Perez, a 16-year-old way back in 2006, initially signed with the Royals out of Venezuela for just $65,000. He quietly worked his way through Kansas City's farm system without much fanfare, and on a minor-league salary to boot. When, just 39 games into his major-league career, the Royals offered him a life-changing seven million dollars guaranteed, it's not hard to see why he signed the dotted line.
Corey Seager and Byron Buxton lead the way as the top 30 names come off the board.
It’s this time of year that we mock, both in a true and in a meta sense. Most fantasy mock drafts are drawn out, boring, and bring the over-the-top praise on social media out of the woodwork, where it’s thankfully been hiding all off-season thus far. However, when you can take a mock and turn it into something different and fun, then you’ve already won. This is not your ordinary mock. It’s a counterbalance to the force. This is now the fifth year I’ve overseen this exercise, and its third year here at Baseball Prospectus—and every year it gets more and more fun. This year we have a couple of new names, and new affiliations, as you’ll see in the write-ups below.
And just like we did last year (and the year before that), we first must examine the parameters. There are always parameters. Because it’s really stupid to try and fix something that’s not broken, I kept the exact same format as last year, which worked so well. And just like last year, these were the instructions for the participants of this draft, straight from the email I sent out prior to kickoff:
There are five phases of baseball: Pitching, defense, hitting, baserunning, and a certain breed of sportswriter concern trolling fans by pretending that the game is dying because it gets worse TV ratings than football.
This is a red herring, because comparing baseball’s TV ratings to football’s, in 2016, requires going through several causal filters and discarding the irony of newspapermen using TV ratings to predict the death of a cultural institution.
David Dahl was a divisive figure in our Top 101, so we asked two Prospect Team members to explain what they see.
David Dahl’s inclusion on the Top 101 was a no-brainer. We all agree on that and you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who could make a case otherwise. His standing within the Top 101, and his ultimate value at the ML level, however, are up for debate. There’s very little to quibble over when it comes to Dahl’s sparkling defensive ability, arm strength, and athleticism but as is the case with many prospects, what you think of the player as a whole is heavily dependent on what you make of his offensive projection. Further, there are some non-tool-related elements to evaluate here that may or may not play a role in Dahl’s development. Without further ado, Mark Anderson and Jeffrey Paternostro debate Colorado Rockies center fielder, David Dahl.
The supposedly neutral record of baseball statistics has been anything but.
Race and the color line have played a central role in baseball history. One of the most well-known stories of the game’s past is Jackie Robinson’s breaking of the color line in 1947. Every year, Major League Baseball celebrates Jackie Robinson Day, leading observers to recall that prior to 1947, baseball was segregated. That sin touched every aspect of the game. Namely, the history of baseball statistics is enmeshed in the history of race in baseball.
Baseball statistics receive an enormous amount of attention. Likewise, the history of baseball gets its fair share of treatment in the form of popular histories, academic works, and SABR biographies. The history of baseball statistics, however, garners far less consideration. Indeed, it’s seldom acknowledged that statistics even have a history outside of themselves. Not only that, but when the history of baseball statistics is afforded scrutiny, the results suggest the markings of a still emerging site of study. The story tends to travel from Alexander Cartwright in the 19th century to Bill James near the turn of the millennium. While those figures are important, there is more to the history of baseball statistics than a series of individual actors.
The objects of study in this article are two of the most significant publications regarding baseball statistics: the Official Encyclopedia of Baseball (BE), first published in 1951, and the 1969 Macmillan Baseball Encyclopedia (MEB). Specifically, it examines them with regard to the nature of encyclopedias and in the specific context in which they emerged. They were products of a moment in baseball history when the color line was a fresh memory and full integration was just getting underway. Because of that, the manner in which they addressed black baseball was specific and revealing.
Sizing up the senior-circuit crop at the hot corner.
As noted in last week’s NL-only write up, the idea of position scarcity in fantasy leagues is mostly a myth, and third base is no different than almost every other position in the National League. Last year in 5x5, the top 10 NL third basemen earned $209, or only slightly less than the top 10 NL first basemen ($216) and the second basemen ($212) did. This calculation assumes that players with dual eligibility at 2B/3B are all used at second, so you could make the case that at the top third base was the strongest infield position in the NL last year.
Todd Frazier departed for the American League this winter, but the NL still has two third basemen who are absolute studs. Kris Bryant beat out Nolan Arenado in real life (with a .317 TAv to Arenado’s .299), but since fantasy leagues don’t adjust for Coors-aided numbers, Nolan Arenado was the man in NL-only. He was the only NL third baseman who earned $30 or more in 2015, but these numbers may not be repeatable as even in Coors it is extremely difficult to assume that Arenado is going to drive in 130 runs again this year. Thirty to 35 home runs are a realistic expectation given the venue, but a mild drop in home runs could happen too. Arenado should still be a top-20 player, but some slippage is possible.
Just short of 20 shortstops landed on the BP Top 101. Did we put them in the right order?
There are 19 shortstops in this year’s BP 101. I know that not just because I contributed to the making of said list, but because I hit CTRL+F and searched for “, SS” and it came up 19 times. Obviously the position is a premium one, but nearly 20 percent of the list coming from one position seemed a notable number.
And so, this got me to thinking. With so much of the list coming from one place, how does the industry view the position? A few months ago we ran our “Ask The Industry" series, but this is a much larger spectrum to work with, and I was curious to see whether the industry agreed or disagreed on how we viewed the shortstop prospects of today.
When we take the weather into account for DRA, how big a swing are we talking about?
One of the most important components of DRA is the awareness of external factors on pitching performance. Obvious things like the parks each player is pitching in, and the defense behind him, clearly affect performance. So too, does temperature.
Derek Holland quite literally brings the heat. Sure, he threw a 94 mph fastball in 2015, but he also pitched in some of the highest average temperature games among all pitchers who recorded at least 162 outs last season. Holland started 10 games for the Rangers, the average temperature of which was over 81 degrees. That’s nearly 8 degrees warmer than the average gametime temperature last season.