Originally written on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 11/18/14

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.


Duke Johnson's mother says son will enter NFL Draft

Starlin Castro questioned following nightclub shooting

Report: Jeff Driskel thinking about transfer to Duke

Browns suspend Josh Gordon for final game of season

Michigan brass in Bay Area for Jim Harbaugh pursuit

Report: Rex Ryan has already cleaned out his office


Clint Trickett retires due to concussions, hid two

Drew Stanton likely out for the year, postseason included

Byron Scott: ‘Idiots’ think Lakers are better team without Kobe

Undrafted QB Connor Shaw to sign with Browns, likely start

Report: Alex Smith out Week 17 with lacerated spleen

Belichick: Garoppolo has better understanding of NFL

WATCH: Rory McIlroy trolled by 'Sweet Caroline' song

Auburn, Wisconsin players literally ate tons of food

Did Kobe Bryant respond to heckler with the rings count?

Doug Fister bought Starbucks for his Twitter followers

DeMarco Murray dumped over cheating accusations?

Video: Rudy Gay tosses half-court alley-oop to McLemore

WATCH: Craig Sager is touched by outpouring of support during leukemia fight

Hiroki Kuroda returns to Japan, ditches Yankees

Kevin Garnett: ‘Very weird’ to see Celtics without Rajon Rondo

Report: New Jersey Devils fire head coach Peter DeBoer

Mark Richt confirms Todd Gurley will leave UGA for NFL

Frank Gore: Colin Kaepernick is 'not broke'

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Castro questioned after shooting

Rory McIlroy trolled with 'Sweet Caroline'

Browns suspend Josh Gordon

Kobe gives heckler the rings count?

Murray dumped over cheating scandal?

Rex Ryan has cleaned out his office

Five breakout stars in 2014

The 2014 NFL All-Help Offense

Five things learned about NBA on X-Mas

What if Bear Bryant coached in the NFL?

Carmelo Anthony: The Knicks are dying

The last time the Lions won in Green Bay

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