So, first things first. I have contemplated this in the past, and have been approached from another site who wanted to bring me and the site on as a “subscription based site” for their network, I have declined. However as I am getting further down the road in my life, what used to support me doesn’t quite do so anymore. Lately I have been interviewing for jobs, but yesterday Mike Newman, writer at Fangraphs and formerly of Scouting the Sally decided that he was going to try and make a true full time gig out of what he does. It put me back in the mode of thinking of things I could do to try and get more out of this job as well as be able to put more into it. While I am not sure what I am going to do yet, I am contemplating going to a system like Baseball America has where there is both free content as well as subscription based content on the site. The subscription would be set up for something like $2-4 per month. With enough subscribers that would make it easier to travel (it costs $20 for me to travel to Dayton and back, $30 to Louisville and back and then travels to places beyond that costs even more with a rental car, hotel and gas being involved) and devote even more time to the site than I already do since I wouldn’t have to work outside of the site. As I said, I don’t know if this is the direction I am going to go with the site, but I am certainly looking into it. I have a poll below, so please vote on it and be truthful so I can use it to further decide.

[poll id="11"]

News and notes

Tony Cingrani was interviewed last week as he participated in Major League Baseballs Rookie Career Development program. Cingrani talked about how he goes about working as a starter now versus how he did before while he was in college and starting as well as a few other things. Go check it out.

Dan Szymborski released his ZiPS projections at Fangraphs yesterday afternoon. They believe that the Reds are going to once again being a strong team, projecting them to win 91 games. If you want to see the entire data set you can check out the link above. Here, I just wanted to look at some of the specific projections for prospects. Before that though, I want to note that this system is entirely based on past performance of both the player and players who performed like him at a similar age performed like the next season. This system correlates well with future performance, though as with all of the more “reliable” systems, it isn’t nearly as strong at predicting young players as it is with established players.It should also be noted that the playing time isn’t always accurate with players.

Billy Hamilton is projected to hit .267/.330/.345 with 54 steals and 17 caught stealing in 651 PA’s.  I think that is pretty much on the money except for the steals.

Henry Rodriguez is projected to hit .279/.312/.389. I am not sure I would say his OBP would be so low if he hit .279, but the average and SLG seem to be pretty much in line with what I think he could do.

Tucker Barnhart is projected to hit .241/.298/.333. I think that might be a little high for this season.

Tony Cingrani has a nice projection with a 4.28 ERA and 107 strikeouts in 107 innings.

Chad Rogers and Daniel Corcino both are projected to throw just over 125 innings with an ERA around 5.20.

No pitcher other than Cingrani is projected to have an ERA under 5.17 who will be a rookie next year.

29 Responses

  1. wanderinredsfan

    I think the projections are light for Frazier, Broxton, and Soto. I can’t see Frazier as a below-average defender at 3B, I sure as hell hope we see more than 48 innings pitched by Broxton, and I see no reason to believe that Soto’s percentages drop so precipitously.

    For the big league win-projection, with a more reasonable assumption/projection for Frazier and Broxton, I think another 2-4 wins is more likely.

  2. Ryan the Red

    Do you think he would steal more or less than projected? Not sure about the totals but i think he would have a better success rate.

    • Doug Gray

      More. Assuming he had a .330 OBP and 651 trips to the plate, he would steal at least 75 unless he had some sort of slight injury that allowed him to still play, but kept him on a leash (say maybe bruised ribs or something that would make sliding less than ideal).

  3. Terry M

    BA reports that the REDS have signed LHP Jacob Constante from the Dominican for 730K.

  4. Kevin

    What about an NPR-like model? Just a thought. I’m willing to lend support either way. Not a huge fan of paywalls, but I’d happily make an exception in this case.

    People need to realize that this site is a labor of love for Doug but love don’t pay the bills.

    • Doug Gray

      Kevin, care to explain that model to me? Not really sure what it is like?

  5. WallyP

    I see the Red Reporter saying that my Pensacola boy Manno is playing in the World Games Good job Chris

    • MK

      It will make it hard for him to make an impression on Dusty being out of camp and the fact that the big league people only get to see them in person in the spring.

  6. Stock

    I have little faith in these stats as a whole.

    For example the 14 Reds pitchers (Cueto, Arroyo, Latos, Bailey, Leake, Chapman, Broxton, Masset, Arrendondo, Hoover, Simon, Lecure, Marshall and Ondrusek combine for a 3.83 ERA. This accounts for 621 Earned Runs. Multiply this by 1.09 (to include unearned runs) and you get 677 Runs allowed.

    The Reds 8 Regulars (to maximize the overall results I reduced Meso’s PA to create an overall number of plate appearances at C to 567) account for 581 runs. I multiplied this by 1.17285 to adjust each regular up to 162 starts and you get 682 runs. Add in the 18 scored by pitchers last year and you are at 700 runs.

    This puts the Reds at 82-80 on the season. This assumes Hannigan and Meso catch every inning this year and the other 7 regulars play 162 games. One injury and we just go backwards.

    I just don’t see the pitching staff giving up 90 more runs this year than they did last year.

