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Sunday Notes: Blue Jays Prospect Chavez Young is a Bahamian On the Rise

It wouldn’t be accurate to say that Chavez Young came out of nowhere to become one of the hottest prospects in the Toronto Blue Jays organization. But he is following an atypical path. The 21-year-old outfielder grew up in the Bahamas before moving stateside as a teen, and going on to be selected in the 39th round of the 2016 draft out of Faith Baptist Christian Academy, in Ludowici, Georgia.

Since that time he’s become a shooting star. Playing for the Lansing Lugnuts in the Low-A Midwest League this past season, Young stroked 50 extra-base hits, stole 44 bases, and slashed a rock-solid .285/.363/.445.

How did a player with his kind of talent last until the 1,182nd pick of the draft?

“I wasn’t a person to go to All-American Games, Perfect Game, or showcases like that,” Young told me late in the 2018 season. “Growing up, we didn’t have money enough for me to get that kind of exposure. It was just, ‘If a scout sees me, a scout sees me.’ The Blue Jays scout, Mike Tidick came from something like three hours away. He heard about me (in 2014) and decided to see where I was at.”

Tidick received the tip from Gene Reynolds, who now runs Georgia Premier Academy but at the time was coaching Young at Faith Baptist Christian School in Brandon, Florida.

“Gene knew I was with the Blue Jays,” explained Tidick, who resides in Statesboro, Georgia. “He said, ‘Hey, why don’t you take a ride down here and I’ll work these guys out for you.’ I did, and was like, ‘Whoa, OK.’ This kid was running around with his hair on fire. He had tools. He was playing center field. He was a switch-hitter who could run. There was a lot to like. I followed him all that spring.”

Other teams weren’t onto the young Bahamian until much later. It wasn’t until he moved to Georgia for his senior year — he was in Florida for two years — that his name was garnering any appreciable attention. Young eventually ended up talking to “10 or 12 different scouts,” with most of those conversations coming closer to the draft.

It’s still somewhat of a mystery how he ended up lasting until the 39th round. Young had college plans, but it’s not as though he had Kyler Murray-type leverage. Regardless of where he went, inking him to a contract wasn’t going to break anyone’s bank.

“We didn’t know what to expect with him — the draft is hard to predict — but I wouldn’t have been surprised if he’d have been gone by the fifth round,” Tidick told me. “He’s a good story so far, and I have no doubt that he’s going to continue to keep doing what he’s doing. His makeup and work ethic are off the charts, and he’s got a chip on his shoulder because of when he got drafted. He wants to prove something.”

The chip on the youngster’s shoulder may be sturdy, but it isn’t engrained with anger. Having spent his formative years in a country where track and field is king — Young excelled in both the 400 and the 800 meters — and baseball almost an afterthought, he’s mostly just happy to be getting an opportunity.

“I picture it as, ‘It was a blessing to be drafted,’” said Young, who according to Tidick was planning to attend Polk State College if he didn’t sign professionally. “A lot of kids in the world want to play professional baseball. I got picked up by the Blue Jays. I’m grateful to be able to play the game I love, and want to make my family proud.”

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Will Benson hasn’t lacked for opportunities. Athletically gifted, he grew up in Atlanta excelling on both the hardwood and the diamond. Academically, he would have matriculated from the prestigious Westminster School to Duke University had he not signed with the Cleveland Indians after being taken 14th overall in the 2016 draft.

He recognizes that many others — particularly young African-Americans — don’t have the same opportunities he’s had. That’s particularly true when it comes to his chosen sport.

“A lot of guys I knew growing up were good at baseball, but they didn’t stick with baseball,” Benson told me last summer. “They chose football instead. Going back and talking to them, one thing they’ve told me about not continuing to play baseball is that they couldn’t afford to pay for it. It costs $300 for a bat. It costs thousands of dollars to go to tournaments. There are lessons — batting lessons, pitching lessons — and people don’t have the funds to pay for all of that. Baseball is an expensive sport. It’s a sport that a lot of people in the African-American community look at like, ‘OK, I can go out and play football and all my equipment is paid for. I can get a full scholarship. Basketball is kind of the same thing. All you really need is sneakers and a basketball. It would be great to get the best athletes out there on a baseball field, but for a lot of families the economics make that almost impossible.”

