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Sunday, August 12, 2018

Ramon Laureano threw the s**t out of this baseball.

Ramon Laureano has played a total of five games in the majors, all this season, all since the start of August. It’s been a fun start! He’s already had a number of defensive highlights, and his first hit in the bigs was a walk-off game-winner in extras, in his first career game.

spanx for the memories Posted: August 12, 2018 at 12:23 PM | 150 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: August 12, 2018 at 02:48 PM (#5725383)
You'll need to use this link: https://deadspin.com/ramon-laureano-threw-the-####-out-of-this-baseball-1828286013 and replace the #### with the four letter cuss for excrement. Kinda wish the Nanny didn't nanny links.

re: tfa: holy friggin cow that's an absolute BOMB from that deep to first base. What a throw!
   2. cardsfanboy Posted: August 12, 2018 at 03:01 PM (#5725390)
nope still not working
Here is a mlb link with an article on best throws
   3. cardsfanboy Posted: August 12, 2018 at 03:09 PM (#5725396)
In a game chatter (I think) we were talking about the Jackie Bradley Jr play earlier this month, and some were complaining about the 42% chance it was given... the play here was also give a 42% probability, the JBJ play was 78 feet in 4.4 seconds, this play was 76 feet in 4.4 seconds. Pretty close to the same play although that extra two feet, and assuming the 4.4 is an equal 4.4 not a 4.41 vs 4.44, might have required a dive from Laureano that would have negated any chance at the throw.
   4. puck Posted: August 12, 2018 at 04:16 PM (#5725413)
   5. The Duke Posted: August 12, 2018 at 04:36 PM (#5725415)
That goes into the Rick Ankiel hall of fame category. Mighty throw
   6. Tin Angel Posted: August 12, 2018 at 04:49 PM (#5725423)
Pretty insane. 321 feet, 91 mph, and with perfect location.
   7. DCA Posted: August 12, 2018 at 04:55 PM (#5725427)
The outcome is really on Young though.

If that's a 42% catch probability he needs to stay closer to 2B until the ball hits the ground so that he can retreat in the likely instance that it is caught. He keeps jogging toward third as Laureano runs it down and then probably has an oh #### moment halfway to third. The throw is in the air before he even gets back to 2B.
   8. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: August 12, 2018 at 05:49 PM (#5725439)
Pretty insane. 321 feet, 91 mph, and with perfect location.

that wasn't a throw--that was a PITCH
   9. Stormy JE Posted: August 12, 2018 at 05:59 PM (#5725442)
that wasn't a throw--that was a PITCH
Don't give Manfred any ideas. No fan wants to see the pitching rubber moved to the warning track.
   10. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: August 12, 2018 at 06:39 PM (#5725457)
The outcome is really on Young though.


Well sure, but let's just celebrate the awesomeness of "the throw". Unless you've got JBJ out there, I don't think any runner(especially someone quick) is thinking some guy he's never heard of is even attempting, let alone making that throw.

It's probably my favourite highlight so far this year. Just one of those totally from out of left field(yes, pun intended) things. This is why I watch baseball.
   11. cardsfanboy Posted: August 12, 2018 at 06:52 PM (#5725459)

It's probably my favourite highlight so far this year. Just one of those totally from out of left field(yes, pun intended) things. This is why I watch baseball.


Have to agree, as one article pointed out, it's probably the play of the year, it's a combo of a great defensive catch, combined with a great throw for an out... I'm not sure how many of those are out there, you have great throws for an out, you have great catches and throws to force the runner back or prevent from advancing, but the combo has to be extremely rare.
   12. Walt Davis Posted: August 12, 2018 at 08:36 PM (#5725468)
the JBJ play was 78 feet in 4.4 seconds, this play was 76 feet in 4.4 seconds.

This appears to be done categorically, not decimally. It appears that 75-79 feet (76-80?) is how it's coded ... and probably the speed is also categorized as 4.35 to 4.44 or something. If you try to get super-precise, you don't have enough sample to estimate a probability with any precision.

Now looking at the play ... way too much air under that throw. :-) But is it just me or did he first break straight across then realized the ball was over his head? If so, the actual ground covered and therefore the speed is better than that 76/4.4 suggests. I didn't look at the Bradley play last week but I'm not particularly surprised that play would be around 40% ... granting the extra 2-3 feet would make a big difference, requiring a dive, so Bradley's specific play might have been lower.
   13. Brian White Posted: August 12, 2018 at 08:43 PM (#5725471)
Yeah, if Young's thought process was, "I'd really like to score if that ball falls in, so I'll advance so far that it would take a 320 foot laser beam with absolute perfect accuracy to double me up at first, and I don't think this dude that I've never heard of has that kind of arm so I'm probably safe," then I can't really blame him. That throw was terrific.
   14. Master of the Horse Posted: August 12, 2018 at 08:49 PM (#5725472)
Anyone who critiques this play is just being a dick.
   15. Cowboy Popup Posted: August 12, 2018 at 09:18 PM (#5725484)
@13, that's a great way to frame it.

