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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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Pierce Johnson San Francisco Giants

It appears that both Pierce Johnson and Joely Rodriguez will be handed
their releases this coming Monday. Both are coming off of great years
and should be a welcome addition to a MLB bullpen for 2020. Here's the links to their NPB stats for 2019.

http://npb.jp/bis/eng/players/63165138.html

http://npb.jp/bis/eng/players/83985136.html


Tim McLeod tlmcleod
Zach Davies San Diego Padres

What do you think, Howard? A pick or a pan in the Guide?

Alex Patton Alex
Roberto Ramos Colorado Rockies

How often does a player make the AFL and then get left off the 40 man and made available for the rule V draft. 

It will be interesting to see if the 26th roster spot increases the number of Rule V picks this year.

Kent Ostby Seadogs
Xander Bogaerts Boston Red Sox

Also of note in the opposite direction - position players generally peak ages 26-28.  He is the right age for that. His walk rate increased, showing he was seeing pitches better than he did before.  Power usually improves and speed declines in late 20s through age 31 season.  HIs BABIP was not out of his career normal range.  Power for all players was higher than expected - it's all relative.

Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed

Kingham is off to the KBO, signing on with the SK Wyverns. It makes a lot of sense for both parties. SK Wyverns just posted Hwan-Hyun Kim and the status of Angel Sanchez is up in the air. Both were in the KBO Top-5 in ERA last year.

Tim McLeod tlmcleod
Greg Bird New York Yankees

Cleared waivers.

Alex Patton Alex
Jesus Aguilar Miami Marlins

DFA'd by the Rays. Extreme example of a late bloomer wilting quickly.

Alex Patton Alex
Joey Votto Cincinnati Reds

No. 2 on Jayson Starks's list at The Athletic of the five best players of the '10s.

Alex Patton Alex
Xander Bogaerts Boston Red Sox

"Four reasons why some regression is likely: PA will be tough to repeat; HR, PX, hr/f, BA all outperformed expected stats; Spd continued fade; h% could tick down a point or two. All that said, this is still an enviable skill set marked by outstanding BPX..."

Yep. The new Baseball Forecaster is just out, saying a lot in a little.

Alex Patton Alex
Trent Grisham Milwaukee Brewers

“Grisham may have been the most improved player in baseball last year,” said Jim Callis, a senior editor at MLB Pipeline. “He looked terrible in the Arizona Fall League after the 2018 season, then made some swing changes and ended 2019 as a regular on a playoff team. He’s interesting but I would be lying if I said I knew exactly what to make of him. If the improvement is for real, he profiles as an outfield regular — which probably means more trades are coming for the Padres.”

Howard Lynch LynchMob
Luis Urias San Diego Padres
Christian Yelich Milwaukee Brewers

re: I'd choose the field ... so ... you don't think the distribution is like this ...

Yelich @ 18% chance of best season in 2020

Betts @ 16%

Acuna @ 15%

Turner @ 15%

Trout @ 15%

Bellinger @ 13%

Field @ 8%

... rather you think it's more like this ...

Yelich @ 15% chance of best season in 2020

Betts @ 13%

Acuna @ 12%

Turner @ 12%

Trout @ 12%

Bellinger @ 10%

Field @ 16%

... hmmm ... OK ... but in our game, you don't get to choose the field ... you will have "the most expensive player on your team".

Howard Lynch LynchMob

The top six projections in the Forecaster in R$:

Yelich $43

Betts $40

Acuna $39

Turner $39

Trout $39

Bellinger $35

Alex Patton Alex

Ron Shandler, looking at the Baseball Forecaster's projections this year as he ponders who the first first pick should be in one of his mixed-league snake drafts:


Yelich and Trout are ranked No. 1 and No. 5, respectively,
separated by $4, but what are we really talking about here? Trout
bests Yelich by nine runs, but the advantage is
flipped in the other
categories. HRs and RBIs are a wash. We’ve already determined
that Yelich’s knee makes SB too close to call.
That leaves 20 points
of batting average. If Yelich gets one less hit per month and Trout
gets one more hit per month—
“...one extra flare, just one, a gork,
a ground ball—a ground ball with eyes!—you get a dying quail, just
one more dying quail...”
—then Trout wins that category.


