Introducing: Bolick’s Guide to Fantasy Baseball Prospects

bolickbaseball2014 coverJD Bolick has been writing rookie and draft analysis for the Baseball and Footaball Guides since shortly after the beginning.

He came to me this year and wanted to do a Rookie Guide for Fantasy Baseball Prospects that we might sell as an eBook and other formats.

We didn’t get this together until too late in March, and then it turned out that Apple and Amazon add their own delays, so we’re just appearing today.

You can find the eBook for Kindle here. You can Look Inside the book there and get a taste of it. There are also sample profiles at

There will be an Apple version soon, I hope. They seem to take longer to approve. And I’m going to post a pdf version here, in case you don’t want to go through the big stores.

If you didn’t buy because of the price or any other reason, please let us know at askrotoman (at) If there is anything you would like to see added, send that to that email address, too.

I think we have a great first draft, hitting the stands too late. But you should be able to tell most of what you need to know by the preview Inside the Book at Amazon. We want to get your $3 next time.


First Pitch Arizona 2010

I’m back from the best baseball event of the year. That’s where we watch the coming young ballplayers of the Arizona Fall League, with great weather, lots of friends, and endless talk about baseball (and rock and roll for some reason). This year’s big conversations were about Bryce Harper (he just looks like a ballplayer, but he’s awfully young, too, so we’re going to have to be patient) and Brandon Belt (coming off a breakthrough minor league season, he made great contact when he made contact, but I saw some troubles with the curve) and Michael Taylor (big dude) and Jeremy Jefferies (cracked 100 multiple times on the scoreboard gun, and was scoring higher on those of the scouts).’s Mike SIano was there and made a video, inwhich some of us talk about what the event means to us.

An Interview with Oakland GM Billy Beane

John Sickels of Minor League Ball

I was working on Brett Wallace yesterday for the Guide (on sale in January!), and came to the conclusion that Wallace can hit and the A’s can use a third baseman, though he may not be that good a defensive player. Billy Beane agrees!

Nice interview by John, and Billy gives thoughtful answers. He just doesn’t trash anyone. Oh well.

Save $25 on First Pitch Arizona!

For what I think is the seventh time I’m heading out this November for Ron Shandler’s First Pitch Arizona symposium. This year’s dates are November 6-8, though I’m flying the fourth so I can get in a game on Thursday afternoon.

You cannot imagine how great it is to watch some of the best young talent around (this year we have Stephen Strasburg) in a near empty park, allowing you to sit just about anywhere you want (including behind home plate, where you can sometimes spy the radar readings of the ML scouts who are always in attendance.

Read more

Origins of Major League Starting Pitchers, 2008 –

 Minor League Ball John Sickels looks at all the starting pitchers with 10 or more win shares in 2008 and looks at where they were at when they stepped over to the professional game. First rounders have a big edge, but what stands out is that successful pitchers come from everywhere.

A similar list tracking the last 20  or more years would be of great interest, if anyone has time tomorrow (or the next day), since the list itself isn’t exactly objective. I would assume that the way scouts and organizations work has changed over the years, and this would be reflected. Or, more tantalyzingly, maybe not.

Stephen Strasburg 3.5.09

Minor League Ball.

This is one of a number of videos that Eun Park posted on John Sickel’s site.

After reading about Strasberg, seeing him is something of a let down. He seems to be short arming the ball, which is a way to gain some speed, at great cost to one’s arm. This clip is most interesting when the woman in the row ahead of Eun fluffs up her hair. The juxtaposition of hard working moundsman and sensual hair tossing is poetic.

On the other hand, this clearly wasn’t Strasberg’s best day, so it would be foolish to draw any conclusions. But watching this I wouldn’t give him $15m even if I had it.

Top Earning Pitchers with No Bid Price

I’m working on this week’s update for the Patton $ Software and Data and found a category that might be of interest. These are the pitchers that neither Alex nor Michael have put bid prices on, who I have given the highest valued projections. I guess this is really a reflection of my prejudices this year filtered by Alex and Mike’s bids. If they think they’ll be around on draft day they aren’t on this list:

  • Tommy Hunter, TEX
  • Ben Sheets, FA (Texas likely)
  • Wade Davis, TB
  • Jeff Neimann, TB
  • Daryl Thompson, CIN
  • Ian Kenneday, NYA
  • Kevin Mulvey, MIN
  • Jon Niese, NYN
  • Tommy Hanson, ATL
  • Anthony Swarzak, MIN
  • Kyle McClellan, STL
  • Casey Janssen, TOR
  • Dustin Mosely, ANA
  • Eduardo Morlan, TB

Make of this what you will. Or can.