Latest Entries »

Power Rankings 4/19

When I do these power rankings, I will not look at the way the team finished in 2011. I won’t look at how the team is suppose to be in 2012. I look at honestly how I feel each team is playing. Simply through pitching, hitting, and other basic things that winning teams should be doing in order to win.

 

1

Washington Nationals (10-3)

Call me what you want, this team right now has it all. They are hitting, pitching, and coming up big in big situations.

2

Texas Rangers (10-2)

Best lineup in baseball. Pitching not as good as Washington’s but it almost doesn’t matter, their starters are 8-0.

3

Los Angeles Dodgers (9-3)

Andre Either and Matt Kemp are becoming the best 1-2 punch in the league. Oh, Clayton Kershaw is good too. View full article »

Derek Jeter cannot be contained. He is on fire since his career milestone.

It’s early in this 2012 season. So early that for all we know the MVP of either league may be batting under .200 right now. The Cy Young in either league may not have a win. Even the World Series champ could be under .500. But what Derek Jeter has done in this premature season thus far cannot go without notice.

Remember the long wait and drama he went through last season trying to get his 3,000th hit? How can you forget. He was sitting a few hits away when he started to slump. Then he got hurt and had a DL stint. You couldn’t tell me with a straight face that he, more than anybody, wanted to get that milestone over with. Well how else would The Captain get a monkey off his back, then with a solo shot over the left-center field wall.

A friend of mine, Kevin Jones, of WUSA-CBS affiliate in Washington DC, pointed out to me that he is batting .340 since he got to 3,000. He has done nothing but carried his momentum over to the 2012 season. He is batting .389 with 4 homers and 10 RBI, and still one of the better fielding shortstops in the league.

The career .313 hitter has 5 World Series titles to go along with: 12 all star games, 5 gold gloves, 4 silver sluggers, and has the most hits as any active player, as well as any Yankee EVER. But one award Derek Jeter doesn’t have is an AL MVP. In his prime there was the great crew of short stops in the AL. Alex Rodriguez, in Texas, Nomar Garciaparra, in Boston, and Miguel Tejada, in Oakland, along with Jeter, always battled it out for MVPs and many other awards. Jeter, while being maybe more effective than any of the others, always came up short.

He has always wanted to win before any personal accolades. But, if you think for one second, especially after watching him so far in this season, that he doesn’t stare at that empty spot in his trophy case, you are bananas. And if he keeps playing the way he is playing, being by far the best player on maybe the best team in baseball, he will get his first MVP at an astounding 37 years young.

New Pitcher Ranking System

Baseball is the sport of statistics. There is a stat for every play. Literally. The back of baseball cards don’t even do justice for what each player really has when it comes to stats. One thing you don’t find too much of is a rating system. Until now.

Pitchers stats can get complicated. You really can’t compare pitchers to each other because of the different stats they accumulate. Someone could have 20 wins in a season with a 3.50 ERA, but someone else could have a 2.05 ERA and win maybe 12 games. Well, how do you compare the two. Can’t fault the low ERA guy for being on a team with tough run support.

I developed a rating system, somewhat like the RPI rankings in NCAA Basketball. I incorporated the stats, that to me, are the most important you would want in a pitcher every time he steps out onto the mound.  View full article »

Week 2 AL Lineup Card

Derek Jeter is leading the Yankees as of now.

Week 2 American League Lineup Card

P – Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers (0-1 – 14 Ks – 2.20 ERA)

He had one inning where he gave up four runs. Thats all he’s given up. Still the man. View full article »

Easiest pick by far. He is proving that he should have won MVP last year.

Week 2 National League Lineup Card

P – Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies (2-0 – 8 Ks – 0.60 ERA)

No change here thus far. Names to look-out for are Stephan Strasburg, Johan Santana, and Chad Billingsley View full article »

What the Nationals are Missing

Ryan Zimmerman hasn't yet been "that guy" for the Nationals.

Going into the 2012 season, the Washington Nationals may have been one of the more optimistic teams across the league. After having a better than usual year in 2011, they hope to surpass a feat they have yet to grasp: go over the .500 mark at the end of the year. I, for one, have jumped on the bandwagon. But as the first week comes to a close, I begin to ask myself, who is the best player on this team?

The team has veteran manager Davey Johnson for a full season and brings back a ton of breakout stars from the previous year.

First basemen, Michael Morse, was the backbone of their lineup (.303 – 31 – 95). Danny Espinosa was a standout rookie 2nd basemen, who finished sixth in Rookie of the Year voting. He definitely needs to get his average up (.236 in 2011) but has the potential to be an all-star in the near-future. If Morse can continue to have stats like that in 2012 it’s a no-brainer he is my choice. But, now being out likely until June, the question is still up in the air.

After signing their first ever draft pick, Ryan Zimmerman, to a long term deal, him and Jayson Werth are now the two $100 million men in the organization. But, I do have to say, neither of these two are my pick.

Zimmerman is, to me, the Derek Jeter of this club. Not to say he has the accolades to be on Jeter’s level, but he isn’t their best player, but he may mean more to the franchise and the city than anyone else on the roster.

Everyone in baseball is excited about the return of Stephen Strasburg and the arrival of phenom Bryce Harper. Strasburg may be the best pitcher on the team but I am looking for that guy in the lineup that stands out from everyone else. Harper can without a doubt be that guy, but like Morse he may not even be on the roster until June. So neither of these two either.

As for their roller coaster of a ride shortstop, Ian Desmond, approached the 2012 season, fans in DC have no idea what to expect out of him. His fielding has been awful at big moments and he has yet to find his way as the leadoff hitter. Fans were looking for that .300 batting average guy with some speed to kick things off at the beginning of each game. They didn’t get Jose Reyes, so Desmond is their guy. But already Desmond is off to a huge start. He is batting .406 and hasn’t committed an error yet in the season. He isn’t my choice either, but he is making a case in this premature season.

So the Nationals have a solid lineup, great pitching staff, good bullpen, and their prospects are some of the best in baseball. They have everything you would want in a team to reach the top. But one thing they don’t have is that one guy. That one guy who you would want more than anyone to be at the plate in a big time situation.

Can Ryan Zimmerman finally be that guy? Can Ian Desmond stay at this level all year? Can Jayson Werth back up that heavy contract? What will Morse and Harper bring to this lineup when they are both finally playing? Who ever it is, the Nationals need someone to maneuver themselves from the good teams to the great teams.

My decision for third base may surprise you but hear me out.

As we go into the 2012 Season. I take a look at the best players at each position in the American League. Post comments below please.

P – Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers

He won MVP and Cy Young last year…shall I continue??

C – Mike Napoli, Texas Rangers

Still waiting on Joe Mauer  to come back but in the meantime, Napoli with 30 HRs and batted well over .300 last year. He is the man on top.

1B – Albert Pujols, Los Angeles Angels

American League first basemen are crazy good. Take your pick really between Pujols, Mark Texiera, Adrian Gonzalez, and Prince Fielder. Question is how can all these guys make the All-Star game?

2B – Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox

Listen, Robinson Cano could easily be here, I know this. But, I have said for years that Pedroia may be the best fielding INFIELDER in the game of baseball.

3B – Adrian Beltre, Texas Rangers

This, like first base, can be interchangeable all year. Fact of the matter is that Beltre is absolutely dirty with his mitt and continues to be consistent with his bat. Him and Miguel Cabrera have almost identical hitting stats and I’d take Beltre’s fielding over any third basemen in baseball.

SS – Elvis Andrus, Texas Rangers

Now for the third Ranger on this list. But its only because AL shortstops are the worst of any position in baseball. Cue in the second worst….

LF – Alex Gordon, Kansas City Royals

You don’t like this pick? Give me your best option. Brett Gardner? Carl Crawford? Meh.

CF – Jacoby Ellsbury, Boston Red Sox

Just like the NL center fielder, Ellsbury was my pick for MVP. Can he back up 2011 with 2012 though?

RF – Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays

Quite simply may be the one spot all year that doesn’t change. He is a great fielder with a great arm and an even better bat.

National League

* = World Series Winner

East Central West Wild Card Wild Card World Series
 Chris
MVP: Joey Votto – CY Young: Roy Halladay – ROY: Bryce Harper – Comeback: Buster Posey
East Central West Wild Card Wild Card World Series
 Nabeel
MVP: Ryan Braun – CY Young: Stephen Strasburg – ROY: Bryce Harper

American League

* = World Series Winner

East Central West Wild Card Wild Card World Series
 Chris  *
MVP: Albert Pujols – CY Young: Jared Weaver – ROY: Yu Darvish – Comeback: Adam Dunn
East Central West Wild Card Wild Card World Series
 Nabeel *
MVP: Jose Bautista – CY Young: Jared Weaver – ROY: Matt Moore

Jose Reyes is still the best shortstop in the National League, but will he be make the Marlins that much better?

As we go into the 2012 Season. I take a look at the best players at each position in the National League. Post comments below please.

P – Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies

I know Clayton Kershaw won the CY Young, and deservingly so. But let me ask you this: you are managing the World Series in game 7, pick any pitcher in baseball to take your mound, how do you not take Roy?

C – Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals

Molina led all NL catchers last season in batting average (.305) and is still the best fielding catcher in all of baseball.

1B – Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds

Usually this position is a tough choice in the NL, but with Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder leaving or the AL, Votto takes it easily. Also just wrapped up a long term deal with the Reds, so he is here to stay.

2B – Brandon Phillips, Cincinnati Reds

The Reds have arguably the best right side of the infield in the league, but definitely do in the NL.

3B – Pablo Sandoval, San Francisco Giants

Panda had a huge bounce back year in 2011. He’s back to hitting for average but showed he can hit for power in big situations as well. Also will say this: I am a huge David Freese guy. Could be an early change after week 1.

SS – Jose Reyes, Miami Marlins

I have tremendous respect for Troy Tulowitzki, but Reyes is more valuable across the board. He will be a huge addition to an already dynamic lineup.

LF – Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers

Despite the reports of steroid use, Braun still has an MVP in his trophy case. He had a tremendous year, even though I thought the next guy deserved the award.

CF – Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers

As a stated above, Kemp was my pick for MVP. He had an unbelievable season. Then says in the off season he wants to follow it up with a 50/50 year. Doubtful but regardless he is a freak.

RF – Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins

This position might be the most changed all year due to the selection of players. Stanton though has freakish power and with three incredibly fast players ahead of him in the lineup, his RBI numbers could be unreal as well.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.