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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

06-14

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2

Raising Aces: In Need of Repair: Posture
by
Doug Thorburn

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December 13, 2013 7:20 am

Raising Aces: Bush League: Jameson Taillon

3

Doug Thorburn

The stats don't capture the promise of Pittsburgh's top pitching prospect.

Jameson Taillon was the no. 2 overall pick in the 2010 draft, selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates out of a Texas high school. Since that summer, the 22-year-old has taken a deliberate route through the minor leagues, spending some time at each level before reaching for the next rung on the ladder. The right-hander now stands on the doorstep of the majors, having finished the 2013 season with a month-long stretch at Triple-A Indianapolis, and he could very well join the Pittsburgh rotation by the summer of 2014 if he avoids derailment from his development track.

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November 15, 2013 6:00 am

Raising Aces: Bush League: Noah Syndergaard

18

Doug Thorburn

A mechanical look at the 21-year-old Mets pitching prospect.

Noah Syndergaard was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the supplemental first round of the 2010 draft. Chosen out of a Texas high school with the 38th overall pick, Syndergaard put up enticing numbers as he rose through the lower ranks of the Blue Jays system. The 6'-6” right-hander was then utilized as a key component in the trade that brought R.A. Dickey to the Jays in the 2012-13 offseason, and continued along his developmental trajectory in his first season in the Mets system, reaching Double-A in June and improving as the season progressed.

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November 8, 2013 6:00 am

Raising Aces: Great Pitchers, Flawed Mechanics

11

Doug Thorburn

Pitchers who succeed despite less-than-perfect deliveries.

One of the most common questions people ask me is to name good pitchers who have bad mechanics. Of course, mechanics are too nuanced to draw lines in the sand of “good” and “bad,” but the question is fascinating nonetheless. The general rule is that the best pitchers have excellent mechanics, but it’s true that some of the top players in the game have flaws in their deliveries.

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November 1, 2013 6:00 am

Raising Aces: Bush League: Kyle Zimmer

2

Doug Thorburn

Mid-season adjustments put the Royals pitching prospect on the path to prominence.

The Kansas City Royals chose Kyle Zimmer out of the University of San Francisco with the fifth overall selection of the 2012 draft. He was the second pitcher off the board, following LSU's Kevin Gausman, and he earned the distinction of having my favorite delivery of the opening round. Zimmer rose to the Double-A ranks in his first full season of pro ball, where he dominated for a handful of starts before he was shut down in mid-August due to stiffness in his throwing shoulder.

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September 10, 2013 9:03 am

Overthinking It: Is Ubaldo Back?

7

Ben Lindbergh

Are the struggles of erstwhile ace Ubaldo Jimenez over?

Just over a month ago on Effectively Wild, Sam Miller and I surveyed the 2014 options that teams would have to decide to pick up or pass on at the end of this season. When we came to the Indians’ $8 mutual million option on Ubaldo Jimenez, we very nearly dismissed it without saying what it was.

Me: Ubaldo Jimenez.
Sam: Pass.
Me: You don’t even want to hear the amount?
Sam: Well, what is the amount?
Me: The amount is $8 million.
Sam: Given who’s a free agent starter this winter, it wouldn’t kill me if a team did that at all. I would pass, but it wouldn’t break my heart.






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September 6, 2013 6:00 am

Raising Aces: Taijuan Walker, the Debut Ante

4

Doug Thorburn

Doug finds a lot to like and plenty to nitpick in Taijuan Walker's early outings.

Last Friday, Seattle baseball fans were treated to the long-anticipated arrival of pitching prospect Taijuan Walker. The right-hander entered the season as the top prospect in the Mariners' system, and he ranked ninth overall on Jason Parks' mid-season list of the top 50 prospects in the game, placing third among pitchers (behind Archie Bradley and Kevin Gausman).

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August 30, 2013 8:38 am

Raising Aces: A Closer Look at Relievers

2

Doug Thorburn

Mechanical analysis of three of the AL's dominant closers.

Relief pitchers have been in vogue lately, whether carving out air time on TINSTAAPP or funking up Raising Aces. The RP-Funk All-Stars may have all hailed from the senior circuit, but some of the most impressive performances of the season have come from the American League. Ninth-inning relievers have been dominating hitters and shortening games all across the AL, as no fewer than five different closers entered Thursday's action with an ERA under 2.00. Although he falls just short of inclusion to that particular club this season, we start the show with none other than the greatest stopper of all time.

