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2016 MLB thread. Baseball is upon us! Royals are the champs - Page 401

post #12001 of 73561
Man those flop prospects mean.gif one of them was cause of drugs, I would kill to get the chance they got and would never blow it on drugs
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post #12002 of 73561

post #12003 of 73561
Double post
post #12004 of 73561
dont know if it was posted but otis nixon got arrested for crack possession mean.gif

he looks exactly the same from his playing days ...
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post #12005 of 73561
Crack fossilized his face.
A T H L E T I C S | U C L A | L A K E R S | R A I D E R S

A T H L E T I C S | U C L A | L A K E R S | R A I D E R S

post #12006 of 73561
Originally Posted by Jewbacca View Post

Originally Posted by abovelegit1 View Post

He's 26, with a strong frame, easy arm action, and is averaging less than a hundred pitches per start - less than Matt Moore for example. I don't think much of Ron Washington, but that's a non-issue. People get too caught up in pitch counts.

I've posted in here before saying I hate pitch count too. However, there are some instances where you just need accept that a pitcher has had a great outing and give them a hook regardless of pitch count.

For example, last year, I can't count the number of times where Leyland would leave Verlander in an inning too long and he would get in a stressful jam deep in games. Obviously Verlander being Verlander and the Tigers weak bullpen plays into that, but eventually those extra innings and pitches are gonna add up and take their toll. It's a long season.

Sometimes it's better to pull a starter giving them additional rest, than pushing them to their limits every start. That's why I picked Kershaw over Verlander in fantasy drafts this year, and I just don't like the way Washington is handling Darvish, regardless of pitch counts.

word......maybe I should have typed all that to prevent the butt hurt in here but nahhhhh it provided laugh.gif

post #12007 of 73561
A pitch count has never made sense to me. The only thing that I can think of to rationalize why it's even thing is that around the 100 pitch mark is around the time when that pitcher is going through the lineup for the 4th time, which the familiarity would set in making it easier for the batters to recognize the pitches.

I don't have anything to substantiate that, except that in my opinion, you don't pull a pitcher simply because he's around that 100 pitch mark, but for other, more distinct reasons relative to the actual game. I have a hard time thinking MLB coaches seriously dictate pitching decisions based on that pitch count, but it looks like they definitely do.
post #12008 of 73561
How many pitchers get better/stronger the higher the pitch count?

I can only think of one, JV.
post #12009 of 73561
Darvish really does, too.. The velocity doesn't ramp up like Verlander but the pitch variety amps up in a hurry and he gets pretty filthy...

His arm is conditioned to this type of thing. He wants it. He's your ace, he was ROLLING last night after the first all the way up until he made a mistake in the 8th. The showed no signs of slowing down. Ride him. On the back of a double header where Perez went 5 and a third? Yeah, 115 ain't that much, especially when he had an extra day of rest.
post #12010 of 73561
I was thinking Yu. And in fact a few aces are like that. Verlander is rare, but a lot of these guys, while they don't necessarily show the degree of improvement that Verlander does, start out real good, find a groove and remain unhittable.

I used to hate on Gardy when Johan would go a real strong 8 innings only to be pulled before the 9th for the only reason as to a pitch count. Most of the time Nathan shut it down, but there were a few times when his gem was ruined. Why take that chance when you got someone dominating like that? And not all closers compare to Joe Nathan.
post #12011 of 73561
Best pitcher in baseball for years to come. The repertoire is sucio.
post #12012 of 73561
I mean, really, anyone watching that game last night would've had no problem with Ron riding Yu and keeping him out there...

The guy was just filthy. He had given up 2 runs, struck out 14 and walked nobody through 7.2... And we're upst about 10 or so extra pitches?
post #12013 of 73561
Thread Starter 
How is Ike Davis still in the majors?
post #12014 of 73561
What people dont understand about pitch counts is that its not JUST about total number of pitches thrown. Its about how many of them are thrown in stressful situations and how many are thrown in low stress situations. For instance, if a pitcher is dominating, and striking out a ton of batters, his pitch count will be high even if he doesnt allow many runners. On the flipside, if a pitcher is allowing a ton of runners and constantly having to pitch out of jams, he will exert much more energy than if he was cruising...even if the total number of pitches thrown are similar.

Another thing that people dont think about is pitches per inning. Hypothetically, lets say a pitcher has thrown 40 pitches through 4 innings. Then throws 30 pitches in the 5th and 30 pitches in the 6th. Chances are that this pitcher will be dog tired after 100 pitches. More so than a pitcher who threw, say, 20 pitches in the 1st and 16 pitches an inning from innings 2 through 6.

Just some stuff to think about.....
post #12015 of 73561
Yu is taking my favorite pitcher role from Beckett.

Once he narrowed down the pitch selection to his most effective options, fireworks.
post #12016 of 73561
Aaron Hill's hand is on D. Rose recovery speed.
post #12017 of 73561
Orioles fans were riding on their high horse after they beat us Monday, nice to see all of them head out of Nats Park after the 5th inning tonight pimp.gif

Adam LaRoche in the month of May: .341/.422/.564, 7 HR, 19 RBI, and 14 BB

View from my seats tonight:
post #12018 of 73561
Really surprised to see The Sandman with a blown save nerd.gif doesn't happen that often laugh.gif
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post #12019 of 73561
Originally Posted by HighRiser07 View Post

Really surprised to see The Sandman with a blown save nerd.gif doesn't happen that often laugh.gif

First time in his career that he blew a save WITHOUT recording at least 1 out eek.gif .
New York Yankees | New York Jets
New York Yankees | New York Jets
post #12020 of 73561
I didn't really have a problem with Washington throwing Darvish out there for the 8th. He was cruising, but the end result wasn't good. I'm more worried about the issue of him being pushed to the limit every start. Some rest here and there will be beneficial later in the season and playoffs. After Darvish threw 131 (or whatever the exact number was) a couple weeks ago, management had a sit down with Washington about the handling of Darvish.

On another note, I feel this whole recent movement has been gaining steam in the past year or so about pitchers facing lineups 3/4 times is becoming the new pitch count. The numbers do back it up, but I think it has more to do with pitchers being fatigued than actually seeing them an additional time or two.

