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HRs Streaks, Multiple HR Games + Top 5 HRs AL + NL

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

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Here at the MLB Reports we look to do things different.  It is one of our many motto’s.

We simply can’t look over every stat, or even chart every HR for that matter, but I have decided that we will carry the top 5 HR hitters for each the AL and NL on a page we have dubbed Stats.

For the HR feature. we will also list multiple HR games for players… Or if they have HRs in multiple games.  Once a week we will post these on the home page for the site as a regular page post. Read the rest of this entry

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Washington Nationals Payroll In 2014 + Contracts Going Forward

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

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The Washington Nationals have had an escalating salary structure for the last few years.  The truth is that their talent needs to be paid as time goes on.

In 2014, the Budget is looking to be around $130 MIL so far, after just being over $110 MIL.

The situation is more expensive next year, with 10 players under the Arbitration Eligible – highlighted by Stephen Strasburg for his 2nd year of it.

Among the others are:  Craig Stammen, Danny Espinosa, Tyler Clippard, Doug Fister, Drew Storen, Ross Detwiler, Wilson Ramos, Jerry Blevins, Jose Lobaton and Ryan Mattheus. Read the rest of this entry

How Winning Teams Are Built: How It Applies To The Nationals In 2014

The Nationals failed to meet expectations as the Preseason favorites to lock down the World Series in 2013.  Heck, they didn't even qualify for the playoffs.  Whether it was injury, or complacency, the talent of this team didn't maximize their potential this year.  However, the club did go 24 - 12 in their last 36 Games Played, and made a late charge at the 2nd Wild Card Spot.  Most of the nucleus is coming back for the 2014 year.  Their Starting Pitching Staff could have 3 potential Cy Young Winners, and Rafael Soriano is among the top Closers in the game of baseball.

The Nationals failed to meet expectations as the Preseason favorites to lock down the World Series in 2013. Heck, they didn’t even qualify for the playoffs. Whether it was injury, or complacency, the talent of this team didn’t maximize their potential this year. However, the club did go 24 – 12 in their last 36 Games Played, and made a late charge at the 2nd Wild Card Spot. Most of the nucleus is coming back for the 2014 year. Their Starting Pitching Staff could have 3 potential Cy Young Winners, and Rafael Soriano is among the top Closers in the game of baseball.

By David Huzzard (Nationals Correspondent via Citizens of Natstown.com – view website here): 

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Last week I wrote about the dangers of the WARpire (VoRPire) and why it is important to have a bottom of the roster that won’t cost a team any games, or to word it a different way won’t cancel out the contributions of the top of the roster.

Having a 5.0 fWAR player means nothing if there are enough negative players to cancel that out. The middle and bottom of the roster are the foundation upon which the stars stand.

A team needs that bottom of the roster in order to win because without them the stars cannot flourish. ‘

Think about the Red Sox and the changes they made going into 2013.

Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino, and Jonny Gomes aren’t stars, but they aren’t negative assets either and their presence on the roster allows David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia contributions to matter. Read the rest of this entry

The Nationals Case Against Extending Jordan Zimmermann

The problem with any of the Nationals players not name Harper or Strasburg, is that any time the club is talking about extending one of their players before them, those guys have to be kept in mind for when they hit Free Agency.

The problem with any of the Nationals players not named Harper or Strasburg, is that any time the club is talking about extending one of their players before them, those guys have to be kept in mind for when they hit Free Agency..  The Nationals are creeping up the payroll scale each year that their core is together.  Whether it is Arbitration, or players like Jayson Werth and Gio Gonzalez being paid more as their own contracts mature.  2014 will see the club set another record for player salaries, adding to the fuel that it will be tough to extend Zimmermann.

By David Huzzard (Nationals Correspondent via Citizens of Natstown.com – view website here): 

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With how much love role players like Michael Morse and Steve Lombardozzi have garnered from Nats fans as they’ve left town it will be amazing to see what happens when the Washington Nationals lose a legitimate star player.

With Ian Desmond and Jordan Zimmermann both two years away from free agency there is a high likelihood that that day is soon approaching.

The Nationals have made several overtures to Jordan Zimmermann but no deal has been reached or even come close. Zimmermann wants fair market value which is understandable but what is fair market value for a pitcher like him?

Zack Greinke with a career 3.65 ERA and one Cy Young under his belt set the record for free agent pitchers with the $147 million contract he signed last off-season heading into his age 29 season.

Jordan Zimmermann April 2013 Shutout – Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is Advised

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Scott Boras, Is He Good For Major League Baseball?

A man ahead of his time, Boras was one of the original moneyball players.  For his career, Boras had 133 walks and only 76 strikeouts.  Those numbers were for good for a lifetime .363 OBP, to go along with his .288 AVG.  Knee injuries unfortunately cut his career short and Boras only made it as high as AA ball.  With the baseball experience under his belt, Boras went on to practice law and from there become a full-time baseball agent in the early 1980s.

