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THE LATEST

Welcome to the American League Edition of OBT’s Fantasy Foray series, where we will review the past week’s hottest hitters, pitchers (SP and RP), and share who the hottest “under the radar” players are–-in the world of Fantasy Baseball.

Not only will we review the best-of-the-best, but we will also keep you in the loop about injuries that could re-shape your fantasy season. Who is hitting the DL? Who is soon to come off?

Read this reoccurring article each week to find out the answers to these questions–and more!

Fantasy FOUR-Play:

We will begin with a section dubbed the Fantasy FOUR-Play, which will begin by sharing with you the top FOUR ranked Fantasy Baseball hitters from the past week, as ranked by Yahoo! Fantasy Sports.

For this week’s article, we will use information over the past TWO weeks, due to the MLB All-Star Break throwing a wrench into our plans…

Note: For the purpose of this reoccurring article, we will be determining the offensive ranks based off of Yahoo’s 5×5 Public League settings, which consist of: Runs Scored (R), Home Runs (HR), Runs Batted In (RBI), Stolen Bases (SB), and Batting Average (BA).

We will also use the same format for pitching stats, which consist of: Wins (W), Saves (SV), Strikeouts (K), Earned Run Average (ERA), and Walks and/or Hits per Inning Pitched (WHIP).

Hitters

Player/Team/PositionRankRHRRBISBBA
Carlos Santana/CLE/C-1B-3B385111.386
Austin Jackson/DET/OF 99181.375
Melky Cabrera/TOR/OF128181.419
Yan Gomes/CLE/C17828.425

Starting Pitchers

Player/Team/PositionRankWSVKERAWHIP
David Price/TB/SP13-241.130.75
*Marcus Stroman/TOR/SP62-120.000.50
*Corey Kluber/CLE/SP81-201.020.57
Sonny Gray/OAK/SP183-180.861.10

 *Note: Stroman and Kluber only made two starts during this period, while the others made three (each).

Relief Pitchers

Player/Team/PositionRankWSVKERAWHIP
Jake McGee/TB/RP16-5131.350.60
David Robertson/NYY/CP241381.290.71
Sean Doolittle/OAK/RP54-270.000.38
Greg Holland/KC/CP76361.800.80

Under the Radar (Under 25% Owned)

Hitters

Player/Team/PositionRankRHRRBISBBA
Tyler Flowers/CWS/C67217.519
Mike Moustakas/KC/3B68734.229
Dioner Navarro/TOR/C81525.333
Stephen Drew/BOS/SS 82526.258

Pitchers

Player/Team/PositionRankWSVKERAWHIP
Brandon McCarthy/NYY/SP 472-141.501.00
Matt Shoemaker/LAA/SP-RP 621-152.840.63
Drew Smyly/DET/SP 641-172.130.87
Wei-Yin Chen/BAL/SP 862-72.080.92

*Note: Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Todd Redmond was ranked at #74, ahead of Wei-Yin Chen; however, he threw only one start. I omitted him based on lack of IP and gave Chen the nod.

Keep It on the D-L

Hitters

Edwin Encarnacion: The Toronto Blue Jays slugger appeared ready to come off of the Disabled List (DL) next week after recovering from his quad injury; however, he suffered a setback on Friday while swinging a bat. The Jays will give him the weekend off, but are expected to let him resume his activities beginning on Monday. If he suffers no setbacks, we can see him being activated during the first full week of August. EE is 1B and 3B eligible in the Yahoo! game, which is a huge plus (especially at a typically-weak hot corner). So far this season he has hit .277, with 26 HR, 70 RBI, and 57 R–in 328 ABs.

George Springer: Another slugger, another quad injury. Springer is eligible to come off of the DL in early-to-mid August for the Houston Astros, if he can resume exercises shortly. He is currently unable to do so, which could push his return back. The rookie slugger hasn’t been able to hit for average so far in the majors; however, in only 295 ABs this year he has hit to the tune of .231, with 20 HRs and 51 RBIs. Troublesome is the low batting average, plus his 39 BB: 114 K walk-to-strikeout ratio. Apparently, only Jose Altuve is allowed to hit for average in Houston…?

Joe Mauer: Shampoo salesman, and part-time ballplayer, Joe Mauer has been swinging a bat for about a week without issue. Plans have him taking live batting practice Monday through Wednesday, then he could begin his rehab assignment soon after, barring any setbacks. The Minnesota Twins C/1B has batted a career low .271 so far this season; however, he is a career .320 hitter. Only in 2009 has he eclipsed 14 HRs (28), and he has averaged less than 9 HR per season (including this season) since 2010. All BA, no pop, out of Mauer. Expect this out of him for the rest of the season, should you decide to roster him (which I wouldn’t suggest).

Wil Myers: Last year’s American League Rookie of the Year has had an awful sophomore season with the Tampa Bay Rays, before fracturing his right wrist; however, he is hoping to return to the club in mid-August to prove that his rookie season was no fluke. Currently hitting .227 with 5 HRs and 25 RBIs, Myers has put fantasy owners in quite the predicament this season. Do I stash him? Do I cut him? My advice… cut him. If you thought his sapped power was bad before, do you think a broken wrist is going to help him get his power back? Not a chance.

Pitchers

Masahiro Tanaka: The New York Yankees import was well on his way to the AL ROY award, and possibly an AL Cy Young, until his right elbow gave out on him. A partial tear in his ulnar collateral brought on a prognosis that could end in two ways–a whole lot of rest or the once-dreaded Tommy John surgery. Yankees GM Brian Cashman spoke to the media on Wednesday, saying that it is still far too early to tell which way this will ultimately go. Assuming the very best, he is weeks away from returning; however, with surgery he could be gone for the remainder of this (and possibly next) season.

Jason Vargas: The Kansas City Royals lefty was expected to start today (Sunday); however, he “didn’t feel right” after a bullpen session on Wednesday, which has slowed down the process of his return. The good news is Vargas was placed on the DL after having an appendectomy, so this doesn’t relate to his pitching arm. He will probably not need a rehab assignment, so as soon as he has full confidence in his abilities he will be activated.

C.J. Wilson: The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim starter was placed on the DL retroactive to July 1 with a right ankle sprain. He is currently scheduled to make a rehab start tomorrow (Monday) with Double-A Arkansas, with the plan being to activate him from the DL assuming everything goes as planned. Wilson, with a career 3.67 ERA, has only allowed an ERA over 3.75 once since his transition from set-up guy to starting pitcher; however, his ERA sat at a disappointing 4.33 before his injury. He will have a chance to get you W(ins) and Ks upon his return, which may be good enough to roster him with SP4 expectations (and SP3 upside).

Stay tuned to OnBaseTalk.com–or any number of our Social Media sites–-for the latest news, rumors, and opinions on all things MLB.

As always, feel free to comment below with your thoughts/opinions, and take the time to add Nich on Facebook, or on Twitter @Nicholas_Tozier.

Welcome to the National League Edition of OBT’s Fantasy Foray series, where we will review the past week’s hottest hitters, pitchers (SP and RP), and share who the hottest “under the radar” players are–in the world of Fantasy Baseball.

Not only will we review the best-of-the-best, but we will also keep you in the loop about injuries that could re-shape your fantasy season. Who is hitting the DL? Who is soon to come off?

Read this reoccurring article each week to find out the answers to these questions–and more!

Fantasy FOUR-Play:

We will begin with a section dubbed the Fantasy FOUR-Play, which will begin by sharing with you the top FOUR ranked Fantasy Baseball hitters from the past week, as ranked by Yahoo! Fantasy Sports.

For this week’s article, we will use information over the past TWO weeks, due to the MLB All-Star Break throwing a wrench into our plans…

Note: For the purpose of this reoccurring article, we will be determining the offensive ranks based off of Yahoo’s 5×5 Public League settings, which consist of: Runs Scored (R), Home Runs (HR), Runs Batted In (RBI), Stolen Bases (SB), and Batting Average (BA).

We will also use the same format for pitching stats, which consist of: Wins (W), Saves (SV), Strikeouts (K), Earned Run Average (ERA), and Walks and/or Hits per Inning Pitched (WHIP).

