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All time champion? Might be hard to beat left field, with starting pitcher 1919 <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=28343">Babe Ruth</a></span> sporting a 217 <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=OPS" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('OPS'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">OPS</span></a>+ and a 102 <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=ERA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('ERA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">ERA</span></a>+ in 15 starts....
Yes, we want that!
This is great. Also, completely plausible. A much less dominant Roger Clemens went out 20-1 just two years after this, only to lose his last two decisions at the end of September/early October.
Not. More. Unhittable. Than. Mariano.
I'm interested that you are so high on playing Santana at 3B for the year but so low on doing the same with Gattis at C. Gattis has almost as high a projected OPS per PECOTA, is not a defensive liability, and offers offense at a position that has little to offer. What am I missing?
Thanks, Joe. This is absolutely the kind of information that I'd like to see. Harper is such a high-profile -- and, apparently, polarizing -- player, that I'd love to see a longer poll-the-industry type piece about him....
Agreed! The trade that made my childhood was more like Doc Medich for Willie Randolph, Dock Ellis, and Ken Brett.
If Johnson "is what he is", that seems pretty far from being able to hold down a spot in a major league rotation, given his disappointing results in AA and getting sent back to Low-A. Do you still think he's fairly close despite the bumps in the road?
One thing I noticed is that, while their A+ stats look very similar, Berrios was matching Norris while averaging almost an inning more per start. Given that he's younger and that endurance was potentially a knock against him, doesn't that really give him the edge?
It's too bad the Zunino pick got derailed into a question of journalistic ethics....
I read it as Harry's position alone, and one that I suspect many BP writers would disagree with. I think this would actually be a fun idea for an article, to poll the BP writers as to who they'd retroactively take first in this draft (similar to what you did about which SS prospect writers would take). My guess is it would be a majority Buxton, a strong minority Correa, and a small minority for Zunino, but I'd love to see folks' rationales for those picks....
My just-seven-year-old daughter last night during the Yankees-Mariners game: "I wish we could have King Felix. (Pause.) But I guess that would either cost a lot of money or some of our best players." I was so proud!
I don't think "3" is extremely unlikely at all. There were public whispers about Guerrieri's make-up when he was drafted, so the Rays almost certainly knew what they were getting into. Also, though not a drug issue, I'd say trading for Josh Lueke is at least suggestive that the Rays view make-up concerns as a potentially exploitable inefficiency.
This is great. It would be worth the roster slot if you just planned to use him as a September call-up, with the bonus that he could spend five months in the minors practicing baseball. Hard to imagine that would appeal to Usain Bolt, but it suspect the tenth fastest sprinter in the world is also a lot faster than Billy Hamilton, doesn't have Bolt's income-generating opportunities, and may have even played some high school ball (as you mention Herb Washington did)....
The author addresses the Roger Clemens parallel in the third to last paragraph, and this is part of what makes his analysis so cogent. While Hall of Fame voting has been quite similar for the two, the author points out that opinion poll data have been very different -- with Bonds' polling showing differing opinions along racial lines in a way that Clemens' does not. This seems like quite strong evidence that race is playing a significant role in public perception.
Great article. Thanks. From your description of playing overseas, it sounds like that is usually something the player may be looking for. How common was the situation with Chris Colabello, where the team found the potential position overseas for the opportunity. If advising a player like Colabello (and I'm not asking you to comment on his specific case if you prefer not to), would you be worried that rejecting a team's proposal to play overseas could affect your relationship with the team and ability to make the 25? Would you consider asking for his release to seek other MLB opportunities?
Great piece and interesting conclusion. However, I think risk aversion will solve this problem. No manager is going to want to challenge an insignificant play in an early inning, lest he find himself answering questions after the game about why he blew his challenge in the 1st when the game was decided by an obviously blown call against his team in the 6th.
I think Kevin Goldstein addressed this in one of the podcasts. If I recall correctly, an American who went to play in NPB would still have to enter the draft when he returned....
To be fair, that was a rhetorical flourish, and Mo had two of those in a row, or >140 IP. On the other hand, if I counted right, Bob Gibson -- 143 IP, 9 runs (8 earned), from 6/6/68 through the sixth inning of 8/24/68 for an RA of .50. Eleven straight complete games (8 shutouts, 3 allowing one run) will do that. http://www.baseball-almanac.com/players/pitchinglogs.php?p=gibsobo01&y=1968
Chills down my spine. Thank you, Sam.
This is great. Heard Jay Jaffe on the radio yesterday when Mike Ferrin asked him to make the argument for Jack Morris -- it was painful to listen to ... he just couldn't (though he came up with a couple of flimsy arguments that he could barely say with a straight face)....