I also wouldn't say Verlander necessarily gets stronger as the game goes on. His career took the next step forward when he toned down his velocity to start games. He is much more effective spotting at 93-95 than chunking in the upper 90's. He still has that additional velocity early in games and will dial it up when needed. However, late in games he'll basically just empty the tank.
post #12021 of 73561
Thread Starter 
Getting Ready For the Amateur Draft, Part 1.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Major League Baseball will kick off its amateur draft on Thursday, June 6. MLB Network and will cover the draft live starting at 7:00 p.m. EDT. The pick-by-pick coverage will include the First Round, Competitive Balance Round A, Second Round, and Competitive Balance Round B — 73 picks in total. The remainder of the draft will take place on June 7 and 8.

We will get you ready for the amateur draft — also known as the Rule-4 draft — with two posts. Today in Part 1, we’ll provide a refresher on the new rules put in place in the most recent MLB-MLBPA collective bargaining agreement. We’ll then show how those rules were applied in coming up with this year’s draft selection order.

In Part 2, we’ll explain the bonus slots for each selection, the total bonus pools for each team, and look back at bit at how spending has changed in the last five years.

The Basics

The Rule-4 draft applies to players from the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and any other U.S. territory. To be eligible for the draft, players from these countries and territories must have either completed high school but not yet attended college; attended at least three years of college or be at least 21 years old; or attended junior or community college for any length of time. Players from any other countries must register with MLB, but are not subject to a draft. That may change soon, as MLB tries to institute an international draft.

The New Rules

The new CBA did away with Elias Sports Bureau’s ranking of free agents as either Type-A and Type-B players. Under the old rules, a team that signed a Type A player gave its first round and supplemental round draft picks to the club that the player left. A team that signed a Type B free agent didn’t lose any picks, but the team that lost that player received a supplemental pick. Type A free agents were in the top 20% for their position; Type B free agents were in the 21-40% range of the position. Elias’ ranking methodology was not made public. There were special rules in place during the 2012 draft to bridge from the Type A/Type B free-agent compensation rules from the old CBA to the new compensation system under the new one.

The new CBA replaced Type-A and Type-B rankings with “qualifying offers.” Instead of Elias determining a free agent’s value, the team he’s leaving makes that decision when it either does or doesn’t a qualifying offer to a player who is eligible for free agency. A value of a qualifying offer is the average salary of the top 125 players in the prior season. In the 2012-2013 off-season, a qualify offer was worth $13.3 million. Teams have until five days after the World Series to make a qualifying offer. Players must accept or reject the offer within seven days of receiving it.

A team that signs a free agent who rejected a qualifying offer loses its first round draft pick. The pick doesn’t go to the team that lost the free agent. Instead, the free agent’s former team receives a compensation pick at the end of the first round, with these choices coming in reverse order of the 2012 major league standings. Teams with the ten worst records the prior season do not lose their first-round picks (which are protected), bu they lose their second-round pick. The teams with protected first round picks for 2013 are the Astros, Cubs, Rockies, Twins, Indians, Marlins, Red Sox, Royals, Blue Jays. The Pirates’ ninth pick in the first round was also protected because their first round selection in the 2012 draft (Mark Appel) didn’t sign with the team.

Teams made qualifying offers to nine players at the end of the 2012 season: David Ortiz, Kyle Lohse, Michael Bourn, Josh Hamilton, Nick Swisher, B.J. Upton, Adam LaRoche, Hiroki Kuroda, and Rafael Soriano. None accepted the offers. Ortiz, LaRoche, and Kuroda signed with their former teams, which negated any effect of the qualifying offer. The following teams lost first round picks when they signed the remaining six: Brewers (Lohse), Angels (Hamilton), Braves (Upton), Nationals (Soriano), and Indians (Bourn, Swisher) (Indians lost a first and second round pick). The Cardinals (Lohse), Rangers (Hamilton), Rays (Upton), Braves (Bourn), and Yankees (Soriano, Swisher) received compensation picks at the end of the first round.

The new CBA also ushered in the era of competitive-balance draft picks. The ten smallest-market teams and the ten lowest-revenue teams were entered in a lottery held last July. Six winners of that lottery received competitive balance picks to be used after the completion of the first round. As’s Jonathan Mayo explained:

Those half-dozen picks will be made at the conclusion of the first round, following the compensation selections. Because there is obvious crossover between those two groups, there are 13 teams entered into the first-round lottery: the D-backs, Orioles, Indians, Royals, A’s, Pirates, Padres, Rays, Reds, Rockies, Marlins, Brewers and Cardinals. The odds of winning a Draft pick will be based on each team’s winning percentage in the previous season.

There will be a second group of six picks, to be made after the conclusion of the second round. The teams from the first group that did not get one of the early picks will be re-entered, along with any other Major League team that receives revenue sharing. This year, only one team — the Tigers — will be added to the second lottery.

The lottery winners were, in order:

Competitive Balance Round A

Competitive Balance Round B

Competitive-balance picks can be traded. First-round draft picks cannot.

The 2013 Draft Selection Order

To figure out the draft selection order, we start a list of all 30 teams in reverse-order of winning percentage in the prior season. We remove any first or second round picks that were forfeited by teams that signed free agents who received qualifying offers. We then add in the compensatory picks at the end of the first round. Finally, we wedge the competitive balance picks between first round and the second round, and between the second round and the third round, and make any adjustments for trades of competitive balance picks.

For the first three rounds of the 2013 draft, we get:

1st Round Competitive Balance Round A 2nd Round Competitive Balance Round B 3rd Round Supplemental Round
1. Astros 34. Royals 40. Astros 69. Padres 74. Astros 106. Athletics
2. Cubs 35. Marlins 41. Cubs 70. Rockies 75. Cubs
3. Rockies 36. D’Backs 42. Rockies 71. Athletics 76. Mets
4. Twins 37. Orioles 43. Twins 72. Brewers 77. Rockies
5. Indians 38. Reds 44. Marlins 73. Marlins 78. Twins
6. Marlins 39. Tigers 45. Red Sox 79. Indians
7. Red Sox 46. Royals 80. Marlins
8. Royals 47. Blue Jays 81. Red Sox
9. Pirates 48. Mets 82. Royals
10. Blue Jays 49. Mariners 83. Blue Jays
11. Mets 50. Padres 84. Mets
12. Mariners 51. Pirates 85. Mariners
13. Padres 52. D’Backs 86. Padres
14. Pirates 53. Phillies 87. Pirates
15. D’Backs 54. Brewers 88. D’Backs
16. Phillies 55. White Sox 89. Phillies
17. White Sox 56. Dodgers 90. Brewers
18. Dodgers 57. Cardinals 91. White Sox
19. Cardinals 58. Tigers 92. Dodgers
20. Tigers 59. Angels 93. Cardinals
21. Rays 60. Rays 94. Tigers
22. Orioles 61. Orioles 95. Angels
23. Rangers 62. Rangers 96. Phillies
24. Athletics 63. Athletics 97. Rays
25. Giants 64. Giants 98. Orioles
26. Yankees 65. Braves 99. Rangers
27. Reds 66. Yankees 100. Athletics
28. Cardinals 67. Reds 101. Giants
29. Rays 68. Nationals 102. Braves
30. Rangers 103. Yankees
31. Braves 104. Reds
32. Yankees 105. Nationals
33. Yankees

In Part 2, we’ll discuss the most controversial aspect of the new draft rules: the limits placed on how much each team can spend to sign each draft pick and how much each team can spend on all draft picks combined.

