 19 24 34 26 40 0 40 0 39 0 EqBB9 1.5 2.5 1.8 2.6 2.5 ERA 2.96 0.31 4.03 5.11 4.89 44 2 48 56 1 71 50 2 60 EqSO9 5.9 6.9 4.8 5.4 4.6 FIP 2.94 2.73 4.46 4.32 4.80 GB% 37% 45% 37% 33% 39% WARP 1.4 0.6 -0.2 0.0 -0.2BABIP .324 .255 .288 .330 .308WHIP 1.26 0.80 1.28 1.54 1.46FRA 3.85 3.56 5.62 4.91 5.31The first Harvard man to make the majors since the 1980s, Herrmann has spent most of the past tw o seasons in Cleveland. Despite solid command, his lack of put-aw ay stuff typecasts him as a seventh reliever type. He doesnt strike anybody out, and throw ing his fastball three-quarters of the time, he allow s far too many fly balls to function as more than organizational depth. W ith many of Clevelands young relief prospects ready to make a major league impact, Herrman w ill likely see his MLB/Triple-A split reversed in 2012.David HuffBorn: 8/22/1984 Age: 27Bats: B Throw s: L Height: 6 3 W eight: 190 Breakout: 35% Improve: 56% Collapse: 12% Attrition: 8% MLB: 85% Comparables: Pat Misch,Bob Moose,Edgar Gonzalez YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 COH 2009 CLE 2010 COH 2010 CLE 2011 COH 2011 CLE 2012 CLE YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM COH CLE COH CLE COH CLE CLE TEAM COH CLE COH CLE COH CLE CLE AAA 24 MLB 24 AAA 25 MLB 25 AAA 26 MLB 26 MLB 27 LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB HR 5 16 6 14 10 6 10 5 1 0 11 8 0 9 2 0 2 11 0 9 3 0 2 6 0 4 5 0 BB 16 41 17 34 27 17 24 SO 32 65 51 37 64 36 46 7 7 H39 1 35 23 23 128 1 159 12 12 74 1 67 15 15 79 2 101 18 18 107 108 11 10 50 2 55 13 13 76 EqSO9 7.3 4.6 6.3 4.2 5.6 6.4 5.4 FIP 4.39 4.73 3.93 5.80 4.07 4.19 4.65 84 GB% 34% 39% 43% 38% 35% 35% 42% WARP 0.3 1.1 1.5 -0.2 1.2 0.7 -0.1EqBB9 3.7 2.9 2.5 3.8 2.5 3.0 2.9 ERA 4.35 5.61 4.36 6.21 3.87 4.09 4.74BABIP .275 .318 .330 .313 .299 .292 .300WHIP 1.30 1.56 1.41 1.69 1.32 1.42 1.43FRA 5.06 4.75 4.72 5.29 4.83 4.49 5.15W hile Huffs numbers w ere impressive in his first go-round at Triple-A in 2008, his strikeouts have decreased every year since; he hasnt even been average since 2009. More of a soft-tosser w ho never really had the stuff to be a strikeout guy, Huff throw s a plus change, a 12-to-6 curve, and a slider to go w ith his 90-mph fastball. At the end of the 2010 season, Manny Acta said that Huff needs to command his fastball in order to be successful, w hich is spot on. If youre a fly-ball pitcher w ith limited strikeouts, your only path to a big league job is as a passable fifth starter w ith good command.Ubaldo JimenezBorn: 1/22/1984 Age: 28 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 5 W eight: 200 Breakout: 18% Improve: 60% Collapse: 18% Attrition: 9% MLB: 89% Comparables: Jared Burton,Aaron Heilman,Ray NarleskiYEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H 2009 COL MLB 25 15 12 0 33 33 218 183 2 164 2010 COL MLB 26 19 8 0 33 33 221 2011 CLE 2011 COL 2012 CLE YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM COL COL CLE COL CLE TEAM COL COL CLE COL CLE MLB 27 MLB 27 MLB 28 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 13 10 7 10 13 4 4 0 6 9 0 10 8 0 BB 85 92 27 51 69 SO 198 214 62 118 142 11 11 65 1 68 21 21 123 118 25 25 160 2 150 EqSO9 8.2 8.7 8.5 8.6 7.9 FIP 3.32 3.13 3.89 3.55 3.78 GB% 55% 50% 48% 48% 51% WARP 4.6 4.5 0.5 1.8 1.5EqBB9 3.5 3.7 3.7 3.7 3.9 ERA 3.47 2.88 5.10 4.46 3.86BABIP .287 .274 .318 .314 .300WHIP 1.23 1.15 1.45 1.37 1.36FRA 4.11 3.63 4.59 4.30 4.19Despite w ildly different ERAs over the past three seasons, Jimenez has been remarkably consistent in terms of his peripherals, posting xFIPs (Expected Fielding Independent Pitching) of 3.59, 3.60, and 3.71. Despite a dow n 2011 (the only ERA over 4.00 in our trio), everyone know s Ubaldo is an ace and that a bounceback 2012 is on the horizon. Jimenez ran into a spot of bad luck last summer w ith a 65 percent strand rate, but losing 3 mph off his average fastball from 2010 cant be chalked up to misfortune. W ith his mid-90s heat and quality secondary offerings, his reputation as one of the games best under-30 starters rivals Lindsay Lohans reputation as one of the w orlds most annoying under-30 human beings. The Indians gave up quite the handsome sum to acquire him (Drew Pomeranz and Alex W hite), but theyll be happy that they have him locked up so cheaply w ith affordable options through 2014.Corey KluberBorn: 4/10/1986 Age: 26 