Random notes and musings from the world of baseball, September 19, 2021.

Miguel Cabrera 3,000 hit watch: With another hit today, Cabrera is now 21 away from 3,000 for his career. The Tigers have 12 games left.

Max Scherzer 200 win watch: It’s not possible for him to reach the milestone this season, but put him on your radar for next year: He won number 190 against Cincinnati yesterday and is now just 10 away. Both the Dodgers Clayton Kershaw (184 wins) and Cardinals Adam Wainwright (183) could feasibly reach the mark in 2022, as well.

Mets victories bring no joy: New York beat Philadelphia 3-2 today on Jeff McNeil‘s decisive, tie-breaking, 7th inning home run off starter Kyle Gibson. Oh, but what joy is there in a victory as meaningless as this? For lo, we Mets fans have ridden the highs and lows of this season for these few months and can no longer take the soul crushing lows we are burdened with not just now, but year-in and year-out. I weep at the thought of another disappointing September, knowing we came this far just to lose it all in the end. The forlorn, melancholic chill of the shortening autumn days brings with it the unbearable sadness of the closing of yet another baseball season where redemption is no longer possible and even miracles can no longer save us. Yea, October for Mets fans seems a decade, a lifetime, an eternity away, the light at the end of a tunnel that only gets longer as we trek further and further into it. Why, why, why must the hands of fate wrap their icy, bony, fingers around our hearts and squeeze them until they can no longer beat, wringing us of any hope or optimism? I cry knowing the children of this year shall not see their heroes deGrom and Conforto and Stroman bring them postseason heroics. Oh, isn’t that what the Mets need now, a hero? Can’t anyone here play this game? Or do they not care for victory, just their paychecks? Give us something, anything. 1986 seems so long ago … and it was.

…alright, that was a little over the top, but these Mets, man, what a let down. Every single year it’s the same thing. A great start and they tank toward the end of the campaign. It never ends.

Here comes Kelenic: Mariners top prospect Jarred Kelenic has struggled mightily this season, carrying a .099 average through his first 111 at-bats. But it looks like the sixth-overall pick of the 2018 draft is beginning to put it all together: Since September 7, he has slashed .257/.333/.657 with 4 home runs, 9 RBI and 8 runs scored in 35 at-bats. Ranked by Baseball America as the fourth-best prospect in the game going into 2021, the 21-year-old outfielder tore up Triple-A with a .320 batting average, 9 home runs and 28 RBI in 30 games. His power-speed potential cannot be underestimated—he had 23 home runs and 20 stolen bases between three minor league stops in 2019; between the majors and minors this year, he has 21 dingers and 11 steals.

Dalbec coming into his own: Another highly regarded prospect, corner infielder Bobby Dalbec of the Red Sox, is also turning the corner. After struggling to elevate his average above the .210s for much the campaign, the slugger has slashed .324/.419/.797 with 9 home runs and 23 RBI over the past month. Now 26, he has twice been named by Baseball America as one of the game’s top-100 prospects—and he played like one last year in his big league debut, slugging .600 with a 149 OPS+ in 80 at-bats. Dalbec strikes out frequently, with 145 Ks in 389 at-batsnthis season, but he has the power that could get him to 500 career home runs one day—in 455 ABs between two minor league stops in 2018, he slugged 32 dingers.

A nice run for Lyles: Rangers pitcher Jordan Lyles, who owns a career 5.22 ERA and 82 OPS+ and who has somehow lasted 11 seasons in the major leagues despite being no better than mediocre the entire time, looks like he might finally, belatedly, be living up to his first round billing. Since August 21, he is 4-1 with a 3.73 ERA in 31 1/3 innings; he’s surrendered just 26 hits and struck out as many batters. He owns a 3-0 record and a 1.74 ERA over his last three appearances, spanning 20 2/3 frames. Better late than never—the Rockies took him as a first round, supplemental pick in 2008 after losing reliever Trever Miller to free agency. The Rangers signed him as a free agent in 2019.

Urena’s bouncing back: Tigers hurler Jose Urena has never been an All-Star, but he showed promise as a youngster in the Marlins system in the late 2010s. Between 2017 and 2018, while in his mid-20s, he tossed 343 2/3 innings and surrendered just 307 hits; he maintained a .548 winning percentage on those poor Marlins teams that went a combined 140-183. He had the best ERA among the team’s starters both years. Since then, however, he has gone 8-21 with a 5.45 mark in 203 innings; this year, now with Detroit, he is 4-8, 5.68 in 95 frames. His numbers could have been worse, but over his past 18 innings dating back to July, he has posted a 2.50 ERA with just 3 walks. His WHIP is a disastrous 1.611 this season; he got it down to 1.278 during this stretch.

Notes and musings from the world of baseball, September 18, 2021.

Isbel rose through the minor league ranks quickly, making his professional debut in 2018. (Wikipedia).

Miguel Cabrera 3,000 hit watch: How many times have I said it’s going to be close? Well, I’ll say it again. Cabrera’s chase for 3,000 hits is going to come down to the wire this season. I’d love to see him make it, but I’d say he has about a 20 percent chance of actually doing so. He had two hits last night, to bring him to 2,978 for his career or 22 away from 3,000, but he went 0-for-4 today … 0-fers are a no-no right now. The Tigers have 13 games left.

Give it up for Isbel: Royals rookie outfielder Kyle Isbel debuted on Opening Day with a 3-for-5, 2 RBI showing, then he went 2-for-4 with 2 runs a couple days later. Then he hit .160 in his next 25 at-bats and was sent to the minor leagues. Kansas City recalled him earlier this month and he has hit .313/.353/.563 with a home runs and 3 RBI in 16 at-bats since. Shades of the Isbel of old.

Hays giving hope: The Baltimore Orioles are the laughingstock of the major leagues. They have been since 2018, at least. However, no one is laughing at Austin Hays’ performance of late—in 109 at-bats over the past month, he has hit .297/.330/.634 with 8 home runs, 22 RBI and 17 runs scored in 101 at-bats. He has struggled for most of the year, carrying a .236 batting average through August 25, but his recent hot streak has brought that number up to .253 with 21 home runs and 65 RBI. With Hays, Cedric Mullins, Trey Mancini and Ryan Mountcastle leading the charge, Baltimore could have a potent offense next year. But about that pitching …

Smooth as silk: Rangers pitcher Jharel Cotton, once upon a time, was a top prospect. In his one somewhat complete season, 2017, he was 9-10 with a 5.58 ERA and 75 ERA+ in 24 starts for Oakland. That impressed no one, so he went to the minor leagues and didn’t resurface in the majors until this season, with Texas. Looks like he’s trying to rebuild his reputation … as a relief pitcher. In his past 15 2/3 appearances, spread over 11 appearances, he has 16 strikeouts and a 1.72 ERA, while batters have hit just .172 against him.

