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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Mitch Williams: Matt Harvey looks like NL Cy Young material

“It is all over his face.” (psst…don’t tell Murray Chass)

When I look at players who have been surprises, the one that jumps out at me the most. I can’t really even say it is that big of a surprise. What Matt Harvey is doing for the Mets is phenomenal! I say it’s not that big of a surprise because of what I saw out of him last year. I said he is the closest thing I’ve seen to Roger Clemens come along. Not just his stuff. But more importantly the way he carries himself on the mound. That is what reminds me most of Clemens. In ’86, having to sit across the field from “Rocket” was so impressive. He had that look on his face that told every hitter, ‘You have no chance.’

That is what I see in Harvey, from his first start last year through three starts this year. This kid doesn’t believe anyone can beat him! It is all over his face. He steps up on the mound and the hitter looks out there and sees a set of eyes that have no question marks in them. He knows what he wants to do, and he does it. He has a fastball that he will throw from 93-98 mph, and above average secondary pitches.

..I picked Stephen Strasburg to win the NL Cy Young before the season. But I am changing my mind three starts into the season. I truly believe that Harvey is the best pitcher in the NL. He has above average stuff as demonstrated by the six hits he has allowed in his first 22 innings pitched. Most guys would be happy to have a WHIP that is around 1.3; his is .55, and the staggering number is the BAA. The league is hitting .088 against this kid. It is a small sample and only three starts. But I don’t see this guy slowing down. I truly think he is going to win the NL Cy.

They say that Zack Wheeler, another young arm in the Mets system, has better stuff than Harvey. I haven’t seen much of Wheeler, but I can say this for sure, the stuff that really matters, the six or seven inches between the ears, I can’t see any way that Wheeler can be be better than Harvey. There isn’t another pitcher in the game right now that is stronger than Harvey in that area!.

Repoz Posted: April 18, 2013 at 08:11 PM | 37 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mets

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   1. MM1f Posted: April 18, 2013 at 08:29 PM (#4418595)
Not just his stuff. But more importantly the way he carries himself on the mound.


Yes, that IS more important than having multiple plus-plus pitches. Wait, no it isn't...
   2. ronackner Posted: April 18, 2013 at 08:29 PM (#4418597)
This is about as premature as preseason predictions. Less than a month of information here.
   3. cardsfanboy Posted: April 18, 2013 at 08:37 PM (#4418602)
I will be shocked if Matt Harvey finishes in the top 10 in era, and top 20 in innings pitched... heck, if he gets even one Cy Young vote(and assuming no Keith Law or Will Carroll level of stupidity in the vote) I would be shocked.
   4. JJ1986 Posted: April 18, 2013 at 08:59 PM (#4418623)
Even if body language and attitude are exactly as important as Williams thinks - he's only seen Harvey when things are going extremely well.
   5. Conor Posted: April 18, 2013 at 09:12 PM (#4418636)
I will be shocked if Matt Harvey finishes in the top 10 in era, and top 20 in innings pitched.


IP you are probably right, since the Mets will likely be out of the race and they won't push him to throw a ton of innings. I wouldn't be all that surprised if he finishes top 10 in ERA. Last year the 10th place finisher was Wade Miley, 3.33 ERA. Harvey has now made 13 starts in the big leagues with a 2.21 ERA. I of course don't expect a 2.21 ERA for the season, but finishing somewhere around 3.30 doesn't seem ridiculous. ZIPS is projecting a 3.45 ERA for the season now.

I'm sure I've jinxed Harvey and he's getting lit up tomorrow night
   6. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: April 18, 2013 at 09:37 PM (#4418657)
Yeah, I see no reason why Harvey couldn't put up an ERA around 3.30 in 160-180 IP, especially given his home park. He's definitely got good enough stuff to do it, the real issue will be how the league adjusts to him and fatigue over the course of a season. He's got basically everything you want in a pitcher at his level of development.

I wouldn't say he's likely to get Cy Young votes, but I wouldn't be in any way shocked shocked if he got a couple votes if he stays healthy and pitches a full season at the level he's shown through his first 13 starts.
   7. cardsfanboy Posted: April 18, 2013 at 09:54 PM (#4418682)
Mind you, I habitually don't trust young pitchers the first time through the league. There are exceptions(I can't think of anyone right now, although Strasburg is making a believer out of me) Until everyone gets a chance to see them with their own eyes, I think they are subject to see-saw type of performances.

