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I honestly, no-fooling think that if Ichiro converted to a pitcher after his age-38 season, he could have been a league-average reliever last year.
I also really, really, REALLLLLLLY hope Randy is right for all the Rays picks. Greinke, Samardzija, Kazmir, and <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Chris+Young">Chris Young</a></span>? Making that splash baby!
Oh, I know it's random. I'm just not sure I can think of a less likely team for Wieters than the Cubs.
Randy has the Cubs getting Cespedes (maybe, but unlikely), Happ (as good a guess as any other team), and... <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=57712">Matt Wieters</a></span>!?!?!?!?!
<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=58568">Neil Ramirez</a></span> didn't make the roster. <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=69172">Kyle Hendricks</a></span> did.
<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=103751">Kyle Schwarber</a></span> should be added to this! :)
I think there's a parade the next town over you could go rain on if you want.
Ok, I think I have THE MOST TRIVIAL question of all time.
You say that you take gametime temperature into account (measured at start of the game). Does the average time per pitch then play a role? If we take temperature to be an important factor, than it stands to reason that pitchers that take longer to throw the ball (and extend the game) will allow for greater changes in gametime temperature (which will have some effect on conditions, which will have some effect on <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=DRA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('DRA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">DRA</span></a>). This could have an effect in the ten thousandths (maybe. probably not).
Another comically trivial question is with regards to takeoff rate. You use <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=cFIP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('cFIP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">cFIP</span></a> as a general measure of pitcher skill, but another component that might not be measured (perhaps it is and I don't know) is speed of arsenal. Is that wrapped up in "the pitcher involved?" Seems like it's easier to steal on someone who throws 40% offspeed stuff than someone who throws 10% offspeed stuff, and it seems like someone who throws 98 mph is easier to steal off of (generally) than someone who throws 89 mph.
Thanks for this awesome work.
This all seems excellent. I have a general question about <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=FRA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('FRA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">FRA</span></a> (and all models generally).
Why are they all slightly skewed to the right? Is there something inherent to each model that would account for this that I don't understand, or is this just a coincidence?
For the Astros, it's probably <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=46752">Luis Valbuena</a></span>. He was the EBC for the Cubs when he was on their team:
Do you think Russell can be a defensive weapon at 2B a la <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=57645">Darwin Barney</a></span> and other SS converts? I think he'll be very good there, but not great.
Are you him?
<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=55708">Adron Chambers</a></span> scored on Marmol's wild pitch, and is now trying to make the Cubs as a 5th OF in training camp. Small world.
This team isn't those teams. The Cubs presumably have aspirations of contention this year (unlike previously), and have many options besides <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=56563">Junior Lake</a></span> to get good PAs (unlike previously).
"There's nothing interesting about the question of whether to bunt when the pitcher comes to bat with a runner on base. " What if you're down 1, but it's the 5th inning, and the pitcher hasn't had the 3rd-time-through-the order penalty? What if he's a lefty that is about to face 2 lefties in a row, and your <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=LOOGY" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('LOOGY'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">LOOGY</span></a> pitched the last 2 days and you might not have a great option in the pen next inning? It's disingenuous to say that pinch hitting for the pitcher doesn't add something interesting to the game of baseball.
Let your arguments for the DH stand on their own, instead of taking ill-advised hacks on fairly legitimate arguments.
Apropos of nothing, arguments for both sides of the debate:
1. The DH DOES add more complexity to a game, offering more decision points to a manager (which allows the better managers to outperform the worse ones).
2. Any position would benefit from not having to worry about hitting - shortstops (many of whom are poor hitters in their own right) would be better fielders, and allowing designated hitters for them would both improve the offense skill of hitters overall and would improve the fielding ability of shortstops (as those with no stick but great gloves would suddenly find themselves employable). There is no argument for a second designated hitter to replace shortstops, which means that something must be intrinsic to the pitching position. Players like <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=49168">Travis Wood</a></span> and <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=49786">Clayton Kershaw</a></span> show that pitchers do not necessarily have to be abhorrent hitters, so it seems that it's a matter of will and not necessarily skill.
Arguments for the DH
1. It's unfair for one league to have it and another not to. The AL team can afford to offer an aging outfielder that additional year an NL cannot because the AL team can just slot him in the DH role 6 years down the line. It's not going away from the AL, so the NL should just adopt it.
2. The DH allows AL teams to have fresher players, both by keeping a 9th bat in the lineup at all times (minimizing the downtime for bench players) and reducing the amount of fielding innings a player must make throughout the year. These are tangible advantages.
