Friday, January 30, 2015

Episode 118: Twins National Anthem Audition

You can download the new Talk to Contact (@TalkToContact) episode via iTunes or by clicking here.

This week we try out to sing the National Anthem at a Twins game, talk about how lame baseball nicknames are in 2015, and Paul tries to figure out what the Twins are doing with Eduardo Nunez.

We go down on the pond and talk about hard throwing lefty Cameron Booser (Jay nicknames him Boose, era of lame nicknames indeed), and we go all around the league talking beer, baseball, and the news. 

Thanks for listening. 

If you enjoy our podcast, please tell your friends about us and take a couple extra minutes to rate and review us on iTunes. Ratings and reviews help Danny Santana to stick at shortstop in 2015. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Dozier's Expected Extension

Brian Dozier isn't arbitration eligible until next off-season but rumors are already starting to build about a possible extension between the second baseman and the Twins. He is under team control until 2019 when he will be coming off of his age-29 season. There isn't necessarily a rush to get a deal done but a source close to the Twins said to expect an extension in place before the season's start.

What would a Dozier extension look like?
Last year the Cleveland Indians locked up their All-Star second baseman Jason Kipnis to $52.5 million, six-year contract. The deal also included a club option for a seventh year. If the Twins followed a similar format, they would be buying out all of Dozier's arbitration years and paying for his first couple years of free agency.

Another second baseman to recently sign an extension was Jedd Gyorko of the San Diego Padres. Gyorko signed a six-year, $35 million extension. However, he was coming off of his rookie season so the deal came at an earlier point in his career than Dozier.

It would seem more likely for the total dollar amount to be closer to Kipnis than to Gyorko.

The Roller Coaster Ride
Dozier provides an interesting case for the Twins. He's shown signs of great things but there has been some ups-and-downs to his offensive performance. Let's start with the good. Dozier ended the 2013 season strong and started the 2014 season on fire.

2013 2nd Half: .253/.313/.443, 10 HR, 18 2B, 34 R, 23 BB
2014 1st Half: .242/.340/.436, 18 HR, 16 2B, 69 R, 52 BB

That's over 100 runs scored and closing in on 30 home runs. Any team in baseball would gladly take those numbers from a second baseman.

The other halves surrounding these two strong performances weren't quite as good.

2013 1st Half: .235/.310/.386, 8 HR, 15 2B, 38 R, 28 BB
2014 2nd Half: .244/.352/.387, 5 HR, 17 2B, 43 R, 37 BB

If these two halves were combined, his OBP would still be high but his power numbers took a dip compared to the halves mentioned above.

So which Dozier is the really Dozier?

It's most likely that he will end up somewhere between these two extremes. ZiPS projects Dozier to his 17 home runs with 30 doubles. His projected 86 runs scored aren't the eye-popping 112 he posted in 2014 but it's still a decent total. If he reaches his projected slash-line of .244/.321/.399, all three of those totals would be higher than his career mark.

Dozier has become a fan favorite over the last couple years and that could help him at the negotiating table. It seems like both sides would like to get a long-term deal in place so don't be surprised if Dozier is "dotting his i's" before Opening Day.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Worst Twins of All-Time Series: John Pacella

Welcome back to one of the most popular off-season series here at NoDak Twins Fan, the Worst Twins of All-Time. There have already been eight profiles of some players that played their worst while wearing a Twins uniform. Luckily most of the players went on to have careers beyond their time in Minnesota. 

Today's edition to the series pitch less than 52 innings for the team but he was bad enough in that time to make the list. Welcome to the dubious club, John Pacella.

Pacella was drafted in the fourth round of the 1974 amateur draft by the New York Mets. He'd played his high school ball at two different schools in New York and he grew up on Long Island. His hometown team had taken a chance on him.

He'd become known for his unusual pitching delivery that sometimes caused him to lose his cap after a pitch.From 1974-1979, he pitched at every level in the Mets farm system. He was younger than the average age of the other pitchers in each stop along the way. By age 20, he was pitching at Triple-A with a 7-5 record and an ERA under 4.00.

His first taste of the big leagues came in 1977 as a September call-up. He pitched in three games and didn't allow an earned run while striking out one and walking two. The Mets would lose all three games he pitched in and he didn't make it back to the majors until 1979.