Cool as Colome: To be frank, Twins closer Alex Colome is not the kind of pitcher I would like to have on my team. Too inconsistent. The way he bounces between otherworldly seasons and letdown campaigns reminds me of Fernando Rodney. 2021 began disappointingly, but he has rebounded nicely, saving 4 games, posting a 1.08 ERA and striking out 11 batters over 8 1/3 innings over the past couple weeks. He still has a 3.81 mark on the year.

Wainwright is 183-105 with a 3.34 ERA in his 16-year career. (Wikipedia).

Wainwright’s rebound: Adam Wainwright’s excellent rebound this season has been phenomenal. With a 16-7 record, 2.88 ERA and 134 ERA+, he is pitching like the pre-injury Cy Young candidate of the early and mid-2010s. This resurgence is sure to spark some Hall of Fame talk regarding Waino. Sounds crazy? Not so much. Just as there is a contingent of fans who support (or at the least, “wouldn’t complain” if they got in) the likes of David Cone, Kevin Brown—heck, even the name Kevin Appier has been bandied about—there will, in time, develop a core of supporters for Wainwright. Some Cardinals fans already back him, I’m sure. He’s buried behind the likes of Greinke, Verlander and Scherzer for now, but once they get the call to Cooperstown, Wainwright, and B-and C-grade pitchers like him (C.C. Sabathia might be considered “B” grade) will earn their backers. Should Wainwright somehow reach 200 wins (he’s at 183 now), the milestone-minded crowd will be more likely to jump on his bandwagon.

How many times can we say “til next year?” Well, the Mets lost last night, and as of this writing, they are losing again. To division rival Philadelphia. Who they are competing with for second place in the National League East. Stick a fork in ‘em folks. On the bright side, pitcher Jordan Yamamoto is off the injured list.

Random notes and musings from the world of baseball, September 16, 2021.

A short one today, without the fun facts and did-you-knows. In fact, I might start splitting them into two different pieces each day.

Lester 200 win watch: Cardinals pitcher Jon Lester can hardly buy a win this year, with just six victories—and 12 total decision—in his 25 starts. However, he did win a very important game last night against the Mets, his 199th,   when he went 6 innings, struck out 7 batters and allowed just 2 earned runs. He’s been on a roll since August 25, posting a 2.12 ERA in 29 2/3 innings; however, he still managed just two victories in those five starts. With 189 under his belt, Max Scherzer is nearly 200 wins, as well.

Cabrera 3,000 hit watch: Uh oh. The Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera is very close to 3,000 hits with 2,976 for his career, but he didn’t make reaching that mark this season any easier by going 0-for-4 against Tampa Bay tonight. He’s 24 away. Detroit has 15 games left.

Valera is heating up: The Blue Jays backup Breyvic Valera, who has one of the coolest names in baseball, has given the club 6 hits, 2 doubles and 8 RBI in 15 at-bats over the past week. Everyone on Toronto’s roster, it seems, appears to be raking right now. I’d love to see the Blue Jays win the World Series.

Don’t worry if I can’t hit: Pirates outfielder Ben Gamel, who has been a complete nonfactor with the bat this past month, managing a measly .224 batting average in 76 at-bats, has still worked a .359 on-base percentage and 11 runs scored thanks to 15 walks. He is hitting .248 on the year, but .257 since joining Pittsburgh in May.

Nabil nails it: Padres reliever Nabil Crismatt, who also has an awesome name, has been one of the best relievers in baseball in the second half. Since July 3, he’s managed a 1.55 ERA in 29 innings over 17 appearances, walking just 5 batters and K-ing 26. The former Mets prospect has a 2.93 ERA in 37 games this season and a 2.97 mark in 43 career appearances.

Reasons for optimism? Slowly, very slowly, the Mets are getting some of their pieces back from the injured list. Utility man Jose Peraza was activated yesterday, while backup catcher Tomas Nido and pitcher Jake Reed rejoined the club on the 14th. They’re all minor cogs on the club, but New York can use any help it can get. They’re 5.5 games out in the NL East and 5 back in the wild card. Everything has to go right from here on out.

Random notes and musings from the world of baseball, September 15, 2021.

Miguel Cabrera 3,000 hit watch: Add another hit to his ledger. With a double against the Brewers today, the 38-year-old now has 2,976 hits for his career and is just 24 away from 3,000. He’s hitting .412 this month and the Tigers have 16 games left in the season. He might pull it off.

Greinke has six 200 strikeout campaigns. (Wikipedia).

Greinke 3,000 K watch: I was going to start paying close attention to Astros pitcher Zack Greinke’s run for 3,000 strikeouts when he reached 2,800, and he did that with a 4 K performance against Texas on Tuesday. He now stands at 2,803 for his career and at 37, should comfortably reach the magic number. However, the milestone might have to wait until 2023, if his trend toward diminished strikeout totals holds true into next season.

Living up to his nickname: Tigers jack-of-all-trades Harold Castro is nicknamed Hittin’ Harold … and these past couple weeks show us why. Since August 29, he’s hit .359 with a .590 slugging percentage to bring his season average to .282. Though he’s never played a full season, he’s shown he can make good contact, batting .291 for his career and .347 in 49 at-bats last year.

Out of the Ruf patch: Giants utility man Darin Ruf began the season with a .240 average through July 3. Since then, he has hit .309/.423/.588 with 9 home runs, 26 RBI, 25 walks and 20 runs scored in 56 games. Since August 16, his average is .321 and his OBP is .446. Those three years (2017-2019) he spent in Korea taught him to be more patient at the plate—from 2012 to 2016, his big league OBP was .314. Between 2020 and 2021, it is .392.

Senzatela’s pitching well: If you go by his won-loss record, it has been a rough year for Rockies starter Antonio Senzatela. In 24 games, he’s gone 4-9, while averaging nearly 10 hits allowed per 9 innings. But over his past five starts, his ERA is just 2.18 and batters are hitting .200 against. And his year has been better than it looks—he still holds a 116 ERA+.

