2011年8月18日 星期四

Hit Parade: Justin Upton lives up to expectations

Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Justin Upton lives up to expectations

Wolf! Wolf!

Hit Parade

If that doesn't get your attention, I understand. Proverbially speaking, this boy has cried "wolf" so many times since 2007 the calls might now fall upon deaf ears. Through a little over four calendar years -- since the date of this particular player's big-league debut on Aug. 2, 2007 -- Justin Upton's critics have been the clear winners of this debate. He had not developed into an MVP candidate …

… Until now.

Through 120 games this season, Upton finds himself on pace for better-than-.300-30-100 numbers (.305-33-100, to be specific), which represent the first time he has accomplished the feat in his career. Perhaps most importantly, at least from an MVP-voting (yet non-fantasy) perspective, Upton benefits from two other things: improved defense, as he ranks second among qualified right fielders in Ultimate Zone Rating per 150 games played (UZR/150), per FanGraphs, with a 14.8 number; and that his Arizona Diamondbacks are clear playoff contenders, currently residing atop the National League West standings.

Yes, Upton, 23, has clearly arrived in this, his fourth full big league season, and his critics might yet be slow on the uptake.

Let's dig deeper into Upton's statistical improvements:

Contact rate: His has soared this season, to a career-best 79.6 percent, ranking him in the 37th percentile among qualified hitters. From 2007-10, by comparison, Upton's contact rate was 70.5 percent, eighth-worst among the 195 players with at least 1,500 plate appearances (fourth percentile).

Power output: Upton is on pace to set new career highs in isolated power (.256), well-hit average (.274) and fly ball rate (44.0 percent). As mentioned above, he's on track not only for a personal best in home runs (33), but doubles (45), which portends good things in the power department in future years.

Splits balance: What was once a somewhat wide split in his numbers versus right- and left-handed pitchers -- Upton had a career OPS 95 points greater against lefties (.918) than righties (.824) entering 2011 -- has narrowed to a mere 24-point margin (.957 versus lefties, .933 righties) this season. Most notably, Upton is batting 36 points higher against righties (.314-.278). A more aggressive approach might be one reason: He has swung at 48.2 percent of pitches against right-handers, up from 41.5 a year ago, and 31.9 percent of the first pitches he sees in a plate appearance against a righty, up from 23.7.

Justin Upton
It seemed like a matter of time before Justin Upton finally looked like a fantasy superstar.

Road performance: Once criticized as a Chase Field product -- his career OPS was .163 points higher there (.905) than on the road (.742) entering 2011 -- Upton has made significant strides in road games recently. While his season OPS is 303 points higher at home (1.087) than on the road (.785), look at his road numbers since July 1: .244/.326/.564 rates, that .890 road OPS during that span 39 points higher than his overall career OPS (.851) and 28 points higher than his best single-season road OPS (.862, 2009). Small sample, yes, but look at where he played them: He homered three times at Petco (July 26-28) and once each at Busch Stadium (July 7-9), Dodger Stadium (July 29-31) and AT&T Park (Aug. 1-3), every one of those widely regarded a pitcher's park. That's progress.

Put them together and we're talking about a 23-year-old who has finally realized his fantasy-superstar potential, a player for whom today might represent your last chance to acquire him at a reasonable price -- that referring more to keeper than redraft leagues. Upton is now ranked sixth on the Player Rater, but his critics have been vocal enough over the years that he might still be snuck through at a trade price closer to that of a mere top-25 player overall. At that price, he would be a steal.

After all, would anyone be surprised if Upton gets drafted across the board as a first-rounder and backs up the pick with a top-five overall season?

Yes, I'm crying "wolf" again, but there's a key difference: Unlike the boy, I was never lying; Upton was always coming.

Today isn't merely your last chance to acquire Upton. Here are three others you should snatch up while you still can, ranging from redraft to keeper league values:

Cameron Maybin, San Diego Padres: The cries in defense of Maybin might not have been anywhere near as strong as those for Upton, but the argument is similarly legitimate, just on a much smaller scale. Now in his fifth big league season, Maybin, 24, is on pace for a .274 batting average, 85 runs scored and 41 stolen bases, every one of those easily representing a career high. Like Upton, Maybin has elevated his contact rate, from 68.6 percent from 2007-10 to 76.6 percent this season, not to mention has put forth a .219 well-hit average and 16.8 percent line-drive rate since June 1 (up from .169 and 13.0 in April-May) that makes it look as if all he needed was a team patient enough to grant him the at-bats to get settled at this level. Most notably, Maybin is a .316/.369/.484 hitter in his road games this season, with counting numbers that would project to 18 homers, 77 RBIs and 133 runs scored if granted a full 162 games away from Petco. The Padres still have 18 road games, including seven at Arizona's Chase Field and three at Colorado's Coors Field, so at the bare minimum he would be an excellent fantasy play in those series. From a keeper angle, he's certainly underrated.

