Scott Kazmir’s progress leads to rumblings throughout MLB

11/28/2012 5:09 AM - Devo

Scott Kazmir 27.jpgTwo games into Scott Kazmir’s Winter League season and he is sitting with a 0-1 record and an ERA of 6.00. 

While most would look at that and not even have a second thought, to others, including Major League Baseball scouts, tells a very different story. 

Kazmir is one of those tales about a highly talented athlete that has fallen upon hard times. Once, one of the best left-handers the game has seen in quite some time, he is working his way through the Independent League and Winter League to reclaim a spot that used to be his. 

Recently, Kazmir had a great first outing with the Gigantes de Carlina (see previous article on The GM’s Perspective), unfortunately his second start wasn’t as solid, as seen on MLB.com

Giving up four runs in four innings isn’t that bad, but the four walks sticks out like a sore thumb. For someone on the road back to the “Bigs” four walks in four innings is the last thing you want on your line. 

On a positive note, according to Buster Olney’s twitter account, Kazmir is being scouted by several teams, 

“Scott Kazmir's second start in winter ball wasn't as good as his first start. mlb.mlb.com/milb/stats/sta He's being scouted by multiple teams”. 

And that’s all that matters at this point. 

He is obviously still working himself in to game shape, not yet at 100 innings if you combine his Winter League starts with his time with the Sugar Land Skeeters. In the end talent just doesn’t disappear. Mix in hard work with a true dedication to your craft, and only good things can happen. 

Devon is the Founder and Executive Director of The GM's Perspective. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Currently, Devon is a Manager at a financial institution in Northern Ontario Canada, and can be reached at devon@thegmsperspective.com. You can follow The GM's Perspective on Twitter and Facebook. His full bio can be seen here.

San Rafael Pacifics: New ownership in 2013

11/25/2012 9:05 AM - Devo

San Rafael Pacifics 3.jpgThe San Rafael Pacifics of the Independent North American League have a new owner.

According to Our Sports Central, Redwood Sports and Entertainment Group, LLC purchased the club, specifically the assets of the San Rafael Pacifics and Sonoma County Grapes. Not the best news for a first-year program, but new owner Mike Shapiro, who has over 25 years of experience in the sports industry, is definitely excited about what lies ahead for the team as discussed on the Pacifics website,

“We are excited to take control of the Pacifics, and look forward to providing San Rafael with affordable, family fun at Albert Park,” said Shaprio, Pacifics team president and general manager. 

San Rafael was near the bottom of the attendance rankings averaging 766 fans per home game (courtesy of Pointstreak), but the outlook for 2013 looks promising. Co-owner Eugene Lupario expressed his desire to have a successful campaign in 2013 when recently interviewed by the Marin Independent Journal

"There is so much joy in this and there is so much fun. When this opportunity came up, it was hard to say no," said Lupario, who now carries the title of managing general partner. "I'm not involved in anything else with this much widespread interest. "... This is our home. We are invested in making this work and now we have the biggest stake." 

Former owner Brian Clark relinquished the reigns citing that he couldn’t be as involved as he would like. 

In related and equally important news, the Marlin Independent Journal confirmed that the new lease on the Pacifics stadium; Albert Park was agreed upon by the San Rafael City Council. 

Talk about a busy week! 

For more information on the Pacifics, please visit their website.

Devon is the Founder and Executive Director of The GM's Perspective. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Currently, Devon is a Manager at a financial institution in Northern Ontario Canada, and can be reached at devon@thegmsperspective.com. You can follow The GM's Perspective on Twitter and Facebook. His full bio can be seen here.

Scott Kazmir makes solid debut in Puerto Rico

11/21/2012 5:34 AM - Devo

Scott Kazmir 26.jpgScott Kazmir’s comeback season isn’t done just yet. 

According to MLB.com, Kazmir recently made his debut in the Puerto Rican Winter League with the Gigantes de Carlina. In four innings, he surrendered two runs on four hits, while walking one and striking out six. 

