Tuesday, October 25, 2011

2011 Independent League Statistics

In the constantly-changing world of Independent Baseball, there were 6 leagues this season:
  • American Association
  • Atlantic League
  • Canadian-American League (CanAm)
  • Frontier League
  • North American League
  • Pecos League
The North American League was a merger between teams from the Golden League, Northern League and United League.

The Pecos League, also new in 2011 is a continuation of the Continental League. Most Pecos players were new to The Baseball Cube.

Because of the current design of the site's database, when a team change's leagues or league name, the continuation of the franchise does not continue. In other words, teams in the North American League, like the Calgary Vipers, will appear as a new team with no history. Meanwhile, Calgary's seasons in the Golden League and Northern League will remain as a separate team. I won't be changing this any time soon unless the Minor Leagues decide to do the same thing.

TBC now have complete independent League statistics since 1999.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Minor League Uniform Numbers

If you've looked around the Minor League section of the site, you'll have noticed sporadic uniform numbers throughout history. Its a difficult task to find documentation on all minor leaguers, let alone Major Leaguers, but I've done my best.

For 2011, I've done my best, using Wikipedia and MILB.Com to fill in uniform numbers where available. Players on rehab and who had brief stints with a team are difficult to find but I'd say about 80% of players were found.

Monday, October 10, 2011

TBC Compare Player Stats Tool

First it was there and then it was gone. Amid the explosion of the new version of the TBC site, the TBC Compare tool got lost in the shuffle but it has been reconstructed and simplified and it is ready for use.

The Compare Tool allows you to take up to 5 players and compare their historical statistics for a range of years at the Major League, Minor League and College levels. In addition to the regular batting statistics, I've added ratios for key fantasy stats to allow for quicker comparison when trying to decide which players to take for your fantasy team. The ratios are essentially a given stat (like homers) divided into plate appearances which will tell you, over the range of years, who has the higher frequency of occurence of the stat.

The Compare tool is available on its own but you can also quickly jump from a player page by using the box in the Analysis section. Simply type in a few players separated by commas (e.g. uggla,r weeks) and then click "Compare".

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Data Products Updated

If you'd like a copy of a portion of the TBC database in Excel or text file, you might want to check out our Data Store.

Here's what I have pre-packaged:
  • TBC Stats Register: Historical stats for active Major Leaguers and Minor Leaguers in Excel.
  • TBC Stats Register Update: 2011 Stats for active Major Leaguers and Minor Leaguers
  • Minor League Stats 2007-2011: Complete minor league batting and pitching stats for the last 5 seasons with profile info.
  • Major League Stats 1903-2011: Batting, Pitching and Fielding stats for major leaguers since 1903.
  • College (Div I) 2007-2011: Batting and Pitching for about 300 schools for the last 5 years.
  • Draft Register: List of all picks since 1965
  • Scouting Scores: As seen on player pages
All files will be sent within 24 hours of payment.

Also, don't forget that I can provide customized datasets based on your needs. If the data is available on the site, I'll be able to get it to you within a few days.

Please consider Signing a page if you visit the site often.

Friday, October 07, 2011

1978 Topps Baseball Cards

726 Cards are available in the 1978 Topps Regular Issue set. It is the 24th set added to our Baseball Cards archive section.

Personally, it is the first set that I began to collect cards in my youth, though sporadically. I think my father bought me a few packs as I remember seeing a few of these cards in my collection, all with puffy rounded edges (like most of my cards).

Some of the subsets:
  • Record Breakers
  • Team Cards
  • Managers (with picture as player as well)
  • League Leaders
  • Rookie Cards by position (4 players per card)
  • All-Stars (logo indicated on player card)
  • Topps All-Star Rookies (also indicated on player card)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Version 10 of TBC :: New Layout

I'm calling this version 10. I'm embarassed that the site has been changed so often but there's a vision in my head and I've had difficulty producing that vision. This is the closest I've come so far.

I've gone back to the "Sponsorships" model but instead, have named them "Signatures". They are $15 for a player page for a year and I'll expand to other pages in the future. I have reduced the ads a little bit on the site and I hope to make up the revenue on the site through these signatures.

Take a look around the site. There are more pages and more features, especially in the boxes section. There's a few bugs still hanging around but I'll be trying to fix those over the coming weeks.

This is a one-man show. All data and programming are by me and so if you enjoy the site, please consider a Signature.

Gary Cohen

Thursday, September 01, 2011

1974 Topps - 660 Cards

There are 660 cards in the 1974 Topps set. The cards are on a white background with the team city at the top on a pennant with a colored background. Next to the city is the player's position. At the bottom is the team's nickname, also in a pennant and the player's name, on two lines sits adjacent. Some cards have a picture in landscape mode with the city name and team nickname stuck together, sometimes scrunching together the player name and the position.

The subsets:
  • Hank Aaron home run king special. Cards #1-7
  • Team Cards for each team which is a group photo of the team in landscape format
  • Managers and Coaches: Each team has a card with a large photo of the manager with smaller photos of each coach on the team.
  • League Leaders: 8 stat categories with AL and NL leaders on same card
  • All-Stars: 9 different positions with AL and NL all-stars on each card.
  • World Series Summary cards and AL and NL Playoff cards. 10 cards
  • Rookies. 4 players per card by position. 13 different cards #595-608

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Future Closers :: New Blog Feed Added

If you have a blog, you can let us know and we'll display your blog posts on player pages for every link to The Baseball Cube in your post.

Future Closers is the latest addition. "Helping you find the closers of tomorrow, today."