Kyle Blanks, Padres: As Maybin is already spoken for in practically every ESPN league -- the words above are advice to target him in trade -- why not take another readily available teammate? Blanks, whose career has been sidetracked by July 30, 2010, Tommy John surgery, has shown glimpses of his awesome, Mike Stanton-esque power potential since his healthy return. After belting 11 homers with a .351 batting average in 35 games for Triple-A Tucson, Blanks has managed three homers and a .197 isolated power in his first 24 games for the Padres. The memory of his terrible 2010 might remain fresh enough for some fantasy owners, which explains his minuscule 4.3 percent ESPN ownership, but at the bare minimum he would be a matchups play down the stretch, in the Maybin mold but on a lesser scale. In an NL-only league, if you can carry him over at a discount rate, Blanks, a probable regular for the 2012 Padres, might be a sneaky keeper option.

Mike Stanton, Florida Marlins: Speaking of Stanton, he's also a franchise keeper league player who might be attainable at a relative discount … and that even applies to those of you in redraft leagues. How is it that full-season paces of 37 homers and 98 RBIs can be considered a "disappointing" year? Consider this: Per Baseball-Reference.com's P-I (play index) tool, only six players in baseball history hit more homers in their second seasons, and only four had at least as many at 21 or younger: Eddie Mathews, Mel Ott, Frank Robinson and Albert Pujols, three of them Hall of Famers and Pujols a lock once he retires. It's for that reason Dan Szymborski, in his Who's next to 600 home runs? column, projected Stanton the third-most-likely current major leaguer to reach the plateau (among those who haven't already), despite Stanton being only 8 percent of the way there. High praise, and definitely worthy of the high price in trade.

Three up

Melky Cabrera, Kansas City Royals: The Royals were widely criticized for two outfielders they signed within 24 hours of one another last December -- Cabrera and Jeff Francoeur -- and now, almost exactly three-quarters of the way through the season (75.2 percent, to be exact), both signings look like home runs for oft-questioned general manager Dayton Moore. But if I'm picking which of the two is more likely to keep it up through the final quarter -- who is "Bona Fee-day," if you will -- it's Cabrera. His improvements are unmistakable: He's fitter, more focused and more aggressive -- at the plate and on the basepaths. To those who believe he's a total fluke -- myself included earlier in the year -- consider that he's a .366/.382/.569 hitter in 31 games since the All-Star break, meaning he has actually improvedof late. He's locked in as the Royals' everyday center fielder and No. 2 hitter, the latter a role sure to boost his counting numbers (runs, RBIs and steals). Enjoy this, because there isn't a sign he's about to cool anytime soon.

Mike Carp, Seattle Mariners: As with Cabrera, opportunity often makes all the difference for certain players, and in the case of the Mariners, there are plenty of opportunities for youngsters in the outfield and at designated hitter these days. Casper Wells, who has home runs in four consecutive games at Safeco Field, is one such Mariners hitter, but Carp's progress extends a little further back and is a little more relevant for our purposes. He has started each of the Mariners' past 23 games and finished all but one of them, and managed .374/.412/.637 rates -- including six home runs and 26 RBIs during that span. Look at some of the competition he faced: Red Sox (two series), Yankees, Rays, Angels and Rangers. Twelve of those games were at Safeco. Call it a flash in the pan if you want -- and some regression, of course, needs be expected -- but this is a 25-year-old who managed .282/.365/.520 rates in 286 Triple-A contests from 2009-11, meaning there's some legitimacy to his production. AL-only owners should have Carp active across the board, and he's even useful in shallow-mixed leagues right now.

