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11-26

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9

Transaction Analysis: Yasmany Tomas is a Diamondback
by
Nick J. Faleris and Bret Sayre

11-26

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8

Moonshot: A New View of Plate Discipline, Part 3
by
Robert Arthur

11-26

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47

The Lineup Card: Nine of the Worst Baseball Movies Ever Made
by
Baseball Prospectus

11-26

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1

Fantasy Team Preview: Baltimore Orioles
by
Craig Goldstein

11-26

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1

Daisy Cutter: Jon Lester's New Peers
by
Sahadev Sharma

11-26

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2

Prospect Mechanics
by
Ryan Parker and Doug Thorburn

11-26

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0

Rumor Roundup: The Ace Chase, the Rays' Face, and Some Chase Waste
by
Chris Mosch

11-25

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36

Transaction Analysis: Red Sox Do Whatever They Want
by
Sam Miller and Ben Carsley

11-25

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: Christian Yelich is Poised to Break Out
by
Matt Collins

11-25

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Offseason Trades and Responding to the Default Effect
by
Jeff Quinton

11-25

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: 40-Man Additions to Know
by
Craig Goldstein

11-25

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1

Before They Were Prospects
by
Todd Gold, David Rawnsley, Patrick Ebert and Frankie Piliere

11-25

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3

Baseball Therapy: The Timeshare DH
by
Russell A. Carleton

11-25

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2

Rumor Roundup: Revenge is a Dish Best Served Immediately
by
Daniel Rathman

11-25

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3

Transaction Analysis: Mariners Eager To Lock Up Mariner Seager
by
R.J. Anderson

11-24

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0

The 40-Man Additions
by
Tucker Blair and Jeff Moore

11-24

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5

The 40-Man Additions
by
Craig Goldstein, Mauricio Rubio and Jeff Moore

11-24

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2

Transaction Analysis: The Better Bullpens Bureau
by
R.J. Anderson and Craig Goldstein

11-24

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3

Transaction Analysis: Up and Adam
by
Sahadev Sharma and Mauricio Rubio

11-24

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0

Fantasy Team Preview: Detroit Tigers
by
Nick Shlain

11-24

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3

Rumor Roundup: If Step One Is Making Betances Closer, What's Step Two?
by
Daniel Rathman

11-24

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27

2015 Prospects: St. Louis Cardinals Top 10 Prospects
by
Nick J. Faleris and BP Prospect Staff

11-24

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0

The Week in Quotes: November 17-23, 2014
by
Nick Bacarella, Chris Mosch and Nick Wheatley-Schaller

11-21

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11

Pebble Hunting: Hank Aaron's Hypothetical Fortune
by
Sam Miller

11-21

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26

2015 Prospects: Cincinnati Reds Top 10 Prospects
by
Nick J. Faleris and BP Prospect Staff

11-21

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5

Fantasy Team Preview: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
by
Wilson Karaman

11-21

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8

Moonshot: A New View of Plate Discipline, Part 2
by
Robert Arthur

11-21

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0

Raising Aces: Free Agent Pitchers: The Top Tier
by
Doug Thorburn

11-21

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5

Rumor Roundup: Upton and Ubaldo in One Ugly Rumor
by
Daniel Rathman

11-20

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9

Skewed Left: Saving on Stanton?
by
Zachary Levine

11-20

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: Offseason Trades and the Default Effect
by
Jeff Quinton

11-20

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3

Rumor Roundup: The Ideas That Dayton Moore Toys With
by
Chris Mosch

11-20

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0

Retrospective Player Valuation: National League Pitchers
by
Mike Gianella

11-20

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1

Pitching Backward: The Guy Who Makes Scherzer (Slightly More) Expendable
by
Jeff Long

11-20

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10

An Agent's Take: When the Smallest Transactions are the Biggest
by
Joshua Kusnick

11-20

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0

Transaction Analysis: The Butler Did It
by
R.J. Anderson and Craig Goldstein

11-19

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4

Fantasy Team Preview: Kansas City Royals
by
Ben Carsley

11-19

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0

The Lineup Card: Seven of Our Favorite Giancarlo Stanton Home Runs
by
Baseball Prospectus

11-19

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45

2015 Prospects: Pittsburgh Pirates Top 10 Prospects
by
Chris Mellen and BP Prospect Staff

11-19

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3

Rumor Roundup: Are the Marlins Stanton Pat?
by
Chris Mosch

11-19

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1

The BP Wayback Machine: Internet Commenters Try to Trade for Giancarlo Stanton
by
Ben Lindbergh

11-18

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4

Transaction Analysis: Russell Martin Gets That McCann Cash
by
R.J. Anderson, Craig Goldstein and Mauricio Rubio