At Bat Leaders by Batting Order - 2000-2010

Sometimes when you're lying in bed late at night and you can't sleep, you start thinking about uninteresting blog posts that you could write. So for this one, I wanted to see which batters had the most at bats in a particular batting slot between 2000-2010. Its contingent on a player accumulating enough seasons out of the 11 to be able to appear on this list. Some notes:
  • Ichiro has the most at bats at any batting position. By far. (1500+ more at bats than any other player)
  • Leadoff hitters tend to be the most entrenched in their slot
  • 2nd, 3rd and 4th place hitters are also somewhat entrenched whereas 5th and up has much less consistency.
  • Alex Gonzalez (1977) is top 5 for 7th and 8th batting spots.
  • John McDonald is ranked 3rd in 9th spot which is interesting considering he is a part-time player.
  • 6th place hitter Jorge Posada is about 40% ahead of 2nd place Mike Cameron
Ichiro Suzuki     6711
Johnny Damon      5236
Rafael Furcal     5121
Juan Pierre       5104
Jimmy Rollins     4901

Placido Polanco   4709
Omar Vizquel      3997
Derek Jeter       3863
Michael Young     3381
Mark Loretta      2963

Bobby Abreu       4853
Albert Pujols     4627
Chipper Jones     3553
Gary Sheffield    3239
Brian Giles       3065

Manny Ramirez     4342
Magglio Ordonez   3889
Carlos Delgado    3883
Jeff Kent         3533
Carlos Lee        3229

Torii Hunter      2188
Pat Burrell       2151
Mike Lowell       2085
Hideki Matsui     1843
Moises Alou       1836

Jorge Posada      2115
Mike Cameron      1533
Jeff Francoeur    1519
Derrek Lee        1451
Richard Hidalgo   1320

Pedro Feliz       1737
David Bell        1463
Jason Varitek     1271
Alex Gonzalez     1201 (gonza002)
Edgar Renteria    1147

Brad Ausmus       2143
Mike Matheny      2022
Henry Blanco      1541
Alex Gonzalez     1522 (gonza002)
Alex Cora         1491

Adam Kennedy      1504
Y Betancourt      1375
John McDonald     1252
Brandon Inge      1244
Jason Bartlett    1165

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Players with Exact Stats

A botched attempt at an interesting blog entry. I was curious to see if any 2 players in history had the exact same statistics. I figured over the years, 2 players would accidentally end up with the exact same baseball card stats. G, AB, R, H, DBL, TPL, HR, RBI.

I knew it would happen often at a lower volume of at bats but I surmised that 2 regulars would have coincidentally shared the same statistics but the highest at bat total that I could find was 87.

Year Player       Team  G AB R  H 2B 3B HR RBI
1931 Clint Brown  CLE  39 87 8 15  3  0  0   9
1993 Jeff Tackett BAL  39 87 8 15  3  0  0   9

The second highest is a pair of pitchers which makes some sense since they don't accumulate a lot of extra base hits and rbis.

Year Player            Team  G AB R  H 2B 3B HR RBI
1975 Lynn McGlothen    Stl  35 80 3  7  0  0  0   0
1991 Terry Mulholland  Phi  35 80 3  7  0  0  0   0

I enjoy delving into the stats looking for oddities and I'm kinda disappointed on this one. Sorry to waste your time.

Monday, August 29, 2011

2006 Draft Revisited - Picks #1-10

The 3rd part in our look back to the 2010 amateur draft. Can't say it was the best draft around but there are at least 3 superstars in the top 10 (Lincecum, Longoria and Kershaw). Here are picks #10 to #1:

10. Tim Lincecum SF - One of the best pitchers in baseball, this pick propelled the Giants to the 2010 World Series Championship. Lincecum has won 67 games in the Majors so far and has aleady struck out 1082. His numbers are outstanding and he has, thus far, been the best pick of the 2010 draft, slightly ahead of Kershaw and Longoria. PASS

9. Billy Rowell BAL - The Orioles are another team who can't afford to miss a top ten pick and though the jury may still be out on Rowell, he hasn't progressed past AA and hasn't shown the power that scouts expected from him. Rowell has shown a propensity to strike out without the power numbers and has batted .261 with an OPS of 718. There's nothing about Rowell's progress that suggests he will ever be a major leaguer starter let alone a major leaguer. FAIL

8. Drew Stubbs CIN - Out of Texas, Drew Stubbs has established himself as a good fantasy option for his power and speed combination and he's become a regular in the Reds lineup. The Reds didn't rush Stubbs and he didn't show a lot of power in the minors but he sure found it in Cincy swatting 8 in his 180 at bats in 2009. Stubbs strikes out a lot and will walk a bit but his power/speed combination makes GMs drool. PASS

7. Clayton Kershaw LAD - The Dodgers struck gold with Kershaw who has quickly developed into an ace. A power strikeout pitcher who keeps the ball in the park and who is tough to hit, Kershaw's only weakness may be the walk. HE has struck out 11.3 batters per 9 in the minors and 9.4 in the majors. The Dodgers hit this one out of the park. PASS

6. Andrew Miller DET - The Tigers tried to rush Miller to the Majors in 2006 but it might have cost them their first round pick. Miller got 13 starts in 2007 with the Tigers before being traded to Florida as part of the Miguel Cabrera deal. 3 years in Florida was not the tonic and he is currently with the Red Sox organization where he has seen success in the minors but not much in the majors. Miller has been given a long leash in the majors so far and at the age of 26, the leash will soon start to run out. FAIL

5. Brandon Morrow SEA - Now playing for the Blue Jays, Morrow, when not injured, has been a fixture in the Jays starting rotation as a typical tough to hit strikeout pitcher with control problems. He has struck out 10 batters per 9 innings in the majors and amassed 26 wins so far. He started his career as a reliever with the Mariners, pitching in 60 games at the age of 22 in 2007 but has since morphed into a starter, striking out 178 batters in 2010 and he once struck out 17 batt
ers in a game. Morrow has shown the ability to be dominant and if he can get his walks under control, Morrow can be an all-star because he's got the stuff. PASS.