The Fringe Five: Baseball’s Most Compelling Fringe Prospects.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
The Fringe Five is a weekly exercise (introduced last month) wherein the author utilizes regressed stats, scouting reports, and also his own heart to identify and/or continue monitoring the most compelling fringe prospects in all of baseball.

Central to this exercise, of course, is a working definition of fringe. Currently, for the purposes of this column, it’s any prospect who was absent from all of three notable preseason top-100 prospect lists. (A slightly more robust meditation on the idea of fringe can be found here.)

Four players retain their place this week among the Five: Mets infield prospect Wilmer Flores; giant, tall Marlins left-hander Brian Flynn; other Mets prospect, right-hander Rafael Montero; and Cardinals Double-A outfielder Mike O’Neill.

Departing from the Five is Yankees right-hander Jose Ramirez, who did nothing in particular to lose his spot except fail to approximate the conspicuous capital-M Mystery provided by recently demoted San Diego prospect Burch Smith.

All those points having been made, here are this week’s Fringe Five.

Wilmer Flores, 2B/3B, New York NL (Profile)
The ongoing struggles of Mets major-league first baseman Ike Davis have led to questions about what Flores’ credentials might be at that same position. With regard to those concerns, it ought first to be noted that, despite his promising offensive approach, Flores is likely not even an average major-league hitter at the moment. It ought further to be noted both that (a) including Tuesday, Flores has played first base just twice this season but also that (b) he (i.e. Flores) is still probably reasonably capable there defensively.

Brian Flynn, LHP, Miami (Profile)
Following his entirely able start on Tuesday night against Rangers Triple-A affiliate Round Rock (box), the 6-foot-8 Flynn has now recorded a 44:12 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 42.1 innings since his promotion from Double-A.

“What sort of pitches does he throw?” a curious reader might ask — for the purpose of answering said question, the author has prepared the following video:

Rafael Montero, RHP, New York NL (Profile)
Since last week — his first among the Fringe Five proper — Montero has made two starts, one at Double- and one at Triple-A. Overall, he recorded a line entirely in keeping with his established levels this season. To wit: 12.2 IP, 13 K, 3 BB, 1 HR, 8 H, 2 R.

It appears as though the 22-year-old right-hander will remain at Double-A for the moment; however, there are certainly indications that he would succeed if given the benefit of a permanent promotion.

Mike O’Neill, COF, St. Louis (Profile)
O’Neill recorded more strikeouts (four) between May 21st and May 27th than he had for nearly the entire month preceding that interval. That’s worrisome insofar as O’Neill’s offensive approach is based almost entirely on making contact. Even with the uncharacteristic week, though, O’Neill had still posted walk and strikeout rates of 17.8% and 6.1%, respectively, as of Tuesday — this, in 197 plate appearances.

For those interested, published a profile of O’Neill by Todd Traub on Tuesday. While not revelatory in any way, the piece does remind readers that O’Neill signed for merely $1,000.

Burch Smith, RHP, San Diego (Profile)
In his three major-league starts since last appearing among The Five, Smith exhibited a promising fastball, an excellent changeup, and posted a 15.5% swinging-strike rate — nearly double the average for major-league starters. He also conceded 15 runs in just 7.1 innings, a figure which few teams will tolerate, regardless of other, more positive signs. Almost impossibly, Smith recorded nine swinging strikes on 37 pitches in the first inning of his last start, against St. Louis, and yet managed only a single strikeout. There are real indications that Smith’s sequencing is awry, or that his approach with two strikes is entirely too conservative.

In any case, Smith exhibited no difficulty in his return to the minors. Making his first Triple-A appearance (for Padres affiliate Tucson), Smith posted the following line on Tuesday night (box): 5.0 IP, 5 K, 0 BB, 0 HR, 6 H, 1 R.

The Next Five
These are players on whom the author might potentially become fixated.

Brad Miller, SS, Seattle (Triple-A Pacific League)
Jose Ramirez, RHP, New York AL (Double-A Eastern League)
Danny Salazar, RHP, Cleveland (Triple-A International League)
Marcus Semien, SS/2B, Chicago AL (Double-A Southern League)
Ronald Torreyes, 2B, Chicago NL (Double-A Southern League)

Fringe Five Scoreboard
Here are all the players to have appeared among either the Fringe Five (FF) or Next Five (NF) so far this season. For mostly arbitrary reasons, players are assessed three points for each week they’ve appeared among the Fringe Five; a single point, for each week among the Next Five.

Wilmer Flores Mets 2B 7 0 21
Mike O’Neill Cardinals OF 6 0 18
Marcus Semien White Sox SS 3 4 13
Brian Flynn Marlins LHP 3 2 11
Burch Smith Padres RHP 3 1 10
Corban Joseph Yankees 2B 3 1 10
Chase Anderson Diamondbacks RHP 2 2 8
Danny Salazar Indians RHP 2 2 8
Rafael Montero Mets RHP 2 1 7
Chad Bettis Rockies RHP 1 2 5
Joc Pederson Dodgers OF 1 2 5
Ronald Torreyes Cubs 2B 1 2 5
Jose Ramirez Yankees RHP 1 1 4
Max Muncy Athletics 1B 0 2 2
Nicholas Kingham Pirates RHP 0 2 2
Nolan Fontana Astros SS 0 2 2
Victor Payano Rangers LHP 0 2 2
Brad Miller Mariners SS 0 1 1
Chris Heston Giants RHP 0 1 1
Clayton Blackburn Giants RHP 0 1 1
Garin Cecchini Red Sox 3B 0 1 1
Greg Garcia Cardinals SS 0 1 1
Taylor Lindsey Angels 2B 0 1 1
Zach Walters Nationals SS 0 1 1
post #12022 of 73561
Thread Starter 
On Framing and Pitching in the Zone.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
One of the most interesting fields of study in baseball over the last few years has been that of pitch-framing, or pitch-receiving, or pitch-stealing, or whatever you want to call it. This is the stuff that’s made Jose Molina nerd-famous, and it’s drawing more attention with every passing month. Framing has been discussed on ESPN. It’s been discussed on MLB Network. It’s been the subject of countless player interviews, and what’s been revealed is that a great amount of thought and technique goes into how a catcher catches a pitch. Catchers don’t just catch the baseball. They catch the baseball with a purpose.

