Every year around this time, I see award shows and award nominees, and I think of all these movies I really want to see. But then, somehow, I never find myself actually watching those movies.
I think it’s mostly a matter of time and priorities, because I love movies.
- Baseball Prospectus has released a new slate of advanced catching statistics – including minor league statistics! – and has updated some of their others. It’s Catcher Day at BP, so there’s a ton to check out. As with most huge stats-related rollouts like this, we’ll be exploring what’s available in the fullness of time, which is to say I won’t be doing a deep dive right here in the Bullets just yet.
- That said, I had to immediately check one of the big things I’m most curious about – and I know you are, too. How does Cubs prospect Willson Contreras rate in the various catching metrics? Keeping mind that we must use stats like this only to augment our understanding of a broader picture of player ability: Contreras, in 2015 (the only year for which there are minor league stats on the catching side for him right now), rated as a slightly below average catcher in framing, but just about average across the rest of the board.
- Because framing is such an outsized portion of a catcher’s defensive value, that made Contreras slightly below average overall defensively in 2015. That mostly squares with what we’ve heard before on the 23-year-old from the scouting side: the athleticism and ability is there to be very good behind the plate, but he’s not there yet. That said, even now, it already looks like he’s not a guy who’s going to embarrass himself behind the plate.
- Oh, also: Miguel Montero was the fifth best, overall, defensive catcher in the Major Leagues last year.
- Cardinals GM John Mozeliak says he was not aware of what former Scouting Director Chris Correa had done until the federal indictment was released on Friday, as Correa pled guilty to various charges (Cardinals.com). Not only does that feel like BS, it also doesn’t exactly cast a great light on the man in charge – completely unaware of what an immediately-reporting executive was doing? Even after he was fired? You didn’t dig into what he’d done to try and determine how your organization had been impacted? Or if you did dig, you didn’t find anything? I can understand why Mozeliak wouldn’t want to say he did know certain things (because obviously), but this is yet another reason why the whole thing looks awful, even if you try to frame it as a “lone gunman.” For his part, Mozeliak said that he does believe Correa acted entirely alone, though he wanted to wait for the whole process to play out (stltoday.com). Again, what else is he supposed to say? (And, again, since we will probably never really know, and since the Cardinals likely benefited from the activity in any case, punishment for the organization must be coming from MLB.)
- The ZiPS projections are out for the NL Champion Mets, and, no surprise, their pitching is looking great at the front, but the positional group projects very well, too.
- For the 10th time, Pat Hughes has won a Sportscaster of the Year award (7th in Illinois, three in Wisconsin), and that is clearly well-deserved.
- Remember the classic ‘Simpsons’ softball episode with baseball stars? Of course you do – but who was the best player in reality? And then whose comically-suffered malady was the worst?
- Two years prison time for selling fake Cubs playoff tickets – not worth it, folks.
- Kris Bryant is hosting a golf tournament in Las Vegas with fellow hometown star, Bryce Harper.
- If you’re digitally-inclined, the Cubs are hiring:
— Kevin Saghy (@CredibleKev) January 11, 2016
- Good on you, Joe Maddon:
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) January 12, 2016
- There was a late-in-day Lukewarm Stove from Michael last evening, if you missed it.
- Cubs Pez dispenser!