Jose Constanza, Atlanta Braves: He's the sneaky inclusion in my top 125 rankings, and it's from the angle that if I'm pro-Jason Bourgeois, doesn't it then follow that I'd be pro-Constanza? Compare their minor league track records: Bourgeois had .296/.348/.405 career rates, a 12.5 percent strikeout rate and 6.5 percent walk rate in 504 Triple-A games, averaging 37 steals per 162 games played; Constanza had .316/.368/.374 career rates, a 12.9 percent K rate and 7.4 percent walk rate in 199 Triple-A games, averaging 46 steals per 162 attempts. Both had a "minor league journeyman" label, though Constanza is one year, eight months younger. He's with the better offensive team of the two, but also the No. 8 hitter, whereas Bourgeois is primarily the leadoff man (meaning a few additional at-bats and more favorable opportunities to run). In no way should you expect Constanza to continue homering at his 2-in-17 games current pace, but there's no doubt he can help you in stolen bases and runs scored, while offering a respectable batting average. He's a must-own in NL-only, and meaningful in mixed, too.

Three down

Andre Ethier, Los Angeles Dodgers: His midsummer struggles, historically speaking, are mind-boggling. Ethier is a .243/.319/.318 hitter in 29 games since the All-Star break, and since the day he snapped his 30-game hit streak in May, he has batted only .260/.338/.386 with a 23.2 percent strikeout rate. It isn't the first time this has happened; from his first 68 games after returning from a broken finger last July (conveniently taking him through Aug. 20), he was a .256/.320/.397 hitter with a 21.0 percent K rate. Injuries can be blamed for last summer's swoon, and perhaps they might explain this year's, too, as he dealt with a sore left elbow in May, then compounded the problem when he hurt his right elbow, his back and his big toe in a crash with the wall in a May 21 game. If true, hand it to Ethier for playing through pain, but at the same time his fantasy owners must recognize the adverse impact on his stats. He's so much more name than true value.

Mike Moustakas, Kansas City Royals: Another thing fantasy owners can't do is forgive rookies for their struggles, because while most of us understand the lengthy learning curve many face, the fact remains that these kids' poor numbers during their adjustment periods have a catastrophic effect on our teams. Such is the case with Moustakas, who has a mere six hits in 13 games in August, .128/.163/.128 rates in the month and zero extra-base hits, whiffing 13 times in 47 at-bats (27.7 percent K rate). Kudos to the Royals for being patient with the 22-year-old, who at times in the minors struggled to quickly adjust -- look at his 2009 Class A stat line as an example -- but fantasy owners can't afford the same. At this point, redraft owners might find zero value in Moustakas the rest of the year; the hope for his keeper leagues is that he makes the necessary adjustments in the spring.

Gaby Sanchez, Florida Marlins: One of the hottest hitters of the first two months of the season -- he ranked 11th in batting average (.322) among those with 150-plus plate appearances and 19th in RBIs (35) -- Sanchez's bat has cooled considerably since. He regressed to the level of mere mixed-league corner infielder/NL-only option in June and July, turning in so-so .250-7-23 numbers in 52 games, and in August has slipped to .122/.200/.143 rates in 14 games. As has always been true in his big league career, he remains more of a lefty masher (.315/.391/.526 lifetime rates against them) who has ordinary stats against righties (.257/.328/.420). The latter numbers are league-average at best from a first baseman, meaning Sanchez's matchups, on a daily and weekly basis, need be carefully considered from this point forward.

New position eligibility

The following players have become eligible at new positions -- it's 10 games to qualify at a new spot -- in ESPN standard leagues during the past week: Alfredo Amezaga (2B), Mike Aviles (SS), Eric Hinske(1B), Brett Lawrie (3B), Brent Lillibridge (1B), Eduardo Nunez (2B), Jimmy Paredes (3B).

Tristan H. Cockcroft is a fantasy baseball analyst for ESPN.com and a two-time champion of the League of Alternative Baseball Reality (LABR) experts league. You can e-mail him here, or follow him on Twitter @SultanofStat.

