(*) RE-WATCH 2019: An Introduction

It’s a Re-Watch reboot.

A little over five years ago, in the 2014-15 offseason, we had an idea to pass the time in between the World Series and Pitchers and Catchers. If you were a subscriber back then, you might remember we called it the 2014 Re-Watch Project. 

Or, you might not. Like many good ideas, we overestimated our ability to complete the whole thing; the increasing demands of our other content looking forward to 2015 relegated the Re-Watch to only five columns—or, one-third of our goal. But make no mistake, they were fun pieces to put together, the reader comments indicated they were both insightful and entertaining, and re-visiting them recently, there were some interesting observations there that held up. (If you’re curious about Phase One, you can find the introduction and links to the game stories here.)

So when the events of the past several weeks left us (like everyone else) scrambling a bit to adapt to this new, and very uncertain, reality, the Re-Watch Project popped back into our consciousness. Now, with time to kill and us all looking for different ways to (hopefully) prepare us for the 2020 season, could we re-boot this idea? What you’re reading is obviously the answer to that question. Yes, we are going to fire up MLB.tv yet again and forge ahead with the 2019 Re-Watch Project.

Okay … so now that we’ve left behind any new subscribers, those of us who weren’t plugged into Re-Watch in December and January five years go, and/or inquisitive visitors, let’s back up and explain what the Re-Watch Project entails (much of the following is adapted from the link above).

It goes without saying that there's a lot of baseball that goes on during the regular season—2,430 separate games, in fact. Obviously, looked from a individual player level—our primary interest as fantasy baseball participants—that's a season full of ups and downs, breakouts and disappointments, unexpected developments and even mundane performances. Sure, we catch a lot of it as it happens via in-season highlight shows, year-to-date statistics, and extensive second-level analysis as you find here on BaseballHQ.com. But the sheer volume of games almost ensures some circumstances get forgotten or even overlooked, especially by this time of the year (and now especially, with a partial spring training in between). The Re-Watch Project will attempt to highlight some of those in-game moments that may give some insight into both a player's 2019 season and the season to come—which we’re still holding out hope is 2020.  

Our method will be to access the MLB.tv library of the 2019 season to view random individual games from beginning to end. Rather than re-create the game story, each installment will highlight a few notable player performances with a fanalytic twist. 

Sometimes, it might be an analysis of a pitcher's (successful or unsuccessful) game plan. Other times, we might use one at-bat as a jumping-off point to look further into a specific skill that the player displayed over the course of last season. Some of these observations will have a scouting feel. Others will dig into the numbers, at times using the voluminous amount of tools both there an in other places to analyze player performance. In each article, we will categorize a handful of these into "Fanalytic Storylines," with an eye on what this game, or larger season, might tell us about that player's future performance.

Of course, context is essential in every case. But unlike watching a live game, we now know how the rest of the season unfolded, both for the player and the team, which gives a unique perspective as we look back.  By combining a one-game snapshot with our end-of-season knowledge, we hope to stay away from rash small-sample size judgements and provide a unique perspective to help you prepare for 2020.

The approach will be re-watch and discuss 15 random MLB games from 2019—the first article will appear on Thursday, April 2, and then two per week (Tuesdays and Thursdays) through May 21. The individual games have been selected totally at random, so we don’t know the outcome—or the individual player performances—in any one of these contests ahead of time. The idea is that any one game—even Ervin Santana vs. Heath Fillmyer (April 15 in CHW, for those interested)—has multiple touchpoints for analysis. 

And for these 15 games, we’ll “cover” each MLB team exactly once, in essence making one full trip around the league. For an example, click through to any of the five games we covered from 2014 at the bottom of this page (the same link as above) to see the type of articles that will appear. 

As we go through this series, we encourage reader participation in the comments section of each article; fans or close watchers of a team may have additional insights or counterpoints to add to our analysis. Even better is that MLB has opened up the MLB.tv archives for both 2018 and 2019 during this suspension of the baseball season to all for view. So even if you’re not an MLB.tv subscriber, you’ll still be able to watch the games along with us. (Start on this page; then use the calendar to scroll back through to the date of the game, and pick it out from the list.) For that purpose, we’ve included the entire Re-Watch schedule below, and will tweet out the game details a day or so before the article will run. So if you like, you can also watch the game ahead of time, and we all can compare notes when the articles run. This list will also serve as our archive page where we’ll place links to the individual articles, and subscribers will have links to the entire set below. 

So let's get started and learn some stuff here during this unplanned MLB hiatus. The (2019) games are waiting.


Links to this series (updated as they publish):

Game 1: St. Louis at Miami, June 10, 2019 FREE
Game 2: Baltimore at New York Yankees, March 31, 2019
Game 3: Milwaukee at New York Mets, April 27, 2019
Game 4: Washington at Atlanta, July 19, 2019
Game 5: Kansas City at Toronto, July 1, 2019
Game 6: Colorado at Philadelphia, May 18, 2019
Game 7: Seattle at Oakland, June 15, 2019
Game 8: Detroit at Tampa Bay, August 18, 2019
Game 9: Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego, September 24, 2019
Game 10: Cleveland at Chicago White Sox, June 2, 2019
Game 11: Pittsburgh at Chicago Cubs, April 8, 2019
Game 12: Texas at Los Angeles Angels, May 24, 2019
Game 13: San Francisco at Boston, September 18, 2019
Game 14: Cincinnati at Arizona, September 14, 2019
Game 15: Houston at Minnesota, May 2, 2019


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