Monday, March 6, 2017

Notes, quotes and comment

A few news items and links that piled up last week while I did my silly "Guess Who" series:

* Alex Kirilloff, the Twins' first-round draftee last June and their No. 3 prospect in the Baseball America rankings, will have Tommy John surgery this week and is out for the season.

Comment: Kirilloff is no longer incentive to get to Cedar Rapids before Memorial Day. I had figured that he might, as Byron Buxton did, spend only a half season or so in the Midwest League, and I wanted to see the kid hit before he moved on. Wait until next year.

* Fangraphs issued its "all KATOH" team -- minor leaguers whose stats impress but who are not, for various reasons, beloved by scouts. Three Twins farmhands make this imaginary roster: second baseman Luis Arraez, outfielder Zack Granite, and pitcher Adalberto Mejia.

Comment: Accurately judging prospects requires more than "scouting the stat line," but production matters too. If they keep producing, they'll get their chance despite the scouts' reservations about their physical limitations.

* This is set to publish less than a half-hour before the first game of the World Baseball Classic, with Pool A and Pool B opening play in South Korea and Japan.

Comment: The WBC isn't a big deal here in the States -- Noah Syndergaard turned down Team USA and said something like: Nobody goes to the Hall of Fame or wins the World Series by playing in the WBC -- but it is to a lot of the non-Amercian players, and the Twins have a goodly number slated to play in this tournament.

* And, finally, I recommend this Jeff Passan piece on Statcast and MLB Advanced Media's efforts to make advanced stats accessible and digestible.

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