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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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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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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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Prospectus Feature: The Joy of Adrian Beltre
by
Kate Morrison

09-27

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Flu-Like Symptoms: Giant Collapse
by
Rob Mains

09-27

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3

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

09-26

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Deep League Report: Week 26
by
Scooter Hotz

09-26

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6

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

09-26

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6

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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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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The Best of Sam Miller
by
Sam Miller

09-23

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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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17

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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BP Boston
by
Matt Collins

09-22

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

09-22

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5

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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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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The Best of Sam Miller
by
Sam Miller

09-22

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3

The Best of Sam Miller
by
Sam Miller

09-21

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16

An Agent's Take: On Tebow
by
Joshua Kusnick

09-21

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Prospect House: High Ceilings, Low Floors, Big Rooms
by
Mauricio Rubio

09-21

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2

Outta Left Field: Two Months In Hel
by
Dustin Palmateer

09-21

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3

The Best of Sam Miller
by
Sam Miller

09-21

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0

The Best of Sam Miller
by
Sam Miller

09-21

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2

The Best of Sam Miller
by
Sam Miller

09-21

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0

Deep League Report: Week 25
by
Scooter Hotz

09-21

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Soft Toss: A Very Human Defense of the September Call-Ups
by
Brendan Gawlowski

09-21

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What You Need to Know: To Sin By Silence, When They Should Protest, Makes Cowards of Men
by
Emma Baccellieri

09-21

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4

Prospectus Feature: The Six Archetypes of Famous Baseball Men LinkedIn Profiles
by
Emma Baccellieri

09-20

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5

Cold Takes: Rickey, Unwritten Rules, and the 130
by
Patrick Dubuque

09-20

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Closer Report: Week 25
by
Matt Collins

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A fitting tribue was paid to Jose Fernandez in Miami, Jean Segura keeps socking homers, St. Louis struggles, and Jonathan Schoop wears down.

The Monday Takeaway

Playoff races, award chases, and all other September baseball storylines took a backseat over the weekend, as news broke early Sunday morning of Jose Fernandez’s tragic death in a boating accident. Our own Mauricio Rubio wrote about what Fernandez meant to the game, on and off the field, on Monday, before the Marlins returned to the field, all wearing no. 16 in honor of their late ace, to host the Mets.

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Does an ugly blown save hurt a bullpen long after that game is lost?

It’s been a tough September in San Francisco. That even-year magic that should have been carrying the Giants to their fourth World Series title in the last seven years seems to have left AT&T Park (our own Rob Mains has all the gory details).

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Diving into the treasure trove of data finds as many questions as answers.

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September 27, 2016 6:00 am

Closer Report: Week 26

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Matt Collins

Surveying the ninth-inning situations around the league for the final time in 2016.

Welcome to the final regular season edition of the Closer Report for the 2016 season. Once again, it was a fun year for relievers, albeit incredibly frustrating at times. I’ll try to do a recap of the year in closers soon, but there are still some fantasy teams fighting for their season, whether it be in the playoffs or in roto. This one is for all of you, because even with just a week to go in the regular season there is still somehow some news. The Closer Carousel never ends.

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September 27, 2016 6:00 am

Expert FAAB Review: Week 26

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Mike Gianella

A look at how the wise guys spent their money in expert leagues ahead of the final week.

Welcome to The FAAB Review, the series that looks at the expert bidding in LABR mixed, Tout Wars NL, and Tout Wars AL every week in an effort to try and help you, the Baseball Prospectus reader, with your fantasy baseball bidding needs. Bret Sayre and I participate in LABR Mixed while I have a team in Tout Wars NL, so I can provide some insight on the bids and the reasoning behind them. LABR uses a $100 budget with one-dollar minimum bids, while the Tout Wars leagues use a $1,000 budget with zero-dollar minimum bids. I will also be including Bret’s winning bids in Tout Wars mixed auction league where applicable.

LABR and Tout Wars both use a bidding deadline of Sunday at midnight ET.

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Adrian Beltre is a Hall of Fame player, but his impact goes beyond the numbers.

There has never been anyone like Adrián Beltré.

This is where one would normally jump into a dissection of his incredible talent and on-field accomplishments, and then end in a rigorous whacking-over-the-head with his Hall of Fame-worthy accreditations. Maybe we should, anyway, but what really stands out when Adrián Beltré plays baseball is joy.

Beltré is one of the best third basemen to ever play the game, with one of the more unusual careers. He’s an offensive dynamo, a defensive wizard, and his successes on the biggest stage could be an excuse for him to be any average dour and over-serious veteran player--or at least, the kind of personality void that happens from prolonged exposure to the media.

