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That income tax treatment is non-trivial. I'd love to see a brief piece comparing the various state (and possibly local in some cases) tax laws to figure out how $10m from one team compares to $10m from another. I remember this being a challenge for the Canadian team(s) when the CAD was weak against the USD (and because Canada also has higher tax rates, especially, IIRC in [sigh] Montreal).
Really? He led baseball in runs scored and was 34 runs better than the next 2b (36% more!). He led second basemen in AVG, which IMO is the hardest category for which to find contributors. Sure, no SB worth noting, and maybe the scarcity there puts him down a tier, but entering his age-28 season, I've got him right next to Pedroia, Kipnis and everyone else not named Cano.
I'd never heard of a pitcher who "warms too slowly for relief." Are there many guys out there like that, or is Niemann unique? Is it physical limitations and are they injury related.
Also +1 for the fantasy takes, a nice add to this series.
It's one of those things that's funny when the originator does it, amusing when it gets repeated a few times, and finally the most annoying thing there is when everyone substitutes it for insight, humor or intelligence.
It's not your use or invention of these terms and style, it's every commenters appropriation of it as though your #sparkle will rub off on them, not realizing that anytime #sparkle rubs off on you, you are worse for having been glittered.
Trout is a monster, but most teams have at least a couple cost-controlled all-stars on their U-25 roster, so while I'm sure there are some teams that would, it's definitely fewer than half. Off the top of my head, easily better U25 teams:
LA of Chavez Ravine
and there's a bunch of debatable teams like the Mets, Cubs and Astros.
So if Giancarlo Stanton “will be in right field at Marlins Park on Opening Day” I guess that means he's being traded to Colorado?
The real question is whether we can still call him E5 or will have to shift to E3 (and hopefully his middle name is Elvis).
So you don't like Cueto for a bounce-back season?
As punishment, rewatch every gif of Albert Pujols running to first base. That'll teach you.
Carpenter seems like one of those guys who came out of nowhere. He blew past his 90th percential PECOTA projection, he was never on any top prospects list, yet he lead the league in doubles and has a 7 hit tool. Any explanation for the dissonance between his projections and his actual output?
Related, I'd love to look at the players who most strongly outperformed their PECOTAs and to read any explanation as to why.
I hope this sort of thinking leads to better grooming of future managers. Whatever it is that Dusty has "can't be taught" in the same way that sabermetrics can. Would it be worthwhile for clubs to use their minor league systems to find "leaders of men" whom they can mold around their organizational precepts?
"no threat to bunt at any time"
Just wait until Dusty gets his hands on him. Might leave him out of the lineup from time to time because of all the base clogging, though.
Not to niggle, but Cueto's injury this season was a lat muscle, not a shoulder (relevant due to long-term recovery prognosis).
Dan Haren looks likely to start Sunday (vs MIA) and Saturday (vs ARI).
I'm trying to make up a couple points at the end of the season, thoughts on rolling the dice with him in a very deep league? My current team ERA is 3.73, what kind of odds do you put on him over that in those two starts?
Related, does the 1b coach have some blame here? I thought one of their duties was to help out the baserunners in these cases.
Not to quibble too much, but Jose Veras never got a chance to close in Detroit. It looks like he's only pitched in the 9th inning a couple times for the Tigers.
This is closely tied to Shin-Soo Choo (a free agent at season's end). The Reds actions toward him (he's a sure thing to get a qualifying offer, but should be among the best players available on the market) will be your first indicator about their belief in Hamilton's ability to play everyday (and to do it in CF).
Any chance some of the resurgence is due to weaker opposition? Did you look at OPS faced at various periods?
If being HBP wakes sleeping monsters then Shin Shoo Choo would have Godzillaed over the entire midwest by the all-star break.
These are great, I'd love Parks (or others) to do more evaluations of swings/stances, I always learn something when he describes how he watches a player play.
Here's the box from that Mavericks game mentioned above:
Third option just entered the mix, Wilmer Flores will be playing 3b for the Mets in Wright's absence. Thoughts on him vs. ARod for the remainder of the season? Too many questions about Flores' playing time once Wright returns?
Debating cutting Lyle Overbay and grabbing Alex Rodriguez for the rest of the season. Thoughts?
I would have liked to see a bit more of the value of team options considered. For example the Buckholtz deal is a good one for the Red Sox because of these options. If he's consistently hurt between now and the options, they don't exercise them. If he's consistently good, they've got a bargain contract. So even to the extent that the club is "overpaying" relative to what he'd be getting in arbitration this year, the option to "underpay" him for several years in the future (and potentially to underpay him by far more than they are "overpaying" him now) strikes me as extremely valuable, particularly in a game where free agency is less and less a bonanza.
No. The CBA is clear about punishment for drug-related acts, and Braun has been punished. Any effort by the club to void the contract would result in a lawsuit and potentially a work stoppage, and of course, Braun on the open market next season would get a fat contract because he's a great baseball player.
he'll go blind if he keeps that up, you know.
So under this deal, the Cubs will be paying Soriano to play for the Yankees in 2014 (minus the $7 million the Yanks shipped to Chicago)?
Now in the other direction. Most consecutive starts increasing a player's ERA. And how many of the top 10 ended due to performance (a good start) vs. being pulled from the rotation?
It's not that he couldn't be more useful than the 25th man on the Reds roster, it's that calling him up would be terrible for his development as a baseball player.
With your plan, the bat never develops as he'd very rarely get plate appearances. Better to get 4-5 PA/day to figure out if he's got enough bat to stick than to call him up in a pinch-role that dramatically increases the likelihood that it won't.
With two plus pitches, he can add value to the bullpen today, longer-term he's still a starter, despite three bad starts in his debut. The list of pitchers with poor MLB debuts who have good careers is long.
Well, Cobb certainly benefitted from his racism, and it's reasonable to argue that the pervasiveness of his beliefs perpetuated the segregation that inflated his and all other white players' numbers during the era.
And you've of course ignored the point about the widespread PED use in previous eras as well as the illegal ball doctoring.
Are you also tired of a convicted tax cheat and known gambler at the top of the hit list? A reknown racist and generally horrible human being at the top of the career BA list? Known cheaters Perry and Niekro in the Hall of Fame? What about known performance enhancing drug users like Joe Morgan, Willie Mays and Hank Aaron?
Saying that you do know a PED actually affected a player's performance is like saying you know that buying your kid shoes made him run faster. It's possible, but not proven, correlation is not causation, and there are loads of mediocre to poor players on the suspended list for whom PEDs did not obviously enhance their performance, so your claim of certainty lacks the evidence it needs to be validated.
That's the whole problem with the reductiveness of the PED debate, it isn't as simple as "stick this in your butt and you'll hit 50 HR."
Just run the guys through the Tom Emanski drills video and call it done. Winner gets Fred McGriff in the final.
Bobby Bonilla, at least as a base coach.
Boagerts entry raised the question in my mind, but I think it's more general: which is the better baseball player: plus hit tool, plus-plus power; or plus-plus hit, plus power?
+1000 for the Duffman appearance at the end of the video. Oh yeah!
Chapman and Holland. Romo's looks like it could flatten out and become gopher bait.
Any mechanical reason that nine of these ten guys are RHP? (where only ~70% of MLB pitchers are RHP)
All of Parks' work is masturbatory material, first and foremost for the author.
Looking forward to your fantasy series. Hopefully you'll start and end before George R.R. Martin does.
so we can refer to comments like these as WAR in the future?
Another response would be "because then they would also have designated knucklecatcher prospects."
Generally I'd think trying to catch a knuckleballer 1/5th of the time (or more) would hinder catching prospect development. Particularly as the minors are loaded with "if he can stay behind the plate" catching prospects, there's a real developmental cost to having to teach and learn different things 1/5 of the time.
Kevin Slowey could have some value. He's pitched better than Nolasco this season, so while he's cheap and a FA at season's end, he's still among the better pitching options available.
On pitch 2, "he throws it only 17% of the time when he's behind" should probably read "ahead."
Love this series, and basically everything you do with gifs (at least on this site).
What omission is most likely to have you looking foolish in 12 months time?
And as Sam points out, that's why this study got so much press: it's conclusions are intuitive and relate to our own experiences.
That does not make it true, and given the questionable statistic work, it may appear that this concept is in fact incorrect as the data do not show less discipline.
It only happened once, they called it the Big Bang.
With Francisco Lindor currently consuming most of the #futuresparkle for the Tribe at SS, does Ronny Rodriguez' bat play at 2B? Plus power potential sounds promising, but not if it's more potential than plus, or if the hit tool means it's never realized.
Is there any difference between back-to-back games vs. days in the data?
i'm loving' it
He's planning to announce it at the same time as he declares the game a tie.
Seems to me a giant mistake by MLB, as usual when it comes to PEDs. Pursuing this during the season is an error given that an y suspensions handed down will be delayed pending a lengthy legal battle. So instead of talking about what a great season it is, and whether the Brewers can hang on, or what smoke and mirrors the Yankees are using, the media (which generally hates baseball relative to other spots) will spend the summer talking about cheating and lawsuits.
The only explanation for this effort for circumstantial evidence to tie players to people who may have provided substances that may have been banned is that the NFL is bankrolling the entire operation.
Oscar Tavares and Kolten Wong probably in the discussion too.
Is anyone else surprised that the Nats are trying their oft-injured prospect at a high-risk position like 2b? A guy with three serious ankle injuries who has never played the position seems like a serious chance to take with a plus (plus?) bat, regardless of how poorly Danny Espinosa is hitting.
Travis Snider probably didn't have 80 power (as really 80 power prospects shouldn't come along more than every couple years), but some had him at 70 hit 70 power. Jose Tabata and more recently (and too early to call him a bust) Jesus Montero.
I think there's less of a tendency to do that in baseball, where half of the #1 picks in the past decade have been busts (or Delmon Young, whatever you want to call that). There's a lot more understanding of the uncertainty built into the scouting and development sides.
I mean are people in Colorado and KC really talking every day about how Evan Longoria should be theirs rather than Hochevar or Greg Reynolds?
Sure, Captain Hindsight is a rank many seem to have attained, but I think many people understand that much higher levels of uncertainty involved in turning amateur baseball players into pros.
Any insight into why he learned to hit left handed? Safe to assume he's about as good at it as most pitchers?
I love it when Fozzie Bear responds to questions.
So between Wacha and Colome, who do you like more for the remainder of this season? What about longer-term?
Pretty divergent reports about Allen Webster's command, his CH command rated "fringe-average" yesterday and plus today. Obviously different outings yield different results, any explanation beyond he looked better on the 3rd than on the 19th?
Is fastball the only pitch for which lefties seemingly automatically get a grade higher? Seems like a 92-94 FB for a RHP is a 60 pitch,, where on an LHP, 89-92 is a 60, though that could be more related to movement/release point/explosion/etc.
My questions are whether an equivalent fastball pitch from an RHP and an LHP get the same grade (ceteris paribus) and whether the answer changes with regards to off-speed and breaking pitches.
Beer is especially effective at silencing the younger crowd, and typically more cost-effective than in its application toward the adult population.
embiggening our language like this is the road to tyranny
Good article, one thing I struggle with is putting together offers reasonable offers. In anything beyond a one for one deal, any thoughts on making an offer that yields a counter offer rather than a flat out rejection and derision would help. I'm often hesitant to send out feelers lest I be characterized as unserious, even when those feelers are more to signal I'm interested in acquiring a player than an actual proposal.
Great point. If Derek Jeter hits the ball five feet higher, the Orioles just lose the game and nobody cares about Jeffrey Maier or remembers Tony Tarasco.
To supplement the existing "a week's worth of sadness watching Albert Pujols "run.""
The plural of anecdote is not data, regardless of whether the anecdotes are in animated gif form and hilarious.
Does the line drive discrepancy in fielding data also exist in batting data (perhaps part of the reason for Choo's career low line drive rate)?
"Supplemental 1st-round pick in 2011; steps in the bucket; long swing; ran 4.45; pulls way off soft stuff; collapses back side; added a considerable amount of bad weight. Greene is a former first-rounder receiving less-than-stellar reviews from scouts in this area. One scout said it best: “Man, someone find that kid a treadmill.”"
Thank you Captain Hindsight.
It's easy to cite every draft pick that precedes a good player as a mistake (Sam Bowie), ignoring the facts at the time resulted in the decision they made. Moreover, the Phillies have a demonstrated draft philosophy of taking tools and athletes over baseball players. That may not be the best strategy, but however flawed it is, it will always look worse as you'll have far more picks never reach the big leagues. But those who do are more likely be be stars or superstars, where guys like Bradley are average to above-average regulars at best.
So no real concerns about the huge (small sample size) jump in Myers strikeout rates?
Baseball America (well before the DUI):
“He reportedly caused a few headaches for the Charleston staff and turned off observers with the way he carried himself on the field,” they wrote, while one NL scout said he has “got tools but needs to be humbled.”
There's a difference between being wrongly charged and being released with insufficient evidence. Moreover, you don't need to exceed the legal limit to be guilty of DUI, which is why he was charged with a misdemeanor.
He was observed driving at least 10 over the speed limit at 2:45am. He had alcohol in his system and decided to drive an automobile. He may have been below the legal limit, but unless he has a personal breathalizer or is otherwise privy to knowledge of his personal BAC, made a terrible and potentially lethal decision.
Lots of young people do, so I'm not saying that a guy who had a beer and drove a car can't be a baseball player, but the legal case is only tangential to the actions that lead to the concerns about makeup.
My thoughts exactly. Beckham may have made a poor throw, but he's not any more responsible for Lee's injury than the batter or the baserunner. Baseball is a man's sport and stuff happens.
Attaching "failed #1 pick" to Beckham just adds to the tone of the piece that it was if not intentional, not something Beckham regrets, particularly with the last bit about how Beckham now moves over to SS as though there was a master plan in the weak throw to enhance his own professional prospects.
Given that he's almost already a hall of famer, while it will be a shame to watch his decline, I think the 12 years of Pujols that we've gotten makes it tough to be too sad about his current state.
Francisco Liriano would be another. I remember watching the first half of his rookie year, up to the pitch that ended his greatness. Said to the guy next to me "I think we just saw a great thing die."
This and nothing and no one else. Full stop.
Did you even have to use your AK?
For what it's worth, my laproscopic appendectomy was more than three times the quoted cost. Now insurance makes health care costs a huge muddle, but nonetheless.
Moreover, the primary complication from a laproscopic appendectomy is that the inflamed appendix ruptures during surgery. Presumably, the complication rate would be FAR lower for elective appendectomies as it is not already damaged and spewing toxins into the body.
Interesting exercise, but based on some assumptions that are probably not valid enough to draw the conclusion.
Hopefully Gattis' wide stance won't get him into trouble when the Braves visit MSP.
Tim Beckham? (Part 6 - the island of misfit middle infield prospects?)
This could be fairly easily tested by examining if there's a relationship between player height and unintentional walks. While the dwarf is an extreme example, and there are obviously other skills at play, by your reasoning, Joe Mauer should be much easier to get out than Kirby Puckett (alive version).
