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Rolling Out the Barrel: Warming Up with Arizona Heat

The season is over and November is here, bringing baseball awards season with it. The Brewers, unfortunately, were (at best) mediocre is almost every single aspect of the game in 2015, and therefore don’t even have much to root for in terms of ultimately-meaningless individual awards. However, the BBWAA released it’s official ballot for the Hall of Fame class of 2016 this week, and it includes four former Brewers: a pair of fringe potential entrants in Trevor Hoffman and Jim Edmonds, a garbage person who will hopefully never reach Cooperstown in Gary Sheffield, and Jason Kendall, who is likely honored just to have been included on the ballot.

Moving from the past, skipping over the present and jumping straight into the future, we’ll start this week’s Rolling Out the Barrel with one of the first Brewers’ organizational top prospects lists.

Baseball America || Milwaukee Brewers Top 10 Prospects Chat (Nov. 11, 2015)

Baseball America released their organizational Top 10 list this week for the Brewers, which you can find here. Tom Haudricourt (@Haudricourt) has the write-up for it there, which oddly reads more as a recap of the Brewers’ season while briefly mentioning less than half of the young men on BA’s list.  Focusing on this list itself for a moment, Haudricourt and Baseball America’s list is an puzzling mash-up: they seem to favor MLB-readiness with Jorge Lopez’s lofty #2 ranking, but then list 2015 first-round pick Trent Clark above Brett Phillips, who could potentially make his MLB debut next year if things break his way.

In this chat Haudricourt conducted following the list’s release he answers questions from fans, most of which concern the many omissions from the list. For the first time in a long time, the Brewers’ system is stocked with enough talent to make the choices for a Top 10 somewhat controversial, which is always a nice problem to face.

Disciples of Uecker || End the QO (Nov. 9, 2015)

The deadline for players to accept qualifying offers is today, and we no longer need to speculate about whether former Brewer Marco Estrada might become the first player to accept the one-year deal, as Colby Rasmus called Houston’s bluff and accepted the $15.8 million offer last night. Nicholas Zettel (@SpectiveWax) has some words about why the qualifying offer system needs to be eliminated. This isn’t the hottest of takes, as we now understand that the primary effect of the qualifying offer has been to artificially depress the value of free agents on the open market. Zettel talks about how the system has basically had the opposite effect than it was supposedly going to have, putting small-market teams at a disadvantage as they find themselves less able to take the risk of extending qualifying offers to middling free agents.

FanGraphs || Top Arizona Fall League Velocities, According to PITCHf/x (Nov. 12, 2015)

Carson Cistulli (@cistulli) has some small-sample size numbers from the Arizona Fall League to share with us in this piece. Coming in third among all pitchers in average velocity is Brewers’ fireballer Damien Magnifico, who is sitting 97 on his fastball on average in Arizona. Among starters, Adrian Houser’s average fastball velocity of 94.5 is second only to recently-suspended Alex Reyes of the St. Louis Caridnals. The man who replaced Reyes in the Surprise rotation, Brewers’ prospect Josh Hader, is also mentioned as having one of the biggest fastballs in the league, regularly hitting 95 on the gun.

Baseball America || Self-Sustaining System Is Stearn’s Success Plan (Nov. 11, 2015)

So, this is another one from Haudricourt. But look, it’s November, and not a lot of folks are talking about the Brewers right now. There are like 12 of us, half of them are on this website, one of them at another website is me, and no one trusts a man who quotes himself. Here, Haudricourt talks about new Brewers’ GM David Stearns’ philosophy in building a playoff team, which he brings over from a team in Houston that made the postseason this year at least two years earlier than pretty much everyone predicted.

Brew Crew Ball || Deserved Runs and the 2015 Brewers (Nov. 6, 2015) 

Over at Brew Crew Ball, my good friend Kyle (@brewerfan28), whose birthday happens to be today, discusses the Brewers pitching staff in terms of DRA, a new statistic developed by the Baseball Prospectus team this year, led by noted Brewers-enthusiast and statistician Jonathan Judge (@bachlaw). Some unsurprising findings: Jimmy Nelson was Milwaukee’s most effective pitcher in 2015 (+2.37 WARP), and Kyle Lohse was tied for their least effective (-1.07 WARP). A somewhat surprising fact: according to the numbers, the pitcher tied with Lohse as Milwaukee’s least effective was not Matt Garza, but young Wily Peralta.

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