CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

Pebble Hunting 

Search Pebble Hunting

All Blogs (including podcasts)

Active Columns

Authors

Article Types

Archives

02-25

comment icon

10

Pebble Hunting: What the Heck, Tigers?
by
Sam Miller

02-13

comment icon

4

Pebble Hunting: Testing PECOTA's Memory
by
Sam Miller

01-26

comment icon

15

Pebble Hunting: What It Means To Have The Best Farm System In Baseball, Part Three
by
Sam Miller

01-23

comment icon

15

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

01-19

comment icon

13

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

01-16

comment icon

21

Pebble Hunting: The Gospel According to Baseball
by
Sam Miller

11-21

comment icon

11

Pebble Hunting: Hank Aaron's Hypothetical Fortune
by
Sam Miller

11-05

comment icon

6

Pebble Hunting: Nelson Cruz is Same, Different
by
Sam Miller

10-24

comment icon

21

Pebble Hunting: An Illustrated Guide to the People of AT&T Park
by
Sam Miller

10-21

comment icon

5

Pebble Hunting: An Illustrated Guide to the People of Kauffman Stadium
by
Sam Miller

10-20

comment icon

46

Pebble Hunting: The Best Teams Should Make The World Series; A Defense of Bud Selig
by
Sam Miller

10-15

comment icon

13

Pebble Hunting: The Rich Get Smarter
by
Sam Miller

10-01

comment icon

2

Pebble Hunting: The '80' Pitches In This Year's Postseason
by
Sam Miller

09-29

comment icon

8

Pebble Hunting: The Padres' Sad Team Leaders
by
Sam Miller

09-24

comment icon

8

Pebble Hunting: Spoiler: Spoiling Spoiled
by
Sam Miller

09-19

comment icon

1

Pebble Hunting: Cueto's Quirks
by
Sam Miller

09-12

comment icon

7

Pebble Hunting: The Best Defensive Game of August
by
Sam Miller

09-11

comment icon

0

Pebble Hunting: Pitchers Live For the Applause-plause
by
Sam Miller

09-05

comment icon

12

Pebble Hunting: The Nearby Faraway
by
Sam Miller

08-29

comment icon

3

Pebble Hunting: This Article Mentions Fehlandt Lentini
by
Sam Miller

08-21

comment icon

5

Pebble Hunting: You Lie!
by
Sam Miller

08-15

comment icon

5

Pebble Hunting: Arizona's Pitching Problems
by
Sam Miller

08-12

comment icon

7

Pebble Hunting: The Unlikeliest Part of the Rangers' Collapse
by
Sam Miller

08-06

comment icon

8

Pebble Hunting: The Non-Scout's Guide To Javier Baez
by
Sam Miller

07-16

comment icon

18

Pebble Hunting: This Time, We Count
by
Sam Miller

07-14

comment icon

16

Pebble Hunting: How to Gamble on the Home Run Derby
by
Sam Miller

07-11

comment icon

1

Pebble Hunting: The Best Defensive Game of June
by
Sam Miller

07-07

comment icon

9

Pebble Hunting: Why Do Teams Pitch to Trout?
by
Sam Miller

06-30

comment icon

3

Pebble Hunting: Sean Doolittle Gets Scarier
by
Sam Miller

06-26

comment icon

14

Pebble Hunting: The [Your Team Name Here] Way Power Rankings
by
Sam Miller

06-20

comment icon

14

Pebble Hunting: Clayton Kershaw and the Fan In Black
by
Sam Miller

06-16

comment icon

12

Pebble Hunting: The 16 Hottest Teams in Baseball
by
Sam Miller

06-13

comment icon

11

Pebble Hunting: Alex Anthopoulos' Amazing Offseason
by
Sam Miller

06-11

comment icon

10

Pebble Hunting: Throwing Bats, Throwing Balls, and the Appropriate Punishment for Each
by
Sam Miller

