The time a team had nothing to show for its selections.
If you were trying to find the worst draft ever, where would you start? “Bad” we could probably agree on, but “worst” would certainly lead to an argument. You might, for instance, argue that the 1968 Washington Senators (later Texas Rangers) had the worst draft ever. This is a sterling position to have. The Senators that year managed to draft -6.9 WARP, which is not only the worst draft class ever by cumulative career WARP, but it’s a) two wins worse than the second-worst class, a giant margin in an otherwise tightly packed trailerboard; and b) it came in 1968, the same year that the Los Angeles Dodgers managed a draft class that put together an incredible 192 career WARP, the most ever by any team in any single year (though it took both June and January drafts for the Dodgers to reach such peaks, just as it took Washington both June and January drafts to dig such deficits).
But those Senators were only two or six wins worse than a whole slew of other teams that were below replacement level. Why not make the case that the Giants had the worst draft ever in 1982, because their failure cost them dozens of WARP? That year, their first-round pick (11th overall) was a college first baseman who would manage to bat just .188 in 16 career at-bats. And their second-round pick (39th overall) was a high school outfielder, a local kid, who would go on to hit 762 home runs in the majors—but who, because of a failed post-draft negotiation, hit 176 of them with the Pirates, who drafted and signed him three years later. Plenty of great players get drafted, don’t sign, and end up on in another team’s history—but the Giants were sooooo close. According to columnist Glenn Dickey,
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A range of responses from players, coaches, and team executives about the most important qualities for a manager to possess.
Believe it or not, most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.
C. Trent Rosecrans is an all-glove, singles-hitting first baseman with 20 speed. That’s why he’s at a keyboard instead of actually playing baseball. Luckily, a complete lack of talent is more marketable in the internet world than it is in professional baseball, so he’s found a way to make some semblance of a living. Currently, it’s the CBSSports.com Eye On Baseball blog that’s paying the bills. Rosecrans was previously the Reds beat writer for the Cincinnati Post and still resides in the Queen City, waiting for Jason Parks to come sample the town’s finest chili with him. While Twitter feels so 2009, he still occasionally tweets @ctrent, but you’re just as likely to find some other silliness there as you are baseball. You can also follow him (as well as Dayn Perry and Matt Snyder) actually discussing baseball @EyeOnBaseball.
Two major-league teams are bereft of new blood on one side of the ball this season.
I lied to you a little in the title of this post. I did that because I wanted you to click on this article, and I was worried that you wouldn’t if I didn’t embellish a bit. Evidently it worked. So this is where I come clean and tell you that there aren't actually two teams who haven't had a rookie play for them in 2012. But now that you’re here, you might as well keep reading! Because there is something almost as interesting as two teams that haven’t had a rookie play for them: one team that hasn’t had a rookie pitcher play for it, and one team that hasn’t had a rookie non-pitcher play for it. Those teams, unlike the ones in my title, actually exist.
Jay is back, and he still hates the teams you root for. Yes, even the Dodgers.
Six weeks ago, when I accepted an offer to start a new blog at Sports Illustrated's website, I was delighted to find that my new employers were willing to allow me to retain some involvement with Baseball Prospectus. Not only did I wish to continue working with this fine staff and its readers in some capacity, but I also really wanted to finish something I'd started—namely, my multi-installment Hate List.
An unlikely team leads the American League in scoring in June: the Oakland Athletics.
The Tuesday Takeaway
The Athletics began the month of June by getting blanked twice in a three-game series against the Royals. Bob Melvin’s offense was described as “historically bad.” Oakland had lost 10 of 11, falling behind the Mariners and into the AL West cellar.
After last night’s 3-0 shutout over the Dodgers, though, the A’s have now won six of seven, improving to 32-36 on the year and jumping back into third place. Brandon McCarthy, on the mound for the first time since June 9, led the way for Oakland in the series opener, tossing seven scoreless innings before Grant Balfour and Ryan Cook finished off Los Angeles. But the offense, not the pitching staff, has actually done much of the heavy lifting of late.
As it turns out, Aroldis Chapman is capable of giving up runs, even to the mortalest of mortals.
The Thursday Takeaway
Somehow, some way, somewhere, someday, someone was going to plate an earned run against Aroldis Chapman. But if I had told you that it would be the Pirates—and not just any Pirates, but the two Pirates with the lowest batting averages in that day’s Pirates starting lineup—you might have questioned my sanity.
The Reds’ relief ace came into last night’s game with a flawless 0.00 ERA in 29 innings. He had allowed only one extra-base hit—a triple by Jose Reyes—all season, and the only blemish on his line was an unearned run scored by the Mets on May 17. Manager Dusty Baker called on his undefeated, 24-year-old flame-thrower in the top of the 10th inning, after Pittsburgh closer Joel Hanrahan served up a game-tying solo shot by Ryan Ludwick in the bottom of the ninth.
Dusty Baker feels that Aroldis Chapman's best use right now is as Cincinnati's closer, and a conversation with Jesus Montero.
When Sparky Lyle strode from the bullpen the mound at Yankee Stadium during his days as a premier relief pitches in the mid- to late 1970s, organist Eddie Layton would play "Pomp and Circumstance." That probably wouldn't work as a ballpark song these days, but to hear Dusty Baker tell it, perhaps the traditional graduation accompaniment should be played on the sound system at Great American Ball Park when Reds reliever Aroldis Chapman takes the hill.