A man ahead of his time, Boras was one of the original moneyball players. For his career in the Minor League, Boras had 133 walks and only 76 strikeouts. Those numbers were for good for a lifetime .363 OBP, to go along with his .288 AVG in the Minor Leagues. Knee injuries unfortunately cut his career short and Boras only made it as high as AA ball. With the baseball experience under his belt, Boras went on to practice law and from there become a full-time baseball agent in the early 1980s. (Caption courtesy of Jonathan Hacohen).

By Patrick Languzzi (Cooperstown Correspondent)

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He has a billion dollar smile, a list of clients taller than Shaquille O’Neil and is considered Major League Baseball’s super agent.

In 2006 Baseball America named him the most influential non-player in 25 years, beating out Major League commissioner Bud Selig, yes, that Bud Selig!

Major League Baseball has had to change its rules in response to him on multiple occasions and he has a list of clients that include or have included Jayson Werth (126m), Matt Holliday (120m), Barry Zito (126m), Carlos Beltran (119m) and now the wealthier Jacoby Ellsbury (153m) – just to name a few, and the list goes on..

Fans, teams and general managers may despise him for fear that he is destroying Major League Baseball.

We’re talking about Scott Boras.

Boras Interview From 2009 (After being named the most influential non – player for last 25 years)

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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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The Phillies State Of The Union: Hitters Edition + They Should Give A Full Chance To Darin Ruf In 2014

The Phillies are to the NL what the Yankees are to the AL, and old and expensive team.  They had their 1st losing campaign in over a decade, and are without a 3rd Baseman, Catcher and possibly an OF to fill the holes.  That is if they end up resigning Doc Halladay.  But 2013 wasn't an entire loss.  Performances by Domonic Brown and Darin Ruf have to give the management some hope.  Playing guys under team control, low payroll deals will enable the franchise the flexibility to pursue high end talent in Free Agency.  Today, I explain how the Phightins' can do this.

The Phillies are to the NL what the Yankees are to the AL, and old and expensive team. They had their 1st losing campaign in over a decade, and are without a 3rd Baseman, Catcher and possibly an OF to fill the holes. That is if they end up resigning Doc Halladay. But 2013 wasn’t an entire loss. Performances by Domonic Brown and Darin Ruf have to give the management some hope. Playing guys under team control, low payroll deals will enable the franchise the flexibility to pursue high end talent in Free Agency. Today, I explain how the Phightins’ can do this.  How will the team fare under 2nd year skipper Ryne Sandberg – after a 20 – 22 finish?

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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2014 was a tough year on the Phillies.  For one, the fact that the MLB Reports is having an Awareness Day for them today, based on them having the 7th worst record (73 – 89) in the Majors during 2013 is mind – boggling.

We are talking about a team that had 5 Division Titles in a row (2007 – 2011), a huge payroll, and a bountiful nest of ALL – Stars to hit in the lineup, and in the Starting Rotation.

Much like the Yankees though, their core is all hitting their waning years.  Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins are having a tough time staying on the field to be productive.

2013 was always going to be about the team resurrecting its status as an NL Elite, instead they saw Roy Halladay blow up before their eyes, Cole Hamels struggle, and nobody was there to save them.

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

Darin Ruf’s Towering Shot in Aug of 2013

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“Stoking The Fire” Week 4: Mariners State Of The Union: Spend Some $$$ This Winter Seattle!!

Life has not been so great for the fans of the PAC NW of late.  The Mariners have regressed in the last decade of baseball - and are withering with the lowest attendance teams in the game of baseball.  This followed the 1st 5 years of Safeco Field's existence, where they were drawing over 3 Million fans - and competing in the AL West every year.  It is imperative this team spends money on quality Free Agents this winter.  Loaded with a multitude of young arms, and position players.  this franchise should be seeking power bats in the OF and 1B/DH positions

Life has not been so great for the fans of the PAC NW of late. The Mariners have regressed in the last decade of baseball – and are withering with the lowest attendance teams in the game of baseball. This followed the 1st 5 years of Safeco Field’s existence, where they were drawing over 3 Million fans – and competing in the AL West every year. It is imperative this team spends money on quality Free Agents this winter. Loaded with a multitude of young arms, and position players. this franchise should be seeking power bats in the OF and 1B/DH positions.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Nothing is more a waste of time, than watching a premiere talent like Felix Hernandez, have to suffer in the haphazard city of Seattle, while the team has entered a new generation of futility.

This is a franchise that was abysmal from 1977 – until the time that Ken Griffey JR. came to the rescue.

A few years later, armed with some good drafting – and Randy Johnson from trading away Mark Langston, and the team was ready to compete.

Of course I can always quote “Seinfeld” – where Jay Buhner was also acquired for DH Slugger Ken Phelps.

But since Lou Pinella followed ALL – Stars out the door in 2004, Johnson, (1998) Griffey (1999) and Alex Rodriguez in (2000), the club has fallen on some hard times.

At first the team was stoic with the players leaving the nest, as Jamie Moyer and Ichiro Suzuki helped lead the charge for a record winning 116 Games in 2001.

