Author Topic: Arizona Fall League - 2010 (updated "It's Harper Time")  (Read 8661 times)

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Offline Coladar

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Yes, if we need to move anyone to first it's Ramos or Flores. Norris is looking more and more like he's going to come pretty darn close to being the best ML-ready catcher we have in the next two years. Other players need to be moved out of his way, not vice versatile just because they got here first.

Offline Potomac Cannons

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I know it's only 6 games, and it's highly unlikely that this pace continues, but that 1.269 OPS for Norris so far is incomprehensible.  5 BB to 7 K is pretty damn nice and he's even picked up a SB. 

A week into it and everyone from the Nats is at least performing well.  The only disappointments would be Burgess not showing power yet and Solis needing to command his stuff better.

Offline bglide

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Harper is the man. 

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Harper is the man. 
He's so popular, they named the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah after his family's boat.

Offline blue911

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He's so popular, they named the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah after his family's boat.


Bryce's Batteau ?

Offline Potomac Cannons

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Lombardozzi leading off today and starts with a single.  Kid looks more and more like he's got leadoff batter potential at 2B.

He's put up the following OBP:
08 GCL -- .371 (152 AB)
09 HAG -- .375 (496 AB)
10 POT -- .370 (440 AB)
10 HAR -- .373 (105 AB)
10 AFL -- .379 (25 AB including leadoff today)

Very encouraging sign that the OBP has held steady through 4 levels and into the beginning of the AFL.  Kid is only 22 and seems like a good bet to push the team in the MI discussion pretty soon.

EDIT:  And Norris walks in the top of the 2nd inning.  Looks like two 22 year old winners in the fold.

Offline Sharp

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I would love it if Norris were able to join the ML roster in some capacity next year.  Plenty of clubs are willing to let sub-optimal catcher defense slide provided it's attached to an excellent bat.  As for Lombardozzi, he does look good (and has for awhile).  Remember that it usually takes about 500 at-bats in one level for OBP to stabilize though.

Offline Lintyfresh85

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Mike Napoli jumps off the page as a good comparison for Norris, in terms of subpar catching/power bat.

Though, I still stand by my statement that Norris reminds me of Piazza more than anything else.

And, I'm not completely sold on the fact that Norris will forever be a bad defensive catcher. He's still learning the position, and from the reports, he made great strides this year.

Offline Potomac Cannons

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I would love it if Norris were able to join the ML roster in some capacity next year.  Plenty of clubs are willing to let sub-optimal catcher defense slide provided it's attached to an excellent bat.  As for Lombardozzi, he does look good (and has for awhile).  Remember that it usually takes about 500 at-bats in one level for OBP to stabilize though.

Very true on the ABs.  I'm thinking he starts at AA next season and if he's still producing that kind of OBP by the mid way point they've got to move him up to AAA (and that, combined with this years AA and AFL time would be around 500 AB).  It would be a great position for the team to head into the 2011 offseason with Desmond/Espinosa/Lombardozzi.  If Desmond's bat solidifies but his glove/throwing accuracy don't, then you can make him part of a trade package and run with Espinosa and Lombardozzi.  If Desmond gets the defense under control then either Espinosa or Lombardozzi become very valuable trade bait. 

It's nice to finally see the system solidifying with legitimate talent at spots like C and MI.

Offline Potomac Cannons

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Norris with a sac fly in the 4th and Lombardozzi walks to lead off the 5th.

Offline Potomac Cannons

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Adam Carr with another good IP.  4 seamer was 92-94 with 4-6" break.  Change was 81-83 with 8-9" break.  1 K, only baserunner reached on error.

I'm guessing this is a tryout for him in the AFL.  He'll be 27 on April 1.  Wonder if he'll get a shot in ST.

EDIT:  Carr struggles in his 2nd IP.  3 consecutive hits (single, single, double) and gives up 2 runs.  Battled out of it to finish up the inning.

Offline Vega

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Mike Napoli jumps off the page as a good comparison for Norris, in terms of subpar catching/power bat.
... I'm kind of hoping for little more from our top prospect than a Mike freaking Napoli.

Offline Lintyfresh85

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I'd gladly take a .831 OPS from Norris starting next year.

