From the category archives:

Season Preview

By Matt Eddy Andrew Miller, LH starter, Marlins Age: 23 until May 21 Key number: 5.2 walks per nine innings, Miller’s unsightly career rate, and his bugaboo The Tigers’ selection of Miller, arguably the top amateur talent in the country, with the sixth pick in the 2006 draft was viewed as a coup. The Marlins’ […]

By James Bailey On Monday we took a tour of the American League, looking for players who are good bets to bounce back into form this season after a disappointing 2008. Today it’s the National League’s turn. The league’s 2005 Cy Young award winner Chris Carpenter finally looks like his old self again, which should […]

By Matt Eddy Charlie Morton, RH starter/reliever, Braves Age: 25 all season Key number: 3, the number of home runs surrendered by Morton in 159 innings in the minors in 2007-08 While the Braves’ reputation as pitching-development factory has waned this decade (see: Matt Belisle, Brett Evert, Anthony Lerew, Macay McBride, Matt McClendon, Dan Meyer, […]

By Thom Henninger A new season means a new rookie class, and Hardball Cooperative will run down the top rookies by division. Not all rookies featured here will be on Opening Day rosters, but they will get a chance to make an impact sometime in 2009. Let’s begin with the National League East, which has […]

By Thom Henninger It took 133 summers of major league baseball, but in 2008, a batter finally struck out 200 times in a single season. Although Phillies slugger Ryan Howard flirted with the 200 plateau in each of the last two years, fanning 199 times in both 2007 and 2008, it was a prospect playing […]

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By James Bailey Carlos Gomez, of, Twins Age: 23 Key number: 105, stolen bases for Gomez in 2005-06 in the Mets system When Torii Hunter moved to Los Angeles last year, the Twins filled his spot in center field with young Gomez, one of the key pieces to the deal that sent Johan Santana to […]

By Matt Eddy Jonathan Sanchez, LH starter, Giants Age: 26 all season Key number: 9.0 strikeouts per nine innings, Sanchez’s career big league rate The Giants develop pitchers better than almost any organization, but they’ve been at a loss as to how to deploy Sanchez, using him almost exclusively in relief in both 2006 and […]

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By James Bailey Clay Buchholz, RH starter, Red Sox Age: 24 Key number: 8.57, Buchholz’s K/9 IP ratio in his 20 big league appearances It’s hard to believe a guy who tossed a no-hitter in his second big league start could lack for confidence, but Buchholz’s eroded last year as the going got tough in […]

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Hardball Cooperative’s panel of experts likes the Red Sox to win the World Series, with three votes (out of eight), though the Angels and Cubs were the most commonly named pennant winners in their respective leagues. Both teams were heavy favorites in their divisions. The Red Sox were the only other team to receive a […]

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By Matt Eddy Johnny Cueto, RH starter, Reds Age: 23 all season Key number: 93.4 mph, Cueto’s average fastball velocity as a rookie Righthanders who stand no taller than 6-foot generally get short shrift in scouting circles. Rooted in concerns about durability and pitch plane, the bias extends only as far as starting pitchers, for […]