Offseason Notes for November 4th

Wang cited Washington DC’s beautiful flora as his main reason for staying with the Nats.

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Offseason Notes.

1. Assorted Headlines
2. SCOUT Leaderboards: Arizona Fall League
3. Projection: ZiPS for New York (NL)

Assorted Headlines
All the nerd that’s fit to print.

Wang Re-Signs with Washington
Ground-balling right-hander Chien-Ming Wang has signed a one-year, $4 million contract with the Washington Nationals, reports Amanda Comak of the Washington Times. The move gives the Nats a 2012 rotation along these lines: Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, John Lannan, Chien-Ming Wang. Ross Detwiler, Tom Milone, and Brad Peacock are likely to compete for the fifth-starter role. For more on Wang, read Jim Breen’s piece on him from only two weeks ago.

Pittsburgh Interested Re-Signing in Lee
The Pirates have already started trying to re-sign first baseman Derrek Lee,’s Jenifer Langosch reports. Lee, who’s 36 and has posted a wRC+ of about 111 over the last two seasons, isn’t a particularly elite talent at this point; however, Garrett Jones (or maybe Pedro Alvarez) are the only real alternatives at first for Pittsburgh.

Marlins Likely to Pursue Starting Pitchers
The Miami Marlins, who’ll benefit from increased revenue with the opening of their new stadium, are likely to make some free-agent signings this winter, and their first priority will be starting pitching, according to Ken Rosenthal of Bow Tie Quarterly. The team already has three pretty excellent starters in Josh Johnson, Anibal Sanchez, and Ricky Nolasco. Edwin Jackson, Hiroki Kuroda, Roy Oswalt, and C.J. Wilson are the top pitchers available this winter. Yu Darvish is another possibility, but might very well cost more than he’s worth.

SCOUT Leaderboards: Arizona Fall League
Batting Leaderboard
Here is the SCOUT batting leaderboard for the Arizona Fall League (AFL). SCOUT represents an attempt to derive something meaningful from small samples and is the average of a player’s standard deviations from the AFL mean in three important (and regressed) stats: walk rate, strikeout rate, and home-run rate. (Click here for more on SCOUT.)

Name Org PA xBB% xK% xHR% BBz Kz HRz SCOUT
Robbie Grossman PIT 115 13.7% 15.2% 3.7% 0.84 0.69 0.42 0.65
Michael Choice OAK 70 10.9% 17.8% 4.1% 0.23 0.29 0.61 0.38
Wil Myers KC 85 14.1% 19.2% 3.0% 0.94 0.07 0.09 0.37
Bryce Harper WAS 74 10.7% 17.9% 4.1% 0.19 0.27 0.59 0.35
Joe Panik SF 68 9.9% 14.1% 2.8% 0.04 0.88 0.02 0.31
Anthony Seratelli KC 53 13.2% 18.0% 2.6% 0.74 0.25 -0.07 0.31
Jedd Gyorko SD 66 11.0% 17.7% 3.5% 0.28 0.31 0.32 0.30
Jefry Marte NYN 70 11.4% 17.8% 3.1% 0.34 0.29 0.16 0.26
Brodie Greene CIN 69 10.4% 16.6% 3.1% 0.14 0.48 0.16 0.26
Nolan Arenado COL 84 7.2% 14.0% 3.7% -0.56 0.89 0.40 0.24

• Newest to the top-10 AFL batting leaderboard is Cincinnati middle-infield prospect Brodie Greene. Greene, 24, has made his way up the charts predominantly by virtue of his strikeout prevention. Greene made the bulk of his appearances in 2011 in the the High-A California League — a league for which he skewed old.
• Uber-prospect Bryce Harper has hit five home runs in his last six games, and, as a consequence, has ascended rapidly up the SCOUT rankings. As Marc Hulet recently noted, Harper’s power projects as an 80 on the 20-80 scouting scale.

Pitching Leaderboard
For pitchers, SCOUT is the average of a player’s standard deviations from the AFL mean in (regressed) strikeout and walk rate.

Name Org G GS IP BF xK% xBB% Kz BBz SCOUT
Bradley Boxberger CIN 9 0 11.1 47 26.0% 9.0% 0.92 0.01 0.46
Anthony Bass SD 5 4 18.2 81 23.7% 8.3% 0.59 0.17 0.38
Chris Carpenter CHN 9 0 11.2 47 24.1% 8.6% 0.65 0.09 0.37
Miguel De Los Santos TEX 6 3 17.0 71 25.6% 9.7% 0.86 -0.14 0.36
Kevin Munson ARI 10 0 10.2 40 23.7% 8.6% 0.59 0.10 0.34
Evan Reed FLA 8 0 10.2 42 23.4% 8.9% 0.55 0.03 0.29
Tyler Lyons STL 5 5 19.2 81 23.0% 8.8% 0.49 0.05 0.27
Forrest Snow SEA 6 1 10.2 35 23.0% 8.8% 0.49 0.04 0.27
Aaron Loup TOR 9 0 13.1 57 21.4% 8.3% 0.26 0.16 0.21
Gerrit Cole PIT 4 4 12.0 47 21.4% 8.8% 0.27 0.05 0.16

In his most recent start, Cardinal prospect Tyler Lyons threw five hit- and walk-less innings while also striking out five batters. That now gives him a 10:0 K:BB over his last 10 innings. Lyons pitched in the High-A Florida State League as a 23-year-old this year with only average-ish numbers — which, none of that serves as a particularly excellent endorsement. Still, success in the AFL is nothing to sneeze at — although, why you’d want to sneeze at it in the first place is a bit of a mystery.

Projection: ZiPS for New York (NL)
Dan Szymborski has published his ZiPS projections for the New York Mets, nor is the diagnosis favorable. The top field player per ZiPS (Jose Reyes) has entered free agency, while the top pitcher (Johan Santana) made no major-league appearances in 2011 and is a question mark for 2012.

I’ll submit that, if ZiPS has missed on one player, in particular, it’s Jonathon Niese at a mere 92 ERA+. Niese has improved each year and posted a line of 3.42 SIERA, 3.28 xFIP, 85 xFIP- this season with component stats (19.9% K, 6.3% BB, 51.5% GB) that all represent improvements on his 2010.

We hoped you liked reading Offseason Notes for November 4th by Carson Cistulli!

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Carson Cistulli has published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

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