Benson went from playing on almost-exclusively-African-American teams from ages 7-12 to an Atlanta public schools system “where baseball isn’t really heavy.” He had the wherewithal to get into “the high-level travel circuit at East Cobb, but you don’t really see too many black guys there.”

The same is true for professional baseball, most notably MLB. On opening day last year, African-American players made up just 8.4% of big-league rosters. In the early 1980s, that number was a little over 18%. The downturn obviously isn’t good for the game. As the 20-year-old Indians prospect put it, “People want to see the best out there, and the more people we can get into baseball, the better it’s going to be.”

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RANDOM HITTER-PITCHER MATCHUPS

Otto Knabe went 2 for 2 against King Bader.

Kitty Bransfield went 2 for 7 against King Cole.

Queenie O’Rourke went 3 for 4 against King Brady.

Chief Wilson went 3 for 12 against King Lear.

Johnny Temple went 5 for 11 against Nellie King.

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Joy In Tigertown, by Mickey Lolich (with Tom Gage), contains an interesting what-could-have-been-trade story. According to the former pitcher, his longtime team was intent on trading Jim Bunning following the 1963 season. They ultimately did, and it turned out to be a disastrous deal. Detroit swapped Bunning to the Phillies in exchange for Don Demeter and Jack Hamilton.

That less-then-dynamic duo wasn’t who the Tigers were originally targeting. Per Lolich, the Detroit front office was looking to acquire Felipe Alou from the Giants, only to have San Francisco trade him to the Milwaukee Braves instead. A few days later, Bunning went to Philadelphia for what turned out to be pennies on the dollar. Alou went on to have several stellar seasons with the Braves.

Which beings us to Felipe Alou’s autobiography, which he co-wrote with Peter Kerasotis. Chapter One of Alou: My Baseball Journey begins with the sentence: “My last name is not Alou.”

The native of Santo Domingo explained that when he began his professional career in 1956, “the Latin tradition of placing the mother’s maiden name after the family name wasn’t well known.” As a result, he received a uniform with ‘F. Alou’ on the back. The son of Jose Rojas didn’t yet know enough English to explain the error.

Ozzie Virgil became the first Dominican-born player to reach the big leagues when he debuted with the New York Giants in September 1956. Alou debuted with Giants — newly relocated to San Francisco — in June 1958.

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NEWSY STUFF

Kazuyoshi Tatsunami, Hiroshi Gondo, and Haruo Wakimura have been elected to the Japanese Hall of Fame. Tatsunami played 22 seasons as an infielder with the Chunichi Dragons. Gondo played just five seasons — he was a 30-game winner in two of them — also with Chunichi. He later managed the Yokohama BayStars. Wakimura is a former chairman of the Japan High School Baseball Federation.

Craig Breslow has been hired by the Chicago Cubs as their new Director of Strategic Initiatives for Baseball Operations. The 38-year-old veteran of 12 MLB seasons will reportedly, “help to evaluate and implement data-based processes… (and) support the organization’s pitching infrastructure.”

The Tampa Bay Rays announced several promotions within their baseball operations department on Friday. Notable among them were Cole Figueroa to Assistant Director, Hitting Development, and Jeremy Sowers to Coordinator, Major League Operations. On the coaching front, Brady North will join the staff of the club’s Gulf Coast League affiliate. The 27-year-old Cumberland University graduate had been the director of hitting and mental performance at Top Level Athletes, in Orlando.

Jason Bourgeois is joining the coaching ranks. An outfielder for six teams from 2008-20015, the 37-year-old Bourgeois will be on the coaching staff of the Dodgers’ Midwest League affiliate, the Great Lakes Loons.

Wayne Randazzo, who had been serving as a pregame and postgame host, will join Howie Rose in the New York Mets radio booth this coming season. Randazzo replaces Josh Lewin, who will now be a part of the San Diego Padres broadcast team.

Anders Jorstad been hired by the Lynchburg Hillcats as a Broadcast and Media Relations Assistant. A 2018 graduate of Hofstra University, Jorstad will join Max Gun, a 2015 graduate of Michigan State University, in the radio booth. The Hillcats are the High-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians.

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Eli Grba died earlier this week at age 84. The former big-leaguer had an unremarkable career on the mound — 28 wins over parts of five seasons — but he does hold a unique set of distinctions. In December 1960, Grba became the first player ever chosen in an expansion draft. By dint of that occurrence, he also became the first player in Los Angeles Angels franchise history. A third first followed, four months later. In April 1960, the then-26-year-old right-hander starter and won the first game in Angels history.

