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I really wish there was a way to save articles to your profile page or some other spot, besides writing a comment below it.
I'd put him between Posey and Sanchez depending on the format.
I'll give an internet high five to anyone who can make this into a Google Doc or PDF with the rankings intact, but the players divided up into their respective positions.
I'm not an expert on the international signings rules for MLB, but I do know you can go over budget and have to curtail your spending for a year or two. Maybe a baseball inside can tell me if this situation has been fixed:
The Angels were 29th in international spending in 2013 and 24th in 2014. In 2015 they were-
6. Royals*$5.64 million
7. Rangers$5.60 million
8. Astros$5.38 million
26. Brewers$1.90 million
27. Tigers$1.78 million
28. Athletics$1.18 million
29. Orioles$1.15 million
How can you not spend even 5 million on international players? Wouldn't this be a cheap(er) way to rebuild the farm system? Is this being fixed? What is the current status of the Angel's international scouting department and budget?
What if we surrounded <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=59432">Mike Trout</a></span> with a great team? Like the Cubs or maybe just the Nationals? How much better would he be?
Or what if he could grow a <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=45465">Hunter Pence</a></span> beard? Or if he changed his name to CJ Cron?
It may be finite, but considering the power of our current technology and the time constraints of each decision in baseball the analogy seems to hold up well enough "Allis estimated the game-tree complexity [of chess] to be at least 10 to the power of 123, "based on an average branching factor of 35 and an average game length of 80". As a comparison, the number of atoms in the observable universe, to which it is often compared, is estimated to be between 4×10 to the power of 79 and 4×10 to the power of 81
Thank you Patrick. This is one of the best articles I've read on BP in months. If anyone is interested in a podcast that talks about the intersection of games, sports, computers, rules, and chess, check out "The Rules Can Set You Free" on RadioLab at
While Trout may be bland, the effect he has on his fans is anything but, just check reddit. Baseball doesn't have the football helmet problem and it has a demographic reach as far as who plays in the league that even basketball would crave. Perhaps a few young hip owners would help as would your third section which was full of great advice.
Current Patron Saints of #3 (the British have a word for airport moving walkways called "travelators" I think that would be a good word for this type of a lead-off hitter)
<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Daniel+Murphy">Daniel Murphy</a></span>: .390 <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=OBP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('OBP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">OBP</span></a> 47 2B 25 <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=HR" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('HR'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">HR</span></a> 5 <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=SB" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('SB'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">SB</span></a> (maybe too many HRs)
<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=45397">Melky Cabrera</a></span>: .345 OBP 42 2B 14 HR 2 SB
<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=65767">Brandon Belt</a></span>: .394 OBP 41 2B 17 HR 0 SB
Brandon Belt should be the travelator for the Giants.
I wish this list showed up in the prospect drop down menu, it's one of my favorite reads every year. Besides the ones mentioned in the podcast my other favorite comps were:
Realistic Ceiling: A ham-and-cheese sandwich with a delightful honey dijon spread
Realistic Floor: A room-temperature ham-and-cheese sandwich
Realistic Ceiling: Tapioca pudding
Realistic Floor: A faster-than-normal oil change
and my favorite one
Realistic Ceiling: Brandon Belt
Realistic Floor: Brandon Belt
I get that people are worried about McCullers arm so Gausman is going higher, but am I crazy to think that McCullers ceiling is high enough to take that risk over drafting Gausman?
So we see reports on kids in the LA Times and OC Register, but I think they are more geared to how well they are doing in HS than how well they will do in the pros. So who are the 3-5 HS players who are worth driving to go watch. Someone who we might get to say "hey I saw him play when he was in HS?"
Are you mostly hitting CSUF this year or are you going to check out Keston Hiura of UCI and Darren McCaughan of CSULB depending on who they are playing?
They tried to do a Dodger Stadium one. I had bought tickets, but it got cancelled because too few people bought tickets. See the comment above.
I just looked at this page in an incognito window so I could see the survey again and Petco Park is one of the options.
Petco would be cool. BP readers from LA and OC could take the train down together. There nothing like going to a day game at Petco, eating dinner in SD then taking the train back to LA and watching the sunset over the ocean from your train seat.
I put this in the survey, but I want to make sure this doesn't happen again:
PLEASE let us know when you are short buyers of the event and how many more you need. I bought tickets to the LA Dodgers event that was cancelled because too few tickets were bought. I would have rounded up more people if I knew we needed more. PLEASE.
You could even have a firm goal and let us know, or even have "rewards" if we exceed a number like <a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/author/wilson_karaman">Wilson Karaman</a> will create a personal YT or Spotify music list for us to listen to on the way to and from the stadium, if we buy 10 more tickets than the goal.
This is perfect. I'd like to add one more component to the "objective" part of this process. Models of success and understanding those models of success. This concept was perfectly addressed in the 2017 BP Annual <span class="teamdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/team_audit.php?team=ARI" target="blank">Arizona Diamondbacks</a></span> article written by Nick Piecoro.
Unless we are creating something entirely new, our objectives are built upon a concrete model of what we want something to be. Unfortunately we can misunderstand how the model objective came to exist. For example, if <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=59432">Mike Trout</a></span> tells people he is hitting down on the ball, but video does not support this explanation.
I'm really looking forward to more articles about this topic. Thanks spotting a new white rabbit.
1. I thought this would be the year people would start taking Springer over Stanton. Thoughts?
2. When I first saw Agon in the 8th I thought "dang he went way too early" and then I saw what was after him (although I like Belt and Pujols a little more) and thought dang 1B gets ugly real fast. Your Miggy pick was spot on.
That should not only become a meme, but should go in the BP Typo Pantheon. It's like he's been watching my drafts for years. Thank god for the waiver wire.
Every football coach I've ever talked to hates coaching against a gimmick offense because it's not worth the time to get really good at defending it, which is why so many small under-talented schools use gimmick offenses. They do this in basketball too. Maybe there's not enough wiggle room in baseball rules, but I'd love to see the envelope stretched.
The other nice thing about using a young good arm for this strategy is they get more comfortable opening games vs. coming out of the bullpen. I would have to assume that it's a bit of a difference mentally.
I love this too, and I'd take it one step further. I'd have my three best bench bats, as long as they are better than the Padres' worst three hitters, bat 1,2,3 in every away game and then pull them in the bottom of the first for the starter/defensive replacement in the bottom of the first. Why not put pressure on the other team and maybe give your team an early lead? Then your normal leadoff hitters will hit and you won't see your worst batters till maybe the third inning.
If you don't have three great bench bats, how about two, or even one?
The Padres should be the Sonoma Stompers of MLB this year, maybe Ben and Sam can pull a consulting gig out of this, the weather is sure nice at Petco.
So the Angels' bullpen was bad last year and that didn't help their shaky (at best) SPs.
Is there an SP out there that the Angels' can convert to the bullpen or a decent <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=RP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('RP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">RP</span></a> still out there they can sign cheap?
Or do I need to drop a pogo stick off on Houston Street's doorstep and hope for the best?
Not a single Los Angeles Angel player listed in the top 40. Nice.
He will be talked about when they get to their UTIL/DH week.
While Vogelbach's <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=AVG" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('AVG'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">AVG</span></a> has some split concerns, his .<span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=OBP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('OBP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">OBP</span></a> against lefties in 2016 was over .350 and in 2015 was .387...
What's the chance they start letting him bat vs. lefties in 2018 and beyond? What will it take for them to give him a chance? Or does the presence of Valencia mean Vogelbach is trapped in a platoon till Valencia leaves?
Considering what we normally expect from 1B, this list almost made me sadder than the catcher list. Is there a prospect of note currently playing another position, that you can see moved to 1B in the future?
Is Napoli really worse than Cron or <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=59218">Pedro Alvarez</a></span>? Why such a low ranking for Napoli?
For how long did you guys consider just listing every catcher in MLB besides Posey and Lucroy? Just a list, no explanations given.
Looking back, my initial comment seemed negative about Posey, but that wasn't my intention. He's great. I just meant, do you think there's anything in the numbers that shows he might have a place for improvement. It was just a curiosity thing, not a complaint about him.
<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=58548">Buster Posey</a></span> is great. He has been great, he's still great (as a catcher) but what I'm wondering is... can he get better at hitting? If Posey gets pissed during the offseason (unlikely) and decides to work on his hitting, what areas could he/should he work on to become an even better hitter or to recapture some of his past glory? Or are we satisfied with watching a slow grind to league average with Posey?
While the first chart is interesting to me as a baseball fan, it's less useful to me as a fantasy owner in an .<span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=OBP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('OBP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">OBP</span></a> league. I don't care about MLB average I care about getting 7+ points in the category. Which means I care about "what's the .OBP average for the 150 rostered players in our league. Over the past 5 years in our league you could earn 7+ points in .OBP by having an .OBP between .331 and .340 with more years around .334. I wish there was an easier way to determine averages between rostered players in fantasy vs. the MLB average.
1. Will there be any minor league stadiums using Statcast this year?
2. Which of the Statcast stats do you think will first make their way into a stat column here at BP or at Fangraphs?
3. How long does it take a new hitter/pitcher in MLB (or at the start of a season for a veteran) to have enough Statcast data for it to become meaningful?
"Brett came storming out of the dugout like someone had just smacked his mama. He charged straight toward McClelland and had to be physically restrained. Perry, knowing the bat would be taken to the American League office for inspection, had grabbed it and given it to a batboy to keep it away from security. A swarm of men in suits along with umpires chased the batboy into the clubhouse and retrieved the smoking gun.
The Royals protested the game and American League president Lee MacPhail sided with Kansas City, stating that the bat should have been taken out of the game but the home run should have stood. Amid much controversy, the game was resumed on August 18 from the point of the home run with KC up 5-4. Closer <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=27724">Dan Quisenberry</a></span> retired the Yankees in the bottom of the ninth to preserve the win."
" Remaining cognizant of the variables directly influencing them is the key to identifying future changes."
So besides "lineup construction, surrounding talent and offensive environment/park factors" I'm going to assume that:
runs are affected by speed, base-to-base smarts and aggressiveness, <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=OBP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('OBP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">OBP</span></a> and maybe something else. I'm really curious if you can measure how well someone moves from base to base independent of speed. I also wonder the influence of the team's overall approach and the decisions of the base coaches.
Wonderful article Russell, one that I'm sure I'll come back and read again.
That podcast on social trust was really good. One of the talking points was that an increase in diversity actually reduces social trust. It makes me wonder just how much is the racial makeup, or language makeup of a team considered when looking at a free agent signing. Even if it's only 5% of the decision it's intriguing, or sad.
There were things you could do to counter the effect and I wonder how proactive clubs are in creating this idea of social trust?
What was Sam's last guess?
No, Randy is just celebrating Proposition 64 with bowl of Girl Scout Cookies. I hope his picks weren't too much of a Trainwreck for you.
Am I stupid to think that the Angels would do well to sign <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=49024">Neil Walker</a></span>?
Dell sold its first computers out of a college dorm room.
The term cyberspace is coined by William Gibson in his novel "Neuromancer"
Chrysler introduced America to the Minivan.
