MASTER NOTES: April 2019 Quiz Time!

One month is in the fantasy books, so it’s our opportunity to let you take some time off from cursing your %^$#@! fantasy teams and have a little fun with the April Master Notes Quiz.

Here are the rules:

There are 20 questions: 10 about hitters, seven about starting pitchers and three about relievers. Every question is worth points, but how many points is entirely up to you.

Please phrase all your answers in the form of answers.

Corollary: If you are James Holzhauer, you can’t play.

Wagering on the results with your friends is allowed, but you must skim 20% of the total amount wagered and send it to me in cash.

Most importantly: If you think an answer is incorrect, make a careful note of both the question and the incorrect answer, as well as the correct answer and your source for the information. Enclose all of this in a full-size manila envelope, affix appropriate postage, and then keep it to yourself.

Ready? Let’s go...

Hitters

H1. Using BaseballHQ’s mixed 5x5 valuations, five of the top 10 batters by dollar value through April were eligible at OF, led by Cody Bellinger, at $58. The other five were eligible at SS. Only two of the top 10 were eligible at positions other than OF or SS. Who were they?

H2. In April, Joey Votto made news by popping up to first base for the first time in his career. Among hitters with 100 or more PA in April, which two hitters had the most infield pop-ups?

H3. MIA C Jorge Alfaro had 5 HR in April. There was something unmatched in the month about all them. What was it?

H4. SF OF Kevin Pillar did something odd four different times in April that allowed him to reach base without affecting his OBP. What did he do?

H5. Of all players with 6+ SB in April, three had no Caught Stealings. The top two thieves were Tim Anderson of CHW, who had 10 SB with no CS, and Jose Ramirez of CLE, who was 9-for-9. Who was the third?

H6. Speaking of CS, five baserunners were caught three times each in April. Bellinger, Billy Hamilton, Terrance Gore and Rougned Odor were four. Who was the fifth, and how was he different from everyone else in the group?

H7. Three hitters had 30 or more line drives in the month. Bellinger was one, leading the way with 33 LD. Hot-starting Domingo Santana had exactly 30. Which Astro also had 30 LD?

H8. Twenty-one hitters had two bunt hits in April, and two—Adam Eaton and Kolten Wong—had three apiece. Who led the majors with four bunt hits in April?

H9. Most leagues award position eligibility when a player gets five games in a position in a year. Six players got five games at three different positions in the month. Two of them were LA Dodgers. Who were they? Bonus points if you get all of the others as well.

H10. WAS SS callup Carter Kieboom had two runs scored and two RBI in April. What was unusual about that?

Starting Pitchers

SP1. Among the 86 starters who threw at least 500 pitches in the month, only one threw more than 70% strikes (called, foul and whiffed). Who was this rookie?

SP2. On the flip side, which SP with 500+ pitches had the lowest strike percentage?

SP3. Three SPs threw 700+ pitches in April. Astros’ SPs Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole tied for second with 717 each. Who led the majors in pitches?

SP4. Among the 19 SPs with 150+ Adjusted Batters Faced (Total BF less Catcher Interference and Bunts), who had the most Net Positive Ratio Outcomes: soft- and medium hit GB and FB plus strikeouts, less LD, hard-hit GB and FB, BB and HBP?

SP5. Among SPs with at least 100 AdjBF, three. all past Cy Young winners had K%-bb% of at least +30. Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer were second and third. Who led the way at +32?

SP6. With the explosion in HRs, high-FB pitchers have become players to avoid. And with BAL pitchers on pace to allow a record number of HRs, a lot of owners are avoiding them, too. But really, the pitchers to avoid are those who give up hard flyballs. Not surprisingly, a BAL starting pitcher led MLB in allowing HHFB%. Who?

SP7. The four wins leaders in April, with 5 each, have something in common that would leave them later in a list than four-win starters Jake Arrieta, Trevor Bauer, Jose Berrios, Andrew Cashner and Yonny Chirinos, but ahead of four-win starters Frankie Montas and Justin Verlander. What do the five-win starters have in common, and how is the list sorted?

Relief Pitchers

RP1. Keone Kela, Wily Peralta and Joe Kelly were April’s top three in what relief-pitching category?

RP2. Josh Hader led all RPs with 31 Ks in April (more than 126 starters). Who numbers two and four on the RP K list came from the NL East. Who were they?

RP3. Seventeen relievers logged more than five saves apiece. Only one had single-digit Ks. Who?

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ANSWERS

Hitters

H1. The multi-eligible top-10 value hitters were Javier Baez of CHC, a $31 value so far, who is eligible at 2B, 3B and SS, and Bellinger, who is also eligible at 1B as well as OF.

