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Sunday, February 11, 2018

Sunday Notes: Taylor Hearn and the Tale of the Black Rodeo Cowboys | FanGraphs Baseball

David Laurila’s latest includes the following curious comparison:

Eric Hosmer has been a bit of a lightning rod this winter. The free agent first baseman is coming off a strong season, yet plenty of pundits are less than enamored with his offensive profile. Couple the launch angle revolution with an increased acceptance of strikeouts, and Hosmer has become, in the eyes of his detractors, somewhat of a square peg in a round hole.

Would the former (and perhaps future) Kansas City Royal be looked upon more favorably if he were to trade in a chunk of his ground-ball outs for strikeouts? As counterintuitive as that sounds — fanning is every hitter’s humiliation — it may actually be true.

Let’s compare Hosmer to a player who is, by and large, considered to be a superior hitter.

Home runs: Hosmer 25, Corey Seager 22.
Adjusted OPS: Hosmer 132, Seager 125.
wRC+: Hosmer 135, Seager 127.
wOBA: Hosmer .376, Seager .364.
BABiP: Hosmer .351, Seager .352.

Now let’s look at their ground ball and strikeout rates.

GB%: Hosmer 55.6, Seager 42.1.
K%: Hosmer 15.5, Seager 21.4.

What if the last set of numbers were flip-flopped, and it was the Dodgers shortstop who K’d less often and hit more balls on the ground? Would the way the two are perceived flip-flop as well? It’s a question worth pondering.

As for whether the one-year snapshot shows that Hosmer is a better hitter than Seager… that probably isn’t the case. (Justin Upton is another interesting comp, as his K and GB rates were markedly different from Hosmer’s, and his wRC+ and wOBA almost identical.) But it does suggest that not being what people think you should be — being a square peg in a round hole — can negatively impact how you’re viewed.

 

Jim Furtado Posted: February 11, 2018 at 12:16 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Inside Baseball MLB Notes | What Is Red Sox’s Backup Plan?

Heyman’s latest.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 10, 2018 at 07:42 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Friday, February 02, 2018

Inside Baseball | Which Teams Have Actually Improved This Winter?

Heyman’s latest.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 02, 2018 at 08:11 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Monday, January 08, 2018

Rosenthal: Nats interested in Lance Lynn; Yelich suitors line up; teams calling Red Sox on Swihart; more notes – The Athletic

It’s tough ignoring The Athletic when it employs so many good/great reporters.

— The Marlins declined to entertain trade interest in first baseman Justin Bour at the winter meetings, but rival clubs continue to check on his availability. Bour, like catcher J.T. Realmuto, is under control for three more seasons. MLBTradeRumors.com projects Bour to earn $3.5 million in arbitration.

The Marlins could really stock up on prospects if they did a full teardown.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 08, 2018 at 06:47 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: notes, pay site

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Sunday Notes: Brady Aiken’s Career is Nearing a Crossroads | FanGraphs Baseball

I broached the subject of trends — primarily the importance of staying ahead of them — with several executives at this year’s general managers’ meetings. Rick Hahn was among them.

“Trying to get ahead of the next thing is the key for many organizations,” opined the White Sox GM. “We have a lot of smart people back in Chicago who are trying to keep us ahead of the curve on stuff like that. Of course, I’m not going to share too much about what we’re thinking along those lines.”

I followed up by asking the affable Hahn — his last line had come with a grin — if being in rebuild-mode impacts the decision-making process.

“I think it does,” responded Hahn. “You can experiment a little more. It allows you to play with different fits from a personnel standpoint, with different player types or with different approaches. The performance at the big league level in the short term is not the end-all and be-all.”

Jim Furtado Posted: January 07, 2018 at 04:06 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Inside Baseball MLB Notes | Astros Targeting Long-Term Catcher

Heyman’s latest.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 31, 2017 at 05:50 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Friday, December 22, 2017

Inside Baseball MLB Notes | Cubs Still Mulling Free Agent Pitchers

Heyman’s latest.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 22, 2017 at 08:26 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Sunday, December 10, 2017

What are each team’s interests entering the Winter Meetings?

Boston Globe Sunday column.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2017 at 11:08 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Peter Gammons: Hall of Fame issues, Shohei Otani, Stanton, Yawkee Way, and more - GammonsDaily.com

Gammons gets his digs in defense of Joe Morgan.

Joe Morgan was slow to accept analytics, I get it. He was traditional, and he became the whipping boy for every new waver who wanted us to know they were smarter than any of us, like the guy who wrote he hoped Felix Hernandez would lose games because it would prove how insane traditional thinkers had been.

I worked with Joe Morgan for years. We disagreed, sometimes heartily, always with respect. I get his recent letter to Hall of Fame voters, I have privately understood his love of the game, what The Hall means to that game, and why it is one of our great Americana museums. I’ve read columns that accused him of hypocrisy because he advocated for Pete Rose’s inclusion in Cooperstown, which he does not. When the All Star Game was played in Cincinnati recently, I did an event with Morgan and Johnny Bench and because it was for Cincinnati fans who revere the players and teams of the Big Red Machine of the 1970’s, the Rose HOF issue was never addressed. The two great Hall of Famers thought the world of Rose as a teammate, but do not advocate his candidacy.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 28, 2017 at 08:36 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, joe morgan, notes

Monday, November 27, 2017

Sunday Notes: Dick Williams is Bullish on Cincinnati Pitching | FanGraphs Baseball

David Laurila’s Sunday Notes, one day late.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 27, 2017 at 02:44 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Sunday Notes: Mike Rizzo and the Nats’ Analytical Wavelength

David Laurila’s latest.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 19, 2017 at 11:19 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Nick Cafardo: Are big-money managers being minimized?

