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Akron's Mattocks Selected Second Overall in MLS SuperDraft

The Vancouver Whitecaps selected Akron Sophomore striker Darren Mattocks with the second overall pick of the Major League Soccer SuperDraft, held today in Kansas City. He joins fellow Zip Michael Nanchoff in Vancouver, who was the eighth pick of the 2011 SuperDraft. Mattocks scored 21 goals this season, was MAC Player of the Year and also a Hermann Trophy semi-finalist. The addition of Mattocks to the professional ranks makes a total of 14 former Zips who now play in the MLS. No other MAC student-athletes were drafted this year.

PECOTA Beta Projections Available

PECOTA projections are only available to beta testers right now, but come check out the few we snuck away for your viewing.

Akron Men's Soccer Loses in Sweet 16

Well, it certainly wasn't for lack of effort. The University of Akron Men's Soccer team lost a physical 1-0 decision to UNC-Charlotte of the Atlantic 10 Conference in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. Giuseppe Gentile punched in a corner kick from Jennings Rex (not making these names up) in the 25th minute and the 49ers never looked back. Though Akron failed to defend their National Championship, they still put up an impressive record given their schedule and due to the fact that seven starters were lost to the MLS from last year's Championship team. Only three of the top eleven from this year's squad are seniors, so barring any unforeseen departures the Zips should be in national title contention once again in 2012.

Mets 2012 Zips Projections

Judging by those RBI numbers were not winning any ringzzz next year.

Royals 2011 ZiPS posted

Happy Real Thankgiving. Gotta love Dan's way with words (even if MS Paint Billy is absent): "What the Royals do have is an amazing farm system, up-and-down, there are a number of potential stars, starters, and even an impressive slate of guys who should be solid role players. The biggest question facing the Royals in the near future is how Moore will handle transitioning these players into major league roles. For example, Mike Montgomery or John Lamb are likely to force their way into the rotation, but what happens to the players that can contribute but whose impact in the majors is less than utterly and completely obvious? Butler and Greinke were treated well by the organization, but Moore's management style towards non-stars under 30 seems to be best described as hostile indifference. So in recent years, there's been a situation in which useful players like Ka'aihue, Aviles, Gordon, Maier, and others are just kind of "hanging around." Sure, they'll keep getting at-bats when they play well, but they're always bad road trip from being benched and their opportunities never seem to follow any logical train-of-thought derived from the organizations strengths or weaknesses. So you end up with situations in which Willie Bloomquist ends up being a starting corner outfielder because Moore's played Sgt. Schulz with talent, despite corner outfielders better than Bloomquist being easier to find than abandoned houses in Detroit." After the BLF goes to sleep, I'll spend some more time looking at these and converting into wOBA/FIP/WAR/etc. and convincing myself that people care.

Today in Pointless Trades: Detroit Acquires Aubrey Huff

Nothing says "drive for the playoffs" like acquiring an expensive player who can't hit or field any better than a bunch of other guys on your bench.

Mets Rest-Of-Season WAR Projections

Mets Rest-Of-Season WAR projections

The Worst Starters The Rest of the Year

Eric Seidman at Fangraphs uses Dan Szymborski's new in-season ZiPS leader boards to find the worst starters that will likely see a significant number of starts the rest of the year: Adam Eaton, Orioles: 19 GS, 99 IP, 1.53 K/BB, 6.09 ERA Franklin Morales, Rockies: 19 GS, 97 IP, 0.89 K/BB, 6.03 ERA Rick Porcello, Tigers: 20 GS, 95 IP, 1.19 K/BB, 5.97 ERA Dustin Moseley, Angels: 20 GS, 111 IP, 1.71 K/BB, 5.92 ERA Including performances so far, that would make this seasons' worst overall starters look like: Adam Eaton, Orioles: 25 GS, 130.1 IP, 1.55 K/BB, 6.35 ERA Carlos Silva, Mariners: 27 GS, 149.2 IP, 1.94 K/BB, 6.31 ERA Sidney Ponson, Royals: 21 GS, 125.0 IP, 1.28 K/BB, 5.83 ERA Franklin Morales, Rockies: 21 GS, 101.0 IP, 1.01 K/BB, 5.83 ERA Now, what issues might we have here? One, ZiPS isn't really paying much attention to projecting playing time, like most projection systems. Two, as with most (all?) projection systems out there, ZiPS doesn't know about injuries, new pitches, or other scouting-style data. With the prevalence of pitch f/x these days, I wouldn't be surprised if we see a projection system for pitchers that utilizes that data to some extent. Changes in fastball velocity, control, pitch movement, and pitch selection should be able to help tell us a pitcher's story objectively.

Could Zack Greinke Be Worth His Entire Contract in One Season?

Could Zack Greinke be worth his 4-year, $38 million contract after one one season?

Lousy Lineup Optimizer: Pittsburgh Pirates

An optimized batting order only gains a team 5 to 15 runs a year, but to buy those marginal runs on the current free agent market usually costs a team from two to seven million dollars. This is the third post in an occasional series going through some of those bad 2009 offenses and optimizing their batting orders. This article deals with the 2009 Pittsburgh Pirates.

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