Suzuki was the right infusion when the other guys left, and he stayed graciously with the team until mid 2012.

Raul Ibanez Highlights:

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Add Another Season Of Misery For The City Of Washington: 80 Years + 3 Franchises Have Disappointed

The Nationals are just the latest in a string of failures the city of Washington has seen.  It has been 80 years since an MLB club from the District has seen World Series Baseball, and now they will have to wait another season.  Despite being the Preseason favorite to make the Fall Classic, Washington has missed the playoffs outright,

The Nationals are just the latest in a string of failures the city of Washington has seen. It has been 80 years since an MLB club from the District has seen World Series Baseball, and now they will have to wait another season. Despite being the Preseason favorite to make the Fall Classic, Washington has missed the playoffs outright in 2013.

By James O’Hara (Nationals Correspondent via Citizens of Natstown.com – view website here): 

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On Oct. 1, 1971 in the last game played by the Washington Senators at RFK Stadium, fans began tearing apart the stadium and field to claim souvenirs. Much like the current Washington Nationals are tearing apart Washington, D.C.

A lot is made of the Chicago Cubs (not winning a World Series since 1909 – or playing in one since 1945) and Boston Red Sox decades long pursuit of World Series titles and the pressure from it – before knocking the monkey from their back in 2004.

But that cannot compare to the pressure of being in town without baseball for 33 years – and having not played in the World Series at all since the Joe Cronin led 1933 squad lost.

From 1971 – 2004, Thirty-three World Series champions were crowned without a team from Washington, D.C. even entering the fight.

It is almost fitting in a way that the Montreal Expos moved to Washington, as you are talking about 1 of 2 teams in the MLB currently, that have never played (other is Seattle)  in a World Series before. The Expos/Nats club is now completed its 46th season in the MLB.

It is almost fitting in a way that the Montreal Expos moved to Washington, as you are talking about 1 of 2 teams in the MLB currently, that have never played (other is Seattle) in a World Series before. The Expos/Nats club have now completed their 45th season in the Majors without showing up in the “Fall Classic”.

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September Callup Candidates For The Nationals: Washington With A Great 36 Game Sked To End 2013

The Nationals will need a massive collapse from either the Pirates, Reds or Cardinals in order to qualify for the Post Season in 2013.  Despite the struggles, the club still has to go about the business of preparing a 40 Man Roster in September.  Lets preview some of the news, injured players coming back, and recent performances of some of the guys in the Minor League System.

At 62 – 64 with 36 games left, The Nationals will need a massive collapse from either the Pirates, Reds or Cardinals in order to qualify for the Post Season in 2013 being 10.5 Games behind the playoff bar. Despite the struggles, the club still has to go about the business of preparing a 40 Man Roster in September. Lets preview some of the news, injured players coming back, and recent performances of some of the guys in the Minor League System.

By Sean Hogan (Nationals Correspondent via Citizens of Natstown.com – view website here): 

September is just 10 days away. With 9 games in those 10 days, a lot of things can happen with the Nats. They can still go on a run and get back into the thick of things in the Wild Card race.

The reason for this is easy…. The Pirates, Cardinals and Reds are play each other a pile in the last 5 weeks of the year, so all the Nationals have to do is to take care of business, and they can be back in the conversation for the playoff game at least.

The Nats also have a ridiculously easy schedule coming from now until the end of the year in their final 36 games. 

Coming up.  1 more @CHC, 3 @KC (they are struggling now), then a 6 game homestand versus the Marlins and Mets.   They should go 7 – 3 here.

From there, they have a 10 game road trip with 3 @PHI, 3 @MIA and 4 @NYM.  The team could go 7 – 3.

Followed by the road trip is a 10 game homestand:  3 VS PHI, 3 VS ATL (they may have clinched by then – or at least resting guys), and to vs the Marlins ends the stretch.  The team could go 8 – 2.

The Nats end up playing their last 6 on the road versus the Cardinals and Diamondbacks in 3 game series each.  If they win both series, it could be a 4 – 2 road trip. 

You could see the club win 26 of their last 36 games – to have them equal 88 wins.  The Pirates would need to win 15 games out of 36 in this scenario.

While it would still make it unlikely to be in the Wild Card Game, it could put some pressure on the 3 NL Central franchises.

The Cardinals would have to win 16 out of 36 games to stay ahead, and the Reds would need 17 wins out their last 35 games to stay head.

They could also go on a losing streak and drop out of the race just as easily. For the most part, the Nats’ September call-up candidates will be the same, but their eventual roles may differ.

The only player on the 40-man roster that I don’t think has a chance of making it to the Majors in September is Matt Purke, who has always struggled with injuries and is just starting to hack it in high A ball.

Jeff Kobernus – 1st Career HR

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MLB 30 Team Power Rankings: Week 18: Trade Deadline Edition

Click The Link Below For A Great MLB Reports Podcast On The Trade Deadline

Triple Play Podcast Trade Speculation

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Sunday July.28/2013

The Dodgers have won 25 out of their last 31, play in the weakest division in the MLB right now, and other than Arizona, do not have much competition right now.  Solid Pitching and a revamped healthy lineup has led the charge.  They climbed all the way up to 5th in this weeks rankings.