Dang. The radar guns they have at some minor league parks are depressing enough.
According to this link, Squires got into 2 games in 1980, and another lefty, Benny Distefano, caught 3 for the Pirates in 1989. Since then, nada.
Also, Paul, would you tell us if you were Not Jim Tracy?
I'd put the Bauer package second but take the Orioles' offer. Urrutia is safe enough to make this almost a guaranteed win for the Giants, and he plus the pitchers offer some nice upside as well.
Thanks for explaining this, which I've never been able to understand despite previous explanations. I guess what I'd still like to understand is: What is the adjusted "amalgamation of real wins and the three Pythagenpat-based win estimators" trying to capture? Is it who is the best team right now, or at least who has played the best to date? Would the ranking be much different if they were ranked by chance of winning the World Series (which I personally would prefer).
These are Jason's observations from the weekend. It's fair to ask if they change his view of Franco's ranking, but they don't undermine the prior ranking, which was based on information available to the BP staff at the time.
Thanks, Pete! Great stuff as always (from a LoHud "alum")!
Oh my God. The Sterling calls for Scott and Kottaras are perfect -- realer than real.
A great piece on Lee, Adam. What a shame.
36-year-old Greg Nettles hitting an inside-the-park home run in the 1980 ALCS coming off a long bout with hepatitis. When he scored, he looked like he was going to turn green and possibly die.
The rumor that Teixeira is ahead of schedule is not true: http://yankees.lhblogs.com/2013/04/05/pregame-notes-teixeira-on-schedule-not-ahead-of-schedule/
Thank you, Eric, for a candid look at what was going on from the inside.
Maybe I'm just a pessimist, but your "bears" strike me as more right on than your bulls (Dickey excepted).
Agreed! Bonds' IBB > Rice's BB is the best!
Does it create a bias to exclude pitchers who don't pitch 50 innings in year 2? If I understand the methodology correctly, you would be excluding pitchers like Michael Pineda, who Verducci could fairly argue is exactly the kind of guy he's talking about.
Jason, that spreadsheet is really cool. Thanks for showing how the sausage is made!
Great piece. Thank you, Colin.
Your point about preserving the mission of the Hall is key. Many writers seem to think they are punishing Bonds, et al., but the reality is they are punishing the fans.
I totally disagree. My five-year old loves stories about Mickey Mantle, and there's no need to dwell on his many failings -- she'll learn about that when she's older. Why can't we have the same joy discussing Roger Clemens? She knows about the PED charges, but at this age she should be allowed to focus on the wonder of his accomplishments.
This is exactly right. Part of the problem seems to be that many writers consider the HOF as primarily a reward for the players, whom they believe should be punished if they did PEDs. In my view, the HOF should be for the fans, and _we_ are being cheated by writers who would have a Hall without Bonds, Clemens, et al. When we watch the Yankees and my five-year old asks me with wide-eyed wonder if A-Rod will be a Hall of Famer, the answer should be "Yes!", and not, "Well, that's a complicated question...."
Doug, this is awesome. I don't know if there's enough video, but it would be great if you could do even earlier aces -- Seaver and Gibson come to mind!
Can anyone point me to an explanation of how these rankings are compiled? It's not W, W3, or playoff odds. What is the formula that explains the Rays being number 2 this morning?
I remember Rob Murphy. Famous for superstitiously wearing black underwear when he pitched: http://www.baseballlibrary.com/ballplayers/player.php?name=Rob_Murphy_1960
Re Israel and Spain, per the Wikipeadia, a player may be eligible if he "is qualified for citizenship or to hold a passport under the laws of a nation represented by a team" even if he "has not been granted citizenship or been issued a passport".
If I'm Luxembourg, I'm passing a law making any active MLB player eligible for citizenship....
I totally want to see it. I always regretted that Randy Johnson had no interest in becoming a LOOGY at the end of his career -- seemed like he should have been able to do that forever....
Great stuff! The name Fred Merkle did cross my mind....
As KG said on one podcast, you are just killing it, Joe. BP's gone from a great niche site to an indispensable behemoth. Thanks, Joe!
Agree 100%. Roundtables and the like are a great idea, as it will be especially interesting to highlight when views of a prospect diverge within BP. And the scouts' comments are a great feature -- glad they will be expanded too!
1. Very cool that you responded so quickly to split up the majors and minors.
2. I didn't expect it, but it really is better this way!
Agreed. Happy to have Brad on this!
Maybe it means he's Puigilistic?
The Giolito signing also points out that Appel's downside risk may not be as large as it seems. If he hurts his arm or has a bad year, he's not down to eleventh-round money; he probably just gets a smaller number of millions.
