Tagged: Pablo Sandoval

An impossibly hot stove and an embarrassingly long absence

The stove is hot, people. HOT! And as Every Time I Die once said: I been gone a long time. Sorry about that. I finished the first term of my last year of graduate school. It was probably the hardest one, and it should be smooth sailing from here on out.

I’m also pretty proud of a research paper I just completed regarding the probability of future success of minor leagues. The results are robust and I couldn’t be more pleased. It was a school project, so I didn’t have time to make it nearly as complex as I would have hoped, but it’s something I plan to further investigate in the coming days, weeks, months, what-have-you.

Anyway, there is plenty of news flying around as well as plenty of analysis. I’ll do my best to recap, but surely I’ll miss some things:

And I’m ignoring all the prospects involved as well. Marcus Semien, Austin Barnes, Jairo Diaz and others got shipped. I can only imagine a whole lot more action will be happening soon, as there still are teams with surpluses and deficits at all positions and some big-name free agents left on the market, including Max Scherzer and James Shields.

It is clear, however, that the Cubs  and Blue Jays intend to more than simply contend. I would say the Marlins intend to as well, but I don’t even think they know what they’re doing, let alone we do. The White Sox are looking like a trendy sleeper with some key pitching additions (LaRoche is also an addition, but far from what I would call a “key” one), but they are far from a championship team.

But with so much more yet to happen, maybe it’s best to wait and see. There are obviously some ballpark and team-skill implications that will affect all these players’ projections, but I’ll get around to those in 2015.

I’ve finished my preliminary set of pitcher projections. I’ll share them but they’ll see some refining by the time March rolls around.

I’m also looking at how my projections fared last year. That will come in the next couple of days.

Keep your ear to the ground, people. Or to the stove. Never mind. Terrible idea. You’ll burn yourself. Just keep it to the ground.

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2014 Rankings: Third Base

Rankings based on standard 5×5 rotisserie format.

Name – R / RBI / HR / SB / BA

  1. Miguel Cabrera – 105 / 124 / 39 / 4 / .332
  2. Adrian Beltre – 95 / 106 / 31 / 1 / .297
  3. Evan Longoria –  93 / 108 / 32 / 2 / .282
  4. David Wright – 88 / 90 / 22 / 20 / .299
  5. Ryan Zimmerman – 84 / 85 / 24 / 4 / .283
  6. Josh Donaldson – 78 / 81 / 22 / 6 / .274
  7. Manny Machado – 86 / 74 / 19 / 6 / .276
  8. Kyle Seager – 75 / 78 / 21 / 11 / .259
  9. Pedro Alvarez – 68 / 94 / 33 / 1 / .238
  10. Aramis Ramirez – 61 / 76 / 20 / 2 / .291
  11. Xander Bogaerts
  12. Pablo Sandoval – 65 / 77 / 15 / 1 / .289
  13. Will Middlebrooks – 54 / 74 / 23 / 5 / .256
  14. Chase Headley – 64 / 64 / 14 / 12 / .259
  15. Nolan Arenado – 59 / 62 / 13 / 2 / .282
  16. Brett Lawrie – 59 / 50 / 11 / 12 / .268

Thoughts:

  • I think 19 home runs for Machado is waaaaaaay too optimistic. I would be happy for just 14 bombs again. Still, taking those five homers away doesn’t affect his placement in the rankings, as he’s being buoyed by counting stats and a reliable batting average (compared to everyone on the list who follows him).
  • Bogaerts is a sneaky pick for power up the middle once he moves to shortstop. He may be worth a bump in the rankings for that. I don’t want to get too optimistic the numbers he can put up, but somewhere between 15 to 20 home runs and a .290 batting average (hence, why he’s snugly between Ramirez and Sandoval) sounds about right.
  • For all of Ramirez’s consistency, he’s a good bet to bounce back. However, he hit a career-high percentage of ground balls, something of which he may not fully control, but he still needs to hit fly balls to hit home runs. If you can squeak 150 games out of him, he’s still good for 20 homers, but that may be asking too much at this point.
  • I will not, not, not support Lawrie. I get it: he was a top prospect once with massive potential. Now what? Am I going to put a basically unproven third baseman in my top 10 with the hopes this will be his breakout year? No way. If I miss the Lawrie train as it leaves the station, and he goes off this year, then so be it. But I have Middlebrooks with huge power (31 home runs per 162 games) and the opportunity to have third base to himself. His BAbip 2012 was high and then it tanked in 2013. Watch it find a happy medium in 2014 as Middlebrooks is able to keep the keystone to himself.