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How All Of The Mariners Hitters Were Acquired: 2014 Roster Tree: Jack Z. Must Help The O!

The Seattle Mariners are fighting tooth and nail for the 2nd Wild Card Spot in the American League, however it has much more to do with their pitching than hitting.  This is a team built on prospects that haven't panned out, and injury riddled Free Agents and acquisitions.

The Seattle Mariners are fighting tooth and nail for the 2nd Wild Card Spot in the American League, however it has much more to do with their pitching than hitting. This is a team built on prospects that haven’t panned out, and injury riddled Free Agents and acquisitions.  From Justin Smoak, to Jesus Montero, to Abraham Almonte, this club has been on the poor end of the trades they have conducted in recent years.  The Draft picks have not done well either with fallen hopes about Dustin Ackley, Brad Miller, Nick Franklin and Michael Saunders.

How All Of The Mariners Hitters Were Acquired:

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

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The Mariners are on the brink of ending a 13 year playoff drought, yet there is a glaring hole on the offensive side with how this offense has been constructed.

Robinson Cano, Kyle Seager and James Jones withstanding, the rest of the players have played underneath expectations in 2014, and unless the management can pull off a trade, it may be the squad’s Achilles heel this campaign.

Jack Zduriencik has to wheel and deal for some more help in the next week or so, especially with several of the perennial contenders like Boston, New York and Tampa having subpar years.

The pitching staff has been the anchor behind the Mariners nice season so far, and with the payroll also being only at $82 MIL, this team has money to burn. Read the rest of this entry

30 MLB Team Power Rankings: Month Of June 2014

Welcome to your new World Series Favorite. according to the oddsmakers.  I see their rationale.  The A's have the best record in the Majors, and also the biggest lead within their Division.  Oh yeah..this club has back to back West Titles, and a deep lineup in a parity league that is the AL.  While I don't endorse them as the favorite for the World Series right now (based on predicting playoffs solely), there is no doubt I ranked them #1 in power rankings

Welcome to your new World Series Favorite. according to the oddsmakers. I see their rationale. The A’s have the best record in the Majors, and also the biggest lead within their Division. Oh yeah..this club has back to back West Titles, and a deep lineup in a parity league that is the AL. While I don’t endorse them as the favorite for the World Series right now (based on predicting playoffs solely), there is no doubt I ranked them #1 in power rankings

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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*** Denotes Division Leaders

Records are before play Thursday June.26, 2014

RK Team   Last Wk Rnk  ()      Current Rec –  Last 31 Days Rec

1.  ***Oakland A’s (2) 48 – 30:  17 – 10:  The A’s are still the best team in the Majors for the last 2 1/2 years.  Coco Crisp on another hot spell.

Josh Donaldson and Brandon Moss both in the top 5 for HRs, and Sonny Gray/Scott Kazmir among several starters for ERA, WHIP and quality starts.

Yoenis Cespedes has the power numbers to be a perfect complement to the top guys, and the bar can always be raised higher.

Sean Doolittle is authoring one of the greatest Bullpen efforts ever for a Closer. A 53/1 Strikeout to Walk ratio is beyond filthy.

2.  ***Detroit Tigers (3) 42 – 32: 14 – 13:  A nice rebound after they dropped out of 1st place temporarily.

Victor Martinez and J.D. Martinez will exceptional June’s, and Miguel Cabrera is still on pace for 130 RBI.

Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer had sub-par starts, but look to correct themselves now.

Joe Nathan is making the late innings nervous for Tiger’s fans, after they had to endure Joaquin Benoit, Phil Coke, Jose Veras and Jose Valverde over the last few years. Read the rest of this entry

Seattle Mariners State Of The Union For 2014 Part 2 – The Hitters:

All of the baseball world in the PAC NW will want to see nothing but great production from Cano in Seattle.  He may have a great year with the new club, however the management has not armed him with many dependable offensive talents.  I fully expect the Second Baseman to hit .300/.400./.500 this season, but I think his HRs will be in the low 20's (if not teens,) and his Doubles will be high.  I am not sure he will crack 100 RBI either.  Get used to it Cano.  This is the 1st season of a 10 YR/$240 MIL deal

All of the baseball world in the PAC NW will want to see nothing but great production from Cano in Seattle. He may have a great year with the new club, however the management has not armed him with many dependable offensive talents. I fully expect the Second Baseman to hit .300/.400./.500 this season, but I think his HRs will be in the low 20’s (if not teens,) and his Doubles will be high. I am not sure he will crack 100 RBI either. Get used to it Cano. This is the 1st season of a 10 YR/$240 MIL deal.  He has a career 3 slash of .309/.355/.504, but you can bet he will be walked a ton this year as opposing teams bypass the biggest threat on Seattle’s team.