Unbelievable throw, thank you for the link(s). I like how casual the first baseman is about receiving the throw, like it's just a toss from second.

I wonder what this guy is capable of if he doesn't have to stop on a dime and throw across his body.
   16. cardsfanboy Posted: August 12, 2018 at 09:37 PM (#5725493)
(76-80?)


Well Bader had a 4.3 play for 80 feet that was listed as a 15% probability, not sure if the is evidence or not that it's a different category.
   17. dr. scott Posted: August 12, 2018 at 10:29 PM (#5725513)
Have to agree, as one article pointed out, it's probably the play of the year, it's a combo of a great defensive catch, combined with a great throw for an out... I'm not sure how many of those are out there, you have great throws for an out, you have great catches and throws to force the runner back or prevent from advancing, but the combo has to be extremely rare.


Exactly. A lot of folks have been comparing to the Cespedes throw, also at Angels stadium. The Cespedes throw, however, followed an outfield gaffe (by Cespedes) that prompted the runner to go. The Loreano play had it all!
   18. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: August 12, 2018 at 11:08 PM (#5725534)
I wonder what this guy is capable of if he doesn't have to stop on a dime and throw across his body.


Here's another one (from his major league debut no less and in the top of the 13th in a scoreless game). The runner is 2/3 of the way to third when he releases the ball!

I love this guy.
   19. Obo Posted: August 12, 2018 at 11:43 PM (#5725554)
I like how casual the first baseman is about receiving the throw, like it's just a toss from second.

I assume that was intentional. He kept his glove down until the last moment in order to avoid tipping off the runner that the throw was coming in and it was going to be a bang-bang play.

Thanks for the link in #4, puck. They did a nice job on the replays there, showing both the home plate and the outfield camera views.
   20. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 13, 2018 at 12:16 AM (#5725563)
Well sure, but let's just celebrate the awesomeness of "the throw". Unless you've got JBJ out there, I don't think any runner(especially someone quick) is thinking some guy he's never heard of is even attempting, let alone making that throw.

It's probably my favourite highlight so far this year. Just one of those totally from out of left field(yes, pun intended) things. This is why I watch baseball.
What adds to its awesomeness is how long it takes the announcers to comprehend the awesomeness of it. They see the guy get doubled off, and only then does it dawn on them what just happened.
   21. Walt Davis Posted: August 13, 2018 at 01:51 AM (#5725569)
Well Bader had a 4.3 play for 80 feet that was listed as a 15% probability, not sure if the is evidence or not that it's a different category.

Yes, as I discussed in that thread. I suspect that means (and the graph I originally linked suggests) that the categories are 75-79 and 80-84, but it could be the 4.3 hang time or that they've changed categories since the stuff I found. The material linked for info on statcast's catch probability were from early 2017 and suggested more changes were coming in early 2017 ... they might be doing things differently now but haven't updated the info links. I don't think they'd have enough info to get away from categories but maybe they have ... or maybe they're doing linear extrapolation within categories or something.

Note, the percentages you cited didn't line up with the percentages I found in the document explaining the calculations for those hang time and distance combos so something has been updated/changed since then.
   22. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: August 13, 2018 at 10:08 AM (#5725614)
The outcome is really on Young though.


A great catch and an unbelievable throw, and he was out by a couple feet.

I can't really fault Young on this play.
   23. McCoy Posted: August 13, 2018 at 10:34 AM (#5725624)
I don't see the great catch or the great throw. The catch is a routine MlB center fielder catch. For the throw he runs away from the infield, double clutches and takes a few steps inward before throwing a high arcing throw and the runner is out by a few steps. The amazing play is all because the runner made a mistake. I don't know if all Major league center fielders/right fielders could have pulled it off all the time but a lot of them could have pulled this off.

Certainly worthy to be on the day's highlight reel but best play all season? No.
   24. jmurph Posted: August 13, 2018 at 11:01 AM (#5725655)
I can't tell if that is a Ray parody or self-parody.
   25. SoSH U at work Posted: August 13, 2018 at 11:03 AM (#5725658)

I can't tell if that is a Ray parody or self-parody.


For the record, Ray has already taken this exact position with a Cespedes throw a few years back.
   26. McCoy Posted: August 13, 2018 at 11:04 AM (#5725662)
It's reality
   27. bunyon Posted: August 13, 2018 at 11:13 AM (#5725675)
I see McCoy's point. It's a great catch. It's a great throw. Only an accident of circumstance let them come together.

