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Prospectus '07

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Just received my copy of Baseball Prospectus 2007.

The Astros' entry--which I understand was written by Will Carroll--for the most part is pretty much what you'd expect from the sabermetric website. The main article on the team makes the case that Clemens' "holdout" was the defining issue for the team last year, and that the three-city minor league tour he took was simply an expression of the Rocket's selfishness. It further makes the case that the Astros have showed a somewhat schizophrenic face this century, alternately splurging on free agents, and "crying midmarket poor."

The player capsules which follow predictably take issue with the use of Everett and Ausmus over the last three years, and Carroll doesn't think much of Craig Biggio, either.

But it's all done fairly civilly, unlike the manner of, say, Joe Sheehan's current piece at BP.

There also a few errors here and there. Carroll makes reference to "Mark Bruntlett," and tells us that Barthmaier has a low '90's fastball and a plus curveball. He's actually reached 97 in camp this spring, and he has the best curveball in the organization. The capsules also get Clemens' birthdate wrong.

But though I do so love to nitpick, those are nitpicky things, and I actually enjoyed reading the capsules as long as they weren't about Ausmus and Everett. OP's entry, for example, is kind of interesting.

Palmeiro's career pinch-hitting rates of .267/.338/.366 may not seem impressive, but he provides consistent value in a very difficult role.  Among the 68 players who have had 300 or more pinch-hit plate appearances since 1960, Palmeiro's average ranks 19th.  His main suitability for the role is that he makes contact and puts the ball in play.  Palmeiro rarely plays the field and almost never bats against lefties, so his profressional existence is dependent on his ability to deliver singles off righty pitchers.  That's something, but it's a very narrow use of a precious roster spot.

The point Carroll makes has been discussed in some detail recently on this very site.

It's not a 100%-type thing, but there's a possibility Will Carroll could make himself available to me for an interview on the Astros piece or maybe about anything else.

Would any of you have any questions for the guy? I'm no good at thinking those things up . . . .