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Last offseason I took a stab at predicting the statistical effect of a player that makes the transition from the Cuban Serie Nacional to Major League Baseball, specifically looking at what to expect from the then-newest Cuban-come ups, Jose Abreu and Alex Guerrero.

You can read the whole article here, but the basics of what I did was I took the career stats from both Cuba and MLB and averaged them first to a per-season basis, then to a per 500 AB basis to give a general idea of what kind of increase or decrease in production we should expect when players transition from league to league. Some of the key findings in that comparison were the following:

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2014 was a pretty rough year for Dustin Pedroia no matter which way you look at it. Hampered by a wrist injury all season, he ended up hitting just .278 with 7 HR and 6 SB – all career lows for the former four-time-All Star. He finished the year as only the 16th-best fantasy second baseman according to ESPN’s Player Rater, which is especially disappointing considering that he was a top-five 2B in each of the three seasons prior.

A large part of Pedroia’s struggles, however, actually started before the season even began. He had played with a torn ligament in his thumb throughout the 2013 season and had surgery at the end of the year to correct it. Unfortunately, the post-surgery effects were very limiting and it caused Pedroia to have to alter his offseason routine. He wasn’t able to lift weights or do most upper body workouts, which really sapped his power during the year.

Even worse, his thumb ended up getting re-injured once the season started up, but this time it wasn’t nearly as easy to play through. In an interview with WEEI back in November, Pedroia had the following to say about his injury:

It was just frustrating. The year before, I found a way to perform, playing nicked up. The year before it was a loose feeling – I tore that ligament in my thumb and everything just felt loose, so I was able to figure it out and let the ball travel more and just try to slap balls the other way and get hits and not try to drive the ball. This year it was more, I was restricted. I didn’t have any motion. It was so swollen and tight all year, I couldn’t get a feel of how to get through it. It was tough. I fought it all year.

The injury ended up getting so bad that it caused Pedroia’s season to end early, and he had another surgery on September 11 to get it fixed. However, because he got the procedure done much earlier than the previous year, when he had to wait until after winning the World Series, it healed sooner and he was able to have a relatively normal offseason. Having the surgery earlier really seemed to do the trick, and Pedroia compares the different between this offseason and the last to be “night and day,” adding that:

I’ve got all my strength back. I’m lifting like a maniac. I’m pretty excited. Last year at this time I couldn’t hit yet. It’s obvious a lot different offseason this year than last year. I’m full go. I’ve been throwing, hitting, taking some ground balls. I’m ready to go…I’m done with the rehab. I haven’t missed a beat. I haven’t had my strength like normal for few years. I’m excited.”

While we’ll have to wait and see whether Pedroia’s enthusiasm will reflect itself onto the upcoming season, I remain optimistic that we’ll see a solid bounce-back year from him in 2015.

At A Glance

Strengths Neutral Weaknesses
Standard R, BA HR, RBI, SB
Deeper PA, BB, K, 2B, OBP 3B, NetSB, SLG CS
Peripherals K%, BB% GB%, FB%, LD%, HR/FB, ISO

Players With Similar Fantasy Projections

  • Melky Cabrera
  • Daniel Murphy
  • Howie Kendrick

2015 Fantasy Baseball Projection

2015 Projection: 651 PA, 83 R, 11 HR, 72 RBI, 10 SB, .284 AVG

Overall Rank: 90 | 2B Rank: 8

Don’t go overboard on draft day, but I feel confident that we are going to see a big season from Dustin Pedroia in 2015.

Overall we project a nice rebound season from Pedroia, although we remain slightly conservative with that prediction. These projections are meant to give you a baseline on what to expect when drafting a player, and while it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see him top these numbers, don’t draft him expecting vintage Pedroia back right away.

If you draft him with the following projections in mind and he exceeds them, then great, but if you expect too much and he doesn’t meet those expectations then it leaves you stuck trying to fill the holes in production where he fell short.

