- Matt Snyder at CBS Sports breaks down the wild Semi-Final game between Team USA and Japan. Cliffnotes for those that didn’t watch: lots and lots of rain, great pitching, and just enough offense to overcome the mighty team Japan.
- Speaking of that now Finals bound Team USA, Grant Brisbee suggests that the US may have built the “best lineup in baseball history”.
- Roger Mooney of the Tampa Bay Times has a character piece profiling SS prospect Lucius Fox.
- Brian Kenny and Jonathan Mayo talk Rays prospects on MLB Network:
- Over at the Process Report, Jason Hanselman takes his in-depth look into the numbers behind the KK extension. It has been said before, but the projections continue to underline just how great it is that this deal was done and KK’s future with the team is set, especially with an extension that is beneficial for both Kiermaier and the Rays.
- Matthew Trueblood takes a look at a how the fairly unheralded middle infield prospect of the Reds, Zach Vincej, has become another believer in the power of the new style sweeping the league of elevating your swing, driving the ball in the air, and saying “get bent” to groundballs.
- Travis Sawchik at Fangraphs wonders if players passing on their techniques and successes, or “lineage” to their league mates. I am really fascinated by the idea of word of mouth influence, across clubhouses as well as across teams and leagues. Just as Mariano Rivera teaches pitchers his brand of Cutter, or the Rays and Hickey passing on the power of the change-up, perhaps things like uplifting of swings will be the next in line?
- Also at Fangraphs 2017 Positional Power Rankings move on to the hot corner, where the Rays come in at number 9.
- Jonah Keri kicked off his MLB player power rankings based on trade value, with a list of the bubble guys who just didn’t quite make the cut. I like Jonah’s writing, and I’m curious to see how far up Kiermaier in particular lands, but what really got my attention was former boss of Jonah Keri/Grantland founder Bill Simmons tweeting this:
Jonah - we don't work together anymore, you can't just take my trade value idea/format and write it for another website. It's not yours. https://t.co/ZLSfBYq0Up— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) March 21, 2017
I have to believe this is a dry joke, or it’s just Bill waking up on the wrong side of his bed, tangled in his Boston Celtics sheets. Though if Bill was serious, he doesn’t have a great case for anger. Jonah did cite him for the idea in the article, and either way I’m pretty sure the concept of power rankings based on trade value isn’t exactly an incredibly unique and copyrightable concept.
- The White Sox and SS Tim Anderson have agreed to a 6 year $25 million dollar extension (with two option years that brings that total cash to $50.5 mil). This breaks the record for richest extension for a player with less than a year of service time, previously held by our very own Chris Archer. This could also be a very nice framework for an early extension for Willy Adames.