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On this episode, we're joined by Mariners catcher Cal Raleigh, who ranks among the MLB leaders in Defensive Runs Saved due to standout pitch framing. Cal talks about the different elements that go into catching this Mariners staff and the different looks and challenges their pitchers present. He also explains why he might not do as well as Julio Rodríguez in a Home Run Derby (0.42). Our VP of Baseball, Bobby Scales, follows that interview by chatting with us about some of the best defensive catchers he's played with and against. Bobby also addresses the Chicago White Sox and how aggressively they should go for the AL Central title (15:04). Thanks as always for listening. Please follow us on Twitter at @sis_baseball. You can e-mail us at
On a special bonus episode, Mark Simon is joined by Astros rookie shortstop Jeremy Peña to review his impressive first half of the season, particularly in the field.Jeremy tells us about his favorite defensive plays, why he's so good at fielding on the backhand, the value of being bilingual in a locker room, and much more (0:31)We then run through the Defensive Runs Saved leaders by position for the first half of the season (11:33).We also talk with SIS VP of Baseball Bobby Scales about the significance of the first 5 picks in the MLB Draft, the decline in high school players selected in the late rounds, and the fun in Tuesday's MLB All-Star Game. (14:09)Thanks as always for listening. Looking forward to the rest of the 2022 season. You can e-mail us at
On this episode, Mark Simon is joined by top minor league prospect Gunnar Henderson of the Orioles, as well as SIS VP of Baseball, Bobby Scales (a former MLB player and executive).Gunnar, recently rated the No. 5 prospect in Minor League Baseball by MLB Pipeline, talked about playing both shortstop and third base and what’s gone into his success at each position (0:34).Bobby talked a bout another standout rookie, Michael Harris II and his teammate, Matt Olson, and what’s impressed him with the recent strong play of the Orioles (13:13).Please rate and review the show if you can. You can follow us on Twitter at SIS_BaseballLinksMichael Harris’ impressive catch vs Josh BellSIS Baseball Podcast interview with Michael HarrisSIS Baseball Podcast interview with Matt OlsonMark’s article on the Orioles’ defenseMLB Pipeline Top 100 prospects
On this episode, Mark Simon is joined by two of the premier defensive players in the upcoming MLB Draft: Coastal Carolina shortstop Eric Brown and Adonys Guzman. Both have been projected among the Top 100 draft prospects at different times this season. Eric talks about the work that has gone into having what some say is the best range among college infielders and his unusual batting stance (0:23). Adonys, who plays high school baseball in Connecticut, talks about how he frames, blocks, and guides a pitching staff and discusses his throwing arm, which some scouts have given a 70 grade on the 20-80 scale (8:55). Mark is then joined by SIS VP of Baseball Bobby Scales, who provides further explanation on Eric’s unusual stance and gives perspective on the challenges a high school catcher faces in hoping to go pro (16:35). Thanks as always for listening. Please rate and review us if you can. You can follow us on Twitter at @SIS_Baseball. And send any feedback on the podcast to
On this episode, Mark Simon (@MarkASimonSays) is joined by a trio of guests. Yankees SS Isiah Kiner-Falefa joined us to talk about all things related to defensive excellence, from favorite plays he’s made to drills he’s done, to lesson’s he’s learned. We were psyched to hear that Isiah follows his Defensive Runs Saved total closely (0:56). SIS VP of Baseball Bobby Scales (@Bobby_Scales), a former executive in player development with the Pirates and Angels came on for his regular spot to talk about Alex Cora and the work the Red Sox have done in improving defensively. He also shared thoughts on Hunter Greene, and the best baseball lesson he ever learned (20:34). And writer Howard Bryant (@hbryant42) – author of a new book about Rickey Henderson, talked about Rickey’s legendary baseball playing career (33:26). Thank you for listening. Feel free to tweet us at @SIS_Baseball or e-mail
