Blog Archives

Anthony Rizzo: His Impact On The Chicago Cubs

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Tuesday April 30th, 2013

Rizzo looks in 2013 to improve on his strong short 2012 campaign, in which he hit .285 with 15 HR and 48 RBI.

Rizzo looks in 2013 to improve on his strong short 2012 campaign, in which he hit .285 with 15 HR and 48 RBI.  He has struggled to carry a great Batting Average – but has launched 8 HRs and added 19 RBI in just 90 At-Bats heading into Monday Nights action, We at the ‘Reports,’ are calling him the NL Mendoza Line Masher.  The AL Mendoza Line Masher is definitely Adam Dunn.

By Bernie Olshansky (MLB Reports Writer):

Over the past few years, Chicago Cubs fans have not had a lot to cheer about. Anthony Rizzo is starting to break this trend. Rizzo was acquired by the Cubs from the San Diego Padres in early 2012.

The team sent Andrew Cashner—most notably—to the Padres and got Rizzo in return along with minor league pitcher Zach Cates.

Rizzo is exactly what the Cubs need in a power-hitting first baseman, and should hold down the position in the years to come. Andrew Cashner was a prized prospect at the time of the trade, but the Cubs evidently thought Rizzo was more talented and held more value.

The Padres wound up with Yonder Alonso to man First Base, so they did not lose a significant amount in the trade.

Anthony Rizzo Highlights and the song “Go Cubs Go”

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Cade Kreuter Interview: Padres Prospect Returns To The MLB Reports!

Monday December 3rd, 2012

Jonathan Hacohen ( Lead Baseball Columnist): 

Last February we introduced you to Cade Kreuter.  As part of the interview, we learned all about the “Crocodile Hunter.” A third generation baseball prospect and a member of the Miami Hurricanes, Cade was getting ready to make his own mark on the game. 

Now a member of the San Diego Padres organization, Cade has a bright road ahead. We talked about many facets of his career. From joining the Padres, to playing multiple positions, his offseason in the Dominican and much more. Being around the game his whole life, Cade knows what he needs to do to succeed. 2013 will be his first full season in professional baseball. At 21 years of age, he has his whole career ahead of him. We will be certainly be watching his progress with great anticipation!

Today on MLB reports, we bring you our interview with Padres’ prospect and 3rd generation player, Cade Kreuter: 

MLBR:  Congrats on joining the Padres!  What was the process like joining them?

CK:  Well, as you may know, I missed my entire junior season at The U this past year due to a broken left foot caused by a foul ball I hit off of it in practice the day before our season opener. I was misdiagnosed with a deep bone bruise for the first month of my injury so that was a setback right there for me. I went understandably undrafted after my junior season, after really only playing almost 1 full season out of 3 years in college. But, I felt it was still time for me to move up and play pro ball. I knew another season at The U was not what was best for me. I was contacted by the Padres and they asked me if I was interested in doing a workout and possibly signing as a free agent. I jumped at the opportunity and made the most of it. Later that week I signed and headed to Peoria, Az for the rookie ball season! Read the rest of this entry

Nick Swisher to Washington: The Nationals Are Looking to Add a Key Free Agent Bat to Their Lineup

Tuesday November 13th, 2012

Kyle Holland:  On Saturday, the Nationals announced that they were re-signing manager Davey Johnson for the 2013 season. With the Nats clearing up the managerial situation it leaves the rest of their offseason for signing free agents. One free agent they will start with is outfielder/first baseman Nick Swisher.

Swisher would be a great fit in a Washington uniform. He just recently rejected the Yankees offer of $13.3 million for one more year in New York. With Adam LaRoche declining his qualifying offer from the Nationals, they could let him walk and sign Swisher. Swisher has been known to play first base along with his usual outfield, so he could be a great replacement for LaRoche. Added versatility is always a bonus in today’s game. Read the rest of this entry

Albert Pujols vs. Prince Fielder: Who Was The Better Free Agent Signing After Year 1?

Sunday October 28th, 2012


Jake Dal Porto:  If you want the concise version of last year’s offseason, there are only two names that you need to keep in mind—Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols. While there were numerous other maneuverings and signings, those two overshadowed them all. And to no surprise, both garnered massive contracts. Fielder inked a 10-year $214 million contract with the Detroit Tigers, and Pujols also was signed to ten years, but $243 million from the Los Angeles Angels.

So, who has proven to be the better signing after year 1?

What Does Fielder Have Going For Him?

