Major League Baseball lost two family members this weekend, as both Andy Marte and Yordano Ventura died in separate car accidents in the Dominican Republic. They were about as far away from each other as players as two individuals can get while remaining in the public consciousness.
Today's undercard pits everyone's favorite Cy Young candidate mop up reliever against everyone's second favorite diminutive starter.
Behind six shutout innings from Edinson Volquez, the Royals quieted the powerful Blue Jays lineup and took the ALCS opener by a 5-0 final. Toronto will try to salvage a split in Kansas City before heading home for the next three games.
Despite a slight build, Ventura held up as his rookie season went along making 30 starts and totaling 183 innings pitched with a 3.20 ERA. He also made four starts in the playoffs. Going forward, how Ventura’s body stands up to throwing 200 innings is a concern, especially when considering he mostly gets by on his flame-throwing as his average fastball velocity was 96 mph this year. Despite his elite fastball velocity, he doesn’t miss bats at an elite rate—his 20.3 percent strikeout rate ranked 37th among all qualified starters this year. Ventura totaled 159 strikeouts this year, the same amount as Justin Verlander. Ideally, Ventura will miss more bats as he matures as a pitcher and improves his secondary offerings. His raw stuff might be too good for it not to happen eventually, but when gauging how to value him for next season it would be extremely unwise to assume improvement without cause.
Doug looks for signs of mechanical progress by Yordano Ventura, Trevor Bauer, Chris Archer, and Erasmo Ramirez.
This is my third year writing Raising Aces for Baseball Prospectus, and one of the perks is the dynamic nature of the series (aided by the leniency of our editors). I’m always searching for better ways to communicate ideas about pitching or to broaden the discussion, and transparency has been an integral part of the process.
As the offseason winds down, Bret shares some of his late-draft sleepers for various league sizes and formats.
With spring training reaching peak twilight and the biggest drafting weekend of the year approaching, it’s time for my final marker post column of the preseason.
We’ve been doing rankings and analysis here for the last three months and hopefully they’ve been helpful to you as you sort through all of the information that lead to your most important draft decisions. And to top it off, as we get to the endgame of draft season, it seems only natural to focus on the endgame of drafts. It’s the most interesting, and often most important segment of your draft. Sure, if you miss on your first round pick or get $5 in value from your $25 player, you’re in a hole that can be very difficult to climb out of. As I’ve said many times, closing out your draft strong is a must if you want to win your league.
Bryce Harper and Giancarlo Stanton give Mauricio's ideal Roto squad big-time power potential if they stay healthy.
On Friday, Mike Gianella released his latest mixed league Bid Limits, which spurred an idea from Bret Sayre called Model Portfolios, wherein the fantasy staff (and anyone else on the BP roster who wants to participate) will create their own team within the confines of a standard 23-man, $260 budget. The roster being constructed includes: C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, CI, MI, OFx5, UTx2, and Px9 along with the following standards issued by Sayre:
Notes on the prospects who stood out on the final weekend of Cactus and Grapefruit League play.
This is it, don’t get scared now.
It’s the final weekend before the regular season. Sure, the Diamondbacks and Dodgers took their adventure down under, but we all know the real regular season starts this Sunday and that the real Opening Day is one week from today. There may not be too many prospects left in camps, but the ones that are left are there for a reason.
Notes on prospects who stood out in Cactus and Grapefruit League play, where they're competing for or securing big-league jobs.
We’re at the point in spring training when most of the prospects left in camp are either in a legitimate battle for a roster spot or are close enough to the majors that the team wants to see what it has. That, coupled with rain throughout parts of Florida on Monday, didn’t leave us with as much prospect action as usual, but most of the guys who had big days will be major leaguers at some point in 2014.
The Tigers and Stephen Drew could help each other out, and the Royals come close to picking a fifth starter.
Could the Tigers and Stephen Drew rescue each other? News surfaced over the past couple of days that Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias could spend most of the 2014 season on the shelf with long-term injuries to both of his shins. Detroit’s only internal replacement is Hernan Perez, who turns 23 on March 26 and did little at the plate in a 71-plate-appearance sample last year.