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Understand your thesis, Matthew, but this seems ripe for exploitation. A very strategic Craig Biggio-type could pick a moment to lean in slightly and have his opponents' ace ejected. How could we realistically account for the batters who actively seek the free pass via <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=HBP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('HBP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">HBP</span></a>? Ultimately it will be a judgment call, and any hard-and-fast rule will whiff on that.
Why not <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=102625">Joe Jimenez</a></span> in DET?
Thanks Mike. This highlights key issues with the <a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/fantasy/pfm/">PFM</a>. After several years of using it as a tool, I finally gave up. The values are always skewed. And unless you want a team full of closers, speedsters, and low-end players, you will do well to follow Mike <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=G" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('G'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">G</span></a>'s values vs. the <a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/fantasy/pfm/">PFM</a>'s. Mike's values are more grounded in market reality.
Thanks for the insights, Mike. Always fun to hear how you played it.
<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=47360">Wade Davis</a></span> is on the Cubs (not AL)
<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Edwin+Diaz">Edwin Diaz</a></span>?
<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Eduardo+Nunez">Eduardo Nunez</a></span> is on the Giants (not AL)
Are you sure these are 2017?
Yes, but parity is so last year. Parody, on the other hand, is yuge. Tremendous.
Nice work on the quietly scathing <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=47296">Mike Dunn</a></span> writeup, Patrick!
How do you edit the choices?
How do you really feel? :)
George, can you share the trend in <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=IP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('IP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">IP</span></a> by SP for the last several years (i.e. IP count for each of the last several years for SP as a group)? Would be helpful to consider for those in leagues (especially mono leagues) with IP minimums. Perhaps those should be adjusted downward in light of these trends. Thanks!
Mark, do you think Albies starts 2017 in the majors or at AA/AAA to delay his service clock?
What will Tapia get from his time at AAA? Albuquerque is an extreme hitters' park. And AAA doesn't seem to have as strong competition as AA these days. Is he getting something useful developmentally at AAA vs AA?
The Cespedes line was funny but cruel... Mets fans are depressed enough. Can you poke fun at the ownership group instead next time?
BGONE. Love it!
Diaz announced as the closer. How does he have a K/9 of nearly 18? That's insane!
A fun exercise every time. Have to agree; the Rangers offer was significantly stronger.
How do players like Dahl and Tapia see playing time in that COL outfield? Has to take a trade or injury (or both), no?
With De Aza's failure to run out a bunt tonight leading to a double
play (after failing to execute a bunt in the first place), I get the feeling Nimmo will stay and De Aza will be released.
Also Braun may be traded to a team with a less favorable ballpark. Greinke is already in a hitters' paradise.
Agreed. You dudes are a riot!
Logan Ice... Classic.
Thanks, Doug! Does deGrom belong on the list? Any thoughts on his year over year changes?
Is <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Tim+Anderson">Tim Anderson</a></span>'s placement a function of talent level or path to majors?
When is the projected Super Two cutoff? Wondering if we'll see some of these guys called up soon, once service time considerations are addressed.
I like this column, but in what "deep" NL league are Corbin and Colon available?
"I'm not sure baseball is the Braves' best sport."
"the river of saliva gushing out of the Mets BP room"
How do you really feel, Wilson?
"Three tiny walls of its own"
Nice work, Sussman!
Fun stuff, CC. Interesting comment about Winker's hit tool. Historically I had heard he had potential for good <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=OBP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('OBP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">OBP</span></a> (good eye) but that his BA/HR might be more like .250/15-20 in the majors. Your comment makes me wonder if he is more likely to be a high average hitter. Thoughts?
I almost didn't make it through the intro, but I'm glad I did. Thank you for putt the Winkler injury (the Winkler tragedy, really) into human and understandable terms. There was a poetry to this writing that was appropriate for its subject. Well done.
Jeff P: "Let's not forget that Binghamton is basically Hoth."
The article was even better than the subtitle (which was pretty great).
Mike, would you characterize your pricing as reflective of a "spread the risk" vs. "stars and scrubs" strategy? Also, are you enough of a believer in JD Martinez that you would extend him if he's $10 in AL leagues?
Ok, that makes up for the "should of!"
So bottom line: How do we project Urias? We don't!
Not sure that's very helpful frankly.
Thanks guys. Thoughts about maintaining discipline / "drafting for value" in an auction format?
Fascinating cliff's notes version, Sam. Thanks very much. Appreciated your interpretation of the diverse aspects of the CBA.
That seems a shame. Rian isn't saying this Intersectional writing will entirely replace traditional sabermetric analysis that you know so well. And BP has always featured a mix of "math" and creative writing. Otherwise it would be incredibly dull!
Do you factor into this process the Rockies' ultra-deliberate (i.e. slow) promotion pace in their farm system? Could be 4 years before we see Wall.
Come on. I meant a joke about Cosby being a sicko, not a joke about date rape.
Best BP headline ever?
Love the Fat Alberr reference. Now if you could work a Cosby / rohypnol (roofie) joke into the article...
Love this series. Keep 'em coming!
Where would Hector Oliveira fit here?
Wright has spinal stenosis, not just some back spasms or muscle pulls (or even a torn muscle). It's a degenerative condition.
Nope. Still need to consider the kept players. It's a question of money relative to productive value. Productive value is performance relative to all other players -- not just ones that weren't kept.
Extreme example: if there is only one closer available at auction, is he valuable? If you ignore the kept players, the closer is very very valuable. But if the kept players include one or two closets per team, the closer available at auction is far less valuable. This same phenomenon drives inflation.
Fun read! Always curious about dynasty league dynamics, so this is helpful and interesting.
Love the headline. Say hi to Roger and Re-run.
Back to baseball, however, what about the information asymmetry? Did the Yankees simply know something that the Dodgers didn't? Or the Reds didn't? If the Reds were this desperate to unload Chapman, and the Dodgers wouldn't take on the risk, why would the Yankees?
...... UNLESS the Yankees know something nobody else does (local relationship with Manfred/MLB offices?), or are simply more willing to take on a financial burden.
Good point! And then we have the Wilpons, who pretend they own a small market team. Pretty sure they don't fit these categories.
I'm getting weary of this debate.
I read that <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=59660">Enrique Hernandez</a></span> was also sent to Chicago in this deal. True? If so, how does that change your assessment?
Why is it "bad" for the Giants if Cueto is healthy/effective and chooses the opt-out after two years? Two good years at the price they are paying seems reasonable in this market, they won't have a longer term commitment to an aging pitcher, and can probably recoup value by making a qualifying offer.
Seems like a huge win for the Giants in that scenario, no?
Any deep targets for the NL?
"More great stuff!" was a statement. But it could also be interpreted as a request. Keep it coming, please!
More great stuff! Thanks Mike!
Hey Mike, great stuff as always! Tout has a bench and allows streaming I believe. If there were no bench except for DL slots, how would that affect your thinking in terms of ability to take risks at auction? Assuming it allows for less risk, would that steer you further away from stars and scrubs type strategies? Some other impact? Thanks!
Nice write up Jeffrey. I'm crying in my Brooklyn lager.
Brett, nice article and great work this season. I applaud your willingness to reflect and seek improvement.
Well done, Brendan. A nice ode to LaTroy.
How exactly do you use <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> to make single-game odds / predictions? I thought it was a player-specific forecast system based primarily on regression analysis.
Yes, but the Wilpons still owned the team then. So it wasn't all wine and roses.
Intended to be humorous. Worth a shot. Missed the mark.
Zero chance Pederson makes it IMO. His own manager explained that his milb <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=SB" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('SB'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">SB</span></a> total was fueled by Pederson taking "walking leads" -- something Mattingly said was not replicable in the majors.
Congratulations, Mike. And thanks for sharing your insights throughout the season.
Foltynewicz having surgery to remove consonants -- priceless!
Good article, Jack. But remember that the current CBA was just that -- collectively bargained. Guys like Lohse should fault the players' union for agreeing to it.
Let's hear proposed solutions instead. Protect the picks for the bottom 15 teams? Every team that doesn't make the playoffs?
Nice article. Helpful take. And btw the Renly Baratheon reference in the teaser for your article (homepage) was choice.
Are the White Sox doing the right thing developmentally with <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Tim+Anderson">Tim Anderson</a></span>? They haven't cranked out a position player from their system in ages. His hitting approach seems raw, but what about his fielding and running game? Can he stick at short? Will his nearly 50 <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=SB" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('SB'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">SB</span></a> at AA translate?
RJ, loved the quip about <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=901">Troy Percival</a></span>. Well played.
The hit list: Best. Feature. Ever.
Matt, enjoyed the Johnson/Bird reference. Jefferson Manship was well played too. Burns to a Crisp --- isn't it illegal to recycle jokes from earlier Hit List columns!
I thought it was pretty funny. RAJ did well dealing Hamels but it's still funny.
Well done, boo-boo butt!
Come on, Mosch! I know the Mets are a favorite punching bag / butt of jokes, but that offer is garbage! Unless you're just making the point that the Mets won't trade any prospects (which seems silly, as they've been among the active teams so far), I have to think they could do better for JUpton. With a qualifying offer next fall, he would at least net a draft pick. So that alone argues for a decent offer. Including Cashner (when the one thing they don't need is another starting pitcher) is just crazy!
Missing from this piece: Clippard makes sense for the Mets, but was the price "too high"? Could they realistically have acquired a better reliever or paid less to acquire that reliever (or Clippard)? Looking for some good Monday morning quarterbacking here! <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=38350">Keith Law</a></span> said it was a huge overpay for a 2-month rental!
Russell, a good statistical analysis as always. But what about the "PR battle"? And "signal effects"? Doesn't a team that is trading vets in-division signal capitulation to the fan base in a way that banishing those same vets to another league doesn't? No daily in-your-face reminder to fans. And those fans in theory buy tickets.
It's not "juvenile" to write off deGrom early, just premature!
Fantastic article. Love these (pretty sure you've done one or two in past; please keep 'em coming!).
"Farhandrew" was well played. Also good use of: ¯_(ツ)_/¯
"Put a smile on your mind."
Words to live by. Or that cause you to throw up in your mouth. Definitely one of those two.
And how would this discussion change if the focus were fantasy baseball rather than "real" baseball?
Favorite recurring feature!! Comments about the As and Mets were spot on. And so sad.
If <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=53014">Aroldis Chapman</a></span> is traded, who steps in as closer?
