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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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Tony La Russa Chicago White Sox

Free agent Marcus Stroman says 'no amount of money' would get him to play for White Sox's Tony La Russa ... I'm a bit of a fan of the White Sox ... I like the young players they have ... they seem more like the small market / underdog franchise that I find myself drawn to ... and now this ... a reminder that they have an owner that, in my mind, has a bad brand ... hmmm ... seems possible that LaRussa doesn't make it to spring training ... but Jerry seems pretty dug in to his decision ...

Howard Lynch LynchMob
Nov 11

Another amazing season with the glove for Ryosuke Kikuchi. "Hiroshima Carp 2B Ryosuke Kikuchi is the 1st player in NPB history to finish the season fielding at 2B with a perfect fielding percentage of 1.000. He played in 106 games this year and had 503 fielding chances without an error"

Tim McLeod tlmcleod
Nov 11

Lots of chatter recently about Tomoyuki Sugano of the Giants. The two-time Sawamura Award winner is having another stellar season, posting a 2.04 ERA and 14-2 won/loss record over 132 1/3 IP. The Giants posted their first ever player last season, Shun Yamaguchi, but that doesn't mean Sugano will be their second. The whole situation is complicated by the fact that his Uncle is the Giants Manager. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds, but should Sugano be granted a posting, he will be highly sought after by MLB clubs. https://npb.jp/bis/eng/players/41745137.html 

Tim McLeod tlmcleod
Nov 11
Justin Turner Los Angeles Dodgers

I'm still trying to wrap my head around the whole procedure. It appears that Turner tested inconclusive on the Monday. Why was he on the field in the first place? 

Tim McLeod tlmcleod
Nov 11
Joe Kelly Los Angeles Dodgers

Wow, Seadogs, I couldn't disagree more on Kelly. He is a coward and an a-hole for throwing at the Astros.  He wasn't even motivated by a desire to support his Dodgers teammates (Kelly was on the Red Sox in 2017), but rather because he feels like the Astros' players "snitched" on his friend Alex Cora.  So basically he is mad that Cora was punished and Bregman and Correa weren't.  In his mind they were all cheaters but Cora is his buddy so he gets a pass while Kelly chooses to endanger the careers of the other two by throwing at their heads!  Total BS.

I have always believed that pitchers who intentionally throw at a batters head should be removed from the field in handcuffs by local police and charged with assault.  A batter that charged the mound and hit a pitcher with his bat would be treated that way, no?  So why do pitchers get a pass? Book 'em, Dano!

Bob Elam Bob-in-TX
Nov 11
Alex Cora Boston Red Sox

I am impressed. Also with the Red Sox fro rehiring him.

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 11
Tim Anderson Chicago White Sox

So, Tony LaRussa, who was arrested for DUI in 2007, was arrested again earlier this year.  The WS knew about it, and hired him anyway. Not only is he going to force Anderson, Moncada, and others on the White Sox to "play the game the right way," he's going to set an example by showing how to risk others' lives through casual indifference.  

Apparently, his response to the arresting officer was that he's in the baseball Hall of Fame.  A "don't you know who I am" excuse to let him off the hook. Obviously playing it the right way.

Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed
Nov 10
Joe Kelly Los Angeles Dodgers

Glad he got a world series ring. Would have liked to see him get to throw at the Astros again though.

Kent Ostby Seadogs
Nov 10
Alex Cora Boston Red Sox

Cora's at least a man about it -- "I was spending time at home for the wrong reasons. For that I want to
apologize. I deserve what happened this year. It’s something that I’m
not proud of, but we went through the whole process with the
Commissioner’s Office and the department of investigations. At the end I
got my penalty and I served it.
“This situation is part of who I am for the rest of my career. As a
man, I have to deal with it. I don’t want people to make it seem like
it’s a great comeback story. I don’t want that. I’m going to use this
bad experience to make people better, starting at home."

Kent Ostby Seadogs
Nov 10
George Springer Houston Astros

BP agrees that Springer is the No. 1 free agent. And one of the prognosticators agrees with Ken Davidson.

1. George Springer, OF
2020 team: Houston Astros

Reason For Optimism: Just because it wasn’t supposed to be Springer atop of this free agent class doesn’t mean he hasn’t earned his place. Both Mookie Bettsand Mike Trout were previously set to become free agents this offseason, but instead the class of 2020 became the preeminent example of the changed nature of free agency and its lesser appeal to players. That’s no knock on Springer, who averaged more than 4.5 WARP annually between 2016-19 and has shown no signs of decline with the stick. After a career-best year on offense in 2019, his 142 DRC+ was a point better in 2020. Fitting in around the 25th-best player in the majors; whatever team ends up with Springer at a guarantee of nine figures will likely get a fixture for the rest of his productive years. There’s been a dearth of superstars offered on market the last few winters, but that’s not on Springer. Following a career of playing among big stars in Houston, he deserves his place leading this cast list.

Reason For Pessimism: Springer is 31 years old and a center fielder. It’s not typically a winning combination, though his defensive metrics have largely held up outside of a disastrous FRAA in 2020 that could be anomalous. 338 of Springer’s 391 defensive innings last season were in center, so it would be a surprise to see him moved to a corner next year. There’s also the whole “2017 Astro” thing, but people forget—look at Charlie Morton.

Predictions
Ginny: 
Astros | Collin: Mets | Randy: Red Sox

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 10
D.J. LeMahieu New York Yankees
Kristian Robinson Arizona Diamondbacks

Baseball Prospectus rolled out its Top 10 Prospects on the Diamondbacks today.

***

  • 1.
  • Kristian Robinson
  • CF
  • Born: 2000-12-11
  • B: Right
  • T: Right
  • H: 6′ 3″
  • W: 190 lbs.
  • Signed July 2nd, 2017 by Arizona out of the Bahamas for $2.5 million.
YearTeamLevelAgePAR2B3BHRRBIBBKSBCSAVGOBPSLGDRC+BABIP
2019HILSS18189291019352347143.319.407.558208.398
2019KCLo-A18102143151683032.217.294.43590.263

The Report: We kick off our prospect lists with a teenager (at time of publication) who has one of the best power/speed combinations in the minors. The Baseball Prospectus Prospect Team is always on brand. Robinson is a plus runner with potential top-of-the-scale pop who has a good chance to be an above-average glove in center field. The other tools aren’t as loud, but he potentially has all five; the hit tool is the thorniest, although that’s not unusual given Robinson’s limited pro experience. The swing-and-miss concerns do create a gap between the present and the projected and increase the out-and-out bust risk.

Development Track: There’s an alternate history—hoo boy will this be a recurring theme in this section across all 30 lists—where Robinson torched both A-ball levels and established himself as one of the elite prospects in baseball. The tools are all there, and showed in enough flashes at the alternate site to more or less hold serve in the Top 101. Despite the lost year he will only be 20 on Opening Day. But in what will be another recurring theme this list cycle, it’s still a lost year. And that inserts a bit more uncertainty into the profile.


Alex Patton Alex
Nov 10
Grayson Rodriguez Baltimore Orioles

From BA today:

  1. 2. Grayson Rodriguez | RHP
    Grayson Rodriguez
    Born: Nov 16, 1999 
    Bats: L Throws: R 
    Ht.: 6'5" Wt.: 220 
    Drafted: HS—Nacogdoches, Texas, 2018 (1st round). 
    Signed By: Thom Dreier. 

    Fastball: 70. Curveball: 50. Slider: 60. Changeup: 55. Control: 60

    Scouting Report: Two months at the Orioles’ secondary camp allowed Rodriguez a chance to further hone the consistency of his clean, sturdy delivery. His four-seam fastball sat 95-98 mph with plus-plus potential all summer, and for the second straight year got harder as the season went on. Rodriguez quickly learned a changeup in 2019 and it remains an above-average pitch at 82-85 mph. His curveball has good shape but lacks power in the mid 70s, leaving his low-80s slider as the more effective of his breaking balls. The experience at the alternate site helped Rodriguez start to understand pitching to a plan against older hitters whom he can’t simply overpower.

