Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

h2h Corner ~ Knowing ADP – How To Win Your League Before It Starts: Ike Davis

Ike Davis – Current ADP 202; 18th 1B – My Rank: 111th hitter; 20th 1B

This isn’t at all spurned by the fact that Ike Davis is my starting first baseman in a 20-team writer’s league – not at all. I swear

In reality, he was on the list before that draft, but who knows if I would have pulled his name today had I not selected him recently.

Still, I really wanted to investigate the first basemen further given his successful 2010 campaign (.264/.351/.440).

Unfortunately, his isolated power (a measure of a hitter’s raw power) was just .173 (first basemen averaged about .200 last year) – so he gave up power compared to the position. He did post far better ISOs in AAA last year and AA before that – but it was against weaker competition and in hitter-friendly ballparks.

Of course, he did manage 19 HRs and 33 doubles last year – so he’s not James Loney. From my research, most projection systems have him approaching the normal ISO for the position which should get him over the 20 HR hump. With a modest improvement in his BABip (somewhere closer to his minor league numbers), you’re looking at a guy with .280 average potential (although he will probably sit in the .270s) and a .360 OBP. In short, he should get on base enough and drive enough runners in.

I took Davis with the 240th pick in the 20-teamer, so his ADP is clearly fluctuating. I think I got good value in him, especially in this deep a league. It seems he’ll comfortably slide in the top 18-20 first basemen (especially if you throw out the catchers that qualify at first) with upside to be in the 12-15 range. Still, his moderate upside won’t win you your league, but he’ll be a steady source of runs/RBIs and 20 HRs or so. Think of him as pretty similar to Adam LaRoche with a smidge better AVG and more upside.

Feel free to share your insights below or at my Twitter (@h2h_corner).

___________

Maximizing every drop of value in every pick is hugely important. Taking a player in the fifth round that you could just as easily have taken in the sixth round is a major mistake. To avoid this, you need to know all about Average Draft Position (ADP).

While no two drafts are identical, knowing where a player typically goes gives you a general idea of where he will go in your draft. That said, be sure to do homework on your league mates subjective tendencies. For example, if there are Red Sox fans, be sure to snag guys like Lester and Youkilis a bit earlier than you normally would. In addition, you should talk up your sleepers before the draft (discretely of course) to see if anyone is on to them. If you don’t, an opponent with an itchy trigger finger who hasn’t done his ADP homework might snag one of your sleepers a round before anyone else is typically taking him.

Now that you know WHY ADP is important, I want to show you HOW to exploit it by highlighting those players who are going too low compared to players with similar ADPs. You can grab an ADP report at Mock Draft Central.

Feel free to share your insights below or at my Twitter (@h2h_corner).

h2h Corner ~ Knowing ADP – How To Win Your League Before It Starts: Bud Norris

Bud Norris – Current ADP 317; 87th SP – My Rank: 114th Pitcher; 90th SP

I have always been a Bud Norris fan. One main reason is that it allows me to link to Wall Street quotes.

The second reason is that Norris has a career 9.1 K/9 rate. So, I’m a little disappointed that I ranked him so low. There are clearly a lot of players – I probably ranked over 600 – but Norris fell through the cracks.

It’s true that Norris hasn’t been overly healthy in his professional career and has only accumulated 209.1 MLB IPs. Still, he’s an h2h pitcher’s dream as he can post monster K numbers in just one start – and, if he gets two starts, double digit Ks are a given.

Of course, people will balk at his career 4.82 ERA – however he has outperformed that when you look at FIP (4.33) and xFIP (4.19). While last year was his worst ERA, there were some promising signs: he increased his GB%, lowered his HR/FB% and increased the amount of times batters swung at his pitches outside the zone.

If Norris can stay healthy, he is a legitimate 180+ K candidate. Sure, playing for the lowly Astros likely wont result in many wins and his ratios (at best a 4.30 ERA and 1.45 WHIP) will leave a lot to be desired, but having the fireballer in your hip pocket could help you win Ks on a weekly basis.

Toward the end of drafts, he’s a definite option.

Feel free to share your insights below or at my Twitter (@h2h_corner).

_______

Maximizing every drop of value in every pick is hugely important. Taking a player in the fifth round that you could just as easily have taken in the sixth round is a major mistake. To avoid this, you need to know all about Average Draft Position (ADP).

