CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

Futures Guide 2014 is Now Available in Paperback and Three E-book Formats.

Premium and Super Premium Subscribers Get a 20% Discount at MLB.tv!

Articles Tagged Surprise Teams 

Search BP Articles

All Blogs (including podcasts)

Active Columns

Authors

Article Types

Archives

03-20

comment icon

10

Painting the Black: Naming the Next Breakout Team
by
R.J. Anderson

02-06

comment icon

18

Prospectus Hit and Run: Beware of Falling Payrolls
by
Jay Jaffe

02-01

comment icon

21

Between The Numbers: Fact-Checking Scott Boras
by
Ben Lindbergh

12-21

comment icon

36

Spinning Yarn: Hit-and-Run Success is No Accident
by
Mike Fast

04-29

comment icon

11

Prospectus Q&A: Alex Anthopoulos
by
David Laurila

04-19

comment icon

26

The Payoff Pitch: Plenty of Good Seats Still Available
by
Neil deMause

10-26

comment icon

19

World Series Prospectus: World Series Preview
by
Christina Kahrl

08-12

comment icon

3

Squawking Baseball: Do New Owners Spend More?
by
Shawn Hoffman

01-11

comment icon

15

Ahead in the Count: Part 2 of Service-time Contracts and Wins
by
Matt Swartz

10-08

comment icon

21

Relative League Quality
by
Shawn Hoffman

08-11

comment icon

66

Ahead in the Count: Home-Field Advantages, Part One
by
Matt Swartz

08-03

comment icon

46

Ahead in the Count: Runs Per Inning, and Why I Love the Long Ball
by
Matt Swartz

07-16

comment icon

9

The Biz Beat: Baseball's Midseason Report Card
by
Shawn Hoffman

06-10

comment icon

10

Future Shock: First-Round Recap
by
Kevin Goldstein

06-09

comment icon

29

Future Shock: The Mock Draft
by
Kevin Goldstein

03-25

comment icon

15

Speed and Power
by
Christina Kahrl

02-24

comment icon

24

Getting Defensive
by
Ben Lindbergh

02-19

comment icon

33

PECOTA Projected Standings
by
Clay Davenport

09-25

comment icon

0

It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over Redux
by
Baseball Prospectus

06-21

comment icon

0

Lies, Damned Lies: Be Sharp
by
Nate Silver

05-18

comment icon

0

Prospectus Matchups: Defensive Edition
by
Jim Baker

03-13

comment icon

0

Schrodinger's Bat: Spring Training
by
Dan Fox

02-15

comment icon

0

Schrodinger's Bat: Age Before Beauty
by
Dan Fox

10-16

comment icon

0

Future Shock: Monday Morning Ten-Pack
by
Kevin Goldstein

10-11

comment icon

0

Prospectus Today: LCS, Day One
by
Joe Sheehan

10-07

comment icon

0

Prospectus Today: Division Series, Day Four
by
Joe Sheehan

08-04

comment icon

0

Prospectus Matchups: Abreu Walks to New York
by
Jim Baker

07-31

comment icon

0

Will's Mill: The Mill Closes -- 5:00 P.M.
by
Will Carroll

06-29

comment icon

0

Schrodinger's Bat: Variations on a Monetary Theme
by
Dan Fox

03-27

comment icon

0

Future Shock: How Do Teams Draft?
by
Kevin Goldstein

07-31

comment icon

0

Will's Mill: Deadline Weekend
by
Will Carroll

05-24

comment icon

0

Prospectus Matchups: To Have and Have Not
by
Jim Baker

07-23

comment icon

0

Rogue's Gallery
by
Jim Baker

07-13

comment icon

0

Divisional All-Star Teams
by
Jim Baker

04-09

comment icon

0

Transaction Analysis: March 25-April 6, 2003
by
Christina Kahrl

04-02

comment icon

0

The Great Leap Forward
by
Mark Armour

01-24

comment icon

0

Prospectus Feature: That's the Chicago Way
by
Keith Scherer

03-30

comment icon

0

National League Predictions
by
Baseball Prospectus

03-13

comment icon

0

The Daily Prospectus: Out of Balance
by
Joe Sheehan

04-01

comment icon

0

Projected 1998 National League Standings
by
Baseball Prospectus

03-04

comment icon

0

Flashback: Last Year's Surprise Players
by
Greg Spira and Keith Law

<< Previous Tag Entries Next Tag Entries >>

This is a BP Premium article. To read it, sign up for Premium today!

July 16, 2009 12:45 pm

The Biz Beat: Baseball's Midseason Report Card

9

Shawn Hoffman

Baseball isn't immune from the economic downturn, but has the damage been as bad as expected?

The year 2009 has been a ridiculously tough one for business, unless you happen to be a bankruptcy lawyer or maybe a psychic (supposedly they do very well when people are getting laid off). For its part, MLB has done its best to manage expectations, projecting huge declines in attendance, and beating the owners over the head with a don't-spend-too-much-on-payroll message during the offseason. If it all seemed like overkill, you can forgive Bud Selig and company for being cautious; according to some, baseball almost spent its way into contraction during the last recession, one that was far more mild than what we've been going through over the past year. So, with the first half officially in the books, how well have they actually executed?

The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.

Not a subscriber?

Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.


Cancel anytime.


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

Who went where, with a blow-by-blow as the action unfolded.

1. Washington Nationals
Pick: Stephen Strasburg, RHP, San Diego State
Kevin Goldstein Says:
"Congrats Nats fan, you just got a potential franchise-changing talent. Now the REAL fun begins with the negotiation. I really should start a pool on bonus and total package. I'm guessing $8-9 million dollar bonus and total package around $25 million"
Quotable: "The first thing I'd say is 'good luck.' Then I'd say sit on the fastball, because at least you know he's going to throw strikes. So just step in there and compete and try not to strike out on three pitches."-Texas Christian infielder Ben Carruthers, on how to hit Strasburg.
Read more about Strasburg here.





Read the full article...

This is a BP Premium article. To read it, sign up for Premium today!

June 9, 2009 12:40 pm

Future Shock: The Mock Draft

29

Kevin Goldstein

One expert's educated guesstimate on how things will go down later today.

This one could be a mess folks, and it's all about bonus demands at this point. Right now, you have as many as four high school pitchers-Jacob Turner, Tyler Matzek, Matt Purke, and Shelby Miller-looking for big, big money, with the first three all telling teams they're looking for Rick Porcello-level deals (or more). This has the potential to blow the first round wide open, and turn it into into a very college-oriented first 30 picks, with numerous top talents falling to later picks than initially expected. One team picking in the top ten I spoke to this morning said he still had very little idea of who was going to be picked ahead of his club's choice.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

This is a BP Premium article. To read it, sign up for Premium today!

March 25, 2009 6:32 pm

Speed and Power

15

Christina Kahrl

The right mix of abilities can result in a blend as tasty as a Reese's peanut butter cup.

Let's face it, the word "Moneyball" has been so overused-as a catchall for the game's great Satan, or as its foil to the hoary wisdom of "the book"-that it has almost lost its meaning. However, the book's core concept, searching for market inefficiencies to dig up something extra that gives you a leg up on the other guys running those other teams, still has import. Whether it's OBP in the Nineties, or pitch counts and defense in the Aughties, researchers have been doing new work to give us better valuations of players, and front offices have been similarly beavering away over that data and their own with an eye toward building better ballclubs. So, what's the next big thing?

Here's one gal's argument that it's going to be speed as an augmentation to always-popular power, meaning that we might be headed back to the exciting times of the '80s, when tactical diversity was the rule of the day, and teams were more aggressive in exploiting offensive talent because they understood that, when it comes to scoring runs, there's more than one way to skin that particular cat. It's worth remembering the age of Rickey Henderson-tasty combinations of the Billyball A's of 1980 and '81 or the Rickey and Donnie Baseball run-scoring machine of the '85 Yankees-and we should also remember the other teams that did their enemies in by using every available weapon. The '86 Mets had Darryl Strawberry and Gary Carter and Keith Hernandez, but Straw also swiped 28 bags as part of a crew of baserunners that included Wally Backman, Mookie Wilson, and Lenny Dykstra attacking the basepaths just as readily as that lineup dented fences from home plate. And how about the even more amazing power/speed combination that came with dropping Jack Clark onto the Whiteyball Cardinals to propel the Birds to a pennant in the high-octane outlier of the '87 season?

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

This is a BP Premium article. To read it, sign up for Premium today!

February 24, 2009 12:00 am

Getting Defensive

24

Ben Lindbergh

Can finding the guys who can pick it help pick your team up?

What Moneyball did for on-base percentage, the Rays' 2008 triumph may have done for defense—even if the book on the latter has yet to be written (although it's reportedly on its way). Of course, the importance of avoiding outs at the plate, and of accumulating them in the field, was as clear to Lane and Chadwick, respectively, as it is to Beane and Friedman; the rest of the class merely needed a little prodding to send it plunging past the tipping point. Unfortunately for those prematurely in the know, these watershed moments often mark the end of their salad days, as other prospectors make inroads on their fertile claims. The rubes are growing scarce: just ask Manny Ramirez, Adam Dunn, Bobby Abreu, and the other defensively challenged sluggers who failed to douse themselves with eau de Ibañez before seeking long-term relationships this winter.

An appreciation for on-base percentage could have yielded a competitive advantage at any point in the game's history, but until fairly recently, fielding skills remained relatively impenetrable, even to those with the inclination to evaluate them. However, as defensive metrics improve and become increasingly reliable (a process which the imminent arrival of the Hit-f/x system promises to accelerate), the leathery component of run prevention will assume an even greater significance in player evaluation and analysis (while remaining an area in which scouting insight can elucidate persistent quirks in the numbers). In order to determine just how large a slice of the run-prevention pie defense deserves to consume, we might take a quick look back at an earlier investigation.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

This is a BP Premium article. To read it, sign up for Premium today!

February 19, 2009 1:45 pm

PECOTA Projected Standings

33

Clay Davenport

Skip crystal balls, just dive into what our first cut on projecting the season says as far as this year's likely standings.

