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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)
Sunday July 8th, 2012
Ryan Ritchey (Baseball Writer): The Mid-Summer Classic is upon us and this is the time for some of the best players in all of Major League Baseball to show what they got. The National League will face the American League in the State Farm Home Run Derby on July 9th. There will be four players from each league. The captain for the National League is Matt Kemp and for the American League it will be Robinson Cano.
The National League squad brings four guys that can just straight rake. Those four guys include Matt Kemp, Carlos Gonzalez, Carlos Beltran and Andrew McCutchen (a last minute replacement for the injured Giancarlo Stanton). This is a team that has a great chance to win this event with having two right-handers, a lefty and a switch hitter. Kauffman Stadium is a stadium that can see balls flying out of it completely. Beltran is going back to where his career began and where the fans hated that he left. This could become a warm welcome back for Beltran, or it could become a disappointment if he doesn’t do well.
The American League is bringing some heavy sluggers of its own to the show. Team captain Robinson Cano selected Mark Trumbo, Jose Bautista, and Prince Fielder. Cano also picked a lefty like himself and 2 righties. This could turn out to be one of the best Home Run Derby’s EVER! So much power in one place, it could cause a power outage close to Kauffman. Cano the reigning champion has a great chance to win. I don’t believe he does though.
My predicted champion of the 2012 State Farm Home Run Derby is Carlos Beltran! Beltran coming back to Kansas City has a breakout day and wins by 4 homers. In a close second is Jose Bautista making up for his performance last season. The National League ends up winning the challenge as well. The underdog to keep an eye on is Mark Trumbo. This guy has some serious power and could end up making a believer out of many. But first-timers tend to get a little nervous, especially the young ones. With poise and experience, look for Carlos Beltran to have some home run fun on Monday night.
Ryan Ritchey is a Baseball Writer & Reds Expert for MLB reports. I am a freshman at Spalding University, Assistant Baseball Coach and plan on studying sports journalism. I am a huge fan of Barry Larkin and Brandon Phillips. Have been a baseball fan my whole life and have been writing about baseball since my freshman year of High School. You can reach me on Twitter (@baseballaddicts)
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Wednesday July 4th, 2012
Bernie Olshansky: As the All-Star Break is upon us, we begin to reflect on the first half of the season. While there has been some very strong pitching including multiple perfect games and no-hitters, there has been no shortage of the long ball. Here’s my top-ten list of first-half home run hitters:
10. Giancarlo Stanton (19), MIA
The only surprise about having Stanton on this list is why he’s so low. He got off to a pretty slow start but eventually turned it up. Many speculated that the spaciousness of the new Marlins Park would take away some power due to the deep power alleys, but Stanton has proved those speculations false. He hasn’t had a problem launching balls deep over the left field fence and has taken advantage of the away games. Expect this imposing figure to keep up his performance and possibly even reach 40.
9. Robinson Cano (20), NYY
No stranger to this list, Cano also had a slow start but had a ridiculous month of June hitting 12 homers. Cano plays in about the exact opposite environment as Stanton in Yankee Stadium. With a right field porch only 314 feet away, Cano has no problem putting up big numbers. Cano, too, will undoubtedly put up big numbers in the second half.
8. Carlos Beltran (20), STL
Beltran is probably the most surprising member of this list. He seems like he got rejuvenated after signing with the Cardinals this offseason. Beltran got off to a great start this year and has kept up his performance for the most part. He’s done more than enough to fill the gap left by Albert Pujols’ signing with the Angels. I wouldn’t count on Beltran to keep this up due to his age and his past health issues. Cards’ fans should just ride out this wave and hope it keeps rolling into the post season. Read the rest of this entry
Friday June 15th, 2012
Bryan Sheehan (MLB Writer): For better or worse, Josh Hamilton has been one of the most talked about ballplayers in the past four seasons. He started out as an inspirational story for overcoming drug and alcohol addiction, returning to baseball after three years on the restricted list due to failed drug tests. His talent always peaked the interest of teams, going first overall to the Devil Rays in the 1999 draft and third overall in the 2006 Rule 5 draft to the Chicago Cubs, when he was “the biggest name in the Rule 5 in many years,” according to Baseball America. Immediately after he was traded to Cincinnati, where he spent most of the 2007 season in the Majors. Another team interested meant another trade, and Hamilton landed in Texas for the 2008 season. Since then, he has been an All Star every year, a Silver Slugger winner twice, and the American League MVP in 2010.
Hamilton will no doubt gain even more attention if he hits free agency after this season. Though he is eligible to file for free agency at the end of the year, there are rumors circulating that the Rangers may try to sign the tattooed center fielder to an extension. Age 31, Hamilton is in the prime of his career and he’s currently on pace to hit 60 home runs in 2012. That, along with a career .311 batting average that is only getting better, makes for a huge payoff in the near future. At the same time, Hamilton is in danger of relapsing, as he did when he was seen drinking at a Dallas bar in February, and some teams may not want to invest in a potential addict. Either way, this Fall and Winter will be very interesting for the star who has brought his team to the World Series twice in two years. Read the rest of this entry
Ryan Ritchey: When you look back at Mark McGwire’s career as a great hitter and now the hitting coach of the World Series Champion Cardinals, you must think of Barry Bonds. The same Barry Bonds who in my opinion was a cheater in the game of baseball by using steroids, but was still a great hitter. Even if you do use steroids, you still have to hit the ball solidly for it to leave the park and that is just what Bonds did. Bonds, the career MLB leader in home runs, was no doubt a great hitter. With that great hitting ability he could help many players in becoming great hitters as well.
The one team you could see him helping is his beloved San Francisco Giants. As anyone who has watched the Giants, you know they are a terrible hitting team. So far this season the Giants are 25th in the majors in runs scored with only 119 runs scored. Bonds could help this team out a whole lot with just mechanics. Learning how to hit the ball and pitch selection is a huge part in hitting. If you have a weak pitch selection, you aren’t going to be a good hitter. In my estimation, Bonds could help out a lot of the young Giants hitters and turn this team into a World Series winner again. Read the rest of this entry
Friday February 24th, 2012
Rob Bland: The last two seasons have seen Jose Bautista lead the MLB in home runs. His seemingly out of nowhere run to being one of the top 3 hitters in baseball looks to continue in 2012. Can he continue to hit home runs at a ridiculous pace, or will he fall off? Will someone such as Curtis Granderson or Matt Kemp become MLB’s newest home run champ? I will take a look at some of the top choices to take over this title, as well as a few dark horses. Read the rest of this entry