For the Amazon Prime members among you – or the folks who want to try a free membership – today is the biggest sale day of the year at Amazon. You will want to check out the Prime Day deals, because so much stuff is on a quality sale. Shopping at Amazon through our links supports BN, so I really appreciate you taking the time for this message.
- The Home Run Derby was as hyped this year as any in recent memory, given the surge in homers around the game and the breakout of young talent. The thing definitely lived up to that hype, with everybody performing well, and Aaron Judge doing the utterly absurd things we thought he might do – including hitting multiple balls over 500(!) feet:
— MLB (@MLB) July 11, 2017
— MLB (@MLB) July 11, 2017
- This was the best call on any homer last night, by the way:
- An article at Baseball America about big-time pitching prospect Brent Honeywell includes a “D’oh” Cubs tidbit about how they really wanted him, but waited too long to pull the trigger in the 2014 draft. Honeywell worked out for the team, and BA reports there were arguments in the draft room about when to take him. Ultimately, the Cubs hoped to get him at number 78, but the Rays popped him a few picks earlier. Honeywell, cryptically, told BA this about the Cubs: “They knew exactly where I was going to go. That’s on them, you know? I’m not saying I don’t want to be a Cub later on. But some things happened, back door, you know how it goes on in the draft.” He sounds … unhappy. You never know how a prospect will develop in one system versus another, so maybe he doesn’t break out with the Cubs in any case. But, well, it stings to know how close the Cubs came to having one of the top pitching prospects in baseball, especially given how little impact pitching the Cubs have successfully been able to develop out of the draft in recent years.
- The Cubs’ lone All-Star, closer Wade Davis, was not a part of the Cubs’ World Series team last year, but he was on the World Series winning Royals the year before that. He told Cubs.com about the fatigue that follows, and about how he sees big things for the Cubs in the second half: “I think you’re going to see a lot of guys have All-Star second halves. These guys are way too good. I’ve watched the way they take batting practice. I’ve watched the way they take infield. I’ve seen how they carry themselves. They’ll be fine. They’ll be twice as good in the second half. That’s how baseball is. It will even out.”
- Baseball Prospectus has a new feature about pitcher similarity, and a (complicated) system for evaluating that similarity. I’ll leave it to you to read and digest, but will note an interesting thing about Mike Montgomery: from 2015 to 2016, he was one of the biggest changers in baseball. It was like he was an entirely different pitcher (not necessarily in results, mind you, but how he pitched) – and, of course, you’ll note that he was traded to the Cubs in 2016. Consider it, perhaps, just a little more evidence that what he’s showing us as a starter is real and sustainable.
- At this point, I don’t think reasonably observant minds could conclude anything other than the baseballs being juiced after the 2015 All-Star break (not necessarily intentionally, but it’s clear that it happened), and yet MLB continues to deny it. I don’t know why they don’t simply say, “Yes, we changed the source for the construction of our baseballs from Source X to Source Y for completely reasonable and innocuous reasons, and one incidental impact of that is that the baseballs are slightly different.” The end, and everyone adjusts their understanding of appropriate offensive levels in baseball, and continues enjoying dingers.
- You in for this?
— Baseball is Fun (@flippingbats) July 11, 2017
- I’m picturing Jose Altuve standing at the end of the line like, “Come on guys, I’m good! I can play! Come on guys!”
- I’ll mention it again, because it really is a huge day of deals – Amazon’s Prime Day is today: