Mike uses evidence from 2008 top-prospect lists to evaluate the merits of targeting minor leaguers in "dump" trades.
Most fantasy web sites and other resources do little if any analysis on playing for next year, or what is known less elegantly as “dumping.” Some analysts refuse to even acknowledge that it is part of the game and advise that it is always best to trade with this year in mind and worry about future consequences next year.
In reality, if you’re in a keeper league, you will probably have to give up and play for next year sooner or later. If other teams are building rosters for 2014 around cheap players such as Bryce Harper, Matt Harvey, and Shelby Miller, and you are sitting back while your team languishes in seventh place with little hope of winning, you are not doing yourself any favors.
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Godzilla and Lonnie Chisenhall join this week’s Value Picks list, while Michael waves bye-bye to a hot Smoak and a cold Barton.
Fantasy prognostication is not a perfect science, but my Value Picks have been solid, graduating six players in seven weeks, including top performers like Adam LaRoche, Chris Davis, and Will Middlebrooks. Along the way, I’ve made some bad calls too, of course, largely on single-league players like Brad Eldred and Conor Gillaspie. This week features one of both kinds—a promotion and a demotion—along with the usual crop of strong performers available on at least 80 percent of most leagues’ waiver wires.
Why the next big step for baseball teams might not be learning something new, but making better use of the information they already have.
“The management and analysis of data, whether it be scouting reports, statistics, medical information or video, is a critical component of our operation. We look forward to developing a customized program that utilizes the most advanced and efficient technology available in the marketplace today to facilitate quicker, easier and more accurate access to all the sources of information we use to make baseball decisions.”—Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein, January 2012
“[Statistical analysis] helps but doesn’t tell the whole story of the game. There is a lot of gut feeling you got to make. If you have a stat and see a flashing number and you see that this guy is doing very good against this other guy, you can use that in a game during a key situation. Yes. But we cannot just depend on stats alone. You got to depend on many other things… I don’t like to become a fantasy manager. The goal for a good manager is to have players who are able to manage themselves on the field.”—Unsuccessful Cubs managerial candidate Sandy Alomar Jr., November 2011
Finding out whether knuckleballs actually flutter, with the help of our friendly neighborhood physicist.
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.
Alan Nathan is Professor Emeritus of Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After a long career doing experimental nuclear/particle physics, he now spends his time doing research in the physics of baseball. He maintains a web site devoted to this topic athttp://webusers.npl.illinois.edu/~a-nathan/pob/. His younger colleagues at Complete Game Consulting have bestowed upon him the exalted title of Chief Scientist.
Revisiting historical HBP rates in the wake of Alex Avila's plunking by Jered Weaver's hand.
While looking toward the future with our comprehensive slate of current content, we'd also like to recognize our rich past by drawing upon our extensive (and mostly free) online archive of work dating back to 1997. In an effort to highlight the best of what's gone before, we'll be bringing you a weekly blast from BP's past, introducing or re-introducing you to some of the most informative and entertaining authors who have passed through our virtual halls. If you have fond recollections of a BP piece that you'd like to nominate for re-exposure to a wider audience, send us your suggestion.
As Jered Weaver prepares to serve his six-game suspension, take in some trends in HBP rates over time, which originally ran as a "Schrodinger's Bat" column on May 4, 2006.
Examining what it means to have a hit tool, and a look at why it is so difficult to project power.
Because of my ego and this convenient link drop, I’m going to assume you read my previous article, which, at least on an academic level, attempted to set the table for what I look for when scouting a hitter. In the closing paragraph of that piece, I offered up this nugget of forced profundity: “While it’s true that the body and the mechanical profile start the process, the product is what ultimately makes the prospect.” Yes, I just quoted myself. I’ve become that guy. Please bring me a chilled Apollinaris with a lime wedge and a warm cloth. Jason needs to have some Jason time.
As we’ve discussed, hitting is the product of many components, ranging from the strength required to create bat speed, the hand-eye coordination required to make contact, and the comfort and fluidity in the mechanics that allow the other components to exist in sweet, blissful harmony. Let’s move away from the possibilities exposed in the batting cage and move forward to the realities that are on display in game action. Let’s break down how the hit tool is graded, how approach and maturity at the plate can influence the utility of the raw tools at play, what makes a power hitter a power hitter, and, finally, I’ll explain where babies come from.
The Angels' first baseman shares his thoughts on quotes about the game, hitting, and his own abilities.
Mark Trumbo is a thinking-man’s power hitter. The Angels’ first baseman went deep 36 times in Triple-A last season, and this week he homered in consecutive games—his fifth and sixth of the 2011 campaign—at Fenway Park. He also sat down to share some wisdom, offering his interpretations of a dozen quotes, primarily on the subject of hitting.
How many of the last millenium's burning baseball questions remain unanswered over a decade down the road?
While looking toward the future with our comprehensive slate of current content, we'd also like to recognize our rich past by drawing upon our extensive online archive of work dating back to 1997. In an effort to highlight the best of what's gone before, we'll be bringing you a weekly blast from BP's past, introducing or re-introducing you to some of the most informative and entertaining authors who have passed through our virtual halls. If you have fond recollections of a BP piece that you'd like to nominate for re-exposure to a wider audience, send us your suggestion.
Over 11 years after their publication in Baseball Prospectus 2000, how many of Keith's questions for a new millenium have we already set to rest?
The regular season ends without a 163rd addendum, but not without drama.
Maybe it's a matter of my being close to the action in the AL Central the last two years, but it seems to me that a 163rd game for a one-game play-in is one of the rites of autumn you can start taking for granted. And with a day that opened with a 50/50 shot at there being a 163rd and even a 164th game riding on the outcome, you can't deny the Braves/Phillies and the Padres/Giants games deserved center stage.*
Jim Thome has never been considered among the game's elite players but his home run and walk totals make him worthy of the Hall of Fame.
One year ago, Jim Thome was almost a forgotten man. Traded by the White Sox to the Dodgers just prior to the August 31 waiver deadline, he was a fish out of water in the National League, instantly reduced to a pinch-hitting role by his inability to play the field and even further limited by a bout of plantar fasciitis. Including the postseason, Thome went just 5-for-20—all singles—with a walk and three RBI for the Dodgers. Since the team fell short of the World Series, he didn't get to serve as designated hitter in the Fall Classic, the primary job for which he was acquired. At 39 years old, he looked like he might be done.