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We should give baseball's "middle class" more respect. The CWS saw a chance to be competitive and took it rather than throwing in the towel. If some of their trades (Samardzija?) and/or prospects (<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=58057">Gordon Beckham</a></span>?) had worked out better they may have had a few more playoff appearances. From a strategic perspective I find these almost-competitive teams to be the most interesting. Who would want to see a system in which maybe 10 teams compete every year and the rest are in a tear-down mode?
I'm not sure AJ Reed needed a DL stint to clear his mind. His <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=BB" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('BB'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">BB</span></a>% and K% were all in line with his career norms and his 6 HRs were also pacing well. But his <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=BABIP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('BABIP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">BABIP</span></a> is only .243, about .100 below his norm.
I appreciate the concept of the article but the search criteria are quite arbitrary and basically meaningless. All the evidence indicates that Berrios is ready for MLB and his first four starts, and the last one in particular, were due to nerves or excess adrenaline or simply random slump, as you note. If the Twins just sent him down to regroup and get back into his groove, fine-- if they read too much into this and start messing with him and bouncing him around, that would be a real shame. How they deal with this hiccup in his development will tell a lot about the Twins' organization going forward.
Love this suggestion.
I agree- the best feature of <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=PECOTA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('PECOTA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">PECOTA</span></a> relative to other projection systems is its percentile breakdowns.
In redraft leagues maybe, but Lindor and Russell could be extremely valuable in keeper leagues for a while and I would be aggressive. In particular, I think fantasy analysts have been way too cautious about Lindor and have been discounting his performance too much. Yes, be wary when a player suddenly outperforms his minor-league track record, but there are a lot of elite talents who have done that wildly-- <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=31724">Hanley Ramirez</a></span> and <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Raul+Mondesi">Raul Mondesi</a></span> easily come to mind. With a unique baseball talent like Lindor, who is developing his game so rapidly, you have to apply a different discount factor to that performance than you would with a borderline prospect. I could see him putting up some offensive seasons similar to a young <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=1589">Derek Jeter</a></span>.
For a young player learning to hit same-handed major league pitching, I don't see Wong's performance against lefties as at all "horrific." I think it would be a shame if the Cards turned him into a platoon player at this point.
One relatively small managerial (non) decision puzzled me. By Game 5, the Royals were running at will-- including Hosmer in the 11th and Dyson in the 12th. Why didn't the Mets pitch-out a few times during the series to curtail that? To every strategy there's a counter-strategy....
I'm wondering about the 9th inning strategy with Familia at bat, 2 on and 2 out. Why not send the runners on a double-steal? There would be more chance of an error on a throw to a base than of Familia getting a hit off Jansen. If the Dodgers don't throw, with runners on 2nd and 3rd you increase the pressure on the defense just in case Familia puts the bat on the ball, and creates an opportunity to score a run on a passed ball or wild pitch, or for that matter a steal of home. If either of the runners gets thrown out, so what? You're conceding the at bat and scoring opportunity anyway. As it turns out, the Mets hung on, but it seemed to me like a squandered opportunity to try to create an insurance run with a downside risk close to zero.
How often in your own workplace have you seen a new manager come in, make this change and that, and eventually wind up relying on the same people the previous manager did? Seems like the Rondon situation was one of those another-day-at-the-office stories.....
This type of projection exercise has some value-- providing the imagined write-ups are consistent with BP's true evaluations. For example, having recently picked <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Jose+De+Leon">Jose De Leon</a></span> first in my league's minor league draft partially on the basis of BP's coverage (12th pick, btw), I don't find his consignment to AA in 2017 particularly funny. This future-cast might also be more suited to run on one of the dreadful off days before or after the All-Star game.
I read an initial report on Alfaro's injury on milb.com and haven't seen any follow-up reports there or anywhere else. What's the latest?
