Blog Archives

Ortiz Is Almost Done Playing: Who Will Be The Next Great DH Among The AL Clubs??

David Ortiz has been the quintessential DH in the AL over the last 11 years.  Boston is in contention perennially because he put up great #s compared to his competition.  With all of the teams imploring several employees to scouting staffs - trying to find advantages to bring to Major League Lineups - why aren't teams focusing on the DH position more.  Ortiz has been a full time DH since joining the Red Sox, and has been instrumental in the club bringing home 3 World Series Titles.  In fact, the only time the team has struggled in the last decade, was if "Big Papi" is hurt or struggling.

David Ortiz has been the quintessential DH in the AL over the last 11 years. Boston is in contention perennially because he put up great #s compared to his competition. With all of the teams imploring several employees to scouting staffs – trying to find advantages to bring to Major League Lineups – why aren’t teams focusing on the DH position more. Ortiz has been a full time DH since joining the Red Sox, and has been instrumental in the club bringing home 3 World Series Titles. In fact, the only time the team has struggled in the last decade, was if “Big Papi” is hurt or struggling.

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

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There is no doubt in my mind that the Red Sox has won 3 World Series Titles in the last 10 years because they have had the quintessential DH in the American League.

While other teams have used the position as a rest stop for aging players, or stop-gap measure for players with defensive faulty, clubs have not seemed to have stressed emphasis on the slot in the lineup.

My question is why?  With everyone always searching for an edge in today’s game, you have one sitting right in front of you, that equates to over 600 AB a year.

David Ortiz (Post Season Heroics 2013)

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The Minnesota Twins Add 2 Players + A Third Is Close To Signing And Familiar

Hughes was signed to a 3 YRs/24 Million Dollar Contract by the Twins.  The 27 Year Old from Mission Viejo, CA has a career record of 56 - 51, with a 4.54 ERA.  But you simply have to dig deeper to find out why he has struggled at points in his career.

Hughes was signed to a 3 YRs/24 Million Dollar Contract by the Twins. The 27 Year Old from Mission Viejo, CA has a career record of 56 – 51, with a 4.54 ERA. But you simply have to dig deeper to find out why he has struggled at points in his career.  Hughes finished the 2013 season 4 – 14, with a 5.19 ERA, but a lot of that was due to his clip of 1 – 10, and a 6.39 ERA at Yankee Stadium, compared to a 4 – 5, 3.89 on the road.

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

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The Minnesota Twins have decided to join the fight in the AL Central.

Over the course of the last week, they have added two Veteran Starting Pitchers in Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes in respective deals.

It is a sign the organization wants to be perched back up atop of the Division with other teams Detroit, and talented young teams in Kansas City and Cleveland.

With the club awaiting some top prospects, just a few years away, the stop – gap measure of a couple of cagey players is a great idea.

The team is also said to be near another deal with former Catcher A.J. Pierzynksi.

Phil Hughes 2013 Highlights – Mature Lyrics so parental guidance is advised

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The Minnesota Twins Players, Organizational Affiliates, Prospects + Depth Charts (MLB + MiLB)

Ron Gardenhire and Tom Kelly have been the only 2 men to manage the Twins in the last 27 years.  Having stability in the Manager and GM position lends itself for a proper run franchise in terms of on the field success.  The Twins will give Gardenhire the chance to rebuild with this club yet again.  Stocked with several young prospects, we could the club turn around to be a contender again in the next few years.

Ron Gardenhire and Tom Kelly have been the only 2 men to manage the Twins in the last 27 years. Having stability in the Manager and GM position lends itself for a proper run franchise in terms of on the field success. The Twins will give Gardenhire the chance to rebuild with this club yet again. Stocked with several young prospects, we could the club turn around to be a contender again in the next few years.

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

The Minnesota Twins have had 3 – 90+ Losses Seasons in a row.  This came right on the heels of the franchise having made the playoffs 6 out of 9 years.

All of those Post Season Appearances were made as Division Champions from the AL Central.

The Twins had enough smarts about them to understand where they were in the 1990′s.  The management knew the club was better off building within – rather than spending via Free Agency.

From 1993 – 2000, the team never finished better than 4th in the Division they played.  The club drafted really high for this time period, and had a nice renaissance by the time 2001 started.

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

Joe Mauer 2013 Highlights

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More Minnesota Twins Trade Candidates

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 Wednesday July.03 /2013

Kevin Correia is, in my mind, the most likely Twin on the move. Not far behind are Morneau, Willingham, and Burton. Correia isn't the best Starting Pitcher on the market, but he is pitching well and has shown the same ability in the past. He was an All-Star for Pittsburgh in 2011. He has turned out to be a pretty good sign this off-season by the Minnesota.

Kevin Correia is, in my mind, the most likely Twin on the move. Not far behind are Morneau, Willingham, and Burton. Correia isn’t the best Starting Pitcher on the market, but he is pitching well and has shown the same ability in the past. He was an All-Star for Pittsburgh in 2011. He has turned out to be a pretty good sign this off-season by the Minnesota.

