January 17, 2021

Tyler Duffey as Object Lesson (FanGraphs)

As Pablo Picasso once said, “Good artists copy. Great artists steal.” Why start the article with that quote? To paraphrase my junior year English teacher Ms. Woods, “Ben, Advanced Placement readers expect essays that start with a quote, so it’s a safe way to start even if you think it’s trite.” Now, this isn’t an AP essay, but it is an article about how to write an article, so I feel comfortable getting a little bit more meta than usual.

It’s also, to be clear, still an article about baseball! More specifically, it’s about Tyler Duffey. He’s “breaking out” this year, in that he’s faced 16 batters and struck out 10 of them. That sample size? It’s too small to really say anything. Take a look at our handy sample size tool, and you’ll realize it in no time. And yet, we write these articles. Maybe it’s this piece on Chaz Roe, or this one on Tommy Kahnle getting good, or this one on Nick Anderson striking everybody out — over the years, they’ve become FanGraphs staples. How?

Here’s the secret: we’re not confining ourselves to that one sample. Sometimes, the pitcher was already good. Sometimes they had some good points and some bad points,…

Read “Tyler Duffey as Object Lesson” at FanGraphs