Each Sunday, in remembrance of my friend Nick Cafardo, I post “the Bill Chuck Files” (named by Nick in his Sunday Baseball Notes column)
As far as I am concerned, the offseason does not officially begin until I have The Bill James Handbook by my side. The 2020 version with Christian Yelich is here and, as always, it is wonderful and invaluable.
Here are some tidbits:
- Back-to-back NL Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom is projected in 2020 to go 14-8 with a 3.27 ERA.
- Two-time AL Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander is projected in 2020 to go 17-7 with a 3.13 ERA.
- The hottest two free agents: Gerrit Cole is projected to go 17-6 with a 3.03 ERA in 2020 and Anthony Rendon is projected to hit .306 with 29 homers and 104 RBI in 2020.
- NL MVP Cody Bellinger is projected in 2020 to hit .284 with 45 homers and 110 RBI. AL MVP Mike Trout is projected to hit .296 with 43 homers and 101 RBI in 2020.
- Trade targets Mookie Betts is projected in 2020 to hit .300 with 28 homers and 91 RBI, while Francisco Lindor is projected in 2020 to hit .285 with 32 HR and 86 RBI.
In 2019, Pete Alonso hit 53 homers with an average of .25963 slightly worse than Jose Bautista who hit 54 homers in 2010 while hitting .26010. Alonso now has the lowest BA for any 50+ home run hitter. The Bill James Handbook projects Alonso hitting 49 homers with a .250 batting average. That would be the lowest BA for any batter with at least 49 home runs.
Bang-Bang: In 2017, the Astros’ Carlos Beltran on two-seam fastballs hit .235 (8-34) on the road and .360 (18-50) at home.
Clayton Kershaw won the Cy Young Award in 2011, and gave up 15 homers; in 2013, and he allowed 11 homers; and in 2014, when he allowed nine homers. In his three CYA winning seasons, Kershaw totaled 35 gopher balls. In 2019, AL Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander permitted 36 homers.
There are three issues that must be addressed this offseason:
- Opioid use and distribution within professional baseball ranks
- Technology cheating and the questionable culture within the Houston Astros organization
- The juiced baseballs of 2019 which negatively affected the quality of play during the regular season and has distorted baseball history
From 2014-2016, free-agent Cole Hamels had a 3.15 ERA. Over the next three seasons, from 2017-2019, Hamels’ ERA was 3.92.
Players with five seasons of 25+ homers and an OBP of .430+
After July 1, 2019, in the regular season, he hit .258 with 20 homers and 48 RBI in 74 games.
This season, the Cubs were 39-5 when scoring at least seven runs. I only mention this because last season, they were 49-0.
There are four or five (depending on how you define “active”): The active players with 299+ stolen bases are: Billy Hamilton (299), Elvis Andrus (302), Dee Gordon (330), Jacoby Ellsbury (343), and Rajai Davis (415).
RESPECT: I have enormous respect for the work of Patrick Reusse of Minnesota’s Star Tribune and of Jim Reeves of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, but I urge my friends and colleagues in the BBWAA to vote for my friend, the late Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe (even if it is a year too late) for the J.G. Taylor Spink Award so that Nick will be in his rightful place in the permanent exhibit in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Amongst the 36 pitchers who have made at least 60 starts over the last two seasons, free-agent Zack Wheeler ranks 13th with a 3.65 ERA; Jacob deGrom leads with a 2.05 ERA and Dylan Bundy is last with a 5.13 ERA (Free-agent pitcher Rick Porcello is 35th with a 4,87 ERA).
Who is NL MVP Cody Bellinger?