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Welcome to Dirtbags Baseball blog! I was introduced to Long Beach State baseball in 2002 when my nephew, Neil Jamison, joined the team (and university) as a freshman. I started the blog in March of 2004, and generally discuss the team, current players and those that have moved on to professional baseball - as Neil has done in the San Diego Padres organization. Living in San Diego County, and with Neil moving to the next level, I won't be attending as many Dirtbags games. But, mostly from a distance, I'll remain a Dirtbags fan. I welcome tips on stories and information concerning the Dirtbags (current, past and future). I can be contacted at


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Tuesday, April 06, 2004

This from a piece on ESPN, comparing Jered Weaver with Mark Prior:

"Joe asks: In regards to Jered Weaver of Long Beach State, and comparisons being made to Mark Prior, you were quoted in the March 16 "Down on the Farm" saying "... Prior comparisons are unfair at this stage of the game; neither (Weaver's) stuff nor his command are quite as good as Prior's were ..."

I'd have to disagree with you. The numbers speak for themselves. In his first 56.2 innings this year, Weaver has a 0.64 ERA and an 89/8 K/BB ratio, allowing just 22 hits and only one home run.

Weaver is the early favorite to go No. 1 in the draft, with the Padres making noises about selecting Weaver in that spot. As you point out, Weaver's statistics this year are unworldly, with especially awesome K/IP and H/IP rates. Pitching for USC in 2001, Prior posted tremendous numbers of his own: 15-1, 1.69 ERA, 202/18 K/BB in 139 innings, 100 hits allowed. It's true that so far Weaver's numbers are better than that, at least in the ERA department. But the college season isn't even half-over yet, and just a handful of mediocre games will put Weaver's numbers closer to Prior. So let's see what happens as the season progresses.

Even if Weaver, the brother of Dodgers pitcher Jeff Weaver, retains a sub-1.00 ERA and Platonic World-of-Forms peripheral stats, I don't think scouts are going to rate him ahead of or equal to Prior. He doesn't throw as hard as Prior did at the same stage, his breaking ball isn't quite as good, and his mechanics aren't quite as clean. Weaver is an excellent prospect, no question, and you could easily say that he's the best college pitcher since Prior. He's a better overall prospect than 2002 No. 1 pick Bryan Bullington, and is more refined than '03 draftee Kyle Sleeth, the first college pitcher picked last year. Weaver will be a completely legitimate No. 1 pick, which puts him in the elite class, but Prior was a once-in-a-decade talent.

I'm certainly not downplaying Weaver. I do believe that college statistics, properly interpreted, are meaningful in projecting future success. But the key is proper interpretation, which is very difficult the farther away from the pro ranks you get. For college and high school players, I believe that traditional scouting is absolutely crucial in projecting future value; we can't go by the numbers alone. You have to look at the numbers and the scouting reports. The fact that Weaver's numbers, so far, are a bit better than Prior's certainly doesn't mean that Weaver is a better prospect. There's a lot more to it than that."

You can read the article here.

posted on 4/06/2004 by Jeff Agnew

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