Did you know that...

Brunei versus Australia

-There is a sport called Sepak Takraw (pictured) which has players flying through the air kicking balls, which are not volleyballs in a sport otherwise resembling volleyball a whole lot? According to Wikipedia, it's somewhat popular in Canada.

-While that was a totally random fact, it actually did inspire me to do this otherwise very baseball-related piece?

-Jeff Mathis has the longest home run hit this year at Rogers Centre? At least, that is what Hit Tracker claims. Unsurprisingly, Jose Bautista has the hardest hit home run of all bombs at the former SkyDome. More surprisingly, Yan Gomes comes in second despite having only a handful of starts to his name.

-An impressive but incomplete list of hitters who have not hit a bomb as hard as Yan Gomes has, with his very first in MLB, in the past two years could include Adam Dunn, Edwin Encarnacion, David Ortiz, Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun, Matt Holliday, Miguel Cabrera and Albert Pujols?

-This does not make one an immediate Blue Jays fan favorite? Juan Rivera hit an even harder bomb, and I'm pretty sure the "garden gnome" never became a fan favorite. Other not so good players who have hit harder bombs than Gomes are Wily Mo Pena, Juan Francisco and Brandon Allen. Most players with this kind of power are pretty good, though.

-Even if Gomes' poor eye at the plate could make him more Juan Francisco than Mark Trumbo, the fact he has this kind of power, and plays third base and catcher, should make him somewhat more interesting than previously thought?

-Out of 172 starting pitchers with at least 150 innings in the 2010-2012 period, Kyle Drabek has been the worst at throwing in the zone by a comfortable margin? Fangraphs says so, anyway.

-Out of the same 172, Henderson Alvarez is 8th in percentage of fastballs thrown? Only Bartolo Colon, Justin Masterson, Aaron Cook, Zach Britton, David Price, Wade Davis and Scott Kazmir have been more fond of the hard stuff. Apart from David Price, the list isn't very impressive.

-Out of 135 starters to have thrown at least 50 innings this year, Drew Hutchison trailed only Colon and Masterson in percentage of heaters thrown?

-Out of 163 qualified batters, Jose Bautista has been the best at hitting sliders according to Fangraphs' pitch values? Edwin Encarnacion has been the 8th best at hitting fastballs according to those pitch values.

-Jeff Mathis once hit .323/.384/.500 in the high-A California League as a 20-year old?

-Travis d'Arnaud's current .336/.383/.602 line comfortably beats Mathis' .278/.342/.502 line in the latter's first, and best, season in the PCL?

-Jeff Mathis' walk rate in that season, which was 8.8%, beats d'Arnaud's walk rate in each of Travis' past four seasons? Mathis is not known for drawing walks, not by any stretch of the imagination.

-Jeff Mathis' strikeout rate in that season, which was 17.6%, was better than d'Arnaud's current rate of 18.8%? Mathis is not known for being good at avoiding strikeouts.

-Adam Lind is hitting .395/.451/.669 in Vegas? He has 142 plate appearances there this year, more than the 132 he's had in Toronto.

-Adam Lind's walk rate is exactly the same in Vegas as it was in Toronto? And that his strikeout rate is 0.1% higher in Vegas? Travis Snider has better rates with similar power but a lower BABIP.

-Noah Syndergaard allowed only one hit and no walks in 5 innings yesterday, striking out seven?

-Syndergaard has been better against lefties than against righties?

-In 3 Bluefield games Matt Dean has hit .333/.500/.778, which is totally sustainable?

-Dalton Pompey, BBB's 50th ranked prospect (despite Tom's doubts), is hitting .303/.452/.455 with 3 steals and no caught stealings in 10 games? Pompey is very speedy and plays center field.

-D.J. Davis, meanwhile, has struck out 11 times in 24 at bats, with just one walk? That's very bad, but Davis has yet to go through fall instructional league and extended spring training, so rawness is to be expected.

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