Hitters

Player/Team/PositionRankRHRRBISBBA
Anthony Rizzo/CHC/1B21057.333
Carlos Gomez/MIL/OF510172.375
Neil Walker/PIT/2B71037.364
Ryan Braun/MIL/OF1053111.342

 

Starting Pitchers

Player/Team/PositionRankWSVKERAWHIP
Tanner Roark/WAS/SP-RP43-171.290.71
Tyson Ross/SD/SP-RP112-260.901.00
*Cole Hamels/PHI/SP152-191.200.73
Jacob deGrom/NYM/SP382-151.290.93

 *Note: Hamels and deGrom only made two starts during this period, while the others made three (each).

 

Relief Pitchers

Player/Team/PositionRankWSVKERAWHIP
Steve Cishek/MIA/CP13-580.000.33
Craig Kimbrel/ATL/CP56-3101.800.80
Jenrry Mejia/NYM/CP59-460.001.25
Addison Reed/ARI/CP65350.000.75

 

Under the Radar (Under 25% Owned)

Hitters

Player/Team/PositionRankRHRRBISBBA
Josh Rutledge/COL/2B-SS-3B41519.433
Seth Smith/SD/OF77514.462
Arismendy Alcantara/CHC/2B-OF854243.189
Mark Reynolds/MIL/1B-3B97434.280

 

Pitchers

Player/Team/PositionRankWSVKERAWHIP
Jorge De La Rosa/COL/SP1031-131.351.13
Dale Thayer/SD/RP106-60.000.20
Eury De La Rosa/ARI/RP1112-71.291.29
Bryan Morris/MIA/RP1211-40.000.69

Now for your dose of notable Disable List-related news across baseball:

Keep It on the D-L

Hitters

Troy Tulowitzki: First off, did you notice how I spelled his name correctly, unlike the recent Colorado Rockies jersey giveaway? Tulo, a platinum member of the Disabled List over his career, has once again been rendered inactive due to a lingering left hip flexor strain. While the club is hopeful he’ll return after his 15-day DL trip is up, there is reason to worry due to his long history of leg-related issues.

Josh Rutledge (seen above leading the “Under the Radar” hitters) will man SS for the Rox until Tulo returns. Rutledge is the epidemy of a hot-cold hitter, so plug him in now and ride out this hot streak.

Ryan Zimmerman: If Tulo is a platinum member, that would make Zimmerman a platinum, silver, and gold member of this club. Washington Nationals manager Matt Williams recently described Zimmerman’s hamstring strain as “pretty substantial”. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, Zimmerman could be out for 6-to-8 weeks, which likely means 2B Anthony Rendon will slide over to 3B–allowing former-starting 2B Danny Espinosa to start at second.

Starling Marte: Marte (head) was placed on the 7-day DL due to a concussion he received from being beaned in the head by an errant fastball on Friday the 18th. Marte, who was cleared and played on Monday this week, suffered a setback which caused the designation onto the DL. Marte is having a down season, but does offer fantasy owners a nice R/SB option atop the Pittsburgh Pirates lineup.

Michael Cuddyer: It was widely assumed through baseball that Cuddyer’s season was over; however, he was recently given the “green light” to begin a strengthening program for his ailing left shoulder. A mid-August return to the Colorado Rockies lineup could happen for the 35 year-old slugger, who offers a ton of upside via his numbers and his 1B and OF eligibility in most formats.

If Carlos Gonzalez can battle through his injury to re-find his form, if Troy Tulowitski can return to health, and if Charlie Blackmon keeps raking–which is a lot of “ifs”– Cuddyer (who would be surrounded by all of these bats in the lineup) could be a gold-mine for playoff-bound fantasy teams. He is currently owned in 58 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Pitchers

Gerrit Cole: Cole (sore lat) threw a successful minor league rehab start for the Pittsburgh Pirates Triple-A affiliate in Indianapolis on Monday; however, Bucs manager Clint Hurdle wants to see Cole’s pitch count hit 100 or so in the minors, before bringing him back up. Cole sports a line of 7-4, with a 3.78 ERA, and a 78:29 K:BB ratio–a helpful slash as a SP3 or SP4, with a much higher ceiling.

Matt Cain: Cain (elbow inflammation) has already been on the Disabled List for over two weeks now; however, he is currently not any closer to being activated as the day he was placed on the list. The San Francisco Giants realized that Cain’s season could be over, which likely caused them to bring in former Boston Red Sox SP Jake Peavy via trade. Largely ineffective for the better part of two seasons, it is time to let go Cain (if you made the mistake of drafting him in the first place).

Andrew Cashner: Cashner (shoulder) has been scheduled to throw a bullpen session today (Sunday), seemingly this gives hope to the feeling that he is on his way back to the San Diego Padres rotation towards the end of August. Assuming he suffers no setbacks, Cashner (much like Gerrit Cole) is a great stash play for teams who are seemingly going to battle in their league’s playoffs. While he only boasts a record of 2-6, his 2.36 ERA and 59:22 K:BB ratio are worthy of SP2-SP3 speculation. Besides, his home ballpark isn’t going to get any smaller anytime soon.

Stay tuned to OnBaseTalk.com–or any number of our Social Media sites–-for the latest news, rumors, and opinions on all things MLB.

As always, feel free to comment below with your thoughts/opinions, and take the time to add Nich on Facebook, or on Twitter @Nicholas_Tozier.

 

With widespread rumors and reports of the New York Yankees looking to upgrade their starting rotation, a familiar face returning to where it all began might be on the horizon. First reported by Jim Bowden of ESPN.com, the New York Yankees and San Diego Padres have been discussing a trade that would send former Yankee, Ian Kennedy back to New York in exchange for 2013 first round picks Eric Jageilo and Ian Clarkin. The news comes on the heels of reports that the Yankees had scouts in attendance for Kennedy’s last start, so there is definitely some steam behind this latest news. However, giving up two first round picks for good pitcher, not a great pitcher, seems like an awfully steep price.

The Yankees believe that price to be steep as well. Jon Heyman of CBSSports chimed in on the situation stating the Yankees and Padres have had talks regarding Kennedy, but not as the cost of both Jagielo and Clarkin. Seemingly, when Bowden used the term “discuss” in regards to the Yankees and Padres negotiations, it was meant as what the Padres were intended to get, not what the Yankees were ever truly going to offer. The Padres are not wrong to attempt to get the best possible deal for one of their better pitchers, but there is a line to where it’s just too much.

After having the best year of his career in 2011 by winning 21 games, Kennedy came back to reality the next 2 seasons, as both 2012 and 2013 saw him regress back to “decent” instead of upgraded to “elite”. Kennedy went 15-12 with 4.02 ERA in 2012, and 7-10 with  4.91 ERA in 2013, while splitting time between both the Arizona Diamondbacks and San Diego Padres. A far cry from his memorable 2011 campaign, but certainly better numbers than the Chase Whitley‘s and Vidal Nuno‘s of the world. Now in 2014, Kennedy is in the midst of his best season  since 2011, pitching to very good ERA of 3.66–despite a losing record of 8-9. The Padres have by far the worst offense in baseball and will not be going anywhere this season.

With the mediocrity of that franchise in mind, their best bet would be to sell their best pieces and attempt to build their best possible team for the future. Already having traded Huston Street and Chase Headley, the Padres still have some valuable chips to trade–such as Joaquin Benoit and Ian Kennedy–and that could be their best hope for rebuilding the struggling franchise. With that in mind, Jagielo and Clarkin would definitely be two potentially substantial chips to their future.

Having traded Chase Headley to the Yankees this week, third base in San Diego is wide open now for Jagielo, who could potentially be their third baseman of the future. Between two levels of the Yankee minor league system, Jagielo owns a batting average of .240 with 13 home runs and 41 runs batted in. While these aren’t the most impressive of numbers, with the tools that he possesses at just 22 years of age, he could be appealing to a plethora of teams.

Finally, the left handed pitcher Ian Clarkin is having a fine season down in the Class A team of the Yankees minor league system. In 14 games (13 starts), Clarkin has pitched to a 3.36 ERA with a record of 3-3. The 19-year-old Clarkin has impressed scouts early. His curveball is said to have “12-6″ break and can be a devastating out pitch in the majors, while his heater can be ramped up to 93-94 MPH  (sitting at about 91-92 MPH typically). Power left-handed arms don’t just grow on trees, so as a promising teenaged LHP with a promising future, Clarkin is somebody the Yankees would be foolish to part with–unless it’s more a “megastar” player who improves the team instantly.

Jake Peavy

The San Francisco Giants have acquired Jake Peavy from the Boston Red Sox, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The Red Sox have not lived up to expectations following their world series last season and are now sellers in 2014. The Giants are 57-46 and have a half game lead on the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Giants recently lost Matt Cain to the DL and have been linked to multiple starters for a while.

The Deal: Jake Peavy to the Giants; Heath Hembree and Edwin Escobar to the Red Sox.

In 2014 Jake Peavy have an ERA of 4.72 with 100 strike out’s in 124 innings pitched. Obviously, Peavy hasn’t had the best numbers in 2014, but what he does have is post-season experience and a drive to win. Also, in Jake Peavy’s career he has a 3.29 ERA with 1342 innings pitched and 1348 strike out’s in the NL. The team he pitched for in the NL, the Padres, is where he was with Bruce Bochy, who is now the manager of the San Francisco Giants. This deal should certainly help the Giants and if Peavy can pitch like he has in his career in the NL the Giants will have a solid shot at winning the division.

The Red Sox acquired some talented pitchers in this deal in Edwin Escobarand Heath Hembree.

Edwin Escobar is a 22-year-old starter in AAA. In 2014 Edwin has an ERA of 5.11 in 111 innings pitched with 96 strike out’s. The ERA isn’t good for Edwin, but doesn’t speak to his talent. According to MLB.Com Edwin has an above average fastball, change-up, slider and command. If Edwin can figure himself out he could be a potential number two starter in the Red Sox rotation.

Heath Hembree, a 25-year-old in AAA has a 3.89 ERA in 39.1 innings with 46 strike out’s. Hembree has a fastball that reaches the upper 90′s but other than that he has an average slider and average control. Hembree will most likely be a 7th inning relief pitcher in the MLB.

This deal seems like a win for both teams. The Giants got a starter who is gritty and pitched well in the NL in the past and the Red Sox get two talented pitchers to bolster their farm.

As this is being written, Philadelphia Phillies fans are sitting and asking themselves 2 things, Why and How? How did Ryan Howard start becoming such a colossal failure? Why did the Phillies sign him to such an expensive and long term contract? Why are Philly Cheese Steaks so good? Actually, everyone knows the answer to that last question, they are simply awesome. However, long gone are the days of Ryan Howard being the most feared power hitter in the league. That leaves the question, what happened? Howard is only 34 years old, not a spring chicken by any stretch, but not a fossil either. With his futile play and albatross of a contract, his days in the city of brotherly love seem to be numbered

First reported by Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com, the Phillies have considered releasing Ryan Howard and ending his tenure with the club altogether. The problem with that is Howard’s $25 million dollar salary this season and the remaining $60 million dollars on his contract. Therefore, eating all of that salary and potentially paying him to do nothing or rejuvenate himself elsewhere while paying him doesn’t sound too appealing. Despite all of this, the Phillies seem to indicate the money isn’t the issue for them involving riding themselves of Howard.

Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com followed up Jim Salisbury’ s story by adding a new report of the Phillies looking for trade partners for a potential trade involving Howard. Heyman added that indications from the Phillies were that they would be willing to eat “much or most” of Howard’s remaining salary. Obviously, the Phillies won’t be able to move Howard and his eroded skills without essentially paying the other team to do so, so they are definitely doing their due diligence in attempting to move him. On the season, Howard is batting just .224/.305/.377 with 15 Home Runs and 60 Runs Batted In. A far cry from the .278/.379/.589 and 49.5 Home Runs he averaged from 2006-2010.

This decline for Howard can be directly attributed to one freak injury that changed the course of his career. It was the 2011 NLDS and on the last pitch and out of the series, Howard hit a groundball and as he began running to first base, he ruptured his Achilles tendon. The injury took Howard out of commission for a huge portion of the 2012 season as he only played in 71 games that season. Simply put, since that injury, Howard has went from elite slugger to struggling and overpaid occasional home run hitter as from 2012-2013, he averaged only 12.5 Home Runs and 48.5 Runs Batted In. However, even with his reduced stats, a change of scenery and a new challenge for a contending team might be just what the doctor ordered. That is where the New York Yankees come in.

Even with just 15 Home Runs and 60 Runs Batted In, Howard is outperforming the vast majority of the New York Yankees offense. And despite having lost 80% of their starting rotation, the pitching for the Yankees has not been the issue, that honor belongs to the offense. With their current “incremental” upgrade mindset, Ryan Howard represents that to a tee. Mark Teixeira, although productive this season and still proven that cannot be relied on long term. As we speak, he is nursing a mild lat strain that might warrant another DL stint. That would be Teixeira’s second of the season, to go along with the other litany of minor injuries hes suffered. Those injuries have forced the Yankees to use everyone from Carlos Beltran to Kelly Johnson and currently to Brian McCann to play first base. A position they are not familiar with and it has shown in the defensive quality of play.

With Teixeira constantly missing time and Carlos Beltran on track to soon being able to play in the outfield once again, Ryan Howard becomes a perfect fit for the team. Even when Teixeira is healthy, Howard can play at first for him and give Teixeira an occassional breather. Once Carlos Beltran resumes playing in the outfield, Ryan Howard can slot into the DH spot and get himself at-bats there. Additionally, the Yankees can just have a powerful lefty bench bat to call on to pinch hit in key situations and/or against certain pitchers. It’s been apparent for a longtime that Howard is not the best defender at first, far from it, but having someone who has actually played the position is much better than trotting out players who’ve either never or rarely ever played at the position. Simply put, Howard can serve many key roles for the Yankees all while not costing much.

Many fans might scoff at such a proposal, with very valid reasons to boot. Has he declined as a player? Yes Is he getting older? Yes Is he overpaid? YES!  However, he would not be brought to New York to be the savior, just a contributor. And if Philly does indeed pick up a significant portion of his salary, there is no reason not to at least consider the trade. As we’ve seen in recent years with aging veterans coming to New York such as Lance Berkman, Ichiro and Alfonso Soriano, the thrill of a pennant race, the bright lights of New York and the glory of the pinstripes are more than enough to bring a player from brink of the end to the peak of the mountain.

Is it a problem?

April 15th is a day baseball fans know very well; its Jackie Robinson day. On that date in 1947 Jackie broke the color barrier and forever changed the game we all love as we knew it. From 1947-1981 African Americans went from being 0% of the MLB up to 18.7%. Every year on that day in April we pay our respects and remember what a great man he really was. However after 1981 you can see in the chart below that it kind of balanced up and down up until 2004 and we really see the drop. Because ever since 2004 we have seen the African American population in baseball in the single digits. As of 2012 we are down to 7.2% which is the lowest since 1957, now the question everyone is asking is simple; why? Could it just be the simple fact that since expansion in scouting more scouts are finding themselves in the dominate Latin communities? Because since 1967 Latinos are been in the double digits. Could it be that just more African Americans are taught as children to play other sports such as basketball or football? Its all simply a debate; I’m just here to lay down the facts and you create your own theory, your own answer.

 

