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01-20

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Rumor Roundup: Hunting Starters
by
Demetrius Bell

01-20

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Players Prefer Presentation: placeholder
by
Meg Rowley

01-19

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2

Flu-Like Symptoms: New Year's Resolutions: Pitchers' Plate Discipline
by
Rob Mains

01-18

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1

Flags Fly Forever Podcast: Ep. 115: Animal Crackers
by
George Bissell, Mike Gianella and Bret Sayre

01-18

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Rumor Roundup: Must-See TV
by
Emma Baccellieri

01-17

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8

Baseball Therapy: What Does Batter/Pitcher Matchup Data Tell Us?
by
Russell A. Carleton

01-16

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2

Rumor Roundup: Ain't Settling for Anything Less Than Everything
by
Ashley Varela

01-16

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9

Flu-Like Symptoms: New Year's Resolutions: Hitters' Plate Discipline
by
Rob Mains

01-13

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5

Players Prefer Presentation: Baseball's Longest and Shortest Games
by
Meg Rowley

01-13

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1

Rumor Roundup: Trumbo Tumbles
by
Demetrius Bell

01-13

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BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 1006: Sullivan's Travels
by
Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan

01-12

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TINO (There Is No Offseason): Ep. 79: I'm Dying
by
George Bissell, Ben Carsley, Craig Goldstein and Bret Sayre

01-12

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3

Flu-Like Symptoms: New Year’s Resolutions: Ground-ball Pitchers
by
Rob Mains

01-12

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10

Dynasty League Positional Rankings: The Top 50 Catchers
by
Bret Sayre

01-12

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BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 1005: Dan Haren's New Job and Old Fear of Hall of Famers
by
Ben Lindbergh

01-11

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Flags Fly Forever Podcast: Ep. 114: There’s No Desperation In Susac
by
George Bissell, Mike Gianella and Bret Sayre

01-11

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10

Baseball Therapy: Grinding On Grounders
by
Russell A. Carleton

01-11

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2

Rumor Roundup: Dozier Dead, Bruce Bets, and Atlanta Aces
by
Emma Baccellieri

01-10

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2

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 1004: The Joe and Rany Re-Reunion
by
Ben Lindbergh

01-09

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1

Rumor Roundup: No, Atlanta
by
Ashley Varela

01-09

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0

Prospectus Feature: Passed Balls and Wild Pitches (Again)
by
Jonathan Judge

01-09

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3

Flu-Like Symptoms: New Year’s Resolutions: Ground-ball Hitters
by
Rob Mains

01-09

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0

Cold Takes: Murray Chass' Hall of Fame Ballot
by
Patrick Dubuque

01-09

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14

Cold Takes: Murray Chass' Hall of Fame Ballot
by
Patrick Dubuque

01-06

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1

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 1003: Happiness, the Human Condition, and Cracker Jack
by
Ben Lindbergh

01-06

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7

Players Prefer Presentation: Who We Are When We're At Our Worst
by
Meg Rowley

01-06

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0

Rumor Roundup: Dinged Up and Dingers
by
Demetrius Bell

01-05

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0

Flags Fly Forever Podcast: Ep. 113: Statcast and Prospects
by
George Bissell, Tim Finnegan and Jeffrey Paternostro

01-05

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26

Dynasty Prospect Rankings
by
Bret Sayre

01-05

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0

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 1002: Mike Trout Turns Around
by
Ben Lindbergh

01-04

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3

Rumor Roundup: Dozier, Baker, and the Ballpark Maker
by
Emma Baccellieri

01-04

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26

Baseball Therapy: The Bullpen of My Dreams
by
Russell A. Carleton

01-04

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7

Liner Notes: The McEwing Score
by
Bryan Grosnick

01-03

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6

Cold Takes: Unfair Ball
by
Patrick Dubuque

01-03

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0

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 1001: The One After 1000
by
Ben Lindbergh

12-31

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0

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 1000: The Old and the New
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

12-30

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1

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 999: The One Before 1000
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

12-29

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0

TINO (There Is No Offseason): Ep. 78: There Was An Offseason
by
George Bissell, Ben Carsley, Craig Goldstein and Bret Sayre

12-29

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0

Best of BP 2016: The Swing Zone's Connected to the Strike Zone
by
John Choiniere

12-28

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5

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 998: The Podcast's (and Baseball's) Future
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

12-28

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1

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 997: The Game Show Show
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

12-27

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0

Best of BP 2016: The Six Archetypes of Famous Baseball Men LinkedIn Profiles
by
Emma Baccellieri

12-26

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Baseball Prospectus Book News: Player Names from Baseball Prospectus 2017
by
Dave Pease and Rob McQuown

12-24

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BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 996: The Second Draft of Things About Baseball
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

12-23

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6

Transaction Analysis: Party at Encarnacion's
by
Emma Baccellieri

12-23

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1

Rumor Roundup: Three Little Players Went to Market
by
Demetrius Bell

12-23

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3

Prospectus Feature: The 2016 All Out-of-Position Team
by
Andrew Mearns

12-23

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9

Baseball Therapy: Worrying About the Money
by
Russell A. Carleton

12-22

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0

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 995: Manny Machado's Midriff
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

12-22

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0

BP Milwaukee
by
Seth Victor

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What happens when pitchers yield more or fewer grounders?

In this series, we’re investigating the outcomes when baseball players made what appear to have been New Year’s resolutions to do something differently. But unlike the rest of us, who try to be nicer to our siblings or drink less on weekends, we’re looking here at specific baseball outcomes.

In the first article I considered batters who hit markedly more (or less) to the opposite field in 2016 than in 2015. (Spoiler: It didn’t seem to help much.) In the second one I looked at batters who hit more or fewer balls on the ground. (Second spoiler: While in general batters who hit more in the air and less on the ground improved themselves, the evidence for the players who changed the most—who stuck to their resolutions—shows very limited offensive improvement.)

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January 12, 2017 6:00 am

Dynasty League Positional Rankings: The Top 50 Catchers

10

Bret Sayre

A weak position gets weaker, and a bleak outlook gets bleaker.

We, at Baseball Prospectus, have been talking about catchers for a while now (three days and change to be exact, depending on when you are reading this) and the party continues to rage on. Yet before we rage, we shall calibrate—since rankings aren’t useful without knowing what you’re reading. The list you are about to read here presupposes a 16-team standard (read: 5x5 roto) dynasty format, in which there are no contracts/salaries, players can be kept forever, and owners have minor-league farm systems in which to hoard prospects. So feel free to adjust this as necessary for your individual league, whether it’s moving non-elite prospects without 2016 ETAs down if you don’t have separate farm teams or moving lower-risk, lower-reward players up in deeper mixed or -only formats. And if this list doesn't go deep enough for you (god bless your soul), Wilson Karaman has you covered with his Ocean's Floor column as well. We leave no stone unturned here.

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Ben talks to former major league pitcher (and newly hired Diamondbacks Pitching Strategist) Dan Haren about his new job, how players handle the media, his struggles and success against Hall of Fame-caliber hitters, his own hitting skills, PEDs, trades and free agency, baseball's salary structure, and more.

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George Bissell, Mike Gianella and Bret Sayre of Baseball Prospectus take a deep dive into current fantasy baseball topics.

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January 11, 2017 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: Grinding On Grounders

10

Russell A. Carleton

Does the grind of the regular season cause fielders to get worse on ground balls?

Those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer seem so far away. It’s been more than two months since the end of the baseball season and the most interesting thing to talk about in January is Hall of Fame voting. Pitchers and catchers don’t report for another month. We have reached the hungry season where even rumors of what some utility infielder might do next year counts as news. Baseball fandom is a cycle of saturation and deprivation.

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Jay Bruce is still on the block, Brian Dozier may be staying up, and the Braves want more starting pitching.

Mets’ outfield remains a little too full

The Mets still have more corner outfielders than they need, and it’s reportedly holding them back from making other moves. According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the club is under a mandate not to go after more relief pitching until they can unload some payroll—presumably in the form of trading away the contract of Jay Bruce or, if not him, Curtis Granderson.

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Ben talks to Joe Sheehan and Rany Jazayerli about unsigned free agents, baseball economics, trends to watch in 2017, and the perplexing Royals.

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Brandon Phillips nixes a trade to the Braves, Trevor Plouffe rumors abound, and C.J. Wilson prepares for an upcoming showcase.

Phillips vetoes trade to Atlanta

Brandon Phillips exercised his 10-and-5 rights to block a deal that would have sent him to the Braves this past November, according to a report by Ken Rosenthal. It’s the third time Phillips has utilized his 10-and-5 rights in the past two years, including two vetoed trades to the Diamondbacks and Nationals during the 2015 offseason, and it appears he’s not ready to leave Cincinnati just yet.

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Have we been underrating the value catchers add via blocking skills?

About this same time last year, I was in the midst of a trial in West Virginia when I got to thinking about wild pitches, as one does. In doing so, I realized that modeling passed balls and wild pitches as simple binomials—as we had been doing—did not fit the data as well as it should. To address the problem (or so I thought), I tweaked the parameters, recognized that a Poisson distribution seemed to be a better fit, and remodeled them accordingly.

However, in reviewing those revised numbers after this season, Harry Pavlidis and I came to the same conclusion: our predicted numbers were still not quite right. Specifically, they are too low. In raw numbers, catchers tend to be worth anywhere from plus or minus five runs a season when it comes to blocking, but our models were giving them credit for only about one or two runs above or below average.

Why were our models still underestimating the value of pitch blocking? The answer is that wild pitches follow an even more complex distribution than I had thought. Specifically, what I had decided to be a simple Poisson distribution was in fact a mixture distribution. Mixture distributions, in turn, require a more sophisticated approach.

To understand mixture distributions, we need to start with non-mixture distributions and work our way up. The most famous probability distribution, typically described as the normal distribution, or “bell curve”, looks like this:

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What happens when batters hit more or fewer grounders?

In this series, we’re investigating the outcomes when baseball players made what appear to have been New Year’s resolutions to do something differently in 2016. But unlike the rest of us, who try to clean up the basement or drop weight, we’re looking here at specific baseball outcomes. In the first article we considered batters who hit markedly more (or less) to the opposite field in 2016 than in 2015. (Spoiler: It didn’t seem to help much.)

This time we’re going to look at whether batters who hit a lot more balls on the ground or in the air gain a benefit. The relationship between ground balls and balls hit in the air is well-established. Here’s the breakdown when batters hit ground balls, fly balls, and line drives in 2016 (I’ve excluded the 1,769 plate appearances that resulted in bunts):

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Thoughts on his controversial act of rebellion.

This essay is intentionally blank.

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Thoughts on his controversial act of rebellion.

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