<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Michael+Jackson">Michael Jackson</a></span>'s hair caught on fire during the shooting of a Pepsi commercial.
The first infomercials appear on TV due to deregulation by the FCC.
"Footloose" ... Soundtrack was the number one album of the year beating out Prince's "Purple Rain."
1984 was a weird year.
I want to say the spectacle of game 7 was like the OJ white bronco chase, everyone was texting each other with some form of "did you just see that?" But the OJ chase was tragic, this was more like watching a live birth, no this was more like your first keg party, no this was more like...
Like nothing I had ever seen before. And while I am a fan of neither team, baseball made me forget about so many things last night. Thank you.
Greek Literature, War, Sports, Baseball, Politics, Marriage: a nasty gray soup of human behavior, and yet you found a common link. Thank you for not making this a BP exclusive article.
This is the type of writing that gets shared and attracts new subscribers, and makes current subscribers feel like they got a bargain.
Go Banana... I mean Go Game 7.
It's just a mind game by Maddon. They have to prepare for him now, they have to think about him during the game. If he gets a hit, it's a win, if he doesn't get a hit- it's bad for the Cubs, but a nice gesture of faith to bring him up. So kinda a win win.
I don't see ANY on-field benefit to doing this, besides making Tito burn a lefty reliever, and I strongly doubt they'll take Miller out of the game with Schwarber at the plate.
I'd rather have a good utility guy in case they have an extra innings game. But Maddon knows way more about his team and baseball than I do, so let's see what he has in store for him.
Dear Lord Baby Jesus, lying there in your...your little ghost manger, lookin' at your <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=20016">Bob Carpenter</a></span>'s baseball scorebook, just waiting for the first pitch. Please make the deciding game either a blowout or a complete game victory so I don't have to see pictures of everyone hugging Chapman for the next 30 years when we look back at this series.
Over/under on Soler getting traded and is Baez really going to be a part time player for the next 3 years or is Bryant going to lose his 3B eligibility sooner than we think?
I buy lottery tickets and scratchers occasionally. I like the Dodgers' odds.
Was it refreshing to assign stats to fit a percentage goal? While time intensive, seems easier (and a little more fun) than coming up with a brand new statistical model.
Thanks for updating this.
If jerky movements are what qualify a bad pitch framer than <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=45449">Brian McCann</a></span> must be the worst pitch framer in the bigs.
Here's a video link of the play: http://m.mlb.com/video/v1204117083/must-c-curious-after-shift-ross-picks-off-gillaspie
I didn't get to watch the game so I need a little context on the Baez <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=HR" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('HR'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">HR</span></a> and perhaps a GIF or video please.
If I could give this reply two points and a gold star, I would. I think this matchup will be the Cubs toughest matchup. In a season where the Cubs are trying to get past a real or imagined barrier, going through the Giants even-year witchcraft, in a five game series, will tell us everything we need to know about the 2016 playoffs Cubs vs. the 2016 regular season Cubs.
Will Baez start a single game in the playoffs and if so in what situation? (Besides injury)
I had a few Cubs on my roto roster and it seems like they feasted on bad and mediocre pitching, but also had their games where they acted like windmills. What chance is there that Posey's game calling can contribute to a few 9K days for that Cubs lineup?
Super helpful. Thank you for putting this together.
The French-Canadian snowbirds who visit and live in Florida would appreciate The Ferns. Fiddleheads are a wonderful side dish when prepared properly.
There are probably other nicknames that invoke passion, zeal, gusto etc... that would work, but it will be a long time before anyone needs a reminder of his link to the team.
I'm going to print this out. Fold it up. And throw it in the general direction of the BP corporate office in hopes of "better days ahead."
What year was this originally run?
I'm going to assume that if you play in a league with <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=OBP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('OBP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">OBP</span></a> instead of <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=AVG" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('AVG'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">AVG</span></a> that Vogelbach becomes just a bit more valuable... and that's an understatement. If he has the potential to post a plus .400 OBP as a regular DH there are only about 10 batters in MLB that are currently doing that.
This "changing the pace because of young people" is so stupid I don't even know where to start. But before I do, I just want to say that I love baseball because of the length of the games. It's a mini-vacation from life and I'm not kidding, but about 15 minutes into a game my pulse has slowed and my blood pressure is down. If you want to make the game more enjoyable to young people here are a few ideas.
1. I've brought teens and 20 somethings to games, they HATE when the WiFi sucks. Make sure the WiFi is FAST and increase the amount of interactive things they can do with their phone. My son plays HS football, he loves it, but he'd rather play Madden than watch football on TV. Find some way to tap into that. Maybe a beat the manager game that you have online as a side game.
2. Instagrammable food. Make sure you have some outrageous food items that people just "must have" on their Instagram.
3. At Stanford football games they have the game playing live on super huge jumbotron screens on both ends of the stadium. When you are sitting up in the top of the stadium it's way easier to follow the game watching the TV, but you still have the feel of the crowd because you are at the game. Baseball stadiums could use a few more big screens with live action being broadcast. How can you yell at the ump when you can't even see if the pitch was a ball or strike?
So, for those who don't want to go look, the average line is:
Cause that's Rajai's 2016 line.
I know this sounds lame. But an actual slash line at the end of the article would feel satisfying.
The most useful feedback I get are from people who are self-critical because they are continually practicing metacognition. If you can identify those individuals, you've got a good start to your interview. Take for example <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=864">Garret Anderson</a></span> diving for a baseball. Casual fans went crazy because they thought he was finally "trying his best." After the game a sports writer asks him about that perception and he said, "I had to dive, because I got a crappy read on the ball and took a bad route. I shouldn't ever have to dive."
That's the type of player I want to interview.
My favorite pieces on BP are the ones that I know I'll come back and read more than once.
I clicked on both related contents tags: 80 grade pitches, and filth. There were no other articles.
Would it be possible for you to give us just one or two tangible take-aways from the study that we can use next year during our fantasy draft?
I enjoyed reading this, but struggled to see how I could apply it to my own fantasy teams.
I love stuff like this and would like to see more of it here. Thanks.
Thanks Doug. Fantastic analysis as usual.
What's the latest on pitchers developing stamina and the supporting muscles to throw late in games without losing their form/balance? Is it still long distance running, swimming (like <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=65751">Chris Sale</a></span>) or something else?
<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=70296">Billy Burns</a></span> had 74 SBs in A/AA. In Burns first 555 PAs in MLB he had only 26 SBs.
When you say Buxton has 50 steal speed, you mean single A 50 steal speed right? He hasn't shown 50 or even 40 stolen base ability at AAA or MLB. I know predicting something as infrequent as a stolen base is difficult, but it seems like we will be happy if Buxton steals 20-25 bases a year right?
PS I hope he hits and stays. It's fun to watch him run and play center, and he seems like a nice dude.
And I hope when a similar article gets written ten years from now we can point to this year as the year we got two good pitchers.
If struggling with your offspeed pitches results in 56 <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=IP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('IP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">IP</span></a> and 69 Ks with a 2.25 <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> and a 1.23 <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=WHIP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('WHIP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">WHIP</span></a> while pitching in AAA at the age of 22, color me impressed.
Best line "The Angels lead baseball by grounding into 49 double plays, which might sound bad, but they didn’t injure any pitchers so."
If he isn't available in your keeper league, because he hasn't played in MLB yet, would you regret spending all your FAAB once <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=102123">Alex Reyes</a></span> gets called up later this year? Am I crazy thinking that Reyes has a higher upside?
I'm curious about another factor. Is exit velocity more likely to be stable for power hitters than slap hitters. By slap hitters I mean someone like <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=19985">Rod Carew</a></span> or <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Tony+Gwynn">Tony Gwynn</a></span>. Both Carew and Gwynn could hit the ball harder, but based on the game situation and defensive placement the smarter swing may have been the softer swing.
Also do bunts get factored into average exit velocity?
I have read a lot of great articles on this site. I have laughed often while reading these articles. I've never pulled a muscle while laughing at an article. I hope your liability insurance is current.
So cool. I still can't believe we didn't sell enough tickets for a Dodgers one. Thanks for continuing these.
Let's say the Dodger's bring him up to serve as an <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=RP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('RP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">RP</span></a> the rest of the year. What's the best way for them to utilize his talents to win games while reducing the hit to his development as a starting pitcher?
Free dinner or lunch if you end up in Los Angeles or Orange County... don't you want to watch the Angels starting pitching rotation in action? Or you can watch Kershaw refuse to walk Harper in June.
Sandy's lower half is all over the place. I would love to see an analysis of the catching job he did for this game, pitch framing, sequencing, etc....
I just finished chapter 3. The book is great so far. I bought one for myself and a friend. He said he is reading "the hell out of it."
If Venice has survived hundred of years, so can soon to be underwater New York and Miami. I look forward to using Uber for boat travel.
1. Is there going to be a different model for revenue sharing by 2066 because I can't see the Central American/Cuban teams having very big TV contracts?
2. Mexico city is around 2,000 feet higher in altitude than Coors field. I'm going to assume Stanton will be their first pick in the supplemental draft in 2030.
3. Will we have robot umps in 2066 or cyborg players?
I'd like to see them put some jam inside or on the side, it would taste like a Monte Cristo sandwich. That looked way better than I expected and I'm tempted to fly there and taste it myself.
Feel free to intro all Minor League posts with a food related deep dive.
I know Reyes of the Cardinals got some time off his suspension for AZ Fall League games, so do you have any idea of when he is expected to start pitching in the minors? Thanks.
Needs Instagram worthy photo of said food.
<span class="teamdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/team_audit.php?team=ANA" target="blank">Los Angeles Angels</a></span> of Anaheim: Here are things that are very OC:
1. Decorate your beach cruiser, attend the Huntington Beach 4th of July parade, later that night set a couch on fire in downtown HB and visit your dad in the holding cell at the city jail.
2. Watch Wally George reruns while cleaning the guns from your extra gun safe, the main backup safe, not the one you buried in the backyard.
3. Count the number of empty seats at the stadium when the Angels play anyone but the Cubs, Red Sox, or Yankees. This is a three day weekend activity, musical backing by the rally monkey.
My wife played baseball until the 7th grade. She played 1st base. She's 5 foot 11 and could probably pitch. The first time I played catch with her she hurt my hand on the first throw. Her team got in some fights because of how boys were trying to intimidate her, both they and their coaches were uncomfortable with the idea. She actually played on the same team as a MLB catcher. She stopped playing baseball because she didn't want to play softball.
Her 5 foot 6 110lb sister played boys varsity water polo because there was no girls team at her school. She then went to work on a crab fishing boat in Alaska.
I can't wait for the day when I see a woman in Spring Training and that day will come sooner when we have girls baseball at the high school level.
My son is a 6 foot 4 freshman in high school. We stopped playing Pony baseball in the 6th grade for the following reasons:
1. He played 3 different sports year round, he could never compete as a pitcher vs. the kids who just played baseball year round.
2. The head coach and assistant coaches son's always pitched and everyone else was an afterthought in the pursuit of getting on the 2nd or 3rd "all-star" team or getting 1st place in the regular season which was stupid because every team made the playoffs.
