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Posts for March 2020
News and Notes for March 22,2020
10 days of isolation in the books. No known end in sight. The world has become surreal. I am wise enough to find the positive in this situation. I can work more. I can drive less. I can still run and lift weights. The Internet works. We have hot water and food. The town still operates. I can work and earn money for now. I can still derive much purpose from my day.

This all unravelled so slowly and yet so quickly. Closures. Cancellations. For a day or 2. And then like dominoes, 1 activity after another. 1 school after another. 1 province after another and then further and deeper down towards the most simplest of complex lives.

But I know enough that I can only control what I can control. I am trusting that an overreaction is better/safer than an underreaction. I hope they flatten the curve. I hope good things happen. I have faith and positivity that we will end up closer to the best-case scenario and I focus my energy on the good things on the other side. The re-emergence of socializing, back to work, back to softball, back to concerts and back to all kinds of baseball. It will come. I have faith it will be sooner rather than later. And this will buy us time so that we can engineer better ways to deal with this because necessity is the mother of all inventions.

But anyways, on a more serious note, here's what happened at The Baseball Cube this past week:

  • I added Hall of Fame members and voting results for 2020.
  • I added a lot of International Signing Bonuses as well as signing scouts for domestic/international prospects.
  • 2020 MLB Coaching Staffs were added. This is mostly on-field staff.
  • I'm not adding transactions daily on a daily basis for now. Normally, I add them once a day but for now, I lowered their importance and will update once a week.
  • College Bios are being added daily as well. The power-5 conferences are almost done. That means that full college player bio information is available for 2020 players in the SEC, ACC, Big12, Big10 and Pac12. The project will continue into the other conferences over the next few weeks.
  • TBC reached 100 subscribers for the TBC PREMIUM service. The 99th subscriber was from a town called Corona. Thanks to all those who have signed up! Happy to see there are still some signups during baseball's hiatus.
  • In the PREMIUM section, scouting grades (20-80 scale) were added for all current prospects in the NOTES section of the player pages.
  • Also in PREMIUM, Draft Slot Value was added for the last few years. The values will appear in the Player Profile next to the Signing Bonus as well in the Draft Research Application. They can also be included in the Draft Register data product.
  • There are now 2060 school/seasons in the High School database. I'm adding about 30-50 new school/seasons per day. High School stats will appear, where available, on player profile pages for PREMIUM subscribers.
  • I haven't decided what to do with 2020 Spring Training or College stats yet. I assume I will include them on the site but I don't know if they will have any value. I will see how the baseball world plays out.

  • COVID-19 Update - TBC Version
    The TBC Tracker is on hold. That's it. I won't tell you to wash your hands or self-isolate. If you're like me, you get an email or Facebook post every 22 minutes on the subject. Your world is probably imploding 1 email at a time like me. Everything you love is being taken away from you. College baseball. Pro baseball. Kids Activities. School. And now work has asked you to stay home because you had the nerve to go to a neighbouring country at a time when nobody was concerned about the beer virus.

    So life is giving you a giant wheelbarrow full of lemons and you have no choice but to make a barrell-sized pitcher of lemonade. What do you do? I was waiting to watch Justin Trudeau speak (i never actually made it that far) but before he spoke, there was an infectious disease specialist talking about the virus and what we can do during this extended country-wide (continent-wide?) shutdown. And though he talked a little bit about the virus itself and washing hands and being a good citizen, he also talked about taking the time to slow down and to appreciate life and to spend time with family and to enjoy a "simpler way of life". At the time I heard this, still in denial, still being pecked in the forehead by the syncopated emails, I thought he was nothing but a pompous intellectual. I wanted facts on the virus, not biblical wisdom. "Stay in your lane infection-man!" I screamed at my phone. But then as the day progressed, I realized that frig... maybe he was right.

    We have no choice about how our cities and states and provinces and countries react. Their reasoning is long-term. Their reasoning is to save as many lives as possible. They don't care about your daughter's softball or spring training. And they shouldn't. They are trying to protect as many lives as possible. Like cutting away a mile of trees in the forest, to extinguish the forest fire. At this point, it doesn't matter. What's done is done. Take a swig of Whiskey. Sit on the couch. Take a deep breath. Inhale. Do it with me. Inhale.... Aaaaaah. Exhale. wooooooooh. Maybe 1 more. Inhale.... Exhale... Now tell yourself that your thoughts are just thoughts. Separate them. Let them be. Don't attach yourself to them. Let them float off into the outfield. Let them drift over the Green Monster. Into McCovey's cove. Out of the gigantic foul territory at the Coliseum. Work towards acceptance. Meditate on what you will do with this time. What opportunities emerge... A household project? A personal project. Reading? More sleep? A chance to start exercising? Teach your cat(s) to read? Take the time to be angry and frustrated. Curse your government and your public officials for taking away most everything you love in your life. Do it privately. I find it is better to swear. Swear out loud but in private. Tell them what you think. Tell them they are overreacting. Tell them they are being wimps. Tell them life has risk and we can't bubblewrap the world. Use the "F" word. Use the harshest words you can remember. Switch between languages to multiply the impact. When most of the anger is out of your system, take a deep breath and thank them for their concern and appreciate the weight of their responsibility and then focus once again on your next few weeks and think about how you can best use this time. Its a vacuum of time and in my opinion, its best to control what gets sucked into this vaccuum.

