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The SIS Baseball Podcast

Author: Sports Info Solutions

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The R&D team at Sports Info Solutions is joined by special guests to discuss notable topics related to baseball analytics and defensive excellence. Hosted by Mark Simon.

127 Episodes
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 On this special Black History Month episode, Mark Simon (@MarkASimonSays) is joined by Pirates' Vice President of Player Personnel Steve Williams and former MLB pitcher LaTroy Hawkins (@LaTroyHawkins32). Steve talks about his career working in baseball and the role he plays as the president of the Buck O'Neil Professional Baseball Scouts & Coaches Association (0:38). LaTroy talks about his lengthy career, creating opportunities in baseball for underserved communities, and how he has adjusted to changes in the game now that he is working as a Special Assistant for the Twins (21:28). Mark and Bobby also take a few minutes to talk about the Jackie Robinson Museum and the Negro League Baseball Museum (41:03)Check out the podcasts mentioned in the show using the links below:Black Diamonds PodcastThick Skin PodcastThank you for listening. Please check out the new FieldingBible.com website, follow us on Twitter at @sis_baseball, and read our work at SportsInfoSolutions.com. You can e-mail us at Mark@sportsinfosolutions.com. 
On this episode, Mark Simon (@MarkASimonSays) is joined by Orioles pitching strategy coach Ryan Klimek, SIS’ Asian Baseball scout and operations associate Brandon Tew, (@BrandonTeweets) and our VP of Baseball, Bobby Scales (@Bobby_Scales). Ryan walks us through his career path and explains what goes into being a pitching strategy coach in the major leagues (0:48). Brandon shares his scouting reports on Yoshinobu Yamamoto,  Shōta Imanaga, Naoyuki Uwasawa, Jung-hoo Lee, Yuki Matsui, and Woo-suk Go. (Click the link to read the report.) (18:29) And then Mark and Bobby talk about the recent Hall of Fame elections of Adrián Beltré, Todd Helton, and Joe Mauer, and look ahead to the next Hall of Fame ballot, which features Ichiro Suzuki and CC Sabathia. (31:58) Thank you for listening. Please check out the new FieldingBible.com website, follow us on Twitter at @sis_baseball, and read our work at SportsInfoSolutions.com. You can e-mail us at Mark@sportsinfosolutions.com.
On this episode of the Sports Info Solutions Baseball Podcast, we remember the many baseball players - major leaguers, minor leaguers, NPB players, and college players - that we spoke to in 2023. You'll hear the best we got from Phillies GM Sam Fuld, Washington Post reporter Chelsea Janes, Tre' Morgan, Vance Honeycutt, Noah Miller, Nasim Nuñez, Brenton Doyle, Bobby Witt Jr., Bobby Scales, Marcus Semien, Josh Rojas, David MacKinnon, Myles Straw, Jake Meyers, Adley Rutschman, Marquis Grissom, Kevin Kiermaier, and Ke'Bryan Hayes Apply to work as a SIS Baseball Video Scout here  Thank you for listening. Please check out the new FieldingBible.com website, follow us on Twitter at @sis_baseball, and read our work at SportsInfoSolutions.com. You can e-mail us at Mark@sportsinfosolutions.com..
The podcast goes global this week as Mark Simon is joined by Seibu Lions first baseman David MacKinnon and Japan Baseball Weekly podcast co-host John Gibson.Mark and David talk about David's first season in Japan both from a baseball and cultural perspective and how being a college soccer goalie made him a better defensive player (1:23).Mark and John then review the 2023 NPB Fielding Bible Award winners, explaining what made each of those players so good (12:13).And SIS VP of Baseball Bobby Scales comes on for his regular segment breaking down what MacKinnon said and the things that separated the Texas Rangers from other teams in the postseason (25:35).Thanks as always for listening. Please check out the new-and-improved FieldingBible.com website, follow us on Twitter at @sis_baseball, and read our work at SportsInfoSolutions.com. You can e-mail us at Mark@sportsinfosolutions.com. 
