Speed Kills

When it comes to stealing bases, obviously, speed kills. The players who have the fastest average stolen base attempt times usually have the greatest amount of stolen bases. As you can see in the chart below, there is a negative relationship between average speed and total bases stolen. That means that as speed increases, or the slower the runner, the amount of stolen bases decreases. However, how does pure attempt speed impact the success of the base stealer? Clearly, faster players are going to attempt to steal more bases. However, if they are more frequently thrown out than slower, more strategic base stealers, then the value of their speed is much less. The mission here is to determine the value a player or prospect could find by increasing his stolen base attempt speed.

stolen bases a1  Continue reading Speed Kills

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Two Different Teams, Two Different Timelines, One Great Trade

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Athetics Receive: P – Jeff Smardzija and P – Jason Hammel 

Cubs Receive : SS – Addison Russell, OF – Billy McKinney, and P – Dan Straily

It is entirely possible that this is the lone big trade of the 2014 season. With so many teams vying for a playoff spot, due to the great parody this season and the additional wild card spot, it is unlikely that several more trades of significance will happen. However, the one that did occur while most of us were on our third brat and fourth PBR was the biggest firework of the night. The Cubs sent their top two starters, both with sub 3.00 ERAs to the Athletics for prospects and an MLB ready pitcher. This was a great move for both teams.

Continue reading Two Different Teams, Two Different Timelines, One Great Trade

The All Futures Team

Untitled drawing-2The MLB has recently announced the lineups for 2014 Futures All-Star Game. This is a great opportunity for the future stars of baseball to get a taste of what a sold out stadium feels like in the middle of the summer. Last year, Kansas City’s Kaufman Stadium put on a perfect presentation of great talent. The players on this years roster are the top prospects in baseball. Of course, they are all prospects, and future success is never guaranteed. However, these are the closest players to guaranteed success at the Major League level. The full World and US Team rosters can be seen here. 

The Cleat Sheet is going to take the rosters of each team and compile an “All Futures Team”. Continue reading The All Futures Team

A Day at an MLB Tryout

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Preparing for 60 Yard Dash

Last Thursday, The Cleat Sheet ventured to Reading, PA to check out an MLB Scouting Bureau hosted tryout. This event was open to everyone and, therefore, the range of talent was vast. Most players dressed like the next Willy Mays Hayes, trying to not only look cooler, but also better than the next player. That obviously doesn’t matter because the Scouting Bureau has a quick way of weeding out the weak: The 60-yard dash. Every position player runs. That is the first thing they do. Before throwing, hitting, and fielding, a second baseman, short stop, and outfielder must shine in the 180 feet or he may as well pack up his stuff and go home.

Sub 7 seconds is the time to post to get any recognition from the scouting bureau. Brad Fidler is the Mid Atlantic Scout for The Bureau, and his stopwatch reigns supreme during the dash. Of the 500 players who ran, three dozen posted a time that grabbed Fidler’s attention. Only one was asked to run again to make sure the 6.36 time he posted was in fact correct. Among those 36 players, a few would have a chance to gain recognition further through fielding and throwing. Only 25 players were asked to hit at the very end of the tryout. From observing the hitting, only one or two appeared to have strong line drive consistency to all parts of the field. Continue reading A Day at an MLB Tryout

The Cleat Sheet Scouts Top Shortstops

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Lindor
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Baez
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Correa

Today, The Cleat Sheet is going to take a look at the top three shortstop prospects in baseball. Since we want to understand the impact on MLB franchises these star prospects can have, our commentary is based on a combination of prospective talent and MLB readiness. Continue reading The Cleat Sheet Scouts Top Shortstops

Does the Increase in Sacrifice Bunting in College Contribute to More Runs? Continued…

Part 2, Part 3, & Conclusion

Part 2: Examining the relationship between all of the collegiate teams’ run production and their frequency of sacrifice bunting. The teams have been organized by conference.

Here is a link to the data for the College Data By Conference.

By Conference

Continue reading Does the Increase in Sacrifice Bunting in College Contribute to More Runs? Continued…

Does the Increase in Sacrifice Bunting in College Contribute to More Runs?

Intro and Part 1

Introduction:

This study was inspired by the combination of one spring day during high school baseball where I was asked to sacrifice bunt four times in one game and the ignorable increasing trend of sacrifice bunting in college. I was successful in advancing the runner each time I bunted that day, however, I do not remember if that led to successful run scoring innings. There is a 29.31% increase in sacrifice bunting this season compared to 2010. College programs are sacrificing more today than ever. As much as Bill James disagrees, college teams must believe that sacrificing an out to advance the runner, via a sacrifice bunt, can lead to more runs and can makeup for the loss of offense since the change in the metal bats.

In this study, we will see if there is a relationship between more sacrifice bunts and a more productive offense. We will examine this relationship by using data provided by the NCAA. We will use every collegiate baseball conference’s total runs compared to total sacrifice bunts to encompass every team. Additionally, we will examine the production versus sacrificing for the top 120 offenses in college baseball.

Hypothesis:

College baseball teams believe that if they advance runners on the bases by sacrificing an out with a bunt then they will score more runs.

Continue reading Does the Increase in Sacrifice Bunting in College Contribute to More Runs?

$500,000,000 for a New Stadium. Is It Worth It?

For 150 years, American sports franchises have spent billions solely in effort to win a championship. Although, some may see the economic return, and social stature as motivation enough to own and spend money on a sports franchise, the majority of owners and front office decision makers yearn for championships above anything. Teams have won by spending much money, and by spending little money. Among several expenditures of materialistic value, owners can spend money to improve their teams on free agents, better coaching, smarter management, and new facilities.

However, are new facilities, or a new stadium, or a $500 million overhaul providing any winning value to the franchise?

According to Tom Ricketts, owner of the Chicago Cubs, his personal $500 million renovation project for Wrigley Field, will not only advance the ballpark out of the Stone Age, but also create an environment more conducive to short term winning. With over 100 years of futility, Ricketts pleads for support for the project, and support for the franchise.

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/article/chc/cubs-moving-forward-with-wrigley-restoration-plan?ymd=20140521&content_id=76326626&vkey=news_chc

The big question here is will it work? Will improving the clubhouses and the fan experience draw better players to play for the Cubs eventually leading to the elusive prize? In order to simplify those questions, The Cleat Sheet is going to examine the relationship between a franchise and its stadium. Or rather, attempt to answer this question: Does a new stadium improve the success of a team? Continue reading $500,000,000 for a New Stadium. Is It Worth It?

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