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The Best Teams In The MLB From 1980 – Now: SF Cements Their Place From 2010 – 2014 With WS Birth

The Giants won the World Series in 2010 and 2012, if they make a World Series Appearance in 2013, they could break up the best teams for the years to include the Red Sox from 2004 - 2007, the Phillies from 2008 - 2009, and then you would have to place the Giants as the best overall team from 2010 - 2014.  Can they keep up the format of winning a World Series every 2 years again next campaign?

The Giants won the World Series in 2010 and 2012, and now are in the 2014 World Series – with a great chance to win 3 titles in 5 years against Kansas City.   The best teams for the last several years include the Red Sox from 2004 – 2007, the Phillies from 2008 – 2009, and then you would have to place the Giants as the best overall team from 2010 – 2014. Can they keep up the format of winning a World Series every 2 years again this year? The Red Sox (3 Titles), plus the Giants and Cards each having 2 Fall Classics, are the only 3 teams to have multiple World Series Trophies since the 2004 year.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

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There is only so much one can read in an article, otherwise I would make these lists up from the turn of the 20th century. 

If you gave me enough time as a reader, I promise to backdate this topic with another article featuring the best teams dating back further in years. 

Eventually, all of the years may be dissected and we can have a healthy debate on some of my selections.  I really started watching baseball in the early 1980’s. 

As I became older and discovered ways to research the history of the game, my knowledge and curious mind grew for more information. 

I have studied and read baseball stat books and breezed through the odd Bill James novel. 

If I ever take a break from writing or baseball park chasing, I may find some time down the road to watch the 9 part PBS documentary that Ken Burns did on baseball’s history.

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For The Most Part – The Top Salaried Players (#1 – #25 In The MLB Are Certainly Not Playing Like It!

Prince Fielder

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Some of the highest paid athletes are really struggling to earn their keep.  Even if A – Rod were playing, it is quite possible he would be a shell of his former self, and way overpaid.

You add in the horrific injury riddled years for Joey Votto and Prince Fielder, and you are talking about a lot of dough for players not even in uniform presently.

Then there is a productive hitter like Troy Tulowitzki, who can’t remain on the field, despite putting up world caliber numbers when he is in the lineup.

Joe Mauer and Matt Kemp have also dealt with injuries and timing issues at the plate, but they still could turn it around for the tail end of the season – and going forward.

Justin Verlander tops the list of the paying the man too late in the game, and this will not bode well for the Free Agent Max Scherzer.

You also have aging veterans that are helping their teams win games like Albert Pujols and Adrian Gonzalez, but they are also not where they were at the time all of that cash was thrown their way.

Miguel Cabrera and Mike Trout‘s deal don’t even start yet on this list, and somehow I think they will do alright.

Robinson Cano has looked decent in the 1st of a 10 year deal, but lets reassess this in 2018…

The Yankees have a huge problem on their hands with their representatives out of these players.

Mark Teixeira only has power left, and can hardly stay on the field, while CC Sabathia may be done as a top of the end starter.

Masahiro Tanaka was lights out in his time in New York this year, however he could be facing Tommy John Surgery soon, and may cost the franchise a lot of money to sit out.

Not even the Jacoby Ellsbury deal has reason for them to feel comfort.  His numbers are similar to the ones he put up in Boston, yet he will see his speed evaporate over the years going forward.

This is part 1 of a 2 part blog series on player contracts. Tomorrow we address players 26 – 50. Read the rest of this entry

How All Of The Texas Rangers Hitters Were Acquired (2014 Roster Tree)

The Rangers had back to back World Series Appearances in 2010 and 2011 - and have 4 straight seasons of collecting 90+ Wins - with 370 victories overall.  2014 has been an injury plagued season, robbing the club perhaps of putting forth a 5th consecutive 90 win campaign.  Despite this, the organization has done spade work to be mentioned as a top franchise over the last 5 years.  This Roster Tree proves a little of this.

The Rangers had back to back World Series Appearances in 2010 and 2011 – and have 4 straight seasons of collecting 90+ Wins – with 370 victories overall. 2014 has been an injury plagued season, robbing the club perhaps of putting forth a 5th consecutive 90 win campaign. Despite this, the organization has done spade work to be mentioned as a top franchise over the last 5 years. This Roster Tree proves a little of this.

How All Of The Rangers Hitters Were Acquired:

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

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The Rangers set up their franchise for years to come in 2007, when they pulled off a trade of ALL – Star Mark Teixeira – to acquire several players in the franchise that they are still seeing solid returns.

My absolute favorite transaction tree is finding out the Michael Choice branch of trades.

It dates back to the team signing Todd Van Poppel as a Free Agent before the 1998 season.

Out of all of the players the team currently has, only Leonys Martin, Mitch Moreland and Rougned Odor and Jurickson Profar are composed of team draft picks – with the latter being hurt right now,

The rest of them were picked up via another route. Read the rest of this entry

Texas Rangers Roster For 2014: State Of The Union

Prince Fielder's 2013 - 3 Slash Line (.279/.362/.819) is far below his Career Mark of .286/.389/.916.  The man has not hit a HR in his last 74 AB in the playoffs either.  Fielder at least had 5 HRs in 1st 70 AB for his playoff Career.  Maybe that will change in Texas, after he clubs his way to be an AL MVP Candidate for the Rangers in 2014.  I expect him to return to the 40+ HR plateau, drive in well over 100+ RBI - and lead his team to a World Series Appearance this year.

Prince Fielder’s 2013 – 3 Slash Line (.279/.362/.457) is far below his Career Mark of .286/.389/.527. The man has not hit a HR in his last 74 AB in the playoffs either. Fielder at least had 5 HRs in 1st 70 AB for his playoff Career. Maybe that will change in Texas, after he clubs his way to be an AL MVP Candidate for the Rangers in 2014. I expect him to return to the 40+ HR plateau, drive in well over 100+ RBI – and lead his team to a World Series Appearance this year.  Fielder will be in Texas for the next 7 years, and the Rangers only have to pay $20 MIL per year, with Detroit eating $4 MIL each season as part of the trade that saw Ian Kinsler go to Motown.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Stay Alive Until Re-Inforcements Arrive

The Texas Rangers bolstered their 2014 offensive lineup with 2 new .400+ OBP Players.

