Sunday Notes: Josh Barfield Recollects Grady Sizemore and Victor Martinez

Josh Barfield had a comparatively brief large league profession. Now the farm director for the Arizona Diamondbacks, the 40-year-old son of Nineteen Eighties outfielder Jesse Barfield performed for the San Diego Padres in 2006, and for the Cleveland Indians from 2007-2009. I requested the erstwhile infielder whom he considers probably the most gifted of his former teammates.

“I believe I’d must say Grady Sizemore,” replied Barfield. “He was ridiculously gifted. He may do nearly the whole lot on the sector. In all probability the very best participant general — the very best profession — was Mike Piazza, however for pure expertise it might be Grady.”

Sizemore debuted with Cleveland and collected 27.3 WAR — — solely Albert Pujols, Chase Utley, and Alex Rodriguez had extra — from 2005-2008 in his age 22-25 seasons. He made three All-Star groups, gained two Gold Gloves, and logged a 129 wRC+ with 107 dwelling runs and 115 stolen bases over that four-year-stretch. A string of accidents adopted, torpedoing what might need been an excellent profession. When all was stated and achieved, Sizemore had simply 29.7 WAR.

Different former teammates who stand out for Barfield have been Adrian Gonzalez, Mike Cameron, and Victor Martinez, the final of whom he known as probably the most gifted hitter of the group.

“Victor would go up there and name his shot,” stated Barfield. “He would say, ‘I’m going to take a seat on a breaking ball right here,’ then he’d spit on two fastballs, and once they hung a breaking ball he would hit it into the bullpen. He was actually enjoyable to observe hit, as a result of he was enjoying chess up there a variety of instances.”

Martinez was arguably among the many most-underrated hitters of this era. From 2004-2014, the sweet-swinging, switch-hitting catcher/first baseman slashed a strong .307/.374/.479 with 339 doubles, 187 dwelling runs, and a 127 wRC+. Furthermore, he raked within the postseason, placing up a .315/.374/.503 line over 163 plate appearances.

A full-length interview with Barfield, specializing in participant growth and several other of the promising younger gamers within the Diamondbacks system, can be included in our full slate of Prospect Week content material, which kicks off tomorrow.



Woody English went 7 for 16 towards Kent Greenfield.

Bob Dernier went 6 for 13 towards Danny Cox.

David Justice went 6 for 11 towards Lance Painter.

Bobby Thomson went 4 for 8 towards Thornton Kipper.

Klondike Smith went 1 for 4 towards Boardwalk Brown.


Vinnie Pasquantino introduced up Freddie Freeman in his latest Talks Hitting interview, citing the six-time All-Star and 2020 NL MVP for instance of a primary baseman who thrives with a line-drive strategy. Grant Lavigne did the identical once I talked to him throughout the Arizona Fall League. Very similar to Freeman and Pasquantino, the left-handed-hitting Colorado Rockies first-base prospect isn’t seeking to launch, however fairly to drive balls into gaps.

His 2022 numbers replicate that strategy. In 524 plate appearances cut up between Excessive-A Spokane and Double-A Hartford, the 23-year-old New Hampshire native slashed .283/.379/.423 with simply 10 dwelling runs. Given his dimension — Lavigne is listed at 6-foot-4, 220 kilos — and positional profile, the shortage of energy manufacturing is clearly working towards him. Lavigne claimed to not be overly involved after we spoke in Arizona, however one thing else he stated means that clearing extra fences is certainly a objective.

“I’m attempting out a brand new bat,” defined Lavigne. “I’ve beforehand simply used one with an everyday knob. This one has an additional inch on it, and an additional ounce. It sort of helps my barrel path. Typically I tend to be too East-West — I might be actually flat — and that may clearly end in a variety of floor balls. I really feel like this one helps me be extra North-South, staying via pitches, and driving the ball within the air.”

The bat that Lavigne was attempting out within the AFL measured 34-and-three-quarters inches, and 32-and-a-half ounces.


