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

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Giancarlo Stanton New York Yankees

From The Bill James Handbook: the combined batting average this year of the four previous NL MVPs (Bryant, Stanton, Yelich & Bellinger): .223.

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 18
Christian Yelich Milwaukee Brewers

How bad was Yelich in 2020?

As bad as his BABIP luck was on September 22, it got worse.

He hit .132 with runners in scoring position.

He hit zero with the bases loaded (five AB).

His Defensive Runs Saved score was -6.

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 18
Amed Rosario New York Mets

Rosario raises his hand and shouts, "Pick me, pick me!" 

Tim McLeod tlmcleod
Nov 18
Robinson Cano New York Mets

"ESPN's Jeff Passan reports that Robinson Cano has tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug and will be suspended without pay for the entire 2021 season.

It's the second career PED suspension for Cano, who was forced to sit out 80 games with the Mariners in 2018 following a positive test for Furosemide, a diuretic often used to mask drug use. This time, the PED found in his system was Stanozolol, an anabolic steroid derived from dihydrotestosterone. Cano will forfeit a whopping $24 million in salary, which could be a blessing in some ways for the Mets as they look to spend big this winter under new owner Steve Cohen."

Tim McLeod tlmcleod
Nov 18
Cody Bellinger Los Angeles Dodgers

How much would Bellinger's catch on Oct. 25 -- and then the video analysis that Peter links to -- have affected the voting for the Fielding Bible Awards (which do not include the postseason)?

The complete vote tally in the Handbook:

Kevin Kiermaier 51

Byron Buxton 51

Luis Robert 27

Jackie Bradley Jr. 24

Ramon Laureano 15

Trent Grisham 8

Harrison Bader 3

Victor Robles 1

Kiermaier won on a tie-breaker.

In Defensive Runs Saved by centerfielders, Bellinger tied for seventh with Bradley, Laureano and Lewis Brinson (5). Ahead of them: Buxton (11), Keirmaier (10), Robert (8), Grisham (7), Leody Taveras (6) and George Springer (6).

In 2019 the Fielding Bible voters were wowed by Bellinger. He finished first with 112 points, four more than Mookie Betts.

In right field.

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 18
Isiah Kiner-Falefa Texas Rangers

He was third best catcher in fantasy baseball this year. And, in real baseball, in the field, the second best third baseman.

According to DRS.

Third Basemen 2020 Leaders

Nolan Arenado 15

Isiah Kiner-Falefa 9

Manny Machado 7

Gio Urshela 5

Carter Kieboom 5

In fantasy baseball he was $7 better than Arenado.

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 18
Raimel Tapia Colorado Rockies

The change was real. His percentage of swinging at balls dropped significantly.

Kent Ostby Seadogs
Nov 18
Kris Bryant Chicago Cubs

Fangraphs discusses Theo's departure. In other news, MLBTR lists Bryant as a possible non-tender which seems incomprehensible.

Kent Ostby Seadogs
Nov 18
Josh Fuentes Colorado Rockies

While Fuentes got short shrift -- actually, no shrift -- for the Gold Glove Award, he finished third in the Fielding Bible Awards voting for first basemen.

Matt Olson 53

Evan White 39

Josh Fuentes 25

Anthony Rizzo 20

Jose Abreu 17

Seven other first basemen received votes (for 2020 the 12 voters only listed five, in order, instead of the usual ten).

How much do voters lean on John Dewan's Defensive Runs Saved?

First Basemen 2020 DRS Leaders

Josh Fuentes 8

Evan White 7

Matt Olson 5

Carlos Santana 5

Jose Abreu 4

Baseball-Reference agrees with the Handbook that Fuentes flashed the leather at first. He actually gets more credit for his defense than for his quite solid contributions with the bat.

dWAR 0.8

oWAR 0.1

I imagine that, compared to other first baseman, Josh's hitting really was close to average. But almost one win above average for defense, in a 60-game season, is very unusual for this position. Keith Hernandez's highest dWAR in any season was 0.9. His dWAR total for 17 seasons is 1.3.

As Eugene points out on Freeman's page, WAR assumes first basemen don't make much difference one way or another with their play in the field.

I wonder if John Dewan thinks that? It seems to me a run is a run is a run. Same goes for runs saved.

Josh Fuentes saved eight runs last year, compared to the average first baseman. 

Dansby Swanson, the best shortstop, saved nine.

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 18
Tyler O'Neill St. Louis Cardinals

While O'Neil's BABIP improved after Aug. 9, it remained below the Mendoza Line.

He did hold onto his left field position, however (Carlson played mstly in center and right) and led all left fielders in Defensive Runs saved with nine.

It's hard to discern the exact ingredients of John Dewan's DRS, which change a little bit each year -- which is fine; all cooks do that.

