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John Dewan's Stat of the Week

Who's Hot and Who's Not... According to Bill James

Several years ago, Bill James created a system that measures the ‘temperature’ of a player, which illustrates if his current hitting is hot or cold. Using the Fahrenheit temperature scale, players start at a room temperature of 72 degrees and increase or decrease based on their recent performance. Let’s look at the hottest hitters through [...]

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The Best and Worst Defensive Teams So Far

The Best and Worst Defensive Teams So FarWith almost a month of baseball behind us, we have gotten a glimpse at each team's defensive performance and how it might shape their season. Although it is on the earlier side to start making any definitive conclusions, it is still interesting to see where some team defenses [...]

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Shifts Happen

Two weeks of baseball are now in the books. Early-season standings continue to be unpredictable, but one thing that's not is the league's increasing use of shifts. Teams are currently on pace to shift a record number of times for the sixth consecutive season. Note that all shift totals referenced in this article are shifts [...]

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Young Guns in the Rotation

This season, with injuries to Sonny Gray, Daniel Mengden, and Chris Bassitt, the Oakland Athletics are turning to three players in their starting rotation with very little major league playing experience. These players include two rookies, Jharel Cotton and Raul Alcantara, and sophomore Andrew Triggs who only just exceeded rookie limits in 2016. Similarly, the [...]

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Out Ratio vs. Catch Probability

Earlier this month at both the Sloan Analytics Conference in Boston and the SABR Analytics Conference in Phoenix, MLBAM’s StatCast team released details on a new statistic that they have started to report on flyballs to the outfield: Catch Probability. Catch Probability is a measure of how hard a catch is to make [...]

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The WBC and the 11th Inning Rule

The WBC and the 11th Inning RuleMarch 21, 2017 We still have a few weeks until the MLB season starts, but it almost feels like we are in the middle of a pennant chase thanks to the drama being provided by the World Baseball Classic. There has been a lot of energy in the stadiums, [...]

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Who Will Be The 2017 Statistical Leaders?

It feels like spring in Chicago where I live, and, more importantly, it feels like spring in Arizona and Florida where Spring Training is underway. Now that the majority of the offseason moves are behind us and Opening Day is just over a month away, it is time for our annual spring update of [...]

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Up-the-Middle Defense Projections

We are just getting started with Spring Training, but projection season is already in full swing, so let's take a peek at our Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) projections for 2017. Below are the teams with the best and worst projected up-the-middle fielders (i.e. catcher, second baseman, shortstop, and center fielder). This is often a good [...]

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Kyle Schwarber at Catcher

Earlier this week, Cubs GM Theo Epstein told reporters that they plan to give Kyle Schwarber some innings at catcher this spring so that he can serve as the team's third catcher during the season. One concern is whether Schwarber can handle catching duties given that he is less than a year removed from [...]

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Pirates’ Outfield Configuration

On Sunday, the Pirates announced their plan to reconfigure their defensive outfield in 2017, moving long-time center fielder Andrew McCutchen to right field, Gregory Polanco to left field, and defensive stalwart Starling Marte to center field. Based simply on their Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) totals from 2016, the move makes sense. Marte led [...]

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