Every month, this day should include an obligatory Bone Thugs-n-Harmony listen. But onto baseball. Do batters penciled into the lower third of the batting order see more pitchers inside the strike zone? How many rotation anchors are waiting in the minors? Starling Marte and Bryce Harper have nearly identical WAR values. How can that be possible? You can find all the answers to the above here in May's first SaberSphere.
Previously on Beyond the Box Score
Batting Order Position and Zone% by Ryan Potter | Beyond the Box Score
Ryan takes a look at what percentage of the pitches are in the zone for each position in the batting order in both the NL and AL. It appears that NL pitchers don't throw strikes to the top third of the lineup and instead throw more pitches in the zone on the lower third. Meanwhile, AL pitchers have the opposite approach.
How many future aces are in the Minors? by Andrew Ball | Beyond the Box Score
There seems to be a misconception about what an "ace" actually consists of so Andrew took a look at multiple prospect lists from Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus to predict the number of future "aces" in the minors.
Bryce Harper, Starling Marte, and WAR by Matt Hunter | Beyond the Box Score
Jon Heyman polled Twitter to find out why Starling Marte and Bryce Haper have similar WAR values. Matt decided to break down how much defensive metrics play a part in its equation. Should they be weighed so heavily?
Around the Sabersphere
Are passive hitters leading to strikeouts? by David Schoenfield | ESPN Sweetspot
Pitching has gotten incredibly better over the past decade. David Schoenfield responds to an article from Tom Verducci at SI.com who insists that passive hitters are causing an increase in strikeouts. Batters being more selective at the expense of strikeouts might be the only way to overcome the group of excellent pitchers.
Prospect pitching injuries remain unpredictable by Jeff Moore | The Hardball Times
Pitching injuries are going to happen. Many organizations are taking unique approaches to handling their prized prospects but does it really help? It seems that these pitching injuries are unpredictable and that clubs are rather hopeless despite all of the new knowledge about the causes.
Josh Hamilton Is Swinging Himself Into Oblivion by Dave Cameron | FanGraphs Baseball
The Angels' newest slugger has batted .255/.324/.503 over 655 PA in the last 365 days. His approach hasn't changed and pitchers have finally figured him out. Josh Hamilton is getting paid a ton of money to be a difference-making bat in Anaheim. His approach has to undergo a drastic change to get his season back on track.
Around SB Nation
Giancarlo Stanton injury: How does this affect the 2013 Miami Marlins? by Michael Jong | Fish Stripes
Miami's seemingly ONLY offensive player is now out for a least a month with a hamstring strain. Michael over at Fish Stripes takes a look at Giancarlo Stanton's replacements and what to expect from the Marlins during his absence.
Putting content on YouTube is a big step for MLB, but they still have a long ways to go by Colin O'Keefe | Lookout Landing
The MLB is streaming two games per day live on YouTube for free...but only for users outside of the US, Canada, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan. Highlights will also be uploaded two days after every game which will be viewable to everyone. Some historic moments have already been added to the MLB's YouTube channel. But is this enough?
Who can we blame for all these $&@#% postponements? by Rob Neyer | Baseball Nation
There's nobody to blame for this inclement weather that has caused many postponements in the early 2013 season. There's likely going to be a discussion about tinkering with the schedule in the future but likely, it won't make a difference on avoiding postponements.
Outside the Sabersphere
NHL Playoff Preview: Who Will Be the Kings This Year? by Katie Baker | Grantland
The NHL playoffs have begun! Besides baseball, there's nothing quite like the hockey playoffs. My beloved Flyers aren't in the hunt for the Stanley Cup this year but I can always root for Flyers West over in Los Angeles. I'm taking the Blues from the West and the Pens from the East while sadly admitting that Pittsburgh might be winning another cup.