Thursday, Sports Info Solutions announced the winners of The 2023 Fielding Bible Awards. Each year since 2006 our voters have picked the best defensive player at each position. This year, we’ve added a Defensive Player of the Year award to the mix. Podcast host Mark Simon and SIS VP of Baseball, Bobby Scales run through the winners and discuss what makes them great. We are joined by Pirates third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes and Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier to talk to them about their seasons. Thanks as always for listening. Please check out the new-and-improved FieldingBible.com website, follow us on Twitter at @sis_baseball, and read our work at SportsInfoSolutions.com. You can e-mail us at Mark@sportsinfosolutions.com.
On this episode of The Sports Info Solutions Baseball Podcast, Mark Simon (@markasimonsays)  is joined by national baseball writers, Tyler Kepner of The Athletic (@tylerkepner) and Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post (@chelsea_janes). This is our 3rd annual “The Year in Surprises” episode. Tyler, Chelsea, and Mark each offer their pick for most surprising team, position player, and pitcher. Among the teams and players that come up in the conversation are the Mets, Padres, Diamondbacks, Orioles, Kyle Bradish, Isaac Paredes, Zach Eflin, and even Freddie Freeman and Blake Snell (for specific reasons) (0:28). Mark is then joined by SIS VP of Baseball, Bobby Scales (@bobby_scales), who offers his thoughts on the Rangers resurgence, the Braves’ potential playoff issue, the potentially scary nature of the Brewers, and the goodbyes for Miguel Cabrera and Adam Wainwright (27:21). Thanks as always for listening. Please follow us on Twitter at @sis_baseball and read our work at SportsInfoSolutions.com. You can e-mail us at Mark@sportsinfosolutions.com. 
On this episode of The Sports Info Solutions Baseball Podcast, Mark Simon is joined by a pair of minor league defensive standouts, Noah Miller from the Twins organization (0:58) and Nasim Nuñez (16:19) from the Marlins organization. We enjoyed talking about how they do what they do on D. Noah Miller leads all shortstops in the minor league version of Defensive Runs Saved this season with Nuñez consistently ranking around the top 5. They talk about their specific defensive approaches, how they've come to be students of the game, and walked us through some of the best plays they've made. SIS VP of Baseball Bobby Scales joined us to dissect what both players talked about (30:10).Thanks as always for listening. Please follow us on Twitter at @sis_baseball and read our work at SportsInfoSolutions.com. You can e-mail us at Mark@sportsinfosolutions.com. Plays referenced in the interviews Nasim's QB1 playNasim's diving playNoah's great play
On this episode, Mark Simon (@markasimonsays) is joined by Royals shortstop Bobby Witt Jr., who has been one of the best players in baseball both offensively and defensively since the All-Star Break. Bobby talks about how he's no longer trying to field balls and make throws at the same time and how he mentally resets before each pitch. He also breaks down some of the best plays he's made in 2023 (0:29). Afterwards, Mark discusses the interview with Sports Info Solutions VP of Baseball Bobby Scales (@bobby_scales), who provides additional depth to some of the things Bobby Witt Jr. talked about, including a sliding play on Mike Tauchman (VIDEO). With the MLB home run robbery record being broken last week, Bobby also explains what it's like to watch a home run robbery on the field (13:34). Thanks as always for listening. Please follow us on Twitter at @sis_baseball and read our work at SportsInfoSolutions.com. You can e-mail us at Mark@sportsinfosolutions.com. 