But those accidents of circumstance are what make great plays, all-timers. Bobby Thomson hit a fairly routine HR down the line; what's the big deal?

The runner definitely went too far. Yes, I know, it took two great plays from a no-name to get him but that's too far. He could have been just past second and he scores if the ball falls in. You don't go as far as you can and still have a good chance to get back, you go as far as you need to to have a good chance to score if it falls in and the guy went way past that.

So, yes, bad baserunning and neither the catch nor the throw were all-timers. But, when you put them all in the same 15 seconds, it is. Sure, there is a lot of luck in that. But there is always a lot of luck in an all-time anything.
   28. jmurph Posted: August 13, 2018 at 11:14 AM (#5725677)
It's reality

I don't think it's impossible to imagine that there has been a better play made by someone else this season, but this kind of post would work better with an actual comparison.
   29. McCoy Posted: August 13, 2018 at 11:24 AM (#5725682)
How was this a great throw or a great catch? Was the run down extra long? Did he immediately pivot, plant, and throw a laser. Is the distance he threw extra special for a major leaguer. How many OFer are capable of covering that distance and with time enough to get that runner out? We have statcast now and I thought the probability of a fly out on that play was pretty high. How does that square with the idea of a great play and unbelievable their?
   30. SoSH U at work Posted: August 13, 2018 at 11:35 AM (#5725692)
Is the distance he threw extra special for a major leaguer.


Yes. Really, it is.

Very, very few centerfielders could make that throw on the fly, and a lot of rightfielders couldn't. I don't know why you and Ray think that there is such a uniformity in outfield arm strength, when outfield arm strength is one of the least selected for traits in baseball.

Jeez, Johnny Damon, Bernie Williams and Juan Pierre played center for many, many years. We already know that you don't need to have that kind of arm, or any kind of arm, in their cases, to play the position.

Oh, and do you know how we know that not many players could make that throw? If they could, Young wouldn't have gone that far.

   31. Mefisto Posted: August 13, 2018 at 11:51 AM (#5725705)
We have statcast now and I thought the probability of a fly out on that play was pretty high.


Comment #3 says it was 42%.
   32. Lassus Posted: August 13, 2018 at 11:56 AM (#5725708)
So, yes, bad baserunning and neither the catch nor the throw were all-timers. But, when you put them all in the same 15 seconds, it is. Sure, there is a lot of luck in that. But there is always a lot of luck in an all-time anything.

See: Endy's DP from LF, in the 2006 NLCS.

EDIT: Which, of course, isn't really talked about much because the ####### Mets Metsed up the game.


   33. Cowboy Popup Posted: August 13, 2018 at 12:03 PM (#5725717)
Very, very few centerfielders could make that throw on the fly, and a lot of rightfielders couldn't. I don't know why you and Ray think that there is such a uniformity in outfield arm strength, when outfield arm strength is one of the least selected for traits in baseball.

And we have numbers to back this up! After running into the left center gap to make a harder than average catch, dude threw the ball 91 MPH to first base. No wind up, no running start, not even an opportunity to set and throw in a way to maximize velocity. And he still manages to get the ball moving at fastball speed and with perfect accuracy.

I'd like to see an argument other than "meh, I've seen better" to suggest that this was not a special play.
   34. Tin Angel Posted: August 13, 2018 at 12:12 PM (#5725729)
Did he immediately pivot, plant, and throw a laser.


I have some crazy information for you- when you are running absolutely full speed, it's pretty much impossible to immediately stop on a dime. And yes, he did plant and throw a laser.

But since this was such a meh play, I'm sure it'd be easy for you to quickly go to MLB video and find 10 or 15 better throws this year.
   35. Greg K Posted: August 13, 2018 at 12:31 PM (#5725748)
See: Endy's DP from LF, in the 2006 NLCS.

EDIT: Which, of course, isn't really talked about much because the ####### Mets Metsed up the game.

That's still probably the most memorable catch I've ever seen.
   36. McCoy Posted: August 13, 2018 at 01:15 PM (#5725788)
Very, very few centerfielders could make that throw on the fly, and a lot of rightfielders couldn't.

What does on the fly mean and whatever it means I don't think it applies to this situation. Ramon slowed down, turned around, assessed the situation (originally looked like he was going to throw to the cutoff or to second base until he saw the runner still too far out from first base), reassessed the situation, took some steps toward first base and then threw the ball. Yes noodled armed OF'ers wouldn't have caught the runner in time but it wasn't a bang bang play and there are plenty of arms in the majors that could make the throw given the time Ramon had.
   37. SoSH U at work Posted: August 13, 2018 at 01:19 PM (#5725794)
What does on the fly mean


You don't know what that means?

