|By Jason A. Churchill||By 03-20-2009|
|1. By: Blowgun7 on 03-20-2009 20:06:32|
So depressing.. we just had to sweep that last damn series, didn't we..
|2. By: Jason A. Churchill on 03-20-2009 20:08:53|
Granted, but it's still an amazing thing. I haven't been this amped to see a pitcher since Felix was at Inland Empire.
|3. By: Slack on 03-20-2009 21:03:22|
As far as I am concerned, there isn't a word in the english language or any other language to describe how stupid the Nats would be if they didn't pay the price to take Strasburg.
|4. By: Slurve on 03-20-2009 21:57:14|
I thought of a line from watchmen for some reason.
I wanted it to be:
"Stephen Strasburg is a God and he's a Mariner."
At least we'll get somebody like White, or Tate or GOSH FREAKING DANGIT ME WANTS STRASBURG!
sigh rant over... This kid we'll be one of the most dominating pitchers once he comes up.
|5. By: PositivePaul on 03-20-2009 22:21:48|
And people wonder why I've hated the Effing A's as much as I hate the Yankees and the Angels...
The real question is -- how the heck does the guy have a 1.98 ERA? Who's been able to score runs off him? Sheesh!
Who was it that said something to the effect of "I'm not surprised that Koufax won 25 games -- how in the heck did he lose 5?" Yeah, something similar here w/Stras...
|6. By: Blowgun7 on 03-20-2009 22:34:41|
If he keeps dominating to this extent, does his asking price go up higher and higher.. does Boras push the envelope and try to get him a totally ridiculous signing bonus?
(Yes, im just searching and scrapping for any kind of hope)
|7. By: slick on 03-21-2009 00:41:44|
Gibson struck out 16 tonight against #4 Texas A&M
White had another average outing and Oliver got bombed.
In a year of subpar college pitching at least somebody is worth writing about.
|8. By: xarmyguy78 on 03-21-2009 06:30:43|
Just for grins I would love to watch a couple innings of one of his outings just to see the looks on the faces of the hitters
|9. By: Slack on 03-21-2009 08:07:37|
I've been hearing that Strasburg's breaking ball is kind of slurvey. Is that still true or is he throwing more of a true slider now?
|10. By: Jason A. Churchill on 03-21-2009 10:30:49|
Eh, it's slurvy, but that doesn't mean it's soft or anything. It's just not hard and flat with a spike in it. It's just between a curve and a slider in shape.
I'm quite sure Keith will post some video of Stras from last night's start.
|11. By: acqb1424 on 03-21-2009 11:50:39|
Jason, Peter Gammons said in a blog that he's heard Boras is floating a $50 million major league deal for Stras, because he views him as a similar situation to Dice K...while we can all assume he won't get anywhere near $50, let's say his total package is a ML deal worth $20-30, when does the price get too high for the Nats? And if he slides, when does the price get too high for the M's?
|12. By: Jason A. Churchill on 03-21-2009 13:24:10|
Well, Boras is WRONG, it's not the same, but he is definitely going to be signing a big-league contract.
If it goes to $30 mil? Not sure $75 mil is enough to scare them off, honestly.
When does the price get too high for the M's?
[point yer pinky to your lip and repeat after me...]
One BILLION dollars.
|13. By: CrockDaddy on 03-21-2009 18:27:23|
i'm starting to feel like the m's pick is gibson unless one of the high school guys comes on strong or ackley makes a triumphant return to the OF. he might be a consolation prize, but you could do worse than a 6'6" righty putting up great numbers against top competition.
|14. By: Jason A. Churchill on 03-21-2009 21:33:14|
Gibson is still a feel guy with above average stuff, not a stuff guy with enough command to dominate at times.
This is why White is still graded higher for most scouts right now, despite Gibson's recent outings.
I'm not sure Gibson is going to even be in the discussion for the top pick.
|15. By: Blowgun7 on 03-22-2009 12:44:22|
Jason, what was the rationale behind the selection of a catcher with below average defensive skills and mediocre bat speed with the #3 overall pick back in 2005 or whenever Clement was selected?
|16. By: Jason A. Churchill on 03-22-2009 17:47:09|
Clement's pure bat speed is fine, it's everything else that needs refinement offensively. So when you ask about the rationale, it was getting a well above-average offensive player who has a chance to catch.