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 10
Adley Rutschman Baltimore Orioles

It certainly sounds like it wasn't a wasted summer for Rutschman. The report card from Baseball America:

  1. 1. Adley Rutschman
    Hit: 70. Power: 70. Run: 40. Fielding: 60. Arm: 70

    Scouting Report: The switch-hitting Rutschman rebuilt his swing in college to gear for more power and consistency. He continues to find ways to refine and make his swing more efficient as he learns the professional game. He went through an adjustment period at the Bowie camp after the coronavirus shutdown period halted most of his work, but he quickly revealed the all-fields power and consistent hard contact that give him potential to be a plus-plus hitter with plus-plus power at his peak. He ended the summer as the best performer at the camp. His offensive production is aided by advanced plate discipline. Rutschman is clear in which pitches he’s able to drive and which he should lay off. He’ll likely see increased benefit from that when pitchers are around the strike zone more and umpires improve at the higher levels of the minors. Rutschman’s above-average pop times and advanced receiving skills behind the plate give him the physical tools to be a plus major league catcher. His work at the Bowie camp helped him gain experience calling pitches to an advanced pitcher’s plan and gave him invaluable insight into how pitchers and fellow catchers with major league experience see the game. All those tools are enhanced by a reputation as a fantastic teammate and tireless worker who elevates both himself and everyone around him with his approach to the game.

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 10
Tony La Russa Chicago White Sox

Celebrating the new job a little too much ... DUI in Arizona.

Kent Ostby Seadogs
Nov 10
Justin Turner Los Angeles Dodgers

Given that his first positive test was 36 hours prior to when they pulled him off the field the first time, it's seems unlikely to be caused by his return.

Kent Ostby Seadogs
Nov 10
Mallex Smith Seattle Mariners

He ended up with 81 steals in 89 attempts in the parallel universe of OOTP.

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 10
Alec Bohm Philadelphia Phillies

Is WPA a good stat?

Stathead Spotlight: Alec Bohm

Rookies with a ratio of 0.012 batter Win Probability Added per plate appearance or better (sorted by most PA)

PlayerWPAYearAgeTmPA
Johnny Mize6.221193623STL469
Willie McCovey (RoY‑1st)2.662195921SFG219
Johnny Schulte3.289192730STL209
Alec Bohm2.287202023PHI180
Warren Newson3.304199126CHW160
John Romano2.731195924CHW153
Ron Jones1.794198824PHI129
Kevin Barker1.588199923MIL127
Gregg Jefferies (RoY‑6th)1.501198820NYM118

See the full list at Stathead.com's Batting Season Finder

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 10
Cristian Javier Houston Astros

Interesting mix.

Stathead Spotlight: Cristian Javier

Rookies with 60% games started, 200+ batters faced, 25% strikeout rate and batting average allowed of .200 or lower

PlayerBAK%YearAgeTmBF
Freddy Peralta.17829.9% 201822 MIL321
Jose Fernandez (RoY‑1st).18227.5% 201320 MIA681
Hideo Nomo (RoY‑1st).18230.3% 199526 LAD780
Cristian Javier.18825.2% 202023 HOU214
Jordan Yamamoto.19125.2% 201923 MIA325
Walker Buehler (RoY‑3rd).19327.9% 201823 LAD541
Herb Score (RoY‑1st).19425.1% 195522 CLE978
Tony Cingrani.19628.6% 201323 CIN420
Kerry Wood (RoY‑1st).19633.3% 199821 CHC699
Jose DeLeon (RoY‑7th).19626.9% 198322 PIT438
Alex Meyer.19725.7% 201727 LAA292
Jack Flaherty (RoY‑5th).19929.6% 201822 STL615
Matt Harvey.20028.6% 201223 NYM245

See the list at Stathead.com's Pitching Season Finder

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 10
Robbie Ray Toronto Blue Jays

It's about that ERA+...

Stathead Spotlight: Robbie Ray

Pitchers with 12+ SO/9IP, 2+ SO/BB and 30 games started since 2018

PlayerGS SO9SO/W ERA+Tm
Gerrit Cole77 12.905.40162 HOU‑NYY
Max Scherzer72 12.415.93155 WSN
Justin Verlander6912.137.46172 HOU
Robbie Ray6812.052.3597 ARI‑TOR
Chris Sale5213.416.41143 BOS

See the list at Stathead.com's Pitching Season Finder

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 10

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