By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Writer and Red Sox Correspondent): 

Our new ‘Lead Baseball Columnist’ Chris Lacey wrote about the Morneau and Willingham Trade Market yesterday here – and it had me thinking who else could be on the block – and my thoughts on those guys?

Much like the last article I wrote on the Chicago Cubs trade candidates, the Minnesota Twins will be in selling mode too as the 2013 trade deadline approaches.

With that being said, the Twins have less selling to do. Twins fans will remember they already did some of that this past offseason.

The Twins have a record of 36-44 just 7.5 Games Back of 1st place. However they are in 4th place only ahead of the Chicago White Sox, and it is my belief that is where they will end the 2013 season.

They won’t upgrade their Major League roster via trade this year, but they may add to the talent in their farm system which is growing to be pretty strong.

The Twins had the 4th ranked farm system at the start of the season according to Baseball Prospectus.

I’m not sure how much to trust the rankings because they have the Yankees ranked above the Red Sox which is laughable in my opinion, but my points stand, they are still in the rebuilding process and are doing well at it.

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The Billy Beane Way Of Contracts + His Trade History Since MoneyBall!

Wednesday July.03, 2013

Updated January.05, 2014

Beane does his transactions throughout the entire year - and very little at the deadline.  He is never finished with re-arranging his franchise.  Perhaps his best Trade Deadline deal was to acquire Jermaine Dye in 2001.  Conversely, he had to pay Dye a big FA contract afterwards.  Between he and Eric Chavez's deal, Beane learned not to be burned on long term deals.  He is a big fan of 1 to 2 Year Deals with Veterans.

Beane does his transactions throughout the entire year – and very little at the deadline. He is never finished with re-arranging his franchise. Perhaps his best Trade Deadline deal was to acquire Jermaine Dye in 2001. Conversely, he had to pay Dye a big FA contract afterwards (3 YRs/$30 MIL). Between he and Eric Chavez’s deal, (6 YR/$66 MIL deal) Beane learned not to be burned on long term contracts. He is a big fan of 1 – 2 Year Deals with Veterans.  A lot of his players have not fared as well when they have left the organization.  Even the guys that have, simply cost too much money for the A’s liking.  The Oakland team received the same kind of production from them for a small percentage of the salary paid out.

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

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We have talked a ton about Billy Beane‘s genius way on the website.  The Website founder ‘Jonathan Hacohen’ was one of the first baseball writers to uncover the new Beane strategy last year.

I further studied some of his brilliant work  – by figuring out the current roster tree for all of the current team last November.  I was able to pick up a lot more patterns from his work as a GM.

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Twins’ Justin Morneau And Josh Willingham Days Are Numbered In Minnesota

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Tuesday, July.02, 2013

The Minnesota Twins are 36-43 on the season, and they are 6.5 games behind division leaders Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers.

The Minnesota Twins are 36-43 on the season, and they are 6.5 games behind division leaders Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers. It looks they will have another losing season for the team, but there is still a chance they make a run and contend for a division title this season. They do have players that other teams would love to acquire. The only question is how long will they hold on to these players before pulling the trigger on deal. General Manager Terry Ryan will be busy to determine what he can get in return for the players on his roster.

By Chris Lacey (Lead Baseball Columnist/Minority Owner)

The Minnesota Twins are at midpoint in their season and they will have a decision to make with the Trade Deadline only a month away. They will have to make an assessment on their team and determine if they will be a buyer or seller.

The team is currently 4th in the American League Central division with a 36-43 record. They are 6.5  games behind division leaders Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers. They are also 8.5 games out of the Wild Card.

Justin Morneau Highlights- So Parental Guidance Is Advised

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30 MLB Team Power Rankings: Week 14

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Monday July.01/2013

The Bucs have won 9 straight games and now possess a record of 51 - 30.  You have to think that the club will put the nail in the coffin on its 20 year losing streak - with just needing to win 31 of their 81 games remaining.  Better yet, ESPN has them listed as a 88 Percent chance to make the playoffs for the first time since the 1992 season.  At the halfway point in the season, the Bucs have the best record in the MLB - and have reached #2 in our power rankings

The Bucs have won 9 straight games and now possess a record of 51 – 30. You have to think that the club will finally put the nail in the coffin on its 20 year losing streak – with just needing to win 31 of their 81 games remaining. Better yet, ESPN has them listed as a 88 Percent chance to make the playoffs for the first time since the 1992 season. At the halfway point in the season, the Bucs have the best record in the MLB – and have reached #2 in our power rankings.

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

Another Week has come and gone in the MLB.

Week Stats Ending – June.29/2013

(MLB Reports) AL Hitter Of The Week -  Jason Kipnis (CLE – He reached base 24 times in the 8 games (14 hits, 9 Walks and 1 HBP) – with 3 HRs, 6 – 2B, 9 Runs and 11 RBI.  He hit .519 for the week).