There's a ton of value in that and the M's weren't the only team in that draft who would have taken Clement.
At the time, I thought Maybin and Tulowitzki were better talents, but didn't have a huge problem with Clement being the pick.
There are still major questions about T2 and Maybin as well, so...
It's easy for us to sit here four years later and call Clement a catcher with below average defensive skills and mediocre bat speed when we've had the advantage of seeing him at 25 with three years of pro ball under his belt. But the Tigers and Rays were all over Clement if he fell to them in the top 10 and the O's were drooling over him at 13.
The M's had Clement and T2 graded so closely that they went with Clement, since at the time they believed in Betancourt at shortstop.
|17. By: rocketdawg31 on 03-22-2009 18:10:05|
The more I see this draft shaping up, the more I see the Nationals taking Strasburg- as in, no other choice if you want to still call yourselve a major-league ballclub intent on winning- and us taking the prep guy with the most upside, like a Tyler Matzek or a Donavan Tate.
I'm not especially enamored of Tate as a ballplayer for some reason, but Matzek's another story. I see a ton to like in him, wouldn't shed any tears if he's selected #2...I don't think it'd even qualify as an overdraft.
Tate has all the tools of your neighborhood Home Depot, but I dunno...maybe I just haven't seen enough of him, but what I have seen, he doesn't seem to enjoy the game a whole lot...
|18. By: Jason A. Churchill on 03-22-2009 18:17:05|
Your assessment of Tate in limited time is "he doesn't seem to enjoy the game a whole lot"?
And Willie McGee appeared to love baseball?
Athletically, he's the top talent in the draft, but I'm with you on Matzek.
He or White would be my pick at this stage. It changes for me every day, though, as I see guys or get info from scouts who have seen them.
|19. By: 01v-dubs on 03-22-2009 18:36:20|
I'm still fine with the Clement pick, he still can turn into a very good player, and its not like the old regime handled his development all that well.
I would like to pick White because he seems to have plus stuff, but he's not exactly shutting down the opposing lineups every start, that concerns me. But as of today I'd pick either Matzak or Tate.
|20. By: Jason A. Churchill on 03-22-2009 18:43:04|
As Keith Law put it recently, with Tate, you're kind of dreaming that he maxes out his physical skills into baseball skills and becomes a star on both sides.
I think Matzek's ceiling is just as high and there's less risk that he turns out to be nothing. This, of course, ignores the inherent injury risk with pitchers.
|21. By: 01v-dubs on 03-22-2009 19:48:38|
Jason, what separates Matzak and Purke. It seems like Purke throws a little harder, but Matzak is better in just about every other area, and is more projectable, is that accurate?
|22. By: Jason A. Churchill on 03-22-2009 20:04:13|
Thing with Matzek is, he only throws as hard as he needs to. When he feels like it, he dials it up.
Purke has a lower arm slot which may make it a little more difficult to develop a change, and he needs that versus RHB.
Yes, Matzek is probably a little more projectable physically, as is Shelby Miller and Tyler Skaggs.
Btw, re: Skaggs
I haven't seen him myself, not even once live, so I won't pass on my own assessment in the slightest, but the BA write-up a few weeks back about Skaggs being a better prospect than Matzek is plainly stupid.
It's based on ONE outing where the two pitchers actually threw against each other and Skaggs was better that day. That's NOT how you scout any player, let alone a prep pitcher.
|23. By: Gustafson on 03-23-2009 08:39:23|
Thanks to this thread I spent about an hour googling Matzek to get a little more info.
I think if not for Strasburg getting ALL the pitching attention in this draft, Matzek might be considered more of a big-time prize. He seems to have it all.
Baseball America ranks his fastball as tied (with Miller) as the best of any high schooler in America (not based purely on radar gun, but the total package).
As for secondary pitches:
"BEST SECONDARY PITCH: Matzek is one of the finest Southern California high school lefthanders seen in quite some time, and his curveball, slider and changeup all merit recognition as this year's top secondary pitches."
Finally, for command they say Matzek blows the rest of the high schoolers in the country out of the water.
