This monthly award is named in honor of Ryan Vogelsong who, in 2011:
- 1. Had a 2.71 ERA, fourth in the National League, and a 3.63 FIP
- 2. Tied for the 12th most wins in the league and the seventh best winning percentage
- 3. Was an All-Star (didn’t appear) and tied for 11th in the Cy Young (one fifth-place vote)
- 4. Did not appear in the Baseball Prospectus Annual
For more detail on the award, click here.
The Vogelsong Award goes to the best player and pitcher who were given little or no attention in the Annual. There are two types of Vogelsong Awards. Full Vogelsongs are awarded to players who aren’t mentioned in the Annual at all. Lineout Vogelsongs go to players whose Annual entry is limited to a short Lineout description given to less prominent players. Prior winners (see list below) and foreign players who signed after the Annual’s deadline (sorry, Kenta Maeda) are ineligible for the award.
Enough suspense. Here are the winners.
The A’s are not very good, and their chances of making the postseason are nope. They’ll now get a chance to take a look at some of the talent in the organization without the worry of October, and one of those talents is first baseman Ryon Healy.
Healy was penciled into the starting lineup at third base that day and has taken off only one game since. In August, he hit .303/.337/.505 with four homers. He hardly ever walks, taking a free pass in just 5 percent of his plate appearances, but he doesn’t strike out too much (22 percent) either. He’s slow and his offensive numbers were inflated by a .361 BABIP but he’s one of the few players who didn’t appear in the Annual who saw regular playing time in August. (Rickie Weeks, whose streak of 12 straight years appearing in the Annual ended this spring, was another contender, batting .255/.352/.596, but he started only 10 games during the month.) Healy was drafted in the third round in 2013 and batted .285/.318/.428 in High-A Stockton in 2014 and .302/.339/.426 at Double-A Midland in 2015. He forced the issue this year by batting .326/.382/.558 in 85 games at Double- and Triple-A.
AUGUST FULL VOGELSONG PITCHER OF THE MONTH: Matt Strahm, Kansas City. Here are your Matt Strahm Fun Facts:
· He is the first player from West Fargo High School to make the majors.
· He is the first player from the 21st round of the 2012 draft to make the majors.
· He is not the first player from Neosho Community College in Chanute, Kansas to make the majors. That would be Paul Lindblad, a relief pitcher who had a 14-year career from the mid-60s to the mid-70s. Both Strahm and Lindblad broke into the majors with Kansas City, though in Lindblad’s case, it was the A’s.
· He pitched 30 1/3 innings in rookie ball in 2012, none in 2013, and 19 1/3 in 2014. Yep, you guessed it, Tommy John surgery.
· He pitched well in A and High-A ball in 2015, compiling a 2.59 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 121 strikeouts and 31 walks in 94 innings. But he was also older than the average player at each level, hence his exclusion from the Annual.
· His first appearance with the Royals was on July 31. He faced three batters, striking out one looking, and allowing a single, a walk, and an earned run. Since then, in 15 1/3 innings, he’s allowed five singles, no extra base hits, no runs, three unintentional walks, and struck out 20. Batters hit .104/.170/.104 against him in August.
· Among the 310 pitchers with at least ten innings pitched in August, he was 11th in strikeout rate (38 percent), seventh in leverage index when entering games (2.04), sixth in FIP (1.32), sixth in WHIP (0.59) and tied for first in ERA (0.00) and home run rate (0 percent).
Actual Editor/Writer discussion about Strahm a week before the book went to print:
Writer: "Royals added Matthew Strahm, Ramon Torres and Brett Eibner to the 40-man. Let me know if you need comments for any or all of them (Eibner particularly seems like a guy who might spend some time in Kansas City this year).
Editor: "I could do with a Lineout on Eibner – former second-round pick and all. The other two I'm fine without."