He was all but written off once the Los Angeles Angels released him at the beginning of the 2011 season. Months after being let go and completely out of the spotlight, Kazmir resurfaced with the Independent Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League. 

In 15 games with the Skeeters, Kazmir didn’t really put up any numbers to write home about; 3-6, 5.34 ERA, 64 innings, 74 hits, 33 BB, 51 strikeouts and a WHIP of 1.67. When you look at the splits you do see improvement on all fronts (statistics courtesy of baseballreference.com).

In Kazmir’s last five starts, there was significant progress. He never gave up more than three runs in any appearance, and never went less than 4.2 innings.

His control, which has been an issue throughout his career, did rear its ugly head in Sugar Land, however, it usually sat between one and three walks per game. An abnormal amount of six walks were given up in his final start of the year. 

Velocity has always been his strong point, but in recent years the speed on his fastball has seen a drastic decline. According to FanGraphs, Kazmir topped out at 93.7MPH in 2004, but in 2011 hit 86.5MPH. On a positive note, in a previous article on The GM’s Perspective, Kazmir tweeted that his velocity was clocked between 94 and 95. If that is true, Kazmir has a legitimate shot at getting back to the big leagues. 

One game does not a season make but consistency is paramount. Kazmir is back on the radar and the scouts will be keeping and eye out that’s for sure. In the meantime he has to continue to sharpen his skills and get back to the basics. Because someone with this talent can’t be held down for long, it’s just a matter of time before this former first-round pick is back in the Show.

Devon is the Founder and Executive Director of The GM's Perspective. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Currently, Devon is a Manager at a financial institution in Northern Ontario Canada, and can be reached at devon@thegmsperspective.com. You can follow The GM's Perspective on Twitter and Facebook. His full bio can be seen here.

Former Chicago Cubs first-round pick signs with Atlanta Braves

11/19/2012 5:08 AM - Devo

Ryan Harvey.jpgRyan Harvey, the Chicago Cubs first-round pick in the 2003 MLB Amateur Draft (6th), had such a great year with the Lancaster Barnstormers of the Independent Atlantic League that the Atlanta Braves have signed the former first-round pick according to LancasterOnline.

It seems the Barnstormers are just full of talent these days as Harvey joins Blake Gailen in the professional ranks. Gailen recently signed a deal with the Colorado Rockies after one of the best Independent seasons on record (as seen previously on The GM’s Perspective).

Harvey has actually had a very successful minor league career, six seasons with the Cubs organization and two with the Rockies

When reviewing his statistics on baseballreference.com, it’s quite evident that Harvey knows how to play the game and has the numbers to back it up.

In 2005 with the Peoria Chiefs, the Cubs single-A affiliate, Harvey belted 24 home runs and finished second in the league with 100 RBI. In 2009 with Tulsa, he went deep 23 times, good enough for third in the league.

Unfortunately, the lack of contact appears to be his Achilles’ heel. A career .252 hitter, Harvey has never hit above .270 and has been consistently in the .220’s-to-.240’s, until this year.

With the Barnstormers, Harvey had a breakout year of sorts. The power numbers were consistent; 27/79, but his batting average was over .300 (.302) for the first time. His .905 OPS was also a career high.

His superb season was wrought with awards with highlights include being named to Baseball America’s Independent Leagues All-Star first team.

Interesting enough, according to the Barnstormer’s website and Harvey’s profile, he was signed by the Boston Red Sox in 2011 and the plan was to convert him to a pitcher. An injury stopped that from happening.

On the positive, Harvey has a lot of talent and is a very valuable commodity, something the Braves are aware of, as well as many others. Let’s hope Harvey, who is still relatively young at 28, can finally reach the big leagues and fulfil the potential that every first-round pick dreams of doing.

Devon is the Founder and Executive Director of The GM's Perspective. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Currently, Devon is a Manager at a financial institution in Northern Ontario Canada, and can be reached at devon@thegmsperspective.com. You can follow The GM's Perspective on Twitter and Facebook. His full bio can be seen here.

 

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