The Best of FanGraphs: April 2-6, 2018

Each week, we publish in the neighborhood of 75 articles across our various blogs. With this post, we hope to highlight 10 to 15 of them. You can read more on it here. The links below are color coded — green for FanGraphs, brown for RotoGraphs, dark red for The Hardball Times and blue for Community Research.

The Good and Bad of Shohei Ohtani’s Pitching Debut, by Jeff Sullivan
The start wasn’t perfect, but it was quality, and it sure as heck leaves room for growth. What else could we ask of the two-way potential star?

Yasmany Tomas Is the Most Expensive Minor Leaguer, by Jay Jaffe
Being the most expensive minor leaguer is, uh, not great for Yasmany, as one might imagine.

The Law of the Basebrawler, by Sheryl Ring
Baseball players get in fights. Benches clear and relievers streak out of bullpens. Sometimes those fights escalate from harmless demands not to look at a player to physical blows. How culpable are players for physical harm that arises from these on-field fights?

A Rivalry Renewed, with a Tantalizing Twist, by Christopher Dale
Rivalries are fun. Fun is good for baseball. But no one is a baseball fan without experiencing media members cling to a rivalry that has long been extinguished by one team’s consistent dominance of the other. The phenomenon is like parents who can’t move on from their teenager’s childhood favorite activity. But even prickly teenagers go back to things they once loved, and from there, fun can amplify.

It Already Looks Like the Fly Balls Are Here, by Jeff Sullivan
Hello, fly balls. Make yourselves at home. Snacks are in the kitchen and welcome packets are in the back.

Let’s Talk About the Jays’ Promising Projection, by Jay Jaffe
Talk of projections helps to fill offseasons empty of real baseball. Now that baseball is back and has taken its rightful place at the throne of spring and summer, what can we make of the Jays’ promising projections?

Jordan Hicks Is the Hardest-Throwing Pitcher in Baseball, by Craig Edwards
Aroldis Chapman has had to scooch over a little. Or a lot.

The Best Team Money Can’t Buy, by amaahs
Something like the antithesis to Molly Knight’s bestselling book The Best Team Money Can Buy

The Pyramid Rating System’s 2017 Season Update, by Paul Moehringer
You know it. You love it. The Pyramid Rating System developed by Paul Moehringer is back and better than ever.

Shohei Ohtani Has Already Verified Something, by Travis Sawchik
You don’t always get a second chance at a first impression. Ohtani didn’t, but he did prove how worthless first impressions (and spring training stats) can often be. In other words, his first few games in the majors solidified some key things about him as a player.

Your Potential 2018 Fly Ball Revolution Beneficiaries, by Mike Podhorzer
The fly ball revolution doesn’t exactly live up to the old addage that I made up right now, “For the players, by the players.” Some have been and are bound to be left out from the benefits of the fly ball shift in baseball. Which players aren’t, though?

Misery Loves Company: Baseball’s Worst Losses, AL Edition, by Shane Tourtellotte
An excerpt: “For those ticked about this Yankees dominance, I will note the irony that second place in dealing out AL pain goes to their arch-rivals, the Boston Red Sox. If this does not soothe you, I will just remind you that the New York Yankees also have a worst defeat ever. Relax: they’ll get theirs.”

Diversity in Baseball Begins in Little League, by Shakeia Taylor
Shakeia starts her April residency offering the true solution for baseball’s top-to-bottom lacking diversity. She explores how simple failures at the bottom will undermine even the very best efforts of MLB at the top. “The burden of [the expense of little league baseball] contributes to the ethnic and racial disparity we see in professional baseball today,” she writes.

Trade Reviews: Early April Edition (2018), by Trey Baughn
We all love a good trade. Here’s some feedback on early trades in the ottoneu fantasy baseball league.

Shohei Ohtani and Beyond: a History of Double-Duty Players, by Jay Jaffe
You know something in baseball is electric when it inspires a piece with “A History of” in the title.

Find Mina on Twitter @maddc8.

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