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 5 W eight: 215 Breakout: 23% Improve: 66% Collapse: 15% Attrition: 10% MLB: 76% Comparables: Mike Moore,Melido Perez,Dave Shipanoff YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H 2009 LEL A+ 23 7 9 0 19 19 109 110 2009 SAN AA 23 2 5 0 9 9 45 52 2010 SAN AA 24 6 6 0 22 21 122 2 87 2011 COH 2011 CLE AAA 25 MLB 25 7 11 0 0 0 0 27 27 150 2 153 3 0 41 62012 CLE YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM LEL SAN SAN COH CLE CLE TEAM LEL SAN SAN COH CLE CLEMLB 26 LVL A+ AA AA AAA MLB MLB LVL A+ AA AA AAA MLB MLB HR 9 6 5 19 0 73 4 0 BB 36 36 30 70 3 26 SO 124 40 103 143 5 429 952 2 58 EqSO9 10.2 7.0 10.0 8.5 10.4 7.1 GB% 49% 34% 44% 38% 40% 40% WARP 1.1 -0.4 2.0 1.9 0.0 -0.4EqBB9 3.0 6.8 2.9 4.2 6.2 4.4 ERA 4.54 4.60 3.45 5.56 8.31 5.33BABIP .349 .322 .340 .318 .400 .317WHIP 1.34 1.76 1.31 1.48 2.08 1.60FIP 3.71 5.73 3.01 4.53 4.22 4.82FRA 4.43 6.18 3.62 5.26 4.82 5.80Acquired in the three-w ay trade that sent Jake Westbrook out of tow n in 2010, Kluber could eventually w ind up as a major league contributor but is more likely to dw ell in Triple-A. Hes a fly-ball pitcher w ith below -average control and command, so he needs to rely on his stuff to succeed. The problem is that his stuff is mediocre. Klubers average-grade fastball sits around 92 mph, and he complements it w ith a change-up and slider, but neither is a true plus pitch. Kluber w ill reside in the deep end of the Indians pitching talent pool, and if he gets more than a handful of starts it w ill be an indication Cleveland may be sinking in the Central.Chen LeeBorn: 10/21/1986 Age: 25 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 0 W eight: 175 Breakout: 16% Improve: 47% Collapse: 28% Attrition: 24% MLB: 74% Comparables: Joba Chamberlain,Sammy Gervacio,Karl Spooner YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 KIN 2010 AKR 2011 AKR 2011 COH 2012 CLE YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 TEAM KIN AKR AKR COH A+ 22 AA AA 23 24 4 6 2 5 4 0 2 1 0 4 0 1 1 0 1 BB 28 18 11 14 SO 97 54 56 48 45 0 44 0 23 0 21 0 15 0 EqBB9 3.0 2.7 2.5 3.4 H83 1 67 72 2 39 39 2 27 31 2 27 23 2 21 EqSO9 10.5 10.2 12.7 12.2 GB% 49% 49% 58% 57%AAA 24 MLB 25 LVL A+ AA AA AAA HR 5 3 1 22012 CLE YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM KIN AKR AKR COH CLEMLB 2 LVL A+ AA AA AAA MLB10 24 3.7 WHIP 1.14 1.11 0.96 1.20 1.30 ERA 3.35 3.22 2.50 2.27 3.669.2 FIP 3.13 3.51 2.20 2.45 3.5448% FRA 4.17 3.84 3.72 3.85 3.98 WARP 1.1 1.0 0.6 0.9 0.3BABIP .300 .286 .310 .309 .300A former Taiw anese Olympian w ith a fastball that touches 96 mph, Lee has dominated every level and deserves a shot w ith the Tribe soon. The velocity is a bit surprising coming from a pitcher w ith such a small frame, but Lee is the real deal, consistently hitting the 92-93 mph range. His go-to off-speed pitch is a plus slider w ith tilt, and Lees good command and pitchability demonstrate that hes ready for the Show .Derek LoweBorn: 6/1/1973 Age: 39 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 7 W eight: 170 Breakout: 27% Improve: 50% Collapse: 14% Attrition: 9% MLB: 74% Comparables: Dennis Martinez,Elmer Dessens,Gene Garber YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 ATL 2010 ATL 2011 ATL 2012 CLE YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM ATL ATL ATL CLE TEAM ATL ATL ATL CLE MLB 36 MLB 37 MLB 38 MLB 39 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 16 18 14 14 15 10 0 16 12 0 9 17 0 9 9 0 BB 63 61 70 49 SO 111 136 137 91 H34 34 194 2 232 33 33 193 2 204 34 34 187 212 27 27 154 1 173 EqSO9 5.1 6.3 6.6 5.3 FIP 4.02 3.92 3.67 4.16 GB% 57% 59% 60% 60% WARP 0.9 1.5 1.6 0.5EqBB9 2.9 2.8 3.4 2.9 ERA 4.67 4.00 5.05 4.43BABIP .333 .313 .332 .315WHIP 1.52 1.37 1.51 1.44FRA 5.22 4.86 4.46 4.82A reemerging slider led to some optimism about Low e exiting 2010. The hype train kept chugging along in the new season after he yielded five runs in his first 24 2/3 innings pitched. Low e then hit a bump by allow ing five runs in his next start, and the train w ent into a tunnel and never came out dow n the stretch. Over Low es final 11 startsstretching from August onw ardhe recorded just four quality starts w hen the Braves needed his experience and composure the most. Dealt for peanuts to the Indians this w inter, Low e w ill join Clevelands vast collection of groundballing starters, but the league change figures to be quite unfriendly, and Low e might just be hoping to avoid the indignity of an ERA higher than his strikeout per nine innings pitched rate.Justin MastersonBorn: 3/22/1985 Age: 27 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 7 W eight: 250 Breakout: 19% Improve: 50% Collapse: 27% Attrition: 6% MLB: 95% Comparables: Mike Henneman,Jesse Crain,Ramon Troncoso YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 CLE 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 BOS CLE CLE CLE TEAM CLE BOS CLE CLE CLE TEAM CLE BOS CLE CLE CLE MLB 24 MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB 24 25 26 27 HR 5 7 14 11 15 1 7 0 3 6 12 11 BB 35 25 73 65 65 3 13 10 9 SO 52 67 140 158 140 0 0 0 0 11 10 57 1 31 6 72 34 29 180 34 33 216 29 29 179 EqSO9 8.2 8.4 7.0 6.6 7.0 FIP 4.40 3.84 3.90 3.32 3.82 H 56 72 197 211 179 GB% 59% 53% 60% 56% 57% WARP 0.3 0.5 1.1 3.3 1.5EqBB9 5.5 3.1 3.7 2.7 3.3 ERA 4.55 4.50 4.70 3.21 3.94BABIP .317 .328 .327 .304 .307WHIP 1.59 1.35 1.50 1.28 1.36FRA 5.18 5.25 4.74 3.79 4.29After a 2010 season that saw Masterson post much better peripherals than his ERA indicated, he proved in 2011 that his 2010 w as merely bad luck. That put to rest the notion that his unorthodox pitching style made him a DIPS theory outlier (a pitcher w ho over- or under-performs his peripherals due to a skill, or lack thereof, that the peripherals dont capture). A rare sidearm starter, Mastersons ability to slice through righties like a machete more than compensates for the butter knife he employs versus lefties. Masterson is a groundball machine thanks to his arm angle and plus-plus sinkerone of the games bestbut he also gets strikeouts thanks to a quality slider that he can play off a good second fastball. Maintaining the improved control he show ed in the second half of 2010 (3.0 BB/9), Mastersons 2011 proved he can be a very good number three starter.Zach McAllisterBorn: 12/8/1987 Age: 24 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 7 W eight: 240 Breakout: 21% Improve: 53% Collapse: 32% Attrition: 18% MLB: 94% Comparables: Randy Jones,Scott Baker,Tommy Hunter YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2011 COH AAA 23 12 3 0 H25 25 154 2 1712011 CLE 2012 CLE YEAR 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2011 2011 2012 TEAM COH CLE CLE TEAM COH CLE CLEMLB 23 MLB 24 LVL AAA MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB MLB HR 13 1 80 1 0 4 4 0 BB 33 7 21 SO 137 14 414 417 2 2612 12 67 1 76 EqBB9 1.8 3.6 2.8 ERA 3.32 6.11 4.69 EqSO9 7.4 7.1 5.4 FIP 3.32 3.40 4.47 GB% 40% 43% 45% WARP 3.4 0.1 -0.0BABIP .312 .403 .308WHIP 1.20 1.87 1.44FRA 4.26 4.88 5.09An underdog for the fifth starter job before the Derek Low e deal, McAllister w ill surely begin the year in the minors now . He had a very good year at Triple-A in 2011, w orking on and improving his command, a key for a guy w ho gets by on control and guile. McAllister features several pitches, but none profile as true plus offerings yet. He throw s a 90-mph fastball that can get some sink, a change-up, cutter, slider, and curve. If hes to be successful, it w ill be as a poor mans Josh Tomlin, commanding and mixing his pitches to keep hitters off balance. Unlike Tomlin, how ever, McAllister also profiles to get some groundballs if he can w ork dow n in the zone.Chris PerezBorn: 7/1/1985 Age: 26 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 5 W eight: 225 Breakout: 30% Improve: 58% Collapse: 20% Attrition: 8% MLB: 90% Comparables: Byung-Hyun Kim,Daniel Bard,Joel Zumaya YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 SLN 2009 CLE 2010 CLE 2011 CLE 2012 CLE YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM SLN CLE CLE CLE CLE MLB 24 MLB 24 MLB 25 MLB 26 MLB 26 LVL MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 3 5 4 5 5 1 1 1 0 1 1 29 0 32 0 H23 2 17 33 1 24 63 40 59 2 46 51 2 40 EqSO9 11.4 10.3 8.7 5.9 9.3 GB% 37% 35% 36% 31% 38%2 2 23 63 0 4 7 36 64 0 3 1 21 54 0 BB 15 12 28 26 24 SO 30 38 61 39 53 EqBB9 5.7 3.2 4.0 3.9 4.2YEAR TEAM LVL BABIP WHIP ERA FIP FRA WARP 2009 SLN MLB .255 1.35 4.18 4.45 4.61 0.2 2009 CLE MLB .253 1.08 4.32 4.16 6.20 0.02009 2010 2011 2012CLE CLE CLE CLEMLB MLB MLB MLB.253 .231 .240 .2711.08 1.08 1.21 1.254.32 1.71 3.32 3.354.16 3.51 4.30 3.806.20 4.44 5.14 3.640.0 0.4 0.0 0.8Chris Perez is a bit