Shin-Soo Choo (.423 OBP in 2013, and a Career .389 OBP), and Prince Fielder (.362 OBP, but was .400 OBP+ in 4 out of the last 5 years and .389 OBP for his lifetime) – will be front and center into the Rangers new lineup.

These gentlemen will be surrounded by Adrian Beltre, Elvis Andrus and Alex Rios as guys to help offset their walk totals.

This is not an indictment of the 3 right handed hitters either though, Beltre is a .312 hitter for Texas during his 3 campaigns, while Alex Rios and Andrus should hit anywhere from .280 to .290 this year.

You add Andrus’s speed with Leonys Martin – and these two guys could swipe 40+ bags each.  Even Alex Rios thieved 16 Bags in 2013 – and Choo had 20 SB yet again. Read the rest of this entry

What Miguel Cabrera’s New Contract Means To The Tigers And Him

Miguel Cabrera‘s new 8 YR/$248 MIL contract extension comes days after the club couldn’t come to terms with reigning AL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer.

The numbers are mind boggling.

He breaks the ALL – Time record for Average Annual Contract per year is at $31 MIL AAV (from 2016 – 2023), and also he is owed the most dollars at any given time by a contract at $292 MIL for the years of 2014 – 2023.

This man is the best pure offensive player in the game, and has only become better with age, but a lot of people are worried about the back end of this deal.

I fully understand that. Read the rest of this entry

The Texas Rangers Organizational Depth Charts (All Affiliates) – Spring 2014 (Majors and Minors)

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): & Jeff Kleiner (Org Depth Chart + Payroll Expert – find his website here)

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This has been the most successful run in Rangers history in the last 4 years.  2 World Series Appearances (albeit losses) – and the club has 4 straight 90+ Win Seasons.

Nolan Ryan envisioned this kind of progress when he anchored the current regime.  While he has left the nest, many of the players have been stocked up in the Minors and Majors.

The Rangers have many young players like Jurickson Profar, Leonys Martin, Martin Perez and Elvis Andrus that are entering their prime.

The greatest job done by the brass was to assemble a pitching unit of homegrown products, as this has kept the teams payroll within reason – even as some of these guys mature. Read the rest of this entry

The Homer Bailey Extension Is Good For The Short Term In Cincy: Not Sure About The Long – Term Though

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Homer Bailey may be the 3rd Starting Pitcher on the depth chart, but he happened to be the 1st guy up on Free Agency out of Mat Latos (2016 FA) and Johnny Cueto (2016 FA).

For this reason alone, I like the team extending the 27 Year Old to a 6 YR deal worth a minimum of $105 MIL, and with a Mutual Option for $25 MIL for the 2020 campaign – that could make it a 7 YRs/$125 MIL pact.

The deal starts off pretty good for dollar sense in the first two years, with Bailey making $8 MIL in 2014, and $9 MIL in 2015.

From there if I can borrow a line from Anchorman “That escalated quickly”, the next few years go like this, $18 MIL, $19 MIL, $21 MIL and $23 MIL for the years starting in 2016 – and finishing in 2019. Read the rest of this entry

The Top 50 Contracts Of ALL – Time IN MLB: Freddie Freeman Is 29th With His New Deal – But It Makes Sense

Freddie Freeman Highlights 2013 – Mature Content – Parental Guidance is Advised

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Freddie Freeman is worth the money he just signed for when it comes to his talent level, age and production thus far.

Yesterday, the 24 Year Old First Baseman inked a 8 YR deal worth $135 MIL with the Tomahawk Choppers.  As someone who was just entering the 1st year of Arbitration Eligibility, he was bought out of that negotiation.

The Braves will pay more money in the short – term, but will make up for it in the long run – by not having to dole out 200+ MIL bucks for the guy once he could have hit Free Agency. Read the rest of this entry

The Top 50 Contracts Of ALL – Time IN MLB: Masahiro Tanaka Is 18th

Darvish has provided Texas with ace-like material ever since coming over from Japan.  At his current $10 MIL a year salary, he is a complete bargain compared to what Tanaka received from the Yankees.  It was because of the record posting fee the Rangers doled out - to have the exclusive rights to talk to Darvish.  You have to wonder what he must be thinking of the Tanaka deal.  bunch of financial freedom to sign other long term deals.  Darvish finished 2nd in AL CY Young Voting with a 13 - 9 record, a 2.83 ERA and a league leading 277 SO in his 209.2 IP worth of work in 2013.  Darvish's high posting bid was not part of his salary, or converted towards the total team payroll.

Darvish has provided Texas with ace-like material ever since coming over from Japan. At his current $10 MIL a year salary, he is a complete bargain compared to what Tanaka received from the Yankees. It was because of the record posting fee the Rangers doled out – to have the exclusive rights to talk to Darvish. You have to wonder what he must be thinking of the Tanaka deal. Texas reaped the benefits of financial freedom to sign other long term deals like Choo, and acquire Fielder based on this move. Darvish finished 2nd in AL CY Young Voting with a 13 – 9 record, a 2.83 ERA and a league leading 277 SO in his 209.2 IP worth of work in 2013. His high posting bid was not part of his salary, or converted towards the total team payroll.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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With Masahiro Tanaka’s new deal – for the 1st time all of the MLB’s ALL-Time top 50 contracts are $100 MIL or more.

Adam Wainwright was effectively bumped out of the #50 slot, leaving 4 guys tied for 47th, all registering deals of $100 MIL (Carlos Lee, Ryan Zimmerman, Albert Pujols (2004 – 2010) and Evan Longoria.

Masahiro Tanaka also joins Robinson CanoClayton KershawShin-Soo Choo and new teammate Jacoby Ellsbury, as players that have made it to the list this offseason.

Masahiro Tanaka’s Japan Highlights

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“The Record” Clayton Kershaw Contract By The Numbers: How It All Stacks Up

Clayton Kershaw has agreed to a 7 YRs/$215 MIL extension t- that will run through the years of 2014 - 2020 with the LA Dodgers.   The deal is slated for an opt out clause after the 2018 season by Kershaw, when he will be only 30 years old.