3. Baseball takes so much time. Between long practices, long games, private coaching, extra batting practice, it's just brutal, especially if your kid cares about school. Playing Friday Night Flag Football with one one hour practice a week and a one hour game is so much better.
I always wished that someone would create a Saturday baseball league where kids could just pitch and hit with no score kept, just keep a game going for hours and rotate everyone who wanted to pitch in. I will always wonder what kind of a pitcher my son would have been if player development actually mattered at the youth level.
PS if you have a young kid pitching, make sure to buy Doug's pitching book. That book kept me sane dealing with dad's who wanted to teach my son "the proper way to pitch."
What would he have done with Posey behind the plate?
In all seriousness though, I don't know how to evaluate pitch framing, but it seems like Rupp did a nice job calling the game. Am I wrong?
I always find that emailing the author usually gets a quick thank you and a fix without having their mistake forever in the comments. But you posted this as nicely as possible, so it's not too bad.
I was waiting for someone to make a better comment than this, and then I was going to just give that comment a +1, but since nobody has commented yet, I just wanted to say-
"I really liked reading this. Thanks for writing and sharing this."
"but he’s quietly stumbled in the big leagues."
Not if you are discussing his start in one of the many online fantasy baseball discussion forums around the internet. It's anything but quiet there. (unless that was subtle sarcasm)
Speaking of, still hoping one day BP will have its own discussion forums. That would gets lots of page views and page refreshes with ad views galore. You could even limit it to subscribers only and see if subscribers could mod the boards.
Thank you for writing these. I find these super helpful.
Just curious. If Doolittle was hurt do you think the As would be doing the same thing with Madson, or is there a certain type of <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=RP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('RP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">RP</span></a> that becomes "the high leverage" guy.
To my untrained eye it seems that Ross' delivery is fairly low effort, but could stand to use a little more of his lower body in the delivery. It looks like it's all arm. Does he drive off the rubber at all or was it just this GIF?
You forgot to mention that the Phillies bullpen will probably cost Nola at least 2 wins. Reset win expectation to 10-12
Nola vs. Glasnow and Snell in 2017? Is the upside of Nola something like Corbin?
UGH... thanks Ares. Didn't even notice the tabs on the top. So used to Google Spreadsheets.
1. Not familiar with the Tout wars setup, but I'm assuming you can't use a UTIL player otherwise why was Ortiz not taken?
2. Looking at the SSs taken, kinda surprised that <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=70327">Marcus Semien</a></span> wasn't taken.
1. How long did this take you?
2. What was your favorite song, that you had never heard before?
3. Has a player ever been paid by an artist or label to play their music?
Thanks. This was a fun read.
Thank you Sam.
Where can we go online to find velocity stats or velocity reports for spring training, besides here? There are probably tons of fantasy owners like CountryHardBall above who have questions about various pitchers and it would be nice to be able to look anyone up.
1. Texas Giants
2. London Royals
3. This is harder than it looks.
I'm going to guess that this list isn't just about who the worst closers are, but rather who seems like an okay draft pick, but they actually have lots of red flags.
+3 for the Raising Arizona quote.
Kela has an elite FB and K/9 and seemed to take a step forward last year in his first real taste of the bigs with his <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=WHIP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('WHIP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">WHIP</span></a> and walk rate. What does he need to develop to become so good that the Rangers can't ignore him?
I found you on PocketCast, but even on PocketCast the difference in download times is pretty huge. Same file size as Effectively Wild, about 10x the download time.
Is this podcast on "PocketCast"?
I mentioned this a few weeks ago and it still hasn't gotten better. When I used to download this podcast last season it downloaded fast. Now it takes about 2 minutes to download on my phone. Here is the url that comes up when I download it.
Every other podcast on this site downloads in about 5 seconds. Something changed with either where you are hosting this or how the download is handled.
Yeah two minutes. But when it's two minutes vs. 5 seconds it's a bigger deal. I listen to all the BP podcasts and I would love it if you could figure this out.
The only thing more depressing than the Angels preview was seeing that it came before the Padres preview. I love going to Padre games, but they are a strange organization.
So let's say it's the middle of the season and you see an unusual name on the top of a leaderboard in MiLB pitching. You scour the BP 101 but you don't see his name there. What is the more likely contributing factor to a MiLB pitcher making "the jump?"
Is it the increase in command, or the development of a legit 2nd or 3rd pitch being added to their arsenal? By added I mean maybe they always had it, but now it's a 55+ offering and being used much more often, or maybe they didn't and it's a whole new pitch.
When you go to consider what resources to offer for Fantasy analysis in 2017 I just want to thank you for the <a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/column/early_adp_analysis/">Early ADP Analysis</a> Series. We didn't have this on BP in 2015 and it's been SUPER helpful in getting ready for a standard draft.
This was very well written. This should stand as the BP annual article for the Twins, if you don't like reading very much. It touched on a bit of everything while still diving into something important and essential to what makes the Twins the Twins.
I'm going to assume that these were listed in order of some combination of overall ceiling, floor, and how soon they can help right?
Anyone else here intrigued by <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=50101">Chris Archer</a></span> raising his K/9 rate by 2.7? His 10.70 K/9 was the highest rate since his 2007 season. He also raised his K% by 8%.
The only real difference I can find is that he threw his slider 11% more and his FB 11% less.
Combine that with him throwing 212 innings last year and I'm just wondering if anyone is concerned about the future health of his arm.
Why would Dozier bat 1 and Buxton 2? Wouldn't it be the other way around most of the time?
David Roth's intro the Angels was the best intro in the entire BP annual. Great job pegging him to write it.
I probably don't need to tell you this, but it was really hard to understand Tom Ley in this episode. Everything he said sounded muffled.
I just found out that Machado is SS eligible in Yahoo. I don't know why I'm not hearing about this more.
If speed is in such demand than doesn't the possibility of Souza going 20/20 put him in a tier above where he is currently ranked. If I knew he was going to get 550 ABs, I'd put him in the 45-50 tier. Health was his undoing last year.
They really need to trade someone from that OF.
One of the age old arguments we have in our league is how much of fantasy baseball is luck. While it seems like certain managers are in the hunt every year, I wonder if the difference between 1st and 5th is just health and luck.
Is there any way to actually mathematically figure out how much of fantasy baseball winning is based on luck? Or do we just use luck as an excuse when we aren't winning?
I wish the Angels had something, anything to trade to the Rays for their glut of OFers. Souza playing left and batting 5th or 6th sounds really nice.
So what is a good rule of thumb for being impressed by someone playing at a level when they should be "too young" for that level?
Is it 18 at A or AA and 19 at MLB or is 20 still supper impressive for MLB? And should we always run out and grab a kid who is holding their own when they are so young?
How is the casual fan supposed to figure out that <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=67049">Manny Machado</a></span>'s ceiling was so high from his minor league stats? If it wasn't for reading BP or seeing scouting reports, I'd have had no clue. There is only that one half a season in A ball where his <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=ISO" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('ISO'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">ISO</span></a> is barely above .200. He had never hit more than 18 HRs in a season. Are we really sure he's a 35 <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=HR" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('HR'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">HR</span></a> guy for the next 7-10 years?
Was it the 51 doubles in 2013, because those seemed out of the blue too.
I know this wasn't the intent of your article, but I'm sure you thought of it: what are the top two ways you would fix this slide?
I would still love to see an article about how a team, the Angels, let a farm system get so bad. And then if you could mail it to Arte I'd appreciate it. Make sure to put a 20$ in the envelop so he'll open it.
What do you think is causing this?
I wish you could edit replies. Obviously, "Love" <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=AVG" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('AVG'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">AVG</span></a> is not a new stat.
Everyone talks about the lack of power stats and SBs in fantasy, but Runs is a brutal stat too. Being able to bring home over 100 runs is super valuable. Just think, both Kipnis and Altuve only scored 86 runs.
I don't know how Dozier does it with that awful <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=AVG" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('AVG'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">AVG</span></a> and <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=OBP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('OBP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">OBP</span></a>, but even if he gets 95+ runs, 20+ HRs, and 10+ SBs for the next 4 years I'll take that to the bank.
And he's under 30.
His college and early minor batting average speaks to some special skills with the bat, he has made some very deliberate decisions with his approach, which the Twins support via his lineup position. Don't mistake his love AVG for someone just flailing at the plate.
So you're saying there's a chance...
1. Do you think the Dozier's 2014 <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=OBP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('OBP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">OBP</span></a> is a fluke? I know he traded his minor league OBP skills for power, but it would seem like, if he worked at it, he could maybe consistently blend the two. In 2011 his .OBP was basically .400.
2. I'm not a <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=WARP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('WARP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">WARP</span></a> expert, but it seems crazy to me that a player with over 100 runs and 28 HRs plus 12 SBs would have a WARP of only 1.6 in 2015.
Thanks. I'll try that.
When I open the RSS feed on my phone it just gives me scrambled html. I have an Android phone and don't do iTunes on my Samsung Galaxy. I'll check out that link. Thank you.
Please post a download link...
If the comments slow down I'm going to bring up how much I enjoyed Sinead O'Connor's understated <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=SNL" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('SNL'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">SNL</span></a> appearance. Her final act in that appearance is how I felt seeing <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=58012">Yonder Alonso</a></span> still on this list.
Nice job picking Alonso over Rizzo, San Diego Fathers.
I actually read the comments where you can only read one letter at a time. I felt like a speed reader.
Kinda like <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=45396">Billy Butler</a></span> stealing a base on Lester with Conger behind the plate.
I knew you would say that. I'll take a 5% reduction on my Super Premium account next season as payment for playing the straight man in your BP comment thread Benny Hill bit.
Kinda disappointed that this threaded reply didn't end in a long vertical column that only has one word per line.
This post by sbnbaseball should have a rating much higher than it does. And it wins the "I found a large crowbar, the train is back on the track."
Ben I agree that some of the comments here could be a bit more measured, but this reply is way beneath you. [In both humor and as a function of your role on this site]
This brings up two important questions:
1. Why are no special graphics used when Colossus throws Wolverine?
2. Has any closer ever used a song from the band "Fastball" for their entrance song? If so, which song?
Thanks for reading my review. You guys are awesome.
I am a classroom teacher. I also help other teachers and the trainers of teachers discover new methods and activities to use in the classroom. This article SO addresses the confounding problem of implementation.
Anyone can share a new research-based pedagogy to teachers, but until you talk about the cost of implementation, and the likelihood of implementation, you are just talking hopes and dreams.
Thank you for writing this, I've been sharing it around.
Has anyone ever considered creating a fantasy MOOC for BP users? You could use a free account from Canvas/Instructure.
Since there is no +1, star, or recommend button, I just want to let Jeff know that this was great. Thank you.
I was born in 1966. I live in the Los Angeles area. Whenever anyone asks me who is/was the greatest baseball player I ever saw there is no hesitation: <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=1325">Rickey Henderson</a></span>.
He was torture at the plate, and electric on the basepaths. I could see the pitcher sweating from the upper deck.
