Doug Padilla’s chat:
Q: This may be a tough question for you to answer. But, do you have any idea how highly the White Sox FO values sabermetrics?
A: They put a solid emphasis on it. Not saying it’s the deciding factor in all their moves, but they have a guy that works closely with KW to break down those numbers.
“Solid emphasis” would be better than I thought. Hopefully, Padilla is right. Another interesting note:
Q: Whats the biggest difference between Walker and the new hitting coach?
A: Walk was huge on mechanics, passing along what he had learned over the years from some of the greats in the game. He coached the mental side as well, but the word is that Manto will stress the mental side even more. Manto wants you in a great frame of mind to hit, then he will go to work on mechanics.
I knew I was in for something special once I saw the email.
It was forwarded to me by a big league exec with a simple “You’re welcome.” The original email was sent to nearly 200 people, a veritable who’s who of the international scouting community. It’s from Edgar Mercedes, a Dominican-based agent who is often involved with Cuban defectors. The message, written in all caps, thanks the readers for coming to the showcase and links to a YouTube page with the video presented at the event. The video concerns Yeonis Cespedes, a 26-year-old outfielder who is currently in the Dominican looking to sign with a big league team. His resume from Cuba is significant as he hit .333 during the 2010-11 campaign while joining Jose Abreu in establishing a new league record with 33 home runs. He’s a tremendous talent—arguably the best all-around player to come out of Cuba in a generation. He’s a legitimate centerfielder with plus power and speed and is in his prime. Much like Aroldis Chapman was the best pitcher from the island, Cespedes is the best position player, and Mercedes will be expecting (and likely getting) a Chapman-like deal in the neighborhood of $30 million.
I was expecting a standard scouting video. A few minutes of hitting—shot from different angles—some shots of him chasing fly balls in center and throwing, and then some base running. Once I opened the video, however, I saw that it was over 20 minutes long, and knew I was in for something much different, but I could never imagine just how good it was.
Now if I was a nice person, I’d just embed the video right here, but I’m not going to do that. Before you watch it, I actually want to walk you through this majestic work. I want you to continue to read my description of what you are about to see, and figure out at what point you think I’m making some of this up. To be clear, I’m not. …
UPDATE: Kevin Goldstein’s update.
Other White Sox links:
New White Sox hitting coach Jeff Manto has a different view when it comes to taking pitches. telling The Mully and Hanley Show that walks set up double-play balls.
“Do we want Adam Dunn taking a ball (when it is) off the plate with a man on third and the infield back and you got (Justin) Verlander throwing and he walks him? I don’t know,” Manto said.
“What happens is that you set up the double play. If you (hit) into a double play, you get out of the inning. We give high five for taking the walk, but we have arguably the most prolific left-handed hitter in the game at the plate. He can drive that run in.”
Great! More swinging outside of the zone.
New manager Robin Ventura completed his first White Sox staff with Monday’s hirings of Jeff Manto as the team’s hitting coach, Joe McEwing as third-base coach and Mark Parent as bench coach.
Manto, 47, served as the White Sox Minor League hitting coordinator for the past four years and has great familiarity with some of the younger players who could play featured roles with the 2012 White Sox. Manto was also the Pirates’ hitting coach during the ’06 and ’07 seasons, with Freddy Sanchez leading the National League in hitting via his .344 average in 2006.
I see he saw Jose Bautista‘s success. He didn’t untapped it; he saw it coming.