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10-21

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The View from the Loge Level: Managing to Win
by
Daron Sutton

10-21

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Fantasy Freestyle: Playoff Spotlight: Alcides Escobar
by
Wilson Karaman

10-21

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Minor League Update: Games of Monday, October 20th
by
Jeff Moore

10-21

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3

The BP Wayback Machine: Fourteen Years of Brian Roberts
by
BP Prospect Staff

10-21

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Pitching Backward: How To Get A Hit Off Madison Bumgarner
by
Jeff Long

10-21

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1

Pebble Hunting: An Illustrated Guide to the People of Kauffman Stadium
by
Sam Miller

10-21

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2

Baseball Therapy: The Truth About Butterflies
by
Russell A. Carleton

10-21

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5

Playoff Prospectus: World Series Preview: Giants vs. Royals
by
Sam Miller

10-20

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37

Pebble Hunting: The Best Teams Should Make The World Series; A Defense of Bud Selig
by
Sam Miller

10-20

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The Week in Quotes: October 13-19, 2014
by
Nick Bacarella, Chris Mosch and Nick Wheatley-Schaller

10-20

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Minor League Update: Games of October 17-18, 2014
by
Jeff Moore

10-20

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7

Transaction Analysis: Silverman's Kohn Job
by
R.J. Anderson

10-20

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Fantasy Freestyle: My Personal Scorecard: Part 2 - National League
by
Mike Gianella

10-17

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2

Raising Aces: Brandon Finnegan, the Debut Ante
by
Doug Thorburn

10-17

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Minor League Update: Games of Thursday, October 17th
by
Jeff Moore

10-17

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Playoff Spotlight: Joe Panik
by
Ben Carsley

10-17

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22

An Agent's Take: The Losses You Never Get Over
by
Joshua Kusnick

10-17

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11

Pitching Backward: First-Pitching to the Situation
by
Jeff Long

10-17

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22

Playoff Prospectus: A Three-Act Tragedy, A Three-Act Triumph: NLCS Game 5
by
Mike Gianella

10-16

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Jon Jay
by
Jeff Quinton

10-16

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4

Minor League Update: Games of Wednesday, October 15th
by
Jeff Moore

10-16

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4

Playoff Prospectus: The Unconventional Path: ALCS Game 4
by
Sahadev Sharma

10-16

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9

Skewed Left: The Molina Mind-bender
by
Zachary Levine

10-16

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2

Playoff Prospectus: PECOTA Odds and Game Five Preview
by
Mike Gianella

10-16

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6

Playoff Prospectus: No Pitching and No Defense Make St. Louis (Almost) Go Home: NLCS Game 4
by
R.J. Anderson

10-15

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13

Pebble Hunting: The Rich Get Smarter
by
Sam Miller

10-15

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3

The Lineup Card: Eight of the Best Defensive Plays of 2014
by
Baseball Prospectus

10-15

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Playoff Prospectus: PECOTA Odds and Game Four Previews
by
Sahadev Sharma and R.J. Anderson

10-15

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3

Playoff Prospectus: Karmic Kickback: NLCS Game 3
by
Doug Thorburn

10-15

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18

Moonshot: The Victims of a Bad Strike Zone
by
Robert Arthur

10-15

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Playoff Spotlight: Lorenzo Cain
by
J.P. Breen

10-15

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2

Minor League Update: Games of October 14th, 2014
by
Jeff Moore

10-15

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3

Playoff Prospectus: Every Choice Ned Yost Must Make: ALCS Game 3
by
Sam Miller

10-14

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3

Playoff Prospectus: The Sad Reliever Rankings
by
Miles Wray

10-14

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: Looking Back: Prospect Predictions
by
Craig Goldstein

10-14

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3

Playoff Prospectus: PECOTA Odds and Game Three Previews
by
Sahadev Sharma and Doug Thorburn