Runners up were:  Miguel Cabrera (DET – OPS of 1.583, with 4 HRs and 7 RBI), Dustin Pedroia (BOS – .560 BA, 14 hits), and Raul Ibanez (SEA – OPS of 1.455 – 3 HRs and 5 RBI.)

(MLB Reports) AL Pitcher Of The WeekR.A. Dickey (TOR – 2 hit CG Shutout versus the Tampa Bay Rays.)

Runners up were: Koji Uehara (BOS – 3 Perfect Saves) and Joe Blanton LAA (1 – 0, with a 1.88 ERA in 2 GS). Read the rest of this entry

Minnesota Twins Organization: Payroll, Depth Charts + Rosters, (MLB + MiLB)

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Sunday, June.23/2013

Ron Gardenhire and Tom Kelly have been the only 2 men to manage the Twins in the last years.  Having stability in the Manager and GM position lends itself for a proper run franchise in terms of on the field success.  The Twins will give Gardenhire the chance to rebuild with this club yet again.

Ron Gardenhire and Tom Kelly have been the only 2 men to manage the Twins in the last 26 years. Having stability in the Manager and GM position lends itself for a proper run franchise in terms of on the field success. The Twins will give Gardenhire the chance to rebuild with this club yet again.

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 Twins Organization click here.

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

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Thursday June.06/2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chris Davis 2013 Highlights:

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Why Is He Hitting Second? – The MLB Has Had A Changing Of What The 2 Hitters Role Is

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Tuesday June 4th, 2013

 Bautista, hitting second for the Toronto Blue Jays this year, is hitting .268 with 12 HR and 29 RBI.These are not exactly the numbers that a person expects to come out of the two-hole hitter. In a lineup, the two-hitter should have some pop and should be able to drive in runs, but is really supposed to get on base. The team is really sacrificing him some RBI chances.  Why not flip him to the  3rd spot, move EE to 4th with - and put a hot - hitting Lind (.323/.410/.937) in the 2 hole?

Bautista, hitting second for the Toronto Blue Jays this year, is hitting .268 with 12 HR and 29 RBI.These are not exactly the numbers that a person expects to come out of the two-hole hitter. In a lineup, the two-hitter should have some pop and should be able to drive in runs, but is really supposed to just get on base. The team is really sacrificing him some RBI chances. Why not flip him to the 3rd spot, move EE to 4th with – and put a hot – hitting Lind (.323/.410/.937) in the 2 hole?

Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

Why is [insert name of team’s best hitter] in the two-hole?—a question many confused fans are asking about their team’s lineup. It is interesting. A few teams—the Yankees for some time, the Blue Jays, the Twins, and the Angels are slotting a player who people would normally see in the three-hole as the number two hitter. I’ll take a look at the Blue Jays first.

One can make the case that Jose Bautista is the best hitter on the Toronto Blue Jays. Edwin Encarnacion had a great year last year and is staying on that pace, but ‘JoeyBats’ has been consistent for the past few years.

The two-hitter should mostly make contact and move runners over if needed.  Them also being Left-Handed enhances the chance to hit one through the hole created by the First Baseman holding on the Leadoff hitter -  if on base.

He also needs some speed. Bautista definitely has the pop part, but you will not see him lay down a bunt to get the leadoff guy over. I know the Blue Jays are struggling, but should he really be hitting in the two-hole?

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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

Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON to continue… or scroll past the Triple Play Podcast. Read the rest of this entry

Current Top 5 MLB Home Run Leaders in the AL + NL: Home Runs Hit May 20th

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Tuesday, May.21, 2013

Robinson Cano is leading all Second Baseman + is tied in the AL with Chris Davis for HRs with 13.  In a sign of what he might do this year, in his last 163 Games since last year, Cano has a 3 Slash Line of .310/.374/.952 - with 42 HRs and 110 RBI.  This type of season would land Cano a deal similar to the one Prince Fielder received a few years ago (9 Years/$214 MIL)

Robinson Cano is leading all Second Baseman + is tied in the AL with Chris Davis for HRs with 13. In a sign of what he might do this year, in his last 163 Games since last year, Cano has a 3 Slash Line of .310/.374/.952 – with 42 HRs and 110 RBI. This type of season would land Cano a deal similar to the one Prince Fielder received a few years ago (9 Years/$214 MIL)

DH on our home site pages – Stands for Daily HR Hitters in the Majors.

We are going to run the gauntlet on the previous days HRs for all MLB Players.

I loved it when MLB XM Radio used to do a running total every night on their Roundtrip with Mike Ferrin (Laser Show).  So I am bringing it every day on this website.  To view every nights big boppers for the whole year (from May 8th on) visit the DH page!

Click beyond the Youtube link or click  the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON to see who hit yesterdays big flies.

Miguel Tejada Mix of Highlights:

[]http://youtu.be/a0wc3W6wmzA Read the rest of this entry

MLB Top Teams 1 – 30 + (Best 200 Stats of 2013)

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Monday May.06/2013

Matt Harvey with his stellar outings so far this season may have just become the New York Mets "ace". Harvey is now 4-0 with a 1.66 ERA. Harvey has pitched 40.1 innings - only given up 21 hits, 12 Walks for a League Leading WHIP of .0818  For his awesome 5 weeks we name him the MLB Reports NL Pitcher Of The Month

Matt Harvey with his stellar outings so far this season – may have just become the New York Mets “ace”. Harvey is now 4-0 with a 1.66 ERA. Harvey has pitched 40.1 innings – only given up 21 hits, 12 Walks for a League Leading WHIP of .0818. For his awesome 5 weeks – we name him the MLB Reports NL Pitcher Of The Month

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

Stats all Prior to May.06th games. 

The time has come for the 1sy May Power Rankings.  There will be one each for May, June, July, August, September – and then a special playoff edition Power Rankings will be done in October.

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

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

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

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Minnesota Twins Payroll In 2013 And Contracts Going Forward

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Friday February 1, 2013

Mauer is the highest paid player on the Twins gathering $23,000,000 every year through the 2018 season. He is the face of the Twins. He is going to be dangerous if he can continue to hit like he did in 2012.

Mauer is the highest paid player on the Twins gathering $23,000,000 every year through the 2018 season. He is the face of the Twins. He is going to be dangerous if he can continue to hit like he did in 2012.  Only trailing Pujols in Lifetime Average amongst Active Hitters (.325 to .323), Mauer should take over this Category relatively soon.

Kyle Holland (MLB Reports intern):

In 2012, the Minnesota Twins had a very below average season, disappointing many Twins fans. Coming off an atrocious 2011, they were looking for a good season ahead of them. Who could blame the fans, right? They had some key players coming back after an injury stricken summer in 2011. They were coming back healthy and nothing could stop the Twins from returning to the playoffs. But all was not well as they only had 3 more Wins than in 2011. It’s not like their payroll was even that small either. They were in the middle of the pack with a $94,085,000 payroll. That’s only slightly less than the White Sox and the LA Dodgers, both very close to playing in October.

This year, it appears the Twins payroll has actually dropped. Right now, their 2013 payroll is $73,050,000, considerably less than 2012. Mauer is really their only superstar on the Twins, with Morneau close behind him. On the mound, Carl Pavano just got hurt slipping on his driveway while shoveling snow so he won’t be ready for at least the start of the season, probably longer. Glen Perkins can be used as a starter when needed or be taken out of the bullpen so he’s a solid player to have in the Twins’ pitching repertoire.  They also received Vance Worley from Philadelphia recently and if he can pitch like he did in 2011, he is going to be a man the Twins fall in love with. So with all of these solid players on the Twins, let’s take a look at the Twins 2013 payroll.

Joe Mauer 2012 Highlights: Mature Lyrics – Parental Guidance is advised:

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MLB Player Profile: Phillies CF Ben Revere

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Wednesday January 16th, 2013

Ben Revere would be best suited to hit in the 2 slot behind Jimmy Rollins this year, as he makes great contact (1 SO/Per 10.7 PA) , yet he doesn't walk much.

Ben Revere would be best suited to hit in the 2 slot behind Jimmy Rollins this year, as he makes great contact (1 SO/Per 10.7 PA) , yet he doesn’t walk much.  Revere has a 3 Slash-Line of – .278/.319/.642 for his career heading into the 2013 year.

Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

The 28th pick of the first round in the 2007 Amateur Draft, Ben Revere was regarded as one of the Minnesota Twins’ top prospects. He made his Major League debut in 2010 at age 22 and played in 13 games for the Twins that season. The next year, Revere spent most of his time in the Majors playing in 117 games and hitting .267. With Revere, the Twins had some speed at the top of the lineup. On December 6th, 2012, Revere was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for Pitchers Vance Worley and Trevor May. After trading Shane Victorino to the Dodgers and Hunter Pence to the Giants, the Phillies had some gaps to fill in their outfield, and Revere was just the right guy.

Ben Revere 2012 Highlights: Mature Lyrics – Parental Guidance is advised

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MLB: Final Fantasy MMXXII

Monday October 1st, 2012

Peter Stein:  Although the past week may have marked the end of your fantasy season, in many of the most competitive leagues the championship comes down to the very last games of the regular season. Just as many of these games have significant meaning to many MLB times, the same holds true with fortunate fantasy owners. If you fighting it out for a championship in the final days, then read on. If not, check back next week as the focus will shift to strategy and 2013 rankings.