I fully expect him to have a four to six games stretch where he struggles to get out of the fifth inning. It's how he responds to this expected adversity that determines his ultimate career.
   8. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: April 18, 2013 at 09:56 PM (#4418690)
Ah, you're on the extreme end of TINSTAAPP.
   9. cardsfanboy Posted: April 18, 2013 at 10:25 PM (#4418719)
Ah, you're on the extreme end of TINSTAAPP.


Not really, just think that it takes time for a pitcher to grasp pitching at the major league level. Add in that the young(under 27) body is extremely elastic, and it's inherently tough for athletes to maintain consistency at those ages. I have no problem with prospects, just not confident that they can be consistent.(The ones that do at that age generally go in the hall)
   10. Yastrzemski in left. Posted: April 18, 2013 at 11:10 PM (#4418778)
"Mind you, I habitually don't trust young pitchers the first time through the league."

Yeah, it's only one game but Cingrani looked pretty damn good to me.
   11. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 18, 2013 at 11:26 PM (#4418794)
Hey, as a Mets fan I've got to be optimistic about something, and Harvey's as good a reason as any. At his best he's got Hall of Very Good stuff, meaning that since he's a Met this may be his last season.
   12. cardsfanboy Posted: April 18, 2013 at 11:46 PM (#4418809)
Hey, as a Mets fan I've got to be optimistic about something, and Harvey's as good a reason as any. At his best he's got Hall of Very Good stuff, meaning that since he's a Met this may be his last season.


Sorry...wasn't trying to take anything away. Just putting my opinion on the matter out there. Jaime Garcia after 85 ip as a starter in the majors, 1.79 era..... He's going to be a solid major league pitcher, but if he does become a Cy Young candidate, he'll probably be closer to 30 than 25 years old. (edit he's in his age 26 season now, and has pitched 515ip, at 113 era+ for his career..nothing wrong with that.)
   13. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: April 18, 2013 at 11:54 PM (#4418813)
I will be shocked if Matt Harvey finishes in the top 10 in era, and top 20 in innings pitched... heck, if he gets even one Cy Young vote(and assuming no Keith Law or Will Carroll level of stupidity in the vote) I would be shocked.

I don't know about the innings but I think I'd take that bet regarding the ERA if I were a betting man. Let's say he posts a 3.60 era in a 160 IP the rest of the way. With what he has already done, he'd end the season with a 3.26. A 3.26 ERA would have put him in the top-10 last year. A 3.60 ERA was good for a 106 ERA+ in 2012. Do I think Harvey can put up a 106 ERA+ the rest of the way? I think he's more than capable.

Harvey threw 170 innings last year. 200 ip this season would not be unreasonable. Harvey is 24 already.
   14. deputydrew Posted: April 19, 2013 at 12:25 AM (#4418833)
he's in his age 26 season now


Really? I thought he was a real youngster, like 22 or 23. He's TWENTY SIX? Huh?
   15. Lassus Posted: April 19, 2013 at 12:34 AM (#4418840)
Harvey turned 24 three weeks ago.
   16. cardsfanboy Posted: April 19, 2013 at 12:34 AM (#4418842)
Really? I thought he was a real youngster, like 22 or 23. He's TWENTY SIX? Huh?


Not talking about Harvey, was talking about Garcia...sorry I didn't have that clear there. I was juxtapositioning between Harvey and Garcia, talking about how Garcia did well to start off his career and hasn't been consistent since then and that doesn't mean he isn't a good pitcher, or that he wouldn't be in the future, just that even with that first season promise, he hasn't really kept up the early great start he had.
   17. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: April 19, 2013 at 12:42 AM (#4418844)
Jamie Garcia never had the peripherals Harvey has.
   18. Dan Posted: April 19, 2013 at 12:44 AM (#4418848)
I will be shocked if Matt Harvey finishes in the top 10 in era, and top 20 in innings pitched... heck, if he gets even one Cy Young vote(and assuming no Keith Law or Will Carroll level of stupidity in the vote) I would be shocked.


