I wrote a couple of posts outlining most of our minor league free agent signings and other acquisitions this off-season for another site–I’ll copy them (and extend them a bit) here. There aren’t a lot of Jason Werth-type players on these lists, but some decent AAA insurance here and there, and a couple of players who might surprise if they get healthy or find their confidence. The post is organized by position players first, then pitchers.
Josh Barfield, 28 yrs; (2B, also 3B and a little OF) 309 MLB games; 837 minor games; OPS: .670 MLB, .760 Minors; Low walk rate, can steal a base. Not a championship caliber reserve, but a decent AAA insurance policy, and should help Lehigh Valley.
Matt Miller, 28 yrs; (LF,RF); 832 minor games; OPS .845; good walk rate, decent power, 4 time Minor League all-star including SALLY League MVP; not fast, hits lots of doubles. Has a chance at the final major-league OF roster spot with his righty bat.
Robb Quinlan, 34 yrs; (LF,RF,3B); 458 MLB games, 640 MinorLB games; OPS: .723 MLB, .850 Minors; Solid offensive stats across the boards, mostly an OBP/AVG guy, however he hasn’t been good since 2006. I think he’s washed up, don’t know what happened to him–at one point he was a plus major leaguer, but it’s been a while. Might get released after ST, but also might be the leading candidate to play 3B at LV if he’s willing to play in the minors.
Jeff Larish, 28 yrs; (1B,DH,3B); 101 MLB games, 547 Minor LB games; OPS .688 MLB, .866 Minors; Decent power, great eye, not a good fielder. Lefty bat probably is AAA insurance. I don’t think he plays 3B well enough to play regularly there for LV.
Brandon Moss, 27 yrs; (LF,RF); 244 MLB games, 819 minor games; OPS .688 MLB, .814 Minors; good eye, no power yet in the big leagues, has to hit for average to be valuable. Seems like he had a confidence problem in the majors the last 2 seasons. Hot prospect in 2004, AAA all-star in 2007. Good risk/reward signing, at least for LV. Their outfield seems a bit crowded though.
Delwyn Young, 29 yrs; (RF,2B,OF); 344 MLB games, 715 minor games; OPS .709 MLB, .877 minors; decent eye, good power in the minors, once a well regarded prospect–3-time minor league all-star. Pirates gave him a decent shot, but could be better than he’s shown. I think he’s the favorite for the last roster spot myself, ahead of Mayberry and Miller.
Cory Sullivan, 31 yrs, (CF, OF); 476 MLB games, 572 minor games; OPS .709 MLB, .768 minor; a speedy CF type from the Colorado system, played there, in NY, and for Houston. Walks a little less than you’d like, hits a lot of doubles. Struggled last year, was best in ’05/’06. About the 10th OF candidate for LV if I’m counting right. I guess he’s decent insurance for a Vic injury.
Erik Kratz, 31 yrs; (C); 625 minor games, cup of coffee in the bigs; OPS .759 minors; good power for a catcher, decent eye. Career 2nd catcher in the minors. Probably destined for LV or Reading (depending on where Gosewisch lands).
Pete Orr, 32 yrs; (util); 347 MLB games, 843 minor games; OPS .622 MLB, .687 minors; plays pretty much everywhere, even has pitched. Doesn’t play batter very well. Hope he’s gonna be a utility guy at most for LV or be released–in my opinion, this kind of guy should never be on a team’s AAA roster.
Chris Frey, 27 yrs; (CF, OF), 657 minor games; OPS .705; high average minor hitter with an average eye, little power, and plus speed. Don’t know that he’s any better than Rich Thompson–if you can’t break out in Colorado Springs or Denver, I don’t know how you can hit somewhere else. Good defensively (by reputation).
Albert Cartwright, 23 yrs; (2B), 284 minor games; OPS .773; decent speed, decent average, A-level minor league 2B. Will fight Garcia and Hernandez for playing time.
Carlos Rivero, 23 yrs; (SS), 518 minor games; .676 OPS; no real speed or offensive plus. Bocock is better, but Rivero is younger. Don’t know where his playing time comes from with Bocock and Galvis in AA and AAA.
Michael Martinez, 28 yrs; (2B,SS), 548 minor games; .683 OPS; no discipline, but was OK (better) offensively last two seasons. Probably won’t make the 25-man roster. Could play for LV if we don’t have to return him. Would be a bad choice for the last roster spot in the big leagues I think, but it sounds like he’s under consideration for it.
