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05-07

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5

Fantasy Freestyle: Beware of the Tribe
by
Paul Sporer

04-17

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17

Fantasy Freestyle: Beware of Young Catchers
by
Paul Sporer

02-15

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18

Fantasy Freestyle: Mike Trout and Regression Obsession
by
Mike Gianella

07-10

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2

Baseball ProGUESTus: Does the Hit and Run Help?
by
Pete Palmer

09-18

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0

One-Hoppers: Even More Fun with Opponent Quality
by
Ben Lindbergh

09-15

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1

One-Hoppers: Fun with Opponent Quality
by
Ben Lindbergh

03-26

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17

OPS, I Did it Again
by
Colin Wyers

11-20

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5

Early Career Splits
by
Tim Kniker

08-10

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16

Changing Speeds: Twin City Triplets
by
Ken Funck

06-14

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64

Prospectus Idol Entry: Kila Ka'aihue
by
Tim Kniker

04-07

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19

Catcher Fatigue
by
Ben Lindbergh

10-12

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Prospectus Matchups: Lets Get Loaded and See What Happens
by
Jim Baker

03-11

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Prospectus Q&A: Pete Palmer
by
David Laurila

03-21

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0

Future Shock: California, Here They Come
by
Kevin Goldstein

09-05

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Swinging for the Fences
by
Will Carroll and Mike Carminati

01-17

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0

Prospectus Triple Play: Atlanta Braves, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Toronto Blue Jays
by
Baseball Prospectus

06-24

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0

Testing the ''Mistake Hitter'' Hypothesis
by
Cliff Roscow

05-27

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Lies, Damned Lies: Southpaw Stories, Part I
by
Nate Silver

04-01

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0

Aim For The Head: Discovering True Clutch Hitters
by
Keith Woolner

03-05

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Baseball Prospectus Basics: OPS
by
Christina Kahrl

01-16

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0

PECOTA Takes on the Field
by
Nate Silver

05-15

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0

Aim For The Head: Understanding MLVr
by
Keith Woolner

11-22

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0

The Daily Prospectus: Balanced Lineups Redux
by
Keith Woolner

11-21

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Aim For The Head: Are Balanced Lineups Better?
by
Keith Woolner and Rodger A. Payne

09-18

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0

Doctoring The Numbers: The Bonds Edition
by
Rany Jazayerli

07-13

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0

Doctoring The Numbers: The Hitters League?
by
Rany Jazayerli

06-07

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0

Aim For The Head: Temperature and OPS
by
Keith Woolner

05-09

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Aim For The Head: Good-hitting Pitchers
by
Keith Woolner

08-04

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0

Doctoring the Numbers
by
Rany Jazayerli and Keith Woolner

07-19

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The Daily Prospectus: The Limits of OPS
by
Joe Sheehan

06-15

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0

Doctoring the Numbers
by
Rany Jazayerli

08-06

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Thunder in the Nine Spot
by
Rany Jazayerli

02-01

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The Prospectus Projections Project
by
David Cameron and Greg Spira

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May 7, 2013 5:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Beware of the Tribe

5

Paul Sporer

Given the Indians' early-season propensity to tattoo starters, fantasy owners should be wary of using pitchers that are facing them.

With the completion of Monday’s slate of games, we are officially one-sixth of the way through the season, as every team has played at least 28 games, or 17 percent of its allotted 162. Exactly half of the league has actually hit the one-fifth mark, having played 20 percent of its games, but the Twins and Royals finished off the first sixth of their seasons on Monday. We have also turned the calendar on the season’s first month, and the accumulation of data from that month is giving us some useful information.

For example, did you know that the Oakland Athletics lead all of baseball with 174 runs? They have 10 more runs than the Detroit Tigers and Colorado Rockies, who sit tied for second with 164 (because 174-10 = 164!). The A’s also have three more games played than the Tigers and two more than the Rockies. That doesn’t diminish their runs-scored achievement, but it does send them to the bottom of that trio when you look at runs per game: The Tigers have 5.47, the Rockies 5.29, and the A’s 5.27. Sitting eighth in total runs scored are the Cleveland Indians.

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April 17, 2013 5:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Beware of Young Catchers

17

Paul Sporer

Positional scarcity makes highly regarded backstop prospects attractive, but recent history offers a cautionary tale.

Matt Wieters is the reason that I comes before E except after C.”

“Matt Wieters beat cancer… literally, with his bat. There is no more cancer.”

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February 15, 2013 5:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Mike Trout and Regression Obsession

18

Mike Gianella

No matter how hard you try to discredit Trout, he stacks up as an elite fantasy option in 2013.

Like many fantasy players, I spend little if any time during the season worrying about what a player will earn the following year. Even in keeper formats, I don’t invest a significant amount of time trying to figure out future earnings.

While I didn’t have an exact dollar value assigned to Mike Trout for 2013 back in October, I assumed that I’d have him ranked first or second in AL-only formats and first, second, or third in mixed formats. Besides Ryan Braun and Miguel Cabrera, there were few players who seemed capable of putting up big enough fantasy numbers to come close to Trout.