of an enigma. W ith such a drastic three-year drop-off in his strikeout rate, thanks to a fastball that is now 2-mph slow er w ith less rise, youd think Perezs struggles w ould be many. But despite a 5.01 xFIP, Perez actually had a great 2011 season. You see, Perez has never allow ed a BABIP higher than .271, and that w as in his rookie year w ith the Cardinals. A fly-ball pitcher w ith below -average control, Perez is going to need every ounce of hit-preventing mojo he can muster if he cant find a w ay to regain his w hiffs. There are some pitchers capable of consistently excellent BABIPs, especially among relievers, but identifying the contenders from the pretenders is a difficult task. If Perez is to remain a viable closer, hell either need to prove himself a contender or start blow ing the doors off hitters again. The Indians w ould be w ell served to have Plan B ready to go.Rafael PerezBorn: 5/15/1982 Age: 30 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 4 W eight: 185 Breakout: 27% Improve: 62% Collapse: 9% Attrition: 5% MLB: 92% Comparables: Charles Nagy,John Grabow ,Sparky Lyle YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 COH 2009 CLE 2010 CLE 2011 CLE 2012 CLE YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2009 2010 2011 2012 TEAM COH CLE CLE CLE CLE TEAM COH CLE CLE CLE CLE AAA 27 MLB 27 MLB 28 MLB 29 MLB 30 LVL AAA MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB MLB MLB MLB HR 0 5 3 2 5 1 0 3 4 3 0 6 1 0 5 2 0 3 1 1 BB 5 25 25 19 18 SO 23 32 36 33 42 16 0 54 0 70 0 71 0 61 0 EqBB9 2.1 4.7 3.7 2.7 3.0 ERA 0.83 7.31 3.25 3.00 3.87 21 2 48 61 63 53 1 H 23 66 72 59 54 GB% 56% 51% 59% 59% 54% WARP 0.7 0.2 0.0 0.2 0.5EqSO9 9.5 6.0 5.3 4.7 7.0 FIP 1.86 4.85 3.74 3.33 3.86BABIP .371 .377 .342 .285 .311WHIP 1.29 1.90 1.59 1.24 1.34FRA 2.83 5.32 4.89 4.66 4.20Coming off tw o seasons in w hich he teetered betw een inconsistent and ineffective, due in large part to a drop-off in his strikeout rate, Rafael Perez needed to find a w ay to get by w hen he could no longer get batters to sw ing through his stuff. Primarily a tw o-pitch pitcher, losing the bite on his slider follow ing 2009 w as devastating for the once-elite setup man. W hile the slider isnt w hat it once w as, Perez had himself a consistently good 2011 season by sacrificing a bit of velocity for command. He lost a few more strikeouts in the process, but his w alks fell dramatically, and w hen youre a pitcher w ho gets as many groundballs asin the process, but his w alks fell dramatically, and w hen youre a pitcher w ho gets as many groundballs as Perez does, you can survive w ith good control and middling strikeout numbers. Hes not the 3.00 ERA pitcher that w e saw last year, but hes still a very capable seventh inning reliever.Vinnie PestanoBorn: 2/20/1985 Age: 27 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 2 W eight: 205 Breakout: 24% Improve: 53% Collapse: 26% Attrition: 11% MLB: 95% Comparables: Mark W ohlers,Bryan Harvey,Rafael Soriano YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 AKR 2010 COH 2010 CLE 2011 CLE 2012 CLE YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 TEAM AKR COH CLE CLE CLE TEAM AKR COH CLE CLE CLE AA 24 2 3 24 34 0 1 2 14 43 0 0 0 1 1 2 2 3 1 1 BB 13 13 5 24 20 SO 31 44 8 84 51 5 0 67 0 48 0 EqBB9 3.4 2.7 9.0 3.5 3.7 ERA 2.85 1.56 3.60 2.32 3.39 HAAA 25 MLB 25 MLB 26 MLB 27 LVL AA AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL AA AAA MLB MLB MLB HR 2 2 0 5 534 2 30 46 1 23 5 4 62 41 47 1 41 EqSO9 8.0 11.5 14.4 12.2 9.7 FIP 3.40 3.10 2.85 2.71 3.69 GB% 51% 56% 30% 40% 48% WARP 0.6 1.2 0.1 1.0 0.7BABIP .295 .269 .400 .269 .300WHIP 1.24 1.06 1.80 1.05 1.28FRA 3.69 3.68 3.39 3.54 3.69Its rare to see a pitcher w ith such an unconventional side-arm delivery rack up so many strikeoutsthese types usually get by on their deception and groundballs. Pestano used to be that type of pitcher w hen his arm slot w as low er, but w hen he raised it and added a four-seamer in 2010, his stuff improved and the results w ere tremendous. Now throw ing a 93-mph fastball thats even more effective given his stilldeceptive delivery, the 2011 breakout can also cut the pitch and mix in a terrific sinker and a hard, slurvy breaking ball. Pestano w ill be a high-leverage reliever for years to come, but dont expect him to transition into closing since his arm slot and