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Prospectus Hit List for May 23



by Matthew Kory

Hit List for May 22 Hit List for May 24
Hit List updates are published Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, starting April 2, 2014. Data presented here is based on games through the day prior to publication.
Teams are ordered based on Adjusted Hit List Factor, a computer generated number, and the author isn't responsible for the order of the teams.

The Colorado Rockies are a mile low.

RkTmWLW1W2W3 HLFAHLFWin Div%Win WC%Playoff%1-Day7-Day
1

27

17

30.2

31.4

31.1

.680

.697

97.6%

2.0%

99.6%

0.0%

-0.4%

If you took the highest-scoring offense in the American League and paired it with the best run-preventing pitching and defense in the American League, you'd call that team the Rangers.
2

30

13

27.2

27.5

27.0

.649

.631

72.4%

9.4%

81.9%

-7.9%

10.2%

Winning six in a row is nice. Being in first place by seven games is exciting, and having Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw is promising. But they are nothing compared to the pure unadulterated crack-like joy of being rid of Frank McCourt.
3

24

19

27.8

28.6

27.3

.626

.607

73.6%

11.8%

85.4%

-1.6%

-8.3%

Adam Wainwright threw a four-hit, complete-game shutout, his first since returning from Tommy John surgery. Because what the Cardinals need is good news.
4

26

17

24.2

27.5

26.4

.606

.586

7.1%

20.5%

27.6%

5.1%

7.9%

More amazing: that a 19-year-old Bryce Harper hit third in the order against Roy Halladay, or that he went 2-for-5 with a triple?
5

26

18

25.7

24.6

23.9

.569

.549

61.8%

22.8%

84.6%

0.8%

-0.4%

As a rookie in 2010 Jason Heyward had an .893 OPS (131 OPS+) and 4.3 WARP. Since then, he's got a .721 OPS (98 OPS+) and 1.2 WARP. The more astute of you will notice: the second figures are much less.
6

26

18

23.4

24.4

25.0

.561

.581

30.3%

36.2%

66.5%

-0.4%

-7.1%

Fernando Rodney has a 0.44 ERA in 20 2/3 innings. If he gives up 15 runs in the next 11 innings he'll still be better than he was last year with the Angels.
7

24

20

25.8

23.7

23.6

.552

.571

3.9%

11.4%

15.4%

-1.6%

7.5%

Over the past 12 games, Jose Bautista has raised his OPS by 130 points. Toronto is playing Texas this weekend. Texas is in the path of the hurricane.
8

28

16

23.6

22.4

22.8

.550

.570

9.8%

19.3%

29.1%

10.2%

7.5%

Brian Matusz struck out nine in 6 1/3 innings, including seven of the last nine hitters he faced. It's hard to look imposing with a smiling bird cartoon on your forehead but Matusz managed it.
9

24

18

20.8

22.9

23.0

.540

.560

53.1%

13.0%

66.1%

8.7%

17.7%

Johnny Damon went 0-for-3 and is now hitting .164. It's almost like he doesn't like Cleveland. Hasn't he been to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
10

21

22

23.0

23.1

23.3

.525

.545

18.9%

30.3%

49.2%

-9.4%

8.7%

The Red Sox have 13 players on the DL, including seven outfielders. It's almost as if they're confusing putting players on the DL with winning.
11

24

19

22.1

22.2

21.6

.523

.503

22.8%

27.6%

50.4%

-0.4%

11.0%

Heath Bell is back to closing for the Marlins. Just be glad that giant fish spinning thing in center field doesn't go off for opposing home runs.
12

23

20

21.4

23.1

22.3

.522

.502

20.1%

24.4%

44.5%

11.8%

15.4%

Had Buster Posey's home run not collided with the center field scoreboard it would have traveled around the earth and hit him in the back of the head just as he was rounding second base. He would have been out, but that's how the Giants season is going.
13

21

22

21.7

22.9

23.4

.517

.537

14.6%

5.5%

20.1%

-11.4%

0.4%

There are five first baseman in the majors with an OPS over .900, three with an OPS over 1.000, and one with an OPS over 1.050: Paul Konerko. What, you were expecting Bryan LaHair?
14

21

23

22.0

23.5

22.7

.507

.487

5.9%

19.7%

25.6%

-6.7%

-8.3%

More embarrassing: that Juan Pierre has the second-highest OBP among Phillies starters, or that Ty Wigginton has the third?
15

22

21

21.7

21.8

21.7

.507

.527

37.0%

29.9%

66.9%

2.8%

-11.8%

Alex Rodriguez has four extra base hits this month. Raul Ibanez has ten.
16

23

19

21.5

19.5

20.3

.502

.482

20.9%

35.0%

55.9%

0.8%

14.6%

It's news when Aroldis Chapman strikes out fewer than two guys in an inning, so no news today.
17

20

23

22.4

20.1

20.6

.483

.463

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Two things: 1) Astros pitching struck out 13 Cubs against only two walks. 2) The Astros have a better run differential than the Yankees.
18