4. Brad Lincoln PIT - The Pirates need to make the best use of their #1 picks and I'm not sure that Lincoln ended up being a good pick for the Pirates. 5 years later, your #1 pick should ideally be in your lineup (especially your college picks) but Lincoln has barely seen the majors so far and hasn't dominated enough in the minors. He had a strong 2009 at AA but he has a minor league record of 28-32 with a 4.07 ERA with a minute 1.86 walks per 9 innings. At the Major League level, his strikeout numbers have dropped significantly and he has allowed 11 hits per 9 innings. FAIL

3. Evan Longoria TB - Though he is struggling in 2011 at the hot corner with the Rays, Longoria has already been a 3x all-star, won a gold glove, won a silver slugger award and played in the World Baseball Classic for the US. Has batted .275 with 100 homers and on OPS of 864 in the Major Leagues. Longoria is an example of making use of your #1 pick, unlike the Royals and Rockies at #1 and #2. PASS

2. Greg Reynolds COL - Similar to Hochevar, Reynolds hasn't found his footing in the Major Leagues and has struggled at the AA and AAA level as well. Has a career ERA of 4.50 and a WHIP of 1.41 in the minors and though he is 3-0 in Colorado this season, his numbers aren't good. The Rockies seem to be looking at him as a reliever these days but he's been way too hittable and hasn't struck out nearly enough batters. FAIL

1. Luke Hochevar KC - Made it the major leagues in 2007 and became a regular in 2008, losing much more than he won so far for bad KC teams. Has a career ERA of 5.39 and a WHIP of 1.42. Has not struck out batters like he did in College or in the Minors. At the age of 27, he's running out of time to establish himself with Kansas City and its not helping the Royals come back from not having a winning seasons since 2003. FAIL

Sunday, August 28, 2011

2011 Top Power Hitters - College

When a minor leaguer hits a lot of home runs, people get excited. Though not always the case, the player will go on to become a power hitter in the Major Leagues. He may strike out a lot and he may not hit for average but very often, you can count on the power threat. But what about college hitters? Can you project college power? I don't know. I haven't done an exhaustive study. All I did was take the top ten power hitters of 2011 and the top ten power hitters from 2006. The top tens are ranked by homers. Here they are:

2011 Top Ten College Home Run Hitters

#   Player Name         HR  School            Drafted 2011
1.  Victor Roache       30  Georgia Southern  Sophomore
2.  Jake Lowery         24  James Madison     Cle 4th Round
3.  Daniel Aldrich      22  C of Charleston   Sophomore
3.  Paul Hoilman        22  East Tennessee    Chc 19th Round
3.  Xavier Macklin      22  NC A&T            Oak 12th Round
6.  Casey Kalenkosky    21  Texas State       Was 13th Round
7.  Jonathan Griffin    19  Central Florida   Ari 21st Round
7.  Dan Paolini         19  Siena             Sea 10th Round
7.  Mike Zunino         19  Florida           Sophomore
10. Matt Leeds          18  C of Charleston   Tex 31st Round
10. Andrew Rash         18  Virginia Tech     Sd  36th Round
10. Aaron Westlake      18  Vanderbilt        Det 3rd  Round

But what does college power mean? Does it necessarily translate into a pro career?

2006 Top Ten College Home Run Hitters

#   Player Name         HR  School            Lvl Most HR
1.  Kellen Kulbacki     24  James Madison  AA  22 in 2008
2.  Michael Cowgill     23  James Madison  A+   2 in 2006
2.  Andy D'Alessio      23  Clemson        AA  16 in 2008
2.  Josh Morris         23  Georgia        A    5 in 2007
2.  Quinn Stewart       23  LSU            A+  21 in 2007
6.  Pedro Alvarez       22  Vanderbilt     MLB 29 in 2010
6.  Shawn Scobee        22  Nevada         A-   6 in 2007
8.  Chris Carlson       21  Nebraska       A+  13 in 2009
8.  Brad Miller         21  Ball State     A+  22 in 2007
8.  Ben Saylor          21  BYU            Rk   2 in 2006

Is there something in the water at James Madison? Next to each player is their highest level reached and the most homers they have hit in a pro season.

With the exception of Pedro Alvarez, none of the players above made it past AA. I know that its hard to equate the lower level Division I schools like James Madison with Vanderbilt and Clemson but power is power and all of these players were drafted which meant the scouts didn't turn the other way. Bottom line, you can't necessarily count on college power numbers when projecting major leaguers. Sorry Victor Roache. Better get your CV ready, just in case.

Friday, August 26, 2011

2006 Draft Revisited - Picks #11-20

Part II of our look back at the 2006 MLB draft. Here are picks #20 to #11:

20. Chris Parmelee MIN - Still only 23, Parmelee is doing well at AA, with an OPS of 831 and 12 homers and 27 doubles. The 2006 high school all-american has batted .267 in the minors and has been slow to move between levels. He's a good run producer and a left-handed bat and I think his future with the Twins is dependent on his power. If it exists, he has a future, otherwise, AAAA. FAIL

19. Brett Sinkbeil FLA - The Marlins let Sinkbeil progress through the minor leagues with some lenience and after switching him to a reliever in 2009, his stats actually got worse. They gave him a taste of the majors in 2010 but released him in 2011. The Pirates picked him up but nothing has changed. A 4.84 career minor league ERA won't get you very far. FAIL

18. Kyle Drabek PHI - A prized prospect in the Phillies organization, he was instrumental in bringing Roy Halladay to Philadelphia. He's currently 23 and struggling in AAA and 2011 has been a learning experience and the Jays hope that 2012 brings better things. For the Phillies, since he brought in Roy Halladay, this draft pick was a success but for the Blue Jays, the jury is still out. PASS

17. Matt Antonelli SD - Antonelli has long since fallen off the prospect radar and is currently at AAA for the Nationals after being let go by the Padres following 2010. Though he's hitting .297 at Syracuse and he's been getting on base at a good rate (.385), his career is on a downward trajectory and there's not much hope for him to have a permanent spot in the Majors. At the least, he did get a cup of coffee with the Padres in 2008 as a September callup and he hit a homer off Jason Hirsh. FAIL

16. Jeremy Jeffress MIL - Jeffress, a strikeout pitcher with poor control has struggled through the minors while the Brewers looked for any reason to promote him. He jumped from AA to the Majors in 2010 and went to the Royals in the Zack Greinke deal. He hasn't been much better in KC and a further blemish to his profile, Jeffress has been suspended 3 times for violating the league's drug policy. FAIL