repertoire limit his effectiveness against lefties.Zach PutnamBorn: 7/3/1987 Age: 24 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 3 W eight: 225 Breakout: 38% Improve: 67% Collapse: 16% Attrition: 12% MLB: 92% Comparables: Kevin Millw ood,Jason W indsor,Bob Moose YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 AKR AA 22 5 2 2 33 0 H 2 612009 AKR 2010 AKR 2010 COH 2011 COH 2011 CLE 2012 CLE YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM AKR AKR COH COH CLE CLE TEAM AKR AKR COH COH CLE CLEAA AA22 235 2 2 3 1 3 1 1 0 6 3 9 1 1 0 1 1 1 BB 18 7 6 23 0 10 SO 60 24 22 70 9 2333 0 20 7 17 0 44 0 8 0 17 1 EqBB9 2.9 1.6 2.6 3.0 0.0 3.0 ERA 4.13 3.86 3.33 3.65 6.14 4.1856 2 61 51 1 42 24 1 14 69 61 7 1 10 29 30 EqSO9 9.0 7.2 8.9 8.9 11.0 7.1 FIP 2.49 3.58 3.53 3.38 3.20 4.00 GB% 57% 44% 47% 51% 35% 48% WARP 1.2 0.6 0.6 1.0 0.1 0.2AAA 23 AAA 24 MLB 24 MLB 24 LVL AA AA AAA AAA MLB MLB LVL AA AA AAA AAA MLB MLB HR 2 2 2 6 1 3BABIP .331 .339 .235 .291 .409 .310WHIP 1.36 1.31 1.11 1.22 1.36 1.38FRA 3.51 4.18 3.87 4.65 3.67 4.54Taking a big step forw ard in his first full season at Triple-A, Putnam w ill compete for a spot in Clevelands bullpen this spring and should be a mainstay for years to come. Already possessing a true knockout pitch in a brutal splitter that drops off the table, Putnam changed the grip on his slider this season to give him a second big-league-quality off-speed pitch. That slider complements a 92-93 mph fastball that touches 96. Putnam also improved his fastball command last season and has little left to learn in the minors. An athletic player w ho could have been drafted as a hitter, Putnam bounced betw een the rotation and bullpen before finally settling into a relief role in 2011. Shoulder issues hampered his effectiveness in the middle of the season, but he bounced back w ell and should be fine.Tony SippBorn: 7/12/1983 Age: 28 Bats: L Throw s: L Height: 6 1 W eight: 190 Breakout: 22% Improve: 44% Collapse: 27% Attrition: 12% MLB: 91% Comparables: John Henry Johnson,Bob Johnson,Sid Fernandez YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H 2009 CLE MLB 25 2 0 0 46 0 40 27 2010 CLE MLB 26 2 2 1 70 0 63 48 2011 CLE MLB 27 6 3 0 69 0 62 1 45 2012 CLE MLB 28 3 1 0 58 0 52 1 44YEAR TEAM LVL HR BB SO EqBB9 EqSO9 GB%YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2012TEAM CLE CLE CLE CLE TEAM CLE CLE CLE CLELVL MLB MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB MLB MLB MLBHR 5 12 10 7BB 25 39 24 25SO 48 69 57 57EqBB9 5.6 5.6 3.5 4.3 ERA 2.92 4.14 3.03 3.65EqSO9 10.8 9.9 8.2 9.8 FIP 4.24 5.29 4.47 4.20GB% 38% 33% 28% 37% WARP 0.9 -0.3 0.2 0.6BABIP .253 .255 .220 .284WHIP 1.30 1.38 1.11 1.31FRA 3.75 5.56 4.94 3.97In his third season w ith the club, Sipp w as promoted to high-leverage duties in 2011 and w as appointed temporary closer in July w hen Chris Perez w as placed on the bereavement list. His role and ERA, how ever, lend him more credit than he deserves. A .220 BABIP is unsustainable any w ay you cut it and w ill come back to bite him in 2012. Given his extreme fly-ball tendencies, those extra runners w ill be even more costly w hen paired w ith inevitable home runs. In 2011, there w as just one pitcher in all of baseball w ho posted a higher HR/9 and a low er ERA than Sipp (Koji Uehara). He needs to keep pounding the zone50 percent of pitches in 2011; 43 percent in 2010in order to maintain the strides he made w ith his w alk rate this season. If he cant, more hits and more w alks w ill spell disaster.Joe SmithBorn: 3/22/1984 Age: 28 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 3 W eight: 205 Breakout: 12% Improve: 39% Collapse: 33% Attrition: 20% MLB: 95% Comparables: Dean Chance,Geraldo Guzman,Andy Messersmith YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 TEAM CLE COH CLE CLE LVL MLB AAA MLB MLB AGE 25 26 26 27 W 0 2 2 3 L 0 1 2 3 SV 0 2 0 0 G 37 20 53 71 GS 0 0 0 0 IP 34 23 40 67 H 30 15 30 522012 CLE YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 TEAM CLE COH CLE CLE CLE TEAM CLE COH CLE CLEMLB 28 LVL MLB AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL MLB AAA MLB MLB HR 4 0 4 1 43 1 1 BB 13 9 24 21 22 SO 30 12 32 45 4459 0 EqBB9 3.4 3.9 5.4 2.8 3.7 ERA 3.44 1.96 3.83 2.0153 1 48 EqSO9 7.9 7.4 7.2 6.0 7.5 FIP 4.06 3.66 4.62 2.94 GB% 56% 67% 56% 58% 58% WARP 0.4 0.2 0.0 0.8BABIP .277 .326 .241 .260WHIP 1.26 