Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Still More

The upcoming Kris Benson trade will be a tremendously important one for the Pirates, since they have the opportunity to add a future everyday player or two. Here's the latest, according to Peter Gammons:

Even though Kris Benson to Minnesota for Doug Mientkiewicz and Mike Restovich appears close, Pirates GM Dave Littlefield may hold on and see if he can squeeze one or two more players out of the deep Minnesota organization. As Littlefield always states, they can always say no.

Mientkiewicz and Restovich? You've got to be kidding me. That's a terrible deal. Mientkiewicz, as I've mentioned, has negative trade value because of his unfavorable contract. And Restovich? Let's compare him to a certain Pirate product, based on minor league stats.

J.J. Davis
Age: 25
Power: 26 HRs, .554 SLG in 2003 in AAA pitchers' park
Plate Discipline: Acceptable
Speed: 23 SB, 6 CS in 2003
Defense: Potentially very good, great arm

Mike Restovich
Age: 25
Power: 16 HRs, .465 SLG in 2003 in AAA hitters' park
Plate Discipline: Acceptable in 2003, very bad in 2004
Speed: 10 SB, 3 CS in 2003
Defense: Good

Got that? Mike Restovich is not an improvement over J.J. Davis in any way. If the Pirates were able to get a corner prospect better than Davis, great, but Restovich isn't it. This trade would be a huge botched opportunity - it would do little more than give the Pirates yet another excuse to bury Davis. Of course, Gammons has been wrong before.


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11:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


>Power: 16 HRs, .465 SLG in 2003 in AAA hitters' park

Frontier Field (Rochester, NY, Twins affiliate 2003 and 2004) is not a hitters' park. In fact, it's known to yield a low HR percentage relative to the rest of the IL.

Perhaps the field in Ottawa (?, I think Twins affiliate 2002 and before) is what you're thinking of, as Restovich did have 29 HR's there in 2002.

Frontier Field is kinder to lefties (see Morneau), but is still not homer-friendly field.

Restovich, in the handful of games I've seen him in Rochester, is also a butcher. Could be a fluke that he's only a butcher when I see him but I doubt it.

Bottom line though, we agree that he's no prize.

1:50 PM  
Blogger Charlie said...

Anonymous: Baseball Prospectus gives Rochester park factors of 1004, 1009, and 1037 from 2001-2003, making it a moderate hitters' park (the Twins' first season there was '03, if I remember correctly). Nashville, by contrast, has park factors of 916, 911 and 895, making it an extreme pitchers' park. I don't know whether these park factors are compiled relative to the league (most high minors leagues favor hitters) or to baseball in general, though.

You are right to point out that it can be misleading to apply park factors indiscriminately to different types of hitters. Obviously, parks affect hitters with different tendencies and handednesses differently, so my assessment of Rochester as a hitters' park may not have been fair to Restovich, since it may not be a hitters' park for him.

Either way, though, Davis is much more impressive than Restovich even without taking park factors into account. This rumor reminds me of the whispers leading up to the big Padres trade last year, which had Jason Kendall and Brian Giles going to the Pads for Xavier Nady and another player. Why would the Pirates decide they wanted Nady without giving Davis a chance first?

5:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Charlie, I don't know which Prospectus you're using, but the park factors in the 2004 annual are based on the schedule each team plays, so, for example, the Texas Rangers park factor includes games played at the pitchers' parks in their division. Same goes for the minor league parks.

Also, the factors listed in said Prospectus do not adjust for all of baseball, only for the rest of the parks in that league. The international league is pretty fair in general, so the numbers mean about the same as they would in the American or National League. The PCL, on the other hand, is an extreme hitters league, so even a 1000 rating there is still favorable to hitters, especially if you're comparing hitters in the INT League.

Clay Davenport has minor league run scoring reports here.

the raindrops

3:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Using only 2004 stats, Davenports future DTs see the following production -- on average -- for Davis and Restovich during their peak seasons (age 27 - age 31):

Restovich: .223/.269/.381
Davis: .212/.237/.500

The DTs are listed here by league, with the top 30 prospects on the front page.

3:10 PM  
Blogger Charlie said...

Thanks for clearing up the information about parks for me.

I think Davis and Restovich both have more promise than their 2004 numbers suggest - if 2002 and 2003 numbers were included, I'm sure Davenport's numbers would say their peak value is likely to be higher. But Restovich has been unimpressive this year, and Davis simply hasn't received much playing time and hasn't played wonderfully when he has.

3:43 PM  
Blogger Charlie said...

Also, I'd be suspicious of the accuracy of any projection that says a player will put up an OBP of .237 while slugging .500. That would be a very strange line, to say the least.

3:49 PM  
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11:50 PM  

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