10-14

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13

Raising Aces: Stuffing the Ballot, Reliever Edition
by
Doug Thorburn

10-14

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2

Transaction Analysis: Arizona Raises Hale
by
R.J. Anderson

10-14

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7

Minor League Update: Games of Monday, October 13th
by
Jeff Moore

10-14

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8

Baseball Therapy: The Other Playoff Myths
by
Russell A. Carleton

10-13

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7

Playoff Prospectus: The Greatest Defensive Outfield In History: ALCS Game 2
by
Sam Miller

10-13

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The Week in Quotes: October 6-12th, 2014
by
Nick Bacarella, Chris Mosch and Nick Wheatley-Schaller

10-13

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: My Personal Scorecard: Part 1 - American League
by
Mike Gianella

10-13

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11

Fox's Fresh Format
by
Harry Pavlidis

10-13

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2

Minor League Update: Games of October 10-11, 2014
by
Jeff Moore

10-13

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5

Playoff Prospectus: Managing in a 'Must-Not-Lose': NLCS Game 2
by
Mike Gianella

10-13

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6

Playoff Prospectus: It's a Very Very Mad World
by
R.J. Anderson

10-12

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Playoff Prospectus: PECOTA Odds and Game Two Previews
by
Mike Gianella

10-11

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3

Playoff Prospectus: PECOTA Odds and Saturday Previews
by
Sam Miller and R.J. Anderson

10-11

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6

Playoff Prospectus: Yost Plays it Right
by
Sahadev Sharma

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What a half-dozen big-league managers see as the most important skills for the job.

Here in the Loge Level the seat is quite pricey this week, as the end of the road on Hwy 2014 is within view. From our perch, with our colored mini towels waving in the air, we ponder....

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The Royals shortstop won't be a sexy name on draft day, but there's a lot to like about his fantasy profile.

Player Background
The Brewers signed Escobar as a 16-year-old on international signing day of 2003, and he made his stateside debut the following summer as a 17-year-old in the Pioneer League. After working his way up to Double-A for the second half of his age-20 season in 2007, he cracked the Brewers’ top prospect list for the first time heading into 2008, ultimately topping the list as a five-star prospect in 2010 and peaking as high as 19th on the BP 101 that same offseason. The Brewers traded away the then-26-year-old J.J. Hardy to clear a path for Escobar, which should tell you all you need to know about how highly regarded he was as a prospect. Regaled universally for his plus-plus range and generally top shelf defensive profile at short, Escobar was tabbed as an impatient, powerless hitter, but one still capable of slapping his way to a .280-plus batting average with 30-steal speed.

Despite the shortstop-of-the-future billing, the Brewers shipped the then-23-year-old to Kansas City as the centerpiece of the Zack Greinke trade after he struggled in his first full big-league season. Since arriving in KC, Escobar has pretty much developed into exactly the type of player scouts envisioned him becoming. He hasn’t posted a walk rate over 4.2 percent in any of his four seasons in Royal blue, nor has he managed to crack the .100 ISO threshold or generate league-average offensive value.


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Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including Francisco Lindor and Mark Appel.

Francisco Lindor, SS, Indians (Peoria): 3-4, R, 2B. I’m not breaking any new ground by saying that Lindor is among the best, if not the best, shortstop prospect in the game, but he’s also perhaps the surest bet of any prospect at any position around whom you could build your team. There is no doubt that he is prepared to step in and provide defensive value in the majors today if necessary, as has been the case for some time. What will separate him from the pack, however, will be his ability to drive the ball for extra bases. He has just enough pop to keep pitchers honest and punish them when they leave the ball over the plate, something pitchers don’t fear with Lindor’s most frequent comp, Elvis Andrus. If Lindor can consistently get into the 30-double/10-home-run range (well within reach), the rest of his skill set should make him one of the best players in the American League.