Ryan Loutos has arguably probably the most distinctive pitching prospect profile in baseball. Signed by the St. Louis Cardinals as a non-drafted free agent out of a D-III college, the 24-year-old right-hander superior to Triple-A final 12 months in his first full skilled season. That’s solely half of what separates him from his friends. The Washington College graduate has additionally been working for the groups as a part-time analyst.

Loutos was a visitor on Friday’s episode of FanGraphs Audio, and one of many questions I requested was whether or not the Cardinals signed him as a pitcher first and an analyst second, or the opposite manner round.

“I don’t know if I’ll ever know for certain,” replied Loutos, who appeared in 46 video games between three ranges final 12 months. “However my guess is, trying again objectively, they signed me as an analyst first. I don’t assume they thought I’d be in big-league camp right here in 2023.”

How Loutos realized that he’d be becoming a member of the Cardinals group is one other attention-grabbing a part of the story.

“They have been the one staff that I had a dialog with, actually,” Loutos stated on the pod. “I didn’t actually have a dialog with them. They known as me within the 18th spherical to inform me that I wasn’t getting drafted [but] that I used to be going to be the primary man they signal after the draft… It was sort of humorous the way it labored out. It was lifeless silent round draft time. I didn’t speak to another groups.”


A quiz:

Which participant has been charged with probably the most errors because the flip of the century (2000)?

The reply might be discovered beneath.



Longtime Males’s Nationwide Group pitching coach Denis Boucher is one among 4 individuals who can be inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame this 12 months. The others are Jesse Barfield, Rich Harden, and Joe Wiwchar.

The recipients of SABR’s 2023 Henry Chadwick Award, which honor the sport’s nice researchers, are Steve Gietschier, Mark Rucker, and Robert Whiting. Extra info might be discovered here.

The complete schedule for the 2023 SABR Analytics Convention is now out. It may be discovered here.

Matt Daniels has joined the Minnesota Twins group within the position of Pitching Growth & Acquisitions Specialist. The Driveline alum spent the final three years with the San Francisco Giants.

Brian Dubois, a left-handed pitcher for the Detroit Tigers in 1989 and 1990, died earlier this week at age 55. Acquired by Detroit from the Baltimore Orioles in trade for Keith Moreland, Dubois made 18 big-league appearances and went 3-9 with a 3.82 ERA and one save.

Ron Tompkins, a right-hander who pitched for the Kansas Metropolis Athletics in 1965, and the Chicago Cubs in 1971, died earlier this month at age 78. Tompkins misplaced each of his profession selections, the primary of them an extra-innings defeat to the New York Mets during which Ken Singleton drove within the deciding run and Nolan Ryan received the win in reduction.


The reply to the quiz is Adrián Beltré, who was charged with 269 of his 311 profession errors from 2000 onward. Elvis Andrus, who has the fourth-highest complete since 2000, has probably the most amongst energetic gamers.


Common readers of this column know that I prefer to ask minor-league hitters which pitcher they’ve confronted within the present (or earlier) season most had them strolling again to the dugout pondering, “Man, this man is nasty.” I not too long ago posed to the query to Sal Frelick, whose first full skilled season began in Excessive-A and resulted in Triple-A.

“I believe I’ve received to go together with Eury Pérez from the Marlins,” replied the 2021 first-rounder, who’s No. 3 on our Milwaukee Brewers Prime Prospects checklist. “He’s possibly 18 or 19 years previous and he appears to be like like LeBron James. He’s large, and he’s throwing about 99 [mph]. I bear in mind seeing this child and being like, ‘He can’t be 18 — nonetheless previous he was — and throwing this difficult, with that good of off-speed.”

Pérez, who’s listed at 6-foot-8, celebrated his nineteenth birthday early final season. The Santiago, Dominican Republic native is broadly thought to be one of many high pitching prospects within the recreation.


Blake Sabol is a participant to observe this spring. Chosen by the Cincinnati Reds in final winter’s Rule 5 draft and subsequently swapped to the San Francisco Giants, the 25-year-old should both break camp together with his new staff or be provided again to the Pittsburgh Pirates. His profile is intriguing. Sabol — featured right here at FanGraphs in November — has an unsure defensive future, however is coming off of a 2022 season the place he homered 19 instances whereas logging a strong 130 wRC+ between Double-A and Triple-A.

