May 24, 2017

Top Stories

Brooks, Still the Magician

May 18, 2017 · by · Leave a Comment 

This is a weird day for me, and probably many other similar-aged people, boys especially, who grew up in Baltimore in the 1960s and 70s. My childhood hero, Brooks Robinson, turns 80 today. 80! I knew that one day Brooks would no longer be playing third base for the Baltimore Orioles because I knew that I would be the one replacing him. Half of that knowledge proved accurate. But Brooks was never going to grow old, and while I was going to grow up, I wasn’t going to grow old either. Neither of those beliefs proved accurate. Brooks played for the Orioles for 23 seasons beginning in 1955, so he... [Read the full story]

General

BABIP by Location

May 16, 2017 · by · 1 Comment 

Are there any factors that influence batting average to various locations on a baseball diamond? Does batter or pitcher “handedness” provide any advantage? Can we identify traits among the leaders in each category? “Batting Average on Balls In Play (BABIP) measures how often a ball in play goes for a hit. A ball is “in play” when the plate appearance ends in something other than a strikeout, walk, hit batter, catcher’s interference, sacrifice bunt, or home run. In other words, the batter put the ball in play and it didn’t clear the outfield fence.” – Fangraphs Library Methodology I... [Read the full story]

Features

Brooks, Still the Magician

May 18, 2017 · by · Leave a Comment 

This is a weird day for me, and probably many other similar-aged people, boys especially, who grew up in Baltimore in the 1960s and 70s. My childhood hero, Brooks Robinson, turns 80 today. 80! I knew that one day Brooks would no longer be playing third base for the Baltimore Orioles because I knew that I would be the one replacing him. Half of that knowledge proved accurate. But Brooks was never going to grow old, and while I was going to grow up, I wasn’t going to grow old either. Neither of those beliefs proved accurate. Brooks played for the Orioles for 23 seasons beginning in 1955, so he... [Read the full story]

Hall of Fame

Rating the 2017 Hall of Fame Candidates Based on Win Shares

January 4, 2017 · by · 2 Comments 

One of the first items of business in baseball each year is the announcement of players elected to the Hall of Fame. This leads to lots of speculation and a little analysis prior to the announcement which is scheduled for January 18, 2017. Many systems exist for evaluating player performance. One such system, the Win Shares method, developed by Bill James in 2002, is a complex method for evaluating players which includes all aspects of performance – offense, defense and pitching. James has stated that, “Historically, 400 Win Shares means absolute enshrinement in the Hall of Fame and 300 Win... [Read the full story]

Minors

Max Watt: The Boston Red Sox’s Power Pitching Prospect

December 27, 2015 · by · Leave a Comment 

Scouting is an integral part of professional baseball. Teams employ and send out hundreds of employees tasked with finding the next great players. Although they monitor first-round draft talent, their bread and butter is trying to decipher the future of players who may not have quite as much polish. As a result, some come to believe so much in who they are evaluating that they continue scouting—for years if necessary— until they are able to bring them into the fold. Such is the case with the Boston Red Sox and pitcher Max Watt. Watt, a solid 6’8” right-hander, grew up in New York. After... [Read the full story]

General

BABIP by Location

May 16, 2017 by

Are there any factors that influence batting average to various locations on a baseball diamond? Does batter or pitcher “handedness” provide any advantage? Can we identify traits among the leaders in each category? “Batting Average on Balls In Play (BABIP) measures how often a ball in play goes for a hit. A ball is “in play” when the plate... Read more of this article


Rick Ankiel, The Phenomenon, A Review

May 15, 2017 by

Rick Ankiel was a rocket streaking through the St. Louis Cardinals minor league affiliates as an 18- and 19-year old. His first season, 1998, he climbed to High-A Prince William after launching from Low-A Peoria. He compiled a 2.63 ERA over 161 innings and notched 222 strikeouts against 50 walks that season. His ascent was just as meteoric in his second... Read more of this article


Book Review: “Baseball’s Most Baffling MVP Ballots”

May 3, 2017 by

For years I’d toyed with the idea of writing a book about Most Valuable Players and MVP ballots, mostly because one hadn’t been written in a while—or at least to my satisfaction—and none that I was aware of used stats like Wins Above Replacement or Win Shares to compare players. I was also curious to know what contemporaries... Read more of this article


Whiplash in DC

April 30, 2017 by

Leaving Nationals Park on Saturday afternoon, the chants of “Let’s Go Mets,” still ringing in my ears, I realized I was suffering from “whiplash.” It is a tragic condition that can strike without warning when your team goes from winning nine out of ten games on a daunting road trip to losing two straight at home. The trigger... Read more of this article


Negro Leagues DB Update: 1944 NNL & NAL

April 25, 2017 by

Check out the 1944 Negro leagues, newly added to the DB this week. Another wartime season, 1944 saw a large number of the most promising young players, as well as many players in the primes of their careers, off to the war. In the NAL, the Kansas City Monarchs struggled without sluggers Willard Brown and Ted Strong and sank to fourth place. The NNL’s... Read more of this article


Is THIS the Season the Nationals Finally Get Over the Hump?