While Grba is otherwise a footnote, two other players the Angels acquired in the 1960 expansion draft went on to have standout careers.

Jim Fregosi, who was just 18 years old when he was selected from the Red Sox organization, went on to play 18 big-league seasons and made six All-Star teams as a shortstop. Dean Chance, selected from the Orioles organization as a 19-year-old, went on to pitch 11 seasons, make two All-Star teams, and win a Cy Young award.

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Steve Pearce wasn’t a free agent for long this offseason. Only weeks removed from being named World Series MVP, the 35-year-old journeyman re-upped with the Red Sox on November 16. Others haven’t been so fortunate. For the second winter in a row, the free agency process has moved along like molasses. Pearce is sympathetic to what many members of his baseball brethren are going through.

“It’s not fun when the market moves this slow,” said Pearce, who has signed multiple free agent contracts over the years. “I know that a lot of players are frustrated right now. I’m glad I had the opportunity to sign fast so I don’t have to go through what they’re going through. You get to this point and think that it’s going to be an easy process, but it’s not.”

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LINKS YOU’LL LIKE

Former Pawtucket Red Sox broadcaster — and all-around good guy — Steve Hyder is in serious need of a life-saving kidney transplant. Kevin McNamara has the story at The Providence Journal.

Matt Shephard used to call games in his backyard; now he’s the TV voice of the Tigers. Anthony Fenech gave us the particulars at The Detroit Free Press.

At The Athletic, Kaitlyn McGrath told us about how new Blue Jays bullpen coach Matt Buschmann wants to give his pitchers the data he wishes he’d had.

Over at ESPN Seattle, Shannon Drayer wrote about how additions to the minor league staff continues the Mariners’ technology focus.

Tuffy Rhodes and Masahiro Doi have the credentials, but are yet to be — and perhaps never will be — voted into the Japanese Hall of Fame. Jim Allen wrote about that curious issue at jballallen.com.

RANDOM FACTS AND STATS

Jackie Robinson had 1,518 hits, a 132 adjusted OPS, and was worth 57.2 WAR. He was an All-Star six times. Larry Doby had 1,515 hits, a 136 adjusted OPS, and was worth 51.1 WAR. He was an All-Star seven times.

Josh Gibson, who some feel is the greatest catcher in baseball history, died on this date in 1947. The Negro League legend was just 35 years old. Fifty years later, on January 20, 1997, Curt Flood died at age 59. Every free agent who signs a contract owes a debt of gratitude to the seven-time Gold Glove outfielder.

Tony Lazzeri had 7,315 plate appearances and 1,840 hits. Dick Allen had 7,315 plate appearances and 1,848 hits. Lazzeri had 178 home runs and a 121 adjusted OPS. Allen had 351 home runs and a 156 adjusted OPS. Lazzeri is in the Hall of Fame. Allen isn’t in the Hall of Fame.

Andruw Jones had 3,690 total bases, a 111 adjusted OPS, 10 Gold Gloves, and was worth 66.9 WAR. He received 7.3% support in his first year on the Hall of Fame ballot. Dwight Evans had 4,230 total bases, a 127 adjusted OPS, eight Gold Gloves, and was worth 65.1 WAR. He topped out at 10.4% before falling off the ballot after his third year.

Scott Rolen had 2,077 hits, 316 home runs, seven All-Star berths, and was worth 69.9 WAR. Graig Nettles had 2,225 hits, 390 home runs, six All-Star berths, and was worth 65.7 WAR. Nettles topped out at 8.3% in his four years on the Hall of Fame ballot.

Reggie Jackson had 563 home runs and a 139 adjusted OPS. David Ortiz had 541 home runs and a 141 adjusted OPS. Jackson had 18 home runs and an .885 OPS in the postseason. Ortiz had 17 home runs and a .947 OPS in the postseason.

Kirby Puckett played 1,783 games and had a 124 adjusted OPS. Bill Madlock played 1,806 games and had a 123 adjusted OPS. Puckett played 24 post-season games and batted .309 with an .897 OPS. Madlock played 17 post-season games and batted .308 with an .898 OPS.

John Olerud had 500 doubles and a 129 adjusted OPS. Goose Goslin had 500 doubles and a 128 adjusted OPS.

In 1996, Mariano Rivera fanned a career-high 130 batters in 107-and-two-thirds innings. In 1999, Billy Wagner fanned a career-high 124 batters in 74-and-two-thirds innings.