The Dodgers have won 25 out of their last 31, play in the weakest division in the MLB right now, and other than Arizona, do not have much competition. Solid Pitching and a revamped healthy lineup has led the charge. They climbed all the way up to 6th in this weeks rankings.  The Dodgers have a 230 Million Dollar Plus payroll, and have no plans to slow down in this offseason.  It may actually be a blessing in disguise if this team makes a long run in the playoffs.  It has been speculated they will pursue Robinson Cano this winter.  I have predicted they will offer him a 7 – 8 year deal worth $30 MIL per annum.

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

The Detroit Tigers finds itself back on top of our rankings.  It was a hard decision between them and the Atlanta Braves.

The prevailing thought is that I am more confident in the “Motown Boys” to make the World Series.

Since starting the year 12 – 11, the Braves have only gone 47 – 44.  Lets just say the should finish the season with about 89 wins.  That would force Washington to go 38 – 19 in their final 57 Games.

I fully expect the Nationals to take off at any part in the season, so this is not a foreign concept.

In contrast, I don’t believe in either the Indians or Royals to near 90 wins like the Tigers should have by seasons end.

With a bypass to eliminate the Wild Card Game, Detroit is our #1 team.

Clip is Francona talking about Fielder – (There are 2 more clips of C.Fielder +  P.Fielder at end of this blog)

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How All Of The Nats Players Were Acquired: (Trade, Signed, Drafted, Waiver Wire) + Analysis

How All Of The Washington Nationals Players Were Acquired:

Strasburg and Harper are the franchises future.  Through drafting and smart trades, the club is now considered one of the best talented clubs in the MLB as of now.  Despite dealing with several injuries this current 2013 season - the future is definitely bright in DC

Strasburg and Harper are the franchises future. Through drafting and smart trades, the club is now considered one of the best talented clubs in the MLB as of now. Despite dealing with several injuries this current 2013 season – the future is definitely bright in DC.  The club has strong pitching in the Major Leagues – with some help coming  for more years to come.  They have potential ALL – Stars in almost every position.  Lets see how all of the players were acquired.

Tuesday July.23/2013

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

At the MLB Reports, we intend to show you the Roster Tree for the Washington Nationals – and how they assembled their current roster for hitting and Pitching.  It will work in a six degrees of separation like format.

Once we figure out the origin of how many trades going back in time it takes to see where the tree started, it will be time to dissect how the team fared on the deals.

If a player has never left the organization at all, the tree will be easy – as it will just be the year they were drafted or signed.

The Rise of the Nationals

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Top MLB Teams 1 – 30: Monthly Rankings + (Top 200 Stats For Reading And Fantasy Baseball)

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Thursday July.11/2013

The Giants have gone 9 - 23 in their last 32 Games and are in danger of having a brutal campaign just one year after capturing the World Series.  Key injuries and overlogged pitchers have been the main point of contention. They lost 8 Ranking Spots.

The Giants have gone 9 – 23 in their last 32 Games – and are in danger of having a brutal campaign just one year after capturing the World Series. Key injuries and overlogged pitchers have been the main point of contention. They lost 8 Ranking Spots this past time.  Should they also become sellers at the Trade Deadline,  Tim Lincecum and Hunter Pence could fetch a few players in return.  The Giants are currently 40 – 50 and 6.5 Games behind the NL West Leading DBACKS – but are in last in the NL West.

 

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

The time has come for the July 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 these 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.

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The Washington Nationals Offense – Post Rendon At 2B + Going Forward

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Saturday, June.29/2013

The Nationals still rank next to last in the NL in runs per game, but it was known weeks ago that all the bad from April and May would take a long time to correct. The Nationals however are on the way to correcting it, and when analyzing the current team that is on the field it is important to look at the team that is currently taking the field. Since inserting at second base the Nats offense has scored 72 runs in 18 games, an average of four runs a game. That is much better than the overall season average of 3.55 and much better than the average with Espinosa at second of 3.40.

The Nationals still rank next to last in the NL in runs per game, but it was known weeks ago that all the bad from April and May would take a long time to correct. The Nationals however are on the way to correcting it, and when analyzing the current team that is on the field it is important to look at the team that is currently taking the field. Since inserting at second base the Nats offense has scored 72 runs in 18 games, an average of four runs a game. That is much better than the overall season average of 3.55 and much better than the average with Espinosa at second of 3.40.

By David Huzzard (Nationals Correspondent via Citizens of Natstown.com – view website here): 

Numbers before June.27/2013

Not surprisingly replacing a .158/.193/.465 hitter with a .354/.402/.887 guy – has had a marketable difference. The Nats offense hasn’t yet turned the corner, for in June, the Nationals left fielders have hit .228/.293/.616.

