CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

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

Prospectus Feature 

Search Prospectus Feature

All Blogs (including podcasts)

Active Columns

Authors

Article Types

Archives

11-22

comment icon

4

Prospectus Feature: MLB's Ongoing Search for Front Office Diversity
by
Russell A. Carleton and Kate Morrison

11-14

comment icon

9

Prospectus Feature: The Cy Young and the Unfair Advantage of Defense
by
Jonathan Judge

10-28

comment icon

5

Prospectus Feature: Dominican Winter League Q&A
by
Grant Jones

10-13

comment icon

9

Prospectus Feature: Tal's Hill, the Performative Quirk
by
Emma Baccellieri

10-12

comment icon

0

Prospectus Feature: AFL Preview: Peoria Javelinas
by
Steve Givarz, Brendan Gawlowski and Wilson Karaman

10-12

comment icon

2

Prospectus Feature: AFL Preview: Glendale Desert Dogs
by
Steve Givarz, Mauricio Rubio and Jarrett Seidler

10-11

comment icon

2

Prospectus Feature: AFL Preview: Surprise Saguaros
by
Steve Givarz, Kate Morrison, Jarrett Seidler and Wilson Karaman

10-11

comment icon

0

Prospectus Feature: AFL Preview: Salt River Rafters
by
Brendan Gawlowski, Steve Givarz, Mark Anderson and Wilson Karaman

10-10

comment icon

1

Prospectus Feature: AFL Preview: Glendale Desert Dogs
by
Wilson Karaman, Steve Givarz and Mauricio Rubio

10-10

comment icon

0

Prospectus Feature: AFL Preview: Scottsdale Scorpions
by
Jarrett Seidler, Wilson Karaman and Steve Givarz

10-06

comment icon

12

Prospectus Feature: Imagining a Position-Less Baseball
by
Emma Baccellieri

09-27

comment icon

1

Prospectus Feature: The Joy of Adrian Beltre
by
Kate Morrison

09-26

comment icon

7

Prospectus Feature: The Comp-less Mike Trout
by
Henry Druschel

09-26

comment icon

7

Prospectus Feature: The Song of Jose Fernandez
by
Mauricio Rubio

09-21

comment icon

4

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

09-18

comment icon

0

Prospectus Feature: Baseball's Peek-A-Boo
by
Trevor Strunk

09-16

comment icon

10

Prospectus Feature: A Brief, Modern History of Reliever Name Foreshadowing
by
Ben Carsley

09-15

comment icon

18

Prospectus Feature: The Active Player Hall of Fame Draft
by
Brendan Gawlowski and Meg Rowley

09-15

comment icon

3

Prospectus Feature: The Best Pitcher Nobody Cares About
by
Bryan Grosnick

09-12

comment icon

16

Prospectus Feature: Two Visions of October
by
Henry Druschel

09-09

comment icon

0

Prospectus Feature: Burning Up The Track In September, Part 2
by
Rob Mains

09-08

comment icon

5

Prospectus Feature: The Giants Are Making History!
by
Rob Mains

09-04

comment icon

5

Prospectus Feature: The September Slumber
by
Trevor Strunk

09-02

comment icon

1

Prospectus Feature: That Old Story About Teams Never Trading Prospects Anymore
by
Julien Assouline

09-01

comment icon

2

Prospectus Feature: Burning Up the Track in September
by
Rob Mains

08-29

comment icon

5

Prospectus Feature: Baseball Player Human
by
Trevor Strunk

08-29

comment icon

0

Prospectus Feature: Coleman/Hamilton, Part 2: Why We’re Missing Out On It
by
Rob Mains

08-26

comment icon

6

Prospectus Feature: Coleman/Hamilton, Pt. 1: What We're Missing Out On
by
Rob Mains

08-22

comment icon

9

Prospectus Feature: Something Not Worth Forfeiting
by
Henry Druschel

08-19

comment icon

3

Prospectus Feature: Baseball's Predictable 2,430
by
Trevor Strunk

08-17

comment icon

2

Prospectus Feature: Pujols, Verlander, and Modern Baseball
by
Trevor Strunk

08-11

comment icon

2

Prospectus Feature: Nothin' to Do With Groundball Pitchers? DRA Weighs In
by
Rob Mains

08-10

comment icon

1

Prospectus Feature: Sports Gambling Illegal, Still
by
Samuel Mann

08-08

comment icon

18

Prospectus Feature: How The Free Market Betrays Baseball Players
by
Trevor Strunk

08-08

comment icon

0

Prospectus Feature: Does 'Elite Closer' Mean Less Volatility?
by
Henry Druschel

08-05

comment icon

16

Prospectus Feature: A Terrible Idea Whose Time Has Come
by
Rob Mains

07-29

comment icon

9

Prospectus Feature: Getting 'Em Outta There
by
Rob Mains

07-28

comment icon

7

Prospectus Feature: To Be Young (Is To Be Traded Unexpectedly)
by
Trevor Strunk

07-28

comment icon

0

Prospectus Feature: The Taxi Squad
by
Jessica Quiroli

07-26

comment icon

0

Prospectus Feature: Confidence Men
by
Jared Wyllys

07-25

comment icon

0

Prospectus Feature: Advanced Stats for the Masses
by
Henry Druschel

07-23

comment icon

13

Prospectus Feature: Nine Things We Would Change About Major-League Baseball
by
Brendan Gawlowski