Yeah I know about Barry, my head grew two hat sizes and I wear a giant armored elbow pad with a hinge in it, but give me Rickey on my team: for the wins and the grins.
Left a rating, but it's not showing up yet in iTunes. Thanks for the great year. I don't even live in Chicago, and yet I really enjoy this podcast.
I wish there was a way to bookmark BP bookmarks and podcasts so that you could revisit them, besides leaving a comment.
Great stuff guys.
How useful would it be to use RE24 to find dependable fantasy closers or RPs who might become closers? Might teams rely on this stat more than <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=FIP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('FIP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">FIP</span></a> to determine who is up next?
When I look at RE24 on Fangraphs it seems to fluctuate wildly from year to year. What trends should I be looking for?
I might be alone in this stance, but I like sending editing remarks directly to the writer of the article via email. They seem to appreciate that approach and it keeps the comments from being an editing forum.
The quick reaction from Dodger fans here in the greater LA area is "why didn't we just get <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=53395">Todd Frazier</a></span>?" This deal will do nothing to quell the sense that the Dodgers aren't spending the money they are earning by not televising the Dodgers locally. They have a long way to go to appease the average fan in LA. (I know, winning the division should be enough of a return, but LA fans have been spoiled by the titles of the Lakers and expect something more than just division titles.)
Maybe Meg didn't want to make the article too long, but as a baseball fan who lives in Orange County, I can give you at least two other reasons to lump Arte in the "Profit Seeker" category.
1. The changing of the team name to the awkward <span class="teamdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/team_audit.php?team=ANA" target="blank">Los Angeles Angels</a></span> of Anaheim, just to squeeze a bit more revenue out of the team. Every fan in OC just rankles at this every time we see it. I know people who gave up their season tickets because of it.
2. The threatening to move the team to LA if he doesn't get an overly friendly deal to develop the parking lot into businesses and housing.
I do not know baseball owners well enough to know which owner fits the following category, but, just like the NBA owners in Malcolm Gladwell's Grantland article from 2011, (http://grantland.com/features/psychic-benefits-nba-lockout) there are probably MLB owners who derive a psychological/vanity/ art-collector like benefit from being an owner. Being rich and owning rich guy things, that are very public, can be reason enough for being an owner. Perhaps this belongs in a category above.
That was my first time listening to the Barbecast, those guys are pretty goofy. (/Shocking)
Meg was a pro on her segment. Not only can she goof with the best of them, but she is really smart and well-spoken. I've only seen her stuff on Twitter and in the one BP article, so I wasn't aware of how skillfully she can render a complex subject in a clear and engaging manner. I'm looking forward to more <a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/author/megan_rowley">Meg Rowley</a> on BP.
Thanks for bringing her voice and analysis to the site.
It would be incredible for the Angels to sign Frazier. However, I just don't see how they can make the trade. They have nothing in the minors worth Frazier. Nor can they afford to trade an everyday player or pitcher for him.
Is anyone even slightly concerned that <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=57396">Jason Heyward</a></span> was diagnosed with Degenerative Disc Disease four years ago?
PS that confusion might just be reading this in the morning pre-coffee, I'm not saying it's the writer's fault for me being confused.
I really liked this. I think I'm going to need to read it a few times to figure out what I want to take from it, but are you ultimately saying that baseball has more to lose from what Dusty said or that Dusty is an older male so he will be given more of a pass for what was said?
There were a ton of good points and well thought observations in here, including some nice phrasing, but I was a bit confused about the ultimate point of the piece.
Thanks for writing this comment Dave. It added to the complexity of our observations and experiences that Meg explored.
I loved this line "These contrivances of fandom count on you confusing physical closeness with emotional closeness, and being able to fill the void left behind by the game with anecdotes and souvenirs, creating new traditions and ticks, new ways for you to feel like you’re contributing."
However, for me the pull of fandom isn't in sharing the moment with players it's sharing it with fellow fans. The roar, the high-five with a stranger, the spot-on funny observation that cracks up a section of the stands. These moments are one of the reasons why going to a Dodger game is better than going to an Angels game.
But I also like the Orioles/White Sox experience of the game. So I go to games like an Angels/Brewers game or local college game and I sit with a few friends in an uncrowded section and we just listen to the sounds of the game and let our heartbeat slow to the rhythm of the game. We are not alone in this aspect of fandom.
I'm curious about two things.
1. Do these stats change at all during the 2nd or 3rd time through the order for the same pitcher. For example, once a pitcher shows the willingness to throw strikes early, does that pitcher than change their approach the 2nd or 3rd time through?
2. Does this approach change the 2nd time through the order, if the batter got a hit on the first pitch the first time through?
Does leaving <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Jose+Peraza">Jose Peraza</a></span> off the list mean:
A: He's not ready for a full-time MLB gig
B: He's not a good enough hitter to get on base enough to matter in steals
C: The Dodger infield will be too crowded to acquire enough at bats?
Thank you for doing this. I listened to it as I did post-Thanksgiving work around the house.
I don't have anything witty or smart to say here. As a fan of the Angels since the early 70s, I'm just sad.
I'm going to miss Aybar. He was one of those players who was fun to watch live. He was always up to something, messing with the opposing baserunners or pitchers. I wish him well.
So what's the cause?
1. A lack of commitment by the team to work on this with the pitchers?
2. A mindset by the manager that trickles to his pitching staff?
3. Upper management collecting a pitching staff who are historically poor at this skill and underrating the consequence?
4. A constant shuffling of the IF players resulting in a lack of consistency in how they approach SBs defensively?
Yes, he holds the Division II record: 54 games.
While this isn't a fantasy article. I'm intrigued by Pillar as a deeper league fantasy asset next year. He was picked up several times this year as an injury replacement, but I think he can do much more.
He had 76 runs: 12 HRs: 56 RBIs: 25 SBs all while hitting .278 towards the bottom of the order.
The kid has a freaky hit tool. Six times he has hit over .300 in the minors and once he hit .299. While he doesn't walk a ton, he also hardly ever strikes out. He is a hit and run dream for a manager. If he can raise his BA next year to over .300 and force his way into the #1 or #2 spot in the lineup, that run total and <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=SB" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('SB'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">SB</span></a> total is going up and that's going to be very useful on any team.
Nice writing. The narrative framework reminds me of <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Jim+Abbott">Jim Abbott</a></span>'s book Imperfect.
1. I miss the Tater Tot Times: I always enjoyed seeing those.
2. This post is sadly lacking in <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=HR" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('HR'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">HR</span></a> GIFs or Vids. They were a thing of beauty tonight.
Great article, tons of good stuff in here. I feel like just planting myself in front of the TV/radio for the next month.
Please let there be playoff baseball at Angel's stadium.
Jeff, this is really good, but it would help it stick in my head if you could give us some concrete examples of both.
Maybe someone could do that in the comments below so I can make sure my understanding of your concepts looks like reality in action.
This was not a real moment. The proof is that not a single person in the section is eating. There is no way that many people are not eating at a Cubs game. Unless perhaps they are already full.
At an Angels game 3/4 of those fans wouldn't even know a homerun had been hit till someone posted it on Phhhoto.
Every year I miss this and I only live 20 minutes away. They never talk about it in local papers. Can you guys PLEASE give us a one week warning when this event comes up. A lot of local LA BP followers would love to watch this live. Heck I'll take any BP writer and/or reader (if there's not more than 4 or 5 of you, out to lunch or dinner.
One of the better DFS strategy articles I've ever read. Thanks.
The sun is hot and bright in Chicago today. Too hot. As I walk downtown a large sign provides a moment of relief.
As I stand in the shade I look up and read the sign, It's an advertisement that says this: "Enjoy that pigsweat workout balm, Javy!"
I continue walking, already missing that nice shade.
Doesn't any pitcher look good vs. Souza lately?
<a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/author/ian_frazer">Ian Frazer</a> for the win, but I agree Sandstorm would get people off their feet, the dance camera would have fun every night.
I actually have a playlist on YT called baseball walkup songs that I share with the HS kids on the baseball team, here are a few:
1. Entrance song for the assassin in The Master of The Flying Guillotine by NEU/Kraftwerk
3. I Wanna Be Your Dog- Stooges
4. Give The Mule What It Wants- Queens of The Stone Age
5. Pretty much any song from QOTSA
Thank you for writing this.
The all caps made me laugh. Nice work.
The answer is:
#1: Age 8-9 before middle school when little league was pure and you aren't grumpy yet, you still love and respect everything your dad does
#2: Age 41 you have enough money to afford a ticket to a playoff game or two, you are old enough to bring your kid who is now 8-9
#3: Age 67 or so. You are retired now so you can go to more regular season games and really have time to be a fan AND you have also assured yourself of living to 67, which is nice bonus.
Look, if you are in a Dynasty or Keeper league there is gold strewn liberally throughout this article. It's like Tristan Cockroft's running an All-2020 team article which he does every year. No one complains about that.
The difference here is that this type of approach takes creativity. I completely appreciate it. I don't pay for ANYTHING on the internet as a subscription expect BP and this is what I hope for when I show up. Do you remember the <a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/author/sam_miller">Sam Miller</a> GIF article?
That was one of my favorite BP articles of all time.
It's articles like this that make me pay for the Premium subscription. BP makes me THINK and wonder. There's far too little of that on the internet.
You made a mistake. Remember Puig plays for the Marlins. Remember how the Dodgers traded Puig plus <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=104805">Grant Holmes</a></span> and 100 million in cash for Stanton at the All-Star break in 2015.
Super tragic that Puig was the only one able to put on a parachute while flying to Italy with owner Jeffrey Loria in his small private jet. But luckily the new Miami-based ownership group of Dwayne Johnson, Pitbull, and the Bush family along with new director of analytics Blake Ross have really turned the franchise around.
I'm surprised the Rays pitchers aren't using the new BundyBrace on their pitching elbows. I know they are expensive, but an extra 2 mph on your FB and extra protection from ligament damage is worth the investment.
Figures that only the Dodgers can afford the 250K per pitcher investment.
Still love that Yelich was traded as part of a package for Stanton at trade deadline in 2015. I know they traded Puig, but I forgot who else they traded, anyone remember?
I'm surprised <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Adam+Walker">Adam Walker</a></span> didn't make this or the just missed list.
I don't get the question you guys spent all that time on with <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=66955">Nick Castellanos</a></span>?
Didn't the owner say he had <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=59586">Nolan Arenado</a></span>? If he has Nolan why the heck is he worried about dropping Nick Castellanos?
PS This would have made a great intro article to BP: Los Angeles. Hint, Hint, nudge, nudge. Or are you letting Molly Night's book come out and then starting BP LA on the 15th?
PPS: You would get lots of page views with a BP discussion board for each team and for other topics.
Great article. Great approach to any craft. I too was really curious why he was so "difficult" to work with in San Diego.
I hate to bring up his name, but if Baez does end up playing 2B, I wonder where he would slot in to this discussion.
Thanks for writing this up. Puig is my favorite player to watch in MLB, especially live. There is pretty much a play a game: at the plate, on the basepaths, or in the field, where he does something memorable. You get your money's worth when you buy a ticket to watch a Dodgers game.