While no two drafts are identical, knowing where a player typically goes gives you a general idea of where he will go in your draft. That said, be sure to do homework on your league mates subjective tendencies. For example, if there are Red Sox fans, be sure to snag guys like Lester and Youkilis a bit earlier than you normally would. In addition, you should talk up your sleepers before the draft (discretely of course) to see if anyone is on to them. If you don’t, an opponent with an itchy trigger finger who hasn’t done his ADP homework might snag one of your sleepers a round before anyone else is typically taking him.

Now that you know WHY ADP is important, I want to show you HOW to exploit it by highlighting those players who are going too low compared to players with similar ADPs. You can grab an ADP report at Mock Draft Central.

Feel free to share your insights below or at my Twitter (@h2h_corner).

h2h Corner ~ Knowing ADP – How To Win Your League Before It Starts: Will Venable

Will Venable– Current ADP 304; 72nd OF – My Rank: 122nd hitter; 59th OF

Just look at Venable move through this course and try not to think of him as a Bo Jackson-level athlete.

While his physical prowess resulted in a 13 HR, 29 SB season, his K-rate continued to climb – resting at 32.7% at the end of 2010. Still, there is some optimism as it looks like he learned to take a walk or two – as his walk rate hit double digits for the first time since 2008.

Unfortunately, Venable hasn’t been able to lay off pitches outside the zone – in 2008, he swung at pitches outside of the zone 25% of the time, the following year 30.7%, then 33.7% last year. Furthermore, his contact rate has fallen the last three seasons from 79.7%-to-73.3%-to-72.7%. All of this culminated in Venable seeing more pitches outside the zone and given he cant lay-off him, he’ll continue to make less and weaker contact.

Consequently, it seems like last season was a bit of the peak for Venable unless he can change his approach. I can’t imagine his .320 OBP will afford him tons of SB chances – meaning he shouldn’t approach anywhere near 30. In fact, 20+ seems like a long shot (he only stole 20+ once in the minors and not since 2007). Consequently, we’re looking at a 15/20 guy at best with a poor batting average.

The only caveat I have with Venable is that there is no offense to speak of in the Padres line-up. This means they’ll have to “manufacture” runs however possible, which could result in more stolen base opportunities up and down the line-up. If this occurs, Venable has a slight chance of approaching last year’s stolen base numbers.

There are simply too many “ifs” with Venable to make him any kind of an option outside of NL-only leagues. I do like him a tad more than his super late-round selection number, but really only for 20-team leagues.

Feel free to share your insights below or at my Twitter (@h2h_corner).

_________________________

Maximizing every drop of value in every pick is hugely important. Taking a player in the fifth round that you could just as easily have taken in the sixth round is a major mistake. To avoid this, you need to know all about Average Draft Position (ADP).

While no two drafts are identical, knowing where a player typically goes gives you a general idea of where he will go in your draft. That said, be sure to do homework on your league mates subjective tendencies. For example, if there are Red Sox fans, be sure to snag guys like Lester and Youkilis a bit earlier than you normally would. In addition, you should talk up your sleepers before the draft (discretely of course) to see if anyone is on to them. If you don’t, an opponent with an itchy trigger finger who hasn’t done his ADP homework might snag one of your sleepers a round before anyone else is typically taking him.

Now that you know WHY ADP is important, I want to show you HOW to exploit it by highlighting those players who are going too low compared to players with similar ADPs. You can grab an ADP report at Mock Draft Central.

Feel free to share your insights below or at my Twitter (@h2h_corner).

h2h Corner ~ Knowing ADP – How To Win Your League Before It Starts: Mark Teixeira

Mark Teixeira – Current ADP 12; 5th 1b – My Rank: 27; 6th 1b

Mark Teixeira was barely in the top 20 first basemen in batting average – he was 19th. He was not in the top five in HRs at his position (he was sixth). He was tied for fifth in RBIs and he was second in runs. He did not steal a base.

Coming off three straight .290+ seasons, clearly 2010’s batting average (.256) was a shock. While his K-rate increased a smidge, his BABip declined from a career line of .303 to .268. This was not due to a change in line drives, ground balls, or fly balls – all were about the same as 2009. Of course, since joining the Yankees, Teixeira has gone from hitting about 40% fly balls to averaging about 44% – and, somewhat surprisingly, his HR/FB rate has declined since joining the Yankees.

The major 2010 culprit: Teixeira swung at more pitches out of the strike zone than he has in any previous year. The rate was about five percent more than his career average. In addition, pitchers seemed to catch on as Teixeira saw a lot less pitches inside the strike zone than he normally does.