2009年3月25日 星期三



作者: 賴意文



以球隊來看,扣除墨西哥聯盟後的160支球隊當中,有30支球隊平均進場人數超過 6000人,其中有19支球隊屬於3A、5隊2A、4隊1A以及2 隊短期1A球隊。1A中西聯盟的Dayton Dragons(現屬辛辛那提紅人)更以平均超過8500人的進場人數排在第6名,其他前10名的球隊都屬於3A等級。在墊底的部分,平均進場人數低於 1000人的有19支球隊,其中8支屬於最低階的新人聯盟,另外有2支1A球隊以及9支高階1A球隊。


以隸屬舊金山巨人的3A球隊Fresno Grizzlies為例,自從1998年成軍之後,便經常在分區墊底,只有2個球季勝率超過5成,1999年開始就不曾打進季後賽,成軍至今勝率只有0.456,不過球隊一直都能夠維持超過聯盟平均的觀眾人數。


人口多寡也非影響觀眾數的重要因素,前述的Dayton Dragons位於俄亥俄州的Dayton,該城人口數約16萬人,周圍4個郡形成的都會圈人口約100萬人。而3A的Lehigh Valley Ironpigs主場位於賓州的Allentown,人口僅有10萬人,Lehigh Valley附近3個城市形成的都會圈人口則在76萬人左右,不過每場比賽卻能吸引超過8000人進場。

Corpus Christi Hooks則是2A層級觀眾數第2多的球隊,儘管2008年戰績是55勝85敗,每場還是有近7000人入場。該隊主場位於德州東南的Corpus Christi,人口約28萬人,與鄰近3個郡形成的都會區,總人口也只有略多於40萬人。



前一篇文章提到,聯盟等級、球隊戰績、主場所在城市的人口多寡對於小聯盟球隊的觀眾人數都沒有絕對的影響,重點在於如何規劃、執行最適合的行銷策略。聖地牙哥教士總裁兼營運總監Dick Freeman說:「有負責行銷的員工問我,什麼是增加歷練的最好方法?我告訴他們,去經營一支小聯盟球隊。」







奧克蘭運動家的3A球隊Sacramento River Cats是最成功的小聯盟球隊,近年觀眾人數都高居榜首,2008年平均每場比賽更吸引超過萬名球迷入場。據富比世雜誌的估價,球隊2008年的營收是 1560萬美金,營業利益是850萬美金,球隊價值2980萬美金。

River Cats的老闆Art Savage在德州理工大學取得會計學位後,先是從事稅務經理的工作,而後更在大型行銷公司Nationwide Advertising Service任職,對於行銷工作並不陌生。球隊總經理Alan Ledford曾任MGO Marketing Group執行副總裁,該公司也是專業的運動與娛樂行銷顧問團隊,客戶除了River Cats之外,還包括太平洋岸聯盟的Fresno Grizzlies(巨人3A)、NBA的曼菲斯灰熊等球隊。

至於近年崛起的專業經營團隊中,最受矚目的非Mandalay Sports Entertainment(簡稱MSE)莫屬。MSE屬於Mandalay Entertainment集團,創辦人是知名製片Peter Guber,他擔任製片的電影包括午夜快車、紫色姊妹花、雨人等。

MSE 在2000年買下Rockford Reds,搬家到Dayton後改名Dayton Dragons。該公司自行出資2200萬美元興建了可容納7300人(另外有可容納約1000人的草地觀眾區)的新式球場。不過這個球場顯然太小,自從 2000年至今,Dragons的比賽場場爆滿,平均每場比賽觀眾人數超過8400人,更曾經史無前例的創下了球季開始前,所有球賽門票就銷售一空的小聯盟紀錄,目前購買季票的等待名單已經排到10年後。Dayton當地不少年輕人稱呼自己居住的城市是Dragon City,這支球隊受當地人喜愛的程度由此可見。

有了Dayton Dragons的成功經驗,MSE又陸續買下了4支小聯盟球隊,包括2A層級的票房冠軍Frisco RoughRiders。此外,他們另外還負責經營3支小聯盟球隊,包括紐約洋基短期1A的Staten Island Yankees和3A的Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees,以及芝加哥白襪1A的Winston-Salem Warthogs。


