Sunday Notes: Orioles Prospect Coby Mayo Continues To Mash

Coby Mayo is No. 23 on our Prime 100, and a power-packed stroke is an enormous cause why. Drafted by the Baltimore Orioles out of Parkland, Florida’s Stoneman Douglas Excessive Faculty in 2020, the 6-foot-5, 230-pound third baseman is coming off of a 2023 season the place he bashed 29 residence runs whereas logging a 156 wRC+ between Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk. Furthermore, he did in order a 21-year-old.

His maturation as a hitter has been extra nuanced than pronounced. After I talked to Mayo in March 2022, he informed me that he doesn’t “like to consider hitting an excessive amount of,” and has “at all times been a see-ball-hit-ball sort of man.” For probably the most half, that hasn’t actually modified.

“I strive to not assume an excessive amount of once I get into the field,” Mayo mentioned when reminded of these phrases. “That’s stayed the identical. Lots of people will get into the field and begin overthinking. They’ll attempt to manipulate their swings right here and there. I simply attempt to have a very good method, a recreation plan, and sort of let that take over.”

The promising slugger does really feel like he has a greater understanding of his swing than he did two years in the past. When issues are going properly, he is aware of what he’s doing proper. When issues are going flawed, he understands why and might alter accordingly. The swing itself has modified since we first spoke. Mayo defined that his load, hand placement, and bat path are all “a bit of bit totally different” — albeit in a refined method. As he put it, “You possibly can’t actually discover them with the bare eye.” Creating extra loft and permitting him to raised use the complete area have been the targets behind the tweaks.

One factor that hasn’t modified is what our lead prospect analyst Eric Longenhagen has descried as a “generally ugly wanting lower, which has an odd, uneven stride… an odd look, nevertheless it works for him.”

Mayo has examine his atypical strikes towards the baseball. These opinions stay a thriller to him.

“It’s one thing that’s at all times come naturally,” mentioned Mayo. “I’ve by no means actually understood how individuals assume it’s bizarre. It’s what I do, and… yeah.”

In different phrases, if it ain’t broke, don’t repair it. Mayo is slashing .346/.452/.654 with 5 doubles and a house run in 30 plate appearances this spring.



Gabby Hartnett went 10 for 16 towards Noble LeMaster.

Johnny Grubb went 10 for 17 towards Paul Hartzell.

Jim Ray Hart went 10 for 21 towards Lew Burdette.

Corey Hart went 10 for 21 towards J.A. Happ.

Bubbles Hargrave went 10 for 25 towards Mule Watson.


Bob Melvin is aware of all about Matt Chapman’s elite arm energy. They have been collectively in Oakland from 2017-2021. Each are actually throughout the bay in San Francisco, Melvin having been employed to handle the Giants final October, and Chapman subsequently inking a free-agent deal only a few days in the past.

The speed of Chapman’s throws throughout the diamond — and the way the group’s first basemen might want to acclimate to it — got here up when Melvin met with the media on Thursday. That prompted me to ask a associated query: Do some infielders get loads of hop on their throws, a lot as high-spin hurlers get plus experience on their heaters?

“It’s just like a catcher that throws rather well,” mentioned Melvin, who caught within the large leagues earlier than changing into a supervisor. “For an infielder, there can be instances the place you assume it’s not getting there and it continues to hold. Lots of instances, a second baseman on double-play balls, that ball can get on you a large number faster than you’re used to. So we’ll do some infield, and stuff to catch up, so far as studying [Chapman] and his arm. It’s fairly distinctive.”

Melvin went on to say that Ichiro Suzuki was related from the outfield, his throws again to the infield coming in with each extra velocity and carry.

“Usually, it’s the blokes who’ve actually good backspin and throw from a sure angle, which each of these guys do,” Melvin defined. “There’s an acclimation interval.”