I just threw a ton of numbers and percentages and ratios at you. Basically, his BABip was historically low and it should rebound. However, given that his patience at the plate has declined (as noted by his increasing fly ball percentages and swings at balls outside the zone), he won’t return to his .290/.300 hitting self.

In short, Teixeira looks like a guy who will hit .280 with 35 HRs, 100 runs and 120 RBIs. Is that much better than Adam Dunn who is going 38 picks later? Or Andre Ethier who is going 23 picks later? Given the depth of the position, I don’t see a need to select Teixeira at the end of the first round – his value is a lot closer to the third round than the first.

Feel free to share your insights below or at my Twitter (@h2h_corner).

_______________

Maximizing every drop of value in every pick is hugely important. Taking a player in the fifth round that you could just as easily have taken in the sixth round is a major mistake. To avoid this, you need to know all about Average Draft Position (ADP).

While no two drafts are identical, knowing where a player typically goes gives you a general idea of where he will go in your draft. That said, be sure to do homework on your league mates subjective tendencies. For example, if there are Red Sox fans, be sure to snag guys like Lester and Youkilis a bit earlier than you normally would. In addition, you should talk up your sleepers before the draft (discretely of course) to see if anyone is on to them. If you don’t, an opponent with an itchy trigger finger who hasn’t done his ADP homework might snag one of your sleepers a round before anyone else is typically taking him.

Now that you know WHY ADP is important, I want to show you HOW to exploit it by highlighting those players who are going too low compared to players with similar ADPs. You can grab an ADP report at Mock Draft Central.

Feel free to share your insights below or at my Twitter (@h2h_corner).

h2h Corner ~ Knowing ADP – How To Win Your League Before the Season Even Starts: Aaron Hill

Aaron Hill – Current ADP 163 – My Rank: 108th Hitter; 15th Second baseman

There was really no way Hill could replicate his impressive 2009 campaign. Coming off a concussion and completely under the radar, Hill posted a .286/.330/.499 line with 36 HRs. His HR/FB% sat at 14.9% — by far the highest he had ever posted.

So, what happened in 2010? Well his line drive percentage plummeted (from a career mark of 18.5% to 10.6%), his HR/FB% came back to earth at 10.8% and his average on balls in play (.198) was about as lucky as the cooler.

Still, Aaron Hill is more the 2009 version than the 2010 version – but how much more is the question. If you average out the two seasons, you get a guy with 31 HRs and a .250/.304/.453 line. That strikes me as a tad low on the ratio side of things, but a smidge high on the gross power number.

Unfortunately, I’d think you’d rather have a .250 hitting second basemen with 30+ HRs, then the .260 hitter with just 20-25 HRs that I think Hill will be in 2011. Basically, his slash line will come back some, but I don’t see him coming all that close to 30 HRs. In addition, given his poor OBP, he likely won’t come near the 100 runs he scored in 2009.

Aaron Hill.2011 looks like a 25 HR guy with 70 Runs/RBIs and a .260 average. That’s not useless, but I’m probably not taking him in the 16th round or so – he strikes me as more of a 20th round type of value.

Feel free to share your insights below or at my Twitter (@h2h_corner).

___________________

Maximizing every drop of value in every pick is hugely important. Taking a player in the fifth round that you could just as easily have taken in the sixth round is a major mistake. To avoid this, you need to know all about Average Draft Position (ADP).

While no two drafts are identical, knowing where a player typically goes gives you a general idea of where he will go in your draft. That said, be sure to do homework on your league mates subjective tendencies. For example, if there are Red Sox fans, be sure to snag guys like Lester and Youkilis a bit earlier than you normally would. In addition, you should talk up your sleepers before the draft (discreetly of course) to see if anyone is on to them. If you don’t, an opponent with an itchy trigger finger who hasn’t done his ADP homework might snag one of your sleepers a round before anyone else is typically taking him.

Now that you know WHY ADP is important, I want to show you HOW to exploit it by highlighting those players who are going too low compared to players with similar ADPs. You can grab an ADP report at Mock Draft Central.

Feel free to share your insights below or at my Twitter (@h2h_corner).

h2h Corner ~ Knowing ADP – How To Win Your League Before It Starts: Jair Jurrjens

Jair Jurrjens– Current ADP 173; 50th SP – My Rank: 131st pitcher; 99th SP

I’ve never gotten why people love Jurrjens – is it because his last name reminds people of cleansing silky smooth body wash?

After coming over in the Edgar Renteria trade, Jurrjens has averaged 173 IPs (albeit his 2010 was injury-riddled), a 3.45 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 126 Ks and a 6.5 K/9 rate. That’s basically Joel Pinero or Scott Sanderson.