Research has uncovered a few outliers, like Molina and Jonathan Lucroy and, say, Jesus Montero and Ryan Doumit in the other direction. It’s interesting these guys can be given such different strike zones, since the strike zone is supposed to be consistent for everybody. And it’s interesting that, as much as people come up with run values in the dozens, it’s hard to identify the actual effect. For example, Rays pitchers this year have allowed a higher OPS throwing to Molina than when throwing to Jose Lobaton, the other guy. Last year, Molina again had the worst numbers. It reminds me too much of Catcher ERA for my tastes, but you’d think you’d see something. Instead, you see little. Where is the value going?

In this post, I’ll ask more than I answer, and this should be a jumping-off point for other, better researchers. It seems to me the effect of pitch-receiving is often overstated, and I’ve been searching for explanations why. I do have one theory, and before we get to that, another explanation of the same old familiar home-brewed stat. The stat is named Diff/1000, and it’s the difference between actual strikes and expected strikes per 1,000 called pitches, as derived from plate-discipline data available on FanGraphs. A positive Diff/1000 means a player or team got more strikes than expected. A negative Diff/1000 means the opposite. Whenever I calculate Diff/1000, now, I adjust it to set the league average at zero. The league average is always below zero, by a decent amount.

I went back and collected all team pitching data from between 2008 and 2013, and I calculated Diff/1000. Then I plotted Zone% against that stat, yielding the following graph:

As teams have been better at receiving — that is, as they’ve generated a greater rate of extra strikes — they’ve thrown a lower rate of pitches in the strike zone. The relationship is remarkably strong — given what we’re dealing with — and the bottom fifth in Diff/1000 have an average Zone% of 51.3%. The upper fifth in Diff/1000 have an average Zone% of 48.4%. Broken into quintiles of 36 teams:

•Quintile 1: 48.4% Zone%
•Quintile 2: 49.4%
•Quintile 3: 49.8%
•Quintile 4: 51.0%
•Quintile 5: 51.3%
I think there are three possibilities: The first is the most obvious. If a team knows it can get strikes off the edge, it’ll pitch to the edge more often. A pitcher will be more likely to miss the strike zone because the catcher might set up on the fringes, knowing he’s capable of turning some of those pitches into strikes. A strike on a pitch on the edge of the zone — or out of it — is a good strike, because those are difficult pitches to hit. Pitchers won’t stay in the zone if they don’t have to.

Another explanation goes in the reverse. Maybe pitchers have been getting extra calls because they’ve been pitching to spots out of the zone. Maybe instead of framing earning pitches, pitches have “earned” framing. But then, it’s been demonstrated that there are different receiving techniques, and some are better than others. So. The first two explanations are kind of related to one another.

And then there’s the possibility that this is just circular. Zone% is used in the calculation to derive Diff/1000, so maybe that’s just what I’m picking up. I am posting this knowing I might get exposed as an idiot, but at least then I could learn something from being called out. I noted before that I’m mostly asking instead of answering. I’d love to know if I’m screwing something up, because I’m interested in this though I’m not all that intellectually powerful.

Let’s move forward. Teams that have been better at receiving have thrown a lower rate of pitches in the zone. Therefore, even though they’re getting extra strikes on pitches off the edge, that should just be counter-balancing the overall strike rate. Let’s plot team strike rate against Diff/1000:

Here, we see almost no relationship. There’s a slight positive slope, but here are those same quintiles, from best to worst Diff/1000:

•Quintile 1: 63.3% Strike%
•Quintile 2: 63.0%
•Quintile 3: 62.7%
•Quintile 4: 63.0%
•Quintile 5: 62.8%
In terms of actually getting strikes, the best receiving teams have barely been better than the worst receiving teams. This is because the worst receiving teams have thrown more pitches in the zone than the best receiving teams. This seems like it could be where a lot of the value is going. Good receivers have generated good numbers of extra strikes, based on the pitches they’ve caught, but they’ve caught a lot of pitches out of the zone so the overall strike rate still looks fairly normal. Which could explain why we don’t observe that much of a boost.

Of course, a strike that’s called is better than a strike that isn’t called because a non-called strike could be a ball in play and balls in play can be bad. While there’s little difference in overall strike rate, there’s a greater difference in called strike rate and that’s why it would be better to be good at receiving than bad. But I’m still skeptical that we’re dealing with differences of dozens upon dozens of runs. It looks like a chunk of the added value is lost from throwing more pitches out of the zone, but I’m open to other ideas. This is not the last word on anything.

As a quick case study, Derek Lowe got a ton of extra strikes from 2008 to 2011, when Russell Martin and Brian McCann were his primary catchers. In 2012, those extra strikes went away, as Lowe joined the Indians. Between 2011 and 2012, Lowe’s Zone% increased from 37% to 47%. You can see some differences in the following heat maps, in which 2012 is on top and 2011 is below:

Lowe couldn’t pitch off the edge as much, which cost him out-of-zone strikes. But he just pitched in the zone more often, such that his overall strike rate barely changed. Of course, Lowe was also terrible in 2012, so this could be a case where Lowe perhaps depended on the quality receiving. Maybe, in this case, framing was a huge help. As a different case study, there’s Kyle Lohse, who’s joined this year’s Brewers, albeit after pitching to Yadier Molina. The Brewers lead baseball this year in Diff/1000, and Lohse’s Zone% is down from 51% to 49%. His strike rate is exactly the same. And so on and so forth.

