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Week ending on Thursday, April 4 2013.


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Thursday, April 4

Premium Article On the Beat: Contractual Matters

by John Perrotto

Our resident beat reporter hears both the pros and cons of recent contract extensions and catches up on Robinson Cano and the Cubs.

Premium Article Overthinking It: So You Want to Buy a 2014-15 Free Agent?

by Ben Lindbergh

Let the other teams sign their players to extensions. The 2014-15 free agent market's got a great deal for you!

Prospects Will Break Your Heart: Pulling a Fernandez: 2014 Candidates

by Jason Parks

It's a rare player indeed who could make the jump Jose Fernandez made. Jason asks front office executives which ones could handle it next year.

The Prospectus Hit List: Thursday, April 4

by Matthew Kory

Nationals at the top! Marlins at the bottom! Who needs 162 games?

Premium Article Transaction Analysis: The DFAs

by R.J. Anderson

Clay Rapada and Casper Wells lead a long list of players designated for assignment.

Premium Article Out of Left Field: The Way of the Gun

by Matthew Kory

Jake McGee and the meaning of fastballs.

Premium Article What You Need to Know: #Weird Returns

by Daniel Rathman

The Cardinals and Diamondbacks helped everyone dig out ice cream last night. Tonight, Giancarlo Stanton will attempt to continue his power display against Jordan Zimmermann.

Premium Article In A Pickle: Can You Buy What You Can't See?

by Jason Wojciechowski

Just because teams can't necessarily measure clutchness and chemistry doesn't mean they don't have to think about how to buy it.

BP Unfiltered: Mike Trout Fast

by Sam Miller

Mike Trout Runs Fast.

BP Unfiltered: Raising Aces: Da Pitching Code

by Doug Thorburn

Doug Thorburn flips through the pitching section of the scout-speak dictionary

Tater Trot Tracker: Trot Times for April 3

by Larry Granillo

The tater trots for April 3: Manny goes deep across the world, Gio can't keep from smiling, Upton busts out the speed.

Wezen-Ball: Yu Darvish Reminds Us: Technology is Great

by Larry Granillo

The technology to consume and enjoy baseball games today makes this one of the best times ever to be a baseball fan.

Daily Roundup: Around the League: April 4, 2013

by Clint Chisam and Joe Hamrahi

News and notes from around the league for April 4, 2013

BP Unfiltered: Maholm Throws Utley a Curve (Literally)

by Ben Lindbergh

Paul Maholm assumes the mantle of the sub-60-mph strike.

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 174: More Week One Reactions

by Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

Ben and Sam share their thoughts on Roy Halladay, Tim Lincecum, Yu Darvish, Fernando Rodney, the Royals, Tom Milone, Shaun Marcum, and more.

Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Staying Ahead of the Curve With Pitchers

by Bret Sayre

Bret explains how you can use pitchers' upcoming (or just-passed) schedules to your advantage.

BP Announcements: MLB.com Seeking Stats Stringer for Cleveland

by Joe Hamrahi

MLB.com, the official web site of Major League Baseball, is seeking a stats stringer in Cleveland

Wednesday, April 3

Dissecting Darvish's Opening Day: Four Reactions to Tuesday's Almost-Perfect Outing

by Jason Cole, Zachary Levine, Ben Lindbergh and Harry Pavlidis

An in-depth look at what Darvish does well and what he's doing differently.

Premium Article Pebble Hunting: The Future of Contract Extensions

by Sam Miller

Now that even big-market teams are signing young players to long-term deals, can extensions still give small-market teams an edge?

Premium Article Prospects Will Break Your Heart: Backfields Notes: The Final Report

by Jason Parks

Closing out the spring with scouting reports from the minor-league camps.

Premium Article What You Need to Know: When Yu Hot, Yu Hot

by Daniel Rathman

Yu Darvish just missed a perfect game against the Astros yesterday. Today, Robinson Cano will be key in a matchup against Clay Buchholz and the Red Sox.

The Prospectus Hit List: Wednesday, April 3

by Matt Sussman

Baseball continues to happen!

The Lineup Card: 10 Milestones to Look Forward to in 2013

Baseball Prospectus

The 2013 season has just begun, but the BP staff is looking ahead at players who may be hitting milestones this year.

BP Unfiltered: Chris Davis is Strong, Too

by R.J. Anderson

The O's first baseman goes oppo on a pitch off the plate.

Tater Trot Tracker: Trot Times for April 2

by Larry Granillo

The tater trots for April 2: Yu Darvish's near-perfect night, Pete Kozma might cause a divorce.

BP Unfiltered: An Interesting Fact Yu Darvish Reminded Me About Last Night

by Sam Miller

Perfect games in Japan are down.

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 173: Should Contract Size Influence Our Projections for Players?/Revisiting Our Pre-Offseason Predictions/What Started the Sabermetric Revolution?

by Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

Ben and Sam answer listener emails about whether we should let where and for how much a player signs influence how we expect him to play, then revisit their team predictions from the end of last season and discuss what started the sabermetric revolution.