What’s more, in his only truly great year (2009), he had a .268 BABip – in his other two seasons it was right at .300. In addition, 2009 saw him post a 79.4% strand rate – in his other two seasons it was right at 70% or so. Lastly, there has been no difference in contact rates since Jurrjens entered the league, meaning there is little chance he improves his K-rate.

Consequently, Jurrjens is basically what he was in 2008; I see his 2011 looking like: 3.90 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, with 130 Ks.

For comparison’s sake, Pineiro has averaged a 4.07 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 93 Ks and a 4.9 K/9 rate over the last three seasons. Oh, and Bill James has Pinero pegged at a 4.06 ERA with 110 Ks.

At this price, I’ll pass on that and grab someone like Ricky Nolasco, Edwin Jackson, Jorge de la Rosa, CJ Wilson, Ted Lilly, Ian Kennedy, Brian Matusz, Jhoulys Chacin, etc.

Basically, if a pitcher doesn’t have elite ratios, there’s simply no reason to spend a top 17 round pick on a guy who won’t strike-out more than 150 batters.

Feel free to share your insights below or at my Twitter (@h2h_corner).

_______

Maximizing every drop of value in every pick is hugely important. Taking a player in the fifth round that you could just as easily have taken in the sixth round is a major mistake. To avoid this, you need to know all about Average Draft Position (ADP).

While no two drafts are identical, knowing where a player typically goes gives you a general idea of where he will go in your draft. That said, be sure to do homework on your league mates subjective tendencies. For example, if there are Red Sox fans, be sure to snag guys like Lester and Youkilis a bit earlier than you normally would. In addition, you should talk up your sleepers before the draft (discretely of course) to see if anyone is on to them. If you don’t, an opponent with an itchy trigger finger who hasn’t done his ADP homework might snag one of your sleepers a round before anyone else is typically taking him.

Now that you know WHY ADP is important, I want to show you HOW to exploit it by highlighting those players who are going too low compared to players with similar ADPs. You can grab an ADP report at Mock Draft Central.

Feel free to share your insights below or at my Twitter (@h2h_corner).

h2h Corner ~ Knowing ADP – How To Win Your League Before It Starts: Dan Uggla

Dan Uggla – Current ADP 57; 6th 2b – My Rank: 25th hitter; 3rd 2b

Much like the Florida Marlins, the fantasy baseball community seems to undervalue Uggla.

I loved him last year and only see peachy things for his future in Atlanta. For his career (1,657 PAs), Uggla put up a .261/.357/.485 line at spacious and documented hitter-hate Dolphin Stadium. In 199 PAs at Turner Field (his new home), Uggla has a .354/.399/.652 line. That’s an incredibly small sample size and something you can’t expect. However, even the average of those two ballparks makes Uggla a fantasy behemoth. Over the last three years, Uggla has averaged 32 HRs per season and a .264/.361/.493 line. That’s pretty tasty at second base. I really think he is in for a monster year and am confident he will finish inside the top 25 performers this season.

Uggla outpaced his position by four HRs, had the second most RBIs and 20 more than the third place finisher and scored 100 runs (tied for third most at second) last year. Sure he stole just four bases, but only one second base qualifier had more than 17 last year. In short, Uggla can dominate the position.

In the fifth round, Uggla is a steal.

Feel free to share your insights below or at my Twitter (@h2h_corner).

_______

Maximizing every drop of value in every pick is hugely important. Taking a player in the fifth round that you could just as easily have taken in the sixth round is a major mistake. To avoid this, you need to know all about Average Draft Position (ADP).

While no two drafts are identical, knowing where a player typically goes gives you a general idea of where he will go in your draft. That said, be sure to do homework on your league mates subjective tendencies. For example, if there are Red Sox fans, be sure to snag guys like Lester and Youkilis a bit earlier than you normally would. In addition, you should talk up your sleepers before the draft (discretely of course) to see if anyone is on to them. If you don’t, an opponent with an itchy trigger finger who hasn’t done his ADP homework might snag one of your sleepers a round before anyone else is typically taking him.

Now that you know WHY ADP is important, I want to show you HOW to exploit it by highlighting those players who are going too low compared to players with similar ADPs. You can grab an ADP report at Mock Draft Central.