I requested Ben Cherington about Sabol shortly earlier than he was taken within the Rule 5.

“He’s caught, performed first, and performed a nook outfield,” the Pirates GM instructed me. “He’s good offensive participant and we’re looking for a technique to maximize his offensive items. The catching factor got here, largely as a result of… he approached us two springs in the past and stated, ‘Hey, I used to catch, after which in faculty they wouldn’t let me catch — however I believe I can catch.’ We thought, ‘Positive, let’s give it a shot.’ So, he’s been catching and has achieved a reasonably good job. He’s a left-handed hitter who has an opportunity to be a catcher/first base/nook participant who gives good offense. He’s not too far-off.”


The Guide of Joe, by Joe Maddon and Tom Verducci contains an anecdote that’s equal components entertaining and head-scratchingly exasperating. Per the authors, when the New York Yankees acquired Graeme Lloyd in 1996, George Steinbrenner approached the left-hander and instructed him that he was sorry about the issue in his native Australia. When Lloyd requested him what he was referring to, Steinbrenner stated, “The one the place all of the barbers died.” Lloyd received the message and had his locks minimize.

The Yankees’ long-outdated hair coverage, which inexplicably nonetheless exists, was borderline embarrassing when “The Boss” gave Lloyd the coyly-phrases ultimatum. Almost three many years later, it’s now not borderline.



Sportsnet Canada gained’t resume on-site radio broadcasts for street video games this season and can as a substitute present distant protection from its downtown Toronto studio. Gregory Sturdy wrote about the inexplicable choice for The Toronto Star.

John Jaso walked away from MLB at age 34, 5 years in the past, and now spends a lot of his time on a sailboat. David Gardner has the story at The New York Instances.

Jung-hoo Lee 이정후 — anticipated to be posted by the Kiwoom Heroes subsequent 12 months — is producing loads of buzz within the lead-up to the WBC. Jeeho Yoo wrote about the eye the KBO famous person has been getting for the Yonhap Information Company.’s Mike Petriello presented us with 5 hitters who he feels are poised to interrupt out this season.’s Josh Jackson wrote about the Calumet Aristocrats, a minor-league staff in Michigan’s Higher Peninsula from 1904-1907.



Javier Báez had 354 assists and 17 throwing errors final season. Xander Bogaerts had 401 assists and 4 throwing errors.

Tim McCarver had 1,501 hits, 548 walks, and 422 strikeouts.
Buster Posey had 1,500 hits, 540 walks, and 721 strikeouts.
Mike Bordick had 1,500 hits, 500 walks, and 800 strikeouts.

Aaron Boone performed in 1,152 video games, had 1,017 hits, and 1,645 complete bases.
Scott Brosius performed in 1,146 video games, had 1,001 hits, and 1,640 complete bases.

On immediately’s date in 1982, the St. Louis Cardinals acquired Ozzie Smith from the San Diego Padres as a part of a six-player deal that additionally included Sixto Lezcano and Gary Templeton. “The Wizard” gained Gold Gloves and was an All-Star in every of his first 11 seasons as a Cardinal.

The Cleveland Indians signed Luke Easter on immediately’s date in 1949. A primary baseman who had been starring for the Negro Nationwide League’s Homestead Grays, Easter joined Larry Doby within the Cleveland lineup and went on to play components of six MLB seasons.

Gamers born on immediately’s date embody Gail Hopkins, a primary baseman for the Chicago White Sox from 1968-1970, the Kansas Metropolis Royals from 1971-1973, and the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1974. Hopkins logged 324 MLB hits — together with 25 dwelling runs — earlier than occurring to play three seasons in Japan and earn each a PH.D. and an M.D.

Additionally born on immediately’s date was Brad Kilby, a left-hander who went 1-0 with a 1.07 ERA whereas throwing 25-and-a-third innings with the Oakland Athletics in 2009-2010. Kilby’s ERA is the bottom in big-league historical past amongst pitchers with at the very least 25 innings.

In 1914, the Western Canada League’s Moose Jaw Robin Hoods had an outfielder named Ten Million. Per his Baseball-Reference bio page, that was his actual identify.