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Jason Parks on the Orioles' young hitters

Jason Parks on the Orioles' young hitters

PostPost #1 by Luke Jackson » April 21st, 2011, 9:49 am

http://orioles-nation.com/2011/04/21/ja ... g-hitters/

This time last week, I posted the first part of an interview with Jason Parks, who does scouting work for Baseball Prospectus. The first part of the interview was about the Baltimore Orioles’ young pitching, as Parks provided great insight into the young arms of the organization. There are very few people in the baseball media that are more informed about young players in both the majors and minors than Parks.


Everyone's thoughts about what Parks has to say about the young hitters are welcome. I thought what he had to say about Adam Jones was really interesting.
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Re: Jason Parks on the Orioles' young hitters

PostPost #2 by A_K » April 21st, 2011, 12:50 pm

This isn't a complaint about Parks' comments as much as a hitch I see in the way prospects are assessed. When the O's called Josh Bell up last year, they said at the onset that he was coming up to get a taste of major league pitching as a boon to his development, which they acknowledged was still ongoing. So he comes up and struggles, unsurprisingly, as the team itself admitted that he wasn't a finished enough prospect to compete at that level, something they knew going in. But now those struggles have been used by observers to raise questions about his long-term outlook as a prospect. If he hadn't have been called up, they'd likely still view him as a top 100 prospect in all of baseball. But since he was, they no longer think much of him at all. But he isn't a different player now than he was before the call up, except that he might in fact be better prepared to succeed now that he has a bit of insight of what it takes to hit major league pitching.

That's not to say the observers are wrong. If it's your job to project the future, you're wise to use everything at your disposal to do so accurately. If that includes 50-some strikeouts to 2 walks at the major league level, you'd be silly to ignore it. But I do think this indicates a contradiction in the system. A player is effectively rewarded by not doing quite enough to be promoted to the majors, or for playing in a situation that limits his ability to be promoted. That doesn't make much sense.

I'm interested in what national observers have to say about Tyler Townsend, Xavier Avery and Jonathan Schoop. It increasingly seems those are the only guys outside of Machado that have much room for projection.
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Re: Jason Parks on the Orioles' young hitters

PostPost #3 by ShowalterPower » April 22nd, 2011, 1:07 am

A_K wrote:This isn't a complaint about Parks' comments as much as a hitch I see in the way prospects are assessed. When the O's called Josh Bell up last year, they said at the onset that he was coming up to get a taste of major league pitching as a boon to his development, which they acknowledged was still ongoing. So he comes up and struggles, unsurprisingly, as the team itself admitted that he wasn't a finished enough prospect to compete at that level, something they knew going in. But now those struggles have been used by observers to raise questions about his long-term outlook as a prospect. If he hadn't have been called up, they'd likely still view him as a top 100 prospect in all of baseball. But since he was, they no longer think much of him at all. But he isn't a different player now than he was before the call up, except that he might in fact be better prepared to succeed now that he has a bit of insight of what it takes to hit major league pitching.

That's not to say the observers are wrong. If it's your job to project the future, you're wise to use everything at your disposal to do so accurately. If that includes 50-some strikeouts to 2 walks at the major league level, you'd be silly to ignore it. But I do think this indicates a contradiction in the system. A player is effectively rewarded by not doing quite enough to be promoted to the majors, or for playing in a situation that limits his ability to be promoted. That doesn't make much sense.

I'm interested in what national observers have to say about Tyler Townsend, Xavier Avery and Jonathan Schoop. It increasingly seems those are the only guys outside of Machado that have much room for projection.


Could not agree more here. The same goes for players that come up at the end of the year and put up a 1.000+ OPS. You have to look at sample size and also the readiness of the prospects.

