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I'd love it if the Rangers draft Mrs. Robbins' son.
Did you play out other lineups? For instance, what if the pitcher hit 7th, and had the 7 hitter hit 9th? I realize the second cost becomes greater, but I would still be interested in seeing what the "optimal" lineup construction is for 2014, assuming there are no substitutions like at the end.
I am curious if you considered factoring in ballpark at all, and also day/night games. I doubt they will matter much, but they could provide value.
For instance, Buster Posey improving a lot by this model I am guessing is partly due to Peavy improving greatly when moving to the pitcher friendly park. Perhaps success at suppressing hits (the primary effect of a ballpark) is not independent from the success at creating strikes.
Hmm, this sounds quite like a prompt I got recently at a case competition... :)
Jose Iglesias might be the biggest one not mentioned here.
Brandon Belt was part of the 2009 draft
Yeah, the game last night was 4-3, not 3-2.
it was on a 3-2 count, runners normally go in that situation anyways.
because he'd have to go up against Cain instead of Zito.
I feel like this Giants team is shaping up a lot like their world series run team. They had a rotation of infielders with guys like Renteria, Uribe, a worse Sandoval, Mike Fontenot, and Freddy Sanchez. Now they've replaced that with Arias, Crawford, a better Sandoval, Ryan Theriot, and Marco Scutaro.
They might not have 65 million to juggle around with. They are probably still going to swallow 20ish million to these players and it's not entirely clear if they'll be able to get up to that payroll again. After Dice-K, Lackey, Crawford, and Beckett all backfiring on them with their huge paydays, is ownership willing to just throw huge contracts right away at a bunch of other high end free agents/extensions?
How many of those players are 5, 4, and 3 star players (roughly at this point in the season)?
Since when were the Giants in 2nd and the Padres in 3rd?
I was thinking for a minute there "I didn't realize that Lincecum also signed a multi-year extension over $100 million." Then I remembered...
I'm a bit surprised that this year's Giants ballot stuffing pushed you over the edge as all of the starters from their team are having very good seasons. When Johnny Damon and Jason Varitek won two starting spots in 2005 was when I started disliking the rule.
Yeah, he hates the Rangers so much that he put 5 of them on his AL roster. It's clear he despises them.
I have always been curious how hitters filling in as the DH slot on NL teams in interleague play compare to their full-time counterparts in the AL during that time. Additionally, do the slash lines for pitchers in the different leagues differ greatly?
I know ATT Park is not generally considered a hitters park, but could it be that it just fits Melky's new hitting approach better than Kauffman Stadium, Turner Field or Yankee Stadium ever did? ATT is great at diminishing the numbers of power hitters, but for guys like Cabrera who are hitting more singles, perhaps it is actually easier to hit into the gaps, which would help inflate his numbers further.
thank you for making this an interesting article. I am so sick of the Red Sox and Phillies being on all of these kinds of lists. I love the bold predictions!
Here's a kind of crazy idea that would be interesting: Barry Zito. He is doing well, the Giants would probably eat up a good portion of his contract and take on Youk's if they wanted to do the trade (freeing up caps space for the Sox while acquiring a good SP, at least for now). The Giants still have Pablo Sandoval on the DL and the Brandon Belt/Aubrey Huff/Brett Pill combo at first isn't panning out, having Youk in the mix is a good addition for them. Thoughts?
Wasn't Brown's main knock that he didn't have good plate discipline? I know his season is less than stellar, but has his approach become better, as it seems like he is walking a lot?
Interesting point, although looking at the most efficient and least efficient teams, it looks like this idea might not work out in reality. Colorado and Minnesota are among the most efficient, while Los Angeles and Chicago are among the least. True, there could be outliers, but that's already 4 out of 10 teams shown.
Is Freddy Sanchez so bad that he doesn't make the list?
nor Robinson Cano for that matter
This is one time I flat out disagree with BP. I would never take Asdrubal Cabrera in an NL-only league :)
and Aaron Boone playing a pickup game of basketball resulted in a DL stint
How about Geoff Blum getting injured by taking his shirt off?