That was charitable of you to describe Alderson's handling of the <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=56334">Dillon Gee</a></span> situation that way. For a team with limited resources (so they claim), Dillon Gee would have been useful as a modest trade chip.
Thoughts on "role" for Judge? First division regular? Occasional all-star?
Classic great stuff, Matt. And a Huey Lewis reference to boot!
Pretty sure you mean Turner's speed INCREASES the margin for error (allows for success despite error).
"Burns to a Crisp"
Good point, but I think you're underestimating just how difficult it is to produce a major league quality shortstop. And for a team that (unlike the Cubs) hasn't had top draft picks in a while, it's even harder. But yes, the Mets stink.
Also, is Winker BP's biggest "miss" in your top 50 for 2015?
Hey Jeff, do Winker's struggles at AA make it likely his major league ETA is delayed a year or two? I had hoped he might be a 2016 guy, but I wonder if he might be more of a 2017/2018 guy at this point.
Christopher, given the draft class, organizational needs, etc. do you think the Mets made an intelligent call to give up their early pick to sign a guy like Cuddyer?
This was fascinating! Thanks, Christopher. Any plan to do an NL piece?
Any projected ETA (month/year) for <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Tim+Anderson">Tim Anderson</a></span>?
Absolutely great write-up, Jeff. The most damning bit of evidence? The Mets drafted him. The Mets haven't developed a legit hitter in ages. As a fan it is disheartening.
Yes though I believe the Rockies are very slow to promote players.
No penalty for pampering. LOL!!
Also appreciated your interpretation of "win streak"... Creative!
Matt, love the thinly-veiled reference to a pyramid scheme that you worked into the Mets comment. But I suspect you'll make the Wilpons very mad(off).
Doug, anything in Fielder's swing mechanics that makes it likely or unlikely the power will return? Is his path any different than pre-surgery or pre-power decline?
What does that imply for <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=66982">Brandon Drury</a></span> this year, if anything?
Nice "War Games" reference!
Clever idea for an article, RJ, and well done.
Not specific to the authors of this article, but how did BP not hold an opening night chat or roundtable? Boo!!!
Great article, Sam. This series has been fun, and this was my favorite one so far. Thanks a lot!
Man, would love to really get the inside scoop too. Seems fascinating.
Love this write up and the breadth of coverage (number and variety of prospects you wrote up). Thanks very much.
EYjr is on the Braves.
<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=69615">Raimel Tapia</a></span>? Thought some had put an 80 grade potential hit tool on him, yet he doesn't appear here.
JP, how do you see Brandon Drury and Marco Gonzales fitting into the position battles you mention above (Tomas/Lamb and Garcia/Martinez)? Curious both short-term for the start of the season and longer-term.
Mike, this was a very interesting look at process rather than just outcome (or more accurately, perceived outcome, since no games have been played yet!). Can you offer some thoughts on keeper leagues (specifically how you should think about these sorts of strategies in a league where players have been kept prior to the auction, presumably at attractive prices)?
Mike and Keith, love this article and look forward to your recap of the auction eagerly each year (Mike) / will in future (Keith).
Bret, where would Arismendy Alcantara slot if on this list? How would he profile? (ie. $20-25 guy? Risk? Floor?). Thanks!
BOO. (I'm a Mets fan.)
Completely absurd that the Mets didn't even consider wading in.
Mejia could post plenty. But yes, light on saves.
Mau, there is only one "Mookie" (Wilson, obviously). This other guy is nice and all, but he is "Betts" until further notice.
I believe Raimel Tapia had 33 steals at Asheville last year, not 13. Pretty big difference!
So to sum this up, Alex Rios performed well at some point in the past. So despite recent results, aging, etc. he gets the nod over a younger player with more recent success and more upside. I love this math.
Hey Russell, just for fun can you run this for Manny Ramirez? If the pre-2014 data is there, it would be fascinating to see how his "see ball, hit ball" approach/philosophy translated to pitch sequencing.
Like Rosenbaum's picks. Wish there were some commentary / insight. That's kinda the idea here, isn't it?
Mau, this continues to be a nice feature. Still doesn't capture the volatility / STDEV of these forecasts though. Have to think Alcantara could be +/-
$10 or more from his bid at least. In contrast a guy like Utley probably has a much more modest range (ie high floor low ceiling). Maybe radar charts aren't the answer for that. But the bottom chart (don't know what it's called) could easily have a confidence interval around the bid or forecast.
Also, why do the Scherzer and Aoki writeups have sections on fantasy impact but not this one? Too difficult to handicap?
So what is the likely scenario for Alcantara? Slide to 2b? Super utility?
I'm digging your creative spelling of Logan Forsythe's name (Forscythe). It's "a cut above" (tee hee).
Pretty sure the Dodgers' manager is Mattingly not Gibson.
Hey Mau, this is great and a nice improvement over last year. One question / suggestion (and this applies both to the graphics and to the writeups: what about volatility in the forecasts? In other words, a $6 catcher could have a range of outcomes that would move his value anywhere from -$6 to $16. In contrast, a $12 catcher might have a range of likely outcomes that would move his value from $10 to $14.
It canbe very valuable to know this when bidding. And PECOTA has (or had) upside/downside type scores (standard deviation of forecast perhaps). The fantasy coverage only occasionally addresses this. And I would think that visual representation would be one nice way to show it. This knowledge can be huge for fantasy bidding/drafting strategy.
Any thoughts on how we could see this going forward in the fantasy coverage? Thanks!
Keep the haikus coming!
Joshua, thanks for sharing (and continuing to share). Given the focus of your column, you still manage to cover a surprisingly broad array of topics -- and they all seem quite interesting. Best of luck with the surgery!
Woot! Go, Arismendy!
Thanks for the update, Jeff. In addition to positional versatility, it seems Arismendy Alcantara has shown some real pop beyond what people expected. Amazing given his size and frame, but it no longer looks like a fluke.
Thanks, Bret. Makes sense to me. That said, if they are already forfeiting their pick, wouldn't NOW be the time to spend? David Robertson perhaps?
Your concluding point is the bottom line: crying poor for another off-season. For shame, Wilpons! For shame!
Bret, curious to get your take on the Mets' offseason activity. It seems that "smart teams" that forfeit their first round picks are tending toward signing multiple free agents (see White Sox). Presumably this is on the theory that once they've forfeited a valuable pick, the marginal cost of a second free agent signing is low.
So why did the Mets sign Cuddyer but then not sign others? Melky Cabrera would have looked pretty decent in their outfield, for example.
Headscratcher either way!
You answered your own question. Salary dump.
Maybe the large market Ajay Mets will get into this game. Oh wait, that won't happen. They aren't actually a large market team, if the Wilpons are to be believed. And I am not convinced that Alderson and co. actually understand the dynamics at play here.
Nice work, Sam! Really enjoyed this article.
Thanks for a season's worth of quality sarcasm in the hit list, Matthew. Re2pect!
Are you guys planning either a new ranking at the end of the season or a full, player-by-player review of your most recent top 101? Would like to see either or both.
Nice article. Really enjoyed the simple, straightforward explanation of the change and its profound impact.
Matt, great work with the Hit List this year. You have a bright future ahead of you (if you stay away from cartoons-in-place-of-GIFs). The first few of these sounded like fortune cookie pronouncements (try saying them out loud). They got funnier from there until the Mets blurb. That just made me cry.
Jeff, this is a very good concept for a piece or series. Though the basic take was pretty clear (process worked ok, alternatives not significantly better), I think it would still help to have a clear "Summary" to that effect at bottom.
Mike, what about Terrance Gore? Will he play (pinch run) enough to wipe a handful of bags?
Daron, this is excellent work. Great story, well-written.
Seriously Matt... I'm still repeating the Brennan Boesch bit. High-larious. Or perhaps I should say "beautiful bit of buffoonery!"
I totally love this feature. Laughed out loud several times and shared the Buck Farmer joke with friends in Detroit. Buck Farmer, Dollar General LOL.
So old = good?
Any chance Alcantara gets 5 more games at 2B this year? He has 15 so far; many fantasy leagues use 20 to qualify for next season.
Nice, simple counsel, Jeff. And thanks for that WaWa reference. Having been out of the PA area for nearly 20 years now, I have a certain nostalgia for the "Taj WaWa" as we used to call it.
How about the home run apple as the last vestige of anything that was good and wholesome about the Mets organization?
Interesting insights, Mike. Thanks for sharing.
Jason, kudos to you on your continued openness to self-criticism / swlf-evaluation (and sharing of it with the internet public). Impressive.
Spencer Kieboom? That's really his name?
Hope he is a power hitter. How can you not root for a guy with that name?!
To say nothing of its impact on players' (read: pitchers') bodies! 162 games is a lot of physical abuse for a shoulder, elbow, etc.
Do the Cubs have any economic reason to hold Alcantara back now? Super Two has undoubted passed.
Agreed. Me too!
Was Gavin Cecchini ever a realistic top 30 pick? Hindsight is 20-20, but it continues to make the Mets' draft class look weak.
Or Melky Cabrera? Would be interesting given his yoyo performance the last couple of years. Looks pretty great now though.
Interesting take. Much appreciated insights.
How about Nolan Arenado for your next writeup?
Fun exercise. Thanks!
At what point can you look at the Mets' amateur draft record and start to question either their talent evaluation or their ability to develop their prospects? Who drafts a 1B type when you could have had Tim Anderson? Michael Conforto had better exceed all expectations.
This is good fun. Thanks!
Always like this feature, but it was surprisingly light this time. One major leaguer? More, please!
.340 according to milb.com!
"and one was Yoenis Cespedes, who tried to batflip the base."
This is an excellent feature. Thanks.
How do you go about comparing (for ranking purposes) guys like Tim Anderson, Raimel Tapia, etc to guys in the majors or in high minors? What are the key criteria in evaluating long-term upside vs present or near-term "actual" value?
The solution = Jaff Decker apparently.
Why no Hutchison for Craig? Injury history? He seems a reasonably high ceiling guy.
Eating this stuff up !
"He also shows inclinations toward bat-blaming."
Jobu no help him hit curve ball!
Should mention: the Aaron Harang school wake up call was also solid.
This is seriously (or irreverently) one of the best features on BP.
"Nationals left 14 runners on base. Fortunately tonight's game is in Washington too." Classic.
