There's a little something for everyone today in our news and notes section...
- Keith Law explains which stats are essential to him when predicting future performance (insider only). They are very similar to the ones I use. On offense: wOBA, OBP, and Slugging pct. For pitchers: strikeout and walk pct. (although I use rate because it puts the same basic info in context), groundball pct, and BABIP. I'd like to give you his reasoning and explanations but it's an insider piece so I'll just leave it here. It's a good read for those who want to get introduced to statistics.
- Mark Smith of Fangraphs translates the scouting 20-80 scale as to what it would mean statistically relative to the performance of the best players in baseball today. For example, we noted that Albert Almora was projected as a 75 defender in CF by BA -- that's an elite level that would put him with the best fielders in the game. Smith uses UZR/150 and Fld/3 as measuring sticks. Adrian Beltre is an example of a 70 fielder using UZR/150 and Fld/3 gives us a couple of more relevant comparisons, outfielders Brett Gardner (80) and Michael Bourn (70).
- One of our readers, Andrew, has come with a great visual representation of team salary info. Using the info from Cot's Baseball Contracts, Andrew sorts out the salaries into easy to read colorful bar graphs. It's a simple format, just choose the team you want to view from the drop-down list at the upper leftt hand corner. If you choose the Cubs for example, then you'll see how the team's salary is broken down, player-by-player, from 2013 to 2018. You can see a snap shot of it above, but go check out the site for a better view and to see how other team's compare.
- Speaking of Albert Almora, check out this article in case you missed it. I did (h/t Michael Caldwell). It's a story on how scout Jon Koronka and his glowing reports on Almora led Theo Epstein and the new front office to select him with their first ever first round pick as Cubs.
- Jay Jaffe of SI writes about the available Alfonso Soriano and the teams that could use the slugging OF'er. Jaffe picks the Orioles, Yankees, Rangers, Rays, Mets...and one curious choice, the Giants. Jaffe is aware that Soriano has no interest in going there but thinks he can be sold because they have won 2 World Series in 3 years -- a goal that Soriano has stated he wants to reach in his career before he retires. On a side note, kudos to Jaffe for referencing a Tim Dierkes story that only states that Soriano wouldn't go to San Francisco, not that he actually vetoed it as has been widely (and incorrectly) reported. It's good analysis and an interesting read all-around, though we shouldn't expect Soriano to be traded until closer to the deadline.
- Dale Sveum says that Carlos Marmol is throwing much better than he did at this time last spring and part of that has to do with his new approach. He's throwing strikes with his fastball to set up his wipeout slider. If Marmol can throw strikes the way he did in the 2nd half last season, he's going to be a big asset for the team as he enters his last contract year. Of course, that likely means he gets moved at some point between now and the trade deadline.
- The Cubs are going to tweak their 7th inning stretch tradition. No major changes except that they want to use more local celebrities who actually know something about the Cubs. As for my opinion, I think it's a positive change but it makes little difference in the grand scheme of things. It's usually my time to go get one last beer.
- If you're a hockey fan, the best blog out there is the Committed Indian. Felz's brother, Sam, is one of the writers there and you may occasionally see some work from our guy as well.
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