19

25

21.2

21.6

21.3

.472

.492

2.4%

30.7%

33.1%

6.3%

-7.1%

Albert Pujols hit his fourth homer of the season. At this rate he’ll still be in the Hall of Fame.
19

20

22

20.3

19.4

19.5

.471

.491

32.3%

19.7%

52.0%

-3.9%

-14.2%

Miguel Cabrera has never walked four times in a game. He lined out to center field in the first inning. The next three times up he walked. He came up once more in the ninth and struck out on three pitches. So close, yet so productive anyway.
20

20

25

21.5

20.5

20.6

.459

.479

0.0%

0.4%

0.4%

0.0%

0.4%

If Justin Smoak continues to hit like this (.213/.252/.323) he won’t be in the big leagues long enough for us to adequately make fun of his name.
21

23

20

18.3

18.4

18.6

.455

.435

2.4%

6.3%

8.7%

1.2%

-3.9%

R.A. Dickey threw seven innings of one-run ball and struck out 11. But perhaps even more shocking for a knuckleballer, he didn't walk anyone.
22

19

25

19.7

20.4

20.9

.455

.435

7.5%

9.4%

16.9%

3.9%

-4.3%

The Diamondbacks are 11 ˝ games out of first place, which is a bigger deficit than any team faces in any of the other five divisions.
23

17

25

19.1

18.9

19.1

.441

.461

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

-0.4%

-1.2%

Two days ago, every American League team won or lost. Yesterday every American League team did the opposite of what they did the day before. Oh, uh, and the Royals aren't very good.
24

22

22

19.8

17.2

17.8

.437

.457

0.0%

1.6%

1.6%

-0.8%

-0.4%

Sum total of good news from last night's game: in the fifth inning Cliff Pennington singled.
25

17

26

18.2

18.5

18.1

.417

.398

5.5%

11.8%

17.3%

-4.7%

-25.6%

Marco Estrada has given up nine homers in 35 innings. The Brewers are considering putting the giant center field scoreboard behind the pitchers mound on days when he starts.
26

20

23

17.3

16.0

16.8

.408

.389

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

-2.8%

-2.4%

Is James McDonald (57 1/3 innings pitched, 58 strikeouts, 18 walks) really this good? On one hand he gets to pitch in the National League Central, but on the other he doesn't get to face the Pirates.
27

15

28

16.8

18.3

19.5

.405

.386

0.0%

0.4%

0.4%

0.4%

-1.6%

Every time a Cub gets a hit Theo Epstein calls each of the 29 other GMs and says, "Hey, have I got the guy for you!"
28

16

28

17.1

16.7

17.6

.383

.364

0.0%

0.4%

0.4%

0.0%

-0.4%

Last night, Edinson Volquez had more walks than strikeouts, and thus a reverse strikeout-to-walk ratio. We’ll call this crossing the Ubaldo line.
29

15

27

18.1

15.4

14.9

.378

.359

0.0%

0.4%

0.4%

0.0%

-3.9%

What kind of upside-down world are we living in where the guy with the best name for a pitcher ever in the history of always, Josh Outman, has a 12.27 ERA?
30

15

27

14.7

15.9

15.8

.365

.384

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

A great thing about the baseball season is how every team gets a few days in the sun. We're about 50 days into the season now and the Twins have had about three.

Matthew Kory is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Matthew's other articles. You can contact Matthew by clicking here


5 comments have been left for this article.
jedjethro

Good stuff as always.

But what's up with the Astros? Are they not quite as bad as thought? It seems the lack of talent is still appalling in both the majors and minors ... how much would picking 5th through 8th in next summer's draft as opposed to first or second hurt them?

May 23, 2012 06:43 AM
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+1

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BP staff member Matt Kory

Independent of finances, it's of course always better to pick higher in the draft, so for the Astros future being a hot mess this year is probably better. That said, nobody wants to lose 120 games.

Not speaking for BP as a whole, but so far they haven't been anywhere near as bad as I thought. Their non-stinkitude has been a pleasant surprise, but we've got 120 games to go so there's plenty of time for the awful team most people expected to rear its head.

That's probably why the system still gives them (and the Pirates) a 0 percent chance to make the playoffs despite their early season success (relative to our expectations).

May 23, 2012 09:19 AM
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amazin_mess

May I ask for the rationale behind the Astros and Mariners ahead of the Mets. I know the Mets are not an above-.500 team, but that seems like a reach. Especially Seattle.

May 23, 2012 07:01 AM
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Manticore5

I can't help but notice that you still give the Astros a 0.0% chance of making the playoffs. I mean, its obviously very, very unlikely, but at this point, you'd think the chances might have improved at least a smidge?

May 23, 2012 07:04 AM
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jrbdmb

Same for the Pirates. While I don't *expect* either to be withing sniffing distance of the playoffs in September, a 0.0% Playoff Odds when both are only 4 games behind the division leader doesn't sound right.

May 23, 2012 07:49 AM
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