Play in tournaments! I have a similar rating and love playing in tournaments even more than online. If you are that good at playing fast, chances are you could be very good with 25 minutes a game. On the home page of cross-tables.com, there is a listing of all of the coming tournaments if you are interested.
Loved the article Diane. I will make sure to meet you the next time we are at the same tournament!
Does Francisco Peguero have the tools to be a major league outfielder? Every time I hear him mentioned in an article on any website, it mainly points out his terrible plate discipline. How good are his good tools?
^^^^^ also, I was surprised "Center field" by John Fogerty didn't make the cut.
I think you mean #13
If any team reaches for a college bat, could Alex Dickerson possibly be the guy?
The Red Sox are 4-10, not 4-9...........
Dianagram, I think you played in some scrabble tournaments I've played in.
Also, although this isn't baseball, this year, there is a player entering the NFL Draft named Jacquizz Rogers. If only his name could be valid in scrabble.......
I think you are missing the line "And the radical priest" before "come to get me released".
The problem with this is that most teams that can afford Pujols who are in contention already have great offensive first basemen. True, Pujols is better than the rest of them, but it would be hard for most of them to be able to fit both Pujols and their starting 1B in their lineups if they aren't going to move Pujols' position:
Red Sox - Adrian Gonzalez and David Ortiz
Yankees - Mark Teixeira
White Sox - Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn
Phillies - Ryan Howard
Reds - Joey Votto
Brewers - Prince Fielder
That leaves basically the Rangers, Giants, and Braves as bigger contenders that have the potential flexibility to acquire Pujols. If Teixeira or Pujols would be willing to move to DH, then they could also be in contention, but that would be unlikely. Maybe a surprise team does better than expected and plucks him, but overall, while the competition should be big in theory for such a great slugger, in reality it probably won't be.
Possibly the best title for a BP article ever. Maybe it's just because I'm a huge Whose Line fan.
I think Joe Paterson is spelled with 1 t. Could be wrong though.
The only problem with the Prospectus Hit List is that in the end, there are 5 AL teams ahead of an NL team because they are considered to have stronger competition. But, when a team like the Phillies, who had the top record in baseball this year and had a dominant team overall finishes lower than a team like the Red Sox due to schedule strength, it seems that matchups are overvalued. It seems a bit too disproportionate to have the AL be so much better than the NL.
I like the Matsuzaka idea. If they sign Brandon Webb too, that would be an interesting platoon as a 5th starter/long reliever combo.
So if Konerko is such a shoe in to resign with the White Sox, why is Aubrey Huff mentioend in this column as it seems like both he and the Giants want him to stay in San Francisco?
How in the world does Rich Poythress not make the top 20? He had an incredible year, and he was already a highly touted prospect coming out of the draft last year. Am I missing something?
Torres is top notch. Before Uribe hit for power, the main reason he was the starting shortstop for the White Sox was because of his great defense. Renteria, Freddy Sanchez, and Posey are also above average. Their bench has some of the best replacement fielders in Aaron Rowand, Mike Fontenot, and Travis Ishikawa.
Also, there is no one huge liability. Sure, Burrell, Huff, and Sandoval are mediocre, but they aren't horrendous.
If they do this, they need to add two teams to the AL. It would be ridiculous to have 6 out of 14 teams make it.
I think often, people complain about how one team that missed the playoffs deserved to make it. But, that's part of the excitement leading up to the playoffs, that a couple of teams are battling it out for less than that many slots. Getting rid of that would just make the end of the season less exciting, and decrease the level of play in postseason games. If Bud Selig wants that, then add 2 playoff teams in each league.
I think Brian Sabean was awful at drafting originally, but starting with the year that they drafted Tim Lincecum, the drafts have been great. Everyone thought that the Giants reached the following year to nab Bumgarner at ten. Then, after Sabean hired John Barr as the head of amateur scouting, it's been even better. Buster Posey, Zach Wheeler, Brandon Belt, and many other guys have been the products of the 2008 and 2009 drafts.
Keep in mind that Sabean also built up a great team when first getting the job. Guys like Barry Bonds, Jeff Kent, Rich Aurilia, and Jason Schmidt were all his doing.