Okay, Josh Bell struggled at the major league level. But 1) that was expected and 2) we also have to look at the prospect himself and see if they have what it takes to learn from the experience and make the necessary adjustments. But honestly in Bell's case, I don't think he does.
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Re: Jason Parks on the Orioles' young hitters

PostPost #4 by ShowalterPower » April 22nd, 2011, 1:10 am

Oh, and Luke. Thanks for compiling these interviews. I also found the bit about Jones interesting; although I do have to disagree with him. Jones just seems to have no idea what's coming and most of the time looks like he's never seen a breaking ball in his life.
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Re: Jason Parks on the Orioles' young hitters

PostPost #5 by DougDE » April 22nd, 2011, 1:59 pm

The other night on the pregame show on 105.7FM former Oriole Joe Orsulak commented that he thought it would help Adam Jones if he moved 2-3 inches closer to the plate. He said because not only does he swing and miss at that low and away breaking ball a lot, but he fouls off a lot of the fastballs he gets on the outer half of the plate and he thinks moving closer would allow him to drive some of them balls the oppisite way
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Re: Jason Parks on the Orioles' young hitters

PostPost #6 by Luke Jackson » April 22nd, 2011, 6:30 pm

ShowalterPower -- No problem. I'll hopefully be doing a lot more interviews in the future. If anyone has any advice on people I should try to interview and subject matters I should attack, shoot me an e-mail at wjackso1 [at] umd [dot] edu.

Re: Bell. Was he ready? Of course not. Did we expect him to struggle? It was probably fair to expect that. But...50-some-odd strikeouts and two walks in not even 200 PA? Probably a good indication that he's not particularly close to handling a big league third base job. Let's see if he rebounds at Norfolk this year. Needs to take more pitches. Needs to whiff less. If he makes the proper adjustments, maybe he can push Reynolds for playing time in 2012. Interesting thoughts above me on how prospects who struggle initially in the big leagues can sometimes get pushed aside quickly. Especially in sports, we fall into the "What have you done for me lately?" trap a lot and in the world of prospects, we're always looking for the next big thing. So once Bell failed in the bigs, we gave up on him quickly even thought he was on a lot of prospect lists this time last year. However, his brutal big league performance wasn't a promising indication for his future, but let's see how he does at Norfolk this year. Currently .250/.263/.429 in 57 PA. Not good. Worse yet, he has struck out 20 times and has just one walk. Obviously a very small sample size, so we'll see where he stands in September.

Re: Jones. I thought Parks' thoughts on Jones possibly being hyper-competitive to a fault were very interesting. First time I've heard anything like that in regards to Jones. I tend to think that it's mostly his pitch recognition abilities. After three full years with Baltimore, one would think that significant adjustments were at least attempted to be made by Jones and his coaches to try to get him to lay off the junk that pitchers throw him. Yet...he still swings at everything. One would think that if he's still stagnant in his ability to take pitches after almost 2,000 PA -- and may have regressed -- then it's a pitch recognition problem.
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Re: Jason Parks on the Orioles' young hitters

PostPost #7 by Jordan Tuwiner » April 23rd, 2011, 1:38 am

A_K wrote:I'm interested in what national observers have to say about Tyler Townsend, Xavier Avery and Jonathan Schoop. It increasingly seems those are the only guys outside of Machado that have much room for projection.

Schoop is the real deal. I wouldn't be surprised to see him as a top 100 overall prospect by the end of the season.

Avery still has a long way to do and I'm not convinced he'll ever get on base enough to become a lead off hitter. Townsend has it in him to become a legit first base prospects, but he really needs to stay healthy. When he's healthy he produces and it wouldn't surprise me to see him put up a 900+ OPS over a full, healthy season. His defense isn't as bad as most believe, which is a big plus.
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Re: Jason Parks on the Orioles' young hitters

PostPost #8 by ShowalterPower » April 23rd, 2011, 7:58 pm

Well Jonesy just silenced all of us. Went with a Sabathia breaking ball and smashed it into the RF stands for a three run homer. He is finally showing some signs of improvement.
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Re: Jason Parks on the Orioles' young hitters

PostPost #9 by Don » April 24th, 2011, 11:56 am

I will continue to stress that Adam still has a long way to develop to reach his ceiling. He is still very young and the sky is the limit to his game. Once the mind catches those skills and he learns to the art of hitting, he has an MVP game.
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