Friday, April 4, 2008

Audit Jon Heyman

I think Jon Heyman and I have been in a communication-less marriage for 31 years, because every little thing he does pisses me off at this point.

So [Johnny Cueto's] gem Thursday, where the only blemish was Justin Upton's solo home run in the sixth inning, almost seemed to come out of the blue for the Reds. Though, not to the scouts who've been following him.

The pitiable, primitive Reds simply could not fathom that their #2 pitching prospect (after fellow stud-to-be Homer Bailey) could pitch a good ballgame. But those wise old scouts just nodded slowly, sagely. It had been foretold in the scriptures, after all. They knew this day would come long before Johnny Cueto's mother had met Johnny Cueto's father.

Scout's take: Cueto

(At least once a week, I'll provide a scout's in-depth look at a player.)

"His arm action is as clean and loose as you can get. When you see this guy, you think he can be a guy who goes deep into a game or [can] be a closer. He has a better arm than Homer Bailey, who was a No. 1 pick. He's legit. He's where he should be. A lot of scouts will say he's a little on the small side. But that arm is big. He has an explosiveness to his fastball that's a treat to watch.''

(What emphasis? Who's asking?)

Translation: "Good mechanics, he seems like he can be good for both long and short periods of time, he's better than a good guy, he's good, ????, some say he's small but I say he's good, his fastball is good".

When shoved through a useful information filter: good mechanics, good endurance, fast fastball.

Useful information not included: what type of pitches he throws (other than an erection-inducing fastball) and which he's relatively good at, whether he has good control, whether he's a groundball/flyball/strikeout pitcher, nebulous-but-maybe-important stuff like competitiveness.

And while I have this soapbox, what the hell does "good/big arm" mean anyway? Fast thrower? Can throw for long periods of time? Movement on pitches? Heyman, your stupid scout didn't help me much.

Ryan Zimmerman was considered a fabulous defensive third baseman when he was drafted out of the University of Virginia in 2005, but a lack of power (he hit just five home runs in his final season there) gave some teams pause. (But as one scout pointed out, Virginia plays in a "pasture.") Zimmerman has already hit two big home runs this season for the Nats.
I'm not here to say Ryan Zimmerman's not going to be awesome, but it's been 18 ABs. Why not "AJ Pierzynski's lack of not-being-an-asshole gave some teams pause. Pierzynski has already hit .529 this season for the White Sox". Because it's ridiculous? I thought so.

Brian Bannister may turn out to be a bigger loss to the Mets than Scott Kazmir.
Great work, Jon. You've identified the other half of a 2-option situation. And you've stated your position in vague enough terms that you'll look clever if it goes down, but no one will remember if it doesn't. Let me be the first to say that you may be involved in a freak broken bat incident at a Phillies game in July.

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