Now that the depth charts are out, we have a chance to do a first run of the Playoff Odds chart. The Playoff Odds chart-and I am aware that, strictly speaking, they aren't presented as odds-is a system that we run during the season. We use the team's record and the actual schedule to play out the rest of the season.

In this case, we're playing the entire season from day one, and we're using the depth-chart projections to set the team's strength (though since the depth charts also use a strength-of-schedule adjustment to calculate the records you see, I had to temporarily undo that). We can set a win percentage for each game, and by essentially rolling dice in the computer, we can determine who wins or loses each game. We can do that for an entire season, or a dozen seasons, or a million seasons-and yes, our usual number is a cool million. We can and do play around with the team's strength, knowing that it's ultimately just an estimate, and that the real team may turn out to be better (or worse) than we think.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

Another selection from our book on the best pennant races of all time, in anticipation of our upcoming bookstore events.

It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over, Baseball Prospectus' book on the best pennant races of all time, is available for purchase in stores and also available online through Amazon. If you like what you read here in this sidebar on the chapter covering the 1967 American League's pennant chase, you'll love a book with more than 420 more pages of this sort of content, perfect reading for every fan as he or she settles in to enjoy the final stretch drives and then October's postseason action.

---

Read the full article...

This is a BP Premium article. To read it, sign up for Premium today!

June 21, 2007 12:00 am

Lies, Damned Lies: Be Sharp

0

Nate Silver

Nate revisits his promise to see if his sharp and flat labels have predictive power.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

This is a BP Premium article. To read it, sign up for Premium today!

May 18, 2007 12:00 am

Prospectus Matchups: Defensive Edition

0

Jim Baker

Can you win despite being inefficient defensively? Can you lose despite being efficient?

Best Matchup (opponents with best combined chances of making the playoffs according to the Baseball Prospectus Postseason Odds Report): Atlanta Braves @ Boston Red Sox

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

Dan puts aside research for a week and observes positional battles, comeback attempts, and NRI success stories in Arizona.

"People who write about spring training not being necessary have never tried to throw a baseball."
-- Sandy Koufax


Read the full article...

This is a BP Premium article. To read it, sign up for Premium today!

February 15, 2007 12:00 am

Schrodinger's Bat: Age Before Beauty

0

Dan Fox

Dan shows that young, fresh faces aren't necessarily what makes for the best ballclubs.

-Oliver Wendell Holmes

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

This is a BP Premium article. To read it, sign up for Premium today!

October 16, 2006 12:00 am

Future Shock: Monday Morning Ten-Pack

0

Kevin Goldstein

Kevin checks out the newsmakers in the winter leagues.

\nMathematically, leverage is based on the win expectancy work done by Keith Woolner in BP 2005, and is defined as the change in the probability of winning the game from scoring (or allowing) one additional run in the current game situation divided by the change in probability from scoring\n(or allowing) one run at the start of the game.'; xxxpxxxxx1160988517_18 = 'Adjusted Pitcher Wins. Thorn and Palmers method for calculating a starters value in wins. Included for comparison with SNVA. APW values here calculated using runs instead of earned runs.'; xxxpxxxxx1160988517_19 = 'Support Neutral Lineup-adjusted Value Added (SNVA adjusted for the MLVr of batters faced) per game pitched.'; xxxpxxxxx1160988517_20 = 'The number of double play opportunities (defined as less than two outs with runner(s) on first, first and second, or first second and third).'; xxxpxxxxx1160988517_21 = 'The percentage of double play opportunities turned into actual double plays by a pitcher or hitter.'; xxxpxxxxx1160988517_22 = 'Winning percentage. For teams, Win% is determined by dividing wins by games played. For pitchers, Win% is determined by dividing wins by total decisions. '; xxxpxxxxx1160988517_23 = 'Expected winning percentage for the pitcher, based on how often\na pitcher with the same innings pitched and runs allowed in each individual\ngame earned a win or loss historically in the modern era (1972-present).'; xxxpxxxxx1160988517_24 = 'Attrition Rate is the percent chance that a hitters plate appearances or a pitchers opposing batters faced will decrease by at least 50% relative to his Baseline playing time forecast. Although it is generally a good indicator of the risk of injury, Attrition Rate will also capture seasons in which his playing time decreases due to poor performance or managerial decisions. '; xxxpxxxxx1160988517_25 = 'Batting average (hitters) or batting average allowed (pitchers).'; xxxpxxxxx1160988517_26 = 'Average number of pitches per start.'; xxxpxxxxx1160988517_27 = 'Average Pitcher Abuse Points per game started.'; xxxpxxxxx1160988517_28 = 'Singles or singles allowed.'; xxxpxxxxx1160988517_29 = 'Batting average; hits divided by at-bats.'; xxxpxxxxx1160988517_30 = 'Percentage of pitches thrown for balls.'; xxxpxxxxx1160988517_31 = 'The Baseline forecast, although it does not appear here, is a crucial intermediate step in creating a players forecast. The Baseline developed based on the players previous three seasons of performance. Both major league and (translated) minor league performances are considered.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

<< Previous Tag Entries Next Tag Entries >>