15. Chris Marrero WAS - When you look at Marrero's minor league numbers, you notice the consistency with which he has hit at each level and he's just about been at every level. In AAA in 2010, he is batting .308 and is sure to earn himself a September callup. He has power, hits for average and likes the double (hello Lyle Overbay) but I don't think he'll be a superstar or even a star in the Majors. His defense is poor and he was only rated the #9 prospect in the Nationals system this year. We'll have a better idea on Marrero next season. PASS

14. Travis Snider TOR - Snider is a pretty good hitter who has good power and good baseball instincts but he's streaky and inconsisent and still hasn't managed a full season in the majors. The Jays are being patient with him and they still have him pencilled in for left field each spring and I think his rope is still long since each time the Jays send him down, he dominates AAA. PASS

13. Tyler Colvin CHC -  The Cubs didn't rush Colvin through the minors and though he had a few good years, he didn't make his mark until 2010 when he amassed 358 at bats with the Cubs. A power-hitting outfielder, Colvin doesn't do much else besides hit homers and I'm not sure he projects to be much more than a 4th outfielder. He has struggled in 2011 and taken a step back and at 25, he'll have to have a breakthrough in 2012 to keep on the Cubs radar. PASS (barely)

12. Kasey Kiker TEX - A former high-school all-american, Kiker has stalled at AA in the Rangers organization, fighting his control in almost every start. He has struck out 9.14 batters per 9 innings in his 6 minor league seasons but he has also walked 5.  Though still only 23, the fact that he is stalled in the minors doesn't bode well for his future and Texas has moved him to the bullpen to try to help him on his way. FAIL

11. Max Scherzer ARI - Had progressed nicely through the Diamondbacks system and made his debut early in 2008 with Arizona. After a solid 2010, Scherzer was part of the Curtis Granderson deal and has won 12 games so far in 2011 with 184 strikeouts making him one of the better pitchers in all of baseball. A strikeout pitcher who's tough to hit with a few extra walks like Lincecum and Morrow, Scherzer gives up a few more long balls but as for the Diamondbacks, who were able to get Ian Kennedy out of the Granderson deal, Scherzer was a good 1st pick. PASS

Next up, picks #1-10

Thursday, August 25, 2011

1983 Topps - 792 Cards

Another set that I grew up with. There are 792 cards in the 1983 Topps Regular Issue set. Each team in the set has two colors assigned to it and these two colors make up the frame of the photo and the background of the bottom part of the card. There are two photos on each player card. The top photo is the standard pose or action shot while an inset close-up of the player appears on either the bottom left or bottom right of the card. Opposite the inset photo is the player's name in capital letters with his position below, both on a white background. The color of the player's name matches the frame around the photo. Below the name and position, on the solid background, is the team nickname.

Within the set are the following subsets:

Record Breakers - #1-6
Team Leaders Cards - 1 for each team
Manager Cards - 1 for each team
League Leaders - AL and NL on the same card for each category.
All Star Cards - For each position, for each league. A separate card for each all-star exists in the set without the all-star notation.
Super Veterans - A current photo adjacent to a rookie photo and the year in which the player was a rookie. These cards appear directly after the player's regular card for the set.

This is the 20th complete set in the TBC Baseball Cards database.

2006 Draft Revisited - Picks #21-30

Its always fun to look back. Today, we'll start our look back at the 1st round (Top 30 picks) of the 2006 June Amateur draft. Its fun for us but for some general managers, the look back can be painful. Today, we'll start with picks #21-30. From Ian Kennedy to Adam Ottavino, I'll give each team a PASS or a FAIL for each pick. Its purely subjective and based on statistical performance since I'm not a scout. I'll base my analysis on how far a draft pick has come and whether he'll be a long-term contributor for the Major League team which, in my opinion, is what your first rounder should do:

#30. Adam Ottavino STL - Ottavino, 25, has amassed a record of 36-43 with an ERA of 4.32 in 6 minor league seasons. He holds a WHIP around 1.47 and strikes out almost 8 batters 9 innings and though he breezed through 2006 and 2007 at A-,A and A+, he's found it a lot tougher at the AA level. Ottavino has struggled with control, walking more than 4.2 batters per 9 innings but he's always been able to strike out a few and keep his hits against down. The Cardinals thought enough of him to call him up in May of 2010 but after 3 starts and 5 appearances and an 8.46 era, it was evident that he wasn't ready for the big time. His 2011 hasn't gone much better as he continues to walk batters and the hits against have also risen. Ottavino was on the Italian roster for the 2009 World Baseball Classic. FAIL

#29. Kyle McCulloch CHW - After 6 years in the Minors, including parts of 5 at AA, McCulloch looks to be stalled. He's now with the Reds but he's still maintaining a WHIP of 1.49 and is allowing way too many hits and striking out way too few batters. McCulloch keeps the ball in the park and his control is decent but except for a partial season at rookie ball in 2006, he hasn't wowed anybody. FAIL

#28. Daniel Bard BOS - The Red Sox did, however, strike gold with Bard, who played his college ball at North Carolina. Bard struggled terribly out of the gate as a starter but he quickly found his groove in 2008 as a reliever, putting up tremendous numbers at A,AA and AAA. In 93 innings during that span, he allowed 48 hits and struck out 136. At the Major League level, Bard has been tremendous , allowing less than 6 hits per 9 innings and striking out almost 10. He walks a few but his WHIP is still barely above 1. PASS

#27. Jason Place BOS - Though he showed a little bit of power in 2008 at high-A, Place has struggled to regain a power stroke and he strikes out way too much. He doesn't hit for average and though he's still active in 2011, I would say its by the skin of his teeth and the laurels of being a first round pick. He's currently with the Yankees AA team at Trenton. 49 career homers in 1719 at bats but a .230 average and 695 OPS means... FAIL

#26. Bryan Morris LAD - Though drafted by the Dodgers, Morris has since moved to the Pirates as part of a big 3-way trade in 2008 that involved Manny Ramirez and Jason Bay. Morris missed the 2007 season due to Tommy John surgery and is currently at AA for Pittsburgh and hasn't quite made his case for a trip to the majors let alone AAA. He is a power pitcher who still has some upside and he's now in the bullpen at Altoona despite starting 79 minor league games so far. A 3.92era and a 1.42whip is what he has to offer so far. FAIL

