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09-29

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Fantasy Freestyle: Five Short-Season Hitters to Watch
by
Wilson Karaman

09-29

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3

Players Prefer Presentation: Jose Fernandez and Our Year of Magical Thinking
by
Meg Rowley

09-29

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1

Transaction Analysis: Cubs Extend Theo and The Gang
by
Rian Watt

09-29

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1

An Agent's Take: Watching a Client Debut
by
Joshua Kusnick

09-29

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Eyewitness Accounts: September 29, 2016
by
BP Prospect Staff

09-29

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1

What You Need to Know: Cycles and Walk-Offs
by
Demetrius Bell

09-28

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1

What You Need to Know: The Dozens
by
Emma Baccellieri

09-28

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Team Chemistry: Fast Pitch Follow-Up
by
John Choiniere

09-28

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4

Banjo Hitter: The Derek Falvey Era
by
Aaron Gleeman

09-28

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1

Rubbing Mud: The Miami Ferns
by
Matthew Trueblood

09-28

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1

Two-Strike Approach: Loving and Learning From Jose Fernandez
by
Cat Garcia

09-28

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4

Some Projection Left: 7 Make-or-Break Seasons for 2017
by
Christopher Crawford

09-27

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What You Need to Know: Dee Gordon and the Marlins Honor Jose Fernandez
by
Daniel Rathman

09-27

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2

Baseball Therapy: Bullpen Contagion
by
Russell A. Carleton

09-27

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Pitching Backward: What We Know About Spin Rate
by
Jeff Long

09-27

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2

Closer Report: Week 26
by
Matt Collins

09-27

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Expert FAAB Review: Week 26
by
Mike Gianella

09-27

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1

Prospectus Feature: The Joy of Adrian Beltre
by
Kate Morrison

09-27

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2

Flu-Like Symptoms: Giant Collapse
by
Rob Mains

09-27

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6

Liner Notes: Self-Sabotage Stars
by
Bryan Grosnick

09-27

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2

Notes from the Field: Cal League Wrap: The Hitters
by
Wilson Karaman

09-26

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1

The Prospectus Hit List: September 26, 2016
by
Matt Sussman

09-26

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0

Deep League Report: Week 26
by
Scooter Hotz

09-26

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8

Cold Takes: Steve Clevenger and the Media In Your Hand
by
Patrick Dubuque

09-26

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7

Prospectus Feature: The Comp-less Mike Trout
by
Henry Druschel

09-26

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Raising Aces: Gray Matter
by
Doug Thorburn

09-26

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1

What You Need to Know: How the West (and the East) Was Won
by
Ashley Varela

09-26

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Monday Morning Ten Pack: Positive Impressions
by
BP Prospect Staff

09-26

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7

Prospectus Feature: The Song of Jose Fernandez
by
Mauricio Rubio

09-23

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2

The Prospectus Hit List: Friday, September 23
by
Matthew Kory

09-23

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What You Need to Know: All Mets'd Up
by
Nicolas Stellini

09-23

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0

The Best of Sam Miller
by
Sam Miller

09-23

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1

The Best of Sam Miller
by
Sam Miller

09-23

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1

The Best of Sam Miller
by
Sam Miller

09-23

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1

Fantasy Starting Pitcher Planner: Week 25
by
Greg Wellemeyer

09-23

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7

Retrospectus
by
Ben Lindbergh

09-23

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2

Songs From The Chorus
by
Craig Goldstein, Bret Sayre and Ben Carsley

09-23

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18

Pebble Hunting: That's The Way I Like It And I'll Never Get Bored
by
Sam Miller

09-23

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2

PITCHf/ox: Episode 1: Pilot
by
Meg Rowley and Jarrett Seidler

09-22

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0

BP Boston
by
Matt Collins

09-22

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0

What You Need to Know: The Wild Card Wilters
by
Demetrius Bell

09-22

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6

Flu-Like Symptoms: A Matter of Luck, Pt. 2
by
Rob Mains

09-22

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0

Two-Strike Approach: Jonathan Lucroy, Willing Cog
by
Cat Garcia

09-22

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7

Pebble Hunting: The Great Big 'Beat PECOTA' Wrap
by
Sam Miller

09-22

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2

Players Prefer Presentation: Short-Season Baseball With A Third Deck
by
Meg Rowley

09-22

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2

The Call-Up: A Triplet of Padres
by
Christopher Crawford, Mauricio Rubio and Greg Wellemeyer

09-22

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3

Eyewitness Accounts: September 22, 2016
by
BP Prospect Staff

09-22

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2

The Best of Sam Miller
by
Sam Miller

09-22

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0

The Best of Sam Miller
by
Sam Miller

09-22

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3

The Best of Sam Miller
by
Sam Miller

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September 29, 2016 11:01 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Five Short-Season Hitters to Watch

0

Wilson Karaman

These bats are years from the majors, but they might be worth the wait.

Juan Soto, OF, Washington Nationals (Gulf Coast League)

Jeffrey Paternostro recently fired the opening salvo in what is likely to be a winter of Juan Soto feting, so it’s just as well you start getting used to seeing his name on these pages. He was a big bonus baby in 2015, receiving $1.5 million as one of the top hitting prospects in the class. The Nats were rewarded for their aggressiveness in pushing him stateside at the tender age of 17, as all he did was take down the MVP award in the GCL on the back of a .361/.410/.550 line, while flashing potentially plus hit and power tools. The swing has the ingredients you look for, with balance and fluidity into the zone, and the frame oozes with projectable present strength. In leagues where you can still make last-minute claims, he’s a guy on whom to burn a good chunk of your remaining FAAB.

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I'll tell you about the magic, and it'll free your soul.

The world can be oppressive. The grim reality of it can trap us and hem us in. It makes it hard to breathe, and limits us with grief. In The Year of Magical Thinking, her memoir on the passing of her husband, Joan Didion writes, “Grief is different. Grief has no distance. Grief comes in waves, paroxysms, sudden apprehensions that weaken the knees and blind the eyes and obliterate the dailiness of life.” We have our routines and then grief breaks them. It’s right there in the room with us. Grief cancels baseball games, and obliterates their routine when they are played. Grief by its presence reminds us that Jose Fernandez died on the rocks at age 24. Grief gets close, and interferes with reason. Grief, Didion tells us, leads to magical thinking.

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Chicago's front office is richly rewarded in the midst of a 100-win season and they might even be underpaid.

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After a breakout Triple-A season Padres infielder/outfielder Carlos Asuaje made his big-league debut.

Last week my client, Padres infielder/outfielder Carlos Asuaje made his major-league debut. Here's what happens when your client finally gets called up to the major leagues for the first time: A very late phone call, followed by pure elation, followed by the dread of finding a flight that will let you make the game in time.

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Eyes on Alec Hansen, Scott Kingery, Alex Jackson, and more.

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John Jaso's career day, Hyun Soo Kim and Mark Teixeira played hero, and the Wild Card races tightened up.

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Wild Card spots are up for grabs in both leagues and the Red Sox's clincher has to wait a bit.

The Tuesday Takeaway

Three weeks ago, it seemed more or less a foregone conclusion that the Mariners were done playing meaningful baseball for the year—they had lost eight of their last ten and their playoff odds sat at less than 2 percent, the lowest they’d been all season. But next came a win streak that ignited hope for a Wild Card spot, an absurd flicker burst aflame as one victory followed another and Seattle’s playoff odds shot toward 30 percent.

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Can hitters learn to handle fast pitching the more they see 97 mph heat?

Today, I'll be doing a little follow-up to my last piece, which looked at hitter performance against fast pitching (spoiler alert if you haven't read it yet: it hasn't improved). I stand by my methodology, and will in fact use it again here today, but in discussions I've had both on- and off-line various people have suggested improvements. So here we are.