Mark Appel, RHP, Astros (Salt River): 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K. It’s safe to say that Appel has rebounded from his bizarre struggles at the start of the season, and Monday night’s start was the best of three strong outings thus far in the desert. These performances make his struggles early this season even more bizarre, as they were at least partially contributed to the unforgiving hitting environments of the California League, something not unlike what he’s handling quite well this October. Assuming he finishes the month as strong as he has started it, Appel is giving the Astros hope that he could get to the big leagues by some point next season, which seemed almost impossible earlier this year.

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Charting Brian Roberts' rise and fall with a trip through the BP archives.

You might never cheer for a team with a second baseman better than Brian Roberts was in 2005. His career ends on a sadder note, a half-decade ruined by injuries. In honor of his career, we're reprinting all 14 comments written about him for the BP Annual, from the first in 2001 ("after having surgery to remove bone chips in his elbow") through last winter's ("myriad injuries have limited..."). Enjoy.

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Searching for the weakness in Bumgarner's gameplan.

First, one must understand Madison Bumgarner’s repertoire. In 2014, he threw five distinct pitches: four-seam fastball, cut fastball, curve, changeup, slow curve. We can basically cross out the slow curve; he threw only 1 this year, including three in the playoffs. If Bumgarner beats you on a pitch he’s thrown once every 10 innings, you tip your cap, you head back to the dugout, you stare vacantly into space for three minutes. For everything else, we build a plan.

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Classifying the fans you'll see in the stands for the first two games of the World Series.

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Embrace the nervousness!

Tonight, the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants (who knew!) will square off in Game One of the 2014 World Series. I’m guessing that at least one of the 50 gentlemen on the two rosters will be a little nervous before the game starts. Maybe more than one. And surely, someone at a bar or on your couch or on a national telecast will opine on whether butterflies are currently flying in the stomach of just about every player that flashes across the screen. The World Series is amateur psychology’s finest hour.

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The Royals have the speed, the Giants have the skipper, and both teams have momentum in an unlikely World Series matchup.

On July 28th, the Giants were four games behind the Dodgers, the Royals were five behind the Tigers, and PECOTA put their combined odds of winning the World Series at 4 percent. Neither was a preseason favorite to win the division, neither won the division, neither won 90 games, neither has an MVP candidate or a Cy Young candidate. Neither team's manager will win manager of the year, and neither will be the favorite to win a division going into next year's season. They are a combined 16-2 against the postseason gantlet, and PECOTA puts their combined odds of winning the World Series at 100 percent.

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The commissioner's lasting legacy isn't randomness and meaningless. It's a more fair world.

For all the excitement of this postseason’s individual games, there is a fairly common sentiment out there that something sucks about a system so random that sub-par teams get to fluke their way to the World Series, thus stripping the season of its power to make sure the best teams are rewarded. Why play a long season and then reduce the championship to coin flips? Why continually expand postseason until every champ resembles Chris Moneymaker? Zachary Levine foretold this postseason in his epitaph for Bud Selig, written in August:

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Running through the notable quotes from the week that was.

ANDREW FRIEDMAN HEADS WEST FOR LOS ANGELES

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October 20, 2014 6:45 am

Minor League Update: Games of October 17-18, 2014

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Jeff Moore

Notes on prospects who stood out over the weekend, including D.J. Peterson and Tyler Glasnow.

Friday, October 17th

D.J. Peterson, 1B, Mariners (Surprise, AFL): 1-4, R, HR. I mentioned this in a chat when a reader asked me about Peterson’s future, but sometimes these developmental decisions are quite complicated and sometimes they are remarkably simple. Many scouts believed that Peterson was destined for first base as soon as he was drafted; others thought he had a chance to stick at third. Regardless of where he falls on that spectrum, he’s probably destined for first base just out of the Mariners’ necessity, and he’s seeing some time at the new position this fall. He’s not going to unseat Kyle Seager, but Peterson is going to be an everyday bat and won’t need too much more time in the minors. His bat won’t play as well at first base, but whose does? It still projects to be a better option than the pu pu platter the Mariners trotted there this year.

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The Rangers hire a manager, and the Rays' new GM makes his first move.

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