Clayton Kershaw has agreed to a 7 YRs/$215 MIL extension – that will run through the years of 2014 – 2020 with the LA Dodgers. The deal is slated for an opt out clause after the 2018 season by Kershaw, when he will be only 30 years old.  The terms go like this for years.  2014:  $22 MIL ( $18 MIL signing bonus is part of that), 2015: $30 MIL, 2016: $32 MIL, 2017 and 2018 he will earn $33 MIL).  From here that will have been $150 MIL for the 1st 5 years of the contract.  If Kershaw remains past this, the deal pays $32 MIL in 2019 – and finally $33 MIL in 2020.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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The verdict is in.  Clayton Kershaw has agreed to a 7 YR Extension for $215 Million.

It is the highest Annual Average Contract ($30.7 MIL) in the history of Major League Baseball, topping A-Rod’s previously set deal worth $27.5 MIL.

The deal is also the richest contract ever in Pitching history – surpassing Justin Verlander’s 7 YRs/$180 MIL extension from 2013 – 2019.

It is the 6th highest deal ever in the MLB, and Kershaw becomes the 7th player ever to receive a contract north of $200 MIL.

Clayton Kershaw Highlights 2013

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Top 10 Stolen Base Leaders in 2013

Ellsbury missed 88 Games in 2012 (and also missed 144 Games in 2010), which brings into question his long - term durability. Heck, even this year, he was seen with a walking boot only a few weeks prior to the playoffs. You can't deny the man has put up some great numbers out of the leadoff spot for the Red Sox since 2007. Ellsbury has a Career 3 Slash of .297/.350/.789 - and averages 57 XBH, 55 SB, 198 Hits and 108 RBI for every 162 Games Played. The Yankees have inked him to a 7 year deal, and will bank on him staying healthy for most of the contract.

Ellsbury missed 88 Games in 2012 (and also missed 144 Games in 2010), which brings into question his long – term durability. Heck, even this year, he was seen with a walking boot only a few weeks prior to the playoffs. You can’t deny the man has put up some great numbers out of the leadoff spot for the Red Sox since 2007. Ellsbury has a Career 3 Slash of .297/.350/.789 – and averages 57 XBH, 55 SB, 198 Hits and 108 RBI for every 162 Games Played. The Yankees have inked him to a 7 year deal, and will bank on him staying healthy for most of the contract.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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With a decrease in the total amount of players taking PED’s in the MLB, speed is a more important factor to help manufacture runs than it was even a decade ago.

Jacoby Ellsbury leads the list last year with 52 bag swipes.  The Yankees will need him to duplicate what he did in 2013 if they want any chance to compete in 2014.

Everth Cabrera would have been the odds on favorite to take the title – had he not been suspended 50 games for his part in the Biogenesis clinic.

Rajai Davis also enters the list.  The Blue Jay in 2013, and Tiger in 2014, swiped 45 bags despite only coming in with 331 AB.

Jacoby Ellsbury 5 Stolen Base Game 2013

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Texas Rangers Payroll in 2014 + Contracts Going Forward Part 1

Darvish has provided Texas with ace-like material ever since coming over from Japan.  At his current $10 MIL a year salary, this gives the club a bunch of financial freedom to sign other long term deals.  Darvish finished 2nd in AL CY Young Voting with a 13 - 9 record, a 2.83 ERA and a league leading 277 SO in his 209.2 IP worth of work in 2013.  Darvish's high posting bid was not part of his salary, or converted towards the total team payroll

Darvish has provided Texas with ace-like material ever since coming over from Japan. At his current $10 MIL a year salary, this gives the club a bunch of financial freedom to sign other long term deals. Darvish finished 2nd in AL CY Young Voting with a 13 – 9 record, a 2.83 ERA and a league leading 277 SO in his 209.2 IP worth of work in 2013. Darvish’s high posting bid was not part of his salary prior to 2012, or converted towards the total team payroll.  Texas is lucky his yearly hit is so low – as the team already has $116 MIL towards the Luxury Tax Threshold before Arbitration Players are paid in the next couple of weeks.  The Rangers could still potentially sign more guys to raise this figure even more.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): & Jeff Kleiner (Org. Depth Chart/Payroll Expert)

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This is part 1 of our 2 part payroll piece we will do for each club.   The Rangers are entering with the heavy payroll clubs in the game of MLB.

Their salaries after Arbitration Eligibles are paid, could range anywhere from $125 – $140 MIL, and even higher if they are able to land another Free Agent Pitcher or hitter.

They have spoken loud with the checkbook.  With 370 wins over the last 4 seasons, and 4 straight 90+ win campaigns, the Rangers are hoping to cash in with the 2014 squad.

For all of the Rosters, Depth Charts, State of the Unions and Salaries Posts that we do, please visit our dedicated page link here.

Yu Darvish Highlights Mature Lyrics So parental guidance is advised

By the time this offseason ends, the Rangers may have acquired the two best players for it.  Placing Choo at the top of the lineup - as the OBP machine that he ends, followed by Adrian Beltre hitting 3rd - and Prince Fielder 4th, all of a sudden the Texas Rangers are looking like their vintage "offensive" selves.  Based on this, go and pick up their World Series ODD win at +1100 (3rd favorite in the AL) anywhere you can as they should be the favorite.  Choo signed for a 7 Year Deal worth $130 MIL this winter

By the time this offseason ends, the Rangers may have acquired the two best players for it. Placing Choo at the top of the lineup – as the OBP machine that he ends, followed by Adrian Beltre hitting 3rd – and Prince Fielder 4th, all of a sudden the Texas Rangers are looking like their vintage “offensive” selves. Based on this, go and pick up their World Series ODD win at +1100 (3rd favorite in the AL) anywhere you can as they should be the favorite. Choo signed for a 7 Year Deal worth $130 MIL this winter. It is an annual average contract of $18.43 MIL, but the man will only pocket $14 MIL for his services in 2014 and 2015 as well..

