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Beyond the Box Score Podcast Rewinds Itself, Previews 2011 AL Central

As if the lure of hearing my dulcet tones discuss Jason Kendall and the other lesser stars of the 2011 AL Central along with host Dave Gershman and special guest Nick Scott of Royals Authority wasn't enough, Dave also interviews Phillies prospect Jiwan James. And yes, sorry in advance for the blatant self-promotion.

A Very Important Analysis for All Royals Fans to Read

Insider content, but the title and first paragraph or two will let regular RRers know why it's linked.

Catcher's ERA: As Stupid as Ever

R. J. Anderson at BtBS obviously hasn't talked to Zack Greinke about this. Includes an appearance by an old frenemy.

TO: Royals Unable to Find Themselves in the Standings

'"We looked in all the usual places: third place, fourth place, even fifth place, and we didn't see our name anywhere," said Royals GM Dayton Moore, who added that he even peeked at the AL West standings to see if perhaps the team had been moved to a different division.'

Royals All-Time TTO Seasons

Spurred by philofthenorth's recent FanShot linking to THT's analysis of 2008's Kings of Three True Outcomes, my latest article at Driveline Mechanics "responds" by briefly looking at the five qualified players in the majors this year with the lowest TTO rates. Of course, since I somehow screwed up the "auto-publish" function after I finished it last night, it didn't publish this morning like I had planned, so probably even fewer people than usual will read my drivel... Sadly, no Royals qualified for the list of guys who "make the defense work," the "pressurizers." In honor of the boys in (powder) blue, I did an all-time single season ranking list (min 500 PAs), as well as a list for the 2008 season. There are some interesting things on both lists. I decided to make the minumum 75 PAs this past season just for some fun... Revealing stuff, sort of.

OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMFG!!!!!11111ONE

Buster Olney, yes, the Buster Olney has written a feature story on our boy Alex Gordon at espn.com. Sure, you need Insider Access to get all the details on how Seitzer is going to turn him into David Wright at the plate, which I don't have, but the Royals made the "big picture" on espn.com's mlb page.... maybe someone out there with "insider" access can let us know what's up. I've got a good feeling about this. Revised projection for Gordon in 2009: .300/.425/.600

They should have named it willie O' Bloomquist Average

I finally published another highly anticipated article on quantifying the "Little Things" at Driveline... Features my usual Mechian efficiency in getting to the point, but if you want to understand this spreadsheet I've linked here, you should at least take a look at it... That's right, Jose Guillen really did do something. That's what he's getting 3/36 for -- not getting on base, or playing defense, or being able to hit right-handed pitching, but doing the "Little Things." Royal #2 is shocking, but maybe not so much when you think about what this stat means. I actually did the Royals calculations a while before I started writing for Driveline, and it turned into this... which ended up a lot longer and more inconclusive than I had hoped, but maybe it will go somewhere. I hope that if you find it interesting, you'll discuss the conceptual side of things over there, although I'm willing to learn here, too. If nothing else, it prominently features a classic example from the late 70s-early 80s Royals dynasty. And just for the record: +0.43 -0.03 +0.06 Figure it out.

Fangraphs adds Wins Above Replacement (WAR)

Also dollar values per year. Obviously, it's not perfect -- not everyone will agree with the defensive stats, market value, or the replacement level. wRAA (wOBA Runs Above Average) isn't yet park adjusted there. bUZR needs to be completed (in the works), arm ratings are needed, as well as baserunning, catcher defense, and so on. It also seems they haven't done pitchers yet... But it's still pretty cool. I like(d) doing it myself and pretending to be an analyst. There goes 85% of my posts, which is probably a relief to you all. You don't need me anymore, if you ever did (although I'm happy to see that many of their evaluations met my own). Hmmmm... since fangraphs also usually carries the James, CHONE, ZiPS, and other projections... well, let's just say it's a good thing BP does fantasy and has EqBRR. Here are some Royals (and others of interest) WARs/$ values (in millions) from 2008. Remember that for position players, "2" is about average: Alex Gordon: 2.7/$12.1 David DeJesus: 3.8/$17.1 Mike Aviles: 4.4/$19.8 Jose Guillen: 0.2/$0.9 Emil Brown: 0.5/$2.1 Coco Crisp: 1.1/$4.9 Mark Teahen: 0.3/$1.2 Mark Grudzielanek: 1.6/$7.0 Alberto Callaspo: 1.2/$5.2 Ross Gload: -0.5/-$3.5 Justin Huber: 0.2/$0.9 Tony Pena, Jr: -1.3/-$5.8 Ryan Shealy: 0.7/$3.2 Billy Butler: 0.1/$0.5 Mike Jacobs: -0.2/-$0.7 Mathew Tupman: 0.1/$0.3

Dollars per marginal win, 2008

More great work from Sky Kalkman at Beyond the Box Score. On his accounting the Royals had the fifth most efficient payroll in baseball this past season. Now would be a good time to remember not only the Meche and Soria deals, but also who signed DDJ's club-friendly contract, Grudz, and drafted Alex Gordon and Mike Aviles...

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