Pacella's only full season in the big leagues came in 1980. He started the season in the bullpen before being moved into the starting rotation in June. Over 84 innings he had a 5.14 ERA and a 1.76 WHIP while striking out 68 and walking 59. His 7.3 SO/9 rate was the highest mark of his career.

In the following off-season, Pacella would change teams twice as part of two different deals. The Mets sent him along with Jose Moreno to the Padres for Randy Jones, the 1976 Cy Young Award winner. He'd never play for San Diego as they would send him to the other New York organization as part of a six-player deal the next spring. His 10 innings in the Bronx were uneventful as he allowed eight earned runs and nine walks.

On May 12, 1982 Pacella was sent from the Yankees with Pete Filson, Larry Milbourne, and cash to the Minnesota Twins for Roger Erickson and Butch Wynegar. His 21 games with the Twins were the second most he'd pitched in any season. Unfortunately, he allowed 48 runs (42 ER) across 51.2 innings for a robust 7.32 ERA. His SO/9 rate dipped to 3.5 and he walked 17 more batters than he struck out.

Even with the small sample size of 51.2 innings, FanGraphs WAR ranking have Pacella (-1.6 WAR) as the second worst pitcher in team history. Baseball Reference thinks even less of his time in Minnesota as they say he was worth a -1.9 WAR. According to runs better than average (RAA), he was 25 runs worse than an average player. Runs better than replacement level (RAR) says that he was worth -20 runs compared to a replacement level player.

Pacella's time in Minnesota would be over at year's end. He was dealt to the Texas Rangers for Len Whitehouse and they would release him in April of the next year. That July he signed with the Baltimore Orioles and he pitched in six game with them before being released. He'd make it back to the big leagues one more time in 1986 as a member of the Tigers. In five games, he allowed five earned runs.

Over the next couple seasons, he tried to make it back to the majors with a variety of teams. However, he ended up stuck at Triple-A and he moved on after the 1988 season. Later he managed independent teams in the Frontier League before joining the staff at a baseball training facility called "Big League Baseball School."

Friday, January 23, 2015

Episode 117: TwinsFest Preview

You can download the new Talk to Contact (@TalkToContact) episode via iTunes or by clicking here

This week the guys talk about TwinsFest, the Winter Meltdown, what it means that Trevor Plouffe is the highest paid third baseman in franchise history, and about one Twins minor league pitcher subtweeting another.

We also review the 40 man roster a bit more with JR Graham, Ervin Santana, and Brian Dozier. Plus the usual beer, baseball, and news!

Enjoy the show and thanks for listening.

Follow me on Twitter and look for me at TwinsFest this weekend. There could be some prizes involved.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Worst Twins of All-Time Series: Houston Jimenez

Baseball is in the in-between time before players head to spring training and after most of the off-season moves have been made. This gives me some time to jump back into one of the more popular off-season series here at NoDak Twins Fan.

Lots of people can debate who was the best player in an organization's history. For Minnesota, the argument can be made in favor of Harmon Killebrew, Kirby Puckett, Rod Carew, and a few others. It's fun to look at the other side of the coin and examine who some of the worst players were to lace up their cleats in Minnesota.

There have been over a half dozen players covered so far in the series and there will be more to come in the future. For now, enjoy the latest installment in the "Worst Twins of All-Time Series."
Houston Jimenez began his professional career as a 16-year old in the Mexican League. The Chicago Cubs would give him an opportunity to play in the Florida State League as a 17-year old but he struggled to hit .215 with a .289 slugging percentage. He drew over 100 walks in 446 at-bats to give him an impressive .366 OBS.

Over the next five seasons he would spend most of his playing time in Mexico. The White Sox organization gave him a brief taste of Triple-A in 1978 but his 13 game try-out resulted in a .220 batting average and very little power.

Jimenez signed with the Twins as an international free agent at the end of October in 1980. Half a year later he would be sold back to his Mexican League team. He would end up back in the Twins organization during July 1982.  Before the end of June in 1983, he would debut in Minnesota and he began to split playing time with Ron Washington at shortstop. .

