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10-20

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7

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

10-20

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0

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

10-17

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2

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

10-17

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0

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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21

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

10-17

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9

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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0

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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0

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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0

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

10-11

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14

Playoff Prospectus: NLCS Series Preview: Giants vs. Cardinals
by
R.J. Anderson

10-10

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6

Going Yard: Cage Work
by
Ryan Parker

10-10

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2

Minor League Update: Arizona Fall League Games of October 9th, 2014
by
Jeff Moore

10-10

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: Playoff Spotlight: Shelby Miller
by
Wilson Karaman

10-10

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1

The View from the Loge Level: The Last Days of the Big Unit
by
Daron Sutton

10-10

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6

Pitching Backward: The Not-So-Sudden Breakout of October's Best Lefty Reliever
by
Jeff Long

10-10

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11

Transaction Analysis: Baltimore Hearts Hardy
by
Jeff Quinton

10-10

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14

Playoff Prospectus: ALCS Series Preview: Royals vs. Orioles
by
Sam Miller

10-09

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39

Prospectus Feature: Check Out This Obnoxious Cardinals Fan
by
Brian Gunn

10-09

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21

The Lineup Card: Nine of the Worst Postseason Managerial Decisions
by
Baseball Prospectus

10-09

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3

Transaction Analysis: Rocky Mountain Bye
by
R.J. Anderson

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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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October 20, 2014 6:00 am

Playoff Prospectus: World Series Preview: Giants vs. Royals

0

Sam Miller

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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October 17, 2014 6:00 am

Raising Aces: Brandon Finnegan, the Debut Ante

2

Doug Thorburn

The young lefty has ascended through the Royals system in just a few months and now finds himself being used in high-leverage situations during a World Series run. But is his future as a starter or in the pen?

Just four months ago, Brandon Finnegan showed up in these pages as part of a three-part review of the 2014 draft. Now, he has a shot at a World Series ring.

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October 17, 2014 6:00 am

Minor League Update: Games of Thursday, October 17th

0

Jeff Moore

Notes on prospects who stood out in the desert, including Greg Bird and Patrick Kivlehan.

Greg Bird, 1B, Yankees (Scottsdale): 2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, K. The key to Bird’s success is finding the right balance point between being patient and being passive. He has a tremendous eye at the plate, but there are times when he lets hittable pitches go by instead of trying to do damage, which I noted earlier in the year after seeing him in the Florida State League. As he learns to attack more of these pitches without expanding the strike zone and swinging at pitchers’ pitches, however, he has the potential to do enough damage to be an everyday first baseman, as the power is legitimate and the ball comes off his bat with ease.

Patrick Kivlehan, 1B, Mariners (Surprise): 2-3, 2 R, 2B, HR, BB. Kivlehan is a late-bloomer in the baseball world after playing more football while at Rutgers, but he offers plus right-handed power, a desired commodity in the game today. The Mariners have had him at third base, but he’s destined for first base where he’s playing this fall. It’s going to be all about the power for Kivlehan, and just how much of it will play in games against better competition. He could be a guy who hits his ceiling at Triple-A, but if the power continues to show, he’ll get his chances.

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October 17, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Playoff Spotlight: Joe Panik

2

Ben Carsley

The former first-rounder plugged the Giants' hole at the keystone, but can he do the same for your fantasy squad?

Player Background
A first-round pick of the Giants back in 2011, Panik quietly hit his way up through the minors, landing a spot on the MLB roster halfway through the 2014 season. Once viewed as a shortstop, he’s settled in as a second baseman for San Francisco, and with Brandon Crawford firmly entrenched at short, Panik figures to stay at the keystone for the foreseeable future.

Panik’s rough 2013 campaign in Double-A tempered what was already pretty lukewarm enthusiasm about his future, but he answered his critics in a big way in 2014, both in Triple-A and in the majors. Once viewed as a surefire utility infielder, Panik now seems like he may at least be a second-division starter, and the Giants probably think there’s even more here.


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October 17, 2014 6:00 am

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

21

Joshua Kusnick

Poaching is a big part of the agent business. Some especially sting and never stop.

What a postseason. What a year. I have one client playing on a postseason team, so that has been quite exciting to follow. Only one of my clients has ever won a ring before—Darren Ford. Such a strange concept to me. Ford has won one but Ted Williams, Ernie Banks, and Barry Bonds didn’t. It’s a huge honor and a numbing experience.

