How to Win at Baseball

– The K Zone –

How to Win at Baseball, by Ian Joffe

April 17, 2018

With limited salaries and a finite number of high draft picks, teams are constantly forced to choose how, out of dozens of options, to build their team. Rosters can focus on hitting or pitching. They can look for power or on-base skills. They can make a core of speed and defense. A team might even try to build around leadership and personality traits. A roster with any kind of emphasis, or even a general well-roundedness, has the potential to be effective, but I want to figure out what teams are most effective. So, to do that, I turned to my Fangraphs spreadsheets and Python editor.

For data, I scraped information off all 480 teams from 2002-2017 (going back to 2002 because that’s when the pitching stats that I wanted became available). As the first step in seeing which skills are most effective to build around, I constructed a set of scatter plots that set each statistical category and team wins along the two axes. The categories I checked look at overall hitting (wRC+), on-base ability (OBP+), power (ISO+), speed (SB+), and two pitching metrics (xFIP+ and SIERA+), all of which, as you can see, have been normalized so that 100 is league average. In retrospect, I should have included at least one defensive statistic to look at, but I neglected to because given my process, it would have taken a long time to include that data, and now it’s too late. Here are the scatter plots for each stat, plus their Pearson correlation coefficients:

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As we could have predicted, teams with good stats tended to win more games. Because they are only slight, the differences in P-Values doesn’t tell us much here given the fact that baseball wins are not highly controlled experiments, and everything is in the same ballpark. That is, every stat except one:

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It turns out that steals had absolutely no correlation to wins, in fact, a set of 480 randomly dispersed points may have correlated even better. It’s possible that teams only run more because they have less power, but managers tend to keep the same strategy even when they move teams, so I would instead just say that in general, speed is not a key to winning at baseball. Sure, a steal now and then helps if there’s a high likelihood of reaching the base, but building a team around speed and hoping to win is a poor strategy, and historically has not worked.

To create a more telling story about which teams succeed and which teams fail, I looked at how teams that ended up in certain tiers were built. I defined a “playoff team” as a roster in the top 30%, a “Championship Series team” as one in the top 12%, and a “World Series champion” team as one in the top 3% (note that this has nothing to do with how the playoffs actually went, because the playoffs are essentially random). I then applied a label to teams based on whether they emphasized hitting or pitching by subtracting xFIP+ from wRC+. A team with a difference of 20+ has a “heavy hitting emphasis,” a team with a 10-20 differential has “some hitting emphasis,” a team with a value between 10 and -10 has “no significant emphasis,” a roster between -10 and -20 has “some pitching emphasis,” and finally a team with a difference under -20 is labeled with a “heavy pitching emphasis.” Here is the overall distribution of teams by emphasis:

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As you can see, and potentially predict, most teams have no emphasis. More importantly, however, is that many more teams have some pitching emphasis than hitting. Keeping that in mind, let’s look at the distribution within each tier:

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While the strength of the balanced team largely holds, we see an immediate dropoff in the number of teams who emphasize pitching, strongly or at all, and the number of teams who weight hitting is starting to grow.

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As we move to the top 12% of teams, no rosters that emphasized pitching remain. And, nearly half of the teams emphasize batting.

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And finally, as we reach the few elite teams, the vast majority have a hitting emphasis. Out of the 10 teams total that showed a heavy batting emphasis, all of them were playoff caliber and half of them were champion caliber. While teams with a hitting emphasis made up only 9% of total rosters, they comprise 42% of CS teams and 85% of championship teams. Meanwhile, not a single team who emphasized pitching made it to the top 12%, and despite being 31% of total teams, those who focused on pitching only made up 1% of the playoff teams overall. The lesson here seems clear: Build around hitting if you want success. When given the choice between two equally talented players in the free agent pool, or even more importantly the June draft, chose the hitter. There could be a few reasons for this. One reasonable theory may be the value of defense distracts and sets the value of the pitcher to, if you take an extreme stance, the point where pitchers become replaceable as long as the team retains a strong defensive cast. It’s also arguable that it’s easier to find good pitchers and more teams have been able to build pitching depth, as seen in the overall distribution. So, it would be harder to use pitching as a competitive advantage. Or, maybe because so many pitchers are used in today’s game, the value of each becomes diluted, therefore only when teams move to improve their hitting can they gain a competitive advantage. To be clear, I’m not saying that pitching doesn’t help a team; we saw from the correlation plots that it certainly does. However, given limited resources, ignoring hitting in pursuit of strong pitching – or even looking at the two in equal light – is not a recipe for success.