Someone with some statistical skills could run this regression fairly easily, and it's an interesting question beyond the dwarf PH stunt.
Julio Franco still has the best "old" tool I've ever seen. Though I suppose he also has an 80 "raw egg eating too" which makes him a two tool wonder.
"It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times. Stupid monkey!"
Two huge omissions:
The 88-90 Expos with Randy Johnson (91), Larry Walker (60), Marquis Grissom (30) Deliino DeShields (21).
1993-1995 Montreal Expos: Rondell White (25), Cliff Floyd(26), Ugueth Urbina (11.5), Mark Grudzielanek (18.6), Kirk Reuter (18), Wil Cordero (6.7) and some guy named Pedro Martinez (64.8) = 169
and they did it with only 66% as many September callup opportunities. :(
The solution to too many bullpen arms on a roster is not changing a core element of the game that has worked for decades but having better roster management.
I suspect that the improved quality of both pitchers and baseballs would make this strategy ineffective as most MLB-quality pitchers can locate in the smaller strike zone. Assuming the dwarf was basically unable to hit the ball, I doubt this would work with great frequency, certainly not enough to justify the necessary two roster spots (one for the dwarf, one to replace him in the field) it would cost you.
Perhaps in September when rosters expand, but again, I believe most MLB pitchers, knowing the batter was not dangerous, could throw strikes.
This is the first of many examples of how the ridiculous expansion of interleague is going to seriously mess with the season. I hope someone keeps track of the number of doubleheaders in unplayable conditions and other outcomes that wil, distort the standings for unlucky teams.
I believe that hierarchy has wide applications and look forward to your expansion of its use to describe everything from alcoholic drinks to those foolish enough to be wooed by alcoholic drinks.
The 2000 Yankees have about 20 WARP (half from A-Rod) plus another 7-10 for whatever Ichiro's last season in Japan would have been worth.
I can't decide whether this article proves the Yankees are old or I am. Sigh.
Not how fandom works.
So 2013's Hosmer is?
Looking at Shelley Duncan's game logs for the past five years, I don't see compelling evidence that he has shown a penchant for HR outbursts, at least not in any sort of statistically serious sort of way.
Yes, last season he hit 5 HR over a 2 week span, and hit 2 HR in two different games a week apart in 2011, but the sample sizes here are so small that I don't think there's any evidence to support the hypothesis.
I'd love to see if any players actually do show this sort of behavior, but it would likely be to very difficult to figure out for a player whose never hit more than 11 HR in a season.
Yup, that was the other half of the "either' that I apparently didn't enter correctly.
Interesting how "baseball makeup" sometimes translates to human being makeup (Robinson) and sometimes does not (Rose).
Very much this. Sam's gif work and analysis would be fantastic in game stories that use to run here from time to time. Hoping they return.
Pete Rose up for consideration either for all-time baserunning tool?
Huh? Under the basepaths was concrete, just as under the turf, unlike in a baseball stadium, where under the dirt is more dirt and under the grass is dirt.
Now understanding the effect of squatting on dirt on concrete vs. dirt on more dirt is a more complex question, but that Mauer occupied the space above dirt on the field rather than green colored plastic doesn't strike me as a panacea for his knees.
Jeter is also going to make a run at 5,000 total bases this season (needs 277) which would put him #20 all time.
He might have said that, but I'm confident a suitcase full of money would have changed his mind. That's not to say the Tigers didn't make the right move, maybe Verlander strikes out 300 and wins 40 games this year, but players talk all the time about delaying negotiations which is all well and good until someone makes you an offer you can't refuse.
Nope, he's only three putouts away from 13,000!
The Cardinals seem a natural fit as they're loaded with corner bats and need middle infielders who can hit and catch.
Those guys aren't comps, they are the only guys to jump from A to the majors. Fernandez has better stuff than either of those guys, the only reason they were mentioned is because of the age/jump, not because they are actual comps in terms of stuff or stats.
Though when applied to Jim Bunning, it probably needs an "in terms of baseball skills" added to it. Possibly in Clemens' case as well, I suppose.
Elsewhere Jason has said that Xander's ranking is about the bat. Obviously he is more valuable as a middle infielder, but it's the bat that is elite, and the bat that drives his ranking. Bottom line is that he's a top 5 bat in the minors so position is only moving the needle 2-5 spots.
I'd echo this question. Yankees have the #47 and #51 prospects in the top 101, Red Sox have #12, 27, 38 and 69. Obviously there's more to it than aggregating the top 101 rankings, but the Sox have the better prospects and more of them, including the highest upside player in the bunch. Is the Yankees' higher ranking due to lower level depth?
Got to say I think you all missed by not throwing Freddie Freeman some downballot MVP love. In that lineup, if Jason Heyward and Justin Upton are good enough to get first place votes, Freeman is going to rack up counting stats.
"Because of injury, Jimenez had only eight games of stateside baseball under his belt heading into the 2012 season, but the 21-year-old Dominican got right to work, hitting .347/.439/.669 in 35 games of action at Elizabethton. With an easy swing and a natural feel for contact, Jimenez will be yet another quality prospect to watch as he moves up to the Midwest League."
Perhaps, but as noted, the real issue is the lack of options their bullpen has. It isn't about how long it takes to send a guy down or bring him up, it's that most of their bullpen can't be sent down without clearing waivers, which few of them would.
In fact, the move to Buffalo should have discouraged them from building a roster so full of optionless players. Baltimore was able to effectively expand their roster to 26-27 because Bowie is so close, and because they could shuttle guys up and down without waiver concerns.
Was Anthony Hewitt not playing wherever all those other Phillies were, or is he just not worth expending words anymore?
Trade a 24 year old pitcher with three years of MLB experience, still under team control at reasonable prices and still plenty of untapped potential for a 37 year old corner outfielder still owed $36 million? Even if the Cubs paid all of Soriano's salary that's an awful deal for the Tigers.
Unless you were thinking that adding woeful outfield defense to their catastrophic infield defense would be worth it for the lolz.
Technically, you are correct, that would be a great target for the Cubs, but if we're making one-sided trades, why not Soriano for Harper & Strasburg?
These are outstanding. The organizational depth piece particularly, tied into prospect rankings and integrating all sorts of content. Hurray!
In addition to everything else raised, it seems to me that MLB is making a tactical mistake by potentially going after the media. As the saying goes, don't pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel.
Indeed, thanks for elaborating. I hope the complexity of contracts and the increased complexity of the luxury tax/spending caps don't lead baseball down the NBA/NFL world, where players' value is most correlated to their contract terms and not their skill.
Is Wells the first example of an MLB player traded as much for his ability to game the salary restrictions as for his ability to play baseball?
Based on Bradley's projections, he seems unlikely to be a Super 2 regardless. It depends on who else in the class, but he seems likely to hit .270-.300 with fewer than 10 HR (and correspondingly few RBI and R).
Sure, he could be a Super 2, but more likely than not he won't be, and so it seems silly to game service time in the hopes that he is good enough to be a Super 2. And if he is, then you've been playing a good baseball player in the majors, which is its own reward, and a team like the Sox can afford those financial consequences.
And reports of creative accounting may make this even more attractive to the Yankees as at least one report will have this move yielding a CREDIT against the luxury tax in 2014.
Is there any evidence that throwing fastballs are more strenuous in the long-term than throwing cutters as you purely speculate?
Vince Coleman is one of the most overrated players of all time (unlike Raines). He stole a lot of bases but also made a ton of outs. His OBP was only over .400 once in his entire career, and his career OBP is just .324. For a guy with those wheels, he only hit .264 for his career.
If Hamilton has exactly Coleman's hit tool, let's say he plays a bit more valuable for being a shade faster. A .270/.330/.330 guy isn't hugely valuable in real life, but will be perceived as such because of all the steals.
How much of his power ranking is based on the results of that at bat?
Ichiro also probably enters the conversation, though he's a freak, doing it uniquely so maybe his is more an "Ichiro" tool than a hit tool.
Dave Kingman get a shout too? Or was his hit tool not actualized enough for his ridiculous power to fully shine. When I think pure power, I think King Kong.
your validation is the only prize i need.
Level (once the minor league seasons start) would be optimal. Grouping the day's best (or more noteworthy) performances at each level (or even in each league) makes a ton of sense, and if you include the player's age, we can consider performance vs. age/level with ease.
Xander Bogaerts is the future.
Greg Maddux's fastball may be old, but it's still right on the corner at the knees.
Andrus for Matt Adams makes all kinds of sense.
Parks answered on twitter:
"2 runner, 1b only."
With his arm, is 3B or RF a possibility?
But James' point is that teams have lefties in the pen specifically for the job of getting left handed batters out. And that is a terrible use of a roster spot. He's not saying no lefthanded pitchers in the pen, he's saying "reduce the number of relievers and increase the number of position players on the 25-man, and do so by removing the least useful reliever, the lefty specialist."
Gotta call Saul!
You're looking for buzzbaseballfeed.com. I believe their current feature is "21 Hall of Famers who look like lemurs." Fantastic journalism.
I think there are probably some gains to be made. Yes, providing full concierge service to players is unnecessary (where in European football it was much more valuable as you'd have players moving from small towns in Russia to London, with the culture and language barriers a major impediment to happiness in a way not having to do with luxury) but I'd bet that the difference between the best and worst travel arrangements in MLB has resulted in better player performance.
It's tough to quantify, but I'd think you could look at this by considering how teams perform the day after they travel and seeing if some teams have been consistently better than others.
Another example of teams "pampering" their players to a positive end would be full nutrition. Were I running a pro team, work runs from 6a-6p, and we feed you three meals that we've developed. It's less about being nice to the players, or making them happier, and more about ensuring that they are in the best position to succeed when you need them to.
Is there any relationship between the quality (or projected quality) of a team and the number of saves earned by that team? Obviously your team needs to win to have a chance at a save, but I recall some gaudy save totals from closers on the worst teams in the league, and I wonder if that makes guys like Jose Veras a better play.
I don't know what they'd get back, but Matt Adams to the Yankees makes all kinds of sense.
This is factually untrue. According to Baseball America:
Pulsipher was the #21 prospect in 1994, #12 in 1995.
Wilson was #16 in 1995 and #2(!) in 1996.
Izzy was #37 in 1995.
Not in terms of stuff, but in terms of reputation/ranking, Wilson=Wheeler, Snydergaard=Pulsipher, and take your pick for Izzy.
I'm not saying they'll all fail, but the fact is that this generation is if anything LESS highly touted than "Gen K."
Or, more likely, the Marlins will trade Stanton, Fernandez and other for a bag of very inexpensive beans and the Mets pitching prospects will develop like....Mets pitching prospects.
Fair enough, and thanks for the reply.
For every AA pitcher who projects as a 2/3 starter, I'd guess that fewer than half actual realize such a projection. I'm trying to understand how the failure rate is built into the ranking at the U25 level (since the prospect list itself is more about upside).
Curious, how would you define Freeman now and ultimately, a 5 player? 6? Seems like a 23 year old with two MLB seasons with 20+ home runs would be a more valuable asset than a 23 year old projected #2/3 starter who has only tasted AA.
Despite subscribing to an analytics-based baseball site, sadly many here do not understand the difference between anecdote and evidence, or how causation works.
No doubt, 1 for $7m is better than 2 for $10mm. Of course 0 for $0 is the optimal outcome, but we're past that point.
Also, the Correia complaint is legitimate, but the chart doubles his salary, making it seem much worse than it is. He signed for 2/$10m which gives him an annual salary of $5m, lower than most of those listed. Was it a good move? No. But you've made it seem twice as bad as it is.
100% of Byrd's numbers were "legitimate." John may not like PED users for moral reasons or whatever, but there's still no evidence that PEDs improve players' statistics. It's pretty sad that one of BP's best continues to peddle that unproven assertion given that most here are responsible in the face of absurd PED hysteria from the MSM sports media.
Same as why there's not many 2b prospects. Prospects get slid down the defensive spectrum only when needed. So a good number of those SS don't have the arm to play at the MLB level, so they become 2b if their bat is good enough. If they lack the range, but have the arm, they become 3b. Even if all 52 position prospects become MLB regulars, most will not do it at the position at which they entered professional baseball.
Great point, and that's at the MLB level, and ignores the higher (I believe, based on TNSAPP, but don't actually have data in front of me) failure rate of pitching prospects to become even fringe MLB players.
Yes, the Mets have three top pitching prospects. Nothing could possibly go wrong....
Got to add Adrian Beltre to any discussion as he's 16th among active players in hits, and the second youngest (Pujols) in the top 20. At age 33, with 2,227, he only needs 4-5 seasons of regular playing time (barring injury) plus a farewell tour to hit 3,000 comfortably.
Both. But PECOTA regressed his performance to the mean, considered the "luck" factor in his 2012 season (BABIP, etc) and produced its forecast. Likely it forecast him to improve by X and to regress by Y. In his case, he was such an outlier that Y > X.
Correction: Washington was not sub-.500 for every year since they moved to DC. They played .500 ball in their inaugural season.
At least one sausage in Milwaukee will be.
Compare PECOTA to Vegas' over/under win lines:
Red Sox 79½
White Sox 80½
Blue Jays 86½
The O's need to trade for Rex Brothers and put those two in the lineup together (interleague play only). I'll leave it to others to choose the correct order.
Not if the Yankees are terrible (which will also hurt Cano's counting stats). Methinks Longoria is the AL East's contribution to the MVP race, which comes down to the two Angels, a Devil (Ray) and the least nimble Tiger on earth.
It seems like the information about his mechanics would be well beyond the understanding of the arbitrators. In previous pieces you note how difficult it is to incorporate advanced metrics into these cases, so something like an analysis of his balance would be well outside the scope of what the arbitrators know how to consider.
An addendum to my comment above, it seems like the Rays are uniquely skilled at successfully developing top pitching prospects. Even the misses are guys like Wade Davis, who will have a useful MLB career, and their successes are unparalleled. Their system is the strongest counter-argument to TNSAPP. Yet they seem to struggle with identification and development of position players.
Is there something they are doing that either improves their success at identifying and developing pitching prospects or reduces their success at developing position players?
Looks like Beckham will be the third 1:1 position player the Rays draft who becomes a top prospect then fails to meet that status (at least in Florida).
So Owings is Delmon Young without the defense or power?
Do you think the Tigers offer was too low?
I'd imagine that among the challenges this piece demands is arguing a position that you would not have taken. Presumably the club makes their offer after preparing a case for that offer, where in these highly instructive exercises, you're forced to try and reverse engineer the team's salary number.
In future pieces if you think the offer or demands are too low/high for what you'd want to argue, that would be another valuable insight.
Are the clubs so obviously ignorant of important measures like K rate during these hearings? Is it really a matter of tricking the panel into thinking W/L matters more than K/9 or WHIP (not mentioned anywhere by anyone)?
In a case like this, would the player also present an argument that he is marketable internationally, thus enhancing his value, if not on the field. Obviously Ichiro was a special case, but it does seem that players from Asia (and potentially other non-American nations) could fairly easily argue their presence is worth some non-trivial sum of money based solely on the marketing and branding value.