I hope that others keep writing and keep researching, because this stuff is interesting. Good and bad pitch-receiving, unquestionably, makes a difference. I just badly want to know how much of a difference it makes. I’m unsatisfied that we have the real answer right now.

post #12023 of 73561
Thread Starter 
Didi Gregorius vs. Derek Jeter, Importantly.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Last offseason, the Diamondbacks participated in a three-way trade that brought them shortstop Didi Gregorius, and that cost them Trevor Bauer. Other pieces were involved, but we’re not going to talk about them here. Arizona drew some criticism, as people weren’t sure Gregorius would stick as a regular shortstop, but general manager Kevin Towers saw to it to compare Gregorius to a young Derek Jeter:

“When I saw him, he reminded me of a young Derek Jeter,” Towers said.

So there’s actually a lot more to the quote:

“I was fortunate enough to see Jeter when he was in high school in Michigan. He’s got that type of range, he’s got speed, more of a line-drive-type hitter, and I think he’s got the type of approach at the plate and separation to where I think there’s going to be power there as well.”

It’s funnier when you don’t think about it, when you just assume Towers predicted that Gregorius would be the next Captain Clutch. It’s funnier when you assume Towers was complimenting Jeter’s major-league defense, instead of his high-school defense. When you sit down and consider Towers’ words, nothing’s particularly outlandish. But the long-term effect is that people remember that there was a comparison between Gregorius and Jeter, just as people remember that there was a comparison between J.A. Happ and Cliff Lee. The details get lost. And the benefit is that now we can use this as a jumping-off point and just compare Gregorius to Jeter now that the former is playing a lot in the bigs. Let’s warp Towers’ words irresponsibly and misleadingly. How do Gregorius and Jeter stack up? Differently! And yet, overall, kind of similarly.


Defensively, Jeter isn’t a mystery. If you have any level of trust in the numbers at all, you understand that Jeter hasn’t been a very good defensive shortstop, relative to other shortstops. Yet he’s stuck at the position, so he hasn’t been an out-and-out disaster. Jeter’s strengths have been going back on pop-ups and charging softly-hit grounders. He’s well known for making strong, leaping throws from the hole to his right. Laterally, though, he’s never been good, at least not with the Yankees. Jeter has done a terrific job of looking the part while being limited by profoundly mediocre range.

Gregorius is 23 and amazing. When Yuniesky Betancourt was 23, I thought he was amazing, and he wound up being terrible, but I know what my eyes saw, and I know what my eyes see now. Gregorius is capable of making plays anywhere. He can make them to his right:

He can make them to his left:

He can make them way behind:

He can make them out in front:

He can make them in the air:

One of the things we think we understand is that defense peaks early, before a player’s agility starts to deteriorate. In this way, defense is like a pitcher’s fastball. Five years from now, Gregorius will probably be a worse shortstop. Ten years from now, Gregorius will probably be a worse shortstop than he was five years earlier. But he seems to be establishing an incredible baseline, and the small-sample numbers are on his side. Consider this statistic! The Diamondbacks have started Gregorius at short 29 times, and they’ve started Cliff Pennington at short 23 times. With Gregorius, there have been 767 balls in play. With Pennington, 596. A split:

With Gregorius at short: .279 team BABIP
With Pennington at short: .315 team BABIP

There’s way too little data to make much of that, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t interesting, and it agrees with observations. Gregorius is the sort of shortstop you’d define as one who scampers. He covers all of the territory, he glides as he does it, and his throws are usually on the money, no matter his body position. Derek Jeter might’ve been a good shortstop in high school. Didi Gregorius appears to be an outstanding shortstop now.


Jeter has 12,000 career plate appearances of being well above-average. Gregorius has 145. Jeter, between Double-A and Triple-A, posted an OBP north of .400. Gregorius, between Double-A and Triple-A, posted an OBP south of .330. The questions with Jeter would’ve concerned whether he had the defense to stick at short. The questions with Gregorius have concerned whether he’d hit enough to play every day. He’s trying to prove himself now, but he hasn’t yet done it, any more than Jean Segura has done it.

Additionally, Jeter’s always been a strong opposite-field hitter. He’s thrived in New York, and here’s an image from Texas Leaguers showing a Derek Jeter spray chart. This is of Jeter as a relative senior citizen, but his batting profile hasn’t really changed over his career.

Jeter’s right-handed. Here’s a Gregorius spray chart, and he bats left-handed.

Jeter and Gregorius are similar offensively, in that they can hit for some power to right field. But that’s the pull field for Gregorius, and he has yet to hit a ball with true authority to left or left-center. Some good hitters are pull hitters, but I’d expect this to be something pitchers try to exploit as Gregorius sticks around. If they find that Gregorius’ swing is too pull-oriented, they’ll throw pitches more difficult to pull, and Gregorius will have to adjust.

But there are things to be excited about. For one, Gregorius has a 152 wRC+. For Jeter’s career he’s at 122. Of course Gregorius isn’t this good, but he’s already hit more than a lot of people expected. Just Monday, he both tripled and homered off Yu Darvish, and the homer left the bat at 110.5 miles per hour. Gregorius has some dinger strength, and though he’s also showing himself to be more of a free swinger than Jeter, it would be hasty to call him over-aggressive. Consider:

League, 2013: 29.0% O-Swing%
League, 2013: 62.2% Z-Swing%

Gregorius, 2013: 29.2% O-Swing%
Gregorius, 2013: 73.4% Z-Swing%

Gregorius has an above-average swing rate, but those extra swings have come against strikes. Discipline is all about swinging at strikes and laying off balls, so Gregorius hasn’t been swinging himself into trouble. It’s too early to say whether this is sustainable or overrating the quality of Gregorius’ eye, but Gregorius’ plate-discipline numbers are a hell of a lot better than, say, Dee Gordon‘s. Gordon’s another wiry shortstop, and his approach has been bad. Gregorius’ approach has been good, statistically, which means he’s at least off to an encouraging start.


Hell if I know. People say Jeter has them. Gregorius might. Gregorius is never going to be a leader in the Jeter mold, but he’s a rookie, and his Diamondbacks teammates already trust him and yield to him on the field. This is a terrible category. This is a terrible comparison!


