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User Blog

SBNation: "Meet the Bag Man" about payouts in college recruiting


Taken with a grain of salt, I'm sure, but interesting nonetheless. Question 1, is this really happening? Question 2, is it happening with KU basketball and/or football? "'If we're after a guy, what are the chances four more schools in the SEC aren't after him too? What you want more than anything else is the ability to sit down with that decision-maker, grandma or mama or the uncle, right before the time comes and say, "Hey, we know that old so-and-so from [rival school] has come to see you. That's fine. But we know you know who's been here since the beginning and who's been taking care of you." You want them to believe that you'll take care of them the best in the future, too.' Remember, your job as a bag man isn't to hide the benefit. It's to hide the proof. In a region as passionate about college football as the American South, there's no real moral outrage when new cars or clothes or jobs for relatives appear."


Poll: will Duffy ever get a legitimate chance to pass/fail as a starter?

Example 1 A) Greinke came to ML as a starter, looked OK then struggled a bit (according to his ERA, anyway). B) Next, he spent some time starting in AA, then came back to ML as a reliever for a 3...

BREAKING: Sluggerrr making advances on Mrs. Met?


"Royals' lion mascot Sluggerrr took it up a rakish notch: Hey @MrMet welcome to Twitter! BTW, can you ask Mrs. Met why she won't call me back? pic.twitter.com/MnKEbagKLQ — Sluggerrr (@Sluggerrr) March 10, 2014 "

Can an athlete be streaky -- this study thinks so


"Strikingly, we find recent performance is highly significant in predicting performance in all ten statistical categories that we examine. In all cases, being "hot" in a statistic makes one more likely to perform well in the same statistic. A recent history on the order of about 25 at bats, which equals about 5 games or close to one week for the average hitter, has the most predictive power over the next at bat. Furthermore these effects are of a significant magnitude: for instance, a 30 percent increase in the number of times that a batter has gotten on base in the last 25 at bats predicts a 5% increase in the likelihood of getting on base in the next at bat, after controlling for all other explanatory variables."

OT margin - meaningful, but less so than regulation margin


As Kenpom says in the post, sort of what you'd expect. Predicting the relative quality of the opponents using OT margin of one meeting is better than assuming they were equals, but not as predictive as typical games that end in regulation.



Sporting has included fans in their process, everything from asking whether an exhibition game should be at Arrowhead (lower prices) or Sporting Park (more intimate experience) to Heineman tapping kegs in the parking lot.....When the team made cash-only lines at concession stands, fans were confused, complained, and the next game those lines were gone....This kind of fan-centric prioritizing plays well in all demographics, young and old, tech-heads and technophobes, Northland and Leawood.


BTBS -- Gordon's reverse platoon split


Weird that it happened, but even weirder trying to figure out why it happened.

Hardball Times -- Are the Mariners headed down the same path as the Royals?


The Seattle Mariners have a nice core of young talent around which there will be much optimism this offseason. ... When the Brewers built a young core and made it to the playoffs in 2008, it included Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun. When the Phillies put together a young nucleus of offensive players that led to five straight division titles, it included home-grown stars such as Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. None of the young Mariners projects to be an impact bat in those molds. The best comparison to what the Mariners are doing is what the Royals have done over the past few years. ... The biggest disappointment has been third baseman Mike Moustakas, whose free-swinging ways have zapped his power and exposed his weaknesses to major league pitching. He's yet to be even a major league average hitter and is on the verge of becoming a role player. ... After the 2011 season, there was optimism in Kansas City that mirrors what Mariners fans have right now. Hosmer was coming off a strong rookie campaign and that power was just sure to develop. Moustakas had made it to the majors and even though he struggled, he showed enough potential to get excited over.

Gordon misplay at the wall tricks fans, opponents, teammates


I'm sure this was discussed when it happened, but I didn't see it then. I would try to describe it, but going to the link is really the only way.

Context or no context -- hitting and pitching metrics


It's hard for me to believe that contextual pitching or hitting stats have much weight. Cameron talks about whether it's important to have both, neither, and/or consistency. "A significant number of people — including a good chunk of our own readers, and noted sabermetric evangelists like Brian Kenny — prefer to evaluate pitchers by runs allowed because, as I’ve heard repeatedly over the last few years, that measures "what actually happened". And that’s one of the reasons we have RA9-WAR here on the site, as we know that a sizable amount of people prefer to evaluate pitchers in that way. I believe there are valid points on both sides, and I see the argument using a FIP-based WAR and a RA9-based WAR when evaluating a pitcher’s past performance. However, I find it interesting that this debate has not carried over to position players, where there seems to be broad consensus* that context-neutral is the way to go. "

story on Royals stats intern - Guy Stevens


Began with "a blog, DormRoomGM.com that impressed major league executives." Summer research program found that pitchers' K rates in Rookie Ball had little meaning for predicting future promotion to the ML level.

"IFFB% may not mean what you think it does"


"...your life will never be the same again: IFFB% may not mean what you think it does. Now, FB%, for example — that’s defined as fly balls divided by batted balls, right? Many of us might therefore assume that IFFB% equals infield fly balls divided by batted balls… but it doesn’t. IFFB% is actually infield fly balls divided by fly balls. This means that IFFB% doesn’t tell you much about a player unless you have the context of his FB% to go with it. It also means that IFFB% * FB% equals what you probably thought IFFB% was, which is IFFB/(Batted Balls). Hopefully you’ll be able to read this clearly through your tears: I’m going to introduce a new, not-officially-FanGraphs-sanctioned term here: IFFB% * FB% = PU%. PU%, or popup percentage — again, it’s what you probably thought IFFB% meant — is the percentage of batted balls that are infield flies. This leaves OFFB%, or outfield fly balls, as the remainder of FB% (i.e., FB% = PU%+OFFB%)."


KU v KSU: quick thoughts

Crist - When he looked good, he looked like he could lead an upset of KSU; when he was off--throwing behind guys, in particular--he looked like the problem and not the solution. The good news is...


Poll about the new site format (oh, wait)

So polls are also gone from FanPosts? Well, then I'll go old school: rec the comment you agree with. Yes -- I believe that after a week or so of working the bugs out and getting used to the...

KU Program Preview -- SBN Mocking The Draft


Agreed that there are a lot of "fringe" guys for a team that was so bad last season. Follow the link to suggest any potential prospects that have been left out.


Per BtBS/reddit: How many pitches/PA would a .000 hitter need to be valuable?

reddit So the hypothetical situation is a hitter that never puts the ball in play, no walks, no HBP or other way on-base, never advances a runner, and always strikes out. How many pitches per AB...

What Went Wrong With Jonathan Sanchez -- Fangraphs


"Notice the drop in Sanchez’s fastball velocity, coupled with the increase in his change-up velocity. In 2010, the difference in speed between his fastball and his change-up was 8.7 mph. This season the difference shrunk to 5.9 mph. At a slower speed, his fastball was easier to hit, and at a higher speed, his change-up was easier to detect, resulting in fewer swing-throughs on both pitches. That’s corroborated by the drop in Sanchez’s O-swing numbers over the last three seasons. What accounts for the changes in Sanchez’s velocity since 2010? Perhaps it’s the left bicep tendinitis that’s bothered him since last season. Or changes in his mechanics. Or maybe it’s the fact that Sanchez will turn 30 years old in November."

Pizza Cutter: "there are things that are generally publicly held as sabermetric doctrine—in some...

