Friday, April 25, 2014

Down on the Farm: 4/24/2014

AAA  Fresno Grizzlies whitewashed the Albuquerque Isotopes 5-0:

Joe Panik(2B)- 2 for 5, HR(1).  BA= .317.
Tyler Colvin(rF)- 3 for 4, 2B.  BA= .232.
Mike Kickham(LHP)- 8 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 3.00.

Panik shows a bit of power.  Kickham makes a nice recovery from his last wild start.

AA  Richmond Flying Squirrels were idle.

High A  San Jose Giants outslugged the Visalia Rawhide 10-9:

Jesus Galindo(CF)- 2 for 5, HR(2).  BA= .361.
Blake Miller(SS)- 2 for 5, 3B.  BA= .259.
Mac Williamson(DH)- 5 for 5, 2 2B.  BA= .312.
Mitch Delfino(3B)- 4 for 5.  BA= .321.
Elliott Blair(LF)- 2 for 4, SB(1).  BA= .322.

Nice game for padding the stat lines.  Galindo seems to have found his inner slugger with 2 dingers in 2 days.  Mac breaks through the .300 barrier without slowing down.  Mitch Delfino can hit!

Low A  Augusta Greenjackets topped the Asheville Tourists 6-5:

Brandon Bednar(1B)- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .306.
Tyler Horan(RF)- 2 for 4.  BA= .306.
Keury Mella(RHP)- 4 IP, 10 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 K's.  ERA= 3.05.
Steven Messner(LHP)- 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K.  ERA= 4.70
Jake Smith(RHP)- 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, Save(1).  ERA= 0.00.

Mella got into a huge jam in the 4'th inning.  He gave up 3 runs in the inning, but it could have been much worse.  He managed to pitch his way out of it and complete the inning.


  1. Hot Tip from MLBTR: Bloomberg Business Week has published a study of baseball's smartest spenders over the past 5 seasons. Guess what? The Giants are among the top 3 with the Cardinals and Rays. Take THAT Fangraphs!

    1. Fangraphs just seems to hate us... Industry insiders who dislike the Giants, SHOCKER!

      Seriously, though, they love to glaze over the WAR we got from Torres, Burrel, Casilla, Huff on his one year deal, Ramirez, Uribe, Vogelsong when he was good, Blanco, Scutaro ect... We've had a lot of bargain bin pick ups that lit the world on fire during championship season. Just guessing, but that is what probably fueled that ranking.

    2. Its really funny when its claimed that there isn't any hate. But there is, and I can pull up some fun quotes. The Rays are constantly lionized as a smart David, the Giants constantly characterized as bumbling traditionalists. I like comping to the Cards and the Rays constantly, because of the perceived excellence in both orgs... The Giants grade out quite well.

    3. I think a lot of it has to do with how close we play our cards to the vest. Sabean just doesn't slip these mouth pieces the nuggets they want, so they get butt hurt and take pot shots. Contributing to that I think is the fact that Sabes is one of, if not the last, 'old school' GM. I think the SABR crowd see's him as scout by the eyes only kind of guy who spits on analytics. He doesn't really defend himself so its easy to take cheap shots at him.

      Logic would dictate that the Giants do use some form of combining traditional scouting and data. Otherwise we wouldn't have won two world series, or had so many hits on late round draft picks, or have been able to salvage all the scrap heap players we've gotten some serious production out of. Meanwhile fangraphs laud's Jack Z for years and it turns out that buffoon was a fake with no grasp of statistical analysis at all.

    4. There always seems to be a "oh no, we don't want Sabean talking to THESE guys, he'll get taken" when it comes to trade talks with new age GMs. I do think its hard to get trades done in general, but I looked up trades yesterday (and made a rambling post on me blog) and it turns out the Rays have only traded once with Sabean, a small deal involving Tyler Walker. The A's under Beane have only traded once, cash for Adam Pettyjohn. The Red Sox under Ivy League stewardship have only made one trade, Sabes took down RamRam, they also took Kevin Frandsen off Sabes hands for cashish. The Cards, who have had several well regarded GMs in a row, haven't been traded with since 2001.

      The point? Well, it goes back to Buster Olney's hatchet piece on Sabean about not returning phone calls. Sabean was quoted somewhere in that mess as saying something to the effect of "these new guys, they call up to BS, they want to probe the line/gather intel and that's not what I'm about". Now there maybe some issue with the Giants being outside some sort of clique of New Age guys, but what a lot of younger fans (who are usually saber inclined) don't seem to realize is that Sabean got such a rep as a wheeler dealer in his early years teams just stopped trading with him. And then he had to go into "hang on" mode to rebuild once Barry left. That worked out pretty damn well.

      Nobody has a bigger track record to look at than Sabean. There are a couple of bumps in the road, but nobody is perfect. He's been very good for a very long time. The whole crew has.

    5. Great comments, everybody. I would add that in some cases, the people writing critiques of GM's and judging them on "process" don't actually understand sabermetrics well. They latch onto GM's who proclaim themselves to be sabermetrically inclined, and dump all over GM's who come across as "old school". The problem is that they don't recognize patterns of player acquisition or undervalued commodities that are outside the ones that are well known to all of us.

