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Articles Tagged Ben Diggins 

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August 19, 2007 12:00 am

Lies, Damned Lies: Slotto Bonanzas, Part Two

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Nate Silver

Nate turns his attention to the individual big bonus players from the last decade, and determines whether their teams would do it all over again.

What follows is a comprehensive roster of all players between 1998 and 2006 who were drafted with one of the first 100 selections and who also went for at least $500,000 over slot, considering both their signing bonus and any guaranteed MLB money. I've used the 2006 slot values for all seasons from 2000-2006, as MLB has generally been very successful at containing draft inflation during this period (in fact, the draft slots went down in 2007). The slots do appear to have been a little lower in 1999 and 1998, and so I've scaled those back by five percent and 10 percent respectively, rounding off to the nearest "big" number. I've also indicated those cases where the player's alternative careers in football or basketball could have influenced his signing bonus. Finally, I've posed a simple question: If the team had perfect knowledge of what that player was going to do, would they commit the same money again?

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April 12, 2005 12:00 am

Transaction Analysis: March 29-April 4, 2005

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Christina Kahrl

Early-season moves have featured their share of funkiness, writes Chris Kahrl.

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March 21, 2003 12:00 am

PECOTA Does Fantasy

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Nate Silver

Fresh off PECOTA's maiden voyage into rotoland, Nate Silver publishes the PECOTA-generated roto values used by the BP team at the recent Tout Wars National League draft. Hint: pay the premium for studs.

You can import these values into a spreadsheet by selecting them in your browser and copying them, pasting them into a text file (i.e. Notepad), and opening the new text file with your spreadsheet (i.e. Excel).

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February 13, 2003 2:28 am

Team Health Reports: Team Health Report: Milwaukee Brewers

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Will Carroll

Team Health Report: Milwaukee Brewers February 2003

Projected Lineup

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Even as they take the lead in the wild card race, the Los Angeles Dodgers are dying. Only Jim Tracy's magic keeps the Dodgers from seeing how chronic their situation is. In Tracy's short time as a major league manager, he has demonstrated a gift for turning others' garbage into gold. Just as Chavez Ravine (park factor 91) makes Dodger pitchers look better than they are, it conceals just how well Tracy has done with the hitters he has been given.

Even as they take the lead in the wild card race, the Los Angeles Dodgers are dying. Only Jim Tracy's magic keeps the Dodgers from seeing how chronic their situation is.

In Tracy's short time as a major league manager, he has demonstrated a gift for turning others' garbage into gold. Just as Chavez Ravine (park factor 91) makes Dodger pitchers look better than they are, it conceals just how well Tracy has done with the hitters he has been given.

In his preseason Hot Stove Heater on the Dodgers, Gary Huckabay asked, "Can the Dodger pitching staff carry an offense likely to be among the league's worst?" With a lineup drawing from Cesar Izturis, Dave Roberts, Mark Grudzielanek, Marquis Grissom, and Eric Karros, Tracy has led his team to the fourth-best Equivalent Average in the National League. They're 10th in the league in total runs scored, but first in road runs. He did it last year too, when they were third in road runs. This year they've improved their ranking even after losing Gary Sheffield. The Dodgers don't need to take the wild card for Jim Tracy to win manager of the year.

To enhance their playoff chances, the Dodgers acquired Tyler Houston and Paul Shuey at the trading deadline. In Baseball America's Prospect Handbook 2001, Ben Diggins was rated as the Dodgers' top prospect. In this year's Handbook, Ricardo Rodriguez was #1. Both are gone now, part of the payment for those deadline deals.

Going into this season the Dodgers had little in their minor league system; they now have just about nothing. No Dodger made the Baseball Prospectus Top 40 Prospects this spring. None will make it next year either. The system placed 25th in Baseball America's organizational rankings. If they're higher than 30th next year it will be a mistake.

Rodriguez and Diggins were the best the Dodgers had, and even they were nothing special. Rodriguez had a decent season last year, leading the Florida State League in strikeouts. But he was old for his league, and this year his strikeout rate took a dive, dropping below league average as the season went along. Diggins, a first-round pick, was disappointing in 2001 but had started to come around this year, jacking his strikeout rate from 6.72 per 9 innings to 7.97, and his strikeout-to-walk ratio from 1.6 to 2.5. So the Dodgers jettisoned him--for bench warmer Tyler Houston--just as he started breaking through. But it doesn't look so stupid if we keep in mind that Diggins did this in A-ball at the age of 23. It'll be years before the Brewers make something out of him, if ever, so the deal wasn't as reckless as it sounds at first.

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BALTIMORE ORIOLES Activated 1B/OF-L Chris Richard from the DL; optioned OF-R Luis Matos to Rochester. [7/24] Cancelled Richard's recall/reactivation; announced they would recall 2B-B Brian Roberts from Rochester on Friday. [7/25] Skip the decisiveness, we're back in business as Akbar's House of Waffletastic Indecision. Chris Richard managed to reinjure himself in his last game in Rochester, so Brian Roberts got a reprieve for blowing his previous opportunity to be recalled by not having his passport handy. That brings us back to the same point we were at before Roberts got sent down, which is that the Orioles will flim-flam their way through their second-base situation, wallowing through a non-choice between Roberts and Jerry Hairston Jr. It could be worse, because it has been--they could keep finding ways to get Luis Lopez into the lineup. Assuming that finishing close to .500 or keeping third place are actual (versus worthwhile) goals, this doesn't really help realize either of them.

Activated 1B/OF-L Chris Richard from the DL; optioned OF-R Luis Matos to Rochester. [7/24]

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