Thursday, October 4, 2012

AL Wild-Card Round Preview

   At 8:37 pm (EST, approximately) on Friday, the Texas Rangers will host the Baltimore Orioles in one of the most surprising match-ups possible in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. One game-- a Game 163, if you will. One chance to survive and play the Yankees. One winner, but with two vastly different stories from two vastly different teams. How did they get there? Who will win? After the jump, I will examine each team and boldly predict a winner.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Craig Kimbrel's On His Way To The Record Books

Unless you've been living under a rock this past season you know that Atlanta Braves reliever, Craig Kimbrel, is having a fantastic year. He's striking out batters at an astronomical rate, and has been literally unhittable. Many sabermetric fans and traditionalists seem to agree that this is the best season by a reliever, but I want to see just how good he's been. After the jump we'll take a look.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Ike Davis' Strange Season

Going into spring training, Ike Davis was hoping to show that he was healthy, and show that his 2010 rookie season was not a fluke. Unfortunately at the beginning of spring training Davis contracted Valley Fever, and ever since then he has had an extremely strange season. He's showing even more power than he did in 2010, but that's about it. In fact his season is so strange that it's only happened ten times since 1920, and one player has done it twice.<

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Mark of Consistency and High Society

Growing up as a Sox fan I’ve had the pleasure of watching the career of Mark Buehrle first & foremost throughout my life. It was a pure joy and entertainment to say the least, there’s something special about rooting for a guy that continually finds ways to defy the odds of the “experts”. When Buehrle took the mound you knew he would give the Sox a good chance to win a game and as an added bonus more times than not would give the bullpen some rest. Buehrle was more than a typical innings-eater; he was a great pitcher (still is!), much of which gets overshadowed.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Fantasy Friday: Playoff Push

   If you have been keeping up with your team all season, now is probably the time you are reaping the rewards. With only a few weeks to go, many of us are experiencing the "YES! LOCKED UP THE DIVISION TITLE, JERKS!" feeling. If you are one of those select people, continue to read as I discuss players you should be looking at as the playoffs start. If you are stupid, lazy, or a Communist (I am assuming the correlation of Communism and the fall of the Soviet Union applies to fantasy baseball) and your team is out, then go ahead and skip this post and go play some fantasy football. "Community" reference, ftw!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Fantasy Friday: Reachable Stars

    The goal of this week is to discuss several players that are having solid seasons but surprisingly not owned in as many leagues as one would think. This obviously does not mean these players will be available in your specific league, but it does show that a lot of owners are undervaluing these players. Even if they aren't on the waiver wire, consider trading cheap and getting the better end of the deal. The percent owned will be using Yahoo! Leagues stats. After the jump, a collection of solid, yet less-than-reasonably appreciated players.


Hey everyone just wanted to give some updates with the site.

As you've probably noticed by now we have a new look! Hope you enjoy it, if not give us some suggestions! We're always looking to improve.

We've also implemented some advertisements, hopefully it isn't too many, but if you think they take away from the site, let us know.

I've also added in Links & References below our History. Here is a nice, easy, and convenient way to visit many of the sites we use for our material.

And finally below that is another blog you might find of interest; JR's MLB Player Analysis, he does similar work as us and a great job at it, check him out!

Thanks again for staying tuned and continue to do so as we have many more posts, updates, and ideas on the way!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Taking a Look at FanGraphs Pitcher WAR

For those of you that read FanGraphs you will know that they released some new statistics for pitchers. If you aren't aware of them I will give you the three links. New Stats Revealed, Fielding Dependent Pitching, and Pitcher War/FDP. Before Tuesday, FanGraphs only offered pitcher WAR until 1976 (I believe) but now they have it all the way back to when major league baseball started. This isn't really going to be a long post, but more after the jump!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Please Rise in The King's Court

Unless you've been living under a rock these past few weeks, you probably know that Seattle Mariners starting pitcher, Felix Hernandez, has been flat out dominant. The climax of his dominance occurred on August 1 when he pitched a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays. Since then he has been absolutely lights out. After the jump we'll see just how good he's been, and compare his season to other similar ones.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hollywood’s New (not so bright) Stars

Welcome back to the last installment in my four piece series breaking down the Dodgers and Red Sox deal. If you missed out on the other three you can view them herehere, and here.

There’s no doubt the intention of the new Dodgers ownership, win now and win big. As the Yankees have shown us in the past money does make winning easier and since the ownership change, money seems like an endless commodity in LA. In the past month or so the Dodgers have accumulated around $300 million worth of contracts for both now and future. The biggest of bunch coming in their latest blockbuster with the Red Sox, but will this new blockbuster be the next Dark Knight or the next Twlight.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Adrian Gonzalez Past, Present, and Future

Welcome to part three of this four part series breaking down the Dodgers and Red Sox trade. If you missed part 1 check it out here and part two here.

Now onto the Dodger perspective of the deal while this is a blockbuster type deal, the names may be bigger than the assets at this point in each of their careers. The centerpiece of his deal is Adrian Gonzalez, who’s considered by many to be an elite first baseman. The numbers don’t lie either, he’s a 4 time All Star, 3 time Gold Glove winner, an owner of an .881 career OPS, and has accumulated 30.3 fWAR up to age 30 so far. However since his move to Boston one could say he’s underachieved a bit and not been the player we envisioned we thought he’d be.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Red Sox New Yutes

Hey everyone this is part 2 of a 4 part series breaking down the Dodgers and Red Sox deal, for part 1 of this series check out this link.

My favorite of the bunch is Rubby De La Rosa, the kid’s arm is electric to say the least. He’s been rattled by  the injury bug and has Tommy John last year, but his ceiling is well worth the risk. He’s only 23 and had an average fastball of 96 MPH last year and in his brief return this year averaged 94.3 MPH. Before he got hurt last year he held the opposition to a 3.87 FIP and 3.55 xFIP as well as nearly struck out a better per innings, 8.9 K/9, pretty impressive considering his age. Control will make or break Rubby, despite the gaudy strikeouts his walk rate of 4.6 BB/9 last year and career 4.0 BB/9 in minors is too high to succeed at a high level.  Despite this though, his stuff is good enough to succeed and a worthwhile gamble for the Red Sox. If he continues to develop and finds consistency in his slider, curveball, and changeup he has the ceiling of an ace and the floor of a closer.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Dodgers Spending Spree Continues

In what seemed like an unthinkable long shot 24 hours ago the Red Sox and Dodgers are now on the verge of completing a 9 player blockbuster deal. The deal is to send Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Nick Punto, and $12 million from the Red Sox in exchange to the Dodgers for James LoneyRubby De La Rosa, Jerry Sands, Allen Webster, and Ivan DeJesus.  The deal is so big there’s no good place to even begin breaking it down, but let’s start with just the cash.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Twins Get A Bargain With Willingham

After having one of their worst seasons in recent memory the Minnesota Twins went into the 2012 off-season in need of major help. Justin Morneau only played in 69 games due to concussion symptoms and compiled an abysmal .274 wOBA. Joe Mauer dealt with a number of ailments, most notably bi-lateral leg weakness, and played in only 82 games. In those 82 games he only managed to have a .319 wOBA. That's not exactly what you want from the two highest paid players on your team. As a result the Twins went out and signed free agent, Josh Willingham, to a three year deal worth twenty one million dollars. To date that was the most expensive free agent contract that the Twins have given out, so they needed it to be a good deal. After the jump we will see how it's turned out so far.

Fantasy Friday: Injury Edition

   TGIFF! (Thank God it's Fantasy Friday!) If you are like me, it has been a long week full of weird happenings in baseball. The Rays apparently cannot lose, the Nationals have a tough decision to make re: Steven Strasburg, something something Mike Trout something something, etc. We are getting near September call-up time, probably the theme for next week's Fantasy Friday, and the new wildcard playoff format is leading to some exciting playoff races. All in all, baseball is giving us another incredible season. Even with all the excitement, it is easy as a fantasy owner to be frustrated with all the injuries hitting your team. After the jump, I will look at a handful of players who are on the DL and how you should react to that problem.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

New Site

Hey there, my name is Alex and I am the founder of Saber Analysis. As of today Blogger is the new home for this blog. Saber Analysis is a blog that's dedicated to sabermetrics and everything else baseball. Currently there are two writers, myself and Tim. I just wanted to let you know that when I imported the articles from the old site it made everything written by me. That is in fact not true. Tim is our fantasy guru and he also had written a lot of other pieces. I'm sure you'll be able to tell the difference based on our styles. A lot of the other articles that were written 4-5 months ago were written by a person named Lee, but he went and wrote for a Braves blog called Tomahawk Take. For our old readers we hope you keep reading, and for our new readers we hope you enjoy!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Tom Tango Would Like a Word

Actually, more like he wants smart, observant baseballing enthusiasts (such as this readership) to help in his annual crowd-sourcing project. In a nutshell, 'crowd-sourcing' is using the collective intellect of a group to arrive at a reasonable conclusion. By using a large sample size of entries, the variance (of extreme answers) is reduced and meaningful data can be gathered. He explains it better than me, that is why HE is well-known Tom Tango and I am aggressively-good-looking-but-unknown Tim Nicodemus, so just follow the link and help him out. And for the love of goodness, somebody do the Padres.

