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08-22

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2

Transaction Analysis: Boston Signs Cuban Star Rusney Castillo
by
R.J. Anderson

08-22

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0

Daily League Strategy: "Prado of the Yankees"
by
Paul Sporer

08-22

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1

The Prospectus Hit List: Friday, August 22
by
Matt Sussman

08-22

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1

What You Need to Know: August 22, 2014
by
Chris Mosch

08-22

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10

Fantasy Starting Pitcher Planner: Week 22
by
Wilson Karaman

08-22

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6

Painting the Black: A Marlins Fastball, A Twins Approach
by
R.J. Anderson

08-22

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1

The View from the Loge Level: You Gotta Have Raw
by
Daron Sutton

08-22

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6

Raising Aces: Police and Thieves
by
Doug Thorburn

08-22

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12

Minor League Update: Games of Thursday, August 21
by
Jeff Moore

08-22

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3

Fantasy Freestyle: Adjusting for Era
by
Craig Goldstein

08-21

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3

Fantasy Freestyle: Information, Humans, and Errors in Valuation
by
Jeff Quinton

08-21

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10

Eyewitness Accounts: August 21, 2014
by
Tucker Blair

08-21

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3

Fantasy Freestyle: Week 21
by
Mike Gianella and Bret Sayre

08-21

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4

TTO Scoresheet Podcast: Episode 32
by
Ian Lefkowitz, Ben Murphy and Jared Weiss

08-21

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4

Skewed Left: Saber Seminar One Year From Now
by
Zachary Levine

08-21

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5

Minor League Update: Games of Wednesday, August 20
by
Jeff Moore

08-21

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0

What You Need to Know: August 21, 2014
by
Daniel Rathman

08-21

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5

Pebble Hunting: You Lie!
by
Sam Miller

08-20

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2

The Prospectus Hit List: Wednesday, August 20
by
Matthew Kory

08-20

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4

Dynasty Dynamics: More Top 50 Talk
by
Ben Carsley and Craig Goldstein

08-20

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26

The Lineup Card: Seven Epitaphs for Bud Selig's Reign
by
Baseball Prospectus

08-20

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4

They Hold No Quarter: Second Basemen
by
BP Fantasy Staff

08-20

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: Being Wrong About Yovani Gallardo
by
J.P. Breen

08-20

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38

Moonshot: The Analytic Value of the Crack of the Bat
by
Robert Arthur

08-20

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2

Transaction Analysis: Red Sox Place Their Betts
by
R.J. Anderson

08-20

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8

Minor League Update: Games of Tuesday, August 19
by
Jeff Moore

08-20

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0

What You Need to Know: August 20, 2014
by
Daniel Rathman

08-19

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0

Daily League Strategy: The Melky Way
by
Paul Sporer

08-19

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4

Notes About Baseball: Rain Delay Theater: Backflips, Whiffleballers and a Wookiee Surprise
by
Rocco DeMaro

08-19

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0

Deep Impact: Week 20
by
Ben Carsley

08-19

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14

The Stash List: 18th Edition: The Final Quest
by
Bret Sayre

08-19

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8

Minor League Update: Games of Monday, August 18
by
Jeff Moore

08-19

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13

Baseball Therapy: Becoming An Adult f/x
by
Russell A. Carleton

08-19

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2

Going Yard: Four Impressive High School Hitters
by
Ryan Parker

08-19

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0

What You Need to Know: August 19, 2014
by
Chris Mosch

08-18

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1

The Prospectus Hit List: Monday, August 18
by
Matt Sussman

08-18

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0

Interleague Report: Week 21
by
Jeff Quinton

08-18

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3

Transaction Analysis: Closer Reclamation Season
by
R.J. Anderson

08-18

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11

Minor League Update: Games of August 15-17
by
Jeff Moore

08-18

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2

The Buyer's Guide: Jonathan Lucroy
by
J.P. Breen

08-18

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1

Closer to Me: Week 21
by
Mauricio Rubio

08-18

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0

The Week in Quotes: August 11-17, 2014
by
Nick Bacarella

08-18

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6

Monday Morning Ten Pack: August 18, 2014
by
BP Prospect Staff

08-18

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1

What You Need to Know: August 18, 2014
by
Daniel Rathman

08-15

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6

Fantasy Starting Pitcher Planner: Week 21
by
Wilson Karaman

08-15

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1

The Prospectus Hit List: Friday, August 15
by
Matthew Kory

08-15

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0

Daily League Strategy: Rollin' on Ross
by
Paul Sporer

08-15

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5

Pebble Hunting: Arizona's Pitching Problems
by
Sam Miller

08-15

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5

Painting the Black: Danny Duffy's Bestie
by
R.J. Anderson

08-15

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0

The View from the Loge Level: The Mentors Behind the Managers
by
Daron Sutton

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The Red Sox are the latest to bid high on a Cuban import, but will Rusney Castillo follow in the footsteps of Cespedes, Puig, and Abreu?