Assuming no stupidity in an MLB award vote? That's not going to get you very far.
   19. PreservedFish Posted: April 19, 2013 at 12:46 AM (#4418850)
I think cardsfanboy is right to be skeptical of any young pitcher - but by the same token, it wouldn't surprise me at all if Harvey were already one of the best pitchers in baseball, and a CYA contender. Why couldn't he be?
   20. cardsfanboy Posted: April 19, 2013 at 12:55 AM (#4418853)
Jamie Garcia never had the peripherals Harvey has.


Not sure what you meant, if you meant strikeout rate you are correct. If you meant that Jaime had a much lower hr allowed rate, then that would also be correct. Again, I was talking about after 70 innings in the majors. Jaime had pretty much the same walk rate, worse strikeout rate, a tad worse whip, along with a lower hr rate. Of course he also had the 1.59 era at that point in time, and it was obvious that wasn't going to last.

I'm not even saying they are comparable pitchers, just pointing out one of the reasons I hold off on getting too excited about a young player in the majors.

   21. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 19, 2013 at 01:04 AM (#4418857)
I think cardsfanboy is right to be skeptical of any young pitcher - but by the same token, it wouldn't surprise me at all if Harvey were already one of the best pitchers in baseball, and a CYA contender. Why couldn't he be?


Why not indeed? He won't keep this up, of course, but his raw stats and his stuff are damned good. It's not like he's got something like 6k/9, 3bb/9 1.2hr/9 and everything's being hit at someone.
   22. cardsfanboy Posted: April 19, 2013 at 01:04 AM (#4418858)
Just for the fun of it, not that this is any evidence of anything, but because I was wondering how some pitchers who have started their career out well, have done and the simplest way I could figure out how to do that was to look in streak finder for pitchers who have allowed 3 or less runs in their first starts.......

None of them have Harvey's K rate though.
Edit: Note...games is how many consecutive games at the start of their career that they allowed 3 earned runs or less.
Rk                      Strk Start        End Games  W  L GS CG SHO GF SV    IP   H  R ER BB  SO HR  ERA HBP WP          Tm
                                                                                                                           