Ryan’s got potential: Twins rookie starter Joe Ryan has impressed through his first three big league starts, posting a 2.12 ERA and 0.529 WHIP in 17 innings; over his past two starts, he’s allowed just one run, one walk and 4 hits in 12 frames. He was acquired from the Rays in the trade that sent DH Nelson Cruz to Tampa Bay. Looks like the deal is already starting to pay off.

Seager ranks 19th among active players in career doubles with 302. (Wikipedia).

Milestone watch: Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager recently hit his 300th double, while Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez stole his 150th base.

Meeker is a master: With the independent Steel City Slammin’ Sammies in 2020, pitcher James Meeker made 8 scoreless relief appearances. That was just a prelude to what he was going to do in 2021. Twirling for the independent Washington Wild Things, the righthander pitched in 30 games, tossed 31 2/3 innings … and didn’t surrender a run, earned or otherwise. The Brewers signed him on August 13; in 11 games in their system, he has a 1.69 ERA. Meeker can hit, too. With the Butler Blue Sox, a collegiate summer team, in 2016, he hit .402. The next year, he batted .357.

Escaped death by two minutes: Former Marlins and Reds manager Jack McKeon nearly died while in the minor leagues in 1950. Following a knee injury, his club ordered him home to recuperate—but he missed his scheduled train by two minutes. That train crashed, killing 33 people.

Not even one win: According to Baseball Reference, 19 big league managers didn’t manage a single victory in their careers. The worst of them were the Washington Nationals’ Joe Miller and the Brooklyn Eckfords’ Jim Clinton, who both skippered in the National Association in 1872. They each went 0-11.

Speaking of the 1872 Nationals: They folded after those 11 games, meaning their winning percentage was .000. 19-year-old pitcher Bill Stearns took every loss, starting and completing each game. They lost their first game of the year 21-1. One of their “primary” outfielders, Ed Mincher, batted .094; another, Sy Studley, batted .095. Their starting nine also featured a 16-year-old, shortstop Jacob Young, and a 17-year-old, first baseman Paul Hines. Hines spent 20 years in the majors, batting .302.

And about the Eckfords: The Brooklyn Eckfords went just 3-26 in 1872. They were shutout 20-0 in their second game of the season and, in one four game stretch, were outscored 113-24. On June 22, they lost 36-6. One pitcher, James McDermott, struck out just one batter in 63 innings. A fellow named Martin Malone hit .375 for them in 16 at-bats. But that’s about all we know about the guy—no biographical data exists for him.

The Eckford moniker: Brooklyn was named after a shipbuilder named Henry Eckford, who was born in Scotland, lived in New York, and died in the Ottoman Empire.

Only been one: You’d think “Jackrabbit” would be an appropriate and oft-used nickname—especially in baseball’s early days—given to speedy ballplayers. Not so. There’s been just one in big league history, Jack “Jackrabbit” Gilbert, who played briefly in 1898 and 1904.

Ty Cobb committed 271 errors.

Hall of Famers aren’t perfect: Only five outfielders in the modern era (1901-present) committed 200 or more errors. Four are Hall of Famers: Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, Goose Goslin and Max Carey. The fifth, Clyde Milan, earned votes in seven elections.

The good stuff came first and last: In-between his first and last seasons, pitcher Jim Turner pitched seven campaigns and was 46-45 with a 3.45 ERA. In his rookie season, 1937, he won 20 games and led the league with a 2.48 ERA, 24 complete games and 5 shutouts. In his final year, 1945, he paced the loop in saves, with 10.

Random notes and musings from the world of baseball, September 12, 2021.

Miguel Cabrera 3,000 hits watch: With a hit yesterday and another one today, the Tigers Miguel Cabrera edges a little closer to 3,000 hits for his career and is now just 25 away. He is determined to get there: Hitting .481 this month and .326 since July 24, Cabrera is absolutely raking. He even has a .553 slugging percentage since then. What a throwback.

Nick Gordon was the 5th overall pick in 2014. (Wikipedia).

Another great Gordon: Twins second baseman Nick Gordon, the son of former pitcher Tom Gordon and brother of Dee Strange-Gordon, looks poised to continue the family legacy of excellence. Debuting May 6 of this year, the 2014 first round pick hit .303 through July 1 and is carrying a .357/.438/.714 line over the past week. Father Tom was a three-time All-Star and 1998 Rolaids Relief Award winner; brother Dee was twice an All-Star, a Silver Slugger and a Gold Glove winner.

Yu are doing fine: Though Yu Chang has never been a high-average hitter, not even in the minors (.253 mark on the farm), when he hits, he hits the ball far. The Indians infielder has a .712 slugging mark with 5 home runs and 11 RBI over the past month. Such power is reminiscent of his 2017 campaign with Double-A Akron, when he slugged 24 home runs in 440 at-bats. Not all is positive, however—he’s hitting just .220 on the year and .207 for his career.

The decline of Davies: Cubs pitcher Zach Davies was an effective, if unsung, hurler from 2016 to 2020, posting a 3.80 ERA and 114 ERA+ in that span. In 2017, he won 17 games for the Brewers; last year, he had a 2.73 ERA in 69 1/3 innings for San Diego. Quite a disappointing year 2021 has been, then, as he is just 6-11 with a 5.40 ERA and 78 ERA+ in 30 starts with Chicago. He is leading the National League in walks with 70 and has a BB/9 IP ratio of 4.4. Before this year, it was 2.6.

Finnegan is unheralded: Nationals reliever—and now closer—Kyle Finnegan has a 2.68 ERA and 150 ERA+ in 59 appearances this season; he is the team’s most-used relief pitcher and has the second-lowest ERA of anyone currently on the club (behind the equally unheralded Ryne Harper). Since July 20, he has a 0.79 ERA in 22 games and his 151 ERA+ since 2020 is the 11th-best in the majors among hurlers with at least 80 appearances.

Give it up for Yusmeiro: I’ve spent some time railing against the K culture in baseball, where everyone seems like a strikeout pitcher. Well, not everyone. The Athletics’ Yusmeiro Petit has managed a solid 2021 season with a 3.30 ERA, 127 ERA+ and 8 wins in a league-leading 70 appearances … all while averaging just 4.3 K/9 IP.

Hopeful for 2022: My love-hate attitude toward the 2021 Mets is an emotional roller coaster. But their play has me hopeful for 2022, at least. This season reminds me a bit of 2005, when they had a new star, Carlos Beltran, who underwhelmed, a closer, Braden Looper, who drove us mad, a starting rotation largely carried by one guy, Pedro Martinez, and a cruddy offense. Sounds familiar? Switch Francisco Lindor for Beltran, Edwin Diaz for Looper and Marcus Stroman (sorry Jacob) for Martinez and you have the 2021 Mets. What did the Mets do in 2006? Put it all together and reach the NLCS.

Schacht was the Washington Senators third base coach for more than a decade. (Wikipedia).

Dropped out of school: Al Schacht, who spent three years in the majors and later became the “Clown Prince of Baseball” didn’t make his high school baseball team, so he went and played semi-professional ball, instead. He later returned to the school team, but was barred from playing because of his involvement with the semi-pro club … so he dropped out of school altogether.

Doesn’t translate to the majors: It’s true what they say: Success in the minor leagues doesn’t always mean success in the majors—even if it comes at Triple-A, the level right below the big time. Consider this, for example: The last Pacific Coast League Most Valuable Player to eventually reach the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown was Tony Perez, who won the honor in 1964. The last International League MVP to eventually reach Cooperstown was 1993 honoree Jim Thome.

Couldn’t dodge Jaster: Pitcher Larry Jaster isn’t remembered for much. He spent 7 years in the big leagues and won 35 games. But in 1966, twirling for St. Louis, he tossed a league-leading 5 shutouts … all of which were against the pennant winning Dodgers. That is the record for most consecutive shutouts against one team in a single campaign.

Jaster answers another trivia question: Who was the first player to throw a major league regular season pitch in Canada? Larry Jaster on April 14, 1969 at the Expos’ home opener in their inaugural season.

Bibby led the league in won-loss percentage in 1979 an 1980. (Wikipedia).

Speaking of 5 shutouts: In 1974, the Rangers Jim Bibby tossed 5 shutouts and still finished with a middling ERA of 4.74 and an ERA+ of 75 on the season. He scratched out 19 wins, but also lost that many.

Blue Moon outdid him: If you think Bibby’s performance is bad, check out what Blue Moon Odom managed in 1964, his first campaign. He tossed 17 frames, which included a 9-inning shutout in his second start. Yet, he finished the season with a 10.06 ERA, surrendering no less than 4 earned runs and pitching no more than 4 2/3 innings in any of the other 4 starts he made that year. He lasted 1/3 of an inning in one, 1 inning in another, 2 innings in a third and 4 2/3 frames in the last. That’s the worst ERA among pitchers with campaigns with at least one shutout. More recently, Mariners pitcher Jeff Weaver tossed 2 shutouts in 2007 … and had a 6.20 ERA on the year.

Picked the wrong gig: Negro league pitcher Half Pint Allen (so-called, I imagine, because he weighed 128 pounds) was just 6-7 with a 7.20 ERA in his brief career. But at the plate, he was 11-for-28 (.393 average) with a .469 on-base percentage. In 1932, he had the worst ERA (6.95) on the Baltimore Black Sox among pitchers with more than one appearance and the best batting average (.429) among all players. Looks like he misidentified his calling card.

Random notes and musings from the world of baseball, September 10, 2021.

Miguel Cabrera 3,000 hit watch: As I write this, the Tigers have already played today and Miguel Cabrera managed a couple more hits. He now has 2,973 on the year and is just 27 away from 3,000 for his career. Detroit has 20 games left. It’ll be close.

Baseball Prospectus ranked Adell baseball’s #2 prospect in 2019 and 2020. (Wikipedia).

Here comes Adell: Angels phenom Jo Adell impressed no one in his first big league stint in 2020, when he batted just .161 in 124 at-bats. Call them rookie jitters. Over the past week, the top prospect is hitting .450 with 3 home runs, 8 RBI and 4 runs scored. Los Angeles has not impressed this season, posting a 69-71 record thus far … but Adell gives them hope for the future.

Pillar of success: Every time the Mets seem like they are done, something—or someone—crops up that gives me a little more hope. This time, it’s outfielder Kevin Pillar. Since August 28, he’s slashed .355/.444/.806 with 4 home runs, 10 RBI and 8 runs scored. Its been a rough season for Pillar, who’s hitting just .222 overall and who was clocked in the face by a pitch earlier this year.

Don’t mess with Nestor: Yankees hurler Nestor Cortes Jr. has worked in the shadow of Cy Young candidate Gerrit Cole this year, but his performance has been excellent. His season began in relief on June 4 and through July 9, he worked a 1.05 ERA in 22 innings; since then he has started all but one game and posted a mark of 3.59, but that is under control—over his past 5 starts, his ERA is 2.70.

Props to Woodford: Cardinals pitcher Jake Woodford didn’t have an effective first part of the season, carrying a 5.08 ERA through July 31. Demoted to Triple-A Memphis in early August, the righthander returned earlier this month and has performed like an ace. In two starts since returning, he has 8 strikeouts and just 2 walks allowed in 9 1/3 innings of work; his ERA was 0.96 and batters hit .161 against him.

Flick was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1963. (Wikipedia).

Two triples, twice in a row: Since 1901, the only player to hit 2 or more triples in a game twice in a row was Hall of Famer Elmer Flick. He did it with the Indians on July 6 and 7, 1903. The record for most consecutives games with at least one triple belongs to the Pirates Owen Wilson, who had 6 in 5 games from June 17 to June 20, 1912. He had 36 that year, a record. The Red Sox Nomar Garciaparra worked a triple 4 games in a row from May 31 to June 4, 2003; he was the most recent player to do that.

A single, a double and a triple: Instances of players hitting a single, double, and triple in consecutive games aren’t exceptionally rare. Since 1901, it has happened 27 times. But since 2000, it’s occurred just twice: By Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki on May 12 and 13, 2001—his rookie year!—and by the Brewers Alex Sanchez on April 13 and 14, 2003. For a while there, it was a feat of the elites: from 1949 to 1967, the only players to do it were Stan Musial (1949), Brooks Robinson (1960), Roberto Clemente (1965) and Pete Rose (1967).

The feared men: Not surprisingly, Barry Bonds holds the record for most games in a row with at least one intentional walk, with 6. In that span, which ran from April 28 to May 7, 2004, he had the wonky totals of 13 at-bats, 15 walks, a .231 batting average and a .643 on-base percentage. Four players have drawn IBBs five games in a row—Tim Raines in 1987, Will Clark in 1988, Bonds in 2002 and Juan Soto last year. Bonds drew an intentional walk four games in a row nine times.

Led in everything, but … Ty Cobb led the league in just about everything at least once. Major categories he never paced the loop in: Games played, plate appearances, walks, strikeouts, hit by pitches and sacrifice flies. He had over 700 plate appearances twice, in 1915 and 1924, but finished second in the league both times.

Not even once: The all-time leader in sacrifice hits is Hall of Famer Eddie Collins, who had 512 in his career—120 more than anyone else. Yet, he never led the league in that category and placed second just once, in 1923.

It’s fitting: Babe Ruth’s first home run, hit on May 6, 1915 when he was with the Red Sox, came against hurler Jack Warhop, a career Yankee. Warhop also surrendered Ruth’s second home run less than a month later.

Gibson managed the Diamondbacks from 2010 to 2014, leading them to the postseason in 2011. (Wikipedia).

MVP, but not an All-Star: 1988 National League Most Valuable Player Kirk Gibson never made an All-Star team—in 1988 or otherwise. That’s quite astonishing, as he earned MVP votes three other times and finished with five 20-20 campaigns.

In common: What do Mickey Lolich, Tris Speaker and Max Lanier have in common? All three were natural right-handers, but switched to being lefties after suffering childhood injuries like broken arms.

Football hero: Dutch Meyer spent six years in the big leagues, mostly in the ‘40s, hitting .264 in 286 games. Though he later became a successful minor league manager, leading his clubs to two league championships, he is largely forgotten. Expect, perhaps, to Texas Christian University football fans. As their kicker in the 1936 Sugar Bowl, he kicked the winning field goal, helping the school best Louisiana State University with a baseball-esque score of 3-2.

Move over, Joe: In 1894, Chicago Colts shortstop/third baseman Bill Dahlen hit safely in 70 of 71 games. He ran a streak of 42 straight, then went hitless in game 43, then hammered out another run of 28 games with hits.

Moncallo passes away: Bernie Moncallo, who managed in the Brewers minor league system in the mid-1990s despite never playing professionally, passed away September 3 at 65.

Random notes and musings from the world of baseball, September 8, 2021.

Here’s a late-night edition of my random thoughts and musings.

Hope for Miguel after all? I recently wrote that, because he was trending in the wrong direction, the Tigers Miguel Cabrera would have to wait until 2022 to reach 3,000 hits. Well, there goes baseball’s unpredictability again: On Tuesday, he went 3-for-4 with a double, then Wednesday, he was 4-for-4 with 3 RBI. Never say never—Cabrera now stands 29 hits away from 3,000 with 21 games left in the season.

Alford has 71 strikeouts in 162 career at-bats. (Wikipedia).

Anthony’s alright: Former top prospect Anthony Alford has been a perpetual letdown, batting .180 for his career and .192 this season. Over the past week, he’s given fans a little something to cheer about, however, with 3 of his 5 hits going for home runs; still, he’s batting just .238 in that stretch.

A hidden gem: I’m always on the lookout for players who don’t make the headlines, but who might be hidden gems. The Rangers’ Jason Martin fits the bill. Over the past month, he’s hit .270 with 4 home runs and 12 RBI, while slugging .460. That’s a far cry from the .143 hitter he was before this run.

K inflation strikes again: There once was a time when only elite hurlers were strikeout pitchers. Well, not anymore. The Cubs Trevor Megill, who carried an ERA over 10 through his first 18 appearances, has Ked 18 batters in his past 10 innings and 23 in his last 13.

Welcome back, David: Rays reliever David Robertson, who made his name as Mariano Rivera’s setup man in the early 2010s before becoming a closer himself, missed most of 2019 due to an elbow injury and eventual Tommy John surgery. After joining the free agent market in 2020, he bounced around in baseball limbo until Tampa Bay signed him on August 16 of this year. On September 1, he made his long-awaited return to the majors and hasn’t skipped a beat. In 4 innings, he has 8 strikeouts with just 1 run surrendered.

Just call him up already: Have you ever wondered why some teams keep recalling the same mediocrity from the minor leagues when there are players performing well who haven’t been given a try? Albert Almora and Travis Blankenhorn are just a couple examples of men the Mets have used time and again with no luck, while the likes of Mark Payton (.316 average at Triple-A Syracuse) still wait their turn.

The evolution of Mark Payton: Speaking of Mark Payton, he has to be one of the unlikeliest players to hit 30 home runs in a season—whether it be in the majors or minors. At the University of Texas in 2011, he didn’t hit a single dinger in 240 at-bats. A couple years later, in 2013, he again went without a homer in 178 ABs. After not hitting more than 10 home runs in any of his first five minor league seasons, he exploded with 30 at Triple-A in 2019, to go along with a .334/.400/.653 line. He has 4 in 86 games at all levels this season.

400 dingers, 10 years: The last man to slug 400 or more home runs in a ten-season span was Albert Pujols, who clobbered 404 from 2003 to 2012.

Return of Greenberg: Remember when Adam Greenberg returned for a single at-bat with the Marlins in 2012, after being hit in the head in his first career try with Chicago back in 2005?

A little more about Adam: Between his initial stint in the majors in 2005 and his return in 2012, Adam Greenberg bounced around the minor and independent leagues. He spent four seasons with the Bridgeport Bluefish and developed into quite the speed demon, stealing 53 bags for them in 2009 and 44 in 2010.

A great way to start: In his first full campaign, 1986, relief pitcher Mark Eichhorn tossed the most innings of any reliever with zero starts and a sub-2.00 ERA, ever. With the Blue Jays that year, he made 69 appearances, threw 157 innings and had a 1.72 mark. He finished 3rd in Rookie of the Year voting and 6th in Cy Young Award balloting.

Murakami was impressive in his brief big league stay, posting a 3.43 ERA and striking out 100 batters in 89 1/3 innings. (Wikipedia).

Beat him by a decade: When he spent a couple seasons with the Giants in the 1960s, pitcher Masanori Murakami became the first player from Japan to appear in the major leagues. But before him, there was Hirofumi Naito, who played in Nippon Professional Baseball from 1949 to 1961. The Dodgers offered him a contract in 1953, but he felt he couldn’t it cut it at the big league level, so he declined.

