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April 19, 2012 3:00 am

Research Mailbag: James McDonald, Professional Hitter

6

Bradley Ankrom

This week's mailbag takes a look at Hall of Famers who were picked in later rounds of the draft, home team winning percentage in extra innings, and Matt Cain's one-hitter.

Welcome to the latest installment of the Baseball Prospectus Research Mailbag. This week, we’ll tackle Hall of Famers being selected in later rounds of the draft, the home team’s winning percentage in extra-inning contests, and the quirks of Matt Cain’s one-hitter against the Pirates last Friday. As always, if there’s a question you would like to see answered in a future mailbag, please feel free to send it in via email or through the “Contact Author” form (please remember to include your full name and hometown with your question).

George Brett and Mike Schmidt went back-to-back with the 29th and 30th picks of the 1971 draft. Have there been any other cases of two Hall of Famers being picked back-to-back in the draft? Also, what’s the latest a Hall of Fame player has gone in the draft?

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April 12, 2012 3:00 am

Research Mailbag: More Than a Mouthful

10

Bradley Ankrom

Taking a look at the most valuable players taken among the top 50 picks in the draft, Cy Young pitchers improving after winning the award, and more

In this week’s mailbag, we’ll investigate pitching matchups that involved players with long surnames, Cy Young winners who were actually better in the year that followed their award-winning campaigns, and the most productive players selected among the top 50 picks of the Rule 4 draft. As always, if you have a question you would like to see answered in this space, please send me an email (remember to include your name and hometown).

The last names of Sunday’s starting pitchers, Jordan Zimmerman and Jeff Samardzija, total 20 characters. What game has featured the most characters in the last names of the starting pitchers?

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April 5, 2012 3:00 am

Research Mailbag: Worst. Lineup. Ever.

14

Bradley Ankrom

This week's mailbag discusses pitchers gobbling up vulture wins, organizational depth as an indicator of spring training performance, and the worst Opening Day lineups ever.

Last week’s discussion of the worst pitchers started by defending World Series champions on Opening Day inspired me to look into the worst Opening Day starters period, regardless of where his team had finished the previous season. Claude Osteen, whom the Dodgers trotted out in Game One of their World Series title defense on April 12, 1966, doesn’t even sniff the title of “worst Opening Day starter ever”:

Worst Opening Day Starters Since 1951

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The inaugural edition of the Research Mailbag explores pitchers starting both games of a doubleheader, players with the same name, and Opening Day starting pitchers.

Welcome aboard, and thank you for joining me for the maiden voyage of the Baseball Prospectus Research Mailbag. This week’s mailbag features two reader questions as well as the answer to a topic Kevin Goldstein pondered on Twitter a few days ago. Along the way, we’ll explore long, contrasting days had by Wilbur Wood and Don Newcombe, the baseball card collection I maintained as a child, and the worst starting pitchers deployed by defending World Series champions on Opening Day.

Feel free to send me a note with your research questions (please remember to include your name and hometown) for possible inclusion in future editions.

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