      For instance, Bruce Bochy is often derided as being a dunderhead and part of the old boy network of managers. Bochy does not say anything to disabuse these notions so the folks don't notice that he frequently uses L-R matchups to his advantage, does not sacrifice bunt, or hit-and-run much. He steals judiciously and his teams always have good SB success rates. Those things are all sabermetrically sound and in some cases he's even been ahead of the curve!

      I personally believe that when Sabes was signing a lot of older players, it was because other teams undervalued them and he could sign them at a discount. You could say that was being cheap, or you could say they were undervalued commodities. There is strong circumstantial evidence that Sabes was way ahead of the curve on defensive metrics and was placing value on defense long before it became sabermetrically in vogue. I could go on with more examples, but you get the idea.

    6. I think it's more a case of new comers (stats guys) discovering maybe the old ways of doing things are there for a reason...maybe making cheese the old fashioned way or growing food organically, that is, the way it has been for millennia just may be pretty healthy after all. And maybe we should run away from new technologies (like GM foods) as fast as possible.

    7. I think that's exactly it,but we do live in an era where people are watching games on Gameday, and then insisting that WAR tells a complete story. I think the traditional culture and poetry of baseball is entirely lost on some. It's interesting to watch the GM's stay a few steps about the Sabermetric types. It won't be long before Beane is driving around the Pacific Northwest with a pickup truck full of old phone books, hunting down old scouts.

    8. I think the biggest underrvalued commodity the Giants have embraced in the last 5 years is the "hacker". Juan Uribe, Hunter Pence, they come cheap in salary or expensive in shiny yoot trade bait as well as salary, but the Giants sticking to their guns - valuing BA and taking some hit in OBP has earned them the derision of both professional stat heads as well as the jv squad who've read moneyball. I'd say its served them quite well.

      The older guys was mainly a thing to do around Barry when he wasn't given much money to work with. That rep stayed with him for a long time, even with the Giants quietly building one of the youngest core in baseball, so young they had to go out and get some vets like Pagan and Scutaro to balance it out!

    9. Athletics Nation had a post with a theory that Beane's currently going after younger veterans, around 28-31, for whatever it's worth. I think Sabean may have been thinking the same thing, but never found the age sweet spot.

    10. BP has had a vendetta for years that peaked with their call for Sabean to be fired in 2010 Annual, talk about bad timing. Haven't had the guts to apologize for that yet, and none of their sycophants have dared to point out the Emperor's Clothes yet.

      THT had a study of WAR by age and found that there was a secondary peak after 35 YO. The author then noted that Sabean seemed to be doing that and exploiting an undervalued part of the free agent market.

      Sabean has been talking about speed and defense since at least the 2002 WS, about how baseball swings from power to speed and back over the years. That part of the kimono was revealed more when MLBAM talked about the installation of new equipment for defensive analysis and how the Giants was one of the first team to eagerly welcome such tools. It as also noted at that time that the Giants had advanced defensive metrics and thus why they were so interested.

      I think idea can be expanded beyond just hackers to all types of baseball value-added. We old-timers know that there is value behind batting average, but today most people just focus on walks and OBP. You can't drive in runners with walks. Whether hackers, home-run hitters, batting average, OBP, power, speed, Giants appreciate all types. Same with pitchers, most know the Giants for their love of pitching specimens like Matt Cain, but the Giants was able to see Lincecum's value as well.

      And it's nice the Beane sees the value of younger veterans, around 28-31. The Giants have seen that too, picking up guys like Uribe, Torres, Casilla, Pagan, Pence, Blanco, among others, all these guys who had key parts to play in our 2010 and 2012 championships.

  2. That was a good lineup that Kickham had to navigate. Including your boy, Joc Pederson. Great job Kick.

    I thought Galindo was a slap and gap hitter. This is a great sign. Nice day for G's minor league system yesterday.

  3. Jake Smith has had a great start to the season. 10 games, no earned runs, 1 run allowed, 15 Ks in 14.1 IP. Pretty interesting for a 48th round draft pick. Nice frame for pitching, 6'4. He's been hard to hit through 3 years, has a bit of a wild hair with the BBs, and gets K's.

    1. Who the hell is Jake Smith? Never heard of him.

    2. Joe Schmoe is another one to keep an eye on.

    3. Kinda funny because yesterday I was checking out Jacob Smith. Another one of those Carolina farm boys... I like him because he doesn't give up many hits...

    4. Jake Smith is a Carolina kid who was drafted out of Campbell U (NC) in the 48th round of the 2011 (last pre-new CBA draft where they trimmed to 40 picks). In this area, there are a lot of favors, trophy picks and taking HS kids who have strong commits to big programs.

      Here's David Lee on him after this game: "Smith has surprising velo in the low-90s, and I've gotten a 94 out of him. The pitch has some run when he gets good plane, and he drives toward the plate well. His breaking ball shows some late bite, but he leaves it arm-side a little too often. If he can command the breaker and spot his fastball well, Smith should move in the system as a middle reliever. He also appears to be a workhorse so far, tied for most innings out of the bullpen and working in consecutive games effectively."

      I didn't know much about him, I like the frame and the lack of hits like Anon.

  4. Two or threes days ago I asked about Alias, Smith and Jones from Augusta after seeing another one of SMith's solid outings and Jones' dominance...Thanks for the info and Lee's report