LATEST STORIES FROM FANGRAPHS

Kenta Maeda Needs to Bring Back the Sinker

Yesterday, we examined pitcher in Los Angeles who’d switched from a pretty ordinary four-seam fastball to a more dynamic two-seamer and found success in the process. JC Ramirez does throw in the high 90s, but his was the story you want to tell. What we might be seeing with Kenta Maeda is the opposite, or close to it. Because, right now, despite a strikeout minus walk rate that...
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1 hour ago  |  Discuss

Is Cole Hamels Primed for a Fall?

Only three pitchers in the majors so far this season have thrown more innings than Cole Hamels, and his 3.03 ERA is pretty nice, too. Good start to the season for him, then, right? Well, not so fast. There are a number of indicators that paint the picture that Hamels may be in for a world of trouble in 2017. I first was alerted to Hamels’ precarious situation by this tweet from...
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2 hours ago  |  Discuss

The Mets Had a Bad Day

A variety of maladies were already plaguing the Mets before they met with the media on Thursday morning. Things would soon get worse, however. Reporters soon learned, for example, that in addition to the six Mets currently on the disabled list, Noah Syndergaard would not be making his start due to a bicep issue. Matt Harvey would be getting the ball that day instead. Before the day...
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3 hours ago  |  Discuss

The Astros Have an Outfield Shift

CLEVELAND — We know the Astros are one of the most forward-thinking, analytically minded organizations in baseball. They’ve led baseball in infield shift usage in recent seasons. They’ve experimented with piggy-back rotations in the minor leagues, they’ve been creative in maximizing draft pools, and have given us a revolutionary bullpen figure, the gift that is Chris Devenski...
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4 hours ago  |  Discuss

Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 4/28/17

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The Fringe Five: Baseball’s Most Compelling Fringe Prospects

Fringe Five Scoreboards: 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013. The Fringe Five is a weekly regular-season exercise, introduced a few years ago by the present author, wherein that same author utilizes regressed stats, scouting reports, and also his own fallible intuition to identify and/or continue monitoring the most compelling fringe prospects in all of baseball. Central to the exercise, of...
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5 hours ago  |  Discuss

The White Sox Have Had One of the Best Pitchers on the Planet

One of the classic criticisms of the front-page entries on FanGraphs is that it can sometimes look like writers are just scanning different leaderboards until they find a subject. Now, there’s nothing actually wrong with that, I don’t think. That’s why the leaderboards exist — so we can all learn from what they say. It’s not like we can easily and automatically keep track...
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7 hours ago  |  Discuss

Eric Thames Without The Reds

Yes, ThamesGraphs is still in full force. I’ll write about someone else eventually. You know the Thames story by now. You probably also know that a lot of it has been written against the Cincinnati Reds. The Brewers have played seven games against the Reds already, and in those seven games, Thames has launched 8 of his 11 home runs. He’s slugging 1.400 against them, and it...
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23 hours ago  |  Discuss

Your Thoughts on Some of the Best and Worst Hitters

On Monday, I asked for your help in evaluating these five hitters who have gotten off to wonderful starts: Bryce Harper Eric Thames Mitch Haniger Aaron Judge Eugenio Suarez On Tuesday, I asked for your help in evaluating these five hitters who have gotten off to terrible starts: Jose Bautista Alex Gordon Gregory Bird Dansby Swanson Byron Buxton The 10 polls accumulated thousands...
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Thomas Pannone: An Indians Prospect Puts Up Zeroes

Thomas Pannone was almost an outfielder in the Cubs system. Instead, he’s baffling batters and racking up zeroes for the Lynchburg Hillcats. The 22-year-old left-hander has made four starts for Cleveland’s High-A affiliate and has yet to be charged with an earned run. Stingy to a fault, he’s fanned 31 batters and allowed just seven hits in 20.2 innings. His scoreless streak...
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What I Would Pay Eric Thames

On Tuesday, I ran a poll, asking what you would pay Eric Thames now, given what he’s done to MLB pitching — and the Reds — over the first three weeks of the season. When asked what kind of annual salary you’d agree to under the same three year term that he signed this winter, a majority of the responders (56%) selected $11-$15 million per year. The weighted average of all...
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Eno Sarris Baseball Chat — 4/27/16

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Kris Bryant: The Earliest Adopter

PITTSBURGH — Nearly 20 years ago, in the back yard of his half-acre lot in suburban Las Vegas, Mike Bryant completed what has became a crucial construction project for his family and the Chicago Cubs. Foundational holes were dug, and concrete was poured, to support three metal frames from which nylon netting was draped. The result: a spartan batting cage within feet of his home...
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JC Ramirez Got Better As a Starter