So many Guererros. I wonder if their family could be a partial solution to the intermittence problem that plagues wind generation.
Are arbitrators allowed to use data not presented by either club or player? Reading the player case about Coors field, I kept expecting to see Hammel's road splits (which would presumably be favorable to him [and are in 2009 and 2011, but not 2010).
It seems like that's a much simpler case to demonstrate Coors Field being a hostile pitching environment than generic park factors which while indicative of a league-wide trend, may be irrelevant to the specific player's case.
Chese Headley is such a great pitcher his won/loss percentage is incalculable.
Whatever happens politically in Venezuela seems unlikely to impact the small number of baseball players who find their way into the US. I suppose if there's massive civil unrest it could be unsafe for scouts and organized baseball at the youth level could collapse making talent evaluation challenging, but that's a pretty far fetched scenario given the economic interests seeking to prevent that outcome.
Great article. What I'd love even more is a retrospective reporting of actual hearings. I don't know the extent to which they are governed by confidentiality agreements, but hearing a rep from the club actually explain their arguments for a specific player, and that player or his reps describing the counter (and any emotions generated from the hearing) would be fascinating and help get at how a club can effectively disparage a player while still maintaining a productive relationship.
Hopefully arbitration has been around long enough that a retired player might be willing to do this?
KG discussed this in a podcast a while back (someday can we get them all transcribed and searchable?). There weren't many. Off the top of my head:
I believe they put an 8 on Ichiro's arm as well. I think he was the only guy with multiple 8 tools (I think they put a 7 on his wheels).
I guess that's my question, does Pierre really have a 2 arm? I would think a 2 arm couldn't play outfield at the MLB level.
This is what makes outliers so fascinating. On one end of the spectrum, an 8 tool can overwhelm the lack of other tools, or at the other, they have been able to overcome extreme deficiencies with unique or specific skill sets.
I suppose Tim Wakefield had 2 velocity, making up for it with 7 (?) command. I'd think 2 control guys don't get out of A ball (unless it's Ricky Vaugn).
A news report is not evidence of drug use. Even receipts of drug purchases are not evidence of drug use. There is a process in place for catching PED users: testing. Given the strict requirements to demonstrate that the drug tests are accurate (see the Braun case), the notion that a media report based on hearsay will do anything other than spin up anti-baseball moralists who ignore the rampant PEDs in other sports is absurd.
I'd love to hear of players on the other end of the scale (who still have some prospect potential). Presumably there are lots of 2 runners out there, but what about the other tools?
Are there any 2 bats in the major leagues? 2 arm?
Can you conduct a similar using pitchFX to count all the "intentional unintentional walks." Maybe any PA where balls were more than X distance from the plate? What about four pitch walks that were not strictly "intentional?"
And a basic question, how does the data reflect a PA where the pitcher attempted to retire the batter before issuing several balls and subsequently intentionally throwing ball four?
Out of curiosity, in what percentage of cases did the umpires make the correct call?
And Earl Weaver Baseball was perhaps the first computer baseball game as much about the stats as anything else. Also, the first game where the manager would run out of the dugout on close plays and kick pixels on the umpire.
Plus it had an awesome wheel of copy protection. Ah...the 80s....
Time running out for the toolshed that is Anthony Hewitt? Don't see any progression in his numbers, and he's suddenly not so young. Any hope there?
He's going to lose a bunch of votes too, presumably some voters had him at #9 or #10 on their ballots and will vote in Maddux and perhaps Thomas. And some may also have omitted Bonds/Clemens/Piazza as part of some sort of protest/preservation of "first ballot hall of famer" as a thing, and will be adding them to their ballots in future years.
And at least a few writers will add Morris next year because its his last on the ballot.
I don't see this clusterf ending anytime soon, even Maddux may find it tough in his first year (which is preposterous).
But it will become an increasing problem. All the guys who used seven or eight or nine slots this year, will presumably also want to vote for Greg Maddux and some of the others joining the ballot next year.
For the next several years, more hall of famers are coming onto the ballot than going off of it (assuming the BBWAA doesn't elect more than a few guys a year, likely because of vote splitting and sanctimony), so the need for more than ten ballot slots will only grow.
Moreover, at least some of the non-votes this year were punitive, and I'd hope that a significant percentage of voters who did not this year, will in the next few years, cast them for Bonds and Clemens, again increasing the number of slots needed.
Or at least the latter two.
Thank you for the Julio Franco stories! One of my all-time favorites, there are so many great stories about him (particularly egg-consumption-related). He may not be a HOFer (though his longevity does merit some kind of mention if not a plaque) but he's certainly part of the story of the game.
Not enough hits.
Don't understand what OPB is.
Don't understand the importance of success rate when stealing.
Cocaine makes them feel icky.
Baseball should be played in America dammit!
Thanks for sharing the ballot, but "didn't feel right voting for him" is in no way a logical argument.
There are arguments for and against Raines' case, but John hasn't presented either here.
I have an envelope of magic beans that is clearly worth more than Mr. Stanton.
I will say that the Pirates package isn't completely absurd, could actually be a starting point for a discussion.
I don't know if I could handle two additional months of "player XX is in the best shape of his life," and "player Y added 20 pounds of muscle to his frame" stories that would come along with a Jan 2 P&C report date.
I would think Cueto's pickoff move (considered among the best) actually hurts in this evaluation of his fielding. There were only 10 situations last year that involved the runner with Cueto pitching (1 SB, 9 CS). So clearly teams don't run as much against him.
Put another way, Cueto's fielding is SO GOOD it's invisible.
With Flores, can you explain the gap between "excellent hand eye" and 5 hit tool? Seems like as recently as a year ago, "the bat was special" and not because of power. It is a matter of his failure to actualize what look like above-average tools into above-average production.
After all, if the hit tool is a 5, run 3, glove 3, power 4, that's not an MLB regular even at 3b.
Plenty of room for their prospects to come up and contribute in the pen, which is what clubs seem to be doing. And I'm not sure I understand the concern anyhow, would you rather have a crummy pitcher in your rotation just so you can replace him instead of a good one?
As for D'Arnaud, it wasn't more than two years ago when Arencibia had scouting reports just as (or more) glowing. Sure, Dickey is less of a certainty than most pitchers coming of a Cy Young, but the notion that a player with 0 MLB at bats and an injury history is already a league average player is optimistic.
I wonder if a bit of the Yankees' thinking in the two year deal is that Ichiro is 394 hits away from 3,000. Depending on how much and how well he plays, he'll likely be chasing it in 2014.
In the Jays list, it suggests Osuna's upside is a "6; no. 3 starter," and above you describe him as having "no. 2 upside."
Is this a case of different evaluators having different views, or just not cross-referencing reports?
That picture of Marcus Stroman is an easy 6. Needed lasers in the background to grade higher.
Unrelated, "body red flags" needs to enter the pickup artist lexicon.
It will be interesting to see if the potential strategy of waiting until 2015 to "fix" their roster works given how many superstarts are getting locked up by their original club. Having all the money in the world is not so useful if the best players are not for sale.
Does the author use facts to make his point? Yes. Do you distort that presentation (he didn't say Aaron used steroids) because you're angered about the portrayal of other players? Clearly. Do you have to calling someone you disagree with childish? Sadly.
Surprised the Mets didn't try and grab Bonilla so they could sign him to a 30 year, $30 million contract.
I just discovered the AAA and AA components of the rule 5 draft. Looks like a fair number of players were taken in the AAA phase, but none in the AA. Does it work the same, where players taken in the AAA phase must remain on the team that picked them's AAA franchise for the entire season?
If a player was selected and traded, does his new team have to keep him up all year or return him to the team from which he was selected?
Weren't they warned by the league to spend some money on payroll the last time they did this sort of thing? Isn't that (one of) the reason(s) why they gave Hanley a long-term deal?
As I recall, the tipping point for the league was when they stood to bring in more from revenue sharing than they were paying in payroll, effectively acting less as a baseball team and more as a parasite on the rest of the league.
I just hope Julio Franco unretires and latches on with a team every 10 years or so to maintain ballot eligibility.
Only seven more players have GI more DPs than him!
Maybe we need to open a "hall of outliers" nearby. Mark Whitten demands consideration!
Indeed, perhaps Tim Raines' case gets some momentum in the next two years as voters avoid the "steriod cases" but still want to turn in ballots. Now must be the time for that momentum, as pointed out, the decisions get tougher as the greats from the 90s and early 00s appear on the ballot.
While Haren's injury and performance history does raise flags, as has been discussed elsewhere, no one-year contract is really a terrible idea.
You've confused controversial with ridiculous.
Hamilton is a hell of a talent, and there is an element of "what might have been" with him, but he's nowhere close to the most talented player ever, or even the most talented player alive at any point during his life.
While Hamilton may be at the front end of the learning curve (or entering his prime) he's on the downslope of his physical abilities, which will only degrade going forward. So while he might be better at taking a walk, pitchers have less time to fear him as well.
You're also acting as though his makeup issues are independent of his baseball skill. They are not, makeup is a central component, and Hamilton's off-the-charts terrible makeup crippled his early career. Moreover, even as he's shed that problem, he has a problem staying on the field, averaging only 129 games/season over the last five.
Two great seasons and two very good does not a GOAT make.
The challenge here is that the projections highly value age. So had Hamilton's first full season line of .304/.371/.530 come when he was 22, PECOTA would have looked at that and seen one of the best all-time seasons for a 22-yo. His comps would have been Griffey and ARod and the like. When those numbers come at age 27, there is a far larger pool of players who have put up those figures at that age.
After writing all this, I realized that there's probably a guy you could look at and see something close to what you're looking for:
One star is worth vastly more than a bunch of bench players and bullpen arms, which is typically what you're hoping for in the late rounds. Typically there's an enormous dropoff in potential after the first few picks, which is why it is potentially worth allocating such a large chunk or resources on them.
I'd have to do some serious research to back it up, but I'd bet that fewer than 10 players in each draft class account for the majority of WARP for the entire class.
The real question about Sano is less what his BA is and more what is OBP is. If he's 30 HR, .250/.300 with slightly below average defense at 3b, that's no good. If he's 30 HR, .250/.380, he's probably more valuable than Buxton's potential .280/10-15HR/plus defense at a premium position
People who used advanced metrics?
Unfortunately, it's not the one you are thinking of, and power is expected to be restored there in approximately 2017.
At what point in these scenarios does Jason Bay begin to disappear from the team photo, indicating he has messed with the space-time continuum despite Doc Gooden erm...Brown's warnings?
It's noteworthy that you aren't discounting the out years of the contract, nor have you adjusted for inflation with the older deals on the list. A-Rod's original massive contract would look even moreso (not to say it wasn't appropriate), as does Manny's.
Obviously applying a discount rate or inflation adjustment would have a similar impact on all the deals, but would be worth doing just to compare some of the older deals in baseball history (Zito, Kevin Brown) more effectively.
Great piece, but with a glaring hole: In 19 years there will be no such thing as a "newspaper."
When can we expect your prospect rankings at La Masia?
Actual rankings question, on overall grade, it would be helpful for a breakdown of how many current MLB players fall into each category (roughly). As I understand it, at least originally, the 2-8 scale was set up such that each number above or below the average was worth standard deviation.
In that world, ~68% of players (510 major leaguers) are a 4-6, ~27% (200) are either a 3 or a 7 and ~5% are a 2 or an 8 (38 total players). Is this about right, allowing for some variability (especially at the extremes, Trout's arrival in the majors didn't push another 8 player out of the game).
I understand the inclination to move Adams, but I've always been of the impression that's he's got higher upside than Craig and Carpenter (who are the real long-term blocks to Adams). There's an argument that spending a season as the first bat off the bench will be detrimental to his development, but otherwise, it seems likely he'd get 500+ ABs in 2014 and beyond, and you don't trade a stud if he's only "blocked" for a year.
Though I think you've captured it in the analysis, I think you have understated (but not underestimated) the value of a one year contract to a club. Most clubs would much rather give a player a $13/1 than say $20/2, let alone $28/3. Particularly in the players identified above, there are significant injury or decline risks, mildly to moderately overpaying a player for a single season is far better than signing marginal talent to multi-year deals.
Do the "teams" for which the prospects play at events like these offer any insight into their likely MLB future, or is it far to speculative for that?
The argument here is that every human being on earth would likely be safe in that situation, Fielder included. That he was out was not because the 3b coach failed, or made a poor decision, it's because Fielder can't slide worth a damn.
While you may be sure Lamont is an "idiot" for being let's say 90% certain, based on the ball position, the fielder and Fielder, it was more than reasonable to expect him to be safe. He should have been safe.
But continue to excoriate BP staff because you're the only person who can predict the future with any effectiveness. Shame the Tigers haven't hired you, I can't imagine why they haven't.
That move is rife with backfire opportunities. If you think the media and fans are hard on him now when he strikes out with RISP, imagine what will happen when he boots a ball because he's been pushing into playing a position he last played when he was 31.
The decision not to call a third strike on the slider on which Molina checked his swing but was also a strike is the one that will haunt Nats fans.
But if 2011 kills 2012 Miguel Cabrera then he never his the 44 HRs that lead the league this year. Slowly the universe implodes, or at least I that's what happens. Maybe it's time for XKCD to answer another baseball-related question.
The additional wild card did not necessarily put more teams in contention. It simply changed the teams that were in contention. The AL East race was less compelling because both teams were certain to make the playoffs. Similarly the AL West race. Without the additional wild card, the games yesterday would have had a good deal more significance, and we'd be watching free baseball today between the O's and Rangers anyway.
"Just asking the question" is a notorious way of saying otherwise ridiculous things. "I'm not saying Barack Obama was born in Kenya, I'm just asking the question."
Unlike notorious non-scumbag Ty Cobb? Baseball is full of louts who are good on the field. That you don't like Rose doesn't change the fact that he's one of the best players of all time.
Of course he's in. Because it's the "National Baseball Hall of Fame" not the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. Ichiro did not have a 12 year career, he has a 19+ year career. Especially given that he was effectively forced to stay in Japan, rather than choosing to compete in an inferior league (much like Negro League players who ended up in the MLB), he's a shoe-in first balloter.
Why is everything on the internet DESTROYED or DEMOLISHED or UTTERLY SOULCRUSHED? He stood up well on a play at the place. The other guy walked away. Nobody was destroyed, and it wasn't a particularly noteworthy moment, despite the hyperbole.
Moreover, ever since then the league has been implementing rules to discourage the wealthiest teams from distorting the system in a way that would be uncompetitive, which was the underlying concern as I understand the economists. Not necessarily that Club X will write contracts they cannot pay, but that if the richest teams hog all the talent, Royals fans will stop going to the ballpark, eventually destroying the team's finances regardless of their wage bill.
Terrific feature, especially the sequencing elements. It really helps expand our understanding of the challenges facing hitters, and how they adjust their approach.
And there's something awesome about watching hitters made to look foolish by pitchers.
