Originally posted on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 1/24/12

An early search result for the terms “Wilson” and “Betemit.”

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

1. Assorted Headlines
2. SCOUT Leaderboards: Australian Baseball League
3. Kevin Millwood’s Stunning PITCHf/x Chart

Assorted Headlines
Baltimore Signs Betemit to Two-Year Deal
Contrary to earlier reports of a one-year agreement, the Baltimore Orioles have actually signed the 30-year-old Wilson Betemit to a two-year deal, reports Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun, with an option for a third year. Terms of the deal haven’t been disclosed. Betemit is the third infield-type Baltimore has acquired this offseason — along with Matt Antonelli and Ryan Flaherty — although Betemit’s resume is certainly more substantial. He’s hit about 25% better than league average over the last two seasons, a line, albeit, has been buoyed up by a BABIP of ca. .375.

Seattle Signs Millwood
The Seattle Mariners have signed right-hander Kevin Millwood, entering his age-37 season, to a minor-league contract with a spring-training invite, according to the Associate Press. Millwood gets a $1 million salary if he makes Seattle’s 40-man roster and can earn an additional $750,000 in performance bonuses. Here’s what he did last season in nine kinda-surprisingly-adequate late-season starts: 54.1 IP, 16.2% K, 3.6% BB, 42.2% GB, 92 xFIP-. PITCHf/x has Millwood throwing literally seven different pitches.

Brookover: Phillies Will Never Stink Again
There’s nothing wrong with Bob Brookover’s reasoning in this piece from the Philadelphia Inquirer, in which he (i.e. Brookover) argues that, owing to their resources, “there is reason to believe that the Phillies [who had the second highest payroll in 2011] will never stink again.” In any case, the Phillies haven’t made it particularly easy for themselves by signing Ryan Howard five-year, $125 million extension in April of 2010 that only begins this season. (Link courtesy Mark Polishuk of MLB Trade Rumors.)

SCOUT Leaderboards: Australian Baseball League
Batting Leaderboard
Here is the SCOUT batting leaderboard for the Australian Baseball League (ABL). SCOUT represents an attempt to derive something meaningful from small samples and is the average of a player’s standard deviations from the ABL mean in three important (and regressed) stats: walk rate, strikeout rate, and home-run rate. Click here for more on SCOUT. (Note: “Org” is last known team/league affiliations are.)

Num Name Org PA xBB% xK% xHR% BBz Kz HRz SCOUT 1 Brian Burgamy IND 198 17.1% 10.1% 5.1% 2.01 1.29 0.87 1.39 2 Brad Harman FA 156 9.6% 14.1% 6.6% 0.05 0.63 1.54 0.74 3 Boss Moanaroa BOS 156 14.1% 13.5% 3.2% 1.22 0.73 -0.01 0.65 4 Kody Hightower GER 141 12.3% 12.4% 3.7% 0.75 0.91 0.22 0.63 5 Justin Huber IND 183 14.8% 15.3% 3.3% 1.41 0.43 0.01 0.62 6 Mitch Dening BOS 114 14.5% 13.6% 2.7% 1.34 0.71 -0.27 0.59 7 David Sutherland FA 184 9.3% 8.7% 3.3% -0.03 1.52 0.00 0.50 8 Matt Kennelly ATL 183 9.8% 9.8% 3.3% 0.11 1.34 0.01 0.48 9 Tim Kennelly FA 190 8.5% 11.6% 4.5% -0.24 1.05 0.59 0.47 10 Brenden Webb BAL 125 16.0% 24.3% 4.6% 1.73 -1.07 0.61 0.42

• Red Sox minor leaguer Mitch Dening, entering his age-23 season, makes his debut on the ABL SCOUT batting leaderboard this week. Hasn’t hit like a corner type in the minors, which is what his defensive upside appears to be, but Sox have also been pretty aggressive with his promotions.
• Second baseman Brad Harman moves from ninth to second on the leaderboard after a stretch of five games that saw him hit four home runs, walk four times, and strike out just once. At 26, Harman doesn’t have youth on his side, although the power seems real: as a 22-year-old in the Philadelphia system, Harman hit 17 home runs in 494 plate appearances.

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

Num Name Org G GS IP BF xK% xBB% Kz BBz SCOUT 1 Yohei Yanagawa NPB 7 7 35.2 153 28.2% 10.0% 2.13 -0.46 0.83 2 Ryan Searle CHN 5 5 32.0 131 24.9% 8.0% 1.46 0.09 0.78 3 Todd Van Steensel PHI 11   21.2 88 24.1% 7.9% 1.28 0.11 0.70 4 Mike Mcguire PHI 14 10 56.0 250 25.2% 9.6% 1.52 -0.36 0.58 5 Brian Grening IND 23   43.2 191 22.6% 7.8% 0.98 0.14 0.56 6 Cameron Lamb SF 15   28.2 122 22.7% 7.9% 1.01 0.10 0.56 7 Matthew Williams FA 15   29.1 113 22.3% 7.7% 0.94 0.17 0.55 8 Benn Grice FA 21   28.1 114 20.9% 7.3% 0.64 0.27 0.46 9 Paul Mildren FRA 11 10 61.2 272 18.8% 6.2% 0.21 0.57 0.39 10 Steve Kent ATL 20   30.1 134 21.2% 8.3% 0.70 0.01 0.35

• Right-hander Ryan Searle, at whom we looked at briefly last week, moves from fifth to second on this week’s board on the strength of a seven-inning start that saw him strike out nine and walk just one (while also allowing a homer). He’s a 23-year-old in the Cubs system.

Kevin Millwood’s Stunning PITCHf/x Chart
Here is Kevin Millwood’s stunning PITCHf/x chart from 2011:

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