Surprisingly that isn’t the worst in baseball but it is pretty darn close. Soon the Nationals are going to replace those paltry numbers with the numbers of Bryce Harper who at the time he was placed on the DL was hitting .287/.386/.973.

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Washington Nationals Organization: Payroll, Depth Charts + Rosters, (MLB + MiLB)

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Friday, June.21/2013

The Nationals were everyone's Preseason favorite to get to the 2013 World Series.  A litany of injuries, with a few slumps from some key Veterans - have caused them to only be hovering around .500.  They still have a chance to rundown the Atlanta Braves in the NL East if they can put together the kind of winning baseball they put forth during the 2012 campaign.  Even if it doesn't come to fruition this year, the club looks solid in the coming years.  Only a World Series Championship will forever cement their legacy as a great club.

The Nationals were everyone’s Preseason favorite to get to the 2013 World Series. A litany of injuries, with a few slumps from some key Veterans – have caused them to only be hovering around .500. They still have a chance to rundown the Atlanta Braves in the NL East if they can put together the kind of winning baseball they put forth during the 2012 campaign. Even if it doesn’t come to fruition this year, the club looks solid in the coming years. Only a World Series Championship will forever cement their legacy as a great club.

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 &*!@?!#!

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!

For a Full 3 year Salary Outlook plus last years Stats for every player in the Nationals Organization clickhere

From Last To First – The Rise Of The Nats

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MLB Team Power Rankings

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Sunday June.02/2013

Miguel Cabrera is absolutely unconscious this season so far;.  He has a 3 Slash Line of .369 (Leads AL)/.445 (Leads AL/1.121 (2ndi n AL), with 17 HRs (2nd AL) and a mind - blowing 65 RBI through 54 Games Played.  He is on pace for 51 HRs. 195 RBI and about 250 Hits.  He keeps getting better every single year if possible. Despite his prominence - and a lineup full of ALL - Star hitters and Pitchers, the Tigers are limping along at just a few games over .500.  It certainly isn't this 30 Year Olds fault.

Miguel Cabrera is absolutely unconscious this season so far; He has a 3 Slash Line of .369 (Leads AL)/.445 (Leads AL/1.121 (2nd in AL), with 17 HRs (2nd AL) and a mind – blowing 65 RBI through 54 Games Played. He is on pace for 51 HRs, 195 RBI and about 250 Hits. He keeps getting better every single year if possible. Despite his prominence – and a lineup full of ALL – Star hitters and Pitchers, the Tigers are limping along at just a few games over .500. It certainly isn’t this 30 Year Old’s fault.

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

Featuring the Podcasters the Big ticket Show in the Audio Portion

I will be doing a stat fueled rankings list on this Thursday.  These rankings will have some stats and  random thoughts of what I will be talking about in today’s podcast with the Big Ticket Show (AKA, Triple Play Podcast.)

Games Prior to Sunday June.02/2013

Cardinals 2013 30/30 Preview

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Exploring The Nationals Depth: Organizational State Of The Union

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Sunday, May. 26/2013

Mike Morse was only signed through the 2013 season, while the brass felt that the Nationals had a playoff Roster of players.  From one injury after another, it is too bad the club didn't still have this guy to help the depth.  Morse has hit for a 3 Slash Line of .248/.311/.766 - with 10 HRs and 18 RBI

With Mike Morse  only being signed through the 2013 season, and the brass feeling that the Nationals had a playoff Roster of players without him, they dealt one of their best deep ball threats from the last couple of years. From one injury after another, it is too bad the club didn’t still have this guy to help the depth. Morse has hit for a 3 Slash Line of .248/.311/.766 – with 10 HRs and 18 RBI with Seattle this campaign.  The Nationals were not planning on resigning “Da Beast” past this season – and were able to replenish some pitching in the Minors by re – acquiring A.J. Cole.  It doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt the 2013.

By Sean Hogan (Nationals Correspondent via Citizens of Natstown.com – view website here): 

I’ve recently complained that the Nationals’ lack of organizational depth is a major reason for their mediocre start to the season. Key contributors C Wilson Ramos (twice), 3B Ryan Zimmerman, RF Jayson Werth and RHP Ryan Mattheus have all gone on the disabled list while LHP Ross Detwiler and LF Bryce Harper have narrowly avoided their own stints. None of that is even to mention 2B Danny Espinosa, who is playing with a torn rotator cuff. 

Kurt Suzuki has filled in admirably for the injured Ramos, but out of that bunch, that’s pretty much the only bright spot. Anthony Rendon and Chad Tracy struggled at 3B filling in for Zimmerman while Roger Bernadina and Tyler Moore have been downright awful in the corner OF spots. Super-sub Steve Lombardozzi has limped along to a -0.3 WAR, almost as bad as Espinosa’s -0.4. 

