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I'm surprised Marmol didn't make the list. It seemed like he hardly ever threw it in the zone during the past few years. I thought the straight take until two stikes strategy would work well against him.
Great stuff Doug! Yu's slider is devastating on lefties as well when he has it going. He will start it down/in over the plate in the lefty happy zone before it darts seemingly behind the hitter for the whiff.
I like this topic and format, thanks for posting!
Mike Foltynewicz reportedly hit 103 last night in Corpus Christi.
This is awesome!
As a young fan, I remember anticipating the arrival of the clean up spot when the Astros' "Big Bopper" Glenn Davis would swing for the fences. Kind of a similar situation to Stanton with a slugger in the middle of a small ball lineup playing in a cavernous ballpark with a silly homerun scoreboard celebration.
Your thoughts on a couple OF in a medium keeper league (60): Austin Jackson and Yoenis Cespedes? Could hold one or neither (in favor of an SP).
Thanks for the handedness breakdown. I would like to see more analysis on this topic in general.
Has anyone at BP (or elsewhere) published a study on Lefty vs. Righty swings and hitting preferences. Lefties are often thought to be better low ball hitters due to a more natural arching upper cut stroke. I always wondered if that was a just a function of the their hitting position on the 1st base side or if there were other factors at work.
An indoor facility could make the DFW area viable for another team if they could secure the financing. North Texas is HOT in the Summer and an air-conditioned facility would differentiate the product.
Boston and NYC seem like obvious candidates for additional franchises as well.
I like having a consolation trounament for the 2nd division clubs with a $ payout for the winner. This helps keep struggling managers engaged throughout the year. I was in next to last place when I made an 8-player blockbuster last week with a contending team, nobody batted an eye.
Does Bob Abreu have anything left in the tank?
While some of the operating figures may be accurate, the Forbes valuation figures are not a proper reflection of the current market.
Back in April 2010, Forbes valued the Rangers at $451MM. They wound up selling for over 30% more ($593MM).
The Astros impending sale will offer another data point, their 2011 Forbes valuation is $474MM.
Noooo!!! OK, deep breath...
CK you will be missed, and I wish you the best wherever your professional career takes you. I am not sure now if I'm going to renew my BP subscription. I have loved BP for many years, but for whatever reason find myself reading it less and less despite the higher volume of content. The site's decision to focus on fantasy content may be a sound business decision, but that is not BP to me. There are plenty of outlets for users seeking that kind of content, this place used to offer great writers and great analysis of the real game on the field. Prospectus today, UTK, TA, and the chats (oh how i miss the good chats) were always required reading for me, but few of the newer columns have really captured my loyalty.
BP's differentiation from the rest of the available baseball web content made it a special place. It was bad enough that BP content was appearing on the ESPN site, but now they're poaching talent as well.
Jay, is Biggio's JAWS score computed strictly on the 2B scale, or are his seasons at catcher and CF weighted appropriately?
The fans continued to come out this year, somewhat surprisingly, and I don't think they're ready to clean house any more by shipping out the "new guys". Johnson was a line drive machine this year, and he certainly changed his approach in his second stint up to hit more liners the other way, sacrificing some power. He does have 25 HR power IMO, and this organization seems devoid of power bats at the moment.
Are the Reds that dominant a force in the Central, that the Astros need to tear down and totally rebuild for a later date to have a shot at competing? I'm seriously asking, because the issue (the weak division) isn't addressed at all in this article.
BTW Goldman, suicide jokes are hilarious.
According to you, the Astros are worse than the Royals, Indians, Orioles, and Mariners. I know BP detests Ed Wade, but give the team on the field some credit. They might not be a "contender", but they were not the second worst team in baseball this year, especially in the 2nd half. Does pitching mean nothing in your formula?
Brad Ausmus was my favorite Astro for many years. I found myself regularly defending him against taunts from hostile Astro fans when he popped out or grounded out weakly in a key situation.
He is the best receiver I have every seen. He (and Mike Matheney) were great masters of blocking the hard breaking ball in the dirt. The value of a catcher who provides his pitcher 100% confidence to bounce a ball with a runner on 3rd should not be underestimated (just ask Clemens and Lidge).
Brad should make a great manager some day. His durability and game calling skills are not traits that impress the SABR crowd, but he was a key cog in the Astros' playoff teams of the late 90's/early 00's.
Who the f*** is this joker Doug Mittler. More BP coverage of the Astros (even if it is the usual bashing) less ESPN drivel please.
I realize these rankings are based on some kind of season long statistical formula, but no honest baseball man, if he'd actually seen the teams play the past three months, would rank the Cubs ahead of the Astros in his power rankings.
