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Friday, February. 08/2013
By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Intern): Follow @ryandana1
Who is Jose Bautista? He is a 32-Year Old, Dominican, Major League Baseball player. He is the starting Right Fielder and number 3 hitter in the Toronto Blue Jays lineup. He is a 3x All-Star (’10-’12), 2x Silver Slugger Award winner (’10-’11), and 2x Hank Aaron Award winner (’10-’11). Bautista is a former 20th round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Pirate s- who struggled to make any significant impact for a Major League team into his late 20’s. He arose from baseball obscurity and launched into the spotlight seemingly overnight. Bautista’s breakout campaign in 2010 was followed with an even better 2011, which was all foreshadowed by a promising September in ’09 – where he tapped into a power surge hitting 10 HRs in the month.
This was especially surprising since his career high for HRs in a season to that point was only 16 in ‘06. Modifications Bautista made in his swing were career changing. He completely reinvented the system he was using to time pitching, and it paid big dividends. Bautista’s success forced the Rogers Center to keep their roof open for all home games due to the amount of moonshots he was hitting. I’m only joking, but he did hit an MLB high 54 HRs in 2010 and 43 HRs in 2011.
Jose Bautista 2012 Highlights Mix:
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Thursday February 7th, 2013
Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer): Follow @BernieOlshansky
2012 was an exciting year for the long ball. The MLB saw its first Triple Crown winner since 1967, and there were six guys that hit over 40 HR. It seems as if 2013 will be more of the same with the emergence of new sluggers in Mike Trout and Bryce Harper. In this feature, I will highlight some of the hitters who I think will have the most dingers (and how many) by the end of 2013. I don’t think Joey Bats will stay healthy enough to reach this list (although he will have a chance if he can miss the injury bug.
Adam Dunn: 40
In the years that Dunn has not slumped, he has been pretty consistent. This past season proved to the baseball community that the slugger is not quite done yet. Although he hit for a very low average, Dunn still managed to club over 40 bombs. Knowing this, I have no problem putting Adam Dunn down to hit at least 40 this year. He will have more confidence than he did in 2012 – and will most likely be in better shape to start off the year. The White Sox might have a shot at the playoffs if Dunn can stay healthy and keep his average above the Mendoza Line.
Mike Trout: 41
The Angels prized possession did not even start the year with the big club, yet he still hit 30 HR. A legitimate candidate for MVP, Trout will not have a problem hitting 41 HR this season. The protection for Trout in Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton makes this argument even more convincing. I could see Trout driving in 100 runs this year and winning the MVP. Just like Dunn, Trout needs to maintain his health. With Trout, Hamilton, and Pujols running on all cylinders, the Angels will not have a problem reaching the playoffs after failing to do so in 2012. The Athletics and Rangers will not be a match for the powerful offense that now includes Josh Hamilton.
HRs 2012 (Explicit Music Lyrics-Parental Guidance Advised)
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Saturday, January 5th, 2013
Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Intern): Follow @ryandana1
In my previous article examining the decline of the DH position in the AL, I briefly touched on a few great DH’s. Now I will exert my focus on examining who the best DH of all time was. While the DH position may be in a decline, it has experienced good times. To be truly great at one of the hardest things to do in sports, (hit a baseball) is quite an accomplishment whether you play in the field or not. The Top 4 DH’s off all time have to be Harold Baines, Edgar Martinez, Frank Thomas, and David Ortiz. (The ordering just goes from 1st to enter the MLB to last, not who was the best. I will order them in that way later in the article.)
Harold Baines was somewhat of a pioneer of the DH position, as he was one of the early greats. His 22 Year Career started in 1980 with the Chicago White Sox, and ended for the same team in 2001, although he had stints with the Rangers, Athletics, Orioles, and Indians in between. Baines was a regular Outfielder for the White Sox until the ’86 season – where knee problems all but ended his fielding career. With Baines well-rounded, Left-hHanded stroke at the plate, he etched out a place in baseball history that will leave him remembered by many.
Frank Thomas Highlights:
Note from Chuck Booth: I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history. 2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4. The Teams Payroll going into 2013 and 5.The Ball Park that they play in. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.) Be sure to check my author page with a list of all of my archived articles section here.
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer): Follow @chuckbooth3024
I like that this franchise series is right dab smack in the middle of the biggest Franchise trade since Tony Fernandez and Fred McGriff went to San Diego for Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter in 1990. A Toronto Blue Jays fan can only hope for the same result that came down afterwards to repeat itself in the next few year. The early days of the Jays hitters (late 1970′s provided some long-term reliable guys,) however it wasn’t until Jesse Barfield won a HR Title and George Bell came home with the 1987 AL MVP, that the rest of the MLB started to take notice on the hitters of this Canadian Team. As soon as the club moved into SKYDOME, the hitters had a field day. Not to say that Exhibition Stadium didn’t aid some homeruns and nice averages in its day, it is just that SKYDOME is a hitter friendly park.