I heard Dewan on Rico Petrocelli's show on XM and he sounded like an advocate for the shift rather than a disinterested researcher. He's done some important work, but it is also worth bearing in mind that he has a substantial financial interest in convincing teams his data is very valuable....
Cal and Bill Ripken come immediately to mind.
I had an Apple II computer simulation back when I was a teenager in the early 1980s that I set up to run a league of all-time great teams. I remember fondly over-using Bob Hazle and even the computer's twangy announcement of his name when he came to bat....
I'm partial to Ken Griffey, Sr., who came over to the Mariners in late 1990 and outhit his future HOF son (377/443/519 vs 300/366/481).
I bet you'll be stuck with the former. If he still had the velocity but not the results, it would be easy to dream, but it's hard to imagine who's going to what to give up significant value for him now. Hold and keep your fingers crossed.
Great, greats stuff!
Last year, the Indians were saying it was hard to fix Ubaldo mid-season, but wait 'til 2012. What you describe seems like an awful lot to fix, even with the semi-optimistic note in the last paragraph. Is this another lost year, or can this be improved substantially in-season? And if it can, are the Indians capable of doing it?
Is it fair to ding Ripken for playing every game in 1989, when he played every game in 1991 and won the MVP?
I'm sure Space meant once a week as a floor, not a ceiling. Good news.
(But doesn't your pattern suggest Cleveland will give him another shot?)
Sorry, Jay, not Steve.
Good stuff, Steve. I know it predates you, but Mantle succeeding DiMaggio springs to mind. Is that unique, or are there other cases where a legend has actually been replaced by another legend?
Thoughts on Guidry vs. Rice in '78? I've always felt that one was wrong, but I may be a bit biased....
Agree 100%, hot! I was shocked that no one named Hamilton.
Let me second NumberPower's idea. As I was reading this, I kept thinking, so what does this allow me to conclude about Jorge Posada's true current hitting ability....
Statistical footprints of PED use -- is there any way to catch this great white whale? Steven Levitt was able to find statistical evidence of cheating in sumo wrestling and standardized test taking. Is there any method that might have some promise?
One of two comments that this is about the Yankees, but it's not a logical concern. The Yankees have missed the playoffs once under the current format, so they hardly need the help. Under the new system, they're out in half of their wild-card seasons after a one game (or two-of-three) playoff, so you get _less_ Yankee baseball in October.
Isn't this the best of both worlds? Even more teams get "hope" than in the present format, yet finishing first again "means something". Given that the odds of winning two series, even as a heavy favorite, will almost never exceed the odds of winning one, even as a substantial underdog, no one's going to rest their regulars when the division's still on the line....
Mike is correct.
The point was (a) the only # 1 pick the Yankees have ever had; (b) a record signing bonus; and (c) one of the very small number of # 1s who never made the majors. I could add that there was a pretty good local kid named Manny Ramirez who went later that round, but I suppose you could play that game with a lot of disappointments.
Worst draft pick ever: Brien Taylor.
Emma Span is a brilliant addition!
Funny, that. I'd already been wondering whether Jeter's 2010 Gold Glove had at least a little to do with voters wanted to give him ammunition to extract a few extra bucks from the Yankees....
Sometimes you need a little extra time to get something right, especially your first book. I'm sure the final product will be great and worth the wait.
I appreciate that people tend to see significance in small sample size data that really isn't there.
However, A's Fan's comment is an important one. Let's say Player X injures his wrist on July 1 and decides to play through the pain, which subsides on July 31 after a cortisone shot. It's not a leap of faith to believe that serious wrist pain could affect one's hitting significantly. Therefore, shouldn't we expect some meaningful correlation between X's at bats in July that is not explained by his overall performance? If the methodology doesn't pick that up, does it say something about the methodology that should concern us?
Obviously, "hot streaks" and "seeing the ball well" are much more ephemeral, but if the results don't prove that having a wrist injury doesn't affect hitting (and I'm sure that's not Russell's claim), then do they prove that a hitter's subjective sense that he's hot is not meaningdul either?
Bozarowski is exactly right. This analysis is a nice start, but Gene Michael took over a team that was a disaster and left with a team that was on the verge of arguably the best run in the last 50 years. Sure he doesn't get 100% of the credit for 1998, but he has to get some. You could account for that either in a blunt way (e.g., accounting for the 3 seasons before and after) or in a fine way (e.g., tracking individual players/contracts acquired on the GM's watch), but either is probably a tricky exercise....
MEDICH is clearly the right call.
That was great. Thanks. Other than the Bonds mis-fire, I'd say he was amazingly prescient. The most obvious divergence that the hitters consistently hit more HRs than predicted, and there's no way James could have predicted the offensive environment of the 90s (whether as a result of PEDs or whatever).