Daily Notes: Top Possible Rookies, According to the Fans by Carson Cistulli February 20, 2013 Table of Contents Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of the Daily Notes. 1. Some Brief and Mostly Important Disclaimers 2. The Top-Six Rookie-Eligible Hitters, According to the Fans 3. The Top-Five Rookie-Eligible Pitchers, According to the Fans Some Brief and Mostly Important Disclaimers Over the last week, the author has considered the top forecasts for rookie-eligible players, both according to the ZiPS and Steamer projection systems — where “top” was equivalent to “highest projected WAR” and nothing else. What follows is the product of an almost identical exercise — except for, instead of ZiPS or Steamer, the author has sorted the FAN projection leaderboards, instead. As the name suggests, these are projections crowdsourced from readers of the site. Below are the the top-six hitters (because there was a tie for fifth) and top-five pitchers who most aptly fit the aforementioned criteria. Alongside each player’s name are listed his 2012 line (for the level at which he spent the most time) and his 2013 projection. Finally, the author has appended brief comments to each entry to give the impression that he has not merely assembled a List of Numbers. First, though, here are four caveats: 1. The FAN projections, unlike ZiPS, include playing-time projections. 2. FAN projections are generally optimistic, but also in a generally regular way. I asked managing editor Dave Cameron about this, and he replied: “I think we’ve seen an historical overprojection of total WAR by 15-20%. It might even be 25%. If you go with 20%, you’ll probably be in the ballpark.” 3. There are three players who appeared on either the ZiPS or Steamer top-rookie posts who have not reached the eight-ballot threshold for their projections. Those players are: Boston’s Jackie Bradley, Pittsburgh’s Kyle McPherson, and Seattle’s Mike Zunino. Click on their names to submit your projections for them. 4. In homage to Jonah Lehrer, the author has copy-and-pasted many of his comments below from the two earlier top-rookie posts. The Top-Six Rookie-Eligible Hitters, According to the Fans By the criteria outline above, here are the top six rookie-eligible hitters for 2013, according to the fans. 5. Wil Myers, OF, Tampa Bay 2012 Line: 439 PA, .304/.378/.554 (.349 BABIP), 137 wRC+ at Triple-A 2013 FAN: 473 PA, .265/.332/.455 (.316 BABIP) 2.3 WAR Notes: Taken in third round of 2009 daft out of North Carolina high school by Kansas City. Switched from catcher to corner outfield during 2011 season. Hit 37 home runs in 2012 between Double- and Triple-A. Traded this offseason, as the reader will know, to Tampa Bay. Unlikely to begin season in majors. 5. Leonys Martin, OF, Texas 2012 Line: 260 PA, .359/.422/.610 (.392 BABIP), 164 wRC+ at Triple-A 2013 FAN: 414 PA, .279/.338/.438 (.323 BABIP), 2.3 WAR Notes: Defected from Cuba in 2010, signed with Rangers in May of 2011. Has been ca. 600 minor-league plate appearances since then — the vast majority at Triple-A — and slashed .323/.388/.503 with a 51:77 walk-to-strikeout ratio while so doing. Offseason departure of Josh Hamilton likely means strong side of center-field platoon with Craig Gentry. 4. Travis D’Arnaud, C, New York NL 2012 Line: 303 PA, .333/.380/.595 (.374 BABIP), 147 wRC+ at Triple-A 2013 FAN: 385 PA, .271/.327/.439 (.320 BABIP), 2.7 WAR Notes: Taken by Phillies out of California high school 37th overall in 2007 draft. Traded to Blue Jays in Roy Halladay trade and then Mets, this offseason, in R.A. Dickey trade. Has been top-100 prospect per Baseball America for last three preseasons (not including present one). Will begin season in minors, most likely. 