1           Gary Peters 1963
-05-06 1963-09-05    25 17  4 25 12   4  0  0 196.1 134 39 35 47 148  7 1.60   6  4         CHW
2            Aaron Sele 1993
-06-23 1994-04-19    21  8  2 21  0   0  0  0 131.0 116 46 38 56 109  7 2.61   7  6         BOS
3         Ferdie Schupp 1916
-07-13 1917-06-09    20 15  2 20 15   6  0  0 168.1  98 24 19 42 100  5 1.02   5  1         NYG
4             Al Mamaux 1916
-04-15 1916-07-12    20 12  5 20 12   1  0  0 154.0 109 48 29 67  73  2 1.69   6  1         PIT
5            Dick Lange 1972
-09-09 1974-07-14    18  4  7 18  2   0  0  0 111.1 105 51 41 40  60 11 3.31   3  3         CAL
6          Steve Rogers 1973
-07-18 1974-04-11    18 11  5 18  8   3  0  0 143.0  99 29 23 53  72  5 1.45   1  3         MON
7          Dave Lemonds 1969
-06-30 1972-09-04    18  3  7 18  0   0  0  0  77.2  76 34 26 28  46  5 3.01   1  3     CHC-CHW
8      George McConnell 1916
-04-12 1916-08-14    17  4  8 17  7   1  0  0 132.2  95 42 31 25  69  8 2.10   2  3         CHC
9            Tom Murphy 1968
-06-13 1969-04-13    16  5  6 16  3   0  0  0 105.1  74 33 26 28  59  5 2.22   5  2         CAL
10           Guy Morton 1916
-04-13 1916-08-21    16 11  4 16  9   0  0  0 126.0 113 43 30 31  74  1 2.14   1  2         CLE
11       Claude Hendrix 1916
-04-14 1916-08-20    16  6  9 16 11   3  0  0 121.2  90 36 24 33  58  2 1.78   2  4         CHC
12         Jaime Garcia 2008
-07-20 2010-06-22    15  7  3 15  0   0  0  0  90.1  74 24 20 36  74  5 1.99   2  5         STL
13          Joe Hesketh 1984
-08-10 1985-06-03    15  7  3 15  2   1  0  0 101.2  72 26 20 24  74  5 1.77   0  2         MON
14        Bill Stafford 1960
-08-17 1961-06-25    15  8  3 15  5   1  0  0 107.0  92 28 24 32  57  5 2.02   2  0         NYY
15         Art Mahaffey 1960
-08-03 1961-04-29    15  9  4 15  8   2  0  0 115.1  85 32 25 41  77  9 1.95   1  2         PHI
16          Watty Clark 1924
-07-11 1928-06-26    15  9  2 15  8   2  0  0 109.2 110 39 26 26  40  3 2.13   1  1     CLE-BRO
17             Joe Benz 1916
-04-16 1916-09-12    15  8  4 15  6   4  0  0 101.0  68 22 14 24  38  0 1.25   2  3         CHW
18          Josh Outman 2008
-09-13 2009-06-08    14  5  2 14  0   0  0  0  79.0  73 36 31 32  62  7 3.53   1  2         OAK
19          Darryl Kile 1991
-04-24 1991-08-16    14  5  5 14  0   0  0  0  83.2  68 34 21 41  59  8 2.26   1  3         HOU
20         Andy Hassler 1971
-05-30 1974-07-13    14  2 11 14  4   0  0  0  80.0  87 45 24 43  37  0 2.70   5  4         CAL
21           Ray Corbin 1971
-06-17 1972-07-04    14  4  6 14  3   1  0  0  90.0  87 34 28 34  52  7 2.80   2  4         MIN
22      Marcelino Lopez 1963
-04-14 1965-06-04    14  8  3 14  3   0  0  0  94.1  76 29 25 39  57  6 2.39   2  5     PHI-CAL
23      Mellie Wolfgang 1916
-04-20 1916-08-11    14  4  4 14  6   1  0  0 100.1  82 24 14 26  29  0 1.26   1  2         CHW
24         Frank Miller 1916
-04-16 1916-07-31    14  5  6 14  7   1  0  0 108.2  79 28 20 28  42  4 1.66   5  2         PIT
25         Josh Johnson 2005
-09-30 2006-07-08    13  7  2 13  0   0  0  0  79.1  64 25 18 37  71  5 2.04   3  3         FLA
26         Brandon Webb 2003