On this episode, Mark Simon was joined by Diamondbacks catcher-centerfielder Daulton Varsho, ESPN’s Paul “Hembo” Hembekides, and Sports Info Solutions VP of Baseball Bobby Scales. Daulton Varsho talked about the origin of his unusual position combination, what a day in the life is like for a catcher, and what his experience has been like with the new Pitchcom communication system. Bobby Scales shared his relationship with Daulton’s father, Gary, explained what impressed him most about how Varsho plays the outfield, and provided a Hawaiian baseball history lesson on former player/coach Mike Lum. Mark and Paul Hembekides then ran through the most interesting hitter, pitcher, fielder, and team through the first two months of the season, and discussed the Mets’ new approach to scoring runs. Thank you for listening as always. Please follow us on Twitter at @SIS_Baseball. If you have any feedback on the show or suggestions for guests, e-mail
On this episode, we're joined by Padres broadcaster and Big Time Baseball podcast co-host Tony Gwynn Jr. and SIS VP of Baseball Bobby Scales. We talk with Tony about the role the Padres defense has played in their success this season, how Eric Hosmer and Manny Machado have figured out how to hit in the 2022 baseball environs, why Harrison Bader is his favorite defensive player to watch, and why Tony had considerable success vs Max Scherzer. (0:45) Bobby discusses Hunter Greene's electric stuff, early struggles, and no-hit bid, why custom-fitted bats are so important for a hitter, and his relationship with the MLB leader in Defensive Runs Saved. (16:00) You'll also learn about some shortstops whose names you may not know- but you should. Thanks for tuning in. You can send feedback to Please rate and review us if you can.
This episode has a little bit of everything! We talk to our April Defensive Player of the Month Brett Phillips (@Brett_Phillips8) of the Rays about everything that makes playing defense fun - and what makes him so good at it. He walked us through plays (both good and bad), talked about his glove, and gave the answer to what he'd tell a kid who wanted to play defense (and dance) like he does. (0:36) We then went around the majors with Ryan Spilborghs (@spillygoat19) of Root Sports Colorado and MLB Network radio. Ryan talked about the challenge of trying to hit in 2022, players and teams that intrigued him the most through a month and picked a "smartest player in baseball." (25:54). And then we dug a little deeper with SIS VP of Baseball Bobby Scales (@bobby_scales), discussing how infield shifts change how you coach baserunning, what we might see in a post-shifting world, and why Jason Krizan and Chris Coste are some of his favorite baseball stories. (41:52) Thank you for listening as always. Feel free to share your thoughts on the show by e-mailing
On this episode, Mark Simon is joined by new SIS VP of Baseball Bobby Scales. If the name sounds familiar, it should. Bobby played 2 seasons with the Cubs and worked in the front offices of the Pirates and the Angels. Bobby reminisces about his long pro career, which included 10 years in Triple-A and 2 years in Japan, telling stories of memorable moments and people (he thought he was being pranked after hitting his first home run … but a surprise awaited) (2:37). He also breaks down the duties and skills needed in the different front office jobs in which he worked – which include Director of Player Development, Special Assistant to the General Manager, and Field Coordinator (15:15). And he talks about something he’s passionate about – getting more Black men and women working in baseball front offices (30:45). Thank you for listening. Please send any feedback on the podcast to
On our 2022 MLB season debut we welcome Ken Rosenthal from FOX Sports and The Athletic and Braves 1B coach Eric Young Sr. Mark poses 10 questions to Ken, ranging from which team has the greatest potential variance in performance, sleeper Cy Young and MVP picks (people who never got a vote for that award) to the best defensive teams, to how rule changes are going to impact the game, and much more (0:48). Eric Young explains what goes into coaching the Braves outfield and baserunners, how he uses data in his job, and the most important thing to know about being a first base coach is (14:34). Thank you for listening. Please rate and review and send any feedback to
On this episode of the Sports Info Solutions Baseball Podcast, Mark Simon (@MarkASimonSays) is joined by Rockies infielder Ryan McMahon (@Ry_McMahon), who won Sports Info Solutions Defensive Player of the Month honors for May. McMahon is quick and to the point in discussing how he learned to play defense (1:07), his approach to playing defense (2:09), what he learns from watching other players (6:39), and why he was given a glove at birth (9:50). Mark and show producer Justin Stine (@j_stine31) then review the early-season Defensive Runs Saved leaderboard and point out improvements, surprises, and key players (15:47).