You may now return to your baseball-watching, blog-reading, cigar-smoking lives. If you are into that kind of thing.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Look At The "Other" Rookies - Pitchers

Unless you've been living under a rock you've known that Los Angeles Angels outfield phenom Mike Trout has been tearing up baseball. Bryce Harper of the Nationals had a hot stretch but has since cooled off. Those aren't the only rookies who are playing this year though. There are a ton of rookie pitchers this year that deserve to be talked about. In this piece I will be talking about three pitchers who are working on their first full year in the big leagues.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Fantasy Friday: Buy and Sell

With most leagues ending in a few weeks, now is NOT the time to be sitting idly by and not making moves. Last week, I covered generic strategies for whatever position you find your teams. This week I want to look at various players that you all requested and/or I have been interested in recently. Don't forget to send me Fantasy questions over twitter (@timnicodemus) or email ( Who is a good pick? Who should get dropped? Answers, jokes, and wOBA to follow.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Fantasy Friday: Post-Trade Deadline Strategies

Much like empires, stock markets, and the Vengaboys (obscure Europop reference, ftw), baseball players have their ups and downs. Because of this volatility, fantasy owners are stuck w0rrying about what lineup will get them the most points. In my experience, this problem is exacerbated after the Trade Deadline, ie when the playoff races start for fantasy leagues. Seriously, if you did not realize that your league ends before the MLB regular season ends either: 1. You have a commissioner that needs to learn about fantasy sports or 2. You really need to start paying attention. In other words, now is the time that a lot of fantasy owners make moves in order to get in better position for a run in the playoffs. This post is going to discuss general strategies for each position and throw in some players that should be considered or avoided. Let the playoff hunt begin!

The Twins Have Found a Diamond In The Rough

It's no secret that the Minnesota Twins' pitching staff is having a horrendous season. Their 4.69 FIP is last in the American League and is only ahead of the Colorado Rockies 4.70 FIP. Overall there isn't much to be excited about when a Twins pitcher takes the mound. Recently that has changed though. In 2010 the Twins selected starting pitcher, Scott Diamond. Diamond was with the Braves at the time of his selection. As spring training was coming to a close the Twins traded relief pitcher Billy Bullock to Atlanta, and that allowed them to send Diamond to the minors. Diamond struggled in the seven games he started last year, but this year has been a whole different story.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Tale Of Two Similar Pitchers

Here are two pitchers that have both pitched for the same team. Which pitcher would you rather have on your team? Since 2009 one of them has struggled but before then he was extremely productive. The other pitcher debuted in 2006 and is currently one of the best pitchers in baseball. Here are their stats:

Pitcher A (2002-2009):

K%: 18.80% BB%: 6.90% HR/FB: 9.30% GB%: 43.2%

ERA: 3.81 FIP: 3.83 xFIP: 4.00 WAR: 31.3

Pitcher B (2006-2012):

K%: 21% BB%: 6.50% HR/FB: 7.50% GB%: 33.6% 

ERA: 3.19 FIP: 3.59 xFIP: 4.04 WAR: 27.4

If you haven't figured out who they are yet, you'll find out after the jump.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Here Ye, Here Ye: Major Announcement Edition

When Alex and I met a couple of weeks ago in Minnesota, we discussed potential ideas for SaberAnalysis. Do not worry, faithful readership; we are both very much firmly involved in this blog. Rejoice, faithful readership, for we have two new weekly series coming your way. Both will be decidedly sabermetrical in perspective. Both will be interesting (I hope) and are designed to teach all of us more about baseball. Most importantly, I envision BOTH of these being driven by you, faithful readership. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Andrew McCutchen and His Historic BABIP

After having a career year last season Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder, Andrew McCutchen, was rewarded with a hefty pay raise. So far he's right where he left off last season. His 5.9 WAR is already more than the 5.7 WAR that he produced last season. His slash numbers are also currently career highs: .373/.432/.632. He's been nothing short of epic. He's had help though as evidence of his extremely high BABIP. As of today it is currently a robust .423. Where does that compare among others in history? How likely is it that he can maintain a high BABIP the rest of the way?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Flyin' Hawaiian Heads West

After acquiring Hanley Ramirez, the Los Angeles Dodgers went out and acquired outfielder, Shane Victorino, from the Philadelphia Phillies. Victorino is a free agent after the season, and the Dodgers got him relatively cheap. He won't finish as good as last season, but he's still on pace to have +3-3.5 WAR by the time the season ends.

Francisco Liriano Is Headed To The South Side

On July 29 the Chicago White Sox went out and acquired Minnesota Twins pitcher, Francisco Liriano. On the surface one gets the impression that Liriano has been struggling mightly. That isn't quite the case though. Liriano did perform poorly during the first month of the season, and as a result he landed in the bullpen. On May 30 he found himself back in the starting rotation and looked like his old-self. The White Sox hope he continues to stay dominant as their season progresses.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Rangers Continue 'Arms' Race, Get Dempster

With the trade deadline looming, and now complete, the Texas Rangers and Chicago Cubs announced they had completed a deal, moving Ryan Dempster to the Rangers for two prospects. This is the same Dempster that rejected a move to the Braves earlier this season, but he was fine getting shipped into the Lone Star State. As with every trade, both teams obviously feel they won. Was Theo Epstein wise in moving Dempster? Are the Rangers smart in getting a risky pitcher for a couple of prospects? Read, set, trade analysis!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Cole Hamels, Wealthy Gentleman

The Phillies have been struggling mightily. As this week, they had a 0.1% chance to make the playoffs. They have struggled to score and their pitchers have been good but not great. Cliff Lee has become a poster-boy for why 'Wins' is a lousy category. Sure, it does not help that the Nationals are going bananas (Gwen Stefani reference, ftw!), but being last place in the NL East is not easy to take for the Front Office and fans. Many fans assumed Ruben Amaro and company might try to move some talent in order to shake things up and try to change the losing ways. However, Cole Hamels is not going to be a part of that change, as he recently signed a six year, $144 million extension. This is an incredible amount of money, so how does this affect the Phillies? Is it a good extension? 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Angels Acquire Starting Pitcher, Zack Greinke

In a somewhat surprising move the Los Angeles Angels went out and acquired starting pitcher, Zack Greinke, from the Milwaukee Brewers for top prospect, Jean Segura, AA pitcher John Hellweg, and AA pitcher Ariel Pena. Greinke should slide in nicely and help solidify the Angels rotation even more. The Brewers get a shortstop of the future and a couple of pitchers who could help down the road.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Los Angeles Dodgers Add Hanley Ramirez

Last night in a somewhat surprising move the Los Angeles Dodgers went out and acquired shortstop/third baseman, Hanley Ramirez, and relief pitcher, Randy Choate, for two minor league players. If you would have to told me this would happen at the beginning of the season I would have said that you're crazy. Depending on what you've read, many people believe that this was either a good deal for the Marlins or a puzzling one. My thoughts after the jump.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Detroit Tigers Kill Two Birds With One Stone

Yesterday, the Detroit Tigers went out and acquired starting pitcher, Anibal Sanchez, and Omar Infante, from the Miami Marlins. In return the Marlins received the Tigers top prospect Jacob Turner and two other prospects. The Tigers already had one of the best rotations in baseball, largely due to Justin Verlander, but you can never have too much pitching. The Tigers also had a glaring need at second base and Infante should help that a ton. The Marlins are also unlikely to make the post-season and Sanchez is a free agent at the end of the year.

Ichiro in Pinstripes: The Danny Farquhar Story?

I entered the movie theater yesterday (BATMAN!!!!) assuming the Yankees were still looking for pitchers before the trade deadline. I came out of the theater with my cell phone blowing up with friends texting me about the Yankees big move. I assumed it was Cole Hamels or Zack Greinke. It was not until I opened my computer and saw the ESPN headline; Ichiro is going to be in pinstripes. The Yankees get Suzuki while the Mariners get two pitching prospects. What is the rationale of the deal? Implications for the Yankees playoff push? Is this a good deal for either team?  After the jump, I delve into those questions from the perspective of both teams.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Prospect Watch: Billy Hamilton

If anyone in my readership follows my Twitter (@timnicodemus) or knows me personally, they know that I love me some Billy Hamilton. He is single-handedly (is that a word?) bringing back 'small-ball' through decent defense and amazing speed. As a part of the Reds organization, he is being groomed for a starting job on a very good team. After the jump, I will look at his past performance, current season, and future prospects. Can a speedy, light-hitting player make the Show? 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Could Giancarlo Stanton Be One Of The Greatest Power Hitters Ever?

I originally got the idea for this article after browsing through FanGraphs' leaderboards. I have always been a huge fan of Stanton and knew that he had immense power. I wanted to see exactly how good it is so I began playing with the leaderboards. I wanted to see where he stacked up against others his age and to see how good he could become. The rest of the article is after the jump, enjoy!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Mid-Season Awards: NL Edition

Yesterday Tim did his article on the AL mid-season awards. He covered the Cy Young, rookie of the year, comeback player of the year and the manager of the year. Today I will be doing the same thing but for the National League.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Midseason Awards- AL Edition

As we come into the All-Star weekend, Alex and I are going to unveil our individual picks for the usual awards: Cy Young, MVP, ROY, Comeback player, and Manager. Keep in mind, this is only for the first half of the season; this is not meant to be a prediction on who will end up winning these awards in the fall. While Alex will tackle the National League, I will be reviewing the American League, so as to not give every award to Jose Altuve (joke!). Feel free to comment/debate our picks in the comment section below. Without further ado, I humbly(ish) present my AL Midseason Awards!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Opening the Hall: Monte Irving

The Baseball Hall of Fame. It is where every player dreams of ending his career, enshrined among the best of the best. Only a select few each year enter into the small fraternity of men viewed as the greatest ever. Recently, while debating the 'small Hall' versus 'large Hall' issue (ie should the Hall of Fame be more or less exclusive than it is now) I realized that even as a diehard baseball fan, there are a lot of players in the Hall of Fame that I know little about. In an effort to grow our collective baseball knowledge, I will be starting a series of intermittent posts that will focus on different, less known players who are enshrined in the Hall but do not receive the accolades and notoriety of a Babe Ruth or Walter Johnson. If you want me to cover a certain player, please tweet me (@timnicodemus) or leave a comment in the section below. After the jump, I will discuss Monte Irvin, a truly great guy and an interesting player.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Miami Marlins Make a Move

Yesterday the Miami Marlins agreed to a trade that would send them Houston Astro Carlos Lee in return for two of their top prospects. The Marlins were in need of a first baseman but in my opinion Lee is hardly an upgrade. As of today he's only accumulated .2 WAR through 277 plate appearances.

Monday, July 2, 2012

NL All-Star Voting-- My Picks

With the official All-Star line-ups announced, the Summer Classic is ready to go save the decision for starting pitchers. The baseball blogsphere has been inundated with opinions on the selections and the usual chorus of dissenters has surfaced. Instead of joining the throngs of writers in complaining about who got snubbed or who deserved it more, I am going to give a sabermetric view of my ballot, along with my reasoning, and compare it to reality. Alex is covered the AL side of the All-Stars, so I will do a breakdown the NL. I will go through the starters and then the reserves and the pitchers. Senior Circuit!

My All-Star Team - American League

With the All-Star rosters being announced yesterday I thought it would be fun to do my own. I used WAR as my primary deciding factor so without further ado here's my All-Star team.

Chase Headley to the Tigers Has to Happen

During the off-season the Detroit Tigers and went out and signed all-star first baseman Prince Fielder. Everyone pegged the Detroit Tigers as the team to represent the American League in the World Series, but as we head into the All-Star break that doesn't look like it will happen. The Tigers' hopes aren't over though. I believe if they make at least one critical move it could help them get right back into the mix. I believe that move has to be acquiring San Diego Padres third baseman Chase Headley. Headley is one of the more underrated players in baseball and is easily one of the biggest snubs as we head into the all-star break. He currently has 3.3 WAR and is a player that can easily make a team better. More after the jump.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Aaron Hill Rides the Bi-cycle

Please excuse the lame wordplay title (wordplay is fun!) and listen to this piece of truth: Aaron Hill made history last night. If your first questions is, "Tim, who the hell is Aaron Hill?", you can join most MLB fans in being duly surprised that a random role player is getting so much press. What is more surprising is that Mr. Hill has now hit for the cycle in two games in the same calender month. How rare is this? The only other player to do so hit two cycles in the same week in 1883. He is also only the second player since 1900 to hit two cycles in the same season (Babe Herman in 1931 for those of you keeping score at home). How rare is the cycle? If he hits one more IN HIS ENTIRE CAREER he will be tied for the most all time. Ludicrous.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Taking a look at Trevor Bauer and Andrew Cashner's Starts

Yesterday highly touted prospect Trevor Bauer made his major league debut. He was the number three pick in last year's draft and has been flying through the Arizona Diamondback's farm system ever since. He wasn't the only pitcher joining a rotation though. San Diego Padres pitcher Andrew Cashner also got the call to the majors yet nobody paid any attention to him. Dave Cameron took a look at both pitchers in this article yesterday. I was curious to see how both fared so let's take a look.

Top 100 Right Now: Summary

Well, at least we got this done by the All-Star Break...  Looking back on the list, there are already a ton of mistakes, but that's how these go.  Here is the full list:

1Evan Longoria35Kevin Youkilis68Brett Gardner
2Troy Tulowitzki36Cole Hamels69Jonathan Papelbon
3Joey Votto37Jon Lester70John Axford
4Miguel Cabrera38Giancarlo Stanton71Desmond Jennings
5Roy Halladay39Tim Lincecum72Doug Fister
6Justin Verlander40Matt Cain73Chase Utley
7Jose Bautista41Jered Weaver74Chris Carpenter
8Albert Pujols42Brandon Phillips75Alex Gordon
9Dustin Pedroia43Carlos Gonzalez76Yadier Molina
10Matt Kemp44Shane Victorino77Mat Latos
11Cliff Lee45Joe Mauer78Howie Kendrick
12Adrian Gonzalez46Brett Lawrie79Jay Bruce
13Ryan Braun47Alex Rodriguez80Joel Hanrahan
14Robinson Cano48Matt Wieters81Anibal Sanchez
15CC Sabathia49Hunter Pence82Matt Garza
16Felix Hernandez50Hanley Ramirez83Buster Posey
17Justin Upton51Adam Wainwright84Alexei Ramirez
18Clayton Kershaw52Mike Napoli85Gavin Floyd
19Ben Zobrist53Madison Bumgarner86David Wright
20Ryan Zimmerman54James Shields87John Danks
21Andrew McCutchen55Mariano Rivera88Carlos Beltran
22Matt Holliday56David Price89Josh Beckett
23Ian Kinsler57Jose Reyes90Corey Hart
24Dan Haren58C.J. Wilson91Yunel Escobar
25Adrian Beltre59Yovani Gallardo92Ubaldo Jimenez
26Prince Fielder60Carlos Santana93Lance Berkman
27Curtis Granderson61Craig Kimbrel94Miguel Montero
28Zack Greinke62Rickie Weeks95Jayson Werth
29Pablo Sandoval63Mark Teixeira96B.J. Upton
30Josh Hamilton64Matt Moore97Nelson Cruz
31Stephen Strasburg65Sean Marshall98Nick Swisher
32Brian McCann66Justin Masterson99Gio Gonzalez
33Josh Johnson67Daniel HudsonT100Jordan Zimmermann
34Jacoby EllsburyT100Michael Bourn

Here is the team breakdown:

ARI - 3HOU - 0PHI - 7
ATL - 3KCR - 1PIT - 2
BAL - 1LAA - 5SDP - 0
BOS - 5LAD - 2SEA - 1
CHC - 1MIA - 5SFG - 5
CHW - 4MIL - 6STL - 6
CIN - 5MIN - 1TBR - 7
CLE - 3NYM - 1TEX - 5
COL - 2NYY - 8TOR - 3
DET - 4OAK - 0WSN - 5

Here is the position breakdown:

C - 8LF - 6
1B - 6CF - 8
2B - 8RF - 10
SS - 5SP - 35
3B - 9RP - 6

Here is the age breakdown:

22 - 330 - 8
23 - 231 - 12
24 - 432 - 4
25 - 633 - 5
26 - 935 - 2
27 - 736 - 2
28 - 2037 - 1
29 - 1542 - 1

I will leave it to you to find interesting tidbits among the tables.  Feel free to comment on any missed or horribly-placed player, along with any trend you see in teams, positions, and ages.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Jason Heyward, Back to His Old Self

Depending on where you stood, Atlanta Braves outfielder Jason Heyward was either the number one or two prospect heading into the 2010 season. He made the opening day roster and impressed right out of the gate. His 5.1 WAR for that season rank in the top 15 all-time for a season by a 20 year old. In no time the lofty comparisons arose, most notably by former Braves Manager Bobby Cox. Cox said that Heyward reminded him of Braves all-time great, Hank Aaron. That was a lofty comparison, but if anyone could live up to it, it was Heyward. After a great rookie year, Heyward struggled though but appears to be back this season. Let's take a look at Heyward's journey the past couple seasons and how he returned back to dominance.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Poll: Who Would You Pick to Start Your Franchise?

