LATEST STORIES FROM FANGRAPHS

FanGraphs Audio: Sam Miller

Episode 677 Sam Miller is editor-in-chief of Baseball Prospectus and co-author, with Ben Lindbergh, of The Only Rule Is It Has to Work. He’s also the guest on this edition of FanGraphs Audio. This episode of the program either is or isn’t sponsored by SeatGeek, which site removes both the work and also the hassle from the process of shopping for tickets. Don’t hesitate to direct...
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5 hours ago  |  Discuss

Jose Abreu Should Be Embarrassed

Here is one of my favorite clips of the season: That’s Ronald Torreyes, attempting a delayed and perfunctory swing at a pitch-out to try to protect the running Aaron Hicks, who ends up in a heap on the ground after getting jarred in the marbles. Torreyes swings for no reason other than he’s always been told to swing in these situations, so the decision was entirely out of his...
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5 hours ago  |  Discuss

Major League Baseball’s Streakiest Team

Streaks can be maddening or joyful, depending on which side of the coin your allegiance happens to lie. When it happens to players, we say the player is hot or in a slump. He might be performing better or worse for a particular reason — like good health or lack thereof — but, often, it’s just the product random variation over a long season. For teams, the situation is a bit...
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7 hours ago  |  Discuss

NERD Game Scores for Friday, August 26, 2016

Devised originally in response to a challenge issued by sabermetric nobleman Rob Neyer, and expanded at the request of nobody, NERD scores represent an attempt to summarize in one number (and on a scale of 0-10) the likely aesthetic appeal or watchability, for the learned fan, of a player or team or game. Read more about the components of and formulae for NERD scores here. *** Most...
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7 hours ago  |  Discuss

Khris Davis and Others Who Have Pressed Before

Khris Davis has maintained excellent exit velocity all year, and has 33 home runs to his name, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t pressed at times with his new team. His walk rate is less than half what it used to be, and his swinging-strike rate is up nearly 20%. The Oakland outfielder admitted that his decision on when to swing hasn’t been at its finest this year. “I was...
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8 hours ago  |  Discuss

The Royals Aren’t Making Elite Contact Anymore

We’d like to welcome Ryan Pollack to the staff as the newest contributor to FanGraphs. Ryan has written for Camden Chat in the past, and yes, we hired him just so Orioles fans would stop yelling at us about our projections. Please give Ryan a warm welcome. The Kansas City Royals have been a high-contact, low-strikeout team for several years. Very few people saw this approach when...
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9 hours ago  |  Discuss

Why Did the Dodgers Trade A.J. Ellis?

Last night, the Dodgers and Phillies made a deal that, on the surface, is your typical minor August move of minor role players. The Dodgers landed Carlos Ruiz, a 37 year old catcher, in exchange for A.J. Ellis, a 35 year old catcher, and a prospect of dubious quality. The impetus for the trade seems pretty clear; Ruiz can still hit lefties a bit, and so he’s a better fit as Yasmani...
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9 hours ago  |  Discuss

Surprise, the Royals Have a New Relief Weapon

The Kansas City Royals, like any team would, have missed Wade Davis in his absence, but they haven’t really missed Wade Davis. Davis, of course, would make any bullpen better. But since Kansas City’s star closer last pitched nearly a month ago to the day, the Royals bullpen has performed as well as it has all season. Over the last 30 days, the unit’s run a league-best 1.95...
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10 hours ago  |  Discuss

Projecting Phillies Call-Up Jorge Alfaro

Jorge Alfaro‘s physical tools have put him in the prospect conversation for years — he’s cracked Baseball Prospectus’ top-101 prospects in each of the past five seasons, for example — but his on-field performance has always left something to be desired. He hit a respectable-for-a-catcher .253/.314/.432 in an injury-shortened season at Double-A level last year, but his...
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Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 8/26/16

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Another Year with Joe Blanton, Great Reliever

The price of relief pitching is on the rise. Baseball die hards are currently having a fierce debate about reliever valuation, but it’s relatively clear that teams are willing to pony up for quality back of the bullpen arms. The recent deals for Ken Giles, Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller, and Will Smith demonstrate as much. Clubs want good relievers (who can blame them!) and they...
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11 hours ago  |  Discuss

The Fringe Five: Baseball’s Most Compelling Fringe Prospects

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 course, is a definition of the word fringe, a term...
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11 hours ago  |  Discuss

The One Problem With Kris Bryant’s MVP Case

Kris Bryant is everything you could want in an MVP candidate. He hits, he runs, he plays defense, he moves around, he’s in there every day — Bryant is an outstanding player on an outstanding team. You don’t have to worry about the Cubs wasting him, and not going to the playoffs. If Bryant’s teammates are doing him any harm, it could be because there are too many good ones...
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13 hours ago  |  Discuss