Texas Rangers Payroll in 2014 – 2016

POS  Name  LG  XP  AGE 2014 2015 2016
SP1- Yu Darvish ML 0 x $10,000,000 $10,000,000 $10,000,000
SP2- Derek Holland ML 3 27 $5,400,000 $7,400,000 $10,000,000
SP3- Matt Garza ML 3 30 FA
SP4- Martin Perez ML 3 22 $750,000 $1,000,000 $2,900,000
SP5- Matt Harrison ML 6 28 $8,000,000 $13,000,000 $13,200,000
SP6- Nicholas Tepesch ML 0 25 NON-ARB2 NON-ARB3 ARB1
SPS- Alexi Ogando ML 6 30 ARB1 ARB2 ARB3
RHMR-
LHMR- Michael Kirkman ML 5 27 NON-ARB3 ARB1 ARB2
RHSU- Jason Frasor ML 5 36 $1,750,000 FA
RHSU- Tanner Scheppers ML 1 26 NON-ARB2 NON-ARB3 ARB1
RHSU- Chaz Roe ML 6 27 NON-ARB1 NON-ARB2 NON-ARB3
RHSU- Shawn Tolleson ML 1 25 NON-ARB3 ARB1 ARB2
LHSU- Robert Ross ML 2 24 NON-ARB3 ARB1 ARB2
LHSU- Joseph Ortiz ML 3 23 NON-ARB1 NON-ARB2 NON-ARB3
CL- Cory Burns ML 2 26 NON-ARB1 NON-ARB2 NON-ARB3
CL- Joakim Soria ML 3 30 $5,500,000 $7,000,000
CL- Neftali Feliz ML 5 25 ARB2 ARB3 FA
13 $21,400,000 $28,400,000 $26,100,000
POSITION PLAYERS LEV MiL AGE 2014 SALARY 2015 SALARY 2016 SALARY
C- Geovany Soto ML 7 30 $3,050,000 FA
1B- Prince Fielder ML 3 29 $24,000,000 $24,000,000 $24,000,000
2B- Jurickson Profar ML 1 20 NON-ARB2 NON-ARB3 ARB1
SS- Elvis Andrus ML 4 25 $6,750,000 $15,250,000 $15,250,000
3B- Adrian Beltre ML 4 34 $17,000,000 $18,000,000 $16,000,000
LF- Mitchell Moreland ML 4 28 ARB1 ARB2 ARB3
CF- Shin-Soo Choo ML 7 31 $14,000,000 $14,000,000 $20,000,000
RF- Alex Rios ML 5 32 $13,000,000 $13,500,000
DH- Lance Berkman ML 4 37 FA
C- J.P. Arencibia ML 4 27 $1,800,000 ARB2 ARB3
C- Robinson Chirinos ML 10 29 NON-ARB2 NON-ARB3 ARB1
1B-
3B-
UTL-
UTL-
OF- Leonys Martin ML 0 25 NON-ARB2 NON-ARB3 ARB1
OF- Engel Beltre ML 4 24 NON-ARB1 NON-ARB2 NON-ARB3
OF- Nelson Cruz ML 11 33 FA
OF- Michael Choice ML 1 24 NON-ARB1 NON-ARB2 NON-ARB3
10 $79,600,000 $84,750,000 $75,250,000
Prince Fielder was signed to a 9 YR/$214 MIL contract before the start of the 2013 season.  He is not Slugging as much as his Brewers days, however his OBP is just slightly lower in the regular season.  Fielder has a chance to have a Hall of Fame Career.  If he can bring a World Series to Detroit, he will enhance his chances.  The Big man has to step up in 2014, or the team may fail to capitalize on the World Series Caliber team they have built over the last half a dozen years.

Prince Fielder was signed to a 9 YR/$214 MIL contract before the start of the 2012 season. He is not Slugging as much as his Brewers days, however his OBP is just slightly lower in the regular season. Fielder has a chance to have a Hall of Fame Career. If he can bring a World Series to Texas, he will enhance his chances. The Big man has to step up in 2014, or the team may fail to capitalize on the World Series Caliber team they have built over the last half a dozen years.  After a few years with Detroit, that club will be on the hook to the big man for $76 MIL out of the deal, leaving Texas to pay $138 MIL over the 7 seasons he is signed with the club.

Note From Chuck Booth:

You guys are all in for a treat.  Jeff Kleiner has developed a site (prosportsrosters.comthat covers all organizational affiliates in the Minors for all of the Major League Baseball Clubs. 

We are going to combine efforts to bring you the best look at salaries, current 25 Man Player Rosters and Depth Charts for all 30 teams. 

Jeff is going to provide the documents in form of spreadsheets and I am going to accompany the posts with deep analysis of what the numbers tell us from my perspective. 

If you can’t wait for all of my assessments for each club, go and visit Jeff’s website over at http://www.prosportsrosters.com.

In Speaking with Jeff, he is one of the more passionate fans I have come across towards the game of baseball.  He spends enough time in updating his MLB Facts for it to be a Full-Time Job. 

Jeff updates this page below on a daily basis.  After you click on it….Bookmark it.  There is a 3 year salary forecast and stats not listed here on this page.  Jeff updates these pages daily and these changes include any Roster moves!

Authors for this post:

Jeff Kleiner:  “I have been a sports fan since the first Baseball game I went to at Comisky Park in Chicago in 1959, when baseball for me turned from black and white to color.

I have attended or watched thousands of games, always paying attention to statistics, rosters and salaries of all professional sports.

Luckily I had the advantage of watching WGN TV and seeing hundreds of games in the 60’s. Collecting Baseball Cards and then later dealing them gave me an extra sense of the sport, both good and bad.”

For all of your Salaries, Roster and Depth Charts for all 4 Major Sports (entire organization – Minors and Majors) click here or Follow Me on twitter 

prosportsrosters.com is the best source for following entire organizations in all 4 Major Sports

prosportsrosters.com is the best source for following entire organizations in all 4 Major Sports.

Chuck Booth – Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner and author of the Fastest 30 Ballgames:   To learn more about my  “The Fastest 30 Ballgames Book” and how to purchase it, click here .

You can also follow my Guinness Book of World Record Successful Bid to see all 30 MLB Park in 23 Days – click here

I am happy to be part of such an awesome Magazine-Style Baseball Website and am looking forward to talking to all of the fans of the MLB. 

You can reach me on Twitter here

Chuck At Arlington April.11/2012

Chuck At Arlington April.11/2012

Please e-mail me  at: mlbreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback.   To subscribe to our website and have the Daily Reports sent directly to your inbox, click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

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The Top 50 Contracts Of All – Time In The MLB

Technically A-Rod has received the two top contracts in baseball history, however he opted out after the 2007 year for the 1st one, so really it was a 7 Year Deal worth approximately $158 MIL that was paid out to him between 2000 and the end of the year in 2007.  Rodriguez contract from 2008 - 2017 also includes $30 MIL worth of player performances for passing milestones.