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Forget About The Ryan Howard Contract: Philly Fans Should Respect Him

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Monday May.06, 2013

Ryan Howard will need to remain healthy and be a force in the Phillies lineup. Howard is owed a Minimum of $105 MIL over 4 years (He is paid $20 MIL in 2013, and $25 MIL from 2014 - 2016 - with a $23 MIL Team Option (or a Buyout for $10 MIL)

Ryan Howard will need to remain healthy – and be a force in the Phillies lineup for the club to make a charge in the next 5 months of the year. Howard is owed a Minimum of $105 MIL over 4 years (He is paid $20 MIL in 2013, and $25 MIL per year from 2014 – 2016 – with a $23 MIL Team Option – or a Buyout for $10 MIL).

By Chris Creighton (Phillies Correspondent via http://www.warrroomphilly.com – visit the website here

On Friday night, Phillies First Baseman, Ryan Howard, honored his favorite teacher as the Phillies celebrated Teacher Appreciation Night at Citizens Bank Park.

This is nothing out of the ordinary for “The Big Piece”, a nickname he acquired for obvious reasons other than its metaphor which tells us just how important he is to this team and this city.

After all, Ryan Howard is one of the team’s most charitable athletes and most visible volunteers in the community. His dedication to his adoptive city of Philadelphia has been felt through several charities such as Ryan Howard’s Celebrity Servers, his work with the Police Athletic League, and his pride & joy,The Ryan Howard Family Foundation.

The list of donations and events this charity has raised and participated goes on and on. Athletic equipment to city schools, scholarships to student athletes,Winter coats and warm meals for the hungry and indigent during the holidays just to name a few where Howard has touched the hearts of so many in our fine city, like this sweet, young boy this past Friday.

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The Washington Nationals Franchise Part 6 of 6: 2013 Team Payroll And Contracts Updated Mar.8

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Thursday, March.07/2013

Stephen Strasburg is eligible for Arbitration after the 2013 season. He originally signed a 4 Year/14 Million Dollar Entry Level Deal after he was drafted in 2009.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst / Website Owner):

Perhaps no team will have more of a chance to win the 2013 World Series with Harper and Strasburg will be another year older, while both Zimmerman’s can both have been healthy for the year.  They have two Mutual Options for them to re-sign which I mention on the next page.  They do have several Arbitration Eligible Players including Super ’2′ Free Agents Jordan Zimmerman and Tyler Clippard.  The Nationals should try to lock most of these guys up as long as they can.  Especially guys like Desmond, Espinosa and Storen.  

Their price shall only skyrocket as they become older.  The Nationals will not have to worry about their starting outfield of Morse, Werth and Harper as they are all signed for next year.  Strasburg enters the final year of this entry-level deal and Gio Gonzalez also has a nice value deal for the salary part of it.

Kurt Suzuki had a strong finish in 2013, so you could see the club maybe trading away he or Wilson Ramos before 2013 Trade Deadline.  I suspect the Phillies to be stronger this year, so major improvements by Harper and rejuvenated play from both Zimmerman’s will be crucial to the clubs success.  Micheal Lerner has made it abundantly clear he wants a championship for this club ASAP.  He will spend any amount of money .  The rest of the lineup looks set and ready to mash in 2013!

For Part 1 of the Article Series, The Expos Hitters: click here

For Part 2 of the Article Series, The Expos Pitchers: click here

For Part 3 of the Article Series, The Demise of the Montreal Expos: click here

For Part 4 of the Article Series, The Washington Nationals Franchise 2005-2012: click here

For Part 5 of the Article Series, The Nationals top 25 Man Roster from 20o5-2012 click here

MLB 13 The Show – Bryce Harper Interview:

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The Washington Nationals Roster for 2013: State Of The Union Updated Mar.7/2013

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Thursday March 7, 2013

The Nationals are one of 2 teams in the MLB (The Mariners is the other) that have never made a World Series Appearance.   Will this change in the Year 2013?

The Nationals are one of 2 teams in the MLB (The Mariners is the other) that have never made a World Series Appearance. Will this change in the Year 2013?

By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Writer):  .

It’s clear that the Washington Nationals have turned the corner as a franchise on the rise. Their most recent high included a 2012 campaign that had them winning 98 games in the regular season, good for the most in the majors, but ended with heartbreak in a game 5 loss in the NLDS at the hands of the St. Louis Cardinals. Moving forward to 2013, the Nationals will certainly hope to make it deeper into the playoffs, but it will be easier said than done. The Nationals have shown patience in the past, but have made some aggressive moves this off-season.

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Granderson Is Out For 10 Weeks: What Can Cashman Do?

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Monday, February.25, 2013

Granderson has back to back 40 HR years with the Yankees. New York can ill afford to be without a productive LF for the 1st quarter of the year.  I believe they should make a trade to bolster their team.  When Granderson comes back, you could always have an extra player for depth still.

Granderson has had back to back 40 HR years with the Yankees in 2011 and 2012. New York can ill afford to be without a productive LF for the 1st quarter of this season. I believe they should make a trade to bolster their team. When Granderson comes back, you would always have an extra player for depth still.

