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Baseball America

Baseball America August 2020

Baseball America has been bringing you the best baseball information in the game for more than 30 years, a must-have resource for fans as well as people who work in the game. Every issue features coverage of the majors, minors, college and high school baseball as well as prospects, prospects and more prospects. Whether you’re looking to win your fantasy league or stay on top of the game at all levels, Baseball America puts it all in your hands.

국가:
United States
언어:
English
출판사:
Baseball America Enterprises, LLC.
빈도:
Monthly
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3
game changer

Baseball milestones echo through the ages. As we approach the 100th anniversaries of Ty Cobb collecting his 3,000th hit, Babe Ruth hitting his 500th home run and Walter Johnson striking out his 3,000th batter—all of which occurred in the 1920s—those achievements still resonate. As we enter the 2020s, a number of the game’s brightest stars are on pace to one day reach those same milestones and enter the baseball pantheon. But it wouldn’t be 2020 without a cruel twist. The coronavirus-shortened 60-game season announced on June 22 will affect players’ climbs to those peaks. To get an idea of what the pandemic has wrought on the baseball record book, I determined how star players’ pursuits of 3,000 hits, 500 home runs and 3,000 strikeouts were affected by losing 102 games this season. Bear in mind…

5
big swings in value

The DH is coming to the National League in 2020, probably on a permanent basis. The universal DH is a major win for players and also conveys advantages to fantasy players. In a typical 162-game season, the universal DH will transfer roughly 600 plate appearances per NL team from pitchers and pinch-hitters to players appearing as the DH. Multiplying those 600 PAs by 15 NL clubs creates 9,000 PAs across the game for position players to receive regular batting reps. The associated boost in playing time will allow NL players to accumulate statistics to help them make a case for continued playing time, to say nothing of building value for arbitration and free agency. What’s more, having the DH in both leagues doubles the free agent appeal for bat-only veterans such as Nelson…

1
the fastball is still king

WITH NO BEST TOOLS BALLOTS CAST THIS YEAR BECAUSE OF THE CORONAVIRUS, WE CELEBRATE THE FASTBALL AND WHAT IT MEANS TO BASEBALL. The fastball has waned in popularity in recent seasons as major league pitchers throw a higher percentage of breaking and off-speed pitches. But make no mistake: The fastball is still king No pitch is more effective than the fastball at setting up other pitch types because of its location and tunneling. No pitch is more effective for planting expectations in batters’ heads, making them anticipate and defend against velocity. Not only is the fastball ruthlessly effective, but the pitch is also a thrill for the senses. No pitch is more satisfying to listen to as it pops the catcher’s mitt. No pitch elicits more oohs and ahhs based on its scoreboard…

11
athlete’s advantage

It was another blazing summer day on the back fields of the Gulf Coast League—the kind where the arrival of a predicted heatwave can sting the eyes and smudge the horizon—as Cardinals farm director Gary LaRocque made his way out to see one of the newest draft picks, one of the rarest kind of draft picks for the club. A few weeks earlier, the Cardinals had selected high school righthander Jack Flaherty with the 34th overall pick in the 2014 draft. The tall, lithe 18-year-old from the Los Angeles area relieving for the Rookie-level GCL Cardinals that July day had first been scouted as a third baseman. The Cardinals drafted him as a pitcher, and in the previous 22 years they had selected only one high school righthander higher than Flaherty. The…

3
fast company

Cardinals righthander Jack Flaherty found a new gear in 2019. Not only did Flaherty’s four-seam fastball velocity (94.3) increase by one mile per hour over his 2018 average, according to MLB Statcast, but he also topped out near 99 mph. That was also roughly 1 mph faster than he had reached the year before. The Cardinals’ 24-year-old ace used the extra gear on his fastball to strike out 130 and walk just 24 in his final 106.1 innings of 2019. In those final 16 starts he recorded a 0.93 ERA and limited opponents to a .139 average. Among starting pitchers, Flaherty made the seventh-highest improvement to his four-seam velocity in 2019 compared to 2018. The top 10 four-seam fastball velocity gainers are presented below. The sample includes only starting pitchers who threw at least…

6
can pitchers throw even harder?

In 2010, Aroldis Chapman showed everyone that it was possible to throw a baseball 105 mph. In just his 10th game in the majors, Chapman threw the hardest recorded fastball in major league history. Over the past decade, no one has thrown any harder. But with the continuing rise in overall fastball velocity, the reasonable question to ask is: What will the upper limits of velocity be in 2030? Will we be discussing 108 mph fastballs a decade from now? Is 110 mph sitting over the horizon in the 2040s? And if so, what happens to hitters? Calm your fears, hitters. According to experts, major league pitchers are already brushing against the velocity limits. “It would totally shock me (if someone is throwing 107-108 mph in a decade),” said Dr. Glenn Fleisig, a biomechanist who…