Friday, February 3, 2012

Some Tidbits from John Sickels' last "All Questions Answered"

Q: Alex Cobb - Where do you see his ceiling and his floor?

John: I think what he did in the majors last year is exactly what he should be expected to do, given good health.

Q: I recall a couple years ago, before Trout blew up, you saying you “just had a feeling” about him, or something like that, even though it wasn’t empirical. Are there any prospects that you’ve just got a hunch about these days?

John: Well…yeah, I talk about some in the book. This is also a good idea for an article..“hunch” players. I have a hunch that Mikie Mahtook is going to make people wonder why he lasted so long in the draft.

Q: Jake Hager - What do you see for his ceiling?

John: Hager is a “hunch” guy. I think he can turn into a .280 hitter with doubles, some walks, and solid D. I’m higher on him than most people though.

Q: Have you heard anything about Jesse Hahn? I’m surprised he didn’t play at all last year. His recory must have been slow.

John: I haven’t heard anything.

Me: Well, I hope his "hunch" is right on Mahtook and Hager! And ... nobody has heard anything of Jesse Hahn. Can't wait to hear the first reports about him coming back.


  1. Would you say that what Cobb did last year defines a good #4/adequate #3 starter? If so, do you interpret John Sickels as saying that there is virtually no distinction between his ceiling and floor, that given good health he will be a solid mid-rotation starter with little chance of either falling back to middle relief or moving ahead to being a good #3/adequate #2?

    Do you agree with his response, regardless of how you interpret it?

  2. Yeah, looked like a solid #3/#4 last year and I think that he can be just that in the future (so I agree with his response). I also think that Sickels didn't at all consider ceiling/floor in his answer. I have his ceiling as a solid #3 starter (but I was wrong about Cobb before, meaning it could be higher while I don't see it). His floor ... that's tricky. He is one of the most sure-thing-prospects, I think. The floor, nonetheless is a AAAA pitcher/long relief guy, considering that there is a chance that he can't become the pitcher he was after his injury.

  3. Huge Cobb fan based upon watching all of his MLB starts, and evaluating minor league track record. Typically I am not a fan when someone tries to subtract data in order to prove a point, like "Player A hit .352 if you subtract his awful June. But if you look at Cobb, in his first MLB start, it was widely reported he was tipping pitches. In his final start of the season, he was injured leading to surgery. I feel this is one of those times it is acceptable to subtract data.
    Those 2 stars were his worst results of the season, and when subtracted, his ERA on the season was 1.84(if my math is correct). He had a solid K rate, poor BB rate. But when looking at his track record, I believe the walk rate will drop significantly. He had 8 BB's in those 2 starts, and 13BB's in his other 7 starts. One of the things O like about Cobb is he has a true strikeout pitch in his changeup. His GB rate was also an exception 54% in the small sample size.
    IMO, his ceiling is James Shields. He will need to develop his CB, the way Shields did after a couple seasons. His velo may be a tick less then Shields. Otherwise, I see him as a solid #3.