06-06

comment icon

7

Pebble Hunting: Bartolo Colon Approaches First Base
by
Sam Miller

06-04

comment icon

15

Pebble Hunting: The Baseball Bloodlines Project
by
Sam Miller

06-02

comment icon

11

Pebble Hunting: The Best Defensive Game of May
by
Sam Miller

05-29

comment icon

11

Pebble Hunting: Pitchers at the Plate: Even Worse Than We Thought?
by
Sam Miller

05-28

comment icon

9

Pebble Hunting: How to Celebrate a Game-Ending Error
by
Sam Miller

05-23

comment icon

8

Pebble Hunting: A Billy Hamilton/David Ortiz Race
by
Sam Miller

05-21

comment icon

3

Pebble Hunting: The Marlins and the AT&T Shift
by
Sam Miller

05-19

comment icon

6

Pebble Hunting: How to Still Get Ejected
by
Sam Miller

05-16

comment icon

4

Pebble Hunting: The Meaning of 3-0 Green Lights
by
Sam Miller

05-15

comment icon

13

Pebble Hunting: Recent History's Most Cringe-Worthy Pitch Counts
by
Sam Miller

05-12

comment icon

0

Pebble Hunting: The Best Game of the 2014 Season So Far
by
Sam Miller

05-09

comment icon

9

Pebble Hunting: Starling Marte and the Upside of Headfirst Slides
by
Sam Miller

05-08

comment icon

33

Pebble Hunting: The Baseball Sandbox Experiment
by
Sam Miller

05-05

comment icon

10

Pebble Hunting: Who's Winning the Dodgers/Red Sox Trade This Second?
by
Sam Miller

05-02

comment icon

11

Pebble Hunting: The Best Defensive Game of April
by
Sam Miller

04-30

comment icon

13

Pebble Hunting: The Mets' Pitchers Can't Get a Hit
by
Sam Miller

<< Previous Column Entries No More Column Entries

This is a BP Premium article. To read it, sign up for Premium today!

February 25, 2015 6:00 am

Pebble Hunting: What the Heck, Tigers?

10

Sam Miller

Making sense of why the Tigers didn't add a big-name arm to their bad bullpen this offseason.

Has there ever been a team that entered an offseason more obviously in need of bullpen improvements than the Tigers? They finished 13th in the AL in bullpen ERA, ahead of only the Astros and White Sox; 14th in WHIP, ahead of only the White Sox; and 28th in all of baseball in FRA, which is park- and league- and era- and luck-adjusted. Notably, they managed that while throwing the fewest innings in the American League, a reflection of their strong starting staff but also a boost to their overall relief numbers—if they’d had to scrounge up an additional hundred innings to match the Angels’ total, most of those extra 100 would have come from even worse options.

The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.

Not a subscriber?

Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.


Cancel anytime.


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

This is a BP Premium article. To read it, sign up for Premium today!

February 13, 2015 6:00 am

Pebble Hunting: Testing PECOTA's Memory

4

Sam Miller

Does PECOTA's long memory have a downside?

When I’m asked about a specific PECOTA projection that seems hard to swallow, or about the system in general, I usually point out that PECOTA has something awesome that many of us don’t: A long memory. It doesn’t overreact to the past week, or even the past two years. I do.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

Last year it was the Twins. The year before, the Cardinals. This year, probably the Cubs. But what's it worth when your favorite team has the league's best farm system?

Two years ago, we did a year-by-year retrospective of the Brewers’ 2004 farm system, which had been the best in baseball at that time. Last year, we did the same for the Angels’ 2005 farm system, which had been the best in baseball at that time. The idea was to see how valuable such a farm system is over time, and, more interestingly, how long the value of such a farm system holds. Does it open a team’s competitive window for three years? Five? Ten? Beyond?

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

This is a BP Premium article. To read it, sign up for Premium today!

January 23, 2015 6:00 am

Pebble Hunting: The Pitchers Who Changed PECOTA's Mind

15

Sam Miller

PECOTA likes a few pitchers quite a bit more than it did a year ago. What did those arms do to deserve better projections?

You know who had a really good year last year? Alfonso Alcantara. The guy obviously dedicated himself to the sport, got himself in great condition, learned a new trick or two, and/or was just darned focused like a great athlete should be. I have no idea who Alfonso Alcantara is.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

This is a BP Premium article. To read it, sign up for Premium today!

January 19, 2015 6:00 am

Pebble Hunting: The Hitters Who Changed PECOTA's Mind

13

Sam Miller

Whose 2014 season, good or bad, had enough of an impact to drastically change how PECOTA views them?

Last year, around this time, I wrote an article here about the players who had most changed PECOTA’s mind in the previous year. The premise of said piece was that it takes extraordinary circumstances for PECOTA to acknowledge that the player had changed. Players don’t usually change much, at least in a year. People don’t usually change much. Last year, around this time, I wrote that article, and right now I’m writing that article, because I don’t usually change much.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

Which Bible verses do baseball players gravitate to the most and why?