(all stats through 8/28/13, PITCHf/x stats are courtesy of BrooksBaseball.net)

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August 23, 2013 7:17 am

Raising Aces: The RP-Funk All-Stars

2

Doug Thorburn

A close look at four relievers who benefit from funky mechanics.

Starting pitchers tend to receive most of the attention devoted to pitchers, both in Raising Aces and within the general community of baseball evaluators. Yet some of the most intriguing pitchers in the major leagues hail from the bullpen. Starters tend to adhere to a prototypical build designed for stamina, but relief pitchers come in all shapes and sizes, often earning their roles as a direct result of the perception that they cannot withstand the rigors of a 200-inning season or a seven-inning appearance.

There are a multitude of reasons why a pitcher might be assigned to relief work, including body type, pitch selection, and/or mechanical trends. When it comes to mechanics, a pitcher with a funky delivery can be sent to the pen just as quickly as one whose motion is perceived as dangerous. These attributes can be intertwined, as the same elements that make a delivery look goofy can also present the risk of injury. Other times, a pitcher's mechanical approach is geared toward deception, creating strategic angles that are designed to exploit platoon splits or to exaggerate downhill plane.

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August 16, 2013 12:43 pm

Raising Aces: Elevator Action

1

Doug Thorburn

Chronicling the ugly things that can happen to baseballs when pitchers struggle to repeat their timing.

There’s a mantra that echoes constantly throughout the halls of Raising Aces: timing is everything.

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August 9, 2013 6:29 am

Raising Aces: What Happened to Liriano and Masterson?

5

Doug Thorburn

Examining the stuff and mechanics of two pitchers who've taken steps forward in 2013.

Last week's edition of Raising Aces examined the stuff and mechanics of CC Sabathia and Josh Johnson—a couple of typically great pitchers who have fallen on hard times—in an effort to explain their struggles. This week we flip the script, studying a pair of pitchers who have greatly exceeded expectations in 2013 to find out whether each pitcher's success is sustainable. Under the microscope today: Francisco Liriano and Justin Masterson, both of whom could conceivably headline playoff rotations this fall.

Francisco Liriano
Liriano has been an enigma throughout his career. As a 22-year-old, the left-hander garnered comps to Minnesota teammate Johan Santana, recording 177 strikeouts against just 39 walks over his first 145 innings in the big leagues. The balloon burst when he underwent Tommy John Surgery following the 2006 season, after which he wasn’t the same. But Liriano has rediscovered his mojo this year, and through 100 frames he is invoking memories of the '06 breakout that originally put him on the national radar.


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July 19, 2013 6:00 am

Raising Aces: Back to the Futures Game, 2013

4

Doug Thorburn

BP's pitching guru evaluates the mechanics of some of the minors' best young arms.

The Futures Game has been well-covered by my BP brethren, with a cadre of our brightest minds on hand to witness the event. We have been treated with previews of the rosters for the USA and World teams, eyewitness accounts of the game, a PITCHf/x-based review of the pitchers’ performance, and discussions of the impact that these players will have on rosters both real and fantasy. Unlike my geographically-advantaged colleagues, however, I was unable to attend the game, so I was left to watch virtually through an off-center camera lens from 3000 miles away.

Poor vantage points have never stopped me before, and I can't resist the temptation to evaluate elite prospects with a quick snapshot of their deliveries. Pitchers will often sacrifice mechanics in All-Star exhibitions, dropping the balance elements in order to pump up the power grades and light up radar guns, an element which needs to be considered in conjunction with the natural caveats of a one-inning sample size. That said, there is much to be learned about a pitcher's baseline delivery when his talent is on display in front of a national audience, and a number of Sunday's hurlers left an indelible impression of development.

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July 12, 2013 7:06 am

Raising Aces: How the Mighty Have Fallen

5

Doug Thorburn

Can mechanics help explain why Shelby Miller and Hisashi Iwakuma haven't maintained their early-season performance?

A couple of pitchers enjoyed breakout performances during the first two months of the season, only to wake up from the dream once the calendar flipped to June. Our inner statistician can easily wave these trends aside as the inevitable magnetism of regression to the mean, but I’ve found that reality often follows a more intricate path, with much to be learned through the analysis of outlier performances and small sample size.

Let's examine a couple of players who have fallen off from their early-season dominance in search of explanations that go beyond luck. In these cases, the “before” and “after” stats are split based on the arbitrary calendar date of June 1st.

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