I was shocked to see how much value Kendall put up in his career. I look forward to a full JAWS analysis when he does hang them up, as I've seen him as an above-average catcher who had a few good seasons, but his longevity at that position may make him a more plausible candidate than I would have thought. He struck me as a marginal "hall of very good" type player, but it seems like he's a first balloter there.
Adams isn't blocked. Berkman's contract expires at the end of the year, and Adams is presumably the 2013 opening day starter.
You grossly underestimate how poor Flores would be at 2b. The notion that you can stick any bat at an up the middle position because their offense will outweigh the defense is misguided.
Your comment about Yelich's improvement makes me wonder whether teams consider lineup order as part of a prospect's development. Hitting in front of say Mike Stanton must be pretty nice as hitting behind Billy Hamilton is probably really annoying. Do teams consider that, given that on a any minor league roster there are likely only 2-3 potential major leaguers, can they?
Re the advice column: Doubtless many of us would enjoy your advice. But even moreso, I suggest an advice column responding to fictional submissions from baseball players. Who cares about my problems, but if you can get Randall Simon some therapy to deal with his fear/hatred of giant running sausages truly a mitzvah will have been done.
Sounds like he owes the Marlins a call. Heath Bell is just the solution to the Mets' bullpen "success."
Travel in general makes you more vulnerable. All that time on airplanes and in hotel rooms laden with bacteria from other people from all over. Couple that with the effects of jet lag on the immune system and it's no surprise that a population that travels nonstop for six months gets more viruses than the general population.
You want to talk ridiculous consistency and Machado, the same fan caught both home runs.
Forty seconds? But I want it nowwwwww....
epubs/mobi files can also be printed. Use a piece of software called "Calibre" which is free.
If your cable company suddenly offers 100 new channels that you didn't have before, do you insist that they should also be free? When the Prospectus empire expanded into hockey and basketball, were you insistent that they be free?
what are next week's winning lottery numbers?
Though the Jeter pit needs to be moved closer to second, in its current location it is beyond Jeter's range.
that and his production of ARRRRRRRRBIs...
I expect player cards to be replaced with these by the 2013 Annual.
Brown has barely looked at the existing scenery, and with Victorino a free agent at season's end, will get his shot in Philly next year.
and he'll probably do it again tomorrow. and the next day...
"Fires hips very well" is going to enter my general daily lexicon. Ideally when discussing women, but there's lots of applications.
Surely there's video of a kosher pickle? Ryan Braun or Shawn Green must have gotten himself hung up at some point.
Kevin, you are a lefty reliever.
See, that wasn't so hard.
Pretty surprised Gary Sanchez didn't get the call. He may or may not be a catcher, but he's a bat for sure (as sure as anything is in prospectdom, which is to say not at all sure). If you don't like him as a catcher, can we call him an outfielder and stick him on the international team?
Julio Franco. Just don't forget to stock up on eggs.
By 2020 they will have resolved this problem, perhaps by encasing the stands under some kind of glass. This enables robots to take the field alongside humans just as Super Nintendo predicted they would.
Person 1: The game was ok, but all the calls were correct. Kind of took the fun out of it.
Person 2: I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords.
I hope someone on staff is going to give us our "collective picks" so we can learn whether the hive mind can see the (immediate) future.
and you forgot to hit select. No 30 lives for you.
Those are the only two reasons. Do not plan an ill-advised trip there based on these good feelings. They will be overwhelmed by sadness and rage (the rage at your inability to get anything resembling a decent meal).
If you're taking nominees for the next candidate, Travis Snider shattered my heart across two countries.
How are the As employing a 1B who slugs less than Livan? That's baseball malpractice at a disbarrable level.
Your conclusions demonstrate you to be stupid and racist. Oops, thought I was still in the SI comments.
I really hope Vlad makes it, of his generation, he and Gary Sheffield should get extra credit for the amount of violence in their swings.
I know Billy Hamilton is an exciting talent because he is unique, but is he really untradable? For all the value he may have as a .320/.370/.450 hitter with 80 steals, he's not a five tool middle of the lineup force. Other clubs have been recently willing to trade better hitting prospects (Montero the most obvious example).
Is the idea that Hamilton is more valuable, that he's uniquely valuable, or that the Reds don't need to acquire the kind of big league talent they would expect to receive in exchange for him?
Still of the same mind about Bradley as in your Top 11 "not star level"?
I DEMAND TO SEE KEVIN YOUKLIS' BIRTH CERTIFICATE.
Not going to happen, Congress has repeatedly intervened to prevent al la carte from happening.
Moreover, ESPN and the RSNs don't get hurt from a la carte, they have huge fan bases, so while you might be happy to rid yourselves of them, they would likely be the most popular (and expensive) channel available. Instead all the niche channels like ScyFy or We would disappear. People who get a cable package for the big cable nets (ESPN, TNT, etc) are subsidizing the unpopular ones.
More likely is that we'll stream everything, and you'll pay subscription costs for various streaming packages (from Hulu to WatchESPN.com to perhaps even someday being able to stream your local team on MLB.com [doubtless for an upcharge]).
I love(d) him too, there's nobody in the game like him, truly a junkballer and as far on the pitcher side of the pitcher-thrower continuum as you'll find. He's long been one of those guys I never wanted to retire. In my mind, he's pitching to Julio Franco when they're 60 (or when Franco is 70 and Livan is roughly 60).
He's no Hall of Famer (or even Hall of Very Gooder) but definitely deserves a place in the baseball museum, both for his WS herioics and for everything he did since.
Now someone must MUST! get us animated gifs of those two triples.
Should I touch the blasting caps?
Hamilton has been caught stealing 16 times. Are there some catchers who have more success against him? Is "ability to catch Hamilton stealing" a good proxy for "defensive ability"? Do we know how many are pickoffs rather than true CS?
The option years are the major league years, so in a world where the player spends five years in the minors, the team gets them for 11 years, though only eight of them (five minor league years and three option years) are part of the contract. In the three arb years that follow the player is contracted to his team but the salary is TBD.
In baseball's defense, it's not baseball's fault that they have a separate Cuba policy, it's the United States government's.
Not joking, serious question. As I said, marijuana is a legally prescribed medication in 17 US states. Given that baseball gives TUEs for other drugs that can be both performance enhancing and recreational (ADD meds) I would like to know if the federal government's position on marijuana in effect sets baseball policy, or whether a player could get an exemption if they have a prescription for the drug.
Baseball players have suffered from cancer, glaucoma, insomnia and depression while playing the game. Marijuana has been prescribed for all those things, and there is evidence that it alleviates symptoms, but baseball culturally is generally very anti-drug (or pro-authority) so I could see there being resistance to a TUE for marijuana.
And I could also see players not wanting to push for one, since it's still quite easy to dismiss real questions about medical marijuana as really about stoners who want to get high (see Obama's comments on the issue, for one example).
Nine baseball teams play in states (or a city) where marijuana is approved as a drug for medical use. As "funny" as stale pothead jokes are, it's a serious question.
Not whether a player who enjoys it recreationally can find a way around the ban, but whether baseball is following the federal government's guidelines (there is no medicinal value in marijuana) or state law.
Are there TUEs available for marijuana?
Do you have any sense of how many players will get a contract at slot? With all the talk of how weak this draft is, it seems a shame to have to pay 1-5 money to a player who in another year would be 1-20. But it seems like any player who does so would be the victim of gross agent malpractice, why would you possibly accept less?
Live by the hard slot, die by it, I guess.
Is "first division talent" a bit like "aces?" There aren't 30 #1 starters in the major leagues at any given time. Similarly, there may not always be 14 "above average" 2B in the league at any given time (despite what the word average means).
Could it more mean a player likely to make an all-star game or two over the course of his career with "Hall of Very Good" upside? Basically someone that most teams would see as an upgrade over their current options?
McDuck is out as the Yankees don't meet his #1 criteria for investments: ability to swim in it.
These animated gifs will be punctuating my internet arguments all week.
One random style question, other articles on BP have published profanity without asterisks. Seemed kind of silly to have an article about profanity treat its readers like delicate flowers who would wilt if the f-word were actually spelled out for us.
-1 for failing to use the phrase "base clogger" when describing Adams.
Also, obligatory "can he stick at C?" question for bad bodied power hitter.
St. Louis Post Dispatch is reporting that Berkman has torn his ACL.
Is there data on the number of times a team uses a pitchout with a specific player on base? I'd love to see if teams are trying to catch Hamilton that way, it's another element of his value, improving the count of the batter following him.
There has not been nearly enough analysis of how Damon "plays the game the right way" (18th all-time), has "bags of grit" (3rd among OF) and "keeps a team loose" (2nd after Oil Can Boyd).
I'd say that 70-100 innings of high leverage Chapman is better than either 150+ innings of starter Chapman (assuming he can handle the workload). The real issue is whether Baker is using Chapman well out of the pen (ie getting him into high leverage situations). Jay Jaffe's piece on Charlie Manuel's misuse of Papelbon shows how a manager could find the most value from Chapman using him out of the pen (and not necessarily as a "closer").
Oh, also he's only 23, so it's not like he's condemned to a lifetime of middle relief now. And do you really to put Dusty Baker in charge of Chapman's long-term future as a starter?
Have you heard if the Rivera injury is forcing the Yankees to adjust their plans with Betances or Banuelos? With all the talk that Betances is destined for a bullpen role anyway, would the team move him into the pen in AAA before calling him up, or is that less of an issue than trying to stretch out a reliever?
The Sox are thin in the OF, but putting a fat guy there doesn't really improve the situation.
If I keep posting the same question, one to which your answer would be almost entirely speculative, will you eventually answer it?
Much younger and MUCH quicker out of the box. Billy Hamilton b. 1866 is more of a base-clogger these days.
If Harper brings an extra 5,000 people to the ballpark 40 times this year at $40/pop, that $8 million could very well be enough revenue to make up at least some of the cost of the lost year of team control.
Especially considering that the Nats have a lot of room to grow attendance, they desperately need to figure out a way to get the ballpark above 50% capacity. It's completely plausible that Harper boosts attendance by 15% (that's only 4,000 or so).
And DC is and will always be a bandwagon town, if Harper helps get the ballpark closer to capacity, and then Nats baseball becomes the thing to do in DC, a virtuous cycle could develop.
The Nats attendance is a serious concern. Drawing less than 30k on a beautiful night in which Strasburg is pitching fo ra first place team in a new ballpark? While I don't think anyone expected 90%+ capacity from the new team, the club is going to have financial issues if 26k is what they can expect in terms of average attendance.
I'd also love to see what the implications for the DC taxpayer are in all this.
Typically, if there is confusion between infielders and the ball drops untouched, it is scored as a hit despite being a "mental error."
First basemen are generally less valuable defensively than outfielders. If your argument for Hosmer > Stanton is that Hosmer plays a more valuable position, you have a radically different understanding of position value than most.
Fielder and Pujols weren't paid as they were because they are first basemen, they were paid for their bats, and they are first basement because that's where (especially in Fielder's case) that's where their glove does the least damage.
I appreciate the response. I guess the question is whether teams need to gamble like this on long-term deals for average players. It's one thing when we're talking about franchise players, or at least players who have created expectations (either at the minor or major league level) that they will be all-stars. To my mind, occasional all-star is Lavarnaway's upside.
The risks involved in any long-term deal (primarily injury, though in young players' cases, also simply not meeting production expectations) are offset by the cost-savings a team realizes by providing a player some income certainty. For a player like Longoria, if he stays healthy and productive, it's going to be an eight-figure win for the Rays, justifying the non-trivial risks of a collapse in production. For a player of Lavarnaway's caliber, the savings would be at best a few million, with a higher downside.
Put another way, it seems like the risks involved in locking up a player only justify doing so when the players are good enough to likely generate so much surplus value that it overwhelms the risk.
Indeed, when I saw that line I thought "for every Buster Posey there's a Ryan Lavernaway or five."
The notion that a club should lock up a guy with 43 MLB PA who hasn't hit .300 at any level is laughable, made ludicrous when you realize they're talking about a player with little or no defensive value.
I suppose if he took a 6-year $10 million deal or something, why not, but given that the Sox won't have paid him $1 million total by the end of 2014, waiting to see if he's more than a quad-A player might make more sense.
Only until Bert Molina is born.
That Nova has more than 200 successful innings pitched at the MLB level, while Sanchez hasn't played at AA and Betances barely touched AAA.
Being even modestly successful at the MLB level is an order of magnitude more difficult that being successful a level lower, so while Nova won't be a superstar, we know he is a major league player, we do not know that at all about either Sanchez or Betances.
Love these, it would be awesome if after the fact the transcript was in a more legible/printable format as most other chats are.
"$25 million guaranteed with a club option for 2017 worth $9 million."
The $25 million is guaranteed, and the club holds a 2017 option for $9m. If the Padres want to pay him $9m in 2017, Maybin is under contract to play baseball for them, if they do not, he is a free agent.
With the exception of Anderson, these guys are all 22 or 23, and likely have at least two more seasons to avoid the bust label. Most of these guys have barely played in the majors at all.
When I opened the article, the first name that popped to mind was Travis Snider, another 24-yo who simply hasn't developed as hoped, but still has one more chance to put it together. Others along these lines could include Josh Reddick, Wade Davis, Mike Moustakas. Basically players who have had a shot at MLB pitching/batters, and have stagnated or fallen back after being top-10 prospects.
Presumably at some point, he will need to apply for a work visa in the United States. Falsifying those documents is a felony, as Leo Nunez/Juan Oviedo found out, and can mess up your ability to get a visa in addition to the potential penalties MLB might impose.
I'd think that the Rangers believe there is sufficient documentation about his age to support the immigration documents he'll need, and if the U.S. State Department accepts a birth certificate with a 1994 (or earlier) date on it, presumably MLB would as well.
I heard Larry added 15 pounds of muscle this offseason. Mostly meat purchased in bulk at costco, though.
For an incompetently run club, the Twins sure have been successful in the last decades (7 division wins, two seasons under .500). Perhaps they identified a market inefficiency in that strikeouts are overpriced, and it's cheaper to populate your infield with leather than your mound with fire.
You've confused passion for evidence. Also, I'm pretty sure that's not what LOVE means, all caps or not, or if it is, something has gone horribly awry in your life.
Perhaps you could find something other than "I watch alotta baseball" to back up your statements about Gonzalez. And without watching all the other teams, how would you even know what "average" was?
I've offered several metrics, however flawed, that agree that he has below average range (23rd of 37) for NL OFs:
You've offered invective and claims about your ability to watch a lot of Rockies baseball.
Instead of being condescending, perhaps you would look at the other ratings system that I cite, which agrees with you. UZR sees both Gonzalez and Smith as below-average, but Gonzalez's much better arm makes up the difference in their range. I'm sure you've seen Gonzalez do some nice things, but the data say he has a well below average range, and is not a good defender.
Doubtless your watching baseball games with your face knows better than a sophisticated model using a three-year rolling-average with none of the biases that plague human observation. Congratulations.
I remember this one time this one guy made a good play.
Have your eyes watched every play made by every player during every game of every season? If not, while FRAA may have it's flaws, the data input shortage of your eyes suggests they are useful for little more than anecdotes.