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John Sterling might use that call tonight, with homer-prone John Danks pitching at Yankee Stadium, so Prado is in Paul's recommended lineup.

With DraftKings’ acquisition of DraftStreet, I will now be using that site’s dollar values to select my players of the day.

PITCHING

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August 22, 2014 11:31 am

The Prospectus Hit List: Friday, August 22

1

Matt Sussman

Tomorrow is Saturday, and Sunday comes after ... wards. I don't want this Hit List to end.

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August 22, 2014 9:46 am

What You Need to Know: August 22, 2014

1

Chris Mosch

The exceptional-pitching-in-a-loss edition.


The Thursday Takeaway
When David Price takes the mound, the Rays know better than any team the dominance of which the hard-throwing left-hander is capable. Price turned in countless such outings over his six-plus seasons in Tampa Bay, but on Thursday his former teammates were on the other end of one of his best starts. Fortunately for the Rays, they caught an early break and got a stellar outing from their new ace to ruin Price’s homecoming at Tropicana Field.



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August 22, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Starting Pitcher Planner: Week 22

10

Wilson Karaman

Helping you set your fantasy rotation for next week with a look at the two-start pitchers.

Welcome to the Weekly Pitching Planner!

A nice slate of options for the week, as only the Dodgers and Diamondbacks will be limited to five-game schedules. The American League is particularly stacked; while they lack an “auto-start” option from the top shelf of the league, there is a long and illustrious list of both “start” and strong “consider” options for fantasy managers to choose from. The Angels have still not announced a fill-in for Garrett Richards as of this writing. His gruesome injury is a huge blow for his real and fantasy teams alike. Whoever gets the nod will have a tough draw with the A’s on his card, and won’t be much more than an end-game “consider” at best.

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August 22, 2014 6:00 am

Painting the Black: A Marlins Fastball, A Twins Approach

6

R.J. Anderson

Henderson Alvarez is unlike anything in baseball, and it's working.

Before Jose Fernandez's UCL popped, he was enjoying a fantastic sophomore season. He'd tallied nearly twice as many strikeouts as hits allowed, and five times as many strikeouts as walks. He'd surrendered just four home runs, or about one every 13 innings, leaving him with a shiny 2.44 ERA. Yet, for as good as Fernandez's season was, if he qualified he wouldn't lead the Marlins rotation in ERA—that honor would go instead to Henderson Alvarez and his 2.43 mark.

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August 22, 2014 6:00 am

The View from the Loge Level: You Gotta Have Raw

1

Daron Sutton

Preston Wilson recounts his development as a raw prospect with a lot of power.

As of August 21st, MLB’s leaguewide slugging percentage in 2014 sits at .385. The last time the league slugged at that level was in 1992, when .377 was the number. Just for perspective, the peak came in 2000 at .437 and the valley occurred in 1968 at .340. Quick math shows where on the continuum we reside today; therefore, amateur power is at a premium. Whether it’s a polished, explosive bat like that of Florida prep shortstop Brendan Rodgers—ranked the no. 2 overall player in the United States by Perfect Game—or the raw slug ability of Luken Baker—who, despite being the no. 3 right-handed pitcher in Texas according to PG, has gained arguably more attention by winning several home run derbies on a large stages this summer—power gets noticed.

So it seems likely that more truly unpolished big bats could soon enter the pro ranks, simply based on their rare and coveted skill. So I thought I’d connect with a former player who fit the mold of “raw” early in his career, and get inside his head about the growth he experienced and the pitfalls he encountered.

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August 22, 2014 6:00 am

Raising Aces: Police and Thieves

6

Doug Thorburn

An examination of the deliveries of the best and worst right-handers at controlling the running game

The pitcher is only partly responsible for preventing the stolen base, as the process also involves the catcher, the infielders, and the baserunner himself. This reality is a major part of my personal disdain for the slide step, given the importance of pitcher timing and how that is disrupted when a pitcher compromises his delivery in an attempt to thwart the running game. That said, there is certainly an ability to limit opposing base-thieves that varies from pitcher to pitcher, including one's pace to the plate and the quality of a pitcher's pickoff move. These differences are better understood by examining those players who are at the extreme ends of the stolen-base spectrum.

