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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.