Now, let’s take a look at another potential difference in strategy: power vs. on-base skills. This one is a little harder to quantify because, while hitting and pitching make up almost all of the factors in a baseball game (minus defense), power and contact exist in a far less controlled experiment. But it’s worth a look anyways. I labeled the emphasis of teams in favor of power vs. on-base skills in a similar way I did with hitting and pitching (with the +20, -10, etc. differentials), except I used ISO+ and OBP+. Here is the initial distribution among all teams:

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It’s pretty similar to the full distribution among hitting and pitching, with a heavy spike in the middle. Here’s the distribution among playoff teams:

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It looks like power is winning out a little, although don’t read too much into the small sample of teams with heavy on-base emphasis. Still, the distribution doesn’t change too much.

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As we continue through the postseason, we see a continued normal percent loss in each category, about equivalent to the percent lost overall. PowerContactChamp.png

And the trend continues, with “some power emphasis” remaining as about 20% of teams throughout the playoffs and categories with smaller amounts to start off with being eliminated as a whole. Unlike with pitching vs. hitting, there is no clear story here. I wouldn’t even say that a balance is necessarily the best option, because it started so heavily weighted.  So, teams can go either way. As long as the focus is on hitting, they can win through a power-heavy strategy, contact-heavy build, or a balance.

There was one last thing I wanted to check out: a comparison of playoff teams to trends. It’s possible that while since 2002, power and contact have been equal, in certain mini-eras one has been more valuable. This would be because of a league trend. Perhaps the winning team is the one that’s ahead of the trend and really exaggerates it. Or, the winning teams could be the ones who zig while everyone else zags, finding bargains along the way. So, over the 16-year period, I graphed the league trends in ISO versus the median ISO+ of a playoff team, and applied a polynomial regression:

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There is no clear pattern between the power-emphasis of winning teams and the league trend. If anything, the playoff teams look to be behind the curve (imagine shifting the green line over about four years to the right). This further goes to show the original point, that teams can build both power, contact, or a mix, and will still have the same ability to win, no matter what the rest of the league is doing.

While these findings certainly apply to all methods of roster-building (such as free agency, trades, and Rule 5), it seems most important during the amateur draft, given the wide diversity of players available and the fact that there is usually little clarity on the future potential/reality of drafted players. That especially goes for systems that already lean hurler-heavy. Teams should seriously consider taking batters over pitchers, even if the pitchers appear to have slightly more raw ability. Because, simply, it works.

 

Sources:

Fangraphs

Image Attributed to:

Dodger Nation

Ross Stripling Interview: Being A Part of a Special Team

The K Zone

April 14th 2018

Ross Stripling

Interviewed By Mike Duffy


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Ross Stripling is a part of one of the most historic franchises, the Dodgers. When Stripling made a move to the bullpen, his versatility made him a cornerstone of the Dodgers who would go to the World Series in 2017. This year the Dodgers look to win it all, and with their young talent, they will be a dominant team for years to come.


Mike Duffy: You made a big step last year when you became more versatile, moving to the bullpen to adapt to the Dodgers’ depth. Was it a tough process or were you surprised at how well it worked out?

Ross Stripling: I struggled when I first went to the bullpen. I had a hard time finding a routine that kept me fresh both mentally and physically. I didn’t know when to lift, how hard to condition, how much preparation and scouting I needed to do. Once I found a consistent routine, which wasn’t until a few months into the season, I was able to relax and really enjoy the bullpen role. It’s always different and way more intense so it’s a lot of fun.


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Mike Duffy: There is no doubt that the Dodgers have all the pieces to bring home a ring to Los Angeles. What has it been like to be one of those pieces along with other young guys like Corey, Cody, and Chris, and the wise mentors like Kershaw and Chase?