I'm thinking of him as a better version of <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=57396">Jason Heyward</a></span>.
I think an <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=AVG" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('AVG'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">AVG</span></a> of above .300 is sustainable, and with work I could see him getting in the conversation of a batting title. I think he has .400 <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=OBP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('OBP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">OBP</span></a> potential. I love him as a fixture in the 2 spot in this Dodgers lineup.
I'd say 90-95 Runs; 16-22 HRs; 75-80 RBIs; and 8-15 SBs is a good estimation of what he can produce in a healthy season. Maybe the other players we should be comparing him to are guys like <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=45465">Hunter Pence</a></span>, Jason Werth, or a reduced version of <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=David+Wright">David Wright</a></span> in his prime. Maybe he won't be a superstar at the plate, but those comparisons, with his play in RF, make for a very nice MLB and fantasy asset.
Perhaps throwing over doesn't cause more attempts at all. Maybe pitchers throw over more often with better base-stealers.
Better base stealers are more likely to actually attempt a steal so therefore the first action doesn't cause the 2nd action, but is just associated with the 2nd action. There's a fancy latin phrase for this that is stuck in the back of my brain.
Every time I try and Google batted ball exit velocity I can find articles, but never the source for the data so I can do my own analysis. Is the source of the data available to the public?
What about just stepping off?
What about feints?
What about changing up the timing of your throws? To me this last one is where we see guys getting picked off the most. Super long waits before throws or really quick throws seem to mess runners up.
While the analysis is great, your writing style is fantastic. I'm going to use this article as an exemplar in my composition class. Thank you.
I know he's in the bigs now, but I have to assume that <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Lance+McCullers">Lance McCullers</a></span> wasn't even in the Dynasty 101 last off-season.
Where is he at now?
I believe that Posey is now tied for first on the all-time list of "Most no-hitters caught" with four. That's impressive.
Was McCullers ever on the stash list or did he just bypass it?
1. While you are in the Bay area you've got to stop at the Cheeseboard pizza in Berkeley. It's so popular people eat in the grass median in the middle of the street.
2. Have you tried the sliced peppers yet in your InNout burger yet?
3. Have you had the rootbeer float at inNout burger yet? Ask for it. And make sure to get your fries "well-done."
4. Thanks for posting these. It's been my dream to make this same road trip with my son and it's nice getting some ideas about making it happen.
That's why I wrote "I know everyone wants blah blah blah for their fantasy team."
I don't really care about the fantasy ramifications. I care that I think having Baez on the major league team in a month or so is good for the Cubs.
You could also sit Coghlan against tough lefties and put Bryant in the outfield. Maybe you do that 20 times ROS.
Baez hit .450 vs. lefties in AA and hit better vs. lefties in High A so I think his platoon numbers should normalize at some point.
I know everyone wants Bryant in the infield for fantasy purposes, but if you want to really make this work eventually just put Bryant on the corner OF spot and have him play 3B every time you want to give one of the kids a day off in the infield. He'll play enough to keep his eligibility and everyone will be happy.
Next time you are in LA eat at Guisados on Sunset in Echo Park. It's about a mile from the stadium entrance and has some of the best tacos in LA.
If you stop by Orange County let us know. There are some seriously good places to eat near Anaheim stadium. I'd link them here but....
Let's just say there's a pink Taco truck in Santa Ana that has a taco called the "battleship" taco and then there's the Chavito... o man.
PS I looked up #biscuitchat on Twitter. Lots of overseas cookie talk. Revise list if talking about what to put on cookies.
Things That Go On Biscuits (in order)
4. Fried Chicken
247. Canned Peas
248. Syrup (unless it's real maple syrup- that's #81)
This is the most perfect subject for episode 666 ever. It's like God is smiling from below.
Yeah I actually came back to say "jinx." Just brutal today. Baserunners seem to really rattle his cage.
After years of middle school and high school teachers telling my students to start their research papers with a simplistic introductory paragraph with a perfunctory sign-post thesis, my HS students think I'm crazy when I ask them to start their research papers with a story. I'm always on the lookout for great examples of this approach. They are hard to find. Those middle school and HS teachers have done a great job of brainwashing writers.
I've found a perfect example. Thank you.
I suggest the following four items for the diagonal.
Starting at the top left and working clockwise:
1. Drinks consumed: dot for a beer, empty circle for anything else
2. Food consumed: dot for a hotdog, circle for nachos or peanuts, triangle for meal items, square for anything sweet.
with both of the above you can quickly see how boring/nervous a game was
3. A dot every time something happened in the inning that a Cardinal fan would clap for. A double dot for a standing ovation, a disapproving face if it reminded you of Puig or anything fun.
4. A star for every inning where you wish a friend could have seen what you saw. A face with the eyes crossed out when you saw an inning that made you wish your friend and not you had gone to the game.
1. Are teams getting better at scouting pitching than they are at scouting hitting?
2. Is this a cycle where the players coming into MLB are better pitchers than hitters?
3. Has youth pitching instruction outpaced hitting instruction. Having watched youth hitting instruction with my son, there is some bad bad advice going on at the youth and HS level.
4. Are teams better at finding pitching arms from other positions. Taking chances on ex-catchers, ex-corner infielders etc?
You forgot to mention the Twins attempt on Thursday to grab a bite of history.
26 innings by the 1943 Cardinals. They've got 8 more innings to tie the record.
Advertising. It's got to be hard to sell national advertising on this site, but this type of content is perfect for local advertising.
I'm also waiting for a "forums" or discussion feature on BP so I can see just how smart the readers of BP really are. Heck a forums discussion board is a great place to find new potential writing talent.
Highest attendance average and attendance total: Dodgers, will be patiently waiting you perfecting your approach while we stare at a blank TV screen.
Even though I don't need a job, I love reading these.
Thank you. This is super helpful.
Thank you guys [and gal(s) I remember at least one female writer] for doing this. I listened to every single one of these and followed a few of the beat writers based on their sense of humor or their ideas.
13 minutes shorter than the Cardinals preview.
2. I guess the Cardinal way includes talking a lot.
Would it hurt KC to have Dyson DH once in a while? Do the Royals ever have some of their other OFers DH and have Dyson play the field?
I'm not sure if we are allowed to leave links in the comment, but this idea is really important in my classroom and I've added this article to a blog post I wrote about this subject. I read BP every morning before I get out of bed and it always spurs ideas about teaching and learning. Thanks.
I have another baseball related post on my other blog. I need to write more about baseball and teaching.
GOD this was so good. Freaks and Geeks, Seaver, photography... thanks guys.
Quick question about Joc Pederson. Was it just that particular at bat or does he always cut short his swing? It looks painful and kinda awkward.
If PECOTA's .7 WARP prediction for Richards is bearish than its 1.3 prediction for CJ Wilson is downright Mastodonian. It was the Mazda dealership owner's WARP prediction I was thinking of. If healthy, I think Richards is the Angels best pitcher.
1. The writer of this article fails to point out that the pitching depth WARP for the Angels is better than the starting rotation. Bring on the backups!
2. There are a LOT of comments on this thread. Well done Jeff Long.
1. I would love to see names assigned to those top 3 dots in the first graph.
2. It seems like top 20ish is the sweet spot where all of the different ranking systems become statistically almost similar and the jump in future value becomes more easily apparent.
Hey Rosecrans was fantastic in this podcast. Bring him back whenever you can.
Man when I look at this list, I just want to wait on pitching. Draft 5 of these guys hold em for a month and see what shakes out and then drop the worst two and grab a hot FA pitcher. A little streaming here and there...
Maybe I'm a little too hopeful with pitchers, but there's a ton of value here.
And sorry about the Mike Trout Question/Comment... I just know that If I was able to draft Trout I'd be so happy that I'd play the rest of the draft much looser. Great podcast. I listen to it every time.
It won't start playing when I click the download button. Running Google Chrome on an Airbook (OS). I love it when you guys just have a "play" button on the podcast page.
PS your iTunes fans are brutal with the comments. I love the background noises, it makes me feel like I'm in the room with you, or at the very least that you are working hard on searching for something important.
When you do the pitcher rankings I would love to see a FIP, or xFIP, or SIERA column. Especially since these stat categories are not a part of the player profile pages on Prospectus.
I ran my own research.
I used Twitter's Advanced Search feature with the following search criteria.
1. Tweets since Feb 1st of 2015
2. That mentioned their Team Twitter account.
3. That were considered positive by Twitter :)
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Near Disneyland= 40 Tweets
The San Francisco Giants= 219 Tweets
If you add up the number of angry Tweets sent to @thejoshhamilton, in the same time period, the Angels also have 219 Tweets.
I spent entire summers playing APBA with my friends. We had leagues and the manager of the league would set out a glass jar to make Sun Tea every morning. I wish I could start a league again, but that would take some serious baseball nerd hunting in my area.
My favorite teams were the early 90s Blue Jays and the late 80s Dodgers.
This is so stupid. I've harped on this before, but I'll do it again.
1. It's commercials that make the game longer. Want proof? Go to a college game that is televised vs. one that is not.
2. Baseball is a head game fiesta. Batters messing with pitchers, pitchers messing with batters. It's fun seeing one or the other seething or staying calm.
3. The main reason I go to baseball games is the pace and length of the game. I LOVE long games. No chores at home, no pressure to start on my work week. It's relaxing. The crowds are way more relaxed than a football game. I need a sport with pauses. There's so little of that in my life.
The author did say there were 29 outfielders who posted an 80+ gain in AVG to OBP. I don't think he wanted to list all 29. Looking at Christian Yelich track history in MiLB he seems to be right around an 80 gainer.
I wrote about Puig because I think he can crack the 100 gain barrier. It's quite a change in value when you have someone like Joey Votto in an .OBP league who outperforms his AVG by 130-150+
I wonder who else has the potential to be Vottoesque, I have my eye on a couple of players, but in case my league-mates are reading this site, I'm going to sit on them until after the draft.
If you are in an OBP league, Yasiel Puig is a great buy. His AVG to OBP increase was 81 as a ROOKIE and he figured out how to deal w/ the low and away sliders last year to the point where his AVG to OBP increase was 86 points. This from a player who hits close to .300.
This is a young player who is making adjustments. He hasn't figured out his power potential yet (if he does he will be walked even more often) and is hitting in front of Agon. I think a season of .400+ OBP is in store for Puig... soon.
Also is Jayson Werth the closest we have to owning a perfect home plate shape visual, and does that bode well for his upcoming season?
Mauricio. Love the numbers at the bottom explaining the different category thresholds. Any change of getting those dropped in the other visual rankings? Is always nice having those average/deviation numbers.
Thanks for talking about Souza. Wonder how hot he will get in later drafts?
1. Will Stanton ever hit over 45 HRs in Miami?
2. Who will hit 25 HRs first? Puig or Joc?
Correct me if I'm wrong (I don't play Scoresheet, but I looked over their site) It appears that Scoresheet fantasy only includes MLB players.
Just curious. What is your set up for recording?
Type of Microphones, if you are recording from home.
Weird issue. On my Android phone whenever this podcast gets to around the 50 minute mark it just stops and shows that the whole thing has played.
Let's say you grabbed Howie Kendrick in your OBP Roto Keeper League draft to provide a safety net at 2B but you wanted to snag someone who by the end of the season will prove to be an obvious keeper in a 14 team 9 keeper league.
Which 2B ranked below 12 would you snag in the hopes of giving you a keeper worthy 2B? Is the only answer: Profar and Gyorko? (I'm not sure where Alcantara will end up)
Speaking of Carlos Gomez. So his 2011 was his last "terrible" year. Looking at the splits you can see he had major trouble with righty pitching and away games. In 2012 he "normalized."
Could young players with platoon/split issues be a sign of someone who is one season/off-season from figuring it out. I mean just look at the jump Rizzo made.
As you mentioned it gets a little more complicated with deep dynasty/keeper leagues where a prospect who is finally eligible in your league, for drafting, might go in the first/second round of your draft.
I'm wondering if looking one hot month is a sign that someone has breakout potential and they just need to turn that into two or three hot months? Or is it a new chance at increased playing time?
What program did you use to create and/or export/finish this infographic? Last year was cool, this is the coolest.
I know I can find them there, but it just saves two clicks. Now if you want us to go to the Fantasy page then go to another page so it helps you generate income, I'm totally cool w/ that. #clicks$
When you guys do columns like this can you just leave a quick "click here to see all of the previews so far" link at the bottom? Thanks.
1. It's Christmas
2. If you had our pitching staff you would dream too. Leave me my dream...
I'm also just curious. How big of a one year deal would it take to make someone delay a long-term contract, I know it's not reasonable, that's why I'm curious.
So Puig is an A-/B+ Cuban version of Hunter Pence Jayson Werth and is likely never to be a real 1st/2nd round Fantasy player? Useful, but not close to elite.
He's still being drafted, traded in Keeper leagues like he's much more valuable.
Looking at Yasiel Puig's 2014 Projects- PECOTA had him pegged at 25 HRs and 22 SBs at his 50% projection (31/28 at the 90% sigh)
How likely is Puig to sustain a three year window where he hits 25+ HRs and steals at least 15 bases?
And which is more likely. Puig hitting 30 HRs once or Puig stealing 20 bases once?
Is Puig the most muscular sub 20 HR hitter of all-time? Was Yoenis Cespedes right at the All-Star game?
Serious question. How much over market value would the Angels have to pay to get Scherzer to sign a one or two year contract?
25-30 Million one year?
50 Million two year?
And what would that do to the Angels World Series chances?
I'm curious what this will do to the clubhouse. It seems to me this will be a calmer clubhouse, maybe a bit more "old-school" Maybe a clubhouse that will wait till the playoffs before they start getting fired up. The team will be a little more boring, a little less fodder for the media.
How will Donnie do with platoon juggling?
So many questions about this Dodger team. I do love Puig moving back to right. He's a ton of fun out there.
Back in the saddle again. I am ever so happy that I didn't have to look at 15 pictures of Cardinal fans politely clapping after a Giants player almost did something well.
For those of us who didn't see it, is there any way you can provide a screencap or two?
Any thoughts on Matt Kemp's comments about the strike zone?
I have never felt such an urge to drop an F-bomb in the comment section.
I knew we were a regular season team just waiting to get exposed. Just win one. Just one.
It's 2am. There's a scratching sound coming from the closet. It could be a rat or something else. We tell ourselves it's just termites, we will deal with it later. We try and go back to sleep.
We find out later it's the sound of our pitching staff. We look at Trout in center field and the waterfall and ignore the 3-1 count. Our house is built on a weak foundation.
Michael Lorri Scioscia is ready for Yost. I've seen a sneak peak at Scioscia's "Yost Shift"
Three Fielders playing mid-deep around the bases.
Pujols and Freese playing 20 feet from home plate, wearing batting helmets.
It'll be awesome. As an Angels fan I fully approve of this As/Royals epic pitch-a-thon.
Thanks Doug. As a baseball fan and more specifically an Angel's fan, I loved this.
I don't get how the NFL can mandate safe behavior on the field but MLB can't. Someone is going to have to retire after a hit to the head and MLB is going to get sued by a player. If you can't control your pitches then don't throw high and tight.
To me a hit to the head should be an automatic ejection. You are either mean, stupid, or lack control for that night. I would only fine the player if the pitch was deemed retaliation and showed intent.
1. The elephant in the room in most televised sports is TV commercials. The other day they were talking game length with a pitcher on the radio and he said "you wouldn't believe how often I'm ready to go but I have to wait for us to get back from commercial."
Some local HS games are televised now and it adds a minimum of thirty minutes to the game.
2. I go to baseball games to leave my obligations behind, to relax. No chores, no sales calls, no things I have to do. I'd say the longer the better.
Now if you could just lessen the flashing signs and loud stadium "music"...
Great article. I cringe when I see a team just treading water in the middle.
1. If you are out of it trade useful pieces for $FAAB. I've cycled through my entire $FAAB and then traded a player or two for more $FAAB. Then I use my new $FAAB money to acquire prospects to trade to the teams on the bottom and potential closers to trade to the teams on the top. Build pieces and then lump them together for something big.
2. I subscribe to the Texas Hold-em strategy early in the season. If you are in the top 4-5 of your league you want to build as big a lead as possible to eliminate the middle teams from thinking they have a chance. It's like raising $ pre-flop in Poker. You don't want people to luck out and see the flop. You want as little competition as possible for the rest of the season. Go big early and settle who's in and who's out as soon as possible.
Thanks for writing these. Looking forward to a California version.
Also looking forward to finding your Yelp account, or having you start a food blog.
Every minute spent "wasting time at the ballpark" is another minute I don't have to do chores at home or think about what I need to do at home. Keep the games long. Please.
I NEVER talk to my wife about baseball, especially anyone on my fantasy team unless I want to get mocked. Yesterday I spend 15 minutes explaining why I was so sad when I got home. When I was done she said "that's sad, I'll pray for him."
Jose Fernandez... the player your wife will pray for. #eulogy #waitingforLazarus
Wow... I never noticed that CespedesBBQ is on BP... I enjoy your Twitter Feed- thanks for being wacky.
Okay one more.... until there are two strikes I wouldn't have a catcher (is that even legal?) I'd just have my catcher play 1st base without leg pads.
I wouldn't do this if there were men on base and I wouldn't do it with a fast batter who can bunt well, but having 5 infielders or 4 OFers would be cool.
I would also paint the inside of the visiting team clubhouse in pink and the roof of the visiting dugout pink with flowers and butterflies.
What if you painted all of your bats white? Would it make it more difficult for the SS to see the ball come off the bat and delay your reaction time.
PS I could do this all day.
I know it's been done before, but I'd be serious about this. I'd find the smallest person in the world and have them DH on an AL team. They would DH until they walked then I would replace them with a pinch runner. I'd say they would get at least 150 walks in a season hopefully on 1 at bat per game. Hopefully no one would bean him.
I'm going to need to revisit this article here several times. There is so much goodness here. It's like the "Sandman" of baseball writing. (The comic book series, not the song)
We aren't soft. We are demanding. We demand weather to be a certain way like Cardinal fans demand baseball to be a certain way.
Speaking of prison. I'm wondering which MLB player could/should ever earn the nickname #prisonriot
As soon as I create the right graphic I'm putting this on a bumper sticker: "When he puts his bat to the ball, it comes off like a shotgun, noisy and rambunctious, baseballs sprayed like buckshot. He treats lefties like new fish in prison."
I can't even watch him on the on deck circle. It's like watching someone put a banana in a burrito.
Russell this is fantastic. I'm a High School teacher who also tries to get other teachers to change their ways. This article not only gives me specific language and examples, but a few ideas to try. Thank you for writing this.
Now if you could just get all MLB teams to offer free/fast WiFi to every fan and let me order food from my seat.
Who is the Tiger RP to own if Nathan loses it?
I am comfortable enough in my own skin to say "I love you Sam Miller."
Perhaps in a few days you guys can un-BPprotected this article. I think I could find a few more BP subscribers by sharing this out. #avocado
As an Angels fan, this article is the first time I've gotten my hopes up for this season.
You guys suck.
I'm off to go read Rime of the Ancient Mariner with a Josh Hamilton baseball card hanging from my neck.
Without even listening I'm going to say the over under on Puig mentions is 30. According to today's LA Times they had a team meeting yesterday JUST to talk @ Puig. Sigh...
If I had ANY confidence that Yordano Ventura could hit 180 innings pitched this year I'd gladly throw his name in, AND if Kevin Gausman had made the starting rotation.
I'm really bummed out about the Dodger event. I was bringing 4 people. It would be helpful if you would give us a ballpark idea of how many people you need to make the event work. I would have started bugging friends etc.... to buy more tickets. I thought it would sell-out easy.
Come on guys... don't ruin the best part of going to Angel games... the anticipation of something good happening while listening to "Calling on all Angels."
Usually followed not too shortly after by watching Hamilton ground out to 2nd to end the game.
First: I love you guys.
Second, the old projections always seemed conservative, but you had to remember they weren't about a player's ceiling. I just found them useful for comparing players, especially in a keeper league. TY for bringing these back.
I liked this explanation I ran into today: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/177796#poem
Last year Ortiz and Freeman finished ranked 16 and 17 in our 5x5 .OBP Roto league. Not a stretch to see them jumping up a spot or two.
On the pitching side I wonder why no one put Cliff Lee or Scherzer on their lists.
13. something, something, Mark Trumbo, something, something, still have two albatross contracts for the next 10,000 years... looks at Angel minor league system... wrong move(s).
1. What was the first one you thought of, or how did this idea get started.
2. How long into this did you bum out that you had to do all the teams?
3. Is this the standard way for baseball writers to celebrate getting their medical marijuana card?
I have to wait till MAY?! Oh well.
If you were a student in my class you would not only get an A+ for this report, but the next morning you would find a breakfast burrito and chocolate milk on your desk. Thank you.
I'm going to assume these need to be fairly easy to measure right. You don't want stuff like Mike Sciocia caught smiling on camera during a game vs. number of times Mike Trout gets thrown out of a game right?
Suggestions for intro theme music:
Three different genres of music to choose from. These will fire me up for a great podcast. Trust me.
Puig keeper league owner here. I live in the LA area and have watched Puig play live, while there are many things that frustrate me about Puig he is FUN to watch.
I went and looked at his spray charts for last year:
If you un-check the FBs and PUs the spray chart is troubling to say the least. He has just a handful of linedrives to OF and while it looks like he's a ++bunter down the third base line, if you watch him play you know he has way too many of these "barely/awkwardly made contact infield hits" that are hit to such a funky place that his speed gets him to first on time.
This year is going to be an interesting year for Puig. I'll be watching.
This is why Big Mike (Coach Scioscia) hates his current team. In 2013 the Angels stole 83 bases. 83. That's almost half as much as the top 3 teams stole. There's no way he's taking the bat out of the hands of Trout, Hamilton, Pujols, Trumbo or at least his boss doesn't want him to.