Yes noodled armed OF'ers wouldn't have caught the runner in time but it wasn't a bang bang play and there are plenty of arms in the majors that could make the throw given the time Ramon had.


No, they couldn't have, because very few outfielders have arms that strong. This isn't complicated.
   38. McCoy Posted: August 13, 2018 at 01:21 PM (#5725796)
But since this was such a meh play, I'm sure it'd be easy for you to quickly go to MLB video and find 10 or 15 better throws this year.



Statcast says the odds of that flyball being an out was 42% so go look at any flyball out that had a 42% chance of being an out or lower. I guessing there are a lot.

The throw: Apparently it was a 321 foot throw. By the time Ramon releases it the runner is just getting off second base or roundabout there. So find any plays at home in which the runner from third is tagging up and the outfielder is 321 feet or greater from home plate and nabs the runner. I'm thinking Schwarber did it a couple of times this season so far.

The combo. As mentioned the play is certainly worthy of attention and being on highlight reels but it wasn't an amazing catch and it wasn't an amazing throw. It was a good catch and a good throw. That probably elevates it to a very good play.
   39. McCoy Posted: August 13, 2018 at 01:25 PM (#5725798)

You don't know what that means?


I don't know what your whacky version of it means.


No, they couldn't have, because very few outfielders have arms that strong. This isn't complicated.





Um. . .


So to overcome that, we had to come up with a way to track only serious, competitive throws. Instead of putting a one-size-fits-all minimum threshold, we decided to individualize it a little better. Here's what we went with:

1. Identify a player's 90th percentile arm strength.
2. Take the average of all throws above the 90th percentile.

When we set the minimum number of qualified throws at 45, we're left with 121 outfielders, which works out nicely to be roughly three starters and a backup per team, though it didn't always end up that way. (Outfielders are presented here with their 2016 clubs, so Jason Heyward is a Cub, Justin Upton is a Tiger, and so on.)

So, back to the Astros: As you can see, their group of competitive throws -- nearly all by Carlos Gomez, Jake Marisnick, George Springer, Colby Rasmus and Preston Tucker -- made for the only team to top 94 mph, edging out the Orioles and White Sox in second and third place:

The majority of teams occupy a band between roughly 89 mph and 92 mph; the fourth-place Angels are as close to the Astros as they are to the No. 15 Cubs. It's even more impressive than that for Houston, though, because the Astros also swept the top two spots on the individual rankings:
   40. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: August 13, 2018 at 01:29 PM (#5725801)
Don't engage with the troll.
   41. Nasty Nate Posted: August 13, 2018 at 01:30 PM (#5725802)
I don't know what your whacky version of it means.
What are you talking about?
   42. SoSH U at work Posted: August 13, 2018 at 01:30 PM (#5725803)
So find any plays at home in which the runner from third is tagging up and the outfielder is 321 feet or greater from home plate and nabs the runner. I'm thinking Schwarber did it a couple of times this season so far.


Yeah, I'm finding scant video evidence of a single throw like that, but you're welcome to point me in that direction.

I won't wait.

   43. McCoy Posted: August 13, 2018 at 01:32 PM (#5725806)
His throw was 91.2 mph hour. The entire Astro's outfield averaged more than that on "competitive throws" with a minimum of 45 throws. Most of the outfields in the majors average that or better. IF you can't find it it is probably because there are very few times a throw like this would be viewed as noteworthy.

Virtually any of the players that get in the mid to upper 90's to 100's on throws to the plate from 250 feet or so could do this from 320 feet.

   44. SoSH U at work Posted: August 13, 2018 at 01:36 PM (#5725808)
IF you can't find it it is probably because there are very few times a throw like this would be viewed as noteworthy.


But you just said Kyle made several of them already this year. Most of his previous assists are available for easy viewing on the tubes.

But you're probably right. All of us here at BTF, plus the announcers, the kids at Deadspin, the Angels baserunner and the entire A's dugout are just mistaken that this was an unusual play. Thanks for correcting us.

Obviously, you've gone into that contrarian nonsense-spouting mode that you like to occupy from time to time. I should know better than to engage that guy.

   45. McCoy Posted: August 13, 2018 at 01:44 PM (#5725811)
But you're probably right. All of us here at BTF, plus the announcers, the kids at Deadspin, the Angels baserunner and the entire A's dugout are just mistaken that this was an unusual play. Thanks for correcting us.

It is an unusual play. It is a highlight. It is unusual because Young made a baserunning mistake that doesn't often happen.

But again, let's break it down. Do you think the catch was amazing? Do you honestly think that was a rare catch?

Was the throw good? Yes, clearly Ramon has a very strong arm but let us not act like everybody else in the majors has noodle arms as compared to Ramon.
   46. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 13, 2018 at 01:46 PM (#5725812)
But again, let's break it down. Do you think the catch was amazing? Do you honestly think that was a rare catch?
It was a good catch. Not a highlight reel catch.

