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Has Albert Pujols fallen off a cliff at age 32? If so, he's an outlier among his rarified comps.

​​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.

Matt Welch is Editor-in-Chief of Reason, contributor to Halos Heaven, and co-author (with Nick Gillespie) of The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America.
 


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July 7, 2010 8:00 am

Checking the Numbers: Weaver's Soaring Strikeout Rate

9

Eric Seidman

It appears Jered Weaver's mastery of a relatively new pitch has allowed him to punch out hitters like never before.

When Jered Weaver made his major-league debut on May 27, 2006, the Angels were 20-28, in last place in the American League West, and five games behind the division-leading Rangers. After the mega-prospect blanked the Orioles over seven strong innings to the tune of a 75 game score, Angels fans were more than enthused that their rotation had been vastly improved by his addition. Weaver would finish the season with a 2.56 ERA in 123 innings with an impressive 3.18 K/BB ratio and 1.03 WHIP. He walked few, proved stingy with allowing hits, and recorded his fair share of strikeouts. Though his rookie numbers were impressive, many would agree that Weaver’s lack of progress since then has been disheartening.

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April 7, 2009 11:17 am

Catcher Fatigue

19

Ben Lindbergh

It's accepted wisdom that the beatings of backstoppery impact player performance, but by how much?

"What's to get tired from? This isn't like football or basketball. Even if you play 100 games in the outfield, you handle only six or eight balls a game. What can wear you out? It's hard to get physically tired in baseball, unless you pitch or catch."
-Ron Fairly

"Get up. Get down. Get up again. Get down. Come up throwing. Take the chest protector off. Take the shin guards off. Hit. Put them back on. Go back behind the plate and repeat the process. Catching just breaks a man down, inning by inning, game by game, year by year."
-Reggie Jackson



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December 4, 2008 12:47 pm

The Ledger Domain: MLB Meets the Recession

9

Maury Brown

Adrift in an ocean of money, how will MLB navigate the current financial maelstrom?

Bud Selig and the executives at MLB headquarters must have breathed a sigh of relief. At the end of the 2008 season, baseball could boast that it had reached the second highest paid attendance in its history, that on top of another record year for revenues, all while just missing what would be the onset of one of the largest economic declines in US history.

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April 5, 2007 12:00 am

Schrodinger's Bat: In the Arms of an Angel

0

Dan Fox

The move to send down a once promising regular is usually a permanent one.

"[Angel Berroa] is still going to be a heck of a player. [Andres] Blanco has got a long way to go even before he considers himself in Angel Berroa's category."
--Royals Manager Buddy Bell in September of 2006


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February 28, 2004 12:00 am

Can Of Corn: Can the Jays Pass the Yanks or Sox in '04?

0

Dayn Perry

In my last column, I made a throwaway remark about the Blue Jays possibly and concomitantly being the third-place team in the AL East and the third-best team in all of baseball. It's an intriguing notion--unassailable quality knuckling under to circumstance. Even so, it's worth asking whether Toronto might have the goods to displace Boston or New York in the junior-circuit pecking order. With the Red Sox and Yankees already brimming with talent and throwing cash around like Marion Barry sans tracking collar, the Jays, in spite of their substantial merits, will likely be resigned to the brand of pre-October respectability to which they've accustomed in recent years. Nothing terribly wrong with that. That's especially the case for a team on a hermetically sealed budget and facing an unbalanced schedule packed with tilts against the Sox, Yanks and the suddenly passable Orioles. Unaccommodating circumstances notwithstanding, one's led to wonder: What would need to happen for the Jays, undeniably a fine team with a highly intelligent front office, to pass playoff muster this season?

With the Red Sox and Yankees already brimming with talent and throwing cash around like Marion Barry sans tracking collar, the Jays, in spite of their substantial merits, will likely be resigned to the brand of pre-October respectability to which they've accustomed in recent years. Nothing terribly wrong with that. That's especially the case for a team on a hermetically sealed budget and facing an unbalanced schedule packed with tilts against the Sox, Yanks and the suddenly passable Orioles. The upshot is that snagging a playoff spot for the Jays may be harder than it is for me to work a Procol Harum reference into this sentence.

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I recently wrote an article on teams that have improved by 20 or more Equivalent Wins (EQW) in a single year, EQW being wins adjusted to a 162-game season. In modern non-strike seasons, EQW and wins are generally equivalent, but this simple measure allows us to compare shorter seasons more equitably. If you want to better understand the concept, just read the first few paragraphs of the

This article will look at the reverse: clubs that have regressed by 20 EQW in a season. To illustrate, let's look at the team that suffered the biggest one-season drop-off ever, with BASE representing listed-year record, and PRIOR for prior-year record:

BASE PRIOR Team Lg Year W-L EQW W-L EQW Loss St. Louis NL 1885 36-72 54 94-19 135 -81

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May 21, 2002 9:00 pm

Prospectus Feature: Analyzing PAP (Part One)

0

Keith Woolner

There are two related effects we are interested in studying. The original intent of PAP was to ascertain whether a pitcher is at risk of injury or permanent reduction in effectiveness due to repeated overwork. And in particular, does PAP (or any similar formula) provide more insight into that risk that simple pitch counts alone?

 The following article, written by Keith Woolner with Rany Jazayerli, appeared in Baseball Prospectus 2001.

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