A random obscure former participant snapshot:

Wildfire Schulte’s 1911 season was one of many dead-ball period’s greatest. An outfielder for the Chicago Cubs, Schulte slashed .300/.384/.534 with 30 doubles, 21 triples, a league-leading 21 residence runs, 23 stolen bases, a 149 wRC+ and 5.9 WAR. The left-handed hitter’s residence run complete was the best in MLB because the flip of the century, and he grew to become the primary participant with not less than 20 homers, 20 steals, 20 doubles, and 20 triples in a single season. Born Frank M. Schulte in Cochecton, New York, the long-forgotten fly chaser performed 17 big-league seasons, 13 of them with the Cubs, with whom he gained a pair of World Collection.


A quiz:

Jim Kaat pitched for 5 groups over 25 big-league seasons and was on only one World Collection-winner. With which group did Kaat win a Fall Traditional?

The reply could be discovered beneath.



U L Washington, a switch-hitting center infielder who spent the primary eight of his 11 big-league seasons (1977-1987) with the Kansas Metropolis Royals, died final Sunday at age 70, Identified for taking part in with a toothpick in his mouth, Washington was a product of the Royals’ Baseball Academy.

Ed Ott, a left-handed-hitting catcher who performed from 1974-1981, has died at age 72. A Pittsburgh Pirate for his first seven seasons — he completed his profession with the California Angels — Ott was a mainstay on the “We Are Household” Pirates who captured a World Collection title in 1979.

SABR’s Oral Historical past Committee will host a reside Zoom interview with former big-league participant and supervisor Mike Hargrove this coming Thursday, March 14, at 8pm EST. Extra data could be discovered right here.

Baseball Prospectus founder Gary Huckabay was honored with the 2024 SABR Analytics Convention Lifetime Achievement Award. Huckaby was readily available for yesterday’s presentation, as have been unique BP writers Clay Davenport, Rany Jazayerli, Christina Kahl, and Joe Sheehan.


The reply to the quiz is the St. Louis Cardinals, with whom Kaat performed in 1982. The longtime lefty’s solely different World Collection alternative which got here 17 earlier when he was on the shedding aspect with the Minnesota Twins.


One of many panels at yesterday’s SABR Analytics Convention addressed MLB rule modifications, considered one of which is able to see the pitch clock lowered by two seconds with runners on base starting this season. Bobby Scales, who sat on the panel together with FanGraphs managing editor Meg Rowley and Sports activities Information Options’Mark Simon — MLB Community’s Brian Kenny served because the moderator — is absolutely on board with the modification.

“I do like that change,” mentioned Scales, whose résumé contains big-league infielder, a number of participant improvement roles, and broadcast analyst. “You practice. You do all this stuff. You might have sufficient time as an athlete to course of so many issues in your head.” Scales additionally associated how pitcher-turned-analyst Dallas Braden mentioned a yr in the past that gamers would adept to the pitch clock, and did simply that.

Simon recommended that eliminating the ghost runner/zombie runner — “a pandemic rule” — can be good for the sport. A separate dialogue of the topic included an opinion that the rule ought to be left in place however not carried out till the twelfth inning.

Rowley recommended a compromise to the automated strike zone, a forthcoming rule change that appears inevitable.

“I’m a pitching-framing fanatic, so the thought of the robotic zone is tragic,” our managing editor mentioned. “However having seen the problem system in motion, in [the Arizona] Fall League, it’s… we’re in search of stability, proper? It strikes the proper stability, as a result of it permits us to deal with egregious missed calls however doesn’t fully shift the best way that we perceive the strike zone. And it provides a strategic aspect to the sport. Having a catcher should be good at figuring out when to problem — that’s attention-grabbing… I just like the problem system.”

The tested-in-the-AFL rule Rowley referred to allowed for a small variety of pitch challenges per recreation, with the automated ball-strike system both confirming or altering the house plate umpire’s name. As seen in this video, the definitive ruling comes with seconds.

I’m firmly in favor of each Simon’s and Rowley’s strategies. I’m on the fence with shaving just a few seconds off the pitch clock.


Tarik Skubal was featured right here at FanGraphs earlier within the week, my dialog with the Detroit Tigers southpaw centering on how he makes use of his mix-and-match repertoire to flummox big-league hitters. In need of an accompanying perspective, I requested his common battery mate what makes the rising ace nearly as good as he’s.

“He has nice stuff,” Jake Rogers informed me. “He additionally is aware of his stuff and the way it works, and is comfy throwing any pitch at any time. He’s actually good at sequencing. He’s a type of guys the place the catcher is sort of on cruise management on the market. I can name no matter I would like. And possibly the most important factor is his competitiveness. He doesn’t care who’s up there; he’s going to throw it over the plate and make him hit it.”

Rogers went on to say that he usually sticks to the script together with his pitch-calling, exploiting hitters’ weaknesses whereas additionally enjoying to Skubal’s strengths — of which there are numerous. As said within the intro to Tuesday’s interview, “The 27-year-old southpaw is rising as one of many high left-handed starters in baseball.”


Rely Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations Jed Hoyer amongst these not overly involved with spring coaching performances. The exec estimated that hitters want “50 or so” plate appearances throughout spring coaching to “get their eyes prepared for main league pitching,” then went on say that what they do in these PAs ought to be taken with a big grain of salt. Addressing the topic with reporters earlier this week, Hoyer introduced up how Dansby Swanson was “godawful” final spring, solely to return out of the gate smoking (16 for 40 over the primary 10 video games) as soon as the common season began. The identical goes for hitters having sizzling springs. Raking in March doesn’t imply you’re going to rake as soon as the video games rely within the standings.

“It’s about getting your physique able to play,” Hoyer mentioned of Cactus League motion. “It’s getting accustomed to enjoying a specific amount of innings. That’s what it’s about. I feel we in all probability put an excessive amount of emphasis on stats.”

Hoyer went on so as to add that hitting setting elements into the numbers. As he identified, a 98-mph-exit-velocity fly ball would possibly depart the park in heat Arizona air, however in chilly Chicago air it will likely be a warning-track out.

“You possibly can really feel actually good about your self hitting right here, then really feel actually dangerous,” mentioned Hoyer. “For pitchers, it’s the very same factor. The distinction between right here and there’s alarming.”


Sticking with the Cubs, which participant is the important thing to the membership’s success this season? I requested that query to Maddie Lee, who covers the North Facet squad for The Chicago Solar-Instances.

“I feel it’s going to be Cody Bellinger,” Lee opined. “As we have been stepping into spring, once we didn’t know if he was going to re-sign, that was sort of the query hovering over the group. They hadn’t changed his offensive manufacturing from final yr, and wanted to so as to say that this offense regarded nearly as good because the group in 2023. He doesn’t have to copy precisely what he did final season (26 residence runs and a 134 wRC+), but when he can present some pop in that lineup, be a weapon towards right-handed pitchers — and he hits lefties fairly properly, as properly — he can actually elevate this lineup. That was the one query mark left after they bolstered the rotation and the bullpen.”


Which participant is the important thing to the Mariners’ success this season? I requested that query to Shannon Drayer, who covers the group for Seattle Sports activities.

“The apparent one is Julio Rodriguez,” replied Drayer. “We noticed final yr that the offense typically goes as Julio goes. There’s a little little bit of a greater offense round him this yr, however this group is sort of constructed round pitching — and Julio Rodriguez. When he struggled final yr, individuals have been taking a look at a fourth place in MVP voting. That’s a wrestle? He, himself, referred to as it a sophomore stoop. It was in that the consistency wasn’t there. That’s going to be the important thing for him, and it’s what he’s working towards — having that consistency. The sky is the restrict for him. He’s nearly irreplaceable.”


A Roger MarisJosh Donaldson statistical comp:

5,847 PA, 1,325 hits, .260 BA, 275 HR, 2,429 TB, 127 OPS+.
5,856 PA, 1,310 hits, .261 BA, 279 HR, 2,458 TB, 129 OPS+.

Which is which? Maris, who arguably deserves a plaque in Cooperstown because of his historic 61-home-run season and back-to-back MVP awards, is listed first. Donaldson, who introduced his retirement earlier this week, is listed second.

Regardless of attaining solely a fraction of Maris’s movie star, one may moderately argue that Donaldson had the higher profession. He gained an MVP award of his personal, and completed with a better WAR (46.2 to 36.9). The periodically-prickly third baseman wasn’t everybody’s cup of tea, however he was a helluva hitter. Glad trails, “Bringer of Rain.”