Was the throw good? Yes, clearly Ramon has a very strong arm but let us not act like everybody else in the majors has noodle arms as compared to Ramon.
No, the throw wasn't good; it was awesome. It was strong and long and accurate. Yes, a significant fielders can plant themselves, get a running start on a sac fly, and throw a ball that far and that accurately. But that wasn't this type of play.
   47. SoSH U at work Posted: August 13, 2018 at 01:50 PM (#5725815)
Was the throw good? Yes, clearly Ramon has a very strong arm but let us not act like everybody else in the majors has noodle arms as compared to Ramon.


What David said.
   48. McCoy Posted: August 13, 2018 at 01:50 PM (#5725816)
No, the throw wasn't good; it was awesome. Yes, many fielders can plant themselves, get a running start on a sac fly, and throw a ball that far and that accurate. But that wasn't this type of play.

Except that is what he ended up doing. This wasn't some Machado/Mays bullet throw that is made with your momentum going the other way. Ramon prepared the throw and moved towards first base to launch the ball. He absolutely loaded up on the ball. You can see it clearly in the video.
   49. BDC Posted: August 13, 2018 at 01:55 PM (#5725823)
Huh, I dunno what has gotten into you, McCoy. That throw was amazing.

One thing I sometimes think about is a level of athletic ability some players have that is surplus to the game being played. Jesse Barfield had an arm as good as Laureano showed on that play, but how many times could he use every bit of it on a throw that mattered? Joey Gallo can hit a baseball over the popcorn wagon behind the RF concourse, but so what? He only needs to hit it over the wall. Etc.

Anyway, here, for once, you saw a guy make a throw at or near the outer limits of what pro ballplayers can do, and every bit of the surplus athleticism mattered to the result of the play. That's just great.
   50. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: August 13, 2018 at 01:56 PM (#5725825)
Do we not have the ability to see how rare such a throw is statistically? 321 feet seems pretty far particularly on the money and to record an out. Just to give that 321 feet some context the Green Monster in Fenway is 310 feet down the line and then goes straight across so even at its deepest point it's 379. Fly balls at Fenway that go to the warning track or just in front of it are pretty easy sac flies and a lot of those are going to be right in that 321 foot area. Looking at the link in #4 it looks to me like the runner was maybe a step away from second base when the throw got released and moving so again, pretty close to tagging up on a fly ball in such a situation.
   51. McCoy Posted: August 13, 2018 at 02:00 PM (#5725830)
Do we not have the ability to see how rare such a throw is statistically? 321 feet seems pretty far particularly on the money and to record an out.

You do have to factor in that the fielder doesn't have to tag the runner and the runner has to make sure they stay on the base once they get there in order to stay safe. Plus as you and I both said the ball is released with the runner near second on a sac play the runner is already off the base and away by the time the ball is released.

If this was a play at home on a sac fly the runner probably would have been safe and thus no video for us to watch because of the high throw.
   52. Lassus Posted: August 13, 2018 at 02:17 PM (#5725838)
Huh, I dunno what has gotten into you, McCoy.

Someone should call up Ray's original meme. Maybe I'm just optimistic, but I remember it as almost word-for-word, and I still think McCoy's playing all y'all.
   53. BDC Posted: August 13, 2018 at 02:32 PM (#5725845)
I still think McCoy's playing all y'all


Hah, I hope so. Points for tenacity in that case!
   54. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: August 13, 2018 at 02:58 PM (#5725864)
One thing I sometimes think about is a level of athletic ability some players have that is surplus to the game being played. Jesse Barfield had an arm as good as Laureano showed on that play, but how many times could he use every bit of it on a throw that mattered?

When an outfielder's arm is good enough, not that often -- after a certain point, it seems like the runners stop really testing you.

I think it was a phenomenal throw demonstrating exceptional athleticism. I'm not sure a direct throw on the fly was necessary to get the runner or whether Laureano could also have gotten him simply by hitting the cutoff man, but fact is it was an exceptional throw and they got him.
   55. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: August 13, 2018 at 03:22 PM (#5725880)
[43] His throw was 91.2 mph hour. The entire Astro's outfield averaged more than that on "competitive throws" with a minimum of 45 throws. Most of the outfields in the majors average that or better. IF you can't find it it is probably because there are very few times a throw like this would be viewed as noteworthy.

Well, yes, there are very few times a throw from an OF at 91.2 MPH would be noteworthy. You're quite right there.

A really good example of one of those very few times would be an instance where the throw was not just 91.2 MPH (which is super easy for anyone to do!) but also covered 321 feet, and hit the target with incredible accuracy on the fly. Now that - that would be noteworthy.