Ross Stripling: I’ve been totally spoiled so far in my big league career. A lot of wins and 2 deep playoff runs. It’s pretty special to be apart of a team like this, to think one day I’ll be able to tell my grandkids I played with Kersh, Seager, Bellinger, Kenley, etc. At first I just felt like such a small piece, but as you get more experience and more comfortable, you start to feel like you belong around guys like that. Especially since they’re all such great guys and teammates, friends I’ll have for life.


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Mike Duffy: What is your favorite baseball memory?

Ross Stripling: I have a few favorite baseball memories. I would say the no hitter I threw in college the day I was supposed to walk across the stage to graduate, with all my family in town, is maybe my favorite. My debut was obviously another one that I’ll remember forever.


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Mike Duffy: Who was your favorite player and role model growing up?

Ross Stripling: My favorite player growing up was probably Ken Griffey Jr. I was also a huge A-Rod fan when he was on the Rangers. A baseball role model was always Cal Ripken Jr., he was my older brothers favorite player and just a guy that played the game the right way.


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Mike Duffy: In what ways has playing in a World Series changed your life?

Ross Stripling: For one, I think the World Series kinda puts your baseball career into perspective. Nothing else will ever be as high pressured or as intense as those games. I pitched in those games and survived so I should be able to handle anything moving forward in my career. Also I was able to pitch in Houston in front of dozens of friends and family, something we’ll be able to remember and talk about for the rest of our lives which is pretty special.


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Mike Duffy: What’s your favorite movie?

Ross Stripling: My favorite Movie is Good Will Hunting.


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Mike Duffy: What’s your favorite TV show?

Ross Stripling: My favorite Tv show is Entourage.


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Mike Duffy: Who’s your favorite musician?

Ross Stripling: My favorite Musician is Garth Brooks.


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Mike Duffy: What is your favorite hobby besides baseball?

Ross Stripling: My favorite hobby is trading on the stock market.


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Mike Duffy: Bucket-list item?

Ross Stripling: A Bucket list item would be to take a vacation with my wife/family every year.


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Mike Duffy: Do you have any advice for young kids playing the game?

Ross Stripling: I would just tell kids to play the game hard and have fun. It’s taken so serious these days with travel ball and baseball year round. Play the game with passion  and get better every time you take the field, and let the rest take care of itself. Everyone matures at different rates and ages, so just control what you can control and play the game because you love it.


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Tim Locastro; The Dodgers Speedster

-The K Zone-

October 4th  2017

Tim Locastro

Interview by Mike Duffy


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Mike Duffy: How’s the Dodgers clubhouse chemistry?

Tim Locastro: I mean I’ve only been here a few days but, I think the cool thing about the clubhouse is everyone has the same thing and same intentions on their mind and that’s to win whatever it takes.


Mike Duffy: What did it feel like when you were called up?

Tim Locastro: I was completely shocked, I didn’t have any idea what it was going to happen but at the same time I was excited for the opportunity.


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Mike Duffy: How did you use your speed to show the dodgers organization your value?

Tim Locastro: I’ve been stealing bases and using my speed my whole life. I showed it by when ever I was on base I was trying to steal. Always running out ground balls to get those infield hits and always trying to take the extra base.


Mike Duffy: I was wondering  when you go from high school, minor leagues, what was the biggest challenge when you reach each stage?

Tim Locastro: The biggest difference at each level isn’t so much the talent because every level you play at the talent is amazing. As you go up the ladder players start to learn how to use their talent. Also mentally the higher you go players are so much smarter and just know the game like the back of their hand.


Mike Duffy: What is your favorite thing about being a Dodger?

Tim Locastro: Knowing that every year you have a chance to win and your going to be put in a position to win every single year.


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Mike Duffy: What was your favorite team growing up?

Tim Locastro: Being from NY, Growing up I was a big Yankees fan.


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Mike Duffy: What are your favorite tv shows?


Tim Locastro: Friday Night Lights, Breaking Bad, and Seinfeld


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Mike Duffy: Do you have a motto or a thing to do to get you out of a rough time?