Chuck Booth (Yankees Correspondent/Website Owner):

The start of the season is starting to look extremely bleak for the Yankees so far.  Derek Jeter is coming off of a broken ankle, A-Rod is out indefinitely with (insert whatever ailment here) until after the ALL-Star Game, Mariano Rivera is 43 – and trying to make it through one more season after tearing up his ACL last year, Phil Hughes is having back spasms, Joba Chamberlain seems healthy – (but you never what freak injury is going to happen to him next,) Michael Pineda is still recovering from shoulder Surgery, so what else was going to happen?  Add Curtis Granderson and a fractured right forearm to the walking wounded list.

This injury should alarm the Yankees and their fans.  The team is not strong depth-wise, as they have been in decades, so “The ‘Grandy Man’ not being able to play until early May should cause New York GM Brian Cashman to explore all of his options.  Like I have said in previous articles – ‘Financial Armageddon’ is coming for the club in 2014, plus the team is rapidly becoming older by the year.  It is safe to say that this year might be the last kick at a championship for some time.  What may the Yankees do to replace Granderson for the 1st quarter of the season?

Juan Rivera hits a Walk-Off for the Dodgers:

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Player Profile: Nationals 1B Adam LaRoche

Thursday January 10th, 2012

Adam LaRoche took home  both a Silver Slugger Award and a Gold Glove Award in 2012 for the 1st time in his career for both categories.

Adam LaRoche took home both a Silver Slugger Award and a Gold Glove Award in 2012 for the 1st time in his career for both categories.

Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

With the news of Adam Laroche’s signing of a 2-Year deal with the Washington Nationals breaking on Tuesday, it seems fitting for a profile to be done on this unsung hero. Last week, I profiled underrated star Billy Butler of the Royals. I will stick with this underrated theme as I cover the highlights of the career of power-hitting first baseman Adam LaRoche.

The 29th round pick of the 2000 amateur draft, Adam LaRoche broke into the league with the Atlanta Braves in 2004. He had a solid Rookie season, hitting .278 with 13 HR and 45 RBI in 110 games. LaRoche got steadily better from there, increasing his HR total by seven to 20 in 2005 and by 12 to 32 in 2006. 2005 was actually his worst year Batting Average-wise, in which he hit .259. LaRoche hit .172 in 2011, but he only played in 43 games – so I do not regard that as a true representation of what he would have hit had he played. Aside from his Rookie season and the season he was injured and only played 43 games, LaRoche has never played less than 140 games in a year. This is something that is very valuable to teams when they are looking for a power-hitting first baseman—and really any player for that matter. This is the main reason why I believe the Nationals rewarded him with his contract.

MLB Talk Radio / Audio For the Deal Analysis

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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

The 2013 Nationals Appear Primed to Make a Run at the World Series

Friday October 26th, 2012

Sam Evans: The Washington Nationals had a somewhat disappointing end to their season, losing to St. Louis in five ALDS games. Nonetheless, the Nationals had a tremendous season and should be pleased with where they stand heading into next year. With the NL East teams around Washington getting older and losing talent, there’s no reason why Washington can’t repeat as division champions in 2013. In fact, the Washington Nationals should be favored to make a World Series push in 2013.

Ever since the franchise moved from Montreal in 2005, Washington had yet to have a season over .500 and finish in the top two in the NL East. 2011 was a surprising season in which Washington won ninety-eight games, the most in major league baseball, and won the N.L. East. Their Pythagorean record (96-66) suggests that the Nationals 2012 season was not a fluke. Washington was led by Ian Desmond, rookie Bryce Harper and a tremendous young group of starting pitchers. 2012 wasn’t a fluke and Washington won’t be putting a team on the field in 2013 that is much different. So why can’t they repeat as division champs? Read the rest of this entry

MLB Reports Playoff Power Rankings and Predictions 2012

Friday, October.5/2012

The Reds have Joey Votto back and definitely are the deepest team in the playoffs. They start in San Francisco versus the Giants on Saturday in a best of 5 Series in the NLDS Round.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):

In what could be one of the most exciting days in MLB History, we present to you a special edition of the MLB Reports Power Rankings,

1.  Cincinnati Reds:  The reason I have chosen these guys is because of their path to the World Series is probably easier than any other team in the MLB when it comes to Strength of Schedule.  Johnny Cueto, Aroldis Chapman and Todd Frazier will challenge for NL Cy Young Votes and the Rookie of the Year Award.  They have a healthy Joey Votto and it is time for Brandon Phillips to show his playoff metal.  They have the greatest bullpen in the playoffs and are playing in the 1st round against the San Francisco Giants.  The Great American Ball Park should be a great home field advantage.

Unheralded Player to watch in this Playoffs:  Starting Pitcher Homer Bailey has pitched really well this year and is coming off a recent no-hitter.

2.  Detroit Tigers:  The Tigers are playing their best baseball of the season and caught a break when the Athletics won the AL West.  Miguel Cabrera was on fire in September en route to his AL Triple Crown win.  The Tigers were 32-11 in their last 43 home games and their solid pitching bodes well versus all of the homer centric teams in the AL.  Their toughest competition would be the Yankees and Rangers and I am not sure those teams will be able to match the pitching of the club.  While in my rankings I have given the #1 ranking to the Reds, the Tigers were my preseason pick to win the WS Title and it will all be on the backs of Prince Fielder and Cabrera. 