His rookie campaign didn't go perfectly. Over 86 at-bats across 36 games, he hit .174/.207/.256 with six extra-base hits. The next year he would make it into over 100 games and his batting numbers didn't improve all that much. His batting average jumped 27 points but his slugging percentage dipped nine points. Over 409 plate appearances in Minnesota, he hit .195/.231/.247 with 18 extra-base hits.

On the defensive side of the ball, Jimenez also had some flaws. All of his appearances as a Twin came at shortstop. His fielding percentage was under .970 in each season. He committed 22 errors across 566 chances while playing a defensive position where he was probably a little over-matched.

For his Twins career, Baseball Reference has him with a combined -1.2 WAR. His hitting was so bad runs batting (Rbat) was -37 worse than the average player was as a hitter. As far as wins above average (WAA) he cost the Twins 2.7 wins over a replacement level player. FanGraphs ranks his WAR even lower with a -1.5 mark over two Twins seasons.

Jimenez wouldn't make it back to the big leagues until the 1987 season and this was after the Twins released him. He combined to play in 16 games for the Pirates and Indians organizations from 1987-88, In that time he collected one hit over 27 at-bats. Even though his big league career was over, he would continue to play baseball for the next decade.

From 1993-2001, Jimenez played seasons with multiple teams in the Mexican League. He was 43-years old in his last professional game and he was over 14 years older than the average age of the other hitters in the league. While still being an active player, he took over managerial duties and his second career had begun.

From 1999-2006, he managed multiple teams throughout the Mexican League. He joined the Rockies minor league system and served at two different levels. he got elected to the Mexican Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007 and the Caribbean Baseball Hall of Fame in 2013. He was one of Mexico's coaches in the 2009 World Baseball Classic and he currently serves as manager of Puebla, where he began his career.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Episode 116: We're World Famous, and Other Lies

You can download the new Talk to Contact (@TalkToContact) episode via iTunes or by clicking here

This week on the show our friend from North Dakota, Cody, is taking the week off to focus on the youth of the greater Fargo area. What a noble man he is. The rest of us forge ahead without him to discuss the news that needs discussing. 

E. Rolf openly laments everything and anything that the Twins can, have, or will do to make 2015 a success, all the while remaining overly optimistic that this week's Down on the Pond player, Tyler Grimes, will one day see time with the big league ball club. Hope springs eternal! Jay declares our podcast to be world famous. Which may or may not be true, but Paul lives in Seattle, which is practically Canada, so that's probably good enough for us. 

This week we wonder aloud who will be the Twins 5th starter, whether the Twins offense can be as good as it was last season, and whether the bullpen for this ball club is a strength or a weakness.

Thanks for listening.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Fargo Twins Caravan Recap

The weather outside is frightful so there is nothing that warms the soul like thinking about the up-coming baseball season.

Monday marked the kickoff what has become an annual event in many Twins Territory communities, the Twins Winter Caravan. Current and former members of the Twins spend time visiting schools, hospitals, and end the night with a "hot stove" program. This year's caravan includes stops in over 40 communities 

For the third consecutive year, I attended the caravan stop in Fargo, ND. This year's line-up of guests included current pitchers Kyle Gibson and Caleb Thielbar, former outfielder and current broadcaster Dan Gladden, as well as Dave St. Peter, the team's president. 

Doors of the Avalon Event Center opened at 5:00 pm with the main program beginning at 6:30 pm. This allowed fans to enjoy a ballpark meal with a hot dog, chips, and soda. While fans were stuffing their faces, Game 7 of the 1987 World Series was being projected for the crowd.

Once the main event started, a video highlighting the changes with the Twins played. Paul Molitor, Torii Hunter, and Ervin Santana were featured heavily as well as a dose of hope by focusing on the young players poised to take the next step in 2015.

The question and answer session can provide a few insights into the minds of the players during the off-season. Gibson said he's already talked to new pitching coach Neil Allen. Allen is excited to work with Gibson on his change-up and he sees the right-hander as a comparable pitcher to James Shields. Gibson looked great and he seems ready to build off of his 2014 campaign.

Thielbar offered up some entertaining stories of life as a bullpen pitcher. There's a lot of free time for these players and this can lead to plenty of high jinks. Apparently Casey Fien think he's the prank master and the rest of the bullpen is just his "puppets." It sounds like the other pitchers put him in his place with the help of Gibson and Thielbar.