-04-27 2003-07-08    13  6  2 13  1   1  0  0  90.0  69 23 22 23  72  6 2.20   4  4         ARI
27     Dustin Hermanson 1997
-04-22 1997-06-27    13  3  4 13  0   0  0  0  63.1  53 24 24 30  50  8 3.41   1  1         MON
28        Pedro Astacio 1992
-07-03 1993-04-15    13  5  6 13  4   4  0  0  96.0  90 27 22 28  53  2 2.06   2  2         LAD
29          Charlie Lea 1980
-06-12 1980-08-19    13  4  5 13  0   0  0  0  76.0  68 32 25 38  40  4 2.96   0  2         MON
30           Alan Wirth 1978
-04-09 1978-09-26    13  4  5 13  2   1  0  0  67.2  54 29 21 28  29  4 2.79   2  4         OAK
31         Joe McIntosh 1974
-09-04 1975-05-21    13  5  6 13  3   1  0  0  91.0  71 27 21 24  46  3 2.08   1  1         SDP
32         Cisco Carlos 1967
-08-25 1968-05-19    13  4  4 13  1   1  0  0  73.1  51 19 12 18  41  4 1.47   3  1         CHW
33          Mike Garcia 1949
-05-22 1949-08-24    13  8  4 13  5   3  0  0  86.1  74 21 20 34  44  2 2.08   2  1         CLE
34            Ed Wright 1945
-08-03 1946-04-17    13  8  4 13  7   1  0  0 105.1  96 30 24 30  22  5 2.05   0  0         BSN
35    Grover Lowdermilk 1916
-04-24 1918-04-20    13  4  6 13  5   1  0  0  82.2  73 36 21 55  41  0 2.29   5  4     CLE-SLB
36       Allan Sothoron 1917
-04-17 1917-06-26    13  6  3 13  8   2  0  0  89.1  74 34 14 29  26  0 1.41   4  1         SLB
37        Barry Enright 2010
-06-30 2010-09-01    12  6  2 12  0   0  0  0  73.1  65 20 20 22  41  8 2.45   0  0         ARI
38             Ken Hill 1988
-09-27 1989-06-07    12  3  5 12  1   1  0  0  80.2  70 28 23 36  54  1 2.57   2  3         STL
39          Roger Mason 1984
-09-12 1986-05-04    12  4  5 12  2   1  0  0  75.2  60 26 20 28  64  3 2.38   2  1     DET-SFG
40          Fred Klages 1966
-09-11 1967-09-11    12  4  4 12  0   0  0  0  57.1  51 23 22 23  20  6 3.45   1  3         CHW
41            Al Brazle 1943
-07-25 1946-06-16    12  8  3 12 10   1  0  0 103.0  85 24 14 32  36  0 1.22   1  2         STL
42        Jim Konstanty 1944
-06-18 1944-09-26    12  5  3 12  5   1  0  0  89.1  87 31 20 19  15 10 2.01   0  0         CIN
43            Pat Ragan 1916
-05-08 1916-07-14    12  7  3 12  9   3  0  0  99.1  61 21 18 26  50  2 1.63   0  1         BSN
44         A
.JGriffin 2012-06-24 2012-09-12    11  6  0 11  0   0  0  0  65.0  48 14 14 11  53  5 1.94   0  0         OAK
45           Chris Sale 2012
-04-09 2012-06-09    11  8  2 11  1   0  0  0  73.2  50 17 17 17  75  4 2.08   2  2         CHW
46     Joba Chamberlain 2008
-06-03 2008-07-30    11  3  1 11  0   0  0  0  60.2  52 18 15 23  69  2 2.23   2  3         NYY
47     Carlos Hernandez 2001
-08-18 2002-05-21    11  5  2 11  0   0  0  0  67.1  47 17 17 23  52  4 2.27   2  2         HOU
48          Ryan Jensen 2001
-05-19 2002-04-21    11  2  3 11  0   0  0  0  54.1  49 17 16 25  32  3 2.65   4  1         SFG
49         Britt Reames 2000
-08-20 2001-04-19    11  4  1 11  0   0  0  0  60.2  44 25 19 38  46  7 2.82   1  2     STL-MON
50       Kelvim Escobar 1998
-08-05 1999-04-09    11  7  2 11  0   0  0  0  74.2  58 24 20 30  65  2 2.41   0  1         TOR 
   23. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 19, 2013 at 01:09 AM (#4418861)
Nice post.