Well, let’s think about the obvious. Oh, here it is; the Tigers made the playoffs while the Angels limped to the finish line, falling short of the second Wild Card spot. On the other hand, Detroit swiftly crossed the finish line thanks to a big September. Importance is generally judged by two things by national pundits— overall stats and team’s success. Fielder boasts an edge over Pujols in both categories. Read the rest of this entry

2013 MLB Fantasy Keeper Rankings: Installment #1

Friday October 12th, 2012

Peter Stein:  Now that the 2012 season is over, it is time to start thinking about the 2013. For many owners, that includes deciding on keepers, although keeper systems vary from league to league. In some leagues, keepers can be held onto for an indefinite period of time, while others build upon the previous year’s draft value. Regardless of your league’s keeper setting, this piece identifies the top keeper player at each position. I chose a time period of five years; therefore, the player at each position should produce the most total fantasy value over the course of the next five years. That is, of course, assuming another Mike Trout doesn’t jump onto the scene.

Here is the first installment of the 2013 fantasy keeper focus:

First Base:

Winner: Joey Votto

Honorable Mention: Paul Goldschmidt

First base is actually the most tenuous and hardest to predict position on this list.  Can we really expect Albert Pujols to be super-productive for another five years? He will be 33 next season and his struggles at the beginning of the year are certainly not encouraging. Then again, a .285/30/105/8 season is considered a major down year from him. And, we all know how much better he was after the brutal start. Edwin Encarnacion (.280/42/110/13) emerged into the mix and excluding Miguel Cabrera was the top option at first base. However, he is 29 years old and has just a career .815 OPS in eight seasons. Clearly he has made strides, but he is very tough to predict moving forward. (more…)

Keith Hernandez: Is He Hall of Fame Good?

Monday October 8th, 2012


Patrick Languzzi (Cooperstown Correspondent, Twitter @PatrickLanguzzi):

I’ll be honest, when my editor handed me the assignment of posting my thoughts on Keith Hernandez and the Hall of Fame, I initially thought: Was Hernandez ever really a “superstar”?  Aren’t those the kind of players that generally get elected to the Hall of Fame?

Not always…

Hernandez lasted nine years on the Hall of Fame ballot, peaking in 1998 at 10.8 percent of the votes. He was the 1979 National League Most Valuable Player. Hernandez finished his career with a .296 batting average, was selected to five All-Star games, received two-Silver Slugger Awards, won a record setting 11 Gold Gloves, and is arguably considered the greatest fielding first baseman of all-time.

So why isn’t he in the Hall of Fame? Read the rest of this entry

Pedro Alvarez: Finally Meeting The Hype in Pittsburgh

Saturday September 15th, 2012

Jake Dal Porto: Pedro Alvarez is starting to turn the corner. Taking the next step. But, early career struggles had insiders, fans, writers, and everything in-between, labeling him as a “bust”. Let’s not forget that he was the second overall pick in the 2008 draft. So pressure and expectations are sky-high for him, and that’s not anything out of the ordinary. That’s a common theme with almost all high MLB draft picks. Alvarez, however, didn’t meet or exceed those expectations when he first broke into the majors, which caused some concern throughout the club.

In an article on Baseball America, one writer called him “the biggest waste of hitting talent in draft history”. That’s a pretty bold statement especially from a respected baseball publication.  Sure, if it came from some snobby fan, then a statement like that would simply be shrugged off. That wasn’t the case, however. And believe it or not, that bold statement was pretty precise. Harsh? Yes. True? You bet. Yes Alvarez was young, but there were too many red flags to ignore at this stage of his young career. Read the rest of this entry

Joey Votto: Ready to be Crowned the Best First Baseman in Baseball

Saturday May 19th, 2012

Brendan Henderson:  Joey Votto, the 28-year-old first basemen from Ontario, Canada is arguably the best first baseman in baseball. Votto has “been in the shadow” of Albert Pujols the last couple of years when Pujols was in St. Louis. Many thought Pujols was the best first baseman in the NL Central and in all of baseball. I don’t think that is the case now. With Albert Pujols out west and in the AL, I believe Votto is the best first baseman in not only the NL Central, but in all of baseball. I watch every Reds game and Joey Votto has proved to me enough times that he is the best at what he does without-a-doubt in the Big Leagues.

Joey Votto is batting .317 this year with six home runs and 25 RBIs. Joey Votto has the 24th best batting average in the MLB. He is 23rd in RBIs and is 1st in the MLB in doubles with 17. Votto led the MLB last year in doubles with 40. This isn’t the only year in Votto’s career that he has done superbly at the plate; Votto has a career batting average of .313 with 426 RBIs and 125 home runs, he is in his sixth MLB season and fifth full season in the Big Leagues. Read the rest of this entry

The Twins Need Justin Morneau

Sunday March 11th, 2012

Sam Evans: In this new era of baseball, you can’t make the playoffs without an above-average first baseman. Two years ago, the Twins had one of the best first basemen in the game and they won ninety-four games. Then, Justin Morneau got injured sliding hard into second base on July 7th, 2010. Morneau might not ever be the same after suffering this fatal concussion. The Twins witnessed how rough it was without Morneau, after suffering through a 99-loss season last year.