One of Baseball’s Best Pitches Is Missing

There’s a sense that Jake Arrieta isn’t quite what he’s been before. It’s not entirely untrue — a season ago, Arrieta put together a historic campaign. He set the bar so high for himself that it would be next to impossible to meet the updated expectations. But, you know, Arrieta’s still been terrific. Last year, opponents batted .185. This year they’ve batted .183....
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1 day ago  |  Discuss

An Early Look at the Catchers in the 2017 Draft

We’re continuing a series of scouting reports on 2017 draft-eligible high-school players. I’ve already filed reports on left-handed pitchers, which you can find here. Today we’re discussing catchers. High-school catching is often one of the draft’s most fruitless positions and 2017 looks like an average group. M.J. Melendez, C, Saint James School (AL) Height: 6’, Weight...
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1 day ago  |  Discuss

Money Is Buying Wins Again in 2016

If the playoffs started today, the Washington Nationals, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, and St. Louis Cardinals would be in the playoffs on the National League side. The top-five payrolls in the NL belong to those same five teams. Over in the American League, the Cleveland Indians seem likely to make the playoffs while the New York Yankees likely will not...
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1 day ago  |  Discuss

Oakland Acquires Improbable, Inevitable Future MVP in Trade

In January of this year, the author of this post, following some statistical perambulations, arrived at the conclusion that Max Schrock, a 13th-round selection out of the University of South Carolina during the most recent (2015) draft, would someday win an MVP award. The basis for that conclusion: no SEC batter in 2015 had produced numbers more similar to Josh Donaldson‘s —...
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A Very Mike Trout Home Run

Last night, Mike Trout went 3-for-6 with a double, a homer, two runs, and an RBI. The Angels won, 8-2, over the Blue Jays, but let’s get back to that home run. Here’s what Mike Trout’s body looked like just moments before making contact with a pitch that went over the left field fence: We all know what a typical home run swing looks like, and it sure doesn’t look like that...
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1 day ago  |  Discuss

Projecting Max Schrock, the Return for Marc Rzepczynski

A 13th-round pick last year, infielder Max Schrock — received by Oakland today from Washington in exchange for left-handed reliever Marc Rzepczynski — has made something of a name for himself by putting up strong offensive numbers in the lower levels. He’s hitting .333 between two levels of A-ball this season, largely due to an 8% strikeout rate. That’s encouraging coming...
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1 day ago  |  Discuss

Joey Votto’s Most Joey Votto Game

Excuse me there. May I have just a minute of your time? Maybe five. I know there’s a playoff race going on. I know Gary Sanchez is hitting all of the home runs and Rich Hill is back. I know the Royals are surging and the Giants are freefalling, and that’s all well and good, but would you mind if I spent some time this afternoon talking about a game played by a last-place team...
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1 day ago  |  Discuss

Eno Sarris Baseball Chat — 8/25/16

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Nationals Play Scrabble, Probably Lose

One of the recurring themes over the last year has been the high price the market is putting on relief pitchers. Ken Giles and Craig Kimbrel brought back monster returns in trades last winter, while even decent middle relievers were getting two or three year deals as free agents. At last month’s trade deadline, Aroldis Chapman got the Yankees a terrific haul. It’s clearly a good...
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1 day ago  |  Discuss

Yu Darvish’s Night at the Plate

We are currently in the 20th year of regular-season interleague play. I’m not sure exactly how many repetitions it takes for an event to transition from exciting novelty to mundane part of the schedule, but somewhere along the way interleague play has done just that. We now accept that this is a world where things as bizarre as Marlins/Mariners series will occur from time to time...
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1 day ago  |  Discuss

NERD Game Scores for Thursday, August 25, 2016

Devised originally in response to a challenge issued by sabermetric nobleman Rob Neyer, and expanded at the request of nobody, NERD scores represent an attempt to summarize in one number (and on a scale of 0-10) the likely aesthetic appeal or watchability, for the learned fan, of a player or team or game. Read more about the components of and formulae for NERD scores here. *** Most...
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1 day ago  |  Discuss

The Next Stage of Nolan Arenado

Walks, I think, have suffered from something of a marketing problem. And analysts were in large part responsible, back in OBP’s heyday 10 or 15 years ago. The walk felt underrated, and so in some circles it became maybe overrated. Analysts loved players who walked. But other players didn’t respond so well to that, because, to them, you don’t go up there trying to walk. You...
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1 day ago  |  Discuss
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