Fringe Average Podcast: Episode 1

by Jason Parks and Mike Ferrin

First episode of Fringe Average: A Baseball Prospectus podcast with Jason Parks & Mike Ferrin. The two answer email questions, talk about Major and Minor League Baseball, and occassionaly comment on popular culture.

Daily Roundup: Around the League: April 3, 2013

by Clint Chisam and Joe Hamrahi

News and notes from around the league for April 3, 2013

BP Unfiltered: About the Home Run Matt Holliday Hit Last Night

by Ben Lindbergh

The scoop on of the strangest home runs you'll see hit this season.

Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Preaching Patience With April Struggles

by Paul Sporer

Cole Hamels, CC Sabathia, and other aces disappointed their owners on Opening Day, but there is no reason to sell low.

Tuesday, April 2

Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Elvis In the Club

by Ben Lindbergh

The Rangers' shortstop is an unlikely $100 million man, but not an undeserving one.

Testing the Dewan Rule: Can Spring Training Slugging Really Predict Breakouts?

by Ben Lindbergh and Jon Shepherd

Examining an oft-cited method of predicting regular-season success from spring training stats.

Premium Article Painting the Black: The First 24 Hours

by R.J. Anderson

Opening Day observations about James Shields, Jon Lester, Mike Moustakas and others.

Premium Article Punk Hits: Accidentally Making a Case for Astros Fandom

by Ian Miller

What the pundits mocking the Astros miss.

Premium Article Western Front: Lines in a Larger Song

by Geoff Young

Opening Day brings new beginnings and reminders of our past that come together to play a single tune.

Premium Article What You Need to Know: An Offensively Good Start

by Daniel Rathman

Clayton Kershaw provided the fireworks for the Dodgers on Opening Day. Tonight, the new-look Indians and new-look Blue Jays will face off, with R.A. Dickey's return to the AL.

Baseball ProGUESTus: Which Pitch Types Work Best at Coors Field?

by Dan Rozenson

A PITCHf/x look at the type of arsenal that fares well at altitude.

Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: 10 Bold Fantasy Predictions for 2013

by Paul Singman

Paul takes a leap of faith on 10 players who could deliver unexpectedly impressive fantasy totals.

Premium Article The Prospectus Hit List: Tuesday, April 2

by Matt Sussman

Red Sox on top! Padres on the bottom!

BP Unfiltered: Hot Prospect Video: Austin Hedges

by Jason Cole

Jason Cole catches up with the Padres' top prospect and shows him flashing his skills.

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 172: The Confirmation Biases of Opening Day

by Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

Ben and Sam discuss the events of Opening Day that reinforced preseason expectations.

Tater Trot Tracker: Trot Times for April 1

by Larry Granillo

The tater trot times for Opening Day, including two special days from Clayton Kershaw and Bryce Harper.

Wezen-Ball: A Freak Injury for Paul Molitor

by Larry Granillo

Injuries can happen anywhere at any time. For Paul Molitor's finger, it was while running laps.

Daily Roundup: Around the League: April 2, 2013

by Clint Chisam and Joe Hamrahi

News and notes from around the league for April 2, 2013

Premium Article Skewed Left: What the End of a Nine-Figure Contract Looks Like

by Zachary Levine

The last years of nine-figure deals.

Premium Article Minor League Update: Games of Monday, April 1

by Zach Mortimer

Collin Cowgill made a splash in his Mets debut, hitting the team's first Opening Day grand slam since 1995.

Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: As Good as They Once Were?

by Jason Collette

Jason uses historical examples to see whether pitchers with declining strikeout rates can reverse that trend.

Monday, April 1

What You Need to Know: Opening Day Madness

by Daniel Rathman

The Astros and Rangers got the regular season yesterday, but Opening Day festivities continue today, with a string of aces taking the hill.

Transaction Analysis: NL West Extension Action

by Ben Lindbergh and R.J. Anderson

The Giants lock up Buster Posey for almost a decade, and the Diamondbacks give Paul Goldschmidt five more years.

Top Tools: Best Pitches

by BP Prospect Staff

The best of each pitch thrown in the minors today.

Painting the Black: The Unknowns

by R.J. Anderson

Scanning the Opening Day rosters for little-known players who might work their way into your consciousness this year.

Pebble Hunting: The Astros' Best-Case Scenario vs. The Angels' Worst-Case Scenario

by Sam Miller

If everyone on the Astros played to their 90th-percentile projections, and everyone on the Angels played to their 10th-percentile projections, which would win more games?

Collateral Damage: Santana's Uphill Battle

by Corey Dawkins and Stephani Bee

If Johan Santana is able to recover from his upcoming surgery, he will be a trailblazer for major-league pitchers.

Transaction Analysis: The Tigers Make Justin Verlander Baseball's Highest-Paid Pitcher

by Ben Lindbergh

The Tigers award their ace an extension that will pay him more than any other pitcher (at least until Clayton Kershaw's next contract). Was it wise?

The Week in Quotes: March 25-31

by Pete Barrett, Hudson Belinsky, Jonah Birenbaum and Andrew Koo

Running through the notable quotes of the week that was.

Fantasy Freestyle: The Art of the Long-Term Contract

by Mike Gianella

Mike provides useful guidelines for keeper-league owners whose leagues use mock contracts.