Pizza Cutter: "there are things that are generally publicly held as sabermetric doctrine—in some cases, crucial underlying assumptions—that are demonstrably false" [This seems like kind of a big deal (excerpted from an apology letter re: Hire/Fire Joe Morgan):] While I did miss BP, my departure meant that I didn’t have to have something new ready every Sunday night, which meant that I could go deeper into topics than I had ever gone before. ....I came to some rather interesting conclusions. I can’t get into specifics (so please don't ask) but I will say this: there are things that are generally publicly held as sabermetric doctrine—in some cases, crucial underlying assumptions—that are demonstrably false. Statistical models are wonderful things, but they are only as good as the data that power them and the understanding of the programmer who defines them. When I wrote for BP, and before that for Statistically Speaking, in my rush to get something ready, I often went with a very simple statistical model of whatever topic I was studying. There's something to be said for one of my favorite lines, "direction before precision," but ultimately, a simple model assumes a simple reality, and baseball, as I found, is not a simple game. .... Mr. Morgan, when you said that you weren’t a fan of sabermetric theories, I dismissed you as a stubborn and foolish man who wouldn’t listen to a reasonable argument. I rushed to point out that the "old school" way of doing things—the old "eye test"—was prone to all sorts of biases. People often see patterns where none exist, they can be influenced by a number of outside factors, and they are predisposed to fall back on old folklore and moralistic explanations for behavior. All of those are actually still true, but that's not the point. My problem was that I didn’t look in the mirror and examine my own methods for the flaws inherent in them. The variables that I chose and the statistical techniques I used reflected my own biases and preconceived notions about what I thought was important, and my own assumptions about reality. When others suggested looking at an issue from another angle, I acted like a stubborn and foolish man who wouldn't listen to a reasonable argument. [This was brought up on BtBS, here: http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2012/7/9/3146676/mondays-saber-links ] http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=17603

Run Expectancy for SB/CS in 2011 - BtBS


A reminder on the impact of a stolen base/getting caught stealing, to an extent, but a little more in-depth than we usually talk about, especially when looking at the # of outs during the SB/CS and how that effects the overall runs gained/lost.

Draft 2012: What Your Team Has To Spend (baseballamerica.com)


"The numbers build off the bonus set for the No. 1 pick, which is $7.2 million this year. Every pick from 2-338 is expressed as a percentage of the No. 1 pick, down to $125,000 for the final picks of the 10th round. A team's total budget for the first 10 rounds is the sum of the numbers for all of its picks, so teams that have extra picks and early picks have more money to spend. ... Teams can spread the money among their picks in the top 10 rounds in different ways so long as they stay under the total budget. For example, the Astros could sign their No. 1 pick for $5.2 million and spread the extra $2 million among other players. However, if a team fails to sign a player, it cannot apply the budgeted amount for that pick to other players and loses that amount from its overall budget. Also, bonuses for players signed after the first 10 rounds do not count against the overall budget, unless they exceed $100,000." The Royals have the 17th-most to spend, with $6.1M.

Royals from Sickel's "Sleeper List"

  1. Jason Adam, RHP, Royals: 2.14 ERA in 34 innings for High-A Wilmington with a 29/10 K/BB and 31 hits allowed. Stock climbing quickly, projects as a mid-rotation starter and is a local kid from Overland Park, Kansas. Age 20.
  2. Jorge Bonifacio, OF, Royals: Dominican outfielder off to a fast start at Low-A Kane County, .343/.420/.457 in 105 at-bats, 13 walks, 22 strikeouts. Showed good power in rookie ball and has brought that forward. Just 18 years old. Destined for Top 50 lists, if not higher, if he stays hot.
  3. Brian Fletcher, OF, Royals: Hitting .327/.395/.416 with 11 walks, 20 strikeouts in 101 at-bats for High-A Wilmington. Has been an excellent performer since college days at Auburn and has major league bloodlines as the son of Scott, but mediocre tools and unconventional hitting style hold him back with scouts. Age 23.
  4. D'andre Toney, OF, Royals: Extended spring training. Toolsy outfielder hit .340/.432/.587 in Arizona Rookie League last year after being a 14th round pick. Age 20.

BTBS article on April W/L records: A recent study conducted of Phillies' monthly winning...


BTBS article on April W/L records: A recent study conducted of Phillies' monthly winning percentages (dating from 2000 to 2011) indicates a minor correlation between April success (or lack thereof) and end-of-season winning percentage. Instead, the study indicates performances in the months May and June are more telling than April. To begin the study, I found Phillies' month-by-month records from 2000 to present on Baseball Reference and placed them in Excel. I then ran a multiple regression analysis with the Y variable equaling season winning percentage and the X variables equaling the various monthly winning percentages. I did not include the instances where games were played in March or October: * April: .127 * May: .244 * June: .219 * July: .143 * August: .175 * September: .178 The higher the number, the more closely that month is linked to the end-of-season winning percentage. (Not exactly peer-reviewed, but interesting nonetheless, considering the current Royals April Disaster.)

BTBS article

Sickels: Minor League Notes, re: Myers


" **Kansas City Royals outfield prospect Wil Myers was hampered by injuries last year for Double-A Northwest Arkansas, hitting .254/.353/.393 with less power than anticipated, although he still impressed scouts with his tools and offensive potential and was only 19 years old. Returning to NW Arkansas this season, he's hitting .333/.366/.641 through nine games, although his BB/K has deteriorated with a 2/14 mark in 39 at-bats. The strikeout rate is much higher than last year, with a lower walk rate. Is he boosting his power output by being more aggressive, and will this backfire at higher levels? Only time will tell."

SI/Fangraphs power rankings


I don't want to spoil the surprise: start at the bottom, and work your way up.

How the Chiefs/Pioli evaluate draft prospects (Slightly OT)


How the other half lives. A user-post from Arrowhead Pride, but an interesting look at Pioli's stated philosophies (via War Room) and what Pioli has actually done. MLB drafts are usually considered more "best player available" where NFL leans toward "filling needs", but that didn't seem to be the case with the Colon pick, so there may be more similarities in MLB/NFL draft philosophies than we think.

Fangraphs - Top 15 Prospects: Kansas City Royals


Not really anything we didn't already know, but this is worth a note: "SLEEPER ALERT: Humberto Arteaga, SS: Signed for just over $1 million in 2010 Arteaga is a strong defender with good range, hands and actions. He also has a solid arm. He doesn’t project to hit for power and he isn’t a stolen base threat so his offensive value will be tied up in his ability to hit for a decent average. He recently turned 18 and may spend another season in extended spring training before an assignment to short-season ball."

...Sandy Garces has agreed to terms with the KC Royals as a LHP.


"A few months removed from the outfield, Sandy Garces has agreed to terms with the KC Royals as a LHP.." (Didn't see this mentioned anywhere, figured it was something to note.) "His trainer Leo Perez decided to place him on the mound due to his plus arm strength and feel for Curveball. Leo a former pitcher and CUBS farm hand cleaned his mechanics and thought him the fundamental approach of pitching. Sandy is now 17 years old, 6’1, 175lb, he sits 87-91mph with a feel for Curveball and Change-up. In a few DPL appearances Garces looked like he had been on the mound since little league baseball."


Update on the "Low-% Runner/Floater/Layups" - KU vs OU

Less activity in the OU game for Runner/Floater/Layups, where the initial driving shot was a bit careless, reckless, or just low-% in general. I counted 6 of them, two earning fouls, which lead to...


Kansas Basketball: Are The Low-% Runner/Floater/Layups Really "Bad Shots"?

Kansas Basketball: Are The Low-% Runner/Floater/Layups Really "Bad Shots"?


More info on Keon Stowers (not as much as I'd hoped)

Offer list included KU, ISU, Louisville, Troy, South Alabama. Keon went 144-3 in the Discus at Region 3-4A (of South Carolina), placing first. Coming out of HS in 2010, ESPN had him at 6'2'', 237...

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