Considering Jack Z loves prep pitchers and this kid appears to be the best. And considering the college bats are down this year... This guy may be the leader in the clubhouse.
|24. By: Slack on 03-23-2009 11:34:28|
Given the polish, I bet Matzek could move through the minors relatively quickly for a high schooler. I'd be very happy with him at #2 and he's my guy unless the baseball gods decide to bless the Mariners and give us all what we really want!
|25. By: rjscotty_22 on 03-23-2009 11:58:31|
Was the mini notebook posted?
|26. By: Jason A. Churchill on 03-23-2009 13:58:32|
No yet, scotty. Had to move that to Thursday-Friday, and it'll be a full version. Lots of draft stuff.
|27. By: stickball on 03-23-2009 14:31:18|
Sorry to change the subject. Jakubauskas pitched another solid 5 innings to go with his last solid 5 inning start. Before that he had a 3 inning no hit, no run start
|28. By: Gustafson on 03-23-2009 15:06:16|
Similarly OT: Jose Lopez had two doubles off Lincecum today. Hopefully his doubles binge at the WBC carries over into the MLB regular season. He DID seem to be laying off the slider low and away at the WBC. Hopefully that was not just wishful thinking on my part, but evidence of improved pitch recognition.
|29. By: Jason A. Churchill on 03-23-2009 15:07:06|
Two words: Spring. Training.
Two more: Means. Nothing.
Last time out he was 88-90 with an "average curve ball or slider; it was soft, but with slider tilt," according to one of the better pitching eyes in the game.
He's just throwing a lot of strikes against mediocre lineups. Granted, today had a lot of SFs regulars, but be honest. That lineup is almost as bad, if not worse, than Seattle's. Jakubauskas is one of those strike throwers that will have some decent outings because of it.
He's not all of a sudden "someone to watch."
He's just another arm.
|30. By: Jason A. Churchill on 03-23-2009 15:08:52|
Lopez's biggest issues are plate coverage, lack of patience and his lack of going the other way with anything but a slap grounder.
He sees the breaking ball, but he has to pull anything if he's to hit for any power at all.
But it's not like he was a bad hitter last year. He was ok.
|31. By: Jason A. Churchill on 03-23-2009 15:11:21|
BTW, here's more evidence that Spring performances mean jack squat.
Don Wakamatsu is ready to strangle Yuniesky Betancourt.
He's hitting .387 with five extra-base hits and has yet to strikeout in 31 PAs...
|32. By: stickball on 03-23-2009 15:37:32|
Spring training might not mean much, but it's certainly not absolutely meaningless. Anyhoo, I'm pulling for Jakubauskas to make the Tacoma team.
|33. By: stickball on 03-23-2009 15:46:39|
Edit: not absolutely meaningless to prospects at the higher levels (AAA).
|34. By: Jason A. Churchill on 03-23-2009 17:49:54|
Don't go through your baseball fandom life believing that, stickball.
And make sure you are reading it correctly. Spring Training PERFORMANCES mean jack. I never said spring training is meaningless.
Stats are, however. If you want to go believing otherwise, go for it, but you'll be of the sorely misguided.
|35. By: stickball on 03-23-2009 19:42:17|
Clarification duly noted. I'd argue that ST performances can make the difference for bubble players. I guess we'll see if Jakubauskas can keep up his performances, and if he makes the Tacoma roster.
|36. By: Jason A. Churchill on 03-23-2009 21:34:08|
"I'd argue that ST performances can make the difference for bubble players."
And you'd be as wrong as you were before you typed all 12 words.
Betancourt is tearing it up. Wak wants to send him back to Cuba. Think about that.
|37. By: stickball on 03-23-2009 22:08:37|
Spring training isn't over. We'll find out about Jakubauskas. And you think about Morse last year.
|38. By: Jason A. Churchill on 03-23-2009 22:33:22|
Morse made the team because they LIKED what he was doing. He was working his ass off, listening, paying attention, putting the side instruction to use on the field... the actual results meant nothing. He could have lined out 47 times and he was making that team last year.
You keep ignoring the Betancourt factor and the different between spring training, and spring training performance/results/stats.
Get it straight before you further make a fool of yourself.