Not even close. Fangraphs has Polanco, Sandoval, McGehee, Roberts and Headly above him on UZR. Polanco, Sandoval, Roberts and McGehee also rate better at FRAA. So he's above average defensively (by those metrics) but not much more.
Most of Thome's "since 2009" line has been played in Minnesota, not the Cell, particularly his resurgent 2010. Thoughts on how Bullseye park affected his numbers?
Pitt the Elder sucks. Lord Palmerstone for life!
Not to be picky, but only one of the Jays five minor league affiliates is in Canada, and they in Vancouver. So most of those Jays prospects cannot legally drink, at least not where they will be playing.
Indeed, but a boy can dream, can't he? Semi-related, what's Youppi's JAWS score look like?
One of my first favorite players, I remember trying to get stickers for him and Rock Raines to complete the Expos pages in Topps sticker book as a kid. Those two made me an Expos fan (what's a boy from DC to do?), and Carter was the first in the HOF with that Expos logo on his head (with Dawson and hopefully Raines [and perhaps Pedro, Randy Johnson and Larry Walker?] to follow.
Rest in peace.
Out of curiosity, what are the tax implications for such a move?
Assuming they make a qualifying offer to Jackson at the end of the season, and that he performs so as to qualify, they would still receive compensation.
Could Kroenke's controlling interest in Arsenal FC have any impact on his viability?
Also of note, the fact that Kroenke is using his son to front his ownership of the Nuggets and Avalanche to circumvent the aforementioned NFL rules.
Along these lines, perhaps giving authors the ability to delete their own comments would be useful? Editing them would be even more powerful, but I recognize that takes more server resources.
Detroit Tigers: 6 yrs/$4m: Chet Lemon.
Pujols for 8/$116 when the Cards extended him in 2004 was obviously money well spent.
And though he's slipped a bit lately, David Wright for 6/$55m or 7/$70m is great value, even acknowledging that some of that bought out arbitration years.
Chase Utley at 7/$85 is a great deal even given the time he's missed in the past few years.
Longoria's deal is going to be great value for the Rays in a few years.
Basically, extending your players to buy out arbitration years works out a lot better than making long-term commitments to players closer to 30 than 20.
McGwire and Canseco for the late '80s As.
And John Wettland, Delino DeShields, Moises Alou, Marquis Grissom and Larry Walker is a hell of a quintet ('92 Expos).
Maddux and Palmiero might also rate a mention. Sheffield and Surhoff possibly as well, as I recall, Surhoff was a MONSTER prospect.
Griffey and A-Rod (1994 Mariners).
I really hope Julio Franco can get some votes and hang around on the ballot, ideally for all 15 years. He hung around baseball long enough, and as the oldest position player ever, deserves if not a plaque, at least a sign with some nice words on it. His wikipedia page details other reasons for induction:
Pete Rose and Ty Cobb are the only other players with 4,200 hits (combined majors, minors and international play) in their careers.
Oldest player in Major League history to hit a home run (48)
Franco was the last MLB player eligible to wear a batting helmet with no ear flaps. He elected to wear a helmet with an ear flap throughout his career.
and most important:
Has the distinguished honor of being the last active player in the major leagues from RBI Baseball (NES)
Oh how Flores has fallen:
2008: 2-star (4th overall)
2009: 4-star (2)
2010: 3-star (3)
2011: 1/2-star (16)
I guess that's what happens when you get older without getting better.
Is from 3rd in the system to 16th the biggest drop of any prospect?
"Norris is just a career .249 hitter in the big leagues." You mean in pro ball?
With a guy like Norris, how do you grade his hit tool. Sounds like he's got 60-70 plate discipline, but maybe 30-40 contact skills. Do you just grade them separately, or combine them and reflect the divergent components in the narrative?
This chart is from the 2007 Class JAWS article, I was interested in Morrs v Saberhagen, but other comps may be useful as well:
Last PRAA PRAR WARP3 PEAK JAWS
Blyleven 296 1492 131.0 63.0 97.0
Hershiser 126 850 85.5 55.4 70.5
John 96 1104 103.4 45.8 74.6
Morris 7 932 78.5 48.4 63.5
Saberhagen 251 866 85.6 57.8 71.7
Witt -111 535 43.5 31.6 37.6
AVG HOF SP 244 1041 99.0 62.7 80.9
Of course the measures are all old (WARP3! I feel like a young man again), and the JAWS scores not reflective of new entries.
What data feeds the list? I'm in a cutthroat fantasy league that assigns newly called up player to the first owner who can claim him. On days when hotly anticipated prospects are getting called up (or superstars who started the season on the 60-day), owners are all combing numerous sites, hitting refresh in the hopes of finding the move listed first.
We've long wondered when a transaction becomes official, and how that information is conveyed to various media outlets. Can you shed some light on this, and whether we can expect this page to be the first to report transactions when they happen?
Is Ripken/Alomar the best double play combination of all-time? Given that by some measures Ripken is the 3rd or 4th greatest player ever it seems likely.
I'd go with something more like a 40 with potential for a 60 if things break right. That's elite talent. There hasn't been an 80 American sportswriter since Shirley Povich died.
Obviously this was intended as a reply to the Cain comment. He may be one of the 30 best pitchers in baseball, but as Kevin has said repeatedly, there aren't 30 aces in baseball.
Well he's not the best pitcher on his team, so I don't think you can credibly say he "led a championship staff." Hard to argue the third best pitcher on his team is an ace. His strikeout numbers are what keep him from being a true ace.
As to your desire to ignore compelling arguments, well that seems more a personal problem. Lincecum has significantly lower FIP and xFIP scores and Sanchez strikes out roughly one more batter/9.
If Banuelos' change is a "monster in the making" and grades as a future 70, what would CY Young ERA Johan Santana's change be? 80, best in the game?
Is Banuelos' change the best in the minors? Best non-fastball in the minors?
Drift is never something you hear about in minor league catching prospects. It seem that the marginal catcher prospects (marginal as catchers, not as hitters) like Montero are "not catchers" because they have a slow release or lack the fluidity you long for or can't call a game. Are there any examples that come to mind of high-minors catching prospects who have failed to improve on this area and will be moved for that reason?
A Jeter poem and no "oh captain my captain?"
Nonetheless, you seem to be filling the literary BP writer void left by Christina. Now I'd like three analogies between the McCourt situation and WWI battles.
How do you evaluate a player's hands? Is it just watching the swing, or are the other ways and opportunties (on the diamond) to study them? When you say "hands" how much do you mean wrists?
MLB's annual revenue last year was $6.1 billion. Let's say the extra umpires cost the game $3 million. That's .05% of their total revenue, or a drop in a bucket in the ocean.
There are plenty of reasons to oppose replay, but its cost is not one of them.
Or, more likely, even injured, he's the best RF option for the club.
As much time as we spend thinking about service time, arbitration and the rest, most clubs are still trying to put the best nine guys out there every day.
Nope, captions are meant to be taken literally.
Nope, most prospects make scouts droll. But the good ones....
Wow, this is terrific value added for our subscription, specifically the minor league translations. Great work, BP has seen a lot of changes in the writing staff in recent years, it's wonderful to know that the core product continues improving.
I'd love to hear more about massive tools guys like Hewitt who have been disappointing in the minors, but if it all clicks...wow. Perhaps on the podcast your ideas about development of all-tools guys and what it looks like when the figure it all out.
Ever since you threw a Bo Jackson comp on Hewitt (for athleticism) I've been enamored with him specifically, but am generally interested in the athletes teams have hoped they can turn into baseball players and how they do that.
Very deep league.
Alas, I have a soft spot for Manny, and he and Gary Sheffield were the two most "hang on a second, I got to watch this at bat," players in baseball for a decade.
and with it, my fantasy season. Sure am glad the drug test (taken in Spring Training) results didn't become official until after the season started so I could spend $23 on him in the draft.
Got to say I was a bit surprised that Beckham doesn't even get odds. I'd have thought the tools that made him the 1st overall pick, which presumably are still there, would have made him a breakout candidate.
Are the scouts giving up on him?
Do service time considerations factor into Harper's timetable at all? As I understand it, calling him up in June rather than September would effectively cost the Nats a year of team control, though his contract might be structured such that this isn't the case. If it is, though, why in the world would the Nats bring him up early?
I've found this to be true in my 15+ year keeper league as well, particularly for the first 'non-stud' player. In my league (AL & NL East + DET, CIN [thanks for the PFM change that allows this]) everyone knows that Teixeira and Sabathia are $45-$55 players. But nobody really knows what Max Scherzer or Mark Reynolds is worth until similar players have been priced. It's the mid-tier player, the $20-$30 guys who are the most frequently under- and over-paid.
That said, because of our long history, there are only two or three first starters and two or three 30HR+ guys available in the draft, and if you need one, you've got to pay for it.
I love the idea of filling my roster with a bunch of $20 guys rather than a $40 and a $1 guy, but in practice, only half the $20 guys deliver $20 production, and barring injury (thanks Carlos Beltran) it's rare a $40 player doesn't generate at least $35 in value.
Lastly, those $40 guys are the trade chips to have if things go poorly and it's time to play for next year. Edwin Encarnacion might be a modest upgrade for someone with Placido Polanco, but you're not going to get that much back, where Longoria is an upgrade for just about everyone.
Certainly Kevin would be able to answer more definitively, but it also seems there are more "blue-chip" catching prospects in the minors than in recent memory. In KG's Top 101:
Fully 10% of players on the list, and 20% of position players on the list are catchers.
Certainly some of that is due to teams desire to start prospects on the left side of the defensive spectrum and move "catchers" off the position later, but I do wonder if something else is at play as well.
I'd have to think that the bigger parks would at least to some extent be mitigated by the fact that he doesn't have to face AL East pitching any more. I too was pretty surprised by the Beltre forecast.
I was a bit surprised to see EE so high in my PFM chart, but then he's one of only a few guys in my league likely to hit 25 HRs. He's a borderline keeper for me at $16, I'll probably stick with him for one more year under the "devil you know" theory. Also, if I keep him, hopefully I will avoid drafting Chipper Jones for the third consecutive year.
Let me echo the thanks for allowing fully customizable league settings. Finally I can use PFM for my Easts only league (plus DET and as a legacy from the old divisions).
I don't understand how you're more confident of Wieters on this list than Maybin. Maybin has been completely inept at the major league level, while Wieters is providing above-average production at catcher. Was Wieters more hyped? Perhaps, but a hall of fame career is still within the range of possible outcomes for Wieters, hall of fame eligibility seems unlikely for Maybin.
Can I get a Ben Grieve?
In this analysis it seems that pitchers who failed due to injury (Prior and the Mets' trio spring to mind) are distinct from those who just never realize their potential.
Delmon Young? Seriously? He hasn't been the massive success some projected for him, but he's clearly going to have a useful MLB career as a starter. Anyone who is going to have 5+ seasons as a starter at the big league level is by definition a successful prospect, even if they didn't reach the superstardom some wishcast on them.
Encarnacion is in the midst of a successful big league career. He has hit 100 career HRs. His glove may be awful, but he's a successful prospect, not a failed one.
So much for TNSAPP.
KG, was it intentional to have exactly half the list pitchers and half position players?
With Grudz gone, how many Expos are left? Is Vlad all that remains, barring a shock FP Santangelo sighting?
If so, Pujols for Liriano is a ridiculous if intriguing option (see Jaffe), at least before the season.
No pennant races? The AL Central disagrees.
Over the course of his minor league career he's got 10.4 K/9IP vs. 7.1 H/9IP, 3.6BB/9IP and just 0.5HR/9IP. You don't put up those kind of numbers with severe splits, and moreover, those numbers are nasty enough that he can close even if he's 25% better against lefties and 25% worse against righties.
In a very limited sample of 17.1 minor league innings last year, he did not show significant splits (and also struck out 27 batters.
Wieters' projections are nearly identical to Miguel Montero and Ianetta's yet he's a tier below. Can you explain this reasoning?
You discuss Wieters' upside, which would seem to be greater than Ianetta's especially as we know Wieters (barring injury) is going to play 140 games.
If Pujols hits the market, I think he might get two completely distinct sets of offers from different clubs. Some clubs (Cardinals, Cubs, Dodgers) will offer him lots of years for lots of money, say 8/$240m ($30m/yr) or so. But I think there could be a few clubs that would offer a somewhat radical contract like 2/$70m or 3/$100m.
The much higher annual value is offset by the lack of long-term certainty for Pujols. However, if he is in fact his stated age (and certainly at least Pujols himself knows how old he is) a shorter deal that offers another chance to hit the market while still in his prime could be appealing, as well as the potential to earn the highest single-season salary (since it seems likely he may not top ARod's total value in a long-term deal).
If I were a club like the Rays, White Sox or Angels (off the top of my head) a short-term, mind-blowing offer might be the better play if you think your window is open now (in 2012) and won't be forever.
Not very creative parents, I must say (though with genes like that...)
Some combination of the two depending on opposition, with Swisher potentially getting a few ABs there as well. The broader point is that the Yankees don't need Montero to DH for them immediately, and would stunt his development to keep him on the big league club playing twice/week. Better to keep him in AAA until he can get regular ABs.
Because NYY have a better option at DH that KC and a desire to win now, not at some point in the future as seems the Royals' constant plan.
Moreover, if the Yankees ever hope to use Montero as a catcher, spending a season in the big leagues DHing three times/week and catching once/week is not the way to improve his glove.
And the "decline" is true in absolute terms, but only because of the peak he reached. You are right, if his output declines by 25%+ each year going forward, whomever signs him will have an albatross of a contract.
But more likely is that the slope of his decline will soften dramatically. His 2010 PECOTA forcasts this kind of decline, a drop from his 10+ WARP years losing about .5 WARP per season for the next five.
Clubs may still be overpaying, giving him 10 WARP money for an 8 WARP player, but as has been demonstrated at BP, players at the top of the value spectrum are worth more than the standard $/WARP calculation you can make for more "average" players. Some of the money you pay Pujols is for being the best 1B in the game, essentially maximizing value in one lineup spot is worth a few more bucks.
...and Steven leaned over to Kevin and whispered gently in his ear, "I'll be your velo whore anytime."
IIRC this is a function of more significant digits deep in PECOTA and rounding. IE Pujols is forecast 174.500 (175) hits per 558.499 (558) AB. The resulting BA is .31244.
Echoing this request, what is the MLB league batting average, ERA and WHIP assumed to be?
This is something you can control in Microsoft Excel, and something they cannot.
Really, only through 12 (Cecchini), I'd two-star Lars.
With Pujols, the Jays do run into a tax problem. Canadian income taxes are so much higher than US income taxes that players effectively pay a penalty for signing with Toronto. So the Jays would have to pay more than any other club for Pujols, and by a significant margin just for the money to match.
And it's pretty hard to see the best player in the game going to one of the smallest markets in the league regardless of the money.
On the other hand, there are more relievers in baseball than starters. So there are more relievers in the union than starters. So if the union is run democratically (I have no idea) assuming position players remain agnostic, relievers should be able to push something like this through.