I wonder how Berkman's numbers would've varied had he given up hitting from the right side. His college coach Wayne Graham urged him to give up switch hitting and it was discussed early in his MLB career, but he never wavered in his desire to switch hit. I always thought he could boost his homer total by serving lefty/lefty balls into the Crawford Boxes instead of rolling over or lining them with his hacking swing from the right side.
Team pages. I want an Astros page where I can get links to current standings, stats, roster, salary data, article mentions, pecota cards, etc. I don't expect BP to provide box scores and news reports, but it would be nice to have all the BP info related to my team in one place. I often find myself searching through Will or Kevin's articles for mentions of my team. Player pages with links to cards and article mentions would also be nice, but search already works OK for that.
Yes, he did listen to his lawyers and kept his mouth shut, didn't want to tell the truth. He wasn't ready for his public shaming...now 5 years later he is trying to do it half way.
I wish somebody would just be honest, but the slugger's ego won't allow it. Amnesty makes a ton of sense; the witch hunts are getting old.
Thanks for the update Kevin. I am grateful for the improved content in recent years. The addition of contract info is very exciting. I think BP is headed in the right direction as a one-stop shop for my baseball news and analysis needs. I know the site has statistical roots, however the news and commentary articles are of more value to me nowadays. I will miss Joe's chats, but not his pompous Yankee-centric commentary on the league.
Two items on my wish list:
1. Mobile app
2. A biography section on the site with contributors' backgrounds, interests, favorite teams, etc.
This is a great thread, thanks to all those who've contributed. I love BP, but the steroid apologists on staff have always rubbed me the wrong way. See a notable exception here:
We can debate the relative benefits of steroids until we're blue in the face, but the fact that many (perhaps all?) of the best players of an entire generation were juicing causes most rational folks to conclude that they do help make you a better baseball player.
How about Cecil Cooper's decision last night to not sacrafice in the 9th of a tie game, 1st and 2nd, no outs and Michael Bourn at the plate? So he blows that chance and then in the 10th he does the exact same thing with Jason Michaels batting. Micahels managed a sac fly and the Astros wound up winning, but Cooper's ineptitude was on display.
Lance Berkman did not look good at the plate last night and was noticably favoring his left shoulder after a couple big swings including one where he flung the bat into the 4th row.
Thanks Kevin, love the scounting notebook format. Looking forward to another season of Future Shock.
Nats reside in the NL East cellar of course. BP's been underrating the Astros for years, so I guess this prediction shouldn't surprise me.
The Astros are worse than the Nats, really? I like Washington's offensive upside as much as the next guy, but their pitching staff should lock them into the AL East cellar. At least the Astros bring back an underrated bullpen from last year and sport a true ace at the head of the rotation.
I'd think Aaron Boone could be had if the Astros decide they like Chris Johnson enough to give him a shot with the big club.
I was referring the Astros\' decision to draft Castro (at #10) over Smoak (#11) last June. As an Astros season ticket holder, it\'s tough to see Smoak ranked 50+ spots higher less than a year into their careers.
Smoak ahead of Castro? As an Astro fan, I hope Bobby Heck knows something you don\'t.
Good for Oswalt. Too bad he won\'t have Webb, Sabathia, Lincecum or Hamels to back him up. If he did, team USA could probably pitch it\'s way to a gold medal.
How about a transaction tracker? I realize they are summarized periodically in Chritina\'s column, but it would be nice to have a current sortable list of all transactions. May not be feasible, but sure would be a cool resource.
BTW, I love the new dimension JP\'s beat reporting has brought to the site.
Of course it\'s always about the money, except when it\'s about the schools (Hampton) or what God told you (Pettitte), or any of the other bullshit reasons guys use to hide the fact it was just about the money. We know why they take the extra money, it\'s human nature, just quit pretending it\'s about anything else. Of course there are exceptions to the rule (Wakefield), but they are really few and far between.
Yankees, 7/150, 12/15
Astros: Build starting pitching depth via lower cost free agents, sign more draft picks, hope for the development of Towles & Bourn, and get Tejada some juice.
I have the exact same issue trying to print today with IE 6.0 at work. Some of us really need a printable version to read on the crapper.
Love it the way it is, especially the fun facts!!!
OK looking back, that deal was actually consumated on June 24th, so it doesn\'t meet the criteria for inclusion in this list. Beltran\'s contributions to that Astros team deserve a metion nontheless.
How about the Astros deal for Carlos Beltran at the 2004 deadline? All he did was hit .258/.368/.559 to help the Astros overcome a 6-game deficit and win the NL Wild Card by a single game. He then hit 8 homers and slugged 1.022 in the postseason.