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Top 100 Right Now: #5-1

We have finally hit the end, showing the Top 5 players in the game.  You can find the explanation and origin of our list here.  After this post, there will be one last wrap-up post, showing how many players are on each team, position, and age.  As a (not-so) quick refresher, here are 100-6:

Mike Trout, MVP Candidate?

Los Angeles Angels phenom, Mike Trout, is off to an outstanding start to the season. Many knew that Trout's future was bright and that he could potentially be the best player in baseball. I don't know if people that he'd get started so soon though. Trout is still only 20 years old and doesn't turn 21 until August but based on his results so far he should be right in the thick of things when it comes to voting for the American League MVP award.

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Monday, June 25, 2012

Kevin Youkilis Sent to the Chicago White Sox

Yesterday the seemingly inevitable happened. The Boston Red Sox finally parted ways with 1B/3B Kevin Youkilis after a flurry of rumors. In return the Red Sox received pitcher Zach Steweart and utility player Brent Lillibridge from the Chicago White Sox. Youkilis was struggling mightily for the Red Sox and Will Middlebrooks is ready to take over third base. On the flip side, the Chicago White Sox were in desperate need of a third baseman. Brent Morel was terrible and the Orlando Hudson experiment didn't work out at all. It's possible that a change of scenery is all that Youkilis needed.

A PITCHf/x Look at Gio Gonzalez

After being acquired from the Washington Nationals, lefty Gio Gonzalez has been off to the best start of his career. Before this year Gonzalez was a solid pitcher and in 2010 he began to take off. During that time he has posted fWARs of 3.2 and 3.5 respectively. His FIP during those times was 3.78 and 3.64 which is considered above average. This year it's a whole new story, he currently has 3.1 WAR to go with an excellent, yet highly unsustainable 2.07 FIP. His 2.97 xFIP and SIERA are identical, so even if Gonzalez runs into some regression he should still remain dominant. What's the cause for the sudden change? More after the jump.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Facebook Page

After much discussion, a new Facebook page for Saber Analysis is up and running! Please go there and 'Like' the page so you can get easy access to site updates, news, and blog posts. This will be another resource we will utilize to reach our readers and the general public. As always, comments and concerns are appreciated. Feel free to reach out to us on the FB page (, on Twitter (@SabrAnalysis), email (, in the comments section, or to any of the writers individually. Thank you for your continued support during this time of big change and growth!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Bryce Harper's Place in History

It's no secret that Washington Nationals phenom, Bryce Harper, is having a phenomenal rookie season and is easily on his way to Rookie of the Year honors.. If you remember, Lee wrote a great piece about Harper and his future prospects. When looking at other seasons by 19 year olds though, I was wondering where Bryce Harper stacks up. Obviously there have been other post regarding the topic, like this by FanGraph's Dave Cameron but I wanted to see for myself.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

R.A Dickey: Knuckling Down to Success

R.A. Dickey is quite the esoteric baseball player. He throws a knuckleball. He has hiked Kilimanjaro. Even more odd, he did so for charity. He is a Star Wars nerd. He names his bats after objects from Lord of the Rings, Beowulf, and other epics. He is leading the league in strikeouts.

Wait, what? I am sure most of us knew the odd (or rather, AWESOME) stories about his adventuring and use of his English Lit degree, but I was shocked to find out he is co-leading the MLB in strikeouts with Justin Verlander. Several bloggers have covered the reasons beyond his success so far, but I want to delve into the question of sustainability. Put another way, should he be seriously considered as one of the best in baseball, or is he due for a major correction? Is there an impending negative regression? 

Prospect Watch: Oswaldo Arcia

It's no secret that the Minnesota Twins are struggling at the big league level, but they do have some nice players in the minor leagues. One of those players is young outfielder, Oswaldo Arcia. Since joining the team's rookie team in 2009 he has consistently put up good numbers. The club was so impressed with his performance in high A ball this season that they just announced that he will be joining the AA club.

Top 100 Right Now: #10-6

Continuing our countdown of the top 100 players in the majors, we hit numbers 10 through 6 today. You can find the explanation and origin of our list here. Since we are only doing five players a post, we will be going even further in-depth. Alex will talk about the player's past, while I will find comps for each player, trying to show how he projects in the future. As a quick refresher, here are 100-11:

Monday, June 18, 2012

What's Going on With the Tigers?

When the Detroit Tigers signed 1B, Prince Fielder, to a 9 year-$214 many expected the Tigers to easily win the American League Central division and be a sure lock for the playoffs and a good bet to make the World Series. On the contrary, the Tigers already had 1B Miguel Cabrera, and some people, including Fangraphs' Dave Cameron thought that the Tigers could have done a better job spending their money. After about one-third of the season the Tigers season hasn't been going as planned, they are currently 32-34 and are 3.5 games back from first. What exactly is the cause of the Tigers' early season struggles? More after the jump!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Quick Reminders

If you haven't already follow the Twitter page for the blog and if there's any type of post you want us to tackle send an e-mail to!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Cliff Lee and the Problem of Wins

With dominant performances last night by Matt Cain (perfect game and whatnot) and R.A Dickey (America's favorite knuckleballer/adventurist) it seems a little pointless to discuss other pitchers. That being said, it seems as though everyone in the baseball blog-sphere has written about the perfect game. Again and again and again (my personal favorite) and again. Instead of not doing his awesome performance justice, I will instead focus my post on Cliff Lee in the lens of Wins as a stat.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Zack Greinke Will Get Paid

Milwaukee Brewers ace Zack Greinke is off to another phenomenal start to the season. He also becomes a free agent during the off-season, and if he continues to dominate then he will be inline for a huge payday. There's a couple of questions that I hope to answer along the way. Who will sign him and how much will they be willing to commit in the process?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Should the Twins look into a Josh Willingham Trade?

After a disappointing 2011 season the Minnesota Twins are off to another slow start. As of late they have improved but it's unlikely they make any real playoff push. In an effort to increase offensive production they went out and signed outfielder, Josh Willingham, to a 3 year-$21 million dollar contract. So far it's been a huge success, through the 55 games that he's played in he has accumulated 2.3 WAR. As summer sets upon us and as the All Star break nears it brings a question. Should the Twins consider moving one of their best players in hopes of building for the future?

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Chris Sale: A Study in Role Transition

If you knew the name 'Chris Sale' before this year, you either were a huge White Sox fan, or you really knew your left-handed relievers. Sale was far from a big name, but he was a dominant reliever for his first two years in the majors. In limited action, he posted FIPs of 2.74 and 3.12, good for an FIP- of 63 and 75, both of which are very respectable numbers for a reliever. He is only 23 years old, and was the White Sox 1st pick in the 2010 draft (13th overall). Even as early as late 2011, it was announced that Sale would be moved into the starting rotation. We have seen this plot-line before, have we not? Daniel Bard, Neftali Feliz, and Joba Chamberlin (wherever he ends up) are only three examples of pitchers who have tried to make the transition. As we know, the results have been mixed, and for Bard and Feliz, it is too early to know if it is a good or bad idea. What about Sale?

Top 100 Right Now: #15-11

Continuing our countdown of the top 100 players in the majors, we hit numbers 15 through 11 today. You can find the explanation and origin of our list here. Since we are only doing five players a post, we will be going even further in-depth. Alex will talk about the player's past, while I will find comps for each player, trying to show how he projects in the future. As a quick refresher, here are 100-16:

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

HOF Watch: Johan Santana

On Saturday Johan Santana became the first New York Mets pitcher to throw a no-hitter. It wasn't pretty, but it was a no-hitter nonetheless. For more analysis check out Tim's article. Since then myself and a couple of buddies have been discussion Santana's chance at making the hall of fame.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Prospect Watch: Wil Myers

Last season the Kansas City Royals had a number of players graduate from their farm system. They include Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and Danny Duffy. There's a good chance that they add to that list sometime this year when outfielder Wil Myers gets the call to the big leagues.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Mets Finally Get No-No

Yesterday evening, my Twitter feed exploded with the news that Johan Santana had done a first in the history of the Mets organization. The event? Everyone was in awe of Mr. Santana and his no-hit gem. It is amazing to think about other pitchers who have played for the Mets but did not get a no-no. To wit: Nolan Ryan (owner of 7 no-hitters) played for the Mets but did not get his first until he left for the Angels. Tom Seaver threw several one-hitters. Doc Gooden was dominant in his day, but never went 9 innings with 0 hits. Johan is in rare company, and alone in his entire organization. Not bad work!

But how does this compare to other no-hitters? As per Baseball-Reference, there have been 178 regular season no-hitters thrown since 1918 (the first year individual game data is available). Interestingly, aside from poor Ken Johnson in 1964, all no-hitters ended in a win. I highly doubt you want a break down all 178 games, so how about we look at the no-hitters from 2010 to the present?

The past few years have been largely dominated by pitching. In that regard, I feel much more comfortable comparing no-hitters from the past 3 years than to one during the power era of the '90s- early 2000s. With that critera, B-Ref gave me a query of 11 games. This is excluding Roy Halladay's no-hitter in the playoffs that was, honestly, other-worldly. The pitchers, in chronological order: 2010-- Ubaldo Jimenez, Dallas Braden (perfect game), Roy Halladay (perfect game), Edwin Jackson, Matt Garza. 2011-- Francisco Liriano, Justin Verlander, Ervin Santana. 2012-- Phil Humber (perfect game), Jered Weaver, Johan Santana. Aside from a couple of random names, this is a list of very good players. How did Santana (Johan) do?

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Top 100 Right Now (#20-16)

Continuing our countdown of the top 100 players in the majors, we hit numbers 20 through 16 today. You can find the explanation and origin of our list here. Since we are only doing five players a post, we will be going even further in-depth. Alex will talk about the player's past, while I will find comps for each player, trying to show how he projects in the future. As a quick refresher, here are 100-21:

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Oswalt Finally Picks the Rangers

After spending the offseason looking for upwards of $10M for one year, Roy Oswalt signed for $5M with $1M of incentives.  It sounds like he won't be ready to begin throwing in minor league games for 2-4 weeks, so the All-Star break looks to be a reasonable target for his debut.  Neftali Feliz is hurt, and struggling, now, so Scott Feldman will fill in until Oswalt is ready, with both Feliz and Feldman likely heading back to the bullpen at that time.  How well does Oswalt need to perform to be worth it?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Adam Jones' Massive Payday

Adam Jones and the Baltimore Orioles have been negotiation a new contract for the outfielder, and seems like they may have finally come to terms on contract. The deal is believed to be for 6 years for $85 million. That turns out to be $14.17 million dollars annually. The deal should be fair for both side as long as he continues to perform offensively during his prime.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Top 100 Right Now (#30-21)

Continuing our countdown of the top 100 players in the majors, we hit numbers 30 through 21 today.  You can find the explanation and origin of our list here.  We are now expanding a bit more on each player, with Alex giving his current state and strengths, while I show weaknesses and hidden strengths.  As a quick refresher, here are 100-31:

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Prospect Watch: Jurickson Profar

One of the more underrated and special prospects in the game resides in the Texas Rangers organization.  19-year-old switch-hitting shortstop Jurickson Profar has risen from Little League World Series fame to become a top 10 prospect in the game.  The Curacao native is well ahead of schedule, playing every day for the AA affiliate Frisco.  He has been compared to Jose Reyes, but so far, Profar has outperformed Reyes' minor league numbers.

Friday, May 18, 2012

David Wright's Quiet Season

2011 is a season that David Wright would like to forget. He only played in 102 games, and posted disappointing stats across the board. This year is a whole new story. While his power isn't as prominent as it was from 2006-2008, it's still at his career average. Next year is a contract year for Wright, and the Mets would be wise to consider a contract extension sooner rather than later.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Top 100 Right Now (#40-31)

Continuing our countdown of the top 100 players in the majors, we hit numbers 40 through 31 today.  You can find the explanation and origin of our list here.  We are now expanding a bit more on each player, with Alex giving his current state and strengths, while I show weaknesses and hidden strengths.  As a quick refresher, here are 100-41:

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Prospect Watch: Anthony Rizzo

The Chicago Cubs went through some big changes during the off-season. Most notably is that they acquired Theo Epstein from the Boston Red Sox. Epstein is currently the President of Baseball Operations for the club. Jed Hoyer also became their General Manager. The Cubs also found their first baseman of the future when they traded for Anthony Rizzo

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Top 100 Right Now (#50-41)

Continuing our countdown of the top 100 players in the majors, we hit numbers 50 through 41 today.  You can find the explanation and origin of our list here.  We will now expand a bit more on each player, with Alex giving his current state and strengths, while I will show weaknesses and hidden strengths.  As a quick refresher, here are 100-51:

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Trading Peter Bourjos Would be a Mistake

Since last season the Los Angeles Angels have dangled OF, Peter Bourjos, in front of teams that needed an outfielder. It's no secret that the Washington Nationals have had interest in the outfielder. Just last season they tried to acquire him, but to no avail. Their name came up again today in a rumor that would have sent Bourjos to them. The Angels need bullpen help, but trading Bourjos to get that help would be a huge mistake.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Cleveland Indians have Found their Second Baseman

From 2009-2011 the Cleveland Indians struggled to get quality production from their second baseman. They had everyone from Luis Valbuena to Jason Donald, but whoever they sent out their failed to make an impression. They may have finally found a player who can fulfill that void though.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Top 100 Right Now (#60-51)

Continuing our countdown of the top 100 players in the majors, we hit numbers 60 through 51 today.  You can find the explanation and origin of our list here.  As a quick refresher, here are 100-61:

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

HOF Watch: Adrian Beltre

In my first Hall of Fame post I will be showing you all why Adrian Beltre of the Texas Rangers is on track to becoming a Hall of Famer. To some this may come as a surprise, but it shouldn't. All stats used don't count the 2012 season.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Prospect Watch: Leonys Martin

Coming into the 2012 season OF Leonys Martin ranked as the third overall prospect for the Texas Rangers according to Marc Hulet of Fangraphs. With Josh Hamilton also headed for free agency the arrival of Leonys Martin seemed imminent. Unfortunately Martin hurt his thumb and is now out for 6-8 weeks. Martin only has a little over a year of experience is pro ball, but if the Rangers opted to not sign Hamilton, he would undoubtedly be the starting center fielder in 2013.

HOF Watch: Andruw Jones

Alex and I will be starting a Hall of Fame series, discussing the HOF chances of active or recently-retired players.  As a Braves fan, I had to pick an Atlanta player first, but the Big 3 (Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz) and Chipper seem to be obvious inductees, so I thought I'd revisit the glory years of Andruw Jones.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Top 100 Right Now (#70-61)

Continuing our countdown of the top 100 players in the majors, we hit numbers 70 through 61 today.  You can find the explanation and origin of our list here.  As a quick refresher, here are 100-71:

Thursday, May 3, 2012

From Bullpen to Rotation

Heading into the 2012 season there were three pitchers that were headed to the starting rotation after spending the 2011 season in the bullpen. Those pitchers are Neftali Feliz, Chris Sale and Daniel Bard. The results have come with mixed success. One of the pitchers has been dominant, striking out 25% of the batters that he's faced, one has had control problems, and the other has gotten extremely lucky.

Prospect Watch: Julio Teheran

The #5 rated MLB prospect the past two seasons, Julio Teheran has quickly risen through the minor league ranks.  Last year, at age 20, he spent a full season in AAA, aside from three spot starts for the Atlanta Braves.  His AAA stats look sparkling, a 15-3 record with a 2.55 ERA, but there were some causes for concern that have shown themselves this year.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Did Matt Kemp Post the Best March/April since 2003?

As the first month of the season comes to a close their have been some great stories throughout baseball. The biggest one is none other than Los Angeles Dodger Matt Kemp, and his prolific start to the season. I decided to dig a little deeper, and see where it ranks among the last 10 seasons. The results, and my rankings are after the break.

Top 100 Right Now (#80-71)

Continuing our countdown of the top 100 players in the majors, we hit numbers 80 through 71 today.  You can find the explanation and origin of our list here.  As a quick refresher, here are 100-81:

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Bryce Harper Is Here, Probably to Stay

Bryce Harper made his debut last night, sooner than most people, including me, expected.  He was struggling in AAA, hitting .250/.333/.375 in 82 PA.  The Nationals were having even more problems with their lineup, especially in left field, prompting the call-up.  After seeing him play two games, I don't know how he ends up back in the minors.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Josh Hamilton: On the Way to a Big Payday?