We will be looking only at right-handed pitchers for the purpose of this analysis, as to avoid the additional variables that come into play with a southpaw on the mound. Let's start with the worst pitchers in the game with respect to policing the basepaths this season before we move onto those hurlers who keep runners handcuffed to first.

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August 22, 2014 6:00 am

Minor League Update: Games of Thursday, August 21

12

Jeff Moore

Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson and Blue Jays lefty Daniel Norris.

Hitter of the Night: Joc Pederson, OF, Dodgers (Albuquerque, AAA): 2-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, BB, K.
This is a pretty standard Pederson game, with everything he has to offer: power—both gap and over the fence—walks, and strikeouts. He’s going to hit for power, draw a ton of walks, and whiff a lot, too, but the final package should be an above-average offensive player at an up-the-middle position.

Pitcher of the Night: Daniel Norris, LHP, Blue Jays (Buffalo, AAA): 5 IP, H, R, 3 BB, 9 K.
We’ve seen a little bit of everything from Norris this season. He dominated the Florida State League in the first half before a promotion to Double-A. In New Hampshire, he was less effective and threw fewer strikes yet missed more bats than ever. For the 21-year-old Norris, that would have been a fine stopping point on the season, yet the Blue Jays aggressively promoted him to Triple-A anyway. Through three starts for Buffalo, he’s allowed just two runs and has an ERA below 1.00. It’s been an incredible ascent for Norris, who could find himself in the majors by next year.



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August 22, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Adjusting for Era

3

Craig Goldstein

We all have our own idea of what constitutes a good ERA, FIP, or xFIP, but it's important to make sure that our benchmarks keep up with the times.

While some of us have come to use plus-or-minus stats that adjust to league average to make our determinations on where a player lands within his ranks, it’s clear that many people still use the standard ERA to evaluate a pitcher or batting average to evaluate a hitter. There’s no issue with that, especially when those are the relevant categories in a fantasy league—but there’s something of a collective benchmark that we have for what determines a good, great, or elite ERA or batting average. Even more advanced stats like FIP or xFIP fall prey to this collective benchmark and to our failure to adjust for context.

Focusing on the pitching side of the equation, based on the era I grew up in a 3.00 ERA was/is my benchmark for whether someone is a good pitcher. There are shades of gray of course—a mediocre pitcher can have a fluky season—but everything revolves around that 3.00. A 3.30 was pretty good and a 3.50 was solid. A 4.00 was fit for a fifth starter/long-man type. Reality, of course, is a different story. We all know that we’re in a down offensive period in baseball, but I do wonder if enough of us have adjusted to what that means on the pitching side of the equation. This is an effort to show just how dramatically things have changed over the last few years, so that we can recalibrate what an elite or good pitcher is, and then use that as a new frame of reference.

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August 21, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Information, Humans, and Errors in Valuation

3

Jeff Quinton

"I was wrong" season for the fantasy team continues with a behavioral look at errors in forecasting how players will perform.

Seemingly out of nowhere, it has become “I was wrong” season for the Baseball Prospectus fantasy team. First, Craig Goldstein wrote about undervaluing Starling Marte, and then J.P. Breen wrote about undervaluing Yovani Gallardo. Both articles do an excellent job analyzing what each author missed regarding the specific player. What I hope to look at today is not what was missed about a specific player, but rather what parts of human behavior cause us to err when forecasting player production.

In order to do so, let us take a look at forecasting and what humans do when forecasting. My favorite definition of forecast (the verb) is from Merriam-Webster and it goes, “to predict after looking at the information available.” I like this definition because it is convenient for my article. I also like it because it highlights that our forecasts are dependent on “the information available.” Relatedly, in Thinking, Fast and Slow, our main human, Daniel Kahneman writes, “An essential design feature of the associative machine is that it represents only activated ideas.” Put differently, we cannot take into account that which we cannot imagine. I am throwing around a lot of combinations of words right now, so please allow me to simplify all this:

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Eyes on Gary Sanchez, Branden Kline, Dylan Baker, Jacob Lindgren, Reynaldo Lopez, Mason Williams, and Tyler Austin. Lopez stands out.

Branden Kline

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