Let's round up a few interesting links to take us into the evening...
- Ben Badler of Baseball America takes a look at which teams have signed the most international prospects using the 2013 Baseball America Prospect Handbook as a guide (subscription required). The Cubs are tied for 5th, signing 11 of the top international prospects, led by Jorge Soler, Jeimer Candelario, and Hak-Ju Lee, now with the Rays. In addition to signing their own international guys, the Cubs have done a good job of acquiring a few through trade, including 3B Christian Villanueva and RHP Arodys Vizcaino.
- Speaking of the BA Handbook, I haven't received mine yet but I'm getting antsy about it and reader emartinezjr was kind of enough to list the top 30 to help me get through the next few days. We've already seen the top 10 from Baseball America. Just missing the cut were Christian Villanueva, Juan Paniagua, and Alberto Cabrera. Most of the 30 names are similar to my own list from November, but some nteresting names toward the bottom of the list include RHP Matt Loosen and a couple of my favorite sleepers: RHP Marcus Hatley and CF Trey Martin.
- Jon Greenberg of ESPN does a nice interview with new Cubs sabermetric guru Tom Tango. There's some great information here as you get a peek into the thought process of one of the most innovative baseball statisticians in the game today. That in itself is great, but almost equally entertaining to me in the piece is how Tango is completely impervious to Greenberg's snark. Give it a read.
- Speaking of great info, Bleacher Nation did a podcast and guest Harry Pavlidis does a great job explaining Pitch F/X data.
- We will be doing stuff on the draft soon (I promise!) but for those wanting to get an early start, Fangraphs has some great GIFs of Ryan Stanek's slider, which many think may be the best pitch in this year's draft. Some sharp, two-plane break here from the slider. Some scouts think that Stanek tends to fall in love with the pitch sometimes and from these GIFs, it's not hard to see why.
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