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

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I wonder what was promised to Robinson Cano once he inked that 10 YR/$240 MIL, or he was just so ecstatic about the cash he failed to ask the question.

I am just kidding.  You know I love ya Cano…and that I am a Yankees fan…and bought 20 sets of game tickets at Safeco this year – primarily because you are on the team.

Actually, the 2B stated a few weeks ago that he is not pleased with the state of the current squad.  I can’t say I blame him.

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Master List Of All Free Agents Signed In 2013 Winter – Heading Into 2014 MLB Year

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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It has been a record setting year for contract $ doled out for players.  When you factor in the player extensions, we are talking about 7 contracts registering in the top 50 Player contracts in the history of the game.

Robinson Cano, Clayton Kershaw, Masahiro Tanaka, Jacoby Ellsbury, Freddie Freeman, Shin-Soo Choo and Homer Bailey have inked deal for between $105 MIL to $240 MIL.

Now there is word the Angels are working on an extension with Mike Trout, to the tune of 6 YRs/$150 MIL,  from 2015 – 2020.  This would be the 22nd highest contract in MLB History.

For the record, Trout’s deal for 2014 is already set at $510 K, and any extension wouldn’t have Luxury Tax Ramifications until his new deal would start in 2015. Read the rest of this entry

The Nate McLouth Signing Demonstrates A Lesson Learned For Washington About Bench Players

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.

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.  But a most underrated facet of an NL club sometimes is their bench.  Washington hopes to have a better bunch of pine riders in 2014 – than they did in 2013.

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

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When the Nats built a bench on the cheap in 2012 it worked.

Steve Lombardozzi, Roger Bernadina, Chad Tracy, and Tyler Moore all had outstanding seasons, and the four of them combined cost less than half of what the Nationals will be paying Nate McLouth in 2014, but when they tried to do the same thing in 2013 it was a disaster.

The only back-up outfielder to have a higher than .700 OPS was Corey Brown and that was in 15 plate appearances. Hardly enough of a sample size to be trusted.

Nate McLouth gives the Nationals bench something it severely lacked in 2013, a reliable veteran. McLouth’s numbers aren’t great.

Nate McLouth Highlights in 2012 – Mature Lyrics So parental guidance is advised

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Notes On Free Agent Signings And Acquisitions Of The Last Week

Robinson Cano has seen his stock plummet down the river this winter.  While he still will likely sign a deal for more than $25 MIL per year, it may have to be somewhere other than the Bronx.  Meanwhile Jay - Z and his new baseball agent company is teetering with this client.

Robinson Cano has seen his stock plummet down the river this winter. While he still will likely sign a deal for more than $25 MIL per year, it may have to be somewhere other than the Bronx. Meanwhile Jay – Z and his new baseball agent company is teetering with this client.  The best move for that camp is to wait it out like Prince Fielder did 2 years ago.  It may take for an unexpected injury – or for a team to panic after the majority of the Free Agents have signed in order for him to maximize his dollars in 6 – 7 year deal.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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2014 Winter Transactions Part 2

For part one of this transaction summary click here.

The White Sox sign 1B Paul Konerko (37) – 1 YR/$2.5 MIL (1.0 MIL deferred to 2021).

I like this deal for the White Sox.  He is the team leader and can pass on knowledge to the young guys.. Expect for them to try and trade Adam Dunn halfway through the year if Konerko is playing well.

The Rockies sign 1B Justin Morneau (32) – 2 YRs/$13 MIL.

Love this move.  The Rockies could potentially see this man hit 20+ HRs and knock about 30 – 40 Doubles per year.  He carries a decent average too.

Justin Morneau Minnesota Twins Highlights

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Hey Nationals Fans: Don’t Forget About Danny Espinosa As A Utility Infielder!

In 2011 Danny Espinosa finished sixth in Rookie of the Year voting and was a 3.2 fWAR player. In 2012 he took a small step backwards offensively but was off the charts defensively and was a 3.4 fWAR player. As an offensive player his OPS was average to above for a second baseman and his defense was above average. He could also play short when needed and did so very well 2012 When Ian Desmond spent a month on the DL. Add it all up and for two seasons Danny Espinosa was a decent offensive middle infielder and played above average defense at two positions.