#25. Hank Conger LAA - Conger is a good hitting catcher who found himself in the majors last season at the age of 22. He's been up and down in 2011 but with 52 minor league homers and a .298 batting average and 827 OPS, the Angels believe he's ready to be the catcher of the present. He gets on base, doesn't strike out much and is decent enough on defense. But a bat behind the plate that can hit .300 with some power and some patience can be moved to DH or 1B. PASS

#24. Cody Johnson ATL - A power hitter who strikes out 40% of the time, Johnson has hit 114 homers thus far in his 6 minor league seasons yet he is still at AA, on his second organization. As he moves up the ranks, his strikeouts are actually increasing as well, with 174 in just 376 at bats. He's still hitting the long ball with the Yankees AA affiliate (he has 15) but those strikeouts are just...just...frightening. He's only batting .226 and has still not faced AAA pitching so I'd peg him as a longshot at this point. FAIL

#23. Maxwell Sapp HOU - Sapp's minor league career stalled in 2008 after suffering from Meningitis and he found himself in a coma for 18 days in December. The Astros kept an eye on him in 2009 but they released him in 2010, much to his dismay. Its a sad story for any player let alone a 1st round pick but it wasn't like his minor league numbers had the catcher's trajectory leading him to the bigs. He was not a productive hitter, finishing his career with an OPS of only 622. FAIL

#22. Colton Willems WAS - The former high-school all-american hung up the cleats in 2010 after just four minor league seasons. He showed promise in his first 3 seasons but he fell apart in 2009 and never quite got it together. FAIL

#21. Ian Kennedy NYY - The 26 year-old has already won 15 games in 2011 with the Diamondbacks and he has 70 major league starts under his belt. He dominated in the minors (19-6 1.95era 0.99whip ~10k/9). He walks few, strikes out enough and is tough to hit and he's propelled the D-Backs to 1st place in the NL West along with Justin Upton. Kennedy has turned into an ace and he's on his way to a large multi-year contract. The Yankees used him to get Curtis Granderson so its been a success for both the Yankees and Diamondbacks. PASS

 #11-20 coming soon.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

2008 Topps - 660 Cards

The 2008 Topps Regular Issue set has 660 cards. On a white background, the cards include the team's nickname at the top, in colored circles with the player's name below the picture.

Among the subsets for this set are:

+ Classic Combos - 2 or more players pictured together on the same card.
+ League Leaders
+ Post-Season highlights
+ Award Winners
+ Managers
+ Topps All-Star Rookies - A gold trophy appears on those who were named to the Topps rookie all-star team.
+ Rookie Cards - Players whose cards are known to be their first Topps card are listed with a MLB-endorsed logo indicating it is a Rookie Card.

As we add scans for complete sets, we'll let you know through this blog and through twitter.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

League Leaders

If you navigate to the Leagues section, you were previously able to view League Standings for a historical baseball season for the Major Leagues, Minor Leagues or Division I College. Now, in addition to Standings, there is a league leaders section for about 50 stats, split between batting and pitching. I'll be trying to improve the historical league views in the coming months and this is the first step towards doing so. The data is available for the following leagues:

Major Leagues   1903-2010
Minor Leagues   1978-2010
Independent     2003-2010
College (Div I) 2002-2011

Here are some sample pages:

2010 National League
1979 American League
2005 Eastern League (AA)
2003 Southeastern Conference (NCAA)

1987 Donruss Highlights - 56 Cards

A subset of the 1987 Donruss manufacturing company, this is a 56 card set for several highlights of the 1986 baseball season. All 56 card scans are now available on The Baseball Cube.

The set consists mostly of individual feats such as x of the month awards, no-hitters, milestones and records. There are 2 cards that feature 2 or 3 teammates posing together (Blue Jays #39 and A's #40) and there is a checklist card that appears at the end of the set.

Some players appear more than once within the set.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

What's so special about the 2007 Oakland Athletics

Perhaps a result of the Moneyball philosophy, maybe by design or maybe by sheer luck. It might even have been because the Oakland A's used 54 players during their 76-86 3rd place finish in the AL West. Whatever the reason, the 2007 Oakland Athletics set a Major League record by using 17 first-round draft picks in their lineup.

Were they all Oakland draft picks? No. Only 7.

Joe Blanton   2003 #24
Travis Buck   2005 #36
Eric Chavez   1996 #10
Bobby Crosby  2001 #25
Danny Putnam  2004 #36
Huston Street 2004 #40
Nick Swisher  2002 #16

The others were acquired by free agency or trade.

Daric Barton      2003 #28 stl
Hiram Bocachica   1994 #21 mtl
Dee Brown         1996 #14 kc
Jack Cust         1997 #30 ari
Jason Kendall     1992 #23 pit
Mark Kotsay       1996 #9  fla
Colby Lewis       1999 #8  tex
Dan Meyer         2002 #34 atl
Shannon Stewart   1992 #19 tor
Todd Walker       1994 #8  min

The list includes sandwich picks and the A's had a lot of those during the early to mid 2000s.

Some other teams with a high number of #1 draft picks
2000  Chicago White Sox    16
2001  Chicago White Sox    16
2003  Cincinnati Reds      16
2009  Chicago White Sox    16
2010  Chicago White Sox    15
1990  San Diego Padres     14
1991  Oakland Athletics    14
2004  Tampa Bay Rays       14
2006  Oakland Athletics    14
2009  Boston Red Sox       14
2010  Boston Red Sox       14
2010  Oakland Athletics    14

Friday, August 19, 2011

Rickey Henderson and the Catchers who Despised Him

Rickey Henderson stole 1406 bases in his 25 Major League seasons. He attempted to steal on more than 240 different catchers.

