Here's Monday's edition of Saber-Links:
Dave Cameron of Fangraphs introduced the AL All-Star team he would use, if winning was truly necessary in the Mid-Summer Classic: If It Really Counted: AL Edition | FanGraphs Baseball
So, today, we’re answering that question – what teams would the AL and NL put together to face off next week in a one game winner-take-all showdown? We dispatched with the 34 man rosters and the need for every franchise to have a representative, and simply set out to build a roster that would give each league the best chance to win one game against the other league.
Continuing with the All-Star game theme, Greg Simons of the Hardball Times looked into the sabermetric qualities of the 2012 All-Stars and potential All-Stars:
i'm not here to dispute the status any of this year's All-Stars, but I am interested in finding out which players most deserve to make the team based on one overarching criterion—this season's numbers, particularly The Hardball Times' WAR statistic, an attempt to boil down a player's performance to a single number. No, it's not perfect—no single stat is—but it does a terrific job of distinguishing excellence from reputation, hollow batting average marks and win and save totals.
20 year-old phenom, Mike Trout will be appearing in his first All-Star game. Dave Fleming at Bill James Online considered whether Trout has a legitimate shot at hitting .400 in his career. Can Mike Trout hit .400? | Articles | Bill James Online His main conclusion? Trout has to cut down on his K's:
And this is where Trout gets into trouble…Trout’s strikeout rate is currently sitting at 18.5%, which is double the rates of all the challengers except Helton. It is highly unlikely that Mike Trout could hit .400 while striking out 18% of the time...he would need a BABIP close to .500 to pull it off. Even a strikeout rate of 15% would require a BABIP of about .470 for Trout to hit .400.
In news outside of the All-Star Game, SABR 42 wrapped up yesterday and The Common Man has a recap up at the Platoon Advantage: Monday Morning Cram Session, 7/2 | July
So you’ve probably seen Chris Jaffe’s SABR recap already today. (You’ll see The Common Man in that first picture…if you know what a sliver of the top of his head looks like. He’s sitting directly across from Aaron Gleeman at the far end). But if you don't trust Chris (and why should you?) here’s what The Common Man thinks you missed out on if you didn’t attend:
If you are able to get beyond Baseball Prospectus' pay grade, I also highly recommend Maury Brown's piece today that discusses large contracts for singular superstars: Baseball Prospectus | Bizball: How Much Salary Can You Allocate to One Player and Be Competitive?
The general manager and owner’s dilemma been around since Ban Johnson decided that it was better to pay players rather than having them play as amateurs, the dilemma of trying to balance a budget with creating the most competitive team possible. We armchair GMs like to talk about whether this deal or that deal is good or bad, often within the framework of how much a player is being paid and whether they are “worth it."