Tim Locastro: “Everything happens for a reason” and in baseball I think a good saying is “only control what you can control” because there is so many factors in baseball that you cannot control so just go out there and compete.


Mike Duffy: When did you know you wanted to play professional baseball?

Tim Locastro: Ever since I received my first baseball bat and glove.


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Jon Duplantier; Fishing & Pitching

 

-The K Zone-

September 29th  2017

Jon Duplantier

Interview by Mike Duffy



Mike Duffy: I was wondering when you go from high school, minor leagues, what was the biggest challenge when you reach each stage?

Jon Duplantier: The biggest challenge is being on your own. You have to grow up a lot and be a grown man when maybe some guys aren’t ready for the responsibility.


Mike Duffy: What’s your favorite thing about being apart of the Diamondbacks?

Jon Duplantier: My favorite part about being with the dbacks is I get to play the game I love for and organization that is respectful and supportive.


 


Mike Duffy: What’s your favorite hobby besides baseball?

Jon Duplantier: I like to fish on my off days. Just relax and let my mind wander.



Mike Duffy: Who was your favorite baseball player growing up?

Jon Duplantier: My favorite player growing up was Roger Clemens.



Mike Duffy: What was your favorite team growing up?

Jon Duplantier: My favorite team was the Astros or Rangers. Anyone in Texas.



Mike Duffy: What was your favorite memory of this season?

Jon Duplantier: My favorite memory this season was being in the Futures Game.



Mike Duffy: What was it like knowing you were recognized for your great year on the MLB Pipeline team of the year?

Jon Duplantier: Being recognized for the team was awesome, because it brings attention to the dbacks farm system and all the work we’ve put in.


Mike Duffy: What’s your favorite stadium?

Jon Duplantier: My favorite stadium is Minute Maid.



Mike Duffy: What’s your favorite movie?

Jon Duplantier: My favorite movie is Space Jam.



Mike Duffy: Do you have a motto or a thing to do to get you out of a rough time?

Jon Duplantier: Just think about positive energy and count my blessings.


Mike Duffy: When did you know you wanted to play professional baseball?

Jon Duplantier: My mom said I first told her when I was young like 6 or 7.



Mike Duffy: What is your favorite thing about being a pitcher? Hardest thing about pitching? When did you start getting good at it?

Jon Duplantier: My favorite thing, is the one on one battle, the hardest thing, getting out of a bad streak, when I turned 20 I guess.


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Tyler Watson; How I Met My New Team

The K Zone

August 31st 2017

Tyler Watson

Interviewed By Mike Duffy

 


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Mike Duffy: I was wondering  when you go from high school, minor leagues, what was the biggest challenge when you reach each stage?

Tyler Watson: The biggest obstacle even moving one level to the next is to understand that you got there for a reason and changing anything will not help. Be yourself.


Mike Duffy: What is your favorite thing about being a Twin?

Tyler Watson: I’ve met a lot of great teammates so far being a Twin.


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Mike Duffy: What is your favorite hobby besides baseball?

Tyler Watson: I love to read, I guess the best thing I can do while playing baseball is try to educate myself anyway I can.


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Mike Duffy: Who was your favorite baseball player growing up?

Tyler Watson: I will always be a Big Papi fan.


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Mike Duffy: What was your favorite team growing up?

Tyler Watson: My dad is from Boston so I grew up a Red Sox fan.


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Mike Duffy: Goals for this season?

Tyler Watson: This season I just want to learn from my mistakes and my successes. Never forget what got you there and never forget what didn’t work.


Mike Duffy: What is your favorite stadium?

Tyler Watson: My favorite stadium is probably Chase field because I grew up there!


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Mike Duffy: What is your favorite movie? What is your favorite tv show? 

Tyler Watson: My favorite movie is it’s a wonderful life! My favorite show is how I met your mother! 


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Mike Duffy: Do you have a motto or a thing to do to get you out of a rough time?

Tyler Watson: Lord we know what we are but know not what we may be.


Mike Duffy: When did you know you wanted to play professional baseball?

Tyler Watson: I’ve always wanted to be a professional baseball player from day one.