First and foremost, in the final days some teams will be sitting players to rest for the playoffs or giving their youngsters a taste of the big leagues. However, with the second wild card spot implemented this year, these games actually have significance for almost half of the teams in the league. No team can rest easy, including Texas, as teams want to avoid the one game playoff. Ironically, with a now a three game lead, it will probably be the Tigers (7th best record in the AL) that will clinch first and be able to rest players. However, don’t think they will be sitting Miguel Cabrera when he is in the hunt for the elusive Triple Crown title. Thus, the good news is that you most likely don’t need to worry about your star player being benched, but these are the people you need to monitor over the final three days: Read the rest of this entry

MLB Reports Monthly Power Rankings: August 2012

Monday August.6/2012

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- It has been a crazy month in which teams have stockpiled some heavy talent at the trade deadline to get ready for the playoffs.  Amongst the biggest gainers for the rankings this month were: the Athletics, Reds, Braves, Tigers, Dodgers (because of the deals) and Mariners while the Mets, Red Sox, Indians and Royals saw brutal months all but seal their playoff fates.  I do think that Boston has a punchers chance but that all is dependent on David Ortiz returning to the lineup swiftly.  The power of the best teams is definitely leaning to the National League right now where several teams are playing great baseball.  With one-third of the season left we are all in for a treat as baseball fans.

I will have one more regular season Power Rankings month of September (to be posted on Labor Day Weekend,)  before I also provide a playoff style ranking of the 1-10 seeds right before the Wild Card Teams play the play in game.  It certainly has been awesome to follow how the trade deadline has effected the Monthly Rankings this time around.  I think it is safe to say that this years deadline provided more interest and following-from even the casual fan more than any other year before.  I also believe that the Non-Waiver Trade Deadline is now the best Trade Deadline in all of sports.  Social Media has a lot to do with this but so does parity.  The 2nd Wild Card spot has also created more teams willing to trade prospects in lieu of going for it. Read the rest of this entry

Pittsburgh Pirates: Do they Have Enough to Stay in the Playoff Race?

Saturday August 4th, 2012

Jake Dal Porto:  The Pittsburgh Pirates have been one of the many surprising teams in baseball this season. Led by perennial MVP candidate Andrew McCutchen, they trail the first place Reds by just four and a half games in the National league Central division and retain the third best record in the entire N.L. If the playoffs started today, the Pirates would be playing postseason baseball for the first time since 1992. While they made a push at the playoffs last season as well, an August collapse ultimately diminished their chances of playing October baseball for the first time in over two decades.

However, an August breakdown doesn’t seem to be in the cards for these 2012 Pirates. Players like Andrew McCutchen, Neil Walker, Pedro Alvarez, Jose Tabata, and Garrett Jones were all on the 2011 team that plummeted from first place on July 25th to 16 games back of first place on August 25th. Nearly a year later, the same core group has the Pirates back in the thick of the playoff chase, but their mentalities have significantly changed with the experience they garnered in 2011. Why? It’s cliche, but the more experience a player or team can refer to, the better they will perform. And in this case, that team is the Pirates. Read the rest of this entry

MLB Reports Monthly Power Rankings: June 2012

Monday June.4, 2012

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)-We are going to bring you monthly power rankings every month of the season.  There will be a few notes written for each team.  Please feel free to let us know your thoughts.  The Texas Rangers are the top ranked team yet once again, although teams are certainly gaining on the them in the last week.  Look out for Cincinnati Reds and New York Yankees to make their move towards the top this month.

June Power Rankings-Last Month Rank in Parenthesis

1. Texas-32-22 (1) The Rangers rode Josh Hamilton in the month of May-who enters today on pace for about 60 HRs and 170 RBI while hitting .354.  Nelson Cruz is starting to heat up and the duo of Adrian Beltre and Ian Kinsler are steady as as ever. Yu Darvish is 7-3 en route to the leading the group amongst Rookie of The Year Contention.  Joe Nathan is looking like his old self again out of the pen with an ERA under 2.

2. LA Dodgers 33-21 (5) Even with Matt Kemp out of the lineup again, the Dodgers are winning ball games with solid contributions from Andre Ethier and A.J Ellis on offense.  The pitching staff has been anchored by Clayton Kershaw and a fast 7-1 start by Chris CapuanoTed Lilly was 5-1 before a stint on the DL.  It is too bad because Lilly is 125-104 since 2004.

3. Tampa Bay 31-23 (2) Hideki Matsui homered in two of his first 3 games back with the Rays.  The team has had steady pitching to stay in contention.  Carlos Pena has really struggled in the last month and will need to pick it up.  Luke Scott with 35 RBI has good production numbers in spite of his .225 AVG. Fernando Rodney has converted 17 out of 18 saves to pace the club.

4. Cincinnati 30-23 (12) Joey Votto has hit .404 in the last 30 days and maybe the best all-around hitter in the National League right now.  Jay Bruce has 12 HRs and 34 RBI and is living up to his all-star potential.  Aroldis Chapman has 27 Strikeouts in just over 14 innings and has yet to yield a run while opponents are hitting a paltry .043 against him.

5. NY Yankees 29-24 (6) The Bronx Bombers have 6 players with 8 HRs or more, which is a good thing because with the exception of Derek Jeter, a lot of them are hitting under their career averages.  The return of Andy Pettitte has helped the rotation with the loss of Micheal Pineda.  Phil Hughes threw a complete game over the weekend and CC Sabathia is on pace for another 20 win season. Read the rest of this entry

Week 3 – MLB 2012 Season: Sell High and Buy Low Candidates in Fantasy Baseball

Monday April 23rd, 2012

Peter Stein (Fantasy Baseball Analyst – MLB reports): The name of the game in fantasy baseball is sell high and buy low. This is the best method to improve your team. But it takes careful consideration and analysis to determine who is legit and who is fluking. As we are approximately 16 games through the season, remember that you are playing for a 162 games of stats and thus we are only 10% through the 2012 season. Trust the preseason predictions, and make an upgrade whenever possible. Therefore, in this week’s fantasy focus, I highlight which guys to target and which guys to sell.

 

Sell High:

 

Josh Hamilton is currently playing t-ball (.418/7/17/1). We have seen Hamilton go on stretches like this before, but we know his expected 162 game season still places him outside of the top-ten. Furthermore, we simply cannot expect a full 162 games out of Hamilton. Perhaps he was undervalued heading into this year, and he is playing for a contract, but his hot start has the potential to net you a safer option in one of the buy low candidates listed below.


David Freese I talked about last week, because he will not keep up his current pace (.333/3/15) and has plenty of name recognition after last October. Furthermore, he is prone to prolonged absences due to injury and offers nothing in the stolen base category.  He is certainly an above average fantasy third baseman, but you might as well try to capitalize at his peak value. Read the rest of this entry

An Early Season Look at the Top 10 Home Run Leaders

Sunday April 22nd, 2012

Sam Evans: Most major league teams have played about fifteen regular season games so far. Fifteen games are not enough to tell who is going to have a breakout season, but these games do matter just as much as games in September. Some players have gotten off to hot starts by showing their power as evidence by insane home run totals. Let’s take a look at the MLB home run leaders and see if they will be able to keep it up.

Matt Kemp, Nine Home Runs: Matt Kemp is on a tear through his first fifteen games. He is currently on pace for 97.2 homers if he were to play all 162 games. Last year, Kemp hit thirty-nine homers despite being surrounded by a weak lineup and playing half of his games in the spacious Dodger Stadium. As corny as it sounds, he has told the media that he is motivated by his 2011 NL MVP snub. If that what it takes to get him to play on this level, the Dodgers should pay off writers to not vote for Kemp after this year. In all seriousness, Kemp is going to have another amazing year. As crazy as it might sound, fifty home runs is not out of the question for Kemp in 2012. Read the rest of this entry

It is Amazing How People Overreact to a Small Statistical Sample Size

Tuesday April 17th, 2012

Peter Stein (Fantasy Baseball Analyst – MLB reports): The opening of the 2012 baseball season remains interesting and unpredictable. Although we are dealing with such a small sample size and people tend to overreact (approximately 10 games), there a lot of early season performances to that deserved to be examined a little closer.

 

Before we go making Matt Kemp comparisons, Chris Young is clearly benefiting from a new approach at the plate. Young has always displayed the ability to hit for great power and speed, but just lacked in the average department. However, he made significant mechanical adjustments in the offseason and his new approach has been successful since the spring, when he batted .400. His .405/5/13/2 stat line is clearly unsustainable, but lets not forget he is only 28 years of age and might finally be figuring out how to consistently put it together. What might be most telling of his improvement is his 4:5 strikeout to walk total after 10 games, from a guy who has throughout his career averaged a ratio of 3.3:7.4. This could be the year that the average is .270-280 to accompany his 30/30 potential, making him a top-level talent. Read the rest of this entry

Ask the Reports: Sunday December 11th

Sunday December 11, 2011

Jonathan Hacohen:  Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to mlbreports@gmail.com, message us on Twitter and post on our Facebook Wall!

Let’s get to your top questions of the week:

 

Q:  Seriously, do you not think a large portion of pro athletes are using PHDs? It’s just a mistake when they get caught.  Randy (via Twitter)