[checks notes] What? Oh.
   56. DavidFoss Posted: August 13, 2018 at 03:31 PM (#5725885)
No mention of comparing this to the famous Ellis Valentine throw? (Is there a good video of that?)
   57. McCoy Posted: August 13, 2018 at 03:32 PM (#5725886)
Incredible accuracy? On the fly? Plenty of outfielders could have made that throw.

Incredible in that it was in the vicinity of first base? Ok, but that isn't particularly unique.

Now then Jose Guillen in 1998 in Coors Field to nab Neifi Perez at third is noteworthy.
   58. McCoy Posted: August 13, 2018 at 03:37 PM (#5725889)
   59. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 13, 2018 at 03:50 PM (#5725894)
Incredible in that it was in the vicinity of first base? Ok, but that isn't particularly unique.

Wait, what? He hit the 1B in the glove, chest high, right on the bag. He didn't have to stretch or move.

The accuracy of the throw is what's incredible.
   60. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: August 13, 2018 at 04:11 PM (#5725903)
I knew Valentine had a great arm but I don't think I've ever seen that play. That's a hell of a throw. It's worth noting given this discussion that he's standing about 10 feet in front of the 325 foot sign so it's almost the exact same distance as this one. Valentine's was a line drive rather than the high arcing throw that Laureano made so I'd bet it was stronger and to my eye more aesthetically pleasing but both are great throws.
   61. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 13, 2018 at 04:14 PM (#5725905)
I knew Valentine had a great arm but I don't think I've ever seen that play. That's a hell of a throw. It's worth noting given this discussion that he's standing about 10 feet in front of the 325 foot sign so it's almost the exact same distance as this one. Valentine's was a line drive rather than the high arcing throw that Laureano made so I'd bet it was stronger and to my eye more aesthetically pleasing but both are great throws.

Valentine's throw is stronger, but not quite as accurate. The C has to lean over into the batter's box and then bring it back for the tag.

Both phenomenal. No need to rank.
   62. McCoy Posted: August 13, 2018 at 04:15 PM (#5725907)
Wait, what? He hit the 1B in the glove, chest high, right on the bag. He didn't have to stretch or move.

Yes he did.
   63. dlf Posted: August 13, 2018 at 04:21 PM (#5725909)
So if we are comparing it to a play and player from 40 years ago, I'd be willing to opine that this week's throw was rather good.

...

Just spent a couple of wasted minutes looking for the fairly recent Posnanski article about best throwing arms which had a pretty good write-up of Ellis D and a few others. Combination of weak google-fu and lack of time defeated me, but it's worth digging out.
   64. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: August 13, 2018 at 04:24 PM (#5725912)
[58] LAst 40 seconds of the clip

At 1:48 in that clip, the guy says "on the fly, mind you!" Can you tell me what he means by that, McCoy?

That throw is shorter than Laureano's (estimated at 310 ft in the clip), and less accurate by about 6 to 8 feet.

But that's a classically famous, all-time great throw, and Laureano's is routine, that any player could do?

You're being an idiot.
   65. BDC Posted: August 13, 2018 at 04:25 PM (#5725913)
the 325 foot sign


Do you mean the 99 meter sign? :)
   66. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: August 13, 2018 at 04:29 PM (#5725915)
Do you mean the 99 meter sign? :)


Give 'em a centimeter and they take the whole meter.
   67. McCoy Posted: August 13, 2018 at 04:33 PM (#5725918)
Can you tell me what he means by that, McCoy?

Yes, I figured it out about 30 minutes ago what he meant.


But that's a classically famous, all-time great throw, and Laureano's is routine, that any player could do?

You're being an idiot.



Weird. I've made neither claim.
   68. McCoy Posted: August 13, 2018 at 04:34 PM (#5725919)
Are you talking about this article?
   69. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 13, 2018 at 04:36 PM (#5725921)
Yes he did.

Did you watch the tape? The 1B raises his glove like he's catching a routing throw from the 2B. He only steps forward to get out of the path of the slide.

The throw was freaking perfect. Most throws from SS aren't that accurate.
   70. dlf Posted: August 13, 2018 at 04:53 PM (#5725929)
Just spent a couple of wasted minutes looking for the fairly recent Posnanski article about best throwing arms which had a pretty good write-up of Ellis D and a few others. Combination of weak google-fu and lack of time defeated me, but it's worth digging out.


Found it
   71. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: August 13, 2018 at 05:26 PM (#5725949)
What an odd set of posts, surely you are trolling us McCoy? I've no doubt there are stronger throws and further throws, but the the accuracy cannot be faulted, it's perfect. That's what makes it unique. Then you toss in that he had to make a nice play to make the catch and double the runner off first, combined with "the throw" makes it a great play overall.