Mike Duffy: What do you enjoy most about staying with host families during the season?

Tyler Watson: Staying with host families have given me connections and experiences that I’m extremely thankful for.  


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Mike Duffy: For a shout out to your old teammates lol! What do you miss most about your time in the nationals organization?

Tyler Watson: Wow haha I think about my boys all the time. Still hasn’t sunk in that I won’t see them very often anymore but I’m so thankful that my best friend Blake Perkins lives in Arizona so I can still see him!


 

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Mike Duffy: What is your favorite thing about being a pitcher? Hardest thing about pitching? When did you start getting good at it?

Tyler Watson: I love being a pitcher because it’s so strategic, hardest thing about pitching and almost anything is not letting your head get in the way even though it’s a mental craft. I started getting good my senior year of high school once I realized I wasn’t as good as I thought I was!


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Alex Robles; Beginning his journey with the Twins

The K Zone

July 19th 2017

Alex Robles

Interviewed By Mike Duffy

 

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Mike Duffy: I was wondering  when you go from high school, minor leagues, to the majors, what was the biggest challenge when you reach each stage?

Alex Robles: The hardest thing was each level, I came across more and more players with the same abilities as me, and I had to learn to out work them and work on the mental side of the game just as much as the physical side. The people that separate themselves from the pack are the ones who recognize that talent alone isn’t going to be what gets you to the next level, but dedication, hard work, and being mentally strong will.


Mike Duffy: What’s your favorite thing about being a Twin?

Alex Robles: My favorite part about being a twin is really having a chance to work through the the farm systems and make it up with the team that drafted me.


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Mike Duffy: What’s your favorite hobby besides baseball?

Alex Robles: I love to just hang out with my friends in my off time, baseball takes up a lot of my time, but I love to go to the beach and relax with my small circle of friends


Mike Duffy: Who was your favorite baseball player growing up?

Alex Robles: My favorite player growing up was Alex Rodriguez, I loved the way he played and he was the biggest star that I could remember.


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Mike Duffy: What was your favorite team growing up?

Alex Robles: The Yankees were my favorite team growing up.


Mike Duffy: Goals for this season?

Alex Robles: My goals for this season is just to get better in every aspect of my game, and just work hard every single day and really dedicate myself to this game as much as I can.


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Mike Duffy: How did draft day feel?

Alex Robles: Draft day was amazing, my parents, my wife and her mom, and my friends were all just so happy that God gave me an opportunity to keep following my dream!


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Mike Duffy: What’s your favorite stadium?

Alex Robles: Chase Field is probably my favorite stadium.


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Mike Duffy: What’s your favorite tv show?

Alex Robles: I Love “How I met your Mother”


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Mike Duffy: Do you have a motto or a thing to do to get you out of a rough time?

Alex Robles: A motto that I have is just to “Seize the Day” I don’t let things ever be too big, and I always try and find a way to fix something if something is wrong, or if everything is going good, I find a way to get better, either as a baseball player, or as a Person.


Mike Duffy: When did you know you wanted to play professional baseball?

Alex Robles: I knew I wanted to be a professional the moment I watched the 2001 World Series, the excitement that I saw when the the D backs won, I got chills, and I just knew I wanted to be part of something like that when I got older.


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Mike Duffy: What’s your favorite thing about playing infield? 

Alex Robles: I’m playing some Infield and Outfield and hitting, I love to play every day, it’s hard to stay at 100% every day, but being able to help the team every day on the field and hitting is awesome.


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Ty Kelly; Utilizing his role on the Phillies

The K Zone

July 12th 2017

Ty Kelly

Interviewed By Mike Duffy

 

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Mike Duffy: I was wondering  when you go from high school, minor leagues, to the majors, what was the biggest challenge when you reach each stage?

Ty Kelly: The biggest challenge at each stage is dealing with the new surroundings. You want to fit in and help the team at first and then work up to standing out and being a key player on the team.


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Mike Duffy: What have you done best this season?

Ty Kelly: My best moment this season was getting a go-ahead pinch hit double against Chris Sale.


Mike Duffy: What is your favorite thing about being a Philly?