H2. The anti-Vottos in April were PHI 3B Maikel Franco and LAA DH Albert Pujols, with nine pop-ups apiece. Close behind at eight were Jose Altuve, Adam Jones and Jurickson Profar. Nineteen hitters had at least 100 PA with no pop-ups.

H3. According to Baseball Info Solutions data, all five of Alfaro’s dingers were hit to the opposite field. He was the only hitter with 5+ HRs who went oppo every time. Tommy Pham was 4-for-4 in oppo HRs in April.

H4. Pillar reached base four times via catcher interference. Only four other players had even one CI call in the month. Catcher Interference counts as an official PA but is excluded from both the numerator and the denominator in OBP calculations.

H5. The third perfect stealer was MIL all-rounder Christian Yelich, who went 6-for-6 in April.

H6. Jeff McNeil of NYM also had 3 CS in April. The difference was that he had no SB—he went 0-for-3 in attempts. Red light!

H7. Did you guess George Springer? Jose Altuve? Alex Bregman? Nope, nope and nope. The other line-drive machine in April was the Astros’ Yuli Gurriel, whose 30 LDs produced 18 hits, a 60% hit rate.

H8. The small-ball specialist was WAS OF Victor Robles, with four bunt hits in seven tries.

H9. The flexible Dodgers were Max Muncy, who played 20 games at 1B, eight at 2B, and seven at 3B; and Chris Taylor, who played seven at 2B, eight at SS and 17 at OF. The other batters with 5+ games at three positions in April were Jeff McNeil of NYM (2B, 3B, OF), Daniel Robertson of TAM (2B, 3B, SS), David Fletcher of LAA (2B, 3B, OF), and Chris Owings of KC (2B, SS, OF).

H10. Kieboom got his entire run production for the month from two solo HRs. Ian Kinsler of SD also got all two of his RBIs on solo shots, but he also scored five other runs. Kevin Plawecki, Greg Bird, Chad Wallach, JaCoby Jones, Steve Wilkerson and Troy Tulowitzki all had one HR and one RBI, and Tulo’s lone run scored from his dinger.

Starting Pitchers

SP1. The strike-thrower par excellence was Chris Paddack of SD. He threw 516 pitches in April, of which 366 (70.9%) were strikes and 150 were balls. If we use rounding, both Max Scherzer and Marco Gonzales (both at 69.9%) were in the 70% club as well. The median was 63.8%, which is Zack Wheeler/Jonathan Gray/Jose Quintana territory.

SP2. The wildest of the wild bunch was Brad Keller of KC, who threw fewer than 57% of his pitches for strikes. Six other starters were under 60%: Jhoulys Chacin (58.8%), Luis Castillo (59.3%), Robbie Ray (59.4%), Zack Godley (59.5%), Julio Teheran (59.7%), Adam Wainwright (59.8%) and Aaron Sanchez (59.9%)

SP3. The workhorse was CLE’s Trevor Bauer, who fired 795 pitches in April, 61.6% for strikes.

SP4. The most efficient starter at getting Positive Ratio Outcomes was Stephen Strasburg of WAS, with 73% positive outcomes against 27% negative outcomes, for a Net PRO of +45. The high-volume stinkers were Lance Lynn and Mike Leake, both at 10% Net PRO.

SP5. The leader in K%-bb% was last year’s AL Cy winner, Blake Snell, with 38% strikeouts and 6% walks. If you were wondering, deGrom had the highest K%, at 39%, with Gerrit Cole and Snell one point back at 38% The lowest walk rate among these higher-volume starters belonged to Hyun-Jin Ryu of LA, who walked just 2% of his 107 AdjBF.

SP6. The BAL starter with the high HHFB% is David Hess at 19% of AdjBF, followed by Chris Archer (17%), Marco Estrada (16%) and still another Oriole, Andrew Cashner (16%).

SP7. The list is sorted alphabetically by surname, and all four of the five-win starters’ surnames begin with the letter “G”: Domingo German, Tyler Glasnow, Marco Gonzales and Zack Greinke.

Relief Pitchers

RP1. Kela blew four saves in April, one more than Peralta and Kelly.

RP2. Nick Anderson of MIA was #2 on the list of RP K leaders with 27 punchouts, while Seth Lugo of NYM was fourth with 24. In between was SD closer Kirby Yates, with 25.

RP3. Blake Parker of MIN had 6 saves with only 8 Ks.


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  For more information about the terms used in this article, see our Glossary Primer.