Good afternoon everyone and welcome to the Tuesday, May 10th edition of Minor League Ball daily notes. Here are some baseball news items and links for your edification, amusement, and infotainment.
****All orders for the 2016 Baseball Prospect Book have shipped as of yesterday afternoon. I already have reports of books that were mailed last Friday arriving at their destinations yesterday, so everyone who ordered should have their book by the end of this week I would imagine. If your book has arrived, tell us in the comments section!
****The Washington Nationals have agreed to a seven-year, $175,000,000 contact extension with Stephen Strasburg. At MLBDailyDish, Chris Cotillo writes that this contact represents an unprecedented risk for the Nationals, given Strasburg's injury history. Cotillo says that Strasburg is the least-durable and least-experienced pitcher to ever receive money in that territory. Do you agree with that risk assessment?
****At Beyond the Boxscore, Henry Druschel believes that teams may benefit by promoting prospects more quickly, although the current CBA structure and (in some cases) psychological factors often slow such promotions.
****Domenic Lanza at Faketeams looks at Houston Astros right-hander Chris Devenski, another "out of nowhere" prospect who has succeeded.
****Jeff Zimmerman at The Hardball Times crunches the numbers looking for how much pitchers actually control hard or soft contact over time. Key statement:
Determining Solid Contact for pitchers has become one of the last major sabermetric questions to answer. Even as more and more data have become available, the answer has been evasive. The issue is that pitchers morph significantly and often. The answer to how to handle ever-changing pitchers may lie with a different time frame to look at pitchers, like half seasons to maybe even a month. Maybe each pitcher should have a change value associated with him to show how much they are different than the month/half season/year before. The key to finally answering the question of Solid Contact starts with how the pitcher is performing now and then moving slowly backward.