More likely, this is how relief pitchers are brought on board with a CBA that does away with draft pick compensation for free agents (which would require a concession from the players).
Along these lines, what about players who are on the bench but never play. That is, if the last arm in the Cubs' pen travels to Arizona for a three game series but does not appear in any of the games, would he be taxed? Certainly if you were using duty days, but can a player instead use games played to calculate his liability?
"Of course"? How about you make an argument in support of your point beyond "of course"?
First, define parity. Is it a reduction in deviation from the mean (so more teams will be closer to 81-81 in a system with more parity)? Or simply that different teams win the division each year? Or that more teams are capable of producing a winning record?
Once you've done that, apply your definition to the last 9 seasons (2002-2010, with revenue sharing) and the previous 9 (1992-2001). I don't have a ton of time to look through it all, but I think the last 10 years the richest clubs (Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers) have been a lot more successful than they were in the pre-revenue sharing period.
So the anecdotal evidence I've come up with suggests that revenue sharing does nothing to increase parity. Pirates and Royals' records would also support this.
Just looking at division winners over the last 10 years, in the AL East, one club won the division in 7 of 9 years (Yankees). In the AL Central it's 6 of 9 (Twins). AL West: Angles won 5 of 9. NL East: 4 Phils, 4 Braves, both in succession. NL Central: Cardinals 5 times, Cubs 3.
Only in the NL West is there any semblance of parity, with each non-Rockies team winning the division three times.
Over six divisions in nine seasons, there are a total of 54 division winners. Yet since revenue sharing has been implemented, supposedly to increase parity, just six teams have won the division 57% of the time (31/54). Doesn't sound like parity to me.
NFL parity is also strongly driven by their uneven scheduling. The worst teams play the easiest schedules the following seasons, ensuring that some of the bad teams dramatically improve their records. Such a system can't be implemented in baseball.
MLB has revenue sharing, and has been using it for more than a decade.
In addition to sharing all national revenues (primarily from the TV contracts) unevenly so small markets get more of that, all teams pay in 31 percent of their local revenues and that pot is split evenly among all 30 teams. Since the Yankees generate a lot more local revenue than the Marlins, they pay into the system.
The vast majority of the NFL's revenues come from their national TV contract, which is distributed evenly among the 31 teams. The majority of MLB clubs' revenue is local (tickets and local TV). They don't share all of that because it would create a major disincentive for clubs to innovate and profit maximize.
More revenue sharing doesn't equal more "parity" anyway. The Reds (19th) and Rangers (22nd) did just fine under the current regime, while the Mets and Dodgers and Cubs and Tigers spent tons of money very ineffectively.
Not even close. McGriff's career average is .284, I'll be surprised if Stanton hits .284 in any single season. McGriff had a 2:1 K:BB ratio. Stanton is at about 4:1 now. That may improve, but McGriff was a hitter, Stanton is a slugger. Cecil Fielder anyone?
I don't know what you call strikeouts in 31% of your MLB PAs and 26% of MiLB PAs while walking in only 8% of MLB PAs and 11% of MiLB PAs, but "solid plate discipline" it certainly is not.
Monster power? Yes.
Plate discipline? No. Not yet, anyway.
You say you've never seen a slugger this young in 20 years of following baseball. Heard of a guy named Griffey Jr.? What about Rodriguez, Alex? Both were substantially better than Stanton at a younger age.
For what it's worth, it seems KG has thought Flores a 3/4 star guy consistently:
Year: Rank - stars
2007: 4 - 3 star
2008: 2 - 4 star
2009: 3 - 4 star
2010: 3 - 3 star
Sounds like a guy on the line between three and four stars, which makes sense for a bat-only guy with projected 15-25HR power (rather than 25-40HR power which could make him a 5 star stud).
Certainly the players want this, I just wonder what concession the owners would expect from the players to get this. I'd also guess that it wouldn't go into effect for a season or two so that clubs can adjust their behavior accordingly.
Any discussion about potential contract length should consider the years in which Albert may hit certain milestones. Obviously there's a lot of projection inherent in that sort of thing, but for example, if he averages 35 HR for the next eight years (next season + a 7 year contract), he'll be very near 700 HR at the end of that deal.
If he stays healthy and great, Pujols could be on the verge of breaking Bonds' HR record in the 8th or 9th year of a new contract. That's certainly going to be worth a good chunk of money for the Cardinals, and probably mitigates at least some of the risk in a 10-year deal.
Steal for the Brewers. I generally agree with the analysis of the package sent to KC, but think the draft picks and/or prospects Greinke will bring the Brewers in two years or less tilt the scale heavily toward them.
If the Brewers fall apart and it's clear they won't contend in 2011/12 (major injury) they should be able to flip Greinke for at least as good a package as they gave up. If they do contend, barring injury, Greinke will be the #1 type A free agent, and two decent picks.
Since they got nothing, it seems unlikely that the Twins would have considered his inclusion in a deal as providing much value. It's tough in fantasy baseball to trade players you aren't planning to keep, in real baseball I'd have to hope it's nearly impossible.
Great point, at least some of the increased degree of difficult Price faced was offset by the fact that Felix never got to face the haples Mariner bats.
I think the description "Ace" is a bit like obscenity. You know it when you see it.
I seem to recall an earlier BP piece debating which pitcher was better, one with a 0.00 ERA in 75% of starts and 9.00 ERA in 25% of them or one who has a 4.00 ERA in all starts. AKA Oliver Perez. My poor memory suggests the inconsistent pitcher was more valuable than the consistent one.
Good article. However, everything KG says about Montero suggests that he'd be an epic disaster behind the plate. Like embarassing, won't last a week back there bad. Given how the Rangers exposed the Yankees' catching deficiencies in the playoffs, and how that sort of performance is magnified, it seems unlikely the Yankees will be able to use Montero to catch 100 games. Which creates a problem at DH, because if they Montero is on the big league roster, you certainly don't want him only playing a couple times/week.
Maybe Montero can improve to a point where he's just the worst defensive catcher in baseball, and not historically bad, but if not, you have a big roster problem.
Less. The Twins aren't looking to dump salary like the Marlins, and in fact would be hesitant to add a player like Lowe with a significant commitment for multiple years (where Uggla is a FA after 2011).
Put another way, when dealing with most MLB clubs, talent and cost are the two factors being considered, typically in that order. With the Marlins, cost is priority 1-5 and talent much lower on the list.
The difference in 2011 salary is $5 million. The difference in 2012 salary is $15 million at the moment. If Lowe is terrible, or just not very good, the Twins are on the hook for $15 million. If Cuddy isn't good, he may not get draft picks back, but he isn't tying up 10-15% of your payroll.
Exactly. The Twins aren't going to pay $15m for a pitcher's 38 year old pitcher, and then do it again for a 39 year old.
Add in the draft pick compensation the Twins will get if Cuddy walks at the end of 2011 (based on the list of 2012 free agents, he's a likely Type A), and the Braves need to add prospects AND cash to the deal to make it work.
That everything else in the article is predicated on a one-sided trade makes it tough to evaluate.
Unless they are likely to accept arbitration. Not sure, but that could be a risk with Fuentes, and the Twins definitely can't pay him $8m+.
I also agree, though a summary list of the lineup, rotation and bullpen would be nice additions.
I'd suggest that handled correctly, athletes can actually come out better. While the situation is not analogous, Josh Hamilton is lionized for controlling what was once an out of control drug addiction.
I don't know what Lueke has done to "treat" his problems, but were I managing him from a PR perspective, I'd get him into counseling, and then have him talk about how he was immature and struggled with anger and some other issues, and what he did was an eye opener. He's really sorry that he had to hurt another person to come to this realization, but that he hopes that he can help others who struggle with anger and violence to overcome their challenges.
None of what he says has to actually be true (Fox/TBS didn't mention Hamilton's publicized relapse, just how wonderful he is for battling his demons) it just has to sound good.
To add to Colin's point, any revenue gained from selling Jeter shirts is far smaller than the marginal value of a win (since the Yankees are in the sweet spot, where a single win is worth millions as they are on the playoff bubble).
I'm sure David Beckham (or insert celebrity of your choice) would sell plenty of baseball shirts, but the money made selling them wouldn't offset the money lost by playing a player who hurts your chances to win.
I was with you until that last bit. That's a major rule change, and while on occasion pitching changes can slow a game to glacial pace, it sorts itself as teams quickly run out of pitchers worth bringing in to face the Ryan Howards of the world.
I'd be curious, how many times did a pitcher face fewer than two batters this season. I'd bet less than once every two or three games.
Based on his comments about Norris here and elsewhere, I don't think Norris is big-league ready. He's more of an offensive catcher, who may not be ready to produce at a big-league level sufficient to make up for defense that (again, based largely on Kevin's articles and comments) isn't.
Also, don't forget about Jesus Flores, who missed the whole season returing from shoulder surgery, but will likely be in the mix come spring.
"Stanton spent the season growing into a fire-breathing monster, posting a .271/.346/.538 second-half line, and his on-base percentage is certain to rise in his age-21 season as National League pitchers learn to fear his power."
Or they will learn that he'll swing at everything and he'll regress in both BA and OBP, perhaps as Ryan Howard did between the 2006 and 2007 seasons, and he won't see anything to hit.
And is he a real catcher? I'd love to hear scouts' thoughts on his defense this year. Nats are loaded with catching prospects and young catchers at the big league level, who emerges from them to be the starter from 2012 onward?
While shorter breaks might negatively impact revenue (or it might not, if demand for advertising time during baseball games is constant, lowering the supply of advertising time would allow MLB to raise the price of time) in the short-term, it's the long-term that's the concern.
If baseball loses 10% of its fan base (because fewer kids become fans, because more casual fans tune into other sports) that's going to hurt revenue (in terms of gates, concessions, merchandise, mlb.tv subscriptions, etc) far more significantly that any short-term reduction in TV dollars.
I think you misunderstood. This season, tickets were scarce regardless of weather or the on-field product because of the novelty of the stadium. That novelty is now gone, so factors like the weather will play a much larger role in attendance.
That is, this season, if someone offered you Twins tickets on a day with lousy weather, you would be far more likely to take the tickets because they were so difficult to get. Going forward, you'll be more likely to pass on the tickets, as they will be easier to get when conditions are better.
Bobby Cox agrees with this (and is a very nice comp for Gardy and why he shouldn't be fired).
1.) There are not many things worth seeing outdoors in Minnesota in April if they aren't novel. Or at least, there's the potential for a really unpleasant month of baseball, not an issue this year because of the newness of the stadium, but when tickets are suddenly ubiquitous rather than scarce (as they were this season), not a lot of people are going to sit outside in 40 degree weather, regardless of the quality of the team.
2.) The Reds, for one, are a strong counterexample. They averaged only 25,000 fans per game despite playing in a new park and winning the division. That's down about 4,000 fans from the GAP's first two seasons.
What would the example be? That playing .550 baseball for a decade isn't good? Or that winning the division six out of nine years (and losing in game 163 in a seventh) isn't the most success of any club in the last decade?
Certainly getting swept out of the playoffs isn't ideal, but you're taking the miniscule sample size of his playoff record and ignoring his wildly successful, large sample size of almost 1500 games managed.
The Twins failed for a lot of reasons, most notably Morneau's absence and the lack of elite-level starting pitching. Neither of those things have anything to do with Gardenhire.
The Twins aren't crying anything, but their 2010 payroll was 10th in the league, almost 50% higher than in 2009, a whopping $97 million, more than the Dodgers, Cardinals, despite being in roughly the 20th largest market in the league.
They've already spent the new ballpark money to get to that level, it's not unreasonable that they don't want to go higher, particularly as I would imagine they won't sell out nearly every game next season as the novelty of the new park wears off.
And certainly Smith is trying to avoid ending up like the Tigers, committing large chunks of payroll to players who likely won't be worth it at the end of their deal. Carl Pavano is the most obvious of these, he's going to get something like 3yrs/$30m, a deal that could end up looking like Nate Robertson's at the end.
"The real take-home may be that 94 wins as the class of the AL Central does not come as close to equating with 95 wins as the runner-up in the AL East as might first appear."
For me, the "real" take-home is that missing your best hitter, a player who finished 11th in VORP despite not playing for three months, a player with a .359 tAv is going to have a hard time beating other playoff teams.
The Yankees dominated the series from start to finish, but you're understating the loss of Morneau here, and overstating everything else.
You should likely direct this to Kevin Goldstein, as I'm sure he could start the Red Sox's Top 11 prospects list:
There once was a boy from Pawtucket...
Are scouts sold on Mesoraco's defensive skills? The Reds already have one blocked prospect at 1b, and one OF corner filled for the future (Bruce), so if he's not really a catcher (like so many "catching prospects") does this cloud his future?
Despite Kevin's repetition, Montero can't catch any days, not even against bad running teams. His inability to prevent steals isn't even the big problem.
He's leading the international league in PB, I'd bet he also leads the league in WP not caught (Kevin?). And of course that's catching guys with half the stuff as big leaguers.
Even if the Yankees were to accept that every runner on first had a free pass to second, that's less of a problem than seeing a ball hit the backstop every inning.
You, as so many do, assume that steroid use would influence his numbers, despite the utter lack of evidence (see Will Carroll).
And you seem unconcerned that his numbers could be negatively influenced by pitching against hitters who were on steroids (though my above point remains).
I disagree, we are talking about a few more million. The slot (as I learned on this week's podcast) for a late-second round pick is about $500,000. A fourth round NFL pick can expect several million dollars.
While there are no sure things, a $500k bonus isn't enough to convince a kid to give up college and a chance at NFL millions, while not relinquishing a chance to play baseball in the future.
Put another way, perhaps the top 10-20 high school guys will keep on playing baseball (though even this isn't assured, as if you think you're going to be drafted in the NBA or NFL, you'll get a lot more money from them), but nobody else will. If you're a third round pick and an MLB team can only offer you $200k, that's not a strong enough incentive to give up an NCAA scholarship and a chance at better money elsewhere.
He was a d-bag (according to you, with no firsthand knowledge), to everyone except the millions of Giants' fans who were made ecstatic time and time and time and time and time again by his success on the field. Did he piss some people off? Sure, but I'd bet that on the whole Bonds created more joy among his fans than he did sorrow among those who were put off by his demeanor.
How many of the catchers on the list are actually catchers at the big league level? Related, do more guys start as catchers and move elsewhere, or start as SS and move elsewhere?
Those guys I would consider in the same category as David Wells, a 10+ game winner for a lot of years, and pitched for a lot of good teams, but was never that dominant, never the best pitcher in the league or a "must see every start" kind of guy.
Of course while they might be there mainly in the event of a serious player injury, there are also 40,000 other people in the building to whom something serious could happen, from being hit by a ball in the stands to taking a drunken fall down some stairs to a plain old heart attack.
Seems like the combination of a small population with a high injury risk (players) and a large population with a moderate-low injury risk (fans) concentrated in one place makes the case for an ambulance.
Really enjoyed it, and really appreciate the table of contents. My only suggestion would be occasionally reminding everyone who is speaking, if you jump around it can be tough until I become a BP stalker and recognize you all by voice.
