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January 16, 2012
Is there such a thing as a "closer mentality," or can any effective setup man handle the closer role? The BP staff tries to get to the bottom of the matter.
May 2, 2010
Assigning value to individual game events leads to a debate on the metric's merits.
January 25, 2010
An exercise in thinking theoretically about player value.
January 10, 2010
A spin through BP's recent discussions on BABIP and its discontents.
August 14, 2009
As Joaquin Andujar put it, "youneverknow."
July 1, 2009
A trio of BP columnists join ESPN's Buster Olney to resolve whose surprising performances so far are real, and which aren't.
June 15, 2009
The crosstown rivals are both defending division champs stuck in the middle of the standings as they gear up to go head to head.
June 8, 2009
With multiple issues afflicting their bid for the postseason, what priorities should the Mets place on fixing their assorted problems?
February 24, 2005
Listed in the "Honorable Mention" section of the Top 50 Prospects list, Kendry Morales was the subject of an interesting discussion as that list was being assembled.
February 21, 2005
Felix Hernandez is #1 by acclamation, but the discussion about who should slot in behind him is as contentious as any in the series.
February 16, 2005
Delmon Young is the cream of the crop, but there's plenty of disagreement as to who should be ranked behind him.
February 11, 2005
The group discusses the merits of some of the top prospects in the game, including Joel Guzman and Andy Marte.
February 9, 2005
Casey Kotchman or Prince Fielder? Chris Burke or Josh Barfield? The BP staff kicks around more prospects.
February 1, 2005
The first in a series of roundtables leading up to the release of the Top 50 Prospects list.
October 1, 2004
Today or tomorrow, Ichiro Suzuki will set the record for most hits in a single-season, breaking a mark set 84 years ago. The BP crew looks at the achievement and the player.
February 24, 2004
Let's compare J.J. Hardy and Bobby Crosby:
Player Age EqBA/EqOBP/EqSLG
Hardy 20 .240/.316/.380
Crosby 23 .273/.356/.490
Adjusted for park and league context, Crosby's numbers were much, much better. How to balance that against the age differential? I think the question becomes: How likely is it that Hardy will post a line of .273/.356/.490 or equivalent by the time that he's 23? It's possible, certainly, and it's also possible that he'll post a line even better than that. But I don't think that it's *probable*. That's a lot of improvement to make. PECOTA would put the possibility at somewhere around 25%, I'd think, and I think that's enough to render Crosby the stronger prospect.
February 23, 2004
Jeremy Reed had the best year of any player in the minors last year and has a very high probability of being an excellent player. I think a top-five ranking would be a just reward, and consistent with our emphasis on performance rather than tools. I absolutely do not understand why Reed would rank below Alexis Rios. He is Rios' equal in every attribute except for plate discipline, where he has a substantial advantage, and his PECOTA profile is considerably better. I don't think a couple of good weeks in Puerto Rico are enough to overcome that. Weeks is a stud and I think the objections to him are a bit overstated. I would like to get a scouting report or two on his defense, since his numbers were quite bad. I'm also not on board with the fear of ranking pitching prospects highly, though I'm sure there will be advocates for the opposite point of view. I think the *top* tier of pitching prospects is unusually good this year as compared with the top tier of hitting prospects, and I think we should make adjustments accordingly. If you want to get a bit more analytical about it, I don't think it's a matter of our overrating the risk associated with pitching prospects so much as it is our *underrating* the risk associated with offensive prospects, especially offensive prospects who have yet to reach Double-A. I like Marte a lot, and he has no real negatives, but placing him as high as #2 implies a scouting judgment of sorts; his numbers were good, but not overwhelming.
February 22, 2004
Wright or Marte, Marte or Wright. I love 'em both. I've put Andy Marte ahead for the moment, because of the 10-month age difference and because scouts seem to like him a lot more, but I really feel strongly that David Wright's as complete a prospect as there is in the game. I'd love to hear comments comparing the two, and Nate, I'd love to see what their PECOTA comps look like. Nobody else is that impressive. Dallas McPherson put up some serious numbers last year, and while some of that was in The Hangar in Rancho Cucamonga, he hit .314/.426/.569 in Arkansas. He doesn't have a great defensive reputation, but it's not terrible either, and he clearly outhit everyone else on this list. I don't know if anyone else deserves Top 50 consideration. I know people love the Greek God of Walks, but he hit .165/.295/.248 in Triple-A, over a 32-game sample. Of course, his full-season OBP was still .446, so... Chad Tracy hit .324 and his defense took a big step forward, but he doesn't do much more than hit singles, and it was Tucson. I respect that he's had two good seasons in a row, but he was in El Paso in 2002, so I'm not sure that means anything either. And as much as I hyped him a year ago, I have to concede that Brendan Harris may not be quite as good as I thought he was. But he's still a better prospect than almost anyone gives him credit for.
February 21, 2004
In preparing the annual top prospect list for Baseball Prospectus 2004, BP authors participated in the annual extended roundtable discussion of baseball's top prospects. The ranking and review process balanced translated statistics, scouting reports, and injury reports with the strong personal opinions of BP's finest…all with the goal of putting together the "best damn prospect list the world has ever seen." In Part I today we'll listen in on the discussion of the top prospects among pitchers, catchers, first basemen and second basemen. Parts II through IV will run Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. We'll also unveil the final list Tuesday, with the Top 50 prospects (we've expanded from prior years' Top 40) revealed. Rany Jazayerli will be along to discuss the Top 50 list and the process that went into compiling it in Tuesday night's Chat.
February 16, 2004
Gary Huckabay: OK, the deal's not finalized yet, but just for a second, let's assume that the worst possible parameters of the deal (from the Rangers' perspective) reported in the media are true. The Rangers get Alfonso Soriano, a minor leaguer from a list of five, and pick up $67 million of the remaining money owed to Rodriguez.
Do you see any way to justify this deal from the Rangers' standpoint?
Personally, I don't. Soriano's not going to be exceptionally cheap himself, he's not close to being the ballplayer A-Rod is, and even if you assume--which I'm not comfortable doing--that A-Rod's contract is anomalous and an organizational albatross, there's certainly some real and non-negligible cost associated with this specific dump.
Depending on the financial details of the deal, it's possible this deal could end up costing the Rangers money--when you factor in the $67 million, the contract Soriano will likely end up with after a year of puffy stats at The Ballpark in Arlington, the lost goodwill, and lost broadcast rights money.