On this episode, Mark Simon (@markasimonsays) is joined by The Athletic senior writer Eno Sarris (@enosarris), as well as Noah Gatsik (@iamthatnoah) and Brandon Tew (@brandonteweets), who help run SIS Baseball Scout School. Mark and Eno talk pitching, with a focus on the Giants, Astros, and Orioles. Among the names that come up are Grayson Rodriguez, Framber Valdez, and Jakob Junis, along with organizational pitching philosophies (0:33). Mark, Noah, and Brandon talk about SIS Scout School, a program that helps SIS employees learn how to scout baseball players. They discuss their favorite things to teach related to scouting hitting, pitching, and defense (16:49). You can find Stuff+ leaderboards at FanGraphs.Thanks as always for listening. Please follow us on Twitter at @sis_baseball and read our work at SportsInfoSolutions.com. You can e-mail us at Mark@sportsinfosolutions.com. 
On this episode, Mark Simon is joined by Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman and MLB.com writer Jonathan Mayo, author of the new book Smart, Wrong, and Lucky, The Origin Stories of Baseball’s Unexpected Stars. Adley talks about the challenges of catching the different pitchers on the Orioles staff, how the team’s pitching strategist helps him with game preparation, and what he could do defensively that would top switch-hitting home runs in the Home Run Derby (0:39). Jonathan discusses his new book and shares the scouting story behind the drafting of Mookie Betts. He explains the different types of work that goes into scouting a player. And he offers a college player and a minor league prospect that could be high-impact players defensively (12:38). We are also joined by SIS VP of Baseball Bobby Scales, who joins Mark in analyzing some of the big moves made at the trade deadline (27:18).Thanks as always for listening. Please follow us on Twitter at @sis_baseball and read our work at SportsInfoSolutions.com. You can e-mail us at Mark@sportsinfosolutions.com. 
On this episode, Mark Simon is joined by baseball writers Jay Jaffe (FanGraphs, The Cooperstown Casebook) and Russell Carleton (Baseball Prospectus, The New Ballgame).With this being Hall of Fame week, Jay comes on to talk about a series of pieces he's written about the Hall of Fame candidacies of current players. We discuss Jose Ramirez, Freddie Freeman, Kenley Jansen, and Marcus Semien from a variety of angles (0:51). Russell comes on to talk about his new book, which takes a macro (and micro) look at the hidden forces shaping contemporary baseball (17:40).To wrap the show, Mark is joined by SIS VP of Baseball, Bobby Scales. They discuss CC Sabathia's Hall of Fame candidacy, the rise of the Orioles, and what the days leading up to the MLB trade deadline are like behind the scenes (30:09). Thanks as always for listening. Please follow us on Twitter at @sis_baseball and read our work at SportsInfoSolutions.com. You can e-mail us at Mark@sportsinfosolutions.com.  Links The Cooperstown Casebook The New Ballgame Jay Jaffe's FanGraphs articles Russell Carleton's BP articles
On this episode, we focus on the toughest defensive job in baseball, playing center field at Coors Field. Rockies rookie Brenton Doyle is doing it and doing it well. Mark Simon talked to Brenton about how he does what he does defensively and how his defensive game has developed dating back to his Division II college days (0:39). SIS VP of Baseball Bobby Scales just watched Doyle play live and shares his thoughts on his game, as well as the outstanding defense of Rockies shortstop Ezequiel Tovar and third baseman Ryan McMahon. He also pays tribute to one All-Star close to his baseball heart (10:27).  Then we're joined by Saberseminar co-founder Dan Brooks, who talked about the return of the baseball statistical conference this August in Chicago. It's a fantastic chance to hear interesting speakers and network, with all the money raised going to a great cause (18:19). Thanks as always for listening. Please follow us on Twitter at @sis_baseball and read our work at SportsInfoSolutions.com. You can e-mail us at Mark@sportsinfosolutions.com. 
On this episode of The Sports Info Solutions Baseball Podcast, Mark Simon is joined by Giants rookie catcher Patrick Bailey.Patrick talked about who taught him to think like a catcher, how he works with his pitchers, what goes into pitch framing, and why he thinks he got off to a good start as a hitter too (0:31).SIS VP of Baseball Bobby Scales addressed some of Bailey's comments, talked about what goes into managing a pitching staff, and cited one past catcher who was particularly good at staff handling (2008 Phillies fans will appreciate) (13:08).Thanks as always for listening. Please follow us on Twitter at @sis_baseball and read our work at SportsInfoSolutions.com. You can e-mail us at Mark@sportsinfosolutions.com.