Feel free to share your insights below or at my Twitter (@h2h_corner).

h2h Corner ~ Check You Out On the Flip Side: Mike Bielecki

While Bielecki loved to collect records, he didn’t really like to collect base hits. Bielecki is tied for the 10th lowest batting average by a pitcher (min 200 abs) in MLB history. He hit .078. So did Bill Hands and Ben Sheets. Such notables as Aaron Harang (.066), Doug Davis (.071), Clem Labine (.075), and Ryan Dempster (.077) have all been worse.

But I want to focus on Loyola College Baltimore – My dad went there, so did Tom Clancy – I love Tom Clancy and am shocked his masterpieceWithout Remorse has not been made into a great Hollywood film yet. I was a philosophy minor in college (to go along with an English with an emphasis in creative writing major – can’t you tell?) and grew found of John Stuart Mill. Working my way through the greatest happiness principle and Bentham and reading Without Remorse, which, essentially, is about a highly trained ex-military person taking out his revenge on a group of drug dealers and pimps – kind of like McNulty. Anyway, it’s an interesting yarn that makes you think about what is and isn’t moral.

Oh well, that was a bizarre tangent. The reason Loyola College caught my eye is that, along with Memorial Stadium, my earliest sport memories are of watching soccer games at Loyola. It was always simple and fun. Their stadium was a lot like a high school’s so it was intimate, you could see all the action, kids could misbehave or play on the sidelines and it was cheap and it was in Baltimore. I love Baltimore – it’s just the way it is, kind of why I love the United States.

To date, I thought there was only one famous person to graduate from Loyola and now there are two (even if Bielecki gets no billing on Loyola’s wiki page).

For a guy worth just 6.8 WAR, Bielecki certainly had an interesting 14-season career. He finished inside the top-10 for Cy Young once (1989). He was worth 4.1 WAR that year (only two other times did he earn over 1 WAR), his sixth season and second with the Cubs. It was a magical season that saw him post an 18-7 record with a 3.14 ERA and 1.26 WHIP. There wasn’t much unique about that year (outside of him topping 200 IPs for the only time in his career), he allowed pretty much the same HR/9 that he always did, ditto for BB/9, K/9; however he somehow allowed far fewer hits per nine innings than he typically did. Well, he had a .272 BABip in 1989, which was well below his career line of .291.

Outside of his horrendous batting ability and his 1989 season, he was, unfortunately, most known for his connection to Little Lake Nellie. As the story goes, Bielecki was supposed to accompany Steve Olin, Tim Crews and Bob Ojeda on the un-Gilligan-like fateful voyage. The day after the incident occurred, Bielecki was picked up by Jim Thome and Roberto Alomar – yet he was unaware of the tragedy.

At that time, I was an avid listener of local sports talk radio (when it existed). I was as glued to the radio that day as I was later during Columbine (and I am by no means equating the two). It was a singular point in my life that I remember vividly – it occurred nine days after my 11th birthday. I had barely heard of the players involved but, by being major leaguers, they were heroes.

I’m glad the Bielecki wasn’t on the boat – this would be an even sadder “In Memmoriam”-esque flip side. Instead, hopefully this celebrates Bielecki’s ninth place Cy Young finish, his ineptitude with the bat, and his teammates who met a tragic end.

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h2h Corner ~ Check You Out On the Flip Side: Neifi Perez

poerez backperesfrontAmidst all the recent Yuniesky Betancourt confusion, I stumbled upon this Neifi Perez card from 2002. I’m also in a surly mood because the holidays are over and I’m tired, so I wanted to go on a rantpage.

I assume Buddy Bell did not actually mean what he said, he was simply trying to be a company man, nice guy and player’s coach, but still, to ask if there is a better shortstop than Neifi Perez is like asking if there is a better looking man/woman than Fergie.

In his 668 games with the Rockies, Perez managed a .282/.313/.411 line. Not good, not abysmal for a shortstop, but, still, not good. He struck out 287 times in 2,728 ABs and hit just 43 HRs. He stole 33 bases, but was caught 24 times. In short he was worth just 1.1 wins above a replacement player. For someone who played most of his games at Coors field those offensive numbers are truly offensive.

So what gave Perez an edge? Well, he had a reputation of being a good glove man and did win the gold glove in 2000 (although ask Rafael Palmeiro how prestigious the award is). He also is tied for the sixth best fielding percentage among shortstops all time. When he hung up his glove, he finished with a .978 fielding mark, the same as Ozzie Smith, Orlando Cabrera and Devi Cruz. He was just behind the immortal Cal Ripken, Tony Fernandez, Larry Bowa, Mike Bordick and Omar Vizquel.

