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01-23

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14

The Lineup Card: Eight Intriguing PECOTA Projections
by
Baseball Prospectus

01-23

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14

Pebble Hunting: The Pitchers Who Changed PECOTA's Mind
by
Sam Miller

01-23

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1

Player Profile: Arismendy Alcantara
by
Nick Shlain

01-23

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13

Raising Aces: Best and Worst Mechanics: NL East
by
Doug Thorburn

01-23

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9

TTO Scoresheet Podcast: Second Base
by
Ian Lefkowitz, Ben Murphy and Jared Weiss

01-23

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2

TTO Scoresheet Podcast: Bonus Podcast: Mock Draft
by
Ian Lefkowitz, Ben Murphy and Jared Weiss

01-23

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3

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Second Basemen
by
BP Fantasy Staff

01-23

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3

Rumor Roundup: Everth Cabrera is a Wanted Man
by
Daniel Rathman

01-22

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2

Rumor Roundup: Jonathan Singleton Is Probably Not the Breakout Candidate You're Looking For
by
Chris Mosch

01-22

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2

The -Only League Landscape: National League Second Basemen
by
Keith Cromer

01-22

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25

Dynasty League Positional Rankings: Top 50 Second Basemen
by
Bret Sayre

01-22

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4

Transaction Analysis: Colby Rasmus is the Astros
by
R.J. Anderson

01-22

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7

Moonshot: Forecasting With Fastball Frequency
by
Robert Arthur

01-22

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4

Tale of the Tape, Dynasty Edition: Nick Franklin vs. Marcus Semien
by
Craig Goldstein

01-22

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13

Pitching Backward: The Cost of Being on Baseball's Bad Side
by
Jeff Long

01-22

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1

Player Profile: Aaron Hill
by
J.P. Breen

01-21

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5

Prospectus Feature: Quantifying the Wobbly Chair
by
Andrew Hopen

01-21

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8

The Adjuster: Second Base
by
Wilson Karaman

01-21

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13

Fantasy Three-Year Projections: Second Base
by
Ben Carsley

01-21

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5

Fantasy Infographic: Second Base
by
Mauricio Rubio

01-21

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1

The -Only League Landscape: American League Second Basemen
by
Nick Shlain

01-21

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42

2015 Prospects: Detroit Tigers Top 10 Prospects
by
Chris Mellen and BP Prospect Staff

01-21

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4

Daisy Cutter: Maddon Meets the Bleacher Bums
by
Sahadev Sharma

01-21

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6

Rumor Roundup: The World Is Drunk On Burke Badenhop Rumors
by
Daniel Rathman

01-20

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11

Get to Know: Second Base Prospects
by
Craig Goldstein

01-20

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0

Tale of the Tape: Brian Dozier vs. Ian Kinsler
by
Matt Collins

01-20

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16

Fantasy Tiered Rankings: Second Base
by
Mike Gianella

01-20

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11

Prospect Mechanics
by
Doug Thorburn and Ryan Parker

01-20

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10

Baseball Therapy: Rick Ankiel's Third Act
by
Russell A. Carleton

01-20

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0

Rumor Roundup: Brew Crew Clues True?
by
Chris Mosch

01-20

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9

Transaction Analysis: The Cubs Get Raysy
by
Sahadev Sharma and Craig Goldstein

01-20

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5

Transaction Analysis: The Rangers Get Durable
by
R.J. Anderson, Mark Anderson and J.P. Breen

01-20

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20

Transaction Analysis: The Nationals Stare Into The Future
by
Sam Miller and Mike Gianella

01-19

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12

Pebble Hunting: The Hitters Who Changed PECOTA's Mind
by
Sam Miller

01-19

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2

Transaction Analysis: Unlikely Nori
by
R.J. Anderson and Craig Goldstein

01-19

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0

The Quinton: Middle Infielders, Expectations, and Weaknesses
by
Jeff Quinton

01-19

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10

Fantasy Players to Target: Second Basemen
by
BP Fantasy Staff

01-19

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9

Rumor Roundup: Big Yields Shields
by
Daniel Rathman

01-19

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3

State of the Position: Second Base
by
J.P. Breen

01-19

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0

The Week in Quotes: January 12-19, 2015
by
Nick Bacarella, Chris Mosch and Nick Wheatley-Schaller

01-16

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8

Raising Aces: Best and Worst Mechanics: AL East
by
Doug Thorburn

01-16

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20

Fantasy Freestyle: Stop Looking for Sleepers, Start Looking for Value
by
Mike Gianella