Unheralded player to watch in the Playoffs:  Omar Infante He is a great all around player who comes up with clutch hits.

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The Quiet But Effective Ryan Howard

Saturday September 15th, 2012

John Burns:  The 2012 season has been anything but normal for the Philadelphia Phillies and Ryan Howard. The 32 year-old was out till June after tearing his Achilles in the postseason last year against the St. Louis Cardinals. Howard has consistently been one of the top first baseman in the league for a while now. This season has been a little different for him so far: First of all, his team the Philadelphia Phillies, are 16.5 behind the Washington Nationals for first place in the NL East, Second, Howard has only had a little over 200 at bats this season due to injury. The power is still there for Howard. In 58 games, played he has 41 RBIs and 10 homers. That might not be the numbers you expect from Howard, but you have to give the guy a break. He is coming back from arguably one of the worst injuries in sports. Read the rest of this entry

Was Edwin Jackson The Most Valuable Free Agent Signing During The Offseason? Smart Move By The Nationals

Wednesday September 12th, 2012

Jake Dal Porto: During all the chaos that surrounded Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder during the offseason, the Washington Nationals made a very sneaky addition to their pitching staff by adding Edwin Jackson. The deal was signed in early February, which made it the final piece to their rotation, as Gio Gonzalez was added before Jackson. But this move flew under the radar as Pujols and Fielder garnered most of the media. Obviously that didn’t come as a surprise. Now, Jackson looks like the most valuable offseason signing.

The thing about Jackson, is that he didn’t break the Nationals’ bank. He came at a reasonable $11 million price tag, and compared to the contracts that Pujols (10 Year, $254 Million) and Fielder (10 Year $214 Million) brought in, Jackson’s contract is practically nothing. Simply, he’s a value player. Talent-wise, he clearly isn’t as respected and accomplished as Pujols and Fielder. But that’s not the point.

However, Jackson won’t be flying under the radar for much longer now that Stephen Strasburg is out of the equation. He will have to play a much bigger role in a starting pitching staff that leads the National League in ERA (3.32). Yes, the Nationals have decent alternatives to fill Strasburg’s void. Those alternatives being Ross Detwiler and John Lannan, but Jackson takes an immense step up depth chart pyramid. Gio Gonzalez now assumes the “ace” role, Jordan Zimmerman follows him, and now Edwin Jackson is third option which means higher expectations. It also means that Jackson’s production can’t be taken as a bonus anymore. His production is now crucial for the Nationals to continue to find success on the pitching area of the game. If he depletes, the Nats are suddenly down to two consistent arms— Gonzalez and Zimmerman. That’s no longer intimidating.

Can he thrive under the pressure? Read the rest of this entry

The Aftermath Of The Stephen Strasburg(less) Nationals sweep in the NLDS Oct 2012

Thursday, September.06/2012

Stephen Strasburg is eligible for Arbitration after the 2013 season. He originally signed a 4 Year/14 Million Dollar Entry Level Deal after he was drafted in 2009. The salary hit for the Nats in 2013 places him tied for 3rd on the team with Mike Morse.  He will be Unrestricted Free Agent in 2017, will he remain a National?

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):

The Nationals are my favorite National League team.  It is my firm belief that you are allowed 1 team in each League to cheer for.  The Yankees are my team in the American League.  The love for the Nationals goes back to when they were the Montreal Expos.  It was a lean time for a lot of us fans until the last few years have given us hope.  So before I go on about the contracts and payroll for 2013 tomorrow, I officially am going on record in saying that shutting Strasburg down is completely wrong.  I don’t care about ramifications of the pitcher throwing his arm out.  You never know when injuries are going to occur.  The Babying method never worked for Strasburg the first time, or for Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes for that matter.  This all stems back to the over using of Kerry Wood and Mark Prior by Dusty Baker in the 2003 year.  Innings limits were soon introduced in every franchise to protect the players and managers from going after a championship and maybe shortening their career.  It also has a lot to do with teams not being able to insure players any more. 

Insurance companies (like Lloyd’s of London) realize that they will pay out teams at a less than profitable rate for Major League Baseball players based on how much these guys make now, so they will not cover any baseball player anymore.  So Washington is freely shutting him down because they think it is the best thing to do for the player and the club.  They think  by preserving him from any injury at all, that this will prolong his shelf life and thus make the baseball team more profitable in the long run.  This is a major role of the dice and could end up setting the fan base back with a sour taste in their mouth for generations.  If Washington wins the World Series, this would be the only scenario where the question would not be brought up again.  Anything short of this and it is going to start an epic debate. 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

The Philadelphia Phillies Franchise Part 2 of 4: The Hitters

Friday August.24/2012

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): -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 booth7629@gmail.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

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