He is Jose Mourinho, former manager of Inter Milan (most recently) and current manager of Real Madrid. He has, in the media, dubbed himself the "special one," in reference to his managing skills.
Indeed, just a couple days ago, D'Arnaud was tauted as their future behind the plate. Who do you keep, who do you trade, or does one have enough of a bat to play in a corner?
Do you ever gather or get information about players' personal lives? Chapman's ability to adapt to live in the United States will likely have as much of an impact on his professional career as his ability to harness his tools.
Do you know what the team is providing Chapman in terms of staffing? Some have suggested that one reason Chapman will stay down longer is to ease any cultural adjustment, he can deal with that first and then with the pressures and increased media attention after he's been here for six months rather than right away. Your thoughts?
My understanding is that there is nothing Harper can do on an amateur baseball diamond to increase his signing value. If he's worth $30 million on draft day 2011, even hitting .400/.600/1million in another year of JC wouldn't increase that figure, and certainly not by more than he could lose by shortening his pro career a year.
Moreover, there is a real threat that 2012 draftees will have their signing bonuses set by hard slots developed in the new CBA. As such, a team that drafts Harper could say "fine, don't take our $20 million. Go back to school. Next year, the #1 slot is only going to get $10 million. And you'll lose a year of free agency at the back end of your career." This wrinkle could provide a lot of teams with a lot of leverage for other top (but not generational) talent.
Thanks. So perhaps by forcing Harper an extra year of development as a catcher has this potential benefit as well (more years in his prime) though I suppose you'd have to consider the cost of playing him at catcher, as well as the fact that the Nats have two outstanding young catchers already.
If Harper is drafted and signs a major league contract like Strasburg's, does his service time clock start immediately? Is that something negotiable in a contract? Could he conceivably, then, hit the free agent market at 24, if he signs at 18?
Is Porcello's approach a function of him, or Tigers' management holding him back in an effort to keep him healthy as he develops? If his 4-seamer is a better pitch, you'd think he'd be throwing it more often, perhaps it's not as good a strikeout pitch as you suggest? Too little movement?
For that matter, is there data supporting the idea that the "league adjusts to him"? Does PitchF/X show him getting a different mix of pitches than in his first ten games? Or, more likely, are the sample sizes at work too small to draw conclusions from, but since he started hot and slowed down, "the league adjusted to him," and he's since "found his way."
Of course, had he started with a slump and then gotten hot, he'd have "taken his time adjusting to the majors," then "figured things out."
I'd imagine Heyward hasn't faced the same starting pitcher more than once, and probably hasn't faced any pitcher for more than about six ABs, far too few to draw anything but hackneyed conclusions.
7 IP, 6K, 4H, 1BB, 2R isn't a dominant performance in the least.
Love this sort of table of contents, a rough idea of what is on a 90 min podcast is very helpful for those of us interested in skimming rather than immersing ourselves in them. Keep it coming!
Is Ledley King (Tottenham Hotspur) a good comp for Beltran's injury? Both seem to have nothing left in their knee to absorb shocks, and it sounds like for both it's about managing pain rather than curing the ailment.
And he's still striking out more than once a game despite the impressive power numbers.
There is the non-trivial marketing value he brings, particularly to a team in a predominantly African American city. Sure, you wouldn't sign a guy who is charming but hitless, but I'd imagine (and wonder if it's been studied) that they'll sell a few million worth of shirts with 'Howard' on the back. The question becomes whether those shirts would have been sold anyway, albeit bearing a different name.
If you were going to look at this, I'd think the Reds' signing of Ken Griffey Jr. would be a place to start.
Stanton is still striking out more than once/game. Certainly the increased walks are nice to see, but could that be more a matter of his being pitched around than a better approach? He's already been walked intentionally three times this year (vs only once all of last season).
If Roberts does need surgery is he done for the year?
Echoing the above, is it because JP Arencibia doesn't project as a catcher, or doesn't project as a big leaguer that keeps him from being in D'Arnaud's way?
I concur, and if not, you need to update the header graphic.
Happy Opening Day. Looking forward to another season of insight.
Taken to extremes, we'd be talking about the Nationals on the way to their eight consecutive AL East crown.
I wonder if host families ever get gifts from players who make it. Not that they would host minor leaguers in the hopes of a payoff, but it would be nice to know that players who do make it reward those who help them, even in less conventional ways.
Can spasms cause additional damage, or are they only a symptom (creating more symptoms [pain])?
HDTV adoption in U.S. households is nearly at the 50 percent mark, a number that has doubled in the last two years, according to research released by Leichtman Research Group, Inc.
This growth should continue, especially as the death of analog TV means almost no SDTVs are being sold new in the US.
Can you pay your mortgage in +1's?
Don't forget about HD. In the last 2-3 years, HD penetration has jumped dramatically, and sports are certainly among the biggest beneficiaries from the shift.
Put another way, why are people watching more sports on TV? Because the product is much better than it was just a few years ago.
Is Anthony Hewitt still the best athlete in the minors (which either you or another prospect maven described him as)?
I believe the Nationals bought out Strasburg's first year of arbitration with the four year $15M+ deal he signed.
Are there any additional injury risks borne by teams that change stadium?
This raises an interesting question:
Is BABIP correlated to recent BABIP and/or recent TAv?
Mauer already habitually misses 20-30 games per year:
Whether that's because no catcher would play 162 games or because he's been hurt, the question becomes whether his offensive value for those extra 20 games is greater than the added value you have from him playing catcher.
I think the problem with the Woods' fiasco was that it was so scripted. While certainly letting Woods just go in front of the cameras without some kind of game plan would have been foolish, as someone who does crisis communications, I would have set up several one-on-one interviews with Dianne Sawyer-types rather than a scripted press conference.
As mentioned, the keys are to get a sincere and meaningful apology out, give the person a chance to explain why they did what they did (whether it was addiction, foolish decisions, or something else), and then talk about "putting it behind them."
Woods took too long to speak to the press, as we say, feed the beast (the media) or the beast will feed on you.
Does PECOTA consider playing time when calculating rate stats? That is, some players (I'm thinking particularly younger players) can be expected to perform better/worse with 500 PA than with 200.
Am I correct that TAv is not position adjusted? If that is correct, what is the avergage TAv's for each position?
I think BP would be wise to leave all political references out of their articles, the comments about various Presidents aren't well suited for this site.
It's a perfectly cromulent word.
Sure, my point is that at this point, the entire 25 and under list are prospects, that there are no big leaguers, let alone impact players is troubling for the Mets. Put another way, the 2010 and 2011 teams can't expect major help from within.
Not sure how you are planning to do your system ranking, but the Mets' under 25 talent has to be among the worst in the game, with no big leaguers. I'd love to see all the Top 10 under 25 next to each other for comparison, but is my assessment that they have among the worst collections of young talent in the game accurate?
What kind of power does Flores project to show? Are scouts projecting body growth that leads to more power, as he hasn't shown much (at least in the statistics) and moving to 3b/RF is going to require more than a .350 SLG.
I'm curious how moving Victorino down in the lineup would keep him healthier. Certainly batting can cause injury, but I would think Victorino's risks are either a leg injury saps his speed and therefore his value, or as you say, he runs into something immobile. Is the idea that with 50 fewer PA, he'd be on base 15 fewer times, and therefore run less, decreasing the likelihood of a leg injury, or is he particularly susceptible to something like a foul tip?
You really think Kershaw > Santana today? Over the next five or ten, sure, but I've got to think Santana has got to be a better 2010 Cy contender than Kershaw.
Wow, Tampa Bay to win the East, home of the only three 90+ game winners in baseball. Bold, PECOTA, bold.
Team-Player Analysis of Injury Numeration
or, for the less-rap minded:
It's more difficult to make an acroynm out of "PAVANO" or "HAMPTON" than you might think.
I realize it isn't the point, but there's no way Youklis+Pedroia > Howard+Utley.
$13.4m using a modified Price Is Right strategy to carve out a space under $13.5m.
Shame on you. There's no fun in baseball, didn't you get the Selig memo?
What is "pop time" and is it measured with a stopwatch or just a scout's eye.
Pretty simple, remove Wallace and Drabek from the list. Then the system is bereft of a four or five star player.
and/or player cards to include the write-ups in the annual. I'd rather pay $60/year for my subscription to have the book and site integrated than have two separate products.
Broadly, what sport best understands how to keep players healthy and on the field? Which is the worst?
Might be too difficult to get accurate answers, but I'd be curious about recreational drug use (not including amphetamines) like marijuana and cocaine.
What about the other main victim of labor strive, the '94 Expos? 74-40 at season's end, how do they stack up? Pretty stacked team, they.
Is math a human construct. Therefore is 2+2=5? No. Similarly, there was no year 0, we started counting at 1. You can say "it doesn't matter, people are using shorthand," but it doesn't change the facutal definition of a decade.
There's still a season to be played before the decade ends. I wonder if the '10 Yankees make a run toward the top of the list.
To be fair, the centerpiece of the trade just turned into JJ Hardy, so evaluating the trade solely on your argument is an error.
Iwamura could also bring some draft picks if he's not extended, unless his contract somehow prevents them from offering arbitration, thereby eliminating the opportunity for a compensation pick.
Still don't know how the Twins failed to grab Iwamura, he's a perfect fit, reasonably priced, is capable of hitting more than .220, unlike their current 2b/3b, Nick Punto.
Unfortunately that would require the Nats to have guys in the minors who will be on the major league club soon. Can't think of a guy in AAA to whom that would apply.
Should Met fans be hoping for a Tejada/Flores double play combo in 2013? If so, who slides over to 2b?
The hit and run data are interesting, I wonder if there is any data on negative outcomes on balls put in play (double plays in particular) that would provide more insight into the efficacy of the strategy. Similarly, how to Phils hitters hit when the runner is running?
Is Derek Norris from the Nats out of the AFL with his broken hamate bone? How does the injury and potential missed time impact your opinion of him?
Which is pretty absurd, as the 15s have beaten the 2s what, three times in history, or less than 10% of the time? Anyone who gives you 10:1 on the Twins is a fool, while they are major underdogs, 4-13 or even 5-12 is a lot more realistic.
Joe's point was that Span is an excellent defensive outfielder in a corner, adequate in center, while Gomez is outstanding in center.
Or the rookie can't get out of the third and you blow your bullpen trying to get to tomorrow. Not sure Pavano or anyone else is a better answer, but if the argument is that rookie pitchers have more upside than the Pavanos of the world, the downside should also be noted.
Hoping we see some BP team chats during the playoffs, should be an exciting one, and the instant analysis is always worth a read, even if disproved shortly after its made.
Speaking of BPR, some indication of when the interviews were conducted would be helpful, the Heyward interview happened before the 2009 season, but was presented as though it had just happened.
Like the player profiles, think they might work better as a ten pack, as I love the quick hits every day on a bunch of guys.
Do you use your own radar gun when you go to games, or do you rely on a nearby scout's reading? Is there much variance in guns from scout to scout?
It seems as though left-handedness falls into the 'something else going on' category which can also include a physics defying breaking pitch, or creative use of knuckes (dragging along the ground or gripping the ball). It would be interesting to study all the pitchers (leftys included) with below-average velocity to see if some 'something elses' are more prevalent and/or effective than others. Might run into selection bias issues, though.
But the scale doesn't exist to measure major league players, who are all above average baseball players, but minor leaguers. There are tons of guys throwing in the lower levels who have sub-50 fastballs. Some are there because they have something else going on, others are toiling without any real shot.
The scouts world is populated with below-average baseball players, and his language needs the tools to describe them.
But every team is constrained by payroll. While different teams allocate different amounts of resources to the draft, the Nats, having allocated $15m to one player, had to allocate less to the remaining players the draft. This means drafting "less" talent with later picks, but only because they drafted "more" talent with the #1 pick.
Can Espinoza stick at SS? What kind of defense does he bring? Those numbers are great from a SS, less so from a 2B, and unexciting from a 3b (particularly in an organization with Ryan Zimmerman).
Is there a solution to the 'holdout until the deadline' situation, or do you see that as something not in need of change?
Seems like the most likely change will be a hard slotting system like the NBA uses, is that likely? I'd think the players would offer that as a nice chip when they negotiate the next CBA.
What of trading picks? Is that likely to happen, or viewed as not particularly useful?
I'm always weary of minor leaguers who out-OBP their slugging. For Desmond, won't pitchers realize they've far less to lose throwing him hittable pitches than nibbling?
Any similarities between Beltran's injury and the chronic knee condition from which Ledley King (Tottenham Hotspur) suffers?
This is an interesting idea, but needs some modification, perhaps an age + years system for service time. 40 man rosters don't have room for prospects drafted or signed as teenagers, who still aren't anywhere close to the Show at 20 or 21. If anything, this idea would decrease the value of teenage prospects, since the added development time brings with it roster problems, making teams more inclined to draft more finished products from college.
It seems that if Strasburg refuses to sign because of a difference of $10m or less, he's making a mistake, shortening his career by a year, and therefore the opportunities to get paid. Sure, if he doesn't have a career longer than six years, holding out for the maximum possible contract makes some sense, but there is a significant financial cost to Strasburg if he fails to sign and misses a year of baseball.
What was the PECOTA projection for Stack O'Cash before the season?
What is the life of a scout? We know they don't make very much money, but there's a lot of detail to be filled in, from how teams assign responsibilities, what work product is expected with what frequency, how the financial arrangements of constant travel work out, etc.
Terrific piece, I'd love to see more of these at BP, perhaps during the offseason? These sort of pieces remind us that behind the numbers and the names are actual humans who have to deal with myriad challenges as they live a logistically challenging life.
Do you think mlb.tv will at some point sell the ad space between innings? Perhaps they give that space to the teams to sell as 'compensation' for destroying the RSN model? Seems like video ads during a baseball game could actually generate a serious amount of revenue, and wouldn't even be intrusive.
To go a bit farther, they could even speed games up by shortening the breaks between innings, now a bit longer than they need to be because of TV breaks. Give up :30 every half inning and you've shortened a ballgame 10-15 minutes.
Do you think Heyward is ready to contribute to the Braves now? With the team in the playoff race, it seems like giving 30 games to Heyward, if he struggles as most do when they first arrive in the majors, could be costly. I presume there are also service time considerations that will keep him down until Sept. 1?
Any thoughts on Travis Snider's struggles at AAA? Have you heard anything that might indicate a problem, or does he still project as a middle of the order force?
Perhaps an eleventh category: Third person references per media interview. Rickey always knew that Rickey could talk about Rickey in a way that only Rickey would really understand and appreciate, said Rickey.
Can we all agree that articles involving the team from Washington herein refer to the team as the Natinals?
Hunt is a Twin, not a Brewer, right?
Drew Stubbs, their CF prospect.
Is there any circumstance where walking both Martinez AND Jones to set up a force at any base would have been the right play. Obviously such a move dramatically increases the odds of a second run scoring, but it would also mean that the offense would have to hit the ball out of the infield to score a run, and Youklis (though perhaps he wouldn't have been the batter) is certainly easier to double up than Jones.