Mark Lowe has a 5.40 ERA, has given up 18 hits and four walks in 10 innings... Randy Messenger has a 3.09 ERA in 11.2ip and have allowed 15 hits and one walk. By your thought process, Messenger would make the big club before Lowe. Are ya starting to get it?
|39. By: stickball on 03-23-2009 22:44:54|
I give your feedback a lot of credence, but Morse could have lined out 47 times and made the team last year. Whatever, we'll see at the end of spring.
|40. By: Jason A. Churchill on 03-23-2009 23:04:20|
Dude, are you really just going to accept being this ridiculously ignorant about the subject?
|41. By: shemberry on 03-24-2009 06:37:43|
I get what you are saying exactly. I am in my 12th year as a High School Head Softball Coach. One of the things I constantly preach is process over results. If a kid hits a ball hard in the cage, but the swing looks horrible, we fix the swing. If a kid misses every pitch, but the swing looks good, we encourage them to keep it up. I always tell them to focus on doing things the right way and the results will come, and in time they do.
The M's are looking for the same thing. They want players who will do things the right way, because they know that in time the results will come and they will be sustainable.
|42. By: stickball on 03-24-2009 09:20:42|
47 soft line outs, 20 strikeouts, he wouldn't have made the team. If Batista pitches 16 innings and gives up 32 runs, but looks good, he makes the team?
Whatever, big man, I'm pulling for Jakubaukas. And you were wrong last offseason when I asked if Valbuena was a decent prospect.
|43. By: littlelinny6 on 03-24-2009 11:56:42|
check this out:
I know scouts (including yourself Jason) are watering at the mouth over Strasburg--does the inherent high risk of drafting a pitcher worry you? This is just a sportswriters opinion but he does say:
"Unless his price drops to the same general range as David Price ($8.8 million in 2007) or Mark Prior (a record $10.5 million in 2001), the Nationals should pick somebody else with their top choice in the draft in three months."
I for one hope this dude can get in the ear of the soon to be Nats GM and maybe pass on Strasburg if Boras demands $20 million or so and the M's pick it up. I generally disagree with this writers assessment but I think it is something to note that pitchers get injured all the time and often have arm problems, shoulder problems, etc.--it is the nature of the position.
|44. By: bodhizefa on 03-24-2009 15:39:22|
littlelinny6, I was just about to post that link, too. It's interesting that one of the more respected baseball columnists in the sport decided to bust out the anti-Strasburg sentiment this early. That he happens to write for the local paper for the team with the #1 pick really heats up the discussion. Still, the big problem isn't just that Washington might not want to take him. The big problem is that there isn't anybody else they could realistically take that's anywhere remotely close to Strasburg in talent level. I know we've seen signability picks in the past at #1 (Matt Bush says hello), but the disparity between #1 and all the rest seems to really be working against the M's this year.
|45. By: littlelinny6 on 03-24-2009 16:18:06|
yeah, I agree bodhizefa, given the relatively low ceiling of everyone else in the draft unless there is a major physical/mechanical problem scouts see with Strasburg he has to be the #1 pick.
|46. By: baseballman on 03-24-2009 21:31:07|
wow stickball a little testy arent ya? spring performances mean nothin, accept it and get over it
|47. By: stickball on 03-25-2009 09:49:13|
So Morse's performance didn't get him on the team last year? Did you read the posts? Your "no it isn't, yes it is" sounds familiar, it does nothing to change my mind.
Wak has commented on Jakubauskas's spring performance so it's going noticed. We'll see if Jakubauskas makes the Tacoma team.
|48. By: throwshard on 03-25-2009 10:17:13|
I was reading about Strasberg and read your comments on Tyler Matzek and Tyler Skaggs. I have seen all three kids pitch and they are all worth there praise. strasberg is the real deal.He's a no brainer when it comes to whos the best RIGHT NOW.. but down the road you might be surprised.I have seen both Tylers pitch head to head twice and I have also seen them both in their last outings.here's a quick look at stats: Matzek 20 innings 21 k"s 5 hits 6 bb 1 hbp 1 wp
Skaggs 13 innings 26 k's 5 hits 3 bb 0 hbp 0 wp both pitchers were at 90 to 93 in their last outings and in their last innings. Matzek looks like he has little room to grow while Skaggs looks like he could grow a couple more inches and gain some more weight Skaggs is 6-5 190 lbs 17 years old at draft. Matzek is 6-2 200 lbs 18 years old at draft Skaggs also has pitched against 3 power house teams and with at least 30 to 50 scouts and crosscheckers at every game.Matzek is drawing about the same numbers but has yet to face a decent team. you decide .I'll take Skaggs
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