This Week in Baseball

-Taylor Ballinger, Matt Korte, Jeff Gangloff

Good morning, Nation. We’re back with our weekly installment of “This Week in Baseball”, where Taylor, Matt, and Jeff will highlight interesting and/or important stories happening throughout baseball. As always, hope you enjoy – and let us know what you’ve been reading by posting in the comment section below.

Every pitch counts in baseball, but the 1-1 pitch counts more than any other Zach Helfand, LA Times

Fascinating piece on the importance of pitch counts within an at bat. This year, MLB hitters are batting .169 when the count is 1-2, and .342 when the count is 2-1. What happens with that 1-1 pitch is critical to a pitcher’s ability to consistently get outs. This is part of the reason Joey Votto’s plate discipline is so valuable. He forces pitchers into hitters’ counts. And then he takes advantage of it. (Ballinger)

Small moves that paid off big Andrew Simon, Sports on Earth

Every year, a few teams make huge off-season acquisitions in hopes of building a World Series-caliber club. Those deals receive intense scrutiny, and we tend to follow them and the individual players throughout the year to see what impact the acquisition had, if any. Often, though, it’s smaller transactions throughout the offseason that help put teams in contention. Here’s a list of 10 such acquisitions current contenders made before the 2015 season. Glad to see Edinson Volquez on the list. He’s been very good this year for the Royals. (Ballinger)

Kurkjian’s short stories: Pete Rose out of jail

This isn’t so much an article, but it seemed too good to pass up. Tim Kurkjian recalls an account told to him by Aaron Boone about a time when Pete Rose was released from jail. The story couldn’t be any more Pete Rose. (Gangloff)

Hey data, data: MLB face challenge delivering info to players by Joe Lemire, USA Today

We all love sabermetrics, but sometimes we forget that in order for sabermetrics to be effective, the players have to be willing to use the information at hand and have the ability to comprehend it. USA Today interviewed various MLB players, got their opinion on advanced statistics, and asked them how they digest the information at hand and apply it to their everyday game (Gangloff).

Where the 2015 MLB Rookie Class Ranks Among Best of the Last 25 Years by Joel Reuter via Bleacher Report

I love superficial rankings.  Absolutely love them.  When analyzing and picking apart a sport based on a data and statistics, what better way to pass the time then come up with rankings and categorizations that virtually mean nothing to the history or impact of the game.  A topic that I have hedged heavily on this year has been the influx of young talent to the major leagues; and not just talent in 2015, but talent in the past three or four seasons.  This article looks at the past 25 years in major league baseball and ranks the Top 10 rookie classes.  These rankings take into consideration depth of the class, balance by position, superstar talent and career performance to date.  While the 90’s provided some great, lasting talent to the game, the past few seasons have taken the lead in super star talent (Korte).

The 15 Best Baseball Movies of All Time via Sporting News Contributing Editors

OK…now I’ve really gone off the deep end.  But why not?  Our Reds season is in shambles, and I cant stand to write about articles highlighting the success of the Cubs, Pirates and Cardinals.  As the summer comes to a close, why not highlight an article outlining one of the most debated topics in the history of baseball; Best Baseball Movies.  How Kevin Costner has monopolized this market I don’t know…but one thing I know for sure, you cant argue with Bull Durham being #1 all-time.  Other than that, I’ll leave the rankings up for discussion and debate…though as a child of the 90’s, I will make two points; first, The Sandlot should be ranked higher in this list.  And second, how Little Big League didn’t make this list I’ll never know…its truly one of the most underrated baseball movies of all-time (Korte).