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The last twenty comments in true blog fasion, with the links to their authors and the player commented upon.

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Zack Greinke Arizona Diamondbacks

14th most valuable pitcher, both leagues, in 5x5.

2018 Statcast Averages

NP: 1387

Pitch Type: Four-seam FB

Avg Pitch Speed: 89.5         

Avg Spin Rate: 2,335

Avg Exit Velocity: 87.9

Fastball almost four mph slower than the MLB average (93.2). Exit velocity not much better than average (88.4).

Alex Patton Alex
J.D. Martinez Boston Red Sox

3rd highest earner, both leagues, in 5x5.

2018 Statcast averages

HIP: 429

Avg Exit Velocity: 93.0

Avg HR Distance: 398

Avg Launch Angle: 10.6

Mookie Betts' homers went two feet further on average.

Alex Patton Alex
Carlos Carrasco Cleveland Indians

16th most valuable pitcher, both leagues, in 5x5.

2018 Statcast Averages

NP: 901

Pitch Type: Four-seam FB

Avg Pitch Speed: 93.7

Avg Spin Rate: 2,353

Avg Exit Velocity: 89.7

Slightly faster than average fastball (93.7), slightly faster than average exit velocity (88.4). Spin rate well above average (2,263).

Alex Patton Alex
Charlie Blackmon Colorado Rockies

17th most valuable hitter, both leagues, in 5x5.

2018 Statcast averages

HIP: 491

Avg Exit Velocity: 87.5

Avg HR Distance: 407

Avg Launch Angle: 12.0

Slashed .249/.329/.439 on the road.

One of the few players to earn more in 5x5 than in 4x4.

Alex Patton Alex
Blake Treinen Oakland Athletics

8th most valuable pitcher, both leagues, in 5x5.

2018 Statcast Averages

NP: 578

Pitch Type: Sinker

Avg Pitch Speed: 97.3

Avg Spin Rate: 2,371

Avg Exit Velocity: 87.2

First reliever on the list of highest earners. His sinker was was almost six mph faster than the average sinker (91.6). The exit velocity was more than one mph lower than the average (88.4).

I am writing this in November, before the Cy Young voting has been announced. He and Diaz would both be very high on my ballot, probably second and third behind Snell; in the cumulative wisdom of the baseball writers, neither is going to be in the top five.

What I can't decide is, which one is second?

Alex Patton Alex
Jonny Venters Atlanta Braves

Lots of fastballs, few of them hard hit.

Alex Patton Alex
Nolan Arenado Colorado Rockies

12th most valuable hitter, both leagues, in 5x5.

2018 Statcast averages

HIP: 472    

Avg Exit Velocity: 89.9

Avg HR Distance: 408

Avg Launch Angle: 15.2

Slashed .248/.325/.447 on the road.

Alex Patton Alex
Jeremy Jeffress Milwaukee Brewers

Pitcher No. 26 in $5x5 (both leagues).

2018 Statcast Averages

NP: 372

Pitch Type: Knuckle Curve

Avg Pitch Speed: 81.2

Avg Spin Rate: 2,464

Avg Exit Velocity: 88.3

First pitcher on the list (of pitchers ranked by $5x5) whose primary pitch was not a four-seam fastball. A close to average knuckle curve at that, going by Statcast (MLB averages -- 80.9, 2,488, 88.4). 

Jeffress is only the fourth relief pitcher on the list (behind Treinen, Diaz and Kimbrel), although he of course ranks much higher in 4x4.

The XFL, drafting for 2019 in November at First Pitch Arizona, plays 5x5. 

Fifteen teams, nine pitchers.

Jeffress wasn't even taken.

Other notable free agents when it was all over: Brad Boxberger, Bud Norris, Shane Greene, Sergio Romo and (of course) Fernando Rodney.

Alex Patton Alex
Alex Bregman Houston Astros

14th most valuable hitter, both leagues, in 5x5.

2018 Statcast averages

HIP: 509

Avg Exit Velocity: 89.3

Avg HR Distance: 384

Avg Launch Angle: 10.8

Surprising that his average home run didn't travel further.

