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Saturday Liftoff Links

Group hug.
Group hug.

While the Astros were calling up a new catcher, I was putting together these crunch worthy links for your viewing pleasure.



The underappreciated Bud Norris
The Hardball Times compares Bud Norris and Brandon Morrow, and gives some tips to you fantasy owners. May not do you much good if you play in a league with other Astro fans but still worth the read.

Bourn To Run Toward Big Contract? | FanGraphs Baseball
A break down on Michael Bourn's value and whether or not he can get a big contract in his upcoming free agency. One of the drums I will bang is that the Astros should keep Bourn. He's one of the few that does a very good job in MMP vast centerfield, but the other thing this article points out is that Bourn even with Boras can be had for a below market value contract which is what any team should be looking for.

Ultimate Astros » Castro Embraces Unplanned Learning Opportunity
Mike Tauser checks in with Jason Castro about how his rehabilitation is going and what's he's doing even though he can't get between the lines.


The Draft

2011 Baseball Draft Notes: Five Middle Infielders - Minor League Ball
John Sickels. Draft. What else do you want?

Draft '11: Basic Mechanics | Perfect Game USA
Perfect Game USA is devoted to furthering the development and career of the talented high school baseball players. The most respected scouting service in the industry.

The 2011 First-Year Player Draft will feature a plethora of quality college pitchers | News
Collegians Gerrit Cole, Danny Hultzen and Trevor Bauer are among the best pitchers. Jonathan Mayo looks at the pitching in this years draft.


The Rest of Baseball

Demystifying When a Sellout Isn’t a Sellout, and Ticket-Selling Tricks of the Trade
A really good breakdown on the inner workings of attendance numbers.

Do Hot Teams Perform Better in the Playoffs? - Beyond the Box Score
Do the World Series winners perform better in September than the other playoff teams? Is it better to be hot or to of never of been hot at all. That is the question.