Daily Duce: FanGraphs’ ZiPS projections, Scott Boras on the Blue Jays off-season, and more!

Daily?!?!?!

A few weeks ago, FanGraphs released its Steamer projections, which featured a whole bunch of numbers to get optimistic about when it comes to the Blue Jays. Earlier this week, FanGraphs dropped more numbers, as Dan Szymborsk’s ZiPS projections came out.
Here’s what ZiPS is saying about the 2021 Blue Jays…

For those who don’t know, ZiPS uses statistics from the past four seasons (with more recent seasons being weighted heavier) coupled with things like ageing trends and injuries in order to project what a player’s statistics are going to look like. ZiPS, like Steamer, isn’t an exact science, but it’s widely regarded as one of the most accurate predictors in the industry.
Anyways! ZiPS, much like Steamer, is excited about the 2021 Blue Jays.
It’s projecting that the team will have 11 (!!!) players produce an OPS+ of 100 or greater. ZiPS is really into both Teoscar Hernandez (121 OPS+) and Rowdy Tellez’s (119 OPS+) breakout showings from 2020 but it isn’t as excited about Vlad Jr. as Steamer was. Still, the 124 OPS+ ZiPS projects for Vlad would be a welcomed showing. ZiPS is also probably the only place you’ll find Derek Fisher optimism. It says …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors: 3 Free Agent shooting guards that could replace Terence Davis

Toronto Raptors: 3 Free Agent shooting guards that could replace Terence Davis

After the news that was released about Toronto Raptors rookie Terence Davis, it has raised a lot of eyebrows as well as a lot of questions. After what happened with Toronto Raptors rookie Terence Davis people are now left wondering if the Raptors will indeed walk away from Davis or somehow decide to bring him […]
Toronto Raptors: 3 Free Agent shooting guards that could replace Terence Davis – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Joseph Zita / Raptors HQ

Charlie Montoyo is probably the Blue Jays’ best bet to win a major award this year

The Gold Glove finalists were released yesterday so it’s time to start thinking about Awards Season.

Lourdes Gurriel was the only Blue Jay nominated for a Gold Glove, which isn’t particularly surprising given the fact that the team wasn’t exactly, ya know, good on the defensive side of the game.
As I mentioned yesterday, Gurriel is a bit of a headscratcher for a Gold Glove but so are many, many other selections. Managers had to vote on the top fielders in their respective leagues even though they didn’t get to see two-thirds of the teams this season. As a result, a player like Gurriel who makes highlight-reel grabs and guns guys out at home will warrant attention.
Will Gurriel win the Gold Glove? Probably not. Kyle Tucker has the best defensive metrics of the three while Alex Gordon is the nice, easy, lazy choice because he’s already won seven times. I imagine a few managers just said fuck it and made Gordon their pick because of his history.
Anyways, are there any other Blue Jays who could take home a major award this season? For major awards, I’m talking Most Valuable Player, Rookie of …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

NHL “postpones” the Winter Classic and All-Star weekend, but still targets January as the start for the season

The NHL released a statement earlier today addressing the fact that the 2021 season would not feature two of it’s signature events…
NEW YORK (Oct. 22, 2020) — The National Hockey League today announced the postponements of the 2021 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic and 2021 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend.
The 2021 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, featuring the Minnesota Wild facing the St. Louis Blues at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minn., was originally scheduled for Jan. 1, 2021. The Florida Panthers were to host the 2021 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla., originally scheduled for Jan. 29-30, 2021. Both events have been postponed due to the ongoing uncertainty resulting from the coronavirus. The League intends to return to both Minnesota and Florida for these signature events in the near future.
“Fan participation, both in arenas and stadiums as well as in the ancillary venues and events that we stage around the Winter Classic and All-Star Weekend, is integral to the success of our signature events,” said NHL Senior Executive Vice President & Chief Content Officer Steve Mayer. “Because of the uncertainty as to when we will be able to welcome our fans back to our games, we felt that the prudent decision at this time …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Baseball America has the Blue Jays ranked as their No. 4 farm system

Baseball America has released its mid-season farm system rankings, although we aren’t really at the mid-season point. It’s basically a re-shuffle of systems based on how teams have done at the draft, given the fact there hasn’t been any minor-league ball to follow this summer.

NEW FARM SYSTEM RANKINGS
We have re-ranked every system now that we’re midway through 2020.
Here are the five most talented systems:
1. Rays2. Padres3. Mariners4. Blue Jays5. Dodgers
Full list https://t.co/XAQ6HGyTH1 pic.twitter.com/HR2LV59cyy
— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) August 12, 2020

The Blue Jays, who ranked No. 6 coming into the 2020 season, have jumped up to No. 4.
The big reason for this jump, of course, is the fact the Jays added Austin Martin, arguably the second-best prospect, at the draft this summer. Baseball America is very hyped on Martin, as they have him ranked as the No. 16 prospect in all of baseball despite the fact he hasn’t played a professional game yet.
Martin is one of four players who cracked BA’s most recent Top-100 list, along with Nate Pearson, who was ranked No. 7, and Jordan Groshans and Simeon Woods Richardson, …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Leafs to get prime time slot for qualifying games

On Friday, the NHL released it’s schedule for the qualifying round, and today we got a potential update for the schedule with some tentative start times.

Tentative game schedule and times for the first 5 days of the NHL’s return to play and Stanley Cup Qualifiers – no TV listings have been released yet. ( – @NoVa_Caps via NHL API) pic.twitter.com/trAjNjN27q
— NHL News (@puck_report2) July 12, 2020

To the surprise of nobody, it looks like the Leafs will be getting the prime time slots for game times during the qualifying round. It makes sense, considering that the Leafs tend to get that slot on Saturdays due to the size of the fanbase, even when they’re playing in a different time zone.
There are a couple other interesting things to point out with this schedule. First, it seems like most of the Canadian teams are getting similar prime time slots when possible, specifically Montreal because they’re the only other Eastern Canadian team in the playoffs. Otherwise, Edmonton, Calgary, and Winnipeg are rotating their prime time slots around, while Vancouver is consistently getting that time slot.
One thing that surprised me …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

NHL releases its phased return to sport protocol

The National Hockey league has released its phased return to play protocols breaking down much of the information about getting hockey back to action.

Over the weekend, the NHLPA voted in favour of moving forward with a plan that would feature a 24-team format including play-in games.
The league has since made those details public. It walks through many of the steps and procedures the league and its teams will need to follow to bring hockey back to action in its phase two plan. Included are many of the details that include:

General Description
Travel to the Club’s Home City
Testing for Infection and Antibodies
Temperature/Symptom Check
Education Session
Pre-Participation Medical Evaluation
Symptomatic Persons During Phase 2
Permitted Activities
Permitted Personnel
Social Distancing, PPE, and Other Safety Measures
Personal Safety Precautions
Cleaning and Disinfecting
Activities Outside of Club Facilities
Club Facilities
Club Facility Hygiene

You can take a look at the full protocol here.
On Twitter: @zjlaing

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Author: Zach Laing / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: ESPN ranks Kawhi Leonard 25th All-Time

ESPN released their All-time list and ranked Kawhi Leonard 25th. Much of the reason he ranks so highly is because of his time with the Toronto Raptors and what the has done for the city. Every year there is a new list determining who the best NBA players are. Whether it is all time or […]
Toronto Raptors: ESPN ranks Kawhi Leonard 25th All-Time – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Alexandro Fidanza / Raptors HQ

Digging into Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s defensive struggles

Earlier this week, MLB Statcast released its Infield Outs Above Average Leaderboard, and along with it, a treasure chest of defensive metrics. If you scroll to the end of the page, you’ll find one name at the very bottom of the list: Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
In his first full season at third base, Vladdy ranked 217th of 217 qualified infielders under the Outs Above Average metric with -16. Conversely, the gold standard at third base is someone like Nolan Arenado, who was worth +17 OAA at third base in 2019.
Not only did Guerrero struggle at the plate this past season, he also had difficulty fielding his position at third base. Conventional defensive metrics uncovered his issues at third base, and this new Outs Above Average metric and Defensive Runs Saved painted a similar picture for Vladdy at the hot corner in 2019.
Where it gets really interesting is when you delve into each player’s individual Statcast defense (like Guerrero’s for example).

Guerrero’s arm has never been the issue, and anecdotally, I attributed his defensive struggles to a lack of range at third base. Of his 17 errors in 2019, only four were throwing errors; the other 14 were …

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Author: Ian Hunter / Blue Jays Nation

Did ESPN rank the Toronto Raptors correctly in their top 100?

For the 9th straight season, ESPN.com has released its annual Top 100 NBA Players. This year four Toronto Raptors players made the cut. Did they deserve the ranking they received? Ranking players in any sport, let alone the NBA, will always be subjective. With so many varying opinions, the order will always be unpredictable, making […]
Did ESPN rank the Toronto Raptors correctly in their top 100? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Aditya Chandran / Raptors HQ