The Best of FanGraphs: April 14-18, 2014

If you missed the inaugural post of The Best Of FanGraphs, you can do so here. In case you don’t feel like clicking through though, here is how this post is structured:

We’ll pull from the whole FanGraphs family, picking 10-15 stories that we feel you really should read before the week draws to a close. The links are color coded — green for FanGraphs, burnt sienna for RotoGraphs, purple for NotGraphs, dark red for The Hardball Times and blue for Community. They are listed in this order as well in each day, just for the sake of consistency.


Monday

Prospect Watch: Montero, Dahl and Kelly, by JD Sussman
The first in a daily (during the week, that is) column on prospects tackled two top 100 prospects and a Cardinals minor leaguer who has shifted from third base to catcher.

Baseball’s New Strategy: Drop the Ball on Purpose, by Dave Cameron
As is so often the case, baseball has taken two steps forward (instant replay) and two steps back (new transfer rule), and Dave crushes the two steps back here.

Tuesday

The Old and the Restlesss: Weighted Team Ages, by Dave Cameron
No, this isn’t a post about Genoa City, but rather one that uses FanGraphs’ depth charts in search of a more accurate way of depicting how old each team really is.

What It Is to Sit a Player, by Jeff Sullivan
Getting worked up about things is the national pastime of the internet, but Jeff shows us the error of our ways here.

Rob Deer (@RobDeer45) is now following you on Twitter!, by Robert J. Baumann
A celebration of life. Or at least life on social media.

The Strange, Occult Origins of the “Wacky Lefty,” by Jack Moore
In Jack’s first post at The Hardball Times, he examines the historical bias against left-handed people in comprehensive fashion.

Wednesday

Should We Start Worrying About Billy Butler?, by David G. Temple
His ground ball rate is certainly something on which to keep an eye.

Terrible Months in Good Seasons, by Matt Klaassen
Since we’re prone to jump to conclusions, perhaps even in the above post, Matt decided to step back and look at players whose seasons were not felled by one bad month. He then examined the flip side of the coin on Friday.

Thursday

Edinson Volquez: A Love Story, by Nicholas Minnix
Nicholas debuted at RotoGraphs this week with three pieces (here are the first and second), but this is the only one of the three in which the phrase “roto tabloids” was typed.

Why wOBA Works, by Dave Studeman
Studes gets right to the point in breaking down what makes wOBA so great.

What Would it Take for Andrelton Simmons to Be the MVP?, by August Fagerstrom
Walking through what Simmons would need to do offensively in order to reach 7.0 WAR, which should put him squarely in the MVP debate.

Friday

Why Would A Pitcher Pitch Against the Shift?, by Blake Murphy
Curiosity may have killed the cat, but here it serves Blake very well.

Fantasy Baseball Existentialism: An Introduction with Springer, by Mark Reynolds
Mark, who in his own words wants to be the “Hunter Thompson of fantasy baseball reporting,” also made his RotoGraphs debut this week.

Five Buy High Pitchers, by Brad Johnson
Everyone is selling high. Only the cool kids are buying high.

Puig Derangement Syndrome, etc.: The Clinical Descriptions, by John Paschal
Did you know that Danny Ainge owns a chain of successful hat stores?



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Paul Swydan is the managing editor of The Hardball Times, a writer and editor for FanGraphs and a writer for Boston.com. He has written for The Boston Globe, ESPN MLB Insider and ESPN the Magazine, among others. Follow him on Twitter @Swydan.


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