You guys ready for another thrilling round of Yankees-Red Sox? It’s only their third meeting of the season within the first 40 games, but who’s counting? Anyway, here’s some spare link to check out while you anxiously await first pitch.
A Hughes Difference
I know I’m not the only one to feel this way, but next to the always-on pitch counter, Jack Curry has been the best addition to YES this season. In his latest at the dot-com, he spoke to tonight’s starter Phil Hughes about what he thinks the biggest difference is this year. “I think if you look at my raw stuff to when I was starting games this season to last season, there’s probably not that much difference,” said Phil. “I’m maybe a little bigger and stronger. But I feel what has really changed is my confidence out there and my ability to attack the strike zone. Those have been the two biggest things.”
I recommend reading the whole thing, it’s worth the time.
Yanks-Sox Through The Eyes Of WPA
Finally, someone came up with a unique way to look at the rivalry. Using WPA, Mark Simon at ESPN found the players with the biggest impact on the rivalry dating all the way back to 1995. It should be no surprise, but Manny Ramirez leads all hitters (and all players, period) with a 5.906 WPA, meaning he won just about six games all by himself. For the Yanks, the top hitter has been Alex Rodriguez (2.674 WPA), followed closely by Paul O’Neill (2.557). It drops off considerably after that. Your leaders on the mound are Mariano Rivera (3.664), Pedro Martinez (3.545), and Andy Pettitte (3.109). No one else is over two.
It’s a long read, but it’s really informative. I found it interesting how low Derek Jeter is on the list.
Hyping the Draft
Nothing is more exciting to the baseball blogosphere than a promising youngster, so it’s no surprise that the draft has taken on a mind of it’s own in recent year. Trust me, it’s not an accident that the two most hyped prospects in draft history have played during the Twitter age. Over at FanGraphs, Erik Manning looked at the attrition rate of first round picks from the 1990′s, and it turns out that just 6.8% of those picks developed into true stars. Just under a quarter of them amounted to anything more than an average regular, while a whopping 63.4% busted all together.
Teams have gotten better at evaluating and developing players, but the draft is still just a crap shoot. Now it’s just an expensive crap shoot.