The Baseball Prospectus 2013 Top 101 Prospects, by Position, by Organization, and by Age
Yesterday, Jason Parks and the Baseball Prospectus prospect crew released our Top 101 Prospects of 2013, also newly available in printed form in the now-shipping Baseball Prospectus 2013 annual. The festivities were wild and raucous for all, perhaps tempered slightly for fans of the Chicago White Sox. Here is the Top 101 list displayed by position, by organization, and by prospect age. Enjoy!
Is there any hope that the Twins will be better than horrible this season?
First, let’s get this out of the way: The Minnesota Twins will probably be pretty bad, at best, this season. They lost a lot of games in 2011, and though many of the names and faces have changed, they’ll take the field in 2012 looking a lot like the same team. As a matter of sabermetric best practices, it’s probably a good idea to assume that they’ll lose a lot of games again. PECOTA and the depth charts currently see the Twins losing 91 games, in a two-way tie for the AL Central cellar and a three-way tie for last in the American League. That’s all very reasonable, and nothing you read here is going to dispute the notion that that’s exactly what’s most likely to happen.
What I’m wondering, though, is why it’s being treated as a foregone conclusion. Great analysts are dismissing the team without, well, analyzing. Our own departing-and-incoming managing editors—brilliant, insightful, and devastatingly handsome men, both—had things like this to say in their recent ALCentralpreview: “This team should trade any veterans not nailed down” … “they can’t compete” … “The Royals are about to leave the Twins in their dust” … “It’s going to stay bad before it gets better.” And they’re certainly not alone... they’re just the example I can find right now. On Twitter and elsewhere, the Twins have very quickly become a punch line. They’ve been written off completely.
The Twins decide on a rotation, but did they make the wrong choice?
As Christina Kahrl noted yesterday, the Twins have decided on their Opening Day rotation, and it does not include Kevin Slowey. Instead, Nick Blackburn will bump Slowey into the bullpen or as trade bait for another reliever before the season begins. The Twins’ search for more bullpen help further confuses their decision to designate Pat Neshek for assignment rather than optioning him to Triple-A.
The Twins and Yankees meet yet again in the first round of the postseason but Minnesota has home field advantage this time.
As they did last year as well as 2003 and 2004, the Twins run squarely into the Yankee juggernaut in the first round. Unlike those other three meetings, they have home field advantage this time around, as they won the AL Central going away thanks to a league-best 48-26 second-half record. The defending world champion Yankees, who held the majors' best record for most of the season, were forced to settle for the wild card due to a sluggish 13-17 showing against a very tough schedule in September and October. Despite the relative temperatures of the two clubs, it's important to remember that late-season records aren't predictive of October success—or failure.
Last night's victors face a tall order in their Bronx confrontation.
The Yankees have been pretty sure they'd be playing in the postseason since not long after the All-Star break. The Twins didn't have much chance of doing so until about two weeks ago, and only found out for sure about 18 hours before the first pitch of the Division Series. That's just one reason of many why this AL Division Series matchup is one of the most lopsided in the 15-year history of the three-tiered playoffs.
Providing a helping hand to your nationally broadcast ballgame.
Several weeks ago, as part of the Prospectus Idol competition, I penned an Unfiltered post regarding the use of statistics in baseball telecasts. In that missive, I noted that while technological advances have made the experience of watching a baseball game on television more visually satisfying than ever-in some ways better than attending the game in person-innovation in the use and display of meaningful statistics during a broadcast has lagged well behind. Not only does this make the broadcast less interesting than it could be to the more enlightened baseball fan, it misses the opportunity to introduce even a few simple sabermetric principles to a wider baseball audience-which in turn creates more devoted fans, higher ratings, and increased revenue.
Some oddities in first-half performance make for better days ahead for this group of starting pitchers.
We're about halfway through the season, so now is as good of a time as any to check the QuikERA leaderboards to see who should be doing what. There have been some significant changes on both ends of the board as sample sizes have increased and the more severe cases have leveled out. That doesn't mean we don't have any pitchers way over or well under their expected performance levels though; we will take a look at a few of each today.
Royals and Pirates look past the grim present to their futures, and notes and rumblings from around the major leagues.
About the best thing that the Royals have to say about themselves is that they aren't the Pirates. The Pirates matched one of the most inglorious records in baseball history a week ago today when they clinched their 16th consecutive losing season, matching the 1933-48 Phillies streak of futility. While the Royals' run of losing seasons isn't as long as Pittsburgh's, their only winning record in the last 14 years was in 2003, when they finished 83-79, and this year they have assured themselves of another sub-.500 finish with a 64-84 record that ranks ahead of only Seattle (57-90) in the American League. "It's disappointing because I know we have more talent than this," said Royals right fielder Jose Guillen, who has had an unsettling first season in Kansas City after signing a three-year, $36 million contract as a free agent last winter, ripping his teammates and fans in two separate tirades with reporters. "We have good guys, but they just don't know how to win yet. We haven't won in so long here that they just don't know how to do it or what it feels like."