11-18

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3

Retrospective Player Valuation: National League Hitters
by
Mike Gianella

11-18

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9

Fantasy Freestyle: Five Fantasy Busts
by
J.P. Breen

11-18

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8

Baseball Therapy: Against the Grind
by
Russell A. Carleton

11-18

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3

Rumor Roundup: Are the Jays Preparing to Splurge?
by
Daniel Rathman

11-18

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10

Transaction Analysis: Heyward Movement
by
Sam Miller, Jeff Moore, Ben Carsley and Wilson Karaman

11-17

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21

2015 Prospects: Milwaukee Brewers Top 10 Prospects
by
Nick J. Faleris and BP Prospect Staff

11-17

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0

Fantasy Team Preview: Oakland Athletics
by
Keith Cromer

11-17

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The Week in Quotes: November 10-16, 2014
by
Nick Bacarella, Chris Mosch and Nick Wheatley-Schaller

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November 26, 2014 7:47 pm

Transaction Analysis: Yasmany Tomas is a Diamondback

9

Nick J. Faleris and Bret Sayre

Arizona tries to upgrade a below-average offense after a last-place finish, signing the lastest big-name Cuban import.

Signed OF-R Yasmany Tomas to a six-year contract worth $68.5 million. [11/26]

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Constructing a leaderboard that passes the smell test.

I’ve recently written about the role and value of plate discipline in hitting. I concluded the last article with the takeaway that plate discipline, while undoubtedly important in hitting, was not fully separable from the other attributes of a hitter. In searching for a complete per-pitch way of evaluating hitters, we have to account for the entire package of skills, because all of the skills interact with each other. So we have to go back to basics.

Despite being athletically impossible, hitting is theoretically simple. Every hitter is confronted on every pitch with a choice: to swing, or to take. A take is valuable when the pitch is likely to be a ball; depending on the count, you can get a walk, or at least advance the count in a favorable direction. If you swing here, you both lose the benefit of the called ball, and also risk whiffing on the pitch or making weak contact. On the other hand, when the pitch is thrown over the middle of the plate and is thus likely to be called a strike, the better choice is to do your best to make contact. If you take, you get a strike, and lose the opportunity of a hittable pitch.

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If you invite a BP staffer over for movie night, don't screen any of these flicks.

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November 26, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Team Preview: Baltimore Orioles

1

Craig Goldstein

Come for the bats, stay for Zach Britton and back-end fantasy arms.

The Orioles racked up 96 wins—good for second place in the AL—and a trip to the ALCS behind a solid offense, a strong core of starting pitchers and one of the better bullpens in baseball, allowing the third fewest runs in the American League. Their lineup is full of fantasy stars, with Adam Jones anchoring the team and current free agent Nelson Cruz leading the league in home runs. Add in Manny Machado’s tantalizing upside, Chris Davis’ bounce-back potential, and J.J. Hardy’s contributions from the offense-bereft shortstop position and there is a wealth of options to be had here. The O’s only managed to rank sixth in the AL in runs scored, but their offense is where people will look first for impact talent.

Pitching is a bit of a different story, as no one on their staff merits a high-round pick, though there is a lot of depth. Closer Zach Britton is the closest thing to an impact fantasy arm they have right now, but the rotation is a Kevin Gausman breakout or Dylan Bundy promotion away from an impact starter. Chris Tillman, Bud Norris, and Wei-Yin Chen provide solid numbers to go with bulk innings, but none profiles toward the top of any fantasy rotation. Let’s take a deeper dive into the Orioles fantasy prospects below.

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November 26, 2014 6:00 am

Daisy Cutter: Jon Lester's New Peers

1

Sahadev Sharma

Two years after an anomalous bottoming out came the anomalous career year for baseball's next $100 million free agent.

As we head into the Thanksgiving weekend, the Jon Lester rumors are getting as hot as Craig Goldstein’s pie takes. The Cubs have supposedly offered a six-year deal worth more than $135 million, and are willing to go higher. There have been only seven $100-plus million deals handed out to pitchers on the open market since Kevin Brown broke the barrier in 1998, and just two of those pitchers (Brown and Cliff Lee) were past their age-30 seasons when they signed. Add in the fact that there’s never been an offseason in which two free agent pitchers both got nine-figure deals—as Lester and Max Scherzer are poised to do—and it’s shaping up to be a very spendy winter.

Lester provides a really interesting study as to what sort of pitcher, and what sort of career trajectory, is worth this type of money. Why do front offices deem Lester worthy of a deal that’s likely to open so many eyes?

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November 26, 2014 6:00 am

Prospect Mechanics

2

Ryan Parker and Doug Thorburn

The mechanics of some of the top pitching and hitting prospects in the NL Central are broken down.