How would possibly the San Diego Padres fill the Juan Soto-sized gap of their lineup? Lucien Kisch delved into that query at Pitcher Record.

The Pittsburgh Publish-Gazette’s Jason Mackey examined a few of the key choices left for Pirates GM Ben Cherington.’s Anne Rogers wrote about how pitching prospect Blake Wolters is popping heads in Kansas Metropolis Royals camp.

Additionally at, Brian McTaggert wrote about Houston Astros pitching prospect Tayler Scott, who was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa.

A distinguished MLB group doctor is sounding an alarm on pitching accidents, with the sweeper and energy changeup among the many perceived culprits. Eno Sarris talked to him for The Athletic. (subscription required.)



The Pittsburgh Pirates go into the 2024 season with a franchise file of 10,763-10,733. They’ve scored 96,355 runs and allowed 96,481 runs.

The Texas Rangers will hit the ten,000th residence run in franchise historical past this season. Shaped because the Washington Senators in 1961 earlier than relocating to the Lone Star State in 1972, the defending World Collection champions at present have 9,971 round-trippers of their annals.

Mike Zunino has probably the most residence runs by a catcher in each Seattle Mariners and Tampa Bay Rays franchise historical past. He’s the one participant to carry the catcher residence run file for a number of energetic franchises (per @CooperstpownDave).

Larry Walker had 2,160 hits, probably the most amongst gamers born in Canada. Joey Votto, who signed a minor league cope with the Toronto Blue Jays earlier this week, is second with 2,135.

Jon Lester pitched 9 seasons with the Crimson Sox and 6 seasons with the Cubs. He had a 3.64 ERA and a .636 profitable proportion with every group.

Rube Marquard started the 1912 season 19-0 earlier than being charged with a loss on July 8. The New York Giants southpaw would have began out 20-0 had he not been credited with a save somewhat than a win — this per the foundations at the moment — in an April 20 reduction look. He completed the yr 26-11.

The Kansas Metropolis Royals traded Kirk Gibson to the Pittsburgh Pirates in trade for Neal Heaton on at this time’s date in 1992 (elevate your hand should you knew that Gibson performed for both of these groups). The Detroit Tigers and Los Angeles Dodgers legend logged 11 hits in 56 at-bats with the Pirates earlier than being launched in Might.

The Chicago White Sox signed catcher Muddy Ruel on at this time’s date in 1934. Behind the plate when Yankees right-hander Carl Mays threw the pitch that killed Cleveland’s Ray Chapman 14 years earlier, Ruel wrapped up his 19-year-year profession with the ChiSox, then went on to develop into a supervisor, a common supervisor, and an assistant to the commissioner of baseball.

Gamers born on at this time’s date embrace Darcy Quick, a left-handed pitcher who appeared in eight video games for the Chicago Cubs in 1968. A local of Dallas, Oregon who grew to become a pastor after his enjoying days, and wrote a e book about his experiences in and out of doors of baseball, Quick logged a 5.40 ERA over 10 innings and was on the shedding finish of his solely determination.

Additionally born on at this time’s date was Emil Huhn, a catcher/first baseman who performed for the Federal League’s Newark Pepper in 1915 and for the Nationwide League’s Cincinnati Reds in 1916 and 1917. The North Vernon, Indiana native’s lone profession residence run got here with Newark, a two-run shot off Buffalo Blues righty Russ Ford, a member of the Canadian Baseball Corridor of Fame who’s signature pitch was a nominally unlawful emery ball.


I uncared for to say it on the time, however the 10-year anniversary of FanGraphs Sunday Notes was final month. On February 16, 2014. having been given the go-ahead by then-managing editor Dave Cameron, I debuted this column with a hope, extra so than an expectation, that it might acquire traction and develop into a staple on one of the best baseball web site in existence. Except two missed Sundays — one whereas I used to be on trip in Europe and one other as a consequence of sickness — it has now run weekly for a decade and counting. Thanks for studying.

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