Ty Kelly: My favorite thing about Philly is all the history here and getting to explore the museums.


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Mike Duffy: Do you miss anything from the mets?

Ty Kelly: I miss the guys with the team and the city itself. It’s an amazing place to play every day.


Mike Duffy: What is your favorite hobby besides baseball?

Ty Kelly: I have a lot of hobbies. I enjoy making music, writing, and outdoor activities during the offseason in San Diego.


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Mike Duffy: Who was your favorite baseball player growing up?

Ty Kelly: My favorite player growing up was Chipper Jones. He was a switch-hitting infielder like me.


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Mike Duffy: Who has been the hardest pitcher you have faced?

Ty Kelly: The toughest pitcher I’ve ever faced was probably Yordano Ventura in the minor leagues.


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Mike Duffy: What is your favorite stadium?

Ty Kelly: My favorite stadium to play in is AT&T Park in San Francisco. I grew up close to it and it is beautiful.


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Mike Duffy: What are your favorite movies and tv shows?

Ty Kelly: My favorite movie is “Inglourious Basterds” and favorite show is “Seinfeld.”


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Mike Duffy: Do you have a motto or a thing to do to get you out of a rough time?

Ty Kelly: If I’m struggling I try to step back and look at the bigger picture.


Mike Duffy: When did you know you wanted to play professional baseball?

Ty Kelly: I didn’t know how good I was at baseball until my sophomore year of college when I transferred to UC Davis and had a lot of success.


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Mike Duffy: Whats your favorite thing about being a utility guy?

Ty Kelly: My favorite thing about being a utility guy being used in a bunch of different facets. It never gets boring!


Mike Duffy: Whats the hardest thing about being a utility guy?

Ty Kelly: The hardest thing is not knowing when or where you’ll go into the game every day.


Mike Duffy: What are your hopes for the Phillies?

Ty Kelly: My hopes for the Phillies are that I get to stick around and help out a team of young guys as they grow into successful big leaguers.


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Player Q&A’s


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Scott Braun – MLB Broadcaster


Yankees


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Estevan Florial


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Devyn Bolasky


Dodgers


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Tim Loncastro


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Mitchell Hansen 


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Gavin Lux


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Hunter Speer


Nationals


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Jackson Rutledge


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Jared Johnson


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Philip Caulfield


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Andruw Monasterio


Phillies


 

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Rhys Hoskins


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Zach Eflin


 


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Scott Kingery


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Kevin Gowdy


 

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Grant Dyer


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Trevor Bettencourt


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Luke Leftwich


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Kyle Young


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Darick Hall


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Dominic Pipkin


Angels


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Jahmai Jones


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Ryan Scott


Astros


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Ray Henderson


Athletics


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Austin Beck  (Round 1-Pick 6)


Blue Jays


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David Paulino


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Andrew Sopko


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Corey Copping 


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Brandon Polizzi


Indians


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Nolan Jones


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Will Benson


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Lenny Torres Jr.


Brewers


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Corbin Burnes


Mariners


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Brandon Brennan


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Eric Filia


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Logan Gilbert 


 

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Sam Carlson (Round 2-Pick 55)


Marlins


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James Nelson


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Shane Sawczak


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Trevor Rodgers (Round 1-Pick 13)


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Sean Reynolds


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Brandon Miller


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Tristan Pompey


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Billy Fleming 


Orioles


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Tyler Erwin


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Franciso Jimenez


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Yelin Rodriquez


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Zach Pop 


Padres


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Jacob Nix


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Dylan Coleman


Rangers


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Jonathan Hernandez 


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Kole Enright


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Brendon Davis


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Joe Palumbo


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Chad Smith


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Bubba Thompson (Round 1-Pick 26) 


Twins


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Ian Miller 


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Chase Dejong


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Tyler Watson


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Alex Robles 


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Benjamin Rodriguez 


Diamondbacks


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Jon Duplantier


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Ryan Dobson 


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Dan Swain 


Rays


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Robbie Tenerowicz


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Drew Strotman


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Mikey York


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Nick Schnell


Cardinals


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Johan Oviedo


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Ryan Helsley


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Jim Haley


Braves


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Grant Dayton


Royals


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Trevor Oaks


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Tyler Zuber


Mets


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Pat Biondi


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Gavin Garay


Giants


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Kevin Pillar


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Sean Hjelle


White Sox


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Ryan Burr


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Caleb Frare


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Luis Curbelo Jr. 