A total of 247 players made their big-league debuts in 2018. Per our friends at B-Ref, there have now been 19,420 players in MLB history.


Curtis Granderson Revisits a 2007 Interview

When I interviewed him for Baseball Prospectus in March 2007, Curtis Granderson was a young outfielder coming off a promising first full season with the Detroit Tigers. He’s since made three All-Star teams, bashed 332 home runs, and accumulated 48.7 WAR. Still active at age 37, Granderson has had a very good career.

How much has his approach — and the game itself — changed since our bygone spring training conversation? Wanting to find out, I approached Granderson with an idea this past summer: what if I were to ask him the exact same set of questions I did more than 11 seasons ago?

Granderson was amenable. Standing by his locker, I pulled a copy of the old interview out of my back pocket and proceeded to revisit the past.

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Q: Cutting down on your strikeouts has been a main focus for you this spring. What adjustments are you making?

Granderson: “I think we’re all facing that in today’s game. Strikeouts are at an all-time high. Part of it is the talent that pitchers have now. Speaking 11 years later, they throw harder. Guys have more movement. Guys are bigger, more physical, and there are more of them doing different things — they have different pitches.

“It’s a constant battle to keep your strikeouts down. How to do that? Hopefully not getting yourself in too many two-strike counts. There really isn’t too much more you can do, except that when you do get to two strikes, just continue to battle. Fight.” Read the rest of this entry »


Steve Stone Has a Lot of Opinions on Pitching

Steve Stone knows a lot about pitching. A savvy right-hander for four teams from 1971-1981, he hurled 43 complete games, and augmented a 101-93 record with a rock solid 3.97 ERA. Stone was especially stellar in the 1980 season, garnering 25 wins for the Baltimore Orioles and taking home the American League Cy Young Award.

He doesn’t lack for opinions. Given his current job, he’s not supposed to. The 71-year-old has been in the broadcast booth for 30-plus years, the last 10 of them with the White Sox. As fans of Chicago’s South Side team can attest, Stone knows his stuff, and he’s not shy about sharing it. Agree with him or not, he’s rarely boring.

Stone sat down for a wide-ranging interview — one that offered some blunt commentary on players and trends alike — during a visit to Fenway Park midway through the 2018 season.

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Steve Stone on learning as a young pitcher: “I pitched with Juan Marichal and Gaylord Perry. I pitched with Jim Palmer and Mike Flanagan. I pitched with Wilbur Wood. One thing I learned … I was very young when I was with Marichal and Perry. I didn’t have Hall of Fame talent, so it was hard to assimilate what they had to show me. Plus, Gaylord wasn’t forthcoming about anything that made him the pitcher he was. Marichal probably would have been, had I been able to understand how he did certain things.

“Perry threw a spitter. He wasn’t going to share that. Not unless I brought $3,000 to the park. That’s how much he said he’d charge to teach me the spitter. I was taking home $8,500. I didn’t want to give him 40% of my yearly take-home pay to try to learn a pitch that very few people can master. Read the rest of this entry »


Sunday Notes: Can the Astros’ Secret Sauce Spice Up Orioles’ Pitching?

Pitchers in the Astros organization were K-happy this past season. Thanks to a bevy of power arms and analytics-based attack plans, each of Houston’s full-season minor league affiliates led its respective league in strikeouts. So did their short-season and, most notably, their big-league club.

Given that he’d spent the last six seasons as a high-ranking member of Houston’s front office, I asked Mike Elias if that’s something that could maybe be replicated in Baltimore.

“We’re very much hoping to replicate even a semblance of that success here,” answered the Orioles Executive Vice President and General Manager. “The fact that we have (Assistant GM, Analytics) Sig Mejdal here, and Chris Holt, who was our assistant pitching coordinator in Houston, makes me feel really good about our chances of doing so. There is a little bit of a secret sauce behind that. I’m not going to explain it fully, but we had a great program there. We took a lot of time developing it, and we want to get it in place here as well.”

Hoping to glean at least a little insight into the secret sauce’s ingredients, I suggested that both draft and player development strategies are involved in the process. Read the rest of this entry »


Dan Otero on Baseball History and Being a Fan of the Game

Dan Otero has quietly had a successful big-league career. In 333 relief appearances covering 374 innings, the 33-year-old right-hander has a 3.27 ERA and a 3.39 FIP pitching for three teams over seven seasons. On the off chance that win-lost records are your cup of tea, Otero is 10-2 (with a 3.09 ERA) since joining the Cleveland Indians in 2016. He’s 22-8 overall.