That being said, I think the chance of him topping our initial projection is pretty good, and I personally don’t have a problem with reaching a little bit to acquire him in drafts. In our recent reader mock draft we did on Tuesday, Pedroia was taken 74th overall, and that’s right about where I would be comfortable drafting him. Don’t go overboard on draft day, but I feel confident that we are going to see a big season from Dustin Pedroia in 2015.

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Heading into last season I was very high on Sonny Gray. He made his debut in mid-2013 right before the All-Star break and pitched to some impressive ratios across 64 solid innings. Following up his notable rookie campaign, he was able to put up very similar numbers over a full season’s worth of innings and ended up as the 27th-best SP on ESPN’s Player Rater. If you look at his year-end stats, however, they don’t appear to be all that exciting.

While he definitely put up a solid season, it wasn’t that great when you look at it through the lenses of today’s pitching dominated game. Here are his 2014 numbers and where they ranked among the 88 qualified starters last season:

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Click the logo above to see Zach's #ProfStats on Twitter!

Click the logo above to see Zach’s #ProfStats on Twitter!

What an incredible season of Major League Baseball we all just witnessed! From the break outs to the busts and everywhere in between, there were some amazing stat lines put up this year, including some that have never been done before. For the final time this season, read on to find out what some of those new records are in this week’s edition of #ProfStats.

During the season we encouraged you to join in on the sharing of new records and fun stats by tweeting any interesting stats or facts you find using the hashtag #ProfStats. The season may be over, but don’t let that stop you from spreading the stat love, so let’s keep this hashtag alive! Your stats will still get retweeted and most importantly you’ll be sharing some awesome baseball facts with fellow fans like yourselves, so let’s see how many reader stats we can get over the offseason.

Even though the #ProfStats articles are done for the year now, that doesn’t mean the stats are going away. You can still keep up with all of the latest and greatest baseball stats by following me on Twitter @ZachPincince. I will be continuing to post a whole bunch of awesome stats throughout the offseason about the playoffs, free agent signings, fantasy baseball outlook for next year, and more, so make sure you keep checking back on Twitter to stay in the loop on all of the best #ProfStats.

Lastly, if there are any specific stats that you would like more information about then let me know and I would be happy to help! You can request specific players, teams, or topics for me to research and I’ll find a great stat or two on that subject. Do you want to know how rare that awesome postseason performance was the other day? Are you curious how often your favorite team signs free agents at a certain position? Then let me help and send any requests to me on Twitter and you can get all the stats you’ve been wondering about absolutely free!

#ProfStats

Killer Kershaw

  • Clayton Kershaw’s 1.77 ERA is the lowest since Pedro Martinez in 2000 (1.74), the lowest by a lefty since Rod Guidry in 1978 (1.74), and the lowest by a Dodger since Sandy Koufax in 1966 (1.73). #ProfStats
  • His 0.86 WHIP is the lowest since Pedro Martinez in 2000 (0.74), the lowest by a lefty since Dave McNally in 1968 (0.84), and the lowest by a Dodger since Sandy Koufax in 1965 (0.86). #ProfStats
  • Kershaw is just the 2nd player in MLB history to win at least 21 games while pitching in no more than 27 total games (Fred Goldsmith won 21 of 26 games pitched in 1880). #ProfStats
  • He is the first pitcher in baseball history to win four consecutive ERA titles. He joins Pedro Martinez, Lefty Grove, Walter Johnson, and Greg Maddux as the only pitchers to win four total ERA titles. #ProfStats
  • Kershaw’s K/BB of 7.71 is the 2nd best mark by a left-handed starter in MLB history. Cliff Lee holds the current record with 10.28 in 2010. #ProfStats
  • His 10.85 K/9 is the highest among all pitchers with a BB/9 under 2.00 in a season (1.41). Only Kershaw, Randy Johnson (2004), and Sandy Koufax (1965) have ever had a season with both a K/9 over 10 and a BB/9 under 2. #ProfStats

Awesome Abreu

  • Jose Abreu’s 36 home runs are the 6th most by a rookie in MLB history and the most since Albert Pujols hit 37 as a rookie in 2001. #ProfStats
  • Abreu’s .581 slugging percentage led the league in 2014, and he’s now only the 3rd rookie ever to lead his league in SLG (Mark McGwire in 1987 and Fred Lynn in 1975 – both won ROY). #ProfStats
  • Abreu also was intentionally walked 15 times in his rookie year which is the 3rd most by a player in his first season since IBBs were first tracked in 1955. #ProfStats

