Jordan Walden is No Mystery

Jordan Walden is a mystery to some, but not to those who read the 2007 Top 10 Prospects Report.

Why it is that some people don’t do their research when the Internet boasts many fine search engines?

Case in point: This thread on which declared that Jordan Walden’s velocity dropped his senior year in high school "for no apparent reason."

Comparing Jordan to Padres prospect Matt Latos, the author writes: "Which is the bigger problem, Latos’ makeup issues or Walden’s vanishing fastball?"

Well, anyone who read the Top 10 Prospects Report last November knows it was no mystery at all.

Jordan suffered a groin injury his senior year. It was reported not only on, but a quick Google search would have found these reports:

Baseball America: "A matchup with projected second-round pick Zach Britton drew a horde of scouts, but Walden pitched at just 85-88 mph due to a groin injury. He did rebound to throw 92-93 mph in his next outing, so his draft status is secure." "The Texas recruit also had 11 home runs and 36 RBIs during a season hindered by a nagging groin injury. He was drafted in the 12th round by the Los Angeles Angels." "He’s got a projectable body and a fastball that touches 97 mph. A drop in velocity, and a groin injury, this year hurt his stock, though when he’s on, he’s got a plus fastball and curve with easy delivery.

And so on …

I have the highest respect for John Sickels, the column’s author. He’s one of the few independent analysts out there who tries to get it right. But none of us are perfect.

My concern is more with how these things take on a life of their own. If you read the replies, one person claims Walden has a “disappearing fastball,” another speculates he was suffering from fatigue, a third claims Jordan is “soft.” For cryin’ out loud! All this nonsense over a non-issue.

I just can’t abide by intellectual laziness, and the Internet certainly encourages it.




    I thought you might enjoy this article:

    It confirms something you’ve said all along, an opinion I share- PECOTA, and similar MoneyBall sabermetric prediction operations, have consistently underrated the Scioscia-brand Angels.

    I just thought it was cool to be vindicated. And a note here: this is based on the last 5 seasons, so it doesn’t even count 2002, when they predicted us to be dead last by a wide margin.

  2. Stephen

    Thanks for the link.

    Actually, my beef is the total misrepresentation of the Angels operation by people who (1) are promoting a narrow agenda, namely a strident sabermetric dogma that ignores facts proving them wrong, and/or (2) have no clue how the game is played, mistaking fantasy baseball for reality baseball.

    Yesterday’s L.A. Times had an interview with Mickey Hatcher that I knew would set off the stathead zealots:,1,7251780.story?ctrack=8&cset=true

    He echoed what I’ve said all along. (1) and (2) above have no idea WHY a walk happens, nor do they acknowledge that “Contactball” as I call it advances a runner while a walk doesn’t (unless it’s a force).

    Bottom line, there are a lot of ways to win ballgames, and that’s what matters. Refusing to acknowledge that there’s more than one way to win a game is just foolish and narrow-minded.


    I am new to the site. I have a friend who has been invited to Tempe to tryout for the Angels April 3. Is there a schedule of games or practice schedule available. He is from Denmark and I would like to visit him while he is in the States

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