Kevin Towers never meant to suggest that Didi Gregorius would be the next Derek Jeter. Indeed, that won’t happen, both because they’re different people, and because they’re different players. This was a lousy premise for a baseball blog article. But here’s the similarity between Gregorius and a young Jeter: both their employers have been more than pleased. Jeter instantly hit and took to New York. Gregorius has instantly hit and instantly fielded, even ahead of the Diamondbacks’ intended schedule. Gregorius will be carried by his defense, and his defense is his strength, which we’ve known to be true all along. But there are indications that he could be a threat offensively as well, even if he isn’t going to keep slugging in the .500s. A guy with speed, controlled aggression, and some pull power can hit good pitchers, and what Gregorius has left is to demonstrate some capacity to hit the other way. That’s probably going to be his adjustment, and we can’t predict how it’ll go.

But Gregorius has already exceeded expectations. In a young Derek Jeter, the Yankees saw a guy who could be their shortstop for the next decade. The Diamondbacks thought they might have that guy in Didi Gregorius. He’s done nothing yet to indicate otherwise. No matter your evaluation of Gregorius now, it’s better than it was a couple months ago, and that’s all a team can ask.

post #12024 of 73561
Thread Starter 
Will Ian Kennedy Be The Odd Man Out In Arizona?
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Ian Kennedy cut his finger recently while washing dishes. As a result, Tyler Skaggs got the start in the early game of Monday’s Memorial Day twinbill against the Rangers, and he acquitted himself quite well. The start threw into sharp relief just how necessary Kennedy is to the Dbacks plans, both current and future. As we move further away from his breakout season, it is fair to wonder — is Kennedy about to be the odd man out in the Arizona rotation?

First, let’s take a look from a performance perspective. Pick your metric of choice, chances are Kennedy has been among the worst, or the worst, among Dbacks starting pitchers. The rotation has performed splendidly so far — its 90 FIP- ranks fifth in all of baseball, and second in the National League. But in the early going, Kennedy has not helped the cause all that much. He’s tied for the team lead in walk percentage with Trevor Cahill. He’s generating fewer ground balls than the rest of his teammates by a wide margin, which isn’t necessarily a big deal in a vacuum since the Dbacks sport a great outfield defense. However, the more fly balls one allows, the more likely one will be hit in the direction of Jason Kubel and his balky quad, and the ending to that story is probably not a happy one for Dbacks watchers. Of course, not all of the fly balls that he allows land in the field of play. Kennedy has also allowed homers at a rate higher than that of his fellow rotation mates, and is the only member of the rotation whose HR/FB is not better than average.

Kennedy hasn’t shown poorly just in relation to his teammates, but to himself as well. One of the big reasons for his breakout in 2011 was that he upped his strikeout rate just enough and lowered his walk rate just enough to have some pretty fantastic margins. His strikeout percentage was 24th that year among qualified pitchers, and his walk rate was 26th, but his K%-BB% clocked in at 19th-best. Still, the lack of domination with either rate meant that Kennedy’s margins were thin, and they remain that way today. As Kennedy’s K%-BB% has backslid — to 14.7% last year and 10.2% this year — so has his effectiveness. His 10.2% this year actually ranks ahead of Cahill and Wade Miley, but they have been better at keeping runs off the board than has Kennedy, likely thanks to their ability to generate ground balls more frequently.

When we’re looking at a team’s makeup, there are other factors at play as well, and payroll concerns are a big one. The Dbacks had no hesitation about trading for Cahill and his beefy contract, nor in signing McCarthy to a similar deal in free agency. But Kennedy, who is represented by the Boras Corporation, came up for arbitration last year, and he did not sign a long-term deal. He was open to one in March of 2012, so the team changed its mind, he changed his mind, or he was simply being polite. No matter the reasoning, he is progressing year to year, as many of Scott Boras’ clients are wont to do. And thanks to his large arbitration award the first time through, he stands to get a nice raise each time through, provided he stays healthy and in the rotation. A conservative estimate would put his salary for 2014 at $6 million, but there’s a good chance he does better than that.

A $6 million salary isn’t prohibitive of course, but for a team which is unlikely to raise the salary bar very much past where it already is, the team may need to re-evaluate how much they spend on their soft-tossing righty. Especially since Corbin, Miley, Skaggs, Daniel Hudson and Archie Bradley are all still in the “dirt cheap” bin. Hudson may become eligible for arbitration this winter, but thanks to his year spent on the disabled list, it’s unlikely that he’ll net a raise anywhere near what Kennedy received. It’d be one thing if Kennedy was still the dominating force in the Dbacks rotation, but that is no longer the case. Furthermore, it’s about more than the money. More and more, teams are trying to lock up players early. The fact that the Dbacks did not look to lock up Kennedy is as much a statement as locking him up would have been.

Now, admittedly, it’s still early. Kennedy could run off a three-four start streak and get back to where he should be, and Corbin probably isn’t as good as he has pitched thus far. Still, push is going to eventually come to shove in the Arizona rotation. Skaggs is going to be knocking on the door, and Hudson is also going to need a spot when he returns from injury. At the outset of the season, you would have pegged Corbin to lose his spot, but that’s not happening now. Cahill has his friendly long-term deal keeping him in the fold, and while McCarthy may be a trade candidate given the short commitment on the books to him, his injury and performance history taken in tandem make it unlikely that the team will get a good return on him.

There is only so long that the team will be able to keep Bradley and Skaggs on the farm, and that still hasn’t taken Hudson into account. Kennedy has started the last two opening days for Arizona, but there are about to be more starting pitchers than starting rotation slots, and if Kennedy keeps pitching the way he may find himself elsewhere.

Austin Wilson Is Not Only All About Tools.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Watch Austin Wilson do anything on the field and you’re struck by his athleticism. Six-foot-five, 244 pounds of muscle, he glides across center field in the Sunken Diamond on defense. During batting practice, no bat makes a more satisfying sound than his.

But with parents that hold multiple degrees from MIT, Harvard and Stanford, obviously the Stanford center fielder is more than a collection of high-end body parts. In fact, his makeup could go a long way toward smoothing out the wrinkles in his game as he proceeds to the professional leagues. It has already helped.

There’s the inevitable question from anyone that takes a long look at Wilson’s statistics. Where are the home runs? He’s hit five this year, which seems like a small number from such a big man.

“I don’t care about that crap,” said Wilson to me when I brought it up.

When pushed, he thought it was just the number of at-bats. Because of a stress reaction in his elbow, Wilson was limited to 118 at-bats this year for Stanford, which ranked ninth on the team. And, considering he’s more worried about winning games, the fact that his .475 slugging percentage was third on the team should prove he’s no weakling.

