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Thursday Liftoff Links

While the Astros were getting off to a horrible start, I was putting these hope lifting links for your down in the dumps viewing pleasure.


The Draft

College Hitters for 2011 Draft, Part One - Minor League Ball
John Sickels begins his look at interesting college hitters for this years draft. You all know my favorite, Jackie Bradley Jr. and not surprising John talks about him. Although I was just informed by a co-worker that he's having some back issues. Something to keep an eye on.

Interesting College Hitters for 2011 Draft, Part Two - Minor League Ball
And part two of John Sickel's look at college hitters. Hometown favorite Anthony Rendon makes the list.

Prospect theory
This article from The Hardball Times takes a look an interesting look at the risk of drafting prospects as opposed to free agents and even the safer picks in the draft. I think many of you will find this applies to the Astros front office who has splurged in free agency will avoiding taking the riskier prospects. Richard Justice would cry Drew Stubbs name after reading this article.



The Minus Stats | FanGraphs Baseball
FanGraphs is adding even more stats to it's already expansive library of statistics. Not to worry it's not exactly brand new statistics. Instead these new stats should help ease people into the advanced statistics we use, and make them a little easier to understand.

Fluke Watch: first update of the regular season - Papelbon, Myers and Kershaw
Brett Myers among others get's a quick update on various pitchers' PITCHf/x results over the season's first few days.



Q&A: RedHawks shortstop Tommy Manzella |
This is a short interview, but it got me thinking about Ed Wade and some of the decisions he's made. I don't like that Barmes was traded for, especially having given up a relatively young arm to get him. I'm sure I'll love his defense, but it cost the Astros two prospects and money, Manzella being the second prospect. Maybe he wasn't much of prospect, but there still may be some quality there, and not finding out especially in a time of rebuilding is a misstep by the front office.