March 19, 2019

Top Stories

The Promising Life and Tragic Death of Austin McHenry

March 17, 2019 · by · 17 Comments 

(Editor’s Note: The following was originally posted on November 30, 2008.) By the time he was 25 years old, St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Austin McHenry was considered one of baseball’s best outfielders and hitters, especially after enjoying a 1921 season that saw him finish with a .350 batting average, second only to teammate and future Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby. McHenry also finished second to Hornsby in slugging at .531, placed among the top five National League hitters in doubles, home runs, RBIs, total bases, and extra-base hits, and was one of only six N.L. hitters with 200... [Read the full story]

General

Daniel Moskos: Pitcher Recalls Journey from High Draft Pick to Lengthy Professional Career

March 10, 2019 · by · Leave a Comment 

There are no guarantees in baseball. Literally none. Professional players must fight and earn everything they achieve without exceptions. This includes former top draft picks like pitcher Daniel Moskos, who had a 12-year professional career and reached the majors leagues, but had nothing given to him along the way. The left-handed Moskos was highly coveted while in college for the Clemson Tigers. So highly was he thought of that the Pittsburgh Pirates took him with the fourth overall pick in the 2007 draft. A starter by trade, he transitioned to the bullpen during the 2009 season, and was called... [Read the full story]

Features

How Ernie Banks Revolutionized the Position of Shortstop

February 20, 2019 · by · 2 Comments 

*And where did those home runs come from? One of the unfortunate byproducts of Ernie Banks’ Mr. Cub image being so great is that sometimes it obscures exactly how good of a player he was in his prime, before bad knees forced a move to first base. The present generation may not realize how he single-handedly revolutionized the position of shortstop. Before Ernie joined the Chicago Cubs in September of 1953, shortstops were valued for their fielding and intrinsic virtues, but little was expected of them offensively. They were almost uniformly quick, feisty, pesky little guys with names like... [Read the full story]

Hall of Fame

A Problem with WAR = Defensive Value

February 17, 2019 · by · 3 Comments 

My primary research interest has always been determining which players had the best seasons—and the best careers.  That is why (since the publication of WIN SHARES in 2002) I have used win shares as the basis for my system of evaluating a player’s career (CAWS Career Gauge). As a mathematician, it is difficult for me to understand how any metric could do a better job than win shares in evaluating a player’s season AFTER the season is over. But, as a researcher, I try to keep an open mind.  So, although I have not studied WAR in any real depth, I decided to see how the numbers for the... [Read the full story]

Minors

Principal Park: Despite City’s Size, Ballpark Has Big Impact

June 30, 2018 · by · Leave a Comment 

Minor league baseball a Des Moines, Iowa, staple at same location since 1947 Submitted by Steve Dunn Located at the confluence of the Des Moines and Raccoon rivers in Des Moines, Iowa, Principal Park and its two predecessors have hosted professional baseball since Friday, June 20, 1947. One of the more unique games in minor league history was played nearly 61 years later at Principal Park on Saturday, June 14, 2008. With widespread flooding in central Iowa, the Iowa Cubs and Nashville Sounds played a Triple A Pacific Coast League game that drew an official attendance of zero. “The only other... [Read the full story]

General

Daniel Moskos: Pitcher Recalls Journey from High Draft Pick to Lengthy Professional Career

March 10, 2019 by

There are no guarantees in baseball. Literally none. Professional players must fight and earn everything they achieve without exceptions. This includes former top draft picks like pitcher Daniel Moskos, who had a 12-year professional career and reached the majors leagues, but had nothing given to him along the way. The left-handed Moskos was highly... Read more of this article


Adam Hyzdu: The Former Boston Red Sox Outfielder’s Hard Road to Success

March 9, 2019 by

When Adam Hyzdu came out of high school he was a hot shot prospect, selected in the first round of the 1990 MLB draft by the San Francisco Giants. The future looked promising for the slugging outfielder as he started his professional career. Few people, including Hyzdu, would have guessed that it would take him 10 years to reach the major leagues.... Read more of this article


The BBWAA “Report Card” for the 21st Century

March 8, 2019 by

The CAWS Career Gauge (CCG) has ranked all of the outstanding players of the modern era (since 1920) according to the numbers that they produced on the field.  (CAWS is an acronym for Career Assessment/Win Shares.)   In addition, the CCG has also created a series of benchmarks to determine whether a player seems to have the numbers to suggest he... Read more of this article


How Has Bryce Harper’s Contract Impacted Mookie Betts’ Quest for a New Deal?

