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SaberSphere 7/3: Prospects, AL MVP & 2008 Trades

Hunting for some new, young hitting prospects? Could the AL MVP race be more than a three man competition? And finally, how have some trade deadline deals turned out from 2008? Wednesday's SaberSphere is jam packed with another group of excellent articles.


Chris updates us with some great research on possible up and coming prospects by looking for players who are posting the best wOBAs in their respective leagues but weren't on any prospect lists earlier this year. Chris Davis, Miguel Cabrera and Mike Trout are the obvious frontrunners for the American League MVP at this point but Alex makes the case for two (somewhat) surprising players. It's July and trades are already happening so Andrew takes us back to 2008 and reflects on how those summer deals turned out.

Previously on Beyond the Box Score

  • Midseason Prospect Update: Non Top 190 Hitters by Chris St. John | Beyond the Box Score
    Chris lists prospects who weren't on any prospect lists but are still posting excellent adjusted wOBA numbers throughout the minors. This is research devoted to finding new prospects as all players older than the league average and over 25 in Triple-A were removed. As always, excellent work by Chris.

  • American League Most Valuable Player: The Great Debate by Alex Kienholz | Beyond the Box Score
    Controversial opinion alert!!! Alex warned us on Twitter about this post before it was scheduled and was expecting a lot of backlash. His AL MVP ballot would be Longoria at number one, then Mike Trout and Manny Machado. Longo is my favorite player in the league and I'll look for any excuse to over exaggerate his performance but I still think it's a little too early to argue his case for MVP when there are a handful of other players in the middle of record breaking seasons. My midseason ballot wouldn't be too far off of everyone else's: Miguel Cabrera, Chris Davis and Mike Trout.

  • The 2008 trade deadline in review by Andrew Ball | Beyond the Box Score
    It's July so it's officially trading season. There's a whirlwind of rumors going around already involving Matt Garza, Ricky Nolasco, Jonathan Papelbon, Cliff Lee and Alex Rios yet there's still four weeks until the deadline. Andrew reflects on some deals from 2008; which conveniently was the happiest year of baseball here in Philadelphia. Shout out to Andrew for including one of my favorite baseball memories with the Joe Blanton home run in Game 5 of the World Series.

Around the Sabersphere

  • Orioles Upgrade With Scott Feldman; Cubs Continue Stocking Up by Dave Cameron | FanGraphs Baseball
    The Orioles and Cubs agreed to the first trade of July. Baltimore was looking to improve their rotation by acquiring Scott Feldman but I think he's due for a little bit of regression. With harder opposition in the AL East and a BABIP that is due to increase, his ERA should creep up towards his 3.93 FIP. Then again, the upgrade could provide the Orioles with marginal value that could be the difference needed to get into the playoffs. I personally like the Cubs side as they are getting some serious upside in Jake Arrieta (although it remains to be seen if he'll ever match up to his potential) and some international draft money (which could be the difference in signing a young potential franchise player). Chicago took a cheap flier on Feldman and then flipped him for two long term pieces and a reliever.

  • Simmons on path to all-time great year on D by Mark Simon | ESPN SweetSpot
    Andrelton Simmons' first full season has been a let down on offense but definitely not on defense. On pace for over 45 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS), he could break the season record set by Brett Gardner in 2010 with 35. Actually, in his first 127 games, Simmons has already compiled 43 DRS.

Around SB Nation

Outside the Sabersphere

  • Lou Reed reviews Kanye West's Yeezus | The Talkhouse
    Finally! A good music review. I feel like album reviews are now constructed around the artist's background (especially when it's Kanye West) and other happenings and less about the actual music and lyrical content. Unsurprisingly, Lou Reed writes, by far, my favorite review of an album this year. I've probably overplayed Yeezus already but at the end of the year, it's looking like a lock as one of the 2013's best albums.