Unfortunately, his time in Colorado would represent the high watermark of his career, as he’d spend the next seven seasons whittling down his career WAR to 0.1. For the Royals, who traded for him, he’d be worth -1.9 WAR. This began a sad collection of trades involving Perez.

However, the Rockies did outstanding to get Jermaine Dye who was just 27 at the time and was putting up a .272/.333/.417 line. Not great for a corner outfielder but he was worth 10.6 WAR up to that point and had a career .285/.341/.481 line. That is where the Rockies’ (the team that gave Perez all those ABs) intelligence ended. The same day they would flip Dye to the Oakland Athletics for Todd Belitz, Mario Encarnacion and Jose Ortiz.

For Oakland, Dye was worth 2.5 WAR and put up a .252/.326/.444 line – certainly better than Neifi Perez.

Back to Perez who the Royals gave too much playing time and lost too many wins because of. Mercifully, he’d be in Kansas City for just two years before going to the San Francisco Giants (worth 0.3 during his time there) and then three years for the Cubs (1.6 WAR). Draw your own conclusions why…or think about Edgar Renteria’s recent contract.

To sum up the first Betancourt, in only five seasons in his 12-year career did Perez post an OBP above .300. Only once was it over .314.

Basically, July 25, 2001 must have been a shot to the ego for Jermaine Dye (perhaps moreso than the free agent market in 2010). I mean, he was traded for what?

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h2h Corner ~ Check You Out On the Flip Side: Schoolboy Rowe/Chris Pittaro

pittarpobpittarpfrlontWe’ve grown lazy as a society…it’s clear. Just look at what we call athletes and celebrities who are dating one another, you can see it in the inventiveness (or lack there of) of our nicknames. We’ve had two LTs in the last 20 years and typically just shorten names to V-Jax, or D-Jax, etc.

Quite simply (and I think I’ve written this before), I long for the days of players like Schoolboy Rowe who liquefied greenies and chewed tobacco. In short, when men were men and pitchers hit like Babe Ruth (well not exactly). According to Wikipedia, Rowe got the nickname while playing for a men’s team as a 15-year-old. Now that is how your earn a nickname!

You have to admire the back of Chris Pittaro’s card for more than just Lynnwood Thomas Rowe’s nickname. We get a nice factoid on Rowe’s career and the history of the Detroit Tigers as Rowe was the first Tigers pitcher to hit a grand salami.

Rowe was actually a very good hitter by non-Micah Owings-standards. Rowe hit 16 HRs – that’s tied for the 15th most all time with Jim Kaat and Jim Tobin.

He wasn’t just Ryan Howard with the bat, he had a little Ichiro in him — only 56 pitchers have ever won 20 games and also hit over .300 in the same season. Rowe is one of them. He did it in 1934, and, while that is a looooong time ago, most of the seasons occurred before 1900. In fact, the feat has only happened 11 times since Rowe did it — most recently by Mike Hampton in 1999.

Speaking of the number 16 — Rowe once tallied 16 consecutive wins in 1934, which is tied for the 12th longest streak of consecutive wins. Not surprisingly, Old Hoss Radburn had 18 consecutive victories in 1884. Meanwhile Clemens had 20 consecutive wins from 1998-1999. I don’t remember this being a big deal at the time, perhaps because I was an Orioles fan and hated Clemens, but it is pretty cool and one underrated Clemens non-bat throwing/country music singer mistress factoid. When you look at win streaks that were contained in just one year, Rowe’s streak is the 7th longest in history.

Schoolboy really lived up to his name as his best seasons happened while he was relatively young. During the 1934-1936 seasons, Rowe was 24-26-yeards-old respectively and averaged 20 complete games, a 3.87 ERA, and 1.28 WHIP. He would win 62 games over those three seasons. Unfortunately, like many of his generation, he missed significant time during peak years for World War II. In the season directly before the war, Rowe pitched 199 innings and posted a 2.94 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. In the season after his military service, Rowe pitched 136 innings and posted a 2.12 ERA and 0.98 WHIP.

No longer a schoolboy, Rowe would call it quits three years later at the age of 39 and would die at 50. His life in professional baseball spanned some 24+ years, his life outside of baseball about 26 years.

As for Chris Pittaro, he was an infielder who had less HRs than Rowe. In fact he never hit a major league HR. He’d only play one year in Detroit and get 68 major league plate appearances in 1985. He was traded to Minnesota the following year and would play sparingly over the next two seasons before leaving major league baseball for good. If only he had an Edna on his side…

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