Also enjoyed the "Jenrry Mejia" to the tune of "Henry the Eighth I Am" a few days back. Genius.
With the White Sox struggles at 2b, do you think we will see Johnson after Super Two?
Jeff, it looks like Arismendy Alcantara is doing fine at AAA Iowa. What specifically does he need to show to make the Cubs brass comfortable that he's ready?
"wilin to live with his defense"? Oh no you didn't!
Interesting article, Sam. I imagine the volatility will diminish as the season progresses. Is that right? Or is an unexpected win worth just as much late in the year?
Jeff, so glad you're back providing commentary on "real" games.
Good points. Well written, too. Concise and clear. Thanks!
Love the strategy mike. Very creative -- or at least not following the herd.
Sure but where/when will Piscotty play on the big league team? Crowded outfield.
Super helpful writeup, Mike. Appreciate the insights as always. I had a similar strategy in our home league recently and ended up with some similar players. What's your take on Casey McGehee and Gaby Sanchez for this year (standard 5x5)? Do they keep their jobs and produce counting stats?
"Long duration spell"
"Thing one and thing two"
Can't tell you how much I enjoyed those references.
Hope you'll have it before opening day!
Wow! That was really interesting. Thanks for the perspective and "translation"!
Way to go, Grimey!
This is great, Mike! Thanks for integrating risers/fallers.
This is a cogent argument and very well written.
Mike's values are useful and grounded in reality. PECOTA's may be "technically accurate" but may not correspond to prevailing market realities.
Mike, is there any way for you to highlight biggest gainers / fallers somehow? Difficult to see how this changed from the earlier version and that would be helpful. Even if in comments or the article itself. Thanks!
Welcome back Jeff. Excited to see this column resume.
Perfectly captures essence.
Sporer, keep it coming (haikus and all).
Like that haiku... "more like warm corner" is an excellent line, regardless of the poetic form.
This is very interesting content. The comment about Baez and a top-heavy 2011 draft class got me thinking... The Mets chose Brandon Nimmo (then Michael Fullmer).
Teams don't hit on every prospect, but the Mets seem to have a bad track record lately. In contrast, teams like the Cardinals seem to turn late-round picks into MLB regulars.
How much of this equation is goo vs. bad:
Maybe a topic for a BP article?
Will I agree 100%. Kiner was an unbelievable player, the Albert Pujols of his day -- and then some. He became a beloved broadcaster for the reasons you cite. And his most endearing and unusual quality was his humility. The broadcast we never about him and his glory days (contrast that to McCarver or Hernandez), though he was one of the most accomplished players to become an announcer. I remember him fondly and salute Kiner for his multiple forms of service to us.
Disagree. Pecota seems to overvalue SB each year, at least relative to the market.
Mike G -- signing Drew could make a difference. Importantly it would remove Ruben Tejada from the lineup. In my mind, Tejada is Rey Ordonez without the fielding chops. And signing Drew would also continue to send a signal from ownership that they're willing to invest.
Jeff, appreciate the "programming note." You know your audience (fellow junkies) very well.
Agree completely. Especially the part about rabbit droppings. :)
Take THAT, haiku haters!!! Yeah!
Your content is good,
Like sunshine in winter's cold.
Don't hate the haiku!
So Paul, what's your take on Owings vs. Gregorius?
Thanks Paul. Seems you have Wilson Ramos ranked a good bit higher than some others do. I tend to agree with you but am curious about your rationale. Thanks!
Dig the haiku. Hope that's a regular part of this series.
Finally! NL teams! Hooray!
Nice work, Craig.
That was hilarious! Best line: the camouflage hat.
Thanks a lot for sharing, Josh. Best of luck to you.
Good stuff, Daniel.
Mike, you're the man! Really enjoy and appreciate your continued solid work. This is a clear and easily-digested analysis.
Interesting picks, Paul. Hope the next installment will have some more NL names for the "only" leaguers.
Love this writeup Paul. Please keep it coming. Also please post/add a running tally of your team at bottom (eg 1.14 Player X, 2.1 Player Y). Thanks!
Nice work. Would be curious to see the "average age of MLB managers" chart add a benchmark like "average life expectancy". Is the increase in manager age any different from the increase in age for the population as a whole?
Well done, Russell. I enjoyed Murray Chass's writing in years past, but his stance on this issue is silly. There's nothing wrong with sharing the info (data) with the voters. Whether the data should have a direct vote is something that could be debated, but that's not where Chass has taken issue. It's with the whole idea of stats. Seems hidebound and silly.
Zachary Levine, good call on the impressions. Hawk Harrelson has silence? My votes would be for impressions of these guys.
Tim McCarver -- Nailing that hinges on two key elements: 1) adding "wise" to any word (e.g. "hitting-wise") to make a new word; and 2) inserting self-aggrandizing story about McCarver and his career. BARF!
Keith Hernandez -- Similar to McCarver, but with the occasionally useful insight into hitting, and oddly less vanity than McCarver (though still too much).
Joe Morgan -- Just because. Same basic idea as McCarver, with more "aw shucks" and more anti-stathead opinions.
Vin Scully -- They don't all have to be deadbeats. Would appreciate an impression of one of the all-time greats. Probably hard enough to nail the vocal quality, let alone the insightful commentary.
Nothing on Wacha? Too heralded?
Sam, this was a very interesting, thought-provoking, and easy-to-follow piece. Thanks!
P.S. Adrenaline rush from that Warhol film? Really?
This is awesome. Web link for US buyers please!
Can't wait to see the NL content, Mike. This is a differentiated and valuable piece. Frankly all your content has been so this year. Thank you and keep up the great work.
Amazing that Jansen has earned nearly as much as anyone despite only having the closer role for a partial year.
LOL. Thought crossed my mind too. Maybe he makes some good pit beef though!
Sims has a solid mid-rotation what? Floor? Ceiling?
Mike this, was "high quality H2O", to borrow an Adam Sandler phrase. Good, thoughtful take on an important topic for fantasy players.
P.S. Absolutely enjoyed the draft coverage. This was a great feature.
Zach, has Trevor Story turned a corner? He really raised concerns with his early performance. Last 10 games he's hitting .318 with an .824 OPS. On the season he's still showing the power/speed combo that was appealing to many from a shortstop. But is this small sample size, or is his swing/approach any better? Appreciate any insights.
Love this feature.
Zach, welcome back. With regard to Nimmo, clearly it's on him to show more. But should some part of the blame fall to the Mets' organization for failing to develop him? Seems like some organizations (Cardinals, for example) seem to turn every last prospect into a useful contributor. Then there's the Mets (Fernando Martinez comes to mind). Do some organizations simply not have what it takes to develop prospects?
Love this feature! Keep em coming please!
But they are all lefties... :)
Ben, I hate this article. Couldn't you just leave me to my reverie? It was so nice to ignore history, probability, etc. Thanks for nothing!
Nice article. The Ron Darling quote proves yet again why he's among the best announcers. Spot on!
Michael Wacha's first start in 15 days...
6 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 8 K
Qualifies for "the good" no?
Would love to see more coverage of guys in NL organizations. Recognize it can't happen every time, and you should go "where the story is." Still, you do such good work; for those of us who really follow one league, we feel deprived!
Brutal but entertaining.
Great story, Peter. Thanks for sharing.
Colin, as usual a very interesting piece. I suspect there are many factors at play. However, the structural imbalance (payroll disparity) is probably a big one.
Good stuff, Paul!!!
So is Trevor Story a guy to cut bait on for fantasy leagues (ie the latest Rockies flop in the proud tradition of Tyler Matzek etc). Or is he someone who will simply take longer than anticipated?
You don't think Sandy Alderson can land another Zack Wheeler type for Lyon and cash? :)
John this is great stuff. Remains one of my favorite features here. Also really like those scouts' takes.
Mike, what about Brandon Lyon? Wouldn't he be a logical trade candidate? He has some "former closer" halo too, no?
This is good stuff. Can't wait for the post-draft analysis, though.
Agreed. I don't see the LINK to the PG mock.
Thanks, Prof P.!
Can you provide an update on Trevor Story at some point? It's easier to check progress for a Baez in the stat lines (including errors). But Story is a different... story (sorry). Bad BA, contact concerns. But speed is there and Ks seem to be declining. Still high ceiling, presumably, but where is his floor now?
Mike, where is Kenley Jansen on the earnings list? Did I miss something?
LOVED IT!! Way to go, Matthew!
Love this feature John. Glad you brought back the scouts' takes.
Really like this article. Covers many of the top names we've been wondering about -- in enough detail and with a clear point of view. Thanks!
Thoughts on opportunity for Wacha?
Matt, this is absolutely hilarious. I started reading the zingers at the bottom (easier targets) and worked my way up. The Brewers and Cubs blurbs were outstanding. The Padres writeup even better. Keep it up!
Meh. Only one NL writeup this week. :)
Paul, what about the Mets' lineup shift. Davis batting 7th (or not playing), Duda batting cleanup, etc. Probably some value change there, no?
Laughed out loud several times reading this, Matt. Nice manic Monday work.
Thanks for the summary. I had been wondering what Hawk had been saying to get everyone so riled up. I guess TWTW (tools want what tools want).
Good question. I'm excited about the content, but it looks like a repackaging of what we've already seen. It would be helpful to have BP highlight the differences.
Hi Doug, what about:
1) lack of familiarity with the opposing pitcher/catcher batteries because of the new schedule format?
2) inexperience of players on roster, attributable to widespread injuries?
3) government mind control?
A fun look at SBs. Thanks!
Loved these "bad jokes", Matt. Nice work!
Anything on Trevor Story? Brutal start to 2013. Looks like that's common for that Modesto team. Small sample size?
I was feeling pretty good about the Mets' ranking. Then I saw the Rockies listed just below them. Yuck.
Good article, Ben. Hadn't picked up on this. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.
Either way, I'm trying to provide some feedback for Josh. If there is a recurring column dedicated to the NL, it would seem to me that it should be of use to those who play in NL-only leagues (as well as potentially a broader audience). Otherwise why have a separate focus on the NL (vs. AL)?
Agreed. These guys are all long gone. Not very helpful for NL league owners. Ok if adding new insights (eg trade for this guy now because of new role, etc). But on balance this is only of use to shallow mixed league players.
Liked the last paragraph / line especially. Good stuff!
Nerdy but cool. Thanks.
It's annoying as a Mets fan. That organization can't do anything right these days. What free agent is going to want to sign with a club that treats its players poorly?
Who could the Orioles trade to LA for a starter?
Where would Matt Harvey place (more interested in potential earnings and risk factor) if he were eligible?
Very enjoyable article. Thanks for focusing a bit on deeper leagues.
The Mets are run (and owned) by geniuses.
Very helpful analysis, Jason and Paul. Well done!
Mike, where can we find the NL info? TIA
Loved the article and videos, Ben. Do they have any good blooper footage? I'm thinking of the ball that hit Jose Canseco in the head, then bounced over the fence for a homerun. :)
Is Carlos Beltran missing?
That Atari ad is AWESOME! What a throw-back!
Of course! And they need goodwill from the teams to get their jobs done. If ballots were open, the teams would put tremendous pressure on the writers.
Nice article Matthew. A thorough skewering. And well-deserved at that!
But it is a wrong. Piazza is deserving.
Thanks, Jason. Can't wait for the NL version.
It's Lima time!
You should write drunk more often!
Drunk more often
Drunk more often
Drunk more often
Thought you might appreciate that after your escort joke, Adam. Liked that., though the rest was fun too.
Jose Mesa, anyone? I miss the days of "Joe Table" for many reasons.
BTW Jason, you continue to do great work. Your analyses are interesting, differentiated, and useful. And more important -- fun.
Enjoyed the humor, Matthew.
Nice work, Russell! A good laugh (at ourselves).
Dickey for Viciedo? I don't know much about Viciedo, but he put up 25 HR in a very hitter friendly park (and a hollow-seeming .255 BA). If the Mets trade Dickey, they should go for quality, not quantity (i.e. Beltran for Zack Wheeler), not a collection of dubious talent.
To borrow a line from Trading Places: "That was a stone cold groove, my man!"
Nicely done, Colin. Have to admit I'm a bit worried though. Either need to cut down on the meds or amp them up. :)
And a new owner.
Maury, nice work. Kasten didn't share anything revolutionary, but it was good stuff and an interesting read.
I thought Piazza was a lock, no? Doesn't JAWS put him clearly in the mix given peak and career metrics?
Russell, it's an interesting idea. What advantage, if any, do the "little guys" get? They finish last, want to rebuild, then are on the same footing as everyone else?
Fun read. Nice to know your writers can be "homers" from time to time too. BTW, pretty sure it should read "symptomatic" not "symbiotic" in Matthew Kory's piece on Manny.
Dan, I like the write-up on Wright. The reality is he may opt for a much bigger payout from LAD or LAA. Can't fault him for that (certainly with the sorry state of the Mets franchise and ownership). But that would make all the talk about wanting to stay a Met "just talk."
Thanks for the perspective CJ.
Nice work, Derek. These were wildly successful predictions by any reasonable evaluation.
What about his hitting? Was it a mirage?
Barf. Let's keep the Professor Parks fanboy comments to Jason's articles please.
Why are all of those guys (except Posey) in the AL? Is that because you spoke mostly with AL scouts? Because AL organizations value makeup more? Or small sample size fluke?
Because Mets fans needed another stick in the eye...
Good format and good content. One issue you guys didn't seem to cover: the Cubs' (abysmal) track record in developing prospects. Shouldn't that also be part of these discussions?
Fun read, Ian. Nice work!
Nice work, Jason. Enjoyed the article.
MLB did ok getting a Panda Express reference in there. Not sensational but a brief moment of (predictable) redemption. Keep em coming, Sam!
"Against The Wall, Giants Hammer Carpenter"
"With Cards’ Ace Showing, Giants Hit"
Have to go with one of those. They're great. And I agree with the other poster about the Sandoval line. Hilarious!
Sam, what's missing from this post is fake mlb.com headlines. :)
I am partial to "Wain's World, Excellent!" personally. Nice work on the puns today, Sam. I thought MLB's verion was the weakest of the bunch.
As an I curable punster, I LOVED the faux MLB.com headlines. Nice work!
Jason, will your top prospects ranking have more of a "real" baseball bent or a fantasy baseball orientation? They certainly serve different purposes, even though both audiences may enjoy different lists/rationales.
I'll stick to "War", but thanks for the Starr anthology just the same. :)
I didn't care for him as a 3rd base coach with the Mets. But I have been very impressed with his comments ever since. I think he has a nuanced understanding of the game. Seems to connect with players, too, so I bet he'll be a solid manager for the long term.
Nice work, Sam. A good read.
The two explanations aren't mutually exclusive. But yes, a lot of these guys have been hurt. Time to get everyone back on steroids.
Um... Ian Desmond?
Your point still stands, though he put up impressive numbers despite injury this year.
The proof is in the pudding.
It's nice to have the players like and believe in you. But wins still matter.
Fun read, Ben. The Taleb quote was particularly relevant.
Dan, I continue to really enjoy your perspective. Keep up the good work!
Awesome. U.S. economists and they spell it "SPECTRE".
Bond: "Do you expect me to talk?"
Goldfinger: "No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!"
Really like this article, John. The front office views and scout views are great!
Very nice work, Russell. Appreciated the careful consideration of a delicate topic. Well done!
Jason, really interesting on a few levels. These are players at a level (NY Penn league) most of us don't hear about. And your assessment of Nimmo was really interesting. Thanks!
Maury, does this lead to renewed calls for a salary floor or cap?
Nice article. Good to see the Big Cat (Galarraga) get some props.
I bet that was Jason's favorite part when he wrote this piece.
Thought this was hilarious. I happen to like Bobby V a lot and I'm not a Sawx fan, but this was very entertaining. Nice work, MattyMatty.
KG, keep up the great work! Two quick questions:
1) How can we evaluate whether Gyorko's performance is a PCL mirage?
2) For prospects moving from hitting-friendly stadiums and leagues (PCL for example) to the opposite (Petco Park), is there a risk they develop bad habits (becoming pull-happy for example)? How do organizations work with young hitters to avoid those traps?
Derek, I agree with you. But as with anything, balance is the key. In other words, trade with contenders - yes. Lopsided trades - no. This is a bigger issue in keeper leagues, where "dumping" owners will unload everything that isn't bolted down for even a marginal keeper.
Ben, it's a fair point that many of these trades include prospects, and the jury will be out for a long time on the ultimate "winner" or "loser" for each trade. However, there's that concept from probability and statistics courses (i.e. "good decision, bad outcome") that comes to mind.
Prospects entail risk. But there's an expected value (80% chance of a #3 starter, 20% chance of a #2 starter) that can be roughly calculated. And there's a perceived "market value" for prospects.
So it should be possible -- even valuable -- to evaluate trades today, rather than in the future (when you're evaluating certainties in the past, rather that possibilities/probabilities for the future).
Well, that and it's more interesting to Monday morning quarterback.
The Keystone Kops couldn't have done any better. Wow. That's a major league team?
Crazy stuff. Despite the incursion by private equity interests, minor league ball still has charm.
Really liked this post. Saves are dumb.
I don't get the vitriol. Hanley was very expensive, seemed to sulk, and his production was way off all-star levels. The Marlins got out from under a bad contract. The Dodgers, on the other hand, just throw around TV money. They become the new Yankees (maybe that's Richard's point).
Not as close as you might think.
Infante >> Barney/Baker
Sanchez >= Dempster
Why does Headley make sense for the A's but not the Pirates? The A's play in a similarly cavernous stadium to Petco, no?
Spot on. Keep up the great work!
Nicely mixed metaphors (languages).
Was thinking the same thing.
Does it know everything now?
"Sorry, HAL!" it says.
Does it know everything?
"Sorry, HAL!" it says.
Where is Cory Spangenberg? And what happened to him this year?
Pragmatic assessment, Matthew. Well done.
Can I just get a PDF?
What's a bench? :)
Absolutely appreciate that you have a NDA. But your point about DIPS is a helpful example. I'm just curious to hear something about what we're missing. Mike Fast will be sorely missed, for starters!
Russell, welcome back. Kudos to you for your humility. That said, would really like SOME high level detail or example. Can you share anything more without breaching confidentially? For instance, defense is poorly understood... Or maybe sabermetrics habitually overvalues X?
Was he called safe?
Anything on this German Rosario kid the Mets just signed?
Genetics no? Wasn't he the son of?
Agreed. Guest writer.
Hi KG. What happened to Jedd Gyorko? Thought his non-callup was a headscratcher for you a while back. Not sure he's showing much right now.
Fascinating. Had missed this story line, so I'm glad you posted this, Sam. Thanks!
Ben, Justin's article is a good one. But it is out of step with current reality in terms of payrolls.
AL teams have FIVE of the top 6 payrolls. Yes, also 5 of the top 10 if you slice it that way. But look at the difference between AL teams and NL teams (even excluding the Yankees). Boston and Philly are a wash, but the next 3 teams spend a lot more than the NL counterparts. Hell, even further down the ladder: the lowly Minnesota Twins spent more than the New York Mets ($94m vs. $93m).
So Denard Span and that's about it?
Nice work, Colin. Though I think Barney basically said as much if you read between the lines.
Not a dodger fan, Larry, but really enjoyed your definitions for the spectrum (Koufax out of retirement...).
P.S. Typical East Coast media bias... You guys are always focused on players like Greinke. :)
Fun. Thanks for sharing.
Nice post, Jason. Please dial up the sarcasm next time though!
Nice work, Bradley. Makes me think of Fernando Martinez when he was on the Mets and maybe Wilmer Flores too.
We have unlimited spots in a very deep "only" league. It's the way to go. We have rules that require activation within (at most) two weeks following activation from the DL. Could even be more draconian if you want, but why penalize further for injury?
Proud owner of Alex Gonzalez, Cory Luebke, Matt Kemp
Hi Kevin... Does Gyorko get promoted soon, given the miserable state of the Padres' offense? In past you mentioned that organizational need was a big factor (i.e. Matt Adams / Lance Berkman etc.). Thanks!
AWESOME!! Liked the Luke Scott clips.
Kevin, interesting read. Thanks! Where could we find the draft order? Would be interested to see how it lines up.
Way to close it out with "Moneybart", Max!
A human being needs to interpret the data. That human being may be a scout or an analyst. If Pat is interested in the predictive value of the information, you'll still need a human to develop/adjust the formulas (regression analysis, etc.) that turn data into useful, predictive insights. Maybe that's a scout; maybe that's an analyst. But it's a human either way.