That's Napoli's career OPS line.

Offline Potomac Cannons

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... I'm kind of hoping for little more from our top prospect than a Mike freaking Napoli.

12 WAR over 5 years from the C is pretty good.  His OPS has been top 10 among catchers with as much playing time as he had each year including #1 OPS in 2008.  His glove has held him back from being an elite C and is why there's talk of him getting moved to DH.  There's only 4-5 elite catchers and rarely more than 10 who get enough PAs during a season to qualify for rankings. 

Two big differences.  First, Norris turns 22 in February with the possibility of an MLB debut by 23 at the latest while Napoli debuted at 25.  Second, Norris has shown marked improvement from according to everyone behind the plate.

If Norris comes up and his lowest OPS in his first 5 years is .784 then that's a win.  Norris has shown better OBP numbers than Napoli did, about .050 higher at each level, so he's likely a more patient hitter with about the same power and is solid defensively.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Personally, I'm hoping for Jorge, but would settle for Javy Lopez's ATL career and first couple years in BAL.

Edit - ooohhh!  Gabby Hartnett!  .297 / .370 / .489 for 20 years.  

Offline Sharp

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Harper struck out swinging (nice long at-bat though) but the Scorpions are absolutely smoking Mesa.  6-0 and they're not even out of the top of the second.

Offline Lintyfresh85

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Norris - 0/1, 3 BB's, 1 R, 1 SB

Harper - 0/3, 2 K's, 1 outfield assist at home on a sac fly attempt

Offline Sharp

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I can't wait to see Harper's cannon arm in action.  Also: Norris is awesome.  I hope he walks 100 times next year.

Ridiculously: Mesa is now on top.  Apparently the AFL is not a good pitching league (Strasburg was the exception).

Offline Lintyfresh85

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I honestly feel that you could put Norris on the MLB roster tomorrow, and he'd end 2011 with the highest OBP among our catchers, his knowledge of the strike zone is that good.

Offline Sharp

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I honestly feel that you could put Norris on the MLB roster tomorrow, and he'd end 2011 with the highest OBP among our catchers, his knowledge of the strike zone is that good.
This isn't saying much, considering we're talking about Pudge "looks like a strike" Rodriguez, Wil "how did I ever get to the show" Nieves, and Wilson "my defense may compensate for my bat" Ramos.

Offline Lintyfresh85

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You know what I mean. The kid is a very advanced hitter, at a position where that's very rare.

Offline Sharp

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You know what I mean. The kid is a very advanced hitter, at a position where that's very rare.
Oh yeah, no question about that.  Lots of batters (majors and minors) profess to understand how important OBP is, but Norris walks the walk I AM A COMIC GENIUS.

Kimball starts off the bottom of the eighth with an HBP.

Not an auspicious day for Harper at the plate... 0-4, 0 BB, 2 SO, 1 popout, 1 groundout.  He swung--and fouled--that second-to-last pitch that was literally at his feet.  I guess it's impressive that he has the bat speed to foul it back but that shows pretty atrocious strike zone recognition.  Maybe the opposing pitcher was really nasty though.

Yup... Mesa holds on, Scorpions lose 6-7.

Offline Potomac Cannons

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Solis strikes out Hosmer to end the first.  Also had a walk in the inning.  Gotta get the K/BB rate above 1/1.

Lombardozzi [1], Norris [6] & Burgess [8] in the lineup.

Offline Lintyfresh85

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I was really not impressed with his velocity when I saw him on Pitch F/X. I don't think you're really going to see a lot of K's, or a lack of BB's from him.

As is, I think he's pretty near his ceiling already.

Not a wasted pick... but I don't see anything more than 4-5/AAAA type out of him.

Offline Potomac Cannons

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I was really not impressed with his velocity when I saw him on Pitch F/X. I don't think you're really going to see a lot of K's, or a lack of BB's from him.

As is, I think he's pretty near his ceiling already.

Not a wasted pick... but I don't see anything more than 4-5/AAAA type out of him.

Wish they had the FX up today.  Even without great velocity if he becomes a lefty with good movement who can spot his pitches he's a MLB pitcher.