O'Neill won the Fielding Bible Award, says the Handbook, "with his play on balls hit to the deepest part of the ballpark. He caught 46-of-54 chances on those balls, eight more than an average left fielder."

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 18
Michael Brantley Houston Astros

The Bill James Handbook came in the mail today. As always, I started with the fielding metrics.

Defensive Runs Saved - Left Fielders

O'Neal, Tyler 9

Verdugo, Alex 8

Reynold, Brian 5

Brantley, Michael 5

How many games did Brantley play in left field anyway?

Nineteen. He DHed in 21 games.

On a per-game basis he was better than Tyler O'Neal, who played 47 games in left field.

It's not a one-year fluke.

Defensive Runs Saved - Left Fielders - 3-Year Leaders

Duvall, Adam 20

Gordon, Alex 20

Gardner, Brett 17

Pinder, Chad 16

Brantley, Michael 14

Verdugo, Alex 14

The voters for the Fielding Bible Awards took note. Brantley finished third, behind O'Neil and Reynolds.

Alex Verdugo got no votes.

As I say, I wander around among the fielding metrics quite a bit. If I had the vote... I'd have no idea how to vote.

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 18
Domingo German New York Yankees

Joseph Staszewski in the Post:

German "threw four hitless, scoreless innings, with one walk and seven strikeouts, for Toros del Este in his 2020 Dominican League debut Monday night. It was the righty’s first time pitching in a professional game in 14 months after serving an 81-game suspension for violating MLB’s domestic violence protocols."

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 18
Luke Voit New York Yankees

George King in the Post:

Talking on YES Monday night, Voit said he doesn’t pay attention to the trade chatter, but his family and friends are locked into it.

“It is part of it, and everyone’s name is going to be thrown around,’’ Voit said. “Everyone is a GM, and everyone wants to talk baseball somehow and make the perfect trade.’’

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 18
Cody Bellinger Los Angeles Dodgers

Cody Bellinger (1B) LA - Nov. 17

Bellinger underwent surgery to repair his dislocated right shoulder Tuesday, Jeff Passan of reports.

ROTOWIRE RECOMMENDS: Bellinger's injury occurred while celebrating a homer in Game 7 of the NLCS. The injury evidently was serious enough to require surgery despite the fact that he remained on the roster for the World Series. Recovery from the procedure is expected to take 10 weeks, which should give him the time to be ready by the start of spring training.

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 18
Drew Smyly Atlanta Braves

Brad Hand comes to mind. 

Tim McLeod tlmcleod
Nov 18
Kevin McCarthy Boston Red Sox
Yasmany Tomas Washington Nationals
John Thomas Roll2
Nov 18
Omar Vizquel Toronto Blue Jays

With more sabrmetrically inclined voters coming on the roles each year, I think Vizquel may peak at about 60-65%.  His reputation far exceeds his true ability on defense and his offense was below average even for a shortstop.  

When your best comp is likely Rabbit Maranville, who got in on a Veterans' Committee ballot about 20 years after he retired, that's probably the right path, if any.

I can't believe Kenny Lofton was one and done on the ballot and this guy gets real support each year.

Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed
Nov 17

Jayson Stark, doing Path to the Hall comps at The Athletic, sees Vizquel following in the footsteps of Billie Williams and Gary Carter, both of whom reached 50 percent of the votes in their third year (like Vizquel last year), then were voted in in their sixth and final year on the ballot.

For me, the obvious comp is Ozzie Smith.

Over the course of 24 seasons for Omar, 19 for Ozzie...


Omar 82, Ozzie 87

Rbaser (Runs from Baserunning)

Omar -1, Ozzie 80

Rfield (Runs from Fielding)

Omar 129, Ozzie 239


Omar 29.5, Ozzie 44.2


Omar 32.9, Ozzie 48.8


Omar 45.6, Ozzie 76.9

Of all these metrics the only one that is close is OPS+ (which is also the easiest to understand, the hardest to argue with: at the plate these players were very similar).

Other comparisons...

Gold Gloves

Omar 11, Ozzie 12

All-Star Teams

Omar 3, Ozzie 15

Years Getting MVP Votes

Omar 1, Ozzie 6

So they don't really compare. Which is not to say Omar Vizquel won't be elected. It's just a question of how strict each voter is.

I'd be strict.

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 17
Luke Voit New York Yankees

Luke Voit (1B) NY-A - Nov. 16

Voit (foot) is no longer experiencing pain after receiving a platelet-rich plasma injection in his foot, Brendan Kuty of The Newark Star-Ledger reports.

ROTOWIRE RECOMMENDS: Voit doesn't expect his plantar fasciitis to be an issue during the upcoming season after seeing positive results from the PRP shot. This is great news for the Yankees, who will have their slugger back at full strength for the start of spring training. 

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 17

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