Originally written on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 12/15/11

Sean Burroughs familiarizes himself with local culture.

Assorted Headlines
Twins Sign Burroughs, Rivera, Walters
The Minnesota Twins have signed third baseman Sean Burroughs and right-hander P.J. Walters — and re-signed catcher Rene Rivera — reports Joe Christensen of the Star Tribune. The 31-year-old Burroughs, once a top prospect in the Padre system, made a return to affiliated baseball in 2011 after a three-year absence, netting 115 plate appearances with the Diamondbacks, although the 66 wRC+ (.305 BABIP) he posted isn’t particularly promising.

Zumaya Works Out for Clubs, Throws in 90s
Former Detroit Tiger, and current free-agent, right-hander Joel Zumaya held a throwing session in Houston on Wednesday, reports John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press. Per Lowe, more than half of the big-league clubs had a representative at the throwing session, during the course of which Zumaya, 27, threw his fastball in the 90s. Zumaya’s fastball has averaged 98.5 mph per Pitch FX, although, due to injuries — including, notably, when he broke his frigging elbow while pitching in late-June of 2010 — Zumaya hasn’t had much of an opportunity to use it.

Research: Inclusion of Velocity as Variable Improves ERA Estimator
Our man Matt Swartz, creator of SIERA and probably some other weird stuff he doesn’t wanna talk about right now, finds over at The Hardball Times that including velocity as a variable in a projecting strikeout rate and walk rate and BABIP makes those projections more accurate.

SCOUT Leaderboards: Dominican Winter League
Batting Leaderboard
Here is the SCOUT batting leaderboard for the Dominican Winter League DWL. SCOUT represents an attempt to derive something meaningful from small samples and is the average of a player’s standard deviations from the DWL mean in three important (and regressed) stats: walk rate, strikeout rate, and home-run rate. (Click here for more on SCOUT. SCOUT leaderboards for the Arizona Fall League appear here on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Leaderboards for the Venezuelan and Dominican Winter Leagues appear on Tuesday and Thursday, respectively.)

Name Org PA xBB% xK% xHR% BBz Kz HRz SCOUT Ricardo Nanita TOR 116 10.3% 10.8% 3.0% 0.37 1.23 0.88 0.83 Brian Bogusevic HOU 147 15.9% 19.0% 2.1% 1.98 -0.15 0.35 0.73 Jhonatan Solano WAS 106 10.2% 10.7% 1.4% 0.36 1.25 -0.14 0.49 Wilkin Castillo ATL 93 8.3% 10.2% 2.1% -0.19 1.32 0.32 0.48 Brandon Belt SF 116 11.8% 16.8% 2.0% 0.80 0.23 0.25 0.43 Anderson Hernandez HOU 184 9.2% 10.9% 1.3% 0.08 1.21 -0.19 0.36 Matt Hague PIT 168 11.9% 16.1% 1.4% 0.85 0.34 -0.14 0.35 Denis Phipps CIN 117 11.7% 17.3% 1.6% 0.79 0.13 0.03 0.32 Erick Almonte MIL 173 14.7% 20.8% 0.7% 1.65 -0.45 -0.58 0.21 Jose Constanza ATL 124 7.4% 9.8% 0.9% -0.44 1.39 -0.42 0.18

There’s a possibility, reader, that (a) you don’t know precisely who Wilkin Castillo is but (b) you’re dying to know who Wilkin Castillo is. Here’s who he isn’t: Wilkin Ramirez. That’s a different guy. Here’s who he is: a 27-year-old catcher in the Atlanta system.

Pitching Leaderboard
For pitchers, SCOUT is the average of a player’s standard deviations from the DWL mean in (regressed) strikeout and walk rate.

Name Org G GS IP BF xK% xBB% Kz BBz SCOUT Jairo Asencio ATL 20 0 21.2 80 30.5% 6.9% 1.78 0.09 0.93 Everett Teaford KC 5 5 23.2 92 26.9% 6.6% 1.20 0.19 0.70 Eddy Valdez MEX 14 5 29.0 128 24.9% 7.4% 0.87 -0.04 0.42 Raul Valdes PHI 8 8 45.0 182 22.0% 5.8% 0.41 0.43 0.42 Jordan Norberto OAK 14 4 22.0 98 25.4% 7.8% 0.96 -0.15 0.41 Osiris Matos SF 19 0 21.1 82 23.4% 6.7% 0.65 0.15 0.40 Aneury Rodriguez HOU 7 6 27.2 108 22.8% 6.7% 0.55 0.15 0.35 Carlos Pimentel TEX 16 0 18.2 79 27.3% 9.5% 1.26 -0.64 0.31 Angel Castro MEX 19 1 37.0 150 22.0% 6.7% 0.41 0.15 0.28 Chris Leroux PIT 5 5 23.2 90 21.8% 7.0% 0.39 0.08 0.23

Since we last looked at the DWL, right-handed relief ace Jairo Asencio has three strikeouts… in zero innings.

Or 2.2 innings, actually, looks like. But no walks!

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