Instead, Beltré approaches games like there’s nothing else he’d rather do. He’s one of the rare people in the game who can treat it with the levity it deserves without inciting the ire of less-forgiving opponents. He approaches every plate appearance with purpose--with dedication to his craft and an honoring of his talent--but imbued in all that is joy.

It’s difficult to talk about this kind of thing without tipping straight over into raw sentiment, something that has its place in this game, but not overmuch. It might even be easy to diminish the accomplishments of the player in over-simplifying him to a set of reactions and meme-able GIFs, instead of taking it all in as a whole and marveling at both the humor and the pride.

Beltré dances, runs away from tags, pulls runners off the bag, walks up to the plate with his helmet on backwards, and messes with umpires. He’s also a deeply respected clubhouse presence, the first off the bench in the case of an altercation, and the captain who doesn’t need a “C” to determine his legacy. In an age when any kind of showboating can lead to full-out brawls, Beltré hits home runs from one knee.

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San Francisco's second-half free fall is one of the biggest in baseball history and it's hard to explain.

The San Francisco Giants, you may have heard, have not had a good second half. At the All-Star break, they were 57-33. That was the best record in baseball, three games ahead of the Cubs. Since then, they are 25-41. That’s not the worst record in baseball—the existence of the Minnesota Twins ensures that—but it’s the worst in the National League. They’ve fallen from first place in the NL West at the break--6.5 games ahead of the Dodgers--into a tie with the Mets for the Wild Card and just half a game ahead of the Cardinals, trailing the division-clinching Dodgers by 8.0 games.

In doing so, they remain in line to set a record for the biggest swing in winning percentage from the first half to the second half. Their drop of .255--from .633 to .378--is the greatest since the first-half/second-half dichotomy was established by the 1933 All-Star game, ahead of the 1943 Philadelphia Athletics, who followed a 34-44 first half with a cover-your-eyes 15-61 second half, a .238 decline. The Giants have to win at least four of their remaining six games to avoid breaking those wartime A’s record.

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J.D. Martinez and Michael Saunders lead a group of players who're their own worst enemies this season.

I learned when shopping for engagement rings that no diamond (that I could afford, at least) is without flaw. It’s just a matter of digging in and seeing how deep the damage goes. I don’t think it’s too tough to draw a metaphor between that experience and how we should look at other people, and ballplayers are just a subset of that larger group.

Like everyone else, baseball players aren’t perfect–except Mike Trout, I think–and each of them is capable of sabotaging their own value. Some of these flaws crop up in small ways: a hole in the swing, a predilection to hang a slider in hitters’ counts, a lack of simple fielding range. On occasion, we can also find a player whose on-field mistakes or inadequacies border on hamartia, the great flaws of Greek tragedy.

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September 27, 2016 6:00 am

Notes from the Field: Cal League Wrap: The Hitters

2

Wilson Karaman

The best bats from the Cal League, all in one place.

It was a notably weaker year for top-shelf prospects in the California League this season, with a whopping 30 combined games from Kyle Tucker, Yohander Mendez, and Luis Ortiz representing the sum total of contributions by prospects that cracked our Mid-Season Top 50. The season also ended under a cloud of bummerness, with the news that two franchises—including eventual champions High Desert—would contract at season’s end. Two of the stronger systems of recent vintage in the circuit, those belonging to the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers, have been confirmed as future transplants to the Carolina League, and rumblings that the Colorado Rockies may join the exodus have been percolating as well. Boo.

The good news: what the league lacked in elite pedigree it made up with quality play from a reasonably large middle class of players with future big-league potential. I’ve written about dozens of them along the way this season, and you can access all of my Eyewitness Reports, as well as a link to my full scouting database, at the bottom of this article.

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With one week left, the Hit List marches on.

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September 26, 2016 10:49 am

Deep League Report: Week 26

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Scooter Hotz

Examining players who might pique your interest in deeper formats.

Lots of teams have clinched or are close to clinching, which means the backups on those teams will get more playing time than usual while the starters get some rest before the grind of the playoffs begins. Similarly, lots of teams have been eliminated from playoff contention or are close to it, which means that younger players will get a little more playing time as teams set their sights on 2017 and beyond. It’s the last week of the season. Let’s get this Deep League Report rolling.

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Steve Clevenger's tweets got him suspended by the Mariners, but the issue runs deeper than one backup catcher.

The Mariners' Social Media Night was set in a Spartan venue: seven tall chairs arranged against the outside wall of the stadium, with the faded brick of Pioneer Square and a single American flag as the backdrop. The gray concrete combined with a mixture of wind and crowd noise to give the event a strangely somber air considering the nature of the proceedings. Somewhere around 50 fans, clutching free t-shirts and sipping complimentary beverages, clapped as members of the social media team, local press, and players took turns talking about their social media experiences.

Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto arrived and took the microphone, and the natural question arose: do you have an overarching policy for how players should behave on social media?

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