Amazing Altuve

  • Jose Altuve is the 41st player in major league history (first since Ichiro in 2009) to collect at least 225 hits in a season. His 85 runs scored are the fewest ever by any player in a 225+ hit season. #ProfStats
  • His 225 hits are a new Astros single-season record and he’s just the 2nd Astros player ever to collect at least 200 hits in a season (Craig Biggio – 210 H in 1998). #ProfStats
  • Altuve finished the year with 56 steals and 47 doubles. He’s just the 4th player ever with at least 55 SB and 45 2B in a single season (Lou Brock in 1968, Ty Cobb in 1911, & Walt Wilmot in 1894). #ProfStats

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Click the logo above to see Zach's #ProfStats on Twitter!

Click the logo above to see Zach’s #ProfStats on Twitter!

It’s hard to believe that a week from today the 2014 Major League Baseball regular season will be over! This year has given us such a great baseball season full of some incredible performances (and not-so incredible ones) which of course means plenty of awesome stats, and you’re about to find out what some of those great stats are in this week’s edition of #ProfStats.

During the entire season we’ve been encouraging you to join in on the stat fun by tweeting any interesting stats or facts you find using the hashtag #ProfStats and this week is no different. Share your stats with us on Twitter and we’ll spread the love by retweeting it and also mentioning it in next week’s post.

Also, don’t forget to check out my Twitter handle @ZachPincince to stay up-to-date with all of the current #ProfStats. Not only will you see all of these stats early, but you’ll also get access to a whole bunch of bonus stats exclusive to Twitter. If you enjoy reading this post then you won’t want to miss all of the great stats that are posted there, so click on the #ProfStats logo in this post to get started.

Finally, if there are any specific stats you would like to see in next week’s article, let me know and I will be happy to include them. You can request specific players, teams, or topics for me to research and I’ll find a great stat or two on that subject. Do you want to know how often a particular team makes the playoffs? Are you curious what you favorite team’s current postseason odds are? Then let me help, and send your requests using any of the methods mentioned above (hashtag, Twitter, forums) and you could see the stats that YOU want in next week’s article.

#ProfStats

Hallowed Hughes

  • Phil Hughes currently has an 11.31 K/BB (181 SO, 16 BB) which is the best K/BB by a qualified starter in MLB history, topping Bret Saberhagen’s record of 11.00 in 1994. #ProfStats
  • Hughes is just the 5th qualified pitcher EVER to walk 16 or fewer in one season, joining Carlos Silva, Bret Saberhagen, Babe Adams, and Slim Sallee. #ProfStats
  • He also joined Greg Maddux and Cliff Lee as the only pitchers to ever strikeout out at least 150 batters while walking fewer than 20 in a single season. #ProfStats
  • Hughes is currently the first qualified pitcher in MLB history with a SO/9 over 8 (8.08) and a BB/9 under 0.8 (0.71) in the same season. #ProfStats
  • He has currently allowed 16 home runs in addition to 16 walks and would become just the 6th qualified pitcher ever to have a season where he allowed the same amount of home runs as he did walks. #ProfStats
  • If Hughes wins his next start without walking anybody, he would have the same amount of wins as walks (16). The only other qualified pitcher who finished a season with the same number of wins as walks was Carlos Silva in 2005 (also with the Twins). #ProfStats
  • Phil Hughes’ 181 strikeouts are the most by a Twins right hander since Bert Blyleven in 1987. #ProfStats
  • Hughes is also the first Twins pitcher since John Smiley in 1992 to win at least 15 games in his first season with the team. #ProfStats

Rockie Record

  • Charlie Blackmon is the first player since Ichiro in 2004 with at least 3 games of 5 or more hits in one season. #ProfStats
  • Blackmon is also the first Rockies player in franchise history have at least 3 games with 5+ hits in a single season. #ProfStats

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