Give the man some credit. With many GMs now focusing on sabermetrics, Sabean has showed that some great scouting can beat sabermetrics.
In 2010, the Giants were the best team.
The Yankees, Rays, Cardinals, Phillies, Twins, Red Sox, Rockies, Reds, and Rangers all had better rosters, but the Giants were the best team. They played like one unit.
From 2007-2009, the best rosters won the World Series, and I personally find that less exciting. Personally, I won't remember a single moment in any of those World Series
From 2001-2006, the best team won the World Series. I remember seeing Luis Gonzalez's hit, I remember the Angels being 6 outs away from losing the World Series, I remember the Marlins rallying three consecutive games in the NLCS and then outplaying the Yankees in the World Series, I remember the Red Sox winning 8 consecutive games to win the ALCS and World Series, I remember the White Sox winning a 14 inning game against the Astros, I remember the Cardinals coming out of nowhere to surprise the Tigers.
Sometimes, the best games don't have the best players. Read this onion article if you actually did not enjoy this series:
Hitting a pitch to the deep gap is just hitting a very hard ball. Hitting a 340 foot homer is partly due to a messup in pitch choice usually.
While Fielder would maybe make sense for the Giants, I can't see them go after him. Both Aubrey Huff and the Giants want for Huff to play for the Giants next year. Sure, Huff could play some outfield, but with Huff roaming the outfield, along with Pat Burrell and Cody Ross (assuming they also resign him, after how he's been playing), that leaves a bench of Andres Torres, Aaron Rowand and Nate Schierholtz. You also have to remember that Mark DeRosa will be back for next year and will also battle for some outfield time. The infield is crowded as well, with Freddy Sanchez, DeRosa, Pablo Sandoval, Juan Uribe, and Mike Fontenot, all competing for three slots.
Fielder might be the right move, it's just unlikely for Brian Sabean to realize that his team from this year may regress. He'll go after the heroes from this year instead of the guys who could be bigger heroes in the future.
I know the NL is worse than the AL, but common, 7 AL teams before the Phillies? I know that this is a well-thought out formula derived from many things, but the league difference seems a bit drastic that it raises questions for me.
You can't solely rely on PECOTA. Like any projection, there will always be error. Mark Normandin doesn't only do his fantasy projections based off of PECOTA. If he finds a player whose projections seem quite high, he may rank the player higher than he would have before he saw the projections, he won't automatically put him somewhere based on his numbers. There is no point to playing fantasy baseball if the owner doesn't put any input into his draft.
This could be a bit too messy and tedious, but how many outlier players (aka players that overperform like Jose Bautista or underperform like Nate McLouth) are on the outlier teams overall? Is PECOTA just rapidly misjudging a couple of players, or is it something else as you suggest?
Now that Jeremy Affeldt is on the DL, should the Giants also try to trade for a top notch reliever? Also, in terms of bats, with Aubrey Huff now playing some outfield, how much do they really need an impact bat? Andres Torres, Pat Burrell, Huff, Nate Schierholtz, and Aaron Rowand is a good enough outfield, and how many non-outfield impact bats are there on the market?
Now that Posey and Bumgarner are up, does Brandon Belt become the Giants' top prospect?
but wasn't Krol suspended from his high school team for alcohol use? Why would he be in shape and Arnett not?
Fantasy MVP(hitter): Albert Pujols
Fantasy MVP(pitcher): Tim Lincecum
Sleeper(hitter): Milton Bradley
Sleeper(pitcher): Mat Latos
Impact Prospect: Brett Wallace
Sophomore slump: Randy Wells
Sophomore breakout: Tommy Hanson
Most likely to disappoint: Matt Cain
Most overrated: Jacoby Ellsbury
Player you won't give up on at any point in the season, no matter how irrational it may be: Carlos Quentin
Most likely to be traded to AL, breaking hearts of NL-only owners: Adrian Gonzalez
Most likely to be traded to NL, breaking hearts of AL-only owners: Bobby Abreu
Great column idea.
I was just wondering, why would Milton Bradley need to hit in the 3 slot? He seems like the best fit for the 4 slot out of those four guys. Ichiro is a good enough pure hitter in the 3 slot, and Lopez works fine in the 2 slot. Why wouldn't this be more effective?
No mention of Angel Guzman? He has been pretty great.
Just two years ago, everyone said Lewis was the one who should have been cut instead of Rajai Davis. Now, I would agree, Davis is probably better, but Lewis isn't so underrated at this point. The only thing he has is an above average OBP, especially for this team, but as a bench warmer, maybe having a guy like Velez who can play outfield and second base along with more speed in pinch running provides more value in the Giants' eyes (although, I still don't agree having both Velez and Torres over Lewis, one should be kept, one should be released.)
My solution that hasn't been thought of a lot: Since Freddy Sanchez is out for now, Have a platoon of Juan Uribe and DeRosa at 2B, a platoon of DeRosa and Bowker in left, and Schierholtz in right, possibly platooning him with Bowker or Fred Lewis if he isn't dealt.
Another thing to keep in mind is that RF in ATT Park is hard to manage and it may be a nightmare having Bowker or Lewis play there. Schierholtz probably makes the most sense given the conditions, he isn't the best ballplayer out of everyone though.
Where do Eric Surkamp, Connor Gillaspie, and Edwin Quirarte rank on the list? That draft was supposed to be amazing, but right now it has 1 5 star player, 1 3 star player, 1 2 star player. How does it look now?
this might get confusing, but often there are borderline players who could fit into two tiers only okay. could you possibly have two different symbols for guys who were borderline for one tier above where they are placed and for one tier below? that way, it also gets a bit more specific in rankings as well.
As much as I like the ones about injury prone players, I have to go with the man who put up this contest:
Even though the Red Sox are probably the best team for drafting within the past ten years for hitting (although Jack Z has also done good enough to get consideration), teams like the Giants have landed more pitchers than the Red Sox.
What I'm getting at is, besides Lincecum, the Giants' pitchers did not fall and some were even overdrafted. My question is, do you think this strategy of drafting players that fall regardless to slot works better for hitters than pitchers?
I just suggested it on the article itself, but could you add a weekly article where all of the writers try to answer a big, controversial, baseball question? I would probably pay $1.75 more for that addition.
also, this was a great read. Could you guys possibly make a weekly column where a philosophical question is raised and the great thinkers all assemble together and analyze? I know it's a lot to ask for, but I think it would be a great addition to the site.
I am wondering about a few points that weren't clarified:
1)Does Joe Consistency let in those four runs at the same rate or could he let all four runs in one inning? If the latter is true and teams know of his consistent tendencies, on some rarer starts couldn't they just pull him out after 5 innings after giving up zero or one runs? Couldn't teams interfere with the experiment and get more value out of him in that sense?
2)Could this guy get a better contract midway through the season? If a team (like the Red Sox last year) had a bunch of starters get injured/played awfully, they would be glad to scoop up a pitcher who could pitch seven innings for them as a filler. They wouldn't have found him necessary during the offseason though since they already signed Brad Penny and John Smoltz.
3)Is his stuff also consistent every time? Would a below average hitter get just as good pitches as the above average one? If so, then he becomes a valuable situational pitcher on a roster. He could get the bottom part of the lineup out probably as often as a great pitcher if his stuff is consistent as well.
and I forgot Brett Anderson too as part of that deal.
yeah, they traded Chris Carter, Carlos Gonzalez, and Aaron Cunningham in that trade, not to mention right before that they traded Carlos Quentin.
Merry Christmas to all of you, and to Kevin, chappy late chanukkah! Just wondering, how many Jewish writers are there at BP?
How about this:
Tim Lincecum's motion looks like a mess, but most say it's one of the best in baseball. What's the ideal type of pitching motion, and what general motions lead to more injuries?
I know this is insanely general but a lot of questions+analysis can be gotten after explored:
Is there a certain age that a player is more likely to get a certain kind of injury and why?
I have another question inspired by the current Wagner Mateo dispute:
How does the average eyesight for the greatest players compare with the eyesight for average players and mediocre players? On average, do hitters or pitchers have better eyesight?