Pat's example of 10% better contact outside the zone is helpful. Is that information predictive of anything? Is it small sample size? That requires judgment. Who provides that judgment is to be determined, but it won't be a computer.
Kevin, what should we make of Gyorko playing 3B?
Kevin, we haven't seen Jedd Gyorko's name in the lineup in some time. He doesn't seem to be on the minor league DL though. What's going on there in San Antonio? First he is switched to 2B, bat cools off, then he goes AWOL?
Kevin, this is really a great feature. It's not just regurgitation of stats, but real insights / perspective. Thanks!
Great work, Paul! Glad to see you getting broader distribution here.
Nice work, Jason! This is a great feature.
Can you please extend this list to give at least a quick take on Spangenberg and Gyorko? They seemed pretty highly rated coming into this season. Thanks!
I give you credit, DHole. He's not even on your team.
Can Gyorko actually handle 2B? I thought I heard some mixed reviews.
Can't do +1 on Jason's comment, but agree completely.
That's not Chicago! It's practically Indiana (or Tennessee)! How about a downtown visit?
Larry, this is fabulous! Your work shouldn't be left to the margins of the BP site.
Nice concept, Derek. All of these guys are long gone in our NL league, but please keep 'em coming!
Great stuff, Tommy. Thanks for sharing.
Their budget is not modest.
Interesting as always, Kevin. What about Jedd Gyorko (another Cal league promotee) or Cory Spangenberg (Cal league and no big numbers so far)? Any word? Thanks!
Really fun read, Jason. As a road warrior of a different sort, I can appreciate some of the 80 grade tales you shared. Ok maybe 70, but still far better than "the average Joe"!!! Thanks.
Yes, Kemp up the good work!
Was wondering if he is related. Unusual spelling. Is he?
Juan Francisco is a butcher in the field. He already cost the Braves at least one game with his glove (a 3 error performance). I have to think that will eat into his PT.
Agreed. Nice work.
* Or not. :)
Nice work, Sam!
Jason Bay hits .200?
Is this guy done? Looks awful. Would be interested in hearing a scout's take. Do you or Perotto or KG have any insights?
Great fun, Ben!
How does Brach compare to Cashner? Is either one the heir apparent to Street in San Diego?
Great article, Maury. You continue to set the standard for content on the business side of our national pastime.
I can't decide if this portends good things or bad for the Mets. They have had one of the largest payroll cuts in recent years (supposedly one of the largest cuts in history). And yet, in theory they could spend themselves out of this hole -- if they do it before everyone else realizes the new economics. Any thoughts?
Kevin, does it take an injury for Matt Adams to see playing time before 2013? Or could he force his way into the lineup earlier with his bat?
Is Spangenberg behind Galvez in SD? Any ETA? How does Spangenberg's speed profile in the bigs?
Great stuff, Kevin. Really enjoyed this. Any ETA on the write-ups for the other divisions?
Nice work, Jason! A little something for everyone... your diary / musings, but also the straight dope for those who like that best.
John, great work! Enjoyed the "five observations" and the "Scouts' Takes" are always terrific. More please!!
Yes, very strange. Mike, Luebke sold for $15 in LABR NL-only and $18 in Tout Wars NL-Only.
Or MAYBE Baker keeps younger, more talented players on the bench (instead of starting them). So inherently he has a stronger bench than his peers -- who actually PLAY their younger players? Maybe Jocketty controls the 25-man roster (as GMs are supposed to do), fills it appropriately, then Baker mishandles it.
Not saying that's the case. But it's certainly a plausible explanation for Baker getting "more" from his bench. The goal is to win games, not win a contest of bench strength.
That was AWESOME!
On further reflection, your Tout team is much more appealing (Upton, Chipper, etc.).
Derek, nice work -- auction AND making time for the writeup. Your teams are balanced but seem light on star power. Was "spread the risk" your plan? I like your Tout team better, if only because I like Morse over Wright. You could do well in both; took some risks, though most seem to be modest ones. Might have liked some more aggressive upside plays. Helton was an excellent risk-reward call, as an example.
BTW Jason did a great job blogging while you were drafting too. You guys did a nice tag team.
Jason, this was awesome. Pure unadulterated insights. Your prior article was clever, though harder for some of us to process. Thank you very much for sharing your insights in this less dramatic but easier-to-follow style.
P.S. Thought-provoking tidbit at the end.
I know I do. Jason, you have such great insights. Why not share them? I'm pretty sure this article was in English, but I'm definitely struggling with it. It's a clever conceit, but after a while...
You've said you don't mind if everyone doesn't get your shtick. That's fine. But plenty of us like and respect your work (enjoy it even!), and would love it if you could make it a bit more accessible. Please consider it.
Wow! Candidly I didn't expect to enjoy this article, but found it both entertaining and thought-provoking. Kudos to you, Christina, for a well-written piece -- and for opening some eyes to this phenomenon and its implications.
Did Bobby V really say all of that? If so, good for him!
Really nice article, Dustin. Well done!
Jason, this is yet more good work from you. Way to go! And thanks for a helpful, concise, and clear look at useful info for us.
Agreed. And Santana's contract wasn't part of the trade.
Jay, a thoughtful and insightful piece. Well done.
I checked your own data (courtesy of COTS/Jeff). It seems the average NL payroll is approx $79m vs. $91m for the AL. And the top 10 teams in each league? More pronounced: $97m for the NL, $117m for the AL.
Maury, I really enjoy your writing and the unique perspective it affords on the business/economics of baseball. Can you offer your thoughts on what appears to be a growing gulf between the AL and the NL (not just the haves and have-nots, but it seems the AL=haves and NL=have-nots). The Marlins are a recent exception, given their stadium deal. But on the whole it seems to be a yawning gulf between the leagues.
Fair point. And I was under the impression it was a wash in terms of salary.
Totally disagree. Bay is a much better bet to deliver some value on that $30m. And he might actually fetch some prospect in trade at the end of his deal. Burnett? Not so much. This deal makes no sense for the Mets.
Kevin, I found it interesting that these guys are ALL either RHP or OF (i.e. not any other positions or LHP). Does that tell us anything about the draft / scouting /player development? Or is it just a small sample size?
Nice article, Jason. I suspect Victor Wang's analysis may need a refresh given the new CBA, no? While the market for free agents may not have changed dramatically, the cost of acquiring prospects via the draft has.
Daniel, this was a really good article. All too often we follow the day-to-day developments (tweets, etc.), but fail to take a step back for a broader perspective. Your article really provided an insightful take on this trend from this offseason. Kudos to you!
Nice article, Maury (as usual!). The TV issue is clearly item #1 (followed by debt / leverage). But what can be done about it? Revenue sharing? Not clear there's a solution in the offing. An as a fan, would like to see Bud Selig kick his buddy Fred Wilpon to the curb. The Mets' situation is bad for baseball.
Great read, Maury (as usual). Really terrific.
Any approximate ETA on PECOTA that is "less beta"?
Absolutely! Excellent and witty exchange. More, please!
Totally agree. His upside is tremendous. Lefties always take a while to "figure it out." Could have bumps in the road, but kid seems to have a pretty high ceiling. As for his prospect status, he pitched for Team USA in the 2009 Baseball World Cup... That's not cover of Baseball America, but still suggests he has been regarded as a talent.
I agree 100% with the idea that the opportunity for great PR was wasted by the Mets. The point about selfishness seems a bit strong. It's more likely the result of tone deafness when it comes to PR, generating goodwill with their players, etc. You may recall Fred Wilpon publicly bashing Beltran just before they traded him to the Giants (basically said "not what we hoped for"). Amazing that Alderson got anything for Beltran under those circumstances, let alone the Mets new #2 prospect.
I'm as disillusioned with the Mets as any Mets fan. But I don't think it's selfishness as much as lack of diplomacy.
Looks pretty cool!
Kevin Seitzer in the house!!! Well done, Mike.
BTW, I was a huge Keith Hernandez fan in my youth (even after news of his cocaine use broke). But his massive ego in the announcers' booth has severely diminished my respect for him. The excerpt you provide from his book rekindled my respect for Keith Hernandez as a ballplayer. He clearly had a strong and nuanced understanding of the hit-and-run, and probably of baseball in general. So glad you shared his insights along with yours.
Good question. And nice article, Maury!
Awesome. Unexpected twist (and list) was great!
Is the PFM updated for 2012 projections?
Trout hit .326 in AA last year over 400+ AB (good for a .344 TAV). That's a bit different than Harper's performance.
Understood, but for "real" baseball, it's pretty important, no? (I recognize that this is the "Fantasy Beat" column)
Nicely put. Agree 100%.
Maybe it's some insider humor? Ironic given BP's origin as an outsider pub.
What is the supposed impact of this drug?
Brutal honesty. I've been thinking along the same lines, and am devastated that the Mets are in this position. It's really the combination of multiple factors (unwillingness to spend on amateur draft picks in past, Madoff, failure to handle the Reyes situation appropriately, etc.) that leads to today's predicament. But that knowledge doesn't make it easier to stomach!
I'm hoping the Mets burn it down to the ground -- with Niese, Davis, and Wright out the door for talent that will really help rebuild (preferably hitters). The Mets can spend their "measly" $70 million on replacement level players to fill up the major league roster (Reyes off the books, Wright likely to follow, etc.). The Mets can sign a few deadbeats (think the Royals roster from 2005-2009) and pretend. Maybe they can bring Derek Bell out of retirement (Operation Shutdown anyone?). Or Mo Vaughn perhaps (aren't the Mets still paying him?).
It'll be a long, cold winter in Flushing.
Really? Don't know much about Captain Kirk's recent (2011) performance. Any useful insights to share, Ben?
Derek and Jason, good stuff! How does the presence of viable alternatives (i.e. Lucas Duda) enter into the equation? What about Davis's injury history (can we say propensity at this point or is that premature?)?
Larry, I couldn't agree more. Steven's article is accurate (he said the same thing: Bobby V might not be the best guy for the Sawx). But you are spot on: Bobby V "makes MLB a more interesting place every day he's around." Couldn't agree more.
Excuse me... Steven.
Bah humbug, Steve! I say baseball will be a brighter place with Bobby V back in the game. We need more than the humorless automatons. A few more Bobby V / Ron Washington types would be a good thing!
Wow. Have to disagree. Managers have pretty minimal impact anyway. And Bobby V was fabulously entertaining. Wish we had him back with the Mets, though Collins seems good. At least Bobby V may soon be back managing in MLB. And that is good for the game (and entertainment value).