Basically, $4 is way too close to call. Any of those six players
above could
finish first (and if I had to choose one, I’d still choose
the
field).





Alex Patton Alex
Cody Bellinger Los Angeles Dodgers

Ron Shandler in the new Baseball Forecaster, looking for candidates to dethrone Trout as the first pick in mixed-league snake drafts:

As for Bellinger, after two monster seasons in the past three,
we have to consider that “monsterability” is part of his pro
file.
His consistent teens speed output is at least comparable to Trout
at this point, with possibly higher power upside. But 2019 was his
first full major league season at this level. His player commentary
proclaims “2018 is the early career outlier,” but “outlier” seems
to be a premature label for a player with barely three years of
experience.

Recency bias has its hooks in 2019, and while Bellinger’s
rookie year showed early signs of what was to come, there is a
sedate $22 season mixed in that reminds us of the other possi-
bility. Remember the Skills Ownership corollary: “Once a player
displays a vulnerability, he owns that as well.” It appears that there
is enough here to doubt the viability of Bellinger as the Trout
Dethroner. 

Alex Patton Alex
Mike Trout Los Angeles Angels

Just got the pdf of Ron Shandler's Baseball Forecaster 2020. Don't worry, before I'm through cutting and pasting, you'll be able to read all of it here. Here's the first installment.

Trout in the Rotisserie Era


If we are, in fact, about to witness
the Dethroning of Trout, we
need to celebrate one speci
fic
aspect of the accomplishment
that could potentially disappear.


While Trout returned the
18th best earnings among all
players in 2017 and 2019, he
has earned Top 15 value among
all hitters for eight consecutive
seasons. Take a look where that
ranks during the Rotisserie Era
(1980- ):


Most Consecutive Seasons Earning Top 15 Value, Hitters


Barry Bonds 9

Mike Trout 8

Rickey Henderson 7

Alex Rodriguez 6

Miguel Cabrera 6

Albert Pujols 6

Ryan Braun 6

Eddie Murray 6


(From the Rotisserie Hall of Fame charts at
RonShandler.com)


That’s amazing company. Can
Trout tie Barry Bonds in 2020?
It’s possible, but the one scarce
commodity that has helped
elevate him in the past is the one
that eluded him in 2019. And
that may be enough for Bonds
to hang onto his crown. 





Alex Patton Alex
Steve Garvey Los Angeles Dodgers
Howard Lynch LynchMob
Mike Zunino Tampa Bay Rays

One of these years he's going to do it again, like he did in 2017.  We just have to stop pretending we know when that will be and pay $2 like he deserves.

Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed
Tommy John New York Yankees

With just a little bit of luck on the no-decisions, he'd have the magic number.

HOF Candidate Spotlight

Tommy John P | 1963 - 1989 | CLE, CHW, LAD, NYY, CAL, OAK
 4x All-Star 
Tommy John
WAR: 61.5
Better than 46.1% of HOFers
Black Ink: 11
Better than 30.2% of HOFers
Gray Ink: 134
Better than 35.3% of HOFers
HOF Monitor: 112.0
Better than 32.3% of HOFers
JAWS: 48.04
Better than 24.6% of HOFers at P

Tommy John is a four-time All-Star who ranks 53rd all-time among pitchers in WAR and 20th in Innings Pitched. He finished 2nd in Cy Young voting twice and played for 6 different teams in his 26-year career. 

John was on the HoF ballot for 15 years, maxing out at 31.7% of the vote in his final year of voting. Off the field, he's most well-known for being the first pitcher to receive UCL reconstruction surgery; more than half of his wins came after the surgery. With 188 no decisions, John holds the record for NDs by a pitcher.

Alex Patton Alex
Josh Lindblom Oakland Athletics

Angel Sanchez might be joining Lindblom in trying to secure a MLB deal. He went 17-5 with a 2.62 ERA in 2019. He also allowed only two homers in 165 IP. How do you allow only two homers in the KBO?

Tim McLeod tlmcleod

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