My second-favorite sport is becoming Australian rules football. The commentators can get really funny and blunt. On occasion, they have a point that resonates across their sport. Recently, two experts were discussing a quality veteran side (perhaps Richmond) who has a proper feel for the types of players they’re looking for. It isn’t entirely about skill. The term they used was selection integrity, and I immediately loved the term.
Selection integrity takes in a wide variety of player concerns. Can he play? Will he work? Is he generally healthy? Are his strengths something we can utilize? Are his weaknesses something we can mitigate? In a baseball environment, have we had success developing talent like this before? Will he sign with us? Pretty much all of those somewhat fall under selection integrity. It’s much more useful/functional than Best Player Available.
With BPA, by the time a draft hits pick 50, probably ten guys on the board at any time will be really similar. The one guy who’s a 35 can hit, but has no position. The defensive-minded outfielder can run, but he hasn’t hit. The Power Five reliever throws 95, but walks seven per nine. The mid-major pitcher gets outs, but needs a gust of wind to throw 92. Which guy should your team select? What has your selection integrity shown works? Or, realistically, hasn’t worked. It usually takes a wide batch of skills to have a balanced system.
On Opening Night in the Cubs pipeline, a handful of pipeliners were discussing a few of the players. I noted my unease with a lack of offensive minded outfielders and first basemen in the system. If something is working, keep doing it. If it isn’t, try something else. Hopefully, the Cubs selection integrity keeps tweaking what hasn’t worked, and gets to the point where they’re top half in hitter development, top half in pitcher development, and top half in getting the picks right.
Last Saturday, I had my normal case of happy numbness from a Friday night of minor league baseball. As I rolled out of bed, I noticed Indiana was playing. Saturday and Purdue means McCade Brown. I flipped on the Boilers, and they’d just begun against long-time bitter rival... Rutgers. Rutgers has a good squad, but I wanted my McCade Brown fix. A funny thing happened. Both pitchers cruised. Brown was striking people out on thre or four pitches, or getting weak contact. Rutgers starter Ben Wereski matched him inning for inning.
I doubt I’ll put Wereski on my draft list anywhere. I was far too amused by a baseball game progressing at 78 RPM instead of 33⅓ or 16 that I was unable to data process. But if Wereski slips to the Cubs, I’ll cackle just a little bit.
And some other nuggets.
Injuries suck, part two.
Touch the base.
ABSOLUTE MADNESS— NAIA Ball (@NAIABall) May 7, 2021
Elimination game. Bottom 11th. Runners on 1st & 2nd. Single up the middle scores what would-be the walk-off winner, but the runner on 1st celebrates with the team & never touches second.. Midway player alerts teammates, gets the force out... run doesn’t count pic.twitter.com/Lsv5hf5gff
I’m speculating, but based on the data I have in the summer and how the shape looks. I believe Jobe’s FB axis is a touch more vertical (was 1:15, now 12:45). This was the only blemish on an otherwise perfect profile, which it now is.pic.twitter.com/amw91AVjPu— (@mason_mcrae) May 6, 2021
Kahlil Watson’s swing is perfection. Shoutout to Tyler for the great video.pic.twitter.com/29Egukdm9L— (@mason_mcrae) May 8, 2021
LUIS VARGAS UPDATE— Céspedes Family BBQ (@CespedesBBQ) May 9, 2021
he still leads all of NAIA with 29 HR in 43 games. #29 came on Saturday vs. Oklahoma City in the conference tournament. Wayland Baptist can clinch the SAC title todaypic.twitter.com/1GajorgGFf
Many college teams celebrate homers.
Thomas Francisco gets to wear the traffic cone on his noggin after cranking a solo homer to right-center, putting @ECUBaseball up 2-0 after 3. Francisco has hit a lot of balls on the screws this weekend; he has 7 hits & 2 walks in the series. Like Norby, he's just a hit machine. pic.twitter.com/HlqdQH3VaO— Aaron Fitt (@aaronfitt) May 9, 2021
Tyler Bosetti has had a hot streak
Something that hasn't been done in NCAA Division I baseball since 1994 (‼️), @bosetti_tyler has hit a home run in 8️⃣ consecutive games, tying the all-time NCAA record!— Nevada Baseball (@NevadaBaseball) May 10, 2021
More info: https://t.co/SStHmBc5Xh#BattleBorn pic.twitter.com/B5y3n0CID4
And it’s now a record.
RECORD BROKEN @bosetti_tyler set a new NCAA record in his first at-bat in today's game, when he hit a HR in his 9th consecutive game. The original record of 8 has been held since 1994! #NCAABaseball x @NevadaBaseball pic.twitter.com/Fa2RMk8LQI— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) May 11, 2021
Top draft prospect Gunnar Hoglund will have Tommy John surgery:
Source: Ole Miss RHP Gunnar Hoglund will need Tommy John surgery. He walked off the mound in the first inning of his last start.— Kiley McDaniel (@kileymcd) May 11, 2021
I projected him 8th in today’s mock but this development will probably move him into the 15-25 area in the next version https://t.co/TudGVq9FH7