The Call-Up: Jackie Bradley, Jr.

by Chris Mellen and Bret Sayre

The young Red Sox center fielder shows up earlier than expected, but is he ready to contribute right now?

The Call-Up: Aaron Hicks

by Chris Rodriguez and Bret Sayre

Aaron Hicks.

The Call-Up: Jedd Gyorko

by Jason Cole and Bret Sayre

Gyorko is splitting time between second and third base to begin the season, but will eventually move to the keystone full-time.

BP Unfiltered: The Velocity Gainers and Losers of Spring 2013

by Harry Pavlidis

Harry identifies the starters who gained or lost the most speed between the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013.

Daily Roundup: Around the League: April 1, 2013

by Clint Chisam and Joe Hamrahi

News and notes from around the league for April 1, 2013

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 171: Extensions for Everyone!

by Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

Ben and Sam discuss the recent news about extensions for Justin Verlander, Buster Posey, and Elvis Andrus.

Fantasy Freestyle: Legitimate Breakouts and Early-Season Flukes

by Josh Shepardson

Josh offers a few methods that could help you determine whether a player's springtime improvements are sustainable.

Minor League Update: Games of March 29-30

by Zach Mortimer

Jedd Gyorko earned an everyday job in the Padres' infield with a strong spring.

BP Announcements: Entire Baseball Prospectus Staff Hired by Mystery Team

by Russell A. Carleton

BP's big news steals baseball's thunder on Opening Day.

Sunday, March 31

Daily Roundup: Around the League: March 31, 2013

by Clint Chisam and Joe Hamrahi

News and notes from around the league for March 31, 2013

The Call-Up: Jose Fernandez

by Jason Parks and Bret Sayre

Jose Fernandez makes the Marlins roster; will skip the high-minors in 2013

Wezen-Ball: House Sigils for Major League Baseball

by Larry Granillo

Game of Thrones and MLB's Opening Day have more than a few things in common.

Saturday, March 30

BP Unfiltered: The Phillies and Scouts Without Stats

by Ben Lindbergh

Can the Phillies succeed through scouting alone?

Rumor Roundup: Setting the Stage

by Daniel Rathman

The Astros have a new plan for their minor-league starters, and the regular season is set to kick off with a showdown in Texas.

Friday, March 29

Pre-Season Predictions: Staff Picks for 2013

Baseball Prospectus

Pegging BP's favorites in both leagues, both in the standings and for the major awards.

Prospects Will Break Your Heart: 2013 Organizational Rankings

by Jason Parks

The Cardinals have the best farm system in baseball. Who's next?

Prospectus Preview: These Questions Three: The Bottom of the Barrel

by Russell A. Carleton and Ian Miller

The final installment of a five-part series on the pressing questions confronting each team in 2013.

Pebble Hunting: The Most Interesting Major Leaguer You Probably Haven't Heard Of

by Sam Miller

The story of a pitcher who was secretly amazing last season.

Raising Aces: Against the Grain

by Doug Thorburn

Eight starters who combine top-flight results with suspect mechanics.

32 Predictions Contest: 2013 Edition

by Sky Kalkman

Put your predictive powers to the test.

Transaction Analysis: Five Years For Wainwright

by R.J. Anderson

The Cardinals extend Adam Wainwright, the Blue Jays extend J.A. Happ, and the Yankees let Juan Rivera go.

Perfect Game Presents: 2013 Rookie of the Year Candidates

by George Bissell

Top prospects ready to make their mark in 2013

Fantasy Freestyle: NL Tout Wars Auction Review

by Mike Gianella

Mike looks back on the team he bought in last week's Tout Wars auction, and explains how he will gauge his success.

Fantasy Starting Pitcher Planner: Week One

by Paul Sporer

A favorable early schedule for the Athletics lands Jarrod Parker and Brett Anderson among the must-starts this week.

BP Fantasy Podcast: Episode 38

by Jason Collette, Paul Sporer, Paul Singman and Mike Gianella

Paul Sporer couldn't go to ToutWars, but he sits down to chat with Jason, Mike, and Paul Singman about their teams, strategies, and drinks of choice at Foley's.

BP Unfiltered: Spring Stats Without the Small Samples

by Ben Lindbergh

Notable statistical standouts from the past eight combined seasons of spring training.

BP Unfiltered: Cats! Predicting! Baseball!

by Jason Wojciechowski

What if you let cats predict the season?

Minor League Update: Games of Thursday, March 28

by Zach Mortimer

Jonathan Singleton's 50-game suspension will hold him back a bit, but he's still the top first-base prospect in the minors.

Fantasy Mailbag: Much Ado About Pitching

by BP Fantasy Staff

The fantasy team tackles a variety of questions, many of which focus on pitching-staff construction.

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 170: Jason Parks on Podcasting, Prospect Ranking, and Player Development

by Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

Ben and Sam talk to Jason Parks about the forthcoming Fringe Average Podcast and BP prospect book, the ranking process, and how player development differs between teams.

The BP Wayback Machine: Opening Day Goodbyes

by Jim Baker

When Opening Day is an ending, not a beginning.

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