Sports And The City

It was 4-1.

Wallace for Gose redux

with 15 comments

In which I use my ESPN Insider subscription to mail in a post.

Noted Canada and Toronto Blue Jays hater Keith Law’s been dropping science on baseball’s best prospects for the past couple of weeks, including his organizational rankings (the Jays ranked fourth), and his top 100 list (which included seven youthful Blue Jays).

Tuesday he ranked his graduated prospects, guys “who barely exceeded the eligibility requirements for the Rookie of the Year award, making them ineligible for [Law's top 100] rankings as well.”

At the bottom of the list: Brett Wallace. Here’s Mr. Law:

The way Wallace’s rise to the majors has stalled out has been a hot topic among scouts this winter, since at the time he was drafted the debate was over whether he could play any position well enough to keep him off DH, not whether he’d hit. But the new consensus is that Wallace can’t cover the inner half because he doesn’t fully rotate his back side through his swing, ceding the inside part of the plate to the pitcher, and that it’s not fixable. If anyone can help him, it’s new hitting coach Mike Barnett, who was hitting coach in Toronto while I was in the front office … but the industry has officially jumped off the Wallace bandwagon.

“Not fixable” are the words that stand out. Especially considering Wallace is only 24 years old. And “back side,” too. Because young Wallace has what looks to be quite the hefty one.

Wallace’s 2011 projections, especially RotoChamp’s, are far from flattering. According to Law, Wallace missed the cut for the top 100 list by only 14 at-bats, but had he qualified, he wouldn’t have made the list at all. Wallace has fallen far, and fast, and while Anthony Gose didn’t make Law’s top 100 list either, perhaps the trade won’t be as one-sided as everyone feared when it went down.

I’m going to go ahead and chalk another one up for Alex Anthopoulos. Why not.

More Insider Goodness

I didn’t know this until I became an Insider at the Worldwide Leader, but Buster Olney ends every one of his columns with: “And today will be better than yesterday.” Dude is positivity, personified.

Olney’s been sharing pitching data with us, his loyal, paying customers, so I figure I’ll pass the buck around, as it relates to the Blue Jays. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: Sharing is caring.

Scott Downs made the cut for “highest rate of success with two- and four-seam fastballs.” He ranked 10th in the American League, with a line of .242/.302/.352/.654. Downs never had overpowering stuff. He was a pitcher, in every sense of the word. I will miss him tremendously.

Ricky Romero’s curveball was one of the best in the business, “among the AL pitchers who threw 200+ curves.” Here’s the slash line: .133/.170/.195/.365.

Still on Ricky: his breaking ball has a release speed of 76 MPH, which is league average, and a spin rate of 2,493 RPM, also league average (2,300-2,500 RPM), and an average tilt (clock face) of 5:00.  The higher the spin rate, the better, of course. For comparison’s sake, Downs’ breaking ball was clocked at 75 MPH, with one of the better spin rates, 2,773 RPM, and an average tilt of 4:15. God, I’m going to miss that breaking ball.

Finally, from Olney, tracking extension on fastballs; “pitchers who release closest to the plate, or those who get the most mound extension.” All this data, by the way, comes to Olney via TrackMan, who’ve got 3D Doppler radar systems up and running in a few major and minor league parks, and David Purcey and Brandon Morrow made the list, in this case.


Extension from mound: 6’8″

Release speed: 93 MPH

Spin rate: 2,230 RPM

Time of flight: .404 seconds

Effective velocity: 95 MPH


Extension from mound: 6’6″

Release speed: 95 MPH

Spin rate: 2,289 RPM

Time of flight: .398 seconds

Effective velocity: 96 MPH

Do with that information what you will. All I know is that I’m excited to find out what role John Farrell has for David Purcey; I can’t wait to watch Brandon Morrow pitch, period; and Ricky Romero’s your Opening Day starter.

Image courtesy Scott Pommier.

Written by Navin Vaswani

February 8th, 2011 at 3:36 pm

15 Responses to 'Wallace for Gose redux'

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  1. I’ve been thinking of getting Insider, what are your thoughts on it Navin? Is it worth it?


    8 Feb 11 at 3:51 pm

  2. I may or may not have a name and password for an insider account thanks to my old job.



    8 Feb 11 at 4:06 pm

  3. Wes, as a relatively new Insider, I’ve been pretty pleased with it so far. Keep in mind, I signed up at the right time, just in time for Law’s prospect porn exposé. Olney and Law; that’s what you’re paying for.

    Archi, good call. You’re an Insider for life. As for me, I’m writing it off. I don’t know what that means, but all the big companies do it.

