Comparing Adam Miller to Josh Hamilton for the Rule V DraftI think it has become a goal of mine (even though I have no control over it what-so-ever) to see November end without a heavy snow or anything like that. Sure it has snowed, somewhat, but it hasn't exactly been Snow Days.
Which has apparently been a huge hit and that's a great thing. I mean, our freakin' manager was going down The Batterhorn on an inner tube!
Manny wasn't lying when he said he wanted to go down that thing. I'll say it again. Who knows if Mannny Acta is going to turn out to be a championship manager, but he is one hell of a championship guy. Which perfectly leads into this great piece by Castrovince on Acta and his ImpACTA Kids Foundation.
[A LOOK AT MILLER]
One hot topic of debate, at least around the minor league community is the probability of Adam Miller being selected by a team in the Rule V Draft next month.
I point to one blog entry from SBNation's Pirates blog, Bucs Dugout. I've never read Bucs Dugout, I don't know how knowledgeable they are, but just reading the part on Miller, they seem to have done their research. To that end, I think this is a good gauge in terms of the outside opinion on Miller, which is something I think we all need.
We tend to overvalue or over-think things with some of the talent that plays for our team and even undervalue or under-think in some situations as well. With Miller, it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibilities that everyone who thinks Miller is a sure-fire-lock to get selected in the draft is over-valuing Miller and not putting themselves in the position of an outside scout.
By no means is Bucs Dugout an outside scout, they are an outside look at Miller. I think the beginning of the section on Miller is the most telling in terms of how scouts and hardcore fans of other teams who know of him, view Miller.
"I have to admit that even writing about Miller creeps me out a little bit. A few years ago, he was one of the very best prospects in all of baseball. High school star from Texas, upper 90s fastball that sometimes hit triple digits, upper 80s atomic slider, above-average coachability and pitchability. He made BA's Top 100 prospect list five times... which is in and of itself a sign of trouble. I went to my bookshelf and got down my 2007 BA guide just for this entry, and looking back on his entry feels like stepping on a grave: 'His delivery is free and easy, so there's no reason his health should be an issue down the road...It's only a matter of time before Miller makes an impact in the major leagues.' "
It feels like stepping on a grave. Say that a gain.. It feels like stepping on a grave.
I shudder every time I read it. It is so true. Look at what BA said in 2007. Again 2007! That was the year this team went to the ALCS and even after that they were expected to only get stronger with the addition of their best prospect.
Not only has Miller's career gone downhill, the Indians have as well. Miller hasn't thrown a pitch, the Indians haven't been to the playoffs. They are brothers in misery.
If anything a big reason for perhaps the whole re-tooling deal could be a result of Miller never throwing a pitch. I'm not saying the whole thing is Miller's fault, but I can't help but think how things may have been different if Miller panned out and was able to team with CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee in the rotation.
Back to the reason I brought this up though.
The entry on Miller goes on to say that "word says" Miller is healthy again, further proving that no one has information on Miller's actual health status. Granted, scouts don't have the info, so why would a Pirates blog have any? The point is, the scouts can't get their hands on this information and it will really impact their ability to make call on if their team should take him in the draft.
The final question the author of this blog proposes sums it up. Can you pick a guy based on a hope, a rumor, AND a three-year-old memory? Can you? Has it been done before?
Remember the Cincinnati Reds picked Josh Hamilton based off a hope, a rumor, and a three-year-old memory. Well they actually traded for him after the Cubs had picked them (but they struck that deal based off the fact that the Reds wanted him), but they got Hamilton after a three year absence from baseball.
The situations are completely different, but in a way they are similar. The differences set them a part just enough that you can't definitively say if someone picks Miller, it won't be in the same vein that the Reds took Hamilton.
But it is interesting to consider. Hamilton was out of baseball from 2004 to 2006. He wasn't injured, he was troubled. He wasn't a pitcher, he was a highly talented outfielder.