1.17 1.35 1.09FRA 4.44 4.92 5.05 3.912012 CLEMLB .2881.313.48 3.77 3.79 0.7On the surface, Smith may look like a mere middle-relief specialist, but w hat he represents is so much more: the savviness the Cleveland front office can show at times. Part of the three-team deal that sent the Mets J.J. Putz, Smith w as brushed off by the New York media as irrelevant because the Mets received a similar pitcher in Sean Green. Three years later Smith has posted a 2.87 ERA compared to Greens 4.57 in 50 percent more innings. Throw ing somew here betw een sidearm and submarine w ith a great sinker, Smith collects groundballs as easily as Brad Pitt collects fan mail. Finding the zone more frequently last season52 percent of pitches compared to 47 percent in 2010Smith took a step forw ard w ith his control and is a quality piece of the Cleveland bullpen.Mitch TalbotBorn: 10/17/1983 Age: 28 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 3 W eight: 200 Breakout: 27% Improve: 75% Collapse: 9% Attrition: 8% MLB: 86% Comparables: Blake Haw ksw orth,Dustin Hermanson,Tim Crabtree YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP 2009 DUR 2010 CLE 2011 COH 2011 CLE 2012 CLE YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 TEAM DUR CLE COH CLE CLE TEAM DUR CLE COH CLE CLE AAA 25 MLB 26 AAA 27 MLB 27 MLB 28 LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB LVL AAA MLB AAA MLB MLB HR 3 13 5 10 10 4 5 0 10 13 0 4 2 0 2 6 0 5 6 0 BB 22 69 12 28 33 SO 45 88 54 36 56 H10 10 54 1 76 28 28 159 1 169 13 7 44 1 68 12 12 63 2 90 16 16 86 99 EqSO9 6.6 5.0 8.5 5.1 5.9 FIP 3.53 4.45 3.08 5.43 4.56 GB% 49% 49% 54% 44% 51% WARP 1.2 0.4 1.2 -0.4 -0.4EqBB9 3.0 3.9 2.0 4.0 3.5 ERA 4.48 4.41 4.26 6.64 5.08BABIP .365 .302 .350 .362 .320WHIP 1.57 1.49 1.44 1.85 1.54FRA 3.97 4.98 4.29 5.56 5.53W hen the Indians acquired Talbot from the Rays before the 2010 season, GM Chris Antonetti said, Hes a guy w eve had interest in for quite a w hile, and it w as easy to see w hy. Talbot has the arsenal to be a groundballing fourth or fifth starter w ith his good sinker, plus change, above-average cutter, and a breaking ball thats betw een a hard curve and a slurvy slider. But w hile he pitched w ell in Columbus, he had lukew arm success in Cleveland at best, and hell look for a new club in 2012. He made just 11 messy starts before getting demoted until September, w ith his calling card groundball rate falling w ell below league average. Talbot still has the potential to be a solid contributor if and only if he can pitch dow n in the zone. He doesnt possess sw ing-and-miss stuff aside from his changeup, and his command is unremarkable, so hell need to become an ant-killer if hes to stick in the bigs.Josh TomlinBorn: 10/19/1984 Age: 27 Bats: R Throw s: R Height: 6 2 W eight: 195 Breakout: 33% Improve: 59% Collapse: 16% Attrition: 13% MLB: 89% Comparables: Rusty Meacham,Brad Radke,Kevin Tapani YEAR TEAM LVL AGE W L SV G GS IP H 2009 AKR AA 24 16 9 0 26 25 145 157 2010 COH AAA 25 8 4 0 20 17 107 1 55 2010 CLE 2011 CLE 2012 CLE YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 YEAR 2009 2010 2010 2011 2012 TEAM AKR COH CLE CLE CLE TEAM AKR COH CLE CLE CLE MLB 25 MLB 26 MLB 27 LVL AA AAA MLB MLB MLB LVL AA AAA MLB MLB MLB HR 22 7 10 24 18 6 4 0 12 7 0 8 7 0 BB 27 29 19 21 28 SO 140 58 43 89 78 12 12 73 72 26 26 165 1 157 20 20 123 1 128 EqBB9 1.7 2.8 2.3 1.1 2.0 ERA 4.16 2.68 4.56 4.25 4.17 EqSO9 7.8 6.7 5.3 4.8 5.7 FIP 3.88 4.14 4.55 4.31 4.52 GB% 38% 39% 32% 40% 39% WARP 2.1 1.6 0.2 2.1 0.7BABIP .299 .244 .278 .254 .285WHIP 1.21 1.08 1.25 1.08 1.26FRA 4.26 4.56 4.87 4.15 4.53Josh Tomlin is a freak. Not in the Tim Lincecum sense, but rather in that he can do w hatever he w ants w ith a baseball. Put a grid over the strike zone and ask him to throw to the (x,y) coordinate (2,3); hell ask you to provide coordinates w ith decimals out to the hundredth place. Thats the kind of command he has. He doesnt strike many batters out, but he does throw five pitches for strikes. His fastball only averages 88 mph, but he throw s both a four- and tw o-seamer, a plus cutter, a slow , loopy curve, and a lesser-used change. One of baseballs premier control artistshe led the majors in w alk rate in 2011 Tomlin should be painting masterpieces as the Tribes third or fourth starter for many years.LINEOUTSHITTERSPLAYER C C. Chen 3B J. Goedert 