Power is down around college baseball, of course. Kris Bryant notwithstanding, the new BBCOR bats have taken some of the sting out of the ball. On purpose, but the fact remains. And yet Wilson just came off a summer season in the Cape Cod League that saw him use a wooden bat to hit .312 with a .623 slugging percentage and six home runs in 77 at-bats. Is the college bat worse than wood? Others have said it before. Wilson says maybe, but there’s more nuance to it — “With the BBCOR bats, you can kind of get jammed and get a hit, as opposed to wood where the bat breaks off at the handle. But when you screw up a ball with wood I think it goes farther then the BBCORs do.”

Every hitter has their own battles as they try to get the most production out of their inherent skills. Usually, for a hitter, that’s about working on your swing and your ability to recognize pitches. But ask Wilson about the coaching he’s received on his game, and he might surprise you with his answers. He credits Matt LaCour at Harvard Westlake for much of his approach, and LaCour’s former assistant Junior Brignac for helping him play better defense in the outfield.

College has mostly been about facing great pitching, and finding consistency: “I wouldn’t say it helped me in terms of mechanics, but just in terms of competition.” Contacted at Harvard Westlake, LaCour agreed that facing more pitching will be huge for Wilson as he heads to the pros. LaCour pointed out that Wilson played less than most kids his age, since he didn’t do travel ball, but that “he obviously takes studying the game seriously” and all those at-bats in the pros will do him wonders.

So it sounds like Wilson’s swing is a personal thing that he’s always working on refining. What sort of things does he think about when he stands into the box? “Simplify it, using my hands. I’m a big strong guy, so if I can use my hands consistently, that helps put good a good trajectory on the ball, with backspin. I’m working on a downward plane so the ball just jumps.”

One anecdote might put this all into focus. After his first effort at Stanford, there was a bit of concern about Wilson’s ability to lay off breaking pitches on the outside part of the plate. A 27.7% strikeout rate was too high for the college game, even for a power hitter. Wilson worked hard to better that part of his game on a day-to-day basis, shrinking his strikeout rate to 16.7% last year. But then his elbow injury was a blessing in disguise: When Wilson couldn’t swing, he took the initiative to stand in on bullpen sessions and watch Stanford’s staff spin what they had.

It’s a page out of The Book of Hitting by Manny Ramirez — the slugger used to take pitches in batting practice, even — but it was a great piece of practice for Wilson, and it was a no-brainer for him. “I knew I had to somehow keep my baseball skills up, so I stood in on bullpens,” he said with what was almost a shrug. It was “about the eye, and see the spinning on pitches, and obviously breaking balls are a component of that. That helped me read pitches better.” Wilson’s strikeout rate shrunk down all the way to 13.1% this year.

Makeup is not only about a player taking the initiative to improve on their own. Some component is how the player deals with the ups and downs of baseball. Ask Wilson about why he was so good on the Cape his second time around, and you hear that he didn’t get too excited about it: “I didn’t know what to expect the first time — it was my first time swinging wood consistently, but it felt pretty good the second time around.” Ditto when you ask him about the hubub that surrounds him as the draft approaches: “In high school I had to go through that process already and that was more nerve-wracking back then because I was 17 and a lot of people were coming to watch me play. Now I’m just used to it. And I’ve accepted failure because in baseball you fail seven out of ten times.”

Wilson has no regrets when it comes to his past, either. “I’ve come to Stanford, and there’s no money value that can compensate for the Stanford degree,” he told me. And he used his time on the farm well, focusing on simplicity and consistency in his game. Even when his prodigious athleticism couldn’t shine due to injury, he spent his time learning and improving in any way that he could. Here’s a bet that approach will serve him well in the big leagues.

When Stars And Scrubs Doesn’t Work.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
The Milwaukee Brewers have two of the top ten players in WAR, and neither of them is named Ryan Braun. Carlos Gomez (+3.2 WAR, #1) and Jean Segura (+2.5 WAR, #9) have been revelations for the Brewers, while Braun has been his usual dominant self, putting up +1.9 WAR with his usual brand of excellence. Toss in a strong performance from the underrated Norichika Aoki and 78 terrific plate appearances from the occasionally healthy Aramis Ramirez, and the top end of the Brewers line-up has been as good as any in baseball. For context, here is the total combined line for Gomes, Segura, Braun, Aoki, and Ramirez:

Big Five 875 0.323 0.384 0.532 0.393 153 6.2 -2.3 8.7

That’s a stellar performance. For comparison, here’s how that stacks up against the “Big Five” from the Cincinnati Reds, a team that has scored 245 runs, second in the NL only to the Colorado Rockies.

Reds Big Five 1110 0.287 0.381 0.485 0.371 136 2.2 1.2 8.3

Even with injuries limiting the amount of playing time that Ramirez (and Braun, to a lesser extent) have gotten, the Brewers top tier players have outperformed the Reds group overall, and have hit significantly better than Cincinatti’s quintet, even though both Shin-Soo Choo and Joey Votto have also been fantastic this year.

But, as we near the beginning of June, the Brewers have scored just 196 runs and their position players have just a 103 wRC+, 14th best in baseball. Because, here’s what the hitters on the Brewers beyond the Big Five have done.

Everyone Else 855 0.200 0.256 0.304 0.249 52 -10 -0.6 -3.3

There are 10 players in that group — including regulars Yuniesky Betancourt, Jonathan Lucroy, Rickie Weeks, and Alex Gonzalez, plus every reserve the team has used — and they’ve combined to hit almost exactly as often as the Brewers best hitters. The best offensive performance by anyone in that group belongs to Betancourt, who has a 78 wRC+. All 10 of the players in that group have either been exactly at replacement level or below.

A graph of the Brewers position players performance shows the distinctions.

Ramirez’s poor defense and lack of playing time have made him the team’s only position player with a WAR between +0 and +1.0. Every other player has either been excellent or terrible. There’s no middle ground here. This is the clearest example we’ve seen in some time of how a true stars and scrubs team would do. And the answer is not particularly well.

Granted, the Brewers scrubs have been worse than you could reasonably expect anyone’s scrubs to be, but their stars are also performing at an extraordinarily high level as well. Even if you regress the Brewers scrubs back towards replacement level, you have to do the same for guys on the high end, and then the adjustments mostly cancel out. No matter what we’ve been told, a few great players simply cannot carry a bunch of terrible ones to success. The great performance of a few just cannot overcome the brutal performance of the many.