AUGUST LINEOUT VOGELSONG PLAYER OF THE MONTH: Scott Schebler, CIncinnati. Here are three things you probably didn’t know about the Cincinnati Reds. First, they were a not-terrible 13-15 in August. Second, they had a team OPS of .764, fifth best in the league, during the month. Third, Schebler’s .795 OPS helped pull that average up and he led the team in home runs with six. He batted .258/.321/.474 in the month compared to a non-pitcher league average of .265/.335/.438. He came to the Reds as part of the Todd Frazier deal in December and took over right field after Jay Bruce was traded away. His somewhat brutal lineout was, “If you've ever watched Kole Calhoun and thought, ‘God, I wish this player were 25 percent worse at everything,’ you’d love Scott Schebler, who found Oklahoma City and Los Angeles much more daunting than Chattanooga.” Fair enough, but the 24-year-old hit .311/.370/.564 in 75 games at Louisville this year to earn his callup. And he not only easily outhit Bruce (.182/.262/.290) during the month, his August OPS+ (110) was exactly 25 points higher than Calhoun’s (85). Moral victory!
Actual Editor discussion about cutting Schebler entirely:
Editor 1: Schebler's borderline, assuming that .400 drops to something starting with a 2 or 3 by the end of September; really bad in OKC, though good enough in A+ and AA the previous two years that he'd fit if we want him. Could absolutely cut 28-yo rookie Ian Thomas, who sucks
Editor 2 (to author): If Scott Schebler's still slugging .600 when the season's over, he can get a lineout — if his line is more boring/normal, we don't need him. [His line was boring/normal when the season was over, but he snuck in anyway.]
AUGUST LINEOUT VOGELSONG PITCHER OF THE MONTH: Chris Devenski, Houston. Devenski is a rarity in contemporary baseball: A long reliever. He started one game and relieved nine in August, averaging over two innings per relief outing. In 24 1/3 innings, he struck out 26 and walked only three. During the month, he had a 1.85 ERA (40th lowest in the majors among 301 pitchers with at least 10 innings pitched), 1.91 FIP (18th) and 0.66 WHIP (7th). The Astros didn’t hesitate to use him in high-pressure situations, as he entered games with an average leverage index of 1.49, tying him with Aroldis Chapman for the 31st highest in August. His 2016 lineout read, “Hailed by his friends as ‘Devo,’ his teammates as ‘The Dragon,’ and his foes as ‘the pitcher,’ Chris Devenski capped a successful 2015 season by getting called up to Triple-A and winning the league's championship game in his only start. That might be his zenith, but there are worse.” Whether the August Lineout Vogelsong Pitcher of the Month award meets the definition of zenith is left to the reader. (Note: Our judges were unsure whether his Twitter handle of @ddddeevvvoooo should count for or against him.)
Congratulations to our winners! They can preorder next year’s Annual, in which they are virtually certain to be mentioned, after the season ends.
- April Full Vogelsong Player: Jeremy Hazelbaker, St. Louis
- April Full Vogelsong Pitcher: Dan Straily, Cincinnati
- April Lineout Vogelsong Player: Aledmys Diaz, St. Louis
- April Lineout Vogelsong Pitcher: Tyler Chatwood, Colorado
- May Full Vogelsong Player: Bobby Wilson, Texas
- May Full Vogelsong Pitcher: Joseph Biagini, Toronto
- May Lineout Vogelsong Player: Jonathan Villar, Milwaukee
- May Lineout Vogelsong Pitcher: Michael Feliz, Houston
- June Full Vogelsong Player: Whit Merrifield, Kansas City
- June Full Vogelsong Pitcher: Buddy Boshers, Minnesota
- June Lineout Vogelsong Player: Sandy Leon, Boston
- June Lineout Vogelsong Pitcher: Bud Norris, Atlanta
- July Full Vogelsong Player: Jett Bandy, LA Angels
- July Full Vogelsong Pitcher: Brandon Kintzler, Minnesota
- July Lineout Vogelsong Player: Ryan Schimpf, San Diego
- July Lineout Vogelsong Pitcher: Junior Guerra, Milwaukee