Now did Hamilton have a fantastic year? No, but he showed promise and he was valuable enough to remain on the roster the entire year. More than anything the Reds were not really in contention so they had no reason to give up on him. In the end the Reds traded Hamilton to the Rangers and got quite a pitcher in return for him, so in the end, the deal worked out for them.
Who is to stop a team like a Pittsburgh, who probably won't contend this season, from taking a chance on that hope, rumor, and three year old memory?
Especially after they've let now former-potential Indians target Zach Duke go in a trade to Arizona, the Pirates could be open to adding pitchers to their 40-man roster, which currently stands at... 40. They would have to clear space, but so would most teams in the Pirates position.
The Pirates are just an example (and a convenient one at that considering their GM used to work for the Indians, that hasn't resulted in much these past few years, but you can't forget it) but any team could like the Pirates could take him.
We'll definitely re-visit this closer to Rule V time, but it is an interesting aspect to think about. Hamilton was more than Miller was in terms of a prospect and that is saying something considering Miller was the top prospect in the Indians system for years. The problem with Miller isn't the same as Hamilton though. Any team could believe they can help a guy in his battle with drug and alcohol addiction (especially if they bought into the rumors that he had put that part of his life to rest) but no team can believe they can help a guy recover from a career-threatening finger injury to his throwing hand.
Unless of course you are the guy that built Inspector Gadget or the Bionic Man.
There is a reason I continually refuse to acknowledge Hey Hoynsie week after week. It doesn't have so much to do with Hoynes as it does the ridiculous questions people continue to ask him. The first two in the latest edition prove my point.
Do we even have to go into the Hafner thing again? I mean this is like a constant thing. Blah Blah Blah, Hafner sucks and his contract sucks worse. WE KNOW! What we didn't know is that he'd get injured after he signed that contract. No one did, so why does this continue to be an issue?
Move on people. Just move on.
And then as if it was a coincidence that they put this question right after the last one, someone brings up the quote Paul Dolan made about spending money. Which is valid, I will admit. But adding on this bit of opinion makes you just like all the other fans that e-mail in to voice your displeasure with the Dolan family.
"I believe if the Dolan family spend money on good free agents they will make more money on their return because fans will support the team at the gate."
Now I'm not going to call the "Benny" the guy who asked this question a hypocrite or anything because I don't know him. Hell, he may very well stay true to that word and support the team more if they do spend money on free agents.
But that is hogwash for 95% of the fans who say that and we've been over this countless times before. And to Hoynes' credit (I do give him credit when credit is due, I'm not a monster) he pointed out the fact that in 2005 when the Indians won 93 games, they still ranked 24th in attendance and the year after they fell another spot to 25th. Ditto that pattern in 2007 and 2008 when they fell a spot after ranking 21st.
Speaking of annoying questions... I covered this very issue in my latest (and first in a few weeks) piece on TCF. With the semester coming to an end, expect more stuff on TCF from me.
And with the thought of those Dolan comments in mind. Both Tony Lastoria and Paul Cousineau had it best in regards to the Dolan comments. Was he right? OF COURSE he was right... But should he have said it that way, if that, at all? No he did not.
Also worth noting from Tony's TRIBE Happenings is the mention of Austin Kearns. Lastoria says it is believed Kearns will get nothing more than a minor league deal, which as we know by now is the Indians budget in signing players.
Kearns now lives in Cleveland, fills a desired need for the club and is a veteran that from all indications liked his time with the Indians last year. Keep an eye out on that.
Tony also has tweeted that Nick Weglarz and Josh Judy are done with their winter league stints with Weglarz playing in just four games. Yeah that wasn't the plan. Weglarz had a collision in the field and suffered a back injury. Precautionary measures have the Indians simply shutting him down from winter league play. Judy meanwhile was simply done with 12 games under his belt and five saves.
In other winter league news, Asdrubal Cabrera made his Caracas debut in Venezuela. He played in a double header and had one hit in six at-bats. He DHed in the second game.
The AFL is over, so there isn't much other than these Winter Leagues going on. But we've got winter meetings and the Rule V coming up, so there will be some stuff to talk about. Thankfully.