Thursday, November 25, 2010

Sifting through the long list of minor league free agents: NL East Edition (Part 2)

Here is part 2 of my minor league free agent post (part 1 here). The basics: Baseball America has published their annual list of minor league free agents. Looking through all of these guys is obviously a long process, so I will post these guys in chunks by their 2010 teams. Once I get through everyone, I will reorganize them by position in one big post. This is going to take a long time to complete. My goal is to have things done so by the time New Year's rolls around and players latch onto new teams in full force, fans will be able to come here for a one-stop shop on their new spring training invites and minor leaguers.

Note: Ages as of Opening Day 2011.
Florida Marlins (31)
SS Emilio Ontiveros (26 years old, no ML experience)
Ontiveros hit .193/.271/.233 in 80 games in high A ball this year as a 25 year old. With little speed, no power and average fielding at best, he'll be lucky to find a spot next year. His only saving grace could be his ability to play both middle infield positions, but that's about it.

SS Tim Torres (27 years old, no ML experience)
I'm a little more intrigued in Torres than I probably should be. He's a switch-hitting infielder with a little bit of pop and speed and can take a walk. Either he's a late bloomer or he was just a 26 year old beating up on AA competition this year, but I wouldn't count out Torres' chances at showing up on a ML roster at some point in his future (although it would still probably be a few years away).

OF Chris Aguila (32 years old, 149 games of ML experience)
Aguila bounced around in 2010, ending up with the organization that drafted him in the 3rd round in 1997 and allowed him 141 games in the majors at 0.6 wins below replacement (-0.6 WAR). His power, speed, BB and K rates were all pretty poor in 2010, and at 32 in February, his ML future is in doubt unless his minor league numbers improve. That being said, he'd still be a decent guy to have around in AAA as a 4th outfielder.
FanGraphs, B-R (Majors), B-R (minors)

OF Brett Carroll (28 years old, 173 games of ML experience)
Carroll isn't much with the bat (.255/.323/.463 in his minor league career and .205/.284/.325 in the Majors). He's got enough power and speed to homer twice in batting practice and steal on Matt LeCroy, but not much beyond that. His defense, on the other hand, is what keeps him around. In his short ML career, Carroll is 15.4 runs below replacement with his bat, but 17.1 runs above replacement with his glove. I'd like to see more CF experience, but whatever he's got is fine with Dayton Moore; Carroll has already signed with Kansas City, so cross him off your lists.
FanGraphs, B-R (Majors), B-R (minors)

OF Jason Delaney (28 years old, no ML experience)
It's hard out there for corner outfielders/1B types that show little power in the minors. Delaney can get on base (.369 career minor league OBP), but has sub-.400 SLG's over his career at the AA and AAA levels. He probably has one more year to try and prove himself; otherwise, he'll probably end up in an independent league or abroad.

OF Jose Duarte (26 years old, no ML experience)
With 31 minor league free agents, the Marlins were bound to have a few interesting players. Duarte falls under the same category as Torres did; both have showed nice power and speed in the minors at levels they were old for. Duarte is a centerfielder, so he'll continue to get chances. If he can keep his BB rates in the 8-9 range, he should be able to keep moving up, but his time is running out.

OF Vinny Rottino (30 years old, 18 games of ML experience)
Listing Rottino as an outfielder is a bit misleading; he has extensive minor league experience at catcher, 1B and 3B in addition to working in the outfield. He amazingly put up his highest SB total of his career in 2010, stealing 23 bases in 25 tries. Rottino has decent all-around talent, with nice speed and doubles power, good on-base skills and the ability to play multiple positions, but he doesn't do anything all that well and has put up these numbers as a 30 year old in AAA. I'd sure rather have him than Wil Nieves, though.
FanGraphs, B-R (Majors), B-R (minors)

OF Lorenzo Scott (29 years old, no ML experience)
Scott is a decent base-stealer with a nice walk rate, but he has a career K% right around 30%. If speed is your game, I'd say it's pretty important to have the ability to put the ball in play more than 70% of the time. You can do a lot worse with a roster spot for your AA or AAA team, though, so Scott shouldn't have a huge problem finding a team.

OF Brandon Tripp (25 years old, no ML experience)
I am very interested in Brandon Tripp. He's one of the younger guys we've seen on the list so far that still has a chance to be a ML contributor in my opinion. He's got average or better tools across the board but struggles with strikeouts. His K% has dropped from the 30-33% range down to the 25-28% range since he switched from the Orioles organization to the Marlins, but I'd like to see it drop further than that still.