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Sabermetric pioneer Pete Palmer tackles the hit and run and other statistical topics.

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.

Pete Palmer is the co-author of The Hidden Game of Baseball with John Thorn and co-editor of the Barnes and Noble ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia with Gary Gillette. Pete introduced on-base average as an official statistic for the American League in 1979 and invented on-base plus slugging, now universally used as a good measure of batting strength. A member of SABR since 1973, his baseball data is used by the SABR Encyclopedia, MLB.com, Retrosheet, ESPN, and Baseball-Reference.com. He was selected by SABR to be in the inaugural group of nine given the Henry Chadwick award in 2010. Pete is also the editor of Who’s Who in Baseball, soon to be celebrating its 100th anniversary. His latest book, Basic Ball: New Approaches for Determining the Greatest Baseball, Football, and Basketball Players of All-Time, was released late last year.
 


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Which batters have been most helped and hampered by the skill level of their opponents?

Way back on Wednesday, before Derek Jeter casually robbed America’s youth of its honor, integrity, and faith in fair play*, I took a look at our “Pitcher’s Quality of Opponents” report,  identifying a few hurlers who’ve benefited from facing an inordinate number of strong or weak hitters this season. I promised to provide the same treatment for batters in my next post, and rather than erode my credibility by choosing a different topic (since I know how closely everyone’s keeping track), I’ll stick to the plan. Let’s check out what the “Batter’s Quality of Pitchers Faced” report has to offer.

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Which pitchers have been most helped and hampered by the skill level of their opponents?

Player evaluation would be a much easier feat if conditions were held constant. Park adjustments and positional adjustments, among other factors, may be diverting for a select few to derive (seriously, this is the face that Colin Wyers would make if someone took park factors away), but the necessity of implementing them makes baseball analysis a lot more difficult. On the other hand, it also makes baseball analysts a lot more employed, so I’m not complaining. What’s more, even if you never find yourself staggering under the weight of a BP paycheck, you should be grateful for the complications, since idiosyncrasies like these help make baseball a ready source of almost endless discussion. Of course, I suppose that even the deprived people who follow sports restricted to playing surfaces of identical dimensions occasionally come up with something to discuss.

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March 26, 2010 12:25 pm

OPS, I Did it Again

17

Colin Wyers

The quick'n dirty offensive measure doesn't always correlate between individuals and teams.

So, how good is good enough, exactly? A recent blog post on ESPN looked at how OPS fares at explaining team runs. It’s a rather oft-repeated argument, to be sure—we can simply let it stand in for any number of articles in this vein:

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November 20, 2009 1:35 pm

Early Career Splits

5

Tim Kniker

Do extreme splits early in a player's career predict future success?

There's one advantage about being a fan of a franchise that never makes the postseason: I have much more off-season time to obsess about the following year. For Royals fans, one of the main questions over the last few years has been what do they have in Alex Gordon. Probably unfairly, people were labeling him as the next George Brett immediately after being drafted. On the other hand, a perennial All-Star is not too much to ask for a player who was picked second overall and considered the best college hitter that year.

When you watch him in numerous games, the one thing that pops out is how uncomfortable Gordon looks against southpaws, and the stats back this up (.217/.288/.365). Against righties, he has a slash line of .264/.349/.436 which is not as good as one would hope, but still serviceable in a Joe Randa kind of way. On the flip side, one of the Royals' newest acquisitions, Josh Fields, has an extreme split the other way: .285/.367/.580 against lefties, while just .206/.280/.348 against righties. I find myself hoping that these young hitters can figure it out against same-side pitchers, since they have demonstrated some hitting prowess against the opposite side. But is this an accurate assessment of the situation? This thought process led me to a bigger question: do young hitters who have extreme righty/lefty splits improve more in their peak years because they begin to figure out same-side pitchers better? Or are the young hitters who show minimal splits better hitters who improve equally against both.

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August 10, 2009 1:35 pm

Changing Speeds: Twin City Triplets

16

Ken Funck

Wasted greatness in the land of lakes should inspire the Twins to do more than settle.

As the Minnesota Twins continue to tread water in third place, 5 games behind the Detroit Tigers after Sunday's action, dreams of a playoff berth (or at least a repeat of last year's Game 163 excitement) seem more remote with each passing day. Perhaps Twin Cities baseball fans can take comfort in one thing, though: the middle of the Twins order has become the stuff of nightmares for AL pitchers.

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Background/History

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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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October 12, 2007 12:00 am

Prospectus Matchups: Lets Get Loaded and See What Happens

0

Jim Baker

Since the turn of this century, what have been the best and worst performances with the bases juiced?

Who are your three best friends in the world? I'll tell you who they are-the three guys on your favorite team who find themselves on base simultaneously. When the bags are juiced and the camera pans around the infield showing the three baserunners and the announcer says their names, don't you say to yourself, "Man, I love those guys!"

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