From George Bell and the outstanding other 80′s OF trio of Barfield and Lloyd “The Shaker” Moseby, to Tony Fernandez and Ernie Whitt, these guys all played a huge chunk of their careers with this Canadian Club. Fred McGriff routinely hit towering shots off of the Windows Restaurant and led the AL in HRs during the 1989 Pennant Winning Season. In 1991, when Joe Carter and Roberto Alomar arrived onto the scene, the offense just clicked on all cylinders. Devon White was gracefully stealing bases and striding into runs with those gigantic high knee kicks of his. John Olerud walked right out of College and added one of the best ‘natural’ swings that any of us have ever seen. Veterans Dave Winfield and Paul Molitor bashed their way into Jays hearts with their limited time with the organization en route to back to back World Series Titles in 1992 and 1993. After the Strike/Lockout, the team then saw Shawn Green and Carlos Delgado routinely destroy pitchers and be amongst the league lead in several power categories.
There is a ton more on this article just past these links or by clicking the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON.
Here are the links for the article series.
Franchise History Part 2 1994-2012: http://mlbreports.com/2012/11/28/jay/
For Part 6 of the 7 Part Series: Blue Jays 2013 Team Payroll Click here:
For Part 7 of the 7 Part Series: Blue Jays 2013 Team Payroll: A Readers Thoughts, Click Here:
Note from Chuck Booth: I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history. 2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4. The Teams Payroll going into 2013 and 5.The Ball Park that they play in. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.) Be sure to check my author page with a list of all of my archived articles here.
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer): Follow @chuckbooth3024-The Phillies have had an incredible run in the last decade of baseball. Most of that time has been spent at Citizens Bank Ball Park which is a very hitter-friendly park. The management was smart enough to draft a whole bunch of offensive talent like Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Pat Burrell, Scott Rolen, Jimmy Rollins and even J.D Drew(who never signed in 1997 with the Phillies and went back into the 1998 draft.) They also traded Scott Rolen for Placido Polanco. These guys have all taken advantage of the new baseball cathedral. Ryan Howard leads all active players in HRs per AB in the Major Leagues with hitting a HR per just a little over 13 AB. There is still a long way to go to chase down Michael Jack Schmidt. His 548 Career HRs and 1595 RBI lead the ALL-Time totals on the Phillies by quite a big margin.
Criteria for being put on this list was quite simple. You had to be a player of significance on the Franchise. Great watermarks are: 1000 hits, 100 HRs, 1000 games, if you led the league in any category for a few seasons or batted .285 or higher for the duration of your time. This is what I was looking for to include the players on the list. It has taken me a lengthy period of time to siphon through 130 years of baseball to bring you this list. From Ed Delahanty and Billy Hamilton, to Richie Ashburn and Dick Allen, to Mike Schmidt and Greg Luzinki, to Von Hayes, to John Kruk and Lenny Dykstra, to Bobby Abreu and Scott Rolen-to finally get us to the gentlemen aforementioned in the first paragraph. I want this study to be as interactive as I can with the readers. If you feel that there is someone worthy of being included in the list for hitters, please feel free to comment or send me an email to email@example.com. I would be glad to edit this post and add to it. After all, if you are reading this, chances are you are a Phillies fan, I am just a baseball historian.
For Part 1 of The 4 Part Phillies Article Series: The Franchise- click here
For Part 3 of The 4 Part Phillies Article Series: The Pitchers- click here
For Part 4 of the Phillies Article Series: Team Payroll and Contractual Statuses click here
Ryan Howard Highlight reel
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- Seemingly gone are the days where most of the MLB players stick with one team for their whole careers. As of right now there are not too many superstars that have spent their entire careers with one organization. Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera are 1st ballot Hall of Famers. Chipper Jones should make the BBHOF. Todd Helton is close to retiring but I am not sure the voters will see him worthy. There are some promising chances that Ryan Braun and David Wright might play their entire careers with their current clubs, however with Braun’s PED fiasco last year I just don’t see him entering Cooperstown. Wright must re-sign with the ownership hemorrhaging, this will prove hard for the Wilpons funds thanks to Bernie Madoff. When it comes to starting pitching, the list is shrunken that much further. Justin Verlander is the active win leader with a player only having played for one team. He has 114 wins with the Tigers, anybody above him on the active ALL-Time Wins list has pitched for multiple teams already. The next active leader for one team pitched for is Ervin Santana with 91 wins for the Angels franchise. Felix Hernandez has 90 wins for the Mariners. Tim Lincecum, Cole Hamels and Matt Cain have played their entire careers for the same team so far and have CY Young titles amongst them, but have a long way to go in establishing Hall of Fame Careers.