Sebastien Boucher, 29 yrs, (CF, OF); 417 minor league games, last two years in the Can/Am indy league. .735 minor OPS, but raked in the Can/Am last season after struggling there in ’09. Seattle draftee, used to be fast, now more of a power/patience guy, especially the patience. Reading CF if Gillies doesn’t get better?
I like the Miller, Young, and Barfield signings and Cartwright can’t hurt at his age. I don’t like no-hit middle infielders who have never shown anything offensively so Martinez, Rivero and Orr are guys I’d rather see in other organizations. Every organization seems to keep a few of these around, but I though Bocock and Galvis filled our quota nicely.
Jason Grilli–34 yrs, RHP; started entirely in the minors, 152 games, pitched more than 200 games in relief in the big leagues; former #4 overall pick has bounced around. Career ERAs 4.51 minors, 4.74 majors. About 6.5 Ks/9. Missed last year with a spring training knee injury. Probably a long shot candidate for the 5th starter slot–might be #1 for Lehigh Valley, or a candidate for major league long man.
Brian Bass–29 yrs, RHP; also started 152 minor league games, and relieved in 75 more. Has relieved in almost 100 major league games. ERAs 4.24 minors,5.16 majors. Has had control issues in the majors, walking more than 4/9 IP. Strikes out about 5.5 per 9 IP, so he can’t afford the walks. Journeyman AAAA reliever headed to LV.
Matt Anderson–34 yrs, RHP; former #1 overall pick, used to throw 100 mph, suffered an arm injury (shoulder) a few years after making it to the big leagues the year he was drafted. Also strugled with control. Became a journeyman and left baseball after 2008. Now reportedly throws in the low to mid 90s, and is attempting a comeback after 2 years of inactivity. ERAs 4.90 minors, 5.19 majors, but they may not mean much. Reclamation project.
Juan Perez–32 yrs (according to wikipedia, bbcube has him at 30–might be a birth certificate issue), LHP; minor league 8th inning guy who strikes out and walks a lot of hitters, had a cup of coffee with the Pirates in the mid-00s. ERA 3.59 minors, including a sub-3.00 ERA at Albuquerque (notorious hitters’ park and league) last year. K’d more than 10 batters per 9 IP in his last four full minor league seasons. Might help out in Philly in a pinch, probably starts in LV.
Dan Meyer–29 yrs, LHP; has had one great year in the last decade in Florida in 2009; other ERAs range from pedestrian to disastrous, even sometimes in the minors. Major league reliever, minor league starter. ERAs 5.46 majors, 3.56 minors. Strikes out about 7.5 guys per 9 IP, but has really been wild in the majors. Good season last year in New Orleans.
Eddie Bonine–30 yrs, RHP; minor league mostly a starter, major league reliever. Gives up a LOT of hits, good control. Really struggles to strike anybody out (3 Ks/9 in the majors, about 6 in the minors). ERAs 4.52 minors, 4.72 majors. He’s the kind of guy who throws strikes and gets you beat. If he’s in Philly at all we’re in serious trouble.
Ryan Feierabend–25 yrs, LHP; a former top-level (#5 BBA) prospect of the Mariners, he has pitched well in the minors and gotten seriously torched in the big leagues. He’s started everywhere he’s played, and never missed enough bats. Gives up more than 1 H/IP and only strikes out about 6 K/9 with average control. ERA 3.92 minors, but not as good recently (last year was a Tommy John recovery for him). Headed to LV or Reading to fill out the rotation. Not as good as the recently departed Brian Mazone.
Jusin Freind (rule 5, minor league version)–25 yrs, RHP. Can’t believe Oakland didn’t protect him. He has a career 3.69 minor league ERA through AA and strikes out about 10 guys/9 IP. He’s a reliever, and he has control issues, but this kind of rule 5 selection is a great risk. At 25, he can get better. An 8th inning guy in LV or Reading, we now have full control of him after the minor league rule 5.
Brian Schlitter–25 yrs, RHP; former Phillies draftee now back in the system, has never started a pro game, but pitched very well in relief in the minors (got hammered in a brief call-up to the Cubs last year). Had a 22 save season in AA, and has closed the last three years. Looks like he’ll help fill a deep bullpen in LV. ERA 3.32 minors. K/9 about 8.5. Statistically looks a lot like Scott Mathieson, and Sandberg apparently loves him.
I like Perez, Friend, and Schlitter, and a couple of the other guys are decent gambles if they can improve their control. I have a personal bias against guys who “pitch to contact” so I hate the Feierabend, Bonine, and Meyer signings if they affect the advancement of our own draftees, but, again, every organization has some of these guys around.