Hall Of Fame Debate: Barry Larkin VS Alan Trammell Some of my favorite baseball conversations focus around the ‘Pick The Best…’ kinds of conversations. You know the conversations I am talking about – Pick the best Yankees of all-time by … Continue reading →
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Blackstone Group, one of the corporate entities that owns the Dodgers, successfully quashed a move for discovery that would grant her access to just about everything regarding the subsequent sale of the Dodgers. She only made out with $131M in the divorce settlement, while Frank got $2.1B. I really don't care, so long as they're both no longer in the picture in Chavez Ravine. (Hat tip to my Facebook pal John Patterson.)
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Fergie Jenkins 2006 Upper Deck SP Legendary Cuts ‘When It Was A Game’ – Gold I have the Bronze. And I have the Silver. It was just a matter of time before I brought home the Gold!! And that time … Continue reading →
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It's Hall of Fame season, and that means many people are posting who they think should join the Hall of Fame. Other people like to look at players or personnel that could eventually join the Hall of Fame once their careers come to a close. Chris Jaffe, of The Hardball Times, looked at ten people within the game that increased their chances of reaching Cooperstown, based on results from 2012. The article can be read here.
For this analysis, a player who entered the year as a consensus pick for the Hall, someone like Derek Jeter, can’t make the list. If he began the year as a lock, then by definition he couldn’t have done much to improve his candidacy. Frankly, for almost all players that make Cooperstown, there is rarely one season you can point to that got them in, Hack Wilson and Jack Chesbro notwithstanding. It’s a cumulative effort, but some seasons increase a person’s odds more than others do
2012 was the year of the phenom. Bryce Harper and Mike Trout took the year by storm, Trout posting the greatest season by a 20 year old and Harper posting the greatest season for a 19 year old. What these two players did is simply incredible, and while they are still extremely young they both have the potential to reach the Hall.
Miguel Cabrera probably helped his case the most out of anyone. Cabrera has already been in baseball for ten seasons, and according to the Hall a player must spend at least ten seasons in the majors, before being considered for induction. Cabrera already has incredible career statistics, he already has 44 rWAR (baseball-reference), and he is going into his age 30 season. Oh yah, he also won the triple crown in 2012.
Questions for the community:
1) In your opinion, who increased their Hall of Fame chances the greatest in 2012?
2) Who should we be keeping an eye on in 2013?
Curt Schilling is on the 2013 Hall of Fame ballot, and to most he seems like a virtual lock to get in. He had somewhat of a strange career, he didn't arrive on the scene until he was 25, and then he struggled until he was 29. From 34-38 he had one of the most dominant stretches of pitching ever. Here is one career number that will be focused on: 3,116. That's the number of career strikeouts Schilling accumulated in his career.
One commenter wrote in to Joe Posnanski and mentioned that since Schilling has so many strikeouts, because he pitched in the National League. A lot of those must have been due to pitchers. Posnanski did a study where he looked at the greatest strikeout pitchers and how many pitchers they struck out. The article can be read here.
Of Curt Schilling's 3,116 strikeouts, 8.6 percent were of pitchers. That is almost exactly the average of all the pitchers in the study (8.8 percent). But, the study -- as mentioned -- is skewed by the DH. If you look only at pitchers who (1) Spent most of their career in the National League and/or (2) Pitched much of their career before the DH came into place -- their strikeout totals are 11 percent pitchers.
Sixteen pitchers in baseball history have struck out 3,000 batters or more. Six of those pitchers needed to strike out other pitchers to achieve that mark. Curt Schilling struck out 2,847 non pitchers, and struck out 269 pitchers. So while he did strike out pitchers, it wasn't as many as one may have thought. Bob Gibson struck out 2,649 non pitchers, compared to 468 pitchers.
Question for the community:
1) Are these strikeout numbers any less impressive, because they struck out National League pitchers?
A few days, 2X2L asked if any player played at age 39 and not at age 38 like Miguel Tejada plans on trying. I finally got around to the challenge and found the top 10 players, ranked by plate appearances, who played in their age 39 season but not in their age 38 season.
Here is the top ten (only 42 players ever achieved the feat, mostly pitchers changing to the N.L.) and a little about some of the players.
William Ellsworth "Dummy" Hoy - The reason he missed his age 38 season was because he playedfor the White Sox before they joined with the National League. That fact may be the least interesting thing about Hoy's life. He was the first deaf player to play in the majors, has been close to making it into the HOF, and a documentary has been made about him. I can't do his story any justice so go read about it elsewhere.
Andres Galarraga - Spent his age 38 season recovering from cancer.
Jimmy Ryan - He missed his age 38 season because he was playing in the Pioneer League. He owns a couple of notable feats. He is the first and only player to pitch in a game and hit for the cycle during it. Also, he is one of the few players to have punched more than one reporter.
Roger Connor - The Hall of Famer and one time career HR record holder didn't play in his age 38 because the FanGraphs database is acting funky with his ages.
Fred Tenney - The originator of the 3-6-3 didn't play because he was a player-manager for the Lowell Tigers.
Bill Dickey - He didn't play in his age 37 and 38 seasons because he was serving in the Navy during WWII.
Rollie Hemsley - He also didn't play in his age 38 season, like Dickey, because he was serving in the Navy. He had an alcohol problem and eventually sobered up with the help of AA. He became the first AA member to break their anonymity on a national level.
Spud Davis - Spud had his career broken up because off WWII, but not because he had to serve. Instead, he was retired and a coach at age 38. Because of the shortage of players, he was brought back as a player to help fill the roster.
Gaylord Perry and Fergie Jenkins - These two made the list because they changed leagues. They moved from the A.L., where pitchers didn't have to hit, to the N.L. where they did.
Not really one player took the same route Tejada looks to take back to the bigs. Besides the top 10, here are the other 32 players:
Links of a Royal (and general baseball) nature:
Where Scobee attempts to draw me into a meltdown.
Lesky writes, you decide.
In addition to a movie and a party, The Fake Ned promises shenanigans. Do you understand? Shenanigans.
We are familiar with this story. Doesn't make it less painful.
The Hall of Fame ballot is stacked. By far the most interesting election ever.
While you read that, I'll be stealing the tires off your car.
To me, Chelsea is the equivalent of the Yankees. I'm not talking about titles they have won. I'm talking about how much I hate them.
The 20th anniversary release of one of the top albums of the 90s.
The Royals cap seems uninspired. The Yankee cap is hilarious. The Braves cap is racist. I like the A's and the Astros. Still won't buy any.
Belushi as genius.
Part one of this series was basically a rundown of Anthopoulos' so far, short career and why he decided to make a play for playoffs headed into 2013. We went over how everything seamed to be aligning for the Blue Jays from easier competition and the second wild card to the right players being available at the right price. In this part of the series we will be dealing with Anthopoulos' draft technique as well as trying to gauge his success at it.
Anthopoulos has overseen three drafts during his tenure as the Blue Jays general manager and the aspect that really defines his drafts is the sheer amount of draft picks he's had. Over the three years, the Blue Jays have drafted 20 players in the first two rounds. Just by being able to add that much talent to your minor league system year after year gives you a much larger margin of error.
Anthopoulos was great at taking advantage of the old and broken former free agent compensation system and was therefore able to restock his minor league system so efficiently. An absolute brilliant move of his was trading for Miguel Olivo following the 2010 season. Why was this such a brilliant move you may ask, well Olivo happened to be a Type B free agent that offseason. That meant, since the Blue Jays offered him arbitration they'd receive a supplemental round selection as compensation.
Anthopoulos was the master of turning major league veterans into draft picks. He turned players like Marco Scutaro, Rod Barajas and Scott Downs into supplemental round draft picks, as well as others. Having the ability to take advantage of an awful system, Anthopoulos did just that. First round picks are an extremely valuable commodity and being able to create them out of players like Kevin Gregg is nothing less than excellent. The brilliance behind Type B free agents was because the team losing them was not compensated via the signing team's draft pick, the other 29 MLB franchises were no less likely to sign them, basically everybody won.
We might as well proceed to taking a look at Anthopoulos' actual draft results. What I did was compile a list of all players drafted by Anthopoulos to be graded by John Sickels, the resident SB Nation prospect guru.
