Must-Click Link: The most comprehensive article about catchers blocking pitches in the dirt you’ve ever seen

19 Comments

That may be the most comprehensive headline I’ve ever written too, but really there’s no other way to go with this.

Bojan Koprivica of The Hardball Times has a huge article up today in which he attacked the issue of catchers blocking pitchers in the dirt, explaining how to go at the problem, how to make good measurements of and adjustments to the data and eventually coming up with a rating of the best and worst catchers in this regard.

Tops: Humberto Quintero, Yadier Molina and Matt Wieters. Worst: Rob Johnson, Jorge Posada and Miguel Olivo.

But the journey is more important than the destination.  If you care about measuring catching defense and stretching the boundaries of what we can quantitatively say in baseball, this stuff is for you.

Jackie Bradley, Jr. named ALCS MVP

5 Comments

Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. was named the Most Valuable Player of the American League Championship Series after his club punched its ticket to the World Series on Thursday night against the Astros.

Coincidentally, the Astros’ Game 5 starter Justin Verlander was ALCS MVP last year en route to a championship.

Bradley went 0-for-3 with a walk in Thursday’s Game 5, but he hit a three-run double in Game 2, a grand slam in Game 3, and a go-ahead two-run home run in Game 4. That’s nine RBI and three extra-base hits across five games. He also drew four walks.

Though Bradley had a solid regular season, he was not near the top of the list most people would’ve expected to win ALCS MVP heading into the series. During the season, he hit .234/.314/.403 with 13 home runs, 59 RBI, 76 runs scored, and 17 stolen bases in 535 plate appearances.