- David Schoenfield, SweetSpot blogger
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Some weekend reading for you. What, are you going to watch the Pro Bowl instead?
For ESPN Insiders, I hope you didn't miss Sam Miller's mag cover story on how the Angels recruited Albert Pujols.
Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com unveils his top 100 prospects. He has Matt Moore over Bryce Harper for the No. 1 spot. We all saw Moore dominate the Rangers in his playoff appearances, but I'm not sure you put a pitcher above a position player of Harper's potential; just too much risk for pitchers to break down. Pitchers dominate the top of the list: 12 of his top 20 are pitchers.
Dave Cameron at FanGraphs has a terrific piece on the evolution of relief pitchers, showing why the trend of relievers pitching less hasn't really helped them pitch better. As Dave writes, "Any improvements in quality of performance by the elite relievers have been offset by the fact that more innings are now being given to inferior arms, so the trade-off has essentially resulted in a change of no real benefit."
Mike Hindman of Baseball Time in Arlington has a look at Josh Hamilton's injury history and what it may mean for the future.
Jon Weisman looks at the top 20 Dodger pitching seasons (via ERA+) and how those pitchers fared the following year. Yes, this is about Clayton Kershaw and not Ramon Troncoso.
Troy Patterson of Fire Brand of the AL writes about Daniel Bard and a reason to be optimistic about Bard's transition to the rotation.
Bronx Baseball Daily on Michael Pineda and the dreaded so-called Verducci Effect.
Jon Shepherd runs down the varying accounts of the Korean lefty the Orioles signed. I just like the fact that the words "maximum strength fat guts" turn up. Jon also had a good rundown of the Orioles' roster.
Stephanie Liscio says it's been a frustrating offseason for Indians fans. I can't say I disagree, but if Grady Sizemore stays healthy, Shin-Soo Choo bounces back, and youngsters Jason Kipnis and Lonnie Chisenhall develop ... well, this is why there is a thing called hope.
Royals Authority breaks down Jeff Francoeur. Don't blink, sabermetricians, but maybe Francoeur isn't so horrible anymore.
Nick Nelson argues that the Tigers haven't locked up the division just because they signed Prince Fielder.
Here's some advice for raising Cubs fans.
Another view of the Rockies' offseason. For all the old guys they've brought, the success of the 2012 team will likely rest on the young pitching. I can't disagree with that; in fact, I'd probably argue that the Rockies will be the most difficult team to project this season.
Bay City Ball talks Giants prospects with John Sickels.
For you Mariners fans, Larry Stone of the Seattle Times has a transcript of GM Jack Zduriencik's media luncheon from Thursday.