Weekly Round Up: Aug. 23 - 29

Consider this your required reading for the week. A fellow BBA member takes the high road.

This is what I had to say about Damien "Suck My" Cox in 140 words or less.

Courtesy of King Jordan:

Reporter: I think you're aware of the article that was written over the weekend kind of tying your success to the whole performance-enhancing thing. I was curious what your reaction is to seeing your season get tied into something like that.
Bautista: I could care less. I'm part of the program just like any other ballplayer is. We're subject to testing all the time. I don't know where this guy is coming from with his allegations.
Reporter: What was your reaction when you saw someone write an article like that.
Bautista: I didn't see it until somebody brought it up. I mean, I could care less. The guy is paid to write something and he did. It's unfortunate. I don't know if he's trying to stir something up, but when you talk without base, without any, I'm trying to think of the word...
Reporter: Evidence?
Bautista: Not evidence. He's just got no base to be talking. I don't know why my name was tied up to it and I haven't even read the article. All I know is because you guys mentioned it earlier today.

J-Bau hits bombs. J-Bau does not read papers.

Courtesy of Randy Starkman:

Gotta admit it was a really good chuckle reading the debate between my colleagues Damien Cox and Richard Griffin over Jose Bautista and which of the leagues they cover has a worse anti-doping plan. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a great debate and it’s wonderful seeing the boys go at it.

I shit on You Don't Know Dick a lot. Perhaps I will consider not doing that as much going forward.

Courtesy of Fan Graphs:

I’m not saying he’s going to keep hitting home runs at this pace, which is an unrealistic assumption even for the game’s premier power hitters. But we should recognize that Bautista has made changes to his offensive approach, and not assume that he’s simply getting lucky with balls flying over the wall.
Here are his flyball rates over the last three years.
2008 – 38.8%
2009 – 42.1%
2010 – 53.6%
You don’t have to look too hard to spot the pattern. Bautista has made a conscious decision to adjust his swing to gain more loft. In fact, if you saw the swing he took on his second home run last night – which was aided by some anger about being thrown out earlier – you can see exactly why Bautista is no longer hitting the ball on the ground.

Fan Graphs weighs in on the J-Bau power surge. 

Courtesy of Frankie Piliere:

When a player appears to come out of nowhere with a monster season, people reach for explanations. It's human nature to want answers, and it's human nature, after the Steroid Era, to be skeptical. Jose Bautista's power surge in 2010 has led to some very unfair questions. In a world where we know things like steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs are out there, the reality is that those questions won't go away.
But, if you're looking for real answers about where Bautista's home run explosion has come from, look no further than his revamped setup and swing mechanics at the dish. Given those new mechanics, it's probably time to accept that his season may not be a fluke. 

This is probably the most insightful piece done on our slugger and cult leader.

Courtesy of Wezen-Ball

Jose Bautista really wanted to stick it to the Yanks w/HR #40. #tatertrottracker time: 28.74 sec. His prev slowest trot of yr was 22.64 sec

Don't piss off J-Bau. It's a bad idea.

Courtesy of MLBTR:

“The position we’re in, the division we’re in, I think this is an area where we need to be very aggressive and acquire as much talent as we possibly can,” Tinnish said. “[We] hope that that talent helps us in the big leagues or helps us to trade for big leaguers to eventually win the division.”
Before the 2010 season, Baseball America ranked Toronto’s system 28th among the 30 MLB organizations, but as soon as he took over for Ricciardi, Alex Anthopoulos vowed to invest heavily in scouting. Tinnish went into the draft with a willingness to commit to players demanding over-slot deals, but generally speaking, the Blue Jays are not going to out-spend the Yankees and Red Sox.
“We don’t have an unlimited budget, we don’t have unlimited payroll,” Tinnish said. “I think that for a team like us and the position we’re in ... we need to draft well.”

Our amateur scouting director discusses the change in focus as it pertains to drafting.

Courtesy of Bob Elliot:

Six Jays scouts -- Dana Brown, special assistant to the GM; crosschecker Marc Tramuta, Perry Minasian, director of pro scouting; area scouts Jorge Rivera and Carlos Rodriguez and scouting director Andrew Tinnish -- watched Thon 12 times in games and showcases.
Tinnish's first impression?
"His maturity," said Tinnish, before heading out on a post signing-deadline getaway in the Perth area.
"It was so obvious he'd grown up in the game, from talking about playing defensively to pitch selection. He has a pedigree."
Tinnish spoke to Thon for 15 minutes at a January showcase before seeing him play.
"He showed a quick bat," Tinnish said. "We saw him square up guys throwing 89-92 m.p.h., using a wood bat."
Tinnish said the prospect ran the 60 metres in 6.6 seconds, showed athleticism, range and flexibility.
"He's an advanced player with tools," Tinnish said.
While the Jays were watching Thon, they were scouting free agent Adeiny Hechavarria, as well.
"Dickie Joe's a different style player than Hechevarria," Tinnish said of the two shorstops. "Thon projects to have a little more power, Hechevarria is a little bit more of a better athlete, more advanced defensively. He's three years older.
"But I wouldn't be surprised if Thon is at, or past, Hechevarria's ability at the same age."

Bob nails it. Must read piece on bonus baby Dickie Joe Thon.

Courtesy of John Lott:

On draft day 2007, they were instant rivals, two teenagers just out of high school vying for the same job with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Kevin Ahrens was the shortstop from Texas, the Jays' top draft choice and the 16th player chosen in the draft. Justin Jackson was the shortstop from North Carolina, a supplemental first-rounder, picked 45th overall.
"I remember on draft day, I was like, 'Wow, I was picked after they took another shortstop,' " Jackson says, wide-eyed at the memory.

John has been traveling around to the Minor League affiliates and writing some great stories. This is one of the best. 

Courtesy of MILB:

The Eastern League of Professional Baseball is pleased to announce that New Hampshire Fisher Cats right-handed starting pitcher Kyle Drabek has been selected as the 2010 Eastern League Pitcher of the Year. The 22-year old has been the ace of the Fisher Cats pitching staff while helping the team contend for their first postseason appearance since the 2004 season. Drabek has started 25 games for the Fisher Cats this season and has posted a record of 14-9 with 123 strikeouts and a 2.98 ERA over 154 innings pitched. The Victoria, Texas native is currently leading the league in wins (14) and is also ranked second in the league innings pitched (154) and batting average against (.216), tied for second in shutouts (1), tied for third in strikeouts (123) and games started (25), ranked fourth in ERA (2.98) and fifth in WHIP (1.19).

Is he ready for the big leagues? Maybe. Will he get a shot next year? Probably. Is he going to start the year out with the Blue Jays? Probably not. 
I think the brain trust will hold him back till early June to avoid "starting the clock" on his arbitration years. Look for Kyle to start 2011 in AAA.


  1. It's true that after only one year of AA the farm looks a lot better. I'm aware there are a lot of factors in that being so but you can't discredit AA's success at landing high upside talent...

  2. @Mattt,
    He has hit on so many things!

    Like trades: Escoabr, Lewis, Morrow. You have to wonder if other GM's are going to stop making deals with him soon.

    He has also hit on his free agents: Molina, Buck, Gregg.

    All these acquisitions at the Major League level have bought him some much needed time to draft and develop the young players. Future looks brighter.