That brings me to my next stat. There are 9 players in history who have hit 500 HRs or more for one team. All of them are in the Hall of Fame except for Barry Bonds (who becomes eligible next year.) I am not sure the writers will cast a vote for him because of his steroid use. When I got the idea for this article, it came to be because I was amazed that Paul Konerko has hit over 400 HRs with the Chicago White Sox. Again at age 36, Konerko has a look at 500 HRs with the Chicago team. Right now he can end the season with about 410-420 HRs. Provided he can play 3-4 years more and have productive seasons, he may reach the milestone. Chipper Jones is the only other active MLB Player to have 400 HRs with one team. Larry is slowing down though and will most likely retire after this year. Read the rest of this entry
Note from Chuck Booth: I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history. 2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4. The Team’s Payroll going into in 2013 and 5. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.) To follow all of the updates, be sure to check my author page with a list of all archived articles here.
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)-I recently saw a bunch of old Montreal Expos had a celebration dinner to honor the late Gary Carter at Olympic Stadium in Montreal. This brought me back to when I was a little kid watching the Expos on the French Channel in Canada. I followed this team before any other in MLB. I was a catcher in little league because of Gary Carter. My friends and I all would ask for Montreal Expos hats and jerseys for Christmas. I would later move on to like the Yankees when Don Mattingly, Dave Winfield and Rickey Henderson joined the club, but I always liked the Expos in the National League as my team. They were a consistent club from 1979-1995. They drafted extremely well and were above .500 for pretty much the entire time. At the end of this article today be sure to watch the documentary from youtube on the Expos Franchise that the Reports has linked for you.
It was unfortunate they had the 2 billion dollar monstrosity of what was Olympic Stadium as their home venue. It was a mistake from the beginning to build a baseball park so far away from the downtown core. The 1994 strike killed the franchises hopes to make their 1st World Series appearance. The team was leading the NL East with a 74-40 record and featured the outfield of Larry Walker, Marquis Grissom and Moises Alou. They had traded away their ALL-Star second basemen Delino DeShields prior to that year for some pitcher named Pedro Martinez. The economics of baseball were starting to catch up on the baseball club. When the lockout was lifted in 1995, gone were Walker, Grissom and great pitchers Ken Hill and John Wetteland. It began a constant cycle of Montreal grooming awesome talent, only to trade the players away before they had to pay them big money. The one constant of the team was an incredible draft record from 1985-2004. Today is part 1 of a 3 part article series in which we will look at the history of the Montreal Expos. I have listed 30 hitters drafted by the Expos Scouting Staff that went onto nice baseball careers. Next week I will look at the pitchers and the third week I will cover the dissection of the proud franchise before the move to Washington. Read the rest of this entry
Wednesday June.6, 2012
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- While watching Josh Hamilton this year, I started thinking about the best players in the MLB over the last 33 years. I am talking the best player of the game at any point of time. I tracked back to 1979 for this article. I may expand further back in follow up articles. I did rank defense highly when I came up with the players. I did agonize over Mike Schmidt, Jim Rice, Wade Boggs and Cal Ripken for some of the years given in specific time frames. These gentlemen were given every consideration. In the end, we are talking about the best player in the game though and it is always subject to debate and personal opinion. The criteria had to involve leading the league in several different offensive and/or defensive categories, followed by routinely being in the top 7 in MVP balloting(if not taking home the honor), All-Star Appearances for every year I listed them for and most of them won silver sluggers and/or Gold Gloves as well.
George Brett 1979-1983-George Brett was the best hitter in the game from 1979-1983. He hit for a .320 average and slugged his way to having the Royals as perennial contenders. He led the league in triples (20) and hits in 1979. In 1980, he hit .390 with a .454 OBP, 664 SLG and a 1.118 OBP which led the league. In 1983, Brett led the league in slugging an OPS once again. Brett won the MVP in 1980 and was the runner-up in 1979. In 1985, George Brett would lead the Royals to a World Series. He later won a batting title at age 37 with a .329 average. This was the toughest time frame to judge from 1979-1983. Mike Schmidt was an incredible force at third base with huge power and Jim Rice also put up mammoth numbers, but in the end I chose George Brett because he was more consistent out of 3. Read the rest of this entry