Name That Team (Six Prime 40-WAR Players, Part 3)

Picture a team that suffered these losses:

  • En route to a championship, two aces in their prime succumbed to arm woes, and wouldn’t pitch in the World Series, nor ever win again. The team’s top winners of the last three years, they ranked 4th and 6th over all in WAR/pitch.
  • Before the next year, they dealt their superstar, age 28, for two guys who’d give almost nothing in the next 4 years.
  • That next year brought the swift and mostly permanent decline of two more aces (tied for the team lead at 19-8 the year before), plus three star regulars, all still in their 20s.

Suppose those eight gave 60% of team WAR in the title year, plus World Series shares of 3 wins, 62% of team hits and 73% of the RBI — but that their value to the team’s next 3 years (including trade progeny) averaged less than 1 WAR apiece.

What if that ravaged team not only repeated, but took a third title in year four: Just how much talent was there at the start?

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What is a #8 Prospect?

Baseball America last week issued its annual list of top 100 prospects for 2015. At #8 on that list is 22-year-old Joc Pederson, who the Dodgers have penciled in as their starting center fielder this coming season. Pedersen put up very impressive numbers in AAA this past season, and was rewarded with a September call-up, though he started only three games for the big club. A question that occurred to me in considering the Dodgers’ choice, for now at least, of the rookie Pederson as their new starting center fielder is, historically, how have previous eighth-ranked prospects, as designated by Baseball America in its annual pre-season Top 100 prospects list, actually turned out? A history of that #8 spot in the Baseball America ranking is after the jump. Continue reading

COG Round 85 Results: Cronin No Longer a Ronin

A “ronin” in Japanese tradition is a samurai warrior who is homeless, wandering, unaffiliated, as a result of having lost his sponsoring feudal lord. Winning this election (after falling just short in the previous round) brings Joe Cronin out of the cold and into the Circle of Greats, as the 85th inductee into the COG. More on Joe and the voting after the jump. Continue reading

Aramis Ramirez, Centrally Located

The 2015 season will be the NL Central Division’s 22nd year of play, having seen its first season of competition in 1994. 1994 was also the season the Pirates of the brand new NL Central Division signed the 16-year-old Aramis Ramirez to a pro contract. Ramirez has remained with NL Central Division organizations ever since, first with the Pirates, then the Cubs and, since 2012, the Brewers. On September 20th, 2014, Aramis played in his 2,051st career regular season game, breaking Craig Biggio’s record of 2,050 career regular season games played for NL Central Division teams.

Most Regular Season Games Played For NL Central Division Clubs
1. Aramis Ramirez 2,057
2. Craig Biggio 2,050
3. Lance Berkman 1,769
4. Albert Pujols 1,705
5. Jeff Bagwell 1,690
(credit: division-based leaderboards have been generated using the current edition of Lee Sinins’ Complete Baseball Encyclopedia)

More NL Central stats are after the jump. Continue reading