April 25, 2017 by

No doubt the New York Mets will find it easy to look beyond an early season sweep by the Washington Nationals at Citi Field last weekend. But the games still count and seven wins in a row are seven wins to the good regardless when they come. The early season results suggest that the Nationals may have enough this year to go farther into the post-season... Read more of this article


From the Archives: Cup of Coffee—Cliff Lee

April 23, 2017 by

If you’ve hung around this site you’re no doubt familiar with our “Who, You Ask?” series of articles which celebrates the careers of largely forgotten ballplayers who fashioned excellent careers but slipped through the cracks of our collective memory. Every once in a while, however, I run across players who I’m unfamiliar... Read more of this article


South Side Soaked

April 4, 2017 by

April 3, 2017 Opening Soak The Chicago White Sox opened the 2017 season by not opening it at all. The Sox, Tigers and more than 30,000 wet but well-fed and generously beveragized fans spent about three hours dodging rain drops at Guaranteed Rate Field, but all we got to see was the pregame introductions which featured each Sox starter brought onto the... Read more of this article


What Should be Expected from the Houston Astros in 2017?

April 3, 2017 by

In the midst of a 70-92 season in 2014, a cover story in Sports Illustrated forecast the Houston Astros to win the World Series in 2017. This seemed like a far-out prediction at the time but the Astros made a significant improvement in 2015, reaching the post-season playoffs with a record of 86-76. They fell off slightly in 2016 with a record of 84-78... Read more of this article


Previewing the Washington Nationals and the NL East for 2017

March 30, 2017 by

Let’s start from the premise that the Washington Nationals can win 92 games and win the National League East. Hardly and groundbreaking look into the future, nor is the idea that they won’t beat the New York Mets by 8 games again this season. The Mets and their very fine pitching staff will prove more formidable competition this year, but... Read more of this article


More Posts From General

Features

Brooks, Still the Magician

by

This is a weird day for me, and probably many other similar-aged people, boys especially,... 


Say it Wasn’t So: When Shoeless Joe Jackson Became Baseball’s Number One Draft-dodger

by

Here’s one you may not have heard: how Shoeless Joe Jackson was briefly... 


Rating the 2017 Hall of Fame Candidates Based on Win Shares

by

One of the first items of business in baseball each year is the announcement of players... 


Ballplayers of World War II Did Their Part

by

Today marks the 75th Anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor which changed every... 


What Might Have Been: The Short, Brilliant Career of Charlie Ferguson

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The Spring 2016 Baseball Research Journal featured an excellent article by Jerrold... 


More Posts From Features

Hall of Fame

Rating the 2017 Hall of Fame Candidates Based on Win Shares

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One of the first items of business in baseball each year is the announcement of players... 


Pre-Integration Era Committee Releases 2016 Candidates For Baseball Hall of Fame: Sorry, There’s No Room in the Inn

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First, let me state categorically that I love the Baseball Hall of Fame; love the... 


Posnanski Plays Race Card in His Criticism of Baseball Hall of Fame’s Pre-Integration Committee

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I have a daily Google Alert setup to receive emails on the phrase “hall of... 


Trevor Hoffman’s Hall of Fame Status Anything But Certain

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Ken Griffey Jr. and Trevor Hoffman are the headline first-timers next year on the... 


Where do the Current Hall of Fame Snubs Rank According to WAR and JAWS?

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With the 2015 Hall of Fame election results recently announced, we saw Randy Johnson,... 


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Minors

Max Watt: The Boston Red Sox’s Power Pitching Prospect

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Scouting is an integral part of professional baseball. Teams employ and send out... 


Suns’ First Pitch Thrown By Suns’ First Pitcher

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The Hagerstown Suns of the South Atlantic League asked the retiring sheriff of nearby... 


An Interview with Boston Red Sox Prospect Nick Longhi

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Growing up rooting for a baseball team, and striving to get into position to one... 


Carroll enjoys staying on his grind

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ROCHESTER, NY – More than a decade has passed since Brett Carroll roamed... 


Through the Eyes of Patriots Fan: “Hip, hip, Jorge!”

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Not only was it another beautiful evening at TD Bank park (8/17), it was also a game... 


More Posts From Minors

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