John Sickles posted a few profiles on players over on Minor League Ball that weren’t included when he posted some of the team lists. His thoughts were noteworthy for Royals fans because Noel Arguelles and Derrick Robinson were among the players profiled.
In his post titled Stragglers, he had this to say on Noel Arguelles:
Noel Arguelles, LHP, Royals: Grade C+. Live-armed Cuban defector, not Chapman but supposedly talented, though didn’t throw as hard in workouts as he did in Cuba.
I really don’t like his use of “supposedly” in the above as I think it undersells Noel. There is no doubt that he is talented. He didn’t throw as hard in workouts as he did in Cuba but neither did Chapman. Clearly I have a lot more faith in Noel than Sickels does because I believe Arguelles has a huge future ahead of him. I’ve said it a handful of times already, but I will say it again. When all is said and done, I think Noel will have a better professional career than Aroldis. Maybe I’m just blindly optimistic. Maybe I’m way off base. I’ve never seen either of them pitch, but something in my gut tells me that Noel was the more intelligent signing.
Sickels also profiled Derrick Robinson in his post titled Outtakes and had this to say:
Derrick Robinson, OF, Kansas City Royals
Bats: S Throws: L HT: 5-11 WT: 170 DOB: September 28, 1987
I’m keeping Derrick Robinson in the book another year because Royals fans remain curious about him, and because he’s still one of the fastest runners in professional baseball. Alas, he still can’t hit, and his second year in the Carolina League didn’t do anything to make me think that is going to change. His walk rate and on-base ability actually got worse. His power production and batting average were nearly the same, and he continues to get caught stealing more often than he should given his blazing speed. He’s still young at 22, but other than his birthday there aren’t a lot of positives here. Grade C.
I can’t really take issue with anything he says about D-Rob, but the above does completely dismiss Derrick’s late season improvement. In August last season Robinson hit 0.311/.362/.513 with 12 extra base hits (5 2B, 2 3B, and 5 HR). Considering he had just 29 extra base hits (19 2B, 5 3B, and 5 HR) for the entire season, the power surge (while confined to a 1-month stretch) is statistically significant. I’m not saying Robinson turned the corner or anything. He proceeded to hit 0.143/.182/.143 in 21 September at bats and it came after he hit 0.174/.211/.239 in July. What his August performance does show is that he is capable of hitting. He turned 22 in September which means he was slightly younger than the average age (22.6 years old) of hitters playing in High-A. It also bears consideration that Wilmington, and the Carolina League as a whole, is extremely tough on hitters.
I value John’s opinion greatly and I have had my copy of his prospect book on pre-order for months now, but I completely disagree with him on Noel Arguelles. His assessment of Derrick Robinson is very valid and is more than likely spot on, but for one month anyway Robinson showed that he could become a major league hitter. Of course I could win the lottery, but I’d have to buy a ticket first.
Speaking of John’s 2010 Baseball Prospect Book, make sure you head here, and order your copy today. It is scheduled to ship February 2nd, 2010.