Does the installation of cameras to enhance Pitchf/x (or impliment GameF/x) also bode well for the television presentation of games? It seems like baseball broadcasters could take advantage of wider screens to provide several camera angles simultaneously, the main screen focused as it is now, but with smallers screens offering a birds-eye view to assess fielders' positions, one following baserunners, etc.
Might also be worth giving Ty Wiggington a look, he's now eligible at every position but catcher in most leagues. His .241 EQA isn't that pretty now, but if he can manage to approach his PECOTA of .271, that's a pretty nice number to slot in the SS hole the rest of the way.
President of the Delmon Young fan club, apparently.
Hirschbeck is and has long been one of the worst umpires in the game. From the Robbie Alomar incident (not to justify Alomar's behavior, but the umpire is responsible for deescalating situations, not escalating them to the point where a player spits at him), to an incident with Bonds years later, to this. He fails to understand that he is not the show, should not be the show, and too often tries to insert himself into the story of the game.
Do you think you could add a graphic to the front page indicating when new TA blog posts come up, as you have with Kevin's minor league updates? Add that and this is a killer new feature for BP, yet another reason I'm glad to give you a little of my money.
On the Porcello/Bonderman comp, though he's hurt now, and perhaps has never been as good as some hoped, Bonderman did give the Tigers four straight years of 180+IP with an ERA under 5. Not an all-star, that, but certainly a very valuable commodity. As his fantasy owner, I certainly want more from Porcello, but Bonderman hardly seems a worst-case outcome for the Tigers.
Shame about Beltran, does this to you, sound more and more like the injury that keeps him in the "Hall of Very Good" rather than heading to upstate New York in 2020?
Is it too late to have each of the finalists hold a chat session? Seems like another chance to show the secondary skills you value at BP, and of course readers love chats.
This is a brilliant addition, really appreciate the way y'all have increased content even as you do more cross-branding stuff with ESPN.
And a related question, can Norris stay behind the plate?
My understanding was that marijuana has a much longer detectable period than other drugs of abuse. Reading the drug agreement, it seems there is a maximum penalty of $25k for marijuana use, but it's not clear what the penalties are for other drugs of abuse; marijuana has its own section in the agreement.
Are there players to your knowledge who use drugs of choice and accept the fines as a cost of their use?
Not sure where the 262 figure came from. in 2008, Ichiro had 213 hits and was walked 56 times (including HBP). That's 269 times reaching base, minus 33 extra base hits puts him on first 236 times, presumably not all of which saw second base empty. Certainly he hit into a number of fielder's choices which would add to the total, but I can't seem to find that data anywhere, short of going through the play-by-play data. Can you point me to your FC data source?
I'm pretty sure in Portugal they speak Portuguese not Spanish.
One thing I haven't seen in all the numbers floated is how many arb years the Nats will be buying out with a $20-$30m deal. Would that cover all six years the Nats have control over him, or less than that. Seems like 6/$30m is not a completely unreasonable price, though 4/$30m + $30m more for two arb years is a bit more outrageous, though only realized if he's a pitcher who can command that kind of arbitration result.
So if he has surgery, another 8-10 weeks and reduced bat control and power upon a return?
If surgery is required for Encarnacion, is he done for the year?
Safe to say that this will be in shambles by the 10th pick? I'll be curious to see how this mock draft compares to mock NFL drafts, where 10 of 32 picks correct is as successful as it gets.
Anything on Edwin Encarnacion's setback? A press report had him getting an MRI on his wrist today.
Pay attention, we may be watching Albert Pujols' peak season.
To what extent does a story or quote appearing in the Post-Gazette have on the negotiating strategy of Sano's advisers? How sophisticated are they, are they scouring the internet for comments by the Pirates' front office, or are we assuming they have all the information we do, which isn't the case?
The Braves have announced they are bringing up Tommy Hanson to start Saturday's game.
Any thoughts on how the Inesta and Henry injuries might impact the final?
When would Kennedy be throwing again? Would he be a candidate for the AFL or winter ball?
I agree with Trembley's questionable managerial decisions, but I wonder why it's an either or choice: develop young players or manage a game well. While I'm sure there are occasions when a team playing for the future might leave a young pitcher in to work his way out of a jam more or less often than a team in contention, but it seems like most of the managerial malpractice is so obvious (even when a poor relief choice doesn't blow a game) that GMs should teach their managers some very basic rules of thumb and demand they be followed.
I realize we're talking about people and not robots, but so frequently we see obvious errors that I don't understand how it persists. Though managing human beings, particularly those as complex as major league baseball players, is a different skill from baseball tactics, there is no reason they should be exclusive.
Given this, shouldn't teams hire more trainers? It seems like adding another $60k (or whatever trainers make) pays for itself if it keeps a player on the field for just one more game.
Anything on Alex Gonzales (CIN)? Also, is Manny going to be getting drug tested while suspended? Given the rumors of his recreational drug use, 50 games off seems like an opportunity to pick up that sort of habit.
To keep customers happy. Sure, you may have agreed to pay $500 for your tickets, but if you know everyone around you is only paying $250, this will upset you.
He tweeted (using twitter) something about it. His account is 'injuryexpert'
Were you managing Porcello, what is the innings limit? Under what (if any) circumstances do you exceed that limit?
Reddick vs. Westmorland vs. Almanzar, who has the highest upside, who's the most likely to have a meaningful major league career?
How do organizations handle prospects given aggressive assignments who struggle? That is, what do the Rays do if Jennings hits .260/.300/.400 in the first half? Drop him down a level, or keep him there until he figures it out?
Obviously every organization is a bit different every prospect is different, but I'm curious to thoughts on how this is and perhaps how it should be handled?
Because height and weight can be measured at any point in time, while age relies on good recordkeeping 20+ years ago in countries not known for the effective governments.
It seems like collusion in baseball is far more difficult, as a single individual's refusal to collude would jeopardize the endeavor. And then there's the randomness of balls in play. I suppose one team could swing wildly at every pitch, but I think it would be more difficult to score a precise number of runs without it being readily apparent that there was collusion in place.
Thanks for all this Kevin. I'd love to see an 'upside top 20' to get a sense of who the future superstars are likely to be, even understanding that Anthony Hewitt is far more likely to end up as Dee Brown than Bo Jackson.
Fair enough. Perhaps "Eight of the ten best, two catchers and Jose Reyes?" Not as catchy, I suppose.
Couldn't this article also have been titled: "The Ten Best Hitters in Baseball"?
Also, wouldn't losing a #1 and replacing him with free talent be as damaging, even if the replacement options in the pitching end of the pool are more famous?
With no newspapers to train students to work for in the future, college newspapers are going extinct as well.
What are Javier Vazquez\' durability issues of which you speak?
The \"important reading\" link redirects back to this article. I agree it\'s important, but do I really need to read it twice?
More baseball-related, can you elaborate on what McGee\'s schedule is and how he\'s ahead of it?
\"What the WBC needs—Jake Peavy vs. Alex Rodriguez\"
I agree that the WBC needs premier matchups, but ARod, for all his claims otherwise, is an American. Some of the shennanigans regarding whom is eligible for which nations detracts a bit from the contest too, methinks.
Of course both Boston and Chicago will replace their parks with much larger stadia, likely minimizing the impact of the move on existing season ticket holders.
With Zlatan, anything\'s possible. I just hope Totti finds his form in London this afternoon.
When will football (soccer) prospectus arrive? Surely the most popular sport in the world could use a revolution in its coverage.
FYI, Chris Dickerson\'s (CIN-OF) card doesn\'t appear through links that appear in articles about him or through the link provided when searching for him. It does show up in the link on his DT card, though.
What would Keppinger have received? If it goes wrong for Gonzalez, his health becomes pretty important to the team.
SI is reporting Esmailyn Gonzalez is actually 23, not 19. I\'d imagine this changes his prospect status quite a bit, does he even seem likely to have an MLB career considering his age and development?
Not sure how he does them, but would Clay\'s translated stats be a place to start? Of course for players who burst onto the scene with little or no minor league experience (F. Hernandez, Pujols), I don\'t know what you evaluate them on other than scouting reports.
Thanks for the list. Someday I\'d love to see a \'top 10/20/50/100\' prospects of the last decade, ignoring everything they did (or didn\'t do at the major league level. How does Price compare to Prior? Wieters to Mauer?
I guess Hicks is going to give back all the money he made from ticket revenue for people coming to see the best player in the game.
This isn\'t necessarily specific to fantasy, but why is Howard\'s beta so high. Given that this implies more risk, is that a good reason to nudge him below Cabrera?
I\'m no lawyer, but if your assertion that the MLBPA could (and should) have ordered the test results destroyed but did not, it seems that ARod (and any other player who has been \"exposed [does Bonds fall into this group?]) could sue them for millions for negilgence resulting in very real economic injury.
Well, thanks for mixing it up, anyway. I\'d love to see a correlation between finish and days lost on a graph or something.
Thrilled that you\'re doing these in reverse alphabetical order. Being a fan of the Nats and Blue Jays makes waiting for the top 11 prospect lists torture.
Julio Franco for the hall! Playing forever has to be worth something, to say nothing of his giant omelet eating skills.
Concur with the call for more and different front-office types. There are so many things going on inside a baseball organization that are a mystery to even fairly knowledgeable fans.
It\'s Saturday. They\'ve been pretty clear that they publish six days a week during the off-season. As they should, I\'d rather six days worth of well thought out columns that junk to fill the site over the winter.
Of course Man City are near the bottom of the table and a candidate for relegation which would send all their expensive signings elsewhere.
Incidentally Will, have you any good places to go to find soccer stats. Anything beyond goals and assists would be tremendous, and I\'m curious as to your thoughts on the state of statistical analysis in soccer.
Tavares a great glove to have in center? All the advanced defensive stats have him providing negative value for the last two seasons, though Coors Field may have something to do with that, but he\'s definitely not strong enough defensively to make up for his anemic offense.
League average? He\'s a 8-10 win player. Name five better shortstops (or 14 if you really think he\'s league avergage). Name five better second basemen.
\"For the BP subscriber, it might be second only to PECOTA as a reason why they win their fantasy leagues.\"
So for those of us who don\'t win, are THR yet more evidence at how bad at fantasy we really are?
Any way to sell an \"elite subscriber\" (brand it however you want) that includes the annual and access o the annual\'s content online? I think that\'s what people want, the most current thoughts online, rather than only in the book. Charge me $20 more/year, mail me the book when it\'s ready and let me access the content anywhere.
I\'d suggest that the major market teams, particularly in the offseason are making the most news. They also have the most options available, which makes dissecting their moves and potential moves a more useful exercise than debating the Pirates rotation.
You\'re right that Clemens will be the test for many of these writers conflicted about steroids, his status as one of the best 5 or so pitchers of all-time makes him tough to avoid. The shame is that Bonds won\'t force the same issue, as he\'s just as elite a player as Clemens, but race and other issues pollute the Bonds\' question such that there will doubtless be voters who support some of the other \"steroid players\" but still leave Bonds off the ballot because they didn\'t like him.
Have you though about signing Orlando Husdon to play 2b and using Cano in the DH/extra OF spot instead? While Hudson will cost more than your ~$4m DH options, the defensive boost should be worth a win or two, no? And for a club at the margin of the playoffs, those wins are very valuable.
I want you to write about the Nationals. The team seemingly has no real plan (despite Bowden\'s promises), so it would be nice to see someone identify a credible strategy to compete, and I wonder how quickly you think you could get there.
Re: Nats 1B, is $10.5m really superstar money? Sure, they aren\'t getting much from the oft-injured duo, but what better options exist? Not to defend the Washington front office, who have seemingly chosen the worst of all options, even creating bad options where there weren\'t any before, but it\'s not like $10.5m brings in Tex or Giambi or anyone who can really hit.
Twins: Find 3b capable of hitting ball out of park. Teach Gomez, Young place discipline. Don\'t blow six run lead to Seattle in August.
Unfortunately the Yankees traded Tabata for Xavier Nady earlier this year.
At this point, with every city but two having built new stadia in the last 15 years, it\'s an interesting intellectual argument, but practically irrelevant, as there won\'t be enough new buildings to have an effect.
Is there any chance Manuel will start Hamels in Game 7 on three days rest? Seems like that\'s the only upside for the Phils to the delay.
For the Nats, the #1 pick (aka Steven Strasburg) has to be a (the greatets) source of hope.
After such a terrible season in their new park, management has to draft and sign him, assuming the next 8 months play out without surprise. They also have the compensation pick for Crow, though it does seem likely that management\'s cheapness would lead to a value pick here. Discouraging, I suppose, that the player about which to be most excited isn\'t even in the system, though Flores will be a valuable piece around whom to build.
Does the financial situation at Liverpool affect Hicks\' ability to shell out cash for the Rangers, or has he managed to keep those business more or less separate? It seems there will be increasing financial pressure on the football club which is deeply in debt and now looks unlikely to build a new ground, but he may have problems selling the club because nobody else can get financing either.
True, the draft picks have some value, but LaPorta is right now much more valuable. The cost of the picks is (obviously depending on who they select) betwen $3m and $10m in signing bonuses, with a much higher failure rate. LaPorta is essentially free (in baseball money terms) for the next 2-3 seasons and then dramatically below market after that.
The merchandising angle, like the revenues from today\'s game (and tomorrow\'s) are negated by CC\'s salary this year. They won\'t be selling more Sabathia jerseys in coming years, and if LaPorta is a stud, they\'ll only serve as a reminder of the cost.
Perhaps the playoff run will \"energize\" the fan base long-term. If it doesn\'t though, and say LaPorta is a 4 win player for three of his team-controlled seasons. What are the odds the Brewers will be within 4 of the playoffs in the next few years? Further, the money LaPorta \"saves\" by being good and inexpensive could be spent on players who could get them above the threshold. This is all predicated on his being a good/very good player.
But for clubs in small markets, sacrificing several years of success for 1/7 (presuming Sabathia\'s value as Secret Sauce improves the Brewers\' odds in the playoffs) chance of a World Series seems steep.
The mistakes come in signing second-tier pitchers to 6+ year deals (see Zito, Schmidt). Best in breed players are worth locking up if only because you can\'t get a better performer at any cost (see Santana). Certainly there are injury risks with pitchers, but Sabathia will get 6+ years.
In all likelihood he will be among the best in the league for at least three of those years. You have to pay an enormous premium for this, but fortunately for the Yankees, you can afford it.
With all the leg injuries the Angels are facing, could there be something systemic causing (or at least contributing) to them? Be it the playing surface, the trainers, or something in the water. Or is this just another example of looking for patterns where none exist?
How about a little love for the Nats/Pads series in the race for Stephen Strasburg?
I think the point is that 16 games isn\'t sufficient to weed out the randomness. The Super Bowl last year is a perfect example. Over a 16 game season the Pats were clearly the better team, but on any given Sunday....That said, entering last season, would you have preferred the Pats\' or the Giants\' roster?
The Nats recent winning streak better not keep them from the worst record in baseball. Strasburg4Prez!