Posted on June 10, 2013 by Andrew Martin
The big news of the week in baseball was an ESPN Outside the Lines report that Major League Baseball is seeking to suspend 20 or more current players for their involvement with the now defunct Biogenesis of America clinic. Tony Bosch, the company’s founder, agreed to provide MLB with documents to help their cases. Players including Ryan Braun, Alex Rodriguez and Melky Cabrera are all reported to be those in the crosshairs, with more details of the whole mess still to come.
The report indicated that suspensions could be as long as 100 games if MLB gets its way. However, want and reality could be two completely different things. The MLB Player’s Union immediately issued a statement declaring their intent to vigorously defend the players in the investigation, and will use their considerable power to minimize any punitive damage. It’s a situation that is highly unlikely to be determined quickly, but will probably play out in courtrooms and boardrooms for an indeterminable amount of time.
Regardless of the length of possible suspensions, the damage has already been done to the reputations of the players involved in the scandal. No matter how much you believe or don’t believe steroids and PEDs are cheating, the amount of lying and general scumbaggery (I made this word up specifically for this situation) on the part of these players has completely impugned their character. No matter how far they can hit a ball or fast they can throw a pitch, their greatest attribute as players and human beings has been irrevocably shattered. (more…)
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis | Tagged: Alex Rodriguez, Babe Ruth, Darryl Strawberry, Don Mattingly, Dwight Gooden, George Foster, Howard Johnson, Jackie Robinson, Kevin Mitchell, Lenny Dykstra, Melky Cabrera, PEDs, Rafael Santana, Ray Fisher, Rick Aguilera, Ryan Braun, Steroids, Ted Williams, Tim Teufel, Tony Bosch | 1 Comment »
Posted on February 20, 2013 by Daniel Marino
Dan Marino continues his trek through each division in the major leagues and giving you one player he thinks is the: Rookie to Watch, Breakthrough Player, The Party’s Over, Non-Roster Invitee Most Likely to Stick, and Just Not Seeing it.
Now, in part four of six, he brings you the National League Central:
Part 1: AL East Players to Watch.
Part 2: NL East Players to Watch.
Part 3: AL Central Players to Watch.
Chicago Cubs (more…)
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis | Tagged: Alfredo Simon, Billy Hamilton, Bobby Crosby, Brandon Inge, Brent Lillibridge, Brett Jackson, Carlos Gomez, Carlos Marmol, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Clint Hurdle, Ian Stewart, Jake Westbrook, Jameson Taillon, Jeff Locke, Jon Jay, Josh Vitters, Martin Maldonado, Mat Gamel, Matt Garza, Michael McKenry, Miguel Olivo, Mike Leake, Milwaukee Brewers, Oscar Taveras, Pittsburgh Pirates, Rafael Furcal, Rickie Weeks, Ryan Braun, Scooter Gennett, St. Louis Cardinals, Zack Cozart | 2 Comments »
Posted on February 18, 2013 by David Kerr
On January 27, 2013, I had the pleasure of hosting and taking part in the first annual MLBDirt.com Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft. First things first, I want to thank Jonathan Mitchell, William Tasker, Daniel Marino, Charlie Nehl, Mike Schwartze, Wayne Bretsky, Ray Guilfoyle, Mike Hilbig, Mark Kaplan, Jeff Furtah, and Alex Kantecki for taking part in the draft. We had a mix of MLBDirt.com writers and six well respected Fantasy Baseball writers. All of these men are recommended follows on Twitter and I will give you their contact information at the end of the article. One thing that makes Fantasy Baseball fun is the different opinions you can get. These guys all have great insight and baseball knowledge.
Without any further adieu, here is the 2013 MLBDirt Mock Draft Results. Please feel free to comment and engage in discussion!
ROUND 1 (more…)
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis, Fantasy | Tagged: Albert Pujols, Andrew McCutchen, Buster Posey, Carlos Gonzalez, Clayton Kershaw, Fantasy, Joey Votto, Justin Verlander, Matt Kemp, Miguel Cabrera, Mike Trout, Mock Draft, Robinson Cano, Roto, Ryan Braun | Leave a Comment »
Posted on December 5, 2012 by David Kerr
This is part one of three in a 2012 season’s end report on fantasy baseball. The first installment will be the top overall producers at each position, the second installment will be the bust’s at each position, and the third installment will be the overachiever’s that more than likely put a lot of fantasy teams over the top. I will choose a C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, 3 OF’s, a SP, and a RP to fill out the team. I hope you enjoy it! (more…)
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis, Fantasy | Tagged: Andrew McCutchen, Buster Posey, Craig Kimbrel, Edwin Encarnacion, Fantasy, Jose Reyes, Miguel Cabrera, Mike Trout, R.A. Dickey, Robinson Cano, Roto, Ryan Braun | Leave a Comment »
Posted on July 3, 2012 by Michael Schwartze
Major League Baseball announced the 2012 All-Star selections two days ago and as always, there are good choices and then there are bad choices. Just like last year, Jonathan and I have decided to share our own selections for the All-Star teams. Over the next week we will reveal our All-Atar position starters in each league, as well as the All-Star pitchers for each league. We will be doing posts separately but I will get things going with my National League All-Star position starters. Enjoy.