The classic "breakouts" are mediocre players we think we know, who suddenly turn into something much better. JD Martinez is a great example, but there were others in 2014--Mickey Brantley, <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=53395">Todd Frazier</a></span>, <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Jose+Altuve">Jose Altuve</a></span> and Garret Richards especially. It's interesting that all except Altuve were 26 to 28 years old-- the age we associate with peak value but not necessarily with a breakout. Players that fit that general mold this year and who are consequently good breakout candidates are <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=51994">Desmond Jennings</a></span>, <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=50073">Travis Snider</a></span>, <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=57396">Jason Heyward</a></span>, <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=60009">Brett Lawrie</a></span>, and <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=54187">Leonys Martin</a></span>.
Top prospects who are allowed to find their groove in the minor leagues before being called up adjust better to MLB than those who start the season in a MLB lineup. That assertion is based on my casual observation over a period of time and has not been subject to any formal statistical analysis. But I think it would hold up to a statistical test, and so may represent an unintended consequence of the current rules that works to the advantage of the players and fans.
I totally agree with this analysis. For all the scouting criticism of Cingrani's arsenal, his MILB/MLB performance has been stellar. Even including an injury-marred 2014, his MLB totals are impressive and in no way suggest a guy who ought to be converted to middle relief. Unless there's some ulterior developmental motive to this, it's a silly decision.
Yeah, this is very interesting and useful. Intuitively, I've been gravitating more and more toward evaluating prospects based on plate discipline. This is a good start in testing that intuition with some quantitative analysis. I'd definitely like to see more on the subject, including the flip side of the player list you presented.
Yes, the more lists the better!
But...I don't really understand why, in this list and others, Tim Anderson is ranked so much higher than Jorge Alfaro. The rap against Alfaro seems to be his hitting approach-- but his walk rate was twice as high as Anderson's, while the K rates are similar. They both seem to have elite tools at key defensive positions. Why are prospect gurus less forgiving of Alfaro's lack of refinement?
I'm okay with this exercise--I can appreciate the need to fill out the series even if, as timjohr suggests, it's highly speculative. But recognizing the extreme turnover in closers, shouldn't the 3-year rankings try to flag the most valuable of fantasy resources-- the cheap (or low ADP) but good set-up guys who have a high chance of ascending to a closer role? For example, I'd move Giles up at least 5 spots given his talent and positioning. I'll guess that 15 of the bottom 25 won't be fantasy relevant by the 2017 season.
I haven't really investigated Pittsburgh's outfield depth chart, but I would think the Snider trade means that Polanco won't lose PAs at the first sign of a slump, as he would if Snider were still around.
Nice article with some sound advice. But as lipitorkid points out, the calculus changes dramatically in keeper leagues. In my competitive league with 3-year escalating contracts, the trick is find somebody who will provide surplus value for all three years, freeing up funds to bid aggressively for the McCutchens and Kershaws. Guys like Santana and Loney may help you one year but sink you the next.
I'd still like to see BP run a survey of the configuration of leagues subscribers participate in. I'd have to think that BP subscribers play in more sophisticated leagues, often with some kind of keeper provisions, than the average fantasy player. That's why the sleeper lists on most popular sites border on the comical to us BP readers.
Having had both Davis and Jay Bruce "anchoring" my team this past season (as well as Verlander!), I can tell you that Bruce produced an even more impressive season of futility. I agree with your analysis; I'm not going near any of them next March.
That's a good point about Gray, though the sample is very, very small. But the premise that pitchers below a certain height (or weight/height) wear down late in the season is a statistically testable hypothesis.
What was the good reason to be concerned about Ventura's ability to hold up over the course of a full season? His injury history looks pretty clean. Is it that he's 3 inches shorter than Gausman? What is the height threshold at which a pitcher's endurance is suspect? If you look at AL pitchers of similar youth and effectiveness-- Ventura, Tillman, Cobb, Archer, Keuchel, Gray--it's hard to see how height could have been used as a predictor of total innings or of innings per start (yes, I know, small sample, but I don't get paid for this). Please excuse me questioning this issue from time to time-- other than your bias on height and frame, your prospect coverage is outstanding-- and allowed me to snag Ventura in a late round of my league's farm draft a few years ago. How did I ever let Stroman and Gray slip by me!
By the way, I think Polanco's another one. A lot of people will be looking exclusively at his MLB line in their 2015 drafts, and not fully appreciating that his combined line was .284/.352/.428 with 29 steals.
Have I mentioned that I really like this series? It's from these lists that 2015 champions will be made. Bret's observations on Taveras are especially sharp. Though I already have Oscar locked up in a keeper league, I think it will be interesting to watch how he's valued next spring in re-draft leagues and other leagues where he's still available. Especially how he's valued relative to Soler. I've been amazed how much the fantasy public has discounted Taveras based on his first 200 PAs of big-league ball, considering the usual challenges were compounded by promotions and demotions and inconsistent playing time. Bret's analysis confirms what I suspected-- his skills are translating, just wait 'till he gets acclimated and comfortable. In terms of career value, I'll still take Taveras over Soler despite the how different their debuts have been.
Is Jake Lamb missing from this list on merit or did he just fall through the cracks?
I'm with Kopec. It's kind of nice to see the best pitchers flirting with a 3.00 ERA again and one or two of the elite challenging the 2.00 barrier. On the flip side, I don't miss the days of guys hitting 70+ home runs. Obviously, the surprisingly rapid deflation of offense begs for explanation. The concurrent rise in K % indicates the explanations won't be simple or obvious. And the most important question-- is it a fluctuation or a trend?
I really like the concept of this series. This time of year, I'm looking to stash a few guys with the potential of becoming a cost-controlled cog for a few years (say, Jimmy Nelson) or, based on a flukey-good small sample performance, enticing trade bait come next spring (say, Rymer Liriano). You flagged a couple of those types who weren't on my radar.
What's Andrew Heaney's status now?
Hey guys, I can take a little good-natured ribbing. But putting my sneaky bragging aside for a moment, the nub of my comment is that when first-tier stars like Davis and Verlander go well into the season at below replacement level, their owners need some help and advice. Fast! It's an emergency! Probably too late, I've concluded that the problems of those two players are more deeply rooted than just a normal slump or bad BABIP luck. In fact, unless injuries are ultimately revealed as the underlying cause, both are on course for historically deep performance collapses.
Well it's about time! Davis (along with Justin Verlander) have taken me out of my league's playoff hunt for the first time in 15 years. I have stopped dreaming of a 6-HR week and benched him. Your analysis understates how lost he is right now-- his strikeout % has risen each month, and in 43 PAs in July is an outrageous 46%. The O's need to fabricate an injury for him, then let him figure it out in a AAA "rehab" assignment.
Ernie Banks could certainly make that claim, as his back-to-back MVPs attest.
No doubt Ralph Kiner is one of the reasons I grew up to love baseball as much as I do. I remember the wry but hopeful honesty of Nelson, Murphy and Ralph when the Mets' ace was Jack Fisher and their "future" was Dennis Ribant; listening to the 24-inning 1-0 game against the Astros with a transistor radio sumuggled into my bed and tuned low-enough that my parents wouldn't hear; the wide smile he wore on Kiner's Corner after Seaver's "imperfect game." Great memories, made greater by Kiner's presence and humor. He lived a good live for himself, and played a little role in enriching the lives of millions of us fans. Well done, Ralph!
This was a true delight. Thanks.
Four of the six winningest Dominican pitchers were 6'0" or shorter (Marichal, Martinez, Colon, Andujar). Marichal threw an amazing 244 complete games. Strikes me that this is one of those baseball myths, like "strikeout pitchers don't have long careers," that doesn't stand up to the most casual scrutiny.
Is there a demonstrated correlation between height and stamina or is that just scouting bias?
With the recent redesign (ruination) of Yahoo's sports pages the bseball fan and fantasy community has lost the most assecessible and thorough source of scores, stats and player info. It would be great if some entity, possessing proper respect for the data it is custodian of and those who use it, could fill the vacuum.
Is the short-guys-can't-fool-major-leaguers theory based on any statistical evidence or is it just a mix of hypothesis and bias? Any evidence that the K-ratios of short pitchers (say, under 6') fall more dramatically from AA to AAA to MLB? How significant is that effect if it exists? Isn't that kind of empirical analysis why we're all reading BP? Also, please explain why a 5'9" pitcher could be entrusted to fool hitters in the 8th or 9th innings but not in the 1st through 7th. Is there some medical evidence that tall guys have more stamina?
