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Under-rated doesn’t even begin to describe the prospect.
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Under-rated doesn’t even begin to describe the prospect.
The 246th pick in the draft is not a spot at which you expect to find major-league talent http://www.yankeesfanproshop.com/authentic-giancarlo-stanton-jersey , let alone a six-time All-Star. Of the 54 players selected there, if you’ve heard of more than three, you’re doing better than me. From those 54 players, 40 signed. The men who didn’t provide one of those recognizable names: pitcher Cliff Lee, who was drafted by the Marlins of high school, but went to college instead. Of those forty, only one-quarter have reached the major leagues, including future Diamondback Brad Halsey, drafted by the Yankees in 2002. The total, career major-league value provided by all 53 non-Goldschmidt players to the teams which drafted them? 5.7 bWAR. Or, as Goldschmidt calls it. a decent season. Looking at it another way, every team (including the Diamondbacks) passed on Paul. Not just once or twice, but at least seven times they looked at him and said, “Nah, we’ll go elsewhere.” The Angels took eleven players before Goldschmidt was drafted - though since they included the one player worth more WAR than Goldy, they’ve probably got over it [though amusingly, Mike Trout wasn’t even the first guy they picked, preferring Randall Grichuk] Prune out Trout, Goldy and the 27 other top players by bWAR. The remaining 217 players to be picked before Goldschmidt have been worth less combined to the franchises who selected them, than Goldschmidt (36.8 bWAR vs. 40.1). The D-backs are not immune from this, of course. They skipped Goldschmidt even more times - twelve - before eventually picking him. In typically low-key fashion, Paul wasn’t even paying attention when they did: “I wasn’t listening to the Draft on the internet, but the Diamondbacks called and said they might take me. My parents were listening, they heard it, so it was pretty cool, I was excited, obviously. In terms of the bonus [he signed for the princely sum of $95,000], I put as much as I could in the bank... I ended up buying an engagement ring for my wife -- that’s probably the biggest purchase.” Here are the players they chose over Paul http://www.yankeesfanproshop.com/authentic-giancarlo-stanton-jersey , along with their overall spot in the draft. 16: Bobby Borchering17: A.J. Pollock35: Matt Davidson41: Chris Owings45: Mike Belfiore60: Eric Smith64: Marc Krauss95: Keon Broxton126: David Nick156: Ryan Wheeler186: Bradin Hagens216: Matt HelmSave Pollock, it’s an unimpressive list: no-one else has given Arizona even one-tenth of the value Goldschmidt delivered. Keon Broxton currently has the highest other career bWAR, and he was sold to the Pirates before appearing for us. We on the SnakePit were no different in overlooking Paul. Our draft-day coverage made absolutely no mention at all of our eighth-round pick at the time.2009Let the record show that the above is the first mention at all of Goldschmidt I was able to find here (hat-tip to Stephen B for locating it!). More information came in December that year, when Dan Strittmatter covered the top forty prospects in the Arizona system, including Goldschmidt... at number forty. Here’s what he wrote:He had indeed demolished the Pioneer League, batting .334 with a 1.045 OPS and 18 home-runs in 74 games. But there was still a lot of skepticism. In the following year’s Baseball Prospect book, John Sickels of Minor League Ball graded Goldschmidt only as a C-grade, “pending some exposure to better pitching, having been burned by gaudy rookie ball numbers from college hitters before.” He left Goldschmidt off his top 20 list, ranking him behind such names as David Nick, Bryan Augenstein and Wes Roemer. The only place where Paul seems to have been ranked highly at that point, is a Bleacher Report piece which had him at #8, written by someone who cheerfully admits to not being a D-backs fan. 2010The following season, he was promoted to High-A Visalia, where he was younger than average for the league. It didn’t matter, as Goldschmidt continued to rake, batting .314 with 35 home-runs, and being named MVP in the California League. Pundits began to take at least some notice of Paul’s talents, though top 10 rankings for him were still rare. Dan had moved the first-baseman all the way up to #12. As well as the juicy pull-quote at the top of this article, he reported positive words being said about Goldschmidt’s defense, but was still concerned about the strikeout. [Goldy had a K-rate that year of 26.9%, the highest of his career]Bench bat, eh? Why does that sound familiar? :) John Sickels did put him in our top 10, at #9, calling him a “power monster”, but cautioning about the “strikeout issues that could prevent a good batting average/OBP at higher levels.” Overall, he was bumped up to a B- grade, with Sickels writing that “even as a low batting average with power guy, he should still have value.” There were similar questions about whether Paul was “for real” in a July 2010 thread on Diamondbacks Bullpen: “I have serious doubts (confirmed by the MLE models) that he could translate this power to the majors at his current rate of K/BB in A ball. If he improves his “eye” and continues [to] show power like this in AA - we can talk. Until then...”2011This was the first time I got to see Paul in action Dellin Betances Jersey , during spring training. He hit a game-tying home-run in the ninth inning of the first game at Salt River Fields - we’ll talk more about that later in the week. He didn’t make the roster on Opening Day, and went to Double-A Mobile, where the hitting continued. Over 103 games for the BayBears, Goldschmidt hit .304 with 30 home-runs and a career-high 1.061 OPS, winning the USA Today Minor League Player of the Year award. But there were still those who doubted. Most infamously around these parts? Keith Law, who in May called Goldschmidt “pretty limited”, then listed him as a “low-ceiling” prospect (alongside future AZ closer, Brad Boxberger!), evaluating him as follows:In Law’s defense, he wasn’t alone. Also in May, ESPN colleague Jason Grey wrote in his scouting