St. Peter offered up the usual front office comments. Fans shouldn't worry about the payroll because the team needs to make better baseball decisions. Ricky Nolasco has to pitch better. Fans shouldn't expect to see Miguel Sano in the big leagues to start the year. He expects the team to be improved and it's all about the team playing meaningful games in August and September.

The night concluded with prize drawings and the usually autograph line. In my three years of attending the event in Fargo this was the least attended event. However the draw of Tony Oliva and Bert Blyleven in previous years probably brought a boost in the crowd. Overall, the event is an entertains time for fans and it helps to get Twins Territory ready for the approaching season.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Worst Twins of All-Time Series: Alex Ochoa

In the doldrums of the off-season there can be some points where there isn't a lot happening in Twins Territory. It seems as if the front office it done making any major moves. Some of the players headed out on the Twins Caravan at the beginning of the week and Twins Fest is slowly approaching.

Two off-seasons ago I ventured out into a series on the "Worst Twins of All-Time." This can be an entertaining look into some of the worst players to ever suit up in a Twins uniform.

Here is a rundown of all of the players that have been covered so far in the "Worst Twins of All-Time Series" with links back to the original articles:
Alex Ochoa was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the third round of the 1991 amateur draft. He was taken out of Miami Lakes High School in Florida but he would never play in a game for the Orioles. Near the trade deadline in 1995, he was sent from the Orioles to the Mets organization in a multi-player trade that involved Bobby Bonilla. 

Baseball America thought highly of Ochoa as they ranked him in their top 45 prospects before the 1994-1996 seasons. He hadn't done too bad in the minors hitting .301/.355/.437 with Baltimore's Double-A affiliate. His numbers dipped a little at Triple-A but it was still enough to let him debut in 1995 as a 23-year old. Over the next three seasons, he'd play 206 games in a Mets uniform as he combined to hit .273/.320/.386 with 44 extra-base hits. 

During the 1997 off-season, he was sent from New York to Minnesota for Rich Becker. Both players were roughly the same age and neither had shown a ton of promise at the big league level. The teams might have been hoping that a change of scenery would help both players.

Ochoa would play one season in a Twins uniform and it was his worst at the big league level. He played 94 games and hit .257/.288/.353. It was the only time in his entire career where he had an on-base percentage under .300. His defense was also terrible as he was charged with four errors in only 74 games in the outfield (.969 fielding percentage).

According to FanGraphs, he has the fourth worst WAR for any position player in Twins history. Other numbers show he was bad during his Twins tenure. By looking at runs from fielding (Rfield), he was -14 runs worse than average. Runs above replacement level (RAR) put him at -19 runs worse than a replacement level player. Baseball Reference puts his offensive WAR at -0.5 and his defensive WAR at -1.6.

Almost a year to the day, Ochoa was on the move again and his time with the Twins was over. He was off to the Brewers where he'd spend the 1999 season. During the rest of his career, he'd spend time with the Brewers, Reds, Rockies, and Angels. He ended his career as a .279/.344/.422 hitter. 

Ochoa came back to the Metrodome during the 2002 ALCS as a member of the Angels. He wouldn't collect a hit in the series across four plate appearances but he did score two runs. Anaheim went on to win the title and his last big league at-bat came in the World Series. 

Ochoa's baseball career wasn't done after he collected his World Series ring. He would spent the next six seasons playing professionally in the Japanese Leagues and he made some offensive improvements. He'd hit .289/.350/.444 while averaging over 16 home runs per season. His defensive numbers were also improved. 

In 2007, he came back to the States briefly and he joined the Red Sox Triple-A affiliate. The twilight of his career didn't go perfectly. Over 24 games, he batted .138/.174/.149 with one extra-base hit. He was released because of poor performance and headed back to Japan. 

Even after his poor performance with the Red Sox organization, the team liked something they saw with him. He was named an assistant coach for the Red Sox at the beginning of 2009. In 2010, he served as a special assistant in the Red Sox baseball operations department. Since then he has served in multiple capacities for the organization including being the first-base coach on the 2012 Major League staff of Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. 

This past off-season he worked with Stephen Drew and Kendrys Morales as they both waited until after June's Draft to sign a contract. They were working out six days a week at their agents sports training institute in South Florida. He led them through an "intense spring training" routine to prepare them for the season. Morales would eventually sign with Minnesota. 