07-22

comment icon

0

Prospectus Feature: DRA 2016: Challenging the Citadel of DIPS
by
Jonathan Judge

07-22

comment icon

1

Prospectus Feature: Good Deal?
by
Trevor Strunk

07-15

comment icon

2

Prospectus Feature: Pleading For The Fifth
by
Bret Sayre

07-14

comment icon

3

Prospectus Feature: Did 'The Extra 2%' See This Rays' Collapse Coming?
by
Miles Wray

07-14

comment icon

0

Prospectus Feature: Francisco Liriano, Chase Rates, and Global Trade
by
Rob Mains

07-12

comment icon

8

Prospectus Feature: Nothing Slows Rich Teams Except Themselves
by
Henry Druschel

07-12

comment icon

5

Prospectus Feature: Ahead of the Curve's Revisionist History
by
Sean O'Rourke

07-11

comment icon

7

Prospectus Feature: A Tried-and-True Pitching Strategy Doesn't Work Anymore
by
Rob Mains

<< Previous Column Entries No More Column Entries

MLB parted ways with the Korn Ferry search firm as it continues to struggle filling front office roles with minority candidates.

It’s Thanksgiving, which means it’s time to travel several hundred miles to have an awkward dinner with your family. It’s a season of eating too much, rehashing old family arguments that were silly to begin with and even sillier 20 years later, and dealing with Uncle Larry. You know Uncle Larry. The one who voted for that candidate whom you can’t stand and who would now like to take a few moments to describe why he did so.

We here at Baseball Prospectus know that you’ve probably come to the site to get away from it all and to think about topics that aren’t so emotionally loaded. So, as a public service, we figured we’d write about race. It’s OK, both our Uncles Larry voted for Rick Porcello too.

Last week, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that Major League Baseball is no longer working with executive search firm Korn Ferry, whom the league had retained a little more than a year ago to help teams identify racial and ethnic minorities to fill front office vacancies. When Korn Ferry was hired, there was a growing concern internally that nearly all of the top executives in the game were white, and MLB wanted to do something about it.

To bolster their efforts, MLB created an internal Diversity Pipeline Initiative, headed by former Pirates director of baseball personnel Tyrone Brooks. In the past year, though, several general managers have been politely excused from their duties and have been replaced, mostly by 30-something, statistically-savvy Caucasian guys who used to work for the Cleveland Indians[1].

Read the full article...

Will Cy Young voters again be fooled by the Cubs' defense?

We’ve reached awards season, with the Cy Young—designated for the best pitcher in each league—due to be awarded this coming week.

In the National League, the named finalists are two Cubs (Kyle Hendricks, Jon Lester) and one National (Max Scherzer). Here is how they compare on various measures of pitcher quality:

Read the full article...

Tigres del Licey assistant GM (and former BP alum) Carlos Jose Lugo discusses what goes into building a DWL team.

During my season-long conquest of the Midwest League, I had the opportunity to meet many great people, including BP alum Carlos Jose Lugo, the assistant general manager of Tigres del Licey of the Dominican Winter League. Our game-long conversation became a highlight of the season, as I learned a ton about the Dominican Winter League, Licey, and how teams operate in the Dominican. Here'[s a snapshot of some of the topics we covered.

Grant Jones: As the assistant GM of Licey, what are the day-to-day operations like for you? And how does what you do differ from how an MLB team operates?

Carlos Jose Lugo: The position involves many of the same responsibilities an assistant GM has in an MLB organization. The difference of course being the length of both seasons and also the time of the year. In the offseason I spent most of the time following our players’ performances in minor-league baseball or in some cases Asian leagues, taking notes and gathering information on players that project to be eligible for our annual draft, building a list of players that could be good candidates to play winter ball as imports, working with the GM and the other assistants on possible trade scenarios, and so on.

The busiest time of the year for us is between July through the end of the season in January. In July we initiate the contacts with the American or other foreign players we’re interested in as imports and work more closely on the upcoming draft, and that includes the scouting trip to the South Atlantic and Midwest Leagues. August and September, the workload increases as we now focus on both the roster and the draft, and at the same time setting up the training camp, etc. Once the season is approaching, I also got more involved with our analytics unit with projections, scouting reports, player evaluations, and all kinds of information we think our GM, the coaching staff, and the manager can use.

GJ: Can you elaborate on how the DWL is? Is it as competitive as MLB or is it more developmental like the minor leagues?

CJL: Oh yes, it’s as competitive and perhaps even more than MLB. Winter ball is totally different to minor-league baseball in this regard. The main goal in these leagues is to win the championship–not even make the playoffs–it’s win the championship. Anything else is a failure. The fans are totally obsessed, and they don’t accept losing in any way or form. But winter ball can be viewed as a good developmental step and environment for young players. As you know, in the minor leagues the goal is to develop the player, not necessarily to win, so the kids are not really exposed to the pressures and challenges that go in hand with a winning culture. Playing in front of 15,000 rabid fans in winter ball, from my perspective, will only benefit a young player with major-league potential.