On this episode of the SIS Baseball Podcast, Mark Simon is joined by Rangers second baseman Marcus Semien and Astros center fielder Jake Meyers for a pair of conversations about defensive excellence. Marcus talks about a couple of memorable plays from the season, the hardest things about playing second base, the level of peak focus a hitter and fielder can have, and how eliminating the shift helped the Rangers right-side defense (0:32). Jake Meyers walks us through 3 great catches he’s made this season, explaining what went into making each play. He explains the practical value of his pre-game prep and why batting practice is such an important time for him to work on his defense. And he talks about the defensive lessons he learned from his father and from Nebraska baseball coach Darin Erstad (11:13).SIS VP of Baseball Bobby Scales also joins us for his usual segment, where he reacts to some of the things Jake said in his interview and gives his thoughts on some of the early Defensive Runs Saved leaders (21:35). Thanks as always for listening. Please follow us on Twitter at @sis_baseball and read our work at SportsInfoSolutions.com. You can e-mail us at Mark@sportsinfosolutions.com. Links- Marcus Semien throw-out at home- Marcus Semien jump throw- Marcus Semien DP turn- Jake Meyers catch vs Owen Miller- Jake Meyers catch vs Brandon Drury- Jake Meyers catch vs Shohei Ohtani
On this episode, Mark Simon is joined by ZiPS projection system creator and FanGraphs writer Dan Szymborski to talk shop about creating a projection tool.Dan talked about the principles of ZiPS, how he created it, and how the system works. He cited specific current examples, including whether the A's will lose 120 games, how the projection on Matt Chapman changes over time, the challenge of projecting defense from minor league data, and why the system projects what it does for George Kirby.Mark was then joined by SIS VP of Baseball, Bobby Scales. Bobby talked about how projection systems are used by teams. He then talked about a game that he and Mark watched recently in which Bobby correctly predicted what was going to happen in the 1st inning. He explained the factors that went into that prediction.Thanks as always for listening. Please follow us on Twitter at @sis_baseball and read our work at SportsInfoSolutions.com (check out our recent piece on pitchers getting hit by batted balls). You can e-mail us at Mark@sportsinfosolutions.com.
On this episode, Mark Simon is joined by North Carolina sophomore center fielder Vance Honeycutt and FanGraphs.com baseball writer Ben Clemens.Vance was the 2022 ACC Tournament MVP and league Preseason Player of the Year, but he joins us to talk about his defense and his penchant for home run-robberies and other great catches. He also explains how he's evolved as a hitter, one who could be a high-end pick in next year's MLB Draft (0:42).Ben writes a weekly column about "5 Things He Likes About Baseball", and we modify that slightly to have Ben and Mark talk about 3 things they each liked about MLB defense from the first month of the season. Among the subjects, an outfielder with a cannon arm in Cleveland, how Wilmer Flores made a play with a 5% out rate, and why Ke'Bryan Hayes should be viewed as great by Cardinals fans (11:25).Thanks as always for listening. Please follow us on Twitter at @sis_baseball and read our work at SportsInfoSolutions.com. You can e-mail us at Mark@sportsinfosolutions.com.