On the whole, I think the DH should come to the NL, and I'd be slightly surprised if it doesn't happen in the next CBA. That being said, there are legitimate arguments for not wanting it around.
They only need to keep him down 3 weeks, or 12 games. That makes it mid or late April (though they may keep him later if they feel it's necessary).
Apparently the Pease family are quasi-active (this post notwithstanding).
Your user ID is 11. That's freaking awesome. Basically, you are Rogers Hornsby.
Does anyone with an ID in the single-digits post anymore?
This was about the greatest tl;dr ever.
Max Pentecost. You could not get any more Pentecostal than him.
If you don't make the playoffs, you get a ball for each loss you have. Then, each of those balls are entered into a huge lottery machine, and then they are drawn for draft position. The draft is now held the Monday after the Sunday after the College World Series (and there is an expanded Arizona Fall League to make up for development time). This provides a strong disincentive to tanking, as your chance of getting the #1 overall pick just isn't that high. I also hate the seemingly arbitrary position of the MLB draft, where teams have to perversely root against their own draftees as soon as they are selected.
I appreciate your honesty. If we ever get a hot dog together, I promise I won't say anything; you'll have to read the disapproval in my eyes.
I originally didn't agree with you, but when I saw that it was in all caps I thought "he must be right, he's very upset about it."
He was in the 96 to 96 range.
Was Kolek particularly close to getting Miami on the board?
Congratulations Marlins on having 0 of the Top 101 prospects!!!
Graduations, injuries, and loss of ability (lots of top 101 people are toolsy projections that fizzle).
Now that Vizcaino isn't in the Cubs org, I feel like BP should list another factor on the farm. I've heard about this "Tommy La Stella" guy who seems like he might fit the bill.
Is a Paul Blackburn-type in the next 10? I've always felt he had a great chance to stick in the back of a rotation. He has a good, late-cut fastball with pretty good location, and that seems to be something that sticks with you as you climb levels. I don't think there's a high ceiling there, but I think Blackburn has a nice floor as a back-end starter as soon as 2016. Any thoughts?
Mr. Editor, sir? It's spelled "unconventional", not "unconvential."
I think this is the first time the entire article lost it's credibility on the last sentence alone. Ketchup and Hot Dogs go together like children and flamethrowers.
I'm a big fan of the other J. Baez in the opening.
Give Soler's unique option situation, I'd say it's CERTAIN that Soler sees time in September. Until then, he'll just have to be content embarrassing the PCL.
I'm 90% sure that Munenori Kawasaki is commentating. That brings me to a new idea: just talking to Munenori Kawasaki for 10 hours on Wednesday.
I audibly groaned at this, and now my cubicle neighbors are concerned. BP is going on the NSFW filter now.
Ben is quitting EW when Ryan Webb gets his first save.
I've always felt I had an elegant solution.
Each team plays 6 3-game series against the teams in it's own division. 18 * 4 = 72 games.
Each team plays 2 3-game series against the teams in it's own league. 6 * 10 = 60 games.
Each team plays a home 3-game series against the teams in it's designated rotating interleague division, as well as an away 3-game series against the teams in it's other designated rotating interleague division. 10 * 3 = 30 games. 72 + 60 + 30 = 162 games.
This discards the "rivalry series," but I don't really care. In those cases, you are only missing that team 1 out of 3 years. You play teams from your own league 3 times as often as any interleague team (18 games in 3 years from 6), and you play interdivisional teams 3 times as often as non-divisional, same-league opponents (18 times in 1 year from 6).
And they'll be on same team when the Cards trade for Shark :(
Thanks for the words on Penalver.
It seems difficult to actually do this (because we didn't have pitch f/x in 1998, but re-watching the Kid K game reveals that his strike zone was AWFULLY big. I wonder if it would be possible to adjust the more recent games to take this into account.
If the Cubs deal Shark to the Red Sox, I wouldn't mind getting Bradley back as a "reclamation" project.
Villaneuva has little to no value from a fantasy standpoint (low AVG, maybe 13-18 HR if he's a full-time 3B, no other utility), but I imagine you're asking in real life. IANAS, but from the tape I have seen and the games I have watched, I just don't think Villanueva will ever have the hit tool that allows him to play every day at the major league level. He'll have a role in the majors as a glove-first CIF (and a damn good one; the defense from 3B is plus-plus), but it's hard to envision a scenario where he could play full-time.
Bryant will take the reps at 3B every day, and Villanueva will probably take the reps at 1B (Lars Anderson is just a guy). It's also reasonable to assume that Bryant will take 20% or so of his starts at RF (where he will probably end up long-term anyway) to keep Christian at 3B in a part-time capacity.