I'm with bline24. I fail to see why Erasmo is generating such excitement. He apparently wasn't eligible for your best prospects list this year, but in 2012 BP listed him as Seattle's 15th-best prospect. He had an OK debut last season but he hasn't had any kind of explosive breakout. I see him best as a play by those owners who have rights to Tijuan Walker; if he thrives at the MLB level, fine, if not, you'll probably get Walker down the stretch.
It's shocking that nobody listed Game 6 of the 1986 NLCS between the Mets and Astros. Never mind extra-inning games, that was one of the most exciting baseball games ever played. ESPN has it listed as the greatest MLB playoff game. I watched it on a public TV at NYU and it was a riveting experience--nobody who wandered past was able to pull themselves away--until there were hundreds of people crowded around that screen but you could hear a pin drop.
Can we get an update on Danny Hultzen?
Nice to see your nod to Jennings as top MLB baserunner. I think many people, and especially the projection systems, are underestimating him in a number of ways. But I LOVE your selection of all-time best make-up. An astute recognition that there's more to baseball than just baseball.
I completely understand that you do this for a living so have to be responsible with your projections, whereas I do this entirely for fun. So I might turn the question around and ask: Probability says that there are five or six guys currently playing in the minor leagues who will someday have 40-HR seasons in MLB. Who are they? I'd go with Olt, Sano, Singleton, Bogaerts and Buxton.
I love this type of article so don't take my comments too critically. But are you really going out on a limb saying guys like Baez and Bogaerts have the "potential" to blast 25-30 homers "at their peak"? Last season 44 big leaguers blasted 25+ homers, 27 blasted 30+ homers, and 8 blasted 35+ homers. Isn't this article about identifying the future stars, not the future pretty-goods? I'm mean, there's a time for tempering expectations and letting regression to the mean rule--like when you're preparing for your fantasy draft. There's also a time for dreaming about upside. If Baez' peak potential is 25-30 HRs, heck, I'll just draft Trevor Plouffe and not have to wait five years.
I think you're undervaluing defense in general and Lindor in particular. So many prospects with high offensive potential aren't given the chance to establish themselves because their gloves don't keep them in the lineup while they adjust to big-league pitching. I'm thinking of guys like Matt Adams, Johnny Giavotella, and Brandon Allen. On this list, I'm wondering how many ABs Gyorko will be given if he's at 2B and doesn't start out the season stinging the ball. In comparison, Lindor's glove ensures that he will be given every opportunity to reach his offensive potential, whether it takes 200 or 2,000 AB. This list is a great concept though, it's worth mulling over.
Nice work, Russell. If I am interpreting your findings correctly, the marginal risk to injury is greater when going from, say, 3000 to 3300 pitches in a season, than from going from 2000 to 2300. If the marginal risk doesn't increase, then it's, well, every pitch is dangerous so you might as well just work pitchers hard when they're at the peak of their abilities.
I think you're undervaluing De Aza a bit. He is the lowest risk choice of the three you review, with a very comfortable hold on a starting job and a lead-off slot. He's an ideal 4th outfielder who will fill in reliably on a fantasy team if-- or when-- one of your high-ceiling OFers gets hurt or flops.
Cleary this HoF round brings the PEDs issue to the forefront, there's no avoiding that. But everybody seems to be looking for a golden rule regarding PEDs and I don't think there's one to be found. How about applying some judgment to this question?
I don't think somebody who succeeded through cheating alone should be enshrined as a baseball "great." But a lot of guys enhanced their indisputable skills in various unethical ways, whether by corking their bats, doctoring the ball, doping, etc. You can't keep them all out.
My problem with Bonds has always been his post-1999 performance. Until then, he was a legitimate Hall of Famer displaying a normal aging curve. Then, for the next eight years, he defied the aging curve that subdued all of his great predecessors. Not Mays, not Mantle, not Ruth, not Aaron, not Musial, not even Williams had the kick that Bonds had after the age of 35. And that at the very time there is strong evidence that he began using PEDs. I just find it hard to believe his unique late-career accomplishments were entirely natural and within the rules. (Same applies to Clemens.)