John, no mention of Thad Levine?
Maybe 300 batted balls is a low enough threshold that it doesn't matter...
Love it! Way to go, KS (Mike)!!!
Btw doesnt your IP minimum skew results? Only "successful" pitchers will have the chance to pitch that many innings. Those who allow harder hit balls might be weeded out (though maybe that's an accurate take on MLB).
LOVE IT!!! Nice work. Particularly enjoyed the Mr. Met shout-outs.
Corey, can't wait to see the writeup on the Mets. They kept Reyes largely healthy, but with Ike Davis et al., it seemed the Mets were up to their usual tricks. What's the the water at Citi Field?
You go, Jen!
Mike, what do you see for Brandon Beachy in 2012? One of the top K/9 among starters in 2011. Though he didnt work deep into games in 2011.
Can you compare Lucas Duda to Garrett Jones a couple years ago (his first season in the bigs seems comparable... .300 TAV, SLG around 500, but 21 HR for Jones vs. 10 for Duda). Is Duda's bat any more real than Jones's?
Steven, kudos to you for being even-handed (you criticized TLR earlier, yet explain now that he has better info than we have). Of course, he probably also had better info in the earlier situation too no?
BTW, I'm fairly confident it should read "criticize US sabermetric types" not "criticize WE sabermetric types."
Derek, can you give us a sneak peek at your thoughts on AL/NL only leagues and the Astros move? You reference reevaluating the number of teams in fantasy leagues. TIA!
Agreed. A bit unusual for BP, but entertaining.
So Matt, what do you say? Can you share the data? It would be fascinating to see, for example, if Adam Dunn's approach changed in 2011 -- or if David Wright's decline correlated with a change in approach (and stadium).
Kevin, aren't you missing an important point about the Yankees? They are homegrown BECAUSE of the Yankees' financial resources. Other teams would have needed to include good prospects in trades. The Yankees, however, can assume salary. So that makes it much easier to "keep their core."
Wow. This is literally the most exciting baseball article I've read in many years. My hat is off to you. Just wow.
Selfishly I would like to see player by player data. Any chance you could make it available?
Awesome! Was hoping you would do this (and glad NL was first up). Thanks!
Kevin, kudos to you on a good and really well-written piece. I enjoy your minor league player writeups, but this was a showcase for strong writing. Well done!
Mike, nice work!! Thanks for posting all of the data, too. If I read it right, Josh Thole was VERY effective in 2010, then very ineffective in 2011. Is that a correct interpretation? If so, does it make sense to have swings that big?
Pretty sure Clayton plays Miguel Tejada, not Ruben Tejada.
Good plan, Derek. Most of these guys are owned in deep leagues, but good idea anyway.
I love these articles. Keep 'em coming!
Nyjer Morgan has to get some consideration for that honor. A former hockey player, I believe, Morgan took out Marlins catcher Brett Hayes last year in a controversial play.
Nice work, Steven. Appreciate your take as well as Craig's. Maybe a different approach will "break through" for some writer-voters.
Jason, kudos to you on another interesting and informative article. Many of us probably surmised this to be the case, but thanks to you (and Dan T) for doing the spade work.
Is Reymond Fuentes the long term answer in CF for SD? Seems to have hit a wall lately.
Also, is Tyler Matzek seen as a typical lefty prospect (will take a long time to develop), a lost cause, or something else now?
Great fun! Thanks for sharing.
Made me think of Mo Vaughn. Yuck.
Shh! Don't tell people about RJ! :)
Nice work! Jason, what about guys who've gone the opposite direction? Strong second half performers who may be moving to a new level. That would be an interesting piece, too.
I still thought it was a fun read.
You have Jon Daniels and Thad Levine to thank for that!
Jason, great article. Can you give some head-to-head comparison of Brown and Fuentes? ETA? Ceiling? Likely development?
Someone get out on the wrong side of the bed this morning? You are leaving grumpy posts after every BP article it seems. If you don't like the game, why not watch some other sport?
Corey, any word on Adam Wainwright? All the Strasburg talk got me thinkin'...
Any update on Adam Wainwright's progress?
Nice work, Larry.
Junkies in the house.
Wow. 6 red sox farmhands make the grade for the writeup. Must be nice to have a system like that!
Thanks for sharing. I don't participate in AL leagues, but the rationale for your deals (thought process) is quite interesting.
Way to go!
Nice work, Geoff. Shooting rubber bands at the NL West.
Kevin, how would you compare/contrast Gary Brown and Reymond Fuentes? Both seem to fit a similar profile, and may patrol CF for West Coast teams with spacious outfields. Ceiling? Development progress / ETA?
Kevin, how would you compare/contrast Gary Brown and Reymond Fuentes? Both seem to fit a similar profile, and may patrol CF for West Coast teams with spacious outfields. Ceiling? Development progress / ETA?
Don't forget Brandon ("Finding") Nimmo!
Wish I had seen this publicized before! Did this notice go up today? Would definitely have made the trip to the burbs with some advance notice. Have fun!!
Agreed. But I wouldn't mind if he started producing!
Never mind concise. It was very entertaining! The situation itself and Ron's notes are good comic fare, but you improved on the raw material. Well done!!!
KG, any reviews on Reymond Fuentes in 2011? Speed is there. Seems he's working on taking walks. Defense? Readiness?
Agree 100%. Great article. I'm indifferent about Cuban, but there seems to be a lot of merit in the other arguments (i.e. the "gentlemen" are not exactly playing by the Marquis of Queensbury Rules).
Have to agree on that. Feel free to mark negative if you have to. Steven has talent and the point is fair; it's just not that interesting (or entertaining) from a baseball standpoint.
Kevin, with a guy like Zack Cozart (leadoff HR yesterday), are the Reds waiting for some arbitrary date to avoid super two status or starting his clock? Or is it something else?
KG, if you're on that island (about Cozart), you have company. Before I saw your post, I was going to ask what's going on with Cozart. He's crushing it at Louisville and has the same reputation as Janish (if not better) in terms of defense. Is Jocketty concerned that Dusty won't play him?
Jason, where do you put Tyler Matzek in this scheme? Does he fall off the charts entirely because of 2011? Or does he rate a typical young lefty with control problems?
KG, this is fantastic! If MLB could capture the draft in this way, fans would actually care / tune in!
How soon do you think we see Gerrit Cole in a major league rotation? Is he polished enough to arrive permanently in mid-2014?
That would be great, but is seriously past my bedtime. Can your agent book you earlier for the blue hair crowd? :)
KG, 2011 is a lost season for the Mets. But if they actually use the draft to rebuild (for once), it would be a huge step forward. Historically the Meta have cheaped out and gone lockstep with Selig on slots. Any hope for 2011?
This was pretty great. Succinct, but covered a good mix of topics.
KG, any word on Reymond Fuentes? Carlos Beltran's cousin didn't make your Top 101 this year, but seems to be a good fit for the spacious Petco outfield. Unless he has that degenerative knee condition, will we see him in a Padres uni at some point?
John, I love those "Scouts' Takes" at the end of these writeups. Please keep 'em coming!
I was there and you captured it perfectly, Larry.
BTW what is this wezen ball reference?
Kevin, Zack Cozart has had a little hot streak. Has he turned the corner and does he have a role in CIN before Billy Hamilton?
Man, we would take that in a second! Of course, would also take a handful of beans. If they could pick up Mesoraco or Grandal, along with Cozart (you have Hamilton), Bailey/Wood, it would be a great deal for the Mets.
Really enjoyed the scouts' takes. Good stuff and a good mix of players.
Kevin, great stuff! Any read from scouts on Zack Cozart? He had a nice breakout last year (power/speed and decent enough BA). This year he seems to be really struggling.
Agree 100%. Well said.
Agreed. However, in deep leagues Barney is long gone. Probably have to go a bit deeper for only leagues, Marc. But really appreciate the effort. Please keep it up / expand!
Hey Kevin, any update on Tyler Matzek? Seems like more of what we saw last year -- good four pitch arsenal, some Ks, and poor control.
I know lefties develop late, but he seems more on the Oliver Perez track than the Clayton Kershaw one. Any hope?
Jeff, a good article and I agree with your overall take. But the true success of the Alderson regime in 2011 will (in mind) be measured by:
1) How the Mets fare in the amateur draft and whether they actually spend the money it takes to capitalize on draft picks and rebuild the farm system; and
2) How the Mets fare in the trade market (also restocking the larder, presumably trading away Jose Reyes and other players not likely to be part of a rebuilding effort).
These two items were somewhat outside the scope of your article, but seem at least as important to the Mets' long-term success.
Any thoughts on this?
Congratulations and best of luck? Or April Fool's?
Steven, I really enjoyed reading this article. Your talents are considerable as a writer, and it's sad they are all too often constrained by a focus on the Yankees and the AL. Even though you couldn't resist dropping in several Yankees comments, this was fun. Please keep it up. The NL fans deserve to benefit from your talents as well!
Jason, although you didn't participate in the NL-only, you blogged it. Any chance you could do an article on the NL auction? Even if it wasn't a team-oriented look, you could provide some macro reactions to the results. Would be very interesting. Thanks!
Marc, good article, and glad you recognize that most still play "standard" categories. It makes the content more useful.
Crushes winter delusions
This Mets fan is sad
Never mind... I just saw the note you put to the side (500 AB for catchers, 600 for everyone else). But catchers don't average 500 AB. So this is perhaps misleading.
Michael, that was interesting. A few thoughts for you:
1) AB would be helpful. It's linked to counting stats, but helpful nonetheless. For example, catchers BA is .253 -- but is that over 300 AB or 500?
2) It would be interesting to see this data on a league-specific basis (NL only, for example).
MLB is "government sanctioned monopoly" in that baseball enjoys some antitrust protection. The reference wasn't to the Yankees, but to MLB.
I thought Hruby's article nailed it.
Jason, very entertaining way to present your case. And clearly it's the fantasy crowd that has a crush on Dee Gordon because of his stolen base potential. Your arguments were pretty straightforward, though. Thanks!
Jason, really liked this article. Not revolutionary, but a clear and level-headed take on strategy. RJ in the house!
Nice article, Jay. Enjoyed the Beasties reference, as well as the deadly accurate deconstruction of the Mets. Tough to be a fan these days.