So either you are trolling us(which is kind of funny) or you've just lost your mind.
   72. Khrushin it bro Posted: August 13, 2018 at 05:34 PM (#5725957)
Puig made a similar throw to Laureano's in 2016 in an article called most extreme statcast throws. It was labelled as the longest assist of 2016.
   73. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili (TeddyF.Ballgame) Posted: August 13, 2018 at 05:36 PM (#5725960)
I'm not going for the full McCoy here--that was a very impressive throw Laureano made--but it didn't make my jaw drop the first time I saw it. He was able to set his feet before making it and it was something of a rainbow (as was the Cespedes throw) but it pretty much defines the outer edge of what you can hope for from an outfielder's arm.

I was more surprised by a throw Mitch Haniger made a couple of months ago. Mostly shocking because I'd never thought of his arm at all, for good or bad. Not nearly as long a toss as Laureano's, but with less arc and less chance to get set. I'd love to have the Statcast numbers for it.
   74. McCoy Posted: August 13, 2018 at 05:51 PM (#5725965)
I'll upgrade it to a very good throw just because you guys are working so hard for it.

   75. SoSH U at work Posted: August 13, 2018 at 05:54 PM (#5725969)
I'd love to have the Statcast numbers for it.


I don't have statcast numbers, but the original Pythagorean theorem pegs it at about 252 feet.

By the way, that tag was pretty damn great as well.

   76. Mefisto Posted: August 13, 2018 at 05:59 PM (#5725975)
It seems to me that if the best comp anybody can come up with involves going back 30 years to a guy on the short list for "greatest arm in MLB history", that means it was a damn good throw.
   77. Mefisto Posted: August 13, 2018 at 06:05 PM (#5725979)
That Poz article left out Shawon Dunstan. Not an OF, of course, but his arm had to be one of the very best in the past 40 years or so. I'd rate it above everyone but Barfield and Valentine on Poz' list.
   78. Khrushin it bro Posted: August 13, 2018 at 06:07 PM (#5725981)
#76, check out the link in #72 which was around the same distance and slightly more velocity.
   79. Morty Causa Posted: August 13, 2018 at 06:08 PM (#5725983)
Who had the better arm--Barfield or Vallentine? They both got a ton of press on the subject. Barfield had a 162 assists over his career. In less than 1400 games.
   80. Tin Angel Posted: August 13, 2018 at 06:18 PM (#5725987)
That Poz article left out Shawon Dunstan. Not an OF, of course, but his arm had to be one of the very best in the past 40 years or so.


Strong arm, not remotely accurate from what I remember (being 10 and watching WGN one vivid memory is Dunston airmailing the 1B on routine plays because he was throwing it as hard as he could for some unknown reason).
   81. SoSH U at work Posted: August 13, 2018 at 06:24 PM (#5725994)
Who had the better arm--Barfield or Vallentine? They both got a ton of press on the subject. Barfield had a 162 assists over his career. In less than 1400 games.


For my money, Barfield had the best outfield arm I've seen. Strong and accurate 162-62 assist to error ratio, which I've find helps sort the strong and accurate throwers (Barfield, Ichiro, Clemente) from the strong but who knows where it might end up guys (Parker and Vlad).

I am too young for Clemente and others of his and earlier eras.
   82. Mefisto Posted: August 13, 2018 at 06:26 PM (#5726000)
@78, ok that's fair. Still hard to consider that much of a criticism.

@80: I didn't see Dunston much with the Cubs, but I saw him a lot with the Giants. I don't recall that many wild throws. Looking it up, I see he made lots of errors (relatively), but in my memory they were mostly fumbling the ball. One year he played 310 innings in RF for the Giants and had 4 assists. That's damn good.
   83. Morty Causa Posted: August 13, 2018 at 06:27 PM (#5726002)
81

Good point.
   84. Mefisto Posted: August 13, 2018 at 06:34 PM (#5726007)
In my lifetime, the ones who stood out were Clemente, Barfield, and Valentine. Ichiro probably belongs up there as well. Ollie Brown was famous for his arm, but I didn't see him play much. Looking him up, I see he had 71 A in 7600 innings. That's quite good -- Barfield's 162 came in 11400 innings, a better ratio but not that much better.
   85. Khrushin it bro Posted: August 13, 2018 at 06:57 PM (#5726026)
@78, ok that's fair. Still hard to consider that much of a criticism.