So based on strong but circumstantial evidence, I'd recognize that guys like Bonds and Clemens earned entrance to the Hall on their natural abilities and professional skill, but I wouldn't reward or revere them for cheating, or accept their accomplishments as 100% legitimate. They wouldn't be on my ballot the first year (or the first 10). Let them wait awhile.
Hey, its getting a little tiresome that every player under 6' tall seems to be referred to in BP's analysis as "diminutive," the synonyms for which seem neither apt nor flattering. But in the spirit of R.J.'s analysislet of Cowgill, let me offer my all-time diminutive teamlet:
c- Yogi Berra (5.7)
1B- George Sisler (5.11)
2B- Joe Morgan (5.7)
3B- Fred Lindstrom (5.11)
SS- Honus Wagner (5.11)
OF- Ricky Henderson (5.10)
OF- Willie Mays (5.10); Tris Speaker (5.11)
OF- Mickey Mantle (5.11)
SP- Whitey Ford (5.10)
SP- Mordecai Brown (5.10)
SP- Old Hoss Raburn (5.9)
SP- Iron Man McGinnity (5.11)
SP- Eddie Plank (5.11)
RP- Elroy Face (5.8)
RP- Bobby Shantz (5.6)
Myers is highly regarded too. But on the Baseball America Top 100 lists published in the spring prior to their respective rookie seasons, Braun was ranked #26 (#12 on BP's), Gonzalez #52, and Kemp #96. While we're at it, Votto was ranked #43 going into his rookie season (#53 on BP's). Check some of the "elite" prospects ranked ahead of them.
I've really enjoyed this old-fashioned hot stove debate the past few days so thanks Dayton Moore, Ben Lindbergh and all you commentators.
My small observation involves projections of prospects of the quality of a Will Myers. Everybody seems to be sensitive to the downside risks; the Rays are taking a risk that Myers won't live up to the expectation that he'll be an everyday player and occassional all-star. But there is upside variation around the mean too. When you're talking about a guy who's in BP's top 20 prospect circle, you really don't know what his ceiling is until he gets to the big leagues and plays a few years. Does he have the smarts and makeup to make the adjustments necessary to thrive at that level? I'm thinking about guys like Ryan Braun, Adrian Gonzalez and Matt Kemp, none of whom were considered elite prospects, if I recall, until they became elite major leaguers.
So I'm just saying that, with the advance of the projection methods Ben mentions, we sometimes cut the prospect distinctions too fine. Myers has as good a chance as any to become one of the top bats of the coming decade. Shields is a fine pitcher but he's replaceable. If I'm in the Rays' postition I'm going to make that trade.
No Whitey Ford? 9-1, 2.81 beginning July 1, 1950. Yankees finished first by 3 games.
Derek may prefer a hands-off approach but my guess is that dump trades are the single biggest source of keeper league acrimony and dissolution. It's dispiriting to the others when one team lands a Verlander & Hamilton in a dump trade and totally changes the dynamic of a pennant race. The dumping team doesn't have the constraints on trading stars that real-world teams do (long-term contracts, no-trade clauses, fan sentiment, TV ratings, etc) nor the same incentives to get fair value in return. Moreover, the dumps often follow pre-established channels of friendship or workplace proximity, causing resentment. In our 25-year old keeper league, we have established a value trading cap-- the maximum amount of salary one team can trade to another in a single season is the draft value of the highest value player. This year, Pujols was the highest at $50, so that's the cap. An out-of-it team can still trade Pujols to a contender (or some combination of players totalling 50 or less), but if they also have Verlander, they have to find another partner. It's worked well.
Well I do begrudge the money. Ballplayer salaries are heavily subsidized by taxpayers. Look no further than last night's "opening game." The Marlins got a publicly-subsidized new stadium, and turned around and wrote Jose Reyes a $106-million contract. Think there's no connection? It is possible to be sympathetic to ballplayers rights to freedom of movement in the post-Flood era and still recognize that their contracts are severely inflated by gifts from the taxpayers, which are usually extracted by ownership threats to leave a city for a subsidized venue elsewhere.