Can't wait to hear your take on the Vernon Wells trade. I am shocked that anyone would take on that contract.
Can we see more closers in that chart (Fastball Speed vs. Horizontal Deflection)? Where is John Axford, the mustachioed one?
Loved the article, Eric, and think your basic premise is a good one (look at the trade in terms of impact, not just relative value in a vacuum).
Marc, another good writeup. And thank you for being so responsive to our feedback. One "macro" question for you: What are your takeaways from this exercise? A certain amount of hits (and misses) is to be expected. Will you change your approach somehow to improve your batting average / accuracy? Is there anything you believe fantasy players could do differently to improve their accuracy?
Not much of an article... More like a meta-link sheet with a summary. Surprising to see this on BP, and more so with Christina's name in the byline.
P.S. Liked your candid self-assessment, as always. Very fair writeups.
Marc, thanks for your responsiveness to earlier feedback. Really appreciate it. I like that you added dollar values, though for "only" leagues they don't help much. Could you provide both? In other words something like this:
Junior Ortiz (triple slash PECOTA / triple slash REALITY) Mixed $5.2 / Only $8.3
Christina, "Benjamins flambé" has to be one of the funniest and most clever ways I've ever heard that phenomenon described. I'll have to work it into my daily speech!
That would help. Thanks, Marc. Would also help to have info on counting stats, since most fantasy games use them. But I suppose that could be referenced in your writeup, especially if you don't explicitly forecast them.
Thanks for the prompt reply!
Marc, enjoyed the article and (mostly) pull-no-punches look at your own work. Here's a thought: it would be helpful to have ACTUAL stats next to (or nearby) the projections, to enable a clearer comparison. I know that's the intent of the commentary, but hard numbers would help.
Marc, what about a comprehensive facts/flukes article? In other words, some players (Bautista comes to mind in the AL) radically outperformed or underperformed relative to expectations / projections. Which ones have truly reached a higher level of performance and which ones are Brady Anderson-level flukes? This might flow naturally out of your efforts to analyze your "process".
Agree with your take, and like your spelling of Mientkiewicz.
I seriously doubt $6 million will land Feliciano for two years. The guy has been excellent, and with teams like the Phillies and Yankees interested, doesn't $6/2 seem light?
Yep. And letting Takahashi and Feliciano go will hurt.
Nice article, Jay. Likely to fall on deaf ears, but that doesn't detract from the quality of the writing or the substance of your essay.
Blum signed with the DBacks. Head scratcher by KT.
Hooray for change!
Fun read, Steven. And great idea for an article.
Very entertaining, as usual, Christina. Particularly enjoyed the Rubin dig at Minaya. His 15 minutes are up.
Bing! You are now free to move about the country, Omar.
Kevin, how does Trayvon Robinson compare to Devaris (Dee) Gordon in terms of profile, tools, likely role?
Interesting bit of Americana... David, how did you happen to be there and report on the story?
Excellent article, Mike. Welcome to BP.
Kevin, really enjoying this set of articles. It's great work.
"Meet Moore's Jetsam"... Well played. That was a hoot.
Nice work, Clay. Good portfolio management.
What is "troi"?
I would have phrased it differently, but generally agree with your point. Sadly, however, Jeff Wilpon is going nowhere (at least until he learns that his involvement is only having negative consequences for the Mets). I give it 10-15 years before that happens and he gets sick of losing. But the Mets also need to rebuild from the ground up, and I don't see that happening.
Kevin, does Tyler Matzek rate a disappointment this year? Or is he "right on track" but less exciting development than, say, Julio Teheran?
If he becomes a DH, it improves his chances to hit those HR. But it would also instantly hurt his chances for the hall, however, given the anti-DH bias.
Interesting article, Ken. The Brewers' predicament is all the more interesting because Gallardo and Axford combine for a VORP > 37.
John, you also don't see the same gaudy Rockies numbers you did in the Bichette heyday. Sure, Carlos Gonzalez is putting up some big numbers this year. But it's not as much of a team-wide phenomenon.
Nicely played, Colin. Appreciated by fellow nerdsmiths (I mean wordsmiths) everywhere.
Thanks, Kevin. Could you compare to Tyler Matzek for us (at least at a high level)? I tend to think of the two together, and would be very interested to hear a comparison.
Excellent work, Matt. Particularly enjoyed that you tied it back to MORP.
Must be something... Will Carroll's name isn't listed in the drop-down box for "Contact Us".
Kevin, no mention of Devin Mesoraco or Yasmani Grandal? Both seem to have bright futures in Cincy. Any view on how that will play out (i.e. which one will be called up and when? which one is more likely to stick?).
John, pretty sure it's Casey McGehee, not Corey.
Will, any insights into Nyjer Morgan's hip flexor injury?
Short term = he'll be back aug 17?
Long term = he's a risk given that speed is his game? The bats may replace him?
One would be wrong then.
Pretty sure you meant John Maine, not Scott Maine. I remember the Maine.
Awesome interview, David. What a great perspective!
Interesting read, Ken. Here's a thought: fantasy baseball has introduced concepts like WHIP (better than era). So in turn, more casual fans are aware of some sabermetric concepts (if not saberstats). As a result, the way has been softened for the msm.
Kevin, what about Mike Minor?
Pretty sure that the job share in San Francisco is between Edgar Renteria and JUAN Uribe. If Jose Uribe were still active I would be impressed.
Essentially what I was wondering. Christina, how is this different from the concept of "clutch" hitting, which has been largely disproved in sabermetric circles (I believe). And like BABIP, is there any sort of mean (for the league or individual hitter) toward which we should expect regression? Would be interesting to know more (i.e. the why vs the what or how). Thanks!
Kevin, I'm not too familiar with Matt Harvey. What sort of long-term ceiling does he have? How does he grade out? Also why does a team like the Mets shy away from paying bigger signing bonuses? They have financial resources! Totally mind-boggling.
Fun read, David.
Eric, nice article. I like your point about 4th and 5th starters (the Anibal Sanchez model). To answer your question, if I were Omar Minaya I would:
1) Fire myself.
2) Release Oliver Perez (after trying to unload him unsuccessfully). Why would any team pay even the major league minimum, knowing Perez could be had for that soon?
Of course, if I were really Omar Minaya, I would be loath to release Oliver Perez because it would be tantamount to admitting what a colossal mistake I had made. Combine that with Luis Castillo, JJ Putz, etc. and you have the makings of a fine GM's resume.
Kevin, any word on Tyler Matzek? He isn't in any box scores and can't be found on milb.com. When will he pitch?
Great perspective. Thanks for sharing.
Simple story, complex point. Nice work, Tommy.
John, was there any attribution on the ETA for Starlin Castro? Or was that from an unnamed source? Has that timing been reported anywhere else? Thanks!!!
Interesting. Seems like a well-trained media spin doctor.
Dave, can you post an update (or some details) on the server switch? Will it in fact improve load times? It's one thing to have a slow load for PFM, but for the homepage?
Great news, Dave. Response time on the BP site has been atrocious. Glad to see you're addressing the issue. It's no longer just attributable to fantasy drafts.
Well said, Jay. Bravo.
Kevin, any buzz about Ike Davis and his likely ETA? It seems he has continued to show power in AAA after a nice spring training. It seems the Mets could use the help, too.
Adams on the road, Gregerson at home?
Nice article, Tommy.
If it were an isolated incident, that would be one thing. But the Padres manage to find great arms "on the scrap heap" every year, it seems.
So who do you think they will tap to close if Bell is shipped out? Adams? Gregerson?
David, given all of the other player interviews you've conducted, did this give you any insights into Garrett Jones? More specifically, did you walk away from the interview thinking either (A) Here's a guy who is headed back to AAA; or (B) Here's a guy who broke in at 28, but gives me the impression he'll be around for several years?
Just curious to hear if the interview uncovered anything we couldn't deduce from a stat line (sort of a conversational scouting report, I suppose!).
Neil, a slightly acerbic and highly entertaining take on this article. Well done!
Marc, sounds great. If you plan to do a weekly matchups post, it would be very helpful to have it accessible by mid-day on Sunday. I think most leagues set lineups well before such columns are usually posted, which renders them pretty useless.
Really interesting article and analysis, Matt. Can't wait for Part 2. When will it be posted?
Can't wait for the team-by-team article. When Clay published the last one, he said the remaining teams would be ready the next day! Definitely eager to see that. It was one of the best pieces I've seen on BP in a while. Any specific ETA?
Clay, this was fantastic!!! One of the best BP pieces in a while, even though it's a blog post. Where is part two? Can't wait!
Helpful update. Thanks for being transparent about it.
Christina, does the Barajas signing offer anything in terms of a defensive upgrade? I don't have any real sense of the defensive merits (or lack thereof) of the Mets' catcher candidates. Any insights?
Great line, Jay. I'll have to borrow that one.
Nah. The one doesn't necessarily follow from the other. Wavin' Wendell was probably still a bad third-base coach!
FYI, the photo caption on the home page for this article refers to "Remember the Maine, Scott Maine." Pretty sure that should read John Maine.
Let's hope so.
Great read, David. Thanks.
P.S. Can you post the other rosters or a link to them?
Marc, excellent article and very helpful. I think this is the kind of league many of us enjoy, so it's great to see this content. In my view, it was your best piece in a long time. Please keep 'em coming!
As for your team, your assessment is spot on. A few big thumpers, some excellent upside picks, but imbalanced. Would rather see a bit of stability in the middle (price range not infield) and upside picks in your dollar days.
Maybe this is a depth chart issue... why is Ryan Dempster listed as a swingman (with limited innings)? He's probably the cubbies' best starter.
Have to disagree. I'm sure Steven is a fine guy, and his writing style seems appealing enough. But if I wanted to read a history of the Yankees, I would go to another site (pinstripe bible?). This article was about 85%-90% Yankees history and 10%-15% general content. I get that the purpose of the column is a look at baseball history, but this just doesn't work for me.
Not notice. As for depth, 20 is not enough. For those who play in "only" leagues, it's woefully inadequate. Content is very good so far though; just not enough.
By the way, LOVED your letter to Milledge.
Fun interview, David. Nice work.
A nice article on the whole, and a good attempt at sharing the concept of present value with a non-technical audience. I'm not sure I agree with your views on discount rates entirely, but that's another matter. Might I suggest that you insert the word "incremental" in your definition of discount rate? Specifically the discount rate would be better defined as the sum of the rate of inflation plus the INCREMENTAL return on the next best investment.