Starting with 2010, right off the bat almost every draft pick through the first seven rounds of the draft were graded, now that's a lot of talent. While Deck McGuire, their first pick of 2010, might not be as good as once advertised, the other pitchers in that draft have proven to be great finds. Between Sanchez, Syndergaard, Wojciechowski, Nicolino and Nolin they managed to add a sickening amount of top shelf pitching talent. Three of those pitchers have been traded away this past year, one in each of the three big trades the Blue Jays have pulled off.
2011 has marked the only time Anthopoulos has failed to sign one of his top draft picks, failing to sign Tyler Beede the hard throwing right handed pitcher who happened to be the Blue Jays first selection of the draft. All players through round eight were graded by John Sickels in his book. Similar to 2010 as well, three of the first ten round starters were traded. Kevin Comer and Joe Musgrove were traded to Houston along with Asher Wojciechowski and Anthony Desclafani was traded along with Justin Nicolino to Miami. While Jacob Anderson and Dwight Smith Jr. have been somewhat disappointing up to this point in their careers, toolsy high school outfielders tend to take a longer time to develop.
While the 2012 draft was just a few months ago, Anthopoulos drafted a very strong mix of players. Mixing high upside arms like Marcus Stroman, Matt Smoral, Chase DeJong and Tyler Gonzalez with the supremely toolsy outfielders D.J. Davis and Anthony Alford and let's not forget Mitch Nay's raw power ability.
Marcus Stroman was one of my favorite players heading into the draft. He was included in many top ten draft prospect lists due to his mix of college dominance and great stuff. As a junior at Duke, Stroman pitched to a 12.49 K/9 and a 2.39 BB/9. Stroman throws a fastball that ranges from the low to mid-90's and also throws a hard curveball in the low-80's. While his changeup is behind his other two offerings, it isn't at all a bad pitch. So why did Stroman fall to the Blue Jays, mainly because he's only 5'9" and doesn't possess the cleanest mechanics in the world generally due to him rushing his delivery at times. This has led scouts to see him more as a reliever than a starter.
While Stroman might have been too much of a risk as a top ten selection, he was a steal at 22. His proximity to the majors is possibly Stroman's biggest attraction. He's probably major league ready right now and is likely better than a lot of teams' three starters as well as their closers . If Stroman proves to be durable enough to be a major league starter, he'll end up making a lot of teams regret they passed on him.
Overall Anthopoulos clearly has put an emphasis on raw but very talented high school players over lower ceiling college players. If you look at the draft as a whole only 87 out of 156 draft picks have been drafted out of high school, but if you only look at the first round, 11 out of 14 have been straight out of high school. As for the pitcher/hitter breakdown, 81 out of 156 have been pitchers, a pretty even split. Anthopoulos has drafts his players from all over, drafting 26 players from California, 18 from Florida, 17 from Canada and 15 from Texas. Being that those three American states are considered tops when it comes to baseball those numbers should not surprise you. The 17 from Canada is nice to see from the only team currently located north of the border.
So what do we see from all of this. The truth is because of Anthopoulos' tendency to draft raw high school players, three years doesn't suffice in order to properly gauge his ability to draft. That being said, the amount of pitching the Blue Jays have been able to develop and stock their system with as well as use in trades, is pretty incredible. Obviously no one in baseball can get every draft pick right and that's why players like Albert Pujols sometimes fall to the 13th round. This is why having a clear cut draft strategy and stocking up on certain portfolios of players as opposed to putting too much stock into any one individual player has worked very well up to this point. While clearly not every one of the players drafted will work out, if you are confident in your scouting and player development a nice percentage of them will.
Scouting, drafting and developing are the key elements to sustaining success at the major league level and it sure looks like Alex Anthopoulos has found the right approach in doing so. Anthopoulos has shown his ability to first stockpile draft picks, then trust his ability to find the right high risk yet high reward players and most importantly has shown consistency in his drafting methodology. Also, because of the amount of talent Anthopoulos has compiled in the first few rounds of the draft, he hasn't had to pay players overslot outside the top ten rounds, meaning less risk in that area. Anthopoulos has a very defined drafting process involving taking big, but calculated, risks and spending a lot of money, but as long as he believes in his process, the proper outcome should follow.
We will continue to discuss AA's ability to acquire talent.
Willie Mays 2012 Topps Gypsy Queen – Base Card In my opinion, this card of Willie Mays from the 2012 Topps Gypsy Queen baseball card set is very, very nice. It may not appeal to me as much as the … Continue reading →
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