    Navin Vaswani

    8 Feb 11 at 4:11 pm

  4. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Navin Vaswani and Toronto Blue Jays, JONNI M. JONNI M said: RT @bluejaysbuzztap: Sports And The City >> Wallace for Gose redux [...]

  5. I remember when this trade went down and I thought AA was especially nuts since Wallace was just a few weeks away from being called up. He was touted as the first baseman of the future, but I guess somewhere along the way, the Blue Jays saw something they didn’t like. Good thing they abandoned ship when they did and actually got another player out of the deal.


    8 Feb 11 at 8:59 pm

  6. ““And today will be better than yesterday.” Olney has been appending that message of hope ever since his sister was diagnosed with Leukemia.


    8 Feb 11 at 10:22 pm

  7. Ian, it’s going to be hella interesting to watch Wallace’s progress this season in the bigs. Gose, too, in the minors, of course, but after reading Law’s comments, I’m even more curious about Wallace. And it looks like he will be the starting 1B-man down in Houston.

    R.A., thanks. I had no idea that was the case. Buster is good people. Hopefully his sister is doing well.

    Navin Vaswani

    9 Feb 11 at 11:25 am

  8. Those spin stats are pretty cool. I’m not sure why they quote it in RPM though, RPS might be a little more meaningful for an action that takes less than a second.


    9 Feb 11 at 1:05 pm

  9. You don’t really need an insider subscription, you just need one of your friends to have one :)

    Also Navin, I’m making up for my Debbie Downer post from yesterday with an interview I did with Bob File.

    Peter DeMarco

    9 Feb 11 at 9:02 pm

  10. [...] Wallace for Gose reduxNavin at Sports and the City pulled some comments out of Keith Law’s ‘Graduated Prospect’ list regarding Brett Wallace. Mr. Law isn’t all that impressed with Wallace and if he was eligible for his prospect list, Wallace would no longer be in the top 100. Gose didn’t make the list either, however, he is still very young and has time to move up the prospect charts has he ages. [...]

  11. Today’s Bautista deal reminded me of one of my favourite newspaper pieces ever. The National Post “Bloggers Panel” of 2010 – a season preview.

    I remembered it most for being the article that had nearly half of the “experts” tag Bautista as the biggest liability in the starting lineup!

    (Ok…also partly because Matthias Koster said the following when asked who to keep at all costs:

    “Randy Ruiz. He’s proven that he can hit. Sure, he’s older and a ‘bad body’ player, but man can he rake, with a career .922 OPS at Triple-A and his 1.019 OPS last season at the MLB level.”)

    So…I decided to go through the answers and assign points to determine who predicted the best. Every not embarrassing answer = 1 point, the best answer per section = 2 points.

    The results:

    1. Navin 12
    2. Stoeten 10
    3. Drew 9

    Congrats! Gotta say, the predictions of an 82-80 record, the reemergence of Vernon Wells, and this gem:

    “As a Vernon Wells apologist, it pains me to say this, but if a general manager so much as jokes about taking Wells’ mammoth contract off Toronto’s hands, it must be taken seriously. Behind every joke there is some truth.”


    17 Feb 11 at 6:33 pm

  12. Shane: BEST. COMMENT. EVER.

    Navin Vaswani

    17 Feb 11 at 6:45 pm

  13. Here, here! Thatta boy, Nav!


    18 Feb 11 at 5:07 pm

  14. Speaking for myself, I preefr having a hard copy no DRM issues, file corruption, etc. Granted, there are some webcomics I read online that I haven’t bought the collections for (I like them, but not that much) but for the most part if I have the funds available, I’ll show my support by purchasing a book, print, etc. Plus, after being on a computer all day at work, I’d rather read sans the glow of a screen.Also, the bibliophile in me likes having a full bookcase. Though I’m a few steps away from probably winding up on Hoarders , but that’s a different story. I know some of the everything must be free crowd would balk at having to pay for something that they normally get for free but unless the webcomic is just a hobby for someone with a full time job, the artist/writer needs to find a way to pay the bills. Terry Moore had made a good point how those pre-internet era will be more likely to buy and likewise those who came of age during the advent of iTunes. It’s the Napster-era ones that are having the disconnect.Though I can get some good deals on, if it’s possible I do like to buy directly from the artist at least I know more of the money is going directly to them.Some of the newspaper comic strip artists are a bit confounding considering it prestigious to work for a syndicate that take a cut out of the artists’ increasingly reduced share.Colleen, would you say the web/print transition would be similar to the tales of big name writers/artists doing creator-owned work only to find financial hardship? In that some don’t migrate from one area to the other.


    13 Dec 12 at 9:41 am

  15. hi!,I really like your writing so a lot! share we keep up a correspondence more approximately your post on AOL? I require a specialist in this area to resolve my problem.


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