Rickey Henderson had the most stolen bases against: (top 10)

1.  Jim Sundberg    54
2.  Ernie Whitt     48
3.  Carlton Fisk    43
4.  Butch Wynegar   37
5.  Rick Dempsey    37
6.  Brian Harper    36
7.  Lance Parrish   36
8.  Rich Gedman     33
9.  John Wathan     32
10. Ron Hassey      29
These catchers caught Henderson the most:

1.  Lance Parrish   17
2.  Bob Boone       15
3.  Jim Sundberg    13
4.  Carlton Fisk    11
5.  Ernie Whitt     10
6.  Rich Gedman      9
7.  Sandy Alomar     8
8.  Butch Wynegar    7
9.  Rick Dempsey     7
10. Pat Borders      7

Props to Bob Boone who only appears on the Caught Stealing list. Henderson did manage 19 steals against Boone but nowhere near top 10. 

These catchers caught Henderson at the highest rate (at least 10 attempts):

1.  Bob Boone      19/34  .56%
2.  Ivan Rodriguez  9/15  .60
3.  Ed Ott          6/10  .60
4.  Jorge Posada    7/11  .64
5.  Sandy Alomar   15/23  .65

Once again, Boone is on top. Sandy Alomar, though he faced Rickey later in his career also appears on both lists.

Henderson stole 3b off these catchers the most:

1. Jim Sundberg     12
2. Brian Harper     11
3. Carlton Fisk     11
4. Ernie Whitt      10
5. John Wathan      10

Once again, Henderson's favorite victim is Sundberg.

And here's a complete list of all catchers and Rickey Henderson's success against them:

Gary Alexander 1/1, Andy Allanson 23/24, Gary Allenson 6/7, Sandy Alomar 15/23, Brad Ausmus 1/2, Paul Bako 4/5, Chris Bando 8/9, Michael Barrett 1/3, Bill Bathe 5/5, Gary Bennett 1/1, Damon Berryhill 3/4, Bob Boone 19/34, Pat Borders 18/25, Glenn Borgmann 2/4, Scott Bradley 19/23, Kevin Brown 1/2, Bud Bulling 3/5, Sal Butera 4/7, Javier Cardona 1/1, Raul Casanova 4/5, Alberto Castillo 2/2, Marty Castillo 1/1, Rick Cerone 18/23, Stan Cliburn 2/2, Mike Colbern 4/5, Larry Cox 4/5, Ben Davis 1/1, Bob Davis 2/2, Steve Decker 0/1, Rick Dempsey 37/44, Bo Diaz 1/1, Einar Diaz 1/1, Mike DiFelice 5/6, Tom Donohue 6/9, Brian Downing 3/3, Duffy Dyer 1/1, Dave Engle 1/2, Jim Essian 12/14, Bobby Estalella 1/1, Tony Eusebio 1/2, Jorge Fabregas 7/8, Bill Fahey 2/3, Sal Fasano 4/5, Joe Ferguson 3/3, Mike Fischlin 2/2, Carlton Fisk 43/54, John Flaherty 12/13, Darrin Fletcher 12/13, Marv Foley 3/3, Barry Foote 5/8, Brook Fordyce 1/1, Jim Gaudet 2/2, Rich Gedman 3/42, Bob Geren 4/6, Joe Girardi 3/3, Wiki Gonzalez 1/2, Dan Graham 6/7, Brad Gulden 1/1, Edwards Guzman 1/1, Toby Hall 1/1, Brian Harper 36/41, Bill Haselman 4/5, Ron Hassey 29/35, Scott Hatteberg 7/8, Mike Heath 17/18, Scott Hemond 4/4, Carlos Hernandez 1/1, Ramon Hernandez 0/2, Marc Hill 7/7, Chris Hoiles 13/15, Mike Hubbard 2/2, Todd Hundley 7/8, Dave Huppert 1/1, Brian Johnson /2, Bob Johnson 1/1, Charles Johnson 4/8, Mark Johnson 1/3, Ron Karkovice 10/13, Bob Kearney 2/2, Jason Kendall 13/16, Terry Kennedy 5/5, Bruce Kimm 1/1, Randy Knorr 3/3, Chad Kreuter 5/6, Tom Lampkin 4/4, Tim Laudner 28/34, Mike LaValliere 2/3, Matt LeCroy 1/1, Jesse Levis 2/3, Jim Leyritz 3/3, Mike Lieberthal 5/7, Paul LoDuca 1/2, Javy Lopez 2/2, Dwight Lowry 1/1, Mike MacFarlane 17/21, Robert Machado 2/2, Tom Magrann 4/4, Kirt Manwaring 8/9, Eli Marrero 2/3, Sandy Martinez 1/1, Buck Martinez 22/26, John Marzano 4/6, Mike Matheny 1/1, Pascual Matos 1/1, Brent Mayne 15/18, Bill McGuire 2/2, Bob Melvin 6/7, Orlando Mercado 2/2, Matt Merullo 0/1, Darrell Miller 1/1, Damian Miller 7/10, Doug Mirabelli 1/2, Chad Moeller 1/1, Bengie Molina 6/6, Jose Molina 0/1, Charlie Moore 13/16, Thurman Munson 3/4, Greg Myers 13/13, Bill Nahorodny 1/1, Jerry Narron 10/11, Rob Natal 3/5, Jamie Nelson 4/5, Phil Nevin 6/7, Jeff Newman 2/2, Carl Nichols 3/3, Tom Nieto 2/2, Dave Nilsson 6/6, Matt Nokes 24/27, Joe Nolan 9/13, Johnny Oates 1/3, Charlie O'Brien 7/7, Joe Oliver 4/7, Junior Ortiz 7/9, John Orton 2/3, Ed Ott 6/10, Jayhawk Owens 1/1, Larry Owen 3/3, Tom Pagnozzi 0/2, Rey Palacios 1/1, Al Pardo 1/1, Lance Parrish 36/53, Angel Pena 1/1, Tony Pena 7/7, Eddie Perez 2/2, Ben Petrick 3/3, Geno Petralli 9/12, Mike Piazza 9/10, Darrell Porter 9/13, Jorge Posada 7/11, Jamie Quirk 2/2, Dave Rader 3/5, Floyd Rayford 7/9, Mike Redmond 2/2, Jeff Reed 7/7, Ivan Rodriguez 9/15, Rich Rowland 3/3, John Russell 3/3, Mark Salas 11/12, Benito Santiago 4/6, Bill Schroeder 6/7, Donnie Scott 5/7, Scott Servais 3/5, Danny Sheaffer 1/1, Joe Siddall 0/1, Ted Simmons 14/19, Joel Skinner 18/22, Don Slaught 14/19, Ray Smith 4/5, Mike Stanley 20/25, John Stefero 2/2, Terry Steinbach 5/9, Bob Stinson 1/1, Kelly Stinnett 2/2, Marc Sullivan 1/2, Jim Sundberg 54/67, B.J. Surhoff 18/19, Mike Sweeney 2/3, Rick Sweet 7/7, Jeff Tackett 2/2, Eddie Taubensee 7/8, Mickey Tettleton 23/24, Ron Tingley 2/2, Chris Turner 1/1, Javier Valentin 1/1, Dave Valle 21/25, Jason Varitek 5/6, Don Wakamatsu 0/1, Matt Walbeck 3/6, John Wathan 32/37, Lenny Webster 2/3, Ernie Whitt 48/58, Chris Widger 3/6, Rick Wilkins 2/2, Jerry Willard 11/13, Dan Wilson 10/12, Tom Wilson 2/2, Vance Wilson 0/1, John Wockenfuss 13/14, Butch Wynegar 37/44, Steve Yeager 3/3, Ned Yost 20/22, Gregg Zaun 1/2

