BP Annual Comment Word Clouds Part 2 (www.baseballprospectus.com)

Image credit: wordclouds.com

Nearly a decade ago in this space I published a piece entitled “

” which purported to cast the careers of five then-active players into verse. To do this I leveraged what remains my favorite feature of the BP site—the chronological listing of all BP Annual comments on every player page—by cribbing a few words or phrases from each year’s comment for a player and mashing them together into something that, if you squinted, might resemble a poem. It was fun to do and provided an interesting perspective on how our authors viewed players during the meandering course of their careers.

With the arrival of the 2021 BP Annual on the horizon I thought it might be fun to revisit that idea, but with a twist. Rather than create poems, which in the shadow of Amanda Gorman’s recent star turn would feel trite and empty, I’ve turned instead to that most-used and least-useful feature of every marketing department’s data visualization toolkit: the word cloud. For ten players, I’ve fed the text of every one of their comments (after removing their names, of course) into the free word cloud generator at wordclouds.com, chosen a shape from their shape library and saved the results. In some cases it’s easy to guess the player, but the result is interesting in that it highlights what our authors have obsessed over when writing about that player; others are harder to guess. I myself enjoyed going back to the original comments to satisfy my curiosity as to why on earth some seemingly random reference appeared in a player’s cloud.

Five of these, including a few of the easiest ones to guess, are shown below; five more will be run in the near future. Answers can be found at the bottom of this article after some spoiler-thwarting blank space. Enjoy!

Part 1 posted yesterday.

1.

2. 3.4.5.


1 – Jurickson Profar
2 – Tyler Clippard
3 – Johnny Cueto
4 – Michael Kopech
5 – Freddy Galvis

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