OF Greg Burns (24 years old, no ML experience)
Young and toolsy outfielders leaving the Marlins organization seems to be a trend this offseason, and Burns is no exception. He's got speed and can field fairly well, but the dude just can't hit well enough to keep moving up. At a young 24, Burns has room for improvement, but he has a ton to improve on. I'm not going to hold my breath for this one.

OF Jeff Corsaletti (28 years old, no ML experience)
Need a decent 4th outfielder? Look no further. Corsaletti walks about as much as he strikes out, puts the ball in play and has a little speed and gap power. He can play all 3 OF positions, although his experience in CF and RF are a little limited compared to what you'd like to see. I would be very happy to see the Nats shoot Mr. Corsaletti an offer with a Spring Training invite and some playing time in September. He's not ever going to be a full-time starter, but Matt Murton-types have value, too*.
*but apparently not according to ML GM's

New York Mets (24)
RHP Yhency Brazoban (30 years old, 115 innings of ML experience)
Remember when Yhency Brazoban used to be good? Yeah, he was never really that good. In his "good" seasons, he was lucky with a very low BABIP and HR/FB rate as well as a very high LOB rate. He always had too many walks and not enough strikeouts to make up for them. He threw fairly well in AAA for the Mets and in Mexico in 2010, but his walk rate still lies pretty close to 4, even against inferior competitions. He'll keep getting ST invites based on name value and his number of strikeouts, but I doubt we'll be seeing much more of Yhency Brazoban in the Majors in the near or far future.
FanGraphs, B-R (Majors), B-R (minors)

RHP Brian Bruney (29 years old, 239 innings of ML experience)
I can't think of many players I enjoyed watching less than Bruney. He pitches slowly (24.3 seconds/pitch this year, close to the 5 slowest with the league average around 21.5 seconds/pitch). He walks a lot of batters, often in situations where you don't want to walk a lot of batters. His 2010 season was brutal, but he'll continue to get shots at the Majors, or at least ST invites. During this Thanksgiving, I am thankful that Bruney won't be a National in 2011.
FanGraphs, B-R (Majors), B-R (minors)

RHP Chad Cordero (29 years old, 330 and 1/3 innings of ML experience)
I'm torn about Cordero's 2010 season. His ML numbers weren't great (although it was a very small sample size). His minor league numbers, on the other hand, were pretty good (3.03 ERA, 2.3 BB/9, 9.1 K/9). I'm not sure if it's the fact that Cordero was my favorite National, but I think he might be mostly recovered from his shoulder issues. I'd love for the Nats to bring him back with a ST invite since Bowden is gone, but I would understand if he wants to move along due to his harsh exit.
FanGraphs, B-R (Majors), B-R (minors)

RHP Jack Egbert (27 years old, 2 and 2/3 innings of ML experience)
From what I've read (nothing official), Egbert had Tommy John surgery in April, which explains why he did not pitch in 2010. He tore through the lower levels of the White Sox organization, never posting an ERA higher than 3.38 in AA and below. His 2008 rate stats in AAA were decent, but they dropped off a lot in 2009. I'm wondering if it had to do with an arm injury, but that's something we'll see when he returns at whatever capacity in 2011-12.
FanGraphs, B-R (Majors), B-R (minors)

RHP Johan Figuereo (25 years old, no ML experience)
I'm not sure why the Nats dropped Figuereo after his 2009 season (2.92 ERA, 3.3 BB/9, 8.4 K/9). I'm not sure why the Mets dropped him after his 2010 season (2.84 ERA, 4.5 BB/9, 10.2 K/9). Sure, his walk rates suck, but he's only been a pitcher since 2008. If I were either team, I would have kept him around for at least another year just to see if he would progress any more. His chance at bottoming out are much, much higher than his chances of getting somewhere, but when you have a guy with a live arm and not a whole lot of pitching experience, you never really know what you're gonna get.

RHP Carlos Muniz (30 years old, 25 and 2/3 innings of ML experience)
Muniz has really fallen apart the last 2 years in the minors. With rising BB rates and falling K rates, Muniz probably has one more year in AAA to make a statement if he wants a return trip to the Majors.
FanGraphs, B-R (Majors), B-R (minors)

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