In an article about KC's middle-infield, the dismissiveness regarding Giavotella seems negligent. True, he may not be "the long-term solution at the keystone," but how many young players are unquestionably their team's long-term solution at any position? Fact is, the guy has done everything you could ask for offensively from a middle-infield prospect at AA and AAA. His defense is apparently still sub-par but from what I read he has a good work ethic and defensively can improve. Overall, BP's stance should be that anything less than a full and patient major league trial for Giavotella would be managerial malpractice.
I would like to see BP take a poll of the types of leagues its subscribers play in. I can't believe that anybody would need to come to BP to get the info necessary to play in a straight re-draft roto league. When I read mass-market roto analysis and see, say, Brett Lawrie listed as a "sleeper," I move on. A guy like that has already been locked up for several years through my league's minor league draft. I suspect that's closer to the typical level of league sophistication for most BP readers. Am I wrong?
This is a good new BP feature. I've long thought that roto pundits cater too much to the Yahoo redraft leaguers and neglect the various keeper and dynasty leaguers, who must disproportionately be BP subscribers. But I don't think the dollar values are too much help-- they simply differ too much from league to league. The important issues are the PECOTA-type projections for next season, plus the playing time questions. For example, what are the Royals thinking about the roles of Salvador Perez and Johnny Giavotella in 2012? How are the Reds likely to handle Mesoraco in 2012? Those are the important concerns to keeper league GMs.
I'm surprised Kevin is so down on Dominguez' bat. He's always been young for his league and has maintained his middling level of offense each step up the ladder. If he can do that with the final step-- hit .260 with 15-20 HRs--and provide GG defense, is that so bad? Clete Boyer, who profiled similar, had an average WARP of 2.5 during his 8-year prime.
Like the origins of the on-field game, the birth of fantasy baseball is shrouded in the mists of history. My father told me of a game the kids played on the streets of New York in the 1930s. They'd bet a nickel or quarter on some baseball star-- Dimaggio, Greenberg, Williams--then check the box scores the next day. Whoever had the guy who got the most total bases the day before won the pot.
Put me down as one who thinks the Jays have completely mishandled Snider's development. They rushed him to Toronto when he still an unpolished slugger (as evidenced by his high strikeout rates, for example) and have since shown insufficient patience with his small sample size slumps. Unless this is, as R.J. speculates, just to work on a mechanical flaw, it is another mis-step in the Snider story. He needs the chance to have his his next hot streak in Toronto, not L.V.
I'm another subscriber who considers Kevin's coverage the most useful feature of BP and I don't have many complaints about the way he covers the prospect beat. My league holds its minor league draft in June and often the propsect lists are stale by then. Kevin's daily minor league blog really fills that gap.
Entertaining article, Ben. For the term to stick, it would have to be catchy, which would seem to argue for the "Hocking Line," the "Roof Line" or the "Cannazarro Line." But to be a true replacement player, the player should have been freely available to any GM who needed him at almost any time. Hocking and Nunez and some others played almost their entire careers with the same team. Daryle Ward, though, was available as a free agent almost every year, and played for six teams in eleven seasons.
We all know about sample size so the stats so far are pretty meaningless. The most important indicators are those that reveal what the players' own managers are thinking. Two talented players whose stock should be going up are Colby Rasmus and Howie Kendrick. Their respective managers seem willing to write their names into the lineup every day and, in the case of Rasmus, in the fifth slot in the order. That tells me that La Russa himself is expecting a breakout. Conversely, Gaston still has Travis Snider batting ninth, behind Alex Gonzalez and John Buck. That pretty much shouts "no confidence, short leash."
Bishop had an excellent defensive reputation as well. He sure played on some great teams.
Shouldn't the LaPorta comment read: When big-time prospects hit the big leagues, struggle (LaPorta hit .190), and get returned to the minors, they often continue the slump they were already in...."