1B N. Johnson TEAM AKR COH COH LVL AA AAA AAA AGE 22 26 32 PA 467 322 216 R 58 39 20 2B 24 18 6 3B 3 0 0 HR 16 15 6LF A. Kearns CLE 2B A. LaRoche SAC OAK 1B B. Mills AKR COH LF T. Neal FRE C M. Pagnozzi CSP COL PIT CF L. Rodriguez LKC LKC IND LF N. W eglarz AKR SS T. W olters MHV PLAYER C C. Chen 3B J. Goedert 1B N. Johnson LF A. Kearns 2B A. LaRoche TEAM AKR COH COH CLE SAC OAK 1B B. Mills AKR COH LF T. Neal FRE C M. Pagnozzi CSP COL PIT CF L. Rodriguez LKC LKC IND LF N. W eglarz AKR SS T. W olters MHV PLAYER C C. Chen 3B J. Goedert 1B N. Johnson LF A. Kearns 2B A. LaRoche 1B B. Mills TEAM AKR COH COH CLE SAC OAK AKRMLB AAA MLB AA AAA AAA AAA MLB MLB A A RK AA ARBI 70 39 13 7 27 5 49 18 25 29 2 1 5 42 14 12 20 TAv .279 .259 .229 .225 .237 .219 .29831 27 27 24 24 23 28 28 28 18 19 18 23 19 BB 43 33 26 18 19 8 22 10 13 16 1 0 14 13 5 36 30174 224 104 258 133 239 198 25 9 148 394 103 172 313 SO 122 60 52 48 24 19 37 22 50 40 8 2 36 83 19 43 4918 24 10 37 13 35 26 2 0 10 41 18 25 505 12 6 16 6 13 13 0 0 4 28 6 8 101 0 1 1 0 3 2 0 0 2 7 2 0 32 4 0 11 7 2 3 0 0 0 11 3 3 1SB-CS 2-1 0-0 0-1 0-4 3-2 0-0 0-0 0-0 7-6 0-2 0-0 0-0 6-5 10-7 12-5 0-1 19-4 BRR -5 -1.7 -2 0.8 1.1 -1.8 -3.1AVG/OBP/SLG .262/.330/.451 .271/.346/.493 .201/.316/.332 .200/.302/.287 .254/.335/.376 .247/.320/.333 .300/.358/.522 .269/.326/.496 .295/.351/.409 .275/.337/.421 .286/.348/.286 .250/.250/.250 .250/.320/.311 .246/.274/.449 .379/.408/.579 .179/.360/.306 .292/.385/.363 WARP 2.2 1.4 -0.5 0.1 0.0 -0.5 0.7BABIP .326 .292 .246 .280 .269 .311 .312FRAA -0.6 8.5 2.4 1.9 -0.7 -0.8 -2.6COH FRE CSP COL PIT CF L. Rodriguez LKC LKC IND LF N. W eglarz AKR SS T. W olters MHV LF T. Neal C M. Pagnozzi.271 .242 .248 .229 .160 .232 .266 .319 .247 .296.272 .375 .338 .462 .333 .340 .286 .440 .239 .353-2.1 0.1 -0.4 -0.3 0 1.7 -1.2 1.2 -2 -0.11.5 -2.3 0.6 0.1 0 -1 2.1 5.8 -3.4 -0.60.3 -0.2 0.6 0.0 -0.1 -0.2 2.1 0.8 -0.5 2.3W ith average-at-best defense, Chun-Hsiu Chens biggest challenge w ill be proving he can remain behind the plate now that his bat has carried him this far. If he sticks, he could eventually be a great replacement for Lou Marson. Never considered much of a prospect, Jared Goedert may blaze his ow n trail to the majors by 2013 thanks to the good pow er hes show ing, despite injuries and the lack of a real position. After his second straight season w ith w rist issues, the perennially unhealthy Nick Johnson may decide to hang up his spikes for good. Once a prospect lauded for his patience and bat, Johnsons days as a big leaguer may be over. After draw ing 44 starts in place of Clevelands infirmary-ridden outfielders, by August Austin Kearns had w orn out his w elcome w ith the Indians and he and his eroded skills w ere released. Years before veteran good-glove, no-hit infielder Andy LaRoche w as born, his father Dave w as Clevelands closer; the younger LaRoche w ill hope to get there after signing a minor league deal w ith the organization. Former first-rounder, former top prospect, and current son of Houston manager Brad Mills, Beau Mills had fallen from grace before a 2011 resurgence. Hell need to prove himself more at Triple-A, but perhaps he w ont have to settle for a coaching job like his old manat least not right aw ay.top prospect just tw o years ago. A fringe five-tool-type, Neal does lots w ell but nothing great. After the Rockies w aived Matt Pagnozzi, the Pirates jumped on. That marriage didnt last long, and w ith lackluster ability and no room for him in Cleveland, his apparent plan of 1) play poorly, 2) get cut, 3) latch onto another minor league squad, could continue to perpetuate itself. Luigi Rodriguez, a converted second baseman w ith plus-plus speed, has taken to the outfield w ell and show s a good approach at the plate w ith a bit of pop. W hile Nick Weglarz holds a lot of potential w ith his incredible patience, good approach, and pow er upside (given his size and strength), he suffered through injuries for the third season in a row . His only chance to get back on track w ith his development is to get healthy. A good fundamental player, Tony Wolters may eventually be pushed to second base by Lindor, but his good approach, line drive stroke, and plus defense profile as a potential everyday player. A great return for Orlando Cabrera, Thomas Neal is a bit injury-prone but w as a PITCHERSPLAYER TEAM LVL AGE W L SV