As a reminder, I'm using four different measures to assess hitter performance against 97 mph pitches since 2008. They were chosen to reflect the various parts of what goes into being able to hit an incredibly fast pitch. The first is swing rate, which I intended to measure comfort level with seeing fast pitching at all. The second is contact rate, intended to be a proxy for how well hitters see the ball. The third is fair-ball rate on contact, intended to stand in for hitter ability to time the pitch. The last is linear weights runs per plate appearance, to measure quality of contact.

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Minnesota hopes shaking up the front office with a new-school hire works as well as it did three decades ago.

Two months after firing longtime general manager Terry Ryan the Twins have decided on his replacement, hiring Indians assistant general manager Derek Falvey as their new front office boss. Going from the 62-year-old, old school, highly experienced Ryan to the 33-year-old, new school, inexperienced Falvey represents a massive shift for the Twins, but one that was clearly necessary following the worst season in team history and a fifth season with 90-plus losses in the past six years. It’s an organization begging for change.

Minnesota’s unsuccessful attempts to interview ex-general managers Alex Anthopoulos and Ben Cherington made headlines and Falvey was rarely portrayed as the front-runner throughout a process aided by the Korn Ferry search firm. In the end he beat out, among others, Rays vice president of baseball operations (and former Baseball Prospectus staffer) Chaim Bloom, Cubs vice president of player development and amateur scouting Jason McLeod, and Royals assistant general manager J.J. Picollo.

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Miami will never forget Jose Fernandez, but they could take steps to ensure his name is forever linked to the team.

Dee Gordon provided the best tribute to Jose Fernandez we’re going to see in 2016, and for that matter, the best moment of 2016 in MLB, with his performance on Monday night. It wasn’t so much that he hit his first home run of a trying season on his first swing since Fernandez’s death, but the way he then ran the bases, fighting back tears for a moment, then letting them flow. It was the way he wiped his eyes and pointed to the sky, the way he then hugged so many of his coaches and teammates, none of them jubilant, none giddy, all just overcome and leaning on each other because the alternative (as it has been since Sunday morning, for so many inside and outside the Marlins organization) seemed to be to physically fall down under the weight of it all.

That moment was terrible and beautiful, everything we ask sports to be. Often, even when we ask that much of sports, they don’t provide it. Sports aren’t designed to comfort the grieving or to unite the divided or to inspire the desperate. Every so often, though, when the right people end up in the middle of sports’ peculiar dramas, those people can make sports really substantial. Gordon and his teammates (and in a less obvious way, the gracious Mets) did some of that heavy lifting Monday.

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Becoming fans of Jose Fernandez linked a daughter and mother, in life and in death.

Jose Fernandez wasn’t just a great pitcher, he was a symbol that held so much meaning, not just to everyone in baseball, but to many people in the Miami community and around the world. We didn’t just lose a star athlete too soon, we lost an all-encompassing asset to all our lives. Fernandez helped us see parts of ourselves, he reflected parts of us--such as our love for the game--that for some, has gotten lost in the translation of adulthood, and he has opened our eyes to ways in which we can improve our quality of life through pride, joy, innocence, and selflessness.

My awareness of Fernandez as anything more than a Cuban rookie pitcher who was taking the National League by storm was minimal in 2013. The intriguing young star piqued my interest for the very first time after this incident, Fernandez’s first big -eague home run, and what followed.

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September 28, 2016 6:00 am

Some Projection Left: 7 Make-or-Break Seasons for 2017

4

Christopher Crawford

A look at seven prospects who need to step it up in 2017.

The 2016 “prospect” season was a fun one. It may not have been as star-studded as the bumper crop of 2015, but we saw plenty of high-end guys make an impact at the big-league level, and we saw quite a few players show the upside that suggests they could be the next Carlos Correa, Kris Bryant or Carlos Rodon.

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