Daily Archives: December 9, 2015

Checking in on the hot stove

Posted by Steve

The most wonderful time of the year is upon us, and the Brewers are back making moves. Thankfully, this year, those moves won’t include signing an aging number 4 pitcher to an expensive four-year contract.

Instead, the Brewers are sellers. This may be frustrating or unexciting to some fans, but to me, its a welcome sight. The rebuild is underway, and I’m ready to watch David Stearns acquire the players of their next playoff team.

The Brewers’ first move of the Winter Meetings was to deal Adam Lind, who was sent to Seattle earlier today in a package for three minor league pitchers: Daniel Missaki, Carlos Herrera, and Freddy Peralta.

I’m not going to pretend to know a ton about any of these pitchers. None of them check in on any top 20 Mariners prospect list I’ve been able to find. On the surface, that’s discouraging. Looking closer, there’s really no clear opinion to form yet.

One thing about top prospect lists: very young minor league players are not going to be on them unless they were drafted in the first few rounds. They simply haven’t had the time yet to crack the list based on performance alone. What we can say about these players is that they are essentially lottery tickets: they’re very young, and they’ve had encouraging results in their very limited time as pro baseball players.

Missaki has 111 strikeouts, 26 walks, and 3 home runs allowed in 106 innings over the last two seasons.

Herrera has 73 strikeouts, 13 walks, and 4 home runs allowed in 80 pro innings.

Peralta had 67 strikeouts, 8 walks, 1 home run allowed in 57 innings this season.

Now, it’s important to not draw too much of a conclusion from these stats. None of the pitchers have been above low A ball, so statistics don’t mean nearly as much as scouting reports at this point. However, you can see a trend emerging: it seems the Brewers are targeting players who excel in command and limiting home runs.

I called them lottery tickets because they’re pretty long shots to hit. But for one year of a good, not great first baseman, all they need is for one to hit. And because they’re young, they all still theoretically have potential to be impact pitchers.

This could end up being a bad trade. There might not be one player who makes it past AA. But in theory, I’m okay with it. I much prefer this to targeting an older player with a more limited ceiling. The more lottery tickets you buy, the better your chance of striking it rich.

The other thing this tells me is something we already had an idea about: Stearns is looking long-term with the rebuild. That’s encouraging, as it increases their chances for long-term success down the road. That may mean the rebuild takes 4-5 years instead of 2-3, but it’s more likely to be successful and more sustainable that way anyway.