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05-31

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1

Raising Aces: Debut Ante: Julio Urias
by
Doug Thorburn

05-31

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0

BP Toronto
by
Greg Wisniewski

05-31

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1

The Prospectus Hit List: Tuesday, May 31
by
Matt Sussman

05-31

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7

Monday Morning Ten Pack: May 31, 2016
by
BP Prospect Staff

05-31

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4

Closer Report: Week Nine
by
Matt Collins

05-31

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15

Minor League Update: Games of May 27-30
by
Christopher Crawford

05-31

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3

Expert FAAB Review: Week Nine
by
Mike Gianella

05-31

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0

Cold Takes: The Milestone Percentage Added
by
Patrick Dubuque

05-31

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2

Prospectus Feature: Buxton's Back, and Not Busted Yet
by
Aaron Gleeman

05-31

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1

Baseball Therapy: The Knee
by
Russell A. Carleton

05-31

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2

What You Need to Know: So This Is Matt Harvey!
by
Daniel Rathman

05-30

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3

What You Need to Know: Yu is Back; Baseball Better
by
Ashley Varela

05-30

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4

Prospectus Feature: The Under-the-Radar Team Adjustments
by
Rob Mains

05-29

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5

Rubbing Mud: On Taillon and Glasnow As This Story's Heroes
by
Matthew Trueblood

05-29

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0

BP Bronx
by
Nick Ashbourne

05-29

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0

BP Kansas City
by
Hunter Samuels

05-29

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0

BP Mets
by
Erik Malinowski

05-28

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0

Raising Aces: Miracle Matz
by
Doug Thorburn

05-28

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0

BP Boston
by
Matthew Kory

05-28

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0

BP South Side
by
James Fegan

05-28

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0

BP Wrigleyville
by
Leigh Coridan

05-27

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15

Minor League Update: Games of Thursday, May 26th
by
Mark Anderson

05-27

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1

Raising Aces: Digging Under The Gun
by
Doug Thorburn

05-27

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2

The Prospectus Hit List: Friday, May 27
by
Matthew Kory

05-27

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0

Prospectus Feature: Why Is College Baseball A Statistical Wasteland?
by
Jake Garcia

05-27

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0

Fantasy Freestyle: Batted-Ball Trajectory and BABIP Overachievers
by
Wilson Karaman

05-27

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10

Rubbing Mud: All the Implications of Odubel Herrera
by
Matthew Trueblood

05-27

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3

Weekly Wrap: May 27, 2016
by
Will Haines

05-27

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2

Fantasy Starting Pitcher Planner: Week Nine
by
Greg Wellemeyer

05-27

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0

Free Agent Watch: Week Nine
by
George Bissell and J.J. Jansons

05-27

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3

Fantasy Draft Rankings: The Updated Top 300
by
Mike Gianella and Bret Sayre

05-27

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6

What You Need to Know: Would You Believe It, A New Strikeout Record
by
Daniel Rathman

05-27

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5

The Call-Up: Julio Urias
by
Wilson Karaman and Ben Carsley

05-26

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0

BP Toronto
by
Joshua Howsam

05-26

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6

The Stash List: Eighth Edition, 2016
by
J.J. Jansons

05-26

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1

What You Need to Know: Jake Arrieta, Imperfect
by
Demetrius Bell

05-26

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1

Life at the Margins: The Giants Have Had a Good Week
by
Rian Watt

05-26

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0

Eyewitness Accounts: May 26, 2016
by
BP Prospect Staff

05-26

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2

Some Projection Left: Ask The Industry: Albert Almora
by
Christopher Crawford

05-26

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13

Tools of Ignorance: The Team-Mandated Player Opt-Out
by
Jeff Quinton

05-26

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10

Players Prefer Presentation: Let Ballparks Get Old
by
Meg Rowley

05-26

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0

Prospectus Feature: On David Ortiz and Perhaps the Best Final Season Ever
by
Aaron Gleeman

05-26

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1

Deep League Report: Week Eight
by
Scooter Hotz

05-26

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10

Minor League Update: Games of Wednesday, May 25th
by
Christopher Crawford

05-26

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0

The Fantasy Verdict: Gattis and Catcher Eligibility
by
J.P. Breen

05-25

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1

What You Need to Know: Chris Sale, Imperfect
by
Emma Baccellieri

05-25

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4

Minor League Update: Games of Tuesday, May 24th
by
Wilson Karaman

05-25

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1

The Toolshed
by
James Fisher

05-25

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2

Prospectus Feature: The RISP Mystery
by
Rob Mains

05-25

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6

Team Chemistry: Diagnosing the Swing Swings
by
John Choiniere

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The box score won't tell you this, but Julio Urias justified the hype in his debut.

