As we slip into the New Year, there isn’t a lot of news, but there is a review of some great writing, as well as a couple list and some predictions fro 2018.
MLB.com beat reporter Bill Chastain did a reader mailbag Q&A, and the questions were good, and the answers were good. He opines on when the Rays top prospects of Brent Honeywell, Willy Adames, and Jake Bauers will be called up (not to start the year, but soon after), what the bullpen will look like (young and hard-throwing), whether the Rays will sign Jose Bautista (he hasn’t heard that, but who knows), and who is set for a breakout (Steven Souza is healthy in the offseason for the first time in a bit). Give him a read.
As far as breakout candidates, Jonathan Mayo compiled a list of minor league players he thinks are primed for a breakout, and he included Rays prospect Josh Lowe.
One of the offseason transactions for Rays fans to pay attention to is how much Alex Cobb will sign for. If it’s a big contract, the Rays get a better draft pick than if it’s smaller. Right now, indications are towards the big side, but Yu Darvish, Jake Arrieta, Lance Lynn, and Cobb are playing chicken. Might the former-Ray get locked out in the cold?
My favorite @RaysBaseball tweet of the year came in at number eight.
Steve Kinsella went to the tape.
Did some video work on #Rays LHP Matt Krook. Very much like Matt Moore in control issues as a SP. When he misses he misses ugly though.— Steve Kinsella (@Steve_Kinsella1) December 29, 2017
Reminded me more of a young Nick Hagadone.
As a reliever Krook was straight filthy.
2-seam FB has a ton of movement and stays low.
#Rays Krook throws his 4-seam in mid-90's and is erratic.— Steve Kinsella (@Steve_Kinsella1) December 29, 2017
The 2-seamer moves a lot, stays low and he gets a ton of weak contact/groundballs with it.
He does have a slider that moves quite a bit as well.
combo of GB/K will play well, just has to avoid the BB issue
- Miguel Sano has been accused by a sports photographer, on Twitter, of sexual assault. Here’s a link to the accusation as well as Sano’s and the Twins’ responses.
- A feature on a glove company and a bat company? Why not.
- A StatCast rundown of the fastest baserunning plays of the year. Conclusion: Byron Buxton is fast.
Best of BP, or, “You should really subscribe to BP in 2018”
- This was one of my favorites on the year, and apparently I wasn’t the only one. Russell Carleton thought hard about positional adjustments, and put forth the idea that the way they’re used in WAR is oversimplified, because, for example, players of different comfort levels with the position will probably have different reaction times when standing at second and third base. Moreover—and this part is new—with StatCast and a bunch of work, this could be studied directly, and quantified.
- The BP brain trust of Harry Pavlidis, Jonathan Judge, and Jeff Long wanted to study command and control, and that’s hard. We didn’t have the tools. So they built some tools: called strike percentage and called strikes above average.