In 2011 Danny Espinosa finished sixth in Rookie of the Year voting and was a 3.2 fWAR player. In 2012 he took a small step backwards offensively but was off the charts defensively and was a 3.4 fWAR player. As an offensive player his OPS was average to above for a second baseman and his defense was above average. He could also play short when needed and did so very well 2012 When Ian Desmond spent a month on the DL. Add it all up and for two seasons Danny Espinosa was a decent offensive middle infielder and played above average defense at two positions.

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

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The Nationals are currently in need of a utility infielder that can hit better and has more versatility than Steve Lombardozzi

In 2013, the Nationals considered Lombardozzi such a below average short stop and third baseman that they started Anthony Rendon and Chad Tracy at those positions when giving the starters days off.

Rendon looked good at second base and the advanced stats agreed, but he is not a short stop.

Danny Espinosa 2012 Highlights – Mature Lyrics – Parental Guidance Is Advised

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Houston Astros State Of The Union Address: Fall 2013

From 1992 - 2006, Houston was one of the best franchises in the games of baseball, not having one losing season in that time span.  They won 4 Division Titles, 8 2nd place finishes, and appeared in 6 playoffs.  After being swept in the 2005 World Series, the core got old, and the team waited too long to rebuild.  Once it was time, the management actually did a smart thing in totally gutting the entire franchise, in order to restock the Minor League System.

From 1992 – 2006, Houston was one of the best franchises in the games of baseball, not having one losing season in that time span. They won 4 Division Titles, 8 – 2nd place finishes, and appeared in 6 playoffs. After being swept in the 2005 World Series, the core got old, and the team waited too long to rebuild. Once it was time, the management actually did a smart thing in totally gutting the entire franchise, in order to restock the Minor League System.  Now with 3 105+ Loss seasons, and back to back 1st overall picks, the team has begun the process.  An ownership changed mirrored the last transference of all the remaining Veterans from the previous regime.  How long will it take for the Astros to compete again?

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

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The Astros had one of the easiest years to peg down in the game of baseball for 2013.

They were horrible early, traded away every possible Veteran that were making any kind of cash on the Major League Level, and then proceeded to be even worse after the ALL – Star Game.

The worst part of the campaign was left for the end, where they promptly lost their last 15 games – to finish with a record of 51 – 111.

It was their 3rd straight 100+ Loss season.  But overlooking the obvious is that they actual drew a few more fans in 2013 – compared to 2012.

That was more a symptom of the club moving to the American League.  At least they were not last in the league for Attendance, like payroll.

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The Washington Nationals State Of The Union Part 1: Fall 2013 Through Spring 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.  Here are some priorities for the winter.

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 in the Nationals League.  Most of the nucleus is coming back for the 2014 year. Here are some priorities for the winter.

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

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1. Find a Manager

There are moves that can be made without a new manager in place, but this is the most important thing the Nationals have to do this off-season. Not having the leader of the team will make all the other moves more difficult.

Players want to know who they are playing for and the manager is going to have a lot of input into what free agents the Nationals go after for the bench and bullpen, which happen to be their two biggest needs personnel-wise.

It is also important to get the new manager in place early so that he has an entire off-season to communicate with the players already in the majors and to familiarize himself with the system and the minor leaguers that could help during the season.

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

Jordan Zimmermann Interview

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The Arizona Diamondbacks Players In All Organizational Affiliates, Prospects, Depth Charts, (MLB + MiLB) Fall 2013

The Arizona Diamondbacks didn't have the type of year in 2013 that they had wished for, however the future looks really strong.  Aided by a slugging 1st Baseman (Paul Goldschmidt), and great young Staring Pitching like Wade Miley and Patrick Corbin, added with Veterans Miguel Montero, Martin Prado and Aaron Hill, with prospects A.J. Pollock and Adam Eaton being the future core, this team should see some heavy duty improvement from year to year.

The Arizona Diamondbacks didn’t have the type of year in 2013 that they had wished for, however the future looks really strong. Aided by a slugging 1st Baseman (Paul Goldschmidt), and great young Staring Pitching like Wade Miley and Patrick Corbin, added with Veterans Miguel Montero, Martin Prado and Aaron Hill, with prospects A.J. Pollock and Adam Eaton being the future core, this team should see some heavy duty improvement from year to year.

