Author Archive

Contract Crowdsourcing 2018-19: Ballot 5 of 7

Free agency begins five days after the end of the World Series. As in other recent offseasons, FanGraphs is once again facilitating this offseason a contract-crowdsourcing project, the idea being to harness the wisdom of the crowds to the end of better understanding the 2018-19 free-agent market.

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Contract Crowdsourcing 2018-19: Ballot 4 of 7

Free agency begins five days after the end of the World Series. As in other recent offseasons, FanGraphs is once again facilitating this offseason a contract-crowdsourcing project, the idea being to harness the wisdom of the crowds to the end of better understanding the 2018-19 free-agent market.

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2018 World Series Game One Live Chat

8:06
Jay Jaffe: Hey folks, it looks like I’m throwing out first pitch here! Welcome to our World Series Game 1 chat.

8:06
Joe: As writers, do you prefer this kind of matchup of big money teams with lots of stars, or is it better to have an underdog?

8:07
Dan Szymborski: Yah, boo.

8:07
DodgeGuys: I just wanted to say thank you for the wonderful work you all do. Looking forward to your coverage of the World Series! Hope it’s a good one!

8:07
Jeff Sullivan: It isn’t all wonderful

8:07
Carson Cistulli’s Moustaches: Would Yasiel Puig benefit spiritually from growing out a moustache in homage to that sported by Bill “The Butcher” Cutting from Gangs of New York?

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Contract Crowdsourcing 2018-19: Ballot 3 of 7

Free agency begins five days after the end of the World Series. As in other recent offseasons, FanGraphs is once again facilitating this offseason a contract-crowdsourcing project, the idea being to harness the wisdom of the crowds to the end of better understanding the 2018-19 free-agent market.

Read the rest of this entry »


Contract Crowdsourcing 2018-19: Ballot 2 of 7

Free agency begins five days after the end of the World Series. As in other recent offseasons, FanGraphs is once again facilitating this offseason a contract-crowdsourcing project, the idea being to harness the wisdom of the crowds to the end of better understanding the 2018-19 free-agent market.

Read the rest of this entry »


FanGraphs Audio: Editor Talk with Meg Rowley

Episode 840
Meg Rowley is the managing editor of The Hardball Times. She’s also the guest on this edition of the program, during which she reviews some of the recent work at THT. Also: the discreet charm of Alex Bregman. And: the miracle of Josh James.

Don’t hesitate to direct pod-related correspondence to @cistulli on Twitter.

You can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or other feeder things.

Audio after the jump. (Approximately 1 hr 0 min play time.)

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Contract Crowdsourcing 2018-19: Ballot 1 of 7

Free agency begins five days after the end of the World Series. As in other recent offseasons, FanGraphs is once again facilitating this offseason a contract-crowdsourcing project, the idea being to harness the wisdom of the crowds to the end of better understanding the 2018-19 free-agent market.

Read the rest of this entry »


Aaron Judge Would Win a Literal Heart & Hustle Award

Every year since 2005, the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association (MLBPAA) has selected one player for what’s known as the Heart & Hustle Award. The distinction is intended to honor “an active player who demonstrates a passion for the game of baseball and best embodies the values, spirit and traditions of the game.” The idea is to recognize traits such as “determination” and “desire” and other qualities one appreciates in ballplayers but abhors in friends.

These considerations are, of course, typically absent from the pages of FanGraphs dot com. That’s the case for a number of reasons, but mostly because — as critics of the site have long suspected — our mothers never loved us. Indeed, certain employees of FanGraphs never even had mothers, but instead emerged fully formed from an algorithm devised by Billy Beane and Bill James when they co-wrote Moneyball. The author of this post can admit to shrinking merely at the thought of human touch.

No, it is typically the province of FanGraphs not to celebrate baseball’s humanity but to snuff it out wherever it emerges, like a game of compassion whack-a-mole. If a certain corner of the media landscape is to be believed, we have conducted our work with great success. Baseball, in the opinion of some, has been rendered an almost entirely joyless husk of its former self.

But the job isn’t yet complete. Some people appear still to be deriving pleasure from the game. And so, in this publication’s great tradition of joylessness, I present the current document — one in which I endeavor to answer a question that nobody has asked. That question, specifically? Something along these lines: “What if, instead of honoring the most passionate of ballplayers, the Heart & Hustle Award were presented based on the literal size of one’s heart and also a very obscure, technical definition of hustle?”

Let us go then, you and I… to a tedious summary of the author’s process for answering that question.

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FanGraphs Audio: Dan Szymborski Analyzes All the Postseason

Episode 839
Dan Szymborski is the progenitor of the ZiPS projection system and a senior writer for FanGraphs dot com. He’s also the guest on this edition of the program, during which he examines which managers have produced the best performances of the postseason. Also: Szymborski’s argument for playing Matt Kemp at shortstop. And: a status update on the forthcoming projections for 2019.

Don’t hesitate to direct pod-related correspondence to @cistulli on Twitter.

You can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or other feeder things.

Audio after the jump. (Approximately 49 min play time.)

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2018 Fringe Five: Summary and Results and Discussion

Introduction
The Fringe Five is a weekly regular-season exercise (introduced a half-decade ago) conducted by the author with a view to identifying and monitoring the most notable of those rookie-eligible minor leaguers omitted from the preseason prospect lists produced by Baseball Prospectus, MLB.com, John Sickels, and (most importantly!) FanGraphs’ Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel* — and all their attendant midseason lists, as well. Nearly every week during the minor-league season — except for those during which the vagaries of life have interfered — the author has submitted the names of five “compelling” minor leaguers, each name attended by a brief summary of that prospect’s most relevant credentials.

*Note: Baseball America’s list was excluded this year not due to any complaints with their coverage, but simply because said list is now behind a paywall.

Generally speaking, the word compelling has been used to designate those prospects who possessed some combination of the following:

  1. Promising offensive indicators; and
  2. The ability to play on the more challenging end of the defensive spectrum; and
  3. Youth relative to minor-league level; and
  4. A curious biographical or statistical profile.

With the minor-league regular season having been complete now for over a month, the author has finally escorted his carcass to the keyboard with a view towards presenting this document, a summary and discussion of the Fringe Five for 2018.

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