Around the SaberSphere 10/24: The Best Bunter of 2012, World Series players to watch, shortstop prospects

Thearon W. Henderson

Kick off your preparation for the World Series, with today's edition of sabermetric links, they include the 2012 Flat Bat Award winner, what players to watch in the World Series, some shortstop prospects, and more...

John Dewan of Bill James Online names baseball's best bunter for 2012: The Flat Bat Award 2012 | Articles | Bill James Online

Erick Aybar had four more successes than anyone else (five more than Pierre), and those successes each create nearly half a run in value, on average. Despite the fewer sacrifice attempts and the more-frequent failed bunt-for-hit attempts, Aybar still outpaced the field by two runs of expected value. That is why Erick Aybar is the 2012 Flat Bat Award winner.

Dave Schoenfield of ESPN presents the six players to watch in the World Series, which begins tonight! : World Series players to watch - ESPN

(Hunter) Pence occupies that fifth slot in the lineup. Just like the Giants will pitch around Fielder whenever possible, the Tigers are going to be more willing to pitch to Pence than Posey. Pence has not hit well since coming over to the Giants in a midseason trade, hitting .219 with seven home runs in 59 games in the regular season and then .188 in the postseason

Mike Newman of FanGraphs lists 16 shortstop prospects from 2012, with an interesting note about how statistics affect a scout's rankings: Newman’s Own: Best Shortstops Of 2012 | FanGraphs Baseball

I realized there’s really no way to keep statistical information out of the equation completely and focus on scouting/projection alone. This has caused me to hedge my bets a bit on high ceiling talents and focus more on the complete player.

R.J. Anderson of Baseball Prospectus does a great job of analyzing tonight's pitching matchup between Barry Zito and Justin Verlander: Baseball Prospectus | Painting the Black: Opposite Day

the FOX broadcast will probably focus on what Verlander and Zito have in common—the Cy Young. Zito won the award in 2002, his second full season in the majors, and Verlander took his home last winter. But it’s not what Verlander and Zito have in common that could make this entertaining; rather, it’s what separates them.

MLB Trade Rumors gives us the list of Super 2 arbitration players for this year: Super Two Cutoff To Be 2.139: MLB Rumors - MLBTradeRumors.com

The top 22% of players with between two and three years of MLB service qualify for arbitration under baseball’s new collective bargaining agreement. Nationals reliever Drew Storen, Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera, Mets catcher Josh Thole, Rays outfielder Sam Fuld, Rockies outfielder Tyler Colvin and Diamondbacks third baseman Chris Johnson are all eligible.

Enjoy Game One, folks!

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