Doug wraps up his mechanical analysis of the Futures Game rosters with a look at the World Team.
The international stars of the World Team lacked the draft-day pedigrees and household names of their U.S. counterparts, but the group was anything but lacking in terms of stuff, including multiple arms that reached for triple digits. The final result may have been a blowout, but the box score is hardly reflective of the collective talent on the World Team, and much of the damage was concentrated in the middle innings.
Yordano Ventura (Royals-A)
Ventura was the World Team's answer to U.S. starter Jake Odorizzi, as the hometown Royals watched their own farmhands go to battle in the first inning of the Futures Game. Ventura was the more impressive of the two right-handers from the standpoint of stuff as well as mechanics, with high-90s heat that touched triple digits and was supported by a well-tuned delivery. The 21-year-old attacked hitters with plus momentum and a long stride that was directed straight at the plate, contributing to legit release distance despite his sub-six-foot frame. The early momentum was a plus, and in what was a theme for the World Team pitchers, Ventura exhibited a smooth transition into second gear after maximum leg lift.
Roundtable discussion of the pressing questions facing the NL East teams as we approach the start of the season
1) After a disappointing sophomore campaign, what can we expect of Jason Heyward going forward?
MJ: Jason Heyward had an injury-riddled sophomore season in Atlanta, but there is a lot to like about his chances at a rebound campaign in 2012. His offensive line was deflated by a .260 BABIP, but his peripherals were once again stellar. His 11.6 percent walk rate represented a regression from 2010 but cannot be considered poor, and his .162 ISO likewise dropped from the previous year but did not experience a precipitous fall.
Team all-stars by WARP string-where would the pennants stop? Plus, some of the best and worst songs of 1987.
Jorge Posada and the Third-String Yankees
I was asked on the radio last week where Jorge Posada ranked as a Hall of Fame candidate. I responded that he was the third-best catcher in Yankees history in career value, which proved to be a good, not-quite-off-the-top-of-of-my head guess (when someone asks you to rank the presidents, you can play it lose as long as you start with George Washington and not Warren Harding, but when it comes to ballplayers you have to know your Berra-Dickey do-re-mi). I became curious as to just how good the third-best team in a team’s history might be. Part of the fun of following baseball is making lists, and this seemed to be a good excuse to make one.
If we ranked each position by career WARP, how far down would we have to go before we reached a team that wouldn’t win the pennant every year? Would Jorge still get his share of rings?
As three series head to Game Fives, we dig up an investigation of the five-game format's fairness.
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 we prepare for the three remaining Division Series to be decided, revisit Mike Carminati's case for switching to a longer series format, which originally ran on November 2, 2006.
When is a World Series start worth as much as a Hall of Famer's whole career?
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.
The son of the fiery manager discusses his father's multiple tenures with the Yankees, his Hall of Fame credentials, and his impact on the game.
Love him or hate him, the late Billy Martin was one of the most successful managers in big-league history. He was also no paragon of virtue, which makes him a controversial figure when it comes to his Hall of Fame worthiness. That decision now rests with the veterans’ committee, which thus far has not deemed him worthy of the honor.
Taking a look at the Hall of Fame candidacies of the Yankees' odd couple, Billy Martin and George Steinbrenner.
The pairing is straight out of the classic Miller Light TV commercial, the most famous Odd Couple of their era in baseball, a poor street tough from a broken home and a child of privilege and wealth, united by their volatility and their indomitable will to win but unable to coexist in each other's company long enough to share the fruits of victory more than once. Billy Martin and George Steinbrenner share space on the new Expansion Era Hall of Fame ballot to be voted upon at the upcoming Winter Meetings, and it's no stretch to suggest that both men, now deceased, could join the ranks of the Cooperstown immortals together.
The Blue Jays' broadcaster discusses baseball in Toronto since 1985 and his former broadcast partner.
In Part II, veteran Blue Jays broadcaster Jerry Howarth talks with Baseball Prospectus' David Laurila about the last quarter-century of baseball in Toronto and Tom Cheek, his late partner in the booth, among other topics. You may view Part I of the interview here.
With the Fall Classic now upon us, the staff at Baseball Prospectus shares their most memorable World Series moments.
Every baseball fan has a special World Series memory, whether it's Willie Mays' catch, Bill Mazeroski's home run, Brooks Robinson's defense, Kirk Gibson's limp around the bases, or Derek Jeter becoming the first-ever Mr. November. With the World Series opening tonight at AT&T Park in San Francisco with the Giants facing the Texas Rangers, many of our writers, editors, and interns share their favorite memories of the Fall Classic.
The author and museum curator discusses the history of the Giants and his thoughts on the 2010 team.
Richard A. Johnson knows baseball history, and as a lifelong fan of the team that calls AT&T Park home, he certainly knows San Francisco Giants history. The longtime curator of the Sports Museum in Boston, Johnson is the author or co-author of numerous books.