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October 17, 2014 6:00 am

Pitching Backward: First-Pitching to the Situation

9

Jeff Long

A first attempt at measuring how much different pitchers pitch to the situation--and the questions it raises.

A few weeks ago I wrote about James Shields’ success with runners in scoring position, specifically noting how it coincided (causation or not) to a change in the righty’s approach. This led down a deep, dark rabbit hole in which the BP research staff helped me compile a more exhaustive list of how pitchers changed their tendencies in these situations. The full data set includes the absolute changes in pitch selection in several different count situations (first pitch, pitcher ahead, count even, batter ahead, etc.); for this particular post, though, I’ll focus on just one of these subcategories: first pitches.

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The Giants play on, while Mike Matheny manages one that we'll never forget.

Baseball is boring. Baseball is slow. We need to speed up the pace of the game. The kids aren’t going to watch the games if this keeps up.

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October 16, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Jon Jay

2

Jeff Quinton

The Cardinals center fielder isn't a sexy late-draft option, but could he still hold fantasy value in 2015?

Player Background
The 29-year-old Jay has seemingly been around forever, but he has in fact only been playing baseball at the major-league level since 2010. Honestly (but there is no way you can really know), heading into the 2014 season, a playoff spotlight on the former second-round pick out of the University of Miami was the last thing I thought I would be writing in October. Why? Because after an unexciting 2013, Jay seemed destined to be replaced by the newer and apparently shinier Peter Bourjos. Additionally, super-prospect Oscar Taveras and notable prospect Randall Grichuk were waiting in the wings.

While players like Jay have almost no use in shallow leagues, finding affordable (cheaply acquirable) players to fill out your roster is a key to success in deeper leagues. Prospect theory tells us that when our expectations are lowered, such as at the end of drafts or auctions, we tend to be more risk-seeking (think buying lottery tickets). Consequentially, boring, lower-ceiling players like Jay tend to be passed up in favor of boom or bust type players (in the fantasy sense) such as Borjous, Cameron Maybin, or Chris Young. Sometimes these lottery tickets workout, but in knowing our behavioral biases, we know that the odds are not in our favor. Conversely, steady players like Jay with no ceiling to dream on can often come at a discount. Given all of this, let us see what happened in 2014.


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October 16, 2014 6:00 am

Minor League Update: Games of Wednesday, October 15th

4

Jeff Moore

Notes on prospects who stood out in the desert, including C.J. Edwards and Aaron Judge.

C.J. Edwards, RHP, Cubs (Mesa): 3 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 3 K. Since coming over to the Cubs farm system in the midst of his breakout 2013 campaign, Edwards has been unfairly pegged as the leader of a lackluster group of Cubs pitching prospects. He may be one of their better arms in a farm system dominated by impact bats, but there are major questions about his ability to remain a starter. He’s had success, but shoulder inflammation kept him to just 53 2/3 innings this year, which doesn’t help ease concerns about his durability.

Aaron Judge, OF, Yankees (Scottsdale): 2-4, R, HR. Judge didn’t just hit a home run, he crushed one, which he’s perfectly capable of doing given his tremendous size and strength. I’ve noted before that he doesn’t sell out for his power, which gives him a remarkably balanced approach for such a tall hitter and bodes well for his future development. He’ll run into plenty of home runs because he’s so strong, but he’ll be better suited being the all-around hitter he’s attempting to be.

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October 16, 2014 12:52 am

Playoff Prospectus: The Unconventional Path: ALCS Game 4

4

Sahadev Sharma

The Royals have benefited from a touch of luck during their magical run to the World Series, but that doesn't change the fact that they're loaded with talent.

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Could sending Molina to the batter's box essentially without a bat be a better option for the Cardinals simply due to his elite talents behind the plate?

When Yadier Molina went to the bullpen to warm up Trevor Rosenthal in Game 3 of the NLCS, the speculation was totally warranted. Why not bring Molina in to catch with his oblique injury? That’s something that affects the swing, and if you can get some defensive work out of him, that’s where so much of his value is anyway.

In that light, we had received one of my favorite questions to the Effectively Wild podcast, which Ben and Sam passed along:

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