Originally written on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 1/18/12

Cub prospect Dan Vogelbach uses physics to his advantage.

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Offseason Notes.

1. Assorted Headlines
2. Prospecting: Catching Up with John Sickels, Part II
3. Crowdsourcing Broadcasters: New York (AL) Television

Assorted Headlines
Darvish Deadline Today
The deadline for the Texas Rangers to sign NPB pitcher Yu Darvish, for whom they won the posting rights last month, is today at 5pm ET, per the internet.

Houston Signs Cust
The Houston Astros signed Jack Cust on Wednesday to a deal that includes a club option for 2013, reports Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle. Michael Barr looks at the deal from a fantasy perspective today at RotoGraphs. Here’s another perspective: I once saw Cust, playing in a Sacramento River Cats game, see 17 pitches over three plate appearances and swing only once.

Kim Only 32
Ben Nicholson-Smith of MLB Trade Rumors reminds us that Byung-Hyun Kim, who signed recently with the Nexen Heroes of the KBO, is still only 32 years old.

Prospecting: Catching Up with John Sickels, Part II
John Sickels has been prolific of late, publishing a number of his preliminary top-20 lists over the winter holiday while the rest of us were drinking heavily and yelling at the neighbor children. I omitted eight of his lists total from the Notes over the last couple weeks. We looked briefly at four of those yesterday; here are links to the remaining four. Idle comments are my own, and shouldn’t be confused with proper analysis.

Colorado Rockies
Sickels ranks third-base prospect Nolan Arenado first overall in the organization. Here’s what Nolan Arenado does: hits for power. Here’s what else: makes contact frequently. (Which tandem of skills allowed him to make the SCOUT batting leaderboard for this year’s Arizona Fall League.) Second note: is third-ranked Chad Bettis (command of a 94-95 mph fastball and tight slider, but with no third pitch) more likely to be Michael Pineda or David Hernandez?

New York Yankees
This went up before the Jesus Montero-Michael Pineda trade, but it’s notable that Sickels gives the former a straight A, which is pretty rare. Sickels: “His glove isn’t very good and while he’s not a complete player in terms of contributing speed or defense, his hitting is so strong he still gets a Grade A from me.” Possiblly underrated guy from Sickels: ninth-ranked corner guy Christopher Austin.


Chicago Cubs
First-base prospect Daniel Vogelbach just turned 19 and is listed at 6-0, 250. He’s also a real, real hitter.

Cincinnati Reds
Your overlooked prospect here, per Sickels: Tim Crabbe, at No. 14. Apparently has mid-90s fastball and, per Baseball America, the best slider in the Reds system.

Crowdsourcing Broadcasters: New York (AL) Television
This offseason, FanGraphs is asking readers to rate the broadcast teams for all 30 major-league clubs. (Click here for more on this project.)

Rate other teams: Arizona / Atlanta / Baltimore / Boston / Chicago (AL) / Chicago (NL) / Cincinnati / Cleveland / Colorado / Detroit / Miami / Houston / Los Angeles (AL) / Los Angeles (NL, Home Games) / Los Angeles (NL, Away Games) / Milwaukee / Minnesota.

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Draymond Green to meet with Warriors at onset of free agency

Panthers rookie WR: We're going to be the dynamic duo

Examining Bo Ryan's legacy at Wisconsin

World Cup semifinals preview: US-Japan, Germany-England

Tim Duncan to help Spurs pitch LaMarcus Aldridge


Report: Knicks gave up on signing Marc Gasol 'long ago'

Kings terminate Mike Richards' contract due to 'breach'

Report: Nets believe they can trade Deron Williams

Mickelson likely committed no crime even if he gambled

Report: Dwyane Wade to decline option, become a free agent

Darren McFadden: I feel like a rookie again

Fan bases most deserving of a Super Bowl 50 win

2015 NBA Draft grades: Eastern Conference

Report: Redskins urged by major group to change team name

Under the radar NBA free agents

Michael Sam, boyfriend Vito Cammisano broke up?

Top seven storylines entering free agency around the NBA

Former FSU mascot killed in argument over gumbo recipe

Royals slipping in ASG voting, lose two more starters

Fred Smoot: I played with gay players, 'everyone knew'

Bobby Portis brings donuts for media at press conference

John Calipari shares his thoughts on Confederate flag

Steve Weatherford, Jason Kelce get into Twitter beef

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NBA Draft grades: Eastern Conference

Under the radar NBA free agents

Michael Sam, boyfriend broke up?

Mickelson linked to money laundering?

Reminiscing on 'Love & Basketball' 15 years later

Selecting the 2015 NL All-Stars

The Sixers' latest horde

Projected landing spots for NBA's top free agents

MLB changes format for Home Run Derby

Revis to work out with Patriots DBs

Peterson: I'm still NFL's best RB

Kobe gives great quote on friendship

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