I was watching Pedro Alvarez yesterday, smasher of 400-foot home runs and manufacturer of golden sombreros. Alvarez is one of a few streaky hitters who have excellent 2-3 game stretches of power, followed by long stretches of bat contact amnesia. I wondered which hitters hit home runs on back-to-back days most often, so I fired up our database and looked for games where any hitter homered. Then, I tabulated their performance the day after and took the leaders (data since 2011):
A 2012 draftee has struck out in his first 16 at-bats as a professional. What does that say about him? And more importantly, what does it say about baseball?
One month ago today, the Red Sox selected Shaquille Green-Thompson in the 18th round of the amateur draft. Nine days later, they signed him to a contract. This was important for an obvious reason: if Green-Thompson signed and went on to play professional baseball, there would be a professional baseball player named Shaq. But as it turns out, the selection was even more important for another reason: Shaq Green-Thompson was about to remind us how hard it is to play baseball.
Green-Thompson is a 6-foot-2, 225-pound, right-handed-hitting-and-throwing outfielder. But that’s sort of a secondary definition—you can’t bring up his baseball abilities without burying the lead. That's because Green-Thompson is also one of the best 18-year-old football prospects in the country.
In the wake of another long losing streak for the Royals, we revisit an even longer one from last decade.
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.
The Royals ended a 12-game losing streak on Wednesday, but that wasn't nearly their longest in recent memory. To refresh your memory on the Royals' futility and the odds of long losing streaks, take another look at the article reproduced below, which originally ran as a "Crooked Numbers" column on August 18, 2005.
Can a player's performance one week have any predictive power on how he will perform during the next week?
Full disclosure: I have never really played fantasy baseball, at least in a serious or semi-serious capacity, prior to this season. My lack of participation had nothing to do with ulterior motives like taking a stance against W-L and batting average. I just never got into it. Well, things have changed and, in deciding to try my hand at the massively popular game, I am finding that certain tendencies have awoken that I believed were trained out of my baseball vernacular long ago. For instance, it is becoming increasingly tempting to drop a player after a poor week in exchange for a player in the midst of a hot streak. I mean, I knowJeff Francoeur isn’t going to hit .438/.583/.839, but my goodness, if I had that production or even some semblance of it instead of the .250/.345/.333 from Andrew McCutchen, I might have won both of my matchups so far.
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Ryan Zimmerman's recent flurry of safeties leads to a question over what other recent streaks we might have overlooked.
Back in 2007, fans of the Seattle Mariners were given free rides aboard the Wild and Wacky Weaver Wagon. On any given night, they had no idea whether the Jeff Weaver toeing the rubber would resemble the Mr. Hyde who had been victimized by 50 hits and a 14.32 RA in his first 22 innings of work, or the good Dr. Jekyll with the 3.10 RA and 1.26 WHIP over his next nine outings. As Weaver aptly demonstrated throughout that roller-coaster campaign, baseball is a game of streaks, with players fusing together stretches both hot and cold before arriving at their statistical bottom lines. Scan the game logs for any player in any season and you are bound to find spurts in which a Pujols hits like a Theriot, and vice-versa. In spite of their prominence, though, streaks can be very detrimental by distracting fans from actual production levels, and a little annoying as they tend to go unnoticed when not bookending a season.
Last week's column on the Royals' losing streak generated a lot of discussion, and revealed some errors. James sets things straight this time around.
Not unlike the old Sports Illustrated Jinx, it seems that as soon as we talk about something here at BP, things turn around. Jonah Keri covered Sunday's A's game yesterday in his Game of the Week column, but it's safe to say that my last two columns--about the Royals' losing streak and the A's winning ways--have made large U-turns in the last week. The Royals' managed to finally break out of their near-record slump and it's this subject that deserves a little more of our attention.
The Royals' losing streak is approaching some of the longest in baseball history, but it's notable for another reason. James breaks out Pascal's Triangle to crunch the numbers.
To start, let's get some perspective. The Royals' streak of 18 straight losses is not the worst run of baseball of all time. The worst losing streak in the major leagues since 1901 was the 1961 Phillies who managed to lose 23 games in a row from 7/29/61 to 8/20/61. Interestingly, it could have been a lot worse; the Phillies lost five in a row just before the streak, so they actually lost 28 of 29 games in what may very well be the worst month any team has ever had. Here are the rest of the worst: