Thursday, March 17, 2016

Baseball Prospectus: Money For What The Hell

Every year, in preparation for my fantasy baseball draft, I pick up an annual or two. I don't really know why I do this, because the insights are few and far between, and it basically means that I spend some of my not nearly enough free time reading about guys that will never be on my team... but I'm OCDish about this sort of thing. And every year, I wonder why I can't break the habit, especially when it seems like I'm the only one paying attention to their batspit projections and comparisons.

Which brings us to the curious case of Luke Hochevar.

If you know who Hochevar is, it's only because you pay attention to the baseball draft, where he was the top pick a long time ago, for a Royals team that got good in the past couple of years, after a very long period of being anything but. Hochevar was a big reason why those teams weren't good then, but he's been able to reinvent himself as a borderline reliever in the ludicrously deep Royals bullpen. He's 32 now, and if you are excited about his prospects for 2016, it's only because you are related to him, or have some other way to cash in on that sweet MLB per diem. He's slightly more fantasy relevant than me, but only just.

I read his entry because it's there, like I used to read "Gil Thorpe" in the newspaper when it was next to box scores. (Yes, I am very old. And remember "Gil Thorpe.")

So who does BP list as his comparables?

I swear that I am not making this up.

Steve Carlton, Bert Blyleven and Mark Langston.

What the actual hell?

Hochevar isn't left-handed, like two of these three guys. He doesn't have a legendary out pitch, like Carlton's slider and Blyleven's curveball. He wasn't part of a package for Randy Johnson. He has never been the best pitcher on his team, let alone a recognized ace. He'll go to Canton the same way you and I will; via highways and admissions tickets. Other than being mammals, having vertebrae, and sharing a similar amount of DNA, and maybe also being men who have stepped on a mound in anger, um, no. Not Comparable. Of the literally tens of thousands of other guys they could have listed, none of these. Unless Carlton, Blyleven and Langston share names with career minor leaguers, and BP meant those guys.

So what the hell happened?

Well, clearly some kind of editing glitch, and you're probably wondering why I'm making a big deal about this, because mistakes happen. Plenty of them on this here blog, and the only difference is that it's a lot easier to fix in digital.

But seriously, you have a team of people, with presumably editors and standards and a revenue stream. You couldn't do better than this?

(And yeah, I reserve the right to add more howling BP errors to this post later. I'm only through the Royals now. Because, like an idiot, I read this thing. Like it's a book or something...)

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