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 Arizona Diamondbacks are one of the better run franchises in the MLB  In fact, they are in a constant battle with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, for the best record ALL – Time for an expansion team.

The club has made the playoffs in 5 of its 15 years existence.  While they won’t make the Post Season in 2013, they have been competitive for yet another campaign.

One of the best things they could have done was to lock down Paul Goldschmidt to a a lengthy (team friendly contract, that will see the big First Baseman be the pillar behind the offense for the next several seasons.

Kevin Towers and his scouting staff are always on top of the mark for player development, and it will probably result in the team having a chance every year in both the NL West Race and for a Wild Card Birth.

For a Full 3 year Salary Outlook plus last years Stats for every player in the D-Backs Organization click here.

Paul Goldschmidt  Highlights 2013

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Arizona Diamondbacks’ Kirk Gibson Managing Style

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Tuesday, June.25, 2013

Kirk Gibson has the Diamondbacks in the right direction and they have a three game lead in the NL West Division.

Kirk Gibson has the Diamondbacks going in the right direction and they have a three game lead in the NL West Division. They have the best record in MLB in one-run games at 17-10, and also have the best in extra-inning games at 8-2. They have withstood numerous injuries to key players on their roster, and are finally getting healthy which is bad news for the other teams in their division. Gibson expects plenty from his players, and he commands respect with how he manages the team. He also has the team believing that no lead is insurmountable.

By Chris Lacey (Featured Baseball Columnist)

The Arizona Diamondbacks are in first place and this is big surprise considering that they did not have their starting second baseman for about two months, they were without a true closer for the past month, and the player that was expected to play center field has yet to play a game this season.

Gerardo Parra Highlights- So Parental Guidance Is Advised

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Arizona DiamondBacks Roster In 2013: State Of The Union

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Saturday, February.16, 2013

The Diamondbacks will look to regain the the magic that aided them in winning the division in 2011.

The Diamondbacks will look to regain the magic that aided them in winning the division in 2011.

By Chris Lacey (Diamond Backs Correspondent)

Arizona Diamondbacks fans had some high hopes coming into the 2012 season after winning the division in 2011 and making their way back to the playoffs for the first time 2007. The 2012 off-season saw them bring in free agent OF Jason Kubel. The season started off great with a three game sweep of the San Francisco Giants, but when CF Chris Young went crashing into the wall to catch a deep ball against the Pittsburgh Pirates the team was never the same. The Diamondbacks are in tough division the NL West, which is known for pitching. They will have to rely on their young starters if they hope to compete with San Francisco Giants & Los Angeles Dodgers. The offense will have to get better with manufacturing runs and instead of depending on the long ball to score runs. They traded away RF Justin Upton and 3B Chris Johnson, but they brought in versatile player Martin Prado and pitching prospect Randall Delgado.

Game #7 of the 2001 World Series – Gonzalez Game Winner – Can the 2013 DBACKS get back to the WS?


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Arizona DiamondBacks Payroll In 2013: And Contracts Going Forward

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Thursday, February.14, 2013

Arizona has won 5 Division Titles in just 15 years of existence.  They could not get both of the hitting and pitching going at the same time in 2012 - will 2013 be any different?

Arizona have won 5 Division Titles in just 15 years of existence – including winning the World Series in 2001. The franchise consistently is rated as one of the top rated front office organizations – and routinely rank as the most fan-friendly team in the MLB.   The Franchise is 2nd amongst Expansion Clubs for Winning Percentage (.498) behind the Angels (.499.)  The DBacks are only 10 games below .500 for their ALL-Time record (1210-1220). Will they be able to compete with the Dodgers and Giants in future years by increasing Payroll?

By Chris Lacey (Diamond Backs Correspondent)

The Diamondbacks finished the 2012 season with disappointment as they struggled to get over .500 for much of the season. They lost the last game of the season to the Rockies that summed up what happened during the year. When they got good starting pitching, the defense would make a costly mistake, and then the offense would struggle to score any runs. The Diamondbacks enter the 2013 camaign with plenty of new faces on the club.