A few months ago, you might recall, Kolten Wong signed a baseball with a Bible verse that doesn’t exist. At least, somebody claimed to have a baseball signed by Kolten Wong (the signature looks right) under which a non-existent Bible verse is written in what looks plausibly like the hand of Kolten Wong. Psalms 3:16 doesn’t exist because the third Psalm has only eight verses.*

Read the full article...

This is a BP Premium article. To read it, sign up for Premium today!

November 21, 2014 6:00 am

Pebble Hunting: Hank Aaron's Hypothetical Fortune

11

Sam Miller

Hank Aaron would be worth a billion dollars if he were playing today. What would he actually get?

The other day, as in not today, but any other day from the storage of prior human existence, Jeff Sullivan did a simple thing that turned out interesting: He took a bunch of guys like Giancarlo Stanton to see how much they would have been worth in the 13 years following their age-24 season. This was interesting for reasons having to do with Giancarlo Stanton’s outlook, which is why Jeff wrote it that day, but it was also interesting for sweet, sweet Fun Fact reasons. At the very, very top of the list was this:

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

This is a BP Premium article. To read it, sign up for Premium today!

November 5, 2014 6:00 am

Pebble Hunting: Nelson Cruz is Same, Different

6

Sam Miller

Nelson Cruz wants what he wanted last year, and might get it, and might not.

Hello, old friend.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

Classifying the fans you'll see in the stands for the next three games of the World Series.

The following originally ran two years ago today. With two exceptionsthe seventh word of the piece, and the section on the woman in the Marlins jersey who turned out to be a dude in a Marlins jersey, and who we now know much, much more aboutit's just as true today, so we hope you'll enjoy it anew.

You will be spending the next two days with the AT&T crowd, so you might as well get to know who they are. While a stadium of 43,000 can hold countless types, the culture of the park can be pretty well summed up by just a few of them.

Read the full article...

Classifying the fans you'll see in the stands for the first two games of the World Series.

Read the full article...

The commissioner's lasting legacy isn't randomness and meaningless. It's a more fair world.

For all the excitement of this postseason’s individual games, there is a fairly common sentiment out there that something sucks about a system so random that sub-par teams get to fluke their way to the World Series, thus stripping the season of its power to make sure the best teams are rewarded. Why play a long season and then reduce the championship to coin flips? Why continually expand postseason until every champ resembles Chris Moneymaker? Zachary Levine foretold this postseason in his epitaph for Bud Selig, written in August:

Read the full article...

This is a BP Premium article. To read it, sign up for Premium today!

October 15, 2014 4:02 pm

Pebble Hunting: The Rich Get Smarter

13

Sam Miller

Andrew Friedman might be the most revered executive in the game--Billy Beane included--and the richest team in baseball just hired him.

On the one hand, Andrew Friedman is one of the only executives with a book written about him—or, at least, a book read by more than the author’s closest friends and relatives. On that hand, he runs a team that, when it succeeds, is largely credited to his genius (and the genius of his front office). On that hand, his Rays have been experimental and at the vanguard of various “trends”—at various times shifting, locking up pre-arb players ever earlier, building around defense, resisting multi-year contracts to relievers, or giving what figuratively seem like literally millions of at-bats to Jose Molina—that have become routine, even over-fished, around the league years later. We tend to see his Rays as the first clinical trial for the strategies that will soon be ubiquitous, so we pay a ton of attention to him. Because of all this, we know a lot about Andrew Friedman, who the Dodgers just poached to be president of baseball operations.

On the other, he has run perhaps the most opaque organization in the game. I once heard about a former Rays intern who was applying for another job. Standard industry practice in this situation is to pump the applicant for information about what his old team was doing, the research, the secrets. Heck, some of the time this fact-finding might be the only reason the interview is even taking place. But this intern wouldn’t budge. Again and again, he told the team that he was interviewing with, the team he was trying to impress, that, well, shoot, he’d love to, but he just couldn’t, not with his non-disclosure agreement, not when we’re talking about the Rays. The Rays were a black box. Their local media, for the most part, never got the Rays, and the Rays never gave them much to get. We know, in some ways, very little about Andrew Friedman.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

<< Previous Column Entries No More Column Entries