IP AAA 23 AA 22 AAA 28 MLB 28 7 4 0 4 2 2 1 2 3 0 1 0 HS. Barnes COH K. De La Cruz AKR J. Germano COH CLE88 80 86 69 49 50 2 15CLE F. Sterling LKC IND PLAYERMLB 28 A RK 18 180 1 0 2 3 0 2 3 012 15 41 1 31 26 1 26TEAM HR BB SO EqBB9 EqSO9 GB% 12 3 5 1 4 3 34 53 4 5 25 8 90 88 39 5 35 31 3.5 6.0 0.7 3.6 5.4 2.7 9.2 9.9 7.2 3.6 7.6 10.6 43% 32% 50% 38% 40% 41%S. Barnes COH K. De La Cruz AKR J. Germano COH CLE F. Sterling LKC IND PLAYERTEAM BABIP WHIP ERA FIP FRA WARP .293 .319 .319 .304 .265 .343 1.30 1.48 1.10 1.58 1.35 1.29 3.68 4.19 4.22 5.68 4.14 4.10 4.23 3.77 3.40 4.96 4.88 4.62 4.46 4.56 4.42 5.24 5.58 4.33 1.6 0.9 0.9 -0.1 0.1 0.4S. Barnes COH K. De La Cruz AKR J. Germano COH CLE F. Sterling LKC INDIn his first season at Triple-A, Scott Barnes, a lefty w ith a bit of deception in his delivery, pitched quite w ell. W ith an above-average fastball, a tight slider, and a change, Barnes could have a future as a backend starter. Kelvin De La Cruz has alw ays been a tall, projectable lefty arm, and w hile hes begun to make good on his projectability in certain areaslike his velocityhis control has alw ays been a problem, and its not getting any better. Moved to the bullpen at the end of the year, that may be w here his future lies. W hile Justin Germano w asnt adept at getting out MLB hitters (career 5.02 ERA), hes at least intelligent, signing w ith the Korean Baseball Organization in August, w here hell make more money to face minor league-caliber hitters. A big, physical righty w ho already throw s in the low -90s at age 18, Felix Sterling has good upside if he can improve his secondary offerings and command w hile climbing through the system.MANAGER: MANNY ACTAYEAR TEAM W-L Pythag Avg +/ PC 100+ 120+ QS BQS REL P P 0 155 0 32 3 105 3 85 10 280 470 4822009 W AS 26-61 0 2010 CLE 69-93 0 2011 CLE 80-82 093.3 21 193.3 158 95.6 65YEAR TEAM REL w IBB Subs PH PH PH SB2 CS2 SB3 Zero R Avg HR2009 W AS 152 2010 CLE 382 2011 CLE 38826 29 72 34 145 .215 2 136 .169 2 65 .211 15 11 92 4 60 0 0YEAR TEAM CS3 SAC SAC % POS Squeeze Swing In Play Att SAC 2009 W AS 1 2010 CLE 0 2011 CLE 1 48 98 43 64.6% 10 87.8% 82 86.0% 32 0 6 1 78 319 313 65 108 96Manny Acta finished fourth in the Manager of the Year voting last year (behind three managers w ho helmed playoff teams), but it shouldnt be long before hes taking home the real hardw are. Voters love a w inning manager more than kids love cake, and if the youth-infused Indians make the transition into playoff contenders, Acta w ill look as fine as angel food. Praised for his ability to inspire players and make the most of the talent he is given, Acta is also a very sound tactician and a manager w ho is extremely open to taking suggestions from advanced analytics. The most w idespread crime among major league managers is overmanaging, w hereas one of Actas greatest strengths as a tactician is w hat he doesnt do: he doesnt overw ork his pitching staff, he doesnt attempt many sacrifices, and he doesnt offer many free passes.Colorado RockiesNo team spent more than the Rockies during the 201011 offseason. In a six-w eek span, they committed more than a quarter of a billion dollars to three players, extending the contracts of Troy Tulow itzki (10 years, $157.75 million), Carlos Gonzalez (seven years, $80 million), and Jorge De La Rosa (tw o years, $21.5 million). W ith lofty deals came lofty expectations. Hilton Sports Book set the over-under at 86 w ins, w ith multiple players expressing skepticism at such a low total. After w inning 92 games in 2009 and a disappointing 83 in 2010, Colorado expected to contend in a w eak NL W est. Optimism w as so rampant that players even seemed to believe that a move to the teams new and cumbersomely named Salt River Fields at Talking Stick spring-training facility w ould help propel them to greater heights in 2011. In the w aning days of camp, Tulow itzki compared the squad to the 2007 version that shocked everyone by capturing the NL pennant. This w asnt just organizational propaganda, either. Our w riters didnt offer a w in total but picked the Rockies to finish second in the division. SI.coms Jon Heyman predicted that they w ould beat the Rangers in the W orld Series (he got half the equation right) behind Ubaldo Jimenezs Cy Young Aw ard. Such optimism appeared to be w ell-founded through April, w hen the Rockies w ent 17-8 desp