Aaron Sele? Whoda thunkit?

A quick skim says no HOFers and a lot of forgettable guys.

edit: no recollection of it, but after his third season was Sele badly injured? His BBRef page almost shouts it.
   24. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: April 19, 2013 at 03:20 AM (#4418927)
"Mind you, I habitually don't trust young pitchers the first time through the league."

I'm not sure what this means, but if you're saying a rookie pitcher can't be a CYA contender, there are lots of exceptions to that -- Yu Darvish and Wade Miley for example.
   25. Walt Davis Posted: April 19, 2013 at 07:31 AM (#4419023)
Dustin Hermanson ... hadn't thought of that guy in ages ... for obvious reasons.

edit: no recollection of it, but after his third season was Sele badly injured? His BBRef page almost shouts it.

Don't forget the 94 strike. But I assume it was in his 3rd season -- only a few starts none after the end of May, no extensive minors time.

Man, up until then, he was getting amazing results on solid but unexciting peripherals. 46 starts, 146 ERA+ but only 6.8/3.9 K/9 and a WHIP of 1.37. HR rate of just .7 but still that's not 146 ERA+ territory most of the time. Just an odd career really.
   26. Lassus Posted: April 19, 2013 at 07:59 AM (#4419037)
Mitch Williams doing his best to curse the Mets here.
   27. formerly dp Posted: April 19, 2013 at 08:11 AM (#4419042)
I agree that Harvey won't get the IP to merit CYA consideration. And he'll be lucky to win 10 games for the Mets, even if he's hurling shutouts every other game. Plus, it's April 19.
   28. There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: April 19, 2013 at 10:22 AM (#4419186)
27. I'm betting he cracks 10 wins.
   29. formerly dp Posted: April 19, 2013 at 10:43 AM (#4419221)
27. I'm betting he cracks 10 wins.
You'd probably win that bet. I'm just a bit down after that series in Colorado. Casper Wells and Julio Burbon are hanging out on the waiver wire-- either of these guys would seem like good adds to the team.
   30. cardsfanboy Posted: April 19, 2013 at 12:44 PM (#4419377)
'm betting he cracks 10 wins.


I'm the one urging caution, and I'm thinking he probably breaks 10 wins pretty easily.

I'm not sure what this means, but if you're saying a rookie pitcher can't be a CYA contender, there are lots of exceptions to that -- Yu Darvish and Wade Miley for example.


I'm saying that as a general rule, young(under 25) pitchers in their first full season aren't Cy Young contenders. But more importantly, not to get caught up in a early streak of greatness in a young players career and project that into something more. Generally it's safer to bet against youth than on it.

Of course it's always great when they succeed.
   31. KT's Pot Arb Posted: April 19, 2013 at 01:42 PM (#4419468)
Not sure what you meant, if you meant strikeout rate you are correct. If you meant that Jaime had a much lower hr allowed rate, then that would also be correct.


Jaime Garcia gave up 6 HR in his first 81 MLB innings, that's an almost identical rate to Harvey's 0.7 HR/9 rate.

If you want to throw out Jaime's age 21 season, instead of cherry picking a freak (0.3 HR/9) stretch from his age 23 season we should also point out that Jaime had a 0.6 HR/9 rate against minor league batters at that point, so it was likely an aberration.

From his minor league stats, you would think Matt Harvey's K rate seems a little high and should probably be in the 9-10 range per 9 innings, but the rest of his stats are in line.

It's not a stretch to think a pitcher with a K rate that should normalize to 30%+ higher than Garcia will be a significantly better pitcher than Garcia even if giving up a bit more walks and slightly more home runs. And a 113 ERA+ starter is a very valuable pitcher if he can stay healthy, so no shot at Garcia there, just supporting how excited Mets fans should be about Harvey.
   32. Rusty Priske Posted: April 19, 2013 at 04:00 PM (#4419627)
At our draft in our Strat keeper league, someone took Harvey at #2 (NL only).

I thought that was a crazy pick. Other people thought I was out to lunch and that he was an obvious #2 (after Harper).

So far they are winning.
   33. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: April 19, 2013 at 04:42 PM (#4419690)
From his minor league stats, you would think Matt Harvey's K rate seems a little high and should probably be in the 9-10 range per 9 innings, but the rest of his stats are in line.

I don't know how true this is but there was some chatter about Harvey being better than his minor league numbers might indicate because he was bored/working on his secondary pitches. FWIW.
   34. Long Time Listener, First Time Caller Posted: April 19, 2013 at 06:44 PM (#4419790)
It seems to me if we were going to have a discussion about the value of sample size when evaluating a young pitcher, we might want to use a sample size a bit larger than "Jamie Garcia's career"
   35. There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: April 20, 2013 at 07:13 AM (#4420217)
d'oh
   36. There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: April 20, 2013 at 07:14 AM (#4420218)
The legend grows...

http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NYN/NYN201304190.shtml

"Har-vey's bet-ter (clap, clap, clapclapclap)"
   37. Greg K Posted: April 20, 2013 at 07:28 AM (#4420221)
This may be a dumb question, but he's not any relation to Bryan Harvey is he? I'm guessing not.

I saw Greg Vaughn's son pop up on a prospect report the other day, along with the spawn of Delino DeShields, Lance McCullers, Raul Mondesi, Lenny Dykstra, Dwight Smith, Dickie Thon and countless others.

Do more sons of major leaugers get drafted these days? Or is it that A) I pay more attention to prospects than 15 years ago, and B) I wasn't old enough to know who's people's fathers were 15 years ago?

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