Jason Parks and CJ Wittman debate the merits of two top shortstop prospects.
Rather than re-printing the BP Prospect Team Midseason Top 50 debates—much of which involves discussion of multiple players at the same time—we thought it would be interesting to call out some of the more interesting pairings among players in consideration for the #BPTop50 and allow an advocate for each to make his case for why that player should be ranked ahead of the other.
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Due to reader response, the annotated list continues with 21st through 31st best seasons of all time, featuring Mike Piazza, Ernie Banks, and more third basemen of the 1970s.
Our collection of BP-flavored single-season WARP scores currently goes back to 1950. Now that we’ve added fielding runs to the sortable choices, you can easily see the combination of offense and defense that made the top players during this period so valuable, and in some cases dragged them down from even higher perches.
On Monday, I used the newly revised list to take a look at the top 20 seasons of the last 60 years. Due to reader enthusiasm and the fact that I find this kind of thing to be tremendous fun, I’ve expanded the scope to include the top 50, continuing today with the player-seasons that rank 21 through 31.
21. Frank Robinson, OF, 1966: 11.0
Robinson, newly arrived with the Baltimore Orioles after the Reds called him “an old 30,” won the triple crown, joining Mickey Mantle ’56 and Carl Yastrzemski ’67 in the top 50. He picked up a unanimous MVP award, Given how much grief the voters have deservedly taken over the years, it’s reassuring to see how many of these great seasons have won. Of the top 11, the voters rewarded all but three, and one of those was Sammy Sosa's ’01, who the voters passed over in favor of Barry Bonds' ’01, which was even better. Here are the other occasions to this point in the rankings where the voters failed to reward one of the 20 best seasons in history:
Stolen bases are becoming easier to get from more well-rounded players.
Stolen bases are the most contentious statistic on the offensive side of things in fantasy baseball. Some owners will do crazy things for steals, like drafting players that hurt them in every other statistic. Unlike, say, a player who has a low batting average but hits home runs, there's no carryover effect that increases RBI or R (or OPS in some leagues)—just the stolen base, and maybe some runs, though that isn't guaranteed, either.
A look back and a look ahead to who could the top prosects in the senior circuit next year.
One of the most frequent questions I get, be it via e-mail, chats, or the comment sections in the articles, is which player on (insert team here) has the best shot at moving into the Top 101. That's a much different question from who is the best prospect not in the Top 101, as the focus need to move solely to growth potential. Building on last year's "Future Top Dogs" series, let's keep that category in this year's version, while also taking an honest look at last year's prognostications.
Looking ahead to who could top next year's prospects lists in the junior loop.
One of the most frequent questions I get, be it via e-mail, chats, or the comment sections in the articles, is which player on [insert team here] has the best shot at moving into the Top 101. That's a much different question from who is the best prospect not in the Top 101, as the focus needs to move solely to growth potential. Building on last year's "Future Top Dogs" series, let's keep that category in this year's version, while also taking an honest list at last year's prognostications.
Is this the year for Bert Blyleven or Jack Morris? And what of Lee Smith?
In a tradition as old as my Hall of Fame ballot analysis series itself predating even the JAWS acronym, we come to the pitchers on the BBWAA ballot for the Hall of Fame mere hours ahead of the announcement of the voting results. As with last year, it's a short list, featuring three holdovers and four newcomers. Among this group, Bert Blyleven remains the standout. Now in his 13th year on the ballot, he's polled above 60 percent in each of the past two years. While the work done by statheads here and elsewhere to boost his candidacy has gotten through to the voters, he's running out of time.
It may seem as though everyone involved in the Aces-for-Prospects swaps came out ahead, but it simply isn't so.
The Blue Jays, Phillies, Mariners, and Athletics put together a blockbuster trade that has rarely been seen in baseball history: nine players will belong to new organizations next year, including two former Cy Young winners very much in their prime.
Stocking an effective bullpen is even harder than it appears.
The next time you're sitting on your sofa contemplating the parade of busted moves by the assembled general managers of your favorite franchise-say, the Mets-and are tempted to proclaim that you could do a better job than that clown in the executive suite, think twice. Anyone can make the easy calls and buy or trade at the top of the market, fishing for the Pujols and Sabathias when they're available. The aspect of the job that earns GMs their end-of-day bourbon and Maalox cocktail is putting together a bullpen. Even the abstemious Branch Rickey might have been driven to drink by relievers had he been forced to give them more than cursory attention; they're just too unpredictable for comfort.
There may be strategic wisdom in drafting speed, as long as you keep it in context.
The stolen base is one of the most hotly contested statistics in fantasy baseball. Some owners swear by it, and will draft early and aggressively to stockpile enough of them, while other owners are willing to treat it as if it doesn't exist in their quest to bulk up elsewhere on offense. While these opposing viewpoints as far as fantasy value have not changed much over the years, the game itself has, with the steal being less of an emphasis league-wide than it used to be. Today I want to take a closer look at stolen bases, to see what trends have arisen in the past 11 years, and what we can glean from that information for fantasy purposes.
It's that time of year when we announce the winners of the 17th annual Internet Baseball Awards. More than 1,600 baseball fans from cyberspace participated in this effort to honor those players and managers whose performances in 2008 were most deserving. Today we'll announce the winners of the National League voting.