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We once again bring together the best and brightest of the SaberSphere. Matt Kemp and a few other players are getting animated. Will Tim Lincecum's new snazzy hair cut help him on the mound? Can the Atlanta Braves win the National League East? These are all things we're exploring in addition to the other tidbits from around the web.
We are less than three weeks away from the start of the regular season and we've already been treated to meaningful baseball with the World Baseball Classic. We've also been witness to a few injuries this spring so far (see Granderson, Curtis and Teixeira, Mark). I wonder what else the final few weeks of spring training has in store for us.
Previously on Beyond the Box Score
wSalary (part 2): Analyzing Offseason Moves Relative to Market Value by Max Weinstein - Beyond the Box Score
Using wSalary and the market trends examined previously, Max looks at the best-valued and worst-valued contracts of the 2013 season, with emphasis on the first year of the contract (position players only).
Please Stop Panicking Over Closers by Mike Mulvenna - Beyond the Box Score
There were 1,261 saves credited to 141 pitchers in 2012 according to Baseball Reference. 56% of those were soaked up by only 20 pitchers. Most of them could be considered "closers," men with rock hard mental stability unfazed by the different beast that is the ninth inning. Fearless and intimidating, these pitchers have changed the salary structure of the game.
Can We Predict Minor League Player Success in the Big Leagues? by Lance Rinker - Beyond the Box Score
If major league organizations could predict which player, or players, from their minor league system would succeed or fail in the big leagues based on various criteria, then we would not only have far more legitimate Rookie of the Year candidates but each team would be substantially better overall. But what if there was a way to at least help make those predictions?
2013 Team Preview: Atlanta Braves by Lee Trocinski- Beyond the Box Score
After another heart-breaking end to their season, the Braves look to continue their regular season success in 2013. Can Atlanta get over the hump and succeed in the playoffs?
An alternative method for determining defensive WAR by Bryan Grosnick - Beyond the Box Score
Bryan took a look at alternative methods for determining defensive WAR. He even went so far as to using "scouts" over the various metrics. Glad to see he wasn't kicked out of the sabermetric community for such heresy.
BTB Podcast #44 - Rany on the Yankees - Beyond the Box Score
Rany Jazayerli sits down with Blake Murphy to talk about the demise of the Yankees. Glenn DuPaul also stops in to recap the SABR Analytics Conference.
Around the Sabersphere
Hitting ‘Em Where They Are by Dan Rosenheck | FanGraphs Baseball
At the MIT Sloan Analytics Conference, Dan Rosenheck offered a presentation on the effects of infield fly rate and in-zone contact rate on predicting BABIP.
Projecting Bryce Harper's season is a unique task. | SportsonEarth.com : Matthew Kory
It's projection season in baseball, which means using historical comparisons to make educated player predictions -- unless we're talking about Bryce Harper. The Nationals' star already has a unique career, leaving us to wonder what comes next.
Baseball Prospectus | Top Tools: Glove
The Baseball Prospectus staff continues their "Top Tools" series by looking at the glove this week. The minor leagues' best defenders in the infield, outfield, and behind the plate.
Around SB Nation
Matt Kemp, David Ortiz, Joey Votto get animated on The Cleveland Show by Blaine Blontz- MLB Daily Dish
Now this is going to be pretty cool. MLB players lending their voices on an animated show. I wonder if the reason Seth MacFarlane never called me back about the voice samples I sent him is because I'm not a professional baseball player? Must be ...
Five bellwethers of the AL East by Grant Brisbee - Baseball Nation
Which players' successes and failures will give you a good idea of how their teams are doing?
The return of Tim Lincecum (for an inning or two) by Grant Brisbee - McCovey Chronicles
Tim Lincecum was good, and then he wasn't. Let's get a warm beverage together and pretend not to care.
Minor League Ball Top 150 Prospects for 2013 by John Sickels - Minor League Ball
John Sickels puts together his list of the top 150 prospects for 2013. It's a solid list, as anything he puts together is, although I didn't see my name anywhere ... weird.
Outside the Sabersphere
The Cleveland Indians are joining in on the
If this didn't just clinch the American League Central for the Indians then I don't know what will ... other than them winning more games than the Detroit Tigers of course.