Following the 2012 season Texas Rangers outfielder, Josh Hamilton, will hit the free agent market. The Rangers had a chance to sign him during the off-season, but if he finishes this season as the best season of his career, he may be playing elsewhere next season. Would it be in Texas' best interest to let him walk, or try to sign him?

Top 100 Right Now: #90-81

Continuing our countdown of the top 100 players in the majors, we hit numbers 90 through 81 today.  You can find the explanation and origin of our list here.  As a quick refresher, here are 100-91:

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Prospect Watch: Mike Trout

Mike Trout is the Los Angeles Angels prize prospect, and is currently playing for the Salt Lake Bees in the Pacific Coast League. He was taken with the 25th pick in the 2009 draft, and so far has proven to be a major steal. If the Angels didn't have a logjam in the outfield, he would probably be starting.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Prospect Watch: Dylan Bundy

Once a week, I'll be looking into a minor league player who is attracting attention, good or bad.  After last night's performance, there is really no other way to go but to Delmarva.  Dylan Bundy, the fourth overall pick in last year's draft by the Orioles, has made the South Atlantic League hitters look like high schoolers, which is what he was facing last year.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Early BABIP Leaders/Trailers

After almost an entire month of baseball there are some pretty extreme BABIPs out there. Some players have extremely high BABIPs, and should expect some regression. Others are suffering from extremely low BABIPs, and look to overturn their misfortune in the coming games.

Top 100 Right Now, Saber-Style (#100-91)

Right before the season started, MLB Network was airing their Top 100 Right Now, using last year's and the last 3 years' stats, plus intangibles and accolades.  The list can be found here.  As you can see, there are some players in some befuddling positions, such as Evan Longoria at #21 and Michael Young at #29.  Alex and I were watching this and decided to pursue the arduous task of compiling our Top 100, using sabermetric principles as our basis.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Top 100 Players in Baseball: 100-91

Early ERA-FIP Leaders/Trailers

With starters having three or four starts so far, there are some extreme ERAs so far. One can look at a pitcher's difference between his ERA and FIP to see how lucky or unlucky he has been so far. Both lists will see good and bad FIPs, so you shouldn't get sucked into thinking the lists are just lucky mediocre pitchers and unlucky good pitchers.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Washington Nationals: Do they Have the Best Rotation in Baseball?

After sixteen games into the 2012 season there have been some great stories in major league baseball. Everything from Matt Kemp and the Dodger's stellar start, to Bartolo Colon's impressive start. Depending on where you stand as a baseball fan, none may be better than the start that the Washington Nationals' pitching staff is off to. As of this morning they rank number one in FIP, xFIP and WAR. In terms of FIP and xFIP no team is very close. The Rangers aren't too far off in terms of WAR though.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Could Justin Morneau Finally be Healthy?

In the summer of 2010 Justin Morneau was on his way to another MVP season, posting 5 WAR by July. During a game against the Blue Jays that all changed, when he got kneed in the head by Toronto infielder John McDonald. He didn't play again that season, and hadn't been the same since. This year it looks as if that maybe has changed.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

New Posts Coming

I apologize for the lack of activity, I had some personal things come up, but new posts are coming. Check back regularly.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Rangers Steal Kinsler For Five More Years

[caption id="attachment_1072" align="alignnone" width="200" caption="Credit: Jim Mone/AP"][/caption]

In a move to keep an upcoming free agent after this season, the Texas Rangers signed Ian Kinsler to a 5-year, $75M extension with an option in 2018.  While giving such a large amount of money to a 30-34 year-old player with injury history is a bit risky, Kinsler's talent should more than exceed the cost.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Joey Votto Signs 10 Year Deal


Joey Votto and the Cincinnati Reds agreed to a 10 year deal worth $225 million dollars., he previously signed a 2 year deal worth $26m, all together that adds up to 12 years for $251.5 million dollars. The 10 year contract does not start until the 2014 season though. That's more than Prince Fielder got in free agency (9 years, $214 million) and Albert Pujols' contract (10 years, $240 million). As a whole the contract will keep Joey Votto in a Reds uniform until he is 40 years.

Matt Cain, Giants Agree to Extension

[caption id="attachment_1052" align="alignnone" width="213" caption="Credit: Getty Images"][/caption]

One of the projected major starting pitchers in next winter's free agent market, Matt Cain removed his name from the list, agreeing to a five-year, $100M extension.  Adding this year's $15M salary, a $5M signing bonus, and a $7.5M buyout (or $21M team option in 2018), he is getting a minimum of $127.5M guaranteed.  The worth of this contract will depend greatly on Cain's ability to continually defy BABIP and HR/FB theories.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Cory Luebke, Padres Agree to Extension

[caption id="attachment_1037" align="alignnone" width="187" caption="Credit: Associated Press"][/caption]

Joining Padres teammates Cameron Maybin and Nick Hundley in the early extension category, breakout lefty Cory Luebke signed through 2015 with two club options at the end, which would take him through his first year of scheduled free agency.  After starting 2011 in a long relief role, Luebke had a good showing as a starter in the second half, leaving him as the probable #2 starter this season.  His ERA was good at 3.29, but his 2.93 FIP and 2.89 SIERA show signs of elite performance possible.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Royals, Alex Gordon Reach Extension

After finally having a breakout season, Alex Gordon was rewarded with a 4 year $37.5 million dollar contract that includes a $12.5 million dollar player option for 2016. As far as annual salary goes he will be paid $6 million in 2012, $9 million in 2013, $10 million in 2014, and $12.5 million in 2015. Gordon most likely won't repeat what he did last season (6.9 WAR), but if he can manage 3.5-5 WAR a season during the contract it should end up really nice for both sides.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Why Did the Blue Jays Extend Dustin McGowan?

The Blue Jays gave Dustin a three deal for $4.1 million, and it doesn't make very much sense to me. Besides starting 4 games last season, he hadn't pitched in a major league game since the 2008 season.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

All-Decade Teams: The 1900s

With the rules and schedules finally stabilized, the 1900s began the modern era of baseball.  The American League was able to establish themselves as a competitive "major league" in 1901, creating the still-standing basis of the MLB.  The Pirates dominated the early part of the decade, and the Cubs and Tigers dominated the end.  Every pitcher and all but two position players selected are in the Hall of Fame.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

All-Decade Teams: The 1910's

Ah yes, the Deadball Era.  Only one player hit at least 100 HR in the decade, and the league ERA was just below 3.00.  Errors were commonplace, causing about 1/4 of all runs scored to be unearned.  This decade also marked the last attempt of competition to the NL and AL.  The Federal League lasted just two years, 1914 and 1915, but its effects lasted a long time.  World War I had a much smaller impact on the game, though the 1918 was cut short a month early, fitting the World Series in before the "Work or Fight" mandate began.  Seven of the players selected are in the Hall of Fame.

Monday, March 12, 2012

All-Time Greats: Los Angeles Angels

This evening I'm starting a new series called the "All-Time Greats". I will be looking at the 10 best position players, and 10 best pitchers all-time for every organization in baseball. To start if off we are going to look at the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. I will be starting with just the offense.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

All-Decade Team: The 1920s

The Roaring 20's brought the roar of the home run into the game, increasing scoring by nearly a full run per game for the decade.  Two hitters dominated the decade, posting the highest WAR totals of any player so far.  No pitcher was able to maintain great success, due to the change in offensive philosophy and the aging of some of the best of all time.  11 of the selections are in the Hall of Fame.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Could Justin Upton Become the Best Player in Baseball?

Justin Upton is coming off a career year where he posted 6.4 WAR, and established himself as one of the best players in the game.  Heading into the coming season could he establish himself as the best overall player though? It won't be easy, there's Evan Longoria, Albert Pujols, and Troy Tulowitzki, but Upton is very good.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

All-Decade Teams: The 1930s

During the Great Depression, baseball remained as one of the strong areas in the American culture.  Offense remained at some of the highest levels in the modern era.  There were a couple of the best first basemen ever to play the game dominating this decade.  Only two pitchers really separated themselves as great, though one of them was an all-time great.  11 of the players selected are in the Hall of Fame.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Andrew McCutchen Signs Extension

Early this morning it was announced that the Pittsburgh Pirates and outfielder Andrew McCutchen came to terms on a 6 year deal worth $51.25 million dollars. There's also a team option for $14.75 million dollar option, making the total contract 7 years, for $66 million dollars. In short this was a fantastic deal for both sides. Andrew McCutchen got paid, and the Pirates locked up their stud outfielder for the foreseeable future.