Ochoa has made a career out of playing and coaching baseball. However, he time in Minnesota was some of the worst baseball of his career. 

Friday, January 9, 2015

Episode 115: New Year's Resolutions

You can download the new Talk to Contact (@TalkToContact) episode via iTunes or by clicking here
After a week off celebrating 2014 and welcoming in 2015, the podcast crew was back together (minus a Rolf) to begin a new year of Talk to Contact radio gold. This week we make some New Year's resolutions on behalf of the Twins, to include Joe Mauer, Aaron Hicks and prayers for something (ANYTHING!) resembling a starting pitcher not named Phil Hughes. 
In this week's reviewing the roster segment, we take a look at the 2014 contributions of Caleb Thielbar, Ricky Nolasco and Oswaldo Arcia. We prognosticate on what 2015 will bring for the three and whether they will be a big part, or no part, of the 2015 Twins team.
When we go Down on the Pond we discuss the future potential of minor league short stop Engelb Vielma, who played last season with low-A Cedar Rapids. Will he become the next great Twins star, or even crack the big league roster? 
And finally we spend more time than it probably deserved discussing the 2015 Hall of Fame balloting, elections and snubs. 
Enjoy the show.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Which Young Player Will Provide the Most Value in '15?

Near the end of last season, the Twins featured a trio of players on the Twins magazine cover and dubbed them "The First Wave." Danny Santana, Kennys Vargas, and Oswaldo Arcia all made big impacts on the big league level. Even though Arcia played in almost 100 games in 2013, he's actually the youngest of the three who were all in their age 23 season last year.

Each of these three players will have a role in the Twins getting back to playing winning baseball. This makes it interesting to consider which player could end up providing the most value in 2015.

According to Baseball Reference, these three players combined for a 5.1 WAR last season. Santana ranked third on the entire team with a 3.9 WAR behind Brian Dozier (5.2 WAR) and Trevor Plouffe (4.0). Vargas (0.7 WAR) finished slightly ahead of Arcia (0.5 WAR).

According to FanGraphs, this trio combined for a 4.5 WAR last season. Santana's 3.2 WAR again ranked third on the team behind Dozier and Plouffe. Arcia ranked slightly higher with a 0.9 WAR and Vargas was a little lower with a 0.4 WAR.

There will be some changes for the 2015 campaign. Santana is expected to start the season as the team's everyday shortstop. Many also expect his offensive numbers to decline to get closer to his minor league track record. In the minors he was a career .273/.317/.391 hitter. Those numbers exploded at the big league level and he ended the year batting .319/.353/.472.

Arcia dealt with some back issues over the final two months of the regular season and now he is suffering from back problems in the Venezuelan Winter League. He is always going to be a liability on the defensive side of the ball so his value comes from his offensive skills. However fans have to be concerned with his ability to stay healthy.

Like Arcia, Vargas isn't expected to provide a lot of value with his defense. He will occasionally fill-in at first base but the majority of his at-bats are projected to be as a designated hitter. Other players like Joe Mauer, Torii Hunter, and Josmil Pinto will also need some time at DH so this could mean fewer chances for Vargas.

On FanGraphs site, they have already posted the 2015 Steamer projections for each player:
Arcia (130 Games): .258/.320/.469, 24 HR, 16 2B, 3 3B, 65 R (1.9 WAR)
Santana (113 Games): .261/.299/.371, 7 HR, 23 2B, 5 3B, 59 R, 18 SB (1.6 WAR)
Vargas (122 Games): .250/.311/.427, 20 HR, 22 2B, 1 3B, 60 R (0.9 WAR)

There are a few things I question about the above totals. I don't think Arcia will play in 130 games because he has never done that in his professional career. It also seems like his back is going to be a continuous problem. Santana's games played seems a little low. He's played over 120 games in each of the last three seasons. For Vargas, the numbers seem close to right but I wouldn't be surprised if he played in fewer than 122 games.

By season's end, I believe Santana will end up with the higher WAR. His offensive numbers might dip but he will be playing a premium defensive position and this will add to his overall value. There are questions about Arcia's ability to stay healthy and Vargas doesn't provide any defensive value.

Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. Which player do you think will provide more value to the Twins in 2015?