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Steele Walker


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Casey Schroeder


Retired/Released


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Ty Kelly


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Cord Sandberg


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Ryan Miller


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Joel Toribio


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Tyler Adkison


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Pat Light


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Imani Abdullah


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Sam Tidaback


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Luke Persico


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Chris Powell


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Luis Perez 


 Under Construction….

Reds

Rockies

Cubs

Pirates

Red Sox

Tigers

 

 

 

Rhys Hoskins Interview: On the Road to Citizens Bank

-The K Zone-

January 12th  2017

Revised August 10th 2017

Rhys Hoskins

Interview by Mike Duffy


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I was able to interview Phillies #6 in their top prospect list (according to MLB Pipeline) Rhys Hoskins in January. This past offseason he was invited to Phillies 2017 spring training! This is huge because he is the only 1st baseman in the top 30 of the Phillies prospects and if you haven’t heard, the Phillies need a counter part to Tommy Joseph now that Ryan Howard isn’t coming back and that the Phillies just traded Darin Ruf to the Dodgers in a packaged deal for Howie Kendrick. You heard it here first! This year in AA he had a .281 BA and scored 95 times with 38 of them being home runs!

*He has officially been Promoted to the Show on August 10th 2017.


His Debut on August 10th he faced Jacob deGrom. Rhys went 0-2  and was walked. 


 On August 26th 2017 he became the fastest person EVER to get 10 HOMERUNS! He did it in 17 career games! Hoskins hit his 9th and 10th on players weekends and while hitting those, he wore a patch to honor his mom who battled breast cancer and sadly she passed away within a day of his 16th Birthday! 

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Mike Duffy: I was wondering when you go from high school, minor leagues what was the biggest challenge when you reach each stage?

Rhys Hoskins: Biggest challenge really is that along with the competition just getting better and better, you play a lot more games at each level! You just have to figure out how to maintain and strengthen your body so you feel good when it gets to late in the season. That has been the hardest thing so far for me, figuring out what works for me so I feel my best at the end of the season.


Mike Duffy: How did you feel when you got drafted?

Rhys Hoskins: It was a dream come true. I had worked countless hours to reach that goal and it happened!


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Mike Duffy: What did you do best last season?

Rhys Hoskins: I felt like I really honed my approach this season with men in scoring position, and I knocked in a lot of runs because of it.


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Mike Duffy: This offseason whats the major thing you are planning to work on?

Rhys Hoskins: This offseason I’m really focusing on getting my foundation back for my strength. I have played the last couple offseason and haven’t really had the chance to focus on the gym.


Mike Duffy: Whats your favorite thing about being an Philly?

Rhys Hoskins: The coaching staff and friends I’ve made on the teams I’ve been on are an awesome part about being a Philly.


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Mike Duffy: Whats your favorite hobby besides baseball?

Rhys Hoskins: I love traveling and see different cultures and exploring new cities.


Mike Duffy: Who was your favorite baseball player growing up?

Rhys Hoskins: I grew up watching Barry Bonds play and I still to this day think he is arguably the best hitter To ever play this game.


Mike Duffy: Who’s the hardest pitcher you faced this season?

Rhys Hoskins: The best pitcher i faced this year was German Marquez, in the Rockies organization. Guy threw 100 mph, kept the ball down in the strike zone, and had a good breaking ball on top of it!


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Mike Duffy: Whats your favorite stadium?

Rhys Hoskins: Favorite stadium I’ve played in is Citizens Bank Park!


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Mike Duffy: Whats your favorite movie/tv show?

Rhys Hoskins: Favorite Movie: Wedding Crashers, show: Suits


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Mike Duffy: Do you have a motto or a thing to do to get you out of a rough time?

Rhys Hoskins: Just keep livin’


For more Interviews Click Here

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Thanks for reading!