Image credit: wordclouds.com
Nearly a decade ago in this space I published a piece entitled “
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.
Thank you for reading
This is a free article. If you enjoyed it, consider subscribing to Baseball Prospectus. Subscriptions support ongoing public baseball research and analysis in an increasingly proprietary environment.