Chris Cwik of Sports on Earth (and a lot of other places) has an article today about those top prospects lists you see each late winter or early spring. The ones put out by Baseball America, Keith Law at ESPN, Jason Parks at Baseball Prospectus and Jonathan Mayo at MLB.com.
It’s a good look at the guts of the process: how these analysts scout the players, who they talk to (or don’t talk to) and the technology they use. Also, a look at how successful they tend to be at picking out true talent before everyone else. Given the volatility of ballplayers, they do a lot better than one might first assume they would, even if it’s still an inexact science.
Update (12:58 AM ET): Per Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, Samardzija has been diagnosed with a strained pectoral muscle. He’ll be shut down for a week. That’s good news for the Giants, considering the alternatives.
Giants starter Jeff Samardzija will undergo an MRI on his ailing right shoulder, according to NBC Sports Bay Area. The right-hander struggled in a minor league game on Wednesday, surrendering a pair of home runs and hitting a batter. Overall this spring, Samardzija has given up 15 runs (13 earned) on 17 hits (six homers) and seven walks with seven strikeouts in 11 innings.
This may mean Samardzija won’t be ready for the start of the regular season. Derek Holland would likely replace Samardzija in the rotation. Holland had been competing for the No. 5 spot in the Giants’ rotation.
Samardzija led the National League in losses last season with 15, also posting a 4.42 ERA with a 205/32 K/BB ratio in a league-high 207 2/3 innings. Since becoming a starter, Samardzija has been able to avoid injury, making 32 or 33 starts in each of the last five seasons.