I know it’s probably old hat for most FanGraphs readers by this point, but every roster spot matters. The down-roster role players count too. Major League Baseball is not a sport where star performance wins. It is a sport where even the best single player in the game doesn’t make that much of a difference. The Brewers, by 2013 performance, have had three of the very best hitters in baseball, and they still have an average offense and are headed for the top ten in next summer’s draft.

What separates a good team from a bad team is often not the quality at the top of the roster, but the quality at the bottom of the roster. The Brewers have some really good pieces, but they also have more dreck than just about anyone besides the Astros and Marlins. And that kind of roster construction just doesn’t really work in this sport.

De-Lucking Team Offenses.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
If you are similar to me, then you spend more than a trivial amount of time on the teams leaderboard page. I find myself sorting the wRC+ column for my daily Ottoneu, The Game, and game preview needs. But, like a suspicious man at a bus stop, BABIP lurks just a few columns away. It haunts my well-crafted insults hurtled brazenly towards the Miami Marlins from the comfortable solitude of my home office.

I have spent the past year or two studying BABIP, in part because it has shown the power to unlock a fielding independent hitting metric I so cleverly and regrettably titled ShH or Should Hit. But other than confusing friends during spoken conversation, Should Hit can also regress offensive production based on four simple factors: walks, strikeouts, home runs, and BABIP.

We have previously employed ShH and its stepchild, the De-Lucker X (DLX), to regress players according to their previous performances. But now, let us throw whole teams into the De-Lucker vat. It will be great opportunity to kick the already over-kicked Marlins — as well as offer uncommon accolades for the San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres lineups.

One of the historical problems of the DLX has been that massive, hairy catchall, BABIP. Its only role in ShH is to cancel itself out, essentially. That’s why DLX uses xBABIP instead of BABIP. But xBABIPs, especially ones based on batted-ball data, are unreliable. My preference has long been to use career BABIPs instead of xBABIPs, but BABIP talent changes over a career (ask Ichiro Suzuki).

We need to make two major assumptions: (1) ballparks affect BABIP and (2) teams will maintain certain BABIP patterns over periods lasting multiple years.

The first assumption is easy, but still a forgettable concept. We know Coors Field increases homerun rates, but tend to forget it also has higher single and double rates too. Likewise, it easy to forget how Tropicana Field, with the second-largest foul territory in the league, suppresses singles and doubles.

Consider the BABIPs of teams home and away over the preceding three seasons:

With this graphic here, I think we are seeing multiple effects on BABIP. With Home BABIP, we are seeing mostly park effects. With the blue Away BABIP, we are seeing organizational preferences, as well as a little bit of divisional park factors.

For instance, the Seattle Mariners have low BABIPs both at home and on the road. This may be a component of playing a large amount of away games in Anaheim and Oakland, but they also play in Arlington, where BABIP is encouraged. I think we can attribute at least a good portion of that low away BABIP on their decisions to funnel significant playing to Justin Smoak (career .262 BABIP), Brendan Ryan (.283 BABIP), and Dustin Ackley (.285 BABIP). The Mariners have shown a lower threshold of acceptable BABIP levels than, say, the Brewers or Marlins.

Maybe the Mariners’ particularly BABIP lull is due to a Mariners-strength streak of terrible luck. But the Cubs — who also assembled some rough offenses during that period — clearly had an organizational predisposition towards high BABIPs. And though the franchise is in new hands, many of those same types of players remain from the previous regime.

If we solder these two major assumptions together with the DLX, we can create two fun regressed numbers — defined for the purposes of the coming visualization:

DLX: This is my De-Lucker X put to super overdrive. I am using the BB% and K% from 2013, but the HR% and BABIP are coming from 2010 through 2012. (Because home run rates can suffer from clustering effects not unlike BABIP fluctuations, I have included DLX as an alternative to the more basic DLX1.)

DLX1: This is the same as DLX, except using home run rates from 2013.

wRC+: Both DLX wRC+ and DLX1 wRC+ were made using some basic cross multiplication (as in: wRC+ / wOBA = x / DLX, solve for x). This is a quick and dirty method, but it saves me from having to attribute park factors and such. For my dark cross-multiplication purposes, I used the 2013 wRC+ and wOBA ratios.

Key: The black lines represent the team’s actual present wRC+. The green bars represent their DLX or DLX1, as noted.

Learn About TableauSome takeaways:

• The Marlins have hit beneath what we expect from their historical BABIPs, but they are also in a different stadium. Their team BABIP in 2012, their first year in the new stadium, was indeed lower than it was in ol’ Something Something Stadium, but their present .265 BABIP is far lower than what we should expect moving forward.

That said… Using both their historical home run rates (74 DLX) and their present home run rates (71 DLX1), the future looks grim for the Marlins, barring a major personnel or luck shift.

• According to historical home run rates, the Giants (110 DLX), the Padres (108 DLX), and the Rays (108 DLX) have the league’s best offenses. If we use present home run rates, the Tigers (108 DLX1), the Orioles (108 DLX1), and the Indians (107 DLX1) rank Tops Banane.

• The Indians receive the most abuse from DLX, dropping 12 points of offense. The Braves were second with 9 points lost. The Marlins gained the most, going up 9 points. The Royals gained 8.

• DLX1 added 7 points of offense to the White Sox. The next closest were the Marlins and Nationals with 6 points. The Indians (-6) and Red Sox (-6) were hurt the most.

• There’s almost no way the Nationals are as bad offensively as their 2013 offering, but their current BB% and K% suggests they need a new approach or new, more effective personnel if they hope to crack league average on offense.

• Concerning surprises, is anyone surprised the Rays (108 wRC+, 108 DLX, 105 DLX1) are among the best offenses in the league? I’m not. (WOODRUM OUT.)

post #12025 of 73561
Brett Lawrie to the DL. Come on, man.
post #12026 of 73561
3 bombs in 3 plate appearances tonight for Ryan Zimmerman so far. He's homered to left, center, and right field smokin.gif
post #12027 of 73561
I love watching Bryce Harper play....but Manny Machado >>>>>>

Kid is the future. pimp.gif
post #12028 of 73561
I love watching Bryce Harper play....but Manny Machado >>>>>>
post #12029 of 73561
I like Machado a lot and think he will be a GREAT player, but I'd take Harper in a heartbeat. Harper, Trout, and Machado tho pimp.gif
post #12030 of 73561
I'm a Orioles homer...what can I say? laugh.gif Manny is my dude.... pimp.gif

Chris Davis - BOOM.
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