Byron Embry: Who?
When the time comes to evaluate a baseball player (which happens quite often in my world), the one thing I make sure I never do is making an assumption about the player in question. Call me a dork, but I always like to do my research on Baseball-Reference.com for major league numbers or The Baseball Cube if I need some real in-depth minor league stats. Too many times, I see fans assuming that a player’s good or bad based only on visuals or limited knowledge, and almost every time, that leads to fans making wrong assessments about that particular guy. Therefore, I always try to stay informed by reading scouting reports and making my own judgments after reviewing career statistics.
Unfortunately, I write to you today as a baseball fan who’s guilty of breaking his own rule. In a February 12 article, I wrote a fairly in-depth synopsis of the non-roster players the Royals have invited to spring training. After covering the non-roster pitchers I viewed as being relevant to the Royals’ situation this season, I wrote this sentence to tie together the loose ends:
Steve Stemle, Ryan Jensen, Jonah Bayliss, Byron Embry, and Roberto Giron will get some innings here and there, but they’re all just organizational-type guys.This is what happens when you make blanket statements without doing your homework. As I found out last night while messing around on The Baseball Cube, one of those five guys – Byron Embry – has a decent chance of being much more than an “organizational-type [guy].” I’m honestly not sure how I omitted him from my research that night, but that isn’t the point.
The Atlanta Braves took Embry out of an Iowa community college in the 35th round of the 1996 amateur draft, but I found his history as a professional baseball player to be non-existent. If any of you know where to find his statistics as a minor-leaguer, I’d greatly appreciate it if you’d pass such information along to me. Anyway, it’s difficult to make an accurate analysis of a player when there’s a seven-year gap between the year he was drafted and the season any website began to track his stats, but I’ll do the best I can. Before signing with the Royals as a 28-year-old minor-league free agent this past winter, the 6-2”, 240-lb. Embry used his overpowering fastball to post this line for Lincoln of the independent Northern League:
Independent league success is to be taken with a grain of salt, but goodness … NINETY strikeouts against 13 walks in 55 innings? That’s a talent, even if he was facing inferior hitters. If he has any other pitches that are even decent – which is also information I couldn’t find on Mister Anonymous here – Embry has a real opportunity to be the story of the spring in Surprise and head to Detroit with the rest of the team. I’ll be pulling for him (he’s been through at least one arm surgery), and I’m anxious to find out more about the guy. If Embry turns into anything, chalk up another one on the big board for Allard Baird and free talent.
American Idol Thoughts …
Awhile ago, I mentioned my unhealthy obsession with American Idol. With the show about to hit the point where things get interesting, I’m starting to pick out my favorite singers. I missed the show on Monday night that featured the 12 remaining male singers, but I caught last night’s show featuring the girls. Only two – Carrie Underwood and Nadia Turner – really stood out as possible stars.
Turner’s forte should be pretty obvious given her look; she came out and tore the house down with a high-energy song. She really commanded the stage and at least captivated me with her entire performance. Underwood has a real effortless tone to her voice, and is a LeAnn Rimes-type of singer. That, and she’s very cute.