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis | Tagged: Aaron Hill, All-Star Game, Andrew McCutchen, Carlos Ruiz, David Wright, Ian Desmond, Joey Votto, Matt Kemp, Ryan Braun | 1 Comment »
Posted on March 29, 2012 by Jonathan C. Mitchell
I am continuing my 2012 prediction series by revealing my NL Central standings and adding a few positive and negative predictions for each team. In case you missed it, I have already revealed my AL East Predictions, AL Central Predictions, AL West Predictions, and NL East Predictions and we, as a staff, revealed some of our overall MLB predictions. Enjoy. (more…)
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis, Fantasy | Tagged: Alex Gonzalez, Alex Presley, Alfonso Soriano, Andrew McCutchen, Brandon Phillips, Bronson Arroyo, Bryan LaHair, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Gomez, Carlos Lee, Cesar Izturis, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Darwin Barney, David Freese, Devin Mesoraco, Erik Bedard, Houston Astros, Ian Stewart, J.A. Happ, Jaime Garcia, Jeff Karstens, Jeff Samardzija, Joel Hanrahan, Joey Votto, Jon Jay, Jordan Lyles, Jordan Schafer, Kyle Lohse, Livan Hernandez, Marco Estrada, Matt Carpenter, Matt Downs, Milwaukee Brewers, Neil Walker, Nyjer Morgan, Pittsburgh Pirates, Rickie Weeks, Ryan Braun, Sean Marshall, St. Louis Cardinals, Starling Marte, Wandy Rodriguez | 1 Comment »
Posted on February 4, 2012 by Michael Schwartze
The Milwaukee Brewers had a strong 2011 regular season winning the NL Central. They went 96-66, and those 96 wins were good enough for a new franchise record. During the regular season, they proved to be one of the best teams in the league while playing at home. The offense was terrific as they led the NL in homeruns but this year the pitching really stepped up. The Brewers staff ranked amongst the best in the league in strikeouts. The bullpen also proved to be great and John Axford was one of the best closers in the league. The Brewers hopes of making it to the World Series were trumped as the Cardinals knocked them out in the National League Championship Series.
With 2011 out of the way, we can now look forward to the 2012 season. With the current situation that the Brewers are in, I believe that his upcoming MLB Draft is important for them. I mean, every draft is an important draft for a club but I see the 2012 draft as especially important for the Brewers for a couple reasons.
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis, Draft Coverage, On the Farm - Prospects | Tagged: Jed Bradley, John Axford, Milwaukee Brewers, MLB Draft, Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun, Taylor Jungmann | Leave a Comment »
Posted on January 6, 2012 by Michael Schwartze
It is obvious that the Athletics are in a rebuilding process. They have dealt Trevor Cahill, Gio Gonzalez, and Andrew Bailey this offseason for prospects in return. In an article I wrote the other week, I took a look at the Athletics potential future rotation with all the pieces in the organization. There are many top prospects and young pitchers that could make for one of the best rotations in the league. Well a handful of these guys are close to the big leagues and once ready, it could make for quite the logjam in the rotation. In the article I mentioned above I also took a shot at projecting the A’s opening day rotation which is as follows:
1. Brandon McCarthy
2. Guillermo Moscoso
3. Dallas Braden
4. Brad Peacock
5. Tom Milone
That rotation is solid looking but there are still a lot of guys that are very close to being major league ready; Jarrod Parker, Tyson Ross, and Sonny Gray. Brett Anderson should also be back in the rotation by the middle of the season. Well with those guys knocking at the door, some space may need to be cleared in the rotation. The perfect opportunity for that: The Trade Deadline.