General Manager Kevin Towers has changed the makeup of this team these past two off-seasons. He has put an emphasis on players who can make consistent contact, rather than hitting the long ball. The Dbacks GM is always looking to improve upon the bullpen. He did this by taking a risk on Heath Bell who had a bad year with the Marlins, but Towers believes a change of scenery will help. Towers not only brought in bullpen help, but also signed some key players’ to long-term contracts that will aid the team to not only contend now, but for the future.

2011 DiamondBacks Post Season Highlights.  Lyrics May Contain mature content so Parental Guidance is advised:

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The Toronto Blue Jays Payroll 2013 and Contracts (Updated For MIA Trade Nov.13/2012)

Monday, September.10/2012

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 section here.

The Blue Jays have not qualified for the Playoffs since they won Back to Back World Series in 1992 and 1993. At that time, they were around the top of the MLB Payroll for all teams. How much will they spend in 2013?

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):

It has been a disastrous season for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2012.  Only the Boston Red Sox can usurp them in the AL East for being more disappointing.  It is not entirely anyone’s fault, injuries to many key pitchers-plus the loss of Jose Bautista just after the All-Break, crippled the team’s ability to compete.  Just chalk up the season to unlucky.  Fortunately for the Blue Jays, Alex Anthopoulos has kept the team flexible with the payroll going forward.  I still think that getting out of the Vernon Wells and Alex Rios contracts was the biggest ‘Houdini Act’ of the New Millennium.  Since he got out from under those contracts, only Joey Bats makes more than 10 Million Dollars now on the club.  To contend in the AL East, the Jays will need to spend at least 100-110 Million Dollars.  The core of the team is intact for a couple of more years.  From 2013-2016 is the clubs best window to make a charge at the playoffs and have some success.

Perhaps the best move that the Blue Jays GM did this year was to lock up Edwin Encarnacion to a 3 YR/27 Million Dollar contract before he hit the Free Agency Market.  In a downtrodden year, EE could have requested an arm and leg for his services and been obliged.  He left between 8-10 Million Dollars on the Table in my opinion.  The keys will be to lock up a couple of their young player to long-term contracts.  The catching looks solid (Arencibia and Mathis) for years to come with some more prospects filtering through the Minor Leagues (Travis D’arnaurd.)  Trading away Eric Thames and Travis Snider paved the way for the club to lock-up Colby Rasmus long-term-and maybe take a run at a power hitting Outfielder.  The team’s starting pitching must heal up from multiple Tommy John Surgeries and come back to be relevant.  The team should definitely be players for free agent pitchers.  

For Part 1 of a 7 Part Article Series:  The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise 1977-1993, click here

For Part 7 of the 7 Part Series:  Blue Jays 2013 Team Payroll:  A Readers Thoughts, Click Here:

Josh Johnson brings a career record of 56-37 (.602) to the Blue Jays lineup in 2013. With one year and 13.75 Million Dollars left on this current deal. will Toronto try and extend him or wait to see if he can stay healthy all year.

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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

Should the Diamondbacks be Buyers or Sellers at the MLB Trade Deadline?

Thursday July 19th, 2012

Bryan Sheehan (MLB Writer): The Diamondbacks could be in a worse situation. Just four games under .500 and sitting third within the NL West, they’re in the middle of the road statistically for both hitting and pitching despite injuries on both sides of the ball. Both Justin Upton and Miguel Montero have gone through slumps but are still batting around .270 with potential to contribute offensively, and second baseman Aaron Hill is having a great season so far, hitting .301 with the projection of 73 RBIs if he continues on this pace. Outfielder Jason Kubel is having a great year at the plate and defensively, as he leads the MLB in outfield assists. Rookie pitcher Wade Miley has been a wonderful surprise this year, leading all rookie starters with a 3.13 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 10 wins. Keep in mind this is the team that won the NL West last year and didn’t radically change over the offseason.

That being said, they’re far from in the driver’s seat. 7 games out of the wild card, as well as 7 games from the NL West lead, they have some issues to attend to. While top prospect and 2011 draft pick Trevor Bauer has the potential to be an MLB starter, at 21 he’s a bit underdeveloped. In four starts, Bauer had a 6.06 ERA with a 1-2 record, rough enough to buy him a bus ticket back to Triple-A Reno. With ace Daniel Hudson out for the season because of Tommy John surgery, the D-Backs currently only have four starting pitchers. With the deadline fast approaching, Arizona has a tough choice: trade away prospects and make a run for the playoffs, or sell off their big names in return for a chance in 2013 (and beyond). 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

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