Morning Thoughts, September 15, 2010
**Kyle Drabek makes his major league debut today for the Blue Jays. I did a larger piece for Rotowire about him that should be posted later today. He had a very good season for Double-A New Hampshire, and scouts report that his velocity has improved this year, back up to where it was pre-Tommy John surgery. Statistically, he went 14-9, 2.94 with a 132:68 K/BB in 162 innings, allowing 126 hits.
Here's the rub: although he cut more than half a run off his ERA this year compared to last year at the same level, his K/IP ratio improved only slightly, and his walk ratio actually got worse this year. All of the ERA reduction came from improvement in his H/IP and BABIP, which as you know has at least something to do with luck and defensive support. His FIP was 4.00 this year compared to 4.02 last year, so the seasons were actually extremely similar component-wise despite the improvements on the surface.
I've got a lot of mixed feelings about the importance of BABIP, especially for minor league prospects. It's just one factor among many for me. Luck and defense certainly can't be ignored, and in the past people didn't pay enough attention to it. But at the same time, I don't think all of H/IP can be boiled down to just luck and defense. Scouts seem to think that Drabek made legitimate improvements this year, and there's no question that his velocity is up. It will be very interesting to see how he looks this month. Keep close track of his K/IP and K/BB ratios.
**Someone asked me for a complete list of all the players I have "Shadow Drafted" for the Twins who have made the major leagues since I started doing this in 1996. That list is below the fold for those who are interested.
1) *Braden Looper, RHP, Wichita State University
2) *Jacque Jones, OF, University of Southern California
3) *Eddie Yarnall, LHP, Louisiana State University
4) *Ken Vining, LHP, Clemson University
5) *John Bale, LHP, University of Southern Mississippi
13) *Mike Lincoln, RHP, University of Tennessee
20) *Courtney Duncan, RHP, Grambling State University
24) *Brett Laxton, RHP, Louisiana State University
1) *Michael Cuddyer, SS, Great Bridge HS, Cheasapeake VA
2) *Mike Restovich, OF, Mayo HS, Rochester, Minn.
3) *Todd Sears, 1B, University of Nebraska
19) *David Eckstein, 2B, University of Florida
21) *J.C. Romero, LHP, University of Mobile
9) *Saul Rivera, RHP, University of Mobile
24) *Juan Padilla, RHP, University of Jacksonville
34) *Kevin Frederick, RHP, Creighton University
2) *Nick Regilio, RHP, University of Jacksonville
3) *Justin Morneau, C, New Westminster (B.C) HS.
6) *Aaron Harang, RHP, San Diego State University
7) *Terrmel Sledge, OF, Long Beach State University
9) *Mark Ellis, SS, University of Florida
10) *Ben Hendrickson, RHP, Jefferson HS, Bloomington, Minn.
25) *Terry Tiffee, OF, Pratt (Kan.) Community College
1) *Justin Wayne, RHP, Stanford University
2) *Joel Hanrahan, RHP, Norwalk Community HS, Norwalk, Iowa
4) *Mike Smith, RHP, University of Richmond
7) *Tim Olson, OF, University of Florida
9) *Marshall McDougall, 3B, Florida State University
1) *Joe Mauer, C, Cretin-Derham HS, St. Paul, Minnesota
5) *Brendan Harris, SS, College of William and Mary
13)*Kevin Cameron, RHP, Georgia Tech
29)*Nick Blackburn, RHP, Seminole State (Ok.) JC
1) *Joe Blanton, RHP, University of Kentucky
1S)*Jason Pridie, OF, Prescott HS, Prescott, Arizona
2) *Curtis Granderson, OF, University of Illinois-Chicago
2) *Jesse Crain, RHP, University of Houston
6) *Pat Neshek, RHP, Butler University
1) *Brandon Wood, SS, Horizon HS, Scottsdale, Arizona
2) *Scott Baker, RHP, Oklahoma State University
7) *Daryl Thompson, RHP, La Plata HS, La Plata, Maryland
8) *Jamie Vermilyea, RHP, University of New Mexico
18)*Ed Maysonet, SS, Delta State University
19)*Leo Rosales, RHP, Cal State Northridge
23)*Josh Sharpless, RHP, Allegheny College
1) *Glen Perkins, LHP, University of Minnesota
1S)*Matt Fox, RHP, University of Central Florida
1S)*Michael Bowden, RHP, Waubonsie Valley HS, Aurora, Ill.
2) *Kevin Slowey, RHP, Winthrop University
3) *Brent Lillibridge, SS, University of Washington
4) *Jonathan Meloan, RHP, University of Arizona
8) *Scott Richmond, RHP, Oklahoma State University
11)*Mike Zagurski, LHP, University of Kansas
1) *Lars Anderson, 1B, Jesuit HS, Fair Oaks, CA
5) *Dustin Richardson, LHP, Texas Tech
14)*Jeff Manship, RHP, Notre Dame
19)*Danny Valencia, 3B, University of Miami-Florida
1S)*Conor Gillaspie, 3B, Wichita State University