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis | Tagged: Adeiny Hechavarria, Albert Pujols, Andrew Bailey, Brad Peacock, Brandon McCarthy, Brett Anderson, Chris Carter, Collin Cowgill, Dallas Braden, David Freese, Derek Norris, Gabriel Rosa, Gio Gonzalez, Grant Green, Guillermo Moscoso, Jarrod Parker, Josh Reddick, Juan Francisco, Mat Latos, Michael Choice, Michael Taylor, Oakland A's, Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun, Scott Rolen, Sonny Gray, Tom Milone, Trevor Cahill, Tyson Ross, Zack Cox, Zack Cozart | 2 Comments »
Posted on November 26, 2011 by William J. Tasker
This is all Jonathan Mitchell’s fault. His fabulous post on the nastiest pitches in baseball has now spawned not just one post from the Fan, but now two. The exercise in question is looking at Fangraphs‘ data for pitch value as a perimeter for judging the best pitchers overall for 2011 and for the past three years. Today, we’re going to look at the same pitch values, but this time from a batting perspective. The idea is this: If you add up the pitch value scores for each batter with a minimum number of plate appearances and then sort the total, it should give you a list of the best pure hitters in baseball. It’s a different approach than WAR or wOBA or even OPS+ and it may not mean anything. But it’s fun, so anything fun is worth doing, right?
Here’s how these numbers were accumulated: This author went to Fangraphs and then to their Leaders link. Once at the leaders page, the Pitch Value tab was clicked. On that page, using the wonderful tools available to us, two criteria were plugged in. In the first one, we stayed with 2011 and made 400 the minimum plate appearances. Then Fangraphs’ generous Export Data link was clicked which provided a spreadsheet for our use here. A new set of criteria was then added for the past three years (2009 – 2011) with a minimum of 1000 plate appearances. And that data was exported as well.
Once the spreadsheets were on this author’s laptop, in a new column a sum function was used to get a total of all the pitch types to give us a total value above average. What these numbers mean is a calculation by Fangraphs of how many runs above average each hitter was against different pitch types. There are some weird numbers in there. For example, Maicir Izturis was the second best in baseball in 2011 against the slider but couldn’t hit just about anything else. Alfonso Soriano was among the top in hitting a fastball but gave up all those runs against the slider. Our top hitters in general hit everything well or hit at least a few pitches well enough to compile big numbers.
Without further ado, here are the top ten pure hitters in baseball for 2011 for combined runs above average:
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis | Tagged: Adrian Gonzalez, Albert Pujols, Jacoby Ellsbury, Joey Votto, Jose Bautista, Kevin Youkilis, Lance Berkman, Matt Holliday, Matt Kemp, Miguel Cabrera, Mike Napoli, Paul Konerko, Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun | 4 Comments »
Posted on November 11, 2011 by Michael Schwartze
The other week I posted my American League regular season awards and today I present you with my National League Awards.
Rookie of the Year: Craig Kimbrel
My NL rookie of the year candidates list was dominated by Braves players; Kimbrel, Brandon Beachy, and Freddie Freeman. My other candidates were Vance Worley and Danny Espinosa. I am not the biggest fan of the save statistic but it is hard not to give Kimbrel the award after what he accomplished this year. Kimbrel picked up a very impressive 46 saves, setting the all time rookie record. The 46 saves were also tied for first amongst closers in the NL. He led all relievers in WAR (3.2) and had the second best K/9 in the NL (14.84). He also had a very impressive 2.10 ERA and an NL leading 1.52 FIP. Not only was he one of the best rookies in the NL, but possibly the best closer as well.
Most Valuable Player: Matt Kemp
This award was very close for me between Kemp and Ryan Braun. Kemp gets the edge though and he really had an impressive year. He led the National League in WAR with 8.7, which was 0.9 wins better than the second place Braun. Kemp’s stats almost earned him a triple crown but he fell short. His .324 AVG was third best in the National League. He had 39 homeruns and 129 RBI which both led the NL. He had 40 stolen bases and just missed a 40-40 season. He had a .399 OBP, .586 SLG, and .262 ISO which were all amongst the best in the league. Kemp has a fantastic year and is very deserving of the National League MVP award.
Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw
This award was even harder for me to pick than the NL MVP but I’m giving Kershaw the very very slight edge over Roy Halladay. Kershaw was second in the NL in war (6.8). He led the league in both K/9 (9.57) and ERA (2.35) and was also tied for the most wins with 21. He was third in the league in innings pitched (233.1) and tied for first in quality starts with 25. Kershaw really shut hitters down as he had the lowest BAA in the NL with .207. The young lefty was fantastic this year and should have many more years like this to come.
Here how my Awards compare to Jonathan’s:
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis | Tagged: Brandon Beachy, Clayton Kershaw, Craig Kimbrel, Cy Young Award, Danny Espinosa, Freddie Freeman, Matt Kemp, MVP, Rookie of the Year, Roy Halladay, Ryan Braun, Vance Worley | Leave a Comment »