1.000 average: In 1944, Steve Biras spent 2 games with the Cleveland Indians, had 2 at-bats and collected 2 hits. And that was the entirety of his career, giving him a 1.000 career mark … not just in the majors, but professionally. He never played in the minors, having been signed from a semi-professional club, and didn’t join those ranks after his brief big league stint.

Jackie’s brother: Jackie Robinson’s brother, Mack, was an excellent track and field athlete. In the 1936 Olympics, he finished second behind fellow American Jesse Owens in the 200 meter dash.

Paciorek fashioned an 18-year career in the majors, but had less than 1,200 hits. (Wikipedia).

Oh hi, roomie: Outfielder and 1981 All-Star Tom Paciorek’s first minor league roommate was utility player Bobby Valentine. His last big league skipper? Bobby Valentine, with the Rangers in 1986.  

The good and the bad: Pitcher Greg Bicknell spent 19 seasons playing pro ball, mostly in the indy leagues. In 2005, twirling for the Kansas City T-Bones, he set the Northern League record with 16 victories. The high from his great season was short lived. The next campaign, back with Kansas City, he set the league record with 13 losses.

Fantasy baseball experiment: I was in sixth place in my fantasy baseball league and wasn’t going anywhere, so I started to experiment—I began only using players who had been hot within the past week, so at any given moment my team is filled with no-names and backups like Jordan Luplow, Austin Hedges and DJ Peters. Well, it hasn’t worked. I’ve dropped to 12th place. Good thing I’m not a real GM.

Random notes and musings from the world of baseball, September 7, 2021.

Max Scherzer 3,000 K watch: Facing the Cardinals last night, Dodgers ace Max Scherzer struck out 13 batters, bringing his career total to 2,994. Once he reaches the 3,o00 strikeout milestone, he will be one of just 19 pitchers with that many.

Miguel Cabrera 3,000 hit watch: It’s looking more and more unlikely that the Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera will reach 3,000 hits this year, as the aging slugger hasn’t managed a hit since September 3 and still stands 36 away from the magic number. It would have been difficult for him to reach it, anyway, but now it looks like he’ll have to wait until next year.

Greinke has six seasons of 200-plus Ks. (Wikipedia).

Zack Greinke 3,000 K watch: I was going to start the countdown for Greinke once he got within 200 strikeouts of 3,000 … but he Ked just one batter his last time out and still stands at 2,799 for his career. He’s averaged as many as 10.5 K/9 IP in a season (2011) and holds an 8.1 mark for his career, but this year his number is down to just 6.2.

Arauz arises: Red Sox infielder Jonathan Arauz is hitting .169 in 59 at-bats this season, with a .136 mark over the past week. But he’s making his knocks count—two of his last three hits were dingers, while the third was a double. So despite his anemic average, his slugging percentage over the past seven days was still .455.

Ty Cobb when he doesn’t K: Over the past month, Indians outfielder Bradley Zimmer is hitting .362—on balls in play. But he has also struck out 36 times in 86 at-bats, giving him a line of .244/.333/.419 with 4 home runs, 9 walks, 14 runs scored and 13 RBI.

Trevor turning it around: After another solid performance yesterday (5 IP, 2 ER), Mets pitcher Trevor Williams now owns a 1.50 ERA in 18 innings since joining the club in August. He pitched for the Cubs earlier in the year and had a 5.06 mark in 58 2/3 innings with them.

Jarlin’s amazing: Since 2019, Giants reliever Jarlin Garcia owns a 2.34 ERA and 181 ERA+ in 119 appearances. With San Francisco last year, he had an astounding 0.49 ERA and 893 ERA+ in 19 games; this year, his marks are 2.33 and 179, respectively. Over the past month, he’s surrendered a single run in 16 innings. And he’s bucked the trend by not being a strikeout pitcher: He’s averaged just 7.2 K/9 IP for his career.

Two Davis birthdays: Two Davis’ of note were born on this day. Wade Davis, who for four years (2014-2017) was one of the premier relief pitchers in the game, turns 36. With the Royals in 2014 and 2015, he had an ERA of 0.97 in 140 appearances and he gave up more than one earned run in a game just once each year. During his incredible four-year stretch, he surrendered more than 2 runs just once. Curt Davis, who started and relieved in the 1930s and 1940s, was also born today. In 13 seasons, he won 158 games—including 19 in his rookie campaign, 1934—and made two All-Star Games.

He’s better than your team: Babe Ruth’s single season home run totals tied or exceeded those of an entire team’s 94 times in his career.

Lots of Ks, just to take the L: On September 15, 1969, facing the Mets, Phillies pitcher Steve Carlton struck out 19 batters, including the last three he faced, tossed a complete game … and lost, 4-3. He has company. A few years later, on August 20, 1974, The Angels’ Nolan Ryan Ked 19 Tigers in an 11-inning complete game, but lost 1-0; Detroit’s starter Mickey Lolich went the distance that day, too. On June 24, 1997, Seattle’s Randy Johnson had 19 strikeouts in a complete game loss against Oakland.

Wainwright leads active pitchers with 27 career complete games. (Wikipedia).

Complete game losses still happen: Though hurlers rarely pitch more than 6 or so frames nowadays, complete game losses aren’t yet a vestige of the past. The most recent nine inning example was on April 26 of this year, when the Cardinals’ Adam Wainwright went the distance in a losing effort against Philadelphia. It’s happened 29 times since 2010.

Halladay went the distance: The last pitcher to toss a complete game of 10-plus innings and win? Roy Halladay, on April 13, 2007. The last pitcher to toss a complete game shutout of 10-plus innings and win? Roy Halladay, on September 6, 2003.

Excellent in the minors and majors: Pitcher Larry Jansen was 122-69 with a 2.77 ERA in 11 minor league seasons; in the majors, he was 122-89 with a 3.58 mark over nine campaigns, making him 244-158 with a 3.19 ERA overall. He had two 20-win seasons with the New York Giants (1947 & 1951) and was also the last hurler to win 30 games in a minor league campaign. In 1946, he was 30-6 with a 1.57 ERA in 38 games for the Pacific Coast League’s San Francisco Seals.

RBI king: Most RBI in a season by a batter with fewer than 10 home runs? You have to go back to 1899 for that. Hall of Famer Ed Delahanty had a league-leading 137 RBI on 9 dingers that year. One-hundred-plus ribbies with fewer than 10 big flies doesn’t happen often nowadays—Paul Molitor was the last to do it with 9 homers and 113 RBI in 1996. Before him, Tom Herr managed it in 1985 with 8 dingers and 110 RBI. Before Herr, Hall of Famer George Kell did it in 1950 (8 HR, 101 RBI).

Jones was 20-4 with a 1.24 ERA with the Philadelphia Stars in 1934. (Wikipedia).

Probably not worth it: In the fall of 1938, Negro league pitcher Slim Jones, low on funds, had a hankering for some booze but no money to buy it. He sold his overcoat to purchase a bottle of whiskey, promptly got pneumonia and died.

Reliving the dream: Rick Wolff played in the Tigers system in 1973 and 1974. Later a sportswriter, he reprised his role as player when he spent 3 games with the Single-A South Bend White Sox in 1989 for a story for Sports Illustrated. Going 4-for-7 with 3 RBI, he had the highest batting average (.571) on the team that year.

World traveler: Pitcher Len Picota played in the affiliated minors from 1984 to 1993, mostly in the Cardinals system. After that, he toured the world, spending time in Taiwan, Korea, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and his native Panama. In 2001, he joined the Expos in spring training, eight years after his last stint in affiliated ball, but was released before Opening Day.

Random notes and musings from the world of baseball, September 4, 2021.

Miguel Cabrera 3,000 hit watch: Last night, Miguel Cabrera recorded one hit, bringing him to 2,964 for his career and 36 away from 3,000. The Tigers have 26 games left to play.

Cruz has made 7 All-Star teams and won 4 Silver Sluggers in 17 seasons. (Wikipedia).

Not hopeful about Cruz: 41-year-old Nelson Cruz has 26 home runs on the year and 443 for his career. He’s a slugger and could feasibly reach 500 one day, but his performance with Tampa Bay casts doubt on those prospects. Since joining the club in July, he’s batting just .205 with a 90 OPS+. If his hitting doesn’t recover, I can’t imagine a team signing him next year, putting his run at history in jeopardy.

Going gone Garneau: Backup catcher Dustin Garneau doesn’t have much of a bat and his power has always been lackluster. In 400 ABs over 7 seasons, he has just 12 home runs … and 3 of them came in the past week. Last night, the Tigers backstop had 2 hits—both dingers— and added 3 RBI against Cincinnati; in his previous game, his lone hit was also a home run. Since August 22, he is hitting .333 with a .944 slugging mark.

He’s a winner: Tigers outfielder Victor Reyes was batting .183 through August 1, but has really turned it on over the past month or so. In his last 64 at-bats, the 26-year-old has 23 hits for a .359 average. Of his knocks, 4 were doubles, 3 were triples and 2 were dingers.

Hoffman coming around: Though he had a rough outing against Detroit last night (1 2/3 IP, 4 ER), Reds pitcher Jeff Hoffman still holds a 3.24 ERA with 22 strikeouts in 16 2/3 frames over the past month. He began the year well through April, but saw his ERA rise to 5.20 by July 21. His mark is 2.75 since.

Pumped for Payamps: Royals reliever Joel Payamps hasn’t allowed an earned run in his past four appearances, continuing a streak of excellent pitching that extends back to June 14. Since then, his ERA is just 1.54 in 10 appearances (he didn’t play at all in July). His ERA on the year is 2.68 in 29 appearances.

Broxton has 396 strikeouts in 905 at-bats. (Wikipedia).

Brewers scraping the bottom: The Brewers recently signed outfielder Keon Broxton and pitcher Zach Lee to minor league contracts. Broxton hasn’t played in the big leagues since 2019, when he had a .167 average in 100 games between the Mets, Orioles and Mariners. Lee last played in 2017; he has an 8.53 ERA in 12 2/3 big league innings.

And he never even led the league: Who had the most saves in the majors from 2007 to 2011? Not Mariano Rivera, Francisco Rodriguez or Jonathan Papelbon. Not even quirky player du jour Brian Wilson. It was Francisco Cordero, with 194. Number two on the list is also surprising: Jose Valverde had 191.

Not much from the land down under: Australia has produced some great relief pitchers, like Grant Balfour, Liam Hendriks and Peter Moylan. But starters … not so much. Perhaps the best was Damian Moss, who spent four years in the majors from 2001 to 2004, going 22-19 with a 4.50 ERA for four teams. His 2002 campaign was solid, as he went 12-6 with a 3.42 mark for Atlanta, finishing fifth in Rookie of the Year balloting.

Hope grows daily: With the Mets riding a seven-game winning streak, the club is now back over .500 and just 3.5 games out in the division. Their magic number is down to 32. Starting catcher James McCann—disappointment that he’s been—is off the injured list. In 1973, the Mets were 65-73 on September 4, and they made the World Series …

Perhaps I spoke too soon: Well, I wrote that before this afternoon’s game. The Mets were up 9-0, just to blow the lead against Washington with abominable fielding and poor pitching. They ended up winning, 11-9, but such performances are not becoming of a playoff team.

Lots of Mets born today: Mothers must love conceiving future Mets on September 4. Luis Lopez, Joe DePastino, Andres Gimenez, Chris Beck and—most notably—Mike Piazza, New Yorkers all, were born on this day.

Star in his own mind: Pitcher Mark Redman was an All-Star in 2006, despite going 11-10 with a 5.71 ERA on the year—but he might not be the worst selection ever. Frankie Zak, a backup shortstop, had just 160 at-bats in 87 games for Pittsburgh in 1944 … yet made the All-Star team. Shortstop Eddie Miller was originally chosen to play but was injured; because World War II travel restrictions made it difficult to bring another player in on short notice, Zak was given the nod since he was in town. The Midsummer Classic was held in Pittsburgh that year.  

.217 average; twice an MVP: Cliff Brumbaugh had a .217 batting average in his brief MLB career, spent between the Rangers and Rockies in 2001. Back before he became a historical footnote, however, he did something pretty historical: In 1995, while at the University of Delaware, he hit .442 with 32 doubles and 68 runs scored to earn Player of the Year honors. The Rangers then drafted him and placed him at Single-A Hudson Valley, with whom he batted .358 with 101 hits in 74 games to win the New York-Pennsylvania League MVP.

Brumbaugh could hit: Though his big league career fizzled, Cliff Brumbaugh was an excellent hitter … in Japan and Korea. He hit .343 with 33 home runs for the Hyundai Unicorns of the Korea Baseball Organization in 2004, then had two more years of 25-plus dingers across the (other) pond, to boot. In his final pro campaign, back in North America with the independent Edmonton Capitals, he hit .383 with 23 homers and 90 RBI in 74 games. He finished with 1,978 hits and 279 dingers in his 16-year professional career.