Friday, March 2, 2012

What Yadier Molina and History Means for Brian McCann

Yesterday it was announced that the St. Louis Cardinals, and Yadier Molina agreed to a 5 year extension, that will pay him $75 million dollars. After the 2013 season Brian McCann is expected hit the free agent market. When he does he will be 30 years old. Based on the contract that Molina received, what kind of contract could Brian McCann expect?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Yadier Molina Signs Extension

Yadier Molina has signed a 5-year, $75M extension with the Cardinals, with a mutual option for 2018.  His $7M salary for 2012 will hold, with the $15M starting in 2013.  Molina turns 30 in July, so it's safe to say his peak is ending at this moment.  $15M a year for a catcher in his 30s is quite risky.  There was definitely some pressure on the front office to lock him up after letting Pujols go.

All-Decade Teams: The 1940's

The 1940's probably contained the most change and adversity of any decade for Major League Baseball.  The big story in the first half of the decade was World War II and the legions of players who had to leave baseball to serve the country.  The brand of baseball suffered significantly in '44 and '45, but that turned around quickly with the end of the war.  Integration began with the signing of Jackie Robinson in '46, and the influx of African-American and Latin talent created the Golden Age of Baseball.  As a note, there will no relief pitchers selected, since there were no significant pitchers who pitched most of the decade in relief.  Six of the position players and two of the pitchers are in the HOF.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

2012 Outlook: Philadelphia Phillies

Heading into the 2011 season many people penciled in the Phillies as the world series winners. They had a rotation that was straight out of a video game, three of their starters could have been aces on any team in baseball. As a result they had arguably the game's best rotation. Their offense was good as well, ranking in the upper half of the league.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

2012 Outlook: New York Yankees

The 2011 New York Yankees led the American League with 97 wins, but the offense went flat in the ALDS, losing to the Detroit Tigers.  That was surprising due to the great offense, and the pitching seemed maligned, but was also pretty good.  This is a fairly old team, especially on the offensive side.  As always, with the Steinbrenners supporting them, they will spend money and likely field another great team.

Monday, February 27, 2012

2012 Outlook: Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers are coming off of a first place finish where they won 96 total games. They had one of the best offenses in baseball, but the loss of Prince Fielder to the Detroit Tigers really hurt. They also had one of the better pitching staffs in the league, but Zack Greinke is a free agent at the end of the season so the Brewers will have to sign him to a big deal.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

2012 Outlook: Texas Rangers

With another great 2011 season, the Texas Rangers have cemented themselves as contenders for the coming years.  Despite defending their AL crown, the Rangers were one strike away from winning the World Series before David Freese ended those dreams.  There is also a great minor league system supporting the club with cheap production year after year.  The offense has been the strength of the franchise the past 20 years, but the defense and pitching has improved enough to sustain success.

Ryan Zimmerman Signs 6 year/$100 million Extension

It's been reported that the Washington Nationals have come to a 6 year extension with third baseman Ryan Zimmerman. Zimmerman was still signed for two more seasons, so over the next 8 seasons he will earn $126 million dollars. There's an option for 2020 which could bring the deal up to $128 million dollars. If Zimmerman can stay healthy this could turn out to be a nice deal for both sides.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

2012 Outlook: Detroit Tigers

The Tigers are coming off one of their better seasons, winning 95 games and making it to post-season play. Their offense and pitching were above league average, but not quite good enough to go far in the playoffs. The pitching was headlined by MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander, while the offense was headlined by Miguel Cabrera.

Friday, February 24, 2012

2012 Outlook: Arizona Diamondbacks

The biggest surprise of 2011, the Arizona Diamondbacks overtook the defending champs and won the NL West, going 94-68.  Both their pitching and hitting was average, but they played great defense and had a little luck, finishing 6 games better than their Pythagorean record.  The entire core of the team returns, making them the divisional favorites for 2012.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

2012 Outlook: Tampa Bay Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays are coming off a season where they made the postseason on the final day of the regular season, capping off the greatest final day in baseball history. Offensively they were one of the best teams in the league, Matt Joyce and Evan Longoria were both big parts to the teams' success. The pitching was middle of the pack, but it could be one of the best in the league this season.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

2012 Outlook: Boston Red Sox

The 2012 Boston Red Sox are looking forward to Opening Day more than any other team this year.  Unlike the Braves, the Red Sox have completely cleaned house after their September collapse, with a new GM, new manager, and long-time veterans gone.  However, three of the 15 best position players last year made their home at Fenway, so there is plenty of talent to recover.  The pitching is depleted, but there is a good core to compliment the great offense.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

2012 Outlook: St. Louis Cardinals

The St. Louis Cardinals are coming off of a season where the won the world series, unfortunately they also lost one of the best players off all-time to free agency. Their offense was one of the best in all of baseball, and was led by Albert Pujols, but since he's gone Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman will be the offensive leaders. With the loss of Adam Wainwright in spring training their pitching was middle of the pack.

Monday, February 20, 2012

2012 Outlook: Atlanta Braves

My poor Braves forgot how to play baseball in September, going 5-15 the last 20 games, ending up missing the wild card with an 89-73 record.  There is almost zero turnover on the roster, with all but one player on the 40-man roster being in the organization last year.  High-leverage hitting was a major factor in their late demise, hitting nearly 30% below average with runners on third base.  Two top starters also missed September due to injury, which also hurt the club.  2012 will be a challenge with such a deep NL East to compete with.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

2012 Outlook: San Francisco Giants

After winning the 2010 world series the Giants had high hopes of returning to the playoffs, in hopes of another title run. Unfortunately they didn't even make the playoffs. They were had a strong pitching staff, led by Tim Lincecum. The offense was towards the lower half of the league, but with Buster Posey returning, they should get more run production.

All-Decade Teams: The 1950s

The 1950s were the beginning of baseball's Golden Age.  Integration had finally occurred, while expansion was not yet here.  The level of talent was very high since only 16 teams had all these new players to choose.  One quirky thing about the 50's was the lack of stolen bases.  No player stole 200 bases during the decade.  Every position player chosen is in the Hall of Fame, while four of the pitchers are also inducted.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

2012 Outlook: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

The 2011 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim finished 86-76, staying with the Rangers until late in September.  Starting pitching and defense were the strengths of the team, with the offense rating just below average.  That was partially resolved with the signing of Albert Pujols, but left field, designated hitter, and especially catcher needs more production to compete with Texas.  The pitching is now even stronger with the addition of C.J. Wilson, probably giving them the best 1-4 in the American League.

Friday, February 17, 2012

2012 Outlook: Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers are coming off a season where they went 82-79, having a slightly above average season. Their offense was slightly above average and was led by Matt Kemp's 8.7 WAR. The Pitching was led by cy young winner Clayton Kershaw and his 2.47 FIP. The Diamondbacks and Giants are the two teams who will be competing for the division, so it'll be hard for the Dodgers can compete unless they get some luck.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

2012 Outlook: Toronto Blue Jays

The 2011 Toronto Blue Jays were about as average as one team can be, finishing 81-81.  Their offense and bullpen were almost exactly average, while the rotation and defense were just a bit below average.  However, they had arguably the best hitter in baseball and an up-and-coming star debut, leaving them with much more intrigue than a typical average team.  While it is extremely hard to compete in the AL East, things could look up for Toronto in the coming years.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

2012 Outlook: Washington Nationals

The Washington Nationals are coming off the best season of their existence, going 80-81. Their pitching wasn't great, it ranked towards the bottom half of the league, and their offense was middle of the pack as well. Jordan Zimmermann  was the best pitcher for the Nationals, and on the offensive side Michael Morse and Danny Espinosa were the leaders. The Nationals made some significant additions this off-season though, so they should be much better.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

2012 Outlook: Cleveland Indians

After getting off to a 30-15 start, the Cleveland Indians sputtered to a 80-82 record in 2011.  The pitching and hitting was about average, but their defense really hurt them.  They did see two young players have a breakout season and they acquired a very good starting pitcher.  There are still some injury concerns with their two former all-stars, but if Cleveland can get production from those two, they should eclipse .500 for the first time in five seasons.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

2012 Outlook: Chicago White Sox

The White Sox are coming off of a disappointing 79-83 season. Their pitching staff was one of the best in all of baseball, but their offense was one of the worst. All of the White Sox starting pitchers had at least 2.5 WAR. On the offensive side new comer Adam Dunn was expected to give the White Sox a huge boost on offense. Unfortunately, he did just the opposite.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

2012 Outlook: Cincinnati Reds

In 2011, the Cincinnati Reds followed their division title with a disappointing 79-83 record.  Most of the blame can be put on an underachieving pitching staff.  2012 seems to be their target year, with Brandon Phillips in a walk year and Joey Votto in his last cheap year.  If the Reds do not make the playoffs, it is likely that both stars will be gone, which will send them into rebuilding mode.

Friday, February 10, 2012

All Decade Team: The 1960's

The 1960's were the decade of the outfielder, with seven of the top nine position players overall being outfielders.  The middle infield was quite weak, however.  The starting rotation is pretty thin, with only two great pitchers, but with the lack of relievers, seven starting pitchers will be selected with only two relievers.  As the last full decade without free agency, 11 of the 17 players played with only one team during the span.  Eleven Hall of Famers comprise this list.

2012 Outlook: New York Mets

The 2012 New York Mets are coming off a year where they struggled quite a bit, particularily in the pitching department. Offensively they had a pretty good year, but their top offensive player Jose Reyes signed a  contract with division rival Miami Marlins. They also traded outfielder Carlos Beltran to the San Francisco Giants for pitching prospect Zach Wheeler. If they hope to produce offensively this year, they will need third baseman David Wright to step up.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

2012 Outlook: Oakland Athletics

After reaching .500 for the first time since 2006, the '11 A's fell back to 74 wins.  They had their customary offensive struggles, but also played poor defense and had injury trouble on the pitching staff.  As always, it's a rebuilding year for Oakland, having traded away two top starters and their closer, and losing their top power bat in free agency.  They got good returns, but it will likely be another tough year by the bay.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

All-Decade Team: The 1970s

The 1970s saw a lot of great starting pitchers in their peaks, creating a very low offensive environment for the decade.  As a result, there will be an extra starting pitcher selected, while taking away a reliever.  As expected, the lineup is heavily represented by the Big Red Machine.  Much like the 80's team, its strong point is the OBP abilities of the top of the order.  The entire starting rotation is (finally) in the Hall of Fame, along with one reliever and five of the position players.

2012 Outlook: Colorado Rockies

The Rockies are coming off a disappointing seasons where they only won 72 games. In terms of offense and pitching they were in the middle of the pack. Troy Tulowitzki is coming off one of his best seasons as a pro, and Carlos Gonzalez was impactful as well. The Rockies traded starting pitcher Ubaldo Jiminez got traded halfway through the year for some top minor league arms.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

2012 Outlook: Miami Marlins

The 2011 season was one the Marlins could not wait to see end.  Their best hitter slumped then got hurt, while their best pitcher only made nine starts before injuries shut him down.  Their closer ended up getting caught with a false name and their left fielder got demoted for immature remarks and bad priorities.  With a new ballpark, new uniforms, new manager, and three major free agent acquisitions, the team is poised to greatly improve on their 72-win season.

Monday, February 6, 2012

All-Decade Team: The 1980s

The 1980s did not have much of an identity, serving more as a bridge between the 70's and 90's.  Speed was the name of the game, but there were very few stars, especially among the pitchers.  The left side of the field were the only strong points.  This was also the last decade where closers were used in a more sabermetric-friendly fashion.  Overall, there are eight Hall of Famers, while many of them never even sniffed induction.

2012 Outlook: Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates are coming off of another disappointing season. Their pitching was horrendous for the most part, but offensively they had a player develop into a star. This season could finally be a step in the right direction, top pick SP Gerrit Cole isn't to far away and SP Jameson Tallion could be joining him as well.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

2012 Outlook: Kansas City Royals

The 2011 Kansas City Royals may have won only 71 games, but the season was very important.  It was the genesis of the major wave of minor league talent graduating to the bigs, and it came with mixed results.  There were also a couple veterans who came back from the dead to post good years, but the pitching still held them back from a .500 season.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

All-Decade Team: The 1990s

The 1990's saw a lot of great first basemen battle for supremacy, with the position accounting for four of the top ten position players.  Two starting pitchers dominated the league, and one outfielder far outpaced every other hitter.  Only one Hall-of-Famer is on the team, but the next few years of ballots will increase that number dramatically.  So here are the players who benefited the most from the exponential growth in salaries.

2012 Outlook: Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs are coming off of another disappointing season where they failed to make the playoffs. Offensively they got good production, but struggled mightily with their plate discipline. Their pitching as a staff was fairly decent, but their rotation faced a few problems. During the off-season they got former Red Sox General Manager, Theo Epstein. Epstein will take over as President of Baseball Operations. Former Padres GM Jed Hoyer also joined the Cubs at the same position. The Cubs didn't stop there. Hoyer went out and  traded for first baseman Anthony Rizzo. If everything goes right, Rizzo will be the Cubs first  baseman of the future.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

2012 Outlook: San Diego Padres

After their surprising 90-win season in 2010, the San Diego Padres fell back to earth, finishing at 71-91.  The trade of Adrian Gonzalez had a major effect on the team, but the pitching lost just as much ground as the offense.  Now, their two best pitchers are gone, leaving more holes in the roster.  The budget is tight, but there are a couple pieces to build around.

All-Decade Team: The 2000s

Today I'm starting a fun series, looking at all-decade teams using both fWAR and rWAR.  Players are decided on total and rate of production throughout the decade.  I will provide a starting lineup, rotation, and main bullpen arms, and then name the players who just missed the cut.  Players who played multiple positions during the decade will be put only at positions where they had at least 3000 innings in that span.  The 2000-2009 team is the first to be unveiled.

2012 Season Outlook: Baltimore Orioles

This past season turned out like every other season for the past decade for the Baltimore Orioles. They finished in last place in the AL East, and for now things aren't looking up. Their hitting was average but their pitching was absolutely terrible.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

2012 Outlook: Seattle Mariners

In 2009, the Seattle Mariners won 85 games, turning to a defense-first philosophy.  The next two seasons saw every hitter struggle mightily, leading to a 128-196 record.  The pitching has remained okay, but the league's worst offense must get better to begin thinking about .500, much less playoff contention.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

2012 Outlook: Minnesota Twins

The Minnesota Twins are coming off one of their worst seasons in franchise history. They had problems everywhere, whether it be the horrid pitching staff or the atrocious batting. Mauer and Morneau struggled with injuries for most of, if not all of the season. They had some of their minor league talent give a glimpse of the future towards the end of the season, though.

Monday, January 30, 2012

2012 Outlook: Houston Astros

Today we begin our team-by-team outlooks from the bottom of the barrel.  The 2011 Houston Astros were the result of win-now trades, which gutted the farm system, and trading their remaining talent to re-stockpile the minors.  The rebuilding has begun to take place with new ownership and their hiring of new GM Jeff Luhnow.  Winning this year will not be their goal, but a lot can be accomplished.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Big Things Ahead

The writers here at Saber Analysis have been planning some exciting things for the blog in the near future. I can't give it all away but one thing I can tell you is that starting tomorrow we will begin season outlooks for every team in baseball. Be sure to check often for an analysis of your favorite team.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Appreciating Joe Mauer.

Joe Mauer is widely regarded as one of the games best catcher in all of baseball. Just how good is he though? In this post I am going to see how Mauer stacks up against some of the greatest catchers to ever play the game.

When Joe Mauer attended Cretin Derham High School in St. Paul, Minnesota he was widely regarded as a three sport star. He was the quarterback for the varsity team, played varsity basketball as a sophomore and was also a pretty good baseball player. During the 2001 draft the Twins had the first pick and were debating between hometown hero Joe Mauer and a pitcher out of USC named Mark Prior. Prior told the Twins he didn't want to sign with them and the rest is history.

What Happened to Francisco Liriano?

One of the most enigmatic pitchers in the game had a season he'd like to forget in 2011.  Francisco Liriano posted an ugly 5.09 ERA, and his 4.54 FIP and 4.53 SIERA showed the ERA was fairly deserved.  He had one shining moment, a no-hitter on May 3.  However, his 6 BB, 2 K performance was good for a 6.12 xFIP, one of, if not, the worst no-hitters of all-time.  Nearly every statistic declined for Liriano last year, so I hope you have some time on your hands.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Dan Haren: Mr. Underrated

Throughout baseball no one has been more underrated than Dan Haren. Since 2008 Haren has been one of the games best starting pitchers, even better than his all-star teammate Jered Weaver. Based on wins above replacement (WAR) he has been better than Felix Hernandez, Jon Lester, Jered Weaver and Cole Hamels. All four of those guys are all regarded as some of the games best pitchers.