Read the full article...

Houston finally did away with the weird hill in center field, but not all ballpark quirks are worth mourning.

Tal’s Hill was never supposed to last this long. Its death via forthcoming stadium renovation was discussed in the abstract for years before being announced in the definitive last summer and scheduled for last fall. But then came an unexpected Astros playoff run, prolonging the inevitable and giving us one more season with the weird little slope in Minute Maid Park’s center field.

That season is over now and, as of this week, so too is Tal’s Hill. It’s easy to mourn this as a great loss for ballpark quirks. So easy! The imagery is almost obnoxious in its obviousness— bulldozing something that made a stadium unique, literally flattening out its character. But to mourn the death of Tal’s Hill simply as a delightful park oddity is to overlook why Tal’s Hill existed at all.

It’s true that Tal’s Hill was killed because it was too different (“unsafe” and “distracting” are, at their core, variations on “too different). But being different was the reason that Tal’s Hill was built in the first place. It was not a ballpark quirk born from a strange setting or a demand of its time or a weirdly individualistic architect. It was a ballpark quirk born out of a team’s desire for a ballpark quirk.

Tal’s Hill was designed to be different, and it was—but only so much as we can accept manufactured difference for difference’s own sake as being different.

The design alone, stripped of context, is weird. It’s a hill and a flag pole in the middle of a ballpark! It’s very weird! There’s nothing wrong with this, in and of itself, and maybe even something very much right with this. Weird can be good, weird can be inspired, weird can be fun. It is the foundation of where we might put a pit on the field. Weird gives a place its sense of self, and it allows us to build something human into a structure that would otherwise be anything but. It’s what makes ballparks individual, which is what lets us make ballparks personal.

Read the full article...

Notes on the Peoria roster.

Peoria Javelinas- Orioles, Reds, Padres, Mariners, Rays

The Guys You Know

RHP Brent Honeywell, Tampa Bay Rays (#44 on Midseason Top 50)

The Guys You Don’t

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.

Notes on the Mesa roster.

Mesa Solar Sox- Cubs, Indians, Marlins, Athletics, Blue Jays

The Guys You Know

OF Bradley Zimmer, Cleveland Indians (#27 on Midseason Top 50)

OF Eloy Jimenez, Chicago Cubs (#28 on Midseason Top 50)

SS Franklin Barreto, Oakland Athletics (#35 in Midseason Top 50)

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

Notes on the Surprise roster.

Surprise Saguaros- Red Sox, Royals, Twins, Pirates, Rangers

The Guys You Know

Yoan Moncada, 2B/3B, Boston Red Sox - (#2 on Midseason Top 50) - Eyewitness Report

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

Notes on the Salt River roster.

Salt River Rafters- Diamondbacks, Braves, Rockies, Tigers, Brewers

The Guys You Know

Brett Phillips, OF, Milwaukee Brewers - (#48 on Midseason Top 50) - Eyewitness Report

Ryan McMahon, 3B, Colorado Rockies - (#36 on Pre-Season 101) - Eyewitness Report

Jacob Nottingham, C, Milwaukee Brewers - (#66 on Pre-Season 101) - Eyewitness Report

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

Notes on the Glendale roster.

Glendale Desert Dogs (Nationals, White Sox, Astros, Cardinals, Dodgers)

 

The Guys You Know

Francis Martes, RHP, Houston Astros -  (#33 on Midseason Top 50) - Eyewitness Report

 

The Guys You Don’t

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

Notes on the Scottsdale roster.

Scottsdale Scorpions- Angels, Mets, Yankees, Phillies, Giants

 

The Guys You Know

 

Gleyber Torres, SS, New York Yankees - (#34 on Midseason Top 50)

 

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

When is a first baseman not a first baseman?

There is little nuance in the names we use for baseball’s positions—they describe, simply and directly, either what you do or where you stand. The pitcher pitches; the right fielder is in right field; the shortstop stretches this characterization by being a 19th century adaptation of the cricket term “long stop,” but whatever. The logic is, on the whole, satisfyingly and explicitly clear, and it gives us a language that is specific and deliberate.

But sometimes the circumstances of the game force us to question the foundations of that language’s specificity. To wit—the first baseman covers first base. And yet:

That is one moment of extreme caring in a late-September affair that was full of not caring. The bottom of the fourth inning in last Wednesday’s Cubs-Pirates game, the outcome of which meant nothing to two teams with futures already decided. It was Anthony Rizzo (first baseman playing in to defend against a bunt) and Ben Zobrist (second baseman covering first base for this one play) and Clint Hurdle (maybe a fierce defendant of the rules, maybe a frustrating pedant, definitely someone who cared very much about this play in this moment).

Read the full article...

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.

Read the full article...

<< Previous Column Entries No More Column Entries