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May 31, 2016 10:04 am

BP Toronto

0

Greg Wisniewski

One at-bat can provide an awful lot of interesting stuff to analyze.

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Errbody knows: Tuesday Hit Lists get crazy.

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May 31, 2016 6:00 am

Monday Morning Ten Pack: May 31, 2016

7

BP Prospect Staff

We made you wait an extra day, so we put in an extra writeup.

Eric Lauer, LHP, Kent State (2016 Draft Class)
Lauer and the Kent State Flashes entered the MAC Tournament as the heavy favorites, however a loss to Western Michigan ended their run at post season play. Lauer started for the Flashes on Wednesday, going the distance with a complete-game shutout. He showed advanced pitchability throughout the game, and the stuff to match. While Lauer doesn’t currently have a pure out-pitch, his arsenal is still adequate. His fastball sat 93, hitting 94 a few times with a deceptive look from the left side, with some cutting action on it. His curveball will be an above-average pitch, showing 1-7 break across multiple planes at 76 mph. His slider is much improved since I last saw him in April; it usually sits 85-86 topping at 87 mph. His changeup also looked improved, and he threw it with much more confidence this game, featuring horizontal arm-side fade and a touch of tumble as it fell late at times.

Lauer won't be an ace, or even a number two in all likelihood, but what he is missing in ceiling he makes up for in floor. Even as someone who hates the term “high-floor player,” Lauer looks the part to be a fast-rising mid-to-back-end starter. He is as polished as anyone in the class currently, and if any of his off-speed pitches can improve into the plus range, his ceiling becomes even higher. His endurance has never been questioned, as his last two outings have been a no hitter at Bowling Green, and this shutout. His velocity held through all nine innings on Wednesday, and he maintained his delivery well. His delivery is extremely clean, but has a quirk with his left leg that needs to be timed correctly in order to hit his spots. But out of all of his outings that I have seen, he’s only lost his timing in a few. I would look for Lauer to go anywhere in the 25-40 range, but losing out on his ability to prove himself against post season competition is unfortunate. —Grant Jones


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May 31, 2016 6:00 am

Closer Report: Week Nine

4

Matt Collins

Surveying the ninth-inning situations around the league.

Not a whole lot happened on the closer front this past week, but that doesn’t mean we have nothing to talk about. There’s a lot of uncertainty to be straightened out over the next couple of days, and it’s important to try to stay one step ahead of everyone in your league. It’s the welcome-back-from-the-DL version of the Closer Report. You can keep up with the changes with the closer grid, and as always the changes since last week are highlighted yellow.

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May 31, 2016 6:00 am

Minor League Update: Games of May 27-30

15

Christopher Crawford

Notes on prospects who stood out over the Memorial Day weekend, led by Rockies pitcher Sam Howard.

Prospect of the Weekend:

Sam Howard, LHP, Colorado Rockies (High-A Modesto): 8 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 10 K.
This was yet another dominant performance for Howard, which has been a recurring theme in the month of May. Yes, he’s a little old for the level, but you can take one step back for the age and two steps forward when you consider what he’s doing in the Cal League. Both the fastball and change flash plus, and his slider has been a real weapon so far in 2016. You could soon see Howard challenging hitters in Double-A Hartford, and maybe challenging big leaguers in the back of the Rockies rotation at some point in the next two seasons.


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A look at how the wise guys spent their money in expert leagues this week.