Thursday, August 18, 2011

1984 Topps - 792 Cards

Though I grew up with the O Pee Chee version of this set, the 1984 Topps card is one that brings back lots of nostalgia for me. There are 792 cards in this set, including a few different subsets.

The player cards have an inset closeup photo of the player on the bottom left and the team nickname displayed vertically on the left, above the photo. The player's name and position(s) appear below the main photo. The photos are a mixture of the standard poses and there are some action photos.

Each of the 26 teams has a Team Leaders card which indicates the leader in Batting Average and Earned Run Average. But beware because the card displays only qualified players (enough at bats or innings pitched) and so the Royals have Larry Gura and a 4.90 era on the front of theirs and the Reds have Ron Oester batting only .264.

There are 6 highlight cards at the front of the set with 3 of them featuring mutliple players.

Each of the 26 teams also has a card for their Manager which is usually a closeup of him looking past the camera, smiling or talking.

There are 8 League Leaders cards for 8 different stats that display the leader for both the American League and National League on each.

There's also 22 All-Star cards which is essentially a second card for each player. Some Topps sets display the "All-Star" banner on the regular player card but this set has a separate card indicating the league and the position of the player.

AL and NL Active Career Leaders for 7 different stats highlight the players who are active and leading that league in a particular stat. I believe that this is the only time that this subset has been used.

Of course, there are 6 checklist cards as well. The numbering of the cards has superstars having the #100,200,300 etc. The better players occupy card numbers ending in "5" and "0" and the rest is filled in with lesser known players. There is no indication or acknowledgements of rookies in this set, something that Topps veered away from starting in 1983.

Some cards of value in the set:

#490 Cal Ripken
#470 Nolan Ryan
#251 Tony Gwynn
#596 Ryne Sandberg
#300 Pete Rose
#400 Cal Ripken (All-Star)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

2002 Texas Longhorns

Winners of the 2002 College World Series, the Texas Longhorns went 57-15, won the Big 12 Conference championship and were ranked #1 in the nation. Here's a quick review of the players on this team and their baseball journey over the next 10 years. There wasn't a lot of superstar major league quality on this team (Street excluded). The Moneyball Oakland Athletics drafted 4 of these players.

Major Leaguers:

Geno Espinelli Drafted: 2004 by SF (#430) Moved on to Texas Christian for his Junior season. Got in 15 games with Giants in 2008 at the age of 25 but otherwise, has become a career minor leaguer, mostly at Fresno for the Giants AAA squad.

Brandon Fahey  Drafted: 2002 by BAL (#346) Played 3 seasons in major leagues .224/.279/.307 but never really caught on and dropped off the radar in 2008.

Brad Halsey  Drafted: 2002 by NYY (#246) Played 3 seasons in MLB, using 2004 AAA season to land him full-time gig in Arizona in 2005  where his numbers were not great. Tried Indy ball 2009 and 2010 is now back struggling in Yankees minor league system.

Michael Hollimon Drafted: 2005 by DET (#480) A freshman on CWS team, he never hit that well in Texas, moved to Oral Roberts and hit well and used good power numbers to move through the minors. Made his Major League debut at 26 in 2008 but has not played in the majors since that season. Currently toiling in Twins system. (12 hrs this year)

Omar Quintanilla Drafted: 2003 by OAK (#33) Currently active in the Major Leagues since 2005. Batted .305 in Minor Leagues with 810 OPS but has struggled in Majors at .217/.274/.290

Huston Street  Drafted: 2004 by OAK (#40) The one regular Major Leaguer to come off this team, dominated as a freshman at Texas and found himself in Oakland as a 21 year old in 2005, dominating and being named AL rookie of the year. Still active in 2011 with the Rockies, Street has saved 177 games with an ERA slightly above 3 and a WHIP slightly above 1. He's continued to strike out a batter in an inning and walking few. Has twice received votes as MVP (2005 and 2009)

Curtis Thigpen Drafted: 2004 by TOR (#57) Slowly moved through Blue Jays minor league system until 2007 when he was given 101 at bats with the Jays, batting .238. Hit .222 in the minors the next season, got 17 ab with the Jays and was out of baseball at the age of 25.

Made it to AAA

Ryan Hubele Drafted: 2002 by BAL (#226) The catcher spent his entire career in the Orioles minor league system, reaching AAA in parts of two seasons. Batted .248 with 40 homers and 177 rbis in 1635 at bats.

Seth Johnston Drafted: 2005 by SD (#158) Drafted as a senior by the Padres, the infielder  spent his 5 minor league seasons in the San Diego system, reaching AAA in 2009. Managed 49 career homers and hit .263/.320/.402

Dustin Majewski Drafted: 2003 by OAK (#92) Another A's draft pick who put up pretty good minor league numbers with 80 homers, 388 rbis, 797 OPS. He walked a lot, hit lots of doubles and showed promise as a potential major leaguer but hit only 1 home run in 2009 at Frisco and as the power diminished, so did the dream.