3. Jedd Gyorko, 3B, San Diego 2012 Line: 408 PA, .325/.377/.585 (.340 BABIP), 144 wRC+ at Triple-A 2013 FAN: 503 PA, .272/.338/.455 (.309 BABIP), 2.9 WAR Notes: Taken by San Diego in second round of the 2010 draft from West Virginia. Has posted above-average league-adjusted offensive marks at every level since. Received favorable projection ZiPS and Steamer, as well. For now, presence of talented Chase Headley makes promotion to majors difficult, although played 47 games at second base between Double- and Triple-A in 2012. 2. Jurickson Profar, SS, Texas 2012 Line: 562 PA, .281/.368/.452 (.306 BABIP), 127 wRC+ at Double-A 2013 FAN: 476 PA, .279/.353/.438 (.318 BABIP), 3.5 WAR Notes: Generally regarded as best positional prospect in baseball. Hit quite well at Double-A Frisco last year in just his age-19 season. Despite talent, unlikely to begin season in majors. 1. Adam Eaton, OF, Arizona 2012 Line: 562 PA, .381/.456/.539 (.432 BABIP), 163 wRC+ at Triple-A 2013 FAN: 592 PA, .281/.383/.406 (.324 BABIP), 4.4 WAR Notes: Of hitters here, probably has lowest ceiling, owing predominantly to lack of power. Still, has posted a 133 wRC+ at every minor-league level. Enters age-24 season. Should have everyday role following departure of Justin Upton to Atlanta. The Top-Five Rookie-Eligible Pitchers, According to the Fans By the criteria outline above, here are the top five rookie-eligible pitchers for 2013, according to the fans. 5. Dan Straily, RHP, Oakland 2012 Line: 85.1 IP, 11.4 K/9, 2.4 BB/9, 0.6 HR/9, 2.57 FIP at Double-A 2013 FAN: 144.0 IP, 8.4 K/9, 3.2 BB/9, 1.1 HR/9, 2.1 WAR Notes: Led minor leagues in total strikeouts and strikeout rate (among pitchers with 20-plus starts). Less impressive in seven major-league starts. With exception of Ryu, probably, has weakest fastball among pitchers on this list. Could very well begin season in Oakland rotation. 4. Trevor Rosenthal, RHP, St. Louis 2012 Line: 93.2 IP, 8.0 K/9, 3.6 BB/9, 0.6 HR/9, 3.51 FIP at Double-A 2013 FAN: 101.0 IP, 9.4 K/9, 2.9 BB/9, 0.8 HR/9, 2.1 WAR Notes: Was excellent in relief for Cardinals last year following July promotion. Sat at ca. 97 mph with fastball in majors. Following return of shoulder injury for Chris Carpenter, will likely compete for fifth spot in roation. 3. Wily Peralta, RHP, Milwaukee 2012 Line: 146.2 IP, 8.8 K/9, 4.8 BB/9, 0.6 HR/9, 3.83 FIP at Triple-A 2013 FAN: 130.0 IP, 7.9 K/9, 3.5 BB/9, 0.8 HR/9, 2.2 WAR Notes: Made major-league debut in 2012, after originally signing from Dominican in 2005. Pitched 29 slightly above-average innings, almost all as starter. Sat at ca. 95 mph with fastball. Definite candidate for 2013 rotation. 2. Chris Archer, RHP, Tampa Bay 2012 Line: 128.0 IP, 9.8 K/9, 4.4 BB/9, 0.4 HR/9, 3.25 FIP at Triple-A 2013 FAN: 129.0 IP, 9.2 K/9, 3.8 BB/9, 0.8 HR/9, 2.3 WAR Notes: Taken by Cleveland originally in fifth round of 2006 draft out of North Carolina high school. Traded by Indians to Cubs in 2008 in deal for Mark DeRosa. Traded by Cubs to Rays in January 2011 as part of package for Matt Garza. Posted this line in six appearances (four starts) for Rays last season: 29.1 IP, 29.5% K, 10.7% BB, 43.7% GB, 3.24 SIERA, 83 xFIP-, 0.5 WAR. Will probably begin 2013 in minors. 1. Shelby Miller 2012 Line: 136.2 IP, 10.5 K/9, 3.3 BB/9, 1.6 HR/9, 4.48 FIP at Triple-A 2013 FAN: 124.0 IP, 9.7 K/9, 3.1 BB/9, 0.9 HR/9, 2.7 WAR Notes: Taken 19th overall out of high school by St. Louis in 2009. Has been top-100 prospect per Baseball America for last three preseasons (not including present one). Made six appearances (one start) in majors last year, posting this line: 13.2 IP, 29.6% K, 7.4% BB, 42.4% GB, 2.72 SIERA, 86 xFIP-, 0.4 WAR. With recent injury to Chris Carpenter, will compete (alongside Joe Kelly and Trevor Rosenthal) for fifth spot in rotation.