Welcome to The FAAB Review, the series that looks at the expert bidding in LABR mixed, Tout Wars NL, and Tout Wars AL every week in an effort to try and help you, the Baseball Prospectus reader, with your fantasy baseball bidding needs. Bret Sayre and I participate in LABR mixed while I have a team in Tout Wars NL, so I can provide some insight on the bids and the reasoning behind them. LABR uses a $100 budget with one-dollar minimum bids, while the Tout Wars leagues use a $1,000 budget with zero-dollar minimum bids. I will also be including Bret’s winning bids in Tout Wars mixed auction league where applicable.

LABR and Tout Wars both use a bidding deadline of Sunday at midnight ET.

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Tracking the odds that Ichiro and ARod will hit important milestones, one day at a time.

Of the dozens of baseball statistics out there, Win Percentage Added might be my favorite. It’s a lovably useless stat: entirely beholden to timing and fortune, it ignores ill-timed greatness and throws favor on the man at the right place at the right time. It has almost no predictive value, and carries a faint whiff of the hero worship of days past, the old men talking of clutch performance. It’s the sophisticated remake of the Game-Winning RBI, a hack writer’s game recap in decimal form. As game stat, WPA isn’t particularly fair; in that sense, it’s the stat most like real life, when we’re measured by moments not of our choosing.

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In a lost season, getting Byron Buxton settled in and ready to be a long-term asset is the most important goal for the next four months.

Twins general manager Terry Ryan admitted to calling up Byron Buxton too early last season, saying he regretted promoting the 21-year-old top prospect in June when injuries left Minnesota short-handed in the outfield. Buxton was overmatched in his first taste of the big leagues, hitting .209/.250/.326 with a 44/6 K/BB ratio in 46 games after arriving with the most hype of any Twins prospect since Joe Mauer in 2004.

Because of his poor debut and Ryan’s comments, most Minnesotans went into the offseason assuming Buxton would begin 2016 in the minors. Instead the Twins traded their best in-house center-field option, Aaron Hicks, and brought in no outside alternatives. Buxton arrived at spring training with essentially zero competition and won the starting job by default. He was the Opening Day center fielder at age 22, but three weeks and 17 games later the Twins demoted him back to Triple-A.

Nothing about Buxton’s performance suggested he was ready to thrive in the big leagues, and in fact, aside from flashing excellent range defensively he was pretty much a mess. However, the Twins calling him up “too early” in 2015 only to hand him the 2016 job without any competition and then change their minds 49 plate appearances later showed that Ryan and company are capable of being equally messy. Buxton has struggled and struggled mightily through his first 63 games, but the Twins also didn’t help much and that’s become a player development pattern.

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Moving the strike zone up seems a simple, elegant solution to what ails offense. But won't anybody think of the unintended consequences!?

Last week, Major League Baseball announced a proposed change to the strike zone. In response to a zone that continued to sag downward, MLB’s competition committee has recommended that the definition of the bottom boundary of the strike zone be changed from the hollow under the kneecap to the top of the knee. It doesn’t seem like much. That’s maybe two inches of space, although the actual called strike zone has always differed somewhat from the rulebook strike zone, but if the changes are put into effect for 2017, then pitchers might be feeling a little more squeezed next year.

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The Mets erstwhile ace gets back on track, the Braves are on a bona fide not-cold streak, and Wood beats Wood.

The Monday Takeaway
It’s been rocky sledding for Matt Harvey in recent weeks, especially his last three starts, when opponents hit the right-hander hard and often, to the tune of 27 hits—four of them homers—in 13 1/3 innings. That wouldn’t do on Memorial Day, not with Jose Quintana continuing a breakout season that’s seen him emerge as one of baseball’s elite left-handed starters. And to the great thrill of the fans in attendance at Citi Field, the Matt Harvey they’ve come to know and love returned and proved up to the task.


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Yu Darvish returns in full force, the Royals stage an unlikely comeback, and the Mariners embarrass themselves on the basepaths in new and creative ways.

The Weekend Takeaway
It only took 659 days, but Yu Darvish is back where he belongs: striking out the league’s best hitters and taking names. The 29-year-old returned to the major-league stage on Saturday afternoon, where he pitched for the first time since August 9, 2014, in front of a sellout crowd in Arlington, Texas.


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