Daily Archives: June 16, 2016

Dustin Pedroia’s Quiet Re-Emergence for the Boston Red Sox

The (tied for) first-place Boston Red Sox have had a lot of reasons for their success so far this season. The headlines have been dominated by their young breakout stars (Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr.), and the swan song of their venerable veteran, David Ortiz. Lost in all that positivity has been the reemergence of second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who is quietly putting together another of his signature seasons after seeing his production dip in recent years.

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Ichiro Surpasses Pete Rose’s Hit Total

Success Rate of MLB First-Round Draft Picks by Slot

The MLB Rule 4 amateur draft was last week and fans will clamor for any sort of information regarding their team’s new, shiny, sometimes 18-year old future stars.  The draft gives fans a chance to dream on what will be in seasons to come, each team’s fans are hoping for their very own Mike Trout.  But for every Mike Trout, there are plenty of players like Hank Congers or Zack Cox who were also selected at pick number 25 and who aren’t exactly rewriting the record books.

In doing research for my latest post on the awful Jim Bowden, I found a concerning lack of recent research on draft success. We have plenty of anecdotes, and plenty of information on top prospects busting, but very little in the way of what to expect from a team’s first-round draft pick.  I found a good piece from 2012 from The View from the Bleachers on Success Rate of MLB Draft Picks by Slot and referenced that, but there’s definitely more here.

There have been nine drafts since the last draft referenced in that post.  Scouting, sabermetrics, and our general collective baseball knowledge feels like it has been increasing exponentially in that time.  Does draft success bear that out? Well, not exactly.

The first thing to set up here is to establish a “successful” player. I pondered it for a minute and settled on basically the same approach that Michael used way back in 2012. If the player hasn’t made the majors, or if they had a WAR of less than 1.5 when they got there, that first rounder is a bust automatically. These players might be useful, but hardly the type that an organization should target in the first round. With that in mind, I established a simple calculation to assign a players success.

To continue reading about the MLB Draft Success Rate, please visit the full mostly baseball blog.  You can also follow us on the twitter @OTB_Baseball.

These 3 MLB Teams Could Really Use Jonathan Lucroy at Catcher

Spring is quickly turning into summer, which means one thing around Major League Baseball: the trade market is starting to heat up. What’s a little unfamiliar is seeing a catcher become the most desired target among position players, but that’s the world we live in today.

After thinking about selling low last winter, the Milwaukee Brewers are happy they decided against trading Jonathan Lucroy. While he’s returned to being one of baseball’s best catchers and leads the position with a 2.3 fWAR, there are four main reasons why he’s become a hot commodity:

  • After a rough season in 2014 that led to his lowest OPS since 2011 (.717), Lucroy has bounced back in 2016, hitting .311/.368/.527 in 222 at-bats.
  • He’s not just an offensive catcher, either. Lucroy is an asset behind the plate when it comes to throwing out runners and framing pitches.
  • He’s primarily a catcher, but also has some experience at first base.
  • His contract makes him an incredibly affordable, non-rental player ($4 million total salary in ’16, $5.25 million team option for ’17).

Now that over 60 regular-season games are in the books, it appears the teams who could really use his services the most – and have a somewhat decent chance of making it happen – all reside in the American League West. And no, we’re not talking about the Los Angeles Angels or the Oakland Athletics.

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