Thursday, July 17

Mid season update

Time to take a look and see how my opening day predictions look so far, and project the rest of the season.

Let's start with some highlights from the American League:
EAST: "they won't have any wildcard teams" - if the playoffs were today, both wildcard teams would be from the West, and the next team is in the Central
Boston - "86 wins". They have 43 wins at the all star break. 43 x 2 = 86. Just saying.
Tampa - "could drop all the way to 4th place". Hhmm... they're in 4th place.
Toronto - "bet they wish they still had Henderson Alvarez". Alvarez was just named to the All-Star team. After Buehrle, Dickey and Hutchison, the combined ERA of the rest of the Blue Jays starters is about 5.
Cleveland - "won't win more than 81 games". Exactly at .500 right now
Kansas City - "PLAYOFFS".  They're 2.5 games out right now.
Twins - "Yankees will wish they still had Phil Hughes". He has a 2.62 FIP. That's better than anyone in pinstripes. Even the 155 Million Dollar Tanaka.
Houston - "won't be the worst team in league in 2nd half". They weren't the worst team in the first half! Not even the worst team in their state.

National League:
CENTRAL: "Cincinnati and Milwaukee will remind St. Louis that there are still some competitive teams in this division. But Pittsburgh won't be one of them."  Only 1.5 games separate these 3 teams.
Cubs - "last place". Yeah, this one wasn't that tough.
Milwaukee - "Among most improved teams in baseball. Will contend for a wildcard spot." Well, if they don't win the division, I suppose they'll need to settle for the wildcard
WEST:  "Three team race with the Dodgers needing to hold off Arizona and San Francisco to repeat" 2 out of 3 ain't bad? 1 game separates LA and SF as we head into the 2nd half.
Colorado - "Morneau will like thin Denver air". He's having his best season since 2010.
San Francisco - "A good old Giants/Dodgers rivalry will be rekindled". So far looking good.

Also had my share of predictions that just look silly now. But I won't make too easy for you to mock me. You'll need to click on the link above and find them.

What does the rest of the season hold?
Detroit won't hold on to their 6.5 game lead and will fall out of first place at some point
Texas is going to get hot and make a bit of a run, but ultimately will fade
Seattle is going to make a big trade but they will fade shortly after that and end out of contention
Milwaukee will fall back and have to fight for a wildcard spot
Cincinatti will end up running away with Central

Four days without basesball is approximately four days too many.  Let's get the second half started already!

Thursday, June 19

Did you know? Catcher’s Interference. I DIDN’T!!!

Yours truly!  (not really, I'm way better looking!)
I wrote a short post on catcher’s interference (CI) some time ago, to educate people that reaching on CI does not impact your on base percentage (OBP).

Unfortunately, it has come to my attention (through an outstanding Sabermetrics course that I’m taking online) that in that post, my explanation of how to score it was… WRONG!  (sorry!)  No way to sugarcoat it, I’ve always been doing it incorreclty. I use my own spreadsheet system that takes the scoring from a game and compiles all individual
and team stats and I goofed on this one.*

It is true that Catcher’s Interference does not impact your on base percentage.  However, it DOES count as a plate appearance (PA). I always assumed that the formula for OBP was times on base (H+BB+HBP)  ÷ plate appearances.  So, if reaching on CI did not help nor hurt your OBP, then I assumed it did not count as a plate appearance.  Alas, it does.  The CORRECT formula for OBP is actually: (H+BB+HBP) ÷ (AB+BB+HBP+SF).  If a batter reaches on CI, it is counted as a PA, but the result of that appearance does not appear in any formula.

By the way, I still believe that intuitively it should be counted as a stat the same as a walk or hit by pitch. The counter argument is that you don’t know what would have happened without the CI. He may have been out anyways, so you don’t want to credit the batter for something he didn’t “earn”. But I think this counter argument can be used for HBP as well. Batters aren’t (usually) trying to earn getting on base by being beaned, but I digress.

* Note: Today there are several scoring apps available, so individuals don’t really need to know the rules that well, just mark it as a CI and the app will take care of calculating all the stats for you. Some of the best ones includes iScore as well as several others.

Monday, June 9

Red Sox Draft Alberta catcher!

Photo credit: Jeff McCurry
In what was a disappointing draft for Alberta baseball players anxiously waiting to get the call that they were selected, only one player from the Wild Rose Province was drafted.  The Boston Red Sox used their 14th round draft pick to select Calgary native Jordan Procyshen.  Procyshen, a catcher, was drafted out of Northern Kentucky University. A quick summarized scouting report on this 21 year old,  is that he is a very good defensive catcher with a strong arm, and an excellent power hitter. 

Saturday, June 7

Early draft results

Michael Chavis - the newest member of the Red Sox!
With the first 2 days of the draft done, most of the big names have now been taken.  There are still 30 rounds to finish today, so several players who are only familiar to local audiences still have a chance to be drafted.

As far as the Red Sox, they took high schooler Michael Chavis with their first pick.  Chavis is a shortstop who projects more to be a third baseman in the Sox organization. He knows how to rock a bowtie (see pic above) and for some amusing reads, take a look at his twitter history at @michaelchavis11.  A few picks later they selected another high schooler, pitcher Michael Kopech. He is a righty who just turned 18 two months ago, and can already hit 97 MPH on the radar gun. With their last pick of the first day, they selected University of Indiana first baseman, Sam Travis.   For a full list of the Red Sox draftees, take a look at this draft tracker.

On the local front, only three Canadians were taken in the first 10 rounds. As expected, Gareth Morgan was the first Canuck taken, as the last pick of Day 1 - number 74 overall, by the Seattle Mariners.  Two other Canadians, both from Ontario, have also been drafted so far.  Today hopefully some of the local Alberta players will be drafted in later rounds. I will post an updated with any news on these players after the draft is complete.

To stay up to date on all the prospects, Baseball America publishes an annual prospect handbook.  You can get it here from Amazon: