Two swing types include those that are line drive/contact oriented and those that are fly ball/power oriented. Some examples of hitters with a line drive/contact oriented swing are Robinson Cano, Ichiro, and Derek Jeter, while on the other side of the spectrum, you’d associate hitters like Adam Dunn, Carlos Pena, and Mark Reynolds with fly ball oriented swings.
There are some with the rare ability to hit for both power and make consistent contact, one example being Albert Pujols, but he’s a topic for another time.
Today however, I’d like to focus on Mark Teixeira, and the power of the uppercut. …
December 12, 2009
Just as I have done the past few years, I have uploaded and attached the new Top Prospects Compilation file to this blog posting. Prospect rankings from Baseball America, BP’s Kevin Goldstein, and MiLB.com are just some of those that you’ll find in the file. …
Spreadsheet: 2009-2010 Top Prospect List Compilation.xls.
Vertical movement on Putz’s fastball and splitter, 2007-2009
Difference in vertical movement: 4.5 inches
Difference in vertical movement: 5.8 inches
Difference in vertical movement: 7.1 inches
There’s now a pronounced difference in vertical movement between Putz’s fastball and splitter. Perhaps there’s a point of diminishing returns with the separation between those two pitches: if there’s too much of a difference, hitters will be able to distinguish between the fastball and splitter and simply lay off those tumbling off-speed pitches they once flailed at. …
December 11, 2009
John Sickels changed some grades on his Top 20 prospect lists:
Dan Hudson: changing from Grade B to Grade B+: He was right on the edge but after looking at the numbers, video, and scouting reports again, I’m moving him up a notch to Grade B+.
Here’s the Sox 2010 Top 20 Prospects list.
One pitcher probably out of the loop is versatile reliever D.J. Carrasco, who stands a strong chance not to be tendered a contract by Saturday’s 11 p.m. deadline. The Sox met Wednesday with Carrasco’s agent at the winter meetings in Indianapolis but were several hundred thousand dollars apart.
That could give rookie Daniel Hudson a shot at taking over Carrasco’s role as a long reliever while being groomed as a future starting pitcher.
With D.J. Carrasco likely to not be tendered a contract Saturday night and become a free agent, there is the chance that rookie Daniel Hudson could slide into Carrasco’s long relief role while receiving hands-on training from pitching coach Don Cooper and veteran pitchers Jake Peavy and Mark Buehrle.
But another consideration would be to send Hudson to the minors for more consistent work until he’s ready to join the major league staff. That would create a spot for Sergio Santos, who was converted from an infielder to a pitcher and possesses a 98 mph fastball.
Santos is out of options, and the Sox avoided losing him in Thursday’s Rule 5 draft by putting him on their 40-man roster. If Santos doesn’t pitch well in spring, the Sox could be faced with exposing him to waivers.
And his name is J.J. Putz:
Putz is infamous for sneaking up on teammates and hitting them in the face, on air, in the final moments of an interview, with a shaving cream pie.
Last night on SNY’s Mets Hot Stove live from Duffy’s in St. Lucie, Kevin Burkhardt talked with Mets set-up men Sean Green and J.J. Putz.
In the show’s final moments last night, Putz sneaked back on set to slam Burkhardt in the face with his signature pie, which you can watch by …
… clicking play at the 30 second video that’s embedded at the end of the post here.
It’s Santa Kenny!
“We’ve been on this for quite some time,” White Sox general manager Kenny Williams said. “We’ve been monitoring him [J.J. Putz] ever since the season ended. His daily workouts we’re very familiar with. We’ve had weekly progress reports. When our doctors finally got their hands on him he passed his physical with flying colors. We couldn’t be happier with what was communicated to us by our doctors.
“We feel now from the top of the rotation to the bottom of the bullpen we’re as strong as we’ve ever been.”
The White Sox have reached a one-year, $3 million deal with free-agent right-hander J.J. Putz, according to a major-league source.
The deal includes $3.25 million in incentives, $250,000 based on appearances and $3 million based on games finished. The latter incentive gives Putz the ability to earn closer money if he assumes a ninth-inning role.
Kenny Williams is confident about the Sox bullpen:
“Obviously, Bobby (Jenks) is the closer. (Matt) Thornton can do a little bit of both, and now you have J.J. who also can do that. And everyone fills in behind them.”
on J.J. Putz’ status:
“No restrictions whatsoever.”
on the possibility of tendering D.J. Carrasco:
“You’ll just have to wait for those things to come down the pipeline, and everything will reveal itself in time.”
The White Sox agreed to terms on a one-year, $3 million contract with J.J. Putz on Friday.
The 32-year-old right-hander went 1-4 with a 5.22 ERA in 29 games for the Mets in 2009. Putz then underwent arthroscopic surgery to remove a bone spur in his right elbow on June 9 and missed the remainder of the season.
