Two epic plate appearances with a dramatic disparity in styles.
Normally this series is on the blog side of the site, but since this is an extra-long edition, I’ve made it an article. If you’re new to “Longest Plate Appearance of the Week” because you don’t read the blog section regularly, A) read the blog section regularly! and B) catch up on the first edition here and the second edition here. I’ve added a few new elements this week: the length of the plate appearance, the number of mound visits involved, and a GIF of an exhausted player who’s wishing the plate appearance would end.
Bonus long plate appearance trivia: I don’t know why I didn’t think to look it up before, but if we’re going to talk about long plate appearances every week, we should know what the gold standard in long plate appearances is. The pitch-by-pitch data in our database goes back to 1988, and in that time, the longest plate appearance was a 20-pitch battle between Bartolo Colon and Ricky Gutierrez on June 26, 1998. Gutierrez struck out swinging. So, 20 pitches: that’s the goal. The average plate appearance in 1998 was 0.15 pitches shorter than today’s, so we have a head start.
The Baseball Prospectus 2013 Top 101 Prospects, by Position, by Organization, and by Age
Yesterday, Jason Parks and the Baseball Prospectus prospect crew released our Top 101 Prospects of 2013, also newly available in printed form in the now-shipping Baseball Prospectus 2013 annual. The festivities were wild and raucous for all, perhaps tempered slightly for fans of the Chicago White Sox. Here is the Top 101 list displayed by position, by organization, and by prospect age. Enjoy!
When we talk about "impact" rookies, it's important to note that several rookies will be getting the call to the majors and failing to help their team in any way, shape, or form. Coming up with a few big hits or making a couple of quality starts, however, could make a big difference at the end of a 162-game season. Here are some NL Central rookies who I think can make an impact on their team's success in 2013. Click HERE for my NL East picks and HERE for the AL East..
Ten NL Prospects Who Could Start the Season in the major leagues.
Yesterday,I listed ten American League prospects that will be competing for a big league job in Spring Training and have a legitimate chance to start the season in the majors. Here's a look at ten National League prospects.
If the Cardinals' high-risk rotation needs help in 2013, can they rely on a pair of pitching prospects to plug the holes?
The St. Louis Cardinals have enjoyed a sustained run of success, making the playoffs for the third time in four years in 2012 despite a clubhouse that was missing a couple of Busch Stadium staples. The most glaring omission from the roster was the greatest Cardinal legend since Stan Musial, as Albert Pujols chose to pursue the bigger payday offered by the Angels, leaving the team whose offense he had carried on his shoulders for a decade. Manager Tony La Russa opted to end his career on a high note, retiring from the game following the Cardinals' World Series victory in 2011, and TLR took wingman Dave Duncan along with him to further deplete the coaching staff.
Replacing La Russa was former Cardinals catcher Mike Matheny, who shepherded the team past plenty of obstacles throughout the season. Chris Carpenter missed nearly the entire season due to injury, fellow ace Adam Wainwright was inconsistent in his first year pitching after his Tommy John surgery, and southpaw Jaime Garcia dealt with shoulder woes that earned him a summer vacation on the disabled list. Lance Lynn emerged from relative obscurity to spearhead the staff in the first half, but when the dust settled, the best pitcher on the club was Kyle Lohse, the 12-year veteran who entered the season with 4.64 career ERA and is now a free agent.
Of the notable prospects who didn't start the year in the majors, who got jumped ahead and who got left behind?
With Opening Day upon us, roster decisions have been made, and while most players continue to take the standard route up the minor league ladder, there are plenty of prospects either making a double jump, or being left behind to repeat a level. Last week's player of the year watch had three teenagers-- Rangers shortstop Jurickson Profar, Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras and Seattle righty Taijuan Walker--who are all beginning the year in Double-A; here are ten more players beginning the year somewhere other than where many expected.