    Its possible The Baseball Cube has made it to anger. Anger that the daughter's softball is on hold. Anger that College Baseball is over before it has begun. That Spring Training was cancelled. That site traffic will fall and signups to the TBC PREMIUM section will dwindle. I am hoping for an accelerated version of the 5 stages of grief. I hope depression is quick. I don't like that one. I am rooting for acceptance and from there, maybe... just maybe... some new features for the site will be born.

    So maybe a third deep breath. Inhale...exhale... We are all in the same boat. We are all PAUSING the game to get some beer or whiskey and popcorn or chips. When we get back we will hit the PLAY button again. Until then, make the most of this time and appreciate as much as possible.

    News and Notes for Mar 10,2020
    Back from Florida. Did not attend a Spring Training game. My choices were Jupiter and West Palm. I have seen both parks multiple times and I was focused on a softball prospect instead. At a softball camp, the prospect batted >.350 with an OBP near .500.

    Here are some news and notes:

  • Player Profiles are updated almost every night. This includes any offline biography changes and includes any recent deaths.
  • I am updating player profiles for 2 college teams a day, starting with the top conferences.
  • I have updated the Prospects section with Top 100s and Team Top 30s from multiple sources. You can view this in the prospect section or on player pages.
  • Speaking of prospects, consensus #1 pick Wander Franco is not the only player in our database with this name. There are 3 Wander Franco's. All 3 are listed as born in Bani,Dominican Republic and wait for it, all 3 are listed as brothers. I thought Luis A* Basabe was confusing, this takes the cake...
  • Did you know that Whit Merrifield has a brother named Hite Merrifield? Hite is currently a redshirt-freshman at Wake Forest.
  • For TBC PREMIUM subscribers, I have begun adding Scouting Grades for 2020 to the Player Notes section. (Scouting grades are ratings scouts use to evaluate players on their tools using a 20-80 scale). This includes both MLB and Draft prospects. I won't disclose the source of the grades and they should taken as (someone else's) opinion. Subscribers will see the notes and have the ability to share notes or post private notes for themselves on player pages.
  • Korean League (KBO) stats have been added for 2018-2019.
  • A reminder that College Stats are being updated each day, 5-6 conferences at a time with an emphasis on the power 5. (SEC,ACC,Big12,Big10,Pac12). You can track these players in your TBC Player Tracker. Some players you may want to track ... Torkelson, Rocker, Servideo, Leiter, Kjerstad, Martin(s), Bailey, Lacy ...

  • 2020 Prospect Rankings
    I don't rank prospects. I don't do anything really. I aggregate. That's what I do. So I aggregated the prospect rankings for 4 expert sites. Baseball America, MLB Pipeline, FanGraphs and Baseball Prospectus. In the case of BA and MLB, they rank top 30s per team as well as top 100 MLB. The other 2 rank only for MLB top 100 or 101 in BP's case. The result is a more interesting view of prospect rankings. I've been capturing the rankings since BA started ranking in the 1990s.

    In addition to the prospects section, you can also view a prospects history on their player page under the PROSPECTS link in the black bar at the top of the page.

    There is nothing PREMIUM about Prospects on the site. Its available to everyone. But if you wanted a dump of my historical prospects data, you could get it at a discount in the data store if you happened to have the PREMIUM account. Just saying...

    Player Notes - PREMIUM Feature
    You now have the ability, as a TBC PREMIUM subscriber to enter notes for any player that will now stick to your player page. The notes will appear on the right-hand side, next to the Player Biograpny. The notes can be entered as Public or Private. Public notes will appear for all subscribers while Private notes will appear for your account only. Remember this feature is only available to PREMIUM subscribers.

    In addition to the user notes, TBC will also be entering notes for players that will be available for subscribers to see. TBC will limit notes being added to non-opinion. We won't be scouting players but we may add 3rd party scouting grades or other factual information on a player. You are free to add whatever type of note you like. Other users will see whether the note was added by TBC or another user. Please keep the notes PG. Though the notes will appear to other users with the word "USER" next to it, TBC will know exactly who wrote the offending note.

    The notes can be entered as one large note or many individual notes. You will have the ability to delete the notes but not edit. To edit a note would mean deleting and re-submitting.

    This is ideal for your fantasy team or for scouts who want to save their notes on a particular player page and keep them private for themselves. Fans may want to share their scouting reports on players for other users to see.

    There will be more enhancements to this feature in the future.

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