01-16

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21

Pebble Hunting: The Gospel According to Baseball
by
Sam Miller

01-16

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7

Player Profile: Ike Davis
by
Wilson Karaman

01-16

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10

Moonshot: Projecting Uncertainty
by
Robert Arthur and Will Larson

01-16

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3

Rumor Roundup: Rangers Not Interested in Max Scherzer for Backup Catcher Search
by
Chris Mosch

01-16

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7

TTO Scoresheet Podcast: First Basemen
by
Ian Lefkowitz, Ben Murphy and Jared Weiss

01-16

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1

Fantasy Players to Avoid: First Base
by
BP Fantasy Staff

01-15

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0

Rumor Roundup: What Do You and the Dodgers Have In Common?
by
Chris Mosch

01-15

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The -Only League Landscape: National League First Basemen
by
Keith Cromer

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January 22, 2015 6:00 am

Moonshot: Forecasting With Fastball Frequency

7

Robert Arthur

Can we improve on PECOTA's forecast for a hitter just by looking at which pitches the opposing catcher called?

The fastball is the meat and potatoes of the batter-pitcher contest. Variations in fastball[1] velocity and movement explain a lot of the differences between pitchers, and a good heater can set up a whole arsenal of other pitches to boot. Fastballs are the most commonly thrown pitch by a wide margin, and so they determine to a great extent the results of any given matchup.

It’s no surprise then that pitchers tend to vary how much they use their fastballs on a hitter-by-hitter basis. Some hitters see fastballs rarely, others overwhelmingly, and the difference between hitters tells us something about their power (as well as their proficiency against fastballs). Being that they are the main offering of most pitchers, fastballs are the easiest to tee off against, and so they are thrown more rarely against powerful hitters.

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January 22, 2015 6:00 am

Tale of the Tape, Dynasty Edition: Nick Franklin vs. Marcus Semien

4

Craig Goldstein

The Ray takes on the A.

You know the drill by now. Two names that land back-to-back on Bret’s dynasty list for the position get thrown under the microscope—this time from a dynasty perspective. Today we’ll entertain quasi-starting options Marcus Semien and Nick Franklin. It’s worth noting that Semien will pick up shortstop eligibility relatively quickly, but for now he’s a second-sacker.

Batting Average

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January 22, 2015 6:00 am

Pitching Backward: The Cost of Being on Baseball's Bad Side

13

Jeff Long

What losing the All-Star game means for Baltimore.

Back in July 2013, news leaked that Baltimore was interested in hosting the 2016 MLB All-Star Game. The O’s had discussed internally the idea of hosting the multi-day event with the hopes of showcasing Camden Yards during its 25th season. The last time the O’s hosted the Midsummer Classic was in 1993, and early media reports noted the stars seemingly aligning in Baltimore’s favor:

The site generally alternates between National League and American League cities, and with Cincinnati hosting in 2015, the AL would likely be up the following year.

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January 22, 2015 6:00 am

Player Profile: Aaron Hill

1

J.P. Breen

Is there reason to hope that the Snakes' keystoner could bounce back?

Player Background

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What makes a manager lose his job?

Last fall, the Diamondbacks, Cubs, and Red Sox all finished last in their respective divisions. The Diamondbacks dismissed manager Kirk Gibson in what was widely seen as an appropriate move given the franchise’s decline and Gibson’s grittiness-bordering-on-violence. The Cubs fired manager Rick Renteria, not because of performance but because Joe Maddon became available. Public reaction was one of uncomfortable sympathy; nobody was out for Renteria’s head, but c’mon, it’s Joe Freaking Maddon. The Red Sox retained John Farrell, whose team severely underperformed expectations. Surely he benefitted here from a wildly successful 2013.

Point being, keeping or dismissing a manager is a complicated decision, in which on-field results have to be weighed against history, context, and intangibles like leadership and respect. But of the tangible results, which types truly matter, and how much does each shade the picture? I aimed to build a model to answer that question.

The Model
For my data, I included all seasons from 1996 (first full season of the Wild Card Era) to 2013, using information I could find within or derive from the Lahman database. This includes things like win percentage, playoff appearances, year-to-year improvement, and awards won. I opted to include every opening day manager (i.e. no interim guys, whose fates are often pre-determined) and used my data to predict whether or not each would appear as manager for the same franchise next year. I chose to fit a decision-tree model with boosting. (For those interested, the final tuning parameters chosen by repeated CV were: shrinkage=0.01, #trees=350, and interaction depth=3.) I excluded the two expansion-team managers because they messed up variables that relied on previous seasons, and because I felt they deserved unique categorization but were too few to be distinguished by the model. I also excluded 1999 Astros manager Larry Dierker, whose health forced a mid-season hiatus, resulting in two separate 1999 stints in the Lahman database.


