Notes on Brett Phillips, Brady Aiken, Dan Vogelbach, Bobby Bradley, Shawn Morimando, and more.
Hitter of the Day:
Bobby Bradley, 1B, Cleveland Indians (Double-A Akron): 3-5, 3 R, 3 HR, 7 RBI
As appears to be his wont, Bradley got off to a slow start this season before rounding into form in May and destroying the moon and the stars this month. After posting an absurd 48-percent Three True Outcome rate last year, he’s pushing 40 percent again this season. With nothing else going for him in the tools department, his bat will take him wherever he ends up – which at this rate might just be the middle of Cleveland’s order in about three years.
The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.
Not a subscriber?
Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.
The last piece of the Yankees' Tyler Voltron has arrived.
The Situation: Starlin Castro tweaked a hamstring, so the Yankees have called on their swiss army prospect, Tyler Wade, to give them some additional flexibility in the infield.
The Background: The Yankees selected Wade in the fourth round of the 2013 draft as a SoCal prep shortstop, signing him for a little over $370,000. He got a somewhat aggressive assignment to Charleston in his first full pro season, considering he wasn’t a highly-touted prep pick, and both his raw athleticism and his general rawness showed up there. He progressed to Tampa in 2015 and prospect team member Jeff Moore saw a future big leaguer whose “contact skills, left-handed bat and ability to play two up-the-middle positions [gave] him a chance to play a nice role on a big-league roster.” I got eyes on him in 2016 in Trenton and saw much of the same, although I thought his athleticism was starting to show up more in the baseball skills now. He faded a bit down the stretch in Trenton, but overall put together a solid performance for a 21-year-old in Double-A. With the acquisition of Gleyber Torres at the trade deadline, the Yankees sent Wade to the AFL for the second straight season, this time to get some reps in the outfield. This year in Scranton he has played all three outfield positions in addition to shortstop, second, and third. He’s in the midst of a bit of a breakout season, adding a bit of pop to the profile and improving his efficiency on the bases.
There's another Zack G. in the D-backs rotation, and while he's not an ace like Zack Greinke his teammate, Zack Godley has been quite a welcome addition.
It took 118 years before the first “Zack G.” graced Major League Baseball. We all know about Zack Greinke. He’s good at pitching, and has admirably represented Zack G.’s everywhere. However, now there’s a new Zack G. stealing some shine, and he just so happens to share a rotation with Greinke. If getting ground balls is divine, Zack Godley has been downright heavenly this season and has emerged as a key member of the Diamondbacks rotation. While the start has certainly been impressive, his intervention has been anything but expected.
Back in 1975, Joe Torre played out his last season as a third baseman, Pedro Guerrero toiled in the Dodgers’ farm system, and a researcher named Ellen J. Langer published a study that would become a staple of the as-yet-unpopularized field of behavioral economics.
In the study, researchers allotted one group of participants lottery tickets with pre-assigned numbers. They gave another group blank tickets, asking them to fill in the numbers themselves. Then, they attempted to buy the tickets back. The result, since replicated and disseminated in more readable forms by the work of Daniel Kahneman, revealed an illogical human bias: The participants who wrote down their own numbers were more reluctant to sell back their tickets—exhibiting far greater confidence in their choice (despite the absence of any reason to feel that way) and far more motivation to see it through than those who had their numbers handed down.
Brian McCann lives his life 23.4 feet per second at a time.
Yesterday, Statcast released the comprehensive leaderboards for its newest metric: Sprint Speed, measured in terms of “feet per second in a player's fastest one-second window.”
These were derived by measuring when runners were likely to be heading at top speed, taking multiple bases (other than from second on an extra-base hit). The full list is available here for your perusal: there are a few surprises, like the proximity of John Jaso to Jonathan Villar, or the sad state of Troy Tulowitzki. But for the most part, it’s an intuitive ordering of names, what you’d want when measuring baseball players.
A few weeks ago, we finished a month-long market-research project here at Deep League Report headquarters. We figured out that the people love Yankees named Tyler and Cincinnati Reds starting pitchers, so we covered the hell out of those two beats. Pretty confident that we’ll triple our readership numbers this week working those angles. Plus, a no-name Angels reliever, since this column just isn’t itself without a no-name Angels reliever. Can’t ignore the regular readers while trying to draw in new ones. The Deep League Report: something for everyone, as long as “everyone” means “people in AL-only and NL-only leagues deep enough that non-closing relievers and guys on the bad side of a platoon are valuable.”
The Nationals would love to switch places with the Angels when it comes to the bullpens. Both teams are frustrating as heck for fantasy players.
Welcome back to the Closer Report. It wasn’t a terribly busy week in Reliever Land, but there seems to be plenty of movement bubbling under the surface, just waiting to jump out into the wilderness. Before we get into all of that, just a reminder that you can keep up with any movement with the Closer Grid. Now, let’s get to the good stuff.
Notes on Royce Lewis, Yadier Alvarez,, Chase Vallot, Lewis Brinson, Ian Anderson, and more.
Hitter of the Day:
Chase Vallot, C, Kansas City Royals (High-A, Wilmington): 2-3, 3 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, K
Vallot always had power, he has just had trouble tapping into it at times. The hit tool is still underwhelming, as he sells out for power and can get pull-happy while spinning off breaking balls. If he was a for-sure catcher, this wouldn’t be as big a deal, but he isn’t, so it is.
Notes on standouts from the Carolina League All-Star Game
Minor league all-star games are a great way to get quick looks at lots of dudes (and even a few Dudes), albeit those looks are quite limited. I enjoy all-star games as a way to get an initial look at someone I’ve been dreaming to see or to round out/update reports that are already in progress. No pitcher threw more than one inning in the game, and offense was in scant supply, the lone scoring coming in the first on a two-run double by MVP Michael Chavis.