Thursday, January 30, 2014

Masahiro Tanaka, Big Money, and the 2014 New York Yankees

The Yankees re-earn the Bankees/Evil Empire moniker after a brief interlude; I examine the international market; prognosticating Tanaka and the 2014 Bronx Bombers.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Brief Note on the Equity of the International Free Agent Market

 Talking the equity of Southeast Asia versus Latin America as it pertains to MLB franchises in the mid- to low-payroll/mid- to small-market tiers.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

On Domonic Brown's Power Outburst

Domonic Brown just had himself one incredible month of May. What's truly crazy about the month Domonic Brown just had, however, is the complete lack of walks.

As in, Domonic Brown walked zero times in May.

12 HRs, 0 BBs.

In fact, he's the only hitter in major league history with nine or more home runs in a single month while failing to draw a walk. As the calendar has flipped to June, the story has continued to gain steam. He's locked in at the plate right now in an almost unthinkable manner. Currently, Brown leads the NL and is second in the major leagues with 19 home runs, one behind league leader Chris "Crush" Davis of the Orioles. Coming into this season, Brown had hit a grand total of twelve home runs in roughly one full season's worth of games between 2010 and 2012.

His ISO (isolated power) stands at a remarkable .299, while his slugging percentage is a powerful .588 in 2013. Only six players in the major leagues have slugging percentages higher than the number Domonic Brown currently possesses, and three of them (Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez, and Michael Cuddyer) play half their games in the forgiving power-hitting confines of Coors Field. The other three are the pre-eminent hitter in the game (Miguel Cabrera), the game's best current pure power hitter (Chris Davis), and the breakout first baseman for Arizona, Paul Goldschmidt. When relegated to just ISO, only Chris Davis (.369) and Carlos Gonzalez (.318) sport a higher rate of isolated power in 2013 than Domonic Brown (.299).

That is certainly some welcoming company to have alongside one's name. Yet this explosion of a former top prospect came almost out of nowhere. Phillies fans anticipated Domonic Brown playing, but few would have imagined a breakout season like the one he's having thus far. All of this begs the question: what lies behind Brown's new-found power?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The League-Wide Rise in Strikeouts: Aberration, or the New Norm?

As pointed out by HardBallTalk through Buster Olney (in turn through the Elias Sports Bureau), April 2013 saw the highest number of strikeouts by batters in any month in baseball history. Moreover, as pointed out by Jason Linden of HardBallTimes, baseball is currently on pace to sport as many as 10 to 13 batters with 200 or more strikeouts. There has never been a season in Major League Baseball history which has seen more than one batter eclipse the once-dreaded 200-strikeout barrier. What does this mean for the game?

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Brothers in Arms: The Rise and Fall of Four Starters

This season, while still early, is writing the final chapters in the careers of four starters to have thrown no-hitters.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Buster's Big Break: Thoughts on last week's Posey extension

Shortly after Justin Verlander was awarded a massive contract extension from the Detroit Tigers, the Giants and their MVP catcher, Buster Posey, agreed to a new nine-year, $167,000,000 contract that will see him get paid between twenty and twenty-two million dollars annually between 2016 and 2022. My take on the signing and what this may portend for Los Gigantes, after the jump.

Elvis Lives! The Andrus Contract Extension and Implications for Texas

Early Monday, the Texas Rangers chose to lock up their starting shortstop Elvis Andrus with an eight-year, $120,000,000 extension that will take him through his prime seasons.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Johan Santana's Series of Unfortunate Events: An Analysis and Career Retrospective

The news broke yesterday that Johan Santana of the Mets had "probably" re-torn his shoulder capsule and will likely miss all of the 2013 season. It likely also signals the end of the 33-year-old's career as a starting pitcher in the major leagues.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

On Mike Trout's weight gain and expected 2013 performance

There has been much ado made of the recent revelation that Mike Trout packed an additional ten to fifteen pounds of muscle onto his frame over the course of the off-season. One reporter stated that he now looked more like an NFL fullback, whereas last season he looked more like an NFL running back. Others have nicknamed him "Fat Mike" (ostensibly based upon the lead singer/bassist for the band NOFX) and "Beefy Trout".

This size change understandably has people concerned; a common adage in a non-contact sport like baseball is that one can get "too bulky" to be an impact player. Here is where I must disagree, and I elaborate after the jump.