In seven seasons in the big leagues — six of which came with the Mariners — Putz is 23-19 with a 3.24 ERA and 103 saves. His best season came in ’07, when the Michigan product made the All-Star team and posted a 1.38 ERA with 40 saves in 42 chances.
His addition can give the White Sox a nice setup option, along with lefty Matt Thornton, or perhaps even make closer Bobby Jenks expendable.
An 11 p.m. CT deadline sits this Saturday for 2010 contracts to be tendered to unsigned players on the 40-man roster. Carrasco contractually falls into the arbitration-eligible category, along with White Sox closer Bobby Jenks, starting pitcher John Danks, reliever Tony Pena and outfielder Carlos Quentin, meaning Carrasco will get a nice bump from his $440,000 salary in 2009.
With the White Sox at their payroll limit and still looking to add another impact player or two, including a possible frontline reliever such as J.J. Putz, Carrasco might be the odd-man out. The White Sox approach the 2010 campaign with one of the top starting rotations in all of baseball, the ‘Fab Five,’ as Carrasco mentioned, and might choose to go with a cheaper route such as rookie Daniel Hudson in what shapes up as the lesser-used category of middle relief.
… According to Carrasco, one contract offer has been exchanged between the White Sox and his agent, but nothing more. He’ll simply wait and see how the final decision plays out on Saturday, ultimately thankful the Sox gave his career a second chance to which he thoroughly responded as a non-roster invitee in Spring Training 2008.
We wanted to make an all-star team of sorts for FutureSox, but fielding an ‘all-prospect’ team would be as easy as picking the top player at each position from our 2009 Postseason Top 25 Prospects. Clearly that would be somewhat redundant. Instead, we decided to create the All-FutureSox Team as the best performers of 2009. Forget age and park adjustments, this is simple stats. Who had the most productive year for his minor league team(s)? That’s what this is. ..
December 10, 2009
“I’ve heard the rumors,” Beckham said from his Atlanta-area home as the Sox concluded the winter meetings still in pursuit of someone for the top of the order. “I kind of hope I don’t lead off. I’ve never lead off before.” … “If I have to bat leadoff, I’ll make do,” said Beckham, who batted .270 in 103 games while working his away from the bottom of the Sox’s batting order to the second spot. I’ll work at being good at it. I’m OK if they want me to bat there.” … “I don’t think they’d ask me to change much,” Beckham said. “The only thing it would hurt (batting leadoff) would be my RBIs.”
Beckham looks forward to his move to 2B:
“I’ll be OK. The only transition is turning (the double play).”
According to a scout familiar with the situation, the Sox were one of two teams in the American League Central Division letting the New York Yankees know during this week’s Winter Meetings that they covet the services of outfielder Brett Gardner. The problem is Kansas City was also sniffing around what it would take to get the promising 26-year-old leadoff hitter.
What might work in Williams’ favor, however, is that he is not only friendly with Brian Cashman, but is no stranger to doing deals with the Yankees GM. Not only did Williams get Jose Contreras from New York back in 2004, but the two paired up again last winter, with the Sox finding a new residence for disgruntled outfielder Nick Swisher. …
Gardner caught Kenny’s eye in the 2007 AFL.
Williams’ urgency wasn’t quite reciprocated during the four days spent in Indianapolis, as agreeing to a three-year, $14 million extension with Mark Teahen was the only move made by the team. But the White Sox have laid the groundwork for other potential additions — some could happen fast, while others might take a while to play out.
J.J. Putz, the one-time Seattle closer who is recovering from surgery to remove bone spurs from his pitching elbow, stood as a prime target for a White Sox bullpen upgrade. Although Putz has numerous teams interested, the White Sox could have a decision by the beginning of next week or move on to another pitcher.
Hideki Matsui remains a designated hitter of interest, as a left-handed power bat who would support the middle of the White Sox lineup. But Matsui’s side continues to have talks with the Yankees, and with the White Sox basically at budget, it might take until January before they can decide on how to fill this void. Finding a leadoff hitter as the third outfielder might stand as more of a priority, with Scott Podsednik and Coco Crisp still possible fits. …
Ken Davidoff has a different take on Matsui:
Increasing expectation around MLB is that the Yankees will eventually re-sign Hideki Matsui. Could take until January.
Bruce Levine says the Sox made a contract offer to J.J. Putz:
The Cubs and White Sox appear to be the lead teams on signing former closer J.J. Putz to a contract. Putz worked out for the cubs on Wednesday and will do so again on Friday. Upwards of six or seven other teams have also watched Putz work out. The former Seattle and Mets relief pitcher will most likely get an incentive-laden contract that could start at around $2.5 million and can realize another $6 or $7 million with incentives. The White Sox have been the most aggressive team on Putz and have already made an offer to his agent Craig Landis.