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January 21, 2015 6:00 am

The Adjuster: Second Base

8

Wilson Karaman

Looking at keystoners who see value bumps and drops in OBP and points leagues.

High-contact guys who don’t strike out or walk much—that’s what you get when you look through the ranks of second basemen. There’s some limited upside for the position as a whole in points league play, where low whiff rates matter, but even there a lot of the added value is knocked right back down on account of slugging limitations. In OBP leagues the landscape is pretty ugly. And regardless of format it’s a sharp, quick drop from the top of the second base list to the middle tiers and beyond, with no more than a handful of strong options and a whole bunch of mediocrity below. Let’s sift through the rubble and see if we can’t identify some much-needed targets for draft day.

In case you missed it, here are the Second-Base Tiers. Previous articles in this series: Catcher, First Base.

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January 21, 2015 6:00 am

Fantasy Three-Year Projections: Second Base

13

Ben Carsley

Sizing up the position between now and the end of the 2017 season.

Previous articles in this series:

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January 21, 2015 6:00 am

Fantasy Infographic: Second Base

5

Mauricio Rubio

A visual breakdown of the statistical categories in which keystoners might help or hurt your team.

Graphics Primer

Second base is the first position we’ve covered that features variability in individual skill sets. There are some hitters who can hit 20-25 home runs, some players who can steal 30-plus bases, and some players who can provide a substantial amount of everything in standard 5x5 leagues. It creates for a variety of different shapes. Take these for example:

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January 21, 2015 6:00 am

The -Only League Landscape: American League Second Basemen

1

Nick Shlain

A closer look at some keystoners available in the junior circuit.

While the depth at each position varies from year to year, second base has been one of the weaker positions in recent years. When preparing for the upcoming fantasy season, making adjustments based on positional depth or lack thereof can be crucial. How much more do you value getting a decent player at a shallow position? Are the elite players at the position worth the risk?

Let’s start with the “elites.” I’m sure you read the second-base tiers and noticed the absence of a five-star player. Jose Altuve, who earned $45 in AL-only last year, was the closest to five-star consideration and he’s the only one with a real argument. In terms of auction dollars, a five-star player is worth more than $30. While the tiered rankings are a collaborative effort around these parts, I’m of the opinion that Altuve is that kind of player, especially in “-only” leagues.

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January 21, 2015 6:00 am

2015 Prospects: Detroit Tigers Top 10 Prospects

42

Chris Mellen and BP Prospect Staff

The trend stays the same: the Tigers win at the highest level, but their system remains rather weak.

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January 21, 2015 6:00 am

Daisy Cutter: Maddon Meets the Bleacher Bums

4

Sahadev Sharma

A fanfest puts Joe Maddon to his first big test: Fans.

The annual Cubs Convention is always an interesting weekend. It’s usually good for a bit of news and always worth a chuckle or two. The attendees range from the first-timer with no clue what to expect to the convention vet who perfectly sets his schedule to get every autograph and ask a question at every panel. For obvious reasons, Cubs fans are a rare breed; when the team you root for is often the butt of jokes all around the baseball world, it will naturally do some damage. But in general, the fans aren’t much different than any other team’s—some perfectly level-headed, others not so much.

I’ve attended the past four conventions, all as a member of the media, and it’s a rather exhausting three days of Cubs madness. At every convention I’ve attended, the main news has centered around the renovation of Wrigley: Introducing plans, then promising to finally start the process, and this year, with ground finally broken, explaining the contingency plan now that the bleachers won’t be open until a month-plus into the season.

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January 21, 2015 6:00 am

Rumor Roundup: The World Is Drunk On Burke Badenhop Rumors

6

Daniel Rathman

The Blue Jays and Nationals could be in on Burke Badenhop, while Jonny Gomes might find a fit in Atlanta.

Blue Jays, Nationals in talks with Burke Badenhop
After padding their lineup, most notably with the additions of Josh Donaldson and Russell Martin, the Blue Jays could still use a little bullpen depth to replace the departed Casey Janssen. So could the Nats, who’ve been busy in recent days, exporting Tyler Clippard to get Yunel Escobar, and then breaking the bank for Max Scherzer. FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi says those two clubs are eyeing a fellow right-hander whose mediocre strikeout rates belie his middle- and late-inning utility.


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