Former longtime MLB pitcher and current Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow gives our host, Mark Simon, a lesson on what to watch for in defensive play and pitching using the surprising Giants team as a model.Mike talked about the Giants overall strengths and put an emphasis on the catcher’s ability to manage the rhythm of a game. He also went pitcher-by-pitcher through the Giants’ surprises this season, explaining how tweaks can lead to success, with Kevin Gausman, Alex Wood, and Anthony DeSclafani as the examples, and the process that leads to such adjustments.To close, he talked about the many arm angles of the Padres pitching staff, and what a fan should watch the rest of the season regarding pitching in MLB (it wasn’t velocity).Thanks for listening as always. Stay safe and stay well. 
On this week’s episode Mark Simon talks to Cardinals second baseman and outfielder Tommy Edman and Red Sox beat writer Peter Abraham. Tommy talks about his family’s interest in baseball analytics (his father teaches math, his brother works for the Twins, his sister works for the Cardinals) and how data plays a role in how he plays (2:05). He also walks us through multiple good defensive plays he’s made this season, from diving stops against Trevor Story and Eugenio Suarez to crashing into the fence to take away an extra-base hit from Alec Bohm (9:59). He also talks about what he’s learned from watching his other Cardinals teammates, including new third baseman Nolan Arenado (15:51). Peter explains the stats behind the Red Sox success, ranging from J.D. Martinez’s offensive performance, to the improved pitching of Nick Pivetta and Matt Barnes, and quantifiable examples of how Alex Cora’s return benefited the team (21:05). He also gives his thoughts on the other AL East teams (31:03). Thank you for listening. Please rate and review the podcast if you can. Stay safe and stay well.
On this episode of the Sports Info Solutions Baseball Podcast, Mark Simon is joined by Royals center fielder Michael A. Taylor. They talk about his defensive approach, the value of having a catcher who can catch throws like Salvador Perez, some of Michael’s favorite defensive plays, and what he’s learned from past mistakes in the field (0:57). Mark also chats with Dr. Jason Themanson of Illinois Wesleyan University to learn the neuroscience behind the great catch that Mookie Betts made against the Padres (12:24). Thank you as always for listening. Go to for all the latest defensive stats. Stay safe and stay well.
On this episode, Mark Simon was joined by Chicago White Sox radio broadcaster Len Kasper and ESPN content producer Paul Hembekides. Len talked about his transition from Cubs TV to White Sox radio, what interested him most from an analytic perspective so far this season, both in the sport as a whole and for the White Sox. He also discussed Tony La Russa’s impact, Chicago’s potentially unique relief situation, what to make of Tim Anderson and José Abreu’s defensive numbers. Len closed by giving tips to get kids interested in analytic thinking and did an impersonation of Howard Cosell commenting on the analytic revolution.Hembo and Mark went back and forth trying to find meaning in some of the early-season stats and why right-handed pitching has been so dominant in 2021. Among the players to come up: Freddie Freeman, Frankie Montas, Evan Longoria, and Mark Melancon. They closed the show with a couple of trivia stumpers of an analytic nature. Thank you for listening. Please rate and review the podcast If you can. Stay safe and stay well. 
On this episode of the Sports Info Solutions Baseball podcast, Mark Simon (@markasimonsays) is joined by MLB Network analyst Cliff Floyd, ESPN Baseball Tonight host Karl Ravech, and New York Times national baseball writer James Wagner to answer some questions from Mark's baseball predictions game. Cliff Floyd breaks down 5 hitters - Fernando Tatis Jr., Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Pete Alonso, Lorenzo Cain, and Shohei Ohtani and assesses the most important thing to watch and what the future holds for each guy (1:09). Karl Ravech breaks down the 2 toughest divisions, shares what 2021 holds for superstars Juan Soto and Trevor Bauer, and gives a sleeper pick for the Cy Young who has not previously even gotten a Cy Young vote (13:23). James Wagner picks the 2 teams poised to overachieve the most, gives win total estimates for the 2 most polarizing teams, compares the Yankees postseason chances to those of the Brooklyn Nets and lets us know if baseball games will get any shorter in 2021 (spoiler: probably not) (20:53). Do you want to get an edge in fantasy baseball this season. Then check out The Bill James Handbook: Projections Update. This excel spreadsheet offers player projections for 2021. The projections are based on our exclusive formula and our playing time assessments. Purchase them here: Thanks for listening. Please rate and review the podcast if you have a chance. Stay safe and stay well.