Justin Simmons Drafted: 2004 by LAD (#628) Never quite got going in the minors, walking way too many batters along the way. Played 3 seasons in the Dodgers organization at 4 levels.

Made it to AA

Brantley Jordan Drafted: 2003 by STL (#875) 2 years in the Cardinals system (03-04) and 1 more with the Red Sox before electing to play Independent ball for a couple of years.

Tim Moss Drafted: 2003 by PHI (#85) Second baseman started out strong in the Phillies system, hitting 17 homers at A+ Clearwater in 2005 before fizzling in AA, batting .180 over 206 at bats in 2006. Stole 69 bases in the minors with 20 triples and 709 OPS.

Danny Muegge Drafted: 2003 by ARI (#576) Had a few solid minor league seasons, showing very good control and had an ERA below 3.68 in 5 seasons with Diamondbacks and Dodgers. Missed 2007 with an injury and his comeback was not successful in 2008.

Played in Minors but did not reach AA

Alan Bomer Drafted: 2002 by NYY (#126) Never quite got out of the gates, making 2 starts before running into injury problems and then being released.

Ray Clark Drafted: 2002 by NYY (#426) 2 strong seasons with Yankees in Minors but then inexplicably jumped to Indy league in 2004 and not heard from since.

Buck Cody Drafted: 2005 by SF (#492) Drafted at the age of 23, lost his mojo in 2006 with 35 walks in 38 innings and left baseball after 2006.

Nic Crosta Drafted: 2004 by TEX (#501) Strong start in Padres organization batting .382 at Fort Wayne in 2006 but as power increased, average decreased and was out of baseball at age of 24.

Ryan France Drafted: 2003 by OAK (#512) Spent time with 3 organizations in 3 minor league seasons.

Jeff Ontiveros Drafted: 2002 (UDFA) 4 seasons in Boston organization, 1 in Indy ball.

Jarrett Reininger Drafted: 2004 by CIN (#438) 4 minor league seaons with Reds and Nationals, batting .249 and then 5 seasons with Indy league teams as a regular 3b. Most recently with El Paso of American Association in 2010.

Eric Sultemeier Drafted: 2003 by BAL (#164) Batted .202 in his 2 minor league seasons with only 1 homer and a 546 OPS.

Played in Independent Leagues

Jesen Merle Pitched 5 years of Indy ball in a few different leagues as a reliever. Numbers weren't that great.

Tim Mcgough After jumping to Texas Christian in 2003, he eventually played 1 season (2006) in the American Association with Costal Bend, putting up an ERA of 3.43.

Did not advance past College baseball.

Chris Carmichael
Joe Ferin
Kevin Frizzell
Kalani Napoleon
Chris Neuman
Matt Rosenberg

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

2011 College Baseball Top 25

Baseball America released their top 25 College Baseball rankings at the end of June, following South Carolina's College World Series Championships. This data has been added to the web site this week. Here's a list of the top 25 teams this year:

South Carolina       55-14
Florida              53-19
Virginia             56-12
Vanderbilt           54-12
North Carolina       51-16
Texas                49-19
Texas A&M            47-22
Florida State        46-19
Arizona State        43-18
10 Oregon State         41-19
11 California           38-23
12 Connecticut          45-20
13 Stanford             35-22
14 Cal State Fullerton  41-17
15 Rice                 42-21
16 UC Irvine            43-18
17 Mississippi State    38-25
18 Dallas Baptist       42-20
19 Texas Christian      43-19
20 Georgia Tech         42-21
21 Clemson              43-20
22 UCLA                 35-24
23 Miami                38-23
24 Arkansas             40-22
25 East Carolina        41-21

Monday, August 15, 2011

First Callup :: Player Pages

There's a new data element on the player pages called 1st Callup and its located at the top right, near the Major League debut. The 1st Callup element is a description of the circumstances in which a player was first called up to the Major Leagues. Its another ongoing project and its currently on about 300 pages but should have about 100 new players added each week.

Jason Heyward
Craig Kimbrel
Chad Ogea
Jon Matlack

Some of the scenarios in which a player gets called up:
  • Opening Day roster
  • September callup
  • To replace a traded or released player
  • To replace a disabled player
  • To replace a demoted player

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Mark Gubicza

Former 20-game winner Mark Gubicza turns 49 years old today. The right-hander spent 13 seasons with the Kansas City Royals as an inning-eater starter, winning 132 games and losing 136.

Gubicza was a second round pick by the Royals in 1981 (34th overall) and spent 3 seasons in the minors before earning a full-time spot with the Royals in 1984 out of spring training. He won 14 games with Jacksonville (AA) with an ERA of 3.08.

He made his debut on April 6th,1984 at the age of 21, getting a win against the Tigers.

Statistically, he had two dominating seasons, both of which earned him a trip to the all-star game.  He went 20-8 in 1988 with an ERA of 2.70 and in 1989, 15-11 with an ERA of 3.05. Besides those two seasons, Gubicza pitched a lot of innings, lost a lot of games, gave up a lot hits, walked a few too many and struck out 6 per 9ip. He found himself with ERA in the 4s many seasons and the Royals even tried Gubicza out as a long reliever in 1993.

He was a member of the 1985 world-series winning squad but played only in the ALCS. He has twice been named pitcher of the month and player of the week once.

The Royals parted ways with Gubicza after the 1996 season, sending him to California for Chili Davis. He would only make 2 starts in Anaheim the following season, allowing 13 runs in 4 innings. He had shoulder trouble and was placed on the DL early that April and never returned. In 1998, he signed a Minor League contract with the Dodgers but in February, decided to retire instead. He expressed interest in 1999 for a comeback as well but found no takers.

Since his retirement, Gubicza has resurfaced as color commentator for Los Angeles Angels broadcasts. He has also served as high school baseball coach in the Los Angeles area for Chaminade high school.