MLB Reports Monthly Power Rankings: July 2012

Wednesday July.4, 2012

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)-We are going to bring you monthly power rankings every month of the season.  There will be a few notes written for each team.  Please feel free to let us know your thoughts.  The Texas Rangers are the top ranked team yet once again, although teams are certainly gaining on the them in the last month. If this report was being done last week I might have put the New York Yankees in 1st and Texas in 2nd.  A 7 game winning streak help preserve another month for Texas on the leader-board.  There were superior months by Aaron Hill, Jose Bautista, Joey Votto , Jason Heyward and a new phenomenon was born with Jose Altuve.  It was a great month for the MLB.  With 20 teams within 5.5 games or less for the playoff races, we are sure to see some serious movements in the Power Rankings in the 2nd half of the season.

Standings taken before play Tuesday July.03/2012

July Power Rankings-Last Month Rank in Parenthesis

1. Texas-50-30 (1) The Rangers rode a 7 game winning streak to end up 18-8 for the last month. David Murphy, Adrian Beltre and Elvis Andrus all hit over .300 in the last 30 days.  The Rangers were able to weather a slow spurt from Josh Hamilton, in which he hit .222 with only 4 HRs for the month.  Matt Harrison has asserted himself as an ace on the staff with a 5-0 month with a 1.29 ERA, while leading the American League with 11 wins on the year.  The Rangers have 6 players going to the ALL-Star Game including 3 starters.  Yu Darvish can make a 7th if he is voted into the final roster spot with his rookie campaign of 10-5 so far.

2. NY Yankees 48-31(5)  The Yankees have ridden good pitching and a hot bat from Robinson Cano to a 19-7 record over the last month, with a 5 games lead over their competition in the AL East.  Cano hit .370 with 12 HRs and 24 RBI in the last month.  Derek Jeter is hitting .298 overall but saw his average go from .389 in April, to .283 in May to .232 in June.  He still tops a list of 4 Yankees heading to the ALL-Star Game including 23 HR homer man Curtis GrandersonPhil Hughes went 5-1 in the month with a 2.59 ERA and Ivan Nova won his 3 decisions with a miniscule 1.32 ERA.  Rafael Soriano has converted 18 out of 19 save opportunities since taking over as team closer.

3. San Francisco 45-30 (9)  The Giants went 16-11 in the month and saw a perfect game from Matt Cain, with a few other 1 hitters.  The team shutout the Dodgers 3 games in a row in a series last week.  The Giants have Pablo Sandoval, Buster Posey and Melky Cabrera starting in KC next week.  The Melkman continues to show that last year was no fluke with his .352 Average and he is leading the Major Leagues with 111 base hits.  The Giants pitching staff has coped with the loss of Brian Wilson and the ineffectiveness of starter Tim Lincecum, by the rest of the staff having career years.

4. LA Angels 45-35 (12) The Angels have been really steady since the end of May.  They just finished going 17-8 in the last 25 days on the backs of ALL-Stars Mike Trout, Mark Trumbo and resurgent Albert Pujols.  Trout might be the most exciting player on the planet these days and is a lock for AL Rookie of the Year if he keeps this up.  Trout hit .367 over the last month and has taken over the AL batting lead with a .342 AVG.  Trumbo hit 10 HRs and drove in 28 RBI for the month and Pujols hit .337. to raise his average 40 points.  C.J Wilson was good enough in June to be named as CC Sabathia‘s replacement at the ALL-Star game.

5.  Washington 45-32(9)  Mike Morse has returned to the lineup with a vengeance during the last week with a .484 average.   Super Sub Tyler Moore has also hit .415 in the last 14 games with 4 HRs and 12 RBI.  Ian Desmond had 16 Extra base hits for the month to go along with 20 RBI, while he made the ALL-Star game as a reserve.  Ryan Zimmerman awoke from a season long slump to plate 17 RBI.  Adam LaRoche still contributed 7 HRs and 15 RBI despite a paltry .191 average in June.  Stephen Strasburg is 9-3 on the year with a 2.81 ERA and a league leading 122 SO.  Gio Gonzalez is 11-3 with a 3.01 ERA.  Both Gonzalez and Strasburg made the ALL-Star squad.

Joey Votto hit .392 with 18 RBI in June. He continues to be a NL MVP candidate.

6. Cincinnati 44-36  (4 ) Joey Votto hit .392 with 18 RBI in the last month and will be starting the ALL-Star game at first base for the National League.   Brandon Phillips thinks he was snubbed by Tony La Russa for the ALL-Star game and he has a point, however it was the fans voting in Dan Uggla that was the problem.  The only reserve second baseman (Jose Altuve) legitimately has better numbers than Phillips.  Jay Bruce continues to show his maturity by hitting 5 HRs and driving in 20 RBI for the month.  Todd Frazier batted .301 at third base while filling in for Scott RolenJohnny Cueto with his 9-4 record and a 2.26 ERA should be an ALL-Star as well. 

7. New York Mets 43-37 (6) R.A. Dickey was flat-out ridiculous in June going 4-0 with a 1.14 ERA, while only giving up 14 hits in 39 innings.  Dickey also ran a consecutive scoreless earned run streak to 41.2 with 5 straight incredible outings.  Dickey should be the starter at the ASG with his 12-1 record and a 2.15 ERA.  Johan Santana should win NL Comeback Player of the year if he can stay healthy.  David Wright has hit solidly in every month and still sports a .354 average with 54 RBI.  Ike Davis has hit 6 HRs and driven in 24 RBI in the last 30 days.

8. Boston Red Sox 42-39 (14)   The Red Sox have had contributions from the entire offense to get back into the race with a 14-12 month.  8 players has 10 RBI or more.  Cody Ross and Scott Podsednik have led the charge of late.  The departed Kevin Youkilis puts a lot of pressure on now injured Will MiddlebrooksDavid Ortiz had another solid month with 8 HRs and 17 RBI.  Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester had nice months in the rotation but can they all stay healthy to stay in the race all year?

9. Pittsburgh Pirates 43-36 (20) The Pirates followed a 15-10 May with a 16-10 June, backed by a 5-0 record by A.J Burnett.  James MacDonald also went 4-1 in the month.  Andrew McCutchen hit .384 with 7 HRs and 24 RBI to quickly vault into the NL MVP discussion, with his potential chase at a batting title and a 30/30 season.  Neil Walker, Casey McGehee, Pedro Alvarez and Garrett Jones all had 18 RBI or more in the month to aid the offensive attack.  This team may have finally turned the corner.

10. Tampa Bay Rays 43-38 (3) The Rays took a big hit on the rankings this month with a 11-15 Record.  Only Ben Zobrist had a productive month at the plate with a .344 Average.  This team has been paralyzed offensively without Evan LongoriaLuke Scott had an injury plagued 0-21 month. Hideki Matsui, Carlos Pena and Desmond Jennings all hit under or near the Mendoza Line for the last 30 days.  Matt Moore is 4-0 in his last 5 starts and ace David Price went 4-1.  Without these two, the rest of the club went 3-14.

11. Chicago White Sox 43-37 (7) Alex Rios has hit .353 with 5 HRs and 16 RBI in the last month, and also added 36 hits and 7 SB.  If he plays like this, the Chicago South Siders will contend in the AL Central.  Adam Dunn has seen his average dip every month, but he is still mashing out HRs at a 50 HR pace.  Paul Konerko was named a reserve on the ALL-Star Team.  Chris Sale continues to surprise with his ALL-Star Selection and his 9-2 record with a 2.27 ERA.  Jake Peavey went 0-4 in the month despite a 2.75 ERA.

The Say Hey Kid has 16 Extra Base hits in the Last month. Can he help the Braves into the 2012 Playoffs?

12.  Atlanta Braves  42-38 (13) Jason Heyward has started to drive the ball with 16 extra base hits in his last 25 games.  The Say ‘Hey’ Kid hit .357 for the month to raise his average to a respectable .274 for the year.  Martin Prado and Michael Bourn both hit .300 for the month and are over the .300 mark for the year as well.  Chipper Jones will be added to the NL ALL-Star game to replace Matt Kemp in a classy gesture to the aging veteran, (who celebrated with a 5-5 game last night to raise his average to .314.)  Tim Hudson and Tommy Hanson had solid months in the rotation to cover the loss of  SP Brandon Beachy.

13. St. Louis 42-38 (18) The Cardinals went 15-11 in the last month to rise up the rankings.   Matt Holliday hit .400 for the month.  Carlos Beltran hit .347 with 5 HRs and 21 RBI for the last 30 days to raise his yearly totals to 20 HRs and 63 RBI.  The man is a serious MVP candidate.  Allen Craig and David Freese continue to contribute at the plate.  Lance Lynn made the ASG despite a month where he went 2-2 with a 5.97 ERA.  He still has 10 wins for the year I guess.  Kyle Lohse has been outstanding in 2012, with a 8-2 record and a 2.80 ERA.  Chris Carpenter looks to be out for the season with his thoracic outlet syndrome.

14. Baltimore 42-37 (11) The Orioles are fighting tooth and nail to stay in contention this year.  Wilson Betemit hit .377 in the month .  Adam Jones has cooled off a little in the last month.  Chris Davis has been a pleasant surprise at first base with his 14 HRs and .492 SLG% on the year.  Jason Hammel is in the final vote for a  spot on the ASG roster for the AL, with his 8-4 Won Loss Record and a 3.53 ERA.  Jim Johnson has converted 23 of 24 save opportunities out in the bullpen.

15. LA Dodgers 44-37 (2)  What a free fall over the last week.  The Dodgers were shutout 3 times in a row by the Giants and 5 times in 6 games overall.  They simply cannot sustain the lineup with Andre Ethier‘s .295 10 HRs, 55 RBI and 23 2B out, also with Matt Kemp’s .719 Slugging percentage still being sidelined.  Unless these guys come back it will be a bad summer at Dodger Stadium.  Good to see that Clayton Kershaw made another ALL-Star game with his 6-4 record and a 2.65 ERA thus far.

16. Detroit 39-41 (19)  The Tigers have gone a modest 14-12 over the last month.  Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera have provided solid offense, while Austin Jackson keeps improving as a hitter.  Rookie Quintin Berry has scored 26 runs in his first 37 MLB games.  Justin Verlander is having another good year but he is down from his 2011 numbers.  Rick Porcello and Matt Scherzer need to be more consistent.

17. Cleveland 40-39 (16)  It has been a pretty mediocre month for the Indians with a 12-14 record, although they are still within earshot of the White Sox for the AL Central lead.  Shin-Soo Choo hit .330 with 17 XBH, 37 hits and 22 runs for the month.  Choo is looking great in the lead off spot.  Asdrubal Cabrera with 6 HRs and 19 RBI also had a decent month.  Justin Masterson was 3-3 with a 1.91 ERA for the good and Derek Lowe was 0-3 with a 7.71 ERA for the bad in the month.

Joey Bats hit 15 HRs in the month of June to give him the AL lead. Bautista is on pace for 55 HRS and 125 RBI on the year.  Can he take home his 3rd straight Hank Aaron award?

18. Toronto 40-40 (17)  Jose Bautista  looked like he did in 2010 and 2011 during the month of June.  Joey Bats hit 15 HRs and drove in 31 RBI.  The 1-4 players in the lineup all made it into the top 7 for runs in the Major Leagues during the last 30 days.  Colby Rasmus hit .302 with 10 HRs and 29 RBI, Edwin Encarnacion hit .321 for the month and Brett Lawrie led the team with 26 runs in 27 games out of the lead off spot.  Lawrie is now hitting .294 for the year and is on pace to score 100 runs.  Colby Rasmus and Edwin Encarnacion both are looking for 30 HRs and 100 RBI seasons.  The team has struggled with all of the pitchers being struck with injuries otherwise their record would be so much better.

19. Arizona 39-40 (23) Look at the picture with Aaron Hill after this article, he may have had the best month out of anyone in June.  The Diamondbacks had 7 of 8 position players hit .300 or better for the last 30 days and Ryan Roberts hit .270.  The team went 14-11 for the month.  Only 4 save opportunities tells me that they had a lot of blowout games in their wins.  Wade Miley leads the pitching staff with a 9-4 record and 2.87 ERA for the season.  Trevor Cahill went 4-2 with a 3.12 ERA in the month.

20. Kansas City 36-42 (22) The Royals went 13-13 in the last month.  I often wonder where the club would be if they still had Melky Cabrera?  Signs of life from Alex Gordon in June with a .346 avg and 37 hits in 27 games helped the man  raise his season average to .276. Yuniesky Betancourt had 24 RBI in the 21 games he played despite only having 20 hits and a .238 avg.  Alcides Escobar hit .322 for the month. Eric Hosmer also hit .300 for the month.  The Starting pitching for the Royals has a collective ERA over 5 for the year.

21. Miami 38-41 (8) The Marlins have gone an MLB worst 7-18 over the last month.  Justin Ruggiano has been the lone bright spot on the offense hitting .400 for the month and slugging .778.   Giancarlo Stanton still has decent numbers heading into the second half with 19 HRs and 50 RBI thus far.  Josh Johnson has rounded into his old form pitching to an ERA of 1.87 for the month.  Carlos Zambrano went 0-3 for the month with an 8.59 ERA.

22. Philadelphia 36-45 (15)  The Phillies are spiraling down to the bottom of the rankings.  They went 8-18 in the last month with Roy Halladay on the shelf and Cliff Lee still searching for his 1st win of the season.   Carlos Ruiz is still batting a Major League leading .362 on the year which is fantastic for a catcher.  Hunter Pence is doing his share for the club with 16 HRs and 48 RBI on the year.  Jim Thome used inter-league to hit himself back onto an American League team as an everyday DH clubbing 5 HRs and driving in 15 RBI in just 18 games.  The team welcomed back Chase Utley and Ryan Howard is not too far off.  It may be too late by then.

23. Milwaukee 37-42 (21) Ryan Braun hit 9 HRs and drove in 22 RBI for the month.  If he keeps this up, Braun will surpass last year’s NL MVP totals.  Norichika Aoki hit .300 for the last 30 days and Aramis Ramirez started to heat up with 5 HRs and 19 RBI.  Martin Maldonado has  filled in admirably for Jonathan Lucroy at the catcher position and at the plate.  Mike Fiers, Zack Greinke and Yovani Gallardo went a combined 7-3 in the month to pace the club to a 13-12 record.  The club will still need to fire on all cylinders in order to get back into contention.

24. Oakland 39-42  (26) The Oakland Athletics are a much better team with Yeonis Cespedes back in the lineup. The team went 16-11 for the month.  Brandon Inge has 35 RBIs in the 43 games he has played since joining the club.  Brandon Moss hit 9 HRs and reeled in 17 RBI in June.  Seth Smith hit .319 with 15 RBI when he was granted full playing time.  Josh Reddick should have been in the final vote for the ASG with his 19 HRs, 41 RBI and 50 runs scored.  Jarrod Parker went 4-1 with a 2.04 ERA in June.

Trevor Plouffe tore the cover off of the ball in the month of June by pasting 13 HRs and driving in 24 RBI. Photo courtesy of Aaron Gleeman

25. Minnesota 34-45 (28) Joe Mauer is officially back to his old self with a .419 avg for the month to raise his average to .332 for the year.  Ben Revere also hit .328 for the month.  The biggest surprise on the club came from Trevor Plouffe with an offensive explosion from out of nowhere.  He hit .301 with 13 HRs and 24 RBI with a .738 Slugging percentage.  The club had a winning month of 14-12.  Alex Burnett is 2-0 with a 1.77 ERA in 33 games out of the pen.  Scott Diamond has been the teams only adequate starter at 7-3 with a 2.63 ERA. Other than those pitchers, the rest of the staff has failed the club for the whole year.

26. Seattle 35-47 (25) Seattle has hit near .260 on the road and is in the top 5 for several categories on the road for offense, however they have hit .198 at home which is pathetic.  John Jaso leads the club with just a .279 batting average.  Something has to change here.  Felix Hernandez and his brilliant pitching performances are being wasted.  New closer Tom Wilhelmsen has converted his 7 save opportunities. 

Jose Altuve was in the 2011 MLB Futures Game and now he has been selected for the 2012 NL ALL-Star Game. Photo courtesy of elemergente.com

27. Houston 32-48  (27) The Astros went 9-16 for the month.  Jose Altuve continues to be a bright spot in hitting .309 for the 1st half to be named as a reserve on the NL ALL-Star roster. Rookie Lucas Harrell went 3-2 in the last month.  Brett Wallace has slugged .583 in limited duty so far.

28. Chicago Cubs 30-49 (28) The Cubs have been playing better of late posting a 12-14 record in the last 30 days.  Starlin Castro and Bryan LaHair were named as reserves to the ALL-Star Games.  Alfonso Soriano hit 7 HRs for the month.  Starlin Castro may challenge 200 hits for the year.  Ryan Dempster finally received some run support and went 3-0 in the month with 0 earned runs before going to the Disabled List. 

29. San Diego 31-50 (30) San Diego went 13-13 for the month.  Alexi Amarista has come out storming in his first 50 AB hitting .400.  Chris Denofria was right behind Amarista with a .371 average.  Clayton Richard went 4-1 with a 2.32 ERA and the bullpen staff has remained solid with great efforts from Luke Gregerson and Huston Street.

30. Colorado 30-49 (24) The Rockies finished the month with an abysmal 7-16 record.  Tyler Colvin had an outstanding month compiling a .353 average with 7 HRs and 22 RBI.  Carlos Gonzalez and Marco Scutaro also had nice months for average.  Wilin Rosario is having a decent season as a starting catcher with 14 HRs and 36 RBI in 55 games.  The bullpen has been decent but the starting pitching has been atrocious all year. 

Previous Month MLB Reports Rankings:

 June

May

Aaron Hill capped off an impressive month by hitting a cycle in 2 different games in less than 2 weeks. Hill had 19 XBH in 25 games and an OPS of 1.151 during the last month. —Photo courtesy of bleacherreport.com


                                                                                                                                              

 ***Thank you to our Baseball Writer- Douglas “Chuck” Booth for preparing today’s feature on MLB reports.  To learn more about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames” and Chuck Booth, you can follow Chuck on Twitter (@ChuckBooth3024) and you can also follow Chuck’s website for his Guinness Book of World Record Bid to see all 30 MLB Park in 23 days click here  or on the 30 MLB Parks in 23 days GWR tracker at the Reports click here. To Purchase or read about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames Book, ” please click here ***

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About chuckbooth3023

I played competitive baseball until 18 years old and had offers to play NCAA Division 1 University Baseball at Liberty University. Post-concussion symptoms from previous football and baseball head injuries forced me to retire by age 19. After two nearly made World Record Attempts in 2008, I set a New World Record by visiting all 30 MLB Parks (from 1st to last pitch) in only 24 Calendar Days in the summer 0f 2009. In April of 2012, I established yet another new GWR by visiting all 30 Parks in only 23 Calendar Days! You can see the full schedule at the page of the www.mlbreports.com/gwr-tracker

Posted on July 4, 2012, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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