Five Links: May 1, 2015

Here’s some stuff I read this week that you might enjoy:

  • Every Player In Its Right Place (Baseball Prospectus) – Jeff Long presents results of BP’s collaboration with a company called Ayasdi to create “similarity maps” that attempt to put players into various buckets based on shared characteristics. Many of the technical aspects are over my head, but I like the concept and will be interested to see where they take this.
  • Ayala High’s Jonathan Buckley pitches a winner against diabetes (Los Angeles Times) – Need a reason to love Brandon Morrow? Try this: “The player turned around and whether because of fate or luck, it was Morrow. For more than 30 minutes, he graciously talked to Buckley and his family, explaining that Type 1 diabetes would not prevent anyone from pursuing their dreams.”
  • What MLB scouts see when they watch the Chihuahuas (Sports Town El Paso) – Jason Green tells us what’s happening at Triple-A. His report includes thoughts from an American League scout on Rymer Liriano, Austin Hedges, Nick Vincent, and more. Meanwhile, BP’s Brendan Gawlowski saw El Paso right-hander Aaron Northcraft (acquired in the Justin Upton trade) and came away less than impressed. Further down the chain, Curt Rallo profiles Michael Gettys at MiLB.com. Desire? As Gettys says, “I try to make every part of my game better, whether it’s hitting, hitting for power, base running, defensively. I try to be the best at every aspect. I work at everything.” Seems like a good plan. [h/t reader LynchMob for the Gettys article]
  • Introducing Deserved Run Average (DRA)—And All Its Friends (Baseball Prospectus) – Harry Pavlidis et al. have introduced a new pitching metric. This bad boy checks in at nearly 5,000 words, so cancel those afternoon meetings that you would have slept through anyway. If you’re still bored and/or awake after that, here’s an even longer (!) article on the same. Still need more pitching stuff? At Hardball Times, Saul Jackman examines Tyson Ross’ devastating slider, among other things.
  • Cardinals minor league strength coordinator breaks gender barrier in baseball (Peoria Journal Star) – This is good to see. Hopefully Rachel Balkovec isn’t categorically dismissed by closed-minded individuals the way former Padres massage therapist Kelly Calabrese once was by Keith “Just for Men” Hernandez. As Calabrese correctly noted back in 2006, “I don’t think the big issue is whether it’s a woman or a man, but just finding the person for the job.” [h/t SABR; follow the link for more goodies]

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