Early trade talk

Last week, Jim Bowden of ESPN and the MLB Radio Network published a list of the 30 best players who could be on the move prior to the August 1 non-waiver trading deadline and where he thinks those players fit best. For some, it’s a tad early to be discussing deals when the deadline is still two months away. Bowden realizes that too and refers to his list as “my first take of the year” on players who could be dealt. Yet, some fans — and writers — find it…

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Mariners need: outfield defense

  In recent years, the Seattle Mariners haven’t placed a high value on defense, especially in the outfield. This becomes particularly clear when you look back at their most recent corner outfield pickups, via the trade and free agent market. Since 2013, the team has used players with limited range like Nelson Cruz, Mark Trumbo, Corey Hart, Raul Ibanez, and Michael Morse to play left and right field. Further proof of the low importance placed on outfield run prevention by the Mariners was their trial and error attempts of putting…

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Can Pederson sustain success?

We’re still not even a month’s worth of games into the season, meaning a glance at Major League Baseball’s leaderboards will yield names such as Jake Marisnick, Adrian Gonzalez, Nelson Cruz and Joc Pederson. Neither Marisnick nor Gonzalez will maintain a wRC+ north of 200 throughout the season, probably. Cruz lead all of baseball and home runs last year and has yet to cool off after a scorching April. And Pederson? Well, the super-prospect is pretty much doing everything. Pederson, an eleventh-round pick in the 2010 draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers,…

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The value of stolen bases

Offensive production in major league baseball has dropped sharply over the past decade. The most frequently suggested causes behind this decline are an aggressive performance-enhancing drug testing, the implementation of state-of-the-art analysis on hitters’ tendencies, rising pitch velocities, increased relief pitcher specialization, and more defensive shifts. Regardless of the cause behind the offensive swoon, teams are seeing fewer hitters reach base. League-average on-base percentage (OBP) in recent years harkens back to the levels that prompted Major League Baseball to lower the pitcher’s mound in 1969. You have to go back…

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Could M’s use a second Van Slyke?

The Los Angeles Dodgers find themselves in an enviable yet difficult position in which they have too many good outfielders. There’s an awful lot of talent between the trio of Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford, and Andre Ethier but injuries have limited the playing time and effectives of all three over the last couple seasons and it’s been rare to see a time when a spot on the disabled list isn’t occupied by at least one of them. Add in superstar slugger Yasiel Puig and top prospect Joc Pederson who’s ready…

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MLB players of the month — May

Paired with the new Mariners of the month feature, Prospect Insider will be highlighting a couple of outstanding performances by players across the major leagues each month as well. Since the M’s players have a seperate feature, they will not be included in these posts. In case you missed it, Robinson Cano and Felix Hernandez were the Mariners of the month for May. Let’s take a look at a pair of players who’ve stood out amongst their peers over the past 31 days. Yasiel Puig, OF, LAD — 128 PA,…

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Who’s In, Who’s Out: NL West

The National League West division got a whole lot stronger when the Los Angeles Dodgers’ new ownership decided to push their cards all in and spend as much as necessary to win. It was a fairly busy offseason for the five clubs, but both the Dodgers and San Francisco Giants elected to use plenty of their resources on retaining some of their key pieces. The Arizona Diamondbacks made a series of interesting trades while the San Diego Padres and Colorado Rockies made a couple interesting acquisitions of their own. Let’s…

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Breakthrough Candidates: Hitters

Every year in Major League Baseball a handful of players take their game up a notch or two and post star-level numbers after falling somewhere between pedestrian and downright awful the previous season. Some of those that do so come as no surprise, as often they are young players starting to live up to expectations. As Chris Moran did with starting pitchers here, Prospect Insider’s Brendan Gawlowski discusses the most likely hitters to break out and significantly improve from 2013. 1. Bryce Harper, LF — Washington Nationals Could it be…

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