Alex Patton Alex
Andrew Benintendi Boston Red Sox

15th most valuable hitter, both leagues, in 5x5.

2018 Statcast averages

HIP: 479

Avg Exit Velocity: 88.6

Avg HR Distance: 394

Avg Launch Angle: 12.8

Only two homers and four stolen bases after the break.

Alex Patton Alex
Scooter Gennett Cincinnati Reds

19th most valuable hitter, both leagues, in 5x5.

2018 Statcast averages

HIP: 460

Avg Exit Velocity: 87.3

Avg HR Distance: 377

Avg Launch Angle: 13.9

Possibly the shortest average home run distance of any player with 20 or more. Was batting .326 with 16 homers at the break.

Alex Patton Alex
Tony Cingrani Los Angeles Dodgers

Signed a one-year deal on Nov. 30 for $2.65 million. Will be a free agent next year.

FIP and SIERA -- not to mention K/9, K/W, BABIP and G/L/F -- say he had amazingly bad luck last season. 

Alex Patton Alex
Mike Clevinger Cleveland Indians

18th most valuable pitcher, both leagues, in 5x5.

2018 Statcast Averages

NP: 1725

Pitch Type: Four-seam FB

Avg Pitch Speed: 93.6

Avg Spin Rate: 2,299

Avg Exit Velocity: 87.0

That's a lot of fastballs.

Alex Patton Alex
Michael Brantley Cleveland Indians

20th most valuable hitter, both leagues, in 5x5.

No Statcast stats, for some reason.

Slashed .333/.379/.507 and stole 11 bases at home.

Alex Patton Alex
Michael Fiers Oakland Athletics

SIERA pays some attention to BABIP, hence is lower than FIP. But both metrics say his ERA was lucky. Billy Beane must have agreed; Fiers was non-tendered in November.

Alex Patton Alex
Giancarlo Stanton New York Yankees

Hitter No. 26 in $5x5 (both leagues).

2018 Statcast averages

HIP: 416

Avg Exit Velocity: 93.7

Avg HR Distance: 405

Avg Launch Angle: 11.6

With a slightly higher launch angle...

Alex Patton Alex
Anthony Rizzo Chicago Cubs

Hitter No. 35 in $5x5 (both leagues).

2018 Statcast averages

HIP: 493

Avg Exit Velocity: 90.1

Avg HR Distance: 404

Avg Launch Angle: 14.8

Put the ball in play 61 times on an 0-2 pitch and had 14 hits. Struck out, either swinging or looking, 19 times.

May not sound great, but I'm sure very few batters did as well. Maybe no one.

With the count full (71 times) he managed only six hits: four singles and two doubles.

So he was a wuss on the most critical count in baseball, right?

Yes, but an effective wuss. He shortened his swing and struck out 11 times. How many were backward K's? Can't say but it was more than a few: he drew ball four 25 times.

His slash stats on the 3-2 pitch: .133/.433/.178.

My kind of batter. 

Alex Patton Alex
Eugenio Suarez Cincinnati Reds

Hitter No. 31 in $5x5 (both leagues).

2018 Statcast averages

HIP: 391

Avg Exit Velocity: 91.2

Avg HR Distance: 400

Avg Launch Angle: 14.7

A steady upward trend in earnings.

And now, assuredly, Has Plateaued.

Alex Patton Alex
Zack Wheeler New York Mets

Pitcher No. 28 in $5x5 (both leagues).

2018 Statcast Averages

NP: 1239

Pitch Type: Four-seam FB

Avg Pitch Speed: 95.8

Avg Spin Rate: 2,309

Avg Exit Velocity: 86.1

He threw a lot of fastballs and it's obvious why: it went toward the batter very fast and went the other way, when it did, considerably slower.

Alex Patton Alex
Jacob deGrom New York Mets

Third most valuable pitcher, both leagues, in 5x5.

2018 Statcast Averages

NP: 1374    

Pitch Type: Four-seam FB

Avg Pitch Speed: 96.0

Avg Spin Rate: 2,362

Avg Exit Velocity: 86.3

Alex Patton Alex

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