Otero knows every one those numbers, but not for narcissistic reasons. An avowed stat geek, the Duke University graduate knows a plethora of numbers. He’s been perusing box scores and leader boards ever since he was knee high to a grasshopper. And he knows the stories behind them, as well. Thanks in large part to his father and grandfather, he’s well-versed in the exploits of bygone legends like Babe Ruth, Sandy Koufax, and Minnie Minoso. Moreover, he has a deep appreciation for both those who came before him, and his contemporaries. Otero isn’t just a big-league pitcher. He’s a devoted fan of the game of baseball.

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Dan Otero: “Growing up, I watched baseball all the time. My dad is a huge fan, so it was always on at the house. I remember waking up in the morning before school and opening the newspaper, which is where all the box scores and stats were back then. I would memorize the standings and the stats every day. I collected cards, organizing them alphabetically in binders. Even my sister got into it. It was kind a family affair. We loved sports, and we loved following baseball.

“I grew up in Miami. My dad came over from Cuba in 1960, when he was 10 years old. He followed my grandfather’s lead in following the Yankees. His older brother was a rebel; he was a Dodgers fan. I wasn’t a rebel. I followed my dad, who even though he kept up with the Yankees was a hometown guy. Being in Miami, he was a Dolphins fan, a Heat fan, a Marlins fan, a Hurricanes football fan. We were embedded in the Miami sports fanbase. Read the rest of this entry »


Red Sox Prospect Josh Ockimey Just Wants to Be Himself

Josh Ockimey has developed into one of the more promising hitting prospects in the Red Sox organization, and he’s done so by shunning comparisons. The 23-year-old first baseman resembles a slugger from his home town, but doesn’t emulate him.

“Being from Philadelphia, I always got the Ryan Howard comparison,” Ockimey told me early in 2018. “But I really just try to be Josh Ockimey. I’ve learned that when you try to be somebody else, you’ll never be as good as they are. They’re them and you have to do what makes you you. I focus on that and try to be the best that I can be.”

What makes Ockimey Ockimey is a discerning eye paired with plus power from the left side. A sturdy 235 pounds — “that’s the weight I play best at” — he finished this season with an .811 OPS and 20 home runs in 481 plate appearances between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket. Read the rest of this entry »


Brian Anderson on Hitting: “Home Runs Come With Experience”

Brian Anderson knows who he is as a hitter; he’s less sure of what kind of hitter he’ll be in the years to come. At 25 years of age with just 765 big-league plate appearances under his belt, the fourth-place finisher in last year’s NL Rookie of the Year balloting has a lot of growth in front of him.

Drafted by the Marlins out of the University of Arkansas in 2014, Anderson has displayed reliability, versatility, and a smooth right-handed stroke since arriving in Miami in September 2017. Manning both third base and right field, he finished the 2018 campaign with a .273/.357/.400 slash line and a team-high 34 doubles. Moreover, he was a mainstay in Don Mattingly’s lineup. Anderson was a spectator in just five games.

One thing he didn’t do often was leave the yard. Partly the result of playing in pitcher-friendly Marlins Park, Anderson homered a paltry 11 times. Which circles us back to the “what kind of hitter he’ll be in the years to come?” question. Anderson doesn’t lack raw power. It’s a matter of tapping into it more consistently as he continues to mature as a hitter.

Anderson discussed his gap-to-gap approach, as well as his long-ball potential, when the Marlins visited Fenway Park late last August.

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Brian Anderson on hitting: “It’s about getting my pitches to hit. More specifically, getting good pitches within my approach and putting a good swing on them. It starts with my work in the cage, and then BP is for working on barreling the ball to all parts of the field. It’s for making sure that I’m hitting the ball the right way.

“Once I’m in the box, it kind of depends on the pitcher. Certain pitchers don’t throw to certain spots, and some pitchers are most vulnerable in certain spots. I like the ball more out over the plate. I like it more down in the zone and middle to middle away. That’s kind of the zone I try to lock in on, and I’ll try to drive that ball to right center. If I get hanging off-speed, or a heater in, then I’m (pulling the ball). Generally speaking, I’m more focused on the middle of the field. Read the rest of this entry »


Sunday Notes: David Stearns and Ron Gardenhire Differ On The Shift

Would MLB actually go so far as to ban the shift? Asked about that conjecture, David Stearns made it clear that he’s no fan of the idea. Not because he’s against change, but rather because change is already a big part of baseball. More specifically — yes, there have been exceptions to the rule — organic charge is already a big part of baseball.