Technically A-Rod has received the two top contracts in baseball history, however he opted out after the 2007 year for the 1st one, so really it was a 7 Year Deal worth approximately $158 MIL that was paid out to him between 2000 and the end of the year in 2007. Rodriguez contract from 2008 – 2017 also includes $30 MIL worth of player performances for passing milestones.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

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I start this paragraph saying that it blows my mind away that Alex Rodriguez has the #1 and #2 best contracts of ALL-Time.  This is sick.

At least he might forfeit up to $21 MIL of his salary in 2014, and another $5 – $7 MIL in 2015 – if the 211 game ban sticks. 

Therefore can we really say that he would have the top 2 earnings leaders for any given contract?  He would have to give up $27.51 MIL of it for that to happen.

Pujols would take over the reigns as the #2 contract with his 10 YRs/$250 MIL deal then.

Some of them are classic overpays, and others actually have netted the franchise their true value back and then more.  You can be your own judge.

Albert Pujols 2012 Highlight Mix – Mature Lyrics So Parental Guidance is Advised

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The Best Teams In The MLB From 1980 – 2013: The Biggest Question Is, Who Owns 2004 – 2013, BOS or STL?

The Boston Red Sox started out the season 21 - 8 after their 1st 29 games in 2013.  They rolled it all the way to their 3rd WS Title in a decade - but are they the best team in the MLB during this stretch

The Boston Red Sox started out the season 21 – 8 after their 1st 29 games in 2013. They rolled it all the way to their 3rd WS Title in a decade – but are they the best team in the MLB during this stretch from 2004 – now?

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

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There is only so much one can read in an article, otherwise I would make these lists up from the turn of the 20th century. 

If you gave me enough time as a reader, I promise to backdate this topic with another article featuring the best teams dating back further in years. 

Eventually, all of the years may be dissected and we can have a healthy debate on some of my selections.  I really started watching baseball in the early 1980’s. 

As I became older and discovered ways to research the history of the game, my knowledge and curious mind grew for more information. 

I have studied and read baseball stat books and breezed through the odd Bill James novel. 

If I ever take a break from writing or baseball park chasing, I may find some time down the road to watch the 9 part PBS documentary that Ken Burns did on baseball’s history.

2013 Boston Dream Season – Mature Lyrics – Parental Guidance is Advised

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Dissecting The Prince Fielder For Ian Kinsler Trade

In 39 games for his Playoff Career, he holds a miniature .194 batting average with 5 home runs and 11 RBIs.  This Playoff stretch of 11 Games in 2013 - there were no big flies and not even a solitary RBI.  Fielder had 9 Hits out of 40 AB (.225) with just one Double.fans, we cannot blame Prince Fielder for wanting to play everyday. With this trade to Texas it is a great chance for the big man to redeem himself in a hitter friendly ballpark, and a great lineup also surrounding him.  Texas has put up 370 wins in the last 4 years.  The Rangers will pick up $138 of the $168 MIL contract that Fielder is due from 2014 - 2020.  Where will the Rangers play him defensively?  More important will be to sit him down and ask him to relinquish his consecutive streak, and to lose some weight in going forward.  Fielder brings a career 3 Slah of .286/.387/.916 - with 285 HRs and 870 RBI carried over his 9 years in the Major Leagues for the Tigers and Brewers.

In 39 games for Fielder’s Playoff Career, he holds a miniature .194 batting average with 5 home runs and 11 RBIs. This recent Playoff stretch of 11 Games in 2013 – there were no big flies and not even a solitary RBI. Fielder had 9 Hits out of 40 AB (.225) with just one Double. With this trade – it is a great chance for the big man to redeem himself in a hitter friendly ballpark, and a great lineup also surrounding him. Texas has put up 370 wins in the last 4 years. The Rangers will pick up $138 of the $168 MIL contract that Fielder is due from 2014 – 2020. Where will the Rangers play him defensively? More important will be to sit him down and ask him to relinquish his consecutive streak, and to lose some weight in going forward. Fielder brings a career 3 Slash of .286/.387/.916 – with 285 HRs and 870 RBI carried over his 9 years in the Major Leagues for the Tigers and Brewers.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

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After having a late phone call chat with our “Chief Writer” Hunter Stokes, I officially welcomed him to the world of being a sportswriter.

Hunter wrote an awesome piece on the Rangers State Of The Union yesterday.  In the article found here, he explained that Jon Daniels needs a power bat, and must address the Jurickson Profar/Elvis Andrus situation.

Well, no more than 6 hours later, Daniels pulled off the trade for the big lugging 1B, and now we will have to add a part 2 to yesterday’s feature article.

I like the move for the AL West resident’s.  Prince Fielder‘s Left Handed Bat will be a most welcomed addition to the foray in Texas.

Prince Fielder 2013 Highlights – Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance Is Advised

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Texas GM’ Jon Daniels Needs To Step His Game Up! Rangers State Of The Union Fall 2013

The Rangers have cobbled together 370 wins over the last four years, however they are now 2 years withdrawn from being a solitary strike away from winning the World Series.  They have done a great job assessing their club over the last few campaigns, and with a great winter, the club's competition window should be reset for many years to come.  With Nolan Ryan leaving the franchise, the heat will be on Jon Daniels to administer such a daunting task.  The Rangers have great attendance, so more National TV dollars are also being kicked their way for 2014, it is time to go and lure the top Free Agents in the game of MLB towards The Ballpark in Arlington!

The Rangers have cobbled together 370 wins over the last four years, however they are now 2 years withdrawn from being a solitary strike away from winning the World Series. They have done a great job assessing their club over the last few campaigns, and with a great winter, the club’s competition window should be reset for many years to come. With Nolan Ryan leaving the franchise, the heat will be on Jon Daniels to administer such a daunting task. The Rangers have great attendance, and more National TV dollars are also being kicked their way for 2014, it is time to go and lure the top Free Agents in the game of MLB towards The Ballpark in Arlington!

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Jon Daniels is more like the “Lone Ranger” now with the brass over in Arlington being astonishingly diminished by Texas native Nolan Ryan leaving.

He is effectively on the “hot seat” now.

His team is now 2 years removed from back to back World Series Appearances, followed up with an epic collapse down the stretch in 2012, and just falling short of the playoff bar in 2012.

The Rangers actually had a pretty decent season in 2013 at 91 – 72 (losing the play in game to Tampa Bay), when you consider they lost Mike Napoli and Josh Hamilton‘s services – and really only replaced them with “Fat Elvis” AKA Lance Berkman, who like Presley, has eaten themselves out of their careers at times.

Nelson Cruz Highlights Before Suspension 2013

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MLB 30 Team Rankings Week 15

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Monday July.08/2013

The Boston Red Sox started out the season 21 - 8 after their 1st 29 games, and have maintained over the last 61 games, with 33 wins and 28 wins.

The Boston Red Sox started out the season 21 – 8 after their 1st 29 games, and have maintained over the last 61 games, with 33 Wins and 28 Losses. They are #1 on our rankings charts.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

Past this page break or the Dodgers logo, is the written version of the rankings.  If you want to listen to the audio podcast we did for this, we have the links below to download or just listen.

Triple Play Podcast Ep #15 Monthly Rankings For All 30 Teams

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Top Teams In The MLB 1 – 30 + (200 Best Stats For The Last Month)

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Thursday June.06/2013

Chris Davis was the hitter of the month for the MLB Reports.  The guy has 20 HRs and 20 2B on the season - after hitting 11/11 for both columns in the last 30 Days.  The Orioles slugger also hit for a 3 Slash Line of .385/.448/1.256.  Davis also Walked 11 Times, drove in 22 RBI - and collected 40 Hits in just 24 Games Played.  He is on pace for a 50 HR/ 50 Doubles Season.  "Crush" is due for Arbitration after this year - and will garner a considerable payraise from the $3.3 MIL he will earn this season.

Chris Davis was the AL hitter of the month for the MLB Reports. The guy has 20 HRs and 20 2B on the season – after hitting 11/11 for both columns in the last 30 Days. The Orioles slugger also hit for a 3 Slash Line of .385/.448/1.256. Davis also Walked 11 Times, drove in 22 RBI – and collected 40 Hits in just 24 Games Played. He is on pace for a 50 HR/50 Doubles Season. “Crush” is due for Arbitration after this year – and will garner a considerable payraise from the $3.3 MIL he will earn this season.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

The time has come for the June Power Rankings with Stats Edition.  There will be one each for May, June, July, August, September – and then a special playoff edition Power Rankings will be done in October.

I will not do a weekly Power Rankings during this weeks, because in essence, these are the weekly rankings done on a much larger scale.

These Reports are done with a heavy thought to how the teams project by the end of the season – along with how the clubs have fared so far.

I will point out who has had great months for the all 30 MLB Teams.  I reward the good performances in these rankings – and leave the poor ones for the Podcasts or future articles. CLICK THE READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON or scroll past the video and picture

Chris Davis 2013 Highlights:

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2 And A Hook Podcast Episode #6: Fantasy, Phillies And Rangers Expert Interviews + Notes

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Friday, May.31/2013

MLB reports and The Benchwarmers Show present 2 and A Hook Podcast

MLB reports and The Benchwarmers Show present 2 and A Hook Podcast.

‘2 And A Hook’ is an expression from Baseball:  ‘Throw the guy 2 Fast balls and then a Hook’ (AKA Curve Ball, Wiggly one, Chair etc..)

By James Acevedo – Host (Podcast Veteran) 

People in this Podcast:

On today’s show, brought to you by MLB Reports (www.mlbreports.com) & The Bench Warmers Show (thebenchwarmers.podomatic.com), I started by paying respects to a follower of mine on twitter (the great late Kiley)   who passed away last week…not only she was a great Yankee fan who loved Derek Jeter – but also was the most sweetest giving person ever, R.I.P….

I start to talk about the Subway Series then I interviewed my first guest Derek Jackson (10 Minute Mark  – 20 Minute Segment.   who is a fantasy expert for MLB Reports! We talked about which callups to watch midway through the season,a look at the rookie crop of players & second year players…check out his latest fantasy article here Read the rest of this entry

Texas Rangers Payroll In 2013: Rangers Organizational Rosters + Depth Charts – (MLB + MiLB)

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Saturday, Apr.27/2013

The Texas Rangers have been the most consistent American League Franchise since Nolan Ryan took over as CEO of the club midway through 2010.  They made the World Series in 2010 and 2011 - losing to the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco in back to back years.  The club has done a great job assembling a Minor League system full of talent - and a great amount of talent via Free Agency.

The Texas Rangers have been the most consistent American League Franchise since Nolan Ryan took over as CEO of the club midway through 2010. They made the World Series in 2010 and 2011 – losing to the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco in back to back years. The club has done a great job assembling a Minor League system full of talent – and a great amount of talent via Free Agency.  Will the Rangers be able to finally win a World Series in the coming years?

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): and welcome Jeff Kleiner (Salary, Roster and Depth Chart Expert for the MLB) – visit his website  here  

You guys are all in for a treat.  Jeff Kleiner recently contacted me about a partnership merge for the website.  He has developed a site (prosportsrosters.com) that covers all organizational affiliates in the Minors for all of the Major League Baseball Clubs.  We are going to combine efforts to bring you the best look at salaries, current 25 Man Player Rosters and Depth Charts for all 30 teams. 

Jeff is going to provide the documents in form of spreadsheets and I am going to accompany the posts with deep analysis of what the numbers tell us from my perspective.  If you can’t wait for all of my assessments for each club, go and visit Jeff’s website over at http://www.prosportsrosters.com.

In Speaking with Jeff, he is one of the more passionate fans I have come across towards the game of baseball.  He spends enough time in updating his MLB Facts for it to be a Full-Time Job.  So after the usual Video Clip and READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY button, you will find some serious &*!@?!#!

For a Full 3 year Salary Outlook plus last years Stats for every player in the Rangers Organization click here

2010 ALCS Highlight Video

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The Jurickson Profar Situation Brewing in Texas

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Sam Evans :

The Texas Rangers reluctance to part with Jurickson Profar is well-reasoned. They believe that Profar can become a perennial All-Star candidate and a better player than both Elvis Andrus and Ian Kinsler. By trading Profar, the Rangers would be letting go of a talent that only comes around about once in a decade. The Rangers should do whatever it takes to ensure that Profar, Andrus, and Kinsler all have starting  jobs next year.

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Josh Hamilton: Three Reasons To Believe That He Could Sign With The Brewers

Tuesday October 30th, 2012

Jake Dal Porto: This year’s free agent market may be slim on depth, but it does not lack a main attraction with Josh Hamilton set to hit the open market. Hamilton hit a career-high 43 home runs this past season, but a slew of late season miscues have affected his marking price.

While he isn’t the safest of offseason additions, teams will still look to acquire the powerful lefty because of his middle of the order presence which very few others can match.

With the Yankees and Red Sox likely out of the running for the slugger, the Brewers suddenly have a decent chance of bringing in Hamilton.

Here are three reasons why: Read the rest of this entry

Texas Rangers: How They Can Regain Their A.L. Supremacy

Thursday October 11th, 2012

Jake Dal Porto:  The Texas Rangers were this year’s 2011 Boston Red Sox for the lack of a better explanation. After retaining the American League West lead and even the best record in the entire American League for the majority of the season, they hit a wall at the wrong time.

The final few days of the 2012 season for Texas was comparable to a blur. Their time from the best team in the A.L. to losing the sudden death Wild Card playoff game to the Orioles happened so fast, that it’s hard to unravel what the heck happened. But the answer is now clear thanks to some time to digest the events.

The Rangers’ wobbly pitching staff and Josh Hamilton’s woes both defensively and offensively can be deemed the two main variables in their collapse. Over the final ten games of the season, the Rangers’ staff as a whole posted a 5.83 ERA. That includes the bullpen corps as well. Texas’s starting rotation was never a dominant one per say. They had 11 different pitchers start a game due to injuries and struggles from several players. With that said, the only three pitchers the were reliable were Yu Darvish, Derek Holland, and Matt Harrison. Outside of that capable trio, the Rangers had a tough time piecing together anything consistent. Read the rest of this entry

MLB Reports Monthly Power Rankings: September 2012

Monday, September.3/2012

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):   To say that this year has been a good year for baseball is an humongous understatement.  I thought after last years finish, that nothing was going to duplicate the experience.  Everyone forgets (or maybe not) that there should not even have been many races last year with Atlanta and Boston having such substantial leads on playoff spots.  The Red Sox and Braves collapsed like a couple of bowling pins with King Kong Bundy splashing down on them!  

This year, there are 15 teams still vying for 10 playoff spots.  So far the only probable locks are Washington for a playoff spot-and Cincinnati to probably win their division  The player races for all of the categories is almost as fascinating.  Will Andrew McCutcheon catch Melky Cabrera for the Batting title? Or will 2012 be forever cemented in baseball folklore by a stained player like Cabrera?  He could still end up determining who wins the World Series in the Fall Classic by his Testosterone filled antics in his MVP ALL-Star Game.  The big question is, will the San Francisco Giants fans cheer for him if he comes back in the playoffs?  They cheered for another league leader before when it was obvious he was guilty.  Right now if you are the Giants, you will take an opportunity to boo or cheer for Cabrera because that means you would  be in the playoffs.

Will the spending happy Dodgers have to wait another year to capitalize on their new plan to make the playoffs? If they ultimately  miss the playoffs outright, are they going to buy every player they can in the off-season?  I sure hope Magic knows that there are Luxury Tax penalties for spending over 178 Million Next Year.  1st year fine is 22.5%, 2nd year is 30%, 3rd year and beyond is 40%.  So if they plan on having a 250 Million Dollar Payroll in 2013 (by adding 2 or 3 more top Free Agents) will the Dodgers just forego the worry of any financial penalties on a yearly basis– just to dominate the whole National League (plus baseball for that matter.) Every other team has to consider the urgency in cashing out a World Series right now while the Dodgers have not had a full off season with the new management yet.  Can Oakland and their ‘New Money Ball philosophy’ make it to the playoffs for the first time since 2006? 

The Best Players over the last month were:  Buster Posey, Prince Fielder, Giancarlo Stanton, Adrian Beltre, Josh Hamilton, Yovani Gallardo, Kris Medlen, Adam Wainwright, Aroldis Chapman and Felix Hernandez.  The best teams have been Oakland, Washington, San Francisco, San Diego, Baltimore and Texas.  The worst teams have been Houston (at least its better to go down hard and stockpile #1 Draft Picks guys.)  I have a feeling you will be there for a while with the division you are heading into and may even challenge the 120 Loss Single Season Record.  At least you are not going into the NL West  to compete with the LA Dodgers!  The Cleveland Indians have fallen to an epic drop-off as well.  Toronto misses their top sluggers.  What has happened to the Minnesota Twins? The Mets have ownership and payroll problems, so at least they have an excuse.  Plus they lead the world in guys being hurt.  When David Wright has been your healthiest player, you know the season has been backwards!  So sit back, get your notebook and popcorn ready for this Month’s Rankings! Read the rest of this entry

Josh Hamilton: Should the Rangers Extend Their Star Slugger Immediately?

Friday August 24th, 2012

Bernie Olshansky:  In the present time, Josh Hamilton is the Texas Rangers’ best player. One of the best in baseball baseball in fact. Hamilton has enjoyed one of the finest seasons of his career thus far, hitting .285 with 34 homers and 102 RBIs. He had a hot stretch at one point that included four home runs in a single game. Players like Hamilton don’t come around often, so if the Rangers are smart, they will extend his contract ASAP.

With Hamilton in the lineup, the Rangers have played in two World Series. He won the 2010 MVP award when the Rangers lost to the Giants in the Fall Classic in five games. If the Rangers wait until Hamilton hits free agency this offseason, they will have to compete with other teams and likely pay more than they would if they offered Hamilton right now. They could also risk losing him to the division rival Angels (this is highly doubtful given the large contracts of Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson and a future contract of Mike Trout). This would be the worst possible scenario with the Angels already looking like a World Series-caliber team.

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Chicago Cubs: Is Extending Starlin Castro Really the Right Move?

Tuesday August 21st, 2012

Jake Dal Porto:  Starlin Castro is one of baseball’s best young shortstops at the ripe age of just 22 years-old. Apparently, the Cubs’ front office feels the same way. While the speculated contract extension is still impending, there’s a good chance that Castro remain a Cub for a good portion of the next decade. A wealthy Cub for that matter. The rumored deal is said to be a seven-year, $60 million contract extension. Should the deal be completed, it will take him through arbitration.

