After the Romans conquered the Greeks, they adopted their mythology to tie them to the past. They wanted a foundational belief in purpose, but one far more practical to their view of the world… The first generation of Moneyball taught us that OBP was equally important as AVG, embodied by Kevin Youkilis, the Greek God of Walks (and Scott Hatteberg). He had plate discipline for days and was not afraid to take a ball, even in the shoulder, that led to a career OBP of .382, yadda yadda, we all know the story. Enter 2019, and the age of Exit Velocity, Launch Angle, and Hard Contact. OBP is still praised, but on top of getting on base, the goal now is maximizing quality contact and focusing on bat path to avoid wasting those OBP runners on base — this, the new the prevailing philosophy in baseball.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I spent 24 hours, and I wish I had more hours, writing and rewriting this post for you. This is a tough cat to understand. So many things point to positives, but there are still a few underlying issues that make you wonder if it’s real. Since being recalled from minors Lourdes Gurriel Jr., of the Swinging Gurriels, is destroying baseballs at a .355/.401/.739 clip with 14 HRs in 152 PAs. That would roughly pace him for a 60 HR season. No big deal right? He might be the hottest bat in all the land.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As someone said, Ketel Marte is 170 lbs soaking wet. And being 6’1″, he doesn’t have a particularly big frame (Jose Altuve is 5’6″ and weighs the same). Marte has been a slap-happy hitter that puts the ball in play and legs them out. After a hot stove trade sent our Ketel from Seattle to Arizona he began to get a taste of success. He improved his plate discipline working at AAA and his OBP went from .287 (in 2016 with the Mariners) to a respectable .345 along with a slight uptick in power after being called up in June of the 2017 season. Then in 2018, he put it together for respectable 14 HR with a slash of .260/.332/.437 over a full season. Last year he showed some sneaky HR potential, but nothing like what we’ve seen this season…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We all know that Shohei Ohtani is amazing, or at least this homer does. After his elbow injury on June 6th, I plunged deep into a nightmare. The water was warm. He missed the remainder of the month and came back a bit slow. After the All-Star Break, his sole purpose was to simply DH. And it was beautiful. Ohtani could be an elite bat if he were to focus just on that. His (hitter) scouting report said he has 70-grade power that’s effortless with a smooth stroke and 45-grade hit tool that is largely due to some swing-and-miss tendencies. But, you have to understand… he’s a top-tier pitcher who obsesses over film. There are few in the league that study more than him; his work ethic is legendary. When can one focus on being a better hitter while you are trying to pitch against 9 other hitters each week?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Last year Aaron Nola was really good. He posted a 2.37 ERA, 0.97 WHIP with a 3.01 FIP along with a 9.49 K/9 that placed him among the best. He paraded up and down the French Quarter for all to see on Mardi Gras. And then Hurricane 2019 (AKA Katrina) reared its ugly head from across the sea, and has assaulted Nola with utter indiscretion and lack of mercy, destroying his and your ratios. To date, Nola has a 4.58 ERA, 1.49 WHIP and a 4.22 FIP that mostly agrees with the destruction. He was once the Big Easy, set it and forget it, an easy auto-start and reap the reward. This season he’s been the Easy At-bat, bleh.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

With helium balls flying out this year and the Launch Angle Revolution storming the Bastille, many pitchers are a lot less safe than they used to be. This is especially true for flyball pitchers and those that pitch-to-contact (I fart in your general direction Ray Searage). Then, from somewhere in the crowd, emerges Jake Odorizzi who runs down the ramp and dives into the ring, a pretty extreme flyball pitcher. He has a career GB/FB rate of .71 and a FB% north of 47% the last 3 years. This year he’s at 50.7% yet his HR/FB rate is microscopic 5.3%, wow! He is currently sporting a line of 1.96 ERA 0.96 WHIP and a K-rate above 9 (that ERA is good for 2nd behind only Hyun-Jin Ryu, and he’s 6th in WHIP). We thought he was dead and scrambled; but now he’s back, slaying giants, and laughing in the face of expectations. Is this reality or a dream? Is this the Resurrection of Jake the Snake or is he just getting by on good feelings, bad farts, and a suppressed BABIP? Is he just an egg waiting to become an omelette, or is he a showman mystifying his opponents always one step ahead? How many more questions can I ask?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I am, what I’ll refer to as a graybeard millennial, one of the first ones in. So the TV show All In The Family was before my time. However, my Dad would watch the reruns of it and especially its spinoff, The Jeffersons, that was more successful (and funnier IMO) than the original. Many of you probably have no idea what I’m talking about so I’ll lay it out, it was basically Family Guy before Family Guy. The main character, Archie Bunker, is a bartender dad who is very outspoken, not the smartest, narrow-minded, and often judges everyone based on stereotypes/racism (back when that was funny, good times huh?). Their nextdoor neighbors were the Jeffersons, a black family whose father George was a friend of Archie despite his bigotry and often called out his BS. The Jeffersons spinoff is basically when George’s business takes off and he’s able to move the family from Queens to an upperclass apartment in Manhattan and GTFO and away from Archie. Upward mobility.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

What up fam, this is my first official post here, some of you might be familiar with my previous commenter handle of Todd25… so let the games begin. Today’s deep dive is Josh Bell. Because, well… how do I say this? Josh Bell is straight up freakin’ murdering baseballs like he’s Michael Myers, Jason, Freddy Krueger, Jareth the Goblin King, and every other 80s horror villain who suddenly has a distaste for baseballs (that sounded better in my head). There’s definitely something different with the 2019 model, lets take a peek under the hood. Bell has had 3 2 HR games this month. To date he is currently hitting .339/.408/.718 with 16 HR 47 RBIs and its not even the end of May. It has been amazing to watch him tee off like Happy Gilmore.

Please, blog, may I have some more?