Monday, January 5, 2015

Sorting Through the 2015 Hall of Fame Ballot

This year is going to be tough.

The writers of the BBWAA have to narrow a stacked ballot down to the ten most worthy names. There are going to be some worthy candidates that aren't elected and some might even fall off the ballot. That's what happens when writers are limited to how many votes they can have on the ballot.

I am a member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance and a different approach was taken this year to avoid the roster crunch. Members were asked to make a simple "yes" or "no" vote in relation to every man on the ballot. The results for my ballot were 13 names but I will pick out the top 10 names I would have put on my ballot had I been limited to that number.

My Official Ballot (in alphabetical order)
  1. Jeff Bagwell
  2. Craig Biggio
  3. Barry Bonds
  4. Roger Clemens
  5. Randy Johnson
  6. Edgar Martinez
  7. Pedro Martinez
  8. Mike Piazza
  9. Tim Raines
  10. John Smoltz
It seems likely that a minimum of three players will be elected when the official results are announced on Tuesday afternoon. Johnson and (Pedro) Martinez are first time nominees and they should both be locks as inductees. Biggio came painfully close last year and he should be able to pick up the necessary votes to be enshrined this year. Bagwell could get closer and Raines should get a bump but I don't know if either will have enough support.

As in previous years, I've always said that Bonds and Clemens were on their way to Hall of Fame careers before their steroid use. Piazza is the best hitting catcher of all-time and he deserves to be in. Smoltz was a great starting pitcher and a great closer. (Edgar) Martinez was one of the best hitters of his era and a trailblazer at the designated hitter position. 

My Other "Yes" Votes
  1. Mike Mussina
  2. Curt Schilling
  3. Alan Trammell
Mussina won more games during his playing career than any pitcher besides Greg Madduz, an inductee last year. Mussina hasn't had a ton of support but his candidacy will start to gather steam in the years to come. 

Schilling is one of the best postseason starting pitchers of all-time and he is the all-time leader in strike/walk ratio. I didn't have enough spots on my ballot this year but I suspect Schilling will be elected in the next handful of years.

Trammell is in his final year on the ballot and I became more convinced of his place in history over the last year. He won't get elected this year but somewhere down the line he could be added through the Veteran's Committee. 

Now it's your turn. Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. Who would be on your ballot? Should the writers be able to vote for more than ten players? 

Friday, January 2, 2015

BBA Binary Ballot Recommends Seven For Cooperstown

Seven players from the 2014 Baseball Writers of America ballot were recommended for enshrinement in the Baseball Hall of Fame by the members of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance on Friday.

Given the backlog of quality players on the ballot, this year the BBA adopted the plan suggested by St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Derrick Goold of a binary ballot. Each player on the ballot was given a yes or no vote by the BBA voters and those receiving over 75% were then recommended.

With this format, pitcher Randy Johnson received 100% of the vote while pitcher Pedro Martinez was close behind at 95%. Others that topped the 75% mark were catcher/second baseman/outfielder Craig Biggio (90%), pitcher John Smoltz (89%), catcher Mike Piazza (85%), first baseman Jeff Bagwell (77%), and outfielder Tim Raines (77%).

Those that just fell short of the mark were designated hitter Edgar Martinez (71%) and Curt Schilling (68%).

The rest of the voting was as follows:
Mike Mussina 67%
Barry Bonds 65%
Roger Clemens 63%
Alan Trammell 53%
Jeff Kent 44%
Gary Sheffield 38%
Larry Walker 37%
Fred McGriff 33%
Mark McGwire 33%
Don Mattingly 31%
Lee Smith 31%
Sammy Sosa 23%
Carlos Delgado 19%
Nomar Garciaparra 13%
Cliff Floyd 4%
Brian Giles 4%
Rich Aurilia 3%
Darin Erstad 3%
Troy Percival 3%
Aaron Boone 1%
Jason Schmidt 1%
Jermaine Dye 0%
Tom Gordon 0%
Eddie Guardado 0%

Using this binary method, only 13% turned in a ballot with less than 10 names selected. 40% turned in a ballot with 15 or more names selected, with a high of 20.

The official website of the BBA is located at The BBA can be found on Twitter by the handle @baseballblogs and the hashmark #BBBA. For more information contact Niko Goutakolis at