report on Paul: “There are also questions about Goldschmidt’s bat speed; as in, some scouts think his swing might be a touch too slow and/or too long to consistently mash major league hurlers... Can he hit that good fastball, or does he have to cheat to do so, which then makes him vulnerable to off-speed stuff?” But Mobile manager Turner Ward had no such doubts, calling Goldschmidt “a big-league player in the making.”The Opening Day starter for Arizona at 1B that year was Juan Miranda, but he was sent down to Reno on July 15 - a few days after Goldschmidt had appeared for Team USA in the Futures Game, as part of the All-Star celebrations at Chase Field. Later that month, the Diamondbacks traded another first-baseman, Brandon Allen, along with Jordan Norberto to the Oakland Athletics for Brad Ziegler. Goldschmidt was called up on August 1st. He never went back down, and as they say, the rest is history. What happened?How does an eighth-round pick end up posting a minor-league line, of .317/.407/.620, for an OPS of 1.027, with 83 home-runs in 315 games? How did a player who never made a top 100 list, or even Baseball America’s list of top ten organizational prospects, become the most valuable position player in the National League over the last seven seasons? Simple answer? Hard effort, and a relentless desire to get better. Sickels more or less nails it:Keith Law concurred, eventually coming around - although it took until late in 2013 before he wrote Matt Holliday Jersey , “What I didn’t see, or know, about Goldschmidt is that he’s one of the highest-aptitude hitters in the game -- boasting an outstanding work ethic, according to several sources I spoke with who know Goldschmidt personally, but also the intelligence to take instruction and make adjustments as needed. He’s among the best in the game at addressing holes or weaknesses, whether in his swing or on defense or on the bases, such as closing the hole he’d showed on the inner half in his first half-season in the majors, where right-handers especially could beat him with velocity.”Speaking in 2011, Goldschmidt’s batting coach in Double-A, Alan Zinter, also noted the great mindset Paul brought to the game, even as a prospect. “He came right in and just wanted to be consistent. He didn’t try to do more than he’s capable of doing. For a young kid, you don’t see a kid that consistent. He had a routine. He knew what his weaknesses were. He wanted to work on his weaknesses, not just his strengths. He wants to be a big-league ballplayer.” Paul Goldschmidt in an object lesson in being everything you can be, and more. If you put your mind to it, the expectations of others are no longer relevant to your own achievements - and the sky truly is the limit. The New York Yankees always seem to find their way into the headlines, especially around this time of year.They're in the thick of a playoff hunt and have 67 wins, putting them way ahead in the AL wild-card race.Yankees starting pitcher Sonny Gray has been the subject of some trade rumors as we approach the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, and we'll explore the most recent news surrounding him.In addition to Gray, we'll look at two other players who could be on the move soon.Sonny Gray To Be Dealt?Overall, the Yankees have a solid rotation as we approach the postseason.However, one of the weaker links is Gray, who has a 5.08 ERA.According to Jon Heyman ofFancred,it's believed there is a bit of interest in Gray as "there are folks who believe he'd do better in another market":Jon Heyman JonHeymanTher said to be a bit of interest in Sonny Gray in trade, as there are folks who believe h tter in another market. But Yanks interest is in adding to rotation, not subtracting from it.Heyman noted, though, that the Yankees are looking to add to the rotation and not subtractfrom it.However, since this report Austin Romine Jersey , the Yankees have added J.A. Happ, making Gray more expendable.For whatever reason, it just isn't working out for Gray in pinstripes this season. Maybe there is some validity to him doing better elsewhere.It would be hard for Gray to netsome major assets with his stats, but it would certainly be better than nothing. Kela Interest PiquingWith 24 saves under his belt, Texas Rangers pitcher Keone Kela is a prime candidate for contending teams seeking bullpen help.At just 25 years of age and under team control through 2021, Kela is a valuable asset for a team to have, not only for this year but for years to come.According to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com, both the Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves are interested in gaining his services.As Sullivan noted, Kela would net a larger return than any player they could possibly trade at this point in time.In this same report, Sullivan said that the Rangers are interested in Braves prospect Luiz Gohara.For the Dodgers, a back end of a bullpen with Kela and Kenley Jansen would be devastating as you can almost assure that two innings would be totally blanked.All signs point to Kela being dealt come the deadline, considering the interest.Gohara Being Dealt at Right PriceThough the Rangers may be interested in someone like Gohara for Kela, he's not the type of player they would trade him for.The 21-year-old left-handed pitching prospect would only be traded for a "controllable starter," according to Ken Rosenthal ofThe Athletic:Ken Rosenthal Ken_RosenthalIf #Braves trade Gohara, Allard or any of their SP prospects, it will be for a controllable starter such as Archer and not bullpen help, sources say. So, not interested in a Gohara for Kela-Diekman type deal.One player Rosenthal mentioned specifically is Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Chris Archer, who has been the subject of a number of rumors.Kela may be an excellent asset to have, but for a player like Gohara, you can understand why the Braves would only want to deal him for a top-end starter to help out their rotation.So, as Rosenthal stated, do not expect a Kela-Jake Diekman for Gohara trade to go down any time soon.Gohara has had a rough go of it in 2018, with a collective ERA of near 6.00 across AA, AAA and the big leagues.
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