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05-14

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3

Raising Aces: Debut Ante: Carlos Rodon
by
Doug Thorburn

04-24

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4

Raising Aces: Debut Ante: Raisel Iglesias
by
Doug Thorburn

04-10

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7

Raising Aces: Mechanical Notes from Opening Week
by
Doug Thorburn

04-03

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8

Going Yard: Top Power and Hit Tools From Arizona
by
Ryan Parker

03-27

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3

Spring Training Notebook: Cactus League
by
BP Prospect Staff

03-19

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18

Going Yard: Spring Training Series: Part Two
by
Ryan Parker

03-17

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2

Going Yard: Spring Training Series: Part One
by
Ryan Parker

07-11

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2

Raising Aces: Breakout Breakdown: Corey Kluber and Garrett Richards
by
Doug Thorburn

06-27

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4

Raising Aces: Houston, We Have Lift-Off
by
Doug Thorburn

06-20

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6

Raising Aces: A Tale of Two Aces
by
Doug Thorburn

06-13

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1

Raising Aces: Under the Hood of the 2014 Draft, Part Three
by
Doug Thorburn

06-06

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0

Raising Aces: Under the Hood of the 2014 Draft, Part Two
by
Doug Thorburn

05-30

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4

Raising Aces: Under the Hood of the 2014 Draft, Part One
by
Doug Thorburn

05-09

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4

Raising Aces: Making Setup Man Magic
by
Doug Thorburn

05-02

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7

Raising Aces: Too Early to Worry?
by
Doug Thorburn

04-18

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5

Raising Aces: Masahiro Tanaka, the Debut Ante
by
Doug Thorburn

04-15

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7

Going Yard: How Carlos Gomez Got His Groove
by
Ryan Parker

04-11

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11

Raising Aces: Starting Pitcher Four-Pack
by
Doug Thorburn

04-04

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1

Raising Aces: The Aces of Opening Day
by
Doug Thorburn

03-31

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9

Going Yard: The Violence of Bryce Harper's Swing
by
Ryan Parker

03-28

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10

Raising Aces: Out on a Limb: 2014 Pitcher Predictions
by
Doug Thorburn

03-21

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3

Raising Aces: Bush League: Eddie Butler, Tyler Glasnow, and Alex Meyer
by
Doug Thorburn

03-17

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7

Going Yard: The Power in Javier Baez's Swing
by
Ryan Parker

03-14

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7

Raising Aces: Bush League: Jonathan Gray
by
Doug Thorburn

03-13

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0

TINSTAAPP: TINSTAAP Episode 19: Prospects, Prospects, Prospects!!!
by
Paul Sporer and Doug Thorburn

03-07

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9

Raising Aces: Over the Radar 2.0
by
Doug Thorburn

03-03

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17

Raising Aces: Under the Gun 2.0
by
Doug Thorburn

02-28

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1

Raising Aces: Bush League: Andrew Heaney
by
Doug Thorburn

02-21

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3

Raising Aces: Organizational Trends: Looking for Mechanical Hallmarks
by
Doug Thorburn

02-12

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4

BP Unfiltered: T-Mac's Mechanics
by
Doug Thorburn

02-07

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5

Raising Aces: Bush League: Archie Bradley
by
Doug Thorburn

01-24

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19

Raising Aces: Classic Deliveries: Fade to Black and White
by
Doug Thorburn

01-17

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9

Raising Aces: Classic Deliveries: Hall of Fame Inductees 1980-89
by
Doug Thorburn

01-10

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9

Raising Aces: Classic Deliveries: Hall of Fame Inductees of 1990-94
by
Doug Thorburn