It’s not new. What’s new is the ability to quantify the impact of a player’s mechanical adjustments.

3. Amazing that launch angle is now a popular concept. Isn’t that what Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Frank Robinson, Harmon Killebrew, and countless others did? Some people make it sound like a new phenomenon.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 19, 2017 at 11:05 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Inside Baseball | 7 Burning Questions For The MLB Offseason

Jon Heyman asks the big questions.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 19, 2017 at 10:50 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Friday, November 17, 2017

Inside Baseball MLB Notes | Yankees Still Looking To Shed Salary

Heyman’s latest.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 17, 2017 at 03:45 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Monday, November 06, 2017

Nick Cafardo: Who are MLB’s biggest names to follow this offseason?

Boston Sunday Globe’s baseball notes.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 06, 2017 at 08:41 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Sunday Notes: Tigers Prospect Isaac Paredes Loves to Hit | FanGraphs Baseball

David Laurila’s latest.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 06, 2017 at 08:36 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Friday, November 03, 2017

Inside Baseball MLB Notes | Could Yankees Restructure With Tanaka?

Heyman’s latest.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 03, 2017 at 06:15 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Nick Cafardo: Brian Cashman and the Yankees followed the Red Sox’ blueprint — and may have done it better

“I tried to take what successful franchises like the Red Sox and Indians did and what Theo and Ben and [Indians president of baseball operations] Chris Antonetti were doing and how they handled their young players with their amateur scouting and drafting and building a farm system. I looked at everything,” said Cashman, who has won five championships.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 15, 2017 at 08:34 AM | 72 comment(s)
  Beats: notes, red sox, yankees

Friday, October 13, 2017

Inside Baseball AL Notes | Time Its Now For Mike Trout Extension

Jon Heyman’s latest.
NL Notes.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 13, 2017 at 05:48 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Monday, October 09, 2017

Sunday Notes: The Astros Changed Alex Bregman for the Good | FanGraphs Baseball

Earlier this week we ran a Players’ View that asked the question: Are Today’s Analytically-Inclined Players tomorrow’s GMs? Recently-retired outfielder Sam Fuld wasn’t among the people quoted, but he does have an opinion on the subject. Fuld shared the following shortly after the article went up:

“I do see an increasing role for former players in front offices. Over the last five to ten years, most teams have embraced the role of advanced metrics/big data/creativity, but this change has been met by a lot of cynicism from players and coaches. However, as this approach continues to seep into baseball culture, the notion of having front office, coaches and players all on board with the same ideology is fast approaching.

“Now there exists a first real wave of former players who were both exposed to, and believe in, this sort of ‘new school’ thinking. With a player’s perspective, coupled with an understanding of the team’s philosophy, their role in connecting all members of the organization will be integral.”

There’s a decent chance we’ll see the Stanford-educated Fuld in a front office in the not-too-distant future. Asked about his interest, he said he’s definitely exploring the possibility now that he’s hung up his cleats.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 09, 2017 at 08:39 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Nick Cafardo: Torey Lovullo brought love — yes, love — to the Diamondbacks’ clubhouse

“I wasn’t afraid to talk about the word ‘love,’ ” Lovullo said before the NL wild-card game on Wednesday. “You know, in baseball and sports we’re very macho people. We’re afraid to talk about it. So you’ve heard me say the word ‘love.’ I think that the guys use the word ‘love,’ and I think that we’ve developed a really special bond. So that was the first thing that I set out to do through my own actions and my own relationships, and I think that the guys caught on. I’m proud of that, and I’m honored by that.

“And I think that they felt that it fit for what we were walking through day by day. And then the players played pretty good. So it was a perfect storm of delivering the message to try and change the culture, and then the players went out and executed every single day. They did that on their own. They performed. They grew. They cared about one another. And you could see where that landed us.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 08, 2017 at 08:18 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Thursday, October 05, 2017


Sunday, October 01, 2017


Sunday, September 24, 2017

The case for Jose Altuve as the American League MVP, and a look at the rest of the contenders

Nick Cafardo embraces WAR.

WAR numbers can also vary based on the formulas used to calculate them. Defensive metrics are also getting more refined and accurate. And there are these things called your eyes. If you’ve followed a player all season you understand his value regardless of what the numbers say. Usually the numbers back up the eyes and the instincts.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 24, 2017 at 02:34 PM | 102 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Sunday Notes: Travis Shaw and the Brewers are Sneaky Good | FanGraphs Baseball

When I first wrote about Matt Olson, he was 20 years old and wrapping up a season where he led the Pacific Coast League with 37 home runs. Three years later, he’s showing off his prodigious power in an Oakland uniform. Since being called up by the A’s in mid June, the sweet-swinging first baseman has gone deep 24 times in 210 plate appearances. His slash line is a McGwire-esque .262/.357/.667.

The bridge between those aforementioned seasons included an impactful mechanical adjustment. Olson has always been strikeout prone, and last September he went just 2 for 21 in his first taste of big league baseball. Some tightening up was in order.

“When I got up here last year, they wanted to address some issues, and my way of addressing them was to move my hands out in front of my body more,” Olson told me recently. “Before, when I would get loaded, I would tuck them back. That was causing me to cut myself off — I was swinging against my body — so I moved them out to where I can go directly to the ball, as opposed to having to kind of spin off to get my barrel there.”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 24, 2017 at 12:41 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

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