It’s not uncommon for a pitcher to experience difficulty as a starter, move to the bullpen, and benefit from almost immediate success. That’s a story we’ve heard plenty. We’re seeing it in Arizona right now, for example — with both Archie Bradley and Rubby de la Rosa — but they’re hardly the only cases. Bullpens are littered with failed starters. The best relief pitcher...
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Daily Prospect Notes: 4/27

Daily notes on prospects from lead prospect analyst Eric Longenhagen. Read previous installments here. Marcus Wilson, CF, Arizona (Profile)Level: Low-A   Age: 20   Org Rank: HM  Top 100: NRLine: 2-for-4, 2B, 2 BB Notes The latest iteration of Wilson’s swing includes a slow, dangling, leg kick (2016 version here, new version below), and it seems to be working. He’s hitting...
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The Most-Changed Teams Since Opening Day

Projections. Do you not like reading that word? Don’t worry about it. I don’t particularly like writing that word, and I know full well that it can be a major turn-off. It doesn’t help that there’s not a great alternative way to express the same idea. When you’re talking about projections, you typically have to say “projections” somewhere. It’s inelegant, but it is...
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1 day ago  |  Discuss

Effectively Wild Episode 1050: The Big Leaguer Born at Sea

Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about Chris Coghlan’s slide and the Pirates’ new international players, then answer listener emails about Korean baseball, fixing slides, the impressive JC Ramirez, baseball and humility, Space Jam and Hey Arnold!-inspired scenarios, Clayton Kershaw’s undoing, Billy Hamilton’s speed vs. on-base ability, a mysterious Seager, a pitching...
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Approaching the Joey Gallo Threshold

By the middle of their game on Tuesday, the Rangers were getting blown out. It hasn’t been a great start, overall, for the ballclub. But as Joey Gallo stepped up to the plate, the broadcast kicked it over to reporter Emily Jones, who talked about how Gallo had been a more than capable fill-in for the injured Adrian Beltre. The broadcast put up a nearly screen-wide graphic of some...
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The Yandy Diaz Project Is One to Follow

Yandy Diaz was already interesting before the 2017 season began. His combination of offensive and defensive skills compelled Carson Cistulli to include him often as a member of the Fringe Five, a group that’s building quite a track record. He became more interesting early this season, however, when he made the Indians’ 25-man roster and filled in at third base (while Jose Ramirez...
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2 days ago  |  Discuss

Projecting Cody Bellinger

With Andre Ethier, Logan Forsythe, Franklin Gutierrez, Joc Pederson, Rob Segedin all on the DL — and both Chase Utley and Scott Van Slyke struggling to do much of anything — the Dodgers have called up Cody Bellinger to strengthen their lineup. Bellinger is a powerful first-baseman-turned-outfielder who spent the past few weeks mashing .343/.429/.627 at Triple-A at the tender...
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2 days ago  |  Discuss

You Can Probably Blame Rich Hill’s Blisters on His Curveball

Rich Hill is in the midst of a blister problem. It’s been going on since his breakout season last year. Since only three pitchers in 2016 threw more curveballs than Hill, it makes sense to blame the curve. Maybe there’s more at work, but also maybe not. It’s a pretty reasonable hypothesis. I mean, for one, the pitcher himself believes it. “It’s right there, on the pad of...
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2 days ago  |  Discuss

Daily Prospect Notes: 4/26

Daily notes on prospects from lead prospect analyst Eric Longenhagen. Read previous installments here. Hoy Jun Park, SS, New York AL (Profile)Level: Low-A   Age: 21   Org Rank: HM  Top 100: NRLine: 1-for-3, HR, 2 BB Notes Park is repeating the Carolina League and is exhibiting early indicators of improvement. He’s already hit more home runs than he had all last year (he has...
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2 days ago  |  Discuss

What Thames and Fielder Learned in Exile

Those who witnessed Eric Thames play in South Korea aren’t so surprised about his exploits in the States this April. After all, he was dubbed “God” there while playing for the NC Dinos in the southeastern port of Changwon. Over the last couple of weeks my colleagues at FanGraphs have written about the scary, scarier, and scariest feats and underlying performance metrics of...
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Dave Cameron FanGraphs Chat – 4/26/17

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Alex Cobb on Rekindling a Relationship with His Split

Two weeks ago, Eno Sarris wrote about how Alex Cobb’s split-change has gone missing. The Tampa Bay Rays righty had a very good one before undergoing Tommy John surgery in May of 2015, but the arduous road back extracted a heavy toll. The changeup is a feel pitch, and — cue up some Righteous Brothers blue-eyed soul — Cobb lost that loving feeling. Fortunately for the 29-year...
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2 days ago  |  Discuss
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