Malarcher played from 1916 to 1934. (Wikipedia).

A change in careers: Before Randy “Macho Man” Savage became a world-famous wrestler, he was a professional baseball player. Then known as Randy Poffo, he played in the minor leagues from 1971 to 1974 and wasn’t awful, posting an average as high as .286 in 1971. But it looks like he made the right career decision.

Malarcher wasn’t nervous: Dave Malarcher, a Negro league manager who headed the Chicago American Giants from 1926 to 1934 (save for 1930), took the helm under unusual circumstances. Future Hall of Famer Rube Foster previously led the club, but suffered a nervous breakdown partway through the year. Malarcher took over, guiding them to a 30-7 record under his tutelage and a 57-23 finish overall.

Random notes and musings from the world of baseball, September 2, 2021.

Scherzer 3,000 K watch: Facing Atlanta last night, the Dodgers’ Max Scherzer recorded another 9 strikeouts, bringing his season total to 197 and his career total to 2,981. Of course, now that he’s just 19 away from a historic milestone, there’s a hiccup—he was removed from the game due to hamstring tightness.

Can Cabrera do it? With 2 hits, including a home run, against Oakland last night, the Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera is now just 37 away from 3,000. He has to stay hot all month, but 37 more knocks this season isn’t unimaginable.

Lester won 18 games as recently as 2018. (Wikipedia).

200 wins? Easy, lest Lester lose: Cardinals hurler Jon Lester now stands just two wins away from 200, which should be easy to achieve with nearly a whole month left in the season. Should be. He began the year just 7 victories short, but has won only 5 of his 22 starts.

Jose is crushing it: Give any batter a short enough time frame and he can do great things. Such is the case with Rangers catcher Jose Trevino, a career .243 hitter in the majors and a .259 hitter in the minors. Over the past week, he’s gone 7-for-19—that’s a .368 batting average—with 4 doubles and a .579 slugging mark.

No brakes for this Jake: Astros rookie outfielder Jake Meyers has been unstoppable since his debut on August 1. In 25 games, he’s hit .313 with 3 home runs and 5 doubles, after slashing .343/.408/.598 at Triple-A. The downside: In 80 at-bats, he’s walked just twice.

Resurgent Treinen: Dodgers reliever Blake Treinen had a rough and tumble start to 2021, posting a 3.41 ERA through June 23. Since then, he’s been among the best in the league: In 30 1/3 innings over 29 games, he’s allowed 2 runs on 11 hits and 9 walks for a 0.59 ERA. He didn’t surrender a single earned run from June 25 to August 19.

Chafin’s killing it, too: After beginning 2021 with a 5.00 ERA through April 24, Athletics reliever Andrew Chafin has posted a tiny 1.15 mark in 49 appearances since. Batters have slashed .147/.202/.212 against him in that span. From May 8 to July 21, he didn’t allow a single earned run and since July 28, he’s surrendered just 2.

#1 pick update: Henry Davis, taken by the Pirates as this year’s #1 overall draft pick, began his professional career with a .308/.387/.808 line with 3 home runs and 7 RBI in 8 games. He’s now on the 7-day injured list, but that start is promising.

Control issues have hampered Appel—he averaged 6 walks per 9 frames this year. (Wikipedia).

#1 pick update #2: Mark Appel, who the Astros selected at #1 in 2013 then traded to Philadelphia in 2015, left baseball for a few years but decided to mount a comeback this season. Back with the Phillies, he began the year at Double-A and had a 5.84 ERA in 24 2/3 innings, but was promoted to Triple-A anyway. Though he started off pretty well, he’s slipped bigly and now owns a 6.05 mark at that level. Hey, Tim Tebow got try after try, so Appel might, too. But right now, it’s not looking good for the 30-year-old hurler.

#1 pick update #3: The Astros took Brady Aiken #1 overall in 2014, but he did not sign and re-entered the draft the next year. He was then taken by Cleveland with the 17th pick. Though still in their system, he hasn’t played at all this year and has thrown just 2/3 of an inning since 2017.

2014 draft was rough: The #2 pick in the 2014 draft, Tyler Kolek, taken by Miami, flunked out of the minors after 2019. He never played above A-ball.

Growing hopeful about the Mets: I was getting really nervous about the Mets as they started to tumble, but perhaps my worries were premature. If I did my math correctly, their magic number to overtake first-place Atlanta is 36. They each have 32 games left—if the Mets win 20 and the Braves lose 16, New York could, feasibly, win the division … assuming Philadelphia doesn’t surge. They recently recalled Khalil Lee from Triple-A; I think he can help New York, as he worked an excellent .450 OBP down there.

 At least I tried: Catcher Russ Nixon attempted 7 stolen bases in his 906-game career, which spanned 1957 to 1968. He was never successful. That is the longest career a non-pitcher managed without stealing a base.

I think I’ll stay put: Former Braves catcher Johnny Estrada, who played from 2001 to 2008, didn’t even attempt a stolen base in 612 games. That is also a record.

Wolters led the National Association in RBI in 1871. (Wikipedia).

But my ERA was perfect! Oh, 1870s baseball, you provide us with so many wonders. Rynie Wolters pitched a single game in 1873 and went the whole nine innings, as hurlers were wont to do then. He surrendered 23 runs on 13 hits, a walk and what must have been a boatload of hit by pitches (we don’t know how many, they weren’t recorded then) … but didn’t surrender a single earned run. That was his last season, so he could say he finished his career on a high note, posting a 0.00 ERA in his final year. *Though, honestly, one wonders if his line is accurate or if it was entered into the record books incorrectly and has never been fixed).

Swaziland represent: The small landlocked African nation of eSwatini, formerly known as Swaziland, has produced a professional baseball player. Steve Martin, born in the capital of Mbabne, played in the Astros system in 2011. He had a 6.00 ERA in 16 rookie ball games.

Giving props to The Baseball Cube: Most folks’ go-to source for baseball data is Baseball-Reference.com. But I have to give it to The Baseball Cube, as well. They offer a LOT that Baseball Reference doesn’t, like information on scouts, detailed Baseball America rankings and more in-depth college coverage, like records for coaches. It really is a great resource that I don’t think earns enough praise. (I didn’t get paid to say this).