In our second annual Women & Baseball episode, Mark Simon is joined by A’s minor league catching coach Veronica Alvarez (@veronicaoalvarez), FanGraphs prospects writer Tess Taruskin (@tesstass), and SIS research analyst Sarah Thompson (@sarah_stats). Veronica talks about her work with the A’s and as head coach for Team USA in women’s baseball. She explains how she works with prospects and what she values when it comes to different areas of catching. She also speaks to the rise of women coaches in MLB and the minor leagues (0:35). Tess Taruskin talks prospects – from Bobby Witt and Julio Rodriguez to the many catchers whom FanGraphs rates highly. She also talks about the challenges of projecting a player’s defensive performance and offers advice on breaking into prospect writing (16:10). Sarah discusses her recent presentation at the SABR Analytics coaches, a study of third base coach aggressiveness and effectiveness. She cites specific examples of teams and players who stood out in those regards (35:01). March is Women’s History Month and we’re happy to put a spotlight on women doing good work in the sport. Thank you for listening as always.
It’s Black History Month and for this episode, we talked to two people positively shaping the future of Black History in baseball: Twins manager of player development research Josh Ruffin and White Sox director of minor league operations, Jasmine Dunston. Josh is an SIS alum now working in baseball analytics. He talks about his career path, what he did for the Twins as an advance scouting analyst, and his new role analyzing the skills of the Twins minor league players (0:28). Jasmine talks about her new position with the White Sox, explains what a director of minor league operations does, and her career and educational background. She also talks about the influence of both her mom and her dad (former MLB shortstop and coach Shawon Dunston) on her career (23:29). Both Josh and Jasmine also speak about the lack of Black men and women in their fields and offered guidance to anyone looking to pursue a baseball operations career. -- MLB is seeking qualified candidates from underrepresented backgrounds interested in careers in baseball operations to participate in the SABR Analytics conference March 17-20 with MLB covering the conference costs. Undergrads, grads, and recent grads are eligible. For more information and to apply, click this link and if you’re interested in working for SIS (like Josh), check out our careers page.
On this episode, Mark Simon is joined by Jake Stone of Penn State University and the Simply Sabermetrics YouTube channel and NHL writer/tv analyst Alison Lukan to talk about baseball and hockey analytics education, respectively.Mark and Jake talk about Jake’s work with baseball analytics at Penn State and what he’s trying to do with his YouTube channel and a program created by SABR to give people access to an educational certification in the field. They walk through one video Jake did on Adam Wainwright and the process by which he goes about analyzing players (1:08).Mark and Alison talk about her work integrating analytics into writing and tv coverage of the Columbus Blue Jackets and now the Seattle Kraken for and Root Sports Northwest (here’s a recent example of her work). She explains what advanced statistics are available publicly, what’s on everyone’s wish list, how expected goal models work, and what makes quantifying defensive performance so challenging (15:11).Thank you for listening as always.
This is an encore edition of an interview we did last January. On Monday, the Yankees named Rachel Balkovec as the manager of the Class-A Tampa Tarpons minor league baseball team. She is the first woman to manage a minor league baseball team. On this episode of the Sports Info Solutions Baseball Podcast from January 2021, Mark Simon (@MarkASimonSays) was joined by Rachel (@_rachelbalkovec), who was in Australia working as a coach with the Sydney Blue Sox. Rachel talks about how she came to be coaching in Australia (1:46). She then addresses the progress that women have made in baseball and other sports and the challenges women face in light of the Mets firing of their GM (5:24). Rachel also talks about the way she connects with players (11:21), the hardest thing to coach athletes on (13:36), and what she studied when she worked with Driveline (14:51). She also speaks about her favorite mentoring story (20:43) and provides perspective on how she viewed 2020 (25:12). Thank you for listening. Please rate and review the podcast if you can. You can also find Rachel at or on Instagram at @Rachel.Balkovec
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