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Morning Mound Visit: sabermetrics news - 2/8/20

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Codebreaker and the dark arts; Wilmer Flores to the Giants; the best rookie PECOTA projections

MLB: Houston Astros at Los Angeles Angels Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Wall Street Journal | Jared Diamond: That Astros cheating scandal? Well, it went even deeper. Apparently the system was devised by an intern and presented to Jeff Luhnow on “Codebreaker,” the name of the Excel program that figured out catchers’ signs. This means that this was not a lower-level employee-driven scandal and was much more systemic than we originally thought. It also flies in the face of Rob Manfred’s explanation that was a largely player-driven affair.

FanGraphs | Jay Jaffe: Wilmer Flores signed a two-year, $6 million deal with the Giants, his first sojourn away from the Mets since he was nearly traded five years ago. He’ll likely act as a platoon hitter for Brandon Belt and will join an already crowded infield, yet he should add about a win to the crew, a decent value for the price.

Baseball Prospectus | Jarrett Seidler ($): PECOTA projects rookie performances fairly well, so it’s worth noting the players who could be breakouts in 2020. Nick Madrigal is an obvious selection, with a 90th percentile projection of a .843 OPS. Alec Bohm, another top prospect infielder that could crack it this year, has a player comp of Rhys Hoskins, fitting for the team and profile.