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Scouts explain why they prefer Mike Trout to Bryce Harper, and a conversation with Bud Selig.

Bryce Harper and Mike Trout. Mike Trout and Bryce Harper. The two rookie outfielders are already linked like Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle even though neither has logged a full season in the major leagues.

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In case you missed Mike Fast's extraordinary research into quantifying the heretofore hidden contributions of catchers, we're moving it back to the top of the list for the weekend.

I Was Framed
Catchers play a central role in the game of baseball through their involvement with every pitch that their pitchers throw. One of their key tasks is receiving borderline pitches without discouraging the umpire from calling strikes.


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Concluding the two-part series by reviewing the best and worst first-half pitchers for each team.

To recap my methodology, here is what I wrote in the positional players’ piece earlier this week:

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Did SIERA beat xFIP in 2010?

When Eric Seidman and I introduced SIERA last winter, we ran a number of tests to determine if our theoretical foundation of run prevention led to a superior estimation of pitchers’ skill levels. While SIERA had a solid advantage at predicting future ERA over some ERA estimators and a last decimal-point small lead over xFIP, we ran the tests again after 2010 to ensure that it held a lead going forward. Although the regression formula did not incorporate future ERAs and should not have been biased, it's still important to test the following year to see how well SIERA held up.

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A closer look at what the various pitch types mean and how to approach pitch classification.

Several of the leading pitchers in this year’s postseason make their living with a cut fastball, most notably Roy Halladay and Mariano Rivera. The list of playoff pitchers who have the cutter as an important pitch in their arsenal, though, is long. It includes Cliff Lee, C.J. Wilson, and Tommy Hunter on the Rangers; Andy Pettitte and Phil Hughes on the Yankees; and Cole Hamels on the Phillies.

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February 16, 2010 10:40 am

Expanded Horizons: Thomas and Glavine

24

Tommy Bennett

Comparing the new retirees to a few of their contemporaries.

Come on, Honey, Let's Play the Match Game

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November 23, 2009 12:15 pm

Checking the Numbers: Fielding Distrust

25

Eric Seidman

Learning to look at defense with more than just your eyes means beating several biases.

The increased relevance of defensive metrics in recent years has led to a bevy of cost-cutting activity across the league, as teams are beginning to exhibit a greater understanding of the value of saving runs with the glove. Solid defense is tantamount to success, but it does not translate to deeper bank accounts like the mighty whopping stick. Even amongst some statistically savvy fans, offense garners more value than defense for reasons like the perceived irrefutability of batting data in comparison to fielding subjectivity, how the goals of fielding metrics seem to be more abstract than the what-you-see-is-what-you-get numbers on offense, and how advanced defensive statistics are still fairly new additions to the baseball vernacular. Subjectivity creates doubt, which leads to distrust and skepticism, making it difficult for some to wrap their heads around how a relatively mid-pack player Mike Cameron (4.8 WARP1) could actually have been more valuable than a masher like Jason Bay-4.4 WARP1.

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June 8, 2009 3:19 pm

The Latin Talent Market

17

Kiley McDaniel

Rounding out a list of the top 20 international talents, with video and reports straight from south of the border.

I've got a lot of ground to cover today, so we'll skip any long-winded introductions and just get right into the good stuff. As with last week's piece, non-subscribers who would like to take a look at the videos embedded below can check out my Vimeo page.

While I was in the Dominican last month, the biggest showcase of the year featured various top July 2nd prospects facing off against the Canadian junior national team. Left-hander Jake Eliopoulos, the top Canadian prospect in tomorrow's draft, toed the rubber for three innings. Here's a bonus video and scouting report on him, as you'll want to know something about him, as he should be drafted tomorrow:

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May 27, 2009 12:12 pm

The Latin Talent Market

40

Kiley McDaniel

Straight from one man's scouting mission to the island, video, scouting reports, and rumors from the Dominican.

I'm back from the Dominican and I come bearing gifts: full scouting reports, on-the-ground buzz, first-hand accounts of top prospects, and the videos to prove it. I've got way more than I can fit in one article, but I'll try to cram as much as I can into this space. For non-subscribers who can't read much further, the embedded videos below can all be found here.

Before we jump into things, I wanted to revisit a topic that I covered last week. Teams seem to be even more open to a give-and-take between their draft and international budgets when it comes to a weak draft class, a struggling economy, and increasing bonuses being paid out in Latin America. One club official noted that it has always been common for teams that didn't plan to spend their entire draft budget to roll the excess into their international budget once they know what players they selected. It has also been circulating that a few teams may be trying to dump big-league salaries to free up more money for international purposes, with the most frequently mentioned team being San Diego, and their most mentioned contract being Jake Peavy's. The fact that Peavy blocked a trade to the White Sox recently didn't do much to quell this talk.

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Bio: I've been a stats-geek since before Bill James started self-publishing Abstracts, and have been a Prospectus subscriber for about ten years now. Recently, I've written for Seamheads, StatSpeak and FanGraphs, and am waiting for the call up to the big leagues. My personal interests and writing have focused on statistical analysis, and I must admit I've been somewhat disappointed in the number of research articles published at BP since Dan Fox left last year. Eric has been a welcome addition, and I am hoping that I can also contribute to BP's publishing of analysis.

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January 24, 2008 12:00 am

Schrodinger's Bat: Simple Fielding Runs Version 1.0

0

Dan Fox

With a few minor tweaks, Simple Fielding Runs version 1.0 is ready for release.

"Let him hit it, you've got fielders behind you."
--Alexander Cartwright, attributed by Bob Chieger in Voices of Baseball


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October 30, 2007 12:00 am

Prospectus Toolbox: Mailbag at Altitude

0

Derek Jacques

The puzzle of park effects led to a flurry of reader emails.

I received a decent number of questions about my park effects piece from last week, so I think it's worthwhile to spend one more column rooting through the mailbag and discussing a few loose ends. The extremely short World Series-indeed, the extremely short postseason, with seven series played in just four games over the minimum-has taken some of the urgency out of the long-delayed umpire discussion.

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