Criticism? Puig's throw was on the extreme throws of 2016, I'd guess this one goes on Statcast best throws of 2018. I just found a similar throw after a bit of searching.
   86. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 13, 2018 at 06:58 PM (#5726030)
The 1980 Phillies had a guy named Glenn Wilson who had a howitzer. This clip compilation is annoyingly vertical, but he really uncorks some beauts in there.
   87. Mefisto Posted: August 13, 2018 at 07:10 PM (#5726037)
@85: Agreed. That was my point, though I maybe worded it awkwardly.
   88. BDC Posted: August 13, 2018 at 07:12 PM (#5726039)
Sixto Lezcano was also pretty good.
   89. SoSH U at work Posted: August 13, 2018 at 07:32 PM (#5726051)
Morty,

As for Valentine, the 1978 Expos outfield of Ellis, Andre Dawson and Warren Cromartie totaled 64 assists. Only one team in the last 40 years has come within 20 or so assists as that group. The 2011 Royals trio of strong-armed OFers Jeff Francouer, Melky Cabrera and Alex Gordon had 49.


Valentine had one of the best arms of his or any generation and Dawson had very strong wing. Cromartie's was nothing terribly special in terms of arm strength, but that's not that important when it comes to having a high-assist season for an OFer.
   90. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: August 13, 2018 at 07:34 PM (#5726052)
As a biased Red Sox fan the best arm I’ve seen is Dwight Evans. He had an absolute hose and was usually as accurate as anything. You didn’t run on Dewey.

Tom stole my thunder mentioning Glenn Wilson damn him. Not really much of a player to remember but he could bring it.
   91. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 13, 2018 at 07:42 PM (#5726056)
Unlike well-rounded players like Valentine and Barfield and Evans, Wilson didn't really do anything but throw, which is why I think he gets left out of these discussions. But he's really worth mentioning.
   92. SoSH U at work Posted: August 13, 2018 at 08:00 PM (#5726064)
As a biased Red Sox fan the best arm I’ve seen is Dwight Evans.


Dewey's was indeed great, and quite accurate, but I thought Barfield had a touch more on his fastball than Evans.
   93. Morty Causa Posted: August 13, 2018 at 08:10 PM (#5726069)
I think I agree with that SoSH. And I'm a Red Sox fan. Evans's was great, but Barfield's was otherworldly. For fielding, quick release, force, and accuracy, none top Clemente, though. Kaline may have been the savviest right fielder I ever saw, but Clemente had the tools and the sure instinct.
   94. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: August 13, 2018 at 08:31 PM (#5726087)
I love outfielders with good arms. There is something joyful about an outfielder who can make a good, strong, accurate throw.
   95. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: August 13, 2018 at 11:09 PM (#5726173)
I think I have told this story here before, but Glenn Wilson basically taught me how to play baseball when I was a kid. I was pretty puny and unathletic in elementary school, so I basically never received any instruction from coaches, and my dad hadn’t played so there was only so much he could teach me.

Wilson’s sister ran the local town rec department and when I was in middle school, she got her brother to run a baseball clinic in our town. This was shortly after his last season with the Astros. It was just a few days, but for the first time in my life someone actually showed me what I was doing wrong mechanically. I’m not going to pretend that this turned me into Babe Ruth out there, but that year I won a starting OF spot on our school team, and put together a pretty decent season at the plate.

Wilson was also apparently the basis for the Glenn McReynolds character in “Everybody Wants Some” — he and Richard Linklater were teammates in college.
   96. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: August 13, 2018 at 11:20 PM (#5726176)
PS Wilson also pitched an inning against the Mets in 1987. 1-2-3 inning including a groundout by Gary Carter and striking out HoJo. Not bad.
   97. BDC Posted: August 14, 2018 at 12:12 AM (#5726192)
Glenn Wilson once drove in 100 runs, IIRC (batting behind Mike Schmidt, also IIRC) - and I once listened to a game where he hit an inside-the-park home run. He had his moments.
   98. John DiFool2 Posted: August 14, 2018 at 08:28 AM (#5726221)
The funny thing is, that the CW says, "Just don't run on these guys!", yet they rack up the assists anyway.

I think a lot of it is like the Barfield video linked to in 70. You go, thinking, "Welp, yeah he has a cannon, but there's NO WAY he's getting me on THIS play!" and the runner gets nailed anyway.
   99. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 14, 2018 at 08:57 AM (#5726231)
Wait, what? He hit the 1B in the glove, chest high, right on the bag. He didn't have to stretch or move.

Yes he did.
Uh, no, he didn't. In fact, that's part of what makes the play so visually impressive: how nonchalantly, how effortlessly, the 1B catches the ball.
   100. SoSH U at work Posted: August 14, 2018 at 09:38 AM (#5726247)
The funny thing is, that the CW says, "Just don't run on these guys!", yet they rack up the assists anyway.


In a perfectly functioning baseball ecosystem, strong-armed guys would only get slightly more assists than weak-armed ones, but that's not the way it works.

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