On this episode, Mark Simon (@markasimonsays) is joined by Diamondbacks third baseman Josh Rojas (@joshrojass) and Guardians center fielder Myles Straw (@Myles_Straw) to discuss what’s made them into good defensive players and baserunners. Josh talks about the adjustments he’s made at third base and how he can feel the difference it has made for him. He also describes in detail three memorable plays he’s made this season and how he successfully executed a difficult move to steal home on a double steal (0:45). Myles explains the work he put in that made him a Fielding Bible Award winner in center field last season and how pre-game prep can have a big payoff. He also goes into what’s made him such a successful base-stealer (14:13). Then Mark is joined by SIS VP of Baseball Bobby Scales (@Bobby_Scales), who reacts to some of the things Josh said in his interview and speaks to how collaborative player development, from both coaches and strength and conditioning staff can help make a player better (23:54). Thanks as always for listening. Please follow us on Twitter at @sis_baseball and read our work at SportsInfoSolutions.com. You can e-mail us at Mark@sportsinfosolutions.com
On this episode of the Sports Info Solutions Baseball Podcast, Mark Simon is joined by … * ESPN broadcaster Eduardo Pérez, who celebrates the global nature of the game, and talks about his appreciation of Shohei Ohtani, Luis Arraez, and (among others) Rays outfielder Harold Ramírez. Eduardo also talks about the new rules, the pace of the game, and why this Sunday’s broadcast of Astros-Rangers is going to stand out beyond the starting pitching matchup (1:07). * ESPN’s Paul Hembekides, co-author of the new book Got Your Number, The Greatest Sports Legends and the Numbers They Own. Paul gives a baseball history lesson as relates to the defense of Ozzie Smith, Roberto Clemente, and Willie Mays (17:19). * And SIS VP of Baseball Bobby Scales, who explains how pitchers throwing off baserunner and batter timing is going to be key in trying to limit stolen bases, discusses why singles have always mattered, and picks the pitcher who’s impressed him in the first two weeks of the season (31:49). Thanks as always for listening. Please follow us on Twitter at @sis_baseball and read our work at SportsInfoSolutions.com. You can e-mail us at Mark@sportsinfosolutions.com
This episode has all the bases covered.  We start in college with Mark Simon talking to No. 1 LSU’s starting first baseman, Tre' Morgan. He’s considered one of college baseball’s defensive standouts, so we pick his brain on picks, adventures in the outfield, and much more (0:28). We move on to some MLB Prospect talk as Baseball America’s Kyle Glaser gives us the rundown on how some of the game’s top future stars rate defensively. We run the gamut from Corbin Carroll and Gunnar Henderson to Pete Crow-Armstrong (13:24). Then SIS VP of Baseball Bobby Scales joins us to talk about both interviews, preview a couple of MLB breakout pitchers for 2023, and gives his thoughts, as someone who formerly worked in player development, on why Anthony Volpe and Jordan Walker will start the season in MLB (28:20). Thanks as always for listening. Please follow us on Twitter at @sis_baseball and read our work at SportsInfoSolutions.com. You can e-mail us at Mark@sportsinfosolutions.com
On this episode, we honor Women’s History Month with conversations with three women who are moving the industry forward with their work in baseball analysis.Mark Simon is joined first by Chelsea Janes, national baseball writer for the Washington Post to discuss player reaction to rule changes, what to make of the Padres and Orioles heading into 2023, and other season preview-related topics. Chelsea also discusses how baseball’s receptiveness to women writers has changed in her 10 years on the job (1:02).Andrea Arcidipane, also known as “Scoutgirl” on social media, talks about her time working in baseball operations for the Yankees in 2022. Andrea also speaks on information communication and making her videos and charts accessible to any audience, and she shares a few players she finds interesting heading into 2023 (Vinnie Pasquantino, Caleb Thielbar, Adam Duvall, and Brandon Walter for different reasons). Find her work on Twitter and at https://scoutgirlreport.com/ (22:41)And SIS research analyst Sarah Thompson talks about the presentation she did at the SABR Analytics Conference on evaluating minor league outfield defense. She shares her findings on specific players and the differences between minor league and major league out rates on fly balls (36:50).Make sure to check out The Effect of Outfield Position Changes on DRS by Andrew Kyne as mentioned in the Andrea Arcidipane interview. Thanks as always for listening. Please follow us on Twitter at @sis_baseball and read our work at SportsInfoSolutions.com. You can e-mail us at Mark@sportsinfosolutions.com.
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