Citing the lack of an NBA- or NFL-style player ranking vote in baseball, ESPN started their own. Two Rockies made the first All-MLB team. Unsurprisingly, both Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story earned the made-up recognition. What is surprising, perhaps, is that both players just made the cut onto the third team. Arenado took a backseat to Alex Bregman and Anthony Rendon, while Story fell behind Marcus Semien and Xander Bogaerts.
I’m in favor of such an arbitrary ranking for several reasons:
1. Ranking things is fun.
2. MLB’s All-Star Game is a worse recognition of regular-season accomplishments than any other sport because it leaves out 70-something games where a lot happens.
3. Ranking things is fun.
4. Anything that incites endless subjective debates is always welcomed into my life.
A comprehensive analysis of the stories career of Rockies’ favorite Larry Walker. Jay Jaffe, for his part, would put Walker in the HOF. Unfortunately, he doesn’t get an official vote until 2021, a year too late. It will be a tall order for Walker to make the leap in his final year of eligibility, but there is precedent for it. What do you think? Does Walker get in?
Will Larry Walker be inducted into the Hall of Fame by the writers?
This poll is closed
He should, but he won’t
He shouldn’t, but he will
As the Larry-Walker-for-Hall-of-Fame campaign rounds the corner, Baseball Prospectus posted this interesting spin on the primary knock against Walker’s candidacy. While it’s true that he got a bump for playing at Coors Field pre-humidor, he may have been more negatively impacted by Olympic Stadium – an interesting angle to a debate now 10 years on.
When the Astros aren’t using modern technology to cheat, they’re using it to gather useful data about their own prospects. What they’re finding could begin to change the structure of minor league baseball. “MLB’s approach to the minor leagues is ripe for change,” reports Travis Sawchik, “in part because of how much data can be collected off the field these days.”
High-speed cameras are helping progressive teams like the Astros more accurately identify the players who could make it at the Major League level, and those players can often make drastic improvements in small rooms and batting cages. Case in point, our long-lost reliever Adam Ottavino, who “designed a new cutter last winter in a vacant Manhattan storefront that he outfitted with baseball’s cutting-edge tech.” The Dodgers and Phillies, too, are focusing more and more on off-field development using analytical tools to speed up the progress of minor leaguers.
This burgeoning trend could eventually cause a dramatic reduction in the number of minor league teams in favor of individualized instruction. While the Rockies are not specifically mentioned in the article, the fact that the Dodgers are, again, in a piece about the future of baseball should be a concern to every team in the NL West. If the Rockies haven’t already, it is time to ratchet up their big data game.