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Morning Mound Visit: sabermetrics news - 1/3/20

The Reds sign Akiyama; reverse-engineering teams’ valuations; tech on college campuses

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Japan v MLB All Stars - Game 4 Photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images

FanGraphs | Craig Edwards: There are basically no available center fielders in this year’s free agency, which makes the Reds’ signing of Shogo Akiyama a very shrewd move. Yes, he’s 32 and his bat might not actually be great in MLB, but he’s serviceable enough to be a big league regular in the US tomorrow, which is a huge plus considering he’ll get ~$5 million per year and does not require a posting fee.

Baseball Prospectus | Rob Arthur ($): We may not know what teams know internally, but we know the money they spent, and we can reverse engineer that to figure out what and how they value skills. A good example is framing, where we see the AAV increase for increasing points of CSAA, but also a flattening of the skill set as its valued more.

The Athletic | Eno Sarris ($): A few colleges—including Mizzou, Wake Forest, and Vanderbilt—likely have better analytical tools for prospects than a few major league teams. With pitch tracking software and really what would be considered basic tech,they can craft things like pitch similarity scores to match big leaguers’ pitches, or they can analyze the stress on the UCL.