“Teams have evolved,” the Brewers GM said during the Winter Meetings. “Strategies have evolved. Players adjust, and they will on this one as well. If shifts become completely deflating to certain profiles of players, we will value them accordingly. Things will balance themselves out. Look, we’ve been moving fielders around for decades. I would not be in favor of a ban on shifts.”

Ron Gardenhire feels otherwise. He favors an inorganic fix to the perceived (and arguably nonexistent) problem.

“I like two guys on each side,” the Detroit manager stated in equally-stern terms. “I’ve always said that. Or at least keep them all in the dirt rather than in the grass. Ask Victor Martinez. He might have hit .300 this year if they just had them on the infield. Yeah, I am old school in that respect.”

The veteran skipper elaborated on his viewpoint in a manner suggestive of… an organic substance? Going pure Gardy, he name-checked the man erroneously credited with inventing the game, another sport, and a comedy duo from a bygone era. Read the rest of this entry »


Matthew Boyd on Pitching (“You Have To Watch His Swing”)

Matthew Boyd appeared in a handful of FanGraphs articles in 2018. The Detroit Tigers left-hander was included in a June installment of the Learning and Developing a Pitch series. A few months later, his hockey background was highlighted in an October Sunday Notes column.

Today we’ll hear from Boyd on a more-encompassing subject: how he learned, and approaches, his chosen craft. First, some pertinent biographical information.

A 27-year-old native of the Seattle area, Boyd was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in 2012, but rather than signing a professional contract, he returned to Oregon State University for his senior year. He was subsequently selected in the sixth round of the 2013 draft by the Toronto Blue Jays, with whom he debuted in 2015. His big-league feet barely wet — he’d made just two appearances — he was then traded to the Tigers in that summer’s trade-deadline deal involving David Price.

Boyd made a career-high 31 starts this past season, logging a 4.39 ERA and a 4.45 FIP. This interview took place in mid-August.

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Matthew Boyd on pitching: “My dad (Kurt Boyd) was my coach from nine years old to when I went to college. He was also one of my main pitching coaches. He’d pitched in high school, then went into the Navy — he needed the G.I. Bill to pay for college — and served for seven years. He’s been coaching for a long time. He has a program out in Seattle called Mudville Baseball Club.

“He was always telling me how to read swings. I’ve had lots of people — other coaches in my life — telling me that, too. But my dad wanted me to understand what the hitter was trying to do. He never called pitches in high school; I always got to call my own game. There were times I got my teeth kicked in. There are times you learn stuff. Read the rest of this entry »


FanGraphs Q&A and Sunday Notes: The Best Quotes of 2018

In 2018, I once again had the pleasure of interviewing hundreds of people within baseball. Many of their words were shared in my Sunday Notes column, while others came courtesy of the FanGraphs Q&A series, the Learning and Developing a Pitch series, the Manager’s Perspective series, and a smattering of feature stories. Here is a selection of the best quotes from this year’s conversations.

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“My slider will come out and it will be spinning, spinning, spinning, and then as soon as it catches, it picks up speed and shoots the other way. Whoosh! It’s like when you bowl. You throw the ball, and then as soon as it catches, it shoots with more speed and power. Right? “ — Sergio Romo, Tampa Bay Rays pitcher, January 2018

“One of the biggest lessons we learn is that iron sharpens iron. That is 100% how we try to do things with the Rockies — hiring people that are smarter than we are, and more skilled, and have different skills that can complement, and train people to be better at their jobs than I am at my job. That’s how you advance an organization.” — Jeff Bridich, Colorado Rockies GM, January 2018

“We could split hairs and say, ‘Hey, you’re playing in front of a thousand drunk Australians instead of 40,000 drunk Bostonians, and you’re living with a host family instead of at a five-star hotel.’ But The Show is The Show, and in Australia the ABL is The Show.” — Lars Anderson, baseball nomad, January 2018

“Baseball is heaven. Until our closer blows the game.” — Michael Hill, Miami Marlins president of baseball operations, January 2018 Read the rest of this entry »