Also, the Cubs and Phillies played this weekend.
I find it very hard to believe that the two best teams in the entire Universe are on Mars and Jupiter.
Ah, I see now. It was a purple link that I just passed over. I wish I could delete my previous comment now (and I just dug it up to paste here, too!)
I think it'd be a really good idea to link to last month's article (Starlin Castro).
And Rondon validates BP today.
No love for Hector Rondon? All he's done this year is put up a 1.31 ERA, 1.78 FIP, while striking out 29.3% of batters while walking 8.5%. His omission was Abad choice (pun intended).
It's SARA Bareilles, not SARAH Bareilles. Come on, Ben!
When you say Urias' slider has 2 flavors; one with more of a vertical drop, and the other with "more tilt," I assume that tilt means a horizontal break (with some vertical drop, but not as much). Is this accurate? I just want to make sure tilt didn't mean a specific thing that I was missing.
For the curious, this is the April 22 game. Cubs won 9-2. You'd think it was the 5-1 victory on April 21 (seeing as it's 5-1 in the 8th inning). As far as I can tell, Valbuena didn't play in that game. Also, Hammel is clearly on the mound. The Cubs scored 4 in the bottom of the 8th in that game, and the DBacks scored 1 in the top of the 9th.
Castro went 2-4 with a double at the plate in this game as well.
Philosophically, why is True Average indexed to .260 in the first place. I don't like indexing statistics, especially arbitrarily, and in this case it certainly seems arbitrary. If you're going to index True Average, it should at least be towards the year in which the Average was attained (so .255 last year). As alluded in point 10, it doesn't really make sense for the standard to be .260 anyway; a .260 average in 2003 means something entirely different than that same .260 average in 1963, so it doesn't really pass the eye test.
Congrats Ben! Can't think of a more deserving piece.
Masahiro Tanaka's splitter
Jeff Samardzija's splitter
Chris Archer's slider
Felix Hernandez' circle-change
Yu Darvish's slider
Brad Ziegler's sinker
R.A. Dickey's angry knuckler
Carlos Marmol's ball four (any collection of 4 consecutive pitches)
Renteria isn't loading for me. Also, will you hold this thread while I walk away?
That Strasburg slider was absolutely X-rated. One of the better sliders I've seen in a while, and he just "picked it up" this off-season. Ridiculous talent.
Jeff Samardzija throws 7 scoreless innings and is not mentioned in the "good pitching by NL Central teams" article.
The Tennessee Smokies lineup is pornographic. We could see the following:
SS Who cares
“Well, his batting practices are very impressive.”
Somehow, I can picture Ryne Sandberg saying exactly that and it sounding exactly like the back-handed compliment it is.
You should have to be 18 to watch that video.
Great article, but I'm struggling how to actually get normalized BABIP numbers from Brooks Baseball.
Is the Cubs' Tennessee team the best minor league team in baseball or what? They could have the Southern League's best lineup AND rotation pretty easily. When mega-talents like Bryant leave, they'll just be replaced with Almora/Soler, also. I love that team, and the prospect list you gave doesn't even mention Corey Black, Ivan Pineyro, and other fringier deep cuts.
Centerfield picture is broken for me.
The wheels of WARP turn, and Shark climbs to 0.3 projected WARP. That's much better.
This is really cool. I wonder how people arrived at Watkins playing 2B/3B/LF, though, and not seeing any time at CF (his natural minor league OF position). It's also quite disheartening to see Shark projected to provide 0.1 WARP.
Also, that one Masterson supporter must work in a righties-only league.
Yeah, I was more thinking without regard to the obvious injury caveat (though I personally think Tanaka and Strasburg are both equally likely (read: very)) to miss a large swath of the next 7 years with a pitching injury.
Nifty article, though I'm curious if there was anyone in the field who went off-script (perhaps voting for Bailey over Tanaka, but Tanaka over Latos).
Thanks for the reply. I am perhaps bullish on Alcantara's early release, especially when I have to see Barney at the plate every day. I think there's a chance he could even lead off for the 2014 Cubs as constructed, though I admit that's being very hopeful.
Perhaps it's just because I'm a Cubs fan, but it seems crazy that Arismendy Alcantara hasn't been drafted. He'll have 2014 impact, he should provide some value at every stat (.275 avg, 10-15 HR, 15-20 SB), and he might even steal SS eligibility (but it's a longshot). Even at 2B, he's an immediate factor at that position.