01-03

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9

Raising Aces: The Good Old Days: Nolan Ryan
by
Doug Thorburn

12-27

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19

Raising Aces: Examining Masahiro Tanaka's Mechanics
by
Doug Thorburn

12-20

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2

Raising Aces: Bush League: Julio Urias
by
Doug Thorburn

12-13

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3

Raising Aces: Bush League: Jameson Taillon
by
Doug Thorburn

11-15

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18

Raising Aces: Bush League: Noah Syndergaard
by
Doug Thorburn

11-08

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11

Raising Aces: Great Pitchers, Flawed Mechanics
by
Doug Thorburn

11-01

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2

Raising Aces: Bush League: Kyle Zimmer
by
Doug Thorburn

09-10

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7

Overthinking It: Is Ubaldo Back?
by
Ben Lindbergh

09-06

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4

Raising Aces: Taijuan Walker, the Debut Ante
by
Doug Thorburn

08-30

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2

Raising Aces: A Closer Look at Relievers
by
Doug Thorburn

08-23

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2

Raising Aces: The RP-Funk All-Stars
by
Doug Thorburn

08-16

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1

Raising Aces: Elevator Action
by
Doug Thorburn

08-09

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5

Raising Aces: What Happened to Liriano and Masterson?
by
Doug Thorburn

07-19

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4

Raising Aces: Back to the Futures Game, 2013
by
Doug Thorburn

07-12

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5

Raising Aces: How the Mighty Have Fallen
by
Doug Thorburn

06-28

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2

Raising Aces: A Look at Rooks Gerrit Cole and Zack Wheeler
by
Doug Thorburn

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Mechanical looks at big-time pitching draft prospect Brady Aiken, Tyler Kolek, Carlos Rodon and Jeff Hoffman.

The 2014 first-year player draft is loaded with arms who are projected to fly off the board in the early going. The BP prospect crew recently conducted a mock draft of next Thursday's action, with each evaluator answering the question, “Whom would you draft?” The first edition covered the top 10 picks of the draft, and when all was said and done, the participants had chosen pitchers with eight of the first 10 selections, including the top four players overall. The only time in the history of the draft that the first four names announced were pitchers was in 2011, with the quartet of Gerrit Cole, Danny Hultzen, Trevor Bauer, and Dylan Bundy, and the early indications are that the arm-saturated draft of 2014 could match that tally.

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May 9, 2014 10:15 am

Raising Aces: Making Setup Man Magic

4

Doug Thorburn

Breaking down the mechanics of high-octane setup men Chris Withrow and Dellin Betances.

One of the more visible signs of change in today's game is the reshaping of the bullpen, which has led to an increased emphasis on stockpiling ace relievers. Baseball has become saturated with strikeouts, and the solution becomes more concentrated as a game gets to the late innings and the leading team trots out a conga line of pitchers who specialize in whiffs. Today's ’pen is mightier than it’s ever been before.

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May 2, 2014 6:15 am

Raising Aces: Too Early to Worry?

7

Doug Thorburn

Examining Homer Bailey, Danny Salazar, and Justin Masterson.

Last week we studied a trio of pitchers who have enjoyed breakouts in performance over the first month of the season in order to distinguish legitimate improvement from potential mirage. This week, we examine the other side of the coin. There are a handful of pitchers who entered the season with high expectations yet have been knocked around the yard this April, and the most perplexing of these players are those whose peripheral stats are in line with last season but whose batted-ball profiles have taken a dive. It might be tempting to dismiss any vulnerability due to the vagaries of balls in play over small samples, but in some cases there are functional underpinnings to suggest that something has gone awry.

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April 18, 2014 6:36 am

Raising Aces: Masahiro Tanaka, the Debut Ante

5

Doug Thorburn

The Yankees' new starter appears to have the most important attribute of them all: the ability to make adjustment.

When I wrote about Masahiro Tanaka over the winter, my analysis was limited to the piecemeal footage that could be found across the interwebs, which led to a lot of caveats about what we could expect of his performance in the majors. There were many reasons for caution when projecting the state-side translation of his skill set, ranging from his workloads and pitch selection to his mechanics and statistical profile. With a trio of big-league starts now under his belt, we have a much clearer picture of his talent.

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April 15, 2014 6:00 am

Going Yard: How Carlos Gomez Got His Groove

7

Ryan Parker

This above all: to thine own self be true, / And it must follow, as the night the day, / Thou canst hit many dingers.

Most hitting changes are subtle and small. Even to the trained eye it can take time to notice a change a hitter may have made months ago. The emergence of Carlos Gomez, All-Star, goes hand-in-hand with a swing change he made at some point between July 6 and 23, 2012.

Before looking at those dates, let’s get familiar with Gomez as a player. He came into the league in 2007 with the Mets before being traded to the Twins in the Johan Santana deal. As a prospect, Gomez was a fascinating case study. I found reports going back to 2006 praising his raw natural power, but it simply never showed up in games. (E.g. “Power is not there now, but potential is there once he adds bulk to his long, lanky frame.”—Kevin Goldstein.) Where his power would take time his speed was immediate and his ticket into a big-league lineup. He never broke double digits in home runs in the minors but he stole over 100 bases combined his first two years on the farm. This was a guy seemingly built to lead off.

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April 11, 2014 7:50 am

Raising Aces: Starting Pitcher Four-Pack

11

Doug Thorburn

Doug looks for signs of mechanical progress by Yordano Ventura, Trevor Bauer, Chris Archer, and Erasmo Ramirez.

This is my third year writing Raising Aces for Baseball Prospectus, and one of the perks is the dynamic nature of the series (aided by the leniency of our editors). I’m always searching for better ways to communicate ideas about pitching or to broaden the discussion, and transparency has been an integral part of the process.

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April 4, 2014 6:45 am

Raising Aces: The Aces of Opening Day

1

Doug Thorburn

A close look at four aces in action in week one.

All of the great holidays are marked by high levels of anticipation. But Opening Day stands out among the more traditional observances because it is merely the beginning of the celebration to follow: seven months of 6-4-3 double plays, exploding sliders, and that sweet sound when lumber meets horsehide. It’s easy to fall pretty to the trap of overweighting observations made at the start of the regular season, and the rational observer will maintain perspective while enjoying the day's festivities. But that doesn't mean that there’s nothing to be learned from the first round of games. Early in the season, many pitchers are making real adjustments to elements of their mechanics, approach, and repertoire, and these alterations can be put under the microscope in order to get an idea of the player's developmental patterns.

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March 31, 2014 6:00 am

Going Yard: The Violence of Bryce Harper's Swing

9

Ryan Parker

Why the young Nationals star Bryce Harper is about to have a monster year.

Bryce Harper is about to have his best season. His swing is beginning to take shape. The violence is still there, the head-turning bat speed hasn’t left him, but he now has a much more efficient movement pattern. To understand this process, let’s compare his swings from 2012, 2013, and this year’s spring action.

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March 28, 2014 11:22 am

Raising Aces: Out on a Limb: 2014 Pitcher Predictions

10

Doug Thorburn

What does Doug see ahead for selected pitchers in 2014?

Along with the rest of the BP staff, I’ve submitted my pre-season predictions for division standings and end-of-season award winners. I tend to stay in the neighborhood of likely outcomes for these picks, resulting in easy answers such as “Mike Trout for AL MVP” or “Tigers win the AL Central,” but I’m more intrigued by the long-shot stories that emerge once the season starts.

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A close look at the mechanics of a trio of top pitching prospects.

With one week to go until Opening Day, let's tackle one final Bush League installment of the offseason, taking a look at a trio of pitchers who rank among BP's Top 50 prospects: the Rockies’ Eddie Butler, the Pirates’ Tyler Glasnow, and the Twins’ Alex Meyer. These pitchers embody some of the more common traits of high-end prospects on the mound, from stuff to mechanics, and though each player saw his stock rise during the 2013 season, there’s still a heavy dose of development needed before they’ll be ready for the show.

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The future Cub has an unusual swing. He should generate unusually lofty power totals.

Javier Baez has left jaws on the floor and baseballs in critical condition thanks to an electric swing that is as powerful as it is unique. The identifying feature of his swing is a whip of the bat forward during his stride. That inspires many comparisons to fellow bat-waggler Gary Sheffield. On the surface the comparison makes sense as both have a pronounced trigger leading up to elite bat speed. Reality paints a different picture.

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March 14, 2014 6:00 am

Raising Aces: Bush League: Jonathan Gray

7

Doug Thorburn

The Rockies' top prospect gets better before our eyes.

This week's trip through the bushes takes us to the Colorado system to evaluate the top prospect in the Rockies’ pipeline: Jonathan Gray. The 6'4”, 255-pound right-hander has an elite arsenal, with an intimidating fastball complemented by a plus slider and a changeup that is considered a major asset. That repertoire should play very well in the majors and would seem to be a strong fit for the thin air of Coors Field. Gray's profile is even more intriguing once we get past pitch selection, so let's dig into the specifics that make him such a unique specimen.

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