When the 22-year-old Morneau first broke the big leagues with Twins in 2003, he struggled miserably. Year by year after 2003, Morneau improved, leading him to the 2006 AL MVP award. The Twins, led by manager Ron Gardenhire, were slowly building an A.L Central dynasty. From 2003-2009, the Minnesota Twins won an average of eighty-eight games.

Without Morneau and Joe Mauer leading the Twins to the playoffs regularly, the Twins probably wouldn’t have Target Field. Justin Morneauhad six straight seasons of an OPS over .834. He was a leader in the clubhouse, and on the field. Morneau’s exemplary play didn’t fly under the radar nationally. He was a four-time All-Star, and a two-time Sliver Slugger award winner. Morneau was the most consistent player on the Twins, and without him, you can question if Target Field would exist. (more…)

Zach Johnson Interview: The Baseball Prospect Road from Oklahoma to Houston

 

Thursday February 9th 2012

MLB reports – Jonathan Hacohen:  Today on MLB reports, we are joined by Zachary Johnson (Zach)- Houston Astros prospect. Zach completed his first professional season last year, playing for the Tri-City ValleyCats. Name sound familiar? It should! Back in December, we had the chance to interview Zach’s teammate, Neiko Johnson (no relation apparently). Born in California, Zach attending Oklahoma State University. After getting drafted by the A’s in 2010, Zach did not come to terms and was later drafted by the Astros the following year. A 15th round selection of the Stros, the right-hand hitting Johnson plays first, third and second. After getting his feet wet last season, Zach Johnson is looking forward to the upcoming year. With a young, rebuilding Houston squad- plenty of opportunity will be available in the coming years for the Astros brightest prospects. Zach Johnson is definitely looking to get to Houston one day. Heck, when you growing up watching Barry Bonds and Jeff Kent, while looking up to Chase Utley- clearly you are setting the standards high. Learn Zach’s baseball story from university, the draft and making it to pro ball. You may think you know the name Zach Johnson. But you might be thinking of another sport (golf). We are baseball-only on MLB reports and for us, there is only ONE Zach Johnson. In today’s exclusive interview with us, get to know this up-and-coming Astros prospect:

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Time is Ticking for the Toddfather: Todd Helton Approaching Retirement

Tuesday January 31st, 2012



Bryan Sheehan (MLB reports Intern Candidate):  At age 38, it’s a wonder how Rockies’ first baseman Todd Helton is still going. His .302 batting average and 70 RBIs in 2011 are impressive considering his age, not to mention his .997 fielding percentage being second best in the league. On the other hand, his .466 slugging percentage and 14 home runs leave more to be desired from the once ferocious hitter. After the recent retirements of Pat Burrell and Jorge Posada, the question must be asked: How much does Helton have left in the tank? Helton, who was drafted number eight overall in the 1995 draft (which now boasts only three active players – Helton, Roy Halladay and Kerry Wood – from its first round), came into the league with a bang in 1998. In his first full MLB season, Helton hit .315 with 97 RBIs and a .530 slugging percentage. Since then he’s compiled a .323 lifetime batting average, 554 doubles (ties for 24th all time), 347 home runs and 2,363 hits.

But, like most older players, Helton has been having back troubles. To be fair, his back problems started as early as 2002, and his stats were never really affected until 2008, when he hit under .300 (.264) for the first time in his career. His stats may not tell the whole story, as he hit well in 2009 and 20011, but Helton is nearing the end.  Last February Helton claimed that he wanted to play baseball through the 2013 season, when his contract with the Rockies is up.

With Michael Cuddyer waiting in the wings, it’s unlikely that Colorado will re-sign Helton after 2013. By that time Todd will, barring a miracle, be unable to play everyday, and he’s not the type of hitter than can perform off the bench: in 47 at bats as a pinch hitter, Helton has struck out 15 times and holds a batting average of .149.  It should also be noted that other than his one hit in 2009, the Toddfather hasn’t hit safely as a pinch hitter since 1999.

As much as Helton and many longtime Rockies fans would love to see #17 play forever; it’s not going to happen. If he plays like he did in 2011, Todd will live to see another day and finish out his contract in the Mile High City. But, if he plays like he did in 2010 or his injuries get the best of him, 2012 will be the last year Helton will be wearing the purple pinstripes. From there, the Cooperstown debate will begin on Helton. Will he get in? If Larry Walker is any indication, Helton may have to wait some time until his name is called at the Hall of Fame inductions.

Today’s feature was prepared by our Intern Candidate, Bryan Sheehan.  You can follow Bryan on Twitter (@Sheehan99), read his interviews with Phillies’ minor league prospects at PhightingOn.com, and catch him writing the occasional article for BleacherReport.com (search his name). Tweet him about this article and he will follow you back!


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