Monday, April 9, 2012

Around the Horn: S2S Opening Day Recaps, WTGCTT Lines, Age vs. Level at MCC, Giants Window at BTB, Advanced Stats at MLC

Have a lot of work to catch up on, but wanted to do a quick post here at OTF. I just realized I haven't shot out a lot of links lately, and I figured it would be a good time to throw out some interesting pieces I have read over the past week and share it with people who follow it here. The list complies of a nice array of pieces from some Giants-centric, and just general baseball blogs out there on the Web.

Seedlings 2 Stars Minor League Opening Day Coverage

If you haven't checked it out on the blogroll, please check out the work at Seedlings 2 Stars. It's a Minor League blog run by the FanSided network. Wally Fish runs the baseball side of things and keeps things going at S2S, and they have some great writers who contribute to the site. Nathaniel Stoltz, whom I was a big fan of during his Bleacher Report days, used to write for the site and helped start it, but it seems like he has gone away from the site and is doing something different. Wally asked me to write for the site, and I have contributed three pieces so far: a look at the top Latin American position and pitching prospects from the NL West, and a Opening Day recap of the Sally.

I'm still figuring out my role with the site (kinda tough to write as freely as I do here with so many other writers contributing and being new to the staff), but I expect to write 2-3 times a week for the site on general minor league and perhaps scouting stuff (I would like to delve into more foreign and Latin America scouting pieces, since it doesn't seem anybody on the site has claimed a stake or expertise in that area to my knowledge). So, for now, don't expect much "general" minor league or scouting stuff on this site for the time being (the DPL Profiles and Draft looks I'll probably save for S2S), but that could be a good thing as it will allow me to focus more on being "Giants-centric" here at OTF.

When the Giants Come to Town Begins It's Grind

If you want to look at the most committed Giants blogger (and especially Minor League blogger on the net), look no further than Dr. B of When the Giants Come to Town. With the start of the Minor and Major League seasons, Dr. B has started his daily recaps, which highlight top performers from every Giants Minor League team in action that night. While McCovey Chronicles does the same thing with poster Steve S, I really do enjoy Dr. B's take on the Minor League standouts each night. It has become daily reading for me, and definitely has made things easier here at OTF. Don't know how he manages to teach in college while still posting as much as he does!

Age vs. Level by Roger at McCovey Chronicles (Part I and Part II)

One of the most ambitious "Giants-centric" pieces I have read in a long time, this two-part series by Roger is so good that I am in the middle of reading it over again to sink it all in. Complete with thorough writing and graphs to back it up, Roger at McC takes a look at how teenagers who break in at A-Ball end up as Major League players in comparison to players who break into A-Ball at higher ages (such as college guys for example). It is an interesting piece to read, especially when you consider the Giants' draft strategy for the past decade or so (favoring low-ceiling, low-risk college guys in comparison to higher-ceiling, higher-risk teens). It isn't something that will take you a couple of minutes, but it's an engrossing read and one of the more enjoyable pieces on McCovey Chronicles I have encountered on the Fan Posts section in a long time.

David Fung's "Visual Look" at the Giants Window to Compete at Beyond the Box Score

I have loved Fung's graphical take on "the Window", which was a phrase used by Billy Beane explaining the Athletics plan and how their time to compete was in limited spurts during his tenure there due to the Small Market and limited budget (Jonah Keri wrote an interesting piece on it for Grantland that refuted Beane's position). Fung's graphs are always great, and the pieces give a nice general glance of what teams (the Giants in the case) will be dealing with not only now, but four to five years down the line. If you can, check out the others, just to see what the "windows" to compete are like for the other teams in Major League Baseball.

Minor League Central

It kills me that I haven't found this site earlier, but Minor League Central is basically to Minor League Ball what Fangraphs is to Major League Ball. While the site's creators and analysts note that not all of the data is completely accurate (they are subject to the recorders of the numbers, whom they admit are less accurate at the lower levels), it does give a little bit more "advanced" numbers from players who are currently in the Minor Leagues. Expect me to use more numbers from MLC in future posts (though I have already started), and I can't begin to tell you how enthralled I am that a site like this exists on the Web. I'm about as excited as Chris Farley was when one of his "comrades" told the "Sheep Pudding" story around the camp fire in the movie "Amost Heroes."

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