March 2, 2019 by

The recent signing of free-agent outfielder Bryce Harper to a record-breaking 13-year, $330 million contract by the Philadelphia Phillies sent shock waves across baseball. Although the star slugger will continue making his home in the National League, the deal may have a surprising impact on the Boston Red Sox—specifically in their pursuit to retain... Read more of this article


Examining Bryce Harper’s Free-Agent Contract With the Philadelphia Phillies

February 28, 2019 by

A major source of lingering drama in Major League Baseball has been resolved with the news that star free-agent outfielder Bryce Harper has agreed to a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. With Spring Training already in full swing, the announcement sets the sport on its ear, as a major domino has fallen and changed the... Read more of this article


ESTIMATING PARK FACTORS FOR THE NEGRO LEAGUES

February 28, 2019 by

Most serious baseball fans understand that ballparks can have a large impact on statistical performance. However, trying to measure that exact impact often proves difficult. In work we’ve done on Major League ballparks at Seamheads.com, it takes about three full years of data, regressed by about one additional season worth of games, to get a decent... Read more of this article


How a Runaway Taxi Temporarily Saved Casey Stengel’s Managing Job

February 25, 2019 by

Before he became the legendary skipper of the New York Yankees, winning 10 pennants and seven World Series, Casey Stengel was a pretty good outfielder for 14 big league seasons and a second division manager for the Brooklyn Dodgers and Boston Braves. So uninspiring was his leadership of the Braves, that in 1943 he missed more than a quarter of the... Read more of this article


WAR and JAWS – Exaggerating Fielding Value

February 25, 2019 by

In an earlier post, I pointed out that Matt Chapman’s WAR value for 2018 (8.2) seemed to indicate that he had the third best season of any major leaguer – behind only Mookie Betts and Mike Trout. Of course, any serious fan looking at the numbers would know that this assertion is not believable. There were at least five or six (or more) players who... Read more of this article


How Ernie Banks Revolutionized the Position of Shortstop

February 20, 2019 by

*And where did those home runs come from? One of the unfortunate byproducts of Ernie Banks’ Mr. Cub image being so great is that sometimes it obscures exactly how good of a player he was in his prime, before bad knees forced a move to first base. The present generation may not realize how he single-handedly revolutionized the position of shortstop. Before... Read more of this article


Is the MLBPA Losing Sight of its Mission?

February 19, 2019 by

When Marvin Miller worked with a committed corps of Major League players to create the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, the players both individually and collectively were truly a disadvantaged group. A few well-known players got big paydays, but almost every player held an off-season... Read more of this article


More Posts From General

Features

How Ernie Banks Revolutionized the Position of Shortstop

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*And where did those home runs come from? One of the unfortunate byproducts of Ernie... 


Ryan Westmoreland: Former Boston Red Sox Top Prospect Talks Playing Career and New Focus

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For serious fans of the Boston Red Sox, Harry Agganis and Tony Conigliaro are... 


From the Archives: Touring the Bases with…Jim Bouton

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“You see, you spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball and in the... 


The Ballad of Mr. Cub and Leo the Lip

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The Ballad of Mr. Cub and Leo the Lip It was one of the most intriguing matchups... 


Brooks, Still the Magician

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


More Posts From Features

Hall of Fame

A Problem with WAR = Defensive Value

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My primary research interest has always been determining which players had the best... 


The Four CAWS HOF Benchmarks for Pitchers

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In a previous post re Koufax and Kershaw, I mentioned one of the benchmarks created... 


Koufax and Kershaw and the Hall of Fame

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Consider a pitcher who recorded the following distinctions during his career: Won... 


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... 


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Minors

Principal Park: Despite City’s Size, Ballpark Has Big Impact

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Minor league baseball a Des Moines, Iowa, staple at same location since 1947 Submitted... 


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... 


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