Also Scioscia is much more fond of hit and runs than steals, but even that I see less and less. The Angels did not look like an aggressive team last year. They constantly looked like a team waiting for a miracle or a coaching change. They looked leaderless, from the stands, and that lazy OC crowd isn't going to fire anyone up either.
I would not be surprised one bit if Borjous stole 35+ bases this year. If he can stay healthy.
PS- also willing to pay for a couple of French Dips at Philippe before the Dodger stadium event. It's the best place to eat before a Dodger game.
If I pay for Super Premium I just want the opportunity to buy one (or more) of your writers one of these:
And a few Empanadas the next time you show up for an Angel's game. 10 minutes from Angel stadium. Best sandwich in Orange County.
You forgot pride. As long as I'm not dumping anyone important for 2014 I'm going to try and finish as high as possible. There is something truly distasteful to the competitive manager to finish in last or second to last. Hopefully your league doesn't reward last place with the first pick in the draft.
I no longer need Christmas. As a 14 team keeper league Puig owner I feel "slightly" (and only slightly) better about dumping Trout back into our draft pool two years ago. Great article.
I don't get why Drew Smyly can't be the closer, at least for the rest of the year. He seems legit every time I watch him pitch.
1. You hit someone in the head once and you are immediately ejected. You can claim intent or just a lack of control for the day based on humidity, illness, whatever it's too unsafe to ignore.
2. You hit someone in the head twice in the same season it's an automatic 10-15 game suspension. (2-3 pitching games for a starter) and then escalations for each head hit that season.
I also love that HBP above waist equals 2nd base idea. Throw in HBP in head equals 3rd base. No one is trying to get hit in the head.
A baseball to the head can kill, paralyze, whatever- lots of sports have trash talking and poor sportsmanship- rarely in those sports does one player decide he is going to do something back that could end someone's career. Why does baseball think it's so special? Baseball also had a tradition of not playing Black/African-American players and that tradition stopped. There is a HUGE liability/legal issue looming when an organization knows they are allowing something to happen that's dangerous and doing nothing about it.
You can't throw at two guys heads. If you hit a guy in the head BOOM you're out of the game.
They talk less if you feed them more. I want to see a breakdown of various food choices in terms of getting peace and quiet. Ice cream helmet sundae is surprisingly over-rated since the kid becomes a sticky bomb afterward. Nachos on the other hand take a blissfully long time to get through. Peanuts are great too.
Well done BP well done. I'm dying here. Shocked beyond belief Jose Canseco didn't make the cut.
And I didn't mean to disparage your whole article with a one sentence retort. It's a well-written exploration/explanation of the topic. Personally I think you can do lots of things to make the ball move differently, but I think that unless it's a pretty common substance/technique it would be difficult to make it do what you wanted reliably. I think the consistency issue would be the biggest hindrance to doctoring the ball.
What does liquid rosin look like? Is it white? Yeah it looked like sunscreen to me and based on the conversation I heard during the summer I put 1+1 together... but I could be wrong or so my wife tells me.
That's not rosin, that's sunscreen and I've heard a MLB pitcher talk about how it's pretty common to use sunscreen to doctor a baseball.
Is Puig's recent arrest any cause for concern... everyone kept talking about how smart the kid was in Spring Training. Is this just a kid being a kid?
Sorry for the multiple posting but I wanted each topic to stand on its own. My last topic is StubHub. I can barely afford to get my son in the stadium with decent seats. StubHub has been a godsend. Now Arte Moreno wants to destroy it. He already gets the full price of the ticket from the original purchaser, and instead of an empty seat I show up with my kid pay for parking, fifty bucks of food and thirty bucks of stuff from the team store. So short sighted. I'm telling you MLB owners and the people running the league have ZERO clue.
Local youth baseball teams have to pay MLB to use their names on their jerseys so some leagues have switched to college teams. Every kid wants to play youth baseball with a big league team name on the front. How much $ do they make off of this? It's short sighted and stupid. MLB is the old miser of major league sports.
YOUTUBE stupidity. I teach. MS and HS boys LOVE watching sports clips on YouTube. They love making YouTube videos showing clips of their favorite players. I use to be able to show them YouTube clips of Bo Jackson running up a wall to catch a fly ball or other clips. The NBA gets it. Their product saturates YouTube. No kid goes to MLB.com to watch videos. Some old people get technology but many don't. There are no online commercials for baseball like the one where Kyrie Irving plays "Uncle Drew."
YAY! Thank you so much. There's really nothing on the internet like the Prospect Tracker.
Larry. I'm sure this has been asked before, but is there a link anywhere that talks about a hitter tendency to hit home runs in either back-to-back games or with a game or two of hitting a home run. Whenever I look at game logs it seems some hitters hit most of their home runs within one to two games of another home run. Thanks.
+10 especially in the Castro district. If he played for the Astros he could just wear chaps.
I wish we had a BP messaging system or back-channel discussion area so I could pick your brain more on this. Thanks for the confirmation.
This is the type of article I pay money for. I need this hidden behind the paywall ASAP so my league-mates don't get the same 411 for free. PS- don't Google image search King Helix. Weird stuff. Thanks Doug.
I agree with Lou about the Vince Coleman comp. And if he's a little more Tim Raines than Vince Coleman he'll be VERY valuable. Also if he's 2001-2005 Juan Pierre I think fantasy owners would be more than okay with that floor.
One more: sometimes I'll stream hitters. I noticed that certain players seem to hit HRs in bunches over several days. Has anyone ever done research to find batters who are statistically more likely to hit a HR the day following hitting a HR? I end up going through two years worth of game logs when I do this and it's a bit tedious.
Everyone talks about positional scarcity but I'm not buying it. I often wonder but don't have the time to research about statistical scarcity. For example... take the OF position. What if you took the average of the tier two players and compared them to the tier four players (I'm not using Tier one since they are an anomaly)and then you noted the difference and then compared them to another positions difference between tier two and four? When I look at SS the difference in stats between tier two and four seems so small in counting stats that I almost feel like it's flipping a coin. Am I on to something or just ON something when I think this?
Awesome as usual. I wish you could produce a two or three page summary of these myths or old-school vs. new-school philosophies with a short rationale. It's very difficult for me to convince youth coaches to read your entire book when they think they already know it all. Maybe a YouTube channel with a short video describing each fallacy with video examples.
PS= this article has made me pause slightly in my reaching for a few of those Brewer pitchers in my fantasy draft.
Great article. I live in the LA area and based on the newspaper and local radio there seems to be a buzz building that Puig might get called up this year. Perhaps if Crawford never gets healthy, I'm not sure why, but Mattingly and McGuire seem extra high on him. McGuire kept talking about how smart he is and how quickly he learns new facets of hitting. Maybe it's just hype to justify the money spent.
Has there been a similar buzz at the scouting level?
Also it would be helpful to have a link to 1-50 at the top or bottom of the article.
I think you guys missed a move. Arte Moreno bought McNeil Consumer Healthcare foreseeing an uptick in Tylenol sales in Texas, Washington, and parts of California when Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and some guy he acquired named Josh Hamilton roll into town.
After looking at that list I feel almost guilty paying so little. Are you guys going to pass the collection plate around for a second time? Thank you for feeding our Fantasy baseball addiction.
I don't think a single person on the Steve Carlton comp even likes rice.
But I can see Bedard saying "so much of training is in the brain. The body is only the vessel of the mind. To better understand that, you should read Twelfth Planet by Zecharia Sitchin...."
Is it wrong that I think that baseball season starts with the release of the PECOTA spreadsheets and not Spring Training?
There's one more that I know of. It might be mean or sexist (I guess women could play- but they are probably too nice/classy) but it leads to some good arguments and chuckles. My friends call it "All-Star."
You have an entire inning to pick the best looking woman in the crowd within your line of sight. Each player picks one and waits till the end of the inning for the reveal. Whoever picked the best looking woman gets all the money. (Bet any amount but keep it consistent) Ties get split. Once a woman is picked no one can pick her again for the rest of the game. This leads to some interesting choices late in the game. You cannot just agree it's a tie, someone has to win.
A. It works best with 3 to 5 players.
B. Later in the game some moron will blindly pick someone that you can only see the back of her head. That person must then must go down the aisle and take a look and report back.
Apparently I'm already too drunk to play: it's called On OR Off, not On AND off. (jeez) I like the Mound Ball name.
Many of these are way too hard to play when you are drinking or at the game with just one friend. Please tell me you have heard of ON and OFF. One person wins if at the end of the inning the ball stays ON the pitchers mound, or is rolled onto the mound by the umpire, catcher or IFer (or touching the dirt) one bettor wins if it rolls off or is not rolled onto the mound.
You can bet from 1$ to 5$ per half-inning.
RIP EM: EATERS! I hope the UC Irvine Anteaters have something to say about your preseason rankings.
I'll be enjoying my Tri-Tip Nachos and Blue Moon Beer all spring long talking to a row of Radar Gun addicts looking at some nice pitching talent.
Wilin Rosario, Victor Martinez, and Profar. Please.
The best part of baseball is the length of a game. Where else can you get away from home, house-work, bills, phone calls etc... for five hours and not take crud for it. It's even better if you bring your kid cause then you are being a good dad.
Whether it's sitting at a UC Irvine Anteater game eating tri-tip nachos; or watching the Angels or Dodgers, while eating a hot dog. There is nothing more relaxing than watching a baseball game. My blood pressure goes down 20 points easy.
But if the Marlins start winning games next year, no one, and I mean no one want's to see anyone slowly removing pieces of clothing from a cardboard cut-out of Jeffrey Loria.
"The average human male thinks about a fake trade proposal every eight seconds."
I smirked at the implication here to trading our wives and girlfriends...although Mike D'Antoni would yell at you for wasting a whole second in your effort to score.
1. I'm not sure of the truthfulness of this article. I didn't see a single fan hurling a battery or eating garlic fries.
2. I knew that eccentric fan was a man right away, but I understand your confusion since there are no male Marlin fans.
3. I'm still trying to think of how to make a lesson plan for my English class out of this entire post. Awesome stuff.
I would assemble a team from our high school in two seconds, if something like this was ever held in California. Such a cool idea.
Nice article Paul. It may not matter to anyone, but AJ Griffin's projected starts will be: @LAA, BAL/or@DET, @NYY, @TEX, and his last game will be either SEA or TEX.
Derek, I've enjoyed reading this series all year. Thank you for your research and strategies. In addition to looking at the team the pitcher is facing it's also nice to look at the opposing pitcher, if you have the luxury to stream pitchers.
Home Run Tracker for MiLB so we can more easily judge power between parks, leagues and levels.
I always wish we could plus one staff comments, but the price of plus one comes with the dreaded cost of a potential -1 it must too steep of a price to enable.
Great list tons of info... Adam Duvall (SF-3B) cracked the 30/100/100 (single season) mark last night.
I liked this suggestion (Someone subtracted my +1) and I also wanted to add that I really liked the Prospect Tracker this year. It's such a pain to find that information on MiLB.com because they split up stats by level. So please continue the Prospect Tracker.