  7. sultan of swaff

    From MLB trade rumors:
    The Reds watched Constante pitch in the International Prospect League All-Star Game last week, when he showed good life on a fastball that registered in the 92-94 mph range. Constante turns 19 in March and has a potentially above-average slider, according to Badler. The prospect’s signing marks the biggest bonus for the Reds during the 2012-13 international signing period.
    Read more at http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/#DMZ4oGEO5j4y50Ug.99

    • The Duke

      Baseball America has a couple articles before and after the signing as well.

      6’3″, 215 lbs, already speaks English fluently, has an above average slider that is about 81 mph right now, his change up needs a lot of work, but he has one (and the Reds are pretty good about developing those or a cutter to work off fastball/breakingball). Turns 19 in March, no questions about his age unlike some recent top dominican signings.

      I hope we get to see Costante and Jonathan Perez the younger I the AZL this year.

  8. wanderinredsfan

    So, If Guillon is a top-10 prospect, does this make Costante a top-10 candidate as well?

    Sounds like his fastball is a lively one, has a good bite on his slider, and if he can develop any sort of change-up, he could rise through the ranks real fast. I wonder where he’ll start the season?

    • Doug Gray

      Right now, no. We know what Guillon can do against other professionals and he has shown it over the last several seasons. We have seen, at different times of course, that he has the ability to dominate at the rookie level and in a small sample, Low-A. No clue what Costante will do. I imagine he would start in either Arizona or Billings. I can’t see him starting higher than that.

    • The Duke

      $730,000 puts him in line with a high second round pick, but of course he signed his contract in a free market so it’s not a 1-1 comparison.

  9. Rick D in Chicago

    Doug, going pay wall is a simple decision in my opinion, do it. You’ll lose some traffic but you’ll at least start being reimbursed for your content. $25 for a year subscription is kind of a no brainer. Set it up like the NY Times so that you allow 5-10 FREE complete stories to be viewed. If you were to pull in another guest writer or two it would make it even better.

    My only concern – could/would the Reds organization come after you and shut you down? Having worked for professional sports teams I can say that you might be entering a gray zone by charging for Reds specific content. If you haven’t done so already, then I’d at least consult a lawyer to make sure the pay model doesn’t result in a cease and desist down the road.

    • Doug Gray

      From those that I have talked to, it shouldn’t be an issue as far as any of the content. The only concern that has ever been raised is the name “Reds”minorleagues, which if it ever came about, could be handled. I asked around when I decided to write the book and that was basically what I was told.

  10. MK

    Doug if you are charging $4 a month you would need 500 subscribers minimum to make it a go. Are those numbers there?

    • Doug Gray

      Tough to say because I don’t know exactly what percentage of people would be willing to subscribe, which is kind of why I am feeling things out with this poll. During the offseason traffic is about 33-50% of what it is during the season, depending on the day. Obviously, during the offseason it is the true die-hards, so this poll probably isn’t completely reflective of the overall base of “the market”. But it is still something worth looking at.

  11. Norwood Nate

    According to MLBTR the Reds signed Armando Gallaraga to a minor league contract. I guess that fills out the AAA rotation. Corcino, Cingrani, Villarreal, Redmond, and Gallaraga. Much, much better than last years.

    • Krozley

      They also have Jeff Marquez in the mix (another minor league FA signing). He would be behind the other 5 IMO.

  12. Keith

    As someone who probably wouldn’t pay, I’d say go ahead and do the paywall. I show up occasionally to browse, more often during the season, but I wouldn’t begrudge you for trying to make more $$ off this, especially considering how hard you work. I’d still visit the site, even if I couldn’t access all the content.

    • Doug Gray

      Thanks for the input Keith.

      I think that any paywall information would be all scouting related kind of things rather than the day-to-day kind of stuff that I do, particularly in season.

  13. Patrick in Cortland NY

    This might be a wild idea. Since you get to go to many parks. Maybe be you can get some memorabilia at the parks to auction on the site. Before you go to a park poll people to see what they would like to get/buy. Some of us do not get a chance to go to these parks or see the players in person.

    You do a donation drive like PBS or united way that we could track on the site. You can make it a fun game by making it in the name of an affiliate. That way we could could see if the fans of Dayton or Louisville or Pensacola or Bakersfield or Billings ect would raise the most money.

  14. MikeD

    Hi Doug,

    Besides serving in the military, I am also a running coach with a website that I had to invest in and takes hours of time to maintain. Early on in my coaching career many people enjoyed free help and after a while I reallized my time is more valuable than just about anything. Once I started asking for compensation for my time I lost a lot of people. Steadily I am growing my running business but it has taken some time. I would support you any which way you decide to go as I feel that you provide quality and that takes a great deal of time. I understand people think the internet should be free free and more free, but in the end you get what you pay for.

    Just put a button on your page and I will plug it on mine!

    Mike D

  15. DaveCT

    Doug, just DO IT!

    If you build it, they will come.

    The value is there, as long as the process is simple. Some of these paying sights are a pain to navigate.

    Just. Do. It.

    Dave

  16. Mark

    why don’t we sign jair jurggens and leave chapman as closer?

    • Doug Gray

      Because Chapman has the potential to be so much better and Chapman wasn’t really some incredible upgrade at closer. His save rate was essentially league average.