YearWhiteAfrican-
Americans
LatinoAsian
194798.3%0.9%0.7%0.0%
194898.5%0.7%0.7%0.0%
194996.6%1.5%1.9%0.0%
195095.3%1.7%3.0%0.0%
195194.3%2.9%2.8%0.0%
195294.4%2.9%2.7%0.0%
195393.3%3.7%3.0%0.0%
195490.7%5.6%3.7%0.0%
195589.8%5.2%5.0%0.0%
195688.2%6.7%5.1%0.0%
195788.1%6.7%5.2%0.0%
195886.7%7.4%5.9%0.0%
195984.8%8.8%6.5%0.0%
196082.3%8.9%8.9%0.0%
196182.6%9.7%7.7%0.0%
196281.9%10.1%8.0%0.0%
196380.1%11.7%8.2%0.0%
196479.3%11.7%8.9%0.1%
196578.3%12.7%8.8%0.1%
196676.9%13.4%9.7%0.0%
196775.6%13.6%10.7%0.0%
196873.8%15.4%10.8%0.0%
196974.4%14.5%11.1%0.0%
197073.7%14.6%11.7%0.0%
197173.9%15.5%10.6%0.0%
197272.9%16.1%10.9%0.0%
197371.6%17.4%11.0%0.0%
197471.1%17.4%11.5%0.0%
197571.3%18.5%10.2%0.0%
197670.5%18.0%11.5%0.0%
197770.7%17.9%11.4%0.0%
197871.3%17.4%11.3%0.0%
197971.4%17.9%10.7%0.0%
198071.1%17.4%11.6%0.0%
198170.1%18.7%11.1%0.0%
198270.4%17.9%11.7%0.0%
198370.3%18.0%11.6%0.0%
198469.6%18.4%12.0%0.0%
198570.3%18.3%11.3%0.0%
198670.0%18.3%11.8%0.0%
198769.9%17.7%12.3%0.0%
198868.2%17.3%14.5%0.0%
198970.3%16.5%13.2%0.0%
199068.6%16.6%14.8%0.0%
199166.8%17.0%16.1%0.1%
199267.7%16.7%15.6%0.0%
199366.3%16.8%16.9%0.0%
199465.0%17.2%17.8%0.1%
199564.5%16.1%19.2%0.2%
199663.2%16.0%20.4%0.4%
199760.9%15.0%23.5%0.5%
199862.0%14.3%22.8%0.8%
199961.7%13.6%23.5%1.2%
200061.2%12.8%24.7%1.3%
200160.7%12.1%26.0%1.2%
200260.8%10.8%26.5%1.9%
200361.0%10.4%26.8%1.8%
200460.3%10.1%27.7%1.8%
200560.9%9.1%27.8%2.3%
200661.3%9.0%27.8%1.9%
200763.1%8.5%26.1%2.2%
200862.1%8.2%27.3%2.3%
200962.2%7.1%28.5%2.1%
201063.0%7.8%27.2%1.9%
201163.5%7.9%26.9%1.7%
201263.9%7.2%26.9%1.9%

 

 

What I would like to point out is the different positions that African American are playing the most, and positions that they are just completely absent from.

{focus_keyword} African American decline in baseball Demographics2

 

As you can see from the chart above mainly African Americans are playing in the outfield, and the catcher position is all but absent. Why is this? To be honest it may just be a coincidence, it may just be that catcher is not a sexy position to play and most kids aren’t taught to become one. I’d like to point out though that pitchers have all but stayed the same over the last 65 years.

 

{focus_keyword} African American decline in baseball Demographics3

pitchers however have always been a dominate white position, that’s just how its been it hasn’t changed. As fans we always here every year,” this new Cuban player” or Venezuelan, or Dominican player is the next big thing, that’s where the Latino spike has accord. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, pitchers were between 39% and 44% of the total player pool. Since 2006, pitchers have been over 50% of the pool. That could be one reason pitchers have changed throughout the years.

Pitchers and catchers now make up 14 or 15 spots on the 25 man roster, and with African Americans not really being shown in those two positions could explain a lot about the dip in population. As you can see in this graph on catchers diversity.

{focus_keyword} African American decline in baseball Demographics4

Now for almost 30 years African Americans made up about 40% of the outfield, but after 1999 it finally dropped under 30%

{focus_keyword} African American decline in baseball Demographics7

 

You can say what you want you can posses your own opinion on the fall of African Americans in baseball, these are simply the facts; and the facts show that the numbers are dropping for whatever reason it is.

This is my own personal opinion; baseball is a thinking mans game, constantly having to check on runners, or pitch counts, or always having to out guess the pitcher. Its a very tough sport to play that takes hand eye coordination, it takes speed, power and concentration. Baseball is a sport of failure, its a game where if you succeed 30% of the time you’re a hall of farmer. As kids we grow up loving the game, idolizing everything about it and the role models who play it. Also as kids we want to succeed and if we can find something that’s easier were going to gravitate towards that. I’m not saying football or basketball or even hockey is not tough all I’m saying is those sports mainly take physical abilities. Not everybody is a 6’7 small forward who also weighs 240lbs. Not everybody is a 6’4 wide receiver who runs a blazing fast 4.40 40 time. Baseball is a game of all different heights and weights and they can all succeed in their own way, like easily compare Prince Fielder to Dee Gordon; both successful in their own ways. This dip in races in baseball is one that I personally think will continue, and it will get worse; however it won’t change the way we view the game or how we play it. Race is a but a color, a family tree; if you enjoy the game of baseball if you’re taught fundamentals at an early age and enjoy it you’re going to pursue it no matter if your black, white, brown anything.