Author Archive

2011 Organizational Rankings: #20 San Diego

Losing Adrian Gonzalez would be painful to any team. But for a Padres squad whose second-best 2010 regular (or quasi-regular) was Will Venable (.324 wOBA), it was a monumental loss. Still, the haul from the Gonzalez trade boosts the team’s farm system ranking significantly, and there are some reasons for optimism on a team with limited resources and little chance of contending in 2011.

Present Talent – 75.00 (T-20th)

Padres Season Preview

Future Talent – 85.00 (T-5th)

Padres Top 10 Prospects

Financial Resources – 68.08 (29th)
Baseball Operations – 81.67 (11th)

Overall Rating – 76.09 (20th)

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Jonah Keri FanGraphs Chat – 3/21/11

2011 MLB Over/Unders

Welcome to the 2nd annual edition of the MLB Over/Unders extravaganza. We’ll start with my regular intro to the column, and the process of picking Over/Unders, then get to this year’s picks.

A word of warning: I’m 5-0 lifetime (on actual gummi wagers…not quite perfect on suggestions). So if you believe in regression to the mean, feel free to short the hell out of these picks.

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Jonah Keri FanGraphs Chat – 3/14/11

Team Preview: Boston Red Sox

The acquisitions of Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez highlighted an offseason that has most pundits now calling the Boston Red Sox the best team in baseball. But are we being too optimistic about a team that was projected by many experts to win the AL East last year, only to finish third and out of the playoffs? Let’s take a look.

Projected Starting Lineup
1 CF Jacoby Ellsbury*
2 2B Dustin Pedroia
3 LF Carl Crawford*
4 1B Adrian Gonzalez*
5 3B Kevin Youkilis
6 DH David Ortiz*
7 RF J.D. Drew*
8 C Jarrod Saltalamacchia**
9 SS Marco Scutaro

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Jonah Keri FanGraphs Chat – 3/7/11

Team Preview: Chicago Cubs

The Cincinnati Reds are the defending NL Central champs. The Milwaukee Brewers are this year’s darlings after adding Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum to a team already flush with big bats and young bullpen arms. The St. Louis Cardinals should still contend even with Adam Wainwright gone, given the presence of Chris Carpenter, Matt Holliday, Colby Rasmus, and the best player in the world.

Where does leave the Chicago Cubs? Middle of the pack, most likely.

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Frenchy, and the Process

A pair of great, Kansas City-based writers, Sam Mellinger and Joe Posnanski, both weighed in recently on Jeff Francoeur and his role with the Royals. Mellinger discusses Francoeur’s new physique, and how dropping 25 pounds could help him regain his lost mojo. Poz focuses on Frenchy’s WINNING! personality, and his lack of success as a big league hitter.

High-quality discussion, to be sure. But all the discussion of Francoeur’s amazing start as a rookie, his complete lack of plate discipline, and his new Humpilates regimen ignores the key point here: He’s a warm body. That’s all Dayton Moore and the Royals wanted, or needed.

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Jonah Keri FanGraphs Chat – 2/28/11

The Duke of Montreal

You’ll read plenty of great tributes to Duke Snider‘s playing days today, both here at FanGraphs and by friends of ours around the Web. But while Dodgers fans rightfully mourn their Duke of Flatbush, Expos fans like myself mourn the Duke of Montreal.

When Snider’s eulogy gets written, don’t expect more than a passing mention — if that — of his work as a color commentator for Montreal Expos games. But the Duke’s time behind the mic shouldn’t be considered an afterthought. For 14 seasons, Snider called games alongside Dave Van Horne, the 2010 Ford Frick winner, voice of the Expos for the first 32 years of their existence, and the current radio voice of the Florida Marlins. I’ve often referred to Van Horne as the voice of my childhood, growing up in Montreal. But really, that’s only half true. Van Horne was the co-voice of my childhood, along with the Duke.

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Wainwright’s Injury: Key to Signing Pujols?

Adam Wainwright‘s date with Tommy John surgery certainly hurts the Cardinals’ chances for success in 2011. But there could be an unexpected benefit: signing Albert Pujols.

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Jonah Keri FanGraphs Chat – 2/21/11

Rickie Weeks, Mystery Man

Apparently, February 16th was International Sign Your Breakout Star And Hope It Wasn’t A Fluke Day. Before the news broke that Jose Bautista cashed in on his power surge with the Blue Jays, the Milwaukee Brewers signed Rickie Weeks to a four-year, $38.5 million contract with an option that could up the deal to five years and $50 million.

Unlike the Jays, the Brewers aren’t gambling on a guy with questions about his ability to hit. Instead, they’ve decided to bet big on a guy with an entirely different problem.

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Tony La Russa, Diplomat

Albert Pujols is up for the biggest contract in baseball history. The St. Louis Cardinals and their fans are getting antsier by the minute, petrified their franchise player will bolt at the end of the season. Twenty-nine other teams and their fans fantasize about penciling one of the 10 greatest hitters in the game’s history into their lineup. Pujols’ fate is the biggest story around right now. Nothing else is even close.

How could Tony La Russa not get involved?

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Jonah Keri FanGraphs Chat – 2/14/11

AL All-Zero-to-Three Team

NL All-Zero-to-Three Team

When an elite player hits the open market, a select few teams have the will, and the wherewithal, to pay top dollar for his services. But the vast majority of teams cannot — or more precisely, will not — ante up for the biggest free-agent stars.

The structure of Major League Baseball’s service time and compensation system thus nudges bargain hunters over to younger players, namely those with zero-to-three years of service time. Players not yet eligible for arbitration are to Albert Pujols as Kiribati’s GDP is to America’s.

Of course, not all pre-arb players are created equal. So with a nod to Dave Cameron’s recent All-Minor-League-Contract Team, and to Carson Cistulli’s Dollar Sign on the Scout, we present the All-Zero-to-Three Teams.

Today, the National League.

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Free Brandon Allen!

If there’s one reason baseball analysts (and Baseball Analysts) were put on this Earth, it’s to stump for worthy, but ignored Hall of Fame candidates.

If there’s a second reason, it’s to stump for worthy, but ignored minor league stars to get a shot in the big leagues. Bill James once said that minor league equivalencies were his most important creation. The ability to project a top minor league performer’s performance in the majors has triggered a series of quixotic quests. Some of these quests prove successful: Free Erubiel Durazo! Some don’t: Free Roberto Petagine! But the desire to see the best possible talent on the major league stage burns strong, decades after Bill James first started the movement.

With all that established…Free Brandon Allen!

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Jonah Keri FanGraphs Chat – 2/7/11

By popular demand, we’re rolling out a weekly chat with Jonah. He’ll be hanging out and talking baseball (and other things) every Monday at noon. Make sure to ask him about New York bagels, which he’s a huge fan of..

The Yankees Should Trade for Barry Zito

Few contracts in recent baseball history have attracted more ridicule than the seven-year, $126 million deal the Giants gifted to Barry Zito. Apparently still dazzled by Zito’s 23-5 record, 2.75 ERA and Cy Young award four seasons earlier, Brian Sabean ignored Zito’s more pedestrian peripheral stats, threw a mint at him, and instantly became the proud owner of one of the worst contracts in professional sports.

Which is exactly why the Yankees should trade for him.

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