I have never heard of analysis on eyesight in sports. It could be very interesting.
I like the rating system idea but instead of stars, maybe you should do projected round. Last year, Hanley and Reyes would have gotten a 1, maybe Rollins too, but after that, round 5 probably would have been the next guy. It is a bit more complicated, but it is more complete.
I'm also surprised Ranuado was included. Sure he's good but only the Stephen Strasburgs of the world can be considered without throwing a single inning. Aroldis Chapman deserves some mention if two college players got in.
I was a bit surprised Bumgarner+Matusz didn't even make the just missed category. They are probably the best two pitching prospects after Strasburg and Feliz, I maybe would even put Bumgarner ahead of Feliz prospectwise (although I do realize that Feliz is much closer to the majors. Matusz, will be a big leaguer next year, and he could easily win a Cy Young in the next 5 years. All of the players you mentioned are great, but I feel both of these guys are in that same group.
You didn't talk about your sleeper and just barely missed candidates.
Also, considering you used PECOTA, you did about a B/B+. Sure you can't rely entirely on PECOTA, but Garrett Atkins prediction being so out of whack isn't entirely your fault for missing the likeliness of that happeneing.
Sorry to be picky, but I think you spelled Hoffmann wrong. I think there's a second n at the end.
Steve Johnson and David Herndon seem like better prospects than many of these guys but also seem more raw. Who would you say are the best prospects from this?
Yeah, I also thought that if Blalock was on there, Glaus should too. Great article though.
How about Felix Hernandez to the Red Sox for Jed Lowrie, Michael Bowden, Daniel Bard, and Manny Delcarmen.
This is from a facebook thread about what the Red Sox should do over the offseason. My friend said that might be a bit too much for him...
Fair enough. I am not a trash Theo kind of guy, and that was not the thrust of my comment. But I do wonder how to rate GMs in terms of their relative focus on the various routes to talent acquisition and nurturing, as well as their relative success in going down each path (i.e., minor league system, trade, free agent). If there is a well accepted notion of Value Over Replacement Player (VORP), what I am searching for is a Value Over Replacement General Manager (VORGM) that adds up these different domains in a coherent way and compares the total to a low-bar benchmark.
I forgot that Theo had his Halloween hiatus. Thanks for stting me straight. So putting the Hanley trade to the side, it seems ot be the case that far more of the player moves that Theo has made -- trades, free agent signings -- have not really worked out compared to those that have. In the end, his skill in building a top-tier organization may be almost entirely due to the impressive minor league system he has created.
Point well taken that flags fly forever. But even if the Sox had not won it all in 2007, a proper analysis of the hypothetical scenario -- undoing The Trade -- demands equal consideration of the possibility that they would have been better positioned in 2006, 2008, 2009 and for the next many years to replace that 2007 flag with one or more other ones.
With the emergence of Hanley Ramirez as (perhaps) the best all-around player in the MLB, and the Red Sox continued woes filling the SS position as is well documented in the above article, The Trade must be revisited. If Theo believes it would have been too costly to give up Jacoby Ellsbury and Jon Lester for CC Sabathia last year, or Clay Buchholtz, Jon Lester, and Lars Anderson for Roy Halladay this year, how is he not vilified for trading away Hanley? I know he got Beckett and Lowell in return and they were key cogs, but Theo still sacrificed the best player at the most central position on the field -- a true game changer. I would love to see a thoughtful analysis of the overall impact on the Red Sox over the past several years of hypothetically undoing that trade.
I would further be interested in knowing if the location is closer to the major league affiliate does the attendance go up? I am a Giants fan in Boston and I love going to their AA team in Connecticut but never see many people there.
Very interesting article. I think Matt is kind of like Adam Lambert of this competition, and you may be like Kris Allen. Consistently good, not usually the best out of everyone, but very enjoyable.
By far the best. If you don't win this competition then I don't know what other subscribers are thinking. You crush every week.
Out of curiosity, how would you rate BP writers' work on your 1-10 scale?
This may be a future article, but who may be "that guy".
I absolutely hate the Dice K pick. He is definitely going to do worse this year and won't be worth that amount of money.
As a Giants fan, there are so many spots up for grabs that even though many borderline hitters for their team are very mediocre, they will be more useful than many other backups in baseball. Definitely consider trying to get Nate Schierholtz if you are in need for a final outfielder. He has an okay chance with legitimate playing oppurtunities for a backup.
Where would you draft James Shields? An eighth round pick?
Just wondering as a Giants fan, how bad did you think the Renteria deal was? It\'s being criticized as the worst signing this year often.
Where do you put Pablo Sandoval? Third base, first base, or catcher?
I know this is about NL, but I was wondering what do you think of San Francisco Giants NRI\'s Jesus Guzman, Justin Miller, Juan Uribe, and Kevin Pucetas?
Did Mike Aviles miss the top 20 or is he just listed as a shortstop?
What position does Pablo Sandoval count as? I would put him ahead of Nick Johnson.
People are forgetting that many players in the MLB have probably have used steroids before. It wouldn\'t surprise me if 50% of the MLB did it at some point. A-Rod, Barry Bonds, and Roger Clemens aren\'t the only \"cheaters\".
I thought Manny right away, but since everyone else said him I\'ll say Barry Zito. He would be the Bill Clinton of managers.
Kevin, could you imagine Ellsbury just becoming another Coco Crisp?
Just curious where would Fred Lewis, Johnathan Sanchez and Brian Wilson be if they were still on this list. Lincecum and Cain are obvious five stars, Pablo is a definite four star, Burriss and Schierholtz are three star players, but these three are a bit more gray area.
I would love to see more draft coverage throughout the year, maybe an article or two per month. For football, all year there is so much draft coverage, and baseball is just ignored. It should be increased.
Even though 3rd starter is overused in an incorrect way, that still wouldn\'t mean a five star prospect. That would mean guys like John Lannan, Ricky Nolasco, Jonathan Sanchez, Ian Snell, Jeremy Guthrie, Greg Smith and Gil Meche would have all been 5 star prospects. This seems like more of a four star player. I know you were on the edge about it, but I still feel it\'s a reach.
Who are the best rule 5 draft players from this one? What happened to the minor league rounds?
I think the Mets should maybe instead go to the Marlins and try to pry away Dan Uggla, and one of their many not great but suitable for now outfielders. The Marlins are constantly trying to get rid of their best players and even if that means the Mets have to cut ties with another prospect, they\'ve done it before, and there\'s no reason to back away now that they\'re so close to winning. Then they should sign some of your free agents.
Great Article Joe. I think for the future continue to do teams like the Mariners instead of the Dodgers (aka teams that were bad but could rebound easily if they make the right moves).
Some teams that come to mind when I say this are the Giants, Twins, Padres, A\'s, Indians and maybe even the Braves and Cardinals.
Nice article Joe. I know people have already requested this but can you please do the Giants? The NL west is still weak and the Giants could maybe even make the playoffs if they play their cards right this winter. Also, I think the Giants might put out as much young players as the Dodgers on their roster just because of their emphasized youth movement and lack of talent in general.
Giants: Trade Jonathon Sanchez for either a 2B or SS, someone like JJ Hardy. Try unloading Randy Winn\'s and Dave Robert\'s contract. Sign Lincecum to a big extension. Sign Mark Prior. He\'s still 28 and we have nothing to lose. If we cannot trade for a middle infielder sign Nick Punto. Another good option could be signing Casey Blake (yes I know he\'s a Dodger).
It really depends on the team Will. If a team like the Giants would try to get one of them, they might go after Jackson, because they aren\'t going to be ready for a few years anyway, and in 3 yearfs, when they start to be pretty good, so will he. For a team like the Red Sox, however, they want to win now and with a weak starting rotation, might be more inclined to get Sonnanstine because they want immediate impact. Personally, I like Sonnanstine better, he won\'t be an ace, but he won\'t fail either. Most teams have an ace, so more teams I think would do better with the safer player, Sonnanstine.
Maybe you could use some video footage for some of the better prospects. Also, maybe a comparison to a big league player. Last, maybe provide what you think will be the team\'s starting lineup in 2012, and how sucessful the team will be.