Congrats Jason. They always say "write what you know." I'd be interested to see your development as a scout in training as a regular post. Something like what BP did with Doug Thorburn and pitching, but looking at the other offensive tools- running/throwing/hitting with video and other analysis. Doug's thrown a lot of cold water on the old witches tales of pitching mechanics and I'd like to see what's going on with the new school of baseball scouts.
I also loved your articles where you looked back at prospects who didn't pan out "Bring me the head of" and the "I've been thinking about." Just follow your passion Jason and we will ride shotgun until the car runs out of gas, cause I'm too old to push a car anywhere.
Dan, I live near Long Beach. How do you find out exactly when the games are held and do you just walk up and buy tickets or can you buy them ahead of time. My son and I would love to go next year. If you want we will take you to lunch or dinner before or after the game. Of course you'll have to answer my kid's 100 questions about baseball while you eat.
Are you sure you don't want to see if the Dodgers will make an offer first? I heard they pay well. Congrats Kevin. You and your band of merry men are the only thing I pay for on the internet. And it's money well spent.
When I was a kid I used to get mad that Angel fans would dog Garret Anderson for hustle. I always appreciated that unlike Jim Edmonds, Anderson had a sense of risk/reward. At the end of the season or during the playoffs you would see Garret "hustle." Because the risk/reward was worth it. But earlier in the season he was pacing himself and playing smart. Matt Kemp owners might appreciate this concept this morning.
Lobaton is a smart kid, look at that professional move turning the spoon upside down so you don't get an ice cream headache.
Great article Ben. I'm nominating this for the article of the year. Funny and insightful.
How much does the 0.11 Win number change if the bullpen arm Billy Hamilton is replacing is Jonathan Broxton?
You are right of course. I just thought it was interesting. Taking a look at this list where would you place Billy Hamilton's career ceiling?
1. Everyone has the same opportunities.
2. Dumping at the end of the season, pre-trade deadline is fine, it's dumping early in the season- with a manager who has already given up- that causes fights. Getting a Kemp, Verlander etc... with just a month and a half to go is not really going to change the standings all that much in roto.
3. The bottom place finishers in a league should not be rewarded with high draft picks or the same amount of FAAB$ that helps control tanking issues.
4. I think that the more keepers you have it actually helps this situation.
Kevin... as a fantasy owner I'm very intrigued by a middle infielder who can steal 80+ bases at the big league level. However, I was looking at the list of the top 10 single season leaders in MILB history:
This list does not inspire me with confidence as far as what Billy Hamilton might be capable of at the MLB level.
Not when you are wearing a white belt.
Still not as embarrassing as the guy who picks up a foul ball after it bounced off two seats and rolled to his feet and then he raises both hands waiting for the crowd to cheer the fact he is holding a ball in his hands.
I don't know if this is a known problem or not. But the in-browser player you use for the podcast doesn't work in Chrome. No matter where you start in the podcast after about 7-15 minutes it just stops and drops you off at the beginning.
I read somewhere that Dylan Bundy was told by Baltimore to stop using his cutter and to work on his other pitches... why would Baltimore do that except to slow down his progression through the minors?
If your potential is not making it at all... then bombs away. Seems healthier than steroids. I wouldn't mind a 12 year career in MLB as a situational RP. Lighting shoes on fire and hamming it up for the Kiss Cam while gaining eligibility for a MLB pension.
Great article. As I'm watching the CWS and UCLA's submarine pitcher David Berg I can't help but think that an over-reliance on standardized pitching instruction at the youth level is keeping some very interesting and useful pitchers from developing a sidearm or submarine delivery.
Read this article for more information on Berg's late developing delivery:
Not sure if linking is allowed here.
T-800 would be a cool nickname.
One more interesting fact.
For the last three years the Angels have had a horrible team BABIP. They are ranked in the bottom quarter each year. This seems unusual- shouldn't it vary a bit from year to year? To me it speaks of either: the players, their overall approach at the plate, or their hitting coach.
I've been moaning about the lack of production regarding the Angels the last few weeks. They just don't seem like a Scioscia team... or even a decent MLB team.
At first I thought it men left on base but they are actually doing fine. Then I thought maybe it was men left in scoring position, but that's fine too.
However, they are 27th in the league in OBP and 25th in the league in SBs... so Hunter is right in that they aren't moving runners over because either no one is there to run, or if they don't steal, no one is getting on base to move them over.
Lastly, and I don't think there is a stat that covers this, they seem horrible at putting the ball in play when needed including the ability to hit a deep fly ball when they have a runner on third and less than two outs.
While his stance wasn't that unusual I loved pretending to be George Foster as a kid.
Joe Morgan, Joe Morgan, Joe Morgan.... every kid in the 70s used his chicken wing at least once.
My kid used Jeff Bagwell's stance in a tied playoff game to draw a walk once. His mom wouldn't speak to him for a week afterward.
Doug. I bought the book as well and I'm already working with my son on many of the concepts you teach in your book. I wish I had read it years ago.
I loved the section on EV (effective velocity) and pitch location and the whole 16 MPH difference statistics. Please write an article about that and how it works with various MLB pitchers. I actually wrote "so cool" next to that part in the book and when my kid was reading that section he laughed at my footnote. Thanks again.
Felix Hernandez seems very similar in the last 3/4 of his delivery.
Okay... I'm not a pitching expert, just a youth coach and fan, but when I look at Lincecum pitch he does have a huge leg lift, but then he drops his foot all the way back down and it barely skims the surface of the mound all the way to the end of his huge stride. So the leg lift isn't making room for the stride... what is it doing if it's not involved in the coiling process?
Coach Adams: There is a problem with leg lift especially when you consider pitching from the stretch; however, I think some pitchers use leg left as a trigger and/or a pre-stretch for a long stride. If the leg lift is following with a quick and explosive move towards the plate, it's not really wasted. We bring our arm back before we throw and our leg back before we kick so doesn't the leg lift work in the same way?
At some point this semester I'd like your thoughts on Mike Marshall's approach vs. Chris O'Leary and I think there is a lot of confusion regarding "fingers on top of the ball" and "pitching from the ear" and lastly "don't drop your elbow" at the youth pitching level. I'd like to see those addressed as well.
Great article. Thank you.
1. The Red Sox lose two in a row. Dan Shaughnessy writes a book.
2. A leaked internal memo from the Astros front office:
and this one-
"Also, the Giants extend Aubrey Huff."
As a fantasy owner of Belt that last one hurts the most. Great list Mr. Kory. Very funny.
According to the Homerun Tracker Danny had quite a few "just enough" homeruns. (HRs that barely cleared the fence) I'm wondering just how much power he really has. More troubling for some mangers is that Mike Morse led the NL in "just enoughs" and Howard Kendrick has one more than Morse.
"Speaking of steps, the energy displayed by the Japanese media was kinetic and commendable; although, it didn’t take long for the non-stop display of hustle to prompt those who were less inclined to hustle to make it clear said hustle was annoying and hopefully not contagious."
Reading that sentence with the narration voice of Charles Dickens, William Goldman or StrongBad makes it doubleplus good.
Dear Mr. Kory- thank you for taking the time to try and relieve us of Spring Training boredom. I know that it's not easy writing extended comedy pieces. I liked the two funny sentences and would like to see more of their kind in your future articles. While your Dice-K article at Over The Monster shows you have the potential to be funny, it's not as evident here. In particular you have an issue writing funny dialogue- it's a bit forced. For example:
"Joe Buck: Mariano Rivera in from the bullpen for the Yankees...
Tim McCarver: removes pants
Buck: And the pitch... strike over the outside corner.
McCarver: That pitch had some urgency to it, Joe.
Buck: Yes. [long pause] Don't forget to watch America's Most Painful Crotch Injuries, tonight on Fox!
Buck: Why did you say 'removes pants' earlier?"
It's about as unfunny as the dialogue between the anchors above. I'm not trying to be mean, or funny, just informative. I'd have sent you an email, but I'm not sure where to send it. If you don't want everyone to read this comment, feel free to vote it into invisibility.
Maybe James has low blood sugar today cause his comment in 2011: "Best. Column. Ever. Best. Prospector. Ever. To this day, it amazes me how on-point you are! You've inspired my "finally published" writings. You are the best ever! Youre old friend, James K." Shows a roller-coaster of appreciation.
Either that or James is really KG and is just driving comments and page views.
I'd still like to see a list where you look at KG's 1-10 vs. his 11-20 and his 21-30 over the years looking at how many 1) made it to the bigs 2)became top 100 players. How good is KG at evaluating tiers overall versus finding individual talent. It's so hard to judge him when you pick out single players, but how does he do over a long period of time at evaluating tiers of talent?
Here's an example of what I'm talking about. Here are the top 20 ranked prospects for 2010. Now limit your selection to the top 10 or top 5 of this list... (also keep in mind that even veteran players suffer injuries and have down years)
1. Stephen Strasburg, RHP, Nationals
2. Jason Heyward, OF, Braves
3. Neftali Feliz, RHP, Rangers
4. Jesus Montero, C, Yankees
5. Mike Stanton, OF, Marlins
6. Pedro Alvarez, 3B, Pirates
7. Desmond Jennings, OF, Rays
8. Carlos Santana, C, Indians
9. Buster Posey, C, Giants
10. Aroldis Chapman, LHP, Reds
11. Chris Carter, 1B, Athletics
12. Dustin Ackley, OF/2B, Mariners
13. Jeremy Hellickson, RHP, Rays
14. Ryan Westmoreland, OF, Red Sox
15. Martin Perez, LHP, Rangers
16. Kyle Drabek, RHP, Blue Jays
17. Justin Smoak, 1B, Rangers
18. Brian Matusz, LHP, Orioles
19. Alcides Escobar, SS, Brewers
20. Michael Taylor, OF, Athletics
If you look at the 2011 list it's pretty much the same in terms of the difference between 1-5; 1-10; and 1-20.
I'd like to see the same list over the same period, but made up of players who were top 5 or top 3 players. Or what about a list of players who were drafted 1st or 2nd overall... At some point it pays to take a risk and if you have done your homework then you limit your risk.
If your team is a keeper team and it's terrible, you might never get a change to upgrade your team as much as when you take a chance on an unproven player.
And if you want to win your league you better have at least a couple of Stars.
HEY TONY: sign CJ Wilson in the offseason. He'll take a little less hopefully to pitch in his hometown. Weaver, Haren, Santana, Wilson... helps the Angels, hurts the Rangers.
I'm assuming Eric Young is not making your NL VP list? He sure does a lot from a platoon situation. Won me the week in steals last week. I wish he could go to a team that would play him for a full season.
Aybar hitting .107 in August .202 since the All-Star break.
Wells hitting .138 in August
Callaspo hitting .209 in August
Wilson hitting .190 in August
Long time Angel fans are used to August or late summer swoons.
If Reagins' feet aren't held to the fire by Arte, the local Press, or the fans then all is for naught. Excellence only comes by expectation and if no one acts like they expect the Angel's to succeed, then why should they try? Perhaps all Angel fans care about are Friday fireworks and rally monkeys.
No one expected this year's Angels to compete and I for one hope they go down in epic August/September failure so that no one in the organization holds any false hopes regarding this current roster and their chances of success next year.
The current status of the Angels has very little to do with Mr. Mathis.