Around the SaberSphere 11/6: Adrian Beltre for MVP?, rushing Billy Hamilton, backwards pitching

Jamie Squire

On election day, sabermterics doesn't stop. Today's presidential links include an argument for Adrian Beltre as MVP, why the Red should not rush Billy Hamilton to the bigs, a look into fastball percentages based on counts and more..

Matthew Kory of Baseball Prospectus makes an amusing argument for why Adrian Beltre should be the AL MVP: Baseball Prospectus | Out of Left Field: Can We Make Adrian Beltre the MVP?

In his career, most of which has come at first base, a decidedly easier position to play, Miguel Cabrera’s FRAA is -76.2. Adrian Beltre’s at third base is 64.6. That’s a difference of 140.8 runs, which without looking it up, is twice as many as the Astros scored this season. I think it’s fair to say that, watching Beltre and Cabrera play, Beltre was the better defender this season. Some may disagree, and I’m completely open to disagreement on the topic as long as those disagreeing realize they’re completely wrong.

Jeff Moore of the Hardball Times explains why the Red shouldn't rush speedster Billy Hamilton to the big leagues: Fast player needs time--THT

the strong play of Bryce Harper, Mike Trout and Manny Machado in the majors in 2012 at such young ages is an argument that Hamilton could have the same type of success. I’d argue that it’s proof that he needs more time. Harper was so dedicated to the game of baseball that he left high school two years early in order to get to the majors at 19. Manny Machado was playing on USA Baseball’s national teams in his teens. Hamilton doesn’t have nearly the baseball background or pedigree of this trio.

Bill Petti of FanGraphs takes a great look into the most "Backward Starters" in baseball: The Most Backward Starters in MLB | FanGraphs Baseball

Not surprisingly, pitchers tend to go to a fastball of some sort in three-ball counts at least 70% of the time. Facing a 3-0 count, a pitcher wants to avoid walking the hitter and generally goes to the pitch they can control the best–most often, their fastball (94%). 2-0 counts draw a fastball 81% of the time, likely due to pitchers wanting to avoid a 3-0 count and all that comes with it.

Dave Schoenfield of ESPN SweetSpot presents his 2012 MLB All-Stars: Your 2012 MLB All-Star team - SweetSpot Blog - ESPN

I've always thought Major League Baseball should announce an official end-of-season All-Star team. You could have different I've always thought Major League Baseball should announce an official end-of-season All-Star team. You could have different voting components -- 25 percent computer, 25 percent fans, 25 percent players and managers, 25 percent media, something like that. Make a big production out of it, get a sponsor, get the players to show up, televise it during one of the off days of the World Series and drum up some publicity for the game's best players.

Grant Brisbee of Baseball Nation plays a hilarious free agent matchmaker with Josh Hamilton; gosh, I hope the Padres actually sign him: Free-agent matchmaker: Josh Hamilton - Baseball Nation

Josh Hamilton, San Diego Padre. It just rolls off the … actually, wait, no, it doesn't. But the Padres have just over $29 million committed to eight players on guaranteed deals. They have 11 more in various levels of arbitration, most of whom aren't big-ticket players. The rest of the bunch are on pre-arbitration deals. They can add $20 million or so without getting too close to the middle of the payroll pack.

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