2009年1月4日 星期日

[轉載] 管理風格

作者: WalkX (紅燒肥貓咪) 看板: Softball
標題: Re: [問題] 管理風格
時間: Sun Dec 7 20:45:43 2008

※ 引述《evaju (julubi)》之銘言:
: 小弟我不是先拜
: 但是剛好也有碰過類似問題
: 所以就說說我遇到的情況
: 在我還是新人時
: 學長們採用的辦法是高壓懷柔
: 就是平常練球時還是學長學弟制
: 學長對學弟蠻嚴苛的,動作沒做好用幹的
: 學弟練球敢遲到就球場五圈起跳
: 但是練完球整理球具或一起吃飯時還是會以同學身份聊聊天
: 聊課業、聊支持的職業球隊之類的,氣氛也是很融洽。
: 到學長們畢業很久之後還是有常在聯絡
: 會約來看我們的盃賽或平常例行賽之類的
: 自己當學長帶球隊以後
: 因為覺得自己沒什麼威嚴
: 所以都跟學弟以平輩相稱
: 好處當然是剛開始很快就能相處融洽
: 可是到後來問題也是慢慢跑出來
: 學弟也升格當學長之後漸漸練球態度也變不太好
: 可是這時候自己講的話他就聽不太進去了...
: 所以我覺得無所謂哪種方法好或不好
: 重點是球隊的紀律有維持的情況下,儘量讓球隊裡面的感情好一點
: 以上為個人一點淺見,有不妥的地方請各位前輩指正











作者: puwu520 () 看板: Softball
標題: Re: [問題] 壘球場地畫法
時間: Fri Nov 28 11:46:07 2008

首先 要先放下本壘板

延著本壘板的斜邊 畫直線到適當長度(超過一壘)

在兩邊各20M(距離本壘最末端角)坐上橫線的記號 做為一壘跟三壘位置

從兩個壘包記號點 拉40M的線 並於20M的地方坐直角記號為二壘

再從本壘最末端的點 拉線到二壘交叉位置

並於距離本壘末端點15.2M的位置 畫上投手板的線 線長61CM


擊球區 寬1M 長2.2M

從本壘板最大角度的角往後捕手方向1M 往前1.2M為擊球區


一壘壘包 放置於標記點內側靠本壘方向 三壘亦同

二壘壘包的中心 放在二壘記號點的正上方


→ puwu520:以上尺寸為參閱ISF 06~09規則繪製 11/28 11:48

2008年11月25日 星期二

Rule 5 Strategy

RaysProspects看到這篇clips, 解釋因為rule 5的特殊規定, 在季未考慮放甚麼人和放多少人進40-man roster不是件簡單的事。為避名好的球員被rule 5選走, 第一個想法當然是把所有人都放到40-man之內, 但同時這也會影響到季未很多的球員異動。

DePodesta原文有說到, 現在提交的40-man roster一般會預留幾個空位(例如Rays今年的名單上只有39人), 方便在11月中deadline後, 直到12月rule 5 draft之前, 期間即使交易了球員或簽下FA還能夠放進名單內, 不然就必需把原本在名單內的人除名, 然後承受他們被draft走的風險了。

今年full 40-man rosters的隊伍有Blue Jays, Marlins, Orioles, Pirates, Rockies, Royals和Yankees, 這7隊球隊因為名單內沒有空缺, 所以也不能在R5D裡選人。

The San Diego Padres' Paul DePodesta provides some interesting considerations: These can be tricky decisions. On the one hand, you'd like to protect as many players as possible. However, on the other hand you have to anticipate roster moves that could happen between now and Opening Day in 2009. How many spots may we need for Major League free agents? How many players could we potentially outright or non-tender? Do we want to leave some spots open for potential waiver claims? Another part of the game is whether or not you think a certain player would, in fact, get selected in the draft AND if you think that player has the ability to stick in the Majors for the season. Sometimes teams will protect a lesser prospect simply because he has a greater chance of being taken or even because of organizational needs/depth going forward.

When weighing the risk of a player getting taken, it can be counterintuitive. It would seem logical that the best way to protect a player would be to put him on the 40-man roster. That is often, but not always, the case. Sometimes, for players who are borderline roster considerations, you may be safer by leaving him OFF the 40-man. The reason is that if he's taken in the Rule V, he has to stay in the Majors or else be offered back. However, if for some reason (add a free agent, add someone through trade, need someone during the season due to injury) you need to add a player to the 40-man at a later date, you may be forced to outright someone to make room. When you outright a first year roster player, he still has all of his minor league options, so teams can claim him and send him right into their minor league system. In short, it's much easier to lose a player trying to remove him from the 40-man than it is to lose him via the Rule V draft.

Explaining "Rule 5 Draft"

這幾個blog都很簡潔地介紹了甚麼是Rule 5 Draft, 看一看所舉的例子會更易明白

TinoC's Blog - [棒球]規則 5 選秀 (Rule 5 Draft, R5D)

Tribe Fan In Taiwan - 規則五選秀

Indians Prospec Iinsider - Rule 5 Draft FAQ

2008年11月13日 星期四