MLB reports: The Ryan Braun saga is upon us.  The debate as to the use of performance enhancing drugs has been in play for too many years now.  The names Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Barry Bonds, Rogers Clemens, Sammy Sosa, Manny Ramirez…etc…etc… will forever live in PED infamy.  Then Major League Baseball introduced drug testing, with HGH testing upon as well.  After years of rumors and whispers, the sport was finally going to be clean.  Now we have the news that Ryan Braun was tested positive for use of PEDs.  I do not want to comment on Braun much until we have all the information.  What we do know from reports is that Braun was found to have high levels of testosterone and determined to have resulted from artificial means.  Braun is appealing the findings and more news will follow.  Braun was named the 2011 NL MVP, which makes the situation that much more volatile.  So do I think that a large amount of pro athletes use PHDs?  I can speak of baseball and I would say in recent history, the answer is yes.  I don’t want to unfairly label the sport and say “everyone was using them”, but many definitely were.  With the introduction of proper testing and penalties, I think use has been curbed substantially.  Looking at the numbers players put up in baseball in recent years compared to even ten years ago, there is a clear drop-off.  Plus we are not seeing late 30s, early 40s players putting up astronomical numbers they way they were.  So the sport is cleaning itself up in my estimation.  But we have not seen the end of this topic.  Far from it.  As tests become better, the drug makers will become even more sophisticated in created betting masking agents to avoid detection.  It is a nasty cycle.  Just the mere fact that Ryan Braun could be considered using PEDs means this story lives on.  Baseball will never fully clean likely.  But it is certainly on a very good path.  Hopefully, PED use eventually becomes almost non-existent in baseball one day.

 

Q:  Can’t wait to see Mike Choice though. He crushed in single A last year. But offensively, we’ll (the A’s) be pretty slow in 2012.  Pigaroo (via Twitter)

MLB reports:  Agree and agree.  I am very high on Michael Choice as well.  There is nothing not to like.  The 22-year-old Choice was a 1st round pick (10th overall) by the A’s in 2010.  After a nice debut in his first professional season playing Low A-Ball in Vancouver in his draft year, Choice exploded last year playing High A-Ball in Stockton.  The numbers were fantastic.  30 home runs, 82 RBIs, 79 Runs, .285 AVG, .376 OBP and .542 SLG.  The future looks bright for Choice, as he likely to start 2012 in AA.  But let’s keep some things in perspective.  He is 22.  He is still very raw, as shown by his 61/134 BB/K last year.  Choice has a world of potential and is definitely a top prospect in baseball.  But then so was Brandon Wood once upon a time.  Dallas McPherson.  Even looking in the A’s system, Chris Carter and Michael Taylor have developed much slower than expected.  Choice has not even proven himself yet in AA, so there is still time for him to shine or fade.  Prospects are almost impossible to predict, as many factors can affect their development.  Health.  Confidence.  Ability.  Work Ethic.  Chances.  If anyone area isn’t there, the rest of a person’s game can suffer.  So while I am not devaluing the abilities of Michael Choice, I certainly want to see more from the kid before I hail him as the next A’s savior, as is being done in many circles.  The Oakland A’s are clearly in a full-blown rebuild mode, as evidenced by their recent trade of Trevor Cahill and likely trade of ace Gio Gonzalez.  Josh Willingham is likely to move on as well, as will Coco Crisp, David DeJesus and perhaps Hideki Matsui.  The A’s will struggle in 2012 in all facets of the game, to score runs, not give up runs and win ball games.  Remember the movie Major League?  Sadly, you might be seeing the new Cleveland Indians, as the team owner threatens to move the team.  A sad period for a once proud franchise, I certainly hope their stadium situation is resolved soon and the A’s go back to being a baseball powerhouse.  Thank you for the questions!

 

Q:  Do you think Josh Willingham would be a good fit with the Tribe? He would cost about as much as D Lee last year with 2 more years.  Martin (via Twitter)

MLB reports:  Thank you Martin for the question.  I definitely think Josh Willingham would be a great fit for the Indians.  I think you are comparing his contract status to that of Derrek Lee, who is coming off a 1-year, $7.25 million contract.  On your logic, do I think the Indians could sign The Hammer for 2-years and $14.5 million?  I do not.  Sorry my man.  The Hammer is looking at a contract in the 3-year, $30 million range.  Do I think that he is worth it?  Yes…but it depends.  At an affordable rate, I would take Willingham at 2-years with a vesting or option 3rd year.  There are strikes against Willngham, no doubt.  He will be 33-years-old come opening day.  He has battled injuries the last 4-years, missing significant time in 2008 and 2010.  The numbers have been consistent, but 2011 was actually a misleading year.  While he hit 29 home runs with 98 RBIs, Willingham also hit a career low .246 with .332 OBP.  Amazingly, Willingham actually hit better at home than on the road, a surprise given that Oakland is one of the premier pitcher’s parks.  .260 AVG at home, .233 on the road.  .350 OBP and .523 SLG at home, .315 OBP and .435 SLG on the road.  Imagine then what Willingham could do in a better hitting park surrounded by a stronger lineup?  With Willingham, beware of injuries and age.  If you can live with those risks, then he should be a sure bat in the middle of a lineup for 1-2 more years, perhaps 3.  But the decline is coming…so buyer beware.

 

Q:  Ok guys, it’s time to announce locations (for the 2013 World Baseball Classic) so that we can make our plans. I went to Orlando in 2006 and the next series saw Netherlands beat the Dominican Republic – twice- in Puerto Rico.. Wow!  So am I (and my family) going to Taiwan?  Montreal?  Mexico?  Europe? If it’s Havana, I’m booking right away!  King of America (via Website)

MLB reports:  It is good to know that interest in the WBC is alive and well.  I get asked often by non-baseball fans and casual supporters of the game whether the WBC will ever be a “big deal”…and the answer is: yes.  Rarely a day goes by that I do not get a question or comment from a reader on the WBC.  Aside from MLB Expansion, Realignment and Relocation, the WBC is the biggest topic that I deal with on a daily basis.  The tournament is growing leaps and bounds, as 2012 will see the qualifying tournament for the first time.  The field for the WBC has been expanded from 16 countries to 28.  The number will even continue to grow in future years.  I have been contacted by reps from different countries requesting information on applying for consideration.  Baseball fans from all over the world, including Iceland, England, South Africa, Panama, Venezuela, Russia and Israel have contacted MLB reports to learn about the World Baseball Classic.  Unfortunately we do not have named sites yet for the tournament.  All we know is that the qualifiers will happen in the fall of 2012, with the tournament itself in the spring of 2013.  Will baseball go with the usual venues or add new ones?  That is the million dollar question.  As there will be qualifiers and an actual tournament this time around, I can see more countries and venues having the opportunity to host games.  Hopefully there will be an expansion of host countries this time around, so that more baseball fans around the world can enjoy the flavor of live WBC games.  We will keep you up-to-date and will have a dedicated page coming soon on our site.  MLB reports will continue to be your source for everything WBC.

 

Q:  What are the chances of the Yankees getting Gio Gonzalez ?  Dano (via Twitter)

MLB reports:  Good luck in finding more frustrated people wondering the earth right now that Yankees and Red Sox fans.  Once known for setting the tone in signing premium players, both teams have been unusually inactive this offseason.  The Red Sox have suffered from their well-chronicled issues this past season, which came full steam with the change of their manager, GM and loss of their closer.  The Yankees, by not making out of the first round of the playoffs this past season are also considered in their own form of crisis mode.  While the Yanks are fairly set offensively, it is pitching (or the lack of) that has fans worried.  The team has a strong pen, anchored by the ageless wonder Mariano Rivera.  But the rotation is a series of question marks beyond ace C.C. Sabathia.  Spots will likely go to Ivan Nova and Phil Hughes.  Then you have A.J. Burnett and Freddy Garcia.  Maybe Hector Noesi.  The return of Bartolo Colon?  Yankees would like to see another proven starter, perhaps two hurlers to be added to the roster.  While Gio Gonzalez may be one of them, I would say likely no.  I took a look at Gio two weeks ago.  His numbers away from Oakland make me nervous, and likely other teams as well, including the Yankees.  The A’s are reportedly asking for a truckload of top prospects and the Yankees will not likely bite.  I still expect the Yankees to find another starting pitcher.  But not at the risk of depleting their farm.  Gio is a good pitcher, don’t get me wrong.  But he is not the ace pitcher that the Yankees need.  Hopefully though the Yankees don’t wait too long after the holidays and end up shopping in the bargain bins in January for starting pitching again.  The team got very lucky with Garcia and Colon last year.  I wouldn’t take the risk again in 2012 if I were them.  With their huge payroll and superstar team, the Yankees need to solidify their rotation to have a chance at the World Series.  

 

Last Q:  I’ve been hoping that someone like Bud Selig or others at MLB Headquarters would read these expansion ideas that me and many other fans have. I’ve shared my expansion idea to other online forums but many people have told me that further expansion would water down the talent pool. Do you think the new international draft would fix that problem?  Joe (via E-mail)

MLB reports:  A great last question to end this week’s Ask the Reports.  I have enjoyed corresponding with Joe this week and wanted to include his last question to me in this edition.  I have enjoyed debating the merits of MLB expansion for years.  Many…many…many fans have used the watered down talent argument to argue against expansion.  I am sorry people, but I don’t buy that argument.  Go watch some AA and AAA games.  There is a TON of quality major league ready talent that is simply rotting in the minors in my opinion.  Between the 30 MLB teams, each has more than 5 minor league affiliate teams stocked with talent.  To bring 2 more MLB teams, for an even 32 teams, there would be no problem finding 25 players per squad.  Between prospects, free agents and international talent, there would be no issues to stock two more teams.  The issues surrounding international talent, including an international draft, is a topic for baseball as a whole.  While a draft could help with expansion, it is only a minor point in the larger scheme of the issue.  The signing and development of international players is an issue for all current MLB teams that needs to be addressed in the overall competitive balance and growth of baseball internationally and to bring more talent to North America.  I am all in favor of MLB expansion.  My hope is that we will see 2 more teams in the next 5 years, but we could be waiting as far as 2020 and beyond until it becomes a reality.  As far as international players…this discussion is far from dead and will be a sensitive subject for years to come.

 

 

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Jonathan Hacohen is the Lead Baseball Columnist & Editor for MLB reports:  You can follow Jonathan on Twitter (@JHacohen)

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