Is general manager Theo Epstein and his staff pulling the right string by signing Castro? Read the rest of this entry

The Best Teams from 1980-2012: Will Texas claim the title this year from 2010-2012?

Wednesday July.11, 2012

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)-  There is only so much one can read in an article, otherwise I would make these lists up from the turn of the 20th century.  If you gave me enough time as a reader, I promise to backdate this topic with another article featuring the best teams dating back further in years.  Eventually, all of the years may be dissected and we can have a healthy debate on some of my selections.  I really started watching baseball in the early 1980’s.  As I became older and discovered ways to research the history of the game, my knowledge and curious mind grew for more information.  I have studied and read baseball stat books and breezed through the odd Bill James novel.  If I ever take a break from writing or baseball park chasing, I may find some time down the road to watch the 9 part PBS documentary that Ken Burns did on baseball’s history.

Baseball lends itself more to the history than any other sport because of how it has been chronicled throughout their past.  Writers, announcers, former players, parents etc.. have always carried on with the stories of America’s favorite pastime.  I will never be sold that NFL is the greatest pastime in sports right now.  NFL is the greatest gambling sport presently.  It is my firm belief that the only reason why the NFL draws in more cash from its sport is because of the gambling factor.  If you took that aspect out of it, I believe baseball is the #1 sport.  Can you imagine how much attention we would pay to baseball if there were only a 16 game schedule?  Enough with that rant, let’s get down to the list.  Who were the best teams at any specific time period for the last 32 years?  We will start with the Philadelphia Phillies from 1980-1983. Read the rest of this entry

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. Read the rest of this entry

Texas Rangers: Best Team in the Majors?

Tuesday May 1, 2012

Ryan Ritchey: Are the Texas Rangers the best team in baseball? In my eyes they are. They are the most balanced team I have seen in this short period of the season. Going out and getting Yu Darvish was a huge part of the winter for the Rangers. Darvish a Japanese phenom, has come over the United States and gone 4-0 in 5 starts. He has changed his windup 4 times since the first pitch on opening day. Starting with his hands going over his head, to now just pitching from the stretch the whole game.

Darvish isn’t the only stud pitcher on this team. Derek Holland can also throw over 200 innings for this Rangers team. With a team focused around pitching, they sure do get the job done. Add Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan watching every pitch from the first row the pitchers have to succeed. Rangers starters have combined for a 13-4 record, with Darvish and Colby Lewis going 7-0. The Rangers starting pitching is in my opinion what is going to get them a World Series championship this season. Read the rest of this entry

Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson: 2012 Projections

Tuesday December 13, 2011

Peter Stein (Fantasy Baseball Analyst – MLB reports):  Unless you have been living under a rock for the past two weeks, you are probably well aware of the splash that the Angels made in the free agent market with the signings of Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson. Certainly, the balance of power in the American League West has shifted to the Angels, who have set themselves up for a championship run. While Pujols and Wilson have a good chance to bring home a championship in Los Angeles, they will likely be on many winning fantasy rosters as well.

As I discussed a few weeks back, Pujols has been the best fantasy player in baseball after 10 Ruth-like seasons after he busted onto the scene in 2001. However, 2011 was an interesting year for Pujols, the first in which he did not produce a .300 average, hit 30 HR and drive in 100 runs. He missed this feat by just one RBI and one average point. Through the Cardinal’s first 54 games, Pujols batted .257 with 8 home runs and 28 RBI. However, in the final 108 games, which included the time missed with the wrist injury, he batted .322 with 29 home runs and 71 RBI’s. That is the Pujols that we have all been accustomed to over the last decade. Therefore, I do not think you need to be overly concerned about a significant A-Rod-esque drop off just yet. The back-end of Pujols’ contract will certainly get ugly for the Angels, but expect the usual slugger for the first few years. Now, the other factor on Pujols’ performance is the shift to a new team and new league. In terms of ballparks, Busch Stadium and Angels Stadium are very similar in degree of hitter friendliness. For the switch to the AL. below are his career interleague numbers, which add up to almost one full major league season:

143 GP 39 HR 121 RBI .348 AVG 1.071 OPS (1.037 career)

The stats show the Albert dominates against the American League, with numbers that even exceed his career averages. With a hitter as good as Pujols, it’s the American League pitchers who will be tasked with making adjustments and not Pujols. The Angels lineup is actually pretty similar to the Cardinals, and if people step up (Kendrys Morales), it has potential to be a lot better. Therefore, I expect the usual greatness from Pujols.

Projections: .312 39 HR 120 RBI 117 R 12 SB

C.J. Wilson enjoyed his finest season as a pro in 2011 with a 16-7 record and a 2.94 ERA. At age 31 and not as young as many expect, there is not too much room for actual skill development with Wilson. However, the major factors that impact pitchers results after a team change are in favor for Wilson. Let’s start with park factors and opposition. Wilson no longer has to pitch as many games in Texas, where he sported a career 3.89 ERA, compared to 3.26 on the road. The contrast was even starker in 2011, when he posted a 3.69 ERA at home and a 2.31 ERA on the road. Much of the reason for his success on the road were his regular matchups against the lowly Mariners and Athletics offenses, which he will continue have. Fortunate to have Pujols on his team now, he will still have to face his former talented Rangers teammates. Looking at the defense behind Wilson, it is pretty much a wash. The Elvis Andrus and Ian Kinsler double play combination was one of the best in baseball, but the Angels outfield is significantly better than the Rangers. Lastly, although the Angels made significant offensive upgrades, it is still safe to think the Rangers would provide more run support, potentially cutting into his win total.

The move to the Angels appears to make Wilson potentially more valuable in 2012. His FIP and XFIP indicate that his ERA range should have been closer to 3.20-3.30, so it might be tough to expect a sub-3 ERA in 2012. However, his recent success, coupled with his change of scenery (most importantly out of Texas), indicate that he should be one the game’s most valuable pitchers in 2012.

Projections: 208 IP, 16-9 WL, 3.28 ERA, and 180 K’s

***Today’s feature was prepared by our Fantasy Baseball Analyst, Peter Stein.  We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers.  You can also follow Peter on Twitter (@peterWstein).***

Please e-mail us at: MLBreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback.  You can follow us on Twitter (@MLBreports) and become a fan on Facebook .  To subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox , click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

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