John, definitely enjoy the perspective you bring to BP. Your writing is entertaining, and you make the best of your hard-earned industry contacts. Keep up the good work!
Joe, definitely enjoyed this article. Interesting take. Also interesting that you make no reference to the rumors (just that, as far as we know) about the Wilpons' diminished financial wherewithal. Seems like that could be relevant here.
Also another key issue (one I would like your perspective on): IF the Mets make a run and fall short in 2010, how can they rebuild? It's not clear that they can get anything other than salary relief by trading away their aging and injured core. Will other teams pony up for Beltren, Reyes, etc.? Seems like that should factor in, too.
Ugh. Just started thinking about McCarver's unbelievable vanity and egocentrism in his broadcasts. I'm going to be sick.
Can you ask Wakamatsu and Zduriencik -- off the record, of course -- if they would be willing to come to New York and take over from Minaya and Manuel (and Wilpon Jr)? They seem like just the sort of talent any club would want.
Kevin, what do the Mets get from flipping Monasterios to the Dodgers? Does that complete an earlier trade (can't remember one)? Or was it purely for cash considerations? Some other angle?
What? Not the Mets' staff?
Great interview! Let's hope Justine's efforts start to open some doors.
Disagree. He probably sees it as a safety net. Hire lots of guys, hope one can return the favor when Minaya is (finally) fired.
I can see Towers, but Ricciardi? As a talent evaluator? Umm Vernon Wells? BJ Ryan? Am I missing something?
Great writeup, Kevin. Can you keep em coming so I don't have to hibernate until Spring Training? Nice article as usual.
Agreed on both points. The Nationals should send him a present.
Shawn, can you PLEASE send this to Fred Wilpon? How much evidence does he need to see?
How does the Pittsburgh oaf shape up? I they go after Ankiel, McCutchen is in CF, whither GJones and Milledge? Does Jones shift to 1B until Alvarez shows up?
You can't understand it? It seems pretty clear: they're using Bradley as a scapegoat to deflect blame.
That said, he has performed miserably (at least relative to his compensation). But that shouldn't surprise anyone.
Joe, I applaud your writing on both of these topics. Bradley won't win humanitarian of the year awards, but he is clearly a scapegoat here. As for reliever usage, I don't plan to hold my breath waiting for a change. The Red Sox tried it a while back and after a short-term hiccup abandoned ship. Maybe it will happen when a more enlightened media (and fan base) is ready for change... say, 15-20 years from now?
What happened to "the rest of the year"? Haven't seen anything in a while. The minor league season is over; so if that's the reason Kevin's updates have stopped, please say so. It's a total bummer!
Have to disagree. The quick hits are very interesting and helpful. I really enjoy them.
Kevin, I'm pretty sure Stanton isn't playing for Triple-A Gwinnett (or in the Braves organization at all).
Great last line of the article, Joe. The article had its merit, too, but the finale was strong.
One related question for you: You frequently hear that young prospects will "fill out" (usually batters add power). Does this also apply to pitchers and velocity? If yes, how does that impact thinking about prospect rankings when you have players who are "identical" but different ages?
Kevin, great article! Despite some of the comments here, it was easy to follow and made a simple, but important point. Keep up the good work!
Called that one!
P.S. I hope we will see a full article on this. It's a very interesting topic.
Thanks very much, Jay. I appreciate the quick (yet thoughtful) response. I have to think there is some logical explanation for the discrepancy in performance between NL and AL (e.g. AL teams have higher payrolls, revenue, etc.). It just doesn't seem to be a level playing field right now.
Jay, that was very interesting. Two follow-up questions:
1) Why is the difference so great between leagues?
2) How do revenues / media markets (i.e. DOLLARS) correlate to winning intraleague vs interleague? Are NL teams at a big disadvantage to AL teams? Clearly you have the Cubs, Mets, Dodgers, but after that?
Jay, that's cold (though accurate) calling the Mets the "Bisons." What a sorry state of affairs.
Buster Posey. He's coming.
You might be crazy. But as for your main question, I think you're underrating how difficult it is to play SS in the majors.
Strange. No mention of Dexter Fowler and his defense in CF?
Interesting analysis. Of course, the larger point for the Mets transcends this tactical gaffe: Fred Wilpon announced he intends to bring back Omar Minaya; Minaya announced he intends to retain Jerry Manuel. Poor leadership begets poor decisions.
A Depressed Mets Fan
P.S. Joe Sheehan claimed recently that it wasn't really Omar's fault. Will Carroll's THR showed green lights for many on the team. I respectfully point out that years of gambling on aged players (Alou, Delgado, et al.) has not helped the Mets or any other team. I like the THR, and assume they are accurate, but they can't capture everything (sorry Will).
Nice interview, David. A very enjoyable read.
Agreed, but it starts at the top. Who will fire Jeff Wilpon?
Much ado about nothing, it seems. Too bad. I was hoping the Mets might land Rizzo in the offseason (after they rid themselves of Minaya).
Have to agree with you on the lack of analysis. It consisted of one paragraph:
"More broadly speaking, all of these players are limited in ways which require them to perform perfectly or lose productivity. None are high-average hitters at the best of times, which puts pressure on them to walk or hit home runs and generate offense in other ways. More rounded hitters have secondary skills on which to fall back. These players largely do not, and it makes their slumps much more difficult to endure."
It was a great idea for an article, and nicely described recent demotions. Length of the article doesn't concern me, but there wasn't much of a punch line. Overall reaction: "So what?"
Christina, in reading your comment about "pitching around Adrian Gonzalez", I started thinking about the concept that "lineup protection doesn't exist." If that concept is accurate, how do we explain Adrian Gonzalez this year? If he had any protection, he would be able to take the bat off his shoulder more often, no?
Don't know about Ricco, but agree about Bobby V. At least the team would be fun to watch again. The Mets need a star GM who can rebuild the farm system by dealing away guys like Beltran (sorry to say it, since he's one of the most incredible defensive CFs I've seen).
John, do the scouts have a take on Garrett Jones? Is he "for real"?
Wow. Look at how many AL players vs NL players. The senior circuit is in a sad state.
Two words: Bully Pulpit. (Minaya's, but not for long)
Kevin, with a young prospect like Flores, when would you expect to see him fill out and show some power? He is hitting for average, though it seems an empty average now. Can you share some thoughts on how and when a guy like Flores might develop as a hitter?
David, this was just a fantastic piece. Thanks for sharing. Cody Ross sounds like a great guy. How did you choose him to interview?
Joe, a very interesting article. You're ignoring the elephant in the room: Ricciardi and Co. SIGNED that deal for Wells. So trading Halladay to get rid of Wells is tantamount to admitting the mistake.
That has to be even more unlikely than Omar Minaya doing white flag trades (and admitting mistakes like Oliver Perez).
Christina, I think you intended to say Manuel gets a little small ball happy" (small is missing, though little is not). It's a small tiny matter, of course.
Will, thanks for the link to the meniscus transplant surgery. Hadn't heard of that before, and it's pretty cool. My sense is that most patients who have a meniscus removed or cut down eventually must have knee replacements. It would be interesting to find out if the transplant surgery reduces or eliminates that need.
Still, it's pathetic that the Mets don't pick until that late. K-Rod is an important addition, but they need to rebuild the farm system. They haven't produced a top tier talent in a few years (no, Pelfrey doesn't count; let's hope Fernando Martinez does).
That's great news. Keep 'em coming, Kevin!
Kevin, a prospect development question for you... How do you evaluate the in-season development of the high-ceiling prospect who is really young? For example, the Fernando Martinez, Wilmer Flores, Angel Villalona (in years past) types.
With older, more established players, you expect and see growth in power, plate discipline, etc. With younger players whose bodies may not have filled out, it seems more subtle. For the average prospect hound who follows box scores (and doesn't have your network of scouts, etc.), how can we evaluate progress for this type of player?
Will, any word on Brian McCann's vision issues? Sounds like scary stuff.
Cory, I definitely agree with you on this point. If you try to adopt someone else's style it won't work. And as to position scarcity, it can work quite well -- especially in straight draft leagues (picking Utley and Kinsler can often start a run on inferior 2B).
I understand the audience you were trying to reach, and the desire to maximize interest in the topic. But I do think you / MLBN underestimate the average fan's interest in more "hard core" fantasy baseball. Specifically, I strongly recommend radically shortening the opening discussion of "top players" (rarely make or break a season for fantasy players) and spending more time on the middle tier or later-round guys.
By doing this, you will accomplish several goals: 1) provide more help to novice players / "typical" mixed league straight draft players; and 2) make the content more interesting / relevant for more "serious" players. That, in my view, is your sweet spot. It will expand reach (tv term) and hold your audience.
Also, Harold Reynolds seems like a decent enough guy. But was it necessary for him to "dumb down" the content so it wasn't "uncool"? If MLBN wants to have a player in the discussion (a good idea), it would be way more interesting to have the ex-player discuss how some top "real" baseball players are underrated in fantasy and vice versa. That would REALLY improve the discussion and bridge the audiences.
Curious to hear your reactions (sorry for the long post; I'm basically only making 2 points!).
I agree 100%. Good for Darvish. He can change his mind later, but he speaks the truth. If all of the top talent is siphoned away, it will render NPB a minor league / instructional league for MLB.
Bobby V is the man! Are you kidding? He's at least a decent manager, and is BY FAR the most entertaining one out there. We should be so lucky as to bring him back here.
Who do you love? Definitely Thorogood after learning he\'s a Mets fan (and a baseball fan and a Koufax fan).
I believe you mean Mets lefthander Pedro (not Jose) Feliciano.
Kevin, what\'s your read on Salome vs. Lawrie? Do you think the Brewers will deal one? Which is more likely to go?
Wow. That trade is looking better and better. Ouch.
In fairness, however, Benson for Maine has worked well. And Nady for Perez has generally been a good deal.
Kevin, I really enjoyed your Salvador Dali comment in the profile of Chacin. Totally dorky comment and very entertaining. (I mean that as a compliment)
Not sure about the \"do better\" part, but would like to see the saves-oriented analysis, Marc. The recent article (by Joe?) on K-Rod really highlighted the discrepancy between saves and talent. For most of us fantasy baseball enthusiasts, however, saves count. So gaining insight into proper valuation of the category and players could be a competitive advantage. Then again, most of my leaguemates read BP anyway...