Baseball Prospectus's mechanical mavens Doug Thorburn and Ryan Parker turn to the NL Central as they continue their examination of select Top 10 prospects featured in the BP Top 10s (see their breakdown of NL East prospects here). Doug tackles a well-known high-floor back-ender, breakout power arm that may or may not be destined for the pen, and a young righty with a chance to reach elite status if he can continue to build upon second-half improvements. Parker highlights two talented lumber-wielders—one skewed to hit, one skewed to power—both possessing impact potential. Hope you enjoy! –Nick J. Faleris

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November 26, 2014 6:00 am

Rumor Roundup: The Ace Chase, the Rays' Face, and Some Chase Waste

0

Chris Mosch

Headley could benefit from Ramirez and Sandoval coming off the market, Lester is still expected to end up back in Boston, and the Rays might be zeroing in on a skipper.

Indians to get in on the Chase Headley sweepstakes?
The general consensus is that the Indians defense was awful last season. They ranked 25th in defensive efficiency and finished dead last in both DRS and UZR.

One of the players responsible for Cleveland’s defensive woes was third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall, who cost the Indians over seven runs on defense by FRAA and graded out as even worse by other metrics. Despite Chisenhall’s breakout season at the plate, Cleveland appears to be looking to upgrade defensively at the hot corner as they are “among several teams who have shown an interest” in Chase Headley, according to MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince.


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November 25, 2014 4:48 pm

Transaction Analysis: Red Sox Do Whatever They Want

36

Sam Miller and Ben Carsley

The Red Sox break character to sign Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez to long deals. How to react?



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November 25, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Christian Yelich is Poised to Break Out

4

Matt Collins

Giancarlo Stanton isn't the only name to know in the Miami lineup.

Giancarlo Stanton has always been the focal point in Miami, and that is even truer now that he has signed his massive 13-year, $325 million contract. He’s not their only exciting young player, though. They have a pitching staff that includes Jose Fernandez, Henderson Alvarez, Nathan Eovaldi, and Jarred Cosart. Their outfield, besides Stanton, boasts players like Marcell Ozuna and Christian Yelich. It’s that last name I want to focus on here. Yelich is a player who obviously has a lot of traction in dynasty and keeper leagues, as he’s been touted as a top throughout his professional career. Well, things are setting up for him to take a real step forward in 2015, making him an intriguing early pick in redraft leagues as well.

Whether you’re in a league that uses batting average or OBP, Yelich is going to be helpful. At a time when the average outfielder is hitting .259 with a .321 OBP, the Marlins’ center fielder just finished his first full season and put up a .284 average and a .362 OBP. This comes from a player who consistently hit in the high-.200s or low-.300s throughout his minor-league career, and hit a similar .288 in his 273 MLB plate appearances in 2013. To make matters better, he did this with very respectable peripherals. Yelich watched his strikeout rate fall to 20.8 percent last season, while his walk rate stayed at a well above-average clip of 10.6 percent. And he did all that while keeping his swinging-strike rate below the league average.

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November 25, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Offseason Trades and Responding to the Default Effect

2

Jeff Quinton

A follow-up to last week's piece, explaining how to take advantage of offseason trade-market inefficiencies.

Last week, we discussed the ways that the default effect influences our dynasty- and keeper-league offseason trade markets. Today we will take a look at some ways to deal with and take advantage of these market realities. These ways can be broken down into two categories:

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November 25, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: 40-Man Additions to Know

1

Craig Goldstein

These prospects have cleared one hurdle keeping them from the majors, so they're worthy of your attention.

Late last week was the deadline for teams to add guys to their 40-man rosters, which is pretty much the only time anyone cares who is added to or taken off of a 40-man roster, which is why me bringing you fantasy takes on several of those players is perfect. No one cares what I have to say anyway. This is a look at guys that could matter in 2015, which means some of the more intriguing names that are still far away (Mauricio Cabrera, Brandon Drury etc) are being left off. Let’s get to the limited-upside prospects!

Jose Peraza - 2B - Atlanta
Not only did Tommy La Stella get shipped out of town, but Peraza got put on the 40-man, which means a relatively minor obstacle (but still an obstacle) is now out of his way. He’s performed well in a limited look at the upper levels, and has a good chance of contributing some time in the second half. He could make a case for reaching the major leagues earlier based on his defense (he’s a natural shortstop), but allowing his bat to mature isn’t the worst idea (or bad for fantasy owners) either. Even if he doesn’t hit, he’s a threat to contribute on the bases, so he’ll probably be worth adding no matter when he gets the call. His power comes from adding the extra base thanks to his speed, as he tends to just spin in place when he swings, without generating power by transferring his weight.


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A look back at some of the top prospects in the NL Central, including Kris Bryant, Reese McGuire, and Rob Kaminsky.

As part of Perfect Game's partnership with Baseball Prospectus, David Rawnsley, Todd Gold, Frankie Piliere, and Patrick Ebert will be conducting a “Before They Were Pros” series, providing scouting reports on some of the top prospects in baseball from when they were in high school attending PG events. This six-part series (